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Archive for January, 2007

I can understand no comments on the shoes. It is pretty vain of me to expect everyone else to be as absorbed with my cute shoes as I am, or even to think they are as cute as I do.

But what about my story? My story that I spent longer working on than I care to admit? My story that I’m still not satisfied with, but don’t know what to do with?

I know not to expect the number of comments that Chicory gets, because I don’t have anywhere near the number of readers she has, but c’mon, somebody, comment!!!!!!

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These are my brown grannie boots. I have a thing for grannie boots, and, in fact, own three pair. Two are identical in everything but color. I found these in a catalog about 5 or 6 years ago, and lusted after them so deeply that I had to buy them. So I did. I think I may have gotten the brown ones first, and liked them so much that I immediately bought the black ones that are just like them.

I’m wearing them with a pair of khaki jeans and a pumpkin tee decorated with vaguely Indian-looking swirls of color, sequins, and beadwork. I’m also wearing cheap earrings with huge genuine faux diamonds and amber colored gems.

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About Abigail

Note: My latest for the Scheherazade Project. As always, comments/criticism are welcomed!

“Her father was always over in them furrin’ parts, digging in the sand. That’s where he got that thing she was allus wearin’ around her neck.”

The woman leaned forward so emphatically that her rocking chair creaked in protest. “He actually wanted to name her Circe, after some heathen witch woman, can you imagine it? Accourse her mother wouldn’t allow that, and gave her a good God fearin’ name. No sir, Abigail Grace she was christened and blessed, and Abigail Grace was the name she was buried under. Her tombstone’s out there, but you won’t find it, no sir, because it crumbled to bits years ago. Iffen you ask me, she shouldn’t have been buried in consecrated ground. No sir, the one she served took her to himself, and I’ll warrant she’s going to be burning forever.” She leaned back and smiled smugly.

“Do I have a picture of her? Now why on earth would I have a picture of her? Accourse, I might have one on account of how her mother was my kin and she allus was a good God-fearin’ woman. Hand me that album–no, not that one, the one next to it. Yes, that one there. Now lessee, no, no, yes! That’s her, right there.”

Abigail was still a baby in this photograph, still unshortened, her long gown hanging to the floor as her mother held her, unsmiling. The shapeless baby’s face still revealed the beginnings of the strength of character that would become fiercely evident in later photographs.

“Even then she was wearin’ that ridikilus thing her father give her,” the woman pointed out. “You can just see it there, her mother tried to cover it up with the blanket, but it’s just peekin’ out of the folds.”

And it was, and it was dimly glowing even then.

“What was she like as a child? Well, she weren’t like no child I ever saw before, and that’s for sure and sartin. No sir, she never smiled unless it were time for her to be sober, and she weren’t never sober unless it were a time that most children would be smilin’. She never played with other children neither. No sir, she just played with an old black cat. Her and that cat went everywhere together. She called him Disyus or sommat like that. That cat warn’t like no ordinary cat, no sir. He were a devil cat, I tell you. The way he’d look at you! And he’d whisper in her ear, and tell her things, and she’d look at you like she knew things that you never told no one. No sir, she weren’t like no child I ever saw before. Not one!”

The woman stopped talking and took a few sips of iced tea as she gazed across her wide porch into the distant past. She shook her head and clucked her tongue pityingly.

“Mind, I don’t cotton to what happened to her. No sir. That weren’t right. Well, as she got older, she kept to herself just as she allus did. She weren’t pretty, not at all, no sir. But she had character. And sometimes when she smiled or laughed, even if it weren’t the right time for her to be smilin’, she looked better than pretty, she did, and there were always people lookin’ for trouble, sir, there were. And she caught their eye. They didn’t understand about her. They thought she was just like the other girls, the silly ones who were just gigglin’ all the time to get attention. And so when they tried to flirt with her, and she didn’t flirt back, they got mad.

“Well, sir, somehow, and I don’t say this lightly now, but sir, all hell broke loose. That thing she was wearin’ around her neck, well, it always glowed and we was used to it, but it got so bright that it hurt yer eyes to look at it, and the light was shinin’ and it almost looked as if it were comin’ out of her not that thing, and it got windy, and she got all big and scary and loud-soundin’. And those boys, well, those boys weren’t never the same again.”

