Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Life on the Cube Farm

I sit in my prison and
Wish it was Friday so
We could all escape this place.
Could our work be more mindless?
Talk radio is my friend, and
I surf the net too much. I sure
Miss the blue sky and fresh air.

You stare blankly at the screen,
And think about 5pm.
It seems the clock on the wall
Is in slow motion now, so you
Empty your "In Box"
Without much thought and know
You get to do it again tomorrow...

Sunday, March 29, 2009

My Town




My town is a classy town. Instead of using the usual, mundane carved stone gargoyles, we Greenvillians opt for the classier, live animal ones.

Sitting here elbow deep in oil paint...

Those thoughts in my head are abstracts.
Words become unintelligible.
Were ideas simply brushstrokes,
Beautiful would be my world
And happy would be my life.
No room to be different.
They allow only for conformity.
Don't think for yourself. It will just
Frighten those who control.
Me... I must live differently.
Away from the rules of outside influence, I
Love what I call my life.
Is this not the goal?
Not material wealth or adoration of others...
Such things are pleasant but not
A requirement for happiness.
Strange as it may sound,
Expression of self is the key
To my happiness and I must
Make myself happy.

Sarah


My niece is getting married next week. I know...big deal, happens all the time. For me, this is a milestone. A milestone that I can't believe is already here.

Most people don't know that there are 6 kids in my family. I am the youngest by far. I was a big surprise for my parents back in the fall of 1968. They had kids in high school and junior high already. I'm sure a another baby was the last thing on their "To Do" list. Because of the age difference, there was a set of grandchildren that were born when I was still a child myself. They are grown up and married now.

Sarah is different. She is the first of the "second round" of grandchildren to marry. She was the first to be born when I was an adult. (If you call 19 years old an adult.) Can she really be approaching 22 years old and getting married?

Sarah is a favorite of mine. She has always marched to the beat of a different drummer, probably a drummer with several body piercings and a shady past. She embraced the "goth" lifestyle with reckless abandon. She even had a school picture taken with a black, leather spiked collar. She lists some of her favorite bands as Murderdolls, Cradle of Filth and Peppermint Creeps. She's not ashamed and I love that about her. If only I had a dime for each time her old-fashioned grandmother said, "Are you going to let her go out of the house looking like THAT?"

Sarah has grown out of that phase now. She has turned into a beautiful young woman. She is engaged to Jarrod, an engineering student with a heart of gold.

So I guess I'm on to the next phase of my life. It's official. I'm a Grown Up. There will always be that kid in me who refuses to "get old" even though I'm getting older. I think Sarah will be the same way. She has a little surprise under her beautiful wedding gown: a custom-made black garter featuring Jack Skellington from "The Nightmare Before Christmas". That makes me smile.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Girls Gone Wild


My daughter Hannah has always given me cause for concern. Even though she's only 4 years old, she has developed a deep love of tattoos and hiking up her skirt. (She wanted me to put a tattoo on her belly!) At the tender age of 2, she went to our front window, pulled down her pants, and was shaking her naked butt at the boys in the cul-de-sac playing basketball. (Her brother stood by laughing. I'm pretty sure he was the instigator.)

I have visions of Hannah on "Girls Gone Wild - Southern Style", or at least working at Hooters. When you put together her love of dancing and stripping off her clothes...well, you see where I'm going.

Hannah also has taken an interest in chest size, or lack of chest size. My Mom was a large woman who was very well endowed. (A trait that skipped my generation, thank goodness.) Hannah was sitting on her lap one day last year and pointed to her chest. "Granny, why do you have big boobies?", Hannah asked. "Well, because I'm a big person.", she replied. Hannah asked again, "Why do I have little boobies?". My mom said, "Because you are a little person. Yours will get bigger when you grow." Hannah thought about this for a while before announcing, "Granny, when I grow up, I'm going to be a BIG-BOOBED FIREFIGHTER!"

