Friday, June 30, 2006

No Way! Women Have Affairs?

Would you believe that there are actually married women out there who have had or are having affairs? You’d think by the article in Newsweek and the Oprah show today, that no one ever thought that it was possible for a wife to go out and have an affair.

In The New Infidelity Newsweek writers, obviously watching too much Desperate Housewives and deciding to capitalize on it, have decided that the love lives of lonely and underappreciated women is actually news. Oprah thinks it so much so that she had a show on it today, which I admit I watched. I hardly ever watch Oprah—just when she’s got someone famous I like on—but what the hell? I thought the show was about swingers, which for some reason I just find fascinating. I mean, I don’t share well others, so I’m just amazed at couples who share something so personal with people who are basically strangers! One of the couples said it made their sex lives better—like vacation sex all the time. Oprah and I both raised our eyebrows. I know we were thinking the same thing, “Really? Vacation sex all the time? Cool.”

But I digress. The first part of the show was about this article in Newsweek that “blew the lid off this story,” saying an estimated 15 percent of women cheat on their husbands. And they’ve decided they know why it’s happening, which you can see in the subtitle to the article: “Why they stray: With the work place and the Internet, overscheduled lives and inattentive husbands—it's no wonder more American women are looking for comfort in the arms of another man.” Notice what’s mentioned first? That’s right boys and girls, women working is one of the causes for wifely infidelity. It’s not the bored housewife, it’s those women in the workplace! See how terrible it is when women leave the home to go work!?!

But you know, they just might be on to something. Here’s what one therapist said:

There's a more subtle point embedded in here as well: women and men bring their best selves to work, leaving their bad behavior and marital resentments at home with their dirty sweatpants. At work, "we dress nicely. We think before we speak. We're poised," says Elana Katz, a therapist in private practice and a divorce mediator at the Ackerman Institute for the Family in New York City.

That’s true. At work I felt like a problem-solver, respected for my intelligence and skills. But many, many times at home I felt like I couldn’t do anything right, criticized because the house wasn’t clean enough and I didn’t have anything planned for dinner. Now, my husband and I have pretty much worked through that, and I never considered having an affair, but I’ve seen it happen to friends.

Anyway, after talking about women having affairs and couples swinging to keep their marriage healthy, Oprah stated that the definition of marriage is obviously changing. Ya think so? If the majority of red states and the droves of people who came out to vote against gay marriages is any indication, I’d say, if anything, there is a push for conservatively traditional marriage.

And I’ll tell ya what I tell my husband. Everything that I do that drives him crazy, other women do the same thing, so he might as well stay with me. And considering how many of our male friends have divorced their wives, just to remarry a woman who could be their first wife’s sister, he might as well stay with me. Besides, supposedly, as I enter into my 40s, I’m in for a boost of sexual prowess, and he doesn’t want to miss that!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Hangovers and Tears

We were out until last call at our favorite pub, the Dell, last night. We took our friends there, who met up with some of their friends, all to drink a dram of single malt to their friend who committed suicide last Friday.

It was surreal to sit a table and listen to stories of someone you’ve never met but still felt like you knew because he had become real through all the stories. Our friends talked about him often, and we were actually supposed to meet him and his wife a year ago, kind of a melding of the separate friendships into one, but it didn’t happen. The mutual friends moved away, and we got settled into our own life here. Is it selfish of me to say I’m glad that meeting never happened? How much harder would this be if I had met him, his wife, and his 2 ½ year old son?

It’s already harder than I thought. When friends need a place to stay, you automatically offer it to them. I concerned myself with getting fresh sheets on the bed, dusting and moping, cleaning out the bathtub, baking something with chocolate in it, and having plenty of coffee beans for the morning and beer for the rest of the day. I forgot the emotional toll it can have, however. I’ve had someone close to me commit suicide, and the memories are flooding back a little faster than I can handle. I didn’t realize how letting my friend talk about how she’s feeling would force me to relive what I had been through, resulting in me talking about my experience to show her that I understand. It’s not the first time we’ve cried together, and I’m sure it won’t be the last.

They’ll be gone all day today at the funeral and a “beer call.” I imagine they’ll be out all night, too. She wants to include me, so she’s invited me along, but I’m going to keep my distance and let them mourn with the people who shared his friendship. And my hubby is going to go into work (I know, that sounds funny, but he’s coming off of a shift, so technically he’s off for a couple of days), so I have the house to myself today. I think I may just sit and enjoy the quiet for awhile. Maybe say a little prayer for lost friends.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Potterific Ponderings

Jay posted today about who he thinks will live and who will die in the last Harry Potter novel. I haven’t really thought about it too much, but reading his post made me want to wax potteric for a while.

