Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Dancing queen

Yes, I’m familiar with the latest craze, “Dancing with the Stars”. Somehow, I’ve managed to miss this new season. Excuse me if I pass. I think it has to do with my own indoctrination.

Ballroom dancing – what a way to stay fit and meet men. I had a colleague who began dancing in her sixties and ended up with partners who looked like Antonio Bandera and loads of sequined costumes in her closet. College professor by day; Juliet Prowse at night and on the weekend circuit. Her dance card was always filled. She mastered the Latin rhythms and had the trophies to prove it. The glamour, the excitement, the fun! Sign me up! At least that’s what I think in the early days of my transition to the single life. Heck, the nuns at the local convent were probably seeing more action than I was getting. I had to do something.

As if sensing my desperation, another friend, recently divorced, phones me. Would I like to attend a dancing lesson with her and then stay overnight? Delightful! I can do this. I have just climbed mountains in the Canadian Rockies (and have a bruised toe to show for it). Ballroom dancing will be my new challenge. Nothing like a girlfriend at your side to provide the right impetus and support system. I have not seen this friend for a couple years and am really psyched about catching up, plus learning a few steps on the dance floor.

The week drags on. Finally, TGIF! I feel like a teenager again, going to a sleepover. I drive up to her house after work. I over pack because I don't have a clue about what one wears to a dance lesson and a mixer. I throw three pairs of shoes into my car trunk and a selection of outfits that I grab from my closet, literally. I pull into the winding driveway of her beautiful suburban home (some divorces fare better than others). My friend comes running out to greet me.

Now you have to understand about Julie - she is a perpetual Size 2 and a yoga/aerobics instructor. Tall and thin and lithe and graceful, she also enters tennis competitions. All feelings of empowerment and competence that I have just gained climbing mountains slide off the cliff as my Size 14 frame gets out of the car. I arrive in blue jeans and sport top. Julie is standing there in a leather miniskirt and tight black sweater. She promptly says, “Oh, you’re going in jeans – that’s okay”. I promptly think “over your dead body” and haul my 200-lb. suitcase into her house.

The evening continues to go downhill from there. We are not going to the dance alone. She introduces me to Bob. I give the gal credit. She’s 52; he just turned 40. And this was before Demi and Ashton. The new boyfriend is quite a hunk. The man has "bedroom eyes". Big and beefy guy, kind of a Cliff Robertson face wrapped in a vintage John Wayne body. I discover later that his moves on the dance floor are quite good. They make a very sexy couple. But, I'm running ahead of my story ….

My anxiety rises as I unpack. I discover that, aside from focusing on red and black, I have managed to completely mismatch all my jewelry. You could say I am on the cutting edge, a veritable trend setter - fashionably eclectic. Hell, they will put the lights out eventually but it's not going to be pretty until I'm in the dark. I settle for a long black dress with a slit, for those Ginger Roger moments when I kick out my leg. The dress has red roses as its design. They go quite well with my Victorian bracelet and earrings but the blue ring and mod silver choker seem to be making another statement. My friend is no help at all – she is hot to foxtrot and already focusing on John Wayne.

We drive a short distance and arrive at a storefront Academy of Dance in a strip mall. This is where Julie and Bob and several other suburban couples spend their time and mucho money learning how to ballroom dance. Pick your specialty. Julie and Bob are into the tango right now. I try to keep a low profile and blend in with the dance regulars (I already know this isn't American Bandstand). I’m concentrating on which shoes will get me through the night without some jerk stepping on my bruised toe. I initially settle for a demure pair of dressy flats, figuring I won't fall on my bum and make a fool of myself during the group dance lesson. However, as soon as I walk into the downstairs studio, I sense my flats will just not cut the mustard. This room has a sleazy guy with a moustache who is actually selling shoes, ballroom shoes - boxes lined up and a catalog on a chair. Julie is quite excited. Obviously, the serious ballroom dancer must have the perfect shoe.

Have I mentioned the mirrors yet? If I don't already know that my jewelry doesn't match and my flats are not exactly making a confidant and sexy statement to the public, I can now figure it all out. While Julie tries on pairs and pairs of dancing slippers, I get to stand idly by and assess myself in the 17 mirrors that completely surround me. Bright fluorescent lights add to the humiliation. I look around at the other ballroom regulars and realize that I'm probably the only full-figured lady in the place. At this point, I decide to take control of my life. I walk back to the car and pull out my Nine West black heels with the red insets. Hell, if I'm gonna fall on my ass, I might as well look elegant doing it. Meanwhile, girlfriend and her Prince Charming have both been fitted with their magic slippers (to the tune of $120 apiece).

