Tag Archives: anger

Spencer Says Happy Thanksgiving!

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World Class Food Thief

It’s no secret that I am a HUGE Martha Stewart fan. I love her show and I strive to be like her in every way. But, alas, I fail miserably. Martha loves her dogs. She actually cooks for them. Inadvertently, I cook for my dogs too. I mean, Spencer thinks the dinners I make are specifically for him and helps himself. Martha uses only the best ingredients when she bakes, even for her dogs. I admire that. I also, like to start from scratch. If I am making a recipe that calls for applesauce, I like to make homemade applesauce from my own apple tree. I like to use the hoity-toity cheeses, and fancy shmancy spices. I wish I was Martha.

But, I am not. Not even close. But I try and that is what counts. So, last Thanksgiving I was invited over to my best friend’s house for dessert. I offered to bring a pumpkin cheesecake. I was so excited to make the pumpkin cheesecake I found on Martha’s website. It was a 144 step process. I made the crust from scratch (of course). The filling was from pie pumpkins,that I cooked down and pureed, the spices were from actual whole spices that I ground with my pestle and mortar. I baked at a higher degree then lowered it. I used a water bath, just like Martha insisted I do so the top wouldn’t crack. I felt so accomplished. And when the baking was done, Martha said I should allow the cheesecakes to cool on a wire rack with tin foil over them. Brilliant!

I pop them out of the oven and onto the wire racks. I had made two, one smaller for us to keep at home. They were picture perfect. The kids and I stood back to admire my superior baking skills. I wish I had taken a picture, they were that unbelievable looking and obviously a fluke as every other baked item I had made in my life has been edible, but looked like roadkill.

And upstairs we troop to get ready to go over the river and through the woods to Aunt Aubry’s house. The girls looked so pretty, I was looking not too bad. And the highlight of course is the the pumpkin cheesecake. All of the sudden, I hear something in the kitchen. But, I ignore it, I keep getting ready. I hear another something, but my denial is so strong at this point, I convince myself I am not hearing anything. We’re ready, let’s go!!

As I walk into the kitchen, I notice there is ONE cheesecake on the counter and ONE tented piece of tinfoil. NO!! NO he didn’t!!!! As I come around the island, I see the empty springform pan and some crumbs. I don’t see Spencer. I am stunned. I can’t believe the betrayal, the absolute disregard for the 4 hours I had spent making these beautiful cheesecakes. Didn’t he see me scooping out pumpkins, grinding spices, checking and rechecking the baking process? How could he? But he did. And he knew he did. He was hiding under the diningroom table. I just slowly turned towards him, and he burped.

But here’s the thing, he carefully lifted the tinfoil off of each cheesecake and decided which one was the biggest and he ate that one. Because the other one had the tinfoil a bit pushed off, but was otherwise untouched. He actually chose to eat the biggest one. I was so angry, I don’t think I said another word until we got to Aubry’s. He knew I would be home sooner or later and then he’d have to pay for his Thanksgiving treat. On the way home, I thought about the time, effort and expense of the cheesecake, the beauty of the cheesecake and the theft and murder of the cheesecake. I then thought about Spencer and all he had lived through in his short 10 years. And the fact that he may not be around for much longer…not because I was going to kill him, but because he is an unhealthy, big old mutt. Although, if killing him were an option at the time….

And I came to the conclusion that he enjoyed the cheesecake as much as I did. And it wasn’t all bad as I still had one to bring to the party. And now I didn’t have to feed him, as he’d already eaten. Ya know, the freakin positives to the dog scarfing down a 200 dollar cheesecake (if you add in my cost of labor). So, by the time I got home, I was OK with it all. I was actually kind of laughing about it and wondering at how smart Spencer is to actually have looked at both cheesecakes and chosen the biggest one….what a smart dog!!

But as I opened the door I was hit with the overwhelming smell of dog diarrhea. I almost threw up my own pumpkin cheesecake. Spencer flew by me, out the door and into the neighbor’s yard where he had more explosive diarrhea. About an hour later, after I had cleaned up what he had left in the house and he had stopped pooping in the neighbor’s yard, we all settled down to watch It’s a Wonderful Life and reflect on the lessons of The Pumpkin CheeseCake. What did we learn? That sometimes everyone needs a very fancy cheesecake and sometimes the dog eats it. Yup, stupid ass dog. Lesson learned.

