header image

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

A True Story of Easter, Porn, Nana and Charitable Giving

After Easter Sunday service this year, Jif, LG and I went to Jif's parents' home to visit, hunt eggs, eat dinner, etc. Jif's parents used to have names, but no one remembers what they were anymore; they are now called Nana and Pop Pop.

To fully appreciate the bizarre nature of the events that were to unfold that fateful day, you need to know a couple of things about Nana and Pop Pop, and about their home. Nana is a homemaker par excellence. Their house is CLEAN. And even more than that, it is always absolutely in order. There are no "strays" of any species in their home. There is not an envelope, paper clip, measuring spoon, cleaning product . . . NOTHING of which Nana is unaware. She knows where absolutely everything in their large, lovely home, is. The other thing you need to know is that, well, how do I put this . . . they don't do porn. Remember those high school "superlatives," most likely to do this, least likely to do that? Well, if they did community superlatives, Nana and Pop Pop would totally kick ass in the "Least Likely to Have Porn in the House" category. Or so we thought . . .

After dinner, the grown-up ladies present sat around the table chatting and having coffee. The gentlemen were probably watching sports somewhere, and the children were playing quietly upstairs. There was LG, and her cousins, Hoops (8), Slugger (5) and Miss Beautiful (4) (and here, I MUST give a shoutout to Little Joe (1), although she did not figure in this story). Shiraz came back from checking on the cousins to inform us that Hoops had revealed that "LG made me look at 'an inappropriate book.'"

It seems that Shiraz had walked into an upstairs bedroom to find LG and Hoops looking as guilty as if the glove had fit, having hastily closed the book they were looking at. A book that they were, in fact, trying to keep out of view of the littler cousins.

This book, copyright 1970-something, is a very thoroughly illustrated sexual encyclopedia. Oh, yea. VERY thoroughly illustrated. Shiraz came back to the table and began describing it to us. Nana was shocked and horrified. I was trying not to over-react. Shiraz didn't remember the name of the book right at that moment, but as she described it, I thought it must have been "The Joy of Sex." You all remember that one. It is full of explicit, but sort of Picasso-like line drawings, not too, too graphic, especially for one who has never seen such goings on in real life. It leaves something, even if just a little bit, to the imagination. While Nana was freaking out, and Shiraz was trying to explain the book and the situation, and the lovely and talented Aunt Jen (whom you may remember from here) was remaining calm and rational, and I was trying not to join Nana in freakville, LG is sort of hovering to see whether she's in trouble.

I needed a moment (24-hours) to figure this one out. I didn't think she did anything wrong, because I knew her father and I had never addressed the notion that there could even BE such a thing as "an inappropriate book." That's not language we ever would have used. And we certainly never cautioned her that there were books in Nana's house that she mustn't look at. I mean, who knew?! We have always talked very openly with LG about sex, so even seeing the book's title would not have triggered an automatic "don't touch" for her. This was a tricky one. As she sort of hovered, wide-eyed and anxious, we just made casual conversation with her, not directly confronting the situation, and LG went off to play again.

Shiraz was pretty sure that the book wasn't "The Joy of Sex," so she went upstairs to get it, so I could see exactly what my precious baby had seen, so I could talk to her about it responsibly. Ohdearlordhavemercy. This, my friends, is what an "inappropriate book" looks like:

The drawings in this book are not vague line drawings. They have shading, and hair and crevices, and the appearance of moisture (Godhelpme), and they don't leave a doggone thing to the imagination. And it is a most excellent, thorough reference book. Everything you've always wanted a picture of but were afraid to ask your grandmother for! So we're looking at this and the freak-out alert level has now been raised to magenta. Nana was quietly freaking out because of the "innocence lost," and because she felt responsible. I did not hold Nana responsible. Things happen. There is no way Nana would EVER do anything, or neglect to do anything, that would result in any negative effects on her grandchildren. The book had been sitting on a shelf for probably 30 years, getting dusted regularly, along with the World Book Encyclopedia. (WHY couldn't they have looked up sex in the World Book!?)

I was trying to maintain control of my own freaking out, because it really was not the best timing for LG and Hoops to have seen these images. Children, especially pre-pubescent children, should not see graphic sexual images. What happens, in my opinion, is that when children see images that they could not imagine on their own, those images become strongly imprinted. There is no "compartment" in which to put them, and they take on greater prominence than they would if they fit neatly into a healthy category that already exists in the child's catalog of images -- oh, that's a tiger; oh, that's some sort of small rodent that looks like it could be a pet, I'll put it in the "hamster" file -- that's how I think a child's brain works. Then when they experience, "OH! What the HECK is THAT?", the THAT becomes a very prominent memory. Think about it; if you had the experience of seeing graphic sexuality as a child, I'll bet you have a strongly imprinted memory, probably with some strong emotional component as well. So I'm thinking about all of these things, and how to navigate through this parental mini-crisis, and feeling bad for Nana's feeling bad, and trying to maintain a sense of humor and perspective, when LG comes back into the room and sees us pondering the pictures in the inappropriate book.

Because she's in no trouble YET, and because she has heard some anxious laughter from us, she is a bit more bold than on her last visit to the dining room. LG inquires, "What are you going to do with that book?"

Grown-ups react differently to anxiety-producing situations. I get quiet and ponder. Nana, not so much. She and Aunt Jen started offering possible future uses for the inappropriate book. I began to find this amusing, and knew that laughter would have added a whole 'nother level of impropriety, so I bit my lip and turned my head to the side, hoping that I would seem to be still deeply considering what, if any, consequences LG would face.

Aunt Jen offered that she often takes old books and donates them to the library.

LG wasn't having any of that. "You're not taking that book to the library!" she says.

"Sure, we donate books to the library all the time. It's just a book, libraries have all kinds of books . . ."

And then Nana comes in with reinforcements to Aunt Jen's "we give sex books to charity" theme . . .

Nana says, "I take my old books to the hospice." That did it. I lost it. WHY OH WHY did she have to say THE HOSPICE?

There goes my head turned, lip-biting, LG wondering where I stood. I couldn't stop laughing. "THE HOSPICE? You're taking porn to the HOSPICE?"

Nana backtracks, "Well maybe not THAT book; I'm just saying, I DO take books to the hospice . . ."

"Oh, yea, that's a great book to take to the hospice. And you can volunteer to read to the patients and show them the pictures. You'll say, 'See THIS? That's another thing you ain't NEVER gonna do again!'"

I think Nana may have told me to "shut up" then. Which, of course, is so inappropriate. I'm just sayin' . . .

Monday, May 30, 2005

From the Sublime to the Ridiculous

The Sublime: Memorial Day

I had a most distinguished visitor yesterday, one Abraham Lincoln, whose site I would like to share with you. His posts for yesterday and today are informative and thought-provoking, and a worthwhile way to spend a moment on this holiday.

Abraham describes how "Decoration Day" has morphed into "Memorial Day" as we now know it. Or as many school children don't seem to know it at all, other than as a day off with cook-outs. In the south where I went to high school, they do still have "Decoration" days. Abraham's posts made me wonder if other areas of the country continue this tradition. Did your family ever participate in "the Decoration," as mine did? Read Abraham, he describes it much better than I can.

The Ridiculous (aka The Typical, for This Blog): An Update

The drama from last weekend has been fully resolved. Katy Caverna Barzedor (aka "Bucky Crocker") posted girly pix of herself over the weekend. She also complied with that part of her punishment that required her to send both SierraBella and I, photographs of herself in her famous chaps. I would say, "it ain't pretty," but I'd be lying to you, and I try not to do that. Oh, and today is Bucky's 40th birthday! Go wish her some wishes!

In the denouement of the contest scandal, SierraBella has offered me my choice of the most picturesque display of Rice-A-Roni ever assembled:

I wouldn't mind grocery shopping if my store had displays like this!

And One More Moment of Sublime:

LG picked me this bouquet from our backyard. A sweet little girl and pretty flowers right outside my door. How blessed am I?

