Sunday, December 30, 2012

peace

The house is so quiet I can hear the clock ticking.  I don't remember the last time I heard the clock ticking. 

The out-of-state relatives have come and gone in shifts.  Christmas is well and truly over - or it will be when the decorations come down in a few days. 

On Friday we had all of my grandparents' great-grandkids together for the first time since the newest one was born.  It was loud and hectic and exhausting.  I think my grandparents won't know what to do with their big empty house since everyone has gone and things are going back to normal.  

I'm in no hurry to eat turkey again any time soon.  I guess we'll fix black eyed peas on the first.  It's the law or something. 

Friday, December 21, 2012

quite well indeed

Ms. Moon commented on the last song I posted that she hoped all was well, so I suppose I'm overdue to blog :)

I am quite well, actually.  There are things about life that are not so well.  No money.  Truck broken down which is frustrating the husband greatly.  But as The Dude says, and Ms. Moon said just tonight, I abide. 

It will work out.  The truck will be fixed soon enough.  We can borrow a car from my parents to get by as needed. 

Oh, and I'm off work for TWO AND A HALF WEEKS.  That may have something to do with my pleasant attitude and happy outlook right now. 

I haven't had this much time off in one stretch in the 12+ years I've been working at the college and IT IS GOING TO BE FABULOUS.  Even if I do a whole lot of nothing.  Maybe especially if. 

On the weightloss/SparkPeople front, I am down 38 pounds since September 10.  FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC if I do say so myself.  As of this week's weigh in, I am 1/4 of the way to my long-term goal of losing 140 pounds.  Now that goal is purely theoretical at this point.  I won't die if I never get there, but I am enjoying the challenges of staying within my daily calorie range, burning at least my target number of calories per week, and a doing target number of exercise minutes per month.  It's like a game.  I even get points!  Literally. 

And we're in the home stretch as far as holiday crap goes.  The shopping is done.  Sunday we will have dinner for my aunt and uncle's anniversary (30-some years), Monday we will go to Knott's, and Tuesday is you-know-what and then after that we can just chill the fuck out. 

Dave Matthews - When the World Ends



Not very original on my part, but it's a good song so fuck it.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Van Morrison - Warm Love

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

On the 5th Day of Christmas

In Austin's version of The Twelve Days of Christmas, my true love gave to me five olive trees.  I must say I approve.  Five gold rings is just excessive. 

The irony of this just hit me... Austin was so excited about what he bought for me for Christmas that he couldn't keep it a secret.  He bought me "a ring with a heart on it."  He whispered it to me after Dan told him not to tell.  He picked it out himself along with gifts for his sister, dad and grandparents. 

Bless his heart.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Friday, November 30, 2012

The Sheepdogs - The Way It Is

Monday, November 26, 2012

Blind Pilot - We Are The Tide

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Rogue DeVilles

I went out last night in spite of myself.  I went as a show of support for Dan.  He does audio tech for some local bands and there was a show at the bar that is literally right down the street from our house.  So I went because I felt I should but ended up staying happily.  I had never heard one of the bands that was playing and they played the shit out of that place.  It was good to get away from my own personal marathon of The Walking Dead episodes and hear the kind of music that I want my kids growing up with.  I was maybe a little tempted to offer Baby Mama services to the guitar player, but I refrained.  Below is a clip of the band, but at another show at a different bar.


Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving

We did things differently this year.  Usually we host Thanksgiving here, but Grandpa doesn't really get out much anymore, so we took Thanksgiving to my grandparent's house.  It worked well, but I sort of feel like we didn't have Thanksgiving because my house didn't get put through the wringer like it does when we have a get together here.  The cleaning and the furniture rearranging that goes into hosting in this house is good for it, and for me to I think. 

But it was worth it for all of us to be together, so no complaints.  Last year when my grandparents and my cousin didn't make it over because Grandpa wasn't feeling well (and ended up in the hospital) it really didn't feel right. 

We've been doing a lot lately that I should have been writing about.  Maya's 16th birthday for one - her party went well.  We also finally went to A Day Out With Thomas (the train) which was a huge success. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Growing up hurts sometimes

Have you ever found something that you enjoyed thoroughly that depressed the shit out of you?  In my case it was discovering a new musician.  His second record captured something [for me] that I have been experiencing a little too much this year.  That place in a relationship when you have to decide whether you want to stay with it. 

So I guess it wasn't the music that was depressing me, was it?  It was the realization that I was - I am - in a hard place.  A place that looks like this:

I have never really believed that my husband loves me. 

This is not a failure on his part.  This is all about my own feelings of worthiness.  I cannot embrace my own worthiness when it comes to love.  And failing that, I sabotage my relationship by doubting it and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. 

I see this about myself from the outside and struggle to change it.  But in thinking about changing it, I am convinced that as soon as I really believe he loves me, it will finally come to light that he never did. 

In the mean time, I am falling in love with (okay, more like crushing on) a character on a TV show.  I do this when I want to avoid something. I turn my mind's eye to something else, escape.  It's not really working for me though.  It took a little while to realize that this man - this character - is a forty-something wounded little boy.  You know what kind of women fall for damaged boys?  The codependent kind.  Codependent Me is boring as shit. 

Ironically, this all coincides with a rebirth of confidence by way of taking better care of myself.  I am embracing the belief that I do deserve to be healthy.  I deserve the effort it takes to loose weight and feel better.  SparkPeople is a miracle in my life.  But not a miracle like a magic pill.  More like the miracle of an Opportunity.  SparkPeople is one of those things that you get out of what you put into.  Like education and relationships... you have to do the work to get the rewards. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

November Skyscape

 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

I didn't disown him

Stolen from Girl's Gone Child.

As so many classes did, my son's kindergarten/first grade combo class held a mock election yesterday.  My son, sweetheart that he is, voted for Romney.  When I asked him why he chose Romney, he told me that Romney has 2 dogs and 2 horses and 2 sons.  I told him that might not be the best reason to vote for a president but he insisted that Romney won!  His small class liked Romney.  He did win the vote in that room. 

Ah well, not so in the old Electoral College.  I managed to restrain myself from giving my six-year-old a neener neener neener when he got up this morning.  I'm big like that.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Bahamas - Lost In The Light


 
The harmony soars at 1:40 and gets me every damn time.

Bahamas - Montreal

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Monday, October 29, 2012

I have the power

As of last Friday, I have lost 20 pounds in 7 weeks.  A normal person would be happy about that - and I am (happy that is, not normal).  But it is sobering to compare that to how much I still need to lose.  BUT THAT IS THE WRONG WAY TO THINK ABOUT IT.  So happy, yes.  20 pounds woo-hoo!!!

