Thursday, January 31, 2008

Poetry Friday Word for Tomorrow, now with 25% more nostalgia!

Yesterday was Girl-child's birthday.

It was also a Snow Day.

So even though Girl-child got to stay home with me and her brother all day, and go shopping in the afternoon, and play games and watch tv and do all the things you do on a Snow Day, she was bummed.

She didn't get cupcake treats in her class.
The gym teacher didn't give her the Special Birthday Flip in class.
She didn't get to wear the Princess crown in dance class.
Grandparents couldn't come visit.

She had a breakdown in the afternoon, sobbing and clutching me like her best friend had just moved away.

It's tough turning 8.

Poetry Friday is upon us once more, and I'm in a nostalgic haze. (I recounted the day of Girl-child's birth to her yesterday, several times, in some detail...omitting, of course, the epidural gone wrong and the spinal headache which ensued.) Birthdays are supposed to be this wonderful thing, right?, this magical day when we're the King or Queen and we feel we're older, wiser, and dammit, more good-looking. We may love 'em, we may loathe them, we may try to ignore them, but BAM, there they are.

The Poetry Friday WORD for Tomorrow is...BIRTHDAY. Feel free to use it in your blog post tomorrow, in whatever form blows out your brightly lit candles...story, poem, song, ode, photo, restaurant review, reality tv-show idea. Tell us about a memorable birthday (yours or someone elses)...or make something up...tell us your real age or how badly you've lied about it. What was a special birthday? An un-special one? Got any good "birthday spanking" stories??

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I Am The Hip Snap Of Awesome

I am not a very coordinated person.

Physically, that is.

I trip over my own feet while walking down the hall, fall over when I get up out of a chair, spill whatever liquid I’m carrying (usually down my shirt, the coochie part of my jeans, on my shoes), and end up in weird contorted positions while sleeping or relaxing that would otherwise be painful (legs akimbo, back twisted, arms pushing down various parts of my skull, burping and farting, with drool running down my chin).

That being said, I looked at myself in the full-wall mirrors at bellydancing class last night and thought…”You are one graceful, sexy woman.”

When I do work out (HAH! Not lately), I walk, ride a stationary bike, or sit at weight machines in the back of the gym as I ogle the college boys pumping iron in the front of the room. (Drooling is "working out", is it not?)
I’m not a swimmer.
I don’t do yoga.
I’m as flexible as a 2x4.

But something about this style of dance, the tensing and relaxing and circular motions, jibes with the moves my body naturally wants to make. It’s very sexy. (I like sex.) It’s very fluid (like sex). It’s controlled and precise (um…NOT like sex…unless you count that I control my screaming during sex, then, yeah…sex). Fortunately for me, there are quite a number of women in the class who are in their 50s and 60s, so the instructor is patient and slow with the class...that prolly helps. I haven't shown any moves to Sergei yet. I don't know what I'm waiting for.

Last night, when the hip slides took achingly forever for everyone else to ‘get’ except me, I stared at myself in the mirror, tucked and lifted, my hips sliding side to side, my ass tight, and I thought…huh…I look GOOD.

Now if I could only get that belly roll down....

Friday, January 25, 2008

Poetry Friday: The Word is NO

It's Poetry Friday, folks! Time to flex and fawn, time to recall and relate.

The Word for Today is NO, a word I use several hundred times a day, in various incantations. Some with the kids, yes, but more often at work, where NO is my shield from stupid people doing stupid things.

Feel free to use this word in your blog post today, in whatever form flickers your pilot light...story, poem, photo, video, recipe, scan of your favourite body part....

If you participate in Poetry Friday today, please leave a comment so we can all go see what you've done with the Word!

Have a great weekend, y'all!

Sleeps on Her Left Side, Snoring Softly

She keeps a flashlight by her bed
And a wolf named Smokie at her side
To ward off
The boogie-man
Captain Hook from
Peter Pan

She wears Flannel pajamas and fleece blankets,
a summer night on the sound machine
she begs her mother
to stay
for one more minute

She didn’t like math today
No, it was too hard, no,
She likes science mostly
Science and art

She breathes like she’s already asleep
Then she slides there,
Fluttering eyelids
Her mother’s kiss
I love you
Snow starting to fall

No, No, No, No, No, NO, NO!

