Friday, December 19, 2008

Hello, carbon monoxide. The air, the air is everywhere.

Random, as you seem to like it.

  • Every Tenacious D song is exactly the same. Kind of heavy metal Renaissance Festival music. Kudos, Jack Black, for building a career on the same tune.
  • The furnace repair guy showed up yesterday at our request. We are not technically in danger of binary options carbon monoxide - yet. This brings me to one of my favorite songs from the movie Hair, which is better than the stage musical Hair and much better than any school play version of Hair you were ever in. Also, it has Treat Williams. Your school play did not have Treat Williams. Although, I would really like to go to any school that has the balls to put on Hair. (Is that a joke? I think I'll make it one.)

  • No, I don't know what cataclysmic ectoplasm is, but I sure would like to find out.
  • Amos has grasped the idea of Santa Claus firmly in his toddler mind trap. Dude, I'm screwed.
  • When a child sleeps with you every night, sometimes there is needed maneuvering of said child to a crib for a sacred hour or so whilst the parents get some business time. Then, the business time players must not wake the cribbed child during business hours. It is very strange and a bit of a blow to the mojo to have to move an inert body in order to get it on with my husband.
  • Remember when I said I wouldn't drink wine while on the diet? I lied.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Don't eat the Jenga

That's what I said today. I'm not sure there will ever be another time I say that in my life, unless I take Amos back to the coffee house when he's teething.

Today, I ventured out of the house to the park and for coffee (and slobbery Jenga). Yesterday, I allowed a neighbor AND a repairman to saunter through my home while it was moderately clean.

It's like I'm alive again.

I'm enjoying my sassy new cut. It needs to be unleashed upon the masses. I need to go somewhere every day to clear my head and get back to being a person again. That, my friends, is the plan. Being a person is important, no?

We put up the Christmas tree and the Santa that my mom knitted oh so many years ago. Everyone in my immediate family has a knitted Santa, just like the one we had when we were kids.

Here is Amos with his buddy Santa last year.

Amos and his buddy Knitted Santa

I think I needed to put up the tree. I needed Knitted Santa to wink at me. I needed Gardening Santa to grace the top of the tree. I needed a bit of Christmas cheer in my gullet.

Christmas cheer, by the way, must come in the form of thoughts and deeds rather than Jesus juice. I'm on the diet again, as you may know, and that does not include tasty Pinot Noir or any of my other fermented friends. Steering away from booze while grieving and being a hermit does not make the process any easier, but alas, that is how it is to be. At least I'll be skinny and grieving. Heh.

It hasn't been easy to find HTTP//CLEVERBROKER.NET.NZ places to go with Amos while the temps are in the single digits and there's snow everywhere. A friend suggested this place, called Monkey Bizness. We just might do it.

Another place that Amos loves a little too much is crawling on the giant plastic food play area at Cherry Creek Mall. They have this going on as well. Perhaps I'll let Amos ogle Santa without actually placing the tot on some fat guy's lap. I hear that Santa is scaring the bejeebus out of toddlers these days. Although, considering how hilarious those photos are, I just might need to scar Amos for a few minutes.

And blah blah blah. Time for tea.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Damn you, Natalie Portman

For making me use the scissors again. She's too cute with her tiny haircuts and tiny ways.

I'm back to the shorty cut. I think I like it. At least now I can look okay using tiny hair pins.

The scissors are too tempting to pass up. Dec '08

Okay. I'm now done with the hair talk.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Maybe I can tape it back on

I might regret this. I might not.

The look of optimistic skepticism

Bang your head

For reference...

Before the hunt

I have bangs, people.


Monday, December 8, 2008

Steady as she goes

I haven't much inclination to write. I think you can understand why. Or, maybe you don't. No one really knows how to act when crap things happen. You just are.

So, instead of focusing on any one thing, here is a collection of randomness that I've had under my thinking cap for a spell. Enjoy.

  • I find great pleasure in checking my voice mail, only to be asked to resave the following message from many months ago: "WHAT THE HELL?! *click*" It was a wrong number, and it's some old man, sounding very much like Grandpa from "The Simpsons", apparently frustrated with my greeting. Granted, it was a long one as it was still my old business greeting, but isn't it odd that he listened to the whole thing and then decided to curse at a stranger? What a wonderful and silly gift he gives me every month.

