Friday, November 30, 2007
Thursday, November 29, 2007
(Na Na Na Na Na Na) ....
..... It's my birthday too, yeah!
Whew! Here we go - the big 4-5. I was going to do a big long post, but The Spec That Would Not Die is kicking my butt right now. Hard.
And indeed, while in an earlier entry I said that my birthday was the day after Thanksgiving, that was in 2000. Because Thanksgiving orbits around my birthday like the earth around the sun, this year Thanksgiving was last week, and my birthday is today!
Gotta get back to TSTWND. See ya soon.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
My sister Texas is a golfer. She has been golfing for years, and since she retired, she golfs A LOT. And she is very good. Everyone wants to partner with her in tournaments because she has a habit of winning.
She also collects golfing memorabilia. Especially vintage figurines and statuettes of women golfers from different eras. Unfortunately, that kind of stuff is not easy to find. Even on E-Bay. (Well, there's plenty of tacky crap, but not much good stuff.)
SO, a couple of weeks ago on a Saturday, I was poking around in a local antique(s?) store, and there tucked in a corner was a woman golfer statue. She was about wooden, about two feet high, in Victorian-era (painted-on) clothing, swinging a golf club.
Well, I knew that this would be perfect for Texas. BUT, it was more money than I usually spend on a gift, and I knew that the shipping would cost a fortune, and, most importantly, I didn't know if Texas already had one like it.
So I called Texas that night, described the statue, and she almost had a heart attack. She was all, "Oh, please, buy it buy it buy it, I'll reimburse you for the money, YOU HAVE GOT TO BUY THAT STATUE".
Of course, I went and bought the statue (oh thank God it had not sold), and I am not going to ask for reimbursement, and Texas is going to be very, very happy on Christmas morning.
The Best Christmas Present Ever as Presented by Mastercard:
Woman golfer statue: $97.00
Shipping: $60.00 (gasp)
The satisfaction of finding the perfect present: Priceless
Monday, November 26, 2007
The reason this sucks so badly is that while my boss may very well have marked off the entire month of December on his calendar to work on this project, I did not. Which means that in addition to all my regular work stuff, he expects me to sit with him on the computer (not literally! Grrroossss! (shiver)) for hour after hour and go through hundreds of pages of (incredibly boring) specs, word by word.
So ........ see ya soon! I hope!
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
We all got up the next morning, more grieving ensued, and we had breakfast. And someone mentioned what I had totally forgotten, namely, that it was my fortieth birthday. Oh yeah. The big 4-0, spent far from home with grieving family members. Good times! One of my sister's friends actually BAKED A CAKE for me, which was so cool, seeing as how we were there for a funeral and all. And some of her friends made us a Thanksgiving dinner, turkey and everything. My sister has some very nice friends.
The weekend was spent doing funeral-type stuff. The memorial service and reception afterward were held in Redondo Beach, right on the ocean, which would have been really neat, except for someone dying and all. (Sorry, I DO NOT mean to make light of my sister's loss. Her companion was a great guy, and they were very much in love.) And my sister lived in Palm Desert, so I got to see a little bit of California driving back and forth. (That's my first and only visit to California, so far. Lovely state. But THE TRAFFIC? Oh dear Mary Mother of God. You would not believe the traffic. ) And it was kind of weird, because there doesn't seem to be much open space. I mean, I know there must be, it's just that I didn't see any. Just city after city after city. Where I live, if you drive five minutes, you're out in the sticks. Oh, and Palm Desert is seriously strange. I mean, you're there, in the middle of the desert, but everything is green and beautiful because they water the holy hell out of it. (Poor use of resources, if you ask me.) And it's hot out. And then you look up, and RIGHT THERE are big old snow-capped mountains. It's kind of freaky, like they took nature and put it in a blender and then dumped it out all mixed up.
