Monday, December 31, 2007


Christmas Song of the Day: Little Drummer Boy

I played my drum for Him
I played my best for Him

I try to do my best. It’s never any good. It’s never enough. And when I hear this song, I cry.

Early in my divorce, I gathered my siblings and my cousins around me and created an email group so we could all keep up on each other’s lives. My ulterior plan was to get them to make me laugh. I needed distraction in the worst way back then. It was an early hot pot for creating this blog too.

We are an interesting bunch, my family; bringing all manner of talents to the table and seeing their creativity in action was a constant source of fun. Birthdays would include haikus, poems in free verse, embarrassing memories. Sometimes, out of nothing other than a need to smile, I would assign homework. One of our favorite serials was called: “The Adventures of Rosella and Tanji”. We wrote several stories on these two characters. I would assign two words or phrases to each individual on the list and they would have to incorporate those elements into the story.

Our heroines, Rosella and Tanji, were two fictitious white trash women. The three amorous and hungry Bob’s, Aunt Ruby, their ten children, road kill, and an unfortunate hospital intern comprised their social scene. It was wonderful, and I would laugh until I cried. At some point, those stories stopped. Part of it was that we are all busy adults, life got in the way. But I think it was also the fact that time heals. I was finding joy and happiness in my life again, I didn't need it manufactured.

The list still exists, we still email each other. We still keep in touch. I'm so lucky to have the family and friends that I have. Leaning on them helped me get past the the worst times.

Sometimes, even years later, we get a clear unequivocal sign that we’ve closed a door. A door to a fond room where we know happy memories are kept in with the not so happy ones. We can go back in and walk through the rooms if we want and smile. But then we walk out of the room again, close the door, caress the wood, turn around and move forward. And we’re good.

July 26, 2007; 7:30 am; Work. I received a phone call from a provider's office wanting to check on a claim. I needed to open up an application in my system to get the caller to the right place, which would take several minutes. So I decided to make small talk with the woman on the other end asking how the weather was where she lived. She was in Michigan - and we talked about rain and she asked me how the winters were where I lived. I said that they were much better than winters in upstate New York from where I hailed.

The caller asked why I moved and I was honest; that after my divorce, I felt like I needed a change, so I moved. She shared with me that she was newly divorced and having a very hard time with it; had been praying very hard for help from God to let go of the past, the anger, the hurt, the loss. She had been divorced a year and she was still having a hard time.

We both shared some things about our experiences and I was supportive, telling her it took me two solid years before I let go of the anger and the relationship and to be patient with herself. We talked about the kids and how they handled it; her 4 year old was struggling. She told me she would lift me up in prayer and I told her I would do the same.

I realized that my experience had just helped someone else. A seeming random phone call turned into an opportunity to reach out to a fellow sister who was in pain. A chance to show her that she might not be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel right now, but she would soon and she would be ok.

By this time, my application had finished and I was able to ascertain where I needed to transfer her call. I told her that she could call me on this number any time she needed to talk and that she would be ok.

It was at this point I realized that maybe the chat we had was as much for my benefit as it was for hers. It was like God touched me on the shoulder and said "See? You're ok." I gave the caller my name and asked her what her name was.

It was Tanji.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Congratulations Jang Hyuk!

Charismatic actor of "Thank You" and "Volcano High"- my favorite Korean Drama of all time - Jang Hyuk announced yesterday that he and fiance Kim Yuh Jin are expecting their little girl Tee Hae, to be born in February. The couple will be married in June. I thought he looked uncharacteristically exuberant in the recent press conference promoting his new series with Lee Da Hae "Robber". May she be born healthy and well and bring her parents happiness.

Actor Jang Hyuk (31) will marry a dancer, who is two years older, on June 2nd of next year.

Bride-to-be dancer Kim Yuh Jin (33) met Jang Hyuk is 2002 at a fitness center and has been dating him for 6 years now. Kim is expecting to deliver a baby in February.

They met last June with their parents and had a small but cozy engagement party. After Kim has delivered the baby and recuperated, the couple will marry in June.

Jang Hyuk's bride-to-be, Kim, was a dance major and has been performing as a dancer within the country. When she first met Jang Hyuk at the fitness center, she was giving pilates lessons.

Jang Hyuk said, "In 2002, I went to learn pilates. There were 40 women and I was the only male. At first we weren't friends. She was a teacher, and I was the student. We had a meal together maybe once a month, but slowly we got to know each other naturally."

He added this to say about Kim. "She has many similarities with me and she has many differences with me. She doesn't have a lot to say, but she's not that quiet. Her heart is warm, her understanding is large, and most importantly, she has faith. As more time goes, I feel that she is a good person, a person I'm thankful for. We might not have the nervous feeling as we did when we first met, but now we have more memories and affection with each other and that's a good feeling too.

Especially in 2004 when Jang Hyuk went through a hard time with the military duty scandal, he commented that he made it through with her by his side.
He said, "When I was in the army, she was with me. When I was having a hard time, she let me rest on her shoulders. I can't explain how thankful and moved I was. After facing a difficult time together, I feel like our relationship deepened."

To Kim, Jang Hyuk said, "Thank you for being with me for such a long time. Let's be thankful for every little thing that comes along the way and find happiness in the future together, since the future is more important. I'll try my hardest to fill that portion well, and I don't know how many obstacles lie in our way, but I promise we'll get through it together…I'm always touched just by being with you, and I thank you again and again."

For the baby, the father-to-be said that baby will be named "Tae-Hee." (Big tae, and Joyful hee). As the name says, he wants their baby to be a person with a larger heart, a person with a lot of laughter, and a person who will live a joyful life. "I want my baby to be healthy and be born quickly, so that I can hug her soon."

Friday, December 21, 2007

Picture Frames

Christmas Song of the Day: A Wonderful Christmas Time

The moon is right
The spirits up
Were here tonight
And thats enough

One of my favorite songs of all time. It takes me back to when I was 17 and my sister Bellie was 15 (more or less). I don’t know know if I or we had made another sister – Ebbie – mad at something (which was pretty likely) or if she was just down, but Ebbie was in the family room sitting and moping about something. She may even have been crying – I was a hateful sister. Anyway, it was Christmas Day and we were helping make dinner and this song came on. Bells and I ran into the family room and started bouncing and singing until we forced Eb to laugh and smile. I can’t hear this song and not think of my dear sisters and I think that’s why I love it so much.

Five years ago, my divorce was a thing of the past, but my feelings of emptiness, loss and loneliness were not. It took me a long time and countless prayers to get over it.

One night, I dreamt I had remarried and my new husband and I were fixing up an old house. There were four bedrooms upstairs that needed to be repainted. It seemed that no matter what I did, I messed it up. I spilled, I painted outside the margins, I was making a mess. Needless to say, I was getting very frustrated. My husband (who’s face I did not see by the way), was so gentle with me. He told me that I needed to take a break and that he hired a fella to do some of the painting so we could go out and get away from the stress a bit and relax. I didn’t want to go, felt like a failure. No, I had to finish, I needed to be more careful, take more time and get the job done myself. No one should be doing it for me.

