Wednesday, November 22, 2006

I dropped by the Goodwill post today and gave boxes of stuff over to the organization. I was more than happy to donate loads of stuff that had been taking up so much precious space in my house. It's often something that I can describe as cathartic, giving away things that I no longer need and at the same time gaining something valuable from the act of kindness; namely the extra space!

So I dropped the stuff off and headed home for what I was calling, "The Afternoon o' Charla". Blake had offered to pick Catie up from school and I had a few hours to spend doing whatever I wanted to do. In this case, I cleaned up the house and then took a nap. So, my idea of a great afternoon has changed. Lots of things about me have changed. Anyway, after about an hour of blissful sleep, I awoke with an obese cat on my head and a cramp in my neck. That damn cat is huge. Anyway, there was a cat, a cramp in my neck and a strange longing in my heart. It occurred to me that I had given away Daddy's leather jacket.

Now, surely you all can go along with me here. Has a special person in your life ever owned something that was so ever present that it became inextricably part of your view of that person? I'm not sure when he bought that jacket, but I think it had to be sometime in the 70s. It was a medium brown, the soft buttery leather was probably the color that you would think of if someone told you about a chestnut colt. It was cut in a style that had always flattered my dad's athletic build and he'd worn it through the ups and downs of a couple of decades. I could remember him wearing it like a sport coat, the tie and shirt along with the jacket signifying that something big was about to happen. Or, at times, it meant that Daddy had been successful at losing weight and was once again able to fit in it. It was was beautiful and it was always there in the closet either waiting for a special moment or a declaration that it was again in style.

He gave it to me recently when I was rounding up items for a rummage sale that would benefit a charitable organization. Mama gave me her suede jacket with fringe on it and Daddy thought that if she could give that away, he could probably part with his favorite jacket. We laughed about how long he'd had that coat and I loaded it all in my car. I didn't actually get it into the sale, so I bunched it up with a lot of other things that I wanted to donate. I wish I had thought about it a bit more, because I think if I had, I would have come to the conclusion that I should keep it. After all, it had been present in so many of my memories and to have it would be like having a tangible symbol of not only dad, but my childhood. Maybe that is what I ultimately miss right now...

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Current Love: OK, I have to admit, I've recently rediscovered an old love. It's tawdry and it's real and the object of my affection is, wait for it... Cheese! Huh? Yes, I am a novice foodie and my current passion is cheese. I have always loved it and I am guessing that I always will. Paired with my other love, wine, it's just the kind of down and dirty love affair that an old married women needs once in a while. Anyway, I found a website that is just amazing. Well, it's really more than that, but I'm not really trying all that hard and can't think of a better word right now. But, you should check out if you love cheese too. They have so many kinds of cheese that it could really induce a panic attack if you are a stress case like I am. It's so cool, it even has a pronunciation guide for the really crazy stuff and it gives suggestions as to wine pairings. Pretty cool...

Cayton Temper Tantrum Update: Things seem to be cooling down in this area. She actually fell asleep on Blake's shoulder last night while we were watching Lost. It's nice when the kid decides to cooperate. She really owed it to me though. Her "school" (that is the euphemism that I used to dispel any guilt about leaving her at daycare) sent home an art project. Now, I ask you, what is up with homework for a 1 year old? I mean, seriously, that works out to being a homework project for me. As good a husband/father as Blake is, he is not going to bust out the glue and scissors to work on an art project. Of course, I will because I would feel SO bad if Cayton were the only kid in her room to not have something to show off. So, there I was at 10:30 last night saying some really, really spicy words as I cut and pasted some pictures onto a cardboard cutout of a house. I told Blake that he would die a grisly, grisly death if he forgot to take the frankly brilliant piece of art that I produced to school when he dropped Cayton off. I am not sure he was scared, though he should have been.

