January 30, 2004

Round 2 of Blogmadness has

Round 2 of Blogmadness has
started and this tiny bit of blog has landed there. Thanks to all who take the
time to read and decide the best o' the blogs. My submission, "The Shape of Me"
is competing against Scenes from the Otherside of the Tracks from You Don't Know
Jackson. Please check out both posts and vote for the one you believe most
worthy to win. I have read his blog a few times and it is quite a read. He
chronicles his sobriety in a very frank and emotive way. He also talks of some
of his comrades struggles to reach a zero degree of blood alcohol/drug level. It
is very compelling. Read it.

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January 29, 2004

I have very few pet

I have very few pet peeves...cold coffee; a damp towel
when you get out of a shower; stepping in something wet in socks. But nothing
irritates me more than egregious journalism. I don't by any means think that
John Ashcroft is the perfect person. I don't think that he is very personally
likeable. That could be because I am emerging from a long climb out of the pit
of fundamentalism and it irks me when I see others playing in the bottom of said
pit thinking that those who are clawing their way out are lacking in faith for
doing so. That said, the recent Vanity Fair article on him by Judy Bachrach was
so disgustingly laden with personal opinion it made me physically ill. What
happened to responsible reporting; the kind where an editor freely opined on the
first few pages of the publication or in the back of the paper and the gumshoes
got "just the facts" to the people? I usually stay away from political issues. I
was recently encouraged to venture that direction in this blog in order to
encourage writer/reader interaction. I don't write this blog to get interaction,
although I am quite pleased when people do say something and I dearly love
hearing from them (obviously the "comments" button and link to Haloscan). I just
don't go into the political arena because there are a thousand and one blogs
already doing that, not to mention all the media coverage. I personally get
tired of it all. I know what I think; I know for whom I will vote and I don't
suppose that anyone reading my blog will change their mind because of this tiny
little speck on the web. Now, on to more significantly superficial stuff! I
mercifully received Newsweek in the mail yesterday. As soon as was possible, I
filled my tub and soaked until I shrunk a full two inches. One day, while I was
sitting at the kitchen table looking through a magazine, A asked me why I was
"doing that?" "Doing what?" "Looking through the magazine backwards." "Am I? Oh,
so I am. I'm not sure why I do it this way." "You always do, you know." "Really?
I never noticed." So, I peruse magazines, back to front. I have absolutely no
idea why. I have analyzed from every possible angle (even backwards) and can't
figure it out. Just one of my idiosyncrasies (and there are plenty).

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January 27, 2004

Thanks to everyone who has

Thanks to everyone
who has found my submission to blogmadness worthy of a vote. This round
continues until tomorrow at approximately 9 p.m. Please continue to check-out
both blogs and cast a vote for the one you prefer. There are three other regions
that host some fabulous writing. Round two will begin in a few days and whether
my post progresses or not, I plan on sticking around to see the completion of
the tourney.

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My brain is absolutely famished!

My brain is absolutely famished! I consumed the last Vanity Fair, Atlantic
Monthly, and Lucky. I desperately searched our local library for Steve Martin's
new book and (surprise, surprise) they do not have it, nor is it on order. I
can't purchase anything else until Thursday! I will be starving by then! I am
going to go nuts with no tubbing material. Nothing compliments a hot bath more
than bound print- glossy or otherwise. My influence over my daughters in this
arena is showing up. As I walked through the hallway the other night, my socked
feet soaked up "something." My disgust was a bit allayed by the fact that the
only animal that lives in our home could never make a puddle that big, but
still... stepping in something wet in one's sock feet is enough to begin the dry
heaves. Hearing the sound of water moving in the bathroom, I knocked. Of course
I wasn't allowed to enter, so we spoke through the confines of the door.
Apparently E had made a nice hot tub of water for herself, but forgot a book.
So, she stepped out to grab one and obviously remembered to dry her hands, but
not anything else. All I could do was smile and walk away from the mirror
pleased with my reflection.

