Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Mommy Dearest.....

So....Erynn came home for Christmas. We had a lovely Christmas eve: drove down Christmas Tree Lane looking at the lights.

Then we drove thru a neat area that puts luminarias (candles in a bag) throughout their entire neighborhood. Very, very cool. Christmas Day was good -- spent with friends. Christmas evening she and I watched A Muppet Christmas Carol.

Yes, Lecram, I agree: it IS one of the best versions around. But then again, I love anything with a muppet....
Boxing Day was spent shopping -- as is my tradition. And then it was time for Erynn to head for home.
--and all hell broke loose!

::ring ring!::
"Yes, sweetie?"
"Mummy (she thinks she British sometimes) -- what does it mean when the little light that looks like a battery comes on?"
"It means something's wrong with your battery (smart Mom, eh?). Are you out of Fresno already?"
"Is it steady or flashing?"
"It flashes about every minute or two."
"Keep driving. You should be alright."

Ever have one of those moments? I could hear the rimshot. I could feel the thunder. So (said she later), could Erynn. But "keep driving" she did.

::ring ring!::
"Yes, sweetie."
"Mummy, (not the wrapped in cotton kind), the car just died."
"Where are you?"
"I don't know! There's no signs around."
Note: now, if you were driving a car with a blinky warning light, wouldn't you kinda keep track?
"Sweetie, call Roadside. They'll come help you. Then call me back."

::ring ring!::
"Yes, sweet--"
"Mummy, I hate them! ::sob sob:: They made me walk to the next exit to tell them the name, and then they said ::sob sob:: they still didn't know-- they told me ::sob sob:: to call 9-1-1."

Note: now, first, let me say, Erynn is a truly strong and fantastic girl. She works and pays for most of her schooling, gets good grades, and basically blows everyone away with how put together she is. But she sucks at car drama.

Long story short -- I called kowboi -- or Handy Andy, as I like to call him (but only when he's not close enough to hit me). We drove to McFarland, where Erynn was waiting at McDonalds -- after a McOfficer gave her a McLift. Kowboi discovered the problem, and MacGyvered it so we could get it back to Fresno. And we almost made it! Got as far as Kingsburg before it McDied. So I called roadside, had them come get the car and tow it to Fresno. I called some of the Rogues to let them know we were returning and to meet us at Headquarters.

a big thanks, again, to kowboi. A very Handy Andy to take on a trip.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

A Christmas Meme from Cosima and Lime....

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?
Up until a year ago, the answer would have been a hands-down-hot-chocolate. But I went to San Francisco for New Years and had the most incredible Egg Nog……Actually, I had 3 egg nogs…..and a couple of martinis……but no worries!! I wasn’t driving. “Why wasn’t I driving?” you inquire. Because Kermit learned he wasn’t a tree frog.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
Santa always wrapped the presents in a particular paper. We called it the “Santa Paper.” Yes, yes, not very original – but effective. Santa didn’t put tags or ribbon or bows – he just used “his” paper. Worked great until Erynn discovered “his” paper shoved under the couch in July…..

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?
This year I’ve gone with multi on both the house and the tree.

4. Do you hang mistletoe?
No – because the only kissables at the house are the cats. And they’re not good kissers…..But I do think I’ll shove a sprig in my pocket next year for use on shopping sprees.

5. When do you put up your decorations?
I like to put them up the weekend after Thanksgiving, although I it was the 2nd weekend in December this year before I was done. But I insist that the decorations stay up thru 12th night. Christmas officially ends on January 6th.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?
Actually, I don’t have holiday dishes. I’ve always wanted a set: I’d really love to have the set with the 12 Days of Christmas on them.

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child?
One year I won a 7 foot stocking from a local store. I wrapped up stuff from the stocking to give to my brothers and sisters.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
I woke up and heard Santa putting the presents under the tree I crept down the hall to get a peek: saw Mom, Dad, and my two older brothers putting the presents under the tree. Went back to bed. Told my little sister Jo-jo. She had already figured it out.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
Duh. What a stupid question. When Erynn was little, she knew she could talk me into opening a present every day for a week before Christmas!

10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree?
It is a mouse tree. Seriously. All mice. Stop laughing! Really! It’s even got an Angel mouse topper. And Drummer-mice that hang on the lower boughs and play Christmas carols. I mean it! Stop laughing! The only non-mouse thing is the choo-choo that goes around the base: it’s a Rudolph train. If you ever see a mouse train, please buy it. I want it.

Oh…..and I’ve started a Wizard of Oz tree……

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it?
I love snow, especially at Christmas. I would love to spend Christmas snowed in at a cabin in the mountains. With Brad Pitt….or George Clooney……or Daniel Craig.

Back off Lelly!! You haven’t even gone to see him in Bond yet!.

12. Can you ice skate?
As a small child in upstate New York I could! They used to flood the tennis courts and we’d skate there. Shhhh…..don’t tell my mom, but we used to sneak out onto the lake and skate too..

13. Do you remember your favorite gift for Christmas?
That would have to be the Budding Beauty Vanity. Or my guitar. Can I choose both?

14 . What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you?
Letting my family and friends know how much they mean to me.

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert?
chocolate. Anything chocolate.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Erynn and I drive around on Christmas eve looking at the lights and decorations on houses. We try to find new places each year.

17. What tops your tree?
You’re probably still laughing, right? Yes. As I told you above: it’s an Angel-mouse.

18. Which do you prefer giving or receiving?

19. Do you like Candy Canes?
duh. What a stupid question……
20. What is your favorite Christmas Song?
Traditional: Silent Night, Holy Night.

But I love Kathy Mattea’s version of “Mary, Did you Know?” It makes me cry. And…as we all know….it’s not Christmas unless Jayne cries.

Mary Did You Know

Merry Christmas, and God Bless you.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Sucked down the Rabbit Hole

This is the story I've struggled with the most. I've started it often -- but never finished it. Either is was funny -- and it's not a funny story. Or it was depressing -- and I've grown tired of depressed. Or I didn't get it right. Or I was afraid you'd think I was fishing for sympathy.

I'm not. I'm not any of the above. But I did need to get this one out. Allya'll that know me, know the "end result." Somya'll know the beginning, somya'll know the middle. But I felt that allya'll needed to know why this time of year -- the time of year that used to be my absolute favorite time of year -- is now my wobbly-est time of year...

According to my family, “It’s not Christmas unless Jayne cries…”
40 years ago, it was my budding Beauty Vanity, 30 years ago, it was my guitar. 25 years ago, my first Christmas away from my family, 20 years ago, Erynn’s first Christmas. These were all “true” Christmases. They were Christmas because Jayne cried.

And then, there was my Christmas four years ago. The year I got sucked down the rabbit hole—

