Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Yesterday the little boy--he's about five--looked over at the super carnival fun festival extravaganza and said, "man, they sure do got a lot of stuff over there."
Yes, they sure do.
See, even a five-year-old thinks it's excessive. Heh. And he's a pretty sharp little guy. He noticed the Shih-Tzu (or maybe it's a Lhasa Apso--something along those lines) that's been hanging out over there a bit recently (I think it belongs to her mom), and said, "they should be careful not to go down the slides headfirst...they might get their faces in dog poop." Hee!
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
The slacker dudes weren't around overly much, with the notable exception of one who was passed out on their front porch when I went out to mow Sunday morning. I mowed several strips, about 10 feet from his head, before he finally woke up and stumbled inside. So sorry if my mowing disturbed you, slacker dude who doesn't live here. (I'm really not sorry! Ha!)
The rest of the weekend was...well, long, hot and lonely. With a powerful surge of adrenaline at 1:30 a.m. on Saturday (yes, that's 1:30 A.M., meaning the FIRST 1:30 of the day) when someone KNOCKED ON MY DOOR. Pudge and I both nearly had heart attacks. It was some young guy looking for "Derek." (I don't think he was connected with the dudes next door, though, though my reason for thinking that is completely racist: all the dudes next door have been white, and this young man was black. I stand beside my conclusion, though.) He muttered a quick "sorry" (this was all done through the door, of course--I didn't open it!) and left quickly, and eventually my heart stopped racing, and I went back to bed. WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE? Why would you knock on ANYBODY'S house at that time of night--particularly when there are NO lights on? (For the record, this is the third time in the three years I've lived in this house that someone has showed up late at night looking for someone who isn't me. Does someone get drunk and forget their address, and give out mine instead, I wonder?) He didn't appear to knock on anyone else's door (and I'm sure 3carnations will be relieved to hear that I was happy that he didn't knock next door and wake the kids!) and I didn't hear the neighborhood dog chorus go crazy, so I guess he headed back from whence he came.
What else, what else? The party Friday night was fine, except for the moment when it dawned on me, looking around, that at some point I apparently became the only un-coupled person in that particular group of friends. You can imagine, as New Guy's departure becomes increasingly imminent, how fun THAT realization was.
Saturday I ran errands, Sunday I mowed, yesterday I bought some tomatoes and herbs and planted a little container garden, which was nearly washed away last night in the monsoon that hit. Wowza--that was SOME lightning. Apparently it hit something fairly close by (though not the house next door again, thank goodness), and I was awakened by a couple of firetrucks racing past my window at 4:00 a.m. I was awake for awhile, watching the light show outside my window, and at one point, the lightning was so bright and so sustained that the streetlights thought it was morning and switched off briefly.
So, that was my weekend. Long, hot and lonely--a perfect preview of coming attractions, I guess. It feels like it's going to be a long, hot and lonely summer. Sigh.
For those of you wishing to see pictures of my "prom king" costume, you may be in luck. My mother took some pictures at the time, and she'll try to unearth them. The picture-taking itself was pretty funny, actually--I was living next door to my parents at the time, and my mom wanted to see us all fixed up. So we went next door and she made us stand together while she took pictures of us, just like we were really going to the prom. I guess since I never went to my real prom, that was the closest she could get. Hee.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
I reminded her that years ago, in college, I won a Halloween costume contest (the only time ever) by going with a male friend as the prom king and queen for that high school. Only, of course, I was the "king," and my 6'5", well over 200lb friend Joey was the "queen." I wore a fabulous green polyester leisure suit, stippled five o'clock shadow on my face, stuffed a sock down my pants for a nice bulge, and snipped fur off a stuffed animal and glued it to my chest. (It goes without saying that my lovely polyester shirt (complete with those wonderful full-sail lapels so popular in the 70s) was opened far enough down so that the hairy chest was nicely on display.
