Monday, October 31, 2005

Useful for Next Time

After the funeral for my mom's best friend which my family and I attended the day before my wedding, mom was going to take them for awhile to babysit for us. We needed to load the girls up in my mom's car. We went and got our cars and met on a side street across from the church, began loading things into mom's car and strapping the girls into their carseats. Sorry, I mean OM's car.

As we finished, we were chatting a bit when a car drove up. A man got out and asked if that was our car. He pointed to my car, which he had pulled up and parked behind. I said yes, that was my car. He then told me that he needed it moved so he could load things into his house. That was fine, I said I'd move it now. He went on to sarcastically explain that the four foot section of curb that was painted yellow in front of his house meant there was no parking there. OM told him we just got out of a funeral.

You might suppose that information might somewhat placate an angry homeowner who was miffed his yellow-painted curb wasn’t enough of a deterrant for obnoxious funeral-goers, but you would suppose erroneously. This angry homeowner was not placated by this information, but only got angrier as the exchange went on.

Now, the old me would’ve sheepishly gotten into the car and moved it with angry looks directed at Angry Homeowner, but without a word said. The new me, however, is more into standing up for myself. I said I understood what yellow meant, and that we were parked here temporarily and would be moving shortly after transferring items from one car to another. He said something else, which I forget now, and stalked off angrily to his Angry House, without unloading his car.

I left feeling angry, partly at the injustice of being yelled at just after a funeral, but mostly because I didn’t come up with anything really good to say to Angry Homeowner that would shut him up. It was one of those times when you can’t believe how rude the person is being, and you tend to clam up from shock at such a brazen display of asshole-ishness.

I realize this guy probably has it happen all the time, living across the street from a church, and I understand his annoyance. But, does he always speak rudely at funeral-and-church-goers for parking there? You would think he might find a way to deal with it gracefully. I can’t imagine funeral-and-church-goers telling him, “Fuck you, buddy! I’m staying here! Call the cops!” But grace and politeness would definitely ruin his Angry Homeowner image. Plus, it just pisses me off when people continue to be rude even though the other person immediately moves to correct the transgression.

I have thought of a comeback, albeit two weeks later and of no use against the original Angry Homeowner:

“I’m genuinely sorry to have so carelessly parked where it is clearly marked not to do so, and to have disturbed your parking and unloading pattern. Rest assured that my car will be moved immediately. I furthermore heartily convey that with a shitty attitude such as yours, your 4-foot yellow curb, much like your 4-inch limp penis, isn’t going to have any visitors. Now, go get your salad tossed so you can relax, and have the corn cob removed while you're at it. You'll feel better without something stuck so far up your ass.”

I firmly believe that with a little thought, good comebacks can prove to be useful in future encounters with assholes, even if they do not get used in the original situation which necessitated the conjuring of the comeback.

I feel ready for the next time. You just know there will be a next time.

My New Name

Get your own porn star name! Or, your pen name. Whichever.

Do this by taking the name of your first pet, and the name of the first street you lived. What do you get?

I am Lightfoot Buxton. That says "porn star name" to me.

Enter your name in the comments area of this post.

Friday, October 28, 2005


I'm give and give and give to you people, I think it's time for some feedback.

TOPIC: What book are you currently reading?

I am reading Three Junes by Julia Glass. I would recommend it, she's a very good writer. I picked it up to read it a couple of years ago, but had a hard time getting into it. That was probably because of where I was in life at the time, and unable to concentrate on any book. This book is very readable.

Leave a comment, and tell me what book you're reading, if you like it, and whatever else you feel like saying. But please, be nice.

Thursday, October 27, 2005


The last time OC saw her father was August 25th. Since that time he has missed all of his regular weekends, and he has not called her. Not even once.

She is handling this time lag much better than ever before, outwardly, but I know it hurts her. I don't know if she's angry, or just sad. I don't know for sure what this is doing to her. I hate that I can't control it, and that I can't fix it for her.

The one thing I can do, I did: I married a man who loves her almost as much as I do. Frankly, no one can love her as much as I do. But he comes pretty close.

The thing is, kids still love their parents, almost no matter what rotten things the parents do. Especially young children. I know OC loves her biological dad, even if he acts selfish and doesn't think of her first. She talks about him several times a week, saying that they did this, he said that, etc.

OH asked me last night if I had thought of adoption, meaning, of him adopting OC. I said that I had. He said he can't imagine how a person could go for two months without seeing their own child. I can't say I understand it, either. This is one of the reasons why I'm divorced.

OH said he is taking on the role of her father, and sees her more than her biological father does. He's right. The question is, what to do now? Do I begin the process of terminating parental rights, and have OH adopt OC? That would be wonderful, absolutely, but how will OC feel about this? And, when is it the right thing to do?

