July 31, 2006

-image-I am scanhappy

It’s my party and I’ll scan if I want to, SCAN IF I WANT TOOO!!

My Beloved keeps the coolest journals. He writes and sketches and doodles and makes lists of interesting things. Anyway, this quick sketch of his is one of my favorites. It’s from a dream he had about, oh, 8 years ago.

It’s called “The Cigars of War.” Basically, Ol’ Winston Churchill’s cigars became giant missiles whizzing through the sky with Hitler on the receiving end of — duhduhdunnh — The Cigars of War!!

Upon awakening, he sketched this in about 30 seconds just to remember the dream:


The Cigars of War

-image-let the parade of narcissism BEGIN!!

HELLOOOOO!! Hey, keep scrolling after this one — I’ve been unusually prolific! But first ….

It’s me birthday!!

Feel free to:

— do nothing, because really, what’s the big whup?

or, OR, alternatively …. DO something with your life — for God’s sake! — like:

— send me birthday greetings
— ‘sing’ me a song
— post a link to something you think I’d like, silly, serious, anything! I’ll even take off the “put-a-link-in-my-comments-and-go-straight-into-moderation” thingie I have. Just for one day. (Can’t wait for all that Puh-orn!)
— tell me a funny story
tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies like I’m wonderful
— and funny
— and smart
— and wise
— and not self-absorbed
— at all
— haha

July 30, 2006

-image-guess who got a scanner for her birthday!!

And within 20 minutes, I was obsessed with it.

And, soooo ….. because you asked — well, someone, somewhere, once, that I remember, asked for pictures of me, other than the ones with me in the throes of a messy drunken rage.

All right. So here ya go. Pictures — yes! — of me and My Beloved on our wedding day, circa: a dozen years ago. Why did I scan these? They were nearby in a box and I’m lazy.

(Oh, I cannot BELIEVE I’m doing this because, ugh — my HAIR! my DRESS! LORD!! I would change many, man-n-n-nny things about that day if I could. But first — my HAIR! my DRESS! OH, WHY GOD?? WHY??? HORRIFYING!!!!)

But — I’m sorry — My Beloved looks amazing! Commentary under photos.


I’m posing by my parents’ front door. There’s too much light behind me, so I look rather ghostly. I know you’re probably thinking, Huh. Seems to me like that giant HAIR HAT of hers coulda blocked out more of that light. Good thought. You know, really good thought.


My parents and me in the back yard. It looks like I’m talking. Yup, I’m probably talking. I always chatter nervously when my picture’s being taken. I do not like it — the chattering OR the picture-taking. Oh, and there’s my dad, being all hubba-hubba again. And mom looks so lovely.


The long-suffering man who married me in spite of my giant HAIR HAT. He is beautiful.


Oh, man. I choke up at this picture. Two of my most beloved faces in the world. This is one of my little flower girls. She’s 4 in this picture. I lived with her family — theatre friends of mine — for two years while MB and I were dating, so we all became like one big family, her parents, older sister, younger brother, and me. I LOVED those kids as if they were my own; we were all just so hopelessly devoted to each other. And those girls just LOVED My Beloved, too. Look at the expression on her face. They’re ‘dancing,’ but he’s just swept her up in his arms and she’s just holding him so so close. She looked at us like that the whole night, that look of total love and trust on her face. She was so excited when she found out we were getting married because she thought it meant that he was moving in with all of us. Oh, I can’t write about it anymore. Starting to choke. Just look at her. And him.


Staring at the floor?? My shoes?? A bug?? Head bowed from the weight of my giant HAIR HAT??


Hilarity ensuing. (Because of my giant HAIR HAT??) I just love that man.

-image-I’m still stuck in the Netherlands

These lyrics are almost unbearably beautiful ….. they just ache with longing …..