SparkPeople.com is fah-reaking awesome.  It's also a lot of work.  I do data entry for any food that isn't in their database already and I track EVERY FREAKING THING.  A couple days ago I stole one tortilla chip off of my kid's plate and you better believe that I tracked one twelfth of a serving of those chips.  Yes. I. Did. 

So I told my husband Dan about hitting the 20 pound mark and you know what he did?  He baked chocolate chip cookies.  Well, first he told me that I was doing a good job.  Then he baked cookies.  Bastard.  I have not eaten even one of those cookies.  I was afraid to even look at them at first.  But last night while I was cooking dinner I noticed how good they smelled.  Then the thought occurred to me that I could enjoy the smell without eating them.  So I leaned over and inhaled deeply.  They smelled pretty damn good.  And I was very proud of myself for not diving in face-first, pie eating contest style. 

So here we are.  I have had small portions of sweets occasionally; I am not completely abstinent.  Mostly fitting them into my goal calorie zone for the day (my birthday being one exception). 

And I decide when I splurge, no one else. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Michael Kiwanuka - Bones

Monday, October 22, 2012

Utter Randomness

This weekend at the park, I heard a boy call my son a name (fatty).  Austin didn't hear it.  A few minutes later, that boy wanted to play tag with Austin "because he can't run fast anyway."  I walked over very calmly and told Austin that I didn't think he should play with that boy because he was being mean.  That boy hid from me the rest of the time we were at the park.  But Austin snuck over to talk to the kid, thinking I didn't see, and I didn't stop him.  He is teaching me about love and kindness.

Do you guys have those sign twirlers in your neck of the woods?  The other day I saw a girl throw down her sign in disgust, kick it aside and walk away from her post.  I guess she couldn't cut it. Or didn't give a shit.

Speaking of not giving a shit.  The other day I saw a woman with frizzy dark hair, which was up in a bun (not a cute messy bun, just a get this hair out of my face bun) and my first thought was: She just doesn't give a fuck, does she?  My second thought was:  Looks like my hair. 

A few years ago, I wrote something along the lines of... it doesn't matter to me whether there is a God, it doesn't change how I live my life.  I had no idea there was a word for that:  Apatheism.  (Thank you, Murr)  I only hope that there is no disrespect inferred.  I have no intention of apathifying your faith. 

Happy Monday. 

No, really.  (Turns out I sometimes come off as sarcastic when I don't mean to be.  Not really sure what to do about that yet.)

Friday, October 19, 2012

I see you


Immediately outside of the building I work in is a rose garden.  I shame myself a little sometimes in that I don't always see it.  I walk by  a wealth of loveliness multiple times a day, and don't always take notice.  Today this single red rose is stretched up taller than all the rest yelling, "look at me!  Look at meeee!"

I laughed a little at that rose because just a few moments before, I had passed an instructor and thought about how we had both seen each other (I'm not talking about flirting or ogling, just registering the other person's presence) twice, no less.  First he walked west past the library as I walked east, then he walked east through the humanities building as I walked west.  And we each knew that we were each taking a quick stroll on a lovely day.  And I noticed again what beautiful eyes he has. 

The noticing doesn't always happen.  People don't always see.  Once in another building, I saw another employee downstairs, we took different routes up, and I saw him upstairs.  He asked me whether I had just come out of one of the upstairs rooms, and I  thought to myself that he knew I was just downstairs... he had seen me.  He even said hi.  But he didn't realize.  It didn't register. 

I like it better when I see.  I think I like it better when I am seen too. 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

birthday joys

I ended up having a pretty great birthday this year.  Dan really wanted it to be nice even though we are flat broke.  We ate sub sandwiches with my parents and they brought a small ice cream cake (I only went a little over my calories for the day).  Then Maya surprised me by playing Happy Birthday for me on her violin.  She's been taking lessons for a few weeks now and learned to play that for me in secret. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

October

I decided today that October is absolutely my favorite month in (inland) Southern California.  Of course, if you ask me in about four weeks, I will say that November, yes, November is definitely the best part of the year.  Either way, the mornings and evenings are cool.  The summer's heat is (mostly) behind us and the afternoons are bright and clear and temperatures can be anywhere between 70 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Sunsets are fantastic in October.  Second only perhaps to sunsets in January.  Or February.  You know what? Any time it's not 120 out, sunset is freaking awesome. 

I also decided that the art building is my favorite place on the college campus where I work, with all the chalk drawings on the sidewalks and sculptures and paintings in the windows.  That is until I walk past the biology lab where they have green, growing things and lizards and god only knows what else tucked away in nooks and crannies.  Or it might be the courtyards that are my favorite. People sit and read; birds chirp and peck for bugs.

There's no point to any of this and therefore no good way to end it.  (It doesn't end, does it?)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Walk the Moon - Anna Sun

Monday, September 24, 2012

heartbroken

I can't believe I have to write these words, but... we lost another dog this weekend.  Three of our four dogs have died in the last two months.  I just can't believe it.  I still hear her nails on the wood floor following me around and look before I get out of bed so I don't step on her. 

We had to have Bella put to sleep on Saturday.  It just killed me.  The vet reassured us that even if we had money for treatment, the prognosis wasn't good.  And that it was just a very unfortunate coincidence, her getting so sick so soon after the other two older dogs died. 

I swear, we kept them all alive for many years before this August.  I just don't know what to say. 

We are left now with only Billy, my late mother-in-law's dog.  God help that dog.

.::.

I had close to two hours alone at home yesterday afternoon and you know what I did with that time? I folded laundry and then swept and mopped.  It couldn't be helped, the floor was gross.  And the work was therapeutic. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

DMB - Mercy

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Things I've done since last I wrote

Gah, I can't believe I haven't written here for a week.

In that time I have...
  • lost 4 pounds. Woo-hoo SparkPeople!  I just hope to keep it going [crosses self and spits].
  • quit therapy.  Cuz I'm all better now.  Hahahahaha.  I just need a break.
  • helped at a garage sale on one of the hottest weekends of this still-too-freaking-hot month where old people shamelessly bargained me out of junk I would rather have just given away. 
  • recovered almost completely from having bruised ribs after taking a little spill almost 2 weeks ago. 
  • learned that modern yoga may have actually come from Scandinavian gymnastics, not so much ancient Indian practices.  http://www.yogajournal.com/wisdom/2610 
Meanwhile, Austin is back in swim lessons, Maya is taking violin lessons, and I need to get back to yoga before I snap (whether it's Scandinavian or Indian first matters not, it helps me keep my shit together). 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Here goes

I read this article on Yahoo yesterday titled Affordable Ways to Lose Weight

I had started trying to lose weight back in May (again, for the hundredth time) and lost a few pounds right away.  But then it just... stopped.  I was still thinking about what I ate.  Still avoiding (mostly) sugary drinks.  I wasn't getting out to walk as much as I had been in the beginning but I was still trying to get up regularly at work. 

