Not just baleful - BALEFUL

Monday, July 30, 2007

Sunday I rose at 3:40 am. I arrived via taxi to O'Hare airport at 4:40 a.m. I took a flight from Chicago to Washington-Dulles. I arrived at 8:30 a.m.

And then I spent the next 16 hours at Dulles.

Was it the 2 hours on the tarmac in the plane who shut off the AC to "conserve fuel"?( which BTW airline - not reassuring to the passengers to imply that your fuel levels might be in question)


Was it the recall to our gate as I reached the FRONT of customer service at 2:45 p.m., with an implication that we were about to re board and fly away instead of be canceled as my gut told me we were about to be?

Hell, nah.

Was it the security sirens that would go off when employees would incorrectly swipe their cards and go through doors - followed with no one in particular being concerned as the sirens continued to go off for upwards of 45 minutes - in which time I could have chased down airplanes by foot?

Nah, a little Advil helped with the bleeding ear drums and temporary hearing loss.

Was it the 2 hours I stood in line at Customer service while moving 15 feet before giving up due to extreme hunger after my flight was "officially" canceled at 6 p.m.?
(I am not exaggerating when I say this line was EASILY a mile plus long...)


Gate attendant who didn't want to guarantee my bags would get to me in Montreal cause that is, you know - International....?

Heck, no.

It was the gates changes - 4 - in rapid succession at 11 p.m. It was like Lord of the Fly Lemmings meets Dawn of the Dead Zombies as 200 people - young, old, infirm RAN from Gate Gate C11 to Gate C4....and then back to Gate C11 - all jockeying for position in line, often reaching the front of the line at one gate before being told they could no longer be served at that gate - only to find that faster people had attained the front of the line at the new gate, and then running back down the hall when the gate changed again.....

It was the decline of Western civilization encapsulated in the microcosm of Terminal C at Washington-Dulles airport. I half expected to see Piggy being eaten in the corner of the room. In fact, I can't guarantee that didn't happen later in the evening....

If I didn't know better....

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I would think that Terrance was positively joyful at my leaving for BlogHer....


Maybe Vlad will interview other Bloggers? Hmmmmmm......

Dear Pituitary Gland:

Monday, July 23, 2007

I would like you to cease and desist the hormone responsible for sending these odd black hairs to grow in undesired places.

I'm not kidding.

Baleful Regards,



Friday, July 20, 2007

Ah, Sarah, Ah, smart.

Now here is a secret....I am not nervous about BlogHer this year. Last year? Oh hell yes. This year? Meh, not so much.

Not because I am all THAT, but shit people. I had a major freaking meltdown over the past year. I lost my fucking mind. Literally. And I told you all about it!

(I think we can all sleep better knowing that I too did not sign the "no swearing" clause. I don't even have a "no swearing" clause in front of my child so why the fuck would I do it for anyone else?)

It isn't as if I am not awed by my bloggy crushes either. I still would love to just give Heather a big hug and tell her that she will get through all of it instead of simply staring at her from across the room...and I practically tripped over myself trying to get Eden to laugh at something I said last year while buying her t-shirts ....

But as I said to Nancy in an email recently.... I got nothing to prove. Zippo. Nada. Nothing. You all know I am weird and quirky and prone to disappearing at odd times. I may drink too much and tell off color stories ( Hey Izzy, You laughed so hard at my "You are 40 years old, Don't tell me you don't know the difference between my ass and my cooch! last year - How brave of you to be my room mate this year!)

I may stay up until the sun rises and see Sasquatch with you.

Sue has a great post about the nervousness around BlogHer and how unfounded it is. Honestly. I will be so glad to see friends from last year, and friends I have yet to meet.

Everything will be just fine.

So without further ado, here is my 10 second intro....

* I am the person you want on your team for trivial pursuit type games. I store VAST amounts of obscure, useless information in my brain.

* I am actually licensed to teach K-6

* I own more pajama sets than one person really should...Both winter sets and summers sets. I love quirky pajamas, as they are my main clothing at home. I would walk around in my pajamas all the time if I could.

* The whole "grunge rock" thing missed me entirely. Although I was in my third year of college, I just didn't get it - at all.

* I go fucking bugshit over good coconut cake.

* I own most of the Harry Potter books ( hardcover) in both their American and British release versions. Which are in fact slightly different.