She paused, trying to find the words. Giving up, she said only, “No sir, they weren’t never the same again. And neither was Abigail. Whatever that power was that came out of her that day, well, sir, it just took over her. And she sorta shriveled up and gave way to it. I don’t reckon she lived another six months after that.”

She took another few sips of tea.

“I can show you her grave if you’d like, sir, ’cause like I said, you’d never find her tombstone, ’cause on account of how it’s all crumbled. But now that I’m tellin’ you the story, maybe I was wrong when I said about who she served. Maybe she was just bein’ protected by someone. I dunno.”

We wandered through the old graveyard, with the woman pointing out various graves to me.

“That there’s Abigail’s father’s grave. He died over in Greece. I dunno’s why they brought him back home. He was never here long enough to do much more’n get his wife with child once every two or three years,” she said contemptuously.

“And there’s Abigail’s mother’s grave. Bless her heart, she did the best she could. All her children died young. Abigail’s the only one who lived to grow up, and she didn’t live past the age of 19. Thank God she didn’t live to see what happened to her only darter.”

She pointed finally to a crumbled tombstone covered with lovely snowdrops. “There’s Abigail’s grave.”

The two of us stood there silently for a few moments.

Then the woman turned to look at me. “How’d you know about Abigail, anyhow?”
I showed her the tattered old photograph that I’d found in an old book I purchased in a second-hand bookstore.

She held it in her hand, and tears filled her eyes. “That was taken just before all the trouble happened,” she whispered. “I’d forgotten.”

She then did something that I didn’t understand: she ripped the photograph into tiny pieces. As she did so, tears began to stream down her cheeks and a warm glow emanated from behind her shawl. She lifted her head to look at me, and I saw–wondered, in fact, how I’d missed it before–the strong features, the crooked smile, the pronounced cheekbones.

I stared at her, mouth agape. “Abigail?”

She sighed wearily. “Come with me,” she beckoned imperiously. The folksy old woman persona was gone.
I obediently followed her. Indeed, I had no choice. I knew that I must follow her wherever she commanded me.

She led me beyond the graveyard into a forested area, and we walked in silence until we reached a clearing.

It was encircled with more snowdrops, and a giant black cat was waiting there. It gazed at me imperiously, as if it were uncertain whether I was to be allowed in.

She inclined her head graciously. “Odysseus, this is our guest.”

The cat gave a rusty purr of greeting.

“Are you — Abigail?” The name didn’t suit her at all, and I felt ridiculous using it in connection with her.

“No. I am Circe.” She removed the shawl that covered the large amulet that hung over her breast, and it gleamed with power.

“I don’t understand.”

“Obviously.” She removed the hairpins, and as she shook her hair loose, the wispy white hairs turned into a silken waterfall of coppery brown hair that fell to the middle of her back, and her wrinkled face smoothed out.

“My father was a fool,” she said contemptuously. “He played with things of power, like they were toys, and thought that he could control them. He brought this amulet to his wife, to make sure that my incarnation would fill the body of his child. And I did, because it was better to have a body than to be without one. But what a tiresome existence it was!”

“I still don’t understand,” I protested. “Why did you stay here, in this podunk little backwater town for all this time?”

“When I told you about the trouble, perhaps I was a little deceptive,” she purred, “about what happened. Perhaps what really happened was that someone recognized me, someone with the power to stop me. And perhaps now that you have come, you have loosened my bonds.”

“But–the boys–and, you said they were never the same again!” I stammered.

“They weren’t,” she said shortly. “I took care of those pathetic fools before I was bound. Now the only remaining question is how to reward you for freeing me.”

“I don’t want a reward,” I said hastily.

She picked up the cat and held it close to her breast, and looked at me narrowly. “You have done me a great service,” she said thoughtfully. “Perhaps I should allow you to keep your present form.” Then, with a cruel smile, she added, “besides, I can always find you again, if you betray me.”

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Winter Shoe Week Day Two

These are my bitch boots. I wear them with attitude. And, today, with fishnet stockings, long black skirt, my NYC tribute shirt (that shows the Twin Towers still standing [over my left boob, no less]), and a black blazer. I’m also wearing the warped diamond hoop earrings that Joe gave me for Christmas this year.

