That’s All Folks! For Now…

Well folks, it’s been almost two years that I have been faithfully blogging about nonsense. It’s fun and I enjoy it, and I especially enjoy all the other bloggers I’ve connected with out there in the blogosphere. You may have noticed that I’ve slowed down a lot, and that’s because I have been busy interviewing and finally (!) landing a position. It is an entirely new career for me and I’m very excited to get started.

Lord knows the “opinions” I’ve expressed here have always been solely my own (who in the hell else would claim them??), but I would never want anything I said to be misconstrued as representing my new employer. So for now at least, I am going to take a blog-o-break while I settle in to my new job and get used to working full time again.

I do hope to have time soon to catch up on posts from all my favorite fellow bloggers. Thank you so much to those of you who have faithfully read my blog, those of you who lied and stroked my ego by telling me you read it, and those of you (especially my whack-a-doodle family) whose antics have given me primo blog fodder.

On such an auspicious occasion as this there is no absolute need to send gifts, but I would certainly be pleased if you did.

And maybe, when you least expect it…I’ll be back…

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 26 Comments

Cat Evolution: Dumb And Dumber

You won’t ever hear me claim that cats are the smartest of beasts, but all the cats I’ve had before the current batch were reasonably clever. They could figure out how to open dresser drawers and kitchen cabinets, and they hardly ever fell asleep dangling off a precipice only to be startled awake just in time to land on their paws.

This batch of cats, though…this batch is different. We’re trying to remember if, when we went to the shelter to choose new cats, we said “please give us your four dumbest!” Because that’s where we seem to have ended up.

Helen has a new bed; it’s a double-wide just like her. The problem is she keeps accidentally inching it towards the edge of the sofa. Sometimes when she shifts positions in her deep slumber her bulk gets off balance and she falls off, bed and all. In fact, last time it happened she landed with the bed upside down on her head, probably thinking “hey, who turned off the lights?” Still, she lovingly grooms this bed just like she did her old one.


Sarah McLachlan, Ice Cream

And Chrissy? Well, she’s probably the only one who doesn’t routinely do anything that’s grievously stupid.

Jack has cleverly figured out a way to lock himself into the bathroom. He goes in there and nudges the door out of the way so he can play with the door stop and drive me nuts. Occasionally he nudges a little too hard and the door closes behind him. And oh, let the howling begin. The injustice! Not the brightest bulb on the tree. I especially like when he works up all his courage and bravely battles…a box full of air.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, I Won’t Back Down

Now Janet. Oh Janet. That’s a different story. Janet is into everything. She requires lots and lots of attention and she also has a very special trick. We call it Magic Paws. Unlike previous cats who knew how to use their paws and claws to pry things open, Janet doesn’t think she has to actually touch something to get it open; and when it comes to Janet, I use the term “think” very loosely. We have been trying so hard to get video footage (pawage?) of Janet’s Magic Paws, and finally got a couple little fragments. Basically she sits on her hind legs and claps her two front paws together, perhaps whispering “Open Sesame!”

The best part is that Janet doesn’t just use her Magic Paws on things that actually open. She will do Magic Paws in front of a mirror, a wall, or even as you will see, a bag that is already open as she is sitting in it! The most clever thing Janet does is only bring out magic paws when I am nowhere near a camera, so I’ve been trying for way too long to capture the full essence. I give up-this will have to do.

Electric Light Orchestra, Strange Magic

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 12 Comments

Shamelessly Blogging Around

You know you’re always first in my heart…but yes, I’ve been blogging on another site. Didn’t we agree to an open relationship? I’ve done a little guest blog for CaringBridge. This is part 2 of a 3 part series.

