Sunday, May 31, 2009

One Year

I met Himself in person in Chicago one year ago this weekend. I looked up into his beautiful hazel eyes and thought I’d found the man of my dreams. I was so full of love, so full of hope. Today, after a year without seeing him, the love is still very strong but the hope is almost dead.

Two weeks ago he said, “I love you, I always will. We have something special, but the timing is off, the distance is there, and it’s been almost a year since we’ve seen each other.” In my not-at-all humble opinion, “I love you, BUT…” is never a good thing.

Just how special can it be, just how much can he love me, if he hasn’t been compelled even ONCE to overcome the obstacles to see me? I would have moved mountains to see him. I would have eaten peanut butter for a month to save money for a plane ticket. I still would. It’s been the absolute worst year of his life and he’s still dealing with it. A big part of me believes that the turmoil in his life is the only thing that has kept us apart (and still hopes things will change as his life improves). But it’s been a year.

I have tried to change this before. I tried being just friends, I even tried cutting off communication with him. I couldn’t stick with it because I love him and I am in love with him. It may sound silly coming from a 44-year-old woman, but I’ve never felt this way before. I still think he is wonderful – handsome, sweet, intelligent, ambitious, witty, self-assured, compassionate, straightforward, sexy – and everything I ever wanted in a man. I’m still starry-eyed about him…when I’m not crying.

I’m trying to let go. I’ve had enough confusion and heartache and dashed hopes. I’ve lost some of my innate optimism. I am becoming cynical and that is unacceptable. And yet, the idea of completely breaking ties with him is incomprehensible.

I am heartsore today. I am tired and angry and sad. I can’t help but remember where we were, what we were doing at any given moment a year ago. I remember how happy I was, how handsome and dashing he was, how sweet and right it was to be with him.

I wish I had the strength to tell him “all or nothing” and walk away. I am not a coward when it comes to ending relationships. I’ve done it before with other men but I just can’t seem to let Himself go. I keep telling myself it is the right thing to do but something stops me, something keeps telling me to wait.

Maybe it’s not time yet. Maybe I’m just a fool.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Song Meme (or My Name is Violet and I'm a Meme-aholic)

My sweet, young friend Ivy tagged me for this one...

Using only song titles from one artist, cleverly answer these questions:

Pick a band/artist: Billy Joel - If I could only listen to one artist for a whole year, I'd pick Billy. I love his music so much I ended up adding links for every song because I wanted to hear them. :)

1. Are you a male or female: She's Always a Woman

2. Describe yourself: The Entertainer

3. How do you feel about yourself: She's Got a Way (about Her)

4. Describe an ex boyfriend/girlfriend: I Go to Extremes

5. Describe your current boy/girl situation: And So It Goes (one of the most beautiful songs ever)

6. Describe your current location: Somewhere along the Line

7. Describe where you want to be: Travelin' Prayer (he is such an amazing pianist and composer!)

8. Your best friend(s) is/are: Just the Way You Are (this one is for the lyrics, not the title so much)

9. Your favorite color is: Nocturne (there's not one single color in any of Billy's titles)

10. You know that: If I Only Had the Words to Tell You

11. What’s the weather like: Falling of the Rain

12. If your life was a television show what would it be called? Got to Begin Again

13. What is life to you: Don’t Ask Me Why

14. What is the best advice you have to give: Get It Right the First Time

15. If you could change your name what would you change it to: Rosalinda’s Eyes

I'm tagging Theresa because she's new here, Zelzee because she doesn't know what she's missing on a road trip with me and Mary Alice, and Melissa because she always makes me smile!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

My Los Angeles

Ever since I posted this, I've been reminiscing about La-La Land. Inspired by those memories and Stephanie’s comment, these are my mental images of my time in Los Angeles…

My L.A. is sunny and warm, except for January, when it is dark and miserable and rainy.

My L.A. is spread out over acres and acres and miles…with room to breathe between buildings…relaxed and at ease.

My L.A. is old, quaint apartment buildings…working with, but not in, the movie industry…wide, wide, WIDE beaches…taking the city bus to Disneyland…watching movies in the tiny little theaters at the top of the Beverly Center…wandering around Westwood on the weekends.

My L.A. is Technicolor, vibrant, bold…yet quiet.

My L.A. is working as a temp…taking the bus everywhere…wearing flats on the bus and carrying my heels.

My L.A. is the Bonaventure Hotel…the First Interstate Bank fire…Arc en Ciel restaurant…the LaBrea Tar Pits.

My L.A. is big, whimsical earrings…bold, high, high heels…shoulder pads and trumpet skirts.