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Yup, we killed an ocean

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This is just the beginning

This whole oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has really upset me. This is odd because I am not an exceptionally “green” person. I mean, I am not opposed to recycling or low emission cars, but occasionally I will still toss a recyclable item in with the regular garbage and I refuse to start a compost bin. So, to be having nightmares about this oil catastrophe is odd for me.

Last night I dreamt that the entire ocean floor blew up causing tidal waves to sink most of America and all of Mexico. All because of this top kill that BP had tried. There were whales and sharks and dolphins trying to flop into peoples pools and people were drowning in their homes and fish were attacking us whenever they had the chance. Terrifying.

Now, I know that was just a nightmare, but really, if me, a girl in upstate New York has a subconscious that is screaming this loud about what is going on, something has to be really, really wrong. I mean more wrong than just killing millions of animals and ruining the livelihood of all the people who rely on the ocean for income. Something irreversibly bad is happening. And it is our fault. Us, as the human race. All our fault. This is not a Katrina or a Haiti. This is all on us. We did this not just to ourselves but to the earth. We killed an entire ocean.

I do have a tie to the Gulf. When I lived in Houston as a teen, my friends and I would spend every weekend swimming and tanning  and surfing in Galveston. I got my second case or sun poisoning in Galveston. My best friend and I went, just the two of us, no surfer boys, to tan. This was not the best idea as I am a translucent white girl who only ever turns pink (see this https://sparklingbytheway.wordpress.com/2010/04/23/lucy-and-ethel-got-nuthin-on-us/ for an idea on how ,as I got older, I didn’t necessarily get any wiser when it comes to the color of my skin). So, I had on a string bikini and my best friend had on a bandu bikini. She had a brilliant idea that we should pull in the sides of our bottoms as we layed on our stomach so that more of our butt cheeks would tan there by making our butts look smaller. Brilliant!

We could hardly sit on the way home because our butts were so burned. We were in such pain all over and bright red. Her 1969 VW Bug didn’t have air conditioning but the wind from the windows was like sandpaper on our burned bodies. We were miserable. We got back to my apartment, stripped and about died laughing. I had three bright white triangles and a white stripe in the back and she had a white horizontal stripe in the front and a  triangle in the back. Oh the silliness of youth. We had to keep slathering ourselves with Noxema to keep our skin temperature down. But then the Noxema smell started to make us really sick. What a day. I will never forget how sick I was but how much fun I always had in the Gulf.

And now that is lost to any future generations who want to try surfing or burn their exceptionally white bodies to a crisp. I went crabbing there, I got hit in the head by a fish who jumped right out of the water, I stepped on a slow-moving turtle. I experienced nature, the life of the ocean. And to be totally honest, I don’t even like fish. Or the ocean really. I am not one of those people who feels drawn to the ocean or has any real connection to dolphins or whales. Again, this is why it is a bit strange to me that I would be so wound up over what is happening in the Gulf.

I guess it is the loss of life and the magnitude or what we, as keepers of the planet, have allowed to happen to our world. It is more than just the loss of life, it is bigger than the oil washed birds that are dying a slow and painful death (although that is totally enough). It is what we have done. And we are all responsible and we all will pay the price.

A friend from Texas  sent me the specifics of WHY it is taking BP so long to stop the flow of oil from the broken pipe. He has lived in the region his whole life and has known many oil people. I get it. I get that they are doing the best they can with what they have. What I don’t get is how what they have is not even close to being what they need to stop the oil. How did they not know that drilling a well that is inaccessible to humans was a disaster waiting to happen? And how were they not prepared for that disaster? How far our arrogance has taken us and how far we have fallen and how awful that the totally innocent have to pay the price.

