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Misty Meanderings

March 11, 2010

On this misty, moisty morning in Duluth, MN there are a few points that I would like to ponder. 

Point the first: It is jarring, nay, disturbing to visit the new Texas Roadhouse Restaurant and listen to the wait staff give a big ole’ Texas “Yeehaw” for a patron’s birthday. It actually makes me a little bit stabby. It makes me wonder, how many of the wait staff have actually been to Texas? They are pasty lutefisk eatin’ Minnesotans that are more acquainted with church basement coffee and hotdish. Seeing them place a patron on a saw horse outfitted with a saddle and surrounding them in what I can only suppose could be euphemistically referred to as a “Texas Round Up” and then givin’ that ole “Yeehaw” makes me recall all those fine folks that nearly drove me to an inter state shooting spree when I visited the Lone Star state oh so many years ago. 

It brings back memories of overt sexism and blatant paternalism all done with a twinkle in the eye and a knowing wink cuz “everything is done BIGGER in Texas”. 

On a side note, the steak was DELICIOUS! 

Point the second: Does one, when they KNOW they are not going to be around long term, even bother to accept a proffered inquiry of a drink after work or dinner? Not that this has happened or anything, but there is a potential. A drink or dinner hardly makes a lifetime commitment but it opens a door…a door of possibilities that I am not willing to entertain right now. I have visions of Freud sitting back, puffing a stogie, and saying “Sometimes, a drink is just a drink…” 

Point the third: The boy and I will be going out to get our punching bag tonight. Since last year was the big weight loss year, I believe this year will be the big “get in shape” year. Not like last year, where I chose to work out in lieu of homicide or suicide. This will be me, setting goals for myself in order to do right by myself. Having developed peripheral neuropathy in my right leg last year really slowed me down and since I have taken time off to let it heal and it hasn’t, I am going under the assumption that once again, I have to roll with the punches and get used to the “new normal”. I cannot feel my right leg from the knee down. Perhaps I will never feel my right leg again. Since the neurologist insinuated that it was a “VERY COMMON PROBLEM AMONG ALCOHOLICS AND DIABETICS AND I SEE YOU’RE NOT A DIABETIC”, even after I told him that I didn’t think having two or three drinks in a month made me an alcoholic, and even after he condescendingly patted my arm and told me that he was SURE it would all-go-away-soon-and-don’t-let-the-door-hit-you-on-your-way-out (and charging me $600 for the privilege of his unequivocal knowledge), my leg is still numb. It makes running difficult. It makes hiking difficult. Sometimes it makes walking difficult when I am tired. 

But, I can still do a mean roundhouse kick. 

And roundhouse I shall.

Along with a little one-two punch.

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Jumping Through The Legal Hoops

March 8, 2010

One of the classes that I’m taking this semester is called “Domestic Violence”. What can I say, it fulfills a requirement, allows me to engage in such earth shattering comments as “Wow, I can’t believe someone could hurt another person like this”, and it gives me an interesting window into the mind of a certain member of the human race that I once shared a living space with. 

It was in the context of discussing Orders for Protection that I went back and looked through my old paperwork from last year. I also pulled out the transcript from the sentencing. It was then that I learned that I have been under an improper impression. 

I thought that numb-nuts was legally prevented from contacting us during his ten years of parole. 

I am incorrect. 

He is, in fact, prevented from contacting us while he is incarcerated. Apparently, should we wish to keep him away from us after he gets out, it is incumbent upon us to go through the legal hoops to make this known. 

However there is the fact that, when he tried at the eleventh hour to stop our divorce because he had been touched by Jesus and decided that he looooooooovvvveeeeeddddd me, my lawyer responded to his lawyer with the heart-felt missive that “Should your client attempt to ever contact my client again we will slap you with a restraining order so fast it’ll put your scrotum in a twist” (Of course it was wrapped in legal lingo which is decidedly void of the word “scrotum”). This maneuver still puts the responsibility upon us to make our wishes known. 

Here’s a mind blowing concept: How about making the legal system work for the innocent? How about making it a standard expectation that the criminal would stay away? How about making it incumbent upon the victim to go to the courthouse and GIVE PERMISSION for the criminal to contact the victim should that be their desire? 