My L.A. is being propositioned in Spanish and sign language…a fishhead bobbing out of a bag next to me on the shopping at Von’s and wheeling my things home in a two-wheeled cart like an old lady.

My L.A. is Wilshire Blvd. all the way from Santa Monica Pier to the heart of downtown…Beverly Blvd. from Madison Ave. to the Beverly Center…Western Ave. from Hollywood to Pico.

My L.A. is bright blue sky…sun-heated pavement…never tiring of the sight of palm trees…giant bird of paradise at the edge of a tiny, verdant green lawn.

My L.A. is first freedom…true independence…young success.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The one where Violet and Mary Alice go offroading (almost)

Tuesday night is my date night with Mary Alice. Most weeks we just have dinner, either in or out, and hang out. Sometimes we do stuff.

Since tonight was the first warmish evening of the year, we decided to take a drive. Very romantical, no? We ended up out in the countryside, in an area neither of us had been to before. Turning as the whim took us, we found ourselves on this road:

Cruising along, we noticed this sign:

and laughed. Mary Alice, the pilot, reduced from warp speed to the speed of light in deference to the sign.

Good decision.

instantly becomes

See the skid marks? Mary Alice earned her Stops on a Dime badge this evening. I ever so calmly stated, “Holy shi*GASP*!!!” Did you know that if you’re with someone else during a death-defying moment, you can see both lives flash before your eyes? It’s true. Now there really are no more secrets between us.

It’s hard to tell in the picture, but there is about a 5-foot drop in about 20 feet of “road.” If Mary Alice had lain down on the road to take this, only the top of my head would have been visible here:

Pay no attention to the shapeless, baggy t-shirt. Had I known I would be playing the part of Vanna White in this episode, I would have dressed accordingly. Who knew this WAS the night for the spandex and sequins??

Mary Alice did not lay down because she met this precious woodland creature as she framed her shot:

A lovely evening was had by all.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Grace in small things #8

1. It Is Well with My Soul

2. A fresh egg salad sandwich.

3. A kiss on the cheek from one of the sweetest souls at church.

4. Recipes from bloggers I heart: I'm nibbling on these while these are bubbling in the oven.

5. Having one of those (rare) days when my heart is light and possibilities seem...well, possible.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Oh, how I love a meme

Reading them, writing them, I love a meme. Here’s the latest:

Which item from your wardrobe do you wear the most often? My black pants. I only have one pair and I wear them at least twice a week. I really need several pairs of black pants but it’s so hard to find pants that fit well. I’ve had this pair for several years so I know I’m on borrowed time.

What’s for dinner? Sausage, green pepper and onion pizza. Oh, and I found a pint of Starbuck’s Java Chip at Walgreen’s this afternoon so I have a special dessert.

What is your greatest fear at the moment? The usual: that I will live the rest of my life yearning for love. I’m trying to learn how to be happy with my single life but that’s like teaching me Chinese – not only a different language, but a whole different alphabet.

What are you listening to? That stupid Hardee’s commercial with Padma Lakshmi.

If you were a mythological character, what would you be? I would be a mermaid. I love to swim and I love to sing, which is how mermaids lure men. says, “in European folklore, mermaids (sometimes called sirens) and mermen were natural beings who, like fairies, had magical and prophetic powers. They loved music and often sang.” Sounds good to me.

What are your favorite holiday spots? The Gulf Coast of Florida, with a side of Disney World; Tomahawk, WI; anywhere my sisters, nieces and nephew are.

What are you reading right now? Take a Chance on Me by Susan Donovan. Funny, sexy cheap fiction.

What is your guilty pleasure? See question above.

Who or what makes you laugh? I am easily amused, so many things and many people make me laugh. These people, however, are guaranteed to make me crack up: Eddie Izzard; Himself; my oldest niece; Mary Alice; me.

What is your favorite Spring thing to do?
Watch the trees leaf out and wait for summer.

Where are you planning to travel next? Chicago in two weeks for work; Lake Geneva for 4th of July.

What is the best thing you ate or drank lately? We took my student worker out for lunch last week because she is graduating this weekend. Lunch was fabulous and I had an ice cream sundae for dessert. It was no ordinary sundae: nice, dark chocolate-chocolate chip gelato with strawberries on top in a fried crepe cup, sitting on a plate of raspberry puree and vanilla cream. Sweet mother of God, it was good. My student worker said she actually saw my eyes cross.

When was the last time you were tipsy? Quite possibly two years ago. That’s a damn shame.

