Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Wondering About Wondercat

There are a lot of things I have been wondering/worrying about lately. I will spare you the details of every little thing and just tell you that, for right now, the thing I am most wondering/worrying about is...my cat.

The Wondercat is getting on in years and I have noticed some changes in him recently. He used to greet me at the door every day when I came home from work and these days I am lucky if he even decides to greet me at all. He used to climb up into my lap and snuggle for hours. These days he can usually be found sleeping under our bedroom armoire. It would take a disaster of epic proportions to get that cat to move from his little hiding place.

Wondercat is not what you would call a small-framed cat. He is a giant cat and his favorite activity, hands down, is eating. He would probably eat constantly if we let him. We used to let him graze all day long and once he reached a size so large that the vet started giving us dirty looks whenever we arrived for a check-up, we decided to put him on a diet. Now, Wondercat is on a restricted diet and he does not like it at all. The first few weeks of the diet were a struggle. He would beg and beg for additional food and I felt like the worst cat parent ever. Then, he seemed to become accustomed to the smaller portions and he figured out when the next meal was coming. But now? Sometimes he will not even come to his dish when we whistle for him. The whistle used to make Wondercat hop to attention and he would tear into the kitchen at lightning speed. These days he will mosey in whenever he feels like it and sometimes does not even eat everything that is in his bowl. Most troubling.

So, I worry about Wondercat. Is this behavior just old age or is there something else going on here? My guess is that he is just doing this to mess with me. He knows that when I feel guilty, it means extra treats for him. Sly little cat indeed.

Monday, September 29, 2008

I wonder what I’m going to do about ­­­­­­­­___________?

I’m tryin’, ya’ll. I’m trying to be perky and cutesy and happy and normal. I’m trying to write I Wonders and my own blog and emails and long overdue thank you cards for my birthday presents, trying to call friends and interact with my husband and snuggle my baby and walk my dog. I’m trying to live my daily life, but everything is done in the shadow of a great fear.

No, it’s not the poorness, though that makes my heart beat faster daily as I watch our credit card balance rise like a phoenix from the ashes of the bonfire I lit less than a year ago, the bonfire which was supposed to burn up the credit card monkey on my back for good. (Ya’ll, I spend 6% of my yearly gross salary on GAS TO DRIVE TO WORK, ok? This is not cute new boots on this credit card. This is not sexy eyeliner or fun trips to the beach. This is gas, and food, and car repairs, and that beeyotch is still climbing to the sky quicker than I can say GAWDDAMM.)

No, it’s not the job, though that is the tiger eating out my liver as I eternally shoulder a rock up a hill at the top of which are just-out-of-reach grapes that brush against my thirsting lips, or some other such torturous Greek mythic metaphor.

No, it’s not the prospect of Sarah Barracuda as my Vice President, though that makes me a little bit sick to my stomach. Both for me and for her.

Folks. I DO NOT KNOW what I am going to do about my Netflix lineup.

We’ve finished Seinfeld. We’re coming to the end of Northern Exposure – which, incidentally, does not affect my views on our Alaska governor because, yo, it’s a t.v. show, but it does make me a little more excited about winter for some odd reason. Anyhoo, I’ve got so many choices for our next series. Do we go with Weeds? Six Feet Under? The Sopranos? Do I strike out solo with Gray’s Anatomy? Do we mix it up and get, gasp, a friggin’ movie?

