August 31, 2006

-image-“30 days of nothing”

What do you think of this idea? Could you do it? Will you do it? Or even a part of it?

She’s taking some flak for it, you know, a bit of “so what’s the point?” but I really like her heart about it, her desire to be changed herself. Which is nothing, if not a point.

If I’m honest, I know I could not do it; not 30 days. I wonder if I could do any part of it, though.

-image-tracey’s busy calendar

Remember recently I found a bunch of old calendars that I kept as sketchy journals of my life? Well, now I’ve stumbled across some steno pads from the same period that I used as journals too. My choices back then simply oozed elegance: Flimsy spiral calendar stuffed in a Christmas stocking? “This’ll make a cool JOURNAL!” Pocket-sized day planner with dad’s name embossed on it and words to live by for each new day? “JOUR-NALLL!” Steno pads used for notetaking in theatre classes? “MORE awesome journals! And I can write in them when I get bored in class!”

But the steno pads have more detail. I imagine it’s only because the pages were bigger. Page size basically forced me to be a bit more expansive than:

“DF called today to bug me. He succeeded.”

Still, these entries are bare cupboards compared to Sheila’s horns o’ plenty. But, again, with her blessing, we persevere, even in lack.

So where we last left off, I was making an ASS of myself at the big LUAU at church, all for the undying love of some guy named Kirk — of whom I have only the vaguest recollection. He never once appeared to give a rip about me and yet there I was, stubbornly relying on antics with citrus fruits to win his heart.

All right. This steno pad entry is a couple days before the big LUAU debacle. The way I talk here …. my overuse of the word “somewhat.” I was obsessed with adverbs, but I think I just thought I was British.

Aug. 10 ~

Went to Bible study tonight and found it to be somewhat non-stimulating. (Not a word, Trace. Not very British of you.) The speaker was basically no good and S (sister) and I were both somewhat bummed that Kirk and Mark the Sailor weren’t there. (“Mark the Sailor” was a guy my sister was deeply in love with, like me with Kirk.) I don’t know why it should matter, though. I’m here for what? Another 3 weeks? What possible dent could that make in getting to know someone? Especially someone like Kirk C. I mean — and here come all the paranoid fears — he seems to know SO many people already, what difference will one new one make? (I do not even get that.) Plus, he’s so witty, I would probably make a bad impression (this is PRE-lime, now), as I did last week when I did my …. (Okay, I’m sorry to keep interrupting, but the page ends right there and I have no idea WHAT is coming next. Let’s find out together, shall we? British.)

…. dumb Polish accent!!

(AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! Oh, God in Heaven, NOW I remember! Oh, no no no no NO. Okay. Here’s the backstory. A bunch of us in the drama department had been obsessed with Meryl Streep that year. We rented a bunch of her movies — I remember specifically “Plenty,” “The French Lieutenant’s Woman,” and, oh, yes, “Sophie’s Choice.” This was several years after the movie had come out, but still, I decided it would be cool to walk around sounding and acting like Sophie. Oh, sweet Lord. I remember. I did the voice for anyone who asked. I did the voice for anyone who DIDN’T ask. I just … did the voice. And I was brilliant, of course. And people LOVED it, of course. I mean, who doesn’t want to hear some presumptuous little drama major walk about breathless and sighing, “Stingo is a grreat loverr” ALL THE TIME??)

All right. Trying to finish:

Man, I really wanted him to like it and he just walked away. I mean, he commented on it (What? What did he say??) and then he walked away. Then on Sunday, he did not even speak to me — of course, he did not exactly have the chance to. (Yeah, that’s why, Tracey.) And then he’s not even there this evening. I know I should not be banking on something, (Um, ya think?) but for ONCE in my life I would like to know the feeling of having something I want to happen with the opposite sex happen and not let me down ROYALLY. (Nice sentence.)

I also want to return to school being able to know that not all guys are like the MANIACS I’ve known in the DRAMA DEPT.!!

