Saturday, February 28, 2009

six words x 2

I've decided to join the six word Saturday club, but as it is my first attempt, I get to do it twice. Okay, maybe it's not cool for me to make up any rules, so let's just say that, because I'm an enthusiastic beginner, I'm making it a two parter.

1) I must avoid the candy drawer.

2) I really really need to exercise.

I've been sick, okay? And our truck blew up, leaving us to share one vehicle, so, as a consequence, life has become less convenient than usual and I've just not been making it to the gym. And, to compound the problem, my benevolent junk food consuming husband bought a giant bag of those mini candy bars which is tantalizingly close by in the drawer of his bedside table (where he stashes all kinds of evil snacks) and it's easier to satiate my computer addiction hunger pangs by snagging a nearby Twix bar than by actually trudging down 3 flights of stairs to the kitchen and preparing myself some real food. To my credit, however, I've only been eating the Twix Bars and the Dark Milky Ways (damn those are good). The other four varieties kind of bore me.

I figure I'm also doing my fellow gym-goers a favor by staying off the communal gerbil machines until my cold is past the snifflley, sneezy stage.

But I sure feel like a slug.

Oh well.


Web song

The endless interconnectivity of this blogging site (not to mention the nearly infinite alternatives or additional options out there) amazes and kinda frustrates me. Amazing is the tapestry of words, thoughts, images and poetry that awaits anyone with access to computerland and a desire to delve the depths of this World Wide Web experience. Frustrating is my attempt to take it all in. I want to follow the links that beckon to me like stepping stones through some magical terrain where the scenery is constantly changing and the possibilities unfold and overlap in both choruses of consensus and strident notes of discord. I want to linger, yet I want to move on. There are so many voices to be heard.

Since my free time is limited, I initially settled on a plan to keep it simple. I would choose only a handful of blogs to follow and comment on to avoid becoming overwhelmed. But I'm intrigued, not only by those I follow, but also by those who follow them, and then by their followers as well. It's like the interminable reflection that occurs when you turn one mirror upon another.

Or sometimes I just want to see who is among the 15,000 or so other bloggers who work in tourism, or like cats, or take an interest in spirituality, or fitness, or cooking, or whose favorite movies include one or more of my favorite movies, and on and on. There are just so many cool, interesting people out there I suppose I should simply take comfort in that fact and feel embraced by the positive energy of this vibrant, creative community of expressive beings and be happy to reside among them. Among you. All of you. Thanks for being there.


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Bringing back oblivion

I decided to send my parents a little something for valentine's day this year so I sat down for a few diligent hours and downloaded a sizable compilation of music that I recalled being favorite selections of theirs during the days of my early childhood. As I replayed the resulting four cd's of tunes from Sergio Mendes and Brazil 66, Bobby Darin, Tom Jones, Trini Lopez, Jose Feliciano and a variety of other musical talents of the past, my consciousness slipped back to a time of Barbies and tether ball and late afternoon games of hide and seek with an assorted gang of neighborhood kids whose names and faces I can just barely bring to mind. It was Cincinnati, Ohio, in the 1960's, and I was a tomboy with skinned knees and chocolate stains on my t-shirt. Or maybe spaghetti sauce. I often seemed to wear my meals back in those days.

So I had my parents on the phone, prior to mailing out my gift, and I told them I had a surprise to send them, but I struggled not to give away too many hints about what it was. When I did manage to steer the conversation towards music, it was achieved, I think, rather nonchalantly, without any reference to the unposted package. We were talking about old stuff, stuff we'd saved and stuff we'd discarded, and I slipped in a comment about all the records they used to have and wasn't it a shame to lose all that music when they finally decided to part with their somewhat massive collection . My mom said, much to my disappointment, that they wouldn't really listen to any of that old music now anyway. (damn, I thought) When I casually mentioned a few of the artists I'd recently resurrected, she said "oh, yes... they're always good. We've gone out and bought cd's to replace those albums." As an afterthought she threw in the fact that they must have at least 500 cd's in their current collection; saying so in such a way that it seemed as if she thought a good purge of the recent accumulation might be in order.

So. I guess my little present won't be quite as cool as I'd hoped, but I'm sure they'll like it any way because it's from me. My four cd's will likely get filed away in the heap... but hey... it was the thought and the effort and blah blah blah.

But I'm thinking now that replaying this old music was much more poignant for me than it will be for them. It took me back to a time when I was content to let someone else make all the major and minor choices and decisions in my life: where I lived, what clothes I wore, how late I stayed up and what I had for dinner. Meanwhile, I was basically content to occupy myself with the construction of elaborate, circuitous connections of orange hot wheel tracks that meandered throughout the family room. Or with marrying off my Barbie dolls to some famous, good-looking actor of the day. I could care less what music my mom was blasting and singing along to in the background and it would never have occurred to me to approach her with a pained expression and a snarling tone and say "Hey... what is this CRAP you're playing?? Can we PLEASE change it??" Ah. The oblivion of youth. We had other shit going on.

