Monday, March 31, 2008

I know what happened to winter

Spring has stepped aside for a moment here in NC to allow winter its due, and I've about had it. Last week there were balmy temps and glorious vistas of blooming trees, and now? NOW?

Cold and rainy. My fingers are cold, my nose is cold, the air in this BUILDING (I'm at work) is cold. It's stupid weather for the end of March! It makes me a little nuts!

It's THIS kind of weather that makes me go out and buy pre-stretched canvas on which to paint my own art. Crazy, right?

Yep, that's what happened yesterday, on the second of a stretch of cool wet days. I went temporarily insane, thinking that I could create my OWN art for the Tiny House. Really - I have PAINT, I have TIME, I have nothing better to do than to prime the canvases, gather the housepaints that have been used lately to gussy up the Tiny House, and set to work!

And, hey, why not go a step FURTHER and allow OTHER people to paint too? And also hey, becuase they've never really had any interest in painting, why not browbeat the Things into designing their OWN panels to hang on the walls, right alongside my as-yet-unrealized gottabe masterpiece?

Remember the crazy? It's really the only explanation to explain that this is just what I did. Let's pause to let the full extent of the crazy sink in here: I gave preteen boys the chance to design their own paintings to hang above the couch in the living room, in the place where we go to relax and entertain. Naturally, and mostly BECAUSE they are preteen boys, their first sketches included 1) Pokemon, 2) Naruto, 3) swords, 4) blood, 5) explosions, 6) lightning bolts, and 7) something random and horribly violent that was done in such an abstract way as to be almost acceptable to hang. Me being me, and unable to not interfere in every single second of their waking lives, had to redirect their creative efforts.

You could almost hear the life being sucked out of them.

I actually used the phrase "abstract expressionism" at one point to try to explain what I was going for, what my VISION was. Not surprisingly, it was at that point that I lost them entirely. Preteen boys and pretty much anything abstract do not co-exist...

Perhaps some part of me WANTS them to lose enthusiasm.

Ya think?


I still can't format text in Blogger. This is making me nuts. Something to do with trying to blog at WORK, no doubt, and using Blogger's editing interface to write the post also. Grrrr. If it ain't TNR font size 12, it ain't writing.


Speaking of writing - see the post below for the rough draft of my story for this month's Wordsmiths. Deadline's today, if you feel so inclined as to write a story of no more than 500 words using the picture prompt contained in the post below.

The little fellow at the Ferris Wheel thanks you, and so will I.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

This is why I edit.

In a little change of pace form what I normally do, I'm going to post the first draft of my Wordsmiths story, then, once the editing is finished the final version will be posted. It's a way to do some record-keeping in the absence of strikethroughs and erasures and notes scrawled in the margins of papers.....and Lordy, on re-reading this thing there should be GOBS of editing marks. Shew-wee!!

If you read this first draft, and have suggestions, please leave them in the comments - any help is good help, baby!


God help ye Peggy, there is no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. How stupid do you have to be to believe that shit that your Da pours out of his bloody drunken mouth? Even your tetched Ma, God rest her, kent that the talk of little folk twas nuthin’ but a tale of faeries! You’ll quit this talk right now. There are no pots of gold, no promises on rainbows, no help comin’ on the dew for the likes of you.”

Those were the first lies she told me.

God help her, is what I said, God help her that she dinna ken the ways of the wise folk, the twitching of the spines of the magickal ones. God help her, not me. I knew. I knew there was a pot of gold at the end of every rainbow.

I knew there was a pot of gold at the end the rainbow because my Da had told me. He’d TOLD me that the gold waited just beyond the horizon of the unbelievers, the weak and faithless. He told me that any carnyman herding a Ferris Wheel could tell you the same, that the gold was waiting at the end of the rainbow, slick and wet with sundew, slightly warm from the land whence all weathers and their gifts came.

The gold was as sure as a strong breeze would come after a hot spell. As sure as the great wheel would stop at the top of the sky for each car in its turn, canting seat and seated against gravity, throwing fate together with fortune.

Sure and all there’d be a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. That bit was as certain as a baby’s cry. The less certain bit, and the one that almost always caught the misunderstanding folk the hardest, was deciding which end was the start, and which was the beginning.

(To the reader - this highlighted bit is the crux sentence. In all likelihood it's going to move to the end...whaddaya think?)

My Da knew. He told me. He did not tell her, for why would he? She is a nun, what had the teaching of me after me Ma went over the bridge, and nuns canna be trusted with one single bit of secret. Their tongues wag even when there’s nothing to say.

My Da told me the secret so clear as to be something a dullard could have dreamt during an afternoon’s nap, for what could be more sure than that the end is always at the other end of the beginning? The big secret is that what’s the middle is what makes the riches. Gold, indeed. Any fool could do with gold.

Her first lie set me to packing. Now, I’m leaving. When I drop to the ground outside this window, when she finds the spoons I used to dig, when I hear her wails of anger come from under her hot bleak capes, I’ll know.

I’ll know my pot is just beginning to fill.

Friday, March 28, 2008


If this gets posted it will be a work of magic and pixie pharts, because what I'm seeing on my computer screen ain't NOTHING like what Blogger ususally looks like, and it's got me six shades of nervous.

My God, what ever should happen if I can't POST?

Civilizations might collapse. Mother's milk would sour. Blind Lemon Jefferson would see the light and we'd all be humming along to Stever Ray Vaughn's harp in no time.

I cannot have that, and so I soldier on, taking care to hit the 'save' button and hoping that by the time I finish spilling out the chamber pot of my mind onto this page the gods of Blogger will have recanted their recalcitrance and allowed the normal spin of the earth on its axis to resume by restoring the POST page to something that looks less like a compuserve message board than it does now.


Saw a school bus yesterday afternoon that looked like it was on fire. The sucker was SPEWING white smoke out the back end... The driver looked unconcerned. Guess stuff like that happens all the time?

You BET I pulled over into a far lane from that thang - no way was I going to go up in a ball of flame when that sucker decided to blow. The thought of being immolated in a blast of old-sneaker scented bus shrpanel was enough to active the ol' flight mechanism...and I'm not ashamed to admit that.