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January 26, 2004

So, there is this little

So, there is this little thing going on over at Blog
Madness. Several of us bloggers submitted what we contend to be one of our best
posts (I am seeded in the "Love" category against a top notch blogger). Manny
and Pete then discriminated if they were appropriate. If so, they were accepted
and later seeded (seeding has nothing to do with the value of the blog
apparently) for the contest. After a few days of anxious and eager waiting, the
voting has begun. So, please head over, take a look and read the blogs. Then
vote for the one you think most worthy to win. You are allowed one vote per
category so check them all out and support some fun on the web!

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January 25, 2004

On my way to my

On my way to my local
entertainment superstore, I made a quick stop for chips. They are my
latest indulgence- my "I am alone and don't have to share" treat. I pulled over
to slather them in tomato vinegar sauce (aka ketchup). Nothing like fried
potatoes living in the neighborhood under an assumed name to get themselves into
good favor with me. As I drove and dipped, I listened to a fabulous piece on NPR
by Studio 360 about color and the use of it in film and art. Lisa Fittipaldi is
an artist who lost her vision 10 years ago. The depression from the loss of her
sight nearly drove her to suicide. Her husband bought her a set of child's
watercolors. The simple use of them spurred her on to more professional paints.
Her work made it into a gallery only to clear out her garage. I checked out her
web site; while her art is not to my personal taste, I have to respect her
ability as incredible. When I pulled into the parking lot, I was greeted by the
site of three police cars. I decided to sit, eating my chips and licking my
ketchup laddened fingers, to watch the happenings. It quickly became apparent
that they were trying to remove a homeless man and his dog. I couldn't stand not
hearing anything, so I slowly walked into the store. The guy had gotten out of
jail recently (three weeks ago according to the employees of the store who had
seen him there for that amount of time) and he has failed to get a job or secure
a residence in that time. One of the strip mall store owners had complained
about his appearance. Although nothing has been stolen and sales have been
consistent, they were "afraid" of what might happen. They were still
interrogating, I mean, interviewing him, when I walked out with my DVD's. While
packing his seabag, he reminded the men that he was "a human being." Some retort
was returned, but I didn't clearly hear it. I returned to the van and sat
watching the scene play out. He grabbed his canine companion's leash and walked
off into the night. I am sure that he will be just as able to secure a job and
housing after his little encounter as he was before he met up with his
protectors. As I drove along, I wondered what things I am unnecessarily afraid
of.

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After a long and luxurious

After a
long and luxurious nap, I am now prepared to climb K2 (translation: fold the
laundry). Being ADD, I need something to occupy my mind while I work. Thus, I
will be heading out into the frigid night to retrieve my favorite
series-come-to-DVD; to watch, imbibe, and fold.

