July 02, 2017

... Oh, and See If You Can Get Her to Brush the Back of Her Head, Too.

I was rummaging through an old box and found a treasure trove of old notes and cards. Here is one of my favorites: a note my mom pinned to the shirt I had laid out to wear one day in 1981. The thing that makes this funny is that I was in 7th grade at the time. How mortifying! Happy ending: I did not get on the bus (I didn't wear the note, it was just meant as a reminder to me). Sad ending: I got a monster wedgie from Madeline K. on this day.

August 12, 2015

Market Moments

The way the fermenting melons in the entryway filled that slick dark space with their fecund ambrosia.

and then

The way the tiny woman's cowlick and dark blond shine so perfectly matched that of the little boy in her carriage.

and then

The impenetrable El Capitán of cloud and electricity that loomed over the obliviously sunlit asphalt.

It was a good day, after all.

August 08, 2015

The Puberty Chronicles

In the spirit of Get Mortified (worth the click), I have decided to do a series known as The Puberty Chronicles, for airing out some of the mortifying aspects of becoming an adult. If you would like to do a Puberty Chronicle of your own, please do. Or, if you would rather have me post it anonymously for you, I would be most happy to. (After I call all my friends and read it to them)

Part I: Middle School Moments

When I was in elementary school, I used to bite my fingernails. My mom painted my nails with some sort of stuff that tastes bad and is supposed to deter you from biting. The problem was, I used to like the taste, so when I was home I would suck the acrid-tasting stuff off my fingers, paint them again, and then suck them some more.

Just another saga in my endless stream of oral fixations.

Then came middle school and I had bigger problems. I forgot all about my nails and looking for pleasantly salty things to munch (I rediscovered this quest in college -- a tale for another day).

In middle school, among the mortification of budding puffies and glasses and waiting to menstruate, there were perms. Numerous perms. Once, my bangs were so hyper that I had to go in the girls’ room and wet them down. After I finished climbing the stall door a few times (for exercise, you know), I soaked my bangs completely and then headed over to the dryer to blow them dry. Alas, the dryer was not working, so I returned to class with soaking wet bangs, which I covered for the entire period with one flat hand. I’m sure nobody noticed.

Another thing I remember from middle school is that the basement level was called The Dungeon, and I never ever wanted to go down there. In fact, I’m rather certain I never did. My twin sister Twirling Girl had a class down in The Dungeon and that made her so very cool. And brave, too. She had all the cool stuff—classes in the scary part of the building, and a class trip to the World’s Fair in Tennessee! What did I have? An oversized dickie, a clog sprain, and an eraser I stole from Mr. Shaw.
I do recall that one of the somewhat exciting things about middle school, grade six, was that there were two eighth graders who would kiss (!) before they got on their respective school buses and went home. They were practically grown up, by the looks of them, and they would actually kiss goodbye just like adults! Wow! I used to time my bus platform arrival to try to catch this magical moment. More often than not, I missed the kiss and also my bus.

The low point of my middle school career was when I got caught throwing toilet paper at the girls’ room ceiling. I feel I have told this before … But anyhow, I had just discovered the joy of ceiling art via papier mache, when in walked the principal and caught me … wet-handed. There was no getting out of this one! Oh, the shame! The shame!!!!!!!!!!! I had to serve a school detention, and I was in this room with all these derelicts, people I had never seen before. Smokers, to be sure. AND the proctor read my offense out loud: Spinnerina M. Girl, throwing toilet paper at the ceiling. Vandalizing the school. Ah ha! Young lady, you may sit right here while you do your time. My red-hot face burned and my ears buzzed with the blood-rush of embarrassment and shame. I was one of them! These ... these animals! These bad, bad boys! I was deeply mortified.

But not as mortified as the time I heard that Beth, an eighth grader in my class, had gone to the movies with a 9th grade boy and he had stuck his finger in her hoo-hah! His finger. Fingers! Plural! Like you could even fit more than one up there, duh! EW! Why would anybody do that? Ever?!?!?!? Luckily, I was on to high school and I never had to hear the answer to that one.

