Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Writing Nook- Pinto of a Different Color

The assignment was to "Write about a used car"

We had an old, used and very beat up Pinto when I was growing up. It was the second family car. It was the beater that Daddy-O took back and forth to work each day, while Mother drove the good old paneled station wagon, the reliable family car.

The Pinto was the colour of rust. Or maybe it was so rusty, that was its color? The Pinto also had a few other problems than its exterior. There was a large and rusted out hole on the floor of the front passenger side, so dad had laid a piece of wood on the floor and covered it with a floor mat since it was rather disconcerting to look down at one’s feet and watch the street whizzing by. And if he drove through a puddle, a good dousing would surely follow. The driver’s side door was also a problem. It wouldn’t stay closed. So Daddy-O used a bungee cord and once he was settled into the driver’s seat he tied the door closed across his waist to the emergency break in the center console. Otherwise, the Pinto was a perfectly reliable sort of transportation and got him to work and back, and a trip to the market for the occasional quart of milk.

The Pinto was a life saver once, rather than the life taker it sounds like it could be. It was Christmas day and we were hosting Christmas dinner for the family. My aunt, uncle and cousins were all here visiting from Texas and they were staying with my Grandmother F. They were all coming to the house, from a neighboring little town. BUT, it was cold. Lung shattering cold. Freezing cold. Nothing was running cold. Freeze the pipes in the house cold.Hurt to breath cold.

My mother was cooking up a storm and my brother and I were alternately playing with our new Christmas toys and helping Mother with setting the table and just trying to be out from under foot. Then my Uncle called. In an effort to try and make sure the cars would start, he lifted the garage door and pulled his car in half way. Well, the weather was so cold, neither his car nor my grandmother's would start and since they were hood to hood, they couldn’t even get an angle to jump start them. Uh-oh.

My mother said the F-word on Christmas day.

So, being the good eggs we all were, Daddy-O said it was no problem and said we would come to them if the stations wagon could start. It didn’t. Mother was fit to be tied with all this food and gifts and it was Christmas- the relation had come all the way from Texas for this event and no one could get to each other.

On a lark dad tried the Pinto, just to see if it would start, never thinking the rust bucket with the bungee door and hole-y floor board would even come close to remotely turning over… but it did. On the first try.

So my family of four piled into the car. My brother and I were crammed into the back seat, with all manner of food stuffs packed in around us. The hatchback was loaded with presents. Mother, who was still furious, sat shotgun, covered in a blanket in addition to her winter woolens- you know, because of the hole in the floor? And off we went in the rattletrap, to celebrate Christmas.

Over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house we go… in one scary Pinto!

And don't forget to read Lakeland Jo and Hecate, who are participating in the Writing Nook this week!

Friday, January 30, 2009

I forgot! Oooops!

Holy cow! I forgot to post the Writing Nook topics for this week! Guess I've had a lot on my mind! Here they are, better late than never!

  • Write about leaving
  • Shadows
  • Describe the Contents of someone's closet
  • Write about a used car
  • Write about "the sky you were born under"
  • The end of the day
  • "The first time I wore ____________"
Okay, there ya go, for anyone who is playing. Let me know in a comment if you write on one of these and I'll give you a link! Mine will be up tomorrow!

Forgetfully yours,

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Ugly Americans

The term Ugly American has nothing to do with how rude Americans are when they go abroad, I've decided. It may have first originated as a book title and then later became a film starring Brando, it might be appropriately used to describe John McEnroe or Bode Miller's behaviors, or even used because of American refusal to adopt the metric system. These things are most certainly ugly and deal directly with Americans, but this is not the real reason for the phrase. It's nothing to do with Americans being rude, expecting everyone world wide to speak English, to complaining about food and customs, being ignorant and un-accepting of the ways of other cultures in which we are guests- nope, the term Ugly American just had to be coined because of Passport Pictures. That's it! Passport pictures are the true meaning of Ugly American.

Since my time in Pittsburgh with AmericaninIreland Sam, he has urged me to get a passport, even at his expense so I can come visit his adopted home- and visit as soon as possible I might add. So, I have gone through the Passport application process this week and just now await for mine to come in the mail- which seems to be rather speedy right now, taking only 2-3 weeks if there's no trouble, but the applicant should allow 8 weeks. And 2 weeks seems to be true, according to the US State Department web site, and my local court house clerk.

But passport pictures are very very ugly. We are not allowed to smile. The picture must clearly show eyes and facial features. The background must be white. The photo must be 2x2, head shot. We must look miserable in these pictures, unhappy, even angry or put out. I think my picture is terrible! I went to my local Walgreens to have the picture taken and when she told me to NOT smile I couldn't stop. We attempted taking the picture several times, before one was generated where I looked miserable and unhappy enough to declare it a "perfect passport pictures!"

Why should American looks miserable or even criminal in these pictures? Mine is most certainly no better than a mug shot. And I don't want to spend any time in a European prison, thank you very much? Why instigate such thoughts into the subconscious of the customs agents- they see these pictures where we look like a gang of thieves, then no wonder we are so mistrusted and thought of as ugly!

Now I don't know about you, but at the thought of traveling abroad makes me smile and jump up and down. I canNOT wait. I'm excited beyond belief and control. I'm happy as a lark- so wouldn't it be a nicer show of international friendship if we all were smiling at the thought of traveling abroad? Wouldn't a smile traverse all ill will? Turn that frown upside down for freedom?

Or am I just smiling because of Sam?

Your Smiling girl,

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I made a 7th grade boy cry- tales of substitute teaching

I didn't do it on purpose. It really was an accident.

I was subbing for a history teacher and the activity he left was good for a sub- read aloud and answer worksheets. But since I was an educator in a former life I thought I would make it a bit more fun. We did the reading aloud and then I made a game that would help reveal the answers on the worksheet. I was bored and wanted to entertain me and hell, it couldn't hurt the kids to have the information presented in 3 formats, right? (Okay and if the regular classroom teacher hates it then I'm sorry!)

So we read and then play. One of the rules of the game was to not cheat and I went over that emphatically. So what happens? A little spiky haired kid in the second row cheats. He looks over the shoulder of the kid in front of him to get the answer because he was talking when the right answer was given. And I had already asked him once and told him once to be quiet. I asked him if he was cheating and he said no. Then he did it again. I said "Spiky haired kid- cut it out! I told you to not cheat!" he looked sheepish and then, by goddess, the little turd did it again. I about blew a gasket.

So I told him I was writing his name down for his regular teacher. Well...

At that point he didn't say a word and we finished what we were doing. Then he came to my desk and asked if I really wrote it down and I said yes. Then the tears started rolling.

Well, I felt bad. I didn't know this kid from Adam and here I made him cry. I suck. I felt about *this* big. So I give him a tissue and tell him to go into the bathroom and calm down. The rest of the kids are freaking out- I guess this kid is an athlete and an honors students so it was really completely out of character.

So when he came back I told him I would cross his name off the list but I would expect for him to explain what happened to his teacher, himself. I told him I would leave his teacher a note that said "Spiky Haired Kid needs to talk to you."

