Wednesday, March 21, 2012

On Letters

I’m not that old but when I was a kid, I had a penpal. The kind of penpal whose response I awaited eagerly for in my mailbox. For weeks I greeted the postman with hope and smiles only to be completely dismayed when all I got was an armful of brochures, bills and Sedano’s flyers. By the time my penpals response finally came in the mail, I had completely forgotten what I wrote about and wished I had remembered to make a photocopy of my original letter.

Today the handwritten note is as dead as dinosaurs. I don’t even know of any young person with legible, let alone beautiful, handwriting. For a while there, it was more exciting to receive an email than it was a handwritten note. “You’ve got mail” was a glorious sound. Now I mute the computer volume to check the spammy emails I have delivered to my AOL account. And once again, I check my mailbox filled with hope and excitement for a letter from my 8 year old penpal, Mary.

I regressed and found myself a penpal. A kid one. I wanted to share the exhilaration of receiving an envelope with your name and a stamp on it. I bought expensive stationary just to write to Mary. I write to her about silly things. I write to her about sports and how boring it is to be an adult. I also write her about the amazing letters I received from her mom, Gloria, when she was just a cadet at the Air Force Academy and I was a girl.

Gloria’s letters were filled with adventure. Long hikes through the wilderness eating rabbits they caught from the wild and an eyeball on a dare. Stories of romps with the champion rugby team she played on, and the hundreds of times she parachuted from an airplane.

The letters I received live in a big box under the bed in the spare bedroom. Looking through them recently, I found $40 that an aunt sent with a note in French wishing me a happy birthday and hoping I kept up with my lessons. Every once in awhile I lug it out to reminisce on the wonder of being a kid. The letters are dusty and filled with a sincerity that simply does not translate the same in an email.

Although I haven’t done anything nearly as cool as my penpal Gloria, I try to make my letters as interesting as possible for my 8 year old audience. Maybe she doesn’t appreciate the nice paper now but I hope later she might. If she only gets one thing out of my letters I hope it’s that someone a few hours driving distance away really loves her.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Cat Problems

I've turned in to the cat blog lady. I like and maybe love my cat now. She hasn't peed on the fridge in almost 2 months. But she hasn't eaten or drank much in about one month. She's lost 4 pounds. I took her the vet. She peed in my car twice. I didn't feel like I wanted to kill her. She was sick and scared. We both were. I thought we were going on a long drive towards the big sleep. I cried a little. I pet her. I told her I loved her and she lived. I wasn't disappointed to be bringing her back home. I fed and watered her through a syringe twice a day. She grew stronger. I cut her nails for my personal safety. I bathed her with Head and Shoulders cause she smelled like she'd been sleeping in her piss, and that's all I had in the house. I dried her vigorously with a towel. She protested and hid, humiliated behind the washer until the coast was clear. I set up a little section for her on the floor with the fluffy towel she prefers. I scratched her cheeks, she purred for the first time in weeks.

But she's still not right. She doesn't hate me at all. I feel safe leaving my shoes out. I have to carry her to lay with me on the sofa. She hasn't got the strength to jump up on the coffee table. Will she ever be herself again? Is this the new Mimi? Frail, skinny, so tired and friendly with no fight in her at all? Will we ever be frenemies again? I want her to feel better. To jump on what she's not supposed to. Get fat. Bring lizards from outside to play with. And, now that it's summer, kill the giant roaches that come in the house to cool off in the AC.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Curly Girl

I cut my hair off not too long ago and, much to my dismay, I lost my curls. I had straight hair as a kid until puberty did a number on me. First my bangs separated and got frizzy. Not too tough to handle cause I just pulled the bangs back. Then, faster than you can say humidity, my whole head looked like it had been through a crimping iron set to 10 and worked on in a hot tub.

It took me, my sisters, mom and aunt over a year to realize that it wasn’t that I didn’t brush my hair enough. I was brushing it way too much. My hair way curly and I was to “mouse and diffuse”, as my aunt Cecilia so astutely realized. It was a freaking nightmare for me as a 12 year old because it was a time in the late 80’s early 90’s when big hair was no longer in style. And, despite my greatest effort, I couldn’t get myself not to look like a Madonna circa 1980 impersonator.

Anyway as things got better, the curls became more defined and overall I felt better about the change. Eventually I would resist all attempts at blow out as the slightest gust of wind or increase in humidity, real or imaginary, would cause what I call a halo of frizz on my head. Or, more commonly, sore arms from a 2 hour effort with the wrong hairdryer, the wrong brush and the wrong product. Resulting in me with my head upside down in the sink washing out a hideous hairdo and the burnt bits of my hair that were still hanging on with serum and the Holy Spirit. I would have put Crazy Glue in my hair if I thought it would make it look better.