Sunday night we had to catch the red-eye back East. Yay! Five hours on a plane that left at 11 p.m.! Packed, again, to the gills, although this time not with Hasidic Jews with screaming children and odd bathroom habits. And thank God for Jet Blue! I cannot sleep on planes, so those little seat-back TVs really come in handy. And I LOVE the channel where they show the little plane on the map, so you can see where you are. Very cool. (I don't get out much - can you tell?)
So we got to JFK, and we had a little layover, and we were all basically zombies at this point, and then it was on to Syracuse. And as the plane lowered for our approach, we could see white. Lots of white. It had snowed while we were gone. Was still snowing. So we had to drive an hour and a half on snow-covered, shitty roads back home. The end. I have never been so glad to be home in my life.
That's my Worst Thanksgiving story. Along with the added bonus of turning 40 during the whole saga. So this Thanksgiving will be very, very enjoyable. I know I'm looking forward to it. Bring on those appetizers! I hope everybody has the Thanksgiving they are hoping for.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
But! Really, it's just fine. Thanksgiving at TIB's house is always pretty dismal. As her kids moved away and/or started having Thanksgiving at their in-laws', and seeing as how my family is spread out all over the country, the last few years it's just been TIB, her husband, my Mom, and me. Oh, and Ditzy would show up (usually with a boyfriend in tow) long enough to eat, and then leave. TIB and her husband would get looped, TIB's psychotic daughter L. would show up long enough to pitch a fit, and just ....... blech. You get the picture. And Mom doesn't know it's Thanksgiving, anyway. Last year she thought it was Easter.
So! I will spend Thanksgiving out in the woods on a nice long walk, trying not to get shot at by drunken deer hunters (LOTS of blaze orange!) and then I will enjoy my favorite foods (none of which are turkey, and almost all of which are technically appetizers), and I will surely have a beer or two. Maybe even a (gasp) mixed drink! Because it's Thanksgiving! Woo-hoo! (Shaky sob) (KIDDING!!)
My worst Thanksgiving was in 2002. My sister Alabama's long-time companion had passed away completely unexpectedly shortly before, and the funeral/memorial services were scheduled for Thanksgiving weekend. On the west coast. And I live on the east coast. So, some of us locals started looking for last-minute plane tickets, and the only way we could do it and fly out together was to fly on Thanksgiving Day, and catch the red-eye back that Sunday night.
Oh, don't ever do that. The plane from Syracuse to JFK was almost empty, and we were all excited, like, "Yippee! We've got the plane to ourselves!" But then we had a several hour layover in JFK before the flight to Ontario (California, not Canada), and let me tell you, airports are grim places on Thanksgiving Day. Steam table turkey, anyone? (Trust me, just say no.)
And the flight to California? Was packed. To the gills. With (I shit you not) Hasidic Jews on their way to a diamond-dealers convention. I swear I am not kidding. Now, I had never really been around many Hasidic Jews before, so I really had no pre-conceived notions, but, the people on this plane? Were assholes. Lots of them were bringing along the wife and kids, and those kids would scream, and scream, and SCREAM, and the parents would just ignore them. Until a flight attendant would politely ask them to maybe, um, PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR KID, and they would. And then the next kid would start up. I swear, they could probably hear those kids screaming on the space shuttle.
And? They all had to go to the bathroom. All the time. Kids, adults, everybody, there was a line for the bathrooms all the way down the plane THE ENTIRE FIVE HOUR FLIGHT. I swear, they would go to the bathroom, walk down the aisle, and get right back in line.
OK, gotta go, this is way too long. Sorry if any Hasidic Jews are taking offense. I do not mean to cause offense. I am not posting here about Hasidic Jews in general. I am only saying that the Hasidic Jews on that particular flight WERE ASSHOLES.
I'll try to wrap this up tomorrow.
Monday, November 19, 2007
I remember when I was taking Driver's Ed in high school, and some of the kids seemed totally mystified by the K-turn. I think it never quite sunk in for some that the basic principle is: Make the car do a letter K in the road.
