Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Hot Chik Rules of the Road

In the last 10 days I drove 3,647miles. My muffler pipe fell off after the first 100 miles and I didn’t have time to fix it. I’m now hearing impaired and my ass is still numb … I think I need an ass massage. Volunteers??? (It’s been called "nice", "fine", "succulent" and a few other positive adjectives).

After a number of miles on the road during a high traffic time of year, I’ve come to the conclusion that some people need to go back to driving school. There aren’t very many places a person needs to get to that justify risking your life and those of others to get there quickly. Overall, my experience would have been happier if ALL the other drivers would have known how to drive properly.

  1. Don’t try to drive up my ass. I know it’s fine (see above), but I don’t want your Buick parked in it!
  2. On a 6-lane highway, slow traffic goes on the right, fast traffic goes in the middle, and passing traffic goes on the left. Don’t pass people on the right.
  3. Once you’ve passed someone, get back in the middle or right hand lane. It might feel like your road because you pay a lot of taxes, but guess what? I really think it’s MY ROAD, and I’m being generous enough to share it.
  4. Wear your seatbelt, ya Dipshit. Anyone who doesn’t … hmmm, I’m not even gonna bother with the stats. You’re just a Dipshit!
  5. Be careful around motorcycles. Those little guys don’t have a hell of a lot to protect them if your big ‘ol SUV slams into them. So far the trial airbag systems just shoot the drivers off the back and don’t really help a lot.
  6. Don’t throw cigarette butts out your window after you’ve just passed a motorcycle.
  7. Respect truck drivers ! ! ! These people are doing their job. When you do dumb shit, you not only risk their lives; you fuck with their livelihood. Stay back far enough so you can see their mirrors … then they can see you. Don’t pull in front of them and slow down. It takes them a lot longer to slow down than a regular ‘ol car. In general, if it looks like they need some space, get outta their way.
  8. When someone is merging, move over … ya know, like when you’re merging and you need space. Merging can be fun, but only with willing partners.
  9. Inclined to get a bit of Road Rage? Here’s an idea: entice the other party to pull into a Highway Patrol Station. Once there, get out of your car and get into a screaming match until you get an officer’s attention. Then taunt the other person until they lose control and hit you. Then get back in your car with the satisfaction that they will be spending some time dealing with an assault charge.
  10. THINK about the fact that you’re in control of a really heavy object that’s moving at a very high speed … I’ll wait while you ponder that thought. Be careful.

Lastly, if you see a curly-headed Hot Chik in a little kelly green Honda with Iowa tags rolling down the highway, wave to me. Or better yet, we can pull-over and have lunch!

Friday, May 27, 2005

For the Love of Family

I've met hundreds of families. As a matter of fact, I didn't just meet a lot of them, I joined with them, delved into their secrets, disected them, and put them under a microscope. I was their helper. Sometimes, I was their last hope.

I was a crisis level family therapist in three of my past jobs. When everything was falling to pieces, I was the one who was called. I showed up on the family's doorstep at any time of day or night because if I didn't, something really, really bad would happen.

I had two goals:
1.) Prevent child abuse.
2.) Prevent the children from being removed from the home.

Imagine the panic ... the horror ... the powerlessness. What if your life got so out of control that someone outside your family had the power to take your children away from you?

Sometimes it needed to happen. Sometimes the wounds created from ripping a kid from the only family they'd ever known was the lesser of two evils. You know the stories. There are some really fucked up adults who do some really fucked up things to kids. I'm not going to tell you any of the gory details. It would ruin your day.

Sometimes things worked out well. One of the first kids I worked with in the program for runaway and homeless youth, decided to return home because he said that I was "meaner" than his Mom. That made me happy. It made his Mom happy too. She and I had lunch afterward and talked about the little dipshit, and how he'd gotten too big for his britches and just needed a little taste of reality. That was a rare situation, but one that I treasure.

Some of us are lucky. We're born into really great families. For the most part, I'm one of those people. I also enjoy a family who holds a value on openness, generosity and hospitality. While I was growing up, more often than not, other people were living with us. Amongst my cohabitants: a secretly pregnant aunt, a teenager my Mom brought home from work because her Dad beat the shit out of her, and a host of foreign exchange students.

Other people who didn't live with us have also attached themselves to our family. They're often folks looking for the open welcoming nurturance that families are supposed to provide for their members. We all want the unconditional love that you can't get anywhere else.

