Monday, August 29, 2005

Hobbit Hovel

This past weekend, Hot Toddy and I headed for the Oregon Coast. We both needed to get away and enjoy some downtime. We both had emotional things we needed to process (more on that in a later post) and batteries that needed to be recharged. So, at the last minute, I contacted the rental agency I use and found a small house to rent in Tierra Del Mar which is outside Pacific City, Oregon.

The house I normally rent in Pacific City was not available, however, the rental agent suggested another house that had just been completely remodeled. “It sleeps six,” she boasted, “it should be plenty big enough for the two of you.”

The house I normally rent also sleeps six and is very comfortable. Two livingrooms, three bedrooms, great ocean view. I’m a walk down a sand dune away from being on the beach. I envisioned the accommodations of my usual rental to this other house and made the reservations.

I picked up Toddy, we stopped by C.C.’s to see Tim the Hot Toddtender and then headed for the coast. We arrived at the rental agency in Pacific City at 11 p.m. The agent told me she would leave a key with directions to the new house in an envelope on the door. We arrived to find no key.

I called the agent at home and her husband came back down to the office to make sure we were set. 20 minutes and a lot of confusion later, we were headed toward our weekend destination.

We had to drive around a bit to find our new digs. The agent said it was a small house – a small house that sleeps six…how small could it be? We pulled up in the driveway and tried to remain optimistic. The door that faced the street (a.k.a the dirt road) was, in fact, not the front door.

After trying the key for a couple of minutes myself, Toddy took over. I was about to come unhinged. First there was no key left for us; then it was the house we couldn’t find; then the key they gave us clearly didn’t fit.

Aggravated, I pulled my cell out and was preparing to rip the agent a new one gently advise the agent they had potentially given us the wrong key, when Toddy pointed out there had to be another door. At least one of us was being logical.

We walked around to the side of the house and found a set of French doors where the key did, in fact, fit. Exasperated from a two hour drive and twenty minutes at the rental office trying to clear up what day I actually did say we’d arrive, we were finally in.

Toddy was sweet enough to have unloaded the car and brought everything to the “front” door while I fought the key. Since I had back surgery last year, he rarely lets me carry anything significant in weight. After opening the house, we started gathering our belongings to bring them inside.

He had both arms loaded and was walking ten feet in front of me on the deck. I watched as he kind of wiggled his body – I thought he was adjusting the items he had in his arms. Then I saw his legs kind of kick out – I thought he was losing his balance. Then I heard him begin to laugh.

HT: Hey, Aub, you’re gonna love this!

AP: What’s that?

And then it happened.

I glanced up just in time to see Hot Toddy’s shorts fall to the ground around his ankles! I was laughing so gawd damn hard I had to stop walking and cross my legs to keep from peeing my pants. He was giggling as he tried to walk with his shorts down around his feet.

“I couldn’t pull ‘em up ‘cause my hands are full,” he said through the laughter.

Now, these shorts were clearly too big on Toddy in the first place - he had a belt on to keep them up. Yet there they were bunched up at his feet. It was like a little kid who drops their shorts to the floor at their feet and leaves them crumpled there. The leg holes created what appeared to be enormous empty circles. That leg-kicking thing I saw was actually him broadening his gait to try and keep his shorts up for as long as possible.

He never broke stride. He simply put his legs as far apart as they would go, keeping his shorts taut enough to waddle his undie-wearin’ ass into the house.

I tried to keep walking, but couldn’t. I was going to lose it if I took one more step. I was laughing at the top of my lungs. It was an all-consuming laughter that came from deep inside of me. I didn’t care that it was 11:30 p.m. and the neighbors might be sleeping. This was the funniest thing I had ever seen. Ever.

I took a couple deep breaths and was able to finally baby-step my ass into the house behind Hot Toddy. His long pullover covered his man parts. He set down that which he had carried in as we continued to laugh. I walked into the kitchen and sat down whatever I was carrying on the counter.

It was at this particular moment that I saw what sent me RUNNING to the bathroom to pee.

As Toddy bent over slightly to sit something down, I saw his bottom. Not his naked bottom, but his grandpa-undie-wearin’-I’ve-got-enough-material-in-the-ass-of-these-underwear-to-grab-a-fistful-of-material underwear. It looked like he had a load in his drawers!

It was so sweet. There were these long ass legs with his bunched up khaki shorts around his ankles, his pullover was so big that it was long enough to amply cover the torso and hips of a man that’s 6’6”, and his little ass was covered by these underwear that were too big to the point of the leg holes not fitting around his legs.

I lost it. I couldn’t speak. If I had said one fucking word, I’d have peed all over the floor.

