Friday, December 22, 2006

Poetry Friday: The Word is BELL

The vivacious and awe-inspiring Maggie at Mind Moss has offered up the beautiful, musical Poetry Friday Word for today...BELL. Feel free to use it in your blog post today, in whatever beautiful shape paints your canvas...story, poem, photo, odor-ama exploration, 3-D revelation of what you really DID that summer on the East Coast....

As soon as Maggie posted the Word, my man Mike Doughty’s song “I Hear the Bells" popped into my head, and it still hasn’t left. Then I remembered a solid gold bell ornament my parents had, and church performances with ringing bells, and Salvation Army, and how the sound of bells both startles and comforts. I have two offerings today, Doughty’s lyrics and one remembrance.

I will be on vacation...well...”Off Work”...until after the first of the New Year. I will be posting sporadically and checking your blogs and leaving comments. I wish you all the merriest of holidays and all the cake and wine you can shove in your eat-hole...Happy Merry!

I Hear the Bells
Lyrics by Mike Doughty

I hear the bells
Down in the canyon, it’s
Snow in New York
Some blue December, I’m
Gone to the moon
Without you, girl, and I’m
Calling to you
Throughout the world and well I can

Hear the bells are
Ringing joyful and triumphant and I can
Hear the bells are
Ringing joyful and triumphant

I hear the bells
They are like emeralds, and
Glints in the night
Commas and ampersands
Your moony face
So inaccessible
Your inner mind
So inexpressible

I’m seeking girls
In sales and marketing
Let’s go make out
Up in the balcony
Your business dress
So businesslike and I’m
Tossing the blouse
Over a chairback and

You snooze, you lose
Well I have snost and lost
I’m pushing through
I’ll disregard the cost
I hear the bells
So fascinating and
I’ll slug it out
I’m sick of waiting

The Curve of One’s Face in a Christmas Ball is Directly Proportionate to the Curve of One’s Soul

Except for the expensive ones, the ones with long-tailed pointed bottoms and indented middles with sweet white sparkles surrounding the centers, and the gold bells that my mother hung on the chandelier high overhead, the decorations we had when I was a kid were of the round glass ball variety. Some time before I was born, the ornament store must have had a sale, as my notoriously cheap parents seemed to have splurged on this one decadent item. Decadent. Now if you find these ornaments in the store, they’re cheap. Tawdry, even, like fake joy. But when I was young, these balls were Christmas.

My younger brother and I would sit thisclose under the tree, snuggled in the flannel pajamas and nightgown that our grandma always made us for Christmas, the large hot Christmas bulbs threatening to burn our curious cheeks, the sweet tang of real pine needles tickling the recesses of our nose so we could taste it on the backs of our tongues. The heat would be turned down, as were the lights. We would sit there near-shivering, on the threadbare rug, moving our faces in and out of the tree, into this bulb, and that bulb, giggling when we got close enough for our noses to take over our faces. We’d admire ourselves in the red and green and blue and gold and silver balls. Our hair would be bath-wet. Our grins would contain more or less teeth than the previous year. We could see the reflections of our parents moving behind us, gathering a baby to feed, taking a bowl to the kitchen, reminding in an ominous tone that Santa came only for children who went to bed on time.

We had no idea how much money we didn’t have. We didn’t see the forced smiles our parents gave up when the heating bill came and our winter boots gave out and dad’s paycheck would cover only one.

It was all so simple. A face in a glass ornament. The colours showing us other children just like us, from different planets. The bitterness blowing in under the door, and our toes finding the loving flannel edge of bedclothes. Our parents then tucking us in, kisses, a Rockwell painting.

Our tree this year groans under the weight of ornaments and lights. Crocheted ornaments from my grandma hang beside candy-cane reindeer and Disney characters, years of photo ornaments and gifts from relatives, homemade and store-bought.

We have a few glass ornaments. They’re not the same as when I was a kid. The luster isn’t there. The fragile-ness is gone. They look plastic and tired.

For one night, I want to sit under the tree, in flannel pajamas, with the lights low and the floor warm, with my children. Sitting and making faces in the round glass ornaments that mean surprise. With gold bells hung in the chandelier above our heads.


