October 31, 2005

'Tis the Season

Since we snubbed our friends maintained what shreds of our dignity still exist and faked having a cold politely declined the invitation to the sex toy party, Wendy and I eagerly looked forward to the next event on our busy social calendar: a Halloween party. Costumes mandatory. Whee.

Dressing up and looking silly has never been a problem. The problem is ideas. Ideas for dressing up and looking silly. Who do we turn to when we need ideas for costumes for any occasion? Why, our friend Tina of course. The last time we consulted her for Halloween, she dug through her bag of goodies and dressed us as Catholic nuns. Yes yes, sacreligious I know. Lesbian nuns smoking, drinking, and playing kissy-face in full habits? It doesn't get much better than that.

Unfortunately for us this year, we planted the seed but did not till the garden. This resulted in the day of the fete arriving without decisions being made on how we would attire ourselves for this grand event.

I wore my black jeans, black tank and orange silk blouse with three-quarter length sleeves. So where's the costume? I had a bag and a half of Smarties candies pinned to my pants.

Get it? Yeah. Lame. But simple.

Wendy's costume was even more subtle: a leaf tied to a thread attached to her wrist. Every so often, she'd raise it up and blow on it gently.

Get it? Okay good.

Halloween and all the spooky sweet goodness that goes along with it are really just a blip on the radar of that which truly is Fall: The Season.

Right now I'm feeling the pressure of The Season. It's a burden of living in suburbia. It's when many of the aspects of the suburbs I so adore conspire against me: expansive lawns, mature trees, and leaves falling in innumerable quantities combine to create the need to rake and bag and haul and rake and bag and haul. Did I mention raking, bagging and hauling? By the next weekend, however, the yard looks as if we hadn't removed a single leaf.

And with the chill in the air, the fire in the fireplace, the football games on TV.... oh how the alluring siren song of my Lazy Boy calls to me: "Suzanne! Psst... Suzanne! Come to me, my sweet. Come and nestle comfortably in my soft cushions, put your feet up. Ah yes, add a dog or two. Grab the TV remote, a good book to entertain you during commercials, perhaps a crunchy snack at your elbow. We'll all snuggle warmly as the fire crackles and the hours flow by in heavenly bliss."

It's far too much to resist.
The leaves will wait until we are ready.
I'd hate to disappoint my Lazy Boy.

October Collab


October 29, 2005

There's a New Kid In Town

It just happens. It's the way I do things. It results in panties on the floor by my side of the bed.

I arrive home after a long hard day of enduring the cold harsh realities of life in the real world. I know I'm home for the evening, so I immediately dive into the pajamas that have been patiently awaiting my return, having been tossed carelessly folded neatly on my pillow that morning. The clothes I had been wearing are then either (a) hung neatly in the closet, (b) folded neatly in a drawer, or (c) draped neatly over the dresser.

Except, that is, for my underwear and socks. Those I discard in a small heap on the floor next to our bed. Who can blame me? The laundry basket is all the way on the other side of the room, for pete's sake. So there they accumulate, awaiting the moment when I finally gather them up and put them where I was supposed to put them in the first place.

By the time Saturday rolls around, there typically is a variety of panties and/or enough socks to field a baseball team in my pile.

Saturday morning as Wendy tripped to the kitchen to fill our weekend coffee mugs, she called up the stairs to me. "Suzanne, did you take your panties off in the living room last night?"

"Ummmm.... no.... no, I don't think so," I replied.

"Then why is there a pair of your panties on the dog bed?" she queried.

Wendy, being the ever-so-patient and thoughtful woman that she is, picked up those stray panties and put them in the laundry basket where I was supposed to have put them in the first place.

We sipped our coffee while doing lazy Saturday morning things. After awhile, I went down to refill our mugs. As I passed the doggie bed in the living room, I noticed my panties were still laying there. I called up the stairs to her. "My panties are still on the dog bed!"

"What?" she said, "I picked those up. Are they pink?"

