Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Long Time No Writey

Sorry about the lapse. Finals were on, school's out, kids are now home, summer's here, and I'm happy to see the sun I tell ya.

What prompted me to post was a tiny article on Channel 9's news site. I'd like to see this go nation-wide:

Subdivision Plans To Ban Registered Sex Offenders
Construction Begins In August
POSTED: 9:46 am CDT June 13, 2006

LENEXA, Kan. -- Registered sex offenders won't be allowed to live in the new housing development in Lenexa, near Kansas Highway 10 and Woodland Road.
In August, construction begins on the Kansas City area's first sex-offender-restricted subdivision, probably only the second such development nationwide.
A Texas-based developer said his plan is an answer to a problem communities wrestle with -- how to keep sexual predators far from children and families.
Their first such project in Lubbock, Texas, has nearly sold out in nine months. Developer Clayton Isom said he is planning other such subdivisions in the Kansas City area after the Lenexa project is finished.

Why must child molesters maintain their rights to live in neighborhoods where children live?

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Here, Here!

Ricky was up early on Mother's Day. He'd thought ahead and bought bake and eat cinnamon rolls for the kids' breakfast. He and The Little One had been up since 7:30 but I wouldn't know it until 10:30 when I woke up on my own. The Little One, who can reach and operate doorknobs now, made a timely entrance. Ricky was hot on her trail, "N-no! Mommy is sleeping!"
I was awake but still wallering around.

The Middle One entered, a close third, and helped The Little One up onto the very tall bed.

"Mah-ma?!" The Little One said patting my arm.

"She's been asking for you all morning." Ricky added.

A pile Mother's Day cards were on my bedside table. Ricky is the best card-picker--ever.

The Middle One had planted a styro-foam cup with marigolds at school, offering it up with pride after carefully gift wrapping the container in a decorated brown lunch sack. The plants were accompanied by two very thoughtful Mother's Day writing projects from school. She's such a funny girl.

The night before, Ricky and The Middle One twisted their sniffers into knots at every Dillard's perfume counter to find just teh one they thought I'd like.

Later that day, we all ate not-so-great Chinese together. I loved it.

That evening, The Big One brushed my hair (one of my favorite things) for about an hour.

I was hugged and kissed throughout the day.

Two-dozen roses are still blooming in the kitchen. White from Ricky and a multi-colored, warm mix of red, yellow, fuchia, and orange from The Middle One.

My husband Ricky and those girls are really something. I simply cannot say enough about them.

Friday, May 12, 2006


In February, we celebrated the Middle One's 7th birthday with a good old-fashioned birthday party here at the house. We sent invitations to every girl in her class, along with a few others she'd known from Kindergarten last year. Ten seven year olds were dropped off one-by-one within ten minutes of 2:00. The second guest to arrive was Anna--a shy, slight little girl whose mother gave me two cell phone numbers to call if needed and left with a reassuring smile to her daughter.

While we waited for the guests to arrive, Anna sat on the bottom step of the staircase.

"I came from China." she quietly announced. "My mommy came to China when I two year old. I have a big sister, she from China too." Her tender little face shone so much that the hairline, pink scar from below her nose through her upper lip was only incidental. Her eyes swirled with sweetness.

Mo's bedroom was wall-to-wall little girls by 2:15 and the business going on upstairs sounded like a colony of cartoon squirrels snickering and chattering away with the occasional squeal peaking the pitch. I felt a glow knowing this was what little girls' birthday parties were intended to be. It's what I'd only dreamed of as a girl her age and it felt good knowing she wasn't missing out.

Balloons and crepe streamers framed kitchen table and the mountainous stack of gifts that had been handed off at the door. The bulging pinata swayed awaiting an impending assault. I clicked a picture of the scene. I was satisfied. Everything was in place and it was time to call the gaggle down for a party.

Before I could holler the 'come-n-gettit', I was stopped short. Little Anna was sitting alone half-way down the staircase, quiet. Sigh. I sat down on the step next to Anna.

"Hey. What's the matter, Honey? Don't you want to go in Mo's room and play with the girls?"

In her smallish voice she whispered, "No tank you, I don't tink so."

