Wednesday, August 14, 2013

One of Life's Cruel Ironies

Although five months is not a long enough time period for my nicotine cravings to subside, it is clearly ample time for my nose hair to regenerate.  I could braid it, or hang a porch swing from it.  I may try to slick it back with gel for a stylish mid-face pompadour.

I am not including a photo.  You're welcome.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

It's Not You, It's Me

It's been nearly seven months since my father was first diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer.  You may have noticed that this is also around the time that I stopped blogging on a regular basis, and I hope you understand that this timing was not coincidental.  The last seven months, I have been living a life that was not my own.   It was not my place to discuss my father's illness; and his illness was all-consuming for me, through no fault of his own.  He made a point of telling us that he was the same person he had been before the diagnosis, and we should continue treating him as such.  However, asserting this and acting accordingly are two very different things.  If anyone in the world were ever able to accomplish this - to prattle on about the price of beans while watching your only parent suffer through chemo and radiation - well, you're a better man than I, Gunga Din.   It was more than I could manage, either in person or on paper.

My father died on December 14th.

I've tried to write about his death, now that the feelings and experiences I would be writing about would be wholly my own.  To no avail.   I finally realized this morning that the reason I have not been able to finish a post is that I'm not ready.  I need to take a break.  I'm sure I'll post things every once in a while, when the mood strikes (or when I do something stupid, which you all know happens with the regularity of a New York minute), but there's stuff in my head that needs to stay in my head for a while...

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Almost There...

While I continue to keep the conversations in my head to myself, please enjoy this re-post from February 2011 called "Why I Am Less Than Likely to Spill Your Secrets"...

 A friend of mine recently told me that she was sometimes afraid to tell me things, for fear I would put them in my blog.  "Are you kidding me?" I responded to her, "I am WAY too self involved to blog about anyone else."  Case in point?   I think that the fun of being able to blog about it has overcome my fear of getting a bikini wax.  So my pain will be your passport to South America (WITHOUT accompanying pictures.  You're welcome.).

But this brings up an important fact.  People tell me things all the time.  Personal, sometimes awful, things.  Because people need to vent, and I am a decent listener.  In fact, I have one friend that complains that I spend so much time listening, I bury the lead.  As in, the time I was calling to announce that I was pregnant with my first child, but waited until the end of the conversation to tell her.  I am one of those people that prefers the listening to the talking (unless I am on deadline with something - they I just pretend to listen.  The way to tell the difference?  If you hear typing in the background, I am gone.  No point going any further in the conversation).   As a result, people tend to tell me about their problems.

Now that I am blogging on a regular basis, I feel I need to state for the record that I would never betray anyone's confidence.  Because their issues are not mine to discuss (Plus, as a bonus, I have plenty of issues of my own to mull over at length.  Obviously.).  And the same goes for my private conversations (i.e. "arguments").  A lot of the people I talk to (i.e. "argue with") read my stuff on a regular basis, so I would never air my dirty laundry in public (i.e. "on the interweb").  That's why you might notice that several days go by without a post from me (other than the weekends - I don't post on the weekends because I am busy.  Unless it is football season.).  If I am troubled by something that is inappropriate to discuss on the blog, sometimes I have a hard time getting away from the issue to write about something else.  So I might just go silent for a day or two.  Or five (Don't judge me!  It happens.).   But eventually I am able to move on and blog about something funny.  Or at least about the stuff I normally blog about, which may only be funny to me.

So blab away!  Your secrets are safe with me.  Please, consider me your own personal vault.   Because let's face it, there's a better than even chance that I will forget about your problems before I am even finished with lunch.  Did I mention that I can be a smidge self involved?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Strolling Down Memory Lane

I'm sorry, I'm completely blocked.  There's something I want to say, but I'm not quite ready yet (If you speak Texan, you could say that I'm still fixing to get ready).  In the interim, I thought I would re-post one of my favorite essays, "Hey Dummy", which was originally published on November 5, 2011.

My poor father.  He is an educated man, and he raised me to be an intelligent woman.  When I was a child, he regularly took me to the symphony, museums and the theater (the Kukla, Fran and Ollie Holiday Spectacular counts as theater, right?).  He sent me to the college of my choice.  So he reasonably assumed I would maintain a similar level of intellectual integrity in my adult years.  Clearly, he was mistaken. Case in point...

