Friday, August 31, 2007

Oh Yeah Baby!


Uh-huh, it's time for the headlines, so let's get to it!


Bush to outline aid to mortgage holders

Will try coloring within the lines tomorrow.

Bernanke: Ready to act if turmoil hits economy

Has chosen Hamlet's soliloquy as a starter.

China kung fu monks seek apology for ninja affront

The plastic kung fu monks had no comment.

Judge strikes down Iowa gay marriage ban

Iowa can now marry whoever it wants to. Massachusetts said to be elated.

Diana remembered at memorial service

Remembered WHAT, is the big question.

Pakistan's Bhutto gambles on Musharraf

He said the dice tickled his belly button.

Dat's a New Feeecha!

Dueling Headlines:

1) Romney: Keep feds out of health care
2) Bernanke says Fed will do what's needed
(including acting by Bernie, one would presume)

Hmmmm, do I detect a whiff of pissing match in the wind?


Consumer spending rebounds in July

Switched focus to upping free-throw percentage in August.

AND LASTLY, a human interest story, one that your family MUST KNOW ABOUT!

N.Zealand eyes labels to fight obesity

Folks down under are going to have a fight on their hands at this time next year, when food labels trained in martial arts and BMI will come out swinging if an obese person purchases any comestible that's more than 100 calories a serving. "Training the lables to fight obesity wan't all that hard, once we got them properly motived," says Terrence Ugnatrundlhamshire. "They're tough little buggers, and I'd certainly watch out for surpirse gut-punches and left hooks if I was a bit on the chunky side."


If you can do better with these or other headlines, please do so in the comments. Otherwise, y'all have a superdeedooper LOOONG weekend, and I'll see you Tuesday.

Or Monday. Or maybe even over the "S" days. I really have no clue as to when. I don't plan these things, they're more a gift from above, really. A gift that you can't wait to open, I know.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Cat Snores at Midnight

Well, after yesterday's little trip in the wayback machine, let's bounce right back into the present day, shall we?

Some of y'all know that about a month ago I adopted a cat. His name is Albert. He's black and white and has tremendously long whiskers and marble-y green eyes. He also has an identity complex, because he thinks he's a dog.

This is Albert, who is resting comfortably on one of the boxes I have not yet unpacked:

Albert follows me everywhere. I get up from the desk to walk two steps to the coffeemaker, and Albert is there with me. I open a cabinet to get a pot or pan, and Albert is there sniffing around at the awesome new dark place he's forgotten he's sniffed a dozen times before. I walk to the bathroom, and Albert is right between my feet, wondering where we're going. Albert is my little kitten-ish shadow, and even at 5+ years old he's a real terror when the "catarang" starts up.

What's a "catarang"? It's when, for no real apparent reason, Albert begins careening at top speed from one end of the house to the other, thumping his little kitty feet down with great authority, zooming through the legs of the kitchen chairs and zipping over the couches, then returning to the starting point with as much energy as the first half of the cycle exhibited. The cataring operates for four or five full cycles until the potential energy stored within it is fully transformed to kinetic energy, at which point it stops and he begins storing up for the next go-round.

You'd think a cat who is a mature fellow and looks like he's dressed for a night on the town in his black tie and tail would not participate in the catarang, but no. Albert is a surprising fellow.

For the first couple of weeks he was here, Albert was a touch skittish, not knowing how to behave in a house bereft of other cats. You see, Albert has not ever had a house of his own; he was a foster kitty for YEARS, and so was surrounded by other cats, all of whom identified him as the 98-pound weakling and who therefore targeted him as the object of their kitty scorn, which is a powerful force of nature and will rob even the strongest soul of their self-esteem and bravery. So, Albert was a little "aloof" for the first bit of his time here at the Tiny House, wondering, I'm sure, when the first attack would take place by all those other cats he couldn't see.

All that is changing. He is now the feline canine-equivalent at my house, a purring bucket of "pet me," a curious dood with a sophisticated air. Well, there is one small caveat that keeps him from being fully sophisticated.

Albert snores.

When I first heard the snoring, I thought it was the refrigerator in start-up mode. It was not the fridge was the 8-pound ball of fur curled up between my feet. Huh. I had been under the impression that cats were quiet sleepers. I thought they just laid down and zoned out, breathing little Purina-scented cat breaths while dreaming of sleeping. Apparently I had a thing or two to learn about Albert. The snoring was only one of those things.

He's also fascinated by, and frightened of, the toilet. He'll peek over the rim into the bowl, and I once caught him DRINKING FROM IT (even when there was perfectly good water in his dish), and yet, when it's flushed, the does a half-catarang in fright.

He can meow his name. I'm not joking. He can even meow "Mama," which is really creepy. He meows other stuff, of course, but because I'm not a cat I don't understand what he's saying most of the time.

Also, he grunts when he jumps. He eats only three bites of food at a time. He HATES being picked up. He eschews the comfy kitty bed the Things got for him and instead prefers to sleep on the kitchen table.

This living with a cat thing was supposed to be easy to figure out. Albert, the cat who is not quite a cat, is not having any of THAT, for, after all, he was named for the famous physicist, and as such needs to reveal his secrets carefully, lest the full impact of them blow my puny human brain.

More details as events warrant, you can be sure.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Get your mocking shoes on, baby!

We're going on a walk down memory lane! YAY!

BACKGROUNDY MATERIAL: When I was but a mere slip of a girl (proof to come), I was very very very involved in band.

I'll take a time out here for the uproarious laughter to die down, because the next line? Is even better.

I was SO involved in band that I decided to follow in my older brother's footsteps and try to be the Drum Major of the marching band (BTW: "marching band" is "Marschierenkapelle" in German. You're welcome). Hey! Why NOT seal my fate as an uber-dork? I mean, I was already in girl scouts and church choir and as many honor societies as you could count on three fingers, so why NOT be a drum major? What's to lose?

My thoughts exactly.

I tried out at the end of my sophomore year (big bro was headed off to college, y'all, so there was an opening), and I got the job.

Dudes, I was a 16-year old tough shit drum major, baby, and I instantly set about proving to everyone that I could totally rock the podium and be the boss of YOU. Herein then, are a few pictures of me as I tried to "find my inner George Parks." (and if you get THAT reference then we have much to talk about, because I might be in love with you.)

1) Sweet 16, and never been kissed (at least not like I wanted to be kissed and so I acted all tough and stuff to make up for the wanting of the kissing). That's me totally sporting the Prince Valiant hairdo, and my Dad's finger going all UFO on the top there.

2) An action shot.

Holy Cats that's one tall podium - you'd think they wanted the people in the parking lot to be able to see us up there and keep time.

The other drum major there? The one standing off to the left? He was a senior, and got fired before Spring Marching season for, um, being a drunk. Turns out that failing to show up at practice, or showing up and not being able to stand at attention, is a bad bad thing when you're a hand-waving poofter. Too bad too, because he an I won a "best drum majors" award at a competition. We looked pretty darned good together, and had a vicious wicked salute.

