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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

"Out of the cradle, endlessly rocking..."

Okay, so I feel like blowing a bunch of hot air about the state of theater in Los Angeles and the state of the people who GO to the theater in Los Angeles. Also, my own personal epiphany, which will come later.

Last Sunday we pretended we were like the rest of the country...the ones with a positive balance in their checking accounts...and we went to see the closing performance of "Hair" at the Pantages. I thought it would be a nice book-end...we had been to opening night, we should close it. Besides, the hubster wasn't in town when we went the first time, rush tickets aren't all THAT expensive as things go (they're the equivalent of a movie and a large popcorn, don't start me on THAT) and I had that rather unfortunate experience with my seat mate on opening night that somewhat intruded upon the experience of actually SEEING the first act instead of the arm of the woman next to me.

I wasn't thrilled, the only tickets they could get on rush were in the 4th row of the balcony and, much as I hate to admit it, I am somewhat nervous about heights. I wasn't ready when the family left, so I took the next bus. If the tickets were refundable I probably would have had them take mine back. We met up and adjourned to a local bar. It was in the "W" hotel, which was the only bar we could find we could get IN to last Sunday afternoon. This wasn't so much an indication of the general sobriety of Hollywood as it was the 2nd quarter of the Steelers-Jets game. We finally found a bar without cable. A martini, a gimlet, a vodka and cranberry and a coke cost a modest $55.00.

No, I'm NOT kidding.

We didn't even get a bowl of cocktail nuts.

But the gin was cold (yes, I drink gin. A "martini" denotes gin. This is why that other drink is called a "vodka martini". Not that any bartender under the age of 75 knows that anymore)and I was oiled up enough to trot up the stairs to the mezzanine.

The seats were awfully good, considering. The rake was gentle and there was plenty of leg room, thus negating my height problems. The four high school girls next to us were a joy to sit with. They were friendly and invited us to go downstairs with them when they headed for the stage at the end of the show. They were involved in their theater program, wore dresses and neither talked nor texted through the show. As we chatted before the show started they were very interested in shows the hubster and I had seen that were on stage before their time.

GOD...there IS a future!

A friend of mine texted me from the theater (I did not know she was there) that she was watching "Hair" and was not impressed. The hubster wasn't thrilled with the use of horns in the band. For one of the first times, it didn't matter.

Because Sunday night, in that theater, we caught lightning in a bottle.

No one's folded arms and no one's theater degreed opinions could stop it. The cast was on fire and the energy whipped through the audience like a slingshot. I have never, in my life (and that includes the closing night of Bruce Springsteen's 'Born In The U.S.A. tour) been in a theater where the cast and the audience developed such a symbiotic relationship. It was kharma, for two and a half hours we could not have existed without each other.

About two-thirds of the way through the first act, the title song started. And so did the magic. Up the aisles the actors went, up on chair backs, up rigging, they were everywhere. The sound mix wasn't so good on Sunday but it didn't matter. What had been a song became an anthem, pounding, pulling balding boomers and dewy eyed teens alike to their feet, all the while clap-clap-clap-clap-clap, driving the music forward. Those kids on stage were about to stop a show - and they knew it.

I imagine this is how riots start.

It calmed down, but the energy never let up. As the show ended and "Let the Sunshine In" started to crescendo my son (and the four very nice girls to our left) got up to go downstairs and head for the stage. He looked at me and said "you coming?" I didn't go the last time. I had asked the hubster earlier if he was game for it, his answer was "hell no!" Normally this would have stopped me. Sort of the "please, act like a grown up" message.

Sunday night, for one of the first times in my life, I said "Hell yes!" and took off.

Down the stairs, down the orchestra aisle. It was an old-fashioned love-in down there. The cast was on stage, in the aisles, on seats, open armed, waving people up on the stage and when the stage could hold no more they continued to beckon people down, ushering us to the front of the stage, the side aisles, anywhere there was room. We clapped and we danced and we sang the last bars of "Hair" and the cast started their final "Let The Sunshine In" with us. Arms up, swaying right, then left and we all turned towards the audience and sang. And the audience members who stayed in their seats were standing, arms up, swaying back and forth and singing. On the floor, in the balcony, the ushers had all crept in the back doors to be part of it, I can only imagine what it must have sounded like in the lobby. No one wanted to leave.

I always wanted to go into the theater. BIG surprise, I'm sure. But my parents said "don't learn to sing, learn to type" and so I did. And they said "don't be an actor, be a secretary" and so I was. And they taught me to work, and work hard because dreams were hobbies. And I've done that. But Sunday night I finally did what I wanted to do and who cares what you think? I looked out FROM a stage instead of AT a stage. It was mildly hedonistic and extremely cathartic. And I understood why all those people carry AFTRA cards.