My gentle partner guided me out the door and told me not to be so hard on myself. That it was ok to take a break and that I shouldn’t worry.

I don’t remember what we did when we went out, and although we had a good time, I remember a feeling of pensiveness. There was so much work left to be done at the house. And I was afraid I would just muck it all up again.

We returned. It was twilight – not yet dark out, but the sun had set. Each room was completely finished and perfectly so. The color of the paint was perfect as well but it’s a color that is hard for me to describe. I walked into my bedroom where the old man was just putting the finishing touches on the room. He turned and looked at me, saying nothing. Not only was the room painted, but exquisitely furnished. He had done all of it for me. As I looked around in wonder, I saw hundreds of picture frames around the room. On the walls, on the dresser, on the floor, everywhere. I looked and saw that the picture frames were empty. The old man smiled and I woke up.

I’ve remembered the dream all these years. With Guest Blogger’s help, I realized that the dream meant several things. I couldn’t take care of things all by myself. That it was ok to ask for help and to accept help when it was offered. And if I let God take care of things, he would fulfill His promise to me to restore all that I had lost and give me still more. That I had to be patient with Him and with myself. I would have happy moments again to fill up those frames.

You know, I’ve been waiting to fill up those frames all these years. I’ve been living the last 7 years waiting. It’s time to realize that I’ve been filling up those frames with people, with family and friends, with blogs and experiences and lessons. I need to remember that life is lived now, I’m living it and I need to be thankful not only for all that have, and for all that I don’t have. It’s all a gift and I still have a lot of frames to put pictures in!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A Question

Christmas Song of the Day: Kanon (Pachebel)

This dream
He had
Each child
Still knows

We are waiting
We have not forgotten

I received an email from a work colleague today. Steve is Jewish and a cynic (of whom I think very highly) and this morning he sent me an email:

“Tell me -- how did the birth of God's son and savior to the human race lead to buying flat panel TVs ??”

To which I responded:

“I could give you some claptrap about the tradition of bringing gifts á la the Three Wise Men in the New Testament. Stories of St. Nicholas (who was a real Catholic saint) and subsequent traditions of gift giving to children also gave rise to the current trend. And I could say that because we are flawed human beings who delight in satisfying our baser nature, that the focus of the holy celebration has been lost in a bacchanalia of consumerism.

Or my inner pessimist would say:

It didn't.”

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Christmas Song of the Day: Les Cloches Du Hameau

On entend, on entend
Les bergers, les bergers
Chanter dans les prairies
Ces refrains si legers
Qui charment leurs amies

I am so lucky. I've been blessed with some really great friends. Some friends are family. Some are friends I've met along the way. You have been introduced to Little Lacie of the Enormous Brain who I met two jobs ago. Today you get to meet Kenny.

Ken was interviewing for a sales position in our office when I met him and offered to get coffee. He boldly ended his order with "Thanks, Dolly!" To this day, he swears he never said that and I might believe him – he's never used the moniker conversationally since - but I know what I heard. Bastard.

Ken could be Frasier and Niles Crane's more verbose middle brother. I quickly found that we could chat about anything – and he knows his stuff. I don't think there is a subject on which he does not have a working knowledge. He's killer when discussing songs, books, movies, television, he's up on current events, has distinct political opinions (which for the most part, we share), his library of jokes is extensive – and his timing is exquisite. It will kill him for me to relate the following:

Ken was doing his sales-y thing on the phone. I will tell you, sitting in a cube next to him hearing the pitch all day could get old. I called Guest Blogger to sort of drown out the most recent story I had heard for the 8th time. He was talking to his latest mark and mentioned that he knew a little bit about wine. "I'm an oenophile as well…" I related this to my cousin.

She replied, "He didn't pronounce it OH-na-file did he?"

"Uhm, yes. Oh, there, he did it again."

"Tell him it's pronounced EE-na-file."

This little correction spurred a flurry of emails and contradictions that to this day, make me smile. I scored. And I scored big.

Ken gives the most amazing neck massages but unfortunately is incapable of NOT mentioning foundation garments while rendering his services to stressed females. Always, at that point, the massage would be over and I'd tell him to get the hell out of my space…until I needed another neck rub. The love of his life is his daughter, born 4 years ago this coming June. He is a devoted family man. Mostly. He cooks, he cleans, he's the poster boy for Metrosexual, and he's as good as any girlfriend when you need to talk.

I can't tell you how great it is to have a really real guy as a friend who'll tell you all the guy secrets and be brutally honest about it.

"Ken! I met this guy and he was really nice, we talked for a long time and he gave me his business card and…"

"Sells insurance?"

"Yeah, he was so sweet, helped me clean the snow off my car..."

"He's trying to sell you insurance, E, don't get too excited." He was right.

Then during another interval; "OK, E? This is how it is. What is the answer that will get me laid?"

"Yeah, but then there was this and he said this…"

"Maybe you didn't hear me. What is the answer that will get me laid?"

"Hahahahaha. Yeah, but then his body language while he said this was…"

"What is the answer that is going to get me laid?"

"You really think…"

"What is the answer that is going to get me laid? It's all we think about, E. It's not that complicated. It just is." He was right. Again.

The best thing about Ken is that I know he loves no matter what. And bless him, he'd do me in a second, just as I am. Not that I'd let him, but it makes a girl feel beautiful. He appreciates the subtle nuances of my character, he tolerates the big honking Catholic that I am and makes fun of my lack of fashion sense; my green corduroy coat being particularly offensive. He has read books at my urging and will sit on the phone with me, both of us stupid from chardonnay and watch "The Quiet Man" while we quote it together.

Happy Birthday Kenny. I love you.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Tagged for Randomness

Christmas Song of the Day: Snow Miser/Heat Miser

I never want to see a day
That's over forty degrees
I'd rather have it thirty,
Twenty, ten, five and let it freeeeEEEEEEeeze!

I never want to see a day
That's under sixty degrees
I'd rather have it eighty,
Ninety, one hundred degrees!

This one takes me back to riding the bus to school. It was a favorite and when it was due to come on, the whole bus would sing these two parts, especially the trombone part “Ba duh buh buh baaaaa dah, ba duh buh buh, baaaaa dah!”

I got tagged by Little Lacie of the Enormous Brain today to write seven random things about myself. Not sure where this is going to take me, since I haven’t really thought about it all day.

1) I want to go on a tornado chasing vacation.
2) I once walked ten miles with my cousin, Guest Blogger, to poke holes in a cake.
3) I had 0 cavities up to the age of 18.
4) I remember a dream I had when I was three. I was still in a crib at the time. I was dressed in a white cow-girl outfit and I was about to fight a witch, wearing traditional witch garb. I also had a recurring dream when I was between the ages of 7 – 11 about Indians attacking my Gramma’s house and I was hiding in the bushes and got caught. I would always wake myself up before I was killed. Stereotypical hero fantasies, both. Interesting to try to interpret now.
5) I have a working knowledge of Catholic end-of-days prophecies, as well as with some of the more prominent Catholic apparition sites of the last 200 years.
6) Soy scares me
7) I am pretty good at interpreting dreams. Oh, and Lacie has seen dead people in my house, but staunchly refuses to tell me my future.

