Thursday, December 30, 2010

How to Close an Interesting Year.

Tam and I consider 2010 to be an interesting year, and by interesting, I mean ACK! Oh my fucking BRAINS, what the hell was that?

To be honest, I don’t even remember how the hell it started, but I do know 2009 was kind of a pisser/bummer of a year end with the divorce and everything, so 2010 didn’t start out as anything too spectacular (despite the horoscope insisting otherwise: banner year, stellar things happening, blah, blah, blah…).

There were good things that happened, great things too. And a few not-so-great things, but let’s not dwell on those not-so-good moments, ok? In fact, please excuse me while I push those little bastard moments right over the nearest cliff.

Oh, much better!

But the end of the year has turned out to be equally hilarious as it is frustrating.

For example, Tam and I had to hit the grocery store. We frequent this particular store because they know us, it’s not a department store, so the parking lot is smaller as is the store itself, and they’re gay friendly. At least, they’re friendly to us.

While we were standing in line, a Snarfy Old Dude was busy perusing the supermarket tabloids, when he pulled one out and in a loud voice quoted the headline, “Who’s Gay and Who’s Not?”
I looked over at him and said, “I am.”
Snarfy Old Dude suddenly found it difficult to say anything else.
Tam and I found it difficult to not stand there laughing like a couple of deranged hyenas.

When we got home, I wanted to check on the status of a bank transfer, so I got online, discovered nothing was doing what it was supposed to be doing, and I got a little cranky. I pulled up the “contact us” information of the financial institution, took down the numbers and the options I wanted on their phone tree, and made the call.

I wanted to talk to a live operator. I needed to verbally eviscerate some miserable wretch because my money wasn’t where it was supposed to be and I was concerned. When I say “concerned,” I really mean pissed as hell. I dialed the number, and pressed the option I got from the online information.
The same online information that was written on the bank’s website.
And learned it was not a viable option! Excuse me?
My grip on the phone receiver tightened. I waited, listening again to the options, and pressed a different button, one that I knew would not give me the information I wanted, but what the hell?
At the end of that waste of time, it gave me the chance to get information on transfers and which button I needed to push to get to said information. I pushed that button. That very button their automated operator TOLD me to push for that information.
And learned THAT was not a viable option either and I needed to make another selection!
Then? Then I did a very childish thing. I began smacking the button pad on the phone, hitting several of them at once while casting aspersions on the species and parentage of the engineers of such a technological nightmare as that phone tree. Childish? Yes, indeed. Satisfying? HELLS YES!
What’s better? In the middle of my tirade, a voice came over the line stating that I would now be connected to a live operator.

Do you think they heard me?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Solstice Celebration!

We celebrated Solstice and what a great day it was!

It started out with a long-overdue luncheon with a group of gals I’ve known for about 20 years. We try to meet up once a month, but we’re not always successful.

We’re busy girls, you know, and one of us is going to be a GRANDMA in July! (No, it’s NOT me, sorry). Wow… yeah… one of my best friends is going to be a grandma.

Please hold while I wrap my brain around this fact…

Asl;kflkjsdfklkg asdfksdfklskla fklajkleiognakl;df asdf ghallsdljk s!!!! holyshit!!!!!

Thank you.

Anyway, these are women who have been with me (and me with them) through thick and thin, hell and high water, marriages, divorces, death and birth.

And coming out.

These are women who stood by me when I came out of the closet. These good Christian women did not judge me, they accepted me, embraced me, and occasionally poke fun at me (“So, Tooth ‘fairy’ has taken on a whole new meaning at your house then?”), and I’ve had the honor of returning all those favors in kind.

Yesterday was the first time we’d been able to get together in several months, and wow, so much has happened for all of us. Fortunately, the staff at the restaurant knew this and did not press us to hurry up and move along. Even after three hours! Probably has a lot to do with the good tipping practices we employ.

After that, I arrived home to find a marvelous spread of MORE FOOD! that my beloved partner set out for Solstice. The original plan had been to have her offspring over for Solstice and mine would visit on Christmas. However, things have a tendency to not go as planned, so when I got home, two of my children were there and Tam was still waiting for her out-of-town daughter (The Hair) to arrive. Her older son would not be able to come over, as he had to work.