We all trot upstairs for the group dance lesson. Tonight's theme is latin music. We begin with the merengue. Funny, I always thought that was a pie. I'm so excited - there is one other full-figured female in the room. Vivien is the hostess and dance instructor. Her partner is a guy named Joe, some computer geek, who seems slightly autistic. I watch him the entire night and this man does not smile nor make eye contact. People pay him money for private instructions. Go figure.

We all line up in front of those damn mirrors again. There is just no escaping; women on one side, men on the other. Vivien, who now reminds me of a recycled Dorothy Lamour, holds court: telling and showing us the basic steps of the merengue. Having taught a class or two, I must reveal that I do know that there are all kinds of learning styles. Some people are visual, hands-on; some are verbal. Quite frankly, I never did figure out where I belong. This will not serve me well tonight.

In the meantime, Vivien (who has probably been dancing since she left the womb) is rambling ahead, telling us which foot goes where and when but reminding the ladies that what she is saying has to do with the men who will be leading the dance. It slowly dawns on me that when Vivien says "left foot", I have to think "right foot" because I'm not a guy. I am also kinesthetically challenged. I only learned to roller skate on one skate (only-child syndrome) and that took me awhile. Now I'm expected to incorporate entire dance patterns within my post-menopausal brain and translate the message instantaneously to my dancing feet. Whoa!

When the music starts, we are to choose a partner. I do a quick count - more gals than guys, many of whom know each other. I'm in trouble. Sure enough, everyone pairs off. Vivien glances around at the dancing pairs and promptly walks over to me, the lone misfit with the mismatched jewelry. She grabs me and makes me her partner. Mortification. I want to scream at Dorothy Lamour and tell her that I don't have a clue about which foot goes where. And, right now, I'd like to put my foot right up her …. She's "the guy" and the music starts to play and I follow her lead as best I can. What do I remember most about my first dancing partner? She hasn't used deodorant.

Somehow I survive. As we move on to the waltz, more my pace, John and I choose each other as partners (only because everyone else has already been taken). Double mortification. John is the oldest male in the room; just shoot me now. The guy is in his late eighties and shorter than me. Sound familiar? I continue to smile as "Moon River" wafts out of the CD player. One-two-three, one-two-three ... if this guy drops over, I'll have to do CPR. I won't panic - it's like the waltz and the merengue combined. I just have to add two more beats. Breathe into the body. One-two-three-FOUR-FIVE, pump, pump. Thank God I'm a musician.

The beat goes on. We move from the waltz to the foxtrot to the salsa and the rhumba. Oh momma, I'm flying now! I’ve even caught the attention of autistic Joe, the male instructor, who leads me through some of the paces. Not a flicker of a smile nor any type of emotion on his face, like dancing with a stone. This is my Friday night out on the town! It doesn't get much better than this unless I have elective surgery or root canal.

After one of the longest periods of time in my mortal life, Vivien announces that the lessons are over and the lights are lowered. It's time to party and put all those dance steps into action. Julie and her boyfriend are in heat. They can't wait to get on the dance floor and do it. I mean the tango. They've been taking private lessons with Joe. By now, Vivien is looking pretty good to me as a dance partner. Instead, I find myself dancing with Mike, who could be my son and is about 7 feet tall, and later with Dan whose "wife is in Cape May". Dan weighs about 300 lbs. and is not my type. And why the hell, Dan, are you coming to these dance parties while your wife's away?!

Julie decides to share Bob with me. I think it’s an act of compassion. "Bedroom eyes" whisks me out onto the floor and we hustle, and salsa, and foxtrot, and waltz and he even shows me some tango steps. Throughout the night, whenever they feel sorry for me, Julie dances off with one of the other regulars, and Bob becomes my partner. This is getting to be fun. He is quite sexy and very intense. Dancing with Bob puts me into such a benevolent mood, that I, in turn, take pity on geriatric John and ask him to cha cha. We cut a mean figure. My best performance, however, comes at the end of the night when Joe, the catatonic dance instructor, extends his hand and takes me out for the merengue. Wow, I think I’m in some movie! I follow Fred Astaire’s lead and get to strut my stuff.

