:: The Freewheelin' Di Winson ::

The lyrics of my life, along with various musical selections
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JUN 66: I am 14 months old in this photo, and I am smiling because I have a new baby sister ... or maybe because I have just peed in the pool.
[::..About Me..::]
I am an American.
I type really fast.
I am left-eye dominant.
I brush & floss regularly.
I am not as funny as I think I am, sometimes.
I was born on Easter.
I believe in music.
I play tennis.
I do not work quietly without disturbing others.
I am a procrastinator.
I watch certain movies just because I know they will make me cry.
I am not my fucking khaki cargo shorts.
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:: Wednesday, December 31, 2003 ::

New Year's Eve Eve

Too many eves, but it's the night before the night before the new year (well, on the East Coast, it's already New Year's Eve day ... but I'm not on the East Coast, now, am I?), and God knows I struggle with those post titles as it is.

I tell my students not to worry about the titles. That a title is actually the least important part of a piece of writing. That you can have THE greatest title in the world, but if the writing itself is bad, it simply doesn't matter. That you can have a great piece of writing and a mediocre to crummy title, and you WILL get a good grade. A great grade.

Feelin' kinda strange. One of my daily Web stops has gone offline, and I should be upset, but I'm really not. Maybe it was time, who knows. Had a few things posted over there that I wanted to retrieve and didn't get a chance to, and that sucks, but ... nothing monumental. No great pieces of poetry or literature, just ... well, some of my stuff. But: Whatcha gonna do?

Can't cry over it. Just feel a little pang of sadness. And I made some friends over there, and silly me, I don't think to save e-mail addresses, but I know that the people I am meant to stay in touch with, I will.

I am feeling oddly apathetic about life in general at the moment. Just tired, mainly, and it's (almost) the end of another year, and if I had to rank this year in relation to my entire life, I don't even know if I could. Some days I feel completely lost, as if I have no real clue where I fit into the cosmic scheme of things. And then I wonder, am I doing anything CLOSE to what I am supposed to be doing? Professionally? Personally?

Anyone? Anyone?

Got a note from the woman who used to teach the college Sunday school class at my church. Where I attended Christmas Eve service last week for the first time in two years. Anyway, the woman is a writer, and she always seemed to like me because I was trying to write, also.

(I should preface the remarks she made in the note by saying that, earlier today, I had told myself, as I left work: "I have lost interest.")

I had sent the woman a Christmas card, along with a personal and cheerful Christmas greeting, and she replied by telling me it was nice to receive a card, but "it would have been nicer if you had reported some of your activities." And asked me how I feel about what I am doing. And asked me if I have plans to do other things.

And honestly, at this moment, I simply could not say.

Oh, and look, according to my computer clock (which a pop-up message earlier tonight told me COULD be wrong!), it's midnight.

New Year's Eve, officially.

What a rush.

:: Di 12:01:00 AM [+] ::
:: Monday, December 29, 2003 ::
This one goes out to the one(s) I love.

Not sure exactly why that title just popped into my head. I was going to go with "Is it a new year yet?" but then Michael Stipe (which I nearly typo'd "Spite") & Co. were suddenly running — or, more specifically, singing — in my head.

And now I have COMPLETELY lost my train of thought.

And I know I wanted to wallow a bit, too, so perhaps I am trying to distract myself.

And I actually have to work in about half an hour, and I could really use a nap, but since I am incapable of napping when I know I have less than 30 minutes in which to nap ... ixnay on the apnay.

It's just that I read something this morning, and it reminded me of the level on which human beings are capable of connecting via this particular medium, and then it reminded me how much people are capable of hurting one another, and once again I was all sad and glad and mostly ... well, sorry. And wishful. And wistful.

Lemme turn back the clock and see if I can get it all right, this time ...

Nah. I would still manage to fuck up to just about the same degree I did. Only this time, maybe I would be a little more brazen in my fuck-ups.

But what do I know?

The only true thing that I know, at this moment, is that after you have gone so long without hearing the voice of the person you are most dying to talk to, you start to forget to imagine the responses she or he might have to the statements you make. You can no longer invent the answers to your questions, no longer anticipate the reactions.

Still, though, you can hear her voice. And her laughter.

Across the Universe

Words are flowing out like endless rain into a paper cup,
They slither wildly as they slip away across the universe
Pools of sorrow, waves of joy are drifting through my opened mind,
Possessing and caressing me.
Jai guru deva om
Nothing's gonna change my world.
Nothing's gonna change my world.
Nothing's gonna change my world.
Nothing's gonna change my world.

Images of broken light which dance before me like a million eyes,
They call me on and on across the universe,
Thoughts meander like a restless wind inside a letter box, they
Tumble blindly as they make their way
Across the universe
Jai guru deva om
Nothing's gonna change my world,
Nothing's gonna change my world.
Nothing's gonna change my world.
Nothing's gonna change my world.

Sounds of laughter, shades of love are ringing
Through my open mind inciting and inviting me
Limitless undying love which shines around me like a
million suns, it calls me on and on
Across the universe
Jai guru deva om
Nothing's gonna change my world,
Nothing's gonna change my world.
Nothing's gonna change my world.
Nothing's gonna change my world.

Jai guru deva
Jai guru deva
Jai guru deva
Jai guru deva

— The Beatles

And the version I have, right now, going through my head is the one sung by Rufus Wainright.

:: Di 1:51:00 PM [+] ::
:: Thursday, December 25, 2003 ::
Merry Christmas!