No, I don't know what the dance team is doing. Perhaps an early version of "Riverdance"?

3) Here's me and a buncha friends after a marching competition in Orlando the Srring of my Junior year. I was the ONLY "HWP" at that time (no replacement was hired for Drunky McLushypants), and had a beastly job of it, because one football field + 140 musicians + 20 Swiss Flag schpinners + a stupid number of dance team chicks = the very real chance for disaster and attendant exhaustion. I ran my a** off in the show, from one side of the field to the other and back again, like a retarded corps-style chihuahua. Therefore, the happy look on my face, once it was all over.

4) AH - me as a senior year HWP. Note the white skirt. Niiiiice. FYI - I wore a pair of yellow dance pants under that sucker, because that was the year that SOMEONE convinced the band director that having the two (yes, back to TWO!) HWPs do a disco dance to "Copacabana", which involved much spinning and dippage, was going to win shows.

It did not.

Therefore I am not posting pictures of me disco-ing with JD Henson in my right sharp outfit with the yellow dance pants. It was not a winning idea then, and it is not now. This lone picture of us badassingit off-field will have to do:

(The red eyes of the haunted Drum Majors are going to get yoooooo!!!!)

5) Then, just because there's a certain amount of stupidity running rampant through my very being, I present to you a picture of me on my 18th birthday. I was perilously close to graduation. 18. Damn. I thought I owned the world.

This was the day after I'd tried to go out the night before to buy beer, being as how an 18-year-old could buy beer legally at the time. It was 12:02 a.m. when I plunked the beer on the counter. I was turned down at 12:02:05 a.m., because there's no beer sales after midnight in Virginny, no matter if it IS your effing birthday and even if you DO have your effing lisence to prove you're legal. So, my friend Jeannie and I went to her house and drank a pitcher of screwdrivers instead. Yes, I drove home.

Looking at this pic, I don't think I'd let me out of the house if I was my parents. Stangely enough, they trusted me. Heh - not but a few weeks later I was hanging out at Rehoboth Beach with a houseful of friends for a week - our graduation gift to ourselves. We all came back alive, and nobody (as far as I know) got pregnant, so all in all it was a successful trip.

A month after this I was headed out to Wyoming with a bus fulla girl scouts to go camping. Yes, the dichotomy in my activities does strike me as rather odd, now that you mention it. :>

So, there ya go. Proof POSITIVE that I was a Hand Waving Poofter of the highest order, and damned proud of it. I still am, and would be proud of the Things if they were too. Mock me if you will, that's YOUR choice, but I'm betting YOU don't have awesome band camp stories, do ya? Huh? Do ya PUNK?

(if you do, won't you tell me? I totally eat that stuff UP!)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Whatchall got to say about this? (please note: this takes a long time to load. It's worth it, in my opinion)

Aw, Man

I was all set to offer up some pictures of me as a teenaged "hand-waving poofter" (TM Jeff Kay) today, but it appears as though my "good" camera has eaten another set of batteries and I ain't got's no spares (because I don't have access to a color scanner and so was going to have to take a picture of the pictures to digitize 'em, don't you know).

Well Tiff, why not just take a picture with your cell phone and show us THOSE?" you might ask.

Good question, I would reply, and I would do that, if I'd remembered to bring my cell phone today. Sorry y'all, the pictures of me in my oh-so-lovely "corps style" drum majoring outfit will have to wait until tomorrow. I'll throw in a picture of me on my 18th b-day just for fun, and as proof that I love you more than I love my own ego. No, really. I do.


Not having anything embarrassing to offer you today, I'll go with art, or what passes for it in this dark corner of the interweb's mustiest attic: My Wordsmiths post for August. If you're going to write a story too, please note that you have only a few more days to get your stories in, and remember, they must use the milk wagon picture as inspiration and they MUST be 500 words or less. G'head, write like the juiced-up fiend we all know you are, then slash and burn your way to 500 words.

This month's story is the result of a caption contest I held late last week, in which I invited y'all to caption the WSU August pic and my favorite would get a story. You people did not make it easy, but in the end I simply HAD to go with Kingfisher's short and to the point caption: "
Billy never liked how Mr. Johnson delivered his cream."

Here goes:

The End of the Run

It was Thursday again. Billy hated Thursdays. Mr. Johnson came on Thursdays, while Billy's Dad was on the long run in the delivery truck over to Hoboken.

Dad always left early on Thursday mornings in order to beat the other drivers through the Holland Tunnel. He had to load up the truck with pies, and then spend a long day delivering them all over Manhattan.

Every Thursday for as long as he could remember, Billy's Mama would run straight to the bathroom down the hallway on their floor as soon as Dad left. He could hear the tub running, smell her bath oil, and hear her singing in Italian. Mama only took baths on Thursdays. While she bathed, Mr O'Reilly from 4C would pound on the bathroom door, shouting at Mama to hurry up, there are other people who live here, you stupid wop, and Mama's smoky laugh would roll out from under the door, mocking "why you say, O'Really? You wanna have a look at my scones and cabbages? Hah?" and Mr. O'Reilly would slink off in a huff, his face a furious red while his hands worked inside his pockets.

Mama could be mean like that, especially on Mr. Johnson days.

Every Thursday, Mr. Johnson the dairyman would come up to the apartment carrying 2 small bottles of cream and a large bottle of beer. Mama would tell Billy to grab his coat and go play. Mr. Johnson would pat Billy's head, calling him "son" and remarking at how he'd grown. Mama would sigh happily, saying how she loved their green eyes. Having green eyes, like Mr. Johnson did, made Billy hate himself.

As soon as he got to the street on Thursday mornings, the kids on the block would start in, saying "hey, your Mama getting creamed again?" and "boy I'd like to give your Mama some of my butter and eggs," which made Billy's blood boil. He could hear Mama panting the name of Our Lord while her bedsprings creaked and squealed. It was awful. Billy hated everything about Thursdays, and he'd decided that he'd had enough.

Billy left the stoop, walked past Mr Johnson's horse Mushroom, giving her a pat her for what he hoped was the last time, then headed to Schnelman's Drugstore to make a phone call to Hoboken. He'd been saving his candy allowance for weeks, just for this day. He'd looked up the bakery's number at the library and memorized it to the tune of "I'll be seeing you." The call was short. Mama, Billy said, had taken sick and needed Dad.

An hour later, while Mushroom still waited on the curb and while Mama was still praying, Dad's truck pulled onto their block. Billy grabbed his big hand as they climbed the steps, looking into his Daddy's deep brown eyes with what he hoped was sadness. Thursdays, he knew, were about to get a whole lot better.


Your comments, as always are welcome.