August 05, 2015

The Black Book (a veritable what the hell who's who? of people who have held little bits of my heart through the years)

Name: Clem
Me: 2nd grade, confused, ADD, never brushed my hair.
Him: the boy who sat next to me, Cuban, dark, mysterious, effeminate.
What happened: I chased him around the playground and pinned him down, tried to kiss him. Primordial sexual stirrings. My mother wouldn’t let me go to his house to play. Interest waned.

Name: Jenny
Me: I adored her in 2nd-3rd grade
Her: My best friend
Why we kissed: We were best friends, so we had to seal the pact. She had the biggest pucker ever.

Name: Martin
Me: Grade 3, glasses, precocious, lost the spelling bee
Him: Grade 4, older, taller, played the lead role in The Mikado, British
What happened: Huge crush; fantasies of being hospitalized and him holding my hand, consoling me. Not entirely sure he knew I was alive. See how much I loved him in
this picture.

Name: My Cool J. Fox
Me: Freshman in high school
Him: Senior, repeating a class he had failed, looked like
Alex Keaton
What happened: Huge crush; fantasies of being hospitalized and him holding my hand, consoling me. Not entirely sure he knew I was alive.


Now come the crush years. Too many to list. Include Markus, whom my cousin also dated. 2 guys named Hillar. Blah blah blah. Hard Puberty, breasts, mortification, adjustment.
Name: Dennis 1
Me: Senior
Him: Sophomore, but older than most because he stayed back and had started school late. Not too bright. Big eyebrows. Skinny.
What happened: I broke up with him the day before the prom but we went together anyhow. He showed up in a tux that did not match my dress. I ignored him all night.

Name: Hodge
Me: College Freshman
Him: Junior (also in college)
How It Went Down: Storybook romance; I spotted him at a soccer game and said, “I would die for a guy like that.” He spotted me in the bookstore and said, “Do I know you?” then hunted me down in my dorm. We were in love for a few months. He showed up to meet my dad in a rumpled shirt & no shave. He broke up with me. We tried to get together a few times but it didn’t take. I was finally over him 2 years later.

Name: Aryan
Me: Sophomore-Senior in college
Him: Lived in my dorm, dated my friend, drove a beatup Chevy pickup that he still has.
What happened: He broke up with her to date me. She tried to kill herself twice. We camped & burned tires in the woods. Love. He was Russian Orthodox and I wasn’t. I think black folks are a-ok and he doesn’t. His former roommate is now my boss. His brother died in 1999 so we got back in touch. 1-2 emails a year.

Now comes sort of a blurry haze for a few years in the job world. Including Mike, my vice principal, who was arrested the day after we went out for drinks (for possession of cocaine) & forced to resign; Dennis 2, whose mom I worked with and who (I found out) had been arrested for a domestic violence incident at some point; Dennis 3, whose brother I worked with and who left 25 drunken messages on my answering machine one night; some guy whose name I forget whom I escaped by ducking out through the kitchen of a bakery; some other guy who I left at a restaurant after he got up 8 times to make phone calls. I think I might have been making bad choices.
Name: Shepherd Boy
Me: 24
Him: 19
What happened: Broke my heart.

Name: The Onion
Me: 27, feisty, adventurous
Him: 28, Dot com millionaire, eccentric, liar, somewhat famous.
What happened: I felt like something wasn't quite right. I let it go. Later, I read about him online and found out what he had been up to, and it was not good. I can't give details, because I don't want you to look him up and embarrass him.

Name: Neighb
Me: I don’t know. Almost 30.
Him: My best friend.
What happened: We were friends for 10 years, then we crossed over & couldn’t cross back when it didn’t work out. We stopped talking when he started dating the woman he later married, and we just never talked again. My boss is good friends with him (he also lived in my dorm) & gives me updates I don’t want to hear.

Name: Stefan
Me: Now
Him: A very dear friend
What's happening: I so wish we were attracted to each other, because I adore him and we are amazingly great friends. We are each other’s Plan B; maybe when we are both 90 and we’ve given up the quest for Mr./Ms. Right.

Name: Sven
Me: 30
Him: 39, Norwegian, possible Asperger’s Syndrome, tall, penilely challenged
What happened: I hated his stupid dog and didn’t love him. He cried for 3 hours when we broke up and wouldn’t leave my house.