Worry not, I could never love them the way I love you guys.

bridge

bridge1

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments

There’s A Frog In My Throat, And I Might Smell A Rat

Well you know I’m just not happy unless I have a Medical Mystery to unravel. I started getting congested back in January. I’m still congested. It’s all in my throat; I feel like I have to clear it all the time. I’m getting on my own damn nerves let alone everyone else’s. I finally broke down and went to see an Otowhatchamahoozit, you know, Ear, Nose and Throat doctor. An ENT.

ent_phot

I was dreading the appointment because I typically don’t love someone poking around in my ears, nose or throat, but I had to suck it up. I don’t like the guy. Not one bit. Let’s start with the fact that I was sure to get the very first appointment in the morning, and I arrived 15 minutes early. And I know he was there because I caught a glimpse of him. Yet somehow he did not see me until 20 minutes after my appointment time. Maybe he glimpsed me in the waiting room, or worse, read my file, and decided he had to steel his nerves before dealing with me. Who knows.

He finally calls me back. Well, calls us back actually. Dan was with me because he finds my Medical Mysteries an endless source of entertainment. The doctor starts going through my medical history which frankly can take some time. But the weirdest thing-he doesn’t shut the door. Now clearly I am not exactly the most private person in the world, I mean, is there anything I haven’t shared with you guys, whether you wanted to know or not? No. You get it all.

Still, it was odd so I finally asked him why he didn’t shut the door. He muttered something about protocol for being with a female patient. I have really never had a male doctor concerned about this, but maybe the guy had been burned, so OK. Here’s the thing though, Dan was sitting in the room with me.

Moving right along, I tell him my symptoms. Then he repeats them back to me, wrong. He asks me how long I’ve had a sore throat. I say that I don’t have a sore throat. He frowns. He then starts going through a detailed explanation of sinus cavity structure and who knows what else. He’s using a lot of medical-ese and also starting to gross me out because I am extremely squeamish. Dan is delighted of course and starts asking him some very specific questions about the way things work. Now the two of them are poring over a chart that shows all the components of everything that is behind my ears, nose and throat. Yuck.

ent

I remind them both that I’m still there and actually, that I’m the patient. I should have kept my big trap shut because then he starts pulling out all these weird looking instruments and talking about everything he’s going to do to check me out. I start feeling faint. I give him my nervous laugh and tell him I’m one of those patients who doesn’t actually want to know anything. I will close my eyes and shut up while he tortures me, but I am not the slightest bit curious about any of it. Dan pouts.

I can’t go into the rest because it involved some seriously unpleasant poking and prodding. Then we had to have another endless discussion about how I lost a sinus during chemo. No, I don’t know what happened but it was the least of my worries at the time and really hadn’t posed any problem. He seems annoyed with me that I lost a sinus, like I did it on purpose. I then had to break the news to him that while I was doing chemo I somehow also lost some cartilage in my nose. I know ordinarily that would seem alarming, but in Cancerville, weird shit happens on a daily basis. You learn to ignore anything less than bleeding out.

Anyway, Dr. Self-Absorbed rambles on some more, and I realize he has this annoying habit of ending every other sentence with “you know what I mean?” I don’t know what he means, and I think he spent an awful lot of time studying this stuff just to be asking me if I know all about it. You know what I mean?

He prescribes a half dozen different pills and ointments and all kinds of crap and sends me on my way. Did any of it work? No, it did not. Why? Because naturally I have a rare and difficult to treat staph infection. Note that my predisposition to staph infections came in handy when it always got me a private room in the hospital, but as a general rule it’s not that great to be Typhoid Mary.

You know what’s worse? Dr. Ick calling me up and reading the lab report to me in a droning voice and saying “you know what I mean” every minute. I finally say “No, I have no idea what you mean. Just tell me what I have to do.” He drones on for, I swear, another 15 minutes before finally getting around to calling in a prescription for another antibiotic and I promise to call and follow up soon.

The next day I get a call from some woman from his office who says that the doctor told her to call me because, and I quote, I wanted to schedule surgery. Let me assure you that I have never wanted anything less in my life. I tell her I don’t know what she’s talking about and she starts babbling about replacing my lost cartilage with a plastic doohickey and really?

Here’s the point to all this. My mom. Yep, my mom. Several facts have already been established. She is a Jewish mother, my Jewish mother in fact. She reads my blog. This post is about me seeing a doctor. Her logical conclusion? I am desperately ill and possibly even dying right this minute but have selfishly withheld this fact just to torture her. She is highly suspicious that even now I’m not saying what’s really wrong.

