Friday, September 28, 2007

One is Silver and the Other, Gold

I had a best friend in college. We did everything together. We cried together when we were dumped by guys, went to Florida during Spring Break and had experiences our mothers would cringe at, managed to share an apartment without killing each other (although, during the fish chowder episode, we came close), we laughed and cried and blundered through everything college life and the sorority had to offer us, always together. I was with her when she met her future husband on the beach. She was there when I went out on a blind date with my future husband. We were in each other's weddings. We were there for the births of our children. We were close friends even after we got married and joined the real world of grown-ups.

Then...we drifted apart. There were new jobs, long distances apart, a divorce, things kept changing and...we drifted apart.

We got back together just recently. Funerals brought us together. I think we had forgotten how much we loved each other. She and my husband are the two people who have known me the longest, aside from my family. They have shared jokes they enjoy at my expense. We still have potato salad! And office manager...I may seem annoyed when they rag on me, but inside I am delighted that two people love me that much. We are making the effort it takes to stay friends. We are getting together for visits, inviting each other to parties, emailing and calling. It takes work to be a friend, but it's worth it.

I have new friends now. Friends I have made while we were apart. They are incredibly precious and important to me. Vicki picked up a prescription for Liz when we were trying to get ready for the wedding and were both just too overwhelmed to pick up her migraine medicine. Just picked up the phone and she did it, no questions. Maquel brought homemade bread when she came to my house for the first time. Didn't ask, just thought I might need more food for the brunch. Barb is one of the most reliable people I know. Mary picked us up at the airport one time when we were stranded. Maggie recommended a great place to shop. Sallye inspires me with her creativity. Debbie makes me appreciate my grandson over and over again. Hazel can make me laugh and cry - sometimes in the same conversation. Terry makes me strive to be a better person. They sent flowers and cards and food when I needed them after funerals. They are always there when I need them; to laugh with and to cry with.

Have you heard that Girl Scout song about friends? Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other is gold. It's true...but. Gold is more precious than silver so it's not so true for me. All my friends are like a special, just opened box full of pirate treasure. The old one and the new ones. They are all solid gold. I appreciate them. I need them. them. All of them.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

A Block of Marble

Yeah. I'm a little embarrassed. I was looking for something in one of my old blog posts and I found a quote in this post about how DETERMINED I was to lose weight. Yes, I was just determined and I was going to lose it and I was going to look GREAT and...oh. That post was written NINE MONTHS AGO. And...uh...I weigh exactly the same amount. I have lost and gained the same few pounds, just like always. I'm trying to stay on Weight Watchers. I came back to school this year determined to lose the weight. But, apparently, I had that same determination last year. And probably the year after that. At some point, does the determination actually take hold?

When I went to my conference last week, I stopped at a bakery on my way out of town and got cinnamon rolls and cookies. Force of habit. I like to have snacks in my hotel room and I ALWAYS stop and get that stuff. I never thought about taking healthy stuff with me. Should have. I have to train myself. I try. But it's hard.

When I was cleaning the basement the other day, I was going through old pictures and found one of me when I was about 28. I have on a little terry cloth shorts outfit and I am tall and long-legged and slender. I want to be that person again. This person with the poochy belly and fat thighs is not me. That 28-year old with the nicely proportioned thighs and legs is the real me.

I read something about Michelangelo the other day. When he was asked how he got the statue of David from a block of marble, he replied that he just got rid of everything that was not David. It was very simple.

So that's what I need to do. Get rid of everything that is not me. Because that slender body is the real me. And I want to be me again.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Kiss And Make UP

So, you know how I was having so much trouble finding a good lipstick that was just that right color of pinky/browny mauve, right? Well, you will be thrilled to hear that I finally found it! I gave up on the whole grocery/drug store/trying samples plan and decided to get a complete make-over. Did you know you can get this done totally free? I've had one with Aveda and a couple with Clinique so I have a hodge-podge of makeup that works fairly well for me.

Or at least I thought so until I sat down at the Estee Lauder counter to give it a shot. I'm not a complete moron (OK, apparently I am eye makeup-wise, but more about that later) and I knew they would try to sell me every single product they make but I was wise to them. I could be strong. I

Anyway, I did kind of luck out because at the very moment I arrived, one of their regional makeup artists arrived who was there for the day with a bunch of appointments for make-overs. I had no appointment but she was free, so she proceeded to spend a complete hour on my face. She told me things I believed because other people had just recently told me the same things. The Aveda person had told me my skin was dehydrated. She told me the same thing. Only she spent a lot of time explaining how and why and what I should do about it.

