Thursday, July 31, 2008

Hit and run post


-Why are storefront Chinese food places always so damned UNWELCOMING inside? Went to one the other night that had a good review or two. It was a mistake to believe the reviews, because not only must China Delight mean "overly sweet and not at all hot kung pao chicken" in the native Mandarin, but the owners' idea of decoration is a single China Tourism poster and approximately 400 square feet of dirty linoleum floor. Won't be going back there again. I've never had kung pao that was breaded and deep fried, there were NO PEPPERS in it, the syrup it was bathed in formed candy-floss like drips, the fried rice was stale, and the atmosphere was conducive to bouts of 'enhanced questioning' by certain secret agent societies but not so much to fine (or even middling) dining. Not even the quart of wonton soup for 2 bucks can save them...the wonton wrappers are thick and the stuffing is tough.

-Is it so wrong that I was excited to get gas for $3.77 a gallon this morning?

-Came into the office today for the sole purpose of having a F2F meeting with the boss to catch up on project work. You win a prize if your first thought was "I'll just bet the meeting is on Friday, and Tiff got dressed up for no reason at all today." Hot hoppin' crackers, y'all, I was a day EARLY.

-The housecat is full of hate right now. It was bad enough that she has to get dosed up with Clavinox twice a day, but now there's DOG watching her indignity, and that? Is the worst. On the plus side, her look of indignity whilst being grasped for the pilling is hysterical.

-The BFS (boobfartsex) story from yesterday = true. Do I know how to pick 'em, or what? :)

-The Things had a doctor appointment yesterday. Their Dad told me doc said to be prepared for Thing 2 to hit nearly 7 feet tall when fully grown. In response to this news, I am researching anti-growth-hormone treatments right NOW, because that? Is too tall. Kid is 11 and already almost as tall as me, his feet are way bigger than mine, and I'm thinking that that's about enough of that kind of action. I'm in no mood to have the next Robert Wadlow living in the Tiny House; he'd be decapitated by the ceiling fans!

-The dog knows how to get through the baby gate installed between the kitchen and living room of the TH. I think she sprouts opposable thumbs while we're away. She's not smart enough to figure out how to get back INTO the kitchen (and thus, to the bathroom, where her water bowl is), but it's only a matter of time. That being as it may, the baby gate is no longer in employ; what's the use? If she figures out how to get back IN, then the front door latch is only a matter of time, and I can't have that.

-And that, my friends, is a driveby post, full of the things that are in my noggin right now. I wish you all good things for your Thursday, a peaceful evening, and dreams that do NOT include the spectre of leading a group of about 50 young kids on a church trip to a narrow peninsula in an ocean about to be overcome with a raging sea storm. The peninsula, should you need to know, is only about as wide as a 2-lane road, there are no guardrails, the cars on the road are being swept out to sea by massive waves that are crashing onto the road or are being blown ass-end-up onto their backs and into oncoming cars (complete freaking mayhem!), while the kids you're supposed to be guarding spill out of the cars that are carrying them, only to pitch themselves headlong into the ocean. That fact that one of the pitching children happens to be your oldest child is a terrifying bonus.

Those kinds of dreams, my friends, you can leave to me. I seem to specialize in the horrific. Sometimes I hate my brain.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Gauntlet Picked Up

Yesterday, in response to my 'almost all shoes all the time' post, Wordnerd, the darlin' of the Souf, issued a challenge, and I quote:

Now Tiff, ANYONE can post about boobs, or sex, or farts. YOU can rock the post that combines all three. The gauntlet is thrown.

Really, WN, you should know better. Or maybe I should know better than to pick it up, but I can't resist a challenge. Therefore, sit back y'all and follow along if you will..


It's a rare lover who can fondle your boobs as the coffee is brewing, ask you to pull their finger so they can get out a 'stuck fart' while the coffee is poured, and have you in bed for morning sex not but a few minutes later.

Rare, but not impossible.

Ask me how I know.


Heh. Done. Were you expecting something more? Are you wondering if it's true? Leave your guesses in the comments.


Had lunch this past Saturday with my buddy JC, who had as an enticement not ONLY a visit to her house (which I hadn't yet seen) but she had PUPPIES there. Four squirmy, fuzzy, waggywonderful puppies, which was a lot of fun and entertainment par excellahnce.

We had lunch out at her fave local pizza place, and didn't have pizza....because we're like that, yo. We talked of this n' that and some other stuff too, plus some of some OTHER people's stuff, because that can also be interesting.

About 5 hours later we were pretty well all talked out, and it was time for me to get going. The hour's drive home went smoothly, during which time I reflected on how much I like her, how sad I am that we are no longer colocated at work, and how happy I am that our friendship endures despite radically different schedules and lifestyles. It's good to have friends.

Especially ones with big scary dogs and even bigger hearts.


Oh, and I bought 3 pairs of shoes last night (including one pair of brown argyle Vans, because, really, who can resist?). For 48 bucks total. Thanks Payless!

And thus I end this post, with a slap to the random button to stop the outflow of gibberish from the brain that had several very good sessions of 45-minutes-in-a-row sleep last night (but no more than the 45 at any one time), which of course means that my attention span today will be that of an ADHD gnat...

Why should today be any different?

Have a good 'un, y'all.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Workin' that last one

I have been gainfully employed in one way or another for over 30 years. It looks like it'll be another 20 before I can retire.

To say I'm officially sick of working would be to nibble primly on the tip of the most gnawed bone of the skeleton on which I hang all my truths...that is to say, it would be an understatement. Sick, I say. Si-ick.

Yes, it's the annual "daggone it I wish I could be anywhere but HERE, right now" pity party I throw for myself, to which you are invited by your sheer bad luck of reading it. The late-summer blahs. The pre-autumn melancholy. The very late indeed spring fukkits, in which the only truly productive thing to do is moan and whine about the unfairness of not being European, because THEY go on reasonable vacations and drink red wine at lunchtime and can still smoke in public while wearing impossibly tall shoes and nobody thinks anything of it, indeed, it's expected to be fabulous and full of ennui at the same time.

Speaking of shoes, because we were, if only extra-tangentially, I need some. Half the clothes in my closet go unworn because I have NO summer shoes. No cute lil' size 11's to strap onto the clodhoppers that will perfectly accent the pink floral dress that hangs forlornly in the back of the rack. No sparkly black sandals to match half of everything I won, or at the very least half of half the outfits I wear. No fun feet=-coverings, and that's a shame, because without the right shoes one isn't fully dressed.

In other words, I can't wear hiking boots or Vans with everything, though how I wish I could.

There's a woman where I work who just came back from maternity leave. She? Looks so fabulous it's criminal. The other day she had on these way tall stacked-heel pumps with a skin-tight black shirt and some fantastic blouse with all the right accessories and a CUTE NEW HAIRDO!, and in the midst of hating her because she looked so much better than 98% of the women in the world I also wanted to have the kind of style sense she does so I could up my game a little.

