••• Saturday, November 25, 2006

U is For 

Uno Zapato
Or One Shoe.

Two summers ago at the neighborhood playground, there was a shoe.

One shoe. Actually, it was a flip flop.::The "flip" of the pair, if I recall...::

That summer we went to the park almost every day that we were home, weather permitting. And every day there was The Flip. Every day in a different location; by the climbing ropey thingy, then the rings, then the swings, then the slide. One day I couldn't find it anywhere and thought someone had finally tossed it, or took it home. But then I saw it down the hill from the playground, near the soccer field. The next day, it was back in the play area.

Every day that I went to the playground, I remembered that I forgot that I was going to bring the camera,to take a picture.

But I never did. Remember.

But I did do a lot of wondering about that one Flip and how it came to be left behind on a playground. It looked like it may have belonged to a 3rd or 4th grader (or a Cakers' size kindergartener, the girl has some dogs on her).

How do you lose just one shoe? You think a person would notice a thing like that. One missing shoe. Did the kid walk all the way home with one Flip? Or did he just flop to the car with a pack of sibs, where his podiatriactical imbalance went unnoticed in an ensuing back-seat, sibling-induced fray?

The Flip did disappear by the end of the summer. Likely a victim of a cleanup in preparation for the start of school. But that summer, a weird thing happened. I saw One Shoes everywhere. Along my walk route up at the lake, in parking lots, along curbs of city streets, on sidewalks...Just One Shoe. Uno Zapato.

And always I wondered the same things whenever I saw one:
How did it get there?

Was it flung out a car window by an angry girlfriend?

Did it fall from an airplane?

Where's its mate?

Why do people never lose their shoes in pairs?

Didn't the person know they were missing a shoe?

How did the person not know they were missing a shoe?

Was it an amputee who suddenly just figured it out?

Was it The Rapture and I missed it?

Was it The Rapture and they were taking amputees first, kind of like going to front of the line at Disney or handicapped parking?

Was it the Rapture and they were taking amputees first AND I missed it?

Is this it?

Am I in Hell?

Is Hell being stuck on Earth for all eternity, wondering about One Shoes and never having a camera so one can at least chronicle being in hell with One Shoes on one's blog?

Is there a Weblog ring for bloggers in hell?

What did they have for lunch?

Last March I was on a walk and saw the above featured shoe sitting in the front yard of a home. The day before there had been several inches of snow on the ground, which had melted just that day, in a sunnied frenzy. When I first saw it, I went right up to the shoe to look at it. I think I was seeking some answers to the questions that I knew would soon cause me great torment.

From what I could determine, it was a fresh drop. No way had that shoe spent any time under snow. Not yesterday, not ever. And it was a toddler's size. What the hell and...

Oh No, here we go again....
How did it get there?

Where is its mate?

Why don't people lose their shoes in matched pairs?

Was there a one shoed toddler running amuck in the muck?

How can he not notice?

Was it the pink laces?

Was he wearing socks?

Had he been abducted?

Was this evidence of a heinous crime?

What kind of mother doesn't notice her child is running around outside in March without a shoe?...
Right then and there I decided I was going to tame this one legged monster and officially decreed the upcoming summer to be the Summer of the One Shoe, wherein I would chronicle my adventures with the anticipated, multiple One Shoe sightings through photographs and related recorded musings.

After my walk, I grabbed my camera, hopped in the car and returned to the scene and took that picture to start what I believed was going to be a footful summer adventure.

Long story a little shorter, that is The Shoe. The Only Shoe. I never once saw another One She, for the remainder of that spring and summer.

That's right, not a one One Shoe.

In fact, not long after I took the picture of the One Shoe, I was walking around the lake near my home and came across ::gasp:: a pair of slippers. All neat and tidy, lined up side by side on the walk path. White terry cloth. Two.

I know. Where did the slippers come from?
How did they get there?

How does someone lose an entire pair of slippers?

Did they fall from an airplane?

Do they belong to an escapee from a nearby retirement community?

