Wednesday, February 27, 2008
My au pair related a story about Son #2. As a 5 year-old without his daddy around, he is going through a phase where he periodically breaks down in utter sadness and whines about the smallest things. My au pair sent him to time out in his room for unnecessary crying (similar to the penalty for unnecessary roughness).
He came out of his room after the allotted penalty time, and our au pair asked him what he had learned about life.
In his most dejected, pathetic voice he apparently replied as follows:
"I learned that life is not all about crying. It's about, um, brushing your teeth. Taking the dogs outside for a walk. Going to the bathroom. And eating. And stuff."
Aristotle . . . Plato . . . Confuscius . . . Kant . . . Nietzsche . . . Chako-spawn #2. They are updating Philosophy 101 texts as we speak.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
I'm the girl singing in the car in rush hour. Dancing in my seat at a stoplight. The one in a bar who will be unconsciously moving, even if she's not on the dance floor. As a teenager, I never missed Casey Kasem's Top 40. As a college student, I was a band groupie. Dated a guitarist. Later, dated his lead singer. This pissed the guitarist off. Later married a doctor. Who plays guitar. But I digress . . .
I always have my radio on. Flipping between all my favorite presets. I'm ADD (maybe its ADHD?) with the radio. I will flip channels until I find what I want . . . then flip 2 minutes into the song, just to see if I'm missing something better. I can't stand the commercials. I have to find music. It drives some of my passengers crazy. CD's help, but after I listen to my three favorite songs, I'm bored again. Now I have a six-disc changer - should load it up - but still, not enough variety. One of these days I'll have to just breakdown and get an MP3.
Today, my au pair gave me a gift. One of the most thoughtful gifts I've received in a long time. She'd burned a CD. She's lived with us for six months, and she's been paying attention to songs that make me sing and dance in the car. The ones that hold my attention for more than 20 seconds. A ton of my favorites were there:
- "Wake Up Call" - Maroon 5 (I don't know why I'm amused that he kills her lover)
- "Paralyzer" - Finger 11
- "Zombie" - The Cranberries (talk about a plaintive voice)
- "Wicked Game" - Chris Isaak ("what a wicked game to play, to make me feel this way . . .")
- "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" - Israel "Iz" Kamakawiwo Ole (ok, a 500 pound man playing ukelele is unusual, and he screws up the original lyrics ALL THE TIME, but its very soothing and relaxing)
It was the perfect drive music this morning.
Made better only by relatively moderate traffic.
And my hot, new red shoes.
Let the music play.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Like the night before, I play patiently, striking hard with the strong hands, laying off the risky plays. Don't get the strength of cards I had the night before. But by the time we're down to the final table, I have the chip lead and hold it, until we're at three.
Then I'm dealt 94 OS in the BB. Limp from the button, call by the SB. I get to see the flop for free with my POS cards.
Flop comes X-9-9. Score! SB bets out one bet. I min. raise. Button folds. SB re-raises. ???? Hidden pocket pair? I'm not putting any stock in the full house, or the other 9, at this point. What are the odds, three handed? I re-raise, testing. He calls.
Turn is a J. Now he goes all in. I have him covered, but there is a lot of money in the pot at this point. I call . . . turns out the fact that the odds are low doesn't actually matter when your opponent has the other 9 with a better kicker. I hope for a high card on the river, such that we would split, but the river brings something shitty, like a 7 or something. Mrs. Chako is now in third place!
Never fear. Next hand is pocket kings. I raise 4x from the SB. Big blind re-raises me. Presumably thinks I'm on tilt. Button calls. At this point, the blinds are so high and my M is so low, I figure all or nothing and I need to maximize my hand. I go all in. Call, call.
Flops is all low cards - but massive betting ensues between the other two, until BB is all in. Turns over AQ. Button has A-rag. I'm laughing . . . until the turn. A.
Two hands - leader to third place. WTF????
Must be that I forgot to wear the shoes.
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Friday, February 22, 2008
My husband has always teased me about two things. One, that I never spend money frivolously. I am about as cheap and conservative with my money as can be. OK, the new car was a little over the top. But that was his suggestion. I am just living his dream.
