Sunday, June 29, 2008
Time is up. What is your first instinct answer? Here's what I'm thinking. Have we devolved so much from the pursuit of intrinsic happiness that we're no different from mating animals (with the medical advancement of prevention of conception; therefore, making sex about more than procreation of the species)? Have we lost touch with the intimacy of a relationship that we're no longer able to separate said intimacy from intercourse? Love, honour, cherish and hump like animals during mating season? At what point, if any, do we look across the table at the person we swore complete and utter devotion to and say, "All that stuff I said about loving you being enough? Well, I retract that. I need to get my groove on. And you can't do it. So, I'm out!" If dating and the pursuit of personal happiness is like that, then color me an asexual-amorphous glob.
Know when to walk away and know when to run.
You never count your money when youre sittin at the table.
There'll be time enough for countin when the dealins done
Last night it came to me that a recent event in my life took me down a road of poker metaphors. I think talking about Las Vegas with my Mom put me on this course. At the time this all came to me I was trying to fall asleep.
I've been wearing a pretty intense poker face for months. I don't know how I've managed to keep a straight face, but I had been riding it out like a World Series of Poker Champ. As a result, I've maintained a firm grip (oddly) on living a fantasy, of sorts. I knew the hand I held was nothing more than a hodgepodge of random cards, and one lovely ACE. I could have slipped that up my proverbial sleeve, but I kept it nestled between the useless number cards of various suits.
What I needed wasn't an ACE up my sleeve, but the Queen of Hearts. I took the risk of throwing away one of those cards I deemed valueless; risking it all to find that Queen I so desperately desired. The time was nearing for me to either fold or up the ante. My poker face was weakening and, rather than lose it all by default and deceit, I showed my cards. I lay them down. Face up. There it was. Everything and nothing all at once. I risked it all and let the cards fall where they may. What a relief to finally crack the poker face to reveal my true self.
I don't feel that I walked away from the table with the mother load I had hoped for. I'm holding my head up high knowing that in the end, I did the right thing. I didn't win the prize, but I maintained my dignity. My sense of pride is intact. My heart is broken. I surely didn't want to lose again, but life is all about taking chances; gambles.
Friday, June 27, 2008
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
I was informed that I'd receive an email telling me when my food would be shipped. Since it was frozen and packed in dry ice (hence why we had dry ice in the house), I would need to be home to get it out of the packaging and into my freezer. I gave my mailing address along with my physical address. I was under the impression that the USPS would do the honors of delivering. I thought wrong.
I was on my lunch break when I heard, "Marissa! Phone call!" I assumed it was the Man-cub. It was not. A woman whom I've known for many years was on the other line. Ironically, I often receive her mail in my PO BOX. Apparently she possessed the box number before me. Well, FedEx had delivered my NutriSystem to her home. How that happened I don't know as I had given NS my actually house address. No harm done, she only lived a mile or so away and graciously dropped it off. Man-cub was home to receive my delectable treats (wishful thinking?).
He is a good kid and read the warnings on the box prior to opening. He called me to get further instruction on what I needed him to do with it. He put on his winter gloves to take precaution in not burning his hands on the dry ice. The ice was contained in plastic bags which he placed in the sink. Oh, the glory of the fog effect that stuff has. On the warnings it was indicated that inhalation was not wise. He opened the kitchen window. To his amazement the 'fog' curled down over the sink and slooped toward the floor. The cats were in awe of this phenomenon. Naturally, Man-cub feared feline asphyxiation and shooed them out of the kitchen.
He nestled the food items in the freezer, covered the dry ice bags with a colander -- another precaution to keep the cats away from it.
I wasn't due to come home until after 9 p.m. I told him we'd experiment with the dry ice when I arrived. Oooh, it was 7th grade science class all over again. Word to the wise: wear gloves or you'll stupidly get burned on the middle finger that already has been exposed to frost bite. Duh! I'm glad my son is wiser than I. Here are photos of our fun.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Saturday, June 21, 2008
It seems that whenever I encounter a difficult time in my life I turn to the wise words of Rogers and Hammerstein. In the musical Carousel, Aunt Nettie sings this to Julie after her beloved dies. Billy Bigelow was not a sainted man. He had many flaws, but one thing was made abundantly clear: He loved his family.