After an incredible past coupla days, I just managed to reread something from last month, and it made me realize that maybe I've misinterpreted silence, or that maybe I have been reading too much into something, and now I suddenly realize that, finally, there is no need to feel bad about anything anymore.

And, I don't.

And every relationship that is "meant to be," on any level, in my life, will be ... and any relationship that's not, won't.

So simple, really. Why must I sometimes try to over-complicate things?

(I never used to. There was a time in my life — a good, solid 2 to 10 years there [not sure exactly how long, but it was nice little stretch] — where I was easy as pie, easy as Sunday morning, easy as any cliché a person could dream up. And it was great.)

Anyway, no more. No more over-complication. After all, not everything is all about me.

Wow, just learned on the Food Network that a teaspoon was actually so named because it contains just the right amount of tea for a cup of ... well, tea! Who'd-a thunk it? Honestly, I never thought about it before. Ever!

: )

Wanted to ramble about holidays and stuff, but ... too tired, I guess.

:: Di 10:47:00 PM [+] ::
:: Monday, December 22, 2003 ::
Short Sleeves & Rain

Oddly warm for a Dec. 22 night.

"Expect a lotta rain," Jim Rasor says. And definitely NO snow for Christmas.

Ah, he's not always right.

Received 2 cool presents today: A book about the Cubs' 2003 season, and Cold Mountain. Which I am looking forward to seeing. Probably not on Christmas day, but hopefully not too long after. And preferably not 'til I've read at least a few chapters of the book.

Although I never seem to read as much as I should ...

Got a job offer today. Actually, it's sort of a promotion/new position (heh) at my current workplace. Not sure they can pay me what I'm worth. Well, in fact, I KNOW they can't/won't pay me what I'm worth ... but will they pay me enough to justify me taking the new position and giving up my part-time gig?

We'll see.

_________ly (can't think of the adverb I wanted to use, just then), all the considerations of the present and "the holiday season" are preventing me from dwelling too much on the past. Normally not a problem for me, or at least it wasn't until the last couple of years. Starting with the new century, actually.

My own private Y2K meltdown.

(Some IM's are better left unanswered, she realized, nearly 4 years later.)

(Nah, I can't say that. Look at everything I've learned, how I've grown.)

I am a better person for everyone I have known. I honestly believe this.

Have I enhanced any of them, as well? Gosh, I hope so.

:: Di 9:52:00 PM [+] ::
:: Sunday, December 21, 2003 ::
Killer Movie Night

Yeah. Spent the evening flipping from Titanic on NBC to Bridges of Madison County on TNT, with a little Cold Case (CBS) mixed in. Talk about KILLER movies! Damn. And now, on TNT: Message in a Bottle. And me with a thing for Costner! Don't think I'll last through this one, though: Have to work tomorrow for the first time since last Tuesday.

Could I be LESS excited? Probably not.

Finished my Christmas cards, too, and, as usual, not a minute too soon. As it is, I'll be lucky if they get to their destinations in time.

As usual ...

:: Di 10:35:00 PM [+] ::
:: Saturday, December 20, 2003 ::
Life IS beautiful.

And no sooner did I mention it in here than I actually received the film itself from my best pal's brother and sister-in-law during today's birthday/Christmas party. Sorta thought I might be getting it because I put it on my "list" a few weeks back. Might have to watch it later tonight.

We celebrated 3 birthdays today: Deshea (15), Shane (9) and Shelby (4). Gave Shea a lava lamp; she said she liked it — "I thought it was going to be something embarrassing!" she admitted. Couldn't tell if Shane liked his Transformer (I believe it was one of the Optimus Prime series), but ... he probably did.

Shelby's comment was the best: "It's JUST what I wanted!" she exclaimed as she opened the Polly something-or-other w/lifeguard stand and various bathing suits. Then we made a "swimming pool" out of the bathroom sink.

More Shelby comments:

Upon finding the instructions at the bottom of the box as I removed Polly and her accessories:

"Look, it's money!"

Upon realizing it was NOT money:

"Look, it's instructions!"

Pretending to read the instructions:

"OK, now I'll tell you how to put it apart!"

Later, prior to departing for McDonald's Playland and Candy Cane Lane:

"Dad, can I take this [Singing Dora the Explorer doll] in the van with me?"

Upon hearing no reply from her father:

"Just say, 'Shore!'"

: )

:: Di 5:48:00 PM [+] ::
:: Friday, December 19, 2003 ::

Ooh, Emeril just said, "Spinach and artichoke dip," so of course my ears perked up!

: )

Even though I know he can't POSSIBLY make it any better than MY spinach artichoke dip. MY recipe, straight off a can (bottle?) of Kraft parmesan cheese. Still, it's a few minutes 'til Seinfeld, so, what the heck?

Just watched Talk to Her. I have had the DVD for months now, and I'm not exactly sure why. I kept seeing this film any time I'd go looking for movies, and I'd pick it up, and read the back, and think, hmm, this looks sort of ... different, and then I'd put it back. And then, a few months ago, I bought it — along with Abre Los Ojos because, well, that's Vanilla Sky-esque and all — but I hadn't managed to watch either one.

Interesting film, I will say that, although: Subtitles? Ick! Fortunately, not a lot of banter in this movie, so it was fairly easy to keep up, but if there happened to be dialogue going on and I happened to hit the volume ... oops! The top line of dialogue was missing.

