the ice storm cometh…

If you believe the news stations, you’d think a frosty Armageddon is nigh… Classic shots of brave reporters, bundled in artic gear, standing next to piles of salt in road maintenance facilities.  Interviews with rugged locals sharing survival tips, steeling themselves against ‘death from the skies’.

Fortunately, i know better. And despite the fact that i haven’t been to the grocery in over a month, and there is nothing in the house to eat except a 3 month old, half-eaten box of frosted wheat cereal, stale granola bars, and some Milk Bone shrapnel even the dog won’t eat, i’m not in a panic.

Unfortunately, the store shelves are under assault!  Not only the grocery stores, but drug stores, hardware stores and even the Quick-e-Marts are being stripped clean by blue-haired old ladies frantic to stockpile goods before the storm hits.

Fortunately, I am clever and lazy.  I called out for enough pizza delivered to my door (which i answered in my bathrobe) – that i can survive for 3-4 days if required.  Oh, and i have beer and a full bar.  Forgot to mention that part… pretty important in the decision-making process.

Unfortunately, the prediction is for 1/4″ of ice, followed by 4″ of snow.  Nothing moves on ice, even the 4WD fucktard-mobiles.  Always fun to see them skidding out of control on ice.  Arrogant, stupid bastards…

Fortunately, given that weather forecasts are ratings-motivated, computer-generated hallucinations filmed in front of a green screen, we’ll likely get about 6 hours of rain and wind… with a temperature around freezing. 

So, stay tuned!  Will daisyfae end up spending a weekend alone with the dog, drinking beer and gnawing on scraps of fossilized pizza? Will the power go out, forcing her to pull out the gas-powered generator she cleverly keeps in the garage?

Um…I just don’t have any gasoline on hand to run it.  And yes, i could theoretically siphon gas from one of the shitmobiles… if they weren’t both on “E”.

(note to self: get shit together. notify media if i do…)

—————-

Winter storm update: Breaking news — despite the best efforts of the media to make something happen, through strategic geographic placement of staff, wearing artic gear, the final result was a short period of ice (between 2am and 3am).  This was followed by about 3 hours of rain… A few accidents in the middle of the fucking night, but nothing caught on tape, suitable for replay on endless loop for the entire season. 

Bottom line – an aura of faux relief on the morning news shows, barely masking bitter disappointment… no regional emmy awards for storm coverage likely from this one.  And i will not have to eat pizza for three days.  Ha!

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Let the sun shine in…

Two weeks before Hair opens, and i’ve attended rehearsals this week.  Beautiful voices, but still a few mised lines, confused blocking and dance misfires.  All in all, it’s in good shape going into the home stretch. 

I was curious to see the infamous “Be In” scene.   When Hair originally opened, the full nudity during this scene was controversial.   The show is dated, though, and not produced very often.  When it is?  The nudity isn’t a big deal for modern audiences.  Most people know what to expect and community standards have evolved over four decades. 

It is a difficult thing, however, for amateur performers to be nude on stage – this is scary enough to warrant an entire category of nightmares!  The directors vision is to see bodies moving, as much skin as possible, and clothing being tossed away.  He is allowing each performer to choose the degree of nudity that is comfortable.

Not knowing what to expect, i was delighted to see this cast embracing their nekkidness – and no, not just because they’re pretty…  Some performers went for “the full monty” (oops, that’s a different show).  Others went with partial nudity, or just removing layers of clothing down to their underwear.

My contribution to this show will be backstage, assisting with props, costumes and the like.  For fun (knowing how much i love this show), the director offered to let me be one of the policemen who arrest the audience and all those naked, stoned hippies at the end of the scene.

Earlier in the week, I was offered a different option.  I now have the opportunity to make a cameo appearance during the “Be In”.

Did i need time to think about it?  About a nanosecond…

Sorry kids, but Momma’s going to be showing some skin on a local stage!  I’ll go ahead and book the therapist now… Are twice a week sessions enough to get started?

