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Archive for December, 2007

|| December 30, 2007 || 1:12 am || Comments (0) ||


So it’s awhile back, right? I’m living in Alaska and my sister comes to visit. Good Christ, what was my mother thinking? I was nineteen, living with a twenty-six-year-old woman Of Questionable Employ and mother sent my sixteen-year-old sister across the damn country and out of the Lower 48 altogether. To visit me. Fred looked in on my father for a minute, but then she hightailed it off the peninsula and into my apartment out close to Jewel Lake.

This story is not so much about my sister’s visit and more about one thing that spun off from it.

One night, we were out and started a friendly little wager: If a guy asked either of us for a phone number, we were to charge him a quarter. We’d count up the coin at the end of the night and the person with the least total would have to spring for an early (earrrrly) morning breakfast at the local House of Huddlehop (insert pancake franchise of your choice there; you get the drift).

I might have mentioned this quarter competition here before. It was the impetus behind the meeting of Scout and Sam’s father….I’ll tell the whole yarn later, but know that had I encouraged the boy toward my sister, maybe they would be happily mired in codependence even to this day. Oh Fate, you goofy drunken bitch!

So, I won by a bare hair and my sister planned to good-naturedly pony up; she was saved by our running into some friends of mine who were buying rounds of eggs and hashbrowns for a minimum of two tables. Ahhhh, youthful prosperity. We all have mortgages now and it’s all we can do sometimes to keep the eggs going around the family table.

One of the recipients of my phone number was Andy, a very personable part-time Jarhead of the Mormon persuasion. Andy, I would come to find out, still lived at home with his parents and eleventy-seven siblings and maybe some cats, too. Andy had a lot of nicks on him going into the skirmish, you know?

Everyone has at least one Date From Hell story, and thankfully I can’t say I’ve had much more than that. Just in case you weren’t glomming on to the whole foreshadowing bit I was throwing out in that last paragraph, indulge me while I point out the obvious: This here is my Date From Hell story.

We talked a few times via telephone and Andy asked me out (cripes, I’ve always hated dating, it is For To Suck). We planned on the low-stress and very basic meal-and-a-movie. So far, so spiffy.

It started when Andy got to the door. He was carrying a smallish bundle of flowers, my roommate invited him across the threshold (VAMPIRES! NEVER INVITE VAMPIRES INTO YOUR HOME, FOOL!) and called to me. I grabbed my purse, came out of my room and noticed immediately that Andy was wearing a sportcoat, slacks and a tie. His shoes were magnificent: They were of the the thick, crepe-soled variety that old men purchase from Sears once every two years.

Because they have to. The corns wouldn’t have it any other way.

Upon seeing me, Andy’s look of pleased expectancy hardened a little. It was like, shoom a quick fall of ice came across it, freezing uncontrollably the expression he’d had seated there. There was a slight cracking sound and the twinkle of eensy ice slivers hitting his jacket as his jaw moved just enough to let a bit of cold pleasantry fall from his graceless mouth.

“You’re wearing that?”

It was then that I realized: Oh God, he’s courting me. This goofy Mormon bastard is feeling me out as Breeder, Position The First. I tried to remember all the rigorous Baptist anti-cult training. How do you shake a Mormon off, again? Shit, shitshitshit. My mother always used to offer to hear their spiel if she could reel out hers. I recall that not many (if any at all) ever took her up on it. She could lay out some scripture; that woman knew her Bible bakkards and frontards and probably could tell you exactly how many stitches held together the daggone binding.

I looked down at my outfit, a little taken aback. I was dressed in white jeans, a long-sleeved rugby shirt with wide pink-and-green striping and pristine Keds. My ponytailed hair had a white grosgrain ribbon punctuating it. Every now and then I let the Delta-groomed preppy out from under the heel of my Doc Martens to play.

I looked at my roommate and she held the same look of taken-aback politeness on her face that I was sure sat perched on my own. My eyes then swung to Andy, and I asked him mildly, “What’s wrong with what I’m wearing?” I don’t remember his response, but I do remember the matter being abandoned in fairly quick fashion.

