Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The time has come

When you look at the photo to the left, what does it say to you? Does it make you laugh? Does it raise question of the sanity of the subject? Would you want to share a glass of Chardonnay with this woman? Would you ask her to be with you during childbirth?

She's hilarious and giving. She's loving. She's mom to two of the most amazing young men you'll ever meet. She was with me during childbirth. Without her I would have hyperventilated. Without her, my life might have taken a terrible turn when our mother passed away in 1981. I was born the day after her 10th birthday. We've had a bond that can't be broken from the moment I took my first breath. For her, I would do anything.

Friends, this is the very real face of cancer.

Yesterday marked the anniversary of her diagnosis. For 11 years the ghastly mass lay dormant. Then, what I've nicknamed her alien baby, decided to rear its ugly head and grow.

If you've read my blog for more than a year, you know how trying it's been for my amazing sister, her sons and our family. Even in the face of horrific, life altering events, Maureen has maintained a sense of calm and positivity. I'm quite certain her partner and love, Kris, has been a huge part of helping her find serenity when a storm is brewing beneath.

Last year, prior to realizing Maureen's alien baby was the cause of swelling in her right leg, she created team HUNGER FOR A CURE with Relay for Life. She'd had this dream for quite some time. We didn't raise a lot of money, but it brought us together at a time of tragedy. We walked together and celebrated life. We celebrated the lives of those we've lost to cancer.

I'm not above begging for money when it comes to such a worthy cause. When I sent out the call for assistance during Mancub's Easter Seals fundraiser, you all answered generously. There's plenty of time to donate, but my belief is there's no time like the present.

The link at the top, right hand of my blog will take you to my personal fund raising page. If you're not comfortable doing an online donation, you can print out a donation form and mail it or I'd be happy to send one to you. I want you to feel comfortable when donating your hard earned money. I know that it's a difficult time to request donations. With a bounty of gratitude, I thank you for whatever you can pull together. You're welcome to donate a little at a time, too. Five dollars here, 10 dollars there. Whatever you can muster will make a difference!!

Thank you from team HUNGER FOR A CURE

Monday, April 27, 2009

Hang up the chick habit

As I sit here in my bra and underwear trying to chill after a hot shower I make certain my webcam faces toward the ceiling. I have this nauseating fear that one day the device will malfunction and it'll be LIVE MARISSA!! (That's not intended to sound sexy. If you saw me you'd realize this fact.)

I'm finally off work after working 6 days in a row. Griping about working is probably not a wise thing in this economy where people are being laid off left and right. My sympathy to those who want to work but the state of our affairs is preventing it from happening. My legs and feet ache due to my job requiring me to stand for most of my workday. Support hose may be the ugliest thing, but my gracious! They are a Godsend by the end of an 8 hour shift.

Today is the day I get a crown. I know you realize what a princess I am -- well, at least a duchess. It's not the lovely bejeweled tiara I so lovingly deserve. No, this is a dental crown nearly costing as much as the Royal Jewels...at least with my budgetary constraints it is relative. The old crown will be removed since the porcelain is chipping. I've had this thing in my mouth for nearly 20 years. It's never really felt right, but due to the cost of having crowns fitted and replaced, I dealt with it. What's horrible is there's a cavity lurking beneath the current crown. OY! This ain't gonna be pretty and my fears of another root canal may come to fruition. Good googily goo!


A month or so ago I received a really groovy Pop Life swag package. Columnist Sean Daly had a contest guessing Bruce Springsteen's Super Bowl playlist. I didn't win, but one of the readers (and one of my grooviest commenters) CAT asked Sean to give me the goodies instead. Who am I to turn down free tunes? Along with the new Springsteen cd was a mix cd created by SD. HELLSYEAH!!! The first track is off the hook, but I'd never heard it before. Not wanting to seem like a total nimrod, I didn't ask Sean what it was.

Hang on, this is going to come full circle. Keep reading.

A couple weeks ago American Idol had an unlikely guest mentor for the contestants. Quentin Tarantino. Most people asked what the heck QT had to do with music. Apparently he is a big Idol fan, but what's more is that he has a knack for picking great songs for his flicks. Many directors let someone else choose the music for their movies, but Tarantino apparently hand picks the songs featured. It's a natural course of action. Similarly, John Hughes pulled together amazing soundtracks for his '80s films.

