Wednesday, December 31, 2008

So, um...

Now that I have discovered blogging, and reading blogs, and commenting on blogs, and linking to even more blogs - how am I supposed to work, eat, sleep, do laundry, grocery shop, maybe even interact with actual, flesh-and-blood humans?

I'm just curious.

Monday, December 29, 2008

I am weak

And boys are stupid.

But they are also very sweet and mostly cute and good at reaching things on high shelves. Although that last thing doesn't really apply in this case, but they are.

Himself finally replied to my text late Saturday evening and he called last night. I had a major conniption fit/harangue/diatribe all ready to go but it died when I heard his voice. I'd never make it in politics, I can't kick a man when he's down.

I did tell him that I was alternately angry and worried when he didn't respond to my attempts to contact him. I also told him that I was very disappointed that he didn't call on Christmas. He said he didn't get the voicemails and from questions he asked during other parts of our conversation, I believe him. I was right, he was just (just??) being self-centered and thoughtless.

See, this is the thing about Himself that keeps me from whacking him upside the head one last time and stomping away for good - he doesn't sweet talk me. He didn't say "Aw, baby, I know I should have called because you are the sexiest, prettiest, smartest, most wonderful chick in all the world." (OK, that last part is true, even if he didn't say it. Yes, huh.) He didn't say, "I'm so sorry, sweetums, what can I do to make it up to you?" (I have a list as long as my arm.)

Nope, he said, "Violet, I'm sorry. I should have called you but I didn't." He explained why he didn't, which (surprisingly) I will keep to myself. Because someday I might, maybe (if I completely lose it) tell him about this blog. Or not.

Anyway, I'm weak but I didn't totally cave. I said what I needed to say, just in a much kinder, loving, 1,000 points of light way than I intended. And I'm hanging on to my skepticism. Time will tell whether this is the Very Bad Year getting in the way or something worse.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

At the risk of bringing everybody down

My Christmas sucked golf balls.

Christmas Day was without question the worst Christmas of my life. I was supposed to fly to my parents' on Christmas Eve but all AA flights out of O'Hare were cancelled. They could have "tried" to get me on a flight Christmas Day afternoon but *if* it was successful, I would have gotten to my parents in the early evening. So I decided to stay home, save the travel voucher for a better time and a longer trip. So, alone for only the second time in my life on the biggest family holiday of the year.

Add in that Himself is AWOL. He IM'd me Mon evening to thank me for the very small gift I sent him. When we said goodbye, he said he would call or write (email or IM) again soon*. I haven't heard from him since. No call to wish me a good trip. No call in response to my voicemail that the flights were cancelled and I'd be at home alone. No call on Christmas Eve. NO CALL ON CHRISTMAS DAY. To date, no response to my two messages and one text. And I won't even mention how he didn't send me a card.

He is going through a horrible time in his life but that doesn't excuse him from the basic responsibilities that come with being in a relationship, even long distance. In my not-at-all-humble opinion, that includes a phone call on major holidays and a card on Christmas and my birthday. Preferably a really mushy card that tells me how much he adores me...but I digress.

I swing from anger to worry (lots and lots of worry) to absolute confusion...often in the same minute. I have considered every possible "reason" for his disappearance - maybe his phone is broken (which doesn't excuse him, he could email or borrow a friend's phone), maybe he is deceiving me in one of a thousand ways, maybe he is dead on the side of the road. All of the possibilities are ugly. The most likely scenario is that he is being self-centered and thoughtless.

I don't know what to think. I do know that this is eroding my trust in him. A relationship without trust is nothing. My gut still tells me that he has been truthful with me and my gut is almost never wrong. But still...

Holidays have been difficult since I got divorced five years ago, but this one definitely takes the cake. I vow that Christmas 2009 will be happier, even if I have to kill someone to make it happen.

Ho ho ho. Yeah.

* "soon" in boyspeak = sometime between now and when he dies.

Monday, December 22, 2008

ABC Meme

Accent: I live in the middle, I don’t have an accent. People from the south think I come from Wisconsin; a Canadian friend liked my “southern” accent.

Breakfast: McSkillet Burrito and sweet tea. This will change in two weeks, when I will eat bran flakes and skim milk. Heh.

Chore: Least favorite – washing dishes. Closest to a favorite – laundry.

Dog or Cat: Dog, but I am currently dogless. I like cats but I am allergic to them.

Essential Electronic: Phone because I like hearing the voices of the people I love; computer because it is the source of entertainment, information, shopping, contact, etc.

