Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Diabetic sugar coma encroaching....

Can't write...can't think straight.....4 hours of trick or treating....

Monday, October 29, 2007

Speaking of a Drawer Full of Toys....

Wonderful Christine's comment on the previous post made me realize that I have a story that I have not shared with hardly anyone....and would not have necessarily wanted to share. Unfortunately, a few years ago I made a vow to never keep anything secret that anyone could possibly hold over my head.

Sometimes that vow really sucks. But I suppose I would rather just tell everyone now before Sophie decides to blog about it when she gets a bit older and realizes just how funny the story really is....

In my first long period of celibacy (yes, this is my second period of celibacy thank-you-very-much) I was coming up on my second year anniversary of no sex. I decided right then that I would either need to lay myself right down and have a big ole cry OR....I could have a party. That was that day that my Celibacy Celebration was born. My period of celibacy lasted three years, enough to have two Celibacy Celebrations AND a Shari Got Her Groove Back Party.

The first party was met with some confusion and embarrassment by my friends. But enough Margaritas into it, they begun to understand. One of my "friends" went up to the DJ in the club we were in and had him announce to all present that it was my second year of celibacy and everyone should congratulate me, etc. Amazingly enough, the intelligence level at this particular establishment was such that for the rest of the evening, really drunk men kept slurring "Happy Birfday Sweetheart"'s. I was not impressed. And the celibacy thing started really making a whole lot of sense right about then.

The second year people were really ready. There were gifts. There was food (Penis-shaped Pasta Salad, mini wieners, plastic cutlery with anatomically correct handles....). One of the gag gifts was a tiny vibrator in a case about the size of a Life Savers package. It (the package) had the multi-colored rings and the words "It's a Lifesaver!" on the outside.

The "Lifesaver" has resided in my underwear drawer ever since.

Ahem. Moving on.....

This summer, during one of the many barbecues, Sophie came running out onto the deck with the Lifesaver package in her hand.

"Mom! What's this? I thought it was candy, but look! What is it?" she said as she took the vibrator out of the package.

I moved very, very fast.

Amazingly enough, everyone who was at the party had been distracted only moments earlier by my neighbor Eric, and had gone over to his house. The only person who witnessed the disaster was Natalie (neighbor and wife to Eric).

Oh my God we laughed hard. And Sophie knew that what she had done was incredibly funny, although she didn't know why. She also recognized immediately that this incident had the miraculous power to make me immediately embarrassed and willing to threaten her with horrific bodily injury if she tried to tell the story to anyone.

I suppose that I didn't threaten the correct person in this situation. The other evening as I was leaving Natalie and Eric's house (the girls were spending the night over there with their friend Grace) I heard words that made the hair on the back of my neck stand on end.

Eric said, "Good night. Maybe you can spend your evening with a roll of Lifesavers."

Natalie is totally going to get it.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Go Kiss Yourself


I think that Autumn has the same effect on me that Spring has on most people. Hmmmm....I'm impatient. I want to travel. I want to be surrounded by people. I want....I want to have crazy anonymous monkey sex with almost any random passer-by.

Don't worry I won't actually do it. Its just that I want to.

In reality, I can have perfectly good sex with myself. It is even more likely to be more satisfying. I can handle that. I could maybe go for the rest of my life not having sex with anyone - but I miss kissing.

You can't kiss yourself.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

It Takes A Village To Get My Children To Piano Lessons

My old car, as some of you know, was the Minty Squirrel.

There has been a man who has been actually knocking on my door to get me to sell it to him for the last few months. I just have to get the paperwork together and the deed will be done.

I'm dragging my feet a bit....

I don't drive much. We live close enough to things in the downtown area of our small town that we walk most of the places we go. I take the train to work. We even take the bus on the weekends most places.

But we always drive to piano lessons.

I have taken the bus a few times. But piano lessons are on Monday at 6 pm. The girls are tired. I am tired. The last thing we really feel like doing is hoofing it to the bus and waiting, going through lessons, hoofing it back to the stop - waiting, then walking home. And it rains here. Sometimes pretty hard. Sometimes all winter.

