Tuesday, January 26, 2010

We Now Return You To Your Regularly Scheduled Programming

I have had one of the most dizzying weeks of my life.

Seldom have I experienced such a wide spectrum of emotions in such a short period of time.






I've lived enough to know life can be this way. Life can simultaneously offer up a main dish of the wonderful with a side of crap. I just usually see it coming before I take a big 'ole bite.

I know I've left many of you wondering "what the hell?"

Let me share with you the life lessons of which I've been reminded in the last ten days. Perhaps it will provide the needed clarification.

Nine year old girls can do great things, know a great deal about fair play, and often have more character than grown ups.

Twelve year old boys can teach you more about not sweating the small stuff and finding joy in small things than any book I've ever read.

People can look you square in the eye and lie.

I will almost always believe them.

You can wake up in the morning employed and be unemployed before lunch.

I have the ability to be so angry that it makes me physically ill.

I also have the ability to use that same anger to propel me forward in a way I had not previously thought possible.

There are still people in the world who will take a chance on you, even when they have every reason in the world to not do so.

Blood really is thicker than water.

After twenty-one and a half years of marriage, my husband still has the capacity to show me extraordinary kindness and mercy when I need it most.

In short, upon my return last week from my daughter's first national soccer tournament, I had an unexpected change in employment status. And that, is about all I ever want to say about that.

What I do want to add about the last few days is this... the kindness and understanding of the Internet has amazed me once again. This blog has often offered me a place of refuge, comfort, and community.

And it did so once again.

I love you all and will never have enough words to tell you how much.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Song for Yertle

Karma cuts both ways.

And the turtles, of course… all the turtles are free. As turtles and, maybe, all creatures should be

I'm a plain little turtle whose name is just Mack.

However, I've decided I've taken enough.

And I have.

I may be a plain little turtle, but I'm more than a little bit mad.

As a plain little turtle I may only be able to do plain little things.

But this little turtle is about to shake the throne of a king.

I love me some Dr. Suess. It is required reading at my house. And not just the well known Cat In The Hat or Green Eggs and Ham, but the ENTIRE Dr. Suess library. My personal favorites are (in no particular order) The Lorax, The Sneetches, Oh, the Places You Will Go!, and the masterful Yertle the Turtle.

It has recently come to my attention that some of my readers are unfamiliar with Yertle the Turtle. This is an oversight that most assuredly must be corrected post haste.

My children can recite passages from this book with ease. My fervent hope is that when they are grown this ability will not leave them. I pray they take the lesson of Yertle and Mack with them into adulthood and apply its lessons daily. If they do, they and those with which they interact will be all the better for it.

by Dr. Suess

On the far-away island of Sala-ma-Sond,
Yertle the Turtle was king of the pond.
A nice little pond. It was clean. It was neat.
The water was warm. There was plenty to eat.
The turtles had everything turtles might need.
And they were all happy. Quite happy indeed.

They were… until Yertle, the king of them all,
Decided the kingdom he ruled was too small.
“I’m ruler”, said Yertle, “of all that I see.
But I don’t see enough. That’s the trouble with me.
With this stone for a throne, I look down on my pond
But I cannot look down on the places beyond.
This throne that I sit on is too, too low down.
It ought to be higher!” he said with a frown.
“If I could sit high, how much greater I’d be!
What a king! I’d be ruler of all that I see!”

So Yertle the Turtle King, lifted his hand
And Yertle, the Turtle King, gave a command.
He ordered nine turtles to swim to his stone
And, using these turtles, he built a new throne.
He made each turtle stand on another one’s back
And he piled them all up in a nine-turtle stack.
And then Yertle climbed up. He sat down on the pile.
What a wonderful view! He could see ‘most a mile!

“All mine!” Yertle cried. “Oh, the things I now rule!
I’m the king of a cow! And I’m the king of a mule!
I’m the king of a house! And, what’s more, beyond that
I’m the king of a blueberry bush and a cat!
I’m Yertle the Turtle! Oh, marvelous me!
For I am the ruler of all that I see!”

