Friday, March 30, 2012

Don't read this. The sirens just went off.

Dinner was at Momma's tonight.  Every time I'm with her, I want to be closer to her.  When I'm in her presence, I'd agree to almost anything, so long as it put me closer to her. 

I found myself watching her tonight, looking for signs.  Signs of where I've come from, and where I'm going.  I see my lines in her lips and eyes - hers are where mine are going.  I want to know everything she's ever seen, touched, tasted, heard, thought.  All of it.  I could spend the rest of my life by her side and not know it all.  Especially the parts she doesn't want to share.  Which is most of it, I fear.

She knows Zanzibar.  Z-bar, she called it.  She used to do shots there, with so and so from the hairdresser board, back in the seventies.  Do I even know this woman?  She said we should go there on my birthday, and do shots.  My mother.  "I can't do shots, Momma, I get too drunk."  "Me too, Nat.  You do those five dollar things they sell in the test tubes that aren't very strong, then you can do a bunch."  WTF?  Are we really having this conversation?

The stories my dad tells with passion, she doesn't remember.  Daddy says he has the letters to prove it, Momma says, "we need to burn those" and my heart skips a beat - Daddy's promised to protect and save them for me, but what if she really does get to them first?  My beginnings are in those words, and there's a door there to the people my parents were before they were parents, and I desperately want to know those people.  She wouldn't really burn them, would she?

My great-grandmother is 99 years old.  She's recently been admitted into a nursing home with dementia.  For 20 years, I've had this idea that one day I go visit her with a tape recorder and ask her to tell me all of her earliest memories - what it was like as a teenager during the depression, how it was to birth 9 children at home, did she really have to boil the laundry?  What did she do when she had her period?  What was it like to be celibate for 40+ years?  What was the truth behind that story about the time she cut her hair and her Daddy cried?

It's too late for my questions now.  I've missed my window.  My Granny's gone too, and with her the first-hand account of how she met and fell in love with my Papaw, who, seeing her for the first time, pointed at her through a diner window and said to his buddy, "That's the woman I'm going to marry."   I'll never be able to get clarification on that raw egg she said saved my Aunt Pam's life when Pam was just a baby and barely able to hold down any formula.  What was it like when she went to the hospital, when they shocked her with electricity for having what is now recognized as postpartum depression?  Raising teenagers in the late 60s, early 70s?  Finding out at 40 that you've got a degenerative disease?  Losing the love of your life after 43 years when your plans for the day included lunch and fishing?  Learning, by accident, that you have cancer, and deciding not to say anything to anyone because all you want is to be reunited with him?  Granny said her peace, I suppose;  I wish I would've listened more closely.  The words I remember first, these days, when I remember her voice, are "There's no use crying over spilled milk."  I remember my outrage, "You're SO MUCH MORE than spilled milk, Granny." 

These women in my life.  These strong, deep women, who've taught me so many lessons, but it feels like I was only barely listening, and then, just on the surface.  Now I find myself wanting desperately to know more, so much more - but so much is lost, gone forever.  

My Momma's still here.  She has so many things to tell me, about all of her wonderful adventures, and she doesn't even realize.  She's a hard shell, but she'll talk to me one of these days.  I need to go around more often - not just to get her stories, but because I love her probably more than any other one person in the entire world and it makes her happy to see my face.  And I love it when she talks to me.  I love her voice.  I love holding her hands.  I love putting my arms around her and feeling her bony little shoulders.  I love the way she feels when she hugs me, even if she is a little stand-offish sometimes.  I love how nice she is to me, and how she's always supportive.  She told me tonight that I sing better than her and I think I've never received a higher compliment; her praise is worth a hundred times the value of the most precious metal. 

Twenty minutes, that's how long it takes to drive from my house to hers.  I let weeks and months go by without a visit - sometimes I saw her more when I lived in Michigan.  I am ashamed. Every time I see her I say to myself, self, from now on you will see your Momma at least once a week, and then I do nothing; I don't go see her, I barely call her, I am pathetic and horrible.

I keep thinking there's going to be a day that comes where a switch is thrown and all of a sudden I have to see my Momma three or four times a week and I will be a good and diligent daughter...and then I think, yeah, that'll probably happen when I have a baby...and then I think, but what if I don't ever have a baby?  Will there be no switch?  Oh, and holy crap, I'm a terrible person for not giving them grandkids yet, what if I never do, I'm a horrible daughter...