And I remembered a line from the movie "Hairspray" of all things. At the end, before the frenetic last dance number, the host of the show says to the producer "This is the future. You can either fight it, or rock out to it."

And that was my epiphany. It's time to rock.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

I just wanted to go home...

Yesterday I made the worst mistake I can make. I told the hubster I was sick and just wanted to go home.

This was said on a public street where I was carrying bags of groceries. I was going one way, he was going the other and he came up with the bang up idea that I should tote the groceries BACK in the direction I had come from, wait in line at the Post Office with him and then we would walk home together, each carrying one of the two heavy bags.

So, after a show of putting the light things in the tote bag he was using for his four envelopes and hefting the grocery bags with a long sigh accompanied by rolling his eyes back in his head and claiming he wasn't being mean when I accused him of such he trudged off one way, I went the other. I put the groceries I had away and collapsed on the freshly made bed...which, I would like to mention, the hubster had actually made and I appreciated to no end. Thanked him for it too. I received no response but I did my part.

He came in a few minutes later. I got up to see what the ruckus was. He was trying to shove the perishables in the fridge. I mentioned that the dried up pitcher of pancake batter didn't need to stay in there, nor did the empty drink cups from Boston Market. He left the kitchen and went back to his laptop. I finished putting away the groceries and went back to bed and a movie I'd seen about 100 times.

A few hours later I got up. My head felt as if someone had inserted a bicycle pump in my ear and was filling my sinuses with air. The left side of my face was visibly swollen, I was having difficulty opening my left eye. My teeth hurt...something I learned was caused by the pressure the sinuses are putting on the roots of the teeth. I was somewhat lightheaded. My ears were popping. And, you know the tickling sensation you get right before you sneeze? Well, I had that. But I wasn't sneezing. And it NEVER WENT AWAY! It was making my eyes water. My ears were humming a loud and constant tone, C sharp is my guess.

I decided to get up and make myself a cup of jasmine tea. The type of tea I made is irrelevant, I suppose. The hubster was still at his laptop. The television was droning yet some OTHER challenge on the Food Network, where it had been broadcasting ever since I had turned on Ina Garten about one bothered to change the channel. My son asked what was for dinner.

I made mac and cheese, btw, not my best effort. Roasted some broccoli. Had the kid toss a bag of Caesar salad and went back to bed.

I got up this morning to find every damn dish in the sink. Not even soaking. Just thrown in the sink. The casserole dish from the mac and cheese, drying on the counter. The Pyrex I had roasted the broccoli in was shoved in the fridge with three florets and a couple of cloves of garlic in it.

I felt better this morning and spent an hour cleaning the kitchen and making waffles for breakfast.

It's not like I get sick a lot. I took three sick days last year, and, honestly, one of them I wasn't all that sick. But I was reminded of the time a few years ago when I came down with either stomach flu or food poisoning. I woke up at 4am doubled over with cramps and spend the next 24 hours barfing my brains out. This was the Saturday before Easter Sunday, I had people coming over for dinner. Well, about 7:30am I staggered out to the computer and told the hubster he needed to call the guests and tell them I was sorry, but we couldn't do this. He asked why.

At 9am I grabbed the phone and started calling people. He had decided it was way to early to call people and tell them they needed to hie themselves to their nearest Ralph's and grab a ham because I wasn't cooking one for them. My kids took turns bringing me tea and emptying the bucket by the bed, the hubster decided to watch "Psycho". My step MIL, who had greeted my phone call with the comment "oh great, NOW what am I supposed to do?" called. Why didn't we package up everything I had for dinner, the hubster and the boys could bring it to her house and they would have dinner there? Not a bad plan. They came in late, I slept, it was fine.

The next day after everyone had left for work and school and I had called in sick because I still has having trouble straightening up and was green to boot, I knew my 24 hours of hell was over. I decided I needed to eat something. Not wanting to go overboard, I decided to boil a potato. I got up and went to the kitchen. WTF? They hadn't even eaten at home and there were dishes everywhere. They had brought the ham back from my in-laws and left it out on the counter. Even with a dishwasher (I had one then, I don't now) it took 45 minutes to get everything loaded and clean the kitchen to the point I could actually peel a stinking potato and get it in a pot of water.