Mom, listen carefully. I am absolutely fine. Dr. Know-What-I-Mean is going to get his paws on me again and fix whatever the hell is going on. And look at the whole upside of this thing. If some other medical situation pops up and lands me in the hospital, they will once again have no choice but to give me a private room.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 14 Comments

The Springfield Bypass? It Passed Me By

This is slightly embarrassing, but I grew up in a place called Springfield. Cliché, I know. Springfield, VA, a suburb right outside of Washington, D.C. It was pretty typical suburbia; wide streets lined with trees, single family homes with decent sized yards, kids riding bikes everywhere. A taco place that was really a front for drugs. Outrageous secret after-hours parties at Pizza Hut. You know, the usual.

I lived in Springfield from the time I was two years old; returned home after college, and stayed at home while I attended graduate school. In the middle of all that Dan moved in to live with me in the basement after we got married. All just part of my glamorous and exciting past.

Like Anytown, USA, Springfield had a handful of major roads, a bunch of neighborhoods, and really fun-to-drive, wooded back roads. In high school I tooled around all those roads in my 1976 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser station wagon, approximately the size of a Princess Fun Ship, and after college I downsized considerably to a Ford Escort. Way before the days of the internet and GPS, if you gave me an address in Springfield, I could probably find it.

When Dan and I finally emerged from the basement after I finished school, we moved a little closer to the city, to Alexandria. My parents sold their house and moved to the beach. I had little reason to go back to Springfield. But then, something bizarre happened. Someone started building something originally called the Springfield Bypass which then turned into a bigger project called the Franconia-Springfield Parkway which then turned into an even bigger project called the Fairfax County Parkway. At the same time they commenced an eight year cloverleaf construction project right in Springfield where two major highways intersect.

Nowadays, I have no idea how to get around Springfield. Things look familiar but I can’t figure out how to get to them amid one-way streets and overpasses. It is a sad, sad state of affairs.

confusing_signs

A couple of weeks ago I set out to a restaurant in Springfield. It was the most mutually convenient place for me and my friend. I headed over, confident that I knew how to get there with my eyes closed. I might have done better if I’d kept my eyes closed. A road that used to run two ways now only runs one way, and I came up on the wrong side. No problem, I figured, I’ll just go around the block and go back in the correct direction. Only…there seemed to be no clear way to do that. I kept ending up back on the other side, or too far down the right side, or with some major obstacle like a building between me and my destination.

I got frustrated and pounded my fist on the steering wheel. I scolded myself for being an idiot (so no need for any of you to do so). I blurted out strings of curse words that would make a sailor blush. All of this felt great but did not get me any closer to the restaurant. Yes, I have a fancy new GPS system in my car, but I didn’t want to take the time to pull over and try to find the address and figure out how to program the stupid thing. After all, I was busy inventing new curse words.

Lost and Confused Signpost

Finally, through trial and error, I made it in to the parking lot of the restaurant. The restaurant seats approximately a gazillion people and has a parking lot with about one tenth of a gazillion spaces. It was not pretty. Then I saw a sign that that there was additional parking across the street. I managed to get across the street without getting lost again; that might not mean much to you but for me it was a major accomplishment. Nope, that was full too. Back and forth, back and forth, until finally after about 15 minutes, a space opened up. No one tried to steal it from me or say they claimed it first. Victory was mine!

When I got out of the car I did kind of a “I finally got here and found a parking spot” jig. It was really not a good look, and neither were the looks I was getting from the throngs of people milling about. The hell with them! In a major battle in the War of Suburbia, this girl came out alive.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 12 Comments

Matchmaker Matchmaker Make Me A Match

I met my husband almost 30 years ago, well before the advent of online dating. We dated offline, although we didn’t know what that meant at the time. But nowadays it seems there are so many options for finding the perfect mate. Services like eharmony and match.com claim to scientifically match you with the perfect partner. Jewish singles turn to Jdate, Christians looking for love check out Christian Mingle, and people of, well, a certain age check out Our Time. Geez, there’s even a site called Farmers Only, in case you want to date a farmer.

