March 30, 2009

Think I'm Paranoid?

Three years ago, they found me in Florida, but I escaped with my life -- barely, by the thinnest margin, by that pesky man-whisker on my chin. I drove a thousand miles away, covering my tracks in Weird Old Waterloo, the Texan Liberal Mecca, the Eclectic Oasis Live! I knew it was only a matter of time, though, before they'd catch up to me, back me into a corner, push me to the edge. It wasn't gonna be pretty. I swore I'd never go quietly, never give them the satisfaction. If I had to steal away another thousand miles, I'd do it.

Do I sound paranoid? Maybe I am, but don't ever forget this: Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you.

On the run these last few years, I've gone through many changes, from dying my hair super blonde and chopping it short and sassy, to donning thick-rimmed, gem-studded reading glasses, to eating gargantuan organic produce (good for intimidating the man in your life), to downing chewable tropical-flavor fiber tabs, and to throwing back a stemglass-a-day of sweet burgundy Shiraz.

So many changes, so much effort, and for what? All to harbor a secret, to avoid a destiny that will not be denied. Now I'm E.T., hiding in the closet, scheming my next move, unsure why my stalkers continue their dogged pursuit. But this much I do know: there are few places left to hide, for they are relentless, and sooner or later they will find me. Their reach and mite are too powerful, their tentacles too hard-sucking. They will bullwhip you out of your blissfully unaware reverie. And by then you get it: the end is far nearer than you could have imagined.

Today I caught sight of their messenger outside my house, their sinister harbinger of mortality. It was too late to make a run for it. I hid in the shadows, but their calling card was already waiting for me. As I held it in my quivering hand with sweat dripping down my temples, fear and dread in my heart, I raised my fist, looked up to the sky, and shouted, "Damn you, AARP! Damn you to hell!"

March 28, 2009

Do a World of Good

I'm taking a short break from my usual smartassery to introduce my good friend Michelle, who owns Cardiology, a unique and eco-friendly line of handmade cards and stationery from the Hill Country. You can find Michelle's gorgeous designs on Etsy and at M.W.Grant Designs (click on the names to go there). Both sites have different offerings, so check them out and see if you don't find something awesome for Mother's Day, which ain't far off at all.

With all the high-tech stuff we're into now, how often do you get a handwritten note or letter in the mail? I almost NEVER do. That's why I love these cards. Not only are they one-of-a-kind labors of love for the artisan who made them, but they help us continue the tradition of sending handwritten notes and letters. I love that. I don't want to lose it to cheesy commercial email cards and big corporations like WalMart. People just throw those away. But Michelle's cards, they keep. Some even frame them. That's pretty cool.

Below are some of my favorites that Michelle has made for Easter. Are they cute or what?

(click on the pictures to go to the site):

Michelle is a one-woman crafting dynamo! She uses salvaged vintage wallpapers and linens, and even paper grocery bags, so all the materials are recycled and put to beautiful use. And so original!

Her motto is "Do a World of Good," and 10 percent of all sales go to a different charity every year, and that amount grows as her business grows.
Do me a favor and check out Michelle's stores. Tell her that crazy Fragrant Liar sent you! You will LOVE what you see there, your purchase will do a world of good, and you'll support a needy charity and a hardworking, awesome crafter.

Trust me, do not wait till the last minute to get yo' mama something you put little-to-no thought into. She will know it, I assure you. Instead, send that girlie to heaven with the gorgeous one-of-a-kind cards you bought her from Cardiology.
And now, back to my usual smartassery...

March 26, 2009


Miss America and I are cruising in the cherry hooptie, northbound on I-35 through San Marcos.

From the back seat, Miss America's small voice sings her made-up melodies: I eat my gwreen beans, cuz they gimme big mussos. Cars are fa-a-ast, bikes are slo-o-ow.

While I concentrate on the road ahead, Miss America's lyrics and tunes continue flowing: I get dust on my sammich, and princess dances unda da moon, an' she drops it like it's ho-o-o-ot.

One of my eyelids twitches.

The hits just keep coming. Then I hear the strains of an eighties tune, but without Bonnie Tyler's rasp. The small voice in my back seat croons: I need a hero . . .

As soon as I hear the tune, I join in, and both of us belt out:  I'm holding out for a hero till the end of the night. He's gotta be strong and he's gotta be . . .

This is where I forget the words, but Miss America does not. He's gotta be strong an' he's gotta be fast, or he's not gettin' nothing toni-i-i-ight. I need a hero-o-o!

I spit out my Diet Coke and practically run the hooptie off the road. Holy shit!