Since I'm the type to think about all sides of things, the ramifications on one another of all sides of things, the impact the ramifications will have on all sides of things, and the implications of the ramifications and impact on all sides of all things, this is not going to be worked out anytime soon. I don't even know how I feel about the whole thing, except grateful that OH loves OC so darn much. I already consider him her father, so the feeling is there for me. I think he does, too. I have not lost site of the fact that it is at the same time, both a sacrifice and an honor for OH to have a step-child. It's a big responsibility, but one that comes with exponential rewards.

In my family, things were interesting. I had a biological father who didn't miss a weekend, but who was weird and depressed and so we're not close. I had a step-father who I loved very much, and respected very much. I felt as though I had two dads, although one was much more highly functioning, warm, caring, and "normal" than the other. Thank goodness for that.

I wasn't adopted by my step-father, mainly out of respect for bio dad's feelings. But my feelings were, I had a biological father, but I also had a dad. He didn't have to adopt me in order to feel this way about him.

And then there's the birth certificate. Does that get altered? The reason I ask is that I am into genealogy, and I think birth certificates should reflect just that. That doesn't have to do with feelings, it's a vital statistic.

Anyway, I'm all over the place here. This just came up, so my thoughts aren't very well organized. What I do know right now is that OH is an involved, caring father and loves OC very much. I care about his feelings, and I want to do what's best for OC, in all things.

That's a start, but as far as I am right now.

My To Do List


spend most of day making list of things to get accomplished, or That Which Must Be Remembered, because my memory is terribly unreliable

pick up OC

consume snacks while driving to apartment

give OC bath

take shower

decide what I need to take home with me and put that in car

drive home

eat dinner

get ready for next day

go to bed

wake up


Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Little Pitchers Have Big Ears

Where did that saying come from? Pitchers don’t even have ears, much less big ears. How does this work? Maybe I’m missing the 19th century cultural reference, but I really don’t get it.

However, I know what it means, and it’s true. This morning as we were waiting to turn left at one of those green lights, not an arrow green, so you could turn as soon as it was clear, OC said, “Who opened the gate?” because there were lots of cars coming. This, she learned from her step-father, my darling new husband, who is full of quips like these. He is so proud!

And those adorable little pitchers have wonderfully acute hearing for words like "ice cream" and "let's go to the park", but things like "clean up your room" and "go brush your teeth" go unheard and often, unheeded. Big ears; selective hearing.

Then last week, when we were at a football game, OC found a girl her age to play with. The girl came to the game prepared, with gymnastic skills to climb and slide on the stair rails, and crayons and coloring books when that got boring. She shared her toys with OC, who colored a picture and then wrote her name, which contains the letter ‘e’. The girl said, “That’s not an ‘e’.” They argued good-naturedly for a bit, then the girl finally wrote what she thought was a proper letter ‘e’, to which my child, the smartest 4-year-old on the planet, said, “Oh, that’s a CAPITAL ‘e’!”

Of course, this is the same child who walks forward (or backward) while looking to the side, and when she runs into something and gets hurt, she looks astounded that something like that could happen.

But, I still think she’s a genius!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

In Mexico, They Just Call it Food

We took a honeymoon in Los Cabos, Mexico. It was great, yet brief. My husband is a high school football coach. He coaches the defense for the JV. He is brilliant! That notwithstanding, we dull-wittedly planned a fall wedding, and so had to accept a limited honeymoon in order for my husband (I love saying that! I’ll say it again…my husband….) to return to coach the next game. He feels responsible, and didn’t want to miss a game. This I can respect. Now, if he had said he had to be back early in order to watch football on tv, well, he would have returned from a sex-less honeymoon alone, soon to see the inside of an annullment ala Britney Spears. But, since I picked a fabulous man to marry (this time, unlike Ms. Spears-Federline), he couldn’t care less about football on tv. He is cool like that.

So! Mexico. Is fabulous. We stayed in San Jose del Cabo, which is a lovely little working class town with lots of beautiful gardens, shops, and good Mexican food, duh. Otherwise known as food. Seriously, I couldn’t get enough of the yummy goodness of it all! And one margarita was so potent (but didn’t taste potent) that it was all I needed to drink even though it was with dinner. That is some seriously good tequila.

We arrived Sunday afternoon, cleared customs, and were met with a sea of taxicab drivers who wanted to give us a ride. We had a travel voucher, and were guided to a van through the crowd. That part was overwhelming, all those people saying things in a foreign - er, native - language. Once we got going, it was fine. We talked with the taxi driver, who really didn't speak much English. We taught each other words, and he smiled every time I said something in Spanish, as if he was thinking to himself, “Oh you cute little tourist, trying out my language. You are so adorable with your ignorance!”

At first I was nervous to use even easy Spanish words, like gracias, because I can be very self-conscious at times. I got into it, though. Words I had heard repeated over and over on children’s television shows started making sense to me, probably because of all the repetition employed in children's programming which totally turns out to be useful for adults, too. I had two years of Spanish in high school, but la escuela secondaria was a long time ago, my friends. I was easily able to recognize words like cerrado and abierto (thank you, Sesame Street!), and soon I was understanding some of what was said, and feeling comfortable speaking bits and pieces of sentences. Ordering food in Spanish was fun, but in all fairness it was a pretty forgiving place to try out the native language. Plenty of times I would say something in Spanish only to be answered in English. And I was like, damn it!

