The White Album by The Beatles

28 12 2007

Used to be that The Beatles landmark recording, The White Album, would send me into a catatonic state.  (in a bad way).
I have some pretty nasty memories associated with The Beatles in general (as is with the Eagles and Beach Boys) and just listening to them would make me very pensive and quiet.
On the way back from Michigan, XM played the medley of Golden Slumbers and I sung along while Steve slept in the passenger seat.  I was surprised that I remembered as many words as I did.
Even though Golden Slumbers isn’t on the White Album, I put it on my iPod anyway.  Plus, I’ve had Helter Skelter stuck in my head for weeks now.
Nano gets plugged in to detract from “Big Girls Don’t Cry” and while listening to disc 1, I am filled with new memories.
No longer am I afraid and cowering.  The songs take me back to summer, Steve and I listening, no shoes on in the grass, playing catch, chasing Bailey around the yard…  instead of filling with apprehension, I am filled with happiness.

Oh, this is nice.

The Din of Emotion

27 12 2007

We went to visit my family this year for Christmas.
For those of you who didn’t follow me over from Myspace, my Grandpa is in the end-stages of stage four lung cancer and we’re not really expecting him to make it until next Christmas. 
Now that Christmas is done, I’m filled with a number of emotions.
* Happy that he’s lead such an awesome life.
* Sad that this is the way it’s going to go down.
* Relieved that he’s getting treatment to improve his quality of life.
* Nervous about losing him.
* Grateful that he’s been such a great grandfather.
* Sorrowed by the thought that he may not pass easily.
* Touched that he and Grandma seem even more in love.
* Anticipatory that the next trip will be awful.
* Glad that he will be with Aunt Cheryl.
* Greedy because he’s always been invincible.
* Upset that he doesn’t want to follow his treatment plan by saying he doesn’t want things like x-rays.
* Relieved that when we hugged, it was the best hug I ever got from him; unlike any other he’s ever given me.

I’m to the point where I am very in limbo.  Do I throw caution to the wind and celebrate life or do I err on the side of caution so that I can be there for my grandkids?  Do I dwell upon the wonder and beauty of life or ponder the purpose of love when it only seems to hurt?

Egad, I’m a mess.

I love you but…

21 12 2007

As a preface, Old Stephanie would have been festeringly livid at what I am about to tell you.  New Stephanie is surprised it took this long.

Steve’s catnapping on the sofa when his phone rings.
“Hey mom.”
(matter of factly) “It’s been discussed.”
(increasing annoyed) “I.  Don’t.  Know.”
“Fine.  Midnight.”
“Well we have things we need to get before we can come over.”

He looks at me, forehead in hand and in the most deadpan voice ever, “When do you think we’ll be over at my parents [for Christmas]?”

Don’t Ask How I Know This.

20 12 2007

The cupholder nearest to the drivers elbow is just the right size for a pint of Wegman’s Super Premium Peanut Butter Cup ice cream.

The Past is the Present

19 12 2007

It has been an odd couple of weeks.  It seems as though things/ideas from the past are making more appearances.  Perhaps I just never paid attention to them or there really is a flourish of “I used to…”
I certainly hope this isn’t one of those Christmas Carol things were I get shown the past, present and future.  If my dream last night is an indication, then I’m going someplace warm and leave Bailey in the car (she was okay, don’t worry).

Last week I had a conversation with my friend about concerts.  I had done a pollstar search to see who’s coming to town.  There are a few shows coming up that I was excited to see (Sick of it All, VAST…) but they came with a set of concerns.  1) I don’t want to go alone and no one I know is into the bands I would go see.  2) I don’t have anything to wear to the type of show I would go see.  Petty, I know.  3) An 8 o’clock start with a couple opening bands puts me back home really late on a work night.
So this conversation evolved into the people that we used to be.  We could/would stay out until all hours, we’d go see shows all the time, we dyed our hair very unnatural colors…. you get the gist.
“But aren’t you happier, at least a little, with who you are now?”
Yes, though we wonder what kind of sacrifices we made to be the people we are now.  I know that Stephanie from 10 years ago would probably definitely sneer at Stephanie Now. 