I hope that was random enough.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Jump Start

Christmas Song of the Day: Christmas Time Is Here

Christmas time is here
We'll be drawing near
Oh, that we could always see
Such spirit through the year

I see Schroeder playing the piano, I see Snoopy humming, I see Pig Pen and his little bubble of dirt enclosing him round about. The whole CD of A Charlie Brown Christmas is fantastic.

Today, I work from home. A little. I wanted to see if I could get a jump start on my Christmas...what? There are only the annoying 12 proverbial days of Christmas left? Yeah, you heard me right. I'm getting a jump start. The battery is dead. I've hooked some cables in the form of 2 days off hoping something will ignite some enthusiasm for the season. Spark plugs might be bad though. I'm just not in the mood. The cookies from the Christmas Cookie exchange? I never eat cookies. I never choose to eat cookies. But they are there. And I eat them. They are a source of instant gratification and instant self-loathing.

But that is NOT what today is about! No! I'm happy! I'm determined to decorate and get in the mood!

No, it's not working yet, but it's early. I will go to the gym in an attempt to counteract the affects of the demon pastries. I will then do some housework, and go to the eye doctor and get some other mundane things accomplished before coming back home and unpacking my Christmas decorations. Surely, that will fill me with peace and goodwill toward my fellow man.


But then, maybe I just need to say a foul word. A friend and I have recently been discussing the merits of cursing to alleviate stress. Whorebag. It's 9am and I've said it 3 times today already - and that was my 4th. I'm feeling better already.

Heh. Merry 12th Day of Christmas.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Best Kisser Ever

Christmas Song of the Day: Better Days

And you ask me what I want this year
And I try to make this kind and clear
Just a chance that maybe we'll find better days

By the Goo Goo Dolls. Not a traditional Christmas song, but the words are about the season. When I heard it for the first time last January I was moved to pray for all the people I could see on the sidewalk. It came on again today on the way to work and strangely enough; I heard the song on the same stretch of Route 7 that it played the first time. I was moved to pray again. I looked around wondering why I was being asked to respond again. People were waiting at the bus stop, kids with back packs, Muslim women with their heads covered, and men in business suits. In parking lots, I saw day laborers waiting for work. I looked around some more and every car I saw suddenly represented a person, my eyes raised up to the apartment buildings that dotted the landscape, each window an individual, maybe a family. A family whose drama was being acted out, whose story was being written. And someone needed prayers. Maybe everyone needed prayers. Maybe I’m just a goof. Well, that’s ok, I don’t care. When I’m told to pray, I pray.

Must be the season making me all stupid.

The best kisser ever was Jai. Not his real name, but that’s what everyone called him. He worked on my Dad’s farm back in the 80’s. I run a great risk, I know, of someone reading this who knows precisely who Jai is. Hmmm, I also run the risk of someone reading this who knows precisely who Jai isn’t.

My poor dad, trying to run a business and having to deal with six beautiful daughters roaming around the farm, nothing more on our minds than a few make out sessions. Summers were doubly frustrating no doubt, when not just his daughters, but his nieces came up for the summer, all of us in our mid-teens, feeling attractive and every bit the power of our burgeoning femininity. There’s nothing like long summer days, short shorts, hay that has to be got in, cows that need to be milked and hot sweaty young men to make young nubile girls leap into action.

Ahhh, summer love. Guest Blogger fell head over heels for Jai. I lost my heart to Other Guy. Even upon the mature reflection of nearly 30 years, Other Guy and I had something pretty special, but I was too young and he was ready for something more grown up. It was not our time.

Sorry sorry. I was remembering and smiling. Anyway, we tormented those poor guys that summer. Shaving cream fights, mud fights, water hose in the milking parlor fights. Guest Blogger learned the hard way not to wear white pants when there was a water tank in the vicinity. Guest Blogger got to kiss Jai on more than one occasion and I, Other Guy. Guest Blogger declared Jai the best kisser ever. I eschewed all in favor of Other Guy. All good fun.

But summers must end. Guest Blogger went home. Other Guy and I, referencing the above differences, did not last. But that Christmas, during a long chat in a warm car on a cold night, Jai kissed me. A bone melting, heart soaring, tummy twisting kiss. Woof.

I don’t expect him to ever read this, but just in case. Thirty years and perhaps thousands of kisses later ask either one of us and we’ll both tell you. Best kisser ever.

Monday, December 10, 2007


Christmas Song of the Day: Do You Hear What I Hear

A child, a child, sleeping in the night, he will bring us goodness and light
He will bring us goodness and light

Love the song and the sentiment, but mostly, I love Whitney Houston version because it was the first time I realized I have a voice range similar to hers. I just like singing it

I drive a lot.

In 2004, I drove 32,000 miles. In 2005, I drove 38,000 miles. Once I moved to Virginia, I cut down significantly and drove a meager 22,000 miles for the whole of 2006. Go ahead, ask me what my average price per gallon was in 2004. Spreadsheets rule.

Anyway, when you drive, you see some very interesting things. Most interesting that I’ve noted so far this year:

Miller's Orchards Farm Market
Clark's Summit, Pennsylvania

The Nascar-Themed Corn Maze. This just makes me smile. I am not the demographic that they are targeting, I get that. But good for them. I bet they make a ton of money.

Ho-Mart Convenience Stores
Hinds Oil Company

Conveniently located in three Pennsylvania townships! There is a move underfoot to stop Santa from employing his usual belly laugh of "Ho! Ho! Ho!" because is offensive to women. Perhaps someone should reconsider the name of this chain. I'm just sayin' is all.

Bo's Restaurant and Museum
Wallace, North Carolina

The name amused me. It was not open when my daughter and I drove by it, so we were unable to indulge our dual love of food and aestheticism. We were bitterly disappointed. Wish they had a website.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Christmas Cookies

Christmas Song of the Day: Ave Maria

Hang out until the violin starts. This makes my chest ache. The version by the Philadelphia Philharmonic is exquisite as well, I just couldn't find it on imeem or This is by 小提琴 . Yeah, I don't know either, but it's beautiful

There are few things more pleasant, relaxing and rewarding than baking Christmas cookies. The kitchen is warm, the house is filled with the smell of cinnamon and vanilla. Fingers and bowls are sweet. Christmas songs are playing in the background and memories of Christmas cookies past float about. “Remember when you made those…things with that stuff on top?” The cookie recipients are always well disposed toward the gifter and the treat; these only come out once a year after all. (click on the "read more" link, I set up something new yesterday...trying to make the front page a little more efficient)

No, there are few things more pleasant. It makes the pain that much more acute when you burn the bleeping cookies at 8am that you are supposed to take to the bleeping blacking mother flipping gob dang cookie exchange at 2pm.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Christmas Song of the Day: Feliz Navidad!

