Thursday, July 31, 2008

Mmph huh, hsk hai yit…Make Sure it’s Flat and Soft

Although most of my readers do not frequently talk through a mouth full of cotton balls, I think it should be pretty clear that the first half of the title of this blog is “Mmm hmm, just my lip.” After all, my dentist understood me perfectly fine when this garbled mess is what came out of my throat as he whizzed the drill into overdrive and dug away for my two fillings this morning. I flinched just a bit at one point and his assistant asked if I was alright. I responded with “Mmph huh, hsk hai yit”. My dentist promptly said “Oh I was leaning on her lip when I was drilling.” They send these guys to a translation class I am convinced. It is tough to iterate with a rubber mouth opener, latex dam, drill and scope in your mouth, not to mention the water gun and suction tube. Who knew I had such a big mouth?

OK, admittedly I did know about my big mouth but I always hoped it was just a metaphor and not a realistic prospect that six tools could be jammed in there all at once. Then he asks me to open wider for him. I have no idea if my mouth responded, due to the fat brilliant numbness of Novocain, but my eyes sure did. Was he joking?

Suddenly I feel my entire head being pulled toward his magnifying glasses that make him somewhat resemble Emmett “Doc” Brown from Back to the Future, without the hair of course. I can not help but pray that I regain feeling soon after this procedure is complete as I feel a warm bit of goo roll down my lower jaw line. I immediately know it is drool when he tells his assistant he needs suction under the dam. Oh brother. And people wonder why I did not take part in such joys for so many years.

I walk out with my brand new fillings, a self conscious feeling I slobbered all over the counter like a golden retriever and two new appointments in September. I realize on my way out the door that by the time this dental year is over Matt and I could have put another kid through almost a full year of college. I wonder if we will get an invitation to a ceremony as I head off to my car and call my very pregnant friend, S, who has asked me to pick up B’s birthday cake this afternoon.

I arrive and slur most of “I know just where it is, I can get money from your account to pay for it no problem, should be back in a half hour” and head out the door downing two ibuprofen before I go. Amazingly, none of the water I took them with went down the front of my shirt. That is talent. Or maybe just a really good lean over the sink.

The cake is an ice cream cake from their favorite place in Somerville, just two towns and no more than five miles away. I get there in record time, just under twenty minutes, and get my parking space right out front regardless that it is lunch time in one of the most restaurant rich places near the hospital (I have mentioned my gift of parking spaces before have I not?). The kid asks how far away my place is because it is a mousse cake and rather soft so I tell him only fifteen minutes and he says to get it in the freezer as soon as I get home.

Traffic to Boston is like soap to a shower -- it is difficult to get through one without the other and I hit all the suds on the way back. With the air conditioner blaring in my little Toyota and all the vents pointed at the cake box, I watched the minutes tick up to thirty five as I pulled up to their front door. It was only a little runny as I stuffed it in the freezer and headed home.

By the time I got home I was really hungry and the Novocain was beginning to wear off some so it seemed like the right time to scoff something down. The assistant warned me to only eat soft foods through the evening as I would likely be a bit tender. It was too hot for soup so I grabbed a whole wheat tortilla, hummus, homemade guacamole, cucumber slices, cilantro and baby spinach to make a yummy wrap. It was a really good looking one. I opened my mouth to take a bite and almost dropped the wrap on the floor. Apparently the foods I eat should be flat as well since my jaw felt wired shut. I thought of my own mantra "know your limits".

The wrap was promptly squished flat and I took a bite. Immediately I began laughing at myself as guacamole squeezed out the top all over the side of my face. If I had not seen it out of the corner of my eye it might have stayed there all night since I still could not feel my cheek. Not a drop of that sandwich hit my shirt either. Again, talent or what? Luckily the lack of sensation should not last through the night and I can fully enjoy the experience of that ice cream cake in my entire mouth. Hey, I already know about how much of it I can fit in there.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Moonlight brushes your smile
A simple touch
The rush
A surge
Laughter pulls on your eyes