Toddy was laughing or talking or something… I don’t know to be honest. I saw him reach down to pull his shorts up and that’s all I remember until after I came out of the bathroom. I think I experienced my first laughter-brownout.

We got everything into the house and looked around. House that sleeps six my ass! The agent was right, it was beautifully remodeled. Cobalt blue tiled countertops, claw foot tub, very nicely done. But this house was no more equipped to have capacity for six people than I was able to hold my pee while I laughed.

We looked around amazed. What they were calling the Tierra Tea House we were now calling the Hobbit Hovel. “It can too sleep six…“ Hot Toddy continued “…Hobbits.”

We poured ourselves an alcoholic beverage (or four) and headed out to the deck. Hot Toddy put on a CD that at one point started skipping. Todd rose to go inside and fix it. When he did so, he stumbled into the table almost knocking everything over. “It’s hard to be a drunk Hobbit” he jokingly slurred.

We went inside to freshen our drinks (oh, like we drink them slowly enough to EVER get stale) and Toddy put in another CD. While making my second third margarita, the Hobbit conversation continued:

AP: Geez, Hobbit Toddy, is that Hobbit fuck music?

HT: Yeah, it’s so we can make little Hobbits. Oh. Wait. Hobbits ARE little. It’s so we can make teeny, tiny, smaller-than-normal Hobbits. It’s the “Hobbit Love” CD.

It was at this point I tucked my thumbs in the front pockets of my jeans and started to dance a little Hobbit dance. Much to my pleasure, every time Hot Toddy recalled my Hobbit dance, he laughed.

Once we returned to the deck, I had to ask Hot about those underwear.

AP: So, Hot, what’s the deal with those grandpa underwear you’re wearing?

HT: What are you talking about?

AP: There’s so much material bagging in the ass you could grab a handful of cloth. It didn’t even look like the leg holes fit.

HT: Ohhhh. These are my “I’m hanging out with my lesbian friend this weekend” underwear. Doesn’t matter what underwear I’m wearing around you. I’ll save my hot underwear for when I’m with Thor. No offense or anything.

AP: None taken. This is going to make for a great blog!!!

HT: Just be sure people know I don’t live in grandpa undies.

Well…my job here is done.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Entertaining Humor, Hot Toddy Style

I have a friend who’s name is Hot Toddy’s Toaster Oven. Hot Toddy is frequently a source of levity for me and anyone who happens to be in the vicinity. I’m grateful for this quality in him because laughter is key to my existence. If a person can make me laugh, they’re in the door.

Last week Hot Toddy, Ms Karma, Pony and I all gathered at C.C. Slaughter’s to worship (Tim the Hot Toddtender). We had been there maybe 30 minutes when, out of nowhere, Hot Toddy let out this huge burp. Those of us who spend any time with Todd have come to accept his occasional burp. It’s actually cute when he does it because you don’t expect him to just let loose. Every time he does so it makes me laugh.

There were two things different about this particular burp. First off, he was drinking Maker’s and Coke so there was carbonation pressure built up behind this burp. And secondly, when he finished he actually took two seconds to regroup, shook his head and said, “Oh, man, I almost threw up on that one…”

Simple and to the point and I about died laughing.

Throughout the first part of our C.C.’s experience, Toddy kept reaching over to use a lighter I had. Every time he reached for it and couldn’t find it, he got bitchy. It wasn’t my fault he’s lost every one of his lighters yet I must suffer the wrath. Ms. Karma jokingly got fed up listening to it and walked outside to her car.

The store near her house gives her a free lighter everyday when she buys smokes. You can imagine the load of lighters lying around at any given time. None of the people in Ms Karma’s circle of friends have had to buy lighters for about a year now.

When Ms Karma returned, she hovered her hand over the bar and dropped nine purple lighters between Todd and I. Toddy was thrilled. He shoved my tiny little Bic back at me and embraced his new found treasure. After lighting his smoke, he sat there like a kid with a new toy and stood all the lighters up on end. Some closer together than others.

“Look,” he said. “It’s a lighter cocktail party! This lighter is talking to that lighter. And this lighter (he knocks one over), oops, he’s the drunk lighter.”

Ongoing entertainment. I loved it.

One of my favorite, nasty things to eat when in a bar is nachos. Not the great kind with all the perfect nacho toppings but the kind with the shitty 7/11-type cheese that isn’t really cheese at all. I have no real understanding why I like this particular snack when I’m partying, much the same way I have no idea why I adore the tacos at Jack-in-the-Box. I just do.

I inquired with the bartender (which, unfortunately was NOT The Toddtender like we expected – seeing him was the only reason we went in there on a Friday afternoon) why they took the crappy nachos off the menu.