Speaking of busses, Thing 2 is on a field trip today to Jamestown. For this field trip, it was necessary that I wake up at 5 a.m. (a most unholy time of day to be awake) and prepare myseff enough to accomplish the Herculean task of driving him to school to get on the bus by 6.

Good God.

“Stumble” isn’t nearly a good enough word to use to describe my mode of locomotion around the Tiny House. Even worse, I couldn't make coffee because there are no FILTERS for the pot. I blame only myself for this sad turn of events, of course. The cats don't care for coffee, and the Things only drink decaf.

To turn away from my whinging for a moment - It’s astounding just how awake a young boy can be at 5 a.m when the promise of a ride on a ‘luxury motor coach’ is in the offing. He’s particularly excited about the bathroom and video monitors, though the fact that they can only shoe G rated movies has him a little bummed out.

We packed his backpack with bottles of water, snax aplenty, a pillow for his mega-noggin should he get tired, a cupla books (Diary of a Wimpy Kid parts one and two), and 20 of my dollars in cold hard cash for him to blow at Ye Olde Giffte Shoppe. I think he’s reasonably well provisioned.

At the school there was a veritbale HERD of youngsters milling around. The zing of excitement charged the air. Fifth grade girls had on their BEST outfits and several appeared to have combed their hair extra carefully. The fifth grade boys, I’m sure, took no notice, and probably had to be forced to brush their teeth that morning by groggy parents. Nothing seems to have chanaged since I was a kid. This is comforting.

By 6:30 tonight they should be back at school, tired to the point of tears, which they won’t admit to until they fall asleep on the rides back home. It happened two years ago to Thing 1, so I’m fully expecting it to be a short night at the Tiny House tonight.


The field trip comes on the last day of the third quarter of track 4’s school year…a day that Thing 1 wanted so very desperately to spend at home.

If I was a betting woman, I’d bet his gets his report cards to day, and thus the hesitation about attending school.

As it so happened, he almost DID spend the day at home, because after I got back from dropping Thing 2 off at The Great Adventure Of His Young Life, I hopped (crawled) back into bed, setting the alarm for what I thought would be a good time to wake up.

It was a GREAT time to wake up. And turn off the alarm. And go right back to sleep. For another hour.


To say he was disappointed to find out he did still HAVE to go to school would be like saying that Elton John dresses loudly – it’s an understatement of comic proportion. Thing 1 THREW himself down into his bed on the news that he was going to be expected to attend school, he BEGGEd me to leave him at home, he PROMISED to be good, and I.Said.No.

But I think I’ll pick him up early, because why go in late if you can’t leave early? My thoughts exactly.


Y’all do me a favor and say a quick prayer that Thing 2 and all his friends get home safely, won’t you? I’d appreciate it. He might be almost as tall as me and a capable smart young lad in his own right, but I’m still his Mama and reserve the right to fret about him whenever I feel like it.

After that, have yourselves a great day, and a fantastic weekend. My buddy Kenju and her ever-amiable spouse Mr Kenju are coming up for lunch tomorrow, so it’s pretty much a lock that I’M going to have a good time.

(now, let's see if this thing posts.....)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

To answer your questions

Yes, I did indeed have a talk with the HR guy about my cube neighbor, the Pharter. Dudes - it was hysterical. I never knew there were so many alternate words for "fart," until I had to start talking to the GLOBAL HEAD OF HR about it. Point for me: it was the first time he's ever had this knd of conversation, with anyone. Woot!

Bottom line is that I should talk to the Pharter directly about how his gaseous emissions affect me, and how his anal antics signal a clear disrespect for people in his immediate area.

Yeah, that'll work well. Take one Tiff, who avoids confrontation like it's made of screaming babies covered in prickers (which, no doubt, is why they're screaming), mix with one ass-blaster, and see if anything happens. I'm betting no.

I'm also betting that the new guy, a foreign-born statsmaster who was put in the cube right BEHIND the Pharter, will have something ot say about it if it should ever some to pass that Mister Stinkybritches lets one (or TWO, like yesterday!) go. Heh - I already know that the Pharter hates being in a cube, and that he's insulted that the new guy was put in the cube rightbehind him, so I'm guessing that he's going to try to make life miserable for the new dude. I'm really REALLY hoping that new dude has none of that action and takes up my banner before I have to whack the Pharter in the head with it.

Because dudes? It's getting so very close to me doing just exactly that.


I was thinking actually of getting a fake e-mail address and sending the Pharter a little note about his activities. Would that work, so you think?

What other kinds of behind-the-scenes sneakiness can I engage in that could torment the guy without being illegal/dangerous/flat out stupid? I get the sense that this guy is an aggressor and will take over whatever he can by any means necessary, and I can't have that.

Because I was there first.

Send along your suggestions for passive-aggressive warfare in the comments, won't you?


And with that, I bid you bonjour! Adieu, adieu, to you and you and yoo-hoo! I have a work date at the local funplex this afternoon. Yeah - my life is rough...


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Me and detail work don't talk anymore

There's something wrong with a process that requires the following:

1) Team review
2) More team review
3) Quality control review
4) Final team review
5) Publishing to PDF
6) Team approval, but by the bosses of the people that reviewed, who might just have opinions that require a loop back to step 3
7) Signature by a muckity muck, who might just have opinions that loop back AGAIN to step 3.

What I'm saying here is, that for this efficiency-minded gal, this is a metric ASSLOAD of people to keep track of and hoops through which I need to jump. If I were to design a workflow that makes sense, it would go like dos here:

1) team review, INCLUDING quality review
2) approval by the reviewers
3) render final copy
4) sign

Gah! Stupid SOPs. Just....gah!

And that is as close to work bitching that you'll hear here. Because, let's face it, the life of a medical writer is not nearly as fabulous as one might think it to be and therefore makes for some pretty dull reading. Oh, sure, we get to do stuff like rub elbows with kings and queens, get invited to soirees at places like Pure just on the strength of our generally witty repartee and vast knowledge of all things disease-ly, and as a part of the standard contract package are allowed to drink only bottles of water that have been filtered though gold-mesh nets woven by sea nymphs on the days of the full moon (all other moon phases lending far less Lunesque purity to the mesh, naturally), but really, it's not all glamour and glitz.

