The Devil, A Pirate and a Nun Walk Into a Bar….

31 10 2006

Halloween is one of the best times for the girls and I. We are hard core when it comes to this holiday. We are out from 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm – rain or shine. This year bested last year because of no rain, but it was very chilly (in the 20’s – which will seem insanely cold to some of you and ridiculously warm to others…but it is all in how I perceived it, really. That is what is important here.)

Pepper joined in the merriment for her first Halloween by sporting a pirate skull and crossbones collar. Avast! She is a damn fine cat, she is.
Maya was a pirate of the cutthroat group of “I must bare my midriff although I am only 9 and my Mom gave me that look and I had to promise it was just for Halloween and not real life” pirate crew.

And Sophie was, well, herself.

We practiced looking menacing.

And then lost all our menace when faced with a “sister”.

Sophie was just a bit nervous by the moving and shaking skeleton thingy just off camera right.

Fog machines are cool.

Our Pumpkins. Mine is the small one. It is supposed to be really cool and polka-dotty. The polka dots proved too small to provide enough oxygen to the candle flame – even though I carved eleventy billion of them. Therefore, the top is off the pumpkin. And it doesn’t even look cool.

But it had cool pumpkin potential.

Then we arrived back home. And even though sugar was racing through our veins, we were tired anyway.

Really tired.

Sugar coma tired.

Hope you had a great time too!


Shari and the ghouls


Lessons From the Past

29 10 2006
Four years ago today my Dad passed away. I stood in the middle of the kitchen in my old house listening to the silence after the announcement. I couldn’t cry right way. John came up to me and hugged me and didn’t say a word. I was able to lean on him and have no fear of falling. I’m glad he was there.

I think my current situation has much to do with that day. I am craving that feeling – that “It’s okay, I’ve got you” type of trust. It can become exhausting when you are the one that does the falling and, at the same time, the one responsible for the picking yourself up.

It’s not going to be where I’ve been looking.

It might be hard, but it is not impossible. I always appreciated my Dad’s honesty and strength. Even when I was making horrible decisions in my life he would tell me to face those decisions and do everything I could to make them right. “But, God dammit kid, try not to make them in the first place.”

I hear you, Dad. Loud and clear.

Grandpa Lars and my Dad, Gunnar.

My favorite picture.

*Sorry about the picture quality, but I don’t have a scanner…..

Make Up Your Damn Mind, Already!

26 10 2006

So I had a phone call from the one person that I have been wondering about.

It was just a voice mail, but it still made my heart leap a little. Not a leap of love, but more like a leap of “there is a possibility to end my long draught of celibacy”. It would be easy. It would be good. It would be nice.

Sometimes I just miss the smell of a man. Good god, that sounds ridiculous doesn’t it? But, like I read in a Tom Robbins book once, sex is 95% smell, 5% touch. I tend to agree.

The last time I posted on this subject I got the comments that I was expecting. I must say, however, that Ant was the one that nailed my feelings about it all….

Ant said…
Hum. I get the thoughts of “fuck it, let’s just go out and get laid” on a semi-regular basis. Then I go and do my Friday Dance and end up thinking a lot clearer: Sex without strings doesn’t exist for me, and tough-talk notwithstanding, I don’t think it exists for most other people either. So even though I’ve got a sneaking suspicion I’m sounding a lot like my parents, I advise caution. Until the woman comes along that completely and utterly knocks me off my feet, I’m perfectly content to Friday Dance the night away. The relationship hassles of something that isn’t working just aren’t worth it.


He is so right. You all know that Ant is my mental soul-mate, right? We have amazingly similar views on things. When he wrote this comment it was in my plans to email him back and thank him for bringing my mind back to normal again. (Thanks Ant, a bit late…)

If anyone knows how to get by on the “Friday dance”, trust me, it is I -I have been celibate for two years now. The Friday dance is some of the best sex I have ever had – quick, to the point, a-wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am sort of pleasure. But the man smell is missing. And the warmth of bare skin. And the laughing. And the falling asleep afterwards with my head on the chest of a breathing and, dare I say, aromatic male.

I can remember exactly how he smells.

Maybe I can get it out of my system. Maybe all it will take is just one time. Maybe I won’t want him to keep coming back.


Maybe I won’t get attached….

My Favorite Season

24 10 2006

“Best of all he loved the fall … the fall with the tawny and grey, the leaves yellow on the cottonwoods, leaves floating on the trout streams and above the hills the high blue windless skies.”

Ernest Hemingway

What I Did This Weekend – Distraction

23 10 2006

You may notice that the weekly segment’s title this week is changed just a bit. The “we” has morphed to an “I”.

I can’t deny that everything done this weekend was totally for my own benefit.

I spent Friday night with three friends drinking mulled wine and playing Cranium. My team won by the way. And we hardly cheated at all!

Saturday was spent doing chores and getting ready to go to a Halloween costume party with my friend Jeannie. We went as Nick and Nora – the characters from Dashiel Hammett’s Thin Man series. I was looking quite smashing as Nora in my sparkly, fringy black dress, red feather boa, insanely high heels, and even more insane red lipstick.

