Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Good Journey

My aunt's mother died yesterday.

This seems sad. But she was ready.

She was 108 years old.

That's right. 108 years old.

And, until about a month ago, she was spry and clever and energetic. She was the life of the party and a complete darling.

She considered life a journey and she met it with her eyes and heart open.

I think my favorite picture of her was taken just a few months ago. She'd been living in an assisted living facility for the past couple years but that barely slowed her down. On the day the photo was taken, a group of motorcycle enthusiasts brought a couple of Harleys to the home and all the ladies had their pictures taken on the bike.

Some of the ladies were afraid to climb on that big ol' hog, but not Rachel. She needed help, but she got on that bike, wrapped her arms around that "young" man's waist and gave the camera a big, bright, excited smile.

I can only hope to have a life half as full and fun as hers.

So, as sad as death is, I can't bring myself to lament such a well-lived life.

Wherever Rachel is now, I'm sure she's the life of the party.

Good Journey, Rachel.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Summer of 1969

Oh when I look back now
That summer seemed to last forever
And if I had the choice
Ya - I'd always wanna be there
Those were the best days of my life

-Bryan Adams

The Summer of 1969 was eventful - for the U.S., for counter-culture, for the human population as a whole, and for ME - even though I wasn't born yet.

In Mid-July, Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin flew to the moon, an awe-inspiring event which broadened the dreams of all Americans and profoundly affected the human race. (Though my dad will tell you now that it was all a great big hoax - ignore him)

In Mid-August, one of the most pivotal "moments" in the history of music and the counter-culture movement stretched across a dairy farm in Upstate New York and reached into the deepest corners of our imaginations.

And, on August 23rd - 40 years ago today - in a small church in a small town in Iowa, my mother (who wore a size 5 for the first and last time of her adult life) married my father.

The last forty years have been filled with triumphs and trials, feats and failures, births, deaths, joys, sorrows, celebrations, laments, dreams, plans, and goals, disappointments and fights.

Lots and lots of fights.

But far more smiles, hugs, laughs, and kisses. And above all: LOVE.

It hasn't been a smooth ride. But it hasn't been a boring one either.

Sometimes I wonder why I'm nearly 37 and never married. But then I take a look and realize it's because I've seen what I want: a PARTNER in every sense of the word. A relationship as full of life and laughter and love as the one my parents have built.

And I won't settle for less.

Congratulations, Mom and Dad.

And THANK YOU for the wonderful life you have built for us. I wouldn't trade my family for any other.

I love you.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

What?? Huh?? WHAT????

I think I'm deaf.


I Think I'm Deaf!


I Think I'm DEAF!



Oy. So. I'm house-sitting for a friend while she's visiting relatives this week. Not much to do, really, just water the potted plants in her back yard and feed the guppies.

We had some pretty wretched storms on Monday morning (we lost satellite tv at my gym at 5:30am) so I decided to run over to her house after work and make sure her basement didn't get any water (it's flooded before)

I unlocked the front door and walked in. The alarm beeped at me. I flipped open the key pad and tapped in the code.

But it didn't take. I tried to tap it in again. Nothing I entered was going through. It just said "OC"

And then the most horrible sound I've ever heard happened. It was like an air-raid siren. An air-raid siren going off two feet from my head. And it didn't stop. It wouldn't stop no matter what I did.

When the security company called, I gave them the password and they tried to talk me through disabling it. But they didn't seem to understand that the keypad wasn't taking my commands. They just kept telling me to enter in the code again. Argh!!!

Finally, they told me: "Let me transfer you to tech support"


"Let me transfer you to tech support"


"Let me transfer you to tech support"


Monday, August 17, 2009

boo hoo

So... I wanted to talk to ferrerman. I wanted to personally call him out for being so petty and small as to post under someone else's REAL NAME.

For some reason, he is incapable of understanding why we might consider this a threat.

Also, he's denying it, but too many of us SAW IT to fall for that!!! Plus I kept a screenshot which I will provide to anyone I trust who asks for it.

