Saturday, November 29, 2008

All bound up and loving every minute

There is very little on this earth that a good schmear of cheese can't cure.

Mmm, melty warm cheese over the arroz con pollo simmering on the stove? The perfect coup de grah on the dish. Seriously, that was one dish that was teetering on the edge of being not only LOADED with unnecessary veg, but also low-fat to boot, and by GOD, this is America, and we cannot have that.

Same for bagels. Bagels and butter? No. Bagels and CREAM CHEESE, perhaps the most in existence, after peanut butter. And cinnamon-sugar toast.

Damn, I'm hungry. Good thing that layer of mozz and cheddar I just sprinkled over the aforementioned arroz con poultry is almost the perfect gloss of melty goodness that signals eatin' time.

Can you tell it's been about 4 days since i cooked anything? I've been living on Thanksgiving leftovers, eating mostly from the plasticware containers in which they were secreted after the big meal, and while they were heating in the microwave was sucking on cold gravy chunks.

It was a thick gravy this year. Yum.

Also, I have bought three DRESSES today. Hi! Many big events are coming, and a girl must have a selection from which to choose when facing said big events, and while I seriously hope my first choice is the one that wins the 'fit' contest, I'm not stupid enough to believe that my first pick will necessarily be the best.

I haven't worn a dress in ages. This? Should be fun.

Now where can a gravy-eatin' cheese loving ninja girl get her some Spanx?? I think I'm going to need them.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Buddy, can you spare a cup of inspiration?

It's 8:37 as I write this. I've been awake for three hours.

In that three hours I COULD have been doing the workly work that I need to do this weekend, getting the first big chunks bitten out of the gigantic elephant I have to finish eating by Tuesday. I could have. Really.

But no. I have been reading through the Fark and CakeWrecks archives instead. FOR THREE HOURS.

What the hell is wrong with me??

Nevermind. Don't answer. Your words would be too close to the hard harsh truth, which might make me cry while looking into the mirror of self-recognition. You are good to me, my dears, your willingness to hold me up to a stalwart standard of being to which you know I should ascribe pierces me through my moistly thwunking heart. You hurt, good friends, you hurt me with your honesty, your disappointment at my laziness, your soft tongue-clucks and gently shaking heads. I can hear your sighs, barely audible, but the mysterious weight of sadness with which they are breathed is like a lion's angry roar in my soul.

So I go now, to begin the long and arduous downloading, the back-breaking copying and pasting, the sweaty business of document conversion and formatting. Oh, how I shall labor to get back into your good graces (and to save my ass from being pink slipped during the holiday season). You have shown me the folly of avoidance and evasion, and thus I go to face this job head on, strong in the knowledge that you, my friends, will cut me to ribbons with your virtual hard stares should I be caught with my figurative pants down at delivery time.

With that, adieu.

(Exit, stage right, yanking up literal pants, just for a laugh.)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

900, and the pratice of being grateful

100 more posts, and I'll have hit a thousand here.

Not sure if that's anything to be grateful for, but it's certainly a milestone. It's taken slightly over 3 years to get to 900. Never let it be said that I'm short of things to say.


Happy Thanksgiving, one and all!

This is a total day off for me, being as how we celebrated Thanksgiving on Sunday due to schedules and such. The Things just left with their Dad to start some hard-core relaxing at the house in the woods; I believe football and ham are on the menu. I've been invited over to the neighbors for their feast, and so at 4 I will make the long hard trek ACROSS THE STREET to let them feed me. It's only fair, y'all, they got about half of our leftovers on Sunday. Apparently my neighbor likes the Tiny House stuffing recipe - hooray!

If you're interested in the recipe, here it is:

Tiff's Mom's Turkey Stuffing

1 loaf white bread
1 pound sage sausage (I use Jimmy Dean)
2 eggs
2 bay leaves
1 onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
2 tsp thyme
2 tsp sage
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 cup white wine

Set the bread in a 200 F oven until dried. Cut bread into cubes.

Brown sausage, set aside.

Sautee onion and celery in in a covered pan with the sausage fat and a little wine and the bay leaf, until veg are glossy and soft.

Put bread cubes, sausage, and veg in a large bowl, let rest until room temperature. Beat eggs together and pour over top of stuffing mix. Sprinkle herbs and spices on, pour 1/2 wine over, and toss by hand to mix. Add more wine until mixture just barely holds together if you're going to stuff the bird with it (recommended) or until it forms a loose ball when gently squeezed if you're going to bake in a separate container. If baked separately, about 30 minutes at 350 F in a covered baking dish should do it.

There. Guaranteed to make your house smell awesome and the tummies start to rumble with hunger. No turkey needed.


Today is a nationally recognized day to count your blessings and pratice the art of gratefulness. In that spirit, here are the things for which I am grateful (at least in part):

A beautiful day
A loving family
Healthy Children
A good job
A great boss
Peace in my heart
A rich past and a promising future.

What are yours?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

That, in fact, IS a banana in my pocket.

Sometimes you find out things you'd rather not know.

