Friday, August 29, 2008



Based on my previous post, some of you are under the mistaken belief that I have abs. I used to have abs. As shortly as 1 year ago. Then I stopped doing my 400 cruches a day and got lazy and now I have flabby abs. To Go with my Flabby Butt. And my flabby thighs.

Things are getting pretty flabby around here. Thus my desire - my need - to join Mrs. G's Ass Project.

I will rediscover the Abs....

Enjoy your weekend folks. Mine started early with the Captain. And we're having a great time! BUFFET TOMORROW! YIPPEEE.....

Thursday, August 28, 2008

I Should Have Known...

There were sooooo many signs early on that my relationship with Ex was not quite right.

Like our first Valentine's day. He lived 300 miles away. I was in college. He had graduated. He would come up to see me every few weekends. In between we wrote letters Snail mail kinds.

And we talked on the phone when we could afford it. He was 5 years older and had a job.

So Valentine's was coming and he was coming up for a school dance. I was so excited. I spent weeks shopping for him. I was a pretty poor college student - I had to come up with my own spending money, which meant long summers and winter breaks working and saving and no spring break trips and waiting impatiently for that tax check to tide me over til summer again....

And I came up with a "theme" present - a present for every part of the day to remind him of me throughout the day. A coffee mug with "I love you" hearts on it - a big mug - for breakfast. A "good" pen (Cross pen - quite the extravagance in those days) for him to take to work, a Fairfield Key chain engraved with his initials for starting the car or locking/unlocking the house. A Fairfield sweatshirt to keep him warm as he did outside chores. And a personalized pillow case I found at a kiosk in the mall (I am so un-crafty and so un-artsy it is sad) painted with a sail boat (his favorite) and a scripted note on it "Sweet Dreams Ken, Love ME" I thought it was kind of a clever idea and was excited to give it to him.

He was totally non-plussed. To put it mildly.

He already had a pen. Why would he wear a Fairfield sweatshirt when he went to Va Tech? The keychain was too big and hit his knee when he drove. The pillow case was scratchy. He missed the entire theme.

I should have known - right then and there - that we would never really "get" each other......
Instead, I felt stupid and insignificant for thinking that such a dumb idea would appeal to a smart, talented, businessman. Sigh.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Ass Project Failure - or at least very false start...

1 week has passed since I VOWED to become a better participant in the ASS PROJECT. But I am still eating too much. I did cut down the drinking significantly (please ignore that wine glass on my left). I didn't do situps every day. I didn't even exercise every day.

Mid week (weeks starting on Wednesday means Saturday is midweek) I got inspired by Son. He's joined cross country. Which is perplexing b/c he HATES to run. Something about staying in shape for Rugby. I think it's peer pressure. Love it. Anyway, we went up to CT to see my family, and he wanted to "do a 5 mile circuit."

Whoa boy. I haven't run in 8 weeks since I wiped out my knee playing soccer. OK OK the Dr said I should be good to go by now. But let me put aside my hot fudge sundae, and I'll strap on those sneakers....

I woke up early Saturday morning and thought he would forget. But he was at my side by 930 a.m. (crack-o-dawn in teenagerland) bugging me to run. OK OK I strapped on the sneakers and prepared to run.

But wait. What's this? Son says we can't just run, we have to stretch first! Along comes Daughter, who shouts, "I declare myself Ruler of Stretching Exercises! I am Captain of the Soccer team after all!" So she makes us warm up properly.

So I get ready to run - but WAIT. What's THIS? Something about pushups and crunches and "PLANKS"

Son says before we run we have to do the exercise circuit - pushups and crunches (he is amazed at my ability to crush on those crunches) and PLANKS. Something about balancing yourself on your side and pushing up off the ground with just your 1 arm and your toes. Again, I do have abs so I could do that one.


We took off for my favorite 5 mile circuit - but after 1/2 mile my knee was screaming. After 1 mile I thought I was going to have to do the unmentionable and walk....

After 1.5 miles I was lovin' it.

Then 2 miles.

Then up the big hills while Son walked - 3 miles.

4 miles and Son announces, "I GOTTA POOP." We were still at least a 1/2 mile from home. I got him to a point where he knew where he was and he took off. I laughed to myself. He'll learn....

