Sunday, December 27, 2009
I love Robot Chicken.
This happens from time to time, as do the perfect opening lines for stories and the just-right taste of whatever meal I'm to cook next.
To clarify - When I say a song is playing, please understand the the WHOLE DANG THING is going on; words, melody, harmony, instrumentation, possibly even some wicked sound board action mixed in. It's freaky, and so weirdly nice. This song will fade in a few hours time until there's nothing left of it but the smile on my face, but in the meantime I'll hum along with whatever my brain is doing and enjoy this small gift.
Oh, and speaking of perfect opening lines for stories, there's one going on (I hope) at facebook right now. A line popped into me ol' noggin' a while back, which prompted me to begin writing a story in my head while washing dishes (a zen practice not to be overlooked). While I quite liked my story (it being immediately dark and horrible), I wondered if it was too curious a thing to ask if a nation of people could work together to write something collaboratively. Curious, meet me.
If you're on the FB, you know how to find me. See if you can create something new on this long winter's night!
Thus endeth this parenthetically gifted post of nothing much at all. Here's hoping your Sunday might finds you as richly satisfied and bone-tired as your wants permit. It's a good feeling, that one.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Very nearly a screed, but then things turn around.
Peace on Earth.
Goodwill toward men.
Joy to the world.
What great ideas! It sure would be nice if those phrases were hauled out on a daily basis and used so energetically that they became threadbare. Our existence would be so very different if those who purport to believe in such things lived them instead of setting them to music and belting out a few rounds one week a year. I’m not just looking in the general direction of Christians, even though those expressions of collegiality do come straight from their songbooks.
No, this plea to actually live the basic precepts of one’s religion/spiritual bent/conscience might well be applied to everyone to rather good effect, because really, it’s a safe bet that there are more people in this world who believe in being good (or at the most only a little bit naughty) than those who take as their life’s motto “be wicked unto death, for in such wickedness is your eternal reward.”
(I just made that up, but you get the idea.)
We COULD overcome worldwide negativism if we all just did what we're told to do, ever dang day instead of for just a couple of weeks a year. The current paradigm of expressing merely seasonal cheer, the inconsistent application of auspicious wishes, the fragility of forced joy, aren’t enough. The best of things should be lived the most days possible, with genuine goodwill, deliberate actions toward peace, and generous application of joy.
So yes, I do say Merry Christmas, Happy New Year. Add to that joyous days, thoughtful weeks, heartfelt fortnights (LOVE the fortnights), and self-aware months, and you begin to have an idea of my best wishes for all of you who choose to come by this little place for a visit.
So hey, let me say, Feliz Everyday, baby!
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Don't try this at home
This past weekend was to have been the big family Christmas gathering, usually a time of abundant merriment and warm basking-type feelings. It’s about 230 miles from the Tiny House to my Mom’s house. Normally, a car trip between points A and B takes about 4.5 hours, including rest stops. This past weekend? It took 10.
We left on Friday night, thinking we could ‘beat the storm’ that was roaring out of the Gulf of Mexico and that was bearing straight down on our intended weekend’s lodgings. It was a fine plan, certainly better than waiting for Saturday morning to leave, as was the original plan. Ah yes...if only we’d left an hour earlier, we may have been sitting smugly in Mom’s living room at 8 or 9 having thwarted the snow, but instead conditions veered sharply southward about 90 minutes into the ride. Light sleet turned to light snow, then heavier snow, then really truly heavy snow. Just seeing far enough ahead to drive looked to be nearly impossible; the snow was belting at the windshield so hard it looked like we were going into hyperspace drive. After 3.5 hours of driving in steadily crappifying weather and very dark darkness Biff, bless him, had had quite enough thank you of the treachery and pulled into a hotel parking lot just in the nick of time to get what had to have been one of the last rooms available. Sweet relief. Let me tell you that it's been a loooong time since I've been so happy to be sleeping in a strange place. A bonus – there was a WalMart and a liquor store not but a couple of blocks from the hotel, AND there was a restaurant attached so food was readily available. Not a bad place to accidentally find oneself, and a serendipitous choice because further north on 95 there's NOTHING, hotel-wise, for miles and miles.
After a restorative night’s sleep, we haggled about continuing the trip north, as it was STILL SNOWING and wasn’t looking like it was going to let up. Clearly, the weather people had been spot-on in their predictions and we were headed into the belly of the beast. Mom offered to put us up for another night where we were, and we dithered on the point, but made the decision to keep on going, because there were only 80 or so miles to go and how bad could it be?
It is at this point, dear reader, that you realize that the last sentence was blatant foreshadowing.
Friends, it was Bad. Even the full light of day brought no relief. There was slipping, sliding,and rampant douchenozzle-ing by far too many other drivers. It also continued to snow, a LOT. Poor Biff was subject to many of my alarmed utterance as he drove along, for I am perhaps the world’s worst passenger, convinced that nobody but me can see 1) brake lights ahead, 2) vehicles sliding, 3) cars stuck in the median, 4) 18-wheelers swerving, 5) etc etc. Ultimately it was best for me to simply shut my eyes and pretend to nap, saving me from a heart attack and us from a possible fight at my stubborn need to CONTROL EVERYTHING.
When I did take the odd peek, I could spot innumerable wrecks and spin-outs. A semi’s engine blew up right behind us. Tink’s muffler scraped the snow-hump in the middle of the lane on many more than one occasion, and all the while snow keep falling. There was tire spinning, arduously slow progress up hills to avoid having to start again from a dead stop, perilous slides downhill. There was the smart choice to finally leave Route 95 behind after about 5 hours of 5-MPH plugging along, and then there was the 30 minutes spent digging Tink out of a snowbank at a Chevron station in Quantico, where a miracle occurred in the form of 5 Good Samaritans who appeared just as it seemed we were well and truly stuck to dig us out and give us the shove needed to get us, once again, on our way. Sometimes what you need is the kindness of strangers, even if you can't always rely on it.
With snow-caked boots and freezing cold hands, we climbed back in our trusty little car and headed into the last 22-mile leg of the journey just as the sun was going down. Only 22 miles. Only 22. On a road, unfortunately, that hadn’t seen a snowplow in at least 2 hours. It was clear there HAD been a plow by at some point, as the mounds of snow in the shoulders was a good 2 feet tall (and which were truly the only viable road marker at far too many points along the way), but in general there were 5-6 inches of humped and hillocked snow to drive through/over/around. After such a long day of hard travel, those 22 miles ahead loomed large. After about 40 minutes of truly difficult driving, there was brief talk of turning around and spending another night on the road at a hotel we’d passed. But no, once again we decided to press on.
Dusk came, taking with it the shadows that demarcaded where the best-traveling could be had between the snow humps. Every so often there’d be a break in traffic and we’d swing around a slow-moving car, taking up the lead and making progress at a breathtaking 25 miles an hour. I began praying for safety as dusk turned to dark. I know I was clenching my hands together so hard my fingers were cramping. Fear became a very real passenger on that dark snowy road with who-knows-what just over the spindly guardrails.
And then, about 6 miles from Mom’s, a distant twinkling of lights. Was that an actual snowplow? No, it was not. That twinkle was in fact THREE plows. Three gorgeous plows, scraping the road nearly clean. Three beautiful plows, making the last part of our nightmare journey just a little more tolerable. Three stunning plows, easing us safely into home base. A prayer answered? I should think so. They peeled off right at the entrance to Mom’s development, and after that point we only had to negotiate one super-slippery hill, tires a-spinning, to get onto their street.
Who cared that Biff and I and my stepdad had to shovel about 2 feet of snow off the driveway to get Tink a place to spend the night? Not me. (It should be noted that I didn’t do much shoveling, as my stepfather shooed my inside pretty fast) Released from the confines of Tink, released from the fear and worry, I would have shoveled 3 driveways in thankfulness.
Final snowfall total at Mom’s? 26 inches. All of which we drove through. Every single stinkin’ last bit of that trip was, in some way, covered by the super-storm that shut down entire cities and delivered the largest one-day snowfall total in over 70 YEARS on the DC area. Oh, you might say it was a stupid thing to do, all that driving in that kind of weather, and you're probably right, but it makes for a pretty good story that, fortunately, has a happy ending.
The fact that our neck of the woods in NC got NOT A FLAKE will not be expanded upon here. Nope. We courageously risked out necks for family, and thus will have something MAJOR to lord over them for years and years to come. And that, my friends, makes this treacherous story have an even happier ending. Nothing like a good lording-over to make the next family gathering that much more festive.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
After a lovely meal out with pleasant people at an enjoyably appointed restaurant, it’s very nearly impossible to accommodate the notion of returning to work, which of course is why I’ve spent the last 90 minutes doing very little of a productive nature at all.
That is just how I roll. Me n’ every available time-waster on the internet are pretty much going steady at this point. Except for the naughty sites. I don’t do naughty sites at work. That would be bad. Very, very bad.