I bought the bitch boots at Payless for about $15 this year, so they are definitely on the cheap side. I’m very fond of them, though, and will probably wear them until they fall apart. I wear them with almost everything, because they go with everything, as long as you have the most important ingredient: attitude.

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Shoe Week Winter 2007

Chicory inspired me to join in the madcap merriment that is Shoe Week Winter 2007. So here, without any further ado, are is my Day One photo.As you can see, they are completely utilitarian, non-glamourous, plain-jane black pumps. I got them at DSW Shoe Wearhouse. I do not recall how much I paid for them, but it was probably between $30 and $50. They’re extremely comfortable, even if they are completely utilitarian, non-glamourous, plain-jane black pumps.

With them I am wearing a pair of black cuffed cropped pants, black nylons, a black tank, and a black and white striped cardigan (it’s mostly white near the top, then graduates to mostly black at the bottom–very cool). I chose to wear the plain pumps because they ended up looking the best with this particular outfit. But now that I get to take pictures of my awesome shoes, I will wear way cooler shoes the rest of the week, she says, rubbing her hands together gleefully.

Want to join in? It’s easy! Take a picture of your shoes (a different pair each day), post it on your blog, and tell us about them.

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I was really gonna post this weekend, honest!
I was really gonna go to the gym after work on Saturday, honest!

Wanna know what happened?

Well, I’m gonna tell you anyway! :>

Work on Saturday whupped my butt as much as a strenuous workout. So I said, “Screw the gym,” and didn’t go. I cleaned out two sets of cabinets/cupboards; cleaned out the storage closet; went through all the unused desks and got all the crap that had been left behind; and began sorting through said crap and deciding if it needed to be shredded, junked, or put away. I could easily have put in a full 8 hours, but they only let me work 4 hours.

Then after work I went and took a batch of stuff from home to Goodwill (decluttering the office, decluttering the house–anyone seeing a pattern here). Then I went to the other thrift store, Thrift Town, and found a nice pair of black pants for work, along with three tops (one from Ann Taylor Loft, for only 99 cents!, and one from Casual Corner). This is one of the fun things about losing weight: getting to find cute and cheap clothes, second-hand, for next to nothing.

And then I went home and wanted to take a nap because I was tired and had a headache. But I had too much energy. So I helped Joe clean up the debris from the master bedroom. And then we went to the store to buy Propel, Flatout Light wraps, and nylons. The only extra things we got were a bottle of nail polish in a yummy reddish-blackish color and a bottle of OJ. So how’s that for sticking to the list? Oh, and for the record, buying nylons is less expensive now that I don’t have to buy the plus-size brand. I still have to buy kind of fatso sizes, but not so fatso that I have to buy the plus-size brand, so it’s cheaper. Yay!

And then we went to visit Clover and Chase. Some of the other kids were home, but they were upstairs hanging with friends, and the others weren’t home. Chase is doing beautifully since his surgery. His stomach is smaller than it’s been in quite some time, and he looks healthier than I can recall seeing him in a long time. We had a very enjoyable visit, and talked about everything from my farts to my boobs. With Clover, not with Chase. I’m not sure where Chase was during that part of the conversation. Anyway, the consensus was that my farts smell dreadful (as do everyone’s) and that my boobs are much better post reduction than they were in the unpleasant years pre reduction. I’m not sure how we got onto those topics, and I had to specifically request a change of topic, but it was still a fun visit. I was still so energetic that for about half an hour I was standing up practically dancing because I was unable to sit still.

And then we went home. I managed to get tired enough on the way home that I was able to lie down, read a book, and fall asleep.

Sunday was a lazy day for me. I slept in a bit, read scriptures, went to church, took a nap, read some more, and went to sleep. Lazy day. I liked it.

This morning when the alarm went off at 4:40, it jolted me out of my dreams so abruptly that I didn’t get time to remember them, which was frustrating because it seemed that they were interesting and I wanted to remember them. For about half a second I thought about not getting up, and just going to the gym after work, but of course I got up and went and had fun. I did half an hour on the elliptical today, and loved it way better than the recumbent bike. I still haven’t taken the time to go experiment on the weight machines. That is still going to have to be something I do in the afternoons, because there’s just not time in the mornings. I’m thinking that if I just extend my cardio in the mornings from 30 minutes to 50 minutes, and then do weights 3 or 4 days a week in the afternoons, I’ll get great workouts without being so rushed in the mornings.

