Thursday, August 30, 2012

What died on my tongue?


Now here's a random thought..why do we eat or drink things that leave a nasty taste in our mouth?  I know, odd idea but it occurred to me as I was lying in bed, reading the morning news, and slapping my tongue against the roof of my mouth that it feels as if something curled up and died in there.  I've just completed my candy bar in a bowl (also known as, my morning coffee indulgence) and I realize that this is how my mouth feels every morning; sour, stale, and like I've sucked on cheap chocolate candies for the last twenty minutes.

Will I stop drinking coffee to avoid this disgusting aftertaste?  Hell no!  I live for the entire process of my daily ritual; filling the coffee machine with water, carefully measuring out the grounds and sprinkling them with powdered cinnamon, preparing my bowl with cream, chocolate syrup and artificial sweetener packets, and finally waiting patiently for the coffee to finish brewing.  Oh sweet nectar of the GODS!  My first sip...DIVINE INSPIRATION!

When I smoked, it was the same thing.  I knew how nasty my mouth would taste afterwards, but it wouldn't stop me from lighting up.  The first drag of the cigarette was lovely.  The feel of the smoke through my lungs and out my nose was exhilarating.  The way the cigarette felt between my fingertips was so light and gentle.  Oh, and if my boyfriend wanted to kiss me?  Eeks!  Unless he smoked too, my breath was gruesome.  If you, my dear friends and blog readers, smoke or have ever smoked, I'm certain you know what I'm talking about.

Potato chips!  Another awful aftertaste...ugggh!!  Pringles are the worst.  I believe it's because they're processed, but I can't be sure.  It's because of this that I won't eat these particular chips EVER AGAIN.  Once I have a bad bathroom experience with a specific brand, there's no returning to the scene of the crime (so to speak).

One last observation..and this is a weird one - anyone who's in my generation might remember these and say, "oh yeah..Bri's spot on...".  Wax Lips, Teeth, or Bottles.  Is anyone with me here?  Those awful, nasty "candy" things I felt compelled to buy and suck the flavorless juice out of??  Geez!  The juice left the nastiest aftertaste and I always ended up gagging on the stupid wax.  Why did I continue to invest my money in those awful, nasty "candy" things?  What a dumb ass!

Well, this was a bizarre blog.  I have a serious date with my toothbrush and mouthwash.  Have a great day everyone. 



 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The definition of "Perseverate"

I've never made any secret that I ooze sarcasm.  For a mother of two boys with Aspergers Syndrome, this isn't necessarily a good thing.  Kids on the autistic spectrum need everything explained very clearly.  My children do not understand innuendos or hidden meanings.  When I tell them something, it must be black and white - direct and to the point.  This is excruciatingly difficult for me.

Bri:  Austynn, please pick up your shoes in the family room.

Austynn:  Who me?

Bri:  No, the spider hanging down from the ceiling!  Who else?!

First of all, I understand that this is a standard conversation between most parents and their children; however, in my household, it can perseverate for an additional twenty minutes...

Austynn:  Spiders don't wear shoes, mom.  In fact, if they did..

Bri:  AUSTYNN!  I know THAT!  I was just saying...

Austynn:  Well, then what kind of a spider was it?  I don't like spiders.  I was bitten by one yesterday five times until it left welts all over my arm.  See the marks?

Bri:  Austynn, there is no spider.  I wasn't serious.  I was being sarcastic.

Austynn:  Well, there is a spider on the ceiling, ya' know..




 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

WARNING: Commence Panic Attack!

Panic Attacks.  They're awful.  If you, my dear friends and blog readers, have never suffered from these horrible maladies you've been blessed.  If you have, then you know exactly what happened to me last night.  For those of you who aren't familiar with how an attack feels, I'll try to describe one for you.

First, my heart starts beating uncontrollably.  It feels as though it's going to pop right out of my chest.  Then, my breathing becomes irregular.  I can't seem to catch my breath.  Of course, once my heart and breathing becomes unbalanced, I become lightheaded, I feel faint - I can't think straight.  My thoughts become irrational, I start crying which makes my breathing more fractured.

My attacks usually happen after a crisis.  I know this sounds odd, but it's true.  I'm a rock during an earthquake but once the danger is over I fall apart.  Last night was no different.  I hyperventilated so much so that I almost fainted.  This morning, my body aches and my eyes are swollen. 

I'm sure everyone is wondering what caused last night's attack.  Well, oddly enough it was the culmination of the entire day.  From the moment I woke up, things just seemed to go terribly wrong.  My oldest son broke his glasses right before school and then realized at the door that he forgot his lunch at home.  Hungry and blind at school.  Lovely.  When we attempted to find his spare glasses in his room, we couldn't.  This made my eyes pop out of my head with frustration.  I realize that kids lose things - trust me - which is why last year when my son argued and screamed at me that he was responsible enough to keep his spare glasses without losing them, I finally conceded.  Arrrgh!

As I was writing my blog yesterday, my 3-year old laptop shutdown.  Fatal Error.  Crash.  SCREAM!

I needed to go grocery shopping.  I have pre-printed lists which - thank goodness - I had the foresight to save on a backup.  I tried printing them off my son's laptop.  Printer error.  What the HELL!!!

Tank, my sweet dog who unlike Tulip, his counterpart, has not learned that getting sick on the tile is preferable to my expensive dining room rug.  He barfed not once but twice yesterday.

The district bus brought William home from school in the afternoon.  That was nice.  After a week of driving back and fourth four times a day between freeway off ramps to get my kids to different schools, the route was finally worked out.  Phone Call:

Bri:  "Seriously?  No one explained to the powers that be that my son is almost 17 years old and he can walk home from the bus stop by himself??!!  What?!  I can see the bus from my backyard and you won't let him off the bus?!  I have to meet him there?!  OH DEAR GOD IN HEAVEN!"    

I never made it grocery shopping so there was no food in the house.  My dear husband, Eric picked up Taco Bell for dinner.  Our youngest loves to complain about the quality of everything he eats.  He threw a temper tantrum, again. 

And finally, before bedtime I attempted messaging on Facebook to cheer me up.  I should know by now never to text anyone when I've had a bad day.  I'm always misunderstood or can't seem to find the comfort I'm looking for.  I logged off feeling worse than I did before signing in.

The day was a complete failure; commence panic attack.  Heart racing. Breathing ragged.  Face pale. Hands shaking. I took one look at Eric and I began crying.  I couldn't catch my breath, I  hyperventilated, and I vomited.  Two Valium, a box of Kleenex, and an hour later in the arms of my husband he whispered, "Tomorrow will be a better day, I promise."

Thank you, my love.  One day at a time.  One crazy, insane day at a time.





 

Monday, August 27, 2012

"Take my hand and say you'll follow me..."

I was going through some old songs on YouTube and found myself listening to music from my first favorite recording artist.  I'll give you a few hints; I live in Colorado (easy), up against the Rocky Mountains (geesh), and finally one could say my house is down a few country roads.  (GOOD GRIEF!  This is such a hokey paragraph.  I allow myself one a year and this is IT.)  Yes, John Denver is correct.

