formerly Diane's Addled Ramblings... the ramblings are still addled, just like before, and the URL is still the same...
it's just the title at the top of the page that's new

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Humility Shumility...

So, this morning Ryan came out of her room dressed in jeans we bought at the end of the summer and this yellow, flowy, gauzy top with a headband to match... super cute outfit.

Me: Oh, you look pretty!

Ry (very nonchalantly): I know.


Me (snorting): Ummm... honey? Do you know what 'humility' means?

Ry: Yeah. It means not being too full of yourself.

Me: Riiiiight...

Ry (light dawning): Ohhhh...

Me: Let's try this again, shall we? You look very pretty today!

Ry (grinning): Thank you, Mama!

She's not terribly humble but damn, I wish I'd had her confidence at ten. Or now.

I'm so behind on my reading, my bloggy peeps, but I'll catch up soon! Promise!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

We're Fine...

Thanks for all the well-wishes, my bloggy buds! They were, as always, much appreciated! We're fine. Ryan's ick turned out to be, not H1N1, but a nasty virus. All that remains of it is a cough with a heavy cringe-factor... that is, it sounds like she's going to bring up a lung every time she does it. But she's back to her smart-ass self (dunno where she gets that), so it's all good (and by 'it's all good', I mean, 'now that she's feeling better, I don't feel bad for kicking her butt for being a smart-ass').

My computer woes got sorted, thanks to my ever-so-helpful Computer Dude. I've considered asking him to marry me, except that he's kind of old, married already, and he smells a little funny. So I've decided I'm just going to see him every 6 months and he can do some preventative maintenance on my 'puter. It seems I know just enough to be dangerous... and not enough to actually solve any problems. Much like many other people, it seems (which is probably why Computer Dude drives a Mercedes).

Anyway, I've got to leave for swim practice in a few, so I'll be back in Bloggyland tonight or tomorrow. Hope everyone's great!!! XO

Monday, September 21, 2009


My computer has crashed and Ryan has the Swine Flu. I'll be back... eventually...

Friday, September 18, 2009

And the Answer Is...

Holy moly! When I wrote my last post, asking for questions, I was worried no one would want to know anything about me and I’d feel all rejected and sad. You guys outdid yourselves!! Thank you! Here are my answers…

: Can you explain the recent surge in campaigns against Obama with a distinct racist (under)tone? What are they trying to do? Ruin the American reputation again?! Where do all these insane people come from? (Sorry that was more than one question. Oops!)

I think this question warrants its own post. So I’m going to answer it on Monday.


What color is your toothbrush?

I had to go look… yellow and white.

Are you right-handed or left?

I’m bi-handed. I write with my right and do everything else with my left. I even did a post on it a long time ago…

Pedicured or unpolished?

Feet. Blech. Feet give me the heebie-jeebies (some way more than others) so I try to make mine as attractive as possible. So, polished.

Most embarrassing moment?

Just one? OK, I think it has to be the time I entered the school cafeteria, right after gym class, with my skirt tucked into my underwear. That was bad.

Baseball hat or tiara? (Heh, I KNOW THIS ONE!)

I’ve never been, nor will I ever be, a princess. Or a baseball player. But the baseball cap keeps the rain out of my eyes when I’m trekking through the park with my dog.

Do you love Blognut?

With all my heart.


What's your all time favorite movie? (and why?) I wouldn't be a teacher if I didn't ask why!!!

I have a huge list of favorites, all for different reasons. But one of my all time favorites is A Time to Kill, based on the John Grisham book. There’s a bit of dialogue in it, delivered by Donald Sutherland, about how the murder case being tried is unusual because justice is served regardless of the verdict. If Samuel L. Jackson’s character is convicted of killing the men who brutally raped his little girl, justice is served. If he is acquitted of the same crime, justice is also served. I struggled with how I felt about that moral dilemma while reading the book and I loved how it was pointed out as an integral part of the story. And I loved how it turned out. And I loved Matthew McConaughey, too. Duh.

All-time favorite book (same as above with the why and all)?

How can I possibly pick?! Every time I read something great, it becomes one of my favorites! I’ll give you one of the very first books that ever showed up on my list, though… A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I’ve read it about 25 times over the years. I loved (and still love) how Sarah Crewe lost everything except her grace, dignity, and sense of right and wrong. And in the end, the Universe rewarded her with good things… because that’s how things should work out.

Favorite food or meal you'd want on your birthday?

The Republican took me out for my birthday in February, to my favorite restaurant… and I can’t remember what I ordered. I guess I’d have to say whatever looks good on the menu right at that moment! Well, that and Pinot Noir or Merlot. Duh.

What kind of birthday cake do you always want?

