Questions Couples Should Ask (Or Wish They Had) Before Marrying

Relationship experts report that too many couples fail to ask each other critical questions before marrying. Here are a few key ones that couples should consider asking:
  1. Have we discussed whether or not to have children, and if the answer is yes, who is going to be the primary care giver?

  2. Do we have a clear idea of each other’s financial obligations and goals, and do our ideas about spending and saving mesh?

  3. Have we discussed our expectations for how the household will be maintained, and are we in agreement on who will manage the chores?

  4. Have we fully disclosed our health histories, both physical and mental?

  5. Is my partner affectionate to the degree that I expect?

  6. Can we comfortably and openly discuss our sexual needs, preferences and fears?

  7. Will there be a television in the bedroom?

  8. Do we truly listen to each other and fairly consider one another’s ideas and complaints?

  9. Have we reached a clear understanding of each other’s spiritual beliefs and needs, and have we discussed when and how our children will be exposed to religious/moral education?

  10. Do we like and respect each other’s friends?

  11. Do we value and respect each other’s parents, and is either of us concerned about whether the parents will interfere with the relationship?

  12. What does my family do that annoys you?

  13. Are there some things that you and I are NOT prepared to give up in the marriage?

  14. If one of us were to be offered a career opportunity in a location far from the other’s family, are we prepared to move?

  15. Does each of us feel fully confident in the other’s commitment to the marriage and believe that the bond can survive whatever challenges we may face?

What questions do you think are important to ask before marriage?

Source: New York Times


Not a Kid Table Was Stirring

As I climbed the ladder into the attic yesterday, I felt an unexpected connection with my dad. How many times did he crawl up tentatively to get lights, old wrapping paper, wreathes, or other Christmas things that someone needed? I used to climb trees, sit on the roof, and scale walls like a monkey. Now, just getting past the fourth step fills me with images of lying on the concrete, waiting for someone to discover me and call 911. He warned me that this would happen. Putting up the outside lights brought memories back as well and I wondered how I got to be the elder in the family?

I was not blessed with a close extended family. We were very close-knit when I was a kid, but I think the last time we got together like we used to do was in 1972. I have an aunt and uncle, four cousins and no telling how many nieces and nephews, because at some point they decided family was about their family. I heard from my aunt when my mom died in 2004, and that was perfunctory at best. My parents are both gone and my only brother has never been about family and he doesn’t even know yet that his mother died. He only showed up to get his presents and ask my parents for money anyway. Good riddance. There’s a kind of abandonment issue that I feel every year at this time, so my new immediate family, which includes Lynette, Joel, Micah, Lauren, Heather and Nathan, means everything to me. They have given me the closeness I’ve always craved and, outside of missing my dad, I’m as happy as can be. But it’s weird being “The Old One”.

Other things–small things–bring happy memories. I bought a bag of nuts and put them in a bowl on the coffee table, along with my parents’ little pine box that houses nutcrackers and picks, and I immediately remembered the wooden bowl that my grandfather had. Sure wish I had one of those! We received a gift box of pears from Harry & David and I was reminded of the fruit and date packs we used to get when I was a child. Making fudge yesterday brought back memories of half-a-dozen sheets of the stuff sitting to cool on the washer and dryer in my aunt’s back porch, which always made coming into the house an exercise in self-control.

And now I find myself wishing there was a grandchild or two–but not yet. Not until I can afford to spoil them rotten! Christmas without children just doesn’t make sense. I mean, what’s the point? There’s not even a “Kid Table”.


Concerts, Commissions & Cookies

Looks like I have a permanent assignment as the program notes researcher/writer for the Stillwater Chamber Singers. Not only that, but I have been invited to compose something for next year’s Christmas concert, something that will spotlight Nettl’s gorgeous voice. I am already flooded with ideas!

After the concert yesterday afternoon, Jacey came over bearing beer, and we had a great time drinking, eating a bratwurst dinner, listening to holiday music, and just generally having a great time. Today, I have to go to the store, then set into making mountains of fudge and cut-out Christmas cookies. But first, I need another cup of coffee.


Concert Today

Today is the holiday concert by the Stillwater Chamber Singers. Nettl will be singing a solo, I wrote the program notes, and it’s a really good line-up of pieces. For you Stillwater denizens, here are the details:

DATE: Sunday, 17 December
TIME: 2:30 pm
PLACE: St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church (across the street from Hide-Away Pizza)
COST: Free
DRESS: Casual


Come Uppance

I awoke in a funk today when I realized there are only nine shopping days left until Christmas. Our family isn’t into high ticket gifts, not only because we can’t afford them, but because the holidays aren’t about topping yourself each year. Of the six Christmases we’ve shared, we had only one when we could spend what we wanted, and even then we set our limit to $100 per person. Those were the days! We thought this year would be better than last, but due to trying to catch up from my recent illness (and no new jobs coming in to boot), we’ll just be able to cover our bills and buy Christmas dinner. I think our overall gift budget is about $300 for the entire family, but that’s more than some people have. Good god! It was only two years ago that my mother died unexpectedly at Christmas time. Now, that was a hard and frightening Christmas!

I won’t be a hypocrite and say I hate all the gift-giving at Christmas time, because when I have the money I love shopping for other people and giving gifts. I love Christmas and if I had extra money, I’d spend it. But it’s hard to get over the hype and guilt that comes to call every December when television and radio ads market diamonds, iPods, game systems, computers and even cars. Funny how we modern humans are. When we can’t afford Christmas, we talk about blessings and family and thanksgiving. When we can afford it, we spend as if the spending itself is a form of gratitude. But Nettl and I don’t have credit cards because we don’t believe in spending money we don’t have and in our society there is a price one pays for practicing that radical idea. I can’t tell you how many times we’re treated like crap by chain store merchants, creditors and even some friends when we’re put in the position of having to explain this.

I can well sympathize with those who have less than we have. Following the law that misery loves company, I Googled, “can’t afford christmas” and was moved by what I found. Divorces, cancer, lost jobs, hungry children, deaths; the stories abound. Our family has so much, really. We are happy and well-adjusted and every one of us is just crazy about and respects the other. Lynette and I have what we believe is about as perfect a marriage as can be found, despite all the challenges and prejudices we experience living as an out, same-sex couple in the buckle of the Bible Belt. Our kids don’t drink or smoke, or do drugs. Okay, we allow them to have a glass of wine on special occasions and that’s probably partly why they choose to live a substance-free adolescence. They don’t, by their own decision, dress like hoochie mamas and ganstas, and they don’t sleep around. They’re wonderful people; educated, articulate, cultured, polite and responsible. We have great friends, a lovely home, usually enough work and goals we’re building toward for the future. We are neither hopeless nor helpless.