Why Henry John Deutschendorf, Jr. (John Denver)?  Cute.  It wasn't his music, not at first anyway.  In 1977 I was ten years old and taken to see the movie, "Oh, God".  Mr. Denver played the role of the assistant grocery manager and George Burns appeared to him as God in the visage of a good natured old man. The Almighty selected him as his messenger for the modern world. 

John Denver's character was a sweet, unassuming guy.  He wasn't the classic leading man; strong, athletic, or brave.  No, instead he was a gentle and loving soul.  He was an underdog in a world full of bullies and non-believers.  Somehow, even at ten years old, I knew this was the type man I wanted to love when I grew up.  And yes, ironically throughout my life, these are the men I've fallen head over heels for.  This character was no different.  John Denver was my first movie star crush.  (I'm smiling as I type this.)

On my birthday that year, I was given one of his albums - another first for me.  It marked my transition from listening to Disney stories on an orange, plastic Mattell record player to adult contemporary music on my own stereo.  I was enamored with the entire experience.  That night, after my birthday candles were blown out, I scampered back to my room with my treasures.  I stared lovingly at my hero's album cover.  The first song on the record was called, Annie's Song.  It was beautiful and I was hooked.  Until bedtime, I played the album non-stop and sprayed my new "little girl" perfume, Lemon Sachet, all over the place.  Annie's Song and the scent of lemon - in my mind  - will always belong together.

My infatuation with John Denver remained.  In high school I kept it low key.  John Denver wasn't cool in the 1980's, not for teenage girls anyway; however, I never stopped going to his concerts or buying his albums.  I know every song by heart.  "For You", an amazingly beautiful love song, was sung at my first wedding by a dear friend.  One could say this actor and musician has always held a piece of my heart.

I don't cry often when celebrities or public officials die.  It in my mind, life is a circle.  These are people like everyone else.  Certainly some of them have made an impact on society and have entertained us, but I don't know them personally.  Their public persona is most likely not who they are privately.  They haven't befriended me in any way.  There have been a few, I admit, who've touched me in remarkable ways and when they died, I was heart broken. 

I wept when Jim Hensen, the creator of the Muppets, passed away.  I grew up with Kermit the Frog, Grover, Bert and Ernie, Big Bird, and the others.  When their father died, a little part of these characters did as well.  Sesame Street would never be the same.  I was devastated.  It was as if a piece of my childhood was laid to rest with him.  God bless his spirit and those of my Muppet friends' too.

When Gilda Radner died, I cried.  She was an amazingly funny lady and taken far too early by cancer.  She and Jane Curtin opened the door for stand out female comediennes on Saturday Night Live.  I knew - even in 1989 - that she would play a major role in my future.  Next time, when I'm on stage and attempting stand-up, I'll channel her spirit and think, "Hey Roseanne Roseannadanna, it's always something, isn't it?"

And finally, on October 12, 1997, when I heard the news that John Denver had died, I went into the bathroom stall at work and wept.  Later that afternoon, when I turned off my computer to go home, concerned co-workers asked me what was wrong.  I simply said, "A dear friend of mine died today.  He was a beautiful person and I loved him very much.  The world will be an emptier place without him."  I still feel this way.

Dear John, it's goodbye again...


 












 


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Naughty Breezy!

Some days I just can't help myself.  What?  Being goofy.  The silly, bizarre, naughty, say-what's-on-my-mind, impulsive side of me that comes roaring out the moment I open my eyes in the morning.  This can be particularly dangerous for my husband, Eric, because he's the first casualty within my line of fire.  These are the days he wakes up to a wet willie or the placement of an overly affectionate dog on his face.  When he laughs (or grumbles depending on the type of sleep he's had) and asks me why, my typical response is, "Tulip (my Shih Tzu) made me do it."

"Why" I do naughty things is truly a valid question.  I have a dear friend who tells me that if I were his wife, we would have been divorced by now.  Yikes!  Too true.  There are not many men who would voluntarily put up with my antics.  In answer to the question, naughtiness is an actual gene which can be traced back through the Baxter/Bahan female genetic code for generations.  It's both a blessing and a curse.  It drives some people crazy, angers others, and can lure men in like the tease of an exotic perfume.  Yes, the women in my family are born with it but it's also a skill which must be honed; somewhat like witchcraft.

For years I watched my mother with my dad.  He adored her but she drove him absolutely nuts.  Not a day would go by without my dad grumbling, cursing, or complaining about something that had to do with my mother.  Who was it that succeeded in getting what she wanted?  Yes, my dear friends and blog readers, the Queen Bee - my mama.  Yet, somehow at the end of every day, my mother was always giggling, my dad too, and no one went to bed angry.  Pure genius.

I realized that I had this gift early; however, I knew that by the time Eric and I became engaged, I'd finally graduated to my mother's skill set.  One day, my sweet fiance and I were watching TV in his parent's living room.  As young lovers are prone to do, we couldn't keep our hands off of one another.  Suddenly, my naughty side came roaring out.  I knew where we were, I knew making a lot of noise would give us away, but I couldn't contain myself...WHACK!

"OUCH!  BREEZY!  WHY DID YOU SLAP ME?"

"Because YOU, Eric Potts are NOT a gentleman!"

Eric, completely surprised, started laughing..."WHAT?!"

It was all I could do to keep a straight face, but I managed.  "How DARE you take advantage of me!  I'm not some cheap so and so to be man handled like this in your parent's home!  I'm LEAVING!"

"Are you serious?!" 

Mr. Potts, Eric's father, walked into the room.  "Is everything ok in here?"  Eric took a sharp intake of breath.  Granted, he and I were 29 years old and engaged but having his father walk in must have been excrutiating.

I looked up at Mr. Potts (now affectionately known as, Pop) and with a sly grin said, "Oh yeah, Bill.  Sorry we bugged you.  I was just being extremely naughty with your son."

Both Eric and his father looked a little confused but as I saw Pop walk out of the room, I saw a wide smile on his face.  I think from that moment on he approved of our marriage and Eric, well my wonderful fiance was lured in hook, line, and sinker.










 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Office appointments with my kids - such good times.

Office appointments.  One would think, as my boys are growing older and learning my expectations, they would figure out how to behave.  Not so.  This is unacceptable and leaves me flummoxed.  It turns into my scolding one or both of the them, a denial of behavior (which I find quite amazing considering I witnessed the nonsense first hand), and eventually followed-up by a nasty argument.  It never ends well.  In fact, this happened just yesterday afternoon.  What an ugly, ugly day.  I normally prefer not to revisit nightmares so close to the actual event but I feel I must clear the memory in order to get back onto the bicycle - so to speak.  Here I go...