For example, that a faceless bot (thanks Grant!)has surmised that this here blog is 61% likely to be written by a MAN. Why would that be? What is it about this blog, and by extension, my writing, that is more masculine than feminine? Is it the random cussery? The almost complete lack of gushing about my kids or or cooking or decorating (all of which I love, some more than others, but for some reason choose NOT to write about on a regular basis)?

I'm wondering about their algorithm. Their algorithm is not available on their website. One must contact them to get more information. This leaves me unsatisfied.

So, what to do? Why, take an online quiz about how masculine or feminine I am, of course. Be it known right here and now that this quiz doesn't deserve a link, because it makes you give your name and e-mail address to get the stupid results, and plasters 'special offers' across two screens that one must click through to get the results, which totally crumbles my cheddar.

My results of this annoying quiz? "Ultrafeminine." Something about how I love romantic movies (do NOT) and have the shopping thing down pat (HATE it, is that what they meant?). It's like that quiz did not notice one single thing I told it, down to the fact that I would too make a sandwich before doing a pile of dirty dishes if what I wanted to do in the first place was make a stupid sandwich.

Who would do dishes BEFORE making a sandwich?

I do not believe I an ultrafeminine. I'm not the girl with the beauty-salon hair and nails. I'm not the woman with the fashionable clothes and a personal shopper at Belks. I'm not the chick with the hair-trigger emotions, a tissue at the ready. And I am most CERTAINLY not the delicate flower who thinks that fart jokes are immature or unfunny, because I happen to think that they are. I am taking UMBRAGE, y'all.

Not that there's anything wrong with being ultrafeminine. Please don't infer from the statements above that I am dissing those women (and maybe some men) who take pride in their femininity and glory in it. They should. It's their life, and to do what pleases them and helps them create an identity is fine and dandy. It's simply not MY identity, and that damned quiz machine should be able to TELL that.

Just like the genderizer should be able to tell I'm really a girl.

God, I'm so hard to please.


If y'all are travelling for the holiday, be safe out there. Getting smooshed on the road while on your way to delicious nummies is no way to go.

And have a great day.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Reecent events, which are important but not necessarily interesting.

Things come and go. Circle of life and all that. Recently, the end of my marriage was achieved. It’s not a thing to hoot and holler about, not really, because even with what were some truly awful times, there were good ones too. Those good times kept that marriage together perhaps for far longer than it ought to have existed, but we humans do cling to hope and fond memories more readily than admitting defeat, don’t we?

So, 19 years after being married, we are no longer. The end of a long chapter in my life, but not the end of the story. Fortunately, the ex and I have forged a reasonable relationship, partly out of necessity, and (I hope) partly out of decency. There was enough evil between us before our split to last a lifetime, so there is no real reason to perpetuate those negataive feelings. I am not strong enough to have survived a fractious divorce. I’ve seen them; we all have, those couples who bankrupt themselves in the legal system trying to get their hands on small goods, on ‘things’ they deem important enough to spend their childrens’ college funds on, on items they have decided they must have, forgetting that most everything they possess can be purchased at Target for a nominal sum. That’s just bitterness and petty grubbing, heaping anger on top of the deep sadness that comes with the dissolution of any marriage. Throwing rage onto broken promises and grief cannot be the wisest course of action, though some rage is unavoidable.

Anyhow. It’s officially over. The agreement we reached 20 months ago (when I moved out) held up through lawyers and court, the papers were stamped and approved, and with the delivery of one small envelope, we were the recipients of the big D.

It’s said that change is good. This change has been one of the most difficult to make, with booby traps to avoid, pitfalls to step over, inroads to make, a different relationship to establish with the person to whom I was once married, but in the end it was a change that was totally necessary. Sometimes you just have to know when to quit, you know?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Status: Swimming Upstream

Life is...busy. Let's just leave it at that.

You ever have days like that? Weeks, maybe even?

Three days of offsite meeting last week, a couple of sick days (and kids), a holiday to eat up more time, travel plans to make, holiday gift card exchanges to do, presents to buy, and then....the work.

Y'all, I'm busier than a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest, and I'm not a fan. WHO STOLE MY WEEKEND???? Can't even remember what I did on Saturday; is that a sign of approaching senility?

Akshully, senility wouldn't be too bad. The idea of hanging out in a housecoat and Depends thinking I'm 8 years old and spending time out back in the swingset seeing just how high I can go before gravity overtakes centrifugal force is sweet. To recapture some of that indolent youth of too many years ago, when time stretched out like a languorous housecat, full of nothing to do and all day to get it done. When trips to the creek were the most important thing to get accomplished other than being home in time for dinner; ah, to go back (if only mentally) to that timeset would indeed be a blessing.

Senility then doesn't seem so bad. Conjuring up the little girl I used to be, with ever-present bandages on my knees, flyaway blonde hair, and a big ol' cheesy grin just from being young, would be a nice way to spend a year or two.

As long as I don't forget the ones who I love and who love me, I'd be cool with senility. Something tells me though that I don't get to craft my own version of mental escapism, and that what goes will go of its own accord if indeed it's going to go at all.

