Sunday, November 6, 2011


M. Peevie here. I'll be eleven in two days, and it's time for an update.

So. Last week we were driving to school, and there was a Mercedes in front of us. The only reason I know it was a Mercedes was that my mom said, Hey, I like that Mercedes in front of us. Then A. Peevie said, well, it's not that cool because it's boxy like a mini-van. But I pointed out that the Mercedes was not totally boxy: "It has hips!" I said, noticing that it sort of curved out below the windows.

My mom, the writer, liked this observation. "M. Peevie," she said, "Nice use of anthropomorphism."

"Well, I don't know what 'anthropo-whatever' is," I said, "but I thought it was personification." Then we totally got into a conversation about the difference between personification and anthropomorphism, and IRONICALLY my mom could not even tell us the difference. Sigh. What good are parents if they can't even define their terms?

In school I asked my teacher, Mrs.Kind if she knew the difference between personification and anthropomorphism. She did not. She told me to go down the hall to Mr. Language Man's room and ask him. Mr. Language Man said something that I do not remember. Later when I told my mom about it, she said she thinks they are basically the same. I'm going with that for now.

In other news, for my birthday I want World Peace. I want world peace because I do not like to think about our soldiers and people in other countries getting hurt and killed, and I do not even understand why they can't just sit down and work it out. This is what my mom tells me and my brother A. Peevie all the time. "Sit down and work it out," she says, "I am tired of being a referee." 

And usually we do work it out, but sometimes A. Peevie is completely unreasonable, or my other brother C. Peevie is mean, and I have to tell my mom that he is hurting my feelings. Even though he is the big brother, sometimes he is immature, and sometimes he is a bully. Sometimes he is fun, though, and he wrestles with me. This usually happens late at night, like 9 or 10 o'clock, in my parents' bedroom, and they get extremely annoyed at us for being loud and obnoxious and for being in their bedroom when they are ready to Be Done With Kids.

I have a couple of goals now that I am getting older. One goal I have is to understand what I hear at church. Some days this is easier than other days. Some days the pastor talks about stuff I don't really want to hear about, like S-E-X. (Today my pastor said that we should not be more prudish about s-e-x than God is!--but I'm not sure what he meant. All I know is, I do not want to talk about it or think about it.) 

Another goal I have is to go to DePaul University on a softball scholarship. Because my dad works there I can go there and have free tuition, but I would still have to pay for roomanbord. I'm not really sure what roomandbord is, but if I go there on a softball scholarship, I would get that for free, too. I am working on my softball skills, and I think I am getting better. Sometimes we play traveling teams, though, and their pitchers scare me.

There is one thing I really really want for my birthday. It is a little cooler from Pottery Barn Teen that sits on your desk and hold like four cans of Coke. I think if I get this for my birthday, my happiness will be complete.

Talk to you next year, Internet. Peace out.

M. Peevie

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Birthdays are not all about presents. But...

I recently celebrated a Major Birthday Milestone. I'm not one to cry over spilt birthdays, and in fact, I attempt to derive as much enjoyment as possible from the things that traditionally go along with birthdays: presents, attention, presents, cards, people saying nice things to me, and presents.
Well, as it turns out, I had the best 50th birthday in the history of 50th birthdays. Many people celebrated with me, made noise with me, toasted and appreciated me--and some even gave me presents. Birthdays should not be all about presents when a person is 50 years old--but when said 50-year-old's love language is presents, chances are there will be some unwrapping going on. And there was.

But first: You know what else I love about my birthday? I love it when people write or say nice things to me or about me. My crazy group of Vagina Dialogue peeps wrote me a "screenplay" called "Ten Things About Eve" in which they said things that I am too embarrassed to repeat here because they just totally hyperbolized my good qualities. They also gave me some nipple bling, but since this is a family-friendly blog, we'll just leave that alone.