The the hubster steadfastly claims he does NOT believe housework is "woman's work". This, I suppose, might be true. He doesn't consider it HIS work, he doesn't really care who else does it. One day, I'll be dead and he'll end up on "Hoarders", you mark my words. Many years ago I had to go over to his mother's house and clean out his old room. It took a month. There was a path from the door to the side of the bed so he could get in. I'm not exaggerating, my MIL could vouch for that. Well, she could, she can't now, she died 8 years ago, but, as much as she didn't like me, she would have vouched for that.

Anyway, yesterday, before the sinuses exploded, I got my hair cut. Not trimmed, cut. I think somewhere on my head is a piece of hair that measures 2 inches, it's the longest I've left. I had her take about six inches off, there was hair everywhere. It's sort of a full pixie cut now. Have you ever wondered why they call it a pixie cut? Tinkerbell was a pixie and she wore a bun. I'm a 56 year old woman with a round face and a full moon where my butt used to be. "Pixie" isn't in my repertoire anymore.

The hubster hasn't noticed it.

I found myself thinking that if he had felt HALF as bad as I did yesterday he would have been in bed, under the covers, asking for tea, chicken soup and drugs.

I took two Sudafed Sinus with a cup of tea and slept it off. Which enabled me to get up, clean up the mess in the kitchen and make waffles.

And the balance has been restored.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Hey, Sarah Palin...

Okay, I just HAVE to ask. Does anyone from the right wing know how to use GOOGLE?


Did the person who wrote that statement for Sarah Palin have ANY EFFING CLUE what blood libel IS?

Did it ever occur to them, OR her (okay, dumb question, nothing ever occurs to her) to put the phrases they were using into a FREAKING SEARCH ENGINE?

I'm being taken back in time, to the summer of 2008, when John McCain announced this attractive, energetic young woman as his running mate. Now, to be honest, the Republican Party said "Sarah Palin" and I thought "who the hell it THAT?" I had some concern, as a young on the rise female running mate just COULD give McCain the boost he needed to nip Obama in November.

Well, have no idea who this chick was after her speech to the RNC, I sat down, opened up a browser and typed "Sarah Palin" into This, btw, made me infinately more savvy than John McCains staff, none of whom seem to have done the exact same thing.

It was at this point I learned she was under investigation. OR maybe indictment, I don't really remember. It was awash in stories about claims of malfeasance, Troopergate, her flip-flop on the "Bridge of Nowhere" and countless other articles of interest about the Alaska Governor.

Within 24 hours all of these were front and center. Within 25 hours the right wing contingent were screaming that the liberal media was trying to smear the corruption fighting, pistol packin' mama from Seward's folly. Why didn't we all just concentrate on what she was instead of wasting hours digging up dirt on her?

Hours? Took me 5 seconds. And about 10 minutes of reading. Now, having the opportunity to get to KNOW Ms. Palin over the last two years, I realize that it would have taken her MUCH longer to wade through all that information, reading doesn't seem to be her strong suit, in spite of her assertions that she reads it all. This because she can't remember the name "U.S. News and World Report." It IS long, I guess. At least she knew better than to say "Weekly World News," which I have no doubt she picks up at the Wasilla market every Saturday. No wait, she probably doesn't shop much, as I'm SURE they dress and freeze all that Caribou she shoots. I mean, she wouldn't hunt just for the fun of it now, would she?

Okay, back to "blood libel." Really, Sarah? She really thinks that the millions upon millions of people who's memories flashed back to her comment of "don't retreat - reload" last Saturday while looking at the disturbing scenes from the front of a Tucson Safeway were all guilty of persecuting her with lies and innuendo?

SHE posts "reload" and WE'RE guilty of hate speech?

You know, if she spent less time worrying about what the world thinks of her and more time thinking about the people IN the world there's a possibility none of this would have come up in the first place.

At any rate, if she's so innocent, why did they hurriedly take down the map with the cross hairs. Oops, I mean "surveyors marks?"

Just wondering.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Social graces

Can someone out there explain if it's me, or all these others?

Last week I found myself in a theater. A real live theater with real live performers on stage and music and a script and everything.

We happily took seats WAY back in the orchestra section from the nice guy at the rush window earlier that evening. And we were ALL very excited, as we were going to see "Hair." It happened to be opening night and it was a total spur-of-the-moment idea that worked.

I wish I'd been dressed a little nicer. But this was Hollywood, not downtown, and it was "Hair," not "Carmen". We were okay. I was in work duds, not evening finery. I was still dressed better than two-thirds of the audience.

The curtain was supposed to go up at 8, but the stars were still coming down the red carpet. Okay, the only one I saw was Cheryl Burke from "Dancing with the Stars." I know there were others. There were cameras and microphones and things denoting a "very special" performance. The boys and I made our way in and settled in our seats. We were towards the middle, 3 rows from the back. I was the last one in. A party of three came in and took their seats on the aisle. This left one seat between them and us.

