An Apology

Susan would like to apologize to her modest fan base for her recent period of lax posting and explain why it's not her fault.

Her job as a sweatshop seamstress keeps her away from home for so long each day that her family no longer waits dinner, instead she finds a plate covered with tinfoil on the dining room table. If she has a glass of wine with dinner then there's no hope of posting for the evening or doing laundry or anything else. If she doesn't then she's got to get in line for the laptop behind three people who don't give a crap about her BLAHg schedule.

There is a noticeable difference in the quality of her posts when she begins blogging after everyone's gone to bed and doesn't end till 1am. Her brain grinds slowly, recollections elude her and creativity sez screw you, I'm tired.

Access to the computer doesn't guarantee anything because there's plenty of times that Susan has absolutely nothing to say. I mean, her topics are pretty slim to begin with. She was toying with the idea of substituting recipes for actual material. In fact, she was thinking of the simple salsa Cousin Lisa made the other day; mango, tomatoes, black beans, onion, cilantro, lime juice. Who knew that mango & black beans could inspire someone to eat until they were sick? An avocado was supposed to be added but Cousin Lisa used it for something else.

Anyway, please forgive Susan if she falls behind every once in a while. She really tries her best and hopes that you'll stick with her as she slowly cranks out her exciting true life adventures.


Little Sister's Birthday!

The other day was Little Sister's birthday. As little sisters go, Susan thinks hers is the best. She can't vouch for the absolute accuracy of her statement because she hasn't met every last little sister in the world, but Susan figures hers is close.
She's Susan's best and only.

Now, Susan's little sister isn't perfect; she's a bit passive-aggressive, likes to take charge of everything and engages in political pontification, but Susan manages to navigate around these defects by taking a nap on the couch. Or by telling her to shut up on her birthday.

Susan's little sister is pretty smart, very funny and can still retain most of what she reads in the newspaper. She can can throw a punch, feed a house full of people with no notice and still likes to play soccer even though she should have been retired years ago.

Little sister is a model of self sufficiency; she works a full time job, runs a business of her own, troubleshoots the computer, builds steps to the hot tub, fixes any number of things that break in the house and digs the hole to bury dead pets.

Susan's little sister has let pre-approved family members flop at her house without departure dates,
including Susan. Twice.
It is now the permanent residence of Wild Bill's daughter who they are all happy to have near. Wild Bill is still in the vicinity, although contact of late has been minimal.

Susan's little sister is talented at gift giving. Recent favorites include the assortment of Jesus sticky notes, a wooden wick candle that smelled terrific and lasted all winter and the big orange pocketbook that Susan wouldn't allow her to buy from a guy on the street last weekend. It was a nice oversized pocketbook in a favorite color but Susan's little sister is just as broke as Susan, plus they were verging on being late to see Carrie Fisher at the old Studio 54 and couldn't dedicate any more time to the transaction.

The sisters had a full weekend of togetherness; Friday night for birthday cake, Saturday night with Carrie Fisher and then all the next day at a soiree with their beloved girl cousins. By 10pm Sunday night the sound of little sister's voice made Susan's brain hurt.


Lock the F*cking Door Already

Again Susan came home to find that her family left the back door unlocked. Sometimes she finds it open, but usually she just finds it unlocked. Susan expects her medium sized children to not give a crap about doors and locks but apparently the husband doesn't either.

She doesn't hide her frustration when she tells him that the f*cking back door was left unlocked again. Of course he's got something to say about it. What is there to say other than I'll never do it again.
Why does she have to tell a college educated man that he didn't check to make sure the f*cking back door was locked? Again.

Doesn't he think that one day his family might come home to find somebody in their house who doesn't belong there? Is Susan being paranoid? She will admit to having a bit of leftover paranoia from her twenties, but she didn't think that was bad.

Susan has a recurring fantasy where she opens a big beautifully wrapped box to find a flamethrower. She takes it out and totally f*cking annihilates everything in sight.


Church, Week 3

The Church of Susan's Experiment is interactive which is something Susan is not comfortable with.
In that other church, one could slip in unnoticed, sit in the back & scoot out early.
Not here.
The building is small and a family of four arriving late will have all available eyes upon them as they take their seats.
Up front, because the back rows fill first.
In addition, someone will come over to let them know that bored youth might prefer to go downstairs to Sunday school. Susan's bored youth want no part of this.

Early in the service the congregation turns to greet one another, they do this with a handshake, a nod or by walking over from the other side of the room to say hello. After service the pastor hotfoots it outside to chat as everyone exits just like Susan has seen done in the movies. Anyway, her point is that she's not getting out of there before having to speak with a person or two every week.

On the plus side, the Church of Susan's Experiment is adorable. A real charming white clapboard country church set on a winding road with a cemetery. The lady pastor is interesting to listen to and Susan likes the church's inclusiveness and charitable projects but she's a long way off from joining anything.



Susan and the husband made it across the finish line to their fifteenth wedding anniversary. What stamina!

What is their secret?
Be nice, tell the truth, apologize as soon as you figure out you're wrong. This is all pretty obvious. Susan has also established some bad behavior standards that she will not sink beneath, such as calling him names or embarrassing him. This has nothing to do with yelling & screaming at him like a crazy shrew, because making him mad is ok.

Susan has figured out how to keep her low libido from eradicating the romance in her marriage by limiting the amount of I'm too tireds in a given period.
Sometimes Susan even does things that she never did before, like make the bed every morning, just because she knows the husband likes it.

Susan doesn't keep quiet, she sez whatever she needs to say and she won't back off from a fight, but this only extends to the husband, with anyone else she backs off.

After so many years manacled together Susan is still interested in hearing his opinion on a range of topics. She might also request that he refrain from offering his opinion because she's trying to read the paper or listen to the TV or she just can't stand to hear him say one more word.

