Kelly in London with bronze statue of Hobbs, Samuel Johnson's beloved cat.

The last thing Kelly would have wanted would have been to have to talk about herself, especially if it were in the third person. It’s true that if you were talking to her, she’d frequently interrupt with “related stories,” but they were always in the first person. She liked to think of it as an endearing personality quirk—the stories were related—but in the end she figured that she likely was just annoying to the other speaker. She tried to control the impulse with only moderate success. The issue probably stemmed from her general enthusiasm for things she liked and her desire to seem relevant.

Which is not to say that she liked people—she’d be the first to tell you that she didn’t. But sometimes actions—or interruptions—spoke louder than words.

Kelly liked to say that she inherited the best from each of her parents. Her mother was an extrovert and loved talking to anybody who would listen, and even if they wouldn’t. She, too, was generally enthusiastic about most things. Kelly’s father, on the other hand, was a quieter, more reserved sort who never made a spectacle of himself. So though Kelly knew that she often was loud and boisterous in her enthusiasm, she pretended that she knew when to dial it back and stop the stampede. Moderate success.

Anybody who is a friend of Kelly’s knows that in recent years, two of the things she was most enthusiastic about were writing and craft beer. And if you asked Kelly herself, she’d tell you that one of her favorite activities was to write her blog while she was drinking beer—and getting kind of tipsy while doing it. If she were here right now, which we know she is in spirit, she’d want everyone to stop moping and go enjoy something you love.

One of the things Kelly wouldn’t hesitate to say she loved most was London, England. She had hoped to move there one day but unfortunately, that’s a dream which will now remain unfulfilled. And that seems like a good way to draw this to a conclusion. If she were here now and succumbing to clichés, she’d say, “Go for it!” One of her philosophies of life was that you won’t know if you don’t ask which, on occasion, led to awkward moments. But she felt that though the answer might have been no, it might well have been yes. And if it would have been yes, wouldn’t you be disappointed not to have found that out?

Hard for me, harder for her

September 8, 2013

Two years ago, my cousin and her fiancé were in a car accident. They were stopped in traffic in an interstate highway construction zone. They were behind a semi-truck. Another one barreled up from behind. It turned them and their little Honda into sandwich filling. They both had serious head injuries. I suppose that’s redundant. When is a head injury not serious? When is it not life-changing?

I will preface whatever else I write today with the acknowledgement that anything I felt or feel is nothing compared to what my cousin, her fiancé, and both their families struggled with and will continue to struggle with for the rest of all their lives. I know that I’m just a bystander and that in life, it’s not about me.

But this blog entry is. The immediate aftermath of the accident ranks right up there as one of the hardest things I’ve been through. That’s why it’s been more than a week since I last wrote. I had to work up to this. Selfish.

Me and cousin A, a week after her birth. One of the only times in my life that I've held a baby.

Me and cousin A, a week after her birth. One of the only times in my life that I’ve held a baby.

I have a small family. I’m an only child, my mom’s an only child, and my dad has one brother. My uncle and his wife have two children. The oldest, A, the one in the accident, is seventeen years younger than I, and our two branches of the family never lived nearby geographically. My cousins and my parents are pretty close, but not them and me.

Nevertheless, when my parents called to tell me about the accident, the family instincts kicked in. The first thing to do was shepherd my other cousin, A’s sister M, through her overnight layover from Montana through Minneapolis to Michigan. I brought her back to my place for a few hours of fitful sleep, then got her back out to the airport. M is outdoorsy. She didn’t care about a refreshing shower.

The next day at work, I began making my own arrangements to go to Michigan. Fortunately my schedule usually can be pretty flexible, so I was the first of my family to be able to go. I didn’t know what I was in for.

Again, because of our tiny family size, I haven’t had to deal with many misfortunes. My parents are ridiculously healthy. My four grandparents all made it to old age, so there weren’t any big surprises when they died in their 80s, 90s, and, finally, 105. I’ve attended the funerals of friends’ loved ones, but those weren’t people I had a huge vested interest in. I had my own visit to the emergency room a few years ago for what turned out to be severe heartburn brought on by a week of eating tomato-based dishes breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Don’t laugh. Women tend not to think they’re having heart attacks. I didn’t want to be a statistic. Twelve hours later it all made sense.

