Friday, March 30, 2007

How To Drive Me Crazy

No, not THAT FedEx. What, you thought this was Britney's blog? I still have all my own hair, thank you.

Federal Express - the large shipping company - left a note on my door yesterday which said something to the effect of:

Sorry we missed you! We'll be back tomorrow...sometime. Be available all day until 7 pm, please! Thanks. P.S. You can't sign this tag, you have to be home to sign for it otherwise you're not getting your package, beyotch. Hugs! FE

By way of explanation: my mom shipped some wine to us from Hawaii; couldn't ship it to her home; will pick it up when she comes to see me today on way home from long road trip; end of boring story.

I wanted to go out for some exercise this morning. Get up off the floor! Yes, I do exercise occasionally out of doors. Then I remembered the FedEx note that smacked of the cable company. Honestly, can I not leave the house the entire day lest I miss this delivery which you insist must be done at your convenience and which needs my signature or we wait another day?

I'm a problem-solver. Here's what I did: I called FedEx and entered the number, but it didn't give me any more detail than I already had. I wrote a note on a Post-It and put it on the front door. It read something to the effect of: I am out from (this time) to (that time). Can you tell me when you'll be here and I'll be sure to be home? Please??? Thank you! Me. No Hugs.

And then I went rollerblading.

Yes! Rollerblading!!! What?????

Anyway, it turned out that the delivery guy showed up just before I got ready to get into the shower, but not before I left him another Post-It note. And because I didn't want to tell the guy in a note that I was in the shower lest he, I don't know, try to break in or something, I instead wrote that I was indisposed.

I told him when he showed up that it made me anxious and I felt I couldn't leave the house, and he laughed. I laughed, too. But I was serious. I mean, I have groceries and important things to do, man.

Don't fence me in, FedEx.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Irony, Defined

Apparently I suffer from a lack of comprehension. I read this, and then did nothing. All she was trying to do was give me this:

Thank you, Mrs. Chicken for the acknowledgement. I love you, too!

A Thinking Blogger Award for a Non-Thinking Blogger. At least, a Non-Paying-Attention one.

In my most non-obsequious tone, let me tell you that I do love Mrs. Chicken for many reasons. She makes me laugh; she's smart; she is so relatable; and she's not afraid to tell you the good along with the bad. We have quite a lot in common, too. We both just moved to new places for our husband's sake and left a lot behind and are still finding our respective ways around new towns; we have daughters; we bemoan the lack of shopping in our new areas of residence. Oh, and then there's the horrible disease that had a devastating affect on both of our families at nearly the same time. But it's mostly good things we have in common. If only we lived closer to one another, we could have coffee and shop online together, geography be damned!

And now, to show that I'm not a complete, non-participating jerk, here is my list of five bloggers who make me think:

Wait. Before I list anyone I want to say first that this is by no means a comprehensive list, and that there are many bloggers who I read on a regular basis that I love - LOVE - and may not be listed here. If it were up to me I would just point to my blogroll and say there! There they are! Those bloggers all make me think! But I have to do this so I can get off the shit list, if I am, indeed, on one, for this or any other reason. Actually, if there's another reason (and let's face it, I probably am) I'll have to take care of that later. For now, here's this:

Julia {Here Be Hippogriffs} talks about her pain and her joys so honestly, it's heartbreaking.
Mimi Smartypants is way too smart, but every once in awhile I get the reference.
Mother Reader is a mom, AND she reads. I didn't know you could do that!
Izzy Mom is not afraid to talk about anything, be it an embarrassing personal story, or debating important social topics.
Eva Las Vegas is just so cool.

Allright, I have completed my assignment. As a current Type A and former slacker*, I think we can all agree that I must feel SO MUCH BETTER right now, not having let this go undone.

I just want to know, what is a hippogriff, and where, exactly, are they?

* Former? Who am I trying to kid???

Friday, March 23, 2007

Dry Humor

It is dry here in Central Oregon.

How dry is it?

It is so dry that I have to put lotion in places I have never, ever thought would need it before. I have to put it on my back!

