Procrastination (But I Digress)

Friday, July 30, 2010

Tantrum (Warts and All)

Whenever I have Caitlyn to myself, I know going in that the excitement will be too much and that a meltdown is inevitable. I know this and yet I am surprised everytime.

I was recently asked to pick Caitlyn up from school and to take her to the day care. I was the chauffeur if you will. When Adam was three or four, I often had to take him to preschool in the morning. If you didn't get there by 9:20 (or some such random time), then the gate was locked and I had a toddler for the day at my office. It only happened once or twice and that's all it took for me to be on time, because there is nothing for a toddler to do at my office, and it is a long and miserable day for both of us, but look at me digressing.

So I know that my ability to drop off a four year old is not very good, but I also know that the consequences of not dropping the four year old off are dire, indeed. Then LIGHTBULB (that's a line from "Despicable Me"--what a cute movie), what if I kept Caitlyn and took her to see a movie--ha, what fun. No drop off drama, just fun, fun, fun. My kind of afternoon. In the back of my mind the alarm bells were going off--the excitement will be too much and a meltdown is inevitable, but I reasoned with myself--Self, how bad could it really be. She's four. I can certainly take a four year old down if I have to. So naive. Superpowers beware.

We went to see Toy Story. On the way to the movie (which is next to my office, which is upstairs from a Disney Store), Cait asked if we could go to the Disney Store--"just to look". I said, "No, we are in a hurry to get to the movie." She started to whine (but only half heartedly) that she didn't want to see a movie, she just wanted to go to the Disney Store. I was able to distract her (probably with candy or a drink or a promise of "later"), but all was well, we made it to the movie on time and she sat nicely drinking her "dr. pepper". [There was no dr. pepper, but that is all she wanted so I asked her to point it out. She pointed to coke, so I got a very small cup and put some coke in the small cup. She seriously and deliberately took a drink to test it and declared that indeed it was dr. pepper. See there Aunt Kathy was the obvious meaning of the look she graced me with.]

The scary parts of the movie were not scary to her and the touching moments completely escaped her four year old mind. She took away from the movie that there was a wonderful large stuffed animal (I think his name was Logo) and Woody and a girl Woody and Buzz Lightyear.

We still had an hour before we needed to go home and I had one more thing to pick up from my office. The Disney store was practically on the way and Caitlyn was eying every store at the mall for her next conquest. So, and I know what you are thinking--don't do it, don't go there, danger, danger, danger Will Robinson, but you had to see that cherub face light up with delight--yes, I was mush and we went to the Disney Store.

A year or so ago, at Disneyland, I purchased a Cinderella dress for Caitlyn at a cost of $80 or so--very pricey toy that she outgrew within days of the purchase. We went to a lot of trouble to make it bigger, but there is no further room for expansion and the dress has been hidden away to avoid world war III. Gone but not forgotten is the title of this saga. Caitlyn wants that ball gown and we are now entering the place where they sell that ball gown. I am surprised and almost giddy with relief when she does NOT make a bee line for that gown.

I am delighted with her expressions of pure joy to be in the most wonderful place on earth surrounded by the most lovely creations on the planet--Disney toys! Isles and isles of wonderful, magical treasures to be savored and hugged. Yes, imagine the cutest child on the planet--the apple of my eye--hugging all the toys she picked up. A little buzzer was going off in the back of my mind--screaming danger, danger, but the warmth of completely blind affection was just too loud for me to hear.

After going up and down every single isle twice, Caitlyn picked up a Jesse doll from Toy Story and I thought, I can handle that. It was out of place and so Caitlyn returned it to its proper display. Pretty soon, she was traveling all over the store, taking things that were out of place to their proper display. What a great way to spend an hour I thought as I started to tire from my fifth and sixth circuit around every isle of the entire store. I'm just going to find a place to sit down I told Caitlyn. There was only one seat and it was outside the store. Every person will have the moral question of whether to become a kidnapper when faced with such a delightful child, so I was concerned about losing sight of her and therefore I sat down and got right back up when she left my line of sight. By now I was ready to leave and I knew that the only way out was to buy the child a toy.

Let me say right now that I am not the only person in this boat. The child has more toys than any royal princess and gets new ones all the time. It is the most gratifying thing in the world to buy her a toy because she becomes so delighted and she stays enamored with said new toy for days and days--it being the new most wonderful thing in her life and you put it there--really fantastic feeling--heroin almost.

It is the end of the month. I'm not exactly rolling in dough at the end of the month. I'm not really rolling in dough any day of the month. We have soo much stuff in our house that cannot possibly ever be used. Any toy is going to be land fill fodder and it is completely irresponsible of me as a citizen of this world to contribute to the destruction of the planet in this manner. I'm very tired at this point and I know that defeat is eminent, but I rally for a last gasp. "Something small" I tell her, "we can buy you something small." We've picked up a little camera that clicks at least three times and the little white dog from Duchess and the Tramp has been hugged every time she is within ten feet of it. Woody is addressed whenever she is in that part of the store, so I have some reasonable belief that "something small" is within the realm of possibility.

