Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Part 2: Two Jugs

I was overwhelmed with the loneliness of the room. Just days before I had been in this place, packing my grandmother’s belongings, in preparation for the Salvation Army crew. Now a devastatingly different atmosphere greeted me. The air no longer carried my grandmother’s scent. Now just dust and emptiness.

Unknowingly, the previous group who had been here had violated this space, taking with them not only the belongings of the deceased, but also bits and pieces of her memory. Looking around I tried to remember what it was like before, but I couldn’t. Much like a new hair cut, the prior feeling was hard to recall.

Turning around, I spotted the only thing left in the room. There were two glass jugs sitting in a corner of the room, just under the reflection from the window on the other wall. The emptiness of the room was magnified by this reflection, as normally a couch or chair would interrupt the light; now it was a perfect reflection of the window, outlined by shadows from the panes. Of course, this was the only source of light in the room; all of her lamps with their cheery light were gone as well.

I stared at the two jugs for a bit longer, hoping to gain something from them, I suppose. Perhaps they have some memory bottled up inside of them that I’d forgotten about. No memories. Now this would be the first new memory in my grandmother’s apartment. The first of many, I was sure. My daughter, now eight years old, was always getting into some sort of mischief, so I figured that she would contribute greatly.

I began to walk about the empty living space, trying to imagine where I would put things. My thoughts kept mirroring my grandmother’s, knowing that she would still be here; hot wanting to disappoint her. Of course, I would most likely put the things that I had inherited back where they were to begin with. It would make everyone feel more at home.

As I turned to leave I thought, “Yes, the jugs will stay right where they’re at.”

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Part 1: Silence

I walked into the old apartment that my grandmother had kept for most of her life. She had lived many years, and undoubtedly had many treasures hidden in her home. As I was the only remaining relative, she had left everything to me in her will. I was anxious to see the stories that her life had to tell; however, I also realized that she had collected a lot of things that didn’t tell a story; just junk. I knew that the task at hand would be a big one.

When I walked into the front room, I was overwhelmed with memories. The air still smelled of her cheap, imposter perfume. She’s always worn so much of it, perhaps because her senses were dull, and she didn’t realize how strong it really was. In any case, she always smelled as if she’d marinated in the stuff all night. Shelves of dusty books, which hadn’t been touched since before her eyes began to fail, lined the walls, floor to ceiling. They had all been dearly loved at one point, and the ones that were still close to her hear until the very end were all in one spot, not nearly so neglected looking as the others. I remembered how I used to come over every afternoon and read to her when I got out of class. She would always ask for one of the same five that she’d always asked for. She loved Shakespeare, and The Merchant of Venice was one of her favorites. She loved the aspects of revenge in this tale, and she would request it time and time again. There were many times that I would have just finished it the day before, and she would ask to hear it again.

Between the two shelves was a small piano, which had lived a fulfilling life as well. The top of the bench opened to reveal many of the songs that I had sung and danced to in my younger years. I remembered Christmas and birthdays in which we’d all gather around like so many of the families in the old Christmas movies.

Near the piano sat the old china hutch. I looked through the glass to see the memories that this piece of furniture held. The old Dutch characters and angels made of glass that I used to play with. Mother never liked me to play with them, as they were so fragile, but when she wasn’t looking, grandmother would hand them to me, winking with her mischievous grin. There were the crystal wineglasses that the adults would use during family dinners. If I had been good, grandma would let me drink grape juice out of one, so I looked just like all the others.

My sight moved across the room to the dining area. This was her favorite part of the humble apartment. There was a glass paned door that led into the room from the front area, and the entire dining room was enclosed in this same paned glass pattern. She would sit in there for hours, just looking through the glass as if she were dreaming of days past when she could walk downstairs on her own and feel the sun’s rays, uninterrupted by the glass.

I let these memories saturate my brain, as I began to go through her things. I sorted out the things I wanted, knowing that the rest would be shipped to The Salvation Army the next afternoon. I was excited to move in next week, and start the new memories.

Saturday, August 21, 2004


I'm going on vacation after today, and will be gone for 2 weeks. I'm going to pre-post a few things...short stories to keep you all captivated until I get back. I'm setting the dates in the future, so don't freak out if there's something in here with a date of next week! Feel free to read them all now, but don't blame me if you're bored in a few days.

A lesson in modern technology

Matt's mother just got a new cell phone when she moved to Seattle, and I think it may be time to give her a lesson on things like setting up her voicemail box, which she hasn't done yet, and maybe show her how to save (or not save) a number. Matt had to call her from my cell phone the other day, because his had died. Apparently she saved my number as his! I don't mind her having my number - she's a lovely woman, but yesterday I had multiple voicemails which started out, "Matt, this is Mom...". I had to keep sending him office emails to forward the information from her messages.

