Tuesday, June 28, 2005

The Habit

I have a confession to make. I am a user…a make-up user, that is. At first I just used a little mascara every once in a while just for fun. It made me feel “grown up.” Next thing I know, I was using mascara daily – even if I didn’t plan on seeing anyone special that day.

But soon mascara alone wasn’t enough to satiate my need to use. I noticed that the natural glow in my cheeks was fading, so I tried using a little rouge. Before I realized it, I was doing rouge and mascara every morning. Sometimes I was even sneaking in another application late in the afternoon.

And then I went over the edge; I began to use lipstick and foundation. And eye shadow. I just couldn’t help myself. Choosing different colors of lipstick and rouge and eye shadow to match my outfits – or my mood – well the combinations are endless.

Since my habit has gotten pretty serious, I no longer rely on the cheap drugstore brands. I buy exclusively from my dealer. Cute little perky thing, she is.

She isn’t making it any easier for me to quit or cut back either – not that I want to. The almost monthly catalog taunts me with the latest colors. Also, if I purchase a mere $40 worth of product, there seems to be a little “gift” I can earn.

Oh, I just saw the mail carrier…gotta check and see if that new catalog is here…

Saturday, June 25, 2005

The Gift that Keeps on Giving

It occurred to me (probably because flu season has come and gone) that I haven’t talked enough about vomit lately. Since I know you are all dying to know (or are terribly bored, and this is why you are continuing to read) what horrible event might have triggered the painful crawl into my phobic behavior, now seems as good a time as any to spill the beans – or up-chuck the details, rather.

First off, let me remind you that I haven’t thrown up since 1978. I remember that episode vividly since I was staying the night with neighborhood friends. The entire event involved tomato soup, bed jumping, and a stain on the carpet that my long ago friend was careful to remind me for years to come that I ruined her carpet. To vomit is scary enough, but to spew at someone else’s house – now that is just horrifying.

But this monologue isn’t about the event that I remember most vividly. Instead, it is about an episode that I don’t remember at all. Perhaps I was too young to remember. Perhaps I have been blocking it out for years – and will continue to do so to avoid any unnecessary trauma.

From the time I was born until I was four, I shared a room with my two older brothers. Ray, the oldest, is just over five years my senior. Scott trumps me by four years. The classic middle child, Scott has always found a way to assure that he isn’t lost in the mix. But most of his attention grabbing behaviors were done subconsciously (which is still the case today), and sometimes circumstances beyond his control thrust him into the spotlight. He almost died at age four from complications from his tonsillectomy. The surgery wound sprung a leak in the middle of the night; he has a rare blood type, and the hospital was having trouble finding blood that his body would not reject. Combing the vicinity for possible blood donors, they were finally able to locate one in the wee hours of the morning just before my brother was about to drift off into eternity. His first words after the life saving transfusion were, “I’m hungry.”

My mother has always somehow felt responsible for my brother’s near death experience.

Anyhow, whether it was because of the near-fatal tonsillectomy tragedy or the silent triggering of an undetected recessive gene, my brother has had a propensity to vomit any time anywhere from then on.

When I was two or three, I discovered the truth of his “gift.” Apparently one night in the middle of the night my brother got out of bed, walked over to MY dresser, opened the drawer, threw up in it, closed the drawer, got back into bed, and continued sleeping. In the morning when I was ready to get dressed, I found the stale vomit in my dresser. That’s my mom’s best guess as to how I developed this phobia, anyhow.

Although the reality is that other events in my life more dark than this one are probably what eventually thrust me into the darkness, this episode definitely planted the seed. Plus wherever a major vomiting event happened to happen at home or school, I was in close proximity. But in order to move on from unpleasant life experiences, people have to cope with tragedy somehow. I guess developing a minor phobia is as good as any other way to cope.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Man Boobs and other Sagginess

It's come to my attention of late that we begin and end our lives looking just about the same. In the womb, for a time we appear to be androgynous until the sex organs develop. At 90+, that androgyny revisits our tired bodies. Although the primary sex organs change little, there is a question about what happens to the boobs.