My Dad got very sick very fast when I was 26 years old. It was some sort of rare pneumonia. I was with him that day and I took him to the ER thinking he was having a heart attack. It was noon on Christmas Eve. By midnight the Intensive Care nurse told us he probably wouldn't make it through the night. Thankfully he did make it. In the mean time, the "family-only" visitors room was filled to capacity. At one point, there were 3 men between 25 and 27 years old, all named David, who claimed to be his sons. I've said it before, it’s amazing what people will buy if you look sincere and maintain eye contact.

Right now I'm here in North Carolina with JT and Mark. My parents are here as well, and my youngest sister will be arriving tomorrow. These two beautiful men are surrounded by their family as we celebrate their life together. There are a few fantastic and supportive blood relatives, but most of us are the other kind of family. We're the kind of family that earn the right to be family because we do the things that families are supposed to do. We love one another no matter what ... and forever.

Congratulations on your wedding JT (Jodi) and Mark.
I love you, I'm proud of you ... ... ... and I'm not sure if you're aware of this, but you're stuck with me forever.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005


From Chef (South Park, Trey Parker and Matt Stone)

Love isn't a decision. It's a feeling. If we could decide who we loved, it would be much simpler, but much less magical.

Friday, May 20, 2005

My Birthday Present

This is what the Earth gives me for my birthday every year. They're my favorites.

This gig as the Love Goddess can be pretty tough once in a while. However, perks like a dozen exquisite red and indigo California Poppies from Mother E, soften the edges nicely.

Side Note: Thanks to BIG help from Larry, I also have lips now. Click on my name in the upper right corner to see for yourself.

Thanks Larry!

Thursday, May 19, 2005


… and it’s my birthday
... so wish happy.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005


Patient and reliable
Warmhearted and loving
Sensual and affectionate
Persistent and determined
Calm and security loving

Love predictions for the remainder of 2005:

(Will I, the Love Goddess, finally revel in the Year of Cunnilingus?)

Summer will bring you the most exciting changes. Right up until the very end of July, fiery Mars will keep things passionate, but urge you to keep quiet, too. Once August arrives, however, Mars will take all that passion and aggression into your own sign, turning up the volume on your level of assertion. That means this summer definitely won't go by without you making a stand -- a serious stand -- on behalf of someone or something that you want.

Come fall, you'll make some changes, and they'll all be positive. If they don't feel that way at the time, think about this: There's a silver thread that connects everything that's every happened to us to where we are right now. If you're happy with yourself, you should be grateful for every little thing that's come your way -- whether you thought of it as positive or negative at the time. If there are things you want to change, make new choices and get your new show on the road. 'Tis the season for new beginnings, after all!

It’s Cricket’s Birthday today. She’s one of the most sizzlin’ Hot Chiks around. Go wish her a happy one here.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Monkey Love

Matt (better known as Crap Flinging Monkey) and I have been breathing the same air for over 13 years. He avoids sappy movies, gets embarrassed by all displays of public affection, and denies having a single romantic cell in his body.

... and then he surprises me by posting a poem a day for my birthday week. This is one of the many reasons that he is my very best friend in the world.

Mark your calendars. I'll be looking for the birthday love on THURSDAY

Monday, May 16, 2005

Beware of the Power of Red Lipstick

A couple years ago I met a crazy man in a bar. He didn’t start out crazy, but over the course of the evening he developed some fairly disturbing quirks. Every so often he would interrupt our conversation to tell me about my fantastic irresistible lips. He could barely control himself. He had to kiss them. This started out as a fairly sweet and flattering gesture, but evolved into a kind of scary desperation. At one point, I even went to the women’s restroom to see what the big deal was. The crazy man ended the evening sitting alone at another table staring at me in a drunken stupor. The 6’4" bartender walked me to my car.

I received an apologetic e-mail a few days later from the crazy drunken man. I definitely appreciated the gesture, but it didn’t increase the likelihood that I would allow my magical lips within worshipful distance of him again.

He knew from our conversation at the bar that I was coming upon my 39th birthday. He included the following piece by Andy Rooney in his e-mail. While I’m definitely not a fan of Andy Rooney, in this essay he seems to have set aside his arrogant superior attitude:

As I grow in age, I value women who are over 40 most of all.
Here are just a few reasons why:

A woman over 40 will never wake you in the middle of the night to ask, "What are you thinking?" She doesn't care what you think.

If a woman over 40 doesn't want to watch the game, she doesn't sit around whining about it. She does something she wants to do. And, it's usually something more interesting.

A woman over 40 knows herself well enough to be assured in who she is, what she is, what she wants and from whom.