March 24, 2009

WTF Wednesday: Gassed

Florida is raising quite the stink. Since November, two boys have been identified by the authorities as gas-passing disrupters. To wit:

NOVEMBER 21 -- A 12-year-old Florida student was arrested earlier this month after he "deliberately passed gas to disrupt the class," according to police. A Martin County Sheriff's Office report . . . notes that the 4' 11" offender admitted that he "continually disrupted his classroom environment by breaking wind and shutting off several computers."
Then there was this:

LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) -- An eighth-grader was suspended from riding the school bus for three days after being accused of passing gas. The bus driver wrote on a misbehavior form that a 15-year-old teen passing gas on the bus Monday to make the other children laugh, creating a stench so bad that it was difficult to breathe. Polk County school officials said there's no rule against flatulence, but there are rules against causing a disturbance on the bus. The teen said he wasn't the one passing gas.
Looks like the police are fart knockers, and your young fart blossoms are no longer allowed to break wind, at least not at school. Probably would have been okay, if the boys had just yelled, "Ducks!" first, so everyone would know it was coming and take cover. Of course, boys can't help this fascination with their own sphincters. It's a learned behavior, after all. As toddlers they stumbled to Daddy for the reward of pulling his finger and hearing the windows rumble from the roar of his personal Howitzer.

Still, we want kids to be safe from the noxious fumes and borborygmus noise pollution that accompanies the breaking of kid-wind. People, we've passed clean air legislation, but it's not enough. Before Congress retires, we ought to make Toot Reform our number one priority. We'll call it the No Child is Bereft Due to His Behind Act.

We’ll start in our public schools, for where is there a greater need to teach our children that when they smell an SBD or hear a ripped blast, they need to "plop, flop, and coil" into the fetal position, noses buried in their cupped little hands? Some experts suggest that kids should stop, drop, and army crawl out of the room, but the ensuing stampede and mass hysteria would only cause needless injuries and even deaths – plus everybody knows that the stench follows you wherever you go and so will the little gas bag who dealt it.

As a patriot, I will request the No Child is Bereft Due to His Behind Act be included in a colonic stimulus package worth one billion dollars in veto-proof porkmarks. The No Child is Bereft Due to His Behind Act will ensure that all teachers maintain order among their student body in the event of cataclysmic cheese. Let's put the Kindergarten teachers to work first. Vodka Mom, you in? The funding will ensure that every classroom in America has a fart extinguisher and that all children participate in fart escape drills and learn asphyxiation coping skills that will last a lifetime.

Or we could simply separate the boys from the girls, so that girls could be spared the testosterone immersion and hazing that goes along with this most egregious of male-bonding activities. Boys pride themselves inexplicably on their intestines being locked and loaded like a submachine gun with a hairpin trigger and blowback action.

I'm so glad I have daughters, because girls don't fart.
Don't forget to sign up to follow my blog in the right column. Instead of wind, I'm trying to break 100!

March 22, 2009

Solo Mio

Even before I was single, I was comfortable going most places by myself, like out to eat, shopping at the mall, or to parties. I have even gone by myself down to Austin’s Sixth Street, back in the day. I know too many women who go nowhere solo except the grocery store. But there were some places I never went alone.

Case in Point
The movies. It just doesn't seem right to sit in a darkened theater without a friend or loved one beside you to share in whatever's coming at you from the big screen. I mean, who's going to turn her face to yours so you can laugh eye to eye when Mary scoops up a glob of sticky Ben-Stiller spunk for on-the-spot hair styling? Who's going to put his arm around you when you’re peeking between your fingers cuz you know and the lycan doesn’t that bloodthirsty vamps wait beyond the dank and creepy dungeon? Who’s going to have your back when you turn and bitch out the chatty teenagers kicking your seat during Carrie’s excruciatingly painful mourning of her botched wedding to Mr. Big? And who’s going to beat the pervy guy in back to a pulp when he starts grunting and breathing heavy and making fast-friction noises while you’re watching the actual love scene in Dildos and Dongs?

So many movies. So little time.
Lately I've missed a bunch of films just because I didn't have anyone to go with. It's not that I don't have friends; I actually have many – unless I’m not as fun as I think I am. Heh, heh. It's that everybody's so busy with family or they live far away from me. We don't frequent the same venues. So since my boss was kind enough to let us off early Friday, I took the opportunity to venture into No-Chicks Land. The movies, by myself.

He’s Just Not That Into You
Yep. I saw the movie. I think it resonated with me especially because I’m at that place – the premise of the movie – the awkward first date phase where you don’t know anything about the other person and the first time you meet up, it’s do-or-die, your one chance to see if there’s any chemistry (translation: I-gotta-have-more-cowbell moments; I’m feeling some heart-pounding, tingly-crotch sensations; or, thank-you-god-we-found-each-other-let’s-go-to-Vegas delirium). I mean, what are the odds?

I'm a Sucky Critic
If I were to play critic, I would be fired, because I really liked everything about this movie. (Yes, I’m easy. But that’s another post.) The situations portrayed on screen are pretty accurate. I had to laugh at the rituals we participate in to meet new people in real life, flirting and chit-chatting and exchanging phone numbers so we can call or not call like we said we would later. I’d like to skip that phase and go stag for awhile, forge ahead solo mio with no nerve-wracking anticipation of another person’s interest in me (just to avoid the not-knowing and the second-guessing of my worthiness) until suddenly HE appears in front of me, sweeps me off my feet, and we live happily ever after just like in the fairytales because he just IS that into me.