Later I realize that Vivien probably sent Joe over on a rescue mission. After all, if I'm the only "new kid on the block", they want to make sure I come back and spend more money. Select a slipper or two. They probably split the commission with the shoe salesman.

The houselights come up and a dynamic couple in their early 20s conclude the evening with a guest performance. They are announced as “fifth-ranked amateur-youth latin-dance couple”, a whirling combination of testosterone and purple spandex.

Next morning, I get up early enough to attend Julie's yoga class. As instructor, she performs back bends, pilates moves, and all sorts of contortions that my body just laughs at. Mission impossible. I am one of only two attendees in the class. The other is a double-jointed Size 2 who manages to follow all of Julie's yoga postures to perfection. In keeping with the weekend's theme of self-mortification and humiliation, I squat forlornly, bending and breathing and praying that I don't fall forward out of my down-dog position and land on my nose ….

Tennis, anyone?

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Crash deposit

Karma: the Hindu and Buddhist philosophy according to which the quality of people’s current and future lives is determined by their behavior in this and in previous lives.

There it is. The definition that haunts me.

I tried my best, I really did. Raised the kids to be responsible while instilling solid values such as diligence, love of neighbor, and frugality. Middle-class income and neighborhood. Nothing fancy. Pay as you go; save for the really big things like college and cars. But it didn’t matter. One unfortunate encounter at a drive-by window doomed me and my daughter to years of insolvency.

The universe can be so unfair and unforgiving, even when you think you’re off the hook.

I watch the television commercials showing seniors living the good life, using their mega-savings from IRAs and pensions for time shares in the Bahamas and retirement communities in sunny climes. Their happy, tanned faces smile back at me from the pages of Modern Maturity and I wince. I would love to picture myself as one of those redeemed by a past six-figure income and a savvy financial advisor. Not.

I worry for my daughter who is still struggling to reach her break-even point and buy that darn cranberry storm door as one of life’s little perks. Not.

The bad karma refuses to give up.

Blame it on the bank assault in broad daylight, my baby daughter along for the ride. Little Louise and big Thelma, sticking it to the establishment.

We’re still paying.

It was just a normal run to the bank on a cold wintry day. Jenn was all of seven months old, cute as a little kewpie doll, all bundled into her furry pink snowsuit. To save time, I pulled up to the drive-by window to make my deposit. What happened next determined my destiny. It was not a pre-meditated act. Accidents due happen. Karma must have been hiding in the trunk and popped out to bite me on the nose.

As the automated deposit tray slid open, my outside car mirror managed to smack it with a sickening crunch. It was not a pretty sight. Before I could come to a complete stop, I had pushed the drawer forward and folded it up as neatly as a set of accordion bellows.

“Did I kill it?” was the only thing I could say as I surveyed the crumpled mess and the teller’s crumpled face. She was feverishly trying to retract the tray but I knew, oh yes, I knew. I had delivered a fatal blow. The whining and grinding continued. It was in its death throes.

I broke out in a cold sweat, the baby started to cry, the bank teller looked like she was about to faint. I had to get out of there, fast. So I put the car in reverse and drove backwards … right into the car that was in the drive-by line behind me.

At that point, it was like a Keystone Cops movie. The cars in back of that car started pulling out of line and careening away from the crime scene. Even the guy I hit didn’t hang around to exchange insurance.

By now the baby was bawling and I was on the verge of tears. Hysteria was not far behind. I wondered if I could plea-bargain myself out of prison. Better yet, I could promote a social cause and rail against capitalism. Gosh, I could become a hero if I played this right.

The baby’s crying soon brought me to my senses. Breathing deeply, I carried Jenn into the bank and plopped her down in front of the stunned tellers and curious customers. Jenn wailed; someone stuck a lollipop in her mouth. No one offered me a consolation prize. In between tears, I pulled out my driver’s license and told the crowd that a) I was a good mother and b) I was really a good driver and c) I had never before damaged public property.

A short, serious man appeared before me, the manager. What is this thing about short men? They had already called the police and he assured me that all would be “straightened out”. Poor choice of words on his part. He hadn’t yet been outside to see the dying drawer.

The police arrived, Jenn continued licking her candy, and I gave a full report. It was then that my rational brain finally kicked in, banished the Lucille Ball impersonation and took charge. Knowing that I was, indeed, a good driver, I questioned just how my car could have gotten close enough to the tray to actually make contact in the first place. We all went outside and I cleverly pointed out that the curbing below the window should have been extended another two feet so that cars were prevented from driving that close. Yes, that was it! Poor design! Preventive maintenance was the key! The cops nodded at my brilliance. The crowd shook their heads and started to disperse.

