26 April 2006

Why I hate pleasantries.

Authenticity is a quality that I prize more than most other qualities. I want to have the real deal. I want to know who someone really is. I want the truth. I want honestly. I want realness.
I am a true Gen X-er.
This is part of the reason I hate pleasantries. You know--those annoying little things that people say just to fill space. Things like "how are you" and "good morning" and "how's it going." People don't really mean those things. At least 90% of the time they don't mean them. They are just saying those things because they are trying to fill uncomfortable silence. They are trying to feel like functioning members of society. Maybe they are trying to build repoire with the other person.
There is one guy I work with. Guy Who Does Not Wash Hands after Using the Bathroom. He has a habit of just going around and saying everyone's names in a "voice" whenever you see him. Nice guy. But this is what he does all day long. So to me, every time he sees me, it is my initials. I am Initial Girl. "Emo" he says in sort of a Frank Sinatra-crooner come radio announcer fashion.
Pleasantry. He doesn't know what to say to me.
I prefer a smile or a nod rather than a verbal acknowledgement. Because if you really have something to say to me, God, please let it mean something. Please let it be authentic. Please don't let it be "Good morning" or "How are you" because I can bet that you don't really mean it. You are just filling space.
People have a hard time with silence. They have a propensity to want to fill it. Silence makes people uncomfortable.
I think silence is golden.
I once saw this great Seinfeld episode where Jerry and Elaine were talking about uncomfortable silences. And I don't know who, Jerry or Elaine, but one of them said that the depth of a friendship or relationship can be measured by how long your comfortable silences are. Friends are comfortable just being. Just existing. They don't need to fill the space to feel a connection--they already know there is one.
So, when I see people at work every day, I don't feel compelled to have pleasantries about nothing. I feel compelled to have pleasantries about something. Something that matters. Something serious, something funny, something non-work related, something work related. But please, don't let it be about nothing.
And conversational lulls. It is natural for a conversation to lull. It doesn't make you or your compatriots uninteresting. It means that you are pondering something to say next. So, you don't have to say things like "Wow" constantly or sigh or anything. It's ok to have silence. It really is. No one will die. No one's feelings will be hurt.
But, instead, people fill the silence with pleasantries.
I also think, on a related note, that it is weird to acknowledge the time of day as a form of greeting. Saying "good morning" to me is about as useful as saying "Happy 4 o'clock." What does that mean, anyway?? Saying goodmorning...good evening....whatever. It's odd, if you think about it, that the time of day is also a greeting. What is wrong with "hello?" Hello--a wonderful, universal, meaningful word. It means--I acknowledge you, but I am not asking a quesiton about your life that I don't really mean. It is authentically pleasant rather than plastically pleasant.
I don't like plastic. I don't like fake. So, I refuse to exchange meaningless pleasantries, and I do my best not to receive them either. My friends know this about me. So, I hope that they realize, too, that when I actually do ask how they are, I actually, authentically, truly mean it. I truly want to know. I just want more people to talk about things that really matter to them. And to actually feel comfortable answering truthfully when someone asks them how they are.

24 April 2006

Violating Bugs and Husband-Induced Insomnia

Here on the prairie, the flatland, we have been in paradise for several days now. The sun has been shining, it's been about 70 degrees or so, and it was the weekend--no work! Or, rather, no working for anyone but yourself. Which I love.
The weekend was filled with a lot of new activities, we decided. Husband and I went to a pow-wow for the first time ever. We went with a couple of friends of ours, Chris and Heather. It was a strange event. I felt myself wishing that I could ask someone what was going on without offending them. It didn't seem possible. So, we sat in this sports arena for a couple of hours and tried to figure out what was going on and tried to hear what was being said over the PA. I have no idea what happened. I know I would have liked the pow-wow if I could have understood it.
And I have also decided that a lot of American Indian motifs look a lot like Tibetan art motifs...coincidence???? I think not.
But I am not going to go into any conspiracy theories at the moment because last night I had husband-induced insomnia.
Last night I couldn't fall asleep. It was hot in our room. Husband couldn't sleep either. I thought it was the heat. After two hours of no sleep and lots of calories burned tossing and turning, I finally asked him what was wrong. He answered by going to the bathroom. When he returned, he lay down and explained to me that his shoulder felt "weird and tender" whatever that means. So, here I am in the middle of the night trying to analyze what is wrong with the shoulder.
Have any of you ever attempted to give a shoulder massage in the dark while half asleep and completely exhausted?
It could possibly be listed amongst the least lucid events I've ever taken part in.
Anyway, I told husband my diagnosis--he needed to get some ice and he needed to count his breaths.
Whenever he can't sleep, some delerious part of me thinks "Oh, he needs to do some breathing exercises---he needs to meditate." So, then I try to make him meditate. I don't know if he does it, but I end up doing it thinking about it and eventually fall asleep.
Except for last night. Husband got an ice pack and wrapped it in a towel and brought it into the bed with us. And then let it lie NEXT to him--not under him. And he was falling alseep. So, I got him to put the ice pack underneath his shoulder.
But this just made him wiggle and fidget more and more and more and more.
And I was fidgeting because at this point I am mad because who in the world can't sleep because their shoulder is "weird and tender" and why isn't he doing the Kundalini breathing I told him todo???!!!
Needless to say, I could actually carry groceries in the bags under my eyes today, and I don't have the mental or emotional capacity to carry on conversation, despite someone enticing me with the subjects of: work, poop sandwiches, and "what did you do this weekend" pleasantries that are oh-so-present in every workplace on a Monday.
I hate pleasantries. I only do pleasantries to people I don't like. It just seems like such a lack of authenticity to go around asking EVERYONE how they are today.
What other new activities did we do? Well, we also tried a new church.
It was a really small church--like 15 people--where we were immediately descended upon as guests, asked a million questions, and given no less than three questionaries to fill out.
I don't get intimidated--but this was intimidating. I wanted to just experience the church itself without the church being on trial of it's own accord.
The best thing about the service was when it was over and on the walk home, husband and I found the most violating, huge, and gross bug that I have ever seen in my life and that I will post pictures of later.
So, that was also a new exerience--Huge Violating Waterbug.
Other than that, I actually got to plant fingerling potatoes (aka pooptatoes b/c they are Peruvian Purple and actually, truly look like turds) in the garden. I got to go to a wonderful brunch at Heather's house where I had both a warm latte and and iced latte (the best of both worlds!) and some amazing quiche and other glorious brunch things. And I got to walk about 10 miles in two days--I love nice weather!!!!
I also got to paint a new color in our back entry that makes me no longer hate the back entry. It no longer looks as WT as it used to. It is not painted a cheerful yellow and cleaned up a bit to be remotely habitable by humans.
We had a new addition to our family this weekend. And then we gave that new family member up for adoption. The new family member was a gross, disgusting clown pictures in a non-matching, sky-blue matte that somehow ended up on the hood of my car. And then, mysteriously, it ended up in the window in Matt and Dana's bedroom later in the weekend....right where they were working on their roofing projects.
Probably no one understands the weird obessession with hiding things and giving ugly objects, but I still find it hilarious, and I still blame the bellybutton brush.
Sidenote--this weekend Husband also discovered that our neighbor has a sidejob of being a clown. Random!
Husband and I have been working our way through Season One of Lost, which, at first, I really wasn't all that into, I have to admit. But now, now I am addicted. It took a full 7 episodes, but now I am hooked. Not battlestar galactica, hooked, mind you, but one a scale of 1-10 in enticement, I am about a seven.
Something glorious happened today despite the exit of the Nice Weather--we got our plane tickets and itinerary for Maui. 24 days from today. And I am happy to report that the weight loss is coming along nicely. For my weigh-in last Thursday, I had actually gotten below The Point. You know--that number that you can just never conquer or get below? Well, I conquered it. And, I have barely cheated at all on my diet if we are just talking strictly calories. Until last night when I was soooooooooooooooooooooo hungry and sooooooooooooooooo tired from all of the work of the weekend, and I just had to have chocolate aka chocolate milk and several glasses of wine and an extra serving of beans. I am back on track now--that's the only thing to be done. And given the amount of sheer physical activity of the weekend, I am hoping that one moment of weakness is not going to ruin everything.
We have another event to celebrate soon--Husband is graduating from college/tech school/whatever you want to call it. I got his graduation present today--and I am so excited about it. It is something he's wanted a long, long time, but I won't tell him what it is. I love surprises. And I love that he has stuck to his program and followed through. And I love that he seems to really be passionate about what his work is going to be. An enviable position, I think. So, this transition is going to lead to some re-evaluating of our lives once again, and what we want to do with them, once again, which is good. I am ready for some re-evaluating.
Things are very busy at work now which is why my brain can't think in a straight circle and why this entry is even less cohesive than the rest. Sometimes I just wish I could flip open my skull, take my brain out, and then just squeeze all of the random, useless, work-related information from it so I could walk around real life with a clear head. I can't do this, but what I can do is go to knitting tonight and have some fun times with the girls and hopefully get something done besides talking.

