Friday, June 29, 2007

Friday! Yay!

Ya know what? It's the end of the week already! This means it's time for the Friday nooz roundup!

Yippee! A reason to troll Fark!

(Insert here the sound of moistly rolling eyes, because we all know that trolling Fark is NOT restricted to Fridays, nor does one really NEED a reason, but for the sake of appearances let's all agree that I only do this on Fridays, and perhaps late at night. And early in the morning. Perhaps at lunch. But NEVER at dusk. (name the comedian who made that line famous and win a prize)).

If you're not a Farker, shame on you. It's a grand way to spend some high-quality snark time. The comments on the stories are generally the better part of the deal too. HINT: check out any and ALL photoshop contests. You'll KNOW you're a true Farker when you understand the cliches and recognize the submitter and why you should be VERY careful before clicking on anything that Rugbyjock does, if you've got a computer that's visible to even ONE curious passerby.


First up: A tale of automotive woe, now with extra redeye.

Next: When owning 33 acres in't enough to keep the neighbors from bitching about your pets.

Then: If a funnier headline's been written, I want to know what it was.

Follow-up: Wait, I might have found one funnier.

Giggle break!: I'd LOVE to see the yellow pages ad for this business. Look under "escort services" or "car wash"?

Now for a WTF? moment: A very stupid reason to go to jail. (note to self - best to mow the grass at the tiny house this weekend. Wear protective clothing in case that pride of lions hiding in the tall grass out back is still there. Also take along giraffe tranqs and something to lure the elephants out from behind the weeping willow.)

Let's close with a human interest story, shall we?

Not this one
. Jeez.

Should be something light. Fluffy. Let's go for the "aw shucks" story.

Wait. I've got a better idea. We'll close with the "ah-ha-ha how very clever!" story! Can Ultilikilts be far behind for this wacky crowd? (note: check this out, and tell me that you're not about to buy 'em. Dood! That's some high-grade badassery goin' on there!)


There you have it friends, the quick n' silly Friday morning news roundup. You can go into your weekend fully versed in all things right and good to know.

Also, check out the kung fu fighter photoshop contest. The one with the beans is my favorite so far.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

On Being Blissed Out, and Other Impossibilities

I sometimes wish I didn't feel compelled to write a post title for every single daggone entry. I never know what I'm going to say here, and so titling is often premature. Rather more often than not, the title tells me what to write about, which can or cannot be a good thing, because where the first impulse goes, often the brain does not follow, and you wind up with a jumbled mess of nonsense, such as you've come to expect here, and well, you still keep coming, so I guess it's working.


There is carpet in the Tiny House. I am happy.

I got a call yesterday afternoon at 12:49 from the carpet guys. I only had to ask the guy on the phone to repeat himself a couple of times, because his English was very nearly understandable, but traffic noise (for it sounded as though he was actually STANDING in the middle of Route 1 while on the phone) garbled his communication attempts. A rousing start to an auspicious occasion, to be sure.

He said they'd be at the house in "tirty meeneets." I said I'd be there in 45, so no rush.

As it often happens with a card-carrying member of the perenially late such as I am, I got there an hour later, and what ho! The carpet guys were.not.there.

It speaks to my worldliness that I was not surprised by this turn of events.

Called the carpet guys (LOVES me some phone number storage features of the modern cell phone!), asked them there they were, they said they "wair on Capeetoll Boolevahrd" and would be at my house shortly. So, while waiting for them, I did the only sensible thing to do while without teevee or book or computer or beer - I laid down on my new-to-me couch and took a nap. Sweeeeeeeet.

30 minutes later, the van pulls up. The "tirty meeneets" of the first phone call had turned into an hour and a half, just like that! It was obvious that we were living on Southern Hemisphere Time, which is far more flexible and accommodating that Northern Hemisphere Time, which is ruled by clocks and anxious folks with ready access to all manner of irritable looks and implied impatience.

No matter - they had arrived, things were looking up. I escorted the three guys through the subject rooms, indicated that yes, the closets were to be carpeted too, signed on the dotted line that yes, they'd brought the right carpet and padding, then told them I'd be leaving.

There was silence.

Leaving? Que?

Yes, leaving. I have to do some work, and live a mile from the house, and if they need me they had my number and I'd be there in 5 meeneets. Seriously, you'd think I'd just given them the keys to the kingdom. Cripes - what was I gonna do for the next couple of hours while they were working, breathe down their necks? No way - those necks were about to get sweaty with effort, and there's only so close I want to get to sweaty necks, even under the BEST of circumstances. Why, I didn't even know their NAMES , so neck-breathing was right out.

Their estimated time of completion? 2 hours. Their actual time of completion? 2.75 hours. Not bad, for S.H.T. Almost exactly right on time, if you want to know the truth of it.

The bright gleaming carpet, nary a seam in sight, stretched tightly over the plush padding and tucked in snugly under the baseboard, is a thing of beauty. A word of warning though, don't breathe too deeply or too often, because wow.....the smell of outgassing new carpet is heady indeed. I got a little rush from the fumes, and so breathed once more with vigor while the big ol' grin of a mildly addled dope-fiend snuck across my face. Wheee!!! Better living through chemistry!

After the smiling and smug self-satisfaction portion of the program was over and I'd signed off on the work, the carpet guys cleaned up com-puh-LEET-LEE (seriously, they vacuumed and everything!) and left me with two ginormous pieces of extra carpet. When I say ginormous, I'm talking your 4x8 runner size and your whole-room size pieces of carpet. All this ginorminity rather begs the question - why on earth did they measure so daggone carefully if they were going to have all this extra carpet left over at the end? I mean, really.....did I PAY for that stuff, or is it a little (ginormous) gift to me from Home Despot for being such a good and patient little customer?

I could have carpetted the living room with what was left over, the remainders are that big. That extra carpet now calls me to do something useful with it, something other than "throw it in the utility room until it dries out, cracks along the fold lines, and gets chucked." Ideas, anyone?

I'm going to go move some stuff into the house tonight, and breathe deeply of the smell of "one step closer." It smells darned good, I tell you, and will buoy me up during the cleaning of the fridge (I shudder to think of it, and WILL be purchasing some rubber gloves prior to THAT heinous mess) and the placement of the heating grates. Such tremendous excitement has not been generated since, oh, the Great Closet Moving Experience of aught seven.

Begin your envy session in 5....4.....3......2......


Wednesday, June 27, 2007


There's a person across the hall from me who has two clocks on her wall.

Both set to the same time.

Neither of which works.

I keep thinking it's 10:10, all day long.

She's messing with my mind, and I don't much care for it.


Truckers like to beep at women who drive around with one leg up on the dashboard while wearing a short skirt.

Some of them even keep up the pace with that woman for miles and miles, even after she's put her foot down on the floor and hiked the skirt down over her knees.


People are, by and large, much more creative and talented than most of us given them credit for. Why not ask someone you're acquainted with what they do for a hobby, or what they were involved in when they were kids? You might find out some interesting stuff.

For example, it just was reminded to me this weekend that I once had a captain's license for small powered watercraft. Totally forgot I took the course until the subject of boats came up. I can navigate and plot courses and know what channel markers mean and which lighthouses have what signals (LI Sound only).