What is your favorite ever film? I’ve always said that It’s a Wonderful Life is my very favorite, but there are so many I love:
The Quiet Man
Hope Floats
The Matchmaker
(with Janeane Garafalo, I LOVE this movie)
The Perez Family (Marisa Tomei, Angelica Huston, Alfred Molina)
Bull Durham
Grease AND Grease 2
The Wedding Planner
Miss Congeniality
Urban Cowboy
Sex and the City: the Movie
Sweet Home Alabama
West Side Story
The Breakfast Club
This list is by no means comprehensive.

What book do you know you should read but refuse to? I read what entertains me. I haven’t read most of the “classics” but I don’t care. Besides, all of those 19th century authors used way too many words!

What is your physical abnormity/abnormal physical ability? The second toe on my right foot is shorter than the third toe (and all the others). It’s not freakishly short and I don’t think it’s that weird but people comment on it all the time.

What is your favorite color? Green, the green of June – vibrant, warm, lush, full.

Can the people outside your car hear the music playing inside your car? Sometimes, sure. They can definitely see me rocking out, though, no matter what the volume is inside.

I added this one:
How often do you doodle? What do your doodles look like? I’m not really a doodler. When I do doodle (that’s fun to say), my doodles are usually 3-D squares or triangles, or squiggles that follow the edge of my spiral notebook.

The rules of this meme are as follows:

- Respond to and rework the meme.
- Answer the questions on your own blog.
- Replace one question and add one question.
- Tag 8 people.

I'm not tagging anyone because I'm a rebel. Or I'm too lazy and can't be bothered.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Memory from another life

When I was 22, I moved to Los Angeles. At the time, I had quit college twice (boy, was I stupid when I was young); I was living with my parents and working for minimum wage at a hospital. A friend had ended up in LA and kept urging me to move out there so finally I did. I packed all of my worldly possessions and flew out – the first time I’d been on a plane since I was 15 months old.

A little tangent: My possessions fit into one small suitcase, one large-but-not-ginormous suitcase, and one good-sized box. My age has now doubled but my possessions have exponentially increased.

A second little tangent: At 22, I had nothing to tie me to any particular place. At 44, I am in exactly the same situation. Sad? Free? Some of both, I think.

After a few months, my friend moved out to live in sin with her boyfriend and I ended up with my own sweet apartment in a building near the corner of Wilshire Blvd. and Normandie Ave. The building is in a part of Los Angeles that has seen much better days (Ronald Reagan and Jane Wyman lived there in the 1940s, when they were married). My pad was on the 7th floor and had a pretty cool view of the Ambassador Hotel and downtown Los Angeles. It had built in cabinets in the “dressing room” and a Murphy bed. It had floor-to-ceiling windows and no air conditioning. There was a pool on the roof of the building. I loved it; it was my first real place.

As I said, the neighborhood had seen better days. That section of Normandie was the dividing line between two gangs – one Hispanic, one Korean. It also, apparently, had a nice little drug scene. I had no idea about that until one night after I’d gone to sleep. A bright, BRIGHT light woke me up, shining in my window. I was on the 7th floor – where was that light coming from?

A police helicopter, that’s where. The police had raided a building down the block and on the other side of the street. They had a number of people spread-eagled against the building and were using the helicopter’s search light to illuminate the area. I sat at the window and watched people get arrested for quite a while that night.

Another night, I climbed down the fire escape to eavesdrop on Linda Hamilton and Ron Perlman performing a scene from the TV show “Beauty and the Beast.”

Yet another time, a commercial (for gum, I think) was filmed outside the front door of the building. The production people spread mounds of shaved ice around to replicate snow. It was the middle of summer. They were having a hard time keeping it looking fresh. LOL I remember how cold it felt to walk between the mounds of “snow.”

I loved LA. If I had had a car, I’d probably still be there. But it’s tough to get around Los Angeles without a car...I guess it was my destiny to come back to the middle.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Reason Number 17,642 why this girl wants a husband

There comes a time in every single girl’s life when she has to face certain truths. A day when she can’t avoid the inevitable any longer. A moment when she has to square her shoulders and accept a responsibility she doesn’t want but can’t shirk.

Yesterday was one of those days. The grass HAD to be mowed. I couldn’t put it off another day – the grass had taken advantage of all the recent rain and had grown “halfway to [my] ass” as Himself put it (yes, we’ve talked a bit but I’m not sure what to report yet so I’m not reporting anything). It hadn’t rained in a couple of days so the ground was dry enough, but rain was in the forecast for last night and today so I needed to strike while the iron was hot. Get while the getting was good. Make hay while the sun shone. OK, given the height of the grass, that one really was my goal.