I believe the only other "foreign film" I've seen is Life Is Beautiful. Wow, that Roberto Benigni (sp?) was annoying as all get-out for the first half of that movie, but wow, what a great film! Matter o' fact, I need to see that one again; it's the kind of movie that sorta sneaks up on you, and about two-thirds of the way through it, you're like, wow. WOW!

(At least I was, anyway.)

Song in my head, right now: That piano solo toward the end of American Beauty ... after Lester has taken a bullet to the head, and all the reactions of the people in his life ... there was actually slightly similar music during one key scene in Talk to Her, so maybe that's what got me thinking of AB.

:: Di 11:16:00 PM [+] ::
Don't "mental health days" count the same as "sick days"?

If not: They should.

And on that note, the Christmas shopping is officially done, and I am once again over-extended, but I can't even allow myself to think about it. Seriously. After all, it's only a matter of time until my lucky break comes along, right? I mean, I could already be a winner of 84 million dollars, thanks to that impulse Mega Millions ticket purchase yesterday whilst getting gas at the Carterville MotoMart. And besides: My hibiscus bloomed yesterday.

Christmas is less than a week away.

I am in the midst of 5, count 'em, 5 days off, in a row. Started out as two vacation days Wednesday and Thursday, during which I could just feel that I was going to need a sick day today, followed by the weekend-before-Christmas weekend that is now upon me.

Deck the halls ...

Richard Belzer (John Munch) reminds me of a guy I know/used to work with named Clint.

What to do? What to watch? I am not used to having Friday nights "off." Nor am I used to being online when my Norton AntiVirus thingie starts up. Wicked!

I need to put on some music. Or a movie. Or maybe both.

Yet, I'm in the mood for a good, long chat. One that includes music and movies and deep, insightful observations on just about anything. And naturally, no one's around ...


:: Di 8:02:00 PM [+] ::
:: Wednesday, December 17, 2003 ::
While you were shopping ...

Before I forget, must post the lyrics from this song I just heard on tonight's (taped) episode of The Shield.

All My Little Words

You are a splendid butterfly
It is your wings that make you beautiful
And I could make you fly away
But I could never make you stay
You said you were in love with me
Both of us know that that's impossible
And I could make you rue the day
But I could never make you stay

Not for all the tea in China
Not if I could sing like a bird
Not for all North Carolina
Not for all my little words
Not if I could write for you
The sweetest song you ever heard
It doesn't matter what I'll do
Not for all my little words

Now that you've made me want to die
You tell me that you're unboyfriendable
And I could make you pay and pay
But I could never make you stay

— Magnetic Fields

Man, I LOVE that show! And I really dug that song, too, played right at the end.

Anyhoo, big big shopping day today filled with all sorts of little happenings to make me smile.

Like the fragrance counter woman in Famous, who was trying to catch my eye from the moment I stepped into the store. I had 2 big shopping bags, one in each hand, and I purposely did not look her direction. Still, as I approached, she asked, "Would you care to try the new Dior blah blah blah?"

"No," I muttered and suddenly wished I'd also flinched and acted all freaked out or something.

I took the bags out to the car, and when I was tossing them into the trunk, I heard a car behind me, idling. Because I had a primo parking spot, and they coveted it. However, I was not meeting my shopping pal for another 90 minutes, so I slammed the trunk and crammed the keys into my pocket and sauntered back to the store.

(I did not look back as I walked, but I am confident that the driver was glaring at me.)

: )

Later, after the shopping excursion had moved to another locale, I sat in the car for a couple of minutes, listening to music. Unfortunately, the kid sitting in the Durango parked right in front of me insisted on pushing the panic button, setting off the horn, ever 30 seconds or so — right when I was trying to listen to "Lover, You Should've Come Over" by Jeff Buckley. I worked up a pretty fair amount of hatred for the kid in those few minutes, and then here came his mother, who glared in at him when he kept her locked out for a few seconds.

[Cue — or should that be queue? — Tootie from Facts of Life: "You're gonna be in trou-bellllllll!"]

I couldn't hear their conversation, of course — they were in their vehicle, I in mine, windows up 'cause it was cold outside, plus Buckley was hitting the really really high notes by then — but I could tell the mother was fussing at the kid. She inadvertently conked him in the head with her bag as she tossed it into the back, and I chuckled.

Then, as they drove away, the kid was looking out the window and just smiling ...

And suddenly, I absolutely adored that kid!

Purchase o' the day: A stuffed Stitch wearing a sweater with the word "NAUGHTY" on the front, bought at the Disney Store. I'm giving it to Aunt Janie. (Shhh!)

: )

:: Di 11:34:00 PM [+] ::
:: Tuesday, December 16, 2003 ::

My eyes burn.

Maybe from the cold wind today when I walked from and to my car. Walked on-campus. Darted into Huck's for Cokes and J.R.'s Fish Co. for food. And in-between, when I was on the verge of a nap, covers snuggled up around my chin, sleepy, sleepy ... and then the cell phone rang, and my eyes popped open, burning but open, and then unable to close again for sleep, just then.

Debra calls to say Bob is OK. Nauseous and dry-heaving from the anesthesia, an 8-inch scar on the right side of his neck, but OK.

(What the heck? A 3-hour surgery should garner you a decent-sized scar, right?)