"Is everyone being nice to you, Honey?"

"Uhm, I done know."

Ever poke a mother Grizzly bear with a stick?

"Mohhhhh?!" Mo appears from her bedroom.

"Yes, Mommy?"

"Honey, is everyone being nice to Anna?"

"Uhm, well . . ." she lowered her voice, "Well, um, Mommy, Nina was being kinda mean to her saying she couldn't play with us."

"Okay, you know what? You tell Nin--nevermind, Hon, just go tell your friends it's time to come down for your party, okay?"

"Anna, Honey, come on with me and we'll get something to drink, okay?"

Anna reached for my hand and held on to it until we made it to the kitchen. She motioned for me to bend down to her.

"Yes?" With the gentlest touch, she moved my hair behind my ear and whispered, "I like you."

"Well, I like you too! Hey, would you like some M & M's?" I presented the bowl full and she selected two.

The gang was still upstairs. "I'll be right back, OK?"

On my way up the stairs, I gathered all the diplomacy I could in 16 steps. I needed to make an impression without being Mom The Scary Birthday Clown--complete with tentacles.

"Hey, Girls!" I'm not even a blip on their radar.

"GIRLS?!" Instant silence. It's as if I'd said, "Simon says, freeze!"

"Hey you guys, it's time to have a party, k?" A crazed mob of pony-tails and little hands bounced up and down like contestants on The Price Is Right. "Okay, okay, hang on! First, let me tell you guys something. I want you to have a great time, and we're going to but we need to make sure we're being very nice to each other . . . and if somebody can't be nice, then you'll have to call your parents to come get you and you'll miss the rest of the party. So, can everyone be nice to everyone?"


"Okay then! Let's go!" It was all I could do not to flick that Nina creep right in the ear as she pushed her way through the rest of the girls to be the first one down the stairs. How much did I want to wag my finger at her parents when they came to retrieve their little precious--just in case they didn't know what they'd created--so far.

Maybe she'd downloaded her anger from her own family legacy. Nina was a minority too. I could only wonder. For the record, I didn't do any finger wagging or sermoning when Nina's dad came to pick her up. I just hugged Anna a little tighter when she was leaving with her mother, and let her mother know what a fantastic little girl I thought she had and that we'd love to have her over any time.

Moms and Dads, we're not raising girl children, we're raising women. John Mayer sings, "Girls become lovers and turn into mothers so . . . be good to your daughters."

I hope Anna will be having lots of popsicles with us this summer. I'm looking forward to it.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Why Not?

What if the God of the World answered back with an Instant Message *bling* each time you ask, "Why did this happen to me?"

Your answer would begin, "Because . . . ".

Would it help to know the answers, the complete and expansive explanation? What if the answer, the reason, contained at least 6,527 shifted lives by the time it was all over with?

You say, "I didn't say I wanted to know the outer ripples and other by-products, I just want to know why did it have to happen to me!"

Okay. What if the World is made up of more than just You?

Perhaps you're an integral member of a grand mosaic.

What if what happened to you was the final blow in the world of domestic violence? What if the beating you endured as a child, and thrived in spite of, was the seed of social change that eventually saved 10,000 lives?

What if it saved just one?

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Lean Forward

If you've been in any suspense about the family in my last post, I'll tell you this much; the mother, my good friend, has made the decision to be courageous instead of remain in denial and fear. The father has agreed to leave. Exhale.


Momentum is a funny thing. It takes the greatest amount of force to begin movement, from there, it's just leaning forward to keep it moving.

I can't help but laugh after having read an elementary explanation of the principles of momentum. I thought it might inspire me to apply it to such basic things as, ohhh, say--cleaning off my desk to working on long overdue research/writing projects to my gardening & laundry.

Here's what the Physics Classroom had to say:

"Momentum can be defined as "mass in motion." All objects have mass; so if an object is moving, then it has momentum - it has its mass in motion. The amount of momentum which an object has is dependent upon two variables: how much stuff is moving and how fast the stuff is moving."

Now, for those of you (and I'm in the club right there with you) who have a little trouble walking up to the momentum launch pad, you might find it helpful, as I did, to just plug in the word "ass" for "mass".