Doesn't mean I ever got to DRIVE the boat for which I took the course, but I can crew with understanding.


When crabs molt, their digestive system goes with it. Therefore it's possible (and delicious) to batter a just-molted crab, fry it, and eat the whole thing in a sammich. Preferably with cole slaw and fries. And Tabasco. And Old Bay.



Carpet guys are supposed to come for the house today. I am at turns excited and nervous. What if I hate it? I can't wait to see what it looks like. Will they have the right stuff? I can't wait to have it done so I can move in. Did I choose the right color?

Once it's done I can tick one more thing of the prep list, leaving only a brazilian more things to get done before Sunday, which is when I need to be out of the apartment and into the Tiny House.

Patio furniture.....must buy some of that.


QotD - what things did YOU do as a kid that people wouldn't guess of you now? Were you an Eagle Scout or stoner? Were you a member of the church choir or did you run a bicycle repair biz? Did you raise calves for 4H or wash the windows of limosines on 42nd street for spare change?

Tell us about it, won't you?

Over and out for now. Much too much to do, and very little time in which to get it done. Why should today be any different?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Clear the Decks!

So, yesterday's "art" experiment didn't go over so well. My poor little turtle's story was a mess o' confusion for most of you, for which I apologize.

Won't stop me from doing it again, of course, because THIS is the internets, and I can do whatever I want here! Mwuahahahaaaaa!!!!

Which brings me to my next topic.


Who was Somerset Maugham, and why so famous? It's a great name, but I can't bring the achievements of Sommy's life to the fore right now. I must get out and read more.

(I just Wiki'ed him, and of course am now kicking myself for NOT knowing he wrote "Of Human Bondage." Which I've never read. Ahem...... Dude led a rather interesting life, or so it would appear. Not a terribly flattering picture on the Wikipedia page, but then again, pretty doesn't equal talent, does it?)

Oooooh! Another great writer name is William Makepeace Thackeray! Really, if you were going to INVENT a cool writer name, this would have to go near the top of your list. It just SOUNDS cunning and literary, and soothing too, what with the "Makepeace" in the middle there.

Ol' Bill's DAD had quite the life, with broken romances and children out of wedlock and such. It's probably a good thing he got those shenanigans out of the way before Victorianism swept through England and her conquered lands; becasue that sort of rubbish was frowned upon once Dear Vickie took the throne. That minx.

Perhaps it was this crazy life in India with a philandering father life that led WMT to a life of satirical output, most of which I (surprise!) have not read. The more I read about him, the more fascinated I become. Dude was a talented artist in addition to being a writer. He married a woman who "caught" the PPD (post-partum depression) after child three and spiralled down in health until she was confined to an insanitarium (I just made that up) for the remainder of her life. That's some serious depression; and in a world without SSRIs and tricyclics it must have been hell. WMT never remarried, but did pursue romances all over the world after his wife was committed. These tragic events didn't stop him for observing and recording life with a tinder-dry wit, which speaks to the resiliancy of the human spirirt (I just made THAT up too! Lookit me go, using fancy words and suchlike!).

This next bit though, is perhaps the best bit of info I gleaned from his Wiki bio - "Early in his career, he wrote under such pseudonyms as Charles James Yellowplush, Michael Angelo Titmarsh, and George Savage Fitz-Boodle."

George Savage Fitz-Boodle, y'all!


That's an awesome writerly name, and might have bumped his ACTUAL name out from the top spot of pseudonyms for me if I ever decide to use me one of them thar nome de ploomes.

As if "Tiff" isn't enough for anyone. Why, a single-name pseudonym is about as elegant as one can get! It's got style, like "Cher" or "Prince."

It's just not as funny as George Savage Fitz-Boodle. I like funny names, especially ridiculous British names. LONG ridiculous British names.

My pseudonym list thus far:

Sir Llyod Flanders Featherbottomwhistle, Esq.
Catherine Wickhamptonshiretonworchestershireton
Poultice Milquesnort McNaught
Samson Wickerbleat
Desiree Shoalfunk

What name would YOU choose for yourself if you had to write under a pen name?

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Seems I Can't Stop Myself

I, uh, did another story for Wordsmiths.

I'm not really SURE if this can be called a "story," but whatever. It wanted to be written, and so I wrote it. (as of Sunday afternoon at 3:30 EST this is a rough draft....It might bear some refining or I might just leave it alone. Still undecided on that one.)

As always - feel free to offer your thoughts in the comments. Seriously, y'all, won't you tell me what you think?


Part of One

The noises are the first things. While the nothing is an unknown, a fantasy, the noises are real. The click and shuttle of a hundred others, the calling to blood as blood will. The noises make family when nothing else is real.

In some time, the slurp and scrape of movement is added to the hot din of home. A regular booming rush advances and retreats as tongue starts to poke and taste warm brine. Darkness ceases to be all and all. A prickle of reality spins down from where the sound comes in toward an unseen heaviness.

Dark and light change places like breathing. When the heaviness moves, a muffled sound is made. The heaviness and hearing place become known as the body, the body has a purpose.

As the booming rush comes and goes, as light and dark change places again and again, the family noises become a chorus, a hundred distinct notes vibrate a low tense hum of hungry awareness. The change of light and dark, the sibillant advance and retreat of the booming all-breath, the body and the family voices, all speak of the end of waiting.

The body cramps instead of floats. The sound and light and taste and feel work as one in the body. The voices moan against to too-small walls; light changes to dark. The call comes.


Mother is waiting in the booming rush. Mother is waiting. Mother wants. Go.

Legs churn aginst the tough walls of home. Head bobs and sways. Lip gets caught, a hole is torn, enlarged, must get out now.

There is Salt and noise, so loud. Coldness down the body, but Mother waits in the dark. Must find Mother in the sea.

Eager head leads on, hungry for salt and cool water. Must get to Mother, the sea calls, the booming rush of wet is water, that is where Mother is. It was not known before now, yet now it is a history of truth. To the sea.

The body tears free of old home, is joined by the family in a frenzied swell up to the coolness of not-home. Find the moon, Mother, the sea, go find them.

At the first breath of salt air and sight of stars, the song of the multitudes of family is a hum of wonder. The path to their fate is worn on the surface of the sea in a long silver track of spilled moonlight. Mother waits at the end, her scent carried on the waves toward the family, who are toddling, then running, then swimming, to her. Joyful no-weight, the wrap of sea is a loving embrace.

Dark turns to light, the booming rush recedes. The last of family breaks into day in a tardy run toward the familiar noises that are fading fast. They call to come, come to us, we need you. Into the slip and slide of surf the last one goes, and by that it is finished, again.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Hey - It's Time for TIFF Newz!

Let's do the Friday funnies, shall we? Yahoo has come though with some headline manglage that I simply could NOT resist mangling further!

Tape is rolling in 3....2....1......


Israel: Quartet plans Jerusalem meeting

In an unexpected move, the three tenors have added Josh Grobain to their concert cast and are planning to give a show at the Wailing Wall. Locals are understandably concered about possible damage to the landmark, because those four fellows can do an extraordinary amount of wailing, and that's one old wall.

25 civilians killed in Afghan violence

Cleaning up the shredded yarn and crochet hooks after the melee was finally quashed took more than 2 days.

