Sunday, September 30, 2007

September Morn

For the Wordsmiths.


Damn, if it weren't so freaking cold everything'd be easier.

Shit. Temps in the teens. Nothing's like it should be. That girl won't shut the fuck up. I can hear her screaming out there. This was supposed to be easy. Fuck.

What the hell is winter doing closin' in so soon? We was supposed to have had a bunch of time to ease her into likin' us. This cold ain't gonna do us a lick a' good, you know? She's holerin' out there just like she's at a revival meetin' and prob'ly someone on the state road is gonna hear her. Shit.

Sad fact is that this early snow ain't gonna stop people from coming up the holler in search of Uncle Hilly's sourwood honey. I try to look on the bright side, but there ain't one here. Daggone it, somebody's gonna hear her now that we had to move her to the barn. You know damn well that if it were warm out she'd not be yellin for another blanket, not be yelling about her damn feet, not BE yelling about somebody pleeze be savin' her fine ass. If it were still warm out she'd be nested down in the barn like the animal she is, mooing and knucklin' under. We could watch her then, if it were warm out.

Hell, if it were warm out, like it's supposed to be in September, we could have her out by the blue hole, all lathered up and ready for fun, blindfolded and helpless like we'd planned. But it ain't warm, is it, and city girl's got a mouth on her as wide as Aunt Essie's hips, by Gawd and all.

Daggone it. She's still fuckin' yelling. Goats in the barn won't give milk with that wailing going on. We need that milk more than we need her. Somebody's gotta stop it, Enis, and you know it. Somebody's gotta either set her free or end it. It's been long enough. Three month's fun is done and gone now. We either let her go or we end it all. She's cold, Enis. Her feet are hard as ice. She's yellin' and hurtin'. We gotta to do somethin'.

It was your idea, anyhow.

You decide. We got to do somethin', or Jubal Gomes from down the town is gonna hear her on patrol come 8, and I don't like the idea of him comin' up here anyhow. He's got the knick on us since the Bailey kid gone missin', and I ain't never heard from you that she wadn't one a yours anyhow.

Enis. You decide.

City girl is cold, but she's fightin'. One hammer blow'd do it, Enis. One hit. Do it, Enis, and I won't tell the cops about Kaitlyn Bailey's tiny thumb what as you keep in your bedside table. Do it, or go to prison, Enis, because this was all your idea.

I would'a taken her in spring, is all I'm sayin'.

Good boy Enis. Yes, I love you.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Takin' a ride in the wayback machine

So, Lenny H mentioned something in yesterday's comments about a show I recall watching as a young thing that impressed the living bejabbers out of me and quite possibly, if anyone had been paying careful enough attention, could have pointed out my lifeling love of the underdog/Robin Hood/bad boy.

What is the show, you ask? "The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh," I answer.

As soon I read the words in Lenny comment, the theme song began running through my head, but as these things go only the first two lines ran along (scarecrow, scarecrow-oh, the soldies of the king feared his name! click on the link to hear the song!), over and over and over. Therefore, I did the natural thing and google'd, coming up in short order with the lyrics to the tune as well as a brief introduction to the show/film itself. I was prepared to be underwhelmed, because I like to set my sights low for such things, but in the end was mightily impressed by what I saw, for how can you NOT like a show for which some of the lyrics are derisive laughter?

And I quote:

" On the southern coast of England, there's a legend people tell,
Of days long ago when the great Scarecrow would ride from the jaws of Hell
And laugh (Ahhh! Ha-ha! Ha-ha! Haaa!) with a fiendish yell!
With his clothes all torn and tattered,
Through the black of night he'd ride,
From the marsh to the coast like a demon ghost
He'd show his face then hide (He'd rob the rich then hide)
And he'd laugh (Ahhh! Ha-ha! Ha-ha! Haaa!) till he split his side!"

Take a gander. Then just try to tell me that the Scarecrow is not a terrific Hallowe'en costume idea. Be warned though - I will argue with you if you do.

Lenny? You may have just won an imitator in Wake Forest. Thanks for the awesome idea.

And now I have a suggestion: this year on Hallowe'en, let us ALL dress up like the scarecrow of Romney Marsh, creating a new surge in appreciation for this almost-lost hero of British History and the American airwaves. Come on, JOIN ME!! And when people ask if we're mutant Jack Sparrows, we can set them straight and school 'em on one on the best-evar figures to grace the common experience. Jack Sparrow my eye - Dr. Syn RULES!!

Friday, September 28, 2007

All your headlines are belong to us

This is gross: I just burped and it tasted like soap.

Ivory soap.


This is not gross: Tracy Lynn is the proud owner of a new box o' nonsense. Yay!!

In case y'all didn't know, Renn and I periodically go shopping for the Mistress of Spoon Flingery. Why? We don't know; it seemed like a good idea when we started doing this almost a year ago, and it continues to be a lot of fun, so we keep on a-shopping.

We tend to hit up the dollar spot at Target, for they have wonderful items stocked therein that make things like "careful selection" and "will she LIKE it" nonrelevant. Who CARES if she likes it? It was only a dollar! Woo! Then we hit up the candy aisle in order to procure bizarre third-world candy selections like root-beer flavored gummy pop bottles and ANYTHING made in the Ukraine. There are occasional forays into the magazine section for unusual reading materials, but by and large these boxes are concentrated on silly and frivolous things, plus an occasional article of clothing. Like legwarmers. Come on, they were only a dollar!

Doing stuff like this is fun as all get out, and when it's for a super-appreciative audience like TL, well there's just about nothing better.

(Albert sent Los Gatos about a million packing peanuts. This was particularly generous, because Albert loves him some packing peanuts. Apparently they are fun AND delicious!)


So it seems that Marie Antoinette's pearl necklace is being sold.

Write your own joke, people.