Heh. Speakinna which...last night Biff and I were wasting time on the internet in parallel, him on the home box and me on my work laptop. I was looking up sites that show pictures of bad boob jobs, because I’m thinking that when I turn 50 my gift to myself is going to be to have them suckers hauled up to where they were when I was….35 and I want to know what BAD looks like, when Biff ambled over to show me a few pictures of a cabinet job he just finished. He likes to share. I think it’s sweet.
Anyhow, up on my screen, because I did not think it necessary to minimize it, there was a photo of NOT a bad boob job at all, which naturally caught his eye. Hard to argue with a photo of a perfect pair of D cups, ya know? After tearing his eyes from the screen and wiping up the gobbets of drool from his manly chin, his question to me was like “why are you looking at pictures of boobs” and then of course I told him of my plan, which hearteningly he heartily endorses, and life was good.
Apparently though he was not expecting me to be ogling other ladies’ ta-tas on the WWW. Clearly, he learned a thing. Hey man, don't judge me - I was simply doing my research into what I DON’T want and what may be possible for me if I do decide to hoist the sweater puppets up a few inches.
On a semi-related note: Anybody ever go to an ‘adult novelty’ store? I’ve been in one, once. I felt about as smooth as a cobblestone street in that place. What a tremendous amount of items available to enhance your love life! The mission I was on was a simple one, but dang – with about 100 styles of toys to choose from, how’s a girl to decide?
Ultimately, after about an hour of trying to look suave while debating the merits of this model over that model (like, are LIGHTS really necessary on this thing?) ‘simple is best’ won out and me and the shopping partner beat feet without pausing to examine the various slings/straps/cuffs/costumes/lotions/lubes that populated the rest of the store. It was all a bit overwhleming, if you want the truth.
Does that kind of reaction mean I’m just immature about stuff like this, or do y’all have similar stories of your ‘first time’?
Curious minds (mine!) want to know.
Also – what’s for dinner at your house tonight? Recent weeks have seen a distressing lack of creativity in the Tiny House kitchen (when I’m cooking). Suggestions for tonight’s meal are most welcome.
Leave ‘em in the comments please, and have a lovely rest o’ the day.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
This is the one that ends well
Thought you’d like to know.
Isn’t a 155-foot yacht a little excessive? Wouldn’t a nice 60-footer do? Really now, how much time does he spend on that thing? Couple weekends a year?
Unless the length is compensating for something….
Also – it’s the middle of December. Hi holiday season! Nice of you to come speeding along like you have. While we HAVe a tree, and cards, and some gifts have been purchased, nothing is complete. No baking has been undertaken, no egg nog consumed, no tinsel draped. There are 2 wreaths on the Tiny House, but no garland, no bunting, no geegaws or frounces have been applied to festive the place up.
I am maybe a little bit Grinchy.
Christmas comes at a very bad time of year, doesn’t it. After the glory that is Hallowe’en and the gluttony that is Thanksgiving, Christmas comes ho-ho-ho-ing into our lives with expectations and history, with high hopes and exhaustive lists of Things To Do To Get Ready, and man it’s a long list. Simpletons like me (ie – people who value simplicity) can get overwhelmed with the prep work, and as a consequence can turn a lil’ bit grumpy or….unmotivated. Doesn’t help that yrs trly is a world-class procrastinator and as such denies the passing of days to The Big One until it’s almost too late.
So tonight, after getting home at about 9, those dang Christmas cards will get done. There’s only a few dozen of them; how long could it possibly TAKE?
Then maybe I’ll start wrapping. Or putting something on the pine tree that’s been standing in our living room for over a week. Yes, really. It’s that bad.
Also, nobody wants to hear about how roundly awful life at work as been lately, what with the busy and whatnot, so I’ll refrain from mentioning it, much. But…wow. The holiday break can’t come soon enough. I’m hoping by the time it’s over I’ll be good and bored and ready to come back into Crazy Central.
I hope all y’all are keeping well, and that life is nothing but sunshine and puppy tummies all around. Here - have one now, and then have a lovely afternoon.
Friday, December 11, 2009
Just a thought.
So yesterday I was dropping Thing 1 off at the 9th-grade center (an assemblage of modular units, really) and I think if the woman behind had gotten any more mad at my NOT PASSING THE STOPPED SCHOOL BUS she might have exploded her head, all 'Scanners'-like.
See, the cars line up in the left lane (traffic only goes in one direction once you're on the grounds), the buses of course take the right to drop off the kids in the morning. If you're done dropping off your kid, but there's a stopped bus next to you, law says you can't go until they pull in the little "stop sign on a swing arm" thing. You're stuck there for the 2 minutes it takes for the kids to leave, then once the bus goes? You go too. Those are the rules.
Well, yesterday, I stopped in place even after Thing 1 was safety out, because there WAS A STOPPED BUS next to me. This is when some steering wheel pounding began. When that ol' stopped bus finally went, so did we, but don't you KNOW we promptly got stuck behind a line of cars waiting to take a left turn. This is when a bit of shouting started. Then, at just the right, at the exact moment when traffic broke a little and we could start moving up, don't you know that another bus pulled up next to us and extended the "thou shalt not pass" sign. Oh well. Here we sit for another 2 minutes...and it was during this time that she lost it. Oh.My.God. She was 1) pounding her steering wheel while 2) gesturing frantically at us with her lit cigarette while 3) shouting something I'm sure was less than complimentary and 4) beeping her horn. It was a moment of pure beautiful road rage, but dangit - it wasn't going to get me to PASS THE STOPPED BUS OF THE LEFT just because she had to be at the Lee Press-on Nails clinic in 26 minutes.
Truthfully, the frantic wavings became so comical, her horn bleats because so irritating, that I thought I'd play a little.
So I pulled up. A FOOT. She practically rammed her Ford F350 quad cab right up Tink's butt-bumper, such was her enthused reaction to movement. I pulled up a tiny bit again, and I see her behemoth lurch forward and jerk to an abrupt halt. One more squinch up, and the BUS DRIVER starts honking their horn, because it's clear we are ignoring the stop sign onna steek, endangering the precious cargo. This is when I turned around in the seat, did the "SEE?" jazz hands thing to lil' Miss Impatientpants, and thought about how nice it would be if her hair caught on fire.
Sometimes, I can be a little bit mean.
Don't forget to email me if you want to do a holiday card exchange with friendly readers and bloggers. I think ti would be kind of fun, and would love for massive amounts of people (maybe 10?) to think so too. Thanks to all of you who have responded positively thus far; it's for YOU that I'm going to shop so very carefully at the
And that'll do it for me. I think I'll leave early today to make up for coming in late. Gotta balance out both ends of the workday, eh?
Thursday, December 10, 2009
The geeky, busy, CHEERY one
BBC News (12/9) reported, "A drug being tested to treat cancer could also help patients suffering from asthma." It's well understood that "too many uncontrolled eosinophils can damage other cells that line the lung, contributing to inflammatory conditions such as asthma." But, scientists at Edinburgh University discovered that the drug, R-Roscovitine, "caused the eosinophil cells to undergo a form of cell death known as apoptosis, a natural process where unwanted cells are removed from the body." The discovery, investigators say, "could lead to an alternative way to treat asthma in patients who are resistant to steroid treatments."
Folks, I spent 7+ years doing research into this kind of thing, with eosinophils as the primary target of research. We didn't really ever come up with anything, so the blurb above came as great news to me this morning. To have a therapy that doesn't rely on steroids is terrific news, and if you know someone with severe asthma you'll understand why I'm pretty excited by this. To shut down one type of cell that, when activated, can release all manner of molecules that alert not only the immune system but can also start an inflammatory cascade is kind of like finding a drug that will cure 80% of all cancers. Seems to me this is pretty big news.
Yes, I'm a geek. A proud one. And sometimes, that geek flag is run up the flagpole to its highest setting. Like today.
It's been a while, hasn't it? Life has kind of spiraled out of control, and apparently a break from posting was the first thing to be sacrificed at the altar of Life Craziness.
So things have been happening. LOTS OF THINGS. Which may or may not be described here; only time will tell. For now I just needed to crack open the tough outer shell of insanity that's been keeping me imprisoned lately, just to say hi.
And a request: despite me feeling really Grinchy about Christmas this year (we've had the tree up for days and it's not decorated yet!), I am a big lover of holiday cards. If any of y'all would like to do a card exchange, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I'll start a list that can be emailed out to all interested parties next week. Then we can all send cards to each other, and it will be like Christmas in Virtual Mayberry!
Cards exchanges are cheap, easy, and kind of fun. In years past I've done a card exchange with other almost completely anonymous bloggers, but that opportunity has passed me by this year. So hey, why not take matters in to own hands and try to get something going among the people I know? Hope you'll play along. You'll get a card from me, and from other lovely people who like to be jolly and who probably smell like hot chocolate (with marshmallows!), so what's not to like?