Lots of times it's far more akin to the punishment of Sisyphus, except with mountains of comments, rules, and other people's egos. Pushing, always pushing, toward an impossible goal.

It must be said that I am fully aware of how trivial this might seem to you. After all, the pay is good and I'm still not having to dig any ditches for a living. I should suck it up, you're right, because it could be so MUCH worse.

But still, gah!


BBQ season has arrived at the Tiny House.

I'm talking about grilling, for all y'all from the south. Grilling in the South = BBQing in the North, whereas BBQ in the North means "pulled spiced/smoked meat" in the south, sometimes with sauce.

It's tough being so cosmopolitan.

Ennywhoo - after warming up the new Weber with some chicken Sunday and some burgers Monday, last night saw the advent of some 2-inch-thick pork chops on the grill . Rubbed 'em with garlic to start, drizzeld them with EVOO, sprinkled them with pepper and rosemary, and plopped those bad boys on the grill. When paired up with some grilled taters and onions (done in an aluminum foil packet on the grill with garlic, salt, and pepper) and some sauteed zucchini, red pepper, and summer squah (also with more garlic! Woot!), those chops were more than a meal. Well, they SHOULD have been, anyhow. ;)

Grilled meat? Yum-oh. Animals are tasty.


You'd probably never believe that from that previous carnal rhapsody I used to be vegetarian, but I did. Worked pretty well. I know for SURE my digestive system loved it, once I got used to all that roughage and fiber.

The 'getting used to' is something I should have remembered the other night before eating a massive amount of baked beans. I'm pretty sure the folks on the other side of the cube farm could hear my intestines gurgling, bubbling, growling, and bloviating the next morning. It raised a bead of sweat on my upper lip, it did.

Too bad the cube neighbor from Planet Flatulata was in an all-day meeting...I had SUCH ample ammo for a lively exchange of tootery.

Yesterday, though, when he returned to the cube, I had nothing. So sad, because guess what? He's into SBDs now! Fucker. There's NO mistaking the smell of someons else's ass gas, and his is a musty combination of sewage and dead chicken.

If this keeps up I might have to go BACK to the HR guy with further complaint. Yes, back. I leave to you to imagine how that convo went....

And with that I wish you a good day. I'm off to the bank to see why they returned my mortgage payment. It's a neverending stream of funshine around these parts, I'm telling you!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

It's 12:36

Do you know where your brain is?

Mine, I think, is in a slightly mushy steamy heap someplace around 7:30 this morning. That's the last time I recall it was in once piece and I was able to form a coherent thought. It's another one of those days, folks. WAY too much to do at work, which of course I could have averted somewhat by working over the weekend and/or at night, but damn it I don't like to do that because as it is there's precious little relaxation time in my schedule to start with. I mean, really - I got home at 5:45 last night, had to go back out to give the STBX my tax stuff at 6:30, then ran to Lowe's for some hardware, to the Food Lion for some IPAs, got home at 7, did the dishes, made some burgers, cleaned the cat box, looked at the clock and it was 8, had another beer, and THEN sat down at the computer, by which time I did NOT want to work, I simply wanted dinner and some time on the couch, so I surfed the interwebs instead of working as a means of thumbing my nose at this whole concept of "responsibility" and "self-motivation."

Left yet stiill undone was the laundry and painting the daggone baseboards in the Things' room, which has been left undone for a week and is bugging the everliving green snot out of me.

(Yes, it took a WEEK of undoneness to bother me enough to maybe DO something about it....what of it?)

Plus which, it has dawned on me that I NEED to shower every morning before going to work, or I get very very irritable and want to start smacking people. Random people. Random OLD people with some kind of embarrassing physical informity, preferably a colostomy bag or severe kyphosis. I tried punting pigeons but they're too frigging fast, and I can't slap around kids anymore because I have some of my own now and realize that smacking kids for no reason is generally a very bad idea indeed, so old people it is.

If you're old and infirm and see me headed your way today? Move over. Seriously.

Also? If my brain doesn't stop with the wild-ass dreams I'm going to have to dig out the home trephanning kit and have a go. Again. Because damn, last night, WHILE DREAMING, I was actually congratulating myself for the awesome cinematography in my dream. That's some kinda schizo self-awareness that I'm simply not comfortable with. To be quite honest, it really WAS a great shot, coming, as it did, backward off a smoke-grayed beach through the snaggled limbs of long-dead trees to reveal a drought-striken cove full of the hulks of ancient wooden warships stuck like dirty laundry on the long poles of immense, dead tree trunks, the whole works being silhouetted against the new shy pink of a slow-moving dawn while a voice-over spoke in hushed tones of the importance of this place as the last haven of man on earth once the machines came....

Truly a terrific shot, of that there can be little doubt, but my goodness, when I stop being a participant in the dream (which, if you're interested, had to to with finding the Golden Ocarina of Time (Zelda fans, rejoice!) and using it to save the remaining human population from utter destruction) and start DIRECTING it, it's time to find the NyQuil and take a second swig.

Holy shit.

And that wasn't the only memorable bit of dreaming I did. Never fear though, I won't bore you with details here. I think the whole cove-ship-Ocarina thing is enough for today.

But if you were me? You'd worry too, is all I'm sayin'.

And have a nice day.

Monday, March 24, 2008

What I did instead of painting baseboards

74% Geek

Time well spent, I think.

Cluck, chomp, ow, splash, and oops

Easter was fulla good things, (some of which I'd intended to post as pictures here, but Blogger is bein' a booger right now and won't load my beautiful pictures of homemade challa and fancy colored eggs and the gorgeous tree in my front yard that is chock FULL of tiny white blooms....and thus I am sad. Pretend you can see them while I keep working on the problem, mmkay? Thx!)

Which were all very good and beautiful and perfectly terrifical, because what's not to like about homemade challah, Easter eggs (or, "resurrection eggs," as I heard at church yesterday. Um, yeah), and pretty flowery trees? There is NOTHING not to like about that, is what I'm saying.

