Thursday, May 16, 2013

Where I go when I'm in my happy, stupid place: Meet Walter.

Still there?  Phew!  Perhaps you noticed that my first two posts back from hiatus were light on function and heavy on, “Hey people, let’s have a party and invite all my personality flaws!  Last to admit something embarrassing and shameful does a keg stand!”  As luck would have it, I both won and lost that game. Next time, someone (anyone!) remind me that Hemingway advised, “Write drunk, edit SOBER,” not, “Write drunk, edit drunk, publish drunk, it’ll be funny!”  (Well maybe a little funny—in that dark comedy, Little Miss Sunshine, oh-sweet-baby-Jesus-WHY-is-she-doing-a-strip-tease?! kinda way.)

The point is, before the pendulum can settle in the middle (i.e. something approaching functional), it first has to swing allll the way over; in this case, allll the way to stupid!  Which is where I am right now, thinking and writing in my happy, stupid place.  Thankfully I’m in a marriage wherein ridiculous conversations are the preferred method of communicating, thereby offering me endless material for happy, stupid posts and you, reasons to feel better about yourself.  It's a win-win, dolls!        

SO, you’ve gotten a nice long drag of the deep stuff; now here’s a peak at the silly stuff.  You know, the good stuff...    

Background: Ranger hides, just BARELY beneath the surface, a cantankerous old man.  He appears any time Hollywood, Liberals, or Hollywood can be blamed for whatever is currently pissing him off.  Soo, pretty often.  Though not quite the benevolently cranky grandpa of your youth, he is harmless, and when he’s not making me angry, he’s making me laugh.  I KNEW I couldn’t get through a whole post without saying something I’d regret!

The scene: Phone call between Ranger and me.  Enter cantankerous old man alter-ego, ranting away…  

Ranger:…Ugh, sorry, that was uncalled for, wasn’t it?

Me: Yeah well, it was your crotchety old man coming out again—you can’t seem to help it.  I think maybe it’s time to name him.  *In my head: Hmm, Walter…Walter…why can’t I get the name Walter out of my head?!  It’s not that great of a crotchety old man name; I can do better.

Ranger: What about Walter?

Me: OH MY GAWWWD, I was just thinking that!  Seriously, I’m so weirded out right now I have goose bumps!

(Ranger, laughing like a good husband and riding out my dorky outburst.)   

Me again: I mean, it’s not the obvious choice of names here so it has to be fate, right? Too bad. 

Ranger: Why is it too bad?

Me: Because I was thinking ‘bout the dark-haired dude in Grumpy Old Men.  He would’ve been perfect!  Damn it, what was his name?

Ranger: Umm, I don’t know about his character’s name but (wait for it…) his real name was Walter Math—

Me, with goose bumps up to the eyeballs: SHUT UP!  YOU HAVE GOTTA BE SHITTING ME!!!  

Obviously, infinite cosmic powers and all the magic in Dora’s Crystal Kingdom have acknowledged Walter as a real and lawful interloper in my relationship, not just what I’d imagined was a glimpse at my future wife-beater wearing, shot-gun baring, hairy-eared husband protecting his lawn.

Not exactly the kind of threesome I was talking about, Universe.










See, stupid ;0) 
PS. I was just kidding about that threesome comment.  Really!







Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day Under the Influence

As a pretty self-aware gal, I know that I operate under the handicaps of extreme procrastination and an astounding lack of foresight.  I’m nothing if not a work in progress.  However, it’s human nature to compensate where we are lacking, and over the years I’ve compensated my often over-sized, Italian ass one area in particular:  I frequently rely more on words than on actions to show a loved one my gratitude and affection. 
It’s been a crutch throughout my lifetime, in true youngest child fashion.  Even as a kiddo, I relied on my utterly adorable (adorable, I tell you!) hand-written notes—carefully folded into an airplane and flown into my parents’ eye-sight—to bail me out of time outs.  I’ve used elaborate (though genuine) compliments to wiggle my way back to good graces; woe-is-me war stories to earn breaks I didn’t deserve; I could go on, really, but even this extraordinarily strong margarita Ranger fixed me isn’t breaking down ALL my vain defenses!!  Anyway, my point is that I know using my words doesn’t make up for my lack of tangible effort, but in no way…IN NO WAY! it indicative of the love I do or do not feel for a person..

It is just the shortcoming of an eternally well-intentioned woman. 
In my defense, if indeed I get a defense after that cocktail-induced confession, arms can hug; cards can be saved; presents can be returned (mom!); but words sink into the soul and can live forever. 
So because you don’t have Facebook, mama, hear is what I wrote to you today:  the only card that will actually reach you before the sun sets on this Mother’s Day:
As much as I wish being a Supermom is genetic (fingers crossed!), if ever I look around and realize that going the extra mile is not actually coded in my DNA, but a personal choice I must make over and over, then it won't be your genes I owe it to, but your example. I really, TRULY, don't know how you do it. Happy Mother's Day, mama!
I love you!
                                     Some of the most important, beautiful mamas in my life :0)

Saturday, May 11, 2013

All This Introspection! I Blame the V-8.

