February 28, 2005


I have been so completely uninspired of late. It's an interesting sensation, not particularly unpleasant although it is a bit tedious.

My son and his girlfriend were in an automobile accident late last week. He was driving her car on the interstate and they were clipped by an eighteen-wheeler. The truck driver later told the police "I didn't even see them." Nice.

The impact sent their car spinning across four lanes of traffic where it bounced and then rebounded off the jersey wall. That's the story sans dramatic embellishment. No serious injuries, just the expected aches and soreness. Seatbelts rock. Someone was looking out for them. Her car did not fare so well.

The Boy phoned us before the cops had even arrived (he needs us after all?). While it was one of those phone calls of the late night variety every parent dreads, my fear was brief. It lasted only until I was assured they were both okay; shaken up, not bent and broken and bleeding.

But it really sucks to be four hours away from him. Sometimes a mother just needs to set her eyes on her child. This is, evidently, one of those times for me.


February 27, 2005

Something to Talk About

It was an act of self-sacrifice born from a need for social inclusion.
At least in the beginning it was.

"We have to watch American Idol" Wendy rather resignedly informed me as last season began.

Turns out at her office, keeping up with that series is essential to the lunchroom conversation experience. (I don't have lunchroom conversation at my place of employ and envy lunch at Wendy's office. They gather in the conference room at the same time to eat and gossip and bond. They even share condiments!)

So we watched. Faithfully. We adored La Toya, enjoyed Diana, endured Fantasia and detested Camile.

The one thing we did not do was vote. I mean folks, really. Even I have a line. More than one even. I'll only be a sheep to a point. Complexico superiorial. Totally.

Fast forward to this season. Last season we only had to block out one hour on two weekday nights. This season has changed. This season it is on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday for several weeks.

Think about that just for a second. Three consecutive weeknights we have to be home in front of the television set for an hour.

And oh, we will be there.
It has become an odd irresistible compulsion.

Help me.


February 25, 2005

Three Too Many

Recently my mother said to me, "Oprah had her ears pierced on her show and you would have thought she was having major surgery!"

Oh how I love my Mom. You should all be so lucky. Sincerely.

When I first had my ears pierced, it wasn't nearly as public as that. I was fifteen years old or thereabouts, well shy of the 51 years Oprah lived prior to her first pierce. My grandmother, my mother and I went to the mall and got pierced together, one ear at a time. Generational bonding. We were all quite brave. My grandmother went first and did not flinch. My mom didn't flinch either. I, however, did. Just a little. We giggled. A lot.

Eleven years later, I decided to add another hole to my left ear. My friend Jeannie and I split a pair of diamond stud earrings and each had a new hole pierced to accomodate our half.

Jeannie was a friend-friend, not a lover-friend. The distinction is notable because she once told me I was the only lesbian friend she had with whom she had never slept.

That gave me cause for pause. Jeannie was my main source of lesbian friends back then. Did that mean she had slept with every woman I'd met through her? Well what else could it mean? Fascinating. Fascinating in an eyebrow-lifting-just-learning-about-life-as-a-lesbian way. Made me thankful I hadn't slept with her, despite the mutual attraction. That woman had abs I envy to this day. Smokin' body all the way around.

I don't wear three earrings anymore. Several years back I started having allergic reactions to even my good jewelry. It was enough of an irritant for me to turn my back on such an easy and versatile fashion accessory and learn to do without.

So now Oprah is discovering the joy of pierced ears. Personally, I'd be much more interested in an episode where she was having her nipples pierced. That would be must-see-TV.


February 24, 2005

Liberation Upon Seeing

My dog and I took an afternoon road trip Tuesday to retrieve a package. Our travels took us to Poolesville, Maryland, a place we used to frequent when my sister lived there. It's a small town about an hour north of us, rather rural. Since my destination was right across the street from the Stupa Park, I wanted to take Cosine with me. A little circumambulation is good for the heart, body, mind and spirit. Or so I'm told. Who am I to argue?