And is she now lost in the woods?

Did she actually get away?

Or was she abducted?

By Slipper-Hatin' Aliens?

Was it The Rapture?

They've now plucked up the two-leggers, and I still missed it?

Am I now in Hell on Two Shoes?

Should I get a tankini wax, just in case?
I don't know if seeing the pair of slippers jinxed me in my grand One Shoe plan or what, but that little sneaker up there is The Chronicles of the One Shoe. Yup.

Uno Zapato.

P.S. My other choice for U was Uno Commento, however, based on a recently alarming trend, I think I'll need to save that option for Z.

P.S.S. Since it's been kind of slow here in my stretch of the superhighway, I've been rewriting this post as the Shoe so moves me. Because I can.

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••• Friday, November 24, 2006

Skeye Candy 

Sorry. I'm flat out of fresh headings.

I took these pictures from my bedroom window the other day, right after I arrived home from the Pubes and 'Taters shoot. As usual, you'll get better results if you click-it big.

The Great Gravy Debacle of Aught Six
My Eye Candy shot today was going to be of the piece duh resistance from yesterday's dinner feast, the gravy. It was one of Martha's recipes. Turkey juice and roasted veggies, stirred constantly and simmered for upwards of 25 minutes, with a cup of wine and flour and 8 cups of water.

It made 7 cups of gravy. We consumed about 1 cup, maybe, at dinner. The rest was going to be tonight's dinner: Hot turkey sandwiches, with mashed potatoes, stuffing and, um, gravy.

That was until Cabana Boy threw the gravy away during cleanup. His explanation was that I hadn't put it in a storage container.

Maybe it was the fatigue. Maybe it was the wine. Maybe it was justified indignation. But when I found out my Baby the Gravy went down the drain, I went Bitchcakes on his ass.

I know. Perspective. I usually have it. But I didn't.

The tossing of the silky brown nectar, which I successfully nurtured under stressful conditions such as dinner already being over 1 hour late because I accidently reset the oven temp to 275 instead of 375 when the 400 setting smelled too hot and dinner guests hanging around the stove during the gravy groove, asking me questions like the square root of my grandmother's shoe size, both with and without the water retention, on a muggy Tuesday.

I guess I felt minimized. Like what the fuck, it was just gravy just sitting there. Or that I asked for it, somehow.

I know he didn't do it on purpose. He's a sweet, gentle man.

Anyway. I am so over it now. At peace, even.

Said calm set in almost immediately after the final swish of the garbage disposal upon the perfectly crunchy ass of his beloved leftover dressing.


••• Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Wednesday, After All 

The following post is sponsored by Costco bakery and Bob Evans' pre-packaged mashed potatoes.

Yesterday I was sitting in a meeting at work, pretending to take copious notes on every participant's every thought and feeling, but instead I wrote out my grocery requirements for Thanksgiving dinner. Unfortunately, the people at the meeting were not speaking in list format, so I had to write out my grocery list items embedded in complete sentences. For appearances, you know.

I thought I was being pretty damn clever until I arrived at the grocery store and tried working from a list that included things like "9th grade Organic Turkey weighs 15 pounds or so. Several attempts were made to reach his Butter and Rolls on Grigio's Celery but it was out of Beans."


While writing out my grocery list essay, I realized my hostess heart wasn't in its usually bright and anticipatory place for Thanksgiving, likely on account of having blown the bulk of my Giving wad on Sunday.

And then I had a brilliant, hostess-heart-lifting idea: Pre-packaged mashed potatoes and Costco pumpkin pie. ::Hey, it's the gravy that matters the most and Costco pumpkins are great. There will still be homemade apple pie. K? Just one.::

Having these two items off of today's to-do list means I can now spend some time with you.


Marketing Damn-o-Graphics
I used to be in the cool kids direct mailing loop of sales catalogs. You know, like J. Crew and Victoria's Secret.

On my 48th birthday, I came home to two new-to-me fashion catalogs: IOS or Individual Original Style (WTF kind of name is that?), and a long underwear catalog. Swear.