Thursday, December 21, 2006

Poetry Friday WORD for tomorrow, plus the Feverish Dream

The lovely and talented Maggie will offer up the Poetry Friday Word for this week...go see her! Maggie is a wonderful wordsmith and favorite combo! Plus she's cooking some stuff that's making me drool....

I'm a busy bee/beaver this week, spending time at the kids' school and trying to get my work projects done as I'm ON VACATION starting tomorrow and going through the New Year. How dare I? The guys are all a bit jealous and startled, like, Ooh, what will we DO without Mona? Well y'know what you'll DO? You'll muddle through, so don't go guilting me about taking a vacation, alright pal? Pffft.

Which reminds posting for the next few weeks will be spotty, as I plan to collapse under the weight of Holiday Bliss and it'll take me a while to de-coma-tize. You may find me lurking on your posts. Because I like to watch.

I had a terrifying dream last night. I can only tell it in a jumble. A co-worker had to go to some Central American country for a baseball he was watching, not playing...some Central American country with a coup, and civil war. Co-worker asked me to go along. I expressed my doubts but he said, No, they're NICE to tourists. So we went...Co-worker, a couple we knew (the wife was the host of Top Chef) and their 1-month old baby. We went to the baseball game, and the place looked very American. We went to some bars, and they were also very American. We got back to the embassy, I went outside to take out the trash (apparently I'm tidy even in my dreams), and I heard...oh...the most terrifying sound I could ever dream up. In the distance, outside the embassy, I heard torture. Screams, the sound of ripping, struggle, voices shouting and being hushed, and above it all, a woman's voice, a wail, rising and falling, in that way a woman would wail if she'd just lost the most precious things in her life. I ran inside, and my face told everyone what they needed to know. In that moment, I freaked out. All I could think about was that I'd never see my family again. I nearly threw up. For real. Then Co-worker said, it's alright, we just called for the helicopter, they'll be here in a minute to take us back to the States. Next thing I knew, we were home. At an American baseball game. At an American bar. And it felt better. But I still wasn't sure I was safe. I still felt like any minute, someone would break down the door. (I could feel my bed, I could hear my husband breathing, and my feet rubbing the cool part of the sheets.) I was freaked out, still, even though I was 'safe', and alarm went off, and after I banged the top down, I sat on the edge of the bed, naked, trembling, trying to figure out if I was safe. I only just now got some sense of the dream. Then I thought about dear Lucia, and her travels, and hoped she was safe. (Are you?) I thought about checking MSNBC to see if I dreamed a real-life thing. I wanted to tell Co-worker about my dream, but knew I couldn't without holding back some kind of screaming urgent thing in my throat. So. So I'm telling you. Because, oh man, sometimes in the daylight, when I've finally got my head back, I feel so lucky.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Her knees thrust in one direction/like a symbol of math/a symbol meaning Greater Than *

I come recommended by four out of five
I’m a factor in the whole plan

Four and five therefore nine
Nine and nine therefore eighteen
Eighteen and eighteen therefore thirty-six
Four and five therefore nine

Sometimes I was drifting on a coffee buzz
Quantify my luck I need a mercy f…

..f…H…Hey there!

Sorry, I was just jammin’ to Mike Doughty’s voice and got a little lost there.

My brain gets a little lost lately. Mostly sleep-deprived. Was up til 1 a.m., or maybe 1:30, I lost track, wrapping presents and junk. My alarm went off at 5 a.m. I couldn’t slap the snooze ‘cause I have to get Certain Hours In this week at work, PLUS help out every morning at the kids’ school in preparation for the holidays, PLUS do Secret Santa at work and some non-boozy sort of department lunch on Thursday, and YES, I KNOW, I should really learn to say “NO…NYET…NADA” to all this Helping-Out-Business because sleep is important, but WTF, I can sleep when I’m dead.

Damn I’m tired.

And I know I’m gonna finish my third cuppa coffee and feel reeeeeeally good for about 30 minutes, and then crash and feel miserable and nauseated from the caffeine.

OTOH, though, I did get a Present For Myself in the mail yesterday, which I plan to wear to school tomorrow and look like a Geek-Mom. I’m thinking of wearing a jean skirt and black knee-high boots and tights with it. Whaddya think…Fashion Statement or Fashion Faux-Pas?

*Lyrics from Soul Coughing’s Irresistable Bliss here, and yeah, you really should get that album, and score something by Mike Doughty solo, here, or here.

