Mean Girls
February 28, 2007

In elementary school they were the mean girls, Nina Monroe and Lisa Berger. A tag team, arriving to our class in the same year. Revered because they were new and because of the triangle. The upside down triangle on the back pocket of their jeans. Guess Jeans. They had them and matching outfits from Limited Too and Burdines. But they were mean. Prank callers, hair pullers, and note passers. The notes were the worst, written in spite to instigate trouble and hatred between girls. Always. And it usually worked because we believed what they were saying. They were those girls. With that kind of power. But boy did they have fun. You know it because of the giggles, but also because you joined them from time to time. There was a rush, with the planning and the anticipation of how it would all turn out. Of course the smugness when their plan sprung into action on an unsuspecting victim. Pure seven year old bliss. Like riding your bike so fast that you can feel the wind in your hair with your mother's warnings echoed in your ears. Extreme fun, the kind with consequences. The best kind.

I met one again this summer. She was a summer associate and the only thing I could think about her was that she was mean, in the way that Nina and Lisa were mean. But she was 25. And in law school. This is not the law firm, cut throat mean I am talking about either. This was elementary school hair pulling and finger pointing antics. She just had that it about her. The one that says she never outgrew it. She truly was still a mean girl. In the way that I know she intimidates her friends. Gets her way through bully tactics. And it is allowed, until the girls grow tired and move on. She finding her next "friend". I have to think she is the word frenemy. We quickly grew tired of it all and she will not be joining us.

Do Nina and Lisa still do it? Have they toned it down? Or are they now mean women? I hear they live in New York City, where such behavior is groomed, displayed and cultivated to a lifestyle. I am certain they are still well styled individuals. But it has been 20 years, I have to give them the benefit that they have outgrown the note passing stages of 1989. But really, more so, am I still a mean girl? To people I dislike or I feel have hurt me. I gossip. I know I do and talk ill of others who I find humorous or even feel threatened by. This is different. At least I tell myself it is. This is not done to their face and even more importantly it is not used to harm or dismantle them. It is done for myself, usually to make me feel better. It goes no further. The mean girl outwardly projects onto it's victims. That is what makes it mean.

I know the rest of us have outgrown that, if it ever existed. We are mature adults. But does some of that still resonate? I just wonder how much we outgrow and how much we chose to retain. The lessons we learned as fourth graders, on how to intimidate and manipulate. Using our power to make others feel poor and ourselves feel rich, at least for that momentary high. Do we incorporate those techniques into our everyday, in ways to get a job, a date, a car, or a home. They are power moves after all. Used to place you above the others. But there is a difference between mean and savvy. Between nasty and smarts. That is not what mean girls are made of. I have learned these differences and appreciate the nuances. I try my best to live a decent, kind life. With no intention to harm or even manipulate. Knowing those scars run deep and how poorly it is received by the rest of society. It is just plain ugly and there is nothing more that I hate than ugly. But there are flashes and moments when I can feel the mean. When I am doing to my friends what I learned on a playground in the sunshine of Miami and sometimes it feels pretty good. Especially when I am just retaliating. It feels excellent. Like wind in my not yet died blonde hair. It feels like freedom. Of course there are consequences. But damn, mean can be fun. The best kind of fun.

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He Loves Me, He Love Me Not

You know that feeling when we are waiting for someone we like to call. Hey, we do it with new friends and not just men. That pit in your stomach and the nervous anticipation every time the phone rings our your Yahoo says you have new mail. My heart literally skips a beat and fucks up my blood, so that for the next several moments I have to catch my breath. Could it be them? And will they respond positively to me, echoing the way you feel about them? It is a finely delicate place. You don't want to seem to eager, but you don't want to appear indifferent. A thin line between obsessed and impressed. Checking and rechecking. The verge of my emotion resting on a response one way or the other. A battlefield ready to spring into action. The whole watched pot idea floating around in my head. But that can't really work. After all, I have always believed that the pot does not boil because you were there to catch it. Watching it. The checking and rechecking is not going to prevent the response from coming and it is not going to make it a dreaded one. That much is out of my hands, beyond my control, and no amount of refreshes are going to change that. Like waiting for the bar exam results. By then my portion was done, but I was still nervous as hell to know the result. The fact that I am controless should make it easier, but it does not. Because it is all about the waiting. The longer I wait, the more the anticipation builds. And it freaking kills me. Because I want it so so very badly. And because I put myself out there. I took a risk. Taking the first chance and letting them know all about it. Exchanging the first glances of I love you's. I feel for something, someone and let them know it, even if it was in a refrained tone. But I took that leap and anytime that happens it is nerve racking. Heart racing. Vomit inducing. That person may not respond or respect that. Which creates a whole new layer of fear. While it may be a done deal by now, the fact that it was done in the first place creates the anxiety, the want, the pit in the stomach and the desire to glue my phone to my hand to insure I don't miss the call on its very first ring.