I haven’t had a birthday cake in a very long time. It’s one of those ‘aww, anything would be good’ things. But not ice cream cake. I don’t like ice cream cake. You either have cake or ice cream or cake and ice cream… but ice cream, in and of itself, is not cake.

And do you like red velvet cupcakes or no ('cause I can't stop eating the damn things!)?

No. Blech. I think it’s the color that bothers me. They’re all… bloody. It’s sort of like how I can’t drink Mountain Dew because it looks like pee.

Do you get magazine subscriptions? If so, which ones?

I read loads of magazines… BH&G, More, Oprah, Real Simple, Experience Life, Healthy Living, Prevention, Traveler, Time, Newsweek, and I pick up a few others if I something on the cover catches my eye (Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone)… oh, and if I’m feeling rich, I buy a few of the UK home magazines at B&N (but they’re, like, $6 or $7 each, so I have to be feeling really rich).

Do you read New York Times online or another online news source? Or do you just watch on TV?

I never watch TV news. I read news all over the Internet, from all different sources, conservative and liberal (is there any such thing as a truly impartial news report anymore?). I like to get both sides and try to sort out the real story for myself.

Have you wrestled lately? ;-)

Sadly, no. And I’ve no idea when I’ll get the opportunity to wrestle again. And I’m getting ‘wrestless’ (snort)!

Do love She? You know, like you love your Blognut?

I do. Totally.


What color socks do you normally wear?

White athletic socks, mostly because I’m always in running shoes. I do not wear white athletic socks with other shoes, though. I’m no fashionista but I’m not completely inept in the clothes department either!

What did you want to be when you grew up?

A writer. Always a writer.

If you were on death row, what would your final meal be?

I think I’d probably want to throw up pretty much perpetually in the days prior to my execution, so my last meal likely wouldn’t be necessary. Or maybe a dose of Emetrol -- that stuff you take to make you stop throwing up.

If you could commit any crime knowing you would not get caught, what would you do? (Jenera, do you have something you’d like to tell us?)

I’d like to think that even knowing I wouldn’t get caught, my conscience would get the better of me and I wouldn’t commit any sort of crime. But right at this moment? I’m thinking robbing a bank looks pretty good.

Lakeviewer: I'm curious about your home town. Is it real?

This made me laugh. Pigsknuckle is not the name of my town, no. It’s a (mostly) affectionate nickname for the small city in which I live. Nestled in the Shenandoah Valley, it’s surrounded by cows and inhabited by many (many) people of the conservative and/or redneck persuasion. I make fun of it a lot, but truly, it’s a beautiful place. It’s growing in lots of good ways. It’s a university town, not terribly far from DC and Richmond, so it’s not exactly a cultural wasteland (though we could improve dramatically in that area). Overall, it’s a pretty nice place to live.

Ronda: Do you plan on living in Pigsknuckle long?

I don’t know. I never, ever thought I’d come back. When I did, I gave myself two years to sort out my life and figure out where I wanted to go. Two years have turned into four, though. Ryan has carved a nice little niche for herself here and that’s really important to me. She’s happy and stable and I don’t want that to change. I’m trying now to carve the same sort of little niche for myself since I can’t afford to live in the place I’d really like to be (England), and moving to one of the states I love (Washington, Oregon, Maine) puts me thousands of miles (read: even farther) away from nearly everyone I know and love.

Stu Pidasso:

Do you think you will handle Ryan's wedding day well when you are forced to stay in a room with the ex for more than a few moments?

For as much as I dislike my ex; for as much as I think he’s a crap human being and a crap father, Ryan loves him. I will do anything to make sure she never has to suffer the discomfort that people with divorced parents who can’t get along have to endure. This overall feeling is what drove me through our split, even though it nearly killed me at times. But it was worth it. As far as she knows right now, we are friends. And if I have my way, she will always believe that. But even if she learns the truth one day, I will still always put on a happy face when he’s around for her sake. I’ve met his girlfriends with a smile on my face. He even used to stay in our house when he came to visit. I would never put her in a position where she felt she had to choose between us or where she didn’t want us together for fear of how we’d behave. Never. It would be incredibly unfair to her and colossally immature of us.

Will you actually dance with the ex when it is time for the parents to dance?

I dance badly and he dances worse than I do… but yes, if that’s what Ryan wants, that’s what she’ll get. And I’ll do that with a smile, too!

Are you dreading the whole boyfriend/driving/teen independence happening that is slowly creeping up on you?

I don’t know that I’m dreading it exactly. But it worries me. I don’t want to see her heart broken; I don’t want to see her have to deal with peer pressure when it comes to alcohol or drugs or sex; I don’t want her anywhere near a car! But, as with everything where Ryan is concerned, I’ll take it one day at a time and do the best I can. So far we’ve done pretty well and I have to believe (and hope and pray) we’ll continue in that manner!

