I can't talk about the race just yet. Can't talk about how we all put Jessie's photo on our tee shirts and every time I looked over at Bing or Liv, I saw her face and felt my throat close tight. Can't talk about the sea of pink, some of the men wearing shirts that said, "real men wear pink" or how when I was standing in line waiting to use the bathroom, I saw all of these women hugging and crying and how I am not a person who wears my emotions on my sleeve, so I didn't cry until I got into my own bathroom stall and then I sat on the toilet and wept. How I sat up, literally pulled up my big girl panties and slowly ran my fingers over the contours of my sister's face in that photo. How lucky I am that she is still here. So many are not.
So, I will just go on the questions. Which, by the way...I have LOVED.
True Story wonders what my opinion is of Russia. Well, like most Americans, I am not all that informed about Russian news or politics. I did read that the government is now allowing gay rights parades and I think that is pretty groovy. I have a strong suspicion that your prime minister might be gay. I am wondering why Medvedev isn't seeking another term and if it is really because he says that Putin is more popular or something else. I occasionally read The Moscow Times. I've never been to Russia and only know one person who is from there. Her name is Juliet and she is fun to invite to dinner parties because she scolds us Americans, says we are such uneducated babies compared to the rest of the world. She is right, of course. But, still... And she also tells the story of the first time she went into one of our grocery stores and she was flabbergasted at the array of foods, especially the fresh fruit. She is beautiful, the mother of twin boys who are dangerously naughty and her husband pretty much worships the ground she walks on. That is the end of my knowledge of Russia, unfortunately, except that they are always scary competitors in the Olympics.
Bobbie wants to know why I write and if it is to be able to let my guarded thoughts out. Bobbie, I wish I understood it enough to explain it to you. I started my blog for my sisters, so that they would stop pestering me to e-mail them all the time. But, within months, the blog sort of blossomed out and I had a lot of readers and all of my sisters grew bored with my views or just very, very annoyed at my liberal rants. Now, my blog is mostly for my daughter when she grows up. I have always had this premonition that I would not live to see her as an adult and I want to leave her something of myself. But, I want it to be an honest rendering. I don't want it to be all hearts and mush head flowers. I want her to see that I was very, very human and had plenty of faults to sit along with my good parts. Liv and I are very close and I believe she might know me better than everyone except Bing, so I don't think anything in here will surprise her. As far as I know, she doesn't know that I have a blog and that is fine with me. I don't want her reading ANY of this until she is at least 21.
You asked if Bing reads my blog. Rarely. She tends to read it more when she is away on business trips or seminars, etc. She read if faithfully when she was in Africa,Japan and Berlin. But, daily? No. She says that she KNOWS everything I write about because she lives with me. I think it does surprise her how open I am in my blog. And I have been very upfront about that fact that our lives are blog fodder. I read a quote once that said something to the effect that having a writer in the family was sort of like having an assassin. No one is safe. Which is pretty much true. The thing is, you get MY view of life, not Bing's view. She sees things very differently than I do. Sometimes I wish she did read it more since I can often write things I feel more easily than say them. But, I would feel silly asking her to read it and she is far more inclined to go running and listen to NPR or some book on tape about vitamins or nutrition or living green. She isn't much of a book reader. Well, I should say a fiction reader. She is taking a law class at night lately to see if she wants to pursue a degree in law. She has this idea that when she retires, she will work as a lawyer and only take cases that she really believes in. So, she spends a lot of time lately reading briefs and summarizing them for her class. She shares them with Liv and me as well over the dinner table and we all discuss them, so it is educational for Liv and interesting for me. Other than her law books, she reads lots and lots of books about the stock market or how to lessen our carbon footprint. She is more of a scholarly reader than one, like me, who tends to read solely for pleasure. So, no. She doesn't read my blog often.
No one at work knows about my blog and I will keep it that way. I would never want to hurt anyone's feelings, even my secretary from Hades.
The ferret? I have no idea. The weird thing is that when I wrote a few days ago about a problem concerning the ferret, there was a post in my comments that sounded VERY similar to the notes that she used to write Bing. (A big giveaway was that she tends to use the word to when she means too and the word your when she means to say you're.) I have pretty intense analytics on my blog and when I traced the comment, I found that it originated in my city, so I am wondering if perhaps she does read my blog. But, I have no idea how she would have found out about it unless it was through Bing and I haven't asked her. I try never to mention the ferret's name to Bing unless I have to. But, you know what? If she wants to read my blog, no big deal. As long as she keeps her big nose out of my life, I could care less.
