Sunday, May 30, 2010

Where? Why?

1. Here.
2. Because posting 3 sentences about Joe Cocker took the wind out of my sails. (And I thought he'd lift me up where I belong.)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

I Get By

I watched American Idol for the first time ever this season. Wednesday night was the finale, which I didn't watch until just now.  Joe Cocker performed, as did a million other acts. Joe kicked everybody's ass - Janet Jackson, Alanis Morrisette, what remains of The Bee Gees, Hall & Oats (Hall and Oats suck anyway.  Oates or Oats?  Can't remember, don't care.)  Joe Cocker is a stud.

He always was.

(Somewhere there exists a video tape of me doing an extended Joe Cocker impersonation. I have not viewed it in 20 years. I hope it has been destroyed.)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Public Works

Today, I feel like getting a job (these feelings come and go).  I may (possibly) just want to work among the public in a place such as Whole Foods or Starbucks.  I would have much better blog topics if I left my house more often and mingled.

I mingled today at the Goodwill donation center in the grocery store parking lot.  There is this woman who works there year round.  She sits inside a trailer (heat, rain, cold be damned) and piles up the donations until the truck is full.  She's been working there as long as I can remember.  I had my van loaded to the top with donations but after loading the van, the latch on the hatch had broken so I could no longer open the back end.  To get the crap extracted, I had to crawl through and haul each individual hunk of junk out through the side door.  I was there for awhile, as a result, and got to mingle with other donors.

This one woman, with long black hair and driving a hot SUV - the kind that says "I'm successful and single," not the kind that says "I've got a million kids and this is better to drive than a van with a broken latch" - she walked up and started detailing to the nice Goodwill lady all the contents of her bags: never worn clothes, nice, NICE clothes, suits, Cole Hahn shoes even! A second woman with blonde hair, driving a Mercedes, dumped some towels and asked for a receipt, no muss no fuss.

Then a large, older model American car pulled up behind me and I was totally blocking the drive because I was still crawling over the seat hauling out pots and pans one by one.  (I knew the car was driven by an elderly person and I knew I had no intention of getting out of his way - if he has mobility issues, he can chill for 2 minutes until I'm done, ok?)  He finally decided he could make it and climbed out of the car with one navy blue shirt wadded up in his hand.  He tossed it up to the nice Goodwill lady in the trailer with a "there you go" and didn't ask for a receipt.  Then, he went on his merry way.

I guess getting that one shirt out of his life was worth the trip.  I wonder if he had anywhere else to go or if this was his "getting out of the house" moment, his daily dose of busyness that seems like Purpose. I pat myself on the back for completing tasks like that. Sometimes those mundane tasks have to be elevated to Purpose or else how can we justify the time we spend on them? A collection of mundane tasks can take up a day or a week, or a career.  Maybe I'll collect some mundane tasks into a job with the public so I can mingle and observe how others go through their motions. If I worked in the Goodwill trailer, I could collect other people's cast-offs and while piling them up, pile up a few good stories.

I'm now thinking that elderly gentleman was probably just out mingling to get fodder for his blog.  He's over there right now writing about the jackass who would not move her old van out of his way, the jackass who, for some reason, kept crawling back and forth over the seats, offering her shit to the nice Goodwill lady piece by piece.  How mundane that jackass is.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

'Cause I'm a Bitch in a Nerd Suit

-Bought a swimsuit today.  I think it could be Yacht Club (primary color) or Nerd (modest, duh). I actually bought a top and bottom from two different brands, 'cause I'm a rebel like that. I'm not posting a link but the name of the suit (top) is:  Buffalo Betty. Yep.

-Only had one near altercation while at the mall. A skincare salesperson (troll) stepped into the aisle to block me (and I mean she used her body to prevent me from continuing along) and she said hello, I said hello, then she said can I ask you what skincare products you use and I replied - no. She snorted - actually snorted - then stepped aside and let me pass.  (Are you thinking "bitch!" cause I'm thinking "Bitch!") (Bitch about her blocking me and then snorting, not bitch about me for the monosyllabic no for an answer, right? Okay.) ('Cause her snort meant she thought I was the bitch.)

-Found my phone while sitting in a chair talking to Not Don this evening.  I glanced over his shoulder and there it was on the mantle.  I didn't even have to stand up to find it, after having searched high and low all day.  Then my phone snorted at me and I think it thinks I'm a bitch.

