Tuesday, July 27, 2010

What I Know About Gin

Gordons: You can make this at home yourself. Lighter fluid. Rubbing alcohol. Cheap perfume. Whatever ya got. Remember to add a couple of juniper berries.

Beefeaters: Cute label.

Tanqueray:  "You say, 'What did you do with him today?' And sniffed me out like I was Tanqueray. You know I'm no good."

Bombay:  Pretty decent.

Bombay Saphire:  Pretty and Decent.

Boodles:  I'd walk into any gin joint for some of that.

Hendricks: Smells like roses. Warning: sense memory may kick in if you once had a rose garden.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Credit Card Company Caper Continues

"We don't recognize divorce," the woman on the telephone said. I was a tad bit taken aback. I have a Final Decree of Divorce. It's signed by a judge and has an insignia from the court.
"Does that mean my ex-husband shouldn't have remarried?" I ask.
"As far as we're concerned, the agreement you entered into with the credit card company when you opened this account supersedes marital status."
The above conversation ensued after I learned I could not take my name off of one of the joint credit card accounts I still hold with Mr. Ex.  I can't take my name off of it, because due to certain "credit rating issues" Mr. Ex isn't eligible to have the account in his name only.
He needs to be hooked up with me and  my alimony which I get from him in order to qualify for a credit card?

photo: the digeratilife.com

Monday, July 19, 2010



Layla still takes thyroid meds twice per day--after the morning and evening walks. In a Jerky Treat, please. Remember--she snaps and won't take it nicely from your hand. Due to certain gastric disturbances I have added Gas Busters to the dog pill regimen. Give one to Lola, too. For you humans there’s Beano in the pantry if you want to join the party.
And there are the usual allergy pills to dispense as needed.
Layla’s nerve degeneration is to the point that I have gated both her and Lola in the downstairs. Layla is like a dog on a bender now, and steps are a bad idea. The gate is a bit of a hassle. My apologies. The opening in it is made for a size 2 starlet. And—this is very important—the gate is positioned on the bottom step of the staircase, which means that unless you had your feet bound at age five, the tread is now quite abbreviated. And the gate is not bolted to the wall. It’s a “pressure gate” i.e. the pressure is on us humans using it not to employ it as a weight bearing railing.
As for the walks, Layla is still sufficiently jazzed about being alive that she somehow makes it up the patio steps. I have a ramp stored next to the steps just in case, but I’ve had no luck teaching her how to use it. I suggest rubbing it with a dead chicken, Cheeze Whiz, or paté de fois gras if you want to give it a go. As for getting down the steps, her  joie de vivre renders her delusional after she’s been out sniffing the grass. She thinks she can bound down the steps like a puppy. Don’t let her. She’ll hit the bottom like a canine Gumby. I stop at the top of the steps, remove Lola’s leash and let her go down first. Then I take off Layla’s leash and guide her down by the collar. I’m going to try to find a halter for her before I go.
The cats recently had teeth extracted. Snowflake is on antibiotics because one of her rotten teeth was infected. This medication may be finished before I go, but if not, it’s on the counter in the bathroom. Did you know that as cats age they can develop a condition in which the enamel of their teeth just wears away? That’s Piper. Snowflake, who is much more robust overall, just has unfortunate oral chemistry. She produces tartar prolifically. Both cats have stitches (the self dissolving kind) and have to be on soft food until the 24th. The bowls of crunchies are stored on the front closet shelf in a plastic grocery sack. So break them out in a few days. Have a party. Goldfish for the humans? 
Oh—Snowflake has joined the ranks of the thyroid impaired. She has liquid meds. In the fridge on the door shelf in a brown bottle. 1/4 ml. twice a day. This medication must be kept cold, so I just fill a plastic syringe in the kitchen and take it to her. A nice little surprise. I try to catch her before I let her out of the bathroom in the morning and then later in the day when she is  sacked out in her bed on my desk. Here kitty, kitty.
How to give a cat a syringe of meds?
1)    hold cat's head like a baseball (honest—this is what the vet said)
2)   wiggle the syringe into the side of the cat's mouth where there are no teeth
3)   fire away
Alternately, you can sort of kneel over her on the floor, pinning her between your legs.
Good luck. And thank you from the bottom of my heart. I promise to do the same for you should you ever need thyroid medication.