But me in heels that tall? No.

Skirts that tight? Also no, at least not without some steel-belted undergarments, which I do not wear or own.

Cute new hairdo? Please. I leave the house with wet hair, and it doesn't get much better than that.

So while I can admire her style and am nearly bowled over by the force of hot-shit sexy she's throwing out there, I don't believe that I'll ever vary much from the easy style of the half-hippie that I am. But, I COULD get some cute shoes. Nothing wrong with that, right? A new pair or three might kick the summer doldrums in the ass.


To the men out there who might read this: sorry. This post was about shoes.

I'll try harder next time, honest. Maybe do a fart post or something. Or talk about boobs. Or sex. I don't know. Just come on back, because this is probably the last talk of shoes you'll read here.

For a while, anyhow.


Also, for those who are wondering where Nibbler should read every day, and then you'd know.


Because you do not, I will say that the puppy is back with the rescue folks, due to a severe case of misery. Hers. She pretty much hates people. Loves dogs. Therefore, because she wasn't here, it was possible to re-adopt the older dog, who is having a total BALL at the Tiny House. Quite literally. A tennis ball is her very bestest fwiend ever, and she'll runandrunadnrun for it until she can't swallow her own slobber. Mmmmmm....

The cat is convinced we've let the devil in to the house, and is determined to try to scare off the new incursor with a tail as big as a racoon's and a low moan of molten displeasure. It's fun to watch.

So, yeah - no puppy. One new big dog. One unhappy cat, and one cat who is very glad he lives outdoors most of the time now.

Now, you know.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Your attention, please

Does I has it?

Probability would say yes, because you're reading this. Heh. Ask and ye shall receive.

I did something yesterday afternoon that I never ever in a million years would have thought I ever would do, but then I did it, and I'm very happy about it.

What is this heretofore unthinkkable thing? I gave the iris a haircut.

They were getting pretty daggone shaggy, losing leaves, the brown dead leaves were getting noticeable from the street, and they were flopping all over the yard, making it hard to mow or week whack around them, so I cut them back, took out the dieback, removed the floppies, and weeded between and around them.

Then I deadheaded the marigolds, snipped off the spent hydrangea blooms, brought the cuttings to the curb (the town picks up yard waste evey Monday. How cool is THAT?), swept the walk, and called it an evening.

THAT'S two hours of my life I'll never get back, but I'm thinking it was well worth it. At least now the Things will have some sense of where the yard ends and the garden begins, thereby rendering them incapable of saying "oops" after they weed whack an entire iris down to its bare nublins.

One must protect that which cannot protect itself, eh?

That protection, as it so happens, extends to the row of Very Large Arbor Vitae that screen the side yard from the lot and preschool next door. The screening is important, and I've gotten quite used to the verdancy on the property, so you can well imagine my shock when I looked out at the lovely arbor vitae the other day and saw that fully HALF of one had turned a crispy brown.

What the knee-slapping heck?

Naturally I went to have a peek at what was going on, and discovered, much to my horror, that the tree is infested with bagworms. How DARE they eat my trees, my lovely natural screen? Stupid bugs, they must die.

A little online research told me that the stupid bugs might be susceptible to pyrethrins, so it was off to the big box store I went, to purchase their imminent doom. It was that or snip each cocoon off the tree and plunge it into bleach, which I was tempted to do, but that would have taken all daggone day, which I did not have to devote to insecticide. A quick attachment of the Ortho Max to my handy dandy garden hose, and I was an agent of destruction. Mwuahahaha!! Die, bugs, DIE! I didn't even mind being ever-so-gently showered with overspray, though I did try to keep it out of my eyes, for the warnings about this kind of activity were dire indeed, and I'm not one for going blind voluntarily, or poisoning myself with anything other than intentionally used products (think bourbon).

If the pyrethrin doesn't work, then I'm on to procuring a vat of BT (Bacillus thuringiensis, y'all) with which to infect their bugly lil' systems, because I need to protect that which cannot protect itself, especially the 20-foot tall hedge of greenery that keeps little prying eyes from peeping in my kitchen window.

Righteous indignation - it's what's for dinner.


Looks like the TH is going to be the recipient of one adult dog come evening time. I know, the revolving door of pet-dom is crazy, isn't it?

Skeeter, the Aussie who lives at the ex's house, has gotten into the habit of eating his tomatoes fresh off the vine and trampling other bits of his garden, which is a super-dee-dooper no-no and Something He Will Not Tolerate, so yesterday when I was dropping off the Things' school supplies he asked if I wanted her, and what was I going to say? No?

No way.

She's a good dog, albeit a touch hyper (she's an Aussie, go figure), and we rescued her several years ago, which means that her quotient of pathetic is pretty high, which also means that she needs to remain in the family until she passes on.

That? Is a new rule.

So, I'm picking her up this evening. I cannot WAIT to see what the cat makes of this change. I expect that the random anger-sparked urine-slinging by the feline member of the household will be recommencing in T-minus 6 hours. The self-same feline who is on Clavimox for a bladder infection, which means twice-a-day pilling. She loves it, as you can well imagine.

Nothing but fun at the Tiny House. Nothing BUT.

And how was your weekend?

Saturday, July 26, 2008

This could be YOUR breakfast too, if you were here right now

Tiff's brefess smoothie of teh awesome:

1 banana
1 ripe peach, skin ON
1/2 cup light vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup OJ

Whizz in blender until smooth, add 2 ice cubes, whizz again. Pour into tall glass and drink.

It's really good, y'all. But is it good FOR you? Let's take a look.

Calorically, it breaks down thusly:

banana - 100 calories
peach - 40 calories
yogurt - 90 cal
OJ - 60 cal

That's 290 calories. That's not much. How does it perform nutritionally though? (If you click on the links, be prepared for some colorful graphics and GOBS of info. How cool, if you get geeked out by information overload like I do.)

banana (link goes to the default '1 cup mashed' which ain't right. Use the drop-down, if you're the least bit interested, to get to the '1 medium' values, and thank you)

The sense I'm getting is that there's a whole lot of good stuff in there. I mean, just LOOK at the protein quality of the yogurt! Amazing! The down side is that the fruits are high in sugars, which increases the glycemic load, but ohwell. I could be having bacon and eggs and buttered toast for breakfast, which is probably not as wise a nutritional choice, and is hard to make, greases up pans, and scatters crumbs on my kitchen counter.

Just thought someone might like to know.

Now I'm off to input other stuff into the nutritionometer, because it's pretty. Whee!

