Welcome to my world!

My life's been crazy since my Daddy moved in with me immediately after my mother's death in October 2010. My one and only kiddo headed to college at Carolina at the end of August. So...I lived on my own, for the first time in my life, for a total of a blissful six weeks. Then, I started the parenting gig with my dad. He's a combination of a grouchy old man, a surly teenager and a temperamental toddler. Needless to say, I get very close to the brink of insanity sometimes. I get through life by finding the humor in difficult circumstances. And for some reason, I wind up in the weirdest situations. I couldn't make this stuff up. So I wind up having lots and lots crazy adventures which make great stories to share with my friends. Writing about my life is so therapeutic. My ramblings range from funny to sad to angry (full of cuss words) to sweet. While my focus is dealing with the trials and tribulations of being a parent to my Daddy, I have lots of random, totally unrelated posts. Whatever's on my mind. I love to make people laugh, and I'm happy to think my readers will get my strange sense of humor. And maybe, people who are in my situation will be encouraged. That's all I can hope for...

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Gorilla Finger Update

When The D got home from church today, I took him to Central BBQ on Summer. His two sweet granddaughters took him there a month or so, and he liked it. So we went back today. It was good.

I'd had an epiphany about the glue problem. Lava soap! Wow - that would get anything off. So we stopped by Walgreens on the way home. No Lava. We were right by Lowe's, so I told The D we'd run in there. They'd have it for sure.

Before I tell you they didn't, I'll give you something to ponder. Why is it, when you go in there to find a simple little thing like a hallogen light bulb or those rubber washers to go into the hose nozzle, there's never anyone in a little red vest in sight? Or if they are, they look like rock stars surrounded by groupies waiting for an autograph. 89 year-old-lady-groupies clutching little lists or labels or strange little devices in their original boxes from 1942. It's like a big scavenger hunt when you go there. Except no prizes. Or snacks and desserts after.

Since the object of my hunt was a very simple item (but I still had no idea where to find it), there were several men in red vests standing around looking like they'd just stepped off the set for the commercial. Twinkling smiles and all. I really just wanted to ask one of them my stupid question, but the other two edged in closer. I said, "How do you get Gorilla Glue off your hands?" All six eyes zeroed in on my hands, and all three twinkling smiles turned into barely suppressed smirks. Which must've sent some kind of ultrasonic signal for two other red vests to appear.

It turned into a game show, and I was the emcee. Paint thinner. Nope. Turpentine. Nope. (Besides, isn't that the same thing?) Acetone. Nope. Tried it all. Then the old one, who was clearly the alpha vest of the pack, told me the paint thinner would do it, but I just needed to leave it on for a very long time. How long was that? I didn't even ask. I told him the label said to avoid prolonged exposure and to wash immediately if it came into contact with skin. Well, apparently, these guys all know more than the chemical companies. Actually, they might. The chemical companies are just afraid of getting sued. Still, I'm not gonna chance it. Besides, I already did and it didn't work.

I asked them where the Lava Soap was, and they said they didn't have it. Apparently, Lava soap no longer exists. But two of them escorted me to the aisle with hand cleaner kinda stuff. Mixed in with the foaming Soft Soap was a promising looking tub of special hand cleaner. The heir apparent to Alpha (does that make him Beta?), opened it up and stuck his finger it it. It looked like pistachio pudding. No grit. He said, "We need something with pumice." I said, "Yea, like Lava soap."

So I follow Alpha and Beta to some other random place, looking for pumice. Now, believe me, I've already thought of pumice. My cheese grater, too. I have a pumice stone my BFF brought me as a souvenir all the way from Hawaii. It's for pedicures. To scrub off the callouses on my heels from all the distance running I do. Hey, wonder if it's any coincidence that Hawaii has volcanoes and volcanoes make Lava and Lava soap contained pumice before it vanished from the face of the earth?

So I tell Alpha that pumice is also used for pedicures. But since I lost mine in the move, I'll buy theirs. He seemed perplexed. I explained that it scrubbed off callouses on your heels. He said, "Oh, corns." I said, "No, callouses." "Corns." "Callouses."

Why did I give a shit if Alpha knew the difference in a corn and a callous? At least I stopped short of explaining it. I think he could tell I was getting irritated because he finally said, "Ohhhh, callouses." Right.

By then, I was ready to get the hell out of the hell. Keep in mind, The Daddler was hovering around the whole time, grimacing and shaking his head. I halfway expected him to tell them I was adopted so they wouldn't think my daftness wasn't any reflection on his gene pool.

We made our way to the checkout and found one with no line. They really must've just filmed a commercial there. The D sat down in a lawn chair by the door and the cashier announced "Three dollars and five cents." I didn't want a bunch of change weighing down my purse, so I debated putting it on my credit card, and then it dawned on me. The Daddler gets a military discount. You'd have thought I hit the lottery. I shouted, wait, don't total it yet. He gets a military discount. Then I screamed, "Daddy, come here! Bring your military ID!" He looked pretty excited, too. Jumped right up and ran to the register. We waited with bated breath to hear the new total. $2.74. Wow! I'd only have a quarter and a penny and a whole extra dollar instead of 95 cents to lug around.

Then, get this. I was so happy about our savings that I practically skipped out the door until I hear a voice shouting, "Ma'am, wait!" Unfortunately, this happens to me all too frequently. I'd forgotten to take my stuff. Sad. The Daddler shook his head some more. So glad I didn't have to turn around and go back, though.

We stopped by the old house to check the mail and sat and visited with our older neighbors. The D was in rare form. For some reason, I mentioned that he liked milkshakes, and this is what he said. Verbatim. "That's all she ever gives me."

I don't even know what to say to that.

But I do know that I'm gonna wrap up this post, drive up to McDonalds, buy him a chocolate shake, put it in my cool, new plastic cup emblazoned with last night's VIP law firm's name. The base has flashing florescent lights and each time you push the button, they flash in a different pattern. I'm sure it's loaded with BSP's or whatever you call those same caustic chemicals in my reused Gatorade bottles. But after all the turpentine and acetone, I don't really give a shit. Oh, the point of the cool plastic cup is that I can't wait to see The Daddler's face when he sees that tonight's milkshake is flashing florescent colors.

Ohhh, I almost forgot the most important thing. I came up with a new idea after our little outing today. I'd soak cotton balls in acetone (nail polish remover) and wrap them around my fingernails (the glue is really bad there) and slide my hands into latex gloves. It was a little harder than you'd think to keep the cotton balls in place. So I cleverly dropped the cotton balls down into each finger of the glove. Then slid my hand in and tried to get the cotton balls in place. I figured I was too rough because I poked a hole in the end. Since I had another glove, I put it over that one. I stood there a minute, admiring my handiwork, trying to decide if I should risk my cell phone around the acetone (I worry about it more than my own body) and take a picture for my blog. Before I could decide, the glove ripped in two. And then it hit me. Acetone must dissolve latex.

You just have to laugh.

Things

I'm feeling hopeful again. And much calmer. It's been a weird week. I'm overdue for a little bit of normalcy. Or just a little relief from the craziness.

Yesterday, Deb came over. She's so good about spending time with The D every Saturday. Taking him to lunch and wherever else he wants to go. No wonder he looks forward to it so much. She's by far the sweetest of his daughters.

I spent some time in the afternoon sitting on my patio in my swimsuit, listening to Anna Nalick's Wreck of the Day cd and peeling Gorilla Glue from my fingers. About the swimsuit, I figured I'd better get a little sun before I head to sunny Florida next weekend. I got a little pink (doesn't take long), but hopefully not enough to make me peel. On the other hand, a little peeling sunburn might coordinate well with my peeling, leprotic-looking hands.

My nephew sat outside with me and we had a long talk about life. I remember how hard it was to be 17. I think it must be exponentially worse for boys. Trying to find your way. Figuring out how you want to spend your life. And just feeling so damn overwhelmed. Funny thing is that I'm experiencing some of those feelings, too. After almost a half-century on Big Blue. Maybe that's why we connected. I love that kid. My heart breaks for him. All I can do is listen. And try to encourage him. And tell him I love him. I have a feeling he doesn't hear that enough. Does anyone?

Late afternoon, I threw on my brown sundress over my pink shoulders and green fingers, put on my silver sandals, and headed downtown to the Sunset Symphony with my BGF (best guy friend) Rich. We had a nice time. Very low-key. I ate way too many barbeque sliders and cucumber crostinis. Ran into a few people I knew, but nowhere near what I thought.

And really, there was only one awkward experience. But it had nothing to do with my divorced status. And I wasn't the one who felt awkward. It did feel perversely satisfying to see someone else embarrassed for a change. And he deserved it. Cheating ex-husband of a mom-friend whom I haven't seen in quite some time. It was one of those deals where, out of the blue, the husband leaves, takes up with some not-so-attractive-but-lots-younger ho, and the wife simulateously realizes all the money is gone and the tuition hasn't been paid and the bastard lost his job/business/all his clients three months ago. These poor wives are generally smart, accomplished women, but clueless, too, I suppose. I've known too many of them.

