Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Here is my true ghost story:
I grew up in a haunted house in upstate New York. My family moved into the house in 1963 when I was 10 months old. They bought the house from the original owners, who had built the house a few years before, so the house wasn’t very old. It was a two story house built on a sloping lot, so the finished basement was partially below ground. There was a storage room off the basement that was maybe 10’ x 15’; there was something very, very wrong about that room. When you walked in there, the hair would stand up on the back of your neck. None of us ever actually saw a “ghost”, but there was a bad bad vibe in that basement.
There was a bedroom next to the storage room that was traditionally the room of the oldest sibling in the house at the time. (In a family of six kids, having your own room was a huge privilege!) Staying in that bedroom could be a scary experience. Sometimes I would be in that bedroom and just have the strongest feeling that I had to get out right that second; the worst part was; you had to pass the door of the storage room to get from the bedroom into the main part of the basement and up the stairs to the main living area. We always kept the door to the storage room closed, but it would often be open when someone would walk by.
Lots of times I would leave my stereo on a particular radio station before I went to bed; when I got up in the morning, the radio would be on a totally different station at the other end of the dial. The living room was upstairs, and many, many nights we would be sitting up there watching TV while we listened to the furniture re-arranging itself downstairs. The floor downstairs was linoleum and the furniture was wooden “camp-style”, so it would make a very distinctive sound scraping across that floor. But when we would go down to check, the furniture would always be where it was supposed to be. Other times the downstairs stereo would come blasting on in the middle of the night; as soon as you got to the top of the basement stairs, it would stop. If we were in the basement, we could hear people walking around upstairs, even when no one was up there.
After I grew up and moved out, I would house-sit for my parents when they went out of town; I always stayed upstairs and made sure the door to the basement was shut and locked; when I got up in the morning, that door would be standing wide open. That happened a lot and almost gave me a heart attack every time.
It wasn’t just our family who experienced this; in-laws and friends were privy to these experiences as well.
It has been over twenty years since I lived there, and I still have nightmares about it. Especially the door to the storage room.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Anyway, right now my arm is hurting like hell from the shot. And I have a theory: That the person administering the shot is able to control how much it is going to hurt. So, if the nurse is having a bad day, or just doesn't like your looks, you're in for it. Maybe this nurse did not like my fake fur coat.
Nurse? I SWEAR that coat is fake fur! NOT REAL FUR! I mean, just look at it! No animal in nature has fur patterned like that! I DO NOT WEAR FUR! Owwwwww.....
Similarly, because I am on Depo, I have to get a Depo shot every three months. And usually, there's just a little residual soreness. But one time? I ended up with a bruise the size of a softball. I'm not kidding.
So, what do you think? Do the nurses do it on purpose? By the way, if they do, I think it's kind of awesome.
Monday, October 29, 2007
So, I kind of hemmed and hawed and finally, on Saturday afternoon, I asked one of my downstairs neighbors if he would like to go to the party with me. Folks, this was huge. I DO NOT make a habit of asking neighbors out on dates! But I really, really wanted to go to this party. And my neighbor said yes, he'd like to go to the party. Yay me!
She's lost the word "pumpkin". It is very, very scary to watch your mother moving in reverse. I know how this is all going to turn out, and I only hope that I can handle it well.
Here's the thing about Alzheimer's: Once the person who has it reaches a certain stage, they no longer have the mental capacity to understand what is happening to them. And in my Mom's case, at least, she isn't worried about what is happening to her, because she doesn't understand that she used to be different. For example, she knows that she used to drive a car and that she doesn't anymore, but she doesn't understand that it is because she is literally losing her mind and is no longer capable of driving (by a long shot). It's just something she used to do that she doesn't do anymore. But (she thinks) she could if she wanted to.
I don't know where I'm going with this. Maybe I just wish she would rail against the dying of the light instead of not even understanding that the light is dying.... I guess it's me who has the problem with Alzheimer's, not her.
But my God, this whole situation sucks.
Friday, October 26, 2007
Unfortunately, I did not grow up on a farm (sob), so we boarded Trigger with a family who gave riding lessons a little way out of town. Gosh, that pic brings back memories. One year, a bunch of us who boarded our horses there went out into the nearby woods, cut down Christmas trees, and brought them back on horseback. Good times! When I got my (admittedly scraggly, small, and nearly branch-less) tree back home, Dad put the kibosh on actually using it for our family Christmas tree, and I threw a screaming, sobbing, throw-myself-down-on-the-floor tantrum. At the age of 12. Ah, memories. But Trigger was a beautiful horse, no?