Joey wore a cute little blond bob wig, and a "lovely" bright red taffeta/lace prom dress, which he bought unworn, tags still attached, from a thrift store. (The saddest thing was that it FIT him, and imagining the girl who bought it, and then took it to the thrift store unworn...well, it makes your heart hurt a bit, doesn't it?) He was unable to find heels to fit his enormous feet, so he made do with a little pair of white Keds. We paraded around all evening underneath a beautiful sparkly archway, and for the actual contest, we played sappy prom coronation music, and had people blow bubbles as we processed in. And then, of course, we had to play up the whole "lay one on the queen" routine, as I jumped up and down, attempting to land a kiss on his way-above-my-head lips, as he simpered coyly. Genius.
At any rate, my mother remembered the costume instantly--"remember the sock down your pants?"--so it's only a wonder that she didn't dream about me having some sort of sex change operation, I guess. Heh.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Here it goes: I was getting married, see (ha--fat chance), and had asked her to stand up with me, and because it was a morning wedding, I wanted her to wear lingerie. (But of course. What else would one wear to a "morning" wedding?) Well, she didn't have any lingerie she thought was appropriate (go ahead and try to imagine the lingerie that WOULD be appropriate for a 67-year-old woman to wear at her daughter's wedding--I'll wait), and she was very stressed about it. At some point while she was fretting about her lack of suitable garments, I showed up, dressed for the wedding, in a bright purple outfit that included a little jacket. "Oh, she's wearing purple...then I should wear white." (Because of course the only thing less appropriate than wearing lingerie to your daughter's wedding is wearing white to your daughter's wedding.) The jacket kept falling open, and she noticed with horror that it exposed my boobs. My HAIRY boobs. Yes, you heard that right (and you really must imagine my mother giggling insanely as she related this point)--my boobs were hairy. She kept trying to subtly reach over and close the jacket so nobody could see them, but apparently I had no such qualms re: the display of the hairy boobs and kept slapping her hands away.
Her question to me (and now my question to you): "What the heck do you suppose THAT means?"
Come on, throw some interpretations at me. The more entertaining the better. I could use some laughs.
'Cause I'm DEPRESSED. I'm dealing with it the best I can, but I am S-A-D SAD. Some time next week I will see New Guy for the last time. (The last time ever? Who knows. I don't know.) It does look like we may actually get a little alone time--his son is going to stay with his grandmother for a few days while New Guy packs and loads, and his teenaged stepson is going to come back with him to help, instead, and TS should be okay entertaining himself for a couple of hours while New Guy and I go to dinner or something. (I'm hoping for "something," myself.)
So, umm....maybe your dream interpretations on my impending nuptials should NOT include references to New Guy, 'kay?
And, in "creepy slackers next door" news, last night I was outside with Pudge about 10:30, when we heard the back gate next door creak open, and somebody in a dark hoodie slithered through to the back of the yard where the chairs are currently located under the trees. The yard is really, really dark, so I can only assume one of the dudes felt the need for a bit of late-night stargazing in his buddy's backyard. Pudge barked like crazy, as did every other dog within earshot, and I HOPE IT WOKE THEIR KIDS UP!!! (Is that hateful of me? I'm not wishing permanent distress on the kids, just that they made their parents' lives hell for a moment or two, before going peacefully back to sleep.) There were a couple of guys outside today when I went home for lunch, and when Pudge went crazy barking at them, for the first time, instead of saying "it's okay, boy" in a soothing tone, I said "Good boy!" And glared at the dudes.
This may soon require action on my part. Gah.
Monday, May 19, 2008
Last week, I looked forward to the outdoor music/art festivals that were held downtown over the weekend. Check! I went, I ate greasy fried things, I listened to music, the weather was gorgeous (if bordering on a bit too warm) and I bought a delightful little bird pin that looks something like this (only even cuter, because its little legs are wearing black-and-white striped stockings and ruby slippers, a la wicked witches everywhere, and there is no college sports team aspect to it):
Isn't that adorable? Check out JustPlainJane for other little bits of fun.
