Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Now, now

I'm watching autumn unfold around me in it's subtly brash way.

Fall makes me nostalgic. It makes me stop on a Sunday morning and watch the day laze along from coffee through sunlight and into dusk.

I love how September is a slow ride into October, picking up from a musky haze filled August and rolling out into golden fields and trees.

What strikes me the most, though, is that if you watch, you will see the beautiful and peaceful passing of a year. All that has happened, all that's been said, flutters down to the ground in one graceful, fluid fall. And within this all is growth for Spring. Each day laced with the promise of every coming moment.

Friday, August 17, 2007


So last night after posting my blog, feeling a little delirious from wine and exhaustion, I had a really good idea.

For the past ten months, Beloved Puppy has lived in our home, and for the past ten months, I've been trying to find a way to trick Beloved Husband into letting her sleep in our bed. Success had continued to ellude me on this one. Luck would have it that I'm persistent, so despite Beloved Husband's continued protests, it hasn't shut me up. I keep pace.

So I decide that at long last, I've got the solution: hide Beloved Puppy in the bed before Beloved Husband climbs in. And then turn off the lights and pretend to sleep.

It played out like this:

Quick kiss to husband who is diligently working on computer. "Night night" and a dash down the hall to the bathroom.

Brief teeth brushing episode. Skip the floss. Splash water on face. Screw my normal 40 minute primping routine. I've got a puppy to smuggle.

Lure puppy into bedroom. Puppy seems to think I'm trying to get at her with some sort of ointment and is a bit wary. Utilize husband's sock as a tempting puppy treat. Catch puppy.

Lift.....big.....puppy.....into....ugh....bed. Breathe.

Attempt to hide puppy under covers. Climb into bed. Strategically position feet over puppy for additional camoflouge.

Fall asleep.

Enjoy small dream.

Wake up ten minutes later. Find husband removing puppy from her ingenious hiding spot.

I do not view this so much as a failure as I do an amping up of the challenge.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


So I realize that last night's post was crap. I'm a bit rusty. Sort of like the tack that punctured the ball of my foot last weekend. Yummy.

If my blogging talents (which I realize far surpass those of most common bloggers) seem a bit rusty as well, please note that I'm writing at midnight. After a glass of wine. And a nap. And a day longer than I care to realize. Yet I cannot keep myself away. I'm a blog addict. A bladdict. Or blog-dic.

So while "Prius vs. Sentra" is a fairly present part of my life right now, it's not the only part. Sure, my car has a low dangling front bumper. (BK knows something about that.) And now a similarly low dangling back bumper. Basically, my car has a FUPA. And an FBPA. The B is for Back. You figure it out. We're not friends anymore if you don't.

Regardless of the Sentra's FUPA and FBPA, my life does have other updates. Here goes.

Will run in race this weekend. Will not win. Do not care.

Continue to receive monthly doses of menopause in the bum. Have realized that true friendship is perhaps best described by somebody willing to shoot up your ass on a monthly basis. And remember what cheek she hit up last, even when you do not.

Husband continues to be massive sex-pot. Not sure I've mentioned this before. Beginning to believe he may be a waist up nudist. I can (and look forward to doing so) live with this piece of knowledge.

Have become aware that the woods behind my home are infested with wolves, coyotes, and a strange man sporting a blue t-shirt. Perhaps we'll revisit this one at a later date.

No more organic clothing at the office. No more hemp. And devestatingly, no more patchouli. Traded in for Tahari suits and the most decent smelling perfume I could find at TJ's. Thanks, J-Lo. Am wondering if and when my co-workers will realize that I inconspicuously own and wear one single pair of heels each and every day. Aforementioned sexy husband has informed me that it would be "unprofessional" to wear my new favorite Harpoon beer t-shirt to the office on casual Friday, despite the fact that I assure him all co-workers prefer Bud-Diesels (aka, "Rowdies").

Am amazed at the fast pace of life in summer, and by the way lightening and cricket filled nights can take my breath away.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Prius vs. Sentra

To my extensive fan base:

Do not give up on me yet. I think of you often. Actually, I think of my blog often. And how freaking hilarious I find myself. And what a shame it is that the world is no longer getting a weekly dose of my glory. So here's the update.