Monday, December 18, 2006

If I could just crash here tonight*

Brain heavy, must do list:

1) Passed by a McDonalds this morning. Their sign said “New Honey Mustard Snack Wrap”. This is the first time I can remember a fast-food joint promoting a product by using the name of the condiment that comes on it. What, no chicken? C’mon, people, at least tell me there’s meat involved, and that I won’t be eating a tortilla filled with sweet and sour sauce. I wouldn’t buy a burger if you called it “New Ketchup and Mustard Mac". Tell THAT to your Marketing folks.

2) Realization…4 hours is too long for a playdate. 5 hours, and kids get nasty. Note to self: 3 hours is maximum, no matter how good a friend the kid is to your child.

3) In the fickle-ness of Fantasy Boyfriend selection, I’m now bumping Grant Imahara for his fellow Mythbuster, Tory Belleci. Discovery Channel had a MB marathon on last night, and Tory cut a wide swath across The Land of Hotness. Plus, and this is interesting, Tory reminds me more than a little of my husband...the height, general looks, witty cleverness of personality…very sexy. (But don’t worry, Grant…once a Fantasy Boyfriend, ALWAYS a Fantasy Boyfriend…and hey, you bumped Daniel Craig off the list…Daniel. 007. Craig. So you got that goin’ for ya.)

4) This site feeds my very geeky soul.

5) This scares me more than a little. What, am I Johnny Mnemonic? (Not that I don't want to play with this thing, but....)

6) * Gin Blossoms, “Hey Jealousy”…woke with that in my head this morning. Why? I was dreaming a commercial with this music underneath. Don’t remember what the commercial was for, could be weight loss drugs, could be Victoria’s Secret, could be a Hummer. (the vehicle, not…well…could be that too)

Friday, December 15, 2006

Poetry Friday: The Word is GOLD

When I'm much older
Elderly and infirmed, perhaps
and medical science has reached a point where one can see inside the machinations of one's brain,
I will temporarily donate my head to science,
to watch them study my gray matter
and determine, on a scale of 1 to 10, how whacked out I am, or was.

The Poetry Friday Word for today is GOLD. Feel free to use the word in your blog post today, however it unwraps your candy-coated goodness...poem, photo, audio blog of you shopping for that 'last' present, receipt for gold-plated teeth.

My own contribution? Well.

I had every intention of doing something "festive!", like a holiday decoration.
I had every intention of doing something "sentimental", like a family dinner.
I had every intention of doing something "wacky", like my Uncle Doug with the false teeth he displaces in his head, at every gdamn family reunion.

Instead, what came out my fingertips this early morning was unexpected.
And much sexier.
In my head at least.

Somehow the ideas got all squished and squashed up inside my brain cells, melding a past theatre experience with K straightening my scarf in the warehouse yesterday, to my spouse wearing a tea towel, to that look guys get when they're relaxed and horny, to the photo yesterday of Sean Connery in "Goldfinger".

I would love to get body-painted on stage.

I just came to that exhibitionist realization. How crazy am I.

Have a good weekend, y'all!

The Actor’s Gild

She used the gold paint.
And a wide camel-hair brush.

Funny how getting naked, or even half-naked, in front of a group of people,
makes you immune to random eyes staring at your breasts.
And your ass.
And the hands of the girl slowly stroking your skin with body paint.

We were all drunk, of course.
That’s the excuse we’d use later.
Not that we needed one.

Dress rehearsal sucked, luckily.
Opening night rocked our knickers off.
The director sprung for good champagne and, rumour had it, expensive scotch,
although I couldn't find it.

We sprawled on the set, half-
Half-naked, costumes removed to show
Whale-bone corsets molding
Impossible cleavage
The guys mostly
Mostly shirtless, and
Contented tigers.

My necklace was askew.

She wanted to fix me.
She pulled my long hair off my face
And reached her hands around my neck,
Her fingers brushing so gently
I got cooter-flutters.
She removed the jewels,
Shook the tendrils,
And re-wrapped me.

“You have beautiful skin,”
she said.
“Let me paint you.”

Retrieving her makeup kit, she pulled out
The paint
The brush
And pulled me to the top step of the living room set,
A live mannequin on display.

Steve the lighting effects guy
Dimmed the stage
And lit one spot
Illuminating she and me

She with the paintbrush-
Me with lazy fingers of champagne.

