Saturday, August 30, 2008


Click to increase its size, to enlarge, and to otherwise embiggen.

"Super Mega Spankball," indeed.


Now, what am I going to do with that pound of bacon I cooked this morning? For some reason I cut it up into 1/2" wide slicelets before cooking it, so we now have a pile of homemade bacon bits.

The dog enjoyed the fatty bits at the end, even frozen. I'm sure there's some rule against it. Whatever.


Is it so wrong of me to actually enjoy mowing the lawn? I enjoy putting down tracks in the grass, almost-perfectly parallel lines of progress, the scent of chlorophyll in the air, the sheen of well-earned sweat a tromp through the yard with a power mower affords.

Even emptying the clippings bag is kinda cool. Seeing the pile of shorn monocot tops on the side of the road is a sure sign that something constructive has been done. Turns out, being constructive can be enjoyable. Who knew?

Plus which? Mowing the yard is a constructive something that lasts longer than the results of doing the dishes or getting the laundry done or sweeping the floor. Those temporary turns of progress are almost wholly unsatisfying, for as sure as cows make patties there will be a dirty dish in the empty sink 5 minutes after the last crusty pot was rinsed and stacked. Not so with the yard. The yard doesn't have someone leaving random patches of long grass scattered about when you're not looking. It lasts, and therefore is totally worth the effort put into it to get it cut.

Even so, I can only do half the yard at a time. There is a limit to any enjoyment, whether constructive or frivolous.

Off to do the backyard now, and to put new string in the trimmer so I can edge too. Then maybe to the yard store to get some mums to amend the garden, because the marigolds have been hit with whitefly and they're looking a mite puny. Then to the pool, because hey, it's a holiday weekend and the days off should be ALL about home improvement, ya know?

Then there's a new drink I think I might like to try. Yum. 5 o'clock can't come soon enough.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Happenstance and tintinnabula

Word o' the day:

MEANING: Excessive or insatiable covetousness.

Darned fine word, that one right there. Don't know as I'd ever really use it, but it's good to know that there's a word that describes what it is.


David Duchovny enters rehab for sex addiction

David has pleonexia, apparently. OMG! I used it! Right away!!

You can too work fancy-schmancy words into your vocabulary!

Plus which? Sex Pleonexia is kind of fun to say. Probably not as much fun to HAVE, but that's not at issue here. It's Friday! It's funday! It's not a manic Monday!

Exclamation points!


Comcast to limit customers' broadband usage

Shocking! Horrific! Unthinkable! How dare they? Knee jerk!

Everyone, settle down.

The backstory here is that Comcast is thinking of capping the data usage threshold at 250 gigabytes of data. As the story says, that's approximately equivalent to downloading 125 MOVIES a month, or having about 50 MILLION e-mails exchanged. That is, in technical terms, a whopping amount of data.

Reading further (and in another story) it appears as though this 250 gig cap is far and away the highest cap set by several of the major ISPs. If memory serves, my ISP caps at 4 gigs. FOUR!

You know what? Even with 2 computers going several hours a day at the Tiny House, nobody from Time Warner Cable has come knocking at my door telling me to turn down the bandwidth. It's obvious that I'm not on the internet nearly enough to maximize my payment-to-unit ratio.

And that? Is just fine.


Gustav pushing oil prices higher

This is a really crappy headline. Just so bad. Might I be so bold as to suggest that "Oil prices rise as next hurricane nears US" is a better headline and ameliorates the possible confusion caused by the vague "Gustav" and what he is and where the event is happening?

Because really, it took me about 10 seconds to edit that craptacular headline into something informative, and I'm not a journalist! Again, sheesh.


Anybody have a secret to finding great-fitting jeans for a woman (that's me!) who HATES being hemmed in by her clothes?

Difficulty factor: waist-to-hip ratio is squarely (hee!) in the hourglass range. Added difficulty: doesn't tuck. Double-plus difficulty: won't pay more than 30 bucks. Score-it-like-a-Russian-gymnastic-judge difficulty: 33-inch inseam.

I'm thinking that men's section is the best place to go. Your thoughts?


And so, another Friday is upon us. I hope that your Friday is full of high self-esteem, puppies, rainbows, chocolate-scented happy thoughts, and nothing but net.

Tiff out.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

In out In out

Deb on the Rocks prolly doesn't need more readers, but I'm going to suggest y'all go over there and read her 'what's in, what's out' list anyhow.

You know why? Because if she's right about what's in style right now, I'm a frigging ICON of cool. Note that bourbon, brown bag lunches, and (ahem) morning sex are in. So glad to know the pendulum of awesome has FINALLY swung back into my yard.

How cool are you, according to her list? And where might you be falling behind? Do tell us...


I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I'm only competitive when I'm winning.

This is why I'll never take part in a threesome. Too much thought would have to be devoted to obsessing over if I was better than the other girl. Assuming, of course, that it would be a two-girl-one-guy thing.

Maybe three girls would be OK, but I don't know how to do lesbian sex. I know, I'm such a prude. Never even made out with a girl. Back in the day? Just wasn't done. I might be cool with two guys and me, but, uh, that whole extra penis thing would get complicated. Too much to keep track of...

Eh. It's not like anyone's offering an opportunity for me to turn down.



No, there wasn't a contest or anything, so don't be digging through the archives for what you may have missed. Nosir, the winner is in my CD player right now. Remember if you will how I mentioned that in preparation for last weekend's big ol' music party I'd gone ahead and purchased a couple of new CDs of the bands that were to play at the big ol' music fest? Do ya? Remember?

Well, CD #1 came in the mail yesterday. Shiny!

And totally ROCKING. Who is this band, you ask? It's 'Saving Abel,' and their self-titled first CD. I didn't have ultra-high hopes that I'd totes enjoy the CD, not ever having heard them before, but damn. DAMN. Power guitar, angsty-as-hell lyrics, bangin' drums, a singer that can send shivers up your spine, the whole package is there. Sure made my commute zip by. There are a couple of songs I didn't get to this a.m. that I'm truly looking forward to hearing this afternoon.

So, yeah. Score one for blindly picking up CDs based on the barest of information.


I'm struggling with coming up with anything more, so I'll just quit right here. It's a wonderful day, a great morning, there's water in the reservoir and food in the fridge, so life is about as good as it can get.

Rock this Thursday hard, all y'all, and I'll see you on the intertubez.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

And as if THAT wasn't enough,

I miss my bed.

It's a gray day here, the aftermath of a good soaking rainstorm is slow to leave the area, and I so sorely wish I was at home, in bed, trying to get through the rest of "Eldest" so I can see what finally happens to Eragon and the elves and Roran and Katrina. I am at a particularly good part of the book, and with fully 2/3rds of the pages left to read it's going to take a serious time investment to get through everything. There are battles in the offing, a war to take back what Galbatorix stole, there's a new leader of the Varden, and I'm MISSING IT because of stupid work.

Also regular life is getting in the way, what with the washing and the cooking and the commuting and errand-doing and animal feeding and whatnot.

Would it be so wrong to take a vacation day to just sit home and read? I wonder.

Both "Eldest" and its predecessor "Eragon" are captivating reads. The author's style is straightforward, he uses words well, and there's plenty of action going on at all times. Pacing is good, the characters are solid, and the tension is keyed just right.

The author? Born in 1983. He's 25, people. 25 years old, with two novels under his belt and a third on the way. You can see that I need to hurry up to finish Eldest before September 20th, because that's when the next book in the cycle is being released. Gosh, I hope it's a good thick book. I love big ol' books that take forever to get through. Feels like you've accomplished something once you're done.

This is the reason that I've read "The Stand" about 4 times straight through. Yeah, the ending sucks, but the rest of the book is fantastic. Oh, and I need to read Dragonriders of Pern again too. And Another Roadside Attraction. I totally love that book.

What are the books you read over and over again? Oh, and have any of you read the whole Bible all the way through? I started to a while ago, and was captivated by how really not preachy it is. The folks in the Old Testament were very naughty people. How many times does God have to TELL us what he wants? A lot, apparently. And the names. Oh my. World history through the begats allaway back to the beginning, and allaway forward to whatever point necessary to set the background for whatever story is about to be told. Bathsheba in a tub, indeed. Naughty naughty!


A torture device thought up the the ancient Greeks is a hollow metal cow into which a convict was placed, under which a fire was then lit.

It was perfected over time to be fit with sound-enhancing devices so that the roasting person's screams would sound like the cow was mooing.