As I read all of the hard luck stories this morning, I realized that not being able to afford expensive gifts was not the problem I initially thought it was. Gifts are a WANT, not a NEED. Yes, it will be a very lean Christmas and I’m feeling a bit Bob Cratchety here, because what we don’t have in material gifts we certainly make up for in blessings, not the least of which is that all of the kids will be home for the first time in six years!

So I will neither worry nor complain about not being able to afford Christmas this year. Instead, I’ll be grateful for all the things we do have–things that I believe most people would gladly trade all of their expensive gifts for, if they could.

Christmas Tangle

I just spent the past four hours putting up the outside lights. I’m not as young as I used to be. Next year I’ll have the money to hire someone to do that chore. I will!

P.S. We’ve been invited to the Stillwater Chamber Singers’ Christmas party tonight. Looking forward to that–they’re a fun group!


Balls, Borg & Squeaky Shoes

I guess I should get out more. Last night Nettl and I went to dinner at Eskimo Joe’s and I saw two things that I knew I would have to write about...


I Got Rhythm

A morning trip to Dustbury got me off to a good start today. Well, that and hanging some Christmas lights in the kitchen windows and pouring myself a big-ass cup of coffee.

Since we were speaking of drumming and rhythms (and we were, weren’t we?), I was taken by his entry about the BTO, or, Boston Typewriter Orchestra.

Humans make music. It is in my estimation the best thing we have going for us, and I am constantly amazed by the limitless ways we discover to give voice to the music in us. My only problem with the BTO is that I didn’t think of it first, and that’s a great litmus test for what ideas are really good.

If, like me, you have spent too much of your life in a cubicle number-crunching or letter-writing (especially if the names Smith-Corona, Brother and Selectric are as familiar to you as those of college or high school friends), you should pay the BTO’s site a visit and watch the interview video.

I admit that sometimes I miss typing on a typewriter. I didn’t know that all along I was making music.


Fer Schitz & Goggles

< UL > (Unordered List)

Why should I bore you with yet another blog entry about the sociological impact that blogging is having on people? Too many think that philosophizing about blogging is cool, but it seems to be a common topic when a case of Blogger’s Block sets in.

Instead, I’ll just say that I think blogging just may save the world (especially America) from illiteracy. Suddenly, people who normally wouldn’t crack a book or put pen to paper (“I gradgiated from hi-skool and I ain’t never readin’ 'r writin’ nothin’ ever 'gin.”) are keeping blogs, reading blogs, and exercising their literary skills, fallow as some of those might be. It gives me a strange sensation of hope.
  • Am I the only person on the planet who doesn’t give a rat’s ass about Britney Spears exposing her shaved muff while getting out of a car in a too-short mini skirt? Or that Paris Hilton can’t make a three-point turn in a driveway? Am I uncool because I really don’t care about Tom Cruise’s wedding, or Kirstie Alley’s weight loss, or Angelina Jolie’s tattoos, or who’s poking whom? What is it with celebrity obsession? What the hell’s going on here?
  • And speaking of fame gone awry, have you noticed that reality TV has become the elephant graveyard for celebrities who are on their way out? I mean, who really wants to watch Life With Ed? Following Ed Bagley, Jr. around must be about as exciting as watching the proverbial paint dry. Or Hogan Knows Best. Great. A steroid-bulging Neanderthal is the model of American fatherhood. I admit The Osbournes had its pathetic fascination at first, but watching Chasing Farrah and The Anna Nicole Show was painful. And Gene Simmons’ Family Jewels… gads… Do you think collecting bull sperm for $20,000 a pop is good television? Give it up, people. Go out with a little dignity. Didn't The Love Boat teach you anything?
  • Please don’t ruin things for me. I don’t want to know about a killer hurricane hitting the east coast and wiping out New York City, or a mega-tornado taking out Dallas, or a tsunami destroying Seattle while a volcano destroys Portland. This whole fear campaign that the Discovery and Weather channels are waging ("It Could Happen Tomorrow", "Mega-Disasters") is, I suspect, funded by the government to keep us from thinking about the very real problems going on right now, today. Like North Korea, the Middle East, and the White House.
  • Lastly, does anyone really need $23 billion and if so, how do I get mine? And on this final note, if someone were to give you a million, what are the first 5 things you would do with it?


Primal Urges

Last Saturday evening a girl from Nettl’s office came over for dinner and wine. We had such a good time. Lauren and Heather were out at the Winter Formal, so Joel and Micah joined us in the living room, where, after the wine loosened us up a bit, Micah and I got our guitars and jammed. At one point, we got into drumming rhythms and everyone joined in. It was almost tribal. I come from a long line of drummers and grew up with this kind of impromptu ritual, but nothing like that has happened for me in well over 15 years.

Drums are so soothing to me, probably because for as long as I can remember there was always at least one set in our house, usually two. I especially love to drum, but not many people know that I’m really accomplished–it’s not something I get an opportunity to exercise anymore. But I sang a few songs, which felt equally as good. I still have a great voice, and I don’t mind saying so.

I want to do it again!


5 Things

Following Ville’s lead (although it was my idea in the first place and I want to have some fun), I have decided to list 5 Things That Make Me Be Weird:

  1. Hair anywhere in the bathroom, but especially in the shower drain.
  2. Accidentally stepping on a snail, even with shoes on.
  3. Okra.
  4. Turning across a station showing a woman giving birth. Do we really need to see that? Is nothing private anymore?
  5. When you get a book from the library and there’s something sticky on one page that might be a booger.

Want to play?


The Best Christmas Ever

Between the snow days and holidays, it has been a regular winter vacation around the Waller/Erwin homestead. Everyone was home from work and school on Thursday and Friday due to the snow, so Nettl made Christmas cookies on Friday evening as we put on the holiday music, poured the Schnogloggers (our name for rum and eggnog) and got to work decorating the house. What a great time! Even the cat got into the holiday spirit.

With the snow still on the ground outside, it feels like a White Christmas–the first we’ve had in a number of years. Until Joel shoveled the front walk, it was as high as 2 feet out there. And it still isn’t melting, except only slowly on the roads and trees.

My plans this week are to send out cards, drum up a little work so that we’ll have gift money, and work on other projects in the hope of raising the old bank account for the holidays. THOUGHTS BECOME THINGS! That’s an immutable law of physics. I have a fake $5000 bill taped to my monitor to remind me that our needs are only a thought away! Of course, we don’t need $5000, but when you throw a ball into the air, the law of gravity doesn’t care how big or small it is, or who threw it; it just makes it happen. Therefore, I’m thinking BIG.
Meantime, we’re all enjoying our family. Lauren is a little sad because this will be her last Christmas in this house, but I want her to know that everything she loves about Christmas here will go with us wherever we go. It’ll be there in Vienna, or wherever we spend the holidays as a family in the future, because all of the things she loves are intangibles; the love, the joy, the laughter. They don’t stay with the house, it’s just a thing. Those things that make a home happy go with each member of the family, only to reunite wherever we get together.