"No, these are white."

It would appear our new resident is one of those. One of those panty pooches. I do wonder why it took her exactly a week to begin her collection. Is this an indication Pixie is feeling at home? Or is it something more... sinister?


October 28, 2005

Cell Phonage

My folks finally allowed us to add them to our cellular phone plan. I think they were among the last two people in the free world to get cell phones.

These are not technologically backward individuals. They are computer and internet savvy, well-educated, busy adults. They travel a lot, are active in their community. How had they managed to exist without the modern convenience of a phone in their pocket? I also selfishly wanted to be able to reach them whenever I desired. (In hindsight, I hadn't considered the reverse would be true also... silly me.)

My mom would say, "Honey, we just can't justify the expense!"

I'd remind her of something her own mother used to say, something that has become somewhat of a family joke. My independent on-the-go comfortably endowed widowed grandmother would say, "I can't afford to eat meat anymore!" It was her state of mind, not necessarily all bad, but there is a point when practicality precludes frugality.

Finally they decided that, yes, cell phones would be useful to them. Then it was like pulling teeth to get them to allow us to absorb the expense. Adding lines to a cell plan these days is, for me right now, such a small thing. We easily spend more than the monthly fee on one meal in a restaurant! I swear I had to beg. I can't count how many times in my younger years they helped us out financially. Surely they could let us do this one little thing for them!

The first month my stepfather made no calls and my mom made six. All of them to me.

During one of those calls she said, borderline whine, "No one ever calls me on my cell phone."

"Well, Mom, have you given your number to anyone?"

"Uh, no. Not yet."

I do so love my mother.


October 27, 2005

Don't Laugh Too Hard

Thanks in part to eb who pointed me in their direction, I received a cheap thrill in our mailbox today: this quarter's volume of the journal Sinister Wisdom. The theme is lesbian mothers and grandmothers. (I'm one of those, you know. The mother part. I'd like to wait a good long while for the other.)

While I always enjoy getting new things to read in the mail, that's not the half of it. The real thrill is that my words are part of it! And my name! In print! Bound into a real book! People may even read it!

The ultimate cheap thrill.
I'm so easy.


October 26, 2005

Internet Disconnectivity

We've been experiencing connectivity issues with our DSL for the past two days. It has seriously crimped my blogging activity. How rude.

The connection cuts in and out, the middle bright green on the modem flashing slow and then fast and then steady, repeating the sequence over and over. We've done the usual: power down, unplug and replug everything, smack the modem, curse, waste 30 minutes of life on the phone with technical support, give up and do something else.

This evening, I unplugged the one phone we have to see if that had an effect. Sweet success! We've had a great internet connection all evening.

But now what? Is it the phone? Is it the cord? Is it the DSL filter? Is it the phone jack? Is it something else I'm not yet thinking of?

I'm not much in the mood for the tedious process of elimination required to track down the problem. I'm more inclined just to keep the phone unplugged. It's actually rather peaceful.

PS: I'm not the only one who is smitten!


October 24, 2005

I'm Smitten

I've never been one to fall in love quickly.
Our little Pixie Stick is an exception.

We knew before Cosine passed away we were going to get another dog. Wendy and I had often discussed the type of dog we would look for.
Suzanne: I want a little dog this time, small enough to bathe in the kitchen sink.

Wendy: Hrumph. That's not a dog.

Suzanne: I want a snuggly little dog who will sit in my lap.

Wendy: Hrumph. Dudley is a snuggly lap dog.

Suzanne: Ooooookay. Let me be a bit more specific. I want a snuggly little lap dog who won't crush my internal organs as she turns circles getting comfortable.

Wendy: Hrumph. You are such a wuss.

We found Pixie on the internet via a local rescue organization. A lengthy application was completed then we all trapsed out to meet her. The application included a diverse set of questions ranging from "Why do you want a dog?" to "How is heartworm transmitted?" to "How long do you expect housebreaking to take?" Wendy and I were interviewed twice by doggie rescue people and deemed to be acceptable potential pet parents. Doh. Another volunteer came out to verify our home was acceptable. It passed. Doh.

