the friend with the GREAT sense of know, the funny one

Mrs. G. has always been skeptical of popularity, a bit cagey of it's often shallow, slippery nature. It makes her skittish. Maybe it's because she spent her youth on its periphery. While popularity was her desired bright lights and big city destination, Mrs. G. resided squarely in the suburb of close but no cigar. She wasn't unpopular; she was just there...amiable, no trouble, perfectly fine. She was always invited to the party, but she didn't, you know, own it. She stood in the corner with her friend Karen nursing a Bartles and James wine cooler and smoking a clove cigarette. She was worldly though she lived in teeny Tigard, Oregon.


When she went to high school, Mrs. G. had a decent time. She had plenty of friends—she ran cross country and was on the speech team. She was a brain, but she was also good-natured and approachable. It's true Mrs. G. had sensational hair, but she was short and stocky and wore fairly thick glasses. She tried contacts but she accidentally swallowed them in a movie theater and her mom wouldn't buy her another pair because money doesn't grow on trees you know, or fall from the sky ferchristssake.  Mrs. G.  wasn't deferential. She was cute enough but not in hot hot if you know what she is saying... and you do. She was luke warm, fair to middling. It didn't take her long to figure out that she needed to be funny. She needed to be charming and share her impeccable biology notes, so that the hot hot people would occasionally invite her out with them...for entertainment purposes. She could make them laugh while they sat around drinking Big Gulps and looking beautiful. She was the nonthreatening friend.


One of the advantages of being a girl with the good personality in high school is that Mrs. G. had no trouble getting dates. She was a guaranteed good time—gracious and grateful, drama free. If there was a dance, Mrs. G. was there with one of her many guy friends. Dancing. Laughing. Her dates were engaging, perfect gentlemen. They gave her frothy pink wrist corsages and helped her fluff up her hair when the humidity of the dance floor made it droop. Her dates were unusually supportive of her commitment to save herself for marriage and often went shopping with her to pick out the perfect dress and matching heels. They were kind and respectful and, Mrs. G. found out a few years later to her genuine, twenty-four carat surprise, gay. Gay gay. She's not sure who was deeper in the closet, likely her since she was genuinely clueless. Mrs. G. slowly came to realize that she might have been the most popular date of the gays in her high school. And to make matters a little more nonsensical, she didn't find out her homecoming and prom dates were gay until she ran into them after college and asked after their girlfriends. Columbo she's not. Mrs. G. often wonders if they took numbers—sorry pal, you had her for the Spring Fling...she's mine for Tolo. And while it's true that she didn't brush up against love until later in college, she also didn't come home disappointed or pregnant. Or with chlymidia. 



Mrs. G. never really felt bad that she wasn't hot hot. She is a genuine believer in the American Dream and making the most of what you've got—she didn't sit around whining or wishing for longer legs or cheekbones...until she got a flat tire in Northeast Portland in 1986. She pulled her car over to the side of the road and hoofed it to a phone booth to call her friend Beth. Beth said she was on her way, so Mrs. G. hoofed it back, leaned against the hood of her car and watched the rush hour traffic go by—car after car after car. Beth showed up a short while later. She had barely pulled her six footed, blue eyed, creamy skinned, down-to-the-waist blonde haired body out of her car and walked six steps toward Mrs. G. before a guy in a red Jeep pulled over and jumped out to offer his assistance.

Mrs. G, who had been standing on the side of the road for over thirty minutes, watched this scene unfold in slow motion and realized that there was only one thing she could do:

be funnier.


You're Invited

OK, Derfs, it's now or never! Planning a Derf Weekend in San Diego (Mission Bay) Friday, September 12th and Saturday, September 13th. Are you game? You should be...meeting new (and old) friends, dancing, drinking, fraternizing on the beach, and no shortage of shenanigans! Leave a comment if you're interested. Mrs. G. hopes to meet you there! Bras optional.


just a little update

Mrs. G. just returned home from Los Angeles. She spent several days there helping Miss G. move into her first apartment without a roommate. There are so many advantages to living alone, but Mrs. G. thinks we can all agree that pants and bra optional are right at the top of the list of sensational and the old razzle-dazzle.

Mrs. G's apartment is sweet and girly. Pink quilt, lavendar sheets, twinkling lights and artwork done by the children she works with.


Mrs. G. wants to take a moment and (once again) brag about Miss G. She interviewed for a new job at 7:00pm on a Thursday night and was offered the job by 4:00pm the next day. It is such a gift to have such profound respect for your daughter and her choices. Quite simply, Mrs. G. admires her daughter greatly. She is a good egg.

