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Can we just jump to January please? - 2014-11-14
A (don't kick the) Bucket List - 2014-10-28
Put THIS in your pipe and DON'T smoke it! - 2014-10-23
Max, Wolf, and the goats - 2014-10-15
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1:14 p.m. - 2013-11-27
Fricken Turkey is a Joke.

A couple weeks back Mick and I went to his school's production of 'Blithe Spirit'. A rather bold choice of material for a high school drama club since the characters do A LOT of drinking. Plus that whole murder thing. And anytime school kids do something that mentions the supernatural some crackpot Christians are duty-bound to get all bunchy in their holy panties and make a stink. Anyway, the kids did a faboo job. Mick oversees a study hall in the auditorium and gets an inside view of the set building, the blocking and rehearsals. By the time the play opens he's as proud as any parent and is very excited to take me to see 'his' kids in action.

Going to the school plays has become a thing with us. One I enjoy very much. I'm a sucker for kids performing. A bunch of second graders singing safety songs for Fire Prevention week will lay me flat bawling from the cuteness. I learned to bring tissues to Alex's band concerts, I leaked tears through all of them too. Even 'Merry Tuba Christmas'- an annual gig in December on the ice at Rockefeller Center where tuba enthusiasts of all ages honk out Christmas tunes on nothing but low brass instruments. (And, baby, if you've never heard 'Silent Night' done with baritones and sousaphones then you haven't lived.) There I'd be in the crush and press of the crowd of tourists, tree gawkers, and pickpockets all smeary-faced with tears and half-frozen boogers buttonholing the people around me to point out my kid and exhorting them to marvel at the wonderful strangeness of an all tuba band. It's Christmas in New York City! The giant tree! Lights everywhere! The store windows! Roasted chestnut vendors! And down there on the ice of the most famous rink in the universe was my kid and his tuba. God, kill me now because it doesn't get any better than this.

We are very much looking forward to the spring musical. This year it's 'Grease'. Something I am very curious about. The original book is gleefully filthy. They cleaned it up some for the movie but it's still plenty bawdy. And I'm wondering if this year's Danny Zuko will be belting out, "...and you know that ain't no shit, I'll be getting lots of tit" during 'Greased Lightning'.

When I was in high school this wouldn't have been an issue. Times were different then. We drank, swore, smoked dope, got laid, had actual jobs, owned cars, and off the top of my head I can name at least 15 people from my class who'd moved out of their folks' place and had their own apartments by our senior year. I imagine some kids still do this, but the nicey-nice coddling and infantilization of today's teenagers wasn't even on the radar yet. My 10th grade reading list included 'A Separate Peace', 'One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest', and the unexpurgated version of 'Romeo and Juliet'. The school play that year was 'Tea and Sympathy' for goddsakes. We'd grown up listening to George Carlin, Richard Pryor, and Cheech and Chong. I'm not saying whether this was right or wrong, but in 1979 nobody got the vapors if a 16 year old heard a dirty word.

I did something REALLY hard yesterday...I went to the gynecologist. A new one, no less. Scary? Oh you know it. I'm not extraordinarily modest, but assuming that particular position is rough for me. There's a vulnerability and helplessness that triggers all kinds of sorrow. I faced down my horror and fear though and got my exam and pap smear. The nurse and the doctor (a woman, finally!) were both very kind. I explained my problem beforehand and was put at ease as much as possible. Aside from the awful stirrups it was a good appointment. As I feared there really isn't anything to be done about my stupidly protracted menopause. My weight gain this year isn't helping, body fat is all about the extra estrogen, but otherwise I'm doing what little can be done. Meditation. Reducing stress. Keeping up my flagging sex drive. Staying off the vodka and upping the leafy greens. HRT of any sort is out. LA and hormones do NOT mix. The six month break I got earlier this year is a hopeful sign. This shit will end eventually. Like everything else with my stupidly outsized freakish body I'm on the far end of the bell curve and am defying all odds and statistics by heading into my 40th year of active menstruation. By rights I should have more kids than a Duggar instead of just the two, but whatever. In any case I stopped being such a chickenshit and got my doin's checked out, got a 'scrip for a mammogram, had a blood test for ovarian cancer, and *bonus* found out I've dropped 10lbs without even trying.

