Monday, August 29, 2011

Shots seen around the block

There was a plan today to put up some vacation pictures, but then I thought 'shoot, most of y'all have seen them already on Facebook and so posting them again would be super-boring for most people who visit here (I think),' and so I didn't post vacation photos, because 1) I do not want to be super-boring, and 2) vacation was over a week ago and I should have posted them already if I was going to because old news of people's vacations reeks a little like Gramma's musty attic, which is interesting and could be life-altering but stinks so much you can't spend too much time there and so miss most of the interesting stuff anyhow.

Newsflash - I am NOT your Gramma's attic, so here are a couple of photos of some things that have happened far more recently than a week ago.


Numbah one. A little thing called Hurricane Irene rolled through on Saturday. You may have heard about this, yes? Everyone running around crazy and stocking up on essentials like toilet paper, flashlights, and lipgloss? Oh, it was madness! Why, it rained for several hours in a row here, and even blew some, and got so crazy at one point I almost thought better of going to the grocery store for chili fixings but persevered anyhow and lo, it Was Not Such A Big Deal Around Here.

One nice thing did come of it, besides the general lack of utter mayhem in this neighborhood:

Good work on the sunset, Irene. I hope you left something of value behind in each place you visited. Like a nice buried treasure for the OBX as a start, and for New England might I suggest you would have been well served to deposit some Depends or something to soak up all that water you left behind?


So, hurricane, this time = no big deal. HOWEVER, we are currently being slammed with a storm that is much more thunder-y than Irene, which is to be expected, as hurricanes don't thunder much. Tonight's storm cell is very noisy, and has done some hail-fellow-well-metting about the burbs, so we are not yet without excitement.

North Carolina in August, just a big amusement park of meteorological whiz-bangery!


Also, it was perhaps mused about the place the other day that someone might really like a thing to hang her earrings on, as that would be ever so much nicer than digging through the bowl of jewelry every day looking for something which which to adorn the auricular area.

(It might also have been that the musing was part of a 'directed conversation,' I'll never tell. Not an argument, mind, more like a 'can you, handyfellow, do this out of random sticks and stuff?' thing))

As a result, that is what I found attached to the bathroom wall today.

Newsflash 2: I LOVE IT!!

The Biff whipped this simple sucker up in no time, during a hurricane, and then spray painted it while my back was turned, then affixed it to a wall while I was turned around again, and I'm grinning like a puppy with a new Kong.

All the earrings, save the post-y ones, are visible. Shoot, now maybe I can clear out the two jewelry boxes of stuff I haven't looked at in 10 years and get THOSE up there too!


So, that's it. A sunset and some baubles. It's just a day of beauty around these parts, ain't it?

Y'all be well. Tiff out.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Is it tomorrow yet?

I'm not really sure why people expect me to make good on promises to write a post on a specific day (*ahem* LL). I am a faceless blort of internet to many of you, an IP address with no real identity beyond the blonde young thing in the header who doesn't even really look like me except for those misguided days of Sun-In and Body Perms back in the early '80s.

Seriously, the '80's also involved mullets, neon socks, bandanas around rock stars' ankles, Bowie and Jagger in bed together (that WAS the '80's, right?) and many other short-lived and incredible fads. The only thing that could make ol Header Gal up there more '80's would be if she was wearing multiple Izod shirts and an add-a-bead necklace.

So, what?

Where was I?

Oh, yes. How I don't look like that girl up there and so if you were looking for someone like her to blame for inconsistent posting, you'd likely be yelling at someone else, not me. So don't do that.

Also, keep the aspersion-casting away from my actual self, as even if I do say 'see you tomorrow' I probably think it's tomorrow already and really mean 'see you the day after that' or 'sometime soon' instead of the actual 'tomorrow.' I am getting old, and time is starting to lose its meaning.

In case you were curious, THIS is what I looked like in the early '80s (at least part of them):

Fried, bleached hair? Check
Preppy button-down? Check
Arms tanned from hours in the sun with only baby oil between them and harmful UV rays? Check!
Awesome retro wallpaper? Check.
Gold chain? Check!

All that picture needs is a Pappgallo clutch and it would be nearly perfect.

This post has no point.

In case you were wondering.


Time to go stare anxiously at the track of hurricane Irene and think about the implications of not further battening things.