No truer words could be said about the father of my nephews. He was not perfect. He made errors. He loved, admired and bragged about his boys whenever given the opportunity. They are fabulous young men. My sister's influence is ever present. I adore them as if they were my own children. Funny. Quirky. Intelligent. Awesome.
"At the end of the storm is a golden sky. And the sweet silver song of a lark."
I have to remind myself of those words from time to time. It's fleeting, but necessary. I'm a cock-eyed optimist at times. I talk myself into feeling positive and seeing the bright side. I believe that in the darkest hour we can find guidance; light. Sometimes it comes to us out of the blue. Oft times it's the purity of a child's wisdom that lightens a heavy load.
Man-cub and I were discussing the shock and anguish accompanying my brother-in-law's passing. I asked him, "are you okay? I know it's all a shock, but do you have questions? Is anything confusing to you about what happens when someone dies?"
His response surprised me. "I know my uncle is gone forever. I'm sad. I hope the guys recover from it. But Uncle J. loved us. So, I remember that and feel better."
I know throughout all of this his concern was about his cousins. Man-cub remembers when my father died. He was only 7 years old. His recollection is probably that of sadness, but moreso, the celebration of Grandpa's life that followed.
blockquote> Perhaps my family is odd, but we don't sit in a darkened room and wallow. Yes, we cry; often sob. Yes, we wish for a different outcome. Yes, we take time to get angry that loved ones have to die. However, our focus is put on the good qualities, the joy brought to us by the person who moved on beyond the borders of this Earthly world.
The day of my father's wake was taxing. The smalltown funeral home wasn't equipped to host a large number of people in mourning. There wasn't a room where we could escape, even for a moment. This is where a funny tale about my recently deceased brother-in-law comes into play. John's contribution in many facets of life was being the supplier of food. Never was there a family gathering where not enough food was available. Abundance didn't even touch it. I think making food was his therapy of sorts.
So, there we are on an April evening seeking out refuge from grieving. John to the rescue. He'd pulled his truck into the parking lot, opened the tailgate and voila! Dinner on the fly. He'd packed a couple of coolers with food and beverage. Chips, sandwich fixins, cola, beer, water.
Initially this situation raised eyebrows, but it turned out to be the best thing ever. We all needed a break at one time or another and we found it in the back of John's truck.
Later that evening, another brother-in-law arranged for us to have the local
Pizza Hut to ourselves. We ate, drank and were merry. Our father would have
never desired us to divide and cry alone. He loved having all of his children
together. Dad enjoyed hearing all of us yammering away while shoveling food into
our trough like mouths. I'm certain he was looking down upon us that night
grinning ear to ear. The sight of us rejoicing in his LIFE surely pleased him.
I will have many moments where I'm feeling morose over the next days, weeks, months. I turn my focus on my nephews and the intensity of their loss. My grieving won't be pushed aside, but it won't take precedence over that of two young men I love dearly.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
The weather was ideal. Sun shining. Low humidity. The opening ceremonies were due to start at 2:00 p.m. central time. At noon I received a call from Maureen. A banner with our team name needed to be made. The supplies were nary to be found. HELP! I was on it. Man-cub and I bolted to Michael's on a mission. Poster paints, banner fabric, paint brushes! Stat! No fabric to be found! Hard to believe, but true. "No worries! Marshall's should have a cheap twin size bed sheet." DRATS! No plain, twin-sized, flat sheets. The end caps hold clearance items. TA-DA! A plain, white, cloth shower curtain. Hell to the yeah! We were on our way.
Nephew Justin is the artiste in our family. He drew up what he envisioned and out to the patio we went. Shake, squirt and slop! The paint went on the paper plate and JP commenced to outlining his creation. With the sun beating down on our shoulders, we giggled to a near frenzy as the wind attempted to make our giant banner take flight like a kite. Fortunately, the sun baked the paint quickly. Man-cub assisted by standing on the sides to keep it from slapping around before the paint dried. He then added his artistic talents to painting. There is no doubt that our banner was the biggest. And, if I may boast, the best. We're a tall family; therefore, it was fitting to have a banner that exceeded the norm. At the site, we put up a tent so we'd have shelter from the sun. Blankets, pillows, inflatables were on hand in case we got weary and needed to rest. For the most part we remained active and jovial. My niece and her husband brought chicken and all the fixins around dinner time. Yum! Fried chicken. I bartered with myself: do your power walk and you can have a juicy piece of calorie unfriendly chicken. I did it. I nearly ran over a few people in the process. However, everyone was in good spirits and didn't seem to mind. If they did, I was oblivious as my earbuds were shoved in, and the high energy tunes were blocking out possible curses. The Relay sponsors provided plenty of food and drink for the participants. Thank goodness, too! In our haste to make it to the opening ceremonies on time (which we failed to do -- fashionably late), we had packed a cooler, but left it behind! Barrels of icey water bottles were convenient. That is if you didn't mind sticking your hand into a polar ice-cap like bin. It always astounds me how, in the wake of deepest sorrow, we manage to find joy. My family may have a boat load of dysfunction, but when it comes down really being there for each other, we come through with flying colors ... providing tons of laughter, dance and song.
