Saturday, March 04, 2006
This morning Emma decided to sleep late and give Noni a break on Mommy's morning to sleep in. She got up at 8:10 a.m. We goofed off for a while and then they had breakfast while I showered and got dressed. We decided we'd go to Costco first so we headed out to the car. Except Emma and Popi cruised right by the car, into the neighbor's yard and then started doing this:

The girl in the trunk
We went to this store called Finders Keepers. It's a liquidation store, mostly for scratch and dent items from Costco. They sell food that is in damaged packaging, clothes that didn't sell, and maybe returns. You can find a little bit of everything there. Today I came away with bath crayons, a few food items to try and a Ralph Lauren polo for M. While Noni was paying for her items I headed out to the car to load up. We quickly solved a problem of Emma wanting to run around the parking lot. Nice solution, eh?

Here she was watching the passing cars and waving:

P. S. We never once went to McDonald's.
Friday, March 03, 2006
Music appreciation
The iPod is fulfilling it's purpose; music is becoming more a part of my life again.

My iPod is filled with my entire music collection; right now about 4400 titles. I like all kinds of music. I'm partial to music from my formative years, the 1980's, but I really enjoy music from the last century. OK, except maybe the 1920's.

I love vocalists, so I love singers who can sing the standards. The ones who set the standard for the standards. My all time favorites are Dean Martin, Nat King Cole, and Ella Fitzgerald. Their voices soothe my soul. They really take me to a wonderful place when I listen to them. There are some others I also enjoy, like Bing Crosby, Doris Day, Dinah Shore, Frank Sinatra, Jo Stafford, Keely Smith, and Dinah Washington. I can tell by listening whether it's Ella, Billie Holiday, or Bessie Smith.

Most people don't get it. "Elevator music, whatever dude."

All I can say is it gets me
Back in Noni's arms
Can you tell they're happy to see each other again?

Thursday, March 02, 2006
Yet Another...
new approach to the forbidden end table. She's taken to chasing the cat behind the furniture. Joy!

Let me tell you something about myself...
I make a damned good grilled cheese sandwich. It's a scrumptious stack of buttery, cheesy goodness. Emma is blessed to have me for her grilled cheese sandwich making mommy.

P.S. Post 800!
I recommend...
These are delicious. I usually eat cereal dry. Shredded wheat is a terrific low-fat high fiber cereal and easy on the WW Points. These flavors are new and I highly recommend them. When you open the box the strawberry or maple aroma is pretty potent, but the cereal happens to taste good too.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006
A beautiful day
By local standards. I worked until 1:30 p.m. and then came home and had lunch. When I went out for a two mile walk it was at the peak 59 degrees. Very windy, though. When I brought Emma home I was game for staying outside for a while and letting her explore. She found a big stick. She was as happy as a clam.

Living dangerously
I'm just waiting for her to do a flip into the pack and play.

Not quite wet willy
Emma was stroking Daddy's hair and patting the top of his head. Then she decided to go for the ear...

Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Daddy photos
I had a board meeting tonight so Daddy was on evening duty. He was left with instructions to take some pictures for my blog. He did learn a lesson about holding the camera sideways to take movies. We all learn that one pretty quick.

She's discovered another wonderful way to get our attention fast. Here's how evil I am. The first time she did this, she kept pulling the vertical ones out. On top of them were three DVDs stacked horizontally. Instead of stopping her when I knew the three were going to fall on her head, I let her keep going. I say I let her, I kept telling her "no" I just didn't physically stop her. When those three DVDs came crashing down on her she was a bit upset. She didn't mess with the DVDs for a while after that. Yeah, I really did that.

All we need is wheels on the chair for an awesome riding mower!

In the second grade...
I was sitting around my table. There were probably six of us that sat together, all girls. I was wearing a long dress to school that day. It was a cotton dress, very colorful and I'm sure I felt pretty. I looked down under my chair and realized I was wearing two different colored shoes. That morning I had tried on one of each so I could go in and show Mom how they looked and decide which ones I should wear. I guess at some point I got distracted and forgot all about it.

I can't even remember if I realized it and pointed it out, or if another girl at the table did. It might have even been me. We all had a good laugh about it. Then I got up and asked to be excused to the bathroom. I remember the tears started coming on the way down the hall. I went in the bathroom and cried and cried. I was utterly humiliated and I knew it was me who had been so stupid. Eventually one of the girls from the table was sent to check up on me. She went back and reported and then my teacher came for me.

I can remember her. Ms. Gnagy. She was 24 years old and a very sweet person. I'm pretty sure I told her that I was crying because all the girls laughed at me. Nevermind that I laughed along and might have even started it. Second graders are not exactly known for emotional stability.

I can't remember what happened next...I'm thinking she comforted me and lead me back to class. But then she must have placed a call to my Mom, Noni, to tell her what had happened. Noni left work (lunch hour?) and went out and bought me brand new sandals. She drove them to the school for me. She and my teacher relieved me of the symbols of my humiliation and I got brand new sandals to boot! Talk about superheroes.

I'm not sure if Noni will even remember this, but I remember.
Monday, February 27, 2006
Must-See Video!
Even if you don't usually watch these, I highly recommend this one. Watch the genesis of one of our Battles Royale! Behold as Emma turns on the charm offensive to get what she wants! Laugh as Mommy tries to bribe her! And listen to the mother who was going to use "no" sparingly!

A few more random thoughts on death...
And then I think I'm done for a while. Maybe.