Speaking of Christmas (shudder), I was watching the news last night, and the graphic for Sunday's weather showed the evil snowflake symbols. Noooooooooo! Here is what I have to look forward to:
Why, yes, that is a picture of me! With snow! I remember building snow forts and snow tunnels as a kid. A few years back, I read a news item about some kids who built a snow tunnel which collapsed, and one of the kids died. So I guess parents probably don't let their kids build snow tunnels anymore. We'll put down snow tunnel building as yet another of those Insanely Dangerous Things I Did As A Kid Which Parents Do Not Let Their Children Do Anymore. Of course, most of the time, my Mom had no idea of what I was up to, lest you think I was raised by wolves. Then again, I don't know if kids are even allowed off by themselves to get into mischief anymore. I used to hop on my bike on summer mornings and not show up back home until lunchtime. No "playdates" for me. Just totally unstructured wandering around the neighborhood and nearby woods. Oh, and I also rode my bike to school. (Ten miles! Each way! In the snow! Ha ha.)
So! Snow! Which means it's time to turn OFF the traction control on the Saturn. In the manual, it says do not EVER turn off the traction control unless you are trying to tow the car out of a ditch. Unfortunately, if I leave the traction control ON, every time I am driving on snowy roads and need to (oh-so-gently!) apply the brakes, the car goes insane, and alternately (a) lurches and bucks across the entire breadth of the roadway, totally out of control, with the brakes going THUNK-THUNK-THUNK the entire time, or (b) goes into a several-blocks-long sideways slide. Traction control? Um, no thanks. So from now until spring, every time I get in the car, I turn off the traction control. I'd rather live to drive another day, thankyouverymuch.
Don't ever buy a Saturn.
Coming soon: Boredom, thy name is craft show.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Fuck you, George Bush.
Remember back on May 1, 2003, when you declared "Mission Accomplished"?
It wasn't accomplished then, and now, over four years later, it still isn't accomplished. I don't even know if you know what you are trying to accomplish anymore.
The blood's on your hands, George. Your hands and the hands of all of your minions.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Here is Cowboy Tango:
This is Rapture (be pure):
And Gator Duck:
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
This is the ABC's Meme. Here are the instructions: Each player starts with some random facts/habits about himself/herself. As you are tagged you need to post the rules and your responses on your own blog. At the end of your post, you need to choose some people to tag, list their names and, of course, leave them a comment, telling they have been tagged and they need to read your blog for more information.
A - Apples. I cannot eat raw apples. Or pears. Or bananas. They make my stomach hurt.
B - Birthday. I have one coming up next month. I will be 45. My OCD deems both 4 and 5 to be good numbers, so hopefully it will be a good year.
C - Cat, of course. By the way, Rocky weighed eleven pounds at last night's weigh-in. I almost didn't go through with the weigh-in, because I was so worried that he might have lost more weight. Instead, he gained 1.2 pounds. Go, Rocky! And thanks for everyone's suggestions about how to fatten up a cat.
D - Dogs. I do not like them. As a general rule, I do not like anything that eats its own poop and rolls in dead fish. (And yes, I KNOW that cats lick their own butts. We're not even going there.)
E - Easy-going. Which I used to be. Unfortunately, I have gotten more rigid and uptight as I get older, which I am trying to correct.
F - F-word. I use it here, but almost never in real life, unless I am talking to myself.
G - Gross-out movies. I do not like them. At all. Yuck.
H - Horse. I had one when I was a kid. His name was Trigger. He was a palomino. He once kicked the farrier (horse-shoer) in the head and gave him a concussion.
I - Independent. Fiercely so.
J - Juice. I cannot drink fruit juice of any kind. Again with the whole fruit thing. I tried some apple juice over the weekend and it grossed me out. Plus, apple juice looks disconcertingly like pee, which does not help matters any.
K - K-Mart. When I was a preteen, I was with two so-called friends when they shoplifted from
K-Mart. And got caught. And I got dragged into the security office with them. I have never been so terrified before or since. I thought I was going to wet my pants.