Love'n Lime
February 26, 2007

We all want to see her happy, so when she asks us to come to dinner to meet him, his first time in town, we all parade out. Happy to do so. Reservations for 11 at 7 at Lime. The place to see and been seen. And we did a good job. Hogging the space and noise for over three hours. Drinking, laughing and making new friends. Leaving dancing to Lionel Richie. They to continue the dance at a birthday party, us to another kind of dance, at home. A private party if you will. Ahem. Yeah and we liked him too. A lot. Forgetting that it was still the first time and accidentally asking important lawyer-like questions, "Are you moving here?" He gets an oh shit look on his face and I realize my mistake, making a joke. Though it is no longer my role as Magoo was coined, "the funniest man alive". I think so and was in love with that. In love with the whole thing. Margaritas may be talking. Oh and their table kegs. But that is love too. And yeah she was happy. Cheers.

To an entire weekend filled with wining and dining. That was just the start of the dance. So many reasons to celebrate, the first of which was making it to Friday. At times it seemed touch and go. The anxiety level was as loud as the music that night at Lime. Pounding in my ears like the base. But it was more than that, so much more. A ton of bricks more reasons to celebrate. Which led to an afternoon out at the docks. We swore it would only be one. But there we were 97 beers later and a slight buzz mingled with a sun burn. We were jolly as we pulled in, like a caravan, dancing around the yard. It is where love is coming to live and to grow. Not just hers, ours as well. We wrapped arms and pranced on the lawn. Celebrating. This is love and life, it was totally worth celebration and not in a dramatic kind of way. This was ours to cheer about.

We spent the last night with Oscar. Though he was not our main man. In fact I missed most of the Academy moments. Because the weekend was about meeting her man. And in his honor, a little girl's always and forever main man, her father whipped up his chefly creations, mom over serving white wine. Magoo's, repeated pleas for BBQ shrimp coming through. Now that is something to love. Delicis times 100. That and the kindness of friends and family. Both new and old and some to be added soon. Hopefully that is. I think his response would differ now, if I asked him again. But I dare not. We were having too good of a time. The easy conversation. The laughter filling the kitchen like the scents of filet, which was also heavenly. Oh and that blueberry Stilton cheese, I could've eaten the entire block. I think I tried to. Stories of long gone childhood pets and renovated kitchens. That is what we want to fill our glasses, memories, bellies and lives with. Those stories are the heart of family and the love the surrounds the trappings of a sparkling kitchen. They show that there has been a lifetime of children, sidewalks, peaches 'n cream desserts and friends. Really a lot of friends, when our families live anywhere but here. The night so truly was about that. The love created by new friends, extended family and anyone we were willing extend the love to. That and alcohol pouring easily. As it had done all weekend. As it always does. But isn't that what picture perfect weather and out of town guests are for? Because we are all in love, with something or someone. Or just a frame of mind. One where we embrace the good and positive of our lives and our situation. Squeezing glory out of every moment in the 48 hours. Because it was all worth celebrating. All worth dancing for. Cheers and cocktails with a slice of lime.

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February 24, 2007

Saturday mornings are spent alone, usually. I get the time to myself, with my treadmill, laptop and DVR. I clean, read, write. There is usually a brunch date. We have a standing one, at some point during the weekend there will be eggs. She and I have done it for years now. Through break ups, singledom and boyfriends. Post and pre workout. Nursing hangovers and relaying events of the nights before. But this Saturday the weather was too nice and I was feeling friendly. So I ventured to the site of Magoo's weekly basketball game. And you know how I feel about basketball. But it was not about playing, at least not with a ball. For me it was about soaking up the sun and taking pictures. Fun enough for me. I had a blast. But that had nothing to do with the round orange ball or the five sweaty guys. The park was full of families, sights and sounds. An art festival around the corner. A birthday party at a picnic table. Swings, see-saws, and sunshine. A glorious Tampa morning. It was a welcome reprieve from my usual. Enjoy my time here.