10 minutes later, in came the owner of the single seat. A young, pudgy woman wearing jeans and a t-shirt that didn't come to the top of her pants. First off, I have NO cause to bitch about her being pudgy, I'm past pudgy and into "Caution, wide load" myself. I eyed her girth warily though, a simple matter of seating. Two pudgies next to one another can get uncomfortable.

Well, she sat down and proceeded to settle in. She seemed to have an unlimited supply of tote bags and a humongous purse, all of which were being flung from over her shoulders and over the heads of the surrounding audience. Then off came the coat, which is when I discovered the way too short t-shirt. FINALLY she settled back into the seat. And proceeded to talk to everyone. Okay, she's friendly, she's by herself, I'm good with that. The show was running late, she wanted it to start NOW! There were empty seats closer to the front, she wanted one of those too.

Well, at not quite 8:20 the lights went down and, mercifully, she shut up. No, she didn't shut up but she did stop talking. And started singing.

And dancing.

Her arms flew out, she began singing "Aquarius" out LOUD and she swayed and wriggled in her seat. It was not a pretty sight. She then proceeded to let fly with a loud "WOO!" which was at a pitch that literally make my jump a good four inches. The decibel level of her "WOO!" and the configuration of my eardrum were NOT a good match. I could feel things vibrating in there.

Well, between the dancing, the flailing arms, the continual shouting of "WOO!" and the singing I found myself continually cringing to my right. At least my older son was in that seat, I may have been encroaching on someones personal space but at least I was related to him.

After awhile I began to wonder if it was just me, if I was turning into a crotchety old lady. Every time a cast member said "hello" on stage, she yelled "Hello!" right back. As she got into a half sitting, half standing position (which afforded me the view of too short shirt riding up and her too low jeans pulling down), threw her arms into the air and started chanting "Hell no, we won't go!" I lunged to my right and assumed a position that's normally used in response to the warning "Brace for impact." I've seen calmer six year olds at Chuck E.Cheeses.

I began to develop some concern for her mental stability. I looked around the rest of the audience. Feet were tapping, hands were clapping in rhythm, broad smiles of enjoyment were everywhere. But no one else looked as if they had just stumbled into a Holy Rollers Revival Meeting. I noticed the man on her left was now cringing towards his left and my younger son leaned over towards me and said "I'll change seats with you at intermission."

I was thoroughly miserable and she had ruined the entire first act for me. She did quiet down when the cast member in the aisle by our row gave the flower to someone else. In fact, she pouted.

After intermission we returned to our seats. She came down and lounged in the aisle, pretty much confirming my suspicion that she intended to appropriate a better seat. I eyed her warily. She glared at me, I KNOW she was thinking I was a stodgy old lady who had NO freaking CLUE what it was like to be young and I had ruined the first act for HER. I was okay with this. I was there for the FIRST tour of "Hair" - don't GO there with me.

She took a seat as the house lights went down, across the aisle from where we had all been enjoying the show together just 20 minutes earlier. I occasionally stole a glance at her in her new aisle seat. The seats around her were empty, looked as if a group had either stolen better seats up front or left an intermission. Sitting alone she wasn't dancing. She stopped singing. The frenzy of the first act was gone. My son leaned over to me and whispered "Look...she's stopped performing for us."

Damn! He nailed it. At least she wasn't a lunatic. Okay, she was. But I no longer worried about what I should do when she fell on the floor in ecstasy and started foaming at the mouth...we didn't cover that in first aid.

The second act, btw, went much better, my left palm was bruised the next morning from vigorous clapping. I have plans to go back again, before they leave, also with rush seats, as I'd really like to see the first act, I missed quite a bit of it.

On the other hand, while the rush seats are frequently in the orchestra, I'm thinking maybe I should spend the extra five bucks and actually buy tickets in the balcony. Because those people know how to behave.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Letting the sun shine in

As it's just gone past the New Year it's time to take care of some housecleaning. My mother always did this. Although she usually actually cleaned the HOUSE and didn't use the term as a metaphor. I did that too though. With the hubster gone for the better part of the week things got done. This morning I got up and could actually SEE out the front window for the first time in three weeks. Because the tree is dismantled and rests snugly in it's new plastic tub. The ornaments are wrapped, the lights are down and wrapped and the wreaths are off the doors and waiting for their bag to be brought up. Now we have to haul all of this back to storage. Without the use of the car. I have to figure out whether or not to try and drag this stuff up there on a bus or call a cab. At the price of bus fare anymore, it's a push.