What puts my knickers in the biggest twist is that I don’t necessarily plan on being around when he gets out. This would make a trip down to the courthouse somewhat inconvenient. I am of the understanding that should I decide to file a restraining order, it needs to be done in St. Louis County and then I would notify the local law enforcement in the town of “Hooray, I’m not in your vicinity anymore, USA”. This would also mean that it will be incumbent upon my children, who will be over 18 when he gets out, to go through the process for themselves as well. 

Our current Order for Protection expires on my daughter’s 18th birthday. I’m not quite sure if we could go ahead, right at that time, and each have it extended into the future so that it will be in place when he gets out, or if we have to wait until he is ready to get out and then start again. 

I have contemplated simply having a lawyer draft a letter to both him and his parole officer with the three of us signing it. It would be a letter stating that it is the individual wish of each of us that he never contacts us again and should he make the CHOICE of trying to contact any of us, all three of us would file a restraining order against him. 

That would put the ball in his court. That would make him realize that yes, your choices are STILL going to have consequences. That would make our lives easier and we would only have to deal with a restraining order should he decide to continue to be an ass. It would also get a lawyer in the loop so that they could help us do a restraining order long distance if necessary. 

It feels ridiculous to even contemplate such issues at this time. It seems like I should just let it rest and then, at the beginning of 2014, start to weigh my options. But by that time I’ll be wondering what kind of purse to buy that will be both stylish and accommodating of the handgun that I will no doubt start to tote. 

Cuz I’m all for live and let live but if he shows up at my door? It’s on!

Those Who Live In Small Houses…

March 8, 2010

I don’t know anything about architecture except for the following limerick: 

There once was a young lad named Yorick

Who at times when feeling euphoric

Could produce for inspection

Three types of erection

Ionic, Corinthian, and Doric.

 (Don’t laugh, it’s the only thing that kept me sane when I took that class on classical civilizations years ago.) 

So I can neither confirm nor deny the reasoning behind the slanted ceilings on the second floor my house. Did the builders, 90 some odd years ago, decide that making the second story of the house three feet taller would be beyond their engineering capacity? Or perhaps it would be beyond their fiscal capacity? Or perhaps they got to a certain height and it was a Friday after noon and the beer at the local bar was calling them and they just looked at each other and said “Fuck it.” 

To me, that is the most plausible scenario. That is the scenario that best feeds into the “better angels of our human nature”. (Which is a lyrical way of saying that the majority of bipedal hominids on this big blue marble are a bunch of rat-bastards,) 

I have questioned the slant of our roofs in the past when contemplating the cosmic occurrence of ice-damns and lack of closet space. Sunday morning, I was forced, once again, to wonder about this odd structure that leaves so much dead floor space in my house. I call it dead space because it nearly killed me. 

I would like to blame the cat for it. The cat that has recently insisted on crawling into the corner and eating the carpet. The cat that has left carpet shavings all over the place.

 It was the quest to clean up the carpet shavings, in order to maintain my title as Domestic Goddess, that led me to crawl into the corner on my hands and knees. And it was demonic possession that led me to stand up suddenly. 

And it was those lazy assed rat bastards a hundred years ago that took off early on a Friday afternoon and made my ceiling approximately the height of a kyphotic dwarf that caused me to smash the top of my head and drive the top of my spinal column down into the approximate region of my anal sphincter. 

Falling to my knees and assuming the tornado drill position while counting the stars that swirled around my head was both entertaining and completely involuntary. I stayed absolutely still for a few minutes to give my shattered skull time to heal and then I glared over at my cat who was in the opposite corner, starting a new excursion to the carpet-bar. 

He paused for a moment and gave me a quick appraisal before returning to his all important work. 

He obviously failed to see what the problem was with the architecture of the second story, after all, he’s never had any problems with it.

Advice from Alice | Duluth News Tribune | Duluth, Minnesota

March 7, 2010
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Advice from Alice | Duluth News Tribune | Duluth, Minnesota

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Not Even Martha Has This

March 5, 2010
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I was commissioned by the girl child to create a floppy hat. A hat like I knit a long time ago. The hat that I considered to be a mistake. The hat that sat on your head like a bloated whale or a pregnant sack of onions. I hated that hat. She, of course, loved it.

I had created that hat by knitting by the seat of my pants. Turned out, the seat of my pants wasn’t very good at knitting.

