Friday, February 27, 2009

Friday Things...

It's Friday did this happen so quickly? Not that I'm complaining at all - Fridays mean seeing Steinvic!

So...what has happened this week? Oh, the "don't poop here" sign in front of my house seems to be working. And the HOA hasn't notified me that I need to take down my sign. I think I've gotten the message across, though, and will likely take it down when I get back on Sunday...

"Sunday?" you ask..."What about your normal Monday morning commute after a Columbus weekend?" Well, I am taking Steinvic to the airport tomorrow.

And that leads me to what is going on in my brain these days - Steinvic is going to Phoenix and I want to go, too!

Before you think I'm a childish, jealous twit...I don't want to go "just" to go. I want to go because of the real reason Steinvic is going - it's to see his cousin. His cousin, who is a very sweet man, and very special. This cousin has some disabilities and, because of this, has lived his whole life dealing with discomfort.

And because he has lived with discomfort and disabilities, it's likely that he didn't notice - or know how to articulate - when he started feeling worse. And because of that, no one knew until too late that he had developed cancer and a serious heart condition.

His time with us is limited, but the doctors aren't sure exactly how long he has. Steinvic and I agreed that now was the time to get back there and see him. We couldn't really afford for both of us to go, though...and so we decided that just Steinvic would go.

Ever since he booked his airfare, I've had this nagging know, like the one you have when you've forgotten something important?

I should be there to support Steinvic. I should be there to see his cousin while he is still healthy enough to have fun. I should be there to hug his cousin's Mom and Dad who must be devastated.

I should be there to make my special bruchetta recipe, which his cousin LOVES. And quizzes me about, every time I visit. Every time I make it, he is right there, asking questions. He may ask the same question six times, but I never mind. He is lovely company. And very dear. And sincerely happy to have someone to chat with about cooking.

So, instead, I'm arming Steinvic with my recipe. And a jigsaw puzzle for his cousin, because his cousin told me that they're his favorite thing to do. And instructions to hug everyone for me.

And I'm praying that Steinvic truly isn't upset that I'm not going along this time. (He says he understands, but I feel like I'm letting him down.)

And I'm trying my best to keep smiling, because I know that is what everyone expects.

Sometimes, smiling sucks.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Helping Laith

I know that I don't have a huge readership here, but if even one soul stumbles across this post and donates, I will feel I've done my part.

Laith is just a little guy in need of a heart transplant NOW. Because of complications with insurance (and, if you ask me, a general 'not my problem' attitude that is sometimes present in the medical community), Laith's Mom and Dad must front $1.5 million before the hospital will save this child's life. He can't even get on the transplant list yet.

My hope is that with the press these folks are getting, a good doctor will come forward and offer her or his talents for free. But until that happens, would you consider sending Laith a little money to help with the cost of his heart transplant?

I know times are tough financially for everyone, but I can't imagine how tough times are for this family right now.

I can't imagine what it would be like to fullfill the dream of parenthood, only to watch it slip away...or what it would be like to be a mother or father and not be able to do the one thing that would help your child survive.

So, that's it. Even if it's $5, I think it's a worthwhile investment, don't you? Thanks for listening...

Monday, February 23, 2009

Not Your Toilet

I live in a townhouse and there are good and bad things about that.

Good is that I got a lot of house for not a whole lot of money.

Bad is having neighbors who suck on the one side of me (our walls are attached and I think they must have pet elephants), home owner's association fees to pay each month (which is complete BS on so many levels), no garage to park in...

...and a neighboring dog who thinks that my small patch of front yard is THE hot spot for pooping.

I know who this present-leaver is. I can identify the walker and the walkee. It's a little boy, probably about 11 or 12, and his dog...I don't know what breed of dog, but I do know that one of the characteristics of this breed is the ability to produce very smelly, human-sized turds.
The little boy has been friendly in the past and I've always said hello to him and his dog. Because of this, they sometimes linger around my house.

So, recently, the grass around my front stoop is this beast's favorite spot to unload, and apparently, his Master hasn't fully grasped the concept of being neighborly and picking up after his dog. (Of course, I blame this on a lack of training - a parent shouldn't even let a child with a dog leave the house unless he's armed with waste bags.)

