Saturday, July 30, 2011

'Chauffing' is too a word

Spent some time yesterday living the American dream, if, by 'American dream' you mean spending lots of time in the car driving people around.

It go like dis:

5:30 - drive Thing 2 to a movie party at his friend M's house. Drive home. 25 minute total round trip.

7:45 - drive Biff, who wasn't feeling well after the Papa John's dinner pizza feste, to his gig across town. Unload, drive home. 95-minute round trip. Am grateful to do this, because he was able to get a quick nap in and felt much better on arrival.

11:00 pm - pick up Thing 2 from party. 25-minute round trip.

2:20 am - get a text saying Biff is ready to go from the gig. Go get him, load up, drive home. 90-minute round trip and clear sailing - very nice driving at that time of day. Again, he naps for most of it, and I'm glad. He's not been sleeping much lately.

Home and in bed by 4.



At some point I did drift off, to dream of such oddness that it's clear my brain wasn't really allaway asleep, and by 9:45 I was starting to hope it was time to get up. And yet, with only fitful sleep I'm feeling pretty good and might almost be ready to accomplish something productive.

Who wants to be that by 4 I'll be back in bed? Anyone?

(Which reminds me of something - is "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" one of your favorites? We re-watched it the other night and I completely enjoyed it, 80's clothes and all. Also, bring back the 80's men's haircuts (at least the Bueller style). Love the close-cropped sides and neck and swingy upper bits. So rad.)

You know what? It's kind of sad that this is the sort of thing that merits a mention. Me driving places. My 25-year-old self would now like to kick my 49-year-old self' in the butt and tell me to go get a life. "Oooh, la," I'd say to myself, "you had to DRIVE places, how awful for you, you boring old hack! Whynt'cha go DO something and then write about it? Whyn'tcha use your imagination and LIVE life a little so we're not subject to the snoozefest that is your stupid boring LIFE, you boring old woman!"

To which I would reply "I WOULD do exciting things, but it's a million degrees out, doing things costs money, there are dishes in the sink and laundry on the bed. There are papers that need to be filed or shredded, pictures that need sorting and sending, floors that need cleaning, and, in general, appearances that need to be kept up with, you snotnosed free spirit! I've grown UP since I was you, and am doing all those things now that you always just asusmed you'd do when you were gorwn up, so HA! Here you are! No more wild nights partying down, no more crazy leather-pants-wearing, no more mosh pits, no more brazen flirting, no more all-night booze fests with friends in their beat-up log homes, no more of all of that because we've grown up and are doing GROWN UP THINGS NOW. Like fetching our strapping young teen son from a party, and fetching our strikingly handsome HUSBAND from his ROCK STAR GIG, so shut up, you! We are living something a little more exciting that a stupid boring life. It's a step UP from what you always wanted, here we are, let's make the most of it."

And the 25-year-old me goes "OK. You're right. I'm sorry. I do want to get married and have kids and own a house and feel loved and be a family some day. I'm just not ready to right now. I'm am having all the fun there is to be had. Someday, I'll become you. Is that OK?"

I the now- me says "Take all the time you want. Oh, and enjoy that figure while you have it, sweetie. Nothing lasts forever."

Tiff out.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Non-remunerated pitch, though a little remuneration would have been nice

For the past several years I’ve been buying outrageously awesome Zum soap from the gals and guys at Indigo Wild. This stuff is beautiful, good for you, smells GREAT, leaves YOU smelling great for hours (like, I’ve had people ask me hours after I showered what perfume I’m wearing. Nope – not perfume, just great-smelling soap!), and comes with a dash of positive juju in every bar. Plus goats milk. And enough glycerin to make large commercial soapers cry hot tears of shame at their rampant detergenting of a nation.

Can you tell I dig this stuff?

Recently, it came to pass that we ran OUT of the outrageously awesome soap, and, for a misguided week or so, had to resort to using ‘Coast,’ which I guess is fine but nothing like the outrageously awesome soap, except that it’s like 1/3rd the price. That is small comfort, as getting clean should be a wholly pleasurable experience, part of which is coming out smelling like a rose (or patchouli, or citrus/sandalwood, or whatever the flavor of the week is) and continuing to smell like one. The Coast scent is a little too ‘gym-y’ and not nearly enough ‘hippie,’ other soaps like Dial and Ivory are also fine, but once you get used to the goat’s milky smelly goodness of the Zum there is no substitute and you, like the addict you are, need to get MOAR!

