Friday, August 31, 2007

Edgy but Home.....

It's one of those homecomings.....instead feeling joyful that I survived four short flights on Southwest Airlines and 10 days on the road.....I'm edgy and don't want to get back to my normal routine.

I've pecked at the bills today but didn't complete them, tossed out the rotten watermelon hiding in the crisper but ignored the soggy tomatoes....and named my new wash machine (It's so big it deserves a name.....hmmm...I think a man told me the same thing once.)

Maybe I've been on too many college campuses lately....and the idea of a small room filled with lots of books, interesting classes, food-to-go and group chats or parties most nights.....seems idyllic. I could live like that....I think I did once....maybe I want a chance to do it all over again.

My trip to Ohio already seems like weeks ago. I left a happy daughter in a cute apartment with a new cat to keep her company. The Firemen movers turned out to be amazing even though they weren't exactly calender boys.

Actually one of the movers was buff and cute....almost Chippendale material . He was the fireman ( and checked my daughter's smoke alarm before he left) and this was his off-duty business.

His three coworkers though.....were definitely NOT from the brotherhood. One was short and looked like Popeye. Another was skinny with missing front teeth and the last one was pasty with a long blond ponytail and a dirty towel draped around his neck.

What they lacked in looks they made up for in moving experience and stamina.....they whipped couches, dressers and chairs out the door so quickly and with such daughter and I stood back in awe....and when they moved a massive oak table through a narrow doorway and up two flights of stairs ....we clapped.

Well I should unpack my suitcases or at least attempt to....for some reason the TSA has found one of them to be very interesting....I have a shiny sticker on my flight tag and a brochure stuffed in the outside pocket of my bag telling me the bag been searched and cleared.....wonder if that garter belt I bought from Victoria's secret was momentarily considered a threat to national security...

Here's a couple of nice visuals from the trip:

My daughter and her amazing neon pink mortarboard (at ground level you could not tell the top was colored)

Jack...aka Jumpin' Jack Flash....newly adopted cat from the humane society.... on his way to a pampered life.....with my daughter.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Dear Shell....I'm hoping the firemen look like this....


Pomp and......Cleaning

Well....I'm here in Ohio...enjoying a couple hours of quiet and alone time before rolling up my sleeves again.

Graduation was wonderful....the right amount of pomp....the right amount of speeches.....and just when you thought ....your toosh was reaching the point of full scale hurt....the last graduate strutted across the stage.

My daughter did decorate her mortar board....with neon pink paper and silver glitter....she stood out among the psych/social studies graduates. We could watch her head bounce up and down as she talked...and tracked her step-by-step to the stage. I was glad she kept to traditional decorating techniques with glitter and paper graduate in the Spanish department....attached a small scale donkey pinata to her board.... I wondered if her parents were laughing or cringing.

We decided to go low-key for our celebration afterwards. Bypassed the traditional restaurant dinner and filled a grocery cart full of fresh bread and dips and veggies and of course wine. We sat on ancient sofas in the living room of her old house....with ceiling fans and floor fans providing a rhythmic hum and a steady wind as background to our conversation.

Eventually, it cooled off enough to sit outside on her old sagging wooden porch....where we talked over the buzz of cicadas and enjoyed a gentle evening breeze. The scene reminded me of my old neighborhood in Chicago...where people used to gather on their front stoops or stairs to talk and watch the world go by after the sun went down.

On Monday, I made a couple of airport runs to deliver family to their flights... then pulled my grunge clothes out of my suitcase. Time to help pack her up and move her from her shared house near campus to an apartment.

I guess my daughter believes I'm a very brave and strong woman because I discovered after I agreed to stay and help her...that she was hoping I'd drive a U-haul truck across the city and carry furniture and boxes up two flights of stairs.

Hey, this is what men are for....and if all the men folks in our joint lives weren't available....this is when you go out and find big bulky men for hire. After a few calls....I settled on a moving company run by off-duty firemen....three of them will show up Wednesday with a truck. Hallelujah!

Of course, I have been wondering....about the fireman. I am secretly hoping....three 25 year old men....with huge biceps and hairless chests...shirtless and wearing shorts and suspenders show up at the door...with a great big smile.

Everyone...including my daughter....tells me to expect portly middle aged men riding in an old truck......but a woman's got to dream while she packs books and underwear and pots and pans....right?

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Graduation Day

I woke up this morning with my feelings squeezing my heart. I told hub it not only felt like graduation day but also a bon voyage party.