The second thing he teases me about is having a lot of shoes. I keep reminding him that I tend to buy disposable shoes - never over $20, throw them out 18 months later when they aren't in style anymore. His running shoes cost 4x that and he replaces more quickly than me. So for fashion's sake, I think I can have 4x as many shoes and we're even. But my shoes are always pretty practical - neutrals, good for work . . . go with anything . . . but not really cutting edge. Closest I have is my attraction to black leather boots. Ankle boots, knee-high boots . . . doesn't matter. Love black leather boots.
A few weeks ago, a co-worker of mine came in with a pair of really cute shoes. I mean REALLY cute. I tried them on. ADORABLE. Like "I-don't-think-my-feet-have-ever-looked-cuter-ADORABLE". She admitted they were her splurge. Didn't even have anything to wear them with. She had to go buy a necklace and wear them with black. I had shoe envy.
I tried to make it better. Went shopping. Bought two cute pair of shoes. But both still practical. Both still functional for work. Both still under the $20 mark on clearance.
Yesterday, I walked into the big new DSW store in our hometown. Shoes as far as the eye can see. I started trying on a few. First the cute linen peep toes with the brown trim. Cute, in a Jackie Kennedy kind of way. Then the silver satin sling backs . . . if only it were the holidays. Then, way at the back of the store. I. Saw. Them. (Sorry, I am totally plagiarizing this writing style from Betty . . . it just looks so good when you are trying to convey a heart-stopping moment.)
These darling little pumps. Guess by Marciano. Peep-toe. With a cut-out on the inside of the foot. Khaki background fabric, with a red Guess logo all over it. Red leather trim. My foot started twitching. I slipped it on. Oh. My.
My size 9 foot (which, while totally appropriate for my 5'8" frame, can sometimes look unwieldy in shoes) looked petite, classy, and, dare I say it . . . fetching. The heels were high - but my calf? Oh. My. Even my 10 year old son said "You look like a model on a runway when you walk in those, Mom."
Then the wench working there told me the bad news. No size 9. "You can put inserts in the 9 1/2's" she suggeted. Like I'm going to pay that much and put extra stuff in to make them fit. If you have ever worn heels, you know this is a recipe for disaster.
But now I was addicted. "Call the other store," I commanded. No dice. "I can call Factoria?" she suggested, but it was already 8:30 - I could never make it there in time. I went home disappointed.
And like a junkie, looking for their next fix, I went searching. Online. Except DSW doesn't have their online store up yet. Couldn't find them on Guess. Couldn't find them in other online shoe stores. Couldn't find them on EBAY! (Yes, I stooped to searching on EBay.)
This morning I called Factoria - begged them to find me a pair. Made a little prayer to the shoe gods. "Please let it be there. If it is not there, then this is your sign that it was not meant to be."
I waited breathlessly. Patiently. Then impatiently. Then Tanya came back on the phone with the verdict.
This shoe thing is starting to feel like a slippery slope.
But tonight, I will sell my soul to the shoe devil. He'll probably keep it for eternity.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
If you're bored, try taking this little test. Answer quick and don't think too hard. I was actually surprised that . . . well, that I wasn't that surprised by my answers.
I'll share one interesting one . . . in the color test, my husband wasn't my "true love", according to the Dalai Lama (like he really cares about me). But he was my "twin soul".
And here all this time I thought that was Betty . . .
I'm talking about the Dr.'s return.
Last night, I had a quick dinner with CC on his pass through Seattle. He had a car rental snafu, my kids were coming in a bit early from Florida, so our time was short. But it got me a couple hugs, some good food, and a few sprinkles of his thoughts on kids, marriage, traveling . . . being away from family.
I'm starting to get nervous. I spent the first few months thinking there was nothing more I wanted than to have my husband home. Now that we're inside that same window of time on the other side, the enormity of it is starting to sink in.
Don't get me wrong. This isn't about me loving him less or wanting him to stay there. Even if I hated him at this point, I have two little boys who won't be complete until he comes home.
It's about figuring out how to fit him back into life.
