Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Taking chances and living without regret

Wow! That's one hell of a post title, eh?

It is the morning of New Year's Eve. Snow is on the ground. Temperature is in the teens. Winter is on a hormonal roller coaster. But enough about the weather.

2013. It is almost history. What have I done with the last 364 days? There are the typical things that comes with being a single mom. My son graduated from high school and started college. Work became more demanding and with that came the revelation that I do not seem to fit corporate jargon filled mentality. With that I must either adapt or seek employment elsewhere.

My employment woes is not what this post is about.

"What is it about, Marissa? I'm already bored?"

This is about what 2013 brought for Marissa the female. The single woman. The mom stuff aside. None of the manager crud. I am talking about the chick... the wo-man that has been stifled. This is about putting it out there and getting my swerve on.

Do you catch the drift now?

No! It doesn't mean picking up sleazy guys in bars or hooking up on some sex-only adult website. Gross! I mean allowing myself to be available emotionally. It means taking a risk to be rejected or heartbroken. But who knows if that will happen. It could turn out great. Or, how about this silly notion... permitting myself to be happy with another person. A male sort.

2013 and pretty much every year prior to that since 1999, I have withheld myself from relationships. Oh, I dated. Plenty of fun was to be had. It was topical. Giving myself fully was too risky. Along the way I learned, or thought I had, most men just wanted a good time gal. Through believing no one could see me as a serious prospect to date and be exclusive with, I projected this aloof creature who didn't need anyone. Being good for laughs, a filler-in, until they (men) met a woman who'd offer a tangible, comprehensive relationship. I would tend to share my feelings too much too late...they'd moved on.

That shit gets old. Fourteen years! That's how long I've been divorced.

Life is short.

2014 will be about living in the moment. Going with my gut and shutting off that inner voice that tells me not to risk it all will not be easy. That aggravating voice is loud. I am taking away its megaphone. The batteries from its Mr. Microphone are being removed.

I am ready.

Laugh at me if you must for posting this tune (because it is Barry Manilow), but it pretty much says it all.  It was used in the film "Foul Play" starring Goldie Hawn and Chevy Chase. Sing along. Tap a toe and pay attention. I've been living inside a shell, but I am ready. With whom? I haven't a clue, but the adventure will be worth the risk... "you get what you get when you go for it ..." Oh, Barry, sing it! Sing the TRUTH!

You remind me I live in a shell,
Safe from the past,
and doing' okay,
but not very well.
No jolts, no surprises,
No crisis arises:
My life goes along as it should,
it's all very nice,
but not very good.
And I'm Ready To Take A Chance Again,
Ready to put my love on the line with you.
Been living with nothing to show for it;
You get what you get when you go for it,
And I'm Ready To Take Chance Again with you.
When she left me in all my despair,
I just h eld on,
My hopes were all gone.
Then I found you there.
And I'm Ready To Take A Chance Again
Ready To Take A Chance AGain with you,
With you.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Kiss me, my fool!

New Year's Eve is coming up in a couple of days.

When one searches on Google random things can pop up.

I like this word. . . a lot.

Sometimes I experience this. . . then, sadness strikes. One cannot do this alone.

Here's to ringing in 2014 kissing my pillow.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

What was on your Christmas list?

Mancub has never written an endless list of wants for Christmas or birthdays. He'll name a couple very specific items and be done. That was always a source of mild frustration when family members wanted to know what to buy him. I'd always buy the two or three items listed which left nada for the kinfolk to purchase. Gift cards aren't fun to unwrap, but manage to do the trick.

This year was more difficult because my 19 year old, regardless of how many times I asked, didn't give me a list. He couldn't even muster a simple suggestion.


Time was dwindling to shop aka order things online.

I should tell you right now that while I do enjoy new footwear, clothes, this n' thats, shopping is not my favorite thing. Going to the grocery store is painful. Maybe it is sensory overload. Perhaps there's too much threat of running into people that'll hinder the task at hand. Whatever it is, shopping until I drop only takes a few minutes.

OK, back to Christmas shopping for Mancub. He wouldn't or couldn't give me suggestions. He cited that school was occupying all of his brain energy. Oof! Relying on my memory of the past year's moments of "when we have enough money can we get ....."

A TV. The one we had was retrieved from the curbside by my brother in law many years ago. It worked perfectly for many years, but from time to time a green blob would appear on the left side of the screen. We'd just pretend the character on the screen was related to Shrek. Magnavox to the rescue. Decent reviews and reasonable price. Done!

Video game. He had one of the newer Pokemon games for his 3DSiXL, but not the other. Woot! Found it on sale online.

Nutcrackers. The boy fell in love with a tiny nutcracker ornament that hung on our tree when he was about 2 yrs old. Not always diligent in bestowing a new one each year, he has been given a new one every couple of years. In 2013 I made up for lost time and he received four. Two traditional styles and two Star Wars style: Yoda and Darth Vader. He loved those the most.

Every college student needs a flash drive. So, why not make it a special flash drive? Vat19.com had Star Wars and DC Comics styles... Star Wars was sold out. I settled for Batman. Still very cool and it made the boy chuckle.

Without a list or even a mere suggestion Mancub managed a decent Christmas haul. Was he surprised with all of the gifts? He was amazed to get what he got, but as for the contents in the packages? Not really. The big box gave away the TV and I did inquire which Pokemon game he had bought recently. Duh. Sue me for not being the most subtle person. The unique style of nutcrackers brought about big smiles.

What did Santa bring me? Hey, Santa takes care of herself. New boots. A couple new dresses -- all clearance items, naturally. Full price? Shut your mouth.
There was one eensy weensy splurge for da mama. Vat19.com, once again. Based off one of my favorite movies THE PRINCESS BRIDE... pint glasses with the title on one side and the phrase "contents may contain iocane powder" with a Dread Pirate Roberts motif on the other.