Austy, my 14 year old, had a rough day at school.  He's currently in an autistic special needs class for high school freshmen.  On our way to one of his myriad of weekly therapy appointments, he brought to my attention that someone had "stomped" on his lunch and destroyed everything except for his sandwich forcing him to throw the rest of it away.  My son has quite a penchant for storytelling.  Knowing him as well as I do, he was implying that he wanted a larger than usual snack when he got home.  I told him I was going to give him a chance to tell the truth before verifying the tale with his teacher or he'd lose his hour of video game privileges for fibbing to me.

"Go a head, I'm tellin' ya the truth."

I called his bluff and his teacher.  The story was totally off.  Things did happen in class but not to the extent of what he'd claimed.  His lunch was stepped on "by accident".  Half of Austynn's banana had to be thrown away, the rest of his lunch was eaten.

"See, I told ya!" 

"Austynn, what you told me was incorrect."

"YA MUST HAVE MISUNDERSTOOD!  YA AREN'T TAKING AWAY MY Wii PRIVILEGES!"

And so it began; the ranting and raving.  Once a discipline is established, it must be withheld.  Austy had lost his Wii time for lying to me.  It was an awful 15 minutes in the therapist's office.  I was a monster.  I was stupid.  I was a liar.  The therapist and I listened and waited it out.  There was no going back.  He did not get what he wanted.  The other parents in the waiting room watched and knew what was happening; after all, their kids were in the office for the same problems.  Finally Austynn settled down and apologised.

While Austynn was finishing up with his therapist, I ran out to pick up William from school and then returned for my younger monster.  Oh, I was having so much fun!  Big monster had an appointment for his ear, nose, and throat specialist.  Off we went. 

When big monster and little monster are in the same doctor's office together, all Hell breaks loose.  Why, my friends and blog readers ask, don't I leave little monster in the waiting room?  Because little monster has a problem with talking the ears off of complete strangers and annoying them within 30 seconds.  I have too much compassion for my fellow mankind to allow this to happen; therefore, I bring little monster in with big monster so they can merely annoy their mother and the doctor.

Because my boys have Aspergers, they know everything.  When the doctor asked a question about my older son's Sleep Apnea machine, my older son - of course - knew the make, model, and year it was produced (not really, but he thinks he does).  Now, if this wasn't annoying enough, he had to tell the doctor while the doctor was talking to me.  Throw in my other know-it-all, aspergian child, who's an expert on motors and creating fires from wires and paper clips, who spoke over his brother and the doctor to comment that the motor was some sort a bi-product of nuclear fusion, and I had an office of raving teenage lunatics on my hands.

Finally, the doctor commented on William needing some nasal spray for his sinus'.  Lovely.  William started talking - again - over the doctor about the machine's ability to "suck in" the nose drops (what the fuck?) while Austynn had his finger half way up his nose searching for an elusive booger (SERIOUSLY?)!  I was horrified thinking, "Can we just go now?  My children are humiliating me beyond every possible level."

"Austy, I can't believe you were picking your nose in there!"

"I WASN'T PICKING MY NOSE!  YA MUST HAVE MISUNDERSTOOD!"

Oh NO!  THIS AGAIN!!  I'm going home and crawling under my covers.  Today is officially OVER!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Zombies Not Invited!

"Conversation Starters"  Defined per the online Urban Dictionary as:

1. Conversation Killer:

Words or phrases that one would use to "kill" a conversation. Usually with someone you really wouldn't rather be talking to. These words or phrases usually consists of one-worded answers and are usually in the most simplistic form.

If one needs a "Conversation Starter" it's awkward; however, I understand what it feels like to be out of place at parties.  There have been many times I've preferred to hide out with the kids or ditch the soiree after ten minutes for a cheeseburger at In-n-Out.  Believe me, I understand. 

Zombie!
People automatically assume that I'm an extrovert.  Not true.  It's taken me years to walk into a room and feel comfortable enough to make a jackass out of myself.  A lot of it also has to do with the people I surround myself with.  I've become a relaxed, down-to-earth, and say-it-like-it-is sort of gal.  I have no patience for up-tight, phony, or pretentious people.  I enjoy folks who are open minded, have an amazing sense of humor, and don't judge others based on the color of their skin, content of their pocketbook, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, ethnicity, or political views.  My only concern is if you're a zombie.  If so, I'll feel compelled to destroy you and that might make a mess.  Needless to say, when Eric and I throw parties (sans zombies), we have an interesting group of friends gathered and we wouldn't want it any other way.

There was also a time - God forgive me - when I wouldn't have anyone in my home unless everything was perfect.  This theory went totally against my current relaxed, down-to-earth grain.  I was way too uptight for my own good.  I needed to kick that ugly monster in the butt.  Sure, I still check out the guest bathroom before people come over.  After all, I live in a house with guys who believe that aiming towards the toilet bowl is simply good enough.  I may also run a vacuum over the family room depending on how long it's been between cleanings.  You see, I have a monkey - oops, son who feels that it's perfectly acceptable to bite off toe nails and spit them onto the rug while watching cartoons (I've cut my foot many times on horrifying petrified splinters.)  But yes, I'm much more relaxed now.  My oven doesn't have to be cleaned, shutters washed, or clothes folded before friends can sit around the fire pit.  Life is too short to be worried about the insignificant stuff.

Back to "Conversation Starters" - which I believe to be insignificant - if you want to get to know someone, listen to them for a few minutes.  If they seem to be shy or not talking, look for something that you like and compliment them on it.  If they turn out to be up-tight, phony, or pretentious - RUN!  Toxic people are almost as bad as zombies and sadly we can't get away with destroying them without incurring a bit of jail time.  The great people, the ones we want to make jackasses in front of, will light up when we sit beside them and kick off our shoes.  These folks don't need or want a starter line.  Eventually someone is bound to say, "Hey, see that zombie over there?  You wanna take 'em out?"      





Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Today, color me a soft, sea-foam green.

Some mornings I feel melancholy; not sad melancholy so I guess this isn't the appropriate word to use.  At peace?  At peace with my husband, my friends, my pets, my bowl of coffee.  Content?  But that's not it either.  I don't know.  I'm happy, I'm sad, I'm worried, oh fuck it!  I apologize for my vernacular but some days my moods can't be described in words.  Perhaps a color?  Ok.  How about a soft, sea-foam green?  Yes!  This color paints my mood perfectly.  If you don't understand, I'm sorry.  This seems to be the best I can do today. 

I listened to a song a few moments ago which my husband, Eric, plays often for me; however, he's not a country music fan so it makes this song more profound.  Our 17th Anniversary was on Sunday and my heart still flutters when I look into his eyes.  I'm blessed that he loves me as much as he does.  I often wonder how a person can understand me so well.



I listened to the song again and found what I was looking for.  I quote, "You're the words when I have nothing to say."

Thank you, Eric and to all of you - my friends, my pets, and yes, even my bowl of coffee...for giving me my inspiration.  I love you.  

Saturday, August 18, 2012

RUN! Here come those vicious geese!

In the northern Colorado front range, one of the tell-tale signs that Autumn is upon us is the migration of the wild Canadian geese.  I love these birds.  It's a joy when I hear them honking overhead and swarming down into the neighborhood ponds.  You see, my favorite time of the year is fall.  The changing colors, the crisp, cool air, the first snowfall, everything.

