Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Procrastinatin' Woman

Yes, I screwed up my blogging schedule by going to Vegas over a month ago, and ever since my return I've been having anxiety over how many things I need to blog about: the trip, the conference, Little Richard's Utah adventures, the Spider Bite Incident, the progress on the house addition, how much I hate construction contractors, my new passion for any and all music by Patty Griffin, our recent date wherein Michael took me to the roller derby (GO CHURCH OF SK8TIN! You chicks are FIERCE!), and how we think maybe one of the cats has bulimia while the other has chosen anorexia as her eating disorder of choice.

Today I decided to just sit down and spit out something--anything. So here ya go:

I've been testing a new mascara that I plan to retail, and last night it passed the Steamy Sex in The Shower test. I think I've found a winner.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Stream of conscious...

I'm headed to Las Vegas for a work-related conference, and I haven't been there since, oh, 1982. Growing up in Utah, my family passed through town every other year on our way to Disneyland, and I'm not sure I want to see how much Vegas has changed. From what I've seen and heard, it's a completely new city--yes, I want to see the Bellagio fountains, catch a show, see all the big new hotels, but I want to visit old town, too, and the less touristy parts. I hear there's an outdoor museum of old show signs and neon light displays--The Killers filmed a music video there, and it looked really interesting from what I could see.

Wayne as my grandparents knew him. Danke Schoen.

My grandparents vacationed in Vegas fairly frequently, and were acquainted with Wayne Newton. Every time they attended his show, he'd point them out and welcome them by name. I believe he has a couple of assistants who are solely in charge of spotting regular fans so he can publicly acknowledge them. "Congratulations on your fiftieth wedding anniversary, Ed and Gladys! You make a beautiful couple!" How this trivia made a home in my memory is a mystery to me, but I know I'd feel downright giddy if Bono gave me a friendly shout-out on U2's next tour.

A shout-out for Chelle?

Sometime in my late teens, we drove to Vegas while I was reading Stephen King's "The Stand." You can only grasp how creepy that was if you've read the book. (No, the ridiculous made-for-TV movie starring Molly Ringwald absolutely does not count.) I still get spooked even thinking about that scene in the desert. I can't deal with horror nowadays, but I'll say this: if you think Jack Nicholson was scary in "The Shining" then give the book a read for even more spooky kicks--it's better than the flick. I do not kid.

Oh, two more novels that left an impression on my young and impressionable self: "The Witching Hour" by Anne Rice, is set in New Orleans and worth the read simply for the richly colored location descriptions. Thanks to her, a tour of the Garden District is definitely on my list of things to do before I die. Robert R. McCammon is famous as an author of horror novels, but his work "Boy's Life" isn't horror, but rather a coming-of-age tale narrated by a young boy. I'm not telling you another thing about it--if you haven't read it, go buy it or check it out from the library. Back when my friend Cam lent me her copy and insisted I read it, we passed it around so many times that the pages were falling out. Y'know, now that I think about it, I might just read it again this summer.

Which brings me to another thing--one of the best college courses I took (and actually attended on a somewhat regular basis) was a literary criticism class taught by one of my favorite professors. She talked about how the beauty of reading and re-reading a poem, novel, or play lay in the fact that each experience is unique because while the work itself hasn't changed, the reader has. I think that's the general idea behind scripture study, philosophy, or Shakespeare--it's not necessarily the repetition, but the multiple layers of meaning that reach out at different times and speak to the reader. I've heard many people say they can never read a book or watch a movie a second time, but I think that's kind of sad. Michael and I both love "Fight Club" and we've seen it several times--with every viewing, we catch something new. Repetition wise, however, I do admit to repeatedly admiring Brad Pitt's ripped bod.

Great movie.

Alrighty then. Not much for staying on topic today, am I? Have to go and polish my toes for the trip.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Sunday Brunch Dutch Babies

I do believe that I'm being, as we Mormons say, "fellow-shipped." This means that someone who is actively and regularly involved in the church offers a sincere hand of friendship to inactive members (a.k.a. Jack Mormons, of which I am one) and warmly invites them to get their lazy butts out of bed on Sunday mornings and go to church. With heels AND pantyhose, which is just one area of many with which I struggle.

Yesterday I walked out of my house to find the monthly Visiting Teaching Message flyer from the Relief Society lying at my door. (The Relief Society is the women’s organization within the church, and the Visiting Teaching program is part of that.) I hadn’t heard anyone knock, so I’m not sure if I’m going deaf or if my visitor door-bell ditched me--perhaps she's shy? Either way, I first suspected my already-assigned Visiting Teacher. Cheryl's been a good friend for years, she makes me laugh and I love her to pieces. And I know that while she never pressures me, she wants me to go to church every week. I want her to go out for Sunday Brunch Dutch Babies every week, but I won't pressure her, either.

Dutch Baby

But then I decided that no, it couldn't be her because she would never simply leave a flyer--she hasn't once come to see me without a big ol' present from whatever major holiday hits on a given month, and besides, she already brought me a beautiful bouquet of flowers and alcoholic Nyquil not two weeks ago. And as we've already had Flag day, all that's really left is Summer Solstice or Gay Pride month, and neither of those are up her alley. Nope. Not her.

Anyway, I was all feeling warm and fuzzy that someone cared enough to drive all the way out to my house (we live in the country and the majority of the church folks live in town) just to drop off the Visiting Teaching Message flyer. How sweet that someone thought of me. Since zealously, smotheringly religious Little Richard moved back to Utah, Michael and I have been talking about attending church again every now and then, as we're no longer under Dad's critical eye. So I read on with some interest about who's having a birthday this month, scripture of the month, and "Oh, yeah! They have a book club now--that could be interesting." But then I caught this bit, reproduced here exactly, except for the big square surrounding it to better catch your eye:

Are you contributing to our REACTIVATION & MISSIONARY GOAL?
Don't know what that is?

Well... we each have been asked to invite as least one guest to a Relief

Society meeting or activity each month.
How are you doing on our goal? ...I have some work to do.

Sigh. I hate this part. It rouses the rebel within me; I start to get a facial tic and suddenly want to drop the F-bomb. In regard to my church attendance, my very good friend Jeralee wisely said once that I'm an adult and I'll go when I'm ready, which is one of the many reasons that's she is my very good friend. And yes, I do believe that I know how the writer meant for that little reminder to come off--as though she had just typed "How are you doing on our goal?" then paused, asked herself that very question and answered with something meaning "Because, by gum, I know that I sure have some work to do! I better get going!" My gut reaction, however, was disappointment at the realization that I'm most likely someone's assignment; if she invites me to a church activity, she can feel good about having done what was asked of her and move on to her next problem. But I'd very much like to feel able to worship solely because I choose to be there, and not to fulfill someone's obligations or expectations. Am I being difficult here?