Sometime during the night, I heard rain. Hard rain. Actually, it sounded like hail. Ping-pong ball-sized hail, or maybe actual ping-pong balls, like the kind that used to fall from the "sky" on Captain Kangaroo. The pavement is wet this morning, but when I ask a new co-worker if she heard the rain during the night, she says no, so I wonder if I heard actual rain, or rain only in my dreams. Or hail.

Two years ago today ...

I cannot allow myself to remember.

Because when I remember, I wonder if anyone else remembers. Namely she: Does she remember? Does her memory allow her to remember even one good moment, talking to me? Ever?

Was it actual rain, or rain only in my dreams?

No, it was December. It must've been snow. And snow makes hardly any sound, certainly not enough to be heard whilst I'm sleeping.

I remember days and weeks of looking forward to nothing but sleep. Because she was never in my dreams, and I never felt bad or sad or even glad, in my dreams. And then, when I would wake up, for those few seconds between sleep and awake when I wasn't quite conscious, wasn't thinking, really, I was aware only that it was morning and I was alive and I had to get up and take a shower and then BAM! I remembered.


Switching gears ...

Which reminds me: Frasier was extremely funny tonight. Niles and Frasier trying to learn how to ride bikes. Classic Crains! (Or is it Cranes? Never really knew.)

I need to put more pictures in here. What's the point of having FTP-access if I'm not going to tack on a picture every now and again? (I'm mainly saying this because I ran across a cool blog today that had a photo with every entry. A good photo, too.)

:: Di 10:50:00 PM [+] ::
:: Monday, December 15, 2003 ::
This Shirt

The shirt I have on smells like fruit-flavored Certs.

Which I never liked, really.

It's a Levi's flannel shirt. Red. The button on the right cuff is missing.

Today at work, my Secret Santa gave me a navy-blue fleece with OLD NAVY in yellow letters on the front. It fits great, and wouldn't you know, just the other day I was saying to myself, y'know, I need to get me another fleece.

Funnily enough, the woman who had my name is the woman whose name I had, too. Second year in a row that has happened — although it was a different woman whose name I had and who had my name, last year — but still. What are the odds?

(It's not necessarily odd that both years, it was a woman who had my name. Currently, and last year, too, my workplace was all-female. Which seems like it could be a good thing, but in reality ... it can be a pain.)

Last year, I gave a bottle of Bailey's and shot-glasses from Dallas, Las Vegas, Reno and St. Louie — part of my whirlwind mid-December trip — and received an As Good as It Gets DVD. And we both drank a shot o' Bailey's, right there at work. This year, I gave a Hallmark ornament ("Smittens" — snowmen who can hold hands because there are tiny magnets in their mittens!) and a framed photo of the girls at the office that my Secret Santa had requested.

Fa la la la la, la la la la ...

: )

:: Di 10:33:00 PM [+] ::
:: Sunday, December 14, 2003 ::

His real name was Brian Plawer, but we called him Cutter. From that Cutter Evergreen commercial. We started quoting from it the first time Brian guided us down the Kaskaskia River.

"Hey, Brian, new aftershave?" someone asked.

"No. It's my new insect repellent: Cutter Evergreen," Brian replied, right on cue, and from then on, he was Cutter.

Cutter and his wife, Wanda, had taken on the task of taking our church youth group on a canoe trip. About 12 of the squirreliest members of our group — myself included — had signed up for the trip.

The Plawers gave us lessons on the j-stroke and the c-stroke, and instructions in various aspects of water safety, one evening at Lake Shelbyville, and a week later, we headed down the Kaskaskia. Cutter and Wanda in the lead in their green "Old Town" canoe, the rest of us crashing our metal crafts into each other as we made our way down the river.

Most of us zig-zagging along from bank to bank, occasionally getting tangled up in low-hanging branches or running aground on some half-submerged log.

And we played "Keep Away" with the suntan lotion and told jokes and acted out various TV commercials as we paddled.

"Hey, you've got our lunch!" Jack called out, imitating an Eckrich commercial of the day.

"We know!" Charles responded, and then whispered, "Row faster!" to his canoe partner.

(Charles was the only other person with his own canoe, a light-blue one that had apparently seen better days. Not unlike his family's boat, which had a huge dent in the hull from where his sister Margaret had rammed it into the dock at Lake Sara one previous summer.)

We camped overnight near Horseshoe. Kara, Teresa and I got in trouble for mixing it up with some drunken fishermen across the river during the night, and eventually we laughed ourselves to sleep.

Wanda taught us how to cook: Scrambled eggs in a cast-iron skillet, "hobo dinners" — hamburger, carrots and potatoes, covered by onions and sealed up in foil — over an open flame, cherry and peach cobbler (Jiffy cake mix and a can of whichever fruit you favored).

Next day, up at the crack — just when the sun came blazing through the ceiling of the tent, turning your cozy little home-away-from-home into a mini-sauna — and back on the river.

That night, we ended up camping just south of the Thompson Mill Covered Bridge. There, we discovered a huge oak tree (maybe it was an elm) with a rope swing. We all took our turn, swinging out as far as the rope would take us, then dropping into the river, letting it take us downstream a few yards before we swam safely to shore.

Karen became known as "The Masochist" on that swing. Three times, she swung out over the river in what looked to be a perfect glide, only to hold on a split-second too long, each time, and be dragged back a few feet in the water before she finally let go. (Her thighs were bright red after that third attempt. It was brutal.)

We sang a few verses of the required "Kum Ba Yah" while we sat around the campfire. We played Murder. Tee-Hee and I plotted ways to lure Roger and John out of their tent, where a hoisted-up burning picnic table would "mysteriously" fall on their heads. Rob picked up the worst case of poison ivy I've ever seen. We made S'mores.