Feliz Navidad!
Feliz Navidad!
Feliz Navidad!
Prospero Anos y felicidad!

That song has been my favorite since I was 9 years old. And I think it’s a crime against nature if anyone other than Jose Feliciano, the Puerto Rican Stevie Wonder, sings it. Big ball of wrong.

Got some snow here yesterday in Northern VA. I had left for the office at 5:30 am, thereby avoiding all the commutie fun to zip into the gym. Bizarre time of year to start a running regimen, but I’m motivated and on the hook with a few people, so I have to keep it up or doom myself as the most miserable of failures.

This won’t become an exercise blog. I despise activity. My nature wars with itself; I would far rather sit on the couch, watch mindless slop and eat myself stupid. You don’t make many friends that way and your kids start to worry about your health. Anyway, I’m feeling good. Let’s see if I can make it stick. Maybe if I get on the hook with you too, it will keep me honest.

The joys of waking the dog. The crisp air. A starlit night. A new moon. 2am. 2 A – F***KING – M. I was not happy with Buddy, but he really did need to go out. I took teeny steps afraid to break an ankle on the icy sidewalks. He capers in the snow. At 15 years old, Buddy can still caper. Not so well; that right hind leg of his doesn’t like to bend anymore, but he still bounces around sticking his nose in the snow, snuffling all about. I enjoyed it at 7am this morning when I walked him again. I enjoyed the capering, the bracing air, even the color of the sky; a lovely periwinkle blue that I’ve only noticed in winter. That walk was good. The 2am one, not so much.

I’m re-reading The Lord of the Rings trilogy. It will likely take me several months since I only read in bed and invariably fall asleep after a few paragraphs. I started it two weeks ago and am only up to Tom Bombadil; a delightful character that did not make it into the movie. It helped me get back to sleep by 3am.

Holiday party at work today; further necessitating the trip to the gym. Trying to get my cousin to skip a work event this evening and shake us both up an emo-busting diet-enhancing low-calorie martini tonight. I’ll let you know if she gets sucked in.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Guest Blogger is Back!

Christmas Song of the Day: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Now you know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen
Comet and Cupid and Donder and Blitzen
But do you recall
The most famous reindeer of all

This song is special because we would sing it with Dad whenever we were in the car with him. You know, he must have had worries and anxieties but when we were little, we never knew it. We thought that there was nothing more important in the world than us and he would sing Rudolph with us over and over and over and over. I wonder sometimes if it bored the crap out of him.

Guest Blogger is back!!!

It was the day I always hoped would never come. I knew it was inevitable, sure, but I hoped nonetheless.

Growing up in a family full of girls, I was never exposed to the secret world of males. A world where groin grasping is commonplace and flatulence is funny. No, these were things I only heard of and, naturally, scoffed at. Things that had no place in my life.

Until today. When my beautiful son broke the father/son code, by sharing with me a fun little game his father had taught him...

...pull my finger.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Best Phrase Ever

Christmas Song of the Day: Snoopy and the Red Baron

The Baron made Snoopy fly to the Rhine
And forced him to land behind the enemy lines
Snoopy was certain that this was the end

When the Baron cried out, "Merry Christmas, my friend"

This song always chokes me up. Mortal enemies, whose stated purpose is to kill, hold each other in high regard, and claim a brief truce on Christmas Eve. It recalls the true story from World War I.
"A spontaneous truce resulted. Soldiers left their trenches, meeting in the middle to shake hands. The first order of business was to bury the dead who had been previously unreachable because of the conflict. Then, they exchanged gifts. Chocolate cake, cognac, postcards, newspapers, tobacco. In a few places, along the trenches, soldiers exchanged rifles for soccer balls and began to play games."
This is sexist and I'm assuming it was only men in the trenches, but men are wonderful. If I weren't so bitter, it would almost seem wrong to continue with the rest of my blog today.

"Eat Shit and Die"

Isn't that just like the best phrase ever? I said it to my brother just now. Well, it was my advice to him to say to a woman he is attracted to. She's married, with kids, claims she's "unhappy" (they all claim that) but that she can't get out of the bad marriage (they all claim that too) is still intimate with her husband (you're getting the pattern here aren't you?) but wants to get nailed by my brother (well, who wouldn't?).

Last week I pointed out some of her flawed thinking. I guess he listened because he told her she needs to deal with her marriage first before coming to him. She's on instant message now wanting to talk to him.

I told him to tell the hose bag to eat shit and die.

He's talking to her. A big sister can only do so much.


Christmas Song of the Day: Deck the Halls

Deck the halls with boughs of holly!
Fa la la la la la la la la

Deck the Halls is a holiday staple. But my daughter and I, ever since watching the end of “A Christmas Story” sing it “Fa ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra!” Sort of like, instead of LOL (laughing out loud in chat-speak), typing ROR. If challenged, I am prepared with a song off of the “My Name is Kim Sam Soon” official sound track. Which is Korean and which will vindicate me completely. As if my clear affection for the Asian culture is in question here.

I hit a new vocabulary low today and I’m devastated.

I often hit audible lows. I have the mouth of a rednecked 18 wheel-driving tourette’s victim. Sometimes I work on this character flaw, sometimes I don’t. (I swore once in front of my Dad when I was in high school. Carefully rendering an amusing anecdote of the day, I told him “Blank” Hughes licked bird sh*t on a dare for $20. I said sh*t in front of the man who called cow waste “manure”. I wanted the earth to swallow me whole when I saw the disappointment in my Dad’s eyes. You think I would have stopped cursing after that.)

Sorry for the digression. But any time I get to mention Blank Hughes, I like to take the opportunity. Oh, and yeah, he really did lick bird sh*t for $20. I thought the man was a god.

I like to test my verbal acumen with some frequency. I have installed a little gadget on my iGoogle desktop to test myself on a daily basis. My ego will shamefully admit to you that I do it just to see how right I always am. I can be such an ass sometimes. (see? See??!). I don’t always get 100%, sometimes I get 80% and sometimes, I will admit that I go as low as 60%. No less than 60% though. Ever.

Until today.

40%. I hate myself. 40%! And I tried! (Sometimes I don’t try. Hence the 60%) I’ve actually used 8 of the 10 words or phrases that you will see – so how could I get 40%?

You have to match the words on the left to the correct definition on the right (or in blue because effing blogger won't put in effing tabs.)

Vacillate Revile

Vituperate Hover

Obviate Condense

Prevaricate Tergiversate

Inspissate Rid_of

I only got vacillate and vituperate right. The rest…wrong…all wrong. F*ck. (It’s a cry for help.)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Christmas Song of the Day: Happy Christmas (War is Over)

So this is Christmas
And what have you done
Another year over
And a new one just begun

Leave it to one half of Lennon/McCartney to write a Christmas song that has entered into the world’s songbook. I don’t like political Christmas songs but I never considered this one of those. I think it’s about hope and wishes and love for all mankind. And that’s what Christmas is. McCartney will show up on my top list later on. He’s higher up the ladder for other reasons.