Friday, July 25, 2008

I might be Yellow, but I'm no dog

Hey y'all! Thanks for the helpful ideas about the Tiny House's next coat o' paint. Sure looks like yellow is the way to go, though Kingfisher's idea of plaid also sounds good. Not sure when I can buy plaid paint tho.

For all y'all who have not been to the Tiny House, you should know that right now it's a pale sky blue with deep teal shutters and white trim. The concrete front porch is painted the same color as the shutters, and is pretty but peeling.

I've always liked yellow houses. The Big Ass House we built in Connecticut was a very soft yellow with white trim and dark Williamsburg green front doors (one on the main house, one on the mud room entry). That was a pretty snazzy color combination, which might well be repeated on the Tiny House, only this time putting the green on the shutters because the front door is white and I don't feel like painting a white door a dark color ever again. My Dad always wanted to live in a yellow house with black shutters, so the new TH color combo will be a little homage to him as well as being a very lovely scheme overall. Won't the neighbors be jealous!


My Mom wanted y'all to know a little sum'pn about a post I wrote recently, and I quote from her e-mail to me:

You said that I wanted to marry Uncle W, not so. I was 16 when I thought he was pretty cool and I truly had not met your dad since he was in the hospital that year with hepatitis for the second time. Please be sure that the moment I met your dad I knew that he was the only one for me. He was the love of my life and no one can compare. Could you add a little postscript to your entry? I don't want anyone thinking that he was my second choice. He was and always will be first in my heart.

I miss-wrote, and for that I apologize, Mom. The post itself will be amended to clarify that point.

I'll pause here while y'all wipe the mist from your eyes.



Done? Good. Let's move on. It's Friday, and there are headlines to mangle!

Analysis: GOP stroked base in housing vote

Was arrested for public indecency shortly thereafter.

Air Force missile launch crew fell asleep

Woke up 8 hours later feeling refreshed.

Judge: Girl's name, Talula Does The Hula, won't do

Orders it changed to "Misty does the Twisty"

Obama urges Europeans, Americans to defeat terror

Suggests mass spider-cide as a way to start.

Obama beats McCain in Europe donations

McCain planning to take a whole BUNCH of old clothes to the Garmisch GutWill to catch up.

AP Exclusive: Secret Service wants more money

But it'll have to be forked over under the table.

(over under? weird)

China says has more people surfing the Web than US

China also has lots more people than the U.S. does. Big Whoop, China.

N.M. researchers hope to cultivate `calming herb'

Let's see how long it takes for THIS 'calming herb' to become illegal. Anyone care to place a bet?

White House reverses experts on Yellowstone policy

Not ones to be fooled though, they just turned right back around again.

Peru wants jail for nude woman using flag as saddle

Brazil wants a detention center for clothed women using saddle as flag.


And so? There you go. An early-mornin' news round up - the right way to start your Friday, I do so say.

You're welcome, and have a good 'un, all y'all.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Train ride to Nowhereville, leaving at 5:04!

Took a walk last night down the railroad tracks. THAT was interesting, for about 5 minutes, until the nonexistent trains I kept hearing bugged my shit right out and I had to bail on the remaining 2/3ds of the planned amble.

Obviously, I need to work up to being frightened of REAL trains before I’m any kind of track walker.

I learned a few things during the brief foray, one of which is that the little convenience store across the tracks sells Wild Irish Rose. Quite a substantial amount of it, judging by the number of bottles smashed on the railroad ties and ground into the gravel. This little convenience store is a hub of activity for the folks who live on that side of the tracks, sometimes hosting rather a gaggle of people out front laughing and blasting music from their cars. Next to the store is a little row of houses; those that have front porches ALWAYS seem to have people out taking the air and talking. Those people have a sense of neighborhood that the folks on MY side of the tracks do not. I’m betting they know each other’s names, even! We on the westward side raise a hand in greeting when someone from the block drives by, but I wouldn’t know most of them if they were in the same aisle as me a the grocery store.

For some of them, this is a wonderful thing, for some of my neighbors are…a tiny bit trashy.


There’s a house on the corner that has two dump cars sitting in the back yard, along with a trailer of trash, a broken down garden shed, and god knows what all else. There’s also a pool in there someplace, as well as a vegetable garden in the side yard, so it’s not ALL bad, I guess. Just mostly bad.

Across the street from them is a dog on a chain. Usually. Unless she’s running around the neighborhood not paying attention to the horde of rettnecks who are running after her screaming at her to LISTEN TO THEM. Pup’s been on that line since they brought her home, no wonder she doesn’t know how to behave. Heck, I might run too if a half-a-whale of a screaming tomato-faced woman in a tank top and no bra wanted me to go home with her.

Kitty corner from the first house is a house with inexplicable metal yard art plonked into random spots then left to be overgrown with what I suspect are purposeful plantings but that seem to have had a dose of radiation. This house also needs a coat of paint in a most urgent fashion, yet the inhabitants thereof do not seem like ‘urgent’ people, and so paint slowly flakes off, revealing the history underneath. Very klassy.

Thinking on it, the yard-art people I might like to get to know, because the people who have the cajones to put a 6-foot-tall metal giraffe in their front yard might be interesting to chat up, but the other folks? Not so much. I hear The Trash Couple shoutin’ and carrying on, sometimes very very loudly, indeed so loudly that the local constabulary needs to be called in to hush the proceedings, and I think “this is not the well-manicured suburban neighborhood of my youth, and i am distinctly uncomfortable at the thought.”

These folks don’t hide their issues at all. EVERYBODY knows when they’re having a row. It’s quite a bit more ‘in your face’ than what I’m used to or really would prefer, but perhaps there’s something in the loud brawl available for neighborhood consumption that serves as a vent, because the next day they’re out in the yard weeding the tomato patch, seemingly content. I don’t know. People where I grew up did not brawl, fight, row, or argue openly; at the very least they took it inside and shut to windows before starting up.

Perhaps the loud brawling is what the Wild Irish Rose’ll do to ya.


(Actually, he’s a Bud Light drinker and she’s a ‘something’ and cola girl. Whatever. It’s hard to tie all this up in something that resembles a coherent thought. Deal widdit.)


I like my neighborhood, I really do. I like that it’s not all Stepford and HOA’ed out. I like that people have personalities, that the Mexican guys down the street play loud music on occasion, that the guy across the street from us feels compelled to talk about the new irrigation system he just rigged up, even if it DOES only have one emitter, and how he’s moving to Florida any day now and how he’s got a black belt in karate and how he was a Navy Seal (or is it a Special Forces Operative? The story changes) and how he’s just sold a million-dollar beach house but needs to move because business here is bad (and how bad can it be? It’s NC, for Pete’s sake. Everyone around here seems to have a lawn service, which is what he does….), and how he’s got a metal plate in his head from the war, and how he goes to cowboy church and has bad teeth and on and on and on…..