Immediately after arriving, we headed out to the pool. The hotel we stayed was located 3 blocks from the town square. It was small with about a dozen rooms, all of which opened onto a walkway, with the gardens and pool beyond. Ahhhh, the warm sun felt great, and then a quick dip in the water to refresh was lovely. We got hungry and headed out for an early dinner. I asked the clerk for recommendations, and there were two nearby. That night, we went to the Tropicana Inn. That was where I had the amazing, one-drink Margarita wonder. We had fajitas for two, with chicken, beef and shrimp. We took our time eating since we had arrived at the restaurant for dinner at the same time as the seniors do for Denny’s early-bird specials back in the States. At around 8:30, we wandered to the town square, which was one city block and paved with stones. There is a gazebo and open space in the center, surrounded by palm trees and potted flowers. People were out with their kids talking and enjoying the evening air, while vendors were selling cute toys and ice cream. It was a lovely evening.

Across from the square was the old mission church, established in 1734 or so by a priest who did not live long before being killed by the locals he was trying to convert. The church was beautiful, and so we walked up to stand at the back of the crowd that was spilling out into the courtyard to listen. Listening the the service in Spanish, we began to recognize things that were being said, like the Lord’s Prayer, but it was a Catholic service so it was largely unfamiliar. And then, when they did the passing of the peace, people turned around to shake hands with us. I’ll never forget that feeling of being welcomed to be a part of something so universal like a church service, in a foreign place. I felt like a tourist infringing on their solemn event, but people there included us like it was normal. What a great introduction to a place.

The next day was our only full day in town, so we made the most of it. We went out to breakfast at Jazmin’s, where they make the most amazing omelette’s with mushroom sauce on top, and the most amazing potatoes, seasoned with something yellow and completely amazing. Fortified, we went shopping.

It wasn’t long before I had to try one of the panaderias (bakeries) for a small snack of some traditional bread. This is where the Dora the Explorer vocabulary kicked in. Seriously, I learned the word for “owl” on that show, and it was actually useful. And you know what else? I didn’t need to do a single algebraic equation at any moment on this trip. I’m going to write to my high school math teacher about that, because the fact that you CAN get along in the world without it is so true. Anyway, the panaderia had these little pastries shaped like owls, lechuzas, with peaches for eyes. OH got a chocolate croissant. He is so multi-national.

We shopped for sunglasses right away, because again, dull-wittedness overtook me while packing and I neglected to bring any sunglasses. To Mexico. Yes, I know, I know. How can I be this stupid and still be walking around. All I can say is, bumblebees fly; now leave me alone.

After sunglasses were purchased, we checked out the jewelry stores where I found a lovely Mexican fire opal ring. My husband, god love him, likes to buy me jewelry. Our first purchase was on our first trip together, which was by train to Seattle where he bought me an opal pendant. Then, when in Santa Fe the following year, he bought me an opal bracelet which was very big, and so the jeweler took out two pieces and made earrings to go along with it. For free. So I’ve got this whole Buying Fire Opals While On Vacation kind of tradition going. Traditions are good, aren’t they?

In addition to jewelry, he bought OC a turtle decorated with shells. This was his idea, not mine. Do you get just how sweet and thoughtful he is? And it’s not just because he buys presents for us. Far from it. He is sweet and thoughtful with his actions. The man opens the car door for me. Every time. I’m indulging in quite a bit of newlywed bliss here, but I’m just so damn happy! You’ll have to forgive me.

Still shopping: I found a cute dress for OC which was white cotton and embroidered with flowers, imagine a traditional Mexican clothing style. She also received a t-shirt and another dress. I got a t-shirt for OH. We bought two of these beautiful, frosted glass wineglasses and a bottle of Mexican wine.

I dressed up a bit that night, and felt great: the warm air, the wine, the good food. Plus, being on my honeymoon and being all in love, and I was vibrating with the heady combination of feelings. Our first stop was to the Casa Natalia, another small hotel with a bar which is where I wanted to stay originally but they were booked. I think I had a mojito and OH had a beer, and we split chips and salsa. After that, and some strolling around, we found this elegant wine bar/restaurant just a block away from our hotel, called Los Santos. We had cheese and bread, and this wonderful bottle of Chenin Blanc. Then we bought a bottle of Merlot to take home, which was made in Baja. That is another tradition of ours, to try local wine on our travels. We are fun, if absentminded!

Dinner was at Damiana’s, but by that time I was really full and just had an appetizer. OH ordered chillies rellenos, but couldn’t finish them.