I am certain the hard cider tastes better in this glass

Monday, December 23, 2013

MaRissmas Card

2013 has flown by at lightning speed, it seems. Someone once said that as we age the years tend to do that. Is it because we have little to look forward to or that we are just so much enjoying watching our children grow that we want to savor every second? My money is on the latter. We learn to relish the moments instead of always looking for something better and shiny. OK, mayhaps I cannot speak for you. As for me, I revel in the moment. Most of the time. Well, in retrospect. This year has zipped by, damn it. I don't like it!

But here we are...

Christmas is just two days away. One day if you're one of those people who doesn't count the day we are in. Changes at work, Mancub being in college... I've been busy and time got away from me. So, there is no card of any sort being sent out. On Facebook, I promised a blog post Christmas card. Even that nearly got away from me. 

Today, I'm off from work. Because the month managed to be shorter, somehow, gifts for coworkers weren't bought. So, I'm spending the day baking them cookies whilst still sporting my pajamas, hair pulled back and looking a sight more reminiscent of Halloween than holly jolly holiday-ish. No matter how scary I look, the cookies will be fantastical! Five dozen (or less) are all ready, but another variety needs to be available. I said "or less" because I have a 19 year old boy living here who loves cookies and thinks all things sweet and chocolatey are just for him. What I baked may not be the number I deliver.

So, back to the Christmas blog card. 

This year has brought many wonderful things. First on my list is that Mancub graduated from high school. If you have been reading my bog since its early years, does it feel like you've watched him grow up? Amazing, right? I gloat a lot about the kid, but he deserves all the praise. Additionally, he started his first year of college locally. Completed the first semester in a manner that makes me beam with pride. It is the first time he has had to entirely speak for himself and be his own advocate with his Aspergers.  He has impressed me immeasurably.  What a remarkable young man he has become. 

The beginning of the year also carried with it our mother / son participation in another Kankakee Valley Theatre Association production. Our first was STATE FAIR a few years ago. This time it was THE WEDDING SINGER. So much fun and wonderful friendships were established because of it. While it was fantasmic to receive applause for my portrayal of Grandma Rosie, it was what took place behind the scenes that really matters and has longevity. I love my extended family.

In between major events we took trips to Brookfield Zoo and Six Flags Great America. We didn't get to take a major vacation, but the little things seemed monumental because I was counting the minutes. Oh, I also attended my first Gay Pride Parade. Talk about a feast for the eyes. what a great time with two of my dearest pals.  

Oh man! I almost ended this post without mentioning one of the cooliest things -- I know! 2013 was spectacular and the events just keep coming. 
Thirty years after graduation I was finally given a tiara and unofficially named Queen of the class reunion. Woop! This just so happened to also occur the night before my 48th birthday. Having classmates sing "Happy Birthday to You" was truly a tear jerking moment for this one time wall flower.
On my actual birthday we went canoeing down the Kankakee River. Holy crap! That was a hoot...even if I ended up falling out of the canoe and getting sand in parts of my body I didn't realize existed. Totally worth it!
I love this pic

That was the Speedy Gonzalez version of 2013. You didn't want a play by play anyway. With such blabbering you'd probably wish for a generic, mass produced card... ya know, it just gets to the point.

Did I mention that I let my hair go completely gray? Silver? Platinum? Whichever shade of non-brunette you want to call it. I am no longer bothering with chemically youth-anizing my locks.
I am 5'10"ish and not in a hole. My kid towers over me

This year has brought us many ups and downs. That is, after all, how life works, yes? There have been world wide tragedies, local devastations. Our family has changed. My niece and her husband are expecting their first child. The Eastridge class of 1983 celebrated 30 years post graduation and bid farewell to one of our own. Through the magic of Facebook many of us have grown closer and built a kinship unlike what we had in school. It has developed a big source for support when life is getting us down to having a force for celebration when great news strikes. Two wonderful friends got engaged (see photo from Gay Pride Parade above). Now, Illinois is a freedom to marry state! Celebrate! 

I think what I am trying to say is that we can find the positive things if we look for it ... even if it means sitting down with a laptop computer and making a list. We are the result of what we choose our lives to be. That could be a frivolous notion for some of you, but you attract that which you give. I'm learning that each and every day. 

From Mancub and me to you and yours, Merry Christmas and a prosperous 2014. My sincere wish is for everyone to find love and peace. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Pick a little, talk a little

This looks nothing like my dental
experience...the chair is all wrong
Today was our sixth month cleaning at the dentist. The folks there always treat us as if they see us weekly. I don't know if they keep dossiers on their patients or they are just that good. Granted, we have been going to this particular dentist for quite a few years. Still, considering we only see him every six months or so, he remembers conversations we've had.

That brings me to today's chat with the dentist. After the hygienist picked, flicked, flossed and polished my choppers, dentist extraordinaire came in asking if I was still doing the Beachbody thing. After referring to my pudginess with an uncomfortable chuckle, I told him no.

See, we'd babbled between drilling and filling (and other dental things that might sound sexual), we discussed what was once my weight loss success. I guess when a person is stretched back in a chair with a light shining in their face, weight loss is noticeable... once, during a crown fitting he remarked how much I look like Brooke Shields. That, of course, was pre-natural highlights aka going gray.

A couple of years ago he told me how he was doing P90X and even as a former Navy officer he struggled to get through some of the workouts. I couldn't either, I lamented, and forget that crazy YogaX. Yoga can be hazardous if you don't know what the hell you're doing or do not have assistance.

Back to the convo of today. My initial thought was that he wanted to say how his recent weight loss was due to a new program or supplement. Instead, he inquired if I enjoyed documentaries and if Netflix was accessible. Yes and yes.

