halloween’s acomin’

Halloween was never a big part of my childhood. We went to Hallelujah parties on the big night on a farm with real horses and cows and a real hayride. I remember it being entirely fun and I don’t think I missed the idea of going from house to house asking for candy. In my parents’ older age, they mellowed and even began stocking candy to give to neighborhood kids. The reason we never celebrated it when I was young was because the holiday technically celebrates the devil. Well, OK.

Now, in my older age, I’m a little more into the traditions of it all. First and foremost, I love fall and Halloween happens in this favoritist of seasons. By fault, I must like it. Then there is the candy corn of which you can only really eat 4 of, but still those four are fabulous. The dressing up in costumes is growing on me. I never really understood it, never got behind the puns and wordplays. Now, however I’m a little excited about it.

Being poor, however, I have to use whatever is in my house. Last year, I was paparazzo, which entailed a normal outfit, a hat and a camera. Walla, paparazzi. This year I was planning on being a Pampered Chef in which I wore a nice little black dress, high heels, pearls, hair curled, an apron, a little flour splashed about and a utensil in my hand. Walla, pampered chef. The problem came about on Thurs. night when I started to get sick. And so, the Friday night play on words went on without me, a few hours away as I lay asleep for like the 5th time that day. And I actually am sad that I didn’t get to dress up and see my other nerdy friends use they creativities to be things like Princess Buttercup with Reese buttercup wrappers in her hair or the Dread Pirate Roberts with dreadlocks and a pirate outfit.

It will all be redeemed on Tuesday night when I go about the neighborhood with my nieces and nephew and watch them beg for candy from strangers. What a weird tradition. And then when we go home and dump all the candy on the dining room table and they sort out the few pieces they will share with their Annie. Yeah, that makes up for every Halloween I even missed.



in which i make a confession

I haven't been reading either. I know, right? Gasp! It's true. I mean, I've been reading, but I read one book in September and have now been reading the same book since Oct. 1. That, peoples, is not good. I was a reading machine this summer and last winter.

What has happend, you ask with eyes wide open.

Well, I just don't know. Before I felt really lost unless I was inside a book and now, well, not so much. I'm enjoying things all over the place like football games and birthdays and happy hours and Fall leaves and catching up on some new Fall TV shows. Which, really, should not be something I brag about, but dude Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, I get excited to see that that is coming on.

And I've been cooking some too. Every Sunday I pick a recipe and cook for just me or friends. (Want to get on the list? Email me.) I've cooked Thai and a Tuscan soup and chocolate cupcakes and banana bread and this week I'm thinking that it's time for some sesame noodles. Oh, and I'm thinking of hiring a house cleaner. I know. Believe me, I totally know.



today is the day i noticed

the change. The colors have been ebbing toward it slowly. The weather is always the first sign, the coolness coming in every now and then and leaving just as sneakily, but the colors change and keep changing, they don't have take backs.

It was along the river I noticed it most today, a perfect Fall picture with trees lining the bank, half the leaves still wearing their Summer's best bright green, but most had moved on to deep orange or even burgandy, Fall's evening gown. God, or whatever you believe made this thing we call life, must have had his genius moment when he thought up Fall. It's quite possibly the most glorious and beautiful moment that nature gives us. I love every scene I see these days, the pumpkins outside grocery stores, yellow domed mums on door steps, cool nights out my open windows and every changing leaf.



seattle’s best

It seems lately that all signs are pointing to Seattle. Why? I don’t know. I used to think that all roads led to my hometown because it seemed that almost everyone close to me had a relative who lived there or was born there or they themselves had once lived there. Now, it seems all roads are leading to Seattle, clear across the world, a full day’s plane trip for heaven’s sake.

First there was a good friend from grad. school who moved there and when I visited I fell in love with the place, but knowing that it was a billion miles away from everything I knew I didn’t think I could up a go like she did. She was an army brat and used to the moving about. My parents still live in the house they bought 40 some years ago. My bedroom there is still pink. So, I stayed on my lovely East Coast.