Friday evening we drove 60 miles in the pouring rain through the fabled Northern Virginia nightmare known as rush hour traffic to sign the adoption contract, write a check, and bring Pixie home.

We awoke Saturday morning.
Suzanne (both eyes closed): What time is it?

Wendy (both eyes open): 8:00.

Suzanne: Are they awake?

Wendy: Yes.

At the sound of our voices, Dudley began thump-thump-thumping his tail. Pixie, who somehow ended up snuggled between us, rolled over playfully.

Wendy: Ouch. Pixie just kung-fu'd me in the face.

Suzanne: You are such a wuss.

When Dudley jumps off the bed or couch, the THU-THUMP of his landing can be heard throughout the house. Pixie, on the other hand, moves like a feather and makes about as much noise. She gets so excited on her leash that her hind end catches up with her head as she dances down the sidewalk, earning her the nickname Sidewinder. She races around the backyard in circles of varying sizes, impressing us with her speed and agility. I stand there clapping and laughing, urging her to go even faster.

What kind of dog is she? Who knows. One set of paperwork says "boxer mix" and another says "min pin mix" but we don't see a resemblance to those breeds at all. She looks like a miniature greyhound and barks like a terrier.

I can go on and on about how cute she is, how graceful, how dainty, how smart, how adorable. I already have and certainly will again.

Sure wish all things in life were as simple as falling in love with a dog.


October 23, 2005

Faster Than a Speeding Bullet

When she unfurls her legs, it reminds me of unfolding a paper clip. They are ridiculously thin and long. Her skinny frame gives the illusion of daintiness, but don't be fooled. Rather than daintiness it represents speed and agility. She moves gracefully and bolts sharply like a fawn at an unexpected noise. She's a head taller than Dudley but weighs less than half as much.

She came equipped with at least two vital skills: how to politely share a bed with humans and how to do her business outside. The rest we'll help her figure out. She's quite adept at dispensing snuggles and puppy kisses. I'm not a major fan of the puppy kiss, but Wendy adores them.

Meet Pixie, the spritely sweet girl who has adopted us.
She fits right in.


October 22, 2005


Dudley had his annual trip to the vet for vaccinations and such recently.

Our vet keeps the records for all the family pets in the same file folder. Ours had become quite thick as Cosine, Detail and Figero grew old and had issues. But the day I took Dudley in, I noticed our family folder now only contained a page or two.

They had purged the records for our dead pets. Practical and reasonable, of course. But for some reason it made me sad to think their histories ended up in a garbage can somewhere.

We're working on fattening up that file.
Adding a page.
That'll fix things right up.


October 20, 2005

I'm Just a Soul Whose Intentions Are Good....

Trish over at Busted Stuff has been known to call kettle corn her own personal crack. Crack being, of course, that ever-so-addictive derivative of cocaine. I enjoy the occasional snack of kettle corn too, but not nearly as much as she does. She hasn't mentioned it recently. Perhaps she kicked the habit.

I told a lie to a friend about my own form of personal crack, although it wasn't a lie when I told it. Truly I intended to avoid it, to not purchase any more. Truly I intended not to ingest any more. Truly I intended to avoid even the sight or smell of any more of the lusciousness that creates such a gluttonous craving deep within. Out of sight, out of mind. That's the ticket.

It started this year with one little bag. One little eleven ounce bag. "Just this one," I rationalized, "I'll share it with Wendy." Then I blinked and before I knew it said bag was empty, the goodness inside vanished as if it had never existed, gone like a puff of smoke. I was physically ill, oh yes I was. How could I have let such a thing happen? I hadn't even shared.

The friend I lied to suffers my same addiction. I'd just confessed to him my experience with that little eleven ounce bag. He nodded his head knowingly. Then I lied. I said I was through with it, that I'd not expose myself to such temptation again. I just didn't know it was a lie at the time.