So, that being the case, there's the looming 'everything' to deal with while I'm waiting to lose my mind.

Hey, at least Thanksgiving's over with.

Shut up. It is too. I have the leftovers to prove it.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Snow, the season, and some headlines

It does too snow in North Carolina, but, sadly, not enough to cancel or delay school. Or work.

Thought you’d like to know.


Anyone started their holiday shopping yet? You do realize that ‘the big one’ is not but about a month away, don’t you?

I am proud to state that I have indeed started my shopping. Why, I’ve perused the lizard aisle of the local pet store, purchased a couple of CDs online, and am feelign on top of the world. Yes folks, with 30 days before the big event, I have but about 95% of my shopping left to do!

Thanksgiving must come first. The turkey and the stuffing and sides, the football and the parade (though they get more lame each year, or at least the coverage does), the bloat and cranberries, must all come before any serious planning for the last major ‘thing’ of the year is contemplated.

Oh, and also I must put aside the cold hard cash for tree buying, because that, my friends, is an expensive proposition down here. You’d think that with all the tree farms and such out in the western part of the state that trees would be a dime a dozen (or thereabouts), but no. A cool 80 bucks or so is needed to purchase the yearly conifer. Seriously! Even a tree compact enough to fit in the designated corner of the Tiny House’s living room is that much.

Makes me miss Connecticut, just a little. Up there, tree buying meant a quick schlep down to the Lion’s Club tree lot, where you could cut your own for 20 bucks and take home extra boughs for free. The Lion’s Club dudes would be gathered around a 55-gallon drum in which a fire was built, and point out the trees that had been claimed. Oh, they might help you with the sawing and such, but who wants that when one can get down and dirty on their own, hacking away at the trunk of their very own tree? Shoot, after getting that done, one can stroll across the street to the picturesque corner store and pick up a cuppa hot chocolate to warm those frigid fingers. It’s all very New England, and I miss it.

But still, snow here today. It feels a little like the right season now.

If only I could find a tree to tag.


Wal-Mart names Duke to succeed Scott as CEO

NC State Sorely disappointed.

Dr Pepper to deliver on its free-soda promise

Because captive soda is a global issue that needs to be addressed!

Dell 3Q profit falls as PC spending slows

Politically incorrect spending, however, boosted HP shares.

Model Karolina Kurkova voted world's sexiest woman

And she will EAT YOUR FACE if you disagree. Zoiks!

Have a terrific Friday, y’all. Tiff out.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

In which I tell LL that I love him.

Because he has verified, in AV format, that I AM NOT CRAZY!

As we well know, being not crazy, and also eating "a fruit a bread a veg a milk a cheese a bean a meat," are very important.

For years I thought I was only imagining this segment, and if on the off chance I wasn't imagining it I thought that Farmer Brown was a Sesame Street guy. Neither of those figments are true. This is actually good news. I don't mind being not crazy, and if you watched the video, you can well imagine WHY I was thinking Sesame Street, because who in their right mind(s) would be thinking USDA?

Thanks Dude! You rock, and I love you, man.


That video production I mentioned yesterday? One good thing about it: I did not appear in the presentation. One bad thing about it: It was a team effort, one in which a group of a dozen people were assigned various roles that were supposed to reflect the actual movie-making procedure, but which also in their turn describe some of the roles that exist in the clinical development paradigm.

Guess who was assigned to be executive producer?

Yeah, me. I had to lead a team of people I barely know through the motions of making an 8 - 12 minute film on the future of clinical research at my company. Sure thing! I can do that! Why, as someone on the very BOTTOM of the corporate totem pole, I am well equipped to tell anyone and everyone what to do, to hold team meetings at the appointed times, to stay out of the way of any TECHNICAL work being done and simply command the ship, to delegate and let the core team success or flounder on their own! Yes! That's me all right! Step aside and Let.Me.Lead.

Yes, friends, me, with a sum total of about 8 minutes of management experience, was put in charge. It's a wonder the very earth under my feet didn't split and swallow me whole right there at the very unlikelihood of it. With all my 'leadership potential,' it should therefore not be any wonder that my team had not committed ANYTHING to film until 30 minutes before we were supposed to turn in the cameras and begin our feedback session. We had a blank screen, despite the timetable that declared filming should have begun a full 90 MINUTES before deadline. Hey, what's an hour's difference in an exercise that took 2.5 hours, start to finish? Bah! A pittance!

Oh my yes, there were many chiefs and chefs, all of them stepping on one another's toques and headdresses as they 'worked together.' My crack core team needed to be reminded time and again that they were responsible for pulling this thing together - I saw one of them give up hope way too soon, leaving his team to determine how to get their jobs done. I had one team member who forgot they were in charge of DIRECTING, and so nothing was happening except random nattering. The writers were constantly being bugged about producing a script, which meant that they couldn't actually produce a script because they were answering questions, and with three minutes left before the deadline there were still shots being put on heck, with 30 SECONDS left they were still shooting!