The kitchen is clean, the floors vacuumed and the laundry sorted. The older I get the more I crave order. And the more I enjoy getting the Christmas stuff OUT of the place and getting back to normal. I understand why my mother used to take everything down on New Year's afternoon. That's what we did while we watched football. We turned on the bowl games, my mother put a ham in the over and we spend the say watching football, eating sandwiches and potato salad and chips and dip and packing up the inside while my dad took down the lights and by New Year's night we were done.

There's something to that.

But at least everything packed and stacked in a corner, ready to go. If I were ambitious I would just go downstairs, take all the stuff that's been stuffed willy- nilly into the storage bin over the parking space out and re-organize it, I've a hunch we could get the Christmas stuff all in there if I did that. I dunno. Maybe.

We bought two bins for the tree because we thought we couldn't get it into one. We were wrong. As we already brought two of these huge things home on the bus, taking one back should be easy. Should. We spent Friday night doing this. Me and the boys. It takes two buses and $12 in fare to get to the Target 3 miles away. Well, actually we went to Lowes but the Target was right next door and cheaper. By the time we actually got there and found we could get a plastic tub big enough for the tree we were starving and cold and damp. Yes, it was foggy. We succumbed to the siren call of Home Town Buffet. Two out of three of us HATE Home Town Buffet. But they were grilling steaks, which smelled divine. AND they were right there. And cheap. And it occurred to my younger son that we shouldn't go to Target hungry.

So, well fed we headed to Target where we decide to buy TWO super size plastic containers on wheels. They're about four feet long. We drag them through check out and across the mall parking lot and to the bus stop across the street - the one that has no bus bench. There's a bus coming in about 20 minutes which will take us to the airport and a very quick connection home.

The bus is right on time. We drag ourselves up from the curb we were sprawled on and wrestled the wheeled containers onto the crowded bus, where we stood them on end in the aisle and prayed no one needed to get by. As the automated bus voice announced we were at the airport my older son got up. We told him to sit back down, this wasn't our stop. And it wasn't.

Problem with that was, it also wasn't our bus.

This dawned on us three stops later as we were on the other side of the airport and realized that the bus was NOT going to turn right on the street we had passed a half a mile back and we frantically hit the signal for the next stop. The next stop was one of those middle of the block ones. No corner, no light, no bench. So there were were, 10pm on a Friday night, trudging down an access road that runs the length of the airport dragging two plastic big enough to hold a body down the sidewalk.

We got back to the airport stop about 20 minutes later, having well missed our connection and now having to wait for the next bus which arrived 40 minutes later.
We got home about 11:30, at which time my son and I decided to disassemble the damn tree. After all of that we were NOT going to leave it up one more day.

Which is when we discovered we only needed one plastic bin.

The other one sits in my living room, mocking me. I could return it, but the thought of dragging the damn thing BACK to Target is not appealing. I keep looking at it, wondering if I should find a need for it. But then all I'll have is MORE things to store. I'm storing enough crap to fill a septic tank as it is. More space = more stuff I won't take out of storage. This will NOT do anything for my sense of order and well being.

OF course, the stack of bins still sitting in the living room isn't helping either. But at least I'm not looking at that lame ceramic Christmas tree in the middle of the coffee table. And now I'm wondering what ever happened to all that Christmas stuff my mother always used. I mean, I know the candle choir boys finally sort of melted. They didn't melt entirely, but they were sliding downward, the last time I saw them the angelic little faces were beginning to resemble "The Scream". With halos.

So we start over again. Fresh and tidy, full of resolutions we won't keep. I've pared those down too, I only made one this year. I resolve to launder my undies over the week-end and NOT end up standing in a cold bathroom on a winter morning frantically blow-drying a pair of panties 10 minutes before I have to leave for work.

It's been 10 days now and I've managed to keep that one. Although the year is still young.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

"How can people have no feelings...?"

Yesterday, I was young again.

I didn't like it much.

Yesterday's events in Tucson, Arizona erased years of growth and maturity and progress. The murders of six people and the attempted murders of at least a dozen more including Congresswoman Giffords, were NOT assassinations. Congresswoman Giffords is not Benazir Bhutto, Martin Luther King or Mahatma Ghandi. She is not front and center advocating new and scary changes in the way we do business in this world.

She is an ideal representative, accessible to her constituents, a fiscal conservative, a representative who was concerned about both sides of Arizona's dicey immigration reform laws. She wasn't out in front, leading millions of people in a fight for independence. She is a public servant, an honorable thing to be. She appears to be a good one, too.

