loser thy name is lemony



And the Nation rejoices.

Woo-effen-HOOOOOOOOOOOO, baby!

Carry on.


the banana has a penis

This child, she is mine. If you're wondering why I chose this particular picture...and no, it's not to show off my ever-expanding ass...I'll tell you. She talks. A lot. All the time, even.

Jibber. Jabber. Blather. Bother. She never. SHUTS. up.

She's one hell of a funny kid, though, so when I'm not tuning her out (did I mention she never shuts up??) I'm usually trying to stifle a giggle or two.

Lemony Mum: Hey, Lemony Child, what do you think of taking a bath and getting some jammies on?
Lemony Child: I think, Lemony Mum, that now would be a very bad time for such silliness. I mean, I am trying stand on my head.

And this:

Lemony Child: Oh, my garlic and muffins! The banana has a PENIS!

Okay, so maybe she's more of an odd duck than she is funny, but hey, she does have a Lemony Mum to keep up with.


I feel like I should post something today but I don't know which something I should post. What topic to cover...hmmm...should it be:

My complete and utter disgust with the current resident of The White House and his puppet master?

My excitement about the great seats we scored for tonight's Sox game?

My dog catching and then proceeding to chomp the tail from the tushie of the wayward bunny who had the misfortune of wandering into our backyard out here in Quiet Village? (bunny chompings never occurred when we lived in Quiet Village Not)

Speaking of Quiet Village Not, maybe I should discuss my loathing of Quiet Village?

The fact that it's lunch time and I'm still in my pj's?



Motivation. Muse. Missing.


the ego has landed

So it's after 2:00 in the morning and I'm awake. Why?

Many reasons, all of them ridiculous, but mostly I'm awake because somebody asked me to "maybe rewrite this more professionally" and being the glutton for punishment that I am, I said, "Sure! Give it here!"

So I rewrote it, very carefully, so as not to lose the original flavor and inadvertently make it mine . Sent it off electronically. Done.

Yeah, you'd think, wouldn't you?

Almost instantly the electronic return mail arrived.

The tone I wanted is gone, the Arial font letters, size 10, tell me.

Well, the tone you had was... how do I say this politely... condescending. You want people to read this and think, Damn! I want to give this guy my money! right? Maybe you should, you know, be nice.

Rewrite number two.

And three.

And ten.

Until I finally sent back the original with a facetious How's this? written across the top (in Times New Roman size 12, damn it) and got back "Perfect! Thank you!"

Sarcasm lost, apparently...

And so it appears that somebody doesn't really want help as much as he wants a pat on the back and a "Bravo! That was some GREAT reading!"

So it's 2:35, and I'm awake, because the ego of a friend can't take his writing being reworked even though that's what HE ASKED ME TO DO and now I'm stressed out and wired.


Sleep. Gone.

So, darling, sweetheart, babycakes E, when you see me, you best have a double venti double latte or I will have to throttle you.



screw toddlers...baseball is hell

I live in Quiet Village, New England, where there is ONE baseball team. Love 'em or lump 'em. Unfortunately for us, we usually end up doing both, but hey, they're our team to love and lump.

Now New York, they have two teams. Count 'em, two. In the same city.

Did you know New England has SIX states? And still ONE baseball team?

I don't get it, either, and if I hear one more of my transplanted-to-NYC friends complain about how crappy their team is doing when they have more than one team to choose from I'll hit them over the head with my Tek rookie card.

Or a Bud Lite bottle. Whatever.

Baseball is religion here in Quiet Village, and I'm no better than the guy with his chest painted with grease paint when it comes to how rabid I am about our lumpy and much-loved team. Well, my chest isn't painted with grease or anything else unless you count the sparkle dust that billows from that stupid tube of sparkle dust somebody gave the four-year-old for her birthday when she was a two-year-old, long-forgotten but sadly rediscovered a few days ago when the child came whirling into the kitchen like a bat out of hell with sparkle dust billowing behind her...

Did I get off track there? Sorry...sparkle dust has magical powers...HEY! The four-year-old is RIGHT!

No, wait...that's not sparkle dust...oooo...pretty swirls...


Where was I?

Oh, yeah. Baseball.