I was feeling so much better. I would look the world in the eye and not stand down. The best defense is a good offense. It was the bank’s fault. Feeling vindicated, I put Jenn back in the car, carefully checked my rear-view mirror, and drove home. I included detailed sketches advising the extended curbing in my report to the insurance company. (I love to draw.) My outside mirror was repaired. The bank’s damage was another story. The duct tape and gaping hole were part of the urban landscape for a few months. And then the cement truck came and extended the pavement.

Karma, however, weighed in favor of the bank.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Sex sells

I just checked my blog meter and noticed that there was quite a spike in activity after I shared my adventure in the parking lot. I will have to keep this in mind.

My next few entries may be far too tame. You know the drill: growing older, maternal guilt, bad karma - the whole bag. I'll try to keep it real. Just don't expect too much heavy breathing. I'm a bit out of wind from the energy expended on my first three posts.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Love in the afternoon

She felt his hot hands groping her heaving breasts, his smothering kisses on her mouth, when suddenly she realized, “Cripes, what am I gonna tell the kids?!”

Okay, let me back up a bit and give you the whole story. At least as I remember it. My son and daughter may have different versions. It’s not every day that your single 60-something momma calls long distance and tells you about her blind date; that is, she’s trying to tell you but she’s laughing so hard she can barely get the words out.

It all began fairly innocently. The kids were worried. Here I was, single and on my own for a few years, living like an anchoress in my apartment, surrounded by my books and polka cd collection. Sure, I had my friends and the grandbabies and my full-time job. But something was missing. My social life was, shall we say, a bit dull. Subtle hints were dropped. “Oh mom isn’t it great about Mary and Tom? They’re so cute together. You know Dr. Phil believes in those online dating services, especially the ones that offer you a complete personality and compatibility profile. Mr. Right is out there, you just have to be proactive and go find him.” Now I knew their intentions were pure. Hook the old gal up with some sentient being. For cryin’ out loud, she can’t do the polka alone!

What they failed to consider was that, unlike their own sibling connection, I grew up an only child. Being alone, with my thoughts, books, single toothbrush, and Frankie Yankovic blasting on the stereo was not all that bad. Contrary to popular myth, you can do the polka alone. Sometimes less is more. The kids, however, were convinced that life could be so much more exciting with my very own companion - that man of my dreams who would still have his own hair, teeth and kneecaps, a twinkle in his eye, and a gentle heart. Low blood pressure wouldn’t be bad either.

Once again, the daughter, “You need a kind lumberjack. Don’t do ‘intelligent and bookish’. They can be snarky and shallow. You need someone simpler, someone who will see into your soul and be your playmate.”

The trouble with Jenn is that she reads too many self-help books while she’s listening to Oprah on TV. Mommy at home, kids underfoot, and Oprah and Dr. Phil appear with the magical solutions to all life’s problems. All you have to do is c-o-m-m-u-n-i-c-a-t-e and make eye contact and life will be good, very, very good. All demons exorcised.

I grew up with “love means never having to say you’re sorry” and my kid grows up with “let it all hang out, I feel your pain”. I couldn’t care less about some strange lumberjack’s pain - I’ve got my own arthritis to worry about!

It was useless to fight. They cajoled; they pleaded. They were on a mission. Rescue mom from her nihilistic, self-absorbed lifestyle: eating alone, spending inordinate amounts of time reading good books, writing fanfic, traveling abroad, climbing a mountain or two, playing with digital cameras. How dare she! This woman must find her soul mate.

Now, I don’t know about you but somehow that whole touchy-feely soul mate thing was starting to wear a little thin. If I had to see Mr. You-Know-Who pitching his online dating service and compatibility profile one more time, I was gonna take the guy quail hunting!

Nevertheless, I finally capitulated and actually took the damn profile and posted my photo and played the online dating game for over a year. Oh yes, it’s safer than most online services (some of which I had also joined). Let’s see, two to three years of my life online looking for Mr. Right (read that “you look like Robert Redford and you cut down trees”) and what did I have to show for it? Two dates with two men who described themselves as “tall”. What is it about men and size? These guys came up to my nose and I’m five foot three. First guy walked me 30 blocks through a major city, explaining its architectural designs. He offered to pay for lunch; I let him. No follow-up phone call. We finally made contact online; he told me I’m not his type. I looked “too academic”. Jeans, loafers and a corduroy jacket? I didn’t wear my hood and gown!

