"You are a realist masquerading as a cynic who is secretly an optimist."

So... absent for a while. Yeah. Well, you know. Busy. Busy being really pissed off about a whole bunch of shit that is beyond my power to control so I just decided not to let it get to me anymore. And yeah -- it's that easy.

So, today it has been two months since my grandfather passed away just shy of 85, and he was my last living grandfather. My dad's stepfather passed away a few years ago; I never knew my maternal grandfather either because he died before I was born or my mom wasn't speaking to him up until he died. I'm a little sketchy on that part. In any case -- dead, never knew him, and my dad's stepfather used to scare the living shit out of me. He was just a big, BIG dude. He was, like, eight feet tall. Okay, I probably made that up, but as a kid that's how he seemed, and even as an adult he was way taller than me; and when he stood up his hands hung to his knees. I think he may have been part gorilla. My point is that we weren't close. Fear is kind of an inhibitor to intimacy, if you're me.

I was close to my pop-pop though, and I never stopped calling him that, even in my thirties; even now, in my head, with him gone. The other day I was cleaning the living room, and as I was dusting the coffee table (handmade by Gorilla Granddad, no less) I knocked out a couple decks of cards that I have in there. One of them is a well-worn Bicycle deck, and I held it for a moment, took out the cards and flipped through them. Pop-pop loved his cards, he loved the casino -- he was a gambling man. I think that's one of those things that will always stay with me, as the years fall away and my life moves in whatever inevitable directions it takes. That and raisin bread.

I heard you just go "what?" in your head. Stop thinking so loud.

When I was a girl Pop-pop worked for Pepperidge Farm, and we always had loads of freebies around: Milano cookies, Goldfish galore; but raisin bread was always my favorite -- toasted, with butter. It's one of those comfort things for me, when I'm down or I feel lost a couple pieces of toasted raisin bread brings back that childhood feeling of simplicity. Of home.

Some people choose to remember the dead with memorials, with flowers, with some god-awful bullshit display that's really about the living putting on a pity show than celebrating the life of a loved one who's died... but not me. Instead, I'm going to go have some raisin bread.

I know you're all thinking about the other elephant in the room. Like I said, you're all thinking too LOUD.

What I will say is this: the universe has a sense of humor and irony. I, like the universe, am laughing my ASS off. And planning a very nice vacation for myself (maybe Mexico, which is pretty crazy cheap right now). I can do that, you know, since I haven't "tied" anyone "down" with "marriage and kids." Shame, that. Good thing that poor guy got away from me and found that "adventurous" chick who was going to travel around the world with him.

Tee hee hee.

Good luck to Smaug and Smaug Accessory -- you will need it, because I know for a FACT that one of you couldn't even handle a dog. A dog! A little furry thing that you can put in a kennel when you travel and let someone else take care of. A dog that doesn't need anything out of life except a couple of walks a day, some affection (preferably in the form of fetch), water, and food (which you don't even have to cook). A sweet little dog who wants nothing more out of life than to please me. A dog who is right now asleep at my feet because being near me makes him happy. A dog that I'm taking on a walk in a minute, because being with me while being outside is like having all the greatest things in his universe converge. So in case you didn't figure it out yet, sweetheart: I GOT THE BETTER END OF THE DEAL.