26 June 2011

Truth In Advertising

...
As my walking buddy and I were on the flip-side of our trek this morning, she mentioned she forwards through fight scenes in movies. I think we were previously discussing the usage of "like" in The Elementary Adventures of Jones, JEEP, Buck & Blue, and how the first edition contained far too many "likes" to her liking.  I assured her I removed more than half of the usage of the word in the second edition. She stated although kids do tend to, like, say "like" in like every other sentence, she, like, skimmed over it in, like, my book.

"Can't skim over kids when they're talking, tho," I said.

She replied, "No. But you can slap 'em!"
heh.

That's when she said she fast-forwards (it's a verb, now) through fight scenes and violence.
I said, nodding in agreement, "I fast-forward through the love scenes, as well."

"Why? They're not so bad."

"Well... If they were more realistic, I suppose I'd watch them. Hell! I'd probably even let my daughters watch them... But, I have yet to see a realistic love scene in any movie or tv show.  You get the ones where she's gorgeously panting like a love-sick whore: 'Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. Oh, baby! YES!' and they're goin' at it for hours on end, sweat beading on his golden-brown tanned, sculpted back and buttocks in a sexy way, as if some over-paid fluffer gently mists them in mid-passion."

"Yeah?" Her eyebrows were raised, and gave me the impression she wasn't quite sure where I was going. "What's wrong with that?," she asked.

"Well, for starters, it's not even remotely real.  Our daughters are being brought up with this false expectation their boyfriend's going to woo them in the sack, all silk roses and gentle ecstasy, when it's not even close to being real sex."

"That's true, I suppose."

"Seriously. When's the last time you were in bed with your husband and you had movie sex?"

"... Never."

"Exactly!  What you do get is a lot of: 'Ow! You're on my hair!', 'Just scootch a little over to your left.', "Leg Cramp!', and 'I...can't...breathe!'.  The only time either one of you screams, 'Oh, God!', it's followed with a, 'My Back!!'."

We had to stop walking at this point, as she was doubled over in laughter.

I continued:
"You don't see any wrinkly-butted, slightly-overweight, un-tanned people... normal people, in love scenes, either. In real life, sweat doesn't bead.  It flows in sticky rivulets between the hot, pasty, sandwiched bodies, making the bed and your skin uncomfortable. Real sex is like pigs fighting over a slop bucket - someone's gonna get messy. If they showed that, our daughters wouldn't be so filled with romantic notions, and end up disappointed in bed... and they may not be as quick to end up there in the first place."

"Ha! And, they never show the look of disappointment on her face when he either finishes first, or boredom when she does.  When I had long hair, I can't remember a time when it wasn't pulled out of my scalp during sex," she said.

"And, really," I continued, "In real life, the chick would say, 'Oh Hell No, you're not going anal! Don't even think about it!'"

"Wrong hole! Wrong hole! Wrong hole!," my friend screamed, and we both laughed tears from our eyes, doubled over, clutching our sides.

When we could breathe again, she said, "Now, I'll never be able to have sex with my husband without cracking up."

"That's gonna be hard to explain," I said... "And yet another thing you never see in movie sex scenes."

In Joy & Enjoy

02 June 2011

Zombies and shopping malls

...
I was thinking the other day about the Zombie Apocalypse... and how it'd affect us less tasty specimens.

If you're as old as me, you remember Night of the Living Dead (the original) and Dawn of the Dead (the original).  Then, they gave us 28 Days Later (not to be confused with the Sandra Bullock movie, 28 Days), and, my personal favorite, Zombieland.  Truly a funny movie.




heh.
(The Walking Dead is pretty decent, as well.)

Dawn of the Dead fits right in with Stephen King's The Stand and Omega Man (The Last Man on Earth; I am Legend) in that a few decent souls are fighting off the less living, in body or spirit. But they do it in a shopping mall setting, or at least have unfettered access to one... if you call dodging the bite of a zombie or the crowing walking dude 'unfettered'.

As a teen, I fantasized about being the last living person in my neck of the woods, and able to 'shop' at will.  As you know, I grew up in a small town.  They opened a McDonalds right after I graduated high school. And to this day (I believe; I amn't sure), it's the only chainiest-chain-fran-chain-dise in them there parts. So, the fantasy of having a free portal to shtuff I was never around - like a mall - (much less able to afford) growing up added some glitter to the shine.

But, let's think this through, shall we?  Because, of course, we'd be the sole survivor(s)... Somehow we'd escape un-death until almost everyone else hadn't, which has some on-the-surface upsides.  Let's focus of the below-the-depths downsides, shall we?:

*  You'd lose your significant other, and this time to not just another beauty queen or Daddy Warbucks... unless blood's no longer pulsing through their zombie veins when they steal your loved-one's heart... literally.  And, then you'd be stuck with the Farmer Teds or that one loser in The Stand to keep you warm at night.

yeah... her.

*  I'd have to do the research, but just how long could one live on canned goods and dried foods before they went bad?  My luck the store in which I was holed up would be all out of these:

...and I'd have to use my zombie-splatterin' sledgehammer.