And yet, despite all the floundering and shouting and cross-purposing, they did it. They pulled something kind of awesome out their collective asses, and I was so proud. Good thing too, because I was the one standing up in front of the room reeling off our 'lessons learned,' and would have hated to be the lynchpin of a failed effort (I am unabashed in my drive to CMOA, as this standing in front of the room was leaving me terribly exposed, as it were). What they produced was funny, well shot, decently acted, and to the point.


It was kind of fun, but if I ever have to go through that exercise again, I'm going to bribe the grip to change places with me. Being at the peak of the responsibility pyramid sucks chapped monkey ass.


Y'all have a good one, mmkay?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Hey y'all! I'm on an 'e-mail break' from the consarned 3-day meeting in which I'm trapped, and it's like a breath of fresh air. Just me, the computer, and the welcome silence of my own cubicle.


Not nice, and something I'm dreading with every moist molecule of me there is to dread, is this afternoon's 'team building' experience, which, I've hard, involves video cameras. Why, dear Lord, WHY? Is there no one who will speak out against this awful cruelty? Why must we, the great mass of self-delusional people, be forced to be on camera and face the reality of ourselves? Why can't we instead script out a nice RADIO piece as a team-building exercise? I can do radio. I've done radio before. Radio is fun, and does not require make-up, good angles, fake smiles, an awareness of physical quirks and the suppression thereof, or decent clothing.

Radio is THE medium to explore for a person like me, NOT video. There's no real reason to subject me, or anyone else for that matter, to the evil that is facing ourselves in the lens of a camera.

The people who thought this up are wicked. Too bad the person who thought it up is the global head of our department, and as such is about a brazilian levels above me in management...makes bitching and moaning a difficult thing indeed.




A bright note: the Doubletree Hotel serves some really awesome cookies for those all-important snack times.

No bacon though.


Have a lovely afternoon folks. I'm off to find a way to lose 30 pounds and turn the clock back 10 years before we start taping this afternoon.

Again - gah!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tastes like victory

Damn y'all. It's 9 pee em, and I'm just getting to the intertubez. Webz.. Net. Whatevs.

It's been a day of corporate booshee and stuff like as I've never had to live through in a a few years, and I've plumb down forgotten how much tired a day of meeting in a conference room can make a person.

Breathing all that recycled air can't be good for a body, I swear.

Now though, I'm home and, with the addition of a few good shots from my buddy Jim Beam, I'm feeling fresh as one of those things Mike Rowe just picked up off the floor of that chicken house he was cleaning. Oh yes, I'm nothing if not one twist short of fully wrung out.

My ancestors would scoff at my 'tired.' I'm sure, feeling as I do now, they'd be ready pop off and plow that back 40 or clean out a Stygian Stable, but I am of much fluffier stuff, and so find that after 9 hours of 'meeting' and 'good show' and 'liasisng,' I am right knackered.

I can hear my grannies rolling around in their graves now, along with the rattling bones of those they gossip with. Sorry ladies. My fate is to allow my ass to get as big as yours (but not, I'm sure, as firm) with no effort spent toward actual hard work.

The brain, she is nimble and quick. The rest of me? Well, that candlestick better watch out, because I'm a-stumbling off to bed pert near soon, and it's in dange of being trampled.

Might be Thursday before I see y'all again. Pray for me, won't you?

Monday, November 17, 2008


There's a cool new challenge photo up at Wordsmiths Unlimited, as well as the October story round-up. Some mighty fine reading there, and possibly a prompt to get your noggin full of ideas for writing once you're full of turkey and stuffing. What ELSE do you have to do over the long upcoming weekend?


I just picked an apple out of my lunch bag. It smells like vinegary old feet.

Candy machine, here I come!


This past weekend was the one when all the leaves came down. OK, maybe not ALL, but certainly enough for us to now be able to see our neighbors behind and to the north of the Tiny House.

All summer long we can pretend like we don't have backyard neighbors, because there are trees and other leafy green plants that block their view of us and our view of them (amazing, how that all works out, huh?). Ah, summer, when it's too daggone hot out to consider spending any time in the backyard, and when there are so many mosquitos out there that you take your life in your own hands if you go out un-slathered wtih DEET, and when the air is too thick to breathe, there are leaves. Come October, when the weather starts to moderate there's a window of about 2 weeks when the sky is clear, the air is crisp, the bugs are too lethargic to bite or fly, porch sittin' is just about perfect.

By the middle of November though? It's all over. It gets COLD (brrr- 40 degrees! Shocking! I might have to put on a jacket!), and the trees shiver off their leaves, preferring to stand naked in the winds of winter. Our backyard lies exposed to the prying eyes of the neighbors; not even the weeping willow whips can keep out unwanted stares.

No, we can no longer pretend we don't have neighbors, because there they are, right over the back fence. Our privacy is vanished, and the glass block of the bathroom window becomes not QUITE enough shield from the outside world. Curious folk who live in the old mill could make out bedroom activities if they chose, so the blinds must be lowered, shutting out their view, and ours. We become a little more trapped in our home when the leaves fall, having forgotten how small 4 rooms can feel when the doors are all shut and the blinds lowered and louvered.