  • Amos has new and delightful ways to entertain us lately. He will sometimes only eat if he is presented with a fingerbowl of water and some items to dip in it. The latest favorites are floating letters and numbers that are meant for bath time. He loves to dip the letters, say, "DISSH? DISSH?" which means, "This?" as in "What's this, Mama?" While he marvels at the letters, somehow we manage to shove a whole meal into his piehole. Simply amazing.

  • Another Amos-ism comes right from my own past. We dug up a treasure trove of toys at my parents' house, and amongst the pile was my giant doll, Mikey. He's this big fella with a giant head, a serious case of hair loss, and red suspenders. Amos thinks Mikey is The Shit. He talks to Mikey, feeds him, feels his strange plastic hands, and gives him a binky when appropriate. At times, we use Mikey to ease Amos into a nap. At times, we peek in and find Amos straddling Mikey's face and bouncing the crap out of him. I wonder if this Amos' way of telling us, "Yeah, you see this? Expect this behavior if you decide to have another kid."

  • In my quest to find solace and peace while I have retreated from the world, I decided to use a bit of mad money. I went crazy and bought a Wii. Yes, I have fallen to the calling of Nintendo and their ding dang invention that makes people look like they are in the midst of a seizure as they virtually bowl or ski or throw the controllers at the TV. My precious arrives Thursday. You can definitely expect radio silence from me from that day forward.

  • Snow. Cold. Started my diet again. Losing weight makes me cold, so I have to throw on extra blankets or strap the cat to my feet. But I look fabulous.

  • And so do you.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Memorial service - Norma Farris

Our family will have an informal memorial service for my mother, Norma Farris, on Friday, November 28, from 3pm to 8pm. If you are a family friend, please join us at the Farris home in Zuehl, Texas (call or e-mail me at imaginarybinky at gmail dot com for directions). Food and drink will be available. We won't turn you away if you have a delicious casserole or goodie to share.

Announcements will be made in the Seguin Gazette and New Braunfels newspaper.

The family asks that in lieu of sending flowers, please make a donation to your favorite charity or the American Cancer Society. Please follow this link for a memorial page for Norma Farris and to make a donation in her name.

At some future date, my mother's ashes will be brought to my father's grave site in Woodlawn, Texas.

Quiet strength

She didn't say much.

She didn't make waves.

She provided but stayed out of the light.

Proud of her heritage as 100% Finnish.

Her elbows and chin were pointy, and her nose had a fine little bob at the end. Just like mine.

"Strong as an ox," according to my grandfather, her father-in-law.

A quiet strength and dignity.

That was my mother.


Mom laughing

Mom and Amos Oct 07_4

Mom and Amos Oct 07_2

My mama and me.

Mom and me

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Amongst the flock

First, thank you for all of the kind words I've received in so many places and from so many people. You've made me feel better. Thank you.

I'm back in the family home with my siblings, looking at a picture of my parents smiling only moments after they were first married. They have the look of pure marital bliss. The look that people have when they've made a decision to stay together and think it's the greatest thing in the world.

I'd like to think that my parents are like that now, wherever they are.

There were many kind words written to me over the past few days. Many of them stay with me and comfort me as I journey through this trying time. I'd like to share with you the words of a very good friend of mine. Every once in a while, I give Keith the credit for being a wise man (Mind you, only every once in awhile. What kind of man wastes his life getting a PhD in statistics? I mean, come on... ). Anyhoo, every once in a great while, my longtime bosom chum Keith manages to say exactly what I needed to hear. Keith, I showed this letter to my family, and they all felt comfort from your words. And as for anyone else reading this, I hope you find it soothing as well.

Dear Sarah,

I am very saddened by the loss of your mother. I was taken aback to discover that she has died.

Many people speak the words, and it turns out not to mean anything. But it is very apparent that when your parents promised themselves to one another, they meant it, and they became one, so much to the point that your mother could not live for long without your father. I saw your father’s passing and your part in his last moments as an ideal sorrow. It seems more fully clear to me now that there exists a beauty and depth in your family’s bond that stretches even across the narrow threshold of death. It is both fitting and woefully unsatisfying to say that she will always be with you. Given your family’s bond, take your consolation in the truth that you will always be with your mother. Forever dwelling on the love of her husband, children, and grandchildren, Norma can be nowhere else except at peace.

I will be praying for your siblings, Phil, Amos, and you.