However, what she is, is a Democrat. And the designation "D-AZ" after her name in the Congressional Directory is what led one (or most likely two) unstable people to a Safeway in Tucson on Saturday morning. That, along with her vote in favor of health care for everyone placed Ms. Giffords' face on Sarah Palin's blog. One of many faces pictured in cross-hairs.

Make no mistake...that is NOT a dart board, no matter how hard people try to convince us it is. I'm pretty handy with a weapon myself, I used to shoot a .22 in competitions. I wasn't bad. Believe me, I'm spent no small amount of time looking through the business end of a scope. I know what cross-hairs look like.

Maybe it's age, maybe it's experience, maybe it's hormones, I can't tell you. But I felt no anger today. I felt the by now familiar "dear GOD" when I heard the news. But instead of anger or grief, I have been carrying around an overwhelming sadness.

Does anyone remember Kent State? I do. Senseless, tragic killings took place solely because some young, scared, angry National Guardsmen opened fire on a group of students who's basic crime was being in a group, protesting the U.S. invasion of Cambodia and pitching some rocks at the authorities. Protesters were shot. Innocent bystanders were shot. And stunned, we looked at the images from Ohio and asked ourselves and anyone else who would listen: "What the HELL is going ON?"

Now, the basic premise of the gathering today was NOT to protest, no one threw rocks or called any cops "pigs" and I haven't heard of any draft cards being burned. But it brought back memories of people opening fire on people they didn't understand and, therefore, felt threatened by.

There will be a lot of outrage over the inflammatory nature of the rhetoric being spewed by the "Tea Party" of late. Phrases like "don't retreat-reload" and "taking out" ones opposition will be considered a catalyst to today's events, and I think rightly so. There ARE limits to one's first amendment protection. Sarah Palin immediately stripped all of her web presences of all pictures and phrases like the above. The Honorable Gabrielle Giffords' picture no longer appears in cross-hairs. She did this BEFORE she issued a statement of regret and condolence. It doesn't matter. Those entries are everywhere, have been for months now. And some unbalanced kid takes it all to heart and heads over to the local Safeway to save his state and his country from the devastating liberal takeover that's undoubtedly the reason for his many (and they do sound like many) problems.

And the Palins and the Angels and the O'Donnells and the Limbaughs and the O'Reillys of the public stage will wrap themselves up in the constitution and claim they did NOTHING wrong and they're only exercising their rights to free speech and some nutcase in Arizona isn't their fault. Bristol Palin just bought a house in southern Arizona and that probably doesn't have anything to do with this either. But why is it that where Palins go, trouble follows?

But, like the fury over Bill O'Reilly's inflammatory comments on Dr. Tiller, comments that well may have inspired Scott Roeder, this will all quiet down in a month. With heavy hearts we will bury our dead and remain positive about the recovering injured and go on just as we have.

I wish I know what to do about it, but I don't. I have opinions on pretty much everything. I figured out how to fix the foreclosure crisis, not that anyone will listen to me. I figured out how to stuff more money into California's empty coffers, not that anyone will listen to me on THAT either.

But this one? I've no clue. I think I'm just too damn sad about it to figure out a way to fix it. Maybe there is no way. I've said for years that this country needs a viable third party. But people...the Tea Party ISN'T IT. I've been watching this crap go down my entire life. In the end, it's hatred. Pure and simple. It's people hating people who aren't just like themselves. And this time, I'm stumped.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

There's a home for the bees in my hair.

The hubster has been out of town for a few days. This occurs every year at this time, it coincides with the convention he attends. I always enjoy this sojourn. I usually take a day of two off, as this comes immediately after the New Year the boys are still out of school (and yes, even though I have one getting his B.A. in June they're are still "the boys" and they are still "in (or out) of school") and we just poke around the state, doing whatever strikes us. I look forward to this, we have some damn good times, never planning, just sort of wandering. My older son is happy to go along with this sort of thing, although he's a planner by nature, although he too has an adventurous streak. The hubster is also a planner.

Traveling with him is insane. There always has to be a plan in place, before we leave. Fortunately we don't have to keep to a rigid TIME schedule but there must be a list of places we will see and a plan for days we will see them. A drive through the desert to
Vegas includes stops along the way. Victorville for gas, Yermo for lunch, Baker for coupons and drinks...

Me? I fill the tank and press on the accelerator. Go. Get there. This is how I travel.

