Monday, January 31, 2011

endings

If January is any indication of what 2011 will be, this will be a year of closures.

My stepdad's mother, who had been hanging on for years, finally passed. Services will be held in a couple weeks.

After nearly two years of anticipation, anxiety and the very worst kind of not understading, I will testify tomorrow about Lori's sanity. My goal for today is to not stress out so much that I wake up bald tomorrow.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

bittersweet and sunshine yellow

We've lived here, on this dirt road, for about 14 years now. Well, actually 13 years, we moved away for one of those years. But through all of these years, civilization has made its way closer and closer to us. Tract homes, more and more paved roads, better shopping. They've all come to us.

Today Austin and I walked to a brand new park. Walked. I haven't lived in neighborhood with a park in walking distance since my mom and I live with my grandparents in Brea from 1981 to 1984. (Thought: As of this month, I have lived in California for 30 of my 33 years.)

So it bears repeating. Austin and I walked to the park.

He climbed on the playground equipment some but mostly we played "basketball." Austin's version of basketball is really just a game of tag played on a basketball court. A game of tag where *I* am always it. My knees and ankles may not recover for a week, but it was pretty fun.

On the way home, we could see our house straight ahead of us for about a quarter of a mile, and the yellow walls looked so nice in the sunshine. We stopped on the way to say hi to one of the neighbors that has been here since god was a boy. She's trying to sell her place. She's had a hard time keeping it up since her husband died a few years ago. Her severely disabled daughter is living in a group home now because she has gotten too old to care for her anymore. I hate to see her sell in such a market, but I understand that she has to do what's best for her.

New things come, old friends go, and our joints ache. Such is life.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Answering Bell

I have loved this song forever, but had never seen the video. There's a special little cameo at the end.

Some of my favorite lyrics:

Did I slip, no I stumbled
Did I trip, 'cause I know I fell

Did I sleep, musta been dreamin'
Did I weep, 'cause I cried like hell

Thursday, January 27, 2011

open to interpretation

I dreamed last night that Ms. Moon was starring in a TV show loosely based on her life. The show sort of jumped the shark though when the producers introduced a clique of Greek goddesses in human form that were out to get Ms. Moon.

I dreamed last night that I rolled my car off of a freeway overpass, flinging myself toward traffic on an onramp. It was surreal, to picture so vividly dirt and sky alternating through the view of the windshield. The dirt was very red (red from clay, not blood). I prayed to not hit any other cars. The car settled right side up without hitting any, but I was afraid to move my legs.

I dreamed last night that there was a big house in place of the small one I live in now. That is to say, in the same place – instead of. It was big enough to have a courtyard and rooms that were separated enough from the rest of the house to be quiet. Quiet isn’t something you get a lot of in my [real] house.

I dreamed last night about love.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

another loss

My stepdad’s mother died last night. Note, this is not my grandmama that I have written about a few times here. Grandmama is my mom’s mom. I don’t think I’ve ever written about my stepdad’s mom. We’ll call her E from here on out.

I’ve never written about E because even though she just died last night, she really hasn’t been alive for a long time. She started the slow and miserable descent of Alzheimer’s at least 10 years ago, and has been essentially bedridden with Parkinson’s for the last couple-three years. I don’t have a lot of experience with death, but I think it’s safe to say that the way she went was one of the more slow and drawn out ways to do it. She really didn’t recognize anyone but her son by the end, and we really don’t know if she recognized him, or just responded in some reflexive way to the sound of his voice.

It’s a strange thing, that when it’s been “just a matter of time” for so long, that it still hits hard when it happens. This will be quite a life shift for my stepdad, his sister and her son.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

40 Day Dream

Now here's some crazy fuckers I could get behind.

Oh, and this cover of another of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros' songs (orginal here), by a little girl and her dad, is too freaking cute... One day I'm gonna whistle?

Wow. Really?

Well today's article is, hands down, my favorite. Her defense is that she heard a song on the radio (and not even a good one) that she believed was God telling her to do it. (Is her lawyer even trying to come up with anything good? Has that defense worked for anyone in the last 30 years?)

Meanwhile, the prosecution says it was a combination of her rage toward men and her use of marijuana and vicodin. Let me tell you, if that was all it took to make someone a murderer, half the people I know would be dead. (Not killed by me mind you. I can't take vicodin. It makes me puke.)

http://www.pe.com/localnews/stories/PE_News_Local_D_burchett25.1b3ca69.html

I should note here that I am not rooting for her to be freed or let off the hook in any way. She will be locked up for a very long time whether it is in a mental institution or a jail. I just think these lawyers are acting like morons.

Monday, January 24, 2011

halfway point

I said I wouldn't write about Lori's trial anymore, but I guess I just meant I wouldn't get into the more unpleasant details. They're all unpleasant, but anyway. I don't know if this is how they do it every time someone pleads not guilty by reason of insanity, but there must be some consistency to it.