With great excitement he wrote down two documentary titles along with his personal email. He implored me to watch them and email him my reactions to the films. His assistant was kind of giggling while telling me he is doing this with nearly every patient and they've all been encouraged to watch the suggested programs because, "it will change the way you think about food."

He shared that he is back to his high school weight and feeling better than he ever has in his life. The films changed his life. "Netflix and my elliptical... great partnering."

What's your dentist like? Is my experience unique? I won't tell you the film titles until after I watch them ... pinky swear that I'll share the titles and my impression of them in a later blog post.

Oh, by the way, these conversations take place without his fingers in my mouth or one of those spit sucker uppers attached to my lip.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Goodbye, childhood friend

I grew up in a middle class neighborhood. Pretty much every one in upper Riverview, Kankakee, IL had similar upbringings. Our parents worked hard. We were disciplined ... not just by our own parents, but every parent on the block.

In the evenings during the summer, teens would gather on the corner under a street light to just talk, laugh, flirt, etc... A lot of hopes and dreams were revealed under that street light.

Most of the families were rooted in the area. Moving wasn't even considered. That being the case, we went to school together from kindergarten through graduating high school. Some friendships were maintained during that time while others were fond acquaintances. I think there was an unspoken bond and protective knee-jerk reaction despite distanced friendship. What always existed was a kinship.

After graduation, as we often do, we separate and go about building new lives. It happens. Regardless of what was sworn in our yearbook entries to each other, those promises can't always be kept.

Once in awhile we are all drawn together for class reunions that allow us to catch up and recount the silliness of our youth. Sometimes, we are brought together for less joyful occasions. Too soon, one of our childhood friends passes away. It hits us hard like a steely blade to the gut. Mortality delivers a hard blow.

We are left reeling. Many of us who often lament that we're getting so old suddenly realize just how much youth is left. We mourn with their loved ones. We ask questions. Seek answers. There's a need for closeness. Memories of that classmate are shared.

Even though the years have come between us, there's an immediate sense of togetherness. Something we all seem to agree upon is that with the death of our friend also goes a piece of our childhood.

A person who always present in my childhood through high school passed away on December 11, 2013. He is remembered as a person who always managed to smile, make others laugh. He was an outstanding athlete. He was active music. I fondly remember him as the cutest boy in first grade.

Andrew Gineris, if there is an afterlife or some mode of spiritual hearing device, I hope you're able to see how many of us are grateful to have had our lives touched by your existence.

Andrew Stephen Gineris, 49, of Charleston, S.C., and formerly of Kankakee, passed away Wednesday (Dec. 11, 2013).
He was born May 6, 1964, in Kankakee, the son of Louis and Janice Wadley Gineris. Andrew was baptized in, was a member of, and served as an altar boy for the Greek Orthodox Church.
Andrew attended Kankakee schools and graduated from Eastridge High School in 1983. In high school, he was a diver for the swim team and during his senior year achieved All American status. He graduated magna cum laude from Johnson and Wales University in Charleston, S.C., with bachelor's degrees in culinary arts and food service management.
He was a professional chef working in Chicago, Sea Island, Ga., Jacksonville, Fla., and Charleston, S.C. Andrew loved what he did, having a passion for food, including ice carving and being a garde manger chef.
Andrew is survived by his parents, of Summerville, S.C; two brothers, Louis Gineris, of Waycross, Ga., and Nico Gineris, of Summerville, S.C.; two aunts, Linda Kmiec, of Pawley's Island, S.C., and Penny Denoyer, of Kankakee; one uncle, John Wadley, of Santa Barbara, Calif.; one nephew, Jackson Gineris; niece, Sophie Gineris, goddaughter and niece, Zoe Gineris; and many dear cousins.
He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Nick and Alberta Gineris, and Phillip and Helena Wadley.
Cremation rites will be accorded. A memorial service will be held at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Kankakee. The service will be announced at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Piedmont Hospice, 501A DeAnna Lane, Charleston, SC 29492.

Please sign his online guestbook at McAlister-Smith.com.
(the above obituary is from the Kankakee Daily Journal)

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Special Christmas Cookies

The other day I received a wrong number text. Instead of being quick by telling the sender 'wrong number,' I got creative like all those people who end up on Tumblr and Buzz Feed.

First, I had to high tail it to Google and search a photo. My initial thought was an image depicting a person excited about cookies.
Enter the screenshot.

Hmmm That photo wasn't going to do the ... WAIT A MINUTE! Wait a cotton pickin' booger flickin' minute! What is Google suggesting as a related search? Let me point it out

Who would have thunk to add THAT to cookies or any baked goods.

I imagine Martha Stewart sitting at her kitchen counter after a tryst with the gardener or the butcher ... ya know, she's whipping up a post-coital snack to rev back up to go in for a second round...and BAM! What ever could she do with excess semen?

You're welcome! Now we both have that disturbing image in our heads. Ho, ho, ho.

Here's the screenshot of the text:

I was seriously considering buying cookie dough from a stranger

(I know now after searching the subject that there was a despicable crime attached to 'semen cookies' and this is in no way shape or form an attempt to minimize the severity of the crime perpetrated. Don't put a hex on me or beat me with rosaries. I just write what pops in my head at the moment it happens. Get off me.)

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Quirks, Jerks and other irks

The other night while babbling with a friend on the phone we segued into things that annoy us. Some stuff is personally unique while other items are likely commonplace irritants for many. Off the top of my head few things sprang to mind. As the days have marched on I managed to make a mental list. 

Oh, you think Thanksgiving Day doesn't seem to be the right day of the year to voice those little things that eat away at me? Ask yourself for as long as you've known me have you seen me follow the typical path? When everyone else is posting heartfelt, earnest posts, I want it to be known that I'm different. If that irks you... oops. You are reading the wrong blog.