My point is, nothing in my life had prepared me for the shock of seeing my cousin lying unconscious in a hospital bed.

You see it in movies and in soap operas. You see actors with fake needles in their arms and fake tubes in their mouths. You see actors weeping at the bedsides of their actor fake relatives. It doesn’t prepare you for the first time you see a real person whom you actually care about lying unconscious in a hospital bed with needles in her arms, a tube down her throat, a tube in her neck, her delicate hands that could play the violin so well lying limp at the side of her induced comatose body. It just doesn’t. And then you go into the next room and see her beloved lying there in the same condition.

A and A (my cousin’s fiancé is also an A, also a musician, and I think it’s appropriate that I’m not using their full names) had just finished packing up their Michigan home to move to Boston for job opportunities, with their wedding to follow soon thereafter in Wisconsin where my aunt and uncle live(d).

I am an emotional ice queen. It’s not that I don’t feel stuff, but I don’t often give much away outwardly. I partly get that from my dad. With my mom, nothing is unknown. She doesn’t filter, and she kind of badgers and passive-aggressives to have things go her preferred way. My dad, on the other hand, internalizes, maintains a pretty even keel, and mostly goes with the flow. I internalize, too, combined with the life experience of failed relationships and not wanting to make that emotional commitment too soon. I try to save my energy for the things that matter more.

I guess I had been saving it up for the moment I saw my aunt and uncle, which was followed closely by the moment I was ushered into A’s hospital room. I became a puddle of mush. My aunt and uncle had the advantage of having had a week already to culture their disbelief and numbness. I was fresh.

I stayed for a week. I met A’s good friends and cousins-in-law from my aunt’s side. Everybody was trying to be optimistic about A’s chances. I feel guilty because at the time I was more in the realistic camp as it seemed in those early days. I felt guilty for not having been a better cousin in the previous thirty-one years. At A’s bedside I promised to do better, but I haven’t. I still feel guilty.

I’m happy to report that I’ve been proved wrong about A’s recovery, at least. Again I’ll say that nothing you learn about head injuries leads you to think that things will return to the old normal. But A is leading a decent life, considering her circumstances. She remains in Michigan and my aunt and uncle live there with her. She has resumed many professional musician activities, though she has issues with short-term memory.

I don’t know the status of A’s relationship with her fiancé, whether they are still considered to be engaged. He, too, has made a recovery, but is not as well physically. He has paralysis, which includes not being able to swallow, and is confined to a wheelchair, though his mental faculties are intact and strong. He is back in Indiana with his parents.

I don’t know how to deftly wrap this up. Thanks for reading.


I really wouldn’t mind being just a little more buzzed as I write this because, you see, I have been prompted to ponder that thing that happened in high school that changed my life forever. I could pinpoint a few incidents* that more directly concern school time itself and the people I knew. But if it is to be boiled down to a basic essence, the only correct response is The Move.


From the time I was one and a half until I turned fifteen (or, more precisely, until two days before I turned fifteen), I lived in a small town in northwestern Ohio. We all were friends to one degree or another, and the way the nucleus divided into various functions as we grew up seemed only natural. I can’t say they’re all completely fond memories, but I remember a lot of things very vividly. (1)

If you actually scrolled down to read the list, you can see it didn’t take long to get to boys. That’s probably because I hadn’t been long into puberty when we moved to Wisconsin.


On the surface it seemed like The Move would be a good thing. I was well-familiar with the (larger) town because one set of grandparents lived there and every summer we’d visit for two weeks. A girl my age lived next door to my grandparents and we had become friends over the years, so I wasn’t starting from scratch. To this day I’m up for a good adventure and at first, then, that’s what it was.