What are your favorite old shows? What is the show you adored most in life? What do you recommend I do about my Netflix queue? Because if I don’t hurry up, my husband will worm his way in there and make the whole thing a bunch of baseball documentaries, and then I will have nothing left to live for.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

sign me up!

i'll take a shopping spree just about anywhere! i'm not a huge fan of shopping, but mainly that's because i don't have a lot of extra cash to spend. i could, however, do quite a bit of damage on someone else's dime.

there is nothing in my house that i own. everything that we have falls into one of two categories 1) gifts or 2) hand-me-downs. in fact, every single piece of furniture in our house is a hand-me-down - everything from the couches to the dining room table to the bedroom dressers. literally, the only thing we've purchased on our own is the washer and dryer and that doesn't necessarily count as 'furniture' in my book. no lie.

it's not that i don't want new furniture, it's just that i can't afford it. i see fantastic living room sets that i would die for, but there is no way i can fit it into our budget right now. but...if i had a shopping spree to say, oh, pottery barn or williams sonoma or the like, every room throughout my entire house would have a brand new look.

i would not hold back one iota. i would gut my entire house and even spend a few of my own bucks to hire a decorator to do it all for me. i would buy the big stuff like couches and recliners and bedroom sets, but i would also buy the little stuff, like bathroom hand towels and new placemats. i would go hog wild!!!

i really need to stop now because just thinking about it makes my heart flutter with excitement! i need to snap back into reality, but oh what i wouldn't give to have this kind of shopping spree and finally have a home out of the pages of a catalog.

Monday, September 22, 2008

I Wonder What Store I Want to Win a Shopping Spree In?

OK. The realist in me says Wal Mart - because then I could buy my groceries AND my gas AND a few things for the house and also perhaps a lifetime supply of kitty litter and some more sleepers for my exponentially growing child . . . on and on . . . and I know that's just the poor talking. And it's no fun. So I'm going to pretend all our basic needs are within our budget, and taken care of, and that this is just for fun.

So I would, OBV, want to win a spree in REI. Dude.

I *almost* was a dork and said Barnes and Noble, but if I only get one spree - hell, I can borrow books from the library, ya'll, but aint nobody out there ready to hand a kayak over the counter, as long as I have my library card to prove I'll bring it back. So I'm all over REI, where I can get my dream kayak and paddle (ok, Darlin, I'll get one for you, too!), a new family tent that will fit our exponentially growing family (lots of exponential growing going on around here), a good sporty swimsuit Speedo thing plus goggles and a cap, couple more bikes, some climbing ropes and other climbing gear, Chacos in an array of attractive colors to go with all my outfits, a few more camping supplies, and tons of clothes and accoutrements to go with all of these things. I would take Darlin's order, of course, and make sure he had every thing his little heart desired - it wouldn't be much, because he's a minimalist, but I know he must have a thing or two he'd like to get in the camping vein. Then, of course, I could outfit my kid in all kinds of stuff, I could even get him a climbing harness for each stage of life, a bike seat for my bike so he can ride in it, and then maybe a bike or two for him (when he gets old enough to ride). I could easily blow a few thou in REI.

Now, what I need on top of my shopping spree is about 20 extra hours in my week so I can actually find the time to USE all this stuff.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

dinner for 75.

this is a really tough one for me. several people popped into my head - matthew mcconaughey, jesus, ellen. if i really truly got to choose, i would want someone who didn't make me nervous. someone that i could be myself with. someone who already knows me so that dinner would be comfortable - like an old pair of jeans comfortable.

dinner for two? well, how about 75 or so? i don't know exactly the number, but if i truly got to choose, i would have a big reunion with 75+ of my closest friends - my sorority sisters. i know that sounds really cheesy and cliche, but it's true. we had an absolute ball in college and i would love to gather everyone together again to catch up on our lives and relive the old days.

i get together with a handful of sorority sisters on occasion, but for this shindig, i'm talking about everyone from sharon to hammond to terri. absolutely every last one of us.

what would even be better is if we could all just overtake the house for the weekend. it'd be all ours and we'd crash in our old rooms, sleep in the rack room and order papa john's for dinner maybe. we'd eat in the dining room and order up a keg or two to keep in the closet - just like the old days!

i'd love to have dinner with matthew. he is, after all, my boyfriend. but, for this one time, he'll have to wait, because a long, relaxing dinner with 75+ of my closest friends is just what i need right now. even more than i need matthew.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Dinner with Elvis

I have thought and though about this topic. Luckily, I never had to write about this in school because I am fairly sure that I would have never come up with a sufficient answer. Every single time I think that I know what one person I would choose to have dinner with, I think of another person that would be just as cool, just as fun, just as interesting!