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January 22, 2004

My introduction to real coffee

My introduction to real coffee came at
33. I had indulged in Starbuck's or St. Louis Bread Company (Panera for many of
you), but I am talking about the realization that I could make one of those
kinds of coffees for myself. You see, my best girlfriend had come to visit me in
my time of distress. When I offered her yesterday's coffee, reheated in the
microwave in a mug, the most interesting look came over her face. I think it was
not only disgust, but disappointment with a pinch of sympathy in my lack of java
refinement. She disappeared down the stairs and returned with two very pretty
packages. Can I just say now that I love gifts? I tore into them and found a
coffee grinder and a package of Starbuck's Breakfast Blend- whole bean! I had
just moved up in the world of hippness! She demonstrated the art of grinding the
beans and careful measuring. We watched it brew. Then we found two gorgeous
little cups and saucers that my mother had given me long ago. We poured both
coffee and cream. It was...the beginning of my addiction. So, when I received
Charlie's questions, I looked over them and then headed right up the stairs to
dust off the auto-drip. I dug around in back of the pantry and found 67 beans to
grind. I then came down here to think about what was before me: 1) What one
object that you used to own do you wish you still had? What would you sacrifice
to have it back? Well, that requires me to think of all the pawn shops I hit
when I was in college. While I would love to say something full of wry wit, I
think that I have to say my flute. I know that at some point we all insisted on
enrolling in Beginner Band and swore to our parents that we were going to
practice,and maybe they believed we would be the next Satchmo or Ian Anderson,
if they were as young as mine were. It is one of those tragic stories of the
abused, disliked kid who throws herself into her instrument to forget everything
and becomes very good because there is a lot to forget. So, the flute it is. I
have nothing to forget now (except the last e-mail I got from my mother-in-law,
the woman at the check collection agency, labor, and my student loans). It would
now be a way of feeling like I am good at something, 'cause this parenting thing
is taking awhile to pan out. I would gladly sacrifice one of my dear husband's
five '68-'72 Chevy trucks in our backyard (please see exemption from being
"WT"). 2) If you could write yourself as a new character into any existing book,
play or movie, which one would it be? And what would your character do in the
story? I simply cannot choose. I have thought about this all morning (especially
while in the drive through to get donuts to go with the coffee) and it's too
complicated for me to answer! In the name of being succinct, probably anything
written by Annie Lamott. She is incredibly introspective and her main characters
(which of course, I want to be-no brief walk in scenes for me) all have a wicked
wit, the capacity for change, and the ability to laugh at themselves. 3) Imagine
that you were offered the ability to feel the emotions of the people around you.
You would have perfectly accurate knowledge of what others are feeling, but your
mood would be strongly affected by theirs. Once established, you would never be
able to turn the ability off. Would you want it, and why or why not? No. I would
never want it. Waaaaaaay too much out there to deal with. I would become
untreatably depressed and possibly insane with all the sadness. While it would
be, perhaps, a benefit if I never left my home and didn't answer the door or
telephone; it would cause my heart to break. I am not sure that the few truly
joyful and happy people I would run into could override all the abused and
unavenged. 4) You've (theoretically) contracted a rare and strange disease. Each
night, while you sleep, your memory is wiped clean. You awake every day not
knowing who or where you are, or how you got there. What do you do to cope with
this situation? Memento- write notes to myself and tattoo all available space.
5) What if you were able, upon your eventual death, to spend eternity reliving
the full life experiences of other people? Who would be your first three choices
to 'live through', and why? Would I be cognizant of living someone else's life
while living it? That might influence their choices and decisions and then it
wouldn't truly be their life. So, I couldn't be aware until I returned from the
lifetime. O.K. I had to think "out loud" for a moment. The first two people I
would choose to be are my grandmother and mother. There is so much back there
that needs to be known. Finding it out first person would be better than any
spin I get from others. It wouldn't be pleasant or exciting- no wealth, lots of
drinking and addictions, several evil men, a few equally menacing women, and two
broken hearts. After all that exhaustion, I would then put in my request to be a
jellyfish and float away my days in the warmth and salt of a predator-free sea.
For once, I think I completely followed: THE RULES! 1 - Leave a comment, saying
you want to be interviewed. 2 - I will respond; I'll ask you five questions. 3 -
You'll update your journal with my five questions, and your five answers. 4 -
You'll include this explanation. 5 - You'll ask other people five questions when
they want to be interviewed. So, if you have writer's block (or desire to think
enough for your brain to leave you a 'temporarily unavailable' sign), leave me a
comment asking for it and I'll give you something to think about.