Just thought you'd want to know.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

My Life is a Dream

This morning, many events conspired against me to prevent further sleep:

4:30 am: Husband's alarm rings. No, not rings. It plays "We Will Rock You", the song that happened to be playing on the radio station the alarm is set to. Husband does not jump, as I did, when this song trumpets the arrival of Way Too Early In The Morning.

4:35 am: Husband's alarm now plays "Tiny Dancer".

4:42 am: OC comes in, tells me she's wet the bed. Up to change sheets. First time in a long time since that's happened. Must've been that last glass of water right before bed? Note to self: don't give OC glass of water right before bed.

5:25 am: husband in to say good bye.

5:26 am: husband in to see if we have a spare key for the back door. No, I say. It's a skeleton key. Oh, he says. I knocked it off the peg and it's behind the water heater. I can't see it.

5:32 am: (hand stuck deeply into 55 year old dust behind water heater) No key.

5:35 am: Get ruler to fish around in dust where I can't reach. Still no key.

5:39 am: Go to back room where the door has been left open. This is a bad sign. The cats could have gotten in here. Look for magnet. Ohhh, the cats DID get in here, at least one of them did, I found the spot with my slipper. Great. Still no damn key. Go look for ruler or other tool, don't know what.

5:41 am: Husband finds key in bucket that was near door. "From now on I will always turn on the light before I reach for the key. Sorry. I won't keep you up anymore."

Thaaaaaaaaaaanks, dear.

I'm up. There was just way too many interruptions. I can't go back to sleep after just three times being awakened, much less this morning's extravaganza. It was a real problem when OC was an infant. I was desperately tired, but my body was like, Hell No, Woman! It's been three times, you're up now! Stupid body.

I'm up now, why don't I tell you about my dream?

But not before the cat tries to jump into my lap and digs his claws into the flesh of my thigh.....


I love the damn cats, but am so over their preferred methods of communication. Things like, I don't like where the litter box is = pee on floor! Or, I want to be held even though you're doing something = scratchety-scratch! scratch scratch scratch!

* * *

There are three clean litter boxes, furry dudes, plus that time I held you last night and cleaned your ears. Figure it out...

* * *

Okay, the dream.

I was at a small gathering to hear a performance. It was "Prairie Home Companion" mixed with "This American Life", Garrison Keillor was hosting stories related to a theme. A roomful of people were listening while it would be taped for broadcast.

OH and found a spot to sit and listen, talking to people on the way in. He must have heard me, because then Garrison comes over and asks me to tell a story. Except I've forgotten all my stories! I start writing things down on any surface I can find.

This show has great stories every week, and if I'm going to be one to contribute than I'd better have it written down. I can't find paper, so I write in my spit on tile. Spit is clear, so I can't see it. This makes no sense to me either. I know I'm a better problem-solver than that.

I think I tried to use coffee or Crystal Light on a napkin to write, or something else, and then a woman starts to give me her recipe for homemade lemonade. I feel all distracted and that time is running out, and then I find some paper. For some reason I meet a guy who tells me some his stories. For some other reason, I listen. He's from Vanderbilt University (NCAA, anyone?) and I'm writing his stories down as a way to tell about this guy I met because somehow it makes my story more interesting until I realize I can't remember the end of his story.

So I'm writing, writing, writing and hoping I'm not the first one called to talk. A few other things happen, can't remember, and then I hear "We will, we will, rock you!"

And now that I feel tired again, it's time to get up.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Weekend Update

In an effort to put ourselves out there in this new town, we decided to go to a Conversational Spanish meeting. The flyer said it is an informal group that meets to practice spoken Spanish, all levels would be welcome. Well, it was, we did, and there were.

When we first walked into the mate shop and got in line to order a drink, we saw the group. It consisted of a woman and a man speaking in what sounded like pretty good Spanish. After a minute, though, I noticed that the man, while he had an extensive Spanish vocabulary, did not at all try to adopt a Spanish accent. He had a heavy American accent that, it sounded like to me, he was determined not to lose.

The group was cool, getting up to ten people. It did not include an Hispanic person, however, but the original woman speaking to American Accent Man told me that this is a portion of the members and that it sometimes does include Hispanic people.