Elvis Presley is always near the top of my list. I have long had a thing for young, rebellious Elvis and I would love to sit down with him at dinner. I would probably not want to eat anything at the meal because I would want to serve all of his favorites and I just cannot handle peanut butter and banana sandwiches. Ick. Maybe Elvis would use his wealth and power to ensure that I got some of my favorites served as well?

So, young Elvis and I would chatter on about rock and roll and about musical influences and about how music has changed our lives. He would show me dance moves and I would show him my Elvis snarl. I would beg him to call me Mama at least once and I would want to hear all about his childhood. I would want him to tell me about Graceland. I would want to hear his thoughts on the world today and on music today. I would ask him to sing for me...more than once. I would take many, many pictures. I would probably find myself speechless on several occasions. Breathless even.

A man with such magnetism, a man with a sweet southern drawl, and a man with such influence on our music and society would surely make for an interesting dinner.

I wonder if I could have dinner with one person, who would it be?

She is 50 years old, the oldest she will ever be. She is a large woman with light brown hair, almost auburn, and with round rosy cheeks and dimples in her elbows. I have never heard her voice, but I imagine it to be a little high, a bit thin, but sweet. Like my mother’s and mine, only with a heavy Pittsburgh accent. In my imagination she is nervous, but quick to laugh.

I think the conversation would start a little awkwardly. We have very little in common, this lady and I. She is a devout Catholic, mother to seven children, very poor. I think she finished high school, though I’m not sure. If she ever left Pennsylvania, I never heard of it. My youth spent footloose and traveling is about as far from her life experience as it gets, although she might have been happy to know that her lifetime of work yielded material benefit two generations down the line.

Well. Half a lifetime of work. She did not get her full allotment. Fifty years is not enough time. If she’d had fifty-three, she would have met me.

I would have to somehow tell her my whole life story in the course of one dinner, which would mean a considerable amount of summary. I would want to hear her life story, too. I would want to know what my mother was like as a child. I would want to know if she and her son Michael and my Pap are all together again somewhere. I would let her pick the meal, and I would have to read everything into the food she chose, whether or not she prepared it herself or had it served, how she held her fork. How she styled her hair. The course of a dinner is not enough time to know a person, but I would take it over absolutely nothing.

I knew my paternal grandparents very well – they lived with us for quite some time when I was a kid, having made no other arrangements for the infirmity of advanced age. Five small children, two very old and ill grandparents, two very tired members of the Sandwich Generation, and four bedrooms did not a particularly harmonious household make. But we got by, and they were grandparental-like, in their way. I knew my maternal grandfather, a loving, gruff, Santa Claus kind of man who spent most of his meager pension on his eighteen grandchildren, somehow giving each of us equal attention and love.

I’d love to have dinner with the one grandparent whose face I only know from my mother’s wedding pictures. From the first time I got this essay question in grade school, to now, to forever from now, I think this would be my answer. I’d love to have dinner with my mother’s mother.

Like the lovely Italian city, her name was Florence.

Friday, September 12, 2008

That's a Negative, Ghost Rider

The Boy and I have actually talked about this before. And we both agreed simultaneously that it would have NEVER happened that we’d have dated … or probably even spoken.

In HS, I was hyper, loud, judgmental, liked doing homework, tried too hard to be a comedienne, and was on both the yearbook staff and Academic Team. Despite those coolness-killing apps, I had lots of friends and lots of fun. But no boys. This trajectory has been well documented on this website, so let’s FF, shall we?

In HS, The Boy (and I have no firsthand knowledge of this as he was in another part of the state and light-years [five] older than even me, the oldest of the WW, so none of us could have ever been in HS w/him at the same time … not that I remind him of that fact all the time or anything) was not a serious student, played some sort of nerdy instrument in the band, ran track, was into backcountry camping, and dated lots and lots and lots and lots. And lots.

