Saturday, December 31, 2005

blahblahblah

Things have settled down. Wayyyyyy down. So far down. I don't know where the past week went, but i'm freaking out that I only have 3 days left to sleep in before reality and real life sets in again. Ugh. But the sleeping-in thing is messing with the going-to-bed-at-night thing, as you might gather by the time of this post. Both the cats sacked out on my bed about 2 hours ago. They tried to stay awake with me but it was just too hard. But me? I'm wide awake.

Jess and Piper are fine now. Jess got over his grumpy episode and they're buddies again. I still think he's grieving, but there's no sign that he's going to stop eating - ha. When I go into the spare room, where Megs spent her last few weeks, he follows me in and sits quietly with me. He seems a little sad. He's been really clingy, but that's cool because I've been home a lot so he'll just snuggle with me on the couch. Of this whole lazy week, I have accomplished very little. This is how little, yet I am so proud to have accomplished ANYTHING:

-Cleaned my room, a several-hour-long process involving hanging up tons of clean clothes stacked in various places
-Did 5 loads of laundry, clearing my kitchen floor of laundry piles for the first time in months
-Packed up another load of shoes and clothes to go to Goodwill
-Started a list of all the things I need to do in order to get my shit together in 2006.

Doesn't sound like a lot? Well... it's not really -- I basically did it all today. That's right, I only took one nap today, by golly, and look at all I got done.

Next week is really going to suck, isn't it?

I have done very little socializing this week, but i did see my friend Sarah, visiting from San Francisco, a couple of times, and that was very nice. Even though I had to work a tad this week, it still has felt very much like a break, which I needed. I'm so ready for this wretched odd-numbered year to be OVAH. I do better in even-numbered years. See for yourself:

- born - 1970
- H.S. graduation - 1988
- college graduation - 1992
- got married - 1994
- got divorced - 1998
- sister got married - 1998
- first nephew born - 2000
- second nephew born - 2002
- third nephew born - 2004
- quit job I hated, started job I love - 2004

Alternately, check out the odd-numbered years:

- mom had cancer - 1995
- started a long journey to my personal recovery - 1997
- separated from ex-husband - 1997
- got laid off - 2001
- near-fatal car wreck and subsequent health problems - 2003
- Meggie's death - 2005

It's kind of eerie, isn't it? Of course there are good and bad milestones in my life that don't fit the pattern, but generally? I'm all about the even-numbered years.

This might be the lamest post ever. Sorry. I'll try to have something interesting to write about very soon. Should be do-able -- New Year's Eve is tomorrow, and you never know...

Monday, December 26, 2005

the aftermath, part 1

As I was pondering the title for this blog, I realized that referring to what follows as the aftermath is doubly true; meaning, the aftermath of the big buildup that is Christmas, as well as the aftermath of losing Megs.

I'm in a weird mood tonight. (Could part of it be because I've been watching The Learning Channel's (TLC) marathon of heartbreaking birth defects for hours? I just watched "Born Without a Face" and am now engrossed in "Born With Two Heads." Why? Why???). Barring the odd ambience as I type this entry, here's the setup: I am in bed, propped on pillows, typing on my laptop. Jess is curled up at the top of the bed by my pillow. Piper is curled up at the bottom of the bed, a mirror-image of jess. Now, the vet warned that the cats might grieve, even refuse to eat. I knew Piper would be thrilled about the whole thing, and I was right, but I expected something from Jess. After all, he's known Meggie his whole life; when he came to me as a kitten, 10 years ago, she was already well-established in the household and took over "training" this young male cat. I would describe their relationship more as that of siblings, rather than mother/son. I never saw much of a maternal instinct shining through even as Megs would tackle him, hold him down, and roughly bathe his disgusting boy kitten self. You could just see the cartoon bubble above her head saying "BOYS. Gross." So she would clean him, then set him free and ignore him for the next few hours. As you would expect, Jess spent his kittenhood trying to get her to love him. He desperately wanted her to play with him, and she would sometimes. For a while, she always had the upper hand (as Steph witnessed years ago when she came home w/me at lunch to meet Jess, and got to witness Meggie dribbling his little gray head in a moment of sheer frustration). Until. Jess grew up. And ended up weighing twice as much as her. And when he realized this, he took every opportunity to sit on her. To jump on her. He loooovveeeddd jumping on her back and pinning her to the floor, just to hear her complain. She was a good sport about it all. I think she did love Jess a little, but theirs was a complicated relationship. I always thought she was somewhat relieved when I brought Piper home, because then Jess had a younger playmate and he left Megs alone more. Megs had no problem with Piper, it was Piper who hated/feared Megs. But I digress.

ANYWAY, while I expected Jess to react in some way to her death, I knew he would not stop eating. I mean come on. We're talking about Jess the 21-pound cat. He has the same problem as his mom - he eats to medicate stressful emotions. So now, he's been eating more than ever, and can I blame him? No, he has not stopped eating, but he is reacting. He seems to be taking it out on Piper. Ever since I got home last night, if Piper comes near him he growls. She is giving him his space, but I know she's confused and a little hurt. It's almost like he blames her or something. I dunno, it's very possible i'm reading too much into this. I just hope it's a phase and it passes and they become pals again.

I overlap cats on purpose, you see; I never want one of my kitties to be left alone, grieving. I adopted Piper knowing that she would be a companion for Jess when Meggie was gone. They're all 5 years apart. So yes, I'll say it: it has occurred to me to get a 3rd cat at some point, so that the same holds true for Piper when Jess is gone. But right now it's not a consideration. I'm a little too raw, and the cats are too. Jess is ANGRY, people. Oh, the anger. He doesn't just growl at Piper, he growls at me when he wants me to stop petting him, or if he sees me pet Piper. He's just plain mad. So there will be no addition to the Young household for quite some time. I'd say maybe never, but I never say never.

I was going to go into my Christmas recap here, but I'm tired and the next show in the TLC marathon just started: "Little People, Big Dreams." More later...

Thursday, December 22, 2005

gone missing.

Today there is one less soul living under my roof. While I can still feel her presence everywhere, and keep turning my head to see her visage out of the corner of my eye, she is gone. It's interesting to find out that there is such a marked, noticable change of energy -- that one little cat had such a presence for so many years.

Those who didn't know Megs very well thought of her as a nice enough cat, however a stereotypical one. It's true, you had to earn her trust before she'd allow you to bestow her with pets -- and then she only liked to be pet a certain way and would get really pissed if you did it wrong. But the people who knew her well knew that when you got to know her, she was one entertaining, opinionated, loud kitty. She had a sense of humor as well as a sense of irony. She had the most expressive kitty face I've ever seen. I could have fun scanning in every photo I have of her and putting a caption with what's she's thinking in each one, because to me it was always so clear. I just might do that someday. But today, I just want to remember her as she was just a few short months ago -- healthy, feisty, and fluffy.

If I had any doubts this morning, when the vet arrived at my house, I overcame them by thinking back to how Megs used to be. She has not been herself lately, and who could blame her -- you could just tell from her eyes that she felt like utter crap. She stopped eating/drinking a few days ago, and that's when I knew it was time to take care of her. While it was one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make, I still feel it was the right one -- even as I type this with tears streaming down my face. I miss her. I missed her the instant she was gone. I want so much for her to jump up on my bed right now and cause Piper to go into a hysterical hissing fit. I keep wanting to go into the spare room where she'd been camped out and sit quietly with her again, talking to her and petting her head just right. But still, no regrets. She depended on me her whole life to keep her safe and healthy, I couldn't let her down now. Sure I probably could have kept her around a while longer, to make myself feel better -- but that was not fair to her. And now I feel strangely alone, even though I'm flanked with two sleeping, fat, healthy cats. I'm wondering when they're going to notice she's gone. I fully expect Piper to dance a little jig and click her heels as she belts out, "ding, dong, the witch is dead...", and I picture Jess being really concerend and worried, looking for her and calling for her. But it hasn't sunk in yet, for any of us.

There is just this hole in my heart. And the emptiness of this house. I know we will fill it up again with more love and memories with my two remaining babies, but it doesn't make it hurt any less. I think Piper will flourish, not just because her arch-nemesis is no longer around to freak her out, but because I can finally really love her without feeling guilty toward Megs, the first lady of the house and my best friend for years. I don't think I realized until tonight how I'd always held myself back just a little bit with Piper. Now I can enjoy her and all her little quirks more fully.

The other thing weighing heavily on my mind tonight is Jess. He is only 5 years younger than Megs, and he is overweight. I'm so conscious now that they can get sick and die in such a short period of time, i'm fighting my urge to take him in and have every blood test done to make sure he's **really** healthy. I'm hoping the urge subsides and I'll stop being paranoid at his every wheeze. I want to take a deep breath.

But for now, I am mourning my fair Meggie. A little piece of my heart, which held a piece of my history, died today. And I am sad. And Christmas is in two days. And I am sad. I'm going to miss seeing my nephews open their presents this year, and I am sad.

Let's hear it for 2006, shall we??

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

nip it and tuck it away -- FOREVER

While there are many more pressing things to write about today, for the moment all I can handle is this: I am so done with Nip/Tuck. It's OVER. I got hooked on it last season and eagerly rented the DVDs for the 1st season. It was mesmerizing, edgy, sexy, beautiful. Then this year, in the third season? SUCKFEST 2005. I haven't been watching much lately since the first few episodes of this season were so painful to watch, but last night I got suckered in by the 2-hour season finale. It was the absolute WORST piece of television and writing I've seen in a very long time. AWFUL. I am embarrassed that I sat through the entire 2 hours of ridiculous-ness. BAH.

while i'm disappointed that one of my former faves now sucks, luckily there are many new faves just on the horizon. My name is Lisa and I am addicted to silly television. (...silly, but not STUPID.)

and that is all i can manage right now. more soon.

Monday, December 19, 2005

heaven in tin foil - candy review

Obviously I need to write a post regarding the big holiday party Friday night, but first... I have to share the invention of the year and the demise of any sort of self control. I present to you Hershey's Kisses, Limited Edition CHERRY CORDIAL CREME-FILLED.