*  You'd have to be willing to kill other survivors who happen upon your new house-of-food-pantries ...and not just the pretty ones.


*  Need I say it?  No more social networking.  Wait... I said down-side, didn't I?


*  You'd have to drink alone, and the authorities warn us to not drink alone, as...

....nobody's around to laugh at your extremely funny jokes.

*  You could walk around for ages with toilet paper streaming out the back of your pants with no such luck of a clip showing up on youtube to make you a laughable legend.


*  When your phone rings, you'll ... ?  Have a mess to clean up? (thank dog for the toilet paper tail ~ head start on that disaster!)


*  And, then there's the clothing.  Sure, once the Zombie Apocalypse occurs, you'll have unfettered access to all the clothing in the mall, and could pick a different outfit every day for the rest of your life, but...

...you'd better hope we're not going thru another fashion craze like the 80s.

In Joy & Enjoy!

30 May 2011

Worth

...
Happy Decoration Day! I hope your weekend was/is rewarding in many ways.  Hats off and a solemn bow to all veterans, past and present.  I'll not ever forget you've kept my words as well as my world free.  Thank you.

I've been cleaning and cleaning... and looking around I see the need for more. So, yeah...

And, the lawn needs mowed, so there's that.

I don't know if you've ever watched Hoarders, but what I want to know is, where exactly is that fine line between hoarding and collecting?

...and in this corner, you'll see my collection of my mom's old computers.
Whenever my mom gets a new computer, I get her old one because she can't bring herself to throw it out.  I admit, I hold onto it for a bit, then inevitably I give it to someone who might find usage in it ...because I can't bring myself to throw it out.

I collect dust bunnies by default. I believe they find my little home comforting and warm, so they come and stay...they feel safe here as the broom rarely comes out of her closet.  (I'm still searching for her instruction manual).  Then they invite bigger friends. They have raucous parties under my couch which migrate to under my bed, keeping me up at night. Nasty little things!

I used to collect beanie-babies bears.  I most recently bestowed upon my nearest county's DHS temporary care-giver well over a hundred of those little snugglies ~ to hand out to children who've been snatched from their homes by no fault of their own.  The end result (on my end) ~ I'm no longer a beanie-bear-baby collector.  (It's quite refreshing to let go of some things in one's past.)


Yeah... I had three of these... because you just never know when one won't be enough.
I collect usable kitschy '50s kitchen decor and Johnson Bros red Mill Stream china...

...because I can.
And, I collect memories and music; a very pleasurable past-time indeed.

But my biggest addiction of all time, you ask?  Books!  I've a roomful of old books... okay, very small room... more like a walk-in closet-ful... not even seven-eighths full  ~ and when I say old, I mean 50+ years old.  And though I'm nearing that benchmark, even in book years it's quite a feat to remain intact, sturdy and relevant for that long.

I collect old children's early readers, old dictionaries, old bibles and old cookbooks ~ and everything in between.  A number of these boxed books teeter in piles in my once-upon-a-time-I-was-a-chicken-coop shed just waiting for a wet Spring to rot.

Like the interviewees in Hoarders, I'm "praying to God!" someone will come into my house and "save me!" by building a beautiful, built-in bookcase for my precious...es.

I suppose I could do it myself, but since I've not a woodworking tool about me and I know as much about wood-smithing as I do rocket surgery...

The results could be deadly.

In Joy & Enjoy!



24 May 2011

Note to self

...
I was reminded once again today I need to learn to keep my mouth shut. No really. In life I need to learn to zip it!  Zip it good!

An acquaintance approached me today and asked me a personal life question.

"Did you ever find out what was causing the oozing hives on your nether region?"
Stupid me, I answered her... because that's what I do. Someone asks you a question, the polite thing to do is answer... honestly.  They ask because they're interested, or concerned... right?  Right?!?

There goes my socially-challenged self.

She walked away quickly.  An awkward silence followed her out.

No, dear, sweet, ignorant, Sandi!  Honesty is not valued in this new era, nor is giving an honest answer to every question.  What one needs to do... What I need to keep in mind is... hrm... let me 'splain.

While in high school, our marching band won the regional championship - or something like that.  We went to Wisconsin to compete and while there, all the bands had to perform a number together. The band members were given the music beforehand; they were well prepared.  The auxiliary.. well, that was another story.

I may be getting the facts a bit wrong - it may have been at the Mile High Stadium, or Timbuktu... it was a lifetime ago, but the point is here somewhere.  Let's rummage for it, shall we?

Our auxiliary was led by a stellar man named Steve Miller - yes, I amn't kidding. Our band instructor at the time was proactive in the sense he formed us to be more of a Drum & Bugle Corp - from the glide step to the stoic faces. While other bands were high-stepping like the Budweiser Clydesdales trying to avoid their own horse pies, we frosted the field like marzipan glaze.  We were professionals, damn it!!  We even performed one year with the Drums Along the Rockies.  Booyah!

And, we won ...maybe just placed... in many a competition.

I was a flag.