Also? Temps in the upper 60's made for perfect yardwork weather, so Easter was also about lawn mowing (in which I dicover that the scent of wild onion is pervasive and perseverant), tree pruning (in which I discover that there are very few tree branches that can stand up to the combination of my grip strength and a very sharp pair of loppers), motocycle rides (in which I discover that keeping my head BEHIND the driver's once the bike is up to 40 MPH or so is a very good thing indeed), and hikes in the woods.

For which there is, of course, a story that just so happens to start with the line"one should never drink half a liter of water before one plans to go on a hike in the woods."

Particularly if the hike is at a YMCA camp that's shut up tight as a miser's purse, with nary a facility in sight that might offer relief to the bladderful Tiff.

The bladderfull that, with each step of the glorious hike in the woods, bounces ever more urgently against the pelvic bone, sloshing as the half liter of water is cycled through the kidneys, heading for the great outdoors from whence it came.

Enjoying nature is ever so much more enjoyable with a nearly empty bladder, don't you think? Me too, which is why at one point during yesterday afternoon's hike, I was not so much hiking as hiking down me hiking drawers and peeing onto the woods.

And also, as it turned out, INTO the back of my pants.


Try explaining THAT to a hiking buddy. "Hey - that leak I just took? I decided to take some of it WITH me! Yeah! Pee pants are so IN right now!"

Sigh again.

Fortunately, my hiking buddy is a mighty and understanding sort of person. This is good, because it was their motorcycle we were riding, and Little Miss Pee Pants was going to have to plop them pants onto their motorcycle seat, which less forgiving people might go "ew" at. Instead, the suggestion was made to maybe walk around the lake to give the Pee Pants time to air-dry before setting off toward home once more. Genius, I say, sheer genius. Sure wish I'd thought of it.

It was a great walk. I do love me some walking in the woods, and our little amble turned into a 30-minute hike over hill and dale (and possibly Chip, tho I did not see the bewhiskered critter) and across many a burbling stream. By the time we got back to the bike I was all dried out - hooray for evaporation and good ideas!

Next time though - no drinkee before the hikee.


Don't forget folks! Today is Dyngus Day! Yay, hooray, it's Dyngus day!

Break out the buckets of water and the whips and get to workin' it.

You know you want to. Wheeee!!!

Have a good one. I'm off to find mah bukket.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

I'm the green zone, baby!

I took a test. Do the results mean I passed?

Disorder / Rating

Paranoid Disorder: Low

Schizoid Disorder: Low

Schizotypal Disorder: Low

Antisocial Disorder: Low

Borderline Disorder: Low

Histrionic Disorder: Low

Narcissistic Disorder: Low

Avoidant Disorder: Low

Dependent Disorder: Low

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: Moderate

Please note: I may seem to be well-balanced now, but if I had taken this test as a teenager, or even as a younger woman, I KNOW my results would have been a lot more toward the red zone on MANY of these endpoints.

Yay for aging? I should think so.


Today is Good Friday. Time for some quiet reflection, eh? Recently I've been learning more about Biblical stuff, and I have to say that the story of the last week of Jesus' life is compelling and disturbing. Dude went through a whole lot in a short period of time. Good Friday was kind of the pits for him.

But then - yay! Sunday is Easter already, and Easter is fun! The Things were asking me why Easter isn't the same day of the year every year, and through some miracle I pulled the right explanation out of thin air (or possibly my ass. I'm never quite sure where these things come from.). Here it is, straight from Wikipedia, for all y'all that didn't know before how the date of this crazy moveable feast is derived:

The date of Easter is not fixed in relation to the civil calendar. Easter falls at some point between late March and late April each year (early April to early May in Eastern Christianity), following the cycle of the moon. After several centuries of disagreement, all churches accepted the computation of the Alexandrian Church (now the Coptic Church) that Easter is the first Sunday after the first fourteenth day of the moon (the Paschal Full Moon) that is on or after March 21 (the ecclesiastical vernal equinox).

Clear as mud? Let me assplain further, so as to be SURE y'all get it:

1) You go to March 21st. 2) You figure out when the next full moon is going to be. 3) You find the date of the Sunday AFTER that full moon, and there you plant your Easter basket.

Don't ask me why. Something to do with druids and spaceships, I'm sure.


OK, here's a new one on me, and please indulge me in a little more religious stuff, because once I saw the term "Dyngus Day" in my research on Easter you just KNOW I had to find out more. Dyngus many possibilities of what it could be...

Apparently Monday is a holiday; one that is commonly referred to as Easter Monday 'round these here parts (and which was a public holiday here in NC from 1935 until 1987!), but in some countries is known as "Dyngus Day" or "Wet Monday."

You hear me right folks, Wet Monday. If you're looking to celebrate Dyngus Day/Wet Monday/Easter Monday like real afficionados of the liturgical holidays do, here are some of the fun things you could do on Wet Monday:

  • Splash the girl you love with a bucket of cold water after sneaking into her bedroom (be sure to get her parent's permission first, mmkay?)

  • Exchange colored eggs, and threaten to whip the person if they don't give you one (trick or treat's got NOTHING on this sordid tradition!)

  • Whip the legs of single girls

  • Fly kites (but apparently only in Guyana)

Sounds like a whole lot of fun, what with all the dousing and whipping and flying of kites. I think I could TOTALLY get into Wet Monday...but make MY bucket of water warm please.


And THAT, my friends, is that, for you must admit that any blog post that combines a personality disorder shopping list and the iteration of Eater-centric themes and traditions is a fairly information-rich vein to mine.

Plus which, I've got work to do.

Have yourselves a glorious thoughtful day, and a splendid Easter weekend. I'll see you back here, wet and whipped I hope, on Dyngus Day.

A theory, and a snippet of life in the Tiny House

From time to time (Read: every hour, on the hour) I like to engage in a little celebrity-gawking online. Me lovee the PITNB and Go Fug Yourself for their special brand of snark, and also because they’ve not gone the way of so many other celebrity-watch blogs that now seem to only feature half-naked stars and starlets, with the boob shot being the holy grail of gawkerdom.

Truly, how many pictures of topless stars can you look at before it all becomes a bit routine?