She dipped the brush into the pot,
And stroked the bristles down my arm,
A trail of gold behind them.
I couldn’t tell
What was kissing me
My eyes closed
I couldn’t see
if anyone was watching
My ears heard
Jon gasp,
And mixed rushes of breathing,
And someone moved a chair

I stood in fake moonlight
Exposed and
A statue
Trying to decide
If the corset should come off next
Or perhaps the stockings
And would this be the party
We’d all talk about
After the show closed.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Poetry Friday WORD, plus Peter Boyle, and the person with the most fingers gets to operate the garbage can robot

1) Poetry Friday WORD for tomorrow is GOLD. Why? Because I watched “Rudolph” yesterday (at a work party, go figure) and I have a ‘thing’ for Yukon Cornelius. Can’t explain it, but when he throws that pick-ax in the air ("Silver! Gold!") and he licks it after it lands…well…yeah, I’m a little turned on. I’m crazy dat way. Feel free to bang some Gold into your blog post tomorrow, in whatever sparkly dangly manner you choose…song lyrics, photo of yourself in gold paint ala 007, story of that time you broke into Fort Knox….

2) Peter Boyle died. A co-worker told me yesterday and it was like I got punched in the stomach. I love him. What a truly amazing actor. Go watch this now. Sigh. Dammit. “Not a day goes by that I don’t wish there was a comet screaming towards Earth to bring me sweet relief.”…Peter Boyle, “Everybody Loves Raymond”.

3) I have this secret combat bot fetish. I bought this book a couple years ago and inhaled it through my eyeballs, and doing research for my latest Fantasy Boyfriend, found out he was the creator of Deadblow, and wrote this. I now want to kick myself for abandoning the sciences years ago. In high school I took as much math and science as I could, which wasn’t much, due to the size of the school and the general IQ of the student population. (There were 5 people in my h.s. physics class. FIVE. Me and 4 guys. Plus the male teacher. One of my favourite classes EVER.) Once I went to college, though, I went the English/Theatre/Communication route. Now I tread gently in the waters of IT geekdom, and still have fantasies of being a screenwriter/playwrite someday. Or else just playing one on tv. Every so often, I remember an experiment we did in school, dropping things off the roof, or calculating trees-crushing-cars with string and Matchbox cars, and I think…dammit…that would be fun. Next year, top of my Christmas list…robot.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Mutha Pus-Bucket

What the blank is wrong with Blogger? I can't leave comments on blogs who've migrated to Beta.


And NO, I haven't myself migrated this blog or any of my blogs to Beta, even though Blogger tells me I should every day, and has said "We're gonna move you ANYWAY, loser"...I don't even have time to post regularly, let alone keep up with my right-panel links, LET ALONE deal with migrating blog posts and figuring out how this new Beta thing will 'make my life easier and give me bouncier, shinier hair'.

Maybe one of you smart migrators can walk me through this, huh? What's involved? What's in it for ME?

In any case, if you get strange or weird or duplicate comments on your blog, it's just me trying to look like I know what I'm doing. But obviously...I'm about as sharp as a marshmallow right now....

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Waiting for the Big Boom

On one episode of Mythbusters, host Jamie Hyneman declares, before blowing up a cell phone or some-such, “Jamie wants big boom.”

(Couldn’t find the video, but lovely YouTube offers up Jamie’s desire for Big Boom with this cement truck escapade. Hehhehheh. I love when they blow up stuff.)

I had that phrase in my head yesterday...Big Boom.

And then...horrors of bloody 80s brain segued to the lyrics of that Escape Club song..."screamin' in the back room/waitin' for the big boom"...and then this morning I FOUND the video, which made me reel. You MUST check this out. At the time, I'm sure this was pretty high-tech video stuff, but now it makes me glad Big Hair is gawn.

Anyhow, having been a Mythbusters afficionado for quite some time, it struck me as odd that I found my latest Fantasy Boyfriend in it's rank and file. Oh sure, I've rotated Jamie and Adam Savage through the 'Floater' position in the Fantasy Boyfriend list, and Kari Byron...well...she would fit nicely in my 'Stranded-on-a-Desert-Island-Same-Sex' Fantasy List. But after seeing one particularly fetching Mythbusters episode last week, I had to...just HAD to...temporarily at least...replace Floater Fantasy Boyfriend Daniel Craig with...