Name: Neil
Me: Looking for work with birds of prey, recovering from surgery, feeling a need to reconnect with my womanhood.
Him: Doing a study with birds of prey in Wyoming desert, running dogsleds in the winter, living in a teepee, smoking pot.
What happened: Spent a few weeks banding hawks and reconnecting with my womanhood. Then I came home.

Name: The K-Man
Me: Teacher, 31-34, smitten
Him: Charming, funny, alcoholic, married
What happened: Great pals, worked closely together, went to New Orleans for a conference and he acted like a big asshole; I told him to go to hell and fix his train wreck of a life. Left him in New Orleans. Major impetus for giving up alcohol.

Name: Brad the Clown
Me: 35-36, aloof, bored
Him: 37-38, one testicle, artistic, boring, racist, lazy, sloppy eater, has 1 joke that he repeats over & over.
What happened: I dumped him.

Name: The Handyman a.k.a. Brazil nut
Me: 36, 2 days after breaking up with Brad, I said to my friends; “I need a hot-blooded Latino lover to tell me I am beautiful.”
Him: In my house when I got home that day.
What happened: 1 month fling, with bonus (!) of numerous items fixed & painted around my house. Then he went back to Venezuela.

Name: Freaky Hand Fetish Dude
Me: Agreed to a blind date
Him: Bass player, looked like
this guy from Stargate, freaky, carried pictures of his cats in his wallet.
Why I changed my phone number: When I told him I wasn’t comfortable with him trying to hold my hand this early (we had met 10 minutes ago) he said, peevishly, “Oh, what --- we have rules about things now?!?” He asked me to clap my hands so he could psychoanalyze me according to how I clapped. When I did so, he closed his eyes and smiled and said, “That is the most beautiful sound in the world.” Later, he rested his hand open-palmed on my hand and moaned with his eyes closed as if he had just squirted in his pants. He freaked me out so much I didn’t leave him immediately, I was afraid he would stalk me. Luckily he didn’t know where I live or any of my phone numbers but the one I changed.

Name: Calzone
Me: Horrified ... yet drawn to him.
Him: Abusive, condescending, defiling, objectifying, pampering. Ridicules me, feeds me cheese, dresses me up like a cowgirl.
What happened: It’s still happening and it never ever stops.

Me: Nurturing, adoring, anticipating.
Him: Fuzzy, has a giant hoo hah, indignant, flattering, incessantly packing and unpacking.
What happened: He is coming here in 3 days!!! It will be the time of our lives. I am, after all, easy to please.

July 26, 2015

Happy Birthday to Jamwall!

Ode to Jamwall
on his birthday
this 207th day of the calendar year

i. første vers
In a landscape of 10,000 frozen lakes
and snow upon snow upon snow
a rare and precious gem appeared
seven and thirty years ago.

Fiery red, it blazed and burned
with peerless gifts and talents
in the soul of the boy;
to emerge as he grew,
lending wit, and vision, and balance.

ii. andre vers

No ordinary boy was he
nay, never.
Not to this day!
His eyes bear the spark
of vivid untiring imagination.
His mouth utters only kindness, humor, and love;
his heart is a drumbeat of loyalty.


Your heart, your little heart …
it knows not how it sounds.
for it is the drum of drums,
it is the song of songs.*

Thumping in the rib-cavern of that
beautiful spirited child
for all the days
that came before I knew you.

iii. tredje vers

On a distant shore I lived
and wandered alone and wondered
whether in all my days I’d find a match
for the silly and lively spirit inside.

... A spirit that needed taming and compassion.
A spirit that compels with its fierce humor.
A spirit that sometimes does not brush its hair
and eats things it finds on the floor
and wears a box instead of pants
and draws oddly
and writes poems about raining noses
and cannot spell the word scissors.

Who would ever come home
to a spirit like that?

I had stopped looking;
I did not realize.

I did not know,
I mean ...
... that you were there.

Nobody told me.

iv. fjerde vers

One day, suddenly, you appeared, beating your gong.
Verbally jousting with me
in the back-rooms of this virtual world.

Your writing tickled my funny bone
and brought out my inner feisty beast.
My true colors were fully unfurled!

Nothing was sacred, nothing was safe:Runways and hoo-hahs and relish,ice cream flavors and gobstoppers
all of these we’d embellish.

