Fleece Makes Me Sweat

I’d like to say a few words about bears.

I am afraid of them.

Yeah, I know, they’re adorable looking especially when used in ad campaigns for fire safety.  Nothing is cuter than an animal in a ranger hat unless it’s a Chihuahua speaking Spanish but the Chihuahua probably wouldn’t kill you over a Twinkie.

And bears would.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m an animal lover. After all, I grew up in the Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom Era.  I know Marlin Perkins helped bring wildlife into American living rooms, but come on!  That was T.V. and Marlin Perkins was….well, obviously really brave and I’m not.

We’re currently visiting a place where bears are prevalent and that means being really, really careful about leaving food where they can’t smell it because those dudes get ravenous ‘round about 3:00 a.m. and nothin’ – short of specially designed solid metal boxes – can keep them from a hearty snack.  I mean, an entire cottage industry has sprung up around the sale of “bear boxes” in mountainous areas where humans have taken over bear habitats in the name of good family fun.  I think it’s quite sad for the bears but it hasn’t stopped me from taking vacations like everybody else.  I try to assuage my guilt by thinking that all that wasted food – unique only to humankind in industrialized countries – is somehow integral to the bear’s survival.  On the other hand, I worry that they’re getting way to much high fructose corn syrup which should not be part the typical bear diet. I’m not an animal expert but I will put myself out on a limb and say I think Marlin Perkins would agree if her were here and I could ask him. Damn!  Being human is so complicated!  I give a shit.  I don’t give a shit.  I’m concerned but I’m not concerned. Let’s consult an expert! Argh!

And then there’s a good night’s sleep.

Now, I love a good night’s sleep as much as the next guy but my husband and I differ on one fundamental issue.  He likes to sleep with the doors wide open all night long regardless of weather conditions.  Fortunately, I own a lot of fleece.  Unfortunately, I don’t love sleeping in it but for the sake of marital bliss, I do.

But sleeping with the doors open in bear country is muy stupido.  Especially when sleeping on the ground floor with nothing between you and Gentle Ben but a flimsy screen and some medium weight damask curtains.   

No. No. No. This will not do.

I tried to scare Artic Man with bear mauling stories I found on the internet.  I tried using diagrams to compare bear bodies with human bodies and how bears clearly have the upper hand in a human/bear confrontation.  He didn’t buy it.  He accused me of being shrill. I probably was but in the face of possible mauling, I think shrill is within the confines of  “acceptable”.


Time to pull out the big gun:   A real live LOCAL newspaper article. 

Yeah.  This’ll do it.


I’m telling you the truth. This hungry bear just came inside the house!  Just waltzed right in like one of the kids; didn’t even wipe his feet.  This poor guy had to hold him off with a dining room chair until animal control arrived with one of those tranquilizer guns. 


This isn’t about bears.  It’s about fleece.


No. It’s about bears…..and Twinkies.


We don’t even eat Twinkies.


I’m using Twinkies to represent all forms of human food and human food has become the food of choice for bears these days and they’ll do anything to get it including climbing over sleeping humans who leave their doors open at night.


Look, I know fleece makes you sweat but—-


It’s not about the fucking fleece! 

This is not working.

So I tried another tactic.  I solicited a few of my fellow bear-fearing friends to stage an intervention since being told you’re prodding fate with a red-hot poker by your friends is much more effective than hearing it from your spouse.

It worked.

And I am fleece free.

If You Stop Swimming, You’ll Die!

My husband has the attention span of a lightning bolt.

And he’s a little rough around the edges but his heart of gold makes up for it.  He’s the kind of man who wears generosity like some people wear t-shirts.  He drags home interesting people he meets at airports or on golf courses and comes to the aid of friends and supports his community and recycles and lots of other great stuff that I love.  In a word, he’s a character. And I just love characters!

I’m thankful that his ADD isn’t ADHD which is to say his attention deficit doesn’t come with hyperactivity.  He’s not frenetic in his energy but rather……hmmmm…..how do I put it??  He kind of flows like a river…. A really fast moving river….with lots of big boulders that he just rolls over like they’re not even there because, after all, that river has to get somewhere fast, right?

So, the other day we’re in LA for a wedding and in typical flowing river form he’s in a hurry to get to the wedding so we can be there early so we can wait for said wedding to start.  If he had his way, he would have gotten that wedding going ahead of schedule because, well, he arrived early and it would be really great if we could get this show on the road so we could all hurry up and get to the next event and get it started early and so on and so forth until he’s rushed about 4 years off his life.

As he was rushing me along as is his M.O. (he hates it when I wash my hair because that means blow dryer and blow dryer equals more time to get ready which equals the possibility of being on time rather than early) and I got frustrated.


God damn it!  You’re like a fucking shark!  You think if you stop swimming, you’ll die.  Now leave me the hell alone so I can put on my mascara without putting my eye out!

This stopped him in his tracks.

Then he laughed out loud.  The kind of laugh that makes my heart sing because it was me who caused it and I love to make him laugh.    And this guy can laugh at himself like nobody’s bi-nuss.  Something else I love about him.

When we got home, I was determined to get to the bottom of that shark swimming reference because I had read something about sharks and drowning if they stop swimming.

Ah ha!!  Found it.

It’s called “ram ventilation” and there are certain breeds of modern sharks that actually will drown if they stop swimming.