I kind of like that, in small doses.

I also like that the lady across the street is really quiet.

It’s a different sort of place, that much is for sure, with all kinds of people living in it, and that’s also something to like. Mixin’ it up with the homeslices, y’all, it’s what I do now.

But mostly, I just wave at them when they drive by, because really? That’s how I mix it.


What’s your neighborhood experience? You have the picket fence and manicured lawns type of place? City dweller? Farmer? Let us know, won’t you?

And have a nice day.

(PS - the Tiny House is likely to get a coat of paint soon. What color would YOU recommend?)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Good one

Catachresis. Let's hope it's not catching.


A synonym for the above is malapropism. Does that help?


It's interview time at the ol' job again. No, not for me, but for the people we're trying to hire. I'm of two minds about interviewing - one is that I like talking with people and finding out about them and who they are beyond what their CV says, and the other is that it can be difficult to do that in the context of the 'guided interview,' which is how we do it here. In the former instance, the free flow of Q&A can be revealing, in the latter the somewhat stilted formulaic questions lead to similarly formulaic answers, which doesn't tell the interviewer as much about the interviewee as one might like.

In either case, my goal is to find out about the PERSON, rather than their achievements. I like someone who can go with the flow, who asks questions about the company, who seems interested and who might even have a sense of humor. Personality counts, y'all. It's sometimes tough to keep the interview on a professional track, though of course that's the goal, but the discovery of what interests that interviewee, what they do in their off time, what their history is, how they got to the point of wanting this particular job, are as important to me as how they might 'be a leader' or'foster innovation.'

Alas, there is that prescribed list of questions that need to be asked and answered. Let's hope today's interviewee answers them quicklike so we can get to the real meat of the matter....their hobbies. :)


The remaining indoor cat at the Tiny House has taken to pooping in the bathtub.

I don't know what this means, do you?


There's a picture on my desk at work of the NC mountains in the fall (an aside, why do we not say 'in the autumn,' but instead say 'in autumn'? Puzzling, that one). Every time I look at it, I smell woodsmoke.


There's a place on the Blue Ridge Parkway down by Linville where a guy sells sourwood honey from a roadside stand. It's a bit of a perilous spot, being as how this roadside stand is set up on a wide shoulder on a curve in the road, but somehow he gets his truck in there and has enough room left over for a car or two to park and for the people within those cars to get out and peruse his wares.

I've run out of sourwood honey. It might be time to take a trip west to get some more, to wind around the hill-hugging roads until I find the man and his home-packed honey, to purchase a gleaming mason jar full, to breathe in the musty air of the woods in full summer, to imagine a life there among the hollows and hilltops.

Because of COURSE it makes sense to drive 4 hours for a jar of honey. Shut up.


I hope y'all are having a wonderful July. It's more than half over. When exactly did THAT happen? The back to school supplies are out at the local Mall Wart, which shouldn't surprise anyone given that the plethora of year-round schools in my neck of the woods demand that the supplies be fully stocked 365 days a year, but still it's a shock.

This year BOTH the Things will be in middle school. That's even more of a shock.


With that, I leave you to your day. I'm off to do the things for which I get paid, and perhaps to amble around the interwebz from time to time looking for more amusing things to occupy my time.

See you there!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

What it feels like

(<----- a TINY part of the lake....)


One of my favorite feelings in the world is to dive into a deep body of water. When done properly (note: generally NOT the way I do it, through no lack of trying on my part), the sensation of cutting cleanly through the water is almost magical.

Did a bit of diving last week. Off docks and boats, and once or twice in very ungainly fashion off a Jet Ski. It's hard to be gainly when you're tumbling unexpectedly into the drink. I was kind of scared of the Jet Ski, never having been on one before, but after the first dunking, and especially after I got to drive it, there was no more fear.

It's a totally different sensation, the DRIVING of the Jet Ski. Much more in control, much more powerful, far less "oh SHIT!" I'm a big fan now. Next time, I might even brave some tricky bits, rather than making the heroic effort to 1) stay ON the fool thing, and 2) not kill anyone else on the water with my driving. My brother got it up to 50 MPH at full throttle; now THAT would be hella fun to do.

There's a place at the lake that has pet carp. Hundreds of pet carp. Some of the carp are almost 2 feet long, and it seems as though they must weigh a good 20 pounds. They swim under the dock store and by the boat slips, looking for food. The marina sells popcorn for a quarter a cup for which to use to feed the fishies, and every year we make a boat trek up to Smith Mountain dock to do just that. It can be like a carpet of carp mouths if they're really hungry, all straining upward in fishly kissy-mouths. You can hear a soft moist popping as their fishlips open, yearning for the goodies. It's kind of awesome, if you're into that sort of thing. You can pet them too as they swarm about; their cool firm skins are slippery and prehistoric. You sure don't get to do THAT every day, do ya?

Plus which, they sell frozen lemonade at that marina. Totally worth the half-hour boat trip.

All that time in and on the water does leave one lasting feeling - that of bobbing up and down with the water, even when you're not ON water anymore. This year it's taken three days for that feeling to subside to a point at which I don't feel two sheets gone. I wonder how the ancient mariners managed to even STAND on shore after a long trip; no wonder they staggered around port!

Ennywhoo - that's kinda what it feels like to be at the lake. It's that feeling of comfortable tradition that makes us all want to go back, year after year after year.

Next year, there's talk of staying for TWO weeks. That? Would totally ROCK.


So I ask you, where would you like to go on your next vacation, and why?

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Putting things in perspective.

(Author's note: my Mom wrote me after she read this and asked me to tell you that she never wanted to marry my uncle, but that she did think he was pretty cool. Once she met my Dad all bets were off - he'd been in the hospital with hepatitis for a while, so she met him after knowing his bro. Good to know Mom - and I'm glad you married Dad because otherwise I'd be my own cousin)

While floating on the lake this past week, I learned that my favorite uncle was not only the brother that my Mom really wanted to marry, but he died when he was 46.

My age.

Perspective slammed into my psyche like a runaway truck into a sand pile, and felt about as good.

I was 14 when he died, and thought he was too young to die, but not 'young.' My, how the times do change. I still feel young, even if I don't look it.

As I said, we were floating in the lake when she told me this, or reminded me of it, and that moment is now burned into memory as distinct as the pain of a splinter. 46. My age. 46. Too young, now that I know how young 46 can feel.

I looked at my boys leaping off the dock, emerging through the bubbles of their own breath so happy their smiles threatened to swallow their ears, and thought about what they'd remember of me if I found myself facing death at 46.