Whoa. Do you know what this means?? Do you? It means they have created my fantasy candy. Let me tell you a little story. There was a small girl who had a cool Grandmother who had somehow gotten it in her mind that the small girl loved chocolate-covered cherries. She got said small girl several boxes of these Every. Single. Christmas. But what she didn't know was that the small girl hated any kind of real fruit pieces messing with her chocolate, and that the girl would meticulously suck all the chocolate/goo off the cherry before depositing it back inside the box, then happily consume the chocolate tomb of cherry creme and goo. (This always lead to the unfortunate occurence of someone opening the box of chocolate-covered cherries in excitement only to find a bunch of dried out, sad-looking cherries taking the place of the luscious chocolate candies that were there just 5 minutes ago.)

Anyway. So this candy is awesome because it is the chocolate covered cherry without the cherry. People, it is creme and cherry goo and NO GROSS MARACHINO CHERRY.

Just buy some now because for the love of God, they're LIMITED EDITION.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

do the time warp, yeah

This entire week has been nightmarishly long and freakishly exhausting. Is it just me??? I know part of it is due to the season and the fact that OMG CHRISTMAS IS NEXT WEEK. The other part is, of course, my at-home kitty drama. Which is progressing sllllooowwwly -- although Megs has been acting pretty "normal" all things considered. Last night I put the fluffy Ikea rug next to the fireplace and she's been on that a lot, grooving on the heat and pretending the rug is her mama. She has regressed to nursing on the rug. Yes, that's right, "nursing" as in "sucking". It seems she is in a time warp as well, and sucking on the rug takes her to her happy place, where she was a carefree kitten in College Station, TX.

[here is where i would totally post a pic I have of her doing this, but i simply don't have the time... i promise to post it later, since i know you're dying to witness this anomoly...]

Anyway. All day yesterday I thought it was today, and all day today I've thought it was tomorrow -- and OMG our holiday party is tomorrow night and I haven't even thought about what to wear. Craziness! Oh, and I kinda forgot until today that I also have a freelance project due tomorrow. Tomorrow. So there's that. AND I am going to attempt to make the last of my holiday purchases tonight on my way home -- in an attempt to decompress between work work and more work at home. OH, and Without a Trace is on tonight.

So yeah, don't call me tonight; I'll probably be napping ;)

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

dream a little dream

I have always been a vivid dreamer, and I have lots of recurring dreams. I’ve even had epic dreams before, ones that continue for years, off and on. I’ve had “lucid dreams” – where I’m in the dream and know it and tell myself, “You’re in a dream, hey, kiss Brad Pitt! Do it! It’s a dream!” or, “Shit, that’s a 12-foot spider – wake up, dumbass!”. I have always, always, dreamed in color. I don’t know what any of this means, but I’ve always felt enriched by my active dream life – like I look forward to going to sleep at night, curious to see what life I’ll live in my head for the next 7 hours…and when I have one of those lazy weekends where I nap off and on for two days, or when I’m sick – my dreams will totally shape my mood during that time. That’s why I’m often a little foggy on Mondays. (yeah, good excuse, huh?)

Granted, I have had some weird, disturbing dreams along the way. I thought it might be interesting/scary to make a little list… so here are some of the recurring ones:

• Losing teeth. All my teeth are loose and start falling out and there’s nothing I can do. I totally panic at this one. Or, I look in the mirror and my nice, straight teeth are yellow and crooked.
• Kittens. I dream a lot of kittens, and once or twice I’ve even dreamed of neon-colored kittens. Pretty cool.
• My HS sweetheart. He is a comforting character who shows up from time to time.
• My ex husband. He is a malevolent character who only appears when I’m really stressed out – the dream is always that we’re back together, only I’m who I am now, but I can’t get away from him for some reason. A total trapped, helpless feeling. (hello, Freud?)
• My cats. I dream that they’re running out the front door; as I catch one and put it back inside, another one makes a run for it. Another stress dream.
• There’s this giant, old, rambling mansion I run around in during dreams – it is the setting for random dreams here and there, sometimes good ones and sometimes nightmares.
• Someone is chasing me and I’m trying to run – but it’s like trying to run under water, and I just can’t get going.
• When I was a kid, I had a recurring dream that I was in my parents’ backyard, calling for help, and when I’d see my dad and start toward him –he’d take out a pistol and shoot me. Yes, yes, I’ve covered this one in therapy, and no, my dad has never aimed a gun at me…I truly don’t know what this one is all about, unless it has to do with the time when I was 5-6, and I woke up thirsty in the middle of the night and crept into the kitchen, in the dark, to get a drink; and as I started back, feeling my way through the living room, my dad jumped out from the hallway with a gun, saw it was me, and lectured me to never EVER creep around at night again, because he thought I was a burglar and he could’ve shot me. Yeah, that might have something to do with the gun dream, huh…
• Dreams of being shot – NOT by dad, but by random bad people. The dream is more about feeling the impact, the realization I’ve been shot, then being aware of the wound and how it feels physically to be shot. Interesting because I’ve never been shot … at least not in this lifetime … (cue twilight zone music…)
• Falling/jumping off a cliff or building. The feeling of terror as I’m slipping, then release as I let go, then relief as I wake up and never hit the ground.
• Flying dreams – hooray for these!
• Making-out-with-celebrity dreams – double hooray for these! Seriously, I’ve made out with Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, Tom Cruise (before he was a freak), Adam Ant, Matthew McConahicantspellit… oh yeah baby.
• Missing-the-test-in-college dreams – everyone has these, right?

Ok. So a lot of those are stress dreams – maybe that’s why they’re recurring? I have a feeling Freud would have a heyday with me. So, spill it – what recurring dreams to YOU have? And I fully expect some creepy admissions – I told you about the teeth and gun ones, after all…

Monday, December 12, 2005

history lesson

My oldest kitty, Megs, is very sick. I heard from the vet today and her bloodwork showed something seriously wrong with her liver. It will take a sonogram to find exactly what it is, whether it's cancer or liver disease, but either way, it's not looking good for the old girl. So very soon, I will have some big decisions to make about my 15-year companion. Gosh, that's longer than a lot of marriages -- longer than mine, for sure. That's longer than a lot of friendships. Longer than school.

My cat has seen a LOT of my life, literally witnessing every major life change so far -- I got her when I was 20. Before I had even met the guy who would become my ex-husband. And you know, I can look back and see now how I should have paid more attention to her -- she never liked that asshole. heh.

She knows my history, she IS my history. And it freaks me out to think of life without her fluffy self, she who has been the one constant in my life for so long. That is a good word for her: constant. She has slowed down a lot in her old age, but has yet to lose her attitude and spunk. She'll still kick Piper's ass if necessary -- but really all she has to do is give Piper one withering look and the Peeps is dust in the wind. Megs will still come loudly complain if she is unhappy about something -- hunger, thirst, even the litter box. She will come sit next to or beside me and touch my face with her paw, gently at first and then more insistently, until she has my full attention and I give her what she wants. My long-time friend Kelly was my roommate the semester in college when we decided to take on a pet -- she was/is co-mother to Megs. Even after all these years, and considering Kelly and I don't visit but once or twice a year, Meggie remembers her. And she remembers my family members. Oh yes, that cat has a looonnngggg memory. It makes me so sad that all those memories will be lost when she isn't around anymore.

Which brings me to tonight. I'm trying not to get too morbid, since I still don't have all the facts, but my vet basically told me to prepare myself. And I guess I have been, for a while now. As I've wached Megs grow more frail over the past 6 months, I've known deep down that her age was going to catch up with her and I needed to brace myself. But tonight, I am just loving her, giving her my support. Bringng her a plate of canned catfood to the back room where she prefers to sleep, turning on the gas fireplace for her shivering self, even though it's f-ing hot in here (gone is the ice, TX is back) and I had to strip down to my undies to stay in the living room with her. Before I came to bed, where I am writing this in an attempt to purge my heart so I can sleep, I took this small Ikea fake fur rug into her room and laid it on the futon, where she likes to sleep -- since she gets cold. So we'll see what the next days bring. But am I crazy to think she moved a little shower tonight than last night, almost as if she can sense this change of energy in the house? I'm trying to stay normal, but I get sad, you know.

I will sure miss her, but she is not gone yet, and as long as she's here -- and long after -- she's my best girl.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

The day that [Austin] froze over

It's true. Last night Austin got its every-3-or-so-years-worth of ice and the city subsequently shut down. Which means, no school! I mean, work! Yay! I was reminded of those days in Kansas, going to bed at night praying for crazy snow and how gratifying it was to wake up and look out the window well (yes, my bedroom was in the basement -- more on that some other time) and see nothing but the white stuff. I. Loved. It. and I still do. It's like a "free day", where you can do nothing and feel no guilt because, hey, the city shut down! School/work is closed! Hooray! Well, I worked, but on my couch. Working in pajamas! Yay! I believe I have made my joy clear and can now move on. But first, here is proof (and I know my sister buried in "real" snow in CO is going to snicker but I don't care):


So I have been trapped inside with the kitties,* who are providing loads of entertainment:


And while the following photo was not taken today, I still think it's relevant to all the cat-anarchy we've had around here lately -- I'm not the only one fed up with the primadonna:


I will leave you on that note. Wherever you are, stay warm.

*Jess isn't really THAT big, it's just an unflattering angle...um, yeah...

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Cat disaster

I left work a little early today so I could take my cat(s) to the vet. Piper has been living in the litterbox lately; and Megs, my geriatric cat, is, well, old. The appt. was originally for Megs, but I thought I would try to take them both and kill two birds with one stone. Well, HAHA on me.

I started trying to get Piper into her cat carrier about 20 minutes before I needed to leave because I remembered the last time she went in there it was a painful experience for both of us. She was also a lot smaller than she is now. And not as strong. So very strong. After 30 minutes of physically struggling with a writhing, hissing, angry feline with at least 10 limbs with which to block her insertion into the carrier, it was clear she was not going in there. Evah. So I scooped her up and decided I’d just take her loose in the car and cage only Megs, who loved the cat carrier and would in fact live in there if I’d let her. Probably not the best idea — well in retrospect, a really horrible idea — but I was desperate and didn’t want to miss the vet appt. I kept telling myself it was for her own good, right?

You can probably see where this is going. No sooner had I stepped outside when Piper gave a mighty twist using her back claws in my belly to emphasize her displeasure, and I couldn’t hold onto her any longer — she shot out of my arms and flew around my house and over the fence into my backyard. I was thinking, ok, this could be worse — she’s in the backyard at least. But when I walked into the yard after her, she flipped out, doing her best “I’m dying in excruciating pain” yeowl and streaking past me and back over the fence into the front yard. Only after that she disappeared. I ran after her, but she had a good head start and was nowhere to be found.