I was driving home from church – I’d just finished doing my annual Christmas pageant. Erynn hadn’t been there – she’d had an improv rehearsal. But where had Mik-
::ring ring::
“Michael! Where were you?”
“Where are you?”
“I’m on my way home – did you forget about the Christmas pageant?””Oh – yeah! Guess I did – how’d it go?”
“Great! Everyone liked the li-“
“Where are you?”
“I’m on my way home – do you need something?”
“Nope – just wondering where you are.”
“Yeah-yeah, I’m on my way home. I’ll tell you all about it in a bit.”
“Home in a bit” was delayed by a quick trip to the store.
::ring ring!::
“Jayne, where you at?”
“Sorry, babe – had to stop at Target for tape.”
“Oh – okay. See you in a bit.”
And then, I’m pulling in the driveway. It’s a long, dark driveway. I punch the garage-door opener, and pull the car in. As I get out of the car, I’m surprised to suddenly find a strange car pulled in right behind me.
“Can I help you?” I ask warily.
“I’ve got family court papers for you.”
“Oh, you must have the wrong address—“
“What’s your name, ma’am?”
“Jayne. Jayne Day-Richardson.”
“Nope. Right person. Right address,” he curtly responds as he hands me a thick stack of documents, “Merry Christmas.”
Shell-shocked, I take the papers. Surely this is a mistake – But it’s no mistake: the papers have his name vs. my name. “He must be dying – or he’s won the lottery” are the only two thoughts in my numb brain. Autopilot guides my feet into the house – “Where’s Dad?” I ask Erynn. “He’s not home,” she responds from the couch, “But someone has been here twice looking for you.” I continue to the back of the house – still on autopilot. “I’m gonna take a shower, sweetie, okay?” I’m aware of her response – I’m just not sure what it was. I turn the shower on – having no intention of getting in – I just need it to drown the sound.
I dial his number. No answer.
Pain like an arrow pierces my brain: He didn’t take the truck in to be worked on – he took the truck.
I dial his number. No answer.
Another arrow pierces and runs me through: he didn’t take the horse-trailer to be painted – he took it and hid it.
I dial his number. No answer.
Another arrow pierces and runs me through: he wasn’t getting rid of old clothes last week – he was moving them.
I dial his number. No answer.
Yet another arrow pierces and runs me through: this is why he didn’t want both of our names on Erynn’s car.
I dial his number. No answer.
An arrow as wide as a car knocks me to the floor: this is why everyone acted so strange in Fiji – they knew that “this” was coming.
I dial his number.
“Michael. What have you done?”
“Jayne. It was time—“
“Michael. What have you done? Is this how you –“
“Jayne. We aren’t happy. It “
“Michael. Where’s the talking? Where’s the trying to fix?”
“Jayne. I can’t talk to you. You never listen. You never support-“
“Michael. How can you do this – now? Erynn graduates in six months. I’m getting ready to do my student teaching. You do this now? Two days before Christmas? Without talking?”
“Jayne, it was time. You never—“
“Michael, don’t. I can’t believe that this is how you do THIS. After 21 years – you let some stranger serve me papers in the driveway. What were you thinking?”
“Jayne. I’m not happy. And I deserve to be happy. That’s the most important thing in life, right?”
“No, Michael. Actually, the most important thing is our daughter. What—“
“Well, you know Jayne – that’s another problem. You always put her first—“
I don’t remember how the conversation ended. I remember climbing in and sitting on the floor of the shower – letting the water course down my arrow scarred body—sitting there, shaking and crying…..
-cause it’s not Christmas, unless Jayne cries……

Thursday, December 07, 2006


We are a family of word-lovers. My mother instilled in each of us a desire to know words. Instead of “said” we were encouraged to use replied, retorted, exclaimed, whispered, shouted, admonished (personal fave) – well, you get the picture. There were a couple of word rules:
1) we couldn’t use it if we didn’t know what it meant. And
2) we couldn’t say it unless it was in the dictionary.

This was my mother’s way of keeping us from cussing – wouldn’t work so much now, ‘cause “those words” are in many dictionaries -But it worked just fine back then.

We couldn’t call each other f*ck*rs, bi$ch@s, as$ho(es, or even ba4t#rds – cause we couldn’t find them in the dictionary. But phenomenal alternatives were found, and creative compounds built: Mucus-hound, Feces-dweller, larvae-lover.

What a wonderful life, eh? (Rhetorical – yes, it WAS a wonderful life…..)

Poor Jason...
Jason is my youngest brother, and as a child he received quite the pickings on by his five older siblings. We would call him names...he wouldn’t know what they meant...he would look them up... – and cry... and then we would heartily laugh.

Jason spent oodles of hours with eyes in the dictionary....

One day, I was sitting outside with my sister JoJo and her boyfriend – the boyfriend we all tolerated, but considered a fecal-dweeling maggot-munching, toad-toting fiend.

“Whatcha doing?” Jason asked.

“Noneofyerbizness, Four-eyes,” Danny sneered.

--see why we didn’t like him? I mean it’s one thing to pick on your OWN sibling…

“Hey,” I retorted, “Don’t call him that—“

“It’s okay,” interjected Jason, “I don’t care what he says. He’s a hemorrhoid!”

A what!?!?” I choked.

“A hemorrhoid,” Jason calmly repeated.

“Jason,” I admonished (heh-heh, personal fave), “You know the rules: if you don’t know what it means, you can’t say it.”

Hemorrhoid,” explained Jason, “ Hemoorrhoid. A painful and inflamed area near the butt-OCKS. And that is what Danny is: a painful area near the butt-OCKS.”

Dontcha jus' love it? I mean, dontcha!?!?!?

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Casino Royale

I went to see Lelly’s lover

Okay, okay, not her “real-life” one….I went to see her “if-he-shows-up-on-the-doorstep-I-get-to-do-him-without-jeopardizing-my-long-term-relationship” lover:

“The name is Bond. James Bond”

Okay – to all the critics and purists
--which, by the way – how can you be a “Bond purist?” I mean, there’s been how many Bonds? Six? Seven? Get over yourselves already.

And Bond – get over here!

::Spoiler alert ahead::

Okay – if you don’t wanna know what happens – leave now.

Did you leave? Did you stay?

Last warning…..

Hmmmm…..Money penny gets some! Yes! Money penny gets some Bond lovin’ in the movie. Fanfrickingtastic, I say. Okay, okay, her name is Vesper Lyn, but when she meets Bond on the train (hey, I warned you) she says, “I’m the Money” to which Bond replies, “Every penny of it.” (FYI -I'm stealing this line. I will say, "I'm the Money" you reply, "Every penny of it." Deal?)

….sorry, went to the store…..

Okay, fast forward over all the boring plot details, lets just leave it at Money penny, aka Vesper Lyn (what a non-Bond-chick name, eh?) rolls on the floor, in the sand, and on a boat with Bond – and what a Bond he is – all chiseled and nekkid. Oh! And there’s a scene where (::spoiler alert!::) he’s tied nekkid in a chair—

God....what a gun.....

….again, I’ve gone to the store…..sigh, Vespers getting the vapors…..

So, see? Perhaps there’s hope, eh? I mean, if the Movie’ Money penny is getting’ some, perhaps the Rogue’ Money penny….

…oh hell, I think I’ll just stay here at the store. Do you need me to pick up anything?

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Blogthings again!

Argh!!!!!!! That silly Lime. She knows how crazy I get with these things....

You Are Fish

You have a well formed palate and a daring appetite. If it's served to you, you'll at least try it.People are pretty scared of your exotic ways. But once they get a taste of you, they're addicted!
What Kind of Meat Are You?
People are usually a bit scared of me -- but I never thought it was because of my exotic ways. Geez, I didn't know my ways were exotic! a whole new meaning to the Rogue BBQ cry of, "Get off the meat!" eh?
You Are Mud Pie
You're the perfect combo of flavor and depthThose who like you give into their impulses
What Kind of Pie Are You?
....still waiting for SOMEONE to give into their impulse(s). Hell, I'll supply the pie!
You Are a Jam Cookie
On the outside, you project a straight-laced, innocent vibe. But on the inside, you're complex, exotic, and full of flavor.
What Kind of Cookie Are You?
all this exotic and impulse talk has sent me to the store......back soon!
You Are a Powdered Devil's Food Donut
A total sweetheart on the outside, you love to fool people with your innocent image.On the inside you're a little darker, richer, and more complex.You're a hedonist who demands more than one pleasure at a time.Decadent and daring, you test the limits of human indulgence.
What Donut Are You?
okay,okay -- when I did this the first time, I lied. I said I would only eat one donut, and that I liked KrispyKreme. It told me I was a plain glazed donut.
ME!?!?!? Plain!?!?!? Glazed!?!?!?!? No way! Must be a mistake -- especially after all the exotic and impulse stuff above. So... I told the truth this time....and look: now I'm a hedonist. Look out Sandals! Here I come!!!
You Are Chinese Food
Exotic yet ordinary.People think they've had enough of you, but they're back for more in an hour.
What Kind of Food Are You?
...and AGAIN I'm exotic.....yet, ordinary......isn't that an oxymoron? When are the people coming back? Has it been an hour yet?
what a wonderful meal that was. and, of course, after a full meal (and chinese food), one gets dessert. And what better dessert, than a fortune cookie?
Your Fortune Is
Passionate kiss like spider web, soon lead to undoing of fly.
The Wacky Fortune Cookie Generator

a kiss is like a spider web? Did the fly die? Is that a good thi -- oh......THAT kind of fly.....