Would they know how much I love them? Would they know that I once thought popping tar bubbles on the patched road in summer was a fascinating enterprise? Would they remember that I get teary-eyed up when the flag goes by at a parade? Is it possible that they could know that I once danced on stage, played an alien space captain in a school play, was in a drum corps, hung out with musicians, loved boys who were all wrong for me, had more friends than any one person deserves, that I could draw, enjoyed reading, was a passable horn player, loved daydreaming, could make up silly verses to songs, enjoyed a good fart joke?


Yes they would.

Because you see I've shared it all with them, young as they are. There's not much hidden from them about their mom. They know the good and bad, the strengths and weaknesses, the foolish and the wise. I'll never pretend to be perfect, but I do stress the importance of being good, of being honest, of doing your best, even if the best you can do is someone else's idea of crap. It's not the other person who assigns you your worth, after all.

They know this blog. They can read anything on it, and I hope they do. They know the stories I'm able to remember, and one day I plan to tell their children about summers at the lake, about this one in particular, when they swam for the first time in deep water without a ski vest so they could get to the water slide at the state park, when they tubed behind a speed boat that launched them into air on good wakes, when they emerged from the week with skins the color of cherry wood, when they played pool with the cousins, floated around with their grandma, and pencil dived off the dock and touched bottom.

It was a good good week, full of new and different things, simply LOADED with new stories to reinflate the stock. Most excellent.

Perspective gained.

Friday, July 18, 2008

This Thing On?

My freckles have spawned freckles. The top of my fivehead is pink, as are my knees and part of my belly. The rest of me is either spotted from the sun, bruised from tubing and JetSkii'ing, or tired and noodly from hours spent on boats or bobbing in the lake.

This, my friends, is happy.


NOBODY try to guess why my knees and forehead are pink, unless it's because of too much sun, mmkay?


Also, I missed y'all, but not enough to post. There was FLOATING to do, for Pete's sake!

(and the connection here at the condo? Horrific).

Back Monday, with tales.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Hey it's an 800 Number!

This post right here?

It's number 800 here at NAY.

Hole-y carp.


This post here will prolly be the last one for a week or so. Unless of course I can pick up wiffy or plug into a land line that carries the intertubez while I'm on vacation. I therefore should make it a really really GOOD post, shouldn't I? One packed with wit, insight, droll repartee, and things that make you go 'hmmm,' because I don't want to lose your interest or slavish fandom (ahem) during the lapse of a week.

But then again, I think - 'hey, I'm not the Atlas of the internet. I'm not even a MINOR god in the pantheon of world wide webbery, and so WHY am I even concerned about this?'

So, forget insight, what follows is the post you'll get, and by God I don't want to hear any complaints.


I made the mistake of asking Thing 2 what he wanted for dinner last night...

He said "lasagna," and so it was that at 6:30 I found myself in the grocery store buying ricotta, sausage, noodles, etc with which to make lasagna.

The temptation to go Stouff myself was strong, but that shizz is 30% salt, 60% fat, and that's kind of icky if you think past how yummy it is.

We had the homemade lasagna at 9 p.m. How very chic.

It had been a VERY busy afternoon at the Tiny House, what with the trip to the YMCA pool (where, for the first time, I partook of the water slide! And partooked, and then partooketh some more. Fun!), the visit with the alternate pet sitter (who I now sort of would like to make friends with, because she had a purple streak in her hair but the rest of her was about as suburban Mom as you could get), the trip to the store, the cooking, the neighbor coming over the help mow the front yard (think jungle, and you're halfway there - it was seeded about two weeks ago and this is the first mowing. Neighbor's a landscaper. He has big machines that mow tiny years in about 5 minutes, and because he's the guy who talked me into seeding in the first place, he can bloody well help mow it.), and the general business of life, it took the pep out of most of us so that by 10 I was headed to beddie bye with a nice pasta and red wine buzz to lubricate my path to dreamland.


And there's still a full pan of Garfield food in the fridge. How excellent.

(FYI -it cost me only 17 bucks for ALL the ingredients for the lasagna. That's at least three meals worth...or 5.75 per meal for four people, and that includes bread! If I'd skipped the meat it would have been a lot cheaper, but....come on. Lose the sausage? Bitch, please).


Which reminds me - thanks for all the great vacation dinner ideas yesterday. I think I could feed the crowd for the whole week with your suggestions.

Well, not with the suggestions themselves, of course, but you get the idea. By the time I was through reading them I had a hankerin' for several different meals. Y'all? Rock.


While I'm typing this I have the work e-mail booper on to signify if I'm getting anything, and it's ding-donged about 5 times in the last few minutes.

This can't be good.


And so I leave y'all to you own devices for the week. Be well, be good, and I'll see you very soon.

XO - Tiff.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

New on on me.


Never heard of it.

Have you?


I'm getting my taster tuned for vacation next week. Nothing but lazy days at the lake, for which I am grateful.

There's a tradition at these gatherings that each nuclear family group cooks dinner at least once a week, for everyone. If I'm counting correctly, that puts us at 13 people at the maximum.

Therefore, dear readers and friends, I turn to you for suggestions about good 'crowd food.' Keep in mind that my younger brother usually does a hamburger and hot dog cookout for his meal, and my Mom does a wicked good spaghetti and meatballs (and SAUSAGE) dinner. Yum. Also please keep in mind that 5 of the 13 are not teenagers yet, and so have less developed palates than us old folks. Also, the dish can't be too spicy.

I know.

Your suggestions are welcome.


This one's short n' sweet - there's work to do, bills to pay, kids to wrangle (I'm workin' at HOME today, sweeeeeet), a pet sitter to meet, etc etc etc ad pukium. Life is good, isn't it?

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

One last art post, then I'll stop

This post brought to you by NPR and a local vendor.

Firstly, I heard a story on NPR yesterday about Romero Britto. He's an artist. He's an artist who believes that making art about happy things, and then making it widely accessible, is just as viable as starving in a garrett somewhere turning out dark smudges of angst on cardboard.

An example of the "happy art":

Before yesterday, I didn't know Romero Britto. I am hopelessly uninformed, or so it would seem, because apparently the guy is ubiquitous in Miami and Europe.

You know, the WORLD.

For those of you who are also maybe no so familiar with Romero Britto, go here to see more of his stuff, to wander his empire (which consists of a 70-person factory that assists him in creating his works, right down to some folks who help him color in his art.....), to assess whether or not you believe that happy art in bright cartoon colors is the right art for you.

Then, turn the page, and go visit our dear friend Malach. I know that Malach paints, but I didn't truly realize that Malach PAINTS.

You wouldn't expect it from a social services softball pitcher, would ya?

Nor I.

I like this one in particular:

Malach, how much does that one go for? I'd buy that before any of the Brittos I've seen....


Spent the night on the couch last night. The AC is coughing its last humid breath, so it would appear. The bedroom is the hottest room in the house, and last night was cloyingly damp to boot. It was like trying to breathe inside a puppy's lungs...