“Dancing Shoes”

Dancing shoes
On the wall above your bedside
Saw it all as we performed
Our pirouette
Fleshes fused
As the flicker of the candles
Threw upon the wall
A single silhouette

Tu es dan ma coeur et dans ma téte

Dancing shoes
We have loved on distant beaches
Where the winter never reaches
There we fell
Dying swan
On the dawn you danced before me
Though your eyes were dark and stormy
I stood still

Qui peut dire le faux et le réel?

Dancing shoes
Though the distances divide us
There’s a paradise inside us
We can’t lose
Me and you
Dance a pas de deux
Forever
And I pray you never
Shed your dancing shoes

July 29, 2006

-image-hubba HUBBA!

“a flapper and her beau”

July 28, 2006

-image-loss

One of the most harrowing things I’ve read in a while. It is NOT for the faint of heart, but it is so worth the read.

Thank you for sharing this, Missy.

July 26, 2006

-image-the bait and switch

Help me! Helpme!! Helpmeee!! I need etiquette advice, peeps, and I need it no later than Thursday afternoon (PST), July 27th.

Here’s the situ in brief:

Good friend whose husband is out of town invites MB and me to dinner with her and her daughter for the evening of Thursday, July 27th. (That might be today for many of you reading this.) She’s making fish. Yummy. We’re going to watch “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.” Even yummier. So I call today to confirm, etc., leave a “so-looking-forward-to-it” type of message. Because we are. That ain’t no lie.

Later, I come home to her return message. She’s so excited, too. And still there’s the yummy fish. Oh, and pictures of her recent trip to Tuscany, which I’d requested to see because I’m a bit manic about Florence and Michelangelo and the Duomo and all THAT. I like to see people’s travel pictures. I’m weird. So, okay: Pictures — good!

Oh …. and then there’s …. uh …. this: “Well, my mother-in-law is coming over to spend the night, so she’ll be there, too.”

Um, what?

This is a pet peeve of mine, peeps. It’s a bit of a social bait and switch. Joey did this to us many, many, man-n-n-ny times. It goes like this: You think you’re getting some wonderful, long-awaited quality time alone with your good friends. You’re excited. At the very last minute, you are told that people you don’t even know or worse, people you don’t even LIKE, will also be there. You are never told this in advance. No. That’s not how Social Bait and Switch is played. The essence of the game is a last-minute sneak attack on your good graces.

And I do not have any good graces. We know this about me.

Oh, and may I say that only my rich friends have ever done this? I don’t know what THAT means, really (well, I have a theory, not now, though), but it’s a pattern, you see.

So, what’s a no-good-grace girl to do at this point? I have problems hanging with my own mother. I have problems hanging with my mother-in-law. I just … have problems! I’m socially marginal and I just know I’ll act weird and wrong around someone who is a parent figure type — because I always do! I was raised to be so durned polite to ’em, it’s flat-out annoying.

My friend is not going to get the Tracey she knows and tolerates well enough. Oh, no. She’s going to get some bizarre, uptight, yes, ma’amer who only speaks when spoken to and then will act like some latter day Eddie Haskell, obsequiously encouraging even more fascinating stories about cousin Bertie’s giant goiter. It’s sick, I tells ya. Sick. And it doesn’t help that my friend said, “The old girl needs some entertainment and you two are hilarious!” Yes. Goiter talk IS hilarious.

WHY — OHHH, WHHY — DIDN’T YOU TELL US ABOUT MOTHER-IN-LAW BEFORE?? Because now — and here’s the absolute worst part of Social Bait and Switch — if you cancel or admit you’re uncomfortable or do something, anything, to get out of it, YOU look like an ass. You do. And you didn’t do anything. Well, except freak out about the switcheroo.

What I’d SO looked forward to as a quiet evening with my friend, having dinner, talking, watching spaghetti westerns, has morphed into something else altogether. And in her defense, I think mother-in-law deserves her own quality time unimpeded by our presence, so it cuts both ways, really. It’s like trying to kill two birds with one social stone. Or yummy fish.