She explained that the Renova prescription cream I was using was actually making the lines around my eyes worse (I wondered about that as I kept slathering on that expensive stuff.) and I should only use it on my skin. That I needed to use an eye cream and I needed to use it morning and night. She also echoed what I had heard about using cream on my face and eyes at night. This is not the first time I have heard that your skin repairs itself and at night and that it needs moisture to do so. If you leave makeup on (not that I EVER do that), it will suck that stuff right into your pores because it is looking for moisture of any kind. That's how you end up with enlarged pores and clogged pores. Oh. OK.

She put various creams and potions on my face and then showed me the mirror. With absolutely no makeup, my face still looked about a zillion times better than it did when I had completely made it up myself. I told her my face felt dry when I used the new Aveda cleanser I was using, so I had to slather on Oil of Olay moisturizer and then my tinted Aveda moisturizer. She informed me (duh) that I should consider switching to something that did not make my face feel tight and dry when I washed it.

So, after the whole cleansing and moisturizing ritual, she put on a tinted moisturizer (I advocate switching to this if you are using foundation - so much lighter and just as nice looking as foundation. It doesn't have to be Estee Lauder - I'm very happy with my Aveda.), then a cream blush and some bronzer. Then, the next bombshell.

Basically, she told me I was an idiot who had been applying my eye makeup wrong for about the last, oh I don't know, 35 YEARS? But in a nice way. She didn't actually say idiot. I said idiot. I normally apply a light color all over my eyelid and above it, then line the crease of my eyelid with a darker color and smudge it a little.Then, I take my MAC brush (yes, I'm a makeup groupie) and make a line of the dark eyeshadow halfway across under my lower lashes. I learned all that from a Clinique makeover.

Wrong, wrong, wrong, depressingly wrong. She said with deep set eyes, I should NEVER wear dark eyeshadow. I must have looked really dismayed because she said I should use it only as a liner on my lid and only half way across. She proceeded to do this, then showed me the mirror. I was astounded. My deep set eyes suddenly looked much better. Not so...deep set. She dusted my face with a touch of bronzer (around my face, chin, tip of nose - where the sun hits you - it should FRAME your face - God, who knew all this crap?)

Then, she held up the mirror. I HAVE NEVER LOOKED SO GOOD.

Oh, I forgot.She also found the perfect lipstick. After trying approximately 50 shades on my lips (I apologized for taking so much of her time and she laughed, pressed her warm hand to my cheek and said "This is what I do! I love it!" and I felt better.) It's a color called Berry Truffle and it looks kind of dark but it's perfect on my lips. I tried to take a picture so you could see it on me but do you know how hard it is to take a picture in a mirror?? I almost hurt myself trying to get a picture of my lips.

Also - to those of you who recommended moisturizing my lips at night - you are right. She seconded your recommendation and sold me a lip conditioner that feels wonderful.

She had prepared a sheet for me with everything she had used so I bought a few things (since I didn't have, like, a skillion dollars to spend) and I will gradually pick up all the other products.

I'm not making any money from Estee Lauder for this post (although I am TOTALLY open to that idea - or free products. Free products would be good.) but I was really pleased with both the service and the products. There may be another brand you would like just as well. I know all the major cosmetic companies do makeovers, some with appointments and some just on the spot. If you think you might like a change, head to the mall and look for a free makeover.

You may find more than just a new lipstick color. Let me know how it goes.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Cookie! Cookie!

So, I missed a session at the conference this weekend because I was too busy manipulating pictures on a blog post to go downstairs. I missed REAL LIFE because I was too busy with my VIRTUAL LIFE. That's a little something, I think. A little strange. A little surreal. A comment on our technology-obsessed times.

On the other hand, since I didn't have to waste an hour at the conference, I could have another cookie. So, it's all good.

Do you have a problem with pictures on your blog? How they always upload at the top, instead of where you tell them to go? So that moves everything down and then you have to drag that picture down in the right place and fix all the typing and then you realize you want to put one more picture on there and you have to start all over again?

I've tried putting all the pictures on there, then adding the text but if you hit backspace one time too many, it deletes a picture and you have to start all over again? It makes me crazy. I wish there was an Edit, Undo for when I make those mistakes.

I know you can tell it to put the picture on the right or left but has anyone figured a way to tell it exactly WHERE to put the picture so it doesn't automatically put it at the top of the post?

