I am drinking detox tea and eating a great big pastry. There, in that image, is my life. I feel guilty for neither and see no contradiction. A good blogger would use it as the center of an entry about her philosophy of life, but I'm not a good blogger. I'm a person who eats a great big pastry with her detox tea.
But, as I think I shall write more regularly (at least for awhile), I thought it might behoove those of you who are not Daddy (my main and best reader) to know who I am talking about when I give people nicknames -- a practice that seems like good blogger etiquette.
Obviously, I know more people than this. I have many, many cousins and many musician-friends, along with many work-friends and acquaintances and Army friends. They will get nicknames as they come along in the blog. For now, here are the main people you are likely to hear about:
1. Daddy. He is my actual father. He is brilliant, witty, and talented in every way. The sun rises and sets at his will. He loves literature; I love literature. He taught English; I teach English. He plays guitar; I play guitar. You see how it is. He is also probably the only person reading this. (Hi, Daddy!)
2. Mama. She is my actual mother, and she too is brilliant, talented, and very...what is the word now? Hip? Cool? With it? (I'm sure it's not that one...) She is it, and I am not it. She, perhaps, will understand the joke of the last sentence, but you will not, and I won't tell you. That's how you remain hip. Cool. With it. She won't be in here much, not because she is not ever-present in my life, but because she probably wouldn't appreciate being in a blog.
3. The Airborne. He is my husband, and he actually is a paratrooper. I'd say "was" because he is now with a non-Airborne unit, but if you live with a paratrooper, you know that this does not matter. When Daddy talks about him, he calls him The Airborne, so I will too, here. Where he is, there is Eden.
4. The Great. He is my nephew. I call him HisActualName the Great, but as I'm not using actual names here, he becomes The Great. He just turned 1. You should see him. He is magnificent. He is also the only grandchild in a family of three girls. He is the boss and the tv star.
5. I have two sisters, but I haven't come up with names for them yet. I must consult them first. Otherwise, they will become Coka and Biting Bull. They may not like that. Or they might. If they are reading this, they should let me know.
6. Tula. That is her actual name. She is our black and white rescued cocker spaniel. If I figure out how to post pictures, you will see her. She has crooked teeth and a neurotic soul. Mostly, she lies around like a beautiful stuffed animal, waiting for someone to drop food.
7. The Nik. That is is actual name. (Well, it's Nikki, but we call him The Nik.) He is our peach and white (it even says so on his vet records) rescued Tibetan spaniel (or so it said on his adoption papers). He used to have really crooked teeth that stuck out of his mouth, but he lost one in a skunk battle. He lost the other in an oral surgery extravaganza, along with 11 other teeth. He weighs 17 pounds. When we got him, he had just recovered from a broken jaw he got fighting a pit bull. When he is not fighting dangerous animals, he lies with all his legs sticking out, more like an area rug than a dog.
8. The Big Unit. That is his actual name. He is our blue and red King Betta fish. The King Betta as a breed is disputed, but that's for a long blog you may want to avoid unless you are particularly interested in fish. So far, he has been kept alive for almost five weeks. He is my reward for completing one week of the Insanity workout. I have since earned him rocks, a betta hammock, a skull house, and soon, an aquarium vaccuum cleaner thing. He is named after the only baseball player I have ever known about. Because he is big.
9. The Monstrosity. You will think I am a terrible person for calling our giant aloe vera plant that. If I was a better person, it would have a lovely, encouraging pagan name like Freya or The Green Lady. But I can't quit calling it The Monstrosity. It is truly huge. It looks like it could climb off the shelf and walk around. It's arms are as long as baby arms. If you burn yourself at my house, never fear; we have plenty of healing aloe for everyone in this county. It is the joy of my life. It is also the only plant that has ever survived my good intentions for this long.
10. Cinderella. She is 21 years old and used to be my student. She needed some adults on her side, so we stepped in. Despite bad odds and our fumbling, she thrives. She is a semester away from graduating college on the dean's list. She is also a beautiful ballroom dancer who looks unfailingly elegant, yet does not act embarrassed to be seen with us. She will also thrash you in badminton and Bible trivia, so don't let yourself be hustled.
11. The Wedding Guest. He is 22 and also used to be my student. He is a writer with big ideas and a metalhead who can endure my long-winded lectures on The Gallant History of Thrash. As the Ancient Mariner found the one who "must hear [him]," so I found the Wedding Guest. Never has a mentor been as inept as the one he has found, but he endures my badgering, questionable advice, and (probably embarrassing) cheerleading. And he has completed two novel manuscripts, one of which he just finished revising and which it is my job to read. Amazing.
I think that covers the immediate characters. As I said, more will be added as they come along. And they will. I'm an English-teaching, guitar-playing Creek military wife metalhead...My address book runneth over.