So my sickly, skittish cat, with no front claws, no collar, and no street smarts, was loose in my neighborhood, just as people were starting to come home from work. I pondered the possibilities for all the open garages in which she could hide. Staggering. I called the vet to say the whole thing was a no-go and went looking for Piper. For an hour I drove around and around my subdivision, then walked around calling for her, then sat outside (in the freezing cold, I might add) listening for her, and felt panic every time I heard the distant sound of dogs going apeshit (as in, oh, Piper just became doggie dinner).

Jess was ever so helpful during the search efforts. Concerned, he followed me around the house as I checked under furniture, thinking maybe she’d magically snuck back inside. As I knelt down and tried to look under my couch, he was very good natured about crawling underneath, peering out at me, then crawling back out, as if to say “nope, not there.” I left my backdoor open this whole time, so she could come inside if she found her way back to the house. I watched as Jess walked the perimeter of the backyard, sniffing every blade of grass and rubbing his face on the fence periodically. I then watched in amazement as he took a kitty shit in my backyard — then tried to bury it. For a while. This is notable only because I’ve always laughed that my silly housecats come inside to use the litterbox, then go back outside to frolic. I was proud that he’d finally figured out that outside = ok to shit in. But I digress.

I also called several friends during this time, who were very supportive for their part, considering they were completely helpless. It was starting to get dark and tonight is supposed to be the coldest night so far this year — the PERFECT night for a housecat to be lost outside. Yeah.

As the sun began to set, I walked into my backyard once more, this time going around to the far side of my house, the side I never go on. I noted how the grass on that side was still green, vs. the straw that was the rest of the yard. I noted the neighbor’s vine/weed had grown into my yard and was destroying the fence. I noted the discarded HEB styrofoam ice chest lying on its side, and realized it had been there for at least two years, geez, how lazy WAS I — when all of a sudden a wild animal propelled itself out of the box and careened past me. I thought it was a raccoon, I honestly did. I ran around the corner in time to see Jess sitting on the back porch looking over his shoulder into the house, like “WTF was THAT and did it GO INTO MY HOUSE???” You guessed it, it was the Peeps. She had the presence of mind to hide in her own backyard and to stay quiet as a mouse while I yelled her name all over the neighborhood. Right now she is under my bed, not speaking to me. In fact, if I speak to her at all, she hisses and growls. But she’s inside, Thank God, and safe. Plus, I have set up an appointment for a mobile vet to come to the house tomorrow afternoon. I’m smart like that.

I’m assuming she will forgive me at some point, maybe when she’s hungry?? In the meantime, I’m going to go tend to my bleeding flesh and begin the emotional healing process.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

the weekend that wasn't

Oh my, where did the weekend go?? Here are all the things I did NOT do this weekend that I wanted to:

- Christmas shopping (unless you count hitting "send" on an Amazon order I've been building for a week).
-Laundry.
-Decorating/putting up Christmas tree.
-Freelance writing.
-Laundry.

...and on and on. What did I do this weekend? Well I'll tell you:

-Slept.
-Rested.
-Slumbered.
-Relaxed.
-Vegged out.

It was, actually, a divine weekend of lazy debauchery, but still the Guilt, oh the Guilt. At least I managed to do 1 load of towels and unload the dishwasher -- woo hoo!! Now I sit in my old-fashioned, mom-looking, full-length nightgown, given to me by my ex-MIL, and which I wear only when it's cold b/c although thin, it's like a giant tent and holds in my body heat. I sit in this gown under a blanket and two cats, on my couch, in front of my (fake) fire, watching Dr. 90201 and surfing the web. I'm trying to enjoy this because I feel like it's the calm before the storm; tomorrow is December 6, and will mark the beginning of the holiday frenzy. Already I'm going to websites with giant banners that say things like "Only 5 more days for ground shipping before Christmas!" Internet, this freaks me out. I did the majority of my shopping online, but there is still more to be done and I dread going to the mall, any mall, with the holidays fast approaching. So wish me luck. Oh, I'm also annoyed with the Gap; I can't access their website from my Mac!! I get a message that they don't support my browser, which is Safari, which comes standard on Macs and which I was told to use by my work IT guy. Sigh. So I didn't know it was an unsupported, unpopular browser. And I blame the Gap, naturally. Like they're too HIP for Safari, give me a break. grumble grumble.

Ok, so I slipped in the comment on Dr. 90210, but I'll own up to it -- Yes, it's a guilty pleasure. Like most of my t.v. habits. But damn i'm fascinated with those boob jobs, I mean COME ON. It intrigues me that it is perfectly acceptable to show all these giant plastic boobs, as long as the nipple is erased by the magic of technology. I find this much more alarming than an actual nipple, but what do I know. And there's some drama brewing on Dr. Ray's homefront; he wants another baby and his wife just told us how she just got on the pill to "protect herself from an unwanted pregnancy". Yikes. I want to hate her because she's rich and beautiful and looks better than I've ever looked in a bikini after having TWO KIDS, but she's so sweet to put up with Dr. Ray's eccentric crap. Anyway.

Yeah, ramble ramble. I got nothin'. So I guess I should go prepare for another week that I'm sure will fly right by without my noticing, as is the norm these days. I'll try to check in some along the way.

that is all.

Friday, December 02, 2005

On shame

This is shallow. It is silly. And I am ashamed. But it must be said:

I [HEART] Madonna's new CD, Confessions On a Dance Floor.

Go ahead, judge me. Then listen to it and try not to bob your head and shake your booty.
I DARE YOU.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Babies, rainbows, butterflies, and body image

So, my trip to Colorado. It was an amazing and new experience for me, spending that much concentrated time with my nephews, and I feel like we really bonded. When they lived nearby, the most time I ever spent with them was a couple of days, and then not the ENTIRE couple of days. Sometimes just for a couple of hours. But this past week was Total. Nephew. Saturation. And it was Truly Awesome. Yes, it was noisy and sometimes chaotic. Yes, I suffered some mild anxiety at being surrounded by people 24/7 for days at a time – including my parents. Yes, I collapsed into bed every night thinking how crazy my sister is to have, on purpose, three boys under the age of 6, but also acknowledging how very blessed she is, and how very blessed we are to have them in our lives. I was talking to BT about my trip last night, and I found myself getting teary-eyed talking about them, especially the baby, the Coopinator. Somehow I began talking about how I thought by now I would be the one with a family, with kids, and how that may not be in the cards for me after all. To which he gently pointed out, but you have your nephews. Yes, yes I do. And I love them like they’re my own, now more than ever.

But it wasn’t all rainbows and butterflies. Last week I often found myself weirdly uncomfortable. I was very conscious of what and how much I ate. I drank mostly water. I realized at some point that I always kept my arms covered, and even caught myself sucking in my stomach. WTF??? Well, it finally hit me, days later. After being with BT, actually, because I was feeling a bit body conscious, read into that what you will. I realized I was ashamed of my body last week, ashamed in front of my father. I’m sure it would horrify him to know that I picked up on this, because I know he would never intentionally hurt me, but I felt like I was picking up distinct disapproving vibes from him about my weight. In my mind, I could hear him whispering to my mom, “She’d be so pretty if she’d just lose weight…”, or “Why doesn’t she DO something?”, or “I just wish she’d take better care of herself.” I heard all these things in my mind, not because I’m neurotic or paranoid, but because I have heard my father say these very words about other overweight people that have passed through our lives. My whole life, I have heard him speak these words, I have cringed at them, felt anger towards them, protected friends from them, rejected them, and now, felt their unspoken, cosmic force being directed at me. I hesitated to write about this, but it just keeps nagging at me. I realize my dad might read this, but I’m speaking my truth. I felt the disapproval, and it hurt. But what I also realized is that my harshest critic is myself, and it always has been. I could say my body has gained weight over the years rebelling against a certain ex-husband, ex-boyfriends, the status quo, whatever. I have even considered that it happened as a subconscious rebellion against my father, like I’m trying to prove to him that people who are overweight are worthy of love, he MUST love me, no matter what I weigh, so there. But that’s not really the heart of the matter. The truth is, if I was truly comfortable with myself like I pretend to be, if I had truly accepted that fuck it, I’m going to eat what I want, life is too short, blahblahblah, well then I would not sense or even care about such disapproval. He is merely channeling the disgust I feel for myself. I am more disappointed in myself than anyone else could ever be for me. I have let my own body down, I have let it go, I have rebelled in a self-defeating circle resulting in self-loathing. Ok, not “self” loathing, but “body” loathing. I am not my body, I just live inside it. But I am gravely uncomfortable in this body. This is not the way I am supposed to be, and the truth is I will never learn to accept this shape as mine. And by acknowledging this, I am acknowledging that I must do something about it or I will never be totally happy.

But. And this is the important point. But I must do it for me, and only me. Not for the sake of my dad; not for the sake of all the hot guys out there who will want to date me if I’m skinny again – in fact I will just hiss at them if that happens. I must transform my body so that I feel comfortable in my own skin again, so that my outer appearance matches my inner one. And I can only do this when I am good damn and ready, as an old friend used to say. I am getting there, Internet. I can see the healthy me inside there whenever I so much as glance in a mirror, that’s why I can never reconcile what I see with how I feel. I don’t picture myself like this, I picture myself the way I was my whole life until my body started harboring pain and letting it build up and internalizing others’ opinions of me. I need to let go of all that shit and just do what needs to be done, for me.

And for my nephews. I’d like to chase them around in the park someday without feeling like I’m trapped inside someone else’s body.

I’m sure this ‘epiphany’ has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that the whole week revolved around FOOD, noooooooo.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Back and better than evah

Top 10 observations from my Thanksgiving in Denver:

1. While I wasn’t too fond of my Refreshing Vanilla Mint toothpaste before the trip, after sharing that baking-soda yak with my parents all week, mine tastes like heaven in a tube.
2. One can have too many baths.
3. Nothing melts the heart like an 18-month-old learning to say your name (“Sa-sa”) AND your favorite trick (SUPAHSTAH).
4. Nothing makes you feel like a SUPAHSTAH quite like your moodiest nephew curling up next to you to watch cartoons.
5. You know you’ve made a breakthrough when you have your two youngest nephews sniffing each and every LUSH item and saying “mmmmmmmmm” with their eyes blissfully closed.
6. My BIL is a better cook than the *BAM* guy.
7. Wrangling babies makes you skinny. And patient. Of which I am neither. (note to self: babysit more)
8. Even my family gets tired of rum by the 9th day.
9. If I lived anywhere near a Nordstrom Rack, I’d be destitute.
and finally…
10. Thanksgiving only comes once a year because if it came more than that, we’d all be obese and grumpy.

more soon...