God Bless,


No wonder this fella was president of my high school class, huh?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I feel like a motherless child

Because soon, I will be.

I don't want to discuss the details. My mother is dying. The docs say she will probably pass sometime tonight.

I am on my way to Texas. The road and me, we seem to meet too often.

Say a prayer for Norma Elizabeth Gustava Farris, my friends.


At 4:54PM Central, my mama passed away.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Observations of a different kind

Sometimes, it's hard to be a woman.

*waits for nodding and groaning sounds from around the globe*

I've learned over the years that it can be especially difficult to be my kind of woman. The kind of woman who is not like other women. The kind of woman who gets along with men better than women and who doesn't do the things that other women do. To say it plainly, the kind of woman who doesn't necessarily get along with other women so easily. Or, should I say, maintain those female relationships.

I think about this from time to time.

There are women I've known who have come and gone. Sometimes, it is because of my habit to say whatever is on my mind at any given moment without a filter in place. Sometimes, it is because the other party has a quirk that I can't nudge into a different direction to appease my senses. Sometimes, there is no explanation.

I've wandered away from a few ladies in the last few years. I can think of a few who seemed to want my friendship, but when I gave it, they covered me with their conversation and never allowed me to speak. Considering how much I blog, you'd think I'm a Chatty Cathy. Well, not always. In the company of a conversation overachiever, I sit back and let them have it out. I believe in being an active and engaged listener. I wait for my opportunity. Unfortunately, many times, that opportunity to participate in the art of give and take doesn't always appear. In those situations, I always wonder if I'm even necessary to be there.

I've found myself giving up on those relationships when it's obvious that there won't be a change in that dynamic. After all, if someone is past 30 and hasn't learned to allow someone else to speak, when do they learn? Besides, I've yet to find an appropriately friendly way to say, "Shut the hell up." If someone has distilled that little piece of advice into a cute little Hallmark card, please let me know.

Then there is this little part of my life called "parents dying and family life falling to pieces." I'm not sure which chapter it is in the book that is my life, but I think it starts on page 453. I lamented some time ago about noticing that folks just don't want to hear about the horrible realities of my daily life, even though they asked. Behaviors like that have me questioning this whole thing we carry so dear in our hearts: pleasantries. It's nice that your parents taught you some kind of manners and that you feel it is your duty to continue them, but perhaps sometimes it is better to be real than not at all.

But, then again, there I go being that woman that is not like other women. Silly me.

See, what I want is a collection of female friends who are real with each other. It's asking a lot, I know. I watch a show like "sex and the City", and granted, most of the episodes were written by a fantastically gifted gay man, and I wonder how any woman can maintain relationships like that. Are they real? Do they exist? Who are these people?

No one ever taught me how to be a Carrie or a Miranda.

I've had some great female relationships that have waned either from distance or change of circumstances. It's easy to look back and think, "Ah. That was my SATC moment." But, not really.

It might be my destiny to lament and joke on the Internet and perhaps churn out a poor selling novel one of the days, but it doesn't seem to be my destiny to have that gaggle of ladies that I truly adore.

I haven't met them yet, have I? They come with baggage. They come with horrible husbands who hit on me and make me feel awful for their wives. They say things that seem to indicate some kind of jealousy or competition is going on between us that I didn't sign up for. They stay single all of their lives and then look at my child longingly as if to say, "How dare you have one of those when I haven't yet." Or, they stay single into their post-reproductive years and focus on things that I can't relate to while simultaneously not relating to my own situation. They are suicidal. They are insane. They are, in essence, women.

Now, before you get your knickers into a twist, realize that I am not above any of these behaviors. Well, I'm above some of them. The sleazy husband thing really makes me ill. But, perhaps I look upon these behaviors with disdain because, well, I understand them. I KNOW them. I've been the talker who wouldn't shut up. Phil can tell you that. I've been the jealous and competitive girl. I longed for a baby when I was having miscarriages and my friends had kids hanging off of their teets. I've felt distanced from others when I didn't feel kinship to their situations.

I've been suicidal. I've been insane.

So, dear inner therapist, apparently I have contempt for myself. I'm not comfortable in my own skin, so how can I expect to be a fabulous host to a house full of women? One of these days, I suppose, I should learn the intricacies of the female friendship. One of these days, I should learn to love myself.

So, I guess what I'm saying is, it's not you. It's me.

Do I charge myself for a full hour of therapy now?