Thursday, September 28, 2006

Candy You Ate as a Kid

File under: Nostalgia (if Blogger actually let you do that kind of thing.)

If you don't regularly visit Electronic Ephemera, one of the blogs manned by my internet husband, Richard (with an occasional contribution from me and from Muse, his internet mistress -- it's okay, we have an open relationship), you're missing out on a plethora of interesting stuff.

Not too long ago, Richard posted a link for Candy You Ate as a Kid. How could I resist checking that out?

Holy smoke!!! Candy and chocolate cigarettes and gum cigars!!! I remember them well. And Chocolate Babies (don't ask me what I remember people here in New Orleans calling those), Mallo-Cups, and oh, the gums...Hot Dogs, Gold Mine, Fruit Stripe and my ever favorite, Adams Sour Apple and Sour Cherry. And there were Violets, and all the Ferrara Pan candies (like Atomic Fire Balls). And they even have those cinnamon toothpicks. Wow! And Wax Bottles and Wax Lips! Oh, the memories. Even though I'm not much of a candy eater, I had to place an order for the sake of nostalgia.

Here's what I got:

Just for fun, I knew I had to have the Chocolate Cigarettes. Ummmmm, ummm! Milk chocolate from Holland. Deeeee-licious. (A few bloggers like Schroeder, Maitri, Loki and G-Bitch can attest to that, as we shared a "smoke" on Loki's birthday.) I'm going to buy a couple of cartons next time I order. I was looking for a candy I remember that was in a chocolate cup with a white creamy filling. I tried the Mallo Cup and the Cup-o-Gold and both were a bust. Long after I ordered, though, I found the Valo Milk Cups, so I'll try those in the next order, when the Chocolate Babies come in. And even though I missed those Space Food Sticks in the first round, I'm not sure I want to order them --but they are a big piece of my 1969/1970 food nostalgia.

Check this place out for all your favorites, or better still, get an order together with friends and save on shipping. Nostalgia is good eatin'.
*Initially posted, then removed while under the confused influence of Ambien. Sorry, Richard, for making you think you hallucinated it.

*Do I win some kind of prize for my high ratio of links to words?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

3 and Ohhhh Yeah! Yeah You Right! Right-On, Dawlin!

Saints 23
Falcons 3
3 & 0
Yeah you right!
Oh, Happy City,
Because it's really starting to feel like home again.


Thursday, September 21, 2006


Daddy and Me
Originally uploaded by LisaPal.
Hah! It's 50 minutes after midnight, my blog's time zone setting is correct, and Blogger thinks I'm still 43.


And since 60 is the new 40, that means I'm really only 24, but with the wisdom and experience of someone 20 years older.

For what more could I ask? Besides the body of a 24 year old? Hell, I'd be more than happy to have the one I had on my 40th birthday. Seriously. If I can Photoshop a bikini on the self-portrait I took on the day of my 40th (because I knew they day would come when I'd hardly believe that was me), I'll show you. I can thank Katrina for between 10 and 15 post-hurricane, stress-induced pounds, on top of the 10 that came after 41. Damn you, Katrina. (Again.) I want the old body back, even if it's the 42 year old version. I'm not used to this! I want to wear my favorite old clothes again, dammit.

*This episode of nostalgic vanity and pointless kvetching is now over.*

Okay. We can count the weight gain and its consequent assault on my sense of self (and to some degree, my self-esteem), as Item # 2 of the ongoing laundry list started in the last post.

Better still, lets call it ...
The Second Weigh Station on the Road to My Deepression.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

State of Life- A Starting Point on the Road to Depression

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately in an attempt to figure out what's behind my funky state of mind and, given the amount of conflict between the essential elements of my self, it's not hard to conclude that my depression most assuredly has a component of existential angst to it. In fact, it's highly probable that all the issues that appear to inhabit the shallow end of existence can ultimately be reduced to the existential level, as well. I haven't really thought that out yet, so I'll start with the current situation and work it out as I go, or at the end of the series --whatever seems natural to me.

I will begin at the shallow of the issues I've identified, starting with the basic elements of my (abnormal) day to day life, ultimately moving into deeper aspects of life and self as I go along. I will not attempt to do this in a single post. (You're welcome.)

#1. The Living Arrangement-- I have not spent a night in my own house, in my own bed since the night of August 27, 2005. This has been incredibly difficult.

As I've mentioned before, we're ensconced with The Mom, a woman I love and admire with all of my being. She's also my very closest friend, as she has been for most of my adult life. But living here after 26 years out of the nest is a strain for all of us.