Anyway, I was excited about Saturday. I did almost 5 miles. And it felt good! So of course I would run again this week, right?


Maybe once?

Just a little?

Um nope. Here it is Wednesday again and I am sitting on my ASS. Isn't that what ASS PROJECT is all about? Sitting on your ass? NO? I'm supposed to be minimizing that baby?

OK OK. Maybe next week.

Because this week the Captain is in town - I did tell him to bring his sneakers so we could walk a lot. But we're going to Buffett on Saturday. that means Rum. Rhum. Lots of Rhum.

Sigh. I'm going to have this big ass forever....

Monday, August 25, 2008

"Caffeine Intoxication"

Now I've heard everything. But sadly, it might make sense.

A few days/weeks ago I blogged about my Sleepless Nights. And my supposed "hot flashes" at the ripe old age of 41. And I began to wonder if there wasn't something else going on. I've had a few twinges here and there, my female parts aren't acting properly. So I wondered.

I took a long on-line poll of my health "issues." And the on-line diagnosis? "Caffeine Intoxication." It's a case of "DUH it's been staring you right in the face!!" Yes, I wake up at 5 or 6 am and go straight to the fridge for a diet coke. I don't drink coffee.

By the time I'm walking out the door an hour or so later, I'm on #2.

Hit the office and I'm at the machine for #3. It's about 830 a.m.....

Lunch is #4 (or #5..depends...)

2pm is #5.

4pm is #6. Usually I stop there. But sometimes, lately, I've been working until 10 or 11 pm and I'm on number 7 or 8 by 9pm.

But even when I quit at #6 or around 3pm, I still have all these "symptoms."

Well DUH again.

So I am trying to wean myself and hoping that the "hot flashes" and some of the other "stuff" will go away in a couple weeks.

I still wake up to a diet coke. But I drive to work with water. I have water for a midmorning snack. Diet coke with lunch and try to quit there.

Oh except for today when I drove to the kids' school THREE TIMES (30 minutes each way) for PSAT prep classes, soccer practice and cross country practice, then to the Dr for Son's physical, then to Subway for dinner, then to Office Depot for school supplies. 12 hours later I am home. I drank a lot of diet coke on the road today....

On the bright side, I haven't gotten hooked on THIS STUFF!!

Have you heard the story about Red Bull giving college kids the risk of blood clots and heart disease? Crazy. Click on the link for the story. Suffice it to say, I won't be drinking any Red Bull. Ever.

Now if I could just dump the Diet Coke habit, all might be well....


DATE: 1970's
PLACE: Grandma & Pop's backyard, Pennsylvania
PRESENT: Siblings and cousins and a few brave neighors sometimes

Once or twice a year, mom would pile me and whatever siblings were available and drive us 10 long, tedious hours to my Grandparents' house near Pittsburgh. We started out with gusto, singing the "Pennsylvania Song" when we hit the border, but quickly peetered out when we realized we still had another 8 hours to go - PA is a loooong state when approached from the northeast.

But the trip was always worth it. Endless bottles - real bottles - of Coke awaited us in Pop's basement fridge. A little circa 1960's thing that was reserved pretty much for Coke bottles. Awesome. Oh and Dilly Bars from the DQ.

If we were lucky, our ohio cousins were visiting at the same time. JO, my age (ok ok 3 weeks younger) and Carol, my bro Flash's age (ok ok a year younger) would play hours and hours of millbourne as we got older and were the only 4 kids around. Jo is the youngest of 5 in her family, conveniently matched up in years with the 5 kids in my family and yep, I'm the youngest.

We had 2 cousins in PA, brother sister, but usually Jimmy was the only one playing. He matched my bro Flash in age.

But better than millbourne, better than a race down to Teckla's for penny candy that would rot our teeth (and God help you if you bought anything GRAPE. Grandma hated the smell of GRAPE!), the best was Hit The Bat. Get the bat, the wiffle ball, and out back we'd go.

It's a simple game, really. You pitch to yourself, hit the ball, while the rest of the kids scramble to get it. If they catch it they're up and you're out, back to the field. if they don't catch it, they have to roll/throw it at the bat that you've placed on the ground. if they Hit The Bat, they're up, and you're back to the field. OH but if it bounces up off the bat and you catch it? You're safe and still up.