Deadline for emailing me is ..... Sunday.
Hope to be mailing you soon!
Thursday, December 03, 2009
Wailey wailey wailey!
Clearly, I need better posture.
Work is blowing up big time, and not just for me. Last night at around 11 p.m., as I was trying to put a spit shine on some documents that are NEEDED URGENTLY I was surprised to be getting email replies from a couple of folks who should know better than to be online woring at such a crazy hour. We’re all trying to forge on with a horribly complicated project toward an unholy deadline, and so there we were, tippity-typing away at nearly midnight. Sometimes? It just happens. Then of course this morning while I was supposed to be prettying up another document for final-final (honestly! Really! No more changes!) review, someone else identified a gap that MUST BE TAKEN CARE OF IMMEDIATELY and so there’s nothing to do but drop the formerly hot-potato issue and pick up the new bushel basket of steaming tubers.
So here it is almost 1 p.m., I haven’t started the thing I said I’d get done last night, I’ve run my hands through my hair so many times it looks downright greasy, my neck feels like it’s going to snap in half, and there’s not yet been any lunch. This last one must change, before I get irretrievably butt-welded to this stupid office chair or my back refuses to unfurl from its cramped-over position.
But first – some good news: I still have a job! Got the notice today. The new job (which of course we all know I’m already doing and have been for the last 2 years) now comes with a slightly different title and….get this…..a BONUS! Yep – every year, if we’ve met our goals as a company, we all get a wad of cash at year’s end. This is a most sweet development. I like bonuses, of nearly all kinds.
So there’s that.
Let the rejoicing commence!
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
Inspired to blog? Yes, I think I am.
Where was I?
Oh yes, right here. Where I left off.
In the afterglow of a wonderful weekend. Family, friends, DRIVING, friends, family, and more friends. Plus, a hot tub. Hey people? I met my new in-laws for the first time on Thanksgiving day. All 100 of them. Aunts, Uncles, cousins, step-ish cousins, something-ish half-nelsons, and others who bore enough of a faint family resemblance (like me!) that they could get a cut of poultry and a scopp of the most feckking delish stuffing ever made. Yay for me fitting in with the crowd. Also? There was basketball in the gym after, so that was good.
After that there was some hot tubbing at de hotel, and then Biff and I made Chinese stir fry for the immediate family at his sister's house. How freaking bold is that? "Hi, I just met you and now will COOK YOU DINNER!" What gall I have.
Everyone (as far as I know) survived.
OK. Everyone did. Adorable dog included. Thanks the Meijer, for the Meijer is the best of everything that is mega shopping, including large amounts of liquor and a 'foreign' food aisle that would make Brit ex-pat weep in thanks.
Where is this post going, anyhow?
Things were a bit of a rush, but the best kind, The kind where you can't wait to get out the door to find out what the next thing will be, the kind that feels like you're about get a new bike, the kind that maybe might include a rollercoaster ride. That kind, you know? Sandwiched between 2 stupidly long car rides, I found out this stuff:
- Biff is better than me at the alphabet game, by far
- His sisters are really really pretty. Good skin runs in their family, apparently. Grgh.
- I love me some hot tub. ESP those with supah-jets.
- The term "happy sock" never gets old.
- Deer hunting sounds like a dang good thing.
- Stiff beds in strange places, when shared with someone you love, can feel like home.
- Holiday Inn Express cinnamon rolls? SIN ON A PLATE.
- There are people in this world who, once met for the first time, feel like old friends. Y'all know who you are, and thanks for two wonderful visits. Next year? BLOGSTOCK!!! Now who's got a farm? We need plenty of room for rocking the ball dents!
And that, dear friends, is that. I'm tired. It's 11:20, and I think after Genesis we have Daft Punk up next for dancing porpoises. No way I'm missing that.
Friday, November 27, 2009
Things I am tired of
- White House State Dinner Gate Crashers.
- Tiger Woods' car accident.
- Being in a hotel room for much longer without something/one to be entertained by.
- Being wrinkly. Seriously - something's happened to my entire body in the past year or so that's bordering on frigging ALARMING.
- Teeter Hangups.
- The postmodernist architectural movement that allows preposterous angular plinths of concrete/steel/human hair/clots of dried yak blood to be erected and imbued with the responsibility of representing the 'yearning to be free' or 'a spirit of longing for what is greater than us.' Those things are not architecture, they are art (which if it's not representational is confrontational or inspirational, as it should be). Architecture is AN art, but does not and should not (ed note: IMHO) bear the responsibility of reminding us of our moral codes and/or failings as human beings to consistently and mindfully strive for that which is bigger/smaller than us. Fripperies in architecture had BETTER have a purpose, and by God that purpose had better be to house a bigger and better video game arcade or it's worth nothing. NOTHING, I tell you.
(Which is not to say that I don't love bizarre buildings. I do, wholeheartedly. (Hi Da Guggenheim!) Architecture is a secret love of mine; floor plans (drool!) are delicious bits of brain candy to be savored. Site plans too. Not so sure about the electrical plans, but even they have their beauty, It's just that extraneous stuff on buildings is....Extraneous. If you can't make your creation say what you want as a building, then you've failed and should start over. 'Nuf said.)
*Ahem* I think the 6-hour long hotel room solitary confinement might be getting to me. Should stop now before I begin blathering abotu things even more inconsequential, like my childhood. (pinkie to lips, please)
Oh! But wait! We have a BIG DOIN'S coming up on Sunday that I am fekking excited about, but first there's the small matter of more 'new family' gatherings tomorrow (and whoo boy are there some stories to tell about Thanksgiving) to tend to. One day at a time, eh?
Y'all be well until next time.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
once again, the interwebz have spoken.
White on white on white as a blog design is NOT the new black. My whites were too white apparently. Who knew THAT wsa possible?
I should have known to stick with the old standard basic black for a background that is not only clean and simple but will never go out of style, much like bodysuits or velvet stovepipe hats.
Until, of course I get a brand new idea to do something entirely different.
Much like Kaply did.
But she's braver than I am, so don't expect much out of me.
Also don't expect much out of this place for the week. Today is insane with work (again? you ask? Again, I reply), and tomorrow is travel day, after which is visitin' and hanging out and more visitin' then another travel day then it's back to work. Some of that time I'll try to get on the laptop and come say hey, but there are no promises to be made in those regards as at any point during the next 4 days I might have 1) slid off an icy road to an unfortunate end in a slushy ditch someplace on I75, 2) eaten myself into a coma, or 3) decided to have a marathon nap schedule which precludes any and all whiffs of things like 'productivity' or even 'sociability.'
Or, I could just spend time holed up near the hotel's indoor pool with a giant bottle of wine and some bootleg Ativan, hoping for stress relief.
Again. Could happen.
Any conversation that contains the phrase "I might grow genitals on my kneecaps" is a very good conversation indeed. Try it today and see if I'm wrong.
If I don't get around to seeing you on the internets or even in real life, please know that I extend my fondest wishes for a wonderful Thanksgiving to all of you. We are, by and large, people for which we have much to be thankful, and whether we consciously acknowledge that fortune regularly or take just this one day a year to keep it in the forefront of our reality, that doesn't change facts. That, plus STUFFING, should make Thursday a bright day indeed.
Until later - HUGS! Tiff out.
Friday, November 20, 2009
All cleaned up
(I lie. It does. A lot.)
Hey, it was time to brush things up around here anyhow. However, being as the template is written in ancient Sanskrit or possibly Romanian (or is it Klingon?), it takes a while to bulk up the nads enough to make changes, but thank ye gods for the 'preview' button and the ability to dump all changes and simply REVERT REVERT if something doesn't work out. Like, that time I thought I was changing the header border padding and all the POSTS disappeared? Eeeeyeah.
So, what do you think? Is the plain white a crisp new change that'll keep you coming back for more because it's like a breath of fresh cool air on a hot summer afternoon, or is it the most unimaginative thing EVAR and should be done away with as soon as possible in favor of something in the black or patterned family so that you're feeling 'the edge' whenever you spend a bit of time here?
Punch list of possible topics that I didn't write about:
- wasted potential
- Biff's band
- orange tea
- the continued saga of the company takeover, which involves gossip, innuendo, wild guesses, and the accidental distribution of confidential emails. Good times!
And that's just from today!
Thing 1 was studying for a German quiz last night, the topic was 'modal verbs' and the theme was 'proper forms of durfen and konnen to use with different pronouns.'
(and dang - does anyone know how to inset an umlautted 'u' or 'o'? It's bugging me)
So, he's in the living room going over the following list:
ich darf kann
du darfst kannst
er/sie/es darf kann
wir durfen konnen
ihr durft konnt
sie/Sie durfen konnen
And after about 5 minutes there was a nearly audible brainpop as he shouted "hey! I think I see a pattern here!" ORLY?