So in the article linked above, they talked about SparkPeople.com*.  I don't know where the hell I've been, but apparently it's quite popular.  I had been considering joining Weight Watchers, but had some concerns (also known as excuses).  But this SparkPeople thing is FREE.  And ONLINE.  And modular in that you can choose the pieces and parts that work for you.  There are about a thousand-million tools in there, but if I don't want their meal plan, I don't have to use their damn meal plan. 

I am tracking my food, water, exercise, weight, blood pressure, and a couple more subjective things like the quality of my sleep and how confident I feel today.  It's only been since yesterday, so I can't speak to effectiveness insofar as long term weight loss, but lemme tell you, it has been enlightening.  Not only have I been surprised by how much sodium and other yucky things I'm getting that I'd be better off without, but I am also making personal notes about what I'm eating and I have learned something about myself already. 

I have learned that I get pissed off about food REALLY easily.  I got pissed that Dan bought chocolate yesterday (and told me it wouldn't kill me to indulge when I said I would rather not have any).  I got pissed that the package of pretzels I thought wasn't too bad was actually two servings, not one, making them twice as not-so-good after all.  I got pissed that I tried to save calories at lunch by eating a diet friendly frozen entree but I was hungry again an hour later. 

I'm sure my family would tell you that it's no real shock, but it turns out I get pissed off a lot.  Like, a LOT.

Huh.

I don't know how much I'll be writing about all this here... I tend to clam up when/if I get discouraged.  Hopefully that won't happen and I'll be shouting from the rooftops about how fabulous it is to shop in "regular" clothing stores again.  Or, if I am quiet about it, don't assume the worst.  Maybe it will go well but I'll be too afraid to jinx it.  I dunno.

There are specific personal goals I have that I let go unattained because of my weight.  Losing weight, while a good idea, is not the primary goal for me.  But I have let my weight keep me from doing things I want to do for too long.  You know what?  Fuck that shit.


*This is in no way a sponsored post.  Just me unloading.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Ben Howard - Old Pine



I'm a little in love with Ben Howard today.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Michael Kiwanuka - I'll Get Along



This man's record makes me nostalgic for the imaginary place where my childhood intersects with the childhood of my children. That is to say, he takes me to my happy place, in a bittersweet kinda way.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Ben Howard - Only Love

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Dusty

I've been wanting to write this and avoiding it at the same time.  Three weeks and a few hours after our dog Callie died, her oldest and closest doggie pal Dusty followed her.  As much as it was a shock when Callie died after not feeling well for just a couple days, Dusty went down hill over a couple weeks and took his time.  By last Saturday we knew it could be days our hours.  Tuesday morning he was gone.  To the best of our knowledge he was around 12 years old, having been with us almost 10 years. 

Dusty was a bear of a dog.  Large and lumbering with a warning bark that stopped strangers in their tracks.  I was so grateful to have his imposing figure to stand guard over our house on our dark and dirty (literally) street. 

It's so quiet here now.  Dusty couldn't let a plane fly over without giving it what for.  Get outta my sky, he would tell them. 

So now we have two dogs.  Bella and Billy.  A queensland heeler mix and a shih tzu respectively.  Two is a much more manageable number than four.  But after Dusty died Austin became very fearful that Bella might die too.  I want to be honest and tell him that yes, she will die, but hopefully not for a very long time.  That doesn't satisfy him though and I end up fighting my instincts and saying that no, she won't die. 

Anyway, we're fine here.  Still a little sad and adjusting, but fine. 

And if there is such a thing as Fall Fever, I've got it.  (As opposed to Spring Fever.)  This heat can't end soon enough as far as I'm concerned. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

orangutan hands

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Quote of the day


I'm stepping in my booger.
-- Austin

Monday, August 13, 2012

deep breath

To be honest, I'm in a real shitter of a mood.  So much so that when I read the tragic story of a bride that stabbed her fiancé to death just hours before their wedding, I laughed out loud.  Until I got to the part about them having kids.  Not funny. 

My crankiness will pass.  Eventually.  Probably. 

In the mean time I'm trying to perk up by listening to Katy Perry.  I took Maya to see her movie yesterday at the second-run theater and it was very good.  I was surprisingly impressed.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

She was a good dog


Callie, the second oldest of our four dogs, died last night.  She hadn't been herself for a couple days, and we were just keeping an eye on how she was doing... she had eaten better Sunday night.  But last night (Monday) when Dan went to feed the big dogs (Callie, Dusty and Bella) Callie didn't come when she was called.  She had laid down in the shade and was gone. 

Callie was our wild one.  Always the opportunist, if a gate was open she would take off on an adventure.  She always came back though and we never had to send a search party after her.  I'm sad that she's gone but glad that she died at home, in the yard.  She was with us for 10 years.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Saturday, July 28, 2012

While reading a bedtime story

Mama:  [reading]  This is where the Dark Knight keeps the tools he needs to battle his foes.
Austin:  [interrupting]  Who's the Dark Knight?
Mama:  That's Batman's nickname.
Austin:  I want a nickname.
Mama:  Okay, what do you want your nickname to be?
Austin:  Nick

Thursday, July 26, 2012

What is that?

I keep getting this hint of a feeling that I associate with the years my mom and I lived with my grandparents when I was young (ages three years to almost seven). 

Is it the music that's playing?  Is it the angle or the color of the light?  Is it the temperature of the air? 

Wait.  I think... it might be... happiness

.::.

It's not that I haven't had any happiness since that time in my life.  Maybe it has been a little while.  I have had times that I have enjoyed, but this is that other feeling that comes from the inside, not the outside.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Visiting the Grandparents

Grandpa:  Is this your fifth or sixth year at that job?
Stephanie:  [silent computation] Twelfth
Grandpa:  Seventh?
Stephanie:  No, TWELFTH.
Grandpa:  When can you retire?
Stephanie:  When I'm 55.
Grandpa:  What is that, about 5 more years?
Stephanie:  No, I'll be 35 this year, so 20 more years.
Grandpa:  Oh, I thought you were older than that.
Grandma:  [laughs]

How very Old World of us


We went to the circus.  The big old-fashioned one with all the animals.  Well, the old-fashioned one that now also includes motorcycle acts. 