Through the first few books, I spent way too much of my adult life trying to figure out where the HP books will go. Who will die, who will get together, who will be the next Dark Arts teacher . . . But I haven’t really thought about that too much in the last two books. Oh, I figured Harry and Ginny would get together, that seemed pretty obvious at the end of book 5, but really, I haven’t done much more thinking on it. I’ve decided I just want to enjoy them. Let them suck me into that world, then unfold.

This is a new thing for me, by the way. I’ve always been one of those readers who figures out where a book is going before I get halfway through it. It’s the curse of the English major! You know plot structure so well that not much surprises you. But I’ve learned how to turn that off, thank goodness. I don’t even watch the extras on DVDs I rent any more because I don’t want to take away from the magic. Well, ok, I watched some of the extras for Underworld Evolution, but that’s because it’s a vampire movie, and well, I like vampire movies, so I wanted to know everything about it.

Anyway, I digress. I don’t want Harry to die. As I commented on Jay’s blog, I think that Neville might be the one who saves Harry and defeats Voldemort (there will be no mamsy-pansy he-who-shall-not-be-named on this blog!). But for it to truly be Harry’s story, Harry will have to help Neville defeat the old baddie. Then, Neville will die.
And we will be sad.

Rowling said two characters will die, and I’m assuming she means besides Voldemort. She also said she expects it to really upset people, so at least one of them is going to be someone we all really like. Ron (please no!), Hermione (no, someone has to write the history and legacy of Harry Potter), Lupin, Hagrid, and yes, even Draco. I don’t think Draco is going to turn colors and be noble, but I think he is a victim of Voldemort.

Of course, my thoughts are minimal and sparse compared to the website forums out there. Good Lord these people know a lot about these books! Have you been to the Harry Potter Lexicon? If Rowling ever needs to refresh her memory about anything in her books, all she has to do is go to that site. It makes me feel like I’m not a fan at all. Which gives me an idea for another post for another day. Hmmmmmm.

Anyway, I can wait for the 7th book. Yes, you read that right--I can wait. I need to re-read a couple of them to remind myself about some of the characters and events. But, I really hope that Lucius escapes from Azkaban because I want to see Jason Isaacs in the last movie since he won’t be in the 6th.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Popcorn Salvation

Aaaahhh, popcorn. Is there anything more helpful or comforting than a big bowl of hot popcorn? Except maybe a big spoon of peanut butter, but I digress.

Popcorn just fits any situation.

Need a little snack because it’s in-between lunch and dinner—popcorn.

Netflix just delivered that movie I’ve been waiting to see—popcorn.

Hubby working the night shift and I don’t feel like cooking dinner—popcorn.

Stressed and so emotional that I need to eat something for comfort— extra-buttered popcorn and a Coke.

Ate a late, late breakfast and it’s too close to dinner to have lunch—popcorn.

Need something to snack on while I struggle to write something on my blog, thereby avoiding the cleaning I should be doing and the homework I should be completing for my online class—popcorn.

Need something to throw at my hubby who is looking at me sideways because I should be helping him clean, then get cleaned up so I can go shopping for food for his dinner, and then finish my online class assignment—popcorn.

Well, that’s enough stalling. Those tables need dusting and that tub needs cleaning if I’m going to have house guests.

Monday, June 26, 2006

It's Going To Be a Long Week, I'm Afraid

We have good friends coming in this week for a funeral. She was planning to come visit me to check on a house they own here, and we were planning to hit our favorites restaurants and bars and bookstores. Plans have changed a little, but we’ll still hit the Dell (our favorite pub) to have a drink for their friend. And I imagine she and I will stay up all night talking and gabbing, which our husbands just shake their head at. How do we find stuff to talk about for so long? Poor guys. It’s a mystery, I know.

Their friend committed suicide. I have personal experience with this, so I was quick to offer them a place to stay and a place to vent all the anger and guilt that come with this experience. It’s so hard to know what to say, so I usually don’t say anything except, “I’m sorry for your loss.” And I warned her that someone is going to say something really inappropriate and that will really piss her off. It’s inevitable at a funeral.

And that reminded me about a guy I met at the party Friday night who had some real words of wisdom in a drunken lecture. We had gotten on the subject of funerals (I don’t remember how), and he went off about the horrible things that people will say. He told all of us (and Mom, you might want to cover your ears at this point) that if you don’t know what to say, don’t say fuckin’ anything. The rest of lecture went, “Just don’t say anything! Don’t try to fuckin’ elaborate or say something else, just don’t say anything besides, ‘I’m sorry.’ It’s like the fuckin’ birthday cards. Everyone tries to write something so meaningful, but ya know what I write on birthday cards? ‘Happy Fuckin’ Birthday’ that’s what. What else do you need?”

So, my friends and family should be prepared for a new slant on birthday cards from me!

Oh Please.