Monday, June 16, 2008
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Monday, June 9, 2008
And then, there are those times when you know it's final and there isn't a response. It is then that we leave it up to God to take the message to the loved one you're saying good bye to.
I am finding it frustrating dealing with just that. I don't doubt that God has many messengers that will take a message to someone who had been a part of my life for nearly 30 years. I'm currently wishing that I could get a notice of receipt. You know how the United States Postal Service (for a small fee) will get a signature upon receipt. Then, you can rest assured the parcel or letter is given directly to the addressee. So, I'm pretty sure God utilizes the Internet. With that being said, this is my letter:
Your passing has left me feeling quite sad and distraught. I bet you never thought you'd have such an impact, huh? Well, ya big goober, you have. Everytime I watch television I think of you. If not for your ability to sniff out 'treasures in trash' I would still be watching that itty bitty TV.
I think about how much I'm going to miss your fabulous ham salad. Your ability to turn an overgrown zucchini into something out of this world delicious. Oh, and let's not forget how you could walk away from the grocery store with 5 bags of food and it would seem as if they owed you money. You were the king of bargain shopping. The clerks at Ultra Foods are going to miss you.
You've been an integral part of my life whether you saw it or not. Sometimes you were gruff and grumpy, but underneath it all I knew how much you loved us.
Spenser is wearing his "Goofy shirt" in your honor. "What are ya, goofy?" I can hear your Goofy laugh still in my memory. I can hear you whistling that memorable tune from "The Good, the bad and the Ugly."
I have a lot of fond memories of you. More than you'd realize. I'll be reminded of them when I look up at your amazing sons. I see the goodness that existed in your soul. They are beautiful young men. I promise you I'll do my best to help them through this painfully difficult time. You were a man of few words, but I hope you can help me out with the right words to comfort them. I'm sure God will gladly give me the message.
Well, I'm sure I'll have a lot more to say over time, but that should do it for now.
I love you,
p.s. Spenser says he really loves you, too.
Saturday, June 7, 2008
Friday, June 6, 2008
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
I was determined not to give up on finding swimwear that suits my body. Nor was I willing to succumb to my own irrational self-conscious vanity. Enough is enough. Fat girls get hot, too. Probably more so than those skinny minnies who tan year 'round and eat little to nothing. And I can't really compare myself to a youthful twink who has never given birth, stood on her feet for 8 plus hours a day for 28 years or came to realize that exercise and diet are no longer optional.
I needed a swift kick in the arse. I was veering too far off track. I was losing sight of my goal toward a healthier life. It's not just about vanity ... this diet thing, that is. Yesterday's swimsuit fiasco provided me with two things: 1) A kick in the fat fanny, and 2) I need to realize there is more to me than meets the eye. Other people DO see it, but I'm too shallow toward myself to recognize it. DUH! I'm an ass and that's okay as long as I admit, right? So, I'm done with the pity party.
As I said earlier, Sears is my saviour. After I got of work I walked to the other end of the mall (quite rapidly) and made a bee-line to women's fashions. I had decided that a tankini with wide straps would be perfect as I'd still manage to wear a bra underneath. My plan was to just cut fool's support and provide my own. I found several patterned suits with wide straps. Apparently someone out there realizes that a woman with plentiful curves requires a firmer elastic, wide strap. Whoddathunkit? The grooviest thing is that several suits had swim shorts or skirts. Sure, my cottage cheese, road mapped thighs are still visible, but not having a traditional bottom digging into my meaty Brazilian zone makes a world of difference.