Before the bartender had a chance to answer Hot Toddy responded with, “The cheese from 1978 ran out.”

Sometimes Toddy never misses a beat. This particular Friday was one of those days.

Amidst the lighter cocktail party Pony realized that he, too, was lighterless thus failing in his attempt to give death a blowjob and asked Hot Toddy if he could “borrow” a lighter. Reluctantly, Hot Toddy obliged him.

Pony grasp the lighter, lit up, and proceeded to throw the lighter back into the lighter cocktail party knocking every one over. Hot Toddy lashed out, “That was so mean, I can’t believe you killed everyone in the lighter cocktail party. Geez, ya big party-crasher. It’s like a lighter cocktail party at the World Trade Center.”

Pony, Ms Karma and I just kept right on laughing.

The four of us hit a lull in the conversation and were all sitting there watching the boy porn. This particular porn shows a guy sitting behind a desk. He appears to be interviewing a guy for a “position” of sorts. There is no sound to the porn – though I doubt we’d be missing much on the storyline.

As the interviewee sits in the chair, he begins to rub his crotch and the pointless porn conversation continues. The interviewee stands still rubbing his big, pulsating manhood (ew, whatever) – this is where the audio actually began.

Hot Toddy looks up at the screen, “Sir…SIR…Don’t rub that! You’re not going to get the job!”

It’s possible Hot Toddy looked away and didn’t realize that the interviewee actually did get the job, er, got to do a job. It appeared he was perfect for the “position.”

Keep up the humor, Hot. With all that's going on in my life right now, I need it! It's the best diversion EVER.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Park People

Occasionally, Young Stud and I will take a break in the park near Company X. It’s one of my favorite places to break when I’m wasting company time trying to clear my head from a hard day’s work.

I find the lovely people freak show entertaining.

Everyday the urban daycare across the street brings the babies who don’t get to play outside on play equipment or tricycles or in sandboxes (due to being held hostage in a building downtown), out to the park to run and scream.

I’m not kidding. They run around in circles like maniacs. It’s like an improvisational dance – they don’t know exactly what they are doing next, but they’re out there doing it nonetheless.

Quite honestly, it’s very cute. These kids are only two or three years old. All holding hands as they walk to the park and all so cute you could watch them watching you, all day long.

Then there are the older skateboarding boys teaching their younger brothers how to deface property at a young age. I know, I know, skateboarding isn’t a crime. I agree, but if I were a business owner, I’d find out the addresses of those kids and go to their houses and toss their bedrooms or scratch up their bikes or something.

Whatever happened to skateboard parks?

Anyhoo, the last couple of days there has been a woman meandering through the park that I’ve found interesting. Not interesting in a good way but in a “wow, that woman is kind of strange” way.

Today she had on dress slacks and sneakers.

Her waist-length, wavy hair is unruly and unkempt. There are no signs that she has a stylist to guide her. She has a thin build and a slight figure (sort of). She just doesn’t appear to have anyone to direct her to the right places, i.e., the MAC counter at Nordies or to a salon.

She appears to be comfortable in her own skin which is great.

She doesn’t appear to wear makeup. I watched her sit on the bench and veg for a few minutes. Then she reached into her purse and pulled out a compact. No big deal - most woman carry a compact – even out skin tones, dull any shine you might get.

But once she had the compact open she took out the pad, applied product to it and began whacking herself on the face. I’m not talking about gently applying the powder and smoothing it out. I’m talking about a full-on smack down. I’m not sure how much powder she applied to the pad before she started this event, but apparently she thought it was enough to cover half her face.

Then she’d load that sucker up and proceed to bat the hell out of the other side of her face. It was like watching an episode of I Love Lucy without Lucille Ball, well, or the comedy.

When she came out to the park yesterday, Young Stud and I noticed her. As the woman approached the bench I asked, “Well, do you think she’s going to do it today?” We both sat there wondering.

I watched her for a few moments and then turned away. Mid-sentence with Young Stud and he interrupted me to say, “There she goes.” I watched in awe sharing my ongoing diatribe with Young Stud. I told him it’s as though she’s watched too many old movies or something.

I found myself wanting to give her advice but there is absolutely no way to walk up to a complete stranger and say, “Hey, you’re doing that wrong. Let me show you.” Or better yet, I could walk up and give her the business card of my make-up consultant at Nordies. Yeah, I’m thinkin’ not so much on that idea either.

Well, if I can’t give her advice then I wish I could get close enough to actually see the powder on her face. I’m not a mean spirited person, but that ought to be good for a giggle – in a oh-that’s-kind-of-sad sort of way.