...Grant Imahara.

Grant's cute. More importantly, Grant's smart. Like, engineer smart. He worked for ILM. He designed Energizer Bunny movements AND operated R2D2 in the Star Wars prequels. And he builds combat robots and wrote a book about it. Plus, well, like I said...cute. He's also pretty funny. And does an impressive imitation of Jamie Hyneman. What's not to love about that?

Now, you'll have to excuse me, as I have important engineering fantasies to devise in my sick little head, perhaps of Grant needing someone with my specific talents to help test-drive the myth of a functional Orgasmatron....

Monday, December 11, 2006

I Wanna .... You Like An Animal

Those cookies? Those little butter cookies? The flower shaped ones? In the big tin of Christmas cookies? The ones with the little dollop of jam in the middle that’s not so much jam anymore as a sticky factory-drop of happy-fun that can’t be removed from your teeth with an ordinary human tongue? But perhaps a sexy alien one?

Please keep them away from me.

I will eat them.

All your cookies are belong to me.

Someone remind me tomorrow to talk about my new Fantasy Boyfriend. I can't right now...the Department of Geek-Boys is holding my brain hostage, and I'm enjoying the ball gag and tight bindings....

Friday, December 08, 2006

Poetry Friday: The Word is DARK

Dark. What does that word conjure up in the addled spaces of your brain?

(Or maybe it's just MY brain that's addled. You should see my To-Do list for today. LISTS, plural. Yesterday my sister told me, "You thrive on stress. You LOVE to plan parties like this. It would suck the life out of my soul if I had to do that.")

And she's right.

Feel free to use the word DARK in your blog post today, in whatever fashion blows cooling subway air up yer skirt...poem, picture, song lyric, daredevil canyon jump play-by-play.

Me? Well, like I mentioned...TO-DO list. I let the word "dark" play around in my head for a minute, and now I will do a 5-Minute Free Write Brain Dump.

Have a good weekend, y'all!

5-Minute Free Write...the Word is DARK

Like most kids, I was afraid of the dark. My dad thought the best cure was to take me to a dark room, show me the moon and stars outside, and sneak out the room. Didn't work. Just like him teaching me to swim by letting go of me near the dropoff at the lake didn't work. Some things parents can't teach. Some things you just have to work out by yourself. I never learned to swim well. But I'm not afraid of the dark. I'm afraid of the light. The people you see there with smiles that aren't quite right, extending their hand to you, with a billy club in the other.

I never used to like dark chocolate either. Until a few years ago, when I had some really GOOD dark chocolate. Then it was like discovering how good scotch tasted, or how funny "Family Guy" really is. POW! And then you stick that "like" in your back pocket and walk around with it.

Donnie Darko. Very dark.

I've always wanted a dark room. Not so much to develop photos, but for the red light in the room. Sexy, that.

I tried to get a song lyric in my head just now that had the word 'dark' in it, but all I got was Gary Numan's voice singing, "In cars"...bah-dum-CRASH-bah-dum-bah-dum-CRASH.

Isn't there a song about a dark-skinned girl? Or maybe I'm just making that up.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Poetry Friday Word for Tomorrow; Old Ladies; Bell Jars; Stress

1) Yesterday at 3:30 p.m., a co-worker and I stared out the window and lamented…”It’s DARK already!” Fack. I mean, FACK. I come to work when it’s dark, I go home and it’s dark, I never get out at mid-day for any semblance of sunlight. And the days keep getting shorter…for two more weeks, anyway, and then Mother Nature grabs her crotch and flips off Old Man Winter and tells him to go fack himself, and then slowly, like some creeping insect crawling across the yard of sky, the days start to get imperceptibly longer. One minute a day…two minutes…. But right now? FAAAACK. Can’t stan’ it.

So what does that make the Poetry Friday WORD for tomorrow? Oh, I’m so transparent. It’s DARK. Dark. Which now has me thinking not so much of the daylight I’m missing but of dark chocolate. Why does everything revolve around chocolate?

Feel free to toss this word around your blog post tomorrow, in whatever fashion pulls the covers chin-high…poem, audio post, song lyrics, recipe for winter beverage, expose of your neighbor’s nocturnal habits.