It isn't the moving objects, it's the ones that stay still

Friday, July 13, 2007

I think he may be trying to kill me.

Of course, in his view - I may deserve it. I did, After all, manage to hit an immovable object AGAIN with the car. The only car that is currently running. Since his car is in the shop. Again.

All right, all right. I have a bit of a "history" with hitting immovable objects. Starting on the first day that I had my now older new car. I backed it directly into my old car. Denting it. Nothing too major but you know the whole "can't have nothing nice" speech? Um, yeah. I got that speech. And the dent buffed out.

The car is a Concorde - 2000. It is Massive. A boat of a car that I did not choose, but which I accepted as graciously as I could. This thing is like driving the automotive equivalent of an aircraft carrier - Long in a funny way with a tail end that sticks WAY the hell out.

While is was okay to drive in New Hampshire, it is an unholy terror to drive in Montreal. The size alone makes parking ( nearly all parallel) nigh unto impossible. Add in the capricious whims of Montreal drivers, and the roads which have been actually compared to those of a third world country (Really, they have) and it is honestly a bit of a minor miracle that I haven't hit MORE things.

Dying to know what I hit aren't you?

The corral for shopping carriages, in the Walmart parking lot.

I will pause as you laugh, snort and otherwise picture me hitting this thing...and looking genuinely surprised. Especially as I was pulling into not ONE, but TWO open parking spaces!!! It did not help that an elderly gentleman of African ( as in FROM Africa) then came over and began what I believe was empathizing, but I couldn't understand what he was saying. I am pretty sure the "F" word was used - out loud. At least twice.

There was much crying and rending of hair and gnashing of teeth as I placed the phone call home. I began my greeting with " You are going to scream at me, but I am asking you to keep that to a minimum...all right?" It went downhill from there.

Then I - like anyone in a similar situation - took to my bed for nearly a day. Very Stuart Smalley-esque.

So, of course, I am suspicious of his suggestion I take shower during the lightening storm this morning. I tell him of my family and our long oral tradition warning against the showering of people during natural ( or unnatural) electrical events.

He denounces my old fashioned white people beliefs. I then invite him to go ahead and shower first. He declines.

My victory, although silent, is confirmed.

What's That Tingle?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Note to self:

If you have rubbed your husbands back with "odorless" Ben Gay and you THINK you have thoroughly washed your hands..


Wait an hour or so before you wash your face.

You'd think I had learned this lesson before...

Father of mine

Sunday, July 08, 2007

The last time I saw my father, I was 13 years old.

He was supposed to pick my brother and I up at my mother's house in Vermont. He was late and I was impatient becuase I had turned down a friends boy-girl party to wait for him.

It had been at least 2 years since our last visitation at that point. My mother had a brand new baby with the man she would later marry. My brother was not quite ten.

While I remembered what he looked like, I also didn't. I mean...the eyes of an eleven year old girl recall her father being huge. Massive. All Encompassing. Larger than life.

My father was a Marine, by choice. He enlisted during Vietnam. This added a layer of toughness that was unmistakable. I was drilled with the Marine corp code. Always faithful. First ones in, last ones out. The shotgun was put in my hands when I was six and he laughed when the recoil knocked me down. When I began to cry, he called me a baby and demanded that I get back up and do it again. This is similar, apparently to the way he taught me to not touch medicine. He held it out to me, offering. As I reached out to take it, he smacked my hand. After several attempts, I gave up, hand stinging. Lesson learned and noted.

These memories are tempered with the moments when he was a tender and loving father. I recall after my brother was born, he came home, got me dressed, painted my nails, took me to dinner and a movie. He told me that he loved me and that I was his daughter, his first child.

This is the same man who, in a fit of rage, shot my dogs to death one winter night because they were barking. My mother had to clean the bloody snow up before I woke up. I was told that Candy and Karen had run away. Or after telling me that I had been a naughty girl, hid all of the Christmas presents as I napped. I woke up to find everything gone. Santa, I was informed, had changed his mind and taken everything back. I was five.

Some of my ability to closely observe people came from living with him. His moods needed to be monitored closely. I learned to read him. I learned how to stay quiet and watch. I never moved first, but planned my counter move in response to the first move of his whims. For instance, you never woke him up by approaching him by the side of his body - always from the top, near his head. He tended to punch as he woke up, and I had gotten socked in the gut enough to know better.