Jenn’s solution: “Mom, you’ve got to wear red. Trust me. It’s vibrant, alive – like you. You have to express yourself through color.”

Guy #2 and I have a couple interesting phone conversations. We decide to meet for lunch. He seems quite excited about steak and a salad. Hey, whatever floats your boat.

I call the daughter for more advice. I’m sent shopping for sandals, Ann Taylor slacks and red, yes, a red knit top that has a lacy thingie which ties down the front and reveals a wee bit of cleavage. I even go for a pedicure and manicure, painting the town red! Dang, I look hot! No one’s gonna peg me for “too academic” now.

We decide to meet at a fairly popular steak-and-ale restaurant, splitting the distance between us. I get there first, quite excited, wondering if this “tall” blind date will tell me he’s retired from the U.S. Forestry Service and sweep me off my feet. Visions of dancing wood chips start to appear before my eyes. My reverie is broken when someone touches my arm. I turn and look up. This is my first mistake. I soon realize that Mr. Right is below my line of vision. I quickly look down and smile feebly. He smiles graciously, little roly-poly man. Dressed neatly and casually. No boots, no ax. We go in and dine on steak and salad. Yes, little man lives large. We order wine. We order dessert. He keeps telling me I’m quite the thing. At least when he’s sitting across from me, he doesn’t seem so short. And then I remember why. He had brought a cushion into the restaurant, claiming something about a sore tail bone or old injury. I really wasn’t paying attention at the time. But now it makes perfect sense. If he didn’t have his pillow to sit on, we wouldn’t be having this conversation at all – he’d be under the table. The check comes and then he tells me that he never pays for a woman’s dinner. Not his philosophy. We should split the check. I’m from the old school; I’d rather split his lip. But I behave and agree to the arrangement, thinking that I’ll never see this guy again.

The place is hopping. We push our way through the crowd and walk out to the parking lot together. He takes my hand and tells me that he really enjoyed dinner. He walks me to my car. I go around to open my driver’s side and he asks if he can come in. This is my second mistake. I nod okay and auto-open the passenger side. He carefully places his little cushion on my car seat and places his little tush on the cushion. We continue to small talk. He starts to get a glassy look in his eyes and asks if he may kiss me. Trees are falling in a forest somewhere but I can’t hear them. There’s this strange buzzing in my head. Mistake #3. I say “yes” and lean a bit towards him and we kiss, and we kiss, and we kiss some more. I find that the combination of red wine and rich dessert has left me in a somewhat languorous mood. Hell, when I close my eyes, all I can see is Robert Redford. The next thing I know is that we’ve progressed to the French art of kissing and there’s some groping going on. At about this time, I open my eyes and realize that I am sitting in my own car in a public parking lot in the middle of the afternoon, necking with a man who has a sore tail bone! Holy Hannah! If my kids could see me now! Thank God there was a console between the two front seats. I regain my senses and start to push him towards his side of the car. He cops one more feel and then smiles and asks if he can just kiss me goodbye. Someone who looks a lot like Robert Redford walks past the car and winks at me. I take that as a good omen and give the guy a final kiss. Nothing exotic. I just felt like kissing a man! Sue me. He gets out of the car and tells me I’m a very passionate woman. This time I hear the tree fall in the forest and smile, smile broadly, start to laugh and don’t stop laughing all the way home.

After a good strong swig of mouthwash, I phone the kids and tell them all about my inexplicable behavior in the parking lot. They never insist I look for Mr. Right again.

Postscript: Little man phones me up about three weeks later. He wants to sell me a personal-growth contract and explains that he’s a trainer. A tree should fall on him.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Bare naked ladies ... and gents

Now, about that photo … three generations of estrogen bubbles afloat in a Victorian tub. Dare you ask, "Who took the picture?" Dare I tell you? Oh Canada. My beloved son-in-law, David, was quite discreet and kept his distance from the rim of the tub.

"This is the mater speaking, ‘step back from the tub, step away from the tub’!"

It was New Year’s eve and seemed like a good idea at the time. Well, almost New Year’s eve, Christmas week and I had settled myself into a rather posh inn near Jenn’s house for two nights of blissful decadence sans kiddies. There was a king-sized bed (unfortunately I had no king in tow) decked out with way too many pillows and a sinfully rich down comforter which was so plush that we nearly lost Sophie when she came to visit. Yes, my personal space, my pleasure palace was invaded by the clan!