Foolish me. Foolish endcap in the drug store brimming with the irresistably bright packages filled with what evidently is my own personal crack. Foolish sign proclaiming them a bargain at 99¢. Foolish way my hand mindlessly reached out and added a sack to my basket. Foolish way there are now but a handful left.

At least I managed to share with Wendy this time.

Perhaps I should dip them in mustard.
Maybe that would cure my addiction.


October 19, 2005

Encounter In the Checkout Aisle

I recall reading a blog entry recently about someone trying to avoid someone she knew in the grocery store. Was it you? If so, I've done the same thing you did and will certainly do it again.

But how about when you run into someone who knows you but you don't remember you know them and as such are not aware of the need to employ evasive maneuvers? That's what happened to me last week. Friday afternoon. I was stocking up on requisite items for our sports-watching-stay-at-home weekend: chips, cheap beer, salsa, bananas and spinach. Oh, and mayonnaise.

As I transferred my items from the cart to the conveyor belt, a little old lady got in line behind me. I glanced at her and smiled. She practically gushed, "Why hello, Suzanne! Haven't seen you in years! How are you?"

I am, of course, quite used to old women gushing at me in the grocery store and other places all around town. My gray hair leads them to believe I am one of their own. I also must have that air of "it's fine to talk to me, I'm ready and willing to be patiently bored by the trivia you have such an obvious need to share." It's a curse, I tell you, a bloody curse.

But this one knew my name. I tried to keep my face neutrally pleasant, concentrating on not letting my eyes clue her in to the fact I had NO idea at all who she was. I replied with another smile, "Oh just fine, just fine. Beautiful day, yes?"

Could I have been any more generic? I think not. Meanwhile my little brain was working in overdrive. "Maybe she looks familiar," I thought, "A teeny tiny bit. But who the hell is she?" I tried to keep my brow from furrowing with consternation. What is up with little old ladies who have memories like steel traps?

Thankfully, her next words gave me a humongous clue: "We're working with the marching band this year. How is your son doing?"

Click. Boom. Ray of bright light. A partial identification! Obviously I knew her from the high school. My mind spun. Did she have a student in the theatre program? I met so many people while volunteering copious hours as the Chief Dorkette In Charge of our cadre of theatre parents. Some became fast friends, others I really miss, many were as easily forgotten as the date my library books were due.

But damn it. She was really too old to be a parent of a person The Boy's age. Then she offered another hint, mentioning someone named Chris and suddenly it dawned on me who she was. Not a parent, but a grandparent. I still didn't remember her name, but at least I could make reasonable conversation. And believe me, she was dead set on making conversation.

I'm handling those blasts from the past much better now. I feel like I've crossed a threshold of sorts from my place in the world then to who I am now. I'm certain y'all are all glad to hear it. I know I am.


October 18, 2005

Walking Before Midnight

Cosine and Detail learned early on how to walk politely in tandem on their leashes. Detail always assumed the point position because it was his place and we all knew it. He didn't need much of a lead, just for his nose to be further along than Cosine's. I liked to hold both leashes in one hand, the two of them trotting out in front eager to see what was there to be seen. Every so often one of them would stop to sniff or pee, our orderly procession interrupted but for a moment until we all jockeyed back into our usual formation.

During their older years, there was not much walking on leashes. It got to be where the only time they even wore their collars was for a trip to the vet. I've always called their collars and leashes their "clothes," as in "let's get your clothes on Pupperinos, it's time to take a walk!" Heaven forbid they go out naked in public.

We've been walking Dudley daily of late. It makes him happy, distracts him from his single dog status, and the exercise isn't going to hurt any of us.

Our neighborhood looks different when walking because different things matter when one is afoot. Sidewalks run haphazardly, squares of connected concrete that abruptly stop at random corners necessitating crossing the street to continue. Some streets don't have sidewalks at all. Others have asphalt paths. We are a mish-mashed kinda neighborhood. I like the irregularity.