Pneumatic comparators, they flow.

The AC dude has already been called. I can't spend another night knowing that my lovely bed is 20 feet away but it's too hot to sleep on it.


Did some weeding out in the front last night.

That thing about mosquitoes only coming out at dusk? A LIE.

12 bites and 1 wheelbarrow full of weeds later, it was a done deal. Phewf.

The suckerpunch bit, of course, is that it will need to be done again, very very soon. Unphewf.


Have yourselves a dandy day, people. I'mma off to work now to conquer! Something!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Well, I never (OK, I did, but you don't need to know)

Yesterday, it appears as though I roused the excitement of the one known as Malach. (also of Mojo, but that's a story for a different day...and one that might take you putting your perve suit on. I am just saying, is all.)

This is a dangerous thing to do, the excitement-rousing of the Malach, being as how Malach is a powerful pitcher of the soft ball, and could prolly bean me with a slider allaway from Boston right NOW if he wanted to. However, I am nothing if not a laugher in the face of danger (why, once I even ate a burger that was PINK on the inside!); it's something I do to feel aliiiiiive, and thus I rouse on a regular basis.


Malach had this to say about yesterday's bit on Ye Olde Marc Chagall, who lived to be a venerable old age in his old age, and who eventually died of exactoplexy: CHAGALL ROCKS! Also move up to Picasso, Matisse, etc, then Basquiat, Jim Dine, Tapies, etc.

Right then.

I know everybody up to Matisse.

Obviously, it's time for another learning experience. Come along with me, won't you? I promise it won't hurt. Much.

Basquiat was a neo-expressionist who died at 28 years old in 1988 (oh, the 80s!) after rising from tongue-in-cheek graffiti artist to stylistically influencing all modern art and befriending Warhol. This is one of his works:

Allrightie then. I KNOW this took time, thought, and talent to pull off. Dood was only 21 when he did it, which is impressive. I rather like the layering and colors, and of course there's plenty to look at. What I'm not sure of is if I'd buy a print of it at the art museum's gift shop.

Sooo, let's take a look at Jim Dine, who is not, as one might imagine, a place to get Adam and Eve on a raft, but is instead an American Pop artist. He is sometimes considered to be a part of the 'Neo-Dada' movement.

It might surprise you to know that I can get behind the Dada-ism. I rather like the Dada-ism, actually. Maybe we're on to something here. Let's look at a representative Dine-er:

I like this. A LOT. It's a study for a set of gates he made that are not currently part of a fence, which is a imposition of superfluous order that appeals to me...

Then there's Tapies.


TAPIES! TAPIES, you fool! Don't you know Tapies?

Me neither.

Let's learn. Together! Let's learn by looking at his art, which evolved (so I've just now read) from Surrealism to Dadaism to, finally, abstract expressionism.

Huh. I've had run-ins with abstract expressionism before. Can't say as I'm sophisticated enough to 'get' it, but I'll take a peek. Even before I do though, you should know that when someone mentions 'abstract expressionism' (or it's more shy cousin, abstract impressionism, which is almost so perfect an oxymoron as to swallow its own inscrutable tail) it never fails that it's going to take a lot of looking before you understand even one smidge of what that artist, in this case your friend ol' tapeworm, has to offer.

For example:


I REALLY don't get it.

But that's OK, right? I don't HAVE to get it. I don't even have to like it. I could HATE Tapies, and still like Malach. I could loathe each and every artist that he's suggested, and still respect the man, because let's not forget that not only does Malach know what art he likes, there's that fastball to consider.


For the record, I'm a Jim Dine fan now. Sorry Basquiat and Tapies, but the man with the hearts and robes has my vote. I'm gaga for (neo)Dada, and that's all I need to say about THAT.


There is a painting that hangs on the wall of the second floor lobby of the Westin Copley Plaza that I would have loved to take home with me, and I'm still trying to figure out why I like it so much. It's done in shades of red, with a luminous center and nearly black corners. The middle slides out to the sides visually; it looks like the painting is hiding many deeper layers of possibility, which sounds like a really weird thing to say, but it's true.

I wish now I'd looked at the name of the artist who did it, because maybe there's a print of it I could get, but the print would naturally pale by comparison to the luminous sheen of the all-red painting, and I would thereby be disappointed.



I made banana bread the other night, with basmati rice and chocolate chips in. It's much tastier than it sounds. The rice, which I ground up in a blender with the oils and eggs, gives the bread a deep moistness that carries the taste of the bread very well. It's a dense textured treat that toasts up nicely, isn't too sweet (I cut the sugar in HALF and it's fine because of the nutty flavor of the rice and of course the lussciounessssss of the chocolate cheeps), and is destined for a 'try again' once I have more leftover rice.

Don't laugh until you've tried it. I think I'm on to something here!


Daggone, this is gettin long. I could go on (and on. y'all know.), but it's time to get going to work and the vast landscape of joy that comes along with it.

Yes, that was an ART METAPHOR. Deal with it, and have a nice day.

Monday, July 07, 2008

In which I am clueless, save for the interwebz

The Google header today is this:

'S pretty, yes? Very pretty. Very pretty Something artsy? Reminiscent of some kind of ....artist? Composer? Architect?



Take a hint, Tiff: look at the filename, which is straight from Google itself.



Ah. Marc. Happy birthday.


As I become older, I begin to see more merit in so-called 'modern' art. In the olden days, say when I was in my 20's, I was an avowed lover of realism, of the great masters, of the deft brushwork that rendered masterworks in true-to-life detail. The way the richness of ermine robes and taffeta dresses jump off the canvas, the way that delicate lacework was recreated in paint, the way the hands of nobility were configured with long tapering fingers and strangely placed rings, all got my admiration.

Naturally then, I had no love for the masters of modern art, especially those artists who doused a canvas in one shade of paint and called it 'an introspective amalgam of moral rectitude in time of crisis' or some such other poppycock. Those people were no more artists than a monkey with a paintbrush!

But something happened.

I blame it on the impressionists, because they are the ones who introduced the slippery slope of non-conformist art in the first place, and as such it was the genre that allowed toehold into something other than Middle Ages Masterworks to be recognized by me as 'art.'

Monet (the big daddy of impressionism, BTW) and his water lilies, for example. Seurat and his pointillism. The fathers and mothers of Impressionism made accessible, colorful, INTERESTING art. Those dudes who broke the mold off the art world, who infused it with something fresh, were the first step into a vivid experimental world. Rigidity and tradition flew out the window in late 1800's Paris, defenestrated by artists who needed room to grow this new art movement.

Naturally, the impressionist movement spawned new impressionists, cubists, colorists, artists who broke painting down into its most spare form. Some of it I don't 'get,' and probably never will. Nobody has to like everything, you know? But as I continue to open my eyes to how people express themselves, it amazes me what people can do. Yeah, that all-red canvas might not ever make it into the Tiny House, but one that looks like a wiring schematic overlaid with shreds of a telephone book just might.