The price though. Oy! Over 5 DOLLARS for a bar, ONE BAR, of soap! Of course you know why it’s that expensive when you buy it, as goat’s milk can’t be cheap, all those essential oils can’t be cheap, the material required to do large-batch cold saponification can’t be cheap, and all those dyes used to color their soaps can’t be cheap (and they use a LOT of them – so pretty!). Also, I'm guessing that running a soap factory that employs 50 people can't be cheap either. So yeah, a LOT goes into these bars, and it's artisinal, so it's not going to be sold on the Dollar General's shelves. But still - $5.50 a bar is an expense that needs to be rationalized, every dang time we buy.

What to do then, when one is trying to do a little bit of belt-tightening and get-out-of-debtting while NEEDING the outrageously awesome soap?

Buy more of it, of course!


Indigo Wild sells their soaps not just in bars, but in 3-pound bricks and 20-something pound slabs. If you want a LOT of soap of one smell, this is by far the cheaper way to go, ounce for ounce. At retail, a pound of Zum bars goes for something like 28 dollars. A 3-pound brick goes for $66.50, which saves about 5 bucks a pound! A bargain it ain’t, necessarily, but it’s cheaper than buying tons of the same bar for a much higher price.

So, we are now the proud owners of a brick of their sea salt soap, a lovely blue bar with amazing skin-moistening properties and a lovely citrus scent. And because I’d already paid for shipping for this puppy, I also got a grab-bag of a pound of random soap flavors for 16 bucks and a few other bars of personal faves for the regular ‘ouch’ price, because someone here loves sandalwood-citrus a lot and someone loves patchouli a lot; lets guess who is who.

Further rationalization for the Big Buy - It’s all a part of our “Armageddon Buying” plan. We do NOT want to be stinky after the bomb drops, markets crash, debt defaults, grid goes down. Nope - we will be the sweet-smelling destitute folks holed up in our home behind the tinfoiled windows. Priorities, people!

Which reminds me – must purchase a brick of TP, a 12-pack of Sure, and a gallon of toothpaste.

BJ’s, here we come!

Tiff Out.
Gnome to scale.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The sun's coming in through the kitchen window

It's 5 p.m., nearly, and I'm already home. The Things are holidaying at home this week, and while I'm sure the lovely lovely internet can keep them company for at least 12 hours in a row, I do like to be home to listen to them kill things on their gaming systems.

Currently, they're killing zombies. And something called 'Boomers,' which I understand throw up as their main means of defense (and, not coincidentally, offense).

Also, they talk into a headset at the people with whom they play these games, so conversations are very one-sided, like 'oh man, you shot me!" and 'aw man, I died,' and 'aw man, that was uncool,' and the very occasional 'OMG! Get me out of here!'

I learn so much from them, you know. Like, it's possible to let a whole day pass without once ever thinking of brushing your teeth, and it's possible to wear holes in the carpet from rocking back and forth on what should be a chair so uncomfortable that sitting in it for more than 30 minutes might be considered to be torture, and it's possible to wear the same pair of pants 5 days in a row because, really, who's going to SEE them?

They live in their cave, and I make them come out to eat, because I'll be jiggered if I'm throwing meat and potatoes into their room and act all surprised when they finally emerge years from now, pale and doughy, thinking the only way to be friends with someone is to charge up your favorite blaster and KILL THEM.

So this Mama hangs out in the kitchen, listening closely to what's going on while her charming young men cause e-mayhem and e-death. See - I like to know when things are getting really out of hand; it's when things go quiet that I'll really need to start worrying.

Just like when they were toddlers.


It's weird being home at 5. The light's all wrong, and there are way too many hours left in the day. The normal rush of evening is all stretched out, with no hurry, and that's just unAmerican.

There's only one thing to do in the face of all that potential at-home productive time.


Except, HORRORS! BB on FB is down for now! Ack! What to do, what to do, to waste the half an hour I think it will take to get me in the right frame of mind to start the evening's festivities?

Laundry? Feh. That giant pile can wait.

Dishes? Feh. Did 'em yesterday, and a new batch will be there tomorrow.

Go through that stack of papers/pay bills/update the calendar? FEH! That smacks of real responsibility, and would ruin the air of near-catastrophe that bestows a certain stench of desperation to the Tiny House, which smells kind of like bacon and onions, so it's really quite lovely.