Monday, August 27, 2007

An Update to yesterday's whineyness

First, why not scroll down to yesterday's post and see what was up in Tiffland yesterday to make this post any tiny little bit interesting and relevant. Go on, I'll wait.


Apparently God has a robust sense of humor, for when I finally did decide to get my a** in gear yesterday afternoon, here's what happened:

The oil change place had a one-hour wait. I did not. Many things to do, you know.

There were storm clouds on the horizon as I went into the Mall Wart. As I was perusing the offerings in the camping section, the skies opened up and the rain did start to clatter on the roof. And clatter, and clatter, and then the thunder started, and the clattering intensified, and the crowds of people began to stop up the egresses in wait for cessation of the clattering. Oh, yes, it was raining to beat the proverbial BAND. I had to laugh a little, because y'all, I realized, somewhat twistedly, that I probably deserved to get wet for being so "off-putty" with my chores, and so I gathered up my things and headed out, not in the least part because I had scored a REALLY close parking spot earlier and therefore thought "how wet can I get?"

Answer? VERY wet. The "water dripping from your head" kind of wet. The "shirt becomes a sodden mass of white cotton" wet. The "laugh at the universe" kind of wet that only a nice hot shower will unwet you from, if that makes any sense atall.

But that was not the best part, for there was one other thing this middle-aged white chick had to deal with before Mother Nature/God/Loki was done with her.

The icemaker.

See, for a day or so there's been a little puddle that repeatedly has appeared on the floor in front of my fridge. I'd sop it up, thinking it was maybe condensation, and then it would reappear. This was no mere condensation, folks....for condensation does not make a puddle that reached all the way across the kitchen floor in a few hours. There was something else going on, and it was likely not good at all. I tried to not think about it.

I stopped thinking it would be OK to not think about it when a friend opined as to how all that water might cause the floor under the fridge to eventually rot out, leaving me with an icebox that would perhaps someday be resting on the floor of the crawlspace, making it rather difficult indeed to get to the crisper drawers.

It must be said here that I'm not fan of the crawlspace, for there are dead things in there and also live spiders and I'm sure a bogeyman is getting some home training down there. I should very much NOT like to have to use it as an access point for my groceries on anything like a regular basis. Therefore, I pulled the refrigerator out from its snuggly spot on the kitchen wall to see what was afoot (hoping all the while for mere "exhuberant condensation" to be the answer to my moisture issues).

And yet, there was a sound.
Condensation, as you might know, does not make a sound. This sound was a gentle hissing, like a very small and angry snake, or, more likely, like a very small leak in the water supply line to the icemaker, which, coincidentally, quit working about three weeks ago. Yes, I most surely had a leak.

Hey, I have duct tape (or "duck" tape), I could whip up a quick fix, right? Sure I could. All's I had to do was pull the hose up and out of the back of the fridge a little bit to ascertain precisely where the leak was.

Which is when the tubing snapped almost completely in half.

Water water everywhere.

The duct tape thing was clearly no longer an option. Thinking rather quickly for someone who was still grossed out by what had been found on the floor under the fridge on its removal from home port, I quickly cut off the supply line with some scissors, kinked off the supply, secured the kink with a rubber band, and set about to roundly cussing my situation.

What to do then, though? I couldn't just leave the fridge out in the middle of my kitchen with a slowly dripping icemaker supply line stuffed into a plastic cup which was wedged behind the microwave for safekeeping. I had to do something Homeownerly, and find the shutoff valve for the supply line to staunch the drippage. A canvassing of options then took place:

Was the valve visible behind the fridge? No.

Was it under the sink? No.

Was it outside the house? No, but thanks for being an optimist.

It became clear that if there was a shutoff valve at all, it was obviously going to be in the crawlspace. (Shudder) I'd have to venture down there, in the rain and the gathering gloom, with only a flashlight to protect me from the bogeymens and womyns, the spiders, and the hopefully unreanimated remains of those two dead mice that went under the house to die about a month ago that I haven't wanted to touch since then.

Yup, there was nothing for it, if I wanted to be "responsible" and "adult," I'd have to go down there, through the small access door, past the mousal remains, under the dripping A/C ductwork, over the damp earth floor, to the far dark corner of the house under the kitchen to find out if there even WAS a shutoff valve.

I had thoughts of not doing this at all, I have to admit. However, I steeled myself for the awful trip, adding a plastic spatula to my armament for extra protection (as a spider-web sweeper, dontcha know!), and trudged out into the rain to meet my doom.

This was NOT how I planned to spend my evening.

Oh, the crawlspace was everything I knew it would be. There was a gigantic spiderweb right inside the wee wooden door, which one swipe of the spatula dispatched quite handily. The mouse carcasses were indeed still there (and still ARE, presumably), the great courses of ductwork were dripping, the floor was just the right amount of damp so as to maybe allow zombie hands to reach up from below and drag me under, and I swear to you that there was a flash of Bogey-eye in the darkness under the living room. I pressed on, though, my goal a mere 30-foot crawl away.

(Y'all, when I say crawlspace, I MEAN it. This place is not even "hands and knees" high in some spots).

I found that muttering under one's breath does seem to help in the "not attacked by zombies" area. Also? No bogeymens! Bonus points for the muttering.

The blind sweeping of the plastic spatula caught whatever spiderwebs there might have been, so bonus points for extra armament.

Also, bonus points for FINDING a shutoff valve. Hooray! Extra bonus points for it actually working! Yay! Final bonus points for making it back across the dreaded crawlspace without injury, and for getting out alive even after I spotted the freaking GIANT black spider just inside the crawlspace door, who, in all likelihood, is not a big fan of mine, being as how I totally annihilated its home on my entry. Sorry spider.

Of course, once I got out alive (ALIIIIIIIVE!!!) I started to feel like there were thousands of itchy-bitey baby spiders all over me, and perhaps some bogey-boogers as well. Yes, it's a good thing I still hadn't taken that "after getting rained on" shower I mentioned earlier, for it's a proven FACT that showers are as good at washing phantom spiders out of one's hair as they are at de-wetting one's self from a rainstorm.

After that, it was a reasonably quick matter of mopping up the pure evil that had been under the fridge, putting it the appliance in place, and rewarding myself with a cocktail and a few YouTube videos.

(Lily Allen's "Smile" and Amy Winehouse's "Rehab," if you must know, are tops on the list right now. I might be a little late to the party for these two singers, but that don't mean I can't dance!)

So, there you go. My comeuppance for being a procrastinating, highly distractable, somewhat lazy bag o'water this weekend. That'll teach me.

How was YOUR weekend?

Sunday, August 26, 2007

In which it becomes apparent that I need some motivation, and fast

Y'all know what? (chicken butt!)

These weekends when the Things are with their Dad can get pretty damned loooooong. I have all the time in the world to do what I want to do, you know? Vast tracts of time, with only MY goals to achieve. Why, with this kind of time, I could probably conquer half the known universe if I simply put my mind to it and if I used the time I have wisely.

