Friday, September 27, 2013

jury duty

I am driving at a snail's pace behind a car with a bumper sticker that says "You can't be Catholic and believe in abortion." And you know what, that's not even true. I was in San Diego at a farmers' market and there was a group of young people handing out flyers stating they were Catholic and pro-choice. They were an intelligent-looking lot and they wanted me to stick around and discuss all that but I politely declined as I had a date with an Indian food vendor.

I can't be late this morning. It is my first day of jury duty and I'm already in trouble due to the school bus incident. I just figured this was another extension of my punishment for that offense but I had been fairly confident I would be excused from the whole business.

I had read an article in a beauty magazine that said women who have olive skin tones should wear green nail polish. I'd gotten my toes painted that very color and the polish was chipped and really quite ugly. I made a point of sitting in the front row where the attorneys could see my crappy green toes and then there was the fact that I had cut my own bangs the day before. "Never cut your hair when you've been drinking," my sister-in-law was fond of saying but after several beers my inhibitions were non-existent. I thought these two physical pieces of evidence would get me off the hook, here is a woman who clearly has impaired judgment issues, but this was not to be the case.

On the bright side I got to wear a cool badge but they wouldn't let me take it outside the courthouse but I could wear it as I walked around the building making jokes with all the security guys, yes, I am truly one of you. "Can I take notes?" I asked the bailiff who is actually now called a court attendant but bailiff is way cooler-sounding. She looked pleased that somebody on this jury was taking the whole thing seriously and she glanced disapprovingly over at the woman next to me who had Harley Davidson spelled out in pink sequins across her ample breasts. I was anticipating a regular yellow pad like the attorneys but instead was handed a smaller version of the same tablet. This will never be enough, I sadly thought to myself especially since half the paper was already gone. People were always asking to borrow my notes in college because my abilities in that category were never short of awesome.

The county was going to pay me $30 a day to sit around and take notes so I decided to stay. There's a few more things I need to say on this subject but that will be at a later date.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

a blurry sheriff

Don being happy

The headline of my local newspaper reads, "Sheriff says no gun permits for legally blind people." Does this issue even merit discussion?  Sheriff Don is quoted as saying, "If you see nothing but a blurry mass in front of you then I would say you probably shouldn't be shooting something." And this is our sheriff, a hands-on kind of guy making the world safe for blurry masses everywhere.

This is a photo of Sheriff Don and I see him frequently out and about performing his Barney Fife  duties and I gotta say the man's facial expression never changes, never. He does not smile, he does not frown. He does not giggle, wince, hold back tears or laugh heartily. He is a bald Mr. Spock without the pointy ears and sprayed-on bangs, uh-huh I am a trekkie.

Don being unhappy

A long time ago Don was policing an outdoor festival and he came up to me and asked for a date. We had never spoken, been introduced or shared a taxi but there it was. Perhaps he thought he was a masterly macho guy with a gun on his hip and a walkie-talkie strapped to his shoulder but this was not to be the case.

I politely declined and that's because a man should have some color in his personality. This is not Don's strong point, he is so colorless he is practically transparent and this would be a boring sphere to inhabit.  If it were mandatory for deputies to have a color Don would be beige, a dirty neutral crayon smudge on the page. But then I had the unfortunate status to know a few self-absorbed men back in the day who had too much color and . . .  I will stop here because husband has not been happy with my last few posts.

I don't know. Don's probably a nice guy but back to the subject of what our newspaper decides to print.  My international son, the one who lives in Japan and teaches 89-year-old guys to speak English expresses great disgust regarding our city newspaper. "Any international news is on the back page in a few short paragraphs and the front page details some middle school principal who gets a creme pie in his face."
 Oooh, what flavor?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


First they took away my marijuana and then my cigarettes. They could take away my whiskey and I would grumble just a little. But God help the man who tries to take away my Diet Coke.

Let me edit here just a little.  Yes, I quit smoking but there were a few months when I snuck a quick drag a couple times a week. I was visiting Susan in San Diego and announced I was going outside to smoke and she started knocking on neighbors' doors telling them to close their windows because Dawn was smoking. She loves me but she can be annoying.

I awake from some troubled dream, side effect of the Trazodone tablet I ingest so I don't wake up at 3 a.m. and relive every single issue of my miserable turbulent life.  I get up and take the required leak. I open the fridge, crack a cold coke and my day begins. I smack my lips, eyes roll inward and I say, life is good. This is the closest to nirvana I will ever get.

I have always been addicted to cola. I went through a Pepsi stage, a RC stage and even a Tab stage as a college freshman teaming it with saltines for the worst diet of my life. Eventually, I settled on Coke because it is the true cola, the purest cola, and there is a reason cocaine was in its original recipe, it is all that compelling and more.

 Once when I was dating this real slug of a guy he attempted to force some cocaine on me, jamming his thumb into my mouth coated with the vile stuff. I spent the remainder of the evening hunched over a toilet due to extremely loose bowels and eventually vomited into my purse.  Did I mention I bit that offending thumb, I was never meant for hard drugs.

So here's what you need to know. Happiness is fleeting, maybe not even necessary, aim for contentment, some peaceful thoughts and keep exercising.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

where is brooke shields when you need her?

I graduated high school in 1970 and since then I have moved eleven times and had two name changes, but somehow they still found me. In my hand is an invitation to my high school reunion.

I hated high school, hated it intensely. The only thing I liked were the cocoa chewies they served in the cafeteria and sometimes I would buy five of them and call it lunch.

I had a few friends, a few, mostly girls from my neighborhood but they were friends of convenience, not intention. They weren't very loyal and we badmouthed each other behind our backs and frankly I found the whole social process exhausting. My mother would crow at me to "go play with your friends" when all I wanted to do was sit under our cottonwood and read the Banned Books list, Lady Chatterley's Lover, Catcher in the Rye and the occasional MAD magazine.

I would go on to make better friends in college and even more so when I left my husband at age 29. I suffered an insane postpartum depression after my youngest boy was born.  I stopped nursing him when they put me on Valium, poor little guy, he immediately developed an intense oral fixation and everything went into his mouth, every little button. They called it the "housewife syndrome" and looked at me like I had advanced leprosy.

The invitation says they are planning a slumber party at a local hotel, good god can it get much worse. I look at the attached page and it is a list of all of us, names, addresses, email info. And under the name column we are referred to as, example here, "Mrs. Arthur Cheeseman, etc;"  In the true Catholic spirit we are just extensions of our husbands and I haven't used the Mrs. title in like, forever, okay never.

Inside my head I see girls in pink sponge rollers and Dippety-do glazed curls on their cheeks. There are huge puffy bedroom slippers and baby doll p.j's.  The record player is spinning, "Mrs. Brown, you've got a lovely daughter . . ."  There is Chef-Boy-R-Dee pizza and glass bottles of Pepsi and a poster on my friend's wall that says, "War is not healthy for children and other living things." For just a few moments I want to go home again.