There clearly are no good alternatives to wasting time when one truly, deeply, and honestly wants to waste time.

Unless I've missed a way. How do YOU do it, the time wasting? Is there something beyond mindless 1-minute games that can chew up tremendous amounts of time that works for you? I've dabbled with FARK and Dark Roasted Blend, but those sites contain content that is nearly informational, and no good can come of that when you don't want to have anything to show for your time.

I'm relying on you, Internet friends. Save me from the productivity that might result from PopCap servers being down!

Thank you in advance - Tiff out.

Monday, July 25, 2011

for no particular reason



1) Which of these words do you think isn't a word?

2) What's the pattern used to generate these words?

3) Which one did I miss in the pattern?

Welcome to the Adult SAT! Silly brain-teasers to poke your Abdulla Oblongata, or whatever it's called. Your brain may thank you later. Or not. If not, I prescribe wine. Then maybe you'll forget you ever started to think about this, and rest easy.

Tiff out.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Recipe Saturday - chicken chili

The recipe below is adapted from some website that adapted it from someone else's recipe that adapted it from Cooks Illustrated, apparently. I would say it IS adapted from Cook's Illustrated, but because you need to subscribe to CI before you can see their recipes (minus the teaser pics and title), I cannot make that statement with certainty. This chili is really nothing like the inspiration recipe, which looked to be more of a soup than a a thicker chili, and I didn't have some of their ingredients and subbed out others, so, yeah. My recipe. MINE!!

Tiny House Chicken Chili (Fire Engine Edition)

This is a fairly hot chili, which we like, but if you like a milder dish use fresh jalapeno pepper instead of the habanero and things should turn out fine.


  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1T white vinegar
  • 3 c water
  • 2 onions - chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 habanero pepper, minced
  • 1T crushed hot red pepper
  • 1T cumin
  • 1 t fresh oregano
  • 1/2 t ground cloves
  • 1/2 t cayenne
  • 1T flour
  • 2 15-ounce cans kidney beans, drained
  • 1/2 c corn meal

(Isn't it odd that this chili has no chili powder in it? At all? I think that's odd.)

Heat water, salt and vinegar to a low bubble, add chicken and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat, cool chicken and strain broth, saving liquid. Chop up the chicken in bite-sized pieces.

Sautee the chopped onion with a touch of olive oil in a large pot (the one you made the broth is in great, seeing as it's already dirty) until tender, about 3 minutes.

Add garlic, peppers, spices, and flour to the onion, stirring to incorporate flour and spices until the mix is smooth, about 2 more minutes.

Dump in the beans, broth, and chicken, bring to a boil, turn down heat, cover, and simmer 20 minutes. Stir in corn mea lin the last 5 minutes of cooking time for a thicker chili if desired.

DING DING! You're done!

Chili can be served with cilantro, shredded cheese, tomato, or whatnot. Serves about 6, and is chock FULL of good stuff your friends and family will love. See?

Dig the FIBER this puppy has!! An overall 'A' grade is hard to get using this site to calculate your recipes, so I'm pretty proud of this one.

Wrap-up: this dish is seriously easy to prepare, doesn't require a long simmering time like is needed for tomato-based chilis, used ONE POT in preparation, and is good for you. Also? Dairy-free if you skip the cheese topping. Could also be gluten-free, if you skipped the flour part. My goodness, is this the perfect food, or what?

So, that's it from the kitchen. Here's to a great weekend!

Tiff out.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

I've watched 'em go up and down

Of course you all knew that the last planned space shuttle flight came down today, safe and sound.

What's that? You've had your head buried under a rock for the last 2 weeks and did not know that the last planned space shuttle flight came down today, safe and sound? Why, how could you NOT know the last planned space shuttle flight came down today, safe and sound?

It's all over the news, you know, that the last planned space shuttle flight came down today, safe and sound.

(Except for that bit about the thermospheric lampreys Hoovering up bit of frozen astro-poo and insulating tiles, accidentally knocking off one of the rastrocouplers from the Farglander intake. Because sheesh, once you seen that happen, you never want to see it again. Sloppy eaters, and even worse breath. Terrible party guests.)