Waxman decries Cheney security exemption

Tin Man decries to keep from rusting.

Bush Admin. Asks Judge To Toss Connecticut Suit

Sunny McDufferson, administrative assistant to the Undersecretary of Wonkery in the Office of Flummoxation (part of the Executive Branch of government), teamed up with Judge Bailey Proctor of Ridgefield CT to participate in a "Savile Row" party game at the annual office picnic on Saturday. The team won the event after an inspired request by McDufferson to Proctor to heave his entire 3-piece bespoke suit all at once over an 8-foot wall of briefing documents rather than engaging in the typical "trouser/vest/jacket" progression. This innovation allowed McDufferson to dress herself 15 seconds MORE quickly than the second-place team of Whanke and Thwap, locking in their first-place overall status in the "Hill Games."

(and THAT, friends, was a long way to go for a very weak joke)

Cash seized in probe of Laos plot

A 4-hectare pice of swampland in Laos has yielded thousands of American dollars. Oil prospectors were drilling test holes in the muck in May, and came up with the sodden dollars in the cores. The FBI was alerted, and the cash was immediately taken as American property.

NJ to weigh $450M for stem cell research

The big question: should they use a digital or "spinny needle" scale?

Isaiah Washington: ABC axed wrong guy

They shoulda axed yo mama instead.

(For this one I'll take an aisle seat on the bus to hell, thank you)

Avoid air hassles with discreet behavior

Always fart, THEN leave the room. No hassle!

Giambi agrees to meeting on steroids

"It's a strange request, I give you that," said a source, "But he'll talk only AFTER we cover the floor in pure testosterone."


"I didn't know what I was talking about when I said I'd go to the Wailing Wall," said Giambi. "I was totally juiced and thought I was Josh Grobain."


Have a great weekend y'all. I'm headed up the road with the Things for a reunion with some friends, and am totally psyched about it. Watch out DC, TIff's a-coming atcha!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

So boring it's almost uncool

Good day to you all! It’s a bright and sparkly morning here in the great state of North Carolina, and I’m pleased to be able to be here with you to share multiple insights and cogitations on what’s been going on here today.

Specifically, what I had for breakfast. Oh yes, it’s nothing but delirious excitement here when the discussion of breakfast comes up. I imagine that at this point you’re nearly white-hot with the thrill of finding out my thoughts on the matter, so let’s get right to it, shall we?

Today I had a new food for breakfast.

"New?" you say? What can be new about breakfast? It’s cereal or toast or eggs or pancakes or something along those lines, and it’s been that way since time began, or at least since dinosaurs roamed the earth (eg - when I was a kid). My Mom would put out cold cereal one day, cooked eggs the next, while her three bleary-eyed kids would sit down fresh from sleep and eat whatever was put in front of them. We ALWAYS had breakfast. (we always had cake after dinner too, so one could say that consistency at mealtimes as a hallmark of my youth).

Occasionally the cold cereal part of the bipolar breakfast personality was superseded by oatmeal or cream of wheat. Mmmm, cream of wheat with a big spoonful of grape jelly stirred into it so that it turned a nice shade of grayish lavender. What bizarrrely colored comfort on a cold morning that was. Oatmeal got a dollop of syrup or maybe some brown sugar. OK, LOTS of brown sugar. We believed in sugar on our cereal back in the day. Doesn’t seem like anybody does that anymore. Sad, really. Sure charged us up for a busy day at school. Whee!

Time marched on, and, once we moved to Virginny, grits were introduced into the hot cereal lexicon. I distinctly remember having my first-ever serving of grits at a Holiday Inn breakfast buffet during our first weekend in Virginia. The pool of melted butter on top spoke to my grease-loving soul, and whoever cooked ‘em up must have had a deep love for the grits because they were creamy and perfectly salted. The door to heaven was nudged open a touch at the first taste, as I recall. What bliss......

In the 30 years or so since grits became a beloved part of my life, there have been no new hot cereals to discover, or so I thought. Oh, I dabbled with hot Grape Nuts (surprisingly good!), and had some odd hippie cereals when I was pretending to understand that lifestyle, but until now it’s been the oatmeal, the cream of wheat, and the grits, all three.

I thought I was happy with that.

As it turns out, that happiness was misplaced, for I have been introduced to something new that is wedging that heavenly door open yet more. Are you ready for this?

It’s Maple-flavored Malt-o-Meal. Oh yes. Malt-o-Meal! Chock FULL of folate and other vitamins, tasty in a yummy pancakey-flavored way, cookable in the microwave, a substantial start to the day. I don’t really even care what it’s made of (though I suspect it’s wheat somethingoranother), because it’s origins matter little when the taste and texture and eatin’ pleasure is of such high quality.

Y’all it does NOT take much to make me happy. Little things, like making it to work in once piece, can cause a baseline euphoria that lasts for hours. You can imagine then how the discovery of a new yummy healthy brekkie food makes me feel.

I expect THIS rush to last through until the free lunch I’m getting (for sitting through an all-day telecon), which, by it’s freeness, will propel me through the afternoon in an equally good mood.

Some days just rock harder than others.


Y’all got any favorite yum-tastic ways to start YOUR days? I’m all about this new food thing today, and need to know.

Over and out.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

In which I go all Writey McWriterson

Thanks for Biff Spiffy for the new Nom de Plume.... (which I'm not even sure I spelled right, but I like it ever so much more than "pseudonym").

The following is my output for this month's Wordsmiths Unlimited challenge. The actual-factual due date is the 30th, but I started it a couple of weeks ago and think it might be done now, and because I have a hellaciously busy day at work and in life to face up to I've got to pluck whatever I can to post because, as we all know, a post a day keeps the crazy away. Except on weekends; they get a post only if the crazy is too big for a mere 5 weekday posts to absorb.

As to the Wordsmiths thing, please consider writing something of your own. Kingfisher and I are rededicated to establishing a writer's roundtable, and as such, the more writers there are the rounder the table will be. Because, you know, uh, with just a few writers it would be more like a polyhedral table, and that's kind of hard to envision, much less explain. Of course I just tried to. Probably failed.


Better get to the story now, which was inspired by the little turtle pic, as required by this month's challenge. Please feel free to offer critique in the comments, then go write your own. You CAN do it. I know you can.


Hot again today again today, with highs near the shore in the 110’s. It’s gonna be a scorcher!”

The radio never says anything different, because the weather doesn't ever change. It’s been days since the last dust-bloated cloud passed over. Disaster’s aftereffects can be darkly pretty. Nobody thinks that about disaster. Nobody thinks about how it could be until they’re living every day in memories of how it used to be.

Mostly, I spend my time thinking of rain.

I dreamt last night of gray clouds and flashes of lighting. I heard the roll of thunder, felt the cool drops on my cheeks, breathed in the damp earth smell. I dreamt of when a rainstorm meant we’d open the windows, to hell with the UV and smog, and our dark apartment would be freshened by gusts of cool moist air.

There’s been no rain for months now. Anymore, the clouds hold onto nothing but a weak patch of shade.

It’s going to be 100 degrees in the shade today, just like it was yesterday. Tomorrow it will be hot again. And then the day after. It’s been like this since they came. It will be like this until we all die of thirst, and forever after that.