Significant doggie subterfuge was required to get Cosine out of the house and into the car without Dudley objecting to not being invited along. Wendy's suggestion of sneaking the leash into the car while they were distracted in the back yard worked wonders.

I just could not take both of them. They move at such radically different paces these days. Dudley dances and races exuberantly hither and yon. Cosine is slower. Much slower. She steps carefully, cautiously feeling her way along. She teeters and weaves. She pauses and stares off into the distance, needing a touch on the shoulder to get her going again. Taking Cosine for a walk involves a lot of attentive waiting these days. It's somewhat like walking with a toddler.

Prayer FlagsThis particular place in Maryland will always hold bittersweet memories for me. It's where I lost my sister and then found her again, a tale unto itself. Bringing my aged dog here felt like the right thing to do. I carried Cosine up the rough wooden stairs leading to the park entrance.

There was not another soul around. We inched along at a snail's pace, which was fine as we were in no hurry. I chattered mindlessly to her. "Watch your step, Cosi-Co. This way, sweetie. Stay on the path. Isn't it a nice day?" I must enjoy hearing myself speak because I know she can't hear much anymore.

The warmth of the sunshine offered a promise of spring, just a hint of chill in the air. It really was a fine, fine day. A turtleneck and sweater with no jacket day. Bright rows of Buddhist prayer flags waved in the light breeze, sending forth their prayers. I knew the path to take and eventually we arrived where we were going. Cosine rested in the sun near the Migyur Dorje stupa while I wandered a bit, taking out memories and trying them on to see if they still fit the same.

Cosi & Migyur DorjeMy sister created much of the decorative sculpture on this stupa. Her sculpting ability fascinates me. It is seemingly effortless for her to create accurate dimensions and scale from a lump of clay, transforming it to the desired image. A pinch here, a rub there, a push, a smear, some delicate shaving until it is just so. Then the pieces are cast. In my mind I compare the casting process to a contractor building what an architect has designed. In Sherab's case, she is the contractor and the architect.

Two snow lions grace each side of the stupa. Each one is about as tall as I am. The Boy and I had the good fortune to help my sister with the final part of their installation. The day we worked with her had been a glorious day much like the one Cosine and I were currently enjoying. She loaned me a pair of her burgundy overalls and handed me a caulking gun. We all climbed up to perch on the edge of the structure, chatting and working. We spent a few hours up there caulking the edges of the snow lions. At some point, someone must have come along and snapped a picture of the three of us up there because I have it in a photo album. We all look so very young.
snow lions
It took a bit longer to walk out of the woods than it did to walk in. Cosine needed to stop and rest every so often; her attention wandered more frequently. Back in the car, she had a drink of water and settled in for a nap. I hoped she wouldn't have an accident in the car. Nothing can be taken for granted with her these days.

I drove home with the windows down, the radio up loud and my hand resting on Cosine's back.

Times before would have found Cosine and Detail napping happily in the back of the little Toyota station wagon I drove back then. Sherab would have waved goodbye as we left Poolesville. I can see her standing in the driveway of the farmhouse she shared with several other nuns, her dog Corgi at her side.

Do I resent her having moved across the country? No, not really. No more than I resent Detail dying last year and Cosine growing frail. No more than I resent The Boy having grown up and left for college. No more than I resent having to learn how to cope with change, something I wish I had perfected long ago.

Above the snow lions on the stupa is a plaque with Tibetian characters that translate to "Liberation Upon Seeing." While I hardly see things clearly, that walk Cosine and I took was liberating. Almost as liberating as accepting the inevitability of change.

This morning would have been a good morning for writing. But I have to go to work and play with numbers instead.

I need a quiet place to be alone with my thoughts and the means to record them. This itch is going to bother me all day.

The snow arrived. It's freaking gorgeous.


February 23, 2005


Is it a sure sign of a dull blog when a post is about the weather? Yeah, I think so too. But this kind of weather excites me. In every way.