Note: that as of yesterday, the phrase, at least on NPR, was 'last PLANNED' space shuttle flight, which I think was a lovely and subtle insertion and hope-giver from the previously pandemic 'last flight ever,' don't you? The 'planned' bit is a sweet hedge against never being able to go up again to knock heads with the Termingling Fosbots from Draco's Uvula, or to swish sublimely with the fine folk from Asterurb Belcharion, who are noted dancers, what with their multiple feet an 4D vision.

I like the idea of keeping 'planned' in the mix, because if there's a rocking space party, we SHOULD be able to go, don't you think?

My thoughts exactly.


White chicken chili - work of the Devil or sublimeness in a bowl?


Hey! We have the Heat Dome now! Nice hand-off, midwest.

Next time though, please consider a bounce pass to the Atlantic ocean so that we here in the Land of Oppressive Heat Mostly Year-Round can get back to our regularly scheduled 95 degrees until September.

This 100-degree crap with a heat index of 112? It's enough to drive even the most stoic Southerner up a nut tree.


I hope y'all are all keeping well. It's a good time to sit and take stock of what we have, as it's too dang hot to do much else around these parts.

Tiff out.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Felicitations on the anniversary of your natal day!

Many years ago I declared that I couldn't take the opinions of anyone born in the 70's seriously, because if they were born in the 70's it meant that they were too young to have an opinion.

Much to my shock and chagrin, I realize I must change my views, because people born in the 70's are now, it appears, not only old enough to have opinions but children, jobs, responsibility, and fulfilling lives as well!

Some of them even have a birthday today, one of whom I know. It is to this person that I owe an apology for the very silly voicemail message left last night in a response to a request by a family member to leave voicemail messages in honor or their birthday.

I'm sorry, person to whom I left a very silly voicemail message last night - I should never have used 'gorilla' and 'happy birthday' in the same phrase, and I apologize. I was mic-shocked, and hadn't prepared well. This is what I should have said:

Happy birthday to one of the worlds Greatest Enunciators! You are to be congratulated on NEVER being misunderstood. As if that wasn't enough (because a life of clarity is to be celebrated!), you are also one of the most caring, creative, and clever people I've met. You really live out your best characteristics and therefore generate goodwill and great humor as a result. Also, I dig those inflatable buffet things and your accent.

Because, really, her accent (though I bet she doesn't think she has one) is crazily charming.


Not that this has ANYTHING to do with the above sentimentality, but I think you deserve to know that when someone screams 'you have floor ants!' you'd better run, and run FAST, because those suckers will be ON you in a heartbeat looking for anything at all to eat. What you should also know is that they don't like meat, so you're safe, but being covered with millions and millions of them is scary-bad and itch-inducing.

The good thing is they die within minutes of being released from the colony ball, so even though every available surface might be covered in a writhing mass of dark chitinous bodies, the really icky part doesn't last that long and in a little while you can go about the business of sweeping up.

And so now you know part of what I learned from my dreams last night.

This was about the ONLY good thing that happened in them. The other parts about the
  • dreadful amusement park full of hazards; traps; and 'lazy bayou' mud bogs featuring fake alligators, kraken, and savages all surging out of the mud at you while you slog through them laden with giant bags of sugar on your back you're not allowed to get wet
  • the giant octopus,
  • elevators that take you noplace fast when you need to meet with the VP and don't have keys to your dorm room and might be, in fact, mostly naked and slightly singed
  • old boyfriends appearing like moths at a light to serenade the crowds of people who are gathering around waiting for you to give a presentation you have no idea you were supposed to give and you're still muddy, slightly singed, mostly naked, and very very angry?

Not so good. Be glad I didn't tell you about them.


Well - it's time to go. The shower and work call me to activity. I'd stay here all day, you know, wandering around bumping into things, thinking of taking a nap or making something to eat, but people EXPECT things of me and need me to go to meetings and tell them stuff about things, and then think I might be at my desk waiting for them to swing by and catch up...which is annoying but has the happy side effect of paying the bills.

Begs the Question - If you won a mega-lottery and had all the money you ever needed, therefore didn't have to occupy yourself with a job or home work or other drudgely things, what would you do for the first week?

I think I'd spend it not telling anyone. I might keep going to work, reveling on the inside and feeling very superior to all the other working stiffs who didn't have millions in the bank. I might even shoot for mental haughtiness, recapturing the strong ego I had when I was young and believed I was better, stronger, and faster than most people around me. Ah, the salad days of youth, when the mirror of self-reflection was still firmly packed up in a musty corner of adulthood.

