Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The babydoll top. A story of love and betrayal.

Way back in the 1990s, when I was pregnant for a total of 81 weeks of my life, there was none of the cute tiny belly-hugging maternity wear there is now. Let me officially take this opportunity to thank the universe for that. Perhaps the best thing about being pregnant (besides stopping everything to take naps whenever and whereever you want) is that no one expects you to have a waist. There are no belts, no tucking in, and therefore no sucking in. Abs? Don’t need ‘em, and I’ll have more lasagna, please. Eating for two, don'cha know.

Of course I had to pay with a lot of sailor collars, polka dots and obnoxious bows on my backside, but the ability to relax and breathe was really quite worth any duckie prints. After two children, though, there was a choice to be made. Convert to Mormonism, or start standing up straight again? Since I refuse to own a passenger van, wear jumpers and cut my bangs too short, I decided two children were enough, and I went back to sensible eating and buttoning the top button of my jeans.

Just in time, too, really – because celebrities started wearing tiny t-shirts to show off their growing tummies. Princess Di sported a bikini whilst preggers, gals even revealed the turkey thermometer phenomenon of pregnant belly buttons. No longer content to hide and slouch, tall thin models and actresses made it so hip and hot to be pregnant that the Gap started selling maternity clothes. What the? Now, regardless of being pregnant or not, my belt-free days of comfort were over.

AND THEN… About a year ago, I saw a woman wearing a babydoll shirt. She was sooo not pregnant. She was just wearing a tent. Just because. And she looked really happy. I looked happier, and breaking my vow to only enter a mall if my city is under threat of alien attack, I dove in and went shopping.

Oh delicious babydoll top! I could exhale. All the way. True, at first, my youngest son asked if he was getting a baby brother. No worries. All I had to do to keep friends and strangers from wondering was make sure I’m always holding a beer. Then I’m obviously not pregnant, or so completely unaware of fetal alcohol poisoning that most people are scared to approach me.

This whole summer has been a delightful retreat as cool, gauzy fabrics swirl around me. I stand over air conditioning vents, swollen and blossoming, fresh as a daisy. Go to hell, Abdominator. I don’t need you, Tony Little Gazelle. Gym membership? Unnecessary. I have a big, big shirt.

UNTIL today. I’m walking down a busy city street, flowing and glowing. Coming towards me is a small, skinny 20-something lovely thing. Her baby doll top is cute and floral. Her tiny French-cuffed jeans poke out from beneath it. Her tippy toes poke perfectly from teeny stilettos. She trots with the very essence of Barbie herself. The breeze changes direction, and the fabric blows against her, revealing…THE SAME DAMNED MUFFIN TOP AS IF SHE WAS WEARING A TIGHT SHIRT. Oh crap.

Betrayal. If Kelly Ripa’s twin sister looks that lumpy in her size XXS, what the hell must I look like? Oh…the agony. Once again, screwed by fashion. I might as well be wearing Jordache hip hugger cutoffs with a comb in the back pocket and a homemade fringed half shirt with “Foxy Lady” ironed across my chest.

I went home, determined to right the wrong and clear out the yards and yards of flowing fabric I’d grown dependent on all summer. Perhaps I could donate them to Colorado Home for Convalescent Hippies…or to an orphanage that’s lacking curtains.

For old times’ sake, I pulled on the gauziest of them all…a white, sheer jersey one that made me look positively ready to deliver sextuplets. I cracked a cool frosty and went out on the front porch to say goodbye. Goodbye to summer. Goodbye to what was. Goodbye to the pursuit of six-packs and hello to the pursuit, once again, of six-pack abs. The slippery ale slid down my throat. I belched. I exhaled, for perhaps the last time. My shirt billowed proudly like the final lowering of a flag of freedom as the sun slipped beyond the horizon. You were very good to me, babydoll top. Very, very good.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Dermatology D-I-Y.

For safety's sake, as well as the safety of those around you, please refrain from digging at your pimples in the rearview mirror of your teal Kia Sephia. At least when you're in front of me.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

This post does not condone illegal drug use.