Then there are the street kids that hang out near a fountain here in downtown Portland. I was having lunch with Brown Eyes one afternoon and we observed a group of young under-achievers people all hanging out, smoking, sleeping, and talking in the mid-day sun. Speaking of disheveled hair. Yikes.

As I sat there worried I might see something come crawling out this chick's nasty-ass hair, I realized there was a rat sitting on this girl's shoulder. Somehow it didn’t surprise me.

The saddest thing of all was this young, rat-wearing girl stood up and walked down the path in front of me. Upon further observation, I realized she was stacked. She had the perfect breasts. The rack I had always dreamed of. Full, perfectly shaped and exactly the right size.

I turned to Brown Eyes and asked him where was the justice in the world. I’m a good, decent, loving person. I do right by people. All I’ve ever wanted was a nice full rack but no… Freaky rat-wearing chick with the blonde, matted hair and the nasty clothes gets ‘em. What’s up with THAT?!


It isn’t enough I have two sisters that are stacked also. I walk around with my C cup breasts and they go cruising through life with their D’s and their double D’s… Bitches. It isn’t enough I’ve lived a life of jealousy with my own sisters – now I’ve stooped to being jealous of a street person with nice tits!

Double grrrrr.

Face it, how many people do each of us work with that are a walking clothes tragedy or a make-up faux pas just crying for help? We see it every day…I’m just mouthy enough to write about it.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

And then there was One

He loaded the last of his belongs into the truck. We had shared our last cigarette, our last drink, our last laugh, and the last of our tears. For now anyway.

We shared one last good-bye hug both thinking about the impact the other has had on our lives. He thanked me for not only accepting him just as he is and not only for accepting him into my home, but for welcoming him into and making him a part of my family. My family is so important to me. I doubt he realizes how deeply those words touched my heart.

He said good-bye from the entry with that deep, sexy voice. I heard his voice crack as he tried to be strong. I could feel his heart melt onto the floor knowing what he had to leave behind – his home, his new family in me and Aries, and the new found love for Hot Toast. I didn’t want to see the look in his eyes as he walked out the door and as such never walked toward the front door.

I simply told him good-bye and that I loved him.

I watched from the front window as the truck pulled away. I felt the tears well up. Though I’ve known for a while Thor was leaving, I hadn’t actually allowed myself to future trip on how empty my house would be. That moment was now upon me.

I walked downstairs and looked at the emptiness.

There was silence. The deafening sound was almost painful. The chatter and constant sensory feed faded like the afternoon sun disappears into the night.

I stood there for a while and let the noise find the exit. It grew more distant as I walked upstairs.

I allowed myself an hour to sit upon my pity pot. To unnecessarily evaluate why such a great housemate crossed my path only to make an exit almost five months later. And when that time was completed, I was done.

You can’t be in two places at once and I can’t move forward if I linger in the past.

A sense of calm came over me. Now I feel ready to prepare the house for sale. I am excited about moving on. I don’t know when or where that will be but I know everything will be fine.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

More than a walk in the park

This last weekend, Hot Toddy, Thor, Auburn Aries and I went on a picnic which included a hike. In as much as I’m not necessarily the hiking-type to the point of owning a lot of hiking gear (okay, I only own boots), I am a Pagan and being that close to nature is very grounding for me. Especially now with all the impending change in my life.

It allowed me the luxury of leaving all the housework and stress of day-to-day life behind me for an afternoon. I didn’t realize how much I needed it, but I can promise you that I will be doing it again very soon and with more frequency.

As the four of us headed out on our adventure, we ended up breaking into twos. Auburn Aries had Thor’s hand firmly gripped and I walked along behind them with my best friend, talking.

I realized on the walk the degree to which Todd and Thor mean Auburn Aries. They are her two gay Dads. She is more comfortable with them than I’ve seen her with anyone (Fairy Godmother excluded). They treat her better than her own Dad does. She never worries about whether her silly humor will come out wrong because she knows they’ll laugh it off anyway.

She never worries about her weight or the occasional bouts with attitude that we have to address. And both of the boys have their own ways of dealing with her. No matter who’s been around in our lives, I have always worried about that person having to deal with her – or rather, I’ve worried about them finding the patience to just work through whatever situation arises with her. With Toddy and Thor, I don’t have that concern.

I was reminded again how much her heart is going to break when Thor is gone.
Toddy and I had an opportunity to, once again, talk about where we were at emotionally with everything. It was a relaxing conversation, right up until he turned to some passers-by and asked, “Could you tell me where Starbucks is? Is it right up the path here…or…?”

The people we passed started laughing and merely shook their heads.

The remainder of our walk was much the same way. A little serious, a little heartfelt, a little…Toddy.

“If there’s not a cotton candy stand somewhere along this hike, I’m gonna throw a fit!”