Have a happy Monday!

Our back yard

(Photo by Micah Atwell)


Over Too Soon

We were socked in all day yesterday in the Blizzard That Ate Oklahoma. Expecting from 4 to 6 inches, we were stunned when we opened the patio door around dinner time to see drifts that were nearly as tall as our fence–more like 4 to 5 feet! It was the first blizzard warning the National Weather Service has ever issued for this state; I felt like I was back in Denver.

This morning we have clear, blue skies and sunshine, although it’s only 10 degrees. Don’t think I’ll be going out anytime soon. Nettl and the girls are enjoying their second snow day.

I love snow. I always wait in anticipation of its coming and I’m always sad to see it go. Even in Denver, where I had to commute all the way across the city to go to work, I loved the snow.

That’s it, really. I haven’t had any coffee yet, so that’s all my brain can fire for now.


The Tao of Silver Bells

While walking toward the entrance of the local Albertsons tonight, I heard the spiky drone of the ring-a-ling-a-ling-a-ling of a Salvation Army volunteer’s bell as she stood sentry beside the familiar red-bucket-on-a-tripod. These ambushes have always presented me with a special set of issues. It’s not that I’m against charity and it’s not even the jaw-clenching assault of the bell itself, it’s the social politics that get to me, the sense of impending doom I feel whenever I have to gird myself to walk past them. Kind of like preparing to walk past the yard of the mean dog on the block when I was a kid, I must face a number of choices that I only just tonight recognized:
  1. She’s not only going to look at me, she’s going to say “God bless you”. Maybe if I don’t look at her as I’m making my approach–perhaps at my keys or the people coming out of the store–she’ll get the idea that I’m on an important mission and didn’t even see her. You who walk around with your cell phones in a constant state of arousal have it easy–you can pretend that you’re talking to someone.

  2. If she says “God bless you”, what should my response be? If I say it back to her she may think I’m a fellow believer and will wonder why I’m not putting money in her bucket. If I don’t say it, she may think that I’m a snob, or one of those people who avoid eye contact with passersby on the sidewalks. I might be going into the store to steal a grape, run over a stray tomato with my cart, or whip out a baguette and go postal.

  3. If I do give her eye contact and smile, then she’ll probably think I’m a tight-fisted phony.

  4. Then there’s the other issue. The Salvation Army discriminates against homosexuals. If I give her my pocket change, am I not supporting the organization’s homophobia? As I’ve walked past these people countless times each year, I’ve mumbled under my breath, “You don’t want my filthy homo money…”. Like not buying Dow products during the Viet Nam war, this usually works for me on the surface level, but it doesn’t solve the issue about walking past them in the first place.

  5. And then I have to go through it all over again on my way out. Sometimes my discomfort is relieved by the sheer mechanics of having a cart to navigate.

Last night I tried something different. As I neared the woman ringing her bell, I heard that she was singing a Spiritual. Not loud, but to herself. She was happy as could be, smiling and making the best of what was probably a very boring way to spend an evening.

Hey, I once spent a Friday evening hawking flowers on a street corner in Saticoy. I know from boring.

Because she was singing–and because I’m a musician, I suppose–I found that I wanted to look at her, wanted to say hello, wanted to put some money in the bucket. Nothing else mattered at that moment, nothing but her lovely voice and smile, her overall good-natured attitude, and the instantaneous melting away of my stupid barriers. I remembered that in my wallet was one lone dollar bill that I’d been carrying around for several weeks. I pulled it out and folded it, and as I put it in the bucket I said, “I’m giving you my last dollar just because you’re singing, and everyone should be singing this time of year.” She smiled and replied, “God bless you, honey. Have a Merry Christmas!”

I went on into the store wearing a grin, better able to face the long lines (caused by a computer outage) with patience and good humor, joking with the people around me. I even let someone go ahead of me. On my way home, I realized that I was actually happier for what had happened. What had always been an annoyance had been transformed into a spark of joy caused from my personal encounter with the woman and knowing that my dollar was going to help someone. It wasn’t much, but it was something. Seeing as how I’ve been on the receiving end a number of times, I thought of my dollar as seed money that will help bring about an ability to give to others on a regular basis.

It’s unfortunate how much energy I’ve put into avoiding these seemingly trivial moments when it’s so much easier and more pleasant to simply submit. Of course, I’m not putting money into every Salvation Army bucket I encounter this year, but I learned a valuable lesson. The Salvation Army’s tagline reads, “When you put money in our kettle, expect change.” I didn’t know that they meant me as well.


Cosmic Soup

I have been experiencing awakenings lately. For the past year I have known that I’m standing on the precipice of the future of my dreams, although I often experience want, illness and disappointment. Nettl has often said that she and I have been experiencing transition much like that of a woman in labor and about to give birth. Today, I feel the birth is in process. Throughout the past 30 years there are certain truths that have “pete and repeated” themselves to me, but I didn’t know exactly how to put them into practice.

Since the mid-seventies I have known of the basic laws of receiving and giving, reaping and sowing, “as above so below”, and the law of attraction. Sometimes I have been good at them and sometimes I have not. But I have recently come to understand how to do this in a way that brings the results that I desire.Thanks to The Secret, there are two images that linger in my mind. The first is of the universe and what it is. Image a “Google Universe” and view the vastness of space. Then swoop down to the galaxy, the solar system, the planet, your country, your county, your city, your neighborhood, your street, your house, your room, your body, your organs, your cells, the molecules, the nuclei, and finally, the atoms and what they contain: energy. The one thing we all share is this immense energy field. Physics tells us that we are moving in an actual energy soup and are connected to everyone and everything through it, that energy is never created, never destroyed; it always was and always will be, that when we die, the energy that is collected in our atoms does not die, but survives. I personally believe that this energy, when combined with all other energy in the universe, is God. That makes me not a creation, but a creator, and how I use my energy (i.e. how I think, feel, believe and behave) creates my reality. Not a titan on a throne, not destiny, not reward and punishment. Me. I create my reality.

“You create your own universe as you go along.”
Sir Winston Churchill

The second image is of Aladin and the Magic Lamp. In the original story there was no mention of how many wishes he could make–there was no limit. If I look at the universe, this energy, as the genie, I realize that I must make positive wishes that contain no hint of negativity. For instance, when bills are piling up it’s not the best thing to say, “I’m tired of being in debt”, because the two power factors of that statement are “tired” and “debt”; both negative, so we remain in debt and remain tired. It’s better to say, “I want to live a prosperous life”, which is positive. The genie’s response to either is, “Your wish is my command.”