We both have acknowledged that neither of us would have been into the other at that time in our lives and that it’s unlikely we’d have even known each other’s names. It is safe to assume that our paths would never have crossed, and if they had crossed, here’s how it would have gone down:

HE: Hey, can I copy your physics homework? I heard you let Andrew*, Alex*, Brad * and Larry* see your answers. (*names have been changed to protect … well, me)

SHE: [confused and terrified by being spoken to by a stranger; lying] Um, I don’t have it with me. Sorry.

HE: Oh, OK. [exeunt]

SHE: [turning to BFF J] Of course I let Andrew*, Alex*, Brad * and Larry* copy. I’m unrequitedly in love with all of them. Who was that guy? Is he friends with Andrew*, Alex*, Brad * and Larry*? Do you think he knows if Andrew*, Alex*, Brad * and Larry* will be at the movies tonight? Do you think Andrew*, Alex*, Brad * and Larry* will be at the movies tonight? I hope Andrew*, Alex*, Brad * and Larry* will be at the movies tonight. Let’s go to Arby’s and get a Triple Cheese Melt before work!


Thursday, September 11, 2008

possibly...possibly not.

super jas and i pretty much ran in similar circles in high school. from what i've heard and seen, he and i were...how shall i say this?...on the same level of 'coolness.' we both ran with the popular crowd, but never did much stuff with them outside of school. rather, he and i both had a smaller circle of very close best friend(s) that we ran around with. i guess what i'm trying to say is that we were considered popular, i suppose, but we never did much stuff with the *really* popular kids outside of class.


my super jas has a bit of cockiness about him. he calls it 'confidence,' while i think it's a wee more intense than that. when we first met in college, i HATED him. i'm not one who puts up with arrogance and he had arrogance pouring off of him. a total and immediate turn-off. it took a couple of months for him to quit acting like such a jackass, but he eventually turned it around.

taking everything into consideration, i would say that there is a very high likelihood that super jas and i would've dated in high school. heck, neither of us were far removed from high school (i had only graduated 2 months prior to meeting him) when we first began dating anyway. i'm just glad our paths crossed.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Uh, No.

When I read g love's post yesterday and discovered this week's topic, I laughed out loud and then did a little dance. This topic makes me cackle out loud and makes me shudder at the same time. I shudder because I have to revisit high school!

So would Superman and I have made it as a couple back in high school? I can say, without a doubt, ABSOLUTELY FREAKING NOT.

First of all, to hear us each talk about our high school selves, we were both giant dorks. I will fully admit that and so would Superman. We were nerds, geeks, and dweebs all rolled into one. And we still are. Whatever. However. We were distinctly different in our nerdiness back in the day.

Back in high school, I was an athlete. I played a sport every season of the year. I was also really shy and totally oblivious to the opposite sex and any effect I may have had on them. Superman was not allowed to play sports, he was in the Marching Band, and he looked like Napoleon Dynamite. (I am not even kidding about that Napoleon Dynamite part. I have seen the picture to prove it and HOO BOY. Yeeeeah, we would not have gone out. I say that out of love.)

I was totally into jocks-as-boyfriends and the Marching Band was about as nerdy as you could get in my high school. My high school was all about what labels you wore and how often you got drunk on the weekends. Superman's high school was very small and everyone knew everyone. Very few people wore expensive label anything and to hear Superman tell it, the Marching Band was the place to be. So, because I was a super nerd, cared about school, excelled at sports, and did not drink at all, I was not very cool. Superman was in the Marching Band, got good grades, and knew everyone. It is easy to see that he would probably have been Mr. Popularity and I would have been just another face in the crowd of Dorkdom.

When I think about it, I am not even sure that Superman and I would have dated in college. There are a lot of circumstances that made our upbringings starkly contrasted and we probably would have had completely different groups of friends. Sure, we would probably have known each other and been jealous of the other's grade on a test or something. We may have ended up as chemistry partners and just been good friends.