It begins a season of patience, of biding time.

The good thing for People of Little Patience such as myself is this: Spring arrives early around these parts, and so come March we'll have our living screen back again.

Just about the same time the first hatch of mosquitos arrives.


Enjoy your afternoon, my friends. See you tomorrow.

Friday, November 14, 2008

A threesome on Friday. Oooh baby.

Some Headlines, because what would Friday be without them?

Sun to cut up to 6,000 workers, 18 pct of staff

Moon pink-slips 50% of its work force.

India's first lunar probe lands on the moon

To pick up the cheap labor looking for jobs after the big layoff.

Long-lost lunar photos get another day in the sun

Said to show long lines of pickets protesting the recent job losses while the CEO of Lunar Limited takes home huge annual bonuses.


Had a school open house thingie last night for Thing 2. It was……interesting. The kids lead their own conferences, following a script provided by their teachers. There were checkboxes to tick off when each task was completed. To nobody’s surprise, Thing 2 was dutiful in the checking and the script following and the meticulous review of each of the pieces of schoolwork he had in the 4 folders of his core classes. ‘Leave no stone unturned’ is that boy’s motto. You want thorough? Go to him.

You want completely and utterly random? Go to his older brother. Thing 1 will yell out stuff like ‘I like ham’ at odd intervals, and half the time is walking around with his shoelaces untied and scraps of paper falling out of his pockets, which also happen to be chock full of pencils and pens which he picks up off the floor at school and re-sells for a quarter apiece. He’s a lanky blond storm of a boy, while his younger brother is more like a big ol’ brick wall.

How two children who are so very different have the same two genertic material donors is quite beyond me.


NaBloPoMo. Yeah. Some people are doing it. SOUNDS like a good idea, until you’re faced with a certain dearth of anything postable. The pressure of having to post is tremendous, and unless you’re able to blather on about this n’ that at length (or not, I suppose), you’re going to wind up posting a lot of inanity. Like this. And I’m not even participating in the NaMoBloPo, or whatever.

Eh – I gots to go. Y’all have a wonderful weekend, and a beer for me.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The perfect antidote

As I'm sure you'll recall in perfectly clear detail, yesterday I bitched and moaned like a big ol' baby about having to go back to work after a brief holiday away from all the cares and troubles of my daily life (which are so numerous I need at least three fingers to count them all). Oh, I was a whinin' and a cryin' about all the WORK I have to do and how unfair life is and why oh why was I saddled with so much natural talent and work ethic, which only makes me agree to do a seemingly impossible amount of crap in an astonishingly short period of time?

You should have been there. It was perhaps some of the very best whinging I've done in a long time. Really well done stuff.

Today? No more whining! Just like THAT, I've adapted to the lot life has cast me. There are no more worries, there is no more angst, there can be no further bitching about my current position, because today I am working at home.

It's an elixir for the crabby-pantsedness, is the working from (at) home.


Woke up late this morning. It was not my alarm clock's fault. It did its job at 6:something on the dot, just like it was told. The waking up late was completely and operator issue on my part.

I love me some bed time, and on a gray wet morning such as we had here, further snuggling under the covers is what's called for.

So, at 7:22 I found myself in a bit of a pickle. The Things' school starts at 8:15. It's a 15-minute commute. They need at least 5 minutes to get to their lockers and to the band room to drop off their instruments. That meant at there were about 35 minutes to

  • make coffee
  • wake up the kids
  • get them to eat breakfast
  • make their lunches
  • ensure the Things brushed their teeth and hair and washed their face (thank GOD they'd taken showers the night before)
  • police their fashion choices (going to school in your lounge pants? no, but nice try Thing 2)
  • get their randomly strewn crap back INTO their backpacks and get them out the door.

That's not a lot of time to get all that done, especially when the 'responsible adult' is still half asleep.

And yet, by 8:10 they were disembarking the rent-a-van (yay! Success!), and by 8:16 I was at the repair shop asking about Tinkerbell's health. After being assured by the nice young man behind the counter that she'd be ready for me in half an hour, I drove the rent-a-can back to the rental place (goodbye, sweet ride!), got picked up by the dealer shuttle, brought back to the shop, where I was told she'd be ready 'in a few minutes."

I can hear you all moan in sympathy, because you KNOW, don't you, about the secrets of repair shop time? For those uninitiated, or simply forgetful folks out there, a hint: Car shop time is not like regular time. "15 minutes" is equivalent to an hour of normal time. When the nice young man behind the counter said "just a few minutes" I should have responded with "just drop me off at home and come get me this afternoon, because I KNOW you're a lying son of a gun and I'm going to have to sit in your gray humorless waiting room reading ad mags and some godawful 'Fashion Rocks' glossy while listening to Dr Phil deconstruct some poor slob who agreed to appear on his show (perhaps in the ope of achieving some kind of bizarre fame), which to me seems like the first circle of hell, so GAH! NO!"