And I have to admit, I'm always sorta worried that there really is a Heaven like Granny and Papaw described it, and they're totally watching me when I'm masturbating, and I wonder how they'd feel about that, because I know that they'd fucking hate that I've had all that pre- and post-marital sex, but we never really talked about the masturbation thing and I hope that they look away if they're given the option to watch. 

And now that I've typed that paragraph out loud, I may never be able to masturbate again.

Which is sort of a shame, because now what am I going to do with that 8 minutes of my lunch break?

And now I can't believe a post that started out about a visit to my parents' house for dinner has turned into a discussion about my sick or dead grandparents and then masturbation...

Um.  'night.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Impromtu Dinner Party

Everyone's fed, sated, entertained, watered, made comfortable, entertained some more, left for home.

Drive safely, I love you!  I say it to each of them, and mean it with my whole heart.  Especially our last guest.  I'm so glad I called him on a whim, I'm so glad he accepted the invitation.  "Daddy, I know Momma's having Bunco tonight and you're sorta kicked out of the house.  Would you want to come over here after work and have a brat or a burger or a hot dog and some baked beans?  We're having a few people over, it's no trouble that you're not off till 9.  Yeah?  Great!  See ya then!"  

There are still two ears of corn outside, shucked but ungrilled.  Those were supposed to be for me and Jimi, or me and Daddy.  I'm not sure which - regardless, they're still fresh.  Gonna have to remember to bring those in. 

I moved the love tree to its outside home a few days ago, and when we subsequently rearranged the living room, the giant beanbag ended up on top of the place previously occupied by said plant.  Which had a drip tray with a crack in it.  Which got the carpet wet.  Which, in turn, soaked the bottom of the beanbag cover, resulting in a mildewy smell and some last-minute furniture swapping and a run to the CVS to get some Lysol and Febreeze. 

Have I mentioned our dryer's broken?  Cause it is.  And so I can't wash the cover.  Fuck.

It's fine, though.  The thing was a big hit on the front porch with an old blanket thrown over top, and the Lysol and sanitizer did the trick on cleaning the stain and removing any bad smells.  I'll wash the cover when the dryer is repaired, which had best be this weekend or I'm going to have to buy new underwear. 

I'm very proud of my house.  It makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside when people who've not been here before compliment us on this particular knickknack, or that photo collage.  When someone says our home is comfortable, I beam.  Yes, that's exactly what we were going for.  :)

We sat on the front porch, talking talk I don't remember, very important stuff, the stuff the world is made of, enjoying the breeze and the cool night air.  It's perfect weather - still in the 70s I'd recon, even at nearly 11 at night.  I don't know what happened to Spring, but welcome Summer!

Tweet Tweet

It sounds like a bird orgy in my neighborhood lately.  We've been leaving the windows open, since, you know, it's been like 75 degrees each night, and I start to wake up about 4, with the little chirp-chirp-chirp sounds breaking through my semi-conscious state.  It sounds like a loud mess, all these little songs banging into one another and pouring through my open screens, but then I start to pick out individual songs, and I wonder if morning time is like a giant dinner party for them?  It's certainly a better mental image than the orgy. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

What's in a number?

This will be my 700th blog post.  Not really.  Well, kinda.  Blogger says it's number 700, but that includes drafts, so it probably more like number 678.  Details.

It's going to be 87 degrees today, according to the robot that lives in my phone.  It's March 20th.  I live in Kentucky, not Argentina.  My legs are shamefully not shaven, my summer clothes are clean but full of wrinkles from where they've been folded and piled in a corner for 5 months.  And our dryer is broken - I think it's the heater coil again.  Oh, how will I ever get the wrinkles out of my clothes without a dryer?

I cleaned the long wall in the shower this morning.  I've never cleaned a part of the bathroom before work.  That feels like weekend sort of work, so doing it before work, before 7 a.m., that was a little different.  Maybe tomorrow I'll do the two short walls.  Gettin' crazy up in here, yo.