It was a familiar, yet still new, place. I had the summer to hang out with my friend. We could spend more time together doing the things we liked—listening to music, walking to a nearby stream, teasing the boy on the other side of her house.

My sophomore year, my first school year there was a gas. I went from a class of 80 to a class of 750. It was all big and different and exciting. I made some friends and had decent kids in my classes. It was alright and I even ended up with a boyfriend by the end of the year. He had an old red Ford pickup truck. That’s not particularly important but I remember it. Well, okay, I lost my virginity in it.

The aftermath

During my junior year things went to pot. The big, different, exciting just seemed big and different. I began to resent having been yanked away from my childhood and friends and possibilities. I always refer to it as yanked away, even thinking about it thirty-five years later. I acted out in the typical ways. My circle of friends changed to parentally-perceived less desirable kids, including my second boyfriend, mainly because they weren’t that first boyfriend whom I had broken up with but whom my mom couldn’t let go of. I dared to stay out all night. I got drunk with friends who were in college (drinking age was 18 at the time). I smoked pot with a boy two years younger (a lifetime of difference in high school!). My grades dropped.

The other best friend of my original girlfriend got together with my first boyfriend, and my own new (post-move) best friend got together with my second boyfriend before we were out of school. As far as I know, both couples are still together. My mom is still friends with the first-boyfriend-circle of my former friends.

Meanwhile, I maintained a healthy correspondence with my Ohio friends, not only with my two best girlfriends BG and DH (sorry, gals, I’m going with maiden names) but with RB as well. (2) So I got all the lowdown on who was getting together with whom and how I was missing out on it all, which only cause me to feel that it should have been me but that never could be. It poured gasoline on the fire of my feelings of separation. I was sad and resentful and behaved like it.

My best friend BG in Ohio got me a senior yearbook and, bless her heart, took it around for everyone to sign. And bless their hearts, even former adversaries obliged. Of course, all the boys I had had crushes on were long gone (they had all been one and two years older than me), but everyone else was very nice about it. It should be telling that the only class reunions I’ve ever gone to (or attempted to go to—one year I drove all the way from Wisconsin to Ohio but chickened out once I got to the supper club parking lot)—were the Ohio ones. I haven’t kept in touch with anybody from Wisconsin (though I do occasionally “research” people online).


I was able to let go of a lot of it after I attended the fifteen-year class reunion of my Ohio school. Those were the people I still cared about the most and seeing many of them finally put to rest some unresolved feelings about the whole moving situation. There’s no going back (well, there was a little bit of going back with SB, that first kiss in fifth grade), but I was thrilled that they remembered me and seemed to still like me—even my adversaries who, it turns out, claimed not to remember most of my evil, song lyric-leaving deeds. It was the same sort of experience at the twenty-fifth-year reunion. And by then I had taken up golf, so once again it was easy to hang out with the boys.

There are many more related stories I could add to this on both sides of The Move but I think you get the idea. Does anybody know anything about RB?


Fingerpainting in nursery school in the Methodist Church.

LG encouraging me to drop my shorts and pee in the bushes alongside the Methodist Church. I wouldn’t pull my pants down but I peed anyway.

My mom picking some purple lilacs from the back yard and all the little white bugs that scattered out of them when she put them in water.

Being still required to take a nap and when I got up, discovering that all the neighborhood kids were playing on my swing set and my mom yelling at them.

Being told by TM while running a race in our late-gradeschool “Olympics” that I ran fast for someone with short legs.

SA mistaking my art class collage for his, and wrecking my neatly painted black border. LEM chiding me for retying my pigtails myself.

Being kept in from recess in fourth grade to be admonished by my teacher to play with girls more, looking at her with great earnestness, and declaring, “But Mrs Kelsey, I don’t like girls!”

Following that incident up with drawing a diagram of the playground and mapping out in different magic marker colors the different routes that my boy friends and I would take to our secret meeting behind the baseball field backstop.

Receiving my first boy-kiss ever from SB just beyond that backstop while wearing a dress with a gold top and turquoise plaid skirt.