(Wait. I may have just answered my own question. If Hugh Jackman is in any way involved, then the answer is “infinity plus one”)

Ennywhoo, I was noticing something that I believe is the secret to why I never became a HUGE star, as was supposed to have been my birthright.

I do not have beautiful legs.

See, every single female celebrity, quasicelebrity, and pop star I see lately has absofreakinglutely GORGEOUS gams. Cute lil’ knees, graceful wee ankles, loooong legs, not a single drop of cellulite, and smooth as a glass of milk. Damn. I see why some guys are leg men, I really really do.

By comparison, my legs are to their legs what Rhea Perlman is to Giselle Bundchen. Sure, Rhea’s funny, probably whips up a mean dish of manicotti, and I would imagine she can throw down the Rusty Nails like anybody’s biz, but she lacks the glam and total WOW factor of our girl GiGi, who might not be anything more than a flesh-swaddled vacuum bag but looks damned hot doing it.

Come on, admit it – you’d rather sleep with Gi-Bun too. Don’t give me that “women who have a sense of humor are way more sexy than some vapid, long-legged, burnished goddess” crap; you just KNOW you’d bang the model before the comic. Spare me your protests...

So, I am jealous of the legs of the celebrities. Especially their knees. Oh, and the ankles. I would like to have ankles. Yes, I HAVE ankles, thanks so much for asking, but MY brand of ankles are of the “thick n’ sturdy” variety that were bred through generations of peasant farmers to stand up to a full day at the yoke of a plow that’s being dragged through a 40-acre field of heavy clay soil while carrying a baby and nursing another. Or something. Suffice it to say that my ankles are NOT wee, not in any sense of the term. Use "trunklike" and you're more in the corret zip code.

The closest I’ve ever gotten to having super-star ankleage was a couple of years ago when Oldfriend and I were shoe shopping (a must-do when we get together), and I tried on a pair of the most ridiculous high heeled sandals ever made for someone with size 11 feet, and BOOM! There they were! Ankles! Cute and curvy and almost girly! Oldfriend allowed as to how I really REALLY ought to buy those shoes, just for the work of magic they were able to do on the proximal portion of my pedal region, but me, being ever practical, demurred. “Where would I WEAR them?” “I’d be at least 6’3” with those suckers on, and my goodness that would be ever so tall, and I’d feel like even MORE of a giant than I do now” and also “how exactly does one walk in these things? I’d break my neck!” to which she replied “Sure, but your legs would look great.”

She's a woman of great insight, and had I listened to her, I might have become the overnight celebrity I've always felt was my proper calling...

It's all about the legs, I'm telling you.


Woke up this morning at oh-dark-thirty, waddled into the bafroom, and thought I smelled something amiss. However, because it was so very darklymuch early, I chose to ignore the amissness and instead went back to bed (mmmm, bed) after the much-needed whizzage. I am capable like that.

After the morning rush of breakfasting the kids and getting them to school, I went back home to clean up and get ready for work. Yeah – it was one of THOSE mornings when time just slipped away from me and I lost the opportunity to take a shower and get ready for work before it was time to go. It happens. So at 8:15 it was showertime, hooray! The sun was streaming in through the glass block window, gloriously illuminating all corners of the smallest room...

Which included the giant pile of cat poop in the tub.

Eeeyeah. Nice.

Damned cats.


That’s about it for today folks. It’s almost time to get some work done, if you can believe it.

Make it a great one, if you DARE.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

In which I generate very little news indeed.

Soooo, what'd y'all do yesterday?

I got up, got the kids to school, went to work, worked some, goofed off some, had to skip a baby shower for a former colleague and friend (because of the working, which was more encompassing than normal), went home, went back out to the grocery store, washed some dishes, fixed dinner, ate, watched some teevee, tucked the boys into bed, watched a little more teevee (because who can ever see too many wild car chases?), and went to bed.

Not much news being generated, I'm afraid.

Something did happen yesterday to make me go "hmmm" for a while - a friend called to tell me she'd accepted a job offer for a job very much like mine but for a different company, and she's going to get paid 25 thousand dollars a year MORE than I am for doing what I can only imagine will be very much the same thing. I consider that I'm very well remunerated for what I do, but the knowledge that she's going to get that much more irks me a little. I'm happy for her, but (and this is the kicker) knowing that this was a job that I had sent in a CV for and for which I was rejected does smart a little.

Stupid career, anyhow.


I dreamt last night that I was Woody Allen's lover. He wore a blond wig.

Please, won't you tell me that this means NOTHING?


Got an e-mail this morning from a neighbor asking if we (among about a brazilian other people on the e-mail) could foster a couple of cats while their companion people go overseas to be in the Peace Corps.

Had to turn her down, because that would be 2 cats too many in the Tiny House. Navigating around the current feline population and accommodating the daily care and feeding regimen is quite enough now. The guilt that emanates from an average housecat when the food bowl is empty is astounding, somwhere on the order of a small fuzzy Jewish/Catholic mama who wonders why you don't call her anymore. The pathetic 'mew' of an I'M-STARVING-OVER-HERE cat is designed rather nicely to evoke sympathy and irritation in equal measure, because dagnabbit didn't I JUST fill up that bowl but where the heck did all the food go so fast and if I don't fill up the dish the mewing will become meowing will become louder and more constant until the tsunami of irritation knocks inertia right the heck on OVER and the bowl gets filled so the meowing, the awful MEOWING, will stop.

Amen. Now clean the litter box, bitch.

Plus which, if ONE cat can always be underfoot, imagine what 2 more could do. We'd all be walking around looking like Thorazine patients in no time, just to avoid stepping on the extra cats. Shuffle, shuffle.

No thanks. No more cats for me.


A dog is a different story. Happily for me, the Peace Corps people have found homes for their 2 canine senior citizens, because there's no WAY I could have turned down a 12-YO Chesapeake Bay Retriever and an 11-YO yellow lab.

Happy, slobbery, goofy, creaky, sleepy, lovely doggies. I could have found room for THEM.


This post is teetering perilously close to becoming a mega-dose of random, but I must offer up one more nugget of something that is possibly of very little interest to anyone but me:

I went shopping the other day. For CLOTHES. Oh sure, I did it online, but this marks the first time in about 18 months that I've bought myself new clothes. Yippe for me, taking that bold step!