I’m glad I’m not in any hurry for a new relationship, because otherwise that fairytale thing might never happen, you know?

March 19, 2009

Deal Breakers

After my "drinks" date the other night, where the guy was so wrong for me, I had to wonder why I hadn't had him fill out an application first, I decided I need to prescreen better. No matter how attractive a guy is, no matter how well people talk him up, he may be totally incompatible with you. So I figured I could at least define the deal breakers for myself, right? Those things that make my head spin and my body squirm for the door. So here they are in no particular order:

  1. Do you smoke? Anything? (Yeah, yeah, I know. "If you're smoking, you need to slow down."
  2. Have you ever been to Cabela's? If so, how many times a week do you return, and are you able to get out in less than two hours? Without deer corn or ammunition?
  3. Do you think Charlton Heston was a better actor as Moses or president of the NRA?
  4. Do you ever put just a pinch between your cheek and gums, -- and talk funny? And do you spit the muddy goo into your empty soda bottle -- or just any old place -- while other people watch?
  5. Are you legally married or otherwise engaged to any female anywhere on the planet? Take your time . . . Okay, but you do like boobs and vaginas only, right?
  6. Are cats on your endangered species list? If your nose and eyes itch and run and your throat feels like it's closing up or that you might die, would you be mad if I just gave you a pill and told you to man up?
  7. Have you forgotten or would you like to forget the names and addresses of the people who got jiggy with it to conceive you?
  8. Do you have offspring of your own that you don't actually spend time with or who don't like you very much?
  9. Are you a fan of What Not to Wear? Okay, let me ask that a different way. Do you ever throw on camo or stained and torn t-shirts when you go out in public? Deliberately?
  10. How close is your association with the word bitch? What about the C word -- you know, cunnilingus?
  11. Couch potato or jumping bean?
  12. How well do you know your way around a kitchen? Do you own an apron with a stuffed, but flaccid, hidden penis?
  13. Do you think kissing is underrated? Are you able to prove your hypothesis?
  14. Do you know what these words mean? Nyet. Non. Nein. Nay. Uh-uh. When hell freezes over. Not no, but hell no! Need any help with translations?
  15. What is your political idealogy? Please use only primary colors.
  16. How many times have you broken the law? Did you get caught, and do they still have your fingerprints?
  17. Would your exes call you honest, respectful, kind, trustworthy, loyal, faithful, affectionate, playful? Or Dick?
  18. Do you stay up till the wee hours of the night just to watch the Girls Gone Wild commercials and imagine the coeds without those little black rectangles over their nipples and fuzzboxes? Tell the truth . . .
  19. What's your credit score? It's not under 800, is it? Um, okay then, let's try another one. What is the status of your retirement account? I'm sorry, did you just laugh and say, Retire this!?
  20. And the most important question of all: Are you able to drop it like it's hot and swing me around on the dance floor, like a fiery hot latin lover who only has eyes for me? Bonus Points for this one!!
I think I have my priorities straight. Don't you? Now I just have to figure out a way to sneak these into the first conversation.


I Got Shagged!

Three years ago, I got adventurous. X-tremely so. I cut my hair. Yes, for me, cutting off my beloved long mane was akin to ice climbing, bungee jumping, or cliff diving. What? You didn't know haircuts were considered an X-treme sport? You have never lived with a vain woman whose hair is always trying to define her, much as she resists. But the day came when I got tired of messing with long hair and had it whacked off, a la Lisa Rinna. Talk about an adrenaline rush.

When I saw my reflection in the mirror, I was shocked and awed. And not in a good way. That was not me, not the vision I had in mind. I sobbed a bit. I looked better in long hair. Never really got used to short hair, but I did accept it and learned to enjoy the quick ease of styling it.

Then nine months ago, I decided to grow it out again. Having made great progress since, I went yesterday for more highlights and a trim at the salon. After the foiling session, I said, "While it's growing out, I want to wear Diane Keaton in Something's Gotta Give." That's a cute medium style, and look, she got Keanu Reeves with it, didn't she? My hairdresser said she knew this style, acknowledged that I wanted to keep the length, and set to snipping.

"I'm going to give it some layers," she said.

Okay, it probably needs a tad more layering to achieve the desired DK effect. Meanwhile, my mind wandered. I had to mail off pictures for my ex, go to the store, meet WriterGrrls at Central Market, and then maybe take myself on a date to see James Tiberius Kirk and Dr. Spock. When I looked back in the mirror at the reflection of all the razor cutting, a large question mark appeared in my frontal lobe. But I couldn't tell what she was doing in the back, so I held my tongue. Far be it from me to tell her how to do her job, right? Then she blow-dried it and proceeded to flat-iron the tips out at around ear level.