Or maybe it's just me. I hope it's not just me.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Not Feelin' The Booty Love

One of the things I used to love with the passion of a hot, wet kiss was visiting the vendor displays at a conference. Not that I actually gave any of them a hot, wet kiss but as I was filling my bag with fabulous booty like free pens and mini candy bars, I felt the equivalent excitement. I used to take the crammed bags home and my kids would spread out the little note pads and squeezable advertising toys and divvy them up. Whatever they didn't want, I took to school to use or to give away to students for prizes.

The last few years. Yeah. Not so much. This year, I wandered through the exhibits picking up various and sundry giveaways but the love was not there. I didn't feel like giving anyone a kiss, hot and wet or dry and closed mouth. And then there was that annoying vendor. You know the one I mean. There's always one. Most speak to you pleasantly, they may even ask if you have any questions or do you want to sign up for a prize? But then there's the one. The one who is annoying, clingy or even downright abrasive. I was leery when I saw that he was wearing a train conductor uniform. Even more when I saw he offered a reading program where he would come to your school to advertise some books he had written which I had never heard of and probably weren't worth the paper they were printed on. But then, as I smiled pleasantly and attempted to walk on by, he stepped in front of me. "Can I tell you about my reading program?" "No,thanks", I said as I attempted to step around him. Instantly, he became annoyed. "What? Don't you have reading programs at your school?" "Um, yes, but..." "Don't you read to your students?" "Well, yes, but..." "Well, maybe you should hear about my program!"

I am woman. Hear me roar. I have looked a Mexican man selling blankets in Tijuana in the eye and said "NO THANK YOU". I was through being polite. I looked him in the eye. I said firmly "I don't think so. Thanks anyway." And I quickly stepped around him and made a quick getaway.

Hey, I'm a professional. I needed to touch base with my book fair rep and I was interested in a poster machine at another exhibit. But, in reality? What gave me the power to literally push him out of the way? I noticed a vendor had a big basket of Ghiradelli chocolates on their table. And they were going fast.

Now that's some worthwhile booty.

On the other hand, I did have fun making a design with my booty for a picture. Oh. That sounds kind of dirty.

But you know what I mean.

Friday, September 21, 2007

A Fancy Shmancy Hotel

You know you are in a fancy hotel when they give you a robe to wear.

You know you are in a fancy hotel when the little sample bottles are fancier than what you have at home.

You know you probably don't really belong in that fancy hotel when you have brought your own fan.

And your own drinks because you are too cheap to pay $1.50 for a Mountain Dew.

On the other hand, that's what I'm talking about. There's nothing quite like a Caesar Salad delivered to your door, is there?

OK, so I finally dragged myself out of the hotel and out of my room. This kindly gentleman welcomed me to Louisville.

I walked down to Fourth Street Live (after walking two blocks in the wrong direction and realizing that I was going to walk into the river and not Fourth Street Live) to get some lunch.

And guess where I had lunch, Tom? That's right. And I had fish and chips too. Your FAVORITE. Bwah ha ha ha ha haaaaaaaaa.

And a lovely little park on my way out to lunch. So, all in all. Having a fabulous time. Getting lots of great ideas at the conference. Enjoying being in the big city. But I have a tiny problem. Seriously. I could use your help. Should I get a pizza or another Caesar salad, only this time change it up with grilled shrimp from room service? And what movie should I order tonight? Waitress? Premonition? Georgia Rule? I saw Knocked Up last night. Hilarious. All these decisions. I'm a little overwhelmed. Yawn. I think I might need a nap before I head back downstairs. See ya.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Bright Lights; Big City

Hi! I made it to the big city. No bright lights yet, but I'm sure they will be turnin' em on soon! Two things. First I'm going to cut my fingernails down to the quick if I DON'T STOP MAKING MISTAKES ON THIS FRACKIN LAPTOP KEYBOARD. AUGH And, second, I am such a TOTAL geek. I have pictures of everything for y'all! That up there is the river walk. I drove down there in the afternoon to take some pictures for you and I HAD TO PAY $3 TO PARK just so I could get some pictures for you. Do you love me yet? Well, you better. That's one of the bridges over the Ohio River, connecting Kentucky to Indiana.

I thought about having dinner here but I don't think I want to come back to this area at night. I bet it has a whole different aura, if ya know what I mean. I think I'll stick to room service. I'll try to have lunch somewhere interesting tomorrow to keep ya'll entertained.