Nine new shirts from Land's End for 100 bucks. That ought to cover me for a good 2 years.

I'm still struggling with the notion of going pants shopping. Heaven knows I need to, being as how I really only have 4 pairs of pants to wear to work, but I loathe shopping with such a passion that I can see me letting it get down to three pairs, then two, before I set foot in a store to actually try something ON. I'm almost 46 years old, and still haven't made peace with the size of my ass. Someone hug me.


On that note, try to NOT think about my ass, and have a great day. I'm out.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

5 things, more or less

I blame Evil Twin's Wife for this entire post. She started it. Don't look at ME. I had nothing to do with it. Huh-uh! Nothing! So there!

Yes folks, it's the Five Things Meme once again. And once again, as I introspect (a new verb, people. Use it today!), it becomes clear that I really don't keep a whole lot of things about myself a real huge secret here. However, I shall try to come up with 5 things about me that you 1) might find interesting, 2) haven't been said before, and 3) are true.

Let us begin.

1) Back in high school, I was a "participating artist" for a schoolwide open house. I was to spend 2 hours sketching a cow skull. Being as how most of my art is prepared in less than 10 minutes, this was an inordinately long time to spend on one piece. Turned out pretty darned good.....go figure.

2) Any day now the ex and I can go to the county court and file my divorce papers. It's been a little over a year since I decided to move out. Such a big year. I don't talk about that part of my life here much, because I do not want NAY to turn into some huge exposition of the more difficult parts of my personal life. After a year of separation, I'm happy to say that things have gone very well indeed My thanks go out to the ex for this. It could have been very ugly, and never even got close.

3) Even though I was a lifeguard, I fear death by drowning the most.

4) As a corollary to point 3, it bothers me greatly that Thing 1 is not a very good swimmer. Boy simply does not have enough meat on his bones to float. Things 2, on the other hand, is good in the water. He surprised the heck out of me last year when he jumped right into the deep end of a swimming pool and bobbed right up. What relief.

5) It has become apparent to me that if I were in a rock band, I would HAVE to be the drummer. I'm not coordinated enough to run around the stage like the singer, I can't play the guitar worth a damn, and even though being the bass player LOOKS cool, I'd still have an overwhelming urge to bash the cymbals, and so it's drumming for me. That, and you get to sit down for the show....and that appeals to me too.

So, there ya go. Five true things of moderate interest. I did it!

And now, as a fun-ish kind of way to tag you, I'm going to go to some of y'all's blogs and tell you in your comments you're tagged for this. Look for me at a blog near YOU.


Monday, March 17, 2008

Something fun...and then the education kicks in

Hey y'all! Go take this here test!

I'm 71% Dixie - and proud of it. What about YOU?


Happy St Paddy's day. Patrick me boyo was a Roman-born Christian, captured at age 16 and carried off to Ireland where he may or may not have gotten rid of all the snakes whilst serving as a shepard first and a missionary later. Faith and begorrah, that's quite a feat.

An aside: Could we arrange for someone to get rid of all the spiders in North Carolina? I'd vote them in for sainthood on the strength of that miracle, and I'm not even catholic!

Ol' Pat is one of the patron saints of Ireland (also of Nigeria, Montserrat, and engineers, as it so happens), along with Brigid of Kildaire and "Columba."

That Columba dude's life makes for some pretty interesting reading, if you've got the time. He's not only a patron saint of Ireland, he's got Scotland covered too, and is also responsible for well as floods, bookbinders, and poets. What a guy.

HOWEVER, of the three patron saints of Ireland, the one I'm most impressed with, strictly for the sheer weight of the responsibilities of her patronage, is Brigid. Dudes, check this out, she's the patron saint of (and draw yourselves a deep breath before launching to this next bit):

babies; blacksmiths; boatmen; cattle; chicken farmers; children whose parents are not married (editor's note: the bastards!); dairymaids; dairy workers; fugitives; infants; Ireland; mariners; midwives; milk maids; newborn babies; nuns; poets (editor's note - poets apparently need TWO patron saints. Go figure); poultry farmers; poultry raisers; printing presses; sailors; scholars; travellers; and watermen

Leave it to a woman to tackle a list four times as long as her male compatriots. And yes, "babies," "infants," and "newborn babies" might SEEM to be the same thing to you and me, but apparently they're not or the lords and lordesses of Wikipedia would not have listed them separately. ;) So too might "boatmen" and "mariners" be equivalent; again, there must be some subtle shades of meaning that render them unequivalent.

Brigid - multiplexer, possible resume padder, and patron saint of the inanimate (printing presses? really??). How very interesting.


Tomorrow's post - the 5 things about me meme, with which ETW tagged me the other day, and which I was planning to do today except I got caught up in patron saints of Ireland, and you all now know how swimmingly THAT went.

Have a great Monday - Erin Go Bragh, y'all!!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Wanna smell my house?

The Tiny House smells of paint, freshly baked bread, and sawdust.

Throw in the scent of onions frying, and you'd have olfactory heaven.


What's the difference between "got" and "have"? I'm too lazy to look it up.


Being as how I'd never done it before, I went ahead and touched a monitor lizard yesterday. Combine that with the fact that I had chili cheese fries for lunch and you'd guess correctly if you said I had a pretty good day.

That, and it rained again yesterday evening. Thing 1 looked up the rainfall amounts this morning and reported that we had somewhere around 1.7 INCHES of rain. That, my friends, rocks. It may well be that one day we will be able to flush after every deposit in the First National Bowl, but by then we'll all be so used to letting the pee just sit there, waiting for something solid to be washed down with, that we won't flush with abandon and that is, in all likelihood, a very good thing.


I should be working on stuff for work, but can't work up the energy or desire. It's a gorgeous Spring day, with bright sun, temps in the 50's, and a light breeze. This day calls for PLAY, not work!

Someone needs to deliver me a swift kick in the butt....anybody gonna volunteer?

Friday, March 14, 2008

A quick story, and a question

5:30 last night I pick up Thing 1 at his after-school program. He looks a little down.