Anxiety -o- Meter: Honestly, the last couple of days have been a little bit rough. On Wednesday, I started a continuing education blitz. I have to get about 40 hours before the end of the year and, of course, I have put it off until now. I always get a little bit depressed when I go to CPE because I am forced to confront the fact that my profession bores the pee-diddle out of me. It's just awful. The day to day stuff isn't too bad, but when I'm forced to go listen to a lecture about the vagaries and nuances of a like kind exchange or the ins and outs of recording goodwill and its amortizable life, good god almighty, I'd rather take a beating. So, after a couple of hours of that crap, I start to view my life through accounting colored glasses. It just seems so unrelated to how I see myself. If I were forced to describe myself, I would use words like fun loving, excited about trying new things, humorous. But, I just can't reconcile those things with the idea of being an accountant. ARGHHHHH!!!

Recipe of the Day: So, while I've been writing this, I've been cooking a DE-licious pasta dish. This was my second time to make it, so I think I've worked out the kinks, as it turned out perfectly. It's a whole wheat pasta with gorgonzola, walnuts and sun-dried tomatoes. Basically, you warm up 3 tablespoons of the oil from the tomatoes and sweat 1/2 a cup of the SD tomatoes along with two cloves of garlic cut crosswise for about 10 minutes. Then, you take the tomatoes and garlic out of the oil with a slotted spoon and put a cup of walnuts in the oil and cook until toasted and fragant. This is done on med-high heat and takes about 3-4 minutes. When this is done, toss the pasta that you've already cooked (about .5 pounds of whole wheat spaghetti) in with the walnuts. When the pasta and walnuts are thoroughly warm and mixed, put the all the aforementioned ingredients together and toss along with 4 oz. of the cheese. Pour in about 1/4 cup of the pasta water just to make it creamy. Garnish with some parsley and it's ready to go. I think I got this out of Self magazine, but it could have been shape. Though, I have to question why either of those pubs would include such a delicious, fatty recipe...

OK, so I've gotta go. It's supper club night and I have to get my undoubtedly superior offering over to a friends house. So, later all...

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

OK, a few thoughts on working in downtown Tulsa, OK: I have to ask just why, oh why, the ever present landscape people never, ever wash off the sidewalk on the south side of 4th street. I appreciate that they are busy planting pansies and shrubs, but I would ever so much love to see them wash the multitude of layers of bird poop away. I know that it isn't eco-friendly since the poop would likely wash into the Arkansas River, but I don't think sliding on my ass down a concrete, bird poop slip 'n slide is going to further the envirnmental cause either. Along that line, I have an apology to make. I'd been blaming the smell on the homeless people and now I have to say I'm sorry. It was the damn birds!!!

Now, my above apology will have to be withdrawn given that yesterday my husband was propositioned by a homeless person. I think that's pretty rude. I mean, first off, they tend to chase people down the street demanding money and then they step it up and ask for sex acts? What happened to asking for a dollar "to make a phone call"? Geez, at least when they ask for that you can refuse and then have some nice, comforting, WASPy guilt. But, when they ask you to, well you know, then you have to be incensed. That isn't a good feeling for an anxiety ridden, rule following whitey such as myself. I mean, I'd want to kick some ass, but I'd basically just stand there blushing wishing I knew some karate. Then, I'd just run away convinced that my verbal attacker had a gun or something. Street cred' I have not...

So, I plan on voting today, but I have to say that I am really, really put off by the current state of politics in this country. It's tough for me to even choose someone to vote for because I'm not convinced that anyone represents my point of view. I just want the government to stay out of my way but all the pols keep telling me that I need to vote for them so that they can make my life better. Well, Mr./Ms. politician, I don't need your help. I can take care of myself (and that's a good thing too, given Katrina...). I just need you to take office and then pass some legislation that would keep your hand out of my pocket. If that's in your platform, then I'll probably vote for you. Oh, and if you can do something about political ad jingles, I might just sign on to work your campaign. Howard Barnett, B-A-R-N-E-T-T, Howard Barnett. Dammit!!!

