Friday, June 27, 2008


Yesterday, while I was at home for lunch, and Pudge and I were in the backyard, I took the opportunity to meander to the front corner of the yard (on the side of the new neighbors) to check the progress of my hardy hibiscus (they're budding--yay!). There is a smallish, annoyingly positioned tree in that corner of the yard, which stands over the hibiscus, and I noticed a dead, twiggy little branch hanging in it. I assumed it was a remnant of my recent, fairly drastic pruning, and reached up to pull it down. I started to toss it away and then thought...there's something weird-looking about it. I took a closer look. That's just a dead leaf there on the end, isn't it? Or is it...OH MY GOD, THERE'S A DESSICATED FROG IMPALED ON THE END OF THE STICK. Yep, someone shoved a stick right down that frog's throat. Then tossed it into a tree.

For the sake of neighborly relations, I'm going to assume it wasn't anyone who actually LIVES there (I'm looking at you, slacker friends), and I'm further going to assume that the frog was already dead when the stick was stuck, because otherwise....who DOES something like that? Who makes frog popsicles and tosses them into their neighbor's tree? Shudder.

Let's change the subject before I get too freaked out.

I have several opportunities for socialization this weekend, if I can force myself to actually, you know, be social. My guitar player's wife suggested that, since we recently relearned all those songs, we should have a pickin' party at their house tomorrow night, so there's that. On the plus side, since nobody's paying us, we can drink all we want and not worry about the effect on our music. On the minus side, this is that particular group of friends where I am currently the only single person, and that's going to be a little depressing. But I'm sure I'll go, and I'll drink, and I'll sing, and I'll deal.

(Okay, just in case you're wondering, my recent silence on the topic of New Guy should not be taken to mean that I'm "getting over him," or that I miss him one iota less than I did a month ago. I'm not, and I don't. We talk a couple of times a week, not particularly thrilling conversations, since there are generally children fighting for his attention and/or lost toy crises to solve while we're talking, but we talk. I'm hoping to go visit him once he actually gets his own place (he's still living out of a suitcase while visiting family and friends), but nothing is set. Yes, it's depressing. Moving on.)

Sunday afternoon is my church's annual picnic and music-fest, but I don't know how much of that I can take. It's outdoors, you see, and the outdoors is hot, miserably hot. Not even the lure of vestry members in a dunk tank can counteract much of that for me. Though maybe if the junior warden were to get in the dunk tank, shirtless...heh.

Sunday evening is our monthly women's "stitch and bitch without the stitch" potluck, carefully timed to coincide with what I'm told is a decently spectacular fireworks display at the church next door. But in order to get to the food and the margaritas and the explosions and the singing of patriotic songs (in drunken multi-part harmony, I'm sure), I will have to drive wayyy to the other side of town, and having just driven wayyyyyyy to the other side of town for the pickin' party the night before, well....we'll see.

It all really depends on the state of my dog's digestive system. Pudge is a little...sensitive, you see. He doesn't like thunderstorms, fireworks or workmen outside, and recently we've been deluged with all these things. It's been a little upsetting to him, if you get my drift. He wants me close by, and when I'm not able to be close by, I occasionally must pay upon my arrival home. Pay how? By cleaning up diarrhea, that's how. I love my dog!!! Poor, overly sensitive, clingy thing that he is. (And please do not, as my bass player recently did, suggest that I just leave him outside by himself while I'm gone. That would NOT be a good thing. Pudge is not an outdoor dog, and that would simply compound the problem. And really...he's very good at holding it. VERY good. He's only had a couple of accidents, and is it his fault if I'm not home to hear the "please let me out right now" bark?) We just have to make it through the the Fourth of July weekend. And the rainy season. And the "but we're just trying to improve your neighborhood" sewer line and road repairs. (Which may give ME diarrhea before it's all over.)

Sometimes my life is crap. Crap, and dried frogsicles. Sigh.

But at least it's the weekend! Have a good one!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

$5,000 for that thing?