Not a fan of the political “Do They Know It’s Christmas Time In Africa Where Babies Have Flies In Their Mouths So Buy This CD And A Portion of The Proceeds Will Go To Save The Babies! Yes!! A Portion!!” or of the “Christmas Shoes For Mah Dyin’ Momma Mister So She Cin Look Pritty Fer Jesus” songs. I find them manipulative and offensive.

If they spur someone else to an act of goodwill, then fabulous. They just piss me off.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Warm and Safe and Loved

Christmas Song of the Day: Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer

Now we're all so proud of Grandpa
He's been takin' this so well
See him in there watching football
Drinking beers and playing cards with cousin Mel

The first of my "favorite Christmas songs". I listened to Christmas music almost exclusively on the ride home from New York today. I remember when this song first came out. I thought that the line "They should never give a license to a man who drives a sleigh and plays with elves." was frighteningly laden with meaning. For the first time, I was in on the joke. You know. The abnormally suggestive, he "PLAYS with ELVES."

I just finished watching my first episode of "Pushing Daisies". Overview: Young man Ned has a gift. He can touch dead people and bring them back to life. If he touches them for a second time, they die never to be brought back to life by any means. If he doesn't touch them the second time, someone else dies. For the most part, he will "wake up" a dead person, determine who or what killed them, touches them again to let them pass this mortal coil, and then collects the reward for finding the "real killers" (that's right, a la OJ!).

There are several interesting complications in the series, foremost is that of his lady love. Her name is Chuck. Well, her nickname is Chuck. Her real name is Charlotte. He loved Charlotte always, starting when they were young. Charlotte died. Ned touched her and brought her back to life. He can't touch her again, lest she die for good. That means they can't kiss, they can't touch, they can't anything. Sexual tension baby.

It avoids the whole "I Dream of Jeannie" jump the shark peril.

I have not watched "Pushing Daisies" from the beginning, though my daughter has urged me to do so. The show has an interesting geek vibe (we have already established that I am rife with geeky goodness) and has wrydry sense of humor.

The first episode I watched was about smells. Genius smellman author-type writes a book about the smell of success, attempts are made on his life, blah blah blah, twist twist twist, the end. I expected Paul Reubens to either be lead villain or the author of the adult "pop-up" books. He turned out to be the unexpected good guy...well, for now. Foreshadowing would indicate that he won't be a good guy for long.

I found the intro most appealing. The narrator talked about young Ned. Ned's Mom baked pies. Wonderful pies that would fill the house with their comforting aroma. Ned's Mom died. Ned saved her. Ned's mom came in to give him a kiss goodnight not long after that. She touched him, and the second kiss killed her for good. Macabre really (which intrigues me), and our young hero can't stop dreaming of his Mom. Wanting her back. Aching pathos. Young Ned in the orphanage sneaks into the kitchen, brings some rotten apples back to life and bakes a pie. Pie smells like his Mom. He's finally able to sleep. He is warm and safe and loved.

Utilizing his amazing gifts, besides going after all manner of twisted killers, Ned is the owner operator of a desert specialty shop. He calls it "The Pie Hole".

Interesting time of year to have that episode on. Thanksgiving. The start of the Christmas holiday. Scent transports. Turkey baking in a 325 degree oven all morning. Stuffing. Apples. Cinnamon. Nutmeg. Dough. Thyme. My clean sheets. The furnace is turned on. The smell of heat. My daughter's hair. Pine needles. Pumpkin pie. New clothes. Snow. Fallen leaves. My mom's musky perfume. My Dad's neck.

Scent, like music, transcends space and time. I am five years old again. Mom is chopping onions, cooking giblets, snapping at us not to touch the black olives until dinner (we each of us sneak 10 and pretend we are e-vil monsters clawing our way out of the depths of hell). My Dad is still alive, there are seven of us siblings, and we are care free. Someone meets every one of my needs without my even having to think about it. My greatest challenge and my greatest accomplishment is remembering to yell "I CALL IT!!" before I jump out of the easy chair assuring my prime spot while watching Johnny Whittaker in "The Littlest Angel".

I am warm and safe and loved.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Happy Thanksgivings

Bee Gees Song of the Day: I Can't See Nobody

I cant see, I cant see nobody.
My eyes can only look at

Ahhhh, it’s a fabulous day! Traffic was blessedly light. I have a hot cup of decaf coursing through my veins. No executives in the office to speak of. The promise of apple pie later in the day. The weather is dank and gloomy. Spooky when it’s dark out; with all the leaves swirling around one’s feet. It’s autumn and it’s beautiful. And it’s Thanksgiving.

I’m driving to New York to have a few days with my kids. Talk about thankful.

I’ve had some very good Thanksgivings. Mom used to just go all out at Thanksgiving and Christmas. The house would smell of turkey and stuffing and rutabaga and good things. Mom is the best cook ever. Gramma would send over pumpkin, blueberry, cherry, apple, and mince pies. We’d watch the Macy’s Day Parade on television all morning, a few cartoons thrown in for good measure (Popeye, Bullwinkle, Bugs Bunny, Tom & Jerry). Later, we would play outside – there was almost always snow up on the hill where we live. We'd build snow men and women, dig tunnels, carve out snow caves, jump on them and eventually crush them. Then we would come in wet, dirty and exhausted. We’d lay down on the floor with Dad and we would fall asleep curled up by the heating vent watching football.

There was the year my Virginia cousins came up for Thanksgiving; probably the first Thanksgiving after Grampa died in 1978. It is notable because Salem’s Lot was on. My cousin and I recognized in each other a certain loutish behavior; an instant and lasting camaraderie was struck. We still share it. It’s crude and insensitive, and I’m not going to go into detail. But it still makes us laugh.

Lots of wonderful Thanksgivings during my marriage. The men would go hunting, the women would stay back and cook. All the cousins would play together – remarkably little blood shed; we all have such good kids they all got along - and still get along - so well.

One year, one of my boys had made a loaf of bread in school. It was the size of his fist and was about as light and fluffy as a hockey puck. We placed it on the table prominently, we all had a piece. It was awful, but it made my son so happy to have contributed something for dinner. And we ate it.

Then there was the last Thanksgiving I had with my Gramma. I had invited everyone over to my home for dinner. 30 people, little ones all over the place, it was wonderful. Gramma had alzheimers, but she was still communicative, very innocent. I sat on the floor next to her and asked if I could get her anything, tea, more potatoes, anything. “Nope!” her eyes shone, “Evie says that if I eat all my dinner, I can have pumpkin pie!” I smiled, “That’s right Gramma! You can!” We talked a few more minutes and Gramma said, “If I eat all my dinner, I get pie!” “That’s right Gramma, you do! Eat up!” We talked some more, I tended to the rest of the family. As I passed Gramma again, she showed me her plate, “May I have some pie now?” I don’t think I can think of anything more beautiful.