Our area is under a winter storm watch for tomorrow. Snow is predicted to begin around six in the morning and continue throughout the day. One last winter blast before spring takes over.

I'd like one more good snow.
I hope the forecast is correct.


February 22, 2005

Old Dog Blues

It's one thing to step in dog shit when I'm walking around our back yard. Icky, hell yes, but not that big of a deal. I pay attention or end up wiping my shoes.

But in the house? When my feet are bare? No and no. Wait. Make that No and Hell No. I'm not accustomed to it nor do I wish to become accustomed to it. Yet that very thing happened this morning. I stepped just right, too; it squished up between my toes. A flurry of four letter words ensued. Directed at myself.

Our dogs do not make a habit of defecating in the house. It's unacceptable canine behavior and they know it.

Or I should say they used to know it. Dudley still does. But Cosine is getting senile. All the other signs and symptoms worsening over the past months hadn't yet convinced me.

But poo between my toes? Well. That's a sure sign of something.



February 20, 2005

Identification Requirement

I've bemoaned looking my age even when down deep I'm okay with how I look. Well. Mostly okay. But I'm not going into that here. Not again. Not now anyway. Okay, maybe never. Don't bother to hide your relief.

We've given up smoking cigarettes, but I have not yet given up on keeping nicotine gum on hand. I keep an emergency stash of the stuff (along with other essentials like Advil, daytime sinus pills, feminine hygiene products, Chapstick, Rolaids and breath mints) in a bag in my purse.

I had but one piece of nicotine gum left. I don't like to run out of things I may want. For at least a little while longer, nicotine gum falls into that category. Along with beer. And firewood. And coffee. And clean underwear. I popped into the Rite Aid to replenish my stash of gum.

I also grabbed a case of cheap beer and a few other items (which need not be detailed as they add nothing to this tale). The cashier began ringing up my items, starting with the beer, but she stopped when she got to the nicotine gum. She held up the box and said "I'll need to see your ID for this."

Hmmm. She feels I'm old enough to buy beer (age 21) but she needs to check to see if I am old enough to buy nicotine gum (age 18).

Alrighty then.


February 18, 2005

Blocks from the White House

Went into the city today to visit these folks. Parked in my usual alley garage.

After dropping off my car I wended my way through the alley, weaving around large delivery trucks and dumpsters. Usually when there are delivery trucks delivering there are also delivery men. Today there were just two wide open trucks and no people in sight. I noticed two large (like 3-gallon-sized large) containers perched near the bumper inside one of the trucks. They were filled with whole peppercorns. One hell of a lot of peppercorns.

Later, when I returned to get my car, the delivery trucks were long gone. The row of green dumpsters perched at odd angles along one side of the alleyway remained. As I passed one of the dumpsters I glanced over. There I saw a man in the universally recognizable "man urinating" posture. I stifled an amused snicker as I walked on. Yes, you read that right. I saw a man peeing in an alley in the middle of the afternoon and I was inspired to snicker. Is something wrong with me?

I heard him call out "Sorry about that ma'am. So sorry!"

Suddenly I wondered about appropriate etiquette.
What type of response would Miss Manners endorse?

Since she wasn't there to consult, I improvised by giving a wave of acknowledgement over my shoulder as I chuckled to myself. Because it felt silly. Felt silly to have a man who felt comfortable enough to relieve himself in an alley in the middle of the afternoon feel socially responsible enough to apologize to me over it.

Human beings are fascinating creatures.

"Good for the body is the work of the body.
Good for the soul is the work of the soul.
Good for either is the work of the other."

Does anyone know the origin of this quote? A friend, the one I heard it from, opined it might be Thoreau, but she didn't know for sure. I've tried to find the source myself but evidently I'm not very good at researching such things. Suggestions welcome.


February 17, 2005


Even if I was offered the entire state of Kansas and a double dip of Jamoca® Almond Fudge on a cake cone, there's no way I could move there. Ever.