The Quiet Village team won tonight, so YAY, but not before they gave me at least six heart attacks. I mean, can they just win a game without the drama? Can't every win be a 17-1 rout? Well why not??

Oh, and they won in Chicago. Yet another town with TWO baseball teams.

I don't get it.


toddlers are hell

So what happens when you're given a list of words for a writing exercise and your brain is fried?

You cheat.

Do I fail creative writing now?? Do I care??

curse – n. a word spoken loudly, usually in frustration, and always repeated by your toddler in the presence of your mother-in-law.

disheartened - adj.
the feeling you get when your toddler says “Mommy, my socks went swimming!’ Cross reference, clogged toilet

drink – n. a liquid, usually amber in color, consumed by the disheartened parents of toddlers. See also, drunk

echo – n. a word game in which every word spoken by an individual is repeated verbatim by another individual. Usually played with unbridled enthusiasm by younger siblings.

err - v. what parents of toddlers inevitably do when they assume the television that has gone unwatched for an hour should be turned off. Cross reference, nuclear meltdown

guide – v. to lead, direct, or steer one in the direction you wish them to go. This action is usually taken by older siblings driven to distraction by an enthusiastic round of the game Echo. Ex: Driven to distraction by a rousing game of Echo, Kate decided to guide her sister to the basement.

hotheaded – adj. quick tempered. See also, toddler

injury – n. the bulging lump on your toddler’s head after she spins herself silly enough to walk into a doorknob.

Lavender – adj. the color of the bulging lump on your toddler’s head after she spins herself silly enough to walk into a doorknob.

m.p.h. – abbrev. short for ‘mommy please help’. Toddlers are particularly fond of this phrase after visiting the potty.

Norville the Narwhal –n. a horribly annoying television program your toddler will absolutely fall in love with and insist on watching repeatedly. See also, Blue’s Clues, Teletubbies, Dora the Explorer, and Betsy the Bovine.

sister – n. what an older girl child will wish for when told about the new baby. This wish will be denied the instant it is granted. Cross reference, brother, devil spawn

solder – v. to meld two things together using extreme heat, or, what toddlers do to cats when left alone with matches or a lit candle.

slept – v. a word parents of toddlers have absolutely no use for. Ex: I slept well last night.

tug – v. what a toddler does to her father’s bathing suit as he flips burgers at the block party. Cross reference, naked in public


what happens after

“You can’t…”
The sound of my own voice startled me and took my breath away. The silence that hovered in the air afterwards was so thick and so profound I felt like I’d been sucked into a vacuum. The dim light grew dimmer and the walls suddenly came to life and started moving away from me. They raced by me at an alarming speed and left me feeling dizzy and disoriented.
How is that possible? I wondered. Rooms can’t disappear, walls can’t move…
I watched, fascinated, as the walls rushed back seemingly faster than they’d receded, my breath returning with them. “What?”
“Don’t fall apart on me, okay?”
I pried my eyes away from the wall and looked up to find Will standing over me. Rivulets of tears poured from his eyes and dripped from his chin to my arm, leaving perfectly round wet spots on my gray Boston College sweatshirt.
“Will? Why are you crying?”
“Oh, my God…” he murmured. “Baby girl, your hands…look at your hands…”
I watched him closely and tried to see in his eyes exactly what it was he couldn’t bring himself to say. I couldn’t read his eyes as easily as I could read Geoff’s…
“Oh, my God.”
“Your hands, darlin’…”
“Don’t call me that!”
The emotion I’d been searching for in his eyes became clear. “I can’t stay here. I’m sorry…I’m so sorry,” he said, his voice lost in the stranglehold of anguish.
Fear crashed over me like a wave. “Oh, no, baby, please don’t leave me here by myself, please, Will…I’m begging you…”
But he was gone, the door to the bedroom left open in his haste to get away from that room. I listened to the familiar sounds of a person leaving the house: the creak of the stairs, the click of the closet doorknob as it turned, the stomping of feet being stuffed into shoes, the sound of city traffic as the front door was pulled open, the deafening silence of an empty house.
“WILL!” I shrieked, hoping that he was playing with me and wasn’t really gone, but the house remained smothered in the silence he’d left behind.
My hands.
Tears started to stream from my eyes as I looked down at the lifeless hand that rested in my own. Two sets of fingers: one long and pale, the other short and freckled; one warm and living, the other cooling and lifeless, twined together, perfectly joined.
Our hands.
They tugged at me, those hands, evoking memories so strong and vivid they invaded my senses.