Monday, November 21, 2005

over and out

I am writing this as I put off packing for my trip. My plane leaves tomorrow morning at 11:20 am -- I suppose that's why I'm not panicking right now. Well, that and the meds. Heh. Anyway, I wanted to post once more before I am possibly Internet-less until next weekend. I'm very excited about my trip!

Today was a good day for me -- leisurely, with a long work lunch and a fun assignment to finish up my afternoon. The perfect day-before-vacation. A day that punctuated my fabulous weekend with my friend Steph, who was visiting from Houston. I got to hang out with her and a lot of my other good friends as well -- it was the perfect weekend-before-Thanksgiving, to really appreciate and be thankful for my dear friends. I am truly blessed.

So tonight I still need to um, pack. And leave the usual elaborate note for the petsitter. I have every confidence that something weird will happen with my cats while I'm gone, just like last time -- they seem to be easy and low-maintenance when I'm here, then freak the hell out and fall apart when I'm not. I'm sure it's some sort of cruel punishment for leaving. But I bought them lots of canned catfood, so they won't be THAT angry.

I had hoped to see BT before the holidays, and he did call me tonight, but his car was in the shop and he wanted me to go to his house, and I haven't, um, packed... oh well, something to look forward to upon my return, to counter the crushing depression I'll suffer at leaving my precious nephews behind again.

I truly have no rhyme or reason to this post, and I really am procrastinating. So with that, I guess I'll wrap it up and get to work so I can actually sleep tonight. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone, and I'll be thinking of warm Texas as I bundle up into a burrito in front of a fire at my sister's house. Au Revoir!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Somebody stop me.

My shopping button was evidently pressed about three weeks ago, beginning with a day trip to the outlet mall, and somehow it got stuck on "GO". I can't stop shopping. I'm obsessed. Maybe it's because I'm gearing up for "Christmas Mode"? But if that was true, wouldn't I be madly buying gifts?? Noooo, I'm buying clothes, and shoes, and makeup... for memememememe. It's insane. AND I'm going to Denver in a few days where we will undoubtedly continue the shopping debauchery. SIGH. Oh well. That's what freelancing is for, right??

Truth be told, until recently I haven't done much shopping since my cruise in August. I am going to admit something here. Something horrible, something physically painful to admit. Y'all, I had a spa treatment on the boat, and that's fine b/c I had planned for that. But what I didn't plan for was being suckered into buying the pricey boat spa PRODUCTS the woman pushed on me while I was still under massage sedation. I refuse to talk actual dollar amounts, because seeing it in writing might kill me. But... I spent more at the spa that day than I did on the entire rest of the trip. Ugh, there it is, the stomach cramps. People, I can't let go of this. I usually don't suffer from shopper's remorse, but this, this has been bothering me for months. So much so that I haven't even USED said products, and am seriously considering selling the damn things on eBay. Then I think, but what idiot would pay $$$ for these stupid boat products??? Detoxify, my ass! I feel toxic just THINKING about them.

Um, yeah. So there's that. Which all came up because I'm sitting here, after 5:00 on a Thursday, pondering whether I want to hit the mall on the way home tonight or just go straight home and crash on my couch. It's a tough call.

I may or may not let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Shopping without my cell phone

I had no idea how lost I would feel in the dressing room at the mall when I realized I didn't have my cell phone with me. I'd left it charging in my kitchen that morning. And hadn't noticed until now because I'd been at work, near a land-line. But as I stood exposed under the cruel fluorescent lights, in front of the unforgiving 3-way mirror, in the too-tight black pants and gorgeous overpriced sweater, I realized how alone I really was. I felt so desperate and forlorn, not able to call one of my trusty girlfriends to lament about the ill-fitting pants or justify the sweater purchase, that I did the ultimate shopping no-no -- I relied on the saleslady. I know, it's awful. And I came away from the experience with TWO overpriced sweaters, but not the tight pants. I suppose it could've been worse, she wanted to start bringing me jeans -- but that's when I came to my senses and fled. Jeans would have to wait for another day when I was not so... vulnerable.

After the clothing disaster, I decided to brave the bath and body store -- I wanted to smell the new Christmas scents and I had a couple of coupons to use. I figured I'd be okay by myself in there. Oh, I was so, so wrong. I immediately got stuck in front of the new "foody"-smelling lotion display -- helplessly sniffing, aching, wanting, but unable to get a reality check from my trusty phone. I needed practical Hope to remind me I had 32 unused lotions already sitting on my bedside, or Babs to suggest that Christmas was coming up and perhaps I should think in terms of gifts... just as I was about to succumb to the seductive call of the tiramisu-scented body wash, I heard my name. Thank GOD, it was A. from work -- laughing at me because we'd just that afternoon discussed the best kind of face lotion to use for oily skin and I'd directed her to that very store. I was busted. Luckily, our facial-care chat distracted me from the damage I was close to inflicting upon my bank account, and I managed to escape with only the free lipgloss I got w/my coupon -- well, and a modest tube of tiramisu body wash. Ahem. But not the body souffle! Or the matching candle! Or the body scrub! Or, or, or -- knowing I was in a hazardous shopping spot as long as I was phone-less, I cut my financial losses and went home.

The drive was long and lonely without the sound of my sister's voice on the other end of the phone, or a quick chat with Sarah, freshly back from her trip to Japan. I was forced to drive in silence. Well, silence and my iPod. I decided to go with the moment. I opened my moonroof and let in the full-moonlight, felt the rush of the warm, balmy air of Texas in November, and enjoyed the silence. (cue Depeche Mode song here)

This morning, I remembered to grab my phone on my way out the door. WHEW, because I might need to stop for some groceries on the way home tonight...and God forbid I can't call Kelly to complain about how much I hate the grocery store...

Monday, November 14, 2005

Shiny holidays and winter gloom

Wow, where did last week go?? And next week is Thanksgiving -- you have got to be kidding me. And that means, Christmas is... omg, I can't think about this yet. We just had Christmas, didn't we??

Ok, enough of my little "time is flying" rant. My goal this year is to do all my holiday shopping online. This may not be possible, realistically, but I'm sure gonna try -- and I'd better try soon, because when I turn my head and sneeze it will be a month from now and I'll be freaking out. About this time of year is when my college-test stress dreams turn to Christmas-Eve-and-no-gifts stress dreams.

Next Tuesday I'm flying to Denver to visit les bebes for Thanksgiving. My parents will be there too. My mom is all a-twitter with plans to do "all the Christmas shopping" while we're there so she doesn't have to ship anything. Um, not possible. I will tag along on these outings, including a fabulous visit to the Boulder LUSH (Thank You Sistah:) ), but I have no illusions that I'll get much "real" Christmas shopping done.

So it's going to be a landmark for my family: the first holiday spent out of state (besides when we all lived out of state), and not all together -- my brother and his wife won't be making it this year. And Christmas is going to be even harder, b/c as of right now, none of us have plans to travel to Denver -- although there's a part of me that still thinks I might go at the last minute. Who knows. I like to have options. In any event, THAT will be a HUGE landmark for my sis, as they'll have their first Christmas Evah w/out all of us. And that makes me sad. And I know Christmas won't feel the same here, without them. The boys add back that kid-magic that had been missing for years from our holiday gatherings - there's nothing quite like watching a little boy joyfully tear into a package, then seeing his saucer eyes and hearing his "WOW!!!". Makes it fun again. So yeah, we'll miss them this year. [SOB]

I'm feeling again like time is careening out of control. If I think back to last Christmas, and what's different now in my life -- um, not much. Which makes me feel panicky, but I don't know what I'd rather be doing right now, y'know? Well, besides traveling abroad and staying in a slew of 5-star hotels with my rich, fabulous, hottie Italian boyfriend, that is. You know.

Unfortunately, this time of year also brings on those unwanted feelings of loneliness, feelings I honestly don't have the rest of the year. But dammit, it's something about crisp weather and bleak skies that makes me long for... more. I have fantasies of being "trapped" in my house for a day or so, iced in, with nothing but hot chocolate, a warm boyfriend, a fireplace, and of course los gatos magnificos. Because, I have to say it's kind of boring to be iced in by oneself. BUT -- it is MUCH better being iced in by oneself than with someone whose very presence makes you twitch. Ah, those were the days... So if given a choice, I would rather be alone with my cats than alone with my husband.

What would be optimal is if I could go to Europe for two weeks this Christmas -- something I haven't done since 1998. The bleak winter skies just aren't bleak from that side of the ocean, for some reason...

This mood is related to the COLD FRONT supposedly blowing in tomorrow, plunging our balmy Texas weather into WINTER temperatures, finally. Crossing my fingers.....

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Peace, joy, bubble bath, and guns.

Last night, the conversation went kinda like this:

“Hello?”

“Lisa, it’s your father.”

“Hi.”

“Sorry to interrupt the game…”

“What game?”

[sigh] “It’s Monday night FOOTBALL.”

“[sigh] Give UP! You know I have no interest in sports, never have.”

[disappointed sigh]
“I have a question to ask you about your Christmas present.”
[pause]
“Would you accept a gun as a gift from me, for self protection?”

“Um, no. No thank you.”

[quickly]
“It would be very safe, very small, you’d just need to load it and leave it in a drawer ---“

“Dad, no thank you. I know you’re being sweet in your own way, and you're concerned about my safety, but I don’t want a gun.”

“Are you SURE?”

“Yes Dad, I’m sure. But thank you. No.”

“Where’s that softball bat I gave you?”

“Under my bed.”

[gruffly] “Ok. Here’s your mother.”

And so goes the phone conversation I had with my Dad last night during Medium. It is important to note that my Dad rarely calls me, he usually just pipes in when I’m talking to my mom ☺. So I know he had given this a lot of thought. And as disturbed as I was at the thought of getting a GUN for Christmas (Peace, Love, Joy?), I really really appreciate him checking with me first. He knew what I would say, but he had to give it a try. I really don’t know what I would’ve done if I’d opened a gift and found a gun. It would have freaked me out, for sure. And there would have been drama. This way was much better.

