Once More, with Attitude

Photo from weheartit

“It didn’t matter that he was clapping off time, it didn’t matter that no instruments were being played, all that mattered was the attitude of the song.” ~It Might Get Loud, Film (2008)

Big K, the teenager, the music obsessed one (naturally), approached me this week and asked me about my theme song. Huh? “If you could have any song play automatically when you walk into a room, what would it be?” he asked. Cue chirping crickets.

I inquired about his theme song. He has one. Of course. His is 'I’m Still Here' by Johnny Rzeznik (lead singer for The Goo Goo Dolls) from the ‘Treasure Planet’ soundtrack.

Lyric snippet:
And how can the world want me to change
They're the ones that stay the same
They can't see me
But I'm still here

Yes, he knows who he is… or he is on the right path to becoming a man of whom I will be proud. There are days I want to kill him but that is only because we are so unbelievably similar and yet so bizarrely different at the same time. After all, he is still a teenager… and a particularly moody one at that. Point being…

I still haven’t answered his question.

I wish I could ask a former U.S. president what it feels like to have “Hail to the Chief” played before every public appearance. That crap has got to get annoying and, yet... simultaneously activate the cocky little “Oh yeaaaaah… I’m the president” voice in one’s head.

A personal song should give its host the
chutzpah to confidently enter any situation... like that awesome (read: super sexy) entrance Aragorn makes through the double doors of the great hall in the fortress at Helm’s Deep in 'The Lord of the Rings' (still one movie, people). Or… the arrival of the “Count” via hot air balloon amidst fireworks in 'The Count of Monte Cristo'. Or… Han Solo dropping the Millennium Falcon into the battle to destroy the Death Star with a big “YAHOOOO!” in 'Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope' and saving the day. A personal theme needs to have that sort of powerful impact… that attitude… even if the only person who can "hear the music" is the person to whom the song applies.

I simply don’t know. There is a modified lyric from Secondhand Serenade’s ‘Fall For You’ that I’ve adopted: “Because a girl like me is impossible to find”. Still, I likely won’t be hearing the entire song play in my noggin’ when I enter a room. I am also auto-wired to pick something out of the Bon Jovi discography. That being said… I think the possibility is there that I don’t find myself qualified to pick my own theme song. Perhaps someone else should do it for me.

What say you? What would you pick for my personal theme song?
(Note: The first person to say ‘Beth’ by Kiss will receive a virtual slap upside the back of the head… even though I love that song.)

PS - Oh! Do you have a personal theme song? Please share!

Aimless Brain

Photo from: weheartit

“There is nothing so unthinkable as thought, unless it be the entire absence of thought.” ~Samuel Butler

I wonder…

… who you are. Introduce yourself, non-commenting repeat reader(s).

… what would have happened if I’d left my lunchtime soup in the microwave for the 24 minutes I actually programmed instead of the intended 2 minutes 40 seconds. Absent-minded much?

… where I put that
wiimote thingie.

… when
Glee is going to return to form instead of continuing down the “let’s win Chris Colfer an Emmy” path. I like the kid and all and he has more than proven his brilliance… but, dang it. Enough already.

… why I had a dream last night about being pregnant when a) there is no potential due to my current nun-like lifestyle, b) it should be impossible courtesy of the snip-snip and c) I never want to give birth ever again in my life… hence the snip-snip. Twice. Yeah, long story. Somebody psychoanalyze that crap.

… how it is that so many people are allowed to go through life without being held accountable for their actions by the rest of us.

…if my car has enough gas in it to make it to Friday.

PS – It rained today. I wore flip-flops. I love flip-flops.
Disclaimer: Those are not my flip-flops.

Drops Can Fill An Ocean

Photo credit: Pranav Singh

I have already filled my Bucket List half way. You can swish it around and peruse my reasoning for bucket fillage here. I pledged a full list with replacements for those items completed. Each drop has the potential of overflowing my bucket and forming an ocean of wishes. So, here I go… drip, drop, drip.

Write in my personal hand-written journal every day for a year instead of a “little bit here” and a “little bit there” and “Oh! Look! I haven’t written in six months!”

Learn to snow ski despite my general aversion to snow.

Build an astonishing Shakespeare DVD collection.

Master the art of making samosas.