The night on Idol ended up being a bit of a disappointment because most of the contestants have no idea what songs best suit them. It'd have been better if Mr. Tarantino had given them songs to sing. Now THAT would have been hella-cool.

Yeah, OK. So you might be asking, "how in hell are you going to tie in Tarantino to Sean Daly?"

DUH! Sean Daly's blog is home of the bestest live blog chat on American Idol nights. Gurrrrr

This morning I finally remembered to do a search for that song I love so much. With nothing but the chorus resonating in my brain, I went to youtube. In the search I put the words chick habit. The first search result was BO Death Proof: April March - Chick Habit. You know what Death Proof is, don't you? Tarantino, of course. I haven't watched the movie yet which is absurd because I love Kurt Russell -- he's so Snake looking in the clip below.

ZOINKS!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Monical's Pizza helps Hunger for a Cure


Pizza. Who doesn't love pizza? If you attended high school in the Kankakee area then you know what I'm talking about. I literally spent most of my teen-age years in this locally loved establishment. Hostess with the mostest at Monical's was my first real job. I loved working there nearly as much as I loved eating there.

What's exciting is that Mancub now loves Monical's Pizza. The red tangy salad dressing drizzled over the Family Pleaser salad. Yummy!

Monical's isn't just providing quality pizza, salads, pasta and sandwiches. They are graciously helping charities raise funds. That's where you and our Relay for Life team come into the picture. HUNGER FOR A CURE day is Tuesday, April 28. I don't want you to have to cook that day. Instead, you need to download a certificate (that link should take you directly to the download page -- let me know if you have trouble) and take it to the Bourbonnais, Kankakee, Momence or Manteno Monical's. With that, 20% of your purchase price will be donated to HUNGER FOR A CURE. You can dine in or carry-out. The choice is yours. Unfortunately, delivery purchases do not apply, but make it a fun family night! Take a load off and let Monical's not only cook for you, but let them do the dishes. You deserve a near mid-week break.

With gratitude with thank you in advance for helping HUNGER FOR A CURE raise money for the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life.

There will be more to come on how those of you who do not live in the Kankakee area can help us raise money.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The lines upon my face are my timeline

My outlook on aging is simple: It's inevitable so embrace it. It's been easy for me to wrap my arms around getting older because I've had the pleasure of seeing my sisters grow more beautiful as the calendar years flip by. As the youngest girl in a family of 10, it's rather inspiring to witness great genetics as they unfold through the years.

I recall a time when my Unca Chunk called me to let me know he'd received new photos I'd sent via email. He gushed, "just like your mother and sisters, you grow more beautiful with each passing year." Now, I know we all expect beloved family members to shower us with praise. But for me to hear that was like having the heavens opening up and my mother smiling down on me.

As a little girl, I had fears I didn't resemble my mother in the least. I'm the only brunette daughter. I was surrounded by blonde haired, blue eyed elder siblings. Mom had strawberry blonde curly locks. A complex about my aesthetic attributes developed early in life. My perspective was that of the black sheep. Obviously, I hadn't learned the perks of being the stand out. I just wanted to be like them.

Now that adulthood is in full swing I look in the mirror and adore each laugh line. The permanent crinkle on my forehead is my badge of honor for surviving the tribulations of my life. It represents the battles fought and won. When I look at myself in the mirror I see a fighter; a champion.

It's not my face that concerns me in the least. You can keep your Botox and collagen injections. My concern lies just under my neck and just above Thelma and Louise. When the f*ck did I get wrinkled, old lady cleavage? There's nothing that screams I've laughed a lot down there. ACK!

I moisturize from head to toe. I have dry skin. Not one square inch of my body is neglected. I extend my facial moisturizer down to the boobala zone and yet, my chest looks like a relief map of the Sahara.

I've never had any delusions that gravity wasn't going to take my 'girls' and drag them down. I'm dealing with that. Long ago I learned that I will always be at odds with bras and their inability to fully support me. What I didn't consider was that with gravitational pull comes looser skin.

Are you throwing up yet?