I did my usual polite thing when faced with the perp. I pretend nothing happened, ask them about their children, refrain from asking if the current wife is the aforementioned ho, and if I'm feeling charitable, I don't ask how their business is going. In this case, however, the schmuck was an attorney and I asked him if he worked for the firm (whose BBQ sliders I'd been inhaling). Here's how it went from there:
Schmuck: No. (he didn't work for the firm)
Me: Oh, what's your connection to the Firm?
(awkward silence)
S: My wife works for a client.
Me: Which one?
S: The bank.
Me: Rich works for the bank. What department?
S: (can't remember which one, but it was one of those vague corporate nonsense names using some combination of buzzword bingo words involving the word Services)
Me: What is her name?
S: Something.
Me, to Rich: Do you know her?
Rich: No, I'm not familiar with that department.
Me: Rich is an attorney. Don't you practice law?
S: Yes. (followed by silence)
I guess he was following the attorney's creed - never volunteer anything. Which made me flip into auditor mode and continue with the third degree.
Me: What area of law do you practice?
Long awkward silence. Very long.
S: Bankruptcy.
Just from the way he said it, we knew immediately his clients were the creditors. In other words, he was a bottom feeder.
Even longer awkward silence.
S - to Rich: Your bank sues my clients.
It provided a little levity, we laughed way too hard, and I seized the opportunity to abandon Rich and Schmuck to get more BBQ sliders and those cucumber thingies.

Later, we chatted with one of R's co-workers and her husband. Somehow we got on the subject last week's aborted rapture. Well-educated by my late night radio habit, I filled them in on the key dates and the fact that since the rapture didn't happen, we didn't have to worry about October 15th, because that would've been the end of the six months of tribulation when the world would be destroyed by fire. Come to think of it, that is my final tax deadline. Ugh.

Turns out, co-worker's hub listens to talk radio, too. The political kind. Rush Limbutt, to be exact. Then he started in about the Muslim in the White House and wife was clearly embarrassed and I made my usual joke about belonging to the IDGAF party. This didn't dissuade whack job from his tirade, so when he finally took a breath, I said, "Hey, I've got a good idea! We've covered religion and politics. Let's talk about sex! It's much more interesting." Dude said, "Well, I've always considered myself monogomous..." About then, the 1812 Overture started blasting, and the fireworks show began. Thank god in heaven above.


I got home around 11 or so. Utterly exhausted. Invited BGF in for a minute and turned on Saturday Night Live. He loves it. I don't get it. I really didn't get it last night. He said it was probably just beneath me. We only watched a few minutes before I booted him out. He took his sugar free ginger ale and the boxes of Peeps (those florescent, sugary, marshmallow things) I'd gotten him for Easter but never had a chance to give him. He has this weird love of Peeps. Go figure. Maybe it has to do with the SNL thing.

Had a good night's sleep. I filled The D's pill boxes last night, so don't have to do that part of my Sunday morning routine. I guess I'll get to see FF's Sunday morning routine this time next week. I have a feeling it'll be nice.

On that note, it's almost time for CBS Sunday morning, so I'm signing out...

Saturday, May 28, 2011

My Latest Predicament

After a really stressful morning yesterday, I had a good meeting with my client at noon. I think his confidence in me has been restored. Now, if I can just keep it up.

I decided to do some creative (and therefore, therapeutic things) in the nice, warm sunshine in the afternoon. I pruned some of the boxwoods. Then gathered up my supplies to make a moss covered wreath for my front door and headed outside to the patio table. I couldn't find my hot glue gun so decided to use the bottle of Gorilla Glue I've had for two years. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Besides, I always burn my fingers with the hot glue gun.
I got started. Pulled out all the beautiful dried moss - flat green grassy sheet moss, spongy clumps, even some lichen. My little green faux pears. Sprigs of berries and branches of ferns. Cut open the top of the glue bottle. It was so thick and hard to squeeze out that I decided to take the top off and use a stick to spread it. So I'd spread it on the floral foam wreath base and press the moss onto it. I'm a very tactile person. Loved doing this. But of course, my fingers came into contact with the glue. Didn't seem like a big deal at the time. But strata of glue and moss formed on my fingers. I was so into the creative process, that I didn't notice the hardening of the layers.

When I completed my creation, I proudly hung it on the front door, so very pleased with the outcome. Then I put away all my supplies. Headed to the kitchen sink. Got the Dawn. It takes care of anything. Poor waterfowl covered in black gunk from oil spills. Greasy pans and dishes. But not instant mashed potatoes hardened in a dish drain. Or Gorilla Glue. I think Dawn's just good for oily stuff.

I got the Goo Gone. That shit never works on anything. Then I tried acetone (nail polish remover). Resorted to Google. Official GG website said acetone. I'd already tried that. Handy dandy DIY forums said acetone. Goo Gone. Baking soda. I swear, there are so many idiots out there who think baking soda is the panacea for every problem in the world. It's a placebo. Nothing more. Except when used in chocolate chip cookies or combined with vinegar to make lame science fair fake volcanoes.

It does not remove cat urine odor from leather chairs. Or whiten teeth. Or remove hard water stains. Or odors from the freezer. So why the hell do I have 12 boxes scattered all over my house?

So, I think the best GG answers were, 1) nothing will get it off, 2) it just has to wear off, 3) get a belt sander or a metal file and try not to get past the epidermal layer of your skin.

I tried peeling some off last night, but it definitely got removed some of my subcutaneous dermal layers, too. And that'll burn like hell if I try any caustic chemicals today.

Biggest problems now: Figuring out what to do about the Sunset Symphony tonight - JoJo suggested I dress like I'm going to the Kentucky Derby and wear kid gloves and a big hat. What a smart ass. I'd rather just wear a name tag that says, "Hi, my name is Carol. I don't have gangrene or frostbite on my fingers, I'm just stupid. And that's Gorilla glue embedded with moss." Hey, there's an idea. I can tell them I'm a sculptor and I'm experimenting with a new medium I created. That's my best idea so far. Except it's a big fat lie and I'm a terrible liar, and with my luck, I'd meet a real sculptor. I'd just have to say my intellectual property lawyer was still working on the patent and told me not to talk about it. Oh, wait, the VIP tix are from the biggest white-shoe law firm in Tennessee, so they'd probably want to know the name of my IP attorney, and I'd be exposed as the fraud that I am. Maybe I could make up a Swedish name for my ficticious attorney who lives in Sweden and tell them she's an expert and I need her expertise in international IP law. I need to come up with a good Swedish name I can pronounce and remember. How about Helga Testorf? That was the name of Andrew Wyeth's muse/mistress. She could be her great-grandaughter or something.

Nope, I'll just come clean (pun intended) and tell my stupid story. It'll be like the time Kiddo was two years old and threw a bathtub toy at me and gave me a black eye two days before the gala celebrating the 25th anniversary of the nonprofit organization my then-husband worked for. So many jokes about how I must've gotten out of line. Not funny the 16th time.

Oh, well, maybe the gorilla glue will serve as an ice-breaker. I'm terrible at small talk anyway. I'm glad JoJo and her squeeze are gonna be there, too. But kinda dreading running into lots of people I know, every single one of whom will know my ex-husband. Three fourths of them won't know we're divorced because he doesn't make a point of telling anyone and still wears his wedding ring. Bless his heart. So I'll be placed in the awkward situation of introducing my friend Rich (not to be confused with FF, although I'm sure everyone will think we're a couple, which is neither here nor there), and finding the least embarrassing way to explain that ex and I are exes. Or maybe i just won't say anything. Introduce Rich and let them think what they want. On the other hand, Memphis is a very small town when it comes to certain circles. Maybe, just to make it fun, I'll make a wager with Rich about how many people I'll see who know either me or ex. Right now, I'd say 12. Conservatively. Hopefully, none of those will be men I've gone out with. Let's say 2 for that.

Luckily, Rich is a good sport and he won't take any of this personally. And hopefully, FF will be a good sport, too. Especially if I call him Rich later. He definitely should not make anything of it because I call Kiddo my little sister's name when I'm around both of them, and sometimes even Elvis when he's on my mind (not that often). Kiddo's name is somewhat similar to Elvis - at least it starts and ends with the same letters and has a V in the middle. And FF's name starts with R, too.

Maybe I should get some huge floppy Kentucky Derbyesque hat and use it to conceal my face. And then there's always my burka. Wonder if Rich would mind? He's jewish, but he's the least predjudiced person in the world so wouldn't mind being seen out with a Muslim woman. He even dates women from Desoto County, god forbid. And he calls it Northern Mississippi. Obviously, he's not from here. New York.

On the bright side: I finally got my sweet wreath done. I won't be sitting home alone on a Saturday night hoping FF can squeeze in time for a Skype session. Or jonesin' to see him next weekend. Can't believe it's so soon - can't wait! I won't be worrying about Kiddo across the world in Tanzania. And I'll be enjoying not having to schlep a picnic basket and lawn chairs through the mud down to the river. Thanks to the VIP tix.

It's nice to have friends in high places. Really, though, it's just nice to have good friends...

Friday, May 27, 2011

Another Day, Another Cluster Fuck

Actually, this is a continuation of one of yesterday's unresolved minor disasters. After Mother died in October, I went to their house and threw everything in their pantry and fridge into bags and boxes and took it to my house to go through. There were things like seven year old cans of Gold Star Chili (my stupid uncle in Cincinnati thought Mother liked it and brought her some every summer, but she was a Skyline girl). A thirty year old can of dried mustard. Stuff like that. A huge carton of instant mashed potatoes. I'm a purist when it comes to MPs. I sat the carton on the floor next to the garbage can to throw away (it was too big for the garbage can). The Daddler walked through the kitchen and wanted to know why it was on the floor. I said they were old. He said they were still good. And that he likes them.

