Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The snow fairy?

Remember the garbage can fairy? Well, she/he must be a snowbird because she/he hasn't been to my house in several weeks. Maybe her shift ended on New Year's Eve, I don't know. Ah, well, it was good while it lasted.

Looks like I've been assigned a new fairy, though. OK, so I know who this one is and he might not appreciate being called a fairy, but still... Last night we got several inches of snow. I knew I wouldn't have a chance to shovel the driveway after work tonight and I was not looking forward to putting that on tomorrow's To Do list. Imagine my delight when I arrived home tonight at 9:00 p.m. to find my driveway clear! My next door neighbor has a snowblower so I know it was him, especially since he did it the last time we had significant snow. But that time, he saw me come home from work and start shoveling. Yet another item on the People Are Really Nice Underneath All the Crap list.

Somebody remind me to bake the snow fairy and his wife some cookies, will ya?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Q and A

I’ve seen this interview popping up on other blogs and hoped I’d get my chance to be the interviewee. It came sooner than I expected, when the charming Coachdad caved to my begging. Get comfortable – if you’ve been here for more than 30 seconds, you may have noticed that I often use 17 words when 3 will do…

1. When reading other blogs, what qualities do you look for to make you come back?

Humor, sarcasm, sincerity, openness, compassion, passion, wit, warmth, intelligence, likes pina coladas and getting caught in the rain…

2. Notting Hill is one of my favorite romantic comedies of all time... how many times would you have let Julia Roberts come and go before you gave up for good if you were Hugh Grant?
Julia Roberts? As many times as she wants! It’s common knowledge that I would go gay for Julia or Sandra Bullock.

Given my current circumstances, it’s probably clear that she would have plenty of chances! I really identify with Hugh Grant’s character, William. He loves Anna for who she is, and that means accepting her quirks and faults and insecurities. She is very human and, like the rest of us, her actions are sometimes motivated by fear or misunderstanding. I sure understand the pain in William’s rejection of Anna near the end, but I doubt I would have the strength to turn her down when she says, “I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her.” It doesn’t get more honest than that.

Anna: So who left who?
William: She left me.
Anna: Why?
William: She saw through me.
Anna: Uh-oh. That’s not good.

The thing is, I think that’s why William keeps taking her back – he sees through the mask and he loves her anyway.

Anna: Can I stay for a while?
William: You can stay forever.


3. The Mayfair Witch series is often overlooked by readers of Anne Rice. Why do you like it more than her vampire books?
Well, the vampire books have so many words!! The Mayfair Witches books (The Witching Hour, Lasher, and Taltos) are easier to read than, say, Interview with the Vampire but that’s not really why I enjoy them. Well, ok, that’s part of it – reading should not be work and reading the vampire books is work for me. I am fascinated by New Orleans, especially the French Quarter, and the city is a full-fledged character in the books. (Bit o’ trivia: the Mayfair house is Anne Rice’s own house.) I like how the books span centuries and yet we get to know many characters quite well. There is mystery, romance, suspense, tragedy, the occult – a little bit of everything. Lasher, the “ghost” around which the stories revolve, is scary, creepy, seductive, sympathetic, oddly human, and completely fascinating. Rice’s language is real and vivid, drawing pictures that have stayed in my head for years. Somehow Lasher’s and the Talamasca’s love of the Mayfair family tempers all of the weirdness and makes it very appealing.

4. What do you like best about having your own blog?
First and foremost, I like having a forum where I can say anything I want. Anything. It’s very liberating.

Throughout my life, I have tried writing short stories, poetry, and journaling but I have always been frustrated with the results. OK, my picture was in the paper when I won a creative writing contest in 7th grade but that was a fluke. Somehow blogging is proving easier and more satisfying for me, maybe because I feel like I have an audience (hello, all two of you!), maybe because here I write like I talk (makes you feel for Mary Alice, doesn’t it??) instead of trying to adopt a different voice. I am not a writer, just a chick attempting to share her thoughts, imperfections, and triumphs, but I enjoy the process of working from idea to draft to satisfyingly (more or less) finished essay. I hope my words connect with readers, make them think, reminisce, consider, laugh, scoff, whatever…but if they don’t, I get enjoyment and fulfillment from developing my thoughts into solid statements.

I have been so pleasantly surprised by the sense of community I have found among bloggers. I love those little moments of connection when I read something that expresses precisely how I feel (usually much more eloquently, yet succinctly, than I would) or when a comment lets me know that I reached someone with my words. This week especially, I am honored and overwhelmed by the kindness and support of people who are little more than strangers.

My least favorite thing is editing for length. I am not given to brevity but I don’t want to drive people away with the blah-blah-blah of my posts. I would not make a good newspaper reporter!

5. Do you write when you have nothing to write about, or do you wait for another day?
I wait for another day. I am shooting for quality (grade school level, not grad school, mmm-k?) rather than quantity. There are things I want to say but because writing does not come naturally to me I sometimes struggle to convey what I really mean. When that happens, I’d rather scrap it or let the thoughts sit in my head until the right words come along.