Anya sez, "Momentum can be defined as "ass in motion". All of us have an ass; so if someone is moving, then they have momentum--they have their ass in motion. The amount of momentum which a person has is dependent upon two variables: how much of their ass is moving and how fast their ass is moving."

I chose "ass" for the obvious catchiness.

And the good news for some of us is:

"From the definition of momentum, it becomes obvious that an object has a large momentum if either its mass or its velocity is large."

I'll let you plug in the buzz word for yourself on this one.

Over and out--Anya must get "momentum".

Next blog entry: Tuesday.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Spare The Rod

There's a draft sitting in the queue from the 10th that I haven't finished. I would have liked to have published it before this entry because it's really more Chicken Soup For The Soul-ish than this post will turn out to be.

Moral quandry here.

So yesterday I take a long-distance call from a beautiful woman I've known for several years, mother of three daughters--college, high school and middle school aged. I know her children and her husband well enough.

Apparently, the husband has an "anger issue". Sometimes as frequently as monthly, this chap takes to beating up his kids. Used to smack the mother around until she put her foot down, now it's just whenever he's set off by one of the girls.

The latest incident (and really only the first of it's kind I've known of), she says, was about two weeks ago. The youngest was acting like a mule and pop goes the weasle, he's lost it. A beating to the back (not buttocks, but back), a shove to the floor and yet another shove down a flight of stairs and the 12 year old is shuttled into her parents' bedroom by the mother. The father leaves for work.

The mother's recommendation to the daughter?

"The next time he does that, don't wait for me or anyone else, just call 911 yourself."

I say, "Are you KIDDING me? You're asking this girl to figure out a way to protect herself? Why? Because you don't want to be the bad guy?"

"Yes." she quietly replies.

A prominent figure in the religious community-makes substantial monetary contributions to said community, this guy.

A PhD.

Her plan? "Well, I'll talk to him and ask him to leave peacefully, but I know what his question is going to be."

"Yeah? What?" drumming my fingers on the counter top.

"Will there be any conjugal visits?"


See what I'd like to do, knowing the guy myself, is make the treck over to the house, wait for the guy and snatch him by the front of his shirt, making sure to include a wad of chest hair, pin him against the wall and ask Mr. Big Britches if he'd like to go a round or two.


We both know I can't and I'm not likely to really do that. Tell you what. There just is no justification for beating children and less so for fathers to do so to their daughters. Where does a man go in his mind to be able to raise his hand, empty or gripping a weapon, to a girl? This could turn into an essay if I don't wind it up now.

For all of you who believe in beating your children, get help, find out the difference between garnering respect and demanding it.

For the rest of you, let's form a posse.

Monday, April 03, 2006

You Feel That Sting Big Boy?

Sometimes I find myself disappointed when I visit someone's blog and they've not posted for several days--or more. Does that happen to you too? Then I think, "Well, I guess I haven't really blogged for awhile either so what's to complain about?" I do enjoy a good blog.

What I find even more disappointing is when I find that people I know use my blog to inspire their own, people who I have considered plenty clever all on their own. It's not so offensive that I'll confront them, after all, it's just a blog--but seriously. Kinda makes me wonder where else they pull their material from.

Now, when it comes to the business world, I've called 'em down on the carpet over it. Diplomatically on the outside (recommended) and Tarantino in the kitchen with Jules on the inside: "Write your own copy! I know it's good because I wrote it! Do you see a sign on my website that says 'cut, paste, and use at will'? No, you don't. You know why? Because givin' away words ain't my business."

Moral of the story Ladies and Gentlemen, Intellectual Property is exactly that.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Nose Mining, A Family Legacy

It was bedtime. In fact, it was past bedtime--9:25. The Little One (we'll call "LO", the 20 month old) and The Middle One (our 1st grader, we'll call "MO") were upstairs in their freshly fluffed bedroom of pink & lavender floweryness. It was quiet up there except for the Lion King playing in the background at a moderate level. I was winding up a quick chat online with Ricky, who will be flying back from Austin today, when the Little One shredded the calm with a Brillo-Pad to the teeth shriek of pain. The Big One (we'll call "BO", our 8th grader) and I startle and soon, the three of us were the Marx Brothers around The Little One.