Yesterday, I was rear ended by a little old man on my way to work. Pretty sure he damaged more than a few brain cells. I wasn't actually looking to off-load any of those, but hey. So I get out of my car all upset that I've been rear ended, and he says to me, "do you know what I was doing?" and I'm thinking..."okay buck-o, maybe I just don't want to know. Maybe I'll just be content to realize that whatever it was led you straight into my trunk." Still, he was inclined to share. So he says, "I was reading the newspaper." That's the best he can do? And then I notice that I've been hit by a Toyota Prius. A really pretty blue Toyota Prius. And so I'm thinking to myself, I can't get this guy's information. He's socially AND environmentally conscious. And studious, clearly. So I let him drive off. No phone number. No name. No license plate number. And no. No insurance information.

Let's suffice to say that I got in my car afterwards and realized that perhaps my decision would rapidly be leading to regret. I'd like to think that if I'm going to let random people hit my car and then just drive away, I'd at least choose a beautiful man who had been caught up by my beauty and desperate to talk to me...not a shriveled little eco-bunny. So from now on I'm driving to work with a pen and paper on my lap in desperate hopes of catching the news hound in the Prius so I can scribble down his license plate number. Maybe I have a concussion.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Bear attacks, ice cream and shameless bragging

I've been a naughty blogger.

I think all of my fans are aware that I've got quite the readership going on. So it is to you, my 3 fans, that I apologize for being such a negligent and naughty blogger of late.

So a quick update on the eclectic effervescence that I like to believe is life.

I got a promotion. No more hemp pants at work. What I've lost in hemp pants, I've made up for in long hours. Long hours sitting at my desk and thinking, "I'm the boss. I'm the boss? I'm the boss!!!!"

Puppy is now 82 pounds. We're officially on a diet. Got scolded by vet.

Going camping tomorrow. Concerned whether our canoe will handle the 82 pound puppy, 220 pound husband, 100 pounds of beer, and massive amounts of equipment. And me. For seven miles.

Afraid a bear will eat me in the woods. Have been researching diligently. Learned that if approached by a bear, one should throw rocks and sticks at it. Hell no.

Running efforts being sabotaged by deer flies. There is no devil. Just deer flies. Have instead contemplated throwing running out the door for a couple months and replacing it with a strict regimen of Ben and Jerry's Creme Brulee consumption.

Did I mention that I'm the boss???

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Return to Sender

Although I really hate to do it, sooner or later it typically becomes necessary to pay the bills. God I hate to pay the bills. This is an activity with the tendency to bring out some of my more colorful language and best remnants of irritated adolescent sighs. And because I value my happy home, I'm not always sure it's the best thing in the world for me to publicize how easily I can slide into a fabulously realistic interpretation of a two year old. How dare those crooks at the electric company charge me a "system benefit charge"? I'm quite sure that there is no such thing. Yet I'm told I must pay or sit in the dark. Given the lack of reasonable options, I've decided to nurture my karma through the process of paying.

It is inevitable that once a week, a crinkly envelope will arrive in the mail chock full of colorful stickers and cheesily-themed return address labels. The most recent delivery consisted of cartoon-ish pastel animals prancing around my husband's name and address with italicized words lamenting, "wish you were here..." and "thinking of you..." One was even so bold as to warn, "PAWS OFF!!!" I cannot help but wondering what sort of man this pastel-animal-prancing organization thinks I've married.

So karma. Although I feel very strongly that my money would be better spent on prosciutto and cheese, I do enjoy packing up those little envelopes that mysteriously transport my money across the vast and varied world . I like all the peeling, sealing, sticking and stamping that's part and parcel to the process. Recently, though, it occurred to me how very boring those envelopes are. I think about the person whose job it is to open the envelopes. I bet he or she gets lots of paper cuts. I wonder if s/he ever accidentally rips the checks in the midst of his/her fervor. And if the check gets ripped, what happens then?

If I were a professional Envelope Opener, I think I'd want somebody to reach out to me. And so that's what I do. I don't let those prancing little puppies go to waste. I slap on a return address label and I don't stop there. They always give you stickers with the labels as well, and you might as well put them to use while you're at it. So I seal the envelope with a sticker embossed with "Pilamaya" which means "thank you" in a language that I do not speak. Or sometimes I'll get inspirational and add a sticker reminding the Envelope Opener that "Life is a song -- sing it" or "Life is a dream -- realize it" or "Life is love -- enjoy it." And if I suspect it's an Envelope Opener in particular need of cheer, I may include all three essential instructions on the proclivities of life. If I'm feeling chummy, I'll let that Envelope Opener know that although we've not met, we are still "Friends Forever." Yes, Envelope Opener, FOREVER.