So ….. what would you do? Have people done this to you? And if so, what have you done? Maybe it’s just me. I’m willing to concede that it may just be ME. In situations like this, I tend to revert back to my latent shyness and become very uncomfortable. So you’re witnessing a bit of a social anxiety attack.

Gimme your input. PLEASE!

Prevent utter social mayhem and meltdown NOW!!!

-image-more fogelberg nostalgia

Well, my “randomness” meme has sent me cruising down too-many-memories lane. Ah, well.

I actually had to dig out this CD — a CD, people! — and listen to it again. And again. Need to load it on my iPod.

Some context for my lingering fondness of this album:

I’d just graduated from college in Seattle. I’d moved home to Southern California, but I’d left my heart — and my whole life at the time — up in the Pacific Northwest, in that rainy, moody city that had seeped into my heart. My parents had always declared, “Oh, you’re a Southern California girl; you’re gonna hate it up there. All that rain.”

But I just fell in love with that place. Literally. You know what I mean? How you just fall in love with a certain place? How you feel that this place is you? How you feel that God made this place because He made you or He made you because He made this place? That you two were meant to meet? Well, that was Seattle for me. And it still is — even though I don’t live there. It’s MY place. MY town. Other people have lived there; other people live there now, but it’s MINE. I love that place. It is me.

Anyway, I’d come home to the sun and the tans and I was miserable. I needed my rain and my pale-skinned friends. I was home for two months and I couldn’t take it. I called my boyfriend in Seattle.

“I just can’t stay here. I feel like I’m dying. I don’t know what to do, but I think I have to come home.”

So he came and got me. I didn’t have to pack much; I’d never allowed myself to really unpack. How could I? I was upside down. I was backwards. I was unglued and restless. So I took my ugly suitcases and my ugly car and we drove north for 24 hours in that crappy Toyota, feasting on music and junk food and invincibility, I suppose.

“Netherlands” was our soundtrack.

I’ll never forget driving through the moist, sheltering greenness of Northern California and Oregon, listening to these songs and feeling my heart just swell, grow bigger, feel different inside my body. I was so swept away, I felt as if each tree was standing there just to greet me, welcome me back.

I was going back to me — to freedom — to adulthood.

So, see, you can come with me. Listen to the excerpt and imagine you are 21 and driving through the mist and the pines and the mountains. You are sure you’re in love. Your life is calling you. You gaze out the window, wide-eyed, open-mouthed, and you see GOD in everything as it speeds past you. God is there and you are there and you’re so young, that you don’t see a dividing line between the two.

(Go here to listen to the excerpt. It’s far too short, but you’ll get a feel for it.)

“Netherlands”

High on this mountain
The clouds down below
I’m feeling so strong and alive
From this rocky perch
I’ll continue to search
For the wind and the snow and the sky
I want a lover
And I want some friends
And I want to live in the sun
And I want to do all the things
That I never have done.

Sunny bright mornings
And pale moonlit nights
Keep me from feeling alone
Now I’m learning to fly
And this freedom is like
Nothing that I’ve ever known
I’ve seen the bottom
And I’ve been on top
But mostly I’ve lived in between
And where do you go
When you get to the end of
Your dream?

Off in the nether lands
I heard a sound
Like the beating of heavenly wings
And deep in my brain
I can hear a refrain
Of my soul as she rises and sings
Anthems to glory and anthems to love
And hymns filled with early delight
Like the songs that the darkness
Composes to worship the light.

Once in a vision
I came on some woods
And stood at a fork in the road
My choices were clear
Yet I froze with the fear
Of not knowing which way to go
One road was simple acceptance of life
The other road offered sweet peace
When I made my decision
My vision became my release.

July 25, 2006

-image-randomness

From Sheila, a meme for fun. Oh, and because I’m lazy. Some questions are edited because I either didn’t like them or didn’t feel like answering them.

