Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Below my limit of quantitation

By 11 a.m. this morning I'd already apologized to three people for screwing something up or not getting them things they need or providing the WRONG thing to them in the first place.

It did not bode well for the rest of the day...because I HATE apologizing to people for ANYTHING. I'd prefer to never be in a position at work to be the one tagged as the fuckup. Things have just been getting away from me lately, and in the chaos I'd lost track of some stuff, didn't bother to update a couple of timelines, and didn't fully QC something that contained a few mistakes.

Perhaps there are a few too many balls in the air, and I've never had juggling lessons?

Let us turn from such negativity, and instead face a far brighter horizon. To wit: I jogged for 5 minutes in a ROW this morning! TWICE!! BEFORE 7 A.M.!!! Holy cats, people, do you have any idea how impossible I thought it would be to do that? Just a few weeks ago jogging for 1 single solitary minute caused me to hate the world with a jihadic passion, and today there was multiple minutes of wogging all strung together!

Yes, I'm busy practicing how to pat myself on the back, thanks for asking.

I'm really REALLY proud of this morning's outing. Five minutes seemed like a total pipe dream, and for a moment I thought about begging to just do last week's workout again this week, but the air was cool, the planned route was flat, and I'm not getting any younger, so why NOT try for a push goal? OK, so I 'jogged' about about a half a mile an hour, and must have looked quite the sight as I galumphed along the sidewalk sweating from every pore and several orifii (some of which I'm pretty sure I grew JUST TO SWEAT OUT OF THEM), but I do not care, for it's the minutes that matter, not the style in which I do them. In all, the workout went like this:

5-minute walk
3-minute jog
90-second walk
5-minute jog
2.5-minute walk
3-minute jog
90-second walk
5-minute jog

That's 16 minutes of pure joggery, right there. Not so bad. The big fly in my ointment of contentment though is that at the end of next week there's a workout with 20 minutes of straight jogging.

That *thud* you just heard? Yeah, that would be my confidence hitting rock bottom.


Changing topics yet again - Over at Facebook I've asked people to write me a haiku. I do not know why, and it doesn't really matter, does it? Once asked, obligation sets in, does it not?

Thus far there are several amusing entries. People are amazingly compliant and creative. I love that.

That being said, if you have FB, go on over and write me a daggone haiku. If you don't have FB, and want to get in on the fun of creating ART for ART'S sake, feel free to leave your haiku in the comments below. Otherwise, join in the pride parade and tell us about what your proudest moment in sports has been.

And have a lovely day.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Speak to me a confidence, oh sweet angel of the internet

When faced with a day of 'nothing planned' over the weekend, would you

1) sit around watching movies on teevee all day long
2) start training for the olympic power-napping team
3) experiment with what's in the liquor cabinet, or
4) drive 140 miles one way for lunch and a visit with friends

If you live in the Tiny House, the answer is 4. OF COURSE IT IS, because long stretches of unplanned time are perfect for road trips with your sweetie to places you keep saying you'll go but can't normally seem to carve out the time to get there.

Well, in 2.5 hours we were there. And it was dagggone swell, is what it was. Free lunch, babies! Woo! Oh yeah, there was the conversation and the visitin' and the historic tour of downtown and a back-door sneak into the Capitol, there was open-house touring and piggy-back rides and RUM-SOAKED POUND CAKE too. Because Oldfriend and her husband 'Boner' (his new online name (he plays the TROMBONE, you sickos)) know how to host people who randomly show up on Facebook at 8 a.m. bemoaning the plight of having nothing to do for the day and invite the whiners up to see them...just like that.

The only downside to the trip was that Biff won 3 of 5 Alphabet Games. And he was driving!


If you need any idears for dinner tonight, here's what you do:

- Slice 4 potatoes really thin
- brown up a pound of ground beef and season to taste
- saute some veg (onion for SURE, others are optional)
- mix a can of cream soup (mushroom, celery, broccoli, NOT chicken) with 1.5 cans worth of milk

Layer the potato slices, meat, and veg in a casserole - 3 or 4 layers is great. Pour the soup mix over top. Cover and bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until 'taters are tender.

Pour a nice glass of dry white wine or a hearty red, serve the casserole, and enjoy a lovely homemade meal. I know, I know, it's not terribly original, but if you're looking for something nummy-licious and can't stand the thought of trying to come up with something for the evening nom-fest, consider this option if you would. Plus which? Leftovers!


That's it from here. Time's whizzing by and I need to go don my Billy Mays memorial fake beard and spend a few moments marking the passing of one of the most beloved people in history.

No, really, I do.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Me = alive

(Preamble - if any of y'all had read this before about 6 pm Eastern time, you might have thought I'd commenced to drankin' well before posting this. That is most certainly NOT the case. What you saw was my abhorrent typing skills, which have now been corrected. You're welcome)


1) Hai! I missed you too, though probably not as much as I'd miss a winning Powerball ticket if I had one...just so you know.

I mean, friends are wonderful and all, and I treasure each of you DEEPLY, but a cool few million dollars is enough to buy new friends, or have some made in my likeness should I choose to do so, which wouldn't be creepy at all because I'd make them all have different color hair and such.