When you said you "loved my guts" I fainted, a little.

v. femte vers
There was once a secret blog;
a playground we kept on the side.
Some of us would take comfort there
and lower our guard for a time.

In that hideaway long gone, you first
unveiled your face to me, and to the others.
I will never forget reaching out
and touching your face with my hand
on the flat-screen of my monitor.
That puckish dimple in your chin
has inhabited my dreams
every night hence.
Even now, two years since.

vi. sjette vers

One summer’s day in Boston-town
four bloggers were united
for a weekend of frivolity
and extensive monkey-business.

On the trolley, you touched my knee.

vii. syvende vers

(Angelic Chorus sings to the tune of Don’t Fear the Reaper):

Her knee! Her knee!
You touched Spinnerina's knee!
The kneebone’s connected to the lipbone!
The lipbone’s connected to the heartbone!

viii. åttende vers
(Man with Cowbell clangs instrument three times and shouts):

Let me explore the space now, baby.

[mellomspill] --- Bare ku bjelle (Cowbell solo) ---

ix. niende vers

Jamwall, thanx fo' show'n me T-H-to-tha-izzat you love me in all tha shawty ways . Ya fuck with us, we gots to fuck you up. I started yo' shit, and I'll end yo'shit. You is always there fo' me so jus' chill. I love you so mizzle fo' sho'! I cizzay imagine gangsta day going by wit'out you in mah life. Throw yo' guns in tha muthafuckin' air!

x. tiende og siste vers
Well, then.
Nothing sweeter
or simpler and truer than this,
so still your jibberish and listen:

I cherish you.

You are a comet that streaked into my life
and landed.

Happy birthday, sweetiepants.
Happy now, and always, and then some.
(final strike of cowbell)

*with thanks to Annie Lennox

p.s. I didn't get you a card, so bask in this meager tribute. Jeg elsker deg!

July 22, 2015

The Barnyard Blues

A fellow blogger and I had a heated debate (heated, I tell you! Boy was it ever!) about barnyard animal sounds. This stemmed from a discussion about how onomatopoeia (quack quack, meow meow, woof woof) is different in different languages (in Estonian, the same 3 sounds are prääks prääks, näu näu, and auh auh). This conversation segued into a debate about people's thoughts about barnyard life. The discussion went something like this:

SG: I think the general population, when thinking of a barnyard sound, thinks cock-a-doodle-doo (or kikki-ri-ki-kii, in my case).

Sexy Other Blogger: Ya think so? Why, because of the cock part?

SG: No, because of the rooster on top of the barn.

SOB: Hmmm, I don't think so; I think it's probably moo.
SG: No way, man.

SOB: Oh, I think so.

SG: Care to make it interesting?

SOB: You're on, baby. By the way ... what are you wearing?

So a wager was made. Luckily, I have daily access to about 85 members of the general population*; I would have them answer this random question for me. I just so happened to be giving a quiz on Newton's Laws of Motion the next day (you don't know them, do you?**), so it was the perfect opportunity to show SOB just how right I was.


Behehehehe!!!: 1 vote.
And good job on the quiz, Christian!
(A next-day inquiry confirmed "behehehehe" as a goat sound)

Neigh?: 3 votes

Quack/Cluck: 1 vote

(I believe this type of cross-species union is genetically impossible)

Snort: 2 votes

grrrrrrrr: 1 vote

(Pam lives on a bear farm, so these results are skewed)

The startled bicalllck!

a hen makes when the egg leaves her cloaca:
1 vote

A dying zebra: 1 vote

(I believe this outlier should be eliminated,
as Andrew was picking his nose at the time and didn't really hear the question)

was up: 1 vote

(I guess the barnyard is in New Haven)

bawk bawk: 2 votes

hee-haw: 1 vote

eeeoinkkkkkkkkkkkk: 1 vote

quack: 4 votes

onk: 1 vote


cluck cluck: 4 votes

baa: 5 votes

one for

mooooo: 40 votes

Cock-a-doodle-doo: 1 vote!