Russia seeks report on Iran nuke program

If it were me I'd look under the couch cushions. Stuff always seems to turn up there at my house.

US offers attorneys to terror suspects

They're delicious braised.

Strong Canadian dollar said hurting pot exports

Anybody else getting a mental image of a muscular bill beating up some Mountie-red kitchenware?

Bloomberg at home with Bill Clinton

They're reading TowleRoad and Joe My God, picking out the perfect set of dishes, and planning a trip to Provincetown, y'all, and I for one am happy for them.


Does anybody else think that Steve Fossett is dating Amelia Earhart now?


And that's it for today, except that I haven't asked y'all a question of the day in a very long time indeed, so here's one for Friday that you can opine on in the comments:

What's your best Hallowe'en costume EVAR? Either as a kid or an adult.

Mine is not even mine, but it was freaking hilarious: my buddy Bloggerwannabe bedecked a sport coat with about a zillion cigarettes, and went as a "smoking jacket." Most popular girl at ALL the parties, she was. I have not been able to top that effort, never ever.

Of course, then there was the year that the P house girls went as bodily fluids.....that was kinda awesome too.

What about YOU?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Oh dear oh dear.

I love gmail. I use it all the time, and am almost tempted to shunt all my e-mail doings over to there for ease of use. It's fabulous the way it saves converzations, the way you can retrieve almost any message by using the fancy-schmancy search feature, and how the little system tray icon thingie goes "bing bong" and turns blue when new mail has arrived. It's pretty darn cool.

What's maybe NOT so cool is the ads list that pops up in the sidebar of e-mail conversations, because those ads are targeted at content points of your e-mails. It's demi-creepy, and I don't much care for it.

However, sometimes the creepy spy ad list can be rather, um, humorous. For example: here are the sidebar ads (Gmail calls them "sponsored links") from a g-mail string I had going recently.

Boundary Therapy
Boundary is critical to connection and healing

Things To Not Say At Work
Learn The Top 5 Things You Should Never Say At Work

Glucose Symptoms
The Facts That Your Doctor Doesn't Want To Tell You - Read Urgently!

Constipation Cause
How toxin-filled colon build-up causes constipation. Remove it

Make Him Want To Commit
Free Tools & Relationship Advice To Make Him Want To Commit To You Now!

Too Hot To Sleep
Night Sweats, Tossing and Turning Sleep cooler and deeper tonight

Are You AlwaysTired?
Here Are Proven Techniques That Will Help You Get Rid of Tiredness.

Personal Hygiene
When You're Stressed, Ban® Keeps You Fresh and Dry!

Really now.
It appears from these ads as though I'm a stinky, sweaty, tired, diabetic, constipated, desperate bigmouth with personal space issues.

Spooky how accurate it is.


Oh, hey y'all - have you checked out the Wordsmiths September challenge? It's almost the end of the month, so get your writin' hats on and get to work.

You know, if you WANT to. No pressure. Nope, none. It's free will time, all the time.

But, really, why would you NOT? It's a pretty picture for this month's prompt. Go on, go take a look.

Then choose to write. Please and thank you and have a nice day.


Word to the wise: If you're working at home, and in your PJs, and the PJs are basically just a big tee shirt and nothing else, then it's probably best that you do NOT answer the knock on the door, even if it does come three times, because then there will be an elderly lady at your door wanting to make sure you know about the neighborhood's centennial party that's coming up and ask you if you want to show you house during the celebration, and while you've got the door open your indoor cat will want to become an outdoor cat, and you'll probably then stoop down to pick UP the cat so that he doesn't escape, only realizing much too late that you're not wearing any form of undergarment and that you've very likely just flashed not only your elderly neighbor but also the four little girls that she babysits who have accompanied her on her mission of neighborly invitation, and in all likelihood yours are the first pair of boobs that they've ever seen, and so hey, welcome to the neighborhood Flashy McFlasherson.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Turning out the pockets of my mind

First, an answer to "how did you get strikethrough font in yesterday's post?"

I used Word to compose the post. I have no idea if Blogger even allows for creation of struckthrough font. If you don't know how to do that in Word, it's easy. Just type up your post, select the text you want to be struck through, and from the "format" menu choose "font" and then check the box that says "strikethrough." There's even a cool "double strikethrough" for all y'all what as don't believe that a single strike is sufficient.

Here's a graphical representation of what my screen looks like when I'm in the font formatting mode (click to embiggen):

Lotsa cool little buttons to push n' stuff, huh? For all y'all nervous Nellies out there, don't worry if you push the wrong button, because that's what the Undo function is for! Go ahead, play! Explore! Wheeee!!!

OK - I'm sure that the really awesome and very cool and highly way more edumacated-than-me bloggers out there who use online editing toolz can offer up other suggestions, but for me Word works because I know how to use it.


Second, what would you do if, while you were falling asleep, you felt a something crawling on your arm that didn't feel very much at all like your cat, but instead felt rather smaller and more eight-leggedy?

If you were me (which would be weird because then who would I be?), you'd brush the unknown crawly thing off your arm in an allfired hurry, THEN turn on your bedside light to see where it went, and when it become apparent that it didn't "go" very far at all but instead is still in your bed, with several of its multiple legs still waving, albeit in a somewhat disorganized fashion that MIGHT be a death twitch, you'd squick right the hell on out because it still might be able to crawl and then you'd think "OMG where is the toilet paper" so you can get a hunk of it to grab the almost-but-not-quite dead crawly thing in preparation for the final flushing.

And when you found out that the ONE crawly thing was instead TWO crawly things that, to all appearances, were using your arm as a platform for coitus, you'd probably then almost puke and then shiver all over and then wonder if that wet spot on your sheets that you THOUGHT was spider guts was not spider guts at ALL but was instead spider sperm, and then you'd wonder if stripping your bed and washing the sheets to rid them of one tiny pinhead sized drop of arachnid jizz is reasonable behavior.

