"Some calls it madness...I calls it HiDeeHo." - Cab Calloway
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Saturday, March 06, 2004


Leland Allen Schams, Sr.
07/14/1915 - 03/06/2004

He was a WWII veteran and served as an Army mechanic in Germany. He was father of 3 children, and grandfather to 4. He was union his entire heavy machinery operator career. He was a fun grandpa. He slipped me secret candy bars and $5 bills. He'd get up early Sunday mornings when I'd spend the night and make me breakfast. He came to a lot of my school performances and eventually came to my high school graduation too.

About 10 years ago, though, he didn't seem to know who we were anymore and couldn't get around. Alzheimer's disease took its toll and now, both sadly and with relief, he's gone.

This is my first close relative who has died. Others, like great-uncles and aunts whom I barely knew, if at all, have also passed on, but this is new. I'm not quite sure what else to say except this was the longest goodbye ever.

His ashes will be interred at the Union Grove Veteran's Cemetary, and life will go on.

posted by Julie Neff  # 3/06/2004 03:31:00 PM

Friday, March 05, 2004


All right. Time to come totally clean, but not on this page. If you want to read the full gut-spilling confessional go to my FMAS page. You know how.

In a nutshell, something in me snapped this morning. Everything was going along fine, I thought. Morgan and I have been a little at odds lately over various things, but I thought I had a good handle on it. Josh has been great, as he always is, but unfortunately absent except for phone calls and emails. This is nothing new - we only see each other on weekends now, and I always look forward to Fridays and weekends with great anticipation.

How many single or paired parents out there feel as though they are substandard, as if they cannot possibly be the parent their child needs? How many of you feel that you don't deserve the love they unfailingly give? How many feel like they can't take care of themselves and a kid at the same time, and what is the price we pay to put the kid(s) first?

That's the second root of my ill feeling. The primary root is the relapse. I haven't been honest with anyone about it, and for those of you who care, I apologize.

One thing must be made clear - any sort of emotional disturbance in someone affects everyone with whom they interact - family, friends, coworkers and the like. The network of people in this circle need to be apprised occasionally, even if it means increasing worry and concern.

So again, if you're so inclined, read the top post on FMAS for your apprisal. For those of you who take this as a sign of weakness, failure and 'told you so,' feel free to go fuck yourselves.

posted by Julie Neff  # 3/05/2004 09:43:00 AM

Thursday, March 04, 2004


May 27, 2004. We don't know when, and we don't know who'll make it legal. But there you go. I'm making a point to not ask for Judge Patrick Snyder, the judge who presided over my first debacle of a sham of a marriage.


It seems only appropriate to mention, in light of the fact that Josh (a man) and I (ostensibly a woman, the chromosomes seem to say so) are able to get married and have it duly recognized, that everyone should be able to get married and have it recognized legally if they so desire.

If, and this is a big if, you would think to send a gift of any kind to commemorate our legal marriage, we'd ask instead that you donate said value or amount to Freedom to Marry. Our big whoopdeedo party/reception wedding is still slated for 2005. Again, we don't know exactly when, but we do know who will oversee the rededication - our buddy Reverend Sean Demory. I think he'd agree with the above-stated intent, too.

I am SO not a Bridezilla! The big whoopdeedo is not an opportunity to mooch cash and prizes off friends and family. It is not an opportunity to showcase our wealth and bad taste (is a red wedding dress in bad taste if you're not Chinese?). It is going to be a cross between a game con, a circus, a Freemasons initiation, a banquet and, if the auspices concur, as close to a secular blessing as we can get. We ask only your presence and your well-wishes. And that you tell me I look stunning and fabulous in my tastefully revealing pirate-wench/beledi/mythic Mother vermillion bedeckment. And that I not have to GM/Hollyhock any games. And that you fall down in an ecstatic faint while eating the food, which I may very well be making. You want brioche or sourdough? You want chocolate cake or something more citrusy? You want mammals, birdies, fishies, creepy-crawlies (my favorite!) or the ever-present vegetarian option? You want orange blossom honey or cane syrup? Baby arugula or mixed greens? Red or white wine? Coffee, tea or me? You gotta say so. Put your requests and opinions in now, people.

Er. That went on longer than I meant.


I saw my first pair of sandhill cranes on Tuesday afternoon. I saw a pileated woodpecker yesterday. Big flappin' deal, you might say. Go ahead, mock if you must. But, even through flurries and frost, I know spring has returned yet again.

posted by Julie Neff  # 3/04/2004 07:43:00 PM

Monday, March 01, 2004


Now now, I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about spring cleaning. I hear redwing blackbirds and lo, the urge to clean and throw away strikes. I've set a timetable leading up to moving, and thus far I've cleaned out and reorganized all the junk drawers (junky no longer) and closets. I'm ahead of schedule! Mo is working on her room - the last bastion of mess in the place - and has been given a deadline of March 31 to do the same.

I've lost count of how many bags and boxes of crap I've taken out or recycled. The last mess I attacked was the closet in the living room, wherein I keep movies we don't watch, board games and puzzles. I found a few remnants of he-who-must-not-be-named, and joyously destroyed them. I used the cane to destroy the wedding video out in the parking lot, which entertained passers-by momentarily. Come to think of it, it entertained me too.

Any other ruthless purging is done safely away from the bathroom, on treadmills and the track at the Y. I'm far too lazy to let exercise get out of hand, and it's good for me besides. I've found sprint/jog/walk intervals to be the most useful. I'm trying to wean off the nonimpact machines, like the elliptical, and get my joints used to pounding tile and pavement.

Another note - I'm inordinately and inappropriately proud of my low-grade shin splints. Oh how cute - it's Julie's first overuse injury in years. Time to hit the Therabands and heel-walking, I guess. Damn tibialis anterior muscles. Cooperate with me!


It is so gratifying to be able to travel quickly over middle distances on foot. Since I started, I figure I've covered nearly 200 miles, or a little less than 1/10 of the Appalachian Trail. Go me!

You know what else is gratifying? Being able to eat normally, no I mean REALLY normally, and still shimmy into size 6 low rise jeans and wear them comfortably, and look darn good while doing so. I have my metabolism back! Go me again! Pizza! Brownies! Fuel!

Another gratifying thing - being mistaken for a high school student repeatedly by strangers. I'll be 30 in 3 months, as you all well know. Go neoteny!


One last note afore I go - we are due for our first thunderstorm of the year up here this afternoon.

Let it come in pummelings of hail, deafening and blinding thunder and lightning; yea, let it come even in fear-inspiring shrub-uprooting winds, but by all the gods and goddesses of imminent (and immanent) spring, LET IT COME!

I'm ready.

ADDENDUM, 7:47 pm: Well, that was the most pathetic excuse for a thunderstorm I've ever seen. Apparently, the storm god shot his wad up further north and west of here.

I shouldna ha' believed th' hype. Oh weel.

posted by Julie Neff  # 3/01/2004 12:14:00 PM


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