Wednesday, July 27

My New Title

Her Royal Majesty, The Queen of Highball, Duchess of Pork, King of All She Surveys, and the The Irreverend Dr. Tasty, Leader of the Church of Margaritaville.
(All degrees honorary.)

It suits me, don't you think? My soul sister Terri and I were discussing a few things the other day, and I mentioned that on *some* days, not only am I the queen, but I'm also the king. Allow that to sink in for a moment, won't you? Some days, I just rule. I remember how much I can actually control in my life, and how much I can't, and just go with it. Oh, sure, I just rule my little corner of the block of 9th and Meridian (only about 900 square feet, if the truth be told,) and that not particularly well, but I SO RULE. Anyway, she gave me that title. Feel free to use it when addressing me in the future. (My feelings on the suitability of that being MY title are subject to change without notice -- likely around the time PMS kicks in.)

Now, I do have to acquiesce on one point of governmental order, as my VBF was the first one with the Surveys title. She was Mayor of the Bus and King of All She Surveys. I think that was around 1986. And she still is. This is a girl with whom I ran around in high school and college acting nuts. In fact, we were SO straight in college, but we'd go to parties with our friend Birdie sometimes... and people would ask her if we were stoned. The results of being simultaneously smart and imaginative can be very interesting to the observer.

Hooray for good memories and general silliness. Who knew I'd still be acting approximately the very same way 20 years later? Thank God for my lifelong friend, and for my Numbers, who just feel like I've already known them my whole life!

P.S., When are we getting together so you can meet each other???

Tuesday, July 26

Happy Birthday, Dande!

Or, "Yet Even More About Birthdays" by Stacey.

Dearest Dande,

You were the first Queen I sent stuff to! Did you know that? Not only that, but you were my first Scary Soul Sister to be located in another state. How is it that we came from two entirely different places in the world and still have all the things in common that we do? (All the way down to studying Classical Greek in college, the whole pastor thing, and both being dreadfully allergic to shellfish.)

You are SUCH a precious person. Brilliant, hilarious, and amazingly well spoken. Who else says, "The irony is delicious" while they're still mostly asleep? All this, and you're a hottie, too. You're one of my favorite people in the world, and I hope that you know that every single day.

Happy Birthday to you,
Boss of the Mud Bog Queens
Queen of the Dandelion Festival
The Persimmon
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I love you,

Monday, July 25

More on Birthdays

I know normal people do not get torqued up about their 36th birthdays. But, I'm really not all that normal. More later, as I have an *actual* post in the works, but I just had to RE-mention this.

Also, hey-i-love-you to Allie and Lola and Mary, and when the slap is Christel coming back?!?!?!?!

Tuesday, July 19

Happy birthday, Jenny Fines Cox!

Happy birthday, my dearest, darlingest girl. There is absolutely NO WAY I could possibly tell you how much I adore you with mere words. Not in any language. You're the reason I still love May 15th, one of the major reasons I made it through 2003 and 2004, my road trip buddy, the one who thinks it's hilarious that I briefly considered peeing in Grimace's jacuzzi, my verybest Cocktail Queen -- what would I EVER do without you? Thank GOD I don't have to find out.

Jenny, I LOVE LOVE LOVE your heart. You are tender, motherly, loving, and the least only-child-like only child I know. I especially adore how you love Beth and Steve and the kids and my family you've maybe met them all once. The mark of a true friend is how they love who you love. You know what else? You KNOW me. You really know me on the inside. And you love me, anyway. You ROCK, SISTER. Thank you for being one of my nearest and dearest. Ever.

Happy Birthday to you,
Jenny Fines Cox
Pears of What?
Tattoo Butt
My Sweet Girl

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With whole big huge bunches of love,

Happy Birthday, Todd.

See, this is what happens to you when you enter the cadre called "nearest-and-dearest." You get your birthday advertised and yourdamnself feted on Le Blogue o' Tasty. (Though, I did choose something different for Lola.) You'll learn to deal with it.

I love that you're my friend, that you're smart, fun, clever, thoughtful, and that your enthusiasm and passion have made me think about some simple but significant things a little bit differently. I especially admire the fact that your personal gain doesn't determine the level of effort, creativity, and quality you put into your cooking; your desire to produce something marvelous and unique outweighs all other factors. It's easy to respect a person of integrity.

Happy Birthday to you,
That Todd
The Chef
Hogboy, of Hogboy and Cueball fame

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with much love,

Monday, July 18

The Wrapping and the Gift

I hope you have lost your good looks, for while they last any fool can adore you, and the adoration of fools is bad for the soul. No, give me a ruined complexion and a lost figure and sixteen chins on a farmyard of Crow's feet and an obvious wig. Then you shall see me coming out strong.