OK. Shall we commence with the Rissues list of November 2013?
  • Whispering in movies and commercials. I don't know what it is, but it makes me ears bleed... and mother like son. It drives Mancub mad, too.

  • Couples who share a Facebook, social network, email account. You never know which one of them is posting... sometimes they'll sign their posts so you know, but that's just equally annoying. It's like signing your homework so the teacher knows who deserves the grade. It's not as if you have to pay for the services. Having additional accounts won't be a financial burden. It's OK to be individuals. Is it a trust thing? Share your passwords. Be open-books, but for all that is right and holy, stop with the joint accounts. I'm sure you have your reasons, but just know most people think it is weird and confusing. My bet is that people who do this ironically have separate banking accounts.
  • Food allergies happen. I am fortunate enough not to have any. You're on a strict diet because you choose to be on one. I get it. Personal choices and all that jive. You eat for health. Again, I can dig it. My suggestion is don't go out to eat if it is that troubling! Dining out is such a pain with you! I cringe for wait staff when you begin your order even if I'm at another table and I just happen to overhear. Please refrain from making it a three ring circus every time you go out to eat. Relinquish a little control. Your poor server can only protect your sensitive innards so much. When you sound like Sally ordering food, I don't want to dine with you. Such nonsense pisses off exhausted and likely overworked kitchen staff. By association I don't want unspeakable things done to MY food because you're such a PITA. Stay home. Cook your own food. Stop making the experience miserable for the rest of us. Mmmmkay? Thanks.
  • Kiss-talk-smacking in movies or on television. It falls into the same area of that whispering thing. It just sounds gross. At the moment no specific example comes to mind for me to search on YouTube to post. Sorry. If my son was awake he'd probably be able to name 15 such instances in movies. Yes, he is also aggravated by it.
This next one is HUGE! Brace yourselves.

  • I first noticed it while watching that dreck of a program Rachel Zoe Project on Bravo. The bastardization of words. Abbreviations of words that aren't long to begin with. It's not as if they are saying DNA in full form (deoxyribonucleic acid).  Is it because she was so undernourished she couldn't fully say gorgeous, major, vacation, totally, jealous? .. the list goes on. Well, that effing trend took off and I hear it and see it EVERYWHERE!

    If you write in a comment "OMG I am totes jelly u went on vacay!! Ur hair is gorg gurl." Just know that, secretly, I am punching you in your genitals. I may love you to the moon and back, but your balls or ovaries have been mentally obliterated. 

With great apology and regret, I overuse internet acronyms.

There you have it! What makes your inner time bomb tick?

Happy Thanksgiving! Blessings to all ... and to all a good sense of humor.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Whoa! Hold on cowboy!

  • Conversation started August 1
  • Davis Clark Ben
    Davis Clark Ben

    Hi Beauty Angel,
    Sweet, lovely, honest, trust, caring, kind and enduring is you and I hope you are in good health. Am Engineer Davis Clark and am from the United Kingdom. I work as an Engineer with Mobil Exxon. I am a single Dad and my wife died after 2yrs i was divorced and I have being praying for a new love to come by. I don't know why am telling you all these but just want to be open minded with you. Precisely, am not getting any younger and my dream is to have a wife i can called my own which i will spend all my life with, my wealth and the rest of my life.
    Your profile struck my eyes and went straight to my heart. You really look like someone who is easy going with and just like in my dreams and what I desire although its weird am telling you this for my first letter to you but like I said I want to be open minded and not hiding in shadows.
    I love Vacation, Outing with family, Beach Walk as well as Shopping. I love a Lady who enjoy spending time with her family and wants to share Travel, Passion, Fine Food, Intellectual Conversation with a good Bottle of Red Wine as well as sitting in front of the fireplace and growing old together. My wish here is to get involve in a serious relationship or wish to meet a lady who intend to get married. Apart from my work am a very loving and caring person and I can give to you the best of love you have never felt before. I guess my letter is not getting boring to you but loving. Just email me back if you accept me.
    I will keep my desire for my next letter. I love and cherish u....Kisssssssss...mmmmmm
    Eng. Devis clark.
DAMN IT! Another missed opportunity sent to Facebook's "other messages" folder. Do you think he's still single? He dispenses his words like a Pez dispenser shoots out flavored, rectangular chalk bits. Wow. Sit in front of a fireplace growing old? Damn, damn, damn.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Choosing is easy


When I choose a wine, the label had better be interesting. My good friend chooses wine similarly. His boyfriend confirms that the contents could be skunk piss, but as long as the bottle is interesting he will buy it.

A few years ago, before I could afford cable and internet, we frequented the library. My driver's license had an address within the public library district and I was able to obtain a card at no charge. Now, I have to fork over nearly $200. per year because I live outside city limits.

OK, sorry. Distracted by detail.

Prior to cable and internet I checked out dozens of books per month. Chick lit mostly because all I wanted was to be entertained. Perusing the shelves looking for specific titles and authors didn't do the trick. Not being an avid reader, I had no favorites and Danielle Steel no longer did the trick. So, with that in mind and knowing all I needed was lightweight smut and girly adventure, I sought out pink and purple stereotypical feminine book binding.

Yes, I totally judged a book by its cover. No, I didn't look for the ones with the a damsel having her corset torn from her ample bosom by a swashbuckler with windblown, shoulder length hair. Bleah.

It's a simple way of life and probably speaks volumes about my superficiality. It doesn't bother me if you think less of me. You've probably judged a few books by their cover, too.

Monday, October 14, 2013

F#@K Marry Kill

Are you familiar with the game? If not, you must live under a rock. Go knock yourself senseless with a rubber spatula or something while the fun kids play the game.