I've given it some thought--I could take offense, but I'm not going to. I think it was simply a well-intentioned but poorly phrased reminder for active members to try to make everyone feel welcome at church. My mystery visitor was trying to do the right thing, and who knows, maybe she actually does want to make friends. I know that I'm looking forward to meeting her so I can invite her out for Sunday Brunch Dutch Babies.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Enough already....

Three weeks now, I've been sick. Or make that twenty days. I'm short one--get back to me tomorrow. I've gotten to the point where, if one of the cats hurls up a hairball, I can walk calmly past it for days. My leg hair is long and prickly enough that it wakes me up when I turn over in bed. My cheeks have broken out because I go to sleep with a cough drop in my mouth and wake up with sticky cough drop spit smeared across my face. My hair is kept in a ponytail atop my head, as I don't want a thing to do with it. I'm a pretty pretty girl and Michael can barely resist my hot and sexy flu-wear. I think I'm going to design my own line.

One issue that's hit particularly hard is that while normally I'm a voracious reader, and can almost always count on a book to get me through the bad times, during this extended flu/cold/whatever it is, I can't seem to concentrate. I've read the same chapter in the same book over and over--each time I either start sneezing, need to grab a tissue to replenish the world's phlegm supply, or my head starts to ache. It may not help that I'm reading "The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic--and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World." It follows a Cholera outbreak in Victorian London and is big on symptom descriptions. I lay in the dark at night and worry if I could get Cholera next. Re-hydration is critical to cholera victims, and so I've made sure to toss back bottle after bottle of water.


Remember Nana in Disney's animated version of "Peter Pan?" Well, I have three anthropomorphized feline nursemaids: Cotton, MaGoo, and Zilla. Each feels strongly that they can improve my health with a good long cuddle. They cuddle in order of superiority: Nana Cotton, the oldest, goes for the neck and head; Nana MaGoo, who is number two, settles her very large and weighty self across my back, and Nana Zilla takes the legs and feet. As they settle in, each takes on the weight of solid lead. They then begin to generate heat to recreate a sweat lodge environment in the bedroom, until I wake up gasping for breath and toss them out of the room. They are each indignant and quite concerned to have been banned from my sickbed. They protest loudly and paw at the door. How will I survive without their ministrations? Especially since Michael is gone this weekend on a quick trip to Canada with a buddy to pick up a motorcycle that was just too good a deal to pass up. Without the cats to tend to me, I may be dead by the time he gets home.

Nana Cotton

Nana Goo

Nana Zilla

'Course, you can't underestimate a cat's instincts. Apparently in a Rhode Island nursing home, there's a cat named Oscar who's known as a "furry grim reaper" because he instinctively curls up with patients who have only a few hours left to live. He's called over 25 deaths.

Yeah, maybe the cats can sleep in the living room a couple more nights. I think I'm feeling better already.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Happy Anniversary Baby, Got You On My Miiiiiiind...

Sixty-six years ago last week-ish, my parents were married by a judge in Provo, Utah, with my maternal grandparents witnessing. Tradition begs the following tale be told:

My most excellent mother, may she rest in peace and know she is missed-missed-missed each and every day, was an adorable blonde with sparkly blue eyes and a wicked sense of humor. My handsome dad was downright dashing, with curly black hair, a Romanesque nose and not one shy bone in his entire body. She'd first spied the man in uniform while he was stationed next door at the Civilian Conservation Corps, and she got his attention with a well-aimed snowball. Dad took a gander at her and decided introductions were in order. Delighted but playing it coy, she jumped up to sit cross-legged on the greenhouse roof, which promptly caved in on her. (Now, don't go thinking this was because she was even a teensy bit heavy, for it is a fact that, not six months later on her wedding day, she weighed only ninety-seven pounds. And no, it is not sufficient to say she weighed less than a hundred pounds: She weighed NINETY-SEVEN POUNDS, pal, and you'd best not forget it, especially if you're my dad.)

Senior Portrait

Conversation led to the inevitable first date. As fortune would have it, he took her to the fair, where they got their picture taken in the photo booth. He put his arm around her waist and pulled her in tight, and she beamed brighter than the lights on the Model A. That photo is among my prized possessions.

First date, Spring 1942

Exactly when he proposed is a mystery, but where he proposed was cleared up only recently. I grew up hearing that he asked for her hand after a dance at Bridal Veil Falls, a gorgeous spot in Provo Canyon near what would eventually become Sundance Resort. I always assumed that since they were at the falls for the dance that he proposed there, too. But after she passed away, he revealed that they were hiding behind the sofa in my grandparents' living room, and prior to her accepting him, he sang "You Are My Sunshine."

Her bridal gown was Kelly green, a cute little knee-length number that's tucked away in her hope chest. Her hair was curled in the style of the day and she weighed, you'll remember, ninety-seven pounds. But what she'd never forget were the shoes. For some reason she had to wear a pair of heavy oxfords that she absolutely hated, and for the rest of her life she would insist on wearing nothing but cute, feminine, and entirely impractical shoes.

Just Married!

Mom, Dad, and her folks climbed in the car that morning and headed southwest, out of Heber Valley and down Provo Canyon, past the newly-built Deer Creek Dam and Reservoir, through the Wasatch Range and Mount Timpanogos, on what is now Highway 189. What made the hour-long trip so memorable, and what my dad has never quite gotten over, is that for the entire duration, his future mother-in-law could not help repeating to her daughter, "Now, sweetheart, you do not have to do this. You realize that? You do NOT have to do this, you absolutely don't. If you want, we can just turn right around and go back home, because you do not have to do this." Dad was never sure that he shouldn't take it personally, and frankly, none of the rest of the family was sure about it, either.