And I rest easily at night, knowing the world is a better place.

Before I'm painted as a saint, I do need to make a confession. As I sit here and type, I'm sharing a Ben and Jerry's with the sweet and gentle soul who is my husband. I am stealing all the big and goopy chunks, and despite my deep and boundless love, I feel only mild guilt. Mostly I feel delight at the squish of cookie dough in my mouth. I'm a chunk whore.

At least I'm giving with my stickers.

Monday, June 4, 2007


Let's take a moment to reflect on the luxuriousness of women's professional apparel.

I have a job that from time to time requires that I dress "professionally." Actually, it requires it every day, but I just wait until it's do or die before I really take the plunge. So every now and then I find myself in a suit with weird undergarments made of string and wire. And I cannot say that without also saying: Screw trying to avoid the VPL. Screw trying to create boobs. I just want some soft loose cotton. I want granny panties.

In my world, nobody dresses "professionally." Nobody wears suits, unless they want to (and really, who would?) In my world I wear organic hemp flowy pants anywhere I want. And nobody wrinkles their nose and says, "is somebody wearing patchouli?"

Unfortunately, the world has not started to rotate on my terms yet, so sometimes I'm in a suit, patchouli-less. And for some ungodly reason, my employers seem to find it less than suitable to wear Birkenstocks with business suits. I cannot figure this out.

Last week was one of those do or die, "professional-dress" occasions. My work hosted a legislative luncheon. No hemp pants allowed. I asked. Twice.

But I do really love the sophisticated sound of "legislative luncheon." So I figure, what the hell. I go into the day with lackluster gusto. I even put my hair into some sort of weirdly severe tight bun thing that made me look like a newborn alien.

So there we are, my severe alien bun and I, attempting to look professional by holding a clip board and pretending that this means I'm doing something important. I'm wobbling around in my heels with the open toes, which are really not appropriate for the occasion but are my only option because Bella recently ate my only closed toed black heels.

To make my open toed heels even more appropriate, I'm sporting chipped red nail polish and toenails that should have been trimmed a week ago. And I have a bunch of dirt rimming each nail because I stomp around in my garden in those beloved Birks of mine.

Somehow, and it's probably because of my bulging muscles, I get myself nominated for the job of lugging in hundreds of bottles of water, all neatly vacuum packed together. So I'm kind of tip toeing up and down two flights of stairs holding a hundred pounds of water and trying not to break an ankle or tibia or anything, and all of a sudden the little latch thingy on my oh-so-professional suit pants pops! open. And now my pants want to fall off.

What I've failed to mention thus far is that in addition to my fantastic choice of shoes, I'm also wearing the only suit pants I own, which happen to be in a bit of a rough patch themselves. They're about three inches too long because I've convinced myself that you have to be filthy rich to go to a tailor. They're also made of rayon or some other plasticy fabric that's really only meant to hold up through the first three washings. Let me tell you that a year into it, these pants have seen better days.

I bought them in the juniors section of Filenes which means they're really only pseudo-suit pants. They're the type with the really low waist and extra tight rump-al area. In college we used to call these "fuck-me" pants and they were mainly worn by sorority sisters named Jenna with ridiculously small bums. What can I say? I'm a sucker for a deal. Even if it means looking like I'm the one for sale, apparently. These pants are made for dropping. What they're not meant for is twenty-somethings hosting legislative luncheons. Of that I'm positive.

But I digress.

So I'm an hour into the prep for this luncheon and my pants have declared mutiny. The top latch hook thing is just gone. Pants are sort of like dominoes. Once the top latch has nothing to hook to, the bottom latch basically says screw it. Let in the wind. And once the bottom latch calls it a day, the zipper really doesn't feel like cooperating either. Adding a little more adventure is the fact that I don't have one of those ridiculously small sorority sister bums, and my more realistically sized bottom is threatening to bust through any second.

There I was, in a room full of 200 legislators. Every three minute my hands are flying to my crotch and attempting to zip and latch at warp speed. I can only imagine the dinner conversations that night about the odd alien girl with the clipboard and an obsessive crotch habit.

So today I declare mutiny myself. I go into the office for a meeting with our CEO in my organic hemp skirt and tights. I wear my clunky hippy shoes. Pigtails, no alien bun.