Here's a fountain and a rather interesting sculpture just stickin' out of the water. Guess you have to be an artist to appreciate it.

Another interesting sculpture down by the river.

My tired and hot feet really appreciated the cool water in the fountain. Yeah, I probably looked like a hillbilly. What's your point?

And here's a view of the Louisville skyline from the river.

And here's the view from my window. I have some pictures of my room and other fun stuff, but I have to save something for tomorrow! I know you are excited and just can't wait. I'm excited too, but I'm tired and I need a hot bubble bath and a cookie. And my pajamas. And some room service I'm going to EAT IN MY BED WHILE I WATCH A MOVIE.
I am in heaven. Seriously.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Pinkeye, An Ear Infection and Drainage - Oh, My!

If I live to be 99 1/2, I think I will still be learning something new every, single day. Did you know that you can GIVE YOURSELF PINKEYE!

Yes. It's true. If you have a bunch of drainage from a cold or allergies, that drainage can in fact travel to your eye and cause you to get pinkeye. I always thought you had to catch pinkeye from someone.

Guess who has pinkeye? That's right! Give the girl a silver dollar! And I wonder where that expression gave from? After looking it up, I am astounded. I probably heard that expression my whole life and never realized it's true origins.

So, now you have learned something new today as well. Two new things, if you didn't know about giving yourself pinkeye. You have been warned.

OK, so I actually wrote all that yesterday and today I'm feeling a little better. But itchy, yucky pink eye yesterday meant no eye make-up. It was horrifying. I strongly resembled a drunken mole who had stumbled into the sunshine. It was not pretty.

I'm headin' to Lou-uh-vull tomorrow and will keep ya updated on all my adventures. Check my blog in the evening as I will want to share ALL my daily experiences with you. Prepare to be amazed.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A Weekend Getaway

No, not to Puerto Vallarta, you silly goose! That's not until October and vacation brain will be kicking in very soon. I was actually much more obsessed when I first scheduled the trip but I'm sure the excitement will begin building soon.

I'm talking about a weekend getaway this weekend to (cue the drum roll) Louisville, KY. What? Hey, it may not be New Yawk or some tropical paradise but I'm staying in a nice hotel, I get to order room service and in-room movies and I don't have to think about keeping anyone happy but me. I can get up when I want, eat what I want and do what I want when I want to do it. So how is that different from my life now? Well...I guess it's not that different. But room service!!

I'm going to the KLA/KSMA annual conference (librarians one and all) that I normally go to every year about this time. Sometimes I present a session but this year, I'm just going to attend sessions and that is SO much easier. I'll never forget the time I agreed to review books and movies and had to cart boxes and boxes of stuff around with me. That was no fun. This may be the last conference I go to - since next year is my last year of work, I'm not sure I'll attend the conference. But I may. I do enjoy the hotel room and the room service but I do actually go to a lot of sessions and get great ideas from librarians who are much younger and much more energetic than me.

Almost 20 years as a library media specialist in an elementary school. When I started teaching, there were no cell phones, cordless phones, DVD players, laptop computers (VERY few people even had computers in their homes), ipods, the Internet was not in common use and wireless devices were just an idea in some scientist's brain. I had the first computer in our school, hooked up to a little modem. It took forever to get on the Internet and there wasn't really much on there for students to use. I was the first librarian in our county to set up a web page for my library. I was in charge of our video conferencing classroom, where we linked up one time with some astronauts at NASA.I was on the cutting edge of technology. Now, there are young librarians who far surpass me in their knowledge of technology. It's amazing to think of all the changes that have happened in my field in the last 20 years.

But you know what?

On the first day of school, I read aloud to a group of students who sighed with contentment as they settled down for a story.

On my last day of work, I will read aloud to a group of students who will sigh with contentment as they settle down for a story.

Some things never change. The good things.

I'll update you on my trip. I'm sure they will have wireless in my hotel room. I'll blog as I eat my room service dinner. I can't wait.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Tofu And A Good Book

Random thoughts on this lovely Monday morning.