Newsflash, asshole! When you post the PERSONAL INFORMATION of someone with whom you're fighting on a public forum, you're being agressive and threatening to that person, you're using fear as a weapon. How can that NOT be seen as a threat?

Now, I had no way of conversing with him other than on Topix, so I decided to comment on his blog, knowing that he moderates his comments and could read my comments and choose to publish them or not.

Unsurprisingly, instead of getting my point that his actions were threatening and SCARY, he chose to see my comments as "taunts" (though I admit that I did freely call him a chickenshit coward and an asshole, which are only my true opinions of him)

Further, when I used examples in the hopes of getting him to realize how frightening his actions were, he still didn't understand where I was coming from. I'm sure he thought I was taunting him some more but I was trying to help him grow a little empathy, to see things from MY point of view. But no joy.

Seriously, he just doesn't understand why we consider his actions threatening. And that scares me even more.

So, basically, I am a "liar" and a "cunt"

But I have lied about NOTHING.

His actions were threatening and caused REAL FEAR.

I don't know why he finds that so hard to understand.

He claims to be "done with" us. One can only hope. I for one will believe it when I see it.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Something very scary happened on Topix today.

Many of you know about the on-going "feud" between a few of my imaginary friends and a poster who calls himself "ex-ferrerman"

Well, it's never been pleasant and despite my attempt to smooth things over with an open letter and his response, he continues his frightening, vindictive vendetta against us, following us, reading the innie threat searching for any mention of him - though most of us are content to pretend he doesn't exist.

At one point in our original argument, he frightened me badly. He had changed his name to "Boss of EEE" and wrote "See you on Facebook - Ooops!" which I took as a threat. It scared the shit out of me. Here was someone pissed off at me reminding me that he knew my real name.

But from his comment on my blog, I thought I could breathe easily, that he was "safe" but now I am back to being afraid of him.

Because today on Topix, he posted the real name of a dear friend of mine.

He changed it up a small bit, but it was clearly a threat.

This is a single woman who he's never met but for some reason he felt it appropriate to post her personal private information to the world. He has put her personal safety at risk and THREATENED her out of spite.

And make no mistake, posting another poster's real name in any form can only be considered a threat. It says "I know who you are and I can tell everyone if you make me mad enough."

I can't believe that I ever considered this person a friend.

I even friended him Facebook at one point - though only after he had found me through someone else. I was never fully comfortable with it and I wish to hell I'd never done it. But it would have made no difference. Because we had a "friend" in common (a "friend" who has since un-friended me in retribution to un-friending ferrerman) he was able to find my real name.

And now I'm terrified.

He knows my real name. And he's proven that he can't be trusted with this information.

I am very afraid. He claimed to me that he "just doesn't operate that way" yet here is proof that that is precisely how he DOES operate.

We all use psuedonyms and anonymous monikers on Topix out of a desire to protect our privacy.

Outing another poster in such a way can be interpreted as nothing more than a threat.

I have toyed with the idea of outing him in return, but _I_ have class and would never sink to his level.

I am disturbed by the number of people who continue to stand up for this creep. He has annoyed me in the past and I generally do not hold grudges, but now a very dear friend of mine is TERRIFIED for her own safety and that is something that I NEVER forgive.

But mostly, I'm heartbroken for my friend and the very real fear that she is going through right now.

What started as a stupid, petty argument has progressed to threats on his part.

I warn anyone dealing with him to be wary.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

50-Yard Stare

So, I was in Iowa this weekend. We had a family picnic for my dad's side of the family on Saturday and the place was awash with spawn.

It was crazy hot - 93° and HUMID - and we found that it was best to sit in the shade outside the shelter-thingy (which had about a dozen fans whirring)

I was sort of watching my sister's spawn (and one or two or thirty other kids) with several of my cousins or cousins' wives from a picnic table on a hill which gave us a pretty good view of most of the park (it was HUGE with lots of really cool stuff including a neat wooden "treehouse" with a slide and a rope bridge and other stuff that make me really wish I were a little kid again!)