He said thanks, his lip quivering and he gave me a hug. Then he showed up again after school and wanted to know what he should say to his teacher. I told him to tell him the truth and it should be fine.

So--- I left a note for the teacher and I hope he goes easy on the kid.

I wonder if they'll call me to come back after that?

Handing out tissues,

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Year of the Ox celebration very American

Since last night was the Chinese New Year, I managed to talk my family into going out for dinner at the local Asian buffet, where you can get a combination of Chinese, Japanese and Mongolian foods. I really wanted to go to Chicago to Chinatown for a real celebration but alas, after a drive to Pittsburgh I thought I should stay put. So, Asian Buffet it was.

I had a nice time with the family. We all passed The Divine Ms. K around and she was as cute as a button and pleasant as can be. She makes me laugh with her smiles. And she was teaching and grabbing for things on the table, which was something new. She's getting to be such a big girl! And then Mac held her. We had teased him off and on all night because everyone else had held her but him so when he finally held her she puked all over him, right down his arm and his leg. He said, "Did I mention I didn't really want to hold her?" And he laughed and wiped it all up. What a good kid.

Then Daddy-O and Mac started teasing me about getting married- which would be a miracle in and of itself. So the two of them started giving me native American Indian names- I have no idea why but here's what they came up with: Hunts Bear Alone, Woman Who Runs with No one, and Opens Casino Alone. All I know is that at one point we were reading our fortune cookies aloud, adding "in bed" to the end, and then next thing I knew I was at the end of the jokes.

And how did you celebrate the year of the Ox?

Monday, January 26, 2009

If you're going to talk the talk, be ready to walk the walk (or "why I went to Pittsburgh for 24 hours")

Spontaneity. I have always claimed that I'm a spontaneous person. Until last week, though, I would say that my spontaneity was usually on a small level. Dance in the rain. Midnight walks in the snow. Random trips to a movie theater. Small stuff.

My move to the Wild West was rather spontaneous to an extent-- the fact that it all happened so quickly was what made it seem crazy spontaneous, but I'd wanted to teach HS and had wanted to live in the Wild West for a long time so it was going to happen at some point in my life. The turn around was fast so I guess it was "organized" spontaneity, if you will.

Okay, now I need to tell you something else. Follow me here: some of you might remember that I signed up accidentally, of course, for an Irish dating service. It was free. So, what you might not know, is that I've been communicating via email with an American who lives in Dublin. He took a transfer with his company and has been in the Emerald Isle for about 6 months. He and I have been emailing and it had been great fun to talk to him- an American perspective of Ireland, a place I desperately want to see!

This AmericaninIreland Sam is funny and he is an excellent correspondent. Our email exchanges are fun and lively and full of wit and intelligence, sometimes reaching rather Tolstoy-esque lengths. He can write complete sentences. He likes to read and to travel. He's thoughtful. He's smart. He has a delicious sense of humour. He's a bit handsome, well, quite a bit handsome. He's well versed in politics- and is a Democrat.

He's such a Democrat that before he went across the Pond he campaigned for President Obama. He lived in DC so that was easy for him to do. He was such a supporter and believer that he traveled around the US to do some campaigning. He is such a supporter and believer that he came to DC last week for the Inaugural Festivities. He had Ball tickets and tickets to be on the Mall for the ceremony. So, he was in DC.

We chatted on the phone TONS once he got State side. And we emailed. And then we broke all dating rules. We talked and emailed all the time and said to hell with the three date rule- who can wait three days when he's only in the US for a week? And then he called on Tuesday night with a crazy proposal: Would I meet him half way between DC and Civilization? He priced plane tickets for both of us to any airport that lay between us and the most affordable plan was for us to meet in Pittsburgh, PA. That was halfway. For a date. Would I do it? It was crazy, silly, absurd-- but... since I've always claimed that I like to fly by the seat of my pants, that I've always wanted to be in love like a movie, because it felt right, all the elements came together, so...YES!

Yes, I drove to Pittsburgh, PA on Thursday to meet my AmericaninIreland Sam, for a 24 hour long date. We had from 3 pm Thursday until 2 pm Friday, when he had to get back on a plane, get back to DC so he could prepare to fly back to Dublin Saturday night. Yes, dear readers, I drove to Pittsburgh, PA for a date.

The greatest first date story in history!

Sam is as great in person as he is on paper- at least he was for 24 hours. There is a part of me which would love to babble on and on about how great he is then there's the other part of myself which I chide my naive thinking that he's great because I have such the terrible track record with men. But Sam is grand. Handsome, witty, so very smart, a gentleman, such a flirt, interesting, romantic, sexy, silly... ack- this could be very very bad since he lives in IRELAND, for goddess sake!

We had a great time and couldn't seem to stop talking. We stayed at the Pittsburgh Hilton and basically marinated in each other for 24 hours. We talked forever and listened to music and talked books, politics, life, past, present, future, work everything. We talked about everything and practically could finish each other's sentences. This was amazing and nearly perfect. He brought me some nice Inaugural gifts- a pink commemorative hat and sweatshirt. A button. A copy of The Onion. And-- well... he brought me a gourmet box of chocolates. Heart shaped. Since he wouldn't be able to see me on Valentine's Day. Yes, my darlin' readers, the man remembered Valentine's Day 3 weeks early since he knew we couldn't be together. I. just. about.died. on. the spot. from the romanticness of it all.

I had picked him up at the airport- in addition to his airplane ticket he also paid for the Hilton and all meals, so it seemed silly to have him rent a car. We hugged and kissed in the airport like long lost friends. Then we didn't shut up, hardly, for the next 24 hours. It was wonderful... and yes, I'm gushing with emotion here- and I don't care!

He's sweet, he curls my toes. I like him. So- what next? Well, we sort of developed a code word as to whether or not this was just a shot in the dark, a one time deal... or maybe should it be more. The code word was "passport"- since I don't have one. So we're standing in the airport preparing for his departure. We're talking and he leans close and whispers "passport" in my ear, very softly. So...

And- yes, I've heard from him several times since he left. Several emails and a very looooong phone call- in which we both agreed we hate the ocean that lies between us and the gods were certainly bored to do this- we have our own level of Dante's hell....

What do we do now? Other than he and I both have decided to hate the Pond...well, we both know this is insane and the distance is beyond terrible. The tentative plan is to meet in San Fransisco, CA in April when he comes State side for a business trip, for 10 days. Yes, that's 10 weeks away and we both know lots can happen between now and then. Hell, anything can happen between now and then. But right now, if all the emails, phone calls, texts, chats and letters go according to plan- then San Fran is the plan. By then my passport should arrive and we'll talk trip to Dublin in the summer.

This is so very, very bad. And so very, very good.

Long shots. Craziness. Insanity. Spontaneity. And I will say, I think I could be a fan of Pittsburgh, of all places. Other great romances have Paris, Rome, the Empire State Building--- well, no matter what happens with him, more or nothing... we'll always have... Pittsburgh.