Also, Miss G. is wild about sloths. Wild. She always has been.

The only bad news to report is that Miss G. called Mrs. G. tonight and said she saw a small roach in her pristine cabinet. Miss G. is terrified of roaches so Mrs. G. gave her the only advice she could think of: Move! Of course she was just joking, so she went on Amazon and told Miss G. which roach bait to buy. She also suggested breathing in a paper bag so Miss G. wouldn't pass out. The fear. It is real.

Another great thing that happened in L.A., Mrs. G. had lunch with Heidi of Smalltown Me. They had a wonderful visit and once again confirmed the joy of meeting derfs in person.

Let's not talk about Mrs. G's hair because during a dark night of the soul, she cut it herself. It's just hair, right? 

Two weeks ago, Mrs. G. started a teaching program that will certify her to teach science to 5th through 9th graders. Science? Right brained Mrs G.? Yep. There is a shortage of science teachers here in Washington and Mrs. G. is excited to challenge herself. She feels certain she's a good enough teacher to make any subject interesting. Pardon her ego, but this is her talent. To take what's eh and make it aaaah! The program will take a year and a half, plus six months of student teaching.

She plans to keep on blogging though things will occasionally be light around here as she digs into cellular chemistry and calculus. Don't worry, she will do her best to not leave you hanging.

One thing she would like to reiterate is that it's never too late to start over. Even if you're scared and, yes, Mrs. G. is scared. In many respects she is starting her professional life over again...from square one. But this path, Derfs, it feels right.

More later.

And just because...


In conclusion, a cellular chemisty haiku...

pH scale is used

indicates the acidity

or the basicity









Full Confessional Friday! 7/11/2014

Mrs. G. is heading to Los Angeles tonight to help her daughter move. She's not taking her laptop so she will see you in a couple of weeks. Happy July, Derfs! 

Be it Venial or Mortal (there's no escaping Original), we've all got secrets -- light, dark, funny, sad -- worth bringing to light. The act of confession can be liberating, mollifying and entertaining. Contrition? Repentance? A shot of Tequila? That's your call, sister.


The Women's Colony

It has come to Mrs. G's attention that many new readers (this was published nearly seven years ago) have not read this post. Mrs. G. felt compelled to repeat it because you can't truly understand her (or this blog and much of its lingo) without knowing about the Colony, a concept that when exercised daily is likely as effective as any antidepressant on the market. Mrs. G. texted her son a few days ago asking him to bring home some milk, toilet paper and Fanta. Autocorrect morphed Fanta into fantasy. Mrs. G's son called her and said, "Mom, I can buy you a lot of things, but fantasies aren't one of them. QFC doesn't sell the Women's Colony." He brought home grape Fanta, which on the right day can fulfill a fantasy, but it just doesn't have the staying power. Mrs. G. has a dream...and this is it.

P.S. Mrs. G. is currently writing a novel with this plot so if you steal the idea, she will hunt you down and kill you. It just so happens she knows a few women who would help her move and hide the body. You've been warned.


The Women's Colony

Many years ago, Mrs. G. and her beloved friend Faye showed up at the same mom's group. They connected instantly, and it didn't take them long to ditch the group (as Mrs. G. recalls many in the group were overly invested in and vocal about just how important they were prior to having children) in favor of a more intimate connection. Mrs. G's three-year-old-daughter adored Faye's three-year-old son, and Mrs. G. grooved on Faye -- the years they spent together are some of Mrs. G's most cherished. While Mrs. G. is lucky to have made many dear friends since she and Faye moved to opposite ends of the country, there has never been another friend who Mrs. G. has truly felt got her the way Faye did. And even though Mrs. G. hasn't seen Faye in ten years, she holds Faye in the nook of her heart that she reserves for those rare people who offer unconditional friendship, unconditional love. In other words, if Faye ever flipped her lid and accidentally committed a premeditated murder, Mrs. G. would not only help her move the body, but store it in her freezer until the coast was clear.

During their many days and months of hard core mothering, birthing of additional babies, sapped marriages and overall weariness, they would frequently talk about the Women's Colony they would retire to when the kids were grown, and the husbands were gone. Just exactly how the husbands would be gone wasn't examined at any length. The fantasy was more about the sanctity of a female refuge for older, tired women who needed some sort of estrogen infused utopia. When times were tough, they would simply utter Women's Colony and nerves would ebb, hope would rally, dinner would make it to the table, children would be bathed, bedtime stories would be read, and, finally, wine bottles would be drained.