Don't you think his teacher would have TAUGHT them that pattern by now? Seriously folks, he's been taking this class since the end of August and only now it's coming to him (on his own, mind you) that there are RULES to verb forms in German?
Lastly, we recently installed ad-block plus on FF so that I didn't have to wait forever for pages to load. Works great, I think, except for that when ABP is on, Facebook pages simply refuse to load, I can't leave comments, and I still get popups.
That's not really an improvement, is it?
Have a schwangin' afternoon folks. They've turned off the heat in the building in order to prepare for some facilities maintenance this weekend, and I have to go do some actual work to get the circulation going in my hands again. Like blocks of ice are me fingers! BLOCKS OF ICE!
Thursday, November 19, 2009
WTH is going on here?
And I'll be back tomorrow, after waxing the new crop of franchisees and depileating a duck's back. So much to do...
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Shoop a Dupe Dupe
It was sad, so very very sad. Many of us who ‘knew’ this person were sad, and mourned the loss of a creative, fierce, funny, forthright individual. While we’d never met him in person, the pain of the loss of one so young (only 47!) and our sympathies for his family were keenly felt.
Not long after, a MetaFilter board lit up somewhat with the story, and many people there had the ‘holy shit’ moment. Then, as the suspicious and cynical will, people started doing some digging, doubting the story, casting aspersion on the reality of it and the convenience with which the tale unfolded. Foreshadowing, rapid turn of events, high drama, and the lack of an obituary were all put on the table as proof that the events were faked. Some said that the blogger ‘killed his persona’ in a way that took all his friends and most interested parties for fools.
Some of us joined MetaFilter to protest after their snark started leaking onto our comments, took the hit of outing ourselves as one of the possibly duped, tried to rebut their doubts, and accepted the occasional condolence on behalf of this person and their family, who we assumed were in too much shock to repsond appropriately to the smearing of the blogger’s name. All in the name of friendship and a sense of chivalry that we thought was the right thing to do.
(It was perhaps the only time in this blog’s history that hit counter approached 500 a day. Such is the power of Metafilter. Shame that none of those folks stuck around and became a follower…..but I digress.)
Two years ago, the death of this person that many of us considered a friend was a shocking force, a reality check, a sobering notion.
As it turns out, we likely wasted our efforts, as the death may in fact have been a huge fake.
Just....take a minute to wrap your head around that one. Consider please as you do that during this time there was post after post about the injury, the hospital treatment, the enucleation, the medicines, fevers, worries, anxiety, the ultimate collapse and death, sometimes written by the sufferer himself and, at the end, by his family, his wife and son, his poor brave family….
So it appears now that dude and his family, if new information is to be believed, went about faking his death on the interent. Faking death instead of just signing the fuck off of whatever new secret blog was invented to ostensibly escape the notice of your awful bosses. Faking death instead of simply disappearing, or shutting down, or leaving a final cryptic message. Faking death, involving the hearts and minds of people far and wide who will mourn for your family’s loss, put themselves out into a harsher sphere to stand up for your good name.
Faking your own death is one option if you want to be left utterly alone (because really - who’s going to call a dead man?). It’s a bad one, but not unforgivable. The unforgivable one would be if someone who has some vicious twisted streak is now attempting to resurrect someone who really honestly truly IS dead. What if some bizarro Bob or Betty is hinting at the the hope that this person is still alive by creating fake websites with pictures, creating fake YouTube ‘stations’ with videos, creating fake comments on people’s sites with notifications that the dead have arisen. THIS would be the unforgiveable thing, the sick and wrong thing, the head-scratcher to end all headscratchers because DAMN, if this is the case then there are people out there with way too fucking much time on their hands and need to find a dang job or write a book with all that creativity or maybe come see me because after I’m done ripping them apart boy have I got shit they could do with all the time they’d otherwise spend tearing the WTF out of people.
So now I’m not sure which is worse: 1) someone faking their own death and leaving their circle of virtual-world friends to make fools of themselves in mourning and THEN coming back and admitting the lie (oh and hey, ‘sorry’ probably isn’t enough, an explanation would be lovely), or 2) someone who is creating a fake resurrection (in which case NO explanation would make anybody feel better because that’s some sickass shit).
Whatever the case may be, herein lies my overall response:
If they’re alive, yay for them. If they’re not, them that’s too bad.
Dude, you know who you are. If you’re really alive, take the multiple personnas and your massive capacity for duplicity, and don’t let the door hit you on your way out of my life. If in fact the dead are lying in their grave being lied about, then the perpetrator of that bit of nastiness can go pound sand.
I for one am done with you. Whoever you are. Ain’t enough hours in the day to spend more than half of one responding to whatever drama you’re trying to stir up. That burner’s cold baby. Have a nice life.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Aren't YOU a pretty thing? Huh huh huh.
Someone in our building is firing up what sounds like a jet engine right now. The sound is deafening.
Of course it’s NOT a jet engine, because, really, that would be stupid, but still. Something very loud is happening in the lab next door and I’m hoping it doesn’t end in large pieces of metal shrapnel being forcibly ejected through the lab walls and into my head. Or the heads of any of my coworkers. Even the new girl.
That last statement brought to you by my overwhelming sense of fair play.
If I happen to turn into a zombie though (see above), being decapitated by a high-speed lab accident might be a cool way to go.
Once again work is threatening to eat me alive, and once again I have dealt with this situation in the most responsible and mature way possible: by ignoring it.
There were things that could have been done this weekend, projects to ‘get ahead on’ vast tracts of updates to conquer, but did I? No, no I did not. What’s the sense in that, after all? Where’s the glamour in being on time, on schedule, on top of things? That’s not sexy nor does it make a good story. Far more interesting is the ‘time I worked for 24 hours straight just to get done what I had a week to do,’ right? Makes for a good war story, as long as nobody alludes to the BACK story of hours and hours spent doing far more interesting things, like playing games on the internet or challenging your liver to a little games of ‘keep up.’
Sadly, the cushion time done, and all waste-able time has been wasted. Now it’s all about productivity and putting out product so that my pasty white butt can keep its place in the cushy office chair to which it has become accustomed.
What I lack in self-motivation I make up for in panic productivity. So there’s that.
Y’all enjoy your day, mmkay? Think of me as you go about your business in a calm and dignified manner. If I don’t get my cranium sliced open by a razor-sharp piece of autoclave, I’ll be spending the rest of today actually working for a living.
Yep - Hell should be freezing over any time now.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Nauseating commonalities reported from exotic locations
Then imagine that this is the smell of someone’s lunch in the cube farm.
Oh yes they did.
Right here’s the spot where I wrote something that bored even me. Holy shit, you KNOW it’s bad when even the author can’t get excited by what they're writing.
Is that what hookers feel like? What they do for a living is supposed to be thrilling, exciting, adventurous, even creative, and yet they do it so much it becomes as common as tap water. How do they work up any enthusiasm at all?
The new girl in the cube farm….just….wow.
She looks a little like Gollum, but with lots of hair. She sounds like Linus Van Pelt, only with a gravellier stuffy-headed voice. She talks almost ALL the time, and, here’s the kicker, she cusses right out loud. At work!
Also, she takes personal calls in the cube, discusses any and all subjects RIGHT THERE, sniffles constantly, GROANS as she works, and crunches chips at 2:30 every afternoon.
Is it just me, or are those behaviors FRIGGING ANNOYING?
You know you might listen to a little too much NPR when the family 12-YO can mimic the correspondent’s signoff lines stone-cold perfect.
<-----This one’s his favorite. Can’t say as I blame the lad.
OK - this is grinding along to a shuddering halt under the pressure of lack of inspiration, talent, or interesting things to talk about (except of course the Sea Monkey and Unicorn Farm opening), so I’ll sign off for now. Must go gather the undercoat from Snurfle the Party Dragon so I can start those Christmas gifts!
Y'all have a great day.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Oh, what a world, what a world!
Today at work I have had to deal with major issues like PAGE MARGINS and PARAGRAPH SPACING and MIXED USE OF STYLES!
Gasp! Quel Suprise! Shocked looks!
I know, my life is so chock full of glamour and excitement that you wish, just for a moment, you were me. Ah, my dear misty-eyed friends, this cannot be, and for that I am wholly sorry, for to give you just an hour of my life would bring me so much pleasure, and yet I cannot, for you couldn’t know that strength it takes to not burst out in joyous song every time I get another e-mail asking about things like APPROVAL PROCESSES and MEETING REQUESTS and SYSTEM OUTAGES.
It is nearly too much for me to bear, and I’m an experienced professional.
So, take my word when I tell you that all the glamour is exhausting, as well as is all the actual work that is the output of decisions made about things like STATISTICAL PROCEDURES and DROPOUT RATES and VENDOR LISTS.
For those of you who are a touch shy on the definition of ‘sarcasm,’ that right there was it.
Turning now to the weather, because we are currently having some:
My oh my, Ida, how you do roar and guh-nash your choppers are our fair Triangle,. How you do soak and blow (ed note: GREAT name for a bathhouse!) our fair region with your moist offerings, your vivacious breath.
