Life Among the Never-Winged

Once upon a time I was writing a book called, "Just Another Love Letter", about angels behaving badly. Now I just quietly ask myself each day, "What the hell am I doing?"

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Location: The Rocky Mountain Empire, United States

My friends always knew I was going to hell. My only hope is that God likes good jokes and bad redheads.

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  • Tuesday, March 28, 2006

    Ms. Dancehall, the Senator Is On the Line



    Yes, yes, yes, but first…


    Ah, sweet release!
    So warm and welcoming;
    parted lovers reuniting
    in the first days of spring,
    fall into bed together,
    touching, exploring,
    muscles taut
    skin bared to the sun, shameless
    with pleasure, desires filled,
    sweat from one falls on the other;
    a body so well-known.
    My fingers dig in and explore
    the one who will nourish me later
    who nourishes my spirit now --
    letting me forget
    just for a while
    everything
    else.

    Yes! I was out in the garden today, planting some root crops and digging up others. Parsnips, spicy-sweet from overwintering in the ground. I’ll roast them for dinner tonight.
    Or…hmmmm...
    …I’ll thaw out the pheasant, marinate it, and serve the parsnips with that on Wednesday night.
    Yeah.


    Oh yes, the phone call.

    I got home from work last night and my mom called. O answered.
    His eyebrows lifted.
    “I’ll let you tell her,” he said, handing the phone to me.
    “Hi,” I said.
    “Hi. I got a phone call. For you.”
    “Oh really? Who?”
    Senator Dick Durbin.”
    “Really? Which was it for, the Santorum-Durbin Amendment or H.R. 683?”
    Pause. “Something about trademarks?”
    “Cool. That’s H.R. 683. So what was it, some recording?”
    “No! He called you. Just now. I missed it. Do you want to hear the message?”
    “Well, yeah!”

    So, she put the phone up to the answering machine, and there he was, Senator Dick Durbin, in the flesh (or rather, in the voice) telling me he appreciated my concern about H.R. 683, that he liked the points I made, and the bill passed with the requested changes. If I had any questions, I could call him.

    Blink blink.

    “Democracy works,” I told my mom.
    “So why did he call here?”
    “I have no idea. I gave him your address—”
    “Why?”
    “Because I thought it’d have more impact if I gave him an Illinois address. I didn’t give him your phone number though. I just figured I’d get some generic email.”
    “Well. He called. He must have looked it up.”
    “Cool. Vote for him, ok?”
    “Um. Sure. Should I expect another call from the senator? What was that other thing?”
    “Funding for fighting AIDS and malaria. I doubt he’ll call; that’s a huge issue. He’d be on the phone the rest of his life for that one.”
    “Ok. But if he does, should I give him your number?”
    I just laughed. “Yeah, sure, why not?”

    Never underestimate the power of a stay-at-home-mom. Or grandma. Communism ultimately failed because of grandmothers. Seriously.

    Anyway, my Illinois peeps – I don’t agree with EVRYTHING Durbin does, but check out his record, and vote if he moves you. At least he listens. I can tell you I never got more than generic email from the Colorado senators. Boneheads.

    Ok. Back to the garden; my other ‘grass roots’ project.

    Monday, March 27, 2006

    Off to work we go

    Thanks, guys, for your responses. We'll see how things go today.

    I'll be toting along baby living breads to pass on to my unsuspecting co-workers. The loaves I made were de-lish...
    Oh! And the bathroom is done. I painted yesterday. All we need to do is put up the towel bars and assorted bathroom bling. I'll snap some photos for your delectation.

    And...I think I've gotten past the stall-out with the book. A horrible dream gave me the answer, once I puzzled it out. It means postponing the introduction of a character, or eliminating him entirely, and that's not an easy thing to do. I'll write more about it later.

    In the meantime, it's off to work I go...

    Friday, March 24, 2006

    Menaced Objects Series #2

    I don’t rant, much. I’m pretty easy-going. There are three rules in dealing with me. Don’t mess up Thanksgiving, don’t mess with my friends, and don’t mess with my territory. Steer clear of these and you’re the bee’s knees, baby.
    So it is with great loathing that I face today. My working territory in being encroached upon.