Your adventurous one,

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Satchels & Shoes- I know they don't match

This little plaid bag was in my possession the whole time, and I had forgotten. For Christmas Daddy-O gave me some shoes that match this bag perfectly! I should have paired them together for a photo op, but I forgot about the bag. I was unpacking my boxes of purses and ran across this adorable little bag. I know it doesn't match the shoes I have featured today, but I thought the bag was just too fine to not show it all to you!

I love these copper colored and tweed heels. They have laces and even side zippers. Aren't they just so cute? They can dress up a pair of jeans of look fabulous with dress clothes, including my chocolate colored pants.

In Shoes We Trust,

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Why there is no Writing Nook today

I decided to go see a friend of mine in Pittsburgh this week. He's American. He lives in Dublin. He came State side for all the political doings in DC since he worked for President Obama's campaign before he flew across the Pond.

We decided to get together at the halfway point- well, half way between DC and Civilization, not half way between Dublin and Civilization because that would involve a large boat and a water landing. Anyway, that place it's Pittsburgh. So...

I have no Writing Nook for today; maybe tomorrow. I just didn't get the chance to get my homework done. My mind is other places and I'm having focus trouble right now. BUT- I promise more details on Monday about said trip to Pittsburgh, PA. Could maybe be one of my new favorite cities... okay, not really, but... I sure will always have fond memories of PITT, PA!

Not so PITTiful,

Friday, January 23, 2009

My finished Mug

Remember when I told ya'll that Hecate and I painted pottery? Well, here's the finished product! I was pretty pleased with my efforts and the bottom line was that she and I had a great time!

And if you can't read the whole thing, it says, "With a cup of coffee and the right shoes, I could be queen!"

The artful dodger,

Weird Questions for a meme

If you got trapped in an elevator with someone, who would you want it to be?
Johnny Depp

What is your favorite cereal?
This varies because I do in waves- Frost Mini Wheats are a favorite but so is Count Chocula

Do you own any cowboy boots?
yes- mine are pink

What is something you would never do in public?
Have sex

Have you ever had really strange dreams?
Just recently, actually...

Name a friend or loved one who has passed away.
my mom

What’s your earliest memory?
Coming home with my granparents from visiting my great grandmother- and when i got home we were living in a new house

Have you ever broken a bone before, and if so, how?
Yes, my foot, in HS PE class... see here for the details

Have you ever stepped in dog poo?
yes (what sort of question is this???)

Ever bitten your toenails?

Who is your all time hero?
I think Princess Di

What colors do you think mix well?
Pink and Pink, pink and black

What did you eat recently?
Cup of coffee

What was your favorite cartoon movie as a child?
Mary Poppins (it counts right? Because of all the animation within?)

What’s your favorite movie now?
Love Actually

Do you paint your toenails?
In the summer

Is your computer a fast and awesome computer?
I think so

What do you do, or want to do for a living?
not a clue

If one of your long lost exes called you and asked for you back, would you take them back?
Depends which one.... prolly not, though

Have you ever been a heart-breaker?

What’s your favorite instrument?

What is a country you want to visit badly before you die?

Have you made a bucket list?

What things in history amuse you the most?
I like the pop culture stuff in history...

Have you ever eaten lipstick?

What are 3 accessories you have to be equipped with when you go out?
purse, chapstick and keys

Have you ever licked a window before?
No… (what sort of question is this???)

If someone dared you to run across a busy street for 1 thousand dollars, would you?

Would you kill someone for 9 million dollars?

Who is your worst enemy right now and why?
I have no idea....

Have you ever been in a physical fight with anyone before?
Not that I recall

What brand of cell phone do you have, and which service provider?
Blackberry Curve, Verizon

Do you wear slippers or socks?
Sometimes both if it’s really cold

Do your feet stink?
Only if I wear a pair of my oldest shoes

Have you ever picked your butt in public?
Um, this is a really weird question, but probably?

What is the strangest pet you’ve ever owned?
I had a hamster once

Do you love life or hate it?
Most of the time, I love it.

Who is the hottest person in the entire universe, in your opinion?
Johnny Depp

What do you do every night before bed?
go pee

I realize that I've wussed out and have posted a meme on a Friday two weeks in a row. Well, I have a good reason- I'm sort of in... Pittsburgh. Yeah, PA. I'll explain why on Monday.

remembering it's all about MEMEMEMEME,


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Hanging with friends, and a floral boardgame experience

I don't want this blog to turn into a "what I did today" agenda. Sometimes that happens, I realize, but I don't want it to be the overwhelming theme here. That being said, I've been doing some fun things of late, and spending time with family and friends are all part of my return. Almost like a healing...

Last weekend Mac, Daddy-O, Curley and I spent time hanging out. The guys went to a movie (Grand Torino and they said it was amazing. Mac told me that if I didn't like Clint Eastwood I was a Communist and should go live in Cuba... he's really good at being 15 years old!) and Curley and I went to a clothing shop that was going out of business- 40 to 90% off on all stuff and I got three much needed shirts. Living in the Wild West left my attire in my despair!

Yesterday was fun, too, because Hecate and I went to the Botanical Conservatory in Fort Wayne, IN. The theme of the winter garden display was "Clue"- you know, as in the board game? And this was one of my favorite all time games to play as a kid, and come to find out it was Hecate's favorite board game, too!!!

It was really cute. The main garden exhibit hall had "Clue rooms" set up and decorated: a Conservatory, a library, a dining room and the study. There were posters about each character (remember Col. Mustard, Prof. Plum, Mr. Green, Mrs. White, Miss Peacock, and Miss Scarlett?) scattered around and we had to read a little narrative to see if they characters had motives and alibis. The Conservatory provided little packets for use to write down clues, weapons, to make notes and sketch the major clue, a leaf found on Mr. Boddy. Of course, since Hecate and I both brilliant, we solved the case: Miss Peacock with the knife in the conservatory. We spent time enjoying all the floral displays. And we can't wait to go back in the spring and summer when the 2 outdoor gardens are open!

I wonder what she and I will get ourselves into next??????

Mysteriously yours,

Or was it really Hecate in the dining room with a candlestick?

Or maybe it could it be Maggie in the study with a rope?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Lots of power in my hand- but I'm clueless on how to use it

My new Blackberry Curve is a pretty nifty little toy. And it's way more phone that I'm capable of handling. So far. But it's pink!

When I got my previous phone, a Strawberry Chocolate, Mac and some of my students showed me how to work it. Now, I have no students and I think it's also more phone than Mac can just cavalierly operate. I've read the instructions and watched the little CD that came with it and I'm still at a loss.

I have a list of things I want to do and have no idea how to do it. I would love to change the ringtone to a song, but I can't. I want to make it stop pinging at me when it gets email, but I can't. I would really like the change the alert sound for the text messages so it no longer sounds like the Starship Enterprise, but I have no clue. I haven't even thought about installing my Bluetooth- I would like to be able to just answer it when it rings! It's a great phone but I'm struggling. I think I'll be resorting to calling Photographer to see if any of her high school students can help me. And if any of you out there have one and are quite capable of running your Blackberry, please let me know!