Got my Escort out of hock yesterday. Oy, my poor nerdy beater. As any elderly car does (or person for that matter), my ancient ride had megrims that needed tending. A new fill neck on the gas tank and a new gas cap. An oil change. It spent some time up on the rack investigating a weird noise in the suspension. Joe found a small oil leak in the front axle but it's not critical. The noise (which comes and goes in no set pattern) is most likely the engine mounts. Mick and I got into a dust-up about this. I didn't want to spend the $$ on something so minor this close to Christmas, especially with no cure for the mystery noise guaranteed, but Mick freaked right the fuck out. My dear mannie is spoiled. Spoiled by a lifetime of fancy, exactingly maintained, new every two years cars. Mick's owned an astonishing (and somewhat disgusting) 32 cars. At one point he owned seven cars just for his personal use. That's right, he had a car for each day of the week...like underpants! Mick doesn't know from driving beaters, clunkers, and "Meh, it'll be fine" pieces of shit. My husband never had kids or a house or an income that depended on tips, commissions and whether a client actually pays up or reneges forcing a lawsuit to get money due. He'd always been able to afford and never minded having a car payment. Me? The exact opposite. My rides have always been old, eccentric, and I did most of the repairs and upgrades myself. In the driveway with parts from NAPA and the local junkyard. Yes, now we have the Rogue and I love it, but we still need my zombified Escort to keep chugging for at least another 18 months. My putt-putt car that gets me where I need to go on my weekly rounds. Even if on most days it sits in the driveway I know it's there. My 4-cylander get out of jail free card. Mick roared and bellowed and did his best to insist that the Escort be scrapped NOW.

Uh huh. A one car family? Yeah right.

To do so means I have to get up at dawn and drive Mick across the county and drop him at work just so I can get some errands done. And be back there at the exact moment he gets off work or listen to bitching about his 'suffering' at being on campus two nanoseconds longer than required. My whole fucking LIFE would be bent around begging and toadying and scheduling use of the Rogue and never, ever, ever having any freedom to come and go without putting Mick and his schedule and his needs first. Feh, screw that noise. I am a grown person. One who's done a hella lot of risky yet personally satisfying stuff. Raised two kids. Faced down and succeeded against homelessness twice. I do enough accommodating already. To give up my ride? My out from being the mom, the wife, the servant? Not in this lifetime. My beater Escort might be creaky and noisy and none too beautiful, but it's mine. And I have the final say about what gets fixed, what can wait, what I am willing to put up with, and most especially when (if!!!!) I ever retire it.

I cook and tend and listen and smile. A LOT. Probably more than is healthy. But the line in the sand, my personal Rubicon, my own "Don't touch my junk, dude" moment is my car. I've had my own wheels since I was 18 years old and will claw the eyes out of anyone who thinks I am supposed to do without them.

Thanksgiving. Anyone who's been here for a while knows my mad pash for Thanksgiving. It's my favorite winter holiday. A day without overly religious overtones and baggage. A relaxing day of good food and good company. The one day of the year when we should put aside the workaday world, the angst, the bullshit, and simply share a meal with those we love.

Fuh. Even that went into the shitter this year. SIL and her crew are going into the city for the Macy parade. My elder son won't cross my threshold even under pain of death. My former best friend was quite explicit that my invite was some kind of horrible imposition and that I should be ashamed of myself for inviting her in the first place. Another dear friend made it very clear a few years ago that she wanted no part of the Sage Thanksgiving anymore either, even though she'd been an honored guest for dessert for a long time before. Wolf's father has been up my butt about when Wolf can be sprung from my shitty little holiday so he can be off with our kid and go to his sister's house where the REAL Thanksgiving will be. You know, the one with all the people who were my family for almost 30 years and now treat me like a bad smell? Ex-SIL's place with all the other exes? My ex-nephews, my ex-BIL (who I foolishly thought was my friend regardless of marital status), my ex-husband, and my ex-son? Yeah, Alex goes there. With his girlfriend. The one I'll never meet. Even if they marry and have kids? Kids I won't ever be allowed near for fear of damaging them with my toxic unwanted self?

So fuck it. My former favorite holiday is a joke. A bust. Another stupid fantasy gone sour.

It's time for something different. Screw the turkey and the cranberry sauce and the laughter and the expectations of love and fellowship. This year I'm making ham.


Covered in pineapple, brown sugar glaze, and cynicism, ~LA


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