"She keeps jamming her finger in her nose! Mommy, I think she put a green bead up there! I think I saw one on the floor and now it's not there anymore." The Middle One reports.


The Little One continues to squall and like freight train cars, the girls follow me to my bedroom where I try to investigate.

Sure enough, waaaay up the left nostril the faceted green bead glints. It's too far to reach and she's sniffing UP in between yowls. The Big One tries to console her, The Middle One begins trying to reason with her, "Don't sniff!! Don't sniff!! You're gonna make it go into the top of yer head!"

"Honey, she doesn't understand--it's ok, we'll get it out." I interject. The Little One darts her pointy finger all around trying to get it up her nose while I do my best to block. My mind's rolodexing solutions. The nose syringe? Can't locate, won't work. Press the side of her nose, work it down? WOW! No, ok, that's hurting her. Hey, okay, blow in one nose hole, cover her mouth! Yeah, do that. Doh! More screaming nothing budged. Don't cry, the kids are watching.

"Okay Guys, we have to get her to the doctor, Mom can't get it out. Hey, BO, grab her a pair of pants, hurry--and MO, get some clothes on, K? OH, GAWD! She's really poopy! Hey, BO grab me a diaper too, I have the wipes." Everyone steps to it. The baby starts to calm down. Good. We load up into the van and make quick tracks to the ER. I call Ricky and give him the heads up and put him to the task of calling the ER to let them know I'm en route (thing is, I'm also a little worried she'll snort the bead to the top of her head).

Two thumbs up for the ER. We were in within minutes. Three grown people restrained LO. The doctor, a woman in her 30's, went up after it with long tweezers. If you didn't know better you'd think a Pterodactylus was being slaughtered in there. No dice.

Next, suction. Nothing but snot and all the screams of outrage LO could muster.

The doctor abandoned the suction as quickly as she'd snatched it down and went back for the tweezers, stretched LO's little nose hole a little and went after it. It grabbed, bead slipped. The girls and I winced in unison at the tiny crunch sound of the bead escaping the tweezer's pinch. Crunch. Again. It grabbed, pullllllll-crunch.

In again. Little snap.

Another dive. She's got it, she's got it, she's got it---pullllll

Ploomp! The green offender glistened innocently in the mouth of the tweezers. A little bloody nose and LO--well, she was very offended by it all.

I claim full responsibility for the nose mining DNA contribution. I was a gravel up the nose kid.

What's ever been in your nose?

Thursday, March 23, 2006


I like my dentist. In fact, she and I pass infectious snickering between us throughout treatment. No "laughing gas" required. So, yesterday I'm in for a little cosmetic touching up on my front four choppers--stuff maybe only I notice but all the same, I was in the chair.

She tucks cotton tubes between my gums and upper lip. I'm compelled to ask for a mirror already, but resist.

"So, you wanna grill?" she asks.

Now, even more attractive that just me with my upper chomp fully exposed, is me trying to suspend my snort-riddled laugh at the acid image of Flava Flav that blipped onto my mental screen.

The kerosene on the giggle fire was Dr. K whose face, even with a surgical mask and safety glasses, was clearly pinching up and laughing as hard as I was, hovering 12 inches above me.

She so crazy.

After it's all over with she offers me the hand mirror saying she really thinks it looks great. I tell her, "Okay, but it feels like Fire Marshall Bill or The Mask ala Jim Carrey." We were probably both hoping I wouldn't be startled when I looked in the mirror.

Nice. Subtle. Lovely.

A collective exhale.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


I normally like to sketch something thoughtful or even up-lifting here at the old blog-o-rama but today, boys and girls, we're going to hear about a special kind of depravity. Now, let me just disclaim first that I'm a little FEROCIOUS about mixing kids and strip clubs. I know, lighten up, right?

