Oct 31

First and foremost:

HAPPY HALLOWEEN, EVERYONE!

I’m happy to report that we have absolutely zero candy left over.  Thank GOD.

Most importantly, I remain sick.  Just as sick as I was one week ago when I came down with a fever and chills so bad, not even three blankets could keep me warm.  It’s been coming and going ever since.

My throat has been raw for almost that long too.  During the day, while I’m up and moving around, it seems to subside a bit, but in the evening, it hurts so much that I’m eating Tylenol or whatever OTC pain medicine I can find, and trying my best to swallow.
Usually these things are gone in a few days.  That’s always how my ailments work.  It starts one day with subtle symptoms, then I have one full blown day of everything, then by the third day, my body is already feeling better.

But not this time.  Today, I finally broke down and went to the clinic.  God am I sick of seeing doctor’s this month.  The good news is, it isn’t strep.  The bad news is, it looks like some sort of virus that may take weeks to get over.  She offered me some Lydocaine gel and some Tylenol with Codeine.  I took the Codeine and while I certainly am in the state of mind to where I don’t care if I’m in pain; I’m still in pain.  I still can’t swallow without feeling like I’m swallowing shards of glass or trying to fit a watermelon down a waterhose.

And now the pain has spread to my jaw, to my ears, and I can barely move my tongue.  I guess this is good practice for my jaw surgery in January.

Not to mention, I’m sure Howard enjoys the silence to my incessant babbling nonsense.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go play with those three headed dancing bears that just walked past my ukelele.

Oct 30

I was ringing up a customer today when he looked at me said:

“Hey, I found your blog last night.”

Before I could feign ignorance, my blush gave me away. I then asked how he found it and he said:

“I found it doing a search on blogger.”

Which is my old blog account.  I thought I’d deleted it but apparantly, it’s still out there in cyberspace even though when I click on the old url, it comes up as no longer existing.

I immediately began doing a backtrack in my mind of things I’ve said, about customers, about living here, mainly about my filthy, filthy language.  I don’t make it publically known to people here that I have a blog.  However, I do know that it IS a public blog and that people could probably track it down pretty easily.  If I didn’t want the whole world to read it, why put it out there right?  I know this.  But I guess it’s still a little embarassing.  I’ve talked about everything from my infertility, to my depression, to my deep loathing of living in certain places, my family history, my good old redneck roots.  I mean, yes, I do write about it here but I don’t blab about my life to people I barely know and I guess that’s kind of how I feel right now about this new person reading it.

After the initial shock wore off, I’m fine with it.  I mean, my job doesn’t really define me in the big picture (though at times in this circumstance, it can seem to) and I really am not going to censor myself.  I chose to do this as a creative outlet.  It even says in my bio that some of what I write is offensive, so everyone is warned.  I choose what I want to put out there to the world.  I’m ready for any kind of consequence.  And of course, getting more readers is always a good thing.
Howard said “well honey, you shouldn’t put things online that you wouldn’t want your own mother reading.”

My mother reads this blog.  So I guess I’m okay.

Oct 26

I be sick ya’ll. For real.

Anyway, if any of you happened to see the blogroll over there on the left side of the page and click on Rude Cactus? You’ll read what I read today.

Dear. God. Someone please put this fat cow out of his misery help this man.

And I’m not talking about Chris either.  For Chris is awesome. (and so is his lovely wife Beth, not to mention, have you seen their hopelessly adorable daughter? sorry. tangient)

I’m speaking of Rush.

I’m going to go cough up a lung now.

Oct 25

But we’re going to Morocco! Woo hoo! I booked the trip last night. Bought, paid for, the itinerary is in my inbox.

Whew!

I’m so excited I could…well..I don’t know what I could do but I’m REALLY REALLY excited.

Also? My good friend, the mayor, won the re-election for mayor by a landslide. I’m so proud of him. We’re all proud of him.

Anyway, we’re going to Morrocco! Who wants to come with?

Oct 23

Okay.  So Morocco it is.  We’re going.

Only now?  We’re going to Marrakesh.  Yes, we’ve decided on yet another “adventurous” holiday instead of a “relaxing” holiday.  But Marra-fucking-kesh!

Secretly?  I’ve been wanting to go there since I saw the movie “Hideous Kinky” a few years ago.  I want to shop in the souks and go to the famous DJEEMA EL-FNA to see the snake charmers, the belly dancers, and maybe buy a Berber rug.

I want to ride in on a Caleche and wear a smata.

It just seems too exotic to pass up.  And I hear the people are warm and welcoming.  Plus?  One no longer needs a guide to go into the souks to shop.  The government cracked down a few years ago, making it illegal to harass tourists.

When we really thought about it, we decided we wanted to go somewhere unforgettable again.

Seriously. We can hop a flight to a balmy location from anywhere almost anytime.  Heck, I used to live on the coast.
So Marrakesh it is.  I’m booking the trip tomorrow morning.

Now?  To learn some conversational Arabic.

Oct 20

Once again, I am humbled.

Since that last crazily neurotic post,  (oh dear God, I really am the drama queen, aren’t I?) I have received such warm sentiments whether it be via email, the phone, or even in the comments.