This came from a tree along our route. Wendy carried it home for me. These bizarre looking fruits are strewn around the base of the mother tree and the surrounding lawn. Others have rolled into the gutter and some are smooshed in the street. There are a ton of them! The covering is very hard; I can't bruise it with a squeeze like I could with a peach. It's a bit larger than a softball and has quite a heft to it. The texture reminds me of a brain. I want to dissect it to see what is inside. Maybe I should just stop in the street and check out a smooshed one.

Meanwhile, does anyone know what it is? Do you have them in your neighborhood?


October 17, 2005

Sports Haze

I'm in one. A sports haze. I have a blister on my right forefinger from pushing buttons on the remote control. Baseball. Football. Back and forth, forth and back.

Beautiful weather?
Who cares.
Leaves to rake?
Who cares.

I October!


October 13, 2005

Oh Morning Wood?

Several weeks ago, Wendy and I went out to dinner and a movie with friends. I proposed seeing The Constant Gardener and offered to purchase the tickets online in advance. But I discovered a $1 service fee is added to each ticket for the convenience of buying them online. That irritated me and I was too cheap frugal to pay said fee. Unfortunately by the time we arrived at the theater, the movie was sold out. We ended up seeing The 40 Year Old Virgin instead.

Left to my own devices, I would never have picked that movie. My friend Mel didn't like it much because they say "fuck" a lot. And they do. But it didn't bother me because I'm a heathen and use the word rather frequently myself. My enjoyment of the movie surprised me; I laughed out loud often and absolutely adored the ending.

One scene Wendy and I both viewed with skepticism: the Virgin wakes up with an obvious erection, shuffles across the hall to the bathroom, sits down to relieve himself and immediately pees straight up in the air like a fountain. (Okay yes, real potty humor. I chuckled anyway. I'm mildly ashamed.)

But from my limited understanding of the intricacies of male plumbing, I thought urinating with an erection was physically impossible. But really, what do I know? So we turned to a source who actually has male plumbing and therefore is familiar with the in and outs, so to speak, of its behavior.

And what better male to ask things of this nature than The Boy? Yes yes, we do have that type of relationship. It's a good thing. The subject came up during our visit over parent's weekend. I said conversationally, "So, you know how males typically wake up in the morning with an erection?"

He didn't skip a beat.

"Ah yes," he replied smoothly, "Morning wood!"

Then to our utter amazement, he burst into song: "Morning wood, oh morning wood..." I kid you not. He sang at least one full verse, but the other lyrics have been purged from my mind. All that is remains is the memory of his rich baritone voice lyrically immortalizing the condition that is known, evidently, among the males of our species as "morning wood."

Ayup, parenthood is quite educational, quite educational indeed.

Oh, and for the curious among you, we also learned it would be extremely difficult to urinate with said morning wood, and to do so accidentally is most unlikely as such action would require great concentration and effort, were it to be possible at all.


October 12, 2005

Along Came A Spider

Of all places, a spider has taken up residence in our shower. (Yes, the same shower that Wendy and I built all by ourselves. Feel free to oogle the lovely tile job, although this photo does not come close to doing it justice.) Mr. Spider is dwelling under the attachment for the towel bar opposite the shower head. We did not invite him.

I saw him for the first time during a shower several weeks ago. A few of his black spindley legs waved menacingly as he peered out from beneath the fixture. Instantly on guard, I kept a sharp eye out for further encroachment while I finished my shower. I even washed my hair with my eyes open, no easy feat, but I wanted to leave nothing to chance. Being naked and wet, I was extremely vulnerable to a sneak attack by the itsy-bitsy spider such a terrifying predator!

The next morning, there was no sign of Mr. Spider. I decided he had moved on to a more comfortable place to spend the winter. After all, there certainly is not much space to weave a web where he was. What type of food could he catch without a decent web? Not to mention there just aren't any other bugs hanging out in our shower for him to trap and devour. I didn't give it another thought, feeling certain he had relocated.