-Have had ZERO caffeine today.  My head is about to explode and my mood is still on the wrong side of the bed.  I'm not giving up coffee, oh no, but I need a few days to break this vicious cycle.  I'll be back, Juan Valdez, 'cause I'm your bitch.

*It was my goal to write "'cause" instead of "because" three times in one post. I did it!  Tomorrow's goal: use "bitch" a lot more.

iCan't iFind iMy iPhone

As attached as I am to my iPhone most days, I still feel like I could give it up, just like that.  I could walk away from it and any other cellphone you've got to offer.  I don't need it, so there.

Except, I can't find my iPhone right now.  I'm about to leave the house for the day and I'm getting a little panicky.  What if the school calls because someone threw up? (Never happens.)  What if C. Louise texts me she's staying after school? (Happens often, but if she doesn't turn up at home, I can kind of figure out she stayed there, right?)

My panic isn't about them, it's about me, of course.  I like to check facebook and text while I'm out doing other stuff, especially if I'm alone (because then I'm never alone, am I right?) How will I monitor my friendships? How will I photograph fun stuff like 'bathing suits hanging in the dressing room' if I don't have my iPhone? Deep breaths.

Guess I should take another stab at looking for the damn thing instead writing an ode to my day that hasn't even happened yet.  And perhaps remind myself it's not the end of the world.  And if it were the end of the world, I'd have no way of knowing since I won't have my damn phone.

p.s.  iPads seem totally lame.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Is my life a Cathy comic strip?

There are five styles of swimsuits for a woman my age:

1.  The Cocktail Dress:  usually black with gauzy inserts for mystery and drama; could be worn to a fine restaurant with the right sarong; The Wedding Dress, in white, is a variation.  The Cocktail Dress says, "I don't know how to swim, but look at these legs!  I do Pilates!"

2.  The Yacht Club:  primary colors and stripes, with rope and grommets. The Yacht Club says, "I'm athletic, but not horsey!"

3.  The Resort:  animal or tropical prints with gold or wood bead accents, The Resort says, "alcoholic." (I kid. Actually it says "I don't want to be at my community pool - I'm being whisked away on a Caribbean cruise any second now!)

4.  The Mary Ann: ruffles, bows in pastels and plaids. The Mary Ann says, "I'm young and flirty and innocent. Where are my cigarettes?"

5.  The Nerd: with or without skirt in Don't Notice Me colors (refer to Lands End catalog), The Nerd says "I'm a mom to a toddler. I can perform CPR and I wear SPF 600." (If only it included a water-proof pocket for Goldfish crackers!)

I do not mean to disparage these fine, fine, awesome, totally awesome choices or the lovely ladies who wear them. We've all been there. I have worn 3 out of the 5 styles myself. Maybe 4. (Hopefully, no photographic evidence exists one way or the other.)

Anyhow, available styles are less important than quality. I just want my swimsuit to fit and to be FULLY LINED. I want this for all women. I don't want to know which of the moms at my pool are waxing and to what degree and I don't want to see anybody's nipples. Let's keep that all under wraps so we can have a conversation in the snack bar line without blushing. 

I long ago made peace with the high price of swimsuits, but I'm not paying for see-through. I'm talking to you, Michael Kors and Calvin Klein. You gentlemen really let me down this year. Please, don't force me to go back to The Nerd.  I can't go back, I won't.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

She smells just as sweet.

Hey kids, wasn't I proud of you just yesterday?  I have to be proud again today?

OK, so I realized I rarely mention my middle child on this blog.  I'm always yammering on about Miss M's misadventures and C. Louise's teen fabulosity, but I've barely introduced the tween.  (One reason is my stupid naming conventions to protect their identities...I don't like "Miss N" - I didn't like Miss C either so it became C. Louise.  I didn't go with the old Not ___ with my kids names, for some reason.  mmmm.  I'm tired.  Have you dozed off yet?)

So, what's-her-name had her first dance recital tonight.  It was fun and she was cute as can be, dressed in red and dancing hip hop.  It was the last event in a week that included my attendance at a field trip, parent day, an orchestra concert, a rehearsal and the recital.  I was proud of my kids every step of the way, even of the one who shall not be named.