Having to ride with LK to bowling on Saturday mornings, only he always drifted toward the center line and scared the wits out of me.

Playing the Eagles’ “New Kid in Town” on the bowling alley jukebox and wanting to be a bass player more than anything.

Having my sixth grade teacher set me up with RB who had been in her class the year before, for the start of what would be an ongoing, very adversarial, love-hate friendship.

Going out for track in 8th grade only because I had a raging crush on BW, a sophomore, which became awkward because he and RB were good enough friends and RB was also a (legitimate) runner.

Hours spent bike riding around town with RB.

Leaving song lyrics in the lockers of crushes and adversaries in order to convey my feelings, I’m sure not as anonymously as I thought.

In junior high having my best friend push me into boys I liked, such as BW.

Endless summer days spent at the pool with my friends, always with CKLW AM radio on the PA to entertain us.

(2) I suppose it’s telling that I gave you initials of the people in Ohio but not of the Wisconsinites.

*I’ve touched on related subjects to varying degrees previously in this blog, and if I hadn’t had to migrate services it would be a lot easier to find those references and link to them (though I did find this one and this one). On the other hand it’s been a couple years since I wrote regularly, so I guess I won’t beat myself up for repeating some things, and it will come out differently second time around anyway.

AARP enrollment


A while ago I declared that I was not ready to go au natural and give up coloring my hair, because I was in denial and freaking out about turning 50. At that time, the impending doom was a year and a half away. Now, the apocalypse is imminent and I remain in denial. The end of my life is merely three-and-a-half weeks away. Even if by some asteroid-collision-extinction chance I had forgotten when my birthday was, there are mechanisms in the general public to remind me. I’m not talking about Facebook’s helpful reminders that today is so-and-so’s birthday.

Two days ago, I received in the mail my temporary AARP membership card. That’s the American Association of Retired People.

They fool you into opening up the envelope. They put it in one of those unmarked things that looks official because you have to fold and tear the edge strips off of to get into it. It looks important. It looks like an income tax refund check. Or at least that $10 rebate from buying the 74-pack of batteries.

Turns out it is official—the official notification that your life is practically over.

According to their website, AARP was founded in 1958 by retired school principle Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus to (among other things) “to promote her philosophy of productive aging.” I guess at that point in US history, it was more likely that people kept their jobs for life and got a pension from their employer when they retired.

Beyond the fact that I personally will work until I drop dead because I am a poor planner of finances, in general people other than me are working many more hours per week than our relatives two generations ago did. And they continue to work far later in their lives.

These days, receiving your AARP card at age 50 seems a little premature. People are productive long beyond then. Age 60 would be much more reasonable. Not to mention that when you become whatever age seemed ancient when you were just a squirt ten years ago, you realize that it’s kind of just another day.

Sign me up for the discounts, Ethel!


If you already know me, then these things are not so random. They should be fairly well-known facts. But if you have only just come across this blog, to quote NBC’s slogan from many summers ago, it’s new to you.

I love tomatoes. I learned how much during my first trip to Europe in 1989. My parents and I traveled the summer the iron curtain came down. We visited Germany, Austria, and Hungary. It was at our hotel restaurant in Budapest that my life was changed by the sweetest, most flavorful, excellently textured tomatoes I had ever eaten—and I’m quite sure have ever eaten to this day, twenty-three years later. 

It has been a minor quest to find tomatoes in my everyday life that measure up. I know the best way to satisfy this search would be to grow them myself but being an apartment- and now condo-dweller, I don’t have the real estate to make a real stab. Every summer since I’ve moved to my condo which has a bit of yard that I can make use of, I’ve dutifully grown tomato plants in large pots. Every summer, squirrels have predictably decimated my meager crop and I feel fortunate to harvest two or three workable tomatoes. In fact, it’s about time this summer for the squirrels to spring into action because the fruit on this summer’s plant are just beginning to ripen. Any day, I will come home from work to find several quarter-eaten fledgling tomatoes scattered about the yard. The squirrels are not courteous enough to eat all of one tomato. They eat part of many.