Not literally... but that's how we girls holding long poles with colorful material atop were referred.
While in the band-mob in Wisconsin, we flags and rifles of the various auxiliaries were instructed on our moves and movements to sync with the other colorguard units of the other bands... and, of course, to "smile and bounce"... yeaaaahhhh. About that...

We'd spent years learning to glide step ~ liquid smooth movements across the field, like flowing music bursting within your vision; a fluid kaleidescope of precision.

And, here's a past-her-prime, vivacious cheerleader instructing us to high-step like little fillies with plastered, plastic, lipstick smiles across our faces...

"Smile and Bounce, Girls! Smile and Bounce!"
...so, what're you going to do, but what the world truly wants of you?

Take a large post-it note in hand.  Mark on it with permanent marker in your favorite color (mine's purple):  "Note to self... When someone asks you a personal question, remember what they're really wanting is, 'Smile... and Bounce!'"

(...and stick it to your forehead.  Better yet ~ over your big mouth!)

In Joy &; Enjoy.

22 May 2011

Blog like no one's reading

...
I've been watching what I say for quite a while now because people who don't have my best interest in mind are stalking my blogs. Trolls, they call 'em.

A friend of mine recently stopped blogging for the same reason - she was being trolled by a disagreeable and hateful person. I'm sorry to see her go - my friend, not the troll; I enjoyed reading her - my friend, not the troll. Unfortunately, she won - the troll, not my friend. Trolls most often do.

I've had my share of trolls here.

mine aren't nearly as cute; they spread no Joy around these parts...

I've recently found a blog I really like, and the author's words reminded me why I started blogging in the first place ~ other than to practice writing and because my first publisher told me to start ~ it was because I wanted to have my voice heard. Even if no one reads this, I feel it's been said ~ without interruptions (which is a feat in and of itself).  No one can talk over me, or through me, or louder or harsher. No one can punch me in the back to shut me up, or tower over me, screaming.  Although there are no ears to hear my words, I feel as if they're not falling on deaf ones.  There's something to be said about being able to have your say.

La-La-La... I can't hear you...
It's time I start blogging again like no one's reading. If someone uses my words against me for their own personal reasons, may they eternally rot in hell.  I've not asked you here. If you read me and like what you read, I'm grateful. If you stop by and don't like what you read, and leave, I'm okay with that - to each his own. If you read my words to build a case against me, your soul is likely poisoned by hatred and you probably need professional help.

"Christianity provides a Hell for the people who disagree with you and a Heaven for your friends."

"Live right up to your highest and best!  If you have made mistakes in the past, reparation lies not in regrets, but in thankfulness that you now know better. ~ It is true that we are are punished by our sins and not for them; it is true also that we are blessed and benefited by our sins.  Having tasted the bitterness of error, we can avoid it.  If we have withheld the kind word and the look of sympathy in the past, we can today give doubly, and thus, in degree, redeem the past. And we best redeem the past by forgetting it and losing ourselves in useful work."

From the Note Book of Elbert Hubbard

In Joy & Enjoy.

10 May 2011

I don't know why

...
but I had a dream last night about dirty silverware.

Upon awakening, and joining my daughters for breakfast, I recalled the dream, both in my mind and then to them.  Not the specifics, mind you - just my hand reaching into the silverware drawer and pulling out a dirty spoon, then looking harder and realizing all the spoons were marred with grime. Upon closer inspection, I realized all the utensils were soiled.  The odd thing being, when I first put my hand in the drawer, it wasn't apparent.  But after noticing the filth, it was impossible to not see. How bizarre.

Twixt, Jack laughed and said, "Look at me!  I'm a dirty spoon!"

...she cut us up.

I don't know why.

It feels like I'm going through life on autopilot.  I get up, go about my day, do needed chores and hit the hay... only to get up the next day to the same schedule, which feels too much like the day before... and will feel the same tomorrow, no doubt.  I see the days marking themselves off in little red Xs on my internal calendar. I watch, moving in slow-dream-motion as they tick by; unable to slow them; unable to fill them with any kind of significance, but waiting for some just the same.

I don't know why.

I looked in the mirror today and realized since living in this small Colorado town, I've been unable to escape the "Colorado Mullet."  I look like a 70's rock power-ballad star who can't quite release his grasp on the past.

...minus the mustache... on most days.

Coloradans in this small retirement town don it, or the "Andrea Yates":

she'd fit right in here... minus her children... oh, wait... my bad.
The hairdressers here can't pull off any different coiffure, it seems. They have a two-page flyer, showing many sides and presentations of the two aforementioned styles.

I don't know why.

In Joy & Enjoy

28 April 2011

When I was in something like the 5th grade...

...
there was a guy I really liked. We hung out with our friends at recess and giggled (well, I did) and talked (I guess that was all me, too) ...but he did smile a lot at me and stood close by.

One day at recess he asked me to follow him. He led me behind the 5th grade stairs, and into a corner unseen by teachers' eyes, and sat on the asphalt.

I was (and am) painfully shy.  It took all the bravery I could muster to walk with him.  He gestured for me to sit beside him in the corner between the brick wall and cement stairs.  I sat.  He timidly reached for my hand.  I remember his skin was soft and warm.  He leaned in to perhaps kiss me when our "friends" spied us and started pointing and laughing.