Remember that Cinderella dress--yes, so did she. Only she wants a Tiana wedding dress. They have a Tiana doll wearing a wedding dress and Caitlyn wants a Tiana wedding dress. They don't have a Tiana wedding dress. They have a mint green, looks like a fairy costume reject Tiana ball gown in two sizes--extra small and larger than Caitlyn is tall. I didn't look at the price tag, but we're talking high end of the cost spectrum--up in that $80 range. "Honey, they don't have it in your size." Let me digress here a moment to remind you all that I am so stupid--I know this even as the words leave my mouth. Logic has no place in this dilemma and yet I bring it out thoughtlessly. "No," I say. "Pick something small," as I drag her toward the small toys by the check out. She breaks away from me and runs back to the Tiana gown--"This is small" she yells. Logic. I knew, knew, knew that was a bad idea.

"No," I say as nicely, yet firmly as possible. "Let's go" and I try to take her hand. She runs away screaming toward the back of the store. Now I follow rather slowly. I don't want this to escalate and I'm pretty tired by this point. Calmness is the key, I am telling myself. I've lost her from my line of sight and I start to eye all the other people in the store--does any one look like a kidnapper? I find her in the back of the store by all the stuffed animals. She's pulled down several large stuffed animals and thrown herself into the pile to sob. Wow, I'm impressed at her fast ingenuity. Several people glance at her screams and loud sobs, but no one gives her attention. Each time she sees me, she takes off running. She is constantly on the move--back up and down every isle. So it is time for a tactical retreat to the front of the store, so that she can't leave.

The problem is that I don't trust my fellow human beings not to steal my greatest treasure--yes I have an unreasonable fear of kidnappers. So anyway, there I am, near the front of the store--trying to look over the isles and catch a glance of her without spooking her and trying to eye all the other people for potential kidnappers. And there's no place to sit down. My bones were singing, I'm too old for this, but my eyes were sharp. Keep sharp, I warned my eyes over and over. This went on for a good long time. At one point she caught sight of me and she screamed and ran. A worker said to her, are you lost and I yelled out "No, she just has a very stupid Aunt." Finally I catch sight of her climbing up a shelf to get something. This is my chance. I quickly move in to scoop her up. She gets down fast enough to get away, but she's clutching a large Cinderella dress up doll package and I quickly grab a corner of it. She'll go where ever that package goes.

I look at the price. $24.95. Lots of little pieces. But it does have a nice looking doll. She really likes barbie dolls and this is a really good looking doll. For Christmas or her birthday or anytime I just want to make her smile--this IS the perfect toy. And it's on sale. The little pieces can be lost and the doll may have a much longer shelf life of utility. Yes, I am thrilled to buy her this toy (that ends up only costing $14--pretty good sale). However, I didn't just fall off the turnip truck yesterday. Getting this toy after almost an hour of struggle is rewarding this bad behavior. How do I save this situation. I don't have much time and I am somewhat limited in my options (being old and tired as it were). She finally allows me to pick her up in the checkout line to buy the toy and I say to her. I will buy the toy but you can't have it today. You have to be punished for running away from me. I will buy it, but you can't have it until tomorrow.

She's happy to agree and then tells me that she will hold it in the car and that only she can play with it when she gets home. No, it will stay at my office, because you cannot have it until tomorrow. She catapults herself out of my arms and we both have a death grip on the toy. She has all the strength in the world and she will fight me to the death are the vibes that she is throwing off. She allows the toy out of her grip for the 45 seconds it takes the clerk to ring it up and to put the toy in a bag and then she grabs it. I keep a grip on it as well, but she won't trust me anymore to pick her up. I am the enemy. She wants her toy and she wants it now. Since I won't let go of the toy, she is forced to follow me to my office, crying quietly the whole way, "I'll be good, from now on, let me have my barbie." I don't know why she was calling Cinderella, barbie, but she did consistently. Mattel, you might want to bring an action against disney for that one, but I digress.

One of my law partners was still in the office and stopped in to say hi. He complimented Caitlyn on how cute and nice she was and I said, just wait five minutes. We are going to leave without that toy and she's going to be screaming. No, he said. And I said, I'm sorry in advance. When it was time to leave, the screaming commenced and the death grip Caitlyn had on the bag became all consuming. I needed to hold my ground, but it was difficult to weather. One of the other lawyers finally came to the door, hoping that a new face would be a distraction, but Caitlyn was too far gone to be distracted.

Now we were very late. We had to leave. Giving up the battle was the only strategic option. "We'll leave the toy in the car overnight and you can have it tomorrow" got her to come with me to the car and to quiet her screaming and crying. She was calm in the elevator, but she still had a death grip on the bag. "I'll hold it in the car" she said as we went down the elevator and I was grimly silent. I opened the car door and she got in, letting go of the bag. I put on her seat belt and put the toy in the trunk. She whimpered, "nooooo, I want to hold the bag" but it was clear she had finally tired of the fight as well. I distracted her with talking about what she could do to show me that she was being good, so that she could have the toy tomorrow. I tried to discuss the movie we had seen about the toys that needed good homes with children who will play with them. She went off on a tangent that she was giving away all her toys so that Matthew and Madilyn couldn't play with them. I tried to point out to her that was not nice, but she missed the logic completely and repeated it several times to prove (by repetition) how good she was.