"You don't like that?" she said.

I worked hard at keeping my emotions in check. In a panic, I nearly shouted, "I don't like that AT ALL! I don't think we're on the same style page here."

She quickly changed tactics and smoothed down the flippity-dos. Then she whirled my chair around and gave me the hand mirror to see the back. She'd given the top half of my hair choppy layers and left the bottom six inches alone to keep the length, which gave it that nightmarish mullet look. It would be kind of me to describe it as Fugly. Worse, a lot of my hard-earned hair growth surrounded me on the floor. I wanted to cry.

She said astutely, "I think you're not happy with it."

What was your first clue? My uncontrollable sobs? The jerky I-think-I'm-gonna-barf face? Or your missing scissors that I now have aimed at your gut? If she'd had balls, I'd have already squeezed them inside my hand.

"No," I said. "But I don't know how to tell you to fix it."

I wanted to make it all go away and run for the exit. But she'd be damned if I was going to leave her shop unhappy. She pushed me back in the chair and snipped at the bottom half. Of course, that did not help much. My hair had many choppy layers, front and back. After that stunt, I was totally exhausted.

People, I have been shagged. I look like a blonde David Cassidy. If I had a working camera, I'd let you see the real thing. Does this even resemble Diane Keaton's style? I think the difference qualifies as X-treme. Makes me want to push my hairdresser off a cliff.

March 17, 2009

WTF Wednesday: Cougars Demystified

The "cougar," per the online Urban Dictionary (which the public writes) says:

A 35+ year old female who is on the "hunt" for a much younger, energetic, willing-to-do-anything male. The cougar can frequently be seen in a padded bra, cleavage exposed, propped up against a swanky bar in San Francisco (or other cities) waiting, watching, calculating; gearing up to sink her claws into an innocent young and strapping buck who happens to cross her path. "Man is cougar's number one prey."
Who writes this shit? That's the definition of a streetwalker. There were other definitions, but this one was voted to the top of the dung heap by the masses. Let me clarify that this definition of a "cougar" is akin to, "Oh yeah, they got nukyoular weapons in Iraq. Lots of 'em." People tend to believe the most generated propaganda without question. It's as unfair as it is insulting and wrong.

As a woman who fits solidly into "cougar" territory, having had boyfriends and a husband from 10-16 years my junior, I'm offended by the idea that “older” women who date younger men are calculating hunters in tasteless, revealing leopard prints, boobs overflowing en masse, and too-tiny skirts that give away all the mystery. Au contraire! My math skills are entirely unimpressive, my animalia is always tasteful, the boobage is generally contained (though cleavage is completely appropriate for evenings out), and my skirts aren’t giving away anything I don’t want you to see (Uh-uh, no behind until it's time).

Cougars, as some like to call them, are not skanks skulking in the shadows of your local bar, ready to pounce on eager but unsuspecting "tadpoles" and turning them into sex slaves. Anybody who thinks that is incredibly ignorant – not that I don’t want to put my fuzzy, fuchsia handcuffs to good use.

First, those younger men are anything but innocent -- or gullible or unintelligent. They know exactly what they want, and they're confident enough to pursue an older woman who attracts them. Second, cougars are quite particular in whom they choose to spend time with. They do not "prey" upon anything but a happy, fulfilling life. Third, contrary to popular culture's propensity for finding the worst faults in controversial phenomena, cougars do look for interesting men with whom they can engage in healthy relationships, usually long-term.

Sex? Oh yeah. Hell yeah! But most cougars want love and romance just like their traditional, dare I say "tame" counterparts. (I'll bet women like being labeled "tame" as much as single older women like to be called cougars.) Grrrr!

So where is the law that says you must date/mate/copulate with a person your own age? What is the rationale for this? And please make sure it IS rationale and not just some icky feeling in the pit of your stomach that you can't quite put your finger on. Men have been doing it forever. Do we call them cougars? Lions? Grizzlies? Pigs? Okay, pigs, but for different reasons, and then they deserve it.

AARP says 34 percent of women over 40 are dating younger men. Sounds to me like a revolution. But let's narrow things down, since this is my blog. What do I see in younger men? Vitality. Playfulness. Daring. Energizer Bunny erections. More importantly, they treat me as an equal and don't belittle or compete with me like older, less secure men sometimes do. They enjoy pleasing me on all life levels. They appreciate the things I do for them in return, rather than taking it for granted or positioning themselves as the Master of my universe. Please understand: I would be just as happy with an older guy who had these same qualities. Dude, you out there? Call me!

There are, of course, boundaries. Short of trolling the high schools and colleges, love and attraction are where you find them, and that's pretty much all there is to it. I think my work is done here.
Thanks to Julie at 47 and Starting Over for giving me my WTF rant, based on her Sunday Rewind.