In Southern California there are also geese but I have an admission to make; I despise them.  These particular birds are not migratory.  They reside at local ponds all year long and are nasty, evil, villainous creatures which - after years of being tossed bread crumbs and other "people" food - have become spoiled.  They expect park visitors to feed them and if not, they become vicious, or at least - in my opinion, they already are.

My husband, Eric, disagrees with me.  He thinks they're beautiful.  I believe they're like feral dogs; they sense fear and attack those of us who reek of it.  Too many times I've walked along park ponds in Southern California to be unmercifully chased, snapped, and honked at, by these ugly, mutated monsters.  If this isn't embarrassing enough, they don't do it individually, no.  They attack in packs like wolves.  The large, nasty things encircle me forcing me to scream and draw unnecessary attention to myself.  And where is my husband, my knight in shining armour, during this horrifying barrage of beasts?  Where you'd expect him to be, of course - on the sidewalk laughing his ass off.  Lovely.

Just another reason I moved from Southern California; even the damn geese are unpleasant.  

Friday, August 17, 2012

What's that smell?

I have no issue with disgusting topics (as many of you, my dear friends and blog readers, are well aware).  Wait a moment, should I preface this posting with some sort of cautionary warning? Hmm, since I'm never quite sure what's about to flow out of my fingertips, consider this ample notice; please finish whatever you're eating now.

When I worked as a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant), it was almost comical what we discussed over lunch.  I'll spare you the lurid details but many times I'd stop and literally say, "Are we seriously talking about this over roast beef and mashed potatoes?"  You see, RNs (Registered Nurses), are those who administer the medication and ensure that the doctor's orders are followed.  CNAs are responsible for the extremely personal care of the elderly and the sick.  Next time you're in a hospital or a residential facility, acknowledge them in the hallway and smile.  One day you'll be looking into the eyes of one.  Thank them for what they do.  It's brutal work and yet they do it with a sense of humor that would astound you.

**********************************************************************************


What's that smell?

"Honey, I can't find my teef."

Oh dear, I thought to myself.  Miranda* was at it again.  My dear, sweet Miranda.  Her dementia was always an issue.  She was a lovely, laughing soul but for the life of her she couldn't remember what she did with anything.  This morning she seemed particularly annoyed which was unusual.  Normally, whether she misplaced her dentures or not, her sense of humor was always upbeat.  Not today.  She was frowning, her wig as well as her bright green pants were on backwards, and her polyester shirt was buttoned incorrectly.  She had soggy cracker crumbs down the front of her black, whiskered chin and her yellow sweater had gravy stains on it from the night before.  It was going to be difficult to have Miranda to change her clothes in her current mood.  Plus, the room she shared with Selma*, who was non-ambulatory, smelled like urine and her roommate was "dry".  What was that smell?

"Miss Miranda, did you go potty in the bathroom?"

Miranda's eyes nearly exploded out from behind her coke-bottle glasses.  "Of courthe, I did!  Why would you athk thuch a thilly quethion?" 

"Well, it smells really strong like urine in here, that's all."

When I said that, I noticed Selma give me a knowing glance so I dropped the topic and started looking around for Miranda's dentures.  Within moments, I found them wrapped in wads of toilet paper in her sweater pocket.  Without stating my discovery, I made mention about her buttons, rinsed off her teeth in the bathroom, and found a replacement sweater in her closet.  As I did all this, I fluttered about trying to make Miranda giggle.  It's amazing what a little bit of laughter can do to lift the spirits in a nursing home.

"Oh Miss Miranda?"

"Yeth dear?

"Here's your teeth."

"Lovely!"

"By the way, let's turn your pants and wig around.  You're just too beautiful to be walking into breakfast backwards this morning."

"Oh, Heaventh!"

Clothing mishap solved.  Off my sweet Miranda went giggling to herself all the way down the corridor.  Now it was time get Selma dressed, ready for the assisted breakfast in the dining room, and find out what she knew about the urine smell.  She looked at me with those wise, ancient, and wonderful eyes I'd come to love so much.  I laughed out loud because Selma had such a dry sense of humor and was obviously waiting to share it.

"Well, my dear?  What's the story?  You're smiling at me because I know you know what's going on with your roommate."  

"See that tiny flower vase over there?"

"Yes?"  It was a tiny, single stemmed vase that Miranda had received for Mother's Day a few weeks earlier."

"She's been using that."

I stared at it in disbelief.  "NO!  How's that possible?"

"I don't know, but she's doin' it."

I walked over to the vase on the floor and sure enough it was filled to the brim with urine.  Oh my God!  I laughed hysterically.  Nothing could surprise me anymore.  I guess it's time to remove the vase from the room.  Miranda was amazing - not one drop spilled! 


*Names have been changed for privacy purposes 



Thursday, August 16, 2012

Passion is like a perfect diamond.

To be "beautiful beyond the dreams of pornography".  This is a direct quote from the diary of the late actor, Richard Burton while detailing his passion for Elizabeth Taylor.  I can't begin to describe my reaction as I read this.  Needless to say, it was breathtaking. 

I'm a rare bird in that I'm loved and cherished by my husband more so than many women I know. When Eric looks at me, regardless of when I weighed 347 pounds or now that I'm 161 pounds lighter, he sees me as beautiful, he always has.  He married me when I wore a size 22 wedding suit.  He told me I was gorgeous - and believed it - when I was scouring the clothing racks for size 34 jeans.  Today, he thinks I'm adorable wearing size 14 skirts. 

Eric treats me with an amazing amount of respect; we're partners in every sense of the word.  Everything we do - every decision made - we make together.  I couldn't ask for a more compatible or passionate husband.  Our love making is a joy.  I'm never quite sure what to expect.  Some nights all we do is laugh, others are soft and gentle, and yet still others we're throwing each other about in such crazy fits of passion we're looking at each other the next day wondering how the heck we're going to move our aching bodies.

We've discussed our disappointments in life, ourselves, and yes - even with one another.  We've been gentle but honest.  To be "beautiful beyond the dreams of pornography" - what fantastic passion Richard had for Elizabeth; however, I wish they had taken more time to laugh at one another, to see the beauty of their flaws, and the courage to discuss their disappointments in each other gently but honestly.  Perhaps then Richard and Elizabeth would have managed to save their second marriage.  Passion in a relationship is so rare..like a diamond in the rough.  Could this be why Ms. Taylor had such a fascination with diamonds?  She had the perfect one with Mr. Burton.  Once lost - it's nearly impossible to find another.  

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Rescue Ranger Saves the Day...Again!

As I sit here nibbling the perfect Banshee battling bite, chocolate covered pretzels, a monthly miracle for me - a menstruating monster mama (sorry, I'm stuck on alliteration, it must be the chocolate) - I've come to realize two things; 1) I love my Rescue Ranger, and 2) as I'm getting sick to my stomach from overindulgence, I can screw up even the best of intentions.