The 50th wedding anniversary bash, June 1992

But he did right by her. He swept her away for a two-week honeymoon in Yellowstone Park, built homes in Heber and eventually Salt Lake City, adopted two daughters, traveled the country, and shared the next sixty-four and a half years together. I found a CD of WWII songs that included "You Are My Sunshine," and when it played at her memorial, he clung to my arm as he wept and his whole body shook. In the forty or so years that I knew them, they bickered constantly, but as I was young, I failed to see the depths that lay below their daily interaction. I've been taken back by how deeply he has mourned her, and I've learned as much about him since her death as I knew in all years prior. He moved back to Utah in part to recapture his memory of her, but when I last spoke to him, I heard the gravel of reality in his voice. I cannot comprehend what he is feeling, but I love him all the more that he has felt it.

You Are My Sunshine
My only sunshine.
You make me happy
When skies are grey.
You'll never know, dear,
How much I love you.
Please don't take my sunshine away

The other nite, dear,
As I lay sleeping
I dreamed I held you in my arms.
When I awoke, dear,
I was mistaken
And I hung my head and cried.

You are my sunshine,
My only sunshine.
You make me happy
When skies are grey.
You'll never know, dear,
How much I love you.
Please don't take my sunshine away.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Nyquil Bender

I've had a cold and flu for over a week. My body is working overtime producing mass quantities of slime to the point where I'm investigating possibilities for creating biodiesel from phlegm. I started tossing back Nyquil straight from the bottle and completely ignoring the little measuring cup, and went through the entire bottle rather quickly. I've heard this is what teenagers resort to when they want to get drunk, but I don't feel drunk--I feel the phlegm factory slowing down production and I want to take a nap.

So when a good friend, who happens to be very LDS, called today to ask if she could pick up anything from the store for me, I said that yes, I'd like some Nyquil, please, the old-fashioned liquid kind. I sensed a brief hesitation before she said, "The kind with alcohol in it?" She is SO cute. Yes, I assured her, that was exactly the kind I wanted, although I was desperate enough that I could be convinced to try something along the lines of cough syrup with Codeine, or maybe chocolate-covered Percocet?

Despite my sickness, I've had to drag myself through several engagements I couldn't miss. Yesterday I had to take my annual CPR certification and I nearly passed out doing five rounds of 30 chest compressions--it's a good thing it wasn't a real-life emergency situation or someone would be in the morgue about now--a victim of the wheezing woman with Kleenex stuffed up her sleeves and the stank of 20 proof Nyquil on her breath.

Afterwards I had to head to the bank and then Kinkos to notarize, copy, and FedEx a large packet of papers requesting that I please be allowed to pay $375 to take a certification exam I'm not completely sure I need. Michael was downtown for a meeting and, knowing my state of mind of late, he dropped by to see if he could help. I was worried I'd missed something in the mass of papers strewn around me. Practical as ever, he suggested scanning a copy of everything into a PDF file, just in case I needed quick access later.

Now, here's where I discovered just one of the many reasons why Kinkos is the devil. Michael has a really neat, super-fast scanner in his office that can scan 55 pages a minute. (Oh no, don't even go there. If there's one thing Michael has in large supply, it's integrity, and there will be no personal scanning on the company equipment, even if the wife offers intimate favors that she does not often put on the bargaining table.) Kinkos has two scanning options: either they charge you $6.95 PER PAGE to stand behind the counter and scan it for you on their own really neat, super-fast scanner, which the public is not allowed to use, or you can log onto a computer that bills you by the minute and scan it yourself on a device so slow that I'm convinced if you opened the back, you'd find a wee small artist inside, recreating each page by hand in #2 pencil.

Finally we got organized, mailed the package, and headed out to the parking lot. While backing up my car, however, I failed to see the giant SUV clearly parked behind me and slammed smack into it. The SUV suffered not one single scratch, but my car no longer has any lights on the left rear side. Michael handled the situation with grace and didn't even use one swear word. He even remained calm while picking up the red and orange plastic pieces littering the ground and put them all in my back seat. He did ask me later if I'd like him to pick up a six-pack of Nyquil for the weekend. It's always a party at the Eldridge household.

Today my good friend Cheryl made up for it all, however, by showing up at my door with flowers, her adorable five-year old daughter, and not one, but TWO bottles of alcoholic liquid Nyquil. I am now off to take a nap, grateful for friends who will buy me pseudo-booze despite their better judgment.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Overheard this AM at the coffee drive thru...

Barista Girl #1: Can you believe that? I mean, DUDE. They're gonna split the state in HALF.

Barista Girl #2: Omigod! No way. Can they do that?

Barista Girl #1: Yeah! We're actually gonna succeed from the Union!

Barista Girl #2: (shaking head in disbelief) Dude. Oregon is so small already.

Editor's note: First of all, Oregon is the tenth largest state in the U.S. Second of all, while there is indeed a small grassroots group who want to split Oregon into two separate states, there is no talk of succeeding, or SECEDING, from the Union.

Update: My apologies. There is actually a group of folks who wish to "explore the peaceful possibilities of creating a Nation of Pacifica, including Alaska, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Baja California, and British Columbia." Idaho? Really?

Friday, May 2, 2008


"He wants his nuts back," she said, exhaling in exasperation.

"Pardon?" Michael is speaking to a family friend who helped Little Richard pack (bless her good-hearted soul forever and ever, Amen.) She has called to vent. That she has done so is surprising. Grounded and calm, this woman knows how to raise a pig, slaughter the pig, and use every single part of the pig to feed her family. She is tough. Unflappable. Not a venter.

"The pecans! He wants me to pack them up and send them BACK to him."

Hmmm, not good. See, in the golden years of their retirement, my parents wintered in Southern Utah. Thin-shelled pecans thrive there, and Little Richard loved to "shake a tree" and gather the fallen nuts. For years he shelled them while watching television or hanging with the feral cats on the porch, and stored them in the freezer. He gave them away in half-pound bags as gifts of thanks and appreciation. If you got a fresh batch (read: less than three years in the freezer), they were delicious. Anyway, while preparing for the move, he realized he had to empty the freezer, and gave a large portion of pecans to this woman, ostensibly as a gesture of gratitude. But things changed: now that he's making new friends in his new town, he has no nuts to give, pa-rum-pa-pum-pum. True to form, he put out a re-call, and I'll betcha an Arby-Q (his favorite) that he didn't give it a second thought.