This week I was planning to look forward to receiving a pair of diamond earrings I purchased on "e to the bay" from a woman named Phyllis in Atlanta for a red-hot bargain price.. (Do you know her, Sauntering Soul? Don't you hate it when people ask questions like that, as if the fact that two people live in the same city, despite the size of the city involved, must mean that they are acquainted? And don't you hate it when someone asks that and you really DO know the person, and you have to get off your high horse with the 'tude and be all "hey--small world"? I digress.) But I can no longer look forward to that because they came in the mail today. (And I only bought them on Thursday!) Here they are--aren't they sparkly?
So now I'm going to look forward to getting my "Nensa" membership card in the mail, which should happen in 5-10 business days, if the email I received, confirming the receipt of my test results, is any indication. (That and the fact that they have already debited my bank account for the membership fee.) Then I can carry it around and wave it in the faces of those who dare to challenge me. I wish "Nensa" had enough of a sense of humor to have the card proclaim "Certified Smartypants," but I'm sure that's not the case. (BTW, I think you should all become "Nensa" members as well, and we can call ourselves "smartypants bloggers," instead of "mommy bloggers" or "personal bloggers." Hee.)
I'm also looking forward to the 50th birthday party of one of my guitar-playing friends this weekend. There is going to be an actual stage set up in the backyard, and lots and lots of picking and grinning. And eating. And drinking. Should be mucho fun! (And perhaps an opportunity to play the "smartypants" card? Hmm....hee.)
So...those are my "looking forward to" items for this week.
What else is going on in my little world? Not a whole lot, truthfully. The sciatica continues to improve, but damn--I'm all tight and twisted! I've tried to do yoga a couple of times, and I'm feeling pain in muscles I never felt pain in before. No fun.
You know what else is no fun? My newish next-door neighbors--you know, the ones with the playground in their backyard. Really, I'm all for kids having a good time, but they're out of control. It's like living next door to a carnival. Think I'm exaggerating? Here's what they've got out there:
- 2, yes TWO full-sized metal swingsets with slides
- baby-sized covered swing
- one see-saw
- one jungle gym
- one merry-go-round
- 2 of those cube-shaped castle-y things with different-shaped holes and a slide
- turtle-shaped sandbox with cover
- portable basketball hoop
- child-sized picnic table
- adult-sized wrought-iron table with umbrella and chairs
- barbeque grill
- about a dozen identical large plastic balls
- trikes, trucks, wagons and assorted things you push around
All this for two small toddlers who I almost never see outside. Is it just me, or does this seem excessive? Am I just out-of-touch with the entertainment needs of today's kids? When I was a kid, we had a swingset, period. (Well, a swingset, and trees, and a creek, and the whole OUTDOORS.) Was I just deprived as a child, and therefore now a cranky old thing?
You know what really bothers me, though? Not the kids--like I said, they're hardly ever outside, and they're cute, and their mom seems sweet (if horrifyingly young to me). It's their father's seemingly endless supply of late teens/early twenties slacker dude friends. Seriously, EVERY DAY there are at least 2-3 (not necessarily the same ones each time) guys just hanging out on their porch and in the backyard, smoking and drinking, making themselves at home on the playground equipment while the tenants themselves are not home.
And maybe I am a cranky old thing, but that bothers me. They just come over and hang out in the backyard for hours at a time, letting themselves in through the back gate. They often show up mysteriously without a car. They're just THERE, all the time. It makes me (and Pudge) a little nervous. I mean...I don't know these guys. They don't live there. But every time I go outside, there they are. I like to sit outside and enjoy the nice spring air while Pudge does his business. (I used to also enjoy communing with Dolly occasionally, but she rarely shows up before dark these days.) I don't linger as much as I used to, because...there they are. Mostly during the day, but sometimes in the evenings. Just sitting there. Smoking. Staring. It occurs to me that they know I live alone, and they probably know way more about my daily routine than anyone who doesn't live in my neighborhood needs to know. And maybe (probably) they're completely harmless...just bored (don't they have jobs?), and enjoying the nice tree-shaded backyard of a buddy, and I do appreciate that they're usually pretty quiet, but...I don't like it. I don't like that they're there when I'm not, because they don't live there.