March 15, 2009

Ay Caramba -- Salsa!

I'm taking salsa lessons with a good friend, heretofore known as Samba. She likes to call me ChaCha. We are an endearing pair: Salt and Pepper, Shoes and Socks, Hoops and Yoyo, Tits and Ass.

Since my accident in July '08, I'm careful about doing things that involve neck or shoulder movement (trigger points in my scapular are still temperamental); but I figured optimistically that most of the salsa movements are waist down, right? Or is it waist up?

Anyway, I have always loved to dance and said to hell with it. If it hurts, I’ll stop. So I found myself in a little east Austin dance studio with floor-to-ceiling mirrors, just-slippery-enough wood floors, and exotic snag-a-man dancing shoes along the walls that beckoned to the twenty-year-old long dormant inside me. One particular pair said, "Forget your sissy arch issues; forget those pesky foot cramps that make you cry. Step into my world. Come dance in me."

Oh, it was hard to resist those sleek lines, 2.5-inch heels, and ankle straps that make your calves look so nice and toned. But I chickened out and remained in my sultry workday loafers. Well, I didn’t want to be pulling on my toes, flailing and screaming in pain on my first night!

Like I said, I love to dance. One of my husbands liked it but the others wouldn't do it if I promised them a month of BJs. Or maybe it was just that I never promised them a month of BJs. But for too many years, I have watched dancing couples from afar (unless I had a few buttery nipple shots, in which case, I danced by myself) and wished I had a kick-ass partner to twirl and swing and slide me around the dance floor. Occasionally, I’d uncover one (read: steal him off the dance floor); but more often than not, guys are content to stand around with a beer in their hands and gawk at the eye candy in tight jeans. Now I’ve decided to just learn how to salsa like a pro and show up at the clubs ready to cumbaya my way into the pick-her-she-knows-how-to-dance circle. Oh yes, I can!

I used to have a Latino buddy who took me Tejano dancing. Because Chris was such a good partner and leader, I had to fight for my time on the floor with him. His friend and my boyfriend at the time, Darrow, was a dancer too; but he liked to rush the steps and couldn’t stay with the beat of the music. Sorry, dude, but it’s true. Unfortunately, when Darrow and I split up, I lost my fave dancing partner and -- next up! -- gained a hottie musician. Ay, caramba! I ask you, how can a guy be a drummer, control the beat of the music, and yet have no rhythm? (Should have promised him those BJs.) And I married him! (eye roll) I know!

Anyway, back to my lessons. Salsa is a kick! Though I’m quite stiff in the neck, I love it. And I must say, Samba showed me up the second week when she hit the dance floor in a pricey pair of sleek, black fuck-me-all-over-the-place heels. Why, I oughtta . . . Now I have to buy new shoes. Oh, that is awful, isn’t it?

March 14, 2009

Love to India

Just wanted to send loving and warm friendship vibes across the world to Braja, our sister blogess extraordinaire, and honor her with this rangoli. (Find out more about rangolis from Braja's site, Lost and Found in India, here.)

Braja and her husband Jahnudvipa were in a serious car accident while riding in a taxi on their way to the airport. Both Jahnudvipa and the taxi driver are in serious condition. Braja has undergone some surgeries but is expected to get out of ICU within the week. No doubt that full recovery for each one will take much more time and patience.

I am keeping you all in my prayers, Braja, and wish you good health and speedy recoveries. We love you and we're glad you're okay.

Fellow bloggers and readers, please send good vibes to India. For updates on Braja and Jahnudvipa's condition, go here.


March 13, 2009

Me No Talky

Dah-ling, I vant to be [left] alone.

The ubiquitous PDA is ringing, and I am ignoring it. I have glanced at the caller ID, and it's no one I want to speak to. Nope, me no talky.

Gone are the days when, if you wanted to be alone, you could just take the phone off the hook, go for a drive in your convertible, or hide with a good book and a bottle of wine among your shoes in the closet. Now, because there's an unwritten law that you must have your cell phone activated and on your person at all times (I'm not sure who my person is yet, but supposedly she's like my shadow), people start calling 911 when you don't answer, and reporting you kidnapped or dead or irresponsible.

Hello. I'm Fragrant Liar, and I'm a cellaholic.
I'm not saying it's easy. I’m so used to having a phone on me that going wireless-less registers a bloody 11 on my discomfort knob (– You see? Eleven! That’s one achier than 10). It’s akin to facing the world stark naked with nothing for my hands to do but wave. Still, I'm tired of being so easily accessible. Easy is for sluts and geniuses and bores. No way I'm a bore. I am, however, convenient. But not today. Today, I’m not answering my phone.

Sometimes when my ex calls, I don't answer the phone. I look at his name and sneer, as my heart collapses in on itself just a little bit. I don't want to talk to the guy who stopped loving me – never mind that I left him first. He promised.