Well, let's see. Bush is furious at the NY Times for an article disclosing a program to secretly monitor the financial tracking of potential terrorists. I'm sorry, is this the same administration that leaked the name of a CIA operative because her husband was speaking out against the war in Iraq? Hmmmm. I think it is!

Bush is claiming that the NY Times was irresponsible because we are at war, people! Wow. Such insight from our leader is just, just riveting. Never mind that they use the media to their advantage to plant the stories they want and to their benefit. And never mind that if he thinks that story surprises anyone, he really is clueless. And never mind that the administration had discussed this article with the Times before it was printed. And never mind that Bush spends more time defending the program than talking about the real danger of an article that could give terrorists a head's up to change their tactics.


Sunday, June 25, 2006

Yes! I love Chicago!

American Cities That Best Fit You::
65% Chicago
65% Philadelphia
60% New York City
55% San Francisco
50% Denver

I could live in Chicago.

Wow! It's Just Wow!

Elvis Costello and Diana Krall are going to have a baby! He's 51 and she's 41, and they're going to have a baby. First of all, I'm a HUGE Krall fan, and I kind of like him, too. And I don't know, I'm 40. And I just kind of feel like my chance to have kids is past, and here's this couple having a baby! Of course, they have whole lot more money than I have, and I don't know what they had to go through to get pregenant, but still, it's just kind of cool that there's going to be a little musical baby genius. OK, and I have to say it, that union is just on this side of odd any way, so a baby?!?

Dublin or Edinburgh, Same Diff

OK, so every now and then these tests actually work. Yes, I should be in Dublin!

You Belong in Dublin

Friendly and down to earth, you want to enjoy Europe without snobbery or pretensions.

You're the perfect person to go wild on a pub crawl... or enjoy a quiet bike ride through the old part of town.

Tasting "Lite Whites"

No, I didn’t know what he meant by “Lite Wines” either, but our friend “Chum” was having a wine-tasting party, and who am I to turn down free wine? Oh, and in his explanation, Lite Wines are Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gregio, no Chardonnay or anything too sweet.

Chum is a wine connoisseur with excellent taste (guess that’s what makes him a connoisseur). He even had tasting worksheets for everyone to help describe what we were tasting. Woodsy? Spicy? Fruity? Tropical fruit? Tree fruit? Hubby is really good at this; he can talk for hours about the distinct flavors in wine, beer and scotch. Me? White wine is either sweet or it’s not, that’s about as descriptive as I get. And, I’d prefer red wine, any way.

But the big deal about this party was that I didn’t want to go. I’d had a bad week, I was tired, and I was feeling really anti-social. Also, I had to go alone because hubby was at work, but he wanted to come when he got off work, so he badgered me into going. Well, maybe not “badger” that seems a bit harsh, so let’s say he was encouraging me to go. And he was right of course, damn it. It was good for me to go and get out of the house and be around people. And I had a great time, so I’m glad I went.

However, I almost turned around and went home with my contribution of Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc. Chum lives in a loft downtown, and I almost didn’t find a parking spot because everyone was downtown for the yearly art show and College World Series celebrations. On my second time around, I found a spot about a block away, so I gave in.

So, I’m walking in my new, cute strapy sandals, hoping that I don’t fall flat on my face, when I hear, “Helllloooooo!” It’s my pastor and her husband, heading back to their car from the art show. I put the bottle behind my back and said, “I’m not carrying a bottle of wine,” and we laughed. She’s actually our Associate Pastor and about 27 years old, so she’s cool. Plus, I’m Methodist, and Methodist can drink. So, we chatted, then I headed to the apartment building, hoping I could remember how to get through security.

I was glad I went early, and I even recognized some people from Chum’s last party and from Hubby’s work. And I have to share this, too, because later in the evening I got a compliment! We, as usual, were two of the last people there, and Chum and I were talking about photography and writing and how I could help him and other stuff. And I don’t know what I said but Chum said, “ You’re what . . . I want . . . (pointed at hubby) When you’re done with him, let me know.” He was drunk and won’t remember, but it’s still a compliment, so I’ll take it. However, he also told me that he didn’t think I could be mean enough about his writing to help him because he thinks I’m too nice. Well, that just shows he doesn’t really know me at all!

So, that was my Friday night. Not bad. Better than Saturday night, which was a “Craft Night” at a friend’s house and all the women brought their babies and all the babies cried incessantly. Can we say “migraine” boy and girls? Ugh. But on the bright side, I got a lot of knitting done that night, so some of my Christmas presents are well on their way to being finished.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Coming Back Soon

OK, I'm a little more rested. Well, actually, right now, I feel like I could sleep for a couple of days, but I feel like posting again. Might be a little slow--my MS has slowed me down a little recently--but I'll post again soon.

So, check back soon.