Tuesday, December 29, 2009


As I was doing my errands today, I discovered something about myself. Something humiliating, something terrible and frightening.

I am one of those “happy people”! You know what I'm talking about, right? Those people who smile at perfect strangers or hold the door open for someone else after they walk through themselves, even if it means they have to wait until the other person casually strolls up the sidewalk to the door. One of those weirdos who wish everyone they make eye contact with (as well as those they don't) a “Happy New Year” or give the grocery shopper next to them advice on which kind of deodorant works best.

Oh my god, I'm one of them.

I was just getting a cup a coffee for goodness sake! Just standing there waiting patiently for my peppermint mocha, when I heard the woman who ordered after me say she didn't have enough money to pay for her iced latte. So without thinking, I reached into my own wallet, counted out 43 cents, and gave it to her. She thanked me and smiled. The cashier tilted her head to the side and smiled too. Then, when I went to return their smiles, I realized that I didn't have to make one. I was already wearing a stupidly large grin. The worst part was I didn't know where it had come from or how long it had been there!

It was disgusting. So I did what any other true-blooded American would do - I dropped the smile and pushed past the other patrons on my way out the door. I didn't hold it open for the next person coming through. In fact, I closed it on purpose, which wasn't easy because it was one of those safe doors that close really slowly. But I did it. Then I threw a nasty glare to the person I'd just stopped and stormed to my car. On the way home, I cut off as many other drivers as I could and even flipped someone the bird for absolutely no reason.

I reached over to get my mocha from the cupholder and my hand closed around air. The cupholder was empty. I'd left my drink back at the coffee shop.

I just hope that once they realized I'd left without it, they'd given it to the person I closed the door on. Or maybe the driver I'd flipped off was heading to get coffee and she likes peppermint mochas too. She could have it.

Oh crap! There I go doing it again. Maybe that would be a good resolution for New Years – eat healthily, go to the gym, and practice being belligerent.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


What is your favorite word? Not the word you use most frequently -- the word that makes you smile when you say it. My son's favorite word is “glossary”. He didn't know what it meant, but liked the way it sounded when he said it. That's what I mean -- the kind of word that feels good in your mouth and tickles your tongue. A good word has a trill to it like music. Hey, that's a nice one – “trill”.

I love words; not a big surprise from someone who dreams of one day making a living with them. But with writing, the words are spelled, not spoken – it's not the same. I have to imagine the words on the page being said aloud, or at least wait until I'm alone in the house so my family won't think I've lost it. The other downside to writing is that I don't seem to be able to use most of my favorite words in my work: “existential”, “sanctimonious”, “reciprocity”. Although I did actually manage to squeeze “carnivorous” into a story recently.

Others I can't even fit into conversation, at least not the sort of conversations I have. “Perpetuate” is hard to slip into a chat about play-dates, isn't it? If only I knew a “philanthropist” to refer to or even knew what “pedagogy” meant. And who could I possibly describe as “nubile” without being laughed at? Unfortunately, as this point in my life, I have no need to use the word “aphrodisiac”.

Of course, every once in a while, there is a “calamity” in my life, or an “ignoramus”. I did have to “eradicate” the ants from my kitchen a few weeks ago. Yesterday I told the clerk at Best Buy that something was “prohibitively” expensive. He didn't smile when I said it, but I did. Oh, and on Friday, my boss went “ballistic” when I asked him if I could have a few days off around Christmas.

My daughter told me that her favorite word is “kitty”. I asked her why, but she just shrugged. Then my son leaned over and whispered to me, “I thought she was going to say 'makeup'”. So did I.

What's your favorite? You don't have to tell me, but I'm betting that the next time you say it, you'll think of me ... or not.

Monday, December 7, 2009

How I Know I Don't Have Enough Friends...

Or maybe it's that the friends I do have just don't like me enough. Or my family. While I ponder that, I will tell you how I came upon this realization.

It started at my mailbox, I know it's Sunday - no mail, but I forgot to get it yesterday. Thankfully, since I signed up for all of those eco-friendly services to reduce the amount of junk mail I receive, I usually only get enough to fill the mailbox every other day.

On the way back to my door, I went through the letters.

  • One big stack of advertisements that, out of principle, I will never look at, much less use.
  • A letter from my bank - hopefully a statement and not a Notice Of Changes to my account, which we all know is bank speech for "more expensive charges for every reason we can think of".
  • Three envelopes of identical size and return address (no name, just the address) with something hard inside of them, like a credit card.
  • And one larger envelope that looked like a Christmas card!
As soon as I got inside, I dumped the ads into the recycling bin and threw the letter from Bank of America onto my desk (okay, I'm not that organized - it was the kitchen table, but it's almost like a desk). Then I sat down, tore open the first of the envelopes that had something inside of it, and peeked in. As soon as I saw what was inside, I squealed - a gift card! It was a gift card! Everyone loves gifts! And I had not one, but three of them in front of me! Who were they from? I pulled out the card and the attached letter. A bit of my glee disappeared as I saw who it was from.

It isn't as exciting to receive a gift card that you sent yourself. I'd traded in some airline miles from an airline I never planned on using again to get three $25 gift cards to a bookstore and two restaurants. It was so long ago, I'd forgotten.

At least I could take myself out to dinner, plus there was still the other envelope that really looked like a Christmas card. So I grabbed that one and ripped it open. It was! It was a Christmas card - not the finest quality, but I'm not picky. It had five different-colored Christmas tree ornaments in a row, hanging from a squiggly line of sparkles. Sparkles make me smile. The words wished me "Happy Holidays"! I wondered what the inside would say (seeing as how sweet the front was). I opened up the card and read:

Enjoy the gift of Netflix

It was an ad, there wasn't even a gift card in it.

Do you know how I'm sure I don't have enough friends. Because I put that card up on my mantel. Right next to the one I'd received from State Farm for Thanksgiving. Then I took myself out to dinner.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

DAYS OF THE WEEK, sung by Zoe S

Monday, Monday, Oh I love my Monday
Monday, Monday, Oh I love my MONDAY!

At the final Monday, she yells the word and throws her arms up into the air

Tuesday, Tuesday, Oh I love my Tuesday
Tuesday, Tuesday, Oh I love my TUESDAY!

Same thing here

Wednesday, Wednesday, Oh I love my Wednesday
Wednesday, Wednesday, Oh I love my WEDNESDAY!


Thursday, Thursday, Oh I love my Thursday
Thursday, Thursday, Oh I love my THURSDAY!

You guessed it

Friday, Friday, Oh-
She stops singing, a puzzled look on her face.

Wait, erase that ... cause we don't usually sing it on Fridays.
This is where I start laughing.

Let me start over.
Right here I'm trying not to visibly cringe

But just from Thursday.

Sigh of relief

Thursday, Thursday, Oh I love my Thursday...

You can't make this stuff up.