Well, anyway, As I was stuck taking vacation time I didn't want to take last December there wasn't really much chance to take these days off. I also still don't have the car registered. I have been whining and badgering and screaming about this. There are several parking tickets that have to be dealt with. They are LONG overdue and have accrued penalty after penalty and they must be paid before the registration can be completed. AS the hubster spends the better part of his days and nights staring at the screen of his laptop reading other people's twitter posts and blogs he is far too busy to take a 15 minute bus ride up to the police station "pay your parking ticket here" window and ask what can be done about this. The car, and the tickets are solely in his name, I can't do it. I also would have to take a day off to do this, as I trudge to work the same five days he sits and stares at his computer screen and amuses no one by reading other people's observations on life and politics out loud.

He does this day in and day out. Now, fine, basically I have no problem with wasting time. I've wasted plenty of it myself. BUT...the way I work? Do what you have to do, THEN waste some time. If there's a call to be made? Make the dame thing Monday morning. Oh, they're busy Monday morning? Read CNN while you're on hold. GET IT DONE!
Go the the damn police department and see what can be done about the tickets, I have no problems paying them, I will even pay the late fees but some collection agency has doubled them now. GET IT DONE! THEN come home and sit on your ass for awhile.

But no. He rolls his eves and sighs and goes back to twitter. His mantra is "never do anything until it's too late." This drives me CRAZY.

And this is a big part of why this yearly break has been one of the worst weeks of my life. Even though I can't drive, the boys and I have be exercising our usual spur-of-the-moment adventures. No, we haven't dropped everything and headed for the beach or the Indian Casino or Palm Springs for lunch and back. But on Thursday afternoon we pitched our plans to head for the local shopping mall by bus after I was off work and buy a storage tub for the fake tree and eat fish at the airport (yes, there's a nice little place that serves good, reasonably priced fist at the airport) and decided to rush "Hair." On opening night.

Well, with just enough time to catch a bus the boys headed to Hollywood and got to the Pantages about an hour before the box office opened for last minute rush tickets. There was no one there. They headed off for some cokes and came back to wait. They were first in line when the window opened and snagged three tickets in the back of the orchestra. For a fraction of what we would have paid had we purchased them in advance. In fact, three of us saw the show for the price of a single face value ticket. The show, btw, is absolutely amazing. There is some truly great theater touring and we've been lucky. Invest a little time, see something wonderful for pennies.

Anyway, I left directly from the office to join them. As the show started at 8 the boys decided to wander down Hollywood Blvd, I was going to join them at a little Italian Restaurant my younger son knew of. But on the way my older son looked at a pub on the corner by the theater and said "can we eat here?"

See? Off the cuff changes are wonderful. I joined them in a busy Irish pup which had $3 beer (32 varieties on tap alone) and great "pub grub" at extremely moderate prices. Warm, full and relaxed we walked the block to the theater and saw a powerful and memorable show. My younger son danced on stage.

All because we decided to NOT buy a plastic tub for the Christmas tree and eat fish.

Now one could argue that by not buying the tub for the tree I was putting something off and yes, I did. The container did NOT have a time sensitive deadline however. We had already stripped it and had all the ornaments wrapped and boxed. Because we had actually DONE the chore at hand we were able to veer off and do something wonderful.

There is STILL a problem, a large one, that the hubster should have taken care of MONTHS ago and, while he parties in Vegas and calls it work I lay awake nights, unable to sleep for fear of what will happen due to this problem. This, and the transportation problems have kept us from doing a LOT of what we might have done and the fears have kept me from really enjoying this brief respite from the "do I have any clean shirts?" and "When's dinner going to be ready" life I lead.

I am going to attempt to take care of this problem myself, which, I well know, is exactly what he's counting on. Wait until it reaches monumental proportions and then I'll take care of it. This happened last October and, while he sat and read Roger Ebert's tweets I had to mobilize. Because he wouldn't. And it's going to collapse again because of yet another undone chore. And all the while he punches his keyboard. If I can get through this week-end I know I can handle it by Monday. It should have been handled a YEAR ago Monday. Sleeping through the night though, is so enticing that I will end up doing it. It's NOT fair. It's not fair that I slog out to work every damn day while everyone else is in bed. It's not fair that the hubster can't even take the day to day problems off my shoulders, it's not fair that he won't do the dishes or go downstairs and put a load of laundry in or cook a simple meal for dinner. It's not fair that he goes out to the local bar twice a week for trivia games and karaoke contests while I stay in, keeping an eye on the boys (one of whom has some mild health issues) and it's not fair that I can't take the car I just paid off anywhere and give myself some peace on the open road (yes, I LOVE to drive and find it hella therapeutic).

But at least I got to see "Hair" again. While I didn't dance on the stage this time...I will again. I know this.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Another year older and deeper in debt.