I'd link to this for you but someday the link might not be available so, for your browser ease, I'll clip it:

Dad Arrested After Toddler Wanders Into Strip Club
Boy Claimed Dad Said Monsters Would Eat Him

TULSA, Okla. -- A Kansas man was arrested at a Tulsa strip club after police said his toddler son was left in a cold car and found wandering into the club.
Christopher Greg Killion, 31, of Sabetha, Kan., was arrested Saturday on a complaint of "encouraging a minor child to be in need of supervision." He posted $500 bond and was released from jail.
The boy told police that his father told him to stay in the car, and that if he left it, "monsters would eat him."
A manager at the club had called police to report that about 30 minutes after Killion entered the club, a 3- to 4-year-old boy came inside looking for his father.

Officers determined that the boy had been left alone in a car in the strip club's parking lot.
The car was unlocked and parked about 20 feet from a four-lane street. It was raining and 45 degrees outside at the time.

Where are some hungry monsters when you really need 'em? Say, when Depravity Boy walks out of the cop-shop after posting his pesky $500 bond?

Monday, March 13, 2006

My People

In one weekend I spent hours enjoying some of my favorite people. People I'm proud of. People I love and call my own. My people.

This weekend, wow. How often do I connect with the best of them? Lingering hugs, arms all the way around the other, close your eyes and breath hugs. Hugs that whisper, "I've missed your face, Friend." And for no special reason, no event, no particular celebration, for no loss.

LiBA and her beautiful mother who love like no others, Miss L. the ultim-o-hostess, Markus Arelius & Mini-Me (both cellularly), Phoebe and her adoring prince, Billard back-stage at The Grecian, and my precious Roxanne, with whom I spent much time Sunday afternoon chatting with fireside over latte in the foreground of musicians who filled the luxurious cafe air with audile cream.

Each day was infused with snug squeezes with the Cherub-bean, and finally, draped across and contentedly so with my adoring "Ricky", a Diet Pepsi, and the remote control.

Speaking of the Cherub-bean, it sounds like she's awake--sounding off with her newest practical skill, blowing raspberries on her chubby forearm.

Over n' out.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Mystery Subject

So, I dig out a writing project I've been keeping a file on since 1999. I began more serious work on it again yesterday and I'm riveted--pulling down dialogue, choosing words like a prize-winner on a shopping spree at the Mall of the World.

Writer's High. That's what it was. If you've ever had it, you know just what I'm talking about and you'll chase it, catch it, and lose it again on a continuous cycle--forever. If you've never had it, it's what I would classify as a bonafied "peak experience". If you're not a word junkie and can't imagine why or how anyone could or would chase it (or that it's a real phenomenon), I understand. I've never had Runner's High for exactly the same list of reasons.

While shuffling through my "shitty first drafts" (By the way, that's a technical term as well as a chapter title in the best ever book for writers, "Bird By Bird" by Anne LaMott, thanks again J for turning me on to it so many years ago.) I happened upon a "just put your ass in the chair and write anything" sort of entry on a printed page. It had nothing to do with the project, it was just sharing a page with something else that did.

Anya, circa July 4, 2000:

"My friends have changed. And, I guess I have too. One in particular, and drastically. It's odd. It makes me feel like--how it might feel waking up on the subway next to the stranger you have always been on the same redline car with every Monday through Friday evening between 5:47 and 5:54 p.m. for the past three years. A twisted, blip of confused moments-- suddenly realizing you've been asleep, that your'not in your own home, that you're looking at someone you've consciously known--by face alone. A person you've never heard utter a word, not so much as a sneeze--jerking back into consciousness, almost falling to the floor snapping out of the narcoleptic fit. That's what happened to a guy I know. Now let me go on and start this play I've got to write."

Now. How can I not remember who in the WORLD I was talking about? It was so cryptic, yet specific and I can't snatch the memory file from my thinker.

If you're reading this, and you're the person I was talking about, remind me, eh?

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Does It Really . . . Matter?

We're each more powerful than we very often realize. Events in history--yes, history--are changed by our slightest word, action, or inaction each moment. Nothing we decide to do or elect not to do fails to change the world. Nothing is small.

Words and deeds broadcast around the world, or known to an audience of one, can change the course of worlds within the World. My antennae are extended for those kernals of inspiration, which some might say allow me to make an entire event of 20 seconds of time. Here I go again.

The other night, Reece repeated something she'd heard and held as profound, passing it on to the rest of us who were listening. She said, "I'm just trying to matter." and she hoped her work would be a testament to her efforts to do so.