I am amazed by the number of bloggers who write brilliant posts every day. I admire their ability to consistently produce witty, engaging, intelligent compositions but I am happy to stay in the shallow end of the pool.

I am, however, looking forward to the challenge of NaBloPoMo ’09.

Thank you, Coach!

Now it's your turn. If you would like me to interview you just leave a comment and I will email you the questions! Here are the directions:
1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. (I get to pick the questions).
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Hello, Mr. Heartache

Two weeks ago, I came to the terrible decision that Himself and I need to be just friends for now. He is not making time for me in his life and an occasional phone call, IM, or email does not a relationship make. I love him and he loves me but love alone is, tragically, never enough.

I joined a dating website a few years ago and dated a couple of guys from there but hadn't found anyone special. Himself joined the site about a year ago and we talked, along with many others, in the site’s chat room (a really nice, moderated chat that doesn’t allow *that* kind of talk). I thought he was nice and fun to flirt with but he lived forever away and I didn’t pay him any particular attention. In February, he sent a birthday e-card to me. I remember reading it and thinking, “Well, that was nice.” And didn't give him another thought.

In April I posted some new pictures that caught Himself's attention and he tried again. This time, I responded. I have no idea why. After just a couple days of talking online, he asked for my phone number. He called me that evening because “I couldn’t wait any longer to hear your voice.” From that point on, we talked every day, either by phone or IM. I tried to guard my heart but it didn’t work.

We had the opportunity to meet for real in Chicago at the end of May. My heart was his the moment I saw his face. The weekend was joyous, sweet, so much fun, and he was everything I hoped he would be.

He said we would see each other at least once a month. Unfortunately, his life got in the way and we have not seen each other even once since that magical weekend. I waited as patiently (
maybe not so much) as I could but two weeks ago it became clear that although his life is slowly improving, he is still up to his eyeballs in alligators and will be for some time to come. I believe that it is his circumstances that are keeping us apart, but I have had to admit to myself that, even so, he is choosing not to make me a priority.

I know that many don’t understand this relationship – there are 500 miles between us and we haven’t been together since June 1. After reading this you may think I’m naïve but, while I say a lot, there is so much I’m not saying here. I am not naïve about this man or this situation – I may have to walk away from him eventually but everything about him and us feels right. Even now.

I am trying to let go, to truly, completely hand it over to God. Himself understands why I am choosing this path and he is still sweet, loving, funny, and understanding, but last night we snarked at each other for only the second time ever. I am looking for the balance between letting go and still maintaining hope that things may be different in the future – it's proving difficult to find.

Oh, how my heart hurts.

Oh Happy Day!

I feel the weight and the joy and the promise of this day!

Friday, January 16, 2009

My turn

First some background... Five years ago, I got divorced...somewhat unexpectedly. That same year, I moved, was bumped from a job I loved, the Ex and I declared bankruptcy, and a beloved aunt died. It was a Very Bad Year. The next year, I fell and injured my foot, which lead to 3 surgeries over the following 2 years, weeks and weeks of incapacitation (naturally, it was my right foot so I couldn't drive while in a cast...oy) and recovery. 2006 brought yet another job change; 2007 a surprise but welcome hysterectomy. Fall 2008, right knee replacement. Mixed in with all of this medical stuff was (still is) a lot of emotional drama as I waded back into the nuclear sludge that is dating in your 40s.

Mary Alice has been my rock, my sounding board, my lifeline through all of this. I know she tires of the turmoil at times but she hides it well and keeps slogging along with me.

Last weekend, Mary Alice fell and broke her ankle. Badly - this morning she had surgery to repair it, which involved screws, pins, plates, and the very-impressive-sounding "mesh tension system" that will support her joint from now on. She's out of surgery and doing fine, thank God.

Now it's my turn - now I get to take care of her. Yes, she has Brick, who loves her as sweetly as he did 19 years ago when they married, but caretaking is not his forte. I know that he gets mad because she is in pain and he can't fix it but it comes out as frustration with M.A. I would not wish this pain and inconvenience on anyone, especially the best BFF in the whole world, but I am glad for this opportunity to serve. Thank you, God.

Mary Alice is not a good patient. She wants to be the caregiver, not the receiver; she's not comfortable "taking" when she feels she has nothing to give in return. I've already had to scold her more than once that she needs to let us do things for her. I hope she will realize that the love and care she gives everyone on a daily basis more than paid for any level of "taking" she has to resign herself to now.

I want to be there for her as she has always been there for me. I want to anticipate her needs, to make sure she is always as comfortable as we can make her. I can already see that this desire may make me overbearing and dictatorial. As you might imagine, M.A. would never tell me so, so it's up to me to pay attention to my own behavior.

Send sweet, gentle thoughts my way so that I don't turn into Nurse Wratched, mmm-k? Oh, and send healing thoughts to Mary Alice while you're at it, if you've a mind to.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

I'm a real blogger now!