No longer can I fold my arms without fear of Betty White's cleavage rearing its shriveled head. Never has it been more important that men (and women) keep their eyes on my face when speaking to me. Ack. ACK!

It's a damn good thing that scarves are currently stylish when worn all year long. While walking in the mall yesterday I noticed that all the windows in the trendy stores had their mannequins sporting this trend. Cargo shorts, tanks, flip flops and a scarf loosely wrapped around the neck. Yes, I know it looks goofy to wear a tank top with a fringed, muslin scarf. But if the pert Jessica Alba can do it so can I. And damn it, I WILL! It's that or bring back the high collar, Victorian lace blouse. Gack!

Monday, April 20, 2009

WARNING: Eye contact may cause unwanted conversation

Today makes the third day off work. Seriously, I need to find a way to make money doing this; screwing around online and in the process maybe hammer out a coherent thought that resonates with whomever stumbles up on my blog (either by accident or intention).

This morning I had no inclination to do my laundry after Mancub left for school. No, what I fully planned was crawling back into bed for another hour or so. Then, once fully re-rested, I'd make a pot of coffee and chillax with the morning news. Oh, who am I fooling? I would have parked my carcass at this amusement box and goofed around on Plurk or Facebook with an intermittent perusal of one of the blogs I have listed over there ---------->

Maybe I should always plan on being Miss Slackerass because, rather than going back to bed, I put on clothes, sorted laundry and hauled my tuchus to the local gas n'sip/launderette. Small town living is just so freakin' peachy.

For a Monday, the gas/laundry facility was desolate. Just the way I like it! I know I come across like I'm an outgoing, friendly sort. Let me reassure you that all such notions are completely misunderstood. I am not a people person. I may be smiling when a stranger strikes up a conversation with me, but in my mind I'm stabbing them with toothpicks and wishing they'd just shut.the.f*ck.up. When my iPod earbuds are firmly shoved in my earholes it's a pretty good indication that I'm not willing to converse about some topical news item ... or worse, a topical ointment required to heal said strangers weird rash or the oozing pustule on the hind end of their Bassett Hound.

Go on and spew. I have nothing but time today. I'll wait.

I was happily going about my business totally delighted that I actually had enough quarters to feed the washers without breaking a $20.00. Go me! (Go Mancub's bank. Hush. He swipes all the change I leave on the tables. Mom giveth; Mom taketh.)

After the loads were complete in the washer and tossed into the dryers, I sought out my iPod. Still alone, I crossed the threshold to the gas station to get my free cup of coffee. FREE! I first played the games loaded on the iPod. Judging by my scores, I needed a second cupful of maple/butterscotch cappuccino. Don't ya love the whirring convenience store lattes? Hey, did I mention it was free?

So, I'm basking in my solitude with nothing but the hum of the dryers when a woman who couldn't be a day over 87 comes in with her little load of dirties. She's about half my size or more. I do not make eye contact. From personal experience, I know eye contact with the elderly can be detrimental, especially in a rinky dink small town. For someone like me who finds being mute an exceptional means of therapy, it's crucial: NO EYE CONTACT!

My jacket was hanging on a hook that was perched from the corner of the folding table. This acts as a barrier between me and granny groovy sneaks (she had on some bitchin' purple Skechers.) I could see her in my peripheral. She bore a striking resemblance to this Mr. Roger's Neighborhood Land of Make Believe character She kept looking at me. I resisted the urge to appear friendly by smiling at her. All I could think of was how eery the likeness was to Lady Elaine. Daniel the kitten warned me in my head, "meow-meow-meowmeowmeowwww"

I didn't have the volume turned up too loudly because I could hear her drumming her nails on her folding table. Then, she moved to the washer lid. *tappity tap tappity tap tappity tap* Back and forth she went from the table to the washer. GAH!

I finished up my folding without incident. By the time I was loading up the car another patron had come in. Like an anxious puppy, Granny Groovy Sneaks was pacing with, I presume, the prospect of a friendly conversation.

As I made my short drive home it hit me. Just like our aloof felines, I am quite similar. I want to be left alone until I want attention. I'll ask for it; demand it even. You'll know if I am giving you permission to talk to me ...

...I'll just rub against your leg and purr right before I rake my claws over your shin.

