Monday, May 27, 2013

It was a fine holiday weekend.

Until I broke the base off one of the last two wine glasses that belonged to family friends that are long dead.  I have been nursing those glasses along for 25 years.  I started with 6 and now there is one.  I have no idea how it even happened, it was as if the base was just suddenly OFF.

Like the fellow in the Monty Python skit.
The leg was off, bitten by the tiger and  the base of the wineglass off, and in the trash.

I didn't want to think about it too much because I am getting better about not being all hoardy and crazy and attached. 

I am almost a Buddhist in my lack of attachment.

That is a bold faced lie, I am nothing even close to a Buddhist, but I am trying hard not to cling to things so much or so often. 

Today I was washing dishes and I noticed that my mother had given Rolf a beer stein and I was annoyed, mostly because those heavy things always fall over a break other things in the dish rack. 
Just when I was thinking that thought,just after speaking on the phone to my father about a chair belonging to the grandmother with the Firestone dishes,  the stupid stein toppled over and crushed a beloved Firestone custard cup and it smashed into the sharpest shards of glass I had ever seen and sliced my ring-finger deeply, causing it to bleed like crazy.

This all happened just before Freyja's friend Charlotte was to arrive for a playdate and just when I was about to make Freyja a tuna salad sandwich, except with lettuce leaves instead of bread. 

So there I am with this profusely bloody and bleeding finger, wrapped in an IKEA napkin, and a hungry child and shards of glass sprayed around the room, and blood dripping on the worn out shitty looking kitchen floor.

I got out the vacuum because I am afraid the kids and animals are going to get cut.
I am vacuuming up the glass when Charlotte and her mom arrive.
Luckily, Charlotte's mom is the sort of person that doesn't judge you by your worn kitchen floor, or pooling blood. She did offer to get me a band-aid from her car, which was nice, but I was happy enough with the napkin for the time being.

I explained the whole tuna salad/ custard cup situation and my mother's propensity to give heavy mugs.

I had to cut my ranting short to prepare the tuna salad, because we all know how Freyja can be when she's hungry.

I had been having a sort of weepy day; one of those days when you don't feel good or bad, but like something might happen to push to needle to the other side of the dial, one way or the other.  That kind of day.
 I suddenly remembered that Rolf's girlfriend  had repaired a glass Christmas ornament for me.  Which naturally led me to rummage through the trash in search of the broken wineglass.
Which in turn brought me into contact with the shattered custardcup which caused me to cut the hell out of my other finger, which triggered the memory of me, changing the catbox late last night and putting the garbage-bag, containing the glass into the outside can.

I love those family friends.

I love that wineglass, but there is no way I will ever dig through kittylitter to retrieve it.

So, there you go.

It's gone.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

indecent exposure

I was at a home visit Monday, making up a fee chart for a client when she noticed a man in her side yard with his pants down. 

He was just standing there, blank faced, maybe peeing, maybe not, it was hard to tell. 

I suggested throwing something out the window at him,  like the pot of hot coffee she had just made, but she called her husband, who was sleeping upstairs. 

Her husband, a burly, cheerful fellow came bounding down the stairs.

"There's a guy outside with his dick in his hand! "

So off the husband goes to investigate, while his agitated wife yells instructions out the window.

"tell him to stay the $#%^ off our property!"

stay off our property!

"Tell him you are going to *&^% him up"

or I am going to %$#^ you up!

"Tell him, he is a nasty mother*&^%#$" 

You are a nasty mother(*&^%^!

At some point it became clear to me that this fellow is a neighbor, a neighbor from an otherwise nice family, I am told.

Why you want to be showing your dick to this nice lady, that is just here trying to help people and shit?  

It was the grandest display of chivalry I had seen displayed on my behalf in a long time.  Eventually dickman staggered off and things quieted down.

When I got back to the office I told my boss what had happened. 

The first time someone exposed himself to me in Portland, was 1978. Downtown Portland was a real dump in the 70's. 

