The Edge

No.. not the guy from U2.    Rather.. the edge.. as in.. “going over the”

It’s what I experience when things are out of balance. Here’s the rub: I think I know my way away from it, but I don’t seem to ever quite make it far enough back into the middle to make things work. Maybe it’s my own psychological ploy.. so I’ll have something to write about.

What I DO know is this–a year ago, vigorous exercise got me off of Prozac. I can’t recommend this course for anyone but me.. but in my case.. it worked. I was amazed.. and delighted. I’d been trying to kick the habit for years.

It was because of fitness boot camp. Over a period of weeks.. my mood improved.. and I forgot about the pills. After a while.. I just didn’t need them anymore.

That was a year ago. At this point I’m not in boot camp.. fitness or otherwise. AND.. I am not participating in any sort of exercise that makes up the deficit I feel without the meds. Hence.. the edge.

I like feeling alive and up rather than constantly even. But then.. I also feel the downs.. the moodiness. Yuk. The irony is that working out dissipates the yuks.. and at the same time keeps my mood elevated. This is not rocket science.. but when it happens, it feels miraculous.

The answer here? Exercise or Prozac. Hmm. This should be easy.

Vigorous exercise takes time.. sometimes it hurts and makes me tired.  Prozac evens me out and I feel neither joy or real sadness.  I know what the best answer is..  hmmm.  Maybe it’s time to try out my new bike… and stay away from the edge.


The Top Ten Reasons I Will Always Love David Letterman

10. He’s a sexy doofus.

9. He rarely dumbs it down for his audience.

8. He stocks his mom’s fridge with Colt 45.

7. He loves the doggies.

6. He always wears grey socks.

5. He and Paul Schaffer have been close, personal friends for over 75 years.

4. He’s nuts about his little boy.

3. He’s nuts.

2. He took a fruit basket to GE.

1. The gap in his teeth.

Guitar Hero Goddess

My 14-year-old is a patient soul. His penchant for video games knows no limits.. and occasionally he requests my presence.. if not to watch, then to play. I should know better, but I don’t seem to.

Guitar Hero (both 1 and 2) holds special interest for me so it’s not hard to wrangle ole mom into the action. Many of the songs are from my teenage years.. and now they are from my son’s. The catch is.. he knows how to play them all and I don’t.

My favorites are the Deep Purple classic “Smoke on the Water” (I actually get through that one), Joan Jett’s “I Love Rock & Roll” and of course, “Rock This Town”.. a Stray Cats hit. I can play them all on ‘easy’.. my son amps it up to expert and gets 5 stars in the process. Yikes..

He regularly wallops his competition.. including his older brothers.. who are, um.. supportive..but not more than mildly amused that their little bro is better than they are.

My efforts here remind me of an episode of The Simpsons in which Bart is attempting to learn the guitar. The school bully Nelson asks him what he’s trying to play. “Polly Wolly Doodle,” says Bart. “Well, it sounds Polly Wolly crappy,” Nelson says.

That’s what I am. Polly Wolly crappy.

Truthfully, it makes no never mind to me..

It’s fun to hang with the kid. And what’s even better–he wants me to. Sometimes.

Gravy Loves Cake

When I was 16, my mother introduced me to homemade German chocolate cake. My life and my hips have never been the same.

It’s fair to say that I’ve entertained more fantasies about this particular cake than I have about George Clooney, Colin Firth and Jeremy Northam combined. This is a sad commentary on my life–but it’s true.

I am now in the throes of finishing up the final bites of a German chocolate cake I made last Saturday and I am reminded that this cake, this particular cake, has it all.

I like a cake that’s earthy, not light. There has to be a lot of frosting. The traditional German chocolate frosting is loaded with nuts and coconut–two foods of the gods. And there has to be a lot of it. This recipe makes a huge cake which serves roughly 72 people. No, that’s wrong. But it serves a lot.

I usually double the amount of frosting I use for this cake. One reason for this is that I want a lot of it under the inside layers. The cake, when I slice it, must show at least one inch of frosting.. maybe more. This sounds gross and indulgent. I will not dispute that.

This cake approaches what writer Geneen Roth calls “bliss in matter.” She was referring to chocolate.. but it’s close to the same thing. In this case, it’s about the mix of German chocolate, coconut and nuts. It’s about the way the ingredients all come together and meld into each other. It’s about the rough, outer unfrosted edges of the cake and the gooey, sweet innards. But mostly, it’s about the experience of eating it.. the tall glass of cold milk.. the fork poised in mid air.. being hungry enough to eat a whole generous slice (there’s no whining about how..’i can’t eat another bite’).. and no regrets.

Forget about calories and fat.. eat the cake.. eat the cake.. eat the cake.

Oh, the humanity!

I like people.. I really do. They can be interesting and inspiring.. they sell me my groceries and fix my car and bring my mail and pay me for work and make me laugh and.. well.. you get the idea. But sometimes, without any reason and without warning.. they make me crazy. When I go to bed at night.. I think about the next day and look for cracks in the plan where I can squeeze in some time alone.

I’m not sure this is natural. All I know is that I crave, plan for and then protect my solitude as though my life depends on it.. because.. I think, at least in my case, it does.

This sounds too dramatic.. but it’s the truth.

I could easily turn into a recluse — a recluse with a job, five children and two grandchildren. Let’s see.. how would that work? I know! I could be an exclusive recluse. I would call myself an excluse or a rexclusive.

Hmm.. come to think of it.. I’ve been doing this for years.

I think what’s happening is I’m on people overload. Too many of them right now. My inner brat wants them to go away for awhile. Not forever. Just for awhile.

B words

*Baseball–One of my sons graduates this week with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Our mutual love of baseball has been a bonding point for us. I am making him a big, fat blanket with baseballs all over it for a graduation gift. He fields tough classes for four years–I make him a blanket in return. Sounds about even, right?

*Babies–Even though they range in age from 31 to 13 years.. they are my ‘babies.’ I don’t call them that, of course.. at least not to their faces. Not usually. Well, maybe sometimes. They can’t understand this feeling I have for them until they have children of their own. Even then.. the level of adoration I feel for them will be a source of embarrassment. It’s OK.. I get that it’s a ‘pay it forward’ kind of thing..

*Blog–It’s new to me. It will take a while to get the hang of it. Any potential readers–please be patient.

*Blades of Glory–A guilty pleasure, shared with a friend who understands such indulgences. Laughing that hard is therapeutic.

*Brownies–The perfect food. They can never be too chocolatey or too rich. They can never have enough frosting. There are never enough of them in the world.

Here’s the deal…

It’s all about looking back.. well, and forward, too. Oh.. and let’s not forget about what’s happening now.
To me, it’s all relative. I keep asking how my past, present and future lives intersect. Sometimes I come up with answers.. sometimes not.

I call this time in life my ‘gravy days.’ I look back to my years as a stay-at-home mom of five children with certain joy.. my divorce from their father as a learning experience still moodling around inside of me, and these days as a single parent and regular working girl as fodder for what I write. And there’s plenty of it.

More to come..