So very NOT a way to die.


Despite fully a half an hour of practice, I still suck at playing drums. This is going to be much harder than I thought, this becoming a rock star. Still, there's a definite lack of opportunity for rock French Horn players, so practice I must if I'm to achieve my newest life goal.

If the drums don't start to fall together for me, I guess I could look into playing the bass. Hey, if Tina Weymouth can learn to play so that the Talking Heads would have a bassist, then I should be able to too, right?


I'd still rather play an instrument that lets you sit down while doing it though.


Hey guys, guess what?

It's time for me to go back to work, and for y'all to go have a great day. Hawmp that suckr, and rock on!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Cloudy Days, chasing the drought away....

This is about the coolest thing I've seen in a long time. A wearable semi-robotic exoskeleton? That's freaking cool, y'all.

I can't even begin to imagine what it must be like to live in a wheelchair. I can, though, imagine that people who are able to use this semi-robotic exoskeleton must be excited to do so. Sitting in a wheelchair is no picnic; it takes a serious toll on general overall health. Just the ability to stand upright has health benefits, but actually walking? Better.

I'll just bet that in 5 years this thing will be downsized, slimline, fully concealable beneath clothing, and implantable so that the rigorous donning of the suit is no longer needed.

Say Hi to the Borg, people. Resistance is futile.


Welp, the cat made it through the de-gondading procedure yesterday, and is now locked up nice and tight in the laundry room.

She doesn't much care for the being locked up bit.

Also? It's come to my attention that the laundry room holds much more than just mere laundry. Why, we keep the trash can in there, for instance. And the cereal, and blender, and dogfood catfood dogtreats cattreats potatoes rice.....


The problem with letting the cat out of the etcetera room is that the dog, who is curious by her very nature, wants to get all up in the cat's face, to perhaps engage in a little game of chase, to love all over the kitty (if she's in the mood for attention), and that's not what the cat needs right now. The cat needs to remain quiet, to be suave, dolce, pianissimo, to heal. Already, since picking her up at 6:45 last night, the cat has escaped the confines of the etcetera room and taken the dog on a bit of a run through the house.

Exactly what a freshly-spayed cat does not need.

Apparently though, the kitty is in no pain, or at the very least is not suffering unduly, because right at this moment she's clawing at the bottom of the laundry room door, growling with indignation. She's made a run for it once today, successfully zipping into the kitchen cabinets, where she goes to hid in the way back, behind the recycling, up high and in back.

It's going to be a very long two days of keeping her dolce, methinks.


Might rain here today.

That? Would be awesome.


In the Things You Probably Don't Need to Know About Tiff category:

I read "For Better or for Worse" every day. Elizabeth just got married y'all! It's exciting! But what's going to happen to Grandpa? he's in the hospital; had a heart attack the morning of the wedding, and though the docs say he's going to pull through, it's only a matter of time before he kicks it, what with having had an MI before and then there was the stroke....

It's enough to drive a girl crazy.

Don't tell me that you hate this strip, please. It's my little soap opera, it's well drawn, it's temporal, and it's occasionally funny, just like real life. It's engaging, if you stick with it, and Lynne Patterson moves things along many story lines so that you're not stuck with the same ol' same ol' all the time.

Also on the must-read comix list for me are

9 Chickweed Lane
Clear Blue Water
Get Fuzzy

Occasionally I'll dip into other comical waters to see if they're to my liking, but pretty much I stick with this core.

Confession time: I used to read 'Cathy,' but it just got to the point where she and Irving were so obnoxiously stupid about consumerism that I had to quit her. Plus which? The same three topics, over and over and over again gets old after about 30 years. She's had my time, but now I have better things to do with it than wonder why Cathy doesn't have boobs and why she listens to those sales clerks' fashion tips.


To tie this one up, yesterday afternoon I stumbled on what might be the grossest internet site I've ever seen.


It appears to be a compendium of shocking photos of murders, autopsies, tortures, executions, and gory accidents. For a moment it was fascinating, and as someone who doesn't get squicked out easily it was almost entertaining, but somewhere along the line a shark got jumped and the fascinating turned into revolting.

I'd tell you which photo it was that turned my stomach, but just describing it makes me nauseated. Trust me, you do NOT want to know.

So, I guess I've found my limit for oddities. It sits squarely on the corner of 'surgery' and 'dysmorphia.' You can leave violence right the hell on out.

How about you? What are YOUR limits?


With that, it's Tiff out. Have yourselves a marvelous twosdey.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Having nothing doesn't mean there's nothing doing

Some people are more restrained than I am, and actually WAIT until they have something to post to post.

Those people? Are not me.

So get ready, while I try to turn nothing into something. A sparkly, shiny, heart-shaped something, with sprinkles. Because it's Monday, and Mondays need sprinkles.


It's dangerous to walk into a music store looking to buy a practice pad and some drum sticks, when all you can focus on are the awesome drum sets.

It's really dangerous to be informed that one of the kits is ridiculously inexpensive.

It's even MORE really dangerous to do this after one has finally and at long last cleared out the extra boxes of ancient history that have been cluttering up one whole corner of the bedroom for many months.

One whole corner that just so happens to be drum-kit sized.

I'm just saying, is all.



I feel like yesterday was spent running. Oh wait, it was.

Let's see. Cleaned out the aforementioned corner of the room, moved all the extra keerap that I decided I couldn't part with down to the storage unit (the Tiny House, for all its charm, doesn't hold much in the way of 'extras,' you see), did the music store run (whee!), went to WalMart for essentials like 'food' and 'change sorter machine,' bought some new lumber for the bit of trim on the back of the house that was growing MUSHROOMS on it, decamped all the stuff that was on the back porch for greener pastures (literally, the backyard) in preparation for priming and painting the 3/5ths of the house that we didn't get to when we did the first 3/5ths last week, and them scraped and primed the balding spots.

By about 6 p.m., I was so VERY ready for someone to say 'OK, Tiff, you're finished.' So, me being the only one around who was going to tell me what to do, I did.

And then made a dinner so frigging delicious that I impressed myself. SRSLY, y'all. If you like Indian food but don't like waiting around for all the Indianness of it to come together (because Lordy, those recipes can take a LONG time to be done allaway through to the end), then you should have been at the Tiny House last night around 9 for supper.

Bonus? The house smelled absolutefrigginlootlee fantastic.

Too bad I burned the English muffins this morning. Now the house just smells like burnt bread. Jeez.


The indoor feline at the TH is having her girly bits removed today.

Thank GOD!!

Cats in heat are no fun at all, and they're really gross, squirming around with their asses up in the air, yowling for 'something' to help them relieve the awful fire in their loins.

Hay kitty, I gotcher fire-relief right here. It's called a scalpel, and the nice doctor is going to use it to help you! See? Shiny! Just take a whiff of this here chloroform, and when you wake up you won't be a hunka hunka burning love, oh noes. You'll be doped up on kitty tranqs, seeing kitty gods, singing the songs of the ancient moon-faced apple pie people, but you will NOT be het up in the buttal area no more.

And that? Can only be a good thing.


See how I do? I thought I had nothing, and yet here were are many many words later and I've managed to urp out the contents of part of my weekend in the hope that some of it might spur a comment or perhaps your adoration.

Or both.

If that doesn't do it, here's a question: Thing 2 wants a snake for Christmas. Yes? Or NO?

Saturday, August 23, 2008

My God, I'm old.


Blogging the square happened today, and it was a clear indication that I'm party-impaired.

Oh, I hung in there for four or so hours in the sun and heat of a late August North Carolina day while bands roared and played and a throng of almost every imaginable sector of local society swirled around (but still....not an Asian person in sight. Where ARE they?), but the four was about all I could do.

Once 8:15 darkened the sky, I was done fer, as they say, and had to bid adieu to Mojo and a couple of other friends (Hi P and C!) and make it home to the Tiny House before 1) the liquor stores closed, and 2) I dissolved into a messy puddle of old sweat and 'stopped paying attention.'

The bands were good and loud, that much is for sure. They were good, really! Loud, also. If pattern holds, tomorrow I should sound a little like Harvey Firestein what with all the shout-talking that was needed to make a point come across the first time, even when seated three feet from the receiver of said point. Secksee, no?