A paint can in a 40-MPH wind burst. How much harm could it possibly do?

Tiff out.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

This can't be happening

So it's been a while, since I've visited here. I've thought about coming back, cracked my knuckles a few times, poured myself a long 'thinking drink,' and promptly lost the urge to express.

It's not that there haven't been things to write about, because as you all know my high-wire act and penguin farm keep me entertained and in full stock of entertaining stories, it's just that, well, I haven't felt like it.

Shameful, really, when Izzy the Emperor 'guinny just learned how to water ski, and the triple-flip I just mastered on the slack line is a thing of beauty. So.Much.Happening.

And did I mention the goats, or the rampant fungal infection of the water supply?

What about the record contract we just signed for the family brass band+kazoo orchestra? That was a surprise, but should take off in Uzbekistan. They do love a good kazoo orchestra over there. We're pretty thrilled to get the deal, as none of us are even remotely Uzbekki, though Biff comes closest with his Romanian background. Who knows? Maybe God was feeling very jolly the day we were all created and said "Hey! A little Uzbek in that crew sure would-a liven things up a bit!" and thus here we are, kazoos in hand, bugles at the ready.

Yes, it's been busy, but that's no excuse for not writing. You lose so much of the immediate impact when everything's just lumped together in one monstrous post of awesome. I am sorry for that.

I'll try to do better,


Because I can't let LL post more than me.

Tiff out.

Friday, August 12, 2011

in response

I received am inspiring message today from a SIL.

She may be a Big Thinker. Grade A if so, because this got me going:

1. No Tenure / No Pension.
A Congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office.
2. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security.
All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for any other purpose.
3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.
4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.
5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.
6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.
7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen are void effective 1/1/12.
The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen. Congressmen made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.


OK, so here's my thing.

Serving as a member of Congress is a strange privilege, one that should be honored, but not be a career. People burn out of good ideas and must be replaced by those who continue to burn with them.

A remuneration for years served should of course be levvied, as those who have served deserve their recognition, but this payout shouldn't be out of proportion to what they've done. MERIT BASED, any one? Just like your teachers?

Those who call themselves bold enough to politic on the public's behalf should also be bold enough to declare they are of the public are not afraid of being part of them again once their term is over. That is, 'I was a politician, and now I am again a plumber.' There's no shame in that. Plumbers are, if not more worthy than, then at least as worthy as, our best politico.


And that's it.

I abhor politics. I enjoy politicoes, no matte what stripe, as they are globally amusing and engaging with their diatribe and enthusiasms.

Tiff out.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

my friends are your friends

Spent some time today driving to The Edge of the Great Woods-Adjacent for a little gathering of friends to celebrate Renn's birthday. (that's her! --->)

Renn and I have been friends for a few years now, and have the WVSR to thank. I met kenju the same way, and Biff. The WVSR at one point was a great place to meet people, it would appear. (And maybe marry one of them.) You should go check it out now, if you don't already know of it. Today's entry is particularly good.


Biff, kenju, and I, who made up the Northern Wake County contingent of this gathering, rolled merrily along the highways and byways and dirt tracks and cow paths to a land far far away to get to this party, which was being held at a home of someone none of us had ever met. Pretty ballsy of us to agree to go, ne? Oh, and we had no idea how many people would be there, or who they were going to be. EXTRA ballsy, correctamundo? Just show up at a place you've never been to party with a group of people you've never met?

(Yeah - Chachi, who arranged all this, is maybe not the best of communicators re: scope of work.) No matter - we were out for a good time.

When we pulled up, 10 minutes early, there were 2 cars in the driveway. *Ahem.* TWO. Not screaming party yet, so...

We decided to take a tour of some of the roads we hadn't already been on. It's good to get a lay of the land, in case we needed to make a quick escape.

Not finding anything of interest 5 minutes out, we turned back to see if the crowds had arrived at the fete.

None had.

I was beginning to think Chachi had punk'd us.

Not wanting to appear odd by just parking in some random driveway and WAITING, we again decided to turn back to the open roads (this having been our third trip around the cul de sac, the neighbors were waving at us and probably could have picked us out of a lineup at 20 paces), and immediately passed the Rennmobile coming into the street.

Sweet relief, we were in the right place!