Technologically befuddled,

Editor's note: After writing this post my cute lil' Blackberry just stopped working- no emails, no phone capabilities, no service, no text, no anything. So I called Verizon Wireless and I got the greatest Customer Service Rep in history. Murry has the exact same phone as me (except his is in silver) and he walked me through all the issues, problems and questions. Then he gave me his email address and told me to just send him an email when I have trouble and if he can't help via email, he'll just call my cell. OMG- I love this guy!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Yes We Can!

This is the entire speech but broken into 2 video parts. the above is part I and below is the conclusion of his speech.

The Inaugural Address of President Obama

Among the cheering and chants, were his words, his address, pouring over Americans, and the world. It was somber and real. It was definitive and powerful. He is gracious and uplifting. He's ready and as a county, we as Americans should be ready as well. We helped shaped history, and these words are for us. ~Respectfully submitted, Maggie

My fellow citizens: I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors.

I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.

Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath.

The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forbearers, and true to our founding documents.

So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.

That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age.

Homes have been lost, jobs shed, businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly, our schools fail too many, and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.

These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable, but no less profound, is a sapping of confidence across our land; a nagging fear that America's decline is inevitable, that the next generation must lower its sights.

Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real, they are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this America: They will be met.

On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas that for far too long have strangled our politics.

We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.

In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of shortcuts or settling for less.

It has not been the path for the faint-hearted, for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame.

Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things -- some celebrated, but more often men and women obscure in their labor -- who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.

For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life. For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West, endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.

For us, they fought and died in places Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn.

Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.

This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions -- that time has surely passed.

Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America. For everywhere we look, there is work to be done.

The state of our economy calls for action: bold and swift. And we will act not only to create new jobs but to lay a new foundation for growth.

We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together.

We will restore science to its rightful place and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its costs.

We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age.

All this we can do. All this we will do.

Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions, who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short, for they have forgotten what this country has already done, what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose and necessity to courage.

What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them, that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long, no longer apply.

OBAMA: The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works, whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified.

Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end.

And those of us who manage the public's knowledge will be held to account, to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day, because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.

Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched.

But this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control. The nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous.

The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our gross domestic product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on the ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart -- not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.

As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.

Our founding fathers faced with perils that we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations.

Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake.

And so, to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and we are ready to lead once more.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with the sturdy alliances and enduring convictions.

They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use. Our security emanates from the justness of our cause; the force of our example; the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

We are the keepers of this legacy, guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort, even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We'll begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people and forge a hard- earned peace in Afghanistan.

With old friends and former foes, we'll work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat and roll back the specter of a warming planet.

We will not apologize for our way of life nor will we waver in its defense.

And for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that, "Our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken. You cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you."

For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness.

We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, and nonbelievers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth.

And because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.

To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect.

To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict or blame their society's ills on the West, know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy.

To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history, but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.

To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds.

And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to the suffering outside our borders, nor can we consume the world's resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.

As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages.

We honor them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service: a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves.

And yet, at this moment, a moment that will define a generation, it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all.

For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies.

It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break; the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours.

It is the firefighter's courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent's willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.

Our challenges may be new, the instruments with which we meet them may be new, but those values upon which our success depends, honesty and hard work, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism -- these things are old.

These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history.

What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility -- a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character than giving our all to a difficult task.

This is the price and the promise of citizenship.

This is the source of our confidence: the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.

This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed, why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall. And why a man whose father less than 60 years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.

So let us mark this day in remembrance of who we are and how far we have traveled.

In the year of America's birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by nine campfires on the shores of an icy river.

The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood.

At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:

"Let it be told to the future world that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive, that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet it."

America, in the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words; with hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come; let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.

Thank you. God bless you. And God bless the United States of America.

Let Freedom Ring

I'm not sure I can put into words how today makes me feel. From the moment I turned on my television this morning and watched the crowds gathering in Mall in Washington DC. The waving of the flags, the cheering crowds, the crowds themselves just making history. The tears have flowed at regular intervals all day.

It was a day of tradition, steeped in what has happened before, but it is also a day of newness and refreshing ideals coming to the forefront. From the moment he, Preside Obama, laid his hand on the Bible and took the oath, the swell of pride was felt in my heart, for the first time in many years I have an optimistic feeling about politics in my country. Today I knew what it meant to truly be an American and to feel a soaring pride in my country.

About a year ago I read The Audacity of Hope and I knew he would be our President; something inside me just knew. And today I cannot express my emotions as I embrace change, and desire a new type of freedom, and for hope.

This is a historical moment, not just for Black people or for those of color, but for all people who want a new government, who do have hope, who want change and want to see a more broad sense of freedom for everyone take hold.

I feel giddy in my naivety. It only took Sasha Obama giving her dad a thumbs up and some buried microphone picking up her saying, "Now you're President, daddy!"

Proud American,

Monday, January 19, 2009

So, ya wanna be a writer?

If Anyone would like to participate in the Writing Nook this week, here are the new topics. I think these are so much kinder than last week's- which were really tough for me. I think these are going to be fun! Let me know if you write this week- I can link to your blog or publish your writing here with me!

Jan. 17 ~ Write about a time you found out about something you weren’t supposed to know.

Jan. 18 ~ “It was noon and nothing is concluded.”

Jan. 19 ~ Remember a sound

Jan. 20 ~ Look our your window; write what you see

Jan. 21 ~ Write about something you bought mail order

Jan. 22 ~ In the meantime……

Jan. 23 ~ Write a love letter. To anyone.

Remember the power of the pen,


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Satchels & Shoes- these were supposed to be purple suede pumps but...

So my friend Curley, Daddy-O, and I went shopping and I wanted purple suede pumps. I have several outfits that purple suede pumps would be the perfect shoe to wear, but I couldn't find any. We looked high and low to no avail. Finally Curley and I went in the lat shoe store of the day; Daddy-O waited in the car. And I found these instead. I just couldn't resist! And I do have quite a few outfits these go with as well- I mean, black and white goes with just about everything! So I guess these are my "supposed to be purple suede pumps" shoes. I love the black and white, like high heeled "Spats" worn by Gangsters during the Roaring 20's, or most notably called Spectator Pumps for women, which have gone in and out of popularity since the 1950s. And I think the black silk ribbon for laces are just adorable!

(See the ribbon laces in this close up?)

Oh and the bag... another Liz Claiborne, in the basic black, of course. I'm a firm believer that a woman can never have enough black bags.

In Shoes We Trust,

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Writing Nook- What Lays on the Horizon

Here is my Writing Nook submission for the week. I'm not really happy with it. This week's topics were rough ones for me- not emotionally or anything of that vein, but I just couldn't get my "write" on and none of these inspired me to any extent.

As I re-read the following piece I wish I would've done something differently like taken a "land pirate" sort of perspective, or taken the quilt or fabric theme and woven throughout the work; I still may rework it, but this was the original submission I made to Hecate so I'm giving it to you in that form. The Topic was "write about the horizon."