No offense intended, Kansans.
You are just too far from the ocean.


February 16, 2005

That Time of Year

It's here.
It's that time.
That time of the year.

We had been doing so well.
Not snacking.
Then around rolls this time.
This time of the year.
This time of the year when Girl Scout cookies are delivered.
Does it happen in your house too?

Wendy buys Girl Scout cookies from mothers. I buy Girl Scout cookies from fathers. Such are the demographics of our respective places of employment.

We don't coordinate our purchases. We just order what we like. We have overlaps in favorites but other selections are more individually tailored.

One of the order sheets this year had a special column. (Yes, that's right. I order cookies from more than one father. Can't be helped, no it cannot.) The special column was for purchasing cookies, type unspecified, to send to the American soldiers in Iraq.

If I wasn't such a greedy Girl Scout cookie loving piglet, I would have sent them all the boxes I purchased. But I am, so I didn't send them all. Just half. Seemed a good compromise at the time. Now I know better. We cannot, absolutely cannot, eat all of these cookies. Anyone out there in need of cookies?

There's this box of Samoas sitting here taunting me. My Samoas speak with a deep throaty voice and they laugh alot.

Something tells me I'll get the last laugh.
Silly cookies.


February 15, 2005


Turns out laying around in bed is more difficult than driving.

Who knew?

I'm a serious multi-tasker while driving. Back in the day, I could smoke a cigarette, drink a cup of coffee, change lanes, talk on the cell phone, change the radio station, balance my checkbook, tie my shoes, shift gears and steer, all while avoiding running off the road or into the unsuspecting driver ahead behind or next to me.

I don't do all that anymore, seeing as I don't smoke and my transmission is an automatic.

Imagine my surprise when I recently found it was only possible for me to do two of the following three things simultaneously.
  1. Read a book.
  2. Lay in bed.
  3. Eat Chinese food.
I wanted to do all three. But no go. Instead I had to mix and match by twos. Trying to do all three meant not really enjoying any of them.

If I'd been driving, I'll bet I could have it pulled off.


February 12, 2005

Sweet tea.
The Boy.

Be back when we get back.

February 11, 2005

Location, Location, Location

Would you want to live in a house built on the very spot where a homeless person was incinerated when the lean-to he camped in caught fire? Would the site be appealing if the view out your elegant picture window was a gas station and a 7-11? How about if your neighbor's house, an exact replica of your own, was situated so close you could spit into their window without really trying? What if there was a major highway not a half block away and your stumpy 10 foot long driveway dumped out onto a heavily trafficked street? Would it be considered a bonus if the price tag was in "the low $650,000's"?

I mentioned your neighbors, 7 and 11, didn't I?
The winter view of the trailer park across the highway?
Any of that sound good?

Real estate is at a premium here in the DC Metro area. Housing costs, as in many suburban extensions of urban areas, have skyrocketed over the years. The infamous real estate "bubble." And they keep building. Because they keep coming. People, that is. More and more people. People who need places to rest their heads. Places to raise their children. Places to fry their eggs, put up their holiday decorations, and shuffle around in their slippers.

Infill housing is pretty much the only option left to developers around here. There is not much undeveloped space left. Just tiny parcels in awkward locations. Developers clear away all the trees and foliage to build McMansion monstrosities on postage-stamp sized lots, cramming as many as possible on whatever land is available. The desirability of housing in the chosen location never seems to factor into the decision to build there. They slap an incredible price tag on the homes and people with more dollars than sense buy them.

Every time I drive by that one particular construction site across from the 7-11, I'm flabbergasted. Incredulous. Yet people will buy those houses. And live there. They may even be happy.

Meanwhile in Kansas, they are giving away land to entice people to move there.

Go figure.

February 10, 2005

"Self," I said.

"Self? Get a grip already, will you?"