“Why is Auburn Aries crowding in on my boyfriend? I’m gonna have to take her down.”

“This hike is never going to end. I’m smoking.”

And then there was my observation of the dragonfly laying her eggs in the river. I had never seen this before and when Thor told me what she was doing I was surprised. “So, what? She craps her eggs into the river out of like, what, her egg hole?”

It was then that Toddy pointed out how much more colorful the Discovery Channel would have been had I been narrating it! He had me laughing so hard I had to cross my legs to keep from peeing myself.

The four of us walked and talked and laughed. Toddy and Thor stopped to share a few tender moments under a beautiful tree, sans Aries and me. Auburn Aries played in the icy river. What is it with kids not caring about the water being ice cold?

The four of us sat down by the river while Aries and Thor connected with nature. Aries is fearless when she’s around Thor. He helps build her confidence in a way that I’ve not been able to. Toddy and I did our part too…we cried…a lot… about whatever we wanted. We are much the same way when it comes to things of the heart.

I also witnessed the most tender kiss I think I’ve ever seen. I wanted to take a few pictures with my cell and asked to see one. What I saw actually moved me to tears and put a lump in my throat. If there was ever any question about the love these two share, there shouldn’t be.

Todd and Thor have had to endure quite a bit in the short time they’ve been together. There have been times I’ve wanted to smack both of them just from the complexity of it all. But when they kissed, it moved me to the point of almost forgetting to take the picture. I don’t know the last time I was kissed like that.

For better or worse, the four of us are a family and spending the day together as a family meant more to me than Todd and Thor will ever understand. They’ve touched my daughter’s life so deeply that there will never be words adequate enough to thank them for loving her the way they do.

It hit Aries on the way home that evening that Thor was really leaving and she has very little time left with him. She began to cry in the car. She just kept saying she didn’t want him to leave. It was like she was waiting for me to tell her it was all a joke. But I couldn’t. He is leaving and regardless how temporary, it’s affecting us all. There is nothing I can do to change it.

I wish there was something I could do to hold her tender little heart after he leaves. Something that will make it all better. But there’s not.

I won’t ever forget the day I met him and realized he was going to be the perfect housemate. I won’t forget the love and laughter he brought into my house and made it a home. Nor will I forget the day he pulls out of the driveway as I feel the impact he’s had on our lives and how big the void will be when he’s gone.

So, thank you, Thor. For loving me and Auburn Aries unconditionally and for touching our lives the way you have. We love you.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Just Park it Dumb Ass

I survived yesterday. Thank you for putting up with me and my emotional day.

I drove into work this morning with a myriad of thoughts streaming through my mind. Some of which I won't share and others are about to find their way onto this page.

I've decided that only cool people should be able to drive. Everyone else has to stay home. The reality is that if you aren't cool enough to drive then you are probably one of the ignorant people who piss me off and as such need to stay home anyway.

Portland, Oregon has, I think, nine bridges into downtown. The Willamette River separates the east side from west side. You have no choice but to cross one of these bridges to get downtown, which means access across any of those bridges in the morning can be heavy.

I was driving into work this morning down Powell which always has heavy traffic. I was amidst a long line of cars all paced together heading toward a common destination when I saw a guy in an Avalon, in the center lane, waiting to enter into traffic. I watched four or five cars who could have created a break for him pass right by.

Feeling exceptionally kind due to seven and a half hours sleep instead of my usual four or five, I slowed to let him in.

Now, if I’m making a gesture like this you’d think that a.) this asshole would be paying enough attention to jump right in – NOT; b.) get up to speed quickly enough so as to not inconvenience me following my random act of kindness – NOT and c.) would give the Thank You Wave – NOT.

I frustratingly drove behind this guy processing each act of idiocy, talking to him through each one:

“Come on, asshole, PAY ATTENTION.”

“There you go, you can do it. The accelerator is the pedal on the right. That’s it, the long one. Now USE IT.”

“Now say thank you. Give the Thank You Wave. Come on. You’re probably a selfish prick who probably doesn’t know how to please your woman either, Mr. Me-Gimme-Mine!”

I intentionally gave the No-Problem Wave just so he’d see it.

I don’t think it’s too much to ask to show a little appreciation when someone does something nice for you. Rarely do I NOT give the Thank You Wave. Even in situations where it may not have been completely necessary. Merging two lanes into one, for example. It’s going to happen…one way or another you’ll get your place in line – but still I give the wave.

And another thing, if you’re driving in the left lane and know you have to make a left-hand turn, turn your effing signal on BEFORE you get to the intersection. Give those of us behind you who don’t want to be stuck the opportunity to get around your funky ass before we’re forced to be there against our will. Plan a little.