The Women's Colony would be in some out of the way place, some little slice of paradise that was off the grid and extremely difficult to access. Men would find it particularly difficult to locate because, without a doubt, they would be required to stop and ask for directions. Like that's going to happen.



It would be a place where women could come to spend their post mothering/wifing/working woman years to live completely as themselves. The selfish pursuit of individual desire and authenticity would be encouraged and allowed -- guilt free and without any emotional cost. No scales, no mirrors, fat asses, cellulite, age spots, chin hairs, crows feet and bras optional. For those reluctant to cut all ties with their heterosexual needs, husbands and boy toys gentleman friends could be bussed in on Thursdays and Sundays for conversation and such. Appreciative children, grandchildren and emotionally stable relatives could come to visit every other Saturday and all major holidays.

This Women's Colony would not be any sort of Hee-Haw existence. No one would have to live on a school bus or make hemp hammocks to support her diet of quinoa and tempeh.


Each woman would have an entire floor of a house like this...


or this...


or this.


Faye and Mrs. G. felt strongly that there should be a row of connected rocking chairs on the front porches of the various houses, and each evening, it would be one woman's responsibility to do the rocking. The rest of the women would just sit there and sip cosmos chill.

There would need to be a butler to overlook the running of the house and the division of labor that would not involve any of the women.


After years of full calendars and the juggling the lives of others, every woman's to do list would basically be nothing, nothing and nothing. For those with a need to be productive, they would be free do whatever the hell they wanted. There would be no pairing of socks or locating anything for anybody.


In the Women's Colony, bathrooms would be sanctuaries of solace and joy. No bathtub or toilet scrubbing or dealing with hairs whose origins are too disturbing to contemplate.


There would be creative spaces for each woman: writing and pottery studios and crafting spaces and dark rooms.


Communal dinners would be optional.

But this guy would be the Colony's personal chef. We'll get to the maid and dishwasher momentarily. Bourdain doesn't do dishes.

Fresh organic vegetables,fruits and herbs would be grown right on the property


And, of course, a full-time gardener would be on site.


Oh, and there would be flowers...fields and fields of flowers.


Despite the Colony not having an in-ground pool, a pool boy would be available for serving cocktails, rubbing in sunscreen and gratuitous eye candy.


There would be no no pool, because the ocean would be just a stone's throw away from everyone's houses.


As mentioned earlier, members of the Women's Colony would have no mandatory chores. Those would be completed by the Colony's full-time maid.


Yes, another pristine girl's bathroom. Mrs. G. is willing to admit that the concept of a man-free bathroom was the cornerstone of her Women's Colony fantasy.


Despite the Colony's rural setting, regular house calls would be made by a prominent physician.


And this would be Susan Carlin's personal art studio. Mrs. G. will be disappointed if Susan, her daughter, Professor J, and their dogs don't plan on becoming charter members.

There would be a music room with a roaring fireplace.


And a yoga/meditation space amongst the luscious trees.


And, of course, a library overflowing with books and flanked by overstuffed chairs.


Please forgive Mrs. G's obsessive need to keep returning to the clean bathroom.


In recognition that men need to pee too, an outhouse would be provided. Toilet paper at no extra charge.

All animals welcome.


No shortage of spaces to be alone and spy on the gardener read a good book.


Mrs. G. would assume the responsibility of taking care of the laundry, so it wouldn't take too long before clothing became optional.


Rocking chairs, gardens, beach front property, no chores, clean bathrooms, gourmet food, conjugal visits, hot servants...paradise, people. Female paradise. And in the meantime, when the boss is bitching, the kids are mouthy, the spouse is cranky, the relatives keep reminding you of all the things you could do better, take a deep breath and exhale Women's Colony...Women's Colony.

But with better hair. Who's in?



Things Mrs. G. Has Been Doing Since She Temporarily Abandoned Her Creative Self

1. All good men must come to the aid of their country. All good men must come to the aid of their country. The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog. The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog. Mrs. G. has been typing these two sentences over and over again in an attempt to jumpstart and oil the wheels in her brain. All good men must come to the aid of their country. The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog. Frankly, these sentences haven't jump started anything except shameful memories of Mrs. G's smug ass sitting in high school typing class sure she wouldn't have to do anything as mundane as typing in her future. Queens of small countries don't type. Well, Mrs. Scrandall, you have the last laugh on this one. Really, Mrs. Scrandall, sit down and laugh it up, because typing has been crucial to Mrs. G's life, much more so than reigning over the country that never materialized, unless you want to count Mrs. G's laundry room, which she does sometimes when she wants to feel more imposing and stately while separating the darks from the lights.