This is an antique Nelson McCoy Windowpane Yellow-ware bowl that was made in the 1920s. Our house was built in 1922, and I think both are great representations of solidity, craftsmanship and form marrying function. It is valued at approximately $130. The bowl, not the house.

When I bought the bowl for $18 in one of those antiquey mall places with a zillion booths, I didn't know any of that - what I knew was it was green, and it was square. I have a thing for green pottery. Not a big thing. Just a thing that I like it, buy it, bring it home and then go, "OH, I kind of own something almost exactly like that." I do the exact same thing with tennis shoes.

The square obsession is different. I just prefer the square when given a choice of shape. They're symmetrical, they have pointy corners, they're not all prissy and rounded and all that. So, when I came upon a bowl - a round thing - that is sort of square, with squares all over it, wow. Had to have it.

I intended it to be a water bowl for the bulldog, but decided after bringing it home that it looked better on the buffet in the dining room than on the kitchen floor. And I am so glad that I did - because shortly after moving it, I came to know the most important feature of this bowl.

When you walk by, the square base wiggles on the buffet, ever so slightly, and sounds exactly like the synthesizer and bass line intro to White Lines by Grand Master Flash with Melle Mel. This lends a funky old school rap rhythm to my ENTIRE DAY. I am convinced this is what the original craftsman had in mind when creating it in 1920-something. With a cool backbeat in the forefront of my cranium, it's impossible to feel frumpy and 41. Even if my day consists of sciattica pain and driving huge offspring to middle school. Am I square, like the bowl? No, brother. I am not. For inside, I am superfly with a sweet beat. Rang dang diggedy dang di-dang.

PS - When fact-checking for this post, (eg: how to spell Melle Mel) I came upon this youtube post of a guy wearing stripey pajama bottoms in his room playing the bass to the GMF recording. For some reason, it's more entertaining than the original video to the song, maybe because I'm secretly happy that I'm not the only person with a soundtrack to life that was written in 1983. Get higher, baby.

Monday, August 18, 2008

This means war, wiseass.

Hello, you weasley little bastard. You really think you can make yourself at home in my kitchen and have me not notice? Or did you think I’d just make a batch of brownies and leave them on the counter for you?

Perhaps you’ve not heard from your peeps about the “Great Rodentia Dachau Reenactment of 2007.” Let me remind you. It had been snowing for days. Your third cousin Mervin and his missus had been huddling in the garage trying to stay warm. She was ready to deliver, and they were both worried that the hostile and dangerous environment wouldn’t be good for the children. One day, he saw his opening behind some loose mortar, and after much scratching and clawing, he and the little woman made it into the house.

They were amazed by the sights, sounds, smells, and huge bowl of bulldog nuggets by the door – free for the taking! It was mouse nirvana. They made their home under the stove. There was a veritable ladder system behind there allowing easy access to all kinds of delicious oven-drippings, as well as a toasty place to bring yo’ baby mama when she’s ready to drop the next litter. One Saturday as I prepared to bake a chocolate cake, Mervin, all pumped on the good-life and fatherhood, gets all ballsy and waddles out into the middle of the kitchen. He looks up at me and belches. The tiny breath wafting from his whiskered lips smelled vaguely of bulldog nuggets. He smiled, scratched his belly, then returned to his Shangri-la in my Viking range.

It was at that moment I turned the oven to 500 degrees and flambéed his fuzzy ass along with those of his entire gene pool. Later, I spent tens of dollars on expanding spray foam which I used to liberally seal the entire house. Not a wire hole, pipe or crack went unfilled. I had destroyed the enemy, secured the perimeter and it felt good.

But you. You’ve found a way in. The torrential rains have made you a super intelligent mouse, with extreme crevice-finding abilities. And then, after discovering the only orifice not controlled by a doorknob, you’ve stumbled upon my kitchen. But I knew you were coming. I anticipated your arrival. I wanted you to feel at home, so I left you a tiny morsel of bulldog nugget on a death trap under the stove. Which you stole. Without the trap going off.