The day he left, I don't think I've ever cried so much. I'm a crier, but this was beyond even what I can produce in a day of watching sad movies and attending weddings and other triggering events. I think it kind of freaked the kids out. The next few days were similar. But then came a day where I started to seal up that part. The part that felt like a raw, open wound. And like most wounds, once they start to heal over, and you stop picking at them, other than the occasional itching, you forget they are there.
This has helped me function. Somedays, I am a machine. I can work 11 hours, come home and clean up dog poop, put screws back in the hinge on the bathroom door, jumpstart a dead battery, and read bedtime stories to the kids before busting through a review of some more financial statements at about 10 p.m. I squeeze in a quick conversation with him, e-mail some friends, pay some bills. Catch 5 hours of sleep and do it again the next day.
But that part that is covered up? It's also the part that made me melt when he wrote me a Valentine's day song on our first Valentine's day together. It's the part that makes me cry when he buys me sappy cards. It's the part that makes me want to kiss him because he filed the last three months of receipts. It's the part that makes me reach out and pat his rear end while he shaves as I head into the shower.
He's my best friend. When good things happen at work - I call him. When bad things happen - I call him. When the kids do something great - I call him. When I'm about to kill the children - I call him. Or I used to. I haven't had that luxury for a while. So now I call other people. It's taken a small army to replace him - not just one person.
So how do I rip that wound open again without bleeding out all over life? I'm already prepared for the inevitable - like all wounds you reopen, even when they reheal, there is always a little extra scar tissue that doesn't go away. But to bring him back in, 100%, I have to open it up. Turn it back on.
And I have to start remembering that I need to call him. But how do I do that, without shutting off all these other people who helped me so much by expanding their roles as friend?
And even more practically, how do we fit him back into routines? What if he shower routine doesn't work with mine anymore? Where am I going to put the 7 pillows that now occupy the bed with me? Who gets the remote? Where is he going to store his toiletries (sorry honey, I've had a little version creep in the bathroom)?
I always heard about this reintegration issue - always thought it was something that wouldn't happen to me. I think I might be a poster child for it.
Somehow, I have to stop being a woman whose husband is deployed. And start being part of an "us" again.
That plane is approaching its destination. I'm trying to make sure the lights are on and the runway is clear. Let's hope whoever is piloting it can bring it in without too much turbulence.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Work is . . . work. At least the sun is on my back today.
My husband is posting things that make me nervous. I'd rather know about some of these things AFTER he gets home. And tell him to stop with the morbid poems, too. Makes me want to check our life insurance policies.
Hopefully, I'll also hook up with CC along his travels today or tomorrow. I find he's got that good combination of degeneracy, spirituality, and down-to-earthness that will be a refreshing break in my day, if we can coordinate schedules. I find that with the Dr. gone, the new connections I have formed in his absence tend to be necessary to my sanity . . . which somedays I think is clearly eroding. We'll be home in a month or so . . . it still seems like an eternity.
Thank goodness for friends. Invisible or otherwise. Their support is invaluable to me. To those who share their lives and thoughts, it gives me something to focus on. Some of you I will see soon. Some of you, I expect to see in the future.
For today, I leave you with profound accounting thoughts:
May you have more assets than liabilities,
May your net working capital be positive,
and in the audit of life, may you have no material weaknesses.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
- Starting foggy and gray . . . . :(
- Now is beautiful and sunny . . . :)
- Haven't talked with some friends that I wanted to . . . :(
- Got to chat online with one of my favorite girls last night (see you in less than two weeks) . . . :)
- Talked with the husband last night . . . :)
- Found this shit on his blog this morning . . . . could we hold off bombing for another couple months? . . . :(
- Had a status update with my uber-manager this morning and she's taking a bunch of responsibilities off my plate . . . bye-bye, supermodel . . . :)
- Had two other painful meetings this morning that ate up the first half of my day . . . :(
- Kids and au pair come home tomorrow . . . :)
- Kids and au pair come home tomorrow . . . :(
- Held off a migraine for a week . . . :)
- It hit me after meeting #3 and I almost threw up . . . :(
I'm on the seesaw people. I wish this day would just shit or get off the pot. Declare yourself, dammit - I got things to do.