I hope you're enjoying some meaningful moments today, too.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Sunday Post ~ Peace to you, inside and out.

I Peter 3:8-17

file under: &Sunday Post

Friday, May 27, 2005

Biscuit Friday ~ Lord of the Ring

This ring is Biscuit's favorite toy. He follows us around with it in his mouth. He throws it on us at inopportune times. He INSISTS that we throw it for him so he can fetch it. Again. And again. World without end, Amen.

Family game night. LIFE is the name of the game. Put your game pieces on the board.

Stuff Portrait Friday

Religious symbols. I got me a few of these, here and there, mostly because some days I need reminders to keep from "losing my religion."

To my left, as I blog:

And to my right:

And behind me on the mantel:

And in the kitchen:

You get the idea. I need a lot of reminders.

My fridge.


Inside. Top shelf. What, like you keep your rubber figurines in the crisper?
What, like your rubber figurines climb on expensive bottles of wine?

Don't judge me until you've walked a mile in my . . .

. . . assorted summer shoes. And purses.

I cheated a bit here. The blessed and embarrassing truth is, I have way too many. And they're in boxes and on shelves that aren't very easy to photograph. I mean, you'd see a photo of boxes and shelves, not shoes and purses. So I picked a few of my summer favorites. The pink faux reptile in front is the purse I'm currently carrying most of the time.

Happy pets and happy stuff to everyone!

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Things You May Have Overheard if You Were Hanging Out with Us ~ #2

As before, these are unrelated to one another. If you try to make them make sense, you could hurt yourself.

LG, bring me the scissors! Run!

No, Biscuit.

You're sending porn to the hospice? *

What if your credit card gets reclined?

S (opening the mail): This says I've been nominated for "Who's Who in American Women in Healthcare"...gotta fill out forms...I'm not going to do this...
J: Why not?
S: I don't wanna be in "Who's Who," I wanna be in "Who Zat?"
J: No, try for "Who Dat?" Much more prestigious.

No, Biscuit!!

I just checked WeatherBug. What should I wear for 69?

S: Would it be inappropriate for one to yell, "YOU SUCK!" to the Red Knight, while here at Medieval Times with one's church group?
J: Yes, it would. One mustn't do that. One needs to yell, "THOU SUCKEST!"

LG (to Jif): Dial it back, Denzel.
(Shocked and amused silence.)
J: Did my daughter just call me Denzel?
S: I believe she did. I believe that's exactly what she called you.
J: LG, is that what you called me?
LG (getting worried): I don't know what a denzel is. Is that a bad word?
S: If you don't know what it is, where did you hear it? What do you think it means?
LG: I heard it on The Proud Family. I think if a Dad is going on and on about something at the dinner table, then you say, "Dial it back, Denzel."
S: Oh. Dial it back, Denzel.

*There is a story behind this. I'll try to post it next week!

"Things You May Have Overheard #1" is here.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Odds and Ends, Nothing Really

If Kristine keeps up with the Stuff Portrait Fridays, my house could actually get clean. This week I'll be sprucing up the fridge and the closet, getting ready for their close-ups. In case you haven't seen, this week is : your religious symbols (pictures, statues, etc.; I'm sure the term "religious" can be interpreted VERY broadly :); your fridge, inside and out; and your purse and/or shoe collection.


Help me out. We have 3 tickets, 3 tremendously expensive tickets (to us) to The Lion King. They were purchased last Fall. We learned a couple of weeks ago that LG's school chorus concert is on the night of the performance for which we have those tickets. At least 2, possibly 3 of us have wanted to see The Lion King musical for years. Last week I learn that the choral performance is "mandatory" and the class grade will be based on performance at that, well, performance. LG is in 3rd grade. An "F" in chorus will not look pretty, but it will not follow her all the way through her acceptance of the Nobel Prize. On the other hand, following through to the performance part of a class like that is important. Making sacrifices is important.

What do you think, blogfriends?


This is a story Jif told me from his work day: He sells direct marketing, direct mail advertising. He was talking to a potential new customer on the telephone for quite some time, explaining all of his company's services. After a while he mentions a particular option that they offer, and all of a sudden the lady says, "Well, that's interesting! That's the first thing you've said that's of any value." He cracked up, and the lady got all embarrassed.

Wouldn't you just love to say that sometimes, I mean, you know, if you were totally lacking in manners, tact, and the like? He ended the call on good terms, probably having made a sale, because he's amazing like that, and promised the lady he'd never call her just to chat.


Oh! Did y'all see? Leta walked this week! If that doesn't make a Dooceketeer smile, I don't know what will.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

every bad word EVER

I've seen a lot of bloggers posting the "search words" through which visitors come to their sites. So I decided to check mine out. The title here is actually one of the searches that brought someone to me. And here I thought I was doing pretty well in keeping bad words to a minimum (except -- as I told the Jesus impersonator on celebrity comment day -- when someone gets really pissed). Because I do try to run a PG-13 sort of establishment here, I have been quite surprised to discover that most of the searchers who come here are looking for porn.

The following are some of the words that have, apparently, brought you to me. My commentary is in italics.

  • "Oh here she comes, oh here she comes"
  • what was I thinking?
  • getting rid of fruit flies, shit flies
  • george butt sax (yes s-a-x, and I am #1 for this search!)
  • pictures of lilac bushes
  • "groom sings"
  • uhohnowlook
  • Katie Couric's colonoscopy pics
  • Rick Shroeder (I am #3 for this, only because it is misspelled here)
  • chesapeake Gourmet
  • hot Colombian booty and the related thick booty teenagers and the related thick booty mature thumbnail and the related booty quest and the related big ass cracks and the related booty nekkid and the quite possibly related what is booty

OK, here I must rant a bit. Some variation of the above phrases appear in my stats on a daily basis. And usually, my site is the only non-porn site that is listed when someone does such a search. My question: if you are looking for "hot Colombian booty," and you get the list of 48,500 options that you get, what in hell is the thought process that leads you to click on me, instead of one of the other 48,499 that are so obviously more what you had in mind when you began your search? Just curious . . .

Wait! Maybe I do understand. Is it like when I get up and walk into a room and then just stand there thinking, "Hmmm, now what did I come in here for?" Yea, that must be it. You decide to do a porn search, then when you get into the search page, you forget for just a moment, what it was you came onto that page for. Then you start scrolling down the page and you see "What Was I Thinking?" And of course, THAT sentiment suits you perfectly in that moment, because you have temporarily blanked, and were just asking yourself that very question! So you click on me, then you get in here, and when you don't see anything that grabs you, you remember . . . "HEY! I was lookin' for porn! There's no porn in here!" And you go back to your other 48,499 options. Mystery solved.

Not that I think about these things. And now, back to our regularly scheduled list of search terms:

  • wife ass vagina beautiful (see preceding rant)
  • house deal fell through
  • things they say
  • jif sexy (well, I certainly think so)
  • black jif (throw it out, it's expired!)
  • Mrs. Pissy Britches (hi, Pissy! Someone's lookin' for ya!)
  • arg pirate commercial all you can say is
  • "johnny depp is gay" (Johnny Depp is SO not gay.)
  • Mikie and Life cereal
  • SNL, Aaron Neville
  • Chris Rice Presbyterian
  • bleeding heart flower story (I don't know that story.)
  • listen Susie darling
  • you must apology
  • i want to know some bad words (1. Well, you've come to the right place, because we have every bad word EVER, and 2. Does your mother know what you're doing on that computer?)
  • JUST BOOTY (Yea, we've covered that.)
  • twisted Biscuit
  • apology writing
  • gay Male + stirrups + story (More than one person has found their way here using this combination . . . I have no idea . . . )
  • tom cruise outed
  • Susie
  • what's the country song that has the phrase "what was I thinking?" (Ooh, ooh, I know! It's called, "What Was I Thinking?")
  • "what a wonderful word"
  • twister commercial jingle Milton Bradley (While I am not what you were looking for, you will find that here :)
  • healthy relationship with a Passive aggressive person?
  • sign yearbooks clever memories
  • "high school" pictures "boob" (I thought those had all been destroyed!)
  • what exercises can I do to make my ass smaller (Alas, you won't find that here, although see next search . . . )
  • "yes I would if I only could"
  • my four year old son keeps saying penis
  • "I know Susie"

And my favorite, although I know it's another porn-hunter:

  • aunties in panties

However you found your way here, welcome :)

Monday, May 23, 2005

Recommended Reading

I notice, as I travel the highways and byways (what is a byway anyway?) of blogworld, I run into the same people coming and going. With a few exceptions, the people you run into on my site are the people I'm going to run into on yours. And I love that. I love that we all "know" one another. And I love that it doesn't take long for "new" people to jump right in and feel comfy (I think and hope they feel comfy).