Funny-online-dating

I can only assume that there are also an array of online dating sites for same sex couples. But I think I know where there’s a gap in the market. Namely, where does a heterosexual woman go to find the perfect Gay Husband? You know, not the real husband, but the man who totally understands her and will always be by her side?

onlinedating

As many of you know, I had a perfectly serviceable gay husband who just took off one day and moved back to Munich. That’s all the way over in Germany you know. I’m still completely devoted to him of course, but a girl can get lonely with just one straight husband and her gay husband thousands of miles away. I mean sure, I’ve tried to find someone new. I have lots of gay friends who I date casually. But no one to really commit to me for the long haul. I need an online service that can match me up with a more geographically desirable gay husband.

I’ve taken the liberty of filling out the questionnaire…

Desired physical traits: I definitely want someone tall. Or short. Blonde hair or at least brown, but if not then black or gray hair. I would take red hair in a pinch but it would be weird since I’m a redhead. He must have blue eyes. Or brown or green or that really pretty color of hazel. However, under no circumstances should he have prettier eyes than me. Not too physically fit; otherwise he’ll spend way too much time at the gym and not enough time attending to my needs.

Desired personality traits: An honest, open and caring individual who will love me for me, as long as I have nice clothes and shoes, matching lipstick, and don’t cramp his style when he’s cruising men at a bar. Or the mall or the movies or the restaurant or a parking lot or anywhere there are men. A sensitive man who cries at tampon commercials. Not because of the storyline but because he’s frightened that they might show girl parts. A man who is comfortable enough in his own skin to scream like a little girl at scary movies. A man who is willing to tell me when a pair of jeans make my butt look too big, but does it in a really gentle manner. Routinely calls me sweetie.

Common interests: Travel (we can alternate gay and straight destinations), a devoted Bravo TV fan who can name every Real Housewife since the beginning of time. Equally comfortable spending a quiet weekend at home immersed in a Will & Grace marathon or out and about enjoying the Miss Adams Morgan Pageant. Doesn’t have to love pro football, but must be able to muster some level of enthusiasm for my sake. Enjoys spending hours hot ironing my hair and accessorizing me before parties and other events. Funny stories about dating women before he came out would be a big plus, but not mandatory.

Other: A secure gay man who will not be offended by my indulgent stereotyping for the sake of humor.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 20 Comments

That Rock Is How I Roll: Just Ask My Mom

A while back I read a story about the inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. That was the first time I realized that the band Yes has never been inducted. Some have ascribed their absence to the fact that Yes is considered Progressive or “Prog” Rock, and yeah, they let Pink Floyd in under that category, but let’s not get carried away.

neon_rock_n_roll_rond-300x300

I decided to take a look at what other bands have been given the cold shoulder by the RRHOF. So wrap your head around this-conspicuously absent from the roster, in addition to Yes: Jethro Tull, Moody Blues, Deep Purple, Doobie Brothers, Blue Oyster Cult, Journey, Steppenwolf, Steve Miller Band, Chicago. Just to name a few of the snubbed bands.

Well you might say, maybe it’s just that there’s so many amazing rock legends that they just haven’t gotten around to everyone yet. You might say that, and yet you would be so freakin’ wrong. Let’s see who has been inducted under the guise of rock and roll: Donovan, Donna Summer, Ricky Nelson, Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, Sex Pistols, Run DMC, Parliament-Funkadelic.

Understand that I enjoy all of these artists and I have caterwauled and “danced” along to their music for years. Some would say for way too many years. Many would say that I should enjoy rock and roll quietly, in a corner. To those people I say; I understand why you feel that way. My singing and dancing leave much to be desired, like holding a tune and moving in time to the music.

But my point is this (didn’t think I had one, did you?), if they’re going to split hairs about types of rock and exclude Prog Rock, how exactly do these other artists fit in? What exactly are the criteria for induction? According to the website (bolding is mine):

“To be eligible for induction as an artist (as a performer, composer, or musician) into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the artist must have released a record, in the generally accepted sense of that phrase, at least 25 years prior to the year of induction; and have demonstrated unquestionable musical excellence. We shall consider factors such as an artist’s musical influence on other artists, length and depth of career and the body of work, innovation and superiority in style and technique, but musical excellence shall be the essential qualification of induction.”