Because it's interesting, and that's good enough for me.


I saw a man at the mall yesterday who looked like he'd glued an overdone knockwurst to his right ear.

Only it WAS his ear.


(yes, I KNOW it's not nice to mention these kinds of things, but then you stop to consider that this guy's earlobe was brushing his shoulder and that his whole ear bobbled up and down as he tottered down the mallway and that the ear looked like it would burst if touched by the tip of a pin, and that indeed I'm right off any kind of reddish sausage for a while, then you'll realize that I simply HAD to tell you about it because, well, who can keep stuff like that to themselves?

Nobody, that's who).


Have yourselves a merry little Monday, folks. I'm off to work (finally) wherein I shall no doubt slay many a corporate dragon, or at least beat the snot out of some business-casual fireworms.

Hiyo, y'all!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Well, I do Declare

I was bored today, and decided to read the declaration of independence. The language is a little flowery, so I interpreted it for you. I'm all about enhancing the knowledge experience like dat.


When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. (ed note: yo, England, we're outta here, and here's why)

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. (Ed note: we deserve as humans to be free and happy. We're not, and even though we KNOW that overthrowing a longstanding government will be difficult, we're going to do it anyhow, because being miserable slaves to a worn-out system of government doesn't work for us!)

The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world. ( ed note: these here are the reasons why we hate the King)

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good. (won't say yes to what our governors want)

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them. (won't pay attention to the government, not matter what they do)

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only. (taxation without representation, anyone?)

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures. (he's petty little squinch, isn't he, making us trot all round the land for a stupid MEETING?)

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people. (like a child with building blocks, really, toppling them in anger if they don't make the castles of his dreams all by themselves. You there! Government! I shall stomp you out if you do naughty things to me!)

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within. (no government means no problems for the king, but the people will suffer if someone else should like to come on down and take over. We're HELPLESS here!)

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands. (and while he's at it, he's not even letting people come here! The nerve! It's all whimsy, really!)

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers. (we're right back at the beginning complaint. Bears repeating)

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries. (damned egomaniacal puppetteer, picking and choosing the men to judge those for whom they have no knowledge!)

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance. (big government = bad. NIMBY, kingly dood)

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures. (peacekeepers? feh! Babysitters, I say. I don't much care for it, either. Jackbooted thugs!)

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power. (supreme military power? that's almost NEVER a good thing)

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us (not OUR armies, for we can't HAVE one):

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States (because, really, holding court on your OWN military and pardoning them even when their guilt was assured is cheap and cowardly):

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world (fekking embargoes. Damned pirates. Cursed taxes, liens, and inculcations!):

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent (because we'd really like to agree to pay more, if we knew that some good would come out of the taxes other than a simple further lining of the fur pockets of the filthy rich KoE, who is a mad hatter of a baby man):

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury (every man deserves to be heard out in court before a jury of his peers, not to be judged by the despotic appointees of the King, who owe him politically and financially):

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences (when in fact a nice courthouse in the town square filled with elected judges and sensible neighbors would likely do a more apt job of rendering sentence than some out of touch addlemaniacal slob of a elistist English JUDGE would, plus which - think of the costs of shipping to be saved!):

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies (Canada's a MESS, man!)

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments (because we worked very very hard on our laws, they worked, and we want them back):

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever (we are not children, we have made it here in this forbidding and strange land for over a hundred years, and believe that the system of self-government established here had led to the generation of a sensible system of free men operation in a democratic and deliberate fashion, which should be the ideal of mankind the world over).

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us. (not very nice, considering he won't let anyone come over here to help out. Hardly a fair fight, now IS it?)

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people. (he's a naughty king. we hate him very very much)

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation. (we think he's running scared, and so now is taking on all manner of men of ill-repute to try to scare us into compliance. Well, Buster, you aint' seen NOTHIN' yet, and if it comes down to fighting you and your hordes of hired hands in the streets with pointed sticks, that's what we'll do to get OUT point across, you stinky-breathed milquetoast!)

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands. (Conscription? Is wrong. That is all)

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions. (and we were just making nice-nice with them too, until HE came along and promised them shiny things.)

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people. (we want to be HEARD, to be respected, and we get nowhere. This just isn't sustainable)

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends. (we didn't leave to be a British colony, after all. To be held by them in fiduciary and familial sway is an offense. We are free and independent! No amount of blood relation between us and Those of English blood can be taken to mean we are England's belongings. We were meant to be free, from the beginning.)

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor. ( we swear to God that we are free men, of one country, united as states in countryhood, with all the rights assigned thereto, and are not British citizens from this point onward. So there, you two-bit ermine-swaddled nancyman! Neener neener neener!)


Dubious history lesson - OVER. Hope you learned something.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Yea, right.

This? Is fashion?

Oh HELL no. The first one looks like she's being sucked in by a black hole, and the second one looks like an imitation of a fancy chicken

Neither of these fashion options appeal to me. How 'bout YOU? Would you suffer for fashion enough to wear anything like this outside of a costume party (or perhaps, more correctly, INSIDE of a costume party?)?

If anyone forced me at gunpoint to put on getup number 2, I'd be saying my prayers and making my peace, because THAT would be a torture of such magnitude that I'm pretty sure death would be a better option. Plus which? Me in multiple layers of tulle would look less like a fancy chicken and more, I'm sure, like a cotton ball had sneezed


Saw a lady yesterday that I'm pretty sure had no spine

She's an older woman, about 5'2", with legs almost as long as mine (that's a 33 inch inseam, y'all) and a space that was MAYBE 8 inches tall from hip to neck. I suspect severe lordosis was in action, but saw no evidence thereof because 1) I was looking at the most magnificent example of shelf-ass EVER and was thereby distracted from much further investigation, and 2) the rolls of chub perched on top of the shelf ass masked any swayback she might have had.

Oh, she puffed mightily up the steps at the cable company office, the perspiration from her efforts staining the back on her black shorts n' tee ensemble, her turgid rump undulating with each labored step. I looked and looked for some sign of a brace or other apparatus that would signify a disability, but found none to explain the truncated torso of the half-woman.

She seriously fascinated me. Can you tell?

Anywho - once she got done with her bidness at the cable company, and I could once again focus on the business at hand, I politely inquired of the nice lady behind the desk (let's call her Sally NoSmile, mmkay?) why it might be that the cable modem seemed to have committed seppuku the previous evening. Sally took the dead modem and power cord, swapped it out from a 'new' one, and I went on my merry way, thanking he for her service. Sally twitched an eyebrow at me in response, and thus I was pleased.