Friday, April 17, 2009

I want to ride my bicycle

I was just thumbing through my "Wild Words from Wild Women" daily calendar hoping to get a stroke of inspiration to write. It had been collecting dust since February 15 when I moved it from my desk to another shelf. To be quite honest, the thing isn't nearly as wild and witty as I had hoped when I bought it 50% off at Carlton Cards.

Yesterday while setting up the lab for the day, I had a running blog post in my head. I could see the words effortlessly making their way on the computer screen. With all the punctuation and typos, it flowed in my mind.

It was then that I wished I was more technologically connected. We have no Internet in the workplace. It's understandable. If we did, I would have been fired by now. Instead of the 'attagirl' review I received, I would be filling out my unemployment papers. We aren't even allowed to keep our cellular phones on our person. When my sister Maureen was incapacitated post major surgery, I had to have my cell in case she had an emergency while home alone. I didn't ask permission. I told them I was keeping it turned on. No arguments. Extenuating circumstances warrant exceptions to the rules.

I have basic cellular service. Affording all the bells and whistles is the big stumbling block for me to be connected around the clock. While Ramen noodles are tasty on occasion, Mancub's needs for good nutrition outweighs my desire to be hooked in to the Web 24/7. Besides, I've already been accused of being addicted to the Interwebs. Is that such an uncommon thing? It's not like I'm cruising snagaman.com and linking to nakey web cam *over 21 to enter* sites. My activity involves Pop Life, Facebook, Plurk, Youtube and various blogs including my own.

No, I am not making excuses; just reason. Moving on.

I still haven't picked up a mini notepad. The problem with that is that I'll forget it in my lab coat pocket when I leave work and then I'll be at a loss again. My train of thought is often full steam and chugging along while I'm driving. Texting while driving is ill advised, why would I write with pen and paper? Maybe I need a digital recorder. How much do those things cost? Do any of you use them or all you all iPhone and the like users who never really log off?

My thought train is jumping to a new track ...

Mancub's dad has told him he's buying the boy a bike. My teen expressed his desire to jump higher while playing basketball in P.E. and his dad thinks riding a bike will strengthen his legs and help. Moreover, the kid just needs to get up off the couch and walk away from the video games and cartoons. Much like his mother needs to push herself away from the computer and go for a walk.

I finally sent Cletus the information on the bike Mancub selected. Per his father's request, we shopped at Wal-Mart so he could make an online puchase and have it sent to the store for us to pick up (fully assembled.) Dude, seriously! I can be trusted with money. I won't finance my trip to Barbados with the dough you fork over for a two-wheeler. It would save the middle man step, but alas, I think he believes I'll blow the money on something unnecessary like ... shoes (kid needs new ones.)

While we were pulling mountain/terrain bikes down from the racks, I spied a couple that I liked. I haven't been on a bicycle in decades! Quite frankly, I fear my large posterior will engulf the teeny seats that come with the bikes. With a counter-clockwise turn in the aisle I found cycling accessories. I'm debating the helmet. I used to ride downhill no hands on the handlebars and I'm still alive and my brain is intact. But what really caught my eye was the big ol' booty seats. Coolness! They are wider and with more cushion. I think I'll pass on the faux lamb's wool. That'd just be going overboard ... or would it? At my age, I choose comfort over all else.

I'd hate to be the subject of a hidden camera viral video or a wordless Wednesday. ACK! I know my fanny is fluffy. There's no need to reiterate the obvious.



Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Say what!?

I wish I could make a fortune (or at least my current salary with compensation for benefits and paid holidays) doing what I do online for fun. Yes, I realize 99.9% of onliners feel similarly. Oh, you say onliner isn't really a word? I can make up words or forms of words with the snap of my finger. Or more appropriately, with a tappity tap on the keyboard. I believe such a new creation is called a portmanteau word. Pretty freakin' fancy for compound wordery, huh? The other definition of portmanteau is a large suitcase. Whatever.

The demonstrative word used in the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary is smog. Smoke + fog = smog. I prefer less obvious but regularly used creations. The more I focus on discovering these kinds of words the more I realize my online vocabulary isn't tonguegasmic. Everybody is doing it. In fact, while reading Jen Lancaster's book Bitter is the New Black, she uses the word 'craptacular.' I felt such an immediate kinship with her.

