Friday, July 29, 2005

Have you hugged your _____ today?

I watch to Today show every morning while I get ready for work. I can't stand the perkiness that is Katie Couric, but I have a crush on Matt Lauer (yeah, I said it). Anyway, this morning they had a segment on man hugs, and it got me to thinking.

I'm a hugger. My family will hug you until you beg for mercy, so to me it is just second nature. (When I first met my friend Chris, she was unused to being hugged hello and goodbye each time we saw each other and to me that seemed weird. I am happy to report that not only is she comfortable with it now, but she is one of the best huggers I know.) My second dad, Teddy, was a great hugger. He was a big bear of a man and didn't think twice about wrapping his grown sons, friends, my sister, me, his grandchildren in his arms to give us a little squeeze. It's one of the things I miss most about him.

Within my group of friends (male and female) there is always someone hugging someone and I've had more than one outsider ask about it. I never know what to say, because as I said, to me it's natural. Being hugged always makes me feel safe, secure and loved. What better way to show someone you appreciate them?

More people should embrace the hug! (Yes, pun intended!)

Thursday, July 28, 2005

10 random things about me

1. I sing the National Anthem in the shower

2. My family calls me PeeVee

3. More often than not, I am 10 minutes late to the office

4. I don't balance my checkbook

5. I don't like mushrooms, tomatoes or olives

6. I eat PB&J at least once a week

7. I was 21 when I lost my virginity

8. I have three tattoos

9. I flunked Algebra in high school - twice (yikes!)

10. I am somewhat disorganized

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

What do you want to be when you grow up?

As a kid, I had many answers to that question: a truck driver, a rodeo clown, an old-fashioned telephone operator, Lucille Ball...but when it came time for me to have a real answer, I came up with nothing. I wasn't one of those high school kids who automatically knew what they wanted to do with their lives, you know? I mean, I knew I wanted to live in New York, Paris, Chicago, Miami, London...any where but here, but I had no idea what I wanted to do once I got there.

I think it's unfair to expect an 18 year old kid to know what their passion will be for the next 50 years. I've always known I wanted to write, and I have disks full of short stories and book ideas, but I harbor no illusions that it is something I could ever do for a living. Well, okay, maybe I do, but only in the wee hours of the morning when you ponder the meaning of life and stuff. I write because I can't not write not because I expect any thing out of it. In high school, I didn't panic when I didn't know exactly what I wanted as a career, I always thought that the answer would come eventually. It just took longer than I thought it would.

Several years ago, I had an epiphany, and decided that I wanted to go into social work. So, last year, I started college (again) to finish my BA and have plans for my MA. I want to either work in Family Services or with Hospice. Not exactly the glamourous life I imagined as a teen, but I feel it in my soul: this is what I am meant to do. I want to make a difference in the world, help make someone's life better. It sounds trite, I know, but that doesn't make it any less true. (I volunteer at Hospice several times a week now and have a lovely nursing home patient named Peg. She isn't terminal, but she does suffer from Alzheimer's. Her husband lives in an apartment close by and he visits her daily and stays by her side from morning to night. It is incredible to see such love and devotion in a time when marriage, it seems, is so non-sacred to some.)

Not sure why I was thinking about this today; although it is nice to finally know what I want to be when I grow up.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Keep your judgemental paws off my sex education

I'm really bad about recording things on TV, and then forgetting to watch it, so I generally end up with 3 or 4 things to catch up on at any given time. Over the weekend, I watched this fascinating documentary on PBS I had recorded weeks ago called "The Education of Shelby Knox." It follows this girl through high school and her advocacy of changing the 'abstinence only' stance of the Lubbock school district.

(This doesn't necessarily pertain to sex, but as far as I'm concerned, there are too many parents out there who are sheltering their kids for far too long. Let them take responsibility for their own actions; let them try new things. Life as a grown up is messy, teens need to know that. Trust in the things you taught them and the examples that you set and let them learn about and experience the un-sheltered, un-sanitized, un-perfect real world. To do anything else is a disservice to them.)