19 April 2006

I am so ashamed, but this is good for a laugh

These are my diary entries from late grade school. Sigh...
1-4-1988: I went to school. I had fun. I saw my boyfriend.
1-4-1989: I've decided this year I'm going to be a really good & cool person.
1-5-1990: I went to a BB game. I sat by Travis. I overheard him say he likes me!
1-13-1988: Today I went to school. Today we also got 25 SHEEP!
1-23-1989: Today Travis picked on me. When I got home my whole family started yelling at me. :(
1-31-89: I grossed Travis out with this gross picture because he said I couldn't be gross. Boy was he wring! (He turned green!)
2-8-1988: Today I found out that my boyufriend John loves me. 100 per sent.
2-11-1989: I cleaned out barns & my room wnt for a walk & finished my Valentines. I LOVE Jared Wanswick.
2-16-88: Today my boyfriend said he loved me. Its so Romantic.
2-28-1988: Nathan went over to Brian's. And I had to babysit. Nathan always gets all the fun.
3-9-88: Today John would not stop following me around! Now I really know he loves me!
3-7-1989: DeNae,Jessie, Steph, Crist & Me have a secret club.
3-8-1989: The other girls that aren't in our secret club are jelous!
3-9-1989 We quit the club.
3-22-1988 I swung with John Hintz. He is so cute. He always gives me his sweet looks.
4-2-1989: Today I decided to 1. get better grades 2. lose some wieght & 3. be in style 4. be cool 5. to be nicer.
4-22-1988: Sometimes live isn't fair
2-29-4-1988: It rained for the first time since January! Now it smells so Good. Praise the Lord!
5-5-1988: Today was a bad day when I got home I played my favorite tape Flashdance. It soothed me.
5-19-1988: I got so beatup today I stepped on a robot, got a black eye, & got my head stepped on.
6-22-1988: Today I started working with my lamb. We are playing a very fun & illaborite game.
6-23-1988: Today I changed lambs.
7-15-1988: Today I'm at the fair. I aot all blues & a trophie!
7-16-1988: I showed my lamb I won P.C. GC & a blue! I sold him. My Grandpa bought him gave hin to me & I have 100 ($'s?)
9-26-1988: I had my physical Its so gross when you have to pee in a glass!
10-16-1989: I'm in the 5th grande this year. I went to Montana for the summer. Some thins new - Travis still likes me & I got a bra this year.
11-14-1988: Today mom gave me a book about puberty. Oh boy!
12-2-1988: Nobody understands me. They make me so mad.
12-5-1988: My life is ruend.
12-7-1988: At school Me Steph Nicky Renee & April are playing like were disabled. I
t's fun

For a good time, call...this recipe!

Zuccotto(Florentine Cream Cake)

This dessert comes from Italy where it is traditionally made in pumpkin-shaped molds (zucotto means "little pumkin" in Italian). You can use a 2-1/2 qt mixing bowl and get pretty much the same results.
12 servings
Begin early in day or day ahead

1 16 to 17 ounce package pound cake mix (I couldn't find a mix, so I made a pound cake from scratch. Check your favorite cookbook)
1/4 cup almond-flavor liqueur
6 1-ounce squares semisweet chocolate
2-1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
4 t. instant espresso-coffee power (I couldn't find this either, so I used instant coffee granuals that I pulverized in my coffee bean grinder until it was a fine powder)
2 3.4 oz. packages vanilla instant pudding
3 c. milk
1 t. vanilla extract
2 T. sugar

1. Prepare pound cake. Cool completely.
2. Line 2 1/2 qt bowl with plastic wrap. Cut cake into 1/2 inch slices; cut each cake slice diagonally in half to make 2 triangles.
3. Sprinkle alnond-flavored liqueur over cake triangles. Line bowl with triangles; reserve remaining triangles.
4. In heavy 1 qt saucepan over low heat, heat 4 squares semisweet chocolate, stirring often, until melted and smooth; cool slightly. Coarsely grate remaining 2 squares scocolate.
5. In small bowl, with mixer at medium speed, beat 1 1/4 cups heavy cream and 2 t. instant espresso-coffee powder until stiff peaks form.
6. In large bowl, with wire whisk, prepare instant pudding with 3 cups milk. Fold whipped-cream mixture, almond extract, and grated chocolate into pudding.
7. Cover cake in bowl with two-thirds of the pudding mixture.
8. Fold melted chocolate into remaining pudding mixture; use to fill center of dessert.
9. Cover top of dessert with remaining cake triangles.
10. Cover bowl and refrigerate at least 4 hours. (You can freeze dessert at this point, take out and thaw when ready for last steps)
11. In small bowl, with mixer at medium speed, beat remaining 1c. heavy cream with sugar and remaining 2 t. instant espresso-coffee pws until soft peaks form.
12. Unmold desset onto chilled platter; discard plastic wrap. Frost dessert with whipped-cream mixture; sprinkle with toasted chopped almonds on top, or garnish with almond daisies--gently press coffee-bean candy(or a chocolate chip) into frosting for center of daisy, then press slivered almonds around candy for petals.