The first time I noticed such a mashing is in the Will Ferrell movie Elf. Will's character, Buddy, remarks that something is ginormous. The combination of gigantic and enormous. It took off like wildfire. Since then, I've noticed it flowing from the mouths of tweens to octogenarians.
Of course, Van Morrison delighted us with fantabulous night for a moondance in the song Moondance. That has made it's way into the afore mentioned dictionary as slang meaning marvelously good. Gosh! I almost forgot when Beyonce' and Destiny's Child put BOOTILICIOUS on the map. I do believe it garnered entry into the dictionary, as well.

I find myself using portmanteau words at an alarming rate (much to the chagrin of stern English majors.) I most commonly use them when I'm chatting about American Idol. Seriously, it's more fun to say Lil gave a shittastic performance over, "Well, that was incredibly disappointing and beneath her ability." Yes, the latter is ideal if you're writing professionally, I suppose, but I do it for the snarkaliciousness of it all -- i did it again. Did you notice?

I suspect I'm taking the meaning to extremes, but isn't fun to goof around with the English language? Heck, if you're well versed in other languages you can have verbal melting pot. Sometimes it just rolls off the tongue. It can't be stopped and isn't always deliberately used. It's a habit. I doubt there's a 12-step program for it. And even if there was such a protocol to rid one of such word abuse, I wouldn't enroll. I enjoy it and take too much joy in it.

Here are a few of my favorites. Feel free to add your faves in the comment section.

Sexellent (thanks Scott)
Crapolicious
Craptacular
Shittastic
Fuckarific
Nastabulous
Boobalocity
Funkolicious
Dude-arific
Skankolocity

Who remembers Sniglets? Rich Hall declared these words "any word that doesn't appear in the dictionary, but should." It goes on further on Wikipedia that these words are neologisms. Are you confused yet? Is your brain boiling? Fear not! That's just an uppity way of saying they are newly coined words rapidly making their way into common use, but not accepted by mainstream language ... or are they?

The world is now twisted and connected via the Internet. I could instant message a friend in Lisbon and he'd know what I meant when I declared a situation skankified. Never underestimate the power of mutilated language, my friends.

I may sound like a babbling idiot to many. In fact, some folks may feel inclined to call the men in white coats to take me away. I'm gifted! They will realize my vocabulary is fantastically funkolicious and they need to chillax and ride the wave. It might be difficult at first, but I guarantee is going to be groovilicious.

spell checking was a trip, by the way.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Our Easter traditions aren't so traditional

The eve of Easter was spent blathering online while imbibing in pomegranate martinis. First, martini glasses are just stupid. They look great if you're in a hotel bar or social butterflying at a party provided you aren't walking around. Martini glasses are perfect slosh makers. No thanks. I'll take mine in a beer mug. The upside is less refills.

I didn't drink enough to be coerced into any lascivious activities. Yes, I know it's all very sad to those of you who have vast social lives with people of the flesh variety. Don't give me your lectures. I used to possess a healthy social life. Then, I moved back to Illinois. What people also don't understand is that I'm beyond apathetic in regards to meet and greets. I'm not getting into it now. I was home. I was drinking. 'Nuf said.

I had no issues waking on Easter Sunday. Me and my heathen self didn't suffer a hangover. Sleeping in, however, was relished. I did awaken around 4 a.m. in a fog. A wave of confusion over whether I worked or not hit me as I made my way downstairs for water and a trip to the bathroom ... and to lock the howling psychopathic cat downstairs. Ever since she discovered the magnitude of her voice she's been using it. Ugh!

I had put together an Easter basket for Mancub. I am not much for traditions (Mom was the true traditionista and I've yet managed to follow her lead.) I think I've pointed out that my traditions with Mancub are all about flying by the seat of our pants and finding joy in wherever we land. It works for us. Don't judge. He doesn't complain.

Since he's an only child, I just give him the entire bag or box of whatever candy I buy. Easter is not another Christmas. I never go overboard on that holiday. I refuse to over do it on Easter. I give him an inexpensive token and candy. This year's gift was a Yu-Gi-Oh! Starter deck that he'd been saving his money to purchase. Now, he's jazzed that his saved funds can be put toward a more pricey item. Not that it's ever been openly discussed, but I'm quite certain he knows the Easter Bunny is a 5'10" Miss Clairol red head. Santa bears a striking resemblance.