Few women past the age of 40 give a damn what you might think about her or what she's doing. Women over 40 are dignified. They seldom have a screaming match with you at the opera or in the middle of an expensive restaurant. Of course, if you deserve it, they won't hesitate to shoot you, if they think they can get away with it.

Older women are generous with praise, often undeserved. They know what it's like to be unappreciated.

A woman over 40 has the self-assurance to introduce you to her women friends. A younger woman with a man will often ignore even her best friend because she doesn't trust the guy with other women. Women over 40 couldn't care less if you're attracted to her friends because she knows her friends won't betray her.

Women get psychic as they age. You never have to confess your sins to a woman over 40. They always know.

A woman over 40 looks good wearing bright red lipstick. This is not true of younger women or drag queens.

Once you get past a wrinkle or two, a woman over 40 is far sexier than her younger counterpart.

Older women are forthright and honest. They'll tell you right off if you are a jerk if you are acting like one! You don't ever have to wonder where you stand with her.

Yes, we praise women over 40 for a multitude of reasons.
Unfortunately, it's not reciprocal. For every stunning, smart, well-coifed hot woman of 40+, there is a bald, paunchy relic in yellow pants making a fool of himself with some 22-year-old waitress. Ladies, I apologize. For all those men who say, "Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free"? Here's an update for you. Nowadays 80% of women are against marriage, why? Because women realize it's not worth buying an entire Pig, just to get a little sausage.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Hot Chik Birthday Survival Tip #2

Remind everyone it’s your birthday.

It’s the thoughtful thing to do. Everyone who loves you takes pleasure in fussing over you. However, despite your hotness, they have busy lives and it’s easy to forget fun things like birthdays. Do them a favor and help avoid that awkward "Oh! I thought it was? … Oh, uuhhh … It’s today?" moment.

Don’t ignore your birthday and pretend it’s not happening. The earth continues to rotate on it’s axis as it revolves around the sun, and so we continue to age … if we’re lucky. You’re a Hottie!!! Celebrate your survival! These annual days marking your existence should warrant at least a minor Hoopla, if not an all out Hootenanny.

The best reason to remind people it’s your birthday is to protect yourself from yourself! Cancel the Pity Party you were secretly planning for yourself in favor of some fun times with friends. A gal would need to work especially hard to feel sorry for herself if she were being fussed over by the people who care for her.

Last year when I turned 40, I was fully prepared for a full-blown "Life as I know it is over" Pity Party, but I was foiled. I got a somewhat expected surprise party from my intimate family, but was blown away by the fact that my parents drove 6 hours to attend. My sister and her gorgeous kids were there as well. That was a great party and it put everything in perspective. However, to make sure there was no wiggle room for even a smidge of self-pity, everyone at work threw a huge (completely shocked) surprise party on my actual birthday.

It would take a black-belt in self-pity to keep a grip on it through two surprise parties. Personally, I prefer cake.

I'm still 40, so don't say Happy Birthday yet.
It's not until later next week.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Surviving Birthdays Hot Chik Style: Part I

I'm counting down the days until I reach the annual anniversary of my birth. Damn! Didn’t we just do this a couple months ago? The older you get the faster it goes, my friends.

Over the years I’ve discovered a few things about surviving birthdays. Because I’m a loving and generous gal, I’m going to share some of my wisdom with you. Today’s lesson is about asking for what you need.

The goal is to feel good about yourself and not be dependent on the approval of others for that good feeling. However, reality sucks! And sometimes even a Hot Chik needs a little boost.

Direct Approach:

"Do I look old?"

If you’re going to use this approach to ask for what you need, be smart about it.

* Do not ask a child or a teenager. They don’t have a clue what old is. Everyone over 30 looks the same to them.

* If you ask your partner, don’t ask him/her when he’s running late for work and searching for his keys. If you end up getting the "Huh? Fine Honey. Yeah, sure, nice" response, you’ll be bummed and he’ll be in the doghouse.

* Do not ask my brother. He knows all the buttons to push, and this would provide him with even more ammunition for future torture. (At our age, you’d think he’d give it up!) In fact, if anyone even mentions to him that I have angst about looking old, I’ll sic my Mom on you!

Best scenario: Make a pact with a few of your best gal pals. Agree to the ground rules and be available for age-angst birthday crisis. We Hot Chiks know all the right answers.

  • Laugh lines look gorgeous on you, and they show your happy enthusiasm for life.
  • Gray hair doesn’t look good on everyone, but on you it works. If you decide you don’t like it, I know a great colorist.
  • I’d fuck ya!
  • Most men really want a woman with experience. If they don’t, they’re immature little boys who we wouldn’t waste our time with.
  • Not a day over …

Sometimes I use a Less Direct Approach. I lie.