We'd had a prune incident a few days earlier. He beckoned me to the kitchen and pointed in the fridge and asked me where those things were. I finally interpreted his angry, aphasia-impaired speech and his angrier gestures and figured out he meant the prunes. They weren't there because I'd thrown them away. They were old. Shouted at me that there was nothing wrong with them and they were still good. I hauled ass to the dinky (but close to home) grocery store, but the closest thing they had was dried apricots. Headed to Kroger. For some strange reason, they were out of Sunkist or whatever the fuck the name brand kind he'd had, so I bought the store brand and hoped there wouldn't be hell to pay. By the way, they don't call them prunes anymore. They're dried plums.

Back to the fake potato flakes. I kept them. Even fixed them for him for dinner that night. So here we are, seven months later. I've made him plenty of real MPs in the meantime, so I figured I'd take a chance and pitch them. Once again, I set (sat?) them on the floor next to the garbage can. Big mistake. But not for the reason you think. Instead of just pitching them in the big garbage can outside, Sarita decided to put them down the garbage disposal. Turns out, she might as well have poured cement in there. It totally clogged the sink.

I did my usual thing. I felt around. Put my hand down there and the blades weren't stuck. Found the reset button and pushed it, even though the motor was running fine. Couldn't find the little allen wrench that you stick in the hole on the bottom to turn the blades when they're stuck. But they weren't stuck. Mr. Man said to use a plunger. It would've been nice if I could find it. Around then, the MLB Extra Innings debacle happened so I said "Screw it" and left the sink full of slush. The other side was draining, so at least there was that.

So this morning, I walked into the kitchen to make coffee, and there was the sink full of slush, waiting for me. Didn't drain one bit overnight. Shit. Started the coffee and went outside and found the mop bucket. Brought it in and bailed. I didn't want to chance it by putting the slush in the other side and clogging it, too. Filled that bucket and took it outside. I didn't want to pour it out close to the house in case it attracted ants. It was still dark and I was in my terry robe. Nothing on underneath. The motion detector light came on and while I was dumping the heavy bucket of slush over the fence, my robe fell open.

Then a car came along with headlights on bright. I'm sure they wondered what the fuck I was doing. It made me think of Ode to Billy Joe. FF and i debate what BJ and his GF threw off the Tallahatchie bridge. I think it was their baby and he thinks it was a record collection or something that makes no sense. But then he's just messin' wid me. I think. I never really know for sure.

After the third bucket, the sink was empty. In the meantime, I was boiling a big pot of water. I figured that would dissolve the potatoes. I poured the boiling water in, holding it up high so it would exert extra force and maybe flush it out when it dissolved the shit. I waited. Turned the disposal on. Waited. Watched for a gurgle. The water was swirling, but no air bubbles. Nothing. I got my coffee and headed to my office to google instant potatoes and garbage disposals. Turns out that's a huge no-no. Who'd a thunk? The exit ports were clogged. Snaking it or dumping caustic chemicals in wouldn't help. The best idea seemed to be packing it with ice and turning on the disposal for 15 seconds, followed by running cold water. Since my fridge is too big for the open space under the cabinets, there's no water line for the icemaker. Wait, there's no water line where it should go, either. Fortunately, I bought a bag of ice the other day. Keep meaning to buy some ice trays. So I took some of the ice and put it in the sink. Packed it down. Covered it. Did the drill. Held my breath and turned on the water. Nothing. Maybe I didn't pack it tightly enough. Pulled the whole ice tray out of the fridge and dumped the rest of the ice in the sink. It made a racket, but The D and Kiddo are at the other end of the house and they both sleep like the dead. Tried it again. I don't even need to tell you the outcome.

Now I'm trying to figure out if those stupid home warranty people will fix it. There's a $60 co-pay. I think I'll call my plumber and see if he can do it for that. Or I'll go buy sulfuric acid and maybe the exit ports will dissolve. Or I'll look for the plunger. Or buy a new one. Maybe I'll remember to get ice trays while I'm at it.

Yesterday, Sarita and I were frantically looking for the machine to check The D's pacemaker by phone, and I ran across his boxes of bullets. I told her they wouldn't do me any good because I didn't know where the gun was. She said it was right over there on the shelf. I told her it was probably better that I didn't know. Not for her sake, but my own. That was before the potato thing, though.

Ok, I have a client meeting at noon, so I'd better get crackin'. I'll figure out the potato thing this afternoon.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Fuck the Com-Fuckin-Comcast

OMG. How could such an evil, satanic, sadistic company stay in business? It's called a monopoly. Because DirecTV and AT&T are even worse.

The D wanted to see the Cards game tonight. Somehow, all the sports channels were filled up with fuckin hocky and endless NBA and college baseball. One MLB game. Rockies and someone I've never heard of.

Called 259-2225. Went through phone tree. Told dude to add MLB Extra Innings. $200 bucks. No pro-rata charge. Fuck it. The D wanted to watch the Cards. Crapcast asshole said to push 722 and it went to 803. Some stupid sitcom. Then he told me to be patient. It might take a few minutes. The D was getting agitated. I asked asshole if it was working. He said to try again. No cigar. I said, "How long is this gonna take, because I have an angry Daddler who wants to see the Cards." He said, "I told you it could take up to 15 minutes." I said, "How long has it been?" He said, "Only 14 minutes and 32 seconds." I said, "That's ridiculous." He told me I was abusive. I told him to escalate. He said he was hanging up. In the meantime, The D got mad and told me to put it on the news.

Fuck...

Who Knew?

I've been accused of being a Henny Penny. I thought it was kinda cute. Sometimes it does feel like the sky is falling. What saves me is knowing it'll pass.

Lately, though, it gets too intense. And I have nowhere to go. It's 3 in the afternoon and The D will need to eat in another couple hours. Sarita gave him a turkey sandwich for lunch, so he's gonna be expecting a hot meal. If I weren't so guilt ridden over the fact that I'm overdue on his pacemaker check, it might not be such a big deal.

I called the cardiologist's nurse's secretary's voice mail today. Left a message. Might hear from her next week. Or not at all. I wish I could take him there tomorrow and get it the fuck out of the way. Except I have major client meeting and gotta ship Kiddo to the dark continent.

I called the company in Michigan which calls me every other day with a warning that I'm overdue on the pacemaker phone thing. I can't find the fuckin' thing. Sarita keeps coming up with a blood pressure machine. I tell her it looks like a secret spy decoder device with a cradle for the phone. Even if we find it, who the hell knows if it'll work since I'm now with Com-Fuckin-Crap. They said cell phones don't work. What's up with this house. Was it a CIA safe house? Totally secure from electromagnetic transmissions? Who'd think to look for a spy in a church parsonage?

Ok, Michigan company is sending me a new device. It should arrive by next Thursday. The same day I'll spend a minimum of three hours waiting to see The D's neurologist. Who'll slap my wrist when I try to give The Daddler hints to answer those memory questions. I should probably step into the hall, because I so desperately want him to pass the test. I can't help myself.

Back to the pacemaker machine. I've looked in every single place in this house. Can't find it. Even if I did, I don't know how to use it. Mother told me about it. But never got a chance to show me. One day she was alive. Three weeks later, she was gone. I miss her so much.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Huge Progress

Wow. So much has changed since yesterday. All good.


A guardian angel magically appeared. In the person of a friend who just finished her masters in elementary ed. You know how anal-retentive they are. Which is exactly what I need. She'll start teaching in August, so she's agreed to whip me into shape. I am sooooo relieved. She's coming from 11-3 today.

On top of that, I'm sticking (mostly) to my new zen inspired plan. This is neither here nor there, but I wish I knew when to hyphenate.



Ok, more big news. I got a call for a prospective new client. I'll have to find someone to do the nuts and bolts accounting, but hopefully I can do my CFO magic. But there's no way in hell I can take this on if I don't have my shit together. Glad I didn't get the call a week ago. I've been wanting to follow up on the biotech company, too, but there was no point in that.

Ok, better get busy. My cruel taskmaster will be here before you know it and I want to get a good run in.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Jackhammer Destroyed My Zen

Wow. I was reading my post-it. Listening to some groovy tunes. Feelin' good. Clear. Focused, even. A rare thing for me. Then the shit hit the fan. Or I should say, the jackhammer hit the concrete.

Here I sit, staring out my window. It needs cleaning. There's a gray squirrel who eats the roots of my begonia every morning. I tap on the window and he gives me an "eat shit" look and prances around. If asshole squirrel eats The D's tomatoes, I'm gonna shoot him with a sawed off shotgun. Too bad I gave The D's .22 away. Can that be sawed off? Is it illegal to discharge firearms this close to a church and school?

They did rezone the extra land they added to my tract. But I have a feeling it's just residential and hunting and shooting are not permitted. I think I'll just stand really still next to Sly's marker in the front flower bed and smash the squirrel in the head with a shovel when he least expects it. Probably not a good idea given my extreme remorse over the previously blogged about hypothermic chipmunk. And today, while I was running, there was a dead squirrel in the street. He'd been run over. His own fault. You know how they play chicken with cars. Still, his tongue was hanging out and I couldn't help but think about his wife and kids. And how they'll have to drop out of squirrel school to gather acorns.

It's a cruel joke. When armageddon kicks in, it'll be the squirrels, mosquitoes, cockroaches and ants who'll run the show. And we think we're so evolved. And superior.

The jackhammer started up this afternoon. Kiddo started up. And the fuckin' mosquitoes. Kiddo'll be several continents away Saturday. I'll miss him.

Not so for the other pests. The good thing, though, is that I can kill them and not be charged with capital murder.

Would I violate Zen if I killed members of the animal kingdom? What if I stick to invertebrates? By that I mean creatures with exoskelatons. Not spineless fellow primates.

Damn, I thought I'd gotten all the bile out of my system. Guess I was wrong. I figure it'll take a while. But I have nowhere to go. At least not for another week or so...