Tabitha: What are your policies as a mom on teen dating? Yay or Nay?

I don’t know how or why a parent would stop teens from dating. Now, I don’t think she should be able to date at 13, certainly. But when she’s older, say 15 or 16, I’m OK with it. There will be rules, of course, and penalties for breaking them. And you can rest assured she will know everything there is to know about sex, contraception, STDs, etc, long before her first date (not that I think teenagers ever have sex, especially when you tell them not to!). Seriously, though, I do believe knowledge is power and I want her to be as powerful as she can be. And I’m doing everything I can now, and have done since she was little, to ensure she has a strong sense of who she is and her inherent value as a person and as a ‘woman-in-training’, in the hope that she won’t turn to sex or drugs or alcohol for any sort of validation. But teen dating? Sure. With set limits, I think it’s a healthy, normal, natural part of growing up.

Mo.Stoneskin: What does a pint of Guinness cost in Pigsknuckle, or is it still impossible to find?

I can’t find anywhere in Pigsknuckle that sells actual pints… but a can or draft (or draught, for those of you sticklers for beer etiquette), or one of those rattley bottles will run you around $5.

Protégé: What made you start this blog (or blogging) and why did you pick the blogger site?

I started the blog to keep my friends and family updated, so I wouldn’t have to send out emails all the time. But then I found you guys and this amazing community and my blog took on a life of its own. And almost no one in my family reads it anyway! As for why I picked Blogger, I have no idea. Someone must have suggested it to me… or I could have found it on my own, by Googling…? I really don’t remember.

Anonymous (Alan, perhaps?): Did you ever have that 'coffee' date with the young pup?

Like I wouldn’t have already told you if I had! But no, I haven’t. Not yet, anyway…

Another Anonymous: Do you think you'll ever get married again?

I don’t know. I wouldn’t rule it out, certainly. But the institution of marriage doesn’t hold the same significance for me that it used to. I believe strongly in commitment; I believe in monogamous relationships (they’re the only ones I’ll be involved in); I believe that if one or both people feel the need to recognize their commitment to one another in front of the church or state (or everyone they know), they should… absolutely. But as I’ve said before, I don’t believe in the church and I have little respect for the state, so I don’t think a formal marriage is necessary to cement a relationship. I found out the hard way that cement can crumble. But do I think I’ll ever be in love again? Or in a committed relationship again? I damn-well hope so! I absolutely want the warmth, comfort, security, excitement, and love of a real, solid, committed relationship. And the sex. I want the sex, too. Lots (and lots) of sex.

Justsomethoughts (welcome back, darlin’!): What do you like most about yourself?

That’s a hard one. I’ve gone through periods where I haven’t liked very much about myself at all. But I guess I’d have to say my sense of humor. I got it from my dad and he was damned funny. Sometimes I misplace it or forget where I left it, but it usually shows up on my doorstep before I miss it too much.

Chris: You can invite any four people (dead or alive) to have dinner with. Who do you choose and why?

Eleanor Roosevelt… I think she was an amazingly strong and intelligent woman who wasn’t always given her due.

Maya Angelou… I think she is the personification of grace and warmth and I love her ‘voice’.

Anne Frank… I’d like to know how she feels about becoming one of the most significant voices of our time.

Gerard Butler… because the man is hot and I might stand a chance against two old ladies and a little girl.

Who? What? Where? When? Why? How?

OK, so in my travels around Blogland, I've seen a number of posts where the writer takes questions from the readers. I've always thought these sorts of posts were a little on the narcissistic side BUT I've also always enjoyed reading them... and truth be told, we all have a touch of narcissism in us, don't we? I mean, that's why a lot of us blog... we talk about ourselves and our lives and we get feedback from other people... who talk about themselves and their lives... and so on. And all of you, like me, enjoy your little glimpses into other peoples' lives, right? Why else would we do it?

So, at the risk of being labeled a narcissist (and because I got nothin' in the way of a post right now), I'm going to ask you to submit questions... anything you want to know about yours truly (as if I haven't told you enough already). As I tell Ryan, no topic is off limits (well, no topic I can think of at the moment)... personal, political, religious, mommyhood, serious, silly... whatever. Just don't be mean (Alan)!

You can ask in the comments section or via email ( And I'd love to hear from some of those lovely lurkers who visit every day but never say a word... feel free to ask Anonymously, if you'd like... just don't be mean (Alan!).

I can't wait to see what some of you come up with! And in the meantime, have a great weekend!!! XO

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Sugar and Spice...