When I left my daughter off 4 years ago at Ohio State, I knew she was leaving the nest. In these last few days, I realized she has not only left the nest but started a new one. She has a boyfriend, a strong network of friends, career plans and a vision for her future.

My daughter and I are both intelligent and capable women....with obvious independent streaks. Yet as I am writing this, I find myself teary-eyed and weepy at what seems like the official ceremony that cuts the strings.

I can see the new role my hub and I will play in her life. I've already been immersed in that role the last few days. We huddled over my lap top and figured out temporary health insurance coverage. I nixed the idea that we should try moving sofas and beds on our own and hired a moving company. I took her shopping for essentials and when her grandparents and hub leave tomorrow, I'll help her pack . It's more of a help mate and mentor role rather than a directing role. Of course I've been in this role since she left for college....but there is something about this day and ceremony....that feels final.

Today's graduation will be a smaller ceremony than the massive one they had in June. Cris told me though she will still decorate the top of her morter board. Finding your son or daughter amid 5,ooo students can be a challenge so many of the students decorate the tops of thier boards with gel inks and family members can look down and locate their student.

After the ceremony, I will hand her three small gift box with a check to cover some expenses, another box with a picture of a cat...(I'll help her adopt one at the Humane Society in a couple days) and a handful of airline gift cards......which I hope she will use to travel and have fun with.....but also to come home. Even when they fly off on their own, you want them to come least for a while....

Hub is waving....time to go.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

My New LIfe as an Exotic Dancer.....

A couple weeks ago I had lunch at the Governor's mansion. I wore a dress...but just before I left the house I looked down at my legs and thought....oh no...they just aren't tan enough to make it bare legged with high heels.

So I went back to my bedroom and retrieved my thigh high stockings. What a smart cookie I legs looked nicer and I was not encased in pantyhose in 100 degree plus weather.

At the end of the luncheon, I stood up and then quickly sat down. One of my thigh highs started to curl under my dress and was rolling down my leg!

Oh my thigh highs have a shelf life?...a limited life of stretch that I didn't know about?

The Governor or his wife usually shake hands in the foyer after an affair....what if I walk up the stairs and my stocking rolls down to my ankle right in front of the head of our state?

I was horrified....and there's only so much tugging and pulling you can do in public. So I carefully walked up the stairs.....shook hands....and sauntered out of the mansion.

I made it to my car...but thought ..this is horrible....NO WONDER...women used to wear garter belts. It was insurance... your stockings held up no matter where you were or what you were doing.

So I was shopping in the big fancy Macy's here in Chicago and I know ...I should get some insurance....I should buy a garter belt and then when I go out someplace special....someplace where it was absolutely necessary to keep my stockings above my knees where they belonged....I would have peace of mind...and quite frankly it would look damn sexy if I ever tripped and fell over.

I browsed the elegant lingerie section and don't see any garter belts. But they're usually small and delicate and I thought they may have them in a drawer.

I spy a nice solid Midwestern woman who looks like she's in charge of the department.

"Do you have any garter belts?"

"Oh honey, you have to go to a wedding/tuxedo store for those."

"No, No....I don't need a wedding garter. I want a garter belt."

She looked horrified. "Like for pole dancers?"

"Pole dancers?"

We stood looking at each other.

She was obviously appraising my chance of being a raunchy pole dancer and I was thinking.... geez...I just want something to hold my stockings up. I left the startled clerk behind.

A few minutes later, I passed a Victoria's secret and thought they might be better suited for my quest.

"Do you have garter belts?"

"Of course...with or without a corset?"

I could feel my eyebrows arch. Insurance was getting pretty damn complicated.

"Without...I'm just a pole dancer."

The sales woman's mouth dropped....but she led me to the garter belts.

I now have insurance....and apparently if the writing gigs fail....I'm equipped for a life as an exotic dancer.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Turning into a Kid at Your Parent's house.

Some things never change when you visit your parents.

I flew into Chicago a mere 10 hours ago....and I'm the kid again.

An hour mom looked up at the clock and decided I was starving. Here's part of our conversation.