-'scuse me. I've gone to the store, again....

Monday, November 27, 2006

Homeward Bound

I'm flying over the midwestern states - chasing a red sunset all the way. I've a northern window seat, and scan the horizon as we careen through the evening sky. That was always my job when we flew. Voldemort flew the plane; I sat in the co-pilot seat, talked on the radio, made sure we were flying at the correct altitude
-- okay, quick lesson here (after all, I am a teacher, and can't help teaching....) Planes fly "VFR" which is "visual" and "IFR" which is instrument (not, "I Follow Roads"). Did you know that there may only be 500 feet between a plane flying VFR and one flying IFR?!?!? IFR planes flying 0-170degree courses fly on the odd thousand, VFR planes fly on the odd thousand plus 500ft. Above 180degree courses fly on the even thousands, VFR (again) +500feet. Holy shit!!!! So if some Yahoo didn't set the altimeter right.....or is lazy on the yoke......

--which brings me back to MY job -- and the most important part (I thought) of my job: scanned the horizon for other planes. "Why did you scan the horizon?" you ask, "Isn't that the job of the God (otherwise known as the Air Traffic Controller)?"
here is my recollection of one of our trips to Sunny Southern California.....

GOD (ATC#1): ......TwoZuluDelta, this ATC#1. You have traffic at 25,000, 3 miles out.

APj: "Thank you ATC#1. I'll keep my eyes open." Geez, Mike! 25,000 ft!?!? That yahoo thinks I can see 15,000 feet above me!?!? Ha! Like I'm really worried about--HOLY SHIT!

Mike: What?

APj: "ATC#1, Negative on 25,000ft 3mile out traffic. But I've got traffic on my 3 o'clock at 15,000ft, less than 1 mile out.

ATC#1: I don't have that bird.

APj: Mike?!? WTF!?!?!? What does he mean he doesn't have that bird?!? I can see the pil--

Mike: Calm down, Jayne. He just means that plane is under someone elses watch. Remember: I told you that all the Traffic Control Centers intersect--

APj: Yeah, yeah. Fine. Hey! Watch your altitude! Aren't you supposed to be on the +500 ft thingy?

Mike: You radio. Me Fly Plane.

Apj: You crash, Me jump from Plane!

ATC#1: TwoZuluDelta, I'm passing you off to Riverside, God#2.

God#2/ATC#2: TwoZuluDelta, I have you. Please be advised you have traffic at 32,000ft, 15 miles out.

APj: "Thank you God#2." Geez, Mike! What is it with this "traffic at zillions of feet" crap?

Mike: Yeah, I know. But they have to tell us when anyone is in our airspace. That's their--

APj: Shit!

Mike: What?!?

APj: "God#2. Negative on 32,000ft, 15miles out. But I've got a plane at my 9 o'clock, at approx 13,000ft and less than 1 mile.

God#2: Hmmm.....I don't see him on my scope.

Mike: Jayne!?!? What are you doing!?!?!? Why do you have your hand on the door?

APj: Mike, I hope to God you don't hit any turbulence. 'cause I feel the slightest jolt, and I'm jumping!

He smiled, and told me I was being silly. He thought I was being melodramatic. Over-reacting. Yup.....right up until this final exchange as we were on our final approach into John Wayne/Orange County Airport.

God#4: TwoZuluDelta, what's your maximum cruise speed?

APj: 150 MPH

God#4: TwoZuluDelta.....ahhh......what kind of plane are you?

APj: Cessna 182.

God#4: TwoZuluDelta....ahhhhhh.....maintain maximum speed. You've got a 727 right behind you on final.

APj: What?!?!?

So there we were, in our tiny little Cessna 182......screaming over the fence on our final approach......not allowed to slow down until we were halfway down the runway.........bigass bird on our tail.........

so now you know why APj is looking out the window when she flies.....

Thursday, November 23, 2006


I'm in Nebraska, visiting my folks for the holidays. My Dad is not doing well -- but is doing better than many expected. It is hard to see him struggle for each breath -- but he still makes me smile. My Mom gets frustrated, but still loves him.

And I am cold!!!! It is 40 degrees outside -- and I am sitting down at the schoolyard stealing their internet signal.

There is so much that is wrong in the world, in my country, in my neighborhood, in my family, and in my home. But there is so much we all have to be thankful for. A good time to pause and give thanks to parents. For showing me grace in the face of adversity. daughter, Erynn. For showing me that even though I mess somethings up, she isn't one of them. students. For showing me daily that what I do has impact and effect on them. Rogue friends. kien, Marcel, SSM, Mustang, Kowboi. You pick me up when I'm feeling down. Roguish chica's. Cindy, Nic, Rachel, Katie, Kamotion. rock. Must have an outing when I return. blog buddies. Kamotion (who actually fits in the two catagories above), Kfarmer, Lime, and SGL. thanks for all the great and encouraging responses.

It is frickin' cold and my fingers are freezing. Gonna go back to Mom's and eat. I'll be back in CA by Saturday.

Love ya'll lots...


Friday, November 10, 2006

You are The Empress

Beauty, happiness, pleasure, success, luxury, dissipation.

The Empress is associated with Venus, the feminine planet, so it represents,
beauty, charm, pleasure, luxury, and delight. You may be good at home
decorating, art or anything to do with making things beautiful. THIS is why I love to putz about the house - painting, flooring, electrifying, yarding, weeding and planting. Because I must make it beautiful....of course, the process is not beautiful at all: piles and stacks abound...

The Empress is a creator, be it creation of life, of romance, of art or business. While the Magician is the primal spark, the idea made real, and the High Priestess is the one who gives the idea a form, the Empress is the womb where it gestates and grows till it is ready to be born.

So -- this is saying that I'm a womb!?!?!? So THAT'S why I can't lose weight....

This is why her symbol is Venus, goddess of beautiful things as well as love. Even so, the Empress is more Demeter, goddess of abundance, then sensual Venus. She is the giver of Earthly gifts, yet at the same time, she can, in anger withhold, as Demeter did when her daughter, Persephone, was kidnapped. In fury and grief, she kept the Earth barren till her child was returned to her.

True, true, true...whatever you do....don't piss me off...and yes -- when angered I react by withholding and striking out.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Saturday, November 04, 2006


Your Birthdate: November 5

You have many talents, and you are great at sharing those talents with others.

Many people have wrongly interpreted that as being nosey.

Most people would be jealous of your clever intellect, but you're just too likeable to elicit jealousy.

Uh-huh. And if they still act all jealous and stuff....I just dump the bodies where they'll never be found.....

Progressive and original, you're usually thinking up cutting edge ideas.

Don't forget the witty reparte.

Quick witted and fast thinking, you have difficulty finding new challenges.

in other words: I have A.D.D.

Your strength: Your superhuman brainpower

(doncha just hear Ren and Stimpy: "I will take over the world today! Muh-hahhahhah.")

Your weakness: Your susceptibility to boredom

Hel-LO!?!?!? I can't help it! It's the A.D.D.

Your power color: Tangerine

what a sucky color. I mean, what's so powerful about Tangerine? Unless you throw it. Or shoot it out of a potato gun. Hmmm......

