Archive for November, 2009

Lookin’…uh… Good for the Holidays!

November 14, 2009

I want to look good for the holidays – you know – for all those parties and family get-togethers. Well, I’ll have to check my social calendar, but anyway, why wear a glittery, stunning outfit if your glasses are out of style? So, for starters, in preparation for the Holidays and the upcoming New Year, I decided to get a new pair of glasses.

Mind you, I’ve been happy with my rimless, high-index, progressive bifocal, transition-lense glasses that I’ve worn the past three years. It’s risky springing for a new pair — they are so expensive, and it’s tricky fixing all those vision problems — you’d better get it right! With model images like this floating in my brain, I decided to go ‘trendy.’

Not too trendy, mind you. Trendy above the eyes, rimless on the bottom, is what I ended up with. I tried my new glasses on. “How do you like them?” the technician asked.

Well, to be honest, I liked the glasses. It was my face that was a shocker.photo(25) Suddenly all my sags and wrinkles glared at me in high definition – the crows feet at the end of my eyes were etched in 3D! Geez, give me back my old face through my old glasses! Okay. So my up-close vision corrected through my old glasses had blurred. I liked it that way! This is gonna take some doing, getting used to, uh … the coming of old-aged me.

Back home in my new glasses I was staring into the kitchen mirror. I slid my hands to my face where they rested in front of both ears. Then I pressed my hands against the edges of my face and pulled the skin back toward my scalp on both sides. Face lift! That’s what I need! That would pull all those crevices and wrinkles out! Then I could pull off this trendy look!

Moments later I was reading the local paper and stumbled on this add, surely planted for my eyes by Divine providence! It was here to comfort me in my time of grief, to offer me hope and … redemption! Get me focused on solutions! Holy Shit! Where to start? scan0006

Breast augmentation? Well, yeah, like, triple implants thirty-five years ago, maybe, since at my age now my breasts aren’t even sagging, being so tiny as to defy the effects of gravity. Body contouring? What is that? I could go for a two-hour body massage. Liposuction? Yeah, if they could suck off my two extra chins and blow them into my breasts. Juvaderm? Probably could help even if I just said the word, ‘juvaderm,’ slowly and meditatively to my skin over and over… Cosmetic surgery? Obviously, somewhere. Latisse? Is glue involved here? Been there, done that, once. Eyelash implants? Ouch! Eyelash extensions? Face lift? YES. With a 15-year warranty – what about my neck? Radiesse? Based on the ‘actual patient’ in the link, I’d say I’m 30 years too old for this wrinkle reduction treatment to be successful, in that I actually do have wrinkles. Reconstructive surgery? On my hair, for sure. Botox? Are you referring to my anger issues here? Immobilizing my face won’t make them go away. Tummy tuck? You can tuck my thick, gelatinous tummy into bed, anytime, honey. Lastly, Reconstructive hand surgery? Huh? Why reconstructive hand surgery?

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Am I a candidate for reconstructive hand surgery?

Are we talking hand deformity caused by years of wrangling kids, and now grand kids, into proper behavior? Hand deformity caused by long-term exposure to toxic cleansers through endless housekeeping? Or, perhaps … hand deformity caused by an unusually large, unsightly … age spot?

As for lookin’ good for the Holidays, well, updating my glasses was a start. Why not go trendy! As it turns out, my glasses do look trendy. I just look through them. Any transformation I experience toward trendiness or beauty is obviously going to be more of an inside job.

Now I just gotta get me some sparkly Holiday outfits. Oh, and some dates on my social calendar.

“Phlug” – “Zap!”

November 6, 2009
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Megan and Rudy in October

It amazes me every year how fast fall comes and goes; some years I have missed it. This year I watched the green leaves of early October turn to colors of showy reds, shimmering yellows, and burnt oranges. I’ve watched the leaves cling to their branches against raging winds, as if to cheat death at the height of their brilliant glory — then let go and cascade to the ground. The leaves collect in brittle, colorless heaps that are trampled, scattered, gathered by the wind, raked by humans into piles, and hauled away.

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Trees stand stark naked now. Their branches extend upward like giant broken spiderwebs against the November sky. I am glad Halloween is over. I looked forward to its coming – the season of fall and Halloween – that mysterious time when death whispers through the rustling of the changing leaves and summer blooms blacken with the killing frost. Halloween comes upon us as a time for dress up and innocent fun, but also marks the onset of winter’s gloom. It grew out of a Celtic celebration called Samhain, which originated more than 2000 years ago. The Celts saw it as a fearful time, a time when the boundaries between the living and spirit worlds disappeared, and spirits walked the earth.

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Halloween gets its name from All Hallows’ Eve, as Oct. 31 was called in England centuries ago. On this night people prayed for the dead to prepare for All Saints Day on Nov. 1, to honor Roman Catholic saints and martyrs. All Saints’ Day is followed by All Souls’ Day on November 2, a day to honor and pray for the rest of the departed souls.

We have passed this season now, a time rooted in myths and imaginings, that deepen our experience of the changing weather and our thoughts on the mysteries of life and death.

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On this early November morn I am alive! It is well with my soul. My friends and loved ones are fine. Life is good.

Oh! So why this title, ‘Phlug!” and ‘Zap!” you ask? They are the sounds on the Monday before Halloween, of two squirrels meeting their deaths. I was driving the 25-mph speed limit behind two other cars on a quiet street, when, just ahead on the left, a squirrel began jaunting carelessly across the road. Oh! I thought. Those cars in front of me will surely slow down and make way for that squirrel.

But the first car in our line of three didn’t slow a bit. I hoped the squirrel had remained unharmed. But, nooooo. By the time I got to it, that poor squirrel was writhing in the middle of the road in the throes of death.

Later that same day I was home with our daughter, Megan, when the power went out for about half a second – just long enough to throw off the clocks. “That’s annoying!” I exclaimed.

A few minutes later we took a walk into the park a few blocks away. There we saw a city truck hoisting a guy in a cup to fix the power lines. Walking toward us was another city worker holding a furry creature in his gloved hands. As he came close we realized he was holding a squirrel – upside down, stiff as a statue, with it’s eyes and mouth frozen wide open. “Electrocuted.” he said. “Squirrels are chewing on those power lines.” Yeah, I thought, they are busy scrounging up insulation to winterize their nests.

I told my husband, David, about how I had experienced the death of two squirrels in one day, which was creepy, so close to Halloween.

Last night we were sitting in our den, relaxing in front of the TV, when the power went out for about half a second – just long enough to shut everything off and back on again. I glanced at David and we both said, “Squirrel!”

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How many squirrels from that nest are still alive?


Squirrels are working hard this time of year, just like us, preparing their nesting places for the the onset of winter’s wrath. I just wish humans would slow down, and make way for the earth’s little creatures, in respect for their resourceful, industrious lives, even if they are just … squirrels.

No sense assisting the Grim Reaper.

Me? I’ll take another ’24’.