We heard four or five bands, each flinging out heavy geetar riffs and a wall of sound that forced the curmudgeon in me to respectfully insist we sit someplace where there was a fighting chance of hearing one another yell. We picked a nice spot under a nice tree with a nice bench next to it on which were sitting a few nice homeless people, who, no doubt, were not at all pleased that we'd chosen their BEDROOM to hang out in. I felt badly, but really? Sorry. I need the shade, and that was the last reasonably sized piece of it left to be had. Who cares it it was absolutely littered with cigarette butts? It was right next to the tent where the country-bar girls were supposed to be doing a little living advert for their establishment, but instead came across as several pretty young hotties in fishnets and boots (in which anyone can look good, but they? were rocking that look HARD), sitting in plastic chairs and looking bored. Prolly not what the proprietor had in mind.

It was fun talking and getting to know each other. Mojo is a bit of the Bollywood afficinado, and knows tons of lines from tons of movies, besides which he can so a Scots accent spot-freaking-ON. Would have been cool to be able to hear half of what he was saying the first time he said it....

Got to see the Ghandi statue downtown. Ghandi apparently had very big feet. And was over 6 feet tall. And wears a diaper. Who knew?

Had three 4-buck Red Hook IPAs. Excellent.

Had some nachos. Pretty dammed good. There were steak sammiches and onion rings too, but by the time dinner rolled around the crowd had begun to mount up and invade the square, so the wait for those nommable treats was rather long. My friend C and I sat and chatted for quite a while while the gentlemens were fetching edibles, so long in fact that we began to think that the mens had gotten lost or ensnared by one of a gaggle of gorgeous young women who roamed the park. There were many many breasts on display today, and not all of them on women. (Hey dude in the patent leather platform boots, fishnets, short mini, and pink boa? Dude, the boa took it over the top for me. You would have been better off wearing a collar and being led around on a leash by your totally nondescript female handler. Oh, and learn to WALK in boots if you're a tranny. Also? shave. Jeez!)

The boobs on display were kind of astounding. Even I had to look. Too bad there weren't an equal number of hot young dudes to ogle. Seriously, the margin was at least 10 sweet young thangs to 1 reasonably attractive hot stud. No fair, say I.

Anywho, by the time band 6 rolled around (which was Eve 6, by happy coincidence), I was all out of gas. It was time to go home. The sea of humanity was pressing in, the ambulances had started to arrive to pick up the first beer-induced casualties of the night, and my fat lazy old soul said "baby? let's go home where it's quiet and there's a shower and where there's a teevee and your chair and bourbon, and let's call it a night, mmkay?"

I love my FLOS and so said yes.

Mojo, C, P? Thanks. I really did have fun. But the crust of sweat? It had to go, and so did I.

They really ought to hold these things in November, ya know?

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Way you Walk reminds me of the afterlife.




Thanks to all for the lovely lovely commentage from yesterday's whinge-o-matic. Feels GOOD, being showered with attention.

And yes, Ron, I think that I'm more a slut than whore, being as how I'm not getting paid for this and all. Whatever. Shoe fits...


Had one of those power protein bars for brekkies this morning. Thought it might give me the energy I needed to run my big ol' meeting with something closer to 'professionalism' than I normally get.

Bonus added side effect: my burps tasted like soap.



So, the simple act of unplugging the projector after the big ol' meeting (BOM for short, and no, I didn't. Bomb. *sigh*) reminded me of high school biology.


I unplugged using the Maynard Heinz HIGHLY disapproved method of yanking hard on the cord until the plug popped out of the wall. This is a no-no, and even now, some 30 YEARS after being in his HS biology class and being taught that lesson, I felt a twinge of guilt for doing thusly.

Maynard made a big impression on me, obviously. Aside from being smoking hot, which he was, he was....smoking hot. This, my friends, is how you make a big impression on teenaged girls, obviously. He had sandy blond hair and an awesome moustache, was young enough to be a possibility, and coached the boys' track team. A smart jock. Swoon.

Of course, being the tremendous geeks that we were, my lab partner Ellen Torrey (HI! If you happen to read this!) set about making up scenarios by which Maynard was hot for Lily, the ultra-blond hot chick who sat in front of the class. Oh man, Lily was everything girly that you could imagine (and which, it must be said, I was most certainly NOT). Waist-length straight ash blond hair, extraordinarily coordinated outfits, slim as an eyelash, perfect makeup, smelled like a Mennonite convent (that's just a guess), and....popular. EVERYTHING I wasn't. Ellen either. Not that there was anything WRONG with us, it was simply that Lily was better, and we both knew it.

Therefore, to take out our ire in a way more creative than outright bitchiness, we imagined scenarios, which we'd whisper to one another during class. If Mr Heinz would pause to look at Lily, which he did with aggravating regularity, one of us would hiss "oooh, Lily, you set me on fire!" and the other would respond with "Ohh, Maynard, you big brute! Ravage me in the coat closet" or some other such nonsense.

One day, Ellen got on a tear. She was reading every move Mr Heinz made, building a story so improbable that each new line broke further into my defenses against outright LOLing, which I try to not do, because then, as now, I am a very loud laugher.

This day though, was to be my undoing. Once the imaginary Lily-Heinz coupling had occurred (complete with sound effects, it must be added), all the pretend and exhausted Mr Heinz could offer up was "ooh Lily (think Kiff from Futurama and you've got he voice about right), you are so wonderful. Come and I will buy you a burrrrrrgerrrrr....." I broke. I snorted, then giggled, and when the tears in my eyes were running down my cheeks, I laughed. Out loud. Brayed, is more like it.


Obviously, all eyes were on the back of the room, where Ellen and I were collapsed in hysterics. Guess they couldn't understand why talk of flatworms was so funny.


Ol' Maynard, to his credit, simply asked 'what's so funny back there?' and got the standard 'nothing' reply.

Because really. He did NOT need to know.

To this day it makes me smile. Being 16, while something I would never do again if I couldn't take with me what I know now, did have its high points.


Oh, and the BOM wasn't NEARLY long enough. At an hour, it ran about 90 minutes short of really getting the work done. So, on to BOM 2 next week.

Thanks so much for reading, and please go about having a wonderful day and an even better weekend. If luck runs with me, by Sunday night the Tiny House will be clothed in a completely new raiment of Undercool blue and as-yet-to-be-determined shade of creamy yellow trim. Looks like a clear October afternoon all over my house. And I love it.

Tiff out.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Think of the whores, won't you?

Neil at Citizen of the Month (dot com!) wrote a post the other day (or was it yesterday?) in which he purported to believe that it's the quality of comments on a blog post that count, and not the quantity.

Because I am a pillowy-soft bleeding-heart lets-play-fair-and-be-inclusive liberal wrapped around a crusty right-wing nutjob core, I agreed with him. Right-o! Quality over quantity! I won't comment on the really POPULAR people's blogs, because they ALREADY have too much traffic and don't need me adding to the din! Absolutely! This is what I hold fast and true to my even-playing-field heart!

Y'all know I was lying.

Lying like a rag RUG, man. Lying like a hot hound dog. Lying like a Dali watch. Power-lying!

The truth of it is this: Just for a moment, a brief flash of time, I'd like to have too many comments. So many that I couldn't read them all. So many that Haloscan would write to me and ask me to please consider turning down the quality and crowd pleasery on my site so they could catch a breath. So many that the folks from BlogHer and Google would notice me, and ask me things about ads and representation and speaking fees and personal appearances.

That would be....kind of nice.

Just once.

Or, maybe a few times. Oh, heck, I'm strong, I can take it. I'd accept the burden of being too popular. Gladly! Let me free up some of the taxing pressure on the Dooces of the web...give me the choking necklace of notoriety! I'll take your albatross and learn how to ride it to dizzying heights of grandeur!

Yes, I, Tiff, am a comment whore. An ugly word. An even uglier reality. I want you to love me. I want your comments, your witticisms, your banter, ideas, jokes, insights. I want it all.

And? I want it now.

So, comment for me, wouldya?

And thanks.


This insanely late-for-me post brought to you by work and timelines and the fact that I'm running a meeting tomorrow that until about an hour ago I was woefully unprepared for. Really, there was woe practically DRIPPING off the tip of my nose and the end of my strong yet feminine cleft chin as I hunched over the blazing-hot keys of the laptop, pounding a document into submission so that it would be ready for the big review meeting tomorrow at which I get to tell people what to do and when to do it by.

Power - addictive, sultry.

It's been an uncharacteristically FOCUSED day, and now that it's over I'm going to loosen my mental belt, completely forget how to behave like an adult, and go do something that doesn't involve sitting on my fat ass in front of a blinky screen.