Led Zeppelin, "No Quarter"

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Poetry Friday Word for Tomorrow, Plus Let It Snow!

The Poetry Friday Word for Tomorrow is a tiny bit of nothing, and yet it can mean everything.

It can be said as a question
as a statement
an emphatic response
a cunning come-on.

It can bring you
let you

haunt you,
tease you,
make you want to love,
make you want to hate.

The Poetry Friday Word for Tomorrow is…NO.

That’s it.


A two-letter word that has more meanings and implications than you can shake a bird in the hand with (I’m really getting into mixed metaphors…and ending sentences with prepositions…with.).

Feel free to use this handy little linguistic device in whatever hot-blooded form dances around the bonfire of your brain…poem, story, picture, recipe for coq au vin, childhood memory, pattern for knitting the perfect pink sweater….

I was praying and charring burnt offerings up last night hoping that some Divine Intervention out there would dump snow in my city…dump, as in, a foot or so, for the pure selfish reason that I wanted a Snow Day. SNOW DAY! Jeebus, how those words ring joy in my beating heart! Primarily, it means sleeping in. Then it means ventures outside, shoveling the sidewalk and making snow creatures, hot chocolate and popcorn and silly movies with the kids. Then a warm lunch, warm naps, warm cuddling with the kitty. Snow Days are like hitting the Pause button…whatever Big Scene was coming up would just have to wait, for a day, til you were good and ready.

Unfortunately, we only got a small smattering of snow, on top of our several inches of existing snow, and the snowplows were out doing their dastardly duty. A Snow Day was not to be. I take small solace in the fact that it’s almost Friday, almost the weekend, and almost time to take all the warm stuff I can find and cram it under my afghan and squeeze onto the couch.

See y’all tomorrow for Poetry Friday!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Parenting the Parents

My parents have lost their minds.

They’re both in their late 60s, living off dad’s pension and social security. This last Christmas they unceremoniously informed us that they would only be buying gifts for the grandchildren because it was “too expensive” for them to buy for us kids and spouses/sig others. Made sense to me, I mean, gee, fixed income and all, sheah, sure, if they need money, keep it, right?

Then yesterday dad emailed me that they’d bought a smoke detector and a separate heat alarm from a company in my town, about an hour from the parents. He said, “They wanted to set up the whole house for $3000, but I told them no, just the two boxes, for $700.”


Seven? Hundred? Dollars?

For ONE smoke detector and ONE heat alarm? That you screw into the wall? Not hooked up to a central computer or other high-falutin’ device?

I immediately emailed him back and told him, as gently as I could, that he should investigate this deal further, because it sounded fishy. I eBayed similar systems, and my parents were overcharged (no kidding) $650, and I showed dad the internet deal. I stressed the importance of not making rash purchases, and how $700 was months' worth of groceries for the two of them, and that even though their salesman said those “cheap crappy Chinese fire alarms won’t work”, that ours did, and millions of others did, and I could set up his whole house with American-made smoke alarms and heat alarms and fire extinguishers and roll-out second-story ladders for $200, tops.

Dad called me last night, and immediately put Mom on the phone. Mom wrote the check, and I think Dad was blaming her for that, even though it was Dad who said "Yes" to the salesman.

She explained that they’d been invited by a friend to a dinner, as he had tickets, and it was a ‘free dinner’ but they’d have to sit through a sales presentation. “Free dinner!”, was what lured my parents. Dad made the stupid mistake of asking the salesman about the system, which of course he wouldn’t cost-quote there, but the salesman offered to go to their house and check it out.


Hold it…you let a stranger in your house? To case the joint? And try to sell you on a $3000 set of half a dozen smoke/heat alarms? Wha…???? And you settled on 2 units for $700?

And you’re on a fixed income?

And you cancelled Christmas?

And now you want to jeopardize your future ability to buy groceries and gas and keep a roof over your head?

Mom said she’d contact the Better Business Bureau and check them out (I did…one complaint, resolved). I told her, y’know, if you feel you’ve been taken advantage of, you might be too embarrassed to report it to the BBB, and she shouldn’t take that as proof that their purchase was appropriate. Seven Hundred Dollars, Mom. The contract said they had 3 days to cancel it. I tried to persuade them to do just that. Dad seemed ready to eat the cash, as a learning experience. I’m more of a fighter, and told him to Stop the Deal. Mom waffled.