With much anticipation I brought home the new modem, plugged in the power cord, cable, and wiffy connection, stepped back to witness the renewed flow of the interwebz into the Tiny House, and


No wiffy, no blinkie lights, not even POWER was getting to the modem.

My excitement powered off like a generator after a dam break. What NOW? The cable office had already closed! I was without INTERNET for a night!


Therefore it was that I spent some time at the local coffee house/intertubez cafe, surfing around, e-mailing, checking my schedule for today, IMing with Tracy Lynn, and generally behaving like a total yuppie.

A yuppie without Internet.

Ya know what? I kind of liked having double chocolate cake and coffee for dinner. I kind of liked hanging out at the cafe, lounging in their comfy leather chair, drinking their coffee, watching people go by on Main Street (which here is really called White Street), spending time away from home in a break with the routine.

But it can't become a habit, because at 7 bucks for cake and coffee I'd run out of bourbon money pretty quick, and I can't have that.

(oh, and the modem? Wasn't new. I think Sally is a passive aggressive bitch for pulling THAT little trick)


Today finds me in a mire of work. MIRE, I say. And, of course, the only thing to DO in a mire is to slog through it.

And thus, I leave you to slog, and to enjoy what I hope is for you a long relaxing weekend.

Tschuss, y'all!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

All I need is a cornfield.

It is such a gorgeous day here.

This is how I feel.

Or perhaps is THIS version better?

I think I prefer the horseback-riding Gordon Macrae. Not to slight Hugh at all, because he does a great job, but G-man’s got a better voice, and he’s RIDING A HORSE while singing. Plus which, there’s corn. You can’t go wrong with corn. Beats in old lady working a grinder any day for creating ambience.


When I was preggers with the Things, I sang “Oh what a beautiful morning” to them almost every day. It’s pretty much how I felt about being gravid…it was wonderful.

Yes, I was one of those glowy pregnant women. I was an advertisement for fecundity, developing the baby belly early, with THICK hair and dewy skin, and an obnoxious habit of rubbing my own stomach. I felt great. Truly every morning felt beautiful.

Hormones are amazing things. As an example: As soon as parturition occurred, the endocrine miracles that buoyed me through the 9 months of expecting lapsed in a most spectacular fashion and the beautiful seeped out of the mornings. Days rolled by in the haze of newbornedness, the hair fell out, the dewy skin developed the pallor of exhaustion, and the baby belly stayed long after birth had occurred.

Beauty was a long way off in those immediate postpartum days.

Still, when I hear this song, I think back to the days of carting the Things around in the handy-dandy incubation chamber of a rapidly expanding uterus, and how potential and promise were all ours.

Those little babies now stay home by themselves when I’m at work. Yep – I left them home alone for a few hours on Monday, and again today, while I am at work. They did fine. No phone calls of complaint, no fires, smoke, blood, or violence occurred. Today their Dad is coming to get them by around lunchtime, which will put them at about 3 hours alone at home.

A dozen years after singing to them of the beautiful world around them, they’re launching further out into it. Time flies, and life is still good.


One manifestation thereof: Thing 1 proved to me this past weekend that he can swim in water taller than he is.

Those parents out there who have children who did not learn to swim until later in life know the terror I’ve faced for the last dozen-plus years, fearing that their child would plunge overboard or off a dock and not know how to get to the surface. You know the nightmares of watching your child sink beneath the water while you’re unable to reach them, the look of horror on their faces as you fail to save them, their beseeching arms flung toward you.

OK, maybe that’s just me, but I don’t think so.

I’ve had these nightmares repeatedly over the years. They NEVER end well.

However, on this past Saturday afternoon, while the bug bombs were going off at home and we sought refuge (and a place to go) at the pool de Kenju, Thing 1 was convinced to show his Mom (that's me) that he could swim across the deep end by himself, which he did. And then did again, and then jumped in, bobbed to the top, and proceeded to engage in a “float fight” with Thing 2.

To see him in the water, able to bring himself up from the depths, swimming, was a gift. He’s not a strong swimmer yet, but that hasn’t been the goal to this point. Getting him into water over his head, seeing him swim on top of it, knowing that if he should go overboard without a lifevest on won’t mean a certain death sentence, is enough goal achieved for now.

And I expect that I’ll have one less class of nightmare to haunt me.

Yes, it’s a beautiful day indeed. Y'all go rock this Humpday, mmkay? And maybe hum a bar or two of somethin' pretty to get you through it.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Mentos and Sweet Tarts

This is what boys do when they're on summer vacation and are not allowed to use electronics:

They take a can of diet soda, their old Hallowe'en candy, and go out on the front porch to see if the whole Mentos Volcano thing actually works. Then they try it with Sweet Tarts, and discover that they work as well as the Mentos.

Then? They DRINK the soda.

Boys are weird.


I'm thinking of giving them a couple of hammers, a bag of nails, and some waste wood, sending them out back, and TELLING them to build a fort.

I can hear the screams now.


So, I get this magazine that I don't really want. I've tried several times to cancel this magazine, to no avail. I've gone to the website, I've written e-mails, and if there was a number to call I'd call it, because I don't really READ the daggone thing, I don't use the advice or recipes, and don't particularly care for the 'super-wholesome Stepford Mom' vibe the magazine gives off.

I ordered it YEARS ago as a nice thing to do for a friend whose daughter was selling subscriptions for a school fundraiser (and when I had some small notion of trying to be a super-wholesome Stepford Mom myself, it must be said), and now I can't get RID of the damned thing. Ridiculous. I've had 6+ years of this mag following me around, and I can't shake it.

I'd like to trade it in for a mag that I'd actually READ, but I'm kind of at a loss there too. No Reader's Digest, thanks; I've seen enough 'humor in uniform' to last a lifetime. I don't have any real hobbies, so wouldn't subscribe to any special interest mags. I do like The Family Handyman magazine, but that's more for reference than reading. Utne Reader might be good, but then I'd get the guilts of not being a better steward of the earth or more proactive politically or more involved environmentally, and by God if it's one thing I don't need it's more guilt.

Plus which, magazines = clutter. I have a hard time throwing them out, much like I have a hard time getting rid of books. The magazines sit in piles, gathering dust kitties, until such time as I can't stand it anymore and chuck the lot of them, recipes, helpful hints, fashion tips, and all.

Unless, of course, you want them. The dust kitties come at no charge.


Sometime recently the ol' hit counter went over 50K. I never thought I'd see the day. I recall being excited about 1000, then 10,000, but 50,000?

It'd probably be closer to 100K if I counted the visits I personally make to NAY, but that would be padding the count and so I don't. I'm all about the appearance of honesty and forthrightness.

A'ite - it's back to work with me. Y'all have a splendid Tuesday-do it for the dust kittehs!