Our excursion ended the next day, but this wouldn't be our last canoe trip with Cutter. He took us down the Kaskaskia a couple more times, and then we ventured over to the Black River in Missouri. One time, when I was in college, I returned home to join the h.s. group in a trip on the Current River.

Along the way, I got to know Cutter and Wanda and their 3 kids: Amanda, Miriah and Adam. Baby-sat for them a couple of times. Miriah and I had a special greeting.

"Hi, Di," Miriah would say.

"Hi, Miri," I would reply.

Eventually, they moved away, but they became active in their new church in Oakwood. And the kids grew up, and I kept thinking I'd see them again.

And then, suddenly, it's 1997. And I return from a trip to ... the Bahamas? Cancun? — somewhere tropical and somewhat exotic, and my mom is telling me that Cutter has been killed.

Not in a car wreck or any kind of freak canoeing accident, but by a bomb. While he and Wanda were working at their church, helping put together that week's newsletter.

A random victim of some randomly placed pipe bomb. Heard a noise, walked outside, saw a box sitting on the steps, moved the box, KABOOM!

(All kinds-a bombing going on this past week on network TV. Thursday night CSI and All My Children. Just got me thinking about Cutter, who died Dec. 30, 1997.)

:: Di 7:47:00 PM [+] ::
:: Saturday, December 13, 2003 ::
Snow Come Down

And come down it did, early this a.m., not exactly the 1-3 inches the weathermen predicted, but a suitable dusting, nevertheless. First snow o' the season! Jubilation, all around!

: )

For a while it quit, but by the time The Lovely and I were heading out to dinner and the mall, it was snowing steadily. Coming down, slow-motionlike, in big ol' flakes. And not those sloppy, wet flakes, either — which I really like, actually, 'cause they're so excellent for making snowballs and forts and what-not. It was coming down slow enough I actually think I might've been able to photograph it, but ... no camera, at that moment.

Song in my head: "Snow Come Down" by Lori Carson.

:: Di 11:48:00 PM [+] ::
:: Thursday, December 11, 2003 ::
Dangling Conversation(s)

I like to think I have to have just the right conditions in order to write.

Dark room, lit only by a couple of vanilla-scented candles and the computer screen. Music — preferably something I know well — playing on the stereo. Comfortable spinny chair, my feet propped up on the slat at the back of the desk or the plastic container full of pictures. Preferably late at night when no one is likely to call to interrupt the mood.

Although, if she should call ...

Well, then: Interrupt away!

: )

In all reality, though, writing is not that complicated. The hard part is just doing it, sometimes. Getting the words down on paper or on screen instead of simply letting them swirl around in my head.

So, now, with that in mind, here are the conditions for today:

Every light in the house is on. No Christmas tree lights because, heh, I haven't managed to drag out my mini-me tree just yet. Don't even want to, really, except for those late nights, close to Christmas, when I already know I'll want to sit on my couch, listening to "Pat A Pan" by the Steamroller and stare at the lights, letting my eyes relax and the lights go all blurry, and maybe snow will be falling, outside, and I will suddenly start to feel that "Christmas spirit" that I have been trying to feel ever since I was in first grade.

And Seinfeld is on. Syndicated Seinfeld, that is. Used to be, Thursday nights were my favorite because I knew, come 8 o'clock, I'd be watching a new episode. Now? There's nothing to look forward to, TV-wise. I mean, I've watched TV all day today, but it's done nothing for me. Food Network, mainly; it calms me, I've decided. Except for this new show I've watched twice with some woman named CeCe (sp?) Carmichael (sp?), and I can't quite decide if she's actually cooking or ... I don't know. She seems like she could burst into song, or maybe flames, at any moment.

: o

Pretty chaotic in here, for writing.

"Jerry! We've lost the fat man, and we're runnin' lean!" — Kramer

: )

My "Daily Beauty" for yesterday came from my friend Jake. His mom, who is a friend of mine and a co-worker, interviewed for a new job, and afterwards, she was telling Jake about the new responsibilities, benefits, etc. Then she asked him what he thought about it.

"Will we still know Di?" he asked.

"Well, of course!"

"OK. Take it."

: )

I woke up with that "Secret Lovers" song in my head. The one by Atlantic Starr that played when Cheryl and I were sneaking around, having this secret love affair because I was too afraid to tell my pals I had a girlfriend.

Wow, that girl put up with a lot of crap to be with me.

I mean, I know I'm worth it, but still.

I remember dancing with her to that song the night before I was leaving Orlando and she was staying. Our perfect little love affair was coming to a perfect end because spring break was over, and I was going back to school and she was staying there, permanently, because that's what she had planned to do — albeit a couple of months earlier, before she had broken her arm running to answer the phone. (Was it me calling? I don't think so, now that I think about it.) So she'd stayed up here a few weeks longer than she'd planned, and she and I got closer and closer, and then about a week before she moved to Florida, she asked me if I wanted to go with her — just for the week — and I went and it was great, and then I came home and she stayed.

And then she came back because she missed me. And that was not what I had planned, and I panicked, and I broke up with her. I knew, immediately, that I had made a mistake and that I had hurt her. And we drifted back together, sort of, but it was never the same, for her, and wouldn't you know it, just about the time I was feeling everything I'd been afraid to feel for her, earlier: She was gone.