He took off one way, I the other ~ both beet-red and near tears.

Later that day during gym class (back when gym was co-ed and consisted of two days a week of chasing a random ball around the field in our regular clothes), he sidled up next to me and said, what I heard as, "What class do we have next?"  I heard my friends giggling behind me, so I said, "I don't KNOW!" but I mumbled the first two words, so it came out more of a "NO!" I fear.

Then, I ran away like the brave, confrontational soul I am.

The next day my friend asked me why I told  him "no" when he asked me to "go with" him.  I told her I didn't recall him asking me to go with him and I most certainly would not have said "no" to him [insert an indignant tone] - I really liked him. She said he said he had asked me during gym class, and I had screamed out "NO!"

At that point I realized what had happened and asked my friend to ask him to ask me again ~ because in the 5th grade you always ask your friends to do stuff like that.  It's unheard of to stick your own neck into the fire.  I suppose in high school it's kind of the opposite.  You ask your friend to break it to your significant other that s/he's not so much - significant, that is. At least that's how I got jilted as a sophomore. But, as usual, I'm digressing. If I could steer you back to my original story...

Too late! I had an enemy for life, it seems.  Not only did he stop talking to me, he started making fun of me.  But, who could blame him, really?  I thought he asked me what was up next on our academic agenda. Would it have killed me to say, "Algebra"?  Then he might have looked at me like I was eating frog eyeballs, and repeated his question. We may have been laughing about it to this day, snuggled on the couch and reminiscing the story to our grandchildren.

I got a ticket for stopping on my way to work this morning.  Or rather, for not stopping... at a four-way stop sign... in which I had a truck in front of me and cars going the other directions in the queue.  Truck stopped and proceeded. I pulled up to the sign and stopped, waiting for green car to my left to go - as it was his right-of-way.  Then, I pulled out and turned right. Cop caught up to me two blocks down, stating I'd not stopped.  I have no proof.  I know what I know.  I know I stopped.  If I hadn't, I would've caused an accident.

It'll cost me $110 and 4 points if I walk away with my tail between my legs, and chances are if I fight it, I'll still have to pay.

It put me in a really off mood all day.

As I was driving home, grumbling ~ because there are so many better uses for $110 than to pay some jerks who lie behind a badge ~ it dawned on me: I had snakes writhing from my forehead and cast black shadows with my dark mood everywhere I went. Suppose someone ... some guy... liked me from afar (I know, stretch, right?) and was watching me at that very moment, wondering if I were worth the pain and embarrassment of asking me what class we had next... and saw me in that particular state. A state I'm not typically in, btw, but it doesn't matter. The poison is spread. All he could possibly hear is me screaming "NO!"

Life really doesn't give one much of a second chance, does she?

Enjoy & In Joy.

26 April 2011

nice OLD surprise

...
A friend of mine lent me a book the other day.  Published in 1927, and "coined from a life of love, laughter and work, by a man who achieved greatly in literature, art, philosophy and business... gathered together by Elbert Hubbard II. Done into a book by the Roycrofters, at their shops which are located in East Aurora, Erie County, New York and Published by Wm. H. Mist & Co, New York, NY..." - The Note Book of Elbert Hubbard.

I've not coveted anything like this before in my life. If there were a hell, I'd be headed there for envy toward my friend for owning this book. It's a wonderful piece.  It fills my heart with joy; found on each page another treasure.

I love old things. (...but, not people. Old people are not things, and they make me uncomfortable - probably because I see my future self locked inside the walnut shell of a body time and nature leave us as when we've survived their wringer of life.)

I adore this book... so much. Not only is it bound with ribbon, with crisp and cracking pages - it's rich with insight and truth. So much so, I've added the first quote of the book to my blog page.

Tangent ~ On facebook the other day, a young friend indicated how quotations aren't necessarily to be believed as they're not easily researched for accuracy. Twitx I say, "All it takes is a little fortitude and a library of books... or the internet."  If you know where to look and what sites are reputable, you can find out in a flash.  Or, you can grab the dead tree version and learn for yourself. I find it amusing these children believe carte blanche everything their almighty college professors say, but question the authenticity of intelligent quotes.  Have pen, will scribble.  Have podium, will brainwash.

"[Elbert Hubbard] knows that freedom to think and act, without withholding that right from any other, evolves humanity. Therefore he gives his best energy to inspiring men and women to think and to act, each for himself."

On center, page 1:

"The Supreme prayer of my heart is not to be learned, rich, famous, powerful or even good, but simply be radiant. I desire to radiate health, cheerfulness, calm courage and good-will. I wish to live without hate, whim, jealousy, envy , fear. I wish to be simple, honest, frank, natural, clean in mind and clean in body, unaffected - to say 'I do not know,' if it be so, and to meet all men on an absolute equality, to face any obstacle and meet every difficulty unabashed and unafraid. I wish others to live their lives, too, up to their highest, fullest and best. To that end I pray that I may never meddle, interfere, dictate, give advice that is not wanted, or assist when my services are not needed. If I can help people, I'll do it by giving them a chance to help themselves; and if I can uplift or inspire, let it be by example, inference and suggestion, rather than by injunction and dictation.  That is to say, I desire to be Radiant ~ to Radiate Life!"