Reignite my passion for photography, obtain better equipment and shoot everything.

Have season tickets to the ballet… while living in a city cultured enough to actually have a ballet company.

Take a major trip alone.

Join a book club.

Start and host a book club.

Go to a Renaissance Fair in costume.

Recertify and get a new
SCUBA license. Use it to explore an old shipwreck.

Be debt free.

Digitize all my parents’ photographic slides.

Successfully sign up for and complete a month of
NaBloPoMo. That’s ‘National Blog Posting Month’ for you non-bloggy people.

Oh, while I’m at it… sign up for and successfully complete
NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). Win? No… though that would be lovely.

Go to a World Cup match.

Create a memory box of items, letters, photographs, etc. that exemplify me, bury it in the ground (or maybe just a safe deposit box) and leave instructions on where to find it in my will.

Go to a major airport, buy a ticket for the next available international flight, go wherever it takes me and stay for at least a week.

Write a heart felt and honest hand-written message, put it in a bottle and throw that sucker into the ocean from a boat or a ship at least twenty-five miles from the nearest shore.

Get my nose pierced.

Go to a rave in Germany.

Have backstage passes for a major concert (preferably rock or alternative).

Make love on an overnight train.

Spend Christmas & New Year’s Eve in Hawaii.

Ride more roller coasters.

Plant a garden and harvest my own vegetables. If you know me and, more personally, my alter-ego, “Plant Executioner”, then this is quite amusing… though no less true.

See Bon Jovi at least one more time in concert.

Get two, maybe three, more tattoos… one of them in a foreign country.

Live in/near/around London. You get the idea.

Walk up to a complete stranger in a restaurant, airport, sports arena… wherever… and ask him out. I'd say "kiss him" b-u-t... I've already done that.

Go home to Kenya, find one of the trees (still standing) I used to climb regularly as a child (and teenager) and climb it.

Go horseback riding alone on a beach. (It’s very cliché, I know, but I have ridden a camel on the beach. What would I pick other than a horse… an emu?)

Complete a book of poems and have it bound for me to put on my bookshelf and pass down to my children.

Own one fashionista outfit that makes me look like I actually care about fashion.

Go on a blind date.

Get another computer dedicated solely to music storage/iTunes.

Eat vegetarian for six months… just to see what happens to my body.

Have a wall of clocks showcasing the time from places around the world.

Dress up as Buttercup from ‘The Princess Bride’ one Halloween and go to a party accompanied by my very own Westley. (Prerequisite: Bucket List item ONE.)

Stick to a strict budget for at least a year so that it becomes habit.

Slide down a firehouse pole and ride in a fire truck.

Attend a murder mystery weekend.

Have one article/feature in a respected travel magazine/publication.

Keep a detailed dream journal.

Read a poem at an open mic night.

Learn to appreciate an exquisite wine. Wait. Rewind. Learn more about wine.

Dye my hair brown.

Grow a potted herb garden.

Develop my own home decorating style even if I am still living in a crappy apartment.

Buy all of my Christmas presents before Halloween.

And… that was highly anti-climactic... for now.

“Many drops make a bucket, many buckets make a pond, many ponds make a lake, and many lakes make an ocean.” ~Percy Ross

The One In Which I Alienate The Other Half Of The Species

Photo Credit: Lani Barbitta

A popular book would have you believe that men and women are from separate planets. As a tomboy with some decidedly not-your-typical-female personality traits, I have a hard time buying into the concept completely; however, for the purposes of this particular post I shall (sigh) be wholly Venusian.

Why am I going on about men and women? Two words: Online Dating.


I know I said I would never stoop to such ludicrous measures but I’ve reached a point where, when my kids are gone to be with their father, I wish there was someone here with me. I haven’t even had a proper date (one emotional rebound that doesn’t count) in the 3+ years since my divorce. I know. Woe is me… blah, blah, blah; however, I don’t exactly get the opportunity to meet anyone in my day-to-day life. Stupid small town. I think every single man here is old enough to be my grandfather or attending one of the two colleges. What am I supposed to do… pick a redneck sugar daddy or snatch up a boy toy? So, curiosity, you know… that thing that killed the cat… got the best of me. Meow.