"How was your day, sweetie?"
"Oh, OK. I'm not feeling that great."
"Why? What's wrong?"

And then these words were uttered:

"I have a concert tonight."

My mental Robbie the Robot started running around waving his dryer-duct arms, shouting "Danger Will Robinson!" which is weird, because my name is most certainly NOT Will Robinson, but old cliches die hard, apparently.

"What time do you have to be at school, honey?"


Somewhere off in the distance an asthmatic cricket tried to chirp at this news.

Breep? Breep? Ah, fugeddaboudit...

All thoughts of the evening's previously arranged activities (a family dinner of crockpot chicken and rice followed by either a walk in the warm evening to the seminary and back or a quick game of Frisbee, then a round of showers and some high-quality teevee viewing) flew right out the window, smashing to bits on the cold hard pavement of reality.

It was 'go' time.

The math wizards in my brain shoved Robbie out of the way so to take on full power in order to calculate whether or not it was going to even be POSSIBLE to

  • 1) pick up Thing 2 from his after shool program,
  • 2) get home,
  • 3) get them a snack,
  • 4) iron Thing 1's tux shirt (which, thankfully, he'd brought with him from his Dad's house),
  • 5) find a pair of black pants for him to wear,
  • 6) find a pair of black shoes for him to wear,
  • 7) get his face washed and hair brushed, and
  • 8) get him BACK to school in the 45 minutes we had in which to do it.

By some small miracle, or perhaps a serendipitous rend in the space-time continuuuuuum, we managed to pull off the 8-step plan in plenty of time. Even managed to call the Things' Dad to remind him of the thing we both forgot that we knew about last week.

I have to say though that in the end, if attending their concerts wasn't such a big part of their grade, I'm not sure I would have done all that running around. The band was "off." They had to re-start one of their tunes (a real no-no for concert times), they did some crazy-ass knockoff of John Cage's "4 minutes and 33 seconds of silence" that was NOT properly introduced and therefore had the crowd scratching their heads, and once they got off stage they got chewed out by their band conductor for screwing up.

Really? The walk would have been so much more enjoyable.


OK - who would YOU rather hug?


A skinny dude who just won his second Iditarod?

Let's go over the pros and cons, shall we?

1) Aretha.
Pros: she's soft, prolly nice and warm, and once the snuggling was over you wouldn't need a blanket because she'd cover you ALL ovah with her might lub powahs. Also? She's still got an adorable face. Plus, for all you guys - mountains of boobs!!.

Cons: Fighting your way OUT of the lub powahs might be tough once she had you pinned. Then there's that question of "what the bloody hell is growing in that armpit?" Lastly, and I hate to mention this, but it must be done - could anyone who is not the giant mutant spawn of an arachnid actually be able to put their arms around Miss Thang in order to GIVE her a hug? I have my doubts.

2) Skinny Dude Who Just Won the Itarod for the Second Time

Pros: He has conquered Nature, and has the world's most adorable dog.

Cons: 9 days in a sled. Woof.

My answer? I'd have to give this one to Aretha. Let's face it - It's all about the boobs on this one.

Your turn: Who would you rather hug (and nobody better say "the dog," because that's the easy out, and you're better than that Just look at that face! SO freaking CUTE!)


I'm out of here for the weekend. It's going to be full of reptiles and high kicks, yo. Stories on Monday, fo sho.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

I'm in love with a transvestite

Just yesterday, Tracy Lynn turned me on to this man. He is hysterical, and I can't seem to get enough. Never heard the eff bomb dropped go gently, like drops of filthy rain. Ah, Eddie, I might be late to your party (which, to all indications seems to have been going on for lo these 15 years or more), but because nobody's seemed to have yelled "last call" I'm in for a drink or two from your well of outrageous benevolence.

In a similar vein -

I have a great love for musicals. I adore show tunes. Mom and Dad used to play soundtracks from Broadway musicals while we ate dinner. Coming from NYC as they did, this didn't seem to be quite as odd as one might otherwise think it to be. Really. Only city folk could do that without other folks talking out the corners of their mouths about them, don't you think?
"Billy Bob? Them new folks up the holler am playin' all manner of show tunes at dinnertime. They've got KIDs and all. Ain't it shockin'?"
"Oh Lurlene, they're from the city."
"Then it's all right, I reckon?"

Show tunes didn't RULE our prandial moments - We also listened to classical music! I'm pretty sure that my Mom still has those thick vinyl records someplace in a box in her basement. Those things seemed perfectly indestructible, and yet they were handled with the utmost care. There was a blue label on them with some representation of an orchestra on them, and the composer's names were in silver lettering.

Tschaikovsky. Dvorak. Brahms. Mozart. Creators of lovely music, but not a whole lot of it could you hum to or belt out in the shower, unlike the show tunes. My mother was a dead singin' ringer for Ethel Merman, and used to regale us her impersonation thereof, head thrown back, mouth all twisted up in what I later recognized as a very Ethelesque sneer - we kids though it was hilarious. Mom was (and I presume still is) a very good singer, but when she did Ethel she seemed to become the actress she hardly ever was. It was fun to watch.

When I was 16 or so I saw "A Chorus Line" for the first time on stage. When I left the theater I wanted to BE an actress, a dancer, a singer. I wanted to be up there an stage, stomping the boards, high-kicking and wailing out songs that told of stress, strife, love, loss, success, failure. I wanted so very desperately to EMOTE that my feet hardly touched the red-carpeted floor.

Musicals do that to me. They turn me from the normally fairly taciturn person I am into someone who bubbles over with raw energy, who is willing to embarrass herself to get what she wants, who is willing to get out there and ENTERTAIN for the love of God, to make 'em laugh, to put a smile on people's faces, to touch their hearts, to make them gasp in astonishment at my glorious talents.

Except.... pretty quickly the reality creeps back in.

Point 1 in fact: I am not coordinated enough to be a dancer. Never was really, and even though at one point I could so the splits and put my feet behind my head, flexibility does not equal coordination, and I'm sure one pirouette would send me crashing to the floor.

Musical comedy, then?