I mean, she's still alive and everything. Back in Orlando, actually, and I saw her on AOL just a few minutes ago. Should've IM'd her to tell her about the song I was singing when I awoke.

Man, I was a pain, but she still would've appreciated me mentioning the song.

This, I know.

: )

Funny how my mind wanders when I start typing. I sat down thinking I was going to write about how my earliest musical influence was my stepbrother Bobby — although, now that I think about it, it was actually my mother ("Sugar, Sugar" and those red and black 45s) — and an unrelated story about this 89-year-old man named Cornell Neal who came in to talk to me today.

Old men and teen-aged boys. I do have a way with them.

:: Di 6:08:00 PM [+] ::
:: Monday, December 08, 2003 ::
All the Right Friends, Part 2

Today, one of my favorite people in the world was a very good friend to me.

And she's one of those kick-ass friends, too — cute, smart, funny.

Someone who runs her own business and can make things happen with a simple phone call. (Power!)

She's also someone who doesn't keep count.

Mostly, though, what she did today was help me through an uncomfortable situation by making me feel as if it wasn't a big deal. That it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it was.

And she was right, but I needed to hear it, and she was there.

And it wasn't just lip service, either, because she walked me through it and then was there for me later, to lend more of her expertise and support.

And friendship.

I was overwhelmed.

And hopefully, tonight I will get more than 4.5 hours of sleep.

: )

:: Di 8:38:00 PM [+] ::
:: Sunday, December 07, 2003 ::
Sunday Matinee

I am honest-to-God tearing up right now watching these last few lines of Meet Joe Black ... again ...

Susan: We know so little about each other.
Joe: But we've got time.

And later ...

Susan: What do we do now?
Joe: It'll come to us.

: )

And now I'm flipping over to A Few Good Men to wait for Jack to scream, "You can't handle the truth!"

Although, truthfully, I find it funnier when George Costanza says it!

:: Di 4:02:00 PM [+] ::
:: Saturday, December 06, 2003 ::
(Almost) Full Moon

So, tonight I am driving down the highway to pick up my "date" for the office Christmas party. And I am having a particularly good hair night, thanks to a little bit o' Dep, and I have on a new Ol' Navy button-down, Levi's and Doc's. I smell good, too, with a little bit of Curve dabbed on my wrists.

And speaking of the button-down (blue, sorta plaid): As I'm ironing it, I notice that there's something in the pocket. I'm thinking, hmm, maybe it's some of that tissue paper, so I pull it out — and it's an entire CUFF, kinda like it's been cut off one of the shirt sleeves (obviously not from this particular shirt, although the material is the same) and shoved in the pocket, "just in case" you're ever out and you get your shirt cuff cut off and you need an extra one (as IF you'd have a spare needle and matching thread, too, to sew it back on, but I guess that's beside the point ... or is that "besides the point"? neither sounds right, right now).

There are buttons on this spare cuff, though, but there are also extra buttons sewn just inside the shirttail, too, so I'm thinking: Why bother?

Anyhoo, as I drive I notice that the moon is almost full, and it's illuminating the sky the way the almost-full moon does on a cloudless night. And it's very chilly out — it's December, after all — but not so cold that wearing a jacket is mandatory, but I've got one with me, thrown into the backseat, just in case. And I have one of my Mannheim Steamroller Christmas CDs playing — not sure of the title, but it's the one with "Still, Still, Still" and "O, Holy Night" on it — and suddenly I feel better than I have felt in a couple of days.

And it reminds me of one of those nights when I was in h.s., and I'd go riding around with Jill or Shawn or somebody, and we'd end up somewhere in "the country." Talking. Laughing. Just generally goofing off. And for a few minutes, while I'm driving, I want to head out to the lake or somewhere, park my car and stare at the moon and listen to the Steamroller for the next couple of hours.

Or years.

:: Di 11:19:00 PM [+] ::
All the Right Friends

Today (hmm, well, actually, yesterday, now that I look at the clock) sorta sucked, mostly, and then, suddenly, it didn't. Still, I hate days when I have this gnawing, agitated outlook.

I hate days when I'm not in a good mood; I feel like I've wasted them. And you never get 'em back.

Tonight, after work, I return home and read my e-mail. Another note from Patti, whom I have known since I was 19. Half my life. We were such kids when we first knew each other: She from the suburbs (the city girl), I from Downstate (the hick).

I remember the night we went to Marty's, each of us with just enough money to buy one pitcher of beer. Patti bought a pitcher, and we drank it; I bought a pitcher, and we drank it. Then, just as we realized, sadly, that we were all out of money AND beer, these sorority girls came walking by our table, a three-fourths-full pitcher of beer in their hands.

"We have to leave, but we've got all this beer left. Do you two want it?"

We were as happy as we'd ever been. And quite possibly as DRUNK as we'd ever been, but that didn't stop us from polishing off that pitcher of beer and then stumbling home to our dorm just before dinner had ended.

God, I miss college.

Anyhoo, Patti's gem o' the day for today:

"Thinking of you and I: I read a lot. You write a lot. Together we'd make one great artist."

(I love you, Patti.)

: )

:: Di 12:28:00 AM [+] ::
:: Friday, December 05, 2003 ::
Apathy is bliss.

But, admittedly, there have been times when I have tried too hard. With the whole friendship/relationship thing.

Nah, that's not true. I almost never try all that hard. Either I like someone and they like me, and we become friends for life (or at least from then on), or we don't. I've had this amazing good fortune in my life to find these people who are honest and true and good, and for whatever reason(s), they like me, too, and somehow, click! And that's it.