But if my cat rang me, I would take that call straight away. She's always there for me. When I drop her off for day surgery, she still comes home liking me. Was that Freudian? I meant "licking" – and purring and rubbing against me. Plus, it would be awesome if she could dial with one paw pad at a time. Probably more awesome if she had an itty bitty kitty cell tucked into her kitty fanny pack. Along with some Anti-Eau de DooDoo feline-behind spritzer.

Excuse me. My phone is giggling. The ringtone is a recording of my 2-1/2 year-old nanaboy from NOLA, belly-laughing as his mom chants, "Dickie-dickie-doo," over and over again. I don't want to miss hearing his little voice, not when he's getting "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" down so well.

March 12, 2009

Canning the Muse

When my daughters were little, I used to sneak into the bathroom with my writing pad and lock the door. I'd put down the toilet seat (somebody had to do it), and get comfortable. In short order, a switch would flip in my brain and I'd pour my inky prose onto page after page of a budding novel.

It started when I was a kid, really. I knew my father spent a lot of time in the can reading (or hiding from his six children), and I began reading in there too. Writing was a natural extension of this meditative refuge and became vitally important after I became a mom. Why? Maybe I felt safe or sheltered enough to relax and let my thoughts flow. Maybe I knew my time in there was limited; I do work best under deadlines. Maybe I thought, if I'm going to write crap, I'm in the perfect place. But it wouldn't be long before the clamoring of my rugrats would swell outside the door.

Child #1: Mom, what are you doing in there?
Me: What do you think I'm doing?
Child #2: Are you crapping?
Child #3: Shhhh! That's a bad word.
Child #2: Are you still going to the bathroom?
Me: Yes.
Child #1: Gawd!
Inevitably, I'd see small fingers wiggle under the door and hear a gaggle of giggles as prying eyes strained to peek at my feet. Sammy, our fat and feisty family feline, would meow plaintively. Georgie, our Shih Tzu, would sniff the space under the door so loudly, it echoed off the bathroom walls. It's like when they see a closed door, their little kidlet adrenaline starts pumping. Since the beginning of time, this instinctual behavior has served to warn copulating cave couples that the dinosaurs were fast approaching and the continuance of the human race depended on getting the future copulators the hell out of the way.

(Clears throat) Back to the can . . . With monsters at the door, my concentration broken, and my pen poised rigidly over an unsatisfied pad, I'd grit my teeth. My writing flow would dam up, and just when I was getting to the good part! What invariably followed was the rustling and grunting one hears at a varsity wrestling match. This was the usual banter:

Me: Girls! Did you clean your rooms?
All in unison: Yes!
Me (so much for diversionary tactics): Then go play. I'll be out in a minute.
Child #1: That's what you said ten minutes ago.
Child #2: Yeah, and ten minutes before that.
Child #3: And an hour before that!
Me: Go . . . play! I . . . will . . . be . . . out . . . when . . . I'm . . . done!
The rough-housing and giggling would eventually fade away, and when I was satisfied that I once again had the can to myself, I'd delve back into my thickening plot. Oh, this is going to be so good! I'd think. Readers are going to eat this up! I'm going to be on the bestseller lists soon!

Bang, bang, bang.

Child #4: Mom, there's a giant hairy spider out here!
Me (exhaling soundly): Has it eaten anyone?
Child #4: He's looking at Sam.
Sam was known to torture exoskeleton types, usually to his peril.

Child #4: Mo-o-om! Sam's going to get bit and have to go to the hospital and get dead!
Me (lips bunched together): Christ. I'm coming.
I would toss my pen and pad on the tile and bid farewell to my muse, while realizing that I'd sat there so long, my thighs had gone numb. I'd flush for good measure (and to reinforce the charade) and unlock the door to an audience of six -- four grinning kids plus pets, not including any giant spiders. Little devils had tricked me once again into abandoning my post!

These days, I don't normally have to hide out to get writing done, but when I'm stressed and the creative juices just won't flow, I wonder if my muse could benefit from a good canning. Once upon a time, I wrote probably half a book in there. Then again, since that manuscript still sits unpublished, maybe it really was crap after all.

March 10, 2009

WTF Wednesday: Go Left, Young Man

Okay, you're in the left turn lane at a traffic light and though the signal has a green turning arrow, it's not lit. However, the green circle is lit, and the adjacent traffic heading your same direction is flowing through it. The question is, do you pull into the intersection on that green light? Or do you hang back, pretend no one can see you pick your nose, and wait for the green arrow to appear -- even if it's not going to show it's cute little pointy self until it cycles through the pretty amber and red lights, and the cross traffic gets to take its turn? Hmm? Do you stay or do you go? Hmm? HMMM?

You GO!! When a gap appears in the oncoming traffic, and you can make that turn safely, hit the gas! Seriously. It's legal! Do not wait for me to lay on my horn because we both could have gone through the light were it not for your remedial driving skills!

