Thursday, September 30, 2010

Bible dip, revisited

It's been one of those mornings already, and it's only 8:13 am. I woke up on time, but realized that I could not walk out the door without taking a shower. I push it sometimes, perhaps exiting the house a bit riper than I should, but there was no questioning it this morning. The shower put me back 10 minutes, getting my oldest out of bed put me back another 10.

My plan was to get to work early, as I have to leave early for two afternoon appointments. Exiting the house 20 minutes later than planned was a set back, but one I could perhaps at least partly make up on the drive into the office. About a mile into the drive the gas light went on. Gassing up put me back another 6.

I finally made it to my computer, at 7:49 instead of my planned 7:30, only to realize that Ellie's blog post from yesterday was still posted. Shit! Don't tell me that it's my day to post on MYE....

Oh, but it is.

So, with nary a witty idea in my head, I've decided to Bible dip. (The practice that Augusten Burroughs in "Running with Scissors" introduced me to, where you grab the bible, open to a random page, and blindly point to a word on the page that will give you some sort of direction.)

Seeing as I don't have a bible in the office (or at home, for that matter), I decided that the next best thing was to use the medical copyeditors' bible -- you guessed it -- Steadman's Medical Dictionary.

I ended up on page 891 with my finger on lobus, luckily one of the shorter words in the tome.

lo'bus, gen. and pl. (1); one of the subdivisions of an organ or other part, bounded by fissures, connective tissue, septa, or other structural demarcations.

Well, that can mean only thing -- motherhood.

I mean you are at first connected to your children, bound by that slimy umbilical cord, and that leaky old placenta.

Then the cord is cut, but the connective tissue remains. Your children are a living, breathing part of your heart, out there in the world, without you.

They tug on your heartstrings almost daily, mess with your mind incessantly, and  leave you wondering, as you drift off to sleep each night, how on earth they will ever survive when the structural demarcations fade with the passage of time.

Oh, my babies -- lobus 1, 2, and 3, we are forever bound by fissures and septa!

I guess my day's work is to ponder that.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sir Mix-A-Lot

My brother-in-law, Jacquie's husband Bill, is a genius mixed-tunes-CD-maker.

He's made us the most awesome CDs over the years, with music he picks up from, I don't know, just being a hip dude on the streets of San Diego. You know the type: a special-ed teacher with a wife and 2 kids? Yeah, that guy.

Anyway, the other day I put several CDs in the CD player (you think we're old school because we play CDs? Pfffft. We still spin vinyl) and I realized they were all Can-O-Beans' CDs.

And these are just the new ones: Female Mix CD 1 and 2, Various (19 Songs) and Untitled. Hey, give the guy a break. He got the call that his father-in-law died and to get on a plane that day. At least he had his priorities straight: he did not get on that plane without bringing his tunes-thirsty sisters-in-law some new music, even if he hadn't snappily titled them yet.

Because Mr. Can? He's a snappy title-er. Margarita Friday Mix? Every Friday that Mistah and I were in town was Margarita Friday. Drinking and dancing with the kids (I mean, dancing with the kids, and drinking) and oh the fun we had. And the CD? Awesome.

Concocting Pure Joy? That describes Mr. Can making Bloody Marys. Which he does oh so very well.

Marathon Mix? Self evident.

Happy Hour? Oh yes, And lots of 'em.

Can-O-Mix? Funny you should ask about his name. Mr. Can-O-Beans, or as I call him, Mr. Can. Or sometimes, just Can. I can't call him Mister, for obvious reasons.

Mr. Can is a teacher, and his last name is Kennedy. Mr. Kennedy. One day one of his students called to him, with no irony, "Um, Mr. Can-O-Beans?"

He told us about that one.

He perhaps regrets that forever.

We have an awesome library of Mr. Can mixed-tunes CDs. Folk/ Alternative Mix and Serenity Now!,  are a couple more. I heard from the grapevine he made a CD for MD and The Dowd -- Mixie-Poo -- that he, sadly, did not share with The Mistah and me. Oh, the inhumanity.

But hey. We have Jump Around and Simmer Down, and we have Acoustic Morning. Which may not, on the surface, seem like a good match, but believe me, is.

If there was nuclear annihilation and we lost all our CDs and all our vinyl and all our, gulp, cassette tapes, but we had the foresight to grab just our Mr. Can-O-Bean our Sir Mix-A-Lot mixed tunes CDs, we'd live happily every after, with a great sound track to accompany us.