This book is priceless. Not for what its worth in the book mart as an old tome, but for the timeless messages within.

I've been blessed for the short time I'll have 'possession' of the Note Book of Elbert Hubbard.

In Joy & Enjoy

17 April 2011

I'm having one of those months

...
where I have a thought I'd like to share, but by the time I have time to write it down, it's already dissipated in my brain, leaving not a trace behind.

I've been learning much about myself this past few weeks, through trials and tribulations. And, much about the people around me.  I've learned not many people have a healthy sense of humor, nor are they able to personally disengage from topics - even if the topics have nothing to do with them.

I don't want this blog to be all about me, but when I venture out in the world I get smacked down for "talking about others" - even though I'm writing about my experiences with said subject.  It always seems to come back around a person feels threatened by my words, (lions and tigers and bears, oh my!) or thinks I'm telling tales of their lives.

Rest assured, I speak only of my perceptions of my life. I don't gossip, nor do I prattle on about other's "should-have done-s" or "what I would do-s" or "what you need to do-s" in their lives. Who am I to tell someone else how to live, when I've yet to get a handle on it?

But this is all diatribe, and you're more than likely tired of listening.

I realized just the other day, some of you may have purchased The Elementary Adventures of Jones, JEEP, Buck & Blue from my previous publisher, for which I hang my head in shame. I probably gave away dozens of copies to family and friends before I actually cracked open the books and read between the covers.  MANY errors (grammatical and spelling and plain old content) found their way into the books even after my proofing it a gazillion times; some of which weren't in the original document - some of which were, but were found and requested changed.  One glaring error was when I had placed Buck in the pit with Jones and Blue - when it ought to have been Travis.  No one caught that one, except for my eldest when she read it in hard copy format.  My previous publisher, IMHO must not have even glanced at the text, much less read it.

Which is why I'm offering the following:
If you purchased or received a copy of TEA of JJBB from my previous publisher (not Lionheart Group Publishing) or me, please email me at sandra@sandstarbooks.com to request a new copy(ies) free of charge. To make it fun, if you put in the subject line - please to replace - I'll sign your new copy before dropping it in the mail.  Please include your mailing address in the body of the text, as well as (just so I know you indeed own a copy) the first three words on page 32 of Jones.  I'll replace the first fifty requests, as that's about as many as were sold by that publisher. So far, LGP informs me we've exceeded that number exponentially - which speaks for itself.

I'm hugely embarrassed by the quality of the first edition of The Elementary Adventures of Jones, JEEP, Buck & Blue series.  You'll see my new publisher is much more professional and honest... and you'll not find anyone horribly singing of a mustache on their website. Oh, and BONUS!! My new publisher actually pays the royalties due their authors.

In Joy & Enjoy

04 April 2011

i had a dream

...
the other night. The only remaining memory upon waking was Jo saying, "Mom... your breath still smells like blood."

How very disconcerting.

I want to run away.
Maybe take a long cruise or a spend a month in Cozumel... or Italy... or...

I've always wanted to see the ancient ruins of Greece... Stonehenge of Wiltshire... the Moai of Easter Island... Prince Edward Island of Anne of Green Gables fame...

I love the ocean; the waves, the creatures, snorkeling, scuba diving and soaking my toes in the warm surges of the tide.  I love the feel of a vessel surging and falling with the pulse of the ocean waves, and bringing me along for the ride; a silent lullaby.

You don't get much of the ocean in Colorado.

I suppose I ought to be more grateful for that.
...

28 March 2011

Once in a while

...
I sit back and let the words soak in:
...to win the respect of intelligent people... to earn the appreciation of honest critics ... [to] endure the betrayal of false friends...

I posted a poem a bit ago - maybe a couple of years.  It's one of my favorites.  I feel a need to post it again.
By Veronica A. Shofstall:

Comes the Dawn

After a while you learn the subtle difference
   between holding a hand and chaining a soul
And you learn that love doesn't mean leaning
   and company doesn't always mean security.
And you begin to learn that kisses aren't contracts
   and presents aren't promises
And you begin to accept your defeats
   with your head up and your eyes ahead
   with the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child
And you learn to build all your roads on today
   because tomorrow's ground is too uncertain for plans
   and futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.

After a while you learn that even sunshine burns
   if you get too much.

So you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul
   instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.

And you learn that you really can endure
   that you are really strong
   and you really do have worth,
And you learn and you learn
   with every good-bye you learn...

...

25 March 2011

Summer Plans

...
This'll be a boring post, I'm pretty sure.  Not because I have boring plans for the summer, but because it's not controversial.  I predict there'll be no trolling here.

I have a fairly decent-sized yard. I've decided to build an outdoor sanctuary ~ some place I can go to write or entertain or just sit and relax.