A couple of 'net friends are administrators of a fun page on Facebook called Retrochicks. On that page a promise of a rousing game of boff, marry, kill was promised for this evening. They replaced the profane word used in the title of this post because ... I guess because it is more retro. I don't know. Don't grill me. Damn.
In preparation for the evening festivities, Jane, one of the admins, posted this link to an interactive rendition of the game. It is rather silly. According to the creator there are right and wrong answers. The only ones I chose correctly are the ones to f#@k with exception to Adam Levine (Battle of the Adams). One Adam I don't even recognize so I chose to kill him. In the Michael round I got the f#@k right on a guess. The Michael I know of is Michael Cera. Quite frankly, there's no way I can imagine effing, marrying or bothering to kill him. He's a man-child.

For the record, I didn't bother with the female rounds. Even for pretend I don't care to imagine boffing or marrying women. Killing, maybe. Not for real, mind you. Honestly, I'd probably want to lock them all in a closet so they can out-cat fight each other.

Here's how I answered. Some might surprise you.

Battle of the Ryans:
Ryan Gosling -- Kill. I really don't understand the fascination with him. He's cute. But meh in the book of Riss
Ryan Reynolds -- Marry. He's cute, funny, tall and is probably willing to buy tampons for his lady.
Ryan Kwanten -- F#@K. He's hot and Australian. Have you seen True Blood? Yeah. All naked, baby.

Battle of the Johns:
Jon Hamm -- Kill. Out of respect to Jane, I cannot think of boffing or marrying him.
John Kasinsky -- Marry. Yeah, it might get boring.
John Stamos -- Blackie from General Hospital hangover. Gotta fulfill that teen fantasy.

Battle of the Michaels:
Michael B. Jordan -- first off, who the hell is this dude? It seems wrong to say I'd marry a guy I know little about, but he has a nice smile. Maybe he is marriage worthy.
Michael Fassbender -- Recognize the face and name, but no real idea what he's been in. He looks delicious, however. I'd happily romp in the sheets and risk rug burns on my knees and elbows.
Michael Cera -- Kill. Sorry, honey. I know it seems so wrong to kill that Bleaker kid.

Battle of the Adams:
Adam Levine: F#@k. DUH! Yeah, he's bragged about his prowess or past lovers have. He's too skinny in my book, but he is charming enough for me not to want to kill him.
Adam Scott -- Marry. He seems stable.
Adam Brody -- Who the hell is he? Kill.

Battle of the Hughs:
Hugh Dancy -- Shag. I have a feeling he's attentive and thorough.
Hugh Grant -- Kill. I dig the movies, but blurgh.
Hugh Jackman -- Marry! I'm OK being married to an ambiguously gay man. We'd have a great life together.

There ya go. Who else should we throw into the mix?

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Scars upon thars

Do you have a scar on your body that you can't recollect how it got there? With all the falls, scrapes, and injuries I've had in my lifetime I am surprised more scars don't exist.

On one occasion when it was warm enough this summer to bask in the sunshine to get my dose of Vitamin D, I sat with my leg propped up on my knee. You know, because all the cool kids have imperfect, uneven tan lines.


While my leg was propped on my knee, I noticed this scar and fully recall how it got there. It's not like that scene from Lethal Weapon 3 where Renee Russo and Mel Gibson compare battle scars:

So, this is the battle scar in question

It has faded dramatically in the 37 years it has been a part of me. Any guess on how I got it? I bet no one will guess correctly.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

The other day

The other day I questioned why this blog sits empty more and more. Then, it hit me. Twitter and Facebook.

You see, what used to be the topics of babbling on the blog have become 140 character mind bytes. Then, if those meandering thoughts and opinions strike a chord or nerve with those who read them, they'll comment, like or just ignore.

Immediate gratification. I tweet it. Boom!  The thoughts and ideas vamoose leaving me with nothing else to say... well, nothing more than 140 characters.

I miss this. You know, putting words together to form sentences that create paragraphs. Sure, my grammar is often questionable. The good news for me is that I don't give a shit. HA! The good news for you is that I know the majority of lessons we learned in primary school. Do not request that I diagram a sentence. We learned that in 8th grade when I had a language arts teacher nicknamed Bubbles. The hormonally charged class spent so much time psychologically tormenting the extremely sensitive teacher that little teaching was accomplished because said teacher would bolt from the classroom in tears which would prompt a visit from the Dean of Students. Blah blah. I plead innocent in such bad behavior. The bottom line is that I know when to use 'there, their and they're.' I also know the difference between to, too, and two; your and you're.

You get the idea.

See, I just turned a tiny thought into a blog post.

Out of curiosity I peered at my Twitter feed. Wowsers! 9,550 Tweets. You're welcome to follow.
Here's some of today's 140 character or less jibber jabber:

Here's to hoping that a balance of blogging, tweeting and facebooking -- not a real word that I know of but we're going with it for sake of having nothing else to call it -- here's hoping all social media can be used whilst still using up some gigabytes or whatnot on this here writing venue is utilized.

Love ya. Mean it. Share if you care. Share if you think it is nonsense. Hell, thanks for just getting to this point.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The College Years

Ah, the beginning of a new era.

Please permit me to inject sound effects of screeching tires, needle scratching across a record.

When my little bundle of love was born I had huge hopes for him. It's natural for any parent to imagine what great things their newborn will be capable of accomplishing. It's easy because that version of the future is so far off ...

Now, insert the sound effect of a rocket blasting off or race cars speeding around the track.

Time flies, yo'!

Being the only parent consistently in my son's life, I admit to over protection. It is a fact. Mancub has heard my admission time and time again along with apologies for having done so. I am that mom who would have wrapped her child in bubble wrap in order for him to play football.