There's something very Old World European about the circus, isn't there?  The PETA people were out in force to give us a good helping of New World guilt though.  I shouldn't be snarky about it.  I don't want animals to be abused.  But their big piece of proof was a picture of a juvenile elephant with a padded shackle around his ankle.  It said something like: this hurts me.  If that's the worst they do to these animals, I don't feel too bad about giving them my money.  And if it weren't for the circus and the zoo, how many kids in the States would ever see these animals in person?  Unless I win the lottery, my kids don't have much chance of going on an African safari any time soon. 

It's a good show, that old circus.  Too many acts to list.  The acrobats, one act in particular, really knocked me out.  They were sitting inside clear plastic spheres that were split in half and they would open them clamshell style and dangle out of them, high above the ground, just about scaring the crap out of me every time. 

Anyway, acrobats aside, how do you feel about circuses using animal acts?  Do you prefer the people-only circuses like Cirque du Soleil?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Avett Brothers - Live and Die

Who was I kidding?

Who had money on 2 weeks until I undeleted my blog?  Whoever you are, congratulations. And PayPal my cut to me, wouldya? 

I couldn't stay away.  If that makes me a hypocrite, then so be it.  That will make sense to two of you out there. 

I've had so many thoughts that I wanted to blog and then I would remember that I pulled the plug and... awwww... saddsies.  Fuck it. 

Still trying to lose weight and, at the moment, failing miserably.  I was down 16 pounds.  Then I gained five back.  Then lost 6.  Then gained 'em back.  I've lost count of how many times I've bounced between XX0 and XX5.  Either I'm doing it wrong or my scale is psychotic. 

Still walking just about every day.  Some days twice, by myself in the morning and with Dan and Austin and sometimes Maya in the evening.  AND trying to do some quick calisthenics at the office every hour or so because I keep reading that EVEN if you exercise regularly, sitting all day (in my case at a desk in front of a computer) still increases your risk of heart attach and stroke.  Fuck me. 

Still in therapy (again) working on improving my belief in my own worthiness and other issues.  Like food.  FOOOOOOODDD.  And shame.  Shame about food.  Shame about sneaking food and eating in secret.  Something I have done since I was three goddamned years old. 

Anyway.  How are you?

PS. I also started taking saffron extract (this brand but at a better price) which supposedly suppresses appetite, raises libido, improves mood, and cures cancer while it's at it.  I think I like it.  Has anyone out there tried it?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

my drug of choice

I have been exercising regularly and eating better for the last few weeks now.  And let me qualify "eating better"... not super strict, just more mindful toward health and hopefully less wretched.  But last night and today, my food anxiety is creeping back up on me. 

I think constantly about what I can eat, when I can eat it and what I ate earlier that maybe wasn't the best.  It's annoying the shit out of me and making me uncomfortable, like I don't have control over myself. 

I'm back in therapy and food is one of the things we talk about.  I had been doing better, not using food to comfort myself (as often... hardly at all, really).  But this uneasy feeling is edging into my peripheral vision and food is my go-to way to self-medicate. 

I'm sure I'm still riding out the emotional ups and downs of the last few weeks and I'm trying not to be too hard on myself, but damn it, I'm so good at being hard on myself.  Don't make me give that up too.

.::.

And then I watch something like this and wonder why the fuck I can't just have a normal, relaxed relationship with food... food is good.


Ignacio's Mostly Latin Lunch, A Selby Film. Presented by T, The New York Times Style Magazine from the selby on Vimeo.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Catalina Weekend















To say we were overdue for a getaway weekend would be a massive understatement.  Two nights with no kids in Avalon on Santa Catalina Island off the coast of California.  I am happy to be home now but sad not to know when we will go back.  It is a beautiful, simple, magical, fun and peaceful place to be.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Allen Stone - Sleep



(Now sleep)
I've already tried
(Drink whisky)
It makes my throat too dry
(Smoke weed)
Makes my eyes all red
(Take a pill Al)
What and end up dead?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Al Green - Let's Stay Together



And with David Gilmour on guitar, no less. Mercy.

Monday, June 25, 2012

good times


We had Austin's birthday party at an indoor party place for the first time this year.  Austin had his doubts when I first told him about it.  He wanted his party at home, damn it!  But I told him I was pretty sure he would have fun and he should give it a try 'cause I just couldn't do it at home this year.  And guess what, Mama was right.  He and his friends had a good old time!


While sitting in the birthday throne in the dining area after the jumper frenzy, he declared the party his best birthday party ever.  Which works for me because it was the easiest birthday party ever.  Win-win!

.::.

On Sunday I did something else for the first time.  I met a blog friend in the flesh. Lady NOLA is a pleasure.  Her life is so very different from mine, as a (somewhat) unattached world-traveler.  But we as women aren't so very different.  Like me* she is intelligent and generally wonderful ;)

* Please know that I am laughing at myself here.  I don't regularly go around proclaiming myself to be the shit.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The last day of five

My son, who is also sometimes my sun, was born six years ago tomorrow. Some years, his birthday falls on the solstice, or vice versa. It was very meaningful to me as his mother that such and bright and shining boy was born during the time of the greatest light.

I can honestly say that I may not have survived the last six weeks without that boy. Perhaps even these six years. Life is hard sometimes. Like HARD, man. And relationships – marriage – can slip slowly into places you never wanted them to go and then you wake up one day and wonder what the fuck happened? How did I – we – let it get this bad?

But, if you’re lucky, there is still something there worth holding on to. And if you are really REALLY lucky you will both see it and want to hold on to it. And it doesn’t hurt to have a very smart almost six-year-old there to tell you, hey Mom, Dad’s a great guy, you should be proud of him. And… hey Dad, be nice to Mom, she’s sad.

What would I do without you? Happy Birthday, big guy. I love you.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

I never could get the hang of Thursdays

Pearl Jam - Just Breathe



Did I say that I want you?
Did I say that I need you?
Oh if I didn't I'm a fool you see
No one knows this more than me

Monday, June 11, 2012

not over yet

First, thank you a thousand times to all of my friends in both blogland and "real life" for all the support you've given me. 

This past weekend was one of the hardest and strangest of my life.  My husband moved out.  Then my husband moved back in the next day. 

As bad as we seem to be at being together these days, we are really bad at not being together. 

