Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Denise Austin is trying to hypnotize me.

Oh, it's true. She is.

She's on a new commercial for Idaho Potatoes. (Why, I don't know. Is she from Idaho?) In said commercial, she looks at me with these weird Crazy Lady Eyes that I can't NOT stare at. They look like the eyes of that bad snake in the Jungle Book-- the ones that spin around in circles like this. -> (@@)

Only hers don't spin. Those buggy eyes just stare right at me. I haven't been able to make out the message yet, but I'm sure it's just a matter of time before I start hearing her shrill voice in my head saying "eat some potatoes. From Idaho. Eat some potatoes..." Can you see how scary this is?!!

Now I have not eaten potatoes in over a year (since potatoes don't exist in South Beach), so I am here to say that if I start eating them in the near future, call Maury Povitch and let him know. I'm sure he might have a show in the works called "I Was Hypnotized by Newman on Seinfeld" or something. If not, he'll want to.

I'll take you to the show with me when we tape.

---me (@@)

P.S. New neighbor down the hall is from Idaho. Know how I know? Their license plate says "IDAHO- Famous Potatoes!"

Coincidence? I think not.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

a life full of little things

I consider myself to be among the luckiest people in the world.

For some reason, thank goodness, I absolutely DELIGHT in the little things in life. That "unbridled joy" you read about? I've got some of it. I get positively overcome with happiness at random times, due to wonderful little tiny things that I see or experience.

For example, I have discovered Turkey Jerky. And that in and of itself is the root of much recent happiness, as one could imagine, but it goes further than that.

My husband was on his way home from somewhere the other night and called me from his cell phone.

He said, "guess what I've got in my hand right now." (You nasties can cut that out right now. This is not a phone sex story.)

I said, "a cell phone!"

He said, "yes. but in my other hand-- guess."

"Don't know. What?"

"TURKEY JERKY. Four packs."

My heart absolutely filled with joy! Not just because Turkey Jerky was now in my near future, but because I have actually married a man who knows how happy it would make me to KNOW that I had Turkey Jerky in my future. I mean, I would be completely thrilled if he just walked in the door with even one piece of jerky, and he knows it. But what he also knows is how to make it even more fun for me, and that is to call me and tell me about it. Does it get any better? If it does, I don't know if I will be able to handle it!

I think I constantly, unknowingly make a choice as to what will affect me and my outlook. I mean, I've had a migraine every day except for three days since mid-May. And sure- it sucks. BUT, upon reflection, I have realized that I don't allow myself to give it (or any other negative aspect of my life) much weight, in terms of how my days go. Things like getting my Us Weekly in the mail every Friday like clockwork make me happy. Watching my pets sleeping, all cuddled up with us on the bed, warms my heart. Making Brian laugh tickles me beyond words. A good twist on any given reality show makes me howl in my guilty pleasure. Finding good green grapes at Harris Teeter- love it. Setting out my store's waterbowl for all the neighborhood dogs. Good lord, I could just go on for days.

My point is that any one of these little things are more wonderful than my worst headache is painful. And that is how I'm living.

I love my life.

Monday, September 20, 2004

under the influence

I watch Oprah.

I watch because I am stirred by people who believe in true spirit, and the pursuit of knowing that core of themselves. Oprah gets that. And is able to spread that true wealth (yes, literally and figuratively) to millions of people-- millions of Women People, especially-- every weekday.

Today she paid tribute to Mattie J. T. Stepanek, a real-live angel who died at almost 14 years-old on June 22nd of a rare form of Muscular Dystrophy. I had watched Mattie's appearances on the show since he first came on at age ten. He called himself a Peacemaker, and was just that-- with every cell in his body. He believed in love and miracles and hope, and spread his message, packed with wisdom, to as many people as possible via Oprah and several bestselling books containing his "heartsongs." I wept on June 22nd when I heard the news of his passing, and I wept again today while watching her say goodbye to this precious boy. He was the embodiment of faith, courage, and god's intentions. Jimmy Carter and Oprah spoke at his funeral, where he was given a fireman's burial attended by over a thousand people. His optimistic philosophy influenced me-- inspired me to be a better person. And if I had to point to something and say, "that's what I believe in," he'd be the target of my aim.

I feel blessed today, because Mattie Stepanek touched my life.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

not singing the song is HARD

But it is a small world, after all.

When I was little, I had a mom, but she died of cancer when I was 16. She was a lot of things to me-- beautiful, magical, crazy, hilarious, dorky, sad, intelligent, tragic, unique, and strong. (Plus a million other things, but those are a few.)

When I was about 14, mom moved to Montgomery. She lived there for a year and a half or so before moving back to Atlanta to be closer to my brother and me. A couple of months after having moved back, she was diagnosed with cancer. She died almost three months later.