Last night on the way home from work I popped into Petco. Breakfast had emptied our dog food bin which would just not do. Would not do at all. Our puppers expect to eat twice a day. They count on it. Deserve it. Good dogs they are.

I pulled into a parking spot and a bright yellow VW bug whipped in to the open spot next to me. A blonde girl got out and entered the store.

The girl looked familiar. More specifically, the car and the girl together looked familiar. I was pretty sure it was one of The Boy's friends from high school. I wondered about this particular girl being at home this particular time of year. I couldn't remember where she'd gone away to school but I knew she'd gone away.

I hefted the 40 pound bag of dog chow into my cart then checked the price on the canned cat food (too pricy, I was hoping for a sale). Somehow several bags of dog treats of various types ended up in my cart. I don't know how that happens. But it does. Good dogs they are.

The familiar girl got in line behind me. She had both arms wrapped around a large bale of hamster bedding. I turned to look at her. I knew if I didn't say something I would kick myself later. So I did. I said "Is your name L**?"

She smiled and nodded, as if she had been expecting me to speak. "You are *insert The Boy's name here*'s mom, aren't you?"

My turn to smile and nod.

We exchanged pleasantries. She asked about The Boy. I asked about her. She said she was home from college this semester because her mother is sick. Yikes. I said appropriate things. I promised to say hello to The Boy for her this weekend when we see him. (Yes yes! Road trip ahead! But that's another story.) We said goodbye.

I left feeling disconcerted.

See, it's been a long time since anyone has referred to me that way. As The Boy's mom. And it used to be such a huge part of my identity.

That's when I said "Self? Get a grip already, will you?"
Because that was then, this is now.
And it's all good.

February 9, 2005

Working at the Car Wash

The wintery weather in which I've reveled over the past few weeks has ended. For the time being anyway. The roads have completed their transformation from pristine white and snow-covered to messy salt and sand-covered to regular mundane dry pavement.

My poor car was left trapped in a grimy coating of winter road filth. While I could wash it myself, that particular chore is one I'd rather not do. Even on a glorious day such as we were treated to yesterday. It was a day that screamed "find something to do outside!" But washing the car? I'd rather bathe the dogs. Both of them. And the cat too. All at the same time. With one arm tied behind my back. Blindfolded. You get the idea.

I went to the car wash instead. The privilege of dropping $20 for someone else to wash my car was mine. Completely.

There are four car washes within a three mile radius of our home. I bypassed the closest one because I had an unpleasant experience there 23 years ago and subsequently never returned. (Never mind that the pinched old hag behind the counter who was so incredibly rude to a much younger and shyer me has probably long since assumed a new position buried deep in the cold hard ground. Hold a grudge? Me? Ha.) I zipped on over to the one down the block.

It was Tuesday, and while the car wash was busy, there was no line. On weekends this time of year these places have lines snaking in, around and back out of the lot. Seems I'm not the only one who does not enjoy washing her car. I followed the signs and a fellow with a clipboard waved me into the one unoccupied vacuum station. The other two were filled. Each station was manned by four workers: two holding bright yellow vacuum hoses across their chests the way a soldier holds his rifle, the other two with cloths dangling from their hands.

All four of my car doors were opened simultaneously and I got out as the men dove in. Then I watched as my vehicle was run through the gauntlet, soaped and swabbed and waxed efficiently by machines designed do to all that.

As my car exited the wash bay, it was swarmed upon by six workers. They all expertly brandished rags, some had squirt bottles filled with blue fluid. Three of them worked the exterior and the other three the interior. They dried and buffed and polished it to a gleaming shine.

I stood with the other patrons, soaking up the lovely weather while watching the men work. It was almost like watching a ballet. They moved as if orchestrated, on task and efficient, graceful even. There were six cars being dried. Each was being tended by six workers. 36 men wielding rags polishing cars. Add to that the 12 who worked the vacuum stations. 48 men, and that's not counting the detailers and runners and the man with the clipboard.