We were invited to dine with Maureen and Kris and their combined family. Not all the kiddos were there, however. Mancub was a little bummed because he enjoys playing video games with Kris's boys.

We ate the traditional ham feast. Naturally, I shoved 8 bites too many down my gullet and felt like a disgusting sloth. Mancub, who'd been playing video games prior to dinner, informed us that Willy Wonka was coming on ABC Family. There is no limit to how many times we can watch that movie. It's a sure fire way to just let go and revert back to childhood as if it's the first time viewing.

Once dinner dishes had been cleared, Michael, Maureen's college boy, pulled out his laptop computer. He was on a website for viral videos. ABC Family had been showing commercials for The Sound of Music, which seems to also be an Easter tradition. On the viral video website, we watched the video below. If you're in a foul mood and manage to watch that without feeling better, then you must be the grumpiest person on the planet and there's no hope for making you smile :)

We adjourned to the living room and watched Willy Wonka while the rest of the clan went about other activities ... often stopping to watch certain favorite scenes of the movie.

Our drowsiness took hold once the movie was over so we made tracks back home. That's not before Mancub chased the silly puppy Ted E. Bear down the cul-de-sac for the second time. He is a wily little ball of fuzz who loves to run with the wind in his face. To Mancub's surprise, "Teddy doesn't squirm when I pick him up like a baby. I think he likes it!" He does. He's the goofiest dog who, in all his ill mannered behavior, brings joy to those in his furry wake.

Once home, I dawdled online. Mancub flipped channels on the television. I made him a little something to eat. My still full belly declined more. I couldn't seem to focus on reading anything on my monitor. So, rather than force myself to be amused, I took my Netflix movies up to my room and watched two consecutively.

First up was the thriller with Anthony Hopkins and Ryan Gosling: Fracture. It wasn't bad. I kept waiting for that 'get the hell out!' moment, but it didn't happen. Once I took a bathroom break and checked to see that Mancub hadn't slipped into a Futurama + Nintendo DS induced coma, I returned to my boudoir to view something lighthearted. It's all about balance, ya know. This time Little Miss Sunshine's Abigail Breslin and the bafflingly charming Ryan Reynolds (I guess it was the night of the Ryans) would entertain me for 90 minutes in Definitely, Maybe. It's a cute flick where, after getting an eye opening sex ed lesson at school, Maya (Breslin) insists her father tell her more about the 3 major loves in his life without revealing real names and which woman is her mother. She manages to deduct, in the end, how her mother and father met, married, and now divorce. Blah blah. It's cute. So, make an appointment with the dentist before watching it.

So, that was my Easter.

And now, the clip I promised you ...




Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A prize in every box!

Like 30 bajillion other people, I have become mildly addicted to Facebook. Go on and criticize. My friend Sherry thinks my "dicking around" on FB is the cause of my lapse in posting on my blog. There might be some validity in her statement, but not all is lost. No matter what excuse one uses for being on FB -- I'm reconnecting with long, lost friends; it's my family's way of communicating; inane quizzes created by barely literate people rock my world -- we're there and no one seems immune. Much to the dismay of the younger people who believe the world belongs to them and us old folk are just sitting around watching Murder She Wrote dvds and waiting to die, we are joining en masse. Get over yourselves. Without us, you wouldn't have a basement to live in, junior.

I digress.

One of the many applications available on Facebook is called Living Social. It should be called Living Social; Demented and Sad, but Social. What this app (it's how cool Facebookers say applications) does is allows users to post their Top Five anything. It can be "My top five favorite television shows" or "The albums that shaped my life."

What this has done is caused me to revisit my youth. Despite the many obstacles my family faced, I had a great childhood. Yeah, I have some emotional scars from being teased as the youngest child in a brood of eight, but so much of my recollection is filled with joy. I guess we were poor, but I never knew it until later on. I suspect it's due to so many other large families living in our neighborhood.