I've pictured it in my head and have gone as far as to purchase bricks from my local ACE store.

The other day, as I leafed through a sales magazine for outdoor furniture trying to get an idea of what I might like, I came across some lawn furniture by Martha Stewart... but that's not what caught my eye.  The furniture was positioned around a red-bricked fire hole.  It was gorgeous, and I decided right then and there, that's what I'm going to do.

I have no idea how to do it... but if it can be done, it can be done, right? And, there's no reason I can't do it.

I already know where I'm going to place it.
My life is uber exciting!!

In Joy & Enjoy

10 March 2011

What we've got here...

...
is failure to communicate.

I'm tired.

Disclaimer ~ If you're going to take issue with this whine session, do us both a favor and go away.  I think there may be a repeat of "Who's Dancing with the Next American Idol" on TV if you look hard enough. Make yourself elsewhere.

I have a very nice life; surrounded by few but awesome friends and extended family members with whom I choose to associate.  My children give me as much pleasure as grief... which I'm sure they can say the same about me, but I believe they're all wonderful souls who do the best they can do in any situation. I love them all dearly.

Having said that:

I'm tired.
I'm tired of being told I'm a bitch by people whose lives don't touch mine.
I'm tired of "fighting" for my existence - just leave me the hell alone, and I'll do the same for you.
No one invited you here; you can find your way out.


I'm tired of of taking the blame for things not in my control.

I am not the reason for your crappy day, or your crappy life, or your crappy relationships.
Really. I'm not.

I don't wake up every morning wondering how to screw with you next.  Really. I know it's a hard concept to take ~ you're not the center of my Universe. You're not.  Believe me.

I'm done here.
I'm done taking your insults and demands and pettiness, and turning the other cheek.
Take your bullsh!t elsewhere ~ find another mat.
.

26 February 2011

Half Life

...
There are some pretty sick people out there.
I most recently found out someone came across this blog accidentally. They'd put "daughter jacks off dad" in the search engine and one of the results came back, "My Daughter, Jack"  Not really sorry to have disappointed them. Not at all.
Sick people.
Sick, sick people.

...and y'all thought I was crazy.
Where's CPS when you need them? Oh, yeah. Sitting with the CHP and other bloated governmental acronyms (ICE?), waiting for a real non-emergent "situation" to don their blood-red capes and strike with their poison pens.
...always in search of just... erm, I mean, the Easy Job!
Hey! Some dude is searching the web for a daughter beating off her dad... Who ya gonna call?


...sorry, all circuits are busy. Please try your call again later.
Oh, well. Probably just a family court judge or CPS case worker... or foster parent ...or preacher... or teacher... or uncle... or dad looking to get his rocks off...

...no real threat there.

Anyway, I've been listening to a lot of people in my circle of existence complain about their significant others.  I understand much of their frustration - being married is ... hard. Especially when your partner doesn't. (partner)

I promise. No instruction manual needed.  Not kidding.
The perfect relationship, IMHO, would be equal partnership.  Not one person doing all of one chore all the time - that gets tedious.  You need to mix it up a bit.

One woman told me her husband does all the cooking...
I like to cook, but really would like to do only half the cooking. I can imagine hubby feels the same way.

reminding you to not take advantage of another's kindness...

One woman said her husband does all the financials and grocery shopping.
That would work for me because... really, how much more time and less wrinkles would you have if you didn't have to worry your pretty little head about making the paycheck stretch to the end of the month, or clipping coupons to save a buck here or there?  Then Practical Sandi rears her ugly head, and I'm reminded to put all financial eggs in one basket, where only one partner knows the ins-and-outs is really not the smartest way to go. What if something were to happen to your partner? Would you know how to pick up the pieces and continue on? I mean, you'd certainly know how to pay a bill, but would you know the investments side? No. I think remaining in control of your finances alongside your partner, albeit boring and stress-inducing, is pragmatic and sensible.

One woman said her husband does all the cleaning and laundry.
That really works for me... but I'm not too sure it's fair to hubby.  Why should one soul pick up after another, regardless of gender?

Oh, Hell! I don't know what I'm talking about. I've never had an equal partnership in any romantic relationship in my life. I don't know why I said "romantic" just now, either... there was very little of that in any of my ... other relationships.

You seem to either get an overbearing partner who wants things done his way - but wants you to do them... HIS way.
Sir, Yes Sir!!
Or, you get a partner who's non-participating and doesn't care if or when anything gets done. "You want it clean? You clean it. You want to eat? You cook it. You want clean clothes? You warsh 'em. I'm just happy as a clam, sitting on this old beat-up couch, in front of this crappy television, in this messy living room, drinking this cold beer... Be a good wife and grab me another one, would ya? And, this time open it before you hand it to me."
I just can't seem to get away from him.
I am really so very jealous of women who have a loving husband or boyfriend who accepts them for who they are, dotes on them, rubs their feet, talks kindly to and of them... and shares half the load. Not half the chores, equally divided out - but half of every chore. And, half the joy, half the pain, half the sorrow, half the laughter. too.