They all wore an expression of perseverance. They spoke aloud to each other in a language I did not recognize. Communication with the customers was achieved via waves, nods and polite grunts. Where did they come from, all those men? Are they day laborers? Do they have families to support? What do they do when the car wash is not so busy?

It rained men? Hallelujah? My car thinks so.
But me.
Me, I'm left thinking.
I'm left thinking how easy my life is.

Anyone remember that movie Car Wash from the 70s?

February 8, 2005

This Pleases Me Because I'm Easy

A certain someone poking his nose out of the doghouse via his AIM away message:
"Time for the super combo of modern, tap, jazz, and ballet.... with a little bit of acting thrown in. I love you all. Especially you, WordsRock."

Worst. Movie. Ever.

If not the worse, damn close.

I gave Wendy several DVDs for Christmas, one of which was It's In the Water. Sigh. My intentions were good. It sounded okay, maybe even better than okay, according to the reviews posted on amazon dot. Stupid amazon.com reviewers. Okay, I admit. One of them warned me off. But the rest of them? I truly wonder if they watched the movie at all.

So the fire is crackling, we have all assumed our usual movie-watching places in the living room: Cosine and Figero curled up on the doggie bed and the rest of us on the couch. From left to right, Wendy me Dudley. The DVD is in the drive and the required remote within reach.

Lights! Camera! Action!

Ten minutes into the movie Wendy looks at me and says "I feel like I'm back watching high school theatre again."

I laughed because I knew exactly what she meant. And she had a point.

Now don't get me wrong, we have a deep appreciation for high school theatre. It has much to offer many. But it's not always good theatre. A typical high school cast may have one or two actors who have real talent, a few more who do a good job, but the majority are The Others. The Others are the ones who really shouldn't be there on stage at all because they suck so bad you cringe every time they move or speak or---if you are really unlucky---they sing. However at times their sheer enthusiasm alone is enough to make the show entertaining.

And bless them for trying. I hope they always do. Challenge themselves, that is. They are far more brave than me. They deserve---and get---my sincerest applause.

But this movie didn't even have a few actors with talent. Not even one. Well maybe one. A woman who had a quick scene playing a video rental clerk. The rest, no. It was all so contrived and stilted and cliche (and not in a funny way). It was just plain bad. It was an entire cast of The Others making a movie written and directed by even more Others.

Life's too short to watch Other movies.
Or is it the bad that helps us appreciate the good?

February 6, 2005

'Tis the Season

Yes it is. It certainly is the season. The season for handwashing. Regularly. Religiously. Fanatically even. Much more often than handwashing is usually required.

It's Germville out there in the big wide world. With a capital "G". Everywhere I go, people are blowing snot and/or trying to hack up a lung, sometimes simultaneously. One of my favorite bosses, bless his heart, announced his diarrhea, which he had determined was the final stage of his recent illness.

Like I really needed to know that. But hey, he's a great guy. I have compassion by the bucket for a person like him. Truly. But did I really need to know? Naw. I did, however, go wash my hands.

I've become enamoured with those liquid soaps in the decorative little pumper units. I especially adore the ones with tiny dissolving beads. Antibacterial! Deep cleansing! With Vitamins B5 and E! And oh they smell so good! Who knew the scent Cucumber Melon would tantalize the senses in such a fabulous manner?

Wash up.
Yeah, you.
Do it now.

Clean hands rule.

February 5, 2005

I'm Only Doing This for Dara

If it were anyone else, I might blow it off. Or I might not. But for Dara, I'll definitely do it.

You are probably unaware that I once owned a used pair of Dara's shoes. It was a very long time ago indeed. I don't specifically remember how I ended up with them, but I did. I wore them until they were worn out. Dark brown suede flats. Quite comfortable, they were.

Along with tagging me with this meme, she provided a wonderful definition of the word. I had always thought of it as "Me! Me!" as in "it's all about Me! Me!" Evidently I was wrong. But not really. So here we go.
  1. Total amount of music files on your computer?
  2. Very few. My computer and music just don't get together that often. (By the by, this question is worded in a peculiar way. Is it asking for the number of music files or the volume of space the files take up?)