And now we're back to our regularly scheduled entry:

The basic argument for abstinence only is that it is morally unacceptable and against God to have sex before marriage. As I see it, the flaw in this argument is that not everyone is of the same thought. It's unrealistic to expect that in today's society. I'm not advocating for all out hedonism, but there is nothing wrong with sex. With or without love. Sex is pleasure; it is fun; it is serious; it is romantic; it is messy; it is experimenting; it is a gift; it is exciting; it is powerful. It is not, and never should be, shameful. Here's where I get really annoyed: some people say that they are tired of some freaky liberal shoving their agenda down their throats. Well, you know what? I'm a freaky moderate liberal and I'm tired as hell of the Christian Right preaching to me about how I am not living a moral life. You don't know me. You don't know anything about me. So get off your moral high horse and realize that the world is made up of different types of people and what works for one, does not work for another.

I am not saying that abstinence shouldn't be taught, but for God's sake, let's at least give kids all the information available. Be truthful and say that abstinence is great, but, if you're going to have sex, at least take some responsibility and protect yourself. There were kids in this show that had never seen a condom, nor had a clue where to get them! (In today's world, I find that morally unacceptable.) So it's no wonder that when they do fall off of the abstinence horse, they wind up pregnant or contracting an STD.

There was a Youth Pastor who kept harping on the 14% fail rate of condoms. He actually said why would you teach a teen how to use a condom, it would be like teaching them to shoot a gun. (Is he serious? Besides, isn't gun education a key to helping stop accidental shootings?) Where is the logic in this? 'Since condoms are only effective 86% of the time, I'd rather you not use one and be unprotected 100% of the time.'? Makes absolutely no sense to me.

To me, the bottom line is this: some teens are going to have sex. And they're going to have sex regardless of how much someone tells them they shouldn't; it's called free will, people. Look it up.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Charlotte, is that you?

Let me start off by saying that I am terrified of spiders. I can't even get close enough to kill one. I've tried, and it's not pretty. I scream, jump and generally make an ass out of myself. If I find one in my house, I simply retire to another room and let the spider go on about it's business and hope that it will soon go away. With that bit of background: I just made the most ginormous ass of myself…good thing I have a sense of humor. I was in the lobby of my office building, walking to my office and I glanced down and this big (okay, about the size of a dime, but still!) black thing was right by my foot. For all intents and purposes, my brain said "Spider!" When I moved my foot, the thing scurried, and I squealed like a three-year-old sissy. My security officer and engineer were there too, and being the good guys they are, came to my rescue and killed a big, bad ball of lint. My heroes!! I’m such a dork. But damn, was it funny.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Red is the new blonde

Normally I'm a blonde, but about 6 weeks ago, I decided to try red. Wow, and I thought blondes had more fun. I'm not sure what it is about red hair, but guys seem fascinated by it. I was asked last week by a total stranger if I was a true redhead. I asked him what he thought. He said, "Well, you have ivory skin, but no freckles...I'll need to investigate further, see if the carpet matches the curtains." First of all, ewwwwwwwww. Second of all, not gonna happen in this lifetime, dude. Third of all, would that line ever work? That got me to thinking of my favorite cheesy pick-up lines I heard while tending bar. Feel free to add your own:

5. Did you clean your pants with Windex? I can practically see myself in them.

4. You know, when you and I get old and our son/daughter comes up to me and says "Daddy, how did you meet mommy?" I'm gonna have to tell him/her how quiet you were, and how difficult you were being."

3. Good day for weather.

2. Baby, I'm no Fred Flintstone, but I can make your Bedrock!

1. Hi, my name is_______. Remember that because you'll be screaming it later.

(Disclaimer on #1: Several years ago, I was dared by a group of girlfriends to use that line one night. I chose my guy carefully, approached, and nailed the line perfectly. His name was Albert, and we ended up dating for 8 months.)