Last night, I was at a party and I FINALLY got to talk to one of the other girls from ballet class.  We talked about how we grew up in the city (that would be Buffalo, not New York).  And now we look at our lives now and wonder what happened.  She didn’t think she would get married, she didn’t think she would have a kid and she didn’t think she’d be living where we are.  I totally relate.   For a long time, I didn’t think I was marriage material (be it the moodswings…), I was hellbent on not having kids (ever) and I’ll be damned if I live in the suburbs and drive an SUV.
She told me that she still runs into her first passionate love and while she still wonders what life would have been like, she knows that things are SO much better now.  “And seeing him [the first love] made me fall all the more in love with my husband.”
There’s only a two people I can think of off the top of my head that if I were to run into I’d probably be floored, but I would go home and hold Steve tighter then usual.
Sure, like everyone else, I wonder what it would be like if things had gone otherwise, but I think about the reasons that things didn’t work out and I realize that this is the way it was meant to be.

The other reminiscent thing is that I’m pulling out some of my old CDs and putting them on my iPod.
Some songs alone conjure up so many memories- specific memories- about times, places and people.
Funny, isn’t it, how a chord can take you back fifteen years?
I’ve decided, that like everyone else, I am going to start posting Musical Memories… Songs and Albums that make me think another time, another place.

So, whoever’s reading this, have you noticed an influx in the past making appearances in the present?

“No, YOU make no sense!”

17 12 2007

We’re out to dinner, watching the Sabres game, and the restaurant is trying to set ambiance by playing music clips as you would hear them at the arena.
me: Wow, they’ve broken out the KernKraft2000.
him: The what?
me: This song.  It’s called Zombie Nation and it’s by KernKraft2000.
him: This song is HORRIBLE!  Why is it even in existence?  (BTW, he thinks good music stopped being produced after 1975, unless it’s Pink Floyd, Tragically Hip, Pearl Jam or NIN).
me: I-Don’t-Know-Maaarrggo.  What’s the point of Castellorizon ?
him: to relax.
me: Well, I guess then that Zombie Nation is created to energize the audience.
him: pppffttt
me, sarcastically: Fine, what about “New Orleans is Sinking”?
him, knowingly: It’s about New Orleans Sinking.
me: And “Careful with that axe Eugene”?  And don’t say it’s about someone telling Eugene to be careful with an axe.
him: Ummm, (mumbling)
me: Uh-huh… and “Set the controls for the heart of the sun”?
him: Well, it’s about the Sun.  And setting controls for and it’s like a PS3 game, getting the controls into the heart of the sun.
me: You’re lucky you’re so cute.

“Thank Heaven for Zoloft” or “Suck it Stockpilers!”

16 12 2007

” Worst of Winter Storm Misses WNY”

Up and out at what some would consider the crack of dawn (7:30) to finish my Christmas Splurging, I didn’t make it to the grocery store until a bit before noon.
I mainly went because I was about ready to pass out from not having breakfast and walking around all morning.
Being one of those people who doesn’t really care where they park (unless I have to pee or am ill prepared for the weather) I was stunned, nay shocked, to find NO PLACE to park.  When I say no place, it’s not like the very end spot where you need a Sherpa to get to the store, there was NO PLACE to park.
The rumbling of my tummy started to overpower the stereo and I was considering parking in an adjacent plazas lot.
A spot finally opened and I beat out another car to get in.  Ha!
Once inside the vestibule, there were no carts.  I don’t mean that there were only inappropriately sized carts, or that cart that has the bum wheel and you need a linebacker to push it, I mean, NO CARTS.  How bad was it?  People who didn’t have kids took the carts that have the spot in the front for kids to “drive” into fellow shoppers.
After a light lunch of salad and water (which is what I would have eaten anyway), I was relieved to find carts.
Entering Produce, it really didn’t seem that busy.  Picked up some oranges (which were deeeelightful) and brussel sprouts (because I’ve never had them) and headed over to the meat/deli area.  The congestion was worse, but certainly not “the end is neigh!”.
It wasn’t until I got to the ground beef cooler that my eyebrows cocked.  If there’s one thing I’m picky about, it’s ground beef.  It cannot be below 90/10.  Ew.  Peering into the cooler, it appears that suddenly everyone has become very picky about their beef.  There were three 95/5 and about ten 80/20 packages left.  The chaos from the deli was starting to become louder, so I grabbed the two 90/10s with the heaviest weights and hopped over to chicken.  There was plenty of chicken, which calmed me.
Bread, that’s another story.  Milk, I’m lucky that I drink skim to begin with.  Speaking of milk, at what point does milk become so important that one will purchase organic milk when you can tell that the purchaser typically buys whole?
I digress.
Toilet paper, practically non-existent.
Then, it’s time to stand in line.
I cut down the cosmetics aisle to queue up when I notice a number of people standing in the cosmetics aisle.  Standing with carts.  Standing with full carts.  And what’s with all the pages for baggers and cashiers?  Getting to the end of the aisle, I realize that the line is about 10 people deep.  All the other lines and ten people deep.  WTF?
I start scanning peoples carts because I’m nosy.  Only one person really seemed to be stockpiled for a storm (water, batteries, canned food) a number of people had 28-packs of beer, but most people looked like they were party planning… chips, cake, soda…
Making it back out to the car, it’s the same situation as when I arrived… people vying for any spot they can get, almost running over people for spots, shoppers stepping in front of cars without looking…
And then when I wake up today, there’s a couple inches of wintry mix on the ground and a few more on the way, but as the headline said, the worst of the storm missed us.
As Nelson Muntz would say, “HA HA”.