On Fire
February 22, 2007

I want to write like my head is on fire. Like every last word, emotion, and thought needs to get down on paper. Or else, danger. Though I do my best on the key board. I like the fast motion and the sounds of click-click-click. It takes to long that long hand business. I need to spew it all out and I want to see it there in front of me. Now. I have such strong emotions these days we can liken them to a roller coaster. But with that there is an end where you can get off, look back, smile and decide to enroll again. For me, here, I see no end. Just more ups and downs. And downs and downs. Those dips where your stomach is in your ears, you eyes are sealed shut and you are screaming at the top of your lungs. But without the fun. The anxiety of it all is so very much that I react inappropriately. A sharp small physical pain turns into a flood gate of tears. All of it, pouring out letting me release, when it was you that should have been releasing. I was the one coming out when you were the one inside. And that is not how it is supposed to be. But this is the problem when you keep it all inside. The feelings that is. Piling up. That's why I need to write it all down. Spill it before I make a slip like that again, one that hurts us all. Because at that point it is not just about my head on fire. There will be a full on fuego one that ends up burning down the house.


Getting Racked
February 21, 2007

I recently began a gig at HotelsByCity. I get the opportunity to write and this time with a Tampa based theme. Since I do a good amount of eating, drinking and shopping, I presumed I was qualified to write about the lot. Check it out. And I believe them to be hiring in cities and towns across this great nation. You too can put your nights out at bars and your trips to museums to good use. Below is the first post and a link has been added on the left. C'est La Vie!

We spend our nights out here. Not with the intent to get drunk, though there is an intent to drink and we all know that leads to drunkenness. But here, there is more. So much more. It is where a lot of my Tampa life has happened and un-happened. Men, dates, break up's and sob stories. And food. A lot of nights revolved around the menu. All made and told at the counter of the bar. If any bar defines nightlife and a high life it is The Rack. I doubt I am alone. As the masses come pouring in at all hours. They serve lunch. And they stream out until closing time at 2:30 a.m. Often one of the hardest things about enjoying the time there is finding a parking spot. In the too small lot and the one way streets of South Tampa. Which is actually a really a good sign, as it means it brings in the people. So you can't complain. But as a combo dive bar, pool hall, sushi restaurant, sports bar, how could it not be crowded? Yup, you read that right, the Rack has all that to offer. And more. Located across Platt from Hyde Park Cafe, an ultra-sheik lounge where pretentiousness sticks to the wall, there is no lack of scenery, both spill over and outside, in the seating area that overlooks the front door of HPC. Another benefit of a night at the Rack. Especially one where the weather behaves in Tampa perfect quality.

The food is above average bar food and that does not do it justice. The sushi is grade A sushi quality, feeling fresh even at 1:30 a.m., when you don't. But the guy you met over Heineken's may be. Really that is another story and not one for this post. Aside from raw fish, there is the usual smattering of bar food, all beginning with the word fried. And all ending with delicious, since friend food is perfect. As well as pasta dishes, sandwiches, and a slew of appetizers. The bar tenders are proficient and well stacked, I mean stocked. All kinds of cocktails and top shelf so and so's to be delivered to your hearts content. For a hefty price that is. A recent Saturday night dirty martini run showed that Kettle One and olive juice cost $12.00. A price well worth, the six or so pool tables, the tremendous space in the bar for sitting, playing darts, plunking coins in the juke box, and overall enjoying your evening. Go on, get racked.

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Cookie Monster
February 20, 2007

As we well know by now, Ginger is a cookie whore. Determined to make every moment into a Milkbone moment, she will do her darnedest to get a treat. This past weekend, she completed the entire box of cookies, no not in one weekend, but the box was empty. I placed it next to the garbage to be recycled with our beer bottles and Diet Coke cans. She immediately ran to it, knowing the red box and smelling the scent of cookies. Probably thinking, "idiot, why'd you place the box on ground level, now it is mine for the taking." As such, she immediately dove in to claim her prizes. Not quite realizing the it takes hands to reach into the depths of the box and pull those wonderful cookies out. She first attempted to bite at the box, sensing a cookie should be in there.

This method did not work to get any of the mystery cookies out. She next must've thought, "I know I can smell them and they have to be there. Let me stick my head in there to get to the bottom of this." That is if she were a rational creature, she would've.

"Wait. Where are those cookies? "

"And? And? How do I get this thing off my head?"

At least I would imagine that was her thought, as she ran around the house, now unable to see because of her milkbone box hat; smashing into the walls, hitting the mirror and getting stuck in a corner at one point.