I ask you, can a girl get a better circle of friends?  Let me answer that.  Hell fucking no.

You’re all awesome and I love you.

The health thing, well, let me just say right now, it is not life threatening.  The surgery?  Minor compared to the others I could have been facing.  And most of it has to do with that damn whole reproductive issue that I’ve been dealing with for years.  The other?  Entails breaking my entire jaw…ugh, though it may be the best diet plan I’ve concocted yet. Ha!
I’m even feeling a bit less bummed about my job.  I do believe though, that if I didn’t live in such an awesome place with such nice people, I’d be going back to work for Melissa. (Hi Melissa!)
It’s a pretty big deal when you can honestly say that you stay in your job mainly for the people’s sake.  That gives me a lot of fulfillment.  It really does.

That? And, okay, I also stay because of my partner in crime Tess.  My Tessy.  Seriously.  The girl should get bonuses just on her ability to help the company retain employees.  And there are a couple of other people in that office that I love as well.  They?  Keep me from crushing up those Prozac pills, cooking them in a spoon, and shooting it into my arm.

And back to Melissa.  Now with Melissa?  If I had ANYTHING I wanted to get off my chest?  I knew I could go to her with it.  She had an “open door policy”.  Many times, we’d be in heated arguments, but you know what?  We’d always work it out.  She never made me feel silly or crazy either.  And she’d do what she could to make sure my requests were met, my points validated, if she was able to.  If I thought something wasn’t fair?  I KNEW I could go to her and tell her and she’d listen.  I was always satisfied working there.  It was a very healthy work environment.  Melissa, really was an awesome boss.  Sure we were catty bitches some days but we were truly a family there.  I miss that.  That is the kind of job satisfaction I want.

Did I mention that Melissa and I also went tubing down Wilson’s Creek and lived to tell about it?

Oh.  Well.  That’s for another post.

Jen, Heather, Julie, Carla, Pam?  I’m without words for you fabulous women as well.  Thank you for always loving me no matter what.

Oct 15

An old childhood friend leaves for Iraq tonight. He’s been training in Mississippi since July. I’m worried sick for him, but so proud at the same time.

My friendship with Josh goes way back to when I was a teenager. He and I both were wounded, angry kids. Both grew up without fathers, both felt we were screwed out of a happy childhood. We both came from crazily dysfuctional families.

We were also crazy in love back then. As in love as you can be when you’re 14 and 16. Josh was probably the most cynical kid I’ve ever met. He was wise beyond his years because he had to be. Though he had a beautiful heart and a kind soul, his exterior was rough. He was guarded.

Both of us didn’t expect much out of life, but Josh was the more pessimistic of the both of us. He did NOT want kids when he got older. Neither did I. We were so scared of fucking them up, being bad parents, making the same mistakes our parents had. He loved with his whole heart but didn’t accept it easily.
Eventually we broke up and grew up. We fell out of touch for many years, each of us moving forward with our lives.

Several years ago, we got back in touch. I was surprised to find that he’d re-married (his first marriage ended badly) a wonderful woman and was now the father of four kids. Two boys and two twin girls. He was also much less cynical. He made a fine grown up. Love and parenthood had transformed him. The love for his wife and children was obvious from his emails and the countless pictures he would send me. I was so relieved that the world had proven him wrong, he was being much less harder on himself. He was happy for me for the same reasons. We’d turned out just fine, lucked out in love and life, in spite of everything we thought. We remain friends even now, emailing at least once a week when we can.  Each of us, worrying if we don’t hear from the other.  Mainly?  Because no one knew us like we were back then.  And we try to keep each other from ever going back to that.
Josh is heartbroken over having to leave his kids and wife behind to go to Iraq. I honestly believe he’s much more worried about how they’ll handle his being gone than his own fears of facing death, facing injury, facing the enemy. The only time his stoicism is shaken is when he writes to me about something one of his kids said to him over the phone. He lives for those moments and wants to be his best for his family. I’m so proud of him. His family is so proud of him. I know, and they all know that he’ll do his country proud.

I was listening to Montgomery Gentry today and this song made me think of him. It makes me think of all the soldiers serving their country. PROUDLY. And the choices and things that happen to us, when you least expect them, and make us better people.
Josh, I love you, my dear friend. This is for you.

“Something To Be Proud Of”

There's a story that my daddy tells religiously
Like clockwork every time he sees an opening
In a conversation about the way things used to be
Well I'd just roll my eyes and make a bee-line for the door
But I'd always wind up starry-eyed, cross-legged on the floor
Hanging on to every word
Man, the things I heard

It was harder times and longer days
Five miles to school, uphill both ways
We were cane switch raised, and dirt floor poor
'Course that was back before the war
Yeah, your uncle and I made quite a pair
Flying F-15's through hostile air
He went down but they missed me by a hair
He'd always stop right there and say...