Up until this morning, it was not a big deal, even amusing at times.

I set my alarm via my cell phone. Matt has an alarm clock on the night stand, and there simply isn't enough room for another alarm clock. That, and my phone vibrates when the alarm goes off, so between the beeping and the buzzing, I wake up to it every time. This morning my alarm went off and I just reached over and blindly turned it off. A little while later, I rolled over to see what time it was, and I realized that according to the clock, my alarm shouldn't have gone off yet. About this time, Matt starts mumbling something about how he was supposed to meet his mother, and she was probably wondering where he was. At this, I grabbed my phone and looked at my call history. "Crap! That wasn't my alarm going off, that was the phone ringing! I hung up on your mother!"

I'm betting I won't be getting a 7:30am call from Maureen again any time soon.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

The calm before the storm?

There haven't been any interesting scenarios this week, so I don't have much to say. I'm pretty sure this is a good thing, considering the usual events in my life. Matt and I are going camping next week - so I'll try to have a super-long blog entry on Saturday, to keep you over until I return.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

A new perspective

My eight year old nephew is staying at our house for the weekend, and we're having a great time sofar. Last night Justin took a shower before bed, and came out to say goodnight wearing khaki shorts and a button up dress shirt.

Me: Justin, why are you wearing that?
Justin: This is what I'm wearing tomorrow.
Me: I get that, but why are you wearing it now?
Justin: Mom didn't pack any pajamas for me.
Me: Huh. Well, you can't be comfortable in that; why don't you wear one of Matt's Tshirts?
Justin: No, this is fine.

He then proceeded to pull the blankets back and crawl into bed, wearing belt and all. My nephew is a freaky kid.

This morning Justin came out of bed ready made! Matt made blueberry pancakes for breakfast. Afterwards, I mentioned something about brushing teeth, and Justin just looked at me.

Me: Lemme guess, you're mom didn't pack a toothbrush for you?
Justin: Yeah! (giggle)
Me: Well, we just need to pick one up for you today.
Justin: She packed a sweater for me.
Me: Yeah, I saw that. A nice knit sweater - perfect for winter, but no toothbrush. Next time I'm sending your mom a checklist.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Please excuse the mess...

My sister is coming up to drop my nephew off for the weekend, and our house is a disaster.

We had borrowed her steam cleaner for our living room carpet, and we have to return it this weekend while my sister is up. We've had the cleaner for over a month, and of course, we just got around to using it last night. At 8:30. I have to say, it looked great when Matt was done. I found it pretty amusing however, when he called me in to express his confusion that the carpet was wet. Apparently he thought that the cleaner would suck enough water back up that the carpeting would be dry when he was done, so he had moved all our stuff outside, thinking it would be moved right back when he was finished. All of the livingroom furniture is currently in my kitchen and dining room, waiting to be moved back after work.

Maybe my sister will help move it all back!

Thursday, August 12, 2004

A little piece of heaven

I finally broke down and ordered a Frappuccino at Starbucks today. I used to get the vanilla ones on occasion, but I stopped when I was forced to admit to the nutritional value of them. Well, today I decided to try the new vanilla bean creme frappuccino, and wow is it yummy! Remember when you were a kid, and you would eat frosting straight out of the plastic container? Well, I don't. I don't think we ever had store-bought frosting as kids, but I can imagine what it was like. The vanilla bean creme frappuccino is even better than eating frosting straight out of the plastic container! (or what I imagine it to be like) Props to Mom for making store bought frosting something that I have to imagine, and props to Starbucks for their tasty beverages!

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

MY toy!

I bought the coolest toy for my younger brother's birthday! I found a space shuttle with a docking station! It also has two spacemen and a little space truck! The package arrived last week, and I just got around to wrapping it and shipping it off to him today, but not without playing with it first! The other night Matt was making dinner, and I came in with the box, looking for a knife.

Matt: What'cha doin'?
Me: I'm gonna play with Nathan's new toy!
Matt: Wha- No, Kim, put it down.
Me: (cutting through the tape)What?
Matt: You're going to break it before you even send it to him!
Me: No I won't, silly. I think I can figure out how to - wow! The doors of the shuttle open! Ooh, and there's a little arm thing that comes out! Neat!
Matt: Kim, put it back in the box!
Me: No! I want to look at it! I'm "testing" it.
Matt: Silence.
Me: Ooh! The truck has a satellite dish thingie on top!
Matt: We can get you one of your own if you'd like.
Me: Actually, it is pretty cool...Okay, I'm going to put it away now.

