Sunday, July 31, 2005

Coldstone? WTF??

The latest yuppie, Hummer/Lexus SUV driving, I've-a-cell-phone-attached-to-my-head, pretentious, ostentatious, affected, artificial, chichi (I like that one), contrived, faux (another good one - and by the way, I'm trying to write sentences like the Apostle Paul), superficial (I LOVE "") enterprise is "Cold Stone Creamery", next to every Starbucks. Coffee and ice cream - a good idea. An excellent idea, but not Cold Stone. Lest we call it ice cream, and be too common, we'll call it a "creamery". Yeah.

My husband and I visited one for the second time today, to give it another try. The first time we went to one, I was sick for the rest of the day afterwards because it was too rich, it was like eating flavored butter - ew times ew.

So we decided to attempt to be open minded today. After all, we DO drink Starbucks coffee all the time, as pretentious , chichi, et al as it is also......

So we went to Starbucks first, got regular coffees and proceeded to Cold Stone's next door. The parking lot was literally stuffed with oversize four-wheel drive, 8MPG vehicles (in a flat pancake state that is completely paved over and never gets below 35 degree F.), so that told us the clientele was as expected. Nauseously, biliously recherche (how's THAT for a word, eh? - see "", 4th definition -

As you walk through the door you know your ice cream (dare I call it that?) is going to be expensive because there are at least 5 teens working there. In this day of absolutely no customer service, that is unheard of. Each one of them, like Pavlov's dogs bellowed out, "Welcome to Cold Stone!!" without even looking up or making eye contact. It was weird because they said it so loud, and not all at once.....I suspected there was a hidden camera with someone in the back pressing an electric prod attached to each employee so that they would suddenly blurt, "WELCOME TO COLD STONE!!" as people entered.

I looked at the offerings. There was a recognizable refregerated case with several containers of different colored ice creams. But there were no chunks, bits, pieces, mooseprints, nuts, berries, sprinkles, rivulets of chocolate or caramel in any of them. Just bland, pastel colored stuff with labels that identified, "black cherry" or "mint". No "Orgasmic Death by Chocolate" or "Caramel Coronary" or other suggestive, mouth-watering names. Not even the old standby, "chocolate chip mint" for heaven's sake.

YOU have to make your own concoctions. And you only get ONE "mix-in" free. The rest are extra. So if you want something approximating "Moose Tracks" it'll cost ya.

There ARE suggested combinations with fancy names, like "Cookie Minster", but the first time we went we tried one of these, and it was so sickeningly sweet, and, like I said before - like flavored butter......

Today I tried to be a little more plain. I just got "black cherry" flavored goo with some chocolate chips thrown in. The girl behind the counter took two spatulas and scooped up some too-soft gooey pink stuff (my black cherry) and laid it on the Sacred Stone. She threw a small amount of chocolate chips in, and proceeded to smush the stuff around, making it even gooier. Almost the consistency of soft ice cream, but with the bland, excessively rich taste of butter, with a hint of some unidentifiable flavor. I'll take their word for it that it's black cherry. It just tasted like sweet, buttery goo with chocolate chips. Ew. Again. Times Ew.

We'll not be going back to Cold Stone, and you know what? I can't WAIT to tell people how I dislike it. To watch their incredulity. In their bovine - or is it sheep-like - desire to follow the crowd. HOW can I not LOVE Cold Stone? Easy.

I'm headed to Dairy Queen for a Blizzard.

Sunday, July 17, 2005


My baby is gone
She is out on adventure
But, oh not fair

without ME

she's seeing mountains and breathing air, thin with altitude

without ME

I can't test it first
Put my toe in and then say - yeah, be where I was. I been a lot of places, babe - you go there, too.

I know she is separate, original, parallel to me, not exact.

And yet, she is part of my soul. A part I don't know as much about as she does, a balance of my usual, the rest of her pulling
pieces from outside me that I will like, that I will recognize because

it is translated by her.

That is relation, kin, blood.

Somewhere she breathes with a portion of my breath.

There is a holy and sacred part of me that belongs only to my parents.....and sisters, the separate part of me from her, hidden by time.

I cling to my old self, innermost core, like a raft on an endless sea.

We used to ride in the car together. I'd drive and we'd share music and singing. Her voice a richer echo of my own, both of us akin, alike, so close beneath the skin.

I can't wait to hear about her life without me......if she will tell me. Like a child under the covers and ready for sleep, tell me the stories of your time apart from me.