When I opened the first catalog, I nearly wept. This is who some important somebody who molds and forms and influences the fashion thoughts of the world, thinks I am, now that I'm almost 50?

Elastic waist knit pants?

Sequined animal print jackets?

Dangling baubles the size of a newborn's noggin?

As I walked to the trash can, I flipped through the rest of the catalog thinking, "No fucking way people. I'm not ready. I'll never be ready. You'll have to drag me kicking and screaming to this Early-Bird-Special-Fresh-Hell....oh wait. What's this?"

That's kind of cute. Drape-y yet fashionable. But I have nothing to wear it with.

What about the pants in the picture? Hmmm...Boot-cut, stretch-knit pants with Hollywood Elastic Waist. In salsa.

Hollywood Elastic Waist? Why didn't you say so in the first place?

The Hollywood Elastic Waist is nothing like the elastic used in pants for the common aging woman with puppy paunch and degenerative bladder control. You know, the Toledo-Dayton Elastic Waist.

Nothing. Like. That.

This is obviously the elastic waistband of the stars, people. Hollywood.

And I walked that damn catalog back into the office, where it's sitting high on a shelf, alongside my self-respect.

See how they are?


Look Under There
Now, the long underwear catalog was too damn freaky to be insulting.

I can so relate to a cozy Saturday night of cribbage on the couch, in my long underwear. Can't you? And they don't look a bit awkward.

A little later in the evening you can switch it up a bit with some sexy costumes and role plays of Our Favorite Child-Hood Cartoon Characters.

Says Josie to the G.I. Joe, "I have been a very bad pussy cat."

This was my favorite.

I guess the message here is "You might be too old for the slopes, but you are never too old to stand around outside the ski resort in your long underwear, holding a pair of antique skis."


Pubes and Mashed Potatoes
The other day I got out of work on time and rushed home for a workout before picking up the Cakers. On the way home, I noticed some amazing cloud patterns and decided to go on a photo shoot instead. I headed to the local lake for the best shots. Unfortunately, the best of the puffs had passed by that point. The pictures I did get were not as good in pixel as they were in real life.

This one didn't look too impressive until I started fiddling with it in my photo software. Here's what I got after hitting the auto-fix button:

Yet another good reason to go with the pre-packaged.
And WTF.
And all that.

P.S. I took out some images and replaced with links to images in an attempt to fix the margin problem that pushed my posts down. This required some republishing.

P.P.S. None of my fiddling worked. Sorry.

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••• Sunday, November 19, 2006

All Righty Then 

I've been working on a real post, but this ain't it.

I really shouldn't even be doing this right now because I'm supposed to be getting my house ready for guests later today. It's a birthday celebration of sorts, for me and my mom.

The guests kind of invited themselves. Initially I tried to say no, but it came out along the lines of "It's really not a good time for us, with Eric working 2 jobs and all, and I'm having guests for Thanksgiving a few days later. Ask around and if no one else can do it, I will."

2 hours later the follow-up call came to tell me the contract to throw my own birthday party was my own. I'm pretty sure the person simply set a kitchen timer before calling me back, to make it look like he/she tried.

This person who made all the arrangements also agreed to make all the arrangements for who is bringing what so the only prep I am responsible for is hiding the empties and scraping out the toilet bowl.

This person has also been unavailable to me by phone for several days. A sibling suggested I call the person's cell phone, but then we both agreed that would be a bad idea, because this person doesn't know how to use the phone and hearing it ring might just make him/her cry.

I'd love to share more, but I need to save something for my book, which won't be published until my entire family has either died, been incarcerated or gone completely off their nuts.

Got Bent?
This is what's left of my birthday flowers.

Last night The Cakers said "Look at your flowers, mommy!"

"I know, they're old."

"No mommy, they're not old. They're just bent."

Bent. Yup.

No Clever Headings Today.
Here's me Red Scarf, in all his/her fringed glory.

I've decided I don't care for the making of fringe. I find it a fussy awkward affair.

