June 28, 2007
This time, just the good and the really bad.
It's cancer. Something awful ending in -oma. Ugh.

In other news, Mama very much likes a boy. At least we've got that going for us.

June 26, 2007
the good, the bad and the Bugly
Well, it's day four of Bug's extended stoner session. Apparently kitty narcotics are more effective than Mommy's Pinot, leaving my munchkin incredibly and enviably out of it. Which is a good thing, considering the five-inch incision on his side that I trust left more than one of you aghast.

For these 96 hours I've felt somewhat like I've been living with a miniature, hairy version of Courtney Love. Completely high and with the pupils of a shark, Bug growled at me while I attempted to cuddle him his first night home. Within minutes he was running around the apartment, jumping onto windowsills with one eye slightly ajar. In the next hour he was sitting completely motionless on the living room carpet, staring at the impressionist print that hangs behind the couch. I could almost picture his black eyeliner running as tears streamed down his cheeks: "Monet is just so damn beautiful, man . . ." He ended the night with an extended study of the silent kitchen sink disposal, in which absolutely nothing, and I mean nothing, was happening. The next morning I woke to him studying the interior of a two-liter bottle of still Coca-Cola. I can't imagine what was going on in his little hippie head.

Both the painkillers and Mommy's Pinot have allowed us to ignore the fact that my kid still awaits the results of his biopsy, only a tiny part of a massive chunk of fibrous tissue and blood that naturally I asked to see upon picking him up from the vet. In its formaldehyde bath, it resembled what I imagine a ferret's brain would, so tiny and dense. Of course my own dense brain admonished me for not noticing the mammoth thing earlier. But at least it's out of him. News came late Friday that his chest x-rays were clear, a finding that I celebrated with a beer and an ironic cigarette. Today (?) we will find our if the tumor is indeed a sarcoma or just a tangible bit of bad luck. I am naturally hoping for the latter. The latter doesn't involve the removal of any limbs, which as you might guess, is truly a bonus.

In the meantime, I will take pictures of Bug that I hope will not later come to haunt me. Because as feline moms know, nothing, absolutely nothing, is more fun to show your cat's prom date than young adulthood photos of him wearing protective plastic headgear.

June 23, 2007
this'll be the top post when mom finally discovers my blog
Sweet baby Jebus. I'm starting to think that Pa Ingalls and the gang really missed out given that they didn't have the electronics when they were courting their mates, shearing sheep and avoiding the consumption. Because it's come to my recent attention that few things are as shamefully enjoyable as flirtation carried out by way of well-placed adjectives and subtle innuendo over email. God bless you, Internets.

June 22, 2007
he's home

June 20, 2007
buggles magee
I sometimes blow things out of proportion. But when last night I saw a thing - a bulge, the kind you'd see even if you weren't looking directly at it - poking out of Bug's side, I thought I might stop breathing.

His hair must just be sticking up.

It wasn't. The bump was round and hard. And the size of a golf ball. A golf ball.

Maybe he swallowed Cricket.

But she was safe, exactly where she should not have been, eating Bug's food.

The mass wasn't there the night before, I repeated to at least three people at the emergency vet, after an I'll-get-you-in-your-carrier-g-dammit wrestling match with Bug which left me covered in silver hairs. I am a good mom. I am a good mom. I rub and hug and love those cats against their every free will. I would have noticed it had it been there this morning.


Vet people poked and prodded and during a blood draw made my oldest kid howl a cry I had never heard. At one point, the word "amputate" was used in conversation. I cried. Not once, but twice. Just so the office staff could also be privy to my breakdown.

He goes in for emergency surgery tomorrow at 7:30 am. He'll come home with a plastic cone for his head which his mom will mock on the Internets while both he and she take loads of heavy medication.

But for tonight, she will force him to lie on her chest so she can study his sweet markings and hear his loud purr. And she will reluctantly drop him off at the vet first thing in the morning.

June 18, 2007
cut, color, clarity, carat
My snobbery reached new heights this weekend when, during a matinee showing of Spiderman 3, which was surprisingly well attended by other missed-the-boaters, I cringed when I saw the original gold engagement ring Peter contemplated purchasing for MJ. Seriously? I thought while scarfing down badly reheated pretzel bites. That's the best Spidey can do for her? My shallowness shocked even me.