A bright, sunny day in May. High, fluffy white clouds drifting lazily across a crystal blue sky. The salty smell of the harbor drifting up to the Common on a warm breeze, strong enough to blow my hair across my face and his across his forehead. The sound of children laughing filtering up from the playground to our bench at the top of the hill where we sat and watched politicians as they flowed in and out of the State House.
His hand reaching across the bench instinctively, his fingers twisting themselves into the spaces between mine and resting lightly on my knuckles.
“What are you doing?”
“That woman over there, see her?”
“She keeps looking at me.”
“I don’t want her to talk to me.”
“I’m the beard now?”
“Do you mind?”
“If I say yes?”
“You won’t.”
“You’re awfully sure of yourself.”
“Only with you, darlin’…only with you.”

My eyes fell to the familiar patch of keloidal skin on the back of his hand. That patch of knotted skin may have been the only tangible evidence of Charlotte’s abuse, but it was hardly the deepest scar she’d left him with. I thought of her, face contorted with rage, as she lunged at him with the scissors she’d been using to cut flower stems. He hadn’t moved out of her way quickly enough and even after the shock faded he’d made no attempt to move. It had been me who’d shoved Charlotte hard enough to knock her off balance, and when all he could do was stare at the scissors protruding from the back of hand, it had been me to pull them out. I closed my eyes against the next unbidden memory.

Copious amounts of crimson red blood pouring from his hand, scaring me. Graham, his brother, laughing.
A shrill voice, my voice, screaming. “What is the MATTER with you!”
“I could ask you the same question, gallivanting about with a nancy boy.”
“What does that make you? A pro, perhaps?”
A blur of green streaking by me and pushing Graham violently into the wall by the throat.
“Don’t talk to her like that.”
“And what are you going to do about it, Nancy?”
The sound of something cracking violently filling the room, more blood, pouring not from Geoff’s hand but from his brother’s nose.
“You’ll always be a fuckwit, Graham.”
Somebody grabbing him by the back of his green shirt…me?... pulling him backwards.
“You need stitches, darlin’.”
“Did she really stab me with bloody scissors?”
“And they think I’m the problem.”
“I need sutures.”
“I know.”
“You have blood on your hands…”
The sink turning pink as I washed his blood from my hands without a thought.

I opened my eyes and with my thumb traced the ropy line that led away from the scar and traveled down to his wrist. Carefully, I pushed back the navy blue cotton of his shirt and exposed the rest of the scar. I traced it all the way up to his elbow where it abruptly changed from an angry red slash to a simple discoloration.
“You survived Charlotte,” I whispered, repeating the mantra that had gotten us through the ensuing hospital visit where it had taken two hours and over a hundred stitches to sew his arm back together.
And when a doctor with a broad smile had approached him with yards of string and a hooked needle, he’d instinctively reached across the gurney and twined the fingers of his healthy hand into mine.

“You need a beard for this?”
“A bit of comforting would kill you?”
“It might.”
“I’ll remember this the next time your mother tries to kill you.”
“At least your mother cares enough to try.”
“My mother tried to kill me.”
“Nah, she wouldn’t have gone for your arm if she was serious about killing you. Maiming, love. She was going for a maiming.”
“Oh, well that’s much easier to forgive, then.”
“You think?”
“More sarcasm.”
“Sod off, love.”
“Fine. Can I have my comfort back?”
A loud, bellowing laugh filling the room, startling both of us into silence and leaving the doctor responsible for the noise blinking furiously at us. “How long have you two been married?”