I created a couple profiles on two separate sites... virtually identical. Three, actually, and then a fourth, but I quickly deleted one account. That left me with two free accounts and one subscription account and I have learned a few things in the last two months.

Regarding the Martians…

> Not all of you are required to take a shirtless picture of yourself in front of a mirror with your camera phone. It’s true. I’m not saying I don’t enjoy the view, well… most of the time, but there isn’t anything decidedly appealing about that particular shot either.

> While we are discussing profile photographs… Dogs. Cars. Fish. Fine, your dog is cute. Whatever. Not all of us women are the sappy “Awwwwww, puppy!” types. A picture of you and a smokin’ hot car tells me you have no shame stopping on the street and taking a photo of you with a vehicle that is not your own. In regard to the fishing… sigh. What is it with you people and fishing? The casual fisherman… forgiven. You hardcore fisherman types make me want to run away screaming.

> Reasonable age gaps between adults matter little to me. Reasonable ones. Twenty years or more is a little excessive. That’s a personal preference, I realize, but let me put this in perspective for you. Were I to express interest in someone 20 years my junior… that boy would be sixteen years old. Ew. Twenty years older and that person is 56 which, depending on the person, may or may not matter to me. Let’s just say I wish the oldest person to visit my profile was just shy of sixty. Oh no. It’s an epidemic.

> Age aside, I have new appreciation for the term “Dirty Old Man”. Literally. It’s bad enough that men in their sixties are trolling through my profile instead of women closer to their age range but… MAN! Seriously. The
Nick Nolte Mugshot look is doing you no favors.

> You may not be the best speller on Earth and no one is asking you to compete in a Spelling Bee but there is a reason man created spell-check. Use it. Your ego won’t be compromised. I promise. Even if you choose not to use software to assist with this matter, at least make the very smallest bit of effort when it comes to spelling and grammar. Yes, we notice. And… text-speak should be banned unless you are actually sending a text… which you are not.

> A rather large number of you guys will come back to a woman’s profile (Ahem, mine.) over and over and over and over again… a couple times a day for weeks… and never send a message or a wink or a smile. What’s up with that? Do I intimidate you? But, if I didn’t message or wink or smile after witnessing your odd stalkerish behavior then you likely made a good call remaining silent.

Regarding this Venusian…

> I am a bit of an elitist. Okay, yes, I pretty much knew that already but it is no less true now than before this ridiculous venture.

> I can make the first move when I want to be forward but, truthfully, I do prefer to be asked out… courted. Wanted. In this I am all girlie.

> Nobody wants or expects honesty on dating sites despite the blithering dribble about truth they write in their profiles. No wonder everybody lies.

> Size matters. Particularly mine. I’m honest… to a fault apparently.

> I can write a profile that is interesting, attracts attention and actually gets read. Go figure(!) I wonder if there is market for having someone else write your online dating profile. Could I make money doing that for other people? How about all you guys who have issues with the spelling, punctuation and grammar? Dudes! I could so help you.

> I’m jaded. Okay, yes, I knew that too.

> I’ll email and flirt but if you ask for my number and I will likely bolt. I have to be guarded. Narcissism Alert! Guys tend to fall for me over the phone. Don’t ask me to explain it because I can’t.

> Despite meeting (not in person) some great guys, I have already disabled/deleted all my profiles. I can either begin paying for online dating in order to have a more rewarding (scoff) and interactive (I have
Twitter for that.) experience or my kids can eat. No brainer, that one.

Regarding the Method…

> When my profile clearly states that I am “full-figured” and a particular site keeps trying to match (ahem) me with men who clearly state they are looking for “thin”, “slender” or “athletic/fit” women then I want to stab the programmer in the back of the hand with the fork I just used to eat a giant piece of chocolate cake. Thanks for setting me up for failure, you bastard.

> If 99.9% of people are lying on their profiles and questions then how the hell is online dating effective… at all?

> I’m not going to discount the process completely. I’ve seen it succeed. It’s just not for me or, more accurately, I am not for it.

After a spell, a very long spell, I may revisit the online dating world. Someday.