I am motivated to get more fluent. Besides the fact that my husband speaks better Spanish than I - and there's nothing that's more motivating to me than a competition with my husband involving who knows more language - we plan to go to Mexico again and I don't want to be the stupid American who can only say a few words.

This past weekend I was back in the Valley (Willamette) for my niece's birthday party. It is amazing how green it is there, and how brown it is here. It is strange going back, because it brings back all kinds of memories....and longing.


In sports news that probably no one will care about, my ranking moved up in the NCAA men's basketball tournament office pool from low; very, very low; to second place! I am now in third place.

It should be noted that, being the only woman in the office pool, I'm particularly proud of this random achievement of mine, done by wild-ass guessing. Go, me! (The office pool, as you might know, is with my husband's office. I am currently without office. On the upside, if I had my own office pool, I would be number one, which would double for first and last place.)

In news that you may care about, my previous supervisor from my job when I was employed is participating in this year's Team In Training ride for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The crazy thing is, the first year he rode in this, 2005, he himself was undergoing chemotherapy.

I know! He totally kicks ass!

Anyway, if you want to donate money, it's tax-deductible and will go to a great cause. The cool thing is you can do it online. Click here for his brief story, and donation page.

I mention that because I have known way too many people to have leukemia, and especially WAY TOO MANY who have died. There was my nine-year old cousin, my 33-year old brother, and my 62-year old dad. I know bloggers who've lost people to cancer. I hate leukemia.

Buenos dias, mis amigos.

Thursday, March 15, 2007


Are you watching the men's NCAA college basketball tournament?
I was up late last night picking my teams. I'm not a huge sports fan, but there's something about college basketball that's exciting. Maybe it's the Indiana heritage in me which stretches back through multiple generations that bubbles to the surface, spans time - and half the country - to surface now and pique my interest in the phenomenon known as March Madness. Or maybe not?

Whatever it is, I'm off to make a new pot of coffee, and may the Lord help me in that endeavor.

Monday, March 12, 2007


Yesterday was the kind of day that started with an overflowing coffeepot onto a white tile countertop.

When I say it was "...the kind of day that..." what I mean is, " reality, it literally occurred...". Coffee grounds + white coffeemaker + white tile + white grout = big fucking mess. It was my fault. I added too much coffee to the coffee ground receptacle bucket-thingy.

After I managed to salvage one jarful of the liquid gold with a filter and more mess-making, the morning continued. Next was a two-hour dentist appointment where the hygienist politely pointed out that while my teeth and gums were relatively healthy, that six-year hiatus from regular dental visits (long story - stop judging me - please!) was not a good thing.

Oops. I know.

I know!

The excitement was continued that afternoon when I met with the new tax preparer. I thought I was prepared for the meeting, but she kept asking for things - things I did not have! - necessitating appointment number two next week.

Boy, was I ever ready to get that day over with.

Enter: today.

The thing about kids is, you never know what you're going to get from day to day. I'm talking specifically about behavior and attitude, but it could, of course, include anything. One day, OC will be the sweetest, most helpful child in the world, so much so that I will feel like blogging about it just to brag. The next moment - or hour, or day - she cops an attitude so fierce it makes me think we've skipped all the years between 7 and 12 and gone straight to 13.

I am not ready for that. I can barely keep up with six years, two months and nineteen days much less a teenager.

The good thing about six years old is that once she's in trouble, she's much more likely to want to get out of it than another older age may be. This morning, for instance, was the day that I lost my patience with all the equivocating she's begun to do. I asked her if her bed was made. Yes! She answered. Fine, go watch cartoons with my blessing, dear one. I'll just be the mommy with the coffee over here right now.

Later, when I went up to her room, her bed was most decidedly unmade. Now, I'm not looking for hospital corners here (not until she's seven - ha ha ha ha ha ha Type A haaaaaa). I just want the covers pulled up and kind of smoothed out so that it looks good. I told her how unhappy and disappointed I was in her, and then she started in with contrition. Oh, the contrition!

We spent the morning cleaning, all the while I told her I loved her, but the lying will not be tolerated. If there's one thing I cannot stand, it's lying. (Lying, and coffee-stained white tile kitchen counters.)

