Thursday, January 17, 2008

Fifty-five: Oh Happy Day

The happiest day of the year is not the last day of school for me. The happiest day is today, Cal's birthday. I'm a fan of birthdays, there's all that cake, folks wishing you well and yeah, I'm going to say it, yeah, the presents are always a plus. People making a fuss cements the concept that it's true, it is all about you. But with Cal, I'm more exhilarated, really, because he's the best person I know and the occasion of his birth is something to be celebrated grandly and passionately. Being a fan of lists, I'm going to list as objectively as a woman still in love with her husband can be why he's worthy of such the fuss.
1. He's 55 and the man still looks great. I started with looks first because I'm basically shallow and vain, but that doesn't mean it's not important. Now he does have some great DNA to work with with those dreamy blue eyes and that sturdy jaw line most superheroes would love to own. But he's worked hard to stay fit and I appreciate that. Not every man puts forth that effort.
2. He's kind and patient. Living with me is no walk in the park. I can be flaky and have been known to change my mind 4 different times within a span of 3 minutes. Your basic Buddhist monk would have slapped me with his sandal a few hundred times already. The man takes it in stride. He's also kind to strangers, cashiers at the grocery store, servers in restaurants (he always tips 20%), DMV clerks and airline ticket agents.
3. He's funny, funnier than most people I know. Funny is important and life saving in a marriage, and he's smart funny and goofy funny. It makes the days light and soothing when work has pulled up your heart through your nose.
4. He's much smarter than me but never flaunts it or rubs it in my face especially when I'm dead wrong about an issue. He's been able to remake his skill set in less than 4 years for a totally different career. It almost took me that long to choose a name for my blog. He's able to problem solve while playing the guitar and checking his e-mail. He's amazing.
5. He protects me. Each and everytime we walk, he positions himself as the one closest to traffic. That's a little thing but it's how he operates on a larger scale.
There's lots more I could list but it wouldn't be much of a celebration if I stayed here all night to write.
Happy Birthday, honey! I love you always and twice on Sunday.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Fifty-four: Once

Sitting on the wall facing me as I put these words down is a small framed photograph of an old typewriter with this quote by Anais Nin: We write to taste life twice. It's my favorite quote about writing because I believe it to be true. So I will not write about my day since going through it once was enough to make me perpetually wretch into my next two lifetimes. Instead I shall list antidotes to my day:
1. A long hug from Cal. Sounds corny but nothing takes the bile-like stench off a dreadful day as a long embrace from someone who loves you and doesn't let go.
2. Pasta. Lots of it with olive oil, garlic and parmesan cheese. Oprah, Dr. Phil, Bob Greene, the dead Atkins guy, Jenny Craig and everyone from Weight Watchers say you shouldn't eat for comfort. They can all put it in park, close the garage door, wrap their lips around the pipe and suck on it. They call it comfort food because it makes you feel better. Baby carrots can't get the job done.
3. Music. Not just any music. Lots of the songs from the Rent Soundtrack and Just Fine from Mary J. Blige. Many times until I believe it to be true.
4. Aliens. Before this night is done, I'm going to watch it because it's a comfort movie like no other. Soldiers are ordered to go into an impossible situation, lots of things get blown up and shot, the bad guys eventually get eaten and not in a XXX kind of way, and there's a big slap down, kick-ass fight in the end where our heroine wins. Like a Jane Austen tale only a tad more slime.
5. Tequila. Not a lot because that's not the purpose of tequila. Tequila is there to soothe and soften. To offer a sunny place to sit and breathe deeply. Tequila is the Child's Pose of liquid refreshments.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Fifty-three: Dessert Storm

Watching the NH primaries, I am struck with a craving, something sweet right now, but I'm not sure what it is. PMS is not an issue, so chocolate is out. A cookie is not required. Pie? Perhaps, but still not quite right, the crust warm and flakey appeals, but nothing else not even pieces of apple (my favorite pie)toasty juicy in all that pastry. The same goes with a turnover or tart. Cake is almost there, but something chewier like brownies, but not brownies as chocolate is not needed. Something with custard like an eclair or napoleon, or the canoli, crunchy creamy goodness in a naughty phallic carrying case. Not ice cream. It's soft but cold and therefore not comforting tonight.
But here's the thing. If any of those items showed up at my door, I would not turn them away in disgust and disappointment. I would open my arms in full embrace and scoop them up and take a big greedy bite while still wishing for something else but being agreeable to distraction.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Fifty-two: Happy New Year

On the news today, it was all about resolutions. The New Year offers a symbolic clean slate, not that we couldn't start brand new habits in the middle of March, it's true we could. But there's something about the New Year, it's a common bond for all of us whether or not we go out like lemmings and drink till we puke the night before. We still reflect and then think ahead, maybe some of us make resolutions. I know there are those of you rolling your eyes at the thought of it, resolutions. Deep in my cynical self, I find the whole notion endearing, that we make it a habit to try to improve ourselves or part of our lives with a promise and sometimes with a plan of action. Statistics say that for the most part we, as a species, fail miserably year after year---there was no losing of those unwanted pounds, no bonding with our immediate family, the gym membership abandoned after January 13th, we remained shackled to our hateful jobs, our relationships stagnated, our fears dominated, there was no weekly Yoga, no increased bran, no lasting changes.
And yet we try every single year. That's the endearing part. That other part, relentless failure to focus on singular goals, well that's just a little pathetic. But the fact that most of us try every year, I suppose that's the dopeyness of our humanity, that in our heart of hearts we want to be more, we want to be better, it just takes us more tries.