Yesterday, Steinvic needed to go home (as opposed to the normal Monday morning commute) because he had to be to work reeeeeeeeeeeeeally early this morning. So, he headed out around 6:00 p.m. and I felt a little stir-crazy and decided to run up to Drug Mart. I was going to stick my head out the front door to see how cold it really was and before I even opened it, I could smell the stench that was lurking outside.
Sure enough, as I headed out to my car, I saw what I smelled - yet another pile left by The Dog.
When I got home, I poured a vodka + lemonade and created my sign. I know you can't see what it says, but you can probably make out the pile of poo with the slash-o over it.

It also says, "Stop letting your animal use my home as a toilet!"

I thought about how crazy it seemed to leave this sign - however's only the size of a postcard - and wondered if somehow, making this sign and actually posting it paves the way into eventual old-lady-spinster insanity and possessing multiple cats.

I pondered it for a moment this morning and decided that I'm confident that Steinvic will never let that happen. So, I left the sign up and came on in to work.

One of a few things will probably happen as a result -
1. The kid won't read the sign and since The Dog can't read, poop will continue.
2. Other people will be offended and encourage their dogs to go there.
3. The boy will be completely embarrassed, and it will never happen again.
Either way, I had to try something...we'll see what happens.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Product Endorsements (for which I will not be compensated)

Why should you have to spend your hard-earned cash to try products out when I can do it for you?! I admit it: I try things! Call it my spirit of adventure... or my pursuit of perfection. If I try something and it turns out to be extraordinary, I'll let you know...I promise! And I will even let you know if I feel you need a warning if I find that a product is The Suck.

Right now, there are about six mascaras on the drug store market actively claiming to make those of us with wimpy eyelashes appear to have long, dark, glamorous, outrageously full, long, curled lashes. (Apparently it makes our legs longer, our lips fuller, our hair glossier and our *sses smaller, too, because these mascara models look amazing!)

The first thing I can tell you from experience is that the only way to make your short, blonde, sparse eyelashes look like those on the mascara models is to carefully apply false eyelashes, and then (even more carefully) apply the advertised mascara over top of them. You will have some seriously fabulous eyelashes if you do this. (Do I do that? Yes, sometimes. Love it. But not really work appropriate.)

However, the second thing I'll tell you is that after trying just about every mascara on the drugstore market, I really like Maybelline's Colossal Volum' Express mascara and it makes me look as though I have lovely, thick, long, black eyelashes. I like Glam Black. It's blacker than whatever the other black they offer is called, and why bother with the smoky or brown? Black helps define your eyes and makes them stand out.

A couple other points on this awesome stuff -
  • I wear contact lenses and this mascara doesn't seem to bother my eyes.
  • It's reasonably priced ( About $8) and there have been coupons in the Sunday papers the last few weeks.
  • It washes off well with warm water and soap/your favorite cleansing product (unless you wash your face with mascara, and then, well, I don't know/can't help you at all besides to recommend that you stop it.)
I also gave Maybelline's newest mascara a whirl - Lash Stiletto - and I like the Colossal way better. I think if you have decent lashes already, Stiletto would be fine. Stiletto isn't a big volume builder. It's more like black, heavy hold gel for your lashes. It will define them, slick them and curve them up a little, but it's like a push up bra - you gotta have something to put in the cups, or all the pushin' up in the world won't help you.

I have another product to review for you (yogurt!) but I'm going to save that for another day. (I know you can "hardly wait," but the sarcasm really isn't necessary...)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Best Version of Love

Valentine's Day has me thinking...I remember what "grade school love" was like... do you? Your first crush? When you'd see that kid in your class who made you blush a little, and you'd get all tongue tied and self conscious? And then you'd see that person do something unappealing (like eating pencil erasers) and the butterflies would float right out the window. Um, next!

Or high school love, where if you had a boyfriend or girlfriend, the relationship became part of your identity. Though if you secretly "liked" someone and word got out, it could be humiliating. (Why did we subject ourselves to it, anyway?)

I remember liking a boy in marching band and my good friend, Kecia, volunteering to "talk to him" for me, because they were on friendly terms and she thought it would help my cause if he knew I was interested.

Kecia came back to tell me that he said that he planned to ask out the majorette, but that if she said no, he'd consider asking me out.

While I'm still no Champion of Self Esteem, it was in that moment that a small bloom began to form on that thorny tree that I now call a personality... I asked Kecia to tell the guy to forget it.