Yes, that's one big IF that got plopped into the previous sentence. Good of you to notice.

As an illustration of just why I will never be the conquerer of anything very much in particular, I offer you the complete use of time these past two days, in which much could have been done, and yet....was not.

Yesterday, the plan was that my day was going to go something like this:

  • Wake up "whenever"
  • Mow lawn
  • Clean out Tinkerbell (my CAR, y'all. Minds out of the gutter! I'm not going all weirdo Captain Hook perverty on you)
  • Pay bills
  • Grocery shop
  • Get Tinkebell's oil changed
  • Do some work for work while enjoying some of Kentucky's finest brown water.

The actual day went something like this:

  • Wake up whenever, which happened to be at 10 a.m. (bliss!)
  • Wander around the house aimlessly drinking coffee and thinking
  • Read the entire newspaper - it's now noon.
  • Do something, I can't now remember what, but it didn't involve me leaving the house or getting a shower, I know that much for sure, nor did it involve speaking to another human being (oh - yes, I remember now - I made a green pepper and sausage frittata and went through my mail, opened up a surprise gift box from an old friend that made me cry and think maudlin thoughts about my youth for a few minutes, and paid bills, because when you're already feeling sad, why NOT pay bills?) - so, check one thing off the list.
  • Take a nap - the mail thing exhausted me, apparently
  • Talk on the phone
  • Grocery shop - by now it's 7 p.m. - check another thing off the list.
  • Get a surprise visit from a friend and her puppy! Yay! Someone to talk to! Puppy! Fun!
  • Drink fire water, get sleepy, talk on the phone once more, and go to bed. Check a half a thing off the list

Note the lack of productivity. Shocking, really. I spent a good portion of the day wondering why I wasn't doing what I set out to do, which is irritating in the extreme, because, honestly, KNOWING you're wasting time isn't nearly as fun as simply wasting it and enjoying the wasting, you know?

So, to make up for that notable lack of "anything to show for my day" yesterday, today's plan was to go something like this:

  • Wake up whenever
  • Write note to brother and send check for boat rentals from over a month ago
  • Write sympathy card to Aunt on the loss of my Uncle
  • Clean out Tinkerbell
  • Mow lawn
  • Get Tinkerbell's oil changed
  • Do laundry
  • Install weatherstripping on back door where daylight shines through like a beacon, and where air-conditioned air must be escaping like toots from a competitive baked bean eater (yeah, it's almost September, what of it? Stays hot here for another couple of months yet! I'm not late with this thing! Really!)
  • Do some work for work while enjoying the remaining few drams of Kentucky's finest brown water left in the bottle, and mourn the fact that I am rationing myself these days. Stupid weight-loss plan, anyhow.

So, it's 3 p.m. on Sunday, and this is what has happened:

  • Wake up at 8 a.m. when the phone rings. Talk for a while.
  • Make coffee
  • Talk on the phone some more
  • Eat leftover French toast
  • Mow most of lawn - hooray for checking ONE THING off the list!
  • Get blister
  • Take shower
  • Eat lunch
  • Do a load of laundry - OK, two things off the list
  • Cruise the internet

Oy! No oil change, no car cleaning out, no work for work, no sympathy card or check writing, no weather stripping.

Also, I still have to write my stories (um, yeah, there will be TWO) for Wordsmiths. Heaven only knows that, what with all the excellent advice being parcelled out over there, I should be able to turn a few hundred words into a real story this month, but I'm not even past the "thinking about it" stage yet.

Are you?

Well, the oil change place closes at 5, so I'd best be off. There's much to be done still, much much to be done.

But first, what's new at FARK, I wonder?

Saturday, August 25, 2007

From the local newsrag

Oh, y'all, I just HAD to post this article from the local newspaper. The whole thing made me laugh, because THIS is what passes for news in our small-ish town. Italics are mine.


"Wife Cited for Dishing Hot Ice Cream"

MRB, of X Street Y town, allegedly tried to put some sweet in an assault by hurling heated-up ice cream at her husband on X date.

CB told police he saw his wife dancing in the front yard with another man. Unhappy about he witnessed, he confronted his wife, Sgt. KH, the arresting officer, said CB "basically caught her doing something he didn't approve of."

The couple started to argue and Sgt H says the verbal altercation moved inside. CB claims his wife grabbed ice cream, heated in the microwave, and threw it at him.

"The ice cream wasn't frozen when she threw it at him, that's for sure," Sgt H said.

When Sgt. H arrived, the front of CB's shirt and part of this head was covered in ice cream. Sgt. H guessed it was vanilla.

MRB was arrested for simple assault against her husband. She was intoxicated (blogger's note: BINGO!), according to Sgt. H.

CB wanted to file a domestic restraining order, and ultimately wanted his wife away from him, said Sgt. H.


High crime, y'all. High crimes indeed.

Friday, August 24, 2007


Did y'all see the new "insert video" tool in blogger today? Neat!


This morning I was a-working away at home (read: checking my personal e-mails and writing this here post), because I was planning to go in a little late so I could go by the bank and deposit a much-needed paycheck. Ah, things were going well - I was trading e-mails with a friend, IMing with another friend, checking the work e-mails just to be sure I wasn't supposed to be someplace at the time I planned to be doing some high-finance work, enjoying a second cup of coffee while still in my PJs, and getting ready to do the triple-S morning ablutionary duties.

And then the lights went out.

The hell? I just PAID my bill, so what on earth was going on?

I waited a few minutes, silently praying for the electric to cut back on (as they say down here), but to no avail. Hmmmm.

Stuck my head out the front door to see or hear if anyone else was similarly affected, and was treated to the sight of a couple of Electric Co trucks two doors down. Hmmmm again. What was going on?

Being a curious sort, I quickly donned a bra and dressed my other pasty-white bits, combed my hair, and ventured bravely out to address the workerman who was a-standing near the truck, looking like he might be a someone who could have vital information.

Hay, did y'all just cut off the power? I asked.

Yes, came the answer, with the addendum that they didn't know I was "pulling power from that pole" at which point my inner 12-year-old giggled because he said "pole."

How long y'all gonna be? I asked, giving full vent to my mad interrogative skillz.

About an hour, was the reply.

Y'all, there was no way I was going to, or COULD, wait another HOUR for what it is I needed to do (thinking that the water wouldn't work if the power was off...), so I packed my gym bag, put on some work-suitable clothing, and headed into the office, where the gym, hot water, and a functioning toilet waited.

5 minutes into my drive I realized I'd left the gym bag at home. I did not turn around to go get it...more important things were afoot!

No shower means that I'm grateful that my office has a door, because I'm here to tell you that thesuper-causal ponytail look I've got going on and lack of makeup (which is in my gym bag, of course!) is not a pretty thing.

And yeah, I took care of the other thing, and it was a wonderful thing indeed. It doesn't take much to make me happy, that much is for certain.