Once, though, I've tried too hard. And everything started out on even ground, and we really liked each other, but then I started to want too much. And it was difficult to tell what the other person wanted, at times, so I should've taken 3 "Mother, May I?" steps backward and possibly even run like hell, fast as I could, in the exact opposite direction ... but no, I don't like to give up.

If I think there is even a shred of hope in salvaging a relationship, I want to stick around to see if it can be saved.

I want to stay in the theater until the credits have all run; I want to make sure it's really over before I walk out.

This time, I've tried too hard. And I'm still trying. And I know, at practically every turn, I have made the wrong choice. Not necessarily what felt like the wrong choice — although, yeah, there was at least one hugely wrong choice, but it was kinda like one of those wrong left (or right!) turns you take whilst you're walking in the woods, and you keep thinking if you just keep going left (or right!), you might end up exactly where you're supposed to be.

And maybe THIS is exactly where we're supposed to be.

:: Di 7:06:00 AM [+] ::
:: Thursday, December 04, 2003 ::
And if nothing else:

Hopefully, at the end of my life, I will look back and know that if I ever had an issue with someone, a problem, whatever, I let him or her know about it. And if someone wronged me in some way, or treated me badly, or hurt me, I gave that person a chance to explain, and even apologize, if he or she were so inclined.

Because I have been there. The hurting kind.

Both sides, really. The hurter and the hurtee.

Sometimes, the silence hurts the worst.

:: Di 11:01:00 PM [+] ::
'Tis the season ...

Actually had a woman at work today tell me she'd rather hear a Kenny G Christmas CD than listen to me singing "Mack the Knife." I'd be lying if I said my feelings weren't hurt a little — NOT by the fact that she didn't want to hear me sing (what the fuck, I get THAT on a daily basis!), but how could anyone NOT want to hear a great song like "Mack the Knife"?

Oh, the shark, babe, has such teeth, dear ...

Preferably Bobby Darin's version. Actually, I'm-a-gonna hafta include the lyrics from this site 'cause it includes all the lil' "huh, huhs" uttered by ol' Bobby. Nevermind, I will link to it instead. (It's COOL to be linked!)

* Making mental note to make some template changes tomorrow ... or sometime soon *

My favorite part of "Mack the Knife":

Now on the sidewalk — uh, huh — whoo, sunny mornin’, uh-huh
Lies a body just oozin' life — Eek!
And someone’s sneakin' 'round the corner
Could that someone be Mack the Knife?

"Eek!" being my ABSOLUT favorite part!

: )

Anyway: Christmas.

I secretly laugh at the people who claim to have finished all their Christmas shopping by the end of October. I rolled my eyes at them back in May when I heard them say, "Ooh, you'll never guess what I found for _______ for Christmas!"

"You know, the world could end tomorrow," I actually said to one of my friends (can't remember which friend, now that I think about it; probably not a close friend), "and there you'd be, with all these Christmas gifts, and no one left to give them to."

I think thoughts like that, sometimes: What if the world comes to an end, and I still have, like, 11 rolls in a super-saver 12-roll pack of toilet paper or something? Two full weeks to go before the bottle of milk I just bought goes bad? Seven vacation days left? A couple of days 'til my birthday?

I think, maybe, that's why I sometimes tend to force the issue with people. I mean, if we like each other, let's spend time together. Get to know each other. Get intimate (and maybe even naked — or vice-versa) and get involved and get hooked and get mad and get over it and then get on with our lives.

Let's get busy.

Sometimes it just never feels as if there's ever enough time. And I feel like I'm one of the most laid-back people I know, but sometimes there's this incredible sense of urgency, and I wonder if everyone feels it. And then I notice I don't necessarily feel it with everyone or every situation or even every household item that's not even close to being depleted.

Just, sometimes.

So, I decide, today, on the one day of the week I don't have to do anything, once I'm done with work (at 10:30 a.m. — pretty good, even by my standards!), to wrap the present I'd gotten for the person whose name I drew for the gift-exchange at work (and it's not the woman who said she'd prefer Kenny G to me singing "Mack the Knife" — otherwise, I'd have spent the afternoon making WAV files and burning CDs of me, warbling away).

I reach into the closet for some wrapping paper (3 rolls, left over from last year), bows (a bagful! or is that "bag full"?) and gift tags (plenty), and I notice a Hallmark bag with a couple of Peanuts sculpture-thingies inside.

Can't remember when I bought 'em, but I know it was QUITE some time ago. One of them is golf-related (for Margaret), the other tennis (for The Lovely). I bought these items months ago with the intention of saving them 'til Christmas — and then I even managed to find them BEFORE Christmas!

: )

I totally rocked my world.

: )

Which means, counting those and the handful of items I've gotten over the last 2 to 3 weeks, I now have approximately one-eighth of my Christmas shopping done. And it's only Dec. 4, so, hopefully, there's still time.

Unless the world ends tomorrow

: /

Wow, just read "counting those" and suddenly thought of Counting Crows, and now I'm right back where I was hoping not to be: Thinking about one of my favorite online people and reminding myself that this is, indeed, December. And it's raining and cold and ... well, sorta perfectly fitting, somehow.

Let's get busy ...