Zen and Me


Sunday, when I was completely drained from my frantic week and near meltdown the day before, FF gave me some good advice. Some of the kind that's easier said than done. He has a few important principles that he uses. His toolbox.

They're very affirming and I need to hear them over and over. The kinds of things you already know, but need to be reminded of regularly.

Just breathe.

Live in the moment.

Hydrate. But not from plastic bottles - they have dangerous carcinogens.

I got kinda upset with him about the plastic bottle thing. I know he wants to help and it's sweet that he cares. I think it's more in the delivery. And the mood I was in. Which was influenced by my severe lack of affirmation lately.

Also, he has a strong personality. Which goes hand in glove with his enthusiasm and passion for life. Which I love. I'd say that's true about me, too. But sometimes the warnings feel like criticisms. And I know they're not for him, but if I don't let him know how I feel, it'll probably turn into a much bigger deal than it should. Even though I hate conflict, sometimes it's necessary. It's part of communicating. And understanding a person. And it takes practice to resolve it. We won't always agree, but that's not important. The need to be right was a significant factor in the demise of my marriage. But it was a symptom of a much bigger problem. Namely, unresolved conflict. And immeasurable resentment.

Ok, about the Zen thing. I put this Post-It note on my wall in front of my computer yesterday morning. Strange thing. I ran across the following website somewhere: http://zenhabits.net/start/ Took a quick look at it, and lo and behold, here's what it said: Smile, breathe and go slowly.’ ~Thich Nhat Hanh

What do ya' know? I had the smile and breathe part thing. Dude gave me the breathe part, but I came up with the smile on my own. And he makes me smile.

Hot and Bothered...

...or Free Fallin'?

I went for my run this morning. I wanted to get it out of the way just so I could comply with my new plan for structure, order and routine. And sanity.

But it's not that simple. I had to go find shorts and a jog bra and socks. Luckily I had bought a new pair of running shorts for a buck at City Thrift yesterday, so I ripped the tag off and threw them on. And my job bra was right there on the floor where I peeled it off last night after my run with Jo got rained out. Ponytail holder right on the doorknob where it belongs. Socks in dryer. So far, so good.

Sat on the floor in the laundry room to put on my shoes and there was only one shoe. How can that be? There are lots of shoes there because we take them off when we come in the back door from the mud pit. But Sarita put a shelf there and they're all in order. Except for my lone shoe. Where the fuck could the other one be? I decided to go look for my MP3 player and come back to the shoe problem. I looked at least five places for it. Gave up and went back to the shoe. It was in the laundry basket with the dirty clothes. I put them on and contemplated running without my music. I was feeling sluggish, though, and knew I wouldn't make it past the end of the driveway. Somehow it came to me. Not that I could tell you at this moment where I found it. Doesn't matter.

I went out the back door and decided to live dangerously and leave it unlocked, even though Kiddo and The D were still sleeping. I started running and didn't think I'd make it the first tenth of a mile. It was uphill, but still. I felt like I was in quicksand. I clicked through the random songs until I came to a good Kelly Clarkson breakup song with a pretty good beat. I played a few others which kept me going, but nothing really energizing. Then as I was rounding the corner to home, a perfect one started playing. I didn't know it. Figured it was another Led Zeppelin. It was called Hot and Bothered. Turns out it was from the Wayne's World soundtrack by a group called Cinderella. How in the hell did that get on my MP3? It was enough to keep me going, though. So I did another two miles today. Really, really good for me.

Then just as I started the last little downhill leg to the Good House, one of my very favorite songs started playing. Free Fallin'. Tom Petty. I love that song. Great contrast to the others. And perfect for winding down. I came in the back door, took off my shoes and lay on my back, sweating and breathing deeply. All the stress melted away.

See, last night, after working so hard all day, somehow all this anger bubbled up, seemingly from nowhere. I've had lots of well-intentioned friends giving me lots of advice. Telling me what to do to fix my problems. Like it's some simple equation. Deb tellng me to get the gutters cleaned out and install electronic thermostats. My friend L telling me to move the hose cart out of the front flower bed so it won't be front and center for people to see from the street. And that the coleus Daddy planted in front of the impatiens will be too tall and they'll hide the impatiens. And that she wasn't crazy about boston ferns. I know she's a horticulturist and all, but Daddy did this stuff and I don't give a fuck about whether the impatiens are hidden by the coleus. I'm just happy that The D is happy.

Speaking of The D, he was so looking forward to the trip he was supposed to be taking to Eureka Springs with my aunt and uncle and their church today through Friday. I called her yesterday to get the details and she said she meant to call me, but they had cancelled the trip. Great. When was she going to tell me? It broke my heart to walk into the living room and tell him. He said it was ok, but I know how excited he'd been.

I absofuckinglutely hate it when people bail on plans at the last minute. If a friend does that to me more than a couple times, I don't initiate any plans with them. I don't write them off, but I'd just rather spend time with people who value me and my time.

I fixed The D a great dinner last night. Lots of fresh veggies and sauteed polish sausage, onions and brussel sprouts. He loved it.

Back to the title of this post. Last night, I was hot and bothered. Or just bothered. But today, I'm free fallin'. I'm feeling very apathetic. Don't give a shit about what people think of me or my messy house or my garden design or whether I drink water out of Bisphenal A oozing plastic bottles. I'm gonna get my house sprayed for bugs every three months and spread chemicals in my yard to get rid of the weeds. I'm gonna nuke the hell outa the fuckin' poison ivy in my yard with Round-Up. I'd use Agent Orange, but I have a feeling it's hard to get these days.

I am, however, making some positive changes. Running for one. I've gone cold turkey with my Coke Zeros. My bone density test was a wake-up call. I'm eating lots of veggies (love this time of year). And drinking lots and lots of water. Spending time with my friends. Taking hot bubble baths. Listening to great tunes. Planning some trips this summer.

And doing my very best to stop worrying. And just breathe.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Another Speed Post

Lessee. I'll see if I can do this in six minutes. Then it'll be 5:00. I've been hard at it all day, with a couple breaks. Like lunch with Sarita after making Schwab deposit.

And a great run around 8:00. At least two miles without stopping. That's really something for me. I did shuffle on my MP3 instead of my usual deal of trying to pick one after another. Strange thing - turns out I had Led Zeppelin on it. Whole Lotta Love. That was a little before my time. I had no idea the lyrics were so dirty. Don't wanna think about what he meant by "your back door man." It's a long song, but good to run to. Then Ke$ha - "Your Love is My Drug." Another good one. Seems like there was a sexual theme. Odd. Maybe that's why I've been able to get so much done today. Sublimation.

I finally got one of my computers untangled with the speakers hooked up so I can listen to Pandora blaring in my office. That really helps.

Whoops. I'm three minutes over.

Later...

Speed Post

Fifteen minutes for this one. I MUST curtail my lengthy blogging until I get my life in order. I can't take many more days like I had Saturday, plus more than I can count in the last year. Gotta try something new. Like having a clue about what time it is. That's a left brain thing. I'm such a right-brainer, but I've gotta get the old corpus callosum in better shape. It facilitates interhemispheric communication in the brain. Google it. The whole left/right brain thing is fascinating.

So my plan involves actually writing down action plans and prioritized to do lists. Getting serious about hiring someone to help me with the things I seem incapable of doing (and detest), namely organizing. I'm gonna really focus on doing some things to counteract my intense anxiety. I need a toolbox for this. Both literally and figuratively. I think I'll use the tangible one to store things like my yoga DVD, bubble bath and Enya CDs. The other box will be have stuff like remembering to breathe and thinking affirming thoughts. Like "I can do this." or "It's not the end of the world and the sky is not falling." I've been called Henny Penny before. That's not a compliment.

The most important thing is probably the written list of promises I made to my client during our meeting Saturday. I'd let him down and wasn't following through on things I'd said I'd do. Not intentionally, just because I forgot. So I promised him I'd develop a system to prevent that. One of which is to give him a progress report every weekday at 8:00 a.m. That's about an hour and 15 minutes from now. I need deadlines and accountability. And when I make promises, I do my dead-level best to keep them. My mother taught me that.

So I'll think of her and remember how proud of me she was. I want to be proud of myself, too. So here I go. Onward and upward...

Saturday, May 21, 2011

I've come unstrung...


'Bout to, anyway. Very close to the precipice. So here I sit, in avoidance mode. I am going to close this post in exactly 9 minutes, finished or not. Because at that moment, I'll have exactly six hours until I meet with my most important client. I've done an incredibly shitty job for him this past month or so. I could blame it on the move/tax season/being distracted by Mr. Man, but I won't make excuses. I've gotta own it. I'm going to tell him how sorry I am. Waive April's fee. And give him an action plan for getting caught up. Back on my game.

In order to do that, I have GOT to find someone to organize my life. Or at least my office. Ok, six minutes, make that five, left.

Other sources of my anxiety include too much coffee (it's day 6 since I've given up Coke Zero), worry about my borderline bone density reading (Coke Zero's deplete calcium), trying to figure out how I'm gonna get The Daddler the hell out to Oakland for great-nephew's b-day party, rapture overload...

If I keep this up, I'll spontaneously combust. Literally. Actually, the misuse of the word "literally" has become a major fixation for me lately. It's a coping mechanism. At least I can feel good about knowing the difference between literally and figuratively. Very few people do. Now you'll hate me because you'll start noticing it.

Ok, better run. Time's up.....

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Daddler

My blog has strayed from its original purpose. To talk about my life with The D. There's been so much going on.