However, being that I don't even PLAY the lottery anymore, guess you're stuck with me.

2) Birds are fine. Still sticking around. I'm worried that they're not going to be independent enough come vacation time and that we're going to have to 'make arrangements' for them. Or, maybe they're just opportunistic little FREAKS who know a good meal ticket when they taste it and so come chirping around the back door ready to dive-bomb any likely suspect if it's around dawn or dusk (or any time in between when they're around and peckish). They've gotten....tall. Tail feathers are all sticky-outy now, so they're flying a LOT Better. Them babies best watch out though, for this morning I spotted Albert The Cat set himself up on the deck rail just UNDER the bit of roofline the birdines frequent. There was malice in his golden eyes, people, and I would NOT be surprise to find him Cheshire-grinned one day soon, with a mottled brown feather jutting rakishly from one side of his mouth.

3) Saturday will find us doing something I've never done before - CORN GLEANING! Sounds fun, huh? It's only supposed to be a 4-hour stint in a buggy, spidery cornfield stopping between rows to pick up the ears left behind by the combines and they rumble through today's modern farms. Shoot, I had no idea it was even TIME to harvest corn. Seems too early, but this is the south and while time SEEMS to run much more slowly than in other place, in fact it is corn season and the corn will not wait. Corn, as we all know, is an impatient food. Look at how fast it exists after being eaten, for Pete's sake!

After the gleaning I think there will be a nap. Is it sad that I'm already looking forward to that?

4) Otherwise, the groaning coming from under the hood of my car is nothing serious. Phewf on that, eh? Never mind that it might be a worn out motor mount or 8, which might results in the engine just dropping out onto Route 40 at an inopportune moment, it's FINE to drive now the nice young fellow ath the shop tells me. I am SUFFUSED with confidence now! SUFFUSED!

5) Watched 'The Princess Bride' last night (and this morning). Woo! Pit of Despair, Fire Swamp, Cliffs of INCONCEIVABILITY (or whatever), plus dashing derring-do and Manny Patinkin in TIGHTS? Delicious. To say nothing of Christopher Guest, who is sexy in a way that confuses me Of course for the men there's the ethereal Princess Buttercup and enough swordplay to satisfy an entire RennFaire, plus blood! What a fun fun flick, with tons of quotable lines.

Which prompts a QotD: what's your favorite PB line? Mine's "have fun storming the castle!"

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Kind of amazing, really

Today I spent some time wandering around the blogosphere during my lunch minute. And I was amazed by what I read, for somehow that path I chose was one of self-reveals, confessions, and 'outings' of misdeeds. I'm not certain I can get my head around the kind of balls it takes to be so 'real' in front of people who 1) are mostly strangers, and 2) are allowed to comment on the confessed behavior. If anything, I'd turn those comments off even before I put the first word on the screen if I were to dig any deeper into my psyche than the crusty outer layer that's presented here.

Those people who do reveal are amazing. Foolhardy or brave, it doesn't matter. Airing their issues in front of anyone who chooses to read, fully aware that some of those people will hate them for what they've done, is way off the map for this writer. What compells someone to DO that kind of thing? Especially, as I saw more than once today, on what is generally a humor blog...

'Cuz really, isn't that what secret blogs are for?


I'm in the process of changing my last name as a result of the matrimony thing that happened oh, about 6 MONTHS ago. I told Biff that I would, and it's about time I got off my dimpled ass and did it. Last week was the inaugural visit to the Social Security Admin, a 90-minute slice of my life I'll never get back, and this afternoon perhaps I'll wander down to the DMV to see what tribulations I can endure there.

Once done with that, there are only about 100 other things in my 'other' name that need to be changed to my shiny new name. Passport, mortgage, insurance, utilities, magazine subscriptions, bank accounts, credit cards, checks, work ID,...did I leave anything out?

This is one time it might be nice to be a boy. Their names, by and large, do NOT change. For nothin'.


Random item you probably don't need to know about me #alphadeltabrazilian:

There's a patch of hair on the back of my head that refuses to grow more than about 6 inches long. This is troublesome, as I'm in the process of growing my hair out, and the dichotomy of mostly-long locks combined with this one stupid hunk of half-length hair is odd.

My theory is that it gets sheard off when I'm sleeping by the vigorous head-tossings that occur during the epic dreams I have most every night. Like a baby rubbing a bald spot on the back of it's head, you know?

Either that, or I'm GOING bald. That would not be a good look for me; my noggin is HUGE and misshapen. There's no way it would look good all shiny and smooth. So, dream-induced hair loss it is!

You, in the back. Shut up.


Lastly....the SlimQuick 7-day 'cleanse' is....working? Ahem?

Four fiber pills before lunch and 4 more at bedtime will turn even the most humble of gastrointestinal tracts into a bleating, braying, gahoodling horn-tooter.

You should do this for the SOUNDS ALONE, people. The intended effect of enhanced poopery is there, of course, but for pure entertainment value I'd say the audibles are what's really worth the 15 clams you need to shell out. When you can scare the dog with the simple act of digestion, you KNOW you've hit on a winner.