What were the skies like, the air? Did you see something, smell something and think, "if I sense deep enough, she will too."

Do you carry me with you invisible, kindred?

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


We've got renters next door. Oh joy. Since next door is less than five feet from where I sit, whoever lives there becomes an intimate acquaintance whether I want them to or not.

Last year we had the Boyz 'n th' Hood and their benighted dad screaming and cursing vividly at them in Spanglish 24/7, in between the rap music played as loud as possible and the vibrating stereos in numerous vehicles. Since our bedroom is right next to their driveway, I learned a lot about rap music unwillingly. I'd find myself reciting weird violent lyrics about bitches, booty and "bein' down wid it" in my head in the middle of the day, wondering where they came from until I remembered my neighbors musical taste and how they LOVE to share it. When they moved out, I dared to hope that peace might reign, that civility might win out. Oh foolish me.

This year we have the Totally Deaf family, complete with screaming kids. When the adults attempt to communicate with each other, they too, yell at the top of their lungs......."WHAT'S FOR BREAKFAST??" (and this at 8 AM on a weekend)......"GIT IT YERSELF! I DON'T KNOW!! From somewhere in the bowels of the house a 9 year old boy bellows, "HEY - GET OUTTA THE BATHROOM - I GOTTA GO!!" For some strange reason, everyone moves close to a window or door when they want to "speak" A.K.A. holler.
When these people first moved in, they put a large trampoline about 6" from our wooden privacy fence. When the kids got up on it to bounce, their heads would boing boing boing over our fence-top and they'd point and yell. I swear these kids don't know how to talk in a normal voice. They bounced on that sucker until 11:00 one night, yelling and screaming the whole time.

I've come to the conclusion that I need to go out in my backyard after dark and make some really loud weird noises. Screeches, howls, barks - talk to myself really loud about machetes and brains......stuff like that. Maybe, just maybe, they won't want to be so loud anymore in case they draw the attention of the whack job next door - me.

Back in the hallowed days when I was a child (note - I was NOT a kid) if I yelled in the back yard, my mother would tell me to talk in a civil tone - that I was not in the jungle or God forbid, from New York City (where everyone yelled as my mother rightly believed). I was in bed at 7PM even in the summer before it got dark because my parents believed in routine and also because they wanted a life.

Today my husband and I were in a local mall (he had to drag me kicking and screaming, since the lowest form of humanity regularly frequents malls) and when we entered the cellular store, there were two mothers (I use the term loosely) with about 7 yelling kids of various untamed ages.....running around the customers, sliding into walls and displays. The "mothers" were yelling back at them to stop, and of course, the little darlings were oblivious. Since my husband didn't want to have to restrain me from either tripping them or making maniacal faces at them when no one was looking.....we left and retained our sanity.

My suggestion for a daycare? Lil' Bastards Daycare. Motto - "We Aren't Afraid to Use Duct Tape and/or Velcro".

Monday, July 04, 2005

Go To Sleep Sweetly

My fantasy
As I drift off to sleep

I’m lying snug in a sleeping bag
Out under the frozen black velvet sky
Billions of blinking stars stretch across the heavens

A woodfire near my bag
Tundra under my back from horizon to horizon

Flat expanse of white broken by trees behind me
Tall pines like sentinels at my back

I lie and gaze at the sky, my breath crystallizing above me

The silence, like eternity, full of the spirit, filled with His presence
And no other

I am alone………………..with the massive, elusive, invisible hovering Creator


I am seated on the side of a mountain
In the midst of soft green grass
Before me is a huge deep blue-black lake
Surrounded by snowy peaks

The sun sets behind the peak I face
Bathing the white and granite crags in violet

I wait for Him there.
He is all around,
But He will come so I can see
With His Hand outstretched for me

Sometimes, I am in my prime.
Blue jean clad and a white shirt, sleeves rolled up
Thin and striding the peaks
Breathing in deeply the crisp clean oxygen

In His Kingdom I will be the keeper of the forests
The protector of the winds
That will be His gift to me

No ruling of people for me
When He sits on His throne

I’ll be the keeper of the wild things
Sleeping in the branches of the tall trees

I’ll know how to speak to the birds, and no beast will run from fear of me
They will tell me of their history
Their dreams that can now be fulfilled

We will speak of eternity
The meaning of all of time that has passed

And we will be eternally at peace.