Thursday, September 28

In the "i" of the Beholder

I enjoyed this post by the Fabulous Dooce on dating walking red flags and knowing what your deal breakers are. Her readers were most eager to share their horror stories of what made them run screaming from the burning building. Since she asked the question, I thought I should oblige, which set me to pondering.

What I discovered was my red flags were a bit more subtle than that of other readers. Sure, being kind to animals and waitstaff is important and I prefer my dates not to have back or chest hair, but for me the BIGGY is...can they pronounce the word MISCHIEVOUS correctly. This has been a bit of a personal crusade for many years. I love the way they sound...the way they form in the mouth and roll off the tongue and I think words deserve to be treated with enough respect to pronounce them correctly. Mischievous has taken a beating over the years. The average Joe/Jonelle pronounces it miss chee vee us, which I blame entirely on Madison Avenue, who has intentionally misrepresented it in print, television and radio ads for years. My biggest fear is the creators of dictionaries will throw up their hands in defeat, cave to the populace and change the spelling and pronunciation to MISCHIEVIOUS. I was crafting a rather witty comment to add to Dooce's post, I thought I would take this opportunity to include a public service message by inserting a link to the Merriam Webster website where they not only define the word, but provide an audio pronunciation.

Imagine my utter disbelief, quickly followed by dismay when I realized that my trusty Merriam Webster site was now including both spellings and pronunciations on their website. MY WORST FEARS WERE BEING REALIZED. Then, I read further down the page and apparently, this variation (mischievious) dates back to the 16th Century...that would be for more than 500 years!

I was wrong and stand corrected, eyes downcast looking sheepishly at my shoes.

Wednesday, September 27

File Under eyuuuuuuuuu

Is it strange, weird or creepy that I can tell if my dog needs to poo by the smell of her breath?

Monday, September 25

She's Stuffing What?

What could possibly be more humiliating for the under-developed girl in gym class than being outed for stuffing her bra by her hateful classmates, who parade around the locker room waving her 32AA bra overhead and tossing her stuffing of choice in the air?

Pull up a chair...I have a story to tell. For those of you who enjoyed my moanings about my vanishing chest, this should be a treat.

Monday is cleaning day at Penuel Ridge. It's usually pretty quiet except for the sound of the vacuum cleaner and a continuous stream of conversation with the young woman who cleans...yes, I have a captive audience with which to share my musings. So...we're swapping stories about our respective weekends. Hers was all about rest...mine was all about birthday outings. So, I get to the part where I'm describing a 2 hour weedeating marathon Saturday to tidy up the paths, steps, fire circle, picnic area, etc... on the land. We have a heavy duty weedeater and by this I mean heavy and long, as long as I am tall, so now you have a mental picture of short, round me wielding this massive weedeater...sometimes over my head just for effect...anyway, I digress. Blah, blah, blah...I tell her I wake up the next morning with very sore biceps and to illustrate my point, I raise my right arm in the obligatory make a muscle pose and that's when I want the Earth to open and swallow me. There is an obvious bulge under the sleeve of my blouse, which she notices at the same moment I realize it (the bulge) is the missing sock from yesterday's laundry.

Yes, folks, I stuff my shirt sleeves with socks to make my muscles look bigger.

Sunday, September 24

Diva Dialing

I had just made it home after a perfect night celebrating my birthday and the phone rang. I heard laughter and the muffled sounds of a party, so assumed I was being drunk-dialed, although it was near midnight and a little too early for such a call. No one spoke, so I hung up and went back to what I was doing. A few seconds later, the phone rang again and it was the same laughter and background noise, but then a voice from the past arose over the din of partygoers. Much to my joy and surprise, I was not being drunk dialed, but diva dialed!

For the next 10 minutes, the cell phone was passed from diva to diva...singing and wishing me happy birthday from the stage of the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts in Houston, Texas. The curtain had just lowered on Sing for Evening of Arts Songs & Arias...a benefit concert to support People Living with HIV/AIDS. This is a fundraising concert I've been intimately involved with for more than 10 years. I wanted badly to be with them this year, not because it was on my birthday, but because this ensemble of singers are not only stellar performers, but long-time friends and it shows on stage...the genuine love they have for each other and for our brothers and sisters with HIV/AIDS.

It took but an instant for me to have an ear-to-ear smile plastered on my face as I heard such loving and familiar voices on the line, who took the time to put down their champagne glasses and acknowledge not only my birthday, but that although I wasn't there in person, my presence was felt.

So Vance, Camille, Lester, Randy, Deb, Michael, Ken, Lois and Karen...thanks for bringing a smile to my face and for reminding me that family means so much more than shared dna.

Brava, Bravo, Bravissimo...divas one and all!