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January 21, 2004

I am heading out this

I am heading out
this week to purchase Steve Martin's new book The Pleasure of My Company. Steve
is one of my favorite actors-no one can match him wit for wit. My first attempt
at reading his work last summer, a novella, Shopgirl was skeptically purchased.
It was short and paperback, things twinned from a low cash supply. It was like
watching your child at his first band concert: squeaky, but great potential. I
realize that he has written plays and has had several satiric pieces published,
but as far I know (and let it be established now, it isn't much) this was his
first dramatic piece. He developed the characters well enough, but the ending
was too quick; too Hollywood; too...easy. I am hoping for better fair this go
round; no drive through finish. Now, a subject that is a bit more touchy: the
workout log. Cruising around checking out other blogs is a fabulous way to pass
the time, get ideas, etc. Hitting a blog where we get to see the bloggers
calorie count and number of sets and reps is a bit BORING! Accountability would
seem to work better with someone whom one frequently sees- someone who could
say, "Now then, you've eaten your bread poltus again, haven't you?" Am I
jealous? Maybe I would like to say that I "got a Pilates workout in, had 27
glasses of water and had two bacon, ham, egg, cheese, steak, chicken salads."
Does thinking I am above it all really make me so? [side bar: I am not knocking
"dieting," or it's neccesity, just reading about other's diets, o.k?] So, call
me out of the loop, but I have never listened to Coldplay. After reading Vanity
Fair's Gwyneth Paltrow interview, I decided that I would like to hear what all
the fuss is about. So, I headed out to my local discount mom and pop killer to
get a few things, possibly a Coldplay CD. I decided to deviate from my favored
low-end-of-the- dial and see what was playing up north. There is a new station
in town that apparently needed the first three people who applied. Being the
mocker/mimic that I am, I listened to a monotoned, syllablically challenged dj
tell me
"howcolditisandhowcolditisgoingtobeandhowthisisthebestjobsinceBurgerKing." I was
just about to hit scan, when music and a voice came on sounding very much like
U2 to me. It was so Bono sounding and yet not. I decided to listen the three
miles down the interstate hoping that "Monotone Me" would announce the artist.
Alas, the song ended and she went straight into a very convincing commercial for
a local pest control company. The best thing about going to Discount World at
night is the lack of screaming children and choice parking spots. I headed back
to the electronics department to quickly grab ink cartridges. When I got there,
I detoured over to the CD section. I love those little machines that allow a
person to preview before purchasing. I wish those were available in other
sections of the store: chocolate, fem needs, and anti-perspirant. Anyway, I
found the place Coldplay was hiding and grabbed three selections. Excitedly, I
flipped the package and slipped it under the scanning device of the pre-play
machine. Nothing. I turned around and found another. Nothing. I walked down to
the Latina/Jazz section and found one machine that sounded a little inebriated
in it's attempts to play the song. An associate (what a failed psychology there)
came over and it immediately sobered up for me. The song that was streaming
through was the one monotone forgot to announce. There with Selena and Frank
looking on, I was officialy introduced to Coldplay. And that turned out to be
the best part of the day for me yesterday. Some juvies had hit the store and
stolen all of the Lexmark Ink Cartridges that very afternoon, but that's o.k.
because it just made me 0 for 0 and at least I wasn't beaten, but tied for
defeat with myself. I drove home and went to bed. It had been a truly crappy
day, but at least I consistently struck out. One pleasant thing might have
thrown off my day's average.

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January 19, 2004

Nothing makes one's day than

Nothing makes one's day than a polite exchange with a
fellow blogging citizen, now does it? Congratulations to Charlie! So, how do you
like the new outfit? I have discovered that accessorizing extends into the
virtual realm, too. Well, I actually always take note of a really cool site,
just like I notice a particularly well-dressed woman or man about. I have never
known how to do it, though. This time, with the help of a knowledgeable friend,
I have crossed-over from strip mall shopping to street shop couture. After
trying on new sets all night long and with much consultation from best
girlfriends, daughters, and those males who enjoy color coordination, ta-da! I
step out of the dressing room feeling satisfied and looking a bit better than
when I went in. The best part? No credit cards, checks, or cash involved, thus a
guilt free enjoyment of my indulgence. Oh, and I am not one of those girls who
can't stand for anyone else to know her shopping secrets. So, thank you for your
expertise and have a lovely afternoon.

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January 18, 2004

Subscriptions are something I don't

Subscriptions are something I don't do. I
really should, but for some reason, I relish buying newsstand. Perhaps it is the
sight of all the other publications that excites my finger tips. I love that
glossy feel. Yes, sir! That high shine gets me every time. Regularly picked up
is Vanity Fair and The Atlantic Monthly. Because living in a small city makes it
more challenging, less frequently perused is Harper's. I will not feign serious
writer attitude and claim only to read Vanity Fair for the articles. Herb Ritts
introduced me to appreciation for the male body. I believe he brought to film
what Michelangelo contributed to sculpture. I think it programmed me for R. His
beautiful body has always reminded me of Atlas. Annie Leibovitz: what an eye and
a finger for the shutter! Oh, and, yes, the advertisements. The Atlantic Monthly
can only be read because one wants to read, unless of course advertisements for
the ACLU, insurance, and financial services are a turn on. Caitlin Flanagan is a
regular contributor; a modern day Erma Bombeck but getting published inside one
of America's biggest pubs instead of columns in newsprint. Harper's is a similar
read, although I have consistently been turned off (pun intended) by the
overabundance of "personal" ads in the back. In Style and Lucky are my picks for
fashion. Lucky has these fun stickers in the front that can be attached to
anything that tickles your fancy. The layout caters to those who need a quick
read and not a dissertation on Alpha-Hydroxy creams versus pumice laden scrubs.
Outfits are price tiered for those who want to look like they shop New York but
live in west Texas. They've even walked the isles of Wal-Mart for pete's sake!
What gal hasn't given into a rash decision to satisfy the need for retail
therapy by grabbing at the discount store racks? In Style has pages of luscious
ads laid out between top notch interviews, articles, and celebrity low down
(once again, I would love to smugly assert that I could care less about Jenn and
Brad, but if I see Ben and J-Lo's faces again I will grab the nearest Sharpy and
redecorate). What more can a girl ask for? Well, there is plenty to ask for...