Favorite Cologne: Beautiful. I’ve been wearing it since 1991 and haven’t found anything else I like as well.

Gold or Silver: Only silver or white gold.

Handbag: I love Vera Bradley. I just wish there were more styles available in basic black.

Insomnia: Almost never. My brain chooses sleep when I am stressed. I’m lucky that way, I know – I may be stressed but I’m well-rested!

Job Title: Office manager. Fear me.

Kids: I am childless.

Living Arrangement: Me, myself, and I live in a cute duplex.

Most Admirable Trait: I am optimistic.

Naughtiest Childhood Habit: I was a big liar, even though my parents always found me out…often because I couldn’t stand the guilt and ‘fessed up. I always got in bigger trouble for lying than for whatever I had done. Funny thing is, now I always tell the truth and it’s very difficult to make me feel guilty.

Overnight Hospital Stay: 2 or 3 before I was 5; 2 in the last 18 months; 1 scheduled for Feb. ’09; hopefully never again.

Phobia: I don’t think I have any true phobias but I do have several things that give me the major icks. Like june bugs or walking barefoot in mucky stuff (i.e., the bottom of a lake).

Quote: "Do or not do. There is no try.” Yoda

Reason To Smile: God loves me.

Siblings: Two sisters, both younger, both so much cooler than I will ever be.

Time To Wake Up: Alarm goes off at 6, I get up at 6:30.

Unusual Talent: I can do accents pretty well.

Vegetable I refuse to eat: Brussels sprouts. Gross.

Worst Habit: Impatience.

X-rays: Next week – post-op for R. knee replacement, pre-op for L. knee.

Yummy Stuff: Cake, chocolate chip cookies, sugar snap peas, mashed potatoes, good sharp cheddar cheese, homemade pico de gallo with lots of cilantro, pizza, Mom’s divinity, this list could go on forever.

Zoo Animal I Like The Most: Giraffe. They have the same number of vertebra that humans do.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Waxing poetic

Meet Living Baby Tender Love. Isn't she pretty? She is the best baby doll ever born. She is the size of a newborn, has soft, squeezeable skin, jointed shoulders and hips, and that alluring new baby doll plastic smell. I received her for Christmas when I was 7 or 8 and she may be the best gift I ever got. I don't remember asking for her, I think my mom just picked her but I loved her like no other toy before or since. I don't remember if I ever gave her a name; she may have had different names as my fancy changed. Oh, how I loved her!

When LBTL was 4 or 5, probably (maybe sooner, I'm not known for my steel-trap memory), she lost a leg in a tragic accident. OK, maybe her leg just fell off, maybe one of my sisters pulled it off, I don't know. I do know that it was traumatic, I was bereft. Dad tried and tried but couldn't find a way to re-attach her leg without losing the joint's flexibility. I decided I'd rather have a one-legged baby than a doll who couldn't move one of her legs. Poor LBTL, it's so hard to be a mono-ped doll in a biped doll world. But I loved her so much it didn't matter.

I have two younger sisters so I played 'house' and with LBTL for longer than I might otherwise have done. But even after I grew out of playing with dolls, LBTL was part of my world. Most of the time she reclined gracefully on my pillow. OK, fine - most of the time she lay in a heap on my bedroom floor with my other dolls because I almost never made my bed. I still loved her.

At some point, LBTL disappeared. I suspect that my mother, who didn't necessarily appreciate her loveableness, threw her away but no one seems to know what happened to her. When I realized she was gone, I was heartbroken. I thought I'd never see LBTL again.

Years went by but I never forgot my precious LBTL and I would wax poetic about her now and then. A few years ago, Mary Alice found her on ebay (have I mentioned that MA is the best BFF in the whole world?) and surprised me with a very special gift on a very ordinary Tuesday. So now my sweet LBTL (well, a two-legged clone of my own) is home again. She reclines gracefully on the guest bed pillow...unless I have guests, when she and her compatriots are unceremoniously shoved under my bed. Because that's where there's room, not because I'm ashamed of her - who could ever be ashamed of a doll with such a sweet face and jointed limbs?

I love her still, she makes me smile. Did you have a special toy that makes you happy even now?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Cake Bites

Ta-dah!!! My first cake bites! I just can't bring myself to call them cake balls because...well, just because, mmm-k?

I learned about these delectable morsels from The Pioneer Woman (my very first girl crush), who found them at Bakerella, who does amazing things with her cake balls and with cupcakes. Mine are chocolate fudge cake with regular white frosting, dipped in white (vanilla) candy melts. My dipping technique needs work but after I drizzled them with red and green they look pretty darn good, if I do say so myself.