Simple game, right? Sounds almost boring? But for some reason it wasn't. we'd play for hours. Trying to hit it over the row of hedges and maybe even into the next yard where you had to "sneak" over or the people would yell at you, and the batter thought that was hilarious. Hitting it so far the fielders called "relay!" and go to throw it to a partner who would hit the bat for you. And then there were the Pop Flys that somehow went backwards so that someone had to go out the secret door to Pop's bedroom and get up on the flat roof to retrieve the ball. That was the coolest. "OH but Grandma we have to go up there - we won't fall don't worry!" (Telling Grandma not to worry was like telling the Pope not to pray).

Simple games in simple times. And age didn't really matter - even when I was five and my brother TJ 16, we could all still play together.

And what jogs this memory in my mind? This past weekend I went up to CT for my nieces' 11th birthday and my sister K's "Annual" party. This year we had Special Guests. WildJim (aunt and Uncle) made the trip and are spending time with my mom and dad. Saturday afternoon, we grabbed the bat and ball and started up a game. We meaning yes Me. And my sisters. And the Aunt half of WildJim. So what if she's in her 60's! Oh we did let my kids play, too. For a little while. there was the shrieking, the giggles, the "RELAYS" and the shoving each other out of the way to get to the ball. Did I forget to tell you that Hit the Bat is a contact sport??

Thanks K and J and Wildjim for bringing back great memories!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Wednesday's Ass Project Update

Mrs. G had a great idea - take a shot of her ass, blog it and encourage us all to get down with her and get rid of these jiggly butts. And "Ass Project 08" was born (see the button on my side bar)

of course I lack the nerve to take a photo of my butt in granny pants. But that's why Mrs. G. rocks so hard.

And since Ass project '08 started and I vowed to get back to my exercise and all? How have I been doing? well....

I have rediscovered Hot Fudge Sundaes and gained another couple pounds. I don't think this is what Mrs. G had in mind.....

I did make a photo copy for Friend (sorry) Captain Rainman of my Ab Lounger workout book b/c he didn't have the book but had the lounger. We were going to encourage each other from 1000 miles away to get toned between meet-ups! He's doing treadmills and pushups and situps. And I'm eating Ice Cream. Hmmmmm.

OK SO TODAY I will really really really dive into the Ass Project. I can't let Mrs. G down! Or the Captain! By Next Wednesday when Captain Rainman Returns to my world to join me at BUFFETT (see countdown clock in sidebar) there WILL. BE. PROGRESS!!

Maybe I'll even take a photo...

VOTE! for my bloggy friend

Click on the link and VOTE !!! for photo # 13

- Just Jamie is a mom of boy/girl Twins (yeah we like that around here) who is a great mom and starting a new job and apparently has photo talents, too! So go vote for #13. She needs LOTS of votes people! (There are, admittedly, lots of great photos from which to choose. But Jamie Asked First!)

The Man Outside My Window

Lately I've been working a lot. Especially when I don't have the kids. I'm playing catch up from a veeerrrrrry sloooowwww beginning of the year (I have an annual billable quota that I'll never make this year, first time ever. But I'm doing my best to show them I'm trying to catch up).

I like being here early in the morning. It's quiet. I'm wide awake. No phones ring. No people making loud noises in the hall. No one is here for me to wander around and get distracted by as I stop in their office for gossip. (I admit it - I'm bad about that).

I used to like being here at night for the same reasons: quiet, no phones, nose down and work. Except for the wide awake part that I enjoy in the mornings - at night I get sleepy. But still, very productive time here at night.

Until last week. Now I am either going to 1) jump out my window [darn it doesn't open] 2) call 911 and report insanity-torture in the streets or 3) drop bocce balls off the roof on the MAN DOWN ON THE SIDEWALK WHO BANGS ON THE #$*^(!*& BARRELS FOR HOURS ON END. Over and Over and Over and Over and Over and Over. same noise. Overturned Home Depot containers. Bangy-bangy-bangdetty bang bang. etc.

I used to feel a little badly for the "street musicians." And I usually give them money when I walk by. But the DRUMMER???!!!! Every night. (today he started at noon!!) Over and Over. And Over and Over. I do NOT give him money. I want to go stand in front of him and yell, "DO NOT ENCOURAGE THIS MAN!!!" He has tremendous staying power. BossMan says Drummer Boy must be on drugs to have that much non-stop annoying energy.