Know that I am not a woman who dates for a face or money or status or clothes or promises. But I imagine, like any 33-year-old woman with a history of relationships, I know what I like, and more important, possibly, what I need. Much like the four Cs of diamond buying, for me there is an admittedly grossly imperfect makeup (equation?) to the person or persons with whom one really connects in a lifetime. I'm not speaking of the boys with whom we've all bidden our time, the ones we liked but used as placeholders so we'd have someone to take us to the movies or serve as party dates or sex release partners for a year's time. I'm talking connection, people.

In no particular order, we have:

Attraction and Passion.

The kind that for most weeks of the year leaves you with a little stirring feeling in your stomach. It makes you late to some parties and wanting to leave others well before the stroke of midnight. It prompts you to hug him from behind when he's looking in the bathroom mirror, interrupt his religious Post reading with a touch on the neck, makes you want to lick a snowflake/that bead of sea water/stray chocolate sauce right off of his cheek, no matter the PDA factor. It is at times so strong and enviable that you often don't share the details with friends; it is a sacred secret much better kept close to the vest. It can be intimate, often dirty, but the two of you are undeniably tethered to one another by an unrelentless tug, even when 3,000 miles away from him. You want to be close. The thought of either of you sharing this with another drops you to your knees. These are feelings that last.

The core.

Respect. Honesty. Intellect. Commitment. Communication. Kindness. Conflict. Consistency. Time. The whos and the whats of your life and soul with which you, as an individual, long before this someone new surfaced, knew you could not and would not live without. It's the instinct you have when you see a friend's beau at a bar stroking another woman in the small of her back. It's what you do when you see a sibling on the verge of making a dangerous decision. These aren't the preferences people have for sports or video games or blogging; this is the gut reaction you get when you read an inappropriate email (see june 6) or first hear an abusive word used for a coworker. A defensive gesture in front of friends. It's the calls or texts that don't come when promised. More than anything else, these are the factors that don't budge or waver beyond natural flux. At least I hope they don't.

Motivation for life.

Even before you came along, he was on most days a man of action. Does he look for opportunities to expand his world, whether through tackling a new book or taking the scenic route when the destination can wait? He isn't at all times in his comfort zone. It's whether one chooses life to be 9 to 5 or a series of hours linked by a new dish at the regular restaurant, a well-timed office prank involving the remainder of the packing tape in the supply closet, or an impromptu compliment. It's taking up SCUBA for no reason other than the someday and closing the bar on a random Tuesday night. When you don't sit in welcome silence, you engage in rich conversation. There just seems like there isn't enough time between you to cover it all. Because life is life, it isn't every day, every month, or sometimes every year, but the baseline rests at zest.

Plans for the future.

First and foremost, there are some. Will life be spent in New Jersey or Namibia? Will we donate that extra money to the cat shelter or indulge in season tickets, or maybe a little bit of both? Honeymoon in Napa or Crete? Spend the next holiday with your family or his or in front of our TV with Thai takeout? Dogs or llamas? And will he do these things with you or . . . well, he really considers no other long-term option, does he? It's about knowing that no matter the pothole or South of the Border diversion, you are on the trip together. Come work transfer or family illness or natural disaster that renders your new wine cellar and your checkbook useless, in time you pick up and you forge ahead. In the same direction. It's knowing without question that your concessions are worth every single minute of their consideration.

For me, all of this is looking down at your finger and knowing, even on the most trying days when a reminder might be needed for both of you, that you love that ring and the man behind it. And that while you've bent and at times met well past halfway, you never, ever settled.


June 15, 2007
i’m so good at judging people it hurts
I understand people buying vanity plates, but I’ve never really understood the ones that praise famous people other than Jesus. Today I was behind a Virginia driver whose car bore a license plate that declared its owner a really big Reba McIntyre fan. Seriously? So big that you’d pay money to put it on your car? We’ve all seen the dancing bear bumper stickers and that really creepy Dave Matthews logo that our aging generation continues to slap on the bumpers of their successively bigger motor vehicles. But a vanity plate really takes fandom to a whole new level, no?