In what universe is Yes not eligible based on these criteria? You want to make an argument this doesn’t apply to freakin’ Jethro Tull? Go ahead. Make my day.

You may sense that I have a certain bitterness about this situation. Aren’t you perceptive! I have taken this rather personally and now I’m steamed. I think this is what they call a “First World Problem” meaning I don’t have anything real to bitch about like war and famine and poverty. Fine. But after we solve all that other stuff, it’s time to right this Egregious Musical Wrong. And I know just how to do it.

The new criteria for induction into the RRHOF: all the stuff they already use as criteria, but also whether or not the music gives my mom a splitting headache. Because rock and roll gives my mom a migraine and other vaguely defined ailments. And I guarantee you that Yes and Jethro Tull and Deep Purple would give my mom a whopper of a headache.

headache1

I know this because of all the years I got yelled at to turn it down because she was getting a headache. Which frankly, and no offense mom, gave me a headache. Also, the trauma of growing up listening to Muzak in the car or that stuff they call “soft rock” which barely qualifies as actual music. Music to Die By.

So you want to know why I’m bitter about this Hall of Fame situation? It’s because of all that stuff. Blame my mom.

P.S. Love you mom! And when I visit next month I’m going to bring lots of music for you to listen to and tell me if you get a headache. I know you can’t wait!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 20 Comments

Me And Bee And A Dress I See

I went shopping. Live and in person. I didn’t mean to, it’s just that I was meeting my friend for lunch and we happened to be meeting at a restaurant in a mall and…it just happened OK? Maybe if Talbot’s hadn’t been right there. Maybe if I hadn’t arrived 30 minutes early. Coulda, shoulda, woulda, the fact is that I went shopping and I just can’t keep beating myself up for it.

I’ve been trying, unsuccessfully, to find a lightweight cotton maxi dress because, well, just because. I have one I wear a lot and I want to rock another maxi dress before they go out of style again.

Anyway, I wandered into Talbot’s to find, of course, anything but maxi dresses. I found shorts and capris and jackets and blouses and everything else under the sun, but not a single maxi dress. The helpful saleswoman asked what I was looking for and when I told her she said “stay right there.” I tend to do as I’m told, so I froze in place, right there next to the 40% off all capris rack. Two minutes later she came sweeping in with the perfect maxi dress; it was literally the only one she had. Right size, right style, looked cute on me (well, duh), but umm, price tag. The price tag was not good. In fact, it was the very worst part. But it is a navy and white summer dress, and since everything in the frickin’ store is on sale, this must be too!

This is the dress! On a slimmer, more attractive model, but still. Cute, right?

This is the dress! On a slimmer, more attractive model, but still. Cute, right?

Nope. It’s the one item in a 50 mile radius that is very specifically not on sale. I resigned myself to leaving it there and trying to find a way to move forward with my life and find meaning in my existence; without the dress. Sigh. But then I thought, for at least 15 years a good portion of my disposable income has been turned over to Talbot’s. And the one time I really wanted and even possibly needed (!) a dress that was too expensive, I was left out in the cold.

I know that there are bigger injustices in life (although I can’t think of any right at the moment), but there comes a time when a woman can’t just shrug her shoulders and walk away. “Bee,” I said, because Bee was the saleswoman’s name, otherwise I totally wouldn’t have just randomly said “Bee.” And even when she told me her name in my head I was thinking “Bea” but when she wrote it down it turned out to be “Bee.” Anyway, since it was her name I said “Bee, the time has come to put this dress on sale. It’s navy and white and cannot possibly be worn after Labor Day. That’s a rule. And we’re already past the summer solstice. So. It’s time Bee.” And just like that, Bee pulled up my account and found some stray reward points and cobbled together something else and knocked 30% off the dress.

After that I said “Bee,” because that was her name and all; I said “Bee, you rock.” And then, overcome with emotion at our shared victory, I just went ahead and gave her a big old hug. And she hugged me back and everything and didn’t even reach for the phone to call security.