Lately I've been obsessed with "Old Things Roadtrip." (Okay, that's not really the name, but you know the PBS show I'm talking about, don't you? Just trying to thwart the throngs of "Old Things Roadtrip" googlers. Though I don't know why I bother. Nothing could be more disturbing than the numerous hits I'm still getting for "hairy boobs." What's wrong with people?)

Anyway, for some reason, I can't get enough of "Old Things Roadtrip." I'm not sure why...but I think, aside from the little history lessons, and yes, I am a geek, that it's the (almostly certainly vain) hope that someday I'll be watching, and old Milly will be sitting there with the [random knick-knack] she inherited from HER Aunt Tilly, and the expert will say "this is one of the finest [random knick-knack]s I've ever seen, and I'd put it up for auction at ONE MEEEELION DOLLARS," and I'll jump up screaming, "I HAVE A [RANDOM KNICK-KNACK] JUST LIKE THAT ONE, ONLY MINE IS EVEN BETTER!"

(Wow, was that a heckuva sentence there, or what?)

I know, intellectually, that I'm not going to strike it rich with the contents of my house. I have a number of things passed down from family members, particularly my maternal grandmother. "Passed down," you see, and not "inherited," because "inherited" implies a certain value, and the things I have...acquired? Well, I like them..both on their own merits, and because they remind me of Nanny, but I'm well aware that their value is primarily sentimental.

And still, when I watch "Old Things Roadtrip," I can't help but wonder (how very Carrie Bradshaw of me) if THIS is the time I'll see it...MY [random knick-knack]...and it's worth REAL MONEY. Of course, if that ever happens, I wouldn't want to sell it, because it reminds me of my grandmother, and I'd get all nervous having something that valuable in the house, and I'd have to take out special insurance or put it into a safe deposit box, and that would certainly take all the fun out of owning it, so...maybe I'm better off as I am.

I won't stop watching, though. 'Cause you know what else is fun about "Old Things Roadtrip?" Watching the faces of people realizing they paid waaaay too much for some assembly line knock-off worth a hundred bucks. That's some good television right there.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Like living in a soft drink commercial

When I got home from work Friday evening, my neighbors were outside working on their yard, and one of the kids was actually playing on the trampoline. He was all zipped up inside the netting, bouncing away for all he was worth. Of course, he's a teeny-tiny thing, so he wasn't making much of an impact, but he seemed to be enjoying himself, and it was pretty cute, I must say. The cuteness must have had some sort of effect on my shriveled raisin of a heart, because I felt moved to smile and give a big wave hello.

You know the cheesy commercial where everyone is "paying forward" smiles, and lending hands, and oh, isn't the world a better place when we're all nice to each other? Well, it was kind of like that.

The girl instantly came over to the fence for a quick chat, like she'd just been waiting for the opportunity. We chatted very briefly about the heat and the mosquitos, and then Pudge and I went on back inside. A few minutes later, there was a knock on my front door. It was my neighbor.

"My husband wants to know if it would be okay with you if he goes ahead and mows your front lawn, too, as long as he's mowing. I told him I couldn't see why you'd mind."

I laughed. "I can't think of a single reason why I would object, if he really wants to. Thanks!"

He mowed AND weed-eated the front yard. For the record, my sidewalk and driveway haven't been weed-eaten since LAST summer, when my neighbor on the other side did it for me once. ("I hope you don't mind...I went ahead and did your edges." WHY WOULD I MIND? I HATE weed-eating.)

I'm not sure if they were just making a friendly overture, or if I truly seem old and decrepit and in need of help (they are SO young), but hey...whatever the reason, I'm not turning down free lawn mowing, even if it is just a gesture of kindness toward a sad spinster lady. Heh. Of course, now I feel obligated to bake them some cookies or god, where does this "neighborliness" thing end?