The next morning, we got ready to go to the beach. Our plane didn’t leave until evening, and so we had all morning and part of the early afternoon to enjoy. The ocean was very rough. We stood in the sand and let it roll in, and the water only came up to our knees, but we’d have to brace oursleves as the waves crashed in and then rolled out again. It was very, very strong, so there would be no swimming. We were at the end of Baja California, where the Pacific meets the Sea of Cortez. It was beautiful blue, with beautiful white sand, but with ridiculously strong wave action.

On our return trip, I had a celebrity sighting at LAX. As we got through customs and were about to leave the terminal, I heard a woman’s voice who was completely recognizable, and she turned her head to the side, and it was Charro! I said, “Oh my god…” and OH was like, “What?” He had no clue who Charro was, even though I explained about the Love Boat and he had seen the Love Boat. I have never seen a celebrity in real life, ever. It was exciting, because I have seen probably every episode of the Love Boat that was made in the 1980’s.

I married someone fairly clueless about pop culture which is not a bad thing, it’s just that pop culture is totally my thing. I guess that’s why we go together so well: We never run out of esoteric subjects with which we can stump one another. He with his “He was a running back for the Eagles back in ‘78” and me with my “She was in 30 Something married to Timothy Busfield, remember?” Uh, no, he doesn’t. The reply would be “What’s 30 Something?” which is similar to what my reply to his sports-related statements, “Who keeps information like that in their heads, and for what purpose?” But there always is a purpose for useless information, isn’t there? It’s called Trivia Night.

I think it’s going to work out fine, because we each have our things and we both respect each other’s things. This is starting to sound sexual.

By the way, I’m not pregnant!

Friday, October 21, 2005

The Wedding Was Beautiful

The Wedding was beautiful. It was a great day, but over way too quickly. I went to get my makeup done in the morning before the ceremony, and the women were asking me when I was getting married. They thought I was there for a makeup run-through because I seemed so calm. When I said I was getting married today, they were surprised and said I was the calmest bride they’d ever seen.

It’s true, I was feeling very calm. I was happy that the day I had been planning for months was finally here! The weeks before the ceremony, however, I was misery wrapped in an enema.

Planning a wedding is hard, people. There are so many decisions, money to consider, and it’s a really important day so they're all important decisions. There is naturally a lot of pressure to choose the right things for yourself and your spouse, and to not go broke in the process.

It’s hard enough to keep up with one’s regular schedule, but then to add all of the planning to this mix makes one question one’s sanity and ponder the merits of eloping. There is also the business of going to work, being a parent; laundry, groceries, dishes, keeping the place clean (a battle I lost); brushing teeth and bedtime stories; keeping the kitties fed, watered, and the litter box scooped. A delicate balance, to be sure. Eloping was considered, although not so much seriously but rather, wistfully, in the last days before The Wedding. I’m glad we had The Wedding, now, but up until then I was ready to run off to Mexico and learn to say “I Will” in Spanish, and then party like a rock star on the beach until I passed out. There was a time this seemed a romantic, viable alternative.

There is a pressure particularly attributed to the bride, and that is that you must be the one who remembers everything, down to the tiniest of details. Because you will be asked and it is assumed you know the answer. You want to know the answers, and as much as we’d like to believe otherwise, little girls weren’t born with the innate ability to plan a wedding any more than they were born with the innate ability to know what babies need every single second. Yes, I know the maternal instinct is powerful and all, I’m not knocking it in the least. I’m just saying that it is a myth that women just know these things inside and out. When we have babies, there is a huge learning curve and women pretty much learn what we need to in short order and before long we're feeling confident and handling things just fine. But, just like new mothers, new brides don't know what to do going into it. That, and Tom Cruise is a righteous prick. Furthermore, my point is that we don’t necessarily know, and we shouldn’t be made to feel bad about it. Instead, we should have help along the way. I am grateful to my florist and my caterer for helping me with many details. Also, my husband, mom, sisters and friends who really came out and offered their help. I bought many wedding magazines, and not many of them talked about the wedding basics, like traditions and typical things to do at the rehearsal dinner and at the reception. I found a book that gave me the basics, and so therefore I was not a failure as a woman.

I think the best part of the wedding planning was that I knew what I wanted, and so I knew this day was absolutely going to represent myself and my husband’s sensibilities and style. I am old enough to know myself pretty well, and so once decisions were made, they felt right and natural.

I think the worst part of the wedding planning were all those details I was expected to take care of. If I had the money, I would have hired a wedding planner. Or quit my job so I could devote the proper time a basic wedding requires. As it was, I was a stressed out fiance and mommy, and I don't like being that way.

The Wedding took on a momentum all its own the night of the rehearsal dinner. This was a good thing. Let me back up and give you a sample of what the week was like, however. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, I worked. I had to finish the jewelry I was making for my sisters (the bridesmaids), buy taper candles, pick up OC’s dress from the cleaner’s, give the caterer a final count, call the photographer, pack for honeymoon, organize the reception decorations, and a billion other things. Those three days were HEC. TIC. And then, we found out my mom’s best friend died. Her funeral was going to be Friday. In the midst of wedding planning and happy family reunion time, there was this sad loss. It was a really hard wave of emotion to ride. A sharp down and sad time, and then the happy event the very next day. Not an easy thing to reconcile, emotionally.