Here's hoping the same is true for you.

Just, take long enough to comment for the whore, mmkay? And have a great night.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Gotcher Tee Shirts?

This Saturday! I know. The air fairly crackles with excitement.


In my dream wanderings last night the moon exploded. It was pretty, filling the sky with sparks and explosions like the most gigantic firework ever. When it was all over, chunks of the moon could be seen by day, like pieces of a puzzle not yet put together, waiting for some great celestial hand to come along and start piecing the border.

It filled me with dread.

Why must all my dreams be so DARK?

Last week I dreamt a dream so vivid, so fully pieced together, that I had to write it down. It will turn into a story. HAS to, if you know what I mean. See, a while back I'd started writing a story, not knowing where it would go. It's already far longer than anything else I've ever done on purpose (except for my thesis), but I didn't know what to do with that chunk of tale. I had a good start on an endless journey, and so shelved the idea until the time was right to start working on it again.

And then the dream came along and DING! The alarm went off in my head. The pieces fit perfectly, or at least as perfectly as anything the dark recesses of my mind can make up, and so, for the first time, I'm going to write something purposefully, with care, and for my own pleasure.

Oh yes, it's dark, but nobody dies. Not even if they WANT to.



Anyone else on pins and needles waiting for Obama's announcement of his Veep pick?

I didn't think I was, but I am. I'm also eager to find out who McCain is going to pick. In a regular election cycle, I can't recall the selection of the Vice Presidential nominee fomenting so much interest, but this is all different. This time I really think those people will matter.

How divine.


Went to Ye Olde Golden Corral last night for dinner, because we're klassy like that.

The Things believe that the GC is one of the best places ever invented, and on Tuesday nights I'm not about to argue, because they eat for 99 cents once I pay for MY meal. At one point I'd said that every Tuesday could be GC night, but that's not really come to pass, because sometimes I'm so lazy I can't be bothered to go OUT to eat.

I challenge you to be lazier than that.

I also challenge you to define the clientele at the Golden Corral with anything resembling a stereotype. Last night there was an older single man, a older couple, a Dad with a hand bandaged up to the size of a boxing glove (?) and his two kids, a mom with her two, and that was just in our immediate area. There were people all OVER, and folks coming in at 9 p.m. with their toddler-kin chilluns, which surprised me, because aren't little kids supposed to be in bed by about 7:30?

The only people I don't routinely see at the Golden Corral (all twice I've been there) are Asian people. What do they know that we don't?

And do you tip at the Golden Corral? I do. Those people carting off half-eaten food (my God, the waste), refilling the soda glasses of the slobbering hordes, and sweeping the floor with those electric brooms deserve a little something for their efforts. I wouldn't want their job, yet they all seem pleasant and do their work with efficiency and a smile.

Perhaps they're all on drugs. That would be a nice benny.


Hey y'all, that's my time here. Have a great day, and if you can't make it great, at least make it to cocktail hour. That's my plan, anyhow.

Tiff out.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Music and cookies.

Gentle reminder:

All are welcome. And by "all," I'm including EVERYONE, not just the locals as I stupidly put in the post yesterday. We are, and this must be understood loud and clear, NOT EXCLUSIONARY, despite what I might say.

4 p.m., top o' the parking deck. Look for tee shirts with blognames on them being worn by the people who write the blogs.


So, it appears that some of the bands that are playing at DTL, are actual, you know....bands.

Gee, first Obama comes to town, and now real music. Raleigh is growing up

Did a bit of scoping out on Yourmusic yesterday, because as luck would have my queue was empty, and because I've vowed to do better in my choices of $6.99 CDs than that recent "All American Rejects" and "Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars" by David Bowie (but of course you already KNEW that, didn't you?) (why better? you ask? Because I've listened to each of them exactly NONE or ONCE, and that's a waste of money. If I don't love a CD, what's the point of even buying it?), I gave a couple of the headlines for this Saturday's show a listen, and BOUGHT THEM (well, OK. Added them to my queue. Certainly a step in the right direction).

Puddle of Mudd? Mine. I bought "Psycho." Wouldn't YOU?

Saving Abel? Got their new release, which is their only CD.

Eve 6 is also playing, but by the time I'd added three new CDs to my queue I lost interest and so they may just have to wait until the next time Yourmusic shouts at me that my queue is empty and something MUST be done about it. However, on reading just now that Eve 6 is not, as one might be led to believe, a sextuplet of fresh-faced young girls but rather is a post-grunge punk trio, I may have to overcome the lazy and sign 'em up for the next slot on my list.

Post-grunge punk? That's got my name written all OVER it.

There are a bunch of other bands playing as well as those three. We'll get there in time for 3 or maybe 4 other bands before those big 3 come on. Should be a good time, as long as I can pace myself at the beer tent and keep tabs on where they stash the porta-johns.


And lastly, let's wrap this up with a delicious, easy-to-make cookie recipe that I made up last night and tasted really good. Hey, it was better than eating a bowl full of peanut-butter and chocolate chips for dessert, which is about all we had. Sometimes you just have to make cookies, people.

All measurements are approximate. Hell, y'all, it' was almost 10 p.m. and by then I was three doubles into a big bottle of Jim Beam. Measuring at that point is for sissies, and also for people who might be able to focus.

  • 1/2 cup smooth PB
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • A egg
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
Mix the PB, chips, egg, and vanilla together. Add the dry ingredients and stir until a firm dough forms. Add more flour if it's too soft.

Roll into small balls (about an inch in diameter).

Plop onto a prepared baking sheet (that's 'greased,' y'all) and bake at 350 for 6 minutes.

Remove before they brown. The cookies should be little pale mounds that slightly resist finger pressure. They will have cracks on top. This is desirable and quite possibly a marketing plus. Negotiations are ongoing.

Let cool for a few minutes, then eat. The insides ought to still be soft, while the outside will be slightly crispy. Children, say AMEN.

Oh, and this recipe only makes about 8 cookies, because I started with what was in the bowl after wrenching it from the dessert-seeker's hands. Shame makes me bake.

I have no idea how it doubles. Nor what the calorie count is. Nor the nutritional value. But hey, they're better than eating a bowl of peanut butter and chips, right??


Gah - I must go. Work is beckoning, much like Medusa. Doesn't pay to ignore either.

Tiff out.

Monday, August 18, 2008

I suppose I shouldn't complain

LOCALS, take heed! It's coming in 5 days!


On Saturday, we had a visit from the ultra-awesome Rennratt and the vibrant Miss Nooze. They are the kind of people who would drive over an hour to help friends paint their house.

I know, I'm pretty sure I don't deserve friends like that either.

While Renn helped do the final scraping and primer-ing in the hot hot sun, Nooze and the Things amused themselves by looking at several hundred LOLcats. See? The internet is good for something after all! The ruination of young minds has begun!

Nooze gifted us with a gorgeous picture of herself on "Pirate Day" at VBS. It's framed in popsicle sticks decorated with cool foam stars and stuff, with glitter gel writing and all. I love it. She'd brought it to the door and showed me her picture at first, and I, thinking that she is a young girl justifiably proud of such a fierce photo, wanted us to see it. Only on the occasion of their departure from the TH did she tell me it was for us. Now that? Brought a lil' lump to my throat.

Part of the agenda for the afternoon was to all go swimmin' at the Y. It has a crazy-cool water slide, and is a great place to hang out for a while, letting the kids exhaust themselves after so much WWWebbing, and the adults can either swim or just chill. I knew that I'd have to pay a fee for visitors, but really, they HELPED PAINT THE HOUSE, so it was the least I could do.

The man at the counter had other ideas. Apparently, they don't allow visitors to the pool on the weekends.




There's a little girl with a bagful of pool stuff who LOVES that water, there are my two boys with great hopes of water-slidin', and there are adults who just want to provide a nice time outdoors for their kids, and YOU, mister Y-pool-counter-man, are saying NO?


And so I threw a fit. I got hissy. After the hissy we left, dry as a bone and completely unchlorinated.

I am thinking of un-joining the Y. Is this a knee-jerk reaction, or what?


Renn headed to home after the great disappointment, sad to say. She was already several miles toward home at that point, so backtracking to the town pool was not a smart thing to do. Plus which, it was already almost 5 bythat point, and home for her, let's remember, is an HOUR away. Man, Renn, you're somethin'.