Sorry. I can't tell you how many times I have idled behind people who either don't realize they can go left on a green without the arrow (Hello-o-o, green means GO!) or they're too timid to freakin' drive their car the way the law says they can – and should.

I have been driving since I was 15. That means I've been behind the wheel for, um, a really long time. (Wowee, was there even sliced bread back then?) Way back in 1970 and for most of the last 35 years, we did not have green sissy arrows for making left-hand turns at traffic lights. If you didn't scoot into the intersection and grab your opportunity when it was clear, you never got through an intersection. You think I'm crabby about this? Imagine a bitchin' hopped-up '74 Duster 360 on your ass, pushing you through, bumper to bumper. Since the law used to allow for two vehicles to make the left turn, you had to be alert and quick (no time for picking your nose) to breeze through before cross traffic started to move. Those were the days.

Here's the second most important point:  if there is no space or time in the oncoming traffic to make your turn, you are supposed to wait for the light to change to amber (or even red, my dear) for the oncoming traffic to stop before you proceed. I know you won't believe this, but really, it's okay. This is just how it's done. You're not doing anything wrong by being in the intersection under an amber or red light till you can safely make the turn. Capiche?

And one more thing? When it's okay to go, GET OUT OF THE INTERSECTION!

One caveat -- a good reminder from MoreThanAnElectrician (N*ked on the Roof) who just got hit by a car -- watch for pedestrians! Go see what that crazy driver did to him!

Listen, this is not about being in a big rush to get nowhere fast. Nobody's asking you to take chances with your life. And maybe in your state, there are little green arrows everywhere, but not in Texas. Not yet. So we have to do it the old-fashioned way. Think of it as the missionary position. Engine growling, driver at the ready, and you have a go. Put it in gear and shoot on through!

This has been a public service message. You’re welcome.

March 9, 2009


D-I-E-T. It's a four-letter word that really sticks in my craw. Craw? A four-letter word that . . . leaves my mind blank. Hold on while I look that up.

And, we're back. Craw, a four-letter word that means: To cause one to feel abiding discontent and resentment. Also, the stomach of an animal. Which brings us right back to D-I-E-T, and the news flash that I am indeed an incredibly smart chick, just as I always told my exes, my bosses, and my children.

Okay, so I admit to putting on a few pounds or 20 since I passed 45. I had spent my entire life up to that point as a walking stick -- occasionally as a walking stick with a developing fig somewhere in the middle. My metabolism must have been at warp speed because I could not put on weight. I once resorted to drinking the supplement Nutrament in attempt to gain a few pounds so people would quit asking if I had an eating disorder. Then as soon as I quit drinking all the nutritious crappaliciousness, any gains went into the losses column. I felt I was too skinny to wear anything sleeveless, lest my gangly arms attract unwanted attention, and same thing with the bird legs. Shorts made me self-conscious. Up until I hit 45 I never knew what a diet was, nor did I know how to exist on one. Totally undisciplined about what I put in my mouth, I was a diet virgin.

Yeah, yeah, you say. That fuckingskinnybitchwhoredogskankyslutabumpkus. But I had no control over the genes my folks gave me. And this oughtta make you feel better: those days are gone. My metabolism has betrayed me. It has slo-o-owed to a slug's pace.

I now have to watch what I ingest. I don't like to say that I DIET, though, because that implies restriction and deprivation. As a long-time instant-gratification bitch, when I am denied something I want, the rebel in me starts huffing and puffing and foraging for Heath bars, chips and salsa, or peanut butter cookies and ice-cold milk. As a result, I'm fighting an alarming muffin top.

I've had success with eating the right foods for weight loss, especially when I'm active; and I like the broad range of menu items I have to choose from (low carb, high veggies and protein – and no freakin' sugar!). It's just that my willpower is tenuous.

Oh, somebody brought in a cake? Where's my slice? Make sure I get extra frosting. Lunch at Olive Garden? Count me in! Can you spell lasagnamanicottirotini? And pass that garlic bread, will ya? Eye-talian cream cake? My FAVE!!

So how do you stay with it? What keeps you motivated (besides the bad news that bikini weather is only a couple months off)? I absolutely love to eat. How do I just say NO to sticking more stuff in my craw?

March 3, 2009

WTF Wednesday: Match Scratch

Okay, you all know that I'm dabbling with, right? (By dabbling, I mean I have a half-ounce worth of real interest.) Before I proceed, let me say, love is where you find it and age ain't nothin' but a number. However, something else is at play here.

Seems to me that a good portion of older men on the dating sites are fumbling through a midlife crisis. I mean, when you see how many in their 40s and 50s are only looking for women in their 20s and 30s, you start to recognize the strategy. These guys are seeing the wrinkles, feeling the bad knees, and fighting the paunch. They want a sexy young thing who doesn't know their past foibles, lets them start with a clean slate, and maybe even lets them be the boss. They want a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader. Um, good luck with that.