    Let me explain. I’ve been a graphic designer for twelve years. I’m the old-fashioned kind; I know how printing presses work. Don’t ask me to design a web site – not yet, at least. I’m a dependable old workhorse, happy changing names on business cards and whatnot; I’m not looking to redesign Coke’s logo any time soon.
    My biggest client is a print shop. I’ve had a beautiful working relationship with this shop for eight years. I started with them working in-house, kind of a mitochondria in a one-celled organism. Then after the boyos were born, my in-house place was filled and I handled overspill and vacations, a satisfactory situation all around.

    Time passed, and the woman taking my place moved on, and the spot was filled by another woman, one for whom I have a lot of respect. Our working relationship went on smoothly.

    Then two things happened.

    One, the shop absorbed another print shop, taking on the former owner in a salesmanship position, maintaining his old clients.
    Now, this should have been good news to me. More work, right? Plus, I already had a past working relationship with the new guy, S. I had played musical chairs for his shop when his designer, L., took off to have a baby. I even found my own replacement when the time came for me to go on baby-leave.

    I waited for the extra work to pour in. Nothing happened.

    Then I found out that S. was telling the current designer NOT to send me work, but to funnel it to L. instead. Ok, fine…old loyalties. L. was his old graphic designer after all. The designer in place gave me the heads up, and said she’d send me work anyway, because she liked working with me, and L. was, in her words, “a dolt.”

    But then she moved on, and guess who took her place.
    Again, fine. I’m not ready to work five days a week out of the house. Have at it.

    I subbed for her for a day a couple of weeks ago, and learned some interesting things.
    The owner of the shop, Owner C., has asked L. to send me work because she’s falling behind, but she refuses. And on top of it, she wants to cut her hours, and take more vacations. But she won’t share the work. The shop’s falling behind.
    Every time I tried to talk to Owner C. about it, S. was right there, eavesdropping. On top of that, it didn’t take me long to figure out that L. had changed the names of files she worked on the day before, things that needed completing, so that it took longer for me to find them in the system.
    And, the thing that really infuriated me – when L. had asked me if I’d sub that day, she mentioned that she wanted to take a week off, but didn’t know when, and would I be able to come in and cover? I said, ‘Let me know which week, and I’ll see how much babysitting I can round up.’ When I came in that day, there were signs up in three places, saying that she’d be out of the shop on the week of the 27th, and I’d be there.

    Not a word to me. Not a word to Owner C., either, apparently. The signs were just as much a surprise to him. So, I was put in a position of telling him I could only work two days for sure. He said he’d take care of it, but I still feel like I’m the one leaving him hanging.

    So, L. called yesterday, and asked me to come in today, for half an hour or so, to “learn the system.” The same fucking system I put in place eight years ago! I of course, have no babysitting today, so I’ve got to schlep the boyos along (not a huge problem; since it’s a tight, baby-loving crew working over there) but still, unprofessional and distracting. To the hesitation in my voice, L. replied, “Boy, the enthusiasm is overwhelming!”

    Bitch.

    So I told her that I was not going to be subbing the whole week, but only a couple of days, and had Owner C. told her that?
    No. He hadn’t.

    I’m not sure where I stand. Owner C. implied that he was not happy with L. when I was subbing. But I’m not getting any extra work.

    I’m frustrated. I don’t know how to approach the situation. I’d always had this hope that I’d be able to return when the time came, that the space would open by fate, and I’d step back in. I hadn’t bet the house on it, but I had hoped. Now, I can barely squeeze work out of them, and even though Owner C. is dissatisfied, he doesn’t seem to be doing anything about it. And, I’m not even sure I want to go back, with Backstabbing S. working there. He got in a few snide comments while I was subbing.
    I don’t understand. I helped out both L. and S. when the table were turned and L. was on baby leave. Never a complaint by anyone about my work or my attitude. And I never had a beef against them until now. I’m just feeling betrayed.

    Ok, enough bitching. Gotta go.

    Wednesday, March 22, 2006

    Loaves and Fishes

    The boyos and I had a lovely sushi dinner last night. Declan’s proclamation: “This is the best good treat, Mommy.” I couldn’t agree more.
    No, I’m not feeding my children raw fish, much as they beg for it. They stick to the California Rolls, Unagi and miso soup.