L - Love. I've been in it before. Maybe someday I'll be in it again.
M - Marching band. I was in the marching band in high school. Way in.
N - Noise. I do not like loud noise of any kind, especially loud bass. It makes my ears hurt.
O - Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. I have it.
P - Panic. I sometimes panic over stupid stuff and literally forget to breathe. I'll be all, like, "Why do I feel so funny?" And then I'm like, "Oh yeah! Try breathing!" Idiot.
Q - Captain Quake? I don't know - I'm drawing a blank here.
R - What else but Rocky?
S - Swimming. I love to swim in the lake, but only on really hot days. And I try really, really hard not to think about the giant lake monster that may swim up in the murky water and kill me. Because I am six.
T - Teeth. After refraining from dental care for twenty years, I spent a shit-ton to get my teeth in shape and am now sticking with the plan.
U - Underwear. Oh my God, I can't believe I'm going to tell you this. I wear men's briefs. Because they are made of better material and don't ride up my butt the way women's undies do. Please forget you just read that.
V - I had a very dear friend whose name starts with V. And then she went totally off the rails and became a barfly and a cokehead and I can't even call her anymore, because every time I do, she is drunk off her ass. So sad.
W - My "real name" starts with W. Oh, and watercolors! I took a watercolor painting class, and I paint all the time for fun, and the totality of my suckiness at painting amazes me. I've been painting for a couple of years now, and the fact that I still suck at it so bad is truly stunning. Almost unbelievable, actually.
X - X-ray. Several years ago, someone broke my arm for me. I remember looking at the x-ray in the emergency room and being totally amazed that a bone that big could actually snap in half.
Y - Sorry, drawing a blank here.
Z - Mr. Z is a kids' ride-on bouncy horse that I painted to look like a zebra and put in my garden. Mr. Z is very cool.
Phew, made it! That was fun! Hopefully I did not forget any letters. That would be embarrassing.
Now, would anyone like to join in? How about Pauline? Or Kerri? Oh-uh, I'm having trouble linking to Kerri in this post. To check her out, you can link up in the sidebar at left. How about Listie? Let me know! And Jennifer, thanks again. You rock.
Monday, October 22, 2007
Here we go:
So, a pedophile and a little kid are walking into the woods at night. And the little kid says, "Mister, I don't like it here! It's dark! I'm scared!" And the pedophile says, "You're scared? I've gotta walk outta here alone!"
Friday, October 19, 2007
"Add a hint of spring to your fall with this delicate skirt".
"This organic-cotton sweater is a sweet alternative to a blazer".
"Bend the rules and wear these sleek cream heels year-round".
WTF, Rolling Stone? I'll tell you what: I won't tell you how to play guitar, if you don't tell me how to dress. Mkay?
Thursday, October 18, 2007
I only weigh him once a week, so as not to make myself insane with worry. So on Monday, our last weigh-in day, my heart sank when I saw he had lost 2/10ths of pound. Which may not sound like a lot, but keep in mind he only weighs 10 pounds total. Now, the vet said not to panic if he lost a little, that what we are looking for is a weight gain trend over time, blah blah blah. All I know is that you are not supposed to be able to feel your cat's spine and hip bones when you pet him. Again, the vet said that this is normal with aging, that cats lose muscle as they grow older, blah blah blah. Whatevs. It's just not right. And the weird thing? When I feed him, he goes right for the bowl, and eats and eats and eats and eats. But when I check the bowl after, not that much food is gone. It's like when a little kid pushes the food around on his plate to make it look like more is missing. Oh, and I'm the food fluffer. Because both his (canine? incisor?) big teeth on top are now gone, once the food gets pushed down into the bowl he is unable to scarf it up. So I fluff it for him. I can't believe I just wrote that sentence. And in the meantime, I have decided to stop freaking the fuck out over the whole situation. It's not doing either of us any good.
Oh, and vitamin gravy? Just for cats?
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Mind?! Would I "mind" picking up doughnuts?? If you read this blog regularly, you know that I am currently obsessed with doughnuts, so picking up doughnuts on my way in is noooo problem. Then the Boss said, "Oh, that's ok, I'll stop and pick up the doughnuts". OK, Boss, that's fine. Then, a little while later, he said "So, are you going to pick up the doughnuts or am I?" And it went on in this vein basically all day long. Looks like I'm not the only one with a doughnut obsession.