Opened car door for me. Check. Small talk. Check. Asked input on restaurant. Check. Gently overrode any input I might hazard to give him. Whaaa? It was subtle, though. That coupled with the fact that I really was not feeling the need for any food or locale in particular allowed me to not pick up on this so much.

Pizza parlor: Mazzio’s, Godfather’s, I don’t recall. Generally good pizza at this place, though…I do remember that.

I hate Mexican pizza, i.e. a pizza made like a big taco salad, only with marinara and a thickish crust. I know for a fact, a cold hard solid fact that I told Andy this when he suggested it. I know this for a fact because it was etched in my mind long about the fourth time I repeated this to the guy. That Andy, he was hell-bent on having that fucking Mexican pizza and that’s what he’d ended up ordering. He was so polite and so bullish all at the same time. I should have just ended the date right then

“No Andy, I believe you’ll be taking me home straight away.”

but I was a tiny bit shellshocked and also firmly locked into Automatic Southern Manners. Ohhh, cut me some slack. First bad date ever, remember?

We went on to the movies and I thought it best to tell him, while on the drive, that I believed it might be best if we just kept things on a friendship level. “I can maybe see us as platonic friends, Andy. Nothing more, though.” When we got to the theater, I said that we could make it dutch from there on out, but Andy graciously paid for my ticket anyway. This was probably less from a proper upbringing (based on the rudeness he displayed throughout the evening thus far) and more from the standpoint of This Is What The Man’s Supposed To Do.

We saw Exorcist III. Scary as hell. At least the movie was good.

At one point, during a lull in the onscreen action, Andy leaned in to me and said, “I know we are just friends and all, but can we hold hands? Just…just as friends. Friends hold hands, don’t they?” Unfuckingbelievable.

“That would make me very uncomfortable. So, no.” And we sat through the rest of the movie. I wanted to clobber the silly bastard.

It didn’t end there. He actually asked if we could aim toward some coffee and conversation before the date ended. I looked at him levelly, “No, Andy.” so he was obliged to point the car toward my home.

And back at my place, once we established I’d be going in alone: “Any chance I’ll be getting a kiss?” I just looked at him quizzically. The hell?

“I’ll call you!” Oh, we look forward to that. My true self, who wanted me to knee you in the nuts all night and my Baptist-raised self, who clutched her bag and smiled politely. “That’ll be fine.”

So Andy kept calling. Sometimes he’d come around, but only with a friend in tow. That part was good. I got to meet some nice people that way. Normal people, as compared to Andy.

One day, though, he stopped by alone. I’d been seeing Biff (Sam and Scout’s father) for a couple of months at that point. I think it’s safe to say that he and I were well in love by then. Anyway, Biff had left about ten that morning to go back to the base for an inspection. He planned to be back sometime between one and two so that we could meet some friends for some rollerblading and a picnic in a park downtown. Andy showed up at one.

I’d not seen Andy in about three weeks, and he had never stopped by unannounced before. He was alone. I was too, my roommate having not come home the night previous, so when there was a knock at the door I assumed it to be her, hands too full to manage digging out keys. That wasn’t uncommon.

I looked through the peephole and was surprised to see Andy there. I opened the door and he made a bit of small talk before bluntly asking me if he was going to be invited in. “I’m real busy, Andy. My boyfriend left earlier and is coming back here soon. I’m trying to get some stuff taken care of before he gets back.”

And I swear, as God is my witness, that he began interrogating me while I stood there in the doorway. The questions started out basic enough, “Who’s your boyfriend??” tinged with disbelief. They got more and more ridiculous and invasive, though, and I called a halt to the nonsense.

“Look, I really have to go.”

And he took one last desperate shot, “So I can’t come in?”

“No, Andy, I’m busy. I told you that.”

“Are you sure I can’t come in? I have a present for you out in the car and everything. If I can’t come in, you don’t get the present.”

Well, shithead, some risks you just gotta take.


He looked defeated, but indignant. I swear he was channeling a three-year-old.

“Well, that’s just too bad. It’s a really nice present.”

….and I shut the door.