Take my health, for instance. In the past year or so it has been easy for me to project ahead and say, “I probably won’t be able to (…do that, go there…) because of my health”. What response have I gotten?

“Your wish is my command.”

If I send my book manuscript out thinking, “No one’s going to accept this.” What will the response be?

“Your wish is my command.”

But if I put out positive energy instead, I will receive the exact same response. And it takes less energy to be positive than it does to be negative.

This whole thing has come as such a relief to me, because I can now release people from my expectations of them, forgive those who have hurt and harmed me, drop the luggage and move forward. We’ve all been hurt, all been mistreated. So what? The real issue is not to keep reliving those things by keeping them alive in us via anger or fear, the real issue is, “What am I doing today to heal myself?” If we allow our abusers and users to continue hurting us long after they’ve slipped into the history of our lives, we are giving them the power they stole from us. Not me. Not me anymore.

I have always said, “Thoughts are things”, but these words have taken on new life for me. I just wanted to share.


Steph Looks Like...

Here’s a little thing I found on MySpace (oh, don’t roll your eyes like that). Here’s what you do:

Google the phrase “(your name) looks like” and find the best one from the first page of results. Don’t forget to put it in quotes, otherwise it won’t work. Then come back here and leave it in the comments. I’ll go first.

Steph looks like a couple of kilometers of bad road.

Your turn.


It Was Great

It was without a doubt the best Thanksgiving that I can remember–and I’ve seen a few. Thanks upon thanks to all who shared it, whether in spirit or in person.


If I Don't Get a Chance to Say it Tomorrow...

I’m happy as a clam; all the kids are home at the same time. I can’t believe their ages!

Joel: 36
Micah: 32
Lauren: 18
Heather: 16
Nathan: 14

Nathan, Lauren and Joel are in the living room downstairs talking and laughing. Gone are the little pipey voices, the fussing, the bleep-bloops of video games, the screams and shouts… Do you remember how scared I was when we decided to get custody of Lauren, Heather and Nathan? And I remember all those weekends, holidays and summers that they would come stay with us when they were still just little. It was hard for me, because I’m from a small family. I wasn’t used to family life and hadn’t taken care of young kids in a long time. It was an adjustment, but I made it. And Ville was right when she told me that I was going to do well in my new role of Hausmandl/Papa.

So here we all are, my and Joel’s first Thanksgiving with Micah since 1975, Lauren’s last one before leaving home and Nathan home after moving in with his father in Wichita. All the chicks are in the nest and soon the house will be filled with the aroma of Thanksgiving.

However you spend November 23rd, have a wonderful day!


Things You Can Only Say on Thanksgiving

1. Talk about a huge breast!
2. Tying the legs together keeps the inside moist.
3. It’s Cool Whip time!
4. If I don’t undo my pants, I’ll burst!
5. Whew, that’s one terrific spread!
6. I’m in the mood for a little dark meat.
7. Are you ready for seconds yet?
8. It’s a little dry, do you still want to eat it?
9. Just wait your turn, you’ll get some!
10. Don’t play with your meat.
11. Just spread the legs open and stuff it in.
12. Do you think you’ll be able to handle all these people at once?
13. I didn’t expect everyone to come at once!
14. You still have a little bit on your chin.
15. How long will it take after you stick it in?
16. You’ll know it’s ready when it pops up.
17. Wow, I didn’t think I could handle all of that!
18. That’s the biggest one I’ve ever seen!
19. How long do I beat it before it’s ready?

Come Together

SAN FRANCISCO - Two peace activists have planned a massive anti-war demonstration for the first day of winter. But they don’t want you marching in the streets. They’d much rather you just stay home.

The Global Orgasm for Peace was conceived by Donna Sheehan, 76, and Paul Reffell, 55, whose immodest goal is for everyone in the world to have an orgasm Dec. 22 while focusing on world peace.

“The orgasm gives out an incredible feeling of peace during it and after it,” Reffell said Sunday. “Your mind is like a blank. It’s like a meditative state. And mass meditations have been shown to make a change.”...


Jane, You Ignorant Slut

Tonight I participated as a judge at Stillwater High School’s debate tournaments. When I volunteered for this last weekend I was in the bosom of my family with a few glasses of wine in me and I imagined sitting in the school gym at long tables upon which sat Tupperware carafes of water and styrofoam cups, and boxes of those little yellow pencils that used to be at bowling alleys before they got computerized. There would be an audience at my back, students on a dais, and I’d be flanked by half-a-dozen other judges. Like American Idol. It wasn’t until we were in the car that I learned that I would be alone in a classroom with two varsity Lincoln-Douglas debaters and a timekeeper. I admit it. I panicked...


Let's Talk Turkey

So what are your plans for Thanksgiving? What’s on your menu? Do you go the traditional route or do you try something new and different each year? Or do you mix it up a bit? What’s your favorite Thanksgiving memory and what do you like most about the holiday? What’s your favorite Thanksgiving food? What would make the perfect Thanksgiving for you?


Tattoo You

I’m probably just an old fart, but I don’t like tattoos. They look dirty to me because they’re usually the same color as the grease that gets trapped under the fingernails of auto mechanics.

I’ve only seen two that I liked (tattoos, not auto mechanics): the one of John Lennon that Ville has on her leg—it’s in pastel colors—and the other one is a white tattoo that I saw on telly once.

Anyway, Go over to Rustbelt Ramblings, where Prego describes how his mother called him Pendejo when she found out he’d gotten tattooed, and discuss whether or not society’s attitude toward body graffiti has changed.



I think I’m going crazy. Seriously, I think I’m finally losing it.

Maybe it’s because lately, every minute of every day feels like it’s consumed with fixing something, figuring something out, putting out fires, smoothing ruffled feathers, biting bullets, kissing ass, schmoozing, and fighting illness and fatigue and the accompanying guilt that I can no longer manage these things as well as I used to. From the moment my feet hit the floor to the moment I go to bed, my mind is bombarded with an ever-growing list of things.

The “disco ball” fireplace broke again. There are outside lights that need replaced. The light in the stemware cupboard is out. The start button on the microwave is broken. The light switch in the ice maker on the door of the fridge is going. The upstairs toilet won’t flush. The internet cable service was jacked. The DSL has been installed and all of the Outlook Express mail accounts had to be transfered (which meant doing what it takes not to lose everyone’s passwords, email, and address books). The street lights are out. The doctors office keeps calling every damned morning at 8:24, waking me up, and demanding money that I don’t have. The garage needs cleaned so that I can park my car in it. This is a big house. I’m older than everyone else. I’m sick. I have to work on one job to pay off the garage bill while begging for another job so that we can have Thanksgiving and Christmas. Do the math.