So why don't I just go home and work? Because I will get distracted there (Olympics, laundry, photos, blogging, wine, peeping out my windows at the neighbor) and I won't get this FRICKIN BRIEF DONE that I really wanted to finish yesterday BUT I CAN'T CONCENTRATE WITH THE DAMNED FRICKIN' DRUMS!!

I keep thinking that eventually I'll tune him out, but NOPE he's still there. And I'm not one of those people who can put on background music and work. I am so A.D.D. Ugh.

So I will try for another hour to write with the incessant banging in the background.


Monday, August 18, 2008

Atlantic City Never Looked So Good

DATE: 8-8-08
PLACE: Atlantic City

It was the annual Sistah Act Tour 2008. There was mayhem and gnashing of jaws prior to the big departure, but alas we all arrived in Casino Town safely.

First stop - THE BEACH. Oh I thought we'd never get there. 3 sisters, much luggage, a 2nd rate hotel = herding cats. The water was cold, the beach a bit shelly, but the sun shined brightly and I HAD MY SISTERS!

(This is us Saturday night - see below)

Friday night called for some gambling. I hate gambling. I don't understand the slots and I'm too cheap to play craps, which is the game I love and understand. So I followed my sisters to the slots where I dumped in $10, promptly lost with no idea why, then dumped in $5. And this is what I got:

Yep. 2 cents.

gone are the days of hearing the lovely coins drop down in the bin. Now you get a ticket to cash in. Nope, I didn't bother to cash in this one!

Day 2, more beach. 5 glorious hours of beach. With a little stop to the deli counter/24 hour liquor store. Some Captain Morgan in our cokes and we enjoyed our book, watching the funny people, laughed at ourselves and generally had a good time.People watching is great in Atlantic City (or any city).

This photo speaks for itself (oh yes, me and my silly cell phone camera, we were at it again. I am a little bit crazy I guess....)

Off to the outlets for some shopping. How many pairs of flip flops can one girl buy? As many as needed...and oh I needed.

um, I mean, I needed the flip - flops. So I bought a couple pair. Really. That's all I did.

Saturday night I learned how to play slots - We Three Sisters Played simultaneously. Kind of like playing basketball-"PIG" but with the slot machine: "You have to Push the button with the left index finger," or "You have to use the right pinky," or, a few drinks in...."You have to push it with your nose," and then, to test how many drinks we had and still had coordination... "You have to pull the lever with your right foot" (see photo above of sisters). Good thing I was wearing flip flops.....

Where to go in 2009? Only Time Will Tell....

PS I didn't get the tattoo. ...and it's finally out of my system. I don't even want one. Hear that? It's my mom breathing a sigh of relief and thanking God.

Friday, August 15, 2008


Lately, this is me...

No NO No, not Tom Hanks. Just someone who wanders around the house at night. I don't think it has anything to do with the Divorce. I certainly don't miss him nor do I fantasize about getting back together (that would be a NIGHTMARE not a fantasy, people). But lately, I just cannot sleep.

Let's see, there's the HOT FLASHES...

And there's the work stress...

And sometimes, I think I'm just getting old.

But I wake up in the middle of the night, freaking out because of the very long to do list.

I never used to be like this. I LIKE sleep. Really. I do. But lately? I just wander the halls, wondering.... Am I becoming my mother? I love her to death and there are many ways I wish I could be more like her. But the whole sleepless thing? Nah, she can keep that one all to her self, really...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

My Daughter and the Olympics

So we're watching the Olympics (DUH who isn't? And if you aren't, WHY NOT?!)
And we're yelling our heads off for the American swimmers. Who are breaking world records left and right.

And in the race we're watching, the first and second place finishers break the old world record.

The commentators say how the first place finisher (I think it was Michael Phelps - probably) had the new world record.

And Daughter says, "How come they both don't have a new world record?"

wait for it....wait for it.

Son and Mom trying not to giggle too loudly...

Wait for it....

"OHHHHHHHHHHHHH, Forget I said that."

Remember, she's nearly 16 years old....