But I did not say that, for I am a hopeful person, and choose to believe that he was telling me the TRUTH about how much time it will take for the shop guy to return from his hookers n' blow run IN MY CAR. Test drive, my left butt cheek. That lil' beetard is out cruising in my baby, probably has her driver's seat all ratcheted back so his head is in the back seat and he's got her stereo-e-o thumping on 1) cracker country or 2) crunk-a-dunk rappage while he's impressing the girls with the awesomeness of my sweet lil' Tink. Oh yea, she might LOOK like a gramma car, but she's got soul, baby, and don't all the chicks jus' KNOW it.

So, after ramming my knees into the dashboard because car guy over-compensated with the seat adjustments once he was done snorting coke off the damp flaccid bosom of whatever ho' he bought his shit from, it's a good thing I'm working from home. I'm sure we all can agree that it's best I'm not on the road with that kind of attitude.

Y'all have a lovely afternoon.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Crustacean Dreamin'



I just wrote a very VERY self-indulgent ‘poor me’ entry, and then out of a burst of common sense, deleted every single word of it before even saving a proto-draft, because damn. Who in their right mind would spout off about bad crap when they just got back from VACATION?

Holy shit Tiff, get a freaking grip. You just had several days of fun in the sun, of fresh air (Times Square!) and great friends and many many items of debauchery, and you’re going to BITCH ABOUT YOUR LIFE.

Shut the fuck up, Tiff. Just shut. Up.

I am simply depressed about being back at work. About staring my white board that, as of this moment, has 19 projects on it that I’m tracking. Nineteen. Seven of which I’m managing, which means constant contact with the vendors who are doing that work, asking me for guidance and input while I’m juggling the process issues. The leaves 12 projects that are mine, all mine. Eight of which need to be done by the END OF THE YEAR.

This is far too much work to think about all at once. This is the kind of work that a person who loves to work would kill for.

I? am not one of those people who LOVE to work, but I cannot complain about my current situation to anyone, because I brought this on myself, I agreed to do those projects because there was NOBODY ELSE to do them and outsourcing was not possible and so, to save my boss from working yet another series of 80-hour weeks (no exaggeration), I said I could do the work, which now finds me in the position of just about falling to bits whenever I consider starting even one silly little thing.

Names run together, project codes meld, indications and filing types and timelines intermingle in an evil slurry of responsibility, and I have to drink the poison of my own making.

I’m particularly crabby about that last part.

Also? Maybe I’m crabby because a few days ago a crab actually had the temerity to PINCH ME right on the soft meat of my right index finger, and that little farker DREW BLOOD. No amount of prying would tear that wee demon loose, and it finally turned out that a stranger had to pry its claws apart with a plastic shovel to get it off of me. My God, that hurt. If that crab had been any bigger, I’m sure that right now I’d be minus one fair-sized hunk of finger-meat, and that crab would be dreaming of its next meal of human flesh.

I shall never again laugh at ‘comedic’ scenes involving netherbits getting becrabbed, for it is no laughing matter.

Maybe that crab infected me with crabbiness! Perhaps at any moment I’ll begin scuttling sideways. Perhaps I’m on the verge of sprouting eyes on stalks and a sand-colored carapace. Perhaps there’s a wet sandy pond bottom waiting for me to shimmy my mega-ass into where I can lie in wait for my next victim to chomp onto. Grumpy ol’ crab-Tiff, lurking in the depths, fluxing brackish water over her book lungs while fish larvae dart above her head, backlist by a noon sun.

It’d be better than working, that’s for damned sure.

Jiggety Jig

Home again.

Full of memories, which include:
  • Meeting Puff's family
  • A huge bed in a palm-tree themed room. What could be more Florida than that?
  • Baby Z. A marvel of nature, and also one of its forces.
  • The squeaky white sand.
  • Catching crabs, the moral way.
  • Having a crab catch me, the immoral bastard.
  • That back porch and its call to hedonism. The bourbn and smokes were out there, and sheesh - BACATION! Yes!
  • Bowling. With a baby. Who is learning all about stairs. There were stairs at Ye Olde Bowling Alley. Turns out? I am the perfect baby Z antidote for steps. Child won't come NEAR me. I stand at the bottom of steps, she turns and runs the other way.
  • Becks, and the way one person can make a dozen just chill the fuck out with her hippie-ness of awesomeness.
  • Mr P's incredible accent. I swear, he put it on and KEPT it on the whole weekend. Sounded just like a real Englishman, he did. Like ye do.
  • Miss A, the scientist.
  • Miss K, the artist.
  • Master C, the sportsman.
  • Baby Z, Mistress of Just About Everything
  • The Things, melding into the Puff Brood as easily as slipping into their own bed. Amazing to watch. So glad to have been able to make it happen.
  • Fine sand, warm sun, cold air, happy chaos, good coffee, new friends, OLD FRIENDS, Texas Hold 'Em, big porches, palm trees, clouds of seagulls (not even flocks!), and so much more.
Also... The Happy. Despite the onerous 12-hour ride, the short-ish weekend was worth it. It's not every day the you can sink yourself into the person you used to be, explore who you are now, introduce your children to the children of your college friends, refresh burgeoning friendships, experience the joy that is reconnection in a place that is so conducive to reconnecting.