If that makes me cranky and old, so be it. But what do you think? Would that bother any of you?
And stay off my lawn, you damn kids!
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Okay, I'll stop with the screaming, but this is exciting. "Did her lawn need mowing that badly?" you're asking. Well, it needed it pretty badly, to be sure, but the primary reason for the excitement is that I finally felt physically able to accomplish the task. I kept my cellphone in my pocket, in case a sudden back spasm landed me in the middle of the yard with the mower on top of me, but I didn't need it. Lawns mowed: one. Back spasms: none. Feeling of accomplishment after weeks and weeks of feeling like a decrepit old thing: priceless.
I have a couple of patches of clover in my backyard, and as I mowed down the bigger one, I thought about the fact that I only saw one bee last year, and hadn't seen any this year. (So sad, the plight of the humble honeybee.) A few minutes later, as I aimed the instrument of destruction at the second patch of clover, I saw him. A bee! Sipping clover nectar for all he was worth. I managed to take evasive action in time to not mow him down, and decided to leave the clover patch unmowed. When I went back to look later, he had been joined by a couple of friends. Yay, bees! Drinks are on me.
Hopefully my care and feeding of the bees will negate any negative karmic points I accrued last week with the near drowning of the poor stray kitty.
On the economic stimulus front, I spent two hours in the mall last Friday and left empty-handed. There was not one thing in the WHOLE MALL I wanted to purchase. (Who decided that all women want to look like they're pregnant while wearing pastel colors? Where are the clothes that don't make me look like I'm trying to hide something? Though, speaking of hiding--where are the clothes that don't completely expose my somewhat flabby upper arms? Where are the jewel tones? Speaking of jeweled--I already have sparkly flip-flops--isn't there any other shoe being sold?) So disappointing. Saturday I made a trip to the bookstore (I have never in my life voluntarily left a bookstore empty-handed), and the big box mart, where I stocked up on exciting items like an aerator for my bathroom faucet and a snake-y thing to unclog my bathroom drain. I ended up spending quite a chunk of change on boring...stuff, so the economy may consider itself stimulated. Me, not so much. Gah. I did send off my official application for membership to "Nensa," so I guess that will count as my splurge. My life--it continues to be a constant source of joy and wonder. Sigh.
But hey--at least I'm no longer in physical pain. Look at me--all optimistic and shit.
Friday, May 09, 2008
A few days ago, in an effort to keep whatever happened to McBeady from happening to Dolly, I decided to open up the access to underneath my house for her. She's long been in the habit of going for shelter underneath the houses next door and behind me, and while that was fine when those houses were unoccupied (which they have been, quite a bit, off and on), it makes me nervous now that there are people living there with a)children and rowdy friends and b) large dogs, respectively. So I thought I'd let her hang out under mine--what could it hurt? She's healthy and flea-free, and she could take care of the occasional small rodents I see signs of from time to time.
It worked beatifully for a couple of days. She was in heaven, popping in and out like crazy. She didn't leave the yard at all, and seemed to love the extra attention. Then I guess her innate wanderlust just overcame her, and she started roaming a bit again. Okay, fine. She'll still have a safe place to hid in my yard if she needs.
Then I went out the next morning to find a little black head peeking out from under the house. I got excited for a moment, but no...it wasn't McBeady returned home. It was a completely unknown long-haired black cat, one I'd never seen before. WHERE THE HELL DID HE COME FROM? How did he KNOW, after only a couple of days, that there was a hidey-hole in my backyard? There are houses all over this block with uncovered openings for him to hide in--how did he land in mine? I thought maybe Dolly had brought him home (the little slut), but no--she jumped into the yard, saw him, and instantly swelled to twice her size and ran away, not to return until the interloper was gone. He wouldn't let me too close, but he wasn't completely wild, either, and I eventually managed to lure him out with some canned food, far enough away for me to lunge and cover the opening, and he ran off immediately. Okay, problem solved, right?