Jenn got an idea. When Jenn gets an idea, it’s usually far from mainstream and involves some type of "mother, stretch yourself, try a new experience". Dragging hubby, Sophie, and newborn Hannah, Jenn showed up and promptly announced that there would be a photoshoot in my rather large, elegant bathroom. She knew of the Victorian tub and she had dibs on it. Why not make it a family event? I, safely wrapped in my rather dowdy chenille bathrobe and sporting my flannel pj’s, tentatively gave it my okay. What the heck? Holiday spirit and all that. I didn’t want to be the Grinch that destroyed Christmas in a Victorian Bath. It seemed so Norman Rockwell.

David had brought all his photo equipment, and I would take some pictures of their little family unit in the tub. Canadian men are quite laissez-faire about things like that. Stripping in front of your momma-in-law down to your colorful tartan-plaid boxers was no big deal. Jenn adjusted herself likewise and into the tub they went, bare from the waist up and holding their progeny. The effect of course was delightful. Splish, splash, the element of illusion – no one would know that there was no water in the tub and modesty prevailed. Yes, I soon found myself enjoying every moment of my new role as official photographer. See Jenn?! Mom is stretching herself and learning a new hobby at the same time. I shot one angle and then another, running around the tub like the paparazzi on speed. My son-in-law’s SLR and he trusted me to get some really good shots. Needless to say, I rose to the challenge! Can’t say the mater was not spontaneous. End of deal. Until, Jenn got another idea.

“Mom, why don’t you hop in here and let David take your picture with me and the girls?”

You grow up; you grow older. You think that life will settle down and your adult kids will no longer be creating pressure on you, challenging you to step out of your nice warm bathrobe and get your feet wet. So here I am, coaching them to paint in broad strokes and suddenly I’m a part of the canvas! (You’ve already been warned about the metaphors.)

Sometimes, if you talk the talk, you just gotta walk the walk.

David, indeed, did keep his distance and we laughed and held the girls tightly and I’m so glad I did it!

A couple months later, one of these memorable photos showed up on the cover of my surprise-birthday invitation card to family, friends and co-workers.

Moral of the story: no matter what the age, your children will continue to find clever ways to surprise and embarrass you.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Giving birth

This is all quite new to me. I've been hanging out at my daughter's blog for months now and some of her readers seem to think I may have enough of my own material to hold court elsewhere. Thanks, guys! I hope I can live up to the expectation. Be gentle with me until I find my groove.

Here I am, pushing and shoving to bring forth my firstborn and not even knowing whether it's a boy or girl. It seems to be a girl from all the pink on this page that, guess who, chose for me. Thanks, David and Jenn! Having graphic artists in the family is not a bad perk.

The kids know that I'm PC challenged. Sure, I sit at the darn things all day long in my office. But I confess that I've never learned how they work. I just have great expectations. Turn on the machine, let it blink back at me, and I bless it with a little "hello computer" and off we go!

Last night I panicked ... I played around with some new photoshow material (I do experiment, just to give myself some bragging rights among the younger generation). Well, some strange error screen with a yellow triangle and exclamation point popped up and refused to leave my domain. And there's one thing I'm proud of - I'm queen of my domain. Begone, confounding error screen! I tried everything in my bag of tricks (very basic tricks, believe me) but the yellow triangle continued to wink back at me. What a tease! I was going to perform the ultimate act of mercy. Can you get arrested for performing euthanasia on your computer?! Instead of pulling the plug, I finally found a way to shut down and reboot. Hallelujah, the burr under my saddle was gone when I rebooted. Oh yes, if you come around here and start to read my blog, you might as well know now: I have a penchant for metaphor and hyperbole. It's my ENFP nature. You've been warned. Understatement is not my bag. And I subscribe to the family motto: "Why let truth get in the way of a good story?"

Thanks to all the midwives at breed 'em and weep including Karli at Mom on a Wire, who inspired me to get blogging. Thank you, dear hearts.

To celebrate this momentous occasion, I just phoned my daughter, the breeder and weeper. However, she didn't have time to indulge me. Today she's in weeping mode as the dog has had diarrhea during the night and she's busy cleaning up the kitchen floor. I'll let Jenn tell the rest of that tale. After all, it's her story, not mine. And she's much more into the whole poo thing than I am. God, that sounds perverted.

In the meantime, my story is just beginning. Hang around. This could get interesting.