This past weekend, however, we saw his creepy legs poking out from the same place! He is still there! Has he been there all those weeks since I first glimpsed him? WTF does he do all day in there? What is he eating? Is he some sort of mutant voyeristic spider who enjoys watching middle-aged women shower?

Wendy attempted to lure him out but only succeeded in driving him into the depths of his sanctuary. I guess he'll leave when he's ready. Meanwhile, I remain attentive while showering.


Urban Ruins

If, like me, you enjoy history, allow me to recommend this site, Opacity: Urban Ruins. This fellow, a photographer with an interesting eye for composition, has documented abandoned buildings and places in various stages of deterioration.

One of my favorite galleries is the Staten Island Boat Graveyard.

Utterly creepy yet fascinating, as are the old mental hospitals and "schools." Oh the stories those places must hold!


October 11, 2005

Early Morning Rambling

I should be in bed. So why did I just get out of bed? Because I can. Because I don't have to pop up and be at work first thing in the morning.

The Yankees are done for the season. Yay! By "yay" of course, what I really mean is too bad for all those Yankee fans. Because I'm compassionate that way. Of course I am. Poor suffering Yankee fans. But this year again, despite their incredible payroll and enormous wealth of talent, they didn't make the cut. Yay!

Along with baseball, we were watching Monday Night Football because that's what we do on Monday nights during the football season. How does Drew Brees thread the needle so finely that even when his intended receiver is a club sandwich, somehow the ball is caught? Amazing and fun to watch. Almost as fun to watch as the expressions on Bill Cowher's face. He has the best ever football coach face.

I'm 80 pages away from finishing the first book in a series by Juliet E. McKenna, Southern Fire. It didn't really grab me until about 40 pages in, but then it hooked me good. Unfortunately for me, Wendy just started reading book two, Northern Storm. My timing is off. I wonder if we can read the same book at the same time. I hate waiting my turn.


October 10, 2005

Is Frosting Only for Cake?

My hair started turning gray the minute The Boy popped out of that special place from whence babies pop. And yes, he did pop. I had a nice short labor, only cursed once or twice, and truly do not remember any of the what certainly must have been extraordinary pain and discomfort whilst said popping occurred.

But back to my hair. I was 23 when The Boy was born. Slowly but surely over the years since, it's gone grayer and grayer at a steady pace. I used to like it. Really. When one is young, gray hair is more of a novelty than anything else. At least it was to me. But now. Now that I'm of the age to have honestly earned my gray hair, it irritates me.

Nevermind that folks tell me "Oh it's such a lovely shade of silver!" Silver my ass. I look in the mirror and see gray old gray old gray old gray.

Wendy nods patiently as I often say with complete conviction that I'm absolutely positively going to have it colored. I talk about it endlessly, but take action? Ummm. Not yet. I so adore change, after all.

I'm afraid of the ongoing effort dyed hair requires. I prefer to remain a low maintenance kinda girl. I've seen too many women who color their hair and have roots showing that scream to the world "I color my hair and don't care enough to maintain it properly." Plus I am loathe to make a change that every person who knows me will immediately notice. There is nothing subtle about a sudden switch from gray hair to something else.

Which brings up another problem. How does on go about choosing a color to dye their hair? It's been gray for so long I don't really remember what color it started out as. It was blonde when I was a child but morphed into a blondish-brown briefly before it betrayed me by turning gray.

I've considered compromising and having it frosted. Or reversed-frosted as the case may be. Less drastic, less margin for error, less obvious need for maintenance. It'll be a fun trip back to the 1970s! My mother always had her hair frosted back then.

Egad. I'm considering doing to my hair something my mother used to do to her own?! That's quite a sobering thought, isn't it?


October 9, 2005


Friday night we went to sleep to the sound of raindrops pitter-pattering on the roof.