Friday, May 21, 2010

No One Yet Engulfed, Effort Continues

My sister sent me this card years ago and I've displayed it prominently ever since.  I even moved it out of my kitchen window for fear of it fading in the sun.  It's now on my desk among a collection of Buddhas, Obama buttons and a Magic 8-Ball.  The artist, Erin Smith, offers this image on canvas as well - I plan to upgrade.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Can you at least pretend you're a real Starbucks?

Dramatic scene at "Starbucks" in Barnes and Noble.

ME:            Double tall non-fat latte, please.
Barista #1:  Do you want to make that a Grande?!?
ME:            Why?
Barista #1:   umm...I don't know.  No one's ever asked me why...
Lady in Line:  Because you get more!!
ME:            A double tall has the same amount of espresso as a grande. {sigh}
Barista #1:  umm, you get more milk in a Grande and I don't like the taste of coffee!
ME:             I do like coffee and I'll stick with my original order.
Barista #2:  So that'll be a double tall, Sunshine?
ME (Sunshine):  Yes.
Barista #2:   Here's your double tall non-fat extra delicious latte!

Dude, when did you hear me ask for extra delicious?  I believe I have the authority vested in me, as someone who has spent every dime she's made in the last 5 years on espresso, to strip you of your Starbucks aprons, morons.  And don't call me Sunshine.

The merry merry month of May.

Eh, boy.

Recitals, graduations, dances, performances, ceremonies, field trips, field days...

Bathing suit shopping.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

So what else is new?

Let's get caught up, shall we?

--We've lost all three goldfish in the space of a week. Rest in peace 50 Cent, Polka Dot (or Dots, I never knew for sure) and Peaches. Mysteriously, the cat that took a huge shit on top of my bed yesterday goes on living.

--I read an actual book while I was unplugged. Haven't done a lot of page turning lately and the books I have been choosing, I can't seem to finish. I picked up Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn and it was just what I needed:  dark, quick and entertaining.

--I've been thinking about how to work schadenfreude into a conversation.  I've mastered bildungsroman and I'm ready to add to my snotty German vocab.  I probably missed my best opportunity at book club last night.  I had not read the book (a bildungsroman, btw) we (they) discussed and I didn't have much else to contribute. They would have undoubtedly felt schadenfreude for me if I tried it.  Next time.

--I didn't entirely give up facebook for three days.  I admit it:  I lurked.  I hate the lurkers that never have a damn thing to say and never update, but you know they're right there reading everything.  Come on, people.  Shit, or get off the bed, as my cat would say.


If he can do it, so can I.

I found myself needing a lap sans laptop for a few days. I've barely acknowledged my phone or e-mail. No facebook. This sudden urge for the Amish lifestyle caught me by surprise but then, when I think Amish, I always think Robert Smith. Things are starting to make sense. To you too?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Middle School Redux

I decided this morning I would go to the opera and I would stay at the dance whether my child wanted me or not. Two great decisions. I am now happily at the end of a long day of hanging with the middle schoolers.

The great thing about the opera excursion was even though I was technically on a field trip, I drove myself there, met the group, then sat with adults and had no supervisory responsibilities. Not too shabby.

When you're in your 40s and menstrual, Madame Butterfly is very affecting. I went ahead and started crying as soon as she walked on stage in the first act. It was a teary 2 hours. Quite a different feeling from the first time I saw it at Mary Washington College in 1980 - the 1980 feeling being boredom. I say that I was bored and I remember being bored, but I also remember the experience. It was my first opera and it made an impression on me.

I came out of the dance tonight sweaty and exhausted and I didn't even get to dance. I set up for two hours, helped with food service for three, then broke down tables and swept the floors for an hour. I spent some time spying on C. Louise and trying to take secret pictures of her. I can't reveal anything about her personal life here, but I can say she looked cute as can be.

I knew almost every song they played thanks to my immersion of late into current Top 40. Plus, they played You Shook Me All Night Long and I Will Survive and some other tunes from my actual middle school years. I remember always being excited about going to the dances back then, but it was all so awkward and ultimately underwhelming (UU - try it out while texting).