Thanks, Mom!

18 April 2006

Easter Eggs on Parade

Egg artists: Hollie & Linda Swindler

A desk chair, a floor, and one vintage skirt filled with 32 oz of water

It has been a crappy two days. I don't know why. It seems like the world decided to have a real estate enema, and all of the crap fell onto me. Especially yesterday. I was up to my eyeballs in work and being bothered by requests to do things that weren't technically my job, and the phone was ringing off the hook, and i had pms, and I was also fasting, so my brain couldn't work.
I stayed late at work on a beautiful afternoon. This, in the grand scheme of things, is almost a crime in my mind.
My bad day was remedied by sitting outside, drinking an entire bottle of wine with my husband, eating food off of the grill, and then going for a walk where we saw a group of high schoolers sliding down a dike in the hugest boxes I have ever seen in my life. They were larger than refrigerator boxes and made out of solid wood. And there were two of them. It was a strange site.
Today I was determined to have a better day. It was a beautiful morning, I got to work on time, and I managed to avoid almost all annoying drivers and bad songs on the radio. So, I think, it is going to be a better day.
And that is when, almost at that moment, I spilled 32 oz of water all over myself, my desk, and the floor.
It took an entire package of paper towels to clean it up.
And I had to sit in a wet dress all morning.
The one silver lining is that not a drop of water got on my laptop.
I suck at being Pollyanna. The glad game--not my favorite game. In fact, I hate games.
Anyway, if there is one thing a bad day or two at work will do for a person, it is that it makes you re-evaluate things.
Despite the two bad days at the beginning of this week, Billy and I did have a very glorious weekend in Mott. And, believe it or not, it was actually somewhat relaxing. I got to go for a run in the sunshine, we had the hot tub rented, wine was drank, coffee was drank, food was eaten, yoga was had on the patio in the sunshine, cigars were smoked on mammoth-scale decks, prairie scenes were photographed, life issues and dreams were hashed out.
The Choosing of the Wedding Music was suprisingly painless. But then, I figured, if I didn't have a choice about whether or not to sing or play, then I wasn't going to give them too many options to chose from. They/we/I chose "Someone to Watch over Me" for the prelude, and "Can I have this Dance?" for after they exchange rings.
And then I was promptly reprimanded by my mother for not chosing sacred music.
But the truth is, I'm not really sure how I feel about doing sacred music for a marriage where someone has been married three times. And also, I don't think it fits their personality together as a couple. And also, just because a song doesn't say "Jesus" in it, doesn't mean that it is banal or that it fails to glorify God in some way. There is some form of worship, I think, in appreciating the romantic love between a man and a woman in song--even if it doesn't directly include God. He did invent a romantic relationship in the first place. I think He is ok with what I chose. I don't think we need to speak in Christianese just to make something sacred.
And besides, like my sister pointed out, who hasn't heard completely and utterly inappropriate Shania Twain songs performed at weddings where you were cringing and wondering why in the world they would chose it???!!! At least the songs I chose have style, character, appropriateness, and suite the couple.
It's like short skirts--they can be fine if you carry yourself well. Secular songs can be fine in church if you carry yourself well.
I will post some pictures later tonight from the weekend. Maybe you will get just a smidgeon of an idea why I think the prairie where I grew up is the most beautiful place in the world. and if you don't, fine, that means there is more for the rest of us.
Sidenote--at AWP the other night, this girl read a poem she wrote about being from the prairie. And she said that her mother told her when she was little that she was lucky for being from the prairie. Other people, her mother explained, were surrounded by trees and buildings and other things. But, on the prairie, you are part of the sky--only your two feet touching the ground are actually part of the earth.
I love that image.
Our dogs enjoyed being farm dogs. A lot of the time there were every color and shape and size of dog. In order of size from largest to smallest: Patriot, Drea, Priscilla, Pogo, Molly, and Toby. It was ridiculous. But the dogs came home tired, happy, and full of ticks. Since we have arrived home, we have pulled a total of 9 ticks off of ourselves and the dogs. Bastard ticks. Gross.
My husband got some bigtime Mother-in-Law Points by installing a new ceiling fan/light fixture in the kitchen. He says it was easy. I think my mother now thinks of him as the electrical god. And my dad has some jobs lined up for him already for the next time we come home. Poor husband, can't get away from the projects no matter where he goes. Except for one place...
That's right, folks. It is exactly 30 days until we leave for Maui. I can't wait! Except for one thing--I've been on ediets 5 weeks and have only lost 5 pounds. This is a far cry from the desired 17-18 pounds I wanted to lose. So, there are New Rules. The New Rules are, no cheating on the diet whatsoever. The only exception is on Mondays when I will be juice fasting all day until supper when I will have a reasonable but non-measured supper. It is so hard not to cheat. But I have to realize: 1) no one else can lose weight for me, 2) you can't cheat the rules, 3) the rules actually DO apply to me, 4) no one else can lose weight for me, etc,etc.
Speaking of purging, I finished up the last of the purging in my old room this weekend. We came back to Fargo with doll collection, old diaries, photo books, prom dresses, and memorbilia in tow. Hopefully I can find a place to put all of it that doesn't ruin my current progress on purging.
My mother made the most amazing dessert this weekend. It was some kind of amazing almond-liqueur soaked pound cake covered in chocolate-coffee whipped cream frosting situation.
It was better than 15 orgasms. I will post the recipe later.
I will also post some entries from my gradeschool diary which are HILARIOUS.