Have a cheese stick.
No thanks mom.
You want a sandwich?
No... I'm not hungry.
I have ice cream.
No ...No...
I have that chocolate you like.
Ma ( I slip into my south side Chicago accent)...I'm fine.
I have crackers. What about crackers?
You don't like the crackers I bought?
They're fine...I'm just not hungry.
What about an egg?
No for breakfast.
Okay. I'll have an egg.
I have bacon.
No...I don't want bacon.
I have ham.
No. Just an egg on toast.
I bought those nice muffins with the holes.
English muffins?
Yes, you want an English muffin?
Maybe you'd rather have a bagel.
Sure. I'll have an egg and a bagel.
I don't have any bagels. I'll send you father out to get some now.
No No.....really I'll have an English muffin.
Peter....why don't you run to the Jewel. She wants some bagels for breakfast.
No No....don't send dad out's late. I tell you what.....why don't you make me an egg with bacon and some toast. Ok?
Good. You want butter on your toast?
We don't have butter. I just have margarine.
Margarine is okay.
Peter....why don't you run to Jewel. She wants butter for breakfast.
Ma...give me the keys to the car. I'll go to the grocery store.
Now? It's so late. Who knows who's at that store at this hour.
You were going to send dad.
That's different.
There's odd people there at night. Someone might take you.
Take me? Take me where?
YOU KNOW. got any bourbon left over from Thanksgiving?
Why you taking such a small glass?
You're right Ma....hand me the BIG glass...I think I need a big drink.
Since when did you start drinking so much?

Monday, August 20, 2007

Howling on Monday morning ......

Some days you hit gold........ today....I dropped a note to a blogger who visited here a few days ago. He has a combo Spanish and English blog...which is very cool...and even though I can't read Spanish....he had embedded some clips from a band called Randy Rogers.

I loved the clip.......and country music videos often have great stories.....this one's theme is playing with fire one more time.....even though you know you gonna get burned.

and this next clip.....will make you computer"let your skin talk to my soul".....hello.......where can I leave my cell phone number for this conversation?

Sorry the clips can't be embedded.... you'll just have to get them the old fashioned following the links.....

and turn up the volume....go ahead......crank it up.....and howl.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Cycles ..........

I knew something was missing. I looked out into my back yard and realized our New Mexico totem pole was no longer standing.
Termites discovered the pole a couple years ago and attacked it with a vengeance.
My daughter and I bought this totem in Albuquerque ....8 years ago. She had graduated from 8th grade and was heading into high school.
To celebrate this life transition, I surprised her with a road trip to New Mexico. Since kindergarten, she was a fan of Georgia O' I could think of no better gift than to show her the art and landscape of her favorite artist.
I remember her surprise as I announced we were heading to New Mexico. I also remembered her eyes widen when I tossed a couple of maps into her lap and told her she was totally responsible for navigation for the entire trip.
At that time in my daughter's life, I wanted her to learn to be independent....and strong...and to find her way in the world without having to depend on others.
We had a great trip. At the Texas border, my muffler came apart and we sparked our way down the expressway for a couple of miles...I was absolutely certain my 40 gallon gas tank would ignite and explode. We didn't ( a few guys cinched it up at a gas station) and we took pictures of ourselves to celebrate our intact-ness on top of the Suburban in the middle of the desert.
We ate lots of Mexican food....stayed in a beautiful bed and breakfast and bought art books. We found the totem pole heading out of Albuquerque and thought>>>> great backyard art. Coming home, we listened to Maya Angelou on tape ...I remember looking at her at one point and saying..."Honey...where the hell are we?"....Maya's voice was so mesmerizing...we missed our exit by 20 miles.
Now the totem pole has fallen...exactly 8 summers since we put it in its place.....and my daughter faces her next transition in life.....she's graduating from college next weekend.
She is a strong and resourceful woman......on the dean's list....and hopefully heading off in a year to graduate school in psychology. She's patient and kind and has this ease in loving and being generous to others.....that I greatly admire in her.
I was supposed to fly home after graduation ....but she asked if I would be willing to stay for a few days........she works evenings in a bookstore....and she needs some help during the day to pack and move.
Of course I will stay....and in the quiet of the hotel room in the evenings....I'm sure the magnitude of this transition will catch me.....she begins her big adventure now....and I am glad I will be there to see her off.
Eight years ago...I posed on top of my celebrate reaching New Mexico with my daughter.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

You Might Be Downloading Me Soon.......

A friend sent me an email about a grad student in England completing a project in typography. Hmmm....why does she think I'm interested in typeface???....since she has an exquisite mind...I figured I better read the email one more time to make sure I wasn't missing something. I get it!

A student designed a new typeface (apparently this is really hard work) and named it Gina.

He says:
My practical project for the MATD program is a family of OpenType fonts called Gina.