You would do these things, if you were me.


Second and a half-ly:

I did not wash the sheets. I put a towel over the mystery wet spot and went back to sleep.

If, in a month or so, it becomes apparent that I'm pregnant with the progeny of an accidental arachnid/human mating due to migration of certain mystery wet-spot components to my aging uterus, PLEASE do NOT hum "Hello My Treacherous Friends" to me over the phone as I spin a web in the corner of my room in preparation for the imminent arrival of my hundreds of babies.

I will not be in the mood for it.


Thirdly: My hair is now long enough to french braid and to put in a ponytail without too many shortie frontal pilial escapees. This makes me happy.


Fourthly, and finally:

Try not to think about your tongue. Have a nice day.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

I oughtta be more tired, I think

This morning I sat down with paper and pen and wrote me out a plan for the day. This plan was going to be chock full of good things to do, if by “good” one means “productive” and, perhaps more tellingly, “should have been done MONTHS ago."


The list came about because the Things are with their Dad this week, and so rather than just loafing around for most of the day with the mild sense of anxiety and loneliness that normally accompanies their absence, I decided to get on the farking BALL and make something of my day.

A note:If they were here, then I’m sure my day would have gone something more like “cook, eat, clean up, break up a fight, grocery shop, cook, eat, clean up, break up a fight, make a snack, clean up, negotiate a d├ętente with the preadolescent warring factions, divert attention with an outdoor activity, cook, eat, clean up, watch teevee, go to sleep.” I can hang with that schedule. I know what to DO with that schedule. I’m COMFORTABLE with that schedule.

However, that schedule was not to be, and I felt compelled to DO something with this whole day of open time. The usual diversion of “lots of work for work I could be doing” wasn't even present for which I could could spend time avoiding with some waste of time activity like web surfing or whatnot, because, while there IS work to do, and I’ll do some of it (once I get done posting this, because priorities are what they are and we all know where posting comes in the spectrum of priorities for me, don’t we Kingfisher?), it is not a HORRIFIC amount of work to do and there are no fires to put out and no dragons of Corporatia breathing down my procrastinating neck, so I had an unusual sense of being at sixes and sevens with my time.

Sometimes I’m OK with this. Today was not going to be one of those days.

Therefore, the inception of the list, which I present to you here, because I’m all proud of it and what I got done and what I added to it that I didn’t think I was going to do but did anyway because, if you’ll notice, there is “ironing” on the list and I’ll invent just about ANYTHING to do in order to avoid the iron. (and yes, y'all, it shows).

Accomplished items are struck through. Ad hoc items are in italics.

  • Take box of stuff to Goodwill (OK, it got into the car, so I get a half a strikethrough)
  • Screw down towel rack to bathroom door (author’s note: damn I love my new electric drill driver!)
  • Finish mowing (and y’all? if you knew what shape my yard was in you’d understand why it took me 90 minutes to mow about half of a 0.21 acre yard. To tell the truth, the grass was so long out back that I was afraid I’d be beheading a nest of baby bunnies with the whirring electric mower of lagomorph DOOM, or maybe scattering whole tribes of poisonous snakes or maybe flushing out a heckle of hyenas. Oh, and the grass, the long, long grass, was also wet. Never let it be said that I choose to do things the easy way.)
  • Polish nails
  • Weeding
  • Straighten living room
  • Iron
  • Make bananananananana bread (2 loaves!)
  • Write up presentation on working with graphics in PowerPoint for Thursday’s training
  • Do change of address (y’all - it costs a dollar to do online! I did not do it online. I will save the dollar and go to the P.O.)
  • Sort mail.
  • Cancel unwanted magazines
  • Move bird house (which, you need to know, involved digging the post to which it was attached, and the cement to which the post was attached, out of the ground and then digging a NEW hole at the back of the yard, then reburying the post and filling in the old hole. This was sweaty work, but fun in a weird “doesn’t it feel good to be WORKING at something” kind of way)
  • Vacuum
  • Replace batteries in smoke detectors
  • Do dishes
  • Chase the kitty
  • Take a nap

So, while it seems like I should be more tired than I am, the addition of a post-shower midafternoon nap (heh-vuhn!) has taken care of that, and I’m now totally ready to go do that presentation.

Ya know, as soon as I polish my nails.

Friday, September 21, 2007

This is RICH!

The motherlode has been struck boys and girls! The yahoos over at Yahoo are apparently onto my game, and have decided today's the day to gift me with riches.

Good thing too, because after the disappointing results of this week's lottery, I need me some riches, no matter what kind.

Here then are this Friday's Yahoo headlines, and how those of us who don't care to read beyond them could totally pervert their meaning. Oh yes, it's gonna be a great day!


Israel urged to turn over Arab areas

And while some would say that a nice Danish or popover treatment would be better, turnovers it is for the Arabs!

Glamorous politician wants law to allow 7-year itch

A rider to the bill would also allow for a plague of boils and a river or two of blood.

Frequent Cell Phone Use May Slow Brain Function

Can you hear me now? How about now? Hey, what was that you said? Would you please repeat that? I just went into a tunnel/elevator/black hole/dip in the road and lost you. Are you there? Damn.

US resumes Blackwater convoys in Iraq

Oh Blackwater, keep on rollin', Sadr City moon won't you keep on shinin' on me.

1,500 Myanmar monks march in Yangon

I'd like to see them march in Yangoff myself. Might get messy though.

Five Democrats discuss health care in IA

Down at BillyJoe's Pack n' Go the few remaining liberals in the state gathered around the coffee pot to talk in hushed tones about their dreams for a socialized medicine program. They dared not speak too loudly, lest they raise the ire of Nancy who worked behind the counter. Nancy, you see, was quick with a handgun and an opinion of "those pinko commie tree-hugging hemp-smoking crackpot hippie America-hatin' Democrats," and the last few remaining liberals in Iowa were in no frame of mind to have their number dwindle any further after the unfortunate shooting of Tap Ramekin just a week before.