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January 16, 2004

Nose whistling, you know, that

Nose
whistling, you know, that high pitched sound that comes out of a nose when
"something" is blocking it, or when it is dry or stuffy? Yesterday afternoon I
decided a power nap was in order. After reading a few pages of sheer superficial
bliss, I rolled over into a comfy position and drifted off. After what seemed
like an hour, I became aware of a cat mewing, like a kitten really. I was in
that sub-state of consciousness, i.e. eyes closed, body limp, but aware of
sounds around me. The closer I listened, the more the evidence mounted that one
of the girls had brought in Sam or Isabel, our two cats (a Blue Mackerel Tabby
and a Norwegian Forest). I love my animals, but can only stand them to be on the
tile for about 10 minutes. Then out they must go. I will meet them for affection
in the outside environment, not allow it to take place in my house where they
leave lovely dander for our nasal irritation. So, I reluctantly opened my eyes
and peered around. The mewing stopped and I heard a door close. Good girls, I
thought. Returning to my bed and reuniting with my lovely pillow and quilt, I
lay down again. Later last night, I finished my trade paperback (gasp! I know, I
know, not typical for me, but very necessary for the pocketbook this month) and
turned out my light. I lay there for a few minutes. I love to let my eyes adjust
to the dark and look around or stare at the soft light coming in through the
blinds and think for a moment or two. There it was again, that mewing! What can
it be? It sounds so close, like it's right...next...to....lovely. Nose
whistling.

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January 15, 2004

My second oldest daughter,


My second oldest daughter, A, found her true love last year: Roald Dahl. She has
checked every book the library has, purchased every one that the bookstore
sells, and borrowed every one that anyone else owns. My curricula of reading
books is formulatic: A.A. Milne, Francis Hodgson Burnett, Kenneth Grahame,
Rudyard Kipling, Louisa May Alcott, Laura Ingalls Wilder. I love the classics
and wanted to pass on that love to my daughters. After I complete that
repertoire, they then seem to have developed their own taste and set off on
adventures of their own choosing. E prefers fantasy. She was first introduced to
the genre when she was sick and I put in an audio A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine
L'Engle. She was entranced. That started her fascination with all things
possible. A loves animals. She desires to be a DVM when she grows up. I recall
her spending hours outside with our dog. She was fair skinned and blonde; a
little sprite in the grasses. Her affair with the four legged influenced her
preference in literature. She found enthrallment by reading Jack London and Avi.
Last year, E gave to A one of her personal favorites, Charlie and the Chocolate
Factory. It was a timid start. She enjoyed it, but found her attraction grow
stronger with George's Marvelous Medicine. She has never been repulsed by, shall
we say, bodily function humor. Mr. Dahl has such a creative way of putting it
all so that one must stop and think about what he is actually meaning ("George's
grandmother had a mouth like a dogs bottom" or "He sounds like a brass band
after dinner"). While visiting my dear friend in Missouri, we met at the local
Barnes and Noble for coffee, chatting, and browsing. The children played and
looked at books. We then began pointing out our favorites to one another. During
a search for more Roald, my fingers touched the spine of one I had never heard
of before, The Vicar of Nibbleswicke. As my friend's husband is a PCA pastor (a
very good one, I might add), I began to read the small book. My laughter caused
more than one person to look my direction. Between gasps, I read what was so
funny to my friend. We both purchased it for our children. He does at times
boarder on the delightfully disgusting, as we all had the privilege of hearing
on our trip across continent last summer. The Twits was our audio of choice and
I thought that I would lose my lunch several times during the ride. A bought
herself Roald Dahl's Revolting Recipes with a Christmas gift certificate paid
for by her younger sister at our locally owned bookstore. She intends to sharpen
her cooking skills with some of the interesting culinary finds in it. I am so
pleased that she has found a place for her mind to wander so freely and with
such hilarity.