I often think (or at least I did today for the two minutes that I followed this person – praise Jesus I hope it was a woman for the sake of just how cruel co-workers would be to a man) just what the home of someone would look like who pays to praise Reba on her SUV. She quite possibly has cherry red hair that she dyes with the help of boxes of Ms. Clairol that she buys in bulk on sale at Rite Aid. She reads TV Guide and liked Mama’s Family much more than any healthy person should. She might have a signed 8 x 10 Reba photo on her pine bookshelf, both of which were purchased off of Ebay. She wears cut offs in the summertime. She makes more money than her husband and wears a fat, gold diamond engagement ring. She uses her Mom’s original green Tupperware. She wears floral sundresses to church and may volunteer as a candy striper. She looooooves Chardonnay.


Don’t ask me to justify my Sentra’s LVDAHOFF plates.


i have a ridiculous hard on for becoming an adult
I’m not sure what happened, or when the desire overtook me, but I want to be just as old in my possessions and attendance and attitudes as I am in some of the issues we all face.

Kim and I have been discussing how each of us is clearly bordering on fogieness. Me, in my ability to fall asleep at 8 p.m., not only on school nights; she in that she drives 30 miles to go out only five nights rather than the full seven that God allotted her. In a fogieness strong arm contest held after a hearty blue plate special, I am quite sure I could rip her arm right off, given that I am not a homeowner and mother animals that don’t poop outside in the Nature. Take that, young buck.

I don’t want to give up spending eight hours on a Sunday playing softball and doing jager bombs and having photos taken of my backside while I’m dancing, but I very much would like to balance that lifestyle out somewhat. You see, I’m starting to feel like my plate runneth over with starch. Every day is something akin to French fries and Corn Pops and potato rolls and cocktails of yams and maple syrup and sticky rice sprinkled with bread crumbs. Life feels thick and like it might start to stick around the rim of the jar.

I’ve started to look at catalogues full of contemporary sofas and tulle and damask dinnerware and the perfect blue vase I might put in a study someday. I seek in the City Paper the Bodies exhibit and anything on blues and I look at expensive cheeses and wines with that feeling of longing. The other day I caught myself telling my mother that I liked a certain flatware set, a statement I am quite sure she recorded in her diary immediately upon returning home, on that page reserved for reassurances such as “the children are not gay” and “they won’t die alone.”

If I’m old enough to lose a job, should I not have a house to come home to, a $150 cropped linen jacket to drop in the foyer, a Kate Spade to toss on the windowsill along with my keys*? Without exception, should each and every bra not cost more than my corner store wine, my fridge contain some fresh herbs and filet, my cat litter be bought somewhere other than CVS?

I’m missing something.

Because although I don’t necessarily try to keep up with Joneses, every time I see them on Dateline after killing a spouse or on that tarted-up and dumbed down CBS Evening News with their ADHD child or on my drive home** I can’t help but notice the decided divide between us.

Meet couple A, a late 20-something and frankly quite dumpy LL Bean couple I caught eyeing homes in my neighborhood on Sunday (see full paragraph three for what this 30-something was on her way to do when she passed them). Not a home is snatched up in this area, even by those pesky squatters, for less than $650,000. And there these two were, young pups with probably no more than a decade of work experience between them, deciding in just which of these row homes they would lay their Burberry hats and eventually their sickening double running stroller. Adults, they were.

I pay both federal and DC taxes, mister, I know how to make pasta from scratch and never lose the cork to the bottle. I own my own silver and within my lifetime may actually polish it.

But I still sleep on the couch at least twice a week and only wear cute bed clothes slightly more often than that. I hardly ever exfoliate, and when I do, the liquids and gels are from Target. My largest check is written once every 30 days, just before I rip off that month’s calendar, for a purchase that I will never truly own. My living room furniture has survived three boyfriends and a flood. And there are moments, and sometimes days, when I contemplate picking up an Easy Bake Oven not only for the kitsch factor, but because those light bulb-baked desserts would probably taste pretty good. Come to think of it, those miniature cakes would sure be cute at a dinner party.

June 13, 2007
just a thought
given the current weather here in DC.

There must be thousands of birds in golf course trees. Why doesn't anyone report the poor birds killed in lightning strikes each year? Hmmm.