There was also a pond. The pond was downhill from us and part of it was obscured by a small knoll. This spot, of course, was where several of the children (including Little E and the E-man) kept wandering off to.

We told them repeatedly to stay away from the water (it was shallow, but covered in a lot of ropey algae) but every time we took our eyes off them, they were right back at the water's edge.

The fourth time this happened, I caught my cousin's son and the E-man poking sticks at snails and took the E-man aside.

E3: I told you not to go down there any more.
E-man: (pointing at his cousin) He started it!
E3: And you finished it. I told you not to and you did it anyway.
E-man: (silence)
E3: Listen, we aren't telling you not to go there because we're mean or because we don't want you to have fun. We're telling not to go there because it's dangerous. If you fall in you could get caught in the plants and drown. We love you and we don't want you to get hurt.
E-man: (silence - with a blank expression)

I'm pretty sure this is what he heard:

E3: "Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah we're mean Blah Blah Blah we don't want you to have fun Blah Blah Blah..."


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom!

Today is my mom’s birthday.


I am unbelievably lucky to have such a sweet, patient, generous, loving woman as my mother. She is a far far better person than I can ever hope to be. Which is not to say that she is by any means perfect, but she is definitely one of the best people I know.

I love you, Mom and I hope you have a wonderful birthday!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Time Flies; Except when it stands still…

Is it August already? This year – hell, this whole decade – is flying by.

If only I could say the same for this workweek.

For all that I can’t believe that it’s already August (busy month for me: Mom’s birthday, Little E’s birthday, my best friend’s birthday, our annual family picnic, and my parents’ 40th wedding anniversary) I find it even harder to believe that it is still Tuesday.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Early Show

I’m an early riser. I try to leave for the gym by 5am most mornings. In order to accomplish this, I have several alarms which go off beginning at 4:30. The “big” alarm is the one in the livingroom. It gets progressively louder the longer I leave it untended, and not wanting to annoy my neighbors, I usually jump out of bed and run to turn it off – which really wakes me up.

But this morning I didn’t need my alarms.

I woke up around 4:10 and, feeling a chill breeze coming in from the windows, turned off my bedroom fan. I laid there for a minute or so, trying to reclaim those last ten minutes of sleep. But I couldn’t sleep.

Mostly because of the voices.

I heard voices. Male voices. They were whispering and they were obviously nearby. My heart began to pound. Was someone in my apartment???

Then I realized that they were coming from outside my window. In addition, I could hear a small metallic sound, like keys or some other small objects scraping against each other.

I lay very very still, trying to make out what might be happening. My building is U-shaped, and my bedroom window is kitty-corner with my neighbor’s livingroom window. This is a great arrangement for both sets of kitties, who spend hours staring one another down across the six-foot distance.

Below those neighbors is a garden unit complete with a small private patio. My bedroom window looks directly down on this patio. Since I rarely spend much time looking out by bedroom window, this is no big deal.

Now, the garden units are the only ones in the building which can be accessed without first going through a security door. Whoever was out there was obviously trying to be very quiet. My first thought, then, was that someone was trying to break in.

I didn’t want to look out my window – it was too close to the patio and I’d have to pull my shade aside to look out. I didn’t think I could spy without drawing attention to myself. And I didn’t know who was out there and if they might be armed or what. So I crept out of my bedroom as quietly as I could and made my way to my living room where the blinds were half open and I could peer out without being seen.

I didn’t turn on any lights, but I did grab my cell phone on the way in case I had to call the police about possible home invaders.

But I didn’t see home invaders when I crawled onto the couch and craned my neck to look out the window and over at my neighbor’s patio.

I saw my neighbor. And his boyfriend. Nekkid. Kissing. And... other stuff.


I stepped back, relieved. No break-in. No intruders. No need to call the cops. Just two guys thoroughly enjoying themselves.

I went and laid down on the futon my office – whose windows look out over the back garden – and tried to salvage the last few minutes of night before my alarm would go off.