My desire for delicious tomatoes was a large part of the reason why I bought into a CSA this summer (Community Supported Agriculture). While I patiently await the appearance in my box of lovingly homegrown, organic heirloom tomatoes, I have tried new edibles such as kale and kohlrabi, and discovered that roasted radishes are a wondrous thing. I sauté weirdo greens, like radish, collard, and kale, in olive oil and garlic. A fabulous supper is topping a premium frozen cheese pizza with sliced radishes, chopped kale, and sliced onions.

I am also embracing the notion of “know your farmer,” which extends beyond the CSA farmers to joining the neighborhood grocery co-op to frequenting farmers markets, where I can learn the names of the goats that made the feta cheese I’m buying or marvel that guerrilla farmers have turned metro parking lots into farms of raised beds that produce produce that’s as delicious as anything grown in a wide-open field.

Food trucks
I love getting lunch at one of the numerous food trucks that populate the streets of downtown Minneapolis (and Saint Paul). They make innovative dishes with fresh ingredients whose names you recognize. Very many of them take pride in sourcing their ingredients from local farmers, the same ones whose CSA I joined or whose goats tweet lame jokes like, ‘Keeping it ALL in perspective: One of the goats just said, “Meh…”’ Sorry, but that cracks me up. Chain/franchise restaurants don’t stand a chance.

Enjoying free time
I don’t make the most productive use of my free time. But these days you will find me experiencing contentment when I am sitting outside, likely with a beer, perhaps with a book or something on the iPad, in the shade, in my eight-inch high lawn chair. It’s low to the ground and the perfect height to stretch out my legs and still have a fairly level lap for supporting my reading material. Or I might draw my legs in to make a reading stand. Either way, it’s a comfortable chair with a back to lean against and it only cost $2.49 plus tax. I have two. One is a bright blue that almost matches the painted wooden stairs of my building. The other is my favorite green color. I seem to love anything in the fluorescent green to lime green range. I didn’t set out to like that color, it just sort of crept up on me. It can be a little self-conscious-inducing when I find myself sitting in the green chair in my lime green sweatpants and a green T-shirt with my green-covered iPad. Oh well.

Usually at some point while sitting outside, I will have enjoyed enough beer that I won’t really care if people are judging me for all my green. And if I’m lucky, passersby won’t even notice me because I just blend into the chair. I probably also have my green Nalgene water bottle out there with me, too, because I am fanatical, religious, dedicated about drinking plenty of water throughout the day.

I should be less dedicated about the amount of coffee I drink. I used to only consume decaf, but in the last couple or three years I’ve embraced regular coffee with gusto. Consequently, most Saturday evenings I begin to go through the caffeine withdrawal headache. If I’m lucky, it’s not too severe and I can time it so that it mostly happens while I’m asleep. I’m weird. I drink coffee during the week at my desk, frequently very enthusiastically, but at home on the weekend it doesn’t occur to me to make any. And that’s okay. I guess I’d rather have a weekly mild headache than get to the point where I have a daily nagging headache and greater dependency.

I have a love-should relationship with both beer and coffee.

– – – – – – – – – – – 

This just scratches the surface. I was challenged on Instagram to share five random things about myself, so I looked backwards in my stream and grabbed the first five photos that caught my eye as revealing something about me personally. There are many other photos that reveal things, too.


There are few things I do to apply the glamorized myth of beauty to myself, but coloring my hair is one thing I can’t give up, it seems.

The very first time I colored my hair was in about 1988. It had gotten quite long for the first time in a long time and I was bored and/or depressed. My M.O. had been to get out the scissors when bored and/or depressed but I decided that I didn’t want to cut my hair. I still was in the mood for a change, so I bought a box of hair color. My hair was young so I let that color grow out and life went on.

Fast forward to 1995. Same deal. Longer hair, bored and/or depressed, didn’t want to cut.

(I should mention that I have always cut my own hair. There’s enough body/curl to hide any mistakes I make. I can count on one hand the number of times as an adult that someone else has cut my hair. And I came to realize that my feelings of boredom and/or depression happened post-MS. Not too many PMS symptoms, but that restlessness afterwards. Please also see my previous post, Inertia, part 4.)