    This morning I had to burp the bread.
    Get your mind out of the gutter!
    I’m talking about the bags of Amish Friendship Bread.
    They were ready to explode. The first one still had that yummy, eat-me-now flavor, with an added sweetness. It smelled like a donut shop.
    The other one now smells like some of the homeless folks who frequent all-night donut shops.
    I’m dubbing it the Evil Twin.

    I think the CHUD folks got a hold of some of this stuff.

    Maybe I’ll make it into bread anyway. Give it to people I don’t like…not any of you, of course. To you I give nothing but Amish friendship, sweet and dreamy. Yum.

    Ooops. Sorry. Got sidetracked there.

    Tuesday, March 21, 2006

    Blog as Babysitter



    This is one of the long days. O was out the door around 6:30, and won't be home until around ten tonight. The boyos are being mercifully good. And, I had a dose of peace-of-mind this morning.

    As I was telling DMG this morning, my libido has been out of control (gee have you noticed?) and I suddenly dropped five pounds, and the last time the stars came together to produce that little combo, I had a little combo growing in my tummy. This morning though seems to have answered the question. Whew. I'm not sure I could go through it again. Not that I wouldn't do it again, not that I wouldn't welcome a little one with open arms, but I'd really prefer to be finished with that phase of my life.

    So, I can enjoy the libido thing. I love that melty feeling that starts in the stomach and pours down inside like warm honey.
    (Yeah. I'm undergoing a current honey fetish.)
    And, I've been practicing my erotic writing (oh my poor, dear Guinea pigs, I hope I haven't offended you too much) for the book. I really want to work in a warm and toasty scene, and this blog has helped.

    The one great thing about living in the 'burbs is that the sushi place down the street delivers. Yes! So, I'll be splurging tonight and ordering some. I called Lurker Schmoopie to see if she wanted to join me, but alas, her boy has a fever, and she's one of those good moms who actually has the fortitude to turn down sushi and care for her young instead.

    Now I can't remember why I titled this Blog as Babysitter. All it does is babysit me, and not very well.

    Dang it, and I can't post pictures either!

    Monday, March 20, 2006

    Blind Date

    Today is the first day of spring, and Colorado has decided to celebrate by dumping snow everywhere.
    It’s beautiful, though, even for someone who is climbing the walls because she can’t get out and dig in the dirt.
    We’re having a snow day; O is home, he’s built a lovely fire using wood we cleared from the land (ha!) last fall, and I’m about to make chocolate cookies and hot chocolate, and all manner of things chocolately, and we’ll all gather round the fire and enjoy.


    Later after the boyos have gone to bed, O and I will enjoy the fire in an entirely different way.

    So, last night we went on a family blind date, and met the family of Jonathon S.B. Tiercel and darn it, I forgot to ask him why he chose that name. Anyway, he’s an old friend of Des Moines Girl, older even than me, and that’s pretty old. (I remember when she and I were young virgins, dressed in white, huddling together and listening to ominous chanting in a room down below us. But I digress).
    Very nice people, very funny, very beautiful children, and with similar views regarding the States vs the UK and Ireland. I think we’ll be getting to know each other better.

    Or I could have misread the whole thing, and Mr. Tiercel and family will be packing up and leaving to avoid us. :-)

    Sunday, March 19, 2006

    The Living Bread Experiment


    No, not Jesus, though it is Sunday.


    I’m talking about two bags of Amish Friendship Bread, passed on to me by my mother-in-law’s neighbor a few days ago.
    Does anybody know about this stuff?
    I mean, it’s two bags filled with this cream-colored mushy liquid, like a sourdough starter. It comes with photo-copied instructions on what to do with it every day.
    Yes, it goes on for days.
    Days one through three: Let it sit on your counter. Squeeze it periodically throughout the day.
    Hee. Sounds like my treatment on O’s days off.
    Day four: Add a cup of flour, a cup of sugar and a cup of milk. Squeeze as usual.
    So, this morning I opened the bags, to feed them. The first one had a yummy, yeasty, beery smell to it. Here you go, eat your sugars, niiiice starter. Yum yum.
    The second one. Well.
    Maybe vintage Thunderbird describes it best.
    I fed it anyway. A twin-mother’s instinct.
    We’ll see in a few days. In the meantime, I’ll continue to squeeze the bags! Love the bags! Nice bags!
    Then I’ll do another sniff test, and divide up the results into four more bags, like the directions say, and pass them on.
    Anybody want one? I won’t send you the Ode Du Mad Dog, I promise. Yes, I know which is which.
    Do you think the ancestors of my bags-o-living-bread actually came from an Amish farm? What’s a good Amish substitute for Zip-Loc bags?
    Ok, here’s a photo.