We, fortunately, found this quite humorous. Taking pictures and laughing the whole time. Why else do people get dogs? Or for that matter have kids? But to laugh at their humiliating moments and capture them with the Kodak. I would imagine she did not. As she not only ran into walls, but she was unable to remove the box, and she did not actually get any cookies out of it.

I eventually ended her suffering and removed the box from her head. After some confusion and she returned to the now villain. Knowing it is still the cookie box, but scared about her recent run in, she sniffed the box suspiciously.

She rather quickly got over that fear and took full vengeance on her hat head, in an effort again to get to the bottom of the problem.

She ripped the box to shreds. Hoping that she could take proper revenge on the box and perhaps learning that there were no actual cookies in there. Or not. Who really knows what a small stubborn cookie loving beagle thinks?

Despite her "traumatic" episode, she happily accepted a new cookie from the fresh box and continues on her mission to seek out all cookies everywhere regardless of what harm or humiliation she has to endure. She is just that kind of girl.


February 19, 2007

When I moved to NOLA in 1997, it was solely to attend school. Not to live in a city, per se. I was going to college. (!). Exclamation point included. I was dead set on leaving Florida, pinkie swearing on the corner of Dixie Highway that it would not later be used against me in a guilt trip. It never was. But there I stood all of 18 years, thinking I knew every damn thing there was to know about every thing. I swear I knew everything. And I was going to college.

What I didn't know was there was this entire city of people, places, and history that I was going to be introduced to. That would come well after I spend my requisite nights at frat parties and the Boot. Weeks and weeks and weeks there. But eventually I would take my nose out of the vat and would learn of this wonderful world built around one of the greatest cities. Where history meets personality and there is culture in every space you turn.

What I didn't know was that the first two people I befriended would not make it through the first year. Both owing their departure to some nose candy and an inability to handle the consumption of the city and of the affluent influences of Tulane's study body. I too had no idea. I had a foundation, I had seen it. To a degree as a highschooler. Lexis' in the parking lot and party hopping at the age of 17. But this was country club, private school, nuevo riche with all the trappings that came with it. We drank keg beer in backyards out of red plastic cups. They did coke. A whole different ball game that claimed each individual separately. I would learn that Tulane was not for everyone. Also claiming two of my suite mates after the first year. For totally different reasons, but still it was not meant for them. Really that glamour does not translate to sustainability. Reasons we chose the school in the first place do not match what our day to day experience are. On all ends of the spectrum

What I didn't know was that when I asked for a restaurant referral on the first parent's weekend was that there was not really a place called Emeralds. In those days before google, I tried my hardest to find this place that came so highly recommended. What I didn't know was that she meant Emeril and that he was a cooking legend and his food was a phenom. Something that I will learn as we later enjoy his BBQ shrimp and visit and revisit his restaurants across the continent.

What I didn't know was how much I would hold so close those memories and times. I think back fondly on my undergraduate days despite all the turmoil, trauma, and young girl mistakes. More importantly is how much you learn in college about, well, about life. Things I swore I already knew as a so so very sophisticated high school grad. I had spent a lot of time discussing such with my very brilliant colleagues at Miami Palmetto Senior. I knew everything about everything. So I went to university to major and learn of macro economics and Latin American studies. But that really became secondary to all the education going on around me. Since what we truly learn are lessons about people, behaviors, friendships, our own limits and strengths and of course great food.

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They Way We Are
February 15, 2007

They way you held onto my leg tight when we broke.

The way you pretended it was you who had to go to bathroom to save me the embarrassment.

The way you said you were learning.

The way you call me your everything.

The way you turn around, wink and mime I love yous.

The way you call me gorgeous porgeous.

The way it was too much, 45 was too much.

The way you Google better ways to give foot massages.

The way you tell me I am the love of your life.

The way you so patiently deal with me, my moods, my anxiety, my smell, my everything. Because you, you are my everything.


A Loss of a Partner

The thing about divorce is that you can never really know. You may sense they are coming, the fighting, the distance, but you still feel surprised. Or I would imagine so. I would think that no matter what happens in the middle, the fact that there is now an end is a surprise. Because you would have never started the partnership thinking it could end.