Doctor, Doctor…

Even though my divorce was perhaps the friendiest of all time, i went through a ‘blue’ period – nothing quite so productive or meaningful as Picasso.  More of a ‘funk’ than anything else…

While driving with The Girl, we talked a little about these sorts of things…that it’s normal to feel a little down during life transitions.  Using the cantankerous tapedeck in my shitmobile, we were listening to a playlist from my iPod.  Nothing light and cheery, that’s for sure.

The Girl picked up my iPod, and dialed up the “25 most played” tunes.

“Holy shit, Mom!  No wonder you’re depressed!  Natalie Merchant? Eva Cassidy? Sarah McLachlan?  This is ‘slit-yer-wrist’ music… middle-aged chick emo!”

She then went on to prescribe some tunes with a bit less thorazine…

“You need some Scissor Sisters, the Soundtrack from ‘Life Aquatic’ and maybe some Killers…  Try that for a few weeks and see if it helps…”

i do not recall

The Boy and The Girl were home last weekend.  I had just returned from a week of travel, and the three of us were drinking catching up, while tormenting the dog.  (Note to the “Mother Of The Year” Award Nominating Committee Members?  Move along… there’s nothing to see here…)

Around midnight, the doorbell rang.  The Boy looked out the window, and said “oh, that’s D…”, and went downstairs to open the door.  Since most of his friends have been banished from the house (due to a series of incidents last summer), he stepped out on the porch to chat.

Less than 5 minutes later, he came back upstairs, looking a little rattled and confused.  “That was awkward…”

“Who was it?  What was that about?”

“It was D and his brother.  Wanting to know if I’d slept with his brothers’ girlfriend.”

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you’re never fully dressed…

When Dad died, I was surprised by the overwhelming number of minor decisions that had to be made – even though he had made his wishes known regarding the ‘big stuff’ (no life support, no heroic measures, no plastic flowers on his grave*…)

In the days before the funeral, family members dealt with different pieces of the puzzle – one of my jobs was to bring clothing to the funeral home.  Amidst a million other errands, i flew into the house, quickly went over the items Mom had prepared, then ran out to get the clothing to the funeral home by the requested delivery time.

Walking into the office at the funeral home, i was greeted by a receptionist – exhibiting the demeanor of a woman who had seen much and reacted to little.

And then it hit me.  I didn’t say “hello”, or “I’m bringing clothing for…” or anything else… The only word I could utter?

“Pants?”

The unruffled receptionist politely said “I beg your pardon?”

I whispered, in complete shock: “Pants!  I don’t have his pants…”

She remained calm, and said “We fully dress here…” **

Choking back a fit of the giggles, I held up a finger and managed to tell her “I’ll be right back”.

I raced back to the house, where Mom and my sister (and fellow refugee) T, were dealing with other issues.  Breathless, i ran inside, and stood before them in the dining room.  I asked the same question: “Pants?”

T turns immediately to Mom and blurts out “SEE!!!!  I told you he needs pants!  Nobody’s sending my ass out of this world without my fucking pants!”

And then came the stress giggles…

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* Mom is a packrat.  One particularly annoying ‘collection’ is of cheap, dusty, faded and completely horrible plastic flowers.  My Dad hated these things – and one of the deathbed promises i made was to assure him that there would be no plastic flowers on his grave.  It’s a constant battle, but i’m tenacious…

** During preparations for my Grandmother’s funeral, i was surprised to learn that it was a local (Appalachian) custom to only dress the corpse from the waist up – since the casket would only be half-open during visitation.  Grandma was buried in her bloomers, pantyhose and the top half of a pantsuit.  I find many burial rituals bizarre and barbaric, but this one seemed particularly goofy.  I’ve often wondered if it somehow originated from depression-era frugality.  I have yet to find much documentation on this practice. 

yes, i have…

in my professional community, there are several ‘knowns’ about daisyfae, including:

     a) insatiable lust respect and appreciation for fast cars

     b) will do damn near anything when dared

     c) will do damn near anything without being dared

These particular “knowns” collided one day in a corporate parking lot… 

One of the founders of a very successful company had indulged in a guilty pleasure after decades of hard work.  He purchased a Ferrari.  As fate would have it, i was visiting just a few days after he purchased this pavement-munching monster, and he was still deeply immersed in the anal-retentive ‘don’t hurt my baby’ phase of toy ownership. 