There are a few places that I go, though, from time to time, that I don't see anyone I know. And I go to these places because I really like the people, and the gifts that they share with blogworld. And although I did not go to kindergarten (as Jif is fond of reminding me, in a "what can you expect from someone who didn't even..." kind of way), I did learn to share, somewhere along the way. And that's what I want to do now. I share with you:

cmo's blog
cmo is one of my "it's a small world" experiences. He lives, works and plays darn near the tiny town in North Carolina where Jif and I met. Our first alone date was to the WHATABURGER in cmo's town. cmo is a musician and well, just too many other things for me to even explain to you. His blog will play loud music at you (I mean for you), so if you're at work, turn the volume down before you go. And do spend some time there. Scroll down, check out the righthand side, play some games, listen to some music. Read some quotes. I told him once his place is like a carnival. Go see cmo.

hell's bells
This is Toren's blog. I fell head-over-heels for Toren when she came to dooceville one day, after one of those heart-wrenching letters to Leta, and she said something like, "I wish my mom had written about the early times . . . instead of just drinking Early Times . . . " She is one of the best, and most unpretentious storytellers I've seen in blogworld. She cracks. me. up. Go see Toren, and buy her a chili dog.

this is damon
This guy showed up here one day, and I'll be honest with you, I saw his profile pic and thought, "Who the . . . " because, frankly, I don't get a lot of strapping young African American men up in here. So I ran over to meet him, and . . . wow. He is another kind, funny, smart, unpretentious blogger. Spend some time over there. Make sure you read far enough to learn of potato chips, the devil's snack; and Damon's take on Cowboy Troy, the hot new Hick-Hop artist. And be sure to click on his "Listen to my music" link -- he composes and sings gospel/hip hop. Good stuff. Go see Damon.

Tell these folks I sent you. They might say, "Who the . . . " but that's OK.

And I think you'll thank me :)

Agreement Reached in Contest Scandal

BLOGWORLD -- Sources are reporting that an agreement has been reached in the recent scandal involving Bucky Four-Eyes, creator and promoter of a blogworldwide "Give Me a Middle Name" contest, and the winner of that contest, Susie Fairchild. Over the weekend, Fairchild alleged that Four-Eyes, also known as Katy Barzedor, had refused to fork over the Rice-A-Roni that had been a part of the advertised prize for the first-place winner of Barzedor's contest.

Late Saturday, Fairchild released a statement including a quote from an email sent to her by Barzedor, that contained the damning confession, ""the Rice-a-Roni offer was a total scam . . . I must confess to complete fibbery regarding the San Francisco Treat." Using this quote, Fairchild "outed" Barzedor on "What Was I Thinking?", asking commenters to come to her aid with ideas for resolving the matter.

Commenters to Fairchild's site were shocked and awed that Barzedor, known blogworldwide for her signature "uniform" of "assless chaps," had deceived Fairchild and other contestants. At Fairchild's urging, using suggestions from her readers, commenters descended on Barzedor's site leaving comments that were certain to frighten and offend Barzedor.

"I'll admit it got a little out of control," says Fairchild. "They called Bucky everything from 'angelic' to 'wholesome.' I hope she's OK; I know such things would have been traumatic to her. I love Bucky, but she had to be taught a lesson. We have standards here in blogworld." Fairchild added that Barzedor's sister "makes good cake."

Before the flood of accolades ended at Barzedor's site, known to regulars as "The Cotillion," celebrities from the real world (not the TV show; the REAL real world) had heard the rapidly spreading reports of Barzedor's altruism and heroism, and were offering her evangelistic cruises and the like. The Junior League of Flint, Michigan, Barzedor's hometown, issued an invitation to tea.

In the wee hours of Sunday morning, Barzedor could take no more of the niceness that flooded her comment page, and she surrendered to Fairchild, offering to do whatever Fairchild required to resolve the matter.

Both sides reported that the following agreement was reached:
Barzedor, who does now use the middle name "Caverna," which was Fairchild's entry, has agreed to provide photographs of herself in "assless chaps" (which Fairchild has repeatedly alleged are "redundant") to both Fairchild and SierraBella (a frequent commenter to both bloggers' sites, who offered to mediate by sending Fairchild $1 boxes of Rice-A-Roni; in a related story, it was revealed Sunday afternoon that Barzedor's will not be the first "assless chaps" photograph in SierraBella's collection). Barzedor also agreed to post a photograph of herself on her site, dressed in a very feminine ensemble, and engaged in some womanly activity, reminiscent of the clothing and the activities that were attributed to her by the renegade commenters. Barzedor has stated that these terms will be met by the end of the week.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Sunday Post ~ Joy to the blogworld!

Proverbs 17:22

file under: &Sunday Post

Saturday, May 21, 2005

These Things Come in Threes

The charming and fascinating Squirl tagged me with this one, so here you go:

Three names you go by:
Mrs. Fairchild

Three screen names you have had:
Mr. Rogers
Johnnie Cochran

Three physical things you like about yourself:
Various concentrated nerve endings

Three parts of your heritage:

Three things that scare you:
Thinking about my daughter going out into the world
When it turns out I've been very wrong in my perception of someone (rare)
That's all I can think of; I don't scare easily

Three things you're wearing now:
pajama pants
a T-shirt
(whew, good thing this isn't "four things," 'cause that's it!)

Three of your favorite bands or musical artist:
Neville Brothers
Smokey Robinson
Ben Harper
(VERY tough to limit; I like SO many, even some white people!)

Three of your favorite songs:
Be Thou My Vision
In Your Eyes
Higher Love

Three things you want in a relationship:
(I'm answering with a love relationship in mind, rather than a friendship, business relationship, etc.)
Faithfulness (in all areas)
Great sex

Two truths and a lie (which one is a lie?)
I used to be a cheerleader
I was once charged with vandalism
I have written a novel
(No, you have to GUESS the lie!)

Three physical things about the preferred sex that appeal to you:
Biceps (shout out to Aaron N.!)
Kind smile
("Preferred" gives me pause; I am answering re: males, to whom I am more physically attracted; I prefer different folk for different functions :)

Three of your favorite hobbies:

Three things you want to do badly right now:
Have a 100% clean house
Have all my spring planting done
Really like exercising (I don't yet, but I want to)
(These things would seem to suggest that I should get my butt out of my blogging chair and git bizzy!)

Three careers you're considering:
(These are things I've daydreamed of. Not planning to pursue.)
Stand-up comic
Interior designer

Three places you want to go on vacation:
Asheville, NC (this one is already planned)
Montana (again)

Three kids' names you like:

Three things you want to do before you die:
See my daughter grown, happy and healthy
Stick around long enough for my grandchildren to remember how much I loved them
Master some areas of my temperament that still displease me

Three ways that you are stereotypically a girl:
Rarely leave home without lip gloss
LOVE me some shoes and purses
Go nuts for little babies

Three celebrity crushes:
Aaron Neville
Johnny Depp
Tom Jones (from waaaaaay back)

I'm not going to officially tag anyone, but whomever reads and is interested, please go right ahead and tag yourownself. This one's actually kind of fun.

And now, to matters of a more controversial nature . . .