And all through the morning, he sat up there high
Saying over and over, “A great king am I!”
Until ‘long about noon. Then he heard a faint sigh.
“What’s that?” snapped the king,and he looked down the stack.
And he saw, at the bottom, a turtle named Mack.
Just a part of his throne. And this plain little turtle
Looked up and he said, “Beg your pardon, King Yertle.
I’ve pains in my back and my shoulders and knees.
How long must we stand here, Your Majesty, please?”

“SILENCE!” the King of the Turtles barked back.
“I’m king, and you’re only a turtle named Mack.”

“You stay in your place while I sit here and rule.
I’m the king of a cow! And I’m the king of a mule!
I’m the king of a house! And a bush! And a cat!
But that isn’t all. I’ll do better than that!
My throne shall be higher!” his royal voice thundered,
“So pile up more turtles! I want ’bout two hundred!”

“Turtles! More turtles!” he bellowed and brayed.
And the turtles ‘way down in the pond were afraid.
They trembled. They shook. But they came. They obeyed.
From all over the pond, they came swimming by dozens.
Whole families of turtles, with uncles and cousins.
And all of them stepped on the head of poor Mack.
One after another, they climbed up the stack.

Then Yertle the Turtle was perched up so high,
He could see forty miles from his throne in the sky!
“Hooray!” shouted Yertle. “I’m the king of the trees!
I’m king of the birds! And I’m king of the bees!
I’m king of the butterflies! King of the air!
Ah, me! What a throne! What a wonderful chair!
I’m Yertle the Turtle! Oh, marvelous me!
For I am the ruler of all that I see!”

Then again, from below, in the great heavy stack,
Came a groan from that plain little turtle named Mack.
“Your Majesty, please… I don’t like to complain,
But down here below, we are feeling great pain.
I know, up on top you are seeing great sights,
But down here at the bottom we, too, should have rights.
We turtles can’t stand it. Our shells will all crack!
Besides, we need food. We are starving!” groaned Mack.

“You hush up your mouth!” howled the mighty King Yertle.
“You’ve no right to talk to the world’s highest turtle.
I rule from the clouds! Over land! Over sea!
There’s nothing, no, NOTHING, that’s higher than me!”

But, while he was shouting, he saw with surprise
That the moon of the evening was starting to rise
Up over his head in the darkening skies.
“What’s THAT?” snorted Yertle. “Say, what IS that thing
That dares to be higher than Yertle the King?
I shall not allow it! I’ll go higher still!
I’ll build my throne higher! I can and I will!
I’ll call some more turtles. I’ll stack ‘em to heaven!
I need ’bout five thousand, six hundred and seven!”

But, as Yertle, the Turtle King, lifted his hand
And started to order and give the command,
That plain little turtle below in the stack,
That plain little turtle whose name was just Mack,
Decided he’d taken enough. And he had.
And that plain little lad got a bit mad.
And that plain little Mack did a plain little thing.
He burped!
And his burp shook the throne of the king!

And Yertle the Turtle, the king of the trees,
The king of the air and the birds and the bees,
The king of a house and a cow and a mule…
Well, that was the end of the Turtle King’s rule!
For Yertle, the King of all Sala-ma-Sond,
Fell off his high throne and fell Plunk! in the pond!

And today the great Yertle, that Marvelous he,
Is King of the Mud. That is all he can see.
And the turtles, of course… all the turtles are free
As turtles and, maybe, all creatures should be.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

If You Don't Jump, You Will Get Pushed

I am a slow and steady wins the race kind of girl. The pedestrian tortoise to the speed of the hare. I like sure things. Vegas is not my thang. I wrote for the web for a year and a half before I had the courage to create my own blog. I often avoid things I know I will love for fear that I may fail.

I consider everyone else's feelings in a decision before I consider my own. I tip toe into the future rather than charge full speed ahead. I hate making mistakes and I've developed a personality that minimizes risk.

I almost always know in my heart of hearts what is the right next step for me long before I ever find the courage to take the first step toward it.

Hello, Karma.