And then, poof! I turned into my mom.

When did this happen, I wonder? When did I become a rule-making, rule-enforcing, list-making, errand-running individual? When I gave birth, is when. The transformation, it is involuntary. It's also hit-or-miss, which makes me wonder what else I have to look forward to. Maybe one day I will leave the house in the morning with my kids in the car and then forget they are there so instead of dropping them at school I will try to drive to work? (That was classic! Circa approximately 1989-1990.)

However, in my mom's defense I can say that she has never filled up the coffeepot with so much coffee that it overflowed all over the place, nor did she let six years go by between dental cleanings. It does make me cringe when she adopts the overly-gratified tone in her voice and tells me, "OC is just like YOU!!!"

Friday, March 09, 2007

Post Meeting Fervor is Over

Hi there.

I was up late last night in some sort of post-meeting fervor. Now that I have re-read last night's post, it does sound kind of nuts. I mean, I'm glad I met people and all but the exuberence I felt over the whole thing did not translate well to the post. Did you notice I didn't talk about the substance of the meeting? Because I was more concerned with the social aspect? (shallow!) Ahh well. Today is another day, Scarlett.

We went to the library the other day and found this wonderful children's book: The Red Lemon, by Bob Staake. The story was good, fine, lovely; but the illustrations! So fabulous. Loved them. What is with graphic designers being great illustrators? I am not one of them, but I admire those with the ability to do both.

I came across a cool site that tracks books left out in public spaces, much like the Where's George? idea. Search by book title, or by location. I thought it would be fun to do while on a trip, especially if there aren't any books in your area. There aren't any in Redmond. Unless...I could start off this city with a title. Even better, along with the book I could leave one of OH's t-shirts and a hat.

Provide a public service + amuse self + clean out the closets = Genius!

Speaking of books, I recently signed up with Library Thing in order to replace my sad, outdated booklist in this blog's sidebar. I have been thinking about changing this blog, actually. I'm getting tired of the template, but really I want to venture forth into the land of My Very Own Domain and experiment with more tools, more design, and more freedom.

But not today.

Today is Friday, which in our house is movie day. Arriving today in my very own mailbox: Goldfish Memory.

What's your next Netflix?

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Community Meeting Fever

I am fresh from a community meeting tonight where I:
  • met another mom of a Kindergartener, although her child attends a different elementary school than OC;

  • met and spoke in depth with a school board member who used to live in the town we just moved from;

  • met the Parent-Teacher Organization president at my child's school;

  • heard the school superintendent, mayor, city manager, and other school board and community members speak about issues in the town: rumors circulated over past bond levies, complaints about education, etc. Not exactly Harper Valley-juicy, but good;

  • experienced a heady rush from being in proximity and interacting with other adults and having a grown-up conversation.

I even got someone's phone number. Let's just take a moment to enjoy that fact, shall we?

. . .

I MET someone! A mom! With a kid! My age! And everything!

I was at the refreshment table when I said a few pleasantries to a friendly woman getting coffee. She poured me a coffee, and we got to talking. In the conversation that followed, I found out that she knew exactly where I lived because EVERYONE knows that house, apparently. She knows the family who lived here before us.

That family is the Kevin Bacon of Redmond; everyone knows them, somehow. Everyone also seems to know this house. (I hear this all the time: "Oh, you live on the corner of blankety and blank, in the green house? I know that house"...OR..."I know the people who used to live in the house"...OR..."I waited for that house to come up for sale before we bought our house"...!!!!!)

Weirder yet? The family that used to live in our house have two daughters. One is Kindergarten-age. Oh yeah, you guessed it: she's in OC's class, and what's more is, they are good friends. I thought we could have them over to play...on their old play structure in their old backyard. Or sleep their old bedrooms.

Then, I found out that my new BFF works for the library. Hello! I love the library. I visit the library a LOT. Because there are people there, and if that doesn't work, there are books to read while I'm waiting to meet the people.