If you entered a contest that required you to think carefully, to write something, to use wit and skill and intuition . . . and if you WON that contest, fair and square . . . and if the advertised major awards for winning that contest included a photograph of a certain famous blogger, in certain signature attire pertaining to said blogger AND a certain simple carb concoction known as "the San Francisco treat" . . . and if once it had been publicly announced that you were the winner of that contest, said famous blogger who originated, promoted, and judged said contest emailed your winning ass and said, "the Rice-a-Roni offer was a total scam . . . I must confess to complete fibbery regarding the San Francisco Treat."

This, dear readers, is the unfortunate situation in which I find myself today. I planned my menu, as well as my grocery budget, around the fact that I would be receiving somewhere between one box and a year's supply (a girl can dream!) of the SFT. But no. I was scammed. Now I ask you,


UPDATE: Sunday morning. The scammer in question has cried "uncle." She has been given a suggestion of a way to atone for her offenses. We shall await her response as to whether she is willing to take her punishment like a LADY.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Biscuit Friday ~ Now with Eyeholes

"Are you lookin' at me?"

"I am SO not lookin' at you."

Stuff Portrait Friday

My Medicine Cabinet
This is probably un-American, and I'd never thought about it before, but I don't have a medicine cabinet. One bathroom has a mirror that covers the whole wall. Others have mirrors that hang on the wall, don't open up. So we have a medicine basket in the pantry. Here it is. Hmmm. This is the medicine for three humans and one dog. This picture makes me feel thankful. We're pretty healthy.

Medicine basket

My Relaxing Place

Comfy cozy

This is "my" chair. It is welcoming and I love the fabric. It is in a corner of the family room, next to a window. It doesn't face the TV. It faces all the other seats in the room, and the kitchen. I read here. Oh, it has an ottoman, too. One time when I felt like I was "losing it," and wondered aloud to Jif what would happen if I had to go into the loony bin, he said he'd never let them take me away. He said even if I had to be in a strait jacket, he'd put me in my chair with a stack of good books, when he had to go to work. I told him if I were in a strait jacket, I wouldn't be able to turn the pages of the good books. He said he'd hire me a page turner. I love him for that. I felt a lot better, knowing we had a workable plan ;)

Souvenir from a Great Trip
When I thought about this part of today's assignment, I realized that I'm not a big souvenir person. The occasional rock or T-shirt, maybe, but mostly my souvenirs are photographs. Then I thought about the most recent "trip" that I took. Last night I took a little trip down the road to meet up with mrtl. This was my first time ever meeting someone from the internet, and if that ain't a trip, I don't know what is. We had a lovely time, and I brought home this souvenir:

Souvenir: Peanut Butter Pie

Look, mrtl, I still have mine. (mrtl already ate her souvenir.) I shall enjoy my souvenir with lunch, I think. And I really am unable to say, think, or write the word "souvenir" without hearing a little John Prine:

Memories, they can't be boughten
They can't be won at carnivals for free
Well, it took me years
To get those souvenirs
And I don't know how
They slipped away from me.

Oh, speaking of a "trip," I also travelled to the Cotillion yesterday, where I won FIRST PRIZE in the "Name that Bucky" contest. Bucky will turn forty here in a minute or two, and you can't turn 40 without having a middle name. So she held a contest to determine what her middle name will be, and I offered the winning suggestion! I won a photograph of Bucky (autographed, I hope), in her, um, chaps, and some Rice-A-Roni. Go read all about it.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

In Which I Go On and On About How I Have No Time to Go On and On

My goodness, I'm busy this week. Homestuff, family stuff, workstuff, all desperately needing to get done. I am cramming in some continuing education this week, to avoid facing the predicament I faced a couple of years ago when it was time to renew my head shrinker's license. I need so many hours of continuing ed every year, in order to remain "legal" in my profession. I have always had waaaaay more than the number I need, so have never paid too much attention to counting my hours. Two years ago, we moved (our home) and I moved (my office), and there were health issues and work issues and yaddayaddayadda, and it got to be the end of the year, time to send in my license renewal info and I had a HOLY CRAP moment when I realized that I needed four more hours! To shorten the story, fast forward to me sitting in a crappy hotel conference room in a D.C. suburb, listening to a topic that I don't quite remember at the moment, except that the presenter made a rather compelling case for diagnosing both Bill and Hillary Clinton with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, and she told a kickass story of "Mr. Johnson," a client who showed up in her office in running shorts that exposed his, um, little Mr. Johnson. Oh, and did I mention that this was on December 20th?! Everyone in the room, including the presenter, knew that the ONLY reason anybody was sitting there was because we had F'ed up on counting our CE hours. The presenter, God bless her, would have been quite interesting, I suspect, except that no one was really listening, because we were all making last minute gift lists, and grocery lists, and writing out Christmas cards, and napping . . .

All that storytelling to tell you why I have no time to tell you a story! So I lifted this actual email from my personal email box, which I had already lifted to put in my little journal, where I had already added the "UPDATE." (I sure hope you all are making more sense than I am today.)

From: whatwasit@comcast.net [Add to Address Book] [View Source]
To: lulu@netzero.net
Subject: wardrobe malfunction
Date: Thu, 13 Jan 2005 21:04:32 +0000

Lulu. Please help me. You are the only girlfriend who is available at this moment. (You might not be available either, but I can pretend you are.) This is what I did: I got ready for work this morning. I was going to wear a black sweater. I put on a black bra. So far, so good. Then I changed my mind. I decided on a pale pink cashmere sweater. Nice. And I forgot about the black bra. I went to work. I went to the grocery store. A lot of people in the grocery store looked at me. I thought they were lovin' my pink cashmere. No. They were shocked and horrified at my BLACK BRA screaming out from under my PALE PINK sweater. Did anyone tell me? No. I didn't know until I got home and for some reason finally heard, with my own ears, the SCREAMING of the black bra under the pale pink sweater. Oh, Lulu. Oh, oh, oh. Did you ever have one of those days? I'm going to bed now.

UPDATE: Lulu CALLED long distance (cell phone, but still . . .) to help me through the undergarment incident. She offered that I probably started a trend. I kinda thought the whole whitetrashion thing was Britney's domain. But don't you know, the next time I was in Foodtown, EVERY daggone frazzled, forty-something chick in the place was wearing a SCREAMIN' dark bra under a fluffy pastel sweater. I am SO all that. Whitetrashion ROCKS!


Certain names were changed to protect the guilty. In my reply to Lois Lane's comment yesterday, I explained how blogging had grown from my overemailing friends my little stories. This is a small example. I think my friends are so grateful that I have my new blogfriends on which to inflict my tales :) You can read more about Lulu and me in the Archives, March 9th and 11th (one of my very favorite posts). Oh, if you read them, read in date order.

And speaking of my friends, one who reads my little blog emailed me this photo this morning, in response to the Spritz story:

Moose and Fluffy, photo by a friend's friend's friend, somewhere in Canada

Monday, May 16, 2005

Fine Dining with Spritz

(for those new to blog-reading, click on the underlined words to get the visuals!)

I have already committed the cardinal sin of blogging, which is to say, I've told a lot of friends and family about my blog. If you have not started blogging yet (you know you want to), or if you are a blogger who is debating whether or not to reveal your blog to people you know and love, DON'T DO IT. There are many reasons not to do so, but first and foremost is that having those close to you reading your blog dramatically decreases the number of stories you can tell and the ways in which you can tell them. The following is told with reluctant permission from one, and enthusiastic encouragement from others.

Saturday night, we went to Roy's, to celebrate the 75th birthdays of both Nana and Pop Pop (Jif's parents). I had never been to Roy's before. Jif and I don't get out much anymore, and when Shiraz McConaughey, Jif's little sis, suggested we take the parents there for their birthdays, I was thinking, "Roy Rogers?! We can do better than that . . ." Like I say, I don't get out much. We were seated at a table for 10, with Nana at one end, beside me, and Pop Pop at the other end. At Nana's other side, across from me, sat Shiraz. Next to Shiraz sat her handsome husband, "Spritz." (That wasn't his name until Jif christened him that during the drive home . . . you'll see why . . . ) And across from Spritz, beside me, sat my love, Jif. Our end of the table was having a high old time, and I expect the other end was, as well. We enjoyed calamari, wine, Maui Wowie salads, wine, sashimi, macadamia-encrusted Mahi Mahi, wine, and finally, for dessert, WINE. No, just kidding. For dessert, those at our end of the table enjoyed Roy's famous chocolate souffle. This is like a tiny, personal chocolate cake, that is still liquid batter in the middle. HOT batter.