We got home and she stomped into the house--I am the enemy. She complained loudly to every adult in her path that I wouldn't let her have her barbie. She was entreated upon to eat her dinner and she was distracted by the babies being tied to the dinner table so that she had a clear shot at playing with her toys without their interference and that was the last I saw her that night. I left for my meeting and returned late after she was asleep. I was told that she was fine, after I left.

At 6:30 a.m. the next morning, she was banging on my door, the sleep still heavy in her eyes, demanding that I get her toy. It is tomorrow. I told her she had to show me that she was being good. She stomped out of the room to complain to the other adults, screaming "I'm being good" all the way. I heard her mom tell her to get dressed and get ready for school to show Aunt Kathy, you are being good. In record time, she was dressed and hair brushed back on my door step telling me in a belligerent tone--"I'm being good, give me my toy". I put on my shoes and got my key and opened the garage and opened the trunk and got the toy.

I looked at the excited beautiful child who had magically replaced the surely, mean, warrior. I allowed myself to feel the joy of giving her the toy, she so desperately longed for and for a moment--no longer than a second I had the fleeting expectation of an "Oh Thank you, Aunt Kathy", but it passed. The ecstatic child grabbed the toy and ran off to open it delighting other adults with her glee. Aunt Kathy is in the dog house.

The next day, she showed me the doll solemnly trying to lobby my support for her unhindered access to the small shoes that are a choking risk to her baby twin siblings, but my vote was not for sale and I was quickly marginalized and demoted to not worthy of her attention.

Just say no and accept the dog house, be the dog house, life is the dog house. Words to live by, Yanni.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


I made it through "Pray" in the book "Eat Pray Love". It was surprisingly easy. I have to say that Liz is pretty down to earth and even though she described having an out of body experience or two, she was rather matter of fact about it. She described wanting to enhance her religious experience by taking a vow of silence and then they made her the proverbial tour guide to tap into her easy gift of gab. You can't change who you are--God made you that way on purpose, was the take away. I liked that part. Next stop Indonesia. I really can't think of anything that I would eat there. The only homage to eating in India was that it was vegetarian fare. Nope, if I want a guru, I'm afraid I'll have to find one here. No worries--that meditation stuff sounded pretty simple. Clear your mind, focus on a chant, don't be side tracked by digressions. Hmmmm. Might not be my cup of tea. I do not like tea.

In other news, welcome to some of my toastmasters friends who have found my blog. A widening audience is always fun, but it does make conversations a little more challenging. My last blog was about doing nothing, on purpose (in which I went to San Diego to sit by the beach), so Dennis said, where did you stay in San Diego? Great question--always good to find an affordable beach front place to stay and if I was able to go then it must be affordable. So Elysa overhears this and says, "you went to San Diego, what did you do there?" Our breaks are only minutes. How can I explain the "nothing" that I did in San Diego to someone who is expecting to hear a travel log?

Elysa's daughter lives in San Diego and had her wedding there. The pictures were so cool and her daughter is a lovely person (and yes, Uncle Marcel, if I had had my thinking cap on, it would have been so great to meet her for lunch one day--heck, if I really had my thinking cap on, Elysa might have enjoyed a weekend in San Diego with me and I can't think of a more fun time than that, but I digress). The problem is that the point was not where or with whom, but what. You don't invite other people to come and do absolutely nothing with you.

I tried to do absolutely nothing again this past Saturday (after I finished the Toastmasters training in the morning). But it was really hot. So I thought, I'll just go to work (where there's air conditioning) and then maybe catch a movie (also air conditioned), but I'll do nothing at work (I was procrastinating that Pray part of the book so I didn't want to read). Except that there was a big pile of documents that I needed to go through, but I just never have the time. So I thought, well, I'll just organize them and not look at them. Four hours later, I had missed the movie start times and it was time to admit defeat. On the other hand, I took care of the Toastmaster training and I got through all those documents that I needed to review. A very productive day. Too bad it was not my goal. Darn, maybe I do need that guru. I really hope he (or she) doesn't make me drink tea.

p.s. Now I'm really procrastinating the next part of the book. Indonesia sounds like a place I'd like to visit least and Love, well that could mean anything. So far the author's failed romances sound like they should stay that way and the only pure happy love she's discussed is for her 8 year old nephew. My nieces and nephews are certainly in my love sphere so I'm not sure why I'm resisting, but Indonesia. She's going to stay with a Medicine Man. This just does not sound like it can go well. Luckily, Kiwanis at lunch (no time to read) and I need to watch all my shows on tivo, because I am switching over to att (no time to read). I have a big project to get out at work (no slacking off and reading at work) and Chelle wants to go to the movies. I might be able to drag this out until the movie comes out--time enough to pull that bandaid off.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


I recently read something that talked about the art of doing nothing--not going into a coma in front of the tv (my favorite pastime), actually blocking out free time when you are not tired from a long day or long week at work and simply doing nothing.