14 April 2006

Middle Eastern food on a Good Friday

I just got back from stuffing myself at Cafe Aladdin. My friend, Becky, and myself enjoyed a very timely middle eastern meal there. It seems appropriate to be eating middle eastern food on an Easter weekend. I had coupons for free pastries for dessert, so we got to try something I can't pronounce but that looks like an elongated hay bale doused in honey. Yum!
Last night Rita and I performed at A Woman's Perspective. This is a series of ongoing events by women artists for women. There are performing arts, visual arts, writing, hand skills like spinning yarn, other things like that. You can take classes; you can go to exhibits; you can go to programs. It's pretty neat. I didn't really like the theme this year, though. It was A Woman's Perspective on Mother Nature. I kind of felt like they were going for some weird pagan theme or goddess worship or something. It's interesting to see a room full of writers, performers, and dancers interpret this theme, though, because there really wasn't any of that at all. Some people talked about the nature of mothers, some people talked about environmental issues; we talked and danced about the naturalness of middle eastern dance--how it is made for a woman's body and how it is "noninjurious" (i like that word). Rita also wrote about how what is mesmorizing about the dance--how a dancer can be very powerful and skilled, but until she lets go of her power and becomes vulnerable, she won't move you. You won't be transfixed.
I thought this really paralleled a lot of the themes in a book that the women in our Bible study read recently. It's called "Captivating," and it is all about what it means to be a Christian woman--how God sees us, how we see ourselves, and how this all effects our relationships and effectiveness. They did some profiles in this book of really powerful women--and what made them that way. And it is a weird, weird dichotomy, because what makes powerful women powerful isn't just their power, it is their vulnerability. It takes strength to be vulnerable. It takes strength to have the guts to let down your guard, to let people in, to show parts of yourself.
I find this fascinating. Because I think it is true. Every powerful woman who impresses me has this balance between power and vulnerability. If you have only power--then you are an angry person. You are a neo-nazi feminist. You are mean. You are hard. If you only have vulnerability, you are weak, you are insecure, you are co-dependent. But if you have both of them together, you have a really pungent force. A system of checks and balances.
I think that is why we have men and women. One is not good without the other. Woman and man were to "help alongside" one another--to draw one another out, to sharpen each other, to challenge each other, to protect each other. Both have value.
So, this is what I was thinking about last night when one of the artists was doing her interpretation of the Queen of Sheba meeting King Solomon that lasted about 20 minutes longer than it needed to.
Proverbs 31 has a tall order for what makes a godly woman godly--a profile of a woman that we should all try to emulate. One of the verses has always stood out at me:
She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
There you go again--strength with vulernability.
And, by the way, foot fettish guy was NOT at the program, thank goodness.
Onto another subject--technology.
I have once again jumped into a new area of proficiency in my burdeoning knowledge of gadgets. Today I did my first text messages. My brother texted me this morning, I can only guess, from the seat of his tractor. He wrote me a horrible message filled with all of the words I can't stand. So, I wrote him back some even grosser things. This continued for quite awhile. Mostly, I was delighted that I figured out how to work the text messaging on my phone. I felt like a gadget geek for just a moment.
I know, I know, most people in the world already know how to text message. But just let me enjoy this moment.
Anyway, I think I must have won the grossout war because I wrote something very disgusting to my brother about someone we used to know, and he did not write back, I can only guess, because he was traumatized. I win.
Tonight Billy and I ride home in a five-hour car ride with dogs to our hometown. We will be there for a few short days and then drive back. I always in the past have expected it to be very relaxing. I now realize there is no way it is going to be relaxing when we have two whole extended families to visit with and a lot of people's expectations to meet. I like going home, but it is never the time of sitting on my laurels like I usually fantasize it to be. So, I am only going to bring one project with me this weekend and NO books. I have finally realized there will be no time for reading. One of the fun things about being home is that the dogs get to frisk around the farm unleashed and unfettered. And when we come back, they usually sleep for about four days straight because they are so tired. And that is fun for us.
Last night we had the first spring rain shower--with lightening and everything. Is there anything that smells better than the breeze after a spring rain? They should make a perfume that smells like that amazing dirt/ozone/humidity smell. I love it. It feels like an exfoliant for my soul--for my bad moods, for my irritability, all left over from the winter. It's great.
I am currently working my way through reading the book of Revelation in the Bible again. I have read this book probably more than any other, and the meaning of it is still often lost on me. Luckily, I remembered that I had taken a class on it in college, so this morning, I pulled out my old notes and dove in. And the symbolism actually started to make sense again.
So this morning was about the church in Ephesus. Ephesus was a great working church. In other words, they did a lot of humanitarian type work--work for the community. But the thing they were lacking was "their first love." I have heard this interpreted as their religious zeal from when they were first "saved"--when they had first come to a point of faith in Christ. What my professor was saying in this class, and what I believe, is that the point of that phrase "return to your first love" has more to do with a purity of devotion to Christ rather than a return to some emotional religious fervor. The point being that Ephesian church was very good at doing good works, but they were allowing some false teaching and some relativism to creep into their theology--thereby losing their full devotion to Christ and to the truth of scripture. I think that there were a lot of parallels between the Ephesian church and the church of today. There is a lot of relativism creeping into our teachings, into our worship, into our attitudes--often when we don't realize it--and sometimes when we do realize it. We would rather surround ourselves with teachers who "tell us what our itching ears want to hear" rathern than tell use the hard truths. And we are losing our devotion to Christ--to his teachings, to the Truth. Food for thought. I can relate to the church in Ephesus.
I wish you all a sunny, bright Easter full of the Light of the Good news of Christ's resurrection and the hope that his salvation has for all of us! And I wish you a big chocolate bunny, too.