I also made Oreo truffles. (Peeking in the corner of the pic on the green tray.) These are all for my office holiday party tomorrow and I decided I didn't want two different kinds of white balls with chocolate stuff inside so I made the truffles patty-shaped. Maybe that means they aren't truffles, I don't know. Whatever the shape, here's hoping they are the hit of the party!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Stolen from TMI Tuesday:
  1. Who and when was your first crush? Celebrity - Mark Spitz, 1972. I thought he was the most glamourous person I had ever seen, with that mustache and those Speedos! Real boy - Paul S., 1973. He started at my school in the middle of the year. When he walked in the classroom door for the first time, the angels sang and the heavens shone down upon him. I had a HUGE crush on him all the way through high school. I would probably be tongue-tied and awkward even now, 35 (holy crap) years later.
  2. Who and when was your first date? Rob A., 1980. He was a year older than I, had gorgeous, huge brown eyes with long, dark lashes, and a big, infectious laugh. He was the best kind of nerd, and so much fun. He took me to Bubby and Zadie's and I was so excited that I could only eat half of my tuna salad on a bagel.
  3. Who and when was your first kiss? Maybe Nicky M., circa 1974. I don't remember my first kiss (what does that say about me or it??) but I know that I kissed Nicky (who was WAY shorter than I) a lot for a couple of summers at the lake.
  4. Who and when was your first partner while "fooling around" in car? (Those quotation marks are making me nervous, so let me say that my definition of "fooling around" is making out/mashing/necking. I was a good girl...mostly.) Probably Rob A., probably 1980. He had an old car with a bench seat. The latch on the passenger end of the seat was broken, so the seat would glide back and forth as he drove around corners. It was a fun car. LOL
  5. Who and when was your first partner while "fooling around" in a house? Chuck B., 1981. He gave me his Eagle Scout ring before he left for a summer internship at the state capitol, isn't that the sweetest thing? We reconnected a couple years after high school and almost started dating again until another guy distracted me. I've often wondered what might have happened with Chuck if Jeff hadn't come along.
  6. Who and when was your first love? David R., 1981. Wow I really had a thing for nerds in high school! We had so much fun together, even though he was a horrible kisser when we started dating. I helped him improve his technique - I wonder if his wife ever thanks me??

I haven't thought about these guys in a long time. Nice boys, every single one of them - I hope they are all healthy and happy. :)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Test your Color IQ

This is really cool:

Test your Color IQ

0 is perfect, 99 is embarrassingly bad...or blind, maybe. I am not bragging when I say I got 0 - it's true, but I was shocked.

(When you first hit the site, click on your continent and the test should show up.)

What's your color IQ?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

What's a BFF for, anyway?

In a moment of mild anxiety, I IM'd Mary Alice this morning:

Me: Say something encouraging
MA: Something encouraging heart is full.

Monday, December 1, 2008

WAIT is a 4-letter word

“Good things come to those who wait.” Oh, really? When??? If that platitude is true, then there are some seriously awesome good things headed my way because I have been waiting. And waiting. And waiting a lot, A LOT, more.

I am impatient. I hate to wait for anything, even the bus. So waiting for Himself (aka, the one who I hope is The One) to slog through the crap that is his life right now and come out clean on the other side is torture. Chinese water torture mixed with staring at a table full of delectable cakes that I'm not allowed to eat torture. It's awful.

Himself swept me off my feet six months ago. We live 500 miles apart and he said we would see each other at least once a month. We have seen each other exactly never. He says that he loves me and that he misses me and I believe him. Most of the time.

This has been (with the huge exception of meeting me, natch) the very worst year of his life. We’re not talking piddly, irritating stuff here – this is nasty, lousy, I-so-totally-didn’t-see-this-coming shit. I have stood patiently (well, quietly) by, waiting for him to make bricks out of the crap and stack them into some semblance of a sturdy structure so there is room in his head for something (read: ME) besides the caca. He is trying where I am concerned: he calls, he writes, he IMs on a regular basis, but this is a time when maddeningly complicated circumstances keep us from spending time in the same space.

He is starting to make bricks, which is a very good thing. It’s going to take a while before his structure is solid, though, and that’s where my trouble is. Now that his life is starting to settle down, I want the house built NOW. That’s not going to happen. I’m not good at waiting, have I mentioned that?

But I wait. And I will continue to wait, sometimes patiently, sometimes whining like a 4-year-old to Mary Alice. Because Himself just might be the man I have always been waiting for. Something deep in me recognized him, like he’s been on my calendar for a long, long time. He is everything I appreciate, respect, and drool over in a man. If waiting might make him mine, I will wait.