Today I’m going over to the business to check it out. I want to scream at the guy, GIVE MY PARENTS' MONEY BACK! Instead, I’ll call my parents, remind them that they can’t afford to do this, and that I will go to Home Depot, get them six ‘Merican-made units, and hang them up at their house.

Mom said during our conversation, “It’s really not like us! We’re not gullible, like those old people that get taken advantage of all the time.” I didn’t have the heart to say, “Mom, you ARE an “old people”…you’re nearly 70, and you were taken advantage of.” I sat and stewed and plotted and planned. Does this mean now I have to babysit my parents? How long before I have to take away their car keys and find them a nice retirement home? Urgh. I do Not want to go down this path. Have any of you had to deal with this? And keep your sanity intact?

Monday, January 21, 2008

Little boxes made of ticky-tacky

What is it, almost 2 in the afternoon? And I can’t hold a coherent thought in my head, and now I can’t blame it on lack of sleep? I mean, I can blame it, but now it’s sort of silly, innit, to say Oh, I got up early and had to go to the hospital lab before I went to work and had no breakfast for the fasting thing, and no caffeine, and now (stretch, yawn) I’m SOOOO SLEEEPY. Too late for that. Even though my brain is squeezing circular lyrics out of childhood songs, and blog posts I read at 7 am today, and remembering my dreams last night that went all night, that echo around my brainpan like the cheers in a high school auditorium during semi-final state basketball championships.

So yeah, my girlfriends and I went to an Adult Store last Friday night, and spent the better part of an hour pointing and giggling and fondling the merchandise. Just like the other dozen women in there, same age, same barely-visible embarrassment, same awe at the size of the double-donger. (That thing could cause some serious damage, folks…serious internal damage.) My friend C and I both bought a new ‘friend’, hers was purple, mine was pink…about the size and thickness of my middle finger, with tantalizing ridges and a curious flipped-up tip. Waterproof. With extra batteries. Sergei took the kids out shopping Saturday morning, so after I showered, I thought…hmm…me…alone…with toys…what to do, what…to…do. I used The Little Nipper along with Big Red (which looks a lot like Sergei), and, oh, children, it was miraculous! Now I can’t wait for the next “me” time, get my pals out, see what else they can do.

I’m trying to give up my long-standing diet soda habit. Most days it’s two 16.9 fl oz bottles of Diet Vernors ginger ale. Sometimes a diet 7-Up. Rarely Diet Coke. I have this irrational fear, or rather, suspicion, that diet sodas, even though sugar-free and caffeine-free, are causing me some internal disturbance, perhaps interfering with my good intentions at watching what I eat and, more importantly, losing weight. Yesterday I had NO soda at all. Not one. Just water and decaf coffee. Today it much the same, except for a few sips of Diet Vernors to wash down my thyroid meds after getting my blood drawn. Does anyone know about this diet soda thing? How much is too much?

Sometimes, in a fleeting moment of weakness, I wish I still smoked. Then Reality gut-checks me with a clenched fist to my solar plexus, and I remember why I quit, 13 years ago this month.

My attention is drifting again, so I leave you with Ani…BIG girl-crush, yo.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Poetry Friday: The Word is JUICE

For some reason, since childhood, the word “juice” means specifically “apple juice” to me. My extended family drank gallons of the stuff, and baby bottles were filled with the sticky amber liquid as soon as the tots were brought home from the hospital. My own kids drink it, but the smell and tack of it turn my stomach. Apple cider I can drink by the gallon…apple juice tastes like poison.

The Poetry Friday WORD for today, as the lovely Maggie says, is JUICE. Feel free to use that word in your blog post today, in whatever Technicolor-rainbow form of it you wish…poem, story, song, recipe, plan for landscaping your backyard, knitted sock pattern….

I have one offering here, short-story-ish, more a memory of things past. I started a song, but like I said, I’m not a songwriter, and all I have is the chorus, so we’ll see if I can shake the rest of the song out of the tree later.

Have a good weekend, y’all!