But Ida, sweet wonderful Ida, did you have to make it so VERY crappy outside that instead of having delicious sushi for lunch at an actual restaurant, I instead had a cafeteria salad while sitting in my cube, AGAIN?
I know, luscious Ida, that I will not melt if I go out in your rains. I will not fly apart in the clutches of your brisk zephyrs. I will not perish in the combination of attenuated weatherly offerings you have served up, but dang if I won’t get a little wrecked, a little tousled, a little tossed, a little nerve-bent while on the wet wet roads fighting off people who apparently believe that the rain is a sign of impending doom (perhaps even the Apocalypse, which sounds nice but probably isn’t accompanied by maracas) and thus should rive as irrationally as possible because hey, there isn’t any more tomorrow so let’s Danica Patrick the MUTHA out of Route 55.
Thanks, sweetie, for nothing. And hey, in case you don’t know it, cafeteria lettuce tastes NOTHING like Rock Star Roll.
And that’s it dudes. I figured I’d better post something else for our new friend the disgruntled blogger (or is it the whiny-ass mocker? The silly stalker? The blasted mewly-mouthed bitch-ass complainer with a short resume and a pocketful of sophomoric insults? I simply don’t know) to kvetch about.
Just a little public service, people. You’re welcome.
And if I had my druthers, I’d be off to ride a giant spotted monkey across wet fields of soybeans while shouting tangentially anachronistic phrases into a howling wind, but instead will simply turn my attentions back to the work at hand. Surely, SOMEONE must have needed my opinion of what size font to use in a table by now…
Have a grand day.
Monday, November 09, 2009
I realize a couple of things now that, well, surprise me.
"Big deal," you say? Not for us, a 5:10 is easily 3 HOURS earlier than our usual prandial appointment.
Why the rush? Well, tonight is Monday, which means band practice night for Biff, meaning that if he's to eat at all he's to eat before 5:30 (band practice [or, 'first note'] starting at 6:30). What's more, he has to fast for 12 hours tonight because of a little oral surgery matter tomorrow morning so what the heck, let's eat early and call it good.
The 5:10 thing would have been impossible on a regular day because we both WORK and don't normally even get home until 5:30 or 6 (or 7....or 8), but today he 'worked' at home and therefore
So. Dinner before 8. I didn't mind it, which is shocking. See, all the time I've been an adult I've been the 'dinner at 8' kind of person, mocking the folks who eat at buffet hours as common or more easily amused by food than I who prepare a meal each night using techniques varied, complicated, and time-consuming. Which worked, mostly, unless we were really hungry or had 'something to do' (A thing which in my history was grossly underrepresented, but we're catching up thanks for asking).
Sure, it was weird having ALL THAT TIME after dinner to do 'stuff,' but it being dark at 5:30 helps to ease into the 'evening' mentality and dang if there wasn't homework for the Things to do and my book to finish and "Good Eats" to watch and a couch to snuggle on. People, by 8:30 I was seriously nodding off...
It's a sure bet that pretty soon I'll be camped out in front of the Golden Corral at 4 p.m. waiting for the first bolus of banana pudding to be deposited in the trough...and I don't dread that thought as much as I used to.
Someone hold me.
Thursday, November 05, 2009
I think I am one.
MEANING: noun: One who does useless work.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin nihil (nothing).
I would have thought ‘nihilist’ would mean the same thing (much like ‘typist’ and ‘typarian’ do, or ‘agrist’ and ‘agrarian’. Look it up!), but that is not the case. In fact, a nihilist is a person who believes human existence has no objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value. So, taking this to its logical ending, a nihilarian nihilist must be the happiest person in the world, having fulfilled their philosophy perfectly while making money doing so!
If that were the case for me, I’d be getting a paycheck for lazing around surfing the internet looking for gross pictures of surgery and/or infections.
Anyhow. It’s Thursday, otherwise known as ‘trash day’ in our neighborhood. It’s a big thing, the trash day. Garbage canes must be lined up not further than X feet from the roadside so the garbage truck motorized arm can effectively lift your bin o’ flotsam into it’s gaping maw, and heaven FORBID if you put the recycling container too close to the garbage can because wow, won’t that make it hard for the recycling people (a kinder, gentler garbageman, I think) to get to the precious load of green-living. So, bins n’ cans must be lined up properly and adjusted for wind speed and the sun’s angle as well perhaps as barometric pressure but we’ve not had a memo on that yet thank goodness.
Oh, and also? It’s common knowledge that if you do not retrieve your garbage coffins by Friday morning and place them neatly back in whatever area they live during the week, you’re kind of a sloth and the neighbors have every right to either 1) snigger haughtily at you while feeling superior at their own can-putting-away skills or 2) be concerned that you might be dead in your own home and your pets are snacking on your eyeballs.
Guess how often #2 happens.
Oh yes, it’s high times all around where we live, and we don’t even have a HOA. It’s just good old-fashioned neighboring, where detente is achieved through tacit understanding of ‘how people are supposed to behave.’ It a nice system we got going, fueled by nothing more than general decency.
Except of course for that house on the corner…but we’ve gotten used to the old trucks in the yard and the piles of crap peeking out over the pool fence. *Sigh* There’s one in every neighborhood, ain’t there?
You’ve got one of ‘them’ where you live, don’tcha? Whyn’t you spill your guts in the comments? It will help relieve some of that rage you have going on that’s keeping you from realizing your full zen potential. Trust me.
As for me, I’m off to shampoo a wild boar, plant a row of ‘maters, and slipstitch a fleece shroud for a newborn echidna that was born utterly hairless. Y’all have a glorious day.
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
FINISH the dang thing already!
61. Do you use cuss words in other languages? Mange merde et morde, cher.
62. Do you steal or pay for your music downloads? Neither. Biff does all the downloading into the monstrous pile of music that inhabits a fair portion of the memory on the home computer.
63. Do you hate chocolate? ……………….(all thought processes suspended while brain wraps around a world without chocolate)……………….No.
64. What do you and your parents fight about the most? My curfew. (Obviously, a joke. They won't let me stay out past midnight, no excuses)
65. Are you a gullible person? When an outrageous lie is delivered properly, yes. I like to believe people are trustworthy, more fool me.
66. Do you need a boyfriend/girlfriend to be happy? I’d say ‘no’ now, but 25 years ago? I was deluded enough to believe that I was happier with a boyfriend. This is one of those things I’d go back in time and lecture me about if I had the chance. Maybe even slap me around a little bit just to see how tough I really am/was. Other things I might lecture me on: Get your PhD, don't abandon your friends for ANY guy, enjoy your fabulous figure now because it's not going to last, take a picture of them boobies now while they're still almost-perky, take some time to get to know yourself, and start saving for retirement NOW.
67. If you could have any job what would it be? Radio announcer. (yes, the money generally sucks, but I’m making the assumption here that money is no object. My fantasy, my rules)
68. Are you easy to get along with? Just do as I say and nobody gets hurt. Easy!
69. What is your favorite time of day? It sure as hell isn’t when the alarm goes off. Otherwise, I’m cool with most of the other times of day, but the nicest associations are with the after-dinner hours, when the chores are done and there’s nothing left to do but relax with Biff and the Things. A full tummy, a full glass, everyone safe and near = total contentment.
There. List done. Aren't we all deliriously enthused over this turn of events? I can imagine your curiosity is so sated it's sitting back, tummy swollen, with legs splayed and pants undone as it digests the full spectrum of fascination that this list has provided. Not even room for dessert, I'm sure. Not even if it's a wafer-thin mint.
Ah well, all good things must come to an end.
So, have a consenscual rest of the day, and don't forget to brush your teeth. I'm off to bathe the Australian men's water polo team and bake the world's largest pickle loaf. Busy busy!
Monday, November 02, 2009
Hello Monday - nice to see you again
So thanks, internet! You rock!
Oh yes, we had a party. The second Tiffowe'en (FIRST ANNUAL!) party was rather a success. By my count, there were at least 50 people who passed through our doors on the way to party central (da backyard), and BONUS, I knew fully 3/4s of them! Ahem. Not that it was a problem, because we knew one of our guests had asked to invite some other people, so OK, fine, that really tall dude dressed like the Jolly Green Giant and his wife the Little Green Sprout were cool, as was the chick dressed like an M&M, and several others. Sure, come on in, the beer’s out back! But you guys, who came with the dude we’ve met twice, who didn’t even bother to wear a costume (except maybe you just got those wicked pissah piercings for the occasion?) I’m not so sure about, but heck, come on in, the beer’s out back and I’ll keep my eye on you.
I think I may have stressed a little about that. OK, more than a little. Throwing parties is stressful! Who ARE these people? Why are they in my house? And why do MORE people keep coming? Apparently I’m a “20 people at a party” kind of person, not a “50 people at a party” person. God I’m getting old. Good thing I had a jug of liquid stress reliever at the ready. Plus coffee.