  • I finally got around to doing some reading this weekend. It seems like all we have been doing is watching DVDs and, when I have time to read, I have been working my way through the pile of magazines I need to read so I can give them to Vicki! Anyway, I read the BEST book! It's called "Life on the Refrigerator Door", by Alice Kuipers and it's sweet and funny and moving and sad. It's composed of notes left by a mother and her daughter on their refrigerator. Very clever and well-done. I think you would like it. Here, just click on it and you can read all about it.
  • And speaking of watching DVDs. Why did NO ONE TELL ME how good Gilmore Girls really was? This show is GREAT! I wasn't sure when I watched the first couple of episodes, but now I'm heavily into this show and it so good, so funny, so heart-warming, good! And, also? I love Netflix. Without buying hundreds of dollars worth of DVDs, how else could I catch up on all these shows I missed? It just makes me wonder how many other good shows I have missed. So much TV, so little time.

  • OK, so who else cooks with tofu? Come on, let me see those hands in the air. Yeah, me either. But I've been reading a lot about soy and women lately and how good for us it is and I decided to take the plunge and try cooking and eating some tofu. And, who knew? It's really good!! I made this southwest chicken salad last night. I mixed up a small can of corn, a can of black beans and some fresh chopped tomato, then sprinkled in a little taco seasoning and spooned that on some lettuce. Then I fried up some firm cubes of tofu and sprinkled them on the salad and drizzled on some Southwest Ranch dressing. DELICIOUS! They say tofu is really pretty tasteless, so it takes on the flavor of whatever you mix it with and that was the case here. The texture was really nice and kind of faked my brain into thinking I was eating chicken. I have some left over, so I think I'm going to try it with some stir fry.

  • I'm going to have a weekend getaway and am very excited about it. But I think it warrants a whole blog post - so more tomorrow. Tune in.

Friday, September 14, 2007

"...I Should Do Something, But I'm Already In My Pajamas."

Flash Back Friday

The above quote is from Futurama, which I must confess I have never seen, although the premise is intriguing. I just liked the quote. Because I am seriously a pajama lover. I don't know how many pairs I have and I'm not going to count them because, after telling you how many shoes I bought just recently, I don't want you to judge me. But I have a lot. And I love them all. I don't like cotton pajamas or flannel pajamas, I only like silky, silky, silky pajamas. They feel so nice against my skin. I have been known to put on pajamas at three o'clock in the afternoon when I get home from school. They are just so lovely and comfy.

I have always loved pajamas and pretty lingerie. When I was in high school, I had a really cute short nightie with matching bloomer panties that were red and white striped. One morning, I stumbled out of bed and decided I was way too sleepy to take a shower. Luckily, with long hair, you can get away with a decision like that and just swoop it up into a pony tail. I threw on some clothes, slapped on some make-up, grabbed some toast and ran out to the school bus.

I made it through my first couple of classes without falling asleep and headed to the girl's restroom right before lunch.

I entered the stall, flipped up my little mini-skirt and realized. I still had on my red and white striped bloomers under my skirt. I was horrified. I flipped my skirt down again to make sure they didn't show. They didn't but they definitely showed when I bent over. I tried to think back and remember whether I had bent over all morning. How absurd to think that someone could have seen those bright red and white striped bloomers under my skirt! I didn't think I had bent over. I left them on (really, what else could I do?) and made a conscious effort not to bend over all day.

Nobody ever knew I had them on. Until now. But I know you can keep a secret.

That's why I tell you so many.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Just ONE More Minute

Where does the evening go? Seriously. I normally get home from school between 4 and 5 and we start the evening's television viewing at about 7. At some point in there, I have to cook dinner but we eat that and watch TV (yes, I know - shame! But, hey, it's just the two of us.) so that doesn't consume that much time. Time passes, we watch some TV and it's time for bed. I can't imagine where the time goes.


There is the computer.

First, I have to check the family blogs. Since we are rather a wordy bunch, we ALL have blogs. And I mean wordy. If you are a stranger who is hanging with any number of us, your head will whip back and forth between the conversations like you are watching a ping-pong match. And forget trying to get a word in edgewise unless you talk very fast or say something very interesting. And you better say it loud.

Then I check my favorite blogs. I try to cut back and only check on a few but then I get interested. OK, just one more. Wait. Those are just the CUTEST boots. I need to click over and order those. OK, I'm absolutely stopping with one more.

I also have to check my Ebay sales and my personal email and see if anyone has paid for anything, if I need to relist anything, etc. Then possibly just one more blog. And the time is passing quickly and I really wanted to finish reading that magazine or start that book or finish watching the pilot of "Gilmore Girls" which, incidentally? I'm not that impressed so far. But I'll keep trying because so many people are so ga-ga over that show. And I'll never forget how I almost gave up on "Buffy" because the first few episodes were lame and campy but then it got better and better and better until, OH MY GOD, that was a good show. So, I'll stick with it. If I can just find the time to watch it.