It's too bad they had to go, because the town pool, to which we went for the first time ever after the letdown of the Y, is GREAT. Too bad we didnt' know this BEFORE going to the stupid-head Y.

They even have a diving board. How long has it been since you went on one of those?

Thing 2 used the board and the water slide, dousing himself in the 12-foot-deep water much to the discomfort of his older brother...who is not that great a swimmer, gets nervous on behalf of his brother (learned, no doubt, from ME. I hang my head in shame), and for some reason wants to ensure that Thing 2 continues as a real-live boy.

Ah well. Once Thing 1 got himself into the deep end to do some exploratory bottom-touching (the bottom of the pool y'all!), he was much more comfy with this whole deep water idea.

Can't say as his mother was though. I must work on that. Anytime I see that boy underwater I pray like crazy that he comes back up eventually.

We wrapped up the playtime with a little Thing-tossing in the 5 foot water, and then it was time to go home, to wait for their friend to call them and say it was time for a sleepover. By about 8 p.m. I had begun to lose hope that they'd ever call, and was facing the reality that the Things might indeed be disappointed in NOT having a sleepover, but we did hear from the parents and so they were driven over to BBB's (black belt boy, I shall call him, for that is what he is, almost) house. His folks were upstairs getting ready to go out and play cards with some friends, which I thought was kind of weird, but hey, the kids are 11 and almost 13, so I guess it's fine for them to be at night....


Yes. They were.

Thing 1 stayed up until 5:30 in the morning. Thing 2 only held out until 2:30. Obviously, BBB's parents are much less stringent about bedtime than I am when the TH hosts a sleepover. Lights out at MY house is at midnight. There's a reason for that, and it's called 'crabby kid syndrome.'

See, I remember sleepovers when I was a kid. Lisa H up the block would host groups of girls to come over and sleep in the basement. There was a teevee set up, and we'd watch roller derby and scary movies until we passed out. Her parents only showed up to deliver more popcorn and soda. Soda! It was decadence personified! If my memory serves, it was routine that I should be the last one awake. It was cool to look around at all the wusses who passed out before me - I was the victor in the staying-up race!

And then, the whole next day I'd be a complete and utter mess.

I know about 'crabby kid syndrome.' I has it. It's never a pretty thing.

Eh, we all survived.


Oh, and the house is fully scraped, primed, and caulked. There's nothing left for it but to apply the "Undercool" paint and wait for the neighbors' reactions.

Heh. THIS ought to be good.


Hope your weekends rocked, and that you're well into a Monday of fun and games.

Tiff out.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Blogging the Square


(graphic by Mojo. He's got de talents!)


View Larger Map

That there is a map to the downtown parking garage. Meet up is on the top floor. 4 p.m.


Raleigh Downtown live
. Bands. Music. People. Free. Awesome.

Wear your best white tee with the name of your blog on it in permanent marker, bedazzles, whatever. Look for other people similarly adorned. Rock on.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Oh, Great.

Blogger's changed again. I'm sure we can expect great things from this update of the dashboard, just as soon as we figure out where to find the tools and gadgets.

I expect to be encouraged, or perhaps outright NAGGED, by the Wordpress users to switch. Go on. I can take it.


Started taking a daily multivitamin again early this week.


As a result, my poop is now BLACK.

Guess that's a clear sign that I needed them.


(Here's a total change of topic. You're welcome)

There's a new person in my cube room. She's a chatty thing. Her conversations with the woman who works adjacent to her seem to go on for hours.

They're known one another for over 20 years. This long history apparently allows for quite a bit of chatter. I am not used to chatter. Chatter takes my scant cup of concentration and knocks it over, leaving me with barely a drop on the bottom with which to perform my daily tasks.

But hey, I got used to The Farter, I'm sure I can get used to Chatty Cathy (not her real name) and Blather Me Elma.

Otherwise? It might mean another trip to HR for me, The Complainer.

Heaven help me when ALL the cubes fill up. There's room for at least 12 more people in here.


Another new breaking news story from the work front:

For the past couple of months the facilities guys have been working away on the lab that is adjacent to my cube area. There was a considerable amount of banging for a while, then large machines were installed, then groups of people started milling around in there looking at the machines and being trained on how to use them, and it now seems that the time is right to being production with them.

The machines make pills and capsules.

They also make a 'thoompa-thoompa-thoompa' noise that is yet ANOTHER thing I'm going to have to get used to. The sound of progress, my friends, might just be the vehicle that drives me crazy.


Had a lovely lunch with Rennratt yesterday. Nice of her to let me get a word in. :) We figured out that it's been over two years since we first met, a metric that astounded me at first. I keep on thinking that I'm new in town, but I've been in NC for 3.5 years already. Amazing.

The hour I spent noshing on Mediterranean food and yapping my fool head off with her was one of the highlights of my week. Good friends totally rock. Good friends who know where to find great falafel? Rock even harder.


Muy Imprtante Announciamento!

If you're a Triangle-area blogger, or are going to be in the Triangle area next Saturday, please consider coming out to Moore Square for free music and a blogger meet-up. Yours truly will be there, and Mojo too, and a cupla other people who will be surprise guests. Totally casual, just-say-hey kind of thing.

Gotta walk into this whole 'social life' thing sloooowly, after all.

Deets are in the works, as is a very cool graphic button-thingie. How we'll recognize one another is up in the air. I'm shooting for us to just write our blognames on white tee shirts and wander around until we bump into someone wearing a blogname we recognize...think THAT will work?


That's it folks. I'm off to correct a mistake I made earlier this week, then begin to think about doing the work I should have started three days ago. That calendar keeps flinging pages at me, and I'm simply not catching them, dang it!

Have a good one!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Peeping Tiff

My commute was re-routed this morning by what appears to have been a rather significant wreck on Route 98. There's no mention of it on the local news sites, which is a shame, because I'm very curious about what kind of accident would bring out at LEAST 4 fire trucks and 5 or so paramedics. I waited in a long line of cars that inched their way toward the scene, only to find that there was no way we were getting through the wreckage to continue our commutes.

Dang. A golden opportunity for some prime grade-A gross-out missed.

On the other thrilling news front: Yesterday evening there was some kind of commotion going on at the building 'next door' to the Tiny House. A fire truck was over there with a boom extended out to the third floor of the converted mill-turned-apartments. A supposition was made by a friend that maybe it was time for the 700-pound-resident's trip to the doctor, which would have been awesome to watch (but maybe not smell), and so we went over to have a peek at what was going on. Would there be smoke? Would there be flames? Would there be a mountain of human soon to come oozing over the windowsill? And if the last one, why would they be taking them out on a boom that MUST have some kind of weight limit on it? Would there be a horrible disaster when the crane arm collapsed, sending Mister Giganto and the compassionate firemens hurtling toward the blacktop? Who would hit first? What would it be like to land on a horrifically obese person? Would the shock-absorbing value of all that fat save you from certain death? Would it be really gross?

The potential for excitement was incredible.

And soon deflated...because once I was convinced to go over and GAWK rather than simply stay on the back deck making make wild suppositions about what might be going on, it was clear that the fire truck was on a training mission.

Stupid rookie firepeople, needing to learn to operate the town's crane truck. Stupid amateurs, all lounging around in their stupid tee shirts, watching crews of three or four work their way through the primer on 'how to haul a half-ton man out of his apartment should there be a fire.' I was all het up for an EMERGENCY, and now, once convinced to go take a closer look (which I shied away from, not wanting to appear to be nosy and all), I wanted some reward for my bravery!


And then this morning happened. Not even a HINT of mayhem was to be had. Stupid police officer, turning us all around when we'd waited in line to see the aftermath. No fair. I pay taxes to support those rescue crews, I should be able to watch them at work if I want to!

Right? Shouldn't we be allowed to mill around fires and accidents and crime scenes, evaluating how our public servants are doing? Shouldn't we be encouraged to hang out at DOT work sites, urging our tax-money-paid workers to hurry up, time's-a-wasting, get off those shovels and work, ya bastards?

I suggest that we should. What do YOU think?


Also - had some friends over for dinner last night. THEY brought the dinner. And beer. And wine. They did most of the grilling. Either they're really really generous, or they hate my cooking.

I can live with it, either way.


Y'all! This Thursday! You know what you have to do.

Thurs it like a mofo, and have a great day.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

See change, sea change

There's been a turn for the worse among the animal harmony at home.