Sighing deeply, I pulled the shirt back down to his wrist and rubbed gently at the scar.
You have to let go.
“I can’t.” My voice sounded foreign to me.
You have to let go.
“I’m not ready.”
You have to…
“Shut up, shut up, shut up!”
The phone began to ring and the jangling bell sounded as foreign to me as my voice had just seconds earlier. My first instinct was to answer it, but when I made a move to reach for it I realized I'd have to let go of his hand and I was unwilling to do that.
Something nagged at me as I listened to the ringing. I felt unsettled and panicky and didn’t know why. The phone stopped ringing and for a split second I felt relief, but then I heard something click and I was thrown off balance immediately, even before I heard the voice.
“Shit…” I whispered in my foreign voice. “Oh, no, no…”
“Leave a message. Don’t leave a message. The odds of you getting a return call are about the same either way.”
I closed my eyes and prayed whoever it was would not leave a message.
“Hey, it’s Andrew…”
“…are you sleeping?…”
“…and Will should call if he needs a break…”
Will’s broken.
“…and I hope today is an okay day…”
Today’s shaping up to be spectacularly bad but thanks for the thought.
“I love you guys. I’ll call later.”
You do that.
In my mind another message from another time played.

“Baby, it’s me, I know you’re home…please pick up the phone…Geoff, pick up the phone…I need help…this guy, he’s drunk…and Tracey left me here…I thought he’d pass out by now but he’s stalking the hall and…she left me here…”
“She left you where? I’ll fucking kill her.”
Relief at the sound of his voice. “Oh, thank God…take a cab and tell it to wait, okay? I have enough money…”
“Yeah, because that’s what I’m thinking about right now. Where are you?”
“Tracey’s apartment…”
“I’ll be there in twenty minutes.”
“It’ll take you that long just to find a cab…”
“Twenty minutes.”

He’d been wrong, but so had I. It took him fifteen minutes. Through the door of the bedroom I’d locked myself in I heard him banging on the door to Tracey’s apartment and my drunk blind date refusing to let him in. I took a chance and ran for the front door.
My blind date, a hulking man named Kevin who played football at Northeastern University, grabbed my jacket but I managed to shake myself out of it and unlock the front door. Geoff, tall and athletic but not a hulking football player, grabbed me with one arm and pulled me through the door violently enough to rattle my teeth. Kevin was left wondering how he ended up with a mouthful of Tracey’s carpet.

A yellow taxi waiting at the curb with exhaust fumes sputtering from the tailpipe, a bald man with bad teeth at the steering wheel.
“Back to the Hill, folks?”
“No…I live on Marlborough…”
Geoff interrupting. “Yes, back to the Hill.”
“You are not going home alone.”
“And I’m firing Tracey.”
“You can’t fire her.”
“Watch me.”
“Are you going to slobber on me now?”
“No,” but doing it anyway, and inhaling the smell of sleep from his face. “I woke you.”
“I’m sorry.”
“Shut up.”
The hand reaching instinctively across the seat and twining into the other hand now is mine.

I wondered briefly what time it was and how long I’d been sitting there. I wondered where Will had gone and if he was okay. I wanted to be angry with him for leaving me there alone, but I couldn’t seem to find the energy or the will.
I took a deep breath and continued to rub my thumb across the scar on Geoff’s hand. “Don’t be angry at him for leaving,” I whispered. “He isn’t like us…”

“…you’re not like us, Will…”
“No kidding.”
“Please try to understand…”
“I can’t. It makes no sense…”
“It makes perfect sense.”
“Only to you.”
“Not only to me.”
“Fine. And her.”
Clearing my throat, reminding them. “Here. I’m here.”
Will, rolling his eyes and huffing in annoyance. “Imagine my surprise.”
“I don’t like where this is about to go, Will.”
“And imagine my surprise at that, Geoff.”
“Can you just, for ONE BLOODY SECOND, stop being such an asshole?”
Geoff sighing. Glaring, green eyes flashing dangerously. “I’m tired of defending. I’m tired of explaining. I won’t do it anymore.”
Trying but failing in my attempt to stay out of what had nothing and yet everything to do with me, “Okay, guys, this is silly. I’m going home…”
“No, you are not. William is going home.”
The harsh sound of hysterical laughter and a coffee mug flying across the room, breaking into three pieces and crashing to the floor. “Home is North Carolina.”
“I hear Delta has a direct flight.”
“Are you insane?”
“Not even a touch.”
“You really want me to go?”
“You really want me to choose?”
“ I really want you to go.”
His fingers latching themselves around my knuckles and squeezing gently as the front door swung closed.
“Oh, darlin’, no, not me…”
“Always you.”
“But you could love him.”
“I already love you.”