Since Little Richard returned to Deseret, I've found myself trying to make my peace with him, or at least with my memories, because it's doubtful he and I will ever do the big father/daughter Lifetime Movie reconciliation. But one thing I've accepted completely is that my dad is eccentric, hard to get along with, and difficult to understand. For some of you who know him, that's making a gross understatement and I thank you for your empathy. For others, here are a few examples of how his mind appears to work:

Method of dining out: Wait until everyone else is ready to leave the house. Decide quality time in bathroom is suddenly essential. Take newspaper. Allow cat to sit on lap. Talk to cat. Read paper to cat. When encouraged to hurry, holler out a good-natured "I'M A-COMIN'!" several times in a row. Never appear rushed. Fill hallway with ungodly smell that ruins everyone's appetite. Insist on dining at The Hometown Buffet.

Method of healthy eating: Pick large quantity of plums for mother to dry and bottle. Keep half a dozen or so in pants' pocket at all times to help with digestion and elimination (see previous paragraph.) Allow fruit to mingle freely with keys and spare change. Generously offer to share with others while blowing on fruit to remove pocket lint. Rest assured no one will ever take you up on your offer.

Method of cleaning ears: Wait until at least one family member is present, along with one non-family member. Use car key to get at ear wax. Examine key. Peek at family member(s) out of corner of eye to see if properly mortified. Laugh as though on moonshine bender.

Method of vacationing: Wait until everyone else is packed and in car. Decide to check engine. Search through garage of horrors looking for 1040 oil. Discover old sweater under pile of tires. Reminisce over old sweater and fact it still fits. Exhibit dismay with family's impatience and lack of sweater admiration. Become increasingly annoyed when family exits sweltering car. Insist everyone get back inside. Commence yelling. More yelling. Once everyone is back in car and thoroughly aggravated, assume pious attitude and ask who would like to offer pre-vacation prayer.

Method of attending church:
Wait until everyone is dressed and ready to leave. Race into bedroom to change into church clothes. Ponder which bolo tie to wear--the Tiger Eye or the Agate? Suggest family walk to church together. Become irritable when family resists due to fact they are already late. Use drive to church as chance to deliver grim preach about family togetherness and threaten family to change attitude or else. Change own attitude from ornery to giddy immediately upon seeing first non-family member. Ignore simmering family resentment.

Bolo Tie, African Jade Concho Style

Method of cleaning under fingernails: During church service, pull out pocket knife and open small blade. Ignore elbow jab in ribs from family member(s) who know what's next. Slide tip of blade under nail, making slow scraping sound. Repeat. Nine. More. Times.

Method of greeting house guest(s): "COMETH THEE IN!" Repeat enthusiastically 2-3x while leading guest(s) into living room. Show guest(s) large glass jar of popcorn kernels on coffee table. Explain popcorn is favorite treat and homegrown. Shake jar and insist guest(s) guess how many kernels are in jar. Demonstrate kernel removal by vigorously rubbing two dried cobs together. Explain formula for answer: X = number of kernels on average cob. Y = number of cobs it took to fill one jar. X times Y = Little Richard's self-satisfied guess. Grin like dotty old man from down the holler.

Method of showing appreciation:
Five nights a week, come home from work. Eat dinner. Emphatically pronounce "You shall be RICHLY rewarded!" to mother, who presses lips together until they disappear. Order daughter(s) to help with dishes. Make comments from table regarding how mother spoils daughter(s) and carries them 'round on velvet pillows. Remain seated at table carping ad nauseum to make sure ungrateful daughter(s) follow through. Do not say thank you. To do so will diminish your place as head of the household.

So you see what I'm saying? He's odd. Egocentric. A bit irascible. Harmless for the most part; well-intentioned, even. But very possibly nuts. Speaking of which, Michael tells our friend that she's under no obligation to return the pecans to Little Richard, but she feels guilty and is unsure of what to do. We're both pretty sure she'll be making a trip to the post office soon, which is also nuts.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Happy Happy Joy Joy

The hives are still torturing me, but last night I was actually able to sleep. This is because yesterday I pestered my doctor until she gave in and prescribed something. It was that or head for urgent care. When I first saw her on Monday, she told me to take Benadryl and hot showers instead of meds, because the side effects would be worse than the actual hives. Is it not SO EASY for doctors to calmly throw that kind of crap at you while you're scratching your inflamed, red, and itching flesh into ribbons? Are you with me here, people?

No, this is not a photo of me. A) that's a guy's arm, and B) I am far too irritable to photograph myself for you. His hives are similar to mine, though.

No, what puts a spring in my step today is the fact that the trailer for the "Sex In The City" movie is out. Come June, THE GIRLS ARE BACK!!! I've never quite forgiven Sarah Jessica Parker for walking away (not only was she the star of the show, but also one of the producers, and the person responsible for it's early demise) but for now she's back in my good graces.

My favorite TV show. Ever.

My girlfriends from college were/are a tight-knit group, and we shared everything with each other. Let me say that again: Ev. Ry. Thing. The time spent together laughing, discussing details about guys, relationships, clothes, and whatever else came to mind was something I missed desperately when I moved away, and SITC was like a comfy security blanket for me--an awesome reminder of my good fortune in friendship.

Since then I've made new friends and kept the old (because as they say at girls' camp "one is silver and the other gold.") Come June, I'll be in line with one or more of my friends to check out SITC: The Movie, and hopefully it'll be as good as it was on TV. It better be, or SJP is back on my blacklist. The hives will be gone, though, so there is that.

Monday, April 28, 2008

I'm fine, really.

Saturday morning I woke up to find about 75% of my body covered in hives. Itchy, angry hives. I've been tossing back the Benadryl like Skittles, but it barely takes the edge off the itch. By the time I saw the doctor this morning, I'd carved so many scratches into my flesh that I was very, very pretty. Pretty damn irritable.

My doctor looked me over, assured me it wasn't shingles (whew) and we discussed other possibilities like allergies. No, diet hasn't changed. Haven't been getting in anything resembling poison oak. No change in vitamins, skin care products, makeup, etc.

Then she asked what was going on in my life. I told her about dad (while scratching my arm) and the move to Utah (while scratching my stomach) and how UNBELIEVABLY STUBBORN AND UNREASONABLE he is (while scratching my thigh) and how the move was kind of the final goodbye to my mom even though she died an 1 1/2 ago (back to the other arm) because it was HER house. She'd picked out the rose carpeting, the pink Formica, and the burgundy-accented linoleum. She'd covered the piano bench in pink chintz and made valances out of the same fabric for all the windows. (In her defense I have this to say: Wait until your mother gets a new house when she's seventy-one years old and see what colors she picks out.) It was like a grown-up Barbie Dream House (scratching my neck) and seeing it completely empty and ready to be moved away was a surprise attack on my composure.