And now I'm remembering how my parents used to occasionally send us kids over to mow our various widowed neighbor ladies' lawns, but those women were REALLY old, weren't they? Please tell me I wasn't mowing the lawns of 40-something women who could perfectly well have done it themselves! Hee. (For the record, I'm pretty sure all of our neighbors at that time--almost all of whom were widows, for some reason; not a good block for male longevity--were at least in their 60s, and they seemed ancient to me then. Now my own mother is in her mid-60s and still incredibly active--were things that different back then? Or is it just my perspective? Hmm....)

In other news, our little gig Saturday night went really well, once we all got there and got rolling. It's always incredibly flattering to be told repeatedly how fabulous you are, and to be asked with amazement why you don't do this for a living, since you are so incredibly wonderful, etc., but it's a little bittersweet, too. Why DON'T I get to sing and act for a living? Oh yeah...because I live in a place where almost no one does. Sigh. And I am too old and tired (and have too many animals) to go off and try to "make it" somewhere now. (Ask my BFF how much fun a rep theatre company is when you're twice the age of everyone else there. Hee.) We are considering trying to find some regular monthly gig, at any rate, just for fun. And a few bucks. (We each made fifty bucks Saturday night. Whoo hoo? Plus I got a glass of wine purchased for me, a loaf of yummy hot bread was given to me afterwards by a kind waitress--I was starving, and scavenging the leftover bread from the table-- and the ladies presented me with one of the lovely floral centerpieces. Whoo hoo!)

My parents came to town yesterday to bring me some hair balm and lipstick (yes, my mother is an Avon lady), and took me to lunch. I am really worried about my dad--I think he's the skinniest person I've ever seen who didn't currently have cancer or anorexia. He's been having trouble swallowing food for the last year or so. The doctors have done every test in the book, and can find no physical/anatomical reason for the difficulty, and we're all beginning to suspect the trouble is in his head. My mother is always nagging him to drink Ensure, which he can swallow, but I don't think he's drinking nearly enough of it. Stubborn man. It's worrisome.

I mowed the back yard (all by myself--what's THAT about?) after they left, and that was my weekend. How was yours?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The squeaky wheel gets...the weed-whacker.

Yes, the view-blocking weeds have been removed from their offensive place on the corner. Yay for being a cranky old lady!

'Cause I'm pretty sure I'm going to continue to be cranky for a least until these ceaseless thunderstorms CEASE ALREADY, for cryin' out loud. I am very glad that we're not actually flooding here in Tulsa proper--steps were taken after some really big floods back in the 80s (the Great Flood of '86 springs to mind, though the BFF and I simply referred to her as "Betty") wreaked havoc, and, who'd a thunk it, those steps actually worked, and Tulsa is now something of a model for flood control. (If nothing else. Stay off of our pothole-ridden streets. Heh.)

In less jubilant news, Pudge had diarrhea all day yesterday. Whoo hoo! Including just a little bit in the house! And he puked all over the place! I love my dog! (I do...but he has thunderstorm anxiety and I guess that anxiety had to manifest itself somewhere.)

And, in seriously less jubilant news...the "litter box brigade" has been officially disbanded. My cancer-stricken friend has finally found homes for all her cats, and just in time, as she has begun to worsen very rapidly, and is going into hospice. I did my very last scooping duty last night, and was hoping to be able to chat a bit (she was asleep last week when I was there), but she was...not up to it, to put it mildly. I've never seen anyone go downhill quite so quickly. I think at some level she was just hanging in there for the cats, and now that they're taken care of...she's ready to go. And it will be a blessing when she does, truly. She needs to be free from that pain. CANCER SUCKS!!! Please direct your thoughts/prayers/good wishes/vibes toward a peaceful "transition" for Jan. Thanks.

I'm going to go now, 'cause I've made myself all sad, and I think I might require some chocolate. (I'm still at work--I can't have liquor yet.)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

What's next?

Daring young men on a flying trapeze? Any day now I expect to look up and see a tightwire strung between the trees.

Which is my way of saying that my next-door neighbors have added to the carnival. Over the weekend they installed....a trampoline! (Complete with safety-netting, thank goodness.) I wouldn't be so fascinated with the cavalcade of playground fun, except that I truly almost NEVER see those kids outside. Why go to so much trouble and expense for kids too young to use and/or appreciate it? There had better not be any late-night trampoline carousing by the slacker boys, is all I'm saying.