    Woo! Got it to load, finally. Blog must be over its flu.

    Friday, March 17, 2006

    hello?

    Seems my blog's still go the flu. Meanwhile, all you lovely lurkers, give me a shout, so I know who you are. Don't be shy now.

    Any for my regular peeps, go check out some new faces:

    Tootsie Roll
    Orange Tangerine
    D-Man
    Maine
    Lazy Lazy Me
    MyUtopia

    Tootsie, Orange, Maine, D-Man and Lazy were also guests on Bored Housewife, while Lisa was off mucking around in Paris. They were all freaking wonderful.

    Bunratty vs Knock

    Italicized text from Bunratty Irish Potcheen.

    “No amount of regulation, however could persuade the Irish to give up their virtues of the small pot, and whilst it has been illegal since 1661, the craft of the small pot in Irish Poitin distilling goes on in the remote areas of Ireland, to this day.”

    We’re in county Mayo, it’s ten minutes to nine, and we’re getting ready to hit the pubs. Agnes, my husband’s cousin, pulls out a plastic, Virgin Mary-shaped bottle from one of the cupboards.
    “You haven’t had this yet, I imagine,” she says, opening the bottle.
    “A blessing?” I ask.
    “Oh no,” she laughs, “Though you’ll see God, sure.” Agnes pours two fingers of the clear liquid into a couple of tumblers and sets them before O and me.

    Potcheen has been illegally distilled, in the mountains and valleys of Ireland for connoisseurs and friends to enjoy.


    “What is it?” O asks, swirling the liquid.
    Knock Holy Water,” says Agnes. “Potcheen. We get it from a friend up in the hills. Go on and have a sip before I add the Coke.”
    So we do.

    It's unique distinctive taste, is dry and grainy with a delightfully changing aftertaste that sweetens as it develops.

    “Oh sweet Jesus! This is kerosene!”
    “How do you get your eyes to do that?” Agnes asks me.

    We recommend you drink it neat as a shot, on the rocks or with a mixer and savour this original Irish spirit.

    Agnes fills the glasses with Coke. I can see the soda actually flinch as it hits the holy water. They don’t so much mix; rather the potcheen beats the Coke into submission.
    “Cheers!” I say, as I take a big, John Wayne-sized slug. What can I say? It had the addictive properties of crack cocaine.

    Also known as Moonshine or Mountain Dew, Potcheen is a fiery tipple.

    Whiskey slips down the throat to the stomach, where it radiates a gentle, rosy warmth. Knock Holy Water comes in with a flamethrower and a scorched-earth policy. It spreads out from the throat to the arms to the torso to the legs to the toes.
    “How much did you give them?” Gerry has just walked into the kitchen and spotted Our Lady of the Bootleggers on the table.
    “Oh, this much,” says Agnes, holding her fingers apart.
    Gerry looks at my empty glass and shakes his head sadly.
    “Well, it’s nine, and we said we’d meet them at The White House. Let’s go.” Agnes puts Our Lady of Perpetual Inebriation back in the cupboard. I don’t feel a thing, except pure fire taking inventory of every cell in my body.
    Then I stand up.

    Taste and Savour the Bouquet of the Mountain Heather on the Moonbeam Edge that danced with Leprechauns in paradise, and recreate the Celtic magic that is Potcheen. It was a truely spiritual deed of the Irish long ago, when they trapped the purity and magic of nature to create, from sunshine and rain in the mountains and valleys, the most natural and original treasured Irish Spirit-"Potcheen".

    I’m suddenly, Celtic-magically, thrown into the bottom of a deep well. Zero to tunnel-vision in ten minutes. The world shrinks down to a small circle, and everything in the circle is beautiful and funny, and I’m in love with O, with Agnes, with Gerry, with Gerry’s car, with the psychotic speed at which we are driving the treacherous, twisting roads lined with hedges that cut visibility to nothing, I’m in love with the pub, the bartender, the spontaneous bursting into song by the patrons, I’m in love with God, an Irish God, who has let me into this paradise that can’t be seen from a bus tour and a trip to the Bunratty Castle Gift Shop.