...is this really just a fantasy of mine?
I sat, listening to a woman complain about how her husband was taking a job which would take him away from her for months at a time.  Military spouses, you know that drill, right? It's a hard life and I totally understand the pain. You're left at home doing all the stuff needing to be done. There're no halvesies here. 100% of the home front responsibilities are 100% on you. No surprises - you signed up for it.

The kicker... the kicker... just two weeks before, I listened to that same woman complain if her husband didn't find a job soon she was going to scream. Changes needed to be made, dammit!!

a real "damned if you do, damned if you don't" moment
In a perfect world, hubby would get a job close to home where they can co-exist, carrying half of every load.
Life isn't perfect. Jobs are hard to come by, I'm told.
Her choices are to continue to carry 100% of the financial burden until a job for him closer to home opens and be responsible for only 50% of the home front burdens, or to begin carrying 100% of the home front burdens and share half the financial burden with her husband, who'll be away most of the time.

I wanted to point out to her when you're a single mom...

Never mind.
Enjoy & In Joy.



20 February 2011

In sickness...

I ache.
I shiver.
I flush cold with fever.
I nestle my shoulder deep
into the warm cave of your armpit.
My heavy head finds soft purchase
in the valley between your shoulder and chest.
Your strong arm tenderly cradles my back.
The cadence of your breath lulls me...
I sleep.
I dream.
I heal in your love.

As the bonds of sleep release me
I slowly awaken.
Your arm morphs into my blanket.
I stir.
Your chest reveals itself as my pillow.
I rise.
My shoulder has no cave.

I feel your absence.
You exist only in my dreams.
You've yet to enter my life.

You.
The one
who'll snuggle me
...in sickness and in health.

24 January 2011

Once Upon a Time

...

...there was a cute little puppy named Beauregard Buttons.  His owners, Jack and Jo, loved Beau with all their hearts. They played with him. They fed and watered him daily.  They bathed him weekly.  But most of all they snuggled and loved Beau almost every minute of every day.

"Lookit his little tail," they laughed. "Look how it wiggles and wags!"

Beau was a quick little tyke full of energy and life. He liked to run and play and jump. He liked to chase.
Jo and Jack let Beau play inside the fenced yard around his lovely home as much as possible, because they knew he was safe, and he so much loved to run.

One day, as Beau was chasing a beautiful, blue butterfly across the lawn, it led him to the gate and out onto the sidewalk.
Beau stood still and looked around this open and new world.  He looked back at the gate.  Someone must have left it opened!  He started to go back in.

The blue butterfly swirled around Beau's head once more, capturing his attention and led him playfully down the dangerous street and away from his home with Jack and Jo.

Jack looked outside and saw the gate open. She ran through the yard calling to Beau. Soon Jo came out to help.  They ventured out into the street, calling his name: "Beau! Buttons! Where are you? Here boy!!"

There was no sign of their little doggie anywhere.

The girls called the police; they called the pound; they called their Grammie to drive around town and look for their puppy, but, alas... No Beau. No Beau anywhere.

Jack and Jo went to bed that night, crying and wishing they'd checked the gate more often.

The next day, as Jo and Jack were getting ready for school, they heard a knock on the door.
Standing on their doorstep was a fat, ugly woman with pimply skin and a mop of dirty blonde hair piled atop her head.  She held out a card.  Jo took it.
It read: "Canine Protection Services ~ Jessica Walter"

"We have your dog!" she snipped with a snarl.  "He's safe now, but we've taken him into protective custody.  He ran away.  Therefore we find you neglectful!"
She shoved another paper in the girls' faces.
"You'll report to this court at this time to answer to these very serious charges!"
Jessica turned around and stomped off the porch like an Ogre from under a bridge.

Jo looked at Jack.
Jack looked at Jo.
They both looked at the card.
They didn't know what to say; they didn't know what to do. No one asked them what had happened. No one told them what to do next. But most important of all, no one told them where Beauregard Buttons was, or if he was okay.

The day came when Jo and Jack appeared in front of the judge.
"This is your public defender," the judge told them.
"Don't say a word," the public defender warned them.
"In the best interest of the puppy," Jessica reminded them.
"Guilty!" declared the judge, and court was over before Jo and Jack knew what happened.

Meanwhile...

Beau sat all alone in the corner of a small, trashy house. He was surrounded by dirty, sad dogs and big, mean dogs.  They looked at him and snarled.
"Lookit the new kid!! What a loser!" the Bully-dog said.
When food was served, Beau was pushed aside by the Bully-dog.  Beau went to bed hungry and lonely.

One day, the old Hispanic woman named Beatrice, who owned the home in which Beau was staying, snatched him up and headed out the door.
"Are we going home? Did you find Jo and Jack?" Beau wagged his tail and hoped Beatrice would answer.
She didn't.
He watched out the window as house after house flew by. At one point he thought he saw his home and started barking, "Stop! Stop!"
Beatrice swatted him. "Shush!" she said.

