Thursday, February 28, 2008

Bookin' Boomers

Two months ago, I saw a posting on Craig's List from a woman who was interested in starting a book club. She wanted it to be a women's book club, and hoped to arouse the interest of "boomers."

I answered her post, and long story short, we had our first meeting last night at Borders. When I first met Rita I was impressed. She was nice, warm and very organized. We talked for a while, and she mentioned that one woman was coming with her husband, but only because they came into town together as he had an eye appointment earlier.

I expected that while we wimmin folk met, the husband would wander around the store, or go buy a coffee, or whatever it is that men do while their wimmin folk are engaged. But no...when the couple arrived, he plopped himself down and made himself comfortable.

When we were all there, Rita handed out a list for us to fill out with our pertinent contact information. When Howard's wife passed the list to him to sign, I noticed Rita looked alarmed.
When we started discussing possible book choices, it was clear that Howard thought he was part of the group. He suggested types of books he wanted to read. At some point, I thought that perhaps I had misread the posting; perhaps the group was to be a mixed group.

In general, this couple was annoying. They are well to do, and made it known. "We have a nice place at 'the Lake.'" All of a sudden, everything was "the Lake" this and "the Lake" that. The wife stated that they had gotten into house swapping, because they loved to travel and since they lived at "the Lake," they had a desirable place to swap.

Then she complained about some guy who swapped a one bedroom apartment for their tony lakeside property. "He sure cleaned up in the deal," she said.

When we discussed when our meetings should be scheduled, we suggested meeting the last Wednesday of the month, as it seemed to work for everyone already. "Oh no" the annoying couple replied. "We travel at the end of the month...every month."

When one lady asked about how a book club worked (as she hadn't been in one before), Annoying Wife started saying "Well, we've always done it like this..." When Rita suggested some ways we could run ours, Annoying Wife said "But I've never done it like that before."

Rita wants the group to be part activity group and part book club. Her proposed plan is to read and discuss a book one month, and take the next month off to go to a wine tasting or out to dinner or other such activity as a group. Annoying Wife said "Well, before we do any activities, we need to bond as a group first." I chimed in, "The best way to get to know people is at an activity where conversation isn't relegated to book discussion."

After the meeting finally ended, I thanked Rita for organizing the meeting, and then quickly drove home to check out the posting. I was right; the group was intended to be women only.
I wrote Rita and asked if Howard was going to be part of the group. "It's kind of awkward, I would think, if the group is intended just for women to say 'Hey Howard, unless you are prepared to wear a dress and go through menopause, I think you need to find something else to do on the third Wednesday of every month...'"

I haven't heard back...but I'm at least hoping that if Howard intends to be part of the group, that he at least dress the part.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Eat Me

Yesterday was a co-worker's birthday. She has helped me swim successfully through the world of data, and so I wanted to get her something special.

But what?

She loves Bath and Body Works, but since everyone knows that, they tend to buy her loads. Plus, she told me she spent about $100 at the last Bath & Body Works I'm sure she needs nothing in that department.


I put on my thinking cap (and it sure looked good on me!), and soon I had an idea: I'd get her a brownie from Claim Jumper.We talk about the infamous brownies all the time. How big they are. How delicious. Filled with nuts and chocolate...ummmm.... (after all, what woman in her right mind doesn't like nuts....oh, and chocolate?)

As yesterday was her day off, I had time. I gunned it to Claim Jumper after work, and bought a brownie. Then I gunned it to Michael's and bought some pretty ribbon (and while there, I met a man who used to be a woman...but more on that at a later time). Then I gunned it to Safeway for munchies (all that gunning left me hungry) and a birthday card.

I was set.

I got home and was greeted by my two very vocal kitties. “We hear you brought home a brownie,” they meowed. “Yeah, but it’s not for you. It’s for Lany, so keep your little tuna-flavored yaps shut.”

I squirreled it away, and went about my business. Every once in awhile I would hear a muffled voice saying “Eat me.” At first, I looked around the house to see if I could find the culprit. The only thing I found was a quarter, a cat nip toy and a pair of nylons that Purrscilla stole from me.
“Eat me.” The voice became louder and more incessant. “EAT ME!”

Finally, I couldn’t stand it any more, and my search for the source became ramped up. Then I found it…the brownie from Claim Jumper. “Eat me,” it said. “You know you want to!”

And yes, I did want to. Terribly so. However, my desire to give the brownie to Lany was stronger than my desire to eat it, so I pulled out the ribbon, cut off a yard, and wrapped up the brownie tightly. Sure enough, my ribbon muzzle worked. “Omphgeatohme” was all I heard for the rest of the night, until finally the brownie tired of talking through its brightly-colored hand-made muzzle.