Of course, you ask me, if Joe the Lineman gets a sweet young cheerleader in his bed, all swoony over his pigskin and prostate issues, odds are good that she will make him look and feel even more like the leatherheads of old--sooner rather than later--when not even shoulder pads will be able to hide it. Between the sheets, when the guy has trouble getting past the line of scrimmage and it's harder to drive that pigskin through the uprights? Somebody's going to start reviewing the play-by-plays, learn to block and make outside passes, and yearn to be a free agent. In a game like that, possession is only temporary and turnovers are inevitable. And there goes Joe, having to punt all over again. (Yes, I drank a whole bunch of energy analogy juice.)

Sure, some guys want kids, so a cute little tight end may be the shortest route to fatherhood; and like I was getting at earlier, a person's age should have little bearing on a mature, loving relationship. But most of the midlife guys' profiles I see on state, "No kids" or "Probably do not want [more] kids." So if kids aren't a consideration, yet they're still hunting for the perky racks, I have to wonder, are these guys in crisis? Do they know it? Are they setting themselves up to fail?

WTF, I say. Why not look for women in their own age range? Do they think older women can't be tigers in bed? Do they think older women can't be fit and firm? Do they think older women can't be vying for the next big adventure? Do they think older women can't be loads of fun and barrels of laughter? Do they not get that they will eventually want someone they can rock on the porch with?

Plenty of beautiful, sexy, older women are out there looking for passionate, loving relationships. Few are held back by the demands of babies. These femmes have learned the hard way, just like the guys, what works in a relationship and what doesn't; but most of them are not trying to tackle men half their age. (The cougar post is for another day.)

How about these older women? Awesome, right? All 50+.

This post is not a slight to younger women at all -- they are perfect the way they are. But let's face it, the Divine Creator gave us trade-offs like these: single older women may have lost some firmness and elasticity, but they've gained savvy and courage. They know how to get what they want and how to give you what you want. They "get" you. And talk about a cheerleader! Go ahead, fumble the ball, foul out, face-plant into the dirt. See who's more likely to carry that pigskin all the way into the end zone for you.

Come on, guys. Time to form a more realistic offensive strategy. Clock's still ticking.

March 2, 2009


Heard of the crazy, awesome, funny "Artfull Bras Project" for cancer awareness? Here are a few samples to help with your Monday Malaise:

The racy bra below is sure to bring out your dark side. Now after you grab a guy where a girl shouldn't (and get caught), you can use the excuse, "The little devil made me do it."

I like this one below because of all the fall colors, and fall is my favorite season. And it has a little Mardis Gras flair in the cleavage area, so it's versatile. You can wear it for Halloween or Mardi Gras. Either way, a celebration is in order. I could have used this little number last week during Fragrant Liar's Streaker Week. Especially on Fat Tuesday.

This one down below is a real oinker (snort, snort) I can't imagine wearing it under anything though, because of the little piggy noses, which actually look more like mouse noses. I would have been laughing too hard at myself in the mirror to wear this one, which means I'd have been peeing on myself, which translates to a whole different kind of -- er, streaking. I imagine its maker did not intend for it to be worn under anything anyway, but can you imagine a wet white t-shirt over this?

Out of all the boobaliciousness, the one below is my favorite, and it's called Hooters (even though it looks like a bra for a monoboob). How a propos! Notice the strategic placement of the eyes.

Now this one I could tear around the house in. It would be a hoot!

There are a whole bunch more of these "artfull bras" -- most way more crazy than these, so go check them out at the Artfull Bras Project. Let me know which one you like best and why.

March 1, 2009

Naked Abandon

I have been running amok. Since my daughter TG took her kids and her husband and left town for the land of Mickey Mouse and manatees, I have been left to my own devices in our big, blissfully kid-free house. In celebration, I wasted no time in throwing off my clothes. Every stitch.

For the last eight days, I've broken all the rules, broken out of my shell, and broken the lamp behind the couch. How, you ask? Suffice to say (and don't tell my daughter), I had a hard time coming to a full stop. But you know how it is when Journey is blasting through your speakers: Don't stop believin', Hold on to that feelin', yeah . . .

Of course -- and I hesitate to admit this -- I have forever warped my new cat's sense of propriety with my unabashed naked abandon and the lightspeed at which I have been dashing from room to room, just because I could. Not that she didn't catch on fast. She's a great streaking partner -- she's always naked, after all. Probably, though, she would complain about the odd squeals that keep shooting out of me whenever I get the weird vibe that somebody might be peeking through the blinds.

Sadly, today it all ends. Son-in-law is flying in at 6-ish tonight, effectively putting the kabosh on all my wayward whims.

Oh, man! I'll have to go buy a new lamp too -- damn it! That means I have to go put on clothes earlier than I thought. Sorry, no more time for dillydallying. Until next time.

Now for a hysterical story, head over to Midlife Musings. You will be ROFLYAO in about 30 seconds.