UPDATE: I have a lot to learn about city life. Apparently, if you're on a municipal system, water still works when the power goes out. Imagine that! My history with wells and well pumps has made me forget this. Also, the water heater would have kept the water hot for me for a while....I know this now. I swear y'all, sometimes I'm just the biggest goober hick out there. Sigh.


Oh, it appears as though we're back in the nooz biz! Lookit THESE prime examples of "How Not To Write A Headline"!

Tokyo housewife hid 1.7 million pounds in forex gains

Man, I need to find out where on my body the "forex gain" is, because I've got a few pounds I could hide.

More storms slam flooded Midwest

Hurricane Dean heard to say "yo main street so damp, even yo fungus got fungus!"

Early primaries may add more fundraising

The first through third-grade crowd is gonna sell MORE wrapping paper, y'all.

Romney: Mass. health plan can be copied

He suggests using Xerox machines.

Stocks up after economic data

Late for work as a result.

Astronomers find a hole in the universe

Leading researchers are planning to plug it up with an enormous log and a frog and a fly on the eye of the frog on the log on the hole in the middle of universe.......

WHO ties rising population, new diseases

Used a bowline, but a square knot would've done. Buncha showoffs.


And that's it for Friday y'all. Have yourselves a lovely weekend, and come back on Monday for tales of what is shaping up to be an extraordinarily boring weekend.

The tease? I do believe I'll have some "young Tiff" pics to post, which feature really really BAD '70's clothing. Who wouldn't want to see that? Nobody, that's who.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Your Welkin's in my Firmament

They're synonyms.


It's raining here. This is excellent news, for it could rain for 40 days and 40 nights and it probably STILL wouldn't be enough. Just look at this map!

Here's the key:

map legend for real-time streamflow condition map

As you can see, this is NOT a good state of affairs. There's hardly anything that's at "normal" stage right now. Most of the state, at least where the streamflow and resevoir heights are measured, is below normal, or, frighteningly, MUCH below normal. There are even some "lows" being recorded out in SW NC as well as in the greater Raleigh area. Now, Raleigh is typically dry, but the mountains normally are wet. This dry mountain thing is really unusual.

I'm totally rooting for Dean to wander up here and wet us all.


So, the Wordsmiths are doing it again.

Here's the picture that should be used for inspiration of you 500-word story, if you to choose to write something for our general amusement, edification, horrified entertainments, or whatnot:

The stories are due ath the end of the month,


To kick off the creative process, I think it would be a terrific idea to have a little caption contest! What say you? Leave 'em in the comments, and whoever's caption I like best (for I am the sole judge and arbiter in this small dark corner of the Interweb's dusty attic) will get a story written about that caption by ME, which will then be entered into the WSU's August challenge.

Hey y'all, it's not every day you get an opportunity like that, so turn up the clever generator to eleven and have at it!


Dat's all I gots for today folks. I've got a head that's doign it's best impersonation of the LaBrea tar pits, because the ideas are stuck in there and not pouring forth in a torrent of bloggy goodness as is the usual state of affairs around these parts.

Is there a topic decongestant out there for brain-block? One wonders.

Have a good one folks, and I'll see you tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Who I Used to Be

As I alluded to in an earlier post, I've been doing some unpacking of "things" from my deep dark past, and have found items that have helped me rediscover the me I used to be. One or two of these items are diaries, another is the scrapbook I kept throughout high school (which has ORIGINAL newspaper clippings from the first release of Star Wars. Oh, I was a high-grade geek grrrl).

Some of the stuff in these tomes are highly entertaining, some are heartbreaking, and some are infomative. In an effort to help y'all "get to know Tiff" better, and to share in some long-forgot teen angst, I now present to you an outtake from the recently discovered journal I kept from 1980 (the year I graduated High School) to late March 1983 (near the end of my junior year in college).

In this installment, I'm 18 years old, and am writing about a date I had with a college boy who was home on summer break and had asked me out on the advice of my German teacher. Um, yeah - my dates we set up BY MY TEACHERS with desperate (but cute) college boys. I was, to put it mildly, terribly terribly nervous at the thought of this date, being as how I had no practical experience with dating.
All spelling and phraseology is as I wrote it. See if you can spot the warning signs of a developing neurotic personality, as well as the start of a propentisty to overuse parenthetical phrases and ellipses....

Last night was it, Well, we went out to see "Ffolks," a Roger Moore picture, and then to eat. All the while, in the movie, on the way to eat, we talked! and talked, and talked. I think it was mostly about me. God I hope I wasn't boring. Anyway, we went to Richard's Inn and there was no band and no waitress. Hmmmm. We sat for about a minute and then walked out (he dragging me, really). Then we walked over to Mr Gatti's for a Pizza! (Extra large vegetarian speical. Well, it WAS family night and x-lgs were half price!) I couldn't eat much, I was too nervous. We came home, had a piece of birthday cake, watched the news, and at about 11:15, he went home.

I had a good time and he said he did too, but something happened that bothered me. See, I had left my umbrella in the car like a dummy and he came over here to drop it off. I didn't know he was here though. I was upstairs and heard a car come up the driveway, the back door open, Mom saying something, and then a car driving away. It was him, and I don't think he even asked if I was here! Mom said he had locked his car and turned off the engine, so it was like he was gonna stay for a bit, but he must have decided not to, why not? I still am a little upset.

I'm going to call him tomorrow, hopefully he'll be home and I can apologize for leaving my umbrella in his car, etc. I hope he wasn't disgusted by me last night, he didn't seem to be. Oh Bother! You'd think he wouldn't cut the date short if he wasn't having a good time. Why'd he kiss me if he didn't...Shoot! I'll have to wait until I call to find out what is really going on."

Y'all. It pains me to re-read this, and to know that I was this girl. Jeez - I wanted to APOLOGIZE for leaving my umbrella in his car, and for maybe disgusting him!!!! Holy cats! I could kick myself.

And yes, I know that a college boy leaving a date at 11:15 IS cutting the date short. Oh, I know that NOW. Back then though, staying up past 10 was a big deal. I was so very innocent.

By the end of this particular diary, I'd rough camped in Wyoming, gone to college, had a cupla-two-tree boyfriends, lost my virginity, fallen in and out of VAST TRACTS OF LOVE, changed my major, and developed a tad more self-confidence. Oh, I was still neurotic as all get out, but at least I wasn't agonizing over an apology about a forgotten umbrella anymore.

I'd be glad to tell you all about it sometime, if you're interested. My past pain will maybe make you feel ever so much better about yourself, and who doesn't want THAT?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Possessed sausages and life amongst the boxes

This was a good morning, except for the sausage.

The Things and I got up in plenty of time for them to finish the homework they negotiated last night to do this morning, so we were off to a grand beginning.