The boy toy drunk-dialled me Saturday at 2 a.m. I have an extra-loud ringer-thing on my phone, because when I bought my latest phone, even with the ringer turned up to high, I could not hear the phone ringing until the answering machine was picking up. SO, I bought an extra-loud ringer thing, which I am sure my neighbors really appreciate! (Take that, Jabba, you m-f! Although, seriously, I doubt he can hear it over his own special loudness.) So, when the phone rang at 2 a.m., it woke me right up, and for a second I almost had a heart attack, because it is never a good thing when your phone rings in the middle of the night. Especially when your mother has Alzheimer's and will probably start to wander at some point. I started to get out of bed, and then remembered, "oh, the boy toy", waited to hear the answering machine message so I was sure it was him and not some (other) disaster, and went right back to sleep.
And the next morning, when I played the message back, I had to laugh, because he was so drunk/stoned that I could hardly understand what he was saying. That's one phone call I am NOT returning. Not.
Sunday, I left another "free painting" box at another local park. I have now successfully off-loaded (almost) all of my unwanted paintings. Now they can be unwanted in other people's houses. Thanks, folks! Enjoy the paintings!
Friday, November 16, 2007
Look at the eyebrows! And the grim mouth! This poor monkey looks like he's just been told his Mom is dead!
Why on earth would anyone buy a sad toy for their child? "Here, kid, here's a heartbroken monkey! Happy Birthday!"
I just don't get it. Sad toys, that is. That being said, I am currently working on a stuffed monster toy. But I'm not planning on giving it to a little kid. "Here, kid! Happy nightmares!"
Thursday, November 15, 2007
And he was talking and talking, and I was writing and writing, and then he paused, and asked me to read it back.
And then I paused, because I realized that the entire time that he had been talking, and I had been writing, I had also been re-ordering my Netflix queue in my head. And wondering about what to have for dinner. And thinking about myriad other .... stuff.
But! I was able to read back the entire letter. Flawlessly.
(Hmmm.... Brother's Keeper first? or Quincenara?)
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
ANYWAY, I was watching this trailer, not paying much attention, when the announcer, in his best "IN A WORLD ...." voice, says, "Get ready for ............. THE VIOLENCE OF THE LAMBS".
Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha ha ha ha ha ha
Oh my dear God. So! I think I am going to start with a photo collage. I'm thinking a Barbie, from the Toys-R-Us catalog, being dismembered by a flock of Google Image sheep. And if that goes well, I'm definitely doing a shoebox diorama.
The weirdness, it never stops.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Idahoan brand mashed potatoes - both the garlic and redskin kinds - are pretty good. But I had a coupon (yes, I do clip coupons. Sigh.) to try Shedd's Country Crock Deluxe Loaded Mashed Potatoes (world's longest product name) and I am now in love.
I am aware that these potatoes probably have more artificial ingredients than a twinkie, but I can forgive them that, because they taste good. 'Nuff said.
Monday, November 12, 2007
Gotta go. Grrrrr.......
*Updated to add: ARRGGHH! The software is not even REMOTELY user-friendly! NOT! NOT! NOT! Why, oh why, does everything even remotely technical have to be written in the Language of Geek??!!
2. Schmutzie mentioned peanut butter hot dogs in one of her posts, so I gave it a try. Better than it sounds.
3. I am going to kill that fat bastard downstairs if he doesn't stop cranking up his TV volume at five o'clock in the morning. I wish he was (were?) dead. Seriously. I wish he would just. drop. dead.
4. I did three weeks' worth of laundry on Saturday morning. There was a guy at the laundromat who had brought his laundry on his bicycle. Seriously. He had this contraption rigged up to hold a laundry basket on the back of his bike. I felt sorry for him, like, you don't have one friend who would give you (and your laundry) a ride to the laundromat? He was making several trips.
5. I dumped a quart of Engine Oil Stop-Leak into the Saturn's crankcase. Hey, it can't hurt, right? Right?
6. I scored five Better Homes & Gardens magazines from the 1930s for two bucks a pop at the Salvation Army. The ads are hysterical. "Somebody's been helping himself to my lovely Crisco pie .. Thank goodness it's digestible!" Crisco pie? Please tell me it's just the crust she's talking about.