That's it for now - must go get ready to brave the lines at Ye Olde Dee Ehm Vee. Whee!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Perfectly LOVELY time

Saturday afternoon we had the good luck to have been invited to Kenju’s house to spend the afternoon ‘hanging out’ around her pool. If EVER there was a day to hang out around a pool, it was this past Saturday. It was hot and muggy, a day when the simple act of raising a cold beer to one’s lips can cause a body to break out in an oil slick. (I, apparently, do not sweat as much as I ooze these days. A pretty picture, yes?) We spent about an hour reconnecting with Judy and the inimitable Mr Kenju as well as having the opportunity to get to know 2 of their children, who are lovely lovely people that don’t seem to sweat at ALL.


After about an hour, I was as slick as goose poop and decided that all concerned were going to get a chance to gander at my pudgy white middle aged body in a grandma bathing suit, because the HOT was so hot there were beads of sweat doing the slip n’ slide down my butt crack.

Also a pretty picture.

The pool was awesome – about 78 F and clean as clean can be. There were 6 kids of theirs and the two Things in the pool, so there was lots of Nerf tossing and float grabbing going on. Biff of course was in the thick of things, playing hisself to tiredness and having a ball. I tried to be a little more sedate, taking time between water romps to chat people up who deigned to only dip their toes or stay completely ashore. I was playing Lil’ Miss social butterfly, oh yes I was.

Felt pretty good about the whole deal until I went to the bafroom to change, which is when I noticed the 2 GIGANTIC mascara smears under my eyes. Honestly, it looked like I’d broken my nose. Sigh. Classy with a K doesn’t even begin to describe it. What a doofus.

Next time I’m wearing sunglasses so nobody can see if it’s me or Maybelline.


In what movie did Jack Nicholson famously quote “never trust a fart”? I’m drawing a blank on anything except the truism of that statement, especially when one is on Day 4 of the SlimQuick ‘cleanse.’

Fiber, anyone?

Word to the wise: don’t start this stuff and then go on a camping trip. You’re going to want the nice soft ‘homestyle’ teepee around for the duration, not the 1-ply cardboard you find in most state park stalls.


Watched ‘The Breakfast Club’ last night. I have never seen the Breakfast Club before now. Why? Because 20+ years ago, when it came out, I was very very busy chasing boys, getting drunk, and studying, not necessarily in that order (hi Mom!). So, there was a gap in my ancient history knowledge of film that needed to be filled.

Judd Nelson – where is he now? He was the best thing about that movie.
Mollie Ringwald – nice lips, spitty mouth. Hairstyle changed about 8 times throughout the flick.
Emilio Estevez – how’d you dance on the WALL like that?
Anthony M. Hall - ……………….
Ally Sheedy – I totally WANT her ‘pre-fixup’ hairstyle.

Overall I suppose the movie was OK. Dated, for SURE, but OK. Not terribly sure I missed out on a whole lot by NOT watching it all those years ago, but hey. A girl has to get caught up on her ‘80’s pop culture to stay relevant, right?

Plus which? Bandanas around the ankle simply MUST come back in style. That’s a look that’s been gone way too long, don’t you think?

Friday, June 19, 2009

Where it is at

If someone sees my brain lying around, would you please pick it up (GENTLY!) and return it to me? I think I lost it about a week or two ago, and it’s been difficult going since then.

In the past several days I’ve had to send apologies for minor eff-ups to many a person who is depending on me to provide them with 1) the correct materials, 2) the correct date of delivery, 3) the correct guidance, and 4) some insight into how to interpret said materials. To say I’m becoming adept at throwing things over the fence at other people is to make a grand understatement. One can only hope that some of what’s getting chucked ends up hitting someplace reasonably close to the mark.

Speaking of chucking…I had the misguided idea to watch one of those “world’s wildest partiers” shows last night, and allowed the Things to watch it with me. Now , I loves me some drunken antics caught on tape, but some of what was on that show last night was a little too much, even for me. Imagine, if you will, a clip entitled “Vesuvius,” and you have the idea of the KINDS of vids being shown. Naturally, the boys LOVED it. To make me feel better about my parenting skillz, I’m looking at the experience as a teaching opportunity, letting the kids know that not only can you get VERY HURT by slipping in a pool of you own vomit or tumbling ass-over-wasted-teakettle down a flight of stairs, but you can in fact also DIE of alcohol-related poisoning or accident.

Not sure they heard me over their hearty peals of laughter. Hey – I tried.

In Birdie update: getting divebombed by a couple of hungry chicks first thing in the morning is not as much fun as it might sound. The upside is that they’re both still alive, so, YAY! One does begin to wonder, though, at which point they are out and living on their own with no need for blueberries and dog food to be shoved down their throats by accommodating mammals. I hope it’s sometime in the next 3 weeks or so, because we’re on vacation for a week in mid-July, and I’m pretty sure the dogsitter’s going to charge us extra for the care and feeding on baby robins if they’re not independent by that point.