Instead of lying and telling people that I’m younger than I really am, I tell them that I’m older. Then I get the alarmed response, "WOW! I never would have guessed!"

It was a lot of fun at work for a while because everyone was trying to figure out my real age without actually asking. Finally people caught on to my game and I had to fess up. I can still play with new people though.

When there are a group of newbies, I’m fond of telling them that I’m 49 and the mother of six, the youngest of which are twin savants, studying the Pan Flute in Athens. It’s amazing what people will buy if you look sincere and maintain eye contact.

Isn’t life fun?



Don’t worry, I’ll keep reminding you.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Don't Give the Mayor Any of Your Sass!

I talked to my Mom for a while this weekend. She’s so busy with her new job as the Mayor of her tiny little village that it’s difficult to catch her at home. It sounds like she’s doing great in the short month she’s been on the job. Apparently, there are a few more duties than running the monthly Council meeting and showing up for the annual 4-H awards banquet.

She's already had to deal with a number of angry neighbor issues. One person had a neighbor with a family of skunks living in a brush pile in the back yard. And, just down the road, a fella who raises a few chickens, was upset about the skunks too. Those nasty skunks weren’t just stinkin’ up the place. They were after his chickens! The same week, she got a call about 3 junk cars in one person’s yard. Doesn't everyone know that the village ordinance clearly states that there can only be one junk car per yard.

Mom visited with everyone and came up with some ideas, but she needed help from the local rent-a-cop dude. That’s when things got really interesting.

Apparently, when my Mom asked Mr. Rent-A-Cop to address the problems according to her well-thought-out plan, Mr. R-A-C got sassy. He had the nerve to say something to the tune of, "Why should I do what you say?"

I gasped in horror when I heard that. The dude is either suicidal, or he doesn’t know my Mom. All she’d have to do is grab him by the top of his ear and drag him around talking about how she doesn’t appreciate being talked back to like that. In less than 90 seconds, he’d wish he was dead. No one gives my Mom any lip.

I said, "Did you tell him ‘Because I’m the Mom … I mean, the Mayor, that’s why’?"

She said that she reminded him of his job description and he went away. However, a few days later he called to report that the skunks were gone, the chickens were safe, and the junk-car yard was now within the one car per yard limit. He was also very sweet and polite to her. When I asked if she did the ear-lecture-torture thing to him, she said that it wasn’t necessary. It seems that payday was right after their first conversation. Mr. R-A-C must have noticed Mom’s signature at the bottom of his paycheck.

.... I still kinda hope she does the ear thing to him. He's got some nerve getting sassy with my Mom!

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Love in a Purple Hat

My friend died today. Her name was Joleen.

We weren't particularly close friends, but we worked together. And, until the time Joleen got sick and left work, we chatted nearly every day. I looked forward to seeing her because she was always happy to see me. Often, I made it a point to say something to make her laugh. She was smart and funny and beautiful. Anyone would have wanted to make her laugh.

Joleen’s favorite color was purple. She wore it every single day.

I liked to say, "Joleen, that’s a beautiful blouse you’re wearing. I especially love the color."

She’d respond, "Why thank you, Theresa. You know, purple’s my favorite color." And we’d both giggle a little at our silly ritual.

That was before she got sick.

I didn’t know what to do when Joleen got sick. I called her, but the person who answered the phone said that she was too tired to talk. A few days later another friend at work said that Joleen was starting chemotherapy and wondered if I would make her a hat to wear when her hair fell out. It was October. With the cool fall weather, she would need a hat.

I spent several days looking for exactly the right pattern and exactly the right yarn to make a hat for Joleen. I could do that.
I could knit Joleen a beautiful purple hat.

When it was finished, the hat was lovely. But the thing you couldn’t see by looking at it, was the love and wishes and hope that I had stitched in between the yarn. I had concentrated really hard to put as much as I could into her hat.

Sometimes people die no matter how much we love and wish and hope for them.

The last time I talked to Joleen was when she called me to thank me a second time for making her a beautiful purple hat.

The world lost one fabulous purple-lovin' Hot Chik today.