My doctor took notes, then told me to take some more Benadryl and give it another two weeks. (Long pause. The room is quiet except for the scratching sound of my fingernails on tender flesh.)

WHAT?!? I'm going INSANE here! You can't be serious! I have two jobs! I have commitments! Things to do! We have yet to begin cleanup on the tons of rotten lumber, rusted rebar, broken wood chippers, old bicycles, and other junk my dad was forced (yes, forced) to leave behind. We've got the house addition to begin in earnest and I have big plans for my business that need developing. I don't have time for this crap! There's a whole new side of life to enjoy now that my parents are no longer neighbors! Options, woman! I need more options! FIX ME!

"Michelle, I wish you felt more comfortable expressing how you feel. I'm always unsure of where it is you're coming from." She is staring at me with one eyebrow raised. Dammit! I hate how well she knows me.

She proceeds to tell me how, after graduating from medical school, her body did the very same thing--completely turned on her and broke out in one big rash. What we should both be grateful for, she says, is that our bodies were kind enough to wait until we got through our crisis' to cut loose. My body is pissed off and no longer willing to cooperate and I am a boiling cauldron of conflicting emotion. For the most part, my mom and dad are lost to me and I am a forty-three year old orphan. All of the benefits and drawbacks of this fact have left me overcome and defenseless. Only time will heal me. Time, and Benadryl.

I head off to Rite-Aid, trying not to scratch.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Like we needed two of them.

This just in: Dad has apparently decided that along with his new digs in Utah, he's going to assume a new identity. No longer will he be identified as "Dick" as he has for the last five decades at least. Instead, he's been greeting each new acquaintance with a hearty handshake and a chipper introduction: "Little Richard! Good ta meetcha!"

Little Richard.

Little Richard.

You're probably wondering why I'm not there helping out. Let me explain: Little Richard was alarmed and offended that I would even consider going, as who was going to watch over our cats? No, I absolutely needed to stay here and make sure they get their full eighteen hours of sleep. He wouldn't hear of both Michael and I being gone for a whole week. You can imagine how disappointed I've been to get left out of the fun.

As Little Richard's gotten older, he's become intensely sentimental over animals, especially cats. He was quite distraught that he was unable to catch the feral cats he's kept as outdoor pets. He'd been planning to catch and transport them to a completely unfamiliar environment where they'd no doubt make tasty treats for their new and unknown enemies. Fortunately, Bobtail Momma, Bobtail Tommy, Pretty Boy, and Pretty Girl were so freaked out from the moving truck and foot traffic that they didn't show up for the exodus and he had to leave them behind. It's a good thing--they're so fat from eating field mice that their bellies nearly drag on the ground. They'll be fine. Little Richard will be fine, too, as Little Misty (his indoor cat, whom he also calls Mitzy, Missa-Mitzy, Misty Mitsa Momma and other garbled variations) made the trip with no trouble.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Fear and Loathing in Salt Lake City...

Various text messages from Michael, currently earning extra-credit son-in-law points by accompanying my 85 year-old dad on his move to Middle-of-Nowhere, Utah:

"Just crossed Blue Mountain Pass. Did you know it's possible to shift gears while leaving the cruise control on? Your dad does."

"Rush hour. SLC. Stop and go 7 lanes wide. No brakes on trailer. Had energy drink to stay awake. Dick at the wheel. Cat peering out from the carrier, perched on a massive pile of crap in the back seat...so she can face the windshield. All traffic ahead STOPPED--see the red brake lights, Dick! Turn off the Cruise Control, Dick! Stop, Dick, STOP!

"It's like driving with Ricky Bobby's crazy grandpa. I keep wondering if the transmission will go before the clutch, or will it be the other way around? Did I mention the large can of Mocha Loco I consumed? I half expect to wake up with a lizard tail strapped to my ass."

Have I mentioned that I adore this man? I adore this man.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Breaking up is hard to do...

My friend is breaking up with her boyfriend. Slowly. Painfully. Wishy-washily. One day he completes her, the next day he's disrespecting her. One day she's moved out, the next day she's lugging her bags back to the house. One day they're calling each other 'Stubbles' and 'Bubbles' (for real--I could not have made that up) and the next--you get the point. Finally, I confront her:

"This is about the make-up sex, isn't it?"

She gives me wide-eyed innocence. "Hmmmm?"

"The sex. The awesome make-up sex you have after a big fight, right? That's why you're taking so long to dump him."

Pained expression. I have offended her delicate sensibilities. Then, "Well...(sigh, eye roll)...yeah. It's just so...passionate."

"Yes. Passionately dysfunctional. Don't forget the dysfunctional part." Call me Debbie Downer, but she needs a reality check. In about a week she gets one, but not from me.

"He hucked a BURRITO at me!" My friend is indignant and incredulous at her boyfriend's behavior the night before, and has decided to ignore my last remark and confide in me once again. "A BIG BOY burrito--he freakin' HUCKED it at me and it HIT ME IN THE CHEST." She points sharply at her chest as though my gross anatomy skills are not up to par.

I attempt to respond with the appropriate level of shock and awe: "Shut. Up. No he did not!"

"Yuh-huh! And HE GOT IT ON MY COAT." My friend excels in capital letter speak. Not everyone can get away with this, but for her, it's a gift.

Let me explain why this burrito hucking is a big deal: A successful restaurant chain here in town offers "fresh and healthy" Mexican food. Fresh, absolutely, and healthy, maybe if the portions were a quarter of their actual size. To be hit in the chest with a Big Boy burrito is to have the wind knocked from your lungs. Still she wavers on whether or not to call it quits. He must be an incredible maker-upper.

He starts staying out all night, hitting the clubs (or what passes for clubs in our tiny metropolis) and coming home after she's left for the day. He spits on her windshield and offers bitter commentary on her aloof behavior. Most remarks resemble bad rap lyrics: "Man, you must think you aiight. You must think you soooo tight." Jay-Z, watch out--Stubbles is a star on the rise.

Today I asked her how it is that she is still taking this crap. She looks sheepish, and says she's actually carried out her own brand of revenge. Really? What's she done? Has she gone Carrie Underwood and dug her key into the side of his pretty little souped-up 4 wheel drive? Carved her name into his leather seats?

"Worse!" she says with a proud smile.

Did she pawn his bling? Have all his pants altered to fit nicely at the hip instead of barely clinging to the widest part of his ass?