2) Enjoying the company of two sweet, strapping young men in her home (plus Mr. G -- a sweet, strapping seasoned man). Mrs. G's son is home for the summer and his friend who is like a second son is bunking here as well. Mrs. G, we all know not a domestic woman by nature, can't explain the odd pleasure she feels baking a loaf of banana blueberry bread and seeing it inhaled before it cools. It has taken Mrs. G. several years to establish the symmetry of being needed and not needed, but, for now, she has and it feels strangely satisfying and liberating.

3) Buying a treadmill with all the bells and whistles. Now she can jog and fall down in the privacy of her own home. She named it Doug, because she dated a dickweed in high school named Doug who took her out on two dates and "forgot" his wallet both times. Now Mrs. G. can climb on the treadmill mornings she doesn't feel like it and say, "Oh Fuck you, Doug," with some authority.

4) Working her way through two seasons of the West Wing. A reader recently sent an email suggesting Rob Lowe was long overdue for Mancake status. Mrs. G. agrees and has began the extensive googling research needed to properly showcase his, well, talent.

5) Leaving next week for Los Angeles to help her daughter move into a charming studio with great light and hardwood floors. Mrs. G. had hoped to escape the actual moving part of the moving and show up for the fixing the place up part of moving, but when you get emails from your kid saying things like, "Please, God, please. Mom I need you," you book a ticket and feel thrilled when you get another email saying, "Yay! Thank you Lord!" Again, the symmetry of being needed and not needed. It's tricky if you don't pay attention and read your email.

For once, Mrs. G. is staying in L.A. for a decent amount of time. She will be there the 10th through the 19th. She will be in Santa Monica without a car Monday through Thursday while her daughter works, so if you want to get together for lunch or dinner, please send her an email and let's make it happen.

More tomorrow friends. The wheels are officially greased. Thanks for waiting.


Nothing Much

Good morning! It's 4:25am and the birds are singing aggressively. That's right, aggressively. Birds. The birds are SINGING and the sun is on the horizon. Mrs. G. isn't going to lie. Sometimes she hates birds with all their forced cheerfulness. She wants to scream at them to give it a rest. But then she remembers how they charmingly bookend her days and nights and she feels guilty like the Catholic she used to be. Catholicism. It's for the birds. Oh don't go there. Mrs. G. is earnestly kidding.

And the neighbors. Their suspicions would be confirmed if they heard her bawling out the birds.

Mrs. G. woke up too early because last night she tucked into the gin, and she hasn't tucked into the gin in many, many months. It's been many hours since her last drink but when she drinks, Mrs. G. wants to talk. She wants to talk about everything and Mr. G. takes it for as long as he can take it and then he goes to bed. Where are all of you when she needs you? Oh that's right, you're tucked in bed with clean cotton sheets and a fluffy pillow, sleeping. Mrs. G. is right behind you.

Things Mrs. G. considered writing about:

The one year she was a cheerleader because her school, Blessed Sacrament, put out an open call to every girl. All you had to do to join the team was buy the uniform and knee-hi socks. It was great! 

That's all she can think of because she's sleep deprived. And scared of revealing stories like the one where she is wearing the underwear in her rotation that is two sizes too small. Underwear of hope and desperation she might call it if she were writing about it. Why yes. Today is laundry day. 

That's all that she's got. She knows it's not much.

She was lying in bed last night wondering where all of you are from. You lurkers that is. Everyone actually. So where are you from? It only seems right and just to give up this information. Will you share it? Mrs. G. shared her underwear of hope and desperation. Give it up. Where are you from?

Night all.


Full Confessional Friday! 6/20/2014

Mrs G. was gone so long she's surprised the lights are still on around here. She wasn't off doing anything spectacular, but she'll fill you in next week, when things will get back to normal in this little pocket of the universe. Happy weekend!

Be it Venial or Mortal (there's no escaping Original), we've all got secrets -- light, dark, funny, sad -- worth bringing to light. The act of confession can be liberating, mollifying and entertaining. Contrition? Repentance? A shot of Tequila? That's your call, sister.