Rescue Ranger?  Who is this and what the heck does he have to do with chocolate covered pretzels?  He's my neighborhood hero and has everything to do with this story.  First let me explain the snack.  This local friend often reads my blogs and yesterday noticed the mention of my notorious monthly nemesis.  He's also the owner of a candy store.  The idea of my munching on - God forbid - Fritos and M&Ms when the ultimate salty/sugar snack is at his disposal was too much of a temptation.  Before going home, he passed by my house and dropped off a bag of these wonderful treats.  Huzzah, my dearest neighbor!  These random acts of kindness are what make him and his family so endearing to my own.

Now it's time to explain how he earned the title of "Rescue Ranger". 

I don't mind snakes - as long as they're on my terms.  In other words, if someone hands a snake to me, I'll pet it; however I'd like to know first what kind of snake it is, if it bites, if it's friendly, etc.  I don't take kindly to being surprised by snakes particularly snakes in my own home.  Snakes have their habitats, that's where they need to stay...PERIOD.

One morning I was chatting on the phone with a friend while my dogs where outside playing.  The kids were at school and everything was quiet.  I usually keep my porch screen open so the dogs can come and go without interrupting me.  While I was talking, I noticed what I thought was dog pooh on the kitchen tile.  The dogs were still puppies and house training so when I reached down with a paper towel, IT MOVED!  IT SLITHERED UNDER MY PANTRY DOOR!! 

I screamed.  I hopped up and down.  I started hyperventilating.  I used the most impressive strings of 4-letter words I could possibly conjure up.  My friend on the other end of the phone was laughing at me.  I hung up on him.  I called my husband, who worked over 24 miles away, and demanded he leave his desk and capture the snake.  Nope.  He was going into a meeting.  I'd have to deal with it.  I cackled, cried, and laughed simultaneously like an insane woman.  Since new houses were still being built in our development, Eric suggested that I find a construction worker to help me.  Good idea.  I hung up on Eric and threw the dogs in the car.

Where the HELL were the construction workers?  It was only 9:30am?  Where were they?  I walked into framed houses, stared into the deserted manager's trailer, even pounded on three separate port-o-potties.  I had no shame.  There was a friggin' SNAKE IN MY PANTRY!  Then I saw his car, my neighbor was home..he'd help me...I pounded on his door..rang his doorbell...

"Hey Bri, what's goin' on?"

"There's a snake in my pantry!!"

"There is!  What kind of snake?"

"I don't know!  A brown snake.  It looks like pooh!"

"Did you put a towel under the pantry door?"

"What for?"

"So it doesn't get out and slither somewhere else in the house."

A look of utter devastation crossed my face..."I'll be right there, Bri."

Within moments he was in the house and checking out the pantry.  "There it is, Bri.  It's just a Garter Snake.  It's no big deal." 

He pulled it out with his hand and showed it to me in all it's pooh colored glory.  Knowing my boys loved reptiles and snakes, he asked if I wanted to save it for them until they got home from school.  Good Grief!  All of this for a piece of crap looking snake!  My first instinct was to throw it into the street but no, I guess we should save it for the boys.

"Ok, thanks."  I smiled as we placed it in a huge glass jar which held other bugs and specimens the boys had caught the day before.  They would be thrilled.  I gave my neighbor a bashful grin and huge hug.  From that moment on he's always been known to me as my personal "Rescue Ranger".

Oh, and the snake?  What happened to the snake my dear friends and blog readers ask?  This is where this morning's second realization comes into play.  Remember my ability to always screw up the best of intentions?  Well, I was watching the snake and was concerned that it might be cold sitting in the shade so I placed it in the sunshine.  When William and Austynn pulled the snake out, to my horror and their disappointment, I had accidentally overheated and cooked the snake.  Yes, that's right..after all the hullabaloo over catching it, the boys pulled out a pooh colored, dead snake.  D'oh, I screwed up again!





Monday, August 13, 2012

I've committed a mortal sin.

I'm out of coffee.  This is tantamount to a mortal sin in my book; a crime so deadly, so offensive, I've inflicted Monster Mama on the entire Potts' household of men.  AND, to make things worse (as if this is possible), Banshee is visiting too.  Dear friends and blog readers, you can't possibly understand the depth of this transgression.  I don't run out of ANYTHING.  I have backups for backups.  I have a shelf in my pantry specifically for overstocked food staples, shelves in my basement for spare 12 packs of toilet paper, and a cabinet underneath my bathroom sink set aside for extra toothbrushes, soaps, and miscellaneous toiletries.  How could I possibly run out of COFFEE?!

The only thing saving this household from utter damnation is that I have a small bottle of instant espresso granules which I use for recipes from time to time.  Eric suggested that I make instant hot chocolate this morning (which we don't have), which in turn turned my caffeine neglected, addled brain towards my pantry.  Ahh..sweet nectar of the gods!

My dears..this will not be a long blog this morning.  I must shower and drive to the grocery store.  This morning will never, ever be repeated again. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Jello shots and cheesy whiskers..it's all connected.

Last night I attended a wild backyard party at a friend's house.  Now hold your horses dear readers!  I'm certain you're sitting on the edge of your seats waiting for lurid accounts of my drunken debauchery.  Not so.  Nothing could be further from the truth - well, sort of.  I did partake in quite a few jello shots.  For those of you unfamiliar with these silly party gimmicks, they're shots of vodka prepared with flavored Jello which are then unceremoniously slurped down.  This is not a dignified way to enjoy alcohol.  After the 8th or 9th shot, it's downright disgusting. 

What I'm blogging about today is what we do as pet owners to keep our furry ones pristine and "company worthy".  What?  Huh?  RANDOM!  How did I go from a backyard party and jello shots to this topic?  Let me explain.

Yoda, A Character from Star Wars
Last night, several guests brought their small dogs along for the celebration. There was a dachshund and a couple of very entertaining chihuahuas.  One of the chihuahuas was wearing an itty sweater and being held.  The other wasn't quite as small and had quite the personality; his name was Yoda.  The reason behind his name was that he had enormous ears and funky whiskers which practically dragged to the ground.  Other than the "mustache" he was a short-haired dog.

Alas, Yoda found my paper plate of cheese nachos.  His whiskers were drooping under the weight of processed cheese goo.  His owner took special care to wipe his mustache clean while the owner's husband and my own, sweet Eric, teased her mercilessly.  My dear friends and blog readers, you all know that I'm a serious animal lover.  I immediately sided with the whisker wiping woman.  I too would not have my pet suffer the indignities of enduring a messy mustache.  Why is this silly?

I've been known to chase my dogs in order to scrape out offending eye boogers.  What's wrong with this?  My dogs are white.  Eye boogies are black.  I am providing a two-fold service; improving their appearance and allowing them to see better.  No one else will step up to the plate and perform this distasteful duty.  My poor critters would suffer if I weren't around to provide these necessary yet disgusting functions. 