I'm not a girly-girl. I never have been. I did play with dolls when I was little but I never did the whole ruffles and lace thing. I've never understood how some women can take 4 hours to get ready to go out, or those who can't even go to the grocery store without make-up. Pffftttt. I can get ready in 30 minutes, from shower to door... of course, it probably shows. I mean, I do wear make-up... but it's only in an effort to cover the flaws. And I don't mind getting dressed up every now and then... especially if there's a nice restaurant involved. And I do occasionally wear heels... but if I'm being really honest, that only came about when they started making jeans so damned long (I don't hem).

Anyway, as I say, I'm not a girly-girl.

I didn't expect to have a girly-girl either. When Ryan was a baby, I did dress her in pink... but mostly because she looked like a boy and her name is, well, Ryan. But those cutesy ruffly socks that most little girls can carry off? Nope. She looked retarded in them. I loved her in dresses, but never the fancy, flouncy ones. She never, ever played with dolls, preferring her stuffed animals, and given the choice between a tea party and climbing trees, the trees always won (still do, in fact).

But she's 10 now... in middle school. She's noticing boys (remember Kevin?). She's beginning to care what she looks like. Great. Today is picture day at school. And it seems the 'look' is incredibly important this year. The other day she told me she'd been 'browsing' on the online site for one of the department stores here and she found a to-die-for cute top in hot pink and just the right shade of brown (more mahogany than cherry, you know) to go with her gauchos and could we go get it and she'd even use her birthday money... breathe.


So we got it (with her money, as it cost more than most of my clothes and that just wasn't happening). And then? Last night she asked me if I'd curl her hair this morning.


Curl her hair.

Me... the very non-girly-girl who doesn't do curls. I do ponytails. And braids. And I can get tangles out like nobody's business. But curls? Crap.

But I tried. She's like me, though, and has more hair than any human has a right to and it's long and there's a lot of it and it's long. And there's a lot of it.

But I tried.

You know what she said when I was finished?

"It's OK, Mama. You're really good at lots of other stuff."


But my girly-girl sees my shortcomings and she loves me anyway. How lucky am I?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Don't You Just Hate It When You Get Sand In Your Ears... and Your Underwear...?

Yesterday was a pretty bad day, even for a Monday. There's this issue I'm dealing with right now (and have been for some time, actually) that is, quite frankly, kicking my ass. I'm tired and worried... my head hurts... my heart is all achy. It's frustrating, really, because by nature I'm a problem-solver. But there are certain issues - ones that are a little (or a lot) scary and seem insurmountable - that cause me to be an ostrich. I figure if I ignore them, they'll go away. Stupid, eh? They never do go away (duh!)... and eventually I pull my head (and the rest of me) out of the sand and try to make things better. So today, Tuesday, I've dumped about 11 pounds of sand out of my ears and underwear and I'm trying to get myself on track.

Here's to Tuesday... another day... another chance to sort things out...

Monday, September 14, 2009


I love the seasons – all of them – and I could never live in a place where they don’t change. How dull would that be? I’m almost always happy for one season to end and another to begin, as the dawn of each new one tends to make me feel that all things are possible… well, that lots of things are possible, anyway. And each season has its own special appeal. Here are some of the things I love about fall…

Sleeping with the window open and being able to snuggle under the blankets...

Sundance’s new lease on life in the cool temps, so I don’t have to drag his butt around the park...

Magazine ads for cozy sweaters and wooly coats...

All the mosquitoes finally die (yeah, bite me, PETA)...

Sitting around the fire-pit on chilly Saturday evenings with a glass of wine, bundled in a sweater...

All the new television shows premiere...

Fall festivals and wine tastings and ‘arts and crap’ fairs and wine tastings...

Raking leaves just to watch all the kids in the neighborhood jump in them...

Cooking homemade soup (I love me some soup!) and eating it with warm, crusty bread...

Driving along the Skyline Drive and oohing and ahing at the patchwork of warm color that replaced acres of green velvet...

I love it all… the colors and the smells and the sounds and the dark evenings and the crisp air… knowing it’ll be gone too soon, so I have to enjoy every minute of it…

So, what do you love about fall?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Dear Jon and Kate... Shut Up!

Seriously. Until just recently, I didn't know who you were. I'd never heard of your show (not that I would have watched it anyway, given my self-imposed ban on any show loosely based on 'reality'... I have enough of my own 'reality', thank you very much, and I certainly don't need yours). Anyway, though I didn't know (or care) who you were, I've had to learn. Every time I log into my computer; every time I go to the grocery store; every time I turn around, I am bombarded by your faces... and your words... and your divorce.

OK, I understand that you weren't smart enough to realize that inviting the entire world (or at least those people with nothing better to do than tune into your lives every week) into your home was going to cause marital strife. I guess you never heard of Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey, eh? Or Carmen Electra and Dave Navarro? Britney Spears and K-Fed? Yadda yadda. I know, I know, we all think, 'It'll never happen to us!' Then it does. But here's the deal, Jon and Kate. You need to wise up and shut up already. You need to stop airing your dirty laundry. You need to stop acting like complete and total asses in front of The. Entire. World.