12 April 2006

Clouds of rainbow mohair

Yesterday, my friend, Dana and I, went to go shopping at a coffee house/yarn store in Moorhead. They are moving locations, and they had all of their yarn at 25% off.
Well, I've had this rainbow-dyed mohair blend in my mind for a year now. I have wanted it every time I went there. But of course, it is expensive.
Well, yesterday was my chance to indulge. I can't pass up a good bargain. So, I did it. Three balls of it are now in my possession, and I hope to post pictures tonight. I am going to knit a shawl out of it. It will be my first attempt at lace knitting. I think I am ready for the challenge. I feel like I am ready to graduate to another level of knittingness.
I also got three small skeins of 100% cotton chenille to knit into a really fun butterfly scarf from the Stitch'n'Bitch Nation book.
I know, I know. I said I was purging. I said that I wasn't going to buy any new projects until I had completed EVERYTHING currently in my possession.
But, come on, people--when I am going to get a chance to buy Favorite Yarn at 25% off.
Around here, not very often.
And besides, I have made serious progress on the remaining projects within my possession. I have embroidery on the brain--and I have completed one pillow case for my niece. I have three more pillowcases to do and then a days of the week kitchen towel set, and I am done with that stuff. So, I am not that far off from needing knitting projects anyway.
So, three knitting projects on tap: chenille scarf (could be done in a day easily), glorious rainbow mohair shawl, and caplet made from the yarn that Dana got me for my birthday, also from the StitchnBitch Nation book.
I have also mended nearly every garnment in my wardrobe (and a fair portion of my husband's), so now hopefully we can actually wear all of the clothes in our closets. This is part of the purging--if it is not useful, I have to either make it useful or get rid of it. It is a rule.
Somewhat related to clouds of rainbow mohair--it is officially 36 days until my husband and I get to go frolic in Maui. yes, Maui. As in Hawaii. His sister is getting married there. And of course, we just had to go to the wedding. :-)
By some miracle, we even have enough money to go. Thank you God and thank you tax return.
Today we ammended our travel plans by adding a day trip to the Big Island where we will see Pearl Harbor and the Polynesian Cultural Center--two places I have heard everyone in my entire family on my dad's side talk about for decades. So, check and check to that!
I am so excited to be somewhere tropical. The closest I ever got to tropical was Galveston, TX in March. Actually, on Mardi Gras, to be exact. It wasn't very tropical, but I did swim in the ocean, play with dead jellyfish on the beach, and nearly step onto a hypodermic needle sticking out of the sand. That was when I realized that you shouldn't go barefoot on the beach unless you are sure you have checked your area out thoroughly.
36 days to Maui means 36 days left to lose weight. I hate even talking about this b/c it is so discouraging. I have been on a diet for.....well, since about second grade??? I was really, really skinny for awhile during my short-lived, ex-boyfriend-induced anorexic phase in high school (like 121 pounds), but now I am a womanly, voluptuous 158. I have lost 5 pounds since going on ediets. Well, actually I lost seven and then gained back two which makes me sooooooooooooo SICK. This has been teaching me a lot about self-discipline. And about the fact that yes, the rules do apply to me. I cannot cheat the system. I cannot bend the rules. I can't be a victim about my problems. I have to face them--the only way out is through. But it is very disheartening to go backwards in this quest rather than forwards. Very disheartening. I think it is largely the reason for The Funk.
I have been in The Funk for about two weeks. My husband is also in The Funk. The Funk, for those inexperienced types, is a general feeling of depression, apathy, despondency, and hopelessness for which no real cause can be found.
So, I have to weigh in tomorrow, and I think I am still pretty much at 158 despite only ONE day of even remotely questionable eating.
There just is no cheating the system. I hate it. I can't stand it. I have always been able to squeak by somehow in other areas. But not this one. My body hates me. My metabolism hates me.
But, I am not going to give up. I am not going to use excuses like, I am older, I had kids (I didn't by the way, but that's one I hear a lot--and have heard a lot my whole life), I don't have time, it's too hard, I am destined to look like this--that is all bullshit. I don't believe any of those things. I already work out a couple of times a day and eat well. It is just cutting down on certain things (chocolate, wine, wine, chocolate, chocolate, wine, burger basket) that SUCKS!!!!! It seems unfair.
My mom used to have this magnet on the fridge that said, "Nothing will taste as good as losing weight will feel."
It's true--but it is so hard to remember when you see chocolate icecream cake just begging to be eaten.
Not that I am hugely obese. I can get by as generally well-adjusted.
But, people. We are talking Hawaii. Bikini capital of the world. And I'll be DAMNED if I ain't gonna wear one and look good.
Final order of business. We are going home to my hometown for Easter. Mott the Spot. It is always a short and exhausting trip visiting with two families, high school friends, brothers, sisters, grandma's, grandma's fiances.
Grandma's fiances, you ask?
Oh, yeah, did I forget to mention that my hottie of a Grandma is getting married to someone 18 years younger than she?
This lady took care of herself--obviously. May I be like her!
At any rate, they are having an all-out wedding. With a reception and dance and everything. It is a Mona Event. Mona always has her way. And this is no exception.
So, despite the fact that I have sworn off singing or music or anything having to do with that, I was told, not asked, my you, told that I would be singing and playing for the wedding.
So, I am going home for Easter armed with a stack of possible music.
It is not easy finding songs for older couples. Most of them are too cutesy cutesy or too we just graduated from college and have our whole lives ahead of us.
I am trying to go with a dance theme since this is something the couple enjoys doing together.
I am trying to emotionally prepare for the Viewing of the Music by Mona.
After singing and playing at my grandfather's funeral, I am hoping that this will be a walk in the park in the emotional control department. Please, please, please....
Anyway, I am proud of my grandma. She is a hottie. She got a man 18 years younger than her when she is in her 70's. You betta recognize!
And I am hoping that we don't all drown in wedding plans.
I wish you an evening full of rainbow clouds and ugly bridesmaid dresses.

11 April 2006

Fargo Flood 2006

This is a golf course. :-)
Temporary dike.

"Mickelson is irrigated directly from the Red River." Why, yes, it is!

This picture is taken on top of the temporary earth dike near our house in Fargo. This is a baseball field.

10 April 2006

Spring Vignettes

You tell me
that I'm white, crisp, and clean
And if it were only summer
you would wear me.


I'd like to prescribe your lips
to the slashing wound
But that would be nonsense--
Since your lips were your weapon.
And I am nonsense
for inviting them to cut.


Much like devouring rich flower petals
only to realize their ravishing perfume is poison.
This was your kiss.
And I chose to die.


Wash my entire soul
in vats of honey
And I will still say
Your one true kiss was sweeter.


You touched my skin
as if it was the finest cream silk.
You forgot my heart was finer still.
You knew my love
and then considered it a fake.
But only you were false.


You seem to think that in sky diving
a jumper can return to the plane
when he feels fear
or fall upward
once he has committed to landing.
These, too, your thoughts on love.