Saturday, August 07, 2004


In reviewing previous posts on my blog, I've come to the conclusion that my life reads alot like an I Love Lucy episode.

Actually, I just lied right there. I was telling Pamela about my harrowing, near-getting-stuck-on-the-shelf-in-my-closet experience (see below), and she told me that my life plays out like an I Love Lucy episode.

Makes one wonder why I was blessed with the ability to reproduce, huh?

I wish I didn't always have an amusing story to tell

Matt and I keep the bedroom door closed, so that the cats don't molest my clothing and bedspread, leaving a trail of cat hair behind. This morning I learned the dangers of having a push-button lock on your bedroom door. We're still trying to figure out who is responsible, but I do know one thing: After my shower, I couldn't get dressed because the bedroom door was locked. I tried jamming a pen in the little hole on the outside, and I even tried sliding an old atm card down the space between the door and the frame. Nothing worked. It was time to channel MacGyver.

Our house has 2 bedrooms, which sit side by side, and they "share" a closet. When you look into the closet for one room, you realize that you're looking at half a closet. You can see over the wooden barrier, into the other half of the closet, and into the other room. I think at one time, the two bedrooms were a walk-thru of sorts.

So, Matt boosted me, wearing only a bathrobe, up to the shelf in the closet of the room that we could still access. I managed to turn myself around so that I wouldn't have to dive face first out of the other side, and did this cramped scoot sortof thing until I got to the other side. I looked down - man that's a ways up for someone who's afraid of heights! I started to slide down, and about halfway there, I realized that if I were to continue, I would end up with a bunch of hangers in my face, which could prove painful. I actually managed to pull myself back up onto the closet shelf, leaned over, and started removing clothing from the closet, and throwing it on the floor. I found a box on the shelf, which I proceeded to drop on the floor, so I wouldn't have to drop as far. Then I turned around again, and braced my feet on either side of the door frame. I scootched myself down with my feet, until my arms and chin were the only thing holding me to the shelf, then dropped.

It was a good morning.

Friday, August 06, 2004

Relief sets in.

My mother had emailed me complaining of dry red patches on her skin, asking if I had any recommendations. I suggested she try a good moisturizer and drinking more water. Matt was standing nearby when I read the first part of her response:

Mom: Well, we have a little vaseline laying around and some lotion we picked up for Lindsay awhile back.
Me: Eew!
Matt: What?
Mom: Maybe I'll try the lotion and save the vaseline for Lindsay when her lips start drying out.
Me: Oh, good!
Matt: What??
Me: Oh, nothing. I thought mom was going to put vaseline on her face, but it turns out she's not.
Matt: Oh.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Someone out there is reading!

I have comments! I LOVE comments! Thank you, Traci - you're the best ever!

It can only get better from here

I have these great pants that I haven't worn in awhile, and I decided to give them a "comeback moment" today for work. Unfortunately said "comeback moment" has turned into several not so pleasant moments. Please take my advice, and try old favorites on before you wear them out in public.

1. I think my behind and thighs have gotten a bit larger, because my pants don't quite fit right anymore. Sure, they look alright on, but the pockets won't stay put! The pants have buttons on both sides, above the pockets, to create a bit of a "sailor" look. They're very cute, but if they don't fit just right, the pocket insides pooch out. I have to walk around with my hands in my pockets so that I don't look lame.

2. The pants lace up the back, and the laces are really long, so they hang down, kindof like a tail. It sounds silly, now that I've typed it out, but trust me, they're great. They're a nice charcoal color, so they work just fine for the office. I like to call it "office flair". I learned the importance of not forgetting previous wardrobe malfunctions today. I went to the restroom, and just before I proceeded to let go of my willpower, I looked into that little space between the edge of the seat and my crotch, and lo and behold, there were my laces. In the water. Timing is everything, girls.

Who knew that it was possible to curse in silence? Probably a good thing. Can you imagine sitting in an office restroom, occupying the stall next to a woman who suddenly starts yelling vulgarities? It would probably freak the average girl out.

Needless to say, I grabbed toilet paper as fast as I could, and started attempting to dry my laces. As previously stated, the laces are charcoal in color. Yes, you guessed it, there were little bits of white toilet paper all over my laces. Damn. I proceeded to finish my business, then grabbed paper towels to do the job. They don't leave as much behind as toilet paper does.

3. I finally got back to my desk, and proceeded to do my work. At one point I looked down. I don't know what caused me to look down, but now I'm glad I did. I will be keeping my legs crossed for the remainder of the day. The seam is coming apart. The hem isn't coming loose, and a button isn't coming off, no. The seam on the upper thigh of my left leg is coming loose. Beautiful.