Do you not understand that you are preserving the hate and venom you're spewing at each other For. Friggin'. Ever? Your kids (and their friends), very soon (much sooner than you'd like, I'm sure), are going to be able to Google you and witness firsthand the nasty, disrespectful way you've managed your family and each other. And you know what? It will make them feel like crap. It will make them lose respect for you. IT WILL HURT THEM. Can you not see that?!

So shut up. For your kids' sake. For your own sake. For OUR sake. Shut up. Go away. Deal with your issues in private - not on television, not in interviews, not with book deals, and not at paparazzi-oozing Las Vegas parties. Please!

Thank you.



Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Apple Didn't Fall Far From the Tree...

Remember how I said in my last post that teasing and ridicule are how my family shows affection? Yeah. Here's a conversation I had with Ryan on the way to school this morning...

Ry: Whenever I'm reading in class, I look up to see Kevin staring at me!

Me: Maybe he thinks you're ugly.

Ry: Mama! Why would he stare at me if he thinks I'm ugly?

Me: I stare at people who are scary ugly. Don't you?

Ry: Mama! I'm not ugly.

Me: True. Maybe you had a booger.

Ry: I didn't have a booger!

Me: Well, you do get lots of boogers, you know.

Ry: Only when I have a cold! I don't have a cold now!

Me: True. Did you fart?

Ry: NO! I didn't fart!

Me: Really? Or did you do it, blame it on someone else like you do, and then just think he didn't realize it was you, but he really did, 'cause, you know, most people are smart enough to figure out where a fart came from...

Ry: Mama! Stop! I didn't fart and I didn't have a booger and I'm not ugly!

Me: I got nothin' then.

Ry: Sigh.

And yes, in case you were wondering, I am saving up for her therapy.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Awards and Interesting Things...

The lovely Debbie over at SINGLE Mom in a Complicated World gave me the Kreativ Blogger Award the other day! I do love me some awards, so thank you, sweetness! I love Debbie’s blog and the way she writes, and from one single mom in a complicated world to another, I think you’re doing an amazing job with your kids and your life, Deb!!!

The conditions of the award stipulate that I have to tell you seven interesting things about me. Well, crap. I’ve done this sort of post a bunch of times before and I think I’ve just about exhausted my supply of ‘Interesting Things’. I’ll dig deep, though, and see if I can simply come up with 'Seven Things I Haven't Told You Guys Before' (and ‘interesting’ is relative, isn’t it? I’m just going to hope you don’t fall asleep).

1. When I was in my early 20’s, I had a dream about a former boyfriend dying in a car accident. It was so real and so frightening that I called him at 4:00 in the morning to make sure he was OK. He was (though he was not happy at being yanked from a sound sleep by a nearly-hysterical ex-girlfriend). Less than a week later, though, it was my turn to be roused from sleep by the telephone. He was calling to tell me he had just narrowly avoided an accident and had my dream not been on his mind, causing him to slow down on a mountain road on which he normally drove like a maniac, he likely would have been killed. It was the only time anything like that ever happened to me.

2. I still have dreams about being in school and showing up for a class I haven’t been to all semester, only to find out there’s a test that day and I know absolutely nothing on it. I also have one, fairly regularly, where I’m sitting on the toilet in a big room and people are just walking in and out. I’m stuck there, as I won’t... ahem... finish... or stand up ‘til the room’s empty and it never empties out. I know… I need therapy.

3. I learned to say ‘I love you’ when I got my first dog. My family is not terribly demonstrative in the affection department (unless you count teasing, sarcasm, and ridicule as affection… which we do) and I can count on my fingers the number of times I’ve heard ‘I love you’ from my parents, my siblings, or my aunts and uncles. But when I got my first dog (when I was 10), the words just rolled off my tongue. I can say it easily now (if I feel it, of course) to the people who have entered my life since I became an adult, but it’s still very, very difficult for me to say to almost anyone in my family.

4. When I was little, my aunt told me that if you use the toilet on a plane and the plane hits an air pocket at the same time, you’ll be vacuum-sealed to the toilet (remember what I said about teasing and ridicule?). Well, I believed her and it wasn’t until, oh, last year or so that I finally broke down and peed mid-flight.

5. I’ve suffered bouts of occasional insomnia since I was young. The longest I ever went without sleep, years and years ago, was 3 days. When I finally fell asleep, I was lying on the couch watching a movie, with my head on my friend Ron’s lap. He was so worried that I’d wake up if he moved, he stayed completely still and slept in an upright position for seven hours. I’ve always had the best friends.