    Now we know why Irish eyes are smiling!

    Yeah. They’re laughing at Americans.
    The holy well I’d been thrown into was now the pit of hell. I’d seen God the night before but the devil caught up with me in the morning.

    Originally distilled for its smooth extra strong sensation, you can now taste and recreate this Celtic magic with Bunratty Potcheen.

    Um…no.



    16 years ago today, I met O. Happy anniversary!

    Thursday, March 16, 2006

    Update from Paris

    Ok, by request, I'm posting the piece I was going to originally post on Bored Housewife, until some else talked me into posting what I did post.
    Make sense? No? Oh well. Just read.

    Update from Paris...

    ...And I’m not talking about that Hilton skank.


    Our very own Lisa has been having a little fun, as I’m sure you can imagine…

    …She’s in a cute little souvenir shop with her mom, who is in a heated debate with the owner over the merits versus price of one tacky Eiffel Tower statue over another, when Lisa’s mind wanders. She glances out the shop window and sees it – a motorcycle next to the curb, all shining chrome and black metal and curves begging to be touched.

    Not one to bury such an impulse (especially in Paris) Lisa surreptitiously makes her way to the door and sidles up to the bike. She pauses long enough to look around, then reaches out and strokes the handle, runs her hand down the length of it. How would it feel to race through the narrow streets, wind in her hair, absolutely free? Lisa contemplates hopping on the bike just for a second, to see how it feels to straddle a strange motorcycle (I mean, wouldn’t you at least think about it too?) when she feels a hand on her shoulder.

    “Aww, crap, I’m busted,”
    Lisa thinks, and turns her head slowly to face the police officer. In her head she’s shuffling through French phrases for ‘I’m sorry’, ‘there’s been a mistake’ and ‘please don’t arrest me’.

    He’s not an officer at all, unless Parisian officers are all about twenty, with long silky manes and black biker jackets. He looks down at Lisa, taking in her startled expression – which is quickly turning into unabashed lust. She watches his eyes lower to her perfect breasts and feels a warm blush rise into her cheeks.

    He looks into her eyes and tilts his head toward the bike. Lisa has no choice but to hop on after him and wrap her arms around his hard body. The motorcycle roars to life, and Lisa nearly loses it then and there. The biker – her biker – pulls away from the curb and the bike flies down the street, carrying its riders like a wild horse. This ride puts snowmobiling to shame!
    It’s everything Lisa has dreamed; the wind in her hair, the acceleration and vibration of the motorcycle, her arms embracing a young, mysterious stranger, the crazy freedom of it all. She’s thinking in poems, and Paris hears them, rings out its bells in answer. Coffee becomes stronger, perfume sweeter, food richer, all in competition with her joy. She is Paris. She is the city’s pulse speeding through it winding, eternal streets. She is the city’s beauty; classic and timeless. She is the city’s romance; passionate and relentless.

    Willowy Parisian women stop on the sidewalk and watch her pass. They are envious.

    The motorcycle roars down Place de la Madeleine, turns onto narrow rue Vignon and pulls up in front of a little boutique called La Maison du Miel. Before she has time to think, Lisa’s biker jumps off and pulls her after him. He’s almost grinning as he leads her into the shop; a curious place with bee-patterned floor tiles and a counter lined with jars of golden liquid. Lisa is almost overwhelmed by the smell of honey. A woman behind the counter smiles knowingly at the couple and hands the biker a jar. He pockets the jar, throws some euros on the counter, grabs Lisa’s hand and races with her back out the door to the bike. They leap on, Lisa laughs out loud and grips him tighter than she had before.

    Lisa has no idea where he’s taken her, and she doesn’t care. The bike is downstairs, waiting like a barely-tamed panther, while upstairs in a beautiful pied-à-terre bodies entwine and fingers caress long, taut muscles, soft places. Sweat and honey mingle, salty and sweet, tongues eagerly lapping them up. He cups her face in his hands and just watches her as they ride toward their pleasure.