My feelings about guns are complicated. I grew up in a house full of guns; my father was in the Army and also a hunter. I used to watch in fascination as he carefully cleaned his guns every weekend. From an early age I was taught to respect a gun and not to EVER touch one, with the understanding that “when I got old enough” he would take me to the shooting range and teach me how to shoot one. I knew he and my mother both had loaded pistols in their bedside tables, and I knew not to ever go in there. Well, by the time I was “old enough” to learn how to shoot, I had no interest, then I went off to college, then married another type of man who loved guns.

He loved hunting as my dad did, but mostly, he loved killing. Sure, he’d eat the meat, but his joy was in the kill. And I grew to hate it, hate hunting, hate guns, hate everything associated with the cruelty I associated with him. I grew to hate him for having that mean streak. My dad hunted for sport, and always either ate the meat or gave it away. He followed hunting seasons, got proper permits, etc, and was never purposefully cruel to an animal. My ex, on the other hand, shot anything that got in his path, just to see it die. I once watched him shoot a squirrel with a(n) (illegal) crossbow from his mother’s balcony. When the squirrel fell, still alive, to the porch below, I watched in numb horror from her kitchen as he took a hammer outside and beat it to death with a grin on his face from ear to ear. I saw the evil glint in his eye, and that smile, and for the first time, felt I had glimpsed his soul – and it was a scary, dark, awful place. While he beat the squirrel, I stood frozen in the kitchen, nauseous and horrified. I remember how sick I felt, and then I remember feeling the shiny engagement ring on my finger. I then remember consciously pushing that feeling away, with all my might, tucking it carefully beneath the numbness. I turned away and put it out of my mind. I did not even recall this event until years later, when I was in counseling after my divorce. I now think of it as the pivotal moment I saw my ex for who he really was, and the moment I made a choice, for whatever naïve reason, to marry him anyway. It took me a long time to reconcile what I had seen that day with the choice I had made. But that’s neither here nor there, now, is it?

Today I am just pondering why I have absolutely no interest in ever having a gun in my possession, under my roof. Just thinking about it brings back that sick feeling and all the sadness and disappointment I felt as I squashed down my feelings of horror that day. If this all sounds rather melodramatic to you, keep in mind that’s how I feel about it. I told it that way on purpose. Also keep in mind how serious I am when I tell you that if someday, I were to find out that my ex had committed some crime against a person? I would not be surprised. I would be sad, and numb, and nauseated. But not surprised.

So I have very personal reasons for why I’d rather have bubble bath than a gun for Christmas. But thanks for checking…

Sunday, November 06, 2005

envy

As I sit in bed on the eve of another Monday, laptop on lap, I find myself wildly procrastinating on doing some work I wanted to get done this weekend. This means I am scanning all my favorite blogs and catching up on people's lives that always somehow sound more interesting than mine. There seems to be a trend of people adding ads to their personal blogs. Lately, both dooce and finslippy have written long, apologetic blog entries explaining why they've "sold out" and decided to try and make money doing something they thoroughly enjoy, something that entertains people. They are living my DREAM. This notion of ad = bad, I don't get it. Blogging is FUN, and most people who have blogs, I assume, enjoy writing. So in my mind, more power to the people who can do what they love and earn a living. I am seriously having some blog-envy, people.

So I was sitting here feeling all unsatisfied; like, there's this yearning inside of me for so many things. Things I want to accomplish, places I want to go, experiences I want to have. I have been very fortunate to have spent my career as a writer, always writing something, whether personally stimulating or not. This blog is my outlet, as well as my personal experiment to see if I can build discipline into my life, discipline about writing. Which I love to do, but often feel so drained after a long day at the office that I can't bring myself to pour any more of myself out onto the Internet. I am addicted to all these other blogs, but I find it hard to dedicate energy lately to blogging myself. I'm going to try and change that. I may be writing short or insipid (or both) entries for a while, but I need to get back in the habit of spilling my thoughts on virtual paper, for me, if for no one else.

The point is, despite my current Sunday-night melancholy, I felt a glimmer of hope thinking about the future of blogging, in general. It really is a phenomenon, that people who want so desperately to be heard now have a voice. People who yearn to be published no longer have to depend on someone else's subjective opinion to get their work out there. So taking that a step further, and being able to actually make money blogging, well that fills my imagination with all sorts of fodder. And no, I'm not leading up to a big announcement that I'm going to put ads on here --- puh-leeze, I shan't flatter myself at this point. At this point. But who knows what the future holds? Who knows?? When I have 40K+ daily hits, we'll revisit this topic... heh.

In other, less philosophical, news (and in an attempt to put off working just a tad longer), I actually had a rather eventful weekend. Ok, close your gaping jaws, you're making me feel like a loser. But really. Yesterday I had a girly day and spent it shopping for hours and hours with a friend - and those are two of my favorite things to do. Friends and shopping. I even managed to get a little (tiny) bit of holiday shopping done, but I am not going to pretend that I was not mostly shopping for me, me, me! I had some luck in the clothing department, which is a relief more than anything. Do you ever gaze into your closet in the morning, still foggy and crusty from sleep, and realize that you have Nothing. To. Wear. Do you? I have three closets full of clothes and I hate all of them. BUT not anymore, I found a few items that I don't hate, and that makes it a productive weekend. That and the fact that I did laundry today, cleaned up around the place a bit, AND did the dishes.

oh stop it, you're embarrassing me.

Friday, November 04, 2005

crooked thoughts

On days like today, I find my mind wandering to the "what ifs" of my life.

["days like today" being days when I'm sick, tired, and somewhat melancholy.]

This might be a day for the record books, because for once I am thinking of some of the nice memories I have of my ex-husband. There was a time when I couldn't come up with any even if I scoured my brain.

So as odd as it feels, I'm going to roll with it. Here are some of the silly reasons I liked him in the first place.

- the day we were picking up our checks at Foley's and he was dressed in ratty jeans, a muddy t-shirt, and a do-rag, singing "Ice Ice Baby" – totally shattering my image of him as a preppy, Ralph Lauren guy. He WAS indeed that, but this was my first glimpse of his "other" side, the side that liked to rough it and hunt and dig holes in the mud and such. I was intrigued.
- before we were quite dating, the time I showed up at a bar where his band was playing and he walked up to me with his best friend and put his hand on the curve of my waist and said, "I am a lucky man" – even though he was hammered, it was sweet.
- Wow. I can't think of any more – the really annoying ones are taking over again...

But it's a start, right?? Yes, I acknowledge those are lame reasons to like someone, but please keep in mind I was only 20 when we met… and also that we're divorced now. Cut me some slack, 'k?

It makes me feel a little weird that I have more palpable fond memories and a definite soft spot for Chris, my H.S. sweetheart, than any memories that don't suck of my ex-husband. Hm.

On that note…

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Shameless product plug

Afrin®.

That's all I'm gonna say.

Well, that and

[hear me breathe deeply out of my nose ... revel in the sound... feel my joy.....]

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Halloween postmortem

Actual conversation from earlier this morning:

D: So, did you have lots of trick-or-treaters?
Me: I don't know, I didn't answer my door.
D; [**shocked**} Why not???
Me: I don't get into Halloween. I just hid in the back of my house w/the lights off and watched tv.
D: [in wonder] Why don't you like Halloween??
Me: I dunno.
D: Well, you should just get into it; you should try to scare them, yeah, be scary and mean...
Me: I thought that's what I was conveying by turning out all my lights and not answering the door.

Good times.

Monday, October 31, 2005

final weekend observation

I need to add one more observation from my weekend, which occurred after my last post.

- can there be a "worst" place from which to observe your cat projectile vomit the canned fish/rice catfood she just ingested, from your bathroom sink to the bathmat below?
- yes. i truly believe the worst place from which to observe such a thing is from your position of relaxation in your just-drawn, just LUSH-d, candlelit bath.

that is all.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

thinking

so as I've been surfing/watching tv tonight, I have been getting increasingly annoyed when I check my favorite blogs repeatedly and they HAVEN'T UPDATED, HOW DARE THEY??? Then it occurred to me that I haven't either. Oh. Yeah. So rather than continue to feel hypocritical, I thought i'd write something, even if it's not riveting or entertaining.

So. My observations from the weekend, perhaps? Hey, it's something.

- candy corn is only good for the first 5 minutes, then it just makes you sick.
- there is such thing as "too much pizza"
- and "too much sleep"
- I still have that cold from two weeks ago, the one I was all proud of kicking with Zicam; so i'm back on the zicam, even though logically it doesn't make sense since it didn't technically work the first time...
- I LOVE Grey's Anatomy. It is officially my favorite show this season, over Nip/Tuck, ER, everything.

That's about it. Although this weekend wasn't a complete bust; Friday night I had a visit from BT, wherein we made out like bandits and ate pizza and watched the last half of the third Excorist movie, which sucked (the movie. the movie sucked.). And as Babs said, that's better than my typical Friday night...heh. Then last night I went to dinner with the Alaska gang, then we went **bowling** -- which, two times in a week? I think I'm done for another 10 years or so! Oh so here's my final weekend observation:

- the minute you begin to think you don't suck at bowling is the minute you begin rolling gutter balls.

Hmm.

Friday, October 28, 2005

On patheticism...

(I don't care if it's a word - it works here)

How sad is it, really, that two days after bowling for all of two hours, my body is sore in weird places?

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

What's in a name?

Today I only have time for a silly blog post, but it'll have to do. I was pondering my sizable gray cat this morning as he tripped me in the kitchen on my way out. If you've read this blog for any length of time, you know that his name is Jess, and he is the "Jessie" to my "girl". So as I cursed him, it started me thinking of all the different names I call him, and wondered, is this normal? or does everyone give their pets different "pet names"? (get it? get it? oh, wait... is that where that came from?)

Anyway, I have called, or others have called, Jess all of these things at some point in his 9 years of Jess-ness. Some are obvious, some...not so much.
Obvious::
-Jess
-Jessie
-Jesstifer
-Jessito
-Jester

Not so much:
-RatCat
-Rodent
-Whiskerfish
-Violin face
-My handsome
-Buster Gray
-Pumpkin spice
-Little gray man
-My boyfriend

Piper can also be Peeps, Peeper, Peeper-leeper, Pretty girl, Silly girl or Scaredy-cat. Meggie is also Megs, Meggers, Megster, Meggie-Lee, Megorama, Gorgeous girl, The Good Cat or Geriatric cat.