Just one blog. I'm going to get up in just a minute. OK, that's it. Seriously. I'm stopping right

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

"Cause Lipstick On Your Collar Told a Tale On You, Boy"

Yeah, I'm just messin' with you. But I bet you don't know what song those lyrics are from without checking on the big bad Google.

Anyway. About lipstick. I am having issues. Serious issues. Not as serious as finding a bra that fits AS WELL as having attractive panties that match, or locating a pair of jeans that doesn't make my ass look any larger than it already is, or purchasing a bathing suit that completely covers said ass instead of leaving a white, dimpled part of it to hang out and wobble as I walk, but still...serious. I CANNOT find a reasonably priced, pretty color lipstick that will actually stay on for more than two milliseconds and not cause my lips to dry up so much that I feel like I am stranded in the center of the burning sands of the Sahara in mid-Summer.

I keep purchasing lipsticks. And then after using them a few times, I throw them away. Stupidly, I keep buying them at the grocery store by looking at the color through the clear plastic cover and actually thinking it is going to look like that on my lips. Apparently, my lips have a tendency to turn most lipstick colors to a dark purple which would very attractive on, oh I don't know, an alien from another planet? I actually broke down and bought some rather expensive Aveda lipstick at a spa recently that is so dark, I look like I should slip on that rather tight blue jean skirt that hasn't fit me in years (but I'm sure it will just as soon as I lose about 30 pounds) and go stand on a street corner downtown. With thigh high black patent boots.

I know I can theoretically return that lipstick and exchange it for another color, but who has time to do that? I'd rather just buy another tube at the grocery and throw it away a day later. Much more productive use of my money than just tossing the money itself directly in the trash can.

I tried some Cover Girl lipstick and gloss that Liz had recommended because it was supposed to stay on for a long time. First, you spread on this lipstick from one end of the tube which dries your lips out so much that you have to spread this gooey gloss over it. The lipstick dried out my lips so much that they were actually forming little, flaky balls of skin that I could rub off on a tissue. And the gloss was roughly akin to spreading melted chicken fat on your lips. Not a pleasant sensation. Into the trash can with you!

Several years ago, I worked with a girl who wore the most perfect lipstick. She was classy and cool and sophisticated. She was so cool that she had the coolest name I have ever heard - Sundae. Isn't that just the coolest? She wore this creamy, perfect lipstick that was just a shade darker than her lips, the most fabulous pinky mauve color. I always wanted to ask her about her lipstick but I was just too intimidated by her fabulousness. Man, I wish I knew the name of that lipstick.

Surely there can't be that many people named Sundae. Maybe she will find this blog post. Maybe she will email me and tell me the name of that lipstick.

Sundae? Sundae, are you there?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Sniffle, Hack and Blow - the OTHER Dwarves

So, I've got the sniffle, hack, blow, slightly fluttery, scratchy throat that makes you cough roughly, oh, every 2 milliseconds and that funny, tight feeling in your chest you get when you cough, well, every 2 milliseconds.

I get this every fall. For a while, when I first started teaching, I thought I was getting a cold or strep throat every single fall from my lovely, snotty little kids (one handed me their library book to check out yesterday and announced "I threw up last night." I whipped out the hand sanitizer.) and every single fall I went to the doctor and got a negative throat culture. Finally, I wised up. It's frackin' allergies. I didn't have allergies for years. Never a sniffle. I know I didn't have them when I went to college, although that's probably because there wasn't room in that tiny, tiny (100 pounds) body for any allergens. But, at some point, I developed them and now, every fall, like some sort of satanic, mucusy present, they appear again.

For a while, I had some great drugs I was taking and then those annoying drug people started buying up all the cold medicine to brew up vats of crap to sell in schoolyards and they quit making some of the good stuff. I've tried several things and nothing works very well. Allegra blows, I might as well take a sugar pill. Liz recommended some nasal spray and I need to follow up on that. In the meantime, I am clearing my throat so often that I am starting to annoy myself. Much less the people I work with. Pretty soon I'm going to start getting that sideways, slitty-eyed look people give you when you are being indescribably annoying and they are too polite to say anything. I had a "sniffer" who worked next to me for a while; I can empathize.