  3. The last CD you bought was:
  4. Do music DVDs count? I say yes. I bought Melissa Etheridge--Live and Alone for Wendy.

  5. What is the song you last listened to before reading this message?
  6. Sarah McLachlan "Fallen"

  7. Write down 5 songs you often listen to or that mean a lot to you:

    • "Leather" from Tori Amos' Little Earthquakes album. (That whole album is among my top 10 favorites.)
      "I could just pretend that you love me, the night would lose all sense of fear. But why do I need you to love me when you can't hold what I hold dear?"
    • "Wish You Were Here" by Pink Floyd.
      "How I wish, how I wish you were here. We're just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl year after year. Running over the same old ground and have we found the same old fears? Wish you were here."
    • "Dancing in the Dark" by Bruce Springsteen
      "You sit around getting older, there's a joke here somewhere and it's on me. I'll shake this world off my shoulder, come on baby the laugh's on me."
    • "Surrender" by Cheap Trick
      "Momma's all right, Daddy's all right. They just seem a little weird. Surrender, surrender. But don't give yourself away."
    • "Yield" from the Indigo Girls' Become You album.
      "When you're three days down the highway and you're looking like I feel and it takes a lot to keep it going, it takes a lot to keep it real, take some time for yourself and learn to yield."
      If I were to compile this list tomorrow, it most likely would be radically different. That's the beauty of music, isn't it? Something for any moment imaginable. (Tina, are you in the moment? ha!)

  8. What 3 people are you going to pass this baton to and why?
  9. Probably none. Because I'm shy and hate to impose. But hey, grab it and run if you feel so moved. It was actually rather fun.

February 4, 2005

Lovely Rita

We missed watching The O.C. last night, a sad event because we think it was the episode where Marissa hooked up with the hot blonde bartender chick. Ack well. (As an aside, I cannot believe how far Wendy and I have been sucked into that show. It's irresistible. We are pathetic.)

The change in our usual routine could not be avoided. Rita Mae Brown was in town promoting her newest book. So despite the wintery precipitation snarling the traffic, off we went.

Rita Mae is somewhat of an icon to lesbians in Virginia. Well. I should not purport to speak for all Virginia lesbians. Or all lesbians everywhere. Let's say I think of her as iconic. Layer her long time Virginia residency with her civil activism. Flavor with her being an open lesbian. Sprinkle on the tang of the Martina affair. Crown with an amazing plethora of wonderful characters and storylines in her delicious novels. You'd be out driving in the snow to see her, too.

In person, she did not disappoint. We expected a strong charismatic individual and that is exactly how she presented. I am pleased to say I now know there is at least one woman out there with a voice deeper than mine. And she complimented my hair. Ayup, that woman can work a crowd as well as charm an individual.

Two of her books, sporting their new personalized autographs, came home with us. Her newest Sneaky Pie mystery, the one she was there to promote, Cat's Eyewitness and the first one of her novels I ever had the pleasure of reading, Six of One. It's laugh-out-loud funny.

If you've never read her, what are you waiting for?

February 3, 2005

How Rude

The Orioles traded Jerry Hairston, Jr., one of my favorite Birds, for Sammy "Well Past His Prime" Sosa.

Another reason not to drive to Baltimore.
Go Nats?

I'm gonna miss Baltimore, but I'll miss Jerry even more.

Whistle While

Our old tea kettle made the rounds. It lived in three different kitchens over the span of its life and never matched any of them. It was always obviously out of place. That blue enamel kettle disappeared during our last move. I did not shed a tear. I may have even rejoiced. It never matched, after all. Plus it had a growing rust spot on the bottom. And it didn't whistle.

I think all tea kettles should whistle. The louder the better.