Vacation. What a glorious word. Hoo boy – I can NOT wait. Perhaps that is where my brain is already, and perhaps that is why I’m having such a very difficult time focusing? Plausible.

And with that, friends, I leave you, to perchance make a path through the torturous mess of to-dos that need to-do-ing before I can get out of here for the day. At the very least, I need to make a list of the things I need to accomplish this weekend, for it looks to be ‘one of those’ where my computer and I make sweet workly LURVE for at least a few hours outside of normal professional intercourse time. Tantric work skillz – I has ‘em.

Y’all enjoy. See ya around the interwebs!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

cone of silence

That last band concert of middle school I mentioned yesterday?

I missed it. Completely.

It's not that I didn't show up, for I did, leaving another gathering to do so, because I am an Interested Mom and like to do the right thing by the kids (who are with their Dad this week, just FYI). I did show up, at 10 minutes 'til 7, which is a comfortable margin to have to find a seat, chat with other parents, etc.

As I was walking into the school a HORDE of kids with "DARE" tee shirts and recorders were coming out of the school, which I thought was odd because they were the one supposed to be doing the ol' Recorder Rock' with the 8th grade band. "Hmmm," thought I, "Perhaps they're just coming outdoor for a little warmup time? Oh, and why is it that there are band kids LEAVING the school with their folks when the concert hasn't even started yet?"

They were leaving because the 8th graders played at 6:30.


Thing 1 was in the dance room munching on cookies and milk (a part of the celebration of their last middle-school concert) and didn't seem bothered by the fact that his Mom wasn't there to hear him play. I, on the other hand, was vigorously (mentally) kicking myself for missing it, even though the concert started half an hour before they normally do and why on earth would I even THINK to ask about something like that when they ALWAYS start at 7??

Thing 2's band, not to be outdone by the random start times, didn't play until 7:30. Yep - they had ONE part of the concert an hour before the second part. Does that make any sense at ALL?

Amazingly enough, the world didn't fly off its axis because I failed. Nobody died, there were no zombie outbreaks, and the 6th grade band sounded pretty good. Worse things could have happened, I suppose.


Right now I'm hungry for something that I don't know what it is, but will know it when I eat it. Sadly, I suspect that what I'm hungry FOR is a McDonald's double cheeseburger, and that until I get it my mouth will not be happy.

Wonder if there's a healthy substitute for what might be the world's yummiest heart attack vector?

As always, your thoughts are welcome. Have a lovely day.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Bedraggled ‘Tweeties’

Woke up this morning to the sound of heavy rain. Ah, rain – water the yard, water the flowers, water the tomatoes and veg, water the birdies…

ACK! The birds! They spent the night out again, and now they’re wet and cold, the poor dears. Must find the birdies!

This is why, at 7:45 this morning, you’d have found me out on the back deck, stripey PJs slightly dampened from the rain (thank goodness for our canopy tent over the deck, though it doesn’t QUITE meet up with the house, thereby allowing a few drops of celestial pee to drop on unprotected head and shoulders), wielding a green plastic bowl full of avian noms, wheedling them in to have a bit of a tuck-in. Oh, I wheedled, and chirped, and cajoled, until one of them flew awkwardly down to me, feathers dripping and small body quivering with chill.

I picked that baby bird up, held him right close to me, and stuffed his lil’ gaping maw full of blueberries and wet cat kibble. Once satiated, he (she?) nuzzled into my chest, heaved a little sigh, and closed his eyes to nap.

Have I mentioned how adorable these birds are?

They’re highly adorable. And while I don’t want to make this an ‘all baby robins all the time’ site, they are big in what’s going on in life right now, and BIG + adorable = news.

So. It took a bit, but I finally detached the bairn from me, put him in an upturned bike helmet in the shed, and went to fetch the hanging bird bucket we’d used for them when they were much smaller. By the time I got BACK to the shed, Albert was seen skulking around casting sidelong glances at the wee cheeper in the helmet. Albert is not as stupid as he appears to be, it would seem, and that baby would make a nice snack, if he could just get TO it.

But no. THWART! The bird bucket + bird was hung in the rafters of the canopy, after which time the second bird was located, herded, and corralled by a bumberchute-bearing Biff, relocated to the bucket, fed, and settled in again.

And hour later, they were still there, much more dry and looking quite comfy, thankyouverymuch. After one more feeding, I was out the door to work. As of now (about 4 hours later), it’s still raining, and I’ll bet you they’re still in the daggone bucket, cuddled into the pine straw, waiting for the back door to open again and for the ‘food people’ to deliver the next in a series of take-out meals.

Consider the birds…neither do they sow nor reap…and yet they are fed. Oh, they’re fed all right…by US. Hey - Nobody ever said the hand of God couldn’t look like a couple of average white folks, now did they?


The last middle school band concert of the year is tonight. It will be Thing 1’s last middle school concert ever. Holy shit. High school next year. I don’t think I’m ready.