Your power symbol: Ace

Do you mean Ace Freeley? The guitar player from Kiss? I like guitar players....maybe not with so much makeup.....or better shoes than me....hey - did you see that Payless Shoes was having a --err, sorry....A.D.D......
Your power month: May

May?!?!? Power!?!?!? Okay - I'm going with rulesschmules here. My power month is MARCH.....cause that's when the Rogue is!!!

What Does Your Birth Date Mean?
November 5th
1960 - Tilda Swinton, English actress
Hmmm..... I'm the same age as the White Witch. Do I look older or younger? Careful! Think before you answer.....
1913 - Vivien Leigh, English actress (d. 1967)
Ah wood jus luv ta stahnd on thoz steaps an cawl: "Rhett! Rhett!"
1998 - Lewinsky scandal: As part of the impeachment inquiry, House Judiciary Committee chairman Henry Hyde sends a list of 81 questions to US President Bill Clinton.
Great. AGAIN....somebodyotherthanme gettin' some action on MY birthday...

1605 - Gunpowder Plot: A plot led by Robert Catesby to blow up the English Houses of Parliament is thwarted when Sir Thomas Knyvet, a justice of the peace, finds Guy Fawkes in a cellar below the Parliament building.
Remember, remember the fifth of November,
Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I see no reason why gunpowder treason
should ever be forgot.
Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes,'twas his intent
to blow up the King and the Parliament.
Three score barrels of powder below,
Poor old England to overthrow:
By God's providence he was catch'd
With a dark lantern and burning match.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, make the bells ring.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, God save the King!
Hip hip hoorah!
One of these days I WILL be in London to celebrate my birthday! But until then, I expect my friends on that side of the pond (kien and Lelly) to celebrate for me.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Happy Halloween

Errr…..sorry it’s been so long. I kinda got dragged/drugged?
--No, definitely not drugged….I would have remembered that--
--into a grove.

Hobb’s Grove, to be exact. My good friend Lore owns and operates what I think is the scariest Halloween haunt this side of Transylvania.

My daughter, Erynn, worked there one year and lost her voice. Next day her teacher asked her why she was so hoarse. Erynn’s reply? “I lost my voice screaming and chasing people with a knife through the kitchen….” Yes….I did receive a phone call…..

--But back to Lore – she called halfway through her “run” with a plea for help. She needed me to come handle the money. Hmm…..a chance to be Scrooge McDuck and count loads of money? Sure! But it meant I was teaching during the day, and counting $$ til passed midnight. Bone tired. Ha-ha….I said bone…..

And then other night was Halloween. Can I just say, I love Halloween? I do! I love decorating, although time got away from me this season (see excuse #1 above). I used to take all the neighbor kids trick-or-treating on a flatbed trailer (out here in the country, the houses are fa-a-a-r-r-r apart). I love dressing up. The other night, I was Dorothy. As in “Wizard of Oz” Dorothy….but, well….it was kinda Hoochie Dorothy…or maybe Oz Afterhours…….

I remember one costume from college – I went as WonderWoman. Costume came from Fredricks of Hollywood. So, yes, I guess it would have been HoochieWonderWoman (hmmmm…seeing a personal pattern I wasn’t aware of….). Great costume! Tiny bikini bottom and halter top (and I was forty pounds lighter), five-inch platforms, red stripes in hair. Uh-huh – DEFINITELY HoochieWonderfulWoman. Feeling all superheroine and all strutting around…..took off platforms…….and proceeded to step on the handle of a pair of scissors (with left foot) and imbed the blade of said scissors into my right foot. Severing an artery.
Did you know artery blood will shoot up over two feet? Yup. It can. Yup. It did.

Tied towels around gusher (formerly known as Jayne’s foot) and headed to the hospital. Upon reaching the Emergency Room I realized that HoochieWonderWoman was probably going to be mistaken for HookerWenchWoman, and insisted that my friends go and procure an acceptable gown for me. Doctors, Mom and friends all had a fantastic laugh at my expense. If I’d have had that Truth Lasso I would have hung them all…

I was on crutches for 6 weeks because of the artery damage. I grew so tired of the following exchange -

Stranger: Sorry you’re on crutches. Skiing accident?
Me: No. I stepped on a pair of scissors—
Stranger: Scissors!?!?! How did you do that?
Me: Well, I took off my Wonderwoman shoes—
Stranger: WonderWoman? Ya’ wanna rope me with your lasso of truth?
Me: Why, so you really have to tell me how much of an ass you are?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

I took this quiz
at eSPIN-the-Bottle:
The eSPIN Personality Test
and here's what I got:
Rock Star

Take this quiz yourself.

Yeah -- that's right.

APj is a fricking RockStar.

Now where are my groupies!?!?!?!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Jack Ingram Love You

Okay all....I'm not a big country music fan. BUT....songs like this are just to....ahhhhh....motherloving perfect.

And can I say -- I just wanna be the hot chick with the baseball bat and the shotgun?
Oh Yeah....

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

First stage kiss......

A teacher/friend of mine is currently double understudy(ing) a local musical--which got a small group of us waxing nostalgic about our different "firsts" onstage. (Dirty rogues, offstage firsts are for a different post)

My first stage kiss was my sophmore year in high school. Somehow, I beat out all the senior theatre girls for the lead in "An Inspector Calls." I was so excited! My first real play -- and I got the lead! And the male lead was kinda cute -- Paul Somethingorother. Cute, and a bit strange -- but hey! aren't all theatre folk kinda strange and roguish?

I read through the script and discover -- egads! I've got to kiss this guy.
::and Jimi echoes, " 'Scuse me, while I kiss the sky!" ::
guitar whines :: dar-dar-dar dar-dar-dar... ::

deep breath....count to ten. Okay. Please remember, my only real kiss to date had been with that guitar-playing rogue who had dubbed me "Little Fox." Certainly that was not the kiss expected!?!?!? I called a friend who had done some theatre in the past:

Me: Kenny! I got the lead!
Kenny: Cool
Me: I gotta kiss some guy on the stage
Kenny: Cool
Me: I don't know how to do a stage kiss
Kenny: Not cool. Need help?
Me: Yeah. Can you come over and help me?
Kenny: Cool.

okay, yeah-yeah-- THAT one I KNEW was hitting on me -- I wasn't quite so naive then.

So Kenny came over and we -- ahem -- rehearsed. alot. It took a number of tries, but he said I finally had it right. So off I went to school -- for the real rehearsal.

I'm doing my scene -- hitting my marks and lines, and just basically being fanfrickingtastic (I was much more confident then too) and "THE KISS" is coming up:
Paul has just proposed and offered me a gigantic ring. Mummy and Daddy are beaming proudly. Tears come to my eyes as I wrap my arms around Paul and move in for 'THE KISS"

--and am engulfed in the putrid smell of sauerkraut.

"Omigawd!" I frantically thought to myself, "Did I fart? Did he fart? Where is that smell com--"
"Darling," Paul says,
--and it is immediately clear that no one farted. Something or possibly someone has died in Paul's mouth.

"Sweetheart," I respond, pulling away and to the left. Reeling, I somehow find the courage and fortitude to finish the scene.

"Okay!" enthuses the director, "That was pretty good -- especially for the first run-through of that scene. Paul, you need to pull Jayne in close....blah-blah-blah, yada-yada.....

--oh and Jayne? You were a bit quick on the kiss. Try holding for 15 seconds."

I did the play. It was amazing. I was more than terrific. I held that fricking kiss with the Manwhoswalloweddeadshit for 15 seconds.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Picking on Julie (a quasi-Da Count)

when you're the oldest girl, you pick on your little sisters. When my baby sister, Julie, broke her arm while jumping from the Stereo stand to the couch --
--hey, I don't know why we thought it was so much fun -- we just did...
--we made her promise to not tell Mom that we had all been doing it. Poor thing -- there she lay --in agony-- while we made her promise to face the music alone....