--written sometime in the Spring of 2001, emo

A weekend filled with solutions

My friend, Matt, showed us a hilarious song a few years back. The entire song is a thrashy metal song in which the "singer," or rather, "screamer" screams things. Things filled with other things--
A cougar {the car} filled with cougars{the animal}.
You parents' bedroom filled with surprises.
A pantyhose egg filled with poop.
A toilet filled with scorpions (ouch!).
Etc, etc. For awhile, the joke was always the thing filled with another thing. Husband received a sweater filled with trail mix. I made a joke about a deer skull filled with ketchup. (Which I still think is hilarious.)
This past weekend was a weekend filled with solutions.
Problem--we haven't visited with our friends, Jason & Becky, in ages. Solution--we went out to supper on Friday night at Juano's and had a glorious time filled with food and drink.
Problem--we have been promising to have our neighbors over for supper for about a year now. Solutions--we invite them over for supper on Saturday night, and consequently spend two days cleaning and cooking for them.
Problem--The neighbors forgot (yes!) to come over to our house despite watching us grill the leg-of-lamb all evening. Solutions--Matt & Dana were forced to come over to enjoy Second Supper.
Problem--Molly and Priscilla (the dogs) keep ruining the grass and eating the plants that we have spent so dearly on and have to continually replant even though they KNOW they aren't supposed to. Solution--we put up a dog kennel/dog run attaching to our garage. So, now the dogs still have lots of room to play, but it won't be in my flower beds with scraps of my dead plants.
All in all, the last solution was the sweetest because sometimes in our house it feels like a losing battle between us and the dogs. But I STILL love them, and I wouldn't get rid of them no matter what.
I also further hurtled myself into the technological revolutions this weekend. First, I downloaded my first DVD off of itunes. Of course, it was two episodes of Battlestar Galactica. yum. We also purchased our first digital camera (thank you united states government and our glorious cpa, Randy, for the hefty tax return!) (Oh, and thank you to me and my husband, too, for earning that money in the first place.) So, now I will be able to post pictures on this blog provided that I can figure out how to do it. So far determining how to even take a picture has been a challenge. There are three owners manuals for this camera. Three. 1,2,3.
I finished reading my current book, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. This is a great read. The story takes place in Brooklyn around the time of the first world war, and it details the childhood and adolescence of a girl in a very poor, Irish family. I thought the book was absolutely fantastic in the amount of detail it held about the living conditions and the culture in Brooklyn at that time. It also kind of helped me to understand the New York mentality of survival a little bit more, and it also helped me understand my Momo, who grew up in New York (though not Irish), a little more as well. I was pleased to find out at the end of the story, that it was largely autobiographical. This would explain the pristine and realistic detail of the story.
It is a good read. I'd recommend it highly.
I also got to see my friend, Kristi's new baby. She is adorable, and she has about the cutest little nursery that you could ever imagine. When I see Kristi being a mom, I forget instantly that she was ever anything but a Mom--it suits her perfectly.
Despite the fact that the weekend was filled with solutions, both my husband and I agreed that we were not feeling the usual contentedness that comes from a full and enjoyable weekend. Maybe we are spoiled. Probably we are depressed a little. For me it is more than that. I feel a discontent stirring in me. I feel, in part, like life is passing me by. Like one of the characters says in Singles, I feel like time is running out to do something crazy. Or something meaningful. There has to be more to me than just making files and doing financial information all day. I love my company, and I appreciate my job. But it isn't enough. Or rather, I can start to sense that the time is going to come when it isn't going to be enough, and I will need to go deeper, to take bigger risks, to fully jump into some of the ideas and dreams that I have. And to pick some things up that I've had to lay down in recent years for various reasons.
It's like how Mary Poppins comes and goes with the wind--I feel that wind coming where something is going to change. I am on the cusp. I feel the wind in my skirts--and I need to fly.

07 April 2006

I blame the bellybutton brush!

Bellybutton brush, you say? Oh, yes! Haven't you heard of them??!!! Doesn't everyone have one?
I am about to explain how my tendency to hide things and play pranks ultimately can be blamed on a bellybutton brush.
When my mom was growing up on 6th Avenue in Helena back in the days of whenever my mom was young (math--not my strong point), her family had some very good friends that lived right next door to them. All of the kids were basically the same age and played together, and the two sets of parents got along very well.
At some point, and this is not utterly clear to me, enters the bellybutton brush.
So, here are the two families--the Anderson's (Momo, Fafa, and the kids) and the Whitesitt's (Bob and Evelyn and kids). Bob and Evelyn and Momo and Fafa like to exchange gifts. And one year, they exchange a gag gift of sorts--a bellybutton brush.
A bellybutton brush looks like a tiny eyebrow brush, and it comes in a metallic case--much like a compact.
Well, over the years, the BB got passed back and forth between the two families every Christmas. After the Anderson's moved out to the valley, the BB was one of the items that kept the two families and the friendships fresh and new every year.
And so it goes that after many years the BB began to have stories exchanged. The BB has been married, had children, been kidnapped, been involved in political campaigns, etc, etc--all of this contained within the successivesly more dramatic stories accompanying the arrival of the BB at Christmas every year.
I think the BB is absolutely hilarious, and he is one of my favorite Anderson Family Traditions.
As the years have passed, Grandma and Grandpa and Momo and Fafa have gotten more forgetful, and tragically, the BB has been lost in the past year or two. I think they are relieved that they don't have to make up any more stories for him. I am sad about it. It is the end of a good life for the BB.
The BB is not the only thing like this in our family. My mother and I have been at random intervals been exchanging a dried banana stump (you know, the top part of the banana--the pointy part that connects it to the bunch), named Tana the Banana for many years now.
Somehow this all has instilled within me a very odd sense of humor. It has also instilled in me a sense that inanimate objects have feelings. I feel badly for the couch that is getting thrown out in the trash. Or the spoon that gets eaten up in the garbage disposal. Or the chair that is uncomfortable and no one likes to sit on.
I also like to hide things.
I blame the bellybutton brush!
This will explain the following update to the Shoe Saga:
A couple weeks ago I hosted Knitty Naughties at my place on Monday night. Or maybe it was Bible study, I don't remember. Either way, that night when I went to bed, I found a pair of shoes in my bed. The next day, I found another pair of shoes hiding in some feathers and another shoe under the bureau. And, I found a shoe key chain attached to my ever-increasing Key System.
They keep multiplying. Luckily, these shoes were awesome, courtesy of the Allison Lindbloom collection.
So, now I have a ton of shoes. I have the new Allison shoes, and I have the velvety barbie shoes with the revolting bow. I have also gone through several weeks of trying to locate my own real shoes at various intervals whenever someone comes to or sneaks over to my house.
This morning, I got revenge.
Dana suddenly found that her Arbor Vitae tree was blooming with velvet Barbie shoes. :-)
I find this hilarious. I am sure most of you find it insane.
Today is a New Sweater Day. I finally completed Tubey last weekend, and Dana has been kind enough to block it for me all week to make it a reasonable length. And, we were successful to that end since I am currently wearing it at my job. It turned out great, and I love this yarn and this color. It is just the perfect amount of warmness. And it looks hot! Success!!!
Other current projects are--reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (book report to follow shortly), and embroidery, specifically, a set of pillow cases that I will probably give to my nieces.
Tonight my husband and I will have the pleasure of meeting some good friends of ours, Jason & Becky, at Juano's for supper (where I will eat a salad and drink lots of Sangria). I love Jason & Becky. They are extremely talented and creative individuals who always inspire me to try something new. If I had to list all of the amazing things they have created, it would take days, but suffice it to say they have probably the coolest house of anyone I know.
Tomorrow we are having our neighbors over for supper. Finally. After about a year of telling them we were going to invite them over. I want to grill a leg-of-lamb for us, so this afternoon I am going to try to track one down for a reasonable price. As if that's possible.
The most exciting news of the moment is that my friend, Kristi, had her baby on the 4th of April. I just found out via word-of-mouth today (and yes, I am mad she hasn't called me yet--Kristi!). They named the baby Brooklyn Elayne. I think she was 7 pounds 11 ounces and 22 inches (does that seem right?). Congrats Kristi & Trevor! It was a tough pregnancy, and I am really proud of Kristi for pushing through all the pain and uncomfortability. I can't wait to see this baby--it is probably the cutest baby EVER!
In the category of things I recently learned:
Did you know that Abraham Lincoln's wife was a complete nutjob? She was a complete and total nutcase. I guess she was the most miserable person to live with and be married to ever in the world. She was probably bipolar, and she'd go on these huge spending sprees where she'd buy like 200 pairs of gloves. And she was cantankerous and did not deal with real life well at all. But Abe never gave up on her. He continued to love her and treat her well no matter what she did. He could have played the "I'm too busy running the country" card, but he still managed to make his marriage a priority despite the Civil War and his unpopularilty with the people at that time. I learned all of this while reading The Sacred Marriage by Gary L. Thomas. This is what we were reading in Bible study. I think his example is really revolutionary in our time when everyone would rather just throw in the towel when things get tough in their marriage. I had no idea he had a bad wife. He handled it all with grace--something that really impresses me.
I will leave you with a sexy e.e. cummings poem since it is a sexy weekend (in case you don't get it--it is an analogy of car to a woman)
she being Brand