Tulip is my Shih Tzu.  I swore if I ever owned a fluffy, girl dog I would not humiliate her with bows or ribbons.  Well, this would certainly hold true if I knew in my heart of hearts Tootie wasn't such a priss and secretly loves the fuss.  So, yes - I've held her down from time to time to pin back her hair with polka dot bows.

I suppose what I'm trying to imply here is that for serious pet lovers, our little ones are like our family members.  They're a reflection of us.  We don't want them strutting about with cheesy whiskers or booger eyes.  Remember spouses, we're the first ones who notice when you have a hole in your pants or a wayward hair growing out of your ear.  How would you like it if we let you strut around a party looking unkempt?  Hmm...??  I thought so.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Personal Feminine Hygiene Gadgets...Oh My.

Funny stories come in all sorts of strange experiences and locations.  Some are fleeting or what a friend lovingly refers to as "dopeslap" moments; a sharp, self-inflicted slap to one's forehead while thinking, "Duh!  Did I really just do that in public?".  Still others require a somewhat long introduction to set-up the tale, to prepare the listener for the grand finale; the big guffaw.  My stories, of course, vary in length and detail.  I've been known to dip my paint brush into vivid and varied colors to make the portrait more detailed, more interesting, perhaps - a little more lively.  The story I'm about to tell is the truth.  No additives, fillers, or MSG; 100% natural. 

Believe it or not, I am a bit of a sexual innocent (my best friend will argue this point to her grave).  There are many things I've learned during the past 20 or so years which have caught me quite off guard and some of which I'm still learning.  Why, as a married 45 year old, do I need to expand my education?  I don't - I suppose - but I'm a curious soul and life is interesting on so many levels.  Also, I'm extremely liberal and open minded.  I've been known to have intimate conversations with complete strangers in grocery store lines.  I can't for the life of me understand how or why this happens. I suppose people take one look at me at think, "Hmm, I can share my sexual preferences, favorite positions, and fantasies with this lady and afterwards we might go out for a Big Mac."  It's all good.

When I was growing up, sex was not discussed in my home AT ALL.  I didn't know how babies were made until school friends unceremoniously slammed some Barbies together and even then, I was somewhat befuddled.  It wasn't until I saw my first penis - up close and personal - that I thought, "Ken Doll was obviously missing something."  At 8 years old I attempted to sip some water out of what I thought was a drinking faucet in our hotel bathroom.  When my mother saw this, she screamed, "NO!".  The words, "Bidet" and "Personal Feminine Hygiene" made absolutely no sense to me.

Just recently, I was in a hotel with another one of these impressive feminine hygiene gadgets.  Of course, it made me giggle and yes, somewhat cringe because of my earlier memory.  Being my typical self, I had to investigate once again.  This time, I knew what it was but had no idea how to turn the damn thing on.  Left nozzle, warm water.  Made sense.  Right nozzle, cold water.  Typical.  Wasn't it supposed to shoot cleansing water up with some sort of pressure?  Curious.  There was a knob in the center.  Aw...yes, that did it.  Clever.  Right into my face.  Lovely.  I might as well have taken a drink...

Friday, August 10, 2012

Travel Packages: ALWAYS read the fine print.

When planning for vacations, I've learned from past experience to research travel packages carefully prior to writing the check and showing up at the airport.  In hindsight it seems logical; however, 19 year olds are impulsive when it comes to using their common sense.  I was certainly no different at this age.  When I noticed the 10-Day Hawaiian vacation package in my community college flyer my first thoughts were, "Hey, I can afford this!" and "Maybe my friend Sarah* would like to go too!"

It never occurred to this young adult to read the fine print below the tour description.  And seriously, why would I waste two hours of my Monday night attending the tour orientation?  All I needed was a couple of registration forms, the final fee amount, and the mailing address.  The hotels sounded lovely, the tours and stops were going to be amazing, and everything was within our price range.  There was no stopping us from going.  How exciting.  Oh, and I forgot to mention dear friends and blog readers, at the time - the legal drinking age in Hawaii was 18.  Sarah and I were going to have the time of our lives.

Fast forward to the morning of our flight.  We arrived with great anticipation to the LAX departure gate looking for a group of college kids but instead were met with 30 or so retired folks and one of their 13 year old grand daughters.  Apparently the fine print under the tour description - which I didn't take time to read - indicated that the tour was for senior citizens.  Awkward! 

As with everything Breezy and Sarah did at 19 years of age, we took it on the chin and laughed hysterically.  Seriously, what else could be done at this point?  The trip had been paid for.  The Grandmas and Grandpas were boarding the plane.  Our  travel host seemed just as surprised as we were and mildly (to put it gently) worried that she may have two somewhat wild young ladies on her otherwise calm tour experience.

Off we went; Hawaiian Airlines from Los Angeles International Airport direct to Honolulu, Hawaii.  Nothing could be more exciting for the two of us.  Yes, Sarah and I travelled together before but we had chaperons.  In a way, one could assume we had over 30 pairs of eyes keeping a watch over us but in all honesty, we were on our own.  God help the Hawaiian Islands.

Sarah and I were as naughty as the tour leader feared we would be.  During the day, we travelled on the bus with the rest of the group listening intently to the history of the islands; however, the evenings belonged to us.  The first day we arrived, we connected with the tour bus driver who - despite his advanced years - introduced us to the local hangouts as well to his apartment, his pot plants, his fine wines, and his penchant for giving amazing hickeys.  The next morning, as Sarah and I were coming up from the beach, we met with a couple of nice ladies from our tour returning from breakfast.  Both of us were in our bathing suits and by this time it was widely known who we were out with the night before.  In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if the tour leader hadn't threatened him with his job if he didn't stay away from us going forward. 

Sarah, always being sweet and talkative, completely forgot her neck and chest were covered with "love bites".  One of the ladies, who couldn't take her eyes off of Sarah's horrifying bruises, asked if we had a nice time the night before.  Sarah, being Sarah, snorted while laughing at the same time,

"Oh my gosh, we had such a great time!!!  John* showed us all over the city and we had dinner.  It was faaaabulous!!"

While Sarah was ranting and raving, I was trying to catch her eye by popping my own orbs out of my head but she was on a roll.  She continued about what a terrific time we had and what a gentleman (yeah, right) John was.  The ladies eventually stepped off the elevator to their floor.  I was speechless and horrified.  "What's wrong, Bri?"  I told her.  Sarah started crying.  She was mortified.  Yep, that was embarrassing.

The last night was our grand finale; la dolce vita.  We managed to get all of our dear senior friends on the dance floor with us.  No one remained in their chairs.  No matter what their physical ailment was, the zest Sarah I contained for life was contagious.  We shimmied, giggled, and laughed with these folks until they could literally stand no longer.  We made their trip one to remember and I'm certain when they went to bed that night, for a few moments anyway, they shook their heads in wonderment. "How could two young girls manage to turn a 10-day senior citizen's tour so absolutely crazy, silly wild?" 