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January 14, 2004

It is interesting what motivates

It is interesting what motivates people to write. I have a friend who
blogs when she is upset. It helps her think aloud and brings her to resolution.
I on the other hand go into myself and don't write a thing. Not a single word. I
look at the keyboard and all I see is keys, letters, and symbols. I reject any
"come hither" looks it throws me. Lots of tubbing and reading and thinking puts
me back on my fingertips. My daughter, E, must write. She writes on scraps, full
sheets, the back of bills; anything that can receive ink takes her hand. I think
that it is not so much a creative energy that needs to be released as it is a
survival tactic. She has to write in order to live. It is her air, her food, her
water, her sun. It clothes her and revives her. She writes and rewrites. She
wads up and washes out. I am especially glad that she invites me into her head.
Reading the stories brings a part of her to me that I cannot seem to reach with
my hands. I have always wondered what a real human heart looks like. I think
that I am getting glimpses of it every time she comes to me with a set of papers
in her hand.

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January 12, 2004

I am listening to Susan

I am listening to Susan Graham's La Belle Epoque. I first heard her on a
trip to my mother's while pregnant with K. I was immediately relaxed. So, when I
returned home, I purchased it from Barnes and Noble and used it for relaxation.
It was the first thing I grabbed when I went into labor several months later.
She was born to it. It reminds me of several things, but specifically of her
birth and newborn days. My mother-in-law came and took the other children to her
home for five wonderful days. They had a terrific time of going to the St. Louis
Zoo, The Butterfly House, Powder Valley Nature Center, and The Magic House. I
rested well knowing they were so entertained and having such a nice time with
their grandparents. We wanted the children to be home when we brought K home, so
N arrived the next day. I spent the five days nursing, resting, and looking at
my newborn. This was our last child and I wanted nothing to be easily forgotten
by fatigue and hurry. She is three and like the family pet. We all adore her and
coddle her and quickly soothe her. She is spoiled only by love and adoration.
She, like her sisters before her, seems to have a love of literature and the
spoken word. We do not lack of stories of her exceptional witty, though young,
tongue. Once, while my mother and brother were visiting, we had a very hard time
getting K to stay seated during dinner. She was two. She wanted to be moving
around. Everyone had encouraged her to sit down. The conversation turned to
discussing favorite films. I turned to K and asked her a few questions: "What is
your name?" "K," she replied. "What is your favorite color?" "Yellow." "What is
your quest?" With out a thought she said, "To sit down." We exploded in proud
laughter, she smiled coyly and sat down and finished her Fetticine.

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January 10, 2004

I hate going to the

I hate going to the
bookstore, having a specific book in mind to purchase (Confessions of a
Shopoholic) and finding absolutely nothing. I was prepared for superficial,
materialistic humor and instead prepaid to receive said enjoyment as early as
Tuesday. Instead, went to video store and found a semi-satisfying interesting
movie. Am hoping to be quaintly surprised and relieved from literary
disappointment.

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Another beautiful Saturday morning and