-new; and you
know consequently a
little stiff i was
careful of her and (having

thoroughly oiled the universal
joint tested my gas felt of
her radiator made sure her springs were O.

K.)i went right to it flooded-the-carburetor cranked her

up,slipped the
clutch9and then somehow got into reverse she
kicked what
the hell)next
minute i was back in neutral tried and

again slo-wly;bare,ly nudg. in(my

lev-er Right-
oh and her gears being in
A 1 shape passed
from low through
second-in-to-high lik
greasedlightning) just as we turned the corner of Divinity

avenue i touched the accelerator and give

her the juice,good

was the first ride and believe i we was
happy to see how nice she acted right up to
the last minute coming back down by the Public
Gardens i slammed on

brakes Bothatonce and

brought allofher TremB
to a:dead.


06 April 2006

Another poo entry--but this one's not mine

This is a recent entry from my friend and suitemate, Sara's blog. She is my suitemate b/c she sits next to me at work in a cubicle area for two--and we BOTH sit next to the bathroom. Enjoy!

and that's the scoop on poop Current mood: contemplative Category: Life
I need to get something off of my chest. Or out of my bowels. Or ... whatever. Let me for a brief moment of your time talk about ... oh how do I put this nicely ... well, um, poop. More specifically the workplace bathroom offenders which here on out I will refer to as "poopetrators".
My desk is conveniently located directly adjacent to the shitters. Good for me when I gotsta pee. Not so good when one of my coworkers waltzes in there with the Fargo Forum tucked under his arm obviously going to take the browns to the superbowl. Let me tell you of some of the unpleasantries I've experienced. The first day at this particular location I was recording my voicemail greeting. Well ... it went a little something like this ... "This is Sara I will be in the bank today from 8 until 5. Feel free to leave me a message after (((FLUSH)))". Wowie. Thank you, co-worker for flushing the toilet and then immediately opening the door so it can be on my voicemail for all to hear. Jerk.
Read that last sentence again. That's right. There are several of my co-workers that must not be washing their hands after using the facilities. GROSS! I'm not asking that you perform a surgical scrub down, but at least rinse your fingers after you've been handling your ding ding. Or turn the water on to create an illusion of proper hand washing for my sake.
Here are some simple yet important rules to follow for successful corporate pooping:
1. I avoid the situation of corporate pooping at all costs. However, if you have "Delhi belly" and need to drop a deuce try to do so in the least used bathroom. Go to an entirely different floor if you can. Better yet, if possible, travel to a neighboring business and commit your offense there.
2. Flush often. I advise that you flush as soon as the first turdlet makes contact with the water to eliminate any stink. Flush as many times as you deem necessary. It also is in indicator to anyone in close proximity that you've committed an offense and they will know not to make eye contact with you once you leave to avoid awkwardness.
3. Do not waive your hands in the air frantically trying to get rid of any stink you may have emitted. This only breaks up the stink molecules and pushes them about the air freely thus doubling the wretched smell.
4. Get rid of the evidence. There are several things to take into consideration here ... it may help to have a mental checklist. Did I leave a trotsky trail? (Skidmark of poo mapping out exactly where it has been in the toilet.) Are there pee pee dribbles on the seat? Another tell-tale sign that you were sinkin' submarines is a warm toilet seat. The longer you sit the closer the seat will get to body temperature. Let it cool down slightly before exiting.
5. Do not try to disguise the stink with another scent. If you spray the nearby can of Lysol thinking you can camoflauge the stink you will only make matters worse. People will hear the aerosol sound and will become privy to the offense. Now they know you're ashamed of your actions. Plus, it will smell like poop AND Lysol. Not a good combo. I've heard lighting a match works. Just be careful not to set off any sprinklers.
6. Evacuate the premise immediately. What you've done is nothing to be proud of. Don't make eye contact or small talk. As soon as the coast is clear make a (discreet) break for it and head back to your desk like nothing happened.
And you never want to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. When someone has the nasty pidoodles before you and now you're stuck looking like the "poopetrator" when in fact you're just the victim of the aftermath. Maybe if we would all push brown and evacuate our bowels BEFORE we got to work this could all be avoided.

An e.e. cummings poem for a spring day

since feeling is first
who pays any attention
to the syntax of things
will never wholly kiss you;

wholly to be a fool
while Spring is in the world

my blood approves,
and kisses are a better fate
than wisdom
lady i swear by all flowers. Don't cry
--the best gesture of my brain is less than
your eyelids' flutter which says

we are for each other:then
laugh,leaning back in my arms
for life's not a paragraph

And death i think is no parenthesis

05 April 2006

Failure to launch: Yacht Oberlander

Well, we have not floated away. The river has crested. The dikes are holding. The river remains at bay (ha!) And our sump pump continues to work.
I believe we may be in the clear.
That, and it is 64 degrees and generally sunshiny today. Which is glorious.
Last night I took the dogs for a walk and took a gander at the river's hugeness. It was huge. Really huge. It was almost going over one of the mammoth Fargo-Moorhead bridges in my neighborhood. Very impressive. I did not want to fall in the river. A bunch of other people must have wanted to, though, since they were standing on driftwood on the "shore" taking pictures to show all of their friends. Idiots.
Tonight I have to teach the bellydancing classes for Rita and Megan who are both busy with real life stuff. I have a beginner class learning a folkloric style dance and a more advanced class learning a modern Egyptian dance.
There are some very special ed people in the advanced class. I am normally incredibly tolerant of awkwardness in people in these classes, but there is this one very nice woman in our class that I literally have to try sooooooooooooooooo hard not to laugh out loud at. I do not understand nor can I describe the things she manages to do with her body and her hands. The sad thing is that she thinks she is doing the moves. And tonight, it will be my job as the teacher to try to help her. And I will have to try not to laugh.
I am mean.
I don't mean to be mean, though. You should see her. You'd struggle, too.
I don't relish teaching. I actually quit teaching voice and piano because I didn't like it. It was draining, and half the time I'd ruin a perfectly good afternoon with friends only to go home to wait for a student for them to NO SHOW. Bah!
It won't be quite the same with having an actual class, so maybe it isn't going to be as bad. The main issue is finding enough things for the advanced class to do for an hour and a half. They pretty much know most of the dance now. But sometimes they get overwhelmed and need to quit choreography for awhile, and then we have to figure out something else to fill the time.
I think I am going to incorporate some acting exercises into the classes tonight. Like, "this time we are going to dance it like cheerleaders." "This time we will dance it like a goddess." Etc, etc. It adds another layer of interest and makes it fun and interesting.
Well, I am off to get prepared for the classes. And to soak up some sun!