I'm really sorry. I'll try to stop coughing, sneezing, hacking, blowing my nose, wiping my eyes, clearing my throat. Just as soon as I find some allergy medicine that can blast open my sinuses and is just as good as, say, heroin.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Come Sit By Me

So, I went out to dinner with my friends last Thursday. Yes, those friends. I have a group of friends called the First Thursday group and we go out to dinner on, well, the first Thursday of every month. I organized it because I love them all and I think women friends are incredibly important and it's just so hard to stay in touch if you don't make that extra effort. They make me laugh and they fill my heart every time I am with them.

A couple of them were teasing each other about sitting next to me. One of the last times we got together, I had emailed Debbie to sit next to me because I wanted to catch up. Apparently, Vicki didn't know this and she and Debbie got into a mild jostling match to see who was going to sit next to me. They BOTH wanted to sit next to me. They really have no idea how much this means to me. That they want to sit next to me. That they like me. They only know the woman. They never knew the girl.

That girl was painfully, painfully shy. That girl moved to a new state, a new town so often that she didn't have time to make friends. And, even if she had time, she was too shy to do so. She moved to a new town and state one time and the kids in the neighborhood already had a gang. They had marked their friendship territory and it did not include the girl. She tried hard. She tried to be friendly. But they just laughed at her. One time, two of the other girls slapped their hands on the back of her shirt and rubbed them around and told her there was a grasshopper back there and they had killed it and smeared the guts on her shirt. And she believed them. And she sobbed. Another kid who was not quite so cruel took her home and, on the front step, leaned forward and hissed "There is NOTHING THERE. Why do you let them do that to you?"

When the school bus picked them up, it was often so full that some kids had to stand in the aisle. She always had to stand. The other kids would scooch over for their friends. Nobody scooched for her. And when she stood, small, cold, cruel hands always reached maliciously from behind and pushed her kneesocks down to her ankles. If she pulled them up, they pushed them back down. So, she learned to leave them puddled around her ankles. And sometimes she leaned forward, letting her long hair cover her face, and tears fell on the black floor of the bus.

They only know the woman. They never knew the girl. And the woman is grateful that they want to go out to dinner with her. Laugh with her. Tease her. Hug her. And quarrel to sit by her.

And if you think bullying is no big deal. I was 12 when this happened. I'm 54. I cried when I wrote this.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Don't Pee On My Parade

Flash Back Friday

"... that's right, I stepped up ... she is my friend and needed help ... if I had to, I would pee on any one of you ..." - Matt LeBlanc (Joey) on Friends

No, this is not another post about someone peeing. This is about someone peeing on your leg. Or, not so much.

Have you ever been stung by, like, five gazillion bees at the same time? No? Well, I have. OK, maybe not five gazillion.

It could have been four gazillion. Anyway, it felt like five. It happened when I was about 10 or so and we were at Pensacola Beach. My mom and I were swimming together, out past the breakers, parallel to the beach. And, in hindsight, really, what was she thinking? Sharks, riptides, enraged jellyfish? But she had been going there since she was a girl and nothing like that had ever happened. Until that day.

I was just swimming along in my little bikini, happy to be with my mom, swimming along without a care in the world. Then I swam over some scratchy seaweed. At least, it felt like scratchy seaweed. I thought "Hmm...some scratchy seaweed." And kept swimming. Then, I paused. Paused and tread water. Hey. That kinda hurt. That kinda hurt...a lot. And it's hurting more and more. I cried for my mom and she got me to shore. Where we found dark red, raised, painful, swelling welts all across my belly. Which were becoming more painful every minute. I had not swum across some scratchy seaweed but right over top of a Portuguese Man 'O' War which obligingly dragged it's poison filled tentacles across my belly.

My baby brother shrieked "Rub sand on it! Put sand on it!" Of course, we ignored him. I don't recall whether peeing on it was actually under consideration, but I doubt it. Instead, they rushed me to the emergency room where I was examined, given some pills for the pain and told to go home to bed.

And where they told us that we should have rubbed sand on it.

Apparently, my brother had heard some adults who lived in the area talking about jellyfish stings and what you should do for them and he soaked it up like a little sponge. And then tried to tell us.

I'll never forget the sensation of swimming over that jellyfish. And it was more than 40 years ago.

Next time, I'll listen to my brother.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Things You Don't Hear Much Any More

1. Your slip is showing.

2. I tried to call, but your phone was busy.

3. I would have called, but I couldn't find a pay phone.

4. Can you get up and change the channel, please?

5. Oh, we wanted to see that TV show last night but missed it. What happened?

6. Just save it on that floppy disk.

7. We decided to drive instead of fly because gas was so cheap.

8. I was busy all morning baking bread.

9. You can heat it up in the oven for about half an hour.

10. Where's your popcorn popper?

11. Why don't we all meet at my house for coffee and homemade cake tomorrow morning, since the husbands will all be at work?