Except not, because I am an idiot. I waited a few days, saw no further sign of him or any cat other than Dolly, and decided to uncover the opening again, as we were having storms off and on, and I hated the thought of her caught outside somewhere.
And everything was fine, until I went outside Wednesday morning, and there he was again. WHY? I don't leave food out any more (the birds were eating it all)--I put it out only when Dolly is standing there in front of me--so what was he seeking? WHY MY HOUSE? It was raining cats and dogs all day (maybe THAT'S where he came from), so I decided to wait until after work, when the rain would hopefully be gone, and I could lure him out again.
This time I went straight for the big gun. I pulled the large live trap out of my garage (yes, I also have a small one, and a large wire cage--are these not the normal trappings of life?), baited it with some tasty canned food, and set it just outside the opening.
The little bastard went in and out of that trap THREE times without tripping it. Damn! How's he doing that? I was running out of time (I was going over to New Guy's to visit with him and the kid), so I decided to set it one more time, and this time I put a board underneath it for more stability, and I set the triggering device right on its edge, hoping it wouldn't flip down on his head and break his neck in the process. Then I left, not bothering to, oh...check the weather report before I did so. "It won't hurt him to sit in the trap for a while." (I had made sure to set it under the eaves, so he'd have some shelter.)
Long story short--another big storm front rolled in suddenly, this one complete with tornados and sirens and the attendent televised hullabaloo, and by the time I got home three hours later, I was crossing my fingers that I hadn't doomed the poor thing to a watery, windblown grave. Well, he wasn't dead, but he was soaking wet and spitting mad, and headed, hissing, for the hills as soon as I opened the trap. I reached down to remove the trap and realized the wire bottom was sitting in about three inches of icy cold water. Poor stray kitty! He must have been absolutely terrified and miserable. I felt awful. And yet...I feel pretty sure he won't be returning to MY house again, so that's good.
Dolly must have been watching his ordeal from very nearby--she showed up mere seconds after I released the intruder, wanting to eat and be petted. And yes, the opening is still covered--Dolly is just going to have to fend for herself, I guess, if she won't keep other cats from taking advantage of my generosity.
My life is just ridiculous, isn't it?
Wait, you're saying...back it up a bit...that parenthetical up there? You finally visited with New Guy and his son?
Okay, yes, yes I did. Why put that in a tiny parenthetical? Why isn't that the main subject of the post? 'Cause I'm trying very hard to wrap my head around the fact that very soon he will be only a parenthetical in my life, and not the big story. I'm trying. With limited success, to be sure, but I'm trying.
And yes, the visit went fine. Son answered the door, and (with a manner that would be most excellent for greeting a pesky Jehovah's Witness-hee) asked who I was and what I wanted. When it was established that I was a friend of Dad's, only there to say hello, he went right back to playing his Xbox with his CD player headphones on, ignoring us completely, and New Guy and I chatted over him.
Since the television was being dedicated solely to Spiderman, New Guy hadn't watched the news, either, so it took us both by surprise when the tornado sirens went off. There were some tense moments when we had to force Son to interrupt his game to sit in the hallway as the storm went over, and it took a while to settle him down after, but soon everyone/everything was fine. I left shortly thereafter to let them get ready for bed. (And I had a possibly drowning cat to check on, of course!)
I would guess we'll do it another time or two before they leave town. And that, as they say, is that. Sigh.
I have this afternoon off from work, and I think I'm actually going to brave the mall and see if anything sparkly catches my eye. It's my patriotic duty, after all.
Have wonderful weekends, everyone!
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
I'll give you a moment to picture that. Be sure to note the concerned expression on my dog's face, and the "WTF?!" expressions on the assorted cat faces.
I GOT MY ECONOMIC STIMULUS PAYMENT TODAY! WHOO HOO!
