Archive for June, 2005

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Flower Power

June 20, 2005

Flower Power

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Sunday Morning Coming Down

June 19, 2005

Well, I woke up Sunday morning
With no way to hold my head that didn’t hurt.
And the beer I had for breakfast wasn’t bad,
So I had one more for dessert.
Then I fumbled in my closet through my clothes
And found my cleanest dirty shirt.
Then I washed my face and combed my hair
And stumbled down the stairs to meet the day.

I’d smoked my mind the night before
With cigarettes and songs I’d been picking.
But I lit my first and watched a small kid
Playing with a can that he was kicking.
Then I walked across the street
And caught the Sunday smell of someone frying chicken.
And Lord, it took me back to something that I’d lost
Somewhere, somehow along the way.

On a Sunday morning sidewalk,
I’m wishing, Lord, that I was stoned.
‘Cause there’s something in a Sunday
That makes a body feel alone.
And there’s nothing short a’ dying
That’s half as lonesome as the sound
Of the sleeping city sidewalk
And Sunday morning coming down.

In the park I saw a daddy
With a laughing little girl that he was swinging.
And I stopped beside a Sunday school
And listened to the songs they were singing.
Then I headed down the street,
And somewhere far away a lonely bell was ringing,
And it echoed through the canyon
Like the disappearing dreams of yesterday.

On a Sunday morning sidewalk,
I’m wishing, Lord, that I was stoned.
‘Cause there’s something in a Sunday
That makes a body feel alone.
And there’s nothing short a’ dying
That’s half as lonesome as the sound
Of the sleeping city sidewalkAnd Sunday morning coming down.

Thanks, Kris, for writing the words.
Thanks, Johnny, for giving it soul.
I know exactly what you mean.
I know exactly how you feel.

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What women want

June 17, 2005
Monkey and Sass
If you’ve read any of my recent posts, you’ll remember that some folks who are important to me are splitting up. Naturally, this gets me to thinking and I have to admit, I’ve come very close to spilling some secrets, sisters. I’ve nearly told the man the truth about what women want. Forget Martha-gate, I’m on the verge of some serious insider trading. I feel, however, that it needs to be out there because I do, after all, have compassion for those poor lost souls trying to figure out women. So, here it is.
Girls want to be needed. Women want to be wanted.
When we’re girls and young women (really, still just glorified girls,) we think we should be needed. That’s what we want from our young men (boys with patchy facial hair and that one lonely wirey chest hair of which they are so proud.) There’s nothing more romantic to the young woman than to hear, “I need you so much, baby. I’m nothing without you.” When we’re young, we want to feel like we are EVERYTHING to a young man, that the world revolves in our over sprayed hair and our Daisy Dukes. We like to “fix” our guys or, at least, show them the way. We love guys who are tormented and write Nyquil poetry (still lovin’ you Gegan, wherever you are,) we love guys who are just “misunderstood.” We want our guys to make us the center of their universe and the subject of their 3 chord garage band ballads. We long for the 3 AM phone call (for which we are grounded for a week,) because it’s the only time said young man can sneak a phone call to us since his folks busted him with the dime bag.
So, our young men grow into full grown men believing that this is still what we want. But, oh they are sorely mistaken.
When we become women, we want to be wanted. Never is this more true than for a woman who has been married for a time and MOST ESPECIALLY if she has children. We’re through with being needed. That penny has lost it’s shine long ago. We’ve been needed to pour juice, wipe bottoms, kiss boo boos, fold laundry, drive the car pool, find the work clothes, make dinner, attend the oh so fun office parties and dinners with the boss, sew on buttons, and be thrilled with the three minutes of love that seem to happen once a month and are over almost before we enter the room.
Nope, the “I need you” boat has passed. We’re cruising on the “I want you” ocean liner. And here, gentlemen, I give you the secret:
The difference between needing someone and wanting someone is this – when you need someone, it’s all about what you NEED from that person, ie, what that person can do for you. When you WANT someone, it’s all about what you can do for (with) that person.
Confused? Read on.
We don’t want to complete anyone. We want someone to come to us whole already. We don’t want to be needed because, dammit, being needed is constant work on someone else. Screw that. We want someone who can fix his own dinner, answer his own phone, figure out which pants match which shirt, can make a decision, have a hobby, whatever. We’ve been the center of the universe to young boys and children for YEARS and we’re done with it, if we have a choice. We want a man to say, “Damn, baby, you’ve been working so hard. Go ahead, get some sushi with your girlfriends. I’ll make my own dinner and play poker with the guys. You stay out as long as you want and I’ll see you soon.” We want a guy to say, “Hey, check it out – I figured that if you put water on the burner of the stove, it’ll boil if it’s turned on. Guess what all you can do with boiling water! It’s amazing! Here, let me show you!” We want a guy who will share the deepest part of himself with us, not because he needs us to hear it, not because we’re the only one he can trust with it, no, we want him to share himself with us because he can, he wants to, and because listening is enough. There’s more to providing than bringing home a paycheck. We want you to give as much as you take. While jewelry is nice (oh Elvis, it’s nice) we want you to give us things that you cannot hold in your hand.
We want a partner, not a project.
We want to *compliment* a man, not complete a man because a real woman is whole in and of herself and needs no completion – and we’d like the same in return.
Come to us whole or don’t come to us at all. We’ve raised enough men in our lifetimes. We’re done raising them. We want to walk beside you, not lead you. We want to delight in who you are, not help you figure that out.
No fear, men of the world, you are winners in this, too! Self sufficiency is an amazing tool to have in your arsenol. BUT, here’s yet another secret: women are much more likely to do things for someone if they don’t need us to do it. We’ll be so much more giving if it comes to us organically and not because it won’t get done if we don’t do it ourselves. It’s so much more enjoyable to make dinner for someone who can feed themselves than it is to make dinner for someone who will walk around like a lost puppy dog for hours complaining of being hungry.
WANT us, gentlemen. That’s it. Just WANT us. Delight in us, don’t demand from us. Let us hold your hand, not your leash. I assure you, if you can feed your own bellies and your own mind, together we can feed each others souls.
Okay, girls, I’ve spilled the beans. But, in all fairness, we cannot get what we want if they have no clue what that is. Show this to your guy. If he’s worth his salt, I’ll meet you at Osaka and we’ll stay out till dawn.
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One pill makes you larger, and one pill makes you small (the remix)