You almost glimpse
A place I saved for you
I shield it
With a giggle and a smile

In a time of youth
I envisioned what would be


Palpable and complex
Spun into perfection

The smallest nuance
Plays on my mind
I squirm inside
Fruitless avoidance

Make it last
Eternity for an instant

The melody of life
Strange impediment

Across the page
Push this away
A rhythmic obstacle
From the start
We end


Saturday, July 26, 2008

I Got Ya Title Right Here

I feel like attempting basic after way too much thinking for my own good in the last couple weeks. Over analyzer. It’s both a blessing and a curse. So in the spirit of taking a crack at light and breezy I am going to get back to my roots of randomness. Most of this post will likely be about old and/or cheesy movies because that is what has been on my mind lately but really there is a little of everything. Read on and enjoy while I finally exhale for the first time in weeks.

Personally, I think Blue Crush is one of the best movies ever made. It is difficult for women in Hollywood to get real quality roles where their characters are strong without being a bitch, sexy without being a slut and just vulnerable enough that they have obstacles to overcome but they do it on their own and do not have to pretend to be a man or a tough lesbian to make it happen. Kate Bosworth pulls off vulnerable, strong, and independent and she does it all with amazing sexiness while playing in the boys club but holding her own the whole time. I could seriously watch that movie once a week and still feel like she has triumphed for the first time every time.

Jason Giambi, seriously man, that mustache has got to go. I do not have any creepy uncles, both of my uncles are pretty cool, chill dudes who are socially fun and entertaining guys but if I did have a creepy uncle who lived in a van and spent way too much time talking to sixteen year olds he would look like Giambi. Maybe I am just biased because he is a Yankee. The Evil Empire is not only claiming that the mustache is responsible for the latest surge of wins the team is experiencing but there is an interview with the thing. Come on. The only guy to ever look good with a mustache was Tom Selleck as Magnum PI. Perhaps it was because of the car.

When I spend my days sewing there needs to be something on in the background and music just does not seem to cut it like it does when I write. Back in the days of living in western Mass I had an entire room dedicated to my creative endeavors. There was a scrapbooking table and a sewing table, plastic drawer units housing all my supplies and a closet for the large or overflow items, not to mention plenty of room to stretch out and do those projects. It sounds great until reality hits that the wonderful sewing room came with a side of gunfire. Yeah, not a pretty scene. When working in that room I had a TV with a built in VCR and the TV part did not work so I would frequently watch movies as background noise. They included, but were not limited to, Armageddon, Clueless, Can’t Hardly Wait and Singles. Apparently old habits never die because the hankering for a movie while cutting fabric and pinning things seems to still exist. In our now much smaller, yet bullet free, apartment I had to find a spot for my 36” x 68” cutting mat where it could be utilized but not in the way so it went under our living room area rug (just roll back the rug when I need the mat, its great!). Now when I cut and pin it is from the living room floor and conveniently the VCR and DVD player are right next to me. New favorites include Blue Crush, Legally Blonde, America’s Sweethearts, and of course Almost Famous.

Most mornings I wake up with a song stuck in my head. Since early summer I have had the strangest possible inner playlist like the theme from the Golden Girls or various one hit wonder pop songs from the ‘80’s. In the past few weeks however the most recurring song has been Lucky by Jason. I would think nothing of this except that song is probably my least favorite on the album and also because I have not listened to any music on that album in well over six weeks. For those who know me well this may come as a surprise since there was a time where all I listened to was Jason. There is no real explanation for it; I am not burned out on his music because I do not think that is possible for me. Perhaps it was simply time to take it down a notch and rediscover my love for cheesy television theme songs about friendship. “You’re a pal and a confidant” We will miss you Estelle Getty.

Thank you for being a friend

Saturday, July 19, 2008

There are No Words but I Have to find Some or I Will Go Mad

The call came through at 4:24 this past Tuesday, I was down getting the mail at the time and my phone was safely located in the apartment so I never even heard the voicemail ring back until an hour later when my mom called. I had just spent a few hours working on something that I was falling in love with -- a story about a girl living in NYC who wins a substantial sum in the lottery and suddenly watches her entire life change before her eyes from her friends to her family to herself and her values. I had started the story on the Vineyard while on vacation last week. The more I wrote Tuesday the more I could see it turning into a novel. The characters were forming in my brain and actually coming through on the page; I was feeling the same inspired vibe I got while we were away the week before as I furiously typed chapter one. The moment I picked up that voicemail though vacation seemed like a million miles away and characters snapped back to reality.