And of course, any of them can be Dammit, MOVE!, STOP!, Knock it off!, GET DOWN NOW or SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSsssssssssssssssssss.

Entertaining, no? If you're not asleep yet, feel free to share some of your pet names...

Sunday, October 23, 2005

In blows hope

It's another lazy Sunday for me -- generally my favorite kind. But my Sundays are also tinged with guilt, because by Sunday afternoon I always feel like a loser for not accomplishing what I wanted to for the weekend. Usually household chores. We already spoke about my love for those.

So I awoke from my Sunday afternoon nap, stretched, and let the guilt set in. Then I noticed something -- the curtains were all blowing crazy-like in my kitchen and living room -- in front of the windows I'd opened... wait... I vaguely remember something about a cold front... on Sunday... wait, it's Sunday ... sqeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! I jumped up and pranced through the kitchen to my back patio, and stepped outside into the glorious wind. Then promptly got hit in the face with my hanging chair that was blowing every which way, but I didn't even care. I did a Titanic Dipu and thrilled in the cool breeze, watching the trees sway and listening to the [broken] windchimes [not] chime ... three sets of feline eyes watched cautiously from the kitchen table, as their usually sluggish FoodSource was OUTSIDE, and this was a sight to behold. They were afraid. Very afraid.

I stood out there, arms outstretched, until I got cold. Which was probably under a minute, in fact I'm sure of it. But in that precious 60 seconds, I felt a tiny sprig of joy and hope spring up in my heart. Like it does every fall, at the first real cold front. I love cold weather, people, and no I don't fully understand why i'm still in Texas but that's another topic. The cool weather brings with it my happiest memories, of playing in the snow in Kansas; sledding down Snake Hill (and into a pile of rocks -- again, another post); high school football games snuggled up next to my HS sweetheart; making out down at the rec center wearing his jacket; summers in Colorado at Spring Canyon (ok, that's not officially fall, but the cool weather still counts); and on and on and on. The annual Thanksgiving Parade in Comfort, snuggled under a blanket on my sister's MIL's front porch, holding the youngest nephew in my lap. Breaking out the sweaters. The cool weather brings me to my happy place, I suppose you could say. While the hot weather that exists the other 10 months of the year here sucks it all out of me. Another post.

I stepped back inside, hair wild, eyes bright, toes cold, and confronted my feline audience:
Good times are on the way, my kitties. I think I'll give you canned catfood for dinner in celebration of fall.


And they rejoiced.

Here I sit now, typing a blog, upright for the longest period so far today, planning out how i'm now going to go clean the kitchen and perhaps even do laundry. Or...vacuum. The possibilities. They are endless. I must seize this hopeful burst of energy before it warms back up to 90 later this week.

...and good times were had by all.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

A lesson for young girls; or, the jade-ification of a divorcee

One of the first things my mother taught me about boys was this:

If you ignore a boy, he’ll like you.

I am 35 years old, divorced for 8 years, and childless. Obviously I’ve done something “wrong", but it wasn’t until recently that I realized what it was. If I had just followed the simple guidelines laid out for me when I was 7, who knows where I’d be now—or with whom.

As a young girl, I thought my mother was insane. I found it impossible to ignore a boy I really liked. This was counter intuitive – why on EARTH would I want the boy to think I Didn’t like him when I DID?? If I wanted nothing more than for him to pay attention to me, shouldn’t I then strive to capture his attention? Doesn’t it make sense that I should let him know how I feel, so the pressure is off him and he can adore me out in the open?

WRONG.

I can safely say now, that after much, MUCH, trial and error, that is not the case. NEVER admit you like a boy until he has already put it all out there and proven himself vulnerable and smitten. You will not get what you want by throwing yourself at him, by being so obviously available. You must act aloof. You must get up afterwards and go home. You must not always answer the phone when he calls. I hate to say this, but you must “fib” sometimes about what your plans are. He mustn’t know you will clear your calendar at the mere suggestion of the possibility of seeing you “later”.

If he does make this empty promise, then, for the love of God, don’t try and pin him down. If he says, “maybe I’ll see you later” do NOT, under any circumstances, ask, “when?” If you try and pin him down, the boy will not call. If you say “whatever” and go about your business, 9 times out of 10 he will. And when you get this call, act blasé. Do not act excited, or under any circumstances, relieved. Oh, and DO NOT CALL HIM if you don’t hear from him. And to carry this a step further: if you don’t hear from him, resist the almost unbearable urge to email him the next morning and casually ask why he didn’t call. This is a complete turnoff to boys. Boys are, I’ve found, counter intuitive.

If you do get a reply to an email you should not have sent, do NOT reply to his reply unless he has left it open ended. If the email goes like this:

I was out late last night and really tired when I got home.

Don’t reply. However, if the email goes like this:

I was out late last night and really tired when I got home. How was your evening?

Then reply, but be equally vague. Resist the urge to detail your entire evening in several paragraphs of scintillating, witty prose, hoping he will read your words and realize just how precious and funny and perfect-for-him you are. Just don’t do it.

Let me back up right here and state the obvious: Yes, this is stupid. It is stupid that boys are wired so backwards that they respond to these little reindeer games. But in my VAST experience, it is true. The more you act like you don’t want him, the more he will want you. Just trust me on this one.

And why should you trust me, you wonder? After all, I’m divorced. And single. Yes, true. But. I have honed this art during my 5-year involvement with a certain BT, and practice makes perfect. So if the “right” guy ever comes along? I’m so set.

Um, yeah. I’ll keep you posted.


p.s. while my mother was right about this one, the sticks and stones one? NOT TRUE. But that's a whole other post...

Monday, October 17, 2005

House cons

I would say that at best, I'm a reluctant homeowner. By that I mean that yes, I "own" a home, and I know how fortunate I am to have accomplished this. I also enjoy the tax break I get every year, as well as the "no pet deposit" part. But so many other things about it? Annoying.

For example, maintenance. I H.A.T.E. having to deal with things when they break. Usually, in fact, unless there's water spewing everywhere a la Storyteller, I just don't deal with it until there IS water spewing everywhere. This drives my father insane. He doesn't understand why my garage door has been broken for more than a year now. And I'm like, it works if I press it down real hard, with continuous pressure, and recite The Lord's Prayer backwards in Arabic, so like, why would I bother to take off work and PAY someone to come fix it when it WORKS? Sheesh. So what if it only closes from inside the garage, so after backing out I have to run inside, close it, and come out the front door? This perplexes my dad even further because BY GOD, WHAT IF SOMEONE STOLE MY CAR in the two seconds it takes me to go around and come back out??? (my general response: Dad, I don't live in S.A. Things are different here…).

I also H.A.T.E. maintaining my lawn. I know I've moaned about that on here before, and I do pay someone to take care of it, but I still have to orchestrate THAT. And the really annoying thing about it is that I personally don't care b/c I don't go outside. But if I let it go at all, my HOA starts leaving me nasty notes and threatening to have their OWN PEOPLE come do my lawn and charging me for it. I'm like, is that actually your idea of a threat?? Bring it on! That works for me! Right now I'm trying to ignore a flier my lawn guy left on my doorknob this weekend that says, "Call me, Lisa". I can't ignore it forever, b/c he used my name and all. I wasn't even sure he KNEW my name. Well, I guess I do sign the checks I leave for him under the doormat. (yes, Dad, I leave a CHECK under the DOORMAT :O). I'm sure he wants me to call him so he can berate me again for never watering (it's WINTER, it's turning to straw anyway, geez) or to inquire again about when I'll let him fill the empty tree pit in my backyard. And people, there is just never a good time to fork over several hundred dollars to have a HOLE filled, am I right? Coming up is the holidays, which means presents and plane tickets; there's my recent shoe spree; and gosh, I'd rather pay to have the garage door fixed than fill a HOLE in my backyard. I mean, REALLY.

These are reasons I have seriously considered moving back into an apartment when I sell the house. Besides the flexibility and location advantages, I would no longer have to think about the yard or even a backed-up drain. NOT MY PROBLEM! Disadvantages: pet deposits; no tax break; noise. I do like being separate from my neighbors so I rarely, if ever, hear signs of life on either side of my house.

This is a home maintenance rant, I suppose. In which case, I guess I'm finished. Mainly I was just putting off the call to my lawn guy for a few more minutes… thanks for that.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

The Boyz

At last, pics from my weekend in Denver! Behold the nephews...


#2


#2


#1


#1


#3

I know. MUFFINS. All of them. Cuteness runs in the family, y'know.

Ick update

More than halfway through the workday and still holding steady at feeling like minimal shit. In other words, it could be a LOT worse, granted I'd still rather be in bed right now. Here is what has transpired since my last entry:

1. Slept sitting up til 6am.
2. Awoke with a massive, throbbing headache.
3. Self medicated and slept til 8am. Sitting up. Surrounded by cat.
4. Took another dose of Zicam.
5. Got to work almost on time.
6. Workworkwork.
7. Another dose of Zicam.
8. Ingested "Airborne", this mega mixture of vitamins and amino acids designed to kick a cold in the ass.
9. Vegetated and pondered the mega vitamin I just ingested. Imagined I could feel the cold getting its ass kicked.
10. Blogged about it.

Any sympathy you want to send my way is still much appreciated.

I dreamed disturbing dreams last night, including my recurring college dream: the one where I am here and now in my life, but am hiding a secret that I never **quite** finished college, that I need to go back and finish one more class to get my degree. This stress dream entails having to quit my job and go back to school for a semester, including trying to find a cheap apt. to hold all the crap and kitties I've accumulated since I was in college, for no money, since I'm no longer working. On especially special occasions, like while on cold meds, I even throw in a couple of old roommates to complete the nightmare.

I can't wait to get home and nap; perhaps that crappy history prof will make an appearance...oh, goody!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Return to the Sea of Ick

Warning: I am medicated and this might be ever so slightly incoherent. You have been warned.

I mentioned this morning that I had the beginnings of a cold. Well once the high from my chicken biscuit wore off, by lunchtime my head was starting to feel really cloudy. Finally I surrendered and made a pharmacy run to stock up on cold remedies. Um, yeah. I spent almost $30. Overkill, anyone? But at least I felt i was fighting the cold and not just succumbing to the misery... and I really think the Zicam stuff (which claims to cut your cold time in half) cleared up my brain so I could actually function for the full work day.