You never know what the result of the split will be either. You can anticipate the reaction by the other party and even dream of your life post. Knowing that the status quo is not how you want it. But you can never really know what the fall out will bring. How people will react. How the situation will be handled. Will it be all business? Acting strictly according to guidelines. This is yours, this is mine, and we will sell this. All nonchalant and proper. Or will the emotions get involved? The water in the eyes seen when the news is announced. Will you let that get the better of you? And what emotion will surface to the front? Anger, for the deceitfulness and the decision to leave? Hatred, for the hurt that the separation will cause? Sadness, for the loss? Ache, for the memories of the good that was and what could have been in the future? We just don't know what reaction we will get. Or what emotions will be stirred in the pot of seperation. What if there is no reaction. Do you wonder, if no emotion is displayed, was it the right decision n the first place? Were we meant to part ways after all? Or is that even the reason for the loss?

You just really never can tell. They may have been able to glean ideas and make decisions about the consequences. But you can never know for certain. That is how it always is when making a decision, especially one with known consequences. Knowing that some consequences already exist, it is often impossible to know for certain all the rest of them. You get lost in the ones you know, losing the idea that more can exist. Ones you cannot adquately prepare for. Ones you cannot properly assess their risk and reactions. As lawyers we spend time and money doing it. We try to anticipate every scenario and a planned response to such. We are paid to. But there are curve balls. And when emotions and real people are involved those are 90 mile per hour fast balls. Truly difficult to handle as you can just never know what the true actions will be in a situation. That is until you are there. And then it is too late. Then you are reacting and there is no time left for the plans and preparations. The ones you made are long gone, with an understanding that you never really knew and never prepared adequately. Despite how much you think you did. Because you never can really know.

You don't know that you will have to part ways with people, really possibly several people. That there will be issues with money. That there is uncertainty about the future, for everyone. That we are on edge. We feel bad about ourselves and question every action and decision. That we are left wondering why and for how long was this coming. Who knew and when. You can't really know any of it. So we are the ones left wondering. Scared, confused, alone and sad, and wondering. You just never know that. Isn't that what makes it so hard? Or do we even know?


White Trash VD
February 13, 2007

A few weeks into our courtship, Magoo came over on a Saturday afternoon and asked me an important and topical question, "What do you want to do for Valentine's Day?" I blinked up at him as he leaned against the counter of my kitchen. "I called around to all sorts of restaurants and they are all booked solid," he continued, "instead I thought I would make us dinner." I remained silent as he pulled me into him. "So, what do you want me to make? I will do anything to your heart's delight" In that moment I was so touched that I even had a Valentine, let alone one who went through the effort to pick up the phone and attempt to get a reservation, somewhere, anywhere.

"Hot dogs."

"Hot dogs?"

It just popped out of my mouth. But I love them. Love love love them. And I never eat them outside of the months of June, July and August at BBQ's and baseball games. We had several more weeks until summer and I could so go for some meaty goodness in the middle of February.

"Yeah, that's all I want, hot dogs, please."

To me it was enough that he wanted to be my Valentine and offered to cook me a nice dinner. It was not about where we were or how much we spent, but the time and effort spent together. Isn't it about sharing the love and expressing your appreciation for your loved one? I always thought V-Day, was about that idea, even as a single gal. So even as a new couple, I knew I would be insanely happy with just a foot long, a bun and my hon. Plus we eat out all the time, at some of the best places, so we didn't need an excuse to go out and sit with the amateurs paying too much money for a crowded meal. I wanted couch time and hot dogs, which felt gourmet because of the heart that was in it.

That night I brought over PBR to enjoy with our cuisine of dogs, beans, and french fries. He picked up some gooey brownie goodness from a local bakery. We sat on the floor and enjoyed our romantic evening; holding hands, watching TV, walking the dog and retiring to bed. Uh yeah we did that too. It was the most wonderful Valentine's Day I have ever had. So relaxed and warm. Our bellies full and not because we thought they should be but because we enjoyed the meal and the time. We loved the plan so much we are doing it again this year. Hope your day is filled with beef, beans, and warmth.


Sophie and Ginger
February 12, 2007

Sophie is a gentle seven year old lab-Airedale mix of a mutt adopted from the pound. She, since day one, has earned her old lady name and spent most of her life lounging and enjoying cookies. She loves and greets all animals, dogs, and humans and most likely would go home with you in exchange for a Milkbone. Bearing a resemblance to the Old Navy dog, she constantly brings in the praise for her beard and stands dutifully when petted and complimented. A calm, docile, and lovable creature.

That was until she met Ginger. Her sworn mortal enemy. She has come to believe that Ginger was sent here from the dog underworld to steal her cookies. In an effort to prevent such and insure that Ginger goes back to the hole she crawled out from, Sophie does everything in her four legged power to make her life miserable. As soon as Ginger steps foot into her home, she barks and prances and makes her dissatisfaction known. Sounds which we had not heard in the six years she lived with my parents. When walked together, Sophie pushes Ginger out of the way to make sure she gets in the door first and is granted the first cookie.