Monday, February 18, 2008
Made me think about love. You say "I love you" to lots of people. You say it to your mom. Your siblings. Your first love. Your first heartbreak. Your spouse. Your children.
Clearly, it can't mean the same thing every time you say it. Three words. Different meanings. I say it to my brother, right after I roll my eyes about the last stupid thing he's said or done. I said it to my first serious boyfriend, but in retrospect, first loves pale in comparison to loves that come later in life when you know yourself.
I say it to my children everyday. Its the kind of love that if anyone tried to harm them, I might have to kill that person. Seriously. I've never killed anyone. But don't ever test me.
I say it to my husband, and mean it more than any man before him. But if someone tried to harm him, I don't think it would bring out the killer instinct like with my kids. Don't get me wrong, I'd still be pissed. I don't think it means I love him less.
I don't have anything more profound on the subject. Although, if men wanted to learn how to love us completely, they could take advice from my children. On how to express love, without holding back. Without reservation or qualification. While they are away from me, we talk by phone, or my oldest son sends me text messages.
I get texts like "I love you the most in the whole world."
I get calls that say "I love you 100" and when I respond "I love you 200", I get "Well, then I love you a billion". My oldest one has gone so far as to say "I love you googleplex".
What woman could resist those kind of declarations?
So what number is your love? Don't forget to tell her/him.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Saturday, February 16, 2008
A friend sent me this about the weight-loss drug Alli . . . tongue-in-cheek, of course. Be prepared for gratuitous poop humor here.
I nearly busted a gut. Maybe I'm just working too much (at work today, in fact) and have lowered my humor standards.
Although after reading this, I am very happy that I lost my 10 without the help of this stuff . . .
Friday, February 15, 2008
Sander was a fabulous dinner companion. He's one of the best conversationalists I know, and we have always gotten along smashingly well. Smart, great sense of humor, lots of interesting stories, and a good listener. I'm not attracted to him like I am to my husband - but he's a great friend and I can totally understand what his gorgeous, 5'11", multi-lingual wife might see in him.
He dressed up too - totally Euro in a black, wide pinstriped suit with a light green shirt. He's 6'3", so an imposing figure, even with me in heels. I always forget how tall he is, but when I got out to give him a hug, even with him bending down to meet me halfway, I still found myself on tip-toes. He was sweet enough to even get me a card, although he laughed at how hard it was to find one that didn't say "husband and wife" or "true love" - I got puppies and "Happy Valentine's Day". He also brought me stroop waffles, which are these Dutch treats that are sweet and sticky and very yummy. Dinner was delicious, the wine was good, and although I needed to get home to sleep, I was sad that dinner was over.
It wasn't all pretty. On my drive home, I almost had a large, yellow pickup truck up my rear end. Some unusual slow down on the entrance ramp to the freeway, and he was coming up behind me full speed and almost didn't see it. Fortunately, the Lexus handles well and I was able to pull out of his direct path . . . and at the last minute, he took the right shoulder as well, and we ended up side by side. Heart stopped beating a few seconds. Life flashed before my eyes - weird thoughts, like "who would they call first?" and "If I was injured and could still talk, who would I call after 911?"
Last time anyone attempted to get that far up my ass, there was at least a little foreplay. And even that didn't get them anywhere.
It was also a day of missed expectations for many. At work. At love. At life. Mine, and others. Missing my husband's call because I couldn't hear the phone above the noise in the restaurant. An unhappy client. Someone hoping to be with someone they love, only to have life intervene. Someone who drew the short end of the stick in a tangled, confused, unsatisfying love triangle . . . and was the last to know. Someone finding out that lump is definitely breast cancer. Not that these things wouldn't be disappointing other days, but I think it is sometimes heightened by the fact that we hype this day, commercialize it, and make it all about love and happiness.