I don't know what to say.  There is still a lot of smoothing out to do of course.  We didn't get into this mess overnight and we won't be getting out of it overnight either. 

Wish us luck?

Friday, June 8, 2012

Cake - I Will Survive

Thursday, June 7, 2012

regrets

I saw a commercial for a romantic getaway type place and died a little again.  I can't help but think if we had done more of that, spent time together paying attention to each other, none of this would have happened.  Or at least maybe we would have been better armed to get through it.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

trial separation

Just getting through the day is exhausting. But then trying to go to sleep is a new fresh hell every night. He is moving out on Saturday. I swing from feeling like an independent adult who will be just fine, thankyouverymuch, and feeling like a little girl whose daddy never loved her. I wish I was dead. I wish he was dead. I wish we had never met. I wish I had never been born.

I wake before my alarm goes off and go out for a walk before my brain has a chance to make excuses not to, dawn just barely breaking. The air too cool to be comfortable. The neighborhood dogs too sleepy to bother barking at me. Alone.

Maybe I picked the wrong time to wean off of my Prozac. I felt numb. There was too much distance between us. But not enough for him.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Lisa Marie Presley - You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet

Can’t be what I’m not.

Some words of my own will come in a few days. Take care out there.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Lucinda Williams - Joy

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Pearl Jam - Parting Ways

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Audra Mae - You Don't Kiss Me

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

On coming apart

I needed this today.  Maybe you do to. 

Is there joy in shattering? I’m hinting at a fundamental instinct humming at the core of all things that wants to come apart. Indeed, we revel in it. Why do people fuck each other with such wild abandon? Where do they go? What’s an orgasm if not a you that explodes?

http://thebhj.com/journal/2012/5/22/for-the-love-of-autumn.html

Monday, May 21, 2012

On being wrong

Sunday, May 20, 2012

ZZ Ward - Put the Gun Down

Friday, May 18, 2012

Norah Jones - Happy Pills

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Metro black Abe Lincoln

A little "news" blip on Yahoo said: a document by a conservative super PAC refers to the president as "metrosexual, black Abe Lincoln."

I gather that's supposed to be an insult, but it doesn't sound bad to me at all.  Frankly it says a hell of a lot more about the person who said it than it does about Obama.

Stacia Petrie - What You're Looking For

video

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Dear Dad

A letter to my father…

I can’t help but think of you as your birthday approaches, less than a week away now. How old will you be, anyway? I only wish that I knew where you lived so I could thank you in person for the things you’ve given me. Perhaps a nice gunshot right to your head would be appropriate.

I can’t tell you the difference you’ve made in my life. It was clear to me from a very young age that I was not worth your love. Or your time. Or attention. And that has really shaped the person I am today. Speaking of shape, I weigh nearly 300 pounds. You should be proud.

It’s no great surprise then that my marriage is on the verge of collapse. I’m not attractive. Even if I were, why would any man love me?

So thanks again. I want you to know that I hate you and I wish you would die. Go fuck yourself.

Your daughter,
Stephanie

Monday, May 7, 2012

holy crap

"He likes the cat we have at home."

Uh, yeah. No.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Sunday, April 29, 2012

please learn from my mistake

... or, the least efficient way to clean a kitchen floor ever. 

Okay you guys, I am no genius, but I'm not an idiot either.  I am a grown-up of moderate intelligence. 

But.  I occasionally do fairly stupid things. 

This weekend I needed to run the dishwasher.  This is not unusual.  I happened to be out of dishwasher detergent.  This also happens from time to time.  I had the bright idea to try using dish soap in the dishwasher.  You know, the stuff you use to hand wash dishes in the sink.  I poured some dish soap into the detergent holder thingie in the dishwasher.  As I poured, I had the distinct thought that I was perhaps putting in too much, but charged ahead anyway.

The dishwasher started doing its job as usual and I left the kitchen.  Maybe 20 minutes later, I returned to get something from the kitchen and discovered a pool of sudsy water on the kitchen floor and, somehow, on the other side of the wall in the dining room.  This is when I started yelling for Maya to bring all the dirty gently used towels I knew she was hoarding in her bedroom. 

Here I will take pause to tell you a side story.  Two days prior, my grandmother had discovered a small pool of water emerging from under her dishwasher which was assumed to be busted.  Then on the same day as my dishwasher incident, water was discovered leaking out of the electrical outlet above the dishwasher and onto the kitchen counter [of my grandparents' house].  It was quickly surmised that the problem was not with the dishwasher after all, but with a water pipe in the wall.  My parents were dispatched to coordinate hiring plumbers and had been up to their necks in turned off water and holes in drywall for an entire afternoon and evening before my mother called me to let me know they would not be heading home that night after all and I told her, "you're not going to believe this."

Thankfully in my case, there was no leaky pipe to blame.  No faulty appliance either.  Just my own poor judgement.  So, be ye warned.  Do not use sink type dish soap in your dishwasher.  If you must, just use a little bit.  And let me know how much is appropriate. 

.::.

Meanwhile, the pipe has been repaired at my grandparents' house and the drywall will be patched up within the week.  All is well.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The poem that is always in my pocket

I hear that today is Poem in Your Pocket day. I don't often post poetry, but this one immediately came to mind, even though I have posted it before. It is my favorite by my daughter's namesake. That second stanza? That's what gets me.

Woman Work
by Maya Angelou

I've got the children to tend
The clothes to mend
The floor to mop
The food to shop
Then the chicken to fry
The baby to dry
I got company to feed
The garden to weed
I've got shirts to press
The tots to dress
The cane to be cut
I gotta clean up this hut
Then see about the sick
And the cotton to pick.

Shine on me, sunshine
Rain on me, rain
Fall softly, dewdrops
And cool my brow again.

Storm, blow me from here
With your fiercest wind
Let me float across the sky
'Til I can rest again.

Fall gently, snowflakes
Cover me with white
Cold icy kisses and
Let me rest tonight.

Sun, rain, curving sky
Mountain, oceans, leaf and stone
Star shine, moon glow
You're all that I can call my own.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

cargo container slash tiny house hybrid


Near the end of this video, she mentions having a fantasy about living on a barge. I dreamed about doing just that 3 years ago. I really admire her creativity and resourcefulness.  I still want/need to clean out the shipping container in my backyard. And I haven't heard the term wabi-sabi in a hundred years. I like.