“Someday. That's a dangerous word. It's really just a code for 'never'.” ~Knight and Day (Film, 2010)

Half a Bucket

Photo credit: BooRadBop

I don’t intend to be kicking the proverbial bucket anytime soon, but for months I have been referencing my all but non-existent Bucket List (100 things to do before I die). “That’s on my bucket list,” I say. Like hell. Perhaps it should be but until I write it into existence then it really isn’t, is it?

The problem with a Bucket List is that it seems so written-in-Sharpie® permanent and I simply can’t have that. I am also of the belief that no one wants to read a list of one hundred things that all begin “Visit ____” because my original ponderings definitely leaned in that direction. I’ll just have to compose my very own Wanderlust List at some undetermined date in the future. A list also suggests some sort of hierarchy… as though one “to do” is better or more desired than any other “to do”. Bollocks.

Despite these reservations, I have decided to make a Bucket List for me. I think I might surprise myself in the process. And, so, here for your reading pleasure, or a roll of the eyes and not-another-one sigh, is half my bucket. The bucket is neither half-full nor half-empty. For all you know I chopped it vertically down the center. A half is a half. It is but half a bucket… only this, and nothing more (cue raven).

Disclaimer: Bucket List items are presented in random order with no preference to one or the other and subject to change without notice. Once a list item has been achieved it will be replaced therefore this list is, in essence, never-ending. Author accepts no responsibility for ideas this list may plant in your brain or for zombie attacks that may occur because your newly enriched brain is now tastier.

Get fit again. (Okay… I lied. This one trumps all the others.)

Spend a week in New York City going to Broadway shows.

Have a reason to immerse myself in study and research at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington D.C. so I can have a registered reader’s card and they will let me past the public exhibits.

Fly first class on a transcontinental flight.

Jump out of a perfectly good airplane… while it’s at cruising altitude, of course, and with a functioning parachute attached to my body.

Participate in a ladies only getaway with a group of great close girlfriends.

Foster relationships so that I actually have a group of close girlfriends.

Climb mighty Kilimanjaro… even if the snow is all gone (grrrrr) by then.

Paint a mural.

Pay back my parents. I don’t think they are keeping track but I am.

Experience a full spa day with the works.

Dine in a restaurant where my meal is prepared by a trained chef… preferably a chef/owner but that might be pushing it... with fresh seasonal ingredients.

Take an interesting (to me) picture a day for a year.

Take my children on a real vacation and not just a visit to family.

Take my children to Kenya so they can experience the country that shaped the woman I am.

Own a Harley. Yes, and ride it too.

Write a book interesting enough to not only be published (a lot of crap gets published) but to be purchased and read by substantially more people than my parents, my brother and the friends I’ve threatened with physical violence.

Go on a book tour. (See above.)

Sail down the Mississippi River on a grand river boat.

Meet and exchange meaningful conversation with at least ten of my blog/twitter/internet friends.

Fall in love.

Take a helicopter tour in a stunningly beautiful location.

Go to my 20 year high school reunion. I booked it so I should be there, yes?

Comic-Con… I want to go. Maybe I’ll find my hot Clark Kent type there.

Buy a house.

Read the complete works of Charles Dickens.

Attend a Manchester United match in Manchester. Glory! Glory!

Sing karaoke with reckless abandon. Sober. You may not want to be present when this occurs.


Go back to and graduate from university. Finally.

Witness both my boys graduate from university.

Sail from New York to Southampton via luxury liner.

Go to the inauguration of the first woman president of the United States. (Confession: I stole this one from
Kerri because it was too damn good to pass up.)

Bungee jump.

Attend a major movie premiere.

Go to the Academy Awards.

Learn to belly dance.

Go to a Cowboys game in Texas (sigh) Cowboys Stadium even if Tony Romo is still quarterback and, of course, I shall have fantastic seats.

Spend a weekend on a luxury yacht.

Dress like a drag queen and see if I can convince people I’m a man in drag and not actually a woman.

Ride a segway. (B u t... not off a cliff.)

Have a pint at The Eagle & Child in Oxford and pretend that I, too, am a well respected academic capable of creating entire literary worlds that will be much beloved for many a generation after my passing.

Own a piano and start playing again.

Drive from Bar Harbor, ME to San Diego, CA or Miami, FL to Seattle, WA or both with no agenda or deadline.

Go to a cabin in the mountains (devoid of banjo music) and unplug for a week. No phone. No TV. No iPod. No internet. Just me, books, pen & paper… and food.