Once again I chose to color. And this time I repeated the deed. Several times. I did end up cutting my hair, too, but I realized somewhere along the line that it was fun changing the color every couple of months. So I kept on doing it.

And at some point, I also realized there were more grey hairs.

After one of those third-party haircuts, maybe eight or nine years ago, I almost stopped coloring. The haircut was practically down to the grown-out color.

I couldn’t stop.

My name is Kelly and I color my hair.


So I’ve been coloring ever since and now I have a lot of grey hairs, and unfortunately they’re concentrated in noticeable places such as my front hairline. My reason to color has changed from fun to denial.

I am a year and a half away from 50 at the time of this writing. I don’t feel that old, I don’t act that old. There are few things I do, by my actions, to bely my age. But when I think about the actual number—50—particularly as it pertains to entering my dotage—50—I freak the fuck out.



I cut my hair short a week ago. I briefly considered discontinuing with coloring as well.

Yeah, right.

People seem to think I look younger than I am. Thanks! My eyes are wrinkled, my skin is sagging. They can’t see how my body feels. I’ve been convinced for a number of years that my toes are arthritic, my right hip aches with air pressure changes or too many carbs, my left knee has its own issues (probably bowling-related), and I’m on my third bifocal glasses prescription. It must be my non-grey hair that creates the illusion of youth. 

I think I believe that if I look old, I’ll feel old. Revealing the grey hairs would be a nail or two in that coffin. I can’t go there yet.


My family crest

October 19, 2011


A couple of weeks ago we were challenged to draw a family crest for ourselves. I scribbled mine out during brief interludes in the relatively autopilot production project I had going at work. Usually I like to hand-draw (as much as you can call what I do “drawing”) with my navy Sharpie, but I don’t have one right now. Nor do I have my other favorite color, the brickish-maroon (I’m sure I’ve horrified some Sharpie executive with that description). I used a lowly graphite mechanical pencil for the initial line drawing which turned out to be a good thing, in this case, because then I could get it right (as right as what I call “drawing” can be). Usually I like to do free and easy gesture drawings on which I don’t waste too much brain power, but a little more care was called for in this case. I had intended to color it with the bazillion colored pencils we have at the office, but they seem to have disappeared in the last clear-out, so I was left with fabric paint markers or crayons. Crude crayons it was!

It will come as no surprise what I included.

Animals. Crests often have some beast of valor. I used beasts of favor, the rabbit that has become my symbol, and the closest I could come to a cat in the same style. Interesting side note, I only ever draw the rabbit facing to the left, so it was utterly awkward to draw the cat the other way.

Activities. You will often find a weapon on a crest. I included my weapons of choice for the zombie apocalypse, a bowling ball and bowling pins. Oh wait, no zombies? Bowling is the quest upon which I embark twice weekly. Still appropriate for a crest. The pins give the animals a platform for sitting.

Foliage. What crest would be complete with some kind of viney, leafy thing sinewing its way around? You guessed it. I gave my crest a few hop vine leaves and hop flower cones, representative of the beverage that keeps me going strong, beer, in particular, hoppy ales.

Shield. The above elements will be arranged around a central anchor, usually some kind of shield shape. I decided to use a beer bottle, upon which the cat and rabbit can lovingly gaze. I took poetic license with perspective and had the thumb hole of the bowling ball double as the opening in the bottle.

Banner. Well, isn’t there always some wavy thing containing the family name? This is my least favorite part at the moment. It’s like a big old cummerbund around the bowling ball’s beer belly. And it’s my username not my real last name. But it serves its purpose.

I am mostly so pleased by how it turned out, and I fully intend to create a more refined version on the computer. Then I can adjust some of the things that bother me. 

It was a very fun little project. I challenge you to make your own family crest. If you do, post a link to it in the comments!