Our area has gone so long without rain, this storm was a delightful novelty. Friday it rained off and on all day. By evening, the clouds had settled in over us, predicted to stay for the majority of the weekend.

We awoke Saturday morning to a steady downpour.

Normally, by our newest and most current definition of normal, such weather on a Saturday would find us snuggled in bed for most of the day. Reading, watching sports, napping. But not yesterday. Yesterday we had to get up and out and about. We had an appointment to meet a dog. So we hustled Dudley into his harness and all piled in the car.

The rain was still steadily falling. The air was heavy and humid, the temperature rather warm. The clouds hovered low, a soft foggy feeling enveloped the neighborhood; colors muted, edges blurred. Not even a slight breeze ruffled the trees. Water ran in rivers down the gutters and puddled in low spots on the pavement.

We took the back way toward the highway via our suburban streets. Movement caught my eye as two little boys clad only in swimming trunks came flying out from behind a house. They raced across their front lawn, bare feet slipping on the wet grass. Huge grins lit up their faces as they dove headfirst, sliding across the saturated lawn and coming to a stop near the mailbox. Pine needles clung to their wet bodies and stuck up from their hair, their faces expressions of pure glee.

At first it seemed odd these boys were playing outside in such a heavy rain. But other than the torrents of water falling from the sky, the weather was calm and warm. Why not play outside?

I can't remember the last time I walked in the rain unmindful and uncaring of getting wet. I should rectify that.


October 7, 2005

Don't Even Bother to Ask

Don't even bother to ask. I don't know how so many large plates ended up stacked on every horizontal surface in our office. Even if I did know, I believe I'd invoke the "don't ask, don't tell" clause. It is my right, nay, at times my duty, as a homosexual.

In fact, I'm hereby declaring such to be so. Henceforth and hereinafter if any homosexual should knowingly admit the reason so many large plates ended up stacked in our office, said plates are to be immediately be smashed upon the floor into a kazillion shards, never again to assume a useful form in this world.

Perfectly reasonable, yes?
I think so too.

What a heinous week it has been.

I re-stacked the plates into one super-sized stack, flexed my muscles and toted it down to the kitchen sink. I turned on the hot faucet. My pre-rinse, if you will. Our hot water is hotter than any hot water I've ever had in a house before. We like it that way. Squeeze of soap, then careful adjustment of the temperature until it was just right. Rhythmical wipe, rinse, then into the dishwasher. Grab next plate. Lather, rinse, repeat. Literally.

Imagine my surprise when I looked at the next plate and saw a check I had recently received via mail. A big check. Well. Big enough. It was floating among the soap bubbles, soaking wet. The ink was starting to run, a teeny tiny bit of blur.

Now it's stretched out on a soft bed of paper towel, almost dry. I wince when I consider the consequences if said wet check had stuck to the back of the previous plate. I might have missed seeing it entirely, running it instead through the dishwasher into oblivion.

I can imagine driving myself insane searching for it later and never finding it, all the while knowing full well I had put it where checks all rest until it is time for a field trip to the bank.

See, that's why there is a place for everything and everything has its place.

You heard it here first: keep your checks away from your plates.
Your future financial security may depend on it.


October 6, 2005

Eating Crap

That's exactly what I've been doing all week.

We were gone last weekend and, it being the first of the month, I've actually had to work-work every day this week. I've not mustered the energy to go grocery shopping.

I've just been eating crap.
No usual banana for breakfast.
No balanced meal for dinner.

But lunch, oh lunch I've been eating. But did I make reasonable choices? Why would I do that? It would spoil Eat Crap Week. That's one thing about working in Old Town Alexandria. Whether you are in the mood for a great meal or just some good ole bad-for-you crap, satisfaction can be found.

The little ball burning in my stomach is easily explained.
Obviously I've earned it.


October 5, 2005

Cringe Factor

I cringed when I saw the evite appear in my inbox this afternoon. I’d heard a rumor it was on the way. I cringed then too. It is an invitation to a toy party. A sex toy party. I cringed again as I scanned the rather lengthy list of women invited to partake in the festivities. Why oh why oh why oh why?

