Monday, October 24, 2005


Heading over to Sunny California tomorrow! Yaaaay! Gonna meet my beautiful new nephew for the first time. Gonna visit my grandmother's grave and say goodbye. Gonna ride the Matterhorn with my sisters. Gonna eat Bobby Salazar's and DiCicco's

Mary and Terri? Whatterya doing for lunch next Monday? Well, cancel it. We're going out!

Time away from the day-to-day is probably a real good thing for me right now. Looking forward to being at home for a week. I'll have some time to post, so you'll be hearing from me on the other coast. Let's have some toast! And a marshmallow roast. A lovely pot roast? And a halloween ghost? This is ridiculous most.

Hope I don't die on the plane! Yaaaaay!

Friday, October 21, 2005

Elsie Helen Eschebeck Webster (May 30, 1913 – October 17, 2005)

Today, we bury my Grandma. Grandma was complicated and not easy to love. Still, her death has allowed me the welcomed fortune to reflect on what she taught me, what she gave me, and what I choose to remember about her.

Grandma was one of three women to graduate from the University of Oregon in the mid-1930’s. She studied music and liberal arts. She taught grade school in one of those one-room classrooms. She married my grandpa less then three months after meeting him at the age of 26.

Grandma sang opera and played the piano. She’d travel to distant places and bring back trinkets and memorabilia. It was always fun to go over to Grandma’s after she returned from Greece or Germany, and see her suitcase full of swatches or chocolates or dolls or crystal figurines. Grandma spent the evening of her 80th birthday looking at the moon as she walked along a stretch of Mediterranean beach. Grandma was amazing.

She’d take us to bookstores, and buy us children’s books signed by some of the greats, Leo Politi, and others. Grandma had this huge record collection of all the famous classical composers. Music was ALWAYS playing on the stereo at Grandma’s house. If not from the stereo, from her baby grand in the living room. She was constantly plagued with young untalented piano students (such as myself), and she never asked the parents for a dime. She’d expect you to rake all her leaves and pull weeds and stuff, but she never wanted your money. Grandma taught elementary school, chorus, ESL to Hmong and Laotian adults, Primary…she loved to teach. And she was good at it. In fact, my mother had Mrs. Webster in fourth grade. I even read a progress report she gave my 9 year-old mother where she praised her for being obedient and a good student.

Grandma had music/script books of stories like Hansel and Gretel. She’d play the piano and teach us the songs, and then we’d act them out. Grandma played games like Sardines (a variation of hide-and-go-seek). I remember the games were always more fun when Grandma would play with us.

She’d get us the sugar cereals we could never eat at home. “Dates” were common with Grandma. Lunch and a trip to Mervyn’s. Grandma got me my first pair of Guess jeans. For that alone, Grandma is the highest-ranking benefactress of my life.

As I got older, she and I did have some good talks. She was extraordinarily supportive in my dramatic endeavors and especially my singing. Whenever we came over, she wanted us to play and sing. She encouraged us to never give up on dreams, they way she felt she had with hers. I don’t think she was always happy with how her life turned out, I think she always wanted to become more than what she did. But the very, very best thing she ever did was give birth to the most wonderful father on the planet, my Dad, whom I love more than I can ever explain.

These are just a few of the marvelous things she was (and is). And these are the things I want to remember over anything else. As hard has it may have been sometimes, I know that I will always love my Grandma. And I thank God for her.


Okay, people reading this post may erroneously assume that I’m a quitter or bitter, or need a babysitter. Not true. I’m not depressed, I’m not angry, I’m not hurt…none of the above (although I am a perpetual child). In fact, I feel calm. Solid, sober, and calm as I write this…

I’m finished with dating. I just am. Sorry. If you ask me out, I’ll go. But I’m done hoping that it may evolve into something serious. Dating for dating’s sake is fine. I’m through with purposeful dating, or dating with potential for more. It doesn’t happen. And that’s okay. I’m just done.

It takes too much out of me to hope for more. I believe I can learn to be happy without hoping for love, then live out my existence learning, serving, singing, cooking, visiting, teaching, visiting teaching, and taking care of domestic animals until I perish. I’m really okay with that now. When you think about it, it’s not at all a bad way to live.

I read somewhere that those who don’t find their true love in this life are destined to have major love and bliss in the next. I’ll go along with that, that’s a nice notion. I think I’m done hoping for something like that here. Love in mortality is an old faint shadow of an idea to me these days. I can start fresh in the afterlife. Possibility for love in another world seems far more likely than it does here.

Hoping is not easy, in fact it’s a bit demanding. At least it feels that way. Living self-reliantly I can do. Living self-reliantly meanwhile making heart-space for the potential husband to someday appear - - that is tough living, man. Hoping for true love is starting to feel like a waste of energy. Why not put to something more worthwhile? Or likely?