It’s not that I mind doing things for everyone, it’s just that hearing “thank you for…” would make me feel a whole lot less grumpy, resentful, stressed, and taken for granted. Bless Joel’s heart for being a self-starter and taking on a number of responsibilities for me around here without me having to ask. It really helps and I appreciate his initiative and consideration.

For the past two nights, just as I’m drifting off into sleep, I’m wakened by the sound of my own brain reciting the times tables. The first night I got as far as the 7’s before I even realized what I was doing. Last night I was up to the 5’s. And during the day my mind repeats the same phrases over and over until I have to verbally tell myself to stop. I’m counting things, like the number of stays in the shade of my desk lamp and panes in the window.

Don’t feel the need to leave comments, this is just a beef fest; I’ll get over it with another cup of coffee.

7×2 is 14, 7×3 is 21, 7×4 is 28, 7×5 is 35, 7×6 is 42… SHUT UP!


Made the Switch

Because accessing the internet was impossible all weekend long, as well as all of the trouble Cox is having changing over to SuddenLink, I switched today to Chickasaw DSL. It’s kind of slow, so I’m going to call them tomorrow about it. But slower or not, at least we’re back on the web!

UPDATE TUESDAY 11/14: I upgraded and we’re moving along just fine now. I may upgrade again, when I can afford the $50 a month.

Also, we’re cat-sitting a little white and black cat we call “Diva” (her real name is “Diversity”) for a neighbor who lives catty-corner (lol) across the cul-de-sac while he’s on vacation. He wants us to keep her, but we can’t unless we take her in as an Anne Frank cat. Not sure I want to risk that again. She’s really kind of ours anyway, because whenever she gets out of his house, she comes over here and meows all night to be let in. When that isn’t accomplished, she goes around to our back yard and sleeps on our patio. Ironic, isn’t it? We took in Rachy a while back, a cat that we couldn’t get to stay; he just up and left us. And now we have a cat that we can’t get rid of.


Block Party

A family is moving in next door.

I was wakened at around 8:30 by the doorbell and was asked if I could move my car so that the driver of the block-long semi could back into the cul-de-sac. And there has been a lot of shouting back and forth between the four kids. Let’s hope they’re really into video games.


Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On

Where do all these crumbs come from? I’m not aware of sitting over my computer keyboard eating packages of saltines or Shredded Wheat. The most action this baby sees is coffee (and wine), and so far I haven’t spilled any on it.

In the opening of “French Kiss”, staring Meg Ryan, there is a scene in which she sits cleaning her keyboard with a Q-Tip. I can top that. When I clean mine I take the keys off and clean each one individually with a Q-Tip and alcohol. Plus, I have a spray paint sized can of compressed air. One of the things I’ve liked about having a black keyboard is that I can’t see all of the finger schmutz, but as of this morning I no longer find that to be an asset. It seems that our keyboards are incubators. Here’s a little something I found at DeskDemon.Com:
Shake, Shake, Shake, and Shake Shake Again. What’s fallen out of your keyboard? Well, if it hasn’t been cleaned recently, there’ll be visible things such as crisps and biscuit crumbs, hair, the odd fingernail, and maybe a sprinkling of dandruff. But what about the things you can’t see?
  • Saliva. Every time you breathe, moisture is created and it settles somewhere!
  • Dead skin cells. Yes, afraid so. We all shed millions every day and where better to come to rest than in a computer keyboard?
  • Body fat. Believe us, it’s true. Every time you type, touch a screen or telephone, the oil in your skin leaves a microscopic film. Just think what a few months’ build up looks like under a microscope.
You may not mind having a collection of nasties in your keyboard if they belong to you, but what about when equipment is shared? Do you really want to collect body fat and saliva from someone else? Thought not!
I’m not anal-retentive about my computer. I used to be, until my family grew from two to seven. Now, I kind of accept that we humans can’t live in vacuums or sterile glass bubbles. The Erwin-Wallers may have germs, but they’re our germs, damn it! And I’ve gotten over the ick factor of several years ago whenever I think about all of the micro-organisms in our bed linens, as well as the weird power/guilt I feel when I realize that I’m annihilating entire universes teeming with life with every shower.

Guess I’ll clean my keyboard today.


What Dumbass Holiday is Your Birthday On?

Click Here, check your birthday, then come back and comment.

Oh, come on. It’ll be fun.

My birthday is on September 24, Festival Of Latest Novelties.


The Party to End All Parties

Ville’s annual Halloween party was last Saturday night, and I have to admit that she and Beau did a bang-up job this year. I went as Andy Warhol and brought a picture frame for people to pose with. Turned out to be a great prop!

From left to right:
Nettl as a Pirate Queen
Beau as a Samurai
Ville as Wilma Flintstone
Lashell as a White Trash Housewife
Heather as a Pirate Princess
Lauren as a Flapper
Jacey as the Karate Kid with Mika as Hunter S. Thompson
Myself as Andy Warhol
Joel as Emperor Palpatine
Allen as a Priest


If Today Were a Template

If I could feel the way I do today most of the time, I would have nothing to beef about. Smack in the middle of the month, my TSH levels are perfect. It’ll be downhill from here for the rest of the month, but I’m not going to think about that. Today, I’m energetic, busy, creative, cheerful, and purposeful, and I’m going to enjoy it. I do think I’ll get some ginko when I go to the store though. Can’t hurt.

So, in a real celebrity arm-wrestling contest, who do you know you could beat? With how I’m feeling today, I could beat Randy Quaid. Yeah, really. I could take him down. Just sayin’.


Wine Swilling

This evening Nettl and I went to an outdoor winetasting event that was held by Cork’s Wines & Spirits in Fountain Square. The purpose of the event was to introduce the new store to the wine-swilling community, and the best part is that it was completely free. The also-new Pass Your Plate served soups, but as I had been cooking a hearty pot of split pea soup all day and the house smelled yummy, we decided not to eat until we returned home. Music was performed by the Stillwater Improv Trio and the High School Wind Ensemble. The event also featured an art walk with artists stationed around the square...

Friday the 13th

I’m not a superstitious person and Friday the 13th means nothing to me in the way that it does to many of the people in our western culture. But today started out NAR! The worst of it is due to a run-in with my computer; I have lost every. piece. of. email. I’ve. gotten. for. the. past. two. years. Well, the email that came to my Outlook Express, that is. Which was my most important account. That’s it for me. I’m using my Gmail account and nothing else from now on.


Nine October

Dead Fishy

Seems poor little Jet wasn’t destined to make it. He was a cool little pal, staying up with me all those late nights as I worked on websites. He recognized my voice and even swam up to allow his fins to touch my finger. RIP Jet.