I was talking about the event last night. Right. The boring part is that it was the first in a new visioning process for the schools in this town. And boy, is there some history here! There's mistrust of the school district because of a bond levy a few years ago to do with a new high school, something about how the building would be used. I don't know, I wasn't here. That confusion came about because there were rumors circulating, information was not delivered or deciphered correctly, blah blah blah. I don't know anything more specific except that it was voted down.

When we were considering in which town to live in Central Oregon, a big black mark for Redmond was that it wasn't funding a new high school, while everyone we talked to who knew this town said the high school was overcrowded. We didn't want to live in a community that would have an attitude like that. But, we have a Kindergartener, and there is a new elementary school, so we decided that we had time to see what would happen and that it was likely a new high school would be built by the time OC got to high school-age.

Now, I've met some people. Finally! I have seen my future, and it includes more community meetings and lingering by the coffee and food tables in order to get phone numbers.

Good Days

It is not All Bad, All the Time around here. Yesterday morning OC and I walked, tote bags in hand, the six blocks to the city library; I enjoyed our lively conversation, with OC being her talkative self.

This morning, I was downstairs when a loud crash came from upstairs.

"Are you allright?" I asked. OC had just gone up to her room.

"Yes, and nothing's broken. Kola (the cat) is okay, too. He was a good mile away," came the reply.

Lately she's been saying things "sure are" something or other, or her reply to something said in conversation will be: "that's for sure!"

I know I need to soak up these moments of her six year old self. One day she will want to forge her independence (even more), and will crave her own space and privacy. Already she has began to want to be alone while she gets undressed for a bath. Not every time, but the day is coming where I won't be able to see those naked bunsies anymore.

My kvetching and complaining are due to frustrating moments, but that is all they are. The moments soon pass (I would do well to keep in mind), and there is so much of The Funny and The Cute with this girl.

Here, OC is soaked through from a short walk through the rain to town and back from our condo at the beach. This is what she calls 'madface' and is perfectly captured here as it is usually performed, which is to say, through laughter:

This is her impression of a kangaroo, given against the backdrop of a particularly stunning sunset at the beach last month. We bought that polka dot dress for summer, but she wanted to wear it all the time while we were indoors:

OC self-portrait:

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


You know how when you get a new cell phone, the new charger that comes with it doesn't fit the old phone? And when you get a new cell phone, the guy in the cell phone store can add your address book numbers to the new phone, but only ONE number per person? If you have more than that you have to look it up on your old phone and enter it manually into the new one. Except when your old phone is completely dead and needs a charge. You've just moved: where is the old charger?

That's been my morning so far.

After that, I get to go pick up the cat poop that sits just outside the litter box. I get to do that every morning. There are three, newly-washed-in-mild-soap litter boxes in different locations that are filled with sparkling, unscented, clean litter; all of which get pooperscooped daily. Yet, the damn cats are STILL. PICKY. OHMYGOD! It's driving me nuts. One little kitty needs to spend more time outside, and that is OH's cat, Rum. My guys are old, long-haired cats who get along with each other but not with Rum. She is grumpy. She needs to go outside during the day.

Today has got to be better than yesterday. Yesterday was not my most favorite day ever.

I've made efforts to carve out a schedule, both for myself and for OC. This, so that we both know what to expect each day, don't feel overwhelmed, and have time for fun things. Great idea, right?!?!?!?!? I know. I thought so, too.

It has worked and it has not worked. The part that's worked has been for me. It does help to have a plan for the day, to know that I don't have to do everything that day. I don't do the floors and the bathrooms on the same day, for example. The variety makes it less dull (if cleaning and housework can ever NOT be dull) believe it or not.

(I know this sounds terribly tedious, but if I don't schedule myself like this, I never feel like I can leave the house for something fun because I haven't finished my work yet. In my head the world will end if I do something fun without finishing work!!! I'm thinking my head sucks.)

What hasn't worked has been for OC. She is still anxious about spending time with me. Yesterday, I told her we had half an hour to play anything she wanted together. We had a tea party, put together a puzzle, and then we ran out of time before we got to throw the frisbee around like she wanted. I said we could throw it a couple times since I had to go outside anyway, but then after that, she needed to play on her own. You'd think I told her to clean the oven by licking it with her tongue.