The horizon has never been so important to me as it has the last few months. Before I moved from the Wild West I would drive out in the prairies and gaze upon the horizon. I could see forever- literally forever. There were never trees, barns, or buildings. Just land and sky as far as the eye can see, creating almost a mystical illusion. I could see the different layers of the land, different textures created by natures, looking like the shelves in a fabric store. The vast richness of the land rolls forever with no apparent ending. It’s always been calming and soothing. The sky and land merged into one, making a beautiful earthen blanket.

Now that I live in Civilization again the horizon is a whole new and different creature. At first I was feeling claustrophobic, but that all changed last weekend. I went for a drive and it was beautiful. The snow was falling and as far as my eye could see was a line of trees. A bright red barn in the distance stood strong and tall against the elements. The broken remnants of corn peeked through the snow. The smoke rolled from the chimney of the white clapboard farmhouse.

This Civilization horizon is different from that of the Wild West, but both are pleasant and wonderful. Both have their own magic and are comforting. Both feel like home.

Searching for beyond the horizon,


Friday, January 16, 2009

Favorites- a meme on a Friday

1. Political show:
None of them- I don't watch because they frustrate me

2. Picnic food:
I don't like picnics because of bugs, because it means being outside and it's usually hot. Now I do love fried chicken and potato salad- traditional picnic fare- inSIDE

3. Mixed drink:
Cosmos or strawberry margaritas

4. U.S. President:
Well..... Clinton, but I have a feeling it could become Obama

5. Kind of student to teach:
Polite, respectful, who does their work and tries without complaining

6. Hobby you do or wish you still did:
I like quilting and blogging. Reading and scrapbooking are hobbies I do as well.

7. Sports commentator:
Bob Costas

8. Sport to watch on TV:

9. Animal to have as a pet:
I have no pets and don't really want any.

10. Halloween costume you have worn:

Oh, I was Captn Hook once upon a time. I was also a gypsy and another year I was a witch. I was also Isis when I was little.

11. Kind of dessert:
Peach pie, chocolate cake, sugar cream pie, danish

12. Comic strip:
I don't usually read but I still love Peanuts

13. Ice cream flavor:
Cherry Garcia, Phish Phood, and Mint Chocolate Chip

14. News source:

15. Vacation spot:
I haven't been in a vacation since 2001. But I'm planning one now and I can't decide where to go- maybe a cruise or maybe to CA or TX. I can afford Maine and Nantucket this time of year, so who knows?

16. Wine:
Sweet like kool-aid. I mean sweet! and Cheap so I go with a nice Wild Vines Blackberry Merlot or Sunshine blend- screw cap and $3.49 a bottle

17. Way to waste time instead of working:
Internet and reading and napping

18. Reality show:
This year I think I'm going to try and watch American Idol. I've watched the first 2 shows so I'll see what happens. Is it always 2 hours, though? I used to like the Amazing Race but I sort of just stopped watching it...

19. Children’s movie:
Beauty and the Beast

20. Celebrity you wish would retire:
Tom Cruise- I hate him.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Childhood Flashback- A Day Moon

It was summer time, between my freshmen and sophomore year in high school. My mother was sitting on the sun porch reading a book. I was at the neighbor’s house, one house away, with my BFF (who isn't a BFF- I have no idea what happened to her...anyway!). We were on the front porch at her house, talking. It was hot, we were bored and trying to figure out what to do. We were listening to the radio and singing along, of course.

A car goes by, with the music blaring and a bunch of boys waved at us and drove on. We knew them from school and of course we immediately giggled, and started talking about them- they were a year old than me, in a grade above. They drove by again and again, circling the block. Each time they would wave or yell something at us. They weren’t being rude or gross- politically incorrect yeah, but no nasty name calling or asking for sexual favors. Just things like “hey baby” or “ooooo sexy” or “looking good”.

About the 5th or 6th time they passed, things were a little different. BFF and I had figured at some point they would stop and hang out- that was just what kids in our small town did. BUT… this time when they came by, they slowed down… and one of the boys mooned us! He hung his lily white butt out the window and mooned us, plain as day, in the middle of the afternoon. They sped up and took off.

BFF and I were speechless, then we about died laughing. We howled and laughed until the tears poured down our faces. Then my mother yelled at us to come over to her. We walked to my house, a whole 100 yards away, still giggling. She was curious to see if we could tell her what was so funny. She knew the boys had been driving by, she could see that, but she didn’t know about the mooning. As we started to tell her, here came the car of boys again. And once again, they MOONED us. This time my mom got a full view. All three of us were laughing hysterically. The car came around a third, and final, time. My mom had come out of the shadows of the sun porch and when the boys ‘dropped trou’, she was right there, applauding and laughing- BFF and I clapped too, giving them a standing ovation. The boys were caught and drove like a bat out of hell down the road, trying to get away, thinking they were busted since there was an adult there.

A day moon.- who wouldda thought?

White moon shining,


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Dream a little dream of...

I had a dream a few nights ago and it went something like this...

Mac and I were treasure hunting in Africa. We land at the airport and I rent a Convertible Land Rover and off we go into the African Bush (go ahead and laugh at the image of me in the African Bush- I too laughed- when I woke up and reflected on the absurdity of such). We travel along a dirt road forever, seeing nothing but African nature straight from a film called... Out of Africa, and as clouds roll in and darkness falls, we come upon a bar. It's a "town" on a map, but all Mac and I could see was just a run down bar. We are tired, dirty, dusty, and thirsty. We park in an area where there are other vehicles and animals "parked" which is about 100 yards from the bar.

When we walk inside, it's like a scene from Crocodile Dundee. Everything goes silent and deathly still. Everyone is staring at us. Then suddenly a guy calls out my name and runs over to embrace me, and then all the noise surges back again, people move and it's like nothing broke their strides.

Now the guy hugging me is acting like we are best long lost friends. The guy is William R. Moses, and he's asking about my family, telling Mac he's grown, just like someone I know. He goes on and on about how funny it is to run into me in the African Bush. The three of us sit down and have a few beers and bullshit, and eat.

I'm really casual about telling him why Mac and I are there and he says we shouldn't be running around the Bush without a guide or help so he decides to come along. So he grabs some supplies and he and Mac head out the the Land Rover and I said I'll meet them there after I visit the Ladies Room.

I go to the bathroom and then leave the bar. It's storming like nothing I've ever seen, lots of lightening and thunder and the rain is just pounding down in torrents. As I'm running across the parking area, I see money on the ground. And not just random bills, but lots of money sort of bound together in plastic wrap. Rolled not in typical fashion and not in bricks, but rather, rolled length-wise so it looked like a baton. And there were several of them on the ground so I was scooping them up and stuffing them down the front of my white beater (pink) shirt. Then out of nowhere, behind me, comes a pack of Pygmies wielding spears, and hockey sticks. They started chasing me. I just jumped into the back seat of the Land Rover and that's when I woke up!

And here's where it gets even more weird. (Is that possible?)