But. By the time I got home this evening I could no longer hold it together, so i crawled into bed and slept for a couple of hours. I hate how having a cold, or any kind of upper respiratory condition, screws with your sleep. Because people? I am a notoriously GOOD sleeper. I can sleep anytime, anywhere. But tonight I slept from 8:30 - 10:30, then got up and forced myself to take a shower -- which helps, but only temporarily. Now I've been back in bed for over an hour and I'm wide awake. DAMMIT.

So instead of using this time to do something productive, i'm instead writing my third blog entry of the day. i guess you could say that being sick makes me more open to "sharing"? Maybe? My working theory is that because I live alone and have no one to complain to about being sick, I have turned to you, the Internet. Bring on the sympathy! Let me wallow in it! And maybe the effort of wallowing will make me sleepy again and I'll be able to sleep despite the fact that no air is passing through my nose at this time and my ribs hurt from coughing.... good times.

Bring it.

On hope

I sent my friend Matt this link. His reply:

It's only a matter of time before they finds the precioussssss.....

Happiness

So I have a cold. I started sniffling yesterday, and by late last night, as I finished up some work, I was sneezing my head off and talking with a croak. Sleep helped marginally. However? Happiness is Chick fil a in the morning. Seriously. Stopping to pick up a chicken biscuit and mini tots added 4 minutes to my commute and probably hours to my producitivity.

That is all.

If only all joys in life were this simple...

Monday, October 10, 2005

Things to do in Denver….

… with three boys under the age of 6.

Well, you can

1. Go to the park.
2. Go to another park.
3. Drive the scenic route into mountains.
4. Eat at mountain restaurant with creek view.
5. Hike in mountains, wrangling bebes.
6. Watch cheesy DVDs (including, but not limited to, Xanadu).
7. Shop (sans bebes).
8. Eat, eat, eat.
9. Float in giant bathtub.
10. Snuggle with bebes.
11. Nap.
12. Bond with bebes.
13. Nap.
14. Eat.
15. Chill and pray for snow.
16. Miss the snow by mere HOURS.

I'm baaaack! I am tired, but not in a debilitating way. The weather was gorgeous this weekend, but it seems I just missed the first snow of the season!! Ack! I'm so sad about that… we were hoping it would happen sooner so my flight would get, you know, postponed…

And despite a frantic call from my pet sitter Sat. night informing me that she'd found [something gross] and didn't know from which cat it came, I still had a great time. Despite thinking all the way home on the plane, through turbulence and darkness, that I'd have to take all three cats (that's 50 lbs. of feline, my friends) to the emergency vet at midnight, I still enjoyed every moment of my vacation.

(Luckily, when I arrived home, bedraggled and grumpy at 11pm last night, all three cats met me at the door in high spirits, not one of them acting the least bit sickly. Much to my relief. I saw them all eat and drink and jump and no one seemed uncomfortable, so I'm going to chalk it up to weirdness and just keep my eyes on them for a couple days…so far so good…)

(let me emphasize, though, that I was WILLING to take them to the emergency vet at midnight if the situation warranted such measures. If any of them had so much as yeowled when I squeezed them from head to tail I would have packed them up in a heartbeat – but I swear, they all seemed just fine… I'm a good mom, really!!)

So. I'm back at work today and it feels like I was gone a lot longer than three days. That's good, right? I think so. A little perspective always helps. A little detachment. Today I'm playing catch up.

That is all for now, but I will post adorable nephew pics very soon…

And publicly, I want to
THANK YOU SISTAH!!!!!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

a scaly solution...

and I don't mean the kind that you step on first thing in the a.m. naked, after peeing, sucking in your stomach even though you know, intellectually, that it won't help, only to be once again devastated... no, i'm talking about scaly skin. My sister just emailed me to bring lots-o-lotion to CO this weekend b/c she was getting "scaly"; and for some reason my mind veered off down this weird path...like that NEVER happens.

So I was thinking, hmm, Nicole has a hot tub; what if there were a way to drain it and fill it up with lotion for the winter? warm lotion, at that? then you could just dip yourself in a couple times a day and ensure total coverage, much faster than rubbing it in inch by inch! Isn't that a great idea? Or, they could have an "anti-scale spray" service, much like the spray tans -- you strip down at a spa and they hose you down with lotion that coats you everywhere and leaves you with a nice glowy sheen....

Next thought was, wouldn't it feel nice, actually, to sit in a hot tub-o-warm lotion? Maybe I'm on to something here... THEN (and you can stop now if it's just too much) I remembered this bath jelly I saw once, and started fantasizing about that...

mmm-yeah. that is all.

hump day

This week is moving along so quickly! (now, when's the last time you heard me say THAT??) I'm glad, because tomorrow evening I'm finally flying to Denver to visit my sistah and les bebes! I'm excited. I need a break. And I haven't seen them since July. That's CRAZY talk! I hope Cooper remembers me... the other two will, but he's so young... The good news is, I'll see them again at Thanksgiving and probably at Christmas too. Woo-hoo! Anyway... that's probably why I'm freaking out that it's already Wednesday.

Not much going on, other than work and more work. Last week I had social/work engagements almost every night, and this week is the opposite, which is fine with me. Sometimes I just need "me" time and it wears me out going out on school nights. (I know, I know. sad.)

Sadder still is that I can't think of one witty thing to write about at the moment. I just wanted to pop in and say "I'm alive" and if something interesting unfolds today, I'll be sure to write a scintillating blog just for your amusement. :)

Sunday, October 02, 2005

It's okay to dream

I want to comment on a dream I had this afternoon. Yes, afternoon. When i was supposed to be working. Anyway.

I was having the best dream evah about being at a wedding (or something) and there was this huge-ass buffet. So I kept getting in line and getting behind really slow people, so I kept jumping around from line to line and finally I found myself in front of the desserts. At first I felt guilty because I hadn't yet put any "real food" on my plate. But as I continued through the line, the desserts kept getting better and better, and it wasn't long before I blew off "real food" completely and was loading up on desserts. And OMG. It was AWESOME. My favorite things were the huge, pie-sized OATMEAL CREAM PIES - like the Little Debbie ones, only HUGE and homemade. HOMEMADE. I'm not sure what it means that every time I tried to reach for one someone else would take it. Hmm. Anyway, that's okay because my sleeping brain kept inventing more and more delightful concoctions so everywhere I went in this mythical buffet there were increasingly more awesome and plentiful desserts (now that I think about it, there never was any "real food" to speak of.) There were all sorts of gooey cakes and non-fruit pies; large, flat, chewy cookies with no nuts; vats of creamy pudding; ice cream with yummy candy swirled in; and lots of different types of neon-colored sodas, not anything that actually exists, but all made up in my fevered brain. It was like... Willy Wonka's factory on a buffet. On crack. Yeah, that's exactly what it was like!

I woke up suddenly, hot and thirsty, and immediately went for the freezer and the last Skinny Cow ice cream sandwich I had in the house.

it's sad. you don't need to say it. i already know.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Scrub-a-dub-dub

WARNING: light, girlie beauty-product post

I have mentioned before my ongoing obsession with bath and body products, particularly all things LUSH. (yes, shameless plug – deal with it ;). Well last night I was feeling a little daring, a little edgy. So I dipped into my vast bath and beauty stash and found a scrub I'd never used. It was labeled Hemp Poppy Sugar Scrub. Ok, interesting enough for me.

Let me digress for a moment and say that I [heart] body scrubs. For those of you not in the know, body scrubs, well, scrub your body. I personally use one a couple times a week, in the shower, after the body wash step. I do my limbs, mostly. It makes my arms buttery soft. And ladies it's also good to scrub your legs before shaving – it gives you a closer, smoother shave. Anyway…

So I took my long LUSH bath, soaking in my favorite bubbles and using the scrub on my legs before shaving – it was a nice scrubby scrub, and smelled very sweet, I guess from the poppy seeds. When I was done in the tub, I drained it and took a shower, for rinsing purposes, e.g. poppy seeds, mainly. As I scrubbed my arms, I wondered idly if one absorbs poppy seeds (or hemp, for that matter) through one's skin and if so, would this cause a positive on a drug test? Hmm. Scrub scrub, rinse rinse. Step out, dry off. And look down. At the pile of poppy seeds at my feet. On my towel. Coating the shower walls and curtain. Lining the bottom of the bathtub. People. I had NO IDEA how stubborn those suckers are.

I stepped right back in and rinsed some more, but I swear I'm stil finding them today. They were hiding in my armpits, as evidenced by the deoderant afterwards. And just now I glanced down and saw one sitting proudly on my, shall we say, décolleté. Nice. I'm afraid to look closer.

Anyway, all in all it was a very nice scrub, however a bit messy. It came from BathNation, and they happen to have TONS of awesome scrubs. I'll probably try something different next time. You should check them out if you're into that sort of thing.

And that is all I have to say about body scrubs. For now.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

iTunes flashback

Hot Kansas summers. Three months of childhood decadence, running around the neighborhood in terrycloth shorts, playing so hard the days fly by in what feels like moments. Waiting for the ice cream truck to make it's afternoon pilgrimage down Pick Avenue; at the first ding of the bell, running inside to wake up mom for ice cream money, trying hard not to wake up little brother while slamming the screen door. After dinner, back outside where all the courtyard kids reconvene for an exhilarating and complex game of hide and seek. In the dusky moonlight, fireflies light up like nature's magic candles, and weeping willows make brilliant hiding places. Sometimes it felt like hours you were huddled under the low branches, heart pounding, waiting to be discovered. Anticipation turning to worry when you were not discovered, fearing you had been forgotten and the other kids had moved on to another game. A fear you still have, actually…

- "More Than a Woman", Bee Gees, circa 1977

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Butterflies

This is something I wrote a few years ago, before I had a blog. I stumbled upon it tonight and thought how weird that I don't remember answering my own recent questions...


By Sunday evening it had become painfully clear to her that her weekend had not been one spent in blessed solitude, cherishing her freedom, relaxing in her cozy home with her devoted cats. Oh no, let’s call it what it was. A weekend spent waiting. Waiting for his phone call. Or even an email. Waiting for him to stop by. Since Friday, she had been tacitly expecting… something. She was bathed, shaved, and pretty. Trying to Zen-out so she wouldn’t obsess about why the hell he hadn’t called her at all this past week. Drinking a little bit, laughing a lot. Trying not to wonder why the only contact she had had from him in over a week was one benign instant message asking “how are you”. Maybe he was out of town? Ok, why couldn’t he call to let her know. Maybe he was deathly ill? Ok, why didn’t he call and say “I can’t talk, I’m deathly ill.” Maybe he was holed up in his house, fucking his ex. Fine, he could’ve called and said “I’m not interested in pursuing any kind of relationship with you anymore, please stop calling and emailing me.” He wouldn’t even need to bring up the part about the ex….