He's been so happy lately. And consequently, nice to me. So nothing to vent about. Today, he decided he wanted to go to the senior center for a few hours. Lunch was chicken and dumplings. That didn't hurt. Sarita dropped him off and Kiddo picked him up, so I got a few billable hours in. Including my unofficial role as Network Administrator for my nonprofit client. The secretary called to say she couldn't print. I was at Sam's with Kiddo. I told her to turn off the printer and turn it back on and call me if it didn't work. It didn't work. Then I talked her through the print queue. Cancelled all the jobs and tried again. No cigar. Said I'd stop by on my way home from Sam's.

Did the usual things. No success. I checked another computer and it worked fine. Then it hit me. Her computer wasn't plugged in to the printer. Yup, no bleeding edge wireless technology for us. The USB connection had been knocked out. Who'd have thought of that?

But the whole exercise was good. The sweet little old lady who's the pillar of the church (and signs my checks) was there. She got to meet Kiddo. He got to see me in my element. I slapped her sweet little butt. Gave her hell, like I always do. Printed my test document which said "Bea is a pain in the ass." Gave it to Bea and told her to take a look at what Susan was writing about her.

I think I should charge a premium for my NA duties. But it's fun being around sweet people. Who appreciate me.

Kiddo didn't say it, but I think he saw me differently today. The way my clients see me. They appreciate me. Maybe one of these days, he will, too.


In the meantime, I got some great stuff for The D at Sam's. Sweet corn. Fresh brussel sprouts (I'm the best BS chef in the world). Tomatoes. Celery. Blueberries. Best of all, Chunky. His name for cucumbers, tomatoes and onions chopped up and tossed in olive oil and vinegar. Yum.

He loved it. He wanted cornbread. I've been making it in Mother's cast iron skillet. He loves it in spite of the ground flax seed I throw in. Anything to keep him regular. Corn is really great for that.

Ok, gotta run. Work to do before the rapture...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

1-800-DONOTFUCKWITHME

I guess my do-not-call-or-mail-me anything status didn't carry over to the Good House. Same phone number. Oh, maybe it's because I changed from AT&T to ComCrap. Either way, I'm getting way too many unsolicited calls.

A little while ago, I fell asleep on the sofa for the 12th time while I was trying to watch the season finale of Desperate Housewives. The ringing telephone brought me to consciousness. I heard Kiddo answer at the same moment I screamed "Who is it?" If not for the outside chance that FF was calling (he's one of the elite few who actually knows my wall phone number), I'd have shouted "Don't answer it!" Like it would've mattered. I heard him say "Yes. No. I think so." I waited for him to say "Here she is." But the yes-no thing went on. I listened to be sure he didn't start rattling off any social security or credit card numbers. When he started reciting our address, I told him to give me the phone. He did. Here's how it went from there:
ME: Who is this? We don't answer surveys.
DRONE: This isn't a survey. We are providing a valuable public service.
ME: Who are you?
DRONE: I'm with Arbitron.
ME: It's a survey. Our time is valuable. Are you going to pay us for it?
DRONE: Well, there is a small cash gift.
ME: How small?
DRONE: I'm not permitted to reveal that.

Here's where I should've hung up. But I handed the phone back to the kiddo because Drone said he was finished with his questions and just needed to know where to mail the "small cash gift" of a secret amount and that he couldn't tell me but if he finished the questionnaire with the gentleman with whom he'd been speaking, he'd send it.

I watched Kiddo like a hawk and he had a sheepish grin on his face. When he hung up, I asked him how much cash we'd get. Kiddo said Drone said he'd be able to buy a nice doughnut with the "small cash gift." Great.

He gave me some shit about the fact that I was asleep so there was no one to talk to. I started in on him and then realized that he was playing me and then I said it must be sad to be so lonely.

Then I rattled off my favorite acronym, TANSTAAFL. My econ professor walked into class the very first day and wrote it on the blackboard. Then he said, "This is the most important thing you'll ever learn in Microeconomics. There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch." Truer words were never spoken. It made a huge impression on me.

I told Kiddo to go register on Do Not Call and Do Not Mail and Do Not Text. I told him to check the URL I've used as the title of this post, and buy it if it wasn't taken.

And now I'm exhausted. I've retreated to my Enchanted Airie and I'm listening to talk radio and at any moment, my day will be done.

Over and out...

The End is Near

Saturday, to be precise. I'm going way out on a limb here, but I'm overdue for a rant, and I think this deserves one.
If I weren't weird enough already, I started listening to late night talk radio a couple years ago. I had a severe case of insomnia, and it turned out that Coast to Coast AM was my personal panacea. I've blogged about some of the strangeness I hear at night, but I'll try to stay on track and focus on the hottest topic at the moment.

Impending doom. As in, we have three days left until Armageddon. Or Rapture. Depending on our whether our name's written in the Book of Life. If you're in, or not sure, you should know that pets aren't included. So check this:
I wonder if it's too late for me to get in on this action. It could be extremely lucrative.

Despite the fact that I was saved not once, but twice, when I was a fearful child, I'm still not sure whether I'll be in the chosen few. I remember once, walking downstairs, and I saw neither hide nor hair of any of the other five members of my family. My first thought was that I'd been left behind. I looked for empty clothes on the floor.
That shows you how fuckin' brainwashed and fucked up I was.

I could vent my spleen about manipulative mother-fuckers who scare the bejesus out of innocent children. So perverse. I'll give you one colorful example and I'll leave it at that. I was on a youth retreat at some primitive cabin with no heat or indoor plumbing, deprived of adequate amounts of sleep (classic cult techniques). We had our indoctrination session late that night. The leader made us close our eyes while he chastised us for our sinful natures. I swear, I am not making this up. He told us to raise our hands if we had ever masturbated. I swear, I wish I had opened my eyes and looked around. But I was too afraid. Was I the only one stupid and naive enough to raise my hand? All I remember was that my face was burning and I felt so ashamed. In retrospect, I'm sure the freak was getting off on it. Had a great time spanking his monkey in his well-appointed cabin that night, I'm sure.

I could tell lots more crazy stories, but this one has exhausted me. I think I'll wrap it up and go jill off. Double click the mouse. Diddle the skittle. Damn, I love UrbanDictionary. I really hate to be so crude, but somehow it's cathartic. Interestingly enough, the UD word of the day is "Apocalypse Sex." Self-explanatory. Too bad FF is so far away. Call me old-fashioned, but I'm not interested in anyone else. Brad Pitt could show up at my door and I'd send him on his way. I never cared for pretty boys, though. Especially blonde ones. So if you're reading this, Dude, don't get a big head.

Maybe I'll just go max out my credit card, try some recreational drugs, bungee jump from the bridge over the swollen Mighty Mississipp. I'd need the drugs to do that. I could drive to Little Rock and beat the shit out of the Bitch from Hell. Call the FBI and report each and every Desoto County Redneck Relative of hate-crimes. Actually, one of them was fired from FedEx for racial discrimination. Imagine that.

So here's the deal, according to my extensive research at 3:00 this morning. Saturday's the rapture. The tribulation will last five months. Until October 21st. Then the world will be destroyed by fire. If you're afraid of the Trib, there are suicide kits for sale on the internet. Buy one for your pet, too.

I have a couple friends who are self-proclaimed athiests. I tell them to just be agnostics. Because, really, how can we know?

But then, I'm a member of the Church of IDGAF. We have our own political party, too. We mix church and state. So sue us.

For now, I'll plan to be here Sunday. So I'm gonna go put The D's chicken pot pie in the oven.

Keepsakes

I can't think of anything to rant about. At the moment. The D just woke up, so that's likely to change any second now. No, actually, he's been pretty sweet lately. Same for Kiddo. In fact, now that I think about it, something must be wrong. Or maybe my psychotic break the other night scared some sense into them. After all, they'd be up Shit Creek without me. Or as Mother would've said, in a World of Ita. That's World of Hurt, in Japanese.

I was born there, you know. Daddy was stationed there for three years and that's when I came along. Can you imagine my poor mother flying back that far with a bratty/bossy/pissy seven year old bitch-in-the-making, a rambunctious five year old boy and a cherubic year old baby girl? On a propeller plane. By herself. The military men flew together, sans wives and kids. They probably played poker and smoked cigars on their great big C-130s. Probably even had a bowling alley and a bar. I'll have to ask The D about his flight home from Japan.

Mother bought lots of pretty things there. And since I was born there, they all belong to me. Because I said so. Except the smoked brass lamps bitch-from-hell former sister wheedled out of Mother. Oh, well. I unselfishly let Deb have the Cabbage Patch doll collection. So relieved she wanted them. Mother was somewhat obsessed with them. Funny, huh?

When if I ever get unpacked, I'll have to take some pictures of the beautiful things my Mother left.

Last weekend, Deb was cleaning out some closets at M&D's house and she found a big plastic bin marked "Keepsakes." She couldn't bear to look in it. She brought it to me. Bless her heart. Right after Mother died, we went to pick up some things for The D and Mother's shoes were under the kitchen table. Right were she took them off the last time. I wanted to pitch them but Deb wouldn't even let me move them. I'll have to go get the rest of Mother's personal belongings.

I have to admit, though, I haven't looked in the Keepsakes box even though it's right beside me on the floor in my office. Until now...

...Wow, I think two hours have gone by. There were some very sad things in the box. Heartbreaking. I'm gonna try to forget about that and focus on the sweet things.

I found Mother's high school yearbook. Actually, it's nothing like what we think of as a yearbook. She graduated from St. Benedict's Commercial High School in 1952. Mother was assistant editor of "The Ledger." Funny that I worked on my yearbook staff, too. Hers was a 10 page, mimeographed collection of quotes and memories. No photos. I'll share a few excerpts.

"Her care was never to offend, and every creature was her friend."

Somewhere an Office Manager is waiting for a courteous, efficient bookkeeper in the person of FCS. She is also a good stenographer. Her own correspondence keeps her trim in letter writing. Her pet peeve is speed demons in hot-rods and her favorite sport is baseball. (Homer probably plays.) F has a special touch when it comes to playing Volleyball. She was one of the best players on the team.


The seniors wrote their last will and testament. Here's what Mother wrote:

I, FCS, will to Dolores my love of Shakespeare, and to Connie my love of writing letters.
And here's the coolest thing of all.

OUTSTANDING SENIOR WINS PRIZE!

More than a month of hard work of composing, writing, and rewriting all paid off for one of our seniors, FCS, in the recent one-thousand word essay contest "America Is Everybody's Business," sponsored by the Ladies Auxiliary of the V.F.W. She won the second prize, $25.

She was one of the top-ranking typists. 62 wpm. Wow. When I took typing in high school, my personal best was 19. I'm lots faster now, I think, but I've had a little practice.

Maybe I'm more like her than I thought. And that makes me very, very happy.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

FF, Biden...

...it was an unfortunate comparison. Or accusation. FF gave me hell about it. I like that he didn't feel it necessary to defend Joe.

And I love that, like me, he actually thinks about his politics and doesn't drink the Flavor-Aid.

Most of all, I love his blue eyes, his sense of humor, his honesty, and the fact that he's a goofball. Kindred spirit. I gave up hope that one existed.

Gonna head to bed and hope I don't wake up to find this was a dream....

It's Gonna Be OK...

...I'm sure of it.

I've learned to adapt. Today I met with one of my clients, who happens to be a judge at the Memphis in May BBQ Festival. The flood came and at the 11th hour, the venue was changed to the fairgrounds. He said it was great. No mud. Electrical outlets galore. Easy ingress/egress. Pipkin building was the perfect HQ. Sure, it's not the same as the river. But so what. I love tradition, but dontcha think sometimes it's time to start new ones.

As a Memphian (who happens to pay property taxes on three homes), I like the idea of using some of our neglected, uncool assets for good things. Should I mention The Pyramid? Shyster Sidney Shlenker? Who took us for a ride?

All I ask is for a GD referendum before these grifters we call public officials make unilateral decisions based on who has the fattest envelope or where their offspring work. Can we say kickback? Don't even get me started on our fucked up local political cesspool. It makes even me lean left - I voted for Cohen, even though the lottery is a regressive tax. I know it's not that simple. Nothing ever is.

And really, that's why I belong to the IDGAF party. Because I really do not care. It's like religion for me. I'll never find one I agree with completely. So when I vote for the McCain/Palin ticket because I like Sarah's hair, it's because IDGAF and I think she'd make the news fun. Not that I watch the news. Plus, I like to fuck with all these left wingers with whom I seem to be surrounded.

Turns out, FF is crazy, freakishly liberal. Can I say Biden? Who can like him? He's a dunce. If not for his cute, blonde, smart wife, he'd be a justice of the peace. He must have something on Barack. Or more likely, Michelle just wanted her around.

Ok, the ranting has worn me out. I really am happy. Even in this back-water town.

Random thought. WTF did Billy Joe McAllister throw off the Tallahatchie bridge? A friend said it was a record collection. I thought it was the poor dead baby. I'm thinking it was the head of the asshole ex-BF who told BJ about the abortion. And BJ must've been a republican.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Serene Sunday

Any shreds of yesterday's bad mood evaporated this morning. Right along with the morning mist. I woke to fresh, cool air and the sound of chirping birds from the open window in my Enchanted Airie. Heavenly.

The Daddler went to Church next door. He said they've been saying nice things about the Good House. I know he's proud of his hard work in the yard.

This is the third week he's gone to church there. So cool that he can walk there. Such a relief not to have to drive all the way out to Cordova. Or go to church.

That reminds me. The rapture is scheduled for next Saturday. May 21st. Wonder if getting saved twice as a kid will count? I have a feeling that all my bad talk about the baptist bastards will cancel that out. Not to mention my excessive use of the word "fuck." If I believed in hell, I'd be worried. Actually, I think things'll be better if all the fanatics go away.

More about my blissful day. I made soup for The D. Totally random. Started with Kielbasa. Just a little chopped up. Then celery, carrots and onions - the holy trinity. According to Emeril, anyway. Beef bouillion. Potatoes. Some Kosher cole slaw. And crumbled up cornbread.

I'm kinda dangerous in the kitchen, but this turned out great. The D pronounced it "pretty good." And I didn't slice off a fingertip.

I have a graduation party to attend at 6:00. Gonna stop by FF's parents and take them some soup. I know, I'm shameless. Actually, I'm not worried about dude one bit. He'll be damn lucky to have me. Gonna hedge my bets, though, and start shopping health insurance. COBRA runs out in 2 1/2 months. Same day I celebrate (or ignore) the quinquagenary of my birth. Sounds much better than semicentennial, dontcha think?

50 fuckin' years. Damn. How did I get so old? I'm more than halfway through with my time on earth. Except if the world ends Saturday, it's more like 99.9999%. At least that way, I won't have to worry about health insurance.

Sometimes I feel like I'm seven years old. Like today. After my run. I cooled off with a little swinging session at the park. Closed my eyes even. I've never messed with hallucinogens, but I have a feeling this must be similar. Don't get me wrong. I'm no Timothy Leary. Lortab makes me throw up and Darvocet knocks me on my ass. Luckily, no sprained ankles or broken forearms lately. Really great story about the broken arm. Complete with country music star, bond daddy, skirt over my head (with fellow CPAs swarming around, no less), frozen elbow which made driving a stick shift and brushing my teeth next to impossible.

Ok, this is turning into Bizzaro-World. Gonna get shower. Figure out some transitional outfit in which to make my appearance at grad party.

Hope The Daddler's late lunch will tide him over until the morning. And that Kiddo will arrive safely home with scrips and grad card. He's lovin' the Subaru. I'm hatin' the minivan. I heard an ad for a Volvo lease for $300/mo today. Cannot do that. Since I drive my cars for a minimum of 10 years and 75k miles, it'd be stupid to lease.

Crap, I'm so random. I own it, though. How many people can say that?

Over and out.

Oh, one last thing. Go Griz! Big game in OKC. Right now. Since I have ex-BF there, I care about the outcome. But that's been 26 years ago. And punitive. Damn...

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Fuck the Shit, continued

Comcast. My life is consumed with them. My phone just rang and it was the Comcast payment center saying that my MasterCard was about to be charged for the bill on my parents' house and that they'd already received a check for it. I told him I didn't care what he did. I swear, between Comcast and MLGW I have six accounts and I have NO idea what's been paid. They won't put them all on the same account so I can just set them all up on autopay like I had them. I need to call Chase so I can change my billing address to the Good House so I can rack up some points. Then I'm going to set everything up to hit the credit card. Pay one humongo bill per month instead of all this crap. And it's not even that simple because I pay bills for mother and daddy's house out of The D's account.

I decided to go to the link Mr. Comcast-to-the-Rescue had posted a while back on one of my I Hate Comcrap posts. He said it had remote control codes. It was something like ComcastCaresAboutYouAndWantsYouToBeHappy.comcast.com. So I thought it was legit. Turns out, it's a link to his fuckin' blog. Which is blank. Thank god I didn't email the bastard because he'd have my whole name. He'd probably spam the hell out of me, or worse, stalk me. Why is this world so full of lowlife whack-jobs? I'm not afraid. I could take him out. Easily. And I should be embarrassed to say this, but I'm not: Openin' a can of whoopass on some idiot who dared fuck with me would be incredibly cathartic.

Ok, enough of this rant. Speaking of low-life whack-jobs, I heard the weirdest news I've ever heard in my entire life. But then anything to do with Jerry Lee Lewis is over the top. Here goes, straight from Action News Five:

GERMANTOWN, TN - (WMC-TV) - A Germantown woman who claims to be the daughter of music legend Jerry Lee Lewis was out on bond Friday after she was arrested and charged with killing her five-month-old child.

Germantown Police charged Lori Lancaster with criminally negligent homicide after her infant died earlier this week.

Investigators said Lancaster took muscle relaxants hours before she was discovered lying on top of her five-month-old son, who was apparently smothered. The child was taken to Methodist Germantown Hospital.

Lancaster's mother was Jerry Lee Lewis' fourth wife Jaren Gunn. The couple planned to divorce when Lancaster was 10 years old. Two weeks before the divorce was final, Gunn drowned in a swimming pool.

Lewis says Lancaster is not his daughter.

The Germantown Police Department would not elaborate on the charges.



Only in Memphis.

Fuck the Shit

Dammit to hell. First thing this morning, The D told me the volume didn't work on the remote and he had to get up and push the buttons on the TV. I've lost the TV remote. I put it somewhere so Daddy wouldn't fuck with it and change the input code (which he frequently does) and now I can't remember where I put it. So I called ComCrap. They said it would be a 4 minute wait, or I could leave a call back number and I wouldn't lose my place in line. An hour later, the phone rings. Typical. I spent a good 45 minutes on the phone trying things over and over again with a nice Indian lady but nothing worked. I told her I'd done it before. Several times. Before I called, I printed out the Comcast remote control programming codes (there are several for each brand of TV), but it was so tiny that I couldn't read it. Also, the codes there were so outdated. They were four digits instead of five. Typical.

So Deb, the Golden Child, sashays in to take The D on his weekly outing. Today it's the barber shop and Sam's. He loves it. Highlight of his week. I was on the phone w/ CrapCast and when I hung up, GC grabs the remote and starts pushing buttons. She says his favorites don't work. Unless you switch it to cable mode. But then the volume doesn't work. Simple solution. She thinks. She showed D how to switch back and forth when he wants to access his favorites. She thinks he'll remember. No. What'll happen is he'll appear in my office seven times a day expecting me to drop what I'm doing and come fix it. He'll be frustrated. With me.

All of a sudden, I'm overwhelmed to the point of panic. Gonna close here, try to breathe, take a hot shower, and sequester myself in my office until I get halfway organized and make a huge list of the ten million things I have to do. Maybe then, I won't feel this irresistible urge to run away and never come back.

Men at Work

I'd asked Kiddo to do some things around the house. The Daddler's been working hard at raking leaves on the inside of our fence, but since the property line extends beyond the fence to encompass four huge oaks, we have to take care of the leaves on the other side of the fence. The church takes care of mowing and everytime I see the man who does that, I ask him when he's gonna take care of those leaves, but somehow, he thinks I'm kidding. Me, kid? Maybe now that The D is a regular (two weeks running, and he even gave an offering last time), they'll have pity on us.

When I got home from my client's office yesterday, Kiddo was out raking. When I walked in the house, I asked The D if he'd seen K raking. He registerd a look of surprise, grabbed his hat and jumped up. We walked out together and I told Kiddo how shocked his G-Pa had been, and they both grinned. The D told him to pull up some scrub trees and grabbed a rake and joined in.

I love this picture. Somehow, it makes me feel like the Lady of the Fiefdom.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Kryptonite Redux, Expanded Edition

I try not to be fearful, but I do have a phobia or two. The most paralyzing being my fear of poison ivy. I blogged about my encounter with it the other day, but Blogger had a system problem and a couple of my recent posts disappeared. Including that one. More about it later.

I've established that I don't suffer from ophidiophobia (fear of snakes).

And I thought I was over my severe arachnaphobia until this morning. I woke up and picked up the big glass of water I keep on my nightstand. I had the glass all the way to my mouth when I noticed moving something a millimeter from my nose. Lo and behold, it was a pretty big spider. I wonder if Little Miss Muffett shouted "FUCK" when that spider sat down beside her. I'll bet if he were in her bowl of curds and whey, a whole string of expletives would've flown out of her mouth. Yuck. It makes me itch just thinking about it. I have to say that Charlotte did wonders for the way I think of spiders. Have you read E.B. White's masterpiece lately? I promise you, it'll be so much more profound than when you read it in 4th grade. And it'll make you cry buckets of tears. Keep a big glass of water by your bed.

I'm proud of myself though. I cannot bear to let a spider get away because it never fails to resurface. And since this one was so close to my bed and I already suffer from nightmares, I faced the enemy. I grabbed a paper towel and reached in the glass with it and crushed him. Not without a little chase. Thank god he wasn't one of those jumping kinds. Or maybe he just couldn't get traction on the plastic cup.

Now I know spiders are good and they eat insects, but please do not chastise me for killing it. That means you, Dude. I still feel bad about poor Sly under the Family Fern. May he rest in peace.

Back to the PI. I had finished mowing the yard and I decided to prune some of the scrub trees along the side of the yard. Pruning is so therapeutic for me. But my therapy was completely undone when I saw it. The evil plant. I threw down the pruners and ran to the back door and up the stairs to my bathroom. Grabbed a can of Ajax on the way. Peeled off my sweaty (and regrettably skimpy) clothes. Put them in an orange biohazard bag. Turned the shower on - the water as hot as I could stand. Jumped in and scrubbed every inch of my body with Ajax. Except my hair. My highlights cost too much to risk them. I just lathered, rinsed, repeated, lathered, rinsed and repeated, lathered, rinsed... I spared my lady parts from the Ajax, too. But damn. Can you imagine getting it there?

Obviously, this part of my anatomy wasn't exposed while pruning, but it's always possible for a molecule or two of urushiol to be tranferred there in the process of peeling off clothes. I made do with Zest for my LPs.

For the next 24 hours, I had many phantom itches, but thank god, none of them turned out to be PI.

There are plenty of other things I'm not wild about, but I think the poison ivy thing is my only phobia. And dammit. It doesn't even have a fancy Greek name. Believe me, I looked. Botophobia is the fear of plants. Toxicophobia is the fear of poison. Maybe Botoxicophobia would be appropriate. But that sounds like fear of the inability to register any expressions of emotion on one's face. Hmmmm... Lessseee. The latin name for poison ivy is Toxicodendron radicans. Latin for fear is metus. We could just call it TRM. Actually, I like Botoxicophobia better. I hereby coin, copywright, trademark and patent that word and claim $1 in royalties for each and every use of it in any form, including electronic, print, audio... Dude, don't you have some CLE comin' up? How about some IP law? I have GOT to protect all these brilliant ideas of mine.

Ok, I think I've exhausted the whole phobia subject.

Quick update on the Daddler. And Kiddo. Daddler's been happy as a clam. He's been nicer since our little spat the other night. And my humble, sincere apology the next day. Kiddo and I had a major, angst-filled (complete with tears) come-to-Jesus meeting last night. He's been sweet today. Let's hope it lasts. I'm hopeful, because I think I got through to him. I think he finally got a glimpse of how hard it's been for me lately. And as much as we butt heads, he really is a great kid and I'm so proud of him. I want to give him everything I can, but I know that I'm not doing him any favors if I don't expect him to man-up and behave like a loving, respectful, grateful son. Yesterday my shrink told me I have to let go of the guilt. I trust her. So I'll do it.

And I'll know in my heart of hearts that I've done my best for the people I love. My mother. The Daddler. And of course, Kiddo. And last, but not least, myself.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

What a difference a day makes!

After a great night's sleep, I woke up feeling ready to tackle the day.

Yesterday, I went to Pancho's for an afternoon beer with a friend and I got Tacos al Carbon to go. The Daddler really likes them. They're cheap and it's enough for two. So I fixed our plates and I sat in the living room with him and we ate together and watched the ballgame. We both love baseball, and since I'm usually half-watching (I was reading a magazine, too), I ask him what's going on and he likes to do color.

I'd made a sincere apology to The D in the morning. Told him that I was sorry I'd hollered at him. That I was disrespectful. He said it was ok. And meant it.

So after sleeping a good eight hours, sans nightmares, I felt so much stronger. Kiddo reported to work around 10 - I've asked him to help me with some basic, but important tasks with my client work. I've been working on a sales tax schedule and need to finish it this week. It's a big chore. I do it on Excel, and use formulas, but it requires thinking about each transaction and whether sales tax was paid and at what rate. It's a huge value-add, though, because the deduction using actual instead of the IRS table is much higher.


I won't go into any more details. I'll just say that coming up with the formula involved a little algebra and since Kiddo took AP Calculus, he said I should just let him do the calculation. I explained that if he'd said that to a boss, he'd have been fired. That he needed to watch and learn, and not try to tell his boss how to do things, unless asked. He argued. I told him to pretend I was another adult, and speak to me accordingly. Somehow, he wasn't capable of doing this. We went round and round. Then his father appeared. I don't know why. I told him he needed to be involved in this discussion. He said had to go. I told him there was nothing more important than this. I explained our son's disrespectful attitude. How he'd depleted my patience and caused me to lose my temper with The D. That he was totally insensitive about the stress I am under. And that I was on the verge of sending him to live with his dad. As usual, it was the dear in the headlights look from the baby daddy. I said something I've said before. That our son could call me a fuckin' bitch and his dad wouldn't have said a thing. Of course, no one calls me names, and I would've opened a major can of whoop-ass on him. But the point is that I get absofuckinlutely no support with discipline.

Somehow, I managed to stay rational. I fired kiddo and told him he could forget about my giving him my car.
That I didn't need his help. I guess that got his attention because he shut the hell up and listened for a change.

And we figured out the formula together. Proved it. Talked about exceptions to the rule. And I left him to it. Hit the pavement for a run.

I'm happy to report that I ran, without stopping, a whole 22 minutes. Up from 12 minutes yesterday. Major progress. It was hot and I sweated profusely. I love it. I do better with my exercise when it's hot. I think my muscles are more limber. When I got back, I sat next to Sly and the Family Fern and communed with nature. While I hydrated. And soaked in a little sun.

I checked on my employee's progress. I was pleased that he'd stayed with it and had made a list of questions. He was actually thinking. He said he was done. I said, "Don't you mean you're taking a break?" He did. Didn't argue.


Then I fixed The D lunch. Vegetable beef stew my friend Helen had fixed as a housewarming gift. Plus a corn muffin, fruit and yogurt. I asked him how he liked the soup and he said, "It tastes pretty good." Which for him, is raving. I'll be sure to include that in my thank you note.

So, I'm happy with my progress. So happy, in fact, that I'm gonna head outside and plant some things. Prune some shrubs (very good therapy for me). Maybe mow the back yard. Take my watercolors to the patio and paint.

Then I'll head inside, take a nice shower, and do some more client work. Do some organizing. Work on getting my other two computers set up with the wireless router. So much. Oh, I need to do April billing, too.

On that note, I'll close here and get busy. And continue to make progress...

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

High Anxiety

I went back to bed around 3 or so. Didn't wake up until 8:45. I thought it was Sunday morning. It's Tuesday.

