Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Hippo Birdie Two Ewes...

Hello, Peanut!

Wow. I'm a little stunned that we've already made it through a whole year together. I'm also, paradoxically, unable to remember what it was like before you were here.

What a wonderful year I have had with the great luck and joy of being your Mama. I feel so grateful to the Universe(?) or God(?) or Fate(?) that I got to have a baby and that the baby I got is you.

Your smile, your little sigh of contentment (which you've had since you were 5 days old!), your laugh, your belly button, the smell of your neck, your kissable cheeks and your chubby feet; your bright eyes, your sense of adventure; your willingness to try just about any food that exists--you've got quite a palate for a 1-year-old!--and your openness to people and new places; your enjoyment of music and movement; the fact that your first word was "Amber;" just a tiny list of some of the things about you that I love.

Reading the post your Daddy wrote for your birthday reminded me that I wanted to write down some of these things for you, too, and for me, since so much more is coming in the years ahead to look forward to.

I want you to know that your being you makes the world a new and better place for me. I know real happiness now that you're here, and I'm trying every day to not take that for granted. To say a little "thanks" for all of it--crying and teething and diapers, along with the giggling and smiling and hugs.

My wish for you on your birthday is that you will always know you are loved and that you will love; that you will be happy and healthy; that you will continue to find adventure and hope ahead of you, and that laughter and music will be lifelong companions.

I love you, little bee.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

No title, other than the obvious...

The best family (including in-laws!) I could ask for
Hubby-and his 3-years-and-counting cancer-free status
All our wonderful, smart, funny, kind, thoughtful, loving friends
Not having to worry about losing my job in the near future—a personal silver lining to the cloud of
tough economic times
Kids in my life: namely, two nieces, one nephew, and my own impending baby boy
Smirky is leaving office—FOREVER!
Gay civil rights on the radar—statewide, hope for overturning H8 (March?) and making those rights
federally, Constitutionally, mandated in my lifetime
Itchy sweaters—I love fall; I love fall clothes; I love boots and scarves and wool and tweed
Very unusual eyes—Amber the cat’s, to be exact, and the rest of her, while I’m at it
Inclement weather—we need this rain; we need fresh air, new water and a break from the terrible
Northridge—Cal State; its proximity; its value (good bang for the buck!); mostly, the opportunity to
study something I’ve always wanted to study, even if it takes me 10 years to complete a 2-year degree
Good bones—our house is a fixer-upper to be sure, but we’ve got one! And it has potential, in its

Friday, October 17, 2008

If you live in California and you are old enough to vote...

NO ON 8!
NO ON 8!
NO ON 8!
NO ON 8!
I don't want my child to grow up in a place where civil rights are denied to his family, his friends, his acquaintances, or (who knows?) him.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Time's up

I've been dumped. By a longtime--even a lifetime--acquaintance. What's worse, I found out from a recording.

I happened to call a couple of weeks ago, at about 6:00 AM (though I didn't know it was 6:00 AM until after, when I got out of bed, booted up the computer, and checked the time online). I called for the same reason I have been calling for 25 or 30 years now. To find out what time it was. Our power had gone out 3 hours before, and when all things electronic came whooshing and whirring quietly back to life, I wanted to reset the bedside alarm clock so we could get another fitful hour's sleep.

I reached for the phone, dialed the number, and waited to hear her voice: "At the tone, the time will be..." punctuated reliably with a perfectly-calibrated BEEP.

Instead, I was greeted with the 3-note tone for a disconnected number, followed by:

“Effective September 19th, 2007, the time announcement information service has been discontinued. We apologize for any inconvenience."

I was stunned. And then saddened. I know, I know--you're probably "having trouble accessing my pain," as Teresa put it. While I am apt to form great sentimental attachments where others might not, there's more to it than that. The time lady has always been there, dutifully announcing the hour and minute, in ten-second increments, for as long as I can remember, no matter what else has changed in the world around me. I grew up and still live in Southern California, where ancient history is last month.

I learned the number as a kid: 853- followed by any four digits. From any area code. I even remember playing a game with my sister, where we'd call time and try to hit it at the golden moment: "...o'clock. Exactly." BEEP. When I went away to college in northern California, it was the same time lady, though the number was different. (It spelled, whimsically, P-O-P-C-O-R-N.)

While everyone else moved on to cellphone-, Internet- and other forms of timekeeping, I continued to rely on the occasional-to-frequent bouts of calling time. The time lady has just always been there, and it seemed like she always would. Such a constant that I never stopped to think about where she came from, how she came to be there, or whether it was possible that she'd ever go away.

Now I know the time lady spent 78 years here in California. She was born in Chicago in 1928. She performed her daily, redundant duty courtesy of the phone company, and was, at her heyday, available in 22 states. She'll continue on, for a little while at least, only in Nevada. (Which is perhaps a little ironic, considering how the major industry in that state depends on keeping the passage of time, or your awareness of it, hidden from consciousness. But that's another post.)