Monday, August 11, 2008


I have had a little trouble focusing at work lately, despite mountains of work (finally - lots of billable work) to do. I think life and challenges and summer and anniversaries etc just made it too hard. So last week I put together a list of all the work items I can and must accomplish over the next three weeks, accounting for deadlines and home-stuff and a day off here and there to visit with Sisters and Friends. I even calculated approximately how much time I think I'll have to bill to each project to get it done. (This is my world, people, my daily life is billed in 6 minute increments. Really. Not kidding).

I had a FAB weekend as the 2nd Annual Sister Act Tour hit Atlantic city (translation: my sisters and I met there for a weekend. 8-8-08 had to be great! Last year we did NYC). Perfect sunny weather, great fun. Yes will blog more when I get digital camera died, so I'm countin' on the Sistahs. It took me 5.75 hours to get home, instead of 3.3 because of a mere hailstorm and tornado. I waited them out at a local pizza joint, ate some stromboli and watched Olympic badmitton and finished my book (yep, trashy strikes again). But I wasn't really in a hurry to get home, so that was ok. For once no deadlines there.

I get home with time to spare - time to clean up my whirlwind messes from last week's working marathon, put out the kids' new towels, make the place all nice and clean smelling for their arrival that evening, weed out the damned plant boxes up on the catwalk (see header photo - those pink boxes are hell and I'm never doing them again...yet another postfor another day), and I decide to unpack and do some laundry. This is huge for me; I like to put off the laundry. But something was telling me..."Go to the basement." And as I descended the steps, I thought, "Gee the basement seems damp and hot for a basement with a dehumidifier running......."

And I went into the laundry room - to see water on the floor. And hear water leaking out of my fairly new hot water heater..... first I cried. Yep. Just cried. The water heater is wedged up against the dryer (the dryer I hate that Ex picked out and installed a couple years ago - just after the water heater) which is wedged up against the old, ginormous side-by-side fridge that I hate being in the basement and loved being in the garage but got overruled by Ex last year so 5 boys hauled it down the stairs, giving my son a hyneria in the process and how it's there forever and I hate it, which is wedged up against the furnace.

Can I move the dryer away from the water heater to figure out what the hell is leaking? NOOOO. the washer is in the way at a 90 degree angle.

I cry some more. Lest you think I'm all "Wonder Woman" - nope after the long trip and weekend of no sleep, and admitting some honest personal decision flaws in my life to myself on that long, solitary drive, I'm pretty much tapped out.

Friend calls, I cry to him but only for 3 seconds because my cell doesn't get good reception in the basement.

Then I brainstorm and remember Son is home alone next door and make an emergency call to Mr. Son the Man (no longer crying). Some might think this twisted, but he really loves being the Man around here and knows I will listen to his advice (I heard through a secret source that Ex doesn't give him much credit in the problem-solving arena. I hope that will change. He's really his Father's and Grandfathers' kid in that area). We empty the fridge, move it a little, after moving the old metal "closet" with rags in it, move out the dryer, find the shut off lever for the water heater, but only after Son SHOVES the sink next to the washer before I can say DON'T so he disconnects the pipe that drains the sink and I have that mess to figure out, too.

And now I'm wondering why this fairly new water heater is leaking? and yelling inside my head, "I HATE THIS HOUSE I HATE THIS HOUSE I HATE THIS HOUSE."

And thinking this is what I get for "taking" the house and "making" Ex move out. OK So not true but at the moment I was wishing I were in a beachside condo in Florida already....

Drag my sorry butt up 2 flights of stairs for the 15 millionth time to the office to find the hot water heater paperwork. Yes it's under warranty but all that fine print about getting approval ahead of time. On a sunday night when the hotline is closed, uh-huh.

And I'm looking at the water heater and thinking the top of it looks a little funky. did it explode? Did the pressure valve not release? Or is that gunk up there normal? And I know that Ex would know by looking at it for 15 seconds.

So I make the call. Which he doesn't answer. Surprise surprise...

But eventually I talk to him and he agrees to come over and look. I tell him I don't want him to fix it or anything - just want him to look and see if the top is "normal" or not. "Because, you know, you installed it."

He arrives - and walks past the 2 dozen pink roses on the foyer table next to the Card my parents gave me - and does a double take. I let him.