Apparently, I'm up for a promotion. Rock on, hemp.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


"What do I have to do to get you to take a shower?" These are the words of my loving husband as I crawled into bed on Sunday night. Sexy.

Actually, he was quite right. This is why it's very important that if you marry, you marry your best friend. Not someone you get along with so-so, but your absolute best friend. That way, you can enjoy a brutal honesty such as ours. I love my husband.

I don't always smell bad. Neither do I usually avoid showering. However, on Sunday, I was coated in the sweaty remains of my second 5k in two weeks. One might think that sweaty remains of any event call for showering. One would be wrong.

Sure, my sweaty remains were tinged with the oddly sweet smell of tequila oozing out of my pores from a fantastically indulgent Saturday. But I'm not one to let odd smelling sweat hold me back from much. Certainly not from basking in the sweaty glory of another race run. When my tired and sweaty self crumpled into bed on Sunday, I just wasn't ready to let go yet.

And so I promised that husband of mine that I'd shower on Monday. And that's love.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Living Here

I have this dream of running away to the South of France. Taking my husband and my puppy, and just going. I used to have a co-worker who was a therapist and I told her this one day. She responded by saying, in a very therapist-y way, "what's in France?" How annoying.

I was thinking about this today as I ran. I hate therapist-y questions. Yet I found myself drawn to answering her question. So hell, I'll play. I'll tell you what's in France.

Bordeaux, for one. Winding dirt roads with open fields and old stone walls. Herb and perennial gardens. Afternoons filled with artisan cheeses and velvety red wine. Exploration and adventure. No strings. No responsibilities. So perhaps I've romanticized a bit.

I have a similar fantasy of St. Maarten. The Dutch side. Just swap in open water, palm trees, and afternoons filled with papaya and sweet rum. No strings. No responsibilities.

And I've got to tell you, romanticized or not, it still sounds like a hell of an argument to me. But every now and then I do this little thing where I crawl out of the depths of my mind and peek out at the living world around me. And I looked up and saw a deep blue sky. Ahead of me was the winding dirt road on which I live. To both sides, open fields with wildflowers and lazily grazing horses. I ran over the old stone bridge and thought to myself, this must be Provence.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


So I'm going to run another 5K this weekend.

My first 5K was one of those monumental little moments in life, one of those things that we do "just for me." My goals, as I've already shared, were meaningful, yet not particularly difficult. Not to say that restraining from incontinence is not a fabulous goal...I think it's both fabulous and widely appreciated by fellow runners. And the race was a great experience. As I've also already shared, I had some nice little revelations along the way as I tried to figure out what the hell I was doing.

That said, I'd like to be perfectly clear about my motivation for this weekend's run: free beer. Free Redhook beer.

And that, my friend, is what life is all about. Not beer. Balance. One week you run like the wind because you might just die if you stay still, and the next you run your little bum off because there's beer at the finish line.

Crisp and refreshing.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Me, the Runner

I ran a 5K today. Two months ago, my greatest form of exercise was parking far away at the grocery store and walking 300 feet to the entrance. Well, if the weather was nice. Today, I'm the proud 186th place runner at the Exeter PTO "Get Fit in May" 5k. Yes, I came in 186th place. And I'm not complaining.

I had two goals in this race:

1. Finish without dying, stopping, fainting, crying, hitting or pinching the other runners,
vomiting, soiling my pants, or walking.


2. Don't be the absolute last to finish.

Well, mission accomplished. I did not die, and that's good. I did not faint, stop, or cry, and although I came close, I did not express any violence towards others. Neither did I vomit, soil my pants, or walk. So I'm pretty good on that one. And, although I came in at proud number 186, there were over 114 people who came in after me. Ha.

And I ask myself..."why, why the hell, on a cold, rainy, Saturday morning, when I could be sleeping until high noon, am I getting up at 6:30 am to run?" I don't know if I can answer that one.

Is it because I'm trying to shrink my bum? A little. Don't get me wrong, I'm totally into radical self acceptance. I just want what's best for my bum though, and I think it'd be happier if it were a teensy bit smaller.

Maybe it's because I'm 26 and I'm not where I'd expected to be in life and don't know when or if I'll ever be there. And because the doctor keeps mentioning "infertility" and "endometriosis" and I just got a shot in above mentioned bum to warp me into instant menopause in a last ditch effort to kick some endometriosis-ass.

And because the word "infertility" makes me want to scratch somebody's eyeballs out and I'm a little bit angry all of the time and I've accepted that and I'm working on outletting it in a healthy way even though everyone else finds it a little bit scary.