Immortality Is Wasted On The Immortal

Reading historical fiction always leaves me in a weird head. I feel melancholy, futile, inspired, and restless, simultaneously. Reading about the day-to-day lives of actual people always reminds me that we’re very temporary here, that one day, soon enough, we’ll all be gone and there will be an entirely new crop of people, perhaps even reading historical fictions about some of us. That we spend our precious, brief time fretting and strutting upon our little stages like everyone who has ever lived has done. And whenever I try to write about it, it always sounds so trite...


10 Disjointed Thoughts

~  New phrase: “maus potato” (or for those of you who don’t remember the days when there was nothing for the right hand to click, “mouse potato”): A person who spends a great deal of time playing on a computer.
~  It’s so wonderful to get up to find that the dirty dishes are in the dishwasher, the trash has been taken out, and the coffee has been made.
~  It’s lonely to go to your computer in the morning only to find that no one has updated their blog. Kind of like your friends forgetting to say happy birthday.
~  The road crew outside didn’t wake me up this morning. That’s nice, but it means the road still isn’t being finished.
~  I woke up cold this morning. It’s time to put the blanket on the bed. Yay!
~  The garage still hasn’t called about my car.
 I’m going to put post-its in the bathroom because someone keeps using my towel.
~  I wish I were in Vienna today. It’s a perfect day for vanilla tea and a pastry at Cafe Diglas.


Okie Blogger Roundup

Sorry this post is a few days late. As soon as we got home I really started going downhill fast.

All thanks go to Mike Hermes at Okiedoke for pulling this thing together. Of course, he had a lot of help and those people are to be thanked as well. I had such a good time meeting some of my favorite local bloggers. It was kind of peculiar, because it was like I already knew them. The biggest kick in the head was meeting Monty from The Daily Bitch. She’s exactly as she comes off on her blog. No pretenses, she’s the genuine article and you just gotta love her. Brian at An Audience of One was great to meet.

There is a Flickr page where you can go see some of the pictures that were taken. They’re being posted a little at a time and I hope to get my photos up before the weekend, ducky porn and all. Oklahoma bloggers are good people. In the picture, from left to right are Nettl, myself, Monty and Brian.

I’ve already told Mike that I intend to get involved in a more hands-on capacity next year. I wanna be one of the movers and shakers! And I want to get a lot of these people a whole lot better.

Constant Craving

John Sadowski asks what our secret food cravings are. I think this merits our absolute honesty, guilt and sin be damned. I have no problem telling you that I love white gravy with tuna in it poured lavishly over torn-up pieces of toast. Yep, good old S.O.S. Sometimes I crave it so badly, I can’t imagine ever eating anything else. I grew up a little on the poor side, and this was comfort food.

This reminds me of the time Ville and I changed the words of “Constant Craving” by KD Lang from “Constant craving never ends” to “Instant gravy by Uncle Ben’s”. Sing it sometime. It works.

So head on over to John’s place and make your confession. And have a drink for me; it’s going to be a while before I can imbibe.


“Let them eat foie gras…”

PBS has just hit its second strike with me. For the past month or so they have been advertising a special on Marie Antoinette. Do you know how difficult it is for me to retain mental notes these days? Somehow, I hung onto this one and at 8:00 last night I settled back to watch the show. Instead, American Masters came on, with a ticker scrolling across the bottom of the screen saying that the Marie Antoinette program would be played at midnight. What’s up with that? Of course, I stayed up for it and taped it for Nettl, who can’t stay up that late and be good for work the next day.

Damn! Every time I read about the French Revolution, or watch anything about it, I want so bad for it to end differently. I want to shake Louis by the balls and say, “Just get to the Austrian border, ya maroon! Forget the silver, forget the wines. Just go!” But he doesn’t listen and they always get caught just 40 miles short of liberation after a 200-mile trip.

It was a fine documentary that made the revolution clearer and easier to understand. No mean feat considering that it’s one of the most confusing series of events in history. I’ve always loved Marie Antoinette. I knew she never made that crack about eating cake and I feel for the terrified 14-year old girl that was sent to marry the future king of France. This show revealed nothing new, but it did show Antoinette for the naive, manipulated girl that she was and actually laid the finger of blame upon her mother where it rightfully belongs. Empress Maria Theresa used her 16 children like pawns on a chessboard with one thing in mind: to rule the world. The show owned up to Antoinette’s excesses (what teenaged girl, however, wouldn’t go for all the pretty clothes if she was basically given limitless credit?), but it also paid tribute to the wisdom and dignity she acquired as her world fell apart at the seems.

I admit it. I resent the French for executing her and Louis. Did I say resent? Detest might be a better word. Don’t get your bowels in an uprooar over that. I don’t mean the French people as a country, or as individuals, but the bloodthirsty rabble who spread vicious propaganda about her with regicide as their only ambition. I’m actually holding a grudge and I hope they’ve all received their karma.


The Laziest Birthday Ever

11:30 - Woke up, groaned.
12:30 - Made a mistake-filled entry (I have since edited it).
1:00 - Had steak and eggs at IHOP with a large tomato juice on ice.
2:00 - Planted myself on the bed to watch the 4-disk set of Wings that Joel bought for me.
12:00 - Caught up on my favorite blogs.
And that’s exactly what I wanted to do today.
I’ll write about the Blogger Roundup tomorrow.


Morning After the Roundup

What a great weekend to schedule a birthday!

Here are some of the cool points about the Roundup in OKC yesterday:

  • It’s my birthday
  • Nettl’s taking me to IHOP
  • I now qualify for the senior menu
  • I’m hungover
  • Actually, I’m still drunk
  • I had a blast
  • Monty’s butt is not huge
  • Geeks were dancing
  • I joined in
  • There are pictures, which I’ll post later
  • After I eat something and take a nap
  • I was the only person who had an old-fashioned, non-digital camera
  • Everyone noticed
  • I hope everyone still likes me now that they’ve seen Mozartballs
  • I hope they liked me before they saw it
  • I won a ball cap and a mauspad
  • Nettl won a $20 gift card to Barnes & Noble
  • I didn’t win a blogger award
  • That’s two years in a row
  • I will next year, or I’m changing my name to Susan Lucci
  • I want the rubber ducky, damn it
  • I really liked Kurt and his wife
  • Monty goes without saying
  • She’s a kick in the head
  • You should’ve been there
  • Dustbury has groupies.

Over and out.


Bad Call, PBS!

I have just experienced Warholis Interuptus.

While watching the 2-part American Masters: Andy Warhol program on PBS, I hoped that at some point an interview with the artist would be shown. The interviewees were great, and the show is astounding, but numerous people talking about Warhol felt imbalanced. I wanted to hear something from the man himself. (Although an actor, imitating Warhol’s voice, read from his diaries in certain segments, it still wasn’t an actual interview.) Lo and behold, my wish was granted as the end credits began to roll. I heard about 6 seconds of the interview when suddenly, the screen split in two and PBS began a promo spiel that lasted until the last 3 seconds of the credits.

