12.17.2005

Waxing and Waning

Very recently I caught about 10 minutes of a daytime talk show, and the segment was showcaseing a woman who designs jewelry. She's extremely creative, successful, and has a appearingly loving husband and beautiful kids. Yet, despite this "yay woman" pat-on-the-back special, I found myself distracted by her eyebrows. The more I watched her speak about her life, the more I ignored what she was saying and stared at her eyebrows. Surely she knows they are so unruly! I thought. Didn't the crew of the show delicately suggest she do something about them before going on air? WAX, anyone? As my curiousity climbed, I couldn't help but wonder if it was really the eybrows that were bugging me or the fact that they didn't seem to bother her? Or her handsome husband. Or her kids. Or the people slapping cash on the counter for her wares. Yet I kept thinking how she'd be so much prettier without all that wild shrubbery above her warm brown eyes. But prettier wasn't what she was about. Or maybe she is quite content with it all. And feels beautiful. And doesn't need an eybrow wax to be a better woman.

I'm a little torn. Have I fallen prey to our appearance obsessed culture? Am I bordering on shallow? I'll admit it, I'm a girly girl. Love sparkles, perfume, clothes... but I don't think sporting all the flash makes me have less depth. I don't feel like I'm trying to overcompensate for anything. I just like to do that stuff because it's fun...and a little freeing for me at times. I once told a friend that I was convinced I was some kind of exotic, Egyptian cat in a former life because I was so attracted to shiny things...to which he replied, "Either that or you were a crow."

I didn't get the impression that woman felt like a crow. So maybe that's the point. I got how she felt, even though I didn't get how she looked.

12.15.2005

Who Bit the Bitter Bar?

I think it was perhaps moi. Big, huge mouthful of it. Upon reading again my last post, I realize that maybe I was leaking a little bit of resentment with a sprinkle of Scrooge. And the truth of the matter is that I really have only been annoyed by a few Holiday letters. My beef (besides single-spaced travelogues and bragfests) was that I was an unwilling participant in one particular letter of 2004. It was MY dirty laundry, and a third party decided a mass mailing was her perfect platform in which to announce to the Christmas Letter Reading world my personal BEEZWAX with her spin on it. The letter was sent to her people. And mine. It was also sent to me. I thought it was tacky, insensitive, and inappropriate. I had experienced enough pain, and didn't need a cup of Morton's dumped in the proverbial wound.

Hey, call me insensitive. Call me a little bitchy. Call me George, I don't care. My family says I hold a grudge. Maybe I do. Or maybe I just BLOG and try to move on.

Honestly, Happy New Year y'all!!

11.15.2005

Merry Christmas -- My Life is Better Than Yours! Happy Holidays -- Everyone I Know is Sick or Dying!

Couldn’t we all just write that and ditch the long form? The infamous HOLIDAY LETTER. The very first thing I’ll point out is that I am guilty of writing a holiday newsletter. It doesn’t make me better than anyone, but I did steer clear of tragedies and bragging rights. I’ll also point out that there are some holiday letters I ENJOY getting. My mother always writes a story of some kind. Another friend provides a one-sheet compilation of photos and captions. I like those. Some people have the gift of being entertaining and upbeat. Sometimes they make me feel warm and fuzzy. That is just fine by me.

It’s the OTHER letters to which I’m referring. The kind where people use the annual letter as their own personal reflecting pool of family trips and depressing obits. I have some tips for said people.

Dirty Laundry Is Better Washed and Worn at Home
Your perspective does not a Christmas letter make. Family business shouldn’t be displayed like a tacky, Christmas neon light. Telling everyone “sadly this year, my nephew came out of the closet and left his wife and three kids. We were devastated” only tells us you’re a gossip. I’m sure it wouldn’t occur to you to point out that the poor nephew’s family members are homophobes, the wife knew all along, and it was a horrible, grueling and personal process for said nephew. And far be it for you to include your personal laundry about how every Christmas Eve you like to tie your hubby up and make him wear your crotchless panties while singing Deck My Balls.