The 25 year-old neighbor that died; I spoke to her grandmother today. They haven't gotten the autopsy results yet, but they think she died of an aneurysm. That's like winning the bad luck lottery. People seldom have any idea an aneurysm is coming. Pop! and you're dead. Horrifying if you think about it. I never asked the grandmother any of this. She just volunteered it. I guess she's gotten into the habit of telling her story.

Today is Pop's birthday. He died in 1998.

Mom and Dad wondered if one of my motivations for the suicide article was my ex. See, he also committed suicide. The strange thing never crossed my mind. He killed himself eight years after the last time I saw him. To be perfectly honest he never once crossed my mind as I wrote that. I thought of many stories and examples, but never his. I never even made a connection till Mom mentioned it. Kinda strange.
Sunday, February 26, 2006
Last words
I was trying to track down where I might have read a quote about not committing suicide because of an overwhelming curiosity about tomorrow. I never found it. Although I did find an essay by H. L. Mencken on the topic. I also found a list of the last words of famous people. It's pretty interesting. Like I can picture myself spouting meaningful last words. Right.

Here are a few:

I should never have switched from Scotch to Martinis.
~~ Humphrey Bogart, actor, d. January 14, 1957

Oh, I am not going to die, am I? He will not separate us, we have been so happy.
Spoken to her husband of 9 months, Rev. Arthur Nicholls.
~~ Charlotte Bronte, writer, d. March 31, 1855

I'm bored with it all.
Before slipping into a coma. He died 9 days later.
~~ Winston Churchill, statesman, d. January 24, 1965

Here you can read the rest if you're interested.
Short-lived triumph
Now that Emma can climb up on the furniture easily she's found an alternate route to the goodies on the forbidden end table.

She's got a closed tube of Desenex in her mouth. An example of why the end table is forbidden.

Ditto the pointy pen. It's not like I'm making up these rules to get my jollies. But she tries again every day. SuperNanny says it's because she had very little long term memory and if it seemed like a good idea yesterday it's probably going to be a good idea again today. Kind of like the movie Groundhog Day.

Thoughts on suicide
I keep talking myself out of blogging about this, but then it keeps coming up.

In general I think suicide is the most selfish thing anyone can do. The impact on the lives of family members and friends is devastating and will last the rest of their lives. I think people who do it are so wrapped up in their own heads that they can't see or don't care about the consequences of their actions. Or they mean to do it. They mean to inflict pain on the people close to them. A documentary on HBO years ago characterized suicide as a final "Fuck You," and I tend to agree with that analysis.

People with young children who commit suicide are scarring those children for life. They are shaping that child's view of the surviving parent, who didn't stop the downward spiral. They are making that child feel forever unimportant; they weren't important enough to make their parent's life worth living. They are leaving their spouse in a terrible position, being forced to support their children alone, both financially and emotionally. Just selfish.

Only once in my life was I miserable enough to consider suicide. I was in my excruciating and short-lived first marriage. I had married a sociopath who quickly isolated me from my friends and family and then fed me a constant diet of lies until I had no bearings. I had no grounding and couldn't trust anything in my life. I was completely and totally off my moorings and miserable. I only thought of suicide for maybe thirty seconds, but then the next immediate thought was "fuck that, there's the bastard that's making me miserable, I should kill him." The truth is there was never any seriousness to any of those thoughts. But it made it clear to me that the solution to my problems was removing him from my life, not making a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

I once read someone who said that they'd never consider suicide because they would never be able to let go of their overwhelming curiosity about what the next day would bring. I think that describes me.

Being a youngish individual I never gave a lot of thought to my own mortality. I sometimes get into a small panic thinking about losing someone I love, but my death rarely occurred to me. Since Emma came it's much different. While I think suicide is the most selfish thing a person can do, I find that I'm selfish in a polar opposite way now. I want to live, I want very badly to live. I don't want to miss seeing Emma grow up. I don't want Emma to have to grow up without her Mommy. Please, Dear God, let me live a full life!

Before you condemn me for having no compassion and being closed minded on the issue of suicide, I'd like to say that I feel a little differently about end-of-life decisions for the terminally ill. If someone is in great physical pain and wasting away and the end is near then I certainly don't begrudge them the decision to end it on their own terms. But even then they should have some compassion for their family and those that love them. Using a gun to blow yourself away in your own home is not a compassionate choice for ending it, even if you do have terminal cancer. Someone has to find you and someone has to clean up the mess. And then your family has to live with the memories of what happened in that room.

Three of my grandparents died within two and a half months of each other. Bea Bea and Pa Paw died within two weeks of each other. All three of them made some sort of decision that ended it when they were ready to go. Pop had terminal cancer and was in hospice care and when he was close enough to the end he just stopped eating. Bea Bea was in the end-stage of diabetes and chose not to go on dialysis because being hooked to a machine made her feel completely dehumanized. I believe she was also depressed. She struggled with the idea that making that choice was essentially committing suicide, but after talking with her minister and her godly friends she was assured that it wasn't suicide. It was a natural progression of her life and the consequences of her disease. Pa Paw was suffering from dementia for two years following a stroke. He was a shadow of the man he had been and was prone to horrifying and surreal dreams, which he had difficulty seperating from reality. I believe he suffered greatly those last two years, trapped in a broken mind. When he learned that Bea Bea was gone, he too stopped eating. The nurses tried to make him eat but he didn't want to and as a consequence he aspirated food into his lungs. He developed pneumonia and died from that. All three of these people lived long full lives and had those lives extended by medical intervention more than once. I begrudge none of them their final choice. I watched each one suffer and was relieved for each of them when they found their peace.

So when I hear the tune "Suicide is Painless" I think that sentiment is the biggest lie ever. Someone attempting suicide might find a way that is painless to them, but there will be heaps of pain for those left behind.