6. I once got drunk and fell out of a raised first-floor window. I didn’t break anything but I fell in a sticker bush and received about 10,000 punctures and a case of blood poisoning.

7. About two weeks after my dad died, when we were all back home for Christmas, I heard him call my mother’s name. It was in the afternoon, I was wide awake, and there was a lot of chatter in the house. I got up to let the dog in and when I opened the door, I heard my dad call out, “Hey Cathie!” as plain as day, just like he would do when she didn’t hear him (or was ignoring him). I honestly believe it was him and not my imagination. It never happened again, though I wished for it often. But when she was between the ages of 2 and 3, Ryan told me several times about a man in a yellow shirt who would come visit her in her (second-floor) bedroom at night with a little black dog (who looked sort of like our cocker spaniel). My dad always wore an old yellow chamois shirt when he was puttering around the house and our old family dog, who died years before he did, was a black spaniel-mix. Weird, huh?

OK, I'm supposed to tag seven of you but I'm going to break the rules and simply tag anyone who wants to do this! XOXO

Monday, September 7, 2009

Dear President Obama...

I’m sorry. I’m so very sorry. I’m more ashamed of many of my fellow Americans right now than I have ever been in my life. I’m beyond disgusted. I’m absolutely horrified that such a significant number of the people with whom I share my citizenship (at least half of my citizenship) are complete and utter morons.

I’m so glad you haven’t canceled your speech to our children tomorrow. More than that, though, I’m sorry you felt the need to release the text beforehand, to assure the general public that you won’t be brainwashing or “indoctrinating” our children in the ways of socialism. I’m sorry that more people in this country don’t have enough common sense to realize you won’t be attempting to hypnotize every school-aged child in America in order to coerce them into convincing their parents that your healthcare reform plan is the right way to go. I’m sorry about all those parents who won’t allow their children to hear your speech about working hard, staying in school, and doing their best.

I’m sorry. I’m ashamed. I’m disgusted. I’m horrified. I’m just SO sorry.



And for the record, in case anyone wonders... for as much as I despised W; for as much as I didn't trust the man (as far as I could throw him); for as much as I hated nearly everything on his agenda from the time he took office 'til the time he left; for as much as I would have sooner run him over with my car than look at him... had he chosen to give a speech to our kids, I wouldn't have thought twice about letting my child hear it. Because I know that even someone as colossally stupid, dishonest, and devious as that man wouldn't have tried to forward a political agenda via every school child in the country. I just think it's too bad that some conservatives (and I know it's not all of them), no matter how they feel about Obama, couldn't demonstrate the same level of common sense.

Friday, September 4, 2009


It’s Friday… whoo hoo! This has been a rather up and down week… some good stuff happened… some not-so-good stuff happened… so overall, I’m pretty happy to head into the weekend (actually, when am I not – when is anyone not – happy to head into the weekend? Duh). The weather here has been to-die-for gorgeous this week and I’m hoping it’ll continue. And I’d forgotten it was a holiday on Monday, which means no school, so that makes everything even better.

Tomorrow’s the farmer’s market in the morning, as well as a 15-mile training trek around Pigsknuckle. I realized that the Booby Walk starts exactly 5 weeks from today! Yikes! But I’m ready… I’ve completed my final registration, requested my ‘random tent-mate’, paid for my towel service (we have to shower in trucks… ick), and now I’m just trying to sort out the logistics of getting there. The opening ceremonies are Friday at 5am (I’ll be lucky if I can crawl at 5:00, never mind walk) but I need to get to the stadium no later than 4:00am to have a place to leave my car for 3 days (there are limited spaces). I was going to stay in a hotel in DC the night before, as the ‘host’ hotels are offering a discounted rate to walkers… $250 for the night. Ummm… in what universe is that a ‘discounted’ rate? I’ve stayed in DC, in nice hotels, and never, ever paid anything anywhere near that. Gougers. Anyway, I’ll sort it all out. I’m getting pretty excited about it, really.

Today marks the end of the first 2 full weeks of school. Ryan is loving it. I pick her up every day and she literally bounds out to me, all smiles, and chats non-stop all the way home about her teachers (loves them), her classes (loves some of them; doesn’t loathe the others yet); her friends (Anna, Casey, and Random Dude). It’s fantastic. We’ve spent these two weeks getting used to a new routine and sorting out a bunch of little things. She starts much earlier than last year and eats lunch later, so the whole ‘I’m starving and/or so sleepy before lunch’ thing was an issue. So we played around with various breakfasts, trying different protein and carb combinations until we came up with a meal she’s happy with. And Ryan will eat the same thing every day for months on end, so my shopping list won’t change for a while. We had to do the same with lunches. All sorted now. I also figured out we simply can’t walk to school in the mornings. We have to get up about 30 minutes earlier to do it and given that neither of us are really morning people, it just wasn’t working. I kept hitting the snooze and waking up 15 minutes later, which threw off the entire schedule. So we take our time in the morning, I drive her to school (with Sundance in the car), and then we head to the park for our walk. It works. I do walk to pick Ryan up, though, which has been terrific, because we’ve had great conversations about what goes on during her day. Oh, and she got her wonky locker sorted, too. Turns out it was indeed user-error. Go figure.