I, in a fit of domesticity (and due to a notable shortage of milk), decided to cook up some real brekkies of aigs and snausages so that my children could attend school with a nice hot meal in their tummies that would, no doubt, assist in their ability to absorb knowledge and perhaps even improve their handwriting. Therefore, several yummy pink maple-scented sausages were deposited in the skillet to brown in luscious fashion while I 1) made coffee, 2) scrambled eggs, and 3) made their lunches. Oh yes, I was on TOP of my game!

While busily building ham n' cheez samliches for their oh-so-lovingly-made brown bag lunches, I noticed motion out of the corner of my eye where motion ought not to be.

The frying pan.

One of the sausages was rolling back and forth, from the middle to the edge of the pan, and then back again.

Over and over and over.

I stared for a moment or seven at the strangely animated sausage, wondering what on this green earth could cause it to skitter around in such obvious fashion. Bugs in the meat? An aversion to heat? A bacteria-laden treat? Something more neat?

Being slightly weirded out wasn't helping get breakfast cooked, so I stopped the incessant to-and-fro with a pat of the spatula. At which point it started rolling again. Back and forth, hitting the pan edge on one end and a fellow meaty slab o' breakfasty goodness on the other end of its travel arc in a vain attempt at escape.

I had visions of The GingerBread Man, I did, that involved me chasing a slightly steamy meat link down North Main Street while it eerily chants in a Mr. Bill voice "run run as fast as you can, you can't catch me I'm the sausage man!" and here to tell you that THIS turn of events started to truly weird me out, not only because I thought of it at all, but because I immediately began to believe it could actually happen.

The second slap of spatula stopped the sausage's
sinister slithering.

Once it was well and truly dead, I ate it. Tasted fine, but if I listen closely I can hear a faint "oh noooo!" coming from the area of my abdomen. No, really. I can.


Also! The moving saga continues, in somewhat abbreviated fashion. More books have been unearthed, all of which are being deposited in my bedroom for lack of anyplace ELSE to put them right now. I envision that one day there will be bookshelves tracing a line of literary possibility along the living room walls, but for now all that potential is shut up in boxes that once held paint, just waiting to burst forth and inspire me to once more read (the books, of course, and not the ghosts of paint past).

Amongst the books was discovered another treasure from my past: the photo album I kept while in high school. Oh, the pages are turning darker with age, but it appears that all the photos therein have been well preserved. The teenaged me peeks out from the pages, arm in arm with old and dear friends. In one, I am in the band room on graduation night with all my closest friends. It appears as though we all made a deal to wear white dresses - mine was made by my mother, a mandarin-style sleeveless affair with a stand-up collar and cap sleeves. It was a gorgeous satin material with a white-on-white print and a thin belt. Man, could my mom sew. Man, was I skinny. There I am, laughing with Kai and Libby and thinking that the whole world was my oyster.

In so many ways, I was right.

Other items retrieved from the boxes o' stuff: a teapot I don't remember owning, some very unattractive pottery, a set of condiment dishes, the changing table set that my MIL had when HER kids were little (to be returned to the spousal unit), reams of papers from the Things' early school years, lots of random pictures, 2 boxes of Christmas decorations, and a bunch of sheet music from high school.

There are about 8 more boxes to unpack. I am eager to see what's in them, and hope I have a place for everything I want to keep. Some of this stuff hasn't seen the light of day for a good 20 years, and I think that's quite long enough, don't you?


More tomorrow, and if you're very good boys and girls today, I might even make it interesting.

Monday, August 20, 2007

One liter down

One more to go for today's goal of 2 liters of water consumed. I do this for a week, then move to 3 liters next week.

Dehydration can play hell on your organs, and make life very incomfortable indeed if the dehydration is maintained for long enough. How much water is enough water though?

Go here to find out.

According to that little quiz, I should be drinking 4 liters of water a day. 4 liters is fine, as long as I don't get pregnant, or randomly decide to start breastfeeding. Or move to a dry climate. Or get sick. Or start to workout a whole.lot.more.

4 liters! Jeez. I start drinking that much, and my activity level will HAVE to go up, being as how I'll be back n' forth to the little scientists room a brazilian times thoughout the day. I'll wear a path in the carpet with that much water getting into my system, and might need to think about wearing skirts more often for the "ease of access" nature of 'em during this little "training" period. I expect I'm going to be on a first-name basis with my bladder pretty darned soon (I've long suspected her name is "Peanut," if you must know).

Do y'all pay careful attention to this aquarific hydroissue? If so, how has it changed you life to be well hydrated? I need motivation to keep going here!


I'm busy busy again today. Go read yesterday's post to make up for the lack of words today, if you would please.

See y'all tomorrow!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Memories take up a lot of room

My kitchen has been invaded by my past.

All those boxes, full of memories I have no place for right now. Memories take up a lot of room, making it necessary for me to sidle around them as I cook, easing past the ghosts in the boxes, wondering what version of me is contained therein.

Albert the cat knows what to do. He's busily making all those memories "his" by repeated and vigorous cheek rubbing against He's a very busy cat, what with all the new ownership responsibilities of not only the boxes, but of the two new-to-him chairs in my bedroom, the new placement of my bed (it's an experiment, I'm still not sure I'm sold on the whole "diagonal" thing), the new chair in the Things' room, the two new armoires, and several new side tables. Why, this very moment he's racing around the house marvelling at all the new stuff, zipping from room to room just blowing his little kitty mind with all the ob-zhay he now has to include in the inventory of "all things Albert's."

I wonder what he thinks of the change. The Scandanavian sparseness of the Tiny House's former decorating scheme has been upended. We are now well stocked with blasts from the past, in completely noncoordinating styles. There's a Queen Anne coffee table in my Mission-style living room, there are rust-colored Americana-style recliners (one of which is so badly broken that it needs to be propped against the wall to prevent comically exaggerated saggage) and a cherry side table in my bedroom that are currently threatning to establish a theme that I'm not completely comfortable with, there is a hugemongous armoire in the corner of my bedroom that goes with nothing but has been mine since I was 12 and therefore must remain mine, and I'm not even going to talk about the sewing machine cabinet except to say that I sure hope my grandma (bless her soul) appreciates me still having that beast.

The sick and twisted part of all this "stuff incursion? There's an empty corner in my bedroom that I now feel the need to fill with something. I was happy with it being empty yesterday. Now it looks bare.

Maybe that's where I should put the boxes. Maybe then the hushed whispers of the past will work their way into my mind as I sleep, populating my dreams with images of times gone by, or history to be revealed.

It's worth a shot, and might be preferable to using my kitchen-as-obstacle course.

Sure hope Albert is up for another change in scenery.


UPDATE (after spending some time unpacking):

Apparently I like books. A LOT of books. Boxes and boxes of books.

One of which is my diary from college, which I spent 45 minutes reading this afternoon. OMG y'all, O.M.G. I discovered two now-remembered BFs that should have made the list of 12 from the other day. I dated a COMEDIAN, y'all, and forgot all about it! JeeEEEEeeez.