A while back, Wendy and I managed to avoid the party featuring a male stripper. While it’s nice to be included, I truly wondered why we were even invited. Turns out our friends think Wendy and I are fun at parties. Okay, great. But a male stripper? No offense intended to you males out there. I know many of you are quite proud of your bodies and equipment, some of you even rightfully so. Far be it from me to diminish that pride. But really. Who invites lesbians to watch a male strip?

The hostesses of this upcoming sex toy party are good friends of ours, dedicated heterosexuals. We’ve gotten wild and crazy with them over the years. We talk about sex, sure. I’ve even demonstrated my expert bra removal skills to them. No, not my own bra. Theirs. Now that was an interesting gathering that solidified my reputation as a lesbian extraordinaire among our heterosexual friends. Everyone needs a party trick, right?

I try to imagine what this gathering will be like. Will there be demonstrations? Testimonials from satisfied users? Free samples?

I’m not a prude. I adore sex and sex toys are not a foreign concept. I’m certainly confident enough to sit around with other women, fondle dildos and imaginatively discuss how they are best used. I could contribute to said discussion in a very clinical and matter-of-fact way as well as in a more, shall we say, abstract manner.

Yet some of the invitees I barely know and others not at all. It’s one thing to address such… um... personal matters with close friends. It’s another thing altogether to do so with strangers.

I don’t know if I want them to know that much about me. I know I don’t want to know that much about them!


October 3, 2005

Montana Memory

Imagine the exchange with the clerk when returning our rental car. "Damage? Missing front fender? Broken window? Uh, well, you see, it's like this. We were lured in by a big yellow sign, paid $10 per person for the privilege of driving into the wilderness via an unpaved road to get up-close and personal with all different types of bears native to the region! Sure, there's a few dings where a grizzly got a little frisky. I'm certain those claw marks will buff right out."



It is easier to get people in neighboring automobiles to return a smile on local roads than on the interstate.

I've done the research. All scientific and whatnot. Charts, graphs, and carefully created timelines in full living color bound neatly in a notebook await your perusal should you doubt my methodology.

I'll smile at anyone. Usually because I feel like smiling but sometimes to get myself back to that place where I feel like smiling.

It all starts with eye contact. While sitting at a local red light or ignoring the speed limit while cruising down the freeway; smiles can be traded during any and all phases of stop-and-go or stomp-and-go road travel. Without eye contact, however, there can be no returned smile. It's rather like that whole hearing the sound-of-a-falling-tree-in-the-forest thing.

My smile got a workout on the highway this weekend on our way home. I was already in the place where I felt like smiling so it was practically effortless. I smiled at innumerable unknown faces, a variety of ages, colors and sizes driving or riding in a plethora of vehicle types, colors and sizes. Not quite a grinning idiot was I, but close.

Of all the folks I smiled at on the interstate, I only got acknowledgement from one. This fellow was riding in the open bed of a beat-up white work truck. On I-95. Doing about 70. He sat, his back to the cab, hunched in a lawn chair. Somehow I caught his eye as we passed him. In that brief moment I flashed him one of my most sparkling smiles. In return I received an acknowledging lift of his chin. His wispy long hair whipped wildly across his face and he quickly dropped his chin back to his chest.

Not long ago while stopped at a traffic light at the intersection of Lockheed Boulevard and Richmond Highway, the deep bass and rap beat emanating from the car in the lane to my right caught my attention. It was a beat-up Chevy Nova occupied by a quartet of young black men. The fellow in the front passenger seat was bopping his head rhythmically to the music. A white bandana was tied around his head, a lit cigarette dangled from his lips.

He looked at me looking at him, and I smiled. He rewarded me with an open grin, lots of teeth and good humor.

"So what?" you may think.
So go smile at a stranger.
I highly recommend it.