I lay there in bed and thought it was really a weird dream. I was really awake. I looked at the clock, 5:40 am, and I heard the television from down stairs. I listened a while longer and I could hear I Love Lucy and a laugh track. I like watching Lucy and I couldn't understand why dad was up this early on weekend and WHY he was watching TV, to boot. So I grab my robe, walk into the living room and... nothing. The house is dark and quiet. I listen outside dad's bedroom door and nothing. No TV is on, no one is awake but me. WEIRD!! I was awake but now I was hearing things. Strange, I know. I walked around the house, turned on the TV to just see if Lucy was on (she wasn't) and I turned on lights. I read for awhile, drank some OJ and then went back to bed and didn't dream any more.

And I swear I didn't drink a damn bit oc booze (tho I really wanted a Cosmo) before I went to bed... what the heck was that all about?

Dreaming with my eyes wide open,

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Picasso I ain't!

Yesterday Hecate and I met in Northern Civilization to hang out. We met early and left early because of the HUGE winter storm that was headed our way.

After I arrived 25 minutes late because I overslept like the dumbass I can sometimes be, we dined at Arbys and got caught up on the usual stuff. (I had to tell her about a former Sam of mine who wanted a date but then proceed to tell me about having to come up with an excuse (LIE!) to feed his fiancee... OMG! WTF! WAJ! [What A Jerk!]) Then we headed out to paint pottery.

I have zero artistic ability. I can barely draw stick figures. I have no talent when it comes to painting or drawing or sketching or knitting or crocheting or anything artsy or crafty. I love art history and I love to look at art, but to create it... well, for me, it's not my strong point. All that being said, I had a great time.

After getting slightly lost on the way to the studio, we finally arrived. We were the only ones in the brightly painted shop, other than the owner, which was good since I asked lots of questions and we moved about a lot to get supplies and stuff. We browsed the bisque pieces and each selected a coffee mug to paint, ironically. We also selected the SAME piece to paint, double irony.

We got our paints and brushes. I sort of had a vision of what I wanted it to look like- something to do with coffee, pink and shoes. But when one has no artistic ability, one needs to describe her vision to someone who can do more than straight lines and produce the desired art on said coffee mug. ie: The woman who owned the place drew a shoe on my mug for me.

Hecate and I sat and painted in contented silence. I think she was amazed that I could be quiet for so long. The radio was on to music I liked and we chatted and listened to music and painted. It was a quite a fun time, at least for me. My mug looked like... I tried, while Hecate's, on the other hand, looked beautiful with her Chinese symbol and lettering. It turned out great and nice and neat and professional looking, completely unlike mine...

And in one week we can go back and pick up our "creations" after they are fired in the kiln. And I promise to show pictures here next week when we get them back.

I love doing stuff like this, even though I have no art ability. And lemme be the first to tell you, I don't try and pretend to have art ability either. (I'm also not one of those people who say they have no art ability and then can draw a complete replica of the Sistine Chapel and be all modest. I really can't do ART!). Several years ago when Mac was just little and I was dating Canadian Sam we painted at a similar type of place and it just stressed to out because mine always looked awful compared to everyone else's work. this time it didn't matter, as long as I had fun doing it- and I did. Don't sweat the small stuff and this was small. Important, but small. And fun, which is all that matters!

It seems that all my friends and family have some artsy ability, or crafty ability, whereas I'm lacking. I like to try and I have fun. I do like to mess around and scrapbook, which is crafty but I will never make a page that will be featured in a magazine. I just like to give it a whirl and if I'm please with the results, then I keep trying. If I frustrate myself into NOT having FUN, then I stop. I don't give up, but I realize this is something I'm trying as a hobby or for fun and if it's not FUN, and not a life requirement, then I'm just not gonna do it. Life is made up of too many things we MUST do that aren't really all that fun so why add on more?

So, painting pottery scores high on the fun list. And I can't wait to go back and make a saucer to match my mug... or paint one of those cute frog statues... can I have a pink frog?

No stadingstill life,

Monday, January 12, 2009

Writers Converge

What a great response I got to my post called The Writing Nook! Thanks for that!

And fellow bloggers Bragger and Lynn also want participate in their own way, so I'm going to post the topics here, at least until everyone gets tired of it!

Now, if any of you want to write along, fee free. Let me know if you do and I can link you to my posts each Saturday, which is when I'll be having The Writing Nook- if you want. or I can add your writing to my blog- love me some cut and paste!

Now Hecate and I read each other's writing in advance and we pick our favs from each other's work. If anyone wants me to read their stuff ahead of time and select a writing I like the best, let me know and we can work something out (send me a comment and let me know not to publish it...).

Here are the topics for this week:

Jan. 11 ~ You are in a motel room

Jan. 12 ~ Write about acceptable losses

Jan. 13 ~ After midnight

Jan. 14 ~ Write about the horizon

Jan. 15 ~ It’s Saturday afternoon. You’re not at home

Jan. 16 ~ Write about a bed

Now remember this comes out of a book that has a journal-a-day writing so that's why the dates are included... This should be lots of fun!

Happy Writing,

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Satchels and Shoes- you can never have enough pink!

Here is my pink alligator Liz Claiborne bag and my pink ostrich Fatbaby boots. In front of my pretty pink Christmas tree. On my beautiful afghan made by Curley.

I bought myself the boots when I lived in the Wild West. I love these boots, but if you note the rubber soles, you'll see you can't wear them to ride or you'd be tangled in the stirrups if something went wrong; they were more of a fashion statement. And a funny story about the bag: my friend the Photographer was just starting her photo business and asked me to help her shoot a wedding. As payment she gave me this bag! I love it!

In Shoes We Trust,

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Writing Nook- "The Amazon broke the Princess"

So my friend Hecate bought a great book with a daily journal topic and writing prompts. It's to help the lost writer, or the person who needs idea for writing and journaling. It's a very cool book.

One discussion led to another and she is emailing me the topics a week at a time. I'm writing my responses, sending them back to her, and she is picking her favorite among my writings. Then I am going to post her favorite one of mine of the week. I'm doing the same to her. And then I'm going to post her favorite here each Saturday- something a bit different than a meme. You never know what you're going to get with this little project.

The weekends are a veritable wasteland in the blogger world so I thought this would be a good place to introduce "The Writing Nook".

Here is the first one. The topic was "write about a wound"! I hope you all enjoy!

When I was in the 9th grade, a big horsey girl who was the star center on the basketball team was assigned as my guard in a PE class basketball game. I didn’t NOT play sports; I danced but had zero coordination for anything to do with a ball. And I hate gym class, considering it one more thing to make my high school years miserable.

And I knew it would not go well when Ms Jock was blocking me. I couldn’t touch the ball without her plowing me over. And since she towered over me by about 13 inches and had played basketball since she could hold a bottle, nor could I block her or be defensive or offensive or whatever I was supposed to be doing. I could barely stay on my feet let alone do anything remotely related to “playing” this stupid game in a stupid all girls PE class as a stupid frosh in stupid high school.