So I run. And I ran today and I thought about it all and didn't feel guilty when I passed eight year olds who were beating my ass...I felt proud. Because at some point or other they're also going to have to learn that you don't always get to the finish line first and sometimes you end up in a different race entirely. Sometimes, you just have to run for the sake of running.

Monday, May 14, 2007

The Dog Whisperer

Being a bit of a dog person, I sort of love the Dog Whisperer show with Cesar Milan.

At the beginning of the show I think there's some sort of little disclaimer encouraging viewers to refrain from trying to whisper dogs themselves. However, I, living on the wild side as I sometimes do, and, being a bit of a dog-professional, really feel that this doesn't quite apply to me.

So sometimes I fancy myself as sort of an amateur dog whisperer. Now with all of her licking and sweetness, I find that Bella really has no call for whispering. A little hardcore training, sure, but whispering, no. Thus I have to save my whispering for chance encounters with aggressive canines. Always a good idea.

And it just so happens that along my little running route, I have quite a few opportunities for whispering. Seeing as though I'm running, I forgo most whispering opportunities on this route because I figure stopping to perform virtual magic on dogs might interrupt my rhythm. But there is this one house that sort of draws me in. Chain link fences all around. Tall, decrepit chain link fences.

On any given day, there may be anywhere from two to five dogs lurking behind these fences. These dogs call for some whispering, let me tell you. Not only do they bark, growl, jump on the fence in a desperate attempt to escape and eat not just my flesh but Bella's too, but they follow me along for about 100 yards...very persistent little buggers. Oh, and they terrify me.

So every day, I run by feeling scared and looking for a large stick to use as a weapon should they escape. And then one day it hit me. No need to be scared...I'm like Cesar. I'm a dog whisperer too. Time to put the magic to work.

I make my ascent on the glittering metal yard. As summoned, the dogs approach, barking and growling. This time, I do not just run by. I will be a victim to barking no longer. I stop. I square my shoulders and push out my chest. I stretch my spine to try and gain a little height. I find the meanest looking dog and I show no fear-I look him square in the eye and focus all of my dog-whispering powers in his direction. He seems dissatisfied with this, which he communicates to me by raising his hackles and stirring up a deep low grow but I don't let that scare me. Nope. Instead, I take a menacing stomp! towards him and push out my chest again. Bella's wondering what the hell I'm doing and why I've chosen to do so with her at my side. She paces around me as if to say, "hey, they're not so bad. Let's just head on out of here...right?" By now I'm pretty sure I look like a deranged arthritic ostrich, but I'm Cesar and Cesar's really not concerned with appearances. So I stomp! again all the while never breaking my power stare with tough guy.

And then it might be working, because he gets really, really, still. So still, actually, that his muscles tense up like he's just a stone statue of a vicious beast, except not quite a statue because he's actually vibrating out of rage. And then he pounces. His body flies through the air, teeth glinting in the sun, ready to crack my bones.

So it takes me about a tenth of a second to decide that I'm not a dog whisperer after all. Bella and I don't stick around to see where he lands. We run. We run like we've never run before. I can hear him behind me hissing and barking and doing all those things dogs do when the devil has possessed their soul. And we run. And run. I break through "the wall" with my pace and suddenly I no longer resemble a turtle when I run...no, I'm a beautiful gazelle gracefully bounding over the landscape and away from the hyenas who want to eat my gazelle flesh.

I've allowed my dreams of becoming a dog whisperer, with all of its fame and glory and Cesar-ish-ness to flutter away in the wind. I'm basically a professional runner anyway, so no matter.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Under the Magnolia Tree

We've planted a magnolia tree. It's small, and by no means does it distract the eye for long enough that one would fail to notice our back yard is a virtual wasteland, but hey, we're trying. So far the tree has survived The Puppy.

Bella, as I believe we've established, has a bit of a thing for sticks. Specifically, Bella likes to drag sticks onto the front lawn on the warm spot above the septic system. She has this carnal draw to poop. And despite the fact that she finally won out with the tea rose, (at some point I just had to accept that the tea rose was dead. Replanting it the fifth time, scraggly little tea rose fronds flopping here and there, felt like cruel and unusual punishment for the little plant) she seems to be scared of the magnolia and thus refrains from immediate attack. She does, however, bark at it regularly.