We were driving home from a baseball game last Friday night, a warm humid night that reminded me a LOT of a night 20 years ago when I lived in Charlottesville, didn’t know many people, didn’t have much money to party, and had to learn the second horn part of Beethoven’s 7th symphony. Being somewhat of an odd duck even then, I learned it by putting a tape of the symphony into my car’s stereo system, and driving around the back roads on hot summer nights with the volume turned way up. As the wind blew my hair into my face, as the peep frogs whistled accompaniment, as the fireflies scattered from my headlights, the music burned its way into my head, chasing away loneliness and boredom. Downshifting around sharp turns of country roads, notes flew past my eyes, settling into a body memory that would help perform in color what was only in black and white on the page.

There were a wild few nights like that, of almost angry energy expenditure in pursuit of the ‘feel’ of the music.

Last Friday night, I remembered that serene rush of sensation, the curvature of the road disappearing over the edge of headlight’s influence, swooping moths flickering into view, hot damp air lifting the hair from my neck as we dipped and rose with the road. For a minute, me and that girl from the summer of ’88 were one, and I remembered how MUCH I love driving country roads on hot summer nights.

Anything trigger long-gone memories for you like that?


And that’s my time. Y’all have been great. Tip your waitress! I'll be back here tomorrow, if the management will have me.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Ping boing, yer out!

Whadda weekend.

Went to a ball game Friday night – the local minor league team beat the visiting team by a comfy 4 to nuthin’ score. Then there were fireworks. Which we saw from the parking lot, because getting out of Dodge before the crowds poured out of the stadium was prime goal numero Uno.

I found out at the ball game that gigantic bug-eye sunglasses are the new headband for fashionable young women. Also in style are those weird little dresses with the tube-toppy top part that connects to a knee-length ‘skirt’ thing. Also also in style is wearing Winehousian eyeliner. Who knew? There I was in my cargo shorts and Keds, semi-Oakley sunglasses on my noggin, hardly a smidge of eyeliner, and a big ol’ floppy hat in my lap, feeling rather out of style and yet comforted in the notion that I’m simply too old to track or care about such things.

That being said, I hate everything in my closet. Except for a couple of shirts and several pairs of sneakers, it’s all really old, has been worn a gazillion times, and much of it is showing considerable signs of wear n’ tear. I stand in front of the line of clothes every day, sighing heavily, and wind up picking the same 6 shirts, 2 pairs of pants, and 1 skirt to wear to work every day (though not all at the same time).

Which is why I liked working at home last week. Feeding the baby birds was a GREAT reason to not come to work. There I’d be in my PJs at 3 in the afternoon, plopped on the LR floor with the laptop on the coffee table, a mug of hot coffee in hand, completely comfy and gittin’ things done. But now, the birdies are much more independent, and I ‘can’ come into work to pick up voicemails, ‘interface’ with real live people, and hate what I’m wearing.

That’s not to say that the birds don’t NEED us anymore; quite the opposite. They have learned to come to us when we call them, and even show up on the back porch when they’re hungry. They are adorable. Getting better at flying too, which is nice because we cannot keep Albert The Cat indoors all the dang time. The little birdlies are cheeping wee fluffballs of indignation when they’re hungry; they get these ticked-off looks on their wee faces (shush, they can TOO have expressions) if we’re slow to feed, and once satiated they snuggle down for a nap. It’s just about the cutest thing ever.

The only good thing about coming into work is the chocolate that’s on my desk. Nice dark chocolate stars wrapped in festively colored foil that was a gift from my boss for my birthday. Almost makes the 40-minute commute worthwhile.

No, no it doesn’t. I could be home right now. I could be at home, feedin’ birds and doing laundry (and working! Mustn't forget the working!) IN MY PAJAMAS right now. Chocolate can’t make my present situation better than that.


Saturday, June 13, 2009

Consider, if you would...

As mentioned here before, I'm a proud sponsor of 2 kids who live in one of the worst slums on Earth - La Limonada in Guatemala city. These kinds and thousands like them live in extreme poverty, the kind I' not sure I can wrap my head around. My 30 bucks a month per kid makes school and food within their reach.

That 60 dollars a month doesn't sound like much, but for lots of us it's not within budget. I totally get it. That's why I'm happy to tell you that the people at Lemonade International have started a new campaign called Ten2End, and all that's being asked of people is to give 10 dollars a month to help the kids in need.

Go here to find out more.

Please consider joining Ten2End - they're looking for 200 people total by month's end, and are having a tough time drumming up business, as it were. Ten dollars a month will buy 2 schoolkids food for a MONTH. Amazing, don't you think?

For most of us, that's TOTALLY doable.

Thanks for considering it.

Back to the regularly scheduled nonsense on Monday.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Original or Extra Crispy?

This is the brief history of 2 valiant wee birdies, so deliciously adorable they were named "Original" and "Extra Crispy."

A week ago Biff and I pulled into the drive around lunchtime after running a cupla too-tree errands. Something in the driveway caught his eye - a baby bird. So tiny, half-naked, and breathing fast. because we are soft-hearted people, the bird was scooped up, nestled close, brought inside, and subjected to examination and online research. Common wisdom, at least the interwebly type, said to put the birdy back in the nest and the parent birds would take care of it like nothing had happened. SO, off to the maple tree we went to try to find the daggone nest.