So, now, I’m getting what I thought I always wanted. My hair is turning straight in the reverse order in which it got curly. Back to front. If you put a curly wig on top of a straight wig, you will get the idea of what my hair looks like right now. I’m hoping at the end of this new change my hair will at least have something of a wave. I hadn’t realized how much I had defined myself by my curl. How much I liked myself as that girl with the unruly hair. And, although I know he will always love me, I know Andres prefers me with the curlier hair.

I know every time I cut my hair I am taking off a little bit of what I came to like so much about myself. But, just as there was nothing I could do to prevent the first change, there’s nothing I can do to prevent this one. I just want the process to speed up a little cause, I won’t lie, I’m looking forward to some bangs!!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

7 Lives Left

I've had so much on my mind that I've gotten completely mindless. You know the feeling where there's a whole lot of brain activity but not a whole lot of thoughts? Is it just me?

I find myself on the sofa with my cat, my nemesis. She's pretty chill right now. Purring and resting her heavy head on my arm. Maybe she does love me. Maybe just today. I'm trying really hard to have a deep thought here but all I can think of is how I miss Andres and that I'd love a little something to eat. I wonder, if it came down to it, if it was really freezing outside and there was nothing to eat, if I would eat my cat. Like if I really, really had to. Survival of the fittest stuff. For now there's a lone ice cream cone in the fridge that might do the trick for the slight grumble in my tummy. Mimi lives to die another day.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Change the Tape

I have the same dream almost every morning. I'm in a huge house. It's my house but don't recognize it. Every one I know is there. When they ask me for something, even though I'm not sure where to find it, I always know where it is.

I've been practicing yoga with a new teacher, Ken, who also gives seminars on lucid dreaming. He describes lucid dreaming as awareness within sleep that you are dreaming and trying to make decisions within the dream to manipulate it. So maybe a bad dream turns to a good dream and a good dream to an even better one.

Since learning a little about lucid dreaming, I try to dream I'm swimming in a pool of chocolate milk. As I'm falling asleep I imagine myself swan-diving into a pool of delicious full-fat chocolate milk. I imagine myself floating on my back in chocolate milk. I think of frog kick, free style and back stroke. But I don't ever dream of swimming in chocolate milk.

This morning the house turned into a beach house and sank into the ocean. It was a lucid dream. I sank the house into the ocean. It was a great. It was the dream I have been wanting to have. Maybe destroying the house this morning is enough to make the dream go away forever. If not forever maybe long enough to join Andres in the chocolate pool.

...Sweet Dreams...

Monday, January 17, 2011

It was Broke Before I even Got Here

Went to Ikea this afternoon with some great friends and bought myself a bathroom mirror and shelf to replace the horrible thing the previous owners so poorly installed when we first bought this old house 7 years ago. It was just your typical piece of shit mirror with two doors that meet in the middle, right where your face goes when you look at yourself.

This new one I bought has two faults. First, it's tall as shit. But that's what I like about it. And second, it's way too tall for the current space and requires me to move the lamps that are in right now just about a foot or so higher. Which is cool. Except I know nothing about electrical and I already took the bathroom apart.

So now I'm just taking a break from a huge-ass mess I made.

Andres ordered us two large pizzas from Papa John's. One for him, one for me. Mine was supposed to be "extra skin-ny". He must have heard "extra chees-y". I peeled off the superfluous cheese in the hopes that the 3 slices I had would only add up to about 500 calories TOPS.

So after my 60 calorie sugar-free dessert I will confess to Andres about the mess. He's been on the phone this whole time. I was without supervision. Lesson not learned. I know I'll do it again. And make him deal with the live electrical cables.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Frivolous Saving/Traffic Jam

Sitting in my car, I had an epiphany. What if... I put my plug-in air freshener on a timer? That way, I can save my air freshener so it lasts longer than the month promised. Which, by the way, it never does.

Last night I set the timer to turn on at 8am when I wake up and turn off at 10 am when I'm gone. THEN, it'll crank on again at around 6pm. Just enough time for it to be smelling super fresh when I get home from work!!

Genius I say! And also pretty lame. But I am glad to be putting at least three things to good work. First, the timer that has been buried in a drawer for a long time. Second, the air freshener. And third, my brain. Right?