I got the rehearsal schedule from M.A. today. We start rehearsals on 2/19, and opening night is 3/23. I took that day off work, as I feel quite sure I’ll have pterodactyl-sized butterflies and won’t feel like doing a damn thing that day. Izzybella, who is also in the play, said she’ll take off that day as well. We’ll get to Addison early and have a late lunch early enough that I won’t be puking before the show, and keep each other amused until our 6:00 call. So I’ll begin researching Gertrude Stein.

One of my really nice co-workers took me to lunch today, and 4 others joined us there. It was very enjoyable. I splurged a little, eating a handful of chips with some salsa, and two corn tortillas with butter. It was the first time I had any butter since Christmas. And for my meal I got spinach quesadillas light (the menu said they were light on the cheese, and they were)–the quesadillas had fresh spinach, poblano chiles, and fresh mushrooms. Very tasty. I ate two wedges of the quesadillas, and have 4 wedges left.

Sam asked if the dreams that he popped up in were nightmares. No, Sam, they were not nightmares. In the dreams I was at the 2007 World Fantasy Convention in Saratoga Springs, New York. (That would be in my dreams, because right now I don’t see my way clear to affording to attend the convention.) And you were there, and I recognized you from the photo you had on your poetry blog. And I said, “Sam?” And you denied being Sam. But I knew it was you. And then later on you came up to mine and Clover’s hotel room, and admitted it was you, and you explained why you were pretending not to be you, and it was this long weird dreamlike rigamarole that only makes sense in dreams and that I no longer remember. I dreamed that a few times. I think part of the reason I was dreaming about you is that I was concerned about you. And I think the other part of the reason is because Izzybella and I were talking one day about what we thought you looked like, and then when we saw your photo, we were both wrong, and were very amused by the fact. Anyway, very interesting dreams about a very interesting person I hope to meet someday.

And now that I’ve blathered on about nothing important, I’ll stop blathering and go see if any of y’all have blathered ona bout anything important.

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Okay. I let myself wallow in sorrow and misery and guilt for about 24 hours altogether, perhaps 30 hours, and now it’s time to get going again.

I heard my mind say, “It’s what she would have wanted,” and I laughed. It really is what she would want. Of all people, A. would NOT want us to sit around and wallow in sorrow and misery and guilt. She would want us to live our lives, be happy, be productive, and not make the mistakes she made or even the mistakes we had been making. She believed in living life to the fullest, even if she didn’t know how to do it in a positive fashion.

I went to the gym this morning. Getting up at 4:40 was much easier today than it was on Wednesday. I did a 30-minute ride on the recumbent bicycle. I chose a hill workout pattern, level 3. I know, that’s such a wussy level. But I got a good workout still. I was definitely sweating by the end. Tomorrow when I get off work I’ll go to the gym and experiment on the different machines when I’m not in such a rush, and maybe I’ll do it again on Sunday after church. I’m thinking that I’ll alternate upper- and lower-body workouts every day after my cardio work. I can afford to spend 50 minutes every morning before I have to get home and shower and dress and dry my hair and get to work. So if I do 30 minutes on the bike or elliptical glider (which I’d love to try out, but they’re all taken before I get there at 5–which means that even though the gym allegedly opens at 5, it must open a little earlier) and then spend 20 minutes on the machines, I can get a good workout in every day.

I got my Newport News bathing suit catalog in the mail yesterday. I was drooling over the bathing suits. They have a nice selection of halter bathing suits this year, and I look really good in halters. They play up my shoulders and bust beautifully. Normally I would be burying the bathing suit catalog in the bottom of the recycle bin, but this time it was fun to look at it. Of course, no matter how hard I’m working out between now and then and no matter how much weight I lose, bikinis are probably forever out of the question, between stretch marks and the possibility (probability?) of loose skin. But the one-pieces are still beautiful, and knowing that I’ll be smaller than I’ve been even since I was a senior in high school by this summer makes thinking about bathing suits a positive pleasure.

I haven’t written poetry in years, and I apologize for subjecting you to poetry over the last two days. I know I’m a horrible poet, which is why I don’t write poetry anymore. But the feelings I had to get out had no other way to express themselves. I’ll get a little more upbeat again; just give me a little more time.

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