When Steinvic and I met, the timing may not have been ideal...or maybe it was perfect. We were both walking (rapidly) away from faulty relationships. Mine was horrifying and his...well, I won't speak for him. But I think it was hard to have his life (and his son's life) change pretty dramatically and quickly. So, we were both in strange places. We found each other and hung on, mostly laughing, enjoying our new friendship and feeling fortunate, sometimes crying while sorting through it (okay, okay...I'm the crier, not Steinvic!), but knowing all the while that we had something solid and good and most importantly, honest.

Living in different cities isn't always easy - there are little things I miss, like the occasional informal get together with friends or family during the work week. And big things, like curling up next to him before I drift off to sleep. But living apart has allowed us to get to know each other gradually and become best friends. And to really appreciate each other. In retrospect, that was probably best, considering everything.

So now, love seems to be a combination of the varieties of love I remember from long ago, and more. I still get a grade school, fluttery stomach when I see Steinvic walking toward me. Different, though, because now, if I learned that he eats pencil erasers, I'd probably think, "Ugh!" but then go look up the best pencil eraser recipes I could find. Because, you know...that is what you do when you love someone.

And it's kind of like high school love, too, because having Steinvic in my life is definitely part of my identity. But different than high school love, because it's deep and I'm proud - everyone in a 50 mile radius knows how I feel about Steinvic.

But the biggest difference between this love and those past versions of love is that this love is wise. I recognize the amazing good in Steinvic as a person, appreciate his patience, cherish the fact that our relationship is in no way boring but also isn't full of drama and angst. We have fun , plenty in common, and enjoy future planning and sharing, all with no fear that either of us going to eventually be hurt. If we argue - surprise - we're still there for each other the next day and we just move on. He puts up with my quirks, which probably makes him eligible for sainthood. We support each other and rush to each other with good news and confide in each other over bad news, and we both listen intently...such a treasure! (Did I mention that he is absolutely gorgeous?!)

Here is to Valentine's Day, and really any day, when we can take some time to think about where we've been, what we have, and all the things we can look forward to...

Monday, February 9, 2009

Meeting Myself

So, this summer is my 20th High School reunion. I may not have given it a thought at all, but one of the guys who graduated in my class works with me and he's on the reunion committee. If I run into him at work, he asks me whether or not I plan to go.

I haven't gone to a single reunion in the last 20 years.

I'm "in touch" with what...three? Maybe four people from my graduating class and it's sporadic at best -
  • one who lives in Texas, who I e-mail with very a couple times a year. I saw her in person about four years ago.

  • one who moved here from Germany last year (long story, husband in the military, they split up, she came back home). Once she got settled, I stopped hearing from her, which is fine because honestly, she is kind of selfish and I somewhat dreaded dinners and evenings with her. (She actually blasted on my house for not being 'decorated enough.' And rolled her eyes when I explained why at that time, it wasn't.)

  • the guy on the reunion committee who works here.

  • maybe a couple others who I've seen around or who work here, and really have kind of a "hi-how-you-doing-that's-great-take-care" depth of conversation with.

A little more than five years ago, I reconnected with a few classmates and they ended up being just as petty as they'd been in high school. After, I heard some unpleasant gossip about myself through the grapevine and I just thought, waste of my time. Not even worth correcting.

I just realized that I'm making my former classmates sound like complete a-to-the-holes. Really, there are some people I would genuinely like to see. Some of my pals from the plays and musicals - like Kate. She just has to be famous by now! And Cendi and Jeff, who were so talented. And Sheryl, who lost her husband in would be great to see that she is finding her way. Some of my sistahs from Flag Corps - Chantelle...such a nutball and so much fun. Some odd little friends I knew from this or that class...Mark who used to doodle monsters on my paper when I had to go to the board in Algebra, and his sidekick Todd who would make faces that could make us all silent with laughter. But, I'm not sure that the people I'd like to see would even go.

Steinvic says he'll go with me if I really want to go. I think that is pretty sweet of him considering that he would know no one because he isn't from here. Really generous of him (though not surprising because that is how he is) and I appreciate it. I certainly wouldn't go without him.

And...if I'm being totally transparent, there is this little part of me that fears that in the faces of all these people from my past, I'll see what I used to see - no...feel what I used to feel - when I was so much younger. I wonder a little bit about what they would see in me. I've come a long way since high school. I've kind of moved on. I'm not sure I want to meet myself from 1989. That might be a little much.

I don't have to decide today, but when I get the "fill out your profile on the Class of 89 Web site!" reminders in my e-mail, I think about it a little. (I briefly consider filling out my profile and then remember that I have a wacko former spouse who has previously googled my name and used the search results as an excuse to get in touch.)

