Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Not Bad News

I've done lots more blog reading that blog writing lately. I've been pooky because, well, you can only tell friends and family you're still jobless so many times before your sparkling personality starts to dim. Believe you me, it's even worse when you don't begin with a sparkling personality. When you start out as me, you turn into Eeyore.

However, last night I got some "not bad" news. In Eeyore's gloomy corner that counts as good news, right? (Not that he'd admit it.)

I made an audition CD and took it to my neighborhood bar on Valentine's Day. My cell number and email address are on the CD label, but I hadn't heard back from them. Last night we went in for dinner and it turns out the owner had just gotten the CD yesterday and plans to listen to it soon.

So, see? Not good news, but not bad - not bad at all. Especially considering my immediate intepretation: she heard it, hated it, and only hesitated to say so fearing the revenue loss from all the expensive beer I buy there. Because it's not a matter of if Eeyore's house will fall down, but simply when.

I have a strong lead on a day job as well. My church's secretary resigned and I gave them my resume last night. It's not rocket science, but it's something I care about and I'll get to design and edit publications here and there. Plus the hours are light, allowing me to work on this crazy music thing at night.

So, there we are. No good news yet, but no bad news either. Who knows, maybe the house won't fall down this time.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Darkest Before the Dawn

I'm lucky; I couldn't ask for a better husband so Valentine's Day isn't so bad for me. But, reading some other posts about the holiday reminded me how V-Day felt during the relationship free periods. We've all been there, and if you're needing a little hope, I'd like to share a story from my past:

On April 27th, 2000 (more later on why I remember the date) my roommate dragged me to a bar called Rock-a-Billies. I REALLY wasn't feeling the whole club scene, but being five years younger than me my roommate was convinced shaking my groove thang would cure my dating ills.

Early on I was approached by a dude whose cowboy hat brim was wider than his shoulders. Seriously, had a sudden rainstorm blown in, he would have been SET. He opened with, "You sure are purty." He asked me to dance, and I decided it couldn't hurt and he might even be a nice guy. Trying to make conversation I asked, "What do you do for a living?" He said proudly, "I ride horses."

OK - there are subtle nuances here that will go unnoticed without regional background. If you aren't savvy to southern courtship, since he didn't specify, "I ride the rodeo circuit" or "I'm a farrier/trainer/large animal vet," he was running the HORSE SCAM.

I was supposed to respond, "Awwww! I just LOVE horses!" And swoon.

I know this because I've seen the horse scam run with great success. My brother had a very effective version in which he wore a belt buckle with an oval miniature painting of two random horses. One brown one and one white one.

When the girl he was dancing with asked, "are those your horses?" he replied lovingly, "Oh yeah, that's Brownie and Scott." From there he wove a tale of the distress he's endured since poor Brownie had to be put down, but he and Scott were trying to move on. (This tapped into the female's nurturing instinct AND put the image of him on a WHITE HORSE in her mind - nice touch, huh?) This almost always drew a "Bless your heart" from the victim, indicating that the groundwork was set. It was the ultimate player scam, redneck-style.

There was some over-the-shoulder eye rolling as I finished dancing with the cowboy. I left the club with an even bleaker outlook than when I entered.

The very next day, I met a really nice normal guy whom I married exactly one year from that date. I still tease Bryan that he owes some portion of his success to Mr. You Sure Are Purty.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


Maybe it's not a blizzard per se, but a foot of snow is a blizzard in my book.
Our dog (Tuttle) was absolutely mesmerized. (Yeah, I know it's a weird name. Her previous family had a pair of three year old twins who named her. But, she's awfully cute.)

The snow was too deep to run in, so she just hung out and got snowy.

She played with Bryan some,

and then plopped down on the snow for a photo with me.

Bryan wrote a sweet note on my car when I wasn't looking.

If you're getting cavities from all this sweetness,
enjoy a different side of our family:

When Bryan got stuck because he had to find out
if he could get the car out,
I wrote him a little note:

I won't write the Tao of the Snow Shovel Pt. 2,
but I'll offer one last pearl of wisdom.

Sometimes you gotta admit you're licked, and go get warm.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Mystery, with Love

Bryan: I got you a really creative Valentine's Day gift this year. Maybe the most creative ever.

Me: Really?

Bryan: Yeah. Only one problem though. I think it says, "Happy Anniversary."

Me: Hey, no big deal. The wrong greeting on a card, I can deal with that.

Bryan: Umm, no, really. It SAYS, "Happy Anniversary."

Me: (suspiciously) Do you mean it's engraved, "Happy Anniversary"?

Bryan: (brow furrowed, nodding quickly) "Mmm-hmmm."

He also hinted that I could "sort of" eat or drink this alleged gift. I can't wait to find out what I could "sort of" eat that could also be engraved. Should clear up that iron deficiency.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

The Tao of the Snow Shovel

I grew up in a much warmer place. I don’t usually romanticize it. If you've lived in a warm climate, you’re aware that there’s such a thing as being too hot. My Hoosier friends don't understand that and they get misty-eyed and wistful when they speak of their collective Shangri–la: Florida. Don’t misunderstand. I love the beach, but, let’s keep some perspective: the mosquito is Florida's unofficial state bird.

I admit to missing warmer climes today, though. I spent two hours shoveling snow, and it’s still coming down. I’ve been in a real funk lately, and much to my surprise, I had a few small epiphanies out in the cold.

As I shoveled my giant mess of a driveway, I realized the driveway was perfectly fine – I just couldn’t see it for all the snow. That made me think that maybe my life’s not the giant mess it seems right now. Perhaps there’s a perfectly good life down there hiding beneath some other crap. (Do they sell fear shovels at Home Depot?)

Some people will tell you it’s useless to shovel while it’s still snowing. People will tell you a lot of stupid shit. If you don’t shovel early and often, you get a deep snow blanket with an evil layer of ice beneath. Removing that takes much more effort than freshly fallen snow.

Not all snow is bad. Snow-covered trees and fields are lovely. Only the stuff that accumulates on roads, driveways, and sidewalks is dangerous. We have to watch out for a bunch of crap in the areas that incapacitate us.

Shoveling snow is pretty simple: one shovel at a time. The key is not to ignore it until it becomes overwhelming. Part of my personal “driveway snow” has been other people’s opinions. No – wait – their opinions aren’t the problem. The problem is the weight I've given their opinions, and my decision to lug them with me everywhere.

You can’t fill your shovel until first you’ve emptied it.

Sometimes, nice people with snow blowers will help you. (Tony, you’re the freaking MAN.) That personal “driveway snow” removal is a solo project, but nice supportive folks can help you find the strength and inspiration to do it.

If you’ve neglected the snow, it’s a lot of work, but it’s not impossible. When you’ve neglected your dreams for a while, of course there’s a lot of initial work to do. But, one shovel at a time, you can get back to them.

If you'll excuse me, I have more work to do.