This diary, plus the recently-discovered one from my mid-20s, have reintroduced me to a me I almost forget. I find me fascinating. Shallow and nerve-wracked, yes, but fascinating nonetheless. Heh, who knows? Maybe I'll transcribe some of the material herein....just for fun.

Friday, August 17, 2007

He Ain't Nobody's Pork Chop

Y'all. I was totally in the mood to do some Yahoo headline twistery today, but when I looked for snark fodder I found stuff like:

Earthquake in Peru
Truck Bombs in Iraq
Mine Collapses in Utah

and I very quickly became both discouraged and aware of my own mortality. I can't make fun of tragedy, I just don't have that hard a heart. Oh, I'm sure I could plumb the depths of the entertainment section, and there was one promising headline ("Stocks Jump on Discount Rate Cut" - to which I would have said "Rub salt into wound just for spite") but nothing near enough to get a whole post out of.

Then I looked at the pictures, thinking that I could do a photo-heavy post, but unless I wanted to post shots of 1) devastation; 2) grief; 3) that hideously fat Mexican man who's getting into the Guinness Book of World Records for being astronomically corpulent AND for losing the most weight in one year (440 POUNDS!); or, rather strikingly conversely, 4) those teenaged beauty pageant contestants who look like they're about 28 years old trotting around in their little bikinis and smiling through the pain of wearing high heels (originally mistyped hells) and a metric assload of makeup while their emaciated stomachs are growling for something, ANYTHING, to eat; then I was bereft of choices, really.

(feel free to correct the punctuation in that previous sentence. I'm not at all sure I got it right)

Yahoo has let me down, in a most spectacular fashion. Sigh.

HOWEVER! I shall not let that stop me from posting! Nevah! I must simply switch gears to natter on about something personal; a "something" that's got me all agog with amazement.

Thing 1 has been invited to go see a movie tonight.



While we were at the grocery store yesterday evening, purchasing something out of which to fashion dinner (recipe below!), he was talking with her on his cell phone. He's asking her what she's thinking of going to see, and then he replies"oh, Hairspray? I heard that was supposed to be pretty good. Yeah, I'm OK with going to that. Let me call Drew and tell him. See ya," at which point a little something broke off my heart and went wandering up into my throat, sticking there and swelling up, causing my eyes to water a little at the miracle that is Thing 1 at almost 12 years old. He's working this growing up thing like a pro. He's handling it so damned well. Very cool, very matter-of-fact.

So, anywho, maternal waterworky tangent notwithstanding, this movie is not a 1-on1 thing, which I firmly believe is a very.good.thing.indeed. There are 4 kids going, and the girl is the only girl (way to rock the odds, little sister!). Y'all, this is significant for him AND for me, because, well,,,,,,,he got ASKED, which means kids LIKE him, which means he's socially OK, which means I can stop fretting about the semi-outcast status he'd held for a few of his early school years, which means that high school will probably be OK for him, which means THANK YOU GOD FOR HEARING MY PRAYERS!!!!

Or is that too much to pin on one movie outing?


Dinner last night was chicken quesadillas, done like dis hyar:

1 cup chopped zucchini

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut in bite size pieces
2/3 C flour
1 TBSP cumin
1 TBSP spice mix (whatever you've got on hand....I use some grill mix)

1 cup 4-cheese blend shredded cheese

fat-free sour cream

6 whole wheat tortillas

-Saute the chopped zucchini until tender, set aside

-Mix the flour, cumin, and spice mix. Dredge the chicken pieces in the mix until will coated, and brown in oil. Drain.

-Place a tortilla in a hot greased skillet, layer in a few pieces of chicken, about 2 TBSP zucchini, a bit of cheese, and 2 dollops of sour cream on one half. Fold top over, cook for a minute, flip and cook the other side for a minute until browned. Repeat until all the makin's are used up. Hold the cooked ones in a 150F oven until a nice BIG plate of pseudo Mexi-goodness is heaped thereupon.

This recipe will easily make 6, except I kept eating the chicken right out of the bowl while I was cooking and so we only had 5. Oopsie! But hey - they were just like wee tender juicy chicken nuggets, and they were calling to me succulently, those tempting tan morsels of cluck. Mmm, cluck morsels.

Oh! You could also serve the chicken on the side if there are vegeteranians where you live. If you do, I'd recommend putting in some extra zuke just to give the quesadilla some heft.

My kids ate these down like there was never going to be another meal, even after they knew there was zucchini inside. THAT'S some good eatin' right there, especially when served with a side of some veggie (we had corn). So there you go - give it a shot and see how YOUR clan likes 'em, then tell them it's straight from the kitchen of Auntie Tiff.

Happy weekend y'all. See you Monday.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

At this rate, I'm going to jingle soon

'Cuz I got tagged again by my buddy Sparky Duck. Yay!

(get it? lotsa tags = jingle? Like a dog's collar? Yes? Hello?)

Here goes, first with the rules and then with the answers and THEN with the tags.

1. You have to post these rules before you give the facts. (author's note: check)

2. You must list one fact that is somehow relevant to your life for each letter of your middle name. If you don’t have a middle name, use the middle name you would have liked to have had. (author's note: check)

3. At the end of your blog post, you need to choose one person for each letter of your middle name to tag. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog. (author's not: at the time of publication, it's yes to the first, no to the second... yet)


So, that means 3 folks will get tagged (because, yes, my middle name has three letters). Ooooh, who will it be? Aren't we all a-twitter with anticipation? Can we hardly WAIT to see who gets the nod today? Isn't it much like the moment of envelope-opening at the Academy Awards?

I should think so!

But foist, more about me.

L - Lazy. Horrifically so. However, it's an undercover laziness, a LONGING to be lazy, mostly. My house isn't a mess, I keep the dishes washed, the clothes clean, etc., etc., but in my HEART I'm wanting to hang out and read a book, take a nap, watch about 5 hours of cartoons, or lay in the backyard thinking about how clouds form. Let's not even go into the ways I've devised to creatively loaf at work....I could teach classes in procrastination, much to my everlasting shame.

E - eager? empathetic? easy? energizing? everlovin? evil? Are these things FACTS, or opinions? Gah. I'm already stuck and I've got a whole other E to go here. E, e, e, fact. Come on, brain!

Oh wait - I've got a good one: EAVESDROPPER. Oh
yes. I'm one of those people who, if you're sharing a meal in a public place with me, will stop paying attention to you (sorry, in advance) and focus intently on the conversation going on behind me if some trigger word (sex, death, cursing) hits my ear. I seem to not me able to help it - I believe this goes along with my inability to think if the radio is on, or to study if someone is talking in the background. I'm sure there's a diagnosis for this problem, some kind of attention deficit something or another, and I sure wish I WASN'T this way, but there you go. Me = a Nosy McEavesdropper, and that's the truth. Now, what was it you were saying?