So yesterday I think of how quaint it would be to sit underneath my three foot tall magnolia and read. I bring out my towel to sit on and plop myself down. I read about a paragraph, which was difficult, because I had seventy-five (yeah, I'm now calling it seventy-five) pounds of puppy squirming in my lap.

Seventy-five pounds of squirming puppy in your lap is not perhaps all its cracked up to be. It's actually a whole hell of a lot more. Sure, there's fur, (lots, and lots of fur) and there's chub, and a whomping! tail, but there's also a matter of sand-papery paw pads with half-inch nails attached and gleaming white teeth. Perhaps these hazards seem harmless, because what snuggling puppy puts them to use? Mine.

Bella snuggles with her whole self. She licks my face and feet, even in between my toes, and she usually saves the armpits for last. She's the only one who appreciates my salty, patchouli-laden armpits. Why do I allow her to lick me all over? Because she's sitting on me and I can't get up.

After the licking, Bella usually goes into the nibbling. She likes to nibble ears and noses and wrists...especially likes the wrists. And the nibbling usually starts out innocently enough, but it's so hard to nibble gently when there's that much puppy love and energy pumping through the veins. Don't write off puppy love as fluffy and light. Puppy love is heavy stuff. Slobbery, hairy, ferocious stuff.

Once she's satisfied with the nibbling, which is practically never, Bella moves on to petting. Not sure how to describe this one, to be honest. All I can figure is that she must think to herself, "nice people pet me, and I like it. I bet nice people would like it if I pet them, too." So Bella takes her gargantuan paws (sandpapery pads and claws included) and strokes my face, my arms...let's be honest, she takes what she can get.

By now every inch of exposed skin is covered in puffy pink welts and fur pasted on with lots of slobber. So Bella moves into the final stage of the snuggle: the wiggle. She flips onto her back, (mind you, she's still ON me) legs kicking joyfully in the air, head thrown back, and has a happy little wiggle. She wiggles until she finally falls off onto the lawn, where she commences to lazily roll in the grass until she gets dizzy, and then sits up and sighs, tongue hanging out of her mouth and clovers embedded in her fur.

So instead of reading, I had a good long dose of some good old fashioned puppy loving. Bella has a way of sensing what's really needed.

And in addition to reminding me to run zen-fully, she reminds me to love...and be loved... boundlessly. Who needs religion?

And hey...Happy Birthday, Jeffers.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

What We Don't Say

We're terrified of one another. People, that is. Scared shitless. The sad reality that humanity seems to have come to terms with (come to terms with!!!) is that we're scared of people who are different and so we come up with reasons to go to war. I saw a bumper sticker last week that said, "Nuke their ass...take their gas!" Rock on, freedom of speech. When in history did we begin to interpret freedom of speech as encouragement to print and say the most inflammatory things possible? I'm not sure that's what the old guys had in mind when they started out.

But even though war and freedom of speech and assholes with cringe-inducing bumper stickers is an interesting topic, it's not what I'd planned to write about today. Because even though a violent fear of the unknown grips our little world, we're also gripped by a paralyzing fear of those who are like us. And while most (some, certainly; most, no) of us don't become violent over this fear, it certainly causes its own little wars. Not wars in the sense of bombs and troop increases, but familial wars...wars of words and isolation and resentment and distrust.

Why are we scared of one another? Is it because that while we're all supposedly secretly hankering to be just like the Joneses, we're also all terrified of being just like the Joneses?

Maybe we fear that having their minivan means having Tom's roving eye and Judy's penchant for vodka. And so we talk about the minivan...we even let Tom and Judy take us for a test drive and tell us how much they paid and how the sales guy was a real slick rick. We'll all laugh and feel warm and fuzzy over the forged intimacy. But we'll wait until Judy goes to get the casserole out of the oven before making inferences about Tom and the ladies, and we'll quietly wonder on our way home if Judy actually had vodka in that "water" bottle.

And not to point fingers at Tom and Judy. Substitute out those little matters of infidelity and over-indulgence and fill in the blanks with some other infliction and you've got all of America wrapped around your little finger. We stick to safe subjects and leave the darker ones for hurried moments alone on the phone with Judy before Tom walks in and discovers that his wife is miserable.

Funny thing is, I'm an optimist. Maybe a sarcastic optimist, but an optimist all the same. Sure, it sounds cynical to point out that we are human, complete with human flaws and weaknesses. But I only point it out to say that it doesn't have to be that way. Screw sensitivity and discretion. How about sensitivity and communication?