Gina is a typeface with a robust texture and an extensive set of glyphs that have a distinct, legible appearance. The Gina family includes Greek and accented characters, mathematical symbols, alternate forms, italic and small cap styles, and more.

I decided I liked me.....robust....a lot of glyphs (I prefer not to know the real meaning of this word) ...distinctive and legible. Throw in some Greek....a few accents ...and be ready for alternative forms...

I would say he's pretty much right on target.

Monday, August 13, 2007

While Looking Up an Ameretto recipe... I Ended Up in a Sex Museum....

The heat makes you do crazy the middle of working on an article....I started thinking about Amaretto and some ancient recipe I passed by once which used the liquor to make an adult slushy.
My hand slipped (or were my fingers just sweaty from the heat?) and I ended up on a list of words. A place where the computer tries to be gracious and asks if you really meant to look up the word YOU TYPED or SOMETHING ELSE (HINT HINT YOU DUMMY THERE'S NO SUCH WORD).
While scanning the list, I discovered some interesting inamorata.
Isn't that beautiful?....the way it rolls off the tongue....inamorata.
Please...once again.......inamorata.
An inamorata is a woman you are in love inamorato is a man you are in love with. ~

She is his inamorata.

(I feel a sudden urge to run down to Barnes and Noble and buy a romance with a smooth bare-chested man wearing a kilt......and nothing else....his long black hair and dark brown eyes staring into the wind....his right leg balancing on a boulder and showing off his oh so muscular thighs. )

(Yes, I know it is unlikely an Italian would wear a kilt, but this particular lad was kidnapped by pirates at birth and believes he's Scottish.)
I stumbled upon Amora....which also sounded interesting but was a bit disappointing. Amora is an Aramaic word for a Jewish scholar. Let's face it....scholars....whether Jewish, Chinese or Swedish..... do not mentally generate sexy wind-blown images for romance novels.
Just when I was about to click away.....I saw some another tag line. Amora...New Sex Museum Opens in London. What?
So I googled and yes April, 2007....the Brits opened a rather unique sex museum dedicated to love, sex and relationships. An interactive museum...where you can spend quiet time with a latex model...discovering P-Spots....G-Spots...and the oh so famous....X marks the spot.

They even have "learning stations." Where you can practice some of the fine sexual arts. Here's a man trying out a traditional paddle to spank a model (please note her silicon garter and thigh highs).. Notice also....his skills will be rated on the "Spankometer." (His partner has an interesting expression on her face....I can't tell if she's thinking ...wish that was me...or glad it's not me.)
There's also an aphrodisiac lounge and movie theater and an on site sex therapist available for consultation. (I wonder if cabs are waiting outside the museum ready to speed you back home or to the nearest hotel.)
Amazing.....and now....let me see if I can get back to finding that slushy recipe.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Heat Made Me Do It....One Horrible Clip

This is a horrible video clip. I know it. The title of the clip is "Middle-aged Women Should Stay Home." The first time I watched it...I cried...I laughed so hard.

I told myself to stop laughing since I'm over 40 which technically means I'm middle-aged...but I played it again and laughed some more. It's horrible.


Wednesday, August 08, 2007

My African Blue Door Already Attracking Friends

After months of Mommy coercion....and finally an ultimatum( do this chore now or you will never drive my car for the rest of your back African blue.
I thought the color would be difficult to find...but I was lucky. My hub bought some milk paint for a hobby project. When I looked at it.....I thought Bingo!
Milk paint is a type of paint used since ancient Egyptian times....a combo of milk protein, lime and pigments, minerals, or organic materials for color.
I'm not sure what mineral or pigment creates the blue color....I emailed a company specializing in milk paint to find out...but it must be common and cheap and widely distributed in Africa.
If you'll look closely...there's a pink circle around a butterfly-like object on the left side of the door.
I found him early this morning. He's not a butterfly...but a male Imperial Moth....a large moth that lives in our area.
He's clung onto the pane all day without moving. Early this evening I switched the light on and saw him twitch so I know he's still alive.
Perhaps the blue of the door lured him to our cool oasis under our covered porch...and cool is an important concept today with a temp of 100 degrees and the forecast for no rain and 100 degree temperatures for the next few days.
I read that male moths can fly up to five miles looking for a mate.