Friday, February 13, 2009

stealing chocolate

My husband is driving to Iowa tonight to pick up his daughter so I find myself with a few free hours alone which is a rare commodity indeed. Figured I'd better write a post, as I've been neglecting to blog, as promised, on a regular basis.

I bought Patrick a card and a box of chocolates for Valentine's Day and of course now I'm sitting here thinking about said box of chocolates which is stashed out of sight in the closet, but is not, apparently, safe from my very persuasive and somewhat malevolent sweet tooth which is telling me "go ahead and have one or two pieces." You can get him another box tomorrow... or get him something else.. or just go with the card. See?? It's an evil influence.

If I knew I could open that box and manage to pick out the coconut filled chocolate right off the bat, without having to nibble my way through the lesser varieties which aren't really all that inferior since, let's face it, chocolate is chocolate. But if I could zero in and score that coconut piece right away.... then I might just be happy and stop at one. There's even a chance that I could sort of slide the remaining candies around, assuming they're not arranged in one of those concave plastic containers, where each piece fits in like a puzzle, but if they were just loose in the box... I could fix it so that he might not even notice. Or I could just give it to him with a piece missing and smile and shrug and he probably wouldn't really care that much. I'd refrain from claiming the "quality control" excuse because that's just too overused and unfunny and it's exactly what people expect you to say. "Had to make sure they were all right... yuk, yuk, wink, wink, chortle, chortle." Forget that. Maybe I'd just go with the (possibly refreshing), make no apologies, here's your chocolate, enjoy the rest, can I please have another piece (or two), they're really good, approach. Hmmm. It is a pretty big box.

My adorable little black kitty Tara just jumped up in my lap, licked my sweater for a bit, curled up in a ball and settled in. Then she farted. Nice.

It's five o'clock now and I should be getting to the gym but I figure if I go now it will be really crowded and since I do have at least 7 hours of independent time sprawled out ahead of me I can just go a bit later when the general populous has headed home to deal with dinner and proceed with their Friday night, Valentine's Day Eve, plans. If they have any. Sometimes it's better to go out to dinner on the night before or after or somewhere in the general vicinity of Valentine's Day, rather than on the actual night. We in the restaurant industry refer to V-day, rather snidely, I admit, as "amateur night". Meaning that it's a night when you end up waiting on lots of people who don't usually go out to eat at your nicer, fancier, upscale kinda places. Which to some veteran servers means dealing with "un savvy" diners which for some reason they find annoying. It never really bothered me. I think 99% of all people are cool which is why I'm in the hospitality business and why I opened a B&B. But waiting tables on Valentine's Day can still be somewhat of a drag because it's super busy and it feels a bit "assembly-line-ish". An endless herd of couples out for their obligatory romantic dinner. Sorry if that sounds cynical. I'm all for love and romance... I just sometimes feel oppressed by Hallmark holidays. Hearts and flowers and little doves holding ribbons in their little beaks and chubby cupids with arrows poised and jewelry store ads and diamond heart necklaces and heart shaped ice cream cakes and pink and red jelly beans and well... you get my point. Come March I'm ready to purge all pink and red items from my life forever. Of course then along comes Easter with it's pastels and bunnies and chocolate eggs and that green mossy stuff that you use to fill up Easter baskets and those marshmallow peeps that are exceeding yellow and actually kinda gross tasting. And so on. But hey. Holidays do have the happy side effect of punctuating our lives with ritual; whether store bought or heartfelt or time honored. Rituals can provide comfort in a chaotic world.

Okay. So I managed to ramble on for half and hour and a couple of long paragraphs about nothing of any real consequence. And I still want chocolate damn it.

Oh well. I have posted now and I feel better. See ya.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


Sometimes in silent moments, when I drift off into fantasy I imagine a completely different life for myself. Suddenly I am unburdened by all the possessions that seem to weigh upon me and I pack a few essentials in some indestructible home on wheels and head off to wherever the stars lead me. I'd take on a new name just for the sake of change; and although I'd remain myself as I am today I'd be ready to let the impact of unforseen circumstances alter me in ways that I can only hope would be positive. New is not always better; but it's always different.

Sometimes I feel as if there isn't enough meaning in my life. I realize that there are a myriad of opportunities out there; things I could be doing to make a difference, to help others, to effect change. But I get so caught up the the day to day process of making money, being married, keeping up a house and running a business that I just don't get involved. Latley I've considered the possibility of actually selling my place and taking a year off to join a philanthropic organization like Habitat for Humanity and going overseas to volunteer for a program that actually has a positive influence on people's lives and improves their situation.