Though she is crafty and has figured out that Ginger possesses some redeemable qualities. Well really only one quality, but it is enough for the big lady. She learned that Ginger is more agile, smaller, and has a better nose as she is trained to sniff out garbage and hamburgers in a 50 mile radius. And she has learned that these qualities mean that Ginger will help her find the goods that she cannot find on her own. So while meandering down the street, because Sophie does not really walk per se, she will follow Ginger's nose to a scent or scrap. Once Ginger has sniffed it out, Sophie sticks her giant head in the way, pushing Ginger's 30 pound body aside and takes over. Never once thanking the Ging for her hard work. Easily enjoying the find and not once looking back.

On Thanksgiving, Ginger helped the family by cleaning out from underneath the couch where my dad collected cereal crumbs. As a nightly habit he cradles the cereal in his hands and inevitably leaves a trail behind between the cushions and under the sofa. Given Ginger's propensity to seek out such goodies and her ability to stick her nose and paw under the couch, she began declaring her fortune. Sophie, always diligent to Ginger's actions, immediately scampered over to see what treasure Ginger found her. Pushing Ginger aside she stuck her snout under the couch but quickly learned that her nose was too big and her paw too wide to gain the booty. Disappointed but not deterred, she made sure that no dog prevailed. She plopped her 70 pound body in front of the couch and lay there until she was thoroughly satisfied that Ginger had forgotten about the cereal find.

All of this Ginger takes in stride, often walking away with her tail between her legs agreeing to Sophie's bully tactics. She lets Sophie take full advantage and gracefully takes the second feeding and the second cookie. Allowing Sophie to reap the benefits of her snout's hard work. Knowing one day, at one point, she would figure out her revenge. And her chance came recently when she saw Sophie's pride and joy open and ready for business. Her bed. That had always been Sophies' and she knows to get in it with a simple instruction. She spends the entire night blissfully asleep cradled in the corner, snuggled with her blankets. However, this time the little Ging out smarted her and jumped on a golden opportunity. She took over and made herself at home before Sophie could make it upstairs. She knew what she was doing and she did it with a stealth smile. Leaving the big mama to sleep on the cold hard floor. Revenge is sweet, even if it is dog eat dog.


February 08, 2007

The moments when you realize you have turned into your mother are cliched, but catch you off guard none the less. I had my pants around my ankles and was daintily applying toilet paper strips to the white seat in the stall at work when I had the realization. This was something she does. And this was something I never thought I would do. I always thought I would be a squatter. Until it got to be too much. And I began to wear heels all the time. And I began to drink my eight ounces, so my urine streams down like an unending river that no amount of squats can prepare my quads for such a workout. So I sit, just like she does.

We try to be good parents and swear we won't do things like them. Especially in those tear induced moments when we are crying so hard we can't breathe or see straight. When we scream out, "I hate you", not realizing how harsh that is to say to a parent. If mine ever say that to me and who am I kidding, because they will, I will most surely join them in the tear fest. But then you have to be butch and realize they don't mean and they will regret it if not now, then in 15 years when they realize it was hormones and adolescence. And that we, as parents, really try our best. And that when we swore not to do it like they did, we actually don't mean it at all since they not only did the best they could, but they did a pretty damned good job.

I am clearly ahead of myself as I have not birthed an individual. But I know, and predict, and sense, and have been on the giving end of the parent rage. And I consider myself a mother to the little beagle who inhabits my space. We try our darnedest to be good to her with the understanding that we want to spoil the crap out of her. She is a freaking dog after all and deserves to be loved and cuddled, especially after spending the first six years of her life abandoned. But there is a time when that bites us in the butt. When she pushes and pushes and really never stops peeing on the carpet. We try to discipline and try to scold. But you truly cannot teach an old dog a new trick. And you can't teach a beagle a damn thing since they are more stubborn than, well, than me. And I am an Aries litigator. That bitch will not back down. The more we try the worse it becomes. We have baby gated her into the section of the house with tile. Because tile is easier to clean piss out of than carpet. She takes this as an open invitation to pee. Every day the same place. Now she refuses to go behind the baby gate and will no longer accept a bribe of cookies and Dent-a-Bones. She whines and stares and asks in her Ginger voice to not be caged in. And what can we do? It only makes her pee more. Which is the opposite goal we were looking for. And she throws the "I am so very cute" card our way and we cave. After a debate that consists of such compelling and strong arguments as,

"Do you want to lock her up?"

