Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Merry Christmas

Happy New Year

I'll see you all in 2008. 

I'll be taking a brief blogging sabbatical because of current overwhelming life demands. Nothing dire. Just way too much going on right now. But there will be more stories next year. 

Happy and Blessed Holidays everybody.

Sunday, November 25, 2007


We're putting up the Christmas tree today.
Though the day started at 3:48 a.m.
with the Callie Cat garping on my sheet.
Not auspicious.
And I slept too long to get a shower.
My head itches.
Not auspicious.

We're putting up the Christmas tree today.
While Malibu burns houses down
and the cost of life just tripled.
Not auspicious.
And the day is truncated by a kid movie
My heartburn kicks in.
Not auspicious.

We're putting up the Christmas tree today
Though omens everywhere warn against.
Like, for instance, every toilet paper roll
empty at the same time
Not auspicious.

We're putting up the Christmas tree today.
Come hell or high water.
For days now I'm pounded with
Do we put it up today? today? today?
While Third Grade Teachers stop teaching
Algebra is not understood 
The milk carton is leaking
The kitchen sink is broken 
Mother's finances, Mother's finances! need attending.
There's no time to fix, replace or contain
all that decays in the house. And outside the house.
Not auspicious. Not auspicious at all.

We're putting up the Christmas tree today.
maybe that will help.
I'm skeptical. 
Not auspicious.

Monday, November 19, 2007


*put on giant sunglasses* *Check reflection for errant chin hairs*

I've been interviewed by Mompriest at RevGals!!!

Sunday, November 18, 2007


I remember when I was younger being totally grossed out by women who sprouted mustaches and chin hairs. Especially hairs growing out of moles. Yuck. "Don't they have any self respect," I would rudely and thoughtlessly think to myself. 

Then in my 30's I grew my own mustache. Just after starting treatment for a thyroid disorder. It kicked my hormones into gear and sent me to the drug store for hot wax. Which I used regularly for many years until one day, the hairs just didn't grow back so much and I could use tweezers. Hot wax was a pain in the butt and sometimes painful. Cold wax just ripped the money out of my wallet without removing a single hair. And laser treatments? No way. Too expensive and not guaranteed. And they make your skin look like plastic if you have too many.

I had a bikini wax. Once. Let's just say that I now flinch at the sound of velcro being pulled. And that is all I'm going to say about that.  

For a decade and a half I managed with tweezer and razor. 

Until *cue dramatic crescendo*!  Menopause! Somewhere inside my body a nasty little imp went running around me, pulling hair in places it was supposed to be and then pushing it out through places  traditionally saved for the male gender! 

On top of mood swings, hot flashes and night sweats, I had now turned into a werewolf Tressy doll, with hair coming out of many many visible inappropriate pores! Hair that laughed at my tweezers! That turned into thick and coarse armor at my razor! That would just *POP* out of nowhere while talking to the pastor or a teacher or someone else who would suddenly, quizzically look at my chin, then quickly away with that "ooooh how embarrassing" eyelid shift.

This is not fair. After spending over 40 years demon wrestling acne and finally named alternately heavyweight and mediumweight champion, here was yet another blight on my narcissistically tended appearance. Hair popping out of my chin. Noooooooo!!!

All I can do now is pluck. Since part of my acne conquering regimen involves a medical exfoliant just shy the strength of agent orange, my skin is too thin now to wax. Wax would rip the top layer clean off. Ow.  Which I learned from my dermatologist just before I was about to go out and buy another hot wax kit. God watches over aging narcissists as well.

So I pluck and pluck and pluckity pluck pluck. And I hope that when I'm really really old and decrepit with eyes that don't see so well and age clumsy fingers, that one of three things will be true: 1. My son lives close by and doesn't mind plucking for me; or 2. I live in a nice home with a nice attendant who plucks; or 3. I am so deliriously brain gone that I don't give a rat's patootie as the drool dribbles down over the whiskers while I watch Wheel of Fortune.

Friday, November 16, 2007

FRIDAY FIVE - Think About These Things

Songbird quotes and writes today:

"Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Philippians 4:8, NRSV)

Friends, it's nearly Thanksgiving in the U.S. and it's the time of year when we are pressed to name things for which we are thankful. I want to offer a twist on the usual lists and use Paul's letter to the church at Philippi as a model. Name five things that are true, honorable, just, pure, pleasing, commendable, excellent or worthy of praise. These could be people, organizations, acts, ideas, works of art, pieces of music--whatever comes to mind for you."

1. Motherhood and my mother and all my most excellent friends who are mothers. (UPDATE: Picture is by artist: Essud Fungcap)

2. Yoga and those who teach it.

3. Live theater and performance arts like Cirque Du Soleil, Broadway and most especially those who work to create it locally for the children, like our local Parson's Nose.