Monday, April 23, 2012

luck and mercy

On Saturday I tried twice to post about a quick trip I took on Friday.  But due to a combination of stupid blogger's new format and my stupid laptop's hyper-sensitive track pad, I lost both attempts.  If you just barely brush my track pad, it clicks so your cursor may end up outside of the text editing area, and then if you aren't paying attention and hit backspace to correct an error, the browser instead goes back a page and blogger hasn't auto-saved your draft and you, my dear blogger, are hosed.  Again.

So.  Friday.  I flew up to San Jose in the wee hours of the morning, the sun just beginning to rise as we taxied down the runway.  When I left the house at 4 AM, I tried several times to use the windshield wipers to clear the windshield before I realized that the reason I couldn't see was because I didn't have my glasses on.  I turned the car around and got them.  After getting through security and exchanging money for caffeine, I sat down to realize that I didn't have my driver's license.   Just before panic set it in, I heard my name over the PA system.  Someone had found my license and turned it in.  Thank you, unknown soul, you saved me a heaping helping of inconvenience.

I attended the second day of a two-day conference in the Silicon Valley.  Everywhere I went up there had excellent public toilets and both the college that hosted the conference and the airport had meditation rooms.  So this is how the other half lives. 

Flew back south the same day, landing exactly 12 hours after I took off.  Waited at baggage claim with a woman using crutches to help her with her bag, not consciously doing so, but effectively paying forward the favor of my returned license. 

Slept like the dead Friday night and half of Saturday.  Then Sunday took off to a car show outside of Knott's Berry Farm followed by a very enjoyable few hours in the park with the kids and my parents.  Dan stayed home as he had back-to-back gigs doing audio tech for a local band.  Saturday had been miserably hot, so I was worried about being outside all day on Sunday, but Sunday turned out to be ridiculously pleasant, overcast and cool nearly all day. 

There is an old one-room schoolhouse at Knott's.  Inside there are old-fashioned desks with chalkboards.  They sell copies of old school rules which claim that boys and girls caught playing during school would receive three lashes.  Austin LOVED that schoolhouse.  He says that is his new school.  He sat at one of the desks, posture just so, and said, "good morning, teacher."  Without missing a beat the "teacher" corrected him, "it's afternoon."

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Blogger can take its new post layout and stick it up its ass.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Levon

purdy

I would be hard-pressed to repeat or describe the sound that came out of my mouth today when I went over to see this post on The Selby.

On one hand it's sort of, um... gaudy?
But the colors are so rich and warm.

And the light.  Oy.

I don't envy whoever has to dust the joint, though.

Monday, April 16, 2012

You never know

I heard this song on the radio this morning (and you don't need to listen to it to keep reading... frankly, not my favorite Wilco song, but...)

I had a thought about the way people are so obsessed with The End of the World. It is nigh! And it occurred to me that I think this is because [some] people cannot fathom the idea of the world existing after they are gone. Not that the world itself depends on them to continue, necessarily, but that they can't (on some subconscious level, perhaps) stand the thought of all the things that they will miss... the people of the future enjoying new advancements, pains and pleasures and never even knowing that we, as individuals, existed... not caring that we existed for that matter. I think it's all about fear of death and lack of a legacy.

What say you?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Monday, April 9, 2012

egg hunting

We took Easter dinner over to my grandparents' house to avoid missing them if Grandpa didn't feel good enough to come to our house (like on Thanksgiving). Three of the four great-grandkids were there... and a fifth great-grandkid will be born in late spring or early summer. Born to my cousin that is, just to be clear. This baby shop is closed.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

one of the best things we've ever done

I am a total slacker and still haven't downloaded any photos from this past week. Mostly this is because we were all using different cameras/phones and I'm certain the best of the pictures are not on my phone. Anyway...

Wednesday we went to Knott's Berry Farm. Knott's is a place that my mom and I went to a lot when I was a kid. Mom was a school teacher [before she retired] so we had summers off together. I was an only child and she was a single mother and we have always been good companions, she and I. So when I decided we should break our Disneyland habit of the last few years and finally take the kids to Knott's instead, I thought it would be great if my mom and stepdad would go with us.

The six of us went and had a fabulous time. I am so so SO glad we went. It was such a nice combination of reliving good memories and making new ones with my kids. We even had dinner at Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaraunt which is where my grandparents had their wedding night dinner in October 1947 and the whole extended gaggle of grandkids/parents/cousins/great-grandkids had their 60th anniversary dinner four and a half years ago.

We got season tickets which means we can go again. I doubt we will manage to go as a group of six very often, but we could also go in smaller groups... me and the kids, me and Dan, my parents on their own or with the kids... etc. I really look forward to going again. I may have to go again just for the boysenberry punch. Mr. Knott actually invented the boysenberry... a cross between the red raspberry, blackberry and loganberry. That's some good shit.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Spring Break adventures in LB

This week is our Spring Break and while I had been hoping for a road trip, my bank account thought it wasn't such a good idea after all, so we're having some adventures closer to home. Yesterday we drove to Long Beach and went to the Aquarium of the Pacific then had lunch at the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co and then spent the afternoon at the Queen Mary. The Queen Mary is an excellent example of reusing/recycling; they turned that enormous boat into a hotel way before recycling was cool. I haven't downloaded any pictures yet, but maybe I will Thursday. Maybe.

Some random thoughts follow. The Queen Mary was built well before all that ADA business; there are way too many stairs and my knee was not happy by the end of the day. On the freeway I saw a semi truck emblazoned with the name BM Transport; this tickled me to no end. My favorite thing at the aquarium was touching the moon jellyfish; Austin's favorite thing was the little play area where a fish statue/fountain spits in your general direction while kids play on a pretend fishing boat; Maya liked taking pictures of every-flipping-thing; Dan liked the sharks and the sting rays. As much as I love the movie Forrest Gump, I wasn't as pleased with the Bubba Gump place as I hoped to be; the little gift shop area had a shirt that said my mama says I'm special; now I'm not usually easily offended by that sort of thing but that shirt bothered me on a couple levels, one of which being that Sally Field's character would never have said anything like that.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tell me there is hope

To those of you out there who have survived having teenaged children, tell me it gets better.

Lie to me if you have to.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Jon Jandai - Life is Easy

Jon is a farmer from northeastern Thailand. He founded the Pun Pun Center for Self-reliance.

Fun. ft. Janelle Monáe - We Are Young (acoustic version)

Just this.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

dream house

source

I dreamed about the old house last night. House being a relative term here. It was a single-wide park-model mobile home. An old school mobile, not like the “manufactured home” we live in now. It was somewhere around 780 square feet. Maya’s “bedroom” was 6’x7’. She didn’t even have a twin bed in there. My mom found an antique – not vintage, antique – hospital bed from the days when people on the whole were smaller. She cut some foam down to size for a mattress. It was barely a house by American standards, but in some parts of Mexico it would have been a damn palace.