Cayton Temper Tantrum Update: We're going on at least 10 straight days of some type of temper tantrum. I think I'm slowly letting go of reality. If it weren't for diaphragmatic breathing and the relaxation tricks I've learned in therapu, I think I would have had a heart attack by this point. Yeah, that's right, I'm in therapy. It's OK, I'm learning to live with crazy. Lest you get the wrong idea though, Catie is still the most wonderful child ever. I don't like the screaming crazies that we deal with at bedtime, but all in all, the pleasure way outweighs the pain. She said "Mommy" last night, I practically floated on a happy cloud right out of the house. It's all good.

News Bulletin: Blake and I are going to Dallas this weekend, alone. What does that even mean?? My parents are keeping the child and we are off for some fun in Big D. It's proof that my therapy is working because I am really geared up for some adult time. Blake and I haven't really gone anywhere by ourselves in a long time and I think we are due. I have pretty much packed the precious two days with as many outings/activities that I can think of. If you have any suggestions, lets me know.

Friday, November 03, 2006

I was emailing with a friend a couple of days ago and we made plans to host a dinner party. Now, when I say dinner party, I don't mean a gathering of fancy people and a Martha Stewart type spread on the dinner table. Think something a bit more disorganized and throw in several small kids and you get the idea. It's fun, loud and usually something to look forward to. But this time, I have to admit to having some issues. I guess the "third-life" crisis hit me full in the gut.

Teresa and I were working things out and pretty much had the menu planned when we got to the issue of the guest list. A couple of years ago, the problem would have been keeping the party small and therefore paring down the guest list. But this time, the issue was coming up with people to invite! It was then that I had several thoughts hit me at once. First, the fact is that so many people have moved away. One by one (or two by two for the marrieds), friends got jobs or educations in other cities. Or, the transplants found it just too difficult to be away from family and went back to their hometowns to start their families. I think at the time I was sad, but it's events like a dinner party that really remind me just how big of a loss some of these people are.

My immediate thought after that was that I've really got to get out there and make some new friends. It's a bit like a breakup when you have good friends move away. You really don't want new ones, you want the old ones. It's especialy difficult when you think about cultivating a new friendship and the time involved in doing so is just friggin' overwhelming. The old friend knew everything and they were comfortable, like old shoes or second day jeans. The idea that you have to start out like you're dating is just too much.

"So, what do you do?" Geez, my OLD friends knew that. Plus, I'm a $#@!ing accountant. Why would anyone be interested in that?

"Where did you grow up?" What the hell, is she a %$#@ing cop? I grew up in a small town, yes I have an accent, no I am not from Tulsa originally. Yes, you probably knew that from the way I speak. I know, isn't it interesting how someone from Hugo can actually string a thought together? Hahaha. No, my parents don't own cattle nor have they ever. I wonder what my OLD friends are doing right now. I'm sure they aren't grilling unsuspecting Hugoans about their childhood (yeah, I have a bad attitude right now).

Anyway, you get the idea. Right now, I would really like to find a good group of old friends, a big table at my favorite restaurant, and spend the evening acting like, say, a 25 year old (I'm also feeling old. So, for those of you keeping score, that's depressed, friendless AND old.)

Thursday, November 02, 2006

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As you can see from the date (and the pic), it has been a long time since my last post. So much has happened that I don't even know where to begin. First off, my baby is no longer a baby. She is 18 (almost 19!) months old. I think I left off writing when she was less than a year old. Wow...

At this point, life is going pretty well. We got through Daddy's health crisis and I'm glad to report that he is doing just great. Other new developments include my sister's wedding, which happened in February '06. It was too much fun! She got married on the beach in South Padre Island, TX. It was just beautiful. The only snag was that it was cold on the day of the wedding. Given, it WAS February, but even so, it's usually not cold in Padre. The day before the wedding and the days after were more normal, in the 80's. But, of course, we all froze. My sweet little sundress just didn't quite cut it for warmth.

Let's see... Other happenings for 2006... I'm sure that there are lots of them, but I don't know how much I'm going to be able to recall in a few short minutes of writing. I intend to go through my pictures and try to reconstruct some of the stuff that we've done this year. I promise! Really... I mean it...