He was terrifically annoying, and terrifically pathetic, but from Andy I learned two things: I learned that you sometimes have to be more firm than polite and I learned that I never want to be the Andy in any given relationship I am part of.

|| December 29, 2007 || 12:00 pm || Comments (0) ||

one more slant

I’ve come to the (bigoted and probably highly erroneous) conclusion that cops have either great bodies or great personalities. It’s, like, against the laws or physics or something for them to be possessed of both.

Will keep you posted on any further developments in this issue.

|| December 25, 2007 || 2:45 am || Comments (3) ||

“Don’t go back to Herod’s throne…”

grace delivered
:: grace delivered ::

It’s two-forty-five ay emm on Christmas morning. The packages are all arted up and under the tree, the champagne is out on the breezeway chilling, the children are all piled up in Mathias’ room as per Scout’s adamant tradition.

I’m sitting here nibbling on cookies that I’m washing down with milk (oh, the burdens of being Santa) and listening to a playlist I’ve tagged ‘Altmas’.

I’ve been rather strange this holiday season. A handful of times I’ve caught myself nearly slipping into the Christmas Malaise that so many people seem to lay claim to nowadays. Just before succumbing to being a Grinchy fuck, however, I’d hitch up my britches and remember just how much I love Christmas and why it is important. Overall, I’ve just not been myself this season, startled to find a snide voice in my head or an internal whining begin to well up when this or that holiday-related matter comes up.

It’s pretty typical of me, I will admit, to begin shrieking on my insides long about December 23rd, “I SIMPLY REFUSE TO PUT ON ONE MORE SET OF HEELS OR DRINK ONE MORE COCKTAIL TO CELEBRATE CHRISSSSTMAAAAAS.” Seriously, one year I’m gonna pitch an open house –when we finish remodeling this joint– where everyone is actively encouraged to wear silly hats, their most comfy sneakers; they will also be encouraged to drink the low-rent bubbly from a large metal cask with a tap (while I, ever the good hostess, prime the pump). Or hell, fine wine straight from the bottle. There would be exuberant cries of “God bless us, every ONE!” to be sure.

The round of cocktail parties and gatherings almost always have me sick of socializing, so that in itself is not such a strange thing. The lack of enthusiasm which I’ve exhibited overall….well, that’s pretty odd. I’ve done a good job of showing otherwise, I think. I hope.

I hope that, because this morning I received a phone call earlyearlyearly. I usually keep my mobile in a part of the house nowhere near where I sleep. Mathias heard it this morning and sped it into me, so I was beholden to take the call. After I hung up I was too lazy to remove my stretched-out and warm-wrapped limbs from the ecstasy that is my bed, so I shoved the phone over onto Maxim’s already-empty pillow.

Given its close proximity to my head, naturally it woke me some two hours later with a text notification. Turns out it was my friend Sanders, and all the message said was this:

merry christmas, girl.
i love you.

And that set the tone for the day. The rest of the day, all day, I got stuff along the same lines, and there were lots of mentions of love.

This set me to thinking, and I recall how many e-mails and letters and messages and calls I’ve gotten this week. I have friends of all ages, all over the blessed planet, and most all of them were compelled to tell me ‘I love you’. That crazy Bonzai, she left me a voicemail just the other night and said that to me three times in the space of that twenty-eight second recording.

I don’t reckon I’ve ever sat and asked God to just send me someone that loves me. Partly because that is not who I am and partly because I’ve gotten heaps of love thus far in my lifetime. And you know what else? I don’t suppose I’ve ever had occasion to guess at whether or not someone gifting me with those iloveyou words actually means them.

My life is an amazing, amazing thing. I have many people to thank for that, and I guess I’d like you all to know: I am grateful, my God am I grateful and I don’t ever want to take this abundance for granted.

Thank you, all you fools who have taken the time to get to know me or reach out to me or love me, thank you so much and Merry Christmas from me and the rest of the Superior Lunatics to you and yours.

lucky girl
:: lucky girl ::

|| December 23, 2007 || 4:42 am || Comments (0) ||

I can’t think for all the thoughts

Here is what I like about being sideways:

It makes the shotgun blast of thoughts

Unify into a slower, brighter channel

Where I can hang onto something,

Savor it and play with that




, and then lovingly let it go while simultaneously receiving the next.