Anyhow – the bounce house was a huge hit (though folks were sad when it was taken down at 10), as was the bonfire (sawdust flame balls!) and the scavenger hunt. There was way too much food (yay! Leftovers!), we bought far too much potable liquid refreshment (yay! Leftovers!), the two sound systems were just about enough, the potato cannon was a remarkably good way to cap off the night, and by about 1 a.m. (or was it 2?) it was all over. By about midnight I think I’d completely lost track of what was going on (see ‘liquid stress reliever’), but from all reports there was no nakedness (our dog humping a toddler DOES NOT COUNT!) or fighting so it’s all good.
For some other folks’ perspectives, go here and here. Added enticement: They have pictures!
Now, to start planning NEXT year’s party. Your suggestions are welcome.
Apparently the party and excitement was all a little too much for Skeeter The Dog (despite the aforementioned humping episode), as today’s dawning brought with it the distinct gut-churning odor of canine crap. Oh yes, dog poopy, all over the living room rug. The dang dog had an entire kitchen floor to shit on, but does she? No, she does not. She trots over to the dang RUG and lets fly, that what she does. Once, twice, a dozen times, with stuff that looks like pea soup as the endgame last hurrah. All before I've had my coffee, the cur.
It is a testament to Biff’s fortitude that he did not barf, even a little, while scraping all of it up with the use of two drywall knives. Oh, it was close at the end, but he held it together. Brave, wonderful man!
My job was to run the Bissellizer on all affected areas, which were hard to discern after I vacuumed up all the dry-ish bit, so 8 a.m. found me on hand and knees giving the entire rug a good going-over. Mmm, wet dog crap. Deelish! From the looks of the water coming OUT of the rug, it was well past time to have done this particular chore anyway, as the coffee-colored ick being extracted has to be a clear sign that there was more than canine fecal matter ground in there. So charming. It’s not like we never vacuum that rug; in fact I’m forever at that thing with the Eureka, getting crumbs and dog hair off it so people who MIGHT drop by (like the guy who showed up FRIDAY NIGHT for the party) don’t think we’re utter slobs, but apparently mere vacuuming isn’t sufficient. *Shiver* But hey, it’s done. I hope it doesn’t need to be RE-done once I get home from work tonight…because really, once is enough ‘ew’ for today, thanks very much.
That’s about it from here. There’s much more to report about our fun-filled party and the things that occurred, but I need to leave something for the Biffster to write about. If he ever posts again, which seems to be less likely as the months fly by, but the fact that I and at least two other bloggers are calling him out on his lackadaisical attitude toward the blogosphere might compel him to write a lil' something for all of us who miss is unique style and humor.
Of course, y’all could go to his blog and pester him too if you want. I’m just sayin’ is all.
Have a lovely day folks!
Saturday, October 31, 2009
So, shoo, rain.
And take this frigging headache, cough, and wheeziness with you.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Things to do today
Wipe teary eyes? Check.
Blow snotty nose? Check.
Take the day off work? Check.
Y'all, I'm not exactly oinking but I am honking.
After 1) replacing a dead car battery while on vacation this past weekend, 2) replacing a dead water heater on returning HOME from vacation yesterday, 3) having to kill a day at work yesterday waiting for the IT guys to figure out why my account seemed to be disabled, and 4) taking the finish off my wedding ring while trying to get rid of a belt squeak in Tink's engine (that lube is caustic, apparently, and now the formerly shiny celtic knotwork band is BLACK, which is, as Biff said, 'kind of your style,' so it's not really a disaster of major proportion, but still), I'm simply not prepared for anything else WRONG to happen.
I'm taking a slug of Formula 44 and heading back to bed. Maybe in a few hours I'll be farting rainbows and spitting diamonds, but for now this old girl is giving up and going back to sleep.
Y'all have a good day.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Well, never fear, for I got a post for you. Numbers 49 through 60 of the list, now with more info-power!
49. What do you buy at the movies? A ticket and a large bucket of curdled baby yak blood. Mmm, crunchy!
50. Do you know how to play poker? Sure – extend your pointer, find a lady, and start a-jabbin’!
51. Do you wear your seat belt? Always.
52. What do you wear to sleep? Nothing. Anything more than ‘skin’ and I start perspiring.
53. Anything big ever happen in your hometown? What, like putting a whole University there? Nah. One big thing every couple hundred years is enough for us Southerners. We don't need to rush around all willy-nilly making things HAPPEN, for Pete's sake.
54. How many meals do you eat a day? Generally 3. I know, I'm totally leading the pack on this thing! THREE meals - imagine!
55. Is your tongue pierced? Nope. That’s ONE piercing that completely squicks me out. Pretty sure if given the choice between lady-part piercing and the tongue, I’d have to go to the happy place first. Now, if the choice is between nipple and tongue, I'd have to think a bit more....both seem to have the capacity to hurt like a futhamucka.
56. Ever meet anyone you met on myspace? What? I already met them on MySpace, so yes I’ve met them. What a stupid question. Like '"did you see Jenny when you talked to her at the Food Lion?" Why no, I was temporarily struck BLIND during those 5 minutes, dumbass.
57. Do you read myspace bulletins? Um. No. I had a MySpace page for about a millisecond a few years ago, and was an early abandoner of it. Simply didn’t have the time or interest in it. Plus which? I generally dislike other people's taste in music, and hated getting bombarded with it every dang time I'd open a page.
58. Do you like funny or serious people better? You asking me to pick sides? Why can’t the funny people have a serious side (many do, you know) and why can’t the boxy drones of this world make an occasional attempt at what might pass for humor among their bland and 2-dimensional friends? Equal rights, I say! Quit trying to shove me down one path of preference!
59. Ever been to L.A.? Yes, and I enjoyed New Orleans quite at a lot.
60. Did you eat a cookie today? No, but lunch was a bag of pretzels, does that count?
Stick with me dudes, there are only 9 more questions left to answer, and so by tomorrow it will all be over.
I'm sorry. Let me dry your tears of disappointment with my sleeve. They are so tasty.
It's come to my attention that funny things don't happen to me. Other people have funny stuff happen to them or around them all the time, but it appears I'm in a 'funny stuff happening' vacuum. Everything in my world is so normal. I mean, from the 5' wide spider on the front porch to the sinkhole in the backyard that occasionally emits little moans and clouds of rank purple gas, my world is as middle-of-the-road as it gets. Shoot, even the spider seems bored lately, the count of kitten carcasses wrapped neatly in rope-like silk is down dramatically since the warmth of summer has passed. And let's not even GO into how beige it is to realize that everyone else on the block has seen the throatless ghost...for a minute there I thought I'd have something interesting to talk about.
From the talking dogs to the polydactyl neighbors, from the spandangulous shape-shifting houses to the grouchy ol' dragon down the street, there's nothing funny that happens to me.
So hey, at least there are those last 9 questions to look forward to.
Have a grand afternoon. I'm off to paint the inside of my mouth and festoon our mailbox with rusty nails. Fun!
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Useless tools, sudden bursts of topic, and raise that chemise for me darlin'!
Someone please tell me how to turn off the ‘feature’ in MS Office that brings up the ‘helpful sidebar’ each and every damned time you open an application. I don’t NEED the helpful features, dagnabbit; I’m a PRO and pros don’t need the quick tips and other assorted chaff that is presented therein.
Little things bug me sometimes.
(Don’t even GO to the place that say’s ‘if you’re such a pro, you’d KNOW how to turn off the sidebar,’ because child? You do NOT want to get the death glare, do you?)
Things I did this morning instead of exercising:
- Snoozed the alarm about 12 times
- Ate breakfast
- Drank coffee
- Washed the sheets
- Did the dishes
- Checked work e-mail
I am a clever user of time, no?
Every year I think it’s a good idea to make Halloween costumes, and usually every year I curse my short memory. This year though? I think they’re going to totally rock. Pictures will be posted if they do. If they don’t? All evidence of their existence will be expunged from the current consciousness of our communities.
Hey, I saw ‘Men in Black,’ I know how it’s done. All's I need is a halogen flashlight and a Van deGraf generator, right?
Do y’all dress up for Halloween at work? My company is having a Halloween thing on the 30th, inviting people to dress up and par-tay down. Normally, this is the kind of thing I avoid like 8 kinds of plagues, preferring to work at home or be sick or otherwise tied to my desk to NOT participate (baa baa, black sheep!) but this year I might JUST wear my costume to the fete.
If I get it done on time. Which I will. Because not only do I think it’s going to be a fairly accurate representation of the character, the outfit actually looks comfortable. No, it’s not a burkha, though that would be a smashing idea if it didn’t break my rule of ‘must be easy to eat and drink in,’ but dang close. This costume is also awesome because I don’t even have to worry about how I cross my legs, or if my ass is covered, which are things you would in all likelihood have to do if you purchased almost ANYTHING from the H-ween store. BONUS!