June 16, 2005

Americans are fat. According to the Weight-control Information Network (WIN,) a division of the National Institutes of Health, 129.6 million (64.5%) adults over the age of 20 are overweight. 61.3 million (30.5%) are obese. 15.3% of children (ages 6-11) and 15.5% of adolescents (12-19) are overweight. This blows me away. WHAT ARE WE DOING TO OURSELVES? WHAT ARE WE DOING TO OUR CHILDREN? If I hear one more person say, “Oh, my child isn’t fat – he’s just big boned,” I’m gonna flip out. Yeah, he’s got big bones – and he’s got some big fat on those big bones! Get that bacon double cheeseburger out of his hand – it’s bigger than his head! Ever hear of a damned carrot?

Don’t get me wrong. I know that for some folks, it’s entirely a medical issue. And oh, I know how easy it is to be one of the 129.6 million folks who are overweight. I was overweight for years. I love food. I LOVE FOOD. By the way, have I mentioned that I LOVE FOOD?

But I love myself more.

I’ve been dealing with weight issues my whole life. Seems that I’ve always been too fat, too thin, or pregnant. To be honest, I enjoyed the aspect of pregnancy that allowed my weight to balloon and no one batted an eye at it. When I reached, 160 pounds, however, it became an issue. At 5 foot 4 inches (on a good day,) I looked like a cube when I was 160 pounds. When I gave birth to my last child, I lost a bit of weight but not nearly what I would have liked. I thought, “Oh hell, I breastfeed my kids forever, it’s normal and neccessary to keep some of the weight on.” Then Stealth weaned. I lost a little more and thought, “Awesome!” But I couldn’t break that 150 pound mark. Just couldn’t. Until –

One night I was laying on the floor outside my boys’ room (to scare away the monsters, you know,) and I thought, “Damn, I’m bored. I wonder what would happen if I did a sit up?” So I did one and guess what happened? NOTHING. Nothing happened. The world did not stop spinning, gravity did not suddenly reverse, my belly button didn’t fall off. So I thought, “Hmm. I guess I’ll do another one.” So I did. And then I did another. And another. And then I moved my legs some. And then it occurred to me to do some every night. So I did. I decided to not eat the vat and half of ice cream that night. And I thought that maybe water instead of soda would be okay and if I had to have a soda, maybe one without so much sugar would work as well. The world kept on turning, I still was on the floor and not the ceiling and, yep, belly button still intact. But my pants didn’t fit anymore. Hmmm. Long story short, I’ve lost about 35 pounds since Thanksgiving of 2004, the majority of it coming off in 2 months (February and March 2005.)