Chris asks what Bing's sign is. And I agree, Chris. Our spouses are eerily similar. Bing is a Virgo. I am Aquarian and Liv is a Leo. Someone did our "love chart" once and it was really, really on target. This surprised me since I don't believe in astrology at all. The only thing it was off about was Bing's sloppiness, but you know...even her sloppiness is sort of calculated. She is a pile person. She tends to stack things, save things and not finish jobs started. But, she is also fastidious about wiping down faucets and making sure that you could eat off of our floors. The chart was on target, too, about the fact that I am much more prone to flight than she is and I am not overly concerned about following rules. Bing has all these
Anon asks for an update on Sven. I wish I had one. I don't really. I suspect he reads my blog now and then because I have his id number on my analytics and it shows up occasionally. He doesn't answer e-mails or texts, even from Liv. I stopped asking his mom (my next door neighbor) if she's heard from him, because I think it hurts her to have to say no, she hasn't. Sven knows that he is always welcome in my home, that Liv would go flying into his arms at the mere sight of him and that while we adults may throw up our hands in despair, that Liv would forgive him anything and just getting a simple hello, chicken foot (his nickname for her) would probably send her to the moon with joy. Especially now, when she could really use a friend. So, Sven...if you happen to read this, honey, this is what you call guilting. And I'm sorry, I couldn't resist. Plus, I love my daughter and she misses you more than you would ever believe.
ZC asks several questions
1) What is your favorite weather?
Easy. Sweater weather. I love Spring and Fall. I don't mind Summer, although I am not crazy about humidity. I DETEST Winter. I especially hate snow and ice. I can handle the cold, but not snow.
2) Hats? Yeah or nay?
Nay now. When I was younger, I was a big hat person. Now, that I am older, I find that I look a little ridiculous in cloche hats. I used to rock them when I was younger. I also wear a baseball cap to Husker games, but I have never looked all that good in them. Now, Bing and Liv look very good in them. I look...just odd. I also wear a big straw sun hat when I garden and Bing says that it makes me look like Miss Maudie in To Kill A Mockingbird.
3) If you were on the show SURVIVOR, what would your strategy be?
Oh,Z. You are SO right. I have thought about this one A LOT. My strategy would be to mind fuck with everyone since god knows I am not going to shine at challenges. I would be the one who makes the stupid brawny one think he/she is the leader while I pull the strings, thus not having to take responsibility or get a target on my back. I am also not above flirting. When I was younger, I would have had better success at this, but I can still make a man do my bidding if he is stupid enough. (Women are tougher to fool, because honestly....and I apologize for my prejudice...I just think women are more intuitive and can see through that shit much more than men can. Think about it. You often see rich,ugly older men with young adoring wives. And they honestly think it is because they are just hot dudes. Now, older women? We know when we are being used. We may marry some young good looking guy, but we aren't stupid enough to think it is because of our rockin' bods.)
You also asked how Bing and I would fare on The Amazing Race. It would probably cause a huge strain on our marriage because we would argue a lot. (Not on camera, though...so we would take away the audience fun.) But, she would excel at the physical challenges while I would be great at the mind puzzles, so we would probably be a formidable team.
Liv and I? We make a good team but we are too concerned with hurting each other's feelings or protecting each other, so we would end up messing up because one of us would be SURE that we were going down the wrong street, but not want to step on the other's toes and well....we'd go down fast.
Me and a sister? I think Jessie and I would be good together because we are well matched, she is a little better at physical challenges than I am and I am a little better at brain teasers, but seriously? We balance well together and aren't afraid to speak up with each other. We could win.
Only Daughter wants to know how many Halloween parties I have been to since the one where I met Tinton.
One. And it was a dud. I do dress up sometimes. I have two outfits: a witch one and a Victorian mourning gown. I trade off every year. This year is the Victorian one. I used to wear them when I took Liv trick or treating but since she no longer goes, I just answer our door in it and hand out candy.
And no, I have never hosted a Halloween party.
John D wants to know who has control of the remote.
Bing. And I hate it. She is a channel flipper extraordinaire. She can't stand commercials during shows, so she flips around looking for interesting other things and then usually comes in late back to the show we are watching, so we miss some crucial part. I can often be heard commenting to please just find a show and STICK WITH IT but I am convinced that she is physically unable to do this. And she will skip over all the interesting shows ( documentaries about Jane Goodall or old classics like Annie Hall) and then stop to watch something totally idiotic like Gilligan's Island or The Beverly Hillbillies. Ugh. When she isn't home, I rarely have the television on unless there is a show that I want to watch.
Earth Muffin wants to know why I got kicked out of Girl Scouts.
It was a number of reasons. Mainly because I skipped meetings so often, but also because I did not get along with our troop leader's daughter. She was one of those annoying girls who earned every single badge, wore the knee highs with the fringe on them that were very expensive and my mother refused to buy, and she thought the beanie meant that she was better than all the other girls who weren't Girl Scouts. I challenged her daughter about a gardening badge and she started weeping. Her mother was one of those people who talked to children as if they were babies and in the third person as well. ("Well, a true Girl Scout doesn't question her fellow troop mates, does she? Isn't that right, lil puddy cat?") Plus, I was annoyed that the daughter won the award for most boxes sold when her Dad was a vice president at Union Pacific in a nearby city and took the cookie sign up sheet to work and made all his employees buy thin mints while I schlepped around our small town and only got a few takers. I said something like, "Well, we can't all have fathers who work in big companies and sell our cookies for us." It was not received well and the leader called my mother and told her that "Maria is too big for her britches" so I was out. I didn't much care. And I am grateful that Liv has never shown an interest in Scouts because I have a big beef with their stand on homosexual leaders.
Okay! Done. Any more or are you already feeling like you you know WAY too much about me than you bargained for?