It seems that the cat can only tolerate the dog if she's in heat. I fear for a stalemate of bed-temperedness once the 25th of August rolls around, because that's when the cat is being spayed. Finally.

Yep - there were a few days of lovey-dovey between them while Miss Kitty was looking for some nookie, but now that she's not in the mood anymore the dog, who thought she had a good thing going, is doggona non grata once more.

Maybe ripping out the feline hormone flux capacitor will settle her pissyness down to a tolerable level. Otherwise, even MORE fur will be flying at the Tiny House. Sheesh.


On the housepainting front, this just in: It figures that once all paint scraping was done and the bare wood under the flakeyeness was exposed, the weather would take a turn for the wetter.


Now it'll take another two days of sun for the wood to re-dry, more scraping will need to be done, and only THEN can the last of the primer be put on. Yeah, it's going to take another gallon of the stuff to do more than half-assed job of prepping the siding.

The house is a lovely combination of old blue paint, streaks of white primer, and islands of bare wood right now. Whoever said progress isn't pretty was right on the money.


Why are people making such a fuss about the lip-synching at the Olympics opening ceremony? I understand that it was an act of theater, and as such can be presented in any way the organizers see fit. OK, so the less-attractive girl (who I think is absolutely adorable, BTW) who was the actual singer of the charming ditty had to stand behind the scenes while the spotlight of world attention was focused on the prettier girl, but what harm? Can you understand the depth of living-room mockery that would have occurred if that marginally more unfortunately configured young girl had been put in to the glare of global attention to sing LIVE? The jokes about Chinese teeth, the put-downs about her appearance, the quips about bowl haircuts, the negative remarks about the country in general would have been epic, of that you can be sure.

Why, I'll just bet there's a thread on Fark right now about the relative hittability of the two girls, and the prettier one, of course, is winning. That, my friends, is enough humiliation, right there; basement-dwelling geeks rating the relative merits of young girls. Seriously, it's really enough.

You do not want to crush a little girl's sense of self that early in life, so I say let her sing behind the scenes, get a recording contract, and in due time can take the money she gets from that and get braces, hire a pro hairstylist, fix whatever she wants to fix if she wants to fix it, and by the time she's 21 she'll have skyrocketed to high-hittability (if indeed she's interested in that vaunted title) while also having a TALENT.

And what will lil' Miss Pretty have?

One moment at the Olympics, when everyone knew she was faking it.



Speaking of unfortunately configured people.....there's a guy where I work who has a mole right under his nose. It looks like a mega-booger, just hanging out there.

Thank God it's skin-colored. A pigmented booger-mole would be exponentially more shiver-inducing.


And that brings you up to speed on the state of things inside my head. Tune in tomorrow when I might divulge how to make a yummy dinner in 20 minutes, or bring up someone else's physical flaws for mockery, or talk about boobs, farts, paint, cats, the state of the global economy, or whatnot else happens to be swimming around the deep pit of random that is my frontal lobe....

Have a great day folks, whatever's on your mind.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


There's an 8-year-old boy out there who is a blues guitar prodigy.

There's a 10-year-old boy out there that's a bullfighter.

There are dozens of teenaged girls in China right now who can do insanely beautiful and dangerous things with their bodies (I'm talking the gymnasts, y'all, not some coven of magickal assassins or something).

There are gobs and GOBS of kids in this world who are prodigies, gifted with a special 'something' that makes them stand out, to rise above, to capture the attention of the world, a coach, a sponsor, whatever. Somehow, these kids have taken an early fascination or a twinge of promise and molded it into something that takes them out of the realm of local notoriety into the bright world of fame.

How do they DO this?

More specifically, how do their parents do this? Doesn't it take a whole lot of chutzpah to get your 8-year-old very good guitar-playing son in from of people who have the connections to get him into gigs with revered icons of the genre? Doesn't it take some kind of tremendous blind faith, or perhaps monumental egoism, to train your little boy to be a bullfighter once he's exhibited some small interest in the carnal entertainment? Doesn't it take purpose to begin to train your little toddler girl in the sport of gymnastics before she's even able to read, and to keep honing her skills as she adds on the burdens of growing up?

How do those parents DO this? Where do they get the energy? The nerve, the MONEY?

Color me amazed, because I could never have the energy, nerve, or money to shepard my child along the path toward notoriety or fame like those parents do. Instead, I suspect that I'm like the majority of Mom and Dads out there who find it's quite enough, thank you, to have your kids in activity or two; to get them to and from school safely, dressed, fed, and stocked with the proper homework and tools for their day; to work; to provide meals; to provide together time; to find time to relax and enjoy what's left of a day before cranking up the alarm clock in preparation for the morning's starting gun.

Sometimes I wonder though....if I'd made something out of any of the boys' early interests, what could they be now?

Well, thinking back on it, I'd have to say that Thing 1 would be a fire truck, and Thing 2 would be a dinosaur.

Now that? Would get us some noticin', don't you think?


The cat has chosen to spend a large chunk of her day in the kitchen cabinets. I can hear her in there right now, rattling the pots and pans, getting a space just cat-sized enough to be comfortable.

She's weird.

Albert the Cat, who now spends most of his time outside after one-too-many pee-related incidents indoors, is becoming quite the darling of the neighborhood. He's a very VERY friendly critter, and is like a dog in his affection for people. Pull in the driveway after work and there's Albert, running up to say hi. Sit on the front porch in the evening to watch the sun go down, and there's Albert, tiptoeing along the porch rail, looking for a good head scratching.

Still, even with all that friendliness, I really did NOT expect to see him in the back of the van when I went for a lumber run this weekend. He'd hopped in when we weren't looking, had a ride to Lowe's, and seemed entirely nonplussed when I opened the back door to load up. So nonplussed, in fact, that it seemed to border on irritation when I started loading wood right where he'd been sleeping. I know, I have some nerve, don't I? Disturbing a sleeping cat like that. I ought to be ashamed.

But I'm not. Sue me.


Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but is there anyone else swimming in the Olympics except Michael Phelps?

And have a great day.

Monday, August 11, 2008

In a word, No

Sum dood in the You Kay wants to aksept vareeayeshuns in speling as OK four his stoodints.

Dude? No. No, no, and a thousand times, NO. Why should we accept that some people, COLLEGE STUDENTS, for Pete's sake, can't spell 'ignore' or similar easy-to-remember words? What's the point of teaching people to proper way to do something if you're just going to to go all 'well, the poor darlings have been penalized for not remembering what their 7th grade teacher taught, and it's high time we allowed these precious snowflakes to succeed without having to go through the God-awful process of memorizing'?

This, from someone who relies heavily on spell-check.

Yes, I sound like a curmudgeon, and I KNOW that language evolves (otherwise we'd all be speaking in proto Sanskrit or somesuch), and I know that some of our English words are really stupidly spelled, but having consistency in the expression of a confusing language is important.

Otherwise, you'd have chaos. "Though" could become "thow" if you simply truncated "throw." "Throughout"? Becomes "threwout." "Actually" might change to "akshully." It would be the LOLcattizing of the language, and while that might be cute for funny captions of kittehs, it's not what I would urge us to do for other printed materials.

The Constitution of the United States in LOLspeak. Can you imagine it?


There's a featherweight boxer from Ghana whose name is Prince Octopus Dwahli.

Now why would his parents do something like that to their poor boy?


Five gallons of this color paint have been purchased for which to bedeck the Tiny House.

It is vibrant, no? Even though a reasonably common consensus was reached here in the comments section that the TH should be painted some form of yellow, it was not to be once the nice paint man grimaced at the idea.

Apparently painting yellow over blue would have required at least two coats, and therefore double the money for paint, and double the time SPENT painting.

Yeah. No.

Blue it was.

After swatching the house with a bit of it prior to procuring the remaining gallons needed, it took a bit of getting used to. Oh sure, I could have gone with the safer, lighter blue that more closely resembles the blue already ON the house, but why? What's the point of living safe? The TH deserves to fairly rattle with vividness. It should SHINE in its tiny glory!

Shine it shall.

During the eviction off the house of some rotten boards, it was discovered that the siding on the house is not the original wood. Oh no, it is not. How do I know this? Am I the Gil Grissom of old houses? Can I rate wood using a combination of scent, tree ring pattern recognition, and age-dating the husks of old insects found under the removed boards?

No, no I cannot.

What I CAN do, and is much more simple, is to go 'ah ha!' when the rotted boards reveal a second layer of siding underneath.