Oddly enough Mark and I had watched the news the night before and there was a story about a sex offender that has been rubbing against women on the bus.  He also had a history of cutting women's hair and super gluing,

I'm not sure if he super glues the hair, or what, I missed that part of the story.

Mark said,  
every woman I know, every girlfriend I have ever had has had that happen.

The exposing, not the super gluing.

I told him about the time I was sitting in a bus shelter, downtown in front of Meir and Frank and the guy next to me was pulling down his pants. 
I just got up and walked away. 
What can you really do?  Downtown Portland was kind of a dump in the 80's.
In another bus shelter, the one next to paranoid park, another fellow was openly masturbating next to Leo and I while we were sitting there.  
We were facing the other way and didn't notice at first.  Leo poured a cup of soda on him and we rushed off.  It is an image burned into my brain, even though I didn't feel particularly traumatized, more annoyed and revolted. 
Another time, when I had fallen asleep on the bus, I awoke to a man rubbing my feet.  
That was terribly upsetting.  It was the icing on the top of a very bad night cake. 
Don't touch my fucking feet! 

At that moment on the bus, I wished very much that I had some tough guy, with me,  to beat up the foot toucher, but I was all alone, so I moved up and sat near the driver.  It was a long ride from downtown to Lake Oswego.

You are going to get me killed someday

Is what Mark has said, more than once, when I needed him to yell at someone for me.  Fortunately no one has pulled his pants down since I have been married to him.  
 He did have to yell at the rude bank customer service guy two weeks ago, which made me feel much better.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Lighten up while you still can


My mother is driving me crazy.

Yesterday she brought me a large pile of clothes.

Not a single thing was anything I would ever wear.

My mother worries about me and she expresses her worry by doing things like bringing me weird clothing and home furnishings. She means well. 

The problem is that when my mother gives me something, it is symbolic of something she perceives is lacking in my personality.

In this case, she is worried that I will go to work dressed in the yoga pants and threadbare brown sweater she often sees me wearing at home.

I wear the sweater because I like it, and no one sees me at home and my house is old and chilly.

My mother is terribly disturbed by this particular sweater, despite the fact that I have reassured her over and over that I do not wear it to work.

I know my mother well and can see the wheels of her mind turning.

She is just waiting for the day that I am sacked for looking frumpy. 

What can I do to help.   

Help in this case means- you are fat and unkempt and I can't stand it.

I don't know, I never really felt bad about my appearance until you mentioned it.    

Last week she forced me to go to a nail salon with her.  My cuticles were disturbing.  She has not in 45 year made the connection between her badgering me and my nail biting.

I tired on the pile.  I was a reasonably good sport, for someone that had been blindsided by a pile of hideous clothing.  

  I will never wear a short beige dress.

My mother is thin, naturally.  She has long slim legs.  
I have short stumpy peasant legs, even at my thinnest, my legs look like they belong to a Polish woodcutter.  
I don't find this particularly bothersome; my mother has brought me a parade of knee length dresses and skirts that have haunted me my entire life.  
I am not someone that is cut out to wear shifts

I wear long dramatic skirts and dresses with fitted bodices that show off my small waist. I have a great bust, a lovely neck, a beautiful back. I have naturally perfect teeth.   I am happy with all of that.  

Put  me in a boxy shift and I look like a mental patient from the turn of the century, regardless of how cute the dress may be, on me it will look like a hospital gown.

I try to look on the bright side. At least she cares...

I am going to go wrap up in my brown sweater and do some sun salutations in my yoga pants and repeat my mantra this is not real life, this does not define you, and hopefully feel less ugly in a little while.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Clown Car

We are selling Mark's  Honda Civic to Mario, the window guy's helper.  We recently got new windows, thankfully, or we may never have unloaded that old car!

The car has been sitting in our driveway since November, when the tags expired, prior to the expiration there had been a good deal of smoke coming out of the tailpipe.

Mario seems to be a handy fellow and has assured us that he can fix the smoking problem.

Last night we stayed up until midnight searching for the title.

Wading through 15 years of paperwork.