If only we had Mixie-Poo.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

cutting through the clutter

One day I asked my mom to drop me off at a highway rest stop, and then a Peter Pan bus filled with people who were drinking and gambling picked me up and whisked me toward New York City.

But that’s not what this story is about.

This story is about what happened when I tried to cut through the clutter.

You see, the only problem with cracking your first of many beers on a bus to New York well before noon on a Sunday is that by the time the afternoon rolls around, you’re pretty much beered out.

This was the predicament I found myself in on the fateful day when I joined the Dutch Tavern’s sojourn to Citi Field in August. After enjoying a couple of cold ones on the bus and a couple more in the parking lot, the thought of another ballpark brew was immensely unappealing.

We had just done an investigatory exploration of the park, and I distinctly remembered seeing a vendor selling Mike’s hard lemonade…. somewhere. I assured Ellie and bill that I’d berightback, and I set off to find that vendor.

It was nowhere. Nowhere! I wandered about in a hops fueled fugue state, quietly pleading with the saints to direct me toward the sweet nirvana of spiked lemonade. After a few laps, I was beginning to imagine that this quest was futile. I dejectedly slowed my manic pace and tried to bravely lift my sad sack of self from the doldrums and head back to my peeps.

As I soldiered up from the depths of despair and set my sights on finding the way back, something caught my eye. Something slushy. Something slushy with a pineapple in it. Something slushy with a pineapple and a red cherry in it. Something slushy with a pineapple and a red cherry pierced through with an umbrella in it. Something slushy with a pineapple and a red cherry pierced through with an umbrella in it that said Bacardi on the side. <Cue angel choir>

I tackled politely approached the holder of this bounty and bowed before her with trembling acquiescence. “Please, ma’am” I stammered, “pray tell… is that a…a….” I could scarcely utter the words….”a PINA COLADA?!” She considered me, saw my plight, and had mercy. She offered the words of sage wisdom that would free me of my peril: “Yeah, there’s a rum stand over there.”

Oh, rapture! Joy! A rum stand!

Within moments I was the proud owner of my very own pina colada, icy and righteous and worth all twelve of my hard earned dollars. I clutched my prize lovingly and made my way back to our seats, stopping just briefly to use the ladies’ room on the way.

In the bathroom, I gingerly placed my sweet nectar of the gods atop the toilet paper roller while I undid my drawers. I gazed upon it as I did my bidniz, and then as I merrily stood to move on, I reached out to pick up my cup just as someone came into the stall next to mine and slammed her door shut.

What happened next is difficult to recall. In slow motion, my hand reached toward that condensating slippery vessel of love just as it began to teeter. An inhuman sound began to form in my lungs, forcing its way out into the heat of that day to become a primal command of “NNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!”


Oh, my beautiful baby. Reduced to a sticky puddle on the bathroom floor. I wept. Through my misery, I began to notice that the sounds I heard from those around me were not horrified admissions of guilt or pleas for forgiveness, they were angry voices. They were yelling! They were yelling at ME!

I stood there aghast, rum soaked and alone, trying to lick the few remaining drops of the drink from inside the cup while telling myself that it was okay, I probably didn’t need any more to drink anyway, and that one sip had been really refreshing.

The barbarians were upset that they’d been splashed by my $12 drink. I took as much time as I needed to construct a witty, wilting response that would allow them to see the error in their ways. It’s really too bad that by the time I was ready to come out, they were gone.

My cup was poised above the trash bin and I was ready to face the cold new world when I thought to pause. What would be the harm?

I shyly approached the Rum Cart guy like a Dickensonian orphan with my empty cup. "Please, sir...." I sheepishly implored: “Do you have any mercy for someone whose drink got knocked over in the bathroom by mean scary brutes?”

I believe his nametag read “Gabriel”, or it might have said Jesus. He grabbed my cup and said the most beautiful words ever spoken by a mere mortal……… “sure.”

And that is what this story is about.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Monday moaning: yet again

How is it that I end up feeling guilty and lazy after taking a weekend off of all responsibilities? I should feel relaxed and recharged, right?


I really think you have to go away to have that work out, or at least I do. It was a truly beautiful weekend this weekend, with yesterday's temps beating all sorts of historical records. Although that meant 105 degree  temps inland, it meant perfect beach weather on the coast. So I blew off yoga, I blew of writing an article that is overdue. I slept in both mornings, had both a breakfast and a dinner in bed, drank foo foo drinks, watched the Chargers game poolside, and went to bed at 9:30 pm on Saturday night and at 7:45 pm last night.

Okay, honestly, I no longer feel tired. But instead, I now feel like a self-loathing sloth!