Naturally, I sent him a text to extol the brilliance of my shark death research:


I was right, shark man!


Then I guess I should keep swimming.

Good point!

My Life Of Crimes

Of the heart that is.

I am a bon-o-fide offender.

In fact, habitual.

The other day I had to fill out something that required me to list ALL the names under which I have been known throughout my life.

I thought nothing of it, snatched up my favorite pen so my penmanship wouldn’t go all wonky and followed the instructions.

Then I looked down and saw how many names there were.

My life as five women.

From my birth through the present.

Five very different lives.

Sad but true, I am the Sybil of matrimony.


I hadn’t felt this embarrassed since Mrs. Brown yelled at me on the first day of kindergarten for standing on a chair. 

And that was when I only had ONE name.

This gave my psyche a major jolt, like a million cups of Joe hitting my system all at once.   

It bothered me….a little.

Then it pissed me off.

I should have answered with something snarky like “What’s it to ya?” or “None of your beeswax” but I chose to be honest and “beeswax” sounds so juvenile.

Next time I’m going to use Jane Doe.

I love the name Jane.

The Taming Of The Shoes

My sister has a thing about shoes.

Or more specifically….shoe.

 I use the singular since I have profound  memories of seeing a variety of lone shoes in odd places in her house; odd places that a single shoe would not normally be found.

Say….the kitchen.

Or the bathtub.

You know what I’m talking about, Sister Sledge.

During this last visit, though, single shoes were more….ubiquitous. 

It made me more paranoid than usual.

Keep in mind that I’m no stranger to the unusual – like Dad’s box of miscellaneous rubber and Ho trains and a macabre hamster autopsy performed when aforementioned sister fed it too much Captain Crunch – but this shoe thing has turned into something more troubling.

You see, dear sister,  I recently lost one shoe and it taunts my psyche every time I see its lonely mate.  I can’t bring myself to get rid of it.  Like it’s waiting for the return of its partner.  I’ve even considered getting one of those MIA stickers to put on the window of my car in memory of this fallen soldier.  I’ve discarded that notion for obvious reasons of respect.

But, woe is me, I have become a tortured soul.   I NEVER lose anything, damn it!  You know that!

Oh, help me come to terms with this, my sister.  How do you do it?  How do you cope?  Where do you get your strength? And you persevere…almost happy…smiling through the pain.


Smiling through the pain?

Somethin’ ain’t right.

Could it be…..

Nah, forget it.

It couldn’t be.  You wouldn’t do that.

Would you?  

Torture the OCD sister who never loses anything? 

Are you purposely leaving grim reminders of my shoe misfortune to taunt me?

Is that why you were wearing that silly grin the whole time I was there? 

I thought that was your I’m-so-happy-you’re-here-I-can’t-hold-it-in smile.

But it was really your I’m-punking-you-dumb-ass-and-you-don’t-even-know-it smile.

Fine.  No problemo, Juanita.

First the tadpoles on the kitchen counter (I made toast with my eyes closed), then the carnivorous chickens (I keep my arms at my sides now when I walk by the cage to prevent dismemberment) and now this. 

Not funny.  Not funny at all.

I can take a hint.  Next time it’s the Holidome.  THEY have an indoor pool AND an amphibian-free continental breakfast.

Take that, sibling rival!

On The Origin Of A Business

And I don’t mean a mainstream business like a liquor store or a gun shop.

Nope.  I’m talkin’ escort service.

It’s more than just a paycheck.

It’s payback.

Let me explain:

I have this friend.  Let’s call her Monday.  Actually, you can pretty much call her anything you want if you’ve got a few bucks but for the sake of this blog, we’ll call her Monday.  And for the record, she’s not really in the escort service but rather one of those special people who provide an endless source of blog material for which I will extend my heartfelt thanks.  Thanks, Monday!

Monday is single.

And Monday has had a run of bad luck in the man department which is completely puzzling since  she is stunningly beautiful and has a great big heart.  She is lovely.

Trouble is, men are visually motivated and Monday is visually stimulating.  Like Magpies, they want to steal her because she is a shiny object.   And listen up, beautiful creatures.  Magpies are not that cool as far as bird go.  Here is a bit of cultural history:

In Britain and Ireland, there are a number of superstitions regarding magpies .  Here are two:

  • A single magpie is associated with bad luck (and a married Magpie is even worse luck).
  • One should make sure to greet magpies when they are encountered in order to either allay bad luck or encourage good luck.  Common greetings include “Hello Mr Magpie” “How is your wife/where is your wife?”….


A good question, indeed,  since the other night, Heckle (or was it Jeckle?) forgot to mention to Monday that he had a wife and kids back home in Dubuque or wherever it was he was visiting from.  Oooops.


I know why women start escort services.


For the stimulating conversation with old rich guys with foot fetishes?


Self defense.


Like Tae Kwan Do self-defense?


No. Like stop breaking my heart self-defense….. If women are always getting  screwed in one way or another by Wandering  Peckers whose marriages have gone dull, I outta just start organizing it instead of living it.


Interesting point of view.

Monday was, of course, joking about the escort service thing and we had a good laugh about it.  Then I thanked her for yet another blog idea and we said our goodbyes.  But not before I asked how Heckle handled the “I’m actually married” thing.

He texted her the following:

Does this mean I can’t call you again?

Uh….only if you have a grand and some really cool toe polish.

I love you,  Monday.