"Worse!" she covers her face with her hands.

"WHAD'U DO?!?" Now she's got me speaking in capital letters.

"I...I swirled his toothbrush in the TOILET!"

She looks so pleased and vindicated; so full of clever ingenuity. She's a sweetheart, and will hopefully be done with this loser any day now. For some reason I decide I won't mention that I may or may not have done the very same thing to a deserving boy when I was her age, or that maybe I went a baby step farther and scrubbed the inside of the bowl with it just a little. Maybe.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

And the award goes to...

On February 25th of this year, I went in for my annual. My doctor found something that disturbed her, and she tossed this to me:

"Michelle, this is cancer until proven otherwise."

Wha...?!?!? Me? Cancer? If I have a tumor, how big is it? How fast is it growing? I flashed on a memory of a show I watched on the Discovery channel about a woman with a hundred-pound tumor, and then suddenly I was sure I could feel the thing growing inside me, the cells dividing and multiplying as fast as their little cell selves could manage. If we didn't move on this fast, the tumor would soon overtake me: Death by tumor smothering. At my funeral viewing, I would look like Mrs. Potato-head, and the undertakers would have to sit and bounce on the casket lid to get it to lock, just like I have to sit on my luggage when I'm packing for a trip. Hurry! Quick! We've gotta move on this!

Oh, no. After I left the office in a daze, it took until last Monday to get my results. That's thirty-five days. It was a tough month, especially for a person with such a vivid imagination.

Prior to the test, I'd asked around about it, and everyone who'd experienced one said they were completely painless, that I wouldn't feel or remember a thing. Uh-huh. Perhaps the specialist I chose is saving money by cutting back on pain or amnesia medication, because I remember every second. I was sure I was in the wrong room and this person was mistakenly harvesting my organs for donation. If a) I hadn't had my back to her, and b) I'd had a shiv handy, there would've been big trouble in Surgery #3. Maybe she's saving up to buy another reaming device; one that doesn't feel like the machine that dug the chunnel from England to France.

Turns out, I'm fine. Nothing to worry about. Hallelujah, I am not turning into a pod person. Even my cholesterol and blood pressure levels are lower than the recommended number. Huge relief.

Today my friend Sarah H. came down from Portland for lunch, and presented me with an award for my troubles. Behold, The Golden Polyp:

I'm honored, really. I didn't even prepare a speech. I'd like to thank my doctor, the sadomasochistic specialist and her assistant, and the Demoral for what little relief it did provide. I'll never forget this moment. Thank you SO MUCH.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Tooth Fairy is still ticked about this one...

Today was the final day of the photo shoot for the upcoming esthetics textbook. The publishing company sent out an art director, her assistant, and Mr. creepy photographer guy (who bears a striking resemblance to Homer Simpson's neighbor, Ned Flanders) to shoot photos demonstrating procedures described in the book. Nearly all the students, 85% of whom are lovely young girls in their early twenties, were given a chance to model. The process was a fairly smooth one, with the exception of the more revealing procedures. Mr. creepy photographer guy, who looked to be in his mid-forties, suddenly had LOTS of technical trouble during those shots, and took three times as long as other procedures because either that ding-dang lighting was off or the dad-gum angle was bad. Hopefully he has better luck retouching his work in what I imagine is his creepy office in his creepy basement.

Ned Flanders

Anyway, today I had to get a head shot--sorry, Mr. creepy photographer man, I meant to say portrait shot, because that's what you prefer--for the "about the authors" page. He had me go outside and stand in front of a tree, positioning me with my feet pointed in one direction, my shoulders toward another, and my jaw in yet another. While I was holding my head at a completely unnatural angle and trying to smile naturally despite the pain in my sterno cleido mastoid muscles, I was thinking about how this mid-life career change came about, and feeling irritated for my failure to write about it while it happened, because it was unlike anything I've ever done before.

Most of you remember that, in order to become an esthetician, I had to quit my job at the university and go back to school. Beauty school. I took a lot of crap on that one, and indeed it was humbling, but I had to get my state license before I could do any other training. I thought I understood what I’d be getting into, because both my sister and a close friend went to similar schools, but I think you really have to be there every day to truly understand what it's like. And what it's like is girl prison. Crazy girl prison. Crazy, coked-up girl prison. I learned more about crack and crank than I did about skin peels, more about which city is the easiest on giving welfare assistance than I did about microdermabrasion, and more about the state prison early release/transition program than I did about the integumentary system. I keep meaning to write it all down and so I've decided to do it here. If anyone remembers a particular tale I've shared, remind me, would you? Here we go…

One of my instructors, we'll call her Miss Pam (school etiquette requires we call all instructors Miss, in a failed attempt to get the students/girl prisoners to show some respect.) Miss Pam kicked a ten-year crack habit a couple of years before, but her teeth are really bad from years of abuse. They’re rotten and causing her a lot of trouble, but she doesn’t have dental insurance. I hang out in her office a lot and fix her computer when it goes south, so I’ve gotten to know her pretty well. She has a sardonic sense of humor and is a huge Dwight Yoakam fan--when she first found out that I like him, too, we became immediate friends and now I can get away with murder around the place. It pays to have powerful friends, especially in girl prison.

Thank you, Dwight Yoakam, for making my life easier to bear in so many ways.

Anyway, the teeth. She’s lost several, but one back molar is obviously hurting her and she’s been complaining about it daily. I try to make her laugh, "Hey, gal, let's getcha some Percocet and a pair of pliers--I'll take care of it, no charge." Success--she laughs out loud, but comes to find me about an hour later.

"Would you really do that? Pull my tooth?"

"What, the pliers? Right."

"Yeah! I'm desperate here."

"You've got to be kidding. I can't pull out a molar with pliers!"

"Yes, you can! In fact, if you do it, I'll check off some of your nail services." Hmmm. Now she has my attention. I have to complete several artificial nail services to meet state requirements, but I’m not doing a single set more than the minimum, because I hate them and never intend to touch them once I get my license. The school expects me to complete three times as many sets as the state, so I’ve been getting out of the extras by trading my computer repair services in exchange for a check mark confirming I've done a full set. (Oh, don't get all uppity with me about it--I'm trapped in a building with people who give themselves tattoos with Bic pen ink and safety pins, people. I need to get out of here ASAP.)

That night I’m riffling through Michael's tool boxes, looking for just the right tool, when he walks in.