Sometimes very publicly, or behind closed doors, and even quietly anonymous . . . I too have always aspired.

The question is, "What will I do today?"

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

The "O" Office or Chocolate Diplomacy

Imagine the next presidency: Hillary Clinton and Oprah Winfrey on the same ticket. Now, whether you like Hillary or whether you don't, whether you appreciate Oprah or think she's a cult leader, I think this would be electric. Imagine the cabinet, the supreme court justice appointments, the legislation, the VETO's. Imagine Nate Berkus getting his hands on the White House.

The Middle One's first grade teacher assigned a little project last week. They traced their silhouettes onto black paper and beneath, on ruled writing paper, they wrote their own presidential platforms. Here's what the Middle One wrote:

I would do many things if I could be the President.
First, I would end the school day earlier.
Next, I would give chocolate to the world.
This is what I would do if I became the President.

I think she might have something with the chocolate thing. In fact, I may send a copy on to Hillary.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Itcher Birt Day

Punxsutawney Phil, the most celebrated meteorologist of his day, says 6 more weeks of winter. I say we fire him . . . or at least force him into retirement. I'll take over. For my first seasonal prediction, "Maui weather for everyone, story at 5:00."

I think Phil needs to re-examine his character. Why so skiddish? When I came out of prenatal hibernation 35 years ago today, I had the moxy to stay in the light of day, shadow or no. So, as an honorary groundhog, I move that we start the planting season early and fire up the grill.

On another note, I'd like to share an excerpt from one of the books I'm mining through.

"In essence I am deliberately rejecting our present easy distinction between sickness and health, at least as far as surface symptoms are concerned. Does sickness mean having symptoms? I maintain now that sickness might consist of not having symptoms when you should. Does health mean being symptom free? I deny it. Which of the Nazis at Auschwitz or Dachau were healthy? Those with stricken conscience or those with a nice, clear, happy conscience? Was it possible for a profoundly human person not to feel conflict, suffering, depression, rage, etc?

In a word if you tell me you have a personality problem I am not certain until I know you better whether to say "Good!" or "I'm sorry." It depends on the reasons. And these, it seems, may be bad reasons or good reasons.

An example is the changing attitude of psychologists toward popularity, toward adjustment, even toward delinquency. Popular with whom? Perhaps it is better for a youngster to be unpopular with the neighboring snobs or with the local country club set. Adjusted to what? To a bad culture? What shall we think of a well-adjusted slave? Even the behavior problem boy is being looked upon with new tolerance. Why is he delinquent? Most often it is for sick reasons. But occasionally it is for good reasons and the boy is simply resisting exploitation, domination, neglect, contempt, and trampling upon.

Clearly what will be called personality problems depends on who is doing the calling. The slave owner? The dictator? It seems clear that personality problems may sometimes be loud protests against the crushing of one's psychological bones, of one's true inner nature. What is sick then is not to protest while this crime is being committed.

-Abraham Maslow, Toward A Psychology of Being

What say you?

Friday, January 27, 2006

1000 to One

What are the odds on this? Exactly 30 days from the date of my last bout with a stomach flu, I take on yet another strain. Just hours after my last post, the Little One and I meet my husband for lunch at our favorite Indian restaurant. Oh, the foreshadowing . . .

I simply cannot emphasize how rancid it is to throw up Indian food. Much Indian food. Now, I would be happy to wield my slicing command of adjectives on you with this one but if you're an avid reader, which I know some of you are, you deserve to be spared that warm & chunky-soured curry blowing its way upward and outward like cops on a meth lab door. I could expound but I'd like you all to keep your lunches down to process through the common channels.

To be continued . . .

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

What's More Fun Than A Chimp With 8 Hands?

So, the day before yesterday I almost clicked "Save as Draft" before I flipped over to Outlook right quick. Yeah.

I had a Yosimite Sam fit and dealt a few more than the, "Frick'nFrack'nRazzi'm . . . " old Sam would have if he were in my shoes.