That place was so tiny that when we had all of a dozen people in there for a birthday party, each person had to move if someone else needed to get somewhere. Like those cheap little plastic puzzles with one blank space and you have to strategically slide each piece one at a time to get it right.


In this dream we were hoarders. There were clothes unwashed and untended, piled and inviting rodents. I was very opposed to throwing the clothes away and argued (I don’t know with who) that they should be washed and taken to the Salvation Army. That would be the right thing to do! I was at once mortified by the condition of my home and somehow completely unable to change it.

.::.

The photo up top was borrowed from the interwebs. Ours wasn't quite that cute. Nor did it have that much natural light as it was inside a barn... I'll have to dig up some old photos to post. The funny thing is, we were happy there. At least I remember it that way. We had our bad days, but it was home.

Monday, March 19, 2012

on this last afternoon of winter

The sun is so bright that...

The palm trees to the west are silhouettes, but to the east they shine back at you.

The sky is a perfect blue and the clouds are puffy white on top and shadowy gray on the bottom.

The mountains are a painted purple cut-out straight from a movie set.

Gracias and amen.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Audra Mae - Milk and Honey

I am in the midst of a serious musical love affair with Audra Mae.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Sunday, March 11, 2012

recognizing needs

I went crazy this weekend. Friday night I was crying and saying things I knew in my head were wrong, but that play in my head like a broken record. Those things boil down to this: I am not worthy of love and no one worth a damn would love me. Saturday I yelled at Dan and started a fight. I was still feeling insecure.

For anyone late to the party here, this is all do to my father's complete lack of effort to be a part of my life while I was growing up. I was not worth his time. I have done therapy, but have been out of therapy for a couple months again now and the need for release of the crazy thoughts got built up. Obviously I need to go back to therapy, but scheduling it right now has become difficult. I will leave it at that.

I have decided though that I - we - need a vacation. Nothing big or fancy. Maybe we'll use spring break to go up to Sequoia, something I've wanted to do for a long time.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Hugo

I just watched Hugo for the first time (I am terribly behind on movies, by my own standards).

This movie is absolutely FANTASTIC. If you love movies, this is a beautiful movie. And at the same time it is a love letter to movies. If you have been curious about it at all but haven't seen it yet, do so.

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Shins - Simple Song

Saturday, February 25, 2012

directionally challenged

I am lying awake trying to decide (if we replace the shitty fake wood floors in our house) should the planks run east/west or north/south. In the living room they absolutely must run east/west, but in the kids' rooms north/south is the only way to go. Is it acceptable to change directions from one room to another? Or within a room for that matter? These are the things that keep me up at night.

As I sat in the living room today, a lost and riderless horse ran northward not 10 feet in front of the window I was looking out of. This is not a metaphor. I live in the kind of neighborhood where all kinds of animals lose their way and end up in the wrong yard. Several Christmases ago it was another neighbor's emus. One summer there was a Texas longhorn in the middle of the road. That was before the ranch down the street was sold to housing developers. Today's horse had been spooked by some dogs - perhaps mine - and thrown its human. The girl is fine. The horse is still skittish. I wouldn't trust the thing with my child.

Friday, February 24, 2012

morning in late February

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Eric Hutchinson - Watching You Watch Him

K, fairly goofy video here, but I love Mr. Hutchinson enough to forgive him. To wit:

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Leonard Cohen - Darkness

I ain't had much lovin' yet
but that's always been your call

Parts of this song make me chuckle to myself like a lunatic.

I caught the darkness baby
and I got it worse than you

Friday, February 17, 2012

I can see clearly now

I ordered my new glasses the same day I ordered Maya's. They took a few more days to get here for some reason and did so none too soon. I somehow managed to loose one of the lenses out of my old pair at work and I've been using them with one good eye and one soar and tired eye since Tuesday. I'm not sure yet if my frames suit me as well as Maya's do her, but I can see!

I can see so well that I need to go sweep the floor, I had no idea how gross it was. I also need to do my eyebrows. Maybe I'll just take the glasses off instead... Kidding. Maybe.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Zombie Valentine's

My husband, being the bad influence he is, has gotten me completely hooked on The Walking Dead. It's actually a really good show. Seriously.

Monday, February 13, 2012

hardware: phase 1

Glasses are go. Braces in 10 days and counting...

Frames are Bebe in Cherry Cola from 1800specs. $40 (including prescription lenses) plus processing and UV coating... $54 total. Gotta love the internet.

no more loose toof

The first baby tooth is gone (lower front, you can just barely see the empty space). Oh, and the glasses aren't real. He felt very left out that Maya got glasses and he didn't (poor baby has 20/20 vision), so I got him some costume glasses.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

yellow and gray

Thursday, February 9, 2012

I really am a dork

I've talked before about my first job at the movie theater I think... it was fun! Highly recommended for the teenagers. Anyway, from that part-time job and part-time college I eventually made my way to the exciting world of being an internet professional. Not like an online sexworker or anything... no I'm in the .edu realm.

Anyway anyway, the other day I was poking around on Etsy when I ran accross some old timey marquee letters -- the plastic kind we used waaaayyy back in the 1990s before marquees went all digital. I could not help myself and had to order a few. I couldn't find the right combo to spell my kids names or even get all our initials, so I decided to bridge the gap between that first job I had and the current internet age with all its abbrevs.

I give you my plastic marquee letter LOL:

Now -- where to hang it?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Dentally Gifted

Boy oh boy, am I behind here. Long stories short: Maya will be getting dental braces and her first pair of eyeglasses this month. She's actually excited about both. I will post photos after all the hardware is in :)

Also on the tooth front, Austin has his first loose tooth. Mah baby is growing up [sniff]. He is not so excited about this development. His aunt who has been visiting for a couple weeks has dentures and when we told him that his teeth were starting to fall out, he sorta freaked the fuck out and thought he was going to have to get dentures like Auntie Debbie. I can laugh about it now. He's still not too sure about this whole baby tooth/permanent tooth thing though.

Back to Maya... as if braces and glasses weren't enough for one month, I got an email from her teacher about her "trouble with dandruff." In my response to him I stopped just short of telling him to mind his own fucking business and stick to his own goddamn job. And I copied the principal and the Special Ed counselor. I haven't gotten a response back yet... stay tuned!