Meme Streak
Because I've nothing else.

This one's been floating around. I saw it first at Rabbitch

You can only type one word in response to the prompt.

1. Yourself: bleary
2. Your boyfriend/girlfriend (spouse): mine
3. Your hair: tsunami
4. Your mother: awol
5. Your Father: deceased
6. Your Favorite Item: camera
7. Your dream last night: Japanese
8. Your Favorite drink: wine
9. Your Dream Car: red
10. The room you are in: dining
11. Your Ex: which?
12. Your fear: loss
13. What you want to be in 10 years? alive
14. Who you hung out with last night? dog
15. What You're Not? organized
16. Muffins: poppyseed
17. One of Your Wish List Items: time
18. Time: insufficient
19. The Last Thing You Did: scanned
20. What You Are Wearing: pajamas
21. Your Favorite Weather: fallish
22. Your Favorite Book: ShellSeekers
23. The Last Thing You Ate: Cornmuffin
24. Your Life: tight
25. Your Mood: waytight
26. Your best friend: husband
27. What are you thinking about right now? housework
28. Your car: garbagebomb
29. What are you doing at the moment? typingduh
30. Your summer: glorious
31. Your relationship status: Yummy
32. What is on your TV? FairlyOddParents
33. What is the weather like? dreary
34. When is the last time you laughed? thismorning

who else will do this? Unknown.

I don't know where I saw the link to this one, but I found the precision of the results pretty amazing, seeing as how I live in the Great Lake State and all.

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Inland North

You may think you speak "Standard English straight out of the dictionary" but when you step away from the Great Lakes you get asked annoying questions like "Are you from Wisconsin?" or "Are you from Chicago?" Chances are you call carbonated drinks "pop."

The Midland
The South
The Northeast
The West
North Central
What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizzes

I seriously can't believe I got such a high score on this one. I did not pay attention in high school. I have, however, always been a good guesser.

You paid attention during 97% of high school!

85-100% You must be an autodidact, because American high schools don't get scores that high! Good show, old chap!

Do you deserve your high school diploma?
Create a Quiz

Bring 'er Home
I've been working on a post for days about the slow dawning on my density that as I've aged over the past couple of years I have become a new marketing demograph. And just this week it has decidedly kicked my ass morale.

However, what with throwing myself a birthday party and planning a Thanksgiving feast and my ever imploding caseload at work which requires my coming home every night to pick the residual particles out of my brain before I can function further, there will likely be no real posting again until the last Turkey has Trotted.

And I mean it.

And I briefly scanned this post for glaring whatevers but otherwise it's going to publication as is.

Pretty much.

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••• Tuesday, November 14, 2006

It's My Party.... 

...I Can Braise Your Eyeballs With Shots of Charity Knitting if I Want To.

Other choices I considered for the title of this post included: When Good Cold Medicine Happens to Bad Knitters and Not Your Mother's Acid Reflux

Seriously. I love this scarf.

I know that many of you will not.

I know that many of you are shaking your properly reared, high browed noggins in disgusted amazement, and wondering if I need a medication adjustment.

I know that a few of you have already fired up the IM's for a mandated dish session with like-dishing cohorts. ::For you, I offer this further fodder: It's Cotton Ease. You're welcome.::

I know these things to be true.

Yet unrepentant I remain.

The Thing Is
I had an urge to knit a Red Scarf, for a cause.

A Big But
This is the part where I was originally going to defend my choice of colors and yarn through detailing, ad nauseum, the fruitless stash dive at home, followed by the uninspiring trip to the yarn store, where I found many appropriate and mutedly hued yarns which SCREAMed to me: Staid. Settled. All-Grown.

Hello, Kitty.
I heard a whisper in my ear.

Muted Schmuted.
These are college students.
If you knit it, they will scream.
In delight.
Besides, their youthful eyeballs can tolerate quite a bit more than the eyeballs of the aged likes of you, without permanent damage.
But I'm not one to gossip,
So you didn't hear it from me.