That's something to be proud of
That's a life you can hang your hat on
That's a chin held high as the tears fall down
A gut sucked in, a chest stuck out
Like a small town flag a-flyin'
Or a newborn baby cryin'
In the arms of the woman that you love
That's something to be proud of

So I'm graduatin' college, that was mama's dream
But I was on my way to anywhere else when I turned 18
Cuz when you gotta fast car you think you've got everything
I learned quick those GTO's don't run on faith
I ended up broken down in some town north of L.A.
Working maximum hours for minimum wage
Well, I fell in love, next thing I know
The babies came, the car got slow
I sure do miss that old hot rod
But you sure save gas in them foreign jobs
Dad, I wonder if I ever let you down
If you're ashamed how I turned out
Well, he lowered his voice, then he raised his brow
Said, lemme tell ya right now

That's something to be proud of
That's a life you can hang your hat on
You don't need to make a million
Just be thankful to be workin'
If you're doing what you're able
And putting food there on the table
And providing for the family that you love
That's something to be proud of

And if all you ever really do is the best you can
Well, you did it man

That's something to be proud of
That's a life you can hang your hat on
That's a chin held high as the tears fall down
A gut sucked in, a chest stuck out
Like a small town flag a-flyin'
Or a newborn baby cryin'
In the arms of the woman that you love
That's something to be proud of
That's something to be proud of
Yeah, that's something to be proud of
That's something to be proud of
Now that's something to be proud of
Oct 12

So Howard took me over to Susie’s where I walked in to a decorated cafe’ (she’s the owner) and a daquiri waiting for me. Also a pizza with pepperonis, mushrooms, and black olives. Mmmmmm! There were a few of our close friends there and I even had a birthday cake with candles.

My goal was to only have one daquiri because I have homework, I have to be up early to catch a flight tomorrow, blah, blah, blah, but one turned into two and maybe three. Okay with maybe a shot of tequila and a perhaps a beer thrown in too.

People kept showing up and giving me well wishes. I nearly cried.

Susie’s birthday is on Sunday so we’re having a big joint celebration next weekend.

Tonight, as I was laughing with Shannie, and Camille, and Dusty, and Dave and Chris and Todd and Susie and of course Howard, I felt overwhelmed with gratitude once again.

I look back at the last couple of years at the times when I’ve been so depressed about the state of my life. Depressed about where I was living. But you know what? If I’d never lived and experienced those things and places, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

Surrounded by good friends, here and all over the country.

Living in an amazing community I was brought to by chance. By sheer luck. And my heart swells at the knowledge that deep down I know I am “home.”

It was a fabulous birthday.

Oct 11

Thank you to all my friends who dropped a “Happy Birthday” line to me in my inbox this morning.  I was overwhelmed and humbled.

Also, even though Howard swears he didn’t do it, someone told the morning dj at our radio station that it was my birthday today and he informed everyone in the listening area to call in or stop by the store to wish me a happy one.  Then he played some Donna Fargo because I requested it a couple of days ago.  In all he played three songs for me.  I walked around with a perpetual blush all day.  I think if it wasn’t Howard, it was Dusty.

Also, Susie gave me a free lunch and is making daquiri’s for me tonight.

Howard bought me the most beautiful set of handmade and hand beaded gloves I think I’ve ever seen.  They’re lined with beaver fur too, which means they’ll be warm this winter.

My mom, my aunt, and my sister called me bright and early to wish me a happy one and I got my birthday card from my memaw today.  How cool is that?  It usually comes early or later, never on the day.

So turning 32 was pretty darn good.

And without further ado, I’ll show off the e-card my mom sent me because she always makes me feel warm and fuzzy with her words.  Mommies are good for that.

“Happy Birthday…on time! (gotta love the Internet)

Happy 32nd. birthday, Chris! Hard to believe you’re that old. I was just thinking where I was 32 years ago today, when you were almost 13 hours old. Another girl. Holding you in my arms and seeing how pretty you were and thinking, “Boy you weigh a lot.” 8 lb., 12 oz., 22″ long. Now, 32 years later, I think about how special you still are. Kind, generous, thoughtful, and sweet. And how I’ll always love you.

Love, Mom (and Tom)”
I thank God for giving me another year on this earth, for my health, my amazing life, my incredible luck at having amazing friends and amazing family.

My cup truly, runneth over.

Oct 9

The first twenty songs on the “shuffle” option of my iPod.  Yes, you want to know this.  You will sleep better knowing it.

Bad Medicine-Bon Jovi

Rebirth of Slick-Digable Planets

The Hardest Thing-98 Degrees (shut up, it’s a guilty pleasure)

Honey! I’m Home-Shania Twain

Easy to Love-1998 Lincoln Center Cast-”Anything Goes” soundtrack

Nothing Really Matters-Madonna

8th World Wonder-Kimberley Locke

Can’t Fight This Feeling-REO Speedwagon

Not Ready To Make Nice-Dixie Chicks

Breakaway-Kelly Clarkson

Memory-Elaine Page

Meet Me Halfway-Kenny Loggins

Macavity The Mystery Cat-Geraldine Gardner

It’s De-Lovely-Lincoln Center Cast “Anything Goes” soundtrack

The Real Slim Shady-Eminem

End Of The Road-Boys II Men

Buttons-The Pussycat Dolls featuring Snoop Dogg

Don’t Know What You Got Til It’s Gone-Cinderella

Girls, Girls, Girls-Motley Crue

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