Fancy seeing you here. On the edge of the next big chapter in my life. You know well by now how I feel about you. I love love love you when you're busy biting the ass of someone who I think deserves it. I'm not such a big fan of you when I'm standing on the edge of a cliff - double, triple, quadruple checking my safety gear - when you decide that this is the exact moment to give me one of your affectionate shoves. Don't you know how high up we are? I'm afraid of heights, damn you.

Could we at least, just once, give a whisper, a note, or a billboard a try? Hell, I'll even go out for coffee if you'd like. I promise I will even do the listening instead of the talking.

Stop laughing.

What do you mean you always try those things first? Funny I never seem to notice.

Okay, so what's the plan here? Since I didn't have the parachute fully packed and ready to go it looks like I'm going to have to fly. And quick. Swiftly, without a plan. Without looking down.

I'm going to have to do it afraid.

Here I go.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Political MMQ

It has been a rich week on the political front. Some weeks are just like this. Some weeks the irony almost leaves me speechless.

(I said, "almost.")

Let us review.

Rush Limbaugh is out of the hospital after being admitted for chest pain. After leaving the hospital where the cause of his chest pain was never determined (I'd like to suggest it might be caused by listening to his own radio show - I know listening to him on the radio occasionally causes me some chest pain) Rush had some amazing insight to share with us. He said, "The treatment I received here was the best that the world has to offer. Based on what happened to me here, I don't think there's one thing wrong with the American health care system."

What a freaking relief. I can't articulate how happy I am that a fat cat millionaire with a Cadillac insurance plan has the ability to buy the best health care in the world. Because I mean, shit... if the millionaires aren't getting the best health care in the world, what chance do the rest of us have?

My favorite gal pal, fellow writer and politico, (not to mention master linguist), Sarah Palin has inked herself a deal with Fox News. I admit I am a bit confused about how exactly Sarah is going to fit in with the fair and balanced news network. I mean, after all, nothing says "fair and balanced" like hiring the girl who makes the news to also report the news. No word yet on whether or not she'll refer to herself in the third person when doing a story on herself. You know, kind of like watching Elmo do journalism. The upside? I'm sure she'll no longer have to worry about those "gotcha" interview questions since she'll be interviewing herself.

The challenge to California's Proposition 8 in Federal Court began yesterday. This is the first step in determining if same sex couples have the Constitutional right to marry. I had looked forward to viewing the court proceedings on YouTube. However, the anti gay marriage camp has temporarily blocked the video postings by arguing that putting the proceedings on YouTube would lead to witness intimidation. A victory for persecuted straight people everywhere. I'm sure Carrie Prejean, that symbol of pious, siliconed, mega-church, evangelical, opposite marriage is very relieved. You know, just in case she's called as an expert witness.

Liz Cheney was back on the Sunday morning talk shows this week promoting her new organization, Keep America Safe. No word yet on whether or not the organization's mission includes locking Dick's shotgun away. She did indicate that the Christmas Day bombing attempt was a direct result of the United States dropping it's torture program. I'm not sure exactly how torture failed to prevent the attempted shoe bomber on her Daddy's watch, but I'm sure I'm just missing a fundamental distinction. You know, kind of like the one she misses between what is morally right and wrong.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

New Year's Wedding

So, you've been wondering where the hell I've been, eh?

Portland, Oregon.

My best friend from college was married on New Year's Day and I was honored to be a bridesmaid - even at my age.

(Shut up. Is it really so hard to believe there is someone on the planet who has tolerated me for almost twenty-five years? Never mind. Don't answer that.)

I don't travel much and I don't particularly enjoy it. I like the being there part, but I could really live without the traveling part.

(I'd like to take this opportunity to personally thank the dickhead who tried to blow up an aircraft on Christmas Day. This made my trip to Portland less than a week later uber pleasant. Thanks to you, Richard Reid, and those liquid bomber wannabes, I had my hairspray and toothpaste confiscated by the friendly TSA. Thankfully, my Philosophy Hope In a Tube eye cream was .3 ounces below the per container limit for fluids allowed in a carry-on bag. Otherwise, we would have had a very serious security issue on our hands as I reached across the table and poked the eyes out of my friendly TSA agent's skull. Seventy-five bucks a tube is not something from which I'm willing to allow radicalized terrorists to separate me.)