"I don't know. Do you?"

"We probably should, but she is just so cute."

"I know and I just feel bad for her."

We are bound to eventually give in. So much for our disciplinarian techniques. Are we doomed to fail as parents as well? Or do you just get over the cute and scold and reprimand when necessary so you don't raise hellions? You have to wonder if dogs are truly different than babies. Sure the snarky answer is clear, but are they? I have heard that raising a dog together is excellent (though not quite complete) training for child rearing. So really does that mean I will have spoiled little snots? I know we will try our best to succeed and put in place rules and regulations. But life takes over and they are our kids. It gets messy and in the end we want to just give them unconditional love and support. We want them to know that and pass it along. The best we can do is draw from the tools given to us by our parents. Instilled with their love and coddled with their vision and passion, both good and bad. They tried and failed at times, but more often than not the love was what shone through. Those ideas they used and taught us with are actually quite valuable. In so many varied ways. Teaching us the tools to be a good person and a great parent. Just like they were. So when they creep up on us while sitting on the john, we know it is a good thing that we may be turning into our mothers. Since they did an excellent job with us giving us the means by which to do a good job with them. Even if them is a seven year old slightly overweight beagle with an irritable bladder.


A Racket
February 07, 2007

In the week before Valentines, Magoo and I decided to embark on a little game of love. Love-Love that is. Tennis. I have been trying to take lessons for months. It has been a series of events that prevented me from actually making it to the class offered on Monday nights. I decided, instead, we were up for some love action. Back and forth. Me him. Him me. The ooomph of the shot. Hitting hard and attempting to place a winner. Trying our best to be good sports. We did not keep score. That wouldn't be fair. The game of love is in reality not fair. It is not meant to be balanced and equal. One person wanting more with the other left holding their feelings. One feeling abused and used as if the weight was on their racket, having to defend and hold each shot. Each with different skills and needs. Plus there are no losers. At least there shouldn't be. We may not be able to achieve a perfect equilibrium, we can still hope there is no loss. That we are given a reward for our efforts and angst, even if it does not mean we actually win all the time. But simply that we are not losers and we are not left with a loss. In the end, no one should be considered one or even made to be one. That is not the goal or the reason we agree to play. It is never the idea when we step on the court. While it may be dicey in the middle; tempers flaring, openly angry, raised voices, and aggressive shots, when all is said and done it is still a game. One meant to be played and enjoyed. With heart, sole, and passion. With sweat and tears. With the aches and pains of breaks; the game, our hearts and wrists and ankles. Because it is still Love. But is it really about tennis any more?


Good People
February 05, 2007

I went to the same Starbucks twice in the same day, 13 hours apart. The second time I was given a free cup of decaf. Not because I was a repeat customer, because how would they know, but because people are good. Really it may have been laziness or just ease. But her simple action, my belief that she meant good, was enough to make me smile. It was a long day (evidenced by the stop at the 'bucs on Dale Mabry twice) and her easy gesture was a nice one. The idea that someone else's off handed thoughtfulness could make me so happy, is an interesting one. A science of happiness. It does not even depend on her intent or desire to do good. Like I said, it was probably that they were closing and she had shut the register. But it was that it meant a lot to me. Maybe I was in need of a boost, caffeine or otherwise, but it hit the spot and made me feel good about people. In the pop study of happiness psychology, reflecting on what makes you feel good at the end of each day is considered an important innervation. Doing so is supposed to be good for you. In the end, it makes you a happier, healthier person.

I got this "ticket" while dining at Acropolis the other night. A fun-spot Greek restaurant in Ybor. Could the people of Tampa be any nicer? A warning, that was so kind and unassuming. Smacks of good people. Again, a decision on the part of the government not to ticket those visiting or those who made a "mistake". Mine was laziness; I just didn't feel like putting money in the meter. It was dark, I was alone and running late. I would rather pay a ticket than stand and feed money into a machine, especially in a dimly lit lot at night. Seeing that the city was willing to forgive my transgression again made me smile. Very generous. Made me feel good about people, myself, and this time specifically the city of Tampa. You don't get this goodness in a bigger city. And isn't that why we live here? An affirmation of good on a number of levels; especially that I chose to live in the right place and park in the right spot. A good decision. Oh and a crazy good meal - those Greeks know how to have a good time.