I imagine a world where we just throw it all out there. Where health, fears, insecurities, hopes, dreams, losses, personal demons and struggles are not taboo subjects. I want to live in a world where we know that life with it's hazards is not a communicable disease. Where we all have enough within to give freely without the worry of depletion. I want a world without hushed corners but with wild and brash conversation.

No mom, I'm not Judy. Even if you substitute wine. Even if it's really, really, good wine.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Flying to the Moon

People always ask me if I'm a vegetarian. I think there's something about me that gives off a vegetarian vibe. Probably because I wear Birkenstocks a lot. Or maybe because, to my family's chagrin, I love patchouli. However, I happen to be quite the carnivore. I love meat. And not just your typical meat. I love buffalo, and duck, and I hold a very special place in my heart for lamb. So maybe that explains the dream. Payback.

Last night I had this dream where I was at some sort of sheep farm owned by my step-grandmother. It wasn't a typical sheep farm, because to my knowledge, most sheep do not bite. At least not frequently and viciously and with the goal of drawing blood. These sheep bit, and they bit for blood. Heels, specifically. So I'm going through this dream and my heels keep bleeding because unlike all of the sensible people around me who are wearing sneakers, I'm wearing my Birkenstocks. Of course I'm wearing my Birkenstocks.

The sheep also all had horns like on Rams that you see in pictures of far away mountains in Europe. Woolly, twisted horns. I suppose that would make the sheep in my dream rams as well. Biting rams.

Now my step-grandmother is not much of a housekeeper. Not in real life or in her biting-ram farm life. There are some people who are not big on the housekeeping, and then there are people who you visit and then want to go home and shower in scalding water and bleach for an hour. She falls into the latter category. And no, we're not close.

So I'm at her farm, trying to avoid being dinner for her rams, and she takes me inside and keeps trying to feed me. All of the food is covered in an oh-so-appetizing brown slime like you get when you forget you had cilantro in the crisper and three weeks later find a soggy produce bag full of brown mush. If this has never happened to you, let me give you a little advice on the subject. Absolutely, positively, DO NOT breathe in until you have thoroughly disposed of the mush in an air tight space. Otherwise, you'll be lucky if you're up to eating cilantro a decade later, and cilantro is definitely too fabulous to miss out on for a year, let alone ten.

So that's my dream. Actually, it's not the whole dream, but dreams have a way of evolving into other dreams that evolve into other dreams and on and on. By the end of this one, I kid you not, I was dissembling lawn mowers to turn into rocketships so I could fly to the moon. Except I knew I wasn't quite sure which part of the lawnmower was needed for this feat, so I was stuffing lawn mowers in the back seat of my Sentra to take back to someone who would know, but then I couldn't shut the doors of my car because the lawn mowers were too big. So I was driving along with my car doors open and got the brilliant idea to hold them shut with a bungee cord. I pull over and am looking for that damn bungee cord and then I see this guy on a snowmobile even though it's summer and so I know he's up to no good.

Then I woke up. Also, I cheat when I play Spider Solitaire.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Running with the Puppy

So I signed up for a 10K in September. Running is one of those unexpected flowers in my bouquet. A smelly, slow, sweaty, wilted flower. But a flower nonetheless.

Bella is my running partner. Not because she's a particularly good running partner, we'll get to that in a minute, but because I love her and I love expelling some of her energy that otherwise gets outletted by meticulously chewing the baseboard trim off of my walls.

I read this article from Runner's World about how all runners are both physically and metaphorically running away from or to something else. How poignant. Okay, and maybe true. I guess I'm doing both. Bella, however, is doing neither. She is an accidental runner, or to be more accurate, she's a runner because I force her to be. She lacks my passion and occasional spatterings of anger that arise when my legs and lungs beg me to pick a lazier way to travel.

Bella plods along. She stops and smells delicious puppy smells: mysterious road-side poop, dead chipmunks, dunkin' donuts cups. Sometimes, she decides she must eat these items. I try to discourage that.

So as Bella smells and plods, I run next to her, attempting to convince her to keep up with my grueling 2.2 mph pace, listening to Phish and Juice Newton. Perhaps my musical choices contribute to my break-neck speed.