    When it is over, he wraps Lisa in his jacket and carries her down the stairs. He sets her on the bike and kisses her forehead. Dreamily, she watches Paris fly past her, a colorful blur, and presses her cheek against the biker’s back, feeling him shiver just a little.

    Too soon, they park in front of the souvenir shop. Lisa gives her biker one last squeeze before hopping off the motorcycle. Her legs are wobbly, and he smiles at her. She starts to shrug the jacket off her shoulders, but he shakes his head and puts his hand over her heart. Then he’s gone, swallowed up by the city.

    Lisa wonders if her mother has called the police yet. She stumbles into the shop and sees her haggling with not one but two shopkeepers now. Lisa walks up behind her mom and puts her hand on her shoulder.

    “I see you found something,” she tells Lisa, looking at the jacket. “Not very French though, is it?” Lisa shrugs and laughs. As her mom finally pays for a ticky-tacky Eiffel Tower and a couple of postcards, Lisa turns away to wipe a little tear from her eye.

    From the sidewalk they hail a taxi and ride back to their hotel. Forever after, the cab smells faintly of leather and lavender-scented honey…

    …or at least, I think that would be an update from Paris, if Lisa sent me one.

    Did I mention that I make things up for fun, (and one day for profit, I hope?)

    Tuesday, March 14, 2006

    Is It in Yet???

    Yes, oh yes!!! Yes, oh my God!! It's in! Yes! They're BOTH in! Yessssss!! And it feels so GOOOOOOD!!!

    My manuscript entries, that is.
    I got a phone call from a woman named Sara (HA!) at the James Jones First Fellowship Contest. She called to say she got both copies.
    I'm in the contest after all!
    Orgasmic joy!
    I haven't been this happy since Valentine's Day!

    I'm a contender!

    P.S. I'm guest-blogging over at Bored Housewife today (HowTony Soprano Almost Got Me Laid). I had a different post I was going to do, an Exclusive Update from Lisa in Paris, but I changed my mind. Maybe I'll post it here tomorrow.

    Wednesday, March 08, 2006

    Nancy's Fancy…

    …backyard. Cue the banjos.



    We’re demolishing the main bathroom. In the meantime, we have a lovely homage to my rustic roots on our back porch. (Is that a Nancy reflection in the window?)

    Now it’s snowing. I’ll have to photograph “Still Life with Toilet and Snow.”

    Here’s some photos of our progress:

    Black mold anyone? (Maybe that’s why I’m feeling squirrelly?)

    You wanna take a baaaaath?

    I’ll post the after shots when it’s all done. Believe me.

    Here’s a picture of the nice part of the house, taken by one of the boyos.


    And for Popeye, some of my photos of prettier places.Hell's Half Acre

    The next three are all in Ireland


    Maybe someday I’ll get around to putting my face up here.

    Monday, March 06, 2006

    A Quick Update


    Marvin Hill -- Blockprint

    I had a marvelous weekend with Mr. Clowncar, lil Peewee and their beautiful daughters. The kids played together with nary a fight, and went to sleep quickly.
    Joy!
    After they fell asleep, the four of us grown ups sat around getting into our cups as they say, discussing all the things you aren’t supposed to discuss, like politics and religion and sex and the meaning of life and the bitch of death.
    And hey! I wasn’t hungover mother/inert hostess this time!
    (I’m starting a band called Hungover Mother, I swear.)
    I was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed
    Not like that, you pervert.
    (Can you tell I’m practicing for my stint on Bored Housewife? Well, not ON her, you pervert. I can’t believe you.)

    Ok, back to being me. Or as much me as I can be under a pseudonym.