One particular memory is of our neighborhood grocer: Weiner's Superette. They had a little bit of everything. If we needed Manila paper for a project, they had it. If mom was out of sanitary napkins, she'd send me down to get her a box (oh! the embarrassment!)

Because we lived from paycheck to paycheck or unfortunately had to "rob Peter to pay Paul," fancy name brand products weren't a regular item in our home. Dad did most of the grocery shopping after he left his barbershop. We weren't strangers to whatever could be made into a gravy and served on rice or potatoes. The key was making something of quantity out of very little.

In the winter we'd consume a lot of oatmeal, Cream of Wheat, or Maypo for breakfast. When hot cereal wasn't an option due to time constraints or being plum out, we'd rely on good old puffed rice or wheat cereal. The bag was enormous but hardly weighed anything. Now, I can't bank my life on it, but I'm pretty sure it bore the name of Popeye on the bag. It wasn't frosted. We had to add the sugar which inevitably sunk to the bottom of the bowl. You had to dig deep; scooping up gritty, sugary syrup with each spoonful of cereal. The real treat was drinking the remaining milk and getting that last bit of sugar grit in the final swallow. mmmm mmmm. If we were lucky, we'd have honey to drizzle on the puffed kernels. It made consumption a lot easier with sweetness in every bite.

Periodically we'd run out of all things breakfasty. Mom or dad would dig up the cash to turn this cereal free Saturday a momentous occasion. We'd have the esteemed pleasure of walking to Weiner's to buy name brand cereal. I was trusted with buying a cereal we'd all love. Being a kid, I only cared about what I wanted. Naturally, the cereal itself had nothing to do with my purchase. For me, it was all about what lay deep within the crumbs and sugar coating. Yes, the toy prize in the box!

I had to choose wisely. Reading the box carefully to make certain the toy was in the box and not some free offer with 15 proofs of purchase. I needed immediate gratification. I wanted tasty and fun all in the same box!

Finally, a selection would be brought to the counter where our choice was scrutinized by either Lydia or Betty. Lydia looked like most depictions of a hairy moled lunch lady. Betty, on the other hand, was much more put together with her auburn bee-hive hair. She was bitchiest of the two. They were accustomed to me taking eons to pick out cereal, nail polish, magazines (Playboy and the like were kept on the bottom shelf behind the counter right under the candy bars which always made me giggle.) Of course I was interested in Tiger Beat. I only flipped the pages without ever buying. This, too, was something they were probably less than fondly used to when I passed through those doors.

I'd take off with my purchase and race down the alley. The store was a mere half block away. In the summer, I rarely wore shoes. I became quite adept at walking on the rocky pavement of the alleyway. It wouldn't be unusual for me to be toting a gallon of milk, too. As I got a little older, I learned to carry an 8-pak case of Pepsi; a gallon of milk and, in this case, a box of cereal in a paper bag. Skills, friends.

I'd burst through the back door and immediately rip into the box of cereal. I'd shake and shake tilting the box to the left, then the right. Elbow deep I'd go in search of the prize. My reward for making the trek to the store. With a forearm laced with crumbs and sugar I'd retrieve it. A toy that had the amusement of 30 minutes ... less time than it took me to choose the breakfast of champions.

One unusual prize had a greater impact and much longer staying power. This prize wasn't even within the box of cereal. Sugar Crisp Cereal had a 45 record on the back of the box. With a pair of scissors and a record player, I became a Jackson 5 fan one special morning. I'd anxiously await Michael's declaration to "Look over your shoulder, honey!"

So, if you're on Facebook you can find me ... 'cuz I'll be there ... I'll be there. Just search my name ... and I'll be there....

Sunday, April 5, 2009

You want me to put my lips on that?

Whenever I go out and about, I try to find humor in the mundane. I've been making this a quest because I need levity. We all need that, right?

What's bad about my endeavor to get a giggle at the expense of others is that I tend to have a shoddy memory. Yeah. I forget things as soon as they happen unless, of course, it happened to be directly.

How dorky would I look whipping out my nerd-a-rific 3 x 5 spiral notebook? Perhaps if Attitude Bunny was kept in my back pocket?? Or would that be the equivalent of carrying a comb in my pocket that matches my ensemble? At 43 should I be worried about appearing odd? At this rate, at least it might draw some kind of attention, eh?