The ships were innumerable and incredibly large. One minute everything was fine, the next minute we were invaded. All the guns in the world couldn’t stop them from taking the ice caps and glaciers. One minute they were there, the next minute they were gone, and we were left to our certain deaths.

In the first days we talked about what we could do to stay alive. We planned, hoped, suspected, then fought as the thirst grew. Saliva became too valuable to waste yapping, and so the talking stopped. We hoarded water, fought over it, drank little, slept less. The healthy people started killing the weak. Hospitals were set on fire. The old were cut down in the street. Babies were abandoned. People went a little crazy.

I escaped. I moved to the beach. Nobody’s around now; they all left looking for hope. Idiots.

It’s better here than in the city. At midday I nap near the ocean’s edge, hearing water, feeling cool breeze. At night I forage.

The beer I borrow from the still-stocked bars cools pretty quick when buried a few feet into the sand. I’ve got months’ worth of brew sunk all over this beach. Just today I broke into the pantry of a hotel near here and took a bunch of juice and bottled water. I buried that stuff really deep. I even took some liquor for fun. Tonight I’m planning on getting raging drunk. I’ll drink Jack Daniel’s while dining on roasted baby turtles, and guzzle Chivas in a coconut husk for dessert. Then I’ll pass out naked on the sand, and try to dream of rain.

It’s going to be hot again tomorrow. Surprise, surprise. Nothing ever changes anymore. I’ll drink a double to that, just to forget.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Sorry about the brief pause in the action there y'all. A little bit of life got in the way.

Which is why I'm sitting in an airport typing this.

I like airports. I like going new places and seeing new stuff and geeking around at people and their action. The sense of business and direction, and being on a path toward something is really exhilarating. Good airports are neat places to spend some time - the shops and the restaurants, the large clean spaces that house art or atria, the resonant announcements of flights from here to there and back again. I like watching the neatly dressed airline employees briskly moving along with their rolling bags, the families coming back from vacation with pink noses and a sense of fresh adventure about them, the world travellers with their slouchy bags slung across shoulders and barely-kempt hair and clothes....

They're all GOING somewhere.

Heathrow is an excellent airport. I've never heard more languages spoken all at one time than in the giagantic lobby area of that airport. It's an amazing place. Too bad I didn't spend more time in the neat part, because wow, once you start in toward your gate, all the glamour drops like a flash-frozen turkey, and you're in the mid-60's hallway of terror and futility. My trip to the gate at Heathrow took approximately way too long to walk, and the surroundings of the twisty maze-like halls didn't enhance the trudge. It was an amazing transformation. Also, there are no hot dog carts at the gates at Heathrow. There was a foot cart person, with strange little wraps and bottles of water, but that was it. Amazing.

Cincinnati has a nice airport. Detroit is kinda amazing, and if you like hiking there's every opportunity to take advantage of that avocation inside terminal A. Raleigh's airport is kinda not so much, but they're building a new terminal for which I have high hopes. The new National Aiport (Oops, Reagan National Airport) in DC is cool, and a huge improvement over what was there. Dulles needs work. Atlanta is a little scary what with the BIGNESS of it.

Good or bad or mediocre though the places may be, there are still going to be all those people going places, either home or not-home. The business people with their ear-phones and well-coiffed hair, the old folks in wheelchairs and bright jogging suits, the young families with babies in carriers and excitable toddlers, the young adults with wide eyes and barely-concealed excitement, all of them are there, all the time, a perfect cross-section of humanity.

My theory is that they're all on happy errands. Happy to be where they're been, happy to be where they're going, letting their recent or future travel coast with them as they move toward their destination. Airports are such cool places, it would be a shame to think of sadness in them.

I used to think that being a flight attendant would be a really cool job, but really, when you think of the realities of it I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be. For one thing, you'd get sick to death of all those daggone passengers getting in the way of all you fun, wouldn't you? I would. For another thing, you'd HAVE to spend all you time in airports and in airplanes and hotels, and that would take a lot of the fun out of the whole exercise. I prefer being a little excited still at at the prospect of travel, to maintain a tiny touch of the exotic about it. Going places would pretty much stop being fun if you HAD to do it.

So, as I sit in this airport and listen to a telecon and write to you, I think of all the people passing me by, and wonder where they're going, and hope their travels are happy ones.

Thus far, I haven't seen one sad face. I think my theory might be a good one.

Friday, June 15, 2007


Did y'all think that there wasn't going to be an update today?

Me too!

And yet, here I am, pondering about what appropriate blog fodder would be for a day on which my brain is already at the beach (an oddity, that, because I usually don't care for the beach).

So, in a flurry of mental flappery, here's what I settled on as the topic of the day: Voicemail messages.

Work with me here, folks. I do come to a point eventually.

Over the past weekend I was goofing around with a friend, leaving horrific voicemail greetings in terrible British accents. I did MY voicemail greeting in a particularly bad accent, which cracked me up to no end.

Then I forgot to change it.

So what? you might think. What's the big deal? Who really cares about that?

What you might not know is that my cell phone is my EVERYTHING phone - good for personal calls, business calls, school calls, WORK CALLS, etc etc.

I have thus far confused 1 handyguy bookergirl (who, bless her, actually left a message that was completely on-topic, then later confessed to great degree of confusion), 1 friend (who, bless her, thought it was terrible and told me so), and 1 boss (who, bless her, asked me "where did that voice come from?" and had the good grace to laugh at/with me when I told her it was me.)

Currently, I have no plans to change the greeting but for a minor re-do, in which I CLEARLY IDENTIFY that it's MY phone and that I've hired some snobby answering service to take my calls. Cuz dudes? That shizz is funny no matter WHERE you live.


This bizarre voicemail message thing continues a long history I have with all varieties of answering machine-age.

See, when I was in grad school (back when dinosaurs roamed the earth), there was no internet. As a result of this shocking lack of amusement, we very often had to turn creative with our other outlets in order to express ouselves.

I chose the answering machine as my base of operations.

(ASIDE: The thing was, when I was in school nobody could ever find me, least of all my parents, who worried over me and wanted, nay, NEEDED, to talk with me, and feared for my overall health and safety when they couldn't get it touch with me.

WEEKS would pass before I'd call them if left to my own devices.

This is why they bought me my first answering machine, because with it they could at least LEAVE a message. Whether I returned it or not was always a matter of debate.

End of ASIDE

What y'all may not know about me is that I have (or did have, anyhow) mad imitation skillz, and a tendency to pick up accents and personalities (I'm just like my Dad in this regard). These skills were put into play on a regular basis during my "answering machine" years, to the point that my folks and friends would call and hope I didn't pick up the phone so that they could listen to the outgoing message.

I recall being a Chinese Restaurant, a Swedish Massage Parlor, A Mexican eatery, someone underwater, a man, and a giddy valley girl. There were others. Many others. I rotated out a message weekly, sometimes more often, just because I could, and because maybe I got a little fixated on the whole thing. Maybe.

It appears as though a new era is about to begin, this time with the cell phone. One BIG issue though is that NOW I just have to balance what I think would be hilarious with the fact that people at work and my kids' friend's parents might be leaving mesages.