Some might call me a fool and I’m fine with that. Just don’t start calling me St. Violet the Patient anytime soon.

Friday, November 28, 2008

The garbage can fairy

In July, I moved from an apartment to a sweet, little duplex. For the first time in 5 years, I have to take my garbage can to the curb once a week, as opposed to tossing my bags of garbage in a dumpster. No big, I'm so pleased to be in this nice space that I don't mind it at all. (I also have the opportunity to recycle now, which thrills me to a completely stupid degree.)

Garbage day is Tuesday, so each Monday night I take the can (is it a can if it's plastic?) to the curb. Every Tuesday when I get home from work, I find the empty can next to the garage door at the top of the driveway. Now, I entertain a very small fantasy that one of the local sanitary engineers got an eyeful my fabulousness, developed a little crush and acts it out by carting my garbage can up the driveway for me, but I realize that's highly unlikely. I was off work for four weeks after surgery recently, and I thought I would surely catch the fairy in action. She's sneaky, that one - four Tuesdays and I didn't get even a fleeting glimpse of a glittery wing.

I think the garbage can fairy is the lady who lives in the other half of the duplex. We've met, have spoken on a few occasions, but I don't really know her and I rarely meet her coming or going. But who else could it be?

It's a small thing, both for the fairy and for me. But it makes me smile and gives me a warm, fuzzy "aren't people the best?" feeling every week. It makes me want to reach out to other people more often - hold more doors, smile at more mothers with screaming meemees in their arms, and find other ways to pay it forward. Maybe that's why it happens.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Meme stolen from the Hotfessional

The Hotfessional (my newest girl crush *blush*) stole this meme and I love memes (even though I don't know what 'meme' means) so I stole it from her...
  1. Clothes: as comfortable as possible. Unfortunately, this often clashes with my desire to be sexy. Himself doesn't seem to mind as long as the neckline reveals plenty of landscape.
  2. Furniture: comfortable but aging. My couch is 11 years old and is showing her age, poor thing. She sags and her edges are beginning to fray. The couch, people, the couch!
  3. Sweet: Himself. Ours is currently a difficult tale of star-crossed lovers but he is the only sugar I want.
  4. City: Chicago...the skyline, the lakefront, the Cubs, the Bears (but NOT the new Soldier Field), the three-flats, the Frank Lloyd Wright architecture...
  5. Drink: not often enough, whether we are talking about liquor or water. I'm often a parched violet.
  6. Music: this week it's Abba. Their music is so peppy, so major-key, so happy...until you pay attention to the lyrics. I love music and can appreciate almost anything but I generally listen to the music of my yoot and classic rock.
  7. TV Series: Jon & Kate Plus 8. Many say that Kate is a bitch but after watching every single minute of their series (dear God, please send many blessings on the person who invented the DVR), I have decided that she is a control freak, a germophobe, and afraid of way too many things, but she is not a bitch. She is obviously in love with Jon and they have a great vibe.
  8. Film: The Quiet Man (guess who figured out how to do links? heh.). I don't like westerns so I never saw it (John Wayne = western, right? right.) until M.A. forced me to watch it earlier this year. Oh. My. Stars. How did I not know that John Wayne was unspeakably sexy?? And that scene where they break the bed? I couldn't breathe for a week.
  9. Workout: currently just post-total knee replacement exercises and physical therapy. I can't wait until next summer, when both knees should be in great shape and I can walk, hike, festivalize, fair-go, and parkate. I dream of going to the ball park with Himself, too, and am looking forward to more yoga classes.
  10. Pastries: You can have all of that flaky pastry dough. I'm a cake girl. mmmm, cake.
  11. Coffee: I like a little coffee with my cream and sugar.


Solid employment, health insurance and a retirement plan
Mary Alice – the best friend ever. Eh. ver.
M.A.’s husband, Brick* - he always makes me feel loved
My capacity to love
Knee replacement surgery
My cute little house
My parents – they have answered every single call and gone way beyond when I needed it
4 nieces and 1 nephew – the best-looking, smartest, coolest kids on the planet
2 sisters and brothers-in-law – they do an incredible job of keeping me real to the nieces and nephew even though they live forever away
Mashed potatoes
Cell phones
Tall, dark, handsome, unbelievably amazing Himself* – we’ll talk about Himself one of these days when I get control of the stars in my eyes
My hair stylist
The friends who constantly, consistently give their love, insight, support and encouragement – I am in awe of them
The lessons God puts in my path – hopefully I’m learning and growing
Hot water and forced air heat
Computers and the Internet
The garbage can fairy
Nice fingernails
Greeting cards
Digital cameras
Fresh pineapple
Friendly people
Opportunities to serve others

Music, movies, books, television

* names have been changed to protect the not-even-remotely innocent

Friday, November 21, 2008

Mary Alice Murphy

My BFF is Mary Alice Murphy. Well, that's her chosen Witness Protection Program name and thus how she will be known here. When I get lazy, I'll call her M.A. but never M.A.M. because I know too much dirt to ever be so formal.