Also blue!

It's fate, y'all. The TH is blue. It's been blue for years, it shall be blue for years more. Right now it's kind of mottled because even the 7+ hours I spent scraping off all the loose paint did not complete the task, and so there are patches of bare wood, stretches of new board (and gee I hope pressure-treated lumber takes paint), and hints of primer all over. It's not pretty, but I think the house feels better for having all that itchy dead paint taken off of it, much the same way as a car feels better when it's clean, or dishes are more comfortable when they're stacked correctly.

Y'all know what I mean.

And once the house gets that coat of paint, and a new buttery yellow trim thang going on, well, it'll feel like the belle of the block.

Unless the TH is a boy house, in which case it'll feel like a superhero or something.


It's time to git, and so I'm gittin'. Have yourselves a great day. Monday! Again!

Friday, August 08, 2008


Happy first day of the Beijing Olympics, y'all!

(<--the folks on Mount Olympus, discussing the day's race results)

Are you thrilled to be knowing that the games are afoot? Will you spend all weekend watching the chills, thrills, and spills of international competition? Are you betting on the outcomes of any of the matches? A little table-tennis gambling, perhaps? A wager on how many lil' balance beamers are going to take a digger off the 4-inch-wide-post-o'-doom?

As a public service, I present to you the rundown o the list of 'sports n' competitions' that are going to be sported and competed at this year's Summer Orympic Games (Also? klikable!):

Canoe / kayak
Modern pentathlon
Table tennis

Um...canoeing? Really? Somebody's going to watch a bunch of campers doing the tippy test or something? Do people WATCH canoeing?

And wait, is that FOOTBALL I see? Like football-football, or Futbol-football? On the one hand there would be muscly men in tight pants, which is totall whee territory, and on the other hand there are half-nekkid mens running around all sweaty. Win-win, I say.

Also, the super-general 'athletics' is an interesting sport of choice, don't you think? What the heck is athletics, anyhow? Well, a little (30 second's worth) research reveals that 'athletics' is really track and field in disguise. And I quote from the IOC's page:

Athletics is, in many ways, the embodiment of the Olympic motto, "Citius, Altius, Fortius", meaning faster, higher, stronger.

Athletics (or track and field) is about running faster, jumping higher and throwing further than your competitors. The ancient Games at Olympia began simply with foot races, only occasionally complicated by dressing the runners in infantry armour or making them carry soldiers' shields. Today, athletics remains one of the most popular Olympic sports. From the 100m dash to the 42.195km marathon, from the hammer throw to the high jump, it contains many of the Olympic Games' blue-ribbon events and many of the highest-profile competitors.

So kids, when you say you're an athletics supporter, you're talking track and field. Now you know! Personally, I'm kind of hoping for an accidental javelin-izing of someone's foot, because nothing says 'competition' like blood-n'-guts.

On another note - why haven't javelins been replaced by some dumbed-down version of stick-hurling, much like "Jarts" were replaced by some way less fun after a few kids really DID poke an eye out? There have been numerous judges, photographers, and other athletic combatants that have been speared by this instrument of warfare. Someone should petition the IOC to make the javelin-tossers heave something a little less deadly than a many-foot-long metal-tipped SPEAR through the air, don't you think?

Also....shooting. Something should be done about the shooting. Take away their bullets and put 'em in from of some loud-ass arcade game where there's simulated blood spatter (see note above about the blood-n'-guts thing) or virtual big game to hunt, couple that with a maelstrom of noise typical of a Chuck-E-Cheese on a Saturday afternoon, and THEN see who can kick some targety ass. Prolly not Muffy and Skip from the club with their fancy ear protection and their scopes and their kid gloves and their posh Hamptons accents. Hells'd be some 13-year-old kid with an attitude problem and anger issues. Come on, man, let's make the Olympics less Hoity Toity and more hoi polloi! That'll bring in the ad dollars!

Just don't lose the equestrian stuff. Everybody likes pretty ponies.


Y'all have a good one, no matter what your favorite obscure summer olympic sport might be. I'm out!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

My kind of day

It's 10 a.m., I'm in my PJs sitting at the kitchen table staring at a pile of dishes in the sink, and so far this morning I've edited a document, arranged a meeting, e-mailed a trial director, and responded to a meeting invite.

Working at home rocks major gonads, y'all.


Whilst driivng the Things to school this morning we saw a woman who looked exactly like Professor Bunsen Honeydew would if he was an elderly lady.

Man I loved that show.


The reason I'm working at home today is so exciting (which I first typed as "sexciting." Ahem) I'm not sure I can stand it. Are you ready for this?

The HVAC guy is coming for an inspection of The Unit. I have high hopes that the inspection and cleaning will cause the AC to put out for-realz cold air.

To add to the teeth-chattering awesomeness of that, the cable guy is ALSO coming this afternoon to install an actual landline at the Tiny House. Now, that, my friends, is high-grade excitement, for unless you've had the chance to talk to me while I'm at home, you don't know of the vagaries of the cell phone service anywhere in the vicinity of the Tiny House, and so couldn't know that reception is as mercurial as a a teenage girl's moods. Putting it bluntly, it SUCKS.

So, the advent of actual reliable phone service is kind of nice. No more dropped calls, no more 'shoutin' down a well' sound quality, no more frustrations when trying to chat up friends and relatives. My gosh, who knew that retro-techhing could bring such happiness?


And no, I'm not working at home because of that whole license thing from yesterday, but it doesn't hurt to stay put until that whole mess is straightened out.

Heh - about 5 minutes after I posted yesterday, I did get a call from the insurance guy's office.

Yup, a phone call. From his MOM. Who is looking after things while he's at a conference.

I have a great deal of confidence in having my issues taken care of correctly. Not.


Y'all have a great one. I'm going to grab another cuppa joe, read a few more e-mails, and get ready for a telecon.

Which I'll attend in my PAJAMAS. Whee!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Sister Scofflaw

That's me, and there's a story.

Back in early June I switched car insurance companies. The former company, like the good little soldiers they are, notified the state that my insurance with them had been cancelled. The new company, like a bunch of drooling slackers, did NOT tell the state that my car and I were covered as of the date of company 1's cancellation.

The state, not surprisingly, was not happy with my supposed status of 'uninsured,' so they sent me a little love not asking me to prove I was covered. So, I sent them a copy of my shiny new insurance card.

They didn't think that was good enough, and so they are now threatening to revoke my plate.

People, I'm driving around with a license plate that any moment now might be an illegal! I'm nearly a criminal! Naughty Tiff!

To evict the rising sense of panic this state of being evokes, it was necessary to call the state to find out what needed to be done. I spoke with a very nice young man who advised that I need to call my insurance agent, who needed to fill out a form with the proper dates, etc, on it, and then my insurance agent (not me) should send that form to the DMV. In the meanwhile, I'm suppose to NOT drive my car, because it might be suspended.

Um, yeah. No driving? Right. I'm at WORK right now. Getting home will be tough without Tink.

Of course, because this is a highly important issue, my insurance agent is not in the office. Why SHOULD he be in the office when I need him? It should be noted that it's apparent his assistant is not in the office either. Perhaps they're on a lil' hanky-panky trip or something? I don't know, but the lack of response is highly unsatisfying. I'm here, at work, driving a time bomb of scofflaw-dom, and HE'S out nookie-izing the hot receptionist! How DARE he be slippin' the ol' baloney to some skinny gutter snipe when I, Tiff, need him to let the state know that I'm completely and totally legal to drive the streets of this fair state? I need him, and he's not coming through for me. Get the pin out of the cushion, dude, and ANSWER MY DAMN PHONE CALLS!!

Let me here state that this is also the SAME man who didn't let the new insurance company know that I'm licensed to drive in NC, and NOT Connecticut. This smidge of info would have been useful to tell to the insurance company, who now think I'm illegally licensed....

Double bad-girl points to the Tiff.

And so, double nervousness. I'm not at all comfortable with these turns of events. I much prefer things to be on the up-and-up. Yeah, maybe I'll wait until the very last day to pay my bills and such, but I always pay them. I carry insurance. I have a proper driver's license. I brush and floss. I rinse and repeat. I FOLLOW THE RULES, and other people are letting me down, which pisses me off.

Because I'm pissed, I'm going to take matters into my own hands as a means of coping with other people's failure to act. It's up to me now to run around like a decapitated fowl, tying up loose ends, making phone calls, pestering just do the job he was supposed to have done 2 months ago, so I can sit proudly behind the wheel of Tinkerbell and actually GO somewhere.