Crunch! She went up for a rebound and I got in her way and she landed on my foot. Which promptly broke. And I promptly lay on the floor writhing in agony. Of course no one would listen to me when I said it was broken. The super jock gym teacher just drug me to the sidelines where I sat on the sideline with ice on my foot. Then I hobbled to the office and waited for my mom to get me. She did, and took me to the doctor's office.

At the doctor office we took of my shoe and sock and it was GROSS. My foot, which was normally a size 7 and thin and milky white, was now double in size and so purple it was black. It was nasty. My toes were resembling Vienna Sausages. My ankle bones looked like buttons in the midst of the swelling.

The x-rays showed nothing broken through the swelling. But lo and behold, two days later it was x-rayed again because I still cried when I had to walk on it, and it was broken. It was still swollen, still black, still couldn’t move my still sausage like toes. It was broken. I got a cast, one of those old fashioned plaster ones. When the doctor put the cast on he and I sang most of the score to the Broadway musical The Music Man. (I don't know why. It's just the way my doctor was.) My dad painted a huge Christmas tree on it since this happened 3 weeks before the holiday.

Good news- I was done with PE for the rest of the year!

I'm a writin' fool,


Click here to read my favorite Hecate writing out of this week's assignments!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Is the plural of penis peni?

Farrago (I bet he's wondering how he's drug into a post with THIS title) mentioned the Craigslist website and something called meet-ups over on his blog. I read about his success and great experiences & I thought this sounded like fun. The way he described it was like single folks meeting at places for outings- dinners, shows, museums, etc. I moved back here and thought I would see if North Civilization had such an activity on Craigslist.

I Googled it and click all the right city info and events and such. And guess what I get when I hunt for meet-ups in my area? Pictures of penises- lots and lots of penises.

After being slightly embarrassed and mortified, I became sort of intrigued. It was like a bad car accident and I couldn't look away. I mean, after seeing about 10 pictures of penises, I was sort of desensitized by the actual "members." (side note- I think penises just prove that if there was a God she had a sense of humor through the creation of the penis. They are JUST not attractive. Useful, yes. Most of the time pleasurable if used correctly, yes. Pretty- NO!!) But I became more interested the actual wording of their "ads" for meet-ups.

First, I think these guys are shameless and wacko. They will be the ones who leave your dead body in a seedy motel room he's rented by the hour. He'll use the skin of your body for his costume. Lotion in the bucket, anyone? The scary factor aside, though...

This was hilarious! Penises everywhere! Of course they were all erect and these guys have no idea what women are gonna think of as hot... First, if you're going to take a picture of your penis and post it on the Internet, the least you could do before shooting the picture is to kick your dirty underpants off the floor and out of the way. Or don't take a picture of your wang with a stack of kids' board games piled in the background. Or a cluster of WEDDING PICTURES on the shelf behind you!!!!!! And have these guys heard of trimming the forest? PLEASE! A hirsute is nasty!

And they say things like "I don't even want to know your name, I just want to f*** you..." or "married man looking for secret fun" or "Handsome 66 year old man looking for an 18-21 year old female to spoil, spank and fondle- light S&M to be expected" and he had a picture of his dong and his naked, red, saggy, recently spanked, wrinkly, old man ass. NO! And NSA means "no strings attached" if you answer an ad... OMG- wrong, wrong, wrong.

So, of course I have to tell Hecate about this and she sends me a link to a blog site called Desperately Seeking... Something? The creators of this site have taken the nasty penis shots from Craigslist, compiled them onto a blog, and wrote their own captions... OMG! This is some seriously funny stuff! It's adult content- you have been warned.

Moral of this story- Craigslist is scary, that many penises on a web page are scary, and never trust Farrago. By the way, I still don't know the answer to my original question that titled this whole post!

There are times when being blind wouldn't be so bad,

TMI-The " Would you rather..." Edition

1. Would you rather be stranded on an island alone or with someone you dislike/don't get along with? I think I would be freaking out so much on an island alone that I would even take along someone I don't like. I can always go to the other side of the island if it's too unbearable. Since I have no camping abilities or outdoor knowledge, I would like another human around.

2. Would you rather accidentally walk in on your parents having sex or have them walk in on you? Since my mother is dead, that would be super creepy for me to walk in on them... so I guess I'll go with them walk in on me (Though both of these options are gross!)

3. Would you rather be snapped by paparazzi during a nipple slip or while exiting a car with out any underwear? (guys, consider similar circumstances) Nipple slip. You just can't live down the no panties thing... (Brittany, Sharon anyone?)

4. Would you rather not have sex for two years or not be able to use the Internet for two years? No sex for 2 years. Been there, done that and could do it again.

5. Would you rather find true love or 1 million dollars? A million dollars, easy. I've had true love- show me the money! I've never had a million bucks before.

See where TMI all began...

Kissing and telling,

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Made one laugh and one mad- not bad for a day's work

A long time ago in a lifetime, far far away, Hecate and I ate dinner at Cheddar's, where I proceeded to get rip roaring drunk on their super yummy margaritas which were the special that day. Peach- I think.

I was loud and obnoxious. I threw lettuce at people and on the floor. I made phone calls- drunk dialing. It was bad. I was bad. I cannot believe she didn't disown me on the spot. I can't believe we didn't get thrown out. I can't believe they let us back in last weekend! Thank the goddess she was sober and smart. I would tell you more about that day... but I don't remember anything else- it's a little hazy.

So, fast forward to last week, and Hecate and I got together in North Civilization to chat books, eat and hit used bookstores, and maybe see a movie. Since I picked the eatery the first time we hung out, it was her turn this time- Cheddar's, her fav place as well as the scene of my past drunken crimes.

The waitress said there was a wanted Poster of me in the backroom because we told her of my previous drunken escapade because I refused to order a peach margarita that I really wanted and which was on special again, but I wanted to be functional for the rest of the day. And though we didn't get thrown out, we wondered if we were going to.

I ordered us an appetizer of onion rings, which were super yummy- light and flaky, with 2 dipping sauces. It looked so pretty when served- the presentation was fun- we deiced to take a picture of it. We arranged the table and I took some shots, sat back down and we proceeded to visit and laugh and have a good time. Until the manager came to our table.

I had not thrown one bit of food, I swear. Neither had Hecate! He kneels at our table and starts laughing. He said we managed to crack his bartender up with laughter because we whipped out a camera and took pictures of food, NOT each other. Us, being folks who like to take pictures, must looked like "well, duh, it was a great shot" on our faces, because he kept going on about it. So we told him about me living in the Wild West where we didn't have restaurants which worried about presentation. He laughed and moved on...

I finally took out my camera and tired to take pictures of Hecate, which she avoided and swore at me over, waving her finger. (And when she does that she scares me since she's a witch and I'm worried she's gonna accidentally put a spell on me or something very Charmed will happen and lightening will zing out that finger!)

We did have a fun time and the food was great and the company was even better! The chicken and shrimp with the pineapple pico de gallo was to die for!

