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Diary Rings

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
Maloney for Congress - 2014-10-08

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11:04 a.m. - 2014-02-10
All Kinds of White

Thursday I had the sniffles and my back was a misery to me, my bank account needed CPR, outside it was snitzing (nasty mix of frozen rain and snow), the plows had beheaded my mailbox, all of our shovels were broken, I wanted Chinese food and couldn't even afford an egg roll, my hair was (and still is) an overgrown mess and life was just fricken dreary.

Then in rapid succession Wolf found out he got a 76% of the algebra Regents (whoo!), the ex coughed up the child support and took the kid out for dinner and a movie (alone time for us!), Verizon called and offered me a free tablet just for being a good customer, the sun came out, and like the shoemaker's elves sometime late Friday night the IRS snuck our tax refund into our bank account so Saturday morning's balance check was almost $6K higher than expected.

It was a good weekend.

Of course the overwhelming majority of the dough is tucked in the savings account, but we allowed ourselves some treats. Mick's already been to the barber and I've made appointments for me and Princess to go to the salon. (Not the same salon, sillies.) I got my Chinese food. We bought new shovels and some bungees to reattach the mailbox (Mick found it in a snow bank not far from the end of the driveway) and fresh bulbs for the stove hood. There was a spree at B&N. Mick got his VW porn, Wolf got a new 'Zits' collection, and I got a modest pile including a new Maeve Binchy and the second Miss Peregrine. Yesterday we did a huge grocery shopping and the echoing wasteland of barren cupboards and empty fridge is transformed into a cornucopia of gustatory delight.

Perhaps snow shovels and fingerling potatoes don't sound all that sexy and your idea of living large isn't a trip to the dog groomer, but we are folks of small joys and simple pleasures. Not a humble brag, truly. There just aren't many holes in our lives. Especially not ones that need filling with 'stuff'.

This, however, didn't stop me from accepting the tablet from Verizon. I know the hook was to bump our monthly bill by $10 to support the addition of the 'free' tablet, but we were already paying way too much for data so a quick adjustment to our data plan and the tablet folds in seamlessly without changing our monthly tab. I wasn't sure if I could really use a tablet, I own a computer and smart phone, but damn, I've had it two days and the thing is already really handy. A quick download of CS Lewis, Jack London, Jane Austen, and all of LM Montgomery's books and now I have an e-reader...with music! Last night I dove into 'Anne of Green Gables' with iHeart radio on the Beatles channel and was one contented girlie.

I'm coming late to the e-reader phenom, Mick bought me a Nook a few years ago but the damn thing never worked right. It never would accept my home network's password. A bit of a Luddite anyhow I couldn't see the point of an e-reader I had to physically take to B&N to get it to download anything. If I'm in the brick and mortar store then I'm buying books printed on real paper. Plus in a stunning bit of reverse snobbery I was quite pleased to pull my old-school bound books from my purse. While others sat in waiting rooms and at lunch tables with their faces locked onto teeny screens I was there with my actual books ostentatiously turning pages and marking my place with a lovely silver bookmark engraved with a quote from Erasmus. 'When I have a little money, I buy books; and if I have any left, I buy food and clothes.'

You'd think someone who styles herself as a writer would be glad people were reading no matter the format, but not me. I love books. You cannot line shelves with digital downloads. There are no tottery stacks of tomes on night tables and desks personalizing your space with a Nook. There's no good book smell with a Kindle. Come the apocalypse and the grid goes down e-readers become so much dead junk, but a paper book is there to be read even by candlelight. Yet now I have one. And I'm delighted with it. Will I ever chuck actual books in favor of a device? Not bloody likely. But I'm silly enough to enjoy having an endless 'book' that also plays music, plugs me into the net, and takes pictures. Plus once I get my passwords in there I will be able to check my mail and catch the odd episode of 'Say Yes to the Dress' any place with WiFi.

Yeah, I have a seriously sick 'Say Yes...' habit. For the good of my marriage and my health I've given up so many of my old vices. Even onion rings. And man, do I love onion rings. In the stead of my old wicked ways I've taken up a (mostly) harmless fascination with wedding porn. Not mean shit like 'Bridezillas' or 'Bridalplasty', people behaving badly is so not my gig. But Kleinfeld's? Oh yes. Please. I've watched every episode available on Netflix. Repeatedly. I even have a favorite consultant. Audrey. Should finances ever allow me to indulge in my insane obsession with wedding dresses Audrey will be my consultant of choice. I see myself taking the train into the city and cabbing it down to 20th St and finally, finally going into that Mecca of organza and lace to have my turn on the wedding dress pedestal. Audrey? She's my pick because she's kind. Because in the off hours she tries on dresses too. She won't make me feel like an idiot for wanting to have a beautiful gown and look like a bride even though I am so old and tubby. To just for once feel entitled to wear something gorgeous. No concessions to my behemoth size and unfeminine giantess beast self. I want tulle, dammit! And embroidery. And maybe even crystals. And a veil. In my dreams Randy comes by and says, "Hello, gorgeous!" and helps me adjust my tiara.

Is it dopey? God, yes. Stupid. Pathetic. And really fucking sad. I'm old enough to be a grandmother and maybe even am one for all I know. Alex would never, ever tell me he's a father nor let me within a 100 miles of any kid of his. Wolf is only 16 and so far dateless. He's a decade or more away from even considering marriage let alone kids. As Carrie Fisher so aptly put it my 'Delusions of Grandma' are farfetched. Ain't gonna happen.

This is my reality. Ageing in-laws. House woes. Too many cats and a grungy dog. A messy endless winter. One AWOL kid and one who's too grown for lap sitting and the Go To Sleep Song yet still a far, far piece from being on his own. The woman in the mirror is blotchy-skinned, double chinned, and (for the nonce) has really shitty hair. Onion rings give me agita and at least two days of the squits. After last year's restaurant disaster I'm back to cooking on Valentine's Day. (Steak, clams casino, asparagus, spinach salad with strawberry vinaigrette.) I have a new tablet and money in the bank. Yet despite the stretching and the yoga poses my back is fucked and I'm in pain all the goddamn time. We have new ergonomic shovels but there's more snow due on Wednesday and my beloved darling Mick will be out there clearing it and he's 54 years old. So I worry.

Life is good but it ain't great.


Striving for peace and dreaming of Chantilly lace, ~LA



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