Most recently, Bella has discovered a new treasure in the natural world: men's discarded underpants. Men! Should you be suddenly consumed by the uncontrollable urge to shed your shat-upon unmentionables outside of the privacy of your own home, I beg you to restrain yourself. Before you strip, I encourage you to envision my seventy pound puppy (seventy! pound! puppy!) hurtling forth through the air, swinging your Fruit of the Looms in her mouth, eight inches of tongue flopping around, and happily presenting them to her mortified owners for a good old fashioned game of tug-of-war. Please.

Today, thankfully, Bella and I did not encounter any tighty-whities. Today we hunted Mourning Doves. Mourning Doves love dirt roads. Bella loves birds. Please do not be alarmed. I assure you, we did not catch any. Picture the aforemetioned seventy pounds of most likely developmentally disabled puppy stealthily stalking a creature with wings, and you can understand why she has to start the hunt half a mile away.

Bella, with her crusty underpants and clumsy meanderings, is my zen for running. It's hard to run with passion and anger when she's two feet away from me, fully content to pounce on and rub her face in whatever the world presents to her. So while I refuse to delight in the pleasures of mysterious poop, I will agree to the symbolism behind it. God knows that whatever I'm running from and to is going to have to be patient...I'm a slow runner.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Something Beautiful

The puppy pulled up my sticks. Most of them, anyway. What might have someday become gorgeous blooms are now scattered across my front yard in some sort of puppy-chewing heaven. All I want is something beautiful.

And my "n" key is broken on my keyboard, forcing me to pound on it multiple times before yielding any result. "N" is actually quite a popular letter, I'm finding.

I think we all have a space within us for something beautiful. Hopefully, we've got space for a lot of beauty. But sometimes when I look at the world, I think starting with just one beautiful thing would be okay. I'm trying my damnest to fill that space.

For a while, I thought I had a hole that could not be filled. Now I'm realizing there is no hole, just space. Space that grows to accomodate what I use to fill it, and then make room for more. So I'm grabbing beauty every place I bump into it and eating it up...adding it to that space. And my collection of "something beautiful" grows. I thought I wanted a single, beautiful bloom. Instead, I have a bouquet.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Planting Sticks

Even though they said it would rain, it didn't. Yesterday was filled with sun, a funeral, a consultation about a tankless water heater, and the planting of several new little plants. Over the winter, feeling a deep and sad longing for spring, I joined Arbor Day. As a thank you, I was assured I would be sent "10 flowering trees plus a lilac bush!" Sure enough, at the "appropriate planting time for [my] region" a muddy bag of twigs showed up in my mailbox. I feel a bit guilty to admit that while I felt mild excitement at my trees, I felt more dread over the thought of trenching ten large holes in the sandy, rocky soil that is my yard.

After consultation with the beloved, if at times finnicky about where to plant things in the yard, husband, we were able to come to a level of agreement ("I'm planting it there whether you like it or not.") on where the "baby trees" would take root. I set about digging my holes.

Now what I wonder, am fascinated by, is the process of growth that, if I followed the planting directions correctly, should now occur. These sticks (and they do look like sticks) will grow into beautiful, overtly showy blooms someday. That is, if my puppy is able to restrain herself from ten new chew-things pointing up out of the ground. How do humans wait for growth? I think of the years that will span before these twigs even begin to resemble plants. Do they have an inner wisdom about what is to come...or do they tumble blindly into the future like people? I feel an antsy anticipation...wanting beautiful trees in the quasi-wasteland of my back yard NOW...and wanting to be one of those people who can peacefully accept the process of each bit of growth week by week, month by month, year by year. Will I still live in this home by the time my twigs have become beautiful trees? Or will I have planted roots for beauty in a stranger's life?

After my dramatic ramblings, I guess I should fess up and admit that I got through planting half the twigs. The rest are sitting in a cardboard box on my front lawn that I'm just sure I'll get to planting this weekend.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Rainy Mondays

So, here I am. This is what I'm thinking to myself as I sip green tea on an empty stomach (always a bad idea) and listen to some satisfyingly depressing music. I'm making to-do lists and wondering why I feel it's necessary to force myself to stare at a painfully organized list of everything swirling around my head.

I don't plan to use a blog to share every detail of my personal life. I really don't understand what sort of need it is that people are searching to fill when they go online and purge every detail to the world. Maybe it's cathartic. I wonder if they get what they need from it.

That said, I suppose it's impossible to ramble on about life without showing a little bit of skin. I also guess that my ramblings will eventually form a twisted textual photo album of all that comprises my little life here. Maybe this is me greeting the world. Hello.