So, ya got any suggestions for what might work given THOSE restraints?

I'm open to any and all suggestions.


Y'all have a great weekend - I'm headed out into the hot in search of a sprinkler and a beer.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

There's a critter under my sink

Program note: Hey folks - the "write your own" story thing is still ongoing. Donald Trump has just shown up, which turns the story right on its figurative ear, and I love it. Check it out and let's keep writing!


If any of y'all listen to the Bob and Tom show, you're familiar with Mr. Obvious. One of the best bits (in my opinion) is when a dude calls up Mr. Obvious to find out how to get rid of the critter under his sink that eats up the leftover food they put down the drain.

He describes the horrific noises it makes when the flip the switch on the wall and eats the food....a kind of "rawrawrawr" noise......

And that is what my intestines are doing right now.

I have no idea what set off this digestive symphony, but whatever it is, it turned the volume up to 11 and got ringers to sit in. Holy cow! It's amazing. I'm laughing at the sounds my body is making - it's like the small intestine is having an argument with itself. Yes, my insides are making comcially exaggerated noises, and I'm laughing at them.

It doesn't take much to amuse me, this much is clear.


Maybe it's the meatloaf I had last night for dinner that's doing it. Mmmmmmm, meatloaf. This time, Italian style! Aste Spumante and abondanza, y'all, it was some kinda good. You know, I do believe that the sounds being generated in my personal southern hemisphere are yelps and gurgles of appreciation; the high spirits of a gastrointestinal tract that really really loves meatloafy goodness.

So, here's the recipe, in case you want to find out for yourself if your innards are as appreciative as mine seem to be:

Italian-style Meatloafy Goodness

2 pounds ground beef (can be the cheap kind - I find it makes as better ISMG)
2 eggs
1 14.5 ounce can of diced tomaters with greeen pepper and onion (DelMonte makes it)
2/3 cup Italian-style breadcrumbs
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 cup shredded cheese

Drain the juice from the can of tomaters into a baking pan

Mix the drained tomatoes/meat/eggs/breadcrumbs/garlic powder together in a nice big bowl, adding more breadcrumbs if the mixture is too slippery. You want it to be "formable."

Put half the mix in the baking pan and form it into a nice oblongy shape. Sprinkle your meatloaf base with most of the cheese, layer the remainder of the mix on top. Seal up the sides by pressing the layers together around the edges. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Bake at 375 for an hour. Let set for 15 minutes or so before removing from baking dish.

Slice 'er up and eat, then wait for the alimentary symphony to begin.


Extra spcial bonus points about the meatloaf are as folows: It makes the whole house smell good while it's cooking, tastes better the next day, is a great sammich filler, provides amusing bodily noisemaking experiences, and freezes well. What's not to like? Nothing, that's what.

And with that, I'm out. Have a great day y'all.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Rabbit Died

I'm a stone-cold killer, y'all.

The bunny never saw Tinkerbelll coming, that much is obvious.
Poor bunny. I'm sorry.

But, hey, Mister Bunny, if you're so stupid as to cross the road in front of the elementary and middle schools at exactly the peak morning drop-off time (a period I like to call "thisisthereasonpeoplehomeschool"), then maybe it's for the best.

What I mean by that, and my apologies for sounding harsh, is that it's probably better that I smooshed you today than have the chance of you breeding more imbecilic lagomorphs like yourself.

Oh sure, you were handsome, there's no denying. You were healthy too, if the robust thump of my tires over your skittering form was any indication. You were likely very popular with the ladies due to the vigor with which you made your way through this small world.

But now you are dead, and the ladies will have to go make nice with the smarter but perhaps slower bunnies.

Yeah, I said it, the SMARTER bunnies who KNOW to lay low when the cars go zooming by. That's right, maybe now the does will be hangin' with the bunnies that might not be as meaty or as hirsuite as you were, the bunnies who might mostly prefer to stay around the burrows with the ladies and children rather than playing chicken with the big noisy fast things on the big rock road, the bunnies that you probably shoved out of the way when mating season rolled around.

How does THAT feel, Mister "I can outrun your car"?

You couldn't. Let that be a lesson to you.

I'm still sorry though. Even dumb bunnies don't deserve to die by vehicular homocide.


But wait, it's not homocide if I'm not flattening a person. What's the term for when you (INADVERTENTLY) smash a long-eared member of Mother Nature's grand family flat with the family sedan?


I have red hair now. It scares me.

Last time I tried to go red, I wound up with hair that garnered sympathetic looks and one comment about "brassy dye jobs." THIS time, I'm not sure it's so much brassy as, um, shocking.


I suspect that fumes of the uber-red hair dye, in combination with no coffee, in combination with the mental gear-whirring necessary to strategize how to tone down the scary hair all coalesced into an inability to identify and avoid possible bunnycide this morning.

Couldn't possibly be that I simply wasn't paying attention. No, never that.

Yes, well, I MIGHT have been staring at the scary hair in the rear-view mirror again while trying to start up my computer (you read that right, I was in the car) while planning out my day while thinking of the calls I had to make while reaching for the bag of grapes that was to be my breakfast.
I'm still blaming bunnydeath on hair dye and a distinct lack of caffeine.

Any port in a storm, y'all.


Can I just close this out by saying that Terry Pratchett rocks my crazy little brain?

I'm reading "
Thief of Time" right now, and I'm getting so addicted that I stayed up way too late last night reading "just one more TICK" until it was way after midnight and I wasn't remembering what I just read. Y'all know it's hard to part me and sweet sleep even with VERY GOOD REASON, so a BOOK that can do that is capturing my full attention indeed.

I would very much like to crawl into Mr. Pratchett's brain and have a bit of a look aound to see what could possibly be left in there. With all the stuff he's written, and all the ways he's populated his books, I can't imagine ther's much left in the stores of his imagination. Sure hope I'm wrong.

There are something like a thousand books (possibly a slight exaggeration) by him left to read.

Once I'm done with those, where do y'all suggest I go next to get my "wow" schwerve on? I need to know. Now.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Excessive bloviation and pearls

selcouth (SEL-kooth) - an adjective

Strange; unusual; marvelous.

Now THAT'S a good word.
Possible uses for said word could be as follows:

The Selcouth Diaries
. What a good name for a book.

Selcouth Youth
- punk band

Raging Selcouthians
- roller derby team

"My dear, your eyes are selcouth limpid pools of bewitchery." "Why, thank you my buttercup of love!"

DAMN fine word.


Oh! I have an idea! It concerns the Wordsmiths story-writing thang. (check out the link for this month's picture inspiration)

I hear a lot of people saying "
Oh Tiff, I can't write fiction. It's too haaaaard! I stare at the screen and can't think of a darned THING to write! I can't get creative like yooooooou!"

Ya buncha whiners. What do you want, someone to spoon-feed you ideas? Someone to hold your hands so you don't wring them in creative angst? Hmmmm? Ya want somebody to help you jumpstart the creative process?

Well, OK. If that's all there is to it, I can do that!

Here's my idea - we write a story TOGETHER. To wit: I will start a story in the comments. YOU, my dear ferocious sensusal creative smoking hott eager readers, will take turns writing the next sentence in the story. Each commenter builds on the work done by those before, keeping in mind that by the time the 500 words are spent, the thing should make sense; is no longer than 500 words; and that this here is a quasi-family site, so keep the cussing to a minimum.

