June 27, 2008
The lights are on
Update your link, your reader, your 80s wardrobe! I'm over here: notyetawino.com!

June 24, 2008
Quitters can't be losers
On quitting smoking. Curbing smoking?

At Not a Girl, Not Yet a Wino.

June 23, 2008
We're moving, we're moving
Won't you join us over here?

All the cool kids are doing it. Well, at least after I pay them to.

June 20, 2008
NBC has a new show that smacks of an after-school special, one gloriously broadcast at night so adults are home to laugh at its idiocy. This one has an interesting premise: from what I can tell, they take teen couples who are getting it on and make them take care of babies. From the promos, these are a collection of infants who could make Olympic sports out of wailing and the projectile vomiting of green stuff. By the end of the series, I'm pretty sure these teens will be wearing full wet suits while having sex. At least I will be.

Now, when meemaw was in high school, post-industrial revolution and even the discovery of a colony of Walkmen in the forests of Montana, our school district's idea of baby education involved us carrying around 10-pound bags of sugar for a week. Which for a nerd like me was delightful, because I got to dress her up in baby clothes and display her proudly in a stroller leftover from my youth. I became so consumed by the project that I was almost in tears when, on day 7, a stream of tiny white crystals began trickling from her pink dress. She was leaking, and not only did this mean sure project failure, this was my sweet sack of sugar, people! And, shocker, the school nurse was SO not helpful! Eventually, I put her in a Ziploc bag and didn't get knocked up. But seriously? A bag of sugar in the era of the Space Shuttle?

I must say that our health teacher's stories of teens impregnated while dry humping were infinitely more effective. I certainly haven't done that since.

June 18, 2008
Girls Gone Child
I've often wondered what boys talk about at sleepovers, whether it's about girls or football or embarrassing Chemistry class erections. I know what girls talk about, and can vouch for the fact that it doesn't change much from the time you're using a Strawberry Shortcake sleeping bag to the age at which you slip into teddies for bed. It certainly wasn't too different for three of us making the long drive home on Saturday from Rehoboth Beach.

Two of us had lost our dads, so that became something that was associated with the in crowd, and the other girl then had to deal with our inappropriate death humor for the rest of the day. It's the kind of stuff you can mock when it's you, like "look how fat my fat, fat ass is today," but should someone else say it, you want to make meatloaf out of her face. I'm not sure how it happened, but poor Aimee had to endure us making jokes about her living father, which over the course of the hot day dissolved into jokes about us, her dad, and dirty, sweaty sex. We're so evolved.

Early on I mentioned my passion for all things true crime, and one of the two women revealed that she has been in many a crime show re-enactment, which of course immediately gave me visions of licking her face. Was she a star? Oh yes, she said, in one of the shows she played the actual killer. I'm pretty sure it's understood that news of this nature makes you my new best friend, and that I will now attach myself to you like a leech until I suck you dry of every bloody detail. Turns out she doesn't have a copy of that performance, but says that when her big episode airs, she gets calls from friends asking, "did I just see you strangling a child on television?" And she says yes. Yes you did.

Through a fierce rainstorm and some hydroplaning in the darkness of Delaware, we divulged our greatest fears, including inadvertent bowel movements, cyborgs, mean ghosts, year-round Christmas stores, and The Creature from The Village, which looks harmless to me but may someday may leave another on the verge of adult bed wetting. One of the girls flipped off an 18-wheeler in the darkness behind us and was treated to a lecture from me, because it is a well-established fact that psycho truck drivers begin sharpening their killing weapons when angered by sorority girls on back country roads.

We spent the last hour asking each other poignant, challenging questions, the kind that reveal the depth of three bright 30-somethings on the verge of braiding each other's hair.

Would you rather sweat mayonnaise or malt vinegar?

Would you rather gain 40 pounds that you will never lose, or live in the countryside until you die?

Would you rather be locked alone in a year-round Christmas store or break down overnight on the side of this road?

Would you rather walk in on me having sex with your father or wake up to That Thing From the Village standing over you?

Awesome. Then the interrogator upped the ante by adding, "and That Thing From the Village? It's standing over you . . . WITH AN OUTSTRETCHED CLAW" - the detail of course designed to make it infinitely more menacing than just a boar's head in a cape, which of course it did. The move was so successful, actually, that when I pulled up a picture of said Creature on my blackberry and fooled the driver into taking a look, she went into a hands-off-the-wheel panic and nearly ruined the chance of any of us living to have consensual sex again. We clapped at our success. The joy of knowing the weaknesses of your friends.

The road lit by lightning, we talked about bad Ouija board experiences and the fact that a man was once shot to death on the front porch of my building. Another shared a close encounter with an apparition in a Savannah hotel hallway. We managed to scare the bejeesus out of each other for two straight hours and each vowed to sleep with lights on to ward off cyborgs and monsters and animated Santas. Let the record show that I indeed slept with the lights on that night, but only because Aimee's dad likes it better that way.

June 17, 2008
sleep study
If you caught 60 Minutes Sunday night, you spent one half hour of your life learning much of what you already knew about sleep deprivation: it can impair your memory, your driving prowess, and your ability to be asked inane questions without choking Leslie Stahl. But guess what else? When a male fruit fly is denied sleep, he spends his time cleaning himself and drinking boxed wine rather than mating.