Discussion and Conclusions:

Moo by a landslide. However, Gabriella is the nicest girl EVER so her cock-a-doodle-doo counts as 50 votes, so I still win. Christian has an A- in science. Andrew picks his nose. Most of the kids in suburban Connecticut have only seen farms in books or on TV; farm life is as foreign to them as life in Africa. However, if you tally up all the results, what we have is a typical storybook farm: a buttload of cows (one of whom wears a bell), a donkey, a few sheep and horses, some pigs, one dying zebra, one gangsta-rapper, a few chickens, and atop it all, proudly crowing to welcome the dawning morn, one bantam rooster.

* No minors were harmed in this process.

** Newton's Law Refresher Course
NL1: Law of Inertia. An object in motion will remain in motion at a constant speed, in a straight line, unless a force acts upon it. Ditto an object at rest.
NL2: An object accelerates in the direction of the force that acts upon it. This acceleration is inversely proportional to the object's mass. Also F= ma.
NL3: Every action force has a reaction force that is equal and opposite.

July 18, 2015

Meditation a la Mode

I am just sitting here, eating some ice cream and thinking deep thoughts. To wit:

  • A very small spider has taken up residence in the corner of my office. It is a S.A.S. (spider of acceptable size), so I will leave it alone. I hope it doesn’t decide to walk across my lips in the night.
  • When my twin sister and I were 5, we went to a birthday party that included a trip to the movies to see “Snoopy Come Home”. There’s a part where the Peanuts kids are singing, “Snooooopy, Snoooooopy, oh won’t you come home, come home, come home?” It is so sad. It tears you up inside. We started to bawl; we were inconsolable. Our mother had to come get us.
  • We were always that way, getting each other worked up. We’d lie awake at night in our shared bedroom saying things to each other like, “wait … what if mom and dad …die?!?!?! Waaaah!” and then we’d barge in on my parents for comfort after working each other up into a red-alert fit.
  • The Honda Element is butt ugly. I actually threw up a little in my mouth when one passed me today.
  • When I was six, I threw a giant rock into Lake Huron. Well, I threw it towards Lake Huron. At the precise moment it reached her area, my younger sister stood up and the rock ended its trajectory on the back of her 2-year-old skull. Twin sister & I stifled her screams because we didn’t want to get in trouble. Don’t worry, she was fine and later we told our mother (when we were 17).
  • I just can’t wear a do-rag the way I did back then, young & carefree in Key West.

  • I really, really miss Jim Henson. Viscerally. Deep in my belly. I love The Dark Crystal! I love when Kira is calling for those stilt-walker things and she yells, “kama leyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!” I love when Aughra sniffs Jem and says, “Looks like a gelfling. Smells like a gelfling. Maybe you are a gelfling!!” I love the whole surreal, slow, mystical quality of it.

  • And did anyone else have a pleasant, albeit disturbing, semi-erotic response to the dog-dragon thing in Never-Ending Story? He’s this giant, strong, undulating, furry beast. How could I not feel a tingle?

    • Somebody I know, after reading my comment about waking up in the dead of night with fears, shared the following: For years I used to wake up and check to make sure my breasts and vagina were still there. I had heard that people changed gender, and I thought it happened spontaneously. Just wanted to make sure everything was intact (She finally stopped a few years ago, when she turned 45).

  • I think I might have actually failed Organic Chemistry II, but the professor gave me a mercy D- because I used to go to his office hours every single day. For extra help, you sickies!
  • I got a 7% on my Calculus IV final exam. That's zero-seven. I was done in 23 minutes & spent the next hour and a half drawing bunnies all over my test. I was on Dean’s List every semester except the one after that calculus class (and organic); that semester I was on Academic Probation.
  • I did an independent study in Chemistry that consisted mostly of going out to lunch for Rocks & Wings with my professor. And trying to fix the mass spectrophotometer, which we never managed to do. And learning to shoot a revolver (picture later—in I Might be White Trash VI).
  • I saw somebody I knew at the grocery store today and I ran & hid behind the organic dairy display until she passed. I just wasn’t in the mood.
  • There’s a mentally challenged man who works in the cafeteria at my work, and every time he sees me he asks me the same exact question. I don’t know whether to be annoyed or compassionate. Aren’t I allowed to be annoyed by people, even though they are retarded? Dude, I answered you the first 54 times!!! I hate that I feel guilty for thinking “please shut up” every day, in my mind, at him.
  • I don’t really like Halloween that much. I plan to go out & leave my house dark. Yeah, it’ll be an egg magnet, but at least I won’t have to rummage through my pantry & give the kids canned goods when I run out of candy, like I did last year.
  • What’s That in My Refrigerator? : a helpful taxonomic key