Y'all. You can write ONE SENTENCE, right? That's not so hard, is it?

I'll provide periodic updates with word count so we know where we are. Just a little sump'n from me to you, because I like you, I really LIKE you.
In addition, and as an added extra bonus feature not included in previous prize packs, I'll even post the results once the story is done and do a linkymajig to each author.

Note: if you're so inclined, you can post more tha one comment/story element, but you'll haveta let someone else intercalate their comment before you write some new and glorious thing.


No, I have no idea what the title of this post means. It's one of those days.

Onward then, to the comments, and mass quantities of creativity.

Monday, June 11, 2007

'Twas a big weekend

I had THOUGHT that my weekend was going to consist of "nothing much" once again, but I was so very wrong.

Oh, don't misunderstand, I didn't do anything TERRIFIC like hike the plains of the Serengeti (too many lions) or scale Mount Everest (too daggone cold) or go on any truly grand adventures (too many dollars involved in THAT sort of thing), so there will be no stories along those lines.

What I DID manage to get done was possibly more satisfying, and goes something like this:

Picked up a buncha stuff from the house in preparation for moving day. I got a kick out of how eager the spousal unit was to help me get my stuff out of his house. It's weird to go to the place I used to live and realize it's not mine anymore, and that, if I'm honest with myself, it's really and truly it's better that it's not. There's comfort as well as confusion in that thought. Anyhoo, the stuff that had remained in my dresser is now at the tiny house, I have all my jewelry, a couple of boxes of "memory" items made it out the door, and there's only about four more trips just like that to do before all traces of "me" are removed from the big house in the little woods. I did notice that all my baby pics and stuff that used to live on my dreser top are now gone; and I can't remember if I did that or if someone ELSE was expressing themselves a little bit. Either way, it struck me funny.

Hung out at the pool, which is finally warming up to something more like "ah" levels and less like "OMG" temps. Up until this week, the only possible way to get fully wet with a minimum of angst was via the cannonball method. This weekend, after a week of really hot temps and scorching sun, the "ease in slowly down the steps" method worked juuuust fine. Even Thing 1, who normally actively eschews the pool in favor of racing his scooter around the pool deck, was in in an instant. One of the kids' neightborhood buddies came to hang out too - he could be the little brother Thing 2 never had, and enjoys the heck out of having the boys in the neighborhood to hang out with. There has been a rash of "move outs" lately, and the stock of kids to have fun with is dwindling rapidly. Soon the Things and I will be gone too, and their buddy will be moving as well. So the wheel turns. Enjoy the moments while we can.

Tried to do laundry. Apparently the lock on the laundry room door has been put into play, and nobody told me the secret combination. I slept without sheets last night because of it. Nice.

Tried to also get Thing 1's trombone fixed. Mission aborted, because the music store isn't open on Sundays. Anyone got any tips for how to remove a jammed-in mouthpiece that don't involve hammers or a series of ropes and pulleys?

Adopted a cat yesterday. His name is Albert, and he's one fine-lookin' dood. We'll pick him up after we move and have a brief vacation at the lake with my family. His foster Dad is OK with this, being as how Albert has been with him for months already, so three more weeks isn't going to be such a big deal. Along with Albert I get free cat food, a $30 off coupon for a vet visit, a cat who's up-to-date on all his health care, and a critter companion who, I hope, will help keep the apparent mousal population of Casa Tiff at something near zero. Meh - if he's not a good mouser, he can use his wicked "pointing" skillz to alert me to their presence. Seriously, he points. Like a Pointer doggie. As confused as THAT behavior is, it's evident that he'll fit right in at my house.

Sometime on Saturday afternoon I realized that the furniture I was supposed to take from at the old house wan't going to "fit" in the new one. Sooooo, I did a leetle consignment store shopping and picked up a gorgeous sage-green couch, a matching chair-and-a-half (perfect for snuggling in!), a kitchen table, 4 kitchen chairs, and 4 slipcovered AND upholstered parson's chairs, for less than 1K bucks. Not a bad haul, AND they deliver. Suh-WEET.

Yelled at the carpet people a little, because time's a-wastin' and I still don't have a scheduled install date. If you ever want to have carpet put in, don't tell the easily confused measurer dood that you're going to move a closet before the installers come to lay the carpet. It upsets him and confuses him and then he submits paperwork with NO MEASUREMENTS to the big box store, which further dealeys the install as they call back and forth a bazillionty time to get an idea of just how MUCH carpet and expensive padding they're going to need to put into one tiny blue house. Sheesh.

Fed the neighbor kid dinner last night. I have a sneaking suspicion that his life is much more casually maintained than my kids' lives. The little dude is all over the nieghborhood on his own, and he's only 8. I'm not truly convinced that his mama knows where he is all the time. I'm neurotic enough to make my kids walk him home when he leaves, because I simply won't have that little guy going lost on my watch. This whole neighborhood thing is new for me and the boys, and I'm loving it. It's great that they've got friends around to hang with and to visit; I remember many many long days of relative freedom with my friends and the great outdoors from when I was a kid, and have wanted something like that for our boys for a long time. I guess the time is now. I hope it continues at the new house. This is the only childhood they're going to get, after all, and tasting the freedom that comes with neighborhood friends should be part of it.

Wrote a story for Wordsmiths. I quite like it. The turtle shows up once.

Talked on the phone a lot. Seems the older I get the less I mind chatting on the phone. I still don't call my mama as often as I should. I'm working on that.

And that about wraps it up, aside from the little stuff I don't remember right now and that therefore is probably so very unimportant that it deserves to slip into the ether of the past. Now, to keep up the momentum of the move toward the move so that once the end of June rolls around I'll have a safe and sound place to live.

Oh, the handy dood come Thursday to see to the "safe" bit and to move the closet. The furniture arrives tomorrow. The carpet people are supposed to call me back today. I have to make eye doctor appointments. Also need to get ready to go to DC in a week.


Saturday, June 09, 2007


A virtual reincarnation has taken place. Virtual, because the thing being brought to life wasn't literally alive in the first place, but it most certainly had a life before being killed by its creators.

However, the creators missed their creation, and so decided to bring it back from the nothing that was its vitual tomb, to raise it up from the boneyard of dead ideas into the land of the living effort.

What am I talking about?


Wordsmiths Unlimited is back.

WSU2 is, we hope, an improvement on WSU1, with enough of the feel and goals of the primary version to carry the same spark. Come celebrate the new incarnation of WSU by breathing life into a story of 500 words or less. We'd love to have you write with us!

Friday, June 08, 2007

How the H-E-double hockey stix BIG does it need to BE, anyhow?

WARNING: SEMI-ADULT CONTENT AHEAD. Well, OK, it's for real ADULT, but only in the sense that "adult" means I use the word penis. Also vagina. And make mention of dildos. If you can't handle THAT, then leave now.


Good grief, y'all! I think I'm really really far out of the loop on the whole "how big does a penis need to be in order to satisfy a woman?" question.

According to the items in my spam mailbox (many dozens of them a day, AAMOF), current thinking is that 12 inches is a good round figure.