As I was leaving work last night, I asked the Boss if I should pick up the doughnuts. And he said, "Yes, but don't get any of those frosted ones. Just get some regular doughnuts - you know, the glazed ones. Oh, and a couple of the apple spice ones. And maybe a blueberry and a couple of those jelly filled ........." Doughnut micromanagement at its finest. Yep, I'm not the only one with a doughnut problem.
SO, I picked up the doughnuts this morning, and of COURSE I got some of the frosted ones, because THEY'RE THE BEST KIND. The more crap spread on top of a doughnut and injected inside it, the better. Doughnut nirvana, coming right up!
Here is a little confession: I hoard office doughnuts. That's right, after the meeting is over, as I am putting the doughnuts into zip-locks to keep them fresh for later office consumption, I will sneak a couple into a separate baggie and hide them in my desk. They're MINE, I tell you! ALL MINE! Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha! Oh, I'm bad, all right.
Oh! And just when I thought the soft-serve ice cream season was wrapping up for the year, I made the startling discovery that Wendy's now serves vanilla Frostys! Which are basically soft-serve vanilla ice cream!! Folks, when did this happen?
I'm afraid all is now lost on the totally-useless-calorie front.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
What's wrong with that name, you ask? Well, "Richard" would probably be nicknamed "Dick", meaning this guy went through his life as "Dick Wadsworth". Maybe I need to get my mind out of the gutter, but that's a classic porn name if I ever heard one.
I can only hope that this is what is on his tombstone: "It's RICHARD, damnit!"
Monday, October 15, 2007
Friday, October 12, 2007
An EVIL deer .........
aaaagggghhhhhhh!! The evil deer pierces me with her x-ray eyes!
I've gotta get this camera red-eye thing figured out ........
Thursday, October 11, 2007
For one thing, usually there are only one or two people working at the restaurant who actually want to try to make it better, and the rest of the employees are less than enthusiastic, and often downright mutinous. Picture "Extreme Home Makeover", if the family whose home was being re-done was a bunch of crackheads who were really very happy living in a run-down shack and gave Ty Pennington the finger every time he turned around.
Gordon Ramsay is, shall we say, volatile. He'll start bitching out a restaurant employee, and he gets so pissed off, I keep thinking he's going to spontaneously combust. Multiply that by ten when whoever he is bitching out starts giving it right back to him. Favorite line from last night's show? "TOUCH THE WALL, YOU DIRTY PIG!" Ah ha ha ha ha hahaha! You really had to be there. Keep in mind, the people he bitches out really, really have it coming. The surly cooks from last night's show were my personal favorites, with comments like, "Yeah, yeah, whatever" whenever Gordon suggested an improvement. Which makes it all the sweeter when he finally explodes.
I highly, highly recommend this show. I can't stand most reality tv, but this show is kind of vicariously cathartic for me. I really get a kick out of watching Gordon throw absolute, no-holds-barred shit fits. I mean, really, wouldn't we all like to do that on occasion - just scream our heads off at people who deserve it? And this guy gets paid for it! God, I want that job.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
In other chicken news, I was reading the Real Estate section of the newspaper the other day, and one home-for-sale ad read "Carefully crafted" blah blah blah, "gazebo", blah blah blah, "matching chicken coup".
Huh? A chicken coup? Is that a car for the chickens? Oh, wait, no, "coupe" has an "e" on the end. Or did the chickens stage an overthrow of the property? Perhaps in protest at their brethren getting blown up with fireworks? If so, it hasn't made the local news yet.
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
P.S. He did mention me having "the patience of Job" when it came to things work-related. Come to think of it, yeah, I guess I do. But that's only because I can come here and vent all my frustrations. Thanks, blog!
*Note - My boss has been a friend of my family's since before I was born, so he keeps up with this kind of stuff. And yes, the fact that he was a friend of the family is how I heard about and got the job. Kind of non-relative nepotism, if you will.
I've had it. It's over. You intercepted Tony Romo five times last night, and you still couldn't win the game!? You allowed nine points in the last twenty seconds - I'm sorry, but come on- there's no excuse for that kind of behavior.