But that's just me - what about you?

Tiff out.

Monday, July 18, 2011

First things first

I have a friend who has written a book. You can buy that book. You don't even have to be her friend. Just be someone who has enough money to buy her book. See? It's simple.

This is her book:


I've heard it makes a great gift. :)

See Lisa? I DO read the copy.


Also, it's clear to me now that I am of an age where I need to tack on a couple of days AFTER a vacation to recover from vacation.

A week's worth of boating, floating, eating, drinking, singing ,playing, and general FROLIC wore me out so much that upon arrival back home on Saturday afternoon it was all I could do to get the car unpacked and then fall into bed...for a 3-hour snooze.

(Did anyone else just hear the theme song to Gilligan's Island? Just me? OK then, moving on)

Which I followed up with about 10 hours of sleep that night.

Who knew all that treading water and riding about in boats could be so dang exhausting? Well, me, because that's what happens EVERY year. Somehow, in the 12 intervening months, I forget. Old age has its benefits, I guess is what I'm saying...

Once thing I know for sure, and that I will never forget, is that as much I drive them nuts and as much as they make me wish for a padded room sometimes (I like the quiet!!), I love my family. A week is just not enough to spend with the people who know me best.

Even the noisy ones.


I hope you have been keeping well and that your parts of the world are blossoming with possibilities and the fruit of the money tree.

For now, still basking, Tiff out.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Sorry LL

It seems that someone was complaining a while back about the dearth of posts here lately. Someone was saying how I'm to blame for their lack of posting.

Well, if that's the case, Mr. Complainer, you're off the hook for the next month, as this is my last post for a week. We'll be here (not that house, but at that lake!):

Yes, once again it's Lake Week and the occupants of the Tiny House will be remote, splashing and floating and Special For This Year...FLYING (you knew it was going to happen, right?)! There's an airport right at the lake, so Biff is renting a plane for a day and will take the bravest family members up for aerial tours while my Mom prays like crazy that everything stays on and IN the plane. It's her job. Used to be she's just WORRY on it, but prayer is productive so I'm glad energies are being spent in that direction.

You see where I get it from now, don't you?


When we go away, we've learned to pull up the area rug in the living room so that when we return we're not hit with a wall of animal funk from the petses rolling around and dropping hair and blech all over it.

Also, I think it makes it nicer for the pet-sitters not to have to look at a hairy rug each time they show up.

Our pet sitters are friends, and thank God for them, really, because it's a huge peace of mind and cost savings to have friends look after the beasties. They come a couple of times a day, sometimes bringing their OWN dog for Skeeter to play with, and make it look like someone's here.

I do feel bad for Skeet while we're gong on vacation, because it's got to be hella boring for her, but she's getting old and maybe chasing the cats and barking at the mailman is about as active as she wants to be. Once she's gone we won't be getting another dog, I don't think; the benefit:risk ration just isn't there for us. We've talked about it multiple times, and agree that we're a canine-free zone after she goes, but who wants to bet that after a couple of months of 'no dog' we'll stroll past an adopt-a-pet tent at the PetSmart, be sucked into the gaze of some soulful puppy eyes, and walk out with a wiggling mound of warm puppy wondering what the heck just happened?

I wouldn't take that bet if I were you.


I suppose I should go wake the troops. My ETD was at about 11, as Biff played out last night and needs his beauty rest before making the drive, which leaves us 90 minutes to wake, eat, shower, pack.


Never gonna happen, because even though I have the linens, meds, first aid, paper goods, nonperishables, and COFFEE already out and ready to go, I still need a shower, to send a few things out for work, to set the OOTO messenger on email, to give a haircut (though the haircutting rig might just come with us to the lake), and to pull up the dang rug.

And move the refrigerator back into the kitchen. Because Biff FINISHED PAINTING yesterday! Woohoo! 6 months from start to finish - not bad!!

Clearly, planning ahead is not my strong suit. At nearly 50 years old you'd think I would have gotten it together by now, but no. Each year I'm a little better than the one before though, so that might could for something. Yes? Dear Lord I hope so.

Hope y'all have a grand week!

Tiff out.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

I lost a follower. SO sad.

Because now, with one less follower, NAY is fully 3% less effective at reaching a mass audience!

Blogging, maybe, isn't what it used to be. I expected to be world-famous by now. Ain't happening, clearly.