Tomorrow we’re heading out to my brother and sister-in-law’s house to hang out by the pool for the last official weekend of summer. Our fall swim practices start on Sunday and Ironwoman and I are going to get together then to talk about our GoGirlGo! program. Turns out the school won’t let us do it there, as they’re not keen on having a program run by parent volunteers. What school turns down parent volunteers?! In Ironwoman’s words, they’re ass hats. But the rec center is quite happy to have us do the program through them, so though we won’t have grant money (or the track) to play with, we do have a facility and support. We’ll manage. We’ll try to get a few businesses in the area to lend some financial assistance… it’s a great program, so it shouldn’t be too hard to get someone to commit to a tax write-off. We’ll be signing all the girls up for a 5K in December, which will mark the end of our fall program and we think we’re going to do it again in the spring, too. Oh, and I’ve decided to give that 5K in October (the one after the Booby Walk) a go. I may totally regret it… we’ll see.

Well, that’s it, my lovely bloggy buddies. I’m sure I’ve thoroughly bored you to tears (if you even made it this far). Hope you have a fabulous weekend!!! XOXO

Thursday, September 3, 2009


... said the Cougar.

Snort... I can't even write that without laughing. That is so not me and when/if any of you ever meet me in person, you will know I'm telling the truth!

Now, that being said, Sherri, your son (who's to-die-for good-looking) does indeed sound perfect for me (well, aside from the 20-year age difference). I really like liberal-minded, creative, traveling types and I have no problem with following (you did mean that as in, 'following him around the world', right?). However, no matter how wonderful his parents are (and I know for certain you are wonderful!) I'm not sure I'd feel so great about my boyfriend's mother being my age. I think that might be the definition of 'ooky'. Even worse (ookier still, if you will), it'd be weird that I think his dad's even hotter than he is. Damn. I think that might just be the definition of 'old'. But thanks for trying, my friend (and, as always, if you ever get tired of Big Al, you know you can point that Harley straight toward Pigsknuckle!).

And Chris? You're right. I am single because I choose to be... sort of. If I wanted, I could easily be in a relationship just to be in a relationship. If I just wanted sex or some companionship, I'd be golden. But I think I deserve better than that. I deserve to be in a relationship with someone whose personal values are in line with mine... someone who's at a similar point in life and moving in the same direction as I am... someone who can and wants to be a positive influence in my daughter's life... who will be the sort of man who says what he means and does what he says... who makes me feel all tingly inside and who will, eventually, love me beyond all reason. Someone who totally gets the essence that is Diane (OK, that still makes me laugh). That's what I deserve. That's what we all deserve. And, as sweet as he is, I really don't think I'm going to get all that from a 24-year-old, who's just starting out on this journey. So I'll keep looking. But I try hard not to close myself off from new people and new experiences, so coffee with The Boy? Coffee I'll do!


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Coo, Coo, Ca-Choo, Mrs Robinson...

I am not in the habit of receiving unsolicited attention from men. Wait. I’m not in the habit of receiving solicited attention either! Oh, you know what I mean.

Anyway, it’s true (I know... try to conceal your shock). Now, in the right setting I can sometimes generate attention, you know, with my sparkling wit and scintillating intellect (and by ‘sparkling wit and scintillating intellect’, I mean ‘my big mouth’). But as a rule? Nope. I seem to be supremely forgettable.

I’ve certainly had my fair share of dating relationships, but I generally have to pursue them, at least to a degree. A pretty large degree. And, as we all know, given that I am quite single, none of them have ‘stuck’. There have been varying reasons for that, certainly, but often I think I am ‘too much this’ or ‘not enough that’. I like to think I simply haven’t yet met the man who totally appreciates the essence that is Diane (Pfffttt! Even I can’t say that without snorting!). Of course, with my luck, the one guy who did totally appreciate my essence was probably Troll-Guy. Sigh. Too bad I messed that up with my snark (and by ‘too bad’, I mean ‘WHEW!’).

Don’t get me wrong… I’m not complaining (OK, I totally am complaining but I’m going to pretend I’m not and mask my whinging in excuses that make me feel better. Just go along with it, OK?). I tend to get ‘friended’ (as opposed to ‘girlfriended’) by men. A lot. It’s not a terrible thing, really. I get to keep some great guys in my life and they get… well… me. Joke’s on them, eh?