I prefer reporting my good consumer experiences far more than the Chronicals of Hell I continue to sample as a result of purchasing a Toshiba laptop 13 months ago. I won't bore you with the details, but I will say, Toshiba has effectively robbed ALL of you from at least 3 pieces of my mind in print since I began this blog. Yeah. Rally with me.

I'll have to recall the last post that blipped out of existence later today because right now, the Little One is attacking this keyboard like a 9 handed chimp.

To be continued . . .

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The Faces of Love

Those who know me are aware of the haunting I'll do from time to time at the local Good Will store and it's cousin shops. Today, I just decided it'd been long enough since my last skitter through and the little one and I decided to take the stroller through the sacred second-hand gallery of chance.

I pick up a Blue's Clues VHS and head to the front to pay. No major treasure score today.

The wheelchair-bound woman working the register is about my age, plump as a ripe tomato. She casually refers to her price sheet, her finger trailing down its laminated length, scanning for "Kid's Videos" which turn out to be $1.48 each. She pokes two buttons on the cash register as a white-bearded black man interrupts the transaction.

"Shhhckewwzmee," he begins. Working his lips best he can, he utters an intelligible but earnest question of the cashier. An edge of impatience cuts the room when she answers, "What?" in the same tone a 4th grader might respond to a wise guy on the playground.

The man adjusts the bill on his cap as if to cue himself to repeat his question in a different language. He offers the words more slowly and deliberately this time, "I-sh wanna g'no fy'c'n take dad shhhckooder ow side fo m'wive come in."

He wanted to drive the motorized scooter outside to the car in the parking lot for his wife. The cashier was clearly uneasy but gave him the, "Yyeah, I guess that's ok." As he mounted the steed, our friendly cashier mumbled to me, with a sentencing eye roll, that she thought he must be drunk.

The old man fired up the scooter and, as quickly as he'd entered, he was on his way out--full scooter throttle. He was making good time toward the door.

"BAM!" The sticker on the door read, "Pull". He backed it up.

Another customer coming in tried to help him out by holding the door open, which he proceeded to lurch toward, make contact with, and become briefly wedged within. I left the store moments later through the "Push" set of doors on the other side, as he and other customer freed the scooter from the doorway and the rumpled rug. Almost to my car, the old man bee-lined past me in the parking lot driving toward his wife who was waiting next to their car a few rows back.

His wife could not have weighed one cookie less than 400 pounds.

He dismounted the scooter and looked on as she worked herself into a seated position on the cart. He walked with her as the scooter's motor whined with strained gears, creeping across the parking lot, its tail end scraping the asphalt. About half-way back to the store, I hear him belt out, "Naw, muss be juss runnin oudda chargin."

The baby was all buckled into her Lazy-Boy, and I was wrangling the 'instant collapse' lever on her stroller behind the car when I noticed that the 'Little Scooter That Could' just wouldn't. The slight angle of the handicap ramp from the parking lot to the sidewalk was too much for the brave little scooter. He just done gave it all he had. Now, Husband wasn't about to leave his girl stranded. The old guy bowed up and put both hands on the back of her seat and started pushing his gal up the ramp--and by golly, I saw the last few moments of his love for her in my side-view mirror as he opened the door for her to the Good Will store. I was proud of him.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

How many dollars for a minute of your life?

This may end up sounding curmudgeony. I left a doctor's office today before treatment was rendered, but after being held in the examination chamber for more than 30 minutes. Now, hold on. Let's give you the back-story here. So I've got this 10:45 appointment for the little one (she's just 18 months old) with a dermatologist. Nothing life-threatening, just a lil' white spot on her arm that her dad and I thought we'd get looked at. The little one and I manage to beat the odds (if you've ever tried to get somewhere on time with anyone under the age of 3, you understand "the odds") arriving at the doctor's office 5 minutes before the appointment time. Now, again it's our first visit and we all know the "paper work" routine.

One of the women behind the sliding glass window gets me started with these few pages and I specifically ask her, "How is the doctor's schedule today? Is she running on time?" to which she replies, "Oh, yes. In fact just as soon as we get these filled out we'll get you right back there."

"Huh." I think to myself. "That's good. So by 11:30, we'll be sliding through Wendy's. Perfect."