There are a million things I could write about tonight.  And not just because tonight I’m drinking V-8 Fusion from a wineglass and indulging my flights of fancy, but because it’s been a very long time since I last penned anything raging ‘round my brain and there’s enough material there to bore you straight to sleep.  Which is never my intention, I promise.  You’re welcome.  Besides, I’d quit before I got it all out anyway.  I’d grow bored and tired, or I’d frustrate myself in the tangle of a hopeless metaphor, or perhaps all this V-8 juice would go to my head and I’d have to lie down.   It’s not impossible, you know—this stuff is potent.  

Apparently any reason to quit can be good enough for me if I don’t feel good enough for me.     

It’s just what I do. 

But that’s okay, because people don’t really change, do they?  And if I’m to be successful in life then I must come to terms with who I am and how I work, and find a way to channel the beautiful moments when the time, inclination and inspiration unite and allow me to purge whatever thoughts are thrumming in my fingertips.  Because to me they really are beautiful, and so very, very worth it. 

I don’t want to give up my writing just because I can’t figure out what will make you laugh that day, or because what I’m feeling is so abstract that to articulate it in any logical way would bastardize its significance somehow.  It’s too much pressure!  Self-inflicted pressure to be sure, but even though that implies I can control it, I assure you,  

I cannot.

So my conclusion is this: I can’t write for you anymore.  It has to be for me.  It is, in all the ugliness of pure honesty, the only way I can make this work.    And damn it, I really need this to work.  Not the blog, but the dream.  Writing is the only outlet I’ve ever felt entirely comfortable pouring myself into, as I’m a mediocre conversationalist.  Ask my sisters!  Seventh bullet point, to be exact. The words take time to form in my mind; there is ever a stretch of silence between the time my thought patterns articulate the correct response and the moment they finally breathe to life.  However momentary, it is audible.  And believe me, when I try to run the red light it gets ugly.  Ugly and oh so ditzy!  But when I’m writing, I don’t have to worry about that anymore, because you never have to hear it and I’ll never have to see the exasperation on your face.

Damn, did I digress!  I’ll leave you with this…I’ll still try to make you laugh, because I really, really like to make people laugh.  In the spirit of fairness, however, I should warn you that I’m just as likely to leave you scratching your head, certain that I’m short a few marbles.  If, however, I turn out to be more than you expected and you somehow find yourself able to navigate the convoluted hedge maze of my thoughts, then for sure come back again.

Because clearly, you’re strange too and we should be friends ;0)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

It's Turkey Day!

Happy Thanksgiving, friends!! 

Today, I am thankful for so many things: my family--their health, happiness, and safety--and the lives we've all created.  I'm thankful that FaceTime allows me to invite those loved ones into my home when really they're lightyears away (oh so dramatic today!), and grants my daughters the opportunity to make silly faces with their cousins before they're all too old and cool to make them. 

I'm thankful that Ranger is who he is, and that I recognized it before it was too late.  I pursued him, people, don't ever doubt it.  (Look who's glad I'm so stubborn now, Love!)      

I'm thankful for the million times a day that something happens and I get to say, "Tricky, tricky God...I know that was You!" 

But I'll stop here, because you don't really need or necessarily want to know anything more; you have your own lives to be thankful for--your own families and faiths and futures brimming with possibilities. 

And because I love you all...

I'm thankful for that, too. 

Happy eating, everyone :0) 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Semi-Homemade Mochas: You'd Never Know it Lest I Put it in the Title.

As if bras aren’t torturous enough (especially for tata-challenged women like me, for whom a bra truly has no good purpose other than to torture), suddenly the temperatures drop and donning a bra in the morning is like running an ice-cube around your ribcage.   

Nothing says “WAKE UPPPP!” like plunging your lady bits into an ice tray, no? 
(Can you believe this post is going to end in a recipe for a homemade mocha?  I must be nuts.  Or maybe you are…you’re still reading, after all.)

Anyway!  Every morning this week, as I fastened that thing around my back, the fabric was so cold that I lost my breath and yelped like… well…like I’d just plunged my girly bits into an ice tray.  The imagery here is awful.  I sincerely apologize for any unwanted pictures that might be flashing through your mind right now, but that simile is so perfect it must be a present from the grammar-gods and I was taught never to stare a gift-horse in the face.  Yet another lesson from Super Woman ;0)

Where was I?  Bra…boobs…nippy (the weather, that is)…got it!  So the first time it happened, of course, I dropped it like those teeny, tiiiny, little cups had just sprouted teeth.  But soon I realized that a frigid bra could only mean one, glorious thing: it’s November in the desert, and it’s beginning to feel a LOT like home!  And at home, when the thermostat won’t budge past 40 degrees, you know that clothes might make your skin warm but only something in a steaming mug will warm your bones.  Something chocolately but still caffeiney, of course—babies and bosses are still waiting at the bottom of that cup, after all.   

So without further ado or anecdotal smut, I give you my favorite recipe for a (semi)homemade mocha.   Thank you, C, for this delicious addition to my winter repertoire!     