So I did As Whispered.
I knit this crazyasswhimsical scarf for an orphan in college.

And I love it, so.
And I have a really, really strong feeling that the recipient is going to love it


This Random Header Shit Is Fun.
Isn't it?

Are You Thinking What I'm Thinking?
I should do this more often.

The pattern is 300 stitches of garter, changing color as whispered.


Is it Just Me, or is it Getting Old in Here?
Thank you all so kindly for your lovely birthday greetings. And a special thanks to my Westward Sweetheart Miss Kim ::smooch::, for sending you all my way.
And if my typing seems a little, well, slurpy tonight, that's because, well, it is. For my birthday dinner I had me one of them there Applebee's Perfect Margaritas.

Mmmm. How I love me some Applebee's Perfect Margarita.

And Chicken
Whatchu think? That I drank my dinner?

So yeah, I'm 48. I do have some thoughts on that. One such thought was inspired by an incidental event that occured just today.

A thought I have about 365 days or so to ponder.

I'll Keep You Posted

Last week the candle factory burned down. Everybody just stood around and sang Happy Birthday. - Steven Wright

P.S. Happy Birthday today to Judith from NYC. And Prince Charles. Let's hear it for The Scorps Corps.

P.P.S. Note to self, no more tequila on weeknights.

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••• Sunday, November 12, 2006

Potato Blight 

And sometimes you close your eyes and see the place where you used to live, when you were young.-The Killers

(Just sayin': The following post is kind of ramble-y and was not well thought through prior to publication. Twas also proofed sparingly.)

One of my walk routes takes me past a place that has a distinct smell. I'm not crazy, or at least I'm not crazy in a way that sounds or smells like what I'm about to type, but I swear that this place with a smell smells like mashed potatoes, with lots of butter and black pepper. Like my mom used to make. On Sundays.

And just for a minute, could you please indulge me by paying no mind to the fact that you are sure that a place outdoors, in a residential neighborhood, cannot smell like mashed potatoes with lots of butter and black pepper?* Because it does. Because I've smelled it. And do smell it. And whether or not I'm experiencing a localized olfactorial hallucination, which I'm not, is not the point. At least not today. So please play along.

The first time I smelled the smell, it made me cry, a little. It wasn't a sudden break down and blubber kind of thing but more of chokey-uppy-where'd-that-come?-from-gaspy kind of thing. During 5 o'clock traffic, no less.

While I haven't cried the mashed potato since that first time I smelled it, the scent does still make me feel kind of sad and nostalgic. I think it's about Sunday dinner with my family, when I was a kid. When my family was whole. Or as whole as it would ever be.

Before my brother went to Viet Nam.

Before my daddy got sick and died.

Before my brother came home from Viet Nam and cried a lot in the basement.

Before my big sister went off to college to save her soul.

Before my mom went crazy from grief and worry.

Before my little sister and I grew boobs and tempers and a keen appreciation for a swinging vacuum cleaner hose as a weapon of choice.

Before all that.

I make a pretty mean bowl of mashed potatoes with lots of butter and pepper. But no matter how many steamy bowls I prepare of the stuff, it never quite tastes the same as that haunting smell.

Lately I've been feeling kind of sad and nostalgic about my current tribe. Mostly my girl, but the boy too. I miss them.

Yeah, the boys at college and that makes some sense.

But The Cakers is here every day.
And yet I miss her.
Every day.

Because every day she comes home from school different than she was the day before.

And every day I am simply amazed at the new person she has become.

And every day I want to get to know this new person. But there's never enough time. And before you know it, it's time for bed.

So she goes to bed and gets up and goes to school and changes all over again.

And before I have a chance to miss the girl from the day before, another one has shown up at the door. So we do it all over again.

And I feel like I'm watching a movie of my life at hyper-speed. In this movie I play myself, watching the movie of my life at hyper-speed. And all I can say is that it's a good thing I don't have any lines because I find it hard to breathe at times.

Just point me the button to slow it down. I promise I'll use it sparingly. Otherwise I'm just going to have to grab hold and not let go until she's big enough to kick my ass. Which may be as early as next week.