2) An old lady nearly ran down my children and me the other day. We were leaving the mega-gigantic grocery store, and the parking lot has stop signs at crosswalks throughout the main lane so folks can cross. Pedestrians have the right-of-way. Girl-child was holding my hand and skipping. Boy-child walked beside me, excitedly telling me about the book he’d just read. I held a bag of various sundries. We looked both ways, saw a car slowly creeping towards our stop sign. Figuring the old lady driving the car would stop at the stop sign, like the LAW says to, and let us cross, we started to move. The Old Lady SPED UP, didn’t stop at the stop sign, and nearly ran us down. I gasped (the same gasp that came out of my own mother’s mouth), and looked down at my kids. “Jesus Christ!”, I yelled (unlike my own mother). I got the kids in the car and started home, and whaddya know? The Old Lady Who’d Nearly Run Us Down was going our way! Very slowly. Then I realized one reason she didn’t stop (besides the obvious fact that she’s a RAVING BITCH)…the top of her head didn’t even reach the top of the steering wheel. I could see in my rear-view, once I passed her, her eyes could barely see out the opening of the wheel. Like a child. Uh…Granny? Time for Assisted Living.

3) I just finished reading “The Bell Jar”, by Sylvia Plath. Isn’t that one of those books you’re supposed to read as a gnarly youth, like “Catcher in the Rye”, and come away with some sort of new teen angst? My daughter is NEVER getting her hands on this book. She’s too much into being a ‘Drama Queen’, and this tome would not help. Would. Not.

4) The In-Laws are coming into town this weekend for a combination Christmas Celebration/Boy-child Birthday Bash. They’ll be at our house all day Saturday…ALL day…from 9 a.m. to whenever. I have baking to do, gifts to wrap, pictures to develop, laundry to do, house to clean…in short, I’m freaking out. And Stressed. I asked my boss for tomorrow off. I’m sort of thriving on the stress, but it’s exhausting. Anyone have a good recipe for quiche?

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Snowstorm Baby

I couldn’t reach my shoes.

That’s when I knew it was time.

I’d bend down to slip off the Birkenstocks and the socks, which luckily still fit me in late November, to cool off my hideously inflated body, and realize the watermelon that protruded at belly level was in the way.


My husband would remove the offending clothing, and we’d sit in our quiet duplex, a giant pregnant silence over our pregnant household, waiting for the doctor to place us in our lane and pop the cap gun that would mean our firstborn would be on his way out.

It wasn’t until the 5th or 6th month that they’d diagnosed me with gestational diabetes. I wondered why I was gaining weight so quickly (yeah, I know what I ate, why I was surprised I have no idea). The doctor asked if I’d done a glucose tolerance test, and I said, yes, in the second or third month, but I never heard the results because their office said no news was good news. She checked my chart. No lab results. Called the lab. Oops. OOPS? They’d lost my results. So I had to have a one-hour test, the sick one where you drink that sugary orange liquid and have blood drawn twice.

The results weren’t good.

I did the three hour glucose test, more orange syrup, 4 blood draws.


Not good.

Gestational diabetes.

In early December, after months of poking my finger 4 times a day to check my glucose levels, after months of constant UTIs, and other problems that left me wondering how women all over the world did this thing constantly, the doctor announced, “We’re going to induce you. We think he’s about 8 ½ pounds, and that’s the limit for a vaginal birth.” No matter that he wasn’t due for a couple weeks. An amnio showed his lungs were ready. And I was certainly ready to see the tops of my feet again.

They admitted us to the hospital on a Tuesday.

They gave me drugs.

I dilated. A little. I sweated. I pushed. I waited.

It was a three-day ordeal.

Thursday morning, we’d all had enough. They broke my water, and upped my drugs, and thank the jeebus for epidurals.

After hours and days of struggling, after contorting my overstuffed balloon body into every position imaginable to squeeze out my babe (try the “frog” position when you’re that big…trust me, you’ll want to punch the nurse too), after hearing the words, “We’re gonna use forceps, and if his head doesn’t budge this time, we’ll do a C-section”, at 9:24 p.m.….

My son was born.

And pink.
And screaming.
With two bruises on his head from the baby salad tongs.
Weighing 9 pounds, 12 ounces.
As the sky sifted snow in great gobs over everything.

He was perfect.

That was 10 years ago today.

These tears? Right here? Tears of pure joy.