Madame Butterfly from 1980 is more deeply etched in my memory than any dance is from that era. In present day, however, I will remember C. Louise and her dance far longer than the opera I watched today.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Sprayed Out

I love the sound of that little metal ball inside the spray paint can when I shake it up. Ooh, ah. It's not as delightful on a windy day on the front porch. Residue in four colors is all over the porch and I'm waiting for Not Don to notice (go outside and notice it, Babe). I didn't realize the paper I put down was inadequate until I cleaned up.

What was I working on? Party decorations! Ooh, ah. C. Louise's dance is tomorrow and I'm doing the decor. The theme is Masquerade Ball and the colors are red, blue and purple - all chosen by the students, btw. I spray painted masks, styrofoam and dowels to make centerpieces. If I were more resourceful I would have taken a photo to share.

Tomorrow morning, I have a ticket to see Madame Butterfly at the Dallas Opera. I may skip it so I have all day to get my dance decorating ducks in a row. That decision will be made in the morning. The other decision I need to make is whether or not to honor C's wish that I not show my face at her dance. It's OK for me to decorate and to come back three hours later to clean, but she's unhappy with me chaperoning during the event.

I'm going to shake my spray paint cans and meditate on that sound for awhile.

What? What?

I went to the hardware store this afternoon to buy 4 cans of spray paint.  Near the register was a display taller than me of something called Anti Monkey Butt. I did the big double take and then moved along quickly without stopping to figure out exactly what the heck it was. I later googled Anti Monkey Butt - it's just powder and they sell it everywhere - not too interesting after all.  But, why at the hardware store? They must believe some percentage of their clientele is walking around with sore asses.

I had gone to the hardware store directly from a spin class. I was new to this class and I chatted with the instructor beforehand. Once he had my name down and his microphone on, he singled me out throughout the class. Not Stacy! Are you motivated? (yes) I can't hear you! (YES!) Come on, Not Stacy, more effort! (gasp, gasp) Pick it up, Not Stacy! Out of the saddle and climb! Hey, Not Stacy, what did you have for dinner last night? (A Slurpee. Wild Cherry.)

Turns out I was the sore ass customer the hardware store had been waiting for. If only I had known the cure was right there.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Don't, don't, don't, don't, Don't you

Consider this a bookmark.  My shoulders are sore and up in my ears today and I can't assume the position for very long.  Two posts tomorrow - I'll be crafting so it should be scary and fun.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Contains live & active cultures.

My daughter was THE BEST performer at Multicultural Night.  All the other parents agreed their kids suck and they all cried and crowded around to wave goodbye as we drove off at the end of the night.

C. Louise was narrating a kabuki version of Sleeping Beauty.  She kicked ass, as only a narrator of a pantomimed show can.  In addition to Japan, represented by kabuki, Multicultural Night included dances from Kenya, Germany, Colombia, Mexico, The Philippines, India and Israel.  Songs from Austria and Turkey were sung.  Electric guitar players, hula dancers, a performance piece on slavery and a praise/step show represented the USA. I'm sure I'm forgetting something - the show was an hour and 45 minutes long.

A few comments.  Not Don pointed out that while Germans do beer well - singing and dancing, not so much.  The song "from" Austria was written by Rodgers and Hammerstein.  The electric guitar performers, billed as representing the USA, played Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin, an English band. (splitting hairs?)

The best part for me (aside from C. Louise obliterating all other children) was Miss M sitting on my lap during the praise/step show.  The praise/step group is African American girls who perform to contemporary gospel (praise) as well as stepping.  During the praise portion, Miss M held her hands high and swayed from side to side.  No one else in the auditorium was painting the rainbow.  When I mentioned it in the car later, Miss M said, "that music just feels like that's what I should do."  Indeed.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Post Mother's Day Awesomeness

Miss M stayed home from school today. She called in allergic. I don't like sick days to be too fun, so I limited her Wii time to one hour. After the time was up, I physically removed her from the room and went to fold laundry. She started playing again the second she thought I was out of ear shot. I went back, unplugged the Wii and took all the games and all the controllers and put them in an undisclosed location. Miss M wailed in protest, as expected, and was sent upstairs to chill. She came back to me a few minutes later with a note that read:

evin whin we fiate I all ways 100% love you

She was really proud of her note as I read it aloud. What a sweet kid, I thought. I should have been the one to say that to her, I thought.