Oh My Aching.....
I don’t need a master list of ailments of every Tom, Dick, and Betty associated with your life. Cousin Lou's gout. Your aching back. Or that Aunt Junie Bug is having her eyes done. Stop. Please.

It Was A Balmy 78 Degrees on Our Fifteenth Day in Maui Accompanied By Our Genius Children
Tell me the last time someone said, “Oh, I went to Spokane Washington last week” and you stopped everything you were doing, sat down, and said, “Well, DO tell and don’t leave out a single detail”? Also, if Junior learned to walk when he was six weeks, keep it to yourself. You never know if Junior may end up armed in a clock tower in 15 years. Will that be in your letter? A holiday letter shouldn’t be your vacation itinerary or your kids’ IQ scores.

A Picture Paints A Thousand Words
Photos are great. A few words though. I miss you. As interesting as your kids may be, their growth progress over the years shouldn’t replace you. Send a family shot. Also, don’t send me one of your new house. Do you think people who live in small shacks are mass mailing pics of their humble abode? There is absolutely no other way to interpret a house shot other than you’re being an ass.

I'm not a Scroodge. It's just that if I want to be depressed or annoyed, I can always turn on the news. Believe me, a glittery card with smudgy ink and the imperfect holiday photo will make my day.

10.25.2005

Witchy Woman

So last year my daughter brings home a Halloween party invitation – for adults and kids. It boasts games, movies, and treats. Adults are also required to dress up – there are prizes for best costume, elaborate games, food, palm readings, sketch artist – you name it. I was a little intimidated and intrigued at the same time. Halloween is definitely my thing, so even though I don’t know a soul (including the host), I’m up for the challenge.

So I dig out the costume box. I sport a long, black wig, sorceress cape, long gown, purple lipstick, and other spooky make up. The costume is no competition from my 1992 Dead Prom Queen with the hatchet in her neck, but it will do. We bake a very cool graveyard brownie dessert. And we GO!

We arrive. Adults and kids galore and, well........I am the MOST dressed up adult. Possibly the most dressed up PERSON. The host is a witch and oohs and aahs over my costume, which she labels as witch. I think, thankfully I don’t know anyone here because when I bump into any of these people at a future event, they will have no idea who I am.

So I attempt to mingle - to no avail. Wives are clutching their husbands and giving the “do not talk to that person, honey” look. A few people nod politely, then impolitely turn the other way. Honestly, I wasn't that scary. Does my being single and the most dressed up make me seem on the prowl? Maybe... if I was dressed as one of the Slutz or a trampy devil. But ghoulish scary person with her cute Dorothy and Toto clad daughter? Not thinking I’m a big threat to Mrs. Put-On-a-Cat-Headband.

So the host wanders over and we chat a bit, at which point she explains how her 5-year old handed out all the invitations willy-nilly. “She wasn’t supposed to give them to everyone – just the soccer team!”

Soccer Mom I am not. So not only am I the most dressed up, but I’m NOT EVEN REALLY INVITED! The host didn't think it was weird that she told me what she did, so I blew it off for the moment. My daughter was having fun, so I decide to stick out the party a little longer. A glass of wine might have hit the spot at this point, but it was a dry party. Strike Three.

At the end of the night (which in reality was only about an hour later), I was hot and my fake hair was getting in the dip, so I took off my wig. At this point, the host freaked out. She couldn’t deal with me not being a brunette. She even asked me to put it back on.

* * *
For the rest of the year, whenever I see the Halloween Hostess, she mildly freaks that I don't have long dark hair with a white stripe. I’m like her personal ghost or something. And she oddly seems to like me.

This year, I get a REAL invitation to the party (the envelope was addressed to my daughter and The Witch). I showed up as a gypsy. With a long BLONDE wig (yes, to make a point). Everyone, I mean everyone was DRESSED UP this year. And I won a soccer ball prize for best costume.