Happy Birthday, Boy-Child…I love you. So much.

Monday, December 04, 2006

What’s New, Pussycat?

1) Boy-child’s sleepover on Saturday night went well. We took the gang out to see ‘Flushed Away’, which was cute and charming with Hugh Jackman as the handsome boymouse and Kate Winslet as the plucky girlmouse. Tom Jones’ name is bandied about in the flick, and I came away with the song in this blog title in my head. Throw my panties? Indeed…!

2) Kudos to my husband, Sergei, for rustlin’ up the sleepover boys, making sure Hyper Kid from outside the school district felt included, corralling the young men to bed before 3 a.m., and waking at 6 a.m. when Hyper Kid woke to play yet MORE PS2. My hat (and my panties) are off to you. I will repay the favor next month, as Girl-child now says SHE wants a sleepover for her birthday. Yeah. Maybe I can sugar-rush them into gentle comas.

3) Ever since my eye surgery, I’ve been Quasimodo. The shunt tube in the corner of my right eye has effectively pulled the inner lids together such that the entire eye looks smaller than my left. Oh yeah, and I can’t wear eye makeup, so my eyeliner-and-mascara trick to make my already-small eyes look halfway noticeable is kaput. I can’t really be self-conscious about it, I mean, there’s nothing I can do until the ophthalmologist takes the tube out (in February, or March, or April), and meanwhile, the tube is taking care of my nasty ‘leaky-eye-slash-eye-infection’ thang. But. Still. Sometimes I pass by a mirror and peek at myself and think, wow, who’s THAT chick?

4) Saturday night I went to get Cheap Pizzas for the sleepover, and the young woman at the counter had that affliction, oh, whaddya call it, that thing that Michael Jackson said he had, where the pigmentation in the skin isn’t even, creating white blotches here and there on the otherwise dark skin. The Pizza Girl was very nice and we chatted while they made my special mushroom-only ‘za. While she took the order of a couple that were obviously high on something, I caught site of my Quasimodo-ness in the reflection of the big front window of the pizza joint, and then realized…everyone has something ‘wrong’ with them. I guess it’s in the attitude, that we either roll wid’ it or become a bitter bitch. Bitter is not a shade that looks good on me.

5) The boss is GONE today. So is half the Marketing department. I finally feel like I can breathe.

6) The out-of-state in-laws are coming to town Saturday morning to celebrate both Boy-child’s birthday AND Christmas. Which means I need to have their gifts ready by Friday night. And Girl-child wants to help me make a pecan pie. And I still have ‘family gifts’ to make, that everyone gets, like beaded ornaments, and fancy soaps, and spiced nuts, and framed photos of the kids. I am now, officially, “stressed out”. Please send good mojo. Or a mojito. Whichever.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Poetry Friday: The Word is CANDY

Snow snow SNOW…it’s a snowday here in the Midwest, and my wonderful husband agreed to stay home with the kiddies whilst I do Important Work Things. And later I have an appointment with an endocrinologist for My Stupid Thyroid. Boy-child is having some friends over tomorrow night for a Birthday Party Sleepover…do you think we’ll get ANY sleep this weekend? HAH, she said…HAH.

Today’s Poetry Friday word is CANDY. The word came to me as I scooped out another handful of bridge mix from the container at work, but then this morning I remembered something Jeremiah had said about the snow coming down like “a ballet performed entirely by pieces of candy”. Which I love, and is lovely. And reminds me of ee cummings, “the moon rattles like a fragment of angry candy”. Ah, so sweet.

Feel free to sprinkle some sugar on top of your blog post today, in whatever crinkly foil wrapper you choose…poem, photo, recipe for peppermint hot chocolate, dental x-rays.

I have two offerings, a list of my favorite candy and the beginning of what might be a short (or not-so-short) story.

Ooh! Just remembered...the book "Candy and Me (A Love Story)" by Hilary Liftin is awesome if you're a candy afficionado like me.

Have a good weekend, y'all! Watch them roads!