But, Seattle made my heart flutter a little bit. I love its moodiness, its lusciousness, its greenness, its boathouses, its quaint neighborhoods, its fresh salmon, and its coffee. A friend of friend moved there 2 years ago and I thought of that tugging on my heart that Seattle was doing again. I wanted it’s cloudy days and it’s Puget Sound and the old gas works park.

Now, a good friend, a really good friend is almost definitely moving to Seattle, clear across the world, a full day’s plane trip, and my heart is tugging again. She and her husband both say, “Come with us.” “I can’t,” I say very grudgingly, “My life is here, my family, but I love Seattle and I will visit you lots.”

I’ve been a little bummed about this news of her going not only because she’s leaving, but also because it reminds me that I’m just floating in the wind a little. There is no other person to drag me across the world because I am tied to him. I don’t get to go with someone to buy a house and get a new job. If I move, it’s just me and when my friends leave, it’s just me. I get left and that’s not the best feeling in the world even if I love the city they are moving to clear across the world, a full day’s plan trip.

The good thing to come out of this, the thing that made me say, “OK you can go,” was the decision to drive across the country this summer with my friend to take her to her new house. I’ve wanted to drive cross-country my whole life and now, so unexpectedly, it might happen. That, my friends, may be Seattle’s best gift to me.



don’t go fishing

I see a picture of her, the Internet can be cruel that way, and think “that is the girl that he loves. She looks sweet and cute” and then I wonder what is it that makes me not her. Am I the opposite of sweet? Is there “don’t get to close” in my voice where she says, “come cuddle with me on the couch?” Am I too dark and she is lightness? She is the forever smile I only sometimes show. But, what’s to say that I don’t want to be the forever smile too, it’s just that I might need him to spur it. And there is no doubt that I want someone to see a picture of me and think, “That is the girl that he loves. She looks so sweet and so cute.”



the good kind

Sunday felt like what life should be like, a long, late super with friends. Me, cooking, chopping, slicing, splashing, stirring. There is something about the feel of cutting through an onion that makes me a little more centered. And the use of flavors I've never had in my kitchen pleased my soul as much as my tongue. And of course the, "This is really good," fills some need in me that I can't put my finger on other than I should be domesticated to the fullest extent, and yet.

Then dinner spilled into the cool October air on the outside steps under old, old trees with a sweatshirt around my shoulders and the end of Sunday hovered. We stood there, talking and not wanting the anguish of Monday to appear. We were wanting the laziness and ease of Sunday to permeate the next day and the next. And yet we know that can't happen. Still, I need to hold on to the days like this, the unexpected ones where nothing really happens and yet it was so nice to intensely debate politics and still respect each other views and eat brownies and share stories where vulnerabilities are exposed and other ones where laughing occurs. This simple kind of time spent, it's the good kind.



in which i simply fill some space

"Teacher says everytime a bell rings an angel gets its wings."

Everytime the phone rings my heart just zings and zings.
I want it so much to be what it isn't, for the void to be not.
Instead there's just garnering something from what's been got
like using breath to shout from the wind on a hummingbird's wings



sardonic sedaris

Boyfriend is good. He had me covering my mouth as I laughed and on several occasions, I slapped my knee. That, my friends, is funny.

The tickets to see David Sedaris read his quick and funny illustrations of true life interpretations of actual events (whew) were bestowed on me after an all night babysitting for my beloved brother on his tenth anniversary. We don't exchange money during family babysitting jobs, usually the hugs and kisses from the kids will do, but I think guilt set in when the plan extended to an overnight. And so, being slightly in love with Sedaris, I took the bait and the tickets.