"Whatcha looking for, baby?"

"Pliars for pulling a tooth. Or maybe a vice grip..."

"Uh, did you say, "for pulling a tooth?"

"Mmm-hmmm. Which ones do you think would work best?"

"Could you explain what exactly you're talking about?"

"I'm going to pull out Miss Pam's tooth tomorrow. She can't afford a dentist and I'm gonna help her out."


"I figure I just need to get a good strong grip and then pull really hard."

"No way will you actually do it. No way will she LET you do it."

"I'm going to take both of these. I'll clean them up afterwards--promise."

"You are insane."

"Yes, but you can never call me boring."

"That is so true that it scares me."

The next day, a Friday, we wait until the afternoon slows down. Miss Pam takes a pill she had on hand, and we wait until she gets a little giggly. The student floor has been hopping with gossip and speculation on whether or not we're going through with this, but as she and I go into the facial room, it's suddenly completely quiet in anticipation. Miss Pam lies down on the bed, opens her mouth wide and shows me the trouble spot. A bridge that once covered two teeth is still connected to the remaining tooth. I think grabbing the bridge is the way to go. I give her a chance to back out, but she's talked herself into this. I reach the pliers into her mouth, secure them around the tooth, and pull.


"Sorry! The pliers slipped! Do you want me to try again?"

"Wes, pwease."

Two or three pulls later, she's bawling and I'm sweating. "Miss Pam, are you absolutely SURE about this?"

"WES. WES I'm surh!!! Wust bucking DO it!!!"

Fine. Okay. This time I’m gonna rip out that damn tooth. I look at the pliers, look at her tooth, then become inspired. It's just like waxing--it's all in the wrist! I need to put some power in the pull. I suddenly know I can do this. I reach in again, grab the bridge, and go for the gold. 1. 2. 3. YANK.

Suddenly I am holding up the pliers and staring at a huge, rotten, black-rooted back molar attached to a mangled bridge. Miss Pam's mouth is full of blood, and yet she is attempting to talk. She is…happy.

"Miwhel! Wank you! Oh, it weels bedder aweady! Wank you! Wank you so muth!"

The pair on the left did the trick.

I get her towels and sterile cotton, along with strict instructions to gargle with hydrogen peroxide and water several times a day over the weekend. This is my show, after all, and I am drunk with power. She leans over the sink to clean up and I go out to take a stroll around the floor with my trophy in hand. The endorphins have kicked in and I feel better, too. I just pulled out an adult tooth! And not just any tooth, but a freakin’ MOLAR! Not surprisingly, the hair and nail students are repulsed by my trophy, (they are such wusses) and only the esthetic students share my joy. See, we love picking at blackheads and tweezing ingrown hairs, so a rotten tooth is, like, the ultimate extraction.

Included solely because I think it's funny.

Later, I smugly hand over Michael's cleaned and sanitized pliers and relay my tale. He is incredulous and wildly amused, and I tease him mercilessly for doubting me. I am entirely too pleased with myself.

Over the weekend, I call a friend who's a dentist and ask if I can pay for Miss Pam to get checked out and see what can be done. He is also amused, and offers a free consultation. We schedule an appointment. Turns out, her teeth are in such bad shape that they all need to be pulled and replaced with dentures. He asks if she's interested in having him work on them, or would she prefer to stick with me? Funny guy. Cracks me up.

A healthy tooth is a happy tooth.

Eventually she finds out her cousin is in dental school in Portland, and she gets a mouth full of brand new, pretty white teeth. I won’t see her again for years, but I hope that whenever she sees a pair of pliers, she thinks about getting her tooth pulled in girl prison. I know I do.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

While pondering my father's move to Utah...

When my parents first became my neighbors, we needed to establish boundaries. Our house is about 350 yards from theirs, so while we weren't too close, there were still kinks to work out.

Example: Saturday afternoon, both Michael's car and my car are in the driveway. We are...busy. Very busy. Busily busy with our busy-ness. Smack in the middle of getting down to our busy-ness. Dad knocks on the door. He sees the cars and knows we're home. And so he keeps knocking. And knocking. And still he knocks.

We've been busily ignoring the knocking, but Michael is now distracted and highly irritated about it. He throws back the covers and gets out of bed. "I have HAD IT with your DAD."

"Michael, where...what...you aren't really going to...oh! NO! NOOOO!...Michael! For the love of..."

Bare-naked, very recently busy Michael throws the front door wide open. "What can I do for you, Dad?"

(Silence. In the distance, a bird sings.)

"...Uh, I can come back later."

"Good. Great. That is GREAT. I will see you later."

Fast forward twelve years: Dad is moving back to Utah and we will no longer be neighbors. In less than thirty days, Michael and I can finally get back to uninterruptable busy-ness, and that's okay by me.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Tooth Beautification

This week I'm getting braces--something every forty-something woman looks forward to like, I dunno, mammograms. It shouldn't be too bad, though, as they're clear (here's a shout-out: Thanks Invisalign!) I have eight sets of trays and will wear each set for two weeks, and when I'm done I'll be able to use the final set as custom-made bleaching trays. I'm certain the straightness and whiteness of my resulting smile will no doubt lead to world peace.

I really shouldn't complain, since I had the old-fashioned metal braces, complete with elastics and headgear, when I was a kid, and these new braces are sure to be far less painful. I need another go, however, because a) I threw away my retainers in college, and b) one of the last three car accidents I've been involved in damaged my bite and my teeth started moving, resulting in a gap a lot like Madonna's. (Let me interject--anyone who's ever experienced my driving might jump to the conclusion that these wrecks occurred as a result of my propensity towards speed, but you'd be wrong, so na na poo poo na na.) I wouldn't care so much, except the skin on the inside of my upper lip keeps getting pinched in the gap, which hurts crazy bad and causes me to cuss vehemently.

(Speaking of cussing, my friend Holls recently went to Vegas, where she and her boyfriend caught a Penn and Teller show and met the duo afterwards. Holls told Teller, the short and silent one, that she'd come to Vegas with but one desire: to hear him say aloud the F-word. He obliged her with a gratifyingly long sentence employing said word as a noun, a verb, an adjective, and an adverb enhancing an adjective. Nothing like giving back to the fans.)