As he walks down the basement stairs he comments, "You need the dehumidifier on down here" and I tell him, "I just shut it off when I discovered the leak" Pompous ass. like I don't know it's damp and humid in the basement? Duh.

And he is baffled by the sight. First thinks the pressure valve didn't release. then thinks it did. Then says nope it's just lime buildup. And the tank shouldn't leak. (Um no duh - I kind of figured that but then why is there a steady stream of water dripping out of the bottom? Oh yes I did get my sorry butt flat on the disgusting basement floor and shine a flashlight under there and slide a paper plate under there to catch the drips. i know it shouldn't be leaking but it is). So he tells me to call someone. Duh.

Check. I had already called a local hot water heater hotline. Have they called me back? Nope.

So here I sit on Monday morning, unable to take a shower to wash the beach grime out of my hair, waiting for a call to repair my hot water heater. Wondering why I left all that work sitting on my desk at the office and didn't bring it home.....blasting my carefully planned life all to hell and back.

PS Edited to add: happy to report that indeed old friend Brian, who has maintained the heating and air conditioning in our houses for 20 years, was able to drop everything and come out. Home Depot/GE honored our warranty and gave Brian a brand-spanking new heater with no fuss, well except that he had to drag the old one out there. $633 later, I have a new hot water heater, my furnace has been inspected, my air filters changed, and I feel better about everything. I must learn not to panic and to know that with a little time and money, all will be well....
thanks for the support out there bloggers!!

Now back to work for me...

Friday, August 8, 2008

The Last Time I was Me

I love to read. I read too muchtrash. I read literature. I read when forced by well-meaning but annoying people non-fiction. I almost always read things that fall into my lap because I'm too lazy too busy to get this done myself. Recently I have been blessed with great finds.

A co-worker gave me the famous EAT PRAY LOVE, and told me I had to read it in a "you need this because you are going off the deep end" kind of way. Of course I was clueless to its fame before receiving it. After reading that I decided I was going to become a convert to meditation. When I have time. Uh-huh.

My assistant and I often trade books. She generally takes more time in searching and has much better taste that I do with my bent towards mindless sexy trash. Last week I had just finished another book she gave me -

And she had raved about it. We had both read Santos' other book, Love Walked In

Now Love Walked In was awesome. Made me laugh. Made me cry. A lot. But I loved it even if it gave me bloodshot, puffy eyes. So I was excited, in a self-inflicted pain kind of way, about Belong to Me. Sadly, her second book didn't move me like the first. My assistant was a little miffed that I didn't love Belong to Me.

So when My assistant handed me this:

I was a bit skeptical. Plus I don't have time to read much right now. I am ridiculously busy at work. It took me a while to read Belong to Me. And I had a painting project scheduled with the kids for the weekend. And, get this - she tells me it's a library book and she only has a week left on it! OK so I'm supposed to take it home and read a little bit and decide if I like it then try to find it elsewhere if I do. HA. sometimes my assistant is too funny for words.

It takes me 3 days to remember to take it home. I innocently picked up the book while waiting for Daughter's summer soccer something or other. And I'm hooked. Over the Painting Weekend I mysteriously disappear for hours on end short periods of time where I read a chapter or two. I stay up nearly all night reading. I am laughing out loud. Crying a lot. Living in the book. I expect to look out my window and see the river flowing. I want to Bash "Slick Dick's" head in. I feel the drama, the sadness, the happiness, the hope. Wow. I haven't been this hooked on a book in a long time.

SO I return to work Monday with the book and put it on my assistant's desk. She comes in to my office, where I have my back to her and am working on my computer, and she shakily says, shocked, "Did you hate it? Why did you give it back?"

I turned around and smiled, "That was the singular best book I have read in a long, long time. I finished it. Thanks for giving me a great weekend."

Um, so yeah, I recommend the book. Just make sure you have blocked out time because you might not be able to put it down. And be prepared for the emotional roller coaster.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

It Was Twenty Years Ago Today

I debated about posting this, but heck. It's my bloggy I can cry if I want to, cry if I want to, cry if I want to...

Well, actually, I'm not crying. But it is sad.