The best part of The Time Before the Wedding was spending time with family. My sisters, mom, OC, and nieces went to have the girls’ portraits taken together in their halloween costumes. They are so adorable! I will ask permission to post the picture here. I really enjoyed spending time with family. We need to do that more often, although it’d be nice to do under less stressful times. The girls just LOVED being together. One niece lives here in Oregon, and we see her several times a year, but the other lives on the east coast, so it is truly unique when all three of them get together.

Okay! So, by the time Friday came around, I still had lots of things to do, like picking up my wedding dress. I got that done and more, until it was time to change for the rehearsal.

The rehearsal dinner was when I started to relax and enjoy myself very much. I remember sitting at the table at the restaurant, just looking at everyone who was there. My family, OH’s (Occidental Husband) family, and my friends. What a lovely bunch of people, all there for OH and I. We gave out our attendant’s gifts, which were Portland, Oregon t-shirts for everyone, and for my family I had framed some old pictures of my sisters and I when we were young, and I found a picture of my mom holding me in the hospital after I was born. It was all funny, sweet, and emotional. The food was fantastic! I had never been to this restaurant before, so we really lucked out. Good food and wine is the stuff of life, and it's even better when you're entire family is there with you.

The day of The Wedding, I was so excited! I was ready and glad the day was finally here. I wasn’t nervous at all. Maybe just a little, only because I didn’t want to fall on my face in my floor-length dress, but I had no nerves regarding getting married.

My friend from high school sang an Amy Grant song. My friend is an amazing singer. I love going to karaoke with her, because she brings down the house. She ought to be a professional. I was honored that she performed at my wedding. The actual wedding ceremony was well-written by our pastor. I loved what he said, but then I always do. He’s so eloquent and down-to-earth, yet inspiring and interesting. He did not disappoint, and I wanted to pinch his rosy red cheeks but somehow that seemed inappropriate.

We drove away in the 1968 Mustang, the car that brought us together. We went to a downtown hotel for the reception, which was lovely and old, and high-ceilinged. The reception was a lot of fun. We had a 17-piece jazz band! We had Jake’s Catering do the food! We had a Papa Haydn wedding cake! The food was amazing, and I think everyone enjoyed it. I know I did. My daughter and her cousins danced the night away.

It was a beautiful day, with all the people I love in the world in one place. How often does that happen? Not often, I am old enough to know and appreciate this fact.

The only regrets I have are these: I didn’t get to try all the food at the reception, I didn’t get a piece of cake, and the day was just too short. In short, I have no real regrets.

It was a beautiful day, and I am happy beyond belief!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

All it Takes to Make Me Laugh is to Say, "Tepid!"

Today is my last day of work for the week. My family is flying into town tonight. Thursday I have errands and appointments, Friday is a funeral, Saturday is the wedding.

Yeah, another funeral for our family. We can't get enough of them. This one will make five funerals in three years.

My mom's best friend of 27 years died of terminal brain disease. She had Lupus, and apparently her brain disease was caused by a virus we all have in us normally, but when your immune system is compromised by a disease like Lupus, your body can't fight the virus.

Julie has two kids at home whom she and her husband adopted from an orphanage in Korea. She worked hard to get them, having to prove to the international adoption agency that she was worthy, even though she had an illness like Lupus. And actually, because of her tireless hard work, she got the agency to change their rules so that they looked at cases individually instead of with rigid rules, and so many other families could adopt children from other countries. I think that even though those kids just lost their mother, they have a father and a much better life filled with love and many opportunities that they likely would not have had had they stayed in the orphanage in Korea.

I have out of town guests coming, appointments to move around, babysitting to arrange, and rearrange, and still a billion details to contend with. But I'm going to the funeral to celebrate Julie's life. She was there when I was four and liked to run around in my Wonder Woman underoos. I remember her most at Christmastime, when we'd get together to make baklava.

She was my mom's friend for nearly three decades. My mom, who grew up not having friends because her family didn't allow it (a story for another day), who left her family and cult-like religion to go out into the world with her young daughter, not knowing a soul, and she found someone. A sweet soul who would be her friend, through all the weirdness of divorce and marriage and kids and life. A soul who brought two babies across an ocean and into a world filled with love. And now, so many people have to figure out what they'll do without her.

My heart overflows with emotion right now. I don't know what to do with it all. When I came to work, I saw that the funeral time had been changed. I had spent last night frantically moving appointments and changing plans, and now all that had to be rearranged. Of course it will get changed, and I'm glad to do it, but I just broke down. So much so that several coworkers stood up and asked what the hell was wrong with me, in a nice way, and watched helplessly as I cried and cried. Another public crying moment, oh boy.