No matter all my high-tech options for marking time, the time lady was the first and the longest-lived. She was good to me. I'll miss her.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Tit for Tat

I've been thinking about getting a tattoo.

(I never really considered tattoos for myself until last year. Something about dealing with hubby's cancer and coming through the fear and uncertainty felt like a rite of passage. I think that's a big part of my sudden desire to mark myself permanently as someone different. Living scared and stressed to the marrow for months tweaked my perception of what's really essential. As a result, my incessant, insecure fretting about who I "should be" has started to abate. There's irony, isn't there, in the fact that halting my OCD levels of "Who am I?" has led me to understand better who I am.)

I think what I most enjoy about the idea of a great tattoo is the art in it. Having my own piece of art to carry around on my skin. Which brings me back to pondering what kind of design I'd like for me. I find retro-style, classic "pinup girls" very appealing as tattoos. Especially on women (I've seen a couple women get versions of pinups on Miami Ink--one got a sailor girl to honor her dad, a Navy man; the other woman got her own motorcycle customization company's logo, stylized into a pinup). Just any curvaceous female form isn't going to work. Consider the unfortunately common mudflap girl, you know the one: the shadow girl, all boobs and big hair.

If I saw her on a mudflap, I'd be pretty impressed with the person driving that truck. She's far sexier (and very glamorous--do you see her tiny red manicured digits, people?) I found her among lots of great Alberto Vargas girls and lots of other pinups at The Pinup Page, which I found so I could do a little research on "my" tattoo.

Here's one that I called Hubby in to see, asking if he could figure out why I like her so much (besides the fact that she's the art of Pearl Frush, a female pinup artist of the 40s and 50s). If you've read a few of my other posts, you'll probably get it as quickly as Hubby did:

Yeah, of course. The shoes. Those platforms rock, don't you think?

Then I found this one, and she has such a pretty, open smile, I fell in love with her:

These women have beautiful faces and bodies, but they also look like you could have a laugh and some good conversation with any of them. I didn't know a shadow could look vapid, but check out Mudflap Girl again.

I want my beauty to look as sexy and curvy as the best of them, but I want her to show a little brain to go along with all the skin. So I'm looking for one I can modify into a "librarian pinup." Perhaps she can be perched on a book ladder and sport a pair of reading glasses on the tip of her nose. Or how about my girl here, with nothing but an open OED to keep her modest:

Of course, she'll need some shoes...

As scout pointed out, a pinup tattoo belongs on one's bicep. True, but my arms are in no shape to support a tattoo (what would a nice girl like that be doing in a place like this?). So I'm thinking I'd put her on my back. Up along the shoulder blade.

What do you think?

(All images from The Pinup Page. )

Sunday, September 03, 2006


It's Fall.

For me, anyway. I started sensing the bend in the sunlight a few weeks ago. And what feels to me like the last, desperate blast of heat from summer, bringing out the big guns in a final attempt to assert itself. I know what you're thinking, those of you who have known New England autumns, what most think of as "real" fall. Actual seasons. The thing is, we have seasons in SoCal. But they are much more subtle. Which makes that turn from summer even more precious, to me, who lives happiest and best between September and December. I suppose if I ever live in, say, Boston, the overtness of trees in full flame and preponderance of crisp, cool days would make my head (and heart) explode. It might be almost too much.

You know SAD? People with SAD need summery sun--or at least sunlamps--to alleviate the depression that sets in when winter gets too long and dark. I think I have my own version. I look forward to fall all year. To shorter days, cooler weather, blue, breezy skies. To the un-greening of leaves, seeing pumpkins, needing a sweater. To the deep nostalgia that washes over me as back-to-school approaches. I admit it, I'm one of those annoying people who actually looked forward to the new school year as a kid. I was ready to see my friends/classmates again, to wear spanking new clothes, and to be an ant again after three months as a grasshopper. Autumn has always brought a feeling of possibility into my soul. I always get excited when fall comes, I always remember years past and vibrate a little with the sense that something new is just around the corner.

My New Year begins the day after Labor Day. Y'all can have January 1st and May Day. Early September is my time for "spring cleaning" of the mind, for revitalizing, re-energizing, resolving to do better, for dusting out my spiritual cobwebs.

Happy Fall.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Sparks Fly?

Hubby and I, scout and sporksforall attended the WNBA Western Conference Championship game last night in the OC, courtesy of sporksforall who had proposed such an outing as an innovation in our usual social routine as a foursome. She sweetened the deal by suggesting that a trip to the Duck Pond should include a pre- or post-game meal at Rutabegorz, which despite its oddly spelled name, serves FANTASTIC apple pie, as scout has opined many times. Scout's estimation being important because she likes her the apple pie.

