coincidence? hmmm…

santain on flickrSo, I get an A word a day  email every day (yes, I am that nerdy). Today’s word was schadenfreude. (An excellent word. If you don’t know it, you need to click on that link and learn it, so the rest of this post will make sense. If you are only now learning this word, you’re welcome. Enjoy it. Use it to impress the easily impressed.)

Anyway, so I took note of the lovely word for today, and then I opened facebook, and what should be at the top of my newsfeed (thanks to a cousin’s lady-friend)?

The following video. So you tell me: coincidence? Or is the universe trying to tell me something? (Other than the obvious lesson to not ever play soccer with these guys…)



Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. 

— Melody Beattie

The following video is a little long. (it’s a TED talk, if you haven’t discovered these–you need to!) But it’s worth it, IMO. Happy Thanksgiving, my friends.

a stud muffin by any other name…

BTW, here’s the painting I mentioned last week–now finished. (It’s actually not blueish on the bottom in real life, although that looks kinda cool. That’s a lighting/photography problem.) Anyway, I think it turned out okay.

So, the other day I was talking to the-man-to-whom-I-am-married. (Notice how I skillfully used whom and also how I avoided ending a sentence with a preposition…that’s advanced writer shit.) He mentioned to me that the hubster is not how he would prefer I refer to him in this blog. He suggested L—– but, I explained that some people who read this will not remember that L—– refers to the-man-with-whom-I-share-a-bathroom-and-sometimes-wish-I-didn’t.

And so began the search for a new improved moniker for the-man-with-whom-I-also-share-a-closet-which-sucks-sometimes-because-he-makes-unwelcome-comments-about-how-many-shoes-I-own. Anyway, I came up with some really good ones:

  • Romeo
  • Stud Muffin
  • Lover Boy
  • Sugar Britches
  • Italian Stallion
  • My Hairier Half (in the spirit of full disclosure this would only be true from the eyebrows down)
  • Macbeth (see, then I could be Lady Macbeth which would make doing laundry much more awesome. “Out, damn’d spot! Out, I say!”)

One year, he was the President of the local Radio Controlled Modeling club and I spent a fair amount of time humming Hail to the Chief when he walked into a room and referred to myself as The First Lady of RC Modeling. Sadly, he didn’t get to serve a second term; I think it was because he usually forgot to go to the meetings.

Anyway, despite all our nonexistent tireless work trying to come up with another name, nothing was decided, except that perhaps he would prefer hubby over hubster. However, any and all suggestions from my ten many readers will be happily considered and if they’re funny enough, used. (I’m sure he won’t mind, right?)

This video has nothing to do with anything except that I believe that there’s no such thing as too many terrible taxidermy commercials.


peace times two

Two things today that might seem unrelated, except they’re not.

One: Yesterday was the first annual (I hope) Art of Peace Festival here in Tyler. It was a family-friendly event with music, poetry readings, speakers and an art auction. In this time of increasing animosity in what seems like every facet of society, how refreshing to have a group of people coming together for no purpose other than that of promoting peace. I came home with a poetry chap book, a handmade pinwheel (which I cannot put in the back yard because one of my dogs is afraid of it–I’m not kidding) and a smile. I hope this continues here and keeps spreading to more communities. Let me know if you want more information about it…I can get you the contact info for someone in-the-know.

Two: And on the topic of peace, I’d like to pass along a word of encouragement for those of you with young children who feel like you’re living in a war zone. When my three children were kids/teenagers, it seemed like at least two of them were arguing about something all the time. It waxed and waned, but the fighting was frequent enough (and sometimes vicious enough) to make me worry that they would never get along. (We’re not talking cats and dogs–things rarely got physical. No, we’re talking more like Jane Curtain and Dan Aykroyd*.)

Anyway, flash forward ten years and you know what? They’re friends. They give each other rides to pick up a car in the shop, they all come over for dinner and everybody is laughing not bickering. Hell, they call each other on the phone more often than they call their parents.

Peace at last!

*And for any of you who were not SNL fans back in the day:

my writing is junk?

A friend at work asked to see the first chapter of my work-in-progress, so after demurring about five seconds, I agreed to email it to her when I got home. I sent it along and…it landed in her junk-mail folder. Hmmmm…

Coincidence? Or is the universe itself passing judgement on my work?