Astronomers: Neptune's south pole warmer

Than Uranus.

Snoop Dogg pleads guilty in baton case

How he FIT in there is beyond me.

Captain Pike is most impressed by this extraordinary physical feat.

House Moves to Protect Air Passengers

Yes folks, it's an amazing thing to behold - every afternoon as the 5 o'clock flight from Boise swoops low into the Chatterling Regional Jet Depot, the old Bilroy homestead, which is directly off the end of the runway, has taken to stepping off its foundation and out of the way so that all those nice people on board the plane are just that much safer. And people thought that the haunting was going to be a BAD thing.

Giuliani builds political base in Texas

Plans call for it to lean to the right, be painted in shade of vibrant red, and be large enough to host a rally.


Y'all have a great weekend now, y'heeyah?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

So, hey there anyhow!

Didja miss me? Huh? Didja?

Well, no more, for I am back and ready to spout more drivel and blathertastic nonsense.

For starters, may I just tell you that I'm maybe a little in love with the great outdoors again? I got to camp and climb a mountain and cook over an open flame and play with a fire or three and sleep in the great outdoors, and manohman was that wonderful. I'd been feeling very very disconnected from the world, and from the earth in particular, and from the sun in REAL particular, and had to make an escape to somewhere not-here. I found it in the mountains, tucked in the folds of earth and stone that make up the western part of this state.

I also found an awesome glider rocker for my front porch.

And a really soft fuzzy sweater.

And some cool coffee mugs.

And some Christmas decorations.

And some new camping stuff that now smells like woodsmoke, which is hella wonderful.

And some hobo pie makers, which before this weekend I did not know about, but can I just say that toasted jelly sammiches made in one of those lil' cookermabobs and topped with whipped cream is perhaps one of the most delicious things I've ever eaten?

Yup, it was just about the most rightest way to spend a weekend that there could possibly be. The afterglow is still in effect.


Oh, and the DMB concert rocked.


The rest of my days off were spent working in and around the Tiny House, with one side trip to visit a blogger friend and her husband, which was really fun and a most excellent way to spend a cupla hours. There is much to do around a house, naturally, but precious little time in which to do it unless one takes some time off and has a plan.

Even with a plan, I still didn't get the lawn moved though. I expect to hear from Manuel the lawn guy again, who mows the vacant lot next door every couple of weeks, and left a note on my door about 4 weeks ago that said "I mow the lawn," to which I responded "oh no you do NOT" and got off my butt and MOWED, by God.

Manuel, apparently, is the voice of my landscaping conscience.


So, yeah, it's back to the regular routine of life. No major disruptions occurred while I was out, so thank goodness for able "seconds" who take over projects that need to be delivered during the planned vacay time. Yay indeed. I do believe this is the first time I've been gone that something didn't erupt into a total shitstorm of uckfuppery, and I'm beyond grateful for that.

I only checked into work ONCE during the three days off, which is some kind of miracle. Could this mean that somehow I'm maturing enough to have actually handed off something that was in good shape?

I kind of doubt it. If you ask me, I'd tell you that it was a one-in-a-million chance at winning, and I hit the jackpot. Sweeeeeeet.


Maybe today's the day to check those lottery tickets I bought the other day. Why, with my recent run of luck, I could be the next mega-zillions winner, and the next post will be brought to you from my very own smoke-scented log cabin which is perched on the side of a mountain in NC or Virginia, which has a gigantic hot tub on the deck overlooking the view and also has a beer fountain and bourbon tap in the wet bar on the deck.

And a hookah, because that's a funny word.

Could happen.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Gone fishin'

Not really, but I am taking a wee break. Just a wee one.

I'm catching up on 10-year-old pop culture, relearning how much I love the smell of woodsmoke, fixin' up the Tiny House, and reacquanting myself with the curve of the sun's arc through a turn or two of the earth.

There is much to do when when is doing nothing, ya know?

Be back in a bit. Prolly tomorrow. Maybe Thursday.

Until then, rock on wid yo bad selves, yo.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

People? You rock

Thsi is a shortie mcshortshort post to let you know that for each and every one of you who has read NAY lately, and further, to those who have commented so throughtfully and insightfully and wonderfully in the past few days:


Your presence, humor, honesty, advice and friendship is a boon to me. You all are wonderful.

At this, the near-end of a very long week indeed, I am WELL beyond grateful to you! As my friends at the BlackTable used to say.... ain't THAT some shit?

Yes, yes it is.

Hey y'all!

Happy Rosh Hashana!

What? You don't so much know about Rosh Hashana? Well, I'm no expert on Jewish holidays, but I do know a few things! For example: be careful for which holidays you wish someone a "
Happy" whatever. You do NOT want to say that on Yom Kippur, for example, because that's a bigtime serious day, it's coming up soon, so please don't confuse the two.

Today, however, you can say "happy." It's the New Year! It's party time! It's time to cast your sins in the river and start again! Blow the shofar! Eat some honey, honey, to make the next year sweet!

I learned a lot from Neil over at "Citizen of the Month" about Rosh Hashana, including a cool greeting you can throw out like a total pro if you would like to impress all your Jewish friends: Shana Tova. Go on, it's easy!! Say it with me! Shana Tova! It sounds like a country singer's name, right? It's not. It means "A good year," which is nice to say to someone, and connotes a level of civility that "Happy new year" does not.

An aside: what ever happened to Tovah Feldshuh?

Anyhow - it's Rosh Hashana, and it's a happy time, a time of anticipation and joy, or getting one's house in order, of sweets and celebration. Shana Tova, y'all!