Our "newer" car (actually a pretty old and very high-mileage Honda Accord) has a few, shall we say, issues. It does not like to start on sunny days. Or exceptionally hot days. Or relatively humid, cloudy days.

Or piano-lesson Mondays.

I have tried everything. For awhile, it seemed if I backed it into the driveway, there was a higher probability that it would start. If not, I opened the hood and turned on the AC or heater fan for a few minutes and it would start. Sometimes jiggling the battery cable connections would seem to get it to go. And, if the battery was corroded, a little Diet Coke dribbled on them would occasionally help start the engine.

I admit it, in my mind, I have even begun to "sneak up" on the car pretending to only need to get a CD out of the stereo, then quickly and much to its surprise (I'm sure) turn the key in the ignition and smash down spastically on the gas pedal.

Amazingly, all of these techniques have worked at some time or another. I must admit now that the myriad of techniques and the sporadic nature of their efficacy really just means that the damn car starts only when it wants to.

Natalie is used to my angry 5:30 pm on Monday calls requesting an hour's use of her car. She has never failed to be there when it is at all possible. This Monday she was gone, but offered the use of her old Mercedes.

The old Mercedes did not start.

I was about to give up when my other fantastic across-the-street neighbor, Adam, walked up to me and tossed me the keys to his truck. AND THEN, he carried three huge pumpkins across the street and began arranging them on my front step as we drove hurriedly away yelling, "Thank you! I'll make you cookies!"

I made cookies the next day, all the while thinking that I came incredibly close to not living on this not living next to the car-lending not having the chance of speeding away in a strange vehicle watching someone decorate my front step with huge gourds.

Wow. That was a close one.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells

- John Keats "To Autumn"


Saturday, October 20, 2007

I Was Visited By The Establishment

The title of this post could actually properly capture two different visits I had this week.

First, my Mom came out to visit for 4 days. It was wonderful. We went window shopping (for real windows) and looked at endless paint samples. We went to the beach. We went to the Pumpkin Patch. I have pictures.

The title of this post, however, points to a different second visit from ANT (all the way from Scotland)!

Last year I was lucky enough to be able to have him over for a barbecue at my house. It was type of visit that was surrounded with friends and food and music and craziness - a good first "meet your blogger friend" meeting. Meeting him this time was in a more one-on-one setting at the Six Arms pub in Seattle:

It was so fun. It is a strange feeling to be meeting someone for only the second time, but know the majority of the main stories of their life. Much of the evening was spent saying, "I blogged about this, but..." and "Oh yeah! I read about that...". I suppose it is no surprise that two bloggers never ran out things to talk about. The first time I asked about the time, it was 5 hours into the conversation, and I felt cheated that it hadn't been long enough.

I'm already starting to look for the next meeting place for when he comes back next time.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


I have started riding the last car of the train on the way in to work. I found that I can just walk around the end of the train and then directly to the parking garage without the ordeal of going up and over the walkway. Vertigo and stairs do not go well together.

The last car is an interesting place. It seems that many old people ride on the last car. Today, I found a seat across from two women – one who was doing the “I am sitting here with my eyes closed and ignoring you and pretending to sleep” thing, and another who had an inordinate amount of makeup on. The makeup lady decided to do the “sleep” thing, too, so I was sitting there – wide awake – staring at her eye makeup and super shiny lipstick.

You might think this is bad enough…but it gets worse. The lady by the window decided to prove my “pretend” sleeping theory wrong by beginning to snore. Not dainty little snores, but rattlely, snorty and somewhat horribly embarrasing snores. And nobody acknowleged it. Everyone just keep doing what they were doing. Not one person was willing to look at her or even smirk at her sad situation. I felt very alone. And eventually irritated at the snoring.

I moved. Just across the aisle to a group of seats that was only occupied by a middle aged man – a completely awake man – reading a book. I felt he looked alert enough to possibly make it all the way to Kent without snoring and drooling all over the place. Amazingly enough, snoring woman slept soundly (no pun intended) through both the Sumner and the Auburn stops without once being roused from her slumber. At Auburn my area of seats filled up with a woman (sitting next to me) that smelled strongly of cigarettes and beer (freshly drunk beer – not the “I got drunk last night on beer and didn’t brush my teeth this morning” beer smell) and a woman who – I kid you not – was a witch.