Yes, I am officially a cranky old lady.

And, to celebrate, I called the mayor's action line again today--this time to report that the people on the corner haven't mowed between the sidewalk and the curb yet this year, and I can't see to pull out onto the busy street. I mean I really can't see. With all this rain, the weeds are about 4' high, and the street takes a pretty good rise at that point, and I absolutely can't see if cars are coming my way. So I have to nose out into the street to get a peek, hoping I don't get creamed. And then I'm that person I HATE, the person sitting there with her car nosed out into traffic, causing people to swerve around (and glare at) her as they pass. I HATE that person. I refuse to continue to be that person, so...civic duty done. We'll see how quickly they respond.

Then, of course, I'll have to find another reason to be cranky. I have a sneaking suspicion I'm up to THAT task. Heh.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Is it any wonder we're BFsF?

Friday night, 10:43 p.m. Liz is asleep on the couch, and has been for...well, a couple of hours, if we're being honest. (Yes, sacked out before 9:00 p.m. on a Friday night--don't pretend you're not envious of such an exciting life.) The phone rings.

L: Hello...

BFF: Sing the theme song to "Land of the Lost."

L: (instantly, of course) "Marshall, Will and Holly, on a routine expedition, met the greatest earthquake ever known. High on a mountain, it tossed their tiny craft, and sent them down a thousand feet below. To the la-and of the lo-o-ost."

BFF: (relays this to someone else) Thank you. The power's out here.

L: Oh, okay.

BFF: Bye.

L: Bye.


Friday, June 13, 2008

Diggin'/Not diggin'


  • "So You Think You Can Dance." Dancing! Cat Deeley! Jidges! Twitch! Hot tamale trains! Wade Robson choreography! And my, oh handsome is Debbie Allen's little protege, Will? (He's over 18, right? I'm not going to hell for lusting, or anything?)
  • Maybelline Mineral Power makeup. I held off on trying the mineral foundations for the longest time, 'cause I just couldn't see how a mere powder could cover my rosacea areas. But it does! Whoo hoo! It stays on, AND I don't end up with stubborn makeup stains on my clothes. ('Cause not even the fabulous Tide pen will take that out.)
  • Kathy Griffin has gone back to her darker red shade of hair, I see. I approve. That strawberry blonde shade she was rocking last season washed her out.
  • Fresh basil from my very own plants in my sandwich wrap for lunch. Nothing packs a flavor punch like basil.
  • It's not hot outside today. (Of course, that's because it's all cloudy and rainy, and I am SO tired of rain, but I'm trying to be all Pollyanna about it.)
  • Smart Cars. I want one!
  • I have twice overheard Male Co-Worker (who is slightly younger than me) telling Female Co-Worker (my exact age) that she should stop coloring her hair and let the gray grow in, 'cause "look how good Liz's hair looks." Awww...sweet. (Not sure I agree with him right at the moment, but still sweet.)
  • I have posted five days in a row. (Granted, they haven't been stellar posts, but nonetheless.)

Not diggin':

  • This guy. Asswipe.
  • That Mentos commercial where the woman leans over and drinks from the guy's mouth like he's a water cooler? GROSS! It makes my skin crawl. She's drinking spit! She's gonna need a Mentos for sure after that. Blech.
  • Thunderstorms.
  • I have friends struggling with physical and emotional issues, and there's not much I can do to help. Sigh.
  • Gas prices. Food prices. Utilities prices. (And when was the last time I had a raise? So long ago I can't even remember when it was. Depressing. Good thing I like ramen.)
  • The messy, dirty, inconvenient, never-ending work the city is doing in my neighborhood. Aargghh!

Happy Friday the 13th, everyone! Go out and kiss a black cat. Under a ladder. Hee.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

It's the little things that get you.