Seriously, why are 90% of the costumes for women at those seasonal stores so tarted up a girl has to wonder if she’s flashing the happy place just reaching into the beer cooler? Even the costumes for fat girls like me are mostly short, mostly low-cut, and feature suggested footwear that makes their wearer look like she’s cruising for 20 dollar tricks down the corner.
Or is that the point, that inside all ladies there’s a dirty ol’ HO just waiting to be propositioned by some drunk fool she can take back to a seedy hotel room, boink until he passes out, then roll for the bills and plastic in his beat-up ol’ wallet? Really? I think not, but mostly I don’t usually think like other females, so would put that question to whomever might have an opinion on the matter. Just wondering.
So, yeah. I’m not a ‘sexy witch/devil/cop/nurse/french maid/waitress/cave girl/whatever’ this year, again. Even a brash girl like me can have SOME sense of subtlety and reserve, ya know? If it means I have to get my own beer (and not worry about reaching into the cooler while doing so) because all the mens are ogling a pair of tits nearly spilling out a too-tight top or drooling over a pair of barely-skirted legs bedecked in fishnets and stilettos, that’s fine. I prefer to save that shit for the bedroom, baby, especially now that I'm old enough to be someone's gramma.
Well now. It's patently obvious I have some feelings on the matter. Based on that min-rant, perhaps I should start shopping for shoe buckles and neck ruffs for next year's Puritan costume. Wonder if they make a ‘sexy’ version of THAT?
Y'all have a nice afternoon. I'm off to grumble derogatory things about kids and lawns, adjust my girdle, and find the dang Geritol.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Culture shock? Why yes, yes it was.
We were transplanted from the gently rolling hills of lower-upstate NY to the literal flatlands of red-soiled Virginia, where there was hardly EVER any snow, noplace good to skate, was bereft of the crowds of kids we were used to, and DIDN'T HAVE A CREEK.
Change was, in this case, not good. It was hard as hell to make the necessary adjustments.
One thing new and good that did come of that move though were the trains. Mom and Dad bought a house in 'The Timbers.' a subdivision that was on the total outskirts of civilization in 1973, a place that butted heads with still-vast woodlands, that smelled of ancient beings when the bulldozers turned over yet another plot of earth for yet another new home, that had a passing acquaintance with the Fairfax County that used to be.
Which included the trains.
The first time, or the first 12 dozen times, those trains blew through on the tracks that ran not but 4 blocks or so from our house, I thought for SURE they were coming through my window they were so loud. My teeth nearly rattled, my ears ached, and my heart raced with excitement, thinking I might just die tonight when the locomotive came churning through my bedroom, I would be aa sad fact of derailment that coursed energetically far enough to scenically murder a young girl in her bed. So tragic. Ah.
Never did happen, at least not yet. I hold out hope it is the way I ultimately 'go.' Death by derailed train having such an...impact. You know?
Ever since those musk-filled days of youthfully overactive imagination, I've loved the sound of a passing train. It was my good fortune then to have recently moved into the Tiny House, who is situated not but 3 blocks or so from a reliably scheduled train route. Every morning at around 9, and every evening at around 9, the train goes by, hooting warnings to a new morning or a fading day. The knowledge of a train going by is like an open book, a story to be written in the grit and chug of an engine, in the rattle of the cars, of the graffiti on the sides of countless coal cars passing from there to who knows where.
Oh yes, I love me some trains, and am so glad to have landed in a spot that is within shouting distance of their muscular thrumble through this quiet pinch of the South I now call home.
So that's what's on my mind today. Hope you're enjoying your corner of the world.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
A link for Sickos, and more answers
Do NOT click on the link if you have a sensitive stomach. The grossness of the idea is supplemented with various pictures, and even video. Toe-curling, stomach-churning, horror-inducing VIDEO.
Why I feel compelled to share this with you, I'll never know. Enjoy at your own risk.
More from the vast pile of inquiry that is the '69 (hee!) questions meme':
37. What movie do you want to see right now? Zombieland
38. If you could fast forward your life, would you? Hell no!
39. What did you do for New Year’s? Switched over from an “all Dirty Jobs” marathon to watch the ball drop, said “happy new year’ to the guys, then went back to Mike Rowe for about a half hour before falling asleep in the big comfy chair. Woohoo!
40. Do you think The Grudge was scary? Not at all. Especially after his heart grew three sizes!
41. Could you relate to a character in Mean Girls? Sure! I really identify with ‘girl #4.’ You know, the one wearing the black cords and blue sweater that carries her books under her arm like a boy and refuses to do ANYTHING about that awful flyaway hair? She’s awesome.
42. Do you own a camera phone? Can you get a cell phone WITHOUT a camera?
43. Do you have an “ex box” with pics and letters from past lovers? Not one box devoted to that sort of thing, because that would be odd and a little sad, but as I am an avowed collector of notes/cards/papers, there are items aplenty in my stash boxes that are from old BFs and such. I don’t swell on them, have no idea of what I intend to do with them, but won’t get rid of them. They’re a part of who I used to be, and sometimes a nice reminder that I’m glad I’m not her anymore.
44. Was your mom a cheerleader? My mom was on the teams the cheerleaders should have been cheering for. That woman played every sport available to her when she was young. Her bookworm musician daughter did NOT take after her in the sports department.
45. What’s the last letter of your middle name? E. Bonus points – my middle name has three letters!
46. Do you like your middle name? Yup – it’s my great-great grandfather’s last name, and a fine southern moniker to boot.
47. How many hours of sleep do you get a night? Normally around 7 or 8. On the nights I get less you can BET I’ll feel it by around 2 the following afternoon. Me and sleep, as I believe I’ve already mentioned, get along famously.
48. Do you like care bears? Not as much as I like their lesser known cousins, the Caer Bares, who are are nuggets of charmingly clumsy naked gaeliclusciosness. Look it up!
I'm a huge fan of delegation.
I keep meaning to write about the HS band concert the other night, but seem to be running out of time, space, and the words to adequately describe how wonderful I thought it was.
The concert band (of which Thing 1 is a member) played a piece by Andrew Boysen entitled "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" that knocked my socks off with its creativity and their impeccable performance. It's a piece of grade 3 band music (1 being easiest and 6 being hardest on that particular scale) that sounds much more difficult what with tempo and time signature change-ups, innovative methods of 'playing' instruments, very demanding percussion parts, and no 'real' melody except excepts from 'A Mighty Fortress is Our God' played as what can only be Ichabod Crane's theme. Really neat piece. The concert band also played a folk song suite, the second movement of which was heavy on the horns, something that will always make me smile. The three young men in the horn section have a lot of promise; I look forward to hearing them develop over time.
There was newly-formed brass choir that played three pieces. These are a group of kids that were getting together in the band room at lunch and playing their instruments kind of randomly until the band director said 'let's make some thing of this' and st them up with some literature. At the time of the concert they'd played together for only 4 weeks...and pulled off some very nice licks. They too will continue to improve, and again I'm eager to hear them mature.
The Symphonic band was also very good, but I wasn't really paying much attention at this point.
As a close, the entire marching band (being as how they're all either in the Concert of Symphonic bands) spread out all around the auditorium and ran straight through their whole show (sans drill execution). The show is taken from the movie "300" and thus is chokablock with rousing battle cry, LOTS of percussion, and neat opportunities to blast the faces off whoever might be in the stands. Fortunately, they kept the blast power set to 'stun,' so nobody had ringing ears when it was over. It was neat to see all the horn movements, watch the pit guys up close, see these kids do the whole show from memory. Lots of schools don't ask their kids to memorize, and lots of school don't even HAVE a fall concert season opting instead to focus full time on marching band, so I was pleased to see that THIS director is (IMHO) doing it right.
Thing 1 was please with his work that night, and has expressed interest in being in marching band next year.
THAT had to be the best news I'd heard all day. My little ex-drum major's heart, like the Grudge's, swelled THREE SIZES.
That's it for now, my pretties. It's time to develop analysis plans for the upcoming slug-rodeo results, after which there's the whole question of 'which ion to use in the next light saber replica?' question to answer.
Have a lovely afternoon.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Poetry Wednesday, in honor of just how gorgeous it is outside. Also - FUDGE!
My work is
I drank a cup
Of coffee up
And now my guts are
We’re in our cubes
we slave all day
to make our pay
our skills we are
My hopes aren’t soaring
My butt is numb
These files are dumb
I’d rather be laying
This old girl is
Can’t we stay home
And work by phone
And quit the rush-hour
The outside world
But I’m in here
So drab and drear
‘cause I came to work
Remind me to tell you all about the concert last night. I got all goosebumpy at least a dozen times, in the very best way possible.
Then have a lovely afternoon y’all. I’m off to figure out how to stuff a bloated donkey into an envelope, after which the jackalopes need tending to, and there’s that octopus I need to teach to hum the “tarantela’ while juggling frozen yogurt balls.