Anyway, I really am enjoying being a redhead. I think I'll keep it for a while.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Go west

I am a big, fat hypocrite.

In April of 1998, I packed up the cats and headed to Tampa. It was a big deal to my family since all of us seem deeply rooted in the midwest. No one stood in my way, threw a temper tantrum or hissy fit. They all helped me pack, organized a garage sale, threw me a kick-ass going away party and waved good-bye through teary smiles as I pulled that U-Haul away from the curb.

I loved living in Tampa. The sailing was excellent, the partying was non-stop, the friends were fun... My friend Katie and I rented an apartment on Davis Island that was on the top floor of a building that had been built in the 1920's. Our roof-top patio was the perfect place to watch the sun set over Hillsborough Bay. It was the perfect party pad, and to prove it, we had a party almost every weekend. Saturdays and Sundays were spent on the water sailing to St. Pete, Naples or even Key West. Thursday nights were for racing at the Yacht Club. There's nothing like crewing a J24. I loved living in Tampa, and would probably still be there if my dad hadn't gotten sick in 2000.

I'm sure you're wondering what this has to do with me being a hypocrite, right? I just received a call from my sister and her new husband has been transferred to Colorado Springs. They're leaving in six weeks. I want to be a grown up about this, but right now, I feel like I want to stand in her way, throw a temper tantrum and a hissy fit. That's why I'm a big, fat hypocrite. It's not so much that my big sister is moving, it's that my niece (8yrs old) and nephew (10 yrs old) are moving. As crazy as it sounds, I'm going to miss them more than I'll miss my sister, I think. I mean, I already know her and damn if those kids aren't changing every day. I love seeing glimpses of the grown ups that they're going to be, you know?

My very wise friend Chris has given me some great advice:
Well, speaking from vast experience at being separated from family, it sucks. But, there comes a time in every ones life that we have to let go and let the others we truly love live their lives. They all did it for you when you went galivanting off to Florida. :) I know it's not the same because it's not just Kelly involved, but it still rings true. It doesn't make it suck any less, but it is the way it has to be for this world to continue turning. Letting go and letting live is the only thing you can do. You will visit, and so will they. And, you and your mom can grow even closer to each other.

Smart girl, that one.

Here kitty, kitty

I named my cats, Hefeweisen and Guinness, after beers. That really is apropos of nothing, but I was thinking about my beloved fuzzy monsters this morning. I've had Hefe for almost 10 years now, and I don't think I've had a solid nights sleep since. See, he likes to sleep on my head. Not around my head, or by my head, but ON my head. I'm used to it now, but in the beginning, we always had a battle in the middle of the night. When he was a kitten, I realized that the word 'catapult' was aptly named. I can't tell you how many times he got launched across the room in the middle of the night, but he's a persistant little fucker, and now, ten years later, he still sleeps on my head. Like I said I'm used to it, but it's weird when I go out of town, I wake up in the middle of the night and wonder where my furry nightcap is.

I am a side sleeper, which suits Guinney just fine. He likes to hunker down in the curve of my legs. And he's a polite kitty, unlike Hefe (also nicknamed PIMA for Pain In My Ass) who crawls all over me purring like a John Deere tractor. Guinney will sit at the side of the bed and wait for me to get settled down (I am a tosser and turner for the first few minutes) before he jumps up and settles in for the night. Guinness also has a serious case of OCD. I admit it, I utilize the snooze button every damn day. It's stupid, I know, just set the alarm 15 minutes later, right? But I hate just jumping out of bed, I have to lay there for a few minutes before starting the day. Anyway, the alarm goes off, and Guinney hops down and heads for his food dish. Of course, I hit the snooze and after a few minutes, when he realizes that food isn't going to magically appear, he comes back and gets all comfy, just in time for the alarm to go off again. Lather, rinse, repeat. You'd think he'd figure it out by now. It might make me a bad kitty mom, but I find it hilarious and sometimes hit the snooze just because.