Some people have said they like the gap, that it gives my face more character. Uh huh. But according to Chinese face reading, a gap between the two front teeth indicates either a risk taker, a spend thrift, or a person who has trouble making up their mind. This is a rather unsettling and revealing look at my personality, as I happen to be all three. Don't scoff at this stuff--even Shakespeare believed in it, and you don't question Shakespeare: "Your face, my thane, is a book where men may read strange matters." Makes me wonder if glaringly-obvious risk-taker Madge has someone else handling her fortune.

9th grade, 1979: Post braces.

So there's another reason why I need braces--my gap is allowing people to understand my negative personality tendencies far too well, at least people knowledgeable about Chinese Face Reading, and that could be anyone.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Feelin' the Pretty

Okay! Now I like my blog design. Crisis and crankiness resolved. Do you not agree that it is, as promised, pretty? Thanks, Pyzam, for the swell design!

I thought you might also enjoy the completely dork-like photo of me from second grade. Me mum made that dress for me and that's how I wore my hair for years--I didn't have a say in the matter. In our old bathroom, there was a double sink bathroom counter, and I had to lay down between the sinks to get my hair washed. My hair was so long and so fine and so curly that it was the only way Mom could get it under control. She'd pull it into braids so tight my eyes were slanted, and then insisted on putting SPF lotion on the center part so it wouldn't sunburn, so it'd look greasy. Alas, these are the traumas of my youth.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Cranky Spice

So this blog thing is new to me but I'm already completely addicted. Those of you who've been on my case for years to write (you know who you are) will now be free to enjoy my unsolicited opinions and ponderings on anything and everything. Thankfully, you'll have to voluntarily visit the blog to read them, which is much better than me assaulting your inbox with my ravings.

As is the case in so many areas of my life, I can't be bothered with the easy, simple, pre-packaged blog templates offered to me on the site. Nope. I have to search for one on the Internet that's pretty (and it's all about the pretty, people) but requires me to make changes to over forty lines of HTML code. Code that I screwed up somehow. And Michael is going crazy watching me try to do it because this code writing is what he pays other people to do for him, only they know what they're doing. And so it doesn't look very pretty on screen at the moment, but it's pretty in my head and THAT'S WHAT COUNTS.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The future's so bright...

Michael's mom was laid to rest today, and although I wasn't able to go, Michael tells me it was a beautiful thing. Sarah Phyllis Wilding Eldridge was a force to be reckoned with--she loved her family dearly and worked hard every day of her life. She lived to see 90 years, has more progeny than I can count and they're still going strong. In fact, on the day of her passing, her first great great grandchild was born. Yeah, two greats! I understand the service was sweet, and even sweeter was the fact that all six of her sons, who have argued constantly and competed with each other their entire lives, got along without a single cross word all day, not even during the reading of the will. Michael said this miracle alone was proof to him that there is a God.

Anyway, there was a viewing prior to the service for people to see her one last time. One of the great-grandkids mentioned that she didn't look like herself, and they realized it was because she wasn't wearing her glasses. Someone fetched them from the car and quickly placed them on her face. But what no one considered was that her glasses were the kind that turn dark in sunlight, and being in the car and exposed to the sun, they were as dark as possible and, apparently, slow to change to clear. So Michael glanced over at her, and there she was, laid out in a gorgeous casket, dressed in her temple whites, and wearing shades. Seems a fitting way to go.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Coffee Break Spanish

So my new obsession is the free podcasts on Itunes--I've discovered old time radio programs, art museum tours, excellent fiction from the New Yorker, and my very favorite: Coffee Break Spanish! Hola! Mi habla espanol! Vamos a la playa! Mira la television con mi familia! Donde esta mis llaves?!? (Hi! I speak Spanish! Let's go to the beach! I watch television with my family! Where are my keys?!?) Interestingly enough, the program originates from Scotland, so I get a two for one on the accent practice. I listen to it and repeat the words as I'm told, so the folks stopped alongside me at the red lights think I'm one of those crazy people who talk to themselves in the car. Loca en el coche.

The podcast focuses on a particular topic of conversation. They recite it in Spanish, then go back over it in English in small bits to cover new words, tenses, and slang. I minored in Spanish years ago and was immersed in it enough that my dreams were in Spanish and I was translating song lyrics as I listened to the radio. Alas, I had no one to talk to and lost a lot, so I'm happy and surprised to realize how much of the conversations I can understand right away.

(Aw, my guy just made me a PBH--a Peanut Butter and Honey Sandwich. It's one of my favorite comfort foods, and he actually whips the PB and H together, like honey butter, which makes it taste EVEN BETTER. He knows I like the spread to go all the way to the edges of the bread and always remembers to do it. Note to self: learn how to say "Thanks, babe, you rock my world and look hot with your new haircut" in Espanol.)

Hey...one of my FRIENDS should subscribe to Coffee Break Spanish, and then we can CHAT! One thing, though--I've always thought it's so rude for people to purposely speak a foreign language in front of people who don't know it, (you know who you are) so we wouldn't be able to talk about somebody right in front of them (i.e. "El pelo de Hillary es feo! Bleck!" or "Si! Si! El pelo de Hillary es feo MUY feo! Ha Ha Ha!")

Speaking of talking about people right in front of them, there was a group of girls in college who adored sign language, and would sign stuff about you right while you stood there--like a person can't figure that the puffed cheeks, rounded arms, and slumping belly aren't referring to the poor fat kid innocently walking toward the bookstore to buy himself a box of floppy disks and a Butterfinger. Those girls needed a hobby, though, as sitting next to the tuba player in band was as close as they ever got to dates in college. I took Sign Language 101, but was so terrified of being identified with them in any way that I didn't continue. Besides, translating Bette Midler lyrics into sign language just ain't my thang.

A few months ago, I noticed a possible new twist on this nasty habit--text messaging about someone right in front of them. I was at a BBQ and noticed that two quiet, techie-type girls at opposite sides of the table were busily typing away, making smirky faces and sharing knowing glances. I've no idea if they were actually doing what I suspected they were, or who they may have been texting about (certainly not ME, unless they were jealously wishing they had my sparkling wit and perky party banter) but it got me thinking. Don't get me wrong, I'm not innocent in all of this, nor am I above a wickedly subtle eye-roll or a superior-feeling raised eyebrow in front of someone I consider to be as dumb as a box of rocks. I like to considerately wait until the person is out of hearing-range before I say "¿Vio usted lo que ella llevaba? (Did you SEE what she's wearing?!?) It just seems to be a more polite form of rudeness.

adiĆ³s para ahora!