I'm not Jewish, by the way.


If you ARE Jewish, you'll already know this, but I didn't and so I'm spreading this bit of information for the readers of this here blog to learn from and grow by.

If you're Jewish, your day STARTS at sundown, just like God's day did back in Genesis times! Check it out:

And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. (Genesis 1, v5)

See? Evening and morning are a day, not the other way around, and not governed by an arbitrary clock. Cool, huh?

Wait....I sense a deafening silence on the interweb. Am I the only one who finds this rather interesting? Is this enough to "oooh" over or am I way out in my own left field again? Do the Jews have the method of marking the passing of days more Godlike than the rest of us? Or, perhaps, did Moses impart to God his own system of timekeeping when he wrote the creation story so as to make it SEEM like he knew what God was doing (because as y'all know, Moses wrote Genesis. You DID know that, right?) and therefore add credence to his own religion's chosen means of tracing the diurnal cycle?



In other news: I just got a call from a friend who's going to Spain to speak at an international conference. Man, it sure pays to have friends who make you realize that you could be doing so much MORE with your life.

RI Red, I'm proud of you! Way to grab that bull by the horns and make something of yourself.


The new wordsmiths challenge is up!

With that, I'm O and O, y'all. Shana Tova!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


If, in some alternate universe, I was offered the opportunity to be someone else and KNOW that I was, I might choose to be the person who wrote this, and then revel in the glory of my own sharp wit.

Cuz, y'all? That's some funny-a shizz, that is. I bow in deep respect to Heather, the queen of fug snark, a true creative genius if ever there was one.


This is post number 559. 559 is not a prime number.

Now you know.


I am done hating on my job now. Apparently alls I needed to do was get done with a project that's been looming over my head, get through most of the writing and review process for another project, and send a third thingamaproject off to review.

Now, I breathe. Whew!

This workly thing was so bad yesterday that I had to go around the hallways here asking people what it was I'd asked them to do, and from that information I then constructed a graphical representation of the workflow and timelines so that I could be sure I knew what was going on with my own projects. The selfsame projects that no less than three other people worked on yesterday on my behalf, and without whose help I would be swimming in a slimy hot pond of my own tears and snot after weeping hopelessly over my untenable work situation.

Because, really, when faced with a nearly unfathomably large workload, isn't the first rational response to just sit down and have a good weep over it?

My thoughts exactly.


Kind of people who make me think they need a lesson in civility, or at least a smack in the head:

People who cut in line
People who race down a merge lane to "get ahead"
People who don't return their grocery carts to the buggy roundup
People who purposely say hurtful things to children
People who lie for convenience
People who don't stop at crosswalks to let pedestrians perambulate

I could go on, but I won't. Instead, I'll ask you: What ticks you off so much about people that it makes you want to shake your fist at the sky and question God about why he allows this kind of thing to go on, and where the heck is the SMITING for Pete's sake? Really, one tiny lightning bolt to the front bumper of those traffic jam jockeys could teach a powerful lesson! Is that too much to ask?

Use the comments to invoke some bloggy wrathmaking of your own, and let the smiting begin!


Oh, and have a nice day.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Just don't ask

Today, I hate my job. It's just one of those days.

The issue, yet again, is that somehow I need to learn to do that thing I never do in my job that always gets me in trouble. You'd think after iteration nine brazilian that I'd get the message, but no....

Anybody else ready to just pitch it and go find something else to do with the rest of their lives? If you asked me that question (and so I will pretend to be you for a moment so I can ask myself that question, because I really want to answer it), I'd say that I'm thinking about something with sheep and rabbits and fabric dyeing and herb gardening, and flower drying and perhaps a touch of soap making thrown in for good measure.

I'm tired of not knowing where the sun is in its daily arc, you know?

I'm tired of being able to wear the same daggone clothes to work every day of the year, because offices are ALWAYS 72 degrees and "conditioned" and the SAME, no matter if it's raining or snowing or sunning or Armaggedoning outdoors. I'm tired of that.

I want to get hot at work. I want to feel muscles work. I want to feel PRODUCTIVE and careful and creative at work. I want to truly truly believe that what I'm doing is helpful, deliberate, considered, aware, and useful.

Hey - I'll be the first to say that the job I have now is good. It's better than good, and lots of people would like to have this job I have. I do not complain about the job, I complain about my current attitude toward it.

Anybody else having a day like that? If so, and if you had your druthers, to what new area would you change careers? I need a few good ideas!

Monday, September 10, 2007

My Mother,the Comedian

The boxes are almost all unpacked now, and I've run across more of my past than I realized I even HAD.

  • Letters from boys who call me "babe" that I don't remember dating, or what they look like, or how I knew them.
  • Breakup letters from me to boys I didn't realize I cared so much about.
  • My baby book, complete with pics of 4-month old widdle bald me.
  • A pair of lederhosen.
  • Wooden shoes.
  • Old pay stubs.
  • A beer stein from Spankys, an H-burg INSTITUTION.
  • and letters from my parents.

The letters from my Dad made me cry; that slanty engineer's handwriting bring back powerful memories of his laugh, scent, eyes, and voice. So many of them were for special occasions and full of heartfelt and beautiful words, and even the most mundane notes about "remember to get your oil changed" and "I put 100 bucks in your bank account for ya, go buy some more noodles" were often signed with "all my love, Dad." Even now, when I read that closing line I just know he was telling the truth.

The letters from my Mom are chatty and informative, little snips of her day from back in the days when e-mail hadn't been invented yet as fodder for the masses and their masses of communications. These notes reveal a humorous side to my Mom that is lighthearted and offers an insight into her stream of consciousness.