June 12, 2007
hypocrisy ain't just a river in egypt
The last week left me brimming over with things I’d like to document, namely events, feelings, and booze, but given that there are Lollipop Guild rules here on the Interweb: alas, I cannot. There are various reasons for this. Some of the content isn’t even mine; I’d instead be sharing others’ ridiculous dating stories and the like, which might then be considered hearsay or gossip or, given that it’s coming from these rosy lips, absolute truthitude. Some of the posts might hurt people I know. Some of the content falls under the Golden Rule of blogging that shall remain nameless but easily identified by all those who have blogged for at least one full week.

I find it somewhat irritating and vaguely insincere that I can’t share all of these things, even though some of them aren’t even my things, and, as I do my best to document here the true life and times of one DC woman. What you get from me is only a snapshot of a very full book, which somehow makes it seem like our relationship to one another is like a perpetual first date. You see what I allow you to see. It seems disingenuous. But maybe more important is the fact that, given my rapidly diminishing memory, this outlet serves as a reminder to me of 1) when most things occur in my life, like breakups and sex and proclaiming a love for Celine Dion music, and 2) the only history I have of myself in words. I find it disturbing that it is forcibly incomplete.

And thus the blog sits quiet many a day. Which, when anyone else does it, easily frustrates me as a reader. Um, excuse me? Do you not know I’m waiting for you to say something very witty about the mundane? And that you are my 2 p.m. read? Must I wait all day here? And forget it if the blogger is getting real cash money to spend his or her time blogging. Should a day of posting be missed, I get that feeling like one does when she’s waited on the gynecologist’s table for 20 minutes, on her lunch hour, and her MD strolls in the exam room door reading a People magazine. Am I interrupting you? Aren’t you my Interweb slave? What are you doing all day if you aren’t writing a 500-word post JUST FOR ME?

Maybe you’re like me; thinking about a post in which you bitch about not writing. Now that would be novel.

June 9, 2007
sad in so many ways
I just woke up from a dream in which Charlie Brown's Linus and Boner from Growing Pains broke up. Some might call it a nightmare.


June 8, 2007
on airlines making my deviant lifestyle more difficult to pursue
There was a time, a glorious time when I picture Rat Packs having roamed both the club circuit and the skies, that naturally lounge-y cats and their groupies, like myself, boarded DC-10s in style, pockets to the brim with Pall Malls and butane lighters. Toxic-like Britney sky goddesses sauntered the slim aisles promising smiles and Sanka.

Smokes were smokeable on the tarmac or at 37,000 feet. Against the felt backdrop of an orange and green 747 first-class divider, multiple grey plumes clouded the back passengers' views. New showings of the latest 007 or George Burns vehicle thrilled both floors, although some enjoyed the shtick with champagne. I have noted that the peanuts and the pretzels remain archaically, and horrifically, the same.

During that time, jetsetting around the world was what I wanted to do when I grew up, right after I conquered cake decorating. I wanted to be a woman on the move, just like Pamela Ewing had been, waking up after sexual intercourse with Bobby with a pale bedsheet across my chest, tucked neatly under my arms. On dirty oil money, I could jet away at a moment’s notice, gulping those tiny bottles of clear liquid as I went. And I'd do all of it while wearing lots and lots of lip gloss and quite possibly pink spandex, just like Erin Grey did.

I have had some good times on these planes, well past the days of TWA and Eastern Airlines, and well into the years of ordering adult beverages within the International Dateline.

And so it was.

I had never taken valium before. And I had never been old enough to drink wine, the free wine that international flight attendants threw around like ticker tape. But now I was certifiably 21, and certifiably crippled by fright about making the multi-hour trip from the States to London. So I whipped up a Malibu rum and orange juice in the Newark Airport bathroom, popped two valium, and boarded the plane with a smile. I ended up sleeping through takeoff. When fear crept into the room, I'd simply pop another valium. By valilum number three I was roaming the aisles making friends with those sweet South Dakotans; by wine number four I had a date for Wimbledon; at valium number five I was simply helping myself to the drink cart as it went down the aisle. Seven valium and eight tiny bottles of wine later, my parents were the lonesome two left waiting outside of Gatwick customs for their arriving daughter. Because she was in the cockpit.