Women eventually will have saggy boobs - there is no epiphany with this point. Even those who have surgery will have to face the inevitable fact that the older we get, the more resolutely our boobs work their way south. Even the perkiest specimens cannot defy gravity for eternity.

Wait, it gets worse. I've heard stories of women who eventually have "cinnamon roll" boobs - you know, the sort that must be rolled up and stuffed into a bra. I've seen plenty of melons, too, that look as if they are weighting down the toe end of a pair of nylons. And let's not forget that horrifying “old-wrinkled-boob-flash” scene in "There's Something About Mary." Frightening.

So women, we can - we must - do something about this problem. Make a pact with your friends, your children, your neighbors - whoever will listen and remember - that when you begin to accidentally tuck your boobs into the waistband of your comfort-elastic slacks, someone will take you down to the department store to be properly fitted for the right bra. Then have your loved ones check periodically to be sure that the straps are adjusted to assure "lift."

But what happens to men? Can the "man boob" be avoided? Be warned, young men - working out the pecs is a double-edged sword. Being toned and having definition in your chest muscles is one thing, but think twice about pumping the iron hard. Is bigger really better? It's a serious question to visit before you take the next step to artificially enhance those pecs. You could end up looking like one former Mr. Universe (AKA Governor Arnold). Our man Fabio thinks he has problems now with the uneven nipples? Wait until those nipples are hanging to his waistline...

In the end, it seems as if our boobs will all look the same - men and women alike. I almost find comfort in that fact.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Go gentle into that good night, Spring

I watched a thunderhead build in the distance tonight. As the cloud billowed higher and higher, the setting sun seemed to sear its outer edges. A rope of neon orange was embellishing the perimeter of the cloud while the body of the cloud remained a smoky white. But the cloud, stretching into the sky, eventually became saturated with the warm glow of the sun. A translucent white turned fiery. It was as if a smoldering ember ignited somewhere in that cloud and lit it afire. I couldn't help to notice that the vapors above my house too were tinged with hot pink.

fists of cotton mop
teary mascara, rouge stains;
clouds in the sunset

The rain set in - a slight drizzle really - but life doesn't stop for rain here. We topped off the night by going out on the back porch and puffing on a vanilla-tipped cigar. "Now that's a nice, easy-going cigar," Poetroad sighed. "I don't know what I'm doing," I laughed as I took my puffs. I'm a cautious cigar smoker. I once made myself green by inhaling deeply one too many times while smoking with Chandy.

Even though my bare foot stepped on a slug on the way back in, tonight was divine.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

The Best Student Poem...

I should be irritated with this, but it truly made me laugh. What guts this girl has - and ironically I think it shows some creativity.

This is a haiku.
I made it for English class.
Just so I could pass.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005


A magnitude 7.4 earthquake hit off the California coast earlier this evening, and naturally a tsunami warning was issued as a precaution. Different from a “tsunami watch,” the “warning” indicates that action should be taken to evacuate any low -lying coastal areas immediately. We all saw the devastating aftermath of the tsunami that hit Banda Aceh, Sumatra, Thailand, and other locations in that vicinity earlier this year. Even places as far away from the epicenter such as the coasts of India and Africa were battered by the powerful tsunami surge. Thousands upon thousands of lives were lost – adults and children were literally plucked up from the sandy beaches, with the ease one might pluck up a tiny stone, and they were hurled out to sea in a matter of seconds. The visions caught on tape by chance were for sure frightening. The aftermath was almost unbelievable.

So how do our West Coast friends respond to the warning? Do they grab their kids, throw them in the Suburban, and make a beeline for higher ground? Surely they know from the past that tsunamis do hit the West Coast too.

No, my friends. Instead, they grab their lawn chairs, throw them in the back of the pick up truck, and head down to the sand to watch the tsunami hit. I kid you not. This is the kind of idiocy that happens here.



...two more days until I am back in the swing of things in bloggersville...

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Here is something crazy...

In the midst of finals and year-end grading, we got a puppy! He is a docile Springer Spaniel. Very cute and fun!

Friday, June 03, 2005

I've got nothing

Two more weeks until I have a life again! But seniors are done - WOO HOO!