And then there was the time when it was my turn to get to go shopping with Mom (hey, with six kids, an outing alone with Mom was rare), and Julie wanted to go. I said no. She said she was going. She tried to beat me to the car. I arrived at the car, dove in, and slammed the door. The door of a VW Bus. The door of a VW Bus on her hand -- or more succinctly -- two of the fingers on her left hand. Which left her with wrinkly fingernails for the rest of her life. Which, of course, she pointed out when she got married. Geez -- some people never let things go....

In most families, this ceases when you become an adult. Not so in my family. Poor Julie.......

When we were kids, sister JoJo had a 24" doll named Francesca. Francesca had beautiful brown ringlet curls, and wore a kind of Victorian Wedding(ish) gown. JoJo and I loved her. Julie thought she was evil. And would lock her in the closet every chance she had. Eventually, Francesca was relegated to the attic -- and forgotten. For many years. Decades even.

Until one year, when we all ventured home to Nebraska for a family visit. Julie's daughter, Madi, was around a year old. Julie had left JoJo and I babysitting while she and her husband went out. I don't remember who thought of it first -- I actually think we both had the thought at the same time -- and we scampered up to the attic -- screaming to Mom, "Where's Francesca!?!?!?" A few boxes later - eureka! Mission accomplished! Francesca was brought downstairs, and all was made ready for Julie's return.

JoJo and I waited, wiggly and giggly, until we heard the front door open. Julie and Marc came into the living room. Marc smiled and said, "How cute!"

Julie, silver bullets zipping from her eyes, glared and said, "Why is that evil thing reading a book to my innocent daughter?!?!?!?!"

Julie -- I love you sweetie. As horrible as I was to you (in child and adult-hood), I can't believe you got me through my divorce and took me to China! Oh, and thanks for not leaving me stranded in China.....

**FINAL NOTE Edited on 10/1/06**
::manical laugh::
Years later, Julie saw that old episode of Twilight Zone (or the other one?) with the doll that walks around the house killing the family. She said that doll and Francesca were evil sisters.....silly, silly, girl.....
Francesca always said she was an only child...

Monday, September 25, 2006

My Mom - Part Duex

--or "part doo" - as what the shit?!?!?!? If my Mom finds out that I made her sound the saint, I might be in I thought I'd share some of the errrrrr less stellar but still shiny memories of me mum:

1. My mom never said no. Before you get your hopes or hackles (whichever the case) - that's not to say she let us do whatever. No, she never said no. She sang it. Sang it!?!?!?
Mom: APj! Time to come inside!
Me: Mom, can I just stay outside a little longer?
Mom: No. It's too late.
Me: Aw, pleasepleaseplease can I just stay outside a little bit longer? ________(insert current bestfriend's name) 's mom always lets her--
Mom: (a sing-songy tune) "No, no, --"
Me: (running to the house, trying to stop her from finishing) Ahhhhhhhh! Mom!!!!! Stop--Mom
Mom: "-- a thousand times no. I'd rather die than say yes."
Me: Geez, thanks Mom. Now we gotta move again.

2. I was the straw that inevitably broke the camels back. Hey, with six kids, it was bound to happen, but it seemed to happen to me more often than the rest of the clan. What do I mean, "break the camel's back?"
Upon arriving home from track practice, I hurriedly sat down to eat.
Mom: What kind of milk would you like?
Me (thinking to self): Choice? That means we have chocolate milk!!!! Special Day, yeah!!!
Me(aloud): Chocolate, please.
Mom proceeds to fix me a plate of food, and brings me a glass of milk. White Milk. As in the non-chocolate variety.
Me: Hey, I asked for chocolate milk.
Everything switches to slow-mo as
a. Mom tosses the milk in my face (really) ,
b. a look of shock and tears mixes with the milk on my face.
c. a look of horror comes over my Mom's face.
d. we both burst into tears in the kitchen.

3. And, my all time favorite. Growing up, I noticed that there weren't a lot of baby pics of me. Unlike my two older brothers, my pics seemed to start around 6months to one year old. Oh sure, there's a picture of a bald baby in a crib that they SAID was me, but really......So, of course, I grew up thinking that I was adopted. Whenever I felt my mom was being unfair, (please refer to #1 and #2 above), I would scream -- err--suggest to my mother, "Why don't you just tell me the truth! You know I'm adopted."
One day, in which I was (according to my mother) being unusually hateful, as opposed to my normally hateful self (again, according to me mum), I spewed -- err--suggested the above to my mother. My Mother was (and still is) the queen of the one-line zingers. Hey, now you know where I get my wit. To which my mother responded, "What makes you think we'd pick you?"
::rimshot:: "thankyou, thankyou very much"

Sunday, September 24, 2006


So Lecram got me hooked on this image story generator.
"What are you putting in there, APj?"
"Nothing.... but I wish there was a way to save the stories--"
"There is! Just--"
And the Wizard proceeds to hook me up with a screen capture program. Which is, of course, free (which is just the way Lecram likes it -- free!!!!)

So here are some of my favorite stories (so far):

I know, I KNOW!!!! Stop now.....while you still can......

Back from the Wedding!

So -- I've just returned from Paso Robles. NO -- not my wedding --wedding of my priest's daughter. I met her (almost) 10 years ago. Her dad, the "brand new priest" called and wanted to know if I could toss his daughter from a plane. Seriously. She was turning 18 and wanted to "jump from a perfectly good airplane." I said, "Sure!" and set it in motion. Of course, on the way to the airport I thought, "WTF!?!?!? What if something bad happens!?!?!?!? I'll have to find a new church!! What are the consequences for killing priest's offspring?" Thankfully, nothing bad happened. But Em and I remained close -- even after she moved to Germany!
The wedding was a wonderful, family only event held at the Meridian Winery in Paso Robles. I was nervous on my way over -- hate weddings now that I'm the "divorced woman." You know, the one that throws the balance off at the table (whatever are we to do with the extra seat!?!?). Lecram shored me up via the phone ("Hey! You might get lucky!") No such luck -- but really, I wasn't looking.....

Got up early this morning and drove over to Morro Bay. Saw a this big rock, and walked over to it.

Yup -- big rock.

These two birds followed me most of the way over. Don't know why...

Friday, September 22, 2006

My Mom

I've shared stories about my daughter Erynn. I've regaled you with tales of my (evil) brother, Pastor Jeff, and other siblings. I've even told you of my Dad. The only one I've left out is my Mom.
No.....not because she is the least of them....but because she is the MOST. How can I begin to describe my Mom? The words escape me....yes, me -- who (seemingly) can always find something (whether appropriate or inapprop) to say.
Mom was one of the first female animal husbandry majors at the University of Nebraska. She says that part of the reason she picked that major was so she could wear pants (not a skirt), to school. She was very active in the Tack and Bridle Club (horsey stuff) --so active in fact, that at one point they wanted to elect her President. Which, of course, wasn't allowed by the by-laws (no women in office). She was an excellent swimmer. Still is to this day! She swims laps at the YWCA twice a week.
My niece Madison has had the priveledge of growing up in the same town as my Mom -- and has reaped rewards that my daughter is sometimes envious of. My mother took a "mommy and me" dancing class with Madison when Madison was 3. The image of my Mother (then in her late sixties) fairy and flower dancing brings a smile to my face. Mom would go on field trips with her daycare -- where there would soon be a dozen kids all calling her, "Grandma!" To which Madison would reply, "Not YOUR Nama, MY Nama!" My mother volunteers in Madison's school library.
Of course, Erynn and Grandma share their own bond: Erynn is in the same college sorority that my Mom was in, and proudly wears Grandma's pin -- of which her sorority sisters are envious.