The witch wasn’t wearing a pointy hat and carrying a broom, she was partially disguised as a librarian. She was very tall and painfully thin with a large hooked nose. She carried a big umbrella, the kind that looks like a cane, and wore an orange Halloween sweatshirt with a black sequined cat on the front. I was a little bit scared. She had a long black coat on with a fur collar (probably black cat fur harvested during a full moon) and pointy black witchy shoes. She had a large black bag, the contents of which I can only imagine.

As I disembarked, I had to wonder if this last car thing is really a good idea. Maybe falling down the stairs would be less painful, overall.


Thursday, October 04, 2007


After another scary dream about Sophie being hit by a car and bumping her head really hard on a curb - I have decided that I am internalizing way too much of her elementary school angst.

Monday at dinner she completely broke down at the table and cried, telling me that she no longer wanted to be tall. Considering that I am 6 feet tall and her father is 6'5" - I don't think she has much choice in the matter.

Apparently, her friend Kayla gets a lot of attention when she falls down. Kayla is tiny. Really, really tiny. Disturbingly small in an almost unhealthy way. She is one of those kids that has translucent skin - you can see that big vein that runs over her jaw line. Sophie said that everyone worries so much about Kayla if she hurts herself, but no one really rushes to Sophie if she has some sort of schoolyard wreck.

The entire time I am thinking..."That's because you are bouncy and happy and the healthiest looking kid I have ever seen - and, you can laugh at yourself."

Please, please don't let her start hating her height. Or anything about herself. It is too soon.

Why is "fragile" so attractive? For once I would love to see kids on the school yard (or hell even adults in life) demand a little strength from their friends. A little daring. Some spark for Christ's sake! Isn't picking yourself up, dusting yourself off and moving on with a laugh a hell of a lot more interesting than laying in a puddle of your own weakness?

It's time for a seriously goofy family outing. The beach, or a cabin in the San Juans - and a bit of daring, devil-may-care adventure.

For my girls, living a good life will never mean needing to have someone there to pick them up, if I have anything to say about it!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Lions and Tigers and Bears and Mothers

I tend to get mean every Sunday at 5:00 pm.

It seems to come as a surprise every damn weekend that I have put off laundry, floor mopping, vacuuming, etc. until that time. It's not like I really put them off....but it's just that is is never finished. Although I might clean the kitchen 6 times throughout the span of a weekend, it is inevitably a mess at 5:00 pm on Sunday.

And then I start nagging the girls.

"Why don't you guys ever voluntarily help me?"

"Why do I always have to ask you to pick up your dirty clothes?"

"Have you practiced the piano?"

"Have you done your homework?"

"I let you play ALL weekend, don't you dare give me any lip about helping me now!"

It is all true. I have valid points. But it is only valid if I try something different to change the outcome of my weekend, and I haven't. I am usually very good about putting things in perspective - realizing that they have never done this thing called "growing up" before and I am there to help them through. But...on Sunday nights I wish they just already knew how.

After putting them to bed last night I felt awful. I went back in when they were sleeping to whisper apologies and smell their hair. And I went to bed a guilt-laden mother. The guilt manifested itself into a terrible dream that still has me on the verge of tears.

I was on the ranch in Montana, standing at the edge of the field. My Dad walked up to the girls and me and told me that a mountain lion was trying to kill all of the baby calves. I looked out over the field of grazing cattle to see them morph into mothers and children.

Then I saw the mountain lion. But it was actually a female African lion - and it was slipping up to the kids that were far away in the field. The panic hit me and I turned to tell the girls to get back to the house. That's when a huge male lion jumped on Sophie and grabbed her in his mouth. She was screaming, "Mom! The pain!" and there was nothing that I could do.

Holy crap.

I went into her room and after checking her for marks and evidence of breathing, lay down on the floor of her room to pass the rest of the night in fitful sleep.

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