Basically, there are two trials, the first to determine guilt or no, then if found guilty, the second to determine insanity or no. Essentially, they don't care if you're insane if you didn't do it, so first things first.

Last week the jury found Lori guilty of both first degree murder (a key factor here is premeditation, if I understand correctly) and the (lesser) charge of assault on a child resulting in injury or death.

So, now they move on to the sanity phase of the trial. Here's an article: http://www.pe.com/localnews/stories/PE_News_Local_D_burchett22.c4e3a1.html

Sunday, January 23, 2011

January Sunset

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Life is like a...

Welcome to the purdiest box of chocolates ever. I may or may not have eaten half of it already. It was my anniversary gift from Dan; 13 years yesterday. We had a little date night and went to the fancy-schmancy restaurant where he proposed to me. As always he "dressed up for me" by wearing his nicest (newest) fishing or Harley Davidson related t-shirt.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Sometimes, the universe is abundantly awful

I read the most horrible news story I have ever read a couple days ago, and I wasn't going to post anything about it here, but I have been kind of amazed that the stupid woman who fell into a mall fountain while texting has been all over the news, but this story hasn't gotten much play (that I've seen).

This horrible story I am referring to is about a so-called doctor who did so-called abortions in Philadelphia. What this man did was almost nothing like an abortion. He would induce labor of live, late term babies and kill them.

This is the (moderately graphic) article: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110119/ap_on_re_us/us_abortion_clinic_investigation

I'm not sure what it says about me, but after reading that article, I assumed that man was white (because he was preying on minorities). But based on the photo in another article, I was mistaken: http://www.smh.com.au/world/kermit-the-killer-doctor-accused-of-eight-murders-in-house-of-horrors-20110120-19xj6.html

So, I'm sorry (in a way) for sharing this, but I found myself not posting anything in trying not to post this. This, along with stories about hundreds of deaths in mudslides in Brazil and other heart wrenching events, makes me wonder (sometimes) if all those end-times believers aren't on to something.

But the world isn't any different than it's always been. And with the Internet and TV, these things are all up in our faces (except when they're not, in favor of the most recent Bachelor scandal or whatever similar nonsense).

I'm not sure what my point is with any of this, I was just blown away by it all. And I said the other day that I didn't know what the word evil meant anymore, but I do believe I've been reminded.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Found: 35mm film

I don't know if this is for real or what, but it's kinda fun. "Europe look" and "holiday, which is a European word for vacation," made me chuckle.

Best For Last

Another by the lovely Adele

Over My Head

I heard this song on the radio and it gave me such a good feeling. I've been singing it ever since.

On a completely unrelated note, I had a dirty dream about Mark Wahlberg of all people and that is just cracking me up for some reason. I don't have a thing for him, that I know of.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

v. To feel the lack or loss of.

You know what sucks? I still miss her. I still wish I could go two years back in time and call her. Meet her for lunch.

I think this would be so much easier if I hated her.

I know people who hate her. And people who don’t understand why I don’t. I don’t understand it either.

Make no mistake. I am not in denial about what happened. It is horrible. Some people call it evil, but I don’t know what that word means anymore. I don’t believe, as some do, that this was the devil working through her. I believe it has more to do with brain chemistry and short circuited, crossed wires. Nightmares, memories and fears.

And I will not, cannot, be her friend again. Obviously, she cannot be anywhere near my children. And when they are grown? If she serves her time and is an old woman? Will she be released someday? Will I have grandchildren by then? She won't be present in my life again. And that makes me so sad.

Ms. Moon wrote the other day about women and her stage role in Steel Magnolias. It made me cry because the list of women I have that kind of relationship with (in the physical, non-blog world) is a short one. And there is one less person on it now than there used to be.

I was looking for something in some old emails and ran across something that Lori wrote that ties in quite perfectly with those scenes in Steel Magnolias. It seems incredibly personal to post this here now, but it's part of what I want to do. To remember Lori as a whole person. Not just a monster.

Got my hair cut today. Love my hairdresser. She was coloring another woman while I was there being cut, and we were all alone in her garage, and boy did we cackle like old hens; prozac, sex machines, old boyfriends, kids, and just general bitchery were had all around. It was like hitting the fricking bar after work, before 9 a.m. this morning. Wow. These are the highlights of my life.

She wrote that to me two months before her arrest. In that same email she also talked about needing to go to yoga and why I shouldn't take a class that semester (I had specifically emailed her to talk me out of it, I was tempted to, but knew it would be too much).

It's funny, I had somehow trained myself as a kid and young adult to not miss people. If someone was out of my life, they were out. Forgotten. I couldn't control the fact that my dad wasn't in my life, but I could refuse to pine for him.