Even though I actually posted my birthday wish list on this blog, I told Mr. Peevie that the one thing that I really really wanted for my birthday was a hand-crafted card produced by my friend Queen, who's blog nickname I am officially changing to The Producer. I got it--and it was everything I had hoped it would be. Any card that references the music of Hildegaard von Bingen is destined for the Handcrafted Card Hall of Fame.

The actual highlight of the celebration of the anniversary of my auspicious birth came from Mr. Peevie, who always distinguishes himself in the Department of Presents. Mr. P came up with a gift that makes me feel sorry for every man, woman and child who is not married to him. Here it is:

O.M.G. Have you ever seen anything so beauteous? Such an artisanal masterpiece? Such a mother-lode of awesome?

This gift knocked my socks off. Mr. Peevie bought me my accessory of choice, a purse. But What a Purse! Mr. P. heard an interview on NPR about two years ago with Caitlin Phillips of Rebound Designs. He bookmarked it.

As my significant birthday approached, Mr. P. contacted the creative and talented Ms. Phillips and custom ordered this recherché handbag. He specified not only the title of the book to use--my favorite writing resource book, The Chicago Manual of Style--but the particular edition (14th). He also selected the fabric for the lining as well as the handle.

Now that is love, no matter what your love language is. Everywhere my bag and I go, we attract the admiration of others--and I tell the story of the best gift a girl could get for her birthday: love in the form of research, thoughtfulness, and effort; love that feels like being known by the lover.

[Adjectival props go to my frabjous friend, J-Ro, who gave me an autographed copy of Better Than Great: A Plentitudinous Compendium of Wallopingly Fresh Superlatives by Arthur Plotnik. Thanks for giving me a gift that fits my heart and soul--although I may have overdon it a bit in this post.]

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Tender, Private Moment. Not.

I'll get right to the point. It's hard to find the time and privacy for sex when there are what seems like dozens of kids running around at all hours of the day and night. The other night we thought we had dispatched them securely, and Mr. Peevie and I retired to our boudoir and locked the door. It was after 10 p.m.--what should be a safe hour for conjugal activities. But no.

Minutes after I climbed between the sheets (and started watching a M*A*S*H rerun), a knock came on the door. I got up, unlocked the door, and opened it to find C. Peevie. He looked at me, and an expression of horror began to gather on his face.

"You...," he started, " the...door locked?!"

"Yes," I said. "What do you want?"

"Well, I just came up to get money," he said, taking a step back as though I was contagious, "but YOU HAD THE DOOR LOCKED and now I want to THROW UP" He collapsed in a heap on the hallway floor, moaning loudly. "You had the door locked," he groaned, "AAARRRGGHH!"

C. Peevie's moans got the attention of A. Peevie, who wandered out of his bedroom to find out what the hoopla was about. C. Peevie obliged.

"Mom and Dad had. The. Door. Locked!" he said, tossing in a groan for good measure. "AAARRRGGHH!"

A. Peevie let out his own horrified noise, and also collapsed on the hallway floor. "ACK!" he said. "Ack, ack!"

"I just came up for some money," C. Peevie moaned. "Why didn't you tell me you were going to have your DOOR LOCKED?!"

"That's just stupid," I said. "I'll get you some money. Next time, could you ask for money before 10 p.m.?"

"Ack, ack!" A. Peevie groaned lugubriously. "I want some money, too!"
By this time, the cacophony of lament had attracted M. Peevie's attention, and she wandered into the hallway.

"What's going on?" she said, watching A. Peevie and C. Peevie writhing on the floor, weeping and gnashing their teeth.
"Aarrgghh!" said C. Peevie. "I have to have my brain scrubbed!"

"Ack! Ack!" said A. Peevie. "Mom and Dad had their DOOR LOCKED!"

M. Peevie is only ten, but is no slacker when it comes to interpreting innuendo. She dropped like a bag of rocks, and clutched her stomach.