As Spritz took his first too-big bite of this heavenly confection, and attempted to swallow, the hot batter burned his tonsillicular area so badly that he coughed/spit/spritzed the big chocolate bite right out of his mouth and across the freakin' table right into Jif's face. His forehead region, to be exact. So that Jif had chunks o' chocolate from eyebrows to slightly recessed hairline. Imagine if you were standing by a large mud puddle when a Humvee rolled through it, splattering wet, brown globs onto your face. I swabbed Jif up with my napkin while Spritz tried to explain his shocking behavior, something about, "It was HOT!"

Jif, being a glass-half-full kind of guy, allowed, "Well, Spritz, if you had to spit something in my face, at least it was something tasty."

Spritz, also an optimistic kind of guy, quickly grabbed the olive branch that Jif extended, agreeing, "Yea, it's not like I spit raw tuna at you." And the two brothers-in-law shook hands across the table. Ah, sweet reconciliation. However, although chocolate was wiped (from forehead, then later from eyeglasses, and eyelids, and cheeks), and hands were shaken, Spritz knew that in this family, as in many others, once you act like a hyena, intentionally or otherwise, stories will be told. Forever. And they might even be embellished. And now, thanks to the miracle of modern technology, even blogged.

As entertaining as the flying choco-bits were, they jogged Shiraz's memory of an even better "Spritz goes out to eat" story. This was some 10 years ago. Shiraz and Spritz had just become engaged, and Jif and I had just learned that we were expecting LG. A lot to celebrate, so Jif and I invited Shiraz and Spritz out to a lovely, elegant old inn on the Chesapeake Bay. Spritz, then in his early 20s and not yet the world-class salesman, executive type that he is today, was a little less than sophisticated when it came to ordering haute cuisine. I think Jif and I must have been somewhat impressed, maybe even a little intimidated when the young, newly betrothed Spritz ordered the Salmon Mousse.

We were toasting, talking, laughing, just generally having a delightful evening, when the waitress came to deliver our culinary delights. We three oohed and ahhed at the plates placed before us. But not Spritz. He politely but assertively called the waitress back to the table.

"This is not what I ordered," he informed her.

She flipped open her chic leatherette pad. "I have the 'Salmon Mousse' for you, sir," she said with professionalism.

OK, this is where the dialogue gets a little fuzzy for me, because it's been ten years and dozens of Spritz stories, and lots of laughter and a bit of wine. But here's what went wrong:

Spritz was waiting for a Surf and Turf sort of entree. He wanted some salmon. And he wanted some moose. MOOSE. With big ol' antlers. The boy wanted a piece of fish and a Bullwinkle steak!

Shiraz said Spritz was dejected for days after that incident. "I was really looking forward to trying that moose. I never had moose before . . . "


You know I love you, Spritz ;)

Do you have an embarrassing restaurant story? OR, would you like to take Spritz out to eat?

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Sunday Post ~ ". . . see the goodness of the Lord . . . be strong and
take heart . . . "

Psalm 27:7-14

file under: &Sunday Post

Friday, May 13, 2005

Biscuit Friday ~ Paper Shredder

In addition to makin' copies, Biscuit is an excellent paper shredder. He shreds napkins, paper towels, tissues and the like. Lucky for him that he's cute.

As seen on America's Most Wanted

He has no eyeholes at the moment. He is scheduled to get some new eyeholes next Tuesday at 4 p.m., at the Dog Wash.

And today is also

Stuff Portrait Friday

Kristine gave me some credit for the idea, but it was really hers. I just rambled on about what a fun idea it was until she put my name in her post about it.

Today's stuff:

The ugliest thing hanging on my walls:

We haven't lived in our house very long, so most of the things hanging in here are things we like. We are very slowly redoing one room at a time. We have not yet made it to the living room which is where you'll find these babies. Pink draperies, hanging against a wall that is "I'm-so-blue-I-don't-know-what-to-do Blue." The next time you see my living room, it won't look like this. (I don't know when that will be.)

My hair care products:

I do not feel up to assembling and art-directing a photo shoot of my many and seldom-used products (for reasons that will become clear when you meet my two best friends, below), but I did want to play this game today, so I have chosen my two most amusing products. Ladies and gentlemen, Meet the Flockers:

The authentic Flocker, and the BIG SEXY HAIR Root Pump, which proclaims on the back, "It's always BETTER when it's BIGGER!" (That's not me, that's the Root Pump talkin'.)

And then our last "stuff" category. My most prized material possession. This was a tough one. A piece of jewelry that Jif gave me? An objet d'art? Something handmade by LG? An heirloom from my family or Jif's? A Bible? An old photograph? All of these things I considered last night before I went to sleep. Then I woke up this morning with a monster headache, that is, at this very moment, threatening to become a migraine. And my perspective on what's important in life shifted instantly. My most prized possessions, and indeed, my new best friends:

Trust me, they're blurry in real life, too.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

If I Had a Hammer . . .

Greenie tagged me, with this "Yes, I would, if I only could..." meme tag thing. From this list of possible vocations, I must choose 5 and complete the thought, "If I could be . . ."

Then I must tag 3 other people who don't know what they want to be when they grow up.

Here goes:

If I could be an INNKEEPER, I would keep a magic inn, where each guest would feel at home when they stayed with us. The home of their best fantasies, whether or not they've ever felt that "at home" anywhere before.

If I could be a LIBRARIAN, I would be a national champion Captain of the Book Cart Precision Drill Team Olympics. Roll with it, baby . . .

If I could be a MISSIONARY, I would be "Christian Bitch," the rock star of missionaries. And I would officially adopt a new position.

"Christian Bitch," Rock Star Missionary

If I could be a WRITER, I would write a book that would make people smile, and think, and want to do better. And my great-grandchildren would treasure my book so much that they would fight over it. But then they would JUST STOP THAT RIGHT THIS MINUTE! Because Great-Grandma Susie didn't like fighting.

If I could be a bonnie PIRATE, I would sail the Seven Seas in the company of Johnny Depp as Jack, and confirm his "status" once and for all. Together we would embark on a worldwide booty quest (we already have the worldwide booty).

These are the other career possibilities from which to choose:

If I could be a scientist
If I could be a farmer
If I could be a musician
If I could be a doctor
If I could be a painter
If I could be a gardener
If I could be a chef
If I could be an architect
If I could be a linguist
If I could be a psychologist
If I could be an athlete
If I could be a lawyer
If I could be a professor
If I could be a llama-rider
If I could be an astronaut
If I could be a world famous blogger
If I could be a justice on any one court in the world
If I could be married to any current famous political figure

OK, I will pass this fascinating exercise on to:

Circus Kelli, Nic, and Kranki, because they are brilliant and stunningly beautiful, and can surely be anydarnthing they wanna be (how they gonna say "no" after that?)

file under: &Memes

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

What I Was Thinking

Rated: LURB (for Language Unbecoming a Respectable Blog)

Many years ago, when I was much too young to have done so, I read Judy Blume's "Wifey." I loved the style of that book. As I recall, what the main character, Sandy, said was written in normal font, while what she was thinking was written in italics. That made a big impression on me; it is so practical. I think it is how I go through life ~ there's what I say, which is often kind and right and good, and fairly intelligent; and then there's the italicized part ~ my thoughts, which are often downright freaky! I daydream of someday writing a novel, using Judy Blume's "unspoken thoughts in italics" device, with a psychotherapist as the main character. There's what the shrink says, and then there's what the shrink thinks.