You’ve all met Todd…

And Hugh…

And though you don’t know it, you’ve met Alan (he’s my obnoxious Anonymous commenter)...

And of course, the Republican...

OK, so that’s not my Republican but I never asked him if I could use his picture and you know how uptight those conservative types can be… of course, I never asked Alan either but he’s not a conservative (though he might as well be, given how much he pisses me off with his snarky comments, so he can have his face plastered over the Internet and suffer! PS... Love ya, Alan!).

Anyway, as I say, I’m not in the habit of being on the receiving end of random romantic overtures (well, except from the likes of those ‘bless his heart’ sorts). So when it happens, I get flustered. Like today…

I went to the bookstore at lunchtime. I just needed to get out of the house and it’s one of my favorite places (‘cause I’m a nerd, that’s why). I sat down in the coffee shop area with a magazine and a cup of tea and read for a while. The place filled up pretty quickly, until there were no free tables left, and I saw this guy looking around for a place to sit. He looked like a college student (have I mentioned that Pigsknuckle is a university town? We have a major state school, 2 smaller private universities, and a community college all in or within 15 miles of town… we are stinkin’ rife with students).

Anyway, after looking around for a minute, the guy walked over to my table and asked if I minded sharing. I said that was fine (‘cause I’m all nice and friendly like that, that’s why). He sat down with his Grande Soy Latte Chocolate Decaf Whipped Frothy Cinnamon-topped frou-frouey drink (OK, so I totally don’t know what he was drinking… it might have been plain coffee… I just always imagine people drinking stupid drinks like that in coffee shops) and introduced himself (he had a good Scottish name but for the purpose of this blog, we’ll call him The Boy). He told me he was a grad student at Pigsknuckle U; asked what I was reading (a writing magazine); asked if I was a writer (in the most generous interpretation of the word); said ‘cool’ a lot; showed me what he’d bought (2 books about the social dynamic of Pygmies in their natural habitat… OK, so I don’t remember what they were about because they looked dull as dirt); and proceeded to chat up a storm. I gave up on my magazine. He was cute, in that gangly sort of ‘not finished growing’ way. And quite funny, really. Clearly smart.

So, after quite a while, I finished my tea and started to make tracks. As I was gathering my stuff, he was still chatting…

The Boy: Hey, would you like to have dinner with me sometime?

Me: Ummm…

The Boy: There are a couple of nice places downtown.

Me: Ummm… (did I mention that I'm incredibly articulate, as well as being witty and intelligent?)

The Boy: Come on… what do you say?

Me: Ummm… (this is getting ridiculous now)

The Boy (waiting expectantly): …

Me (finally!): Ummm... are you asking me on a date?

The Boy (laughing): Don’t tell me it’s never happened before.

Me: Pffffftttttt. Don’t be silly. Well… OK… it hasn’t happened lately.

The Boy (still laughing): Then you’re due. What do you say?

Me: OK, I have to ask… how old are you?

The Boy: 24. Why?

Me: Good lord, child, I have socks older than you!

The Boy (snorting his Grande Soy Latte yadda yadda): …

Me: Yeah. I'm serious.

The Boy: Does it really matter?

Me: Well, see, I have this rule… I don’t date anyone to whom I could have actually given birth.

The Boy (laughing again): You’re not that old.

Me: Now you’re just sucking up.

The Boy: Seriously. My mother is 46!

Me: What’s your point?

The Boy: Whoa. 46? Really?!

Me: Thank you for looking incredulous. I appreciate it more than you know. It’s 44 actually… but perilously close to 45.

The Boy: Wow.

Me: See what I mean? But thanks for the invite. Really. It’s the best offer I’ve had in a long time, but I have to pass. I’d feel all… ooky.

The Boy (laughing yet again): And ooky is… bad?

Me: Ooky is bad.

The Boy: OK, so how about just a coffee sometime… you know, a friendly coffee.

Me: That, I could maybe do.

The Boy: Cool.

Me: Cool.

The Boy: Oh, and Diane?

Me: Yeah?

The Boy (winking): You really ought to get some new socks.

Me (winking back): And you really ought to get new glasses.

I feel like Mrs. Robinson. Hey... I wonder if his dad's single?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Monkey Cuddles...

This post is for my beloved Blognut... because I love her adorable, fuzzy blue head (it houses half my brain, after all) and her big, fuzzy blue heart, and because I can't give her real cuddles when she really needs them (and, well, because I totally wasn't sharing my picture of Gerard Butler... I have half her brain, too, and I know what she'd do with that fine specimen of a man... and he's mine, damn it)...