It is just so sad, all this loss of life and the knowledge that lives will continue to be lost for years to come. We have made birds and fish and people suffer because of our senseless desires. I live a few miles from a wind farm. The wind turbines are awesome to see. Many people around here have solar panels on their houses. There are other sources for energy. There is no more reason for us to harm the earth just so we can live. Like I said, I am no tree hugger, but I am totally using this opportunity to scare my kids into shutting off the lights when they leave a room. Something’s gotta change.

God bless the Gulf and rest in peace to all the lives lost, human and animal alike.

Forgiveness is a Bitch in Character Shoes

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back when we were innocent...and didn't have character shoes...

I was in a show once and there was a young girl who stood next to me. So far so good right? We were in a big line across the stage and then we would all turn to face right which meant that she was then in front of me. Ok, still with me? Every single rehearsal and every single performance this young girl screwed up. All 23 of us would be kicking forward and she would inevitably would kick backward. And that means she was kicking me right in my shin. Every. Single. Time.

But, I couldn’t let it show on my face that my shin was swelling and I wanted to scream. I had to look like I enjoyed being kicked in the same spot really hard by a tall chick in character shoes. Some people may enjoy that, I am sure there are videos out there for those who do, I don’t. And every night we would come off stage and she would turn to me with a worried look on her face and say in her most sincere voice ” I am SO sorry!!” and I would reply in my most sincere voice “It’s ok.” and I would limp off to get changed for the next number. Every. Single. Time.

Now, I was getting less tolerant and more angry as the weeks went by. I was very resentful that this chick couldn’t get this right. It wasn’t that hard. I mean, 23 other people did it right every night. I tried not to take the kick to the shin personally. This chick was far too young and far too scared to actually be kicking me on purpose. The bitch who was old enough and brave enough to outright kick me was at the other end of the line. But she’s another story. The last weekend of the show I couldn’t take it anymore. Before we even went out for the number I turned to the chick and said “Please, please do not kick me tonight.” and she said “Ok, I won’t I promise I will get it right!” and out we went.

Every. Single. Time. Like clock work I felt the now familiar flare of pain radiate up my leg. As soon as we got off stage she turned to me with tears in her eyes and said ‘I am SO sorry!” Too little too late. I said “I never want to hear you say I’m Sorry again. Just STOP KICKING ME!!!!” And I turned and stormed off to our dressing room. The poor girl cried at that one. She had to redo all of her makeup. How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop? One, two-o-o three-e-e CrUnCh. How many kicks does it take to piss me off royally? One, two-o-o, three-e-e, twenty-five and ENOUGH!!!

This was the best lesson I ever had about the power of forgiveness. She kept telling me she was sorry but she continued to kick me. So, how sorry was she really? I guess “sorry” didn’t mean much to her. Or maybe it was me saying “it’s ok” that gave her the idea that she didn’t really have to change. I find it wonderous that I put up with it as long as I did. I have a high tolerance for asshole-ish-ness behavior and a higher tolerance for pain. The first 15 kicks to the shin I truly believed she was just young and new. I was young and new once. I had made mistakes. The next 10  kicks, I started to understand that she was just ignorant. Ok, what was I going to do about it? Kick her back? Move my spot? Loosen the heels of her shoes so that on her nightly kick to my shin she would topple over like a rag doll?

I told her exactly what I needed to hear. Don’t apologize anymore, just change your behavior. Because if you’re truly sorry, you will change so that you never do that again. Making amends. I wonder how many shins I kicked? But in making amends, I will never kick another shin. And if I do, I will apologize and not do it again. Actions speak louder than words. Bruises fade, but actual change can last a lifetime. Today, in addition to an apology, I change the offensive behavior whether that means no beans before bedtime or using a napkin rather than the couch, I do it.

The young chick did go on to join The Rockettes. She was subsequently fired for breaking the leg of the girl behind her with an exceptionally hard kick to the shin. She was last seen kicking clients in a fetish club downtown and she never has to say she’s sorry. It’s all for the best.

(c)sparklingbytheway

Can You Imagine Being Me?

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just imagine...better yet...imagine being them....

I have worked for the same small (3-7 employees) company for 15 years now. There is no health insurance offered, never has been. I have many other perks for being an employee. When I was married, and my then husband had a job with health insurance (a rare occurence) we took advantage of it. It was like being normal when we had health coverage. It was a special treat. And when we didn’t it was like being sick and poor.