Growing up, I could talk to my Mom about anything. Uh-huh...anything. I remember staying up until the wee hours of the night talking about friends, enemies, choices, faith, God. In fact, I told my Mom that I was going to have sex......a week before I HAD sex! I summoned her to my room, and calmly told her my plans. She told me she disagreed with my reasons, but that she was glad I told her. Anything! My friends all loved her -- and told me how lucky I was.

Through all my choices - bad and good -- my mother has always been in my corner. Even when she hasn't agreed with me -- she has supported me. I think I'm a pretty good mom myself, but I pale in comparison to her.

I do not think I would be where or what or who I am today if it hadn't been for my Mom.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

So, once again I found myself on blogthings....taking mindless quizes.....which, perhaps aren't so mindless....
It is amazing what I learn about myself -- especially when I reflect on the answers.
--As usual -- my reflections are in red....

Your Five Factor Personality Profile


You have high extroversion.
You are outgoing and engaging, with both strangers and friends.
You truly enjoy being with people and bring energy into any situation.
Enthusiastic and fun, you're the first to say "let's go!"

It surprises many when I tell people that I'm really shy. Inside me is a scared little girl who wants nothing more than to curl up in a ball. But, thanks to my "airforce brat" upbringing, (complete with many moves) and my discovery of theater at a young(ish) age -- I found a way of dealing with it.

Though I still find myself (often) wanting to just play turtle. (which, before someone snidely asks, is NOT a couples game......)

You have high conscientiousness.
Intelligent and reliable, you tend to succeed in life.
Most things in your life are organized and planned well.
But you borderline on being a total perfectionist.

I never thought of myself as organized or a perfectionist -- until I got divorced! Finding the rug pulled out from beneath my feet (in more ways than one), made me realize that I'm okay with being spontaneous -- as long as I've got "spontaneous event" scheduled in....


You have medium agreeableness.
You're generally a friendly and trusting person.
But you also have a healthy dose of cynicism.
You get along well with others, as long as they play fair.

Only MEDIUM agreeableness!?!?!?!? And what, pray tell, would an unhealthy dose of cynicism look like!?!?!? Play Fair? How the hell do you expect to win if you play fair.

--stupid quiz.....stupid answer....

You have low neuroticism.
You are very emotionally stable and mentally together.
Only the greatest setbacks upset you, and you bounce back quickly.
Overall, you are typically calm and relaxed - making others feel secure.

Err....okay, strike that tirade above....don't want to have to change to High Neuroticism....I do bounce back quick (even a bounce from an airplane) - but I fear many of you would disagree with the "mentally together" bit.

Are you feeling secure? good....

Openness to experience:

Your openness to new experiences is high.
In life, you tend to be an early adopter of all new things and ideas.
You'll try almost anything interesting, and you're constantly pushing your own limits.
A great connoisseir of art and beauty, you can find the positive side of almost anything.

Smartest thing so far! Duh! Open to MOST new experiences -- although I have had some dating issues.

I will try almost anything -- and think that I have tried almost everything....

and yes, I do always try to find the positive. I think too many people waste too much time on the negative crap. Like I always say, " That baggage you're carrying could sink the Titanic! throw it out of the boat!"

Thanks for letting me take this self-absorbed journey.

Monday, September 11, 2006

There Comes a Reckoning Every So Often in History.

"Where were you on this day?"
Many of my students asked me this today, and I shared the last entry with them (from my actual journal). A tiny bug of inspiration bit me, and as today passed, I realized a pattern in our country: each generation has an event that marks and defines them.

Dear Diary,
It has been a hard winter, and spring is not looking any better. Ever since the stock market crashed on October 29, 1929. “Black Tuesday” they call it. Dad tried to keep the house and farm, but the weather turned against us. Now we’ve got nothing. We’ve been driving for weeks now – headed to California. There’s eight of us left. Grandpa died last night. It made me sad, but Momma said he was smiling and talking to angels. He was talking about mashed potatoes and gravy. That made me so hungry. Most towns we go through are real nice – they’ve got soup lines set up, and they don’t mind feeding us, as we’re on our way to California.

We read this headline as we went through Chicago:

Dear Diary,
I am still in shock. We all sat, glued to the radio, as President Roosevelt declared that the day would “live on in infamy.” How did this happen? Why did the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor? I still cry when I see the pictures that were in the newspaper. All those poor men that were still sleeping on the U.S.S. Arizonia…..I wonder if they woke up? I wonder if they just died in their sleep. Momma says I shouldn’t speak like that, but I can’t help it. Frankie went and signed up for the army. He said he just felt like he had to do it. Katie left yesterday for San Francisco. She’s gonna be a Rosey Riveter – she’s gonna help build battleships! Can you believe it? A girl building battleships!

Dear Diary,
He was so young. We thought of him, a King (a young and handsome one), and of D.C., Camelot. Our royalty. Our future – the “New Frontier.” And now, our frontier has been striped – shot dead in Dallas. I remember seeing him and Jackie in that limo, smiling and waving…… I am so sad, it’s hard to move…..but I found comfort in Earl Warren’s eulogy:
It has been said that the only thing we learn from history is that we do not learn. But surely we can learn if we have the will to do so. Surely there is a lesson to be learned from this tragic event.
If we really love this country, if we truly love justice aqd mercy, if we fervently want to make this Nation better for those who are to follow us, we can at least abjure the hatred that consumes people, the false accusations that divide us, and the bitterness that begets violence. Is it too much to hope that the martyrdom of our beloved President might even soften the hearts of those who would themselves recoil from assassination, but who do not shrink from spreading the venom which kindles thoughts of it in others?

Dear Diary,
I remember being on top of the World Trade Center. Erynn and I went to New York in 1999, and one our highlights was the trip to the top. We laughed as our ears popped on the way up in the elevator. We stood on the roof – looking out at clouds and the city. The kids’ jaws dropped when the tour guide told them that a dropped penny (from that height) would put a hole a foot deep in the sidewalk. The wind sounded like jump run – calling me to leap from the edge and fly. . I remember standing near the edge, and thinking, “What a base jump this would be!” I could fly high above these clouds – like a bird….like an angel.
And a mere sixteen months later, here I am -- numb most of the day. I stared at the TV, dumbfounded as the second plane flew into the tower, thinking that it had to be an instant replay – surely it wasn’t a second plane. I watched things falling from the sky, feeling faint as I realized that they were people – unable to fly, only fall. I tried to tune it out – but the day grew bleaker with each passing minute: a crash into the Pentagon, a Philadelphia field of tragic heroes, the towering giants seemingly imploding to the ground, sending cascading, billowing caustic clouds across the city.
I close my eyes, resting for a moment – but no rest is found as I continually find myself on top of that tower, wind calling me to leap and fly, and feeling the giant rumble beneath me as he starts to collapse, jarring me awake. And now the TV is showing people. People lining up to give blood. People wanting to know where to send donations. People wanting to help.

History teaches us nothing, except maybe that we often learn the same lesson over and over and over again. As I look at these events – these generational mile-markers, I’m touched by the devastating effect each had on their generation – and yet in hindsight, we, as a nation, we’re made stronger, wiser, by it.
--Yes, yes, mistakes were made by many during all these times – but that is not my focus, or my intent –

I just found it interesting…..and wanted to share it with you.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Okay -- put your hankies away. Sorry I got all ya'll all misty-eyed about my Dad. Hmmmm....if that got ya', wait til I tell you about my MUM!!!!!!!!

And now.....for something completely different....and yet, totally predictable coming from APj....

I-T-S Q-U-I-Z T-I-M-E !!!!!

Once again....with my commentaries in red......

You Don't Need a Man, but You Want One!

You like having a guy in your life, and overall, you prefer not to be single.

I would like, no strike that, I would LOVE to have a guy in my life...overall, underall, besideall -- position is not all that critical.

You won't go out with a guy out of desperation..

Yes, I do have my rules. And don't you dare throw rules-schmules at me! Desperation is for housewives, and let us remember: I AM no wife...

you rather be alone.