But, the MapQuest directions were no good. We had no phone number. We drove in circles.

And then we went to eat at the Thai place by the mall. There was no shortage of strange looks.

Sunday was spent lolling alongside the Carbon River. I lay directly down in the sand – the finest sand ever on the earth. It’s made of ash and glacial silt and lahar leavings. It’s beautiful stuff, like powdered sugar. The girls played in the clay – making quicksand and taking turns saving each other from it.

My heart just wasn’t in it.

Saturday Voldemort got married.

I thought I would be okay with it. I have had since Spring to come to the realization that I had missed my chance. For two years he had been so sweet. Said all the right things. Sent me little notes in the mail like this:

“You bring light to the world. It has been dark here lately. I need to see you soon.”

No matter how I replay it, I still made the right decision for me. I couldn’t go there. I knew he was looking to get married and have that picture perfect thing. He needs his own children. He needs his own non-watered-down experience. And I can’t and won’t have that to offer for quite some time.

But still, it hurt.

Friday night I was telling on of my favorite stories about my college roommate and I watching “Let’s Make a Deal” and how the adorable, young, and obviously broke couple made us cry. They would have been totally happy with Door Number One – but it was quite obviously not the best door. All of a sudden my laughter dissolved into tears. They all thought I was just doing the patented Shari-laughing-so-hard-she’s-crying thing. But I had just realized how fitting the rest of the story was. I wasn’t able to finish it then, but I will now….

The damn audience pushed and pushed them to choose another door. Laura and I yelled, “No! You’ll be happy with this! What if you get a goat (or something)?” I was on the edge of my seat with worry for them.

They chose another door much to my dismay. And guess what?

They won a trip around the world. The honeymoon they never had.

I would have never imagined it was possible.

I’m not very good at that game.


19 10 2006

When I was very young my Grandma would take me to Melrose to visit her friend Hazel.

Hazel was a very old woman. Her house had that old woman smell, which to me is not unpleasant. It’s a smell that stinks of dust bunnies and old wrinkly skin and cat hair. I know that I am quite alone in my love of this smell. I know.

She had cats. And old furniture. And what seemed like millions of tiny glass figurines – mostly… of cats.

She was a very tall woman, even though her upper back was hunched by her age.

In my later elementary school years Hazel came to live with my Grandparents. She must have been too old to live alone, but at the time I just thought it was great that she was going to be right there for me to play with.

My Grandparent’s house was only about 200 yards from my house. Just a short jaunt past the flowering almond tree, over the irrigation ditch, and I was there.

Hazel wasn’t necessarily overly attentive to me. I just liked her. I talked to her incessantly when she was doing her needlepoint. Often she would limp outside to sit in the passenger side of my Grandpa’s light blue Mazda B2000 pickup in order to soak up the sun through the windows.

I’m sure she would have liked to enjoy her sunbath in peace. To loll peacefully in the sun like her adored cats. But I couldn’t let that happen.

I would jump into the driver’s seat and ask her where she wanted to go. Invariably she would croak, “Monticarlo!” And off into the imaginary sunset we would go.

When I learned that Monticarlo was not necessarily in the continental United States I just drove over the ocean floor, pointing out sharks and giant clams like the greatest 9-year-old tour guide you can even imagine.

Those were the best road trips of my life.

We never arrived at Monticarlo – if we did then the game would be over.

Later, when I was in Junior High School – specifically sixth and seventh grade – Hazel had to go into the rest home in town for care. She was over 90 years old.

It was long enough ago that lunch hours were our own as students. We were allowed to walk around town as long as we were back in time for class. Most kids walked to the penny candy store or to “Snappy Service” for two for one hot dogs.

I walked across the street to the rest home.

I would go sit with Hazel and listen to her stories. I would gush my own life stories out to her as if she was my 12-year-old equal.

She asked me if I would bomb all the Macaroni and Cheese factories for her. They served it to her all the time and she hated it. I promised I would and we shared a conspiratorial giggle.

Hazel passed away not too long after I got into High School – in a part of town too far away to walk to visit her at lunch. She left me some wonderful things.

The first was a cedar chest made by her father at the turn of the century. It is not just lined with cedar, but made entirely of the red, aromatic wood. The lock plate is hand-hammered copper. It sits in my Mother’s house, waiting for a time when I have a house where I have enough room for it.

Another treasure is a friendship ring made of rose gold. It is two snake like creatures that twine around the finger in opposite directions. One has a red gem eye and the other green. The soft metal has been worn for so long that is melded together and smoothed out in places. She must have worn it many years to get it that way.

The last thing is a quilt that was actually made by my Aunt for my birthday two years ago. The squares of the quilt, however, are all needlework that was done by Hazel as she sat at my Grandma’s house, with me blathering on and on as she patiently listened – and stitched through time.

I had carefully packed the quilt away so nothing would happen to it, but I have decided to unfold it, air it out and enjoy the comfort and warmth of it.

You have to do that with memories now and then.


18 10 2006

Exciting news from the work front….

My boss got a promotion, which means that I will be applying for her old job.

I really, really want it.

A lot.