My dad died in March of 2003 and Mom has adjusted quite well to living alone since then. Her house is about half the size of mine and has three bedrooms: hers, a guest bedroom, and an office/media room with a trundle bed. Rachel and I share the guest room and Alex gets the office/media room. Mom has stuff in every nook and cranny of our room. There are decorative items on the dresser and chest, and the closet and drawers are filled. Things were moved around in order for Rachel and I to have one dresser drawer to share, plus two feet of hanging closet space and a total of 7 linear feet of one-foot-deep closet shelf space. Everything we have with us is expected to be stored in this space, including a portion of Rachel's toys, my books and notes for classes, and all my paperwork associated with normal life and insurance/ home repair stuff.

Needless to say, this space doesn't cut it and things end up stacked on the floor. I keep my laptop by the bed, but the desktop computer and printer that Alex uses for school work sits on a decorative end-table in the den, next to her big TV, which is pretty much always on. My guitar and bass sit on the other side of the TV. Alex has no closet space whatsoever and has two flimsy drawers in the thing that holds the TV in his room, so his stuff ends up on the floor and in other unnatural places as well. All this annoys mom to no end, but what can we do?

I have no place to work, so I sometimes take over the dining room table, which is used an average of twice a month, when Mom invites my brother and his family over for dinner. Because of the distractions of the nearby TV and other general household activity, I usually work late at night, but I don't always get everything done in one session, so I leave things as they are, in my little organized piles. Mom will often take them and stack them into one pile because the cluttered table understandably bugs her. Or she'll take random piles of things and move them somewhere else. Sometimes they'll end up in a box with other of our belongings (like Rachel's toys), which is then deposited in a corner of our room. She doesn't tell me she's moved some things, so I don't necessarily know the papers are under the toys in the box. I'll be going crazy looking for things and she'll say nothing if I don't ask her about them specifically. (Actually, she'll often swear that she didn't move anything, but then, at some point, remember, or she'll just let me figure it out on my own.

Can you spell P-A-S-S-I-V-E A-G-G-R-E-S-S-I-V-E?

So, after a few such incidents, I apologized (again) for my occasional invasion of the dining room table, reminded her that it was the only space I had to work, explained (again) that I needed to have things organized the way I had them, and asked her specifically not to move anything, and told that I'd clear it all up as quickly as I possibly could.

Late one Saturday evening, I came "home" (sadly defined as the place we're currently living rather than my own house) after having been out most of day, I found Mom in her room with the door closed and this in the dining room:

Karen has already pointed out (in a comment on my Flickr page) that this probably doesn't qualify as passive. (Mom is extremely non-confrontational and this kind of thing is about as actively aggressive as I expect she'd ever get.)

So I didn't say anything that night, and I was deliberately silly and light-hearted when I responded with this note, which I left on the table for her to find the next morning:

I guess she didn't like my response because she turned my note faced-down and never said a word to me. When I brought it up later, she tried to dismiss it with some really feeble excuse like she just wanted to see how a different table cloth looked on the table. Right, Mom. And that's why you left the table cloth there, turned my note over and ignored the whole thing?

As I mentioned, she's very non-confrontational, not that a simple request to move my stuff or to find another place to work would be confrontational in the least. I'd just say, okay, and do it. But she'd rather leave a less-than-subtle (albeit kind of mean, from my perspective) hint and ideally, I'd just comply, never saying a word about it.

I do not do well with this kind of thing.

Passive-aggressive behavior does a real number on me. I need direct, honest communication. Anything else does wacky things to my synapses and serotonin levels. And this is only one example of the kind of things my mother has been doing to communicate to us that certain aspects of our presence annoy her. I completely understand that. It's hard to share your space when you used to living alone. By the way, we are not living here for free. If I talk about renting a place closer to our neighborhood, she protests. To me, it feels like psychological warfare in a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't game.

So, that's one thing.

(I've got a class to teach in a few minutes and I don't have time to proofread this. So please pardon any slip-ups.)

Saturday, September 16, 2006


I have 12 posts sitting in the box that I started and never finished because I honestly cannot come up with a single reason why anyone would want to read anything I might write. Obviously I must not have felt this way for the first two years of keeping this blog. But that's not the case anymore. Why? This is an honest and sincere question.

And what do I do about it?

ADDENDUM: I just went back and found a post I wrote a little more than 2 years ago. It's strikingly similar to what I feel today. I could trace my feelings on that day to a specific thing that happened. There is no one thing that I can attribute this to today. Actually, I do have a few ideas of things that, in aggregate, may have contributed. But when one is dispossessed of the belief that any of it matters, one is generally disinclined to write about it.

BTW, I do know that a remarkably beautiful handful of you show up here pretty regularly, presumably just in case something new has shown up. That amazes me and I truly love you for that.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Time For a Change of Scenery

Without the hope of a vacation, I changed the only scenery I could. So, it's a little lighter here, now. I made the new background all by myself. You can probably tell. In fact, I made a bunch of them, but I like this one a lot. I'm trying to get back in the groove here, after many long, dark days. It might occur in baby steps, but at least this is a start. Please bear with me. And forgive me for my recent silence.