But, something funny happened earlier. I got my coffee on the way in to work (decaf, for obvious reasons) and while I waited these rather slick, European looking men were there ordering weird things, like an Americano with soy. The barista was all, " you want a latte?" And he was all, "No, an Americano. With soy." Like that was the most obvious, normal thing in the world. Anyway, after requesting their weird coffees, one shouted out, "tepid!" Again, the barista gave a look like, "Are they fucking serious with this shit?" and said, "What?" Then Euroslick said, again, "Tepid!"

And, oh thank Jesus in heaven above, it made me laugh.

First of all, what the hell are these European dudes doing in this part of the city? In that tiny coffee shop? Frequented by nobody? Not even I go there on a normal day, and I am nobody. And secondly, who orders an Americano with soy? And, tepid no less.

I think I will make it, if I am still able to laugh, because with all this dying and freaking out and wedding, Eurotrash men will come here and order tepid Americanos with soy so that I can laugh at something. It's the circle of life, my friends, the circle of life.

From now on, if things get too serious, I'm going to think, "Tepid!" And I'm going to fucking laugh.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

I Curse, Therefore I Am

OF and I are totally overwhelmed. Between the wedding, the remodel, packing, moving, and all the millions of details that go along with these endeavors we are losing our fucking marbles! I can feel the anxiety, even though I am on anti-anxiety meds. On top of that, there are these full-time jobs of ours, OF is a football coach, and I have a child to parent.


These being minor trifles to undertake, we decided to undertake them simultaneously, and that is how I know I am insane. Because I do it to myself. Dumb fucking ass, I am.

What will all of the months of planning, thousands of dollars, and precise planning bring? Sacred vows, creating a new family; enjoying food, music, and celebrating with good friends and family. All 7 hours worth. And don't forget the new bedroom and bathroom to start our new life together!

It's totally fucking worth it, I just can't fucking deal with it all.

Monday, October 10, 2005

T Minus 5 Days

OC: I went potty, and it was easy because all I was wearing was a shirt. And hair.


Good grief, people, I'm getting married in 5 days. In preparation, I went out and had a facial this past weekend. If you've never had one, all I can say is GO OUT AND GET ONE RIGHT NOW. Because they are totally fucking awesome.

My skin is so clean, and so soft, and so pretty. I am not one who is known for their nice skin. Tightly wound with a poor attitude? Yes! Good skin? Not so much.

Going to get a facial has made me smarter because it has added new words to my vocabulary. Conclusion? Facials are making me a better person. Words like "Jurlique" and "YonKa", two companies who make the yummy smelling, extravagantly-but-not-prohibitively expensive products for your lovely face. I have spread out my purchases so that at the last appointment I bought cleanser and moisturizer, and this time I bought toner. I'm not sure that I can really afford it, but I'm putting it all on the credit card to be sorted out later.

Normally, I pay off my credit card each month, and limit myself to an amount I can afford to pay. This way, I earn travel points but also stay out of debt. Everybody wins! I love logic. The trouble is, expenses have been VERY HIGH for the past two or three months with all the wedding preparations, and so I've been spending a lot of my savings. That makes me ill, because do you know how long it took me to save that money? While it spends in seconds flat, it takes a long time to accumulate. I generally am a saver in addition to being a spender. I love shopping, getting bargains, and splurging occasionally, but I also like to have money in the bank.

A wedding goes beyond simply What You Can Afford and treads into the realm of What You Deserve, coupled with What You Want. Budget makes a showing, but his voice is squeaky and is overruled with Irrational Logic, who says, "It's your wedding day, the most special day in all the land, have what you want!" Within reason, of course. For example, I watch shows where couples spend $80,000 or more on their wedding and I think, "What combination of things cost $80,000???" And, "What jobs do they have? I want Those Jobs!" I am not spending nearly that much money, because I don't have Those Jobs.

Things will get under control soon. I will once again be able to save money each month, facials will be a once-a-year treat.

Because I deserve it.

Friday, October 07, 2005


I should have called in stupid today. It's like calling in sick but instead of saying, "I'm not feeling well today" you say, "I'm feeling too stupid to work today, see you next week!"

I didn't get enough sleep, and it was so little that I can't think straight. OC was up and dressed before me, and of course she hit the ground running with nearly non-stop commentary, earnest reenactments, and whatever happens to be on her mind or in her line of site at the time. I have to tell her, "honey, please go in your room and do that" because all the talking - my God! The talking! - makes it so I can't think through what I'm doing or need to remember to do. I don't know how to do this better so I can think and also listen to all that talking. I love her talking, but it's just me for an audience, and so it is CONSTANT.

Here I am at work, working stupidly. My list for the weekend is loooooong, and I can't really remember what is on it right now. Thank goodness it's written down. All that wedding planning and wedding errands and errands to do for the wedding, etc. OF and OC will spend much of Saturday together, so that I can do the running of the errands on my own, which will make it go much faster. She is still in the car seat, or actually the booster seat, and there is the unbuckling that has to happen each and every time we stop someplace, which she cannot yet do by herself. I hope to get a lot accomplished.