I'm going to offer you a snippet, but first you should know that at the time my Mom wrote this she was only a couple of years older than I am now. I was 22, in my fifth year of college after switching out to become a biology teacher. She was teaching Biology for the first year ever while studying to get her certification to teach Biology (or some crazy a-- shizz like that).

It should become readily apparent what Mom thought of all the studying and schoolwork as you read the except from this note, typed on 18 October 1984:


"Hello Tiff (author's note: she used my real name, obvs),

What's new in the life of a James Madison University senior, senior? When are you getting married? How's that for an opener? Does it capture your attention? Does it lead you to reply? Does it make you want to barf? How is this for expository writing? Awful you say? Am I bored? Do I want to waste paper this way? What is an invertebrate? Who discovered TNT? What is an SS18 or even and SS 19? What do I care?

I have my midterm in Nuclear War last night (authors' note: oh-KAY! My mother the wonk!). Can you tell? I think that he and I read different books. 50% of the questions (multiple choice) had two very different good answers, so we were told to pick the "best" one. Is that nonsense? I think so. The prof. also said that he will not grade the exams before next week because then we will have an hour in class to argue for our answers and can change his key before he grades the papers. Have you ever heard of that? Not me! Again after the break last night, from a class of 80 people, 20 were left to listen to the guest speaker. Several of the younger people left after the exam and got sloshed. I think that they had the better idea."


Mom goes on for another couple of paragraphs in a very chatty way, then closes by telling me she loves me "even though I'm thin."

There are dozens of notes like this. I read almost all of them while sitting at my kitchen table Saturday morning, as the cat snoozed on the partially unpacked box of memories and the cicadas buzzed in the sunny heat of late morning.

Then it struck me. I write like she did.
My blog entries are her notes! Whoa, color me shocked! I mean, y'all, I had always thought I was so DIFFERENT from her.....and the joke is, apparently, on me.

So, Mom? Thanks so much for showing me EARLY what it's like to blog. Those little notes you typed so regularly taught me that words carry meaning, convey love, amuse, and bind us to one another through their sharing. I cherish all the old ones, and look forward to all the new ones. Thanks for showing me who you really are, one word at a time.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

More music More music

I have to get rid of an earworm. You can thank me for the nightmares later.

Chocolate Rain

It's in my brain, that chocolate rain
That chocolate rain gives me brain pain
I can't explain that chocolate rain
That chocolate rain is like a train
A brain drain train is that chocolate rain.


And if THAT didn't give you nightmares, perhaps this will:

Where do meaty black spiders the size of silver dollars come from? And no, I don't want to hear you say "from their Mommies and Daddies."

I wonder this because there was one in my house yesterday, spidering across the floor in a very threatening way, and as a result of said spidering I was pressed into the difficult position of having to play God.

It was time to smite, y'all.

Despite the high squick factor, I smote with the powerful hand of deadly fate, armed with a can of Lysol. Sadly, the besmiting (besmoting?) wasn't as quick and easy as I thought it would be, for the meaty black undoubtedly venomous and therefore highly dangerous arachnid refused to give up by simple drowning in a liberally applied
country rain-scented antibacterial fog, oh no. It crawled back toward whence it came, and to prevent it from getting into my bedroom (eek!) I needed to go all Tracy Lynn on it and get out the Tablespoon of Smashage (there was no time to go get to the tool shed, or it surely would have been "Hammertime"!). The end result of the spoonage was that a damp country-rain-scented hail of arthropod parts bedecked my kitchen floor after one mightly blow, which admittedly is very gross, but happily is way easier to clean up than a live-and-kicking meaty black formerly fully integrated spider is.

Being as how I'm not great fan of spiders (could you guess?), I'm now extraordinarily curious as to how something big enough to be seen out the corner of my eye, something so big that even the cat would not go near it, something so big that I'm sure even that most masculine of manly men would pause for a moment to reflect on their personal safety before going in for the kill, could get into my house. It was not invited, and should have stayed outside.

Gives me the wiggling jibblies just thinking about it. Therefore,
I'm keeping the spoon close at hand for any possible repeat action, and keeping my eyes peeled for any further offenders. Death awaits you, spiders! You have been warned!

(FYI: overuse of adverbs in this post brought to you by the anti-Twain society)

Saturday, September 08, 2007

111 less than the sign of Satan

Roy Zimmerman is a wordmaster of the highest order, with a tongue planted firmly in cheeck, and a smoking hot pair of guitar handz.

He also seems to have a few things to say about, um, "hot button" issues.

Word of warning: if you STRICTLY believe in creationism, I salute you and your strong faith, but please do not click on the link. Apparently Ol' Roy does not agree with you, and you will be offended.

Check it out

(personal note: I am a scientist at heart; I love me some empiricism and such. That being said, I'm still of a mind to believe that there is more than a hint of the unexplainable in the mere fact that life exists ANYWHERE, and so I keep a certain amount of faith in whatever it is that caused us all to be here in the first place. Don't hate, mmkay?)

FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO DID NOT CLICK ON THE LINK ABOVE, and for those of you who might just want a little more of Roy, here's a tiny taste more:

"What if the Beatles were Irish?"

Sing it with me Mother up in Heaven!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Emptying out the brainpan

Headline news!

This courtesy of Wordnerd:

Man Finds Roommate Dead. Second Time This Year.

Really now. No, really.

A Personal Interest Story!

The Things had their first tae kwon do lesson last night. Oh, I can see many glorious days ahead of round-house kicks and double-punches being delivered on one another, all in the name of "practice."

One good thing about it: at least they're learning together, so nobody's got the upper hand on new techniques. Really, it's the only way this was going to work.


The Goss from Under the Sea!

It appears as though Mr. Ray, the teacher from "Finding Nemo," is a total hack. Witness the following shocking expose from Wikipedia!

When Mr. Ray sings his "Let's Name the Species" song, he
does not name species. He recites the names of much higher ranks of biological scientific classification.