Happy Halloweirdo!

10.20.2005

Halloweens Past...


A few howling moons ago, my child had her first trick-or-treating experience. It was quite an experience for her mother as well. Luckily I documented said event and have pasted it below for this post. (Okay, maybe a bit like cheating or regifting....but why not pull from the archives if possible? So what if it wasn't called blogging then, the intent was the same...minus the World Wide Audience)

SO,

I could see that magical day in my mind. I bought fabric. I sewed, broke a few needles, conned the sitter into threading the bobbin (I really had no idea what I was doing). Then I hand-sewed silk flowers to the skirt and tracked glitter all over the house. I made a wand...and a crown. I practically lived the few days before Halloween as a deranged would-be stage mother, playing down the fact that I made the costume....Oh, I just threw it together! (at midnight).

Halloween arrived cold and rainy. My child lasted about five seconds in the costume before announcing with conviction "I don't like my fairy princess costume." She then insisted I take it off (which of course I had to do because she pooped in it). She soon discovered the candy bowl and helped herself to her first tootsie pop, getting red, sticky candy juice all over her face (and eventually in my hair when she jammed said lollypop into my ear). Then she got a stomach ache. But I was still somewhat determined, and even though she was sans costume, I took her outside, hoping the trick-or-treating event might actually happen. And during the screaming fit of her telling me that she wants “to go to trick or treat", it dawned on me that she thinks it's a party. With swings. And why isn't she there? An hour and a half later, after constant screaming and her head making a 360 degree revolution, I threw her into the van hoping for some peace and quiet (no such luck) -- while listening to her Baby Songs tape for the 9 millionth time.

Once home, I popped some migraine medication, thought about breaking open a bottle of Scotch from the bar, and counted the minutes until her 7:30 bedtime when the (expletive) holiday was over. On the flip side, I got to eat all her candy.

10.19.2005

I'm "It"

I am honored to have received my very first Tagging from CJblue. I have been charged with writing 20 random facts about myself. My instructions are to tag 5 other bloggers. I don't know 5 other bloggers. I'll have to figure out what to do without seeming like a blogstalker!

Here goes...

1. I taught middle school English in Miami, Florida, where I received “combat” pay for teaching in the projects.
2. I started keeping a journal 27 years ago. I still have them all.
3. I love Jelly Bellies. Blueberry+Popcorn=Blueberry Muffin.
4. I moved 8 times by the time I turned 17.
5. I was born in the Motor City.
6. I detest mob movies.
7. I’m a good cook.
8. If I had money to burn, I’d own an obscene number of shoes.
9. Blonde I am. Dizzy I’m not (usually)
10. I lettered in track and tennis in high school.
11. I’m a closet “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” fan (well, anything Joss Wheden writes…)
12. I’m a soprano but have been known to sing bass and tenor in a pinch.
13. 4 colleges; 4 years; no summers; graduated on time.
14. I get wicked, insane, want-to-run-people-off-the-road PMS.
15. My very first rock album was Van Halen.
16. I’m a beer snob.
17. I am blessed with an amazing group of friends.
18. I’m a single mom.
19. My best friend and I had a secret language in Jr. High. We are still best friends but speak regular English.
20. I’m madly in love with a man who lives too far away.

10.12.2005

Blog Trailer

Okay, I know I'm behind. I promise I'm not being blazy. Just blusy. That being said, look next week for the possible following features....
  • Speaking of behind, I feel the need to add my ten cents to CJBlue's topic on Beauty and Weight.
  • Halloween approaches. Halloweens past brings to mind a few stories. Not ghost stories, but horrific nonetheless.
  • Christmas Letters. Not the "Dear Santa" kind. The "Two-page, single-spaced, let me take some time out of your life to talk about my cruise" kind. I realize we have a few months, but perhaps discussion about this topic may prevent some holiday tragedies.