But this? This utter abandonment, utter cutoff of communication? She couldn’t fathom that anyone who even remotely cared about her, unless in a life-threatening coma, could not have found a way to communicate something, even if it wasn’t pleasant.

Oh yeah, and her ex, the only “love of her life” so far, had what her best friend referred to as a “beautiful, touching, emotional, perfect” wedding the day before to the girl he had lusted after when they were still living together. Sorry, but was she a complete bitch to think there was NEVER going to be anything beautiful or touching about something that started so seedily and with such origins of disrespect? It was doomed to fail, based on karma alone. Anyone should be able to see that, especially her best friend.

She didn’t know what to do. She had cleaned, straightened, done dishes, laundry, fantasized that Colin Farrell was her boyfriend – she’d even done her damn TAXES -- and nothing was making her feel any better, as the tension continued to grow. In her fevered mind, with each moment that passed and he didn’t call, the more palpable the tension became. With each day that he didn’t respond to her efforts to reach him, he was less likely to respond ever, based on what she assumed was his fear of her supposed wrath. And her thoughts on that were, well, JACKASS, if you know I’m angry, if you knew your behavior was going to make me angry, why the FUCK didn’t you call before it got to that point??

So here she was, furiously typing out her thoughts on the computer, feeling angry and helpless and annoyed and very very pissed off. She felt like a caricature of herself. She normally considered herself to be intuitive, kind, loving, blahblahblah. Now she just felt venomous and bloated, bleak and unhappy, fat and desperate. All of these things were jumbled up in her psyche and her body, swirling around into a blackness that made her feel nauseous and like crying uncontrollably. She was NOT going to retreat into the bathtub with wine again, she had spent more time in the bath this weekend than was probably healthy. And each bath cost about $10 in bath products alone, not counting the wine, making it a very expensive weekend indeed. And she STILL felt like shit.

It never ceased to amaze her how one hiccup in the spasm of life seemed to poison everything else. She didn’t even want her cat talking to or touching her. The rejected animal now lay prone before her, on top of the desk, but not making or attempting to make any kind of eye contact. Just the tip of her tail flicked every few minutes, to show she was paying attention and was available for affection should her master become affectionate. There she was, sprawled on the desk, trying to look appealing and pettable – only her flattened ears gave away her angst. The girl knew this strategy – she’d mastered it herself many nights curled up on the couch with him. Sending the message, “I’m cool with things the way they are, but should you find yourself overwhelmed with desire for my adorable self, I’m also cool with you having your way with me.”

She momentarily felt sorry for the furry creature, so she reached over and gave her a half-hearted rub – to which the cat immediately jumped up, started purring furiously, and began trying to manipulate the girl’s hand into petting her longer. How pathetic. Oh. My. God. What if that’s how she appeared to him, and what if he also found her pathetic in her utter transparency??? Was this some kind of sick BREAKTHROUGH?? NOW what to think? Her stomach hurt even more, and her head started to pound.

She kept absently petting the cat as this whole metaphor for life overtook her imagination. She pet the animal with increasing vigor as she became more intent on these thoughts – and the cat responded by purring louder and louder, until she choked and had to stop and swallow-- then continued purring again. Such utter unconditional devotion. And so undeserved, the girl thought, as she felt herself a shitty cat owner who didn’t spend nearly enough time loving on the animal. This is getting worse and worse, she thought. So, let’s follow it through; which cat did she enjoy petting the most? The one who was emotionally available, yet not always physically available for loving. The boy cat, that is. He would blink at her across the couch with lovey eyes, but would not let her pet him indiscriminately, lest it tarnish the thrill.

If it was a metaphor for life, or for love, then now she realized what she had always done wrong. She had given too much of herself. Loved more, given more, cared more, in almost every romantic relationship she had ever had. Because she was an honest person, and she didn’t even know how to be dishonest with her feelings. To her, to hold back would be to play a certain kind of game, and she had never been comfortable with that. So was this the problem, this tendency to give too much too soon? She thought about this deeply, lengthily, all the while stroking the cat, which had now settled down. The cat, when given the proper affection, was no longer needy and annoying. Hmmm.

So, there it was. But with one big flaw, she realized. Why was her ability and willingness to give of herself completely, and to be breathtakingly open, considered to be something she had been doing wrong? At least, from a man’s point of view? At least, from the men she had had in her life? Couldn’t this instead be a shortcoming of the other person in the relationship? She thought and thought, but she just couldn’t reconcile her honest behavior as being anything cloying or scary. Perhaps she had just not met the right man?

Who would, then, be the right kind of man, she wondered. Well, one who was emotionally strong. One who was comfortable with love, the idea of love, being loved, and loving. Someone as honest and open as she was, someone who was not afraid to make themself vulnerable. For to care was to be vulnerable, there was no other way to do it. Anytime you take any kind of risk, she realized, you’re making yourself vulnerable. And any time you hold yourself back from something because you are afraid, you are missing out on what could be a life-altering opportunity. You are losing something, some experience, good or bad, that could very well change your life and carry you further along the path you were meant to follow.

She sat up straight in her chair, still fiddling with the cat, which was now purring at a manageable pace and whose ears were no longer flattened in angst. The girl began to feel herself relax, also. She was not doing anything wrong in her relationships by being herself, open and honest. If she had a fault, it was trusting too easily, and again, was that really her fault, or the fault of the person who was untrustworthy? Because as many times as she had had her heart broken, she had always been willing to open herself up again, to very possibly be hurt again. And as this boy had once pointed out to her (in one of their long, meaningful conversations, pre-disappearance), most relationships were destined to have not only a beginning, but an end.

One night they had discussed how most relationships would not end in forever, but were not wasted opportunities, either. Each one, no matter where it led, taught you things you might use in your next relationship, things you might then teach to someone else. So it was not right to fear losing love. Perhaps you were not meant to have every love in your life forever – maybe that just wasn’t how it worked. He had pointed out that perhaps the point was to enjoy, to the fullest, each and every person who touched you in your life, for as long or as short as they were meant to touch you. Following this to its natural conclusion, then, one should not feel heartbroken, or broken at all, when such a relationship ends. One should take the lesson and the love and apply it to life’s next turn.

Maybe the reason her ex could get married now, four years after their relationship ended, was because of the things she had taught him during her time in his life. He was never meant to be hers; her purpose had been to prepare him for his future wife. And maybe his purpose had been to show her how love could be, not to necessarily be that love. She felt drained with this realization, but she no longer felt twisted inside.

This guy she liked right now was pretty smart – it was no wonder she liked him. Hopefully she would get to have him in her life a little bit longer, so she could relax and enjoy the moments, instead of hanging on so tight trying to see the unknowable future. Even if he never called her, even if she never heard from him again from this night on – she had already learned something very valuable from him.

And the cat purred softly as she slept, her tail twitching lazily in tune to her dreams.

Hell on earth

It is F-ing HOT outside. Record highs. 108 degrees at the END of SEPTEMBER. Come on, people!! It's one of the "Brrr" months (Sept, Oct, Dec), what the hell???

My sister tells me every week how they go hiking around in the cool mountains on the weekends. How they sleep with the windows open and there's no humidity. I can't help but think how AWESOME that would be. I actually like hiking; I just don't do it when it's hot. Which is about 11 months out of the year here. Which begs the question again – why am I still in Texas??? Seriously. Why? I just sort of ended up here, but I'm still young and have more life ahead of me than behind, so what's keeping me from picking my shit up and just going where my heart leads me? Plus, my hair looks GREAT in Colorado.

I will tell you why I have stayed in the past: My friends who I love dearly. But, we've all gotten busier with work or family as the years have passed and truthfully, but for a small handful, I rarely see them more than once a month or so. We can talk on the phone no matter where I live. Plus, we're all at the point where we can take weekend trips should the mood strike us. So that's no longer a valid excuse for me. Another reason: my nephews. Um, they moved away, like to my dream state. I haven't seen them since July. I've gone longer w/out seeing them when they lived in TX anyway, and I talk to my sister just as much as before. Again, not valid. My parents and brother? I'm sure they would come visit too -- especially if I moved to a hip state that everyone wants to visit ☺.

So I get excited when I think of uprooting. Excited about finding a new place to live, a new town to explore, a new climate. But then, I fear the aftermath, when it all sinks in. When the boxes are unpacked, when the home is decorated, when the snow becomes more of a burden than a thrill, and mostly, when the utter solitude hits me. I love solitude, don't get me wrong. I have entire weekends right here in Austin where I speak to no one and don't leave my house until Monday. But you see, the difference is that I **could** if I wanted to. At any time, I can call a friend and probably talk someone into meeting me somewhere. I choose my "alone" weekends. It frightens me to think about truly being alone, with no choice.

Yes, yes, I would make new friends, but it's not something you can just "do" at will. You have to meet the right people at the right time. What if I become a total sloth living out of state with no one checking on me or incenting me to vacuum every now and then? What if I go away and the same inertia I feel here overtakes me there? It's the old adage, "Wherever you go, there you are." I hate to be trite, but it's true.

In any event, I'm not going anywhere anytime soon. I need to get serious about selling my house, though. It's starting to weigh me down and make me feel trapped, more and more. I grow more resentful of my lawn with each passing day that has temps in the triple digits, turning my grass to straw. It seems senseless to water, when it will immediately evaporate anyway, no matter what time you do it. We're talking the 90s at NIGHT, people. But anyway, the first step is getting my house ready to sell, then I guess I'll go from there. I had been thinking about buying a condo next, but my original plan of moving into a rental for a while before buying is seeming like a good idea again – then I'm not tied to anything and I can live really close to work w/out paying the million dollar price tag for homes in the hills. Which I would if I could, in a heartbeat – but I can't. I kind of like the idea of living in a ritzy area where I could never afford to buy a house, with a fabulous, hill-country view, without the mortgage headache. Anyway.

Blahblahblah. That's where I am today. We'll see about tomorrow; it changes almost daily. I know what would help cheer me up, though: ice cream.