Point 2 in fact: I am far too bound by my own body to put it all OUT there, to really give it the 110% it takes to bring an audience IN while living so large that the role being played fills the room. The stolid German peasant part of me holds back, which, as it so happens, is why I didn't make the 8th grade musical....I couldn't smile wide enough or appear happy enough. The director of that show had a bit of a chat with me, as I recall, and after he told me to smile, to be happy, I told him "but I'm NOT," to which he replied something like "if you can't fake it, you won't make it."

Man, it sucks to be 14 and to already be an anguished artiste.

Sooo, musical comedy - also out.

Point in fact #3: Straight acting isn't my "thing" (see the body-bound issue above, as well as the whole 'emoting' thing, which is rather a crippling issue to have if one wants to be an actor), though the three summers I spent as a puppeteer were fun. Maybe hiding behind a curtain and being goofy is apparently the venue for me. Also radio - that was fun too. No high kicking required for either job; a huge plus.

So, while it appears as though my desires and my reality are diametrically opposed, to this day if I hear a great show tune or see a musical, I get a sudden rush of "OMG." The people who put themselves out there, who struggle to achieve their moments of fame, are braver than I will ever be. My hat is off to them.

And Eddie? If you want my hat? Come and get it darlin'. It would probably look better on you anyhow. Rawr!


Hey - what's YOUR secret dream? Any shadow-divas out there? Any hidden heroes?

Spill them beans in the comments, won't you? And have a great day.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

It's not what you think

Yesterday morning I somehow managed to scrape the underside of my nose with my thumbnail while turning over in bed.

The resultant scab makes it look like I have a big ol' crusty booger hanging under my nose.

I think today's a good day to stay in my cube....


Speaking of cubes, they're doing some home improvements here at the cube farm. Some folks are moving out, and they're putting in some bigger-shot who needs a bigger cube (Size Matters!). This means that the guys from facilities were in my area yesterday, doing a whole lot of banging, some crashing, and a smidge of idle chatter.

Ah-ha! I thought. This is my chance to get some reno done on MY cube....

I used my "in" with one of the guys to have a little ad hoc redecorating done, and by asking nicely I now gots me two new shelves where before I had NONE, two new lights where before I had NONE, and, most importantly, I now have a view! Yep - dood removed the back wall of my cube, and so now, if I choose to, I can look over my left shoulder and see what it's like outside.

It pays to develop inside relationships with the facilities guys, y'all.


To close out for today, I leave you with a recipe of a something I made up last night in a frenzy of "what am I going to make for dinner with this pound of ground beef"? And even though it might not be terribly original food (not at all tall or accompanied by wafer-thin anythings, and not a speck of chutney in sight), it did turn out pretty daggone tasty. It goes something like this:

Baked Pasta A La Tiff

Yield: 6-8 servings
Cost per serving: about $1.25
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes

8 ounces penne rigati
1 pound of ground beef
1/2 a medium onion, chopped
3 stalks scallions, chopped
1 can of Italian-style stewed tomatos
1.5 cups cottage cheese
1 cup 4-cheese blend shredded sheese
1/4 cup parmesean
1 TBSP olive oil
1/2 cup red wine
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dreid oregano
1 tsp dried basil

-- Boil the penne to al dente in salted water. Don't overcook!

-- While the pasta's cooking, brown the ground beef, drain the fat, and add the onions. Sautee until veggies are soft-ish.

-- Now, while you've got the pasta and the beef cooking (and lookit you go with all the pots boiling and steaming and such, you kitchen schtar!), whiz up the tomatoes, wine, olive oil, and spices in a blender. Add to beef mix once veggies are cooked. Stir well.

-- Drain the pasta and place in a single layer in a casserole dish. Cover with cottage cheese and half the shredded cheese. Dump the sauce over top, sprinkle with the rest of the shredded cheese, and finish with a dusting of parm.

-- Bake uncovered at 350 for 25 minutes until cheese is bubbly-luscious.

Now doesn't that sound good? Well, it tastes even better than it sounds. Go on, make you some tonight. You KNOW you want to...or at least I think I know you know you want to...which you ought to, because it's really very tasty stuff.


That'll do it for today folks. Have yerselfs a good ol' Hump Day. Im'a go hump it like a horny cat and get some work done! Woot!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Number 701


My cubemate has a pair of headphones on, and he's whisper-singing something that had to have have once been described as "hair metal." He is banging it, complete with fake crowd noises and desk slapping.

It's a darned good thing he is, because today my intestines have decided to run a dress rehearsal of the "Hallelujiah Chorus," in which the ascending colon is playing the tympani at triple-loudness, which translates into the guttural rumblings being perfectly audible over the cube wall, perhaps down the hall, and maybe right over into the executive suites. Not at all dainty. Naturally, this gives me the giggles and completely shreds any chance I have of concentrating on anything BUT the noises issuing forth from my digestive tract.

I might LOOK like a middle-aged white woman, but inside I'm a 9-year-old boy.


New blogfriend Malach has awarded me with a something shiny! See?

The following is what he says about me wee bloggie, and if anyone can decipher it for me I'd be grateful. I mean, just because I don't understand WHY I got an award doesn't make the getting any less sweet, now does it?

Tiff: Even though we haven’t been blogging buddies long. She got this wild blog, and she has posted links, I still visit to this day.

Yay! And thanks dude! I'm so far beyond honored that it might well be that I've driven right over the edge into flabbergasted.


Mini-tennis, as mentioned yesterday, is a fun game to play when one is trying to look like one is playing tennis when in fact one is not really playing tennis as much as one is trying to get out and learn how to RUN again without spraining something important...

That being said, I have to here admit that it's a lot MORE fun to play mini tennis when one is not playing as night is falling and the only lights one has to play by are from the football field behind the court, which gives one player a distinct advantage because the other player is trying to follow the arc of the ball while staring directly into said lights. Did I mention about the FOOTBALL FIELD lights? They're extremely bright, in case you were wondering. I might go so far as to say that they're able to blind a person, if, say, a person were to be staring into them trying to figure out where a tennis ball might be.

If I play tonight, it will be with a ball cap on. The spots in my vision from last night's outing didn't go away until about an hour ago.


My New Band Name: Helen Keller's Swingset.

Beat that, if you dare.

And have a great day.