Otherwise, it's going to be a hella long walk home.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Who's the pretty monkey?

Do you know the difference between who's and whose?

There, they're, and their?

Ensure, assure, insure?

Affect and effect?

I do, and that scares me a little. What's more, when I use them improperly, it pisses me off. I should know better, yet sometimes the mistakes slip by; tuned loose by spellcheck into the ether of public scorn. Grrrrrr.

The odd thing is, even with this intimate knowledge of commonly mis-used words, I'm not a very good speller, and I'm an even worse typist. Anyone who has IM'ed with me knows this. It is, of course, part of my charm that I can't type worth a crap, and those who deign to keep my acquaintance soon learn that 'goign ot' means 'going to' and that any combination of t, h, and e means 'the.'

As with so many other things in my life, in typing I'm fast and improper. Woohoo!

There's a guy in Munich who just had two new arms transplanted onto the stumps left behind after he was in an industrial accident 6 years ago.

After the first thought of "wow!" the second thought that popped into my head was "I wonder if it'll feel weird the first time he masturbates?"

Someone else's hands, you know.


The Town of Wake Forest is looking for folks to volunteer to help plan the town's centennial celebration party. I could help them, but after we get past the drinks menu I'm going to lose interest, I just know it.


This post is taking a stupidly long time to write.

So I'll stop writing, being as how there's not that much interesting to say, and also because once I took the time to write down everything I have to do today a cold chill raced up my spine. It's not good, folks. It's not good at all.


One more thing though. if ever you should get the bright idea to go to two waterparks in one weekend, be sure to take your Motrin or other pain reliever of your choice before going to bed on Sunday night, because you're going to need it come Monday morning in order to get out of bed without pain.

The biologist in me should have guessed that trying to keep my head screwed on straight while careening down steep water chutes at many dozens of MPHs (or so it seemed) could cause some stress in the ol' neck muscles. The biologist in me didn't venture any such guesses while the careeening was being done, nor at any suitable time thereafter....

As a result, I couldn't turn my head or raise my arms yesterday without wincing.

Fortunately, I wasn't the only one. The Things also suffered similarly. This, oddly, made me feel better, as though my pain was not the result of being old and out of shape, but rather was the result of having undergone and thorough physical assault to which I am not accustomed.

Me and rationalization? Are very VERY good friends..


Y'all have a great day. Imma gonna go see if there a dent to be made in the 'to-do' list.

XO - Tiff.

Monday, August 04, 2008


First, let's have a little playtime, shall we?

Paint like Jackson Pollack.

Get your artsy schwerve on!


This weekend I managed to flash an entire spectator section at a local waterpark, and lose both my credit card and license at another, less local water park.

-The flashing took place at Silver Lake, which is just south of Raleigh and an OK place to go if you don't mind swimming in murky water with a bunch of feisty little kids, their teenaged siblings, their bedazzled and tattooed mamas, and their craggy-toothed daddies. Just don't open your eyes underwater, or the gas that's leaked from the bumper boats will sting like a fomo.

Stingy water aside, in addition to bumper boats and paddle boats and a neat playground for the wee ones, there's a pretty cool water slide at Silver Lake. It's one of those that requires a foam pad for sliding. For the first run I chose to slide on my stomach, face first. The landing was pretty spectacular; I was probably going a good 20 MPH when I hit the green water face first, coming up spluttering and coughing.

And showing my right boob to the entire world.

Stupid tankini top, betraying one of the D sisters like that.

Nobody pointed and laughed though, so I'm guessing it wasn't the worst they'd ever seen. Perhaps their horror prevented them from any outright mockery. Whatever it was, I was grateful for the silence, hoisted my top back up over the wayward boob, and continued to have fun. You can be sure though that I slid on my BACK from that point on.

- The lost credit card and license happened at Emerald Point, down in Greensboro. Now THAT is a waterpark, my friends. We went on just about every daggone ride there was to go on, even the really scary tall ones. Didn't make it to Daredevil Drop, but did do the Twin Twisters a cupla times, with similar feelings each time.

The feeling?


Before yesterday, I've never been on a water slide that is better ridden with my eyes closed, but I can't say that now. Those slides are 350 feet of fully enclosed mayhem, and trying to keep track of where you are by watching the airholes whizzing by is more dizzying than just shutting your eyes and riding it out.


The 'loser' part of the day happened after lunch, after a friend tucked my cards into the velcroed-shut back pocket of his swim trunks. We had done a Lazy River ride, then the Twisters again, and were at the top of the Blue Steak when a pat of the back pocket produced an almost comical look of 'oh shit' on his face, and the horrible realization that somehow the pocket had come undone and the cards were now very very lost.

Kee-RAP. Crap crappity crap crap!

Nothing for it but to ride the ride down (hey, they were going to be lost if I panicked or not, and I chose to the 'no panic' option) and find a life guard at each of the three places we'd ridden since lunch and beg them to have a peek into the depths of the splash pools for the cards.

Not to rub salt into any wounds, but I must say that it didn't help my attitude that the ride down also caused me to smash my cheap-ass sunglasses. Between my BOOBS, where they'd been tucked for the duration.

Gah. Stupid boobs, anyhow. Nothing but trouble!

After talking with a couple of guards, and three of their supervisors, who, to their credit, immediately went off in search of our lost things, luck would have it that the spectre of someone skulking off with my ID and credit was quickly banished because the cards were located by a be-goggled lifeguard under a tumult of water coming from the Slidewinder, and all was right with the world once more. (that, dear friends, was a sentence to end all sentences, wasn't it?) Yes, people, they stopped a ride to look for my stuff. Sorry, all y'all folks who had to wait it out at the top! My bad.

That episode kind of took the stuffing out of me, but I was soon restuffed after a quick rest on a lounge chair while the kiddoes continued hurling themselves down water-filled plastic tubes for 30 or so minutes. LOVE the lounge chairs, and the huge umbrellas, and the sandy beaches manufactured for our lounging pleasure. If they only served cocktails, it would have been perfect.

We topped off our 7-hour waterpark adventure with a couple of smaller direct-to-the-pool slides and a quick dip in a play pool, and that was that.

Now I'm wondering if I can make season tickets pay off. That place is the shizz, y'all.


What was YOUR weekend like? Any boob-flashing going on? Tell us all about it, and have a grand day.

Friday, August 01, 2008

One-sided, and it feels so good

A phone conversation 2 days ago between the cube neighbor and someone who I presume was his wife:

(phone rings)
Cube Neighbor: Hey:
Wife: ...................
CN: It went OK. Uncomfortable, but that's what I expected.
W: ...................
CN: Well, he had to take a culture.....yup....Yeah, sure did.
W: .........
CN: He did say it might come back, and I guess it has. He's going to see what's in there.
CN: Yep. (obviously remembering at this point that he works in a cubicle) Hey, I'll tell you more when I see you tonight, OK?
W: ...........
CN: Kbye.


For more than a few moments my mind was occupied by exactly WHAT the cube neighbor had once before that has come back and that might need culturing to see 'what's in there.'

Gonorrhea? Fungus?

And WHERE was the culturing done?

Toes? Butthole? Navel? Eyelid?

I eyeballed the CN throughout the day, trying to figure it out. He was walking with a wide-stanced limp, which led my twisted brain down the path of 'something in the groin area,' because I'm an expert leaper-to-conclusions like that. In my mind he's had some kind of icky penile thing happening (or maybe butt thing!) that was a result of some youthful indiscretions, and it had returned, and the wife wasn't going to touch him with a latex-covered 10-foot pole until whateveritwas was GONE, dawg, so he, being a man, went to the doc to get 'er fixed so he could sex up the little woman.

See how I do? It's scary.

Didn't help that the local leader of the prayer club (and a very nice man) came by CN's office yesterday and was asking him about 'his issue' in tones of hushed concern just perceptible enough to render them maddeningly difficult to hear. Oh, how I strained to listen, but could find no purchase on which to plant yet another surmise about CN's condition. Lord, I did try. Out of concern, you see. Not out of any need to interior decorate CN's life with stinky infectious wieners or anything.....

It was only yesterday afternoon that a hallway conversation shone the blazing light of truth on the situation.

Turns out? Plantar wart.

Not nearly as thrilling as my oozing infectious scenario. Darn him. He really should have tried harder.