Next Wednesday, my sister and my mom fly into town. I am so excited for that!

I had better get some sleep this week so I'm not a stupid bride. I'm just not cut out for consciousness today.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Fake Rain and Flying Umbrellas

One day last week after work I decided to walk to OC’s school to pick her up, when I came across a large group of people with lots of black equipment around. As I got closer, it looked like a movie set. It turned out to be a Hyundai commercial being made on Main Street, across from the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. There was a water hose to create rain, (it doesn’t rain every day in Portland, despite rumors to the contrary) cameras underneath a plastic cover, lots and lots of lights and cables and black boxes of equipment all over the place, and lots and lots of people in black shirts and black pants standing around.

The commercial went like this: the camera is focused on a group of three or four women in pretty raincoats and umbrellas standing on the sidewalk. When cued, the black Hyundai goes speeding past them, and one of the umbrellas is rigged to fly up, turning inside out. The woman makes a surprised look, and CUT!

It was sort of fascinating, especially all the equipment strung out all over the place, and all the people needed to produce the thing. There are so many car commercials that all blend together. I like it when they come up with something unique. I liked the commercials several years ago, with “Something wicked this way comes” poems. Did you know those were written by ad writers? I thought they were actual poems! Anyway, they were unusual and the commercials were visually appealing. Let’s face it, anything’s better than some guy with a kangaroo yelling at you about some great deal or another. There is a guy with a kangaroo and a car dealership in Hillsboro. What does a kangaroo have to do with cars, I ask you?

I’ll be looking for the flying-up umbrella commercial, and then I can say I was there when that was filmed. And that will be, ummm, cool or something.

This is Portland, and just because Gus Van Sant lives here doesn't mean he can be spotted as easily as a Hyundai commercial. That is the height of celebrity around here. My friend, however, has managed to run into Art Alexakis no less than three times. Two of which were on her birthday.

There you go, Portland in a nutshell: it doesn't rain here every day and you can see a Hyundai commercial AND Art Alexakis. You know, if you're lucky.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Commuting Tales

I began riding the bus one year ago this month. In a few weeks, I will again be a car commuter. I’m looking forward to it in many ways, because it’ll be warm since I won’t have to be out waiting for a bus or walking blocks and blocks with a child in tow; I’ll enjoy being able to listen to NPR again. The bus wasn’t a bad way to commute. I could relax and not deal with traffic, it was less expensive, and sometimes I read a book or read Highlights magazine to OC when we remembered to bring it. There are a few things I will miss, however.

Fellow takers of public transportation are an interesting bunch. Most are friendly people who mainly keep to themselves and smell just fine. Others are mad talkers, some with a particularly odoriferous funk about them that can be hard to escape while in the confines of a bus or light rail car. I will not miss the funk.

Then there is this one man I have seen nearly every day who has the most unusual shoes. They are grey and for the most part look like regular shoes until you see the back – or hear him walking – and see that they have large metal springs for the heels. They look a little silly but he wears them every single day. They must be orthotics? I have no idea. He had a new pair today that were white tennis shoes with springs.

In previous, more difficult and emotional months, I have heard from more than one homeless person in my proximity at a bus stop who, after looking at me directly, told me, “It’s not that bad.” Um, it can’t be all too good when the look on my face prompts a person who has no home, smells ultra funkadelic, is carrying all their earthly possessions in multiple paper sacks, tells me it’s not that bad. What in the hell is my face doing that I don’t know about? What kind of face am I making? I have no idea. The idea that a person in such straits would tell me it’s not that bad makes me feel like I was rather pathetic.

A pleasant stranger-to-stranger exchange happened way back when I was 5 or 6 months pregnant. I was reading a book that had a graphic description of something bloody and gross, and it made me feel sick to the point of feeling faint. I kept feeling worse, until it became clear to me that it really was going to happen. I was considering getting off the train, but then I was worried about falling onto the cement sidewalk. I was worried about what people would think (back in the day when I did that sort of thing).

I finally said to the four people next to me, “I’m going to faint now” in order to warn them what was going on, and to alert them so they wouldn’t freak out and maybe not step on my limp body because I was pregnant after all. What happened next was really endearing. Immediately, I was told to put my head between my knees. Duh, why didn’t I think of that? They all made room for me, and asked me how far along I was. They talked to me during the whole thing, asking how I felt. One girl rubbed my back. After several minutes I began to feel better and didn’t actually pass out. Then I felt embarrassed, but also well cared for in those moments of helplessness. Those people were not going to let me fall on the floor, they were there for me, with instructions, kind words, and back patting. I had been taking the MAX for months, but didn’t know these people nor had I seen them before. Every one of them was a complete stranger.