I instantly threw a couple of hundred bucks into my pathetic savings account. I realize that is not stimulating the economy, but what can I say? I'm a bad 'merican. (Not so bad that I tucked ALL of it away, mind you.)
I am, however, perfectly willing to stimulate away with the $400 left after that, so...what should I buy or do? I can't decide.
Give me some suggestions. I feel I need to spend it fairly quickly, or the universe will undoubtedly decide it needs to go to either the vet or the auto mechanic (like it does nearly every year with my tax return and my summer bonus).
I may spend part of it joining that group for smart people called something close to "Nensa." No, really. I've always thought it would be fun to be a card-carrying "Nensa" member, so I recently sent off for an official copy of my (long-ago) archived ACT scores (for a FEE, of course), which I can then send in (for a FEE, of course) to certify me as a bona fide smart person, and then I can join "Nensa." (Sing it with me--for a FEE, of course. Who knew it cost so much to prove your smarts?) Then, if I want, I can go to monthly local "Nensa" meetings and hang out with other smart people. Or I can just carry the card around and whip it out whenever anyone wants to argue with me. "I am a card-carrying "Nensa" member--discussion over!" Hee.
So what would a certified smart person blow her economic stimulus payment on? Throw some ideas at me.
Monday, May 05, 2008
Not that I'm not grateful for the compliments, but I'm not sure what to do with this information. Keep reinjuring my back to keep that healthy glow? Stay on the verge of tears constantly, 'cause it makes my eyes nice and shiny?
Maybe I should just go ahead and start prowling for a new guy RIGHT NOW, before I lose my edge. Heh.
Thursday, May 01, 2008
And what does that mean for me? Well, it means I will see very little, if any, of him between now and the time he moves (some time over the summer). We're talking on the phone, but his focus is, and will be for a while, on his son. Hopefully at some point I will be able to at least join them for dinner or something, but he's got to get him established into a routine first. That's the priority. It occurs to me that I've probably never mentioned ('cause why would I?) that his son is autistic. So this isn't just a case of a kid adapting to a new place and new school. It's a little more complicated. And I'm praying it goes smoothly for them both.
As for me...well, I'm depressed. And pissed off. (NOT, I repeat, NOT at New Guy or his son. Maybe a tad bit at his ex-wife, but no...not going to go there.) I'm pissed off at whatever combination of god/fate/the universe is calling the shots here.
I feel cheated. All I was asking for was one more month. ONE MONTH. I knew things were going to change when the school year ended for him and his kids, but I thought I'd have until then. I thought we'd have one last, lovely month, with the stress of his job search (which was considerable) over for him, and rehearsals over and sciatica better for me. We could finally relax, enjoy the beautiful spring weather and each other...spend some truly quality time. Yes, it would come to an end, but we'd make the most of our remaining time.
And then BAM! We had one night to say goodbye. One stinking night. A week night, at that, so that both of us had to go to work the next morning. It's unfair. (And yeah, I know, I should certainly know by now that life isn't fair.)
So, that's how the story goes. First guy I've had real feelings for in years, and this is how it ends. I keep hoping, of course, that maybe this isn't the final chapter in our story, but for now, I have to act like it is. And it's killing me.
All I want to do at the end of the day is go home and have a beer or two...or three...but I'm not letting myself do that. I know the difference between enjoying a tall frosty one, and self-medicating, and I'm not going to let myself go down that path. I've always drunk because I wanted to, never because I needed to, and I want to keep it that way. I'll enjoy an adult beverage or two if I'm out with friends, but not at home alone. Too dangerous. For me. Right now.
I'll be fine, I know. I'll get through this. It's just going to take a while.
Well, this was a real downer of a post, wasn't it? As long as we're down, I will also share with you that I haven't seen McBeady in over a month. I fear the worst. (Dolly still checks in every day, thank goodness.)
The sciatica is gradually getting better, and I'm hoping next week to start back in with some gentle cardio and yoga, 'cause god knows I could use those good feelings right now! I'll self-medicate with endorphins--yeah, that's the ticket.