    So, the weekend was great, despite a couple of snafus. I’ve decided that I am nailing my dog’s feet to the backyard. He ran away at a most untimely time. Then I got lost looking for him. No, really. I live in suburbia, with winding greenbelts and cul-de-sacs that all have names like Hunting Chase, Hunting Circle, Hunting Road, Hunting Avenue. I don’t know where I am. And I’m mentally ill.
    Proof:
    While looking for Sam, I saw two crows, and I'd heard that Counting Crows song that references the counting of crows just the other day after not hearing it for years, and when you count crows it’s two for joy, so I assumed O had found our dog so I stopped looking, found my way back from the greenbelt paths to a street, wandered until I found my very own street, and O came cruising up behind me, saying he’d dropped off the dog about fifteen minutes before, and had been looking for me.
    Yeah. An intuitive existentialist who REALLY REALLY wants to believe. And did, once upon a time.
    But really, if you had coincidences happen to you with the frequency that I’ve had them, you’d start counting crows too. Remind me to tell you about my first flight to Ireland. Now there’s a punch line ten years in the making.
    So. We took all the kids to the park next to the planetarium, since the original plan had been to actually go to the planetarium itself, so the kids could see the IMAX show about planets
    (Yeah, right. When I say ‘kids’, I really mean so Mr. Clowncar and I could sit there and be geeky and gawk at the planets ourselves)
    but the tickets were sold out. Thanks, Sam.
    It was worth it though, to see Declan take S.’s hand when they ran way ahead of us. Lil Peewee and I got all misty and started making wedding plans for the little darlings. (Yes, DMG, I still have Jack reserved for Darling Daughter E.)



    Ok. Bed now. Bed good. I’ll show you some purty pictures sometime tomorrow, if I get the chance.

    Friday, March 03, 2006

    Batting 1000


    Marvin Hill -- Stars

    I'm sure Mr. Clowncar will correct me on how the title should be written, but I don't care! This is a stellar day. The stars seem to have aligned themselves in my favor. I'm getting some great feedback on a couple of pieces I've published at Gather, I've been asked to guest blog for Bored Housewife while she's in Paris, and Jack's underwear has stayed dry all day (about this, I'm the most excited). The weekend will be a fun-o-rama, with Mr. Clowncar, Ms. lil Peewee and the girlios gracing us with their presence. God, what else? Do I need anything else?
    I just feel...lighter. The black cloud is passing. February's gone. Spring's coming. I've diagrammed the garden, and I'm making some decisions. There's a possibility that a doctor I like will soon be accepting my insurance carrier. I think he'll listen to me. That's the best you can get from a physician these days.
    Anyhoo...
    DMG -- I hope you've found closure today. And I hope you and your sister have a fun afternoon. Thanks for filling a sister's shoes for me last summer when I found myself in the same situation.
    Mr. Clowncar & Ms. lil -- see you this weekend!!!
    mykl jon -- Thank you for your concern and willingness to help. I've taken your advice to heart.
    Lisa -- Eat a Parisian for me! Make sure he's...well, I'll leave it up to your good judgement. Ooo la la! We'll take GOOD care of your blog...heh heh...
    Popeye -- If you go to the planetarium on Sunday, we'll be in the same place...give or take 1000 miles.
    Julie -- You are soooo ready to be a mom! What am I saying; you ARE a mom!
    Gracious Acres -- Don't let the madness of this place scare you off...go check out December 7th's post, Hell's Half Acre. I think you'll see where I'm coming from.

    Thursday, March 02, 2006

    Ash Wednesday

    A post to commemorate the anniversary of my big brother’s death, which coincided with Ash Wednesday this year. Thanks, guys, for giving me a place to put my grief. I promise my next post won't be quite so raw.

    His name was Christopher. He was born with the most severe form of spina bifida possible – resulting in a malformed skull. The doctors did not believe he would live through his first night, and for the next 17 years, he made them eat their words. Numerous operations before the age of three left him without the ability to speak, see, hear, walk, chew, or breathe without the aid of a short metal pipe in his trachea. Frequent petit mal seizures rocked his wasted body every day.
    But he is my hero. And so are my parents, for caring for him with such love and devotion. It was only through their efforts that he lived – and lived as comfortably as someone in his compromised and miserable condition could.
    The experimental surgeries performed on him broke ground in the field of spina bifida treatment, and I can only imagine how many lives have been saved, and how many people live a normal life, thanks to his sacrifice. If there is a heaven, and if there is one earthly soul residing in that heaven. It is him.

    No life is ever wasted. Let me repeat that. NO life is EVER wasted.

    I love you, Chrissie. You’ve left a brother-shaped hole in my heart. I don’t know if you’re out there, somewhere, or if we’ll ever meet behind the wall. But, maybe, yeah?



    For more information on spina bifida -- http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/spina_bifida/spina_bifida.htm