So, I wasn’t very pleased to receive this request.  I hemmed and hawed but maternal guilt drove me to look for floppy hat patterns.

I then found this:

From Made in Brooklyn.

I just finished it, knitting it with scraps of Noro. I made sure to make it floppy…floppy is the key to love.  Don’t tell the makers of Viagara.

The directions say to block it over a 10 in dinner plate. I’ve just soaked it and am now blocking it over a pizza pan. Pizza pans make niiiiice and floppy hats.

The funny thing is, while I was knitting it, I couldn’t see a pattern at all. I knew I was knitting it correctly but it looked like a muddled piece of crap.

And then I stretched it out.

I’ll be damned.

Now that is the prettiest damn pizza pan cozy I have ever seen!

My Million Dollar Baby

March 3, 2010
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My thanks go out to Uncle Sam for assisting in the paying off of a plethora of billage. 

As I sit down and lay out the bills in the order of importance, along with the obligations of parentage and pet ownership (Woot! Woot! Rabies shots all around! Hooray! The children won’t have to look like they are preparing for the great flood anymore) there will be an ever so small amount which will be used for a small indulgence. 

I have not had time to exercise lately. FYI: that leaves me feeling like the sluggiest of slugs. 

Something that I wanted to do back when the proverbial shit hit the fan will come to fruition. Sort of. 

Back when my anger and aggression colored my aura red with orange racing stripes I wanted to visit the local boxing gym. I wanted to hit stuff. Hard. But finances and the realization that I probably wanted to hit stuff with a baseball bat stood in the way. I don’t watch boxing. I hate the idea of hitting someone else. Even more than that, I hate the idea of getting hit. Also, I saw Million Dollar Baby. I know the score man, and it’s a dangerous world out there. And I don’t have health insurance. 

But the idea of beating the shit out of an inanimate object? Now that rocks. I have done it a few times over the past year when the screaming monkeys have driven me past the point of reason. I can dismantle a desk or a wooden fouton with a baseball bat in less than three minutes flat. I can also burn the entire thing in the family fire pit. It gives a lovely glow. I even brought marshmallows. 

I’ve been working on getting the last of his crap out of my life and I will now hire someone to do the rest for me. I will then invest in a heavy bag for the basement and an exercise mat. Something that will prevent sit-ups from wearing the skin off my tailbone. 

I’m planning on calling around to area used sports equipment dealers and finding the perfect punching bag, perhaps even a mixed martial arts bag. Never underestimate the psychological benefits from kicking the shit out of something too. 

Paying off a lot of bills, throwing out the rest of his crap, and kicking a little ass. Yes indeed Uncle Sam. Thank you!

For Esme – With Love and Plastic Tchotkes

March 2, 2010

There are some things that I go to for the actual factual information. There are other things that I go to for what they represent. Then, there is that third category…the things that I go to just because I have to assure myself that this is what I AM NOT. 

Perhaps it’s like going to a NASCAR event just to watch a car crash. 

No, I’m not a cud chewing red-neck but I love me some blood and guts and roasted human flesh. 

You know, just plain old family entertainment. 

And that is what will undoubtedly bring me to the DECC this Saturday, for the annual Women’s Expo. This is the annual exhibition that will tell you at every turn that you are too fat but yet you don’t cook well enough. Your family will love you even more if you can split yourself into four more pieces yet you really need to take better care of yourself. Your ass is fat but try our chocolate! You work three jobs to support your fatherless children but if you don’t want to wear this flaming red butt floss of a thong, you are obviously NOT A REAL WOMAN. 

It is a living, breathing women’s magazine. It is the epicenter of everything that any real woman would be interested in: cooking, weight loss, clothing, and kinky undies. 

And if these topics of conversation aren’t on the top of your life list, you may well lurk in the shadows as hoards of middle aged white women descend like locusts for freebie after freebie of plastic shit made by eight year old Chinese girls who will spend their lives devalued by their culture and seen as mere means to an economic end by the predominant capitalistic white culture of which they serve. 

Wow. I guess that won’t be in the brochure. 

There are times that I want to go up to the ever-so-fake make up reps and the women selling a soup mix in a bag for $8 and let their speal wash over me until they have talked their way into submission and I stand mute and blinking in the radiant light of their marketing technique. I will then let my doe eyes well up with tears and I will choke out one single whispered question:

“But will it make me happy?”