The paperwork was easy and quick. Less than 10 minutes later, we're up. Down the hall, room 3, in we go left with instructions to get the baby down to her skivies and assured that the "doctor will be right in".

The baby was patient for 10 minutes on the exam table. She occupied herself for another 10 minutes climbing on the chair, testing the cabinet doors and peeking through the blinds. At 11:25 she's trying to open the exam room door to leave, I presume. She begins to cry the "hungry cry". She plops herself on the floor. She gets up. She reaches for me, still crying the Hungry Cry.

It's 11:28 and I've had it. The baby's hungry, she's crying (it's her well-established lunch time). I start to think about what the doctor might feel her time is worth. I'm more than likely to agree with any amount she'd throw on the table. Then I remembered the notice posted to the left of the "receiving window" which stated very certainly that if you were more than 15 minutes late for any appointment, your appointment would be rescheduled. I hear casual chatter and laughter from the hallway outside.

The lavender jumpsuit the baby was wearing went right back on. I had time to snap all 20 snaps, gather our things and walk to the front of the clinic with no sign of the doctor. I stopped at "the window" and asked the same receptionist to send us the $15 co-pay because the baby was starving, we've been here more than 45 minutes and we're just not waiting any longer reminding her politely that we'd asked if the doctor was "on-time". Taken aback she starts, "Well, the doctor is just right there."

I said, "She's starving. We're going."

Now, this is not PMS rearing it's head. This is not a short temper. This is principle. This is our life. Granted, the dermatological appointment wasn't life or death and was probably low priority. No bleeding or disfigurement . . . but why not just "suggest" a time for us to show up instead of making an appointment.

A few years ago, I learned something that stuck with me about being on time. Wayne McKamie said, "If you're late getting somewhere, with very, very few exceptions, I'd ask you to look back and honestly say to yourself, 'So what was more important than getting here on time?' Sleeping? Web-surfing? Taking just one more non-emergency phone call?'." And McGraw throws in, "It's just arrogance. You're telling me that my time is far less important than yours."

Does this qualify as a rant?

Saturday, January 14, 2006


I've begun writing this entry now for the fifth time and each time I've floored the back-space button wiping the window clean. There's at least some pressure to write something entertaining in one's blog; and if not, at east some sort of worthwhile rhetoric, no? So, it's just me?

I doubt it.

Well, now, speaking of flooring the back-space button, here's something for ya:

What would I give to have the truly traumatic events in my life . . . erased from my memory? In retrospect, which memories of your own, if you could choose just one, would you have erased or at least blunted? Now, I say, specifically "in retrospect" because if you're reading this, and you can think of one, you obviously survived something of relative intensity or even horror. Since you've survived it, and you didn't die--has this memory served you in a positive way since or did it remain turning point from which there has been no return, keeping you arrested?

Would you take the "trauma pill"?


So far, I'll keep even the traumatic events on my hard drive. I lived and even continue to thrive far beyond the reach of their haunting tentacles. Again, it's all relative and I think this sounds like a positively merciful pharmacological answer for many. Bioethics. What a tangle.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Sort Of Like Thong Underwear

My 'ole friend J spoke the truth in just and only the way J would. I began writing this blog with revolvers in each hand ready to do some serious shootin'. I'll just cut'n paste J's e-mail response to my "new blog":

Subject: RE: New blog

Lovely lovely.
You’ll develop a love/hate relationship with it.
Sort of like thong underwear.



I've got plenty to say today, and I'll pin it up here a little later today. In the mean time, let me change into some "grannies".

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Two More Words

Well, the wily Mr. Markus, whose cunning has become lore hath responded with his "One Word"--and being rule-bending, line-walker he is, responded with two. I admit, I enjoyed actually reading the definitions of the words he sent--because I'm positive he read them before he sent them.

ardent: Displaying or characterized by strong enthusiasm or devotion; fervent: “an impassioned age, so ardent and serious in its pursuit of art” (Walter Pater).


emulous: Eager or ambitious to equal or surpass another.

You know what I always say, "Takes one to know one."

Current recreational reading:

"Toward A Psychology of Being" and "Religion, Values and Peak-Experiences", AH Maslow

What're you reading?