Sure, you beat the Jets last week, but let's face it - anybody could beat the Jets at this point.
I've been patient. I've stuck by you for years, but my patience has its limits. You used to be a good team. You used to be a very good team. I'm not sure what happened, but something changed. You've had one winning season out of the last seven. You went to the Super Bowl four times in the early nineties, and lost every single time.
It's not you. It's me. At this point in my life, I really feel that I need to root for a team who actually has a chance of winning a game occasionally. I gave you many years of support, and now I feel that it's time to move on.
So, good luck. I sincerely wish the best for you. I'm sure many of your other fans will stick by you, for year after year after year of disappointment and dashed hopes. I just can't do it anymore.
Monday, October 08, 2007
I started up the gorge trail:
There are lots of waterfalls:
And beautiful views. Check out the people in the bottom left of the photo to get an idea of the scale:
There was a hawk circling in the sky:
And here is the main attraction, Lucifer Falls:
The pics really don't do justice to how beautiful this place is - I've got to get back more often. Although it's a killer walk - I am still trying to figure out how it is that the trail up the gorge and the trail back down the gorge - 4 miles roundtrip - are both uphill. Hmmm.
Friday, October 05, 2007
While that's plenty odd, it is not nearly the oddest suicide story I have ever heard. I remember another local man whose decision to off himself went horribly wrong. Here we go:
Many years ago, a local doctor decided to kill himself. He decided to go up on the highway and step in front of a passing car. So, he got in his car, got up on the highway, pulled over to the shoulder, got out of his car, and almost immediately, a couple of other people pulled their cars over to see if he needed help. (We're friendly like that around here.)
No, no, he said, and then stepped in front of a passing car. Which ran into him. And over him. The people who had already pulled over to help rushed to his aid, along with, of course, the driver of the car that ran him over, and people from other cars who saw what happened and stopped. Remarkably, he was not dead. Not even all that injured. And he still wanted to end it all. So he got up off the highway, ran to the guardrail, and jumped over it, presumably hoping that he would land in the river, approximately 30' below. Except his aim was a little off, perhaps from being run over by a car, and he landed, splat, on the bank of the river instead of in the river itself.
By now, as you can imagine, quite a crowd had gathered, and several people rushed down to the riverbank to see if they could help. And the good doctor was still alive. Except for, um, he still wanted to die. So he got up off the riverbank, jumped in the river, and started swimming for the middle, presumably to drown himself. Several of the good Samaritans went in after him, and by the time he got to the middle of the river, he was thrashing around pretty good, like it had finally struck him that "hmm, maybe this wasn't such a good idea after all." The good Samaritans got ahold of him and got him to the shore, and he was still alive.
Unfortunately, he passed away from his injuries a short time later.
I swear that this is a true story. I remember when it happened, approximately 15 years ago, and I remember thinking, this is the most bizarre thing I've ever heard of. That poor man.
Thursday, October 04, 2007
This happens every fall. It lasts for a couple of weeks, then goes away, then springs back to life some time in the winter, usually in January or February. I have no idea why - some kind of primitive food-storing for winter impulse. Am I like a squirrel, frantically burying nuts for the coming cold weather?
All I know is, it took every bit of my willpower to not stop and get a doughnut on the way to work this morning. Mmmm, doughnuts.
So what am I doing right now? Sitting at work, eating Fritos leftover from yesterday's lunch. Sigh.
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
OK guys, today is the great mofo delurk! That means that all you lurkers out there, all of you who stop by to view my blog but never leave a comment, need to give a shout-out!
So please, if you are a lurker, please leave a comment today. Anonymously, if you'd like. I'd just really like to know how many (or few) of you there are!
Updated to add: COME ON YOU GUYS! It's 3 p.m.! Schmutzie has 71 delurker comments on her blog! LET'S GO!
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Believe it or not, Pippi Longstocking braids were actually popular when I was a kid! And the little side-braid up top - tres fashionable! Unfortunately, I predict a foray into the wonderful world of orthodontia for this young lady. And ya gotta love the whole garbage-bag draw-string neckline. With garbage-bag draw-string sleeves! Mom sent me to school in garbage bags.
And no, no, I don't have a scanner, so I'm doing this the old-fashioned way - taking pictures of pictures. Because I am lame.