Friday, May 06, 2005


Friendship, kindness and affection offered as a gift is an act of loving generosity. Accompanied by a demand of reciprocity it loses its generous spirit and reeks of neediness and desperation. An honest gift loses neither its power nor its value in the face of rejection.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

The Problem

No matter who you talked to, everyone agreed that Ben was the problem. All the teachers at his school said he was difficult. His Mom complained that she’d tried everything, but he wouldn’t listen to her. Ben’s sisters said that everything was fine at home, with the exception of him, of course. So when I got the call from the County DCFS Worker, she apologized for handing the case over to me, "I’m really sorry to have to do this to you, Theresa. I don’t think you’ll be able to do anything, but by law we have to try before we can place him in a long-term medical facility."

When I hung up the phone, I looked out the window for a really long time. I couldn’t think of what to do next because I was in shock that someone had just apologized for making me help an 11-year old boy.

The visit at the family’s home was just as I expected. While I was talking with Mom, the sisters were quiet and patient. Meanwhile, a perfectly healthy blond, blue-eyed 11-year old boy disrupted with questions and constant noise and activity. I pretended to ignore him while I talked with his Mom. In reality, I didn’t miss a thing he was doing. Mom’s story was the same sad song of frustration and gloom. Ben had a new story.

For the next 10 months I spent a lot of time with Ben and his family. My favorite times were the times when I took Ben out for an ice cream cone or to the skateboard park where he showed me his stunts. He wasn’t a problem during those visits. In fact, he relished opportunities to be helpful.

I made a habit of making sure that my car needed gas so I could fill up while he was with me. He liked to operate the gas pump, and said he wanted to do it so my hands wouldn’t smell like stinky gasoline. I taught him about the manual transmission of the car. When I pushed in the clutch, he operated the gearshift. These were such easy things to do for a kid who had few places to feel good about himself.

Ben’s family was a mess. Dad was a drug addict chronically in and out of prison. He was in prison at the time. Mom was good at making children, but not so effective at raising them. His two older brothers were in adolescent detention centers. His oldest sister was 21. She had 2 kids, and their Daddy had just been released from prison. It appeared as if the women were the only ones who stayed at home and out of trouble.

One day I got an emergency phone call from Ben’s Mom. She said there was something important she needed to talk with me about right way. At her request, we met at a local coffee shop. Once we were settled in to a booth several tables away from other customers, she whispered, "Ben told me that he wants to be a rabbit when he grows up. Not only that, he wants to be a girl rabbit so that he can have lots of babies. Do you think this means he’s crazy or gay or something?"

This was the big emergency?

I had a really difficult time not laughing in this woman’s face. I had an equally difficult time not grabbing her by the throat and throttling her. I already knew about Ben’s rabbit fantasy. He had shared it with me a number of times. His Mom wasn’t able to see how it fit into the family pattern.

My dear sweet Ben loved all animals. If anyone ever saw him handling the family’s pet rabbits, or the neighbor’s puppy, or even listened to him talk about his dreams of traveling in Africa to see real Lions and Elephants in the wild, they would never think of him as a hopeless problem.

The real problem wasn’t Ben. He was just following the family tradition. Ben was almost 12 years old, and that was the age that the men of the family prepared to leave. The way they left was by becoming a problem. In real life, Ben was being loyal to the family tradition, but in his fantasy life, he got to stay at home. If he was a rabbit; if he was a girl, he would be able to stay.

It wasn’t long after that conversation that I left my position and moved away. It was hard to say goodbye to Ben. I worried about what would happen to him. Would the next therapist think he was the problem? Would she/he fight for him as hard as I did? Would she/he love him?

Ben gave me a little figure of a rabbit as a gift before I moved. He said it was for good luck. I told him that I would keep it in the car so nothing bad would happen to me when I was traveling. I told him to grow up and go to Africa.

Ben will be turning 24 this month. I hope he’s celebrating on the Serengeti.

Happy Birthday Ben!

(A number of specifics were changed about this story in order to protect the privacy and confidentiality of the family)

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Not for the Timid

"To be brave is to love someone unconditionally, without expecting anything in return. To just give, that takes courage, because we don’t want to fall on our faces and leave ourselves open to hurt." Madonna

If you’ve ever allowed yourself to fall in love, you know that it totally sucks!
If you’ve ever survived a broken heart, you know why.

If you’ve ever allowed yourself to fall in love, you know that it’s fantastic!

Real True Love is the very best thing in the world.
It’s better than money.
It’s better than success.
It’s better than sex … yes, you heard me right. I said it’s better than sex.

There are those who are brave enough to seek love even when they know the bitter pain of loss. The only real tragedy is to give up, give in, or god forbid, to settle for mediocrity. It takes a lot of courage to fall in love. Courage isn’t a lack of fear. It’s what we do when we are absolutely terrified.

"Life shrinks and expands in proportion to one’s courage." Anais Nin