A few years ago, shortly after what was by far the single worst episode of my professional life, I answered the telephone at my office. I was in no mood to take no crap from nobody. (Yes, I'm aware of the triple negative; it was THAT bad of a time.) I was in a place of being very careful, very selective, in screening new clients; for my own well-being and for that of my clients.

There's a man on the phone. We'll call him Michael. He sounds poised and confident. My intuition picks up what my ears don't.

M: I am having a really tough time. I want to get back together with my wife. I wish I hadn't left her.

S: How did you decide to leave?

M: Our son is severely disabled, and it was really hard on me.

S: That does sound difficult; so you've been the primary caretaker for your son?

M: No, I hardly do anything with him. My wife does it all.

S: But it was really hard on YOU? Does your wife know you want to go back home?

M: Yes, but she won't take me back. Her whole family is against me.

S: Against you?

M: Yes, they've told her if she takes me back, they'll disown her.

S: They'll disown her if she takes her husband back? What the hell did you do? That sounds kind of extreme. Why do you think they're so against you?

M: It's because she and I have serious communication problems.


S: Her parents will disown her if she tries to repair the "communication problems" in her marriage? Sure, buddy. What did you do?

M: Yea, pretty much. They hate me.

S: Don't pee on my leg and tell me it's raining. Do I care if this person hangs up on me? Would I really mind pissing him off and having him say nasty things about me? Not. one. bit. Look, Mike. Your in-laws aren't going to disown their daughter because you and she had some communication problems. How about you tell me what they would tell me if I asked them why they hate you?

M: Well, there was an occasion . . .

S: What occasion was that, Mike? This guy is creeping me out; he's not for me and I'm not for him...

M: I had started to think that my wife didn't find me sexually attractive . . .

S: silence

M: And I wanted the best for her . . . I wanted her to be with someone that she found attractive . . .

S: silence

M: So I talked her into having sex with this guy that we know, after I got her to admit that she thought he was attractive . . .

S: You talked your wife into having sex with another man.

M: Yea, she didn't want to do it. It took me months, but finally she agreed.

S: silence

M: Oh, and they let me watch. Well, that was my idea, too.

S: silence

M: Then it was like my wife hated me . . . and she told her family, and they all hate me, too . . .

S: Ya think? Mike, in my opinion, from what you've told me, you have some work to do on your own before you can turn your attention to repairing your marriage . . .

M: See, this is what I need. I need a woman who will stand up to me and tell me how it is . . . I need someone like you . . .

S: You have no idea how much I'd like to tell you how it is . . . Actually, Mike, in my opinion, you would do better at this point with a male therapist . . .

M: Oh no, I want you. I really want to understand women. You are intelligent and insightful, and I really want to dig deep into the darkest parts of your psyche, so I can understand women better.

S: 1) Ain't no way you're digging deep into ANY part of me, and B) You want to dig, allow me to refer you to Home Depot, where you can get yourself a freakin' shovel . . . I'm going to be very direct with you, Mike. If you think I am sharp, then you might choose to listen to me. You are not ready to understand women. You need to understand Mike. If you're going to go "digging deeply" anywhere, it should be inside yourself. I believe it will be less distracting for you to do that kind of work with a male therapist. I don't want to work with you, and if you think I'm going to inflict you on another woman, you're even crazier than you appear.

M: After I see a male therapist for a while, then could I maybe see you?

S: If you see pigs flying around outside my office, you come on in. You and your therapist can decide if and when you're ready to work with a female therapist. You may call me when that time comes, and if I'm not available to see you, I'll try to help you find someone who can. Now, here are some male therapists that I think could be of some help to you . . .


Then, more recently, another gentleman caller, Tony:

T: I'm not sure I really need counseling.

S: Dude, you called me. I didn't go out recruiting. You're not sure you need to be talking to me?

T: Well, I guess it would be a good idea. But it's not like I really need it.

S: It's not like I really need this, Tony. Shit or get off the pot. Sounds like you might want to think about it some more, Tony. You're welcome to give me a call again when you decide...

T: Do you do "Anger Management" counseling?

S: OK, here' s my out; the last thing I want to do is "anger management" with someone who is not sure he wants to manage his anger. Tony, there are people who are specifically trained in that field, who specialize in that. If that is what you expect will be the focus of your therapy, I'd like to refer you to someone who is very skilled in that field . . .

T: You don't work with anger? How can you be a therapist who doesn't work with anger?!

S: Tony, right now I'm just a therapist who doesn't work with YOU. Oh, I'm sorry; I wasn't being clear. I work with whatever emotions my clients bring with them; however, since you are specifically looking for Anger Management, I think you'd be better served by someone who specializes in that field. I have some colleagues who specialize . . .


S: Shyeah, right. I misunderstood you, Tony. I thought that was exactly what you asked me for. . .

T: The fucking judge said I need it. I say I don't! But I can't see my kids again until I get a piece of paper signed, saying that I've had ANGER MANAGEMENT THERAPY! Are you going to HELP ME OR NOT?!

S: Heh. Eh heh heh. That would be a "not." I want to make sure I'm understanding you correctly. You have been court ordered to get anger management therapy, in order to be allowed unsupervised visits with your children. Is that right?

T: Yes! Finally, you fucking listened to what I'm saying!

S: Indeed. Now you fucking listen to what I'm saying. And you disagree with the judge's recommendation. You are really not interested in getting help with managing your anger, because you don't believe you have a problem. What you really hope to find is a therapist who will sign a form saying that you've completed a course of therapy that, in fact, you haven't completed. You really just want that paper. Am I with you, now?

T: Yes! Will you help me or not?

S: The best help I can offer you is to give you an appropriate referral . . .

T: Someone told me you were a Christian! Hah! Some Christian you are, when your fellow man needs help, and you won't even reach out to a man in need! And you call yourself a Christian?

S: Oh, cheez whiz, here we go. The universal response to the professing Christian who's telling you something you don't want to hear... "AND YOU CALL YOURSELF A CHRISTIAN?!"
Tony, my faith is not relevant here, except that my faith, combined with my ethics, absolutely prevents me from accepting you as a client when I am strongly convinced that a referral would be more appropriate to your needs; and the same things also absolutely prevent me from signing a form claiming that you've received something that you have not received. I do not have what you're looking for, Tony.

T: Bitch! Christian bitch!

S: I'm so glad you don't need anger management therapy, Tony. You're welcome to call me again to get those referrals, when you're ready, Tony. I wish you well. Click. Wonder how much dog groomers make . . .


When do you have that big chasm between what you think and what you say?

Monday, May 09, 2005

An Apology, Long Overdue

I am six years old, sitting on the back porch of our house in Delaware with my Mom, while she shells the peas that we've picked from our garden. This is the best porch in the neighborhood. Big, with a gray painted cement floor and a green-and-white striped metal awning that shields us from sun and rain. We have a Frigidaire right there on the porch, where there is always "pop" and beer. From the porch we see our neighbors' backyards to the left and the right. My father owns the houses that we can see in either direction. I don't know why I don't say "my parents" own; it is my father who moved the houses there, maintains them, rents them out to people. Straight back from the porch is our sprawling, perfectly-tended garden; behind that, a large soybean field; behind that, the woods. Where I spend hours, where there is a "clubhouse," where my friends and I can disappear all day without anyone even once fearing that we have been abducted by a predator. That doesn't happen in the 1960s; or at least no one I know has ever heard of it happening.

We're on the porch, and here comes Delma, the lady who, with her husband, "Alabama," and their little baby, Bonnie, rents the house three to the left from our back porch. Delma is carrying a basket of ironing that she has done for my mother. My mother feels sorry for Delma, whose husband, "Alabama," apparently "shoots pool for a living," so she hires Delma to do jobs that Mom does better herself. Indeed, "Delma can't iron worth a damn," and often my Mom re-irons Delma's work. But it is a way for my Mom to help Delma earn a little spending money.

I am fascinated by Delma. She sits down to chat, in one of the green and white folding lawn chairs, and I get very close and stare at her face. I tell her, "Your one eye is real pretty, Miss Delma." She smiles, and she looks a little like Carly Simon (although I don't know that at the time). Big, luxurious mouth. One tooth is very yellow.