A messy tribute to our life together.

Piles in brown paper bags.

Stuffed into drawers.

I finally found the title folded in thirds and tucked in with some old medical records.

"I'm really glad you aren't dead.  I would be totally pissed if I had to go through all of this alone."

The reality of our extreme disorganization is amplified anytime there is a serious reason for needing important papers.

We never reform.
We remain steadfastly disorderly.
I was proud that neither one of us was snappish, that is a big deal.
We tend to be cranky.

"I am feeling sentimental about selling the car." Mark said.

No surprise there, Mark is sentimental over stuff, not unlike me.  I like different kinds of stuff, but in the end we are hopeless hoarders.

"I might never have married you, without that car." which is not true at all, but I like to say that when I met Mark, I vowed to go against type.

I would stop dating artsy types without jobs, dental insurance, cars or bathmats.

He had all of that stuff and so I could green light the relationship. 

I had dated men with cars before, of course, but his car was reasonably new, ran reliably and wasn't held together with bungee cords.

The man I dated briefly, until I met Mark, was a psychiatric nurse. He worked with people that had attempted suicide.  He was chronically depressed and drove a 1968, purple Volvo, which I adored.  He totaled it one afternoon after working a double shift, driving while tried.  He happened to be drinking a beer at the time.  He was not drunk, he was just driving around on a hot day, with a beer between his knees, and someone hit him, or he hit them, but in the end the car was trashed and he got into trouble over the beer, but not as much trouble as I thought he might.  He made me very nervous, with his devil may care beer drinking and overly tiredness, otherwise I liked him well enough.  He did not own a bathmat.  He did have excellent teeth.

Before the nurse I had a long, tortured relationship with the badman, who did not own a car, or a bathmat.  He was a compulsive gambler and totally unpredictable, wildly irresponsible, yet I loaned him my car on a regular basis, for years.
It was like my form of gambling- will he come home tonight, so I can go to work in the morning?
For some reason, I, someone that hates to loan anything, ever, felt totally comfortable with the badman driving my car.
I never thought twice about it.
He worked through the night waiting tables, or occasionally playing music, and would leave me a note in the kitchen, indicating where the car was parked.
Sometimes he stayed up after his shift, smoking at the breakfast bar in my kitchen, until I got up for work, "the car is on Everett, across from the gas station."
It was a different type of life. A life so supremely unsuitable for marriage or children that I can't imagine that I lived it.

When I met my friend Don, he had never driven.  Not even as a teen in his parent's car.  Having grown up poor in a family with five kids, driving was just not in the cards.  He moved to Boston for college, where having a car would have been an unnecessary expense. So I taught him to drive at the ripe old age of 24.  I taught him to drive a stick shift, ensuring him, as my mother had me, "if you can drive a stick, you can drive anything!" I was not a patient teacher, but he learned and is still careening around Portland.

In high school I dated two boys who drove.  One was a terribly mean preppie in an orange Volkswagen square-back, and the other my dear sweet long term love, with a Volkswagen van.   The sweetie taught me to drive, when my mother bombed out on the task.  Her primary teaching method involved yelling "WHOA"  every few minutes, without further instruction.  I failed the test once before passing and getting my license.  I failed because I stalled.  That seemed sort of unfair to me, because if I had taken the test in an automatic, it would have been a lot easier.  I felt that I should have been given some type of bonus points for being brave enough to take the test on a stick shift.  The teacher didn't see it my way.

So now we are selling off the car that Mark drove from Austin to Portland in, in 1996.  The car we drove to Sauvie Island's bird sanctuary in on our first date.  I'm happy it's going to a nice man, rather than to the junk yard. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

A little Spotty

Have you checked out Spotify?

Of course you have.

I had NOT, but I love it now!

I can listen to any music I want for free.


So right now I am listening to "wig in a box" from Hedwig and the angry inch, which I find oddly relatable, odd because, I have never worn a wig, nor had a sex change.

Life is strange.

I dare you not to sing along.

and on a related note, there is this old thing.