This is kind of what I was trying to achieve on my birthday mini vacation. The idea was to go somewhere--not too far (involving not too much travel time), that held interesting attractions (San Diego was my destination), but that I didn't have to do anything--no work, no books I had to read, no structured time lines--just do nothing. The idea was really intriguing. The reality didn't quite live up to the bill. I still needed to get ice.

My do nothing plan was put on hold to get my hair done (for those of you who know me--stop laughing, I mean blow dryed--it stays straigher and more professional if I have it blow dryed and I'm useless at trying to do it myself). I had to wait an hour for an appointment, so I went to Ralphs and there were some great books newly out that I had to buy. Finally I got everything done to the point of having nothing to do again (my goal after all), but I needed ice. There were pigeons on the balcony. That's right I was frightened by a bunch of pigeons on the balcony so I stayed in the room with the screen door closed (but I did have a lovely view of the ocean).

So I finally had the view, the ice and the plan--do nothing. I had my computer in case I wanted to write a blog (I really did think I would write a lot, but I didn't). I had my new books. I didn't have too many snacks, because I didn't want to go crazy eating which is my usual modus operendi (of course that back fired since the next day, my do nothing plan was put on hold to go back to Ralphs to buy snacks.)

Faced with nothing to do, I turned on the tv. I flipped through the limited chanels. I watched Law and Order (that I'd probably seen more than once before), then a movie, then another movie, then I turned on a movie on my computer, then I read one of my books (although this might have been after I went out for snacks--I love the snacks when I'm reading a good book), then I read another book (I read really fast--it is a real budget buster). These mindless activities were interrupted for dinner (the trip to Ralphs for snacks) and several trips to get ice. Except for the ocean view, I can do all this stuff at home, so I had to chalk the trip up to a pleasant "not quite" success.

So you know how the universe puts itself into syncronicity. I'm reading about the art of doing nothing after having the experience of trying it and then last night I was watching this completely forgettable, mindless, too much violence (I mean they shot at point blank at each other and the hero wasn't killed--ridiculous) movie ("Collateral" with Tom Cruise--boy has he taken some off the wall spooky scary roles--he is out there) and the one character is pointing out to the other character that his life has no meaning because for all his talk about goals, he still spends the evening sitting in his bark a lounger being put into a coma by tv (or something to that effect).

So I'm sitting here (well actually in my car while I was formulating what I wanted to put into my blog) and I'm thinking goals? do nothing? doomed to a life being put into a coma by tv? Bark a lounger? I really need one of those. I'm so lame that I sit in an office chair behind a desk at home and at work. In my sitting room (my version of my living room), I sit at my desk to eat dinner in the evening and watch tv and in the morning to eat breakfast and work a sudko (my idea of being retired without retiring--taking a leisurely morning every chance I get to carve out a real morning--not a series of rush, rush, rush that had previously been my life, but I think I'm digressing from my digression--math, it's everywhere--inside joke). I need a really good lounge chair--one with a refrigerator in the arm rest. And a portable ice maker that I can take on vacation. I definitely have a goal now.

I'm so bad at endings. I need to work on that. Except that I've kind of got my hands full on this do nothing plan. I just went to Jo Ann Fabrics and got a bunch of craft stuff. It is July. That's right, Christmas is right around that corner. Lazy may be one of those pipe dreams or on another level something I just don't need any work on at all. Well oiled machine. I just need some ice.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Cautious Reader

I'm reading "Eat, Pray, Love" because well, Julia Roberts is in the movie. I know that's a rotten reason, but there it is. It's like that joke on Last Comic Standing--the guy was saying, "no one ever has to learn to read anymore, because if the book is really good they'll make it into a movie. And then they'll re-release the book with the movie star on the cover and some dumb shlub will pick up the book and say 'Julie Robert is in this book' and be all disappointed when it's just words." Great jokes, but of course, I digress.

This book had good reviews, but it has the word "Pray" in the title. I read the introduction at the book store and yes, the author's idea of "pray" and my idea of "pray" are very similar, so that should have allayed my caution. So I bought the book at a second hand book store and it's been sitting on the shelf for a while. I lament and lament, I have nothing to read and still that book sits on the shelf. So I've just read three really good books in a row and there's nothing new to read (until I break down and pay full price for the new Jennifer Weiner book--her last one was such a disappointment, I'm really trying to wait for paperback or the library, but once again, I digress).

In the middle of the night a few days ago, I couldn't sleep. My eyes weren't even tired. So I picked up this book thinking I would just read the introduction again (since I'm going to go see Julie Roberts in the movie pretty soon anyway). Since I was thinking Julia Roberts as I read--I heard it in her voice. Her voice is rather nice, so I continued to the first chapter. In very short order, I started hearing Elizabeth Gilbert's voice and not Julie Roberts. Her style of writing is so free wheeling and rather breezy and rambling--reminds me a lot of, well, me. She's divided her story into prayer beads (I love organization) and I find myself trying to name her chapters (almost impossible given the rambling style). I can read a few pages and put it down, which is pretty good since the babies have been home the last few days. [Matthew views me as his personal transportation--he can walk, but he's adverse to it when there is a perfectly good Aunt Kathy hip to hang from.]