Okay, in the first place, there are people in my world who have nothing better to do than stalk me across cyberspace. Here's the thing...they're in my world BECAUSE they stalk me through cyberspace. I don't want them in my world, and frankly, while I try to have as few regrets as possible, I regret ever having met them in the first place. Nasty, manipulative people, one of whom has been emotionally cruel to one of my sons. This person, btw, claims to be a teacher. Or was. I have my doubts that anyone who hates youngsters, especially those with a disability, could actually teach.

Thank God she never actually taught mine. I do, however, feel continually sorry for her own children. 'Nuff said.

Okay. So I'm back to work with about 8 tons of crap paperwork just thrown at me, without so much as a "thanks for doing all this crap paperwork for us" and more of a "someones out, do his too." Happy New Year. I'm also sitting in a large room full of Christmas garbage, all of which I put up by myself because no one did anything except say "oh, I'll help you later" and all of which will be taken down by myself for the same reasons. I would cheerfully have come in over vacation and ripped it down, just so I didn't have to look at it this morning. I was basically greeted with "Happy New Year, I'll call for the boxes for the decorations."

Oh well, we're off two weeks from today. I love this time of year specifically because it's basically a holiday a month. The world is full of people like me, we're dead inside. We show up to work at jobs we hate, we keep them because we have families to support and we let the jobs influence every part of our lives because it's always in the back of our minds that we will never be able to retire, we will die at our desks, miserable and unsatisfied, knowing we've contributed nothing and were unhappy doing it.

I like to think it'll be okay because, while working mundane jobs instead of waiting for something challenging to turn up, something I actually studied and trained for, I have been keeping my family warm and fed and enabled them to chase their dreams.

But, as it's a New Year and time to make resolutions I have no intention of keeping (so I've stopped that waste of time) I DO tend towards retrospection. OR is is introspection? A combination, no doubt.

What I know is that it's too late for me. I spent years settling and now I have what I settled for. A husband who has lived his live and career as he chose and sons who seem pretty happy. Unfortunately, they're stuck with me.

I am about thisfar from a bona fide break down and find myself continually on the verge of tears. What really bothers me though, is the fact that I've done all this, and yes, I chose to do this, I suppose, although I was also raised that way, and I find myself helpless to bash in the heads of the people who have nothing better to do than attack my family, and in large part, because they don't like me.

I'm not sure why they don't like me and age, I have found, is starting to erode the emotions that made me care. It's like the little girl who got made at me because I had the audacity to call her on her rudeness. She was rude because I had the audacity to disagree with her. And her response? She announced loudly that she wasn't going to read my blog anymore. Oh, big deal, no one reads it anyway, who gives a crap?

I've often wondered what drives mean people though. What does it do for you? Does being nasty to other people give you any satisfaction? I wouldn't think so, but then, these are the people who tell other people I am a lying, psychotic bi-polar drunk too. Oh honey, if you had any idea the things you've told me I could spread around...How about your marriage counseling sessions? Yep, you blabbed about them to me. You might want to remember that.

Well, anyway, this is the kind of crap that goes down over New Year's for me. This is one of the reasons I hate the holidays, more and more, the older I get. I sat for two weeks and watched at least 42 different versions of "A Christmas Carol", four of them on Christmas Eve alone. I've mentioned this before, but it bears repeating.

That story is a hoax. The world is full of Scrooges, most of whom are a million times nicer than the child manipulator who plagues me because of my son. Of all those Scrooges, 99% of them will NOT wake up full of joy and good will on Christmas morning and those that do will revert back to their miserly selves on the 26Th. I have more respect for them than I do the pseudo "friends" I have acquired over the years but that's another story. That I probably won't tell. Evil people feed on attention, and, while I would like to grind their faces into the mud they've been throwing these past years and watch they gag and drown, I won't. They'll die soon enough. The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference. I intend to work on this. People like that are attention whores, and can not stand being ignored.

All of this gives me a raging headache, btw. The hubster leaves for Vegas in a few, ostensibly on business. I shall try not to resent the fact that he goes to Vegas every fucking year while I haven't been in FOUR freaking YEARS and enjoy spending the time he's gone doing laundry and cleaning the bedroom.

The world parties while I work. This is definitely a "life sucks" day.

Oh, btw...the woman we overheard on New Years Day in with the cracker accent opining that it was nice that the Rose Bowl "finally let a CHRISTIAN school in"? Pasadena's more religious that your "Christian" university ever THOUGHT of being and the only reason you were even THERE is because Oregon is going to the BCS and U.S.C. is on probation because of that crook Pete Carroll who fled to Seattle where he can't get penalized for recruiting violations.

So there.