Wow, this is making me cry actually. A piece of pie. A loaf of bread. A stupid joke. Would that we all could find joy in small things, in small moments and keep them with us. I’m so glad I have that memory. And you know what? I don’t think I can type anymore.

Happy Thanksgiving :)

Friday, November 16, 2007

More Little Lacie

Bee Gees Song of the Day: Love Never Dies

To God above i swear
I only wanna live in the shadow you make
the soul never lies
but love never dies it goes on forever

Little Lacie of the Enormous Brain got some fabulous news. Her insurance company has approved her brain surgery at the premiere institute for her diagnosis. I'm happy. I'm scared. She's scared for herself; this is brain surgery. It's getting closer and more real than ever.

My tiny little friend is strong though. She continues to try to live a life as normal as possible amidst her symptoms; dizziness, crushing headaches, brain fogginess, sensitivity to sounds. She's pretty successful at it; and I think mostly, people tend to forget she is struggling.

We chatted today. "I have been a fighter all my life. I watched my brother die right in front of me ~ I could have fallen apart ~ but I soldiered on. I had two hip surgeries with six weeks in a body cast both times. I had to learn how to walk again ~ twice . I was told I would always walk with a limp and not be athletic, so I threw myself into sports; swim team, soccer, pep squad, ran, rappelled down mountains, climbed peaks. Now it's just brain and spinal surgery. I've always stared down challenges in my life. I don't know how to do it differently."

Lace just wants to be normal again. She "hates being so self absorbed" (can you imagine?) To combat this, she has made friends with other sufferers of Chiari. They seem to want to meet her, to flock to the light that radiates from her. She finds this astounding – because she feels like she fakes her clarity most of the time. It makes sense to me - they need her warmth, her strength and her faith.

Holding other people up is a big responsibility – she's a little thing and now she's this brain tail stuff sticking out of her cranium, but she's still holding people up. She's still working out. She's still going to her daughter's cheer competitions. She's hosting sleep overs for 18 giggly girls, she's still working full time.

But sometimes, people forget that she has needs too. She gives until she's got nothing left to give. She leaves nothing for herself. I think that during the day, the seams start to tear, in her little bag of sanity she keeps so close. The she furiously sews the bag up at night so she can get through the next day.

The reality of her surgery is shoving its face into hers. And it's scary. I don't want her to be scared, or tired, or struggling to keep it all together. I just want her to be better. So we can see the new X-Files movie together when it comes out. So we can just go out for lunch. So we can go to Tibet (we have that all planned out, she'll climb the Himalayas, I'll ride on the back of a little sherpa).

So if you are reading this, say a little prayer for Big Little Lacie. Please. And thank you.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

He versus She

Bee Gees Song of the Day: Come On Over

And if all my bad days came at once
You would know just what to do
Come on over
Baby, you would see me through


Remember the book "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus"? Well, here's a prime example offered by an English professor at an American University.

"Today we will experiment with a new form called the tandemstory. The process is simple. Each person will pair off with the person sitting to his or her immediate right. One of you will then write the first paragraph of a short story. The partner will read the first paragraph and then add another paragraph to the story. The first person will then add a third paragraph, and so on back and forth. Remember to re-read what has been written each time in order to keep the story coherent. There is to be absolutely NO talking and anything you wish to say must be written on the paper. The story is over when both agree a conclusion has been reached." The following was actually turned in by two of my English students: Rebecca and Gary - last names deleted.

STORY: ---------
(First paragraph by Rebecca)
At first, Laurie couldn't decide which kind of tea she wanted. The chamomile, which used to be her favorite for lazy evenings at home, now reminded her too much of Carl, who once said, in happier times, that he liked chamomile. But she felt she must now, at all costs, keep her mind off Carl. His possessiveness was suffocating, and if she thought about him too much her asthma started acting up again. So chamomile was out of the question.

(Second paragraph by Gary)
Meanwhile, Advance Sergeant Carl Harris, leader of the attack squadron now in orbit over Skylon 4, had more important things to think about than the neuroses of an air-headed asthmatic bimbo named Laurie with whom he had spent one sweaty night over a year ago. " A.S. Harris to Geostation 17, he said into his transgalactic communicator. "Polar orbit established. No sign of resistance so far..." But before he could sign off, a bluish particle beam flashed out of nowhere and blasted a hole through his ship's cargo bay. The jolt from the direct hit sent him flying out of his seat and across the cockpit.

He bumped his head and died almost immediately but not before he felt one last pang of regret for psychically brutalizing the one woman who had ever had feelings for him. Soon afterwards, Earth stopped its pointless hostilities towards the peaceful farmers of Skylon 4. "Congress Passes Law Permanently Abolishing War and Space Travel," Laurie read in her newspaper one morning. The news simultaneously excited her and bored her. She stared out the window, dreaming of her youth, when the days had passed unhurriedly and carefree, with no newspapers to read, no television to distract her from her sense of innocent wonder at all the beautiful things around her. "Why must one lose one's innocence to become a woman?" she pondered wistfully.

Little did she know, but she had less than 10 seconds to live. Thousands of miles above the city, the Anu'udrian mothership launched the first of its lithium fusion missiles. The dim-witted wimpy peaceniks who pushed the Unilateral Aerospace Disarmament Treaty through the congress had left earth a defenseless target for the hostile alien empires who were determined to destroy the human race. Within two hours after the passage of the treaty the Anu'udrian ships were on course for Earth, carrying enough firepower to pulverize the entire planet. With no one to stop them, they swiftly initiated their diabolical plan. The lithium fusion missile entered the atmosphere unimpeded. The President in his top-secret Mobile submarine headquarters on the ocean floor off the coast of Guam, felt the inconceivably massive explosion, which vaporized poor, stupid, Laurie and 85 million other Americans. The President slammed his fist on the conference table. "We can't allow this! I'm going to veto that treaty! Let's blow 'em out of the sky!"

This is absurd. I refuse to continue this mockery of literature. My writing partner is a violent, chauvinistic semi-literate adolescent.

Yeah? Well, you're a self-centered tediousneurotic whose attempts at writing are the literary equivalent of Valium. "Oh shall I have chamomile tea? Or shall I have some other sort of F*CKING TEA??? Oh no, I'm such an air headed bimbo who reads too many Danielle Steele novels... I can't decide."

(Rebecca) Asshole.
(Gary) Bitch.
(Rebecca) Wanker.
(Gary) Slut.
(Rebecca) Get f*cked.
(Gary) Eat shit.
(Gary) Go drink some tea - whore.

(Teacher) A+ ...I really liked this one!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Bee Gees Song of the Day: Every Christian Lion Hearted Man Will Show You

Don't walk so tall
Before you crawl
For every child
Is thinking of something wild

I was lamenting the aging process the other day. When I was young, I'll be the first to tell you that I looked great. Firm, taut, strong, a size 4, my ass excited the ardor of upper classmen. Well, one upper classman. But he was hot and I had a powerful crush on him. I was dating someone steadily at the time and so didn’t give in to my baser nature.