No way. No no no no no no no way. Someone come at ME with something like THAT, and I'm backing away like Bambi from a forest fire. Oh heck NO.

12 inches? Riiiight. You know, if I ponder on it for a moment of two, I would say I do NOT need to have my innards shifted from the use of something like that. I do NOT need to know just how stretchy the ol' va-jay-jay is, nor do I need to know what it feels like to have my uterus (bless her tired little soul) used like a penile punching bag.

12 inches? Holy cats no.

According to Alice, the average vagina is only 3 to 4 inches long "at rest," so to speak, and elongates when the woman is aroused. I'm thinking that your average cootch does NOT grow three to four times LONGER during even the bestest sex ever in order to accomodate a foot-long dong.

The much-vaunted "8 incher" is probably MORE than puh-lenty. Prolly even way too much if the lady involved isn't all that involved, if you know what I mean, and I think you do, because if her cervix ain't migratin' north, then that infilrating hotrod is gonna be comin' up against some sulky bits, which can be rather uncomfy and NOT promote better living through hotchacha.

Let me tell you one thing, gentlmen. It's not the size, it's how you use it. If you KNOW what to do with your equipment, then it's all good no matter what the size. Pay no attention to those ridiculous porns that show lesbians ridin' gigantic double dildos to apparent mutual satisfaction, because (and let's think about this for a moment), if a woman needs something THAT BIG to find nirvana, just how hard are they to please, anyhow? (and we're not even going to discuss about how capacious their princess parts are, because I happen to know that a baby's head can go through one of them thar thangs and snap back almost their original dainty proportions....they're darn stretchy, they are).

Still, 12 inches? Ridiculous.


Y'all, my apologies. Yesterday poop, today penises. Something's in the water, methinks. I'm sure that by next week we'll be back to our regularly scheduled programming of "nuthin' much."


Speaking of, I've got about "nuthin' much" planned for this weekend except moving stuff from the big house to the tiny house in preparation for the ultimate big move at the end of the month. When I transitioned from house 1 to apartment, I left a lot of stuff behind, which I'm going to start re-claiming this weekend.

I'm sure I'll spend part of the weekend being appalled at just how MUCH stuff I have. Why, the boxes of photos alone will likely fill up the trunk of my car, and that's just from the Things' first 4 years - the rest of them are on digital. Yowza.

Whatchy'all got planned?

Thursday, June 07, 2007

The one with all the poop

Seriously, y'all, something weird is going on in Internetlandia. Why, just the other day I was gifted with a wonderful picture from the Mayor of Spiffytown in response to a post I wrote, then yesterday the WVSR had a QotD about pooping, today Hyperion admits to a certain fascination with bodily odors, and I'm about to write a post about poop.

What's up with THAT? Have we all gone crazy from the heat?


Here's the picture the Biff sent.

This is news to me, y'all! Good GRIEF, I've spent the better part of my august years engaged in such behavior, sometimes to exceedingly good effect.

It was not always so.

Let me explain.

I briefly mentiond the other day that I was born with something called Hirschprung's disease, which, in short form, means that parts o' the colon don't work right, and therefore ya can't poop. The alternate term for Hischrpung's is "congenital megacolon," and while that might be a terrific name for a garage band or superhero (look! up in the air! it's a bird, it's a plane, it's Congential Megacolon!), it is NOT something you want to experience fo realz. Think about it....."congenital megacolon." Look the words up if you must, and cogitate on the impact it might have on your life.

Really now.

The long and short of it, for me, was that for 4+ years my folks wondered why I wouldn't poop unless fulla ExLax. They were told I was being stubborn, that I was being manipulative, that nothing was wrong with me.

Um, yeah. That's right. I AM stubborn, I'll admit to that, and I can be manipulative, but foks, I was a little little kid, and therefore not well skilled in manipulation (yet). All's I knew was that it was damned hard work to do something that should come naturally, and it mad my Mom mad when I didn't poop. My poor Mom. She was so frustrated. They had no idea what was wrong with me.

(Let me just say now that if I never see another enema bag in my life it will be too soon. I'm pretty sure my Mom feels the same way.)

Soooo, when I was a little over 4, one of the nurses in my doc's office went to a conference, sat in on a presentation on Hirschprung's, the lightbulb of recognition went off for her, and pretty soon I was in the hospital getting my icky bits cut out.

Gratifyingly, it worked. Three weeks after going in, I was coming out with a whole new plumbing system. A one-shot surgery took out the wonky bits and left me with a shiny new fully functional late-model lower GI tract.

Road testing that puppy was quite the experience. Every time I sucessfully "pulled into the pits," as it were (to create a terrible metaphor that I now feel compelled to stick with), the crew would come racing over to check on status and declare me either fit to get back out on the track or told me that I needed to spend a little more time fine tuning the machine.

Y'all, this went on for years. I relied on that pit crew to OK my performance. I sweartogawd, my folks finally had to TELL me that they didn't need to inspect my daily output, that everything was fine, that I could take care of that part of life all on my own from now on.

Yippee!! Free at last! I was OK.

Since that time all's been fine and dandy for Tiff's alimentary system. I'm sure you're as glad as I am at this bit of info. Well, maybe not AS glad, but certainly a little glad, because y'all, I could tell some stories if it wasn't.


When my children were tiny things, I, like all Mommies and Daddies, did a lot of diaper changing. It was a very informative time of life.

I did not realize that a baby could crap approximately half its body weight and still live. Good God, what those Things managed to produce would have made ME proud, and they were only a fraction of my size!

What amazed me then, and still amazes me now, is how a fussy baby at 2 pm can yell like they're on fire for what seems like hours, poop at 2:15, and be a happy baby at 2:16. Pooping makes them feel good. NOT pooping makes them feel bad. A stunning realization. Yay for pooping!

When they got old enough to potty train, the amazement continued. There were moments during those formative times when I had to call in reinforcements to ogle the results of ther efforts, not for "good boy" type praise, but for stunned appreciation of the sheer size of the sewer sub our child had just launched. At times, I will admit that I was JEALOUS of what was comin' out of them. Holy cats, y'all, a 2-year-old can crank out some tonnage. I had no idea that their GI tracts were so effectual as to actually produce MORE volume by weight in poop than they were taking in in food. Three bites of chicken nuggets and half a peanut butter and jelly sammich can turn into quite the impressive fecaloaf.

How does that happen? I'm still wondering.

Now of course I have no idea what they're up to in the bathroom. All's I know is that it takes an inordinately amount of time, involves magazines and singing, and just lately requires a locked door.

As long as they turn on the fan when they're done, I'm fine with not knowing what they do in the smallest room in the house.


A last thought on this whole pooping thing. Several years ago now, my SIL emerged from the MIL's bathroom with the following line:

"Did you ever take a dump so huge your PANTS fit better?"

I can answer in the affirmative to that question. And, like a baby, I felt better afterward. How about YOU?


Thus endeth the poop post. Please gather your coats and belongings and exit to the right.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

There was supposed to be a post here

I know I promised a post about pooping today, but I'm sorry I'll have to disappoint all y'all who were eagerly awaiting my take on such matters. I'm just not feeling it today.