See there, I knew she'd find a way to work a pole into her career.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Ode to Benji


I scan the room,
Desperately looking for the culprit.
"Need...air...", I gasp.
You can't imagine the stench
In what has now become
My gas chamber.
Life smelled sweeter before that old gassy dog came to town.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I Remember

I remember a boy who showed up looking for directions to a date's house and found someone who idolized him and a friend for life.

I remember a girl who delivered a killer speech for senior class President as I sat...a wide-eyed sophomore...mesmerized by her description of a future with Ghost Busters still number one at the box office.

I remember a boy who was rocking the cazbah way before the Clash got pop and who let me borrow a safety pin so I could pierce my ear before a pep rally.

I remember a girl with bright Polo sweaters and the deepest dimples who, once again, makes me smile with her quirky sense of humor.

To Have and Have Nat

“You are such a bastard,” Leigh sobbed, slapping him hard to emphasize her point.

Zeke stared down at his feet. “At least give me a chance to explain,” he mumbled, not looking up.

She slapped him again. “I can’t believe that you had sex with my Siamese twin sister!” Nat turned away sheepishly.

It was dark and I was drunk,” Zeke protested. He had noticed a scuff on the right toe of his black boots, and was attempting to rub it away on the left leg of his jeans.

“It seems to me that after four years, you would remember that I’m the one on the right.” Leigh smiled a cold smile. Nat looked like she wanted to run.

“Well, ya’ll were sleeping on your stomachs… and like I said before, I was drunk.” Having been unsuccessful in trying to rub the scuff away, Zeke spit on his toe upon completing his sentence. He missed the mark. On his third spit, the bubbly saliva hit its target. Despite his situation, Zeke smiled at his success.

Leigh had stopped screaming at Zeke for the moment. She was instead berating her sister with assorted obscenities. He pulled a red bandanna from his back pocket, bent over and wiped the moistened scuff from his boot.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Spilling Out

Do you still hear my song
as it quietly leaves my lips,
floating over rooftops
to brush against your cheek
and gently touch your ear?

Listen closely, you,
and hold it to your heart
as time is no friend
and works desperately
to silence the music.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Beer is a Damn Close Second

Ok, so it's a well established fact that I Love Wine, but you know what? Beer is a damn close second. For me, beer is like a closet full of fabulous shoes. Just like shoes, there is a beer for every occasion.

Going out with girlfriends to a pub a little farther away from home than the law will allow? Guinness Stout. It's like Ugg boots. It makes me feel tough. I know I won't drink too much or too fast. I can look at all the guys in the bar drinking Miller Lite and say "Wusses!". I tell my friends I like my beer like I like my men - dark, thick and a little scary.

A hot day on the beach? Why, Corona of course! It's my comfortable flip flops. You can wear the 2-piece without worrying about a big, bloated beer belly. It reminds me of Jimmy Buffett and good times.

If I'm feeling a little crazy and I want to wear my pink flats with the green polka-dots, I just walk into Earth Fare and grab whatever beer has the craziest package. It doesn't matter that it's Raspberry Pomegranate Beer with a hint of cinnamon and jalapeno peppers. You're living in the moment. Go crazy.

If I'm exercising my womanly right of indecisiveness, it's a black and tan of course. This is that day when I tried on 14 pairs of shoes and they all made my butt look big. It's two great beers in one glass. No decision needed.

How about that good hair day when everything's coming up roses? My favorite - IPA. Oh How I Love Thee, India Pale Ale. This beer is like my sassy, pointy black heels that make my calves look epic. It instantly puts a smile on my face and makes me forget that my dogs trashed the laundry room while I was out.

Yeah...beer is good.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Dorothy

I've been thinking about Dorothy lately. You know, "Wizard of Oz" Dorothy. It seems we have a lot in common. No, I don't live on a farm with my aunt, uncle and 3 multi-talented farm hands. What I mean is that we both went looking for something that wasn't even missing.