I came home from work, suited up for the attack, then wheeled the lawnmower out of the garage, swiping off the cobwebs as we went. Checked the oil, gassed 'er up (spilling gas all over both hands in the process) and headed for the backyard.

Pushed the primer button three times, as instructed. Pulled the cord thingy. (What? It’s a technical term.) Little Ms. Green Machine didn’t respond. at. all. Pulled the cord thingy again. And again. LMGM whirred a bit just to tease me.

I took a deep breath. Pulled. Took a deeper breath. Pulled. Looked heavenward and calmed myself. Pulled. Pulled. Pulled. (Does that word look weird to anyone else yet?) Walked away from LMGM and said a prayer: “God, my needs are simple. Please let the lawnmower start. Please. Pretty please with a cherry on top. I'll never do anything bad ever again.” Pulled. Promising whirring but still no real action from LMGM.

I decided that maybe after sitting all winter she needed several pulls in a row to really get her warmed up. Pullpullpullpullpullpullpullpull…still nothing. I groaned. Pulled. Pulled some more.

I should be typing in all caps because by this time my blood pressure was climbing higher than the neighbor’s clematis. HIGHER THAN THE NEIGHBOR’S CLEMATIS, I TELL YOU!!! I stalked away from the mower and kicked a plastic patio table, which was very unsatisfying because it didn’t fly across the patio and thwack against the wall like I wanted. It just sort of bounced a couple of times, dammit.

More deep breaths. More prayers. More muttering and cursing. More pulling. Finally, tears and a kick to LMGM’s right front tire, which was more satisfying than the table kick. Except she didn’t even respond to that.

I admitted defeat.

I wheeled the blasted thing back to the garage and closed the door and came inside to compose myself. As I was cooling off, I thought to call my landlord to see if he could help. He lives down the block and fortunately he was home. So he walked over with his dog while I wrestled LMGM back out of the garage.

When he arrived, we exchanged pleasantries then Mr. Landlord handed me the dog’s leash, pushed the primer button on the mower and pulled the cord thingy.


Dammit. You knew it was going to happen, didn’t you?

Mr. Landlord gave me a look that seemed to say “poor, silly woman,” traded me the dog for the lawnmower, waved as I thanked him, and waltzed off down the street. I watched him for a moment, LMGM vibrating in front of me, and felt stupid, weak and embarrassed. Yes, I know all of those were probably unnecessary emotions – and probably mostly untrue – but there I was.

When I marry my last husband, he will happily mow the lawn. I will never have to touch a lawn mower again or risk dousing myself with flammable fluids. I will not suffer another sore armpit muscle and we will live happily ever after.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

15 reasons to giggle

Picked this up from that cool chick, Poppy Buxom, and it's gonna make me giggle all afternoon.

  1. Rock star name (first pet & current car): Desi Sonata (rock star? or Celine Dion/Michael Buble wannabe?)

  2. Gangsta name: (fav ice cream flavor, favorite cookie): Mint Chippie (combo of mint choc chip ice cream and choc chip cookies)

  3. Fly Guy/Girl name (first initial of first name, first three letters of your last name): V-Osm (V-Awesome? Heh heh heh)

  4. Detective name (favorite color, favorite animal): Green Giraffe (so I’m 5’4" - you got a problem with that??)

  5. Soap opera name (middle name, city where you were born): Ann Abilene (oooh, that's a good one! Maybe I'll finally get a part on As the World Turns)

  6. Star Wars name (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first): Osmvi (Ewoki, perhaps? It sure ain’t English)

  7. Superhero name (2nd favorite color, favorite drink with “The”): Orange the (Whiskey) Sour = The Sour Orange (yeah, I'd say that's about right. lol)

  8. Nascar name (the first names of your grandfathers): Eugene Russell (works way too well, doesn't it?)

  9. Stripper name (the name of your favorite perfume/cologne, favorite candy): Beautiful Hugs (not bad, not bad at all)

  10. Witness protection name (mother’s & father’s middle names ): Ann Thomas (she sounds very respectable)

  11. TV weather anchor name (Your 5th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter): Lewis La Salle (one of those tres chic weathercasters with a boy's name...who does a little stripping on the side)

  12. Spy name (your favorite season/holiday, flower): Summer Violet (good stripper name, too)

  13. Cartoon name (favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now + “ie” or “y”): Pineapple Pantsie (not sure why, but this one has me truly LMAO)

  14. Hippie name (What you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree): Oat Willow (I really ate a cereal bar but 'cereal' doesn't even work for a hippie name)

  15. Rockstar tour name ("The" + Your fave hobby/craft, fave weather element + “Tour”): The Quilting Thunder Tour (rock on!!!!)