Silly cats. Sillier human.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

I am woman, hear me roar

Why is it that most men say they want an independent woman, but then when they're faced with one, usually change their tune?

I went out to lunch the other day with my ex-boyfriend. We've been broken up for almost a year now, but we're still friends. Sort of. It's not like we hang out every day, but we do talk on the phone every few weeks, and we go to lunch quite a bit. Anyway, we were at lunch and I asked him what he thought our biggest 'couple' issue was. He said I was too strong-minded for my own good. How is that possible? Besides, according to him, he was attracted to my independence in the first place (second only to my ass, but that's another entry.) I don't get it. He was attracted to my independence in the first place, then it became a problem because he said he felt I didn't need him. I'm sorry, but really, I didn't need him in my life, I wanted him in my life. I guess he couldn't understand the difference. (What got us started on the conversation was that a guy I had dated briefly, just stopped calling. God, I hate that. But then he resurfaced a few weeks ago, and I told him that I had no interest. And my ex-boyfriend thought I was too hard, too mean. What the hell?! People will treat you how you allow them to treat you, and I am not a doormat.) And it just go me thinking, is there really a difference or am I just being to hard?

I am not a clingy girlfriend. I point out good-looking women. I can balance my own checkbook. I am intelligent. I know what a nickel defense looks like. I make a great lasagna. I am addicted to lip gloss, lacey underwear & bras, and shoes. I make more than enough money to support myself. I can check my own oil and change a tire. I am adventurous when it comes to sex, and am not afraid to initiate it. I have opinions on politics, religion, sex, and astro-turf. I wear garters on occassion. I drink beer and cuss like a sailor during Chiefs games. I like holding hands in public. I don't mind if you go to a strip club, hell, I'd want to go with you once in a while. I don't mind boys night out. I know the difference between a good Merlot and a great Merlot. I play a great game of Texas Hold 'Em. I've been known to cry at commericals with babies, puppies and kittens. I own and use power tools. I'm a girly-girl and look great in a skirt and heels. I usually have at least three brackets going for March Madness. I break out into goose bumps while listening to opera. I have an outer shell (don't most people?), but for the guy who takes a chance and looks behind it, there is a world of honesty, loyalty, and love to be found.

I want a man to share my life, not control it. Why is that so difficult for some guys to understand?

Monday, July 18, 2005

A random list of favorite things

Chocolate. Why is it that most females have some form of chocolate in their house at all times? A can of frosting, a bag of chocolate chips, a bottle of Hershey's syrup, mini candi bars in the freezer... Or maybe that's just the women in my family.

My new favorite t-shirt :

James Taylor.

Clean sheets, fresh from the line outside.

That GE commercial with the dancing elephant.

A red 1965 Ford Mustang, convertible, of course.

A ride on a Harley Davidson.

Our annual girls trip to Denver.

Basset hound puppies.

Lazy Sunday mornings.

Jane Austen novels.



The smell of fresh honeysuckle in the summer.

My grandmother's homemade fudge.

Hangin' out with friends.

Cary Grant movies.

A new pedicure.

Fresh strawberries.

Driving with the top down.

Falling asleep to the sound rain.

Watching my niece and nephew grow up.

Creamy peanut butter.

Sleeping in on a week day.


The ocean.

Friday, July 15, 2005

What I did at work yesterday...

The following is an email conversation between my friend Chris and I:

Me: God save me from the dullness around here today! Geez...there's got to be something I can do to lessen the boredom. Study, perhaps? Nah. Surf the 'net? Nah. Play computer games? Nah. Poke myself in the eye with a Sharpie and enjoy a quick ride to the emergency room? Ding ding ding!! We have a winner!!!

Chris: I hadn't thought of that. Do you think they could have us in and out of the ER in time for Happy Hour? We might be the talk of Rudy's if we show up with matching eye patches. :) I literally have NOTHING to do. I really need to ask someone else if they need help, but nah. I am praying for the phone to ring. What the hell is wrong with me.