We've rearranged the living room again; added a table, subtracted a table, moved in a chair from upstairs.  Steve says our living room is different every time he comes over.  I tell him, obviously, that means he should come over more often.  I do like rearranging furniture, though.  I get all stuffy and uncomfortable when things are in one place too long.  I've always been like this - I should ask my Momma how many times she remembers coming into my room in the middle of the night, in just her sleepshirt and panties, blinking in the bright light, her short blonde hair sticking straight up on her head, "What in the hell are you doing, Natalie?  It's 2 A. M.," in a hushed angry whisper, trying to show her displeasure, but not loudly enough to wake up Dad or Brother.  "Did I wake you, Momma?  I'm sorry, I'm trying to be quiet."  My desk with its huge book hutch would be in the middle of the room, cutting off my full view of her and throwing odd shadows across the walls; my bed at an angle, the contents of my dresser drawers piled up on it.  You have to make a mess to clean a mess, I always say.  Momma would always tell me that no, I hadn't woken her, she was getting up to pee and saw the light under my door.  "Don't stay up too late," and then, eyeing my bed, "Where are you going to sleep?"  "Oh, I'll get it all cleaned up before I go to bed.  It's cool, I'm almost done."  Sometimes you just need a change, you know?  And if you can't afford to throw out what you've got and start all over, you've got to find new ways to jazz up what you have.  Rearranging is much easier that reupholstering.  Anyhow, yeah, I like the living room's new look.  

People ask me what's new, and I tell them, "Oh, nothing, same stuff, different day."  It feels like that a lot of the time.  Mostly, though, even if there is something, I find I don't want to talk about it, so I say my line and let them tell me about their lives and the cool things going on within.  I feel awkward trying to make conversation.  Stacy was over last week, and as we sat here together, she who is my first and oldest friend, she told me all sorts of wonderful stories about her new life as a Mommy and I thought, "She's so good at making conversation."  She's that way on the phone too.  I feel sometimes like I don't know how to say words anymore, not even to someone who knows and loves me so well and doesn't care if the words I say are dumb. 

That pretty much explains my silence around here.  I'm trying to find my voice again.  I don't know where or why I lost it.  Maybe it's another temporary casualty of the crazyblahsads.  I imagine that's it, and as such, I expect a full return any day now. 

Friday, March 16, 2012

How's the weather?

The weather this week has been amazing - reaching into the 80s, with a gentle breeze.  Perfect porch-sittin' weather.  You better believe I've taken full advantage, sitting in my plastic Adirondack, drinking Busch Light from a can with a St. George Island coozy my Momma brought back from Florida last year, smoking Marlboro 72s, looking up occasionally from my Christian Romance novel to make sure Finn hasn't slipped his lead again. Lovely Spring afternoons.

The flowering trees are full of flowers, and as I do every Spring, I desperately wish we owned a house with a mature Magnolia.  Oh, I love them so!  I told Jimi that if he ever wanted to get me an awesome birthday gift, a Magnolia or a weeping cherry would be a lovely surprise.  He responded that obviously he can't do it this year, because it wouldn't be much of a surprise.  Whatever.  We do have a Japanese Maple, and an ornamental cherry, and they're both gorgeous, but still...I covet that which I do not have.  At least lots of neighbors have them; I can still enjoy the beauty.

I feel like I have a lot of thoughts and not enough words.  So many things in my head - work, politics, family, friends.  I feel intimidated at the idea of trying to sort it all out, to make sense of this jumble that bangs around.  I have so much to say, I just don't remember how to sit down and let it all pour out. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Friday the temperature was in the mid-sixties, with rain and wind. 
Saturday and Sunday were sunny and windy and cold, in the 40s.
Monday, we woke to find 4 inches of snow on the ground.
It was sunny and nearly 70 degrees outside yesterday.
The air smells like Springtime this morning. 
If it weren't for that Leap Year Meme making its way around Facebook, I would totally be convinced the world is ending in 9 months.

I'm dreaming about zombies; twice now in less than a week.  I love zombies, but I rarely dream of them, and never quite as "all about zombies" as these two dreams have been.  Usually, we exist in the same world, but they're far away and not much of a threat to me.  In these dreams, they're after my ass, and I'm scrambling to try to stay alive.
Last night, I was in a large house with many others, windows exposed rather than boarded, doors not even locked.  We kept going from window to window, watching the zombies as they attacked through skylights and heating ducts on the roof, or as they fumbled doors open, attacking our neighbors in the homes closest to the one in which we were holed up.  I was trying to organize, to find lumber, to get these people to help defend our fort, but supplies were non-existent and help was even more scarce.  I never got bit, but those assholes were coming for me and all of us. 