This drinking and traveling thing would work out just fine. On a flight between Tallahassee and New Jersey with an inevitable stopover in Atlanta, home of all things Delta and humid, the man across the aisle asked my name and destination. Funny that we’d both be traveling to Newark that day, same flights and all. After the 38-minute flight to ATL, we were probably one drink deep. At the Chili’s To Go bar we drank two more and laughed while chatting about the motherland; by the time we were ready to board our final jet he was at the check-in counter switching our seats so we – now a reportedly blonde, mutt sister and her classically Italian brother – could sit next to one another. I fell asleep during takeoff. I woke up to him stroking my face. The one on which he wore his wedding band.

I was quick to let him know that a) drinks are great and b) laughing is even better, but that c) I was not raised on Jerry Springer and therefore do not pursue said drama. He looked at me as if I had horns, which I might have, given that my hair was likely matted due to my tipsy sleeping pose. "Yes, cheating. At what point did you become a cheater?" And he began to spill. His first tryst developed after a telephone conversation with a saleswoman. Then there was another, then others. His wife, his young children never knew. I was kind to him, more interested in studying his kind than anything. I shared my disapproval.

Later I caught him behind me in the bathroom line (those that existed freely prior to 9/11). He whispered a soft, "sure you don't want to join the mile-high club?" in my ear. I likely showered with bleach for at least the following week.

ok. more later.

June 5, 2007
early summer night’s dream
My San Diego vacation partner has yet to upload our trip photos, so there is nothing to see here. In their place, I shall tell an enthralling story.

I stepped out last night for detergent, Laughing Cow wedges, and Diet Coke, all staples of the happy thirtysomething existence. It was a nice night, the warm and sticky kind that wraps you in a wet blanket. Like floating in the Gulf of Mexico in August. Well, I like it.

As I pulled the Sentra into the only spot my kind neighbors left within a six-mile radius, I noted a surefire sign of summer hovering above the dash: the firefly. First only one, then two, tiny wings and big, bright bulbs. I followed the second firefly across the street and nearly squeed with glee as it paused on a blade of overgrown grass. Summer, if not already here, was well on its way.

I wanted so much to share my sweet find so I cupped the firefly in my hands and brought it into the apartment. Cricket moved not from her kitchen table perch, but my firstborn, Bug, was immediately drawn to it. He followed the insect as it landed on the window screen; his pupils grew as the firefly flashed its light off and on. Off and on. Complete fixation. I smiled as I turned to unload my goodies and positioned myself with no room to act. My boy swatted the lovely bug out of thin air, trapping it on the marble windowsill underneath a brawny paw. And then he slowly moved his oversized mitt to reveal his twitching catch.

And then he ate it.

Oh well. None of that really happened. But I did think about it happening when I saw a firefly and contemplated domesticating it. And again, there were no pictures to see here, so I hope you at least enjoyed the made up story as much as Bug enjoyed his pseudo time out. Happy Tuesday.

June 4, 2007
doors opening
Nothing like coming home in style to:

Your neighbor banging pots in a drunken rhythm at 12:06 am to something that could have been upbeat show tunes, which of course have been the epitome of my vision of gay male-dom, but was likely a much more shrill Sarah Brightman, fulfilling absolutely none of my fantasies. Or anyone else’s, for that matter.

My lungs collapsing despite a relatively smoke-free, week-long existence, given the 240 percent humidity that crept up in the DC area during my brief absence. I actually had to drop my multi-pound handbag to the floor while waiting for my luggage at ATA Baggage Carousel #1.4; my brick of a bag and my compromised airways just could not compete. A bonus for the locals: are those old-school Terminal A carousels not powered by Precious Moments gnomes riding bikes? Because I’m pretty sure they are. And I’m pretty sure today I might be looking that part-time biking gig up on Craigslist. You know, at lunch.

More Google searches about hard core retainer fetishes. Because what with teen molar development creeping up earlier and earlier, who doesn’t have one these days?

And finally: literally tripping in what I thought was slow motion onto the poor man sitting in 7C – due entirely to an untied Chuck that I saw but neglected in the 737 restroom, not the 3 or was it 4 Rum and Cokes I consumed in various airports all over these United States.

Photos and a completely entertaining vacay breakdown to follow. Or maybe just a complete one. Or at least yet another list employing bullets to gross excess.