If I were the director or writer, I’d be raising holy ned about now. I know enough about film to understand that what goes on during the end credits is often the “big red bow” that ties the entire piece together. The writer put that stuff there for a reason; it’s not an afterthought. A film does not begin and end with what most people consider to be the most entertaining part, that is, the body. The top credits and the end credits are the appetizer and dessert. It’s there for a reason, especially when there is more content to be considered.

It’s pathetic that a network that boasts that it is based on supporting the arts will cut into one of their own programs in this way…and on a piece about the arts. And why? So that I could see and hear promo about the Andy Warhol program and how I can buy it. Excuse me, but what about your patrons? If we send in our pledges, why in hell should we have to buy the DVD to see the piece as the writer and director intended me to see it? I went to the PBS site and left a comment–polite, but to the point.

Rant over.


Living Artfully

When my TSH levels drop, all I can really do is sit (or lay) and think. There’s not much else until I make an appointment with the vampires to give them a vial of my blood. Still in search of the perfect balance, my doctor then prescribes a different dose of my meds. This lab-doctor-pharmacy process takes a few days and until I get the phone call from my pharmacist, my mobility and motivation are at a premium. Communication dwindles because I stammer and I can’t access my vocabulary. Also, my short-term memory goes kaput and I can’t remember the simplest of things, thus, I am a huge consumer of Post-Its. Added to this is a crankiness that overcomes me, mixed with a dose of depression. I grow cynical, suspicious, jealous, traits that are not typical of me. I am a communicator to my very core and I’m not very graceful when I lose that ability. The telly gets a workout when I’m in this condition...

18 is a Wonderful Age

Happy Birthday to Lauren on the occasion of your 18th birthday!

When Nettl and I first met, Lauren was 11. I thought I’d have that talkative, curious, bright little girl for a long time, but here she is all grown up and getting ready to go to school in France after graduating high school in May. Oof!

Today is a little sad for me because I know that she’s just 2 feet from walking out the door into her own life. Gods! I remember being 18 like it was just a few years ago…

Listen up moms and dads out there: Life is brief. After the 11th birthday the time flies by so fast you don’t even notice it, so enjoy your children while they’re children because it won’t last long.

I love you Lauren, and it doesn’t matter how old you get, I’ll always be your Wolfie.


Relief (and an Update)

Not the best news, but certainly not the worst. I was wakened this morning by a phone call from the garage in Sand Springs. The mechanic seems to think the problem with my car is a valve and a loose timing belt, not an oil leak into the cylinders. That means I’m looking at a $525 bill instead of $1500. Whew! Now I have to dig up $500 dollars somewhere. Shouldn’t be too difficult.

In other news, I cannot find lodging in OKC for this weekend. Driving home at midnight isn’t the worst thing in the world—it’s only 60 miles—but it would have been nice to come home the next morning. Oh well, we need that money for the car anyway.

Who’s going to be there? Speak up!

UPDATE (2:25pm): Just got another call and it’s not good. It wasn’t the timing belt, so he’s going to have to take the cylinder head off. It’s going to be more around $900 now. Oof. Where am I going to get that?!?



There are two times of the year that I find myself going up and down the stairs all day and evening. It’s during spring and autumn. That’s when I have to fidget with the heating/AC system to keep the house comfortable. It’s too warm to be cool in the fall, and too cool to be warm in the spring, and the variables within different times of the day and night make things really complicated for me...


The Great American Roundtable Entry

Thinking I had another week to come up with the Great American Roundtable entry, I had wine with dinner and afterward, while Lynette and I watched Project Runway. Then, my lower back still killing me from steam-cleaning our 3000 sf house and moving us upstairs to the master bedroom suite, I took a Tylenol 3 to ease the pain. When Lynette went to bed I came to my computer to check up on email and such, only to find out that it’s my turn to flex my creative prowess. Consequently, I am devoid of thoughts, ideas, and inspiration. This can’t be right. Wine loosens the imagination, or so the greats tell us...

Gruesome Worms of Hate

It was one of those days from the minute my feet hit the floor this morning. It’s funny how things only get worse as a day like this progresses. For instance:

The coffee I needed so badly couldn’t be made until the dishwasher was emptied before I could wash the sink of dirty dishes that had been left to me. “Good Morning!”

But the irritation of that lessened as I tended to political faux pas and work requests that I didn’t feel up to dealing with...


When It's Right

It was a nice weekend. Micah arrived on Friday evening and we all sat in the livingroom talking and laughing with each other. It’s so wonderful having him home. I didn’t get to raise him, so I’ve always felt terribly cheated, and I lived in constant sadness and guilt as I watched him grow up 4 states away. But now he’s here, and I’m so proud of him. Nettl and I asked him to live with us so that he can forget about working for the man and just really throw himself into his music and creativity and see what happens. He’ll be working with me on my Alla Breve projects too, something for which I’m very grateful. He certainly couldn’t be with people who accept and love him more.

On Saturday evening, Joel, Micah and I went to Ville’s and sat on her patio until nearly three in the morning, drinking and having fun–I have the mosquito bites and backache to prove it (guess I’ll have to start sitting in a patio chair instead of the deck bench, although I know steam-cleaning the entire house didn’t help).

Today, Nettl and I hid out in our room watching movies on FX and Lifetime. One film, “The Mermaid Chair” caused us to enter into one of our famous philosophical conversations, this time about soul mates. The “silver screen” has done much to ill-prepare girls for relationships, I believe. Young women have been taught that perfect love will bring them their hearts’ desires and deliver to them a “happy ever after” future. Some people mistakenly believe that finding their soul mate will bring them a blissfully happy life with that person. The truth is, however, a soul mate is most often the one person who acts as sandpaper in order to smooth off our rough edges. Not that the relationship cannot be happy, for they usually are. But expectations of “perfect” love cause a great deal of heartache for a lot of young people.

When we meet that RIGHT person, the experience is heady, downright crazy, and we imagine that once we’re actually together, life will be a wondrously exciting experience. In this state, we never look ahead to paying the phone bill or cleaning the toilets. We’re too busy listening to the bells in our head and noticing how much brighter everything looks. That’s all well and good–and something that no one should miss–but too many couples fall apart when the first rush is over and life has to get down to being what it is. But I’d rather live an “ordinary” life with the right person than an exciting one with the wrong person. But maybe I can say that now that I’m facing 55 in a couple of weeks. My dad once told me, “When it all comes down to it, we marry for companionship.” There’s a lot to be said for a comfortable, secure companionship with one’s soul mate. The home is happy, the other family members are doing their things, and we’re watching stupid made-for-television movies.
When it’s right, it’s right.