I guess I'm feeling a little stuck and stagnant and I don't want to let life slip by without attempting to accomplish something that pushes me outside my comfort zone. Starting the Bed and Breakfast was a bit risky, and I'm proud of how it's evolved over the years, but in the end, it seems like a very self-indulgent, and not entirely practical, endeavor. Just ask my parents. They don't even attempt to get it. They just think I should get rid of this place and find a real job. Or just work around my husband's career. He is the man after all.

But I don't want to laspe into a resentful tangent. I suppose money is important to the extent that I want to have enough to live comfortably. I've never been terribly materialistic; although I do appreciate nice stuff, it's not a big deal to me if I dress in Prada or drive a Beamer. I'm a jeans and T-shirt kind of person who basically enjoys the simple pleasures. It's always been important to me to find work that is enjoyable and rewarding. The Bed and Breakfast fulfills that requirement, but lately it doesn't bring in enough income, so I've been forced to take on a second job waiting tables and at 47, I'd kind of like to be done with that. But making such a statement makes me feel as if I'm putting down others who have enduring careers in the restaurant industry, and I'd never want to express that perspective. I despise the snobbish attitude of people who consider themselves superior because they work in white collar jobs, drive fancy cars, and accumulate heaps of nice, but needless possessions. Not to say that everyone who has wealth also has an attitude. But I think my parents do. My dad has declared condescendingly that I " make beds for a living." I suppose I should consider it charitable that he didn't say "clean toilets" because that's part of my job too... and doing laundry and cooking breakfast and interacting with a wide variety of cool and intersting people. (none of whom, incidentally, seem to look down their noses at what I do or treat me as if I'm just "the help")

So. I do enjoy the Bed and Breakfast even though I feel like it may be time to move on and try something new. Maybe a coffeeshop or a wine bar or a yoga studio/wine bar or a spa/coffeeshop or a cafe or a job in a resort or in a resort/spa or or or I could go back to school and get another Master's in social work or interior design. Or I could just travel for awhile and think on it.


For now, it's down to the kitchen to make a baked apple pancake for my guests and spend some time finding out what they're about. Good Sunday to you all.


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Second Anniversary

Okay... I should be getting some chores done but they fall into the undesirable, unfun, easily procratinated catagory (eg: scooping out the cat boxes) so I'll just get to them when I get to them if that's okay with everyone. (excluding the cats)

Today is my 2nd anniversary and the hubby and I have plans to eat out and then go see a comedy show. We've been on a low budget for what seems like an eternity so this is indeed a big outing for us.

Our 2 years have not passed without challenges, but I've come to accept that marriage is a process that does not always cohere to the blissful paragon that is the oft conjured fairytale of our youth. Or perhaps that's just the whole wedding day fantasy. In either case, it's certainly not all rainbows and butterflies and happy endings. At least not from my experience.

It is, however, a grand adventure and a constant work in progress that centers around the key issue in our lives which I believe is learning to love one another. It's why we're here, as far as I can tell, and although marriage is not the only arena in which the lesson is applied, it is probably the most quintessential. Sharing one's life, day after day, with another person can be as complicated as it is rewarding. Personally, I like being married.... (most of the the time).

So. Two years. So far so good!!
Ciao people.


Monday, February 2, 2009

Another Monday

After a weekend of temps in the forties, it's back to single digits today and my hands refuse to thaw out. I have a warm little cat in my lap, watching the screen as the words appear. A silent critic who would prefer if I were petting her.

In spite of general slowness at my B&B, I did get lucky enough to book a five day stay for a single dad who is here visiting his daugter at college. An interesting guy; a psychiatrist from Portland who has seven children and a wealth of knowledge about the middle east and plumbing and home repair. And other stuff too, I'm certain. We can only cover so much over post breakfast morning coffee. Speaking with him makes me wish I could spend a day or two or a week or a month just hanging out in the library, researching random subjects. There is just so much out there to learn... sometimes I feel quite inadaquately informed. Yet I read fiction because I enjoy escaping into a good story or a distant time or place or fantasy. It doesn't increase my factual knowledge, but it's fun and I look forward to it.

My step daughter came up from Iowa for a visit this weekend. She's a very bright and lovely 13 year old who spends a great deal of time sitting in front of the computer. She communicates with her friends on Facebook and other sites and gets quite addicted to video games with odd looking characters who battle demons and other evil forces and strive to aquire weapons and powers as they ascend to different levels each higher and better than that which proceeded it. It's all a mystery to me but who am I to dissaprove of how the child spends her time?? She's a gamer, just like her dad. It's just something I've never gotten into. But it sure would be nice to see the kid pick up a book once in awhile.

Speaking of her dad, he just got home from work so I shall wrap up this blog and go join him on the couch. Happy Monday night....


The Magic Door

The Magic Door
our home & business

Binkley on patrol

Binkley on patrol
all calm in the neighborhood

3 out of 4

3 out of 4