Fast forward 18 years to the present day. I'm involved with a wonderful, crazy, fun, dysfunctional-family sort of women friends. So is my stepmom, who lives in Atlanta, where I grew up. This past Friday, she was out to a "liquid lunch" with her group of these crazy friends when the True, One-And-Only Leader of this group (we'll call her Jill) stopped by. She was in town for the weekend on business. She brought along an associate from her publishing company (we'll call him Randall Mouse). They stay for a while, then go on to do their business stuff. That night, stepmom sees them again at a business cocktail party. They all visit some more, mixing and mingling, I would imagine, and everybody has a great time.

Now fast forward (or it might be backward now, I don't know- I am chronologically challenged) to Monday morning. Stepmom calls to chat about some socks that aren't mine, then says, "in other news..." and goes on to tell me about Friday. And that, in speaking with this Randall, she discovered that he was friends with my mom. In Montgomery. Twenty years ago. "He knew who I was before I even finished my story," she says. Um, what story were you TELLING?

She goes on to tell me that they were close. That "she shared her feelings with him." Feelings? "Like what feelings?!" "Well, that she felt guilty (for leaving), and that she missed y'all (my brother and me) and stuff like that." Well, she might has well have just started speaking to me in Swahili right then and there, because I got stuck on the thought of my stepmom talking to someone she'd just met at a cocktail party about my mom who's been dead 18 years' FEELINGS. I mean, not to sound too much like Yoda, but a fan of my mother she was not.

"I don't understand-- how on Earth did you figure that out? Did you tell him your last name or something? How did he know who you were?!"

"I don't remember."

More questions. More amnesia. She doesn't remember. Doesn't remember what story she was telling, how he made the connection, zilch. And I can't imagine what she could possibly be saying to make him realize that he knew my mom.

So let's fast forward or whatever- I'll let you choose which way- to now. I couldn't stand not knowing how it came up or why or anything else, so I got in touch with him. I emailed him yesterday to say hello and isn't it weird and it's a small world blah-di-blah. He wrote me right back and said to give him a call. So I got to speak to Randall myself. And it turns out that he was a friend of my mom's. A good friend, who knew her. Who got her. He remembered and told me how interesting she was, how beautiful she was, how much she loved us, how hard her life and choices had been-- all of it. He sounds like he was a great friend to her. And he still thinks of her, twenty years later. It was a great conversation.

I called my dad afterwards to share this conversation with him. I'd not been very emotional while on the phone with Randall, but the tears started to come when I told my dad this: it meant so much to me to hear from somebody else (that wasn't related to her) how strong and vibrant and unique she was. That she'd left a mark on somebody else's life, too. That I wasn't the only one who "got" her. That somebody else, other than "us," still thought of her.

Today I miss my mom.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

socksRus Has Been Closed, Due to Lack of Interest

I figured out awhile back, after years of denial, that I have what I will call "codependent tendencies," especially in dealing with my family. They're nuts, I'm not, right? It's not a new story. But I have been doing a bunch of work on myself to set up (and enforce) boundaries and what-not. (BTW, what is what-not?) It's going well.

So anyway, the other day I was talking to my husband about how I was feeling (after some Dramarama or another with the fam) about the realization that I don't have to fix *any* of the family shit, because, well DUH, it's not my responsibility. Imagine that.

SO in articulating this to him, an image came to me that just completely described what it was like, so here it is.

I feel like I am sorting laundry (which I am not, but should be, but screw that, whatever) and come across this sock that isn't mine. The old me would think, "welllll.... I'll just roll it up and put it away with my socks and take care of it until it's owner reveals itself. Poor little sock. I wonder how it got lost. I hope its owner has some other socks they can wear... blah blah blechy blah" The NEW me says, "Oh!! That's not my SOCK!" and tosses it away. It is simply not mine. And if somebody needs the sock, they can go find it and roll it up with its partner and wear it every damn day if they want to. Not my sock.

I tell you what-- these socks have changed my life. Something comes up that isn't my concern (usually transmitted straight to DC from the East side of Atlanta, oddly enough)? Not my sock. Things I totally didn't cause, can't control, and won't cure? Not my sock. Girl at work forgets her umbrella and has to walk to her car after her shift? Not my sock. The only socks I am going to own are mine, and that's that. And really, when I dump all of the socks that aren't mine, I don't have too many, which is nice!

Anyway, it's working pretty well for me.

wet toes

In the real world, I utterly despise getting my feet wet. Specifically, when I'm wearing socks. Can't stand it. Cringe at the thought of it.

But figuratively, I love getting my feet wet. Trying new stuff is one of my favorite things to do.

So here I am, doing it again.

Welcome to my blog. Please leave any expectations at the door. And thank you for coming.