As much as I hated high school and spent much of my miserable experience there wishing it would just be over, I do think that high school taught me some important lessons about relationships. So did college. Just as living on my own did as well. All of those experiences together taught me that when you find a good man, a true gentleman who is your intellectual match and your emotional equal, you hold on to him as tightly as you can -- even if he was the Drum Major in the Marching Band back in high school.

Monday, September 8, 2008

I wonder if my husband and I would have dated in high school

I am going to tell you all something that may make you question my choice in life mate. Don’t worry, I did receive full disclosure before accepting his ring, and have come to terms with his past. We don’t speak of it, but in the interest of being true to my art, I will bring it up just this once, if you promise never to refer to it again.

Darlin played Dugeons and Dragons in high school.

And beyond.

Lest you think I write this to imply that he was a dork and I would have been too cool to associate with him, let me give you this tasty tidbit about my past: I used to sing in class. Sing. In class.

In high school.

As you can see, this is a post that lends itself to short, incredulous sentences that stand alone as paragraphs.


Is for two reasons.

Reason the first – I want you to understand that we were pretty un-cool. To really feel the uncool-ness wafting over you from the screen. To sprout braces and cowlicks and pimples and awkward-limbed movements just from READING this stuff.

Reason the second – I want you to know that I am very cool now, extremely cool, and thereby I must distance my current cool self from my past, very un-cool self, by making fun of her. Just like the bullies in high school used to do.

So maybe I’m cool now, but not as nice.


None of these meanderings are getting us any closer to answering the question at hand, which is: would I have dated my husband in high school? And I want you to know that, even taking into consideration the D&D information plus other vital but top secret stuff that I’ve learned about my husband’s high school persona (coff long swoopy hair coff coff), it has been made abundantly clear after years of associating with my husband and his high school friends that no, no we wouldn’t have dated. Because I don’t think even my D&D Darlin’ could have seen as far down into the bottom of the dating pit as I was, buried under all the cute girls and the sort of cute girls and the not-cute but really awesome girls – singing to myself there about as far back in the corner as I could get.

We met when we were supposed to. Years after the braces, yes, and after I learned about eyebrow waxing and this thing called a hair comb – but more to the point, after years during which I dated good men and bad ones, and learned what I needed and what I could do without, what I absolutely could not stand and what I could put up with. And through those years he did the same.

A guy I very briefly dated just out of high school once looked at me and said “Every single relationship I have been in so far has been a failure.” And I responded – Well of course. Of course. That’s how you learn! Most people don’t stick with the first person they love. They love and lose and learn and love again. Every one of my early relationships was also a failure. Every one of your relationships is SUPPOSED to be a failure!

Until you find the one that isn’t.

Friday, September 5, 2008

i wonder when the season will finally change?

this time of year is always rough. one day the sun is shining and the temperature hits 90 and the next day is met with chilly, fall like weather, and rain showers. i like summer and i like fall, so i really don't care if one leaves and the other season arrives. i just wish the weather would pick a season and stick to it!

only a few days ago, we were burning up in the circle city. the a/c was on full blast and we were sweating like pigs in the heat and humidity. yesterday, however, we saw a cool down. we actually turned off the a/c in our home and we were still fine temperature wise. the storm showers came yesterday though which made it feel even cooler. and now, today, i'm trying to stave off a cold.

i started feeling it come on while i was driving home from leah's ballgame (that was held in the rain). my throat began to hurt just a bit and my nose started to run a little. last night, i took some medicine to help me get a good night's sleep, but i still woke up 37 times to blow my nose and suck on a cough drop.

i think that's what i hate most about the in-between-changing-seasons time. i can handle turning the a/c off and then on again and then off again...but i can't stand the inevitable colds and other sickies that come with this time of year. here's to hoping the weather decides to stay put -- and soon!