The Trouble With Truth

I heard this song performed tonight and it grabbed me right in the ass. Gary Nicholson wrote it, Yo Mama performed it, I heard it:

Oh, the trouble with the truth
Is it's always the same 'ol thing
So hard to forget, so impossible for me to change
Every time I try to fight it
I know I'll be left to blame
Oh, the trouble with the truth
Is it's always the same 'ol thing

And the trouble with the truth
Is it's just what I need to hear
Ringing so right, deep down inside my ear
And it's everything I want
And it's everything I fear
Oh, the trouble with the truth
Is it's just what I need to hear

It has ruined the taste of the sweetest lies
Burned through my best alibis
Every sin that I deny
Keeps hanging 'round my door
Oh, the trouble with the truth
Is it always begs for more
That's the trouble, trouble with the truth
That's the trouble, trouble with the truth

And the trouble with the truth
Is it just won't let me rest
I run and hide but there's always another test
And I know that it won't let me be
'Til I've given it my best
The trouble with the truth
Is it just won't let me rest

That's the trouble, trouble with the truth
That's the trouble, trouble with the truth
That's the trouble, trouble with the truth
That's the trouble, trouble with the truth

Friday, September 22

I've Gone to the Dogs

Turning 47 doesn't have much oomph to it. Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful every morning when I open my eyes to a new day, but for some reason, this year I'm not feeling particularly festive.

Yesterday, I received two birthday cards from friends in Houston. There seems to be a theme...

Thanks Kris (poodles) and Larry & John (Great Dane)!

Thursday, September 21

You Know I Will!

They irritated me. They came in wave after unsolicited wave. They went directly into the recycle bin. Now, I welcome them. Now, I read them cover to cover.

Yesterday, I received a gem...the Fall-Winter 2006-2007 catalogue for Northern Sun, a company that sells t-shirts, mugs, bumper stickers, etc... for progressive thinkers. I laughed from cover to cover and this was my favorite. In case anyone wants to order it for me, go to XL will do nicely!

Tuesday, September 19

Winter Project

When my parents divorced in 1987, my sister became the keeper of the family photo albums. As a winter project, I have begun painstakingly removing them from each album and scanning the images. Thanks to advancements in technology, they'll be saved from the ravages of time and we'll each have a CD containing all 18 volumes, ranging from the early 1900's to the late 1980's.

This is my sister and me from 1961, sitting on the front porch of our house behind the "picture show" in Brookshire, Texas:

Thursday, September 14

Where is the Love people...Where is the love?

I received a blogworthy email today. Normally, messages like this, demanding I take action within a set amount of time gets the finger from me...on the delete button. When I read today's offering, I made an exception and replied to the sender, asking where I might find the "Christian love" in her message:

A kid asked Jesus... how much do u love me? Jesus replied, "I love
you this much." and he stretched his arms to the cross and died for
us. If you believe in God, you will send this to everyone on your
list. If you delete this, you will have a cold heart in 2007. I like
you because of who you are to me. I treat you as a true friend. But
if I don't get this back, I get the hint. Send this to all people in
your list within 30 min and something good will happen to you NOW.

This is not a fake...apparently...copy and paste this to 15 people in
the next 10 min. and you WILL have the best day of your life tomorrow!

Editor's note: I did not alter spelling, punctuation or sentence structure in the email message.

Happy Trails Ann

Inauguration day, January 15, 1991. The first woman to be elected Texas governor on her own merits, Governor Richards appointed more women, blacks, and Hispanics to office than any previous administration. She worked with the legislature to achieve insurance reform, new ethics rules for lobbyists, better hazardous waste management, and restructuring of public school financing.

Ann Richards died yesterday...I will miss her sardonic wit, ineffable charm, irreverence and commitment to creating a seat at the table for everyone.

Monday, September 11

What the Hell?

I'm usually a fairly even-tempered, happy person...but something happened. At 4:15 PM today, someone or something flipped on my bitch switch and all circuits are firing.

There's a seething, writhing monster lurking under my skin and she's hungry and pissed.

Suddenly, I have the appetite, sex drive, complexion and attitude of a teenager and as an extra special treat, not one, but two periods a month and I DON'T MEAN PUNCTUATION!!!!

I would highly recommend everyone keep away from my hands and mouth because I will either slap you or eat you.

Once More

Tenderness…soft and supple
as the petal of a rose
rushes in

My eyes follow the gentle wash
of sunrise
as it dances across your face

I become the sun, warm
sweet on your skin
coaxing you from dreams

You stir…I rise
You reach for me
and once more,
I come home in your arms

Bodies entwined…souls aligned
we breathe the same breath
effortless rhythm of lovers past

The sun clings low to the horizon
but has no master
and will too soon shake you from peaceful sleep,
you will leave this sanctuary

once more,
you turn your sunflower face to me
the lightest, softest kiss passes between us
as lips brush across lips

In the stillness of slumber
you pull me closer
drawing breath from my lungs
in a moment of suspended truth

But the sun must continue its climb
or surrender to time
and I must leave the work of the sun
to the sun

I raise my lips to your ear,
whispering three times the name
I know as love

Your eyes open slowly to a new day…
once more.

Saturday, September 9

Disconcerting Certainties

I just returned from Texas, spending the last week with my family. It was a fishing expedition to see for myself how Dad is doing, how Mom is handling the situation and what I can do to help.

Having spent 14 hours and 15 minutes alone in my car driving back to Tennessee, there are certainties that spoke above the hum of tires on asphalt:

Certainty - Dad is going to die, the "when" depends upon him, no matter how many pills the doctors prescribe or how many Mom pokes down his throat

Certainty - Parents are always going to assume the role of parent, no matter how much they need the help of their children.

Certainty - Whatever skills I learned working with people dying of complications from AIDS isn't helpful now...I thought it would be, but I was wrong.

Certainty - Kind, concerned and well-meaning people are going to ask what they can do to help...I honestly don't know, but keep asking.

Thursday, September 7