If he's looking for someone in heat in this heat.......all I can say is Good Luck!
Update: I just posted this blog when hub called me into the garage. Another big male Imperial moth was sitting on the hood of my new car. Hub scooped him up and released him outside.
Ah! Something fluttered on the floor just a few feet away. Another one! This time smaller and less colorful...the female. I caught and released her too.
Guess there's IS gonna be some hot loving tonight....but NOT on my new car!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Oh Those Sassy Midwesterners........

What a all of the Midwest suffering from Chronic C Syndrome?? know Crispy Cream....becomes Krispy Kreme.....and.... well..... you can figure out this one. ....they're a chain of convenience stores.....didn't see any below the Mason-Dixon Line......somehow I think Southerners wouldn't think this was funny. We take our C and K's quite seriously down here.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Ahh....the Midwest....and Second Chance University

I grew up in the there' s something comforting about crossing into territory where you can find a Monster Chop for breakfast, lunch or dinner. And those much maligned cornfields.....I actually like them....they're therapeutic....the beautiful monotony...the order...the sense of growth.
We drove 1601 miles in 4 days. I drove mostly....give a teen boy a pillow....and they're like babies....napping and napping. We have a rule in the car....entitled whomever-drives-controls-the-music....and with my son's taste in heavy metal right was probably a good thing that I drove most of those miles.
I am happy to report I did tough it out through 4 of his Cd's....which I dubbed...Satan's greatest hits.....To pass time, I playfully tried to decipher the screams....picking out words like....waistband and pain in a song and attempting to make a logical connection.
"Hey, are these guys screaming because their waistbands are too tight and they're in pain?"
My son would roll his eyes...the ever tolerant teenager with his semi-hip mom.
To his credit....he suffered through an old Whitney Houston CD, a mix of love songs, Coldplay and at least an acceptable old Evanescence CD.
The college tours were great. They have great marketing campaigns. I was so revved up by the slide show, the cute guys and girls giving peppy talks and the free pencils and decals.......I was ready to sign up as a freshman in look at three story virtual reality rooms, wind tunnels and solar cars....and you're ready to join a research team.
Although I try really hard not to regret things in my life....I found myself... pained during some of the pep talks...because I missed so many opportunities in college to be playful. I majored in nursing and let's face it's just not a happy major....big science courses...careplans....dressed and ready for clinic by 6:30am.
The fun stuff of college....the clubs, the outings, the kegger parties......were always on hold....because the cirrhosis of the liver chapter had to be mastered....or you were spending a quiet evening with an orange and a you could master injections....or you were glued to a cassette....trying to distinguish lub dub from the abnormal...lub dub dub....of a heart valve in trouble.
While he was off talking to counselors....I actually thought how wonderful it would be if they had Second Chance Universities where you could do it all over again and this time know better.
For example... you could get an annoying roommate ...but this time have the skills to handle could party till dawn and arrange all your classes to start after could sign up for courses which require little or no homework and lots of in-class the significance of Star Wars or Music could go Skiing during spring break because you could actually now afford a lift ticket....and ultra cute ski bunny snow suit....and study abroad....and sit in cafes drinking small cups of dark coffee while your European friends blew smoke rings above your head.
And if you had been "too good"in your first go around.....especially in the morals could always have the joy of sitting at home and watching your husband and childrens' jaws drop they realize the blond woman dancing in front of them on TV in the Girls Gone Wild video clip is .........YOU.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Cornfield Road Trip

Well I'm on my way home from a road trip through the cornfields son is looking over a few colleges up north's been a good trip....and we're only about 6 hours from home right now.
Our trip started out a few days ago on a scary note.....I thought I was ill.
I never sleep too well before leaving on a trip....often waking up a couple of check the clock......this time I woke up in the middle of the night and felt a strange sensation. My head was hot....I was actually sweating. I laid my sleepy daze.....trying to figure out what was wrong.....I instinctively touched my head.
What the hell.
Get off!
My cat has become very aware of the significance of suitcases......I guess this was her new technique to stop me from leaving.
Once the cat was removed from my head and we headed out the son and I have had a good trip......we are good traveling buddies.....our stomachs' growl at the same time....and our pits stops are pretty well coordinated.....he's very easy going....and his new i-phone....which i tisked at and tried to convince him not to buy with his hard-earned money.....has turned out to be fun and super cool....we have googled and mapquested along the road...found ourselves un-lost in a couple of places.....we've checked everything from the weather to what's at the next exit on the interstate.....we're driving along...and i this or google's one little fun piece of technology......
I have a few more stories...I'll save for my next entry.