On the morning of New Year's Eve, my nine year old daughter and I made it through security and onto to our plane without being put on a watch list. After an hour and a half of sitting on the plane while said plane was still at gate C9, we were finally in the air. I even resisted the urge to add one (or two) of those cute little vodka bottles to my orange juice. The same cannot be said for the two gentlemen who were sitting directly behind my daughter and me.

Just as we were flying over Denver, one of the men behind me had consumed enough vodka to ask me if I thought we were over Nebraska.


I had decided this was the lamest line I had ever heard from a man until his friend opened his mouth with "Are you Argentinian by any chance?"


And then the grand finale of "I'm a professional photographer and my friend would like a picture of you to create a sketch from later. Could I take your picture?"

(Yeah Dude, like that's going to happen.)

My daughter whispered, "Mom, those men are being really nice to you. I think it is because your hair looks so pretty today."

My hair was looking good that day and when my daughter so accurately pointed this out, I softened up just a bit about the men. I mean, after all, men are suckers for good hair. And I have good hair. And lips. I like to think my hair and lips compensate for the size of my ass and for what gravity and children have done to my boobs.

So, with good hair and fully glossed lips balancing a fat ass and saggy boobs, my daughter and I arrived in Portland.

We immediately hit the nail salon around the corner from our fabulous hotel. We left with my nails a very wedding appropriate french and with my daughter's a beautiful and dress matching glittery red.

The next morning we were scheduled for hair. When the Bride emailed me a couple of months ago asking if I were interested in having my hair done on the day of the wedding, my exact response was "Yes. I don't want to be the only Bridesmaid with bug fuck ugly hair in your wedding photographs. And go ahead and put the kid down for hair as well. There is no way I'll be able to get away with a beauty treatment without including her."

And so my hair lot was cast.

Just as my daughter and I arrived for our hair appointments, the Bride was finishing up and preparing to leave to get her make up professionally done. When I saw her hair, I was stunned. It was gorgeous. The Bride's hair is difficult to work with due to it's fine texture and medium length. The hairdresser had worked some amazing magic. Somehow her hair was curly and was loosely pulled back into a messy, yet elegant, bun at the nape of her neck. Gorgeous, I tell you. Gorgeous.

I was almost giddy thinking about what he was going to do to my hair. I was going to look amazing.

The hairdresser did my daughter's hair first. He did a darling little hard part on the side with a thin braid that twisted around her head and met up with a thicker braid in the back. He then took both braids and wound them into the cutest bun on the nape of my daughter's neck.

She was giddy when she saw herself.

I could not wait to see what he had in store for me.

I climbed into the chair and said these fateful words - "I trust you. Just make me look like Angelina Jolie."

I did not describe to him what I imagined that he would do to my hair. I just let him have his way with me and my locks.

If he thought leaving the majority of my hair down was a good idea, I envisioned something like this.

Elegant, looks good from the back when walking down the aisle, and totally something my hair is capable of pulling off when placed in the right hands.

If he thought an up do was more appropriate, this is what I envisioned.

Sexy and I appreciate the softness the long, loose pieces lend to this look. Again, my hair has this in it.

If he wanted something much more formal, this was what I had in mind.

Not really my style and I'm sure my head would have hurt horribly by the end of the evening, but still a beautiful choice for a wedding.


There must be something about me that just screams Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Perhaps I somehow let it slip that my secret fantasy is to be Warren Jeff's sixty-first wife, because when I looked into the mirror after my hair was finished, I was one widow's peak short of looking like the woman in the center of this photo.

Or one gingham dress short of being indistinguishable from this line up.

Truthfully, this is the best approximation of what I looked like - sans the Book of Mormon and unibrow, of course.

The Bride and the rest of the Bridesmaids were appropriately horrified. They collectively worked on my hair prior to the photos, but honestly, despite my best efforts I was indeed the only Bridesmaid in the wedding with bug fuck ugly hair.

I'm so looking forward to seeing how fabulously one of the best photographers in Portland documented my hair. I'm sure its going to be a hoot.

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