I wonder sometimes what he looks like now, and have occasionally pondered making the drive back to the Ohio valley where I was born to see for myself. I am no longer a little girl seeing him as a demi-god. Was he tall, or is that just how I remember him? I remember that he had black hair and brown eyes. My brother resembles him, and yet doesn't. My brother has a sense of humor, a tenderness about him that my father never exuded.

I doubt that he remembers the same things that I remember. I suspect that years of drug and alcohol use have dulled his memories. I tend to wonder if he would even recognize me if I walked out into the driveway of my grandparents house. I struggle with the line between bravery and fear. Am I brave enough to open the light of reality onto him, bright rays chasing out the foggy images I hold from more than twenty years ago? Or does it speak of more bravery to walk away from this man, shutting and bolting the door, then bricking the wall so that he and his kind never reach out to my daughter?

Would seeing him as a 57 year old man make me pity him - the logic and reality of all these years of therapy to undo his carnage showing me that he is a damaged human being who could neither help nor understand the impact of his actions? That he is a frightened abused little boy?

When I first started my therapy when I was 18, I tried for a year to understand. To be compassionate. To tell myself that my parents did the best with what they had. I was trying to absolve and forgive before I had even unveiled the litany of wrongs. Imagine my relief when my therapist told me that I didn't have to forgive him. That the things I had experienced, the abuses of my trust in a parent, the abuses of my body, the abuses of my mental and physical well being - well. They were unforgivable.

That is how I began to heal. I didn't have to forgive. I didn't have to be the bigger person.

And now...Well, I sometimes dream of him. I dream of my grandmothers house. I dream that he sees me pulling into the driveway and that I walk in to find him. Sometimes we talk in these dreams, but more often we don't. I sometimes wake from these dreams to wonder what his reaction to me today would be. I envision my brother and I walking in to that house, side by side. His children - we who look so familiar and yet are not at all known to him.

I fear that by humanizing him, by actually seeing him in the flesh,I would have to forgive him. I would see a man. A human man. I would realize that I am far stronger than he could have ever imagined and that his hold over me was too long mythologized in my creation story. I would see that rather than being God, he was just a bit player with a few random lines. I would see that he, in fact, did not cast me from an imaginary Eden...but that I walked out of the gates of my own free will free from any vestiges of sin.

My baby is a serial killer

Friday, July 06, 2007

A Blog Called Malice!

Haha. See what I did there? Used the last post title and changed it a smidge?

Sorry. I need to make the little jokes.

I started this post as an email to the DSS group. I still may send it out to them, I haven't yet decided.

It's True Wife.

I am conflicted.

It is as if My baby has grown into something I don't like anymore. However, like all the best co-dependent relationships - I still NEED it. It is - somewhat sadly - how I am making a majority of my income right now.

And it is about to go onto Lifetime's web site. Excerpts only, but with links back.

So - the other day, a confession comes in regarding another confession. In it, there is an implication that I made negative comments about the poster. Then it called the site ugly.

So first, I got mad - cause that is what I do. I mean, I assure you - if I wanted to talk trash, I would do it. How dare this person insinuate that I was bashing her. ME!?! Hah! I am the least bashy person ev-ah. Unless you are taking too long at the ATM. And even then, I temper it with humor. I mean, it's MY issue, really.

And then I realized that Yes. The site is ugly - sometimes. But it is also beautiful, sometimes. I mean, a few confessions ago there was one about a woman who was diagnosed with Herpes while pregnant and she was very angry with her husband - accusing him of cheating.

The comments that came in were the essence of what I love about TWC. It was a virtual hand hold. A "Yes, this may be true, but there are lots of other things to consider..." and sharing of personal information and stories. No one absolved him of the possibility that he had given her this virus, but at the same time there was compassion and information and humanity shared.

THAT is what I have always loved about TWC. That is why I have refused to censor the confessions, even if I find something personally sketchy. I mean, who am I - really? Just a chick writing on the internet. I have ideas. I sometimes follow through on those ideas. I sometimes hate my life. I sometimes love my life. I have had enough life experience to know that things aren't always what they seem and that the most damage I have done to myself was during times when I was pretending to be something, someone that I am not.