Another beautiful Saturday morning and I am the pilot (I choose where to
go) and flight attendant (retrieve myself homemade toffee bars and coffee laden
with cream) of my own virtual trip across the world. John Irving is one of my
favorite authors. I first saw "The World According to Garp" and then the read
book six years later. I preferred the book, but thought that the movie was an
acceptable adaptation of the novel. "The Hotel New Hampshire" was an extremely
disappointing movie and seemed to purposely leave out all the elements of the
novel that made it so interesting. Put a bit more clearly: the movie was
strange. I was first introduced to A Prayer for Owen Meany by a former friend. I
read it while pregnant with E and have often attributed her precocious
relationship with literature and language to it. I would stay up late into the
night waiting for R to call me from Saudi Arabia. Our conversations were better
if I was awake rather than groggy. So, I read to not fall asleep. He would ask
me about the details of my day and what I was doing. I recounted my steps
through the house, stores, and streets of Chesterfield and then would tell him
of Owen. R still remembers something that Owen once said and he likes to lean
over and whisper it to me when in public places, that he might evoke a private
smile or stifled laugh: "Your mother has the best breasts of all mothers." Only
John Irving would think of something like that. I have yet to read anything like
his anywhere else. He has been compared to several authors that he admires, but
I think him great in his own right. I love that he gives follow-ups of the
characters. I become attached to them and feel satisfied when I get to see past
"the end." I just finished his mini-autobiography, The Imaginary Girlfriend. It
was succinctly satisfying. He wrote with humor, introspection, and respect. I
loved reading about all the wrestling. I appreciated how the pictures were in
the back of the book. I didn't realize that photos had been included, so I read
the whole thing and then got to see all the people he discussed. He is a very
good-looking man. His smile is charismatic and big. His brows make him appear
serious or pensive, but as I do not know him, then it is my assumption from a
photo only. I enjoyed reading how he taught and learned and related to the
people he encountered in his life and all in only 101 pages.

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January 09, 2004

My mother is a nurse

My mother is a nurse (Major)
in the Army Reserves. She was activated last January (2003). She stayed
state-side to fill in for the other nurses who went over seas. When we lived
back east, I would plan a trip to visit her about every other month. It was only
a three and one half hour drive on easy roads, so I would frequent her domicile
as often as I could manage it. I would go alone or the girls would take turns
going when I offered to take them along. I loved the drive by myself. It wasn't
too long and allowed for thinking time, quiet time. The only downside was that
stretch west of Tulsa on I-44. I think there are only two bathrooms once you
pass Miami, unless you want to mess with having exact change for the lovely toll
machine. Paying to pee-not for me. I love going to her home because it is
comfortable, but fantastically decorated. She could've been an interior
designer/decorator. I grew up with it, so maybe the reminder of that is there,
too. Our days are leisurely: sleeping late, a brunch at Classen Grill, a trip to
the bookstore. Then we travel home to lay around reading our books. An afternoon
nap restores us and we are off to 501 Cafe or a French cafe in the city. We
finish the evening watching a new foreign film the other has seen or an old
favorite, guaranteeing laughs, with a glass of wine or two. We retire to our
beds with our books, saying goodnight and how much we enjoyed the day together.
The doors close almost all the way and one falls asleep to the other's quiet
sounds of turning pages. I miss her and the whole routine so very much. I always
returned home restored and ready again to be the wife, mother, citizen, that I
needed to be and that others depended on me to be. My mother and I had many
stacks against us while I was officially the daughter and she the mother; too
much negative history, too many bad men between us. She is a beautiful,
intelligent woman. I have always loved her desperately, and I believe she always
loved me in the capacity that she could at the time. Once I grew up, and the
burden of responsibility was removed from her, things changed a bit. Then, while
visiting my aunt, her sister, I was brought to a realization. My aunt pointed
out that I never allowed my mother to be the adult mother of an adult woman, and
my mother still treated me like I was a child. Neediness repulsed her.
Especially in females. Women were the reason her beloved father left her. The
alcoholic, psychotic mother and the demanding over-indulged older sister made
living in that house unbearable for him. As children, they were made to feel a
burden to their mother. This affected my mother deeply. She took on the role of
mothering her sisters. She got a job at sixteen at a small town diner and
brought home dinner every night while her depressed and despondent mother slept
their lives away. My mother never got to be the child. She grew up a poor girl
from a divorced family, not good in 50's small town Oklahoma. She made penance
by being a good worker. She studied hard and made good grades. She was athletic
and her physical ability and kindness to others compensated for her social
position and made her acceptable. My aunt also told me that my mother once
commented that I whenever I visited her I made her feel obligated to give me
something of hers. I was stunned. Later in bed, I asked myself if there was any
truth in her feeling. I determined that the next time I visited my mother, I
would be needless. I would hint at nothing. I also decided that I would go and
do what I could for her. I would cook, clean, entertain, take her to dinner. I
would take care of her. Reverse the roles. It worked wonderfully well. She felt
loved in return. She felt cared for. It was pinnacle in our relationship. She
then came to want to serve me, the mother of four daughters, her daughter, but
also her guest, her friend. While I was there, it also occurred to me as I
looked around that my mother's things were her comfort. She didn't want to give
any of her comfort away. Who would? Somehow, I freed her to be what she wanted
and desired to be in our relationship. I also liberated myself to enjoy her for
who she is, no longer subdued by what she hadn't been.