I'm really enjoying this book. Liz (we are on a first name basis now--she's very easy to be friends with) has a wonderful way of describing the most minute details. She's talking about depression and loneliness catching up to her 10 days into the first leg of her trip as though they are two annoying guys that won't leave her alone. She wants to learn to speak Italian just because it is a beautiful language. She describes the origins of the language in an understandable, interesting way. This is great stuff. BUT... This is Italy. This is the "Eat" part of the book. What is the "Pray" part of the book going to be like. I'm taking my time with this book--slow and steady. Cautious. [If I suddenly want to make a pilgrimage to India or Indonesia, commence the intervention. There's no chance I want to go to Italy, because there's nothing for me to eat there. Whereas, I might convince myself I didn't need to eat in the other two places (although the smell of their food should be deterent enough). See rambling--and she's a successful author at it.]

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Phoenix is Hot

I went to Phoenix yesterday to go to a court appearance. Normally, I fly in in the morning, take a cab to court and then after my hearing take a cab to the airport and fly home in the afternoon. The cab is always expensive, but it is easy. Except that since the court is a federal building, the cab is not allowed to stop in front. The streets are all one way, so there is no logical spot to drop me and the cab usually stops really far from the entrance. This would be fine, EXCEPT it is Phoenix. It is over 100 degrees every time I go. Once the cab driver told me that the news said it was 110, but that it was probably 120 because they don't like to scare you on the news with the truth when the temperature gets too high. And yes, I was scared.

Anyway, they said it was 102 (so I figured 112 at the worst). I took a cab to court and took my jacket off before getting out of the cab. The cab driver dropped me a half a block from the entrance, but it was before 9 a.m., so I survived. The building is very unusual--it is about 6 stories, but one whole side is just glass surrounding a large (6 story) atrium that makes up half the building. Except that it can't be air conditioned. That's right 1/2 of the building is hot. It's not as hot as it is outside and the guards have fans, but if you stand in the hallways very long, you are very hot. The courtrooms are air conditioned and all the offices and even the cafeteria is behind two doors (so as not to let the cool out), but the air in the courtroom goes off at noon and of course I was so lucky that the judge let me keep going past noon for my hearing, but I digress.

So after court (at about 1 p.m. the height of heat of the day no less), I was thinking that this may be my last trip, because this case is pretty much over, so I decided to add a stop on my trip and go to the Hard Rock Cafe in Phoenix. [I collect tee shirts from the Hard Rock Cafe from all over--I think I have at least 30 (but for a while it was size small and now it is definitely size XL, so I could always use another one).] I looked it up on my iphone map and it was only about 5 blocks from the court. I asked the clerk if I could walk there and she looked horror stricken and said no. But she said that there is a downtown dash bus that I could take that I can get across the street from the court. Meanwhile I look up on my handy iphone how to get to the airport from the hardrock cafe and for kicks I press the button for a bus route. Easy, peasy, it is like a straight shot from the court (and the hard rock cafe five blocks in the direction of the airport) to the airport. Saving some money and taking the bus became my new plan.

I was careful to take off my jacket as I exited the building and it was not like walking into a furnace (like walking out of any building in Florida) [although, that maybe because of the special design of the federal courthouse--the atrium is hot, although not unbearably so, so you are already ready for pretty hot by the time you exit the building, but of course I digress (except not really)]. I walked around the front over to Jefferson and then up to the cross walk, just as the number 15 bus left the bus stop on the other side of the street. The number 15 bus was a good (safe) alternate to the dash, because I had already seen on my iphone map that it took me right past the hard rock cafe on the way to the airport. I crossed Jefferson and decided to walk toward the hard rock cafe to the next bus stop that I could see a block up. I was very hot, but the dash bus was right there, so it seemed like a reasonable endeavor. The dash bus was putting the wheel chair lift down, so I had plenty of time to make it, but still I was very happy to jump on the bus into the sweet air conditioning.

As I settled into my seat and looked around, I was rather frightened by the sight--the bus was full of very ragged, very hot and tired looking, very poor people. There was a desperation and depressed feeling that was palpable. I took a little firmer hold of my purse and realized that if I were homeless, riding a free bus would be the perfect way to beat the heat. My consternation at my fellow passengers was nothing to my dismay as the bus suddenly pulled out of traffic to make a left turn (off the street that would take me to the hard rock cafe) and barrelled two blocks to the next light before stopping in the left turn lane. I asked the driver if this bus went to the hard rock cafe and she said (much like the clerk now that I think about it)in a rather horrified voice, no. She admonished me for not asking earlier. She made her left turn and pulled into the next stop. She said it would take about fourteen minutes to get back where she had picked my up and that I could take the 15 bus. AND EVERYONE ELSE GOT OFF THE BUS. I'm not kidding. There were about 12 people on the bus and every one of them got off at that stop. I was surprised and concerned, so I asked the driver--is this the end of the line or something--is she taking a long break (and in my head I thought--is she turning off the air conditioner???). No she said. They are only allowed to make one loop per day. She kicks them off if they stay on past one loop. She was too busy with her routine of drinking from her water bottle and emptying her trash to see my horrified face.