Everyone has asked me what I did to lose the weight. When I tell them the truth – I ate less and moved more – they look at me with disbelief and disgust. Everyone is looking for a magic answer, the magic pill, that makes them lose the weight. I don’t have a magic pill for you (well, not one that will make you lose weight, anyhow.)

From CNN.com (Friday, June 10)
In a no-nonsense approach to weight loss, the American Heart Association’s new diet book offers options for the weak. Can’t give up pizza? Try eating two slices instead of your regular three. Craving ice cream? Try a sorbet.
“The intent on doing this was to try to get around the faddish diets,” said Dr. Robert Eckel, president-elect of the American Heart Association and professor of medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. “The theme is based on behavior, nutrition and physical activity.”


SURPRISE! I guess all that we were taught in 8th grade health class is true. What’s true today is the same that’s been true forever and will continue to be true for the rest of time. There’s no secret – eat from your brain, not from your heart. Move your body. The cold hard fact is that it took us all time to get to the weight we are, it will take time to get to weight we want to be. It’s hard work, but it can be fun, (Go ahead, tell me that giving away all your fat clothes isn’t a hoot!) It takes determination. It takes effort. But I’m worth it – and so are you.

You’re more than welcome to come and sit on my floor and see if you, too, can do a sit up without chaging the rotation of the Earth. I’m sure there are more monsters to scare away -they’re probably hiding out with the White Rabbit.

New note from Mamakohl:
I’m sure there are folks out there who will rupture a blood vessel in their foreheads reading this post. I hope you have insurance because if this pisses you off, just wait – you have no idea what might come flying out of my mouth / fingertips at any moment.

Seriously, if you have issues with it, seems to me that it’s your problem and not mine. I think it would be wiser use of your time to examine why you have such issues than it would be for you to use the time to email me your frustrations. I’ve got enough of my own, thank you very much.

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There are no words

June 15, 2005

I know of a couple, married for over 30 years, who are separating. I’m fairly close to both of them, so I’m emotionally effected and torn, but I’m not so close to them that I cannot keep some sort of distance and clarity. It’s fairly clear to me that they have both done some things that have screwed it up – and probably have been doing those same things for all the 30+ years that they’ve been together. After all, if you do what you’ve always done, you’re going to get what you’ve always gotten.

I think they both must trust me because they have both admitted some somewhat personal things to me. I feel honored that they trust me with their truths. How do I support them both? How do I stay true to myself and answer honestly when they ask for my opinion and still not seem to be taking one side over another? Truth be told, I have a few strong opinions for both of them.

BUT

1) the reality is that it’s NONE of my business. Period.
2) these people have been married longer than I’ve been breathing air, so what do I know?

There aren’t words for this. The only thing I can think of is, “Let’s pour ourselves a tall one, and chop a line from here to Texas.”* Well, they don’t drink and I’ve never chopped a line, so that doesn’t really work, you know?

At the end of the day, what do I say? What can anyone say?

*Mr. Ritchie, rock on.

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Will the real Mamakohl please stand up

June 15, 2005
Self

My friend, Velma, is the bravest person I know. She might not jump in front of moving trains or run into blazing buildings to save someone’s pet turtle, but still, none the less, the girl has balls. She does, on a regular basis, something that scares the crap out of me like no clown or Republican could – she takes self portraits and actually shares them with folks.

Velma’s Self Portraits

Velma has not led the most charmed life, nor has she always made the perfect choices, but she’s never apologetic for who she is. She’s herself and she loves and honors herself and, in essence, has become flawless as a result. What would it be like to be her? To be okay with myself every day in everyway. If she sees something in herself that she doesn’t like, she fixes it but doesn’t berate herself for having less than perfect traits. She’s honest and does a self check all the time *without qualifiers.* AMAZING. She is, I believe, the embodiment of an empowered woman.

And she’s a hell of a lot of fun, to boot!

Last night, my husband and I stayed up waaaaaay too late watching home movies. What I realized is that I couldn’t handle watching the parts with me in them. Oh I squirmed and looked away. I didn’t like the way I sounded, the way I was acting, the size of my body. I could have erased myself from those videos and been totally fine. That is horrible! Why can’t I just be Zen with who I am?