And you know that big space Semis leave in front of their trucks? That big, huge gap between them and the car in front of them? That gap is there because it takes a lot more road space to stop 100,000 pounds than it does to stop the 3,000 pounds your gawd damn car weighs.

That space isn’t there so you can drive like an idiot and wait until the last minute to make your lane changes. I’m not saying you shouldn’t utilize that opportunity when it presents itself, I’m just saying that you need to think a little about speed and traffic conditions when you do it. Otherwise, that 18-wheeler could be your enema for the day and the last time I checked, you couldn’t put ten pounds of feed in a two pound sack.

By the way, yellow lights mean proceed with caution – there’s an impending red light coming your way. It doesn’t mean floor it (unless you’re in the cool group). For those who don’t have the wait-three-seconds rule when their light turns green and just floor it, that accident you could cause from racing through that yellow light will be YOUR fault, Mr(s). Impatience. Seriously, the grocery store isn't going anywhere, it will still be there when you do finally make it.

Besides, the people directly behind you will follow your lead. If you’re going to run the yellow light, then run the bastard. Don’t chicken out at the last minute and almost cause a rear end crash by slamming on your brakes.

Oh and it’s okay to turn right on a red if you proceed with caution. Sitting there with your blinker on only pisses everyone behind you off. Go already.

If your piece of shit car is not capable of doing the speed limit - leave it at home or get it fixed. Do not attempt to drive in the fast lane, and block all hope of those of us with functional vehicles have of ever getting anywhere.

And minivans…

Better yet, minivans in the fast lane… grrrrrr… Don’t even get me started.

And for any woman who’s ever put her make-up on in the rear view mirror… Shame on you for giving those of us who are smart enough to get up a little earlier and do it at home a bad name. Not all women are idiots like you, but somehow we get lumped into your category whenever men talk about mobile make-up application. Knock it off already.

And fellas, seriously, do you really think it’s fair that you get to shave in your car? Do that crap at home. Of course, it’s jealousy that motivates my saying this. I’d love nothing better than to prop my long ass leg up on the dashboard to shave it while I drive but that’s not a possibility. So essentially it shouldn’t be for you either.

And to the woman who brushed her long ass hair 100 times at the stop light the other day, you grossed me out. Cut that shit already. I understand OCD, but move on. It’s hair. Spiders probably crawl up it while you’re sleeping anyway.

And another thing for people who walk downtown. For the love of Betsy, people -- Now that there’s a law in effect that states drivers must wait for pedestrians to get completely across the crosswalk before they can proceed, what do you think you’re doing to the people who have been sitting there waiting for 19 gawd damn, slow ass people to leisurely stroll across the street on a yellow light while they wait to turn? By the time you slow ass fuckers make a move, the light has turned and now the one-way traffic the other direction is on the green and we’re stuck waiting through another damn light.

Be considerate. If the light blinks “Don’t walk” then don’t effing walk. Have a heart. Just because pedestrians have the right of way, doesn’t mean you should be flippant and act with such a sense of entitlement.

Though I don’t live downtown, I work downtown and have to both drive and walk within it. All you have to do is pay a little attention.

As for bicyclists. I have to give kudos where kudos are deserved. Most cyclists are experienced, conscientious, defensive drivers aware of the law and what’s going on around them. But for those fair weather cyclists who pedal in, here and there, throughout the summer in your sandals and cotton shorts – LEARN SOME GAWD DAMN HAND SIGNALS YOU IDIOTS. And realize that there may be people in the lane next to you. You aren’t the only people on the road.

It’s entirely possible that some of my sadness from yesterday manifested itself into road rage this morning. Or it could just be that us kids in the cool group are tired of the ignorant, self-serving assholes on the road. Either way, I’m still right and you should all go home now.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

I Love You, Mom...

Two years.

How can two years have gone by so quickly? It was two years ago today my Mom passed away. It was the worst day ever. I had just lost the last of my two parents. I was an adult orphan. Not the same, I know, but sometimes that's what it feels like.

It was such a shitty ride up to and including when she died. She had alzheimers - this is the ugliest disease. I won't go into all the bullshit on it. Everyone knows it sucks. But until you've lived it, even for one second, you'll never know the pain that it creates for everyone it touches. Never will I forget the day my Mom didn't know who I was or that confused smile and lost look in her tender blue eyes as she searched what memory she had and came up empty.

Her long term memory was better than her short term. She could remember details of when my older brothers and sisters were young. Unfortunately, I wasn't around then. The age gap in 14 children (10 that were hers) was spread out such that the older kids grew up together and then there was Skinny Girl and myself - born nine and ten years after the youngest of the older kids was born.