"AAIIIEEE!" she keened. "Aaaiiieeee! Door...locked! Gross!"

I stood at the door and looked down at my three spawn, none of whom had been immaculately conceived. I decided to take a hard-line approach.

"Yes," I said firmly. "We had the door locked because we were going to HAVE SEX."

"AAARRRGGHH! Ack, ack! AAIIIEEE!" they groaned/moaned/keened.

"And now," I said, "I am going to LOCK MY DOOR again. I think you know what that means--so please disperse."

They dispersed--but not without another five minutes of anguished caterwauling and requests for money.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

A Noble Persuasion

The traveling handbag strikes again!

Awhile ago I posted a little post about a cute purse I was carrying that my friend admired, which I gave to her. She subsequently gave it away as well--and then that person also gave it away. Here is the purse, along with one of its temporary friends:

I recently learned that the traveling purse had been donated to the Denver Dress for Success affiliate, whose mission is to "promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life."

How brilliant and beautiful!

Here's what DenverJ had to say about the purse and its journey:

I just got a call from Donna, the Denver Director of Dress for Success, who spoke at the meeting I attended. She was really touched by our story and wanted me to know that she has shared it with about 50 people so far, including her director. She reads it to new volunteers when they come in. So, the blessings of the purse continue!

I hope to get another email soon about the purse going on a job interview, and a DfS client getting a job and starting a whole new chapter of her life.

Meanwhile, I have started another purse on its own journey. I bought it for $1.50 at the same resale shop where I bought the original Traveling Purse, thinking that it would be perfect as a summery tote to carry my lunch and stuff to work.

One day, my tote and I were minding our own business in my cubicle when my colleague Rosaduñas stopped by to show off her beautifully pedicured toenails. They were a smooth, summery, bubblegum pink. They looked smart and tantalizing against her sun-tanned toesies--and then we noticed that they were the EXACT SAME COLOR as the pink tote purse stashed on my messy desktop.

I had just told Rosaduñas the story of the Traveling Purse that very morning, and when we held the purse up next to her polished toenails (well, down, really), we both knew that the purse would be going home with her that night.

I don't have any expectations about this new traveling purse. It might be a staying-home purse this time, sticking with Rosaduñas until it falls apart or she leaves it at the beach by accident.

But I like to dwell on the freedom that traveling purses represent: freedom from a shallow attachment to a material possession.

Of course this noble persuasion only applies to purses bought at a second-hand store, not for example, purses special ordered by one's husband for one's 50th birthday and hand-made from a copy of one's favorite writing reference book.

Ahem. Can you sense another purse-related blog post coming?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

10 Shopping Days Left

I'm so glad I started blogging again just in time to post my birthday wish list.

And this is a big birthday, my friends--the Big 5-0--so please be sure to give your shopping the thought and attention it deserves.

  1. Diet Coke, of course.
  2. Dakota, by Kathleen Norris. I know it's old, but I haven't read it yet, and she's one of my favorite authors.Dakota: A Spiritual Geography
  3. My left eyebrow, a portion of which is missing in action due to one of my many mental illnesses, trichotillomania.
  4. Our soldiers to come home from Afghanistan and Iraq.
  5. Some good tequila.
  6. Soft pj's, no buttons.
  7. A job for my friend Vicki
  8. Music for my I-Pod:Plain White T's Rhythm of Love;
  9. Martini glasses. Maybe something along the lines of this, or this. Or--surprise me!
  10. Innocent, by Scott Turow--also one of my favorite authors.Innocent  
  11. A Pandora bracelet. I made a wish list but I couldn't get it to open.
  12. [I cannot figure out how to put in a new paragraph without numbering it]. So now you have all you need to show me some love.
  13. But the simplest way to show me some birthday love, as always, is to leave me comments on my blog.