In a few minutes, after Renn had gone in without seeing us (thanks Nooze for the Momma distraction!) we learned that we 3 were the bulk of the gathering, which was a nice surprise and an honor, as Renn has many friends who could have been there to light up her life. We met the hosts, met the other couple who were invited, surprised the snot out of Renn by being there, and began to party.

In this case, 'party' means eat lots of good Italian foods and chat with new and old friends (including a surprise guest call from Tracy Lynn!). Oh, and wave at an adorable baby. These are things I can do, with aplomb. So fun, the aplombing.

Then, when our bellies were full, there was the small matter of a large cake. Dear Lord, what a cake. It's like the cake all cakes want to be, but because they didn't come out of this particular kitchen, they can never be. There were FOUR layers of chocolate cake with buttercream AND whipped cream frosting AND ganache. Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course, but dang. That was one heck of a cake.

Then there were prezzies too, and pictures, and funny cards, and a jolly time.

So, yeah. I like Renn's other friends. They are given my stamp of approval. Pretty sure it was the 'embarrassing moments in yoga class' stories that did it. And those cards. Well done on those, y'all. But shoot, could at least ONE of you have been nice to her? Dang. :)

Such a great way to spend the evening. Meeting new people, celebrating a momentous day with a dear friend and her family, hanging with kenju and the Biff, being part of a memory. Happy birthday Renn. You are top-drawer quality people, and I'm honored to have shared your day with you, your family, and friends.

Now I'm off to finish digesting that monstrous piece of diabolically delicious cake your devilish girlfriend made.

Tiff *burp* out.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Ever get tired of being who you are?

Something odd is happening to me, people. I'm not entirely uncomfortable with it, mind you, but still there's a feeling of strangeness about the way things are changing.

The thing is: I'm starting to become tired of who I have been. I'm starting to think that maybe reinventing myself would be a great idea. I'm starting to think that maybe getting a certification in some job-related thing is a smart move, and that exercising every day would be the right thing to do, and that maybe keeping up with the housework on a day-to-day basis instead of waiting for the "holy Smokes this place is a sty!" feeling to hit before beginning an excavation of the living room.

Is it the heat that's making me crazy? Is the lack of estrogen causing me to go all grandmotherly? Can it be that after 49+ years of life I'm finally understanding what it's like the feel like being, dare I say it, on TOP of things?

So odd. So unlike me. Why, it's gotten to the point that when I'm at work I'm nearly always, well, working. This is a strange sensation.

Did aliens come down from above and rearrange my prefrontal cortex to enhance my usually poor decision-making skills, or did God finally answer on of my Mom's prayers and smite me with a sense of responsibility?

Whatever it is, I like it. Now, this is a new sensation, and a little scary, so from time to time I retreat back into the hole that was my former MO, but then I peek my head out into the blazing light of self-realization, blinking at how CLEAR things are there and how much better things look when I'm not hiding from reality.

Backstory -

Biff and I had a conversation not long ago wherein we bemoaned our combined lack of ability to fully follow through on stuff and how giving 100% was no fun, esp when the 100 is directed at drudgery and stupid work. We chatted for a while like this, and a thought popped itno my head, so I said it : "are you living at odds with your goals?"

We both said yes.

That was kind of a buzz killer, let me tell you.

But it started me on something, a thinking kind of thing, a thing that I remind myself of a few times a day - 'are you living at odds with your goals?' DO I do things that are contrary to what I know I'm supposed to be doing or that are getting in the way of a goal I want to achieve or are hindering my future chances at 'something'?

It used to be that more often than not the answer was yes. Near constant ambushing of what I knew needed to be done with any care and forethought, almost always rushing at the last minute to get something done or make good on a promise.

Now, in just the last couple of weeks, more and more often the answer is no, I am not living at odds with my goals. And you know what? There's peace in that. There's a sense of stability knowing I'm donig 1) what needs to be done to keep me from last-minute panic attacks, then 2) what ought to be done to keep the Tiny House running and then 3) what I want to do which generally involves and adult beverage and PLENTY of time-wasting.

Wasting time, I've found, is so much more fun when you're free to waste it.

So, that's it. Me, changing again. Taking another step toward sensible adulthood. Why, by the time I'm 80, I'll have figured out at least HALF of how to do that.

Tiff out.