Good News Department:
Snowflake has stopped the loud meowing. Which is good cuz it’s about a million degrees in the garage now. Maybe her teeth were hurting her. Yes, I feel guilty. There are pain meds for the cats on the bathroom counter. You could try that if she takes up yowling again. And I have vicodin in my bathroom cabinet (for you--not the cats) in case all else fails.
Because of the gate and because it is summer, there is much less dog hair everywhere and almost none on the now rather beautiful black granite stairs.
The grevelia tree has made a similar seasonal transition and no longer produces 2 trash bags of leaves daily. It has stopped dropping sap as well which makes the patio a tad more pleasant.
AND I now have a juicer.

Bad News Department:
The Roomba died.

Extra Summer Chores Department—the good and not so good:
There are blueberries to pick!
Fresh mint for mojitos!

All dog poo going into the trashcan should be bagged first or a plague of flies will ensue. Scoop twice per day, please—morning and evening.
Should you like to barbeque, the gas must be turned on with the little yellow handle. Parallel to the pipe is the “on” position. The igniter knob on the grill has disappeared, and you must light the grill by removing the grate and manually lighting it with a lighter. Sorry. It's on my fix-it list. Remember to turn off the gas.
The sprinklers are set to go on every other day. But check and see if anything looks parched. And don’t you get parched, okay?

So remember, the wine on the kitchen counter is for you. Get wild and crazy with the liquor in the pantry. Check the freezer. If you like gin at all, try the Hendricks. There's Tonic on the bottom shelf of the small pantry. And seltzer for the mojitos.

The envelope taped to the pantry door is for you. Enjoy.
And enjoy the love of the creatures who invented unconditional love.
And enjoy my place. It's lovely here. I live at the end of the rainbow! Flocks of song birds and wild parrots. Cable TV. Help yourself to pay per view. Call long distance on my phone. Wireless Internet. There's a pool, jacuzzi and sauna in the community area. And I have made up new pool keys which include a front door key. There are pool towels and goggles next to the washing machine.
And as noted above, it's summer. There are freeeeee concerts in the park.
Have at that espresso-maker. Eat whatever I've got. 
I love you for being here. Very, very much.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Mr. Ex does NOT want to sign off on the agreement to divide allll of our assets. Just maybe one account or something.
I misunderstood my attorney's email.
Silly me.

How Big Is It? #2 or DESPAIR

It was so big last month, I didn't pay it.
Now it's bigger.

Mr. Ex,
It's only fair that you reimburse me for half of my attorney fees (total now somewhere north of 40 grand) since you are the one who has dragged this out for almost three years.
Oh, and could you tell me please why you are doing this?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

I often rely on walking my dogs as a way to re-focus my energy back on the positive.
This evening here is what we saw:

a sick tree

a dead  lizard

a discarded doll

What a relief it was to have a friend over.

Out of the  dark and into the light.

Crying & Laughing in My Beer

I had an urge to visit my old neighborhood today. 
I took myself out for lunch, and so it happened that I found myself in the very same eatery

where Mr. Ex and I waited in December of 2006 for my new wedding ring to be resized.

 I had a $4.00 silver band originally, which was all quite cool by me, but it got bent at some point and had a habit of turning my finger black. 

 Mr. Ex suggested new rings for our 29th anniversary and I chose an antique ring with a tiny diamond.
 It was beautiful and just my style. 

So there I was sitting in nearly the same spot that Mr. Ex and I had occupied when I decided to take a break from writing and feasting on my avocado sandwich--and divert myself with a little email.

Lo and behold. A message from my attorney reporting that Mr. Ex wants to divide our assets.

Mr. Ex,
Have you been reading my blog?  Have you perhaps gotten a little review of how badly you've been behaving?

The email reported that Mr. Ex is going to get an assistant to help him get certain documents together to facilitate the signing of the agreement to divide our joint assets.  Assistant?! Documents?!
Haven't we already gathered enough documents?

Mr. Ex,
Here are the instructions for your assistant:
1) remove fancy pen from Mr. Ex's shirt pocket
2) remove cap from above-mentioned pen
3) hand pen back to Mr. Ex so that he may sign the document my attorney will be sending him

Meanwhile, I've instructed my attorney to proceed with the "Motion to Compel." Why would I want to trust a man who began calling his girlfriend several times a day just a couple of weeks after he bought his  wife a new wedding ring?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Hi Mr. Ex, How ya doin?