While under the tree, peering up through thick foliage, we heard a rustle of wings, a squawk, and lo and behold an adult bird flew out of the tree, dropping another baby onto the driveway As We Watched.

SO very not good news. There were now 2 baby birds. Who looked a lot like this:

This is them on the day we found them, eatin' hard-boiled egg whites, just like the internet said to feed them. They are about 6 days old here.

The birdies LIKED hardboiled egg pieces. They also liked wetted-down cat food kibble and blueberries. They liked these foods a lot. The birdies also liked to poop a lot. That's OK though, they have this neat lil' poop sac thing that was easy, at first, to clean up. The design is spectacular, really.

And so the birdies grew. This is them at about 9 days old, huddled down in their artificial nest, a surgical glove full of warm water as their stand-in mama. Look at how many more feathers they have!

They eat about every 15-20 minutes, poop every time they eat, and are gaining use of their legs more and more each day. They're really interested in what's going on around them, but still don't move around a whole heck of a lot. Kinda nice, akshully.

A few more days went by, and they were 11 days old. Time for a bath, little birdies! (Hand modeling by me and Biff)

It was readily evident from their reaction that birds at this age do not much enjoy baths. What they DO like is hanging out in a little plastic bucket lined with pine straw that is hung on a hook on the front porch. They can poke their wee heads over the side and observe the world.

They also still like eating. A lot. And often. Still about every 20-30 minutes, from dawn to dusk. Canned dog food is now on the menu. They dig the dog chow, man.

Today are 13 (or so) days old. It's been a week since we found them. Look at how they've changed!

When the lid was opened this morning on their shoebox nest, they were ready to STRETCH, have some chow, and start to hoppin' around on their much-stronger legs.

Hopping is a big step for them.

Bigger still was the flying.

Extra Crispy was first to fly, straight from the shelf by the kitchen sink to the laundry-bedecked kitchen table, where Mutzi the cat was sleeping (but not for long). the sudden arrival of a wee feathered bomblet onto her head scared the cat into immediate action, which consisted of running away.

Today has been an interesting day, what with all the flying. Right now, the birds are out on the back deck, hopping, flying, and napping in between feedings. Oh yes, they still want to be fed. Often. And a lot. They will continue to want to be fed for a few more days, after which time we hope they will have gotten the hang of eating out on their own...

What a difference a week makes.

Oops - I hear them cheeping out back. Time to grab the can of Rover Me Right and get to feedin'! I wager there are not too many more days I'll get to do so, and want to be there for each and every one.

Y'all have a great Friday afternoon and a wonderful weekend. Tiff out.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I've been unfollowed

Yesterday I had one more follower than I do today. Hrmph.

Apparently some people pay attention to their blog lists, weeding and planting on a more active basis than yours truly, who pretty much plops a bunch of perennials down and leaves the garden the hell alone thereafter.

For in real life, as is the blog world, I am one lazy bitch.

So, to whomever it was that unfollowed me, here is your personal backhanded compliment - good for you for being so tendy like that (but damn, what a slap to my ego.).

Meh - traffic is down about 70% from what it was last year at this time. By now I'm comfortable with my own irrelevance. It's better to be comfy than to agonize over why people hate me.

Like I said: LAZY.


This week, with the advent of the baby robins what need caring for, I've been working at home. This is an unbelievably good week, just because of that. Other reasons it's a good week:

1) my couch is a hell of a lot more comfortable than the stupid office chair
3) Silence, when and how I want it
4) 90 minutes less time in the car
5) Refrigerator, 5 steps away.

With my laptop, Internet, and a VPN connection, I can get as much done here (plus laundry!) as I can when I'm putting in face time at the cube farm. Of this, I am a huge fan. Working at home is far more environmentally friendly too! It's GREEN!

I am SUCH a trend whore. Hey, for the chance to hang out in my gym clothes at home while shuffling virtual papers, I'll hop on any bandwagon that comes by. Don't even TRY to tell me you wouldn't do the same!


CD recommendation: KT Tunstall's 'Drastic Fantastic.' Almost every single song on that collection is a white-hot winner IMHO.

And I normally don't go for girl singers. Go figure.


Time to go feed the birds again. We're trying peach pieces today. This amends the bird-approved food list of: blueberries, canned dog food, wetted cat kibble, hardboiled eggs, and strawberries.

And pancakes.

Hey, they deserve SOMETHING marginally unhealthy. They're only kids once!

Have a lovely afternoon, y'all.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Tay-yay-YAKE IT!

Take another little piece of my flesh, baby!

Tay-yay-YAKE IT!

Take another piece or two of my fay-yace, ya know ya willlll!!

Had a dermatologist visit this afternoon. Because, as if having 1) car trouble, 2) poison ivy, and 3) baby birds around for the last few weeks hasn't been enough stressly-stress for the time being, it was time to go see if any of the random bumps, blotches, and spots on this aging bod are morphing into something more sinister.