    A large, dead birdIT IS ACTUALLY…
    A Purdue oven-stuffer roaster (a large, dead, edible bird)

    A small, dead bird
    A cornish game hen (a small, dead, edible bird) (all birds are edible, really…)

    A tube of red, crusty toothpaste
    Anchovy paste or tomato paste

    Yellowish liquid peanut butter

    A slimy glop of seaweed
    chives I forgot were in there

    A daffodil bulb about to burst forth in a song of spring
    Garlic from last summer

    Ugli fruitIT IS ACTUALLY…
    Uniq fruit, here in Connecticut, where no one would ever eat anything with the word “ugli” in it

    Black maple syrup
    A balsamic vinegar reduction (that I made myself on the stove and which warranted a visit from the local F.D.)

    A compost heap
    My “crisper” drawer (winner of the esteemed 2005 Misnomer

    August 06, 2013

    10 Years Today

    This is a repost, marking 10 years since I decided to give up my little alcohol habit.

    Disclaimer: This post isn’t meant to be funny. These things are only funny to me because they are all true, because I did them, and because I salvaged my poor gin-soaked soul on August 6, 2003. If you think you might have a problem, consider these points or
    take this quiz. I took it 14 times before I realized that cheating on the answers didn’t make them any less true.

    Image respectfully borrowed from BeerStuff

    You Might Have a Teensy Weensy Problem With Alcohol If…

    • You make three separate trips to the recycling center because you don’t want anyone to see how many bottles you have, but you still care about the earth.
    • You carry your trash really carefully when your landlord is around, so he doesn't hear the clinking.
    • You remember drinking 1 bottle of chardonnay, but in the morning you see 3 empty ones.
    • You go to at least 3 different liquor stores because you don't want to be seen going so often; nevertheless, all the owners cheerfully greet you by name.
    • You drunk-dial your friends and then tell them the same story several times, in almost the exact same words. When they call you on it, you say, "oh, I've told this story so many times I don't remember who I told it to." (this doesn't work very well when it's the same person, in the same phone call)
    • You make elaborate plans with friends and family, and then don’t remember a word. The next day, when your friend says, “so what time should I come over?” you pretend you know all about it to cover your ass. Later, when your other friend calls (with whom you also made plans), you cancel because of an “appointment you forgot you had”.
    • Your first words in the morning, every morning for 2+ years, are “Oh, shit ... not again.”
    • Your coworkers ask you why you look so tired, or if you are sick (answer: both). Your answer: trouble sleeping (also true).
    • You wake up at 3 AM every night in a shame spiral, and wonder how & when you got to this point. You’re an intelligent, beautiful, self-aware woman, dammit—you can’t be a drunk! (you can be both; nobody sets out to have this affliction on purpose, ya know. Duh.) (By the way I sometimes dream that I went on a drinking binge & wake up feeling utter despair at having failed, then relief that I’m still OK. And if I did fail, I hope I’d have the strength to pick up where I left off).
    • You bring your own magnum of chardonnay to the party because they probably don’t have what you want (or enough of it); you offer to open it for the hostess. You drink most of it.
    • You order a whole bottle of wine at a bar and the bartendress keeps it on ice for you and all the friends you intend to share it with. Most of them don’t have any.
    • You decide that a mandarin Absolut & tonic (m.a.t.) is OK at 10 AM; it’s citrusy, like orange juice. That's breakfast, right?
    • You decide that grocery shopping is so much more fun with a buzz on, so you have one m.a.t. for breakfast & then put one in a sippy cup for the road.
    • The following activities are drinking triggers: talking on the phone, sitting at the computer, watching TV, driving home from work. Also breathing, eating, sleeping.
    • You’ve rationalized that you’d better switch to vodka since it doesn’t smell (as much—enough of anything and your sweat still smells like skid row).
    • You lie to your best friend on the phone that the reason your speech is slurred is because you are wearing a Crest White Strips on your teeth.
    • You decide to drink only on weekends, then drink on a Thursday because that’s close.
    • You decide to drink every other day, and then fail after 2 days.