I meant to delete the link to this blog that's part of my automatic email signature when I sent a reply to Mr. Ex's  email, but I didn't.
I didn't expect Mr. Ex to actually email me about our joint checking account after his secretary gave him my message.  But he did.
His answer was cryptic. It reminded me of a fortune one might pull out of a Chinese fortune cookie.

... some companies require more time to make the change for the auto deductions.

So I emailed him back and asked how much time and I just hit send and then a day later, I thought, OH.

So hey, Mr. Ex, if you're reading this, Hi!!! How about dividing our joint assets? Oh and BTW, I'm closing that joint checking account really soon.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Roarrrrrr Snarrrrrrl Grrrrrrowl

I must have an evil alter ego somewhere. Actually, I'm pretty sure I can access it, I just don't want to unlock that box.

As the 3rd anniversary of Mr. Ex's departure approaches, I have become increasingly cranky at having my financial affairs entwined with his. About five seconds after I got my first alimony check, I stopped using all of our joint credit cards, never touched the ATM cards for our joint accounts, never wrote a check. He, however, is still using our joint checking accounts (currently funded by his money)--one of which he is consistently overdrawn on.  I don't suppose this is good for my credit rating. It is certainly not good for my mental health. It is not possible to simply remove my name from the account, so it must be closed.

On June 30th I sent Mr. Ex an email titled, "I'm going to close our xxxx Bank checking account." I asked how much time he needed to reconfigure his automatic bill pay. How did he respond?  He didn't. Zilch. Zip. Nada. I've been busy writing, so I let it go. Today, I decided to close the account and drove to the bank. Hmmm, I thought, maybe I should give him one more chance. All those bills on autopay. He has a baby in the house. What if they shut off his water or his power or the gas? So I sat in my car and  called his secretary and asked to speak to him. He was too busy, so I asked her to give him a very specific message.  "I need to close the account," I said. (I didn't tell her he is consistently overdrawn). "He has a lot of bills on autopay."

I ran an errand. I came home. The account is overdrawn again.

Is there something I can take to make me meaner?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Hide, Impostors, Frauds, & Hypocrites

Mr. Ex was the center of the moral universe in our house. I was the moon. Changeable and moody. One day full-faced and bright, the next just a sliver of myself in the dark. Mr. Ex knew the Bible, the law, and the general gist of the tax code. I read poetry and the newspaper, got fat on fiction and gorged myself with my own intuition. If our marriage was going to end, anyone you'd have asked would have told you that I'd be the one to fly the coop.
"Denise ran off to Paris? I'm not surprised," they might have said.
"Denise is living in a yurt in the mountains above Santa Fe? Well. It had to happen eventually."
"She ran off to Vegas with the refrigerator repairman...hmmm, I'm a little surprised, but......"
We don't know each other. Or we do, but not totally. Or when we are with the people who love us, what reflects back is the brightness of love, and it blinds everyone in the room.  Or we just don't know jack shit about anyone.
Everyday in the newspaper murderers are described as the nicest of neighbors. Clowns are revealed as killers, journalists unveiled as spies. When I was growing up in Iowa, a public service announcement came on the TV every evening. Parents, it's 10:00 p.m. Do you know where your children are? There were plenty of parents, I suppose, that might have been surprised or even completely shocked.
My children, as of a week ago, are all adults. I don't keep tabs on them. I haven't for some time. But I hope they are living lives free of dark secrets. I hope they tell the truth to their significant others. And to themselves.
Maybe that's the confusing part. Maybe we don't really know ourselves.
Maybe I wasn't the moon at all.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Chick on the Train or Why Not a Chicken?

"I have to know," my daughter-in-law asked, "Why a chicken?" The twenty-something young man seated at the end of the Gold Line car was cupping a downy peeping chick in his hand. The grandchildren were rapt.
"They were on sale," he said. "Two-fifty." The chick did what chickens do, and his friend handed him a brown paper sack punched with air holes. The young man eased the chick back into its bag and gratefully accepted a squirt of hand sanitizer out of the bottle my son pulled from his pocket.

My grandchildren, like all children, often act impulsively. And sometimes young guys buy chickens. What other exceedingly cute creature could you buy for two dollars and fifty cents? There's delight in following a whim, allowing your heart or your gut to dictate to your head. I don't do that much. My bathroom mirror has daily reminders taped to it. My iCal is color-coded. Writing. Personal. Home. MFA used to have a color, too--but that category has been retired.

Since the division of my joint assets is likely to go on forever, I think I ought to indulge my improvisational impulses. Have some fun with it.

Why not a chicken?