--George Bernard Shaw

AHhhhhhh! How beautiful! Don't you LOVE this?! Thank God for a literary voice of reason in the midst of the overkill of television! Once again, I'd like to remind both you and me that while I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with the ideal that American media holds up as beautiful; what's wrong with the ideal is the utter exclusion of beauty that can be found in SO MANY OTHER PLACES.

When, when, when are we going to throw out the packaging and concentrate on the gift inside? Diamonds and rubies are found in nature in less-than-desirable settings. The brilliant mind of Stephen Hawking lives in a severely impaired body. Pearls, and, indeed, oysters, come in irregular and unattractive shells. Creamy, yummy coconut flesh is found inside a thick husk and *then* inside a hairy shell! And, good night, who figured out how to eat lobster? Come on, BUGS! They look like a giant bug. GAH!

Can't we PLEASE concentrate on the interior for a minute? The media-beauty thing is tiring. For example, one of my most favorite women in the world, one who also happens to be slender and gorgeous, is feeling oppressed by the thought of aging. I, myownself, am sick and fucking tired of the constant struggle to remember I'm beautiful in the face of no-less-than-constant reminders that the only acceptable standard is: young, tall, long hair, tiny body, great tits. I'm sorry, but that's just a little narrow for me. When's the last time you looked at your precious great-grandma and thought, "Damn, she's wrinkly." She doesn't meet any of those standards, and she's beautiful. Isn't she.

My point, and once again, I do have one, is, for your sake and for the sake of those who adore you, LOOK INSIDE FOR THE GIFT. Look under the goofy glasses, the crazy clothes, the unruly frizzy hair, the crow's feet, and the sixteen chins. Open the box and find the ruby. Unwrap the gift! Find the real stuff underneath.

Find that in yourself, too. You're gorgeous under there.

Thursday, July 7

Missing you, little boy.

My dear nephew,

It's been five years today since you left this life, and I still can't believe it, really. I just want you to know that I think about you every day, the same as I think about your brothers and sister. It's really weird not praying for you anymore, since you're already home.

You were here when your sister named me "Aunt Tasty". I'd never had a nickname before that, and even though I was already a grown up, it made me feel special! I couldn't wait until you called me that, too. You said all kinds of funny little cute things, and you sang songs to your mom, but we didn't get around to you calling me that. (We'll get to that later, after I'm done being here too, I suspect.) One of my favorite memories of you is one day I came over to visit you guys and your mom and I were sitting on the couch in the basement in that house on Bluebird. You had your diaper and some jeans on but you had taken off your shirt and you were giggling your butt off. You kept climbing around my head, to my lap, up to my shoulder, behind my head again and again. You were terribly pleased with yourself! And you were absolutely cracking me and your mom up.

Since I have no idea how transition from this life to the next one actually works, you may already know this, but your mom and dad and Jake and Chloe are doing really great. I've never seen anyone miss anyone the way they miss you, but they're doing amazingly well. I just saw them a few days ago, and they are still just as wonderful, hilarious, and loving as they always were. Not only that, but they even had enough love to have your new brothers. I bet you met them already. Your folks named them Jude and Simon, and they are darling! Almost as cute as you were! It's easy to see that God sent them to the right family.

I guess I just wanted you to know that I still think about you every single day. I still miss you when I go see your mom and dad. A picture of your impish face is still in my cube at work, and I still include you in the list of people I adore and talk about to my friends and colleagues.

We'll see each other again.

I love you, little boy.

Always yours,
Aunt Stacey
Seth William Price
April 9, 1998 - July 7, 2000

Friday, July 1

For the Record

I've been thinking about this for a while. Once you see the subject matter, I'm sure you'll know how long I've been rolling this around in my noggin. And, while this isn't the most lighthearted of Friday posts, I want this to be clear.

One of my dearest friends emailed me the following message. (And by dearest, I mean: I would carry a child for him, take a bullet for him, and appear on a major news network without having done my hair or applied mascara if it would save him from any sort of pain. Really, I'm not fooling around here.)

"Subject: For the Record

In the unlikely case that I suffer an accident or illness that leaves me brain dead or in a permanent vegetative state before I can have a living will created...please do not keep my body alive artificially. Please do not let ANY politician interfere with my civil liberties. I have no idea what, if anything, happens to us after our life on earth ends but I have chosen to believe that we find a better place...a place of healing, enlightenment, peace and wholeness. And for that reason alone, please do not keep me from my next journey."

And, what I have to say to all of you whom I adore -- you know who you are -- is, please do the living will now. This week. Make an appointment with your attorney or whatever. I WILL do my very best to advocate for you in your choices should you become incapacitated. So, please make it legal. However, I will NOT fight your moms and daddies about pulling your plug if you don't.

This has been a public service announcement. Thank you.


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