Later in the day, we trolled some book stores and the mall. And then we settled in at Barnes and Noble for a good chat. I would like to say that in our defense, we are sort of loud talkers, me especially. But this was a NON quiet bookstore, in a MALL, with little KIDS running around, and teenagers being LOUD. This was not a library. And we weren't being rude to other people- we were just really into our own conversations. And people around us were talking out loud as they milled about. And if people heard us, we didn't really care, because it was a public place, after all. All that being said...

As we sat side by side in a conversational grouping of 4, we chatted. At first there was a teenager and some older guy sitting across from us. We talked and told each other funny stories- and Hecate had me rolling with laughter over stories about her kids (Toilet seat of death!), especially her son. We just... chatted and we were being us. The older guy leaves and we both figure out that he was listening to us the entire time, to the point where he held his cell phone to his face and faked a conversation, in which he never said a word, so he could stay longer to listen, and laugh. I wonder if he was recording us on his phone?!?

So the eavesdropping guy was replaced by another old guy, who was the father of the teenage boy who was still sitting there, doing his thing. About this time, I get on a roll about the future which leads me to make a comment about if my shrew of a grandmother would die and leave me money, I wouldn't have to find a job and could go back to school. Which got me on a tangent about the shrew of a grandmother. Hecate and I giggled over it. Yes, I know what I said was horrible and mortifying to a total stranger but Hecate knew the down and dirty details of the horrible-ness of said grandmother. Suddenly the old guy says to his son, "Are you ready to go?" And the kid said yeah and got his stuff. The old guy said , "We might as well since it's too loud to read here anyway" and as they walk away he says really loudly, "Shrew of a grandmother indeed" and then we couldn't hear the rest of it. Well- OMG- Hecate and I look at each other and then burst into hysterical giggles like the inner 13 year girls we are. And we proceed to make fun of him. And then we proceeded to go on the other side of the store and look over our shoulders in case he sent the Barnes and Noble police after us.

It was funny, though...

So even though we didn't get make a scene at Cheddar's we did manage to make a small one somewhere else... Hecate and I are going together to paint pottery this weekend- I wonder what will happen there?

Big loud mouth girl even when sober,

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

To hell with love- Valium can build a bridge

I hate bridges. I especially hate the metal bridges, with metal bottoms, that make the "whump whump whump" noise when driven over and have the metal arch over it. I hate bridges that do NOT look sturdy. I hate bridges that are looooong. I hate bridges that have low sides and I can see the water below. I hate bridges that appear to go up hill so tall boats, barges and ships may pass underneath. I hate when all these things are combined together in one bridge crossing experience.

For someone who loves the water as much as I do, I realize it does seem strange to hate bridges. But they scare me. I grew up in a town with a river running smack down the middle of it and I can cross 2 of the three bridges in this town without pause, probably because I've done it all my life, they are short, the fall isn't far, the sides are high and I can't see the water, and they are made of cement and look just like a road- I can fool myself into believing it's just plain old road. even when I travel as a passenger, I shut my eyes and breathe until I'm over the bridges. I just think happy thoughts and don't look. I usually avoid places which have huge, scary bridges that sway, rattle and clank. But...

Which leads me to crossing the bridges on the way home from the Wild West to here in Civilization... Before I left, I knew where I was going to be crossing the Mississippi River, so I googled it. I looked up information and learned about the bridge and I even managed to see pictures. I knew I would be fine because it looked like just a regular, old road, all cement and high sides. I was prepped and I gave myself a pep talk. And after all the snow and wind and the blizzard, it didn't seem like such a big deal. Smooth sailing, I say. It was not a big deal and I just didn't think about it. I just though "road, road, road" and over I went with all the other cars.

However. Because I had to change my plans and divert myself 140 miles out of the way... I had forgotten about the Illinois River. That fucking HUGE river, in some spots..., in a spot where, incidentally I had to cross. And had not prepped for. had not researched.

Who just sticks a river in the way of a person without warning? Like Illinois really needs to boast a river that large? I mean, really? And hasn't that state heard of engineers who could get rid of those metal, antiquated bridges that heave and ho and shudder and groan when 5 million cars are zooming over them at warp speed??????

So, I've just driven in a blizzard for 2 days and I want to come home. I'm stressed and tense enough as it is that I'm finally out of snow and in the flow of rush hour traffic, 6 lanes of flowing traffic mind you, with no exits or no place to stop, pulling a U-Haul, going at Indy 500 speeds when suddenly, in front of me, is a bridge. A huge metal one. That arches up high so BIG boats can go underneath. The kind that shudders and shimmies and shakes and scares me. The kind I avoid at all costs. I would have lived in Iowa before I would have crossed that damn river if I would've known. I would've gone another 140 miles out of my way to not drive over a tall, shaky metal suspension bridge of death had I known. But what could I do?

There was no exit. There was traffic everywhere- 6 lanes. I had to keep going, I couldn't just stop, though I did hit my brakes and slow down and horns sounded all around me. So, I just kept going.

BUT, I shut one eye and I kept saying over and over again, "Don't shut your eyes. Don't shut your eyes. Don't shut your eyes" because the other one wanted to slam shut- all I wanted to do was close my eyes because it was scary. It was like a Pavlovian response- Maggie+ bridges= eyes shut so on top of the bridge fear, I was terrified I was going to close my eyes and drive off the edge and take others with me! I was gripping the steering wheel like a life preserver, hyperventilating, with tears rolling out of my one open eye. Do you *GET* how much I hate bridges? I was sweating and shaking, crying and self blinded because I shut ONE eye, pulling a U-Haul over an ice covered bridge of death, somewhere in fucking Iowa, going 55 mph with the flow of traffic, in a middle lane with no escape route. Can you just get a mental picture? Yeah...

Okay, so I made it across in one piece and I didn't shut my other eye. I didn't die a tragic death in Iowa (OMG that is redundant, if I do say so myself)- and I wasn't even wearing my tiara. If my cold, dead body washed up on the shore, I was sans crown and I was wearing ugly shoes! I knew it wasn't my day to die... I did exit at the first exit I came to, and had to sit for a spell until my heart resumed beating and I could breath again. I wiped the snot from my face and walked around. I went to pee. I felt better. But I seriously think the state of Iowa should do a better job of warning people that there's a huge river and a bridge of death to cross if you want out of the state alive- please Iowa, put this in your tourist literature!

And what made me think of the Bridge of Death in Iowa experience because it sounded like I should have blocked it from my subconscious after rocking in the fetal position, buying new shoes and drinking a calming Starbucks Venti Peppermint Mocha latte? Well... it was my driving test. Yes, friends, the driving test reminded me of this horrifying adventure. I should sue the BMV for PBSD (Post Bridge Stress Disorder).

One of the questions on the test, and she wouldn't give me the test so I can't copy it word for word so I'm paraphrasing here, said something like:

If your car plummets off a bridge and into the murky depths below, what do you do?
a) Use your cell phone and call for help
b) try to escape immediately
c) wait for the car to be completely covered with water, enveloping your car and soul, it will pressurize and then you can pry the window or door open and swim for help if you can take a deep enough breath
d) all of the above

And this is yet another reason I need therapy,