Wendy has since gifted me with a new tea kettle. The sleek brushed stainless steel exterior matches and blends with our current kitchen surroundings. It looks downright comfortable on our stainless steel stove. And it whistles. Loud enough for me to hear even when I'm in the office.

It's the first whistling tea kettle I've ever owned.

I don't have a great need for a tea kettle. Water can easily be boiled in any old pot on the stove or in the microwave. There's just something about a tea kettle I find charming. It's more fun (yes, I'm that simple). So when I have need of boiling water for say, hot chocolate or, moreso lately, an actual cup of tea, I revel in employing my tea kettle. I'm usually not the tea-drinking type. Except, of course, when I am.

I enjoy iced tea. Sweet tea is best. Sweet tea, to educate the Yankees among you, is tea that has had sugar added while hot, then iced. Yes, it makes a difference! I also like lemon in my tea. But not in my water.

Anyway. This new tea kettle. The sleek brushed stainless steel kettle that blends in and matches our kitchen. My new kettle whistles piercingly, spewing steam from its spout like I imagine Old Faithful does just before an eruption. It is only my imagination, however, because I've never seen Old Faithful. I'd like to go to Yellowstone Park someday to observe that faithful geyser.

As soon as I remove our screaming kettle from the burner, the noise stops. The spewing stops. It's like turning off a switch. Why does that fascinate me?

Tea has one notable superiority to coffee. Now, now don't get me wrong, I adore coffee. I could not get through a day without my coffee. But when I set down my mug, wander off and get distracted, as I habitually do, my coffee grows cold and unpalatable. Totally.

A mug of tea on the other hand, when a mug of tea is left to grow cold and later re-found, it is usually still quite tasty. Versatility is nice.

February 2, 2005

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
--Dr. Suess

February 1, 2005

Sights & Sounds

Today as I rode across the Potomac into DC, the river was frozen into a patchwork of ice floes of varying sizes in shades of gray to white. The Jefferson Memorial wore a white toupee of snow perched on the crown of its smooth ever-bald pate.

The escalators at the McPherson Square Metro station were making eerie sounds. Sounds like one may hear in a television special about whales communicating underwater. I found it oddly comforting.

I do so love winter.

Bad Timing?

I did something stupid yesterday. Yes, stupider than usual. I took a nap when I got home from work. That's right. I arrived home around 5:30 p.m., crawled into bed and dozed for almost an hour. It felt like a fine idea at the time. Our flannel sheets, clean and alluring, drew me into the depths of relaxation with their sneaky cuddly comfort. The sounds of my happy sighs drowned out the tiny niggling voice in the back of my head saying "Suzanne, oh Suzanne! You are going to regret this!"

That tiny niggling voice was right, of course. At 1:00 a.m. I lay awake in our bed, my girlfriend warm and snuggly, sound asleep at my side. Dudley was lightly snoring and Cosine was making her own dent in the mattress. I, however, was not sleepy. I'd had a nap.

I think my eyes were the only tired part of my body so reading was out. The words blurred on the page. So I surfed. Channel surfed. On my side, curled around Wendy, my head propped on a pillow just high enough to see the television screen over her shoulder. I eventually drifted off to sleep with fragments of these pointless thoughts sliding around inside my head.
  • Can there be any nutritive value, real or imagined, to a Checkers Chili Cheeseburger? Imagine someone wolfing down that slimy creation while driving, plastic cheese and chili dripping down the steering wheel and on to the driver's leg. Yum?

  • Keanu Reeves' new movie "Constantine": the trailer is horrid. I don't think I've ever seen anything less likely to lure me into dropping $9 for a movie ticket. Does it truly appeal to anyone? Then again, I'm not the best one to answer that question. I can't think of even one Keanu movie I found appealing.

  • Dominos Pizza has a new commercial out which gives a human form to days of the week. If I were a day of the week, I'd like to be Saturday. Maybe Sunday. Unfortunately, I think I come across more like a Monday most of the time.