Mary Alice and I met in 1979. (That's almost 30 years, people! I'm not old enough to know someone that long!) When we met, she was a Peter-Pan-collar-wearin' goody-two-shoes but I liked her anyway. We were friends all through high school, even after I sort of but not really stole her boyfriend at a costume party. She married a really great guy who corrupted her. She still loves the Peter Pan collars (I won't let her wear them) but can curse like a sailor and has a truly warped mind. An essential attribute in a BFF, if you ask me.

I got married, too, (mine didn't stick) and the four of us were inseparable. I think the fellas bonded out of necessity, so they would have someone to commiserate with. Like the time the sprayer on my kitchen sink broke. I figured if we were going to mess around with the sink, then I wanted to replace the faucet with one of those new-fangled ones that has the sprayer right in it. After consulting with my dad and the Internet, M.A. and I decided that we could fix it ourselves. The soon-to-be-ex opposed that idea but certainly wouldn't do it himself.

Mary Alice and I skipped over to the hardware store and purchased everything we needed, including a pipe wrench. Made me feel capable and somehow macho to buy a pipe wrench. We skipped back home, removed the old faucet and sprayer and installed the new one. Everything went smoothly...except we couldn't get the hot water line to stop leaking at the joint where the new line met the pipe coming from the floor.

Did I mention that this was a Sunday afternoon? Yeah. Hubris R Us. So after several attempts to stop the leaking, I called a plumber. He patiently listened to my situation, said we probably just didn't tighten the connection enough and that he wasn't going to come out on Sunday afternoon and charge us triple time to fix something like that. He'd be there bright and early Monday morning. Okie-dokie, Mr. Plumber Man!

When we started the project, we discovered that the shut off valve under the sink was broken so we couldn't just turn the water off to that sink. The leak was only a leak, not a hemorrage, but it was strong enough that packing a couple of towels around the pipe for the night wasn't going to cut it. So we had to turn off the water to the whole house.

By this time, the ex's blood pressure was of more concern than the water leaking onto the kitchen floor. He was NOT happy that he had to sleep without water available should he become suddenly dehydrated in the middle of the night. Mary Alice, my BFF, the woman who always has my 6, slunk out of the room when the ex's BP spiked and his head exploded off of his shoulders. Apparently bravery is not an attribute I value in a BFF.

Somehow the ex and I made it through the night alive and quenched. Mr. Plumber Man arrived bright and early Monday morning, tightened the joint and fixed the broken valve. I had a gorgeous, sexy new faucet and my kitchen remained spotless forever after. Well, ok, that last part's not true but I like to dream.

The threat of hiring Lucy & Ethel's Plumbing Service still strikes fear into the heart of M.A.'s husband.

Surprise, surprise, this post veered off on a tangent. Sometimes I think my whole life is a series of tangents. I'll have to tell you why Mary Alice is the world's greatest BFF another day.

My WPP name? Lupe, but don't tell because I may need it someday.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

My favorite joke

Q - Where do you find a dog with no legs?

A - Right where you left him.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! I've been telling that joke for well over a year now and it ALWAYS makes me giggle. Why? What does that say about my sense of humor? Y'know, I don't even care - I think that joke is brilliant!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Dipping my toe in the bloggy waters

I have become addicted to reading blogs. So many people are witty and clever and interesting and I like nothing more than surfing from blog to blog to see what everyone has to say. OK, I like eating cake more...and talking to the one who I hope is The One...and attending college football games (go Illini!)...fine, there are lots of things I like more than surfing blogs but it's right up there.

"Violet," I eventually said to myself, "you're witty and clever and (you think you are) interesting. You should have your own blog!" Inevitable, right? So here I am.

This space will probably be a combination of random thoughts (why does the Secret Service use codewords for the members of the First Family if those codewords are public knowledge??) and introducing myself in the most witty, clever, interesting way I know how.

I was going to promise that there will not be a plethora of parenthetical comments, but I can't. Something tells me there will be.