He was funny. He was smart. He was well dressed and spoke in his high pitched tone. It was like listening to NPR, but coming out of a real live person. Go read his books. Me Talk Pretty One Day is the one I'd start with first then Holidays on Ice because the Holidays are coming and you might need his sly, sometimes dark, humor to get you through it.



in which i divulge my road rage

I have to preface this with a statement; I am very kind. And it’s true. I think almost every person I know would say this. I never wish harm to anyone. Even those I dislike. I don’t want their lives to go badly, I just want their lives to go away from me. That’s all. That being said, let me tell you a story.

I was driving home in my SUV and about a block away from my house I pull off the interstatelikething and begin to merge into traffic, but there is a backup due to construction. I ease in at an angle behind a semi and nestle in to wait. All of a sudden a maroon sedan nearly slams into my driver’s side. This car has either come from the interstatelikething or the stoplight that is behind us. Either way, he is too close to me and is trying to not let me “in” even though he would have to drive through me to not let me “in” since I was here first. So, traffic begins to move and I pull in straight behind the semi and for a whole block all I hear is a car horn. Meanwhile we are driving by construction workers, like right beside them, like I could touch them. I assume the horn is not for me, but lo and behold the old man (my dad’s age) behind me in his maroon sedan is pushing forcibly on his steering wheel. We are now at a red light because there was a SEMI in front of me and I couldn’t see the light and by the time the SEMI cleared it it was yellow. Did I mention the construction and the SEMI? So, I still can’t believe it was me he was honking at because hello, CONSTRUCTION and SEMI that I actually opened my drivers side door to turn around and give him the evil look. He begins to roll down his window, but I can’t hear him because of the CONSTRUCTION. So, green light and evil me ever SOOOOOO slowly pulls forward and I just snail it. I am loving the control I have over this little man’s life. Then he whips around my left side and gets in front of me. This happens within about a 50 foot span. So, I begin to gun it and we both take the turn FAST. I get in the lane next to him and gun it more so that we are right beside each other at the next RED light. He immediately rolls down his window and I just look at him and mouth some not nice words and say something he never hears about the CONSTRUCTION and the SEMI and the RED LIGHT. Green light. He goes his way, I go mine, but even now, sitting here ready for bed, I want to publish his license plate number to the world (because I always have pen and paper handy in the car) and put out a witch hunt for an evil man who got mad for apparently no reason except there was construction and oh yeah, a semi. And then I just think that maybe he had just gotten fired from his job and I was the first one he got to tell in person. Pitty. I’m sure his office is really sad.



in which i bore you and talk about my toilet

Every morning I awake and put a kettle on to boil then hop into the bathroom to do my business and wait for the water to boil at which point I return to the kitchen and pour the boiling water into my French press. This is standard morning procedure. Every morning. I like my routines.

Except one day I get a phone call from a friend who is heading into work early and apparently thinks I have time to chitchat. I have just flushed and noticed the funny behavior of my toilet when the phone rings. I answer and take the phone with me back into the bathroom where I flush again and pray silently that the water will stop rising in the bowl. I assume this is how a toilet overflows, but I’m not sure because I’ve never had the pleasure of hat experience before. I’m sure most girls haven’t and I’m a little troubled as to the occurrence at this point in time because all I did was tinkle.

The water rises and rises, but I never mention anything to my friend because, well, that’s embarrassing even if it was just a tinkle, the explanation would still raise some eyebrows. The water reaches the tiptop of the bowl, but never goes any further. I thank my stars and promise to not flush again until the problem is resolved. So, I call the manager and leave word that there is trouble in my toilet. I am assured that it will be fixed.

I come home that same day and the locks are different which means that the maintenance men have been in and I see that they’ve left me a note that plunging has occurred. I go to inspect and everything seems to be fine. I don’t think about the situation until late that night when I’m getting ready for bed and all of a sudden I notice that one of my linen hand towels that hangs above the toilet is gone and no where to be found. I’m quite sad as I loved the embroidered design of the matching pair, but I’m relieved to know that my tinkles don’t clog toilets, linen towels do.

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