So, what about you? Would you go, or let sleeping dogs lie?

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Question of the Day

When you are out on a Friday night and you know you're going to have to get up at 6:00 a.m. the next morning to get ready for work, how many shots do you think you should do at the bar? I'm just asking...

(And if someone doesn't turn down the volume on the damn Muzak...)

Friday, February 6, 2009


There is something about a week of very early morning waking that makes me long for Saturday. Getting up every day this week at 5:30 a.m. (or earlier, thanks to snow, ice, and traffic from snow and ice) really has me ready for a cozy sleep in: waking up on my own time (instead of by beep), hanging around the house with Steinvic in my comfy pants and soft socks and tee-shirt, cooking a giant, leisurely brunch for us and watching a little tv before starting our day.

No, wait...I'm scheduled for work tomorrow. WTF?

Yes, I'll be in here at 8:00 a.m., along with all the others who have to work tomorrow. I'm lucky, though...this year, I only have seven Saturdays to work. It used to be nine. I know, poor me - when I was in retail management for all those years, I worked a 6-7 day workweek more often than not.

Let's face it...I'm spoiled! And now that I have someone I want to spend all my free time with, I really don't like giving my Saturday mornings up.

So, the roads are clear enough that Steinvic will have no trouble getting here tonight, which is great. And, while it was below zero yesterday, we're supposed to reach fifty degrees tomorrow! It's crazy.

We don't have anything planned for certain, but this is going on up in Dayton and I'd really like to go. Tickets benefit Justin King, a young man with Cystic Fibrosis, who loves the Beatles and Salvador Dali, two of my favorite things. I think Steinvic would dig seeing some Dali in person, too - I've been to the Dali Museum in Saint Petersburg twice, but Steinvic hasn't ever been...

Or maybe to a movie...or maybe just for a walk, because I miss the sun so much!

Anyway, thawing out here, and looking forward to noon tomorrow, when my real weekend can begin!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Exercises in Bladder Control

Okay, okay...I know I have already devoted time to whining about the weather here but just one more, more post to share with you my adventure yesterday afternoon.

Over the weekend, the Weather Experts (why call themselves that when no one should boast that they can acurately predict what mood Mother Nature might be in on any particular moment...) predicted a blizzard for our area midweek. Then, they retracted it.

Well, the Weather Experts were WRONG! Because mid-day, the "dusty, one to three inches" they predicted when they modified our forecast turned into a full-out blizzard, hammering our area with between 5-8 inches of snow. During rush hour. The photo is a view from our conference room at about 4:00. By 5:00, there were two more inches on the ground and you could not see any pavement.

Did I mention that my normal 25 minute commute took three hours last night? I was listening to 700 WLW and one of the callers wondered if he'd get cited for pulling over to pee. (I was starting to consider the same thing.) Granted, 40 minutes of my road time was just trying to get out of the parking lot onto the main road.

The awesome part today is listening to the Weather Experts trying to find something intelligent to say about snow. I tuned in this morning just to see how bad the highways were.

One genius actually said, "The amount of snow you got in last night's storm really depended upon where you live."

NO! Really? You mean, where I live in relation to where the storm was concentrated would impact the amount of snow that fell on my home? (gasp!) I had no idea! if I didn't live in the area where it was snowing the heaviest, I wouldn't have gotten as much snow as somone who did? THANK G*D you are on the news!

Anyway, the road clean up begins, and I told Steinvic that whenever he is ready to move to Phoenix, I'm there! I'm not really a snow-and-ice kind of girl. (Although if Steinvic wanted to move to Alaska, I'd do it in a heartbeat. Where he goes, I go...)
I will say that it was kinda touching to have some of my friends texting me while I was sitting in the "new parking lot on I-275." That was nice. And yes, I was texting in the car, even though I really, really think it's dangerous when people do that. However, I was not moving, so I think it was a lovely thing to do in this case. So yep, I was texting on the highway...something I can't usually say!

Once I finally got home, I did work on two canvases last for the freshly painted kitchen. Soon as I finish it and hang it up, I'll post a picture here.

Meanwhile, stay cozy and think Spring thoughts! Please! (And not the tornado, scary spring kind of thoughts...I'm thinking more the daffodils, warm sunshine, tender breezes, green leaves kind of thoughts...)