I wanted Dad to stand
between Ron and
Nancy and make "rabbit
ears".  Dad said he thought
the docent would eject us
from the museum.
We went to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Museum and Library yesterday.  There were exhibits on the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Oval Office years, and the assassination attempt.  There was even a retired Air Force One available for touring.  My takeaway?  "I wonder if the docent assigned to the Oval Office eats the jelly beans out of the display jar when no tourists are around?"

We went to a lovely French bistro for dinner last night.  Dad had French onion soup and crispy duck.  I had escargot and a saucy halibut.  We ordered a wonderful bottle of wine.  When we got home, all I wanted to tell John about was the woman at the next table who ate a lamb chop with her hands.  (To be fair, it was Dad who initially spotted the woman eating caveman-style, and pointed her out to me).

We visited to the Griffith Observatory today.  It is such a lovely, iconic building, and a great, educational place to spend a Saturday afternoon.  Dad got us tickets to the planetarium show so that we could learn more about the stars.  The announcer mentioned the important discoveries made by Galileo at one point, and now I can't get the Indigo Girls song "Galileo" ("...How long till my soul gets it right/Can any human being ever reach that kind of light/I call on the resting soul of Galileo/King of night vision, king of insight..."  And now that song is in your head too.  You're welcome.) out of my head.

Yes, my father raised me to be a educated person.  Unfortunately, as an adult, TMZ is my daddy now.    Clearly, I need to crack a book that was reviewed by a more highbrow publication than People Magazine.

Dad is probably musing the mystery of
the cosmos.
Me?  I'm wondering if they sell freeze-dried
astronaut ice cream in the gift shop.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

My Mile High Club is Very Different from Yours

I've been spending a considerable amount of time on airplanes in the last few months.  I have learned a few things as a result:

1. Never wear pants that require a belt, because there is really no dignified way to redress yourself after you have gone through security.  Everyone within a 50 meter radius is going to see a piece of your underwear in one way or another.

2. Boarding at DWF and at DCA/IAD/BWI are two entirely different animals.  Dallas passengers are civilized, curteous and thoughtful.  Washington passengers act as though the terminal is on fire and their only chance for survival is to enter the jetway AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.  We're all going to the same place, people.  The airlines will not run out of seatbelts if you are the 10th person on the plane.  And yes, if you shouldered ahead of me to get a better berth in the line, I DID step on the back of your shoe on purpose.  I'm no saint.

3.  Much like the the philosopher Aimee Mann postulated back in the '80's, "hush hush/keep it down now/voices carry".  And by this, I mean to say that if you are having a spirited conversation with your seatmate/virtual stranger/new best friend three rows behind me, I am going to hear every single stupid thing that comes out of your mouth.  And I AM going to make fun of you (inside of my head).  You may find that a gluten-free diet has changed your life, but I do not care.  Neither do I care to hear how your sister-in-law did that thing that made you so mad.  And the thing I really, really do not want to hear about is how you came to have your relationship with the Lord.  I'm delighted for you that you have one, but I don't need to know about it, particularly in the form of specific Bible verses and proselytizing.  Just read your SkyMall Magazine like a normal human being, and let me take a nap.

4. And if you are not going to accommodate me by keeping your pie hole in the upright and locked position, please be aware that I am going to start a loud conversation of my own, specifically tailored to annoy you.  Want to talk about religion?  Well, I am fully prepared to discuss the merits of porn, my friend.  Cinemax Late Night versus hard core, if necessary.  Want to quote Bible verses?  Well, I have 50 Shades of Grey downloaded on my Kindle (long story), and I would be happy to read you every email Ana sent to Christian.  Even if (actually, especially if) my seatmate does not speak English and has no idea what I'm saying.  In that case, I will go all "Ugly American" and speak LOUDER.  And ENUNCIATE.

5.  Finally, please allow me to share this lovely chestnut.  Don't eat chestnuts, or any form of nuts, before boarding the plane.  Because you WILL want to fart, and it WILL NOT be contained to your general area.  It will spread, I assure you, throughout the cabin and then into the air vents, where it will circulate throughout the plane for the rest of the flight.  And I, who have a very precise nose, will know you did it.  Which will cause me to give you the stink eye (both literally and figuratively) for the rest of the flight and also find a way to step on the back of your shoe when we are disembarking from the plane.