I don't know how it ended - I started waking up at 6 and tried to go back there but couldn't quite make it.  I think we all lived happily ever after, or maybe it was just a to be continued...

Either way, Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

I wish I had a cherry pie.

Jimi came home a few months back with a set of books about John Carter - some fantasy series written in the early 1910s.  Then there came the trailers and previews on TV; obviously, Jimi can predict Hollywood.

tosh.O is hilarious and offensive and horrible and awesome all at the same time.  I feel like this describes Drunk Natalie a lot of the time, too, but not at all on the same plane.  Unless someone wants to pay me for that shit.

Jimi's bowwowing with his amped up ukulele.  Decipher that shit. Bowwowowowbowwooowwwowwwowowowowbow...

I feel an immediate desire to delete everything I post on Facebook, for fear that I've made myself sound like an idiot.  I'm getting real close to feeling that way about my words here, but I'm working through it by writing the dumbest random shit that comes into my head.  THIS IS ME.  This is all I've got.  Some days are better than others.

I feel like that a lot after social gatherings, too.  The morning after a party inevitably begins with me waking and groggily piecing together the night before, focusing on my self-defined faux pas and social missteps and missed verbal cues and awkward statements and embarrassing interruptions of the general flow.  I wake up after a party and wonder why anyone likes me at all, and then I'm ashamed until I remember something I did worse at a previous gathering that they've apparently forgiven me for and then I move on and avoid going out until I absolutely have to because it's been so long and when I see my friends again they tell me how much they miss me and how much they love it when I come out and I feel so awesome and good and I wonder why I don't go out more...

I just finished reading a very feminist book, and it's shifting my perceptions of the men around me.  It's also made me furious with the Mormon church for their despicable anti-Equal Rights Amendment movement during the late 70s.  (Picture Prop 8, but nationwide, and geared toward denying equal rights to women rather than homosexuals.)  I look around and see the same battle for equality still being waged today, 30+ years later, and I'm shocked and ashamed and shaken to my very core.  It's like all the things they taught me in school were complete bullshit.

Jimi's now using the ukulele to mimick Purina jingles.  I was just starting to get riled up, and here he comes with that.

I'm getting close to 700 blog entries.  Whoa.  A lot of bloggers I read celebrate blog birthdays and such - I don't remember when I started this blog exactly - 2007, maybe?  2006?  My original blog was one I started on LouisvilleMojo - I poured my heart out there for years.  And then my ex-husband hacked that shit and deleted it all.  I'm not even making that up.  Anyhow, nearly 700 entries.  I went back and found a cache of drafts from late December that reek of sad.  Better to come across them on this side.

I used to blog a lot, about everything, all the time.  And then I became conscious that other people are reading this sometimes, people I know in real life or may one day hope to meet.  And it scared me for a minute, the fear that they would judge me based on what they read here - the highs, the lows, the bliss, the tragedy, the language, the judgements, the fears, the bitching, the politics, the opinions.  Sometimes I post things and feel an immediate need to delete them for fear that I've made myself sound like an idiot, but I'm starting to remember that's perfectly fine.  THIS IS ME.  This is all I've got.  Some days are better than others.

Monday, March 5, 2012


I didn't chicken out, and I didn't embarrass myself.  Our meetings went well, and bossman set up my sales pitch for me, telling our customers how vital I am and what a good job I do and singing my praises.  I wasn't pushy or forceful, and Jimi says I didn't close the deal, but I made my point and hopefully it was heard.

I'm sure you've heard about the tragedy in Southern Indiana due to Friday's crazy tornado weather.  I was cut off from the weather reports all day - I knew we were expected to get storms, but we get storms all the time.  No big deal.  When I got home Friday night, about 7 o'clock, after having seen the damage we'd seen, the TV showed the real destruction.  I knew my office had sent as many home early as possible; Jimi's office also sent everyone home several hours early.  I really had no idea how serious it all was until well after it was all over.