Whee!! That sweetie Merrily gave me my first ever blog award! Check her out - she's my latest girl crush. I'm tickled pink, so I guess mine is pink lemonade. HEE!! (I have to admit to a certain level of blog award envy up 'til now.) I can't wait to spend hours figuring out how to put the award icon thingy on my sidebar. Thanks, Merrily, you're a peach! (She lives in Georgia - I crack me up.)
So to be in compliance with the rules of the deal, I am pleased to highlight these five bloggers - all totally cool, all so funny, all witty and clever and interesting and the reason I started this madness:

1. Emily at Blond and Blithe reached out her hand to this newbie blogger and made me feel more comfortable in this environment. She's an artist, which I admire and envy. She has this winter white love thing going now, which just makes me shiver, but I heart her anyway.

2. Stephanie at Chocolate and Whine keeps posting pics of the most delicious-looking cookies...and the recipes...which may kill me. But I'll die very happy.

3. HeyLola just cracks me up. And she's single, like me (I seem to have trouble finding blogs by other single women who are not young enough to be my daughters.) And she's an artist (see #1). And I just discovered she's less than 2 hours from me! Rock on - another cool chick here in the middle!

4. Big Pissy at the Southern Circle of Hell. She's cute as a button but I think I'm a little bit afraid of her. With a name like that, who wouldn't be?

5. Ivy at Twisting Ivy is so me, only a handful of years younger...but more savvy and smart than I was at that age. Probably cuter, too. Definitely more articulate. OK, she's just who I wish I was then (and now...) but leave me with my dreams, people!

Smooches to all y'all fabulous women!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

2008 in retrospect

Plucked from Em's blog. It's kind of fun to look back and reflect on the passing year (and you know how I love a meme). Feel free to copy the questions, answer them yourself and post them on your own blog.

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before? I had to deal with an addict in active addiction. Not fun.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I’m not a real resolution maker and I don’t think I made any last year. This year I decided to give up daily consumption of carbonated beverages. I can’t imagine eating pizza without Pepsi, but I’m going to cut it out of my daily life.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Having a cow is a different thing, right? Then definitely no.

4. Did anyone close to you die? My dog, Lucy, died of presumed liver cancer in April.

5. What countries did you visit? I don’t think I even left the state. Now I’m depressed, dammit.

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008? Regular face time with Himself.

7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? Feb. 4, 9, 10 – meltdown of a relationship; Feb. 9 – my birthday, first attempt at contact by Himself, I ignored him; April 14 – first phone call from Himself; May 30 – met Himself in person; July 26 – moved; October 9 – knee replacement surgery.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Achieving more patience than ever before.

9. What was your biggest failure? Not always having as much patience as I needed.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? I guess knee replacement surgery qualifies as an injury.

11. What was the best thing you bought? Knee replacement surgery. LOL

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? Mary Alice was very patient with my distress over and over and over again.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? The Tall One’s – boy, that’s the source of stories to fill a blog for a year!

14. Where did most of your money go? The usual places, with too much eating out and fast food.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Meeting Himself.

16. What song will always remind you of 2008? Big Dog Daddy

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? About the same.
b) thinner or fatter? Fatter…so maybe I’m sadder. lol

c) richer or poorer? Definitely poorer.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Giving to others.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Crying, whining, gossiping, complaining.

20. How did you spend Christmas? Alone at home because weather interfered with my plans.

21. Did you fall in love in 2008? Oh, yes!

22. What was your favorite TV program? I probably watched less TV this year than ever before. I was enthralled with “John & Kate Plus 8.”

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? I don’t hate anyone. The list of people I really, really, really dislike is the same.

24. What was the best book you read? Delicious by Sherry Thomas. It’s a smut novel (I say it with love) but the heroine is atypical and the storyline was not predictable.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery? Casting Crowns

26. What did you want and get? My new home – still a rental but it’s bigger, nicer, and not an apartment.

27. What did you want and not get? Time with Himself

28. What was your favorite film of this year? Sex and the City

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I turned 43, and I went to an a cappella concert with a dear friend.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Time with Himself (yeah, I’m a broken record)

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008? Comfortable and casual, not professional enough.

32. What kept you sane? Talking (read: crying, sobbing, whining incoherently) to Mary Alice, West Coast Angel**, and my sisters.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Oddly, I can’t think of one.

34. What political issue stirred you the most? The presidential election was most interesting; the Blagojevich debacle was (still is) most incensing.

35. Who did you miss? So many people.

36. Who was the best new person you met? Himself.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008. A quote I just read on a blog last night – “Time discovers truth and heals what reason cannot.”

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year. “And when, when the night falls on you, baby, you’re feeling all alone, you won’t be on your own…I’ll stand by you” I'll Stand by You

* Yippee – my sweet west coast friend now has a pseudonym! She’ll be so excited!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Year in 12 Words (almost)

January – optimism
February – stupidity
March – bounce
April – contact
May – love
June – summer!
July – moved
August – drudgery
September – hair disaster
October – prosthesis
November – possibilities
December – disappointment