    • You decide not to drink one morning, and then change your mind on the drive home. You haven’t done it yet, you could still stop it, but having made the decision in your mind it is already too late. This yet-unacted-upon weakness fills you with despair.
    • You decide to drink just 2 glasses of wine, but glass 3.5 kills the bottle (you have biiiig glasses), so why stop? Wine goes bad if it sits.
    • Wine never goes bad in your house.
    • You wonder aloud about your drinking habits with all of your drinking friends, and say things like, “it’s not as if I’d drink something else if there were no wine in the house” (this was before I discovered the m.a.t. and the no-smell-vodka secret)
    • There is always wine in the house.
    • You actually think to yourself, who needs friends when I have this?
    • You choose a night home with a DVD and 2 bottles of wine over a night out with friends (rationalization: cheaper, and then I don't have to drive drunk).
    • You wonder aloud whether a life without wine in it is even possible. All those dinners out, and no wine? (it is possible, and the peace of mind that comes from a sober life far exceeds the enjoyment of a fine chardonnay. Although sometimes I still imagine the molten-gold flavor of it going down my throat, and I feel a lust unlike anything I’ve ever felt).
    • You finally resolve to quit drinking, but you can’t “officially” quit until all the booze in the house is gone, so you make a list of everything you need to consume, including that nasty bottle of Pimm's and the Smuggler whiskey your dad brought over for a party once (happy ending: upon realizing the huge volumes I’d have to consume, I gave all my top-shelf vodkas, gins, scotches & rums to a friend for her huge summer bash, and poured the rest of it down the toilet on August 7, 2003. Funny, I didn’t feel bad about wasting it, even though I was raised not to waste nutrients. I figured those kids in Africa didn’t need to become boozehounds).
    • You check out the AA website, just to see what it’s all about.
    • [UPDATE] You taste a tiny tiny sip of your husband's drink sometimes, mostly to remind yourself that you can't have it, you are never safe around it.  When you taste, it flows into you like a river of golden lava and awakes a craving so deep and complete that you know, really know, that you are only well because you are not having it and oh, what a slippery slope this is ... truly, in one day it could all be undone by going down this path.  So you just touch the path with your toe for the reminder, and then pull it back to safety. Tickle the sleeping tiger, then pull your hand back to watch it very closely, lest it fix its gaze upon you.
    [note: I am not made uncomfortable in any way by the mention of alcohol, the presence of it, or when my friends around me order it at the dinner table. I am happy to discuss it and proud of my sobriety. It’s not a word that needs to be whispered, like cancer or prison. I am not offended by anyone’s drunken audio post, or mention of drunkenness in this virtual (or any other) world. The only thing that upsets me is when I meet/see people who are obvious alcoholics; not because I judge them but because I know the place they are in, and it is not a good place. I questioned my drinking for 8 years, and experienced out-of-control drinking for about a year and a half before I stopped. I still question exactly how I got to that point. I can only hope that suffering alcoholics find solid ground, as I did. Thank you for reading.]

    July 12, 2013

    Today I Learned to Make a Puppet. A Puppet Like a Mitten.

    This puppet is like a mitten.

    How do play with this puppet? At first take your mitten and try to make it alive. Try to move the mitten and think what it can to talk to other mittens.
    Which is its voice?

    If you think up what person you want for your play then you must make a pattern. The pattern must be so big that it's will be cosy and handy for you. To main pattern you can add the ears. The ears sew on the head. The mittens can make of thick textile. The eyes can be button or make of paper.
    See the pattern to make it

    (Really, I was searching for Teddy Bears Dressed as Other Animals, and I Googled the word "karu", which is Estonian for "bear", and I found this. It's sort of endearing, in a sad way ... isn't it? I want to move the mitten and think what it can talk to other mittens!!!)

    August 21, 2012

    Nostalgika VIII: Stirrings of Prepubescent Desire [repost]

    I was so in love with Martin S-C when I was in elementary school. I have mentioned this here before, in my Black Book post and in one of my Meditations. He played the lead in The Mikado, so as far as I was concerned, he was a superstar.