PS. Again, not that it's any of his freaking business, we recently switched from one dandruff shampoo to another and the second one isn't working as well. We switched back, but it takes a couple days to clear up.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Michael Kiwanuka - I'm Getting Ready

I love this man's voice.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Home Sweet Home

Source

Florence + The Machine - Shake It Out

Some old-school dramatic video action. Great song.

it's hard to dance
with the devil on your back
so shake it out

Another by Florence here.

I want a mirror ball in my house.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

angst

This odd, sad, sort of scary feeling has come over me. A series of events, a couple bad dreams, and a conversation with a person who seems to be... troubled. I feel a sense of déjà vu. That the right thing to do would be to reach out to this person, but I don't know how. But that doesn't matter, does it? The how just lays out in front of you if you just start. Tell the person. I see you. Are you okay? Really?

At least twice in my life I have failed to ask. Failed to reach out when hindsight later tells me I should have. Whether or not it would have made a difference.

This isn't making any sense is it?

I really have been having the most terrible dreams. In one, my family was put on what looked to be a ride at an amusement park. But I knew that at the end of the ride, we would be going into an incinerator. I didn't know how to handle the situation. Was it inevitable? Or should I try to get us out? Should I tell my child that is excited to go on a ride what is really happening? Or play along?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

rock on

First, I have to say that the "box" that chair came in was a conversation piece on its own. There were supplemental box shapes poking out on all sides to encapsulate the sticky-out bits of the chair. Then it was wrapped in a complete roll of box tape. Austin thought he had won the lottery of fun boxes to make buildings out of, but by the time we got the thing opened, there wasn't much usable box left. In fact, getting the box apart took longer than putting the chair together. That went lickety-split with Dan in charge.

Austin approves. It doesn't look like it will work as Dan's Chair. The back isn't high enough for him to rest his head. I like it though. Even without cushions is comfortable and has a nice rock. I told Dan he may have to build me a proper front porch to rock on. What would he do with himself if I weren't here to keep him busy?

And just for a bonus, an enormous bug as found in my kitchen. The jar is a LARGE pickle jar I use for change. I don't know what kind of bug it is. Its body was ant-like, but I don't much think it was a mama ant. Based on where the legs are attached, it doesn't look like a termite. My sister-in-law who is visiting for a couple weeks said it was a mosquito, but it didn't have that long sucker-mouth thing on the front of its face.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Adventures in Estyland

I am writing this prematurely, as the chair below is not yet reassembled. But sometimes you just have to throw caution to the wind.

My husband's chair -- daddy's chair, as it is known -- is in a shambles. Threadbare and collapsing. It was his dad's recliner before he died three years ago. I was on the hunt for a replacement. Something that might work with our funky bamboo stuff. Something that, like our futon and bamboo stuff, might have cushions separate from the frame, so the cushions could be replaced if they wore out while the frame was still good. We are hard on things. We are fat and young at heart and thoughtless and we abuse our belongings. I had no interest in plunking down $500 on another recliner, just to watch it get destroyed. I looked online some, Ikea and JC Penny... and I was struggling a bit. I started looking at vintage chairs on Etsy. I found some cool stuff, but a lot of it was out of my price range (search for "mid-century Danish" for an idea of what I was looking at. But then I found this...

Bent Cane Rocking Chair. Perfect fit, no? The price was right so I jumped on it. I didn't even check with Dan. I told him that if he doesn't like it enough to be a replacement for his recliner, we can instead toss the glider rocker that is also falling apart.

The day after I ordered it, I got a message from the seller about how he was going to go to UPS and get a shipping quote -- he was worried about the cost of shipping. There was something about that message that peeved me. There was nothing in the listing about contacting the seller for a shipping quote prior to payment; I checked. I didn't want him telling me I had to pay him a pile of money above what he had charged. If he was going to do that, I would tell him to forget it -- give me a refund. But I sat on it and held my tongue, waiting to see what he would have to say after going to UPS. Less than 24 hours later, he wrote again and said that UPS wanted a ridiculous amount of money and he had walked out of the place. He had another solution, Greyhound Package Express. This would mean I would have to go to the nearest Greyhound station to pick up the chair (which was disassembled and flat-packed). Greyhound is about 10 miles away, in a pretty rough town nearby and not my favorite place to go. But if it meant saving a buttload of money, I was game.

Yesterday I got the call that the package had arrived at the station. After asking about their business hours I decided the best choice would be for me to go during my lunch break today. I wasn't too worried about getting it into the car, I am able bodied enough, it's not that hefty of a chair, and I have a big trunk. No worries. It took me a bit to find the station. I missed a turn and had to make a bit of a loop into neighborhoods that, to be honest, make me nervous. Anyway, I found the place after calling them to ask for a landmark and when I got there, there was just one little old lady working there. She had put together who I was based on our conversations on the phone and had me sign for the package without asking for my ID or even my name. Then a man standing in the lobby area walked over to the package and asked me where I was headed with it -- after telling me that the Greyhound lady said I sounded like a little girl on the phone. I said there's nothing little about me and he said there's nothing wrong with that. He picked up the box and we walked out to my car. We talked a bit and it turns out that he had been waiting there for an hour and a half to help me. I had told Greyhound Lady that I would be there around lunchtime, but it was 1:30. She told him she thought I might need help getting it into my car. I felt terrible that he had waited so long. He said not to worry, he worked for quarters. Then he chuckled a little. He was too clean to be homeless. Like homeless homeless. Park bench homeless. He didn't smell like that. He may live in a shelter or government housing. But he was doing this because he needed money. He didn't say so, but you know. Anyway, I didn't have any change. I knew I had a 20 dollar bill, so I walked back into the station with him to see if I could get some change. But then I decided, hell with it, and I gave him the 20. He said no. He said we could go get change. I said no. He said "don't do this to me." I turned toward him and asked, "why? You did a nice thing for me. I want you to have it." He asked if I could really afford it. I shrugged and said yeah, sure (sort of lying but I had it and I get paid in a week so...). I told him to have a nice lunch. We hugged. I honestly couldn't tell you who initiated the hug. It just happened. Then I did something really weird. I said "God bless you." I never say that shit. I don't know if there's a god or not (I think not more days than not). But if there is a god, this man deserves a blessing.

Isn't it funny how these things happen? If I hadn't ordered that chair on one of my favorite sites on the great miracle that is The Internet, I never would have met this man -- and I don't even know his name -- but our encounter gave me such a nice feeling. I hope to hang onto that.

Now I just hope the chair is worth a damn ;)