Very probably.

But far. Too. Short.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Popping corks n' daisies, just like they did in the old days before anyone thought of teevee

(Title means nothing. Sometimes, they just don't.)

Gettin' the fam ready to take a drive down the eastern part of this great nation, where we'll take a right at Jacksonville and continue on for a few hours. Because, you know, semi-spontaneous 12-hour drives are the new black.

My buddy Puff is waaaaay over yonder, waiting for us to descend on her and her family. It will be a meeting o' momentous proportion, I'm thinking, being as how she's been all up n' married and spawing chilluns' for about 15 years without me ever meeting any of the folks she calls 'family.' This is what living on a whole other continent will do for you. It's tough to pop over for dinner or to babysit for a friend when there's an ocean between you.

Puff is a wonderful woman, as evidenced by the fact that she invited us down to see her and her gang while they are cavationing, and STAY AT THEIR HOUSE WITH THEM. That's just crazy talk right there! Wonderful, crazy, impulsive, generous woman. There was about 15 seconds of mental wrangling on my part (the basic question being 'fly or drive' because NOT going was never really an option), a 'yes we'll be there' popped out, and the planning was underway.

Today's the day! Yay, hooray! Today's the day we rentaminivan and pileourstuffin and drivepastdark on our way to the sunny shores of the Gulf o' Mexico-ho-ho.

Today's also the day I:

Also take Tinkerbell to the shop to find out why she's leaking oil.

And also pay the utility bills.

And also pack.

And also finish up a few work projects that are threatening to swallow my brain with their complicated demands.

But hey - vacation in a few hours! Yay! Hooray!

Talk amongst yourselves until Wednesday. And have a nice day(s).


Postscript - my step-dad's mom passed away early this morning. She was 93, and until last week lived at home alone taking care of things on her own. Please throw a kind thought his way as he has to say goodbye to his Mom. He's lucky to have had her for as long as he did.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Just one reason why I don't travel widely


These people are returning home from a relaxing pilgrimage (or something) in Pakistan.

Note: This is just the OUTSIDE of the train.

Can you imagine the living hell that the inside must be?

OK, I understand that people need to get places, but my personal space demands at least a smidge of elbow room. If I lived in Ye Olde Pakistane, I'm thinking that my stingent demans for breathing room would likely mean that I'd be hoofing it home as the option of choice rather than cramming myself into that seething mass of humanity.

So, Pakistan is right out. Also Japan. I've seen their subway cars.

Please don't get me wrong, It's not like I don't want to go to these places (because hey history and culture? Love you!), it's just....if I have to do in Rome like the Romans do, it'd be the death of me. To think about having white-gloved policemen SHOVING me into an already crammed-full train car gives me the shivering jibblies. To entertain the notion of becoming part of a million-legged beast like the one in the photo above engenders a case of the creepin' willies that's worse than styrofoam rubbing together.

My personal space demands are so strong that if there are more than 3 people on an elevator I'll either 1) wait for the next one or 2) walk. Crowded airplanes are also a test of my creep-o-meter, what with all the flesh-pressing and recirculated air-breathing going on.


I love people, just (generally) not when they're touching me.

Tell me it's not just me, and have a great day.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Making purple

This is a most excellent election results map. Mousing over each state will give you the popular vote results with actual votes cast (and counted) and percent of popular vote received.

Overall, Obama seems to have won by 6 percent of the popular vote, which is extremely narrow to my mind. The middle of the country and a good portion of the south went for McCain, which was expected. My home state of North Carolina is, apparently evenly split between the two candidates.

I couldn't watch the results come in. No way - that would be too much like watching a close contest between two really good pro sports teams. I'd get all hopped up and excited and loud and sweaty, and who wants THAT? Nobody, that's who. So, after a quick tee-tiny lil' peek at some of the semi-early returns last night (hey, I'm only human), it was nighty-night and we'll see how it all shook out in the morning.

And now? We see how it shakes out for the next 4 years. It's my sincere hope that the results of this election don't polarize the country, that they don't foment violence or strengthen some folks' resolve to remain ignorant of what the real goal of government is and instead focus on skin color or middle names as a means of coping with the loss of the Oval Office. I'm afraid that the middle of this country will become a hot mess of anger, that messages will not be received as intended (ooooh, SOCIALISM! oooooh, he's gonna STEAL YOUR MONEY, that rat-bastard MUSLIM!), that the blinders of politics and the strong historical bent of some voters' ideas of what a candidate and the 'right party' should be will prevent a new vision from reaching everyone for whom it was crafted.

(In truth, I had trepidation about the election results going the OTHER way as well. In the current political furor, tempers are easy to poke up to a roaring blaze, and who knows how many people had a LOT of personal identity at stake this time around? Seems such a silly thing to get into a fight about, but maybe that's just me and my penchant for apathy.)