A Very Special Birthday

Today is not only the birthday of my dear friend, Paul, it also marks the 21st anniversary of our friendship. Twenty-one years! When we met, Paul was right out of high school and I had to buy his beer for him. He was an aspiring writer and I a budding composer. We became the core group of La Boheme, a troupe of friends who, despite growth pains both as individuals and as a family, and fallings-out and fallings-in, have never ceased to adore and celebrate each others’ creative quirks.

The night that I met Paul (the eve of his birthday) seems like it was only about 5 years ago. Since then, he has found his soul mate (if I recall, it’s their anniversary too), moved to Atlanta, began a business in historic restoration, and has made a name for himself in his community. He was also my Best Man at my and Nettl’s Holy Union Service in 2001.

This may make me sound like an old fart (I was 34 when we met), but I’m proud of who Paul has become. So happy birthday Paul. I love you. And now that our friendship is old enough to drink, I wish we could be together tonight for a pitcher of your oh, so perfect martinis!


My New Old Space

Here’s a picture of my new desk area. Well, it’s my old desk area with a new desk. It’s set in the bedroom alcove created by a dormer window that looks out over the front yard and cul-de-sac below. The window faces east, so the blinds stay down the entire morning, unfortunately. The walls look green, but they’re actually butter yellow...


I Feel Great!

I’ve caught up on my sleep and caught up with my family. I’m taking the week to get things ready for my son’s arrival and a few days to enjoy with him uninterrupted, and then I’ll get back to work. Meantime, we’re busy today moving sh*t upstairs.

Have a great Labor Day. I know I will. With all of this moving going on, it’s comforting to know I have Trumer Pils in the fridge!

Don’t you think the guy on the far right looks like John Malkovich?


Nominated in 2 Categories

This humble blog has been nominated in two categories for the 2006 Okie Blog Awards, which will be handed out at the Okie Blogger Round-up later this month. The categories are: Best Blog Layout (with hefty thanks to Deni who helped me design and utilize it) and Best Culture Blog. I couldn’t be more pleased — and surprised. And I’m honored because, as Monty at The Daily Bitch asks, “…are we the only state that has a hash pipe on its emblem?”

Thanks to everyone who nominated me. Hope I win something, but I’m up against some really formidable competition.

C'est Fini!

The web project is done and I came in right on deadline. Tonight I uploaded the last of the pages. There may be a small problem here and there with a link or two (with nearly 600 pages it would be nearly impossible to be perfect), but those are small issues that can be fixed within minutes.

I’ve decided that Alla Breve is beginning a tradition: Regardless of the size of a site, or how many people are in the office (when we have one, that is), champagne will be offered to the staff–1 bottle per every 3 people–and on the cork will be written the client name and the date of completion. Tonight it’s just Nettl and me, and the cork has been popped.

If you’re an art lover, go to Art Experts Inc. It’s packed with information and thousands of images. These people know their art!



Two Lonely Brain Cells

Sometimes one little me just is not enough. Two months of working 12-16 hours every day, not going to bed until sunrise and neglecting my family, friends, and personal needs is finally taking its toll on my health. It now takes everything I have just to get my brain fired enough each day to figure out what the next step to completing this project will be. Even writing this is just about all I can do and it feels like I have two brain cells left that are rolling around trying to find each other to rub up against and get a little cognitive thought going...


Moo, Y'all

I grew up on a ranch in the Santa Ynez Valley, in California. And on this ranch we had some cows, ee-eye-ee-eye… sorry… Now, I live on the outskirts of an Oklahoma town, surrounded by beautiful, lush pastures. And in some of these pastures are herds of cattle. (See? No ee-eye-ee-eye-o crapola.)

So, do Oklahoma cattle sound different than those in California? Or do the Herefords of Great Britain have an English accent? A study now shows that cattle have regional accents, like people.

Now I’ve heard everything.


Hemp Couteur

The web project is, basically, finished. The next three days will be spent creating the foreign language pages (German, French and Spanish), but that should go pretty quickly. Then, there is always a little fine-tuning, but I’m pretty much calling this one in the can.

Thanks again to Ville and Lashell for coming over and making me drink their wine. They made me, I tell you. I didn’t want to! I wanted to knit…. or embroider… or something like that. Yeah, that’s it. I wanted to sit and knit myself a winter nose-warmer, but would they let me...


Hair Night

Ville and Lashell came over tonight to help me tie one on and I must say, they did a damned good job. Now they’re snug and sleeping upstairs and I’m writing this, ready to go to bed.

Thanks, my Muses, for helping your Prometheus to remember that there is fire out there!


As Good As It Gets Doesn't Suck

I was so exhausted from the schedule I’ve been keeping for the past six weeks that I ate dinner, took a Xanax, and went to bed. I was asleep by 8:30. I woke up about an hour ago, cleaned the kitchen, made some coffee, and took a shower. I feel great!

I’m plowing through the current web project like a maniac and I intend to get a great deal accomplished today. I have to. There are a number of other things going on that need my attention.
  1. I have another web project waiting.
  2. I have a new web project.
  3. I have a MySpace site to design and build.
  4. I’ve been asked to help a friend in setting up an e-commerce site.
  5. The Okie Blogger Roundup at which I’ve been asked to speak.
  6. I have to take out the garbage (no small feat at my age, when the barrels weigh nearly as much as I do, the dumpster is taller than I am and is a block from the house, and the temperature is in the high 90s). I nearly had a stroke last week! I had to come in and lay back with a cold compress on my forehead because my BP was so high. I was as white as a ghost and sweating like I’d just run a marathon.
  7. Lynette and I are moving back upstairs because my youngest son, Micah, is coming home in two weeks. We’re so excited! I want to take the opportunity to steam clean all the carpets, plus there’s all the moving to do.
I was thinking the other evening that I really am very, very fortunate. I work from home doing what I love and beginning to make some good money, I have a marriage that is about as perfect as it can be, I have a beautiful, happy, healthy, well-adjusted family, a beautiful home, a budding new business that is based on service to the arts, and my son is coming home. My life has always been pretty traumatic and uncertain. At last, I can exhale.


Redeeming Myself

Alright, so the Beatle graphics are cute. I’m not into cute, but I love the Beatles. Still, I can’t go to bed knowing they’re just hanging out, dancing on my page while I’m gone. I’ve decided to leave you with something cultural, something that hopefully, might redeem me.

Working on this art site has been like a course in Art Appreciation and I’m really enjoying learning about all of the artists, and getting to know their work. A few days ago I came across a painting that I really liked, so I’ll share it with you.

Before I Go to Bed

I finished working for the night and I just wanted to share these with you before I disappear into my dreams that will be full of art. That’s beginning to happen to me now. Oh, and I will NOT lose Thursday this week, but I may not get the Roundtable notice up until later in the morning, after I catch a couple hours of sleep. I do sleep once in a while y’know...