As we left the restaurant last night, another victim of missed expectations sat, alone at her table, obviously intoxicated. She'd almost stumbled to our table, before realizing her mistake, and then plopped down heavily at a table a few feet away from ours. I didn't pay much attention to her until we left, when I realized that she was still sitting there. Alone. I don't know if she had a date to start with (it was a special Valentine's menu at a pricey restaurant - not a place you'd go for a quick bite by yourself). But if she did have one to start with, he was no where in sight now. She was sitting there with her cell phone, trying to operate the keypad with two hands. It was sad. Pathetic. Don't know the story, just glad it wasn't me.
The house was empty, except for the dogs. I gave them each a pat on the head, and let them out. I put my one long-stemmed rose from the restaurant in a vase. DrC has been thwarted by the internet blockages in Iraq, so he has apologized profusely for not being able to purchase anything for me on this day. I'm sure he'll make it up to me somewhere along the way. His post was sweet, and he left me phone messages and e-mail to let me know he was thinking of me.
I crawled into bed, arranging the pillows around me. My permanent sleeping companion, it seems. Without the kids and the au pair, the house is unnaturally quiet. The phone doesn't ring.
At least, on this day of love, I was someone who got to hear "I love you."
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Must be love. Either that, or insanity.
Wish me sanity, until he returns.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Sleeping alone is hard. Although my housekeeper did get me a body pillow that at least fills the empty space. And, according to Kat, I can purchase anything else I need to fill the space, so to speak.
Know what is harder? The military took my best friend away. The guy who knows all my stupid stories and doesn't mind rehashing them now and then. They guy who thought I looked hot 10 pounds and a size or two ago. The guy who went to the movies with me every week, even the chick flicks (provided we threw in a few violent shootings and car chases now and then).
I have a Valentine date. Someone else who is separated by an ocean from their spouse because of their job. We're going to make do with each other as company for dinner, on this night when the rest of the world is renewing connections with the people they love. I guess having dinner with a charming and affable Dutchman with a slight gap between his teeth and some serious hair loss is better than eating alone.
But I'd rather be with that guy who bought me a dozen roses 16 years ago and played me the song he wrote (and later recorded for our wedding).
Unfortunately, he has a prior commitment.
Don't forget to tell the ones you love that you do.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
We gathered in the fine mist of a February evening in Federal Way. Six men, one woman, and a dog. Well, the dog was just there, really. And didn't play so much poker.
As promised, after a drink or two and some fine nosh, courtesy of Cayne and Joshua via Costco, the cards were in the air.
I quickly learned that these guys play cards. Which means several things: A) You must play cards too. B) You will lay down the best hand sometimes, when you shouldn't. C) Sometimes they call you down when you have the nuts, just because they don't like getting played, like they probably did the previous hand to you. D) Cleavage doesn't improve your chances. (I tried anyway.)
Joshua was a little conflicted about playing with us - he loves poker and all, but apparently, there was some "vagina on the line", as someone put it. We won out in the end, but not without several frantic text messanging spurts at the table. And not without the follow-on jokes related to betting vagina. Although technically, I think I was actually the only one who had any to bet, so it was a moot point. At least I think so. We didn't actually physically survey the group.
Joshua did win the Poker Acadmy Award for "Best Actor In A Shitty Display of Poker Grandstanding" (yes, DrChako, he's even worse than you) when he pulled the old "Check. Oh, I'm sorry, Seattle John, I checked out of turn," line when he hit his A-6 on the flop for two pair and got Seattle John to bet into the pot with his A-Q, and then check-raised him. Another 6 came on the turn and gave him a boat, that he didn't really need, which took Seattle John out of the action that round.
Cayne (who's voice bears a remarkable resemblance to Mr. Mackey from South Park ('m kay?)) is a gracious and fun-loving host, who sometimes likes to gamble. I was never really lucky enough to catch him with his pants down, although Joshua did heads up in the first tourney. Here is Joshua's A-8 cracking Cayne's Big-Slick for the win in the first tourney.
Rumor has it than in addition to the misteltoe hanging over his patio door, Cayne's got it covering the ceiling in his bedroom. Somehow, Joshua seems to be the only person who knows this. But who am I to judge? Gotta love him though - he's a fellow Federal Way-er, like me. It was nice to see our first tourney come down to the three Federal Way residents (before Joshua busted bubble-girl here out with some lucky-ass hand). I would gladly join him in another home game sometime. And as fun as he is, we won't be matching him up with the au pair anytime soon - she runs at a different speed and clearly the mistletoe might be a bit much for her.