Jaime Lee Curtis has written some amazing children’s books – I think that even adults should read them. Anyway, she has one out that’s about self esteem and it has things in it like, “I’m gonna like me when I make mistakes.” The whole thing is just about digging yourself regardless of your flaws. Just learning to like what you see when you look in the mirror and just loving yourself, warts and all. LOVE Jamie Lee. At 29 years old, can I learn a lesson I should have gotten when I was a kid?

I’m gonna try. I’m going to be unashamed of who I am. I’m going to explore myself and take pictures of myself and learn to be cool with them. I’m going to capture the less that perfect complexion, the large forehead and prominent chin. I’m going to accept that I’m not 18 anymore (thank Elvis I’m not 18 anymore,) and that sometimes I just look old and haggard because sometimes I look young and beautiful. I’m going to explore why I cannot handle images of myself.

And maybe, just maybe, I’ll be able to pick the real Mamakohl out of the lineup. But if not, at least I’ll have some nice parting gifts.

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Assorted rumblings in my head

June 14, 2005

SO. Some of you may have noticed that I deleted a post (One pill makes you larger, and one pill makes you small.) I got an email from someone with not so nice comments regarding the post and, in a moment of weakness, I gave two hoots about what they said. Favorite comments from the email:

my weight loss “isn’t something that should be shouted about because it’s just plain insensitive to those of us who aren’t where you are,”

“sitting on your floor isn’t the answer”

But the grand prize winner is

“Maybe the reason that 129.6 million Americans are overweight is because our government has a twisted idea of what normal weight really is.”

Well, thanks so much for your opinion. Now that it’s been voiced and your thoughts are read as well, I’m going to try to recreate the post. Look for it soon.

In all fairness, if Michael Jackson is not guilty, well, then I suppose it’s possible that our government does have a twisted idea of normal weight.

And I was born a poor black child.

And in other news

My friend, Jill, has a blog now. This delights me beyond words. I’ve known her since 8th grade and our history together spans topics such as World Peace, turkey feet in lockers, amoebas, Eric Clapton (there is still a subsitute teacher out there who I swear will never show an anti drug video to a class ever again and, “it’s alright, it’s alright, it’s alright …”,) well, you get the idea. Jill is refreshingly honest and uses phrases like, “Oh Balls!” all the time. Check it out. http://ohballs.blogs.friendster.com/balls_balls_balls/ Jill mentions that she’s in Cork. For those of you who might be as geographically ignorant as I, Cork is in IRELAND.

I have some fabulous new clients. I love having great clients. It makes my job so much easier. Wahoo for right on folks having right on babies in right on ways.

My husband and father in law are going to be replacing our gutters, facia, and soffits this week. Sounds great (eyes actually rolling out of my head and across the office floor.) Let’s hope that by weeks end, we still have a roof over our heads and everyone is still alive with all their digits. And, I’m hoping that by the end of the week, someone will have learned to make his own coffee.

I have wonderful girlfriends. I’m particularly holding a few of them in my heart right now. I love you, JP, DDFF, VJG. You make being a woman in Mid-Missouri border on fun. And JW? Thanks for remembering your roots and how badly they suck.

Anyone else have dirty laundry that breeds? Honestly.

My kids love Handel. The really love Water Music. I think they see colors when they listen. I know they feel sensations on their skin. I wish I could be as cool as they are, but I’ve forgotten how.

I wish that someone would take the time to educate the mass public on homeschooling. Yesterday I had to take the kids to a little appointment and the gal we were meeting says to me, “Oh you’re homeschooling? Great, Duck, you can be our line leader! You’ll have to do that a lot when you’re in school.” Mindless people really make me wish there was a law enacted to conserve oxygen and people who make comments like that should just be sacrificed for the greater good.

I gotta go get some laundry on the line. Or, start slipping my clothes The Pill.

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12 Step Cha Cha

June 10, 2005

Someone I love is an alcoholic. Actually, someone I love is a recovering alcoholic with a week shy of 9 months of sobriety. This amazes and thrills me beyond anything you can even imagine. I don’t know that I’ve ever felt more pride in someone. The change is mind blowing and, while I still have days that suck out loud, nothing in life nearly as horrid as it once was.

But the journey – crap on a cracker, the journey! It’s torturous. You gotta get help. In a dyad affected by alcoholism, someone has got to have some help. So, when I had reached my own rock bottom, I started going to Al-Anon. I guess I just got lucky and stumbled into the right meeting, because I felt *immediate* ease. There was something so comforting about being in a room of people who didn’t think you were crazy (well, okay, I guess we all KNEW that we were crazy, but that’s another post,) who understood what was going on with you because they, too, had lived it.