Second Thoughts or Two Glasses of Wine Make a Difference

12 12 2007

Okay, granted, I was ready to put Bailey outside for all time this morning, but, as usual, things have changed.
(comma much?)
It would be cool if she could talk because I would know if I’m doing a good job raising her….  whenever I give her something, I always tell her what it is… so maybe she’d ask for it.  She kind of does… she knows how to tell me when she wants water, she knows “treat”, “walk” and “breakfast” and she knows to sit and wait for breakfast.
Even right now, we’re sharing Veggie Chips and when I give her one, I tell her what it is (“Tomato.  Tomato”) and reinforce and congratulate when she takes nice.
Geez dog, you really are practice aren’t you.
Here’s a shining example of her tolerance.  Granted, it’s blurry, but you can see the incredible pupsmile

Bailey Helps with the Tree

And I’m suppposed to tolerate a child?

12 12 2007

Bailey has been especially needy lately.
Like not leaving my side.  Ever.
If I get up from the couch, she gets up.  Follows me when I get a glass of water and follows me back to wherever.  Waits by the bathroom door when I shower.  Last night, she tried to come to ballet with me and she didn’t come when Steve called her in.. she went in when I told her to.  I’m getting the backside (as opposed the pawsside) when she comes to bed.
We’re baffled on this new arrangement.
Up until late fall, Bailey was Steve’s Dog.  Not that she hated me, but she would prefer his company… even if it was laying on him while he slept.
We don’t know if it’s the breakfast, the walks (when we could), the treats, the petting…
But this morning, despite her cuteness, I was ready to ring her puppy neck.
For starters, when Steve’s alarm went off, she wedged in between us, which wouldn’t have been so bad had she not rolled up in my half of the blankets.
When it was time to get up, I got a wet bear-bear in the face.
After the shower, she proceeded to do laps around the upstairs, headbutting me on every pass.
As if I never let her out right when I get downstairs, she beelined towards the door and proceeded to get all “puppy eyes” on me.
She came in after taking care of business and followed me around the kitchen, headbutting me whenever I stopped for a nanosecond. 
Mom.  Mom.  Mom.  Mom.  Mom.  Mom.  Mom.  Hungry.  Mom.  Mom.  Mom.  Mom.  Mom.  Mom.  Hungry. Mom.  Mom.
Headbutt and look longingly at food bowl.
Mom.  Hungry.  Mom.  Hungry.
I crouch down to tie the garbage bag.  She sits, headbutts me, looks at her dish, pouts, headbutt, dish, look, headbutt…
Finally I look at her and sternly exclaim, “I KNOW Bailey.  I get it.  You’re hungry.   Give me one hot minute.”
And then she looks like I scolded her.
Then she pouts at her bowl while I make her wait for water.
Geez dog, you really are practice aren’t you.

An Ounce of Protection is Worth a Pound of Something or Other

11 12 2007

me, reading yahoo headlines, while he gathers more taco meat from the stove: Red meat may cause lung and other kinds of cancer.
him, still scooping: What doesn’t cause cancer now adays?
me: dying.

(I can talk like that due to multiple cancer scares)