She says, "Which one, honey?" And I lean across the arm of the lawn chair to point to the pretty one, but I lose my balance and I poke her in it. She's real nice about it, though. Until that moment, my mother has not looked closely at Delma. Now she does, to make sure Delma's eye is alright.

Then my mother says, "Delma, honey, you just fixed one eye." So that's why the one is so pretty. It's been fixed. Delma has taken time from her ironing job, and her toddler chasing, and her fighting with Alabama, to put on some eye makeup. But she has only taken enough time to do the one eye. With black eyeliner, top and bottom. And shimmery blue eyeshadow, even on that narrow inside ledge of her lower eyelid. And lots of black mascara, to look like spider legs. It is a pretty eye. Two of them might be too much of a good thing. I think it is just fine that she has only fixed the one.

And I had to go and poke her in it. I wish I didn't do that.

Sorry, Miss Delma.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Sunday Post ~ "For this is what the Lord says: . . . As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you . . ."

Isaiah 66:12-13

file under: &Sunday Post

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Happy Mothering Day

Here's to you...

This is a tribute to mothering. Not to mothers; y'all (we all) get plenty this weekend. No, I'm thinking of the MANY people, both female and male, who "mother" someone, without having the title, "Mom." I would like to pay tribute to mothering. That means different things to different people. Here are some of the things it means to me:

~ doing what you don't feel like doing, because you care enough about someone else to put yourself out like that

~ voluntarily sacrificing for someone else's well-being, comfort or happiness

~ being someone else's biggest fan, without keeping track of how many times they don't measure up

~ using whatever you have -- money, affection, cooking skills, sense of humor, etc., to lift someone who doesn't have quite as much at the moment

~ praying for someone faithfully, even if they never know it

~ being truly happy for someone else's success; or truly sad for their misfortune

~ taking care of someone, with no regard for "what's in it for me"

~ making it your business to do all you can to help someone else succeed

And I'm not talking about "co-dependency;" there's no "co" about it. Mothering gives without expectation of getting. If you don't "get" this post, I guess that means it wasn't for you. But if you do get it, then celebrate yourself, celebrate that although no one has awarded you the title, you do mother someone. Maybe a lot of someones -- mate, siblings, parents, grandparents, neighbors, students, pets, friends . . . And I know that if you really ache to be called "Mom," this is small consolation, but just consider, if you were called "Mom," you might not have been able to mother all the other people that you have, during your life. Your contributions are no less significant than if your name were "Mom."

Do celebrate your "mothering" side this Mother's Day. I say it's your day, too.

file under: &Sharing

Friday, May 06, 2005

Biscuit Friday ~ Twisted Biscuit

"Biscuit's on the Twister mat with muddy feet!"

Biscuit goes nuts when we play Twister. I don't know if he loves it or hates it, but he desperately wants to spin the spinner, and if he's allowed, he pounces on it like a dog on a ... a Twister spinner. His paws ... paw it madly, like he's digging a hole in it. Since it's the Deluxe Anniversary Edition, the spinner is made of platinum (or maybe it's tin, but at least it's not cardboard, it's some sort of Biscuit-proof metal).

Twister always makes me think of the time my little brother, Joey, got thrown out of second grade. It was the early '70s. I knew (and God help me, I still have retained) every sit-com theme song and commercial jingle on every TV channel. At the time we had three. Four if we could position the rabbit ears, wire hanger and/or aluminum foil in such a way as to get UHF.

Because I was six years older, I took a lot of responsibility for educating my little brother. Especially in the area of sit-com theme songs and commercial jingles. We could practice them in my state-of-the-art Sharp battery-operated cassette recorder.

Milton Bradley's got a hot one,
It's a Twister!
Spin the spinner and call the shots
Twister ties you up in a knot!
Get Twister-er-er,
Yea, Twister!

Twister was a fun one to sing. Over and over. (Almost as much fun as the theme from Green Acres, which I used to sing loudly to Jif in bed every night, until I had to get counseling for that and we entered into a therapeutic contract saying I would no longer sing old sit-com theme songs in bed, but I digress . . . ) My little brother really got into the Twister one, except that he mainly stuck to the first two lines.

Then Joey went to second grade. And he found himself in Mrs. Bradley's class. "Mrs. Bradley" sounds an awful lot like "Milton Bradley." In the morning, when everyone lined up to go inside the building, and Mrs. Bradley walked back and forth Shhh!ing everyone (because everyone knows you can't walk into a building and talk at the same time), my brother's 6-year-old voice rang out:

Mrs. Bradley's got a hot one!
It's a Twister!
Mrs. Bradley's got a hot one!
It's a Twister!

The first time this song was heard, all the other children laughed and Mrs. Bradley turned bright red. And of course, that was enough to ensure that NO WAY my little brother could stop singing it. He sang it as he was hauled off to Mr. Pisante's (Piss-anty) office by his ear. He sang it in the car on the way home after Mom came to pick him up. I imagine he still sings it. I'm sure he never got counseling for it.

Oh, in case you ever attended Middletown Elementary School, and you always wondered -- THAT is how "ol' Twister Bradley" got her name.

file under: &Biscuit &Family &Can't Make This Stuff Up

Thursday, May 05, 2005

10 Things About Me #2

11. I am the sixth of seven children, and the only girl.

12. My father was a house-moving contractor. He picked up huge houses and moved them to other locations. He eventually was recognized as a specialist in moving highly-valued historic buildings to new locations. I always thought that was pretty cool.

13. My first date with Jif was a triple-date, with two other couples. We went to a Chinese restaurant, then to a Three Stooges midnight movie marathon.

14. Jif used to date my freshman hall counselor in college. I met him when he came up on our hall to see her. Our first activity together was that same night, vandalizing the photographs of all the girls on the hall, that had been posted on the wall so everyone could get to know one another. (Actually, that's not true; they were posted on the wall so that upperclassmen could come and "shop" for cute girls; that is why I felt it appropriate to vandalize them.) We drew mustaches, eyepatches, cigars, blackened teeth, etc., and we laughed.

15. Jif said that for him, it was "love at first sight." His first sight of me was from behind. I had waist-length brown hair with spectacular natural highlights (now graylights). Years later, when my hair was short, I wondered if he still liked it as much. He said it didn't matter to him at all if my hair were long, short, colored, whatever. I reminded him of the "love at first sight" thing. Turns out it wasn't my hair that he fell for. Now there's a lot more of me to love.

16. I love rocks. I collect them. Haphazardly and without scholarship, i.e., I don't know what type they are, for the most part. When friends and family travel to exotic places and ask what they can bring me, I tell them "rocks." I like their strength, their permanence, their history.

17. Last year at the church yard sale, I found a book that I have tried to find for over 20 years. It is a favorite book from childhood, called Beautiful Joe, about an abused dog who was rescued.

"I can't believe it! I found Beautiful Joe!"

18. I had a colonoscopy last summer. I have photographs of the process. I have considered copying them in black and white, framing them and hanging them, perhaps upside-down or sideways, on my walls, to see if anyone would know what they are. What is the proper thing to do with photos like that? An album? Flick'r? There are so many things I just don't know . . .

19. One time I told a gynecologist's nurse that I expected the doc to take off his pants before he came in to see me. (Yea, I'll have to blog that one.)

20. I recently "called out" a troll on someone else's blog. I had had enough of the nastiness, and when I saw someone trashing a very nice guy, I said, "Hey, Anon, how 'bout you come see me?" And I believe they came, because my stats said there was a direct link right from the guy's blog to the post I invited them to; but they didn't comment. Hell, for all I know, it was the guy's wife or mom trolling him.

file under: &About Me

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Getting Carded

This post makes fun of "dysfunctional" families -- yours, mine, anyone's. If that offends you, this is not the place for you today. But do come again, when we'll try to offend a whole different segment of the blog-reading population:)

Mother's Day is approaching, and Father's Day, not far behind. Time to get out your Gold Crown Card (they really do give good rebates!) and head to the Hallmark store. How easy or difficult is it for you to find just the right card? Not everyone can, in good conscience, send that "Mom, you're the BEST" card. Or, "Dad, you were always there for me;" that's just not true for many people. But most of us want to do the right thing; not sending ANY card at all just wouldn't do. I have often joked with clients about how to solve this dilemma. There needs to be a line of greeting cards, for all occasions, for dysfunctional families. Imagine, if you will:

On the outside, "Thank you..."
and on the inside, "...for dropping the charges!"