Seattle John plays well. Not much else to say. Made good moves with position or good hands - didn't catch them all when he needed to. But my husband likes playing with him, so it was nice to meet him. I am not allowed to post his pictures -terrible birth defect and all. So you might get some extraneous back of the head shots or crotch shots. If you can identify him by his crotch, I'll be impressed.
Andre was a good guy. Well, until he made me a bubble girl for the second time. Because even though I went well over the top with my pocket pair (7's) . . . he must have had a "feeling" about that A-9 OS that ended up paying him well on the turn. Sad thing is, he took all my chips and gave them away to Matt. For crying out loud, man, at least put them to good use. He did bring a fine table - constructed by himself. With this luxurious black felt . . . that ended up under my fingernails all night.
MeanHappyGuy was a nice addition to the evening - braved the Seattle mist on his bike. To play poker in Federal Way. We're good - don't know if we're worth that wet ride. I don't think I ever went up against him for any pot, but he hung with us until the end, when we played our $5 mixed cash game. We took $4.35 off the poor guy. I'm trying to decide if he looks mean, or happy in this picture.
Matt played to my right the whole night. Solid guy - started to hate his 3x raises in front of me, especially when I had the blind. However, I caught him a couple times with monster hands and went over top of him. To his credit (and my chagrin), he folded down everytime. I could have used a few more chips. I say I should be less predictable, but when I went over the top of Andre with my pocket 7s (not predictable for Mrs Chako), he chose not to believe I had the aces, kings, or queens, like I normally showed. So unpredicatability is overrated. Either way, Matt and Andre duked it out for the second tourney after I bubbled, and Matt walked away . . . the WINNA! And yes, those really are his winning cards. A pair of threes on a board with 4 to the spade flush. The shit that will win tournaments these days . . .
Some additional pictures from the festivities.
Federal Way - REPRESENT! (Nice hats, too, huh?)
Matt and Andre - the tourney #2 money winners.
All in all, as I crawled into bed after 1:30 a.m., a fun night. Let me know when we're doing it again, folks.
Big thanks to Cayne and Joshua for hosting. To Andre for supplying the fantastic table (sorry that 50% of your fine black felt is still under my fingernails). And to Matt, SeattleJohn, and MeanHappyGuy for making it a great evening. Zeem, you missed out, buddy.
I'll post pictures soon and more details. Must go to bed now.
BamBam, I got my hugs. (Though between you and me, not quite as good as yours. Don't tell the guys. Or tell them - maybe they'll up the ante next time!) But the biggest lover of all? The big black puppy dog. Oh yeah, he knew who had some lovin' for him. Come to momma . . .
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
I reintroduced my former navel piercing to body jewelry. Haven't had a ring in for years. 6, to be exact - removed when I was pregnant with Son #2. This time, for ease of introduction, I went with a 16 gauge curved barbell. Less than a week and we're all healed.
Now I need to decide what pretty jewelry becomes the norm. The barbell looks a little clinical.
I'll take suggestions.
I figure now, with the samba panties, navel jewelry, and hot red car . . . I have got to qualify for bitchin' hot, dontcha think?
Other than this tidbit, life has been a series of memos, financial statements, and ridiculous working hours.
Oh, and a GYN exam. Thrill of the week. Actually, it came close - they were having trouble with the speculum insertion - had to keep trying. In, out. In, out. I almost raised my hand . . . but then thought, "what the hell?" . . . by the time I decided to just go with it, they figured it out and proceeded with the more humiliating part of the exam. Alas, just a tease. At least I know my girl parts are all pretty and shiny and functional.
Hopefully I have something more interesting to post about some day.
Friday, February 1, 2008
I don't think I'll die, but just in case, in addition to my life insurance policies, here is what the good Dr. can expect to receive for my cadaver.
$4440.00The Cadaver Calculator - Find out how much your body is worth.