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February 03, 2007

She was the first person to tell you that you look thinner. That is the greatest compliment possibly ever and probably means an instant serotonin boost, if I had an ability to measure those sorts of things. Because now you feel thinner and inspired to continue. That's why my mom told me to always compliment a person who has lost weight. They need to hear it. And when it is your hair dresser who has styled you for the past three years it feels pretty damn good. From her you demand bold bright and funky, as a way to get out of the blah. You then get to chatting, because we all know that is what happens at salons. And you explain the blah to her. But with an understanding and a preface, that you cannot complain. Because really you can't. There is nothing wrong with your life and there are a million and a half things to be thankful for. Don't get me wrong because I totally know. But you describe the blah. And in a word, the too tall, all legs, blonde, who makes your hair shine says, "well, you're just bored." Bam. Like that she has the diagnosis. And we know I had been looking for the diagnosis. She continues, "for me, I was bored, and then I booked a trip to Thailand, and I leave in three weeks."

Oh shit. That sounds fantastic. Clearly, Thailand is out of the question. You can barely get time off to go to the dentist. But something. Just a fantastical whimsical trip. Even if it is being a tourist in your own city. I really love that idea. Just a destination and event to look forward to and plan for. Not an Asian country necessarily. But the idea is there. Something. So while the foil sits, I plan my plan. My Thailand.


A Meme, Magoo, and A Quiz for You
February 01, 2007

I made both of us do this because I thought it was cute and a way to introduce him a bit. And because I think he is adorable and his answers are too.


A - Available/Single? No

B - Best Friend? Chris or Michael

C- Cake or Pie? Pumpkin pie

D - Drink Of Choice? Mountain Dew

E - Essential Item You Use Everyday? Toothbrush

F - Favorite Color? Yellow

G - Gummy Bears Or Worms? Bears

H - Hometown? Davie, FL

I - Indulgence? Multiple showers and clean clothes

J - January Or February? January

K - Kids & Their Names? None

L - Life Is Incomplete Without? Without my boo boo

M - Marriage Date? I don't understand

N- Number Of Siblings? 2

O - Oranges Or Apples? Apples

P - Phobias/Fears? Plane crash, snakes, not being able to support myself (family)

Q - Favorite Quote?

R - Reason to Smile - love of my boo boo

S - Season? Summer

T - Tag Four People? What?

U - Unknown Fact About Me? I sometimes don't like being funny

V - Vegetable you don't like? radish

W - Worst Habit? Interrupting people

X - X-rays You've Had Recently.. teeth

Y - Your Favorite Food? Turkey sandwich

Z - Zodiac Sign? cancer


A - Available/Single? Nope

B - Best Friend? Magoo

C- Cake or Pie? Apple Pie

D - Drink Of Choice? Tropicana OJ

E - Essential Item You Use Everyday? Deodorant

F - Favorite Color? Pink

G - Gummy Bears Or Worms? Bears - Haribo

H - Hometown? Miami, Fla

I - Indulgence? Candy, candy, candy

J - January Or February? February - I love that it has fewer days and the whole leap year thing

K - Kids & Their Names? Not yet baby, not yet

L - Life Is Incomplete Without? MTV

M - Marriage Date? Not yet baby, not yet

N- Number Of Siblings? 1 - mi hermana

O - Oranges Or Apples? Apples - Green and unreasonably hard

P - Phobias/Fears? Loss and rejection

Q - Favorite Quote? "Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming woo hoo what a ride!"

R - Reason to Smile - Magoo's devotion and Ginger's belly

S - Season? Fall

T - Tag Four People? Not gonna do it - feel free to do your own though

U - Unknown Fact About Me? I am afraid of escalators. I hesitate before I get on and cannot stand on the same step as someone else.

V - Vegetable you don't like? tomato - does it count? It's just really gross.

W - Worst Habit? picking my nails

X - X-rays You've Had Recently:Teeth

Y - Your Favorite Food? Mac and cheese, at this moment.

Z - Zodiac Sign? Aries - stubborn and more stubborn

I got this quiz from my Daily Candy e-mail. I love their weekend planner on Thursday, it always puts me in a good mood for the weekend. I have had the quiz open all day and have been able to answer a few at a time. I will brag and say I am at 18 at this point. Which has taken me 9 hours to get to. I think I am close on a few, but they claim it is the wrong answer. But what do they know? Plus there is no answer key and I was so the girl who looked in the back of the book for the right answers to the math problems and a believer that Google has the answer to anything. So I am frustrated - if y'all get them, send your answers back to me.

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