What curse word do you use the most?
Crap. Yes, it’s true, peeps. Sorry. I’m also fond of “Damn Ass Damner” only because I remember listening to a college friend fighting with her boyfriend in the green room and — (everything always happened in that green room) — anyway, she was struggling for words, trying to think of something truly AWFUL she could call him, and out sputtered, “You Damn …. Ass …. Damner!!” Here they were, openly fighting, and everyone listening just started howling because, well, her face was SO raging and serious and the words were so …. inadequate to match it. I mean, “Damn Ass Damner”?? Still, it went on to become a verrry popular phrase in our Theater Department.

Do you own an iPod?

Yes.

Flip flops or sneakers?
Both, I guess, but the flip-flops canNOT have that between the toe thing. I have a weird phobia about that.

Would you rather take the picture or be in the picture?
Take.

What was the last movie you watched?
The Matador

Do any of your friends have children?
Most of them. Next question.

Has anyone ever called you lazy?
Yes.

Do you ever take medication to help you fall asleep faster?
No.

What CD is currently in your CD player?
Um, Rita Springer?

Do you prefer regular or chocolate milk?
Not big on either, thanks.

Has anyone told you a secret this week?
Um, no.

Have you ever given someone a hickey?
Si.

Who was the last person to call you?
My friend K.

Do you think people talk about you behind your back?
Yes. People need interesting things to talk about, no?

Did you watch cartoons as a child?
Yes, but I had to do it on the sly.

How many siblings do you have?
2

Are you shy around the opposite sex?

Not usually.

What movie do you know every line to?

I know a lot of dialog from “Singin’ in the Rain.”

Do you own any band t-shirts?
No. That’s precious.

What is your favorite salad dressing?
Balsamic vinaigrette.

Do you read for fun?
Absolutely.

Do you cry a lot?
No.

Who was the last person to text message you?
What’s that now?

Do you have a desktop computer or a laptop?

Laptop

Are you currently wanting any piercings or tattoos?
No.

What is the weather like?

Hot, humid, and drizzly.

Would you ever date someone covered in tattoos?

Uh, hm. Well, is his face un-inked? I’d like to see me some face, please. And, you know, how’s that actually gonna look when you’re reeallly old and decrepit and, as My Beloved says, your “entire body is scrotum”??

I’m just saying, is all.

When was the last time you slept on the floor?
Gah! Who knows?

How many hours of sleep do you need to function?

Eight-ish.

Are you in love or lust?
Both. Uh-huh. Damn skippy!

Are your days full and fast-paced?
Some yes, some no.

Do you pay attention to calories on the back of packages?
Sometimes.

How old will you be turning on your next birthday?
You are impertinent, Memey, and a disappointment to your mama.

Are you picky about spelling and grammar?
Yes, I can be quite anal about it, actually. I am nothing if not FUN.

Have you ever been to Six Flags?
I have not, actually. Wow.

Do you get along better with the same or opposite sex?
Um, both.

Do you like cottage cheese?
If there’s fruit on it.

Do you sleep on your side, tummy, or back?
Back and side, I guess.

Have you ever bid for something on eBay?
Yes. It was something no one else wanted. And, wow, I won!!

Do you enjoy giving hugs?
“Enjoy giving hugs”? I don’t “enjoy” the way that’s phrased, actually, as if my hugs are some huge gift to humanity. Uh, I’m not all that huggy. And I’ve noticed certain men of the Christian persuasion are actually afraid to hug me, resorting to that “safe” sideways hug because they’re afraid of my big boobs. Men who do this: What? Are you in 7th grade?? You need to MAN UP RIGHT NOW! Seriously, I cannot help that I am gifted in this particular way. God’s ways not being ours and all that, so calm the hell down and give a girl a real hug — OR DON’T DO IT AT ALL, YOU JUNIOR HIGH WIENERS!! Sheesh.