My Mom was the kindest person you could ever meet. All she ever wanted to do was make peace. She wanted everyone to be happy and get along - which was a tall order when you're married to an abusive alcholic for 51 years and have boys who loved to fight. My band of brothers...thugs. And I love every one of them.

I never heard my Mother curse. You'd hear the "oh, horse shit, julie" when she knew we were teasing her about something. She was 81 when she died and I never heard her use the "F" word. How is that possible? I use it (regretfully) in front of Aries occassionally. I've also told her it's the Grand Daddy of all cuss words and not to use it. I know, wish me luck with that one.

My heart is heavy today. I miss my Mom. It was just on July 24th that I was reminded of my Dad's birthday, his passing and the passing of my brother, Willie. And for cryin' out loud, I just buried my brother, Jim, in January. Every cell in all that makes up "me" hurts. I feel alone and I need a hug but who and what I need is nowhere around. I know this will pass. It always does but today every memory that passes through my mind reminds me of what is no longer.

I used to get so mad at my Mom for not leaving my Dad when he was so mean to her for all those years. I used to get so mad at her for not sticking up for me more. I was the daughter that was the wild child. The lesbian who dated men because it would have made Dad mad. I studied dance. I flew by the seat of my pants and enjoyed every step of my life - no matter what was going on. All of those things have made me who I am but I didn't fit "the mold."

Yet when I think about my Mom today, I am reminded of all the love she gave to every one of us kids...and my Dad. The woman was a Saint for sticking by his side. Though I often thought of my Mom as weak, I realize now, as an adult, that she was indeed one of the strongest women I've ever known. It's funny, Skinny Girl says the same thing about me yet when I compare myself to my Mom I pale in comparison.

I remember the day my Dad died and how it crushed her. They had actually gotten to a place in their relationship (as it should be) after all those years of being married where they were true companions, friends, husband and wife (the way he should be treating her). They figured out how to communicate. She cared for him as his heart began to fail. They were reminded of their mortality and were each afraid of it in their own way.

The morning my Dad died, they were at their place in Washington. My older Sister was supposed to come by there for breakfast that morning on her way to work. It was around 7 a.m. and my Mom had gotten up and poured my Dad is usual half a cup of coffee and brought it to him in the bedroom. They talked about what time my older Sister was expected to arrive. Dad said there was no air that morning. He asked my Mom to turn on the fan - which she did. It still wasn't enough. He asked her to point the fan directly at him - which she also did.

They sat on the side of their bed talking for a few minutes. My Dad reached out to my Mom. He wrapped his arms around her and told her that he loved her. With her arms wrapped tightly around him, he tipped his head back and died in her arms. His heart just stopped beating. He had had problems with it for years - everything seemed to be a series of trying to keep him alive a little longer. This med, that treatment, a change in diet, oxygen. His heart was tired and had nothing left.

My Mom laid him back on the bed and with a broken heart and scared down into her soul, she called 911. The paramedics came and worked on him for a while but could do nothing to save him. He was gone. 51 years of marriage and he died in the arms of the woman he loved.

What a phenominal way to go.

My Mom was lost for a long time. How do you move on after 51 years? Regardless of the dynamic in the relationship, it was all she knew.

All of us kids (mostly my sisters and I) paid Mom's mortgage up until she sold their place. We did everything we could to take care of her and be there for her. I can't even imagine the pain she felt in her heart or the emptiness she experienced...

Until now.

Though they say I was a Daddy's girl, my Mom meant the world to me. She called my two sisters and I "the three bitches." Us three girls, Mom and Skinny Girl's daugher The Model would all travel home (to San Diego) together. We'd laugh and drink Margaritas and sit for hours at Dad's gravesite talking to him. We'd clean his headstone and take flowers and put grass seed on his plot. He's got the most amazing view of the Pacific Ocean from the cliffs where he's buried.

At least now he's not alone. She's right there with him, buried in warm socks so her feet wouldn't be cold for eternity.

Now it'll just be the four of us girls going to San Diego every now and again. Though we haven't done it together yet, I'm sure we will. For right now it hurts too much.

But for today...

Thanks Mom. For loving me unconditionally and for being there for me through all my crazy shenanigans, dance performances, boyfriends, girlfriends, my marriage to an abusive husband and especially for being there for me during the birth of McKenna. I will never forget that day or the way you instantly cherished her the first time you held her. She's growing every day, she's tall, beautiful, smart, funny and exactly like me. Thank you for being proud of me and for saying so. Thank you to you and Dad for teaching me the importance of integrity. And thank you for every memory that I have that I will cherish the rest of my life.

I'll see you in my dreams.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

From the mouths of babes

Last night Auburn Aries and I went for a walk after dinner. I love going on walks with her.