You can’t say I didn’t give it a chance. I did! 31 years! I gave it a really good chance, and I even came close a couple times. But I think it would be better for my nerves and overall life-longevity if I just continue from this moment on with the assumption that relationship circumstances will not change much from what they are today. I have learned to be happy as a single adult, and I’ve been deeply gratified at the many blessings single life offers. Now I feel the need to get on to the business of THRIVING as a single adult. No more closeted hopes and wasted heart-space. Devote all the hopes and heart to the single life without apology and without reservation.

Some people find it, some don’t. All the same, Jesus loves me, this I know. For my little heart tells me so.

Monday, October 17, 2005

ho ho ho

Already, stores are stocking up their shelves with all things Christmas.

It appears they've even got my GIFT from Santa - - all 400 pounds worth.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

read the preceding post before this one, if you haven't already...

Hey Campers!
Guess what Peggy found in her car last night?
Work lady's umbrella. Uh huh.

Isn't that a nice little capper. Happy weekend, peeps.

Friday, October 14, 2005

i wanna new blog

It's not my favorite, but I was ready for something else. Hope you like the new layout.

Today I want to find out how everybody is doing.
How was your week?
Did anyone try a new breakfast cereal? A new route home from work? Finish an amazing book that changed your life?

And what about shoes? Anyone get some new shoes?

How's the neck feeling these days? Any serious digestive issues? Did you run out of Q-tips this morning? I hate that. Did you think of someone this week that you haven't thought of since elementary school?

Do you have enough milk? And what about cheese? Mmmmm...cheese.

Okay, that should get you started. Now let me tell you the umbrella story. It will grip you like you've never known.

Last Friday, I was meeting my sister who was going to be staying with me all the live long weekend before heading home to California. That day I happened to be wearing a shirt that turns x-rated if it gets even slightly damp. It looked liked rain, and I had no umbrella. So...I borrowed one.

I borrowed one...
The gal who had the extra umbrella is terrific, but has lost umbrellas to inconsiderate borrowers before. I assured her that I was very good at returning items I have borrowed, and I would be sure to return her umbrella to her first thing Tuesday morning.

I think I lost that stupid umbrella before I even left the building.
I searched for an entire week to no avail. So today during lunch I went to buy a new umbrella.

Number of times "umbrella" used thus far: 7

I went to buy one...
Perhaps you've not seen the weather reports in New England, but one local headline actually used the word "pummeled" in its connection to "rain", and I believe that is a great word. Even when not associated with rain. Pummeled. Yes. Indeed, we have been pummeled of late with rain, over the last 7 days to be exact. And when a region is pummeled, you best bet your bestest knickers that umbrellas are a hot ticket. So off I go out into the pummeling rain to be pummeled around to four different stores looking for an umbrella. Four different stores! No umbrellas.

"pummeled" tally: 6
"umbrella" tally: 10

no umbrellas...
I finally end up at Filene's, where poor people like me only go to drool over Coach handbags and cashmere earrings and diamond scarves. Why? Because that's where the pummeling rain hoisted me. I had five minutes to find an umbrella, pay for it, and get back to my desk.
Sidenote: I wasn't going to replace nice lady's umbrella with some cheapy nylon thing. But I really didn't want to go to Filene's for it either, you feel me? No choice. No umbrellas. And it's still pummeling.
I'm really glad I got that raise. So I could spend it on umbrellas. Oh, I use umbrellas (plural) because somewhere mid-hoisting between four different stores looking for the replacement umbrella, the cheapy nylon umbrella I was using bit the big one. A nasty bit of pummeling. Didn't have a chance, poor sap. So now I'm in the market for two.

two umbrellas, please...HOW MUCH?!?!
Well, they're really nice umbrellas. And I'm feeling good because at least I can apologize to work lady with a nice new umbrella. Conscience clear. Can't put a price on peace of mind. I get hoisted back to work, pummeling rain slipping down my overpriced red umbrella, walk in the door and deliver the new umbrella. I even took the price tag off, partially because it's tacky as we all know, but partially because I'm truly embarrassed that I paid that much for it. Maybe it has invisible diamond-encrusts around the handle or something. But since I removed the tag, I'll never know.

"pummeled": 10
"umbrella": 21 (I think umbrella is going to take it.)
"hoist": 3

oh you shouldn't have, Mary!, really.
Nice work lady that let me borrow her umbrella had completely forgotten all about it. Nice work lady has about 15 different umbrellas at home. She's got plenty. But she really appreciates it. Nice work lady suggests that we all use the new invisible diamond-encrusted, hoisting, pummeling rain-deterring Filene's umbrella as a "back-up" office umbrella, for everyone's use. You know, in case something like this ever happens again. To which I say "GREAT!" Big saccharine smile.