Dorothy ran away because she thought no one understood her, thinking there was some place where life is easier and she could be happy. I was running too for the same reasons. Maybe it was losing my mom and turning 40 in the span of a couple of months. I thought there must be something else out there...what was I missing? Surely I wasn't destined for laundry, toilet cleaning and leftovers for the rest of my life. I'm SPECIAL. Where's my tiara?

I started looking for greener pastures, butterflies, daisies - a fairy tale. It seemed the grass was greener everywhere but here.

Then...the tornado.

When the sun came out again, the damage wasn't as bad as I expected. The clean up is on-going. One good thing came from the storm. It led me to the realization that you have to nurture your own garden if you want to have the beautiful flowers. Getting the green grass takes effort and working on it every day. Just like Dorothy, I found out that what I need is in my own back yard. (OK, minus the dog poop, but that's another story.)

There really is no place like home...

Monday, March 9, 2009

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Square Peg

I'm a square peg in a round world. Always have been... In school, I never really found my niche. I lacked the beauty, charm and confidence to be truly accepted by the popular crowd. On the other hand, I was never cool enough or cast out far enough to be allowed into the smoke-filled club that met behind the school. I bet those guys were fun...

So I floated, floundered really. I was just watching the clock until my sentence was served. I would be free! Free to be me.

Do you know what I discovered? The Grown Up World isn't very far removed from high school. Do you doubt me? I would love to take you to a PTO meeting or the swim club or, well, you get it. Believe me when I tell you that I would rather eat slugs than attend the obligatory neighborhood Bunco game with the bored housewives who drink way too much wine and complain about their dwindling sex lives. I'm STILL on the outside looking in through those windows with custom-made window coverings.

I tried to blend into the Grown Up Club. At 40 years of age, I have what many people would envy: a husband that loves me dearly, 2 kids, a ridiculous mortgage, a pool membership, SUV. Here's the difference though. I have blown the speakers out of every car I've ever driven. (Not with the kids in the car, of course.) I wear black every day and my hair isn't exactly Country Club Chic. I cuss. I drink more than I should, and I have an unhealthy aversion to authority and show it.

I'm coming to terms with Me. My differences make me who I am and that's okay. At least I don't have to worry about getting a date or being asked to the prom. Now, I relish the fact that I'm not like the other Stepford Wives in the car pool line.

I can't WAIT until they see my nose ring...

Friday, March 6, 2009

It's Complicated

I want to be that clever girl, the clever one you crave.
I want to be the pretty girl who haunts you to your grave.
I want to know you're watching me, even though you can't speak.
I want to be the star in your eyes that will always be out of reach.

I know that I'm a silly girl, not careful when playing with fire.
I know that I'm a dangerous girl, too reckless with my desire.
I know that there are other ways to bring light into my world.
I know that life is tough sometimes for a Complicated Girl.

Monday, March 2, 2009

The "C" Word

....cancer....

I can only whisper that word. Cancer killed both of my parents and took a good swipe at two of my brothers. Now, it's talking smack to me.

I have a tumor. I saw it with my own two eyes. That bright white, evil invader was smirking at me from the blackness of the ultrasound screen. It's just sitting at the base of my neck, scheming. Of course, the results aren't in yet to let me know what kind of battle I have ahead of me. The waiting is the hardest part. (My little shout out to Tom Petty...) It may be nothing....or it may be my worst nightmare. I just assumed the nagging, uncomfortable feeling in my throat was the steady diet of emotions I swallow.

This isn't how it works. I eat all the right things. Don't you think I'd LOVE a hamburger?! I exercise religiously. I run faster than anyone I know. I do yoga every day! Where are those ancient, mystical healing powers when you need 'em? Hell, I'm a model of healthy living, yet here I am with a tumor growing inside of me.

I don't feel ready for this. I just buried my mom 6 months ago and I haven't put my Big Girl Pants back on yet. It's not like I get to decide, though. I look at the angels sitting around my dinner table and only one word comes to mind...

FIGHT!!!