Remember all ya'll, I've got three things in my I'm not really TECHNICALLY alone....

However, when you're single, you do tend to obsess a little over dating.

ME!?!?!?!? Obsess!?!?!?!?!? Never........And just WTF is Overdating? I mean, hel-LO!!!! I'm SO-O-O-O-O UNDERdating. it time for Sanka again?

Because no matter how good your single life is, it's better with a great guy around.

-or under, or over, or next to, or in front of.....

Do You Need a Man?

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Daddy's Girl

Sorry to all who’ve missed me – life’s a bit nuts right now: I was given one class of 6th graders this week – please note, I usually teach 7th grade, so now I’m…err…..inventing a curriculum to use with my 6th graders that is “not-too-different-from-what-the-7th-graders-are-doing-so-that-I-don’t-go-crazy-making-lesson-plans.” Sigh.

My dad is back in the hospital – which also adds to my frenzy. His emphysema is not much worse, but his brain is a bit fuzzed. He’s often confused, and doesn’t remember if he took pills, needs to take them, etc – even though my Mom has them all organized on a schedule and has a great system. So, he’s back in the hospital – primarily to take him off all his meds, and try to get a handle on that.

So – that got me thinking about my Dad. I thought I’d share with you some of my favorite Dad stories……

1973 – 12 years old, Merced, California.
Who would’ve have thought that blowing your nose was dangerous? Got Boogers? Blow!!!! And yet, there I was, thirty minutes later, still trying to get my nose to stop bleeding. After another thirty minutes dragged by, my Mom and Dad decided that it was time to go to the hospital. I made it to the car – but felt very woozy, and the wooziness grew during the twenty minute drive to Castle AFB. I tried to get out of the car, but my legs collapsed from underneath me. My father scooped me up and carried me into the hospital. “Hold on, Missy,” he whispered, “I’ve got you.” I knew I would be fine – ‘cause my Daddy had me.

(postscript for those of ya’ who gotta know: I’d blown a hole in the artery in my nose –and lost over 2 pints of blood. Artery was cauterized (big ouch), and nose was packed with 3,000 miles (slight exxageration) of yellow stinky (no exxageration) gauze.

1979 – Lincoln, Nebraska

If you think being “stuck in Lodi, again” is bad, try Kearney, Nebraska. Sure, fun place to party (for Nebraska), but definitely not a place to stay. But there I was, on a Sunday afternoon with a broken car. And, of course, this was way before the invention of credit cards… least in my families existence!
“Missy, what is the car doing?”
“Daddy! That pipe thing in front of the muffler is broken. I took it to a gas station – but they said they can’t do anything until tomorrow! And they said it will cost a couple hundred dollars!!!! Daddy!!! What should I do?”
“Missy, I’m not there. What kind of sound is the car making?”
“Well, it just sounds really loud. Kinda like a muscle car – is it okay to drive? Can I fix it with something? Should I wait ‘til tomorrow?”
“Missy, I’m not there, so I can’t tell you what to do…but take a look at it and see what you think.”
So – under the car I went to take a look. And then I got all MacGyver on it. Uh-huh—that’s Missy MacGyver to you. I pushed that broken pipe as close to the muffler as I could, and took a wire hanger and made a big U-shaped support underneath it. Then I wrapped the whole think in duct tape….just in case. And then….I drove home…..130 miles…….2 hours…….across Nebraska……..and, just to remind you – IN THE DAYS BEFORE CELL PHONES!!!!
I pulled into the driveway – and there was my dad. Waiting. As I got out of the car, he didn’t say a word – he just crawled under the car – and then crawled back out.
“Is that okay, Daddy?”
But he didn’t answer – he just went inside. “Shit!” I thought to myself, “I screwed it up! I knew I shou—“
He was back again, crawling under the car. And crawled back out – with a polaroid of my repair, and a big grin!
“Wait ‘til Darrel (the mechanic) sees this!””Is it okay, Daddy? I didn’t mess it up too bad, did I?”
“Missy, you did good.”

2002 - Fresno, California
“Missy, I’m worried about you.”
“Daddy, I’m okay. A little shocked, but okay.”
“Missy, I can’t believe he left you.”
“Me either, Daddy. Me either.”
“I’ve got you Missy, you’ll be okay.”
“I know, Daddy. I’m just scared. What did I do wrong?”
“Missy, you did good. This is his problem, not yours.”
“Thanks Daddy….”

Thanks Daddy. Thanks for always thinking that I could do anything. Thanks for believing in me, and helping me believe in myself.

Friday, August 25, 2006

The Naked Date

Geez, what a nightmare!!! No, no, it wasn't the return of the Lady with the Flashlight Eyes, although that would have been easier. Hey! I know how to deal with her--
No, this was an all new nightmare. Kinda reminded me of those dreams I used to have in high know -- where you went to school naked.....and spent the whole dream trying to get to your locker.....or home.....'cause you're naked.......and no one seems to notice........that you're naked......and walking around school.....naked...

"I'm pretty sure that Guy will be at the coffee shop," Star reassures, "We'll just drive over there! Sorry that you've got to sit in the back seat -- but the front seat is still broken. Is your seat belt buckled?"
As I look down to check, I realize that I've got no clothes on.
"What, APj?"
"We've got to go to my house--"
"You're kidding, right? You know how long it'd take--"
"-Star! I've got to put some clothes on! I'm nak--"
"Don't be silly, APj -- what you've got on is fine!"
"She doesn't realize I'm naked!" I think to myself. "Holy crap! What am I gonna do!?!?!? What can I cover my bodaci--"
"Come on, APj!" Star calls over her shoulder from the door of the coffee shop. "Quit dawdling!"
"Shit! We certainly got here fast!" I scan the sidewalk, and relief floods through my veins as I confirm that there are no bodies present on the sidewalk. "What's that?"I silently exclaim,"Is that a bandana?" Making a mad dash towards the fluttering pink square, I grab it as Star comes rushing out of the coffee shop.

"Hurry APj!"
Frantically trying to decide the best placement for the bandana
-- bodacious ta-tas covered?
-- cookie covered?
"Which one? Which one? cookie or ta-ta, cookie or ta-ta" I ask myself, as I madly sprint after Star towards her car.

"What's the rush, Star?"
"BoDiddily said that Guy went to the mall. Something about getting a new instrument -- not that there's anything wrong with his instrument -- wait till you see it! He's got the prettiest p--"
"Star, don't start on that again, " I interrupt as I climb back in the backseat, "I'll end up at the store, again! But seriously, do you think we could go by my house? I'd really like to put some pants--"
"APj! Do you wanna do Guy or not!?!?!? We gotta hurry! Besides, you look fine! I love that pink top you've got on."
"It's not a top, Star! It's a bandan--"
"Shit! I almost hit that car! Oops! We're here!"
Star bounds out of the car, loping towards the music store entrance. "I'll run ahead and see if he's here. Hurry up!"

Grateful for the tinted windows of Star's car, I watch and wait for the perfect time to make a mad dash for the mall entrance.
"What the heck are you doing?" I ask myself, hand on the car door handle.
"Trying to get a date!" I retort, turning said handle and sprinting (one hand covering my cookie) towards the mall.
"Stop!!!" Me yells.
"Why?"I begin to inquire -- but suddenly see Star and Guy's bosom buddy, Doll coming out of the mall. I manage to make it to a tall garbage can, which I quickly pose behind.

"APj!" greets Doll, "How are you?"
"Feeling a bit naked--"
"Don't be a silly goose!" Doll scolds. "That pink top looks great with your skintones--"
"Yada-yada, skintones," injects Star. "Doll! Tell her about Guy!"
"Oh yeah! Guy," answers Doll. "Guy is waiting for us at the pool. He's made Mojitos. or Margaritas. Shit, I can't remember! One of those "M" drinks...."