My throat constricted painfully at the memory, but it was Will I cried for. Geoff had hurt him terribly that day, and yet he came back. He knew his place would always be behind mine; he knew he couldn’t win a battle for Geoffrey’s heart, and still he came back.
He spent two years loving Geoff deeply and taking what he could get in return. He gave up his dream job because it took him out of the country for months at a time and he couldn’t bear the thought of Geoff being sick without being there to take care of him. He’d grown not only to accept me but to love me, just as I had him.
I wept for Will because in those final minutes, when his partner, a man he loved with all of his heart and soul, was dying and searching for comfort, it was me he’d reached for.
Choking back the sob that was rising in my chest, I finally turned away from the bottom of the bed and looked down at Geoff’s face. His eyes were half-open, the light that had once sparkled in them nowhere to be found. I choked back another sob as I gently brushed my fingers against his eyelids to close them.
I pressed my lips into his forehead and inhaled deeply.
“Until the day I die, baby. I will love you.”
I pulled his hand to my face and kissed each of his knuckles before I very carefully…oh, so very carefully…untwined my fingers from his.


lime optional

When the day dawns bright, sunny, hot and perfectly breezy, do not...let me repeat that...DO NOT roll out of bed, smile at your husband and say something stupid like -

"Hey, honey, do you think your parents might like to come up and hang out today? We can swim and throw some kind of food on that shiny new grilling machine you bought at the Depot."

Why not, you ask? Because your husband will look at you, smile and say something equally as stupid, like -

"Sure! That's a great idea!"

And then they'll show up, swimsuits in hand, and pretty soon they'll be in the pool, beer bottles in hand...

HEY! No glass in the pool!

...and before you know it you're popping the tops of Corona bottles with your teeth because you've decided to let Uncle Karen keep the bottle opener you saw her stash in the giant bag with the zebra on it. Why she stashed it there you'll never know and you're too intimidated by a woman named UNCLE Karen to ask.

HEY! You have Corona? Do you have a LIME? Or is that part of the option package?

Uh...optional lime? Huh?

When your husband throws food on the shiny new grilling machine, all the males in the clan will gather and ooooh and aaaaah at the behemoth in front of them...

Maybe you don't want to do tha...Look out! BIG FLAME!!

Papa looks better without eyebrows anyway.

When they leave, your house will be littered with beer bottles, banana peels, and what you think is some kind of wax...or maybe it's cheese somebody left in the sun that's melted into the patio furniture. Either way, EW.

Anyway, when they're gone, and you've managed to de-litter the house and scrape the wax (cheese?) from the patio furniture, the only thing you'll have the energy to do is flop on the couch, where you will be subjected to crappy Vin Diesel movies. The sad part? You laugh. At Vin Diesel.




When he died, I started seeing him in stranger's faces. A glimpse, a profile, a wayward curl sweeping across a forehead. Every voice carried hints of him, every wicked and rather had the lilt of his voice wrapped around them. He was everywhere, and I hated him for being everywhere but the one place I wanted him.


Home, where the improbable scent of lemons always seemed to hang, where the coffee brewed freely and where there were always muffins in a tin box. Home, where stained-glass warmed the sun, where hardwood floors creaked under slippered feet and where dogs leapt to greet opened doors. A warm, inviting place, where people fought and loved, where memories were made and cherished. A place to love.

It became a place I never wanted to be again.

I let it go, to people who promised to love it as much as I had. I watched them flower windows and sweep bricks, year after year, and I was grateful, but I hated them for it.

Make it less lovely, make it dreary, make it not a home anymore.

But silent wishes can't be heard, and so there it sat, flowered and swept and loved.

And so I ran. I ran far, far away, to a place where there are no bricks edged in granite, to a place where trees grew in bunches in open spaces. I ran, and I hid, and yet somehow it was never quite right. It was never okay.

Then out of nowhere, a word, just one word, and finally...finally...it was okay.

Goslings, she said, and suddenly I was okay.

The phone rang yesterday.

I'm not okay anymore.