No, seriously. New discoveries are so cool.  Along with new discoveries in cosmology and archaeology, it's affirming the Bible rather than disproving it. And this guy is really easy to read.

5. Anyone who creates or works in mission to help the less blessed, the disenfranchised, the poor, the hungry and the sick. And my guiding light of inspiration for this said: 

The Prayer of Saint Francis

"O Lord, make me an instrument of Thy Peace!
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is discord, harmony;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light, and
Where there is sorrow, joy.
Oh Divine Master, grant that I may not
so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand; to be loved
as to love; for it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life."

Yup, so all of the above, taken with a really good latte or cup of coffee and laced with large amounts of all kinds of humor, and well, golly, there you go! Oh yeah, and Thanksgiving stuffing. Ummmmm. I cannot wait!

Sunday, November 04, 2007


My computer spat out sheet after sheet of neatly compiled, cross referenced and brilliantly summarized numbers and data. I sat back and looked at the Olivetti with a mix of awe and revulsion. Rather like the feeling one has after drinking too many rum and cokes, when you're not sure whether to stay up all night, or fall down with vertigo.

I had slipped in a sheet of parchment and typed "I wish I had the medical studies analysis brilliantly finished." And immediately after I typed the period and hit return, my computer had started spitting out the report.

It was flawless. It was succinct. It was absolutely brilliant. And it was even in my style.

I turned to the Olivetti with a degree of fear and said "Thank you," half expecting it to load itself with a sheet of paper and type "You're welcome".

Only 15 minutes had passed since Oscar had left my office. He stuck his head back in and I hid the report behind my back.

"Lunch today? It's your turn to flip for it and my pick."

"Sure," I said. "Are you finished yet?"

"You kiddin'? I just barely got my notes review done. You?"

"Pfaw...Uh...the same. Those notes were a bitch, yeah?"

"You know it. Lunch in 20, all right?"

"Yeah, I'll come get you," I said, my hands shaking behind me.

The door started to close, then opened again. "You all right, Mona? You look a little pale."

"Fine, Oscar. Just the usual actuarial tan."

We laughed over the old joke and he left.

I put the report on my desk and read it again. How could I not turn this in? It was just gorgeous. In my lifetime I would never have done a report like that. It would likely earn me the promotion that Oscar had been drooling over for months now.

That's why I shredded it. Then got my purse and went to lunch.


"Well, at least Mona got her work done on time," Stu nannered cattily as Oscar and I walked in from lunch.

"What?" I said.

"Upstairs wants to see you right now, Miss Most Likely To Be Promoted."

"You told me you still had notes to review!" Oscar said to me with a shocked look.

That look just killed me. I had no idea how that report got out of my shredder and upstairs. My chicken crepes were turning somersaults in my stomach.

Then Oscar broke into a smile, "Good one Mona. At least I had mine upstairs an hour before yours!"

I felt better. But barely.

Turns out I did get that promotion. And a new office. Upstairs.

To be continued....

Thursday, November 01, 2007


Do you ever sometimes think of statistics? Not in a formal sense really. More like, 1 out of 200 children you know will get cancer. I hope it's not mine. Or, 1 out of 500 parents you know will die while their children are still young. I hope it's not me. Like that? Being equally "brained" in math, I do.

So I'm sitting in the waiting hall while my mom has her first session of physical therapy, and I'm reading a local newspaper. I had written a satirically scathing letter to the Opinion page that was published last week and was looking for the rebuttal. No rebuttal. So I scanned the various articles of local interest.

I turned a page and saw a very nice picture of the husband of a friend of ours from Gymboree and My Gym and sporadic playdates over the years. The last time I saw him was with his son, Wonderboy's age, at baseball last spring. Of course he was a coach, because he was a huge baseball fan.

Then, shocked to the core, I saw over his picture the word, "Obituary".

The beautiful tribute written did not say how he passed. Only the sweet highlights of his all too brief 41 years.

This is the third parent we've known who has died in the last 4 years. The first was a mom who died of cancer in her early forties, leaving two small children. The second was last year, just before my dad passed. Morrie was killed when a young couple hit his car, causing it to fly and flip over the median to the other side of the freeway where an oncoming semi slammed into him, causing his car to burst into flames. He left four children, the fourth born the day he died.

There was a fourth. A dad of Wonderboy's school chum was killed in a motorcycle accident 2 years ago. But we didn't know him, even though that was a close connection.

Now Sam. Who leaves two sons. Both with the same birthday, two years apart. And his lovely wife.

These are too many. Statistically and personally speaking.

Job 14:2 He springs up like a flower and withers away;
like a fleeting shadow, he does not endure.