They pulled up to a stark building with a tall, chain link fence. Beatrice got out and carried Beau inside. Beau was frightened. Where was he headed now? It didn't smell friendly. It didn't feel friendly.
He looked up and saw Jo and Jack.  He watched them smile as they saw him. Beau ran to them.
Jo and Jack dropped to their knees and petted and loved and snuggled Beau just like old times.
"Oh! You love me! I just knew you wouldn't forget about me," Beau said.
Beau wiggled and squirmed and licked at their faces and noses and nibbled at their hair.
What a wonder!!! They had found each other again!! Beau promised himself he'd never wander away again.

"Come on, guys. Let's go!" Beau barked as he wiggled and wagged toward the door, looking over his shoulder and begging them to come. "Come on! Take me home."
But Jo and Jack didn't follow.
They called him back and played some more until Beatrice walked in and said time was up.
She picked up Beau and said, "Say good-bye."

"NO!" Beau whined.
"NO!" He cried.
"NO, NO, NO, NO, NO!" He whimpered and struggled against her strong grasp, as Beatrice walked out with Beau over her shoulder.  He kept looking back at Jo and Jack.
"I know you want me," he said.  "I see you crying. I promise I'll be good from now on. Please don't make me go!  Please don't let her take me. It's not nice there. They're mean to me. I promise I'll be good."

All the way back to Beatrice's house, Beau sat dejected and whined in the back seat.
"Oh, for pity's sake, moron. You'll see them again next week!" Beatrice said to him through the rear-view mirror.

Beau didn't know how long that went on - going to the strange house to see Jo and Jack.  Every time he had to leave them, he died a little more inside.
Why wouldn't anyone listen to him? He said he was sorry.  He said he wouldn't do it again. Why wouldn't they let him go home? Why were they torturing him like that?

Jo and Jack asked the same questions.
Why wouldn't anyone listen to them? They said they were sorry. They'd be more careful in the future. Why wouldn't they let Beau come home? Why were they being so cruel?

Jessica smiled in disgust at the sight of the trio.  She shook her head.  They just didn't know how the game was played. Soon Beau would be placed in a home and the Canine Protection Services would get handsomely rewarded by the state for finding Beau a "safe" environment.
Silly, silly Jo and Jack. Silly Beau.  It was better this way, they'd see. Jessica knew best.  After all, at 24 years of age, she knew a  lot about being a proper caregiver. She had a puppy of her own you see, and she knew... she knew. Accidents just didn't happen. Someone was always to blame.

Beau no longer jumped and played. Beatrice knew if Beau could be labeled as "special needs" she'd get a healthy bonus, so she took Beau to the vet's without Jo and Jack's knowledge. She had Beau put on anti-depressants. She got her hefty bonus every month, and Beau became apathetic.

One day, Beatrice left the door open while she was out.
Beau poked his head out and sniffed around.
He didn't smell her.
"Dude!! You don't want to be doing that," the gruff and tumbly Bully-dog said.
Beau stuck his nose in the air and said, "Watch me!" and bolted out the door.

Before long Jessica showed up on Jo and Jack's doorstep demanding Beau.
"Beau's not here," they told her truthfully.

Jo and Jack sat nervously waiting for Beau to come home.  They put a bowl of water on the porch at night... just in case.

Jessica called them the next day.
"You'll be glad to know you're off the hook for dognapping.  Beau was found and was returned safely back to Beatrice's home."
"Why is he going back to Beatrice's home? When he got out of our gate, you took him from us. Why aren't you taking him from Beatrice? That doesn't make any sense."
"Oh, puppies get hurt or run away from foster care every day. Accidents happen.  No one is to blame.  We can't pull a puppy out of a foster home for that."
"Why not?" grumbled Jo. "You pulled him out of ours."

Days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months.  Beau's coat was matted and dirty.  His belly always felt as empty as his heart, and no one petted and loved on him.  Beatrice thought he had mental problems. She took him to the vet again.
Beau got more drugs from the vet. Beatrice got more money from the state.

Beau sat in the corner most of the time, drugged out and angry. He no longer looked forward to visits with Jo and Jack because he knew they wouldn't last.
Just when he had given up all hope, Beatrice loaded him up in the car and took him back to the fenced-in building.
She walked up the steps and dropped Beau in Jo's arms, turned around and walked out.

Jo and Jack walked Beau back to their home, bathed and fed him and loved on him.  They couldn't understand why he wouldn't play. They couldn't understand why he wasn't as happy as they were.
"You're home for good, Beau," they'd tell him. "We won the court case. You don't need to worry anymore."
He didn't believe them. He couldn't believe them.  He was worried.  He snarled and snapped at them. He no longer wagged his little tail.

Then the time came when Beau had to go outside to go potty.
He was terrified.
What if they come back and take me?
What if this is just another trick?
He refused to step outside.

Beau piddled on the floor.

Jessica walked in the door just at that moment, as if she were waiting to pounce.  She saw the puddle on the floor and handed the girls another paper.
"See you in court," she said, as she snatched up Beau and headed out the door.

...

What?!?
If you were expecting a happy ending, you're delusional.
Everyone knows there are no happy endings when CPS gets involved.

In Joy & Enjoy

pass the popcorn, please!