On the outside, "I missed you..."
and on the inside, "...but I've spent a lot of time at the firing range since then. Come see me NOW!"

On the outside, "All Grandmas tease their grandchildren..."
and on the inside, "...but not all of them are wearing pasties and dancing with a pole."

On the outside, "When I heard you were sick..."
and on the inside, "...I said, 'SEE? I've been saying so for years!'"

On the outside, "I think of you whenever..."
and on the inside, "...my IBS acts up."

On the outside, "I would give you a big hug..."
and on the inside, "...if they didn't have that Plexiglas there."

On the outside, "Like mothers everywhere, you often told me, 'Just wait 'til your father...'"
and on the inside, "...gets paroled."

On the outside, "Memories of a family Thanksgiving, with roast turkey and..."
and on the inside, "...wait, that was Wild Turkey, and I can't really remember anything else."

On the outside, "You're one groovy chick, Mom. The rooster says, 'cock-a-doodle-do'..."
and on the inside, "...and you say, '...any old dude'll do.'"

On the outside, "Dad, I'll never forget how you listened to me..."
and on the inside, "...that one time, when I was 5 and I said, 'Go away and don't come back!'"

Come on, you can do better than these....:)

file under: &Audience Participation

Tuesday, May 03, 2005



LG: Andrew's pants fell down at recess again today! Everyone saw his . . . Daddy, what's that called when boys don't have boxers . . . what do they have?

Daddy: Briefs?

LG: Yea! Everyone laughed at him 'cause they saw his GRIEFS!


I don't like tags, they don't make me happy, but I'm doing this for Rina as-cute-as-she-can Bee, only because she is in a family way, and I have a soft spot for preggos:

The Floater

Turd in a punch bowl
At the church coffee hour
Turd in a punch bowl
No wonder the deacons look dour!

I will pass this poopy assignment on to Bucky Four-Eyes, poet laureate of blogworld, and one of my oldest blogfriends, because she might even write an epic and read it on audiopost. Have you heard that dude?

And to William, one of my newest blogfriends, because I know he can handle it; he was raised on Poop and Boogies.

And to Katie-be-bored-at-work, because I've seen her wax eloquently on related topics.

Here's the tag thing: 4 lines, the first and third are "Turd in a punch bowl;" the second and fourth must rhyme, and can be on any topic. Not SO bad, as tags go. Pass along to 3 unsuspecting punch drinkers.


My Very Bad Dog, Biscuit, has run amok. That's not the same as R-U-N-N-O-F-T, although he's done that, too. He has taken to writing celebrities, asking their advice. Check out his shennanigans here. And may I also add a bit of advice, if you are new to the canine genius that is Mouse, read what he says ALOUD. It helps.

file under: &Family &Memes &Biscuit

Monday, May 02, 2005

Oh, the Things They Say

WARNING: The following is rated R for language not usually seen on this blog.

It is very tricky, this being a psychotherapist and a blogger at the same time. I hear such wonderful, horrible, poignant or funny stories, all the time. Yet, for the most part, they are not my stories to tell. In many other occupations, one would have no qualms about telling stories of who said what at work. Not so, with me. Being an auditory person (as I explained here), I remember much of what is said to me, verbatim. I remember the funny, the sad, the brilliant, the insane, the unkind and the profound. I'd like to share some of the things that I have heard at work, that have stuck with me for a long time, without any risk of revealing who said them.


"My husband is totally dogmatic." I waited for the woman to elaborate, expecting her to describe a mate who is some flavor of a religious fundamentalist.

"How so?" I inquire.

"He'll chase anything in a skirt."

Translation: He is a DAWG. Dogmatic means, "just like a dog!"


Then there was the gentleman who complained that his wife never wanted to be alone with him, always had to be entertaining guests. When he arrived home one evening, a "shindig" was already in progress. He explained, for my edification:

"Two's company, three's a crowd, five's a fucking shindig, and two more and you got a goddamn hootenanny!"

I had often wondered what constitutes a shindig, or a hootenanny. Now I know.


A lovely woman in her 80s, telling me about her gentleman friend:

"It's strictly a Potomac relationship."


A pretty, well-educated, altruistic, spiritually-minded woman who hated her very prestigious job, when asked how work had gone for her that week:

"Motherfucker stole my lunch." *

She was describing an actual incident of someone swiping her lunchbag (containing particularly yummy leftovers from the night before) from the breakroom fridge, but this sentence perfectly captured her regard for the place.

For weeks, this became my sentiment, spoken or unspoken, whenever I encountered people or circumstances that were just generally being more unpleasant than they needed to be. Perfect description of people or events that suck the joy out of the moment.

When she finally found her dream job, I encouraged her to include that sentence in her letter of resignation.


Many years ago, a young man with schizophrenia told me in our first session about the voices of deceased, but very articulate, characters in his head. I was very "green," with more compassion and sincerity than knowledge or skill. I listened intently, trying to find rhyme or reason in what the tormenting voices were saying to him. He started with Moses, hit a few prophets, then moved into the New Testament, with Jesus, and then John, who said:

"All you need is love."

I was so proud of myself for having followed and "understood" what was being said to this point. Here, I wasn't certain whether it was John the Baptist or the Apostle John. So I very gently, haltingly interrupted to clarify this point, "And was that. . . John the Baptist . . . or. . . "

My client looked at me like I was stark raving mad.

"No, that was John Lennon," he said.

Well, DUH! I couldn't hold back. I howled with laughter, then quickly reassured him I was laughing at my own stupidity. Well, who doesn't know it was John Lennon who said THAT? My client smiled and forgave my being so dense.


And some aren't funny at all, but profoundly true.

A single mom, doing a phenomenal job with her two boys, on when it was most difficult for her to be alone. It was Autumn, and we were talking about the beauty of a particularly colorful stretch of highway in the area:

"That's when I really wish I had someone. When I'm driving up 83 in October. . . I just wish there were someone to take the wheel for a few minutes so I could look at the leaves again."

That was maybe 17 years ago, and it still moves me. Single parents do need someone else to take the wheel sometimes so they can relax and enjoy the color.


A recent immigrant, who had met her husband in an Eastern European refugee camp. Shortly after they arrived in the U.S., her husband had developed paranoid schizophrenia, and become bizarre and violent. She seemed relatively unconcerned for him, which puzzled me. During the course of our first meeting, I understood her apparent apathy when she explained in very broken English:

"We did not come together out of great love, but out of great lack."

Wow. That struck me as coming from a place of true wisdom. How many couples does that describe?


A woman who, as an adult, is not as tall as my 9-year-old. She is, by medical definition, a dwarf. But where it counts, I don't know anyone bigger. In good sense, in spirit, in heart, in humor. She is the one who holds everyone together in the midst of chaos, who makes sure that what must be done gets done. I marvelled at how, even with capable siblings, she was the one who did the decision-making, the care-taking, the hard work of dealing with her mother's impending death.

She said, very matter-of-factly, "So much is possible when you give a damn."

I want that needle-pointed on a pillow.


My work makes me rich in ways that never make it to the bank.

* I wanted to protect my client's right to this statement, as much as possible, should she ever wish to write a story about it; when I googled/yahooed "Motherfucker stole my," I got over 35,000 matches! Apparently this is a serious problem, these motherfuckers stealing things!

Has someone shared some words that have stuck with you, and made a difference?

file under: &Work

Sunday, May 01, 2005



in the rain.

Sunday Post ~ Think of lovely things.

Philippians 4:8

file under: &Sunday Post