The same week I turn 48.
The same age as Madonna, who, according to the host of a nightly entertainment show, is doing some amazing things for someone "pushing 50."

I don't want to be amazing for my age.

I just want to be.


I soon will post a knit updater.
But it must wait a few days later.

*I'm pretty sure it's a plant I'm smelling. Smell familiar?

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••• Friday, November 10, 2006

My Candy 

College boy was home last weekend, and some of us were really happy to have him.

I've got more to say.
But not today.


••• Sunday, November 05, 2006

My Weekend State 

A Week in Review
It was WTF Wednesday, all week long.

A couple of weeks ago, when I was working a late night at school, Cabana Boy took Cakers shopping for a Halloween outfit.

The final choice ended up being a princess affair.
I cared not.

The final choice ended up being a kind of expensive affair.
I cared not.

Even though I had a bit of a pang of guilt over another Halloween passing without making my girl a costume from scratch, at this place in my life, in its relevant proximity to the nearest costume shop, an expensive, store bought costume is hella-bella-wella worth every penny spent and every second of Cabana Boy's precious time expended.

The night that the costume was modeled for me, I saw that it was kind of long but didn't think much about it at the time. Cabana Boy even mentioned it would need to be hemmed a bit so she wouldn't trip in the Halloween parade at school.

No biggie, I thought. I'll do it over the weekend.

I didn't think of it again until the Sunday before Halloween when I planned on getting to it some time before going to bed. But the day got away from me.

No biggie. I'll do it Monday night.

I started working on it Monday at 6:00.

Two layers of seven miles of meticulously measured and trimmed tule, one layer of four miles of hacked underslip, one layer of nine miles of meticulously measured, pinned, pressed and hand-hemmed satin skirt and five hours later, the princess gown was ready for the ball. That's right, five hours. Make that five hours minus the time it took to run to the store for wine.

As I worked and watched the clock I kept thinking that for a forty dollar children's costume, I should not have to put in five hours of work. Hell, for forty dollars this rag should scrub toilets, weave in yarn ends and perform private lapdances.

Q: Why not machine hem?
A: Because my new sewing machine is still in the box and it still would've had to have been trimmed by about 2 inches before putting the machine to it and it would've been more work at that point.

Q: Why not use duct tape?
A: Cakers had to live a morning of kindergarten in the costume, including usual recess and a parade. I think a princess should not have to worry about humiliating garment malfunctions.

Q: Wouldn't it have been easier and more gratifying to just make one from scratch?
A: Shut. Up.

Here's a slice of a class shot my husband took at recess, along with all the other kindergarten parents:

Look at that beautiful hem.

Someday that picture may end up on a poster at the high school senior retreat or someone's graduation open house. Imagine instead of that lovely edge, a fallen hem with duct tape still attached, with maybe some cling-on wood chips or candy corns riding along.

Lapdance or not, it was worth it.

Fur Gawd's Sake, Woman.
This was going to be my WTF Wednesday post. However, since I had WTF Wednesday all week long, it's not getting a special designation.

I was digging around my work bag the other day and came across an envelope of old pictures. I don't know why they were there or for how long, but I'm thinking it was from back when we moved to this house, over five years ago.

Anyway, check out the beaver brows.

That picture was taken in the early 90's I think. I've always loved orange and red together. And I thought those brows were the cat's ass.

Well, I was half right.
Make that two cat's asses.

Big Butt-
on on a hat.

Isn't that the cutest? And it's free! I'm thinking that style might become my pea head to a T.

Did I mention it was free?

Thank you Nik.

Eye Candy WTF Week
This is the last of my fall leaves shots. I promise. The leaves are gone.

The rest of my WTF Week sampling is related to work and not fit for public consumption. I can say that it was a week of weirdness. This upcoming week will be a week of weirdness-follow-up, which will be much less interesting and much more work.

That being said, it will probably be another week before I post. But I still reserve the right to pop in at any time, Norma.

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