First up were the standard tank top styles with the shorts. I felt the sport shorts gave my already bubbled butt too much oomph. And not a good oomph. After 3 styles that were similar, but different patterns (one even had glitter. Uh, no!), I grabbed the one with an adjustable sweetheart neckline. I can control just how much cleavage is revealed. As Stacy and Clinton would advise: draw the eyes upward. Thelma and Louise will be working overtime this summer. Great! The top is perfect. Now, the bottom.
I wasn't sure how I'd look in a 'skirtini' (sounds like something you'd drink, eh?). It actually is a nice look. I suppose the look would have been far more together had removed my knee-hi support stockings. Ooh, so sexy! I won't be wearing those to the pool.
As for the material design: the skirtini is milk chocolate brown. Or, as the tag reads, java. The top is a Hawaiian, tropical leaf pattern of the same java, turquoise and white. [see image right]
I've already imagined how I'll move from my chaise lounger to the lazy river. I'll have the kid grab an inner tube. With his tube, he'll walk behind me as I walk with my tube in front of me. No one will have to suffer the horror that is cellulite and veiny city. Actually, it is still about my vanity. You don't expect me to change in 24 hours, do you? I'll just go 'round and 'round on the lazy river until the Man-cub rescues me with his diversionary tactics and camoflage.
Monday, June 2, 2008
I promised the Man-cub that we'd go to the local water park. It ain't much, but it has cool water that appears clean. Plus, he loves it and I love him. Prior to the water park jaunt he had a dental appointment. I was still without board shorts and figured I could make do with some swimsuit tankini top off the rack. No, they never fit my rack, but I'd suffer along with anyone who saw me.
I didn't want to blow a lot of cash and that means shopping at the big K. First, all the board shorts were stupid. Nothing remotely appealing. Why is it so hard to just buy something in basic black? I don't need over sized cargo pockets on board shorts. Who the hell would shove anything of that size in a pocket that is going to take a watery trip? It's not like a man packs his phone, iPod, keys, or wallet in swim shorts!
Anyway, the bottom line is that I have really shitty legs. It's a curse. They are shapeless ham hocks that are dimpled with cellulite and the piece de resistance: Varicose veins. There! I admitted it. I have publicly declared my legs unfit to be seen in public. They send small children running and crying for their mommies. Regardless of the amount of exercise and conditioning I have tried it is a futile attempt to have gams that aren't embarrassing. THAT is why I haven't worn a swimsuit in nearly 8 years. Because of that I haven't worn shorts. I am not even inclined to wear a skirt that isn't well below the knee. God help me.
Man-cub insists there is nothing wrong with me and he loves me 'as is'. It's his job to say that. It's horrific that I figuratively cried on the shoulder of my 13 year old son. He also reminded me that there are women who look far worse who proudly strut about the pool deck, jump in the water and enjoy the in spite of their physical appearance.
With that I decided to just go with the most plain pair of board shorts. I tossed them in the basket and went in search of a tankini that had wide straps. I figured I could wear my bra underneath it without the pool Gestapo yelling at me for not wearing proper swim attire. Seriously, they would thank me if they ever saw these ocean liner buoys bobbing about free from their restraints.
Nothing. Not one damn tankini top in my size with anything more than dental floss for support. Bullshit! Bullshit, ladies and gentlemen. Skinny straps on a top intended for a woman who carries about 40 pounds of breast tissue is not acceptable. Who in the effin' world designs this crap basket of swimwear? I know, men who have no concept of what it's like to be busty. Busty and over 40. Busty and over 40 and breast fed. My breast tissue has turned to what I like to refer to as goo. Fill a water balloon partially with liquid hand soap and leave no air. Tie it off and fondle it. That's my boob. It ain't pretty and it might make you want to spew, but that's the risk you take when you read my blog, I guess.
I hate that I've subjected myself to the ridiculous social stigma of being overweight. It's not bad enough that I have boobs that are abnormally ginormous. Oh no! I'm doubly cursed with really horrific legs. I look up to the Heavens and ask, "WHY!? Why can't I have physical attributes that meet the norm?" I see women who have big bellies, normal sized boobs and these outrageously awesome legs. What the f*ck?!
I HATE SWIMSUIT WEATHER! I'm angry that I can't get it in my head to just strut like I'm Lady Godiva. I'm pissed that the supermodel under the flab, cellulite and varicose veins isn't what people see -- what I see. Do you think Tony Robbins can hypnotise the world like he did to Shallow Hal? Because that'd be totally righteous.