This is my life.

Final Score
"pummeled": 11
"umbrella": 25
"hoist" : 4

Umbrella wins in a wash.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

you may wanna skip this one...

I have to admit, I’m getting a little rusty when it comes to blogging. Bloggety-blog blog. I want to write something, but I’m not sure what. I haven’t been on Oprah, I haven’t visited any thrift stores lately, I haven’t seen Harley Tattoo Neighbor Man, I’ve been sleeping fine, no ailments to report, no bones to pick, no fish to fry. What to write? What to write? What good is a blog anyway if you can’t write something interesting?

My fingernails are quite strong these days.
Oh, come come. We must have something more earth-shattering than that.

Take Two:
It’s getting pretty cold out there in Boston land. First cold day we’ve had this season.

Did I actually just give you a weather report? Oh, my. This is getting serious.

I know what I need to do….I need to go to Target. I think most of you know how I feel about Target. Target is to Mary like Mountain is to Monk. I come away centered and chi-full. (not to be confused with a Brit saying the word “cheerful”, but that could work too.) I’ll go to Target tonight, and I’ll have loads to share.

You know who I think is really talented? Kenneth Branaugh. My roommate Peggy and I were sort-of watching Swing Kids last night (sort-of because we were talking, moving around the apartment, fixing food, and not really paying attention but technically still watching a movie). That Kenneth Branaugh. I have to admit, back in the day…methinks me had quite the crusheth on the The Kenneth. Yeseth. Indeedeth. Even though his lips are even thinner than mine. Have you guys noticed that? Pencil-line lips, The Kenneth has. Mr. Bard Bloke himself. Mr. Bard Branaugh-Bloke.

The saddest part about this miserable excuse for a post today is that I’m now off my sinus drugs. Perhaps I should get back on.

Monday, October 03, 2005

so about my pants...

In celebration of my raise, I took myself to Goodwill on Saturday and bought myself two pairs of slacks for work. Now that I’m making the big bucks, I need to look the part, you see. That last sentence took me 20 minutes to finish writing, because this debilitating cough arose in my throat each time I attempted to write “big buh….” [INSERT DEBILITATING COUGH]. Well, you know what I mean.

Two pairs of slacks, both fit just fine. Two pairs of slacks, both say a different number on the tag.

The fun part about shopping at the Goodwill for clothes (aside from witnessing the born-again lady standing by the shoe racks exorcising some other innocent shopper from the “demon alcohol” as innocent shopper nervously attempts to make a break for it) is to see all these various brands of clothes, hanging side by side, and realize just HOW arbitrary the number on the tag really is. It’s a really big conspiracy, people. We just need to embrace it.

I pulled out a pair of pants that looked about my size, and when I looked at the tag and read a rather large double-digit number, I thought….either these pants have been regularly subjected to an excessively hot dryer, or that’s just someone in a tag factory with a sick sense of humor and not enough love at home.

Other pants I’ve pulled out, tried on, they fit great, and then read the tag and it says a number so small that I think…in the real world this would never happen to me. I have to buy these pants just in case someone decides to go through my closet one day and read all the tags on my clothes, and they’ll think I’m ACTUALLY this size. I’m sorry to confess it, but I have actually thought this.

I’m reminded of some of the things we just heard from Jeffrey R. Holland this weekend, in our world-wide church conference. His comments were directed particularly to young women, and warned against yielding to the size-obsessed siege that rages on in our culture, and how damaging it truly is. Evil, in fact. It distracts women away from what the definition of beauty actually is. Even I found myself getting caught up in finding clothes that were erroneously marked with smaller numbers, even when I know that the number has nothing to do with anything.

It’s so hard to keep the healthy perspective on this. Isn’t it? I envy men. You got your waistline number, and your leg-length number. Badda bing. No moral judgments, no deceptive gimmicks. Just the indisputable correct measurements right there on the tag. It is what it is, my man.

Would women really not buy pants that told them their actual measurements, and that’s why all the stupid made-up numbers? At the end of the day, don’t we just want our pants to fit right? Do we want to keep up the falsities? (yes.) Are we just going to buy in to the charade?!?! (as long as you keep telling me I’m a size 4, you bet.) Can somebody tell me WHAT KIND OF A WORLD WE LIVE IN WHEN A WOMAN BUYS SOME PANTS AND FASHION-AMERICA CLOTHES HER WITH LIES?!?! YOU MOCK OUR PROTRUDING HIPS WITH LIES!! YOU CAPITALIZE ON OUR DESPARATE NEED FOR SINGLE DIGITS MECHANICALLY-EMBROIDERED ON A TAG! CURSE YOU! CUUURRRSE YOOOOUUUUUU!!!

Wow. Okay, so I’m on drugs right now for my sinuses. Sorry about that.

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