Fifteen years and Susan's not tired of her man yet,
but there's always next year.


Church, Week Two

Susan woke up early again and made her children to go to church, they weren't happy but Susan didn't care. Nobody cared that Susan wasn't happy when she was their age. The circle is complete.

This church doesn't bug Susan the way that other church did. Going to church has already begun paying dividends in Susan's life; she unloaded the 1993 Volvo!
Thanks, God.


Something Else Susan Hates

Susan had some banking to do today, something that required her to walk inside and seek assistance from an uncooperative drone behind a desk.

Susan has a long history grappling with passive-aggressive bank personnel. If they can tell Susan NO they find a way to do it then ask with a have a nice day smile on their stupid face if there's anything else they can help Susan with today.

Susan felt anxious during the drive over, by the time she got to the parking lot she was full-on aggravated. She walked into the bank with the same look on her face she probably has when she picks up dog poop.

The bank was hopping. Tellers were informing bank customers of their eligibility for a bank credit card that offers points for some bullsh*t or other. Susan knew that they were only eligible to be tricked then brutalized, poor slobs.
She wanted to scream Don't do it! but she's not crazy so she didn't scream.

The bank was set up with the tellers in full view and the customer service offices down a hallway, out of view. If the offices couldn't be seen, neither could the customers be seen by those in the offices.

There was no one assigned to say Hello, how may we help you?
No one assigned to give a sh*t.

Susan stood around with her arms folded across her chest and her dog poop face on. She descended into TWISTED anger at the prospect of giving the last & only bit of her money to people who ignore her.
F*ck them, she walked out.

Tune in next week to hear Susan's opinion of doctors' office staff.


Eight years ago Susan worked in New York City.
After five years of staying home to yell at her children Susan got the opportunity to wake up every morning at 4:45, sit on a train for two hours and emerge on the street to find there were people already drunk and arguing with each other.

At first, Susan wasn't all too enthused about working in New York but little by little the city chipped away at her until she got used to it.
In no time they were going steady.
Susan ate Indian food, sushi and falafel for lunch, bought Italian boots on sale and watched elephants walk down Eighth Avenue. Plus, she made friends and grew to understand that New York was a series of neighborhoods just like anywhere else.

Eight years ago Susan stood at the window with her co-workers and looked three miles south.
They saw a sliver of a tall building on fire.
Later she stood on the street with a million people all trying to get home.

Susan has her own thoughts and feelings about that day, as does everyone. She doesn't want it designated as Patriot's Day or a national day of service or anything other than what it is, September 11.


Church, oy.

The other day Susan did something that she never does; she woke up early on her day off and went to church.
Anyone who knows Susan is familiar with the depth of her distaste for the pedophilic society and hypocritical hierarchy who inhabit the church of her youth. The former altar boy she married shares her viewpoint, their children are unbaptised heathens doomed never to see the Gates of Heaven. Tough luck, kids.

Anyway, thirty years ago Susan studied orthodox Judaism for a little while. She must mention a significant twist to her studies; the community she spent time with believed in Jesus. But, they kept the sabbath, kept kosher, read both sides of the bible and so forth. She really liked Judaism but got a little burned out by it so she took a long break.

She tried going back to church after she had her kids.
The only requirement was that it be pretty on the inside to give her something to look at for an hour, but it still made her squirm. Then she did the best she could to teach them about God and Jesus on her own, but she knows just enough to raise them in a Godless universe.
Susan needed help.

There's a Congregational church two towns over that Susan and her family have attended on the average of once a year. It's as different in style from that other church as necessary to make her feel comfortable, sort of, although there's plenty of discomfort for Susan being in church.
Susan views it as an experiment and will keep you posted.


Susan Can Smell Her Dog from the Other Room

Susan's elderly, deaf, flatulent dog is inching toward the end of her life. She's just short of 84 but still pretty spry. She doesn't use a walker, smear her lipstick across her face or repeat the same stories over and over, but she has a bit of an incontinence issue and needs help with her personal grooming. Susan's not cleaning poopie off hineys yet, just some boogery eyes and blood.
The dog has been drinking more water than usual lately and has required entire afternoons of beauty sleep although the latter has done nothing to improve her looks, poor girl.

The dog's always in a good mood unlike some TWISTED people she lives with and will hop up from a dead sleep to follow anyone going anywhere in the house hoping there'll be food at the end.

Susan's hipped her medium sized children to the impending expiration date on their dog and watched as they've been extra sweet to her or reward her with cookies for doing nothing and then talk with animated excitement about replacing her with a furry puppy.


Tattoo You

Susan grew up in the seventies when girls didn't get tattoos. At least not girls in her neighborhood or the next few adjoining neighborhoods. Susan considered getting a tattoo through the eighties but she couldn't figure out where to put one, then she was afraid of getting AIDS then she went back to not knowing where to put one.
She ultimately gave up because there's so many reasons for Susan not to be tattooed.

The one thing above all else that has kept her unmarked is the blue ink, she doesn't like how the black ink turns blue. Another thing is Susan's fear of pissing herself at first sight of a long haired guy with a vibrating needle.

Susan remembers the first tattoo that impressed her;
a large, open winged eagle spread across the bicep of a young woman. This was eons before girls started showing up all sleeved out.

The silliest series of tattoos Susan saw were bands inked across the upper arms of some pretty young things in bridesmaid attire, forever branding them 1995.

This evening, Susan's (relationship deleted to spare their mother) paid a complete stranger to stab her in the hip with ink filled needles. Susan is thankful for the decision of (relationship deleted) to confine her body art to a personal spot, one that wouldn't be peeking out from anywhere forcing Susan to roll her eyes.