Yesterday while at work, we were discussing the cleanliness habits of our co-workers ... or lack there of. A particular co-worker has been observed only rinsing out a cup he uses regularly before returning it to the cupboard. He doesn't use hot water or soap. Needless to say, the word got around not to use dishes without thoroughly scrubbing them first. Better yet, bring your own from home.

Anywho, when the nastiness of the unwashed cup was brought up, I innocently said, "like I'd want to put my lips on that." In true Three's Company fashion, someone walked in the room at that very moment. All that was missing was Mr. Roper's smirky glance directly into the camera.

Since that situation happened to me, I was able to remember it. Today, Mancub and I were at Wal-Mart. The automotive center alone is a keg of conversation just begging to tapped. Unfortunately, all I had to write on was a half sheet of paper already dotted with some chicken scratch.

Along the same lines, I've been toting my pretty pink Cybershot with hopes of taking sniper photos of things I find funny, odd, interesting or otherwise blog worthy. Sadly, my stealthiness is comparable to Inspector Clouseau outwitting Kato.

How do people do it? How do you remember quips or get photos of the weird and wonderful without being threatened by bubbette and her spawns of hell in dirty pajamas and half-shirts that reveal an entire bakery of dough?

My Secret World


In this world of mingling on the interwebs, it's difficult to declare having such a secret world. I do. In my world I am still an insecure little girl striving to gain her rightful place and attention. In a sea of so many choices and options, I have to wonder when I'll be the chosen one. Yes, my inner little girl who speaks today. But the little girl speaks truthfully. With fears of being shunned or rejected, she longs for emotional shelter without waning dedication.

I'm not whining nor complaining about my life. I have a good life in terms of intrinsically important values. I have close friends who offer unconditional love.

There comes a time when being patient wears thin. A gossamer thread. Patience is not like a well worn pair of Levis that've served dutifully and are comfortable, albeit thread bare and holey. Patience, in this instance, is that emergency pair of underpants that inevitably ride up your crack thereby inducing hemorrhoid like sensations.

It's not a happy place.

Shifting from side to side, I try to work it out subtly. Major fail.

While I pride myself on being a survivor of many failures and disappointments, my capabilities of pretending to be basking in singledom are vastly over rated. If, by some off chance I make being a single mother look good, I'd like my Golden Globe Award. It's an act. I am a good mom. No question about it. The single girl follies were great in my 30s. I'm now deep into my 40s. Hello!?

There's a lot of fabulous going unnoticed, folks. Perhaps I amuse plenty of people online or in the workplace, but there's a multitude of Riss that could be appreciated by someone of the male suitor variety. No asshats need apply. Been there; done that. I have the business card to prove it.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Ain't no sunshine

I'm just going to blurt this out and release it from my system:

I FRIGGING HATE THIS DREADFUL, MIDWESTERN, ARMPIT-OF-AMERICA WEATHER!!!!

There, I feel much better. Not so much. It didn't give me the satisfaction I was hoping for. I have to put the blame on something for my funkgasmic mood. I'm not referring to the Earth, Wind and Fire variety of funky, either.

If the sun does shine around here it's cold with a wind that cuts through you like a hot blade through butter. I feel like a damned shut in. Something has to give. I'm ready for a death match with Mother Nature. That bitch is going down, my friends. I have enough vitriol in my system that I'm an industrial sized pressure cooker ready to blow. And that's not a good sort of blow.

Mother Nature warned us not to mess with her on the margarine commercials. She can kiss my lily white ass, thankyouverymuch. I don't know if this is payback for all the Aqua Net I sprayed on my ginormous hair in the '80s or if I produce too much post consumer trash, but come on!

When I was a little girl, my friend Renee' and I joined the "Give a Hoot. Don't Pollute" campaign. We made signs asking people to be responsible. We canvassed the neighborhood and picked up garbage people carelessly tossed out of their cars or trash strewn about in the alleys by dogs on the loose. When I go on my walks I tend to pick up trash other people are just too lazy to throw away.

Global warming; shmobal warming. I think the winter temperatures started around late September and have yet to yield. This winter has been more wickedly cold than any other I can recall. Enough.

I need warming!