After it was over and it was my stop, a man asked me where I worked. He said he worked nearby and insisted he walk me to my front door to make sure I made it safely. He said it was no problem, that if it were his wife, he would want someone to do the same. It’s so reassuring that there are those kinds of people out there, who concern themselves with the welfare of a strange woman who suddenly announces she is going to lose consciousness in their midst. What a great city this is!

Soon I will be ensconced in the disconnected realm of my car, cut off from the opportunity of these random meetings, and paying too damn much for gasoline. That's the flip side.

The new home I will drive to will contain my new husband and my daughter, where we will watch Jeopardy together, eat dinner together, and parent our child together. How truly wonderful and lucky I am to have this! I have no complaints.

The best is yet to come.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

I Think Her Secret Is That It's Better When Only Women Work There

Monday night is trainee night at the mall. I found this out when I ventured there to look for shoes. Let's just get the questions out of the way now, shall we?

Yes, I had my dress fitting before I purchased my own wedding shoes.

No, I didn't have them yet.

Yes, I realize that I should have them like, weeks ago.

The public flogging is set for Wednesday at noon, allright?? I know I am a hopelessly unprepared bride who needs to be shot, or smacked. Or possibly both.

The first stop was to look for shoes for OC. We stopped in the frilly kids' store, and they only had ivory shoes. Which actually might work, but the salesgirl was 15 and wasn't much help. She was perky and cute, though. I wanted to smack her.

I found a pair of shoes for me, but I was at the mall to pick up my fancy lingerie from Victoria's Secret. Which reminds me of something funny my sister said once, "Who the hell is Victoria, and what is the damn secret?"

So anyway, I was at Vickie's, waiting in line on a Monday night. That right there had me perplexed. Why were are all these other people shopping on Monday night? Are they in the midst of an underwear emergency that couldn't wait until next weekend? Are they just not fond of crowds and so are taking care of their bra and panty needs on what should be a slow night? Or are they as unprepared as me? If so, then they are my peeps! Anyway, they were my peeps who were totally in my way. I didn't like them that much. My peeps suck.

I was waiting in line with two people ahead of me. The cashiers seemed to be taking a long time. I started watching them. Oh my gosh, I thought to myself. They don't know what the hell they're doing! And one of them was a guy. A guy, working in Vickie's Secret? What the holy hell on a stick is that all about?!?

Cut to 30 minutes later, when I finally got to the front of the line. I get the guy salesclerk, of course. He starts ringing me up and fumbling around with my unmentionables. He keeps fumbling, keeps fumbling, and I want to reach out and slap him, tell him to be careful. He's not doing a good job at all, sloppily pulling them off the hanger, and doing it incorrectly so they stick. Then I hand him my gift card, which seems to throw him for a loop. You could see him pressing many buttons on the computer screen, but apparently none were the right buttons. He starts fumbling with words at this point, "Um, allright, I don't know how to run a gift card so I'll have to get someone. Should be just a second." He stands there in place, bobbing his head and looking around for the nearest salesgirl to rescue him. There are about three or four salesgirls, all in other parts of the store. He keeps mumbling, "Ahh, should be just a second......oh, she's right over there........ahhh........just a second" and as the salesgirl goes into the other room, "!"

More mumbling and many minutes of waiting go by as I am about ready to go get the girl myself when she finally comes over. He tells her, "I don't know how to run the gift card." She says, "Push the button that says 'gift card' and run it through like a credit card." This is tough stuff, people, don't laugh. It's hard to read words, push buttons and swipe plastic cards. It's hard to fold underwear and wrap it in tissue, and easier to just kind of pile it up in the tissue and hand it to the customer. I understand all of this, which is why I was patient and kind, and not at all screaming in my head, "Die stupid Guy-Working-at-Victoria's-Secret, DIE! And learn how to fold women's underwear if you're going to freaking work here, motherfucker! You're not a novelty!" No, not at all. You can't prove it.

What has the world come to when men are working at Victoria's Secret? I didn't like it, and even if he had known how to fold my things or run a gift card through, it's a bunch of crap. Men don't belong on that side of the counter. It's just wrong. That's OUR store, meaning all of womankind, and I don't want men folding my as-yet-to-be-worn underthings, especially fumbling with them, nor do I want them measuring me or helping me with anything underthing related. I don't mean it's because I'm embarrassed, not at all. Or that all mean are fumbling incompetents. No, no, no. What I mean to convey is that I think this is just a woman's experience to buy private sexy things, and men don't have any role in the acquisition portion of the sexy underthings buy-a-thon. They belong in the store, as shoppers, but not as salesmen. Please, can't this be a rule?

Okay, so the shoes. They're so pretty! They're a metallic gold, but soft and sparkly, not garish at all. And they're oh, so comfy. I love them! And I can wear them after the wedding, so that's a bonus. I spent more than I meant to, though, that's the only thing. But it was either spend $60 on shoes I likely won't wear again, or lots and lots of money on shoes I can wear again and again. See the logic? It totally works.

And the clerk who found the shoes? Was a guy. Guys can sell shoes, baby, oh yes indeedy!