The Hair showed up about the same time my youngest made an appearance and food was devoured. We sat around laughing, swapping stories, and munching on such fare as fresh veggies, multi-grain rolls with sliced meats and cheeses, mustards of a myriad of flavors (cranberry mustard on ham and Swiss = YUM!). The Hair’s roommate had also joined us and brought home made strawberry marshmallows and oh!my!brains! what bliss! They were especially awesome when roasted.

I suppose it was a good thing I had such an awesome Solstice, because the next day was the one I’d scheduled to be my “get the last of the gifts purchased” day, which involves a trip to hell the mall.

Tam and her youngest (Li’l Red) joined me and my sons, and we planned to divide and conquer. This meant I had to drive to the mall. Through traffic. Holiday traffic. Not a fan of it, believe me. The stress began approximately two blocks from home when Tam mentioned the name of a local mall. The place USED to be called “SouthCenter” because of its location: South of Seattle and kind of in the middle of everything.

Then some folks bought it and changed the name to include the “word” Shoppingtown.

Shoppingtown?! For some reason, that particular turn of phrase makes me lose my shit every time I hear it. Shoppingtown sounds like something you’d hear out of the sticky face of a four-year-old, dressed in layers of fluffy pink chiffon, with snappy Mary Janes, and a fucking “hello kitty” purse dangling from her white gloved hands as she skips along with her pony-tail swinging and little birds chirping and flitting overhead…

What? I told you I hated that term. Shopping-fucking-town… sheesh.

So, that was how the adventure started, and when we tossed in a shit-load of idiot drivers and some low blood-sugar, wow, what a fun time we had just getting there!

But now most of my shopping is complete. I have a couple more things I’d like to get, but they may have to wait until after the holiday when they go on sale. Or even later, like after I’ve paid all my bills and have another payday under my belt at the end of January, and yes, I DO hate getting paid only once a month, especially when they “do us a favor” by paying us REALLY early in December “just in time for Christmas shopping,” making that six weeks until the next check feel like a bloody eternity, rife with pink chiffon, snappy little Mary Jane’s and a fucking “hello kitty” purse that is filled with air because it’s taking payday for-fucking-ever to arrive…


On top of all this? We’re trying to plan a trip down to see my parents for a few days before we have to head back to work. My parents, a.k.a. those people who haven’t quite figured out that I’ve grown up a bit over the years and actually have a clue about some things. Oh and I’m a lesbian, which seems to amuse my mother. No, I don’t know why, I just know she asks a LOT of questions.

Please excuse me while I stick my head in this handy little Hello Kitty purse and attempt to regulate my breathing.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Bye-Bye, Birdie Bird

My bird died.

We have no idea how old he was, but he flew into Tam’s life about 12 years ago. They saw that little cockatiel in the yard, the weather was starting to get cold, so she and her kids spent the next day or so trying to catch him. He finally found himself under a overturned laundry basket and was taken inside the house.

All the accoutrements were purchased, and a name was given: Pokey.

He was a neurotic, feather pulling, untagged little tyrant who refused to bond with anyone. Well, he tried to bond with Tam’s mom, but she’s more of a dog person, so that didn’t quite work out.

Then Tam moved in with me, and somehow I managed to persuade Pokey to become my friend. It didn’t take long for the two of us to bond, and for the first time in my life, I felt there was a pet that was truly mine. I was his favorite.

He would shriek a greeting the moment he heard me come home, and make all kinds of racket until I greeted him properly. Many of my clothes were adorned by bird poop, because, well, birds poop rather indiscriminately. We would “schmoozle” each other and his little feet would be so warm on my arm.

Pokey was a frequent visitor at my computer, and I considered him my muse. I did some of my best writing with him perched there. Not always, though. There were moments I spent more time keeping him off my keyboard, where he would attempt to eat the symbols off the keys, or just stroll around and act like he was about to poop. Again.

So, he was at least 13 years old when he flew over the Rainbow Bridge. Some people say that’s only midlife for a bird, others say that’s about all you get. Whatever. As far as I’m concerned, it wasn’t long enough. Ten more years wouldn’t have been long enough. I only got to enjoy him for a little over a year.

But it was a good year for both of us.

We buried him outside the office window, his favorite toy hanging in the apple tree next to his grave. Later that afternoon, I had to run an errand, I didn’t really want to be alone, but I was a big girl and did what needed to be done. When I was on my way home, teary and sad, something caught my eye.

Right there, over the valley where I live, was a rainbow…