She loved the time we spent together, and when it was over she got sad, needy, and whiny. It killed me, both with frustration and empathy.

At first, she played outside a while, then came in with a red mark from bumping her head. It wasn't bad. That's what always happens when she plays by herself when she doesn't want to: injuries. Lotsa injuries. I gave her ice while she talked about wishing we could play frisbee. Then she followed me around. I was so annoyed by then, because I just wanted to think and do what I was trying to do! Then I could be done, not be irritated, and spend time with her. We never got to that point.

This is my problem and not something OC is doing wrong. She is a good girl: she listens (relatively) well, and tries her best to do as she's told, she wants to help, she wants to be a part of things. It's me that doesn't know what to do; how to handle this, and how not to get irritated with her when all she wants is my attention.

I thought the schedule would work, but maybe I need to do more. I don't know what, but it's my problem to solve and nothing she's doing wrong. Maybe I need to give it more time so that she knows we'll have time, but that she'll have time on her own, too.

The thing is, I'm mom. I'm not daddy, who, with his deep voice and stern tone make her snap to attention right away when he's being serious. I'm mommy; squishy, nice mommy who cares about her feelings but sometimes yells when I just can't take it anymore. I don't want to get to that point anymore. I want her to pay attention and be serious before it gets to that point. Maybe what's wrong is my expectations? But I remember being serious when my parents said something. How to achieve that?

After her bath this morning, we're going to the library. Maybe today will be better.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Hello, Lover

The new coffeepot makes me hot!

It's so beautiful. I don't know if it's just me, but it feels more substantial than the old one.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Separating the Man From His Things

Hi! How was your weekend? Good? Good. Mine was good, too. Yeah, thanks.

Saturday we went over the mountains to attend a baby shower. The pregnant lady is a friend, although not a close friend. I don't know her all that well and only see her a few times a year, but I like her. The women played a lot of games and ate some good food. Among the epicurean delights were phyllo-wrapped asparagus with proscuitto, jalapeno-artichoke dip, and chocolate dipped marshmallows. This is genius, this dipping of the marshmallows into chocolate.

We took OH's parents out for dinner to celebrate his dad's birthday later this month. Mexican food.....mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.........

Spent that night with the in-laws, and next day drove two hours north to our other house. There were still odd things in the closets to pack, lamps and decor that we left to stage the house while it was for sale that had to be wrapped and packed for the movers this week. There were houseplants and outdoor plants in pots we had to move ourselves.

Once the truck was loaded we added things to take to Goodwill. I know, still with the Things That We Don't Need. And yet, my husband insisted on keeping his old aquarium because "one day, we might want to use it." This is the aquarium that is something like 10 or 15 years old, the one his parents got him for a Christmas present when he was a kid. He wants to KEEP it. For SOME day, far off in the future, because just MAYBE. I'm pretty sure that's an excellent idea, to keep an old, dirty aquarium instead of getting a new one that will have clean tubing and a new pump WHEN and IF we decide to have the fish that I don't want to have.

Long ago I used to be fond of keeping things for a mysterious eventuality that may or may not ever materialize, but not anymore. My new motto is: if it's not useful and/ or I don't love it, it goes away. My husband doesn't subscribe to that logic as was so plainly evident during our move. We had box after box filled with his t-shirts. He had t-shirts from high school, t-shirts from college, t-shirts from the military, t-shirts from a tv show he saw once...dozens and dozens of t-shirts. I say "had" because I told him we didn't have room for them all. He reluctantly agreed, and said I could get rid of any except for "those that are important to me". Because I was supposed to know how to separate the sentimental t-shirts from the regular ones.

Before you decide that I am an ogre and a hag who doesn't allow her husband to keep his beloved treasures, let me assure you that that is far from being the case. There is a box in the closet with photos and papers that I labeled and stored inside the house so they don't get ruined. He has a garage where he can keep whatever he wants. You should see the number of boxes around the house full of his books. He can keep things, and he does. The aquarium is only the tip of the iceberg, my friends.