Apple Cheeks

Lori was the oldest girl in a house full of blends…her mother had 3 kids, her stepfather had 3, and the seams burst with a relenting stream of cousins, foster kids, and exchange students. Going to her house was like being pulled from the audience at the circus and forced to spin plates and walk the tightrope with the clown’s small dog on your shoulder…exciting, fear-inducing, dizzying. They never sat still, never took a break to watch television or read a book. They ran in circles up and down the stairs, they’d venture out to the barn and decide to take walks through the cornfields, walk that would last hours and not be noticed by their stressed out parents. Arlen, the middle boy, discovered a gas-sniffing habit, sticking his face in the can, offering to siphon it into containers and containers and containers, his eyes turning red and a stupid grin spreading on his face until the buzz found his feet, wherein he took off…bam!...and we wouldn’t see him the rest of the day.

Their house was a mess. It stunk like an old house does, years of sweat and garbage building up, hair oil and spilled ham juice, stale pee and Love’s Baby Soft. Sometimes Lori’s mom would make lasagna and garlic bread for the crowd, and the house would fill with the delicious smell. We’d forget about the piles of laundry in the living room, the dog mess in front of the bathroom door, the stench coming from the younger kids who came in from playing in the garbage dump. We’d sit on stools and chairs and broken ottomans, shoving bubbling sauce and meat in our hungry maws, quiet for once, sighing our approval.

When it got dark, Lori’s mom would make Apple Cheeks. A combination of apple juice, witch hazel, and some secret ingredients, it would sit in a bowl and we’d throw handfuls of cotton balls into it. The girls in the house would cram in the bathroom and rub the cotton balls over our faces. The astringent qualities would cut through the grime of the day, and the smell would be like acid Autumn. The soft balls would be plied on cheeks, chins, foreheads, temples, down the lazy slopes of necks, cliffs of noses, carefully avoiding the eyes. We didn’t talk during this ritual. As the concoction dried, we’d stare at our reflections in various mirrors and bathroom chrome fixtures, watching as the homemade snake oil turned our cheeks ruddy and warm, and pulled our skin tight. Lori would leave the bathroom first, make her way, stumbling, up to her bedroom, where she’d disrobe and crawl into bed. The rest of us would find ourselves draping over furniture and stacks of magazines, our bellies full, our heads empty of chatter, petting the dogs as our eyes fluttered in the folly of sleep.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Poetry Friday WORD for Tomorrow, PLUS Mona Gets a New Toy!

Sweet, wonderful Maggie has offered up the Poetry Friday WORD for tomorrow, a word so delicious and succulent that it prompted me to write a little song about it last night. And I don’t write songs, OR sing, but that’s the power of the word! Y’want it? The Word is…JUICE. Ah…juice…just saying it, even silently, makes my mouth water. Feel free to use the word JUICE in your blog posts tomorrow, in whatever form squeezes your lemons…poem, song, story, photo, recipe, sculpture, memory, YouTube offering involving citrus fruits and cats….

Some girlfriends and I are Going Out tomorrow night to go shopping at our local Adult store. We’ve been talking about doing it for years. One of my friends had a hysterectomy 2 years ago, and I told her before her surgery that when she got out, I was gonna buy her a new "lil’ friend" afterwards. I still haven’t made good on the deal. Then last year when I had my h-tomy, we decided, yes, it’s time for BOTH of us to get one. And of course we have to bring our friend J, who is totally sexy and totes cool, she and I compare cleavage every day and nod and smile appropriately…”Nice rack today!” Before we get all Sexy-Sexy-Girls on the world, we’re going to visit one of those cheap-o grocery stores, J swears by them, so I can fulfill one New Years Resolution of not giving more money to Corporate America than I have to. Then we’ll go out to eat, then toy shopping. I’m not sure what I’m gonna get, I have the basics…knowing me, I’ll prolly just end up with body gel and another set of handcuffs. I wonder if the in-laws know what I’m doing with the birthday money they gave me last year?! ;-)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

My Comfortable Existence Reduced to a Shallow, Meaningless Party

1) Went to the doctor yesterday for my yearly physical (not the girly wee-haa! stirrups one, 'cause as you know I am minus a few parts, thank the jeebus). Doc says I'm healthy as a racehorse, except I've gained a few pounds since my last visit. I had to patiently explain to him that I ate like a pig over the Holidays ON PURPOSE, and yes, I'm currently working to shake them off, courtesy of diet and exercise. Poor man just doesn't understand.