Meanwhile a different group of homeless looking people got on the bus. A very crusty (I didn't look long enough to see what made up the physical crust) and odious old man got on and sat next to me. I said thank you to the driver and decided to walk. One half block on my way back to Jefferson, I was at a metro stop. Metro is not on my iphone, but the Metro little map showed that it went to the airport. I deduced that I was going east, so I was in the right place. It was slightly cooler in the shade of the metro stop, so I figured I would skip the HRC and go right to the airport. Then I remembered I needed a metro pass. Of course the kiosk was in the sun. The sun was glaring down on the screen and my choices made no sense, so I put my credit card in and picked the most expensive option--premium, express all day pass ($5.50). There was a sign telling me to swipe the card in front of the orange circle--weird.

The metro was there in minutes and I got in and sat down in the cool of the air conditioning. A guy and a girl who were obviously a couple, who were very sweaty and dirty got on the metro right after me and out of all the empty seats in the car sat right next to me practically stealing my purse with their eyes. And they stank. Almost overwhelmingly so. The metro turned onto Jefferson and the very next stop was a half a block from the hard rock cafe. It was fate. I got out and hoofed it back to the hard rock cafe. When I walked in to the blessed air conditioning, I was struck by how empty it was. There was not a single employee in sight. There were only a few customers (or I would have thought they were closed and forgot to lock the front door). It was about three minutes (that felt like a lot longer) before someone came out from the back to seat me. My diet coke (excuse me, pepsi--heartbreak) was there quickly enough and I soon started to feel human again. But it was clear that I was not dressed for the weather and since getting a tee shirt was part of the plan, I bought it and changed into it right away. All the employees (four at final count) loved it and commented each time they passed me. Not my intention, but I digress.

After lunch, it was back to the metro, only this time no unsavory companions. This time, the travelers looked like they were going to the airport or to work. Along the route, I looked at all the very tired looking buildings, junk yards, vacant lots and the thing that struck me (besides the fact that there were no people out--no people in sight outside at all) was all the American Flags--almost every building had a huge American flag painted on it. [Long semi-political aside deleted--who really wants to talk about Spain and the world cup anyway, but I almost digressed.]

At the stop for the airport, we had to cross the street to the shuttle bus for the airport, so it was more walking, walking in the hot, hot heat and then blessed air conditioning. There was no driver in the shuttle bus, but that didn't bother me or the 8 or so other passengers all too happy to wait in the cool bus rather than take our chances back outside. It was only a few minutes before another bus pulled up and dropped off our driver. I don't know why no one stole the bus--I mean, really it was just sitting there running with the air conditioning going with no driver in sight and no one around for a ways, except the 8 or so of us too exhausted from the heat and too happy to be out of it to think clearly enough for larceny. Answered my own question.

There was more walking at the airport of course, but it was a controlled climate, so I only whimpered a little. All in all, I'm not sorry that this may have been my last trip to Phoenix. I am not ashamed to say that I don't think I can take the heat.

Saturday, July 10, 2010


The other day I got an e-mail from Borders. I get lots of e-mails from Borders (and Sears too--how did that happen?). I know why I get e-mails from Borders (even though I have tried to turn them off)--I get these e-mails, because one time I was at an airport, feeling so grateful to borders books for giving me something wonderful to read (ok, I bought it and paid too much, but you know what I mean) that I wanted to do something that they would like--I filled out an application to be a "member" and I probably even paid a fee to be one.

Anyway, before this I only actually opened a borders e-mail, one time a long time ago when the subject line was Nora Roberts. I'm very fond of Nora Roberts--no, fond is not strong enough. I don't want to say that I love her, because that's like loving a sunset--sure, you love it an all, but its over so soon. Where was I? Oh yes, Nora was in the subject line, so I opened it and I read that they were giving me a 50% off discount on the new Nora Roberts book. Me I don't take nothing that says its free for face value. If it looks too good to be true, it usually is. So I read the fine print. It was a lot of stuff--limited in time, have to buy something else, I can't remember what all else, but it convinced me to close the e-mail and vow never to open them again.

However, did I teach them a lesson?--no I did not. Borders is right across the street--closer than Target (and the library, darn). So I did still shop at Borders and yes, they give an additional discount to "members" so I dug the little card they gave me out of the dresser and started carrying it in my purse. [I have a card thing for my check book and a card case, so I have more room, but I digress.]

So earlier this week I get an e-mail from Borders with Nora in the subject line. Excitement leaped into the four corners of my brain. Nora has a new book out. It's not even Christmas. If it is being touted by Borders, then it is the new hardback. [We are in the middle of a three book series in medium size softback and I have every faith that Ralphs is trying to get the last book in that series just as fast as the airport--hey I'm going to be at the airport on Monday, but that may be too soon after this new hardback--oh well--yes, yes, I'm digressing.]

I opened the e-mail. 50% off for one week. No other restrictions. Humm. It does sound too good to be true, but Nora is incredibly overworked. I can't have very high expectations for this one. She just put out the lated J.D. Robb about three or four months ago (very good, but not great) and we do have that trilogy going (also somewhat good--a six out of ten maybe or a five--I tend to overrate Nora, because, well--she's Nora), so a new hardback--I really can't expect much. I mean I know she tries harder for a hard back, but still. That must be the catch. They figure they better sell a lot the first week before the word gets out that its not one of her better books. [Like I care--suckers.]