And now? I feel like one of my kids has become the John Wayne Gacy of blogs. Ugly. And I don't like it.

And I don't know what to do.

Town called Malice

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Well, maybe not a whole TOWN....maybe just the thought of my high school reunion. High school reunion called malice...

(I dare you to make a fucking musical out of THAT, Disney)

Nancy recently was talking about her upcoming High School Reunion. Year 20. How she dreads it, even though I don't think she is going. This spun my mind to thinking about MY high School reunion and how it is next year. Also year 20.

Now, at year 10 - 1998 - I was 3 months post delivery of Emily. I had a shiny new baby. I had a still somewhat shiny newish husband. I had a decent job in my field. I had been published. I felt pretty damn good. I looked all right, for having monstrous nursing boobs.

In addition, I had no alcohol tolerance. Two glasses of wine and I can only recall snippets of the evening. Suffice it to say that at one point, I do recall saying "So, too bad I wasn't voted most likely to marry the only black guy in Vermont..."

Not long after, I think Terrance cut me off.

After reading Nancy's post, I was in the car with Terrance. I was telling him about her feelings - and by extrapolation - MY feelings.

This is when I announced my real intentions.

"I plan on going to my high school reunion to show how AWESOME I am!"

This got his attention. He stopped ignoring me and perked up. "What?", he said.

"Me..... AWESOME...... I plan on going to my 20th year reunion to show how AWESOME I turned out... Suck on that Be-iotches!"

He frowned at me.

Now, it has been long agreed upon in my house that Terrance IS the better person. More responsible. Kinder. Polite. Selfless.

Not me. I am the person to yell "Suck on that, be-iotches" at people. If I could peel out and splatter mud on them, I think I would.

"Dawn. First of all, what do you have to be so boastful about being awesome? and secondly - you plan on going back and telling people that you have been holding some sort of grudge for 20 years and you hope their lives suck? Really? I can't believe that you are so petty."

I turned and stared at him. About 70% of the time, I back down at this speech. I mean, it IS petty. I should be far more adult than this.

But, like the scorpion on the back of the frog.....I can't help it. It's my nature.
On this day, I rose to the challenge.

"I have an awesome internet Empire. I will be 3/4ths of the way to my PhD. I may not be skinny but I fucking rock. I mean - my shoes ALONE! I live in Montreal for Christ sakes! I'm smart and funny and I win at life! I know it's petty, but I don't care. I have these people etched in my MIND. I know their names. I have a mental list!!!"

He sighs, deeply. He has never understood this need of mine. However, his is the ignorance of being one of the popular kids. He was liked by everybody. His high school life was smooth and uneventful.

I, on the other hand, mentally took down names. There are people I would like to corner in a dimly lit room and lord my awesome-ness over them. Of course, in thinking about this I wonder....Am I on someone's mental list? Was I the person someone else marked down as wanting to have a talk with - 20 years later?

So, while the many-years-in-therapy-adult in me knows I should mingle and be gracious and warm, for these people have stories I did not know, reasons for why they did things they may have done, life experiences which may have damaged and scarred them...the 18 year old has some names on a list and she has had 20 years to perfect her proof of why she is better. Smarter. Funnier.


Spider of Damocles

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Apparently you didn't get the memo that I passed out to all spiders upon moving here a year ago.

The rule is very firm. I tolerate you, in your shower corner perch....and you are not to come down anywhere near me as I shower. This rule has been observed without incident for many years with many of your friends and relations.

I do not kill you. I do not throw hot water at you. I do not scream.

You, in return - STAY PUT. We can maintain human eye to anrachnid compound eye contact at all times, just to make sure that the rules are being obeyed. A De-spiderized zone, if you will.

Imagine my consternation upon turning and finding you at about nose level as I showered this morning. All right, it was very early afternoon, but who are you - my mother? I was in the shower for crying out loud. I had already done a load of laundry and washed the dishes. What is it to you when I get myself into the shower? Geesh.

At any rate, upon turning after my initial "wet down", There you were.

I maintained my agreed upon silence. I spoke to you in a fairly calm voice, given the situation. I directed a gentle puff of air in your direction. As if to say "Hey, Spider. Hustle it back up to the corner. You have no business here."

Apparently, in your spider handbook, this was an invitation to descend a little further. No. No and No again. This is not part of our agreement. When I am IN the shower, naked and wet....