In summary, behave yourselves.  Think of a plane more like a reality show than the interior of a car (and yes, picking your nose in-flight does annoy me as well, by the way).  You may think that you have some privacy, but someone is always watching.  And judging.  At least if I am on the plane...

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Hey Dummy! Redux

It's official...I've become a complete dumbass.  (Become?  Shut up.)

You all know that I self-stalk myself, right?   Sometimes, when I'm bored, I look at my own blog stats, just to see how I'm doing vis-a-vis my readers.  One could call it "market research" (although the case could also be made for calling it "obsessive navel gazing", or, as John likes to term it "Liz need a job"-itis).  Self-stalking allows me to learn what search phrases are driving people to my site ("free clomid"?  Really?), which topics are more popular (No more bad recipes.  Got it.), and where my readers live. (Not specifically, mind you.  Please do not fear that I am going to show up on your doorstep with a burned bundt cake and a spray tan kit.)

So there I was, harmlessly self-stalking my way through my stats, when I saw something that made me pause.

And my first thought was, "My God, it's happened!  We Texans threaten to secede from the Union, but those Mid-Atlantic bastards have actually gone and done it!  I finally understand why Chris Christie was palling around with President Obama after Superstorm Sandy!" (to make the process of being recognized as a legitimate country easier)  And then I thought, "Hang on, ding dong. that doesn't sound right.  Let's google Jersey before jumping to conclusions."

And yes, (duh) there is a nation called Jersey.  Located in the Channel Islands, just off the coast of Normandy.  It's where Jersey cows (duh) come from.  It's the "old" Jersey after which our "New" (duh) "Jersey" was named.  

And after taking a casual straw poll of my friends and relations, it seems that I am the only person I know who did not possess this knowledge.  Not on the tip of their tongues, mind you, but also not jumping to the conclusion that there was a quiet revolution that CNN did not cover.

Which makes me feel really good about myself and my expensive college education.

Seriously, I think there is limited storage space in my brain, and the important information previously housed there is being regularly replaced by idiotic data.  Perhaps knowing that Lamar Odom is married to the giant Kardashian erased my previous knowledge of geography.  I'm confident that if you open up the brain tab dedicated to multiplication tables, you will now find a guacamole recipe instead.

I'm one "Honey Boo Boo" marathon away from being able to walk and chew gum at the same time.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Whoever Said Money Can't Buy Happiness Simply Didn't Know Where to Go Shopping

When purchasing gifts, I have always ascribed to the belief that you should give people things that you would want to receive yourself.  Which is why one year, I gave everyone on my gift list Frango Mints.  However, since many of my friends are not chubby adolescent girls from the North Shore of Chicago, this went over like a lead balloon (which is also, incidentally, what your lower intestinal tract feels like after consuming an entire box of Frango Mints in 30 minutes or less).

This is Angela.  She's pretty
even when I don't cartoon
This year, I decided to try something a little different.  My friend Angela recently opened up a boutique in Fort Worth called the Creative Collective.  Angela is a gifted quilter, and her goal was to create a space where local artisans, craftsmen and vintage "pickers" could showcase their creations.  And the result is something magical.  If Martha Stewart and MacGyver had a baby, the Creative Collective would be it's nursery.  The shop has so many cool and unique items, it's hard for me to even describe. Which is why I took photos...

One of the artists finds old electronics
and parts, and turns them into cool
robots and dioramas.  I want to let her loose
in my garage so that she can make me something.
Ideally, I would like that something to be a
John Major robot who can vacuum my rugs.
Since I know I don't have a red speedo
in the garage, I will purchase one on eBay
if necessary...

Look at all this stuff!  Everywhere I looked,
I saw something that I wanted to have in my house. 
Although I think the bacon-scented "man candles"
would drive my dogs insane.
I wish I was as gifted as Angela and her colleagues.
I'm not, but at least I was smart enough to bring
my husband with me so that he could pay for
all the gifts I picked out...

Unfortunately, if I were to tell you more about the boutique, I might spill the beans on all the presents I bought for this year.  And I'm not going to do that, because what's the point of selecting a cool present if you can't keep your yap shut about it?  The downside, of course, is that I couldn't buy a present for
Angela there, since she was the one ringing me up.  Oh well.  I'm sure she enjoys Frango Mints.

Go check out the Creative Collective for yourself
at their Holiday Open House on December 16th from 1-5.
The address is 3526 W. Vickery Blvd. in Fort Worth.

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