You laugh. I am serious.

When I dropped him off for his first day of Kindergarten I had to pull off the road to sob. Then, repeat until arriving at home to completely break down.

He survived, but not without countless challenges and he did so without mommy standing beside him. My protective services were not necessary 24/7, but that didn't hinder my need to try. At some point it was instilled in him that even though I was not physically there he could still rely on mom to take care of things should it get too rough.

The years did indeed fly by. My hair is completely gray, or platinum if you prefer to flatter me. Mancub managed to graduate from high school only mildly scathed from jerks we all encountered along our paths. His grades weren't only acceptable but exceptional.

CRAP! The next step in his life is college or get a full-time job. No, college is the way to go.  Early on in his senior year of high school he set his mind to attend community college. Believe it or not, I did encourage him to look elsewhere... expand his horizons. He's stern in his decisions. A part of me likes to think he doesn't want to move away from me as much as I don't want him to move. He says he knows college is expensive and he doesn't want to burden me with the cost. Sure, kid. He has it easy here in comparison to many kids. We aren't wealthy, but it is ... home.

Judge all you want. I'll just tell you to STFU.


Initially when enrolling for classes Mancub signed up for online courses. His advisor failed to mention how intense those can be for an incoming freshman. Really, as nice as she was, she offered little guidance. He dropped those classes and picked up on-campus courses.

Yesterday, Tuesday, August 20, 2013, my 6'4" bambino completed his first day of college. With having only one car and his resistance to driving, he utilizes the city bus system. In an attempt to cling to what's left of my baby boy, I offered to drop him at the stop. He accepted. Hey, the kid was pacing with a nervous stomach. As we approached the stop and the car came to a halt, he leaned to me for a kiss and a hug. Then, my heart ripped from my chest as he left me. It was Kindergarten all over again.

Another milestone.

I wept.

Knowing a co-worker and friend was also attending classes, I texted her to let her know Mancub would be on campus. "Look for him." She replied that she saw him in a class in the front row. They exchanged waves. He made it without me holding his hand. Not that there was doubts.

Emotionally letting go of our kids is painful. The process begins from the moment we hear their first cry. As we hold them close in our protective embrace, we also teach them to be independent ... we're knowingly setting them up to fly the nest. It is a constant struggle of what we know is best with what we want to truly do. That is, entwine them in bubble wrap and never let anything harm them.

It is and always will be my instinct to always check under the bed for monsters, fling my stop arm across his chest in the car, beat down anyone who dares not to like him. Yet, it is clearly evident he has been raised to be a survivor; a champion of himself.

As for me ... the story continues. Time to write a new chapter.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Rainbows and equality for all!

June 30, 2013 marked my first attendance at a gay pride parade. It won't be my last.

I support equality -- and the freedom to eat Vietnamese sandwiches

Where shall I begin to share the tale of my first Gay Pride Parade? It didn't take me long to say yes to going with my friends Frank & Justin. There was some hesitation because of the weather, but it turned out to be the perfect day.
Here we are pre-parade. I'm so glad they invited me.
We met up with my sister and her wife who had already staked out a place for us to watch the festivities. It was fate that we were near a restaurant selling sangria to passers by. Yum!

Prior to the parade starting we hoofed it down to Walgreen's to pick up liquid provisions. Good lawdy! Everybody had the same idea. "All purchases except cigarettes taken at the pharmacy" was announced and we bee lined it to the back of the store. Why wait behind 50 other people?

With refreshment in hand, we made tracks back to our spot where we met newcomers who were faboo and hilarious companions. It's hard to describe just how fantastic the vibe was that day. It was just the strong as hell drinks Justin made for us, either. On that day, there was nothing to be unhappy about.

Lined up at the barricade, we hooted and hollered, jumped up and down, begged for beads and other goodies being thrown and handed out by the paraders. FOUR AND A HALF HOURS of screaming in support of gay rights.

I didn't lose my voice, surprisingly, but I did get motorboated, kissed smack dab on the mouth, given assorted beads, a lei, t-shirt. See photo below for all my swag. The security detail were two fun spirited cops named Wilde and Conroy. I've never been to Carnivale or Mardi Gras, but I would venture to guess this is much like it... possibly more tame, even, and far less unlawfulness.

The following are just a sample of the 400+ photos I took. Those are on a public photo album on Facebook. Feel free to peruse.

Saw the ghost of Elvis ...

The balloon people .. LOVE

Megan and the Andres. SUCH fun. Loved her.

Yes, I do!
How can you not be happy when you see a rainbow?

Equality for ALL

Straight Not Narrow -- My personal mantra

Revelry in full swing! Megan made the star necklace on my head

Megan convinced Officer Conroy to trade glasses

Flower child .... Jesus?

This photographer stayed in our area. I cheered for him each time he came by

Me with all the goodies I got .. yep, condoms (vanilla flavored)

Chicago Gay Mens chorus

More revelry ... WHERE IS FRANK!?

WGN Float. I SCREAMED like a banshee and jumped up and down. LOVE THEM

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Brave: An Independent woman's tale

Dear Pixar:

As always, I am behind on watching movies. Ever since my son hit puberty we aren't as prone to racing to the theater to see your movies. He's into fart humor flicks and action/adventures.

So, this morning I was flipping through the 100s of channels offered up and stumbled upon your film BRAVE.  Since I had not seen it and nothing else piqued my interest, I opted to view.

First off, let me applaud the design of the wild haired Merida. It's clear in the very beginning she is not the usual 'live in a shiny castle upon the hill' sort of princess.

Secondly, it was refreshing that none of the first born males of the other clans were strapping, handsome warrior sorts with the heart of gold. You almost always throw some stud in the mix that the wild eyed princess fawns over completely losing sight of her identity. Again, thank you.