(Um, there’s only one thing to say at this point: Stingo is a grreat loverr.)

August 30, 2006

-image-oh, great

So this guy was all upset at The Beanhouse the other day because we weren’t brewing his favorite coffee right at that precise moment. He fussed about like a big stupid baby and then said:

“Well, I guess I’ll just have to come in here with an AK-47 next time.”

Uh, is this funny? Am I just not getting it? Am I simply too uptight and old-fashioned and humorless, thinking, as I do, that it’s somewhat gauche to threaten people with bloody violent death?

Whatever, dude. Guess who’s gonna start carrying her .22 automatic in her pocket?

August 29, 2006

-image-“celebrity duets”

Did anybody see this?

Um, Simon Cowell? Are those T-shirts just getting way too tight? Are you becoming impaired from Spandex? Suffering from woosy-ness? Because this show — your new show — just SUCKED.

And I’m writing this in the past tense, even though I’m writing this AS I’m watching it.

Here’s the dealio:

It’s basically “Dancing with the Stars” with singing.

A group of B-list celebrities — Lea Thompson, Lucy Lawless, Alfonso Ribero, some “Queer Eye” guy and the rest — are paired up with a group of singers who each must have their own perfectly good reasons for choosing professional suicide — Randy Travis, Michael Bolton, Peter freakin’ Frampton, and GLADYS what-is-she-doing KNIGHT — to sing “duets” and be judged and then voted off one by one. You know, the basics.

Judges are Marie Osmond, LITTLE RICHARD, and producer David Foster.

Here’s my take on why this sucks:

1) It just does.

2) But, to be more specific. Look, on “Dancing with the Stars,” a show I actually like, a show that’s actually fun, celebrities are paired up for the duration with a professional dancer. Not so here. They’ll be “mixed up” every week. So, where’s the chance to really grow attached, to root for your favorite “pair”? Huge mistake, in my opinion. You’re robbing the audience of what is key in these kinds of shows — the emotional attachment to your favorites.

3) The B-list celebrity comes onstage by him/herself and starts the duet alone. You don’t even know who they’re paired with until that cheesy moment about 30 seconds into the song when B-list HAS to pause to announce her singer/partner, like, “Mr. Peter Frampton, everybody,” and then out slinks the singer with a definite “Holy God in heaven, what have I done?” look on his face to vocally wrassle a dying bear to the ground without being mauled himself.

Remember Timothy Treadwell, dudes. You are treading where humans should not tread.

4) At the end of the song, singer is asked, “So, how do you think (uh, gymnast) Carly Patterson did in rehearsals this week?” And of course, the singer, who’s just ruined his life by singing with gymnast Carly Patterson and will be comitting seppuku later, HAS to say, “Ohhh, she was great. Really focused,” or some other inanity, rather than being able to freely say:

“AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!”

(*gasp*)

“AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!”

5) They offer up this lame little compliment at the end of a lame little song because the cameras don’t follow the singer and B-list into rehearsals and allow us to see what REALLY went on. We don’t see them working, struggling. We don’t see the creative process. We don’t see the WORK, like we do in “Dancing with the Stars.” It’s a ripoff and a cheat. And it’s alienating. People aren’t going to care because there’s no engagement, other than those stomach-churning moments when we watch them sing together, bobbing and weaving on their separate sides of the stage, both fighting for dominance.

We never see them have to work TOGETHER. We never see relationships, either developing or crashing. And then there’s Tutti Frutti Little Richard trying to be the guy who brings da pimp hand? No. No.

Mistake, Simon. “I have to say, it was absolutely dreadful.”

Oh, and by the way?

6) Lea Thompson just choked out a real teetery cliffhanger, rather like this: A~A~A~A~A~A~C~K~K~!~!

But perhaps most egregiously ….

7) Michael Bolton

Now …. just watch. It’ll be a HUGE hit.

-image-our busy weekend, pt. 3

Continuing the moments …..