Bizzy, bizzy day!
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
I am eating caramel-chocolate fudge as I type this, and feeling mighty good about it too.
25. Do you have a secret fetish? Heck yes! Am I telling you? Heck NO!
26. Have you tried sushi? Oh nom nom nom. Keep the wasabi coming!
27. Have you ever taken pictures in a photo booth? Yes.
28. When was the last time you were at Olive Garden?Has to have been a few years at least, though there was a brush with the possibility of it being this past weekend but for the crowds of people waiting out front for the lusciousness that was sure to be inside. So we went to Red Robin instead, where we had to shout at one another from 5 feet away to be heard over the unholy DIN. Hey folks at the Red Robin corporate headquarters - a little carpeting couldn’t hurt!
29. When was the last time you were at Church? Last Sunday a week ago. We skipped this week in favor of going to the lake and hanging out visiting family.
30. Where was the furthest place you traveled today? To work. All of 24 miles away.
31. What was your favorite job? HAS to be radio announcer. Puppeteer comes a close second for ‘best way to make minimum wage’ goes, and waiting tables a second for ‘best job with free food and cool coworkers’ goes.
32. Do you like mustard? It’s OK, but I don’t LIKE-like it. I save that emotion for mayo, with whom I have a lifelong love affair. But none of that Miracle Whip crap, which is evil and should be taken out behind the barn and taught how to ack right.
33. Do you prefer to sleep or eat? Sleep, without a doubt. If you’d just met me you’d probably not guess that, because I am a fluffy woman, but given the choice (and starvation not being a factor) then sleep it is!
34. Do you look like your mom or dad? Both. I favor my dad in hair and eye color, have my mom’s freckles and nose shape, and the mouth is a total combo job. No doppelgangers in our family!
35. How long does it take you in the shower? A simple wash-down is done in 5 minutes or less. Add in pit and leg shave and you’re up to 10 minutes. If it's a Saturday late morning with rampant depilation, then I’m good for 20 minutes…me lurves the shower.
36. Can you do the splits? Not anymore. Stuff tends to go ‘pop’ when I try. Trust me, the popping is NOT a good thing, unless you're talking popcorn or bubble wrap (Grant - don't even THINK 'cherries,' all right?)
Isn't this amusing? Aren't you finding out so very MUCH about me? Aren't I the most fascinating thing EVAR?
Sure hope you think so, because NCP tagged me for ANOTHER thingie that is on deck after I make it the rest of the way through these 69 (hee!) questions. Lucky for y'all though, this new one is a '1-word answer' dealie, which will be a struggle for me to do properly, and so might never do it at all for the shame of not being nearly terse enough to play by the rules.
Ad now I'm off to do what needs doing before ripracing out early to purchase Thing 1's band outfit for the concert that's taking place tonight, for my people are 'think ahead' kinds of people, if by that you mean 'think 8 hours ahead.'
Hey - At least the forewarnings are coming 8 hours ahead instead of the 60 minutes that have been the historic norm. Silver lining, people!!
So, you know. Have a glossy afternoon.
Monday, October 12, 2009
An excuse, a question, and a clear example of why I should write parenting books
Oh yes. You stopped me from quitting blogging. You see, it’s been a touch disheartening around this bare and dusty corner of the internet lately, with traffic dwindling to numbers I’ve not seen in years, with my motivation to post right around ‘meh’ most days (when I used to LOVE to come up with stuff and rattle on), and with a noted lack of anything original.
Sad fact is that other people do it better, more wittily, more stably, and to a far wider audience than I do, which is not a fun place to find oneself.
I confess, I’ve never thought of myself as ordinary, and yet that appears to be what my opinion of NAY is lately. Ordinary. Just one of a million other self-indulgent places of the internet, so tiny as to be forgettable, so middle of the road as to be the blog equivalent of an all-beige home.
It seems that as my life became more and more stable/fun/settled, the need to write was subsumed into living what is an embarrassingly wonderful life. As it has always been, my BEST writing comes from a place of anger or misery, when emotions cause an upwelling of insight and passion that spills over into something readable or that packs a real wallop. Happy times are ridden calmly and happily, the life equivalent of a pony ride versus the bronc-bustin’ thrills that come with difficulty and rage, and life lately has been the equivalent of the fattest little Shetland equine you ever seen...
Another thing is that it’s coming up on 4 years of me keeping NAY, an exercise that started with the desire to create a chronology of my life but rapidly devolved into a gmish of competing content and styles. It’s had it’s ups and down, and at first I was caught up in the heady rush of an increasing reader base, the thrill of seeing the comment count steadily increase, the notion that I might just be able to turn this thing into a cultural meme (I hadn’t yet heard of Dooce, or probably would never have typed the first letter, much less be so brash as to believe I could do something that would garner me ‘household name’ recognition). Gathering up a little clutch of friends and familiar faces was (and is) so full of potential and rich interchange, a learning experience in each pseudonym. But then things leveled off. And then they started to drop off. And drop, until now I don’t check stat counter anymore for fear I’ll find out that most of the hits come from me checking in to see if anyone has comments…the equivalent of calling your voicemail every 5 minutes to see if that cute guy from Bio 101 called you when you stepped out to use the bathroom for 5 minutes 4 hours ago.
Nobody likes to realize they will never be one of the popular kids. Sometimes the best thing to do is have a nice snack, go lie down for a while, and maybe when you’ve had a little nap the world will have turned enough to allow some light into a formerly gloomy room.
Well, in the past few days I’ve apparently been asleep, taking that whole ‘nap’ idea to a ridiculous extent, and the first thought I had once I was ready to form one was ‘I think it’s time to quit.’ This was what I posted on Facebook, a clear pity ploy if ever there was one, but the resounding ‘oh HELL no’ from those who commented were the jostleneeded to fully wake me up to the reality that even if I have a short handful of readers, and even if my name won’t ever be pasted on book covers or BlogHer agendas or billboards, and even if what I do here is as schizophrenic as Sybil on a bad day, there are those folks who like what they find here, and so it’s for them I write incredibly long sentences like this one in thanks.
So, thanks y’all. Just be aware that if what you find here is a big steaming pile of sulfurous reek, it’s all your fault. You’re the ones who asked for it!
Question – anybody interested in seeing the Wordsmiths start up again? I have a teeny tiny feeling that part of my case of the ‘meh’ these days might be in part due to the fact that the storytelling aspect of writing has been absent for a while.
Perhaps it’s just that the holidays are approaching and that’s always a time to start thinking creatively, but dang it I feel like it’s time to spend a few hours dabbling and cutting and pasting and throwing words around so that each and every one of the 500 allowable words is as shiny and perfect as it can be.
So, anyone ELSE up for a revival?
Lastly, it’s once again apparent that I should really be pressing the Nobel committee to initiate a prize in “mother of the year” because I so TOTALLY deserve it.
Exhibit 1: Thing 1 comes home from school Friday with a story of how he tripped over a bunch of backpacks that morning and has since been suffering with a sore ankle. To this new I of course said “there there dear, take some ibuprofen and get in the car, we’re going to go see Grandma.”
Yes, I did. That’s how much I care.
All weekend long Thing 1 suffered with spastic attacks of limping which I as his loving mother attributed to some first-class attention-seeking behavior from any of the gathered relatives. That limp wasn’t consistent, you see, and so I had my suspicions of how genuine it was.
Yesterday on the ride home from our visit there was actual writhing in the back seat as he tried to get comfortable on our 4-hour ride home. “Eh, teenage histrionics!” thought I, once again believing he was looking to get some ‘poor baby’ love from his mama. Oh, I went so far as to ask him how bad it hurt, and if there was any bruising, but I didn’t really get terribly far into any one line of questioning before letting the whole affair drop, for I am a caring and committed mother who was also maybe a little occupied with the fact that Route 8 south in Virginia was trying to kill me absofuckinglutley DEAD with its crazy sloping switchbacks and deathly mountainside drop-offs. When one is facing the very real possibility of becoming the next sad traffic statistic (‘4 dead in flaming 40-foot plunge into the Roanoke River’), random sore ankles don’t really get top billing.
Sometimes? It IS all about me.
Until it’s not, which was last night, when I finally, FINALLY took a close look at the youth's size 13 hoof. Which, as it turns out, was sporting a VERY nice golf-ball sized swelling over the ankle projection. Hey, it turns out the boy really WAS hurt! Color me astonished!
So guess who was the next in the family to get X-rays, require crutches and a fancy new ankle-stabilizing boot, and might just require further orthopedic care if in 2 weeks we see evidence that the sprain actually tore loose bone fragments? If you guess Thing 1, you get a prize.
So yeah, I totally need to talk to those Nobel people. Parenting skillz like I have should be rewarded with a cool million smackeroos, don’t you think? It’d go a long way toward their inevitable counseling bills.