I’m fortunate; my face still looks young. I’ve gotten used to the bemused wonder on the faces of those who find out I have 3 grown children. Still, I’ve changed over the last 25 years. My roots need coloring, my wrinkles are deepening.

I’m no size 4.

I was admiring my daughter’s hands the other day. Smooth, slender, and lovely. I compared her hands to mine and mine came up wanting. Wanting botox. But my youngest child exclaimed, “Oh, I LOVE your hands!”

“You are just being nice, they are hideous.”

“Oh NO. Look at them, they’re beautiful!”

“Oh, really.” I was unimpressed.

“I look at these hands and I see life! I can see all the foreheads you’ve checked for fevers, all the neck rubs, the aspirins you gave us, the peanut butter sandwiches you’ve made. Do you know you are able to make a peanut butter sandwich with one swipe of the knife?” she kept stroking and admiring my hands as I stared at her with an open mouth.

“How do you make peanut butter spread across the bread like that? That amazes me! I tried to do that once and I just ripped the bread. These hands have washed thousands of dishes, folded tons of clothes, swept floors, driven me places. These hands have loved and hugged and lived! Look at my hands! They haven’t lived! They’ve done nothing! I love your hands! I think they are beautiful! And your face,” she started to smooth my cheeks. “Look at those lines! Look at those smile lines by your eyes! I love those, you’ve laughed so much, you’ve smiled so much, they make you so beautiful!”

I doubt that we ever see ourselves as others see us. 43 years of living day to day, laughing, crying, loving, hating; all that living marks us emotionally, intellectually and certainly physically.

Do we ever see ourselves as someone who loves sees us? Did I realize that the insignificant act of spreading peanut butter on a piece of bread caused wonder? Did I ever stop to consider the eyes of my children and what they saw? When I wept? When I hated? When I forgave? When I clapped? When I smiled? When I hugged?

I looked at my hands again. And I looked at my smile lines again. And I looked at my not-size-4 body again. And I was beautiful.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Hi Dad

It's human nature to apply human characteristics to things which are not human. I think that's called anthropomorphism (what a great word!). You know what I mean; like identifying the man on the moon, or seeing the Blessed Virgin Mary in a toasted cheese sandwich.

Humans think they are so superior. It's all about us.

Sometimes though, it's all about ME. Just go look at my URL name. I'm sufficiently self-absorbed that I take anything even remotely within my periphery and discern how it affects me. ME ME ME.

So now you have some background.

I miss my Dad. He died January 10, 1995 and I think about him every day. I sure could have used his unexampled strength, love and support during the last 13 years. I've had some rough moments.

He has 'allegedly' appeared in one form or another to certain family members at different times. Dreams, visions. Even once, when we were burying him in May, he physically showed himself to my then-husband. Smiled at him, appeared sad that my kids were crying, walked over in his unique bow-legged walk and stood next to my Mom.

Yeh. Thanks for making an appearance Dad. To the EX. Whatever.

But he does come to me. And in ways that I think make him smile, because Dad was a joker and he loved a good laugh and he knows I'd get it. And just to get back a little of my own, I think of him most powerfully when I drive by a farm and smell manure. If I smell silage or freshly cut grass for hay I think of him too, but mostly Dad, you smell like crap. Heheheheheheheh.

He's surprised me too. On the day of my son's wedding, I was driving to the church when Roger Whittaker came on the radio singing "The Last Farewell". I haven't heard that song in many years. I think Dad was just letting me know he was around and that he was at my son's wedding. I started to tear up, but didn't want to ruin my makeup. He had made me so happy.

Lately, I've had rather a lot to think about too. And as is my habit, while driving in to work, I tuned into Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen's Life is Worth Living on EWTN. Bishop Sheen was a favorite of Dad's and mine; 15 or 20 years ago, we had a few sets of his talks on tape and we would see who had memorized the most. It made us laugh to recite long passages of his tapes together. Yeah, I know. Who does that?

And this morning Bishop Sheen recited a favorite poem of ours from all those years ago. I recited a specific passage with him (stunned that it all came back so easily), and could almost hear Dad reciting it with me. So Hi Dad. :) Enjoyed the shout out today. I love you.

This is for Pah. An excerpt from "The Hound of Heaven" by Francis Thompson:

"Strange, piteous, futile thing !
Wherefore should any set thee love apart ?
Seeing none but I makes much of naught" (He said),
"And human love needs human meriting :
How hast thou merited --
Of all man's clotted clay the dingiest clot ?
Alack, thou knowest not
How little worthy of any love thou art !
Whom wilt thou find to love ignoble thee,
Save Me, save only Me ?
All which I took from thee I did but take,
Not for thy harms,
But just that thou might'st seek it in My arms.
All which thy child's mistake
Fancies as lost, I have stored for thee at home :
Rise, clasp My hand, and come !"
Halts by me that footfall :
Is my gloom, after all,
Shade of His hand, outstretched caressingly ?
"Ah, fondest, blindest, weakest,
I am He Whom thou seekest !
Thou dravest love from thee, who dravest me."

Monday, November 5, 2007

The Book Whore

Bee Gees Song of the Day: Surrender

This is my life story, I've been lost and found
In the final hour, turn my life around

And I surrender. take me for all time
Love as warm as wine, and I surrender

I’d been emailing a good friend this weekend and among the many things we discussed, we talked briefly about bookstores.

I may have told you before that I am a book whore. I love books. I love to read them and I love to own them. I’ll wear a ratty old corduroy jacket until my friends make fun of me and my kids take it and burn it without my knowledge, but if there is one thing I will buy; it's books. I like to go to the library book sales and buy lots of books for $10. It makes me ridiculously happy. A Barnes and Noble a few miles away sounds like nirvana; I can spend hours there smelling books and reading books and loving books. I don’t know if that’s part of my geek-y nature, but there you go.

The book whore in me has this fantasy of a library in her house with shelves up to the ceiling filled with books she has read or wants to read or thinks she should read or that she has collected. In a special little place in this room is a first edition "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen. The book whore sneaks into the room sometimes just to look at the book. She would never touch it because it cost upwards of $210,000. She also has a book written by Agatha Christie signed by the author and one by Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, similarly annotated.

The book whore next moves over to the shelf with a set of 10 Colliers Childrens' Books. These are on the bottom shelf so that she has to sit on the floor to reach them. She likes to pull those off and look at those occasionally. When she was three years old, she taught herself to read these books. She would hide in a corner of a room upstairs, losing herself in the words and pictures. And if she couldn’t see anyone, no one could see her. No one would bother her. The world disappeared behind pictures of teddy bears skipping, children sleeping, five Chinese brothers smiling, Scottish Terriers named Angus chasing cats, scary witch pictures, lost little girls looking for their mamas. While the book whore sits in this room, she is three years old again and no one can see her.