B called to let us know that S had been admitted to the hospital. I have talked about S&B a lot here because they are the coolest and closest friends to Matt & me. As a couple it is a rare thing indeed to find another couple you just gel so well with, another couple who shares many of the same views on life, sense of humor and overall disposition. My stomach flipped immediately. She had a regularly scheduled ultrasound and her glucose test that afternoon. The twins are not even due until early October. I could not ascertain from B’s message whether she or they were ok. Come to find out later that is because she had only been admitted less than a half hour before and even she did not completely grasp what was going on at that moment. Matt and I had a quick pizza for dinner and went in to visit her without a second of hesitation.

I have no children, have never been pregnant but have three nephews that I could literally squeeze to death with hugs if given the chance. S&B’s twins will surely be my forth and fifth nephews. Heck, B already calls me Auntie Jenn when he is talking to the dog so I figure it’s a given with the babies. I have no idea how S was feeling when they admitted her but as the pregnant mom to be (who up until that moment mind you was feeling like a million bucks, read: no contractions, no pain, no problems) I can imagine she was somewhere between panic and, well, panic.

As this week has progressed she managed to find out some information about the situation at hand. First, she had been one centimeter dilated and one of the babies was seemingly making his way toward the exit because he was riding so low. Not exactly an ideal situation when there are nine weeks left until the due date so that is one of the main reasons they admitted her. No. That was the reason. These boys are showing they will be born to the ideal family; overachievers just like their parents. Her glucose came back fine and heartbeats for all 3 of them were normal. I can not speak for B’s however as he likely paces the almost empty house all night without her there.

It really hit me that the women in this situation, strange as it is these days to have two parents married and in love at the time of a pregnancy, are always the ones everyone asks about but rarely does the father to be even get a nod. (And then we get all upset when they leave us. Maybe if we had shown them they mattered from the start they would not leave. If they knew they counted in the situation perhaps they would feel more connected to it. Right? But I digress.) In this moment B is probably freaking out a hell of a lot more than S because at least she is there with the qualified professionals who are monitoring her every ten seconds. He is in turn pacing around at home all night with their very depressed dog. But they are both strong people and if this is the worst that will happen, it is better to get it out of the way now right? Look on the bright side, the teenage years with two boys cut from B’s genes will be smooth sailing after all. Pause. Insert hysterical laughter here.

They both have breathed a sigh of relief even though she was admitted for another week and the potential exists that she will be spending the next nine in there eating delicious hospital food in her room with broken curtains and a missing VCR remote. Overall their moods are much lighter though – we even joked how the boys will come out all buff since they are on the ‘roids (for lung development just in case of an early delivery). Additionally, S noted that since her shower is scheduled for mid August she can be like the Godfather if they let her go home on bed rest; laying there while everyone comes in and out paying their “tribute” to her. Sadly, it is looking more and more like the shower will be going on without her. None of us will ever forgive her if we have to play a bunch of silly games because of her absence. This is all just a ploy to get out of girly crap, we know it. Lucky.

Today Matt & I are going to head in and bring 80’s Edition Trivial Pursuit so we can all have some real life fun. I wonder if the hospital would mind us playing Rock Band? Oh, never mind, I’m sure B already asked and it would be there already if it was approved.

Here’s a laugh for you S. I somehow doubt the way back is available in this one. Taken while on the way in to visit you, totally appropriate. Hang in there girl and do not forget that freedom isn’t free, it costs a buck ‘oh five.

Freedom costs a buck 'oh five.