At one point in our walk we were holding hands (which we do most of the time when we’re walking anywhere – even from the car into the grocery store). She started swinging our interlocked hands back and forth and said, “Thank you for bringing me into this world, ‘cause we have such a good time together.”

My heart melted right there on the spot. Then my brain engaged and I wondered how many eight year olds would say something like that. It never even occurred to me to say something like that to my parents.

As we continued our walk, we passed by an older Toyota 4x4 that was lifted and had extended fenders on it to accommodate the off road tires I’m certain had never been used. On the back of the tail gate it read “Dirty Dancer.”

Aries read it aloud, let out this exasperated sigh and said, “Some people think they have to be so hip, don’t they?”

Who is this kid and what has she done with my eight year old?

She even remembered a story about a guy I was with once who preferred to stay in and read or work on his computer rather than be outside. She said she “couldn’t understand why someone wouldn’t want to be outside. Being outside is great! Everyone should enjoy nature…even dog crap is nature. You know, stuff like that.”

Okay, THERE’S my eight year old. As my friend, Hot Momma, said this morning over coffee, “How long is she going to be 14?”

Well, Hot Momma, I wish I knew the answer to that.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Good-bye Uncertainty

I had a most peaceful weekend. Thor was out of town this weekend; Toddy was out of town this weekend with The Handsome Prince and Auburn Aries was with her Dad. I must say, it was a fantastic weekend. Rarely do I have true alone time.

Missing was that little eight year old voice yelling “Mom” every time she needed something (or didn’t) nine million times a day.

Missing was my housemate and all the energy he brings to the table.

Missing was my best friend and the complexity that a triangulated relationship like mine, Toddy and Thor’s brings.

I was alone in my own skin and perfectly content.

Saturday morning I went on a 20 mile bike ride. I wish I had the availability and freedom to do this every day. Aries isn’t a strong enough rider to venture out on that level and she would feel so completely left out if I went without her – that’s assuming, of course, there was someone to stay home with her.

I felt really good following the ride. I was a little worried about my back, having had back surgery a little over a year ago, but everything felt fine.

Ren the Rockstar came by Saturday afternoon and helped me dig out my backyard. Though I was feeling great after the ride, I was not doing so well after the weed pulling expedition. I don’t know that I will ever be able to thank Ren enough for all that she’s done and continues to do for me. Including throwing the snake we found into the neighbor’s back yard. I don’t particularly like these loud neighbors – a snake was an appropriate gift, I think!

I went through varying levels of resolve with regard to the emotion I have surrounding many things. I have, for the past month, dealt with being blindsided with Thor’s leaving and the dent that will leave me in financially. I have grappled with what to do with my house i.e., get another housemate or sell it; buy a condo/townhouse/row house with a small yard or rent. I have, by default, found myself in the middle of several situations just by my very existence (read: my best friend is in love with my housemate).

I realized this weekend that I’m tired of all of the complexity all of that brings. Granted they are big decisions and when you are somebody’s parent, those decisions don’t come easily as the effects of those decisions could be long lasting. But I was able to remind myself this weekend that I have always lived my life by the seat of my pants trusting that wherever I am is where I’m supposed to be and I have always landed on my feet.

I have always rolled with change as though it’s my best friend. Change is the only constant. So I had to ask myself why, now, had everything become this fucked up mess? The answer is that I’ve given it too much power and I keep trying to control it.

The answers lie before us, you just have to quiet the noise in your head long enough to hear what the Goddesses are telling you.

I have had the privilege of spending a great deal of time with Young Stud – he has been my sounding board and is totally disconnected from these other situations. He has given me sound advice on more than one occasion and has reminded me what’s real and deserves my energy and what doesn’t.

Young Stud has been in the interesting position of seeing me with my guard down; supporting me while I cried and getting me to laugh through it when I needed to; and seeing me act like…*gulp* a total girl. I don’t let many people see this vulnerable side of me. He has helped me tremendously.

As I sorted through some things this weekend, I could hear his voice in my head. In as much as I'm in a space of uncertainty and change, it's change that's overdue. I'm going to stop the trepidation with everything that's going on in my life and start embracing it. I'm done letting this bullshit own me.

Once Thor moves out, I will begin my ritualistic cleansing and take my life back. I’ll get rid of what I don’t need or use any longer and simplify my life. I’ll pack what I don’t need and store it in the garage. The time to sell the house will be here before I know it.

And though I don’t know exactly where me and Aries will end up, I know that within those walls will lie the confidence and happiness I knew before the poison of my relationship with Daddy D saturated my life. I may very well encounter road blocks along the way, but with these long legs getting over those hurdles should be no big deal.