    Looking back on the way I felt about him, I see patterns that still exist in my adult life. His effeminate fragility attracted me, as did his delicate bone structure. I find that I am attracted to either really ridiculously
    manly men, or else men who are really in touch with their womanly side. Martin didn't play rough like other boys. Martin played the viola and read big, fat books.

    I pined. I pined, while he was ignorant of my existence. I fantasized that I would be hospitalized and he would sit at my bedside and hold my hand (I also fantasized that I had a dollhouse filled with real, tiny, Borrower-sized people. I would pick up the boy, pull down his pants, and insert a safety pin into the little hole at the tip of his penis. I knew that, despite the pleasant tugging sensation these thoughts gave me behind my navel, I should not tell anyone ... because they were very bad thoughts. This fantasy may have more bearing on the current state of my love life than my love for MSC, come to think of it). I still find any relationship in which I am not in a state of desperate angst to be emotionally unsatisfying. Also, he had a British accent. I like accents, as long as they aren't Russian (sorry, Boris). Since puberty, the ear of my desire has become more attuned to words being whispered and shouted in Spanish; but in 3rd grade, Love spoke British.

    The other day, I found two newspaper clippings from the Martin days. See? I was a stalker even then. What a gold mine! Here they are:

    Martin was in the newspaper for taking a class in which he learned to conduct the orchestra. Third-grade SG thinks: I can't believe I am in love with somebody famous! This pattern continues to the present day, of course, but you always remember your first brush with fame. Well ... I wished I could have brushed Martin ... instead, he waved his arms with passion and focus while I sat on the sidelines, eating funny little acrid-tasting pellets that I found on the carpet during Story Time.

    This was a great day for me. In grade 4, I was in the same class as Martin again (a 5th grader! With upper-lip fuzz!). We won (!!) a bookmark-making contest and were featured in the newspaper. Even though I traced my picture of Winnie the Pooh, my bookmark got the blue ribbon (that's me on the left; check the hair. circa 1977). Martin got 2nd place. See us all showing each other our bookmarks with pride! I am posing for the camera, but my heart is pounding as this photo is being taken, and my eyes are full of his ivory, translucent skin and his pursed little lips ... his well-appointed trousers and his tidily turned collar. In my mind, the two of us are standing together on the Olympic podium, our arms around each other as we listen to the National Anthem. I am so mad that Jenny and Aleta, with their sub-par bookmarks, separate us.

    I'm fairly certain that, despite our shared fame, Martin S-C still does not know who I am. Or ... maybe ... he has just blocked me out, because the heartache of our unrequited love is too painful to bear! I am pretty sure that's how it is. Not that he never looked my way, with all my funny voices and my straight-armed, short-panted gait. And the fact that I told him that David Cassidy was my brother. And that I was half-Chinese (because I thought that would be cool, as though all-Estonian wasn't good enough. I look half Chinese, don't I?) No, I am pretty sure that once he realized I was simply out of his league, he nursed his heart back to health and tried to find a way to move on. I sure wish I could.

    May 17, 2012

    3 Things Meme, Spinnerina Style

    This made me giggle today, so worth the repost ...

    I've seen this thingy here and there, and thought it might be fun to play. It just needed a new spin on it, so I made up new categories.

    3 Things I Often Say Aloud

    • Time to sample for Quality!
    • Hey, lover.
    • What's goin' on?
    3 Things I Say Inside My Head
    • Shut up you stupid, stupid cow.
    • I could kill you with my bare hands.
    • Nice fupa.
    3 Things I Really Should Throw Out
    • A dress I fit into in 1995 that I hope to fit into again one day. Then I'll throw it out.
    • The half and half ... it's making some sort of strange grainy things in my coffee.
    • My entire collection of jeans, and start over.
    3 Ways I Hope I Don't Die
    • Eaten by cougar or bear
    • Fire / house invasion (tie)
    • Drowning / sharks (tie)
    3 Flavors I Can't Stand
    • Caraway seeds
    • Black licorice
    • Chalky liquid medicines, a la Pepto
    3 Yoga Positions I Can Get Into

    3 Positions I Can't Get Into

    3 Articles of Clothing That I Won't Wear
    • Mock turtleneck
    • Corduroy pants
    • Spike Heels
    3 Ways I Think I Make the World a Better Place
    • I make people laugh
    • I am kind to people who are flustered in the grocery store line
    • I sing