E - educator. Wow, after all the angst of the first "e," THIS was easy.

Totally true fact: I was once a certified, bona fide, washed and dried high school biology teacher. I did my student teaching and said "oh HELL no" then went to grad school, where I taught for the next three years. Why did I say "oh hell no" you ask? Well, it's because I was 22 years old and knew after 8 weeks of the day-in and day-out of the hard work that is teaching that there was no way on this green Earth that I was responsible enough to take the reins of several classes worth of teenaged students and teach them biology. No way at all. Oh, I would have started out strong, but somewhere around Thanksgiving I know I would have pooped out and started to devolve into a "filmstrip teacher," and I did not want that. Soooo, I eased into grad school, taught Bio 101 labs for a year then moved on to teaching Microbiology to the nursing and premed students, and had a grand old time. The teaching bug still bites me from time to time - I love doing training at work and making complicated things easy to understand. But yeah, but for a momentary blast of self-awareness as a very young woman, I might be writing this to you from the front of a classroom, anticipating my imminent retirement.


I'll now give you three guesses as to what my middle name is.

C'mon y'all. Really.

The first one to guess WHY it's my middle name gets the junior private eye award, because I just so happen to have one in my back pocket (along with a crumbled pack of thin mints, the false passport of a Cuban national named Jeanette McGillucuddy, some thumbtacks, and the nostril hairs of an Asian elephant that once tried to bitch slap me. It can be difficult to sit down at times) and I feel the need to lighten the load a little bit.

And now, the tags:



Redneck Scottsdale Princess

I'd tag a whole BUNCH more of y'all, but my middle name is way too short for that. HOWEVER, there's nothing in the rules to say that this can't be an "open house" play-along, is that? If ya wanna, go for it, but please tell me you did, because I'd LOVE to know more about you.


Weather forecast today: 101 degrees. No rain in sight. I'm pretty sure I can hear my brain bubbling.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

I'm going to the Carnival (I hope)

Well well well. The Carnival of the Mundane is back, this time with a theme that I simply can't resist.

"The Ones That Got Away (or alternately, The Ones That Ran For Their Lives…)"

Oh.BOY! A post that writes itself! The instructions were to write a story or post regarding an old flame, a lost love, a crush gone bad. Sure, I can do that. I can do THAT many times over. Which old boyfriend story should I pick?

Let's run down the list of old flames and the reasons the relationships went DOWN in flams first, shall we?

  • 1) CM - dumped me for a tall blonde after one date. I was freshman in HS.
  • 2) MK - dumped me for a tall blonde after 2 weeks. I was a freshman in college.
  • 3) CA - I dumped him after 4 months of dating, so I could date #4.
  • 4) SM - who I had lusted after for a whole year and who flabbergasted me by asking me to be his girlfriend. Gave up what small portion of virginity I had left to him, and three months later he dumped me. I was a jealous wreck, and probably no fun to be around. I was a sophomore in college, and heartbroken for the first time.
  • 5) BS - dated him for a year, and enjoyed the heck out of it. Nice guy, wanted to marry me. I ran. I was a junior in college, and just.not.ready.
  • 6) JG - what can I say? Lust happens. For three months we raised the temperature of whatever room we were in together. He dumped me for a cute little violin player. I mocked him when he wound up in the infirmary with a testicular infection because she wouldn't put out. To his face. Yes, I can be that mean.
  • 7) MR - dated him for OVER a year. My first "living with a guy" experience, during which we shared space with a 7-foot-long boa constrictor and a 6-foot-long python, then became involved with starting a life science museum on campus. Turns out in the end that I wasn't Catholic enough for his family (or seomthing). The relationship fizzled out. I was a senior in college, and deeply disappointed. So, I started up with #8.
  • 8) SM - smoking hot meat cutter and musician. Had a "relationship" for several months that was supposed to be all about the physical and NONE of the emotional. You can imagine how well that worked. We had a great time, but dood was like a puff of smoke if you tried to hold onto him. He drifted off after about 6 months, leaving me wondering "what the hell just happened?"
  • 9) BM - he was cute, my type, and available. I learned to smoke weed like a pro because of him. He dumped me for a hippie chick after about 4 months. We worked in the same place afterward, and I was glad the relationship didn't last. Had my first "on air" experience with him, as a Swedish housemaid named Ursula. Oh yeah, he was a DJ at the local 101 rock station too.
  • 10) CR - my first "interracial" experience. Was SM's best friend, met while out with SM on a platonic date and CR threw a beer at SM, hitting me. What better way to start a relationship? We dated for several months, but it didn't go anywhere. Fizzled after about 3 months. I don't really remember HOW it ended.
  • 11) JE - hippie dude. Kissed him on purpose at a house party, and we slept on the floor of his new cabin that night. Nice as all get out, environmentally aware, introduced me to mountain biking and vegetarianism, but the chemistry wasn't there. We dumped each other after 5 months in the weirdest breakup ever, while lying in BED, talking. Came to it very logically, then dated for another month. I then dumped him for #12.
  • 12) DG - hothothothothot computer geek with lots of money. I thought it would last forever. I was totally into this guy, thought he was everything I ever wanted. It lasted 4 months, he dumped me, we got back together, dated for another three months, then it fizzled out. I was 26.

Then I got married.

There were others, I'm pretty sure, but these guys are the ones that I remember. I'm fairly certain I have them in the right order.

Only a couple of thses relationships caused any huge grief when they ended - I stayed friends with the majority of guys (given enough recuperation time after the dumping), I went to the wedding of at least ONE of them (CA), one of them came to my wedding (SM), and have seen a couple of them in the years and years since we were together. By and large they've matured into wonderful men.


I've written about a lot of them before, in one way or another. I've written about heart-wrenching breakups (BM and DG, I'm looking at YOU), wonderful memories (thanks SM and BS), recognizing my violent streak (JG), and confusion (CM) and so much more, that telling any of these stories again would be reiterative.

I loved them all as best I could when I was the person I was dating them. Some of them loved me back, at least for a little while. If I had to ask myself what I was looking for in each of them, I'd have to say "someone with whom I could just be myself," and if I was truthful, I'd also have to say that I never was really myself with any of them, thinking that it wasn't going to be perfect enough if I was.

Now that I'm ever so much older, I realize that some of them might have loved me more if I had been more me. Funny how all that works, isn't it, how the ones that got away teach us in slow lessons how being ourselves is the best way to be? How taking on a personna to suit to partner is a dangerous business, because part of who you are is necessarily subsumed for the sake of maintaining a relationship.

I'm here to tell you that THAT will never happen again.

So, "the one that got away" turns into "the dozen that changed my life." I hope it's good enough for inclusion in the carnival.

What about y'all? Do you have any good breakup stories that truly stand out? Anything you'd like to share? Do tell, please.