What song did you last sing out loud?

The “Crack on with it, Crackie” song. Uhh, it’s a song we made up at work. I cannot explain it, but it passes the time and keeps me from killing myself and others. So it has innate value, you see.

What is your favorite TV show?
Right now, it’s Project Runway, which they rerun on NBC, luckily, because NO, I don’t have cable!! Oh, and Rockstar Supernova starring BillyClint HowardZane.

Which celebrity, dead or alive, would you want to have lunch with?

Oh, see, now, I hate that because as a Christian I’m supposed to say “Jesus,” right? Well, guess what? I can have lunch with Jesus any day — eat a tuna sandwich, open up my Bible, and I’m having lunch with Jesus. So don’t email me any grief because I give a different answer. There are many, but today, I’m gonna say Abraham Lincoln.

Last time you had butterflies in your stomach?

I don’t know. Does a stomach ache count?

What one thing do you wish you had?
I want things that aren’t things.

Favorite lyrics?
Again, there are many, but these have always haunted me:

Seldom seen
A scarecrow’s dream
I hang in the hopes of replacement
Castles tall
I built them all
But I dream that I’m trapped in
the basement.

And if you ever hear me calling out
And if you’ve been by paupers crowned
Between the worlds of men and make-believe
I can be found.

Plans I’ve made
A masquerade
Fading in fear of the coming day
Heroes’ tales
Like nightingales
Wrestle the wind as they run away.

And if you ever hear them calling out
And if you’ve been by paupers crowned
Between the worlds of men and make-believe
I can be found.

Garden gate
An empty plate
Waiting for someone to come and fill
Scarecrow’s dreams
Like frozen streams
Thirst for the fall
But they’re running still.

And if you ever hear me calling out
And if you’ve been by paupers crowned
Between the worlds of men and make-believe
I can be found.

July 23, 2006

-image-bakeus nervosa

All right, peeps. It’s one week til July 31st — my birthday. Ooh, and Harry Potter’s.

(But don’t tell Joey it’s Harry’s birthday, too. She’d freak. Also: Don’t tell her about the lightning bolt-ish scar on my forehead. Or that I once stopped a snake from biting me just by chatting him up a bit, real friendly-like.)

Anywho … I need your help. Or rather, My Beloved needs your help. You see, we recently had this conversation:

ME: I thought of something I want for my birthday.

MB: Okay. Great. What is it?

ME: Well, um, I want a cake.

MB: Okay. We’ll have a cake.

ME: Uh, no. I think maybe I’d like you to make me a cake. That would be really cool.

(These were words of death, apparently.)

MB: Um, oh. (air growing heavy with cake anxiety) What kind of cake?

ME: Oh, you know. ANY kind.

(WHAT?! Like I’m so easy-going and mellow?? Do I even know myself??)

He did snort at that, actually.

So, it all boils down to this: My Beloved needs your recipes or recommendations. HELP HIM HELP ME! Or something like that.

Now I do not actually have a favorite cake, per se — I like many kinds. However, anything containing the following ingredients will be rejected out of hand …. and stomach:

1. Carrots
2. Bananas
3. Zucchini
4. Walnuts
5. Dried fruit or
6. Potatoes … for extra smooth ‘n’ starchy flavor! Do not even attempt to sway me one of those bizarro “the secret ingredient is potato!” cakes. I heard of ’em, seen ’em, even, but I will NOT eat ’em.

Basically, I WANT ME SOME CAKE, NOT A SALAD OR SIDE DISH!

SO BRING ON SOME SWEET CAKEY GOODNESS!!!

My Beloved will be checking back here for your valuable input. You can leave links to good online recipes, too, just know that if you do, your comment will go into moderation first because I’m just a big ol’ despot and history’s worst monster.

I’ll keep you updated this week on Cake Bake 2006!!!

My Beloved thanks you. I thank you. My stomach thanks you.

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