Leaving the headquarters building at the end of the day, i had the opportunity to see it… 

There it was – literally gleaming in the sun!  Screaming at me…  What did it say?

“lick me”

So i did.  And i left a big ol’ tongue mark snaking across the drivers side window like the slime trail of a slug.  This astonished and amused my companions, including the corporate VP.

VP: [laughing] so… what did it taste like?

daisyfae: road grime…

Yes, i have licked a Ferrari.  And, no – contrary to all the marketing and hype, it did not taste like turbo-charged, metallic sex….

Safe and (Un)sound

At 55 years old, my oldest sister, S, is still ‘traffic-stopping hot’.  She’s a size 4, has Loni Anderson hair, looks fantastic in leather pants and rides her own Harley.  She is also hard-working, tenacious and very smart – having worked her way up from the secretarial pool to become the head of the IT department for a prestigious midwestern law firm – with no formal education beyond high school.  Let’s overlook for the moment her taste in men

Even with so much going for her, she has a near-crippling fear that she’ll be murdered, raped, skinned alive or otherwise assaulted.  I didn’t realize how bad this was until we took a short trip together last year. 

Since i own nothing but shitmobiles, we agreed to take her car.  As we were leaving her house, she said “i just don’t feel safe.  do you mind if i bring my gun?” 

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On an airplane…

got an upgrade to business class on my flight.  sitting next to a seasoned traveler, we were comparing stories of frequent flier perks, hotel loyalty programs and the like…

daisyfae: my primary requirement? the hotel must have an in-room coffeemaker!

seasoned traveler:  you actually use them?  don’t you know that flight attendents wash their dirty panties in those things?

daisyfae: [blink…. blink….]

Frame of reference

When i married in 1984, it was obvious that my in-laws were not ‘of The Park’.  Dignified, smart, hard-working and quiet people — they also had this annoying tendency to mate for life.  Celebrations of 60th wedding anniversaries are routine, and there are only whispered stories regarding divorces of more distant family members.

Over the years, our children quickly learned to expect different types of holiday gatherings, depending on which side of the family was involved. 

When visiting the in-laws:  Quiet dinners at beautiful tables, set with real linens and silverware made of actual metal.  Candles.  Many helping hands in the kitchen.  The eagerly anticipated arrival of vans full of tired, happy people who had traveled great distances to be with family for the holidays.  Holding hands at the table while someone says grace.  Thoughtful, tasteful and practical gifts.

When visiting The Park:  Chaos.  Too many people crammed into a too-cluttered house, with smoke so thick you can’t see the dining room from the kitchen.  Sandwiches and metric tons of cookies for dinner, with big, plastic 2-liter bottles of soda on the table.  Boisterous conversation, while gifts and food are thrown across the room — mainly because there is no clear path to walk without stepping on a screaming toddler.  People racing in to collect holiday loot, then racing off to go transfer the kids to the other parent to meet terms of custody agreements.  Gifts that vibrate, sing or both…

One Christmas, after a nearly side-by-side comparison of these disparate environments, my children made the following observation:

“Mom, how come on Dad’s side of the family, you are considered the wild, free-spirited, crazy member of the family, but on your side, you’re the one who handles every crisis and all the important stuff?”

“Relativity…”

[sigh]

Meeting Survival 101

We all have professional quirks. Mine?  i become deeply irritated with people who fall asleep in meetings.  It’s rude and unprofessional…

…and sometimes damn near impossible to avoid, especially after a long night of drinking and silliness with colleagues day of travel.  Such was the case today.  I found myself pulling every trick from my arsenal to keep my head from nodding like a dunking bird.  Much to my surprise, by the end of the day, i’d actually stumbled onto something useful…

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