Bossman and I were only 15 miles north of the hardest hit areas when that shit rolled through.  One of our drivers was sitting in his rig at the Henryville, IN exit, stopped in traffic because the State Police had closed I-65, when the massive storm dropped softball sized hail and several tornadoes on the area; thankfully, though his truck needs some pretty extensive body repair work, he was uninjured - he said he nearly hid under his bunk, and I'm certain I would've.  When bossman and I finally made it to that spot, two hours later, the temperature was 62 degrees and the hailstones were still the size of baseballs.  I've never seen anything like it.  Houses along the the interstate were pocked with holes from the hail that had treated their siding and windows as if they were flimsy like paper.  A tractor trailer was on its side, draped along the guard rail as if it were ribbon.  A trucking business, just off the exit, was reduced to rubble of lumber and siding, with a truck perched precariously on top, as if to mimic a cherry on a sundae.  The devastation was amazing, and not even the tip of the iceberg - I'm stunned by the images I've seen coming out of those towns that were so horribly destroyed.

If we'd finished our appointment 15 minutes earlier...

It blows my mind sometimes how dramatically different one moment can be from the perspective of one person to the next.  There's a book I got when I was 13 called A Day in the Life of America; it's a large glossy book of photos that were all taken on the same day by several dozen photographers in towns and homes and businesses across the United States.  This photo shows a funeral, this one a wedding, this one the birth of a child, this one just another day the office.  All different events, in different lives, all happening at the same time.  Like Friday - I'm just cruising along, asking my boss for a raise, explaining to him why I deserve it.  Fifteen miles due South, an entire family is wiped out of existence.  The same moment in time.

A reminder of why we need to make the most of every moment?  Try to not sweat the small stuff?  Rejoice in even the most minor pleasures?  Be thankful every day for the good things we do have?  For me, at least.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Bouncing up and fucking down.

It's like a weight has been lifted.

Sometimes you just need a good cometoJesus to release your soul, all the pent up sad and crazy and worry.  I thought I was saying the right words before, but maybe I wasn't.  "If we didn't have this talk tonight, if I didn't say these things to you, if you didn't propose within the next year, I would leave."  I said it.  That evil thing that was building in the back of my mind, that poison that was tainting my utopia.  I said the words - the ones that needed to be said, "This is what I have to have to be happy.  This is what I need.  We have needs and wants in relationships, and this is what I need."

We came together, we drifted, we wandered far apart, but in the end, we met in the middle, with love and understanding, and we're back in the place we've always been.  We're good.  We're safe. All is right with the world.

I cried myself to sleep last night, sick in my heart with fear and sad.  Tonight, I'm light like a feather, knowing we're good, having confirmation of that fact I knew in my heart but needed to know with my ears.

Tomorrow I'll spend several hours in the car with my boss.  I'm feeling mighty brave and strong tonight, Friends.  I have my power outfit planned and ready, down to the comfy no-line panties and the bright pink argyle socks.  (Those are just for my particular comfort, for the record.  I'm not planning to show our customers my panties or my socks.  But you never know.  My boss hired me because I showed him my socks during my interview...)

I need a raise.  I've been stewing about it for months, and the time has come where I've just got to ask or I'm going to build up so much resentment that I'll grow to hate my job and I don't want to hate my job because as crazy as it is, I fucking love it there.  I do.  I get pissed off all the time and frustrated as hell, but I love it, and I don't want to go anywhere else.  But I need to be compensated for the work I'm doing, and that's never going to happen if I don't make my needs known.  See, in relationships, all relationships, we have needs, and we have wants.  The fact is, for me to continue my happy relationship with my employer, I need to make more money.  They want to make as much money as possible, I need to make enough money to play well when I'm not there making money for them.

Does any of this even make sense?  I don't really care if it does.  I'm pretty sure I'll understand it when I read it again tomorrow.  A weight has been lifted.  I'm feeling pretty fucking invincible.  I'm going to make an ass out of myself tomorrow and I'll come back here tomorrow night crying about how I thought I had this but I really didn't.

No I won't.

I won't write again for days because I'll be all embarrassed and then I'll write about something totally dumb because I'll want to pretend I never wrote this entry.

And if I'm not engaged this time next year, I'll come back and delete this shit, too.

I read something the other day that said that in ten years we won't need resumes, we'll just use our online profiles when applying for jobs.

Fuck me, I hope I don't have to ever change jobs again. 


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