No matter. I keep on sporadically boring people with bits of things. It's what I do, the bit-flinging. Or is it bytes?

Perhaps both.


This past Sunday, my life was placed in a position of extraordinary jeopardy, and I SURVIVED!!

It go like dis:

Saturday afternoon, my beloved Biff became a private pilot (big ol HeeHaw SAH-LOOT! to him!). Therefore, being the total stud-muffin that all private pilots are, he wanted to immediately show off his new wings to whomever would get in the right seat of a rattling bucket of bolts (with wings on!) and fly 'em around, preferably for long distances, as the showing-off needs a few hours to really steep.

Which is why I, as his first victim passenger, found myself in Kitty Hawk NC Sunday afternoon.

Yes, dearies, Tiff got her extra-wide buttal region (and all adjacent parts) in a tee-tiny lil' ol' plane with her man, put MY LIFE in his hands, and agreed to fly over 100 miles (and several LARGE bodies of water) with him.

This, friends, if you were ever wondering, is called 'love.'

The trip was not, however, all wine and roses. In fact, we MIGHT have had a tad more time to look around at the big ol' memorial and replica historical if I had not, um, had a freak-out 60 miles into the trip.

People, the ground looks really freaking FAR AWAY when you're 3500 feet up in a miracle of engineering that is only big enough for 4. My mind kept saying' oh shit, if the engine stops, where will we LAND?' and 'oh shit, if he has a heart attack how will I land?' and other very counterproductive things of that nature.

Despite the frantic mental calisthenics I was putting us through on our way to sure fiery death, I managed to hold it together until the GPS and the navmap (I just made that up! how tecchy!) showed that there was a giant freaking body of water straight ahead and we were going to have to fly right the heck over it and nossir, I'm thinking no. Nonononono to the water, and the instant death, and the terrible news the Things will have to bear (though my death would in fact leave them fairly well off, as I believe in doubling down on the ol company-sponsored life insurance).

H to the ell no, I was not flying over that water, and thus I spake to the pilot - 'I need to get down, NOW.'

I believe I saw disappointment shine in his eyes when he realized I was not in fact talking about boogying like a dancing queen or, *ahem*, engaging in such pursuits as married folk have license to do, but I was rather IN FACT FREAKING OUT AND NEEDED TO FEEL THE GROUND UNDER MY FEET RIGHT NAO!

To his credit, he asked me to locate an airport in the vicinity on the navmap (we are lousy with airports in these parts, thankfully), landed adroitly in a brisk crosswind, told me the flight plan was mine to do with as I wanted (in essence), and then puppy-dog-eyed me when I said I didn't think I could do the water thing.

Did you read that last bit? He frelling PUPPY DOG EYED ME.

The cad.


And thus it was that I crammed myself back in to the right seat of the bumblebuzz, strapped on the headseat (remembering to NOT wear earrings the next time, as the little wires are mightily pokey!), got out the map (because by the power of my holding it it would keep us in the AIR), and braced for impact.

Oh, and took a Dramamine.

Dramamine clearly has amazing powers, I think, because I mellowed right the heck out, almost enjoyed flying over the dang ocean once we got to the OBX (the first approach was a little high, apparently, though I suspect some shenanigans on the part of the boss there and I had my eyes closed for the loop-around but for second approach), and REALLY enjoyed getting boots on the ground.

Which, of course, is when the government called Biff, wondering if they ought to send search and rescue after us. Really. I keed not - the government was looking for us! Like we were smuggling exotic reptiles or selling state secrets! Except that, it was not so exciting a reason. Seems that when you cancel a 'flight following,' sometimes that ol' thing doesn't GET cancelled (even though a nervous copilot HEARD control saying they'd cancel over her pokey-eared headset) and the time you spend on the ground comforting your coward wife at an airport in the middle of noplace while she plucks up enough nerve to make it just 40 more miles puts you 30 minutes late to land at your earlier intended destination is cause for people to start thinking you may have, in fact, plunged headlong into the VAST TRACTS OF WATER over which you flew, and people are, apparently, rather concerned about such things, even if you TOLD them your plans had changed.

Phewf for the fact they were looking for us (yay!), and phewf also that when they FOUND us, nothing happened that required 1) bond, 2) a lawyer, or 3) deportation the the Netherlands.

After that scare with Big Brother we had just about as nice a visit as you can have at the OBX in 90 degree weather if you have 15 minutes to kill, then loaded back up in the rattletrap to head to home.