So, I took a deep breath and looked her in the eyes and said, "Spell much?"

Sunday, May 9, 2010

What was today again?

Mother's Day is a great day every year.  Mostly because Not Don takes his role as my enabler very seriously.  From breakfast in bed to doing chores to cooking dinner, he does it all and he keeps the kids playing along.

I got two goldfish from the girls yesterday, named Peaches and Polka Dot.  It put me in the mood for sushi.  A dead fish is a good fish, as I always say, so we left the kids at home and had dinner at Blue Fish.  We sat on the patio and Not Loni paid - can't get much better than that.

Gifts today included Tom's Shoes (hooray - I've been eyeing them for awhile) and an instructional dance book.  As I practice my sprinkler, mashed potato and running man moves, I'll keep you informed.

I've been reflecting on my relationships and motherhood this whole weekend.  I'm just not in the mood to try to impress you with my deep thoughts and emotional depth at the moment.  Kind of like last night - I had a lot on my mind about the nature of my cyber life v. my real life and I couldn't articulate it. Eventually, I will.  Or not.

Saturday, May 8, 2010


Today, my sister e-mailed an on-line gift card from both of us to our Mom for Mother's Day.

Today, I tried to donate to a charity I want to support but the website is down.  It will take me awhile to find my checkbook and stamps.

Right now, my friend is live streaming a birthday party and I'm on my couch watching a bunch of guys slamming around to punk music and having a ball.

Not there. Not there. Not there.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Catalog Log

Today is my copy deadline for the catalog.  Yesterday, I isolated myself in a coffee shop where I wouldn't know anyone - I know everyone at Starbucks and there's too much talking over there.  Working at the studio is distracting, though often necessary.  Working at home is just plain distracting.  The coffee shop worked beautifully for me yesterday, so I'm back today.  And guess what?  I'm blogging...kinda distracted after all, I guess.

I know I'm getting tired when I start using words like homage, ubiquitous and epitomize - they have no place in a catalog, really.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Open Letter To Doctors

Dear Physicians,

In your practice, you're going to ask every of us, the patients, to take off our clothes.  It's part of the doctor-patient contract that we, the patients, will be naked when we meet you.  I'm fine with that.  However, if you know you are going to ask every single person who darkens your door to disrobe, where are the hangers? Where's the closet? A rod? A frickin hook? Perhaps a drawer?

Every stupid exam room has One Chair.  One Chair where we, the patients, are ordained to pile up our clothing when we undress. One Chair sucks. We, the patients, don't ever get a chance to sit in the One Chair. We sit on the crinkly paper on the Tall Table on the other side of the room. (Personally, I am far more comfortable sitting there nude (and cold, btw) than I am staring at my pathetic bra draped over the arm of the One Chair from across the room.) If a patient brings a family member along, the family member wants to sit in the One Chair. Then what? Should the family member hold the patient's clothing throughout the appointment or just sit on it?

Fix this.

Yours til the hangers on,

Not Stacy

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Dermo F-U

F-U as in follow-up.

Look at my neck now.

The dermatologist's first move, as predicted, was to offer me botox.  I declined.  Her second move was to brandish a razor blade and slice off the neck mole to make a neck hole.  (I'm proud of this picture, taken with my phone while sitting in traffic.)

She also sliced something from my shoulder blade.  I never saw it but the doctor described it like this:
I left the office with 2 prescriptions for ointments.  Since I had declined botox, the doctor recommended I try Frownies.  Frownies are pieces of tape you put on your frown lines at bedtime.  Sleeping with tape on my forehead sounds sexy, sure, and the active ingredients of tape are: adhesive and paper.  That (Don't try to get rid of laugh lines with Frownies.  They are not FDA approved for that.) 

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Caution: Gross photography

I'm going to see a dermatologist for the first time ever tomorrow.  There's this mole on my neck.  Can you see it?  Well?
I'm of a certain age, you know, and I want to have my moles inventoried.  Once I'm there and we start talking, I'll have to ask about crap like this:
Meet my age spots.  Come closer if you dare.  Is there a cream, an ointment, a poultice for these things?
Do I stop there or do I go all the way to the forehead?
The horizontals don't bother me.  It's the verticals I could do without. (One of those verticals is a strand of hair, by the way!  FYI!  Not all wrinkles!!)  From my limited knowledge of dermatology, I assume botox is a treatment for this and I'm not willing to go there.  Not now, not next year, but get back to me around 2014.  Again, looking for a solution in the lotion family.