After our tour group headed back to the hotel, and despite the fact that Sarah and I hadn't packed yet for our 6:00am departure the next morning, we didn't return to our room that night.  We stayed and celebrated the joy of the evening.  I walked along the beach with the drummer of the band between sets and later with a nice guy named Alan from St. Louis.  It's interesting what our memory retains so many years later.  When I had left my friend Sarah, she was walking down the beach with one military fellow and after I returned with my friend from back east, I heard her laughter resonating from the pool area.  There was Sarah; fully dressed in the jacuzzi with two Scandinavian men in nothing but their underwear.  All I could do was laugh. 

We did eventually get back to our hotel - with only 15 minutes to spare.  My friend's hair was still soaking wet when we boarded the bus for the airport.  By the time we landed at LAX, we were hungover, hadn't slept or eaten real food in over 48 hours, and looked like death.  Our parents were shocked at our appearance.  Now that I think about it, that's the last time Sarah and I ever travelled alone together.

I believe it's time for another chick trip.  What do you think?  Those were good times, my friend.  Good times.

*Names have been changed for privacy purposes.   

Monday, August 6, 2012

Bri Potts: Irreverent Do-Gooder Extraordinaire

I'm an irreverent "do-gooder" and by this I mean, I attempt to do good after I've done my fair share of being naughty.  Confused?  That's ok.  I'm a difficult bird to understand sometimes.  I believe I fell out of the nest and onto my head early in life.  Let me try to explain.

Eric and I are blessed to be surrounded by lovely neighbors, in fact - since we've moved to our new home in Colorado, we consider most of our neighbors like family.  There is a large Asian American family directly to our right; however, due to a language barrier it's difficult to connect with them.  Now this is where my "naughty" explanation comes in.

I've made quite a few comments in past blogs about my serious disdain for noisy hoards of children (cough, sputter, choke...).  I'm now shamefacedly admitting that these remarks were directed towards these neighbors and as of yesterday my new found knowledge of their nine children.  Not only do these fine folks have a full baseball team of kiddos, but their live-in elderly parents babysit additional grandchildren during the week. 

As I've repeatedly written in the past, I love kids but not screaming ones.  I have two handfuls of joy right here at home.  If I wanted to hear hollering, I could stand at the bottom of my staircase and listen to Austynn give me an earful on a bad day.  Now that I understand there's an average of 13-14 children next door caterwauling about bumblebees at 9:00am, can anyone truly blame me for being a nervous wreck and in constant pursuit of my Valium?

I've explained my naughty side of the situation.  This is where I'll try to write about my irreverent attempt at being a "do-gooder" with these folks.

Yesterday, while Eric and I were standing in our driveway, we noticed a van pull up directly in front of their house.  The street was lined with cars so we knew they were having a large family get-together of some sort.  As I happened to look over, I saw who I believed to be the grandmother being carefully assisted out of the van.  Granny is normally a sprite little lady.  Just a couple of days ago I waved to her over her fence.  She looked terrific.  Not yesterday.  She was using a walker, barely functioning, and her face was drawn.  It occured to me that she'd had a stroke.  I felt AWFUL.  She's the matriarch of that huge family.  I knew they were gathered at the house for her.

At this point, my husband and I decided to walk over with some fresh flowers from our garden, a plate of homemade cookies, and our best wishes for a speedy recovery.  I was going to write a little note, but I didn't have the appropriate stationary.  I will also preface this story that I NEVER go next door.  Usually it's Eric being the sweet neighborly dude; not me.  I'm the bitchy, grumbly one leaving anonymous notes reminding them about weekend courtesy noise levels before 10:00am. 

Imagine my shock and awe as I'm holding the feel-better fresh cut bouquet of flowers (Eric was quickly swiping at the ants I failed to wash off the bouquet now crawling up my arms) when the sprite little non-English speaking granny comes hopping up to the door to collect her BIRTHDAY presents from us.  Either granny miraculously recovered from a debilitating stroke in the last half hour or I mistook the frail van passenger for granny.  Hmm...must have been the latter.

With a translation from one of her grandchildren, "Happy Birthday!  We know how much you love flowers soooo here you goooo!"

Thank God I didn't write that note.  That would have made for an extremely awkward situation. Irreverent Do-Gooders; we really know how to put ourselves into it, don't we?



Sunday, August 5, 2012

If I say, "no" - I most certainly mean, "yes".

I'm a walking contradiction.  I enjoy children but not screaming, hoards of them.  I love people but not ignorant, self-absorbed ones.  Comedy is wonderful but not when it crosses the "cruelty line".  I adore animals until they snarl at me. "Shit! That dog must be rabid!"  Babies; heaven on earth until they smell like pooh, or they start nom-nomming on my boob, or begin howling and then it's, "Hey, Mama, take this thing, will you?"  And, ME actually give birth to one of these aliens?  You've got to be kidding?  I serve fruits and vegetables to my boys at every meal yet I wouldn't be caught dead popping a grape in my mouth.  What the Hell is broccoli anyway?

No one is perfect, in particular myself -- Bri Potts.

Welcome to my odd and curious contrariness.  I do believe I was born this way.  There's no cure.  I'm not looking for an excuse for my behavior; however, this blog is a means to simply explain it.  I'm a little left of center, a pancake short of a stack, not the sharpest tool in the shed..well, need I say more? 

I'm not purposely poking fun of myself but I suppose if I had to tease someone, I'd be the most suitable.  Sometimes I seriously wonder what the heck inspires me to do the things I do.  Here's an example:

"Eric, what's the name of that thing?"

"What thing?"

"You know...?"

"What?"

"The thing?"

"Bri, I don't know what you're talking about!"

"Are you kidding me?"

"No.  I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about."

"Now I'm getting pissed off!  What's the point of asking you if you never know what I'm talking about?"  Eric laughs at me.

"Don't laugh at me!  I need to know the name of the thing!"  Eric laughs some more.  "OH MY GOD!"  I storm off in a temper tantrum.

Can I say for the record that it takes a wonderful man, no strike that - a saintly man - to still love me after eighteen years of marriage.  Yes, the light is on Mrs. Potts but no one is home...

   

Friday, August 3, 2012

I have a chronic case of, "I don't wanna" syndrome.

Breezy the Lazy Sloth
I'm suffering from a chronic case of, "I don't wanna" syndrome.  This is not an unknown malady.  It is quite commonly referred to in most households as, procrastination.

I need to make my bed; however, I don't wanna.  I mean seriously, what's the point?  I'm just going to crawl into it again in say -- ten minutes.  I realize it's not quite noon yet here in Colorado but I'm tired, it's Friday, and almost 100 degrees outside.  What's so important that I need to move my body and waste any sort of energy?  By lying still, I'm doing the world a favor and conserving precious resources.  I'm practicing eco-friendly conservatism.  Residents of Boulder, Colorado would approve.