Thirdly, encouragement from the father to remain independent reminds me a lot of my own relationship with my dad. My mom, bless her heart, didn't do much in telling me I could be anything I wanted to be.  She was content that her daughter was pretty enough to not have to be smart or independent. She also didn't live long enough to cheer me on. My father, on the other hand, did everything in his power to bolster my confidence to go forth without entanglement or dependence on a man to provide for me. Even when I met someone, my father threw opportunity my way to continue with my education rather than marry the dolt who would become Mancub's father.

Hey, I didn't say I listened to my dad all the time.

The part of the story where Merida talks about destiny and fate. Yeah, that hit home. I chose my destiny in marrying and I know that man wasn't the best choice, but it was fate for me to have my son. So, while the wrong prince *cough* was the suitor who won my hand, the right child was born into my life and he would teach me how to become independent, strong and brave. Together, our destiny was altered. Fate is that we have each other.

Anyway, thank you for keeping true to the story and not introducing some studly sort at the end for Merida to run off with into the sunset. Some girls don't require rescuing because they are capable of being their own hero.


PS. I like a good fairy tale now and then, but our girls need strong female role models who aren't selling themselves short for a handsome guy with a great house and a silver spoon in his mouth.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Get moving

Blah blah blah a couple years ago I lost 40 pounds. Injury to the left knee incapacitated me beyond doing more than standing and walking. Then, the icky wound on the left leg. That is all it took for this food addicted, exercise loathing girl to revert back to the habits that would put all that weight back on.

Yes, I am pissed at myself, but that mindset isn't going to help me one bit. All that can be done now is to pass 'get out of jail' and move on.

I feel like shit and have accepted it.

Now, let's get this big ol' ass on the road to recovery. In this instance I compare it to someone falling off the wagon with alcohol or heroin. Checking into rehab isn't feasible. So, that means I am my clinician and therapist along with the help of friends who've successfully lost weight. What's ironic is that a couple of those friends were inspired by my weight loss commitment to do the same for themselves ... and here we are.

I thought the quickly approaching 30th class reunion from high school would be enough of a catalyst to make me serious about losing the weight. Alas, that hasn't been enough of a threat.

Last night was the beginning of this new journey. I went for a two mile walk with my dear friends Justin and Frank. Justin argues that it wasn't close to two miles. Frank and I feel like it was 90 miles... I guess we know which one of the threesome is in better shape.

I talked their ears off the entire walk. It had been a long time since having a captive audience. We see each other (I work with Justin), but it's piece meal conversations because we're always in a group setting. My short stories can become long ones without intention. Sorry, guys. Thanks for letting me have the stage.

It was Frank's idea to get our butts moving and invited a group of us to join him. Hell yeah! Mancub went with me to meet the boys, but while waiting at their house he fell asleep on the couch. Needless to say, he remained behind while we strutted on the trail.

It could be coincidence, but this girl slept like the dead. Mind you, my damn feet are killing me this morning. Once the blood started flowing to my tootsies there was relief.

It always makes me feel better to get moving -- traditional exercise gets boring fast. Plus, walking with two of my most favorite people on the planet makes the time go by quickly.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Suddenly, Last Summer

If you've been stalk following me for more than a year, then you know I had some issues with my left leg. Wait, did I blog about that horrible experience or did I manage to keep it to myself? I keep very little about my life to myself. What I mean is that I may have only reported the ugliness on Facebook.

OK. In March of 2012 a funky bump appeared on my lower left leg. I, being stupid, picked at it. Despite bandaging, treating it with triple antibiotic cream etc... the damned thing would not heal. After 2 months of that nonsense I sought out WebMd. (You thought I was going to say medical treatment, didn't you?) There was a myriad of possibilities and I treated the wound accordingly. From soaking it with apple cider vinegar to coating it with hydrogen peroxide, it only got worse.

Surprise! Hey, I wanted a homeopathic remedy. In the long run it was foolish. Don't you dare wag your finger at me.

When our vacation to California was quickly approaching, I made haste, finally, to get an appointment with a doctor. It took over 3 weeks to get in because prior to this, I have never had the need for a physician. Oh, sure there's the almost  yearly peek-a-boo at my girly parts doctor, but not the nose, throat and ears doctor.

The new doctor was quick to tell me to stay out of the sun, public water, ie pools, ocean, lakes, hot tubs etc... The public waters might worsen the infection. The antibiotics made me highly sensitive to the sun's rays. One antibiotic after another and several outbreaks of red itchy, rashy bumps made me want to go all Poltergeist and rip off my own flesh. They even put me on the antibiotic used to treat MRSA. It did horrible things to my skin. It was worse than the wound itself. I was miserable!!!! That's some serious shit. After being tortured and getting no improvement, I was referred to an infectious disease specialist.

That guy tested me for everything from lupus to jungle rot. Maybe not jungle rot, but there was a host of diseases being ruled out. All i know is that the blood sucker chick took 7 viles of my blood. By the by, that's an effing cool thing to watch. No queasy stomach here. Whenever blood has to be drawn I always inform the technician to hit my left arm. The veins are more cooperative.

After everything under the sun was ruled out, the specialist sent me to a surgeon for a biopsy. At that appointment, the doctor said to cut into a newly developed oopy sore would be a mistake. He told me that the problem was simple: Lack of fresh blood circulating through my legs.

Hellloooooo I have had varicose veins since my late teens/early twenties. I opted out of the biopsy and followed his advice. The next day Vein Clinics of America was called and my consultation appointment was made. The big gas funky, thick, stick-off-my-flesh-like-a-relief-map veins are gone. Three laser treatments and hundreds of injections later -- not an exaggeration, all that remains are the teeny spider veins which are a result of the blood seeking other means of travel. Those will be taken care of, too.