Today the local newspaper food critic reviewed a restaurant I went to several times with New Guy (and never with anybody else, so I have no memories of the place separate from him). Don't mention the cajun chicken, don't mention the cajun chicken--too late. Sigh.

We've been rehearsing for our upcoming charity gig, and, since the rest of the band lives on the opposite side of town from me (actually, two of them live so far on the opposite side, they're actually in different towns), I've been driving out there for rehearsals. No biggie, right? I hate that highway, that whole side of town, actually...but it's just a few times. What's the big deal? (Other than $3.79 per gallon for gas, but whatever.) Well, the deal is...this is the highway I always took to New Guy's place. I've been on that highway more in the last few months than I have the 20 years I've lived here...but only to go see him. Now whenever I pass "his" exit, it's like somebody has just punched me in the stomach. If the guys have noticed my damp eyes when I arrive at rehearsals, they've been too nice to mention it. Sigh.

I pull my trashbin out to the curb for pickup, and I remember that, on our last evening together, he insisted on being a gentleman, and pulling it out for me. Sigh.

Silly, silly little things. And yet they stab me in the heart. It's getting easier, mostly--I mean...I'm not crying every day anymore. And there are plenty of times I think of him and smile...but it's the little things. Sigh.

And now, simply to avoid ending this post on such a somber note, I will share with you that I DID take my "Nensa" card out and wave it around last night at rehearsal. I was kidding, of course, and my band boys just laughed. And swore that merely touching the card raised their own IQs a couple of points. (Hee.) But I would also like to state for the record that, re: whether or not the chords they were playing at one point of one song were WRONG, that I was right. They were wrong. Of course, that has little to do with IQ, and more to do with the fact that I have good ears AND more familiarity with that particular song, but still. I WAS RIGHT. I'm just sayin'.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Don't make me wave my card in your face

Dear...oh, let's just affectionately call you "Mr. Too Stupid to Live," only without the affection:

If you begin a conversation by acknowledging that I am the "resident expert" on a particular subject, then why, OH WHY, do you then refuse to accept my answers? This wasn't a tricky one. This is information that anyone who has done what I do for as long as I have done it has at her fingertips. I could share this information in my sleep. Truly. If you stood over my bed and asked "what kind of blank does a blank use?" I would answer "a blank" without even breaking my snugglehold with Pudge. (And then I would wake up and say "WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING IN MY BEDROOM?")

It would have been the perfect opportunity to shove my newly-minted "Nensa" card in his face, but, alas, the conversation took place over the phone. I think if I began saying "Do you know what this is that I'm holding? Do you see how I'm waving it around in the general area where your face would be if you were here?" it might not have quite the desired effect. Sigh.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

It's a miracle

I just went home for lunch. Said lunch involved yellow mustard, beet salad and cheetos (that wasn't the entire meal--there were also yummy vegetarian corndogs, hence the mustard), all of which were eaten while wearing a mostly white shirt--and said shirt is not currently emblazoned with yellow, magenta or day-glo orange splotches. How did I manage THAT?

And, on a completely unrelated note, am I the only dog-owner bothered by the name of that new "my dog can do better tricks than your dog" reality show? The GREATEST American dog? You know what makes a dog great? Two things: a) that he/she is YOUR dog, and b) that you love him/her. That's it. I think I have the greatest dog in the WORLD, and all he can do on command is sit. Sometimes. If he's in the mood. But he loves me unconditionally, he makes me laugh, he never has "accidents" inside, and he spoons with me at night. Plus he lets Ruthie the cat show her love, which is immense and involves gazing adoringly and throwing herself at him and rubbing her head against various parts of his body, with much grace. That, in my opinion, is a great dog. Would he be any greater if he could catch a frisbee in his mouth while wearing a beret and riding a unicycle? I think not. (Though I'll bet people would throw their loose change at us if he did it in public. Especially if I was also a beret-clad unicyclist. Hmm...if gas/food/utility prices keep rising I might have to reconsider this.)

I think I will leave you with that mental image. Heh.