I don't wanna make my children lunch.  After all, my plan is to be in bed soon.  Does this qualify me as being a ridiculously irresponsible mother?  The boys are 16 and 14; they're very much capable of throwing a couple of pieces of bread together with a slice of ham.  I suppose it would make things easier if there weren't deadbolts keeping them out of the refrigerator and pantry.  This is an unfortunate situation which they've created themselves.  When entire blocks of cheese or packages of Oreo cookies go missing in the middle of the night, the House Troll can't always assume full responsibility.  They ate a large breakfast.  The guys will be fine.  There's always fruit on the counter.

Good grief, I know I have it bad when I consider getting up for the restroom an inconvenience.  "I'm toooo comfortable....", moans the lazy sloth in her overstuffed recliner.  "I don't wanna!  If I lie here long enough, maybe the urge will just go away?  Oh, screw it..I don't wanna to go to bed.  I'll just sleep where I'm at.  If I'm lucky, my pants will be dry when I wake up."

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Boulder, Colorado - A planet unto itself.

Ahhhh...Boulder, Colorado.  It's a planet unto itself.  A strange, lovely, quirky location just a few miles northwest of where I call home.  I personally love the city but then one my dearest friends tend to introduce me at parties as her "liberal neighbor from Southern California".  Perhaps it's because I wear tie-dye shirts and purchase $5 handbags from World Market stores?

Yes, Boulder is a unique combination of college students, organic-health-food-lovin' fanatics, retired liberals, and environmental protectionist yoga instructors (if I've missed anyone, I apologize profusely).  It may sound like I'm poking fun at the suburb but I'm not.  As I've mentioned, I absolutely adore it.  I wish I lived there; however, there are just a few overwhelming factors which would disqualify me immediately.

First of all, I drink enough bottled water that I've personally contributed to global warming.  This knowledge would have the city council and 90% of the area citizens out looking for me.  I would be tarred and feathered by night fall.  I literally hide my Kirkland Brand bottles of water when I drive into the city.  In fact, I have a tendency to toss my empty plastic bottles on the floor behind my driver's seat when I'm finished (I know, it's an awful habit).  One afternoon, while getting ready to park the car, I was mortified to see 6 empty water bottles in clear view of Boulderite pedestrians.  I had to quickly shove them under my seat and out of site.  Lord only knows what environmental terrorists might have planned for me upon my return.

I don't like exercise of any kind.  Sweating is uncomfortable.  Make-up melts.  I hate the way my head itches when perspiration starts gathering under my scalp.  Walking is an activity which should only be necessary to get from my vehicle to my ultimate destination.  I'll waste gasoline driving around a parking lot in order to find a spot two car spaces closer to the mall.  I'll sit and wait ten minutes for someone to unload their packages in order to park in their space.  I'm not proud of this information; however, it's the truth and it drives my husband crazy.

The city of Boulder is filled with health conscious folks.  These folks love to sweat.  They love to ride bicycles everywhere.  I have another confession to make; I hate bicyclists.  Not cute, random bicyclists but those professional folks who ride in packs, side by side in the middle of the streets.  Now if you're one of them, I'm sorry.  It's nothing personal.  Perhaps I'm jealous?  Maybe I dislike the fact that I'll never have a tookus small enough to fit into those spandex shorts or thighs which will not spontaneously burst into flames when riding at 25mph?  Either way, the Devil comes out of me when I see these packs of riders.  I want to mow them down.  I think this is an automatic disqualifier for living within the city limits.

I can't do yoga.  Everyone in Boulder must and should do yoga.  I've tried, trust me - I've tried.  I didn't even sign up for the difficult stretchy type of yoga.  My class was meditative, calming, reflective yoga.  No problem, right?  Oh no, my dear friends and blog readers.  I failed on all counts.  Me - meditative, and calm?  All I could do was focus on not farting so of course when someone, not me (thank goodness) did fart, I couldn't stop giggling.  Focus, Bri.  Deep, calm blue waters...oh fuck it!  It was funny! 

Finally, health food.  I've mentioned before that I was once a volunteer for Hospice of Boulder.  During one of our training sessions we were asked to go around the room - as an introduction - and tell everyone what we ate for breakfast that morning.  There were about 20 of us and the answers ranged for organic fruit, herbal teas, Kashi cereal, whole grain toast, etc.  It was all very healthy - all very "Boulderite".  I was the last one to give my answer.  This is what I said:

"Hi my name is Bri Potts.  I ate three Orange Slices, and I mean the candy, not the actual fruit - I don't usually eat fruit.  A bowl of coffee with 12 swirls of Hershey Chocolate Syrup and 4 Sweet N' Low packets.  Oh, and 4 mini Hershey Chocolate Bars.  I contemplated stopping at McDonald's on the way to get a Bacon Egg and Cheese Biscuit but I was running late.  I'm having terrible sugar shakes right now, duh..I wonder why?"

I laughed.  The entire room was absolutely silent and stared at me.  They thought I was joking.  Nope.  I was perfectly serious.  That moment sealed the deal.  I could never live in Boulder, Colorado.

   

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Today is Wednesday..you know what that means?

I woke up at 4:00 this morning.   I'm annoyed.  How's this for my first Wednesday whine?  Splendid.  At first I believed I could fall back to sleep but it became quickly apparent by the ache in my mouth that I spent the better part of my drugged evening clenching my teeth.  Drat.  Then it was necessary to take another drug - in this case, Extra Strength Tylenol to relieve the pressure.  I have no shame.  I hide no information.  I'm a wuss.  I'm a hater of pain, a pill poppin' cry baby.  I'm solely responsible for keeping the major pharmaceutical manufacturers profitable.

Segue into the clenching teeth explanation.  My curious let's-take-it-apart-and-see-what's-inside autistic 14 year old found my husband's watch.  Yes.  Correct.  A new battery is no longer necessary.  My lovely anniversary gift to Eric is now in pieces on our bedroom nightstand.  There is no recovery as our son merely "popped it open with a hammer".

I took golf lessons when I was in junior high school.  I saved my allowance, bought a used bag of golf clubs, and twice a week paid an instructor to teach me the game.  This memory surfaced for the first time today in 30 years as I struggled to fall back asleep.  I'd all but forgotten this.  Why?  Why did this come back to me this morning?

At the time, it wasn't that I necessarily loved the game of golf; however, my dad did.  I learned so I would have a chance to go out and perhaps one day spend a quiet afternoon on a course with him.  He never invited me.  His sons, yes.  His daughter, sadly no.

Yesterday was a difficult day.  Memories of my father came swirling around me like waves on a sea.  When he was alive, I wanted him to be proud of me; to see that I could stand on my own two feet.  No matter how hard I tried to impress him, it seemed I fell just a little short.  Ellen was the smart, funny one.  Paul was his first son.  Kathy, well - she had to be spoiled.  Then there was me.  I was the sweet kid in the background..always in the background.

I had to let a piece of my "hero" go yesterday.  My father wasn't perfect.  He was a wonderful man and I loved him tremendously.  This morning I realized it was ok.  Parents make mistakes.  I have no regrets.  Perhaps one day we'll have an opportunity to play that game of golf together.