But the end of this friendship has broken the flood gates and the missing is all over the place.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

chirp... chirp

I mean no disrespect to the talented people who spend years practicing and mastering their instruments, but tonight I think there could be no better symphony than frogs and crickets making their joyful noises on a January night.

It's been warm enough these last three days to be too warm to wear long pants.

My sweet boy has fallen asleep on the couch, so I'll have to turn off the computer and move him to his bed before he falls so deeply into sleep that he can't shuffle his feet.

Friday, January 14, 2011

I'm done

There was something in yesterday's court minutes that was new information to me, but you nice people out there probably don't want to know any more, so I think I'm done writing about Lori's trial here. With the possible exception of sharing my experience if indeed I am asked to testify regarding her sanity.

So...

I must have something else to talk about.

I have house guests (again). I must be more pleasant and hospitable than I think I am. These people keep coming back.

Well, happy Friday. Have a good weekend. It's a long one for me... MLK day on Monday.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

testimony begins

Okay folks, this is some heavy stuff. For those of you who have been following the Lori saga here, her husband and oldest son had to testify in court yesterday. There was at least one member of the press there and you can read the article here. I really wish they hadn't used her son's full name. His step dad (Lori's husband) had managed to keep his last name out of the press until now.

One thing not mentioned in that article, but that was listed in the publicly available court minutes online, was that one of the pieces of evidence submitted was a goblet or chalice type item. That combined with the article's reference to her alleged belief that the world would end in 2012, and the fact that many articles now have said that the baby was disemboweled is enough, I think, that I can say here now that what will probably come out of this whole thing is that this was a human sacrifice.

Now, my personal opinion is that there is no way she could be anything other than insane if that is the case (or at least was insane at the time). Of course I am no doctor and the jury will get to decide whether she is indeed not guilty by reason of insanity. The next few weeks will have to play out before we know whether she will spend the rest of her life in jail or who knows where.

So I guess I'll leave you with a request for thoughts of love, light and peace for Lori's husband and surviving children. And for Lori too, if you can. I cannot make peace with what happened, but I also cannot forget what a good friend she was to me in the years prior to this terrible event.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Let It Be Sung

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

birthday card love letter

I have to share this because I thought it was so funny and sweet (in a quirky way). Just like my grandma. She called it a guarantee...

Dear Charles,

For your 92nd birthday I'm writing my own [card] so I can tell you all the best things I like/love about you. My pen is not working and I've run out of space, so I'll tell you next year. I love you very much.

Love, Ethel

in the soup

My brain is no better than a rat's nest these days. I'm tired. I'm depressed. If I have to look at Jared Loughner's mug shot one more time I may... what? I don't know. Cry, I guess. That little smile on his face scares me to no end.

This world scares me.

Lori's trial looks to be getting underway for real this time. Jury selected. Witness list filed. The news stories about her all now use a word that I don't care to repeat here, but if you feel the need to read more, go here.

They got one thing wrong that I know of though. He wasn't yet 2.

I'm sorry I don't have anything better to talk about right now.

That's not true, of course I have better (happier) things to talk about. For example:

My grandpa will be 92 tomorrow.

We're hoping Austin will get excited about T-ball this spring. If not, we'll find something else.

Do you know that in the fall I will have a kindergartner and a high school freshman?

I went back to yoga yesterday morning for the first time since October. It was exactly what I needed. I ask again, why did I stop going?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

This stupid SUV is making me sentimental

Despite their wretched gas mileage, I will admit to a certain affection for SUVs, especially Jeeps (Cherokees and Wranglers in particular). And for some reason right now it's making me all weepy for my childhood.

See, I spent a good bit of time playing pretend with a dollhouse very much like this one.

All the photos in this post are from various Ebay and Etsy listings for vintage Fisher Price Little People toys from the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Along with the house, I had the camping set. And I remember being very fond indeed of that Jeep.

Just look at that happy little family. In so many ways, that was a very happy time in my life (my mom and I lived with my beloved grandparents), but also very sad (it was around that time that I realized that my dad was supposed to be around, but wasn't). Damn. Who would think a new (used) car could make me all stupid.

never say never -- especially on a blog

My exact words were, “I dreamed that night that I was driving a large SUV, something I will never own…”

I typed those words right here on this very blog. HA!

Ha-fucking-ha.

Dan decided the cab of his Toyota truck wasn’t big enough to be comfortable for him and the kids anymore. So he started looking for an SUV. And for credit and income reasons, we had to get the loan in my name. So I am now the proud owner of this beast.

A freaking Suburban. If there is a hell for ecologically wicked, I am going there. The things we do for love, huh?

SPAM Awards: Best Subject Line

And today's winner is!

Long instrument will be your raisin.

Monday, January 3, 2011

back to real life

Back to work. Here goes nothin.