Monday, June 09, 2008

I bet you wish you was as smart as me.

Note: possession of this card will not make you any less prone to stumbling into your own desk and smashing your thumb, five minutes after arriving at work. (More's the pity.) It will, however, get you discounts on hotel rooms and rental cars. Um...whoo hoo?

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Stuff like that there. In bullets.

Bits and pieces, bits and pieces.

  • Still sad

  • Am I becoming a cranky old lady, or just a conscientious and concerned citizen? In the past few weeks/months I have: a) called the city to complain about the trashy and junk-filled yard behind me, b) called the city to complain about my trash collectors being lazy and sloppy, c) called the city water distribution department to demand they send someone to fill the giant ruts in my street caused by their never-ending sewer/water main replacement project combined with a LOT of rain and d) called the police to report that a black pickup truck had just driven aimlessly past my house for the 6th time in half an hour. (It was 2:30 in the morning, you see, and I was having a little insomnia, and I couldn't think of a legitimate reason for someone to be doing that. The dispatcher agreed, and did actually send an officer by.)

  • My on again/off again "band" has a gig later this month--a charitable event at a country club. They're paying us a few dollars, which will probably just about cover the gas needed to drive to rehearsals and the event. Oh, well.

  • Yay, Obama!

  • I keep getting spam, from various "people" with the subject line "you look really stupid my first initial/my last name." And a link. Yeah, what genius thought this one up--let's insult people PERSONALLY--that'll suck 'em right in! "Oh, you think I look stupid, do you? Well, I'm going to click right on this link. So there!"

  • I haven't seen the Sex and the City movie yet, and I'm not sure I want to, since from what I understand Steve cheats on Miranda, who's gotten all brittle again. No! Steve and Miranda (and Harry and Charlotte) were what SATC was all about for me. (Carrie and Big? Oh, who cares.)

  • I have a garden party to attend this weekend, with some of my favorite women I don't see often enough, where the focal point of the menu is always cheetos, and which sometimes involves middle-aged women in hats waving their napkins and saying "helloooooo" to passers-by from the front yard. Sounds like fun, no?

  • I still haven't received my "Nensa" membership card, but I'm told by their national office that it was scheduled to be mailed on Tuesday, so...maybe today! I'm sure mere possession of the card will cause all future blog posts to be more coherent and well-structured. Or not.

  • How much do I love "So You Think You Can Dance"? Answer: lots. It's what "American Idol" wishes it was.

  • It's already been in the 90s here--that's too frickin' hot for June!! Plus it's been raining like crazy. Rain + heat = mowing, mowing, mowing. Gah.

  • On the plus side, the slacker dudes next door haven't been out in the yard much--maybe they don't like the heat, either?

  • I can't seem to get motivated to start working out again, now that the sciatica is mostly gone. Somebody do me a favor, and tell me to get off my lazy butt and exercise, already, please. (And that tub of chocolate ice cream in the freezer is NOT helping.)

  • The sciatica is only MOSTLY gone. I still have a tiny bit of numbness in my foot. Should I be worried about that, do you think?

  • You know, I kind of thought...back when it started to seem that New Guy would be moving sooner rather than later...that when he left, I'd throw my online profile back up, and try to go on some bad dates to remind myself why being alone isn't all that bad. But now that it's happened, I can't think of anything I'd less rather do. I can't even stomach the thought of it. It seems pointless. And unfair, perhaps, should I actually meet someone with sincere intentions...why lead someone else on, when I don't have the intention or ability to make a connection right now? (And besides, I guess there's a part of me that won't stop hoping that the Story of Liz and New Guy somehow gets another chapter someday.) So, for now, here's my "boyfriend." Isn't he handsome? And SUCH a good snuggler.

Monday, June 02, 2008

He's gone

New Guy, that is. Headed out Saturday morning. We were able to spend an evening together last week. It was lovely. And broke my heart into little pieces. I miss him. Lots.

Yes, we're staying in touch. No, I don't know when I'll see him again.

Hell yes, I'm depressed.

And life goes on.