Now, poor is a state of mind. It has absolutely NOTHING to do with the state of my bank account. For me being poor means being spiritually bankrupt, feeling and acting on depression, treating others without regard. I have been poor many, many times in my life. I grew up in a solidly middle class home, financially speaking. But my parents generation was raised by my grandparents generation which was the generation that lived thru the depression. So, as the trickle down effect hit me, I believed that there was never enough money to survive. This was a ridiculous idea. Both of my parents were professionals, both of my grandparents had retired from thriving companies and had the benefit of Medicare. They owned their own homes and had for their entire lives. I come from the typical American Dream (ok, stop laughing! At least on paper….)

And then there’s me. I do ok. I have three kids and I am now a single parent. I am not offered insurance thru my job. I have no way to get health insurance. I cannot afford private insurance. I have used the public health insurance option on and off during my adult life. And for those of you who haven’t, please shut the hell up. Don’t speak to me of your higher taxes…cause I will be paying them also. Don’t tell me that it’s the first sign of socialism, cause I would guess that public schools and mandated car insurance were the first signs.

Please do not assume I am some welfare mom who just doesn’t FEEL like working. I have worked and paid taxes all of my life. Consistently. I have never been unemployed. I have just never been employed by a company that offers health insurance. I own my own home, I pay my taxes which are higher than most because of the area I choose to live in. So, I contribute to this country. Why shouldn’t healthcare be my right? What makes the woman who works for a factory or the guy who is a state worker or a teacher for a school district better than me? Am I less than because I cannot afford 1257 dollars a month? It is the biggest stressor in my life.

If I don’t feel well, if I find a lump, then I get to die. Oh sure, I could go to the ER and say “I don’t feel well” or “I think I found a lump in my breast” and the ER will say “Ok, follow up with your physician” and charge me 1500.00 dollars. And when I call the Dr to say ” I don’t feel well” or ” I found a lump in my breast” they say “Who is your insurance carrier?” and when I say ” I don’t have one”  they say ” Then we can’t help you” (because most Dr’s no longer accept self pay patients at all, unless you have been a patient ongoing and even then you have to pay upfront which is always between 70 and 140 dollars PLUS any tests). How come that is ok? I am a citizen, I pay my taxes, I vote, I love my kids, I work, and I can’t afford health insurance. That makes me eligible to die?

I didn’t ask for the circumstance I am in today. I did not purposely have three kids as a single mother. I am not asking to be taken care of by the government. I am saying that me, as well as hundreds of thousands of other citizens of America, who work and vote deserve health coverage. I have never said that people who cannot have children should not have them. They should just get over it and die childless. Just because I had no problem having kids does not mean that I think others who haven’t been as fertile don’t deserve to have kids. I do not subscribe to the idea of survival of the fittest. It doesn’t work in the world of the 21st century…so think up a new argument Glenn Beck.

Let’s review: I work, always have, I am not rich or even comfortable as far as money,I do own my own home, I have always paid all of my taxes, I make my life work on the income I do have, I am a single parent, If I get sick, I have no recourse, at all and if I die, there will be three children who are orphans, I did not ask for these circumstances, and I believe healthcare is a right not a privilege. And I am grateful for all that I do have. What argument can there be against ME? Because those of you who have debated this universal health care issue are simply saying that you do not believe that I deserve to live. Because you believe it will interfere with your tax status. How about Grandma? You pay for her healthcare without issue.

I am not looking for pity or a handout. I WORK, I PAY, I ALWAYS HAVE. I AM YOU minus the health coverage. And I PAY for Grandma’s health coverage…..not MY grandma, YOUR grandma. And I am fine with that. I will gladly pay an increase in my taxes, I am more than willing to pay for an affordable healthcare plan for myself and my children. But most of all, I am ready for a change. Even if this is not the perfect solution, it is on the way to being a solution. Remember Medicare Reform? Welfare Reform? Public School Reform? We have a long history of reforming our system to make it work. So get your panties out of a wad before you get hemorrhoids and have to go to the Dr…and Thank your God that you are not me.