October 3, 2011


If I were a single man, no one would give much thought to the life I lead. And since I am not close to very many people, I can probably guess on one hand how many people have given it even something resembling even half of a passing thought.

But I am a woman in my later forties. That should at least give me myself and Irene pause, if no one else.

Over the last few weeks I have come to the realization that I live the life of a bachelor man. Not even a bachelorette. I’m not looking to hook up with anyone. I’ve never been married, I’ve never had a relationship that lasted for more than six months. I’m not sure either of those things will happen, and I’m not sure I care, as in, want.

But, a bachelor minus the one-night stands. Or any stands. We’re all older now, right? But there is plenty of beer. But not in a drunk-on-MichGoldenLight(is that even possible?)-with-my-buddies kind of way.

So maybe it’s not so much like a bachelor after all. I like beer with actual flavor. I read an article earlier today that in the UK, Molson Coors is launching a beer targeted at women that comes in the clear filtered, crisp rose, and zesty lemon varieties. What the heck, gals? Real women drink IPA (that’s India Pale Ale for you pisswater drinkers). Man up!

Beer has as much or—*gasp*—more variety than wine. You should try something different sometime.

It’s true that I don’t leave the toilet seat up, or squeeze the toothpaste tube from the middle. But I do go for weeks without scrubbing the sink, scrubbing the bathtub, vacuuming, doing laundry, folding laundry, months without putting clean clothes away because it’s just as easy to grab clean underwear from the laundry basket. I didn’t realize how gross my toilet was until I had friendly houseguests a few weeks ago and, when I had the brief chance, used the visit as an excuse to investigate the situation. Well, I never lift up the toilet seat. I didn’t realize what was going on under there. The situation has been rectified.

I do keep up with doing the dishes. I don’t want my cats to get any fancy ideas. Before you ask, I only have two cats. And a rabbit.

Maybe I keep up with doing the dishes because there are fewer and fewer of them these days. I love cooking. One of my favorite ways to spend a day used to be making lunches and suppers for the upcoming week during Sunday afternoon. But due to a combination of laziness and the awakening of my enjoyment of eating out, particularly at lunchtime, homecooking has become an endangered species. I have a friend who says that if it doesn’t beep, he doesn’t make it. I’m not to that point, but it really is appalling how little I cook at home right now.

Part of that, particularly with regard to lunch, is because it’s summer and the food trucks are out. I adore the food trucks. But that’s a whole other topic.

I have enough socks and underwear to easily go a month or more without doing the aforementioned laundry. I hate doing laundry. That’s not a guy thing, that’s a chore thing. Nobody likes chores.

What is just a single thing, and not exactly a guy thing, is that I am independent and can do whatever I please. I like that. When I’m feeling non-antisocial and actually want to do something, I’m not the one who has to consult with someone else for permission (though I do believe in communicating and having the courtesy to stay in touch if plans are changing, not that I have a lot of experience with such matters). I just do it. A lot of the time that means that I do it by myself, and that’s okay. I’m comfortable with that.

I also don’t have to put stuff away around the house because there’s no one else here to see whether I did or didn’t. You know, except the cats.

I have NASA-TV on in the background. I really like it when the show “earth views” from the cameras in high orbit. I see that the space shuttle Atlantis has completed over one complete Earth-orbit since I started writing this (you do the research to see how long that is). I have to get up in five hours so, though there’s nobody waiting in bed and nagging me, I’d better wrap this up.

It should be noted that a man-bachelor wouldn’t have such a snazzy shower curtain.

Flashback (what a feeling)

February 7, 2011

I’ll give myself twenty minutes for this. It was sort of just something that came up as an aside this evening, but then I mentioned it out loud and it got requested that I dish on way-back boyfriends.