~ All three of us became frenzy obsessed with:


The description from, umm, The Candy Store says, “Crunchy corn and oat rings, filled with graham cracker bits, crispy rice and honey – cholesterol free.”

So SO good. You really taste the cholesterol free. We only wanted to do right by our little niece, looking out for her health and all. Plus, she had some extra bowls, so she is now probably cholesterol free herself.

You know, it’s just all about the kiddos.

~ All three of us also became obsessed with:

ROCKET BALLOONS!!

Which we launched in our house. Which made a huge, hilarious noise. Which made all three of us scream bloody murder. But we just could NOT stop doing it. We are normally so quiet, our neighbors thought something was really really wrong. “No, just rocket balloons … you gotta problem widdat, Jibbly?”

~ The three of us, also obsessive — particularly the Little Peep — about:

WIG OUT!!

Wig Out is one of a cool series of games called 12-minute games, because, well, they only take 12 minutes, duh, and even the most buttery of lumps can find the DAMN time to do that! You may even remain SEATED, spreading the butter nice and thick on the nearest doughy chair if you like.

Anyway, these games are really fun and super easy to play. With this one, you just try to get rid of all your cards first by laying down pairs of weird hairdo people or matching the weird hairdo piles already there. You are racing against the other player in a mad dash free-for-all. First person done yells, “WIG OUT!!”

Piper was great at this game. I was so happy because I know she usually feels left out of the more adult games my family plays when we all get together. This game is for 6+, but I think younger kids with a good visual sense will catch on, no problem. Piper sure did. (This has now turned into a game review. Oh, well.) She actually — legitimately — won the first round we played, threw up her arms and yelled out:

“TACKY!!”

I laughed and she pointed to the game box.

“Well, I fought I was s’posed to say ‘TACKY’!!”

You know, if you look at the woman on the box, she had a point. I don’t think she knew she did, which was why I was giggling so hard. I think I like her declaration of victory even better.

Go check out more of these games here. But also check out Target. I think that’s where I got mine. Definitely gonna get some more because, frankly, I thought it was fun, too.

August 28, 2006

-image-our busy weekend, pt. 2

More moments ….. (Pt. 1 here)

~ After Puffy Town, we go to a diner a couple blocks from our place. For burgers, of course. While MB pays the bill, Piper and I walk back to the car. Standing at the car, I hear her little voice, “Tee Tee! Look! They hab a rainbow fwag!”

Yes, the diner flies the rainbow flag. And Piper is an observant child. I pause before I speak.

“Yes. Isn’t it pretty?”

“Uh-huh.”

I am thinking she will drop it. I am wrong.

“What does it mean, Tee Tee?”

Oh, Lord. I pause again. Tick-tock-tick-tock. Tickety-damn-tock.

“Well, it means that …. well, it just makes people happy.”

Smooooth, Tracey. Thank God she is 5 and still thinks you know stuff. So I am thinking that now she will drop it. I am still wrong.

“Tee Tee, do you fink maybe it means it’s God’s pwomise neber to flood da earff with wain again?”

Oh, help me Rhonda. She’s obviously reached the Noah’s Ark part of the Bible. I am now choking back laughter.

“You know what, Pipey? That’s a good thought.”

~ Back home, after the heat and sweat and thrill of Puffy Town, Piper badly needed a shower. As we marched upstairs, Piper announced, “Tee Tee, I hab to go to the bafroom.” “Okay. Go to the bathroom first.” She then proceeded to share just a little too much information:

“Tee Tee?”

“Yess?”

“My pee fingy is stwaight, but sometimes da pee just goes all ober.”

I feel ya, dawg.

~ Bedtime. She loves to pray and she’s quite specific about it. She even prayed about dreams:

“Please, no bad dweams, only good dweams, all da time, ober and ober, foreber and eber. Amen.”

So the prayer ended and then she said, “Tee Tee, I need to pway again.”

“Okay.”