The Vinster took me to lunch today. I wish I had one of those jobs where I could take two hours and have cocktails with lunch. But, no. That ain't happening. 3 more hours. I may survive.

Me: Hey! I have one of those jobs!!

I'm pretty sure I'm not going to make it another three hours. I'm mostly sure I'm not going to make it another three hours. I don't think I'm going to make it another three hours. I'm kinda sure I'm not going to make it another three hours. I ain't going to make it another three hours. Someone shoot me now. Let's stop kidding ourselves and just call it a day.

Okay, focus, Terri. You can do this. It's a piece of cake. Mmmmm. Cake. Chocolate cake. With double chocolate frosting. Served on a plate made of chocolate and eaten with forks made of fudge. With white chocolate napkins. Sorry, where was I? Got lost in the middle of a chocolate fantasy...

Chris: I am pretty sure I am right behind you. The last 11 minutes have taken at least 3 hours to pass by. I am looking forward to 3. That's when I head to the bathroom to primp and change clothes for Happy Hour. That should take at least 15 minutes off of this day.

That was a nice little chocolate fantasy. You should be a writer in your spare time. I totally had the visual working.

Me: I am totally going to go all karaoke on someone's ass tomorrow night. I've been listening to my new favorite CD's I got from Pottery Barn on Sunday and I'm kicking some serious ass on "The Pina Colada Song" and "Son of a Preacher Man." And even though I'm the only judge in my office today, I really think I've been doing quite a stellar job. Of butchering the songs that is. I'm sure the folks in the lobby would agree, once their convinced that I'm singing and not having an attack of Tourette's. But wait until they hear my rendition of "To Sir with Love." It'll bring a tear to their eye, and vomit to the mouth. Sorry, a little too graphic? I'll tone it done just a hair.

Chris: You are in rare form today, Girl. I can't wait to get a Marg in you. After my day yesterday, I need a good belly laugh. No pressure. :)

Oh, and can't wait for your "stellar" performance. Apparently you are going to have quite the audience.

Me: If I were you, I'd be scared, but okay. See, this is what happens when I am left to my own devices. You think the inside of Rob's head is should try to live in mine for a while. It's like a carnival, toy store, circus (without elephants because I think they'd give me headache tramping around in there), desert island, orgy, and cocktail party (duh!) all in one. Good news is, there's no cover charge.

Chris: Your head would be fun. Rob's head, still scary.

Me: Clock check...damn, still not 4:30. I'm not going to make it. I'm really not. Perhaps 4 would be better...just don't see how I'll survive once you leave. Whimper, whimper, whine. Chris gets out of jail a whole 30 minutes before me!! It's not fair!! I demand a recount...

Chris: Yes, and Chris gets incarcerated 30 minutes before you everyday too. :) Leave early. Who'll know? There can't be anything going on around there. I am off to the bathroom to change and make me pretty. That should suck up a few minutes.

Me: True...but when I said "not fair", I meant for me, not you. I don't give a hoot about you. It's dog eat dog out there (reminds me of one of the all time greatest Norm lines from Cheers: "It's dog eat dog out there Sammy, and I'm wearing Milk-bone underwear.") so it's every person for themselves! I'd throw you under the bus just as soon look 'atcha! "Are you feelin' lucky, punk?" "Make my day!" "Asta la vista, baby!" "Nobody puts Baby in a corner!" "I bet she give great helmet." "You talkin' to me?!" "Today (aaayyy) is our Independence Day (aaayyy)!" "Play it again, Sam!" "Yeah, I got a question. Does Barry Manilow know you raid his wardrobe?" "Yippee ki ay, motherfucker!"


Chris: It is totally unfair that I am the only recipient of you wit and charm today. You're killing me.

Me: Well then, my job here is done. Amusing you, amuses me. Speaking of musing, since my last email, I've been pondering the comfort of Milk-bone underwear. What would they be stitched together with? How would you sit in them? Would they make a thong variety or just granny panties and briefs? Are they washable or do you just toss them at the end of the day and grab a new pair for tomorrow? Actually, there's a great idea!! Disposable underwear! C'mon, you can't tell me that bachelor's everywhere wouldn't be all over that! It's the million dollar idea I've been looking for!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Chris: Have you eaten today? I am fearing for our lives if you start putting liquor in your system in this condition.