So, tonight, I present you with a lovely last meal of raw chocolate chip cookie dough. Gnaw it baby, gnaw it good.


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Current Denver Weather. In Haiku.

The rain will not stop
slugs march, leaving trails of snot
the day smells of frogs.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Take a midnight train going anywhere.

Being a small town girl living in a lonely world is indeed a handicap.
But not enough of a handicap to get special parking privileges.
At least according to the City of Denver Right-of-Way Enforcement Department.

Friday, August 8, 2008

And use a frosted lens.

The older I get, the better I look in low light.
Note to self: Remove some lightbulbs over mirror in master bath.


Thank you for your thoughtful inclusion of dictionary passages in your communication to me.

Afterall, I am not very familiar with these things you call “words,” their meanings, or usage. It’s mind-boggling to think that I’ve somehow made a very comfortable living as a “writer” for the past two decades without your assistance. I’m sure I would have been found-out as a fraud eventually, but with your help I can continue my evil scam indefinitely.

In any case, I believe your experience as a bartender truly qualifies you to teach me the language, and I greatly appreciate it. I long for the day when you branch out to help me with grammar, and if I’m lucky, perhaps even more complicated topics like efficient paper-clipping.

Say - when you get a minute, why doncha put down the Webster’s, and succinctly bite my ass? That'd be just swell.

1: a sharp and often satirical or ironic utterance designed to cut or give pain
2 a: a mode of satirical wit depending for its effect on bitter, caustic, and often ironic language that is usually directed against an individual
: the use or language of sarcasm

Thursday, August 7, 2008

This is wrong on so many levels.

I'm not being judgmental. Wait. Yes I am. I stumbled across this post on someone's blog. I am not sure what's worse - anxiously awaiting getting your infant's ears pierced at a mall, (OMG - four months we've waited, and now finally!) or subjecting an innocent child to a ridiculously spelled name. Both are permanent.

Oh! I know! Why not have the poor kid's stupidly spelled name TATTOO'ED ON HER? It would only hurt for a little bit, but everyone would know how clever you are FOREVER.

" We had been talking about piercing Taytem's ears since she was born and we finally did it. Right after her 4 month check up we headed to the mall and had it done."

Monday, August 4, 2008

Please hang up and try your call again.

At the office today, someone kept calling our main line and trying to fax to it. Next to an adult woman speaking baby talk, a fax signal is the most annoying noise on the planet. Technology allows us to make our phones ring with the Humpty Dance, or have the doorbell play the theme song to Inspector Gadget. Brookstone and Sharper Image made zillions on all those little white noise machines to make you think you’re sleeping at the beach in a thunderstorm, but is no-one looking into improving the fax noise? What the hell do scientists and engineers DO all day?

I notice on caller ID that its someone at our other location. Without using a single curse word, I politely and sweetly craft a fax to them (with smiley face!) that says – Hey, jus’ so ya know… you’re faxing to a phone number, wanna try the fax number? I then provide said number. Did I mention it had a smiley face? Hand-drawn.

I get back an apology that says, “Sorry. I shouldn’t try to multi-task.”

So…I’m just wondering…what exactly were you doing WHILE punching in a fax number to make you so distracted that you didn’t know what number you were punching in? Because when I send a fax, I’m sort of held hostage by standing there sending a fax. Do you have a wireless portable fax machine so you can walk about whilst faxing? Were you like, changing your oil? Diffusing a bomb? Writing a thesis? Because I’m pretty sure you weren’t cutting my expense check from two months ago.

Anyway. I’ll talk to your supervisor and let them know your plate is full. Then, I'm coming over to show you how to program your speed dialer.

PS - The first fax machine was invented in 1843...before the telephone. I just learned that on Wikipedia.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

If I should die before I wake.

Please check the milk box. I would hate for you to discover too late that there’s a gallon and a half of skim quietly curdling while you mourn.

Although, the symbolism would be fantastic.


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