I have never been to a WNBA game before. The one time I attended a professional women's sporting event was the FIFA Women's World Cup '99, the year it went all the way to penalty kicks determining USA's 5-4 victory over China. I remember the swell of inspiration and pride I felt along with the World Cup-level tension when I looked around the Rose Bowl and saw all the girls and women in the stands, faces painted with slogans, hope and excitement. (I also remember getting violently ill with heat exhaustion and dehydration, and Jennifer Lopez's shameful performance at half-time--she was lip-synching! To the wrong track! At an INTERNATIONAL SPORTS EVENT! J-Low.)

Anyhow, the opportunity to attend another pro women's sporting event was welcomed roundly by hubby (who loves sports and pie) and me (looking forward to my second pro women's sporting event).

After a bout with traffic so horrific that we were forced to scrap our plans for an early dinner, we arrived at the Pond. As we walked across the parking lot I noticed the sad disparity in available parking spaces between this arena and the Angels stadium--hosting major league baseball--on the other side of the 57 freeway. Over there, hundreds upon hundreds of cars glinted mockingly in the late-afternoon sun. Scout piped up to congratulate me on my first visit to a lesbian bar. I asked if Rutebegorz was a lesbian bar. Scout laughed and said, no, the Pond was going to be a lesbian bar today, what with the women's b-ball. Audiences for these events generally break down into three groups: little girls and their moms, lesbians, and those basketball fans who can't afford Lakers tickets.

Well, the Sparks played some suck-a$$ ball, let me tell you. They had no defense, Lisa Leslie's basket-shooting ability was on hiatus, and none of them could catch a rebound to save their souls. Our "Littlest Spark, " Temeka Johnson, was the only one capable of a fast break and some energy, im[VERY]ho. But one 5'-3" dynamo doth not an entire team carry. Especially when the Monarchs were playing as tight a defense as they were, and racking up 3-point hoops like it wasn't no big thing.

The disappointment of our homegirls not bringing it on allowed me free reign in one of my favorite activities at sporting events, people-watching. The audience at the Sparks game most definitely did not disappoint. Indeed, girls, lesbians and less-fortunate basketball fans comprised our cohort. Sporksforall and scout pointed out the Monarchs fan to our southwest in the stands, who had brought along her silver-painted face, her Monarchs t-shirt, and a sealed Wheaties box honoring the 2005 champions. Which she held up like a banner to cheer on her team at every opportunity (and there were lots of those opportunities). There was also someone shrilling "C'mon LADIES!!!" about two rows behind my right eardrum. (The ladies did not c'mon. We all wished heartily, and clapped gamely for the points our girls did manage to score. But it was a round defeat from start to finish, ending in a 72-58 final score, which cinched the Monarchs' 2-game victory and their Western Conference championship.)

Hubby noted the lack of Oregon Ducks in the provenance of the team's lineup. With disappointment, since Ducks origins always raise his spirits and his rooting powers. Confused by his statement, as we were at the Pond, where the Anaheim Ducks (hockey) play in season, he had to clarify that most college ball teams name the women's version as the "Lady" whatevers. (As in "Lady Ducks.") Yikes. I find that offensive. Even my own alma mater--a university and college town so liberal-minded that they birthed the free-speech movement, and officially renamed Columbus Day "Indigenous People's Day"--couldn't muster the respect or imagination to come up with anything better than "Lady Bears?" ? !

I had taken up in my people-watching with the most convenient groups, folks sitting in our row and in front of us. We had an older couple and their grandson(?) to our left. "Nana" had presciently brought along a Danielle Steele paperback, and mostly read that. She did look up for the Sparks Troop performance and the "dance for a pizza" contest. (But, oddly?, she didn't dance.) The five women in front of us were more interesting, and far easier to observe unobtrusively. I spent some time trying to analyze the relationships between them. Conferring with scout determined that we probably had two couples: one obvious duo who matched down to the impressive amount of hair product they were sporting, another couple not very matched, and their fifth-wheel friend, who was eventually invited out of her aisle seat and into a seat in the middle of not-matched couple, so she wouldn't feel left out.

The matchy-matchiness or not of the two couples got me thinking. Being straight, I found the most boyish-looking woman in the five most physically attractive (that's good, because if hubby were a woman, he'd be about as butch a women as I can imagine). But the matched couple had similar hairstyles, and obviously shared hair product. They had similar clothing styles, too, and looked about the same size. Here was a whole new angle: If you are attracted to women whose styles and sizes are similar to yours, why, you might double your wardrobe (and your shoe collection!). Along with finding your soul-mate and life's companion, of course.

By the time we were down to the fourth quarter with 4 minutes to go and no comeback in sight, it was time to head out for dinner (and pie). On that count, we were not disappointed. My Vegetarian Cobb Salad was served in a large deep bowl, which allowed for easy tossing. The $1 Fiesta Dip was scrumptious, and the apple pie was indeed FANTASTIC. And served in portions to overwhelm the dessert plate it came on. As hubby says, "Yummo!"