A while back some bloggers participated in reminiscing about their wedding days. There were funny stories, some great photos, and touching moments of love that lasted. It's no secret out there that ours (the marriage, the love - if there ever was any) didn't last. And one of the things that pisses me off about that? I had a GREAT wedding. Perfect. Truly. Yep it was August 6, 1988. Twenty Years Ago today.

These are my awesome parents who threw us the most perfect day. I was mom's 4th wedding, so she was pretty experienced by the time it was my turn. Thank GOD! I don't remember fighting about anything. She got a little upset at the price of the dress, but it was actually the deal of the century. Turned out to be a verrrry popular dress - they attended 3 weddings that year, including mine, where the bride had chosen this exact dress (including my future sister-in-law and oh that's a story all by itself....what a near disaster). She was so cool about everything - knew when to book what how and when. I just went along saying, 'Ok, OK" I had a few demands: the cake needed to have whipped cream icing, even in 100 degrees I didn't care. (I never did get a piece of that damned cake, except for the one we shoved in each other's faces). The bridesmaid dresses had to be blue, but I let them choose from about 20 dresses I had pulled out. (they still looked like ridiculous bridesmaids. Sorry sisters. And no I don't have a photo scanned and I have long since forgotten how to use my scanner....). I'm sure my Mom would remember more things I was picky about. But other than the dress, the cake and the blue, I don't remember much. She was da' bomb. (still is!)

The wedding coordinator called us "The Perfect Match." The Catholic church let us off the marriage encounter weekend in part because we scored near perfectly on the "compatibility test." i.e. we answered almost every question identically. After the reception and for a time after, The Country Club referred to our party as the "Smith-Jones Blowout" [duh names changed here to protect the innocent - and the guilty....]

I was so happy. And so young. I remember the photographer trying to take a "serious" photo - one where I was contemplating life and looking out the window. I couldn't do it. The smile just wouldn't leave my face.

Sunny day - a little hot, but I like hot. Aunts and Uncles from far away came to join us, along with some awesome cousins. I had tables of college friends. Ex's college friends and his family made the 350+ mile drive to come to my hometown for the wedding. [back in the day people didn't have "location" weddings. You got married where you lived. Or at least my family did]

We did the big-ass church wedding. I opted for my oldest brother's church across town b/c it was 100 years old and completely spectacular. Plus Father Gene was so cool. He let me play "here comes the bride" even though most Catholic churchs say no - b/c Ex wasn't Catholic and I told him music was important to his religion. I lied to a Priest, That was a stretch, but hey I got to play it. Yes, we got to play "contemporary" Christian music, too. My other musical brother did all the singing. Ave Maria (he kills me with that one - and sang a few other weddings after mine when the folks heard him!), the Wedding Song, and of course he wrote me a song that makes me cry every time I hear it, which, gee, just thinking of it now I'm blubbering like an idiot. "All Grown Up and Movin' away. You're not the little girl of yesterday...."

After the church we went on to the reception where it turned into a "guests vs. bridal party" show down. It started with the First Dance: The band played "Weekend in New England" (I lived there, he drove up on weekends from mid-atlantic to see me....) and while we danced, they made a circle and were doing funny head bobbing and swaying in the background. Funny. (I didn't know until I saw the video my brother-in-law did for us). It turned into war. The guests sang a song and did a routine, the bridal party sang a song a did a routine. We danced, we hooted, we (much to the mortification of my Mother who was trying to show the new Southern In-laws that we were all proper-like) danced on the tables and did the worm. Oh yes we did.

Then they decorated our car with so much stuff and put dried beans and fake spiders in all our luggage and rice everywhere and we drove off to the perfect first night. Then we got up and went off on the perfect honeymoon.

The name "Reggae" for the dog in the Memory Monday below? Because we won a Reggae dance contest on our honeymoon - we were the King n Queen mon - and we got the dog right after returning from our honeymoon.

Really, we did.

And when the girls in the office this summer were all talking about their weddings - seems to be have a wedding summer here - I remembered my wedding day. It was so perfect. SO Fun. And it pisses me off. Maybe some day I will remember this day without being mad.