  • Porifera, Coelenterata, Ctenophora, Bryozoa, Arthropoda, Echinodermata, and Chordata are all animal phyla!
  • Hydrozoa, Scyphozoa, and Anthozoa are classes in the phylum Cnidaria!
  • Coelenterata is an obsolete yet common term encompassing two animal phyla: Ctenophora (comb jellies (author's note: the C is silent)) and Cnidaria (coral animals, true jellies, sea anemones, sea pens, and their allies (another author's note: the C is again silent, and also! I did not realize that there were enough warring factions in the sea for allegiances and ally relationships to be formed. In addition, I did not realize that these creatures were capable of forming such allegiances. Shows how much I know, and I've got a degree in biology)!
  • Finally, Gastropoda (snails and slugs) is a class in the phylum Mollusca!

I'd sue the school board if I was Marlin.

On a related note, I wonder if his "zones of the open sea" lyrics are right?

Oooh, let's name the zones, the zones, the zones. Let's name the zones of the
open sea! Mesopolagic, bathyal, abyssalpelagic. All the rest are too deep for you and
me to see

Compare that against this graphic representation of the area on question:

You'll see that he missed "epipelagic" (though that could have been at the beginning of the song, which was not included in the transcript of the movie from which I plucked the lyrics, and so I'll give him a pass on this one), but you can clearly see that "all the rest" as he mentions above include only ONE zone, the "hadalpelagic," and so he's allowing an implication to be made that there is much more ocean to the ocean than there really is, which is a bald-faced lie and could very well damage the children's sense of trust in adults once they find out they've been duped!

I think I've made my case that Mr Ray should be fired. Anybody want to take the opposing side here?

A final note!

F sharp.


Y'all have a great weekend now, y'hyeah?

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Will the real John Glenn please stand up?

Is anyone out there sick yet of hearing about my dreams?

No? Good, because I'm about to tell you about another one. I'll be brief, I think.

So, in this dream I'm at a theme-amusement park with the Things. It's one of those parks made to look like a European town, and at the start of this dream-snippet we were walking down a side alley (I believe toward the bathrooms, which is a rather utilitarian thing to dream about when you think on it) that was flower-bedecked and in the middle of which stood a girl of about 14 years old who was holding a platter of grain in front of her like she was a waiter at a black-tie affair tasked with proffering canapes or champagne cocktails. She was wearing some kind of German-ish costume, a straw hat, and obviously fake brown pigtails a la Britney Spears.

"Cute" I thought in the dream "But what are the snacks for?"

I never got my answer, because it was at this point that she started to sing. And then there was the dancing. And the spinning, and the grabbing of Thing 2's hand, and the marvellous swanning about that the two of them did, muchlike a slo-mo "High School Musical" dance, and I was amazed that Thing 2 knew what to do. He was really impressive, what with the arabesquing and the long sweeping arm motions and the interpretive dancing. Who knew the kid had it in him?

It dawned on me at this point that we were not in a theme park, but rather we were engaged in participatory theater, and everyone around me knew their part except me. No matter! I was hustled off to get into costume and hit my mark, even though I had NO CLUE what I was supposed to do.

My costume included a hookup to some electrical items that I was told "would shock me if I was doing the wrong thing." So, yeah, no pressure. I got the big wig on and the "fat" costume and headed out onto the stage for the crowd scene of which I was a part, trying to keep the shameful wires hidden under the vast amounts of white plastic hair that had been deposited on my head.

Except, the stage was a hallway, and our "crowd" in the final climactic scene of the play was actually being broadcast over closed-circuit teevee to the audience, which was kind of a letdown really, and which the critic who came right backstage after performance told the director absolutely ruined the play.

Sigh. Hey, at least I didn't get shocked.

After de-costuming myself (being careful to avoid the network of black wires, lest they still carry some juice), I was walking with a few new actor-ish friends to the afterparty and chatting excitedly about the whole experience. A man fell into step by my right side. He was short and slim and tan and older, wore a blue ball cap on his head, and had a farmer's squint. He introduced himself as John Glenn, at which point I squealed

"THE John Glenn, the astronaut? You walked on the moon! That must have been exciting!"
(his eyes squint harder)
You did walk on the moon, right? Didn't you? Oh, gosh, WAS that you?"
(his eyes are mere slits by this point)
Oh dear, I'm so confused. Shoot........"
he looks remarkably dejected for someone whose eyes are very nearly closed)
(he changes the subject as I sweat in embarrassment over not actually KNOWING if John Glenn walked on the moon).

Apparently my dreams are so boring, even to me, that I have to introduce random astronauts into them to deliver the moment of horrific self-esteem shattering that features so prominently in many of my dreams. There's always one, you know. Whether it be riding on a parade float down a crowded main street completely naked, or asking John Freaking GLENN if he walked on the moon, there's always one.

I'm betting we can all interpret what this means about me.


For the record - John Glenn did NOT walk on the moon. His is, however a Presbyterian minister, which not every OTHER astronaut-turned-politician can say.

So, how YOU doin'?

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

I was a 20-something jeans model

Yesterday, I allowed as to how I had once done a modelling gig for the local newsrag (The Daily News Record, out of the metropolis of Harrisonburg, Virginia, formerly known (though it no longer is) as "the Poultry Capitol of the World").

One might ask "
Tiff, you were a total band geek and a Sci Fi nerd, what on God's green plantation were you doing modelling for anyone, no matter how small?"

Well friends, I can forgive you for your "Horton Hears a Who" line of questioning, really I can, because, truth be known, it wasn't supposed to be ME modelling anything atall. You see, I was living across the hall at the time from a pair of women with whom I'd shared a house the year before - Fran and Diane. We (along with 7 OTHER ladies) had lived in a place right at the corner of 33 and 11 in H-burg, where the trucks downshifted before getting to the stoplight, and while that was picturesque and the attic and basement were really cool and creepy, we'd decided that living there another year was NOT a sustainable life pattern, so we set out for someplace better.