Get up, go straight to the deli, do not pass go, do not go to jail. Just put something, anything into your stomach. You have got to be feeling light headed.

Me: Good point. Thank you for your concern, mom. And as usual, you are completely right...I've had yogurt, Triscuits, a banana and a bowl of soup. But, alas, the deli is closed, so I'll just have to make do with a couple of enchiladas. And margaritas. Lots and lots of margaritas!!

You're leaving me now, aren't you. Fine. I'll meet you in exactly 20 minutes. You know the drill: gold, rocks, salt, please.

Don't Cry Daddy

Today is my second dad's 65th birthday. And I'm sad.

I guess I should give a little background here: my first dad passed away when I was ten, my mom remarried when I was 14, and my second dad passed away four years ago. I don't use the term 'step' when I talk about Teddy or my two brothers; I've always thought that would be an insult to the relationship that I have with these three men.

Since I was only a child when Daddy died, I don't remember much about him. And the things I do remember, I have to ask myself, are they real memories or just pictures I've made up in my head to go with the stories I've heard all my life? I remember all of the times my mom would sneak my sister and I into his hospital room so we could visit him for a while. He always saved his jell-o for us to snack on. I know I learned the art of a good pun from him. I like to think they are real memories. It will be 25 years next month since the afternoon that changed my life forever. I wonder about how things would be different if Daddy had lived. Would he be proud of me? Would he think I'm pretty? Am I really as much like him as people tell me?

As strange as it may sound, after Teddy came into our lives, I didn't feel so cheated about losing my dad. It was as if God was sending us an angel as a bit of an apology for taking Daddy away. Loving my second dad was not hard at all: he taught me to drive, harassed the boys who dared date his little girl, gave me my rabid love of football, coached me on how to be grown up and loved me unconditionally through it all. When the hospice nurse told us he wouldn't last the week, our entire family sat by his bedside and talked, cried, and even laughed as we told the stories about our lives with Teddy. I was lucky enough to get a few minutes alone with him and took the chance to pour out all of the things I was feeling; things I knew he already knew, but wanted to say anyway. He hadn't been totally lucid for several days, but I felt the need anyway. As I finished, I told him that I was thankful for having him in my life, and that I was going to miss the hell out of him because I loved him so much. He opened his eyes and said "I love you too, Ter." I was shocked, since as I said, he hadn't been lucid for days. I told him that I didn't mean to wake him, I thought he was sleeping. He replied, "Nobody sleeps through 'I love you.'" Those were the last words he spoke; he died a few hours later.

Now, it's July 15th and I'm sad.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

I love the smell of a new blog in the afternoon

Finally got around to setting up my new blog. I hated the other site I was at, so I thought I'd set up over in these parts. One of these days, maybe I'll link to my old one.

Anyway, believe it or not, I've not got much to say. I know! Hard to believe. Me, the girl who has an opinion on everything. Actually, I'm in a great mood today, which I will attribute to the great girls night we ladies had last night. Nothing crazy, just me and two of my best friends hanging out with two bottles of wine, some great pesto, and lots of girl (read: sex) talk. Very cathardic, as I've been in a bit of a self-imposed drought lately. And truthfully, don't get me wrong, I miss sex, but I really miss kissing, you know? I miss the feel of a guys hand on the back of my bare neck as he leans in for a kiss, starting off soft and almost hesitant, then slowly getting more and more passionate because you can't get enough. I miss resting my hand high on his chest and as the kiss deepens, exlporing further. I miss sucking on a mans full lower lip, before gently nipping it, then sucking it again... Ahem. 'Scuse me. Got a little carried away...where was I again? Oh yeah, I miss kissing. Let's just leave it at that.