So I walk lesurely over to Borders. I do not leave work early. I leave right on time. Maybe I'll go to the library as long as I'm out. The new Nora is displayed right as you walk in the door. 40% off and then in smaller print 30% off if you are not a member. I pick up the book. I'm stealing from them. Poor Borders. I'm not buying anything else. Except that they had a cooler with diet cokes. That will make up for it. I'll buy a diet coke at an outrageous mark up (but it's actually cheaper than my market downstairs from the office--Anna's no fool, she knows she's got a monopoly on our business, but I digress).

I hand in my 50% off coupon and the cashier says jokingly--"you're stealing from us." And I say, "yeah and it's Nora." I don't think he got it. For Nora, I'd pay twice as much as the list price. Well, maybe not twice.

So I tried to hold out and not read it right away. I lasted three days. It's done now and I enjoyed it. She still has a few surprises. There was some good research that went into this one. Her best?--no, but I'd have to give it a solid 8 and that's pretty damn good for someone who's written over 190 books.

Friday, July 09, 2010


I've been re-reading my old blogs and have really enjoyed it. Kind of like my favorite joke: A good leader is a good listener. I'd make a great leader, because I could listen to myself all day. But I digress.

This is the 500th blog that I've done (I'm not sure if that includes drafts). I haven't had a cute litte kid to follow for six years with great pictures or product endorsements and quite frankly with a few exceptions, I really try to stay away from politics. Most of my blogs are completely and unapoligetically about me, me, me. But some are about events and as I've read over previous blogs, I am grateful for the forum to remember the events and my reactions and feeling about them.

I was watching that Julie and Julia movie again recently about a writer who blogged about cooking her way through Julia Childs cookbook. That is an interesting concept. Take a goal and write out the progress. And my earlier blogs did track my weight lose and my later blogs tracked gaining it all back. I think I need a new goal--that one is getting stale. I heard a speaker one time that climbed Mt. Everest. But the whole time I listened to her, all I could think of was Why on earth would you want to do that? Now as I sit groping around for a goal, I realize, why not? It doesn't matter what the goal is, except that it has to be unusual to you and not something easily attained. It isn't brave, if you are not scared.

So happy 500th blog--here's to the next 500 on ... My kingdom for a topic. To be continued...

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

The Universe Has Spoken

This morning I wrote a very very long blog that only ended because I had to leave for a meeting. At the meeting, a fellow got up to talk and he talked and talked and talked and talked. There seemed to be no end, no end at all. The Universe has spoken and the blog from this morning is not being published. If I could just think of a really cool ending for somewhere in the middle, it might be fine, but no--the Universe...

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

4th of July Sale

So Adam says last night at about 5:30 or 6 p.m., "I need a bed." He has a futon bed and I have been bugging him for years to let me get him a real bed, but he has insisted for years that the futon is fine--he likes it. Never mind that the poor boy has terrible problems with sleep issues (up most nights unable to fall asleep), never mind that he has grown a lot since we got the futon and never mind that its a FUTON! So I've been waiting for the green light to get him a real bed for a long time. The crushing disappointment that he comes to this realization(FINALLY) at the end of the forth of july holiday weekend was immediate. What?? I scream at him--you are telling me now, late Monday?? Apparently, he came to the realization over the weekend that he spent up in San Francisco staying somewhere they had a real bed and his futon has broken slats and he did just wake up (I'm just guessing the last part--he's always sleeping when I try to call him).

Ok, I regroup and remember that I've been wishing for this day for many years. Be careful what you wish for, blah, blah, blah.

One of the arguments that I've made to Adam to get him to agree to a new bed, is that Megan can use this bed after he moves out if he doesn't take it with him. Since he is discussing moving to Australia for a year or so, it is pretty likely that he won't take the bed with him.

He wants to go to IKEA and they are open until 9 p.m. (even on a holiday). There's no chance that I'll be able to find a holiday sale or even a sale paper, so I resign myself to the off size, futon like selection of IKEA and off we go.

That store is enormously huge. We walked for miles through living rooms, kitchens, offices, shelving, even a whole section of chairs--just chairs, all shapes and sizes as far as the eye could see, which wasn't that far in the absolute sea of people--it was so crowded. Finally, we came to a bed section. There were some pretty fancy bed posts and headboards and I started to worry that we couldn't just find a simple frame, box and mattress. We kept walking and we hit pay dirt--a very large selection of mattresses. They had a wall of selections of different configurations of foam or spring mattresses--a virtual morass of firmness quantities. They had another wall of slat configurations and a variety of methods to house them. [Adam wanted to just get the slats and put them on the floor--but luckily this was not cost effective. What was I thinking that I even considered it.] They had about twelve beds set up to test the various firmness and overall look of the various mattress choices. We sat on a few and I was not impressed. There was a skinny looking one that seemed a glorified futon to me. Then I sat on it. Hey, this is pretty comfy. Adam sat on it and liked it right away. I bounced a little. This is not a firm mattress--it is more plush. Well, Adam is young. I need a firm mattress for my back, but I remember being young and thinking that I would never get a firm mattress--you want to be comfy and snuggle down in your bed--duh (I was pretty cocky when I was young).