See a moose and a bear and a bison and a wolf in the wild. Not together, mind you.

Become fluent in Swahili since I neglected to master it when I had the obvious chance to do so. Ah, youth.

Rappel down a 30+ (maybe 50+) story building.

Invest in something at just the right time, wait for it to explode and then sell out.

Browse and buy a book at Shakespeare & Company in Paris.

Someday… I’ll fill the other half of the bucket.

“We live, we die, and the wheels on the bus go round and round.” ~The Bucket List (2007)


“Scuba diving is sensual. To breathe underwater is one of the most fascinating and peculiar sensations imaginable. Breathing becomes a rhythmic melody of inhalations and exhalations. The cracks and pops of fish and crustaceans harmonize with the rhythmic chiming of the bubbles as you exhale. Soon, lungs act as bellows, controlling your buoyancy as you achieve weightlessness. And, as in your dreams, you are flying. Combine these otherworldly stimuli and you surrender completely to the sanctuary of the underwater world.” ~Tec Clark, Karen Berger's Scuba Diving

I haven’t been scuba diving in more moons than I care to count. In fact, I probably couldn’t find my old
PADI license even if searched my apartment from top to bottom. That’s one piece of plastic that is long gone. I wish recertification was an option for me but, quite obviously, I have no opportunity to go scuba diving (I will not dive in this lake on which I work. That is for oceans.) and the whole experience would be a giant misappropriation of household funds. Sigh. I miss it.

I have listened to the echo of my voice within the splendor of Notre Dame Cathedral. I have admired Michelangelo’s ‘David’ and I have stood in the Louvre looking the Mona Lisa in the eyes and smiling back at her slyly. I have witnessed the great wildebeest migration, gasped at the majesty of a thunderstorm rolling across the Serengeti and felt the waters at the source of the Nile swirl around my ankles. I have also walked the shores of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans; but there is absolutely nothing on the surface of this planet… of natural origin nor created by man… to compare to that which goes on beneath the waves of the ocean.

The ocean can be a place of unbridled violence but, for me, there was only tranquility and beauty. Every time I descended into her depths… the voices left my head… the salt water caressed my skin, bearing away the weight of my world and then, when the land had been all but forgotten, the ocean welcomed me, most intimately, as one of her lovers and I was free.

All Hail the Mighty John

Gender: Masculine

Usage: English, Biblical
Pronounced: JAHN (English)
“English form of Iohannes, the Latin form of the Greek name Ιωαννης (Ioannes), itself derived from the Hebrew name יוֹחָנָן
[Yeah... that didn't copy/paste right. Back off, Jon. I know you'll say something.] (Yochanan) meaning ‘YAHWEH is gracious’.”

Dear John,

I have been talking about you a lot. The problem is… my close friends can never seem to determine WHICH ONE of you I am talking about during any given conversation. That’s right. I have a bit of a John problem. No, I do not have a chronic bowel condition which forces repeated visits to the john (aka: toilet). I am merely acquainted with an unusually large number of you John... Jonathan (aka: Jon)... monikered individuals and, as is ridiculously common in my life, not a one of you lives near me.

I can’t even categorize you people by location anymore because there is more than one of you in several different states or regions. Ahem, J.V., you just HAD to move didn’t you?

Method of introduction doesn’t work either seeing as I went to high school with four (?? – I’m losing count.) of you and met three (?? – Again, not a clue.) of you online. That’s seven… seriously… seven (I think.) of you with whom I have regular enough interaction to mention your name in casual conversation from time to time. It can be a bit of a boggle.

Considering I habitually nickname everyone I meet and my children have close to ten nicknames a piece, I am quite astonished I haven’t done this previously…

You are all getting nicknames.

No, I will not tell you your nickname. They will be used as my own personal reference material only. I’m tempted, however, to name one of you “Toilet” and the others “Crapper”, “Outhouse”, “Latrine”, “Commode”, “Potty” and “Can”. Ah yes… my own personal passel of porcelain gods.

“Nicknames stick to people, and the most ridiculous are the most adhesive.” ~Thomas C. Haliburton

Most Unsincerely,

Photo credit:
beatnikside on flickr.


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