04 April 2006

A sea of 1,047 dog turds...

Discussion topic:
Is "terd" spelled t-e-r-d or t-u-r-d?
Right now, I think it is spelled g-r-o-s-s!
Yesterday was one of those days where I woke up with migraine precursors and entirely nauseous. (And no, I am not pregnant mom, grandma, and anyone else inclined to think that nausea is a sign of impending birth).
And, I was depressed. Because it has been about 52 days since we saw anything but the color gray in the sky.
So, I called in sick. There was no going to work.
Second reason for calling in sick: my dog, Molly, the Shiba Inu from Japan, ate an entire bag of uncooked sticky rice on Friday night and has had explosive rice diarrhea ALL WEEKEND. So, my husband and I have cleaned up about 25 explosive rice diarrhea messes in our house by Monday morning.
Maybe this had something to do with my nausea???
So, I figured I'd better stay at home so that our house would not be taken away in a sea of rice diarrhea by the time we arrived home from work.
Well, after Molly had had mess 26 Monday morning, and nausea had set in permanently, I thought 1) I am going to be nauseous all day anyway, so I might as well pick up poop in the yard and b) that it would bring my husband much joy to not have to pick up poop in the yard.
So, I set out at the task of Poop Removal. PR hasn't been done since last fall due to snow and cold.
I tell you, people, I grew up on the farm with animals like cows and sheep. And never in my life have I seen so much poop as I did yesterday. Never. It was beyond disgusting.
I spent 3 full hours pooper scoopering in the yard. It produced the following:
1) 5.5 full-sized kitchen bags full of molly and priscilla dung
2) an exhausted dog mommy
3) a permanent smell of dog poop in my nose
4) more nausea
5) a clean yard
6) a happy husband.
But, there is something really bad that has come of this. Even more than permanent poop smell in my nose (which, by the way, I still have at this moment even). I can't close my eyes without seeing turds. Various sizes, shapes, levels of moisture (gross). This is a problem. I feel like I am drowning in waste. I can't sleep since it requires closing my eyes.
So, I have been telling my story of woe about the explosive rice diarrhea to various friends who have told me about dogs who have eaten the following to the same end: 1) an entire tub of butter, 2) the entire contents of a lazy Suzy, including but not limited to pop tarts, crackers, and a bag of sugar, 3) scary dead things, 4) their own poop, 5) walls (I am not kidding).
Bottom line, dogs are stupid and they make a lot of waste, but I STILL love them.
Other than this, I am happy to report that my husband and I now have nearly reached the point of having riverside property as the Red River is solidly 2 blocks away from our house.
My Dad is convinced that we are all going to float away and that he is going to have to come rescue us. My husband and I are, in his words, very "nonchalant" about the entire situation. I feel fine about it. The city has been doing a fantastic job taking care of us, and I am the proud owner of a newly-refurbished basement complete with drain tile and a sump pump. No one on our block is worried since not even the flood of 97 reached our houses.
I had a bellydance gig on Friday night. We danced for a local theater company's fundraiser/silent auction. When we walked in the door, the first thing my fellow dancer, Rita, says is "Food fettish Guy is here."
"Oh, yeah, Foot Fettish Guy. We met him at Valley-Con three years ago."
Here is what FFG is wearing. One denim pirate shirt complete with many layers of ruffles, dirty. One light-colored leather vest with fringe. One set of tribal beads. Computer nerd pants. Bad hair.
I am not going to tell you how they found out about his interest in feet, but it ain't pretty.
Now, I have performed all my life, and I am accustomed to people looking at me in all manner of ways, but FFG is different. Because he has no social graces whatsoever. For instance, he sees nothing, absolutely nothing wrong with standing in front of the entire audience (who are seated) in the middle of the stage right in front of us for the entire performance bobbing his head (not to the music, by the way).
Foot Fettish Guy scares me. He is creepy. He tries to hug us after the show. I do not allow him near me.
I feel badly about acting this way toward someone. Maybe he is just a poor dude who really sucks at relating to people and just comes off like a complete pervert.
I am not willing to take the chance.
Luckily, Rita is accustomed to dealing with mutants like this on an almost daily basis, so she gracefully removed us from the situation. For which I was very glad, because FFG was trying to convince us that he was a writer for a local paper (I looked into it--he is not. He sells ads for them), and that he wants to do an article on us.
Over my dead body.
Other than that, it was a lovely performance experience. We got to wear our glorious blue dresses and dance for people that were generally very appreciative--and a full house at that. It was fun.
And then on the way home, I got to call in some idiot teenage drunk drivers. And how did I know they were idiot teenage drunk drivers, you ask? Because they actually showed us their beer cans at an intersection.
Wrong choice, young boys. Wrong choice with this chick. If there is one thing I do not tolerate in this world, it is drunk driving. So, I made my first 911 call that night. I even memorized the license plate of the vehicle and everything. You would be proud. I was sort of like Jennifer Garner on Alias. Sort of. Except not as hot. But I was wearing a great costume.
Another glorious thing happened this weekend. I received both a working dishwasher and a working stove for the soap kitchen off of Fargo's freecycle group. I am now completely in love with freecycle because they gave me the final pieces necessary to begin my laboratory/kitchen of creativity for all natural, synthetic free, organic, north dakota made soaps, lotions, and cosmetics. Hopefully this will bloom into an actual money-making business someday, and now I am one step closer, which makes me sooooooooooooo happy! Plus we have a dishwasher now! Hit me!
Finally, I would like to say that meeting Jason, the internet boyfriend, was a truly delightful experience. And, what's more, he was exactly like how I picture he'd be--both in looks and in personality. So, I guess there isn't always a ton of truth to the idea that you can meet someone over the internets and then find them to be a totally different person in person (ha!). And it is fun to see people fall in love. It is invigorating and encouraging and makes a person want to keep trying in their own relationships. So, that is good, too.
Loves to you all! I wish you a night free of turds. Or terds. Whichever it may be.