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January 03, 2004

I love introducing my daughters

I love introducing my daughters
to the fun stuff of my youth. I love it more that they are even interested. We
watched "The Princess Bride" this weekend. They are now trotting around the
house quoting the same things that we all have. I forgot how pretty Robin
Wright-Penn is. I think the last good movie I saw her in was Forest Gump. I love
Mandy Patinkin. His greatest role was the neurotic doctor on Chicago Hope (the
only reason I watched that show in it's first two years). Six years ago I read
the book. I laughed the children out of their slumber. I enjoyed knowing the
details that the movie left out for time sake. E received a burned CD of The
Return of the King soundtrack from a friend. Now, I have two Annie Lenox CD's on
my kitchen counter right now and have had them there for about six months. Her
newest, Bare, is soooooo good. My favorite track is "Wonderful." I turn it up
loud and clean, chop, cook, and croon (and sip). The girls thought her cover
photo a little strange, even though I gave it a beautiful interpretation, they
just aren't there yet. Well, guess who has now acquired an interest in Annie?
Revisiting the Briggs-Meyers personality test this weekend has been fun. I love
understanding people and their clockwork. After taking the on-line test, I would
suggest reading the book, Please Understand Me. It gives in-depth descriptions
of the types. No, not everyone is everything. There are variations. No one is in
a box (Introverts may now stop hyperventilating). I like the tests because they
help me better understand myself and R. I don't want to spend our time together
trying to change the other into ourselves, but to gain insight to the intrinsic
value that the other brings to the relationship. Opposites attract. R and I both
drink coffee, but we are as different in our choice of coffee as we are when
naked. R is more practical, his choice is Folgers, extra water. My choice is
freshly ground Starbucks Breakfast Blend (or Einstein Bros. when I can get it)
perfectly measured, and, of course, loaded with cream. R- any sheets, no
flowers, as long as it they are clean. Me- minimum 300 thread count, 100%
cotton. R- towels clean, color not important, and the threads a little rough
from a day on the line. Me- 100% Egyptian cotton, and nothing beats a freshly
washed spa-white bath sheet. R-paperback preferred as is cheaper Me- hardback
preferred as lasts longer (plus extra treat of dust jacket). We both agree that
good food is better than a burger, but will take the burger if starving. In
other words, not picky when absolutely famished. I think that R is just 100% man
in that quality applies to three things: cars, stereo equipment, and his wife.
And after all, isn't this all that really matters: Going where you want,
listening to what you wish, and loving the one you're with. Opposite attraction
makes for complete satisfaction. O.K. am now waiting for call from
Hallmark......

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January 01, 2004

Disappointed that the first two

Disappointed that the first two episodes of Sex and the City, season 5 are
out, I decided against a trip out into the cold. I had planned a delicious
evening of wine and watching, but have settled for tubbing and my new Lucky mag.
Oh, and Peter Pan was superb: an 8 out of 10.

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I can't decide if I

I can't decide if I want to make resolutions. I
used to as a teen. They included such aspirations as improving a math grade;
making 1st chair in the All-District Band; getting rid of my colony of zits;
"get along" with my mother. I got a B in Algebra 2, made 1st chair, reduced the
colony, and, well, if you count the past five years, have gotten along with my
mother significantly better. I am not a list maker, so maybe that is it. I look
at a list and am overwhelmed at what must be accomplished. I prefer a running
task list in my mind. This provides for distraction and entertainment. My
wonderful husband is very German, as in he loves lists and "orderliness" and
everything scrubby-dutchy. He married a Frenchwoman, as in live for the moment,
we have tomorrow, and allows her stomach to decide the menu, not her pocketbook.
We compliment one another. I have made a few lists in the 15 years we have spent
together, he has gained "joyeux de vivre." It is a good set up. So, maybe I'll
let him make some New Year's "Suggestions" for me. Perhaps I will make an
exhaustive list of goals for him. Yes, I think that is the ticket to an
enjoyable ride this year.

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