- Hot, brewed coffee. Strong or weak depending on the day. 
- 1 packet of your favorite instant hot chocolate.
- 1 packet of sweetener (Gasp!  I still use sweetener!  Don't judge.)   
- Flavored creamer for...flavor.  My favorite is Coffee Mate's Peppermint Mocha.

Step 1:
Poor into your empty mug the packets of hot chocolate and sweetener (or sugar of choice).

Step 2:
Pour in just enough hot coffee to cover the powders, then mix thoroughly so it forms a paste.  Beana taught me this trick years ago, and it's still my go-to method for a creamy, lump-free cup o' hot-chocolate, which can really make or break this drink. Remember, Fergie didn't write a song glorifying lovely powdered-chocolate lumps. Think about it.
  Step 3:
Fill the rest of the way with coffee, add your creamer to taste and stir it all up.
Step 4:
Resist the urge to add Bailey's. Or Kahlua. Or Frangelico.  Unless it's after 5pm, in which case you should skip the creamer and head straight for your liquor cabinet.

Somewhere in her oasis, this gal just did a happy dance...  

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Kari Got Her Groove Back

“Luuucyyyy, you got some ‘splainin’ to doooo!” 

Oh alright, my name isn’t Lucy and this mop on my head sure aint fire-engine red, but today they may as well be.  I’m properly chastened, Mr. Ricardo, it won’t happen again! 

As some of you may have noticed (yeah you, daddio), I fell off the map for a while; three whole weeks without writing a word—either of warning or of promise that I’d be back.  You might’ve considered it irresponsible, immature, or, if you’ve followed my story since the beginning, wondered if I’d up and hidden my fears in those big, comfy jeans again.  None of those conclusions would have been wrong.  Incomplete, but not wrong.  

You may also have assumed that I’d forgotten this blog and all you lovely friends who’ve supported my writing, but that’s where you’d be wrong.  SO wrong.  I thought about it and you every day…

More than I care to admit, really.    

See, the initial reason I took a few days off is because my brother-in-law came to visit and I didn’t have time to devote a couple solitary hours to the computer.  But I didn’t make the decision to take a break, it just kind of happened, and that gradual, unintentional shirking of responsibility stressed. me. OUT!  In the back of my mind, in the middle of the night, in the down time between activities – the pressure to write something was a constant companion, sometimes silent, but more often than not screaming at the top of its extraordinarily well-conditioned lungs.  (If only my REAL lungs were so in shape!)   

It felt like I wasn’t calling my best friend even though I’d promised her I would.  You know that feeling, right?   

Long story… if not short, then at least slightly less long…my parents then came to visit for a week, which was followed by a week of pulling up my big girl undies and finding my smile and my groove again. 

So this is me, getting my groove back ;0) 

I know that I could’ve, should’ve, popped in to just say “Hello!” but old habits die hard and if I can’t do something well, I often don’t do it at all.  It’s not an easy road to self-improvement, but I’m trying.  And I can almost guarantee it won’t happen again, even if a post is merely a few lines just to let you know I care. 

Because I really, really do.  And if you’re reading this right now, I owe you. 
Who knew my groove was a cha cha?!



Thursday, October 11, 2012

Too Young to Feel Old

I’m only 28, but sometimes I feel so much older.  And it isn’t because I have two children or because I’ve been married longer than the time it took to graduate college; it’s not because I need to dye my hair every six weeks because I’m already going gray, or even because I have trouble keeping track of what year it is. Yesterday, I went an entire hour-long doctor’s appointment talking about something that happened in 2006, except today (24 hours later) I realized it actually happened in 2002.  It wasn’t anything really important, I guess; nothing I should feel weird about forgetting.  Just heart surgery!

No, last night in bed while I was thinking my way out of a good night’s rest, I realized I feel old because not everything is “in my future” anymore.  And for the first 21 years of my life, in some roundabout way, it seemed everything I did was for that future.   In sports, I practiced hard to earn a scholarship; in school, I studied to get a good job; in love, I barreled through relationships till I met my match.

It was this process of categorizing my past that helped me figure it out.  See, that last one about dating—the breaking hearts and broken hearts, the thrill of new love—knowing it was all in my past and would stay there forever, God-willing, didn’t make me feel old.  Opposite, in fact.

It made me feel alive and young, excited and grateful, all because I made the right choice. The same way I feel when I look at Pebbles and Bam Bam and realize they’re mine.  Obviously, I'm Superwoman!   

But the other things on my list?  Knowing I’ve shut the doors on those chapters of my life feels different, but not in an Al Bundy those were my glory days kind of way.  I’m most definitely not sitting here, pining for another shot at college.  They feel different because, in these two areas that dominated my young life…

I rarely made the right choices, and there is nothing I can do or say to change the way I let them pan out.  There is no more future for those parts of my history.

Tonight’s not the night for details but it is the night to acknowledge that living life half-assed will reward you with nothing but regrets.  And regrets make you feel old no matter how old you actually are. 

So I guess the lesson is, fat asses really are wayyyy better than small ones.  You’re welcome ;0)