Candies I Have Known and Loved

Bridge mix…the best of everything…fruits, nuts, and crèmes.
French burnt peanuts…french? Why French? They’re candy-coated peanut goodness.
Boston baked beans…the smooth version of French burnt peanuts. What’s not to love?
Maple nut goodies…which I hated as a kid. Nowadays, I sometimes ache for them.
Brach’s peppermint disks…my grandma always had a jar of them in her kitchen. The taste reminds me of her.
Chocolate stars…you can let them melt on your tongue, if you’re patient...but why not chew them like a hungry dog?
Caramels…the hard square ones were fine, with their crinkly cellophane, but soft caramels make me shudder with delight.
Tootsie rolls…mix root beer and orange soda, and you get a taste vaguely like tootsie rolls.
Dumdum pops…the ubiquitous sucker. Bank tellers always did and always will give them to kids. And I’ll always take one for myself.
Squirrel nut zippers…nutty caramel, and a really cool throwback band. Put a lid on it!
Chocolate creams…they look like beautiful nipples, all perky in their chocolate coat.
Chocolate kisses…I once ate an entire bag, and then passed out while on the phone with my friend. I was *this close* to od-ing.
Popcorn flavoured jellybeans…taste like popcorn!
Red rope licorice…in college, I once tied a guy up with them and ate them off. Why do we do such silly things?
Mounds bars…also like the almond-studded version, ‘cause coconut and me have had a long-time love affair.
Reeses cups…you got chocolate in my peanut butter! Two great things that taste great together.
Snickers…as far as I’m concerned, next to bridge mix, this is the perfect candy. Chocolate, caramel, nuts…poi-fek.

The Name so Sweet

“Is that your bike?”

I poked my head out from the middle of the lilac bush and stared through the July rays at the most beautiful girl I’d ever seen.

"Zat your bike?”, she asked again, and crouched down to see my hiding place. Her hair hung down in toffee-coloured ringlets, not even sticky from the heat, like she was some sort of Sears Catalog kids-section model come to life, with her sailor-suit outfit and pure white Keds. She pulled back the branches covering my sweaty shirtless 7-year old body and giggled at me. Her dimples sprang her cheeks sideways, and her straight teeth stood out, almost unnaturally, in our laid-back, barefoot, dirty-armed corner of Country, USA.

I reached my arms out and pulled through the branches, brushing by her tanned arms, and pulled myself up beside her, hoping I was shorter, wondering if she was a Nicey or a Meany.

“Y-y-yeah, that’s my bike,” I stammered, and dug my fingernails into my hipbone, trying to calm the nest of bees that seemed to have made their way into my stomach. What was wrong with me? I never stuttered, and here I was, shaking like I was thrown in the deep freezer, fighting the urge to run in the house and hide in the basement. What was this girl doing to me?

“My name is Candy,” the girl announced. “Candy Forrest. My grandma lives just there,” and she pointed next door to the two-story white house of the woman I knew as Mrs. McIlford, who we called Mama Mac. “I’m visiting my grandma from New York. New York CITY!”, she grinned, and threw back her head, sort of bragging. I hate bragging. But her hair bounced in such a hungry way, I just stared at it, and nodded my head. “City,” I nodded thoughtfully, like I knew what sort of creature she was, like she ate gold-covered cereal for breakfast and took a big fancy car to school and probably had all the toys we couldn’t afford at the Five and Dime.

“What’s your name?”

Name? I have a name? I stared at her eyes, at the black eyelashes framing the blueberry-coloured circles, at the way the spotted sun played on her face.

“Freddie. My name is Freddie.” I croaked like a frog. A big glob of sweat dropped off my nose, and I wiped it off with the heel of my hand.

“Well, Freddie My Name is Freddie, do you wanna play? My grandma bought me a Monopoly game, and some Go Fish cards, and some other stuff. And, well, seeing as I have no one else to play with…. Would that be okay? You wanna tell your mom you’re gonna come over? That’d be the good thing to do, dontcha think? Tell your momma?”

My body moved without first telling my feet, and I stumbled towards my back door. “Yeah, okay! Wait..w-w-wait there, I’ll be right back!”

“Hurry up, Freddie Freddie, it’s too hot out here!”

I flung myself against the back door and yelled through the screen, “Momma! I’m goin’ next door to Mama Mac’s house, ‘kay?” I heard my momma say something, I couldn’t really hear her too good over the baby crying, but thought she’d like to get me out the house anyway, and it was just next door. I started back to where Candy was waiting, grabbed two apples from the bushel basket by the porch, pulled my shirt from the wagon, and ran towards those blueberry eyes.