EDIT: S was moved to a really awesome corner room yesterday. Now at least she has a view through the window and not only that but a DVD/VCR combo that has a remote and works! Her spirits were lifted immediately getting into that room because it was filled with so much more light and seemed bigger than the last. The nurse kept telling her that she had to "stay pregnant" now so she could take full advantage of the new room situation. We need to buy Trivial Pursuit 90's Edition before our next visit though, 80's just sucked.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Next Time

I can not be so careless anymore
My heart is racing around at a billion beats per second
But it has slowed to the point of non existence
Where is the reset button?
Why does everything have to be ‘shoulda?
What will I say when I am forced to face it?
Will I lay it all out;
Is there a magical way to shut off caring?

In another lifetime I know there were other things
In that analogous existence there is something to hold onto
An alternate life in a parallel universe
If only I could be so lucky
If everything is nothing anyway what does it matter?


There are bridges to build and burn to the ground
There are ways to get around it
But there is no way to cross the divide
It is raging and bubbling and spits out like a geyser
It crashes down around me and shoves me into the ground
Like a hammer pounding at the top of my head
The feeling is a dull ache that has always been there
All at once I feel fury and comfort for the pain

I vehemently defend my position until I faint
There is no use trying to explain it
The white noise is making me deaf
The screaming is silent

The selections were made
Problems are clear
A bond is broken
Adoration is a mask

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Who Rocks More Than You?

The answer you’re looking for would be no one.

You have flown back to the land of sun and parties to mold the young minds that are entrusted to you every day; to live your life in the place you call home while I live my own in the place I call mine. I think I must have put on about 10 pounds from all the beer but then worked it right back off again from all the laughter this past week.

We dropped W off at Logan at about 8:30 this morning which sounds strange even typing it. I had to think about it for a minute; it feels like I have lived two days since sending her off with a huge hug and a fly safely curbside because Matt and I are gearing up to take off on our annual vacation with friends tomorrow bright and early. I miss the days where it was possible to go and sit with someone in the very uncomfortable vinyl chairs right at the gate and give them that one last hug right before they boarded the plane.

We had one wild week of so much fun and sun I would be in a blur if it was not for the photos. Someone once said something to the effect of “I love digital photos, they allow you to reminisce immediately” and that is what we have done all week. There were many times spent just the two of us to talk about life and family or friends, as well as many others completely surrounded by those same family and friends making new memories that we will no doubt laugh about for the next twenty years.

Man I miss her already.

But such is life across the great wide expanse of our wonderful nation and really there is nothing like that old cliché -- absence makes the heart grow fonder.

Because I am unable to format a rational thought to put it all together I will let the pictures do part of the talking for me this time.

Our first morning at the cottage, this little rascal was chomping away.

We went down to the beach to watch the huge thunder and lightning storm that was moving across the land somewhere down on The Cape and then out to sea. I took literally fifteen photos trying to get my third shot of lightning but to no avail. The clouds were cool but nothing was cooler than my company. W and Matt were naturals, like Abercrombie and Fitch models or something. Work it.

Mom, M & our nephews came down for an afternoon of fun in the sun and although the boys had never seen the ocean graze over their toes they were completely enthralled as I taught them about the undertow and why you should always face the waves as they break. They also loved to learn from W about the sandbar, what it was and how it formed. As I heard things only my Grampa used to say coming out of both of our mouths all day it really made me smile that we could pass it on to the next generation to learn about and respect the sea.

This is a pretty common sight, sorry about the screen.

Although the 4th is when the nation celebrates Independence Day, on our little mile long stretch of sand the real party happens on July 3rd every year. Since I can remember there have been bonfires and fireworks on the beach that night. Technically fireworks are not legal in Massachusetts but neither are bonfires on the beach yet a company hired by the town trucks in hundreds of pounds of unused palates and other wood to build thirty foot high teepee shaped piles that are primed and ready to burn at the end of each street. Never in all the times we have gone to this fiesta have there been that many people or that large a display. It was awesome.

Check out a video of the fireworks and fires.

On the 4th we cooked out with a bunch of family and then took a nice long walk down the beach. Then of course I had to pee because, well, that is just me so W and I went back to the house then back to the dunes to meet up with everyone. My legs are still feeling the burn. Or maybe that is from earlier that walk when I deluded myself into thinking that doing gymnastics on the beach after sixteen years was still a good idea.

Despite what I said earlier this was a week I will never forget.