Then I looked at the price. OMG it was so cheap. It was a lot less than I thought it would be, so I started looking for the catch. The box is separate (also cheap) and the steel frame is separate (much nicer than I ever had when I was younger and getting the cheapest thing that they would sell me), and also pretty cheap. OK, we'll take it we tell the girl at the little desk in the department. She imputes our choices into the computer and it spits out two papers. The first is the identification of the bins for the parts that we pick up ourselves and the second is the sheet that they will pull from the warehouse and bring out to us. PICK UP OURSELVES? It's a bed--I can't lift a bed. But hey, it's IKEA. If anyone can make a bed that I can pick up myself, it'll be IKEA.

So we go downstairs (except that it take a really long time to get to the stairs, because you have to go through a section of the restaurant and it was really crowded). The long, long, long trip that we took to get to the mattresses in the first place we now have to do in reverse to get back out. We pass bedding. Now it is on my mind. I've had my comforter for about 20 years--it is time. The prices are very reasonable. I mull, Adam grabs the first one that I lean toward and we're off. I see the covers for comforters and I back track to review my options. Adam immediately has a favorite and while I mull, he checks the sizes and picks up my first choice and he's off. I lag, but don't want to loss him in the crowd. They had 4dishcloths for 2.99--2.99, the prices were insanely low. I grabbed two packs on the run. We got to the isles and bins to pick up the bed parts. We got the industrial size cart and put the first piece in. Then the mattress that was in a roll--suction packed and completely compact. It was going to fit in my car--amazing.

We stood in a very long line to pay and then we went over to the area to pick up the box spring. Our number was 4445. They were on 4406 and it was going to be a half an hour. They only had Pepsi. They also had Cinnamon rolls and the smell was so delicious. Now I know that I only marginally like Cinnamon rolls and I really didn't want them, but they really smelled so good that I didn't even have to buy them or eat them to enjoy them. Ikea is a genius. After we had waited for a while, I noticed that the guy called a number and the other guy at the delivery desk said, that ones for delivery and they took it back. Hummm. Interesting. So I went to the delivery desk (and waited in line) and I asked if I could arrange delivery before they brought out my order. Yes. Do I have to wait for my order. No. I love Ikea. Can they deliver the frame (that was really long and might not fit in my car) with the box. Yes. For the same price. Yes. I really love Ikea.

We chose 8 to 12 the next day (today) and they were there at 8:30. It was in the house so fast I didn't have time to even think about tipping the guys and they were already gone. Cool.

Adam's asleep, so I don't know how he's going to fit that bed in his room (which is full to the ceiling with stuff), but hypothetically, he can use the foot print of the futon that he has now for the bed. The bed is a bit bigger. Oh well, I've done my part. It is washable. That's right, a washable mattress. I love Ikea.

Friday, July 02, 2010

The Wall

I've hit it. After getting up at 5:00 a.m. each morning since Monday and staying up past 11 watching the matches that I tivo'd, I just couldn't keep my eyes open to watch the Djokovic match this morning. I blearily saw that Berdych had taken the first set and I fell back asleep. When I woke up again, he had taken the second set and was ahead in the third (or so it looked to me behind half closed eyes). I turned it off content that like me, Djok was out for the count.

Nadal is playing now, but NBC is too untennis to show me the match live (not to mention that I had to come to work--but accomodations could have been made). The news said that he was up a set, but I am afraid to look. England wants Murray to win so badly--almost as much as I've wanted Roddick to win. But it is my Nadal. I want my Nadal to win.

When I did get up, I watched the Djok/Berdych match from the beginning. Wow, that Berdych is no slouch. Djok is not playing badly--Berdych is really giving him what for. I am saving the third set for tonight (because I had to come to work and I already know who won, so it seems silly to stay home to watch a match that I have taped.) Djokovic lost the second set tie breaker in which he saved about six set points on a double fault. That was awful. I tried not to be disappointed in Berdych's yell of victory at Djok's mistake. I mean, he really needed to win that set because if Berdych had lost after all those opportunities it would have been awful. But to win on a double fault... That's just sad. On the other hand, why did Djok get a double fault in the first place: because Berdych was so great at returning the second serves. Djok was winning critical points because he was going for the big serve and gutsy second serves. When you go for the big serve, you risk the fault. When you throw caution to the wind on your second serve, you risk the double fault. So therefore, YES! Berdych, but you didn't hear it from me. [No matter who's playing, when a critical point comes on a second serve, the litiny in my head is "don't double fault, don't double fault" friend or foe.]

Serena is getting old. I still like her in the final to win, but as I watched her match yesterday, I was struck by her opponents youth in comparison. [Youth seems like a distant memory to me--the babies wanted to hand me their toys, but I had to get down on the floor so they could reach me and I couldn't do it. I had to get a chair. Oye, but I digress.]

So only three more matches to go (and a third set of the match I already know the outcome of). I will get up at the crack of dawn for two more days, but I have a little more faith that NBC will not time delay for the West coast for the final, so if I roll over, the match will be waiting for me when I wake up on tivo. Life is good.