  14. Go!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Me and the Department of Public Health

I just got off the phone with the Department of Public Health. The conversation went like this:

Woman with a Heavy Asian Accent: Hi, this is mumble mumble from mumble mumble. I need to ask you some questions about C. Peevie. He was seen in the ER recently and was diagnosed with varicella?

Me: Yes, he had chicken pox. Wait a minute, who is this?

WHAA: This is mumble mumble from the Department of Public Health. We have to make a report when we get notified that someone has had chicken pox. Can I ask you some questions?

Me: Um, OK.

WHAA: Mumble mumble varicella mumble mumble General Hospital mumble.

Me: Yes, that's correct. He was seen in the ER at Lutheran General Hospital.

WHAA: Does he still have fever? Does he still have spots? Did he go back to school?

Me: No, he hasn't had any fever for about a week. Yes, he has spots, but they are scabbed over. And yes, he went back to school yesterday.

WHAA: Does anyone else at the school have chicken pox?

Me: How would I know?

WHAA: What school does he go to?

Me: Jones.

WHAA: Do you have the phone number?

Me: No, but I'm sure you could look it up.

WHAA: So you don't know if anyone else at the school has chicken pox?

Me: No.

WHAA: Do you know where he was exposed to chicken pox? Do any of his friends have it?

Me: No, I don't know where he got it from, and as far as I know, his friends do not have it.

WHAA: Did your son hang out with his friends after he got chicken pox? Where did he go? What did he do?

Me: Yes, we took him to several restaurants and had him cough on the salad bar; and then we went to a day care center and had him hug all the children and rub his arms all over the stuffed animals.

WHAA: What?

Me: No, he did not go out after he was diagnosed. But the day before he was diagnosed, he went to church.

WHAA: Does anyone at church show symptoms?

Me: I don't know.

The WHAA asked me a bunch more questions about our household and vaccination status, and then said

WHAA: OK, thank you. We'll call you back if we have more questions for our report.

Me: OK! Because clearly, this conversation will go a long way to stopping the spread of disease and keeping the Public safe and healthy.

Here's what the Department of Public Health should have asked:

When did he start showing symptoms?
When did he get diagnosed?
Where did he go and who did he have contact with in the three days prior to showing symptoms and before getting diagnosed? And then she should have tried to obtain contact information for those people and places.

That would give them information that they could actually use to protect public health.

But, hey, what do I know?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Twelve THOUSAND dollars

Mr. Peevie and I are trying to impress on C. Peevie the importance of getting good grades in high school. He's a good student, but not as good as he has the potential to be.

My colleague Shawty was telling me that her son ShawtySpawn had qualified for a significant scholarship at the private liberal arts college he would be attending in the fall. They received a letter from the financial aid office charting the relationship between grade point average and scholarship amount, and she showed it to me.

"If his grade point average had been .2 higher," she said, "he would have qualified for $4,000 more per year."

"Can I have a copy of that letter?" I asked. "I want to show it to C. Peevie."

So I brought the letter home to use as an object lesson to motivate my gifted but distractable #1 son to kick his academics into high gear.

"Look at this, C. Peevie," I said, thrusting the letter in his face. "This is from my friend Shawty at work. Her son is getting a scholarship, which is great. But if his GPA had been .2 higher, he would have qualified for $4,000 more per year."

I paused for dramatic effect.

"Four thousand dollars per year," I said. "That's twelve THOUSAND dollars."

I waited for the significance to sink in. C. Peevie waited for the part of my brain that does math to catch up.

It didn't catch up.

"Is he only going to school for three years, then?" C. "Smarty-Pants" Peevie asked innocently. It took me a full minute to get it.

"Sixteen THOUSAND dollars!" I corrected myself, but it was too late. "Crap."

"You just ruined your entire point," C. Peevie laughed.

Mr. Peevie was sitting nearby, shaking his head, as he often does when I attempt to do math.

"Did you even go to college?" he asked.

Well, I did, but you don't learn simple multiplication in college. Apparently I was absent that day in third grade.