Lots of folks are surprised to hear that members of Al-Anon also practice the famous “12 steps.” To use the correct lingo, we “work the steps.” It’s all the same – our lives are out of control, we have no control over alcohol, we need help, etc.

It’s hard for me to wrap my mind around some of the language that is used (GOD, prayer, helpless,) but you know, it’s really REALLY good stuff. It works for damned near anything and everything. I have family members or friends that drive me insane? I find myself being compelled to make bad choices? Well, I can twelve step myself into sanity. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it – and I hope to Elvis you never have to try it.

But this language, the 12 steps, the meetings. It’s a bit to overcome. The slogans are a bit easier to come by and to swallow. “One day at a time.” “Easy does it.” “Let go and let God.”

See, that last one makes my teeth itch. Let go and let God. yeah, right. What??? But, you know, it’s easier to swallow if you can say, “Let go and Let Elvis.” Or “Let go and let Mother Nature.” Or “Let go and Let Mastercard.” Basically, let it go – you can’t do it on your own, let something else help you out. “You didn’t cause it, you cannot control it, you cannot cure it.” Amen.

I actually have some slogans of my own.

“In the end, it will be okay. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”

“Life is like a hair dryer – sometimes it’s hot, sometimes it’s not, and sometimes it just blows you away.”

“When you’ve reached the end of your rope – hang on. You might not make it, but you’ll have buff arms.”

“Will this really matter in 5 years?”

“Never forget in the dark what you learned in the light.”

“That which does not kill us makes us stronger – and it’s good to have an inner badass.”

“There’s nothing in life that a little sushi, amazing girlfriends, and a good lip gloss can’t ease – at least for a bit.”

“Throw it in the Fuck-It-Bucket”

“I’m braver than I realize.”

“It’s all a part of the plan – wait, where the hell did I put that plan?”

“There’s a story behind every decision.”

“I have the strength of a million women inside me and they all have PMS.”

Feel free to use my slogans if you’d like. Make up some of your own! And, if you need a good support group, I’ll be at Osaka. I’ll be the one surrounded by women, behind a mound of sushi, with the gorgeous pink shiny lips.

CHA CHA CHA!

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High Street Heaven

June 9, 2005

BLISS!! Posted by Hello
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Here comes the sun

June 6, 2005

It’s all right (taken by Brian) Posted by Hello
For those of you who know me, you know that I am a music nut. There really isn’t a whole lot that I don’t love. Willie Nelson to Elvis Presley, Grateful Dead to Cat Stevens, Maria Callas to Verdi, Kid Rock to Metallica, Handle to Mozart, Tama Walo to Bob Marley, Split Lip Rayfield to Ani DiFranco. Andrea Bocelli to Pucinni. Picking a favorite song is impossible. I can tell you what my favorite song is that minute, but favorite above all? That would be like choosing my favorite strand of hair. But, there are some songs that have been my “favorite of the moment” more than others. “Here Comes the Sun” probably tops that list.
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Here comes the sun, here comes the sun,
And I say it’s all right
Little darling, it’s been a long cold lonely winter
Little darling, it feels like years since it’s been here
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
And I say it’s all right
Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces
Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been here
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
And I say it’s all right
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes…
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes…
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes…
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes…
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes…
Little darling, I feel that ice is slowly melting
Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been clear
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun,
And I say it’s all right
It’s all right
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For those of you for whom these words are new, for the love of Elvis, get thyself to the library and check out Abbey Road. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200, do not even stop to pee. Just go. Now. Go ahead. I’ll wait.
Ah, don’t you feel better?
There are so many things about this song that make me feel better – regardless of what is going on. It acknowledges that life sucks sometimes, but it also allows for it to get better. AMEN. We hear so many songs and are force fed so many things that either state that life sucks and then you die OR that life is wonderful 100% of the time, so shut up about it already. Give me a break. Anyone who has ever watched SNL for more than one season knows that sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s bad (even for YEARS at a time,) but constant never. Life is much the same way.
My last post was filled with Bark (thanks, BJ, wherever you are – Bark is a perfect description -and thanks for turning me on to John, Paul, George, and Ringo.) I think we all have those days and it feels soooooooo good to be able to bitch and whine a little bit, but today is a new day.
Here comes the sun
It’s all right.