:: Di 9:31:00 PM [+] ::
:: Tuesday, December 02, 2003 ::
Tuesday Night

Earlier this year — what the hell, maybe it was earlier last year, I don't remember — I found the perfect birthday card for my pal Tee-Hee. One o' those "You know you're a redneck when ..." cards, and whenever I happened to find it (this year or last), her b'day was still several months away. So I filed away the card, and every time I would happen upon it, rearranging this stack or that, moving piles of stuff from one place to the next, I'd smile and think, HA! I can't WAIT to send her this card!

(Which makes me think it was last year that I bought the card. Seems like it's been a long time since I've seen it.)

Anyhoo, her birthday is tomorrow.

Naturally, I can't find the card. Anywhere.

And I should be looking for it, but honestly, I don't even know where to begin.

Plus, it'll be late, anyway. Perhaps I'll save it for next year.

(She will be 40 then. I'll still have 4 months left being 39. She loves when I remind her that I am younger than she is.)

: )

Got a lengthy e-mail from Patti this evening; matter of fact, I haven't even read the whole thing because I want to savor it. She had a baby in October (her 3rd child), so she's been a little busy lately. She's always busy, actually.

(Don't let anyone tell you "stay-at-home" moms don't work. She's done more each day by noon than I can sometimes cram into 3 days.)

She apologizes every time she e-mails — which is actually quite frequently — for not being able to e-mail more frequently. Hey, we went 15 years calling each other only on our birthdays, at Christmas and on the occasional blue moon, and seeing each other maybe once every 4 years, if we were lucky, before she FINALLY got online last year — which officially ranks among My Top 5 Memories of 2002 ... which might not be quite as big an honor as I make it out to be, considering I was in a horribly sad, self-indulgent, self-induced fog for at least 8 months out of the year, but it was one of the highlights in a mostly forgettable year.

So I'm grateful for those occasional bits of contact.

I had to smile at the part in this most recent e-mail where she told me, "Charlie was on the computer a good part of the day."

(Charlie just turned 3. He will know more about computers by the time he is 5 than we will know by the time we are dead.)

Technology. Gotta love it.

: )

:: Di 10:42:00 PM [+] ::
Bernie Gets His Mac On

OK, it's one of those rare moments that I am actually ahead of schedule, gettin' ready for work (what a difference 10 minutes can make), and God knows I don't wanna get to the office early — although those 40 minutes or so that I am alone, working in silence, are what I live for, professionally speaking.

And suddenly, while I was showering, I started thinking of that great scene from this week's The Bernie Mac Song where the kid was doing a (rhythmic?) gymnastics scene to the song "Eye of the Tiger" (ah, Rocky III, gotta LOVE it: "No, I don't hate Balboa, but I pity the fool!" — Clubber Lang), flipping that ribbon around. Anyway, the whole episode centered around how much Bernie wanted his nephew (?) to play basketball, but the boy preferred gymnastics instead ... and was pretty damn good at it, as it turned out. After Bernie went through the requisite teasing by his poker buddies and then was overheard criticizing gymnastics by his nephew, the boy quit the team. Naturally, Bernie eventually softened his view and by the end of the show accepted the kid's talent in this particular "sport."

Of course, the show ended with the boy displaying a genuine interest in members of the opposite sex — so, for Bernie Mac, all was right with the world.


Just like a CBS show last season, can't think of the name of it (not sure I've ever KNOWN the name of it — one of those shows about a pudgy, balding guy, his attractive wife and their 1 to 3 kids; in this one, Jamie/Jami Gertz plays the wife), in which the son decides to go out for cheerleading and is good at it but the father is appalled ... until, of course, he realizes that his son is attracted to girls.

And, again, all is right with the world.

: /

On a completely unrelated note:

I realized, later, that the "ohs" in the "Trapped" lyrics should actually be "oohs." For what it's worth.

And I adore this song:


we talked up all night
and still came to no conclusion
we started a fight
that ended in silent confusion

and as we sat stuck
you could hear the trash truck
making its way through the neighborhood

picking up the thrown out
different from house to house
we get to decide what we think is no good

we're sculpted from youth
the chipping away makes me weary
and as for the truth
it seems like we just pick a theory

and it's the one that justifies
our daily lives
and backs us with quiver and arrows

to protect openings
'cause when the warring begins
how quickly the wide open narrows

into the smallness of
our deconstruction of love
we thought it was changing
but it never was
it's just the same as it ever was

a family of foxes
came to my yard and dug in
so i looked in a book
to see what this could possibly mean

yeah cause there's fate in the breeze
signs in the trees
impossible tragic events

when forces collide
with the damage strewn wide
and holes blasted straight through the fence

oh the sky starts to crash
(into the smallness of)
the rain on the roof starts to drumming
and laid up like cache
(deconstruction of love)
you'll take on my list of shortcomings

and now the show starts to close
(the show)
i know how this goes
(starts to close)
the plot's a predictable showing

and though it seems grand
we're just one speck of sand
and back to the hourglass we're going

back to the smallness of
(into the smallness of)
our deconstruction of love
(our deconstruction of love)
we thought it was changing
but it never was

we're still in the smallness of
(into the smallness of)
our deconstruction of love
(our deconstruction)
we thought it was changing but it never was

our deconstruction of love

our deconstruction of love

— The Indigo Girls

:: Di 6:54:00 AM [+] ::
:: Monday, December 01, 2003 ::

Yeah, it's here. The gladdest and saddest month of all.

I simply felt compelled to mention it, somehow. To someone.

:: Di 12:02:00 AM [+] ::

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