I was already thinking about P because I was talking about cribbage (see my previous post), which he and I used to play a lot. At the time, in 1984, I thought P was the love of my life. If we had been even five years older I think it would have had a good chance of working out, but we were just too young to handle what we had. I also have a number of music-related memories associated with him, not least of which is my love of Orchestral Manoeuvers in the Dark. I remember him saying once that all he wanted was to be Richard Butler from the Psychadelic Furs. Tonight I checked his business website (he’s a photographer) and found a new photo (he’s looking as good as ever). I also came across other photos that I had seen before of him and his band (which must just be part-time for fun). But this time when I looked up the band name, I found a video on You Tube. One of us has sort of achieved our life goal—the band was doing a cover of “Pretty in Pink.” P can still pull off those leather pants!

The other way-back boyfriend I ended up thinking about this evening was my first one waaaaaaay back in high school. I think I’ve mentioned before that it was not my own relationship with this fellow but my mother’s that had enormous influence on my subsequent dealings with men. My mother made it clear (in the immediate aftermath, anyway) that there was no one like B, and that scarred me for a long time because I never felt like anyone else would measure up. She remained friends with him, tried to get us back together by making me help him with Spanish, and sort of co-opted that circle of friends, even, years later, babysitting for him and his wife S who, in a bit of irony, was the childhood best friend of M, the girl who lived next door to my grandparents with whom I had become fast friends during our summer visits during my childhood. 

M and I weren’t able to retain the same level of intensity with our friendship after my parents and I actually moved from Ohio to that town in Wisconsin where she and my grandparents lived, and where I attended high school. I had known S since those childhood visiting days, and it was always kind of does-not-compute to me that B and S got together because I was never aware that they had known each other that well. But they are still together so obviously something was right.

Tonight’s pondering of B came up because S commented on a mutual other friend’s status during Super Bowl madness. B seems to have disappeared from online life but when he was still around I saw one small photo, and he looked like he was still in pretty good shape, too.

So there you have a little something extra. Fortunately, the only person who was actually acquainted with either of these two, and wouldn’t have minded being a way-back boyfriend in his own right, currently resides in Africa and can’t rat me out too badly. Or will you?

Time’s up.

Getting my hard on

January 27, 2011


Yesterday we got to talking about what you’d like to experience if you were the opposite gender for a day. 

Many answers were predictably about having sex in various ways. Saxchik’s list was comprised of many things I already do—”First, I’d open every jar in the pantry, then I’d kill some bugs, then I’d fix things around the house, then I’d take out the trash, then I’d build a fire, drink a beer and jerk off for the rest of the day.”

I don’t understand about opening every jar in the pantry and I don’t have a fireplace. But I do kill bugs (specifically the centipedes that come with an old, garden-level apartment) and fix things around the house (such as replacing my bathroom faucet and toilet handle and plunger, and installing a programable thermostat). Of course I take out the trash, and if you’ve been a reader for any length of time you’ll have figured out that I adore beer.

Jerking off was almost interesting, but it didn’t quite capture the essence I was seeking. Sure, it’s something that as a woman I can’t do (well, at least not like that), but it’s not something I’ve ever wondered about. It was a conversation later in the evening about beer that gave me my eureka moment.

If, as a woman, I were a man for a day, I think it would be fascinating to have an erection. It must be such an odd sensation.

I suppose you men as men don’t often think about what’s going on when it’s happening. I suppose that, just as I have to carry my breasts around all day every day and they hold no mystique for me, the physiology of your erections probably doesn’t usually warrant a second thought by you. When you had your first one way back when, do you remember if you contemplated it as some weird, new feeling in your body?

Oddly enough (or maybe not, any of you other gals?), I often dream at night that I have a penis. Sometimes it’s limp, sometimes it’s hard, seldom am I doing anything with it in the dream, and it almost always breaks off at some point causing me to feel very disappointed. It’s not that I secretly wish I were a man—at least I don’t think I do but maybe my subconscious knows something I don’t (where’s Sigmund Freud when you need him?). But I do have complex feelings about how men treat and objectify women and society’s general tolerance and reinforcement of such behavior and that, for as far as gender equality has come, the balance of power still tips in favor of men. So my dream penis is probably the manifestation of my desire to have the same kind of power that men have.

So, if you could be the opposite sex for a day, what would you most like to do and/or experience?


Fruit image by SuperStock