“Well, I forgot to tell God the kind of dweam I want to hab tonight.”

“Ohh, I see. Okay.”

“Okay. Ready? Dear Jesus ……”

I really have NO idea what the heck this was all about. There was some big ol’ dragon involved, which seemed a bad start, actually, but it wasn’t my dream, and then it turned out the dragon was a good dragon, after all, and he did — I dunno — a bunch of ….. stuff, apparently, that I could not follow, and in the end, HE SAVED DA WOILD!!

She seemed quite happy with it, though.

~ We had told her we were going to the beach on Saturday afternoon. So Saturday morning, I wake to muffled thumping sounds coming from her room. Ah-ha! She’s using my mini trampoline. (An awesome trampoline, I might add, with a really good deep bounce. Not stiff like some.) Anyway ….. I hear this thump thump thump thump. I sneak to the door, crack it open, and, sure enough, there she is, bouncing on the tramp, Curious George doll in her arms.

Oh, and she is in her bathing suit. At 7:00 a.m.

She stops bouncing.

“Hi, Tee Tee! Look! I ready to go!!”

Ah. A 5-year-old’s sense of time.

~ At an early matinee of “Barnyard,” she sits between us. Now, because my old backup pair of glasses were stolen from The Beanhouse a few weeks ago by, I suspect, that crazy Barista with a Book Deal in one of her many moments of psychosis and revenge AND because my really good, not to mention cool-looking (oh, and expensive), glasses had blown off my shirt where I’d stupidly hooked them and had then been run over by a speeding car way back at Thanksgiving when we were up in that gusty high desert where my in-laws live, I have been forced to wear my freakin’ prescription sunglasses whenever I watch TV or go to a movie. Like I’m that freak Michael Jackson. Or a Secret Service agent. Or I just had major plastic surgery. Whatever. I look like a complete moron.

So …. (sigh) …. I whip out the glasses and put them on. Piper looks at me.

“Teeee Teeee,” Piper chides, in an “ohhh, puhleeeaze” kind of voice. “You’re silly.”

No, kid. That’s what’s so sad. Tee Tee is blind. And dead serious.

(Running out of time here today. Part 3 — sheesh — later.)

August 27, 2006

-image-our busy weekend, pt. 1

Some moments from the weekend with our niece Piper:

~ When I arrived to pick her up, she ran up to me, huge smile on her face showing her four front teeth, top AND bottom, missing. “Look what I can do, Tee Tee,” she said, sticking the tip of her tongue through that toothless gap and then dissolving into giggles. “Wow! That’s cool, Peeps. I can’t do that.” I try to do it, fail miserably, and she just giggles some more.

~ It was hot and windy when we reached our place — where, luckily, no jibblies were in sight — so we took the short walk over to The Beanhouse to get a milkshake. Before we left, I grabbed some homemade streamers I had made for drama classes — basically just a length of crepe paper ribbon wrapped around the end of a dowel — and we paraded our way down the sidewalk and across our cool neighborhood bridge, pretending to be … rhythmic gymnasts, I guess, because I still secretly want to be a rhythmic gymnast … or a figure skater … or a ballerina. Shhhhh. Say nothing. It could still happen. Anyway …. the wind was just perfect for making our lovely fluttery loops and ripples. A couple cars drove by, people inside laughing, but that didn’t stop us. We just freely skipped and cavorted. I found that if I ran a bit ahead of Piper, I could wiggle my streamer just so and tickle her bright, flushed face. This I did repeatedly, of course, because her giggle literally IS the best sound in the entire world.