Actually, um....I feeling it a little too much, and therefore can't work up the necessary energy to riff on all matters scatalogic. I promise, tomorrow I expect to be much more in the mood to delve deeply in the bowels of my experience and opinion on poopular matters and crank out something redolent with wit and well-digested insight.


Until then, I leave you with this little nugget:

Thing 1 is growing up again. He does this in fits and starts, and every time I see that he's done it it shocks me.

Last night was his last band concert of the year, and for the occasion he had to dress up in a white shirt, tie, and black pants. I hadn't seen him before the concert, because his Dad has had them for the last week, so when he ambled out on stage with his buddies in the trombone section, I caught my breath. There he was, tall and blonde and just perfectly shaggy-haired in that tween kinda way that's popular now, and abosolutely gorgeous. I didn't recognize him for a second or two; the boy that I was expecting to see on stage had turned into a young man of poise and style.

I fell in love with him a little more right there and then.

As the band set to play, Thing 1 was all attention and eyes front, as it should be. He knew the notes, watched the conductor, didn't fidget, smiled broadly between the tunes, and kept his cool. His mama had a good straight line of vision to her boy, and didn't need to see anyone else for the time that they were on stage. Pride filled up my heart; pride for him for growing up so nicely, pride FOR him, not because of him.

After they finished, we other three in his family went to fetch him from the band room. He introduced us to all his friends and his teacher, and allowed me to hug him.

Then, it happened.

He was walking in front of us toward the school entrance, and then, seemingly inexplicably, ran a few steps up to a group of three people.

Those three people were a cute girl, her mother, and brother.

Oh yes, that young girl with the light brown curly hair, light brown eyes, a sprinkle of freckles across her nose, had an OBVIOUS attraction for my boy, and to him as well. She was smiling at him, he was smiling at her, they were talking about who knows what, and the SHE TOUCHED HIS ARM AND DIPPED HER HEAD TO ONE SIDE.

Holeeeee CROW! She was flirting with him! That little girl with the almost-boobs and the flippy little skirt was flirting with my baby!

Way to go, Thing 1! Way.To.Go.

Being a "cool" mom, I kept my reaction on the down-low, accepted his introduction to the girl and her mom and brother, exchanged a few words, then walked away politely. I didn't mention the girl to him, not wanting him to deny what was so apparently going on. It about killed me to have to do it, but I took a lesson from my own awkward past and held my tongue, allowing him to have the moment as it was without some embarassing follow-up from Mom.

Thing 1 and brother then left with Dad, and I happened to follow the girl and her mom toward their car (because mine was parked next to theirs), during which time I heard Things 1's name mentioned.
Three times. With a smile from the girl, every time. I remember smiling like that when I was in 6th grade, the heady mix of boy-girl exploration just starting to brew, when almost anything was possible and nothing was known about hurt.

In the gray and gold stretch of sunset that accompanied me home, I reflected for a minute on how this "growing up" makes me feel, and you know what? I couldn't be happier. That child of mine is moving through life with a degree of apomb, with a sense of style, with only a modicum of self-consciousness, and with my whole heart behind him. My the first child has hit another milestone.

I need to find the baby book and write this one down.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Doing Laundry in the Dark

Last night I did laundry. Yay Tiff!!

By "doing laundry," I mean to tell you that I started at 7:30 by flinging every dirty thing in the apartment into the fitted sheet that I was ALSO going to wash (along with the top sheet and piilowcases, natch), and trudging across the parking lots of the complex toward the laundry room. This being the south, I guess the developers figured that most of the year is fine for trudgery, and that the quarter-mile walk would do all us BBQ-slurping slack-jawed Skoal-dippin' yokels a world of good. I accept this, and call it "the only exercise I'm getting today."

I looked like a summertime Santa, with a ginormous bag of "something" over my shoulder encapsulated in my green sheets, which, by the way, are the MOST COMFORTABLE SHEETS EVER and come from Target and are made of tee-shirt material and I love them.... Anyhoodle, I estimate that my two loads of laundry weighed approximately 30 pounds, which, by the time the trudge was over, got to feeling much heavier than that. Let's just say that Santa-ette was ready to divest herself of the weight of responsibility of the laundry, and so deposited her coins in the machines, dumped in the soap, stuffed in the clothes/sheets/towels (mostly towels, as Ms Santa-me didn't have a one left in the house, and did NOT want to pick one out of the laundry pile to dry off with in the morning, thus spurring on the laundry-isms of the evening), and hiked back to the apartment.

Then waited 35 minutes for the cycle to finish. Then hiked back, with 10 more quarters with which to do the drying. Then hiked back to the apartment for dinner. At 8:30. Partway through which I got a call from a friend, which distracted me for a while.

OK, it distracted me until almost 10. By which time, strangely enough, it's really really dark in NC. And I still had to go get my laundry.

More hiking, then fetching, wrapping the clothing/sheets/towels (some of which were still damp) up in the Merry Green Bundle Of Laundry Day, and trudging back to the apartment. In the dark, I'm sure I should mention again.

The dark was so dark that, while distracted thinking about "stuff," I rammed my big toe straight into the curb, thinking it was one of those bike access rampy-ma-bobbers and therefore level with the parking lot surface. I tripped, almost fell over, righted myself, settled my racing heart, and then waited for the inevitable.

Stars shone in front of my eyes, and they weren't heavenly. Pain raced up my leg smack dab into my brain, and it held promises of blood and bruising, which I couldn't see, because, of course, it was dark.

I limped back to the apartment, my purposeful striding of only moments before reduced to a Festus-like galumph, accompanied by the distinct feel of toe bones shifting aginst one another that formerly had been held firmly in place.

Thankfully the shuffle back to the apartment was short, and I could dump the ding-blasted laundry on the couch while working up the nerve to look at my poor foot. Oh, as much as I like gross stuff, y'all, I do NOT care for my own blood, or the blood of anyone I love. Squicks me out. I was nervous, folks, scared of what I might see when I finally was able to look at my pedal region for evidence of trauma.

Meh - the evidence was disappointing. One small cut, two contused areas, and a toe joint that was significantly more limber than it had been when the laundry was dirty. I was heartened that the pain I felt on manipulation was not quite as bad as a broken bone could be expected to be. All was going to be well, of that I was certain.


this morning.

Ow. Oh ow. Crap. The spot under the cut was all pinkish and puffy (but not hot, so no infection). The grating of bone on bone was still there. Walking was signficantly more discomfitting that it should have been. The thought of putting on a shoe was enough to make me wince. If I had to guess, I'd guess that I chipped the joint of my toe by slamming it into that curb last night, and until the chip is absorbed or knits back together with the other bits that were knocked loose, I'm going to be experiencing some techical difficulty.

Thank goodness it's summertime, is all I'm saying. Flip flops, here I come.

Also, thank goodness I'm not a dude, because as I see it, if I was, I'd have to wear shoes anyhow, because dudes don't wear flip flops to a corporate job.

Sometimes, just SOMETIMES, it pays to be a girl. Even a terribly clumsy one.


Tomorrow, stories about pooping!

I was gonna do it today, but ran a little long on the broken toe thing. I promise you, you'll want to come back on the morrow to check out what's going on in the scatological part of my brain.