2) Overnight Computer Guy hasn't washed in days. Or weeks. He came into my cube this morning and I was overcome with the odor...eyes burning, couldn't speak. He smelled like Fritos stuffed in dirty gym socks. How does one confront a co-worker with this? I've tried before, oh how I've tried, in subtle ways, like giving him a 'personal kit' of shaving cream and deodorant and soap in the Christmas gift box the department gives him as a 'thanks' for his hard work. I think he must have eaten the soap. Time to get HR involved....

3) Bellydancing! Had my first class Monday night, it was a blast! I wasn't so sore yesterday, but today...URGH. The teacher warned us we'd be using muscles we don't normally, and boy howdy was she right. Next class we get to use finger cymbals, and I expect I'll be snaking my arms around the kids making clicking noises soon after...driving them appropriately crazy.

4) Poetry Friday is BACK, y'all! I've missed it terribly, and the lovely Maggie emailed me and kicked me in the pants (and I liked it). As I'm just getting my blog-legs back, and as I love Maggie so, she will be offering up the Poetry Friday WORD this week. Go Maggie! Check her blog, and check it often!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

I Touch Myself

I’m having reverse Phantom Hand episodes.
Which lead to weird flashbacks to my teen years.


The first episode, sitting at my desk at work, I turned to look at a printout and lay my chin on my palm. My fingers touched my cheek ever so lightly, and I jumped at the sensuality of it, as it didn’t feel like my hand but was definitely my face. Something about first dates and fumbling kisses came to mind, sweet and scary, backseats and creaking leather and unfamiliar zippers.

A few minutes later, I unconsciously rubbed my upper lip with my hand, and exhaled a sigh, which again made me jump from the strangeness of the sound, a definite SEX sound, and the thought that came with it, the wonder and intrigue of slippery kisses that lead to deeper kisses that lead to pulling bodies on top of each other and rubbing and nakedness, plunging and retracting, arching and fingers clutching flesh.

Then later talking with a friend, I crossed my legs and rested a hand between them mid-thigh, and was startled at how I wanted to move that hand further up and further up, not relating to anything in my conversation or said friend, but just because it seemed like the natural progression, groping under tables, fingers sliding under stockings, skirts pushed up, trying to keep a straight face.

I have no idea what all this means.

It’s MY hand, people.

Touching MY body.

It should be used to it by now (the rubbing and lotioning, lotioning and rubbing….).

I’m turning myself on, in the most unexpected ways. I can only think this is a good thing? As long as I don’t start moaning “Oh baby, yes, DO ME”…??

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

If Momma Ain’t Happy, Ain’t Nobody Happy

If you took the amount of stress I conjured up since my last blog post, and rolled it up into a nice burrito shape, and covered it with sour cream and guacamole and hot salsa, you’d be eatin’ on that thing outta the squeaky plastic take-out container for months. Yeah boy, I was a-feelin’ it. I ended up burning out physically and creatively…a real purdy mess of a girl. I decided to take two weeks off from work, the two weeks the kids would be out of school on Winter Break, and it was Heavenly Slothfulness…no stressing out about work or buying presents or wheretobewhen. I ate. I watched movies. I had lots of Mom Chats. I never did get around to drinking bottles of wine. Say Lah Vee.

For the first time ever, I took pen to paper and wrote out my New Years Resolutions. Stuff like, Smell Good. And Wear Jewelry. Move Your Ass. Do Your Nails. Take A Class. All the selfish stuff that I push aside, and now dammit, gimme it. I finally found a bellydancing class and signed up for it (and I don't care one gorram bit that my current belly is too much like jelly...fack that, I'll shake it off). My earlobes are now busy cuddling earrings. I have stories churning in my head, movies and scenes and seductive kisses that will keep my brain occupied (and which I hope will come out here).

I feel better.

Maybe ready to be a blogger again!

To make up for several absent posts over the last few months, let me atone by shoutin’ out…

Happy Birthday, Mother-In-Law!
Happy Birthday, Other Mother-In-Law!
Happy Thanksgiving!
Happy Birthday, Boy-Child!
Happy Hanukkah!
Happy Winter Solstice!
Merry Christmas!
Happy Kwanzaa!
Happy New Year!

I leave you now with Matthew Santos, who is fast making his way up to Fantasy Boyfriend (Alternate) position….

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