12. Come in for dinner when the street lights come on.

13. We never lock our doors.

14. Fill 'er up, Ma'am?

15. I've got ten bucks. Want to go to the movies and get some popcorn and cokes?

And what haven't you heard in a while?

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

"The Moon Was A Ghostly Galleon"

I slept in a fairyland last night.

There was a full moon in the black velvet Fall night. I know, because my room faces the moonrise and I can always tell.

I turn off my light, lie down and realize there is a bright light slipping around the blinds at my window. At first, I think it is the street light but when I peek out, I realize it is the full moon bathing the street and my yard and my room in silvery light. I get into bed and have to move my pillow over slightly so the moonlight doesn't shine on my face.

I can always tell when it has snowed outside, even if it is the middle of the night. I wake up and my room is bathed in a cold, bright, silvery light. This is like that. My room is like a fantasy land where the round, cratered moon slips in, shining brightly, and anything might happen. Fairies might fly and centaurs might gallop by.

The stripes of the blinds lie across my bedspread like shiny pathways to another world and the shadows in the corners are deep and dark and ebony black.

I slept in a fairyland last night.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

The Match Game. Not So Much.

My underwear is not matching today. And I didn't match YESTERDAY EITHER. Now, y'all know how I like my underwear to match. So, I am not at all content in my life right now.

Yesterday, I put on my darlin' light green lace, matching bra and french-cut panties and then slipped on my lime green polka dot sundress. Dang. I had forgotten that dress was cut in at the shoulders enough that I had to wear a strapless bra with it. Now, theoretically, I could have slipped off my light green lace panties and put on some of my white cotton bikini panties I use to work out in (when you work out hard every day and and get really sweaty, you just can't wear those silky, lacy panties. WHAT? I do so work out. Once in a while. You in the back. Stop laughing. I can SEE you.), but I decided that was kind of silly, so I just wore the green ones. And didn't match ALL DAY.

Then, today, I put on my light pink lace bra and panties and slipped on my fabulous hot pink and white check capris and my white eyelet top. And the light pink bra was showing through like a neon sign saying "I am a slut who lets my bra show though my clothes, even though it is a completely different color from my top." And we couldn't have that. Otherwise, I would have to go hang out at Wal-Mart to fit in. So, I had to switch to a white bra with blue panties.

I really can't imagine any situation where anyone but Tom might know that my underwear does not match except possibly my slightly sarcastic friends who might just ASK if my underwear matches today. Except now that I have told the entire Blogoverse this information, now everyone knows. But you can keep a secret, can't you? I knew you could. Thanks.

Monday, September 3, 2007

I'm...Too Sexy For My Shirt

So, we baby-sat for Wes on Saturday night while Liz and Cory went to the movies and out to dinner. He had a little runny nose, but was his usual sweet and cheerful self. After they picked him up, I decided to run to Red Robin to get us some dinner.

I looked pretty cute. Seriously. My hair and make-up were fixed since Wes and I had been running around town, I had on some cute peach shorts and a stretchy, long sleeve, black top with the sleeves pushed up to my elbows. I had on big black hoop earrings and some flat black patent slides with gold trim. Bear with me. This is important. I looked pretty DARN cute.

But I didn't think I looked quite cute enough to warrant all the boob shots I was getting from the guy getting my take-out at the bar. You know the boob shot, right? They glance at your boobs, glance up at your face, glance down at your boobs? Well, this is kind of how our conversation went.

(Boob Shot.) Can I help you?
Yes, I'm here to pick up dinner for Mrs. Who.
(Boob Shot.) OK, here it is.
Thanks. (Hand him my debit card.)
(Boob Shot.) Here's your receipt, Ma'am.
Thanks. (Taking my bag.)
(Boob Shot.) Have a good evening.

Well, I thought, as I walked out. I guess I must look really fine. Suuuuuper fine. I had a spring in my step. A saucy little bounce to my hips. I am SO SEXY. I look so fabulous. I just have the most fabulous boobs in the world. And that guy was young too! Man, I am I don't know if I can stand myself, I am so fabulous.

I got in the car and put the package on the other seat and smugly glanced down at my perfect, fabulous boobs.

And saw the big smear of baby snot right in the middle of them.