9.21.2005

Bastardizing Blog

Been wanting to write, but lately I’ve been blogsausted. I’ve discovered myself morphing whole or parts of the word blog into new words. I call it Blocabulary. I am a child of the 80s, when Sniglets were running rampant. It's not an excuse, just an observation.
blogsausted: just plain tuckered
blog block: a more specific version of writer’s block
blogophobia: fear of blogging
blogbsessed: can’t stop reading/writing/commenting on blogs
blidiot: a blogger no one can stand
blix: getting your blog fix
Sniglet: not my word, but here are some old favs...
Blurfle (bler' ful) - v. To be caught talking at the top of one's lungs when the music at the bar or disco suddenly stops. (note ancient word "disco")
Arachnidiot (ar ak ni' di ot) - n. A person, who, having wandered into an "invisible" spider web, begins gyrating and flailing about wildly. (this happened to me yesterday, but the spider web was real)
Chalktrauma (chawk' traw ma) - n. The body's reaction to someone running his fingernails down a chalkboard. (the vision comes to mind of everyone's hair standing on end in "Better Off Dead")
napjerk (np-jrk) - n. The sudden convulsion of the body just as one is about to doze off. (especially funny to watch when someone did it in the middle of math class)

Is there a word for the person who is avoiding doing anything except half-blogging?

9.16.2005

No Offense, But....

I just did something that is big pet peeve of mine. I actually just began a sentence with the phrase "No offense, but..." Wouldn't you agree that the person who starts with "No offense, but..." isn't acutally intending not to offend you, they are just warning you to brace yourself for a majorly offensive remark about to spew from their mouth? I mean, let's get real, what should be said is, "I am SO about to offend you now, so if you don't think you can stand it, stick your fingers in your ears and make humming sounds until my mouth stops moving."

I checked out a website called http://www.wordorigins.org/ Pet Peeve wasn't on the list, but these were: Happy as a clam, Keeping up with the Joneses, Pay through the nose, and Dressed to the nines.

SO You're Getting a Divorce? Hmmmmmmm.

Apparently I have blogophobia. It’s kind of like when I decided I was ready to get pregnant then didn’t have sex for two months. There was no immaculate conception; so i suppose there will be no immaculate blogging. A friend commented that I just have to do the free-flowing thing…talk about my day…or my week…or my life.

So let’s just jump right into this Me-Fest and talk about divorce. It is really a kick and a hoot. For those of you tired of the same humdrum of sticking needles in your eyes, going through a divorce is an option to consider. There are of course about ten thousand subjects I could drone on about. So, I’ll begin with one.

You think people are a certain way. Then you go and do something that goes against their grain, and BAM, things are revealed. I discovered that outside the courtroom, judgment was going to be a big part of this divorce. Aside from the true-bluers in my friendship circle (who believe me, became even truer), there were others who just didn’t do well with my divorce. With comments such as “did you try counseling?” and “what about your child?” and “can’t you stick it out?” and “how bad could it be?” and “how will you survive?” and “how could you rip apart your family?” I discovered that many of these comments were driven by unhappy, scared people who have taken up residence on Planet Denial and would rather blame and judge you than look into the mirror. And then I thought back to any person I knew who was going through a divorce. How did I react to it? Was I all holier than thou about staying married? Did I try to “fix” their problems or insist that they try harder? I don’t think I did. I think I thought it was none of my beeswax. But then again I don’t have any close friends or relatives who have gone through it.

And so with these people, the division line began. Those who supported me. Those who thought I was cockroach crap. Oh, I struggled with the judgment; believe me, because I can be a bit of a people pleaser. But I worked through it, and do you know what? Life is less complicated with those people no longer in my life. It made room for the ones who have given me more than I could ask for. It also makes room for all the new complications that have arisen….like feeling like a hootchie mama man-eater divorcee at your child’s first ever Halloween party, but that’s another entry.