The answer is: yes. Yes, they are. Two of 'em, anyhow. One bump, two bump, red bump, almost-blue bump, and off you come with a stab and a scrape. Shoot me up, dear young-enough-to-be-my-daughter doc, and grab your scalpel; slice off them there hyperkeratotic lesions or whatever they are and sink 'em in preservative for the nice biopsy people to have a gander at.

Then? Stick a big ol' round Band-oodie on the wounds and send me on my way.

That's how they do it in MY hood.

So, if you see me sittin' funny, you know why, because one of those suspicious lesions was on the upper back of my right thigh. How the dear sweet young thing found it in all the dimples is beyond me. The other was as plain as the nose on my face, which, coincidentally, is about right where it resided until an hour or two ago. Mmm, face lesions.

Makes me want a bag of Fritos.

Got home a half an hour ago, and the wee bairds, who were spending some quality time outdoors in their blue bucket, had gotten hot enough to PANT. So cute, their lil' beaklies poking up over the edge of their artificial nest, mouths agawp, tongues floippin' around.

Of course we brought them in to cool down and have a bite ot eat, which was also when we discovered that if you microwave frozen blueberries, you'll get quite the flash fire!

Keeping baby birds is EXCITING!


Oh, and their names are Original and Extra Cripsy. Thanks Ron - you made me LOL with that one. Grant, you too. With two great minds thinking so much alike on that one issue, how could we say no??


That's it from here. Must go finish work, clean the house, and git ready for some folks to come over tonight. And maybe nuke some more blueberries, just because.

Y'all have a lovely evening.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Ah, to be 13 again

So yesterday after church I was hanging out shooting the shizz with a few folks, just chatting and doing the social thing. It was kind of nice, for a few minutes, and then it was time to go.

Got in Tinkerbell feeling pretty good about life, checked out my look in the rearview mirror, and disappeared into my shoes.

Why? Oh, just because there was a GIANT booger hanging out my nose! A fine-sized multidimensional hunk-a nose crop, wafting gently in and out with each breath.

And now I'm sure I've been the topic of much hilarity around luncheon tables areawide. That's OK I suppose, because you know what? I totally would have talked about my booger if it hadn't been me sportin' it. Boogers.Are.Funny.


Sad fact #231: How good you feel after finishing a bout of workout is NOT always directly proportional to how much work it was to workout. Sometimes you can put heart and soul into something and still feel like 10 pounds of crap stuffed in a 5-pound bag.

Endorphins can be capricious, it would appear.


We are having some difficulty naming the robins. Some combinations that have been hoisted up the flagpole are as follows:

Michigan and Jay
Bob and Jim
Moby and Dick
William and Wallace

But none seemed to have stuck. What are we dong wrong? Perhaps the birds aren't supposed to be named? Doesn't help that they're growing and changing at such an accelerated rate that by the time we do come up with decent names they'll probably be shaving and chasing girls in a beater car, forgetting to listen to us telling them to be careful and come home by 11.

They grow up so fast. Honestly - three days ago they could even stand up, and now they're hopping and flappin' their lil' wings, doing some preening (teenagers!) and actually keeping their eyes open for longer than it takes to get a belly full o' grub.

So cute. But still, un-named. Feel free to offer suggestions; I think we need s half-ton of help here.


Speaking of half-tons...

At the farmer's market the other day, just outside the seafood place where we dined like kings on fried denizens of the deep, I saw a woman who looked like she was smuggling a loveseat in her pants.

From head to waist - normal. From waist to knees - WOW. Room for two, at least.

Makes me glad I'm not subject to figure vagaries like that. I'm too weak, constitutionally, to have to stand up to a lifetime of adjusting to that sort of thing. So, good for her, I guess, for going out in public in bright blue skintight clam diggers, but maybe next time she should think about just purchasing some produce and leaving the deep-fried everything alone.

Jus' sayin.'


That wraps it up. Y'all have a fine evening. Thanks for reading.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

There's been stuff aplenty

Baby bird's butts throb like carp mouths. At least baby ROBIN'S butts do. At least, the 2 baby robins that currently live in a shoebox on our kitchen counter's buttholes throb like hungry ol' carp mouths.

And no, there's no way to avoid looking. It seems that they're designed to point said buttholes directly at the sky when defecating so that the Mom and Dad birds will 'do something with that fecal sac, won't you dear' (the equivalent of avian 'it's your turn to change the diaper') which means either the mom and dad bird 1) eat it or 2 ) dump it somewhere far from the nest.

In our case, we've chosen to not snack on the sac. Tiny mucus bags of uric acid simply aren't all that appealing.



Terry Pratchett is, in my humble estimation, a frigging genius. I'm reading "Guards Guards" right now, and can't wait to get to the end of it. It might well be this desire to read that has made me a tad crabby this weekend. Once there's a good book laying around that I MUST get to the end of, it'd be ever so nice if nothing else got in the way...

Or, I could be irritable because my uterus hates me, and has decided to, once again, and rather vigorously, spew forth unused baby-swaddling.

Whatever the reason for the irritable season, the book is good. No questions about that.