~ When we walked into The Beanhouse, Piper was fawned over instantly. Coworkers know her from my stories, as do you, and they were all just so sweet to her, shaking her hand, treating her like a little lady, offering her grapes, fussing over her toothless gap. And then …. the gay men came flocking to our table. The vast majority of The Beanhouse customers are gay men and some Christians have given me grief about working there and I absolutely HATE that and, trust me, I WILL rant about it at another time, but this isn’t about that right now. These guys, so many of them have such big hearts and they were just so sweet to her. One stopped dead in his tracks and said to his parter, “Oh, Rick, just look at her! Oh. WOW. She’s precious. Is she your daughter, Tracey?” “No, my niece.” “What’s your name, honey?” he said. “My name is Piper,” she answered and waved to him. He’s two feet in front of her and she waves to him. It’s a thing she does all the time. I always think of waving as something that’s normally done with distance involved. You know, you’re either waving hello to someone as you’re narrowing the gap between you or you’re waving goodbye as the gap increases. Or you’re waving to get someone’s attention. Okay, whatever. There’s that one, too. But for Piper, it’s just how she greets you. You’re in her face, basically, and she waves to you. It’s just ….. her thing. So she did it and the guy cracked up and said, “Well, aren’t you just beautiful? Your smile lights up the room.” Piper smiled and blushed. “Tank you,” she said. As we were leaving, we passed the patio and saw another guy I know with his two sproingy miniature greyhounds. Piper wanted to pet the dogs, of course, so I told her she had to ask first. She did and Greyhound Guy was just so attentive, answering her questions about the dogs, praising her gentleness with them. None of this was anything creepy or weird, in case anyone is thinking that. The whole tone was one of sweetness and patience, with all the guys.

~ We sat there for a bit drinking milkshake and eating free grapes and playing “Memory.” She is very good at “Memory.”

~ When Unca Beloved came home, we packed her in the car, telling her we were going someplace special. “Where? Where? Where are we going?” she kept asking from her perch atop that very vexing half-carseat thingy that I do hope she grows out of soon. Seconds later, MB and I launched into a vibrant falsetto duet, sung to the tune of “Funky Town”:

“A-we are going to … Puffy T-OWW-N! A-we are going to … Puffy TOWW-NNN!”

And if I do say so, we executed the vocal slides on “TOWWNN,” both up and down, with a perfectly insane aunt-and-uncle brilliance. Piper, of course, doesn’t know the song, and at first she was just wide-eyed, looking back and forth from her aunt to her uncle, dumbstruck. But we just kept singing, more feverishly now —

“A-WE ARE GOING TO …. PUFFY TOWWWN !! A-WE ARE GOING TO PUFFY TOWWNNN!!”

…. til she could no longer stand it and just laughed and laughed and laughed.

Finally, with our destination in sight, she gasped and squealed, “Are we going DERE??”

“Well, we could go there or — OR — even better, we could go home and eat some vegetables and pull your loose tooth out and then go straight to bed. We could do that.”

“No! No!” She giggles and chokes it out.

“Well, vegetables are yummy,” I say.

“No! No, Tee Tee! Let’s go dere!”

“Hmm. All right. If you’re sure.”

“I sure! I sure!”
She cannot stop laughing.

“Okay. So I guess this means thaaat ……. A-WE ARE GOING TO … PUFFY TOWWWNN! A-WE ARE GOING TO … PUFFY TOWWNNN!!”

And we started up again.

Now, Puffy Town is just our pet name for a place in the corner of the local Target parking lot impressively called “Inflatable World.” Someone’s gotta be making a mint off this thing. Puffy Town is basically a bunch of giant inflatable slides and mazes in different shapes and themes and characters. Several slides, for example, seem to feature the theme of digestion with you, the slider, being part of a giant toothy creature’s upset tummy moment. The giant saber tooth tiger. The giant shark. The giant football player. So you enter the inflatotunnel, climb to the top using a kind of rope ladder, focus on a happy place to stave off your claustrophobia, reach the top, sit down, fold your arms across your chest, as per instructions — you are now basically in the butt area — contemplate your imminent death, and then ssssllllliiiiiiiddddde down, oh, about 50 very steep feet or more til you land in the creature’s mouth, between the giant inflatoteeth, a mere bit of fatty, undigested mammal, I guess.

It was awesome.