7. I checked in on the great painting giveaway - I left about twenty in the box, and as of Saturday morning, all but three were gone. At least I can GIVE them away. I'm definitely gonna continue this little experiment.
8. I think I had an ex-wedding anniversary sometime this weekend. I know I got married in the early part of November, I think the tenth or eleventh, but possibly the ninth.
9. I paraffin-waxed some leaves this weekend. I haven't done that since I was a kid. Then I did some flowers, too, just to see what would happen. I was going to do the cat, but he wouldn't hold still. (Joke. It's just a joke).
10. While brushing my teeth on Saturday night, I looked down, noticed that I had spilled some food on my shirt (because I am a slob), and used my electric toothbrush to clean off the stain. Oh yes I did! I disgust even myself sometimes.
11. Four eggs makes a lot more egg salad than I thought it would.
Thursday, November 08, 2007
"There’s a gifting meme going on (I saw it at Patti’s place and she got it from Green Duckies), who got it from Udge, so here’s the deal:
1. The first three commenters to sign up for the meme here and post the same promise on their blogs will receive a smallish present (aka a “thingy”) from me at some point during the next year.
2. I make no promises about what exactly you’ll get or when you’ll get it. Other bloggers have made specific offers of useful and beautiful objects at a date certain; I am not nearly that together. I can promise you that it won’t be anything alive (no starts of sourdough!), it won’t be anything that is too geeky (Hey! Look! Mint condition reissued Stormtrooper figurines from 2003’s Star Wars Mania at my house!)…but beyond that, I can’t narrow it down.
To send this gift, I’ll have to have an address, so those who really really want to blog anonymously should not play."
Free gifts! I will probably send out enlarged photos, but possibly it could be a painting (a halfway-decent painting, I promise!), or something else. As bridgett says above, you will need to be willing to send me your address to play. I promise not to stalk you.
Here are the rules: once tagged, you must link to the person who tagged you, then post the rules before your list, and list eight random things about yourself. At the end of the post, you must tag and link to eight other people.
Here we go:
1. I am a stenographer. The last one on earth, apparently.
2. I am also a Notary Public. I once spent an entire cold, rainy weekend going door-to-door notarizing signatures on a petition. All I can say is, if the inside of most people's houses look like their front porches, most people are absolute slobs!
3. I used to play drums in my high school jazz band. I do not know how to play drums anymore. I just ......... forgot how. If ya don't use it, ya lose it.
4. I cannot eat mint ice cream - it tastes too much like toothpaste.
5. I almost drowned when I was little - my Dad's best friend saved my life.
6. I forgot to have any kids. Oops!
7. Last weekend, I took a box of my paintings to a local park and left it on a covered table with a sign saying "Free paintings! Take one!" I have not been back to see if anyone took me up on it.
8. I make a mean spaghetti sauce.
Now, I am embarrassed to admit that there are not eight bloggers whom I know well enough to tag with this. So, I'm gonna have to break the rules (I'm so sorry!), and anybody who wants to play, you're in!
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Guys, it's not the tie. It's your shirt.
You see, in order to wear a necktie, you have to button the top button of your shirt. A novel concept for some of you, I know. Bear with me here. If, when you button the top button of your shirt, you get that choking sensation, you need to buy shirts with a bigger neck size.
As hard as it may be for you to believe, you've gained weight over the years. Oh yes you have. You've put on a few pounds. And - ready for this? - your neck has gained weight too. It's time to get rid of those dress shirts you've had since the Reagan administration and buy some that actually fit.
So. Go to wherever it is that you buy your shirts, go up a neck size or two, and give the tie another try. You'll be amazed. Trust me on this one.
This public service announcement brought to you by RockyCat.
Is it just me? He looks like he was in a car accident, and his face hit the windshield, and after many, many reconstructive surgeries, the doctors are very pleased with the results. He looks ...... plastic. Like a Ken doll.*
Of course, maybe the casting people were just trying to get a "guