I Get It, I Think


Lately, I've been developing a little list of man things I secretly like. You know, thing that good aloof girls like me aren't supposed to enjoy. Beer, speaking straight to the point, remote controls. You know, all those horrible things I used to eschew. Anyway. Today I experienced something I never thought I would understand.


Oh yeah, baby. My father has a lawn mower which cost roughly three times as much as my car. This thing is... beautiful. It drives faster than you can mow. When I first clambered onto the seat and grasped the controls, I was more than a little scared for my life. At first I took down a few small trees, gouged some holes into the turf and took out half a boxwood. But as I drove and got used to it, I realized how much fun this thing is!

Two and a half hours, a major case of sunburn and no more grass left to mow, I was hooked. I wanted more grass! More space! I wanted a obstacle course to maneuver this thing! I wanted this to be a part of my Dad's list of manly requirements: Take Huge Grass Mowing Machine Through Obstacle Course Sucessfully. (Among other things on his list of What You Need To Do To Be A Man are jumping off a bridge, taking a truck with a trailer attached backwards through a obstacle course, eating raw oysters and going head to head over theology.)

What really scared me was when Dad said "Go down to Central Tractor and sit on some of those cheap toy lawnmowers" and I totally could see why. So we could laugh and scoff about our superior mower.

I'm scared now. Really, really scared.

Falling Into The Rabbit Hole


Last weekend I drove the three hour journey to visit my mother. She lives in a tiny overpriced town tucked just across the West Virginia border nestled up against the Potomac. The view is absolutely breathtaking. The drive itself was incredible, the road leading to her house winding among the mountains and against the river.

Her employer, who she lives with as part of her compensation, is a very odd man. He is eighty-seven, opinionated as a mule, deaf as a door nail and adores putting people in their place. His life has been varied and glamorous. He was an OSS officer in WWII, an acclaimed author in the seventies and the son of two prominent celebrities. He has, in short, led a charmed life.

My mother knows him from her days in scientology as the Director of Public Affairs. He wrote a book on The Secret Life Of Plants (it's basically the premise that plants have feelings, or something like that) it was huge back in the days of free love and marijuana.

Upon my arrival, I was tested with spirited conversation as well as the admonition that "you need to speak slowly and clearly, my dear. You are much more beautiful when I can understand you." Apparently, I passed, because it was only a matter of hours before he began piling manuscripts upon me to read. His memoirs, his OSS accounts, his short story of his romp with Bridget Bardot. Oh yes, and a book on who financed WWII. (He's very much into conspiracy theory.)

I felt very... Bohemian. There were unexpected guests for dinner, so we all ate a little less and they played for their dinner. We drank wine with--everything. We ate pasta and talked of philosophy. I found myself considering and thinking about some of the more appealing ideas that he presented regarding religion and life. But I also found myself quietly refuting it with scripture. It was scary, all these appealing thoughts but it's good to question and make yourself think.

Visiting her was nice. I am now able to understand her perspective alot more. Even if it is a bit weird and creepish. I am able to see how she processes her thoughts. I was able to show her that even though she now believes in past lives and godknowswhatelse, I still love her.

For she is my Mum.

-red stripe beer/corona. red stripe is cute! and good tasting! and makes me feel vaguely original. corona taste like mexican pee. or what i would imagine mexican pee to taste like.

-my haircolor/the idea of me ever being blonde. i am in utter love and adoration of my hair. it's beautiful. and rich. and shiny. pray tell, why did i ever think i looked good as a blonde?

-white pants/khakis. i adore white pants. white is so fresh. and preppie. and summery. khakis are so... madonna/missy elliot/sarahjessicaparker. i have yet to find a pair that look good on me.

-aviators/oversized sunglasses. aviators give everything a nice edge. oversized sunglasses were cool, once. before all these little mkate&ashley clones thought it would be cool to wear them. gah. please. i'd like parts of my face to see the sun.

-pastawitholiveoilandherbs/spaghetti and sauce. last weekend, i visited my mother and her employer, who has lived in italy most of his adult life. they taught me this beautifully simple, yet delicious dish. you toss aldente spaghetti with olive oil, fresh basil, feta, minced garlic and grape tomatoes. to die for. as long as you aren't planning on kissing anyone. spaghetti and sauce? stains those aforementioned white pants.

-googoodolls let love in/dixiechicks long way around. i adore every single song on the goo goo dolls new album. the dixie chicks? not so much. i felt so unpatriotic buying the album of the bush bashing babes, but i loved the single. and now, i'm paying the price. a few of the songs are good, but as a whole, i'd leave it rather than take it.

-british exclamations/swearing. swearing is so not cool. actually, swearing IS cool. it's just a really bad habit i need to break. i'm trying to replace all my swear words with fairly innocuous and children friendly words such as "bloody" and "bollocks". however. it isn't going too well. stressful moments normally go something like this:

"shit. shit. shit. wait. no. dammit! DAMNIT! no. wait. um. i'm not swearing. um. dam--. gah. drat. bloody. hell. wait! no!"

yeah. i need some faux expletive suggestions. i know that kind of defeats the whole purpose of not swearing. but really, it's just to be a good auntie. and to avoid sounding distinctly like a sailor.

-torturingmen/aiding and abetting the clingy. i swore off torturing for awhile. i felt bad! HA! you know what they say about nice guys finishing last? nice GIRLS finish last. they are stuck with barriages of needy text messages pleading for conversation. draining little stalkers who don't even justify their existance by bringing coffee. (starbucks boy is back. but he thinks he is cool now and doesn't need to bring me coffee to justify my time. I THINK NOT!)

-hymns/ccm. ccm (contemporary christian music, for those of you that are unfamiliar) was nice for awhile. but i'm tired of it. quite tired. i'm tired of the songleaders who repeat chorus after chorus in attempts to sound more spiritual. i'm tired of the lack of harmony. i'm tired of the melodies that sound disturbingly the same and generic. sometimes there is nothing like a few hymns that have been around for the ages. hymns that have stood the test of time and faith. hymns that have been sung by the persecuted christians before us. songs that remind us of the legacy of faith left to us.

-colinfirth pride&prejudice/kieraknightly pride&prejudice. i'm not going to start out with the arguement that for the rain scene alone, colin firth wins. (even if he does.) i'm just going to point out that mr.darcey was weedy and awful in the p&p. alot of the subtle nuances that were depicted in the old one, were missed in the new. their words had to be more animated and facial gestures more violent to try and properly depict the subtle dialouge since their acting rather sucked. i really don't understand why kk was nominated for academy awards for this film. i was thoroughly bored.

-minimal makeup/lots of makeup. i am currently enchanted with wearing as little makeup as possible and still looking human. however, i need to find a happy medium. my darling sister asked if i was wearing any makeup at all. yet, the video store lady complimented me on my flush beauty. i'm trying to make the difference between the real me and the painted me minute. as in, if people see me with makeup off, they won't immediately run screaming. however, i'm quite sure this obsession will pass.

Laughing Like A Crazy Woman


Because there is blood spattered on my windshield from where I ran over a bird. It's a nice touch with the dangling fog lamp that was the memory of dead geese past.

I would advise you not to let me sit your children. Or pets.

Today, ignoring all fashion codes, I wore an all-white outfit to work before Memorial Day. I know, shoot me. This prompted comments like "are you going to a wedding?" and "you look like you just stepped out of GQ". (Um, GQ is a mens magazine.)

But the one comment that I found most amusing:

"Very yuppi."

I would consider myself very unyuppi. Very anti yuppi. Needless to say I was slightly insulted. I told the giver of this comment that they themselves were the very definition. No, they told me, they don't drive a BMW. I don't either. Well, they said, someone in your family does and Yuppiness travels by DNA.

Riiiight. *

*Anyone who has met my father will realize the incredible hilarity of this proposition.

What Then, My Good Friend, Is The Point?


I have a rather conservative friend who is getting married in a month. Today he called me and was blathering on about missing talking to me, blahtyblahblahblah. I told him I was indeed sad I hadn't heard from him in awhile, but completely understood. Though, I was quite aware that after the wedding I would be hearing from him even less. He said he was confused. Trying to be discreet and genteel (truly a first for me) I gently said

"Well, you'll be busy taking care of your new wife and I most certainly hope you'll be fulfilling the God given command to repopulate the earth. Or at least trying." I was gently trying to make the point that he would FINALLY BE ALLOWED TO HAVE WILD MONKEY SEX, I MOST CERTAINLY HOPE HE WOULD BE TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THIS OPPORTUNITY.

He paused.

"Nah. I won't really have time."

He was serious.

Behold, The Power Of Breasticles!*


Part of my job involves crossings a very busy highway on a regular basis. With beach weather approaching and all, part of my job now involves standing at the side of a highway for a very long time while waiting for a lull in traffic. Simply because I'm female and have free flowing hair, I get occasional honks and hollers. But today was a defining moment in my traffic watching days. Two Mac trucks stopped abreast, full of screaming waving men, so I could totter across the now stilled highway without spilling a drop of my morning coffee.

Good to know these things will have been well-used even if I don't have children.

*The origin of breasticles involves a very long story which includes my little brother, screaming it at the top of his lungs and embarassed company.

Caffeine Fueled Verbage


I have nothing of value to say right now. I'm drumming my fingers, kicking my feet, twitching my head and generally trying to burn of excess energy. I've fortified my energy sources thus far with five espresso shots and have two more doubleshots to last me through the day. Stamina, baby! That's what I'm talking about.

Yes. I stayed up late last night. Very late for a school night, as it were. Listening to the band of a sister's boyfriend's friend's cousin or something like that. Don't try to make the connection. They were actually quite marvelous. I amused myself inbetween sets by keeping snarky commentary on--everyone. I kept things interesting by flinging ice chips on the floor to watch drunken girls slip. Very evil. Yet very laughable.

(I know I'm going to hell for this. Spare me the hate comments/mail/lectures.)

Why is it that all girls under the age of twenty five must look exactly the same and act exactly the same when trying to procure themselves a drunken frat boy to sleep with? While this is perplexing, it is most certainly helpful when conducting case studies. They are all pretty much the same. Nice little pool of shiny people to experiment upon. However, last night the extent of my creativity was ice chip throwing.

Observation for the next life: never, never wear flowing knit pants. They flow into places that you just don't want flowage. Or perhaps you should think about wearing pants slips. Do they make such a thing? I think they need to if they are going to continue polluting the earth with knit gaucho/short/pant thingys.

Observation for this life: never ever, under any circumstances go up behind strangers, grab them 'round the waist and drunkenly whisper in there ear. Well, not unless you enjoy a sharp elbow in the chest, a vicious shove to the floor and the entire restaurant knowing you need to "take a fucking hike".

The beauty of soberly throwing ice chips on the floor is that you are hangover free the next morning and can still laugh about the stupid people you saw. Yes. I like this ice chip business very much. Even if it is hazardous. And probably against the law.

Yes, yes. Very much.

Playing House


I sat in my brightly printed halter dress with my little white cardigan. My ankles were crossed and pulled neatly to the left. I balanced a cup of tea on my knee while speaking of interior decoration and complimentary colors. We then shopped. We tassled curtains. We framed pictures. We arranged.

It was lovely. And I'm scared to admit, I loved it.

The happiest girl alive. That's what someone called me as I strode past them for what seemed the hundreth time today. I stopped short. "Excuse me?"I've become quite accustomed to everything being a veiled insult or possibly sexually connotated. I raised an eyebrow and demanded an explanation.

"No, no, nothing! I just meant to say every time you walk past you have a smile on your face. You look like the happiest girl alive."

Considering less than a year ago I took up crying and listening to Coldplay as my own version of the Olympic sports I find this to amusing, if not terribly interesting. It's amazing how time changes people. And while I may not feel like the happiest girl alive, I have every reason to be. Looking the part is the first step down the road to being the part.

I grew up on the classics. By classics I do not mean The Rolling Stones, Led Zepplin or Pink Floyd. I mean Beethove, Ttchaikovsky and Liszt, with the occasional measure of hymns and gregorian chants thrown in for good measure and variety.

Once freed of my mother's oppresive (and in my mind--poor) tastes in all manner of ancient instruments, harpsichord, dulcimer, harp, accordian and anything else that might rake our nerves, I joyously deserted the classics. I induged myself in every genre I felt I had missed. My music collection is straining the very seams of my iPod. I'm 2 gigs shy of being full. In my collecting I've discovered much. I've delighted myself with new artists and genres. I have found songs that make me laugh and cry.

Most of all, I've realized that nothings relaxes me more than a lovely compliation of Mozart masterpieces while I'm trying to work through stressful problems at work.

I feel so old saying that. But Mom was right. Something I find myself saying more and more these days.

My darling little brother is growing older. Barbie and I huddled in the packed school auditorium to watch him carefully escort his date at the prom, being sure to pause at the appropriate picture taking points. True to the style of our family, we couldn't let him walk off-stage without a rousing cry of "Hooray Beer!"

I had overheard the father of his date proudly saying what a "gentlemanly young man asked his little girl to the prom. He asked me first and everything!" I am, of course, inordinately proud of him. Just thinking of his graduation makes me choke up a little bit. But I feel like a parents, reluctant to let go. Scared to let him make his own choices over two thousand miles away at college. I'll only be connected to him by phone and probably briefly at that.

I'll miss him more than I ever thought. Come to think of it, ten years ago when I was pummeling him with my fists, sinking my teeth into his fleshy hardboiled egg buns and pulling out large chunks of his blonde hair, I never thought I would ever miss him.

Thank God for perspective. Just like time brings difficult choices and changes, without either of those we would never have perspective.

I Know He's Crispy And All, But...


Today while changing the lightbulbs in our pole lights, the maintinence man who was high in the cherry picker was blown into the power lines.

Eight firetrucks. Two ambulances. Police. A news crew. The power has been cut on the block. He is slumped in shock in the cherry picker basket. He's alive, but clearly in danger.

Our general manager drives by. He is quickly briefed on the situation. He pauses with a concerned look on his face and very gravely askes:

"Do you think our lights are going to be ok?"

Today, this small spoiled and overly groomed creature comes into work. Her parents bought her a vehicle a week ago. For her high school graduation present. Worth more than the median income in this area. (Way too go sweetie! Maintaining that C average! Passing high school! Such a accomplishment!)

As I passed by her talking to one of our salespeople I overheard her say:

"Yes, I'm getting ready to go to college and I want to study business" As she says this, she tosses her hair and laughs an annoying sort of bray. "Oh. What do I want to do? I want to be a pharma... pharma... pharmaceutical rep!" (She bravely pushes herself through a five syllable word!) "Mhm. Yes. They do make lots of money."

I couldn't help but chuckle. I wanted to walk over to her and say "Honey. Could you do me a favor and say barbiturate? That's right B-A-R-B-I-T-U-R-A-T-E."

(I have a special place of loathing in my heart for kids who want to get into this paticular line of business not realizing how much work sales in general is. Particularly women, or girls. They think they can show some skin and be great at sales. Thus leaving the women who are actually IN sales related jobs to fight the stereotypes. Or in any profession for that matter. Anyway. I digress.)

So, I was in my manager's office telling him this story and we were laughing at it, quite hard I might add. At this moment the salesperson chose to bring her in the office and introduce her to the manager. The manager strikes up friendly conversation with her, asking the same questions and getting the same answers. Then he says "Oh! So when you're a pharmaceutical rep, you can bring us barbiturates!"

I don't know if it was the word or the fact I nearly peed myself laughing, but a look of puzzlement crossed her face. "Bar--whats?" I left the office, still shaking with and wanting very badly to say "Nothing, darling. Just bars. You know, jello shots and beer! The places wherin you find any amount of alcohol reason enough to take your shirt off!"

I am a terrible person.

Thanks For That


Random Lady who had a question from our service department sits down at my desk. As I am seating myself she comments

"Oh! You have those pants on that were featured on Oprah this morning!"

(I have never seen an episode of Oprah in my life, but still, I'm a little insulted. My pants on the show that is targeted towards bored middle aged housewives? Not good.)


"Yes! She did this feature on pants that style and how they make you look much thinner and hide all that junk in your trunk."

"Well, er, thank you?"

She leaned forward conspiratorially

"I'm going to be getting myself a pair. Because you look thin so they must work."

Quote Of The Day


"Yo, bro, you totally need to hook me up with your finance manager. I need one date. That's it. I'll have her eating out of my hand before the night is over."

"Dude. You have no idea what you're saying when you say that. You have no idea... No. Not a good idea."

"She was so, so--full of grace."

My Sister:


The only person who sends recipe instructions that read

"cook shrimp until pink and cute"

I occasionally have funny little scraps of life I want to share with my blog (I say blog instead of readers because, seriously, who reads this anymore?) but by the time I get home from work my mind is completely devoid of all but a few commands. Food, sleep, getoutofsuit.

Life is blithering along. Work, work, work, family, work. Tonight while driving home from work I thought "I'm glad I live with my sister. If I didn't, I would work all the time." Seriously. I would probably go in on my day off and always stay late. I don't. Simply because I know she's home waiting for me for us to share tidbits of our day. I find myself very easily sucked into the energy vacuum called work in the dilusion I am needed and potentially wanted. Hah! What a farce.

Tonight we had Le Grandparents over. Such a cute little jolly couple they are. Poor Grandmama nearly killed herself trying to get up our rather steep stairs. Grandpapa said something that stuck in my mind "Everyone needs life. They need to live it." While this may sound overly simplistic, this was his response when we asked him why he didn't run away from home. Away from his emotionally and physically abusive home. Away from a father who didn't have the wherewithal to clothe or feed his ten children.

Everyone needs life.

I'm trying.

This odd narrative is my life. I ended up in Pittsburgh, of all places--from the beach. I have no hobbies, other than cooking excessively and eating microwave popcorn. I enjoy shopping, the Food network, hiding the remote so the Food network cannot be turned off, find ethnic food stores and restaurants and reading voraciously. My life is decidedly pedestrian.

I worked in the car business where I was required to be ruthless and soul-less wench, which is when I started this project. Since then, I've kept it up because secretly, I've always wanted to join the military. Every male in my mother's family has joined and I quietly entertain thoughts of joining. I haven't yet and don't know if I ever will, but sending the troops cookies keeps me sane. it makes me think I still have a shred of human kindness left in my withering soul. it's a small way for me to salute the men and women who are brave enough to fight for freedom. And makes me feel like I'm contributing toward troop morale--even if I'm not. So if you want to help, send me addresses of troops you know stationed overseas. you may also contribute toward the cost of chocolate chips, but don't feel obligated, that link is here only by request.


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