{and hey spider, thanks for all the pervs THIS search term will bring to my blog. It is bad enough that the labia picture, Brazilian wax wanting, meth addicted shiv making shankers peruse my thoughts. Now this. Lets give them a treat. Anal! Donkey! Elves! Foot job! }

You are to maintain the agreed upon distance from me. There is no "hey, maybe this is the time to check out which shampoo she is choosing today" moment for you. Shit - check it out all you want when I am not in the shower. Take a swim in it. I don't care - but not when I am in there.

I next moved to the actual Verbal commands.

"DUDE! WHAT THE FUCK? GET BACK UP ONTO THE CEILING!!" as I puffed vigorously in your now wildly swinging spider body direction.

Still no affirmative response from you. Maybe you are dead?

I stopped puffing and moved back under the water. I waited.

And you unfurled yourself, did a little spidery about face and looked at me.

"Please", I said. "Don't make me kill you - just get back up where you belong and we will be fine. I realize the irony that I have about a billion times the size on you and yet I am the one huddled in fear. It must be very empowering, but PLEASE, Go." *

and the spider hesitated.

And crawled back up onto the ceiling.

Where instead of going to the corner, he/she SAT on the ceiling directly above my head. Not moving for the rest of the shower. Reveling in his/her victory as the flabby and pale human hastily finished showering and fled.

* Sadly, Yes. I did have an actual conversation with the spider. I wish I made these things up...but I don't.

Dear New Hampshire:

Monday, July 02, 2007

It has been a year since we broke up. Leaving you was far harder than I ever imagined and I almost dropped everything and came back to you, although I must admit that at a year out there are things that I don't miss so much.

I do not miss NASCAR. I know, who would have thought! I do not long for Jeff Gordon life size cutouts greeting me at the grocery store. I do not miss the massive stickers which covered the backs of trucks. I do not wish to gaze upon various jackets, t-shirts, hats or other pieces of "clothing" which bear various logos and numbers. Montreal is remarkably NASCAR free. Hockey? Hell yes, but even that seems somehow tamer than the whole NASCAR thing. Did you hear that? Montreal Hockey fans seem LESS rabid that New Hampshire NASCAR fans.

I do, however, miss Dunkin Donuts with a passion which is re-ignited every time I cross the border. I know exactly where the closest Dunkin Donuts is in Vermont. I drive there and get my coffee. Ordered exactly how I know how to order coffee. And it tastes perfect. How do you do that Dunkin Donuts? Is there crystal meth in your coffee? I practically overdosed during the weekend of my brothers wedding in Boston. Emily kept commenting on happy I looked with my massive iced coffee plastic cup. When I get back to Montreal, I tell tales in my local Second Cup of the wonder of the American iced coffee. You can feel the polite Canadian barista's trying to not tell me to shut the fuck up as I go On and On about the beauty and wonder of the Dunkin Donut coffee. But they don't. Cause they are Canadian. And Canadians are generally very polite people. Even when they are telling me that they already know I am American...they do it Politely.

I do not miss politics. The never ending political conversation with the undeniable conservative bent that IS New Hampshire. I do not miss debates. I do not miss the
phone calls polling me on who I plan on supporting. I do not miss being an obvious Democrat in a Republican state. You know what? There are DAYS that go by that I don't see a picture of GW Bush. And I don't miss that AT ALL.

I do not miss your lack of fashion. I know, I am the kettle calling the pot ebony. I am not a fashionable woman, and yet DAMN! WHO KNEW that there was a world of clothing and style and Man-grooming out there that was not covered by LL Bean and Gap.

I do miss, however, your relatively cheap gasoline. When I last got gas down the road it was $1.14 A LITER. Calculate that you damn users of the standard English pounds and measures. Yeah. I also miss Fahrenheit. This Celsius stuff still messes me up. Because I am a lame American, I have a program on my computer which converts Celsius to Fahrenheit. Oh and on the topic of gasoline....Someone needs to have a word with the Quebecois about the etiquette of a gas station. It's all willy nilly here.

So, New Hampshire, like a boyfriend who was great in bed - but terrible everywhere else? I save you for my fond daydreamy times, knowing that the break up was the best thing I could have done. Hard but needed.

It wasn't you, I swear. It's me.
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