Well, at least until I re-read the hours posted on the door of the office next door:

That's right! They work 3 days a week, and their long day is 5 hours. Their short day? A measly 3 hours. Plus every weekend is a 4 day weekend. (Why aren't those my summer hours?)

And summer? Even though we're finally getting some summer weather here in San Diego, it's not summer anymore -- it's fall. Get your lazy asses back to work!

Finally, and completely unrelated........ isn't it irritating ironic that my mother lugged my childhood books around with her from Maryland to Ohio, where they sat in various basements in each state, until she finally shipped them to me out here, where they have now resided in four different San Diego homes, and my child hates to read?!

I mean look at these classics:

"Are you there God it's Me Margaret?", The original "Ramona the Pest," and "Stuart Little," the old classics, printed long before they were made into Hollywood movies? "Blubber" and "Otherwise Know As Sheila the Great"?

Sigh. At least she has two younger sisters.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Weekend 3-way: photo project



and peace

Westy, love, and peace to all of you this fine weekend.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Fire Engine Guys

In the confusion of getting my Dad to the hospital in an ambulance the day before he died -- which by the way, was successful. He successfully got to the hospital and successfully got his levels back to normal and his self back to normal and everything was normal until all hell broke loose the next morning -- Jacquie, who called 911, and Julie, who ran down to the condo in, ahem, her bikini -- greeted our saviors and called them, in the heat of the moment, The Fire Engine Guys.

And the name stuck.

Oh, and Julie put on a dress.

Anyway. Last weekend, right here in New London, we got to fully bask in Fire Engine Guys love.

That's right, New London was not only host to a gigantic boat harbored in our city last weekend; New London was also host to the first-ever Connecticut State Fire Engine Guys Firefighters Association Parade.

The parade was led by Bridgeport Firefighters, who tragically lost a couple of brethren recently, then the honor guard, and then, naturally, Blumy.

Thousands and thousands -- and thousands and thousands -- of Fire Engine Guys paraded up (down?) Montauk Avenue, just a block from our house.

Mistah and I jumped on our bikes, chairs on our backs, and settled in to watch the festivities.

And oh, there were a lot of festivities.

The fire engines marched by for two-and-a-half hours.

That's a lot of Fire Engine Guys.

There were other distractions, of course. Our lovely neighbors were there, cheering on the troops . . .

. . . okay, they're not troops in the military sense, just troops in the lots-of-Fire Engine Guys sense.

We saw lots of drums and fifes and bagpipes . . .

. . . and lots of fire trucks.

Loads of fire trucks.

Millions of fire trucks.

Gazillions . . . you get the idea.

There was one high school marching band. Portland High. Where my great good friend Scott went to high school. Half-a-million PHS kids were marching so I asked a woman marching with them, "Isn't Portland High a small school?" "Yes," she said "the school has 500 kids, and 125 of them are in the band."

That's more than one in four.

And then? Well then there were more cool old shiny sparkly fire trucks . . .

. . . and cool shiny fife-and-drummers.

In the meantime, we kept waiting to spot our friend Mr. Dibble. He *is* a Lieutenant in one of Connecticut's biggest fire departments, after all. We waited and watched and watched and waited . . .

There he is! In his civvies? Harumph.

At least some guys feel the strong call of duty. Marching in a firefighters' parade in uniform.

The parade went on forever.

Really. Can you see how far back it goes? To Infinity. We didn't care, though. We sat back and soaked it all in.


And Gigi!

And then more shiny stuff went by . . .

. . . I love shiny stuff.

There were Clydesdales . . .

. . . and spectators taking photos . . .

. . . and spectators just being adorable.

There were weird-sounding towns . . .

. . . and lots of flowers . . .

. . . and, naturally, Dalmatians.

But these guys were the very best thing about the Parade.

Just look at these Fire Engine Guys.

Have you ever seen a banjo -- two! -- in a marching band?

Or a guy holding a stand-up bass like a guitar?? They sounded great, too: these guys were pure awesome.

I love a ladder truck that is a truck exclusively and entirely for ladders. Shiny, shellacked, oldie-time wooden ladders that must weigh a ton.

And still, the Parade continued . . .

'Mokey! You again!

I've never even heard of Lewiston, CT.

And finally, bringing up the rear, our very own, New London's finest.

At the end of the parade all the the Fire Engine Guys congregated at Ocean Beach to show off their giant erections, er, their giant ladders erected.

Thanks for the great day, Fire Engine Boys. Come back to New London any ol' time. And bring those giant ladders with you.