Doctors have long suspected I have a sleep disorder. I have had thyroid and blood tests and MRIs to no avail. I have yet to head in for my night of electrodes and rude awakenings, but I think I'm on to something. It's sleep deprivation--not my thinning hair, my loud tone, my high expectations, my love for cats and Celine, my awkward attempts at sports, nor my distaste for children--that accounts for my single status.

I'm telling you, people. The flies have it.

June 15, 2008
I want so badly for you to be here, to sit in your recliner and tell me to drop it, whatever it is that consumes me and brings on the drama I hate. I want you to take forever to pull up the channel listing, methodically considering each button push and its outcome, while the women of the house roll their eyes. I won't forget - ever - so many of the important things, even these little things, because I'm writing it all down. If not for public consumption, in everyday memos in my blackberry. You didn't like pictures but I have some. I'll find that favorite photo album if it kills me. The rest I'll document in bullets if I have to.

I have some of your clothes. Mom gave me your pajamas to wear when I spent the night, and the beige ones just aren't my style. I don't think they were yours, either. Bears on a man who made each different tartan his own? Exactly. I can't bring myself to do anything with them, toss them or give them to an unknown who might not appreciate who you were. I was across the country when you died, and part of me worries that I'll be discarding what you wore when you told K you were glad she'd made the trip safely, when you last fell asleep with Mom making sure you'd taken those pills. You'd think this was no big deal, put them in a bag already, but I can't do it, and I can't bring myself to ask her which pair they were. It wouldn't be fair. Some of these clothes are still in a bag in my hallway. I caught Cricket laying on them, right there in the upright suitcase, and I love that she did, because you would have gotten a kick out of it. I would have called you to tell you, 30 seconds of nothing of consequence punctuated by a giggle, and we would have said our goodbyes. Until the next silly thing happened. I think about calling you like this a lot, particularly with each and every dumb pun I know would get a laugh and a shake of your head. It still takes a few seconds to realize it just can't happen.

There's so much I wish you could tell me. How much air do I put in the tires? Do fans use less electricity than the AC? Which one is the Phillips head? Was I 8 or 9 years old when I told you I thought I was pregnant? You loved Pittsburgh but thought Detroit should win the Cup, didn't you? Does Mom like hydrangeas? Can you still see us?

I'm also pained that sometimes I lose sight, lose thoughts of you. I feel shame admitting it, that I get caught up in stupid softball turnout and boys I wish were men and those 15 measly pounds. I want to apologize for moving on. And I hate that I seem to everyone like I'm ok.

Know that I miss you so much. The way you laughed with your lips closed, talked to chipmunks when you thought no one could hear you, how you grilled filet with an umbrella in the rain, leaving mine on an extra five minutes. I know it took everything within you to treat a fine piece of meat with such disdain. I like that I'm like you, in ways we never acknowledged. I almost like it better that way. Know that I dread spending football season and my eventual wedding without you. I've thought about what I'll do, if I'll walk down the aisle alone, or do something to make everyone intentionally weepy and uncomfortable. You'd hate that I did it, and you'd hate even more the attention it brought to you. And you know I'd like it for those very same reasons. Know that I think of you with every Snickers bar and each time my I crack and actually read the instructions. I always seem to crack and read the instructions.

Life isn't the same without you. I'm not the same without you. And I wish you were here.

Wishing you all the shrimp in the world this Father's Day.
I love you, Dad.

June 10, 2008
Because both Blackberry posting and I are overrated
Still no laptop, which brings to mind words for the repair geeks that include "asshats" and "les asshats." I thought about recycling a post, which would require some serious effort given that I'd have to read through my archives. I thought about recycling one of your posts, but your made-up copyright statement said that was illegal. So instead you get this crappy placeholder entry, to which you may respond with comments about this being yet another reason why I'm not married, or spam pimping your Kimmy Gibbler fan site. Either way, I'll delete the whole shebang when the IT demons give me back my laptop, and we'll both try to forget this whole thing ever happened. Much like that skinnydipping episode you only talk about whilst drunk.

June 7, 2008
don't judge me
I put a bottle of merlot in the freezer today. Just to take the edge off. It's that hot.

If you would, refrain from judging the choice of merlot, too.

Happy weekend everyone.

June 4, 2008
radical acceptance
I'm not a woman who simply likes palatable in dating or good food or politics. I want movement and a slice of unpredictable and some damn parsley on the side.

Obama is palatable. To me, he represents a comfortable neutral in a sitting room of wicker, ice cream without a mix-in. He's a safe choice for us, comfortable to elect. If he was as controversial a black man as Hillary is a white woman, if he was as fierce or radical a presence, do we really think either of them would be representing the party? I wish they would, but something tells me McCain would be comparing paint swatches for the walls of the Lincoln Bedroom. Sad, really, that we aren't ready to push things even further.

Yes, Obama is making history and that isn't to be minimized. But if Democrats are honest with our collective selves, I don't think it's quite the radical statement it's being made out to be. Baby steps? Maybe that's all that's palatable right now.