As Doll and Star head for the car, I spot a pair of aqua stilletos next to my garbage can. I scoop them up, scan the sidewalk, and fly to the car (bandana held over bodacious ta-tas with chin, check. right hand covering cookie, check. left hand hanging onto awesome aqua stilletos, check.), diving almost headfirst into the backseat.

Resting my foot on the divider between the front seats (fixed now!?!?!?), I buckle the ankle strap on the shoes. "Seriously," I start, "Do you think we could just stop and get me something to wear--"
"Awesome shoes!" gushes Doll.
"Yeah," Star chimes in, "You know she's got that shoe thing-"
"APj," cuts in Doll, "you look fine! With that pink top and those shoes, Guy doesn't stand--"
"But it's not a top! It's a bandan-"

::chirp:: ::chirp:: ::chirp::

"Shit!" I think to myself, "It must be the cops -- they must have seen me take the shoes. or running nake--"

::chirp:: ::chirp:: ::chirp::

I sit up, wide awake in my bed.

"Shit! Wait 'til Star hears this one!!!"

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Erynn's 21st!

As most of you know, Erynn turned 21 (egads!) a few weeks ago. I shared this story with Lecram, and he said, "APj, you should have blogged about that!"
As usual, he's right (I sure get tired of admitting that)...although I'm not quite so ready to take his dating advice (yes, yes, we'll deal with that in another blog)....

Erynn was driving me nuts the week (or so) before her birthday! She would call at all hours of the day and ask, "Guess what happens in 5 (or 4 or 3, depending on the day) days?" To which I was to respond, "What?" and she would answer, "I turn 21!"

This got especially old around 3:00AM....

But I am a Mum that believes in I called her on her birthday......a couple of times!

7/29/85 -- APj's Phone log:

6:30 AM
"Good Morning Sweetie!"
"21 years ago, I woke up to get ready to go to work. I wasn't feeling all that good, but decided to go to work. Such dedication!"

7:30 AM
"Hello Saffie!"
"Mom....why are you calling so early?"
"Saffie! 21 years ago, I decided I wasn't feeling so good. So I called in sick to work!! After all, I was 8 months pregnant--"
"Mom - it's 7:30, and I'm hung --"
"Saffie! A hangover is NOTHING compared to going into Labor!!!!!"

9:30 AM
"Mom -- you are so ev--"
"Saffie! 21 years ago - my water burst! In the OB/GYN's newly decorated exam room!"
"Mom -- that's just gros--really?"
"Uh-huh! She said it was fine (but I think she wasn't happy), and sent us on to the hospital. She said I should be done by early afternoon"

11:46 AM
"Mom - you are so warped! What happened 21 years--"
"Sweetie - you were born exactly 21 years ago -- right now!! Good bye!"

12:30 PM
(getting her voice mail)
"Erynn -- 21 years ago, I had the first Pepsi I'd had in eight months!!! Big Gulp --Big Good!!!"

2:30 PM
(Erynn returning voice mail)
"Mom? why'd you give up Pepsi?"
"Sweetie, the doctor's said it could cause deformities......and still you have that funny bone on your heel--"
"Mom! You're so weird!!!!"

6:30 PM
"Hey Sweetie!"
"Mom -- just a minute -- I'm gonna put you on speaker!"
"21 years ago - your dad and I were having a steak dinner at the hospital--"
"Why a steak dinner?"
"Because it was free!"

9:00 AM
"Mom -- I'm so-o-o-o tired! My birthday is over! Why are you cal--"
"Saffie -- 21 years ago we were getting ready to leave the hospital. Now, as you know, you came a month early, we didn't really have that "bag" fully packed. That "bag that contains all the important things -- like a toothbrush, hairbrush, change of clothes, etc. So....21 years ago today.....we discovered what I was missing from the "bag." 21 years ago today.....your mom came home from the hospital........COMMANDO!!!!

(for those not familiar with the term -- it means I had no underwear on......)

Monday, August 14, 2006

Your Aura is Purple

....and purple is my favorite color!!!! when I was a teen I had a purple desk and two purple walls in my room (compromise with Mum -- I wanted four purple walls). I had an awesome pair of purple tennis shoes......but I digress.

"What does it mean to have a purple aura?" you ask.

Well, according to this site, here's what it means (see my comments in red).

1. Your Personality: You're a dreamer and visionary. You believe you were put on this earth to do something great. Yes, I would have to agree with this assessment. I have always been a dreamer -- and a dreamer with a vision. I could always "see" HOW something could/should/would be. And yes, I do think I was put on this earth to do something really great (although, unlike Lecram, I've never wanted to be the Pope!)
2. You in Love: You're very passionate but often too busy for love. You need a man who sees your vision and adopts it as his own. I think I'm a very passionate person, and yes, I am awfully busy..... But goodgoodawlmighty! I don't think I'm ever gonna find a man who sees like I see! least not on this side of the funnyfarm fence....
Your Career: You need a job that helps you make a difference. You have a bright future as a guru, politician, teacher, or musician.
Kinda funny - I'm a teacher, who hangs with a ROGUISH bunch that includes a (self-named) Rasputinish guru, a squirrelly politician, and baritone warbler......

What Color Is Your Aura?

Sunday, August 13, 2006

For Corrine

Let me share a journey with you. A wonderful journey that I’ve been blessed to be privy to: the Sojourn of a new Tsou, the Crossing of Corrine.

For many years, my sister talked of adopting a baby from China. She felt that this was something she needed to do. After eighteen months of seemingly endless paperwork, a photo arrived of our angel.

How tiny and thin she was. How could this wee whisp be a year old? But already, she was pulling at my heart. Julie and Marc made plans to take their two children to China with them to bring Corrine home sometime in January 2005.

Marc’s parents were planning on going to help with the children. But because of an unfortunate twist (father injured his knee), I was invited to come along on the trip to China – at no cost to myself. How could I possibly say no to such a gift? So, on Martin Luther King Day 2005, I flew halfway around the world to find a slice of sunshine.

What a day that was! A room filled with 17 families, 17 nannies from the orphanage, and 17 babies who had never seen a white person before. Boy! Did they scream! I cried too – because I felt like I was the only one who realized how terrified these babies were. All the babies. Except for our Corrine.

No tears did she shed. Julie and I wanted to believe this was because we were Uber-mommies. I’m sure part of that is true. But it is also true that Corrine was extremely malnourished. The first few days she had trouble drinking from a bottle. She developed a fever on the second day that Dr. Julie (who gets higher medical billing then her husband, who really IS a doctor) instructed me to give her Tylenol. Corrine eagerly drank the medicine from the eyedropper; which led me to the discovery of feeding her formula from an eyedropper.

She wanted her Mommy or her Auntie all the time. She tolerated Daddy, sister, and brother. I had the extreme privilege of putting her to sleep each night – singing Moonshadow, Fiji Rose (fraternity pin song), and I’m Bringing Home a Baby Bumble Bee.

She came home to America and blossomed. Picking strawberries, going to pre-preschool, playing with her Mommy and Daddy, her brother and sister. I eagerly awaited the pictures, and longed for the day I could go visit them in Virginia.

That day finally arrived last week. I was so excited and nervous to see her. My sister Julie is really the Uber-Mommy. Her children (when very young) do not like to be away from her. So how would Corrine react to me? Would there still be some bond? I hoped and prayed that this would be.

I’m happy to say that the bond was still there. I truly believe that she “knew” me deep down – I got giggles, smiles, and games from her everyday. And she is so smart! I taught her how to play GoFish and Old Maid. – and yes, she doesn’t even turn three until November.

I love all my nieces and nephews – none more or less then the others. But I feel an incredible bond with Corrine – mostly due to the fact that I was blessed to be there on the day she was “born” into our family.

I love you, my little punkin pie. I love you so very much.

Auntie Jayne