I realized I'd had more nightmares. Guilt-fueled, for sure. The D was out walking in a field. I was close enough to see him, but still quite a distance away. He fell. Hit his head on a manhole cover and flipped over backwards - a somersault. He was lying there, lifeless. I was trying to scream to him, but no sound came out. I ran to him.

When I got there, he was coming to. I did my quick neuro exam. Asked him his name, where we were, who I was, etc. He failed. I tried to call 911 but hit 411 instead. I tried 911 again and I got the hospital's maintenance department. I was in a panic. I looked around and realized that we were just outside Baptist Hospital. Some docs were leaving and I begged them to help me. To call an ambulance for me. They didn't have their phones. Said not to worry. The D would be fine. They seemed annoyed that I'd dare bother them with trifles, and headed on their way. Then I realized that we were very close to the emergency room. So I helped The D to his feet and we stumbled over there.

Turns out that his blood pressure had gone through the roof - 380 or something crazy - but miraculously, he hadn't stroked out. I took him home and the ER docs came to check him later. My house was full of random people. It turned out there was an extra bedroom I hadn't known about. I thought it was a closet door in my bedroom. When I walked into it, there was a foot of water in it. The plumber was there. Said it was a structural thing and would take major work.

When the docs had done their thing, they gave me the discharge papers. Right at the top in the comments box, they'd written that my house was dirty and unfit. I tried to explain that it was messy, but not dirty. It was clean. I told them about the move, my tax deadline and the fact that if my bitch-from-hell older sister got her hands on their report, it would be bad. For The Daddler. And me. They didn't care.

I woke up. Relieved that it was just a dream. Disappointed that it was Tuesday and not Sunday. Full of angst, guilt, fear. You name it. If there was a negative emotion, I had it.

I drug myself out of bed. Kiddo and Daddler were already up. We passed each other without speaking. I was wiped out. I handled a couple client emails. Realized the deposit I'd made yesterday hadn't hit the bank account. Major stress. Hopefully it'll be there tomorrow. Also realized I had some checks to mail. Should've done that yesterday.

Now I'm sitting here, writing this stupid blog post. I spend too much time here, but I justify it by calling it therapy. Is there a balm in Gilead for my soul? I hope the answer isn't "nevermore." Damn, it's bad when I'm feeling like a Poe character.

I'm in my running shorts. I'm gonna hit the pavement. And hope that helps.

Lachrymose

I just woke up from a nightmare. I was soaked with sweat and on the verge of hyperventilating. My heart was racing.

In my dream, I was trying to find my way out of an old house. I'd gone into it thinking it was charming and just needed some work to restore it. Then I realized how bad it was and I tried to make my way out. It was getting dark and there was no power (maybe someone forgot to pay the MLGW bill). There were endless stairways and the farther down I went, the darker and dustier it became. The steps were rotted and I was afraid I'd fall through them. One broke and that stirred up a thick cloud of dust. That's when I woke up. Trying to breathe.

As I was sitting here thinking about it, I realized that the house was similar to the Baudelaire Mansion in The Series of Unfortunate Events. Which happens to be one of my favorite movies of all time.

When my panic attack passed, my thoughts went to the angry scene with The D yesterday. In last night's post, I said I'd never shouted at him before. Really, though, there were plenty of times we said angry things in loud voices to each other, but then, he was the parent. I wonder if he ever felt as guilty about it as I do now. Probably not.

I also wonder if Kiddo ever feels guilty about the things he says to me. Probably not.

That's the problem, I suppose. Neither of them would ever apologize to me. So many people can't. Or won't. I pride myself on doing it. I have plenty of practice.

Nothing irks me more than an insincere apology. If I hear "if" or "but" after the words, "I'm sorry," my blood boils. Because it's not only NOT an apology, it's an attempt at avoiding responsibility. As in, "I'm sorry if I upset you, but..." This is usually followed by some form of blame-laying.

Forget the qualifiers. If you're sorry, you're sorry. For what you did or didn't do. Own it. You fucked up. That's all you can say. Oh, and please never tell me I'm too sensitive. That's just saying it's my fault.

Ok, enough about how to apologize. I'll put it into action when I see The D later this morning.

In the meantime, I need to figure out a way to get through the summer. Because I can't take the thought of dealing with both a difficult daddler and a churlish teenager for that long. I spent a good 45 minutes talking to Kiddo about the sitch yesterday. Fat lotta good that did. He's gonna have to man up.

Back to my nightmare. I guess it's not too hard to figure out the symbolism. Orphaned children. Caring for Sunny, the baby. Uninhabitable house. And dangerous characters like Count Olaf.

For now, I need to cry some more and try to go back to sleep. And hope most of my events won't be so unfortunate.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Enough already...

...I screamed at The D today. First time ever. The combo of surly kid and surly daddler was just too much. I won't go into the details. They're not interesting in the least. The gist is that once more, my efforts went unappreciated. And I was disrespected. I fulfilled my familial responsibilities today. No small feat. I had to haul my ass to MLGW and wait with the unwashed masses to prove that I was who I said I was and that I owned my home. So I could pay my fuckin' bill and not get my utilities cut off. Because, god forbid, if I paid someone else's bill without actually owning the house, they'd be screwed. And if my credit was bad, they'd be forced to cut off my utilities. Even though I'd paid the fuckin' utilities, if I hadn't jumped through hoops today, that wouldn't be good enough. Can you imagine The Daddler if NEITHER of his big ass TVs worked?

While I was at it, I asked to change the address on old house, but since the account is listed in former husband's name, I'm mere chattel. Never mind that we owned the house jointly and he quit-claimed it to me when we divorced, or that I paid every single bill for 21 years. Never mind that anyone at all can look at the property tax records online and see who owns what and how much they paid for it and if they paid their taxes and if they added on and how many square feet they have and if they have electric or gas heat. Fuck that. I'm supposed to take a fuckin' "divorce agreement" to prove that I have the right to pay the bill on the house I own. By the way, in Tennessee, it's called a Marital Dissolution Agreement. MDA for short. Fuck these fuckin' bureaucratic bastards.

Damn. Where did all this vitriol come from? The D and Kiddo, that's where. I'm gonna head to bed. Increase my carbon footprint and turn the AC down to 60 and keep the windows open so I can hear the leaves rustle tonight and the birds chirp in the morning. Brush my teeth and wash my face and sleep naked and not worry about having to run out of the house wrapped in a sheet if the house catches on fire. In other words, I'm going to live dangerously. Seize the day. And chant my mantra. IDGAF...

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Cat

I thought it was better. I just missed the signs. The bulimia is raging. She's just gotten better about hiding her tracks. I bought a new bottle of Resolve, thinking that would handle the occasional upset tummy. But this really is a sickness. She wakes me up in the middle of the night, crying for fresh food. God forbid if she can see the bottom of her bowl.

She walks around my head and starts licking sensitive areas (like my armpit) with her sandpaper tongue. Or my face. With the same tongue she's just used to lick her butthole. No wonder her breath stinks. I'm gonna get some dread disease, I'm sure. Then she started scratching last night. Fuck. Even though she doesn't go outside, I'm supposed to treat her for fleas. I'm down to the last little vial. It's a major ordeal when it's time for me to squirt the harmless little bit of medicine on the back of her neck. She digs her claws into my thigh. Runs and hides for a day or two. Until The D starts his version of Cat Baby Talk. It makes me ill.

The bulimia's bad enough. She also has pica. Which means she has cravings for non-food items. Like wood. The unglazed porcelain under the toilet tank. My forearm.

Fuck. I have two piles of vomit to clean up and she's lying on my sham licking herself all over like some kinda porn star. I guess they do that. She seems into pleasuring herself, anyway.

I hope I'll wake up in a better mood tomorrow. As always, it's dicey.

I Just Don't Know

I thought I was ok. Deb came. The D was great. I had some sweet interactions with Kiddo.

Then Deb brought Daddy home from their visit to the cemetery. I was so proud of the flowers I'd arranged. I thought the little arrangement would provide comfort. But Deb refused to take them home. I didn't see that coming. She was so close to Mother. And she's had some trials in her maternal role lately. I suppose her method of coping kicked in. Denial. If you ignore it, it'll go away.

She's the baby. I'm a big believer in the influence of birth order on personality. Deb's a classic baby. So sweet to her mother. I think babies never outgrow that role of the youngest and cutest. They love to be taken care of. There's no sense of independence. The fucked up middle child gets displaced and has to fend for herself. Particularly when there's an evil, bitch-from-hell, controlling and manipulative older sister.

The middle child seeks approval. No one notices her. They're all about the cute baby. Deb was a little blonde cherub. I vividly remember this scene. We were in the front yard when she was about four years old, which would make me seven. Bikinis had just made it to the masses. Mother had gotten her one. Daddy was there with the polaroid. Carefully timing the exposure. She was a star. So cute.

I've never in my life worn a bikini. There's the whole body dysmorphic thing. I've come a long way with that, but still, I'll never shine like that sweet, adorable, innocent, precious little sister. Maybe it's a good thing I was a late bloomer. Not sure I've really bloomed yet. And my sweet baby sister has all but given up on her dreams. It pains me to think about the things she says, but I'm not sure I wouldn't feel the same way if I'd been dealt the very unlucky cards she's had.

Deb wound up paying a price for her beauty. I had to make it on my personality and brains. You know what it means when a guy says a girl has a "great personality." She's butt ugly but she'll do in a pinch.

Guess what. I'm glad I never got the kind of attention my pretty little sister did. It was a wolf in sheep's clothing.