Getting back to this weekend. Oh, that was fun. Let me tell you, if you move? Draw it out for as looooooong as you can. Make it so that you have to drive back to your old house in the dead of winter multiple times to pack things, go to Goodwill, make odd trips to recycle old computer towers, and fill up your car or truck with things that need special care - like houseplants - and things you don't want - like old aquariums - over and over again. It's the greatest funnest thing EVER!!!


When we got home we had chips, salsa and wine for dinner outside on our upstairs porch in the warmish evening (which turned cold and necessitated blankets, but still...). When we went up to the porch my husband mentioned his tv trays. He wanted to know where they were. I was going to let it go, but he kept talking about them, saying he hadn't seen them in awhile, where could they be, they sure would be handy right now, blah blah blah. Finally, I told him I had gotten rid of them. The trays were wooden and had their own stand to hold the four of them, but one or two were kind of rickety, and I really didn't want them. I didn't like the look of them or having to store them. We didn't use them that often and I don't want us to sit in the living room with food. Besides, if we're outside and need a table to put food, how's about we go buy - or make! - a nice outdoor table; one, say, that had a beautiful mosaic tile pattern on top and that could stay outdoors most of the year and look lovely?!?

OH looked crestfallen. Then he said, "I liked those trays, those were really nice, they were made out of oak or no, other hardwoods......" He trailed off.

He sighed. I waited, not sure which way he was going to go with it.

"Okay, you're forgiven."

(Um.......I didn't do anything wrong!) I could tell he had let go of his beloved trays, and that it was a big moment for him.

If only he'd feel the same way about his aquarium.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

The Night Out; my Foray into Local Culture

I was just wondering, do you ever finish your breakfast and still feel hungry, which makes you wish that really great Everything bagel you just ate came with a third half because you sure as hell aren't the kind of person to go make ANOTHER bagel but you ARE the kind of person who will finish off the last brownie after you eat your completely insufficient bagel because brownies go so well with coffee??? Tell me it's not just me.

Saying a bagel should have a third half really doesn't make sense. I mention that because it would bug me if I read it somewhere, so all you Grammar Queens should now be satisfied.

This isn't a post about food, though. Last night, I went to a movie at Bend's Tower Theatre. For the next few months, a series of classic and independent films are scheduled to play once a week. Or twice a month. Something. Last night's film was an independent called Sweet Land.

To begin with, the Tower Theatre is a restored movie house in downtown Bend. There is a stage and a screen so the offerings are as diverse as live Irish music to Warren Miller films.

I arrived early, but not early enough to go have a cocktail at a nearby pub or restaurant. After I bought my ticket ($6) I learned that beer and wine were served in the Tower Theatre lobby. Happiness! I drank my beer and then ordered popcorn to take inside. Onstage walked a man with a microphone, a spotlight trained upon him as he announced the evening's program.

About mid-movie, the screen went dark. Someone said, "intermission" but it obviously wasn't meant to happen. I was thinking of Cinema Paradiso, the scene where the film catches fire.

There was no fire, and soon the movie was rolling again. Set in 1920's midwest, it was shot on location in southern Minnesota. A German woman named Inga travels to the US to marry a Norwegian farmer, Olaf, whom she has never met. Inga encounters many instances of prejudice for being German from the locals who, having just gone through WWI, have strong feelings in the pejorative about Germans. The two run into hurdles trying to get married, since she has some papers but not the right papers with her. Being German, the officials are reluctant to help.

It was well-done, not over the top on the romance or the prejudice, just well-done all around. There were funny moments as well. Alan Cumming plays the neighboring farmer, Alex Kingston (from ER, way back when) plays his wife. Lois Smith, one of my favorite actresses, played Inge as an older woman. I love Lois Smith. She was in How to Make an American Quilt, Twister, and many others. Do you know who I mean? She's great. I swear it was Ryan O'Neal as the minister, but the credits do not agree. The Inga and Olaf characters are played by relatively anonymous actors, I think. Although the woman appeared on Grey's Anatomy. They were both wonderful in this film.

I went out, I did something fun and really enjoyed it. I couldn't help myself, as I looked at the many women who were there with their friends, but wish that I had a friend with me as well. You can't have everything....