I slept soundly last night, behind the safety of a closed door and ear plugs…just in case the brownie loosened itself from its hand-made muzzle long enough to convince me to take a girl-sized bite from that big old nut-covered brownie…

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Other V-Day

I suppose Valentine's Day is a good day for someone like Jane Fonda to go on a national morning show to promote The Vagina Monologues. And, I suppose it's also a good day for an aging political activist like herself to spew the C-word on national TV. And by "C-word" I don't mean "cat."

Ah...Vagina Monologues and the two least favorite things in the world. Together. On stage. With Jane delightful.

What? How could the Vagina Monologues be one of my least favorite things? Well, maybe because I'm a girl...What? you ask... how can you be a girl and NOT like the Vagina Monologues? Simply for this reason: I think it's an overrated production, and the chronic use of vulgar words in the production does not make it cool.

Oh yes. I saw it. A few years ago, a feminist friend of mine said "PJammy, you have to go see this play! It's the bee's knees!" And, not wanting to seem uncool or against the feminist movement, I said "Sure, sign me up." I went along...and I think I was supposed to be like the other feminist clones in the audience and cheer on the repeated use of the word "C*nt" and "vagina," but I kept quiet. I did not think the chronic use of the "C" word "took back the word" and made it any different. It's still the same old word with the same old vulgar meaning, and watching Eve Ensler utter it repeatedly did not magically change it into something Proud and Bold and Wonderful.

Neither did the repeated use of the "V" word. Yes, I know what I've got "down there." Yes, I know the technical name. However, I do not get any great feeling of liberation or satisfaction shouting it at the top of my lungs. "Vagina! VAGINA!" See? Nothing. I get more satisfaction at shouting the word "Fuck!" at the top of my lungs in the car after some nimrod cuts me off than I do in a roomful of feminists shouting out the V-word.

The thing is, I know I'm supposed to like it. It's not cool for me to admit that I don't. Oh sure, there were a few touching monologues. Overall, though, The Monologues did not speak to me, or give me permission to relish my vagina, or teach me anything new.

I will say this, though: Jane Fonda taught me something new. She taught me that it's kind of gross for an old lady, no matter how made up and plastic she might be, to utter obscenities on TV. Meredith Viera, please note: when I'm old and you interview me on your morning show after my rousing production called "The Penis Chronicals," the only "c-word" out of my mouth will be cat.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


When my brother and I were little tykes, Cupid used to come visit us on Valentine's Eve. We were SO excited, we could barely sleep. We did think it strange that Cupid never visited any of the other children in the neighborhood. My mom said it was simply because they didn't believe.

Believe we did, so every Valentine's Day, the first thing we did was bound out of bed, kneel to the floor, and lift up our bedspread. See, Cupid always left our gifts underneath the bed. Additionally, because Cupid was small and did not have a big old sack like Santa Claus, he couldn't carry too he normally only left us two presents each. The presents were never that big...but always something fun.

I remember one year, Cupid left me some white tennis socks with red piping and a red pom pom on each. He also left me a small lip balm. I was afraid this meant I was too grown up and he wouldn't come the next year, but he did.

I'm not actually sure when Cupid stopped coming by the house with little gifts...and I suppose it doesn't really matter. Because even now as I face yet another flowerless, candyless Valentine's Day, I can't help but smile when I remember a mother and father who loved me enough to devise a delightful little fantasy for two children who believed.

Saturday, February 02, 2008


When I woke up this morning and saw no snow on the ground, despite the local weatherman's prediction, I felt almost joyous. And then I heard the word: Phil says there will be six more weeks of winter.

Well hell.

Of course, I probably didn't need Punxsutawney Phil to tell me that. After all, storm after storm after storm should have clued me into the fact that Spring doesn't want to come early this year. I suppose she's having the time of her life on her Caribbean vacation and is in no hurry to leave her well-hung cabana boy for the dry desert wasteland that is Reno. Can't say I blame her.

But boy oh boy, am I ready for Spring. I want her to bring with her warmer weather, bright sunshine and happy little daffodils. I'm so sick of the cold and the snow and the ice and the snow and the below freezing weather, and of course the snow.

I want to put away my warm woolen mittens and Harry Potter scarf. I want to pack away my snow boots and break out my gardening tools. But nooooo, Phil says I have to wait six more weeks for that to happen.

I'd cry, only my tear ducts have frozen. Guess I'll just sit in front of the heater with a cup of hot chamomile tea, and just be happy that at least LOST is back on TV. Perhaps the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815 will help keep me warm while I begin my six week countdown to spring.