Until then, I went out and bought myself 2 dozen pink roses, which I ended up getting free when the grocery lady rang up the wrong price (store policy means I got them free). And my parents sent me the most thoughtful, caring card because they are just like that. And I'm going out tonight with a client who happens to be in town and he happens to be one of the most outrageously funny guys (very happily married - I'm pretty sure, from the photos and the stories, I'd like his wife even better than I like him if I could meet her) so I know we will have a great time. And this morning when I was watering my new front lawn that I planted all by myself and Ex drove by with his windows down and pretended not to see me even though I waved and said Hi and all that, I just shook my head. And was glad that even though it was a perfect day for the 'perfect couple' 20 years ago, I know that today I am where I should be...

Monday, August 4, 2008

Reggae at the Helm

Memory Monday:

DATE: Spring 1995
PLACE: Spain ("home" at the time)
PRESENT: Dad (Now "Ex") Daughter (age 2.5) Son (age 2.5) Mom
SETTING: In our apartment, listening to a raging thunderstorm

Hold on to your hats people, this is a "Postive" Ex Story! Yeah, they do happen...

Lately, at work and at the blog, there's lots of talk about small children and their fascination with death as well as their fears in general. Our Memory Monday scene combines the two and lives large in my memory as a creative way to deal with both.

When we moved to Spain in January 1995, the kids were barely 2, we had a large, yellow lab "Reggae" in tow, and we lived on the 4th floor in an apartment in the middle of nowhere, Spain. Really: we lived far west of Madrid in the desert in a tiny town. Shortly after we moved in, we needed to take a day trip to Madrid to shop for house stuff (we didn't bring nearly enough and most of what we brought we didn't need and most of what we stored in USA we needed. Sheeesh). What to do with Reggae? She hadn't learned the art of peeing on the street like most dogs, and despite living in the desert, there wasn't a good place (aka grass, park, something) for her to "go." Ex came home frustrated with a dog who wouldn't "go," and it was time to get on the road. So we left her on the balcony for the day where if she had an accident, she'd be safe from ruining the marble floors.

About 10 minutes before we got back from Madrid, there were fireworks in town - Mardi Gras or something. Reggae's biggest fear? Fireworks. In her attempt to escape the fireworks, she leaped over the balcony wall to her death. (The wall was solid and she had no idea where she was). We came home to a crowd in the square below our apartment, where Reggae lay twitching. Yeah, it was awful.

Fast forward a couple months. The kids are still asking for Reggae (we had her when they were born, and she was their gentle jungle gym, their step stool, their blanket, everything). A thunderstorm is shaking the apartment building. The kids are crying and upset. Screaming about the Storm. Screaming about Reggae. And Ex says, "Your silly Dog is up in Heaven, sitting next to Jesus, playing with the controls! She's pushing all the buttons and making all that loud thunder. [crack of thunder]. Now watch - she's going to push the lightening button!" [FLASH goes the lightning]. And lo and behold, the kids stop crying. Now they're waiting for the thunder! CRACK and what follows? No tears, GIGGLES! "Oh Reggae you are so silly!" Daughter shouted out the window up to the sky. We sat by the window and enjoyed the storm, telling stories of how much fun Reggae was and how much fun she was having up in heaven with Jesus, "Pushing the buttons."

To this day when it storms, we laugh about Reggae, up in Heaven. Pushing the buttons.

Oh that all the problems could be solved so quickly.

You cut your toe you say?

Periodically, I have read posts on other blogs about "how people found my site" and the funny google searches that got them to your site.

Up until today I haven't really had anything funny. Most of them, not surprisingly, have to do with "ex-es" as in their birthday or some such thing. Nothing really hilarious. Oh and yeah the Boob post will bring up the occasional search.

Today someone found me with this, "I cut my toe on the side door how do I keep it clean."

I don't have a fancy site meter, so I don't know which post got caught in that search. I'm almost afraid to ask.

I hope whoever it was found the medical advice they need. Somewhere else. And perhaps at least got amused along the way!

Yes yes I know it's Memory Monday - that post will come later today. Or late tonight. for now, I just had to share!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Quick Post Friday

Yes my Children are blond....

Daughter: If you're not supposed to give puppies and kittens milk, does the mother's nipples have water in them?

Son: Let's go to the "God-ih-va" chocolate shop up there...
ME: Huh?
Son: God-ih-va (pointing).
ME: OH you mea-'Ga-DIVE-Ah"? (Godiva)
Please people -he's 15....and driving...and knows the name..