It's a slippery slope, I fear - a slippery slope greased with potions.  After years of completely ignoring my skin, the dermatologist's magnifying glass is going to unnerve me and I'll start throwing money at "problems" I never knew I had.

Now I'm fixating on how my right eyebrow is much higher than my left eyebrow.  Anybody know a good surrealist?

Monday, May 3, 2010

Music History

Last night, I made an impulse buy at Whole Foods.  (I'm there everyday, right?  Re-naming the blog I've Been to Whole Foods stat.)  The CD Here Lies Love was for sale in the checkout line.  David Byrne!  Fat Boy Slim!  Disco tunes about Imelda Marcos!  I was ripping off the cellophane as soon as the checker ran it across the scanner.

The checker:  What kind of music is it?

Me:  It's dance music.  The songs are about Imelda Marcos.

Checker:  And she is?

(My first reaction was "ARE YOU SERIOUS?" but I didn't say that.  I waited for my second reaction, which was understanding - compassion, even - that he's a young man born long after Ferdinand Marcos was in power.  (But, come on, the "as many shoes as Imelda Marcos" thing?  Is that totally out of the pop culture lexicon now?))

Me:  She was the wife of a dictator in The Philippines who was deposed in the 80s.

Checker:  Oh, yeah?  My Mom is from The Philippines.  She left there in the 80s.

(My first reaction was "ARE YOU SERIOUS?  You're Filipino and you don't know about Imelda Marcos?" But I didn't say that.  My second reaction was polite smiling and taking my receipt and my CD and getting the hell out of there.)

I hope David Byrne's dance beats will be an opening for this young man and his Mom to discuss their family history.  Perhaps they'll dance a little, too.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

85! 85!

Holy shit!  This is my 85th post on this thing.  Do you realize what this means?  If I had put a dollar in a bucket each time I posted, I'd have $85 by now.  In a bucket!

Eighty-five reminds me of the year I graduated high school.  The year was 1985 and we were partying like it was 1999 and we couldn't drive 55 and we were singing about the summer of 69.  And now there's that song about the girl who's stuck in 1985.  Maybe I'm that girl.

Except, I much prefer to be the girl pictured here.  In honor of post #85, here's my favorite photo of late, taken by a talented 4-year-old at an 80-year-old's birthday party.  That sign behind Not Don says "I heart 80" not "I heart THE 80s."

I heart 85.

Blog slog

I didn't post anything last night.  I was down the street at a Kentucky Derby party.  Our neighbors have the party every year.  Kids are everywhere, the food is great, the keg is cold and there is always a pinata and games involving live chickens.  After Miss M fell into the pool, we exited the party and put her to bed.  More friends came by and we each took a beverage in hand for a 10:30 PM stroll through the neighborhood.

I relate this in a travelogue, non-embellished way because what I did last night is not my point.  My point is that by the time I sat down to blog, it was midnight, I'd had some drinks and my mind was a blank.  I want to post everyday and I try to go ahead and write during the day if I know I'll be out late.  Miscalculated yesterday.  My new tactic is to post twice after an off day to make-up for slacking.

I keep thinking I'll eventually get to the point - not just in this meandering post, but in the reason for being here at all.

Beer Belly

I'm a kid in a candy store. By kid, I mean hag with a beer belly and by candy store I mean the beer aisle in Whole Foods.

As I've shifted to drinking more beer and less wine, my taste in beer is getting more expensive. I'll go for a Stella Artois or Guinness or Chimay or Trumer Pils rather than the Great American Beers of old.  Turns out the by-product of beer drinking is a beer belly (are you as shocked as me?) and I need to take action.  I'm in the market for a decent light beer. Alas, Whole Foods disappoints in this category. They do not stock Sapporo Light or Samuel Adams Light, for example, and none of the regional or microbrews seem to be available in light versions.

My friend Chaos, who aided and abetted the development of my beer palate, pointed out that Trumer Pils is only 150 calories a bottle! That's not many calories more than shitty beer! Yippee for me.  Problem solved. Okay, no, the beer belly problem isn't actually solved. Baby steps.