~ Socks were required for Puffy Town and, of course, none of us was wearing socks because this IS Southern California and it IS about 1300 degrees outside right now, so we had to buy some damn socks at a buck a pair. Okay. Fine. I realized, though, after we were off and running that I was wearing the little kid socks and Piper was wearing the adult socks. “Piper, do you want to switch socks? Yours are kinda loose and dangly.” “No, Tee Tee! I fine! I fine!!” She was in inflatoheaven. I mean, she absolutely whirled around that place, floppy socks and all. The three of us had been there for probably 30 seconds when she had already climbed inside the giant shark, screamed her way down, plopped out of his jaws, and rushed over to me, announcing, “Tee Tee! Guess what?! I hab a new friend!!”

30 seconds, people. I kid you not. She’d made a new friend on the rope ladder or in depth of the shark’s butt, basically. I suppose if you’re stuck in a shark’s butt, it’s nice to make a friend.

And sure enough, seconds later, out plopped little Amanda, fully intact and undigested and adorable.

She pounced over to us and Piper introduced us and we all ran to take on the giant saber tooth tiger slide. We had an utter blast. Some of the bigger slides had two slides, side by side. So we’d sit at the top, Piper or Amanda would “Ready, Set, Go” and we’d race to the bottom. I screamed every single time. Every single time. You know those split seconds on a ride where you’re not sure anymore where your stomach is? It’s squished to the side or the top or the very very bottom of your chest cavity, somewhere wrong and exhilarating? Those seconds where maybe, just maybe, you’ve left your body and taken flight, until the sound of your sustained shrieking proves you are still some kind of unified whole? I love those split seconds …..

And we just kept going back for more.

~ Piper and Amanda were instant fast friends. The two of them walked about hand in hand wherever they went and MB and I would poke each other and nod our heads, as we watched one small hand reach out for the other. Amanda’s father was there with her, sort of. He sat at one of the many tables scattered about the place, a buttery lump of disinterest. He saw us from a distance, raised a lazy hand, went back to his reading. At one point, we passed by his table again and he was gone. I asked Amanda, “Where’s your dad, honey?”

“Oh, I dunno. Probably just sitting somewhere.”

I wanted to scream, for different reasons now. I don’t understand people like The Buttery Lump. They enrage me, actually. As a childless woman, I can barely think straight about them. I mean, you have this adorable little girl, this gift, and it’s not too late for you to be a dad to your kid or for you to be a kid with your kid, and you sit there, uninvolved, letting her roam around a huge playground full of nooks and crannies, alone. Things could happen to her, but dammit, you’re at the good part of your book, right? Do you always just rely on the kindness of strangers, hoping someone will keep an eye on her for your fat ass? Why do I get the feeling that this scene plays itself over and over and over again in your life? I get if you’re not in shape enough to climb up the rope ladders, but, for God’s sake, watch your kid. WATCH her. Go with her. Be excited with her. Show some spirit. Some life. Show you actually give a damn about this gift from God you did absolutely nothing to deserve and do absolutely nothing to deserve to KEEP.

Sorry. Sorry ….

You know, when we were leaving, Amanda lingered a bit. Her dad was now slumped at a table not far away, but still detached, buried in his book. We waved goodbye to her and her little face crumbled a bit. It took everything for me not to march right up to that jerk and let him have it. I’ve done it before — to little effect, sadly. It turns out that random strangers can’t really make jerks be better parents.

So we all just said, “Bye, Amanda! Thanks for hanging out with us. It was really fun!”

“Yeah. Bye!”

I watched as she turned and wandered off in the general direction of her dad.

(Part 2 still to come.)

August 25, 2006

-image-and another thing ….

…. before I go get the wee niece …..

Uhm, Father Tawny?

YOU ARE THE BIGGEST OFFENDER OF THEM ALL!!!

I JUST SAW YOU AND YOUR JIBBLIES OUT THERE JIBBLING AROUND!