When someone invites themselves over for dinner, asks you to buy them their steak (also offering to pay you if you can offer up a receipt), calls at 4:30 to ask when dinner is because they're hungry, then comes over at the appointed hour of 8 p.m. after having wings and ice cream with their girlfriend du jour, which of course means that neither of them are hungry for the dinner you prepared (because he invited himself to DINNER at 4.....)

Would you be mad?


OK - enough for now. I'm banging this out and getting angrier - not a good thing for a Sunday evening.

Must go think of the good things that have happened in my life recently, not the least of which involved the return home of Biff, a trip to the Farmer's Market today with Renn and family, no more poison ivy itch, 2 wee birdies who survive against all odds, a home, plenty in the larder......and countless other blessings that OUGHT to countermand the surface irritations that prick at my longed-for inner peace.

Heh. I said 'prick.'

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

'ello 'ello!

There are 15 minutes staring me in the face right now before my next meeting. What to do, what to do? Arrange the meetings I'm supposed to arrange to talk about stuff I don't want to even pretend exists, or post?

You don't have to be a genius to figure out which direction I'd be headed. The mere fact that you're reading this should be testament enough, but don't think too long and hard about what that might mean about your overall smartypantsedness if you're still trying to guess what I did.

Just. Don't. You might hurt yourself.

Also, don't think too long and hard about the new phenomenon that is sweeping the nation: 8th grade gaduation. Apparently it's totally the new black. This might be the reason that it's not such a big deal down here, what with black being far too warm a color to wear after Easter. Seriously! Too hot! It's like 95 degrees outside and I have no airconditioning in my car, so I KNOW! Too hot. But still, why 8th grade graduation? Those poor kids are just stepping up to 4 more years of school (if they don't flunk out, drop out, get knocked up and shipped off to grannies, or cack before their time's up), so why all the celebration? It's not as though they're unfamiliar with the concepts of what's going to happens when school resumes in the fall, and it's not like they have much of a CHOICE in the matter nor are they able to self-direct to much of any effect, so I'm schtumped about this new development.

I'm glad they don't do that sort of thing around these parts (or at least my my kids' school) because, damn, I already have enough crap to pay for. A 'junior size' cap n' gown just isn't in the budget.

What also isn't in the budget is a fix of that car AC I mentioned up there. Oh, I had had visions of not fixing it and just gutting through, saving myself money on the repair to live fiscally responsibly, but IT'S 95 DEGREES OUTSIDE and I swear to you that walking into work covered in slick of sweat, windblown and irritable, is NOT the height of corporate TIff look. OK, FINE - it's true that the actual corporate Tiff look is a mere step or two BETTER than irritable, sweat-stained, and windblown (so the no AC ain't SUCH a huge deal as appearances go), so you can understand that it's best to not notch the look down any further.

Is there anyone out there who doesn't use the AC in their car, even on the hottest of summer days, if it's available to them? If so, why ON EARTH?

I could go on like this all day (I haven't even told y'all about my b-day celebration yet or my new arsenal of DRUGS!) but my time's up - 3 minutes to the next meeting.

Have a lovely afternoon.

Monday, June 01, 2009


Thanks to those who chose to add me to their list of blogs to follow as a result of yesterday's mewling and simultaneous bashing of your collective consciences by my dear blogly buddies... Yes, both tactics worked, but that's all you'll hear about it from me, for I it appears that I am a widgetless fool who doean't have the necessary accessbility to reach the dizzying heights of DOZENS of followers.

Don't get me wrong, I rather like my template, but it lacks....accessbility (that is necessary for gross adoration and slavish followings). This lack has not yet caused me to leap off the metaphorical bridge into CHANGING it to more widget-friendly code, but I'm thisclose, oh yes I am. All's I need is to copy out the sassy header and have it available in a new-format template, right?

Anyone out there raising their hand in fervent volunteerism to help me get this gasping bitch off the ground?


Back in the glory days (of about 4 months ago) I could do things on this blog like 'format' and 'insert pictures.' This is not the case now, as it seems the Dark Overlords at Work are moving to restrict my access to fun buttons and neat shiny objects that would make this pathetic site something more interesting than fly-speckeled pablum....

Chew on THAT, internet.


After tonight's pedicure, my toes are a shade of polish called "I'm not a waitress."

Once I picked it up and saw the name, there was no other choice but that one.

Gentlemen, think of deep red sports cars with an engine that makes you want to do naughty things. Ladies, think of that girl at the community pool you use to hate, but wanted to be like, even though her belly jiggled.

I have THOSE toes. Lucious, tawdry, fast, throaty, inviting, playful toes. RED frigging sparkly toes.

It's JC's fault, and it makes me smile.


Young men can hide a prodigious amount of wax in their ears. Throat-closingly large amounts. Hint - a little H2O2 in the ear canal, a strong stomach, and a couple dozen cotton swabs will restore hearing in a just a few minutes.

Ask me how I know. I dare you.


That's it. Just got a call from the globetrotter, and he's safely 'home' in bed, so I can go be similarly oriented. Tomorrow comes early, and only the well-rested catch the bagel!

Toss one, and see if I'm a liar.