The thing is, once she found the email, she read the chapter and liked it overall, although she said the blasphemy bothered her a little. (Apparently one person’s irreverence is another person’s blasphemy.) Hmmmm…. again!

So, could it have been the blasphemy irreverence that led her Junk Mail Filter to judge my precious email content and find it wanting? Or should I not have made the subject line: “EnlarGE HoT SeXxy All thrOgH ProceSS!”?


are they really deaf…or just so crazy?

So about my neighbors…

Are they really deaf or just so crazy in love with their giant dog that they don’t notice that he barks a lot. A LOT! A LOT!


Now I have some friends who are Buddhists (internet & email friends, not local friends because finding a Buddhist here in small-town East Texas is even harder than finding a fellow Democrat) and these friends would tell me that all suffering is caused by desire.

I admire these friends and their calm, zenny wisdom. In fact I’m willing to cede the point; my suffering is not in fact caused by the barking. It is caused by my desire that the dog take a fucking break once in awhile.

Between meditation sessions* I have toyed with the idea of leaving a note on their porch…not a mean note exactly, I’m no David Thorne. Perhaps a nice little note. Maybe one along the lines of:


Dear neighbor,
You have a beautiful dog. Have you noticed that he barks A LOT! A LOT! A LOT?
Someone who really likes dogs, but also likes to sleep at night. Ohmmmmmm….


Of course, I must remember that it could be worse…**


*  In the interest of full disclosure I must confess that my meditation practice exists only as one of those things I “ought” to do. Like exfoliating or eating yellow vegetables. 

**  In the interest of even fuller disclosure I must confess that I’m pretty sure my subdivision has a zero goat tolerance, so the following situation is not a realistic depiction of a “worse” that could actually “be”. But it’s damn hard to find a way to segue to a video of a goat who sings like Usher. And this, my friends, cheers me up like meditating never has…

two sets of two and speaking of hell…

Okay, so it’s been a milliondy-bajilliondy degrees here for weeks even though it’s not yet mid-June. Seriously, if this keeps up, by August living here will be like living on the surface of the sun.

Anyway, we just moved to a new (to us) house a few weeks ago and we put in several (8) baby trees that we’re supposed to water.  The landscape guru was quite specific, fifteen minutes twice/week.  Easy enough.

So last night, after the second hose-tree-swap, I came back in and forgot to set the timer. This means two of the trees were watered until I finally remembered that I was watering trees–in other words for about two hours. (Confession time–a few years ago, different house, different tree–I did something similar except I left the hose running for two days. A neighbor’s yard guy had to come into my back yard and turn it off. Sigh.)

I have to assume the trees will be fine, but this bodes poorly for my upcoming dotage for two reasons:

  1. I forgot all about the timer in the amount of time it took to walk from the yard into the house, and
  2. Apparently it takes me two hours (or two days) to realize that I’ve forgotten something.

Heaven help me when I have twelve different pills to take every day.

So…in musing about old age and the afterlife (see post title)  I am reminded of an almost funny story about my friend…let’s call her Morticia

Last summer a friendly conversation with Morticia took a hard right into the Twilight Zone, when she confided in me about a habit of hers and, I believe, her entire extended family…they photograph the dead. In other words they take photos of friends and family member post-mortum (as in while they lie in their coffins). Morticia then puts these photos in a “death book” (at least that’s what I think she called it. I was too horrified to pay close attention.)

When this information prompted me to quickly say, “Well, when I die I’m having a closed casket funeral” (because really wouldn’t you say that after hearing about Morticia’s death book?) she said something like, “Oh, I’ll find a way to get your casket open to take a photo.”

I laughed.

She didn’t.

I have two problems with this:

  1. Ewwww.
  2. I’m really not all that photogenic when I’m alive and breathing. Even before my body parts started sagging, every picture ever taken of me has made me look either mentally challenged or stoned. I shudder (shutter? groan. sorry the pun police will here soon) to think what a snapshot of me as a corpse would resemble.

Now I like Morticia. She’s smart and funny and resourceful, and I can’t think of anyone I’d rather put in charge of a fundraiser. I should have her over for dinner…just not my funeral.