Must I draw my blinds, live in darkness, stare at the ground, grope about with my eyes squeezed shut??

For a man of the cloth, Father Tawny, you sport about in precious little of it when it’s your laundry day. Look, this is not some “Free to be You and Me Commune” here. That notion sounded all nice and crap when I was a kid, but the reality is wrong and dangerous and …. just plain gross.

You know what you are free to do, though? You are free, Father Tawny, to be ME, actually.

A person who wears clothes.

This ain’t the Garden of Eden.

I do not absolve you.

August 24, 2006

-image-attention: naked people

All right. Look. That’s IT, dudes. I’ve HAD it.

Can’t a girl walk to the community laundry room a mere 10 steps from her own front door — a door she still owns, shockingly — on a sweaty summer’s evening to do some damn laundry without running into YOU — you, the men who live in this small hostile complex of townhomes who insist on walking around in — I don’t know what the hell YOU call them, but I call them Shame Undies or Shundies, if you will — those short, dingy, well-ventilated mini skirts that make me avert my eyes and breathe, “uh, sorry” then slam the door really fast while I skitter away bug-eyed from your pasty, poochy self-loathing?

Look. I do not want to be forced to notice any danglies or jibblies or hoo-hahs or what-nots.

I CANNOT TAKE THE EMBARRASSMENT.

ANY. MORE.

FOR YOU!

FOR MEEEE!!!!

Which is, really, what’s most important in this whole virtual nudist colony scenario we’ve got going on here, people.

Please, for the love of God and Joe Boxer and everything that makes life liveable, please, cover UP your ….. your goods or …. your bads or whichever end of the scale they deserve to be on.

PLEASE!!

I am willing to buy or make — MAKE, even — some mumus, maybe from a nice charcoal pinstripe or a deep blue herringbone. You know, manly mumus. Nice professional mumus. Some damn Community Living Mumus. But something, SOMETHING, just perfect for any and all situations which involve me encountering you and your little box of shaky-shake-a Good ‘n’ Plenty there.

There is an innocent 5-year-old girl arriving here in 12 hours, for God’s sake!

Cover up or I will KICK you. Right there.

Right.

THERE.

And I won’t feel all that bad about it, really, and then my niece can kick you, too, if she wants, but she won’t, because she’s a very kind and sensitive and non-kicky child, unlike her aunt, who, let’s face it, will probably just be acting out some latent childhood hostilities, which, as we all know, is the fertile breeding ground for ALL hostilities everywhere, both latent and manifest. But, anywho ….

Look, just pretend I’m your fusty ol’ gammie and COVER. UP!!

August 23, 2006

-image-our big weekend!

Hey, you guys, my niece Piper is coming down for the weekend!!

I’m meeting my sister for the Piper hand-off Friday morning!

Woo-hoo!

And, apparently, Piper says she’s “so escited because I get to sleep in my balloon bed again!”

Her “balloon bed” is really just a big ol’ inflatable mattress on the floor. Last year, when she came for a visit, she was having sleep issues at home, so MB and I made a huge, HUUUUGE production about inflating the bed in front of her, with a whole lot of “oooh, look at this” and “ooh, look at that” — and then calling it — well, the first silly thing that came into my head, actually — “the balloon bed.”

She loved that thing, “her balloon bed,” you know. And she completely conked out on it every night. Well, I did find her on the floor one night, tangled in her blanket, but she’d obviously slept through her slow slide off the mattress.

And each morning, I’d hear a wee whisper, “Tee Teeee.”

Still asleep. Sorta. She’s crouched next to me on our bed.

“Tee Teeee.”

Not really asleep now.

“Tee Teeee! Wake up.”

Silence. Long plotting silence.

And then — whoosh! — she’d be grabbed and hugged and tickled ’til …. well, ’til she probably couldn’t take it anymore. No telling how long her aunt and uncle could have kept it up.

There’s just no helping it. It’s gotta be done. You understand, I’m sure.

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