I understand that this is hard news for lots of people. It totally understandable for people to be upset. Hell, I was upset in 2000 and 2004, believing that all those votes for the candidate of my choice were stolen by a phalanx of hanging chads and such, but after the disappointment wore off it was back to business as usual, with me ignoring Washington and taking care of daily life. I hope that same can be true for the people experiencing disappointment after this election.

In short - I'm happy, but afraid. I'm afraid that the bones have already been thrown for a sizable chunk of the population of this United States, and in them they see nothing but ruin and a new leader to aim their blame on.

I really hope I'm wrong.


In other news, it appears that my Libertarian votes were not for nothing. The guy running for U.S. senate got 3.12% of the vote, and only needed 2% to get the Libs automatically on the ballot for the next election cycle. See, any third party needs to get something 10,000 signatures on a petition to the state to allow their names to be entered on the ballot for any election, and the petition needs to be accepted. If a party can get the petition accepted AND get at least 2% of the vote at that election, then their party's name is on the roll for the next election and the whole petition thing can be skipped. That's a hugely time-consuming and expensive thing to get to take off the books, and is a big step forward IMHO.

I threw my vote for Governor to the Libs as well, and that candidate got 2.87% of the vote. It doesn't LOOK like much, but I think the wave has started breaking over the walls of the two-party system, which I find I dislike more and more. If at some point in the future I find myself staring at a ballot with at least 3 names for every office, it will be a grand day. I might be very very old and easily confused, but you can bet I'll have 1) done my homework, 2) marked up my sample ballot, and 3) voted my conscience.

Full disclosure: on a ballot that included probably 2 dozen choices, I voted republican about 6 times (because they seemed the better candidate! Whoa! what a concept!), left the uncontested races blank (about 6 of those), tossed a couple of votes to the libs, and you can figure out the rest. Schizo, yes, but what would you expect from this aging hippie with a good job and a mortgage to pay, a straight ticket vote?

Hells, no.


Gotta git to work. Y'all have a good 'un.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

No, I haven't

Haven't voted....yet. It's on the list for this afternoon's entertainments.

Instead of voting all willynilly this morning, as was the original plan, instead I spent some quality time reviewing my choices for offices from the largest to the (almost) very smallest. Dudes, I even went to see what the folks who are running for Commissioner of Agriculture had to say for themselves, and as a result I believe I am now able to make informed decisions.

This research is, I'm ashamed to say, far more than I've ever done before. This year, at long last, my choices are not going be based on a nice-sounding name, or party affiliation (TWO Libertarians have made my "vote for" list), or some other nebulous reason.

No political ad will sway my vote. Doing research is far better than all the bile-spewing, backhanded, dirty-laundry-airing, mudslinging, nauseatingly biased political barfing could ever do.

I'm not a fan of barfing, in any form. Those ads? Barf. Not a fan. Especially not in the 24-hour-a-day form that's been an infection on the airwaves for the last month. That's a lot of sick to clean up after.

Seriously, finding stuff out is NOT a huge time investment. The research took me about an hour. If you haven't voted yet, and hesitate to do so because you might not know enough about the candidates, then go ahead and spend an hour reading up on the people who will be setting policy, passing paws, handing out justice, determining the course of energy consumption or farmland use or tax incentives or liquor laws or whatever.

An hour. A small investment considering the impact it could have on the next several years in this country.

There's still time.

(UPDATE - just voted. It was easy. In and out in 5 minutes. I'm proud to wear that little sticker (tho' it's now in the laundry, along with the shirt I wore to work) because you know what? Voting, along with serving on juries, is the LEAST I can do for my country. Oh, and i also pay my taxes, and try to not break too many laws. God, I'm good.)


If you've already voted (and GOOD FOR YOU!), why not go visit Mojo, and Farrago, and Biff Spiffy for their recaps of Tiffowe'en? There are photos. Shameful, shameful photos. At least I know that my double chin has a strong genetic component....)

Monday, November 03, 2008

Tiffowe'en, come and gone

Yes, yes, there were costumed people.

Yes, there was some eatin’ and drankin’. Probably more drankin’ going on that strictly necessary, being as how at some point during the evening the ground started wobbling under my feet. Ahem.

Yes, there was a fire, and candy, some netherbit flashing, costumes to slowly shed, and even a late-night visit from an extraordinarily chatty neighbor who took the entertainment value of the evening from about a 7 straight up to 11. For that one, you had to be there. “Porn couch,” indeed.
Yes, even with the tremendous quaffage in which I took part I remember almost all of Tiffowe’en ’08, and the pictures proving that there might be some bits that I’m not in total recall of will remind me of all the rest, but no matter. My backyard to party in, my bed to pour myself into, my bottle of ibuprofen to swallow the next morning.

Plus which? The next day there was talking and chatting and visiting and dry ice bombs and a POTATO CANNON. Nothing gets you over a hangover faster than blowing shit up, right?


Oh, and chili. And roasting marshmallows in da fire pit, and copious amounts of water.

Man, it was fun.

How was YOUR Hallowe’en?