And you know what?

It was awesome.

With navmap in hand, I, singlehandedly, with a little bit of help from Mister Bigshot Pilotman, kept us aloft by spotting landmarks below, only ONCE steering us potentially horribly wrong, which is not so bad, really, when there are 4500 feet of nothing but air below you and an infinite number of things that could go wrong that one also has to concentrate on while trying to spot things like railroads and cell towers.

By the time we touched down, the fact of the matter was that I was already looking forward to the next trip.

Because life isn't about what we can control, it's about what risks we take to really LIVE it that make it worth living. If it takes me hunkering down in a whimpering ball of fear for an hour in order to start to spread my wings and enjoy being aloft and almost alone in the sky except for my best guy then so be it. I'll whimper a while, then straighten out and enjoy the view.


And those are my million words on how I spent my Sunday afternoon. Hope you feel better about yourself because of them, and congratulations for reaching the end!

Tiff Out.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Me and the Coen Brothers

The other night Biff and I settled in for the evening with a good meal and a movie, something we only occasionally do, which is a shame because it's enjoyable and it actually makes having Netflix make sense.

Paying for something you don't use is rather foolish, is what we're thinking, so now we're doing the movie nights. Being lazy and watching 2+ hours of TV of an evening is so much more rationalizable when you look at that not-an-activity through the lens of fiduciary responsibility, wouldn't you agree?

Using the Netflix, we're had some hits and misses of late. A few days ago we re-watched 'Batman, The Dark Knight,' and my opinion of it remained the same as the first time I saw it: Heath Ledger is the very best thing about that movie, and Christian Bale's voice work for the Batman should have been overdubbed by someone with actual acting talent. Also, Maggie Gyllenhaal can flip between cute and shockingly unattractive in the blink of an eye. Overall, I'd give the flick a B, based only on the late HL's performance. It's a real shame he didn't live longer.

A couple of nights ago we took in 'Burn After Reading,' a film by the Coen Bros starring lots of pretty men and Frances McDormond. And John Malkovich, who is not pretty but does a fair bit of scenery chewing quite entertainingly.

After watching the movie, my reaction was the following: 'erm, what just happened?'

Often, after watching a Coen Bro film, I have that reaction. Admittedly, I've only seen a few of them, and have heard great things about some that I've not seen, but Fargo, The Big Lebowski, and Burn After Reading have all been head-scratchers for me, like I totally missed the point about why the movie was even made. On the flip side, I loved Raising Arizona, was captivated by Barton Fink, and would watch O Brother, Where Art Thou over and over again, so a 1:1 win ration isn't all that bad, but still, I think I'm missing something fundamental about their genre.

Black comedy is tough, that much is clear. How do you produce a story that is humorous and edgy without stepping over some taste lines that might turn people off? Blending suspense, intrigue, pathos, and comedy sounds counterintuitive, doesn't it? It might well be that that co-mixing of aims is what throws me off, confusing my emotional response until all that comes out at the end is 'erm, what just happened?'

I'll keep trying though. It's possible I'm simply not witty or clever enough to understand all the driving forces behind each plot twist and unfortunate endings, but if Brad Pitt and George Clooney continue to appear in Coen Brothers films, it's worth pretending I get it, just to watch them.

Hey - I might be old (and so are they), but a girl only ever gets so much eye candy in her life and so even old ladies must grasp each opportunity and enjoy it while it's happening, ne? Those 2 pretty boys are totally worth sitting through 2 hours of 'huh?' Esp when they're acting goofy. A pretty boy acting the fool = extra delicious eye candy, and you know I'm right about that.

Do you have a fave Coen Bro movie we should bring up on the Netflix queue? A fave actor you'd watch in anything, no matter how terrible? Take a few moments to dish in the comments, if you would, and then have a great day.

Tiff out.

PS - I have it on good authority (mine) that liking the eye candy does not mean you like your LOML any less. Within a LOML relationship it is permissible and perhaps beneficial to have eye candy. Eye candy is just that - candy. Living on candy is inadviseable, so making a life out of nothing but eye candy would be dangerous to your health. Far better to feast on LOML, as that's real and nourishing, and make sparing use of the eye candy. The food pyramid and the Relationship Pyramid say so! And aren't you totally gobsmacked that there even IS a relationship pyramid? There are! Lots of them! The internet is amazing!