So Bee and I bonded and as she rang up my sale she told me the story of a nice lady who left her wallet in the store the other day and how relieved she was that Bee found it. The nice lady also calls her Bee because that’s her name. No other reason. Then we bid a tearful farewell and I moved along to the restaurant to meet my friend.

When I opened my purse to pay for lunch…my wallet was missing. This wasn’t my typical ploy to get someone else to pay for my chow; it was for sure missing. But I didn’t panic, because I knew that Bee was keeping it safe. And I even laughed a little that I had gotten so caught up in the story about the other lady losing her wallet that I somehow left my own.

When I went back to the store, there she was, My Bee. And there was my wallet. And all was right with the world. And I just have to wonder if somehow, subconsciously, I left my wallet because I wanted to have an excuse to come back and visit Bee one more time. And an excuse to say out loud “Thank you Bee,” because that’s her name. Or maybe it was just a good way to weasel out of paying for my own lunch.

bee

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Hot And Bothered Deep In The Heart Of Texas

Vanessa Foster, fellow blogger and author of the extraordinary book More Than Everything, asked me recently what I’ve got against Texas. For the record, it’s not that I have something specifically against Texas, it’s just not my kind of place. For a vegetarian, there’s way too much BBQ and too many cattle who will soon be steak. And for my sensibilities, too many guns and cowboy boots and a little too much country music and line dancing. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, just sayin’

I had tried to block out the memory, but Vanessa’s question reminded of my first trip to Dallas; a trip that quite possibly combined everything I hate the most all into one evening. I was there for a conference over a long weekend. It was really hot outside, which is true here in DC in the summer too but then again I don’t go outdoors in the summer here. The big social activity for the weekend was, you guessed it, a BBQ. And not just any BBQ! It was to be held at South Fork, fictional home of the Ewings from the infamous 80s TV show, Dallas. Buses pulled up to the hotel to transport us to The Ranch.

DallasLogoDallasCast

Have I mentioned how much I hate buses? Have I mentioned my predisposition to motion sickness? Have I mentioned that the combination of hot sun and riding in a bus is the worst of all worlds? So I was already a little green around the gills when we pulled up at J.R.’s place.

SouthFork Ranch

I figured I’d feel better when I got inside to the air-conditioning, but, they weren’t taking us inside just yet. Nope, first we were going to tour the grounds. After 30 minutes of schlepping around in the heat all I had seen were mosquitos, smelly cows, and even smellier cow patties.

Of course eventually they finally took us inside, where we toured more of the Dallas museum. The gun that shot J.R.! Wow! I was so excited I could barely stand it. Really. My enthusiasm was immeasurable. Then finally, finally, we all went in to dinner. Dinner was a lot of pulled meat with a side of meat and extra helpings of meat. The green beans were dotted with ham. Everything had some kind of beef or pork product in it. I finally asked about vegetarian fare and after giving me the once over, twice, I was told that there were indeed vegetarian items on the menu. Potato salad, cole slaw, and sweet tea. I was feelin’ the love.

Of course the entertainment was a country music band with line dancing. I was dangerously close to going back for the gun in the museum so I could put myself out of my misery, when out of the corner of my eye…could it be? Yes! A gift shop! And it was open. It was nice and cool and quiet and didn’t smell like meat and had cute little things to buy. I came out of my suicidal stupor just in time to ride the bus back to the hotel.

Just so you know, if I ever commit a crime and you really want to punish me…don’t send me to prison. Just send me to Dallas to relive that evening over and over again, in perpetuity. And by the way, I spent a whole summer of my life worrying about who in the hell shot J.R., and you know what? Now I don’t even remember who shot him. And I don’t remember why I cared. Now Dynasty, that was a show…

DynastyCast-Season6-1985-1986

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments

This Just In: No Diving Into The Cesspool

Well, here’s another news story that captured my attention. Typically when I say “I’m in deep doo-doo” it’s figurative, not a factual account of a day in my life. For these poor folks, well, I think they should have let the cell phone go…

And let’s all say it together: Cesspool The Musical

2 die, 3 injured after woman drops cell phone into toilet

Photo courtesy of geardiary.com

Photo courtesy of geardiary.com

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 12 Comments