Never in my wildest dreams would I expect this to be fulfilled, but it is a happy place for me. A room with no echo, that feels heavily laden, that smells safe and makes me smile.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

First Shop of Coffee Prince

You’ve heard it all before. Guy meets girl. Guy thinks girl is guy. Guy employs girl thinking she is a guy. Girl needs job and so girl allows guy to continue thinking she’s a guy. Guy starts to develop attraction to girl he thinks is a guy so guy thinks he might be gay. Girl develops feelings for guy who thinks he might be gay but fears guy might find out she’s a girl and reject her…him…her…whatever.

Our characters:

Go Eun Chan (GEC) – tomboy girl, heroine

Choi Han Keol (CHK) – Rich guy, hero

Choi Han Seong (CHS) – Rich guy’s cousin, sweet, cute

Han Yoo Joo (HYJ) – Other girl, nobody gives a sh*t

Ponder Angst – 20 points. The ponder angst in “Coffee Prince” was blessedly minimal. When there was angst, it was charged with emotion and struggle and you felt it. It was appropriate and good.

Love “ – “ Angles – Uhm, wow. OK, we actually have 7 angles here. GEC originally falls for CHS, CHS loves HYJ but HYJ broke his heart when she left him for DK (he doesn’t count, pay him no mind). Once GEC realizes CHS loves HYJ, she grieves and heals, but becomes attracted to CHK. HYJ comes to her senses, leaves DK for CHS. CHS decides to give the relationship another try, but has lingering feelings of mistrust and anger. CHK has secretly loved HYJ for years but out of love for his cousin, worships her from afar. CHK eventually becomes attracted to GEC, but struggles because he thinks she’s a he. CHS becomes confused after finding out that GEC had feelings for him and he begins to develop feelings other than friendship for her. HYJ despairs because everyone is attracted to tomboyish GEC, and no one likes her. She considers going back to DK. I’m not sure how I get 7 out of that, but that’s about all my brain can handle. Coffee Prince gets 28 points. It’s a crazy heptagon of love.

Sizzle – I’m going to give this a 17.85 for sizzle. The CHK man-angst and his struggle to fight the attraction he feels for GEC really heats up the screen. You ache for him when he finally gives in because he loves her so much AND because you know it’s only going to go bad when he finds out “he’s” a she. I don’t give it a full 20 because once our protagonists hook up, it can be compared to when Jeannie and the Master got married. I’m like, eh. Whatever.

Physical Intimacy – They get all 20 points here. The kisses were passionate, the intimacy was more than alluded to. There’s slam-er-against-the-wall passion, and a baby out of wedlock. No guessing is going on.

Tragic Heartwrenching Disease and/or Character Death from Same – Our constipation quotient (I just loving typing that). Amazingly, Coffee Prince only gets 5 points in this category. None of the main characters die, but someone does have a miscarriage. Gramma has cancer, but she beats it.

Going to the Beach – No bonus points. No one tries to commit suicide, no one even contemplates it. I was almost disappointed.

Overall, Coffee Prince gets an 90.85 out of a possible 100 points. And that’s about right. There was a great deal about this series that I liked. The honesty between all of the main characters was a big one. There were no palace machinations, no e-ville girlfriend on the make to get the rich guy. Even during the whole labyrinth of he likes her and she likes him but then falls for he/she, the characters were honest about it.

I was moved by CHK’s struggle with his attraction toward GEC. He fought it by trying to maintain a simple friendship, but his feelings were too powerful. When he tries to cast her aside, you could feel the pain that emanates from him. When he finally gives in, you could sense that he is at peace. It was all very well done and was very touching.

I’m such a tool of western television; once the protagonists declared themselves, some of the delight went out of the viewing. I thrilled that all the characters had happy endings; we came full circle for each one of them and the closure was lovely. Nice series. Will I watch again? Probably not.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

High School

Bee Gees Song of the Day: Spirits Having Flown

I'd like to take you where my spirit flies,
Through the empty skies
We go alone,

Never before having flown.

I am home today with a sick daughter and therefore, not posting what I had intended to post today. That will have to wait until tomorrow.

Interesting. My 25th High School reunion is coming up (dreadfully aging me for all my readers, I know). I have learned that some of my high school peers have found me on this blog and are reading what I write. It’s fine when one’s readership consists mostly of family or people overseas searching for anything on line about “Dae Jang Geum”. One feels safe and anonymous. It’s just the strangest thing. I feel somehow like I’ve been ‘outed’.

Not that I mind. I don’t write about anything for which I should be ashamed. All my deep inner ugliness is reserved and secreted within my private journal, WHICH is password protected and WHICH no one will ever see. Ever. Of course, my strange fascination with Korean Drama doubtless raises some eyebrows – it certainly raises my kids’ eyebrows. I’m waiting for the day my boys come down from New York with a therapist in tow to conduct an intervention. “Mom, we’ve been talking and we're a little worried…”

It makes me ponder though, what has changed in my life since my days as a Maroon Knight. The days where those relationships were the most important of my life. I’ve been married. I’ve been divorced. I’ve had three children whom I’ve raised, I miscarried two. I have one child married off, and am watching the other one work his way through college. My baby is 16 and this summer, grew up overnight. I have lived in no less than 13 different dwellings since my graduation, which means I have lost to time all my high school memorabilia. I still like the Bee Gees and was devastated when Maurice died.

I’m not quite the clueless goober I was when I was 17, though I’m still naïve. I’ll admit that that is finally wearing off and I’ve become rather jaded. I am a fan of chardonnay and prefer my martinis dirty with three olives. I cannot drink Irish Car Bombs. I still can’t do math and I will count on my fingers when a calculator is not accessible. I remember “Esta Susanna en casa? Si, esta con una amiga. Donde estan, en la sala? No, en la cocina.” And “On va a la plage!” I can say good morning (annyeong haseyo) and good evening (annyeong hi chumuseyo) in Korean now too. Bwahahahaaaaa!

I’m conservative in my views and still really Catholic. I’d buy a hybrid car if I could afford it, but only so I could drive in the HOV lane. I don’t watch many movies and I still love to read. I’ve had some crap hole bosses and I’ve had some incredible bosses. I have been called “the voice” and have been told I give good phone. I do not work for a 900 number. I can’t stand superior bank tellers and I love really old people. Except for really old men who grope. That’s just disturbing on all sorts of levels.

I miss everyone. Barb, Jackie, Nancy, Mary, Donna, Alesia, Gina, Karen, Ken, Dave, Dave, Mike, Dan, Lisa, Lisa, Joe, Sally, John, Floyd, Tracy, Mike, Joan, Pat, Frank, ...eff it, I could go on. Hell, I miss ‘em all.

We change. It would be a big ball of wrong if we didn’t. Yep. We change. But there are threads that still bind us.

If I close my eyes, I can still see Mrs. Reina, (she knew what an idiot I was at math), Mr. Chudy, Mr. and Mrs. Goodale, Ms. Tasovac, Mr. Frank, Mr. Dunadee, (I remember ‘helping’ Mike during that health class with eye blinks Mr. Spina, and

Poor, poor Mrs. Watson. We should have been shot for what we did to her. God, please bless her. May her fish always swim and her barn never crumble.

See? Threads.

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