Thursday, October 25, 2007


When I was in early high school or late middle school, we had an assembly in the gym featuring some guy talking about, I guess, science. I actually don't remember the stated purpose of the assembly, but I do remember that the guy had liquid nitrogen, into which he dipped a rose and one of those cheap foam rubber balls. He tapped the frozen rose against a table and it shattered into hundreds of tiny pieces. He dropped the ball on the floor, as if to bounce it, and it also shattered, the pieces skittering across the gym floor. The liquid nitrogen was so cold it changed the rose and the ball from something soft and pliable to something brittle and easily shattered.

I haven't been exposed to liquid nitrogen, but I have been exposed to tremendous stress these last few months and I have come to a point where I feel it in every inch of my body, not merely in my head and heart where stress usually lives. I feel stiff and inflexible at a cellular level. I feel the slightest tap, physical or emotional, could break me into a million teeny pieces, pieces sharp enough to cut those around me and do lasting damage.

What I keep wondering, though, is when the break comes, will the pieces of me make that same almost musical tinkling sound the rose made as it shattered all those years ago?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Would This Be A Curveball Or A...Spitball?

Last night, Nomi, our beagle/German shepherd/dork mixed breed dog was climbing all over me with a desperate need to lick me. This despite the fact that I don't approve of the dogs licking me--it's icky. There are few things I'm squeamish about but dog spit is one of them.

Now the dogs, at one and a half years of age, should be well acquainted with the fact that I don't let them lick me, but both of them will occasionally lose their minds with the powerful need to lick me. My response is to hold their heads back while trying to give them a consolation ear-scratch. Last night, Nomi was having a harder than usual time being distracted from the licking and I said to Daughter-Only who was passing through the room, "I've never let them lick me, they know I don't let them lick me and still they try to lick me! I just don't understand it."

And Daughter-Only goes (in a cutesy-wootsie voice), "She wuvs you! She just wants you to know how much she wuvs you!"

And I say, "I'm not sure why dogs can't express affection without spit."

And Daughter-Only says, "Humans can't express affection without spit."*

She was just a teeny bit too pleased with herself.

*Despite Daughter-Only's amusing assertion, there are, of course, ways of expressing human affection that don't involve spit. For instance, one could continue providing food and shelter to a house full of smartasses. That would be very affectionate...and non-spitty.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

I Guess This Makes Me "Old Yeller"

Other Kid is on a roll lately--and don't worry, this one doesn't fall into the poopcentric conversation category. We were at the grocery store and he was a little wound up--running in the aisles and scanning his bubblegum while the cashier was distracted with the customer in front of us (it rang up twice--neato--and had to be voided off) and I spoke to him a little more sharply than I usually do, but didn't raise my voice. Even if I were the type prone to raising my voice at other people's children, I would definitely not do it in the grocery store. (Now raising my voice at my own kids, in or out of the grocery store, is a whole other matter...)

Back at the car, I was leaning over him trying to get his seatbelt hooked around his booster seat and he said, "You're squishing me." in this agonized voice.

I poked him on the forehead and said, "I never knew you were such a whiner."

Without hesitation, he poked my forehead right back and said, "I never knew you were such a yeller."

Monday, October 01, 2007

Perfect Post For September: Default Settings

You know that thing that happens when your life is busy and you're trying to do too much for too many with too few resources? You kick into auto pilot, fall back on habit or reflex and jump from one moment to the next without much conscious thought. It can be dangerous in all kinds of ways--you can look up one day and realize you have a life wholly unrelated to the one you set out to have. It can also--and I speak from a great deal of experience here--be hazardous to your waistline not to mention your health.

Pasta Queen is a blogger who has lost a great deal of weight and has about 20 pounds to go to reach her goal weight. Along the way, she's learned that it's not only a matter of eating less and moving more but of changing your entire attitude--of being aware of how established habits and thought (or non-thought) patterns affect your life. She writes about these fall-back positions as they relate to a healthy lifestyle in her post "Default Setting". But as with any brilliant observation, "default settings" can be applied to more than one aspect of life.

So, for reminding us all to check those checked boxes to see if we should uncheck them, here's my button:

The Original Perfect Post Awards – Sept ‘07

And, Pasta Queen, it's all yours!

See other winners at Petroville and Suburban Turmoil, where the awards are hosted every month.