Tonight someone said something about “…too much wine…” and I wanted to exclaim, in mock-surprise, “There is such a thing?!” I didn’t, though, because I remembered an incident with a Chardonnay some years back and my jaw locked involuntarily.

I hate surreptitious moments of remembrance that bounce up and clobber me. I have enough going on with my present without throwing analytical perspective(s) on my past into the mix.

There is this picture of me, my cousins Eric, Randy, Danny and in the center of us all is my much-older cousin Suze, kneeling and holding my then-infant sister. We are all knee-deep in plants; this is the patch of garden toward the edge where my memaw’s sunflowers grew. Suze was a teenager then and the rest of us range from three to justbarelysix. The boys are all wearing plaid slacks and pastel shirts with enormous collars. Suze is in an a-line minidress, soft yellow, and white kneesocks. I am wearing a crisp blue shirtwaist dress and frilly socks tucked into mary janes.

Everyone –even the baby– save for me is staring into the camera’s lens, squinting against the sun. I have my chin tucked and am looking down and away, my hands folded under the round face and I look like I’m somewhere else entirely. I have a look on my face that is far too pensive to be worn by a three-year old; it is startling to see it seated below a thick shelf of gleaming bangs, surrounded by long, innocent locks.

Eric did two back-to-backs in the military and is now a junkie, Randy is one of those Bikers For Christ types, Danny is dead, Suze is someone we hardly know anymore due to her mental state and my sister, well…she’s my sister and that’s the furthest we’ll go with that here.

Sometimes I sit and stare at that Easter Sunday photograph, marveling. I wonder how it is that I got from there to here with no more dings than I actually possess.

The other day I was pulling out of the gym parking lot and I was caught unawares by a sudden, overwhelming bout of missing my father. I don’t know where it came from; there was no real trigger for it really and I am no nostalgic fool where he is concerned. I’ve not missed him like that since I was about twelve. We talk every couple of years or so and (sadly but truly) my father has been relegated to the lofty position of Biological Factoid and not much more. I’ve been turning that occurrence over and over in my head since then, seriously perplexed by its suddenness, its ferocity and the unexpected way it arrived, unbidden. Missing my father, hmmm.

I thought by this stage in the game I would have gotten a handle on the way my brain works. You know, be able to categorize and manage its activities. However, things seem to be shaking out at cross-purposes to that. It’s becoming clearer to me that the more I experience, the more I learn, the more busy and complex what goes on in my head becomes. Things just keep stacking up and stacking up in there; they are precarious, overbalanced stacks with a rally race going on around them pretty much twenty-four/seven. When I eventually die, I think it will be more from sheer exhaustion than anything else. My tombstone will read, “The grey matter won, y’all.”

No really, I’ll call you and tell you marvelous tales. Most of them will be one-hundred percent for real and for trues.

I think I want an original Speak & Spell. Hold on, let me check.

Yep, that’d be correct: I want an original Speak & Spell. I’m still holding out for most of the items on the ongoing list that I published last year, but the Speak & Spell of bygone days is a recent obsessive fascination. There are things I want to do with it.

Commencing about ten hours ago, I have five days off from work, wheeee! I will be the victim of various cocktail parties; you can be the recipient of the positive overflow. Who wants to be drunkdialed?

|| December 21, 2007 || 12:59 am || Comments (1) ||

“Your mother sent this in, I just know she did.”

I wouldn’t put it past her.

It’s just not enough that I continuously beat her in Scrabble.

The amp to the office stereo system went out the other day, setting us awash in the tiny, tuneless humming of small appliances and the aquarium. Today, while Tessa was away doing therapies on patients, HotDoc and I shouted a conversation down and up the stairwell and back again. Ohhhh, the mundanity of the intercom system.

HD: GAH! This must be what it is like to be DEAF!

JETT: Funny you should say that….

JETT: Tess and I had this discussion the other day.

JETT: She was pretty horrified that I would rather go deaf than blind.

(silence, for a beat)

HD: Really. I’d much rather be deaf.

JETT: Ohhhh, delight; that’s one more point to ostracize her on.

JETT: I’m excited.