My legs were in bad shape. Now, the only thing that will gross people out in public is the amount of cellulite and wiggly jiggly flubber. But NO PURPLE VEINS!

All of those appointments took up my entire summer and most of autumn. Aside from our trip to California, I didn't get much sun.

Now that I have bored you to tears and you've probably not even read this far, fast forward to the summer of 2013. TODAY, look at the date, I spent the afternoon on my deck reading in the sun. Yes, I used sunscreen. Sheesh. I'm not entirely vapid.

If you're ever feeling blah, constantly battling one ailment or another, you must consider if you're suffering from Vitamin D deficiency. Seriously. The vast majority of us don't get nearly enough. Read up on it. This public service announcement has been brought to you by Kankakee's Number one pasty white girl.

And now, for your gratuitous cleavage shot:

Don't you judge me. When ya got it... ya got it.

PS. The book I am reading is by Clark Brooks and can be purchased in paperback and for Kindle at Amazon. A Ridiculously Inconsistent Treasury. Click the damn link and go buy the book.

Monday, June 17, 2013

You can lead a duck to water ...

Sunday, Father's Day, Mancub and I were returning home in the late afternoon. When making the turn for our block, I noticed a lone duckling quickly waddling from the church parking area making its way to the street.

STOP! Look! A duckie! I put the car in park and grabbed the phone to take this photo.

See the little feathered friend in the gravel?

Mancub hopped out of the car -- no one was coming from either direction -- because the duck vanished and we feared he'd gone under the car. Alas, he'd diverted to the front. Poor thing had to be bewildered. Mancub safely escorted the duck across the street to prevent an oncoming car from hitting it. At that point I had exited the car to take another photo.

Why did the duckling cross the road? He's center just within the shaded area.

Shortly after the above photo was taken the duckling took cover in the bushes at the neighbor's house. Mancub dashed in the house to use the bathroom while I kept watch. Oh, I had pulled into the driveway and parked our car. My son returned in a flash to find me across the street filming our new water fowl pal.

On the next block there is a pole barn like building. The duck walked half the length of the building before becoming befuddled. We didn't guide him up to this point. We just followed to ensure his safe journey to the river which is two blocks from my house.
When the duck came to what appeared to be a clearance between buildings he learned there was no passage way. It was then that I stepped closer which caused him to waddle in the right direction to get around the building.
This adventure lasted about 30 minutes. At one point the little fella grew tired or needing to get his bearings and he sat down at the base of a maple tree. This break occurred not more than 50 feet from the bank of the river. Never did his chirping subside. Mancub and I kept a far distance from him as not to interfere with his instincts. We followed.

It wasn't too long before he found cover in this thick  hedge. We no longer heard the chirping within moments .

That was the end of our duckling adventure. We only hope he found the family he'd been separated from when we met with him.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Pops, dad, papa, daddio

The approach of Father's Day always gets me thinking. For one, it makes me miss my own father very much (he died in '99). That was the same year I went through my divorce. We were 800 miles away from the nearest family and I had to go through it without my rock, my father. You can tell me he was and always has been with me in spirit but those are just empty words when all one truly needs is to have the presence in human form of the embodiment of unconditional love.

He wasn't a man of many words despite his articles in The Kankakee Journal's Voice of the People and other various publications. When it came to his kids, his thoughts were many, but his words profound and few.

Our relationship hadn't always been ideal. As a little girl, I was undoubtedly his baby. The last born of the brood he had with my mother, he seemed determined to do right by me. We had a special bond. Then, when my mother passed away in '81, it was quickly severed and we hit years of rough patches. No need to go into detail, but the relationship he and I had was almost withered to non-existent.

Eventually, he would meet and marry a spectacular woman who seemed to, in her own special way, manage to create a pathway for Dad and I (and the other kids) to rejoin. He was more approachable. His anger over losing his spouse of over 30 years had dissipated. My relationship with Harold L. Rapier became better than it had ever been. To know my father as an adult and speak with him in grown up tones was beyond compare.

Dad never minced words when advising me on my life choices, but never lost sight that, ultimately, they were my choices and he respected them. He said his peace and let it go. It couldn't be easy for him to allow me to screw up massively. While those errors must have been hard to witness and bite his tongue with the 'I told you so', he took that energy and converted it into rejoicing the triumphs with verve.

He loved my Mancub without bounds. He knew from the moment they met what unbelievable specialness my baby possessed. "He's an old soul, you know. He reminds me of your mother's uncle." Maybe so as Mancub would jibber jab with the rocking chair that was once my maternal grandfather's -- the brother of the uncle dad compared Mancub to. That chair was my nursing spot. Little man in infancy, would gurgle and coo as if looking at someone beyond my presence. When he learned to get around he'd go to that rocking chair and talk. Again, just babbling, but it seemed to have the cadence of a conversation. I simply accepted it and enjoyed the sound.

Mancub and I miss my dad greatly. What a blessing that little dude had at least 5 years to get to know Grandpa. He was, after all, the only one he knew. My son is 18 now, but those remarkable moments he and dad spent haven't been forgotten. He remembers being given Lion King 2 before we departed grandpa's house on a visit from Georgia. He recalls talking to him on the phone for the last time. Dad always called us on Sundays to get the weekly run down. We may have been separated geographically, but the connection of hearts made it feel we were in the same room.

It is no wonder that Mancub has elected to change his last name to my surname ... the last name of my father. He chooses to carry on my family name. I believe dad's heart would swell with great pride that his grandson would go through the legal rigamarole to have such an honorable last name.

Happy Father's Day, Dad. Mancub and I miss you every day.

Grandma Nancy, Mancub, uncle Aaron and Grandpa