Actually, THEY did, and I somehow tagged along. They found out that the top 2 apartments on this place called "The Gingerbread House," right across the street from our old place (but away from the stoplight), were for rent. They contracted with Barry Kelly, the H-burg slumlord, to rent out one apartment. I rented the other one.

That's my place on the top floor to the left there, tucked up under the red roof.

The apartment was almost too small for me. I don't know HOW those two ladies lived there for a year together. Amazing...

Ennyhow, Diane, the gorgeous brunette across the hall from me had agreed to do a modelling thing for a guy from the local paper. Y'all, when I say gorgeous, I mean it. Shiny brown hair, perfect skin, wide blue eyes, 6 feet tall, big white teeth, thin and elegant and the whole daggone package.

As gorgeous as she was though, she couldn't make the gig, and asked me if I wanted to do it.


Moi? The Biology grad student who shot up mice with cocaine in her spare time? The druggie with the musician boyfriend and the crappy deli job? The loser who took a hit of PCP the previous year and spent an entire night statue-still in the backyard, unable to move for the ferocious majesty of the universe and temporary blindness?

Yes, me.

Turns out, it was because 1) she knew me and 2) I was the right size.

Soooo, I showed up on the appointed day at the appointed hour, not knowing what the HELL I was doing. The photographer was nice, took a lot of pictures, I changed clothes a lot, turned this way and that, and eventually started to loosen up.

All in all, for being a terrible experience, it was kind of OK.

Thinking back on it, I should have taken some of the proofs, because the ones that I really liked, the photog said couldn't be put in the paper because they were "too sexy." Heh. Apparently when I loosen up, y'all, I looooosen up.

So, to satisfy the rest of the story, here's the one pic that did make all its grainy badly-reproduced glory. And why yes, that IS a mullet. Back in the day, we called it a "bi-level," and we LIKED IT!

Oh yeah, I also had the "Like a Virgin" dye job goin' on. How terribly hip of me.....

Postscript: I never modelled again. Shoulda grabbed those other proofs before they got lost in the DNR filing system someplace. I was always partial to that one where I was on my back with my legs up in the ai...

Oh wait. This is a family blog. Never mind.

Not Today, Darling

Oh dear, my dears. It appears as though I've landed in a swamp of work, such that it's washing over the gunnels of my tiny boat of motivation and threatening to sink me if I don't keep bailing.

(Lord, is that NOT how to construct a metaphor and then bash it to death with a rusty oar? I think it is.)

Seriously - no post today, though I'd like to tell you about how Thing 1 happened to ask me in public yesterday whether or not I'd just pooped in my pants (I had not, and blame the bowling), or about how on Monday I came upon a clip of the only modelling gig I ever did and by gosh I DID have a mullet, or how it appears as though my flower arranging skillz are not up to Thing 2's sensibilities, but those things will have to wait, for I'm a-bailing with great speed and fervor, and cannot stop now to chat.

But don't fret, dear readers, for I updated copiously over the weekend, so all YOU have to so is scroll down for the goodies you might have missed out on.

Auf Wiedersehen!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

A Matter of Belief

Sergeant York kept his back against the rough brick wall as he sidled up to the corner. He was avoiding detection by using senses that had been highly honed in the heat of many battles similar to the one in which he was engaged at the moment.

They always seemed the same, these battles. Always a reason to fire, always an enemy to fire at. In truth, his war-hardened heart had a soft spot for the enemy; they kept him in a job he loved. This particular enemy was familiar, he'd fought them before, on much the same battle ground. They were among the sneakiest of adversaries, ready with a surprise move that was never repeated. Sergeant York had been jumped before, been hooded and bound, been trip-wired in one particularly nasty episode. He was not about to make any of those stupid mistakes again. THIS time was war, and he was going to win.

"York! Come in! York! You there? Over!" A tinny voice whispered from the walkie-talkie at his belt, turned to a volume so low that the words were more felt than heard. "York! Come in! There's trouble!"

"York here, what's up?"

"We've been in contact with the enemy, and they're calling a truce."

"What? That's impossible!"

"It's for real, we've verified their position and triangulated the squawk signal - it's them all right."

"Why NOW? I'm so close to their nest!"

"They say they need our help fighting a new enemy."

"Oh, no WAY. This has got to be another of their tricks. I'm not falling for it - I'm going IN!" and the Sergeant clicked off the walkie-talkie, intent on finishing the mission as planned.

In the distance there was the sound like a building collapsing. Sergeant York gritted his teeth, cursing the evil that the enemy would undertake to lure him out. They were hard-bitten, they were, and despite having fought them for years he still had to admire their creativity.

They wanted him? They'd get him, allright. They'd get him as he blew into their sniper nest with all guns blazing. This was it, this was the last damn time. He was as ready as he'd ever be.

Sergeant York raised his shield in front of him as another explosion rocked the ground under his feet. A cloud of brick dust blew out of the alley behind him. He swung quickly into the street, guns blazing at the approaching enemy, a scream tearing at his throat in blood lust.

A gigantic foot smashed Sergeant York into the pavement. His last thoughts were of the tremendous lizard beast that had just torn his torso from his legs, and of Mother who was going to be so angry that he'd ruined his good new pants.

No way for a ten-year-old to die, he cried. Hot tears mixed with hot blood, bathing the street with bitter gore. No way at all to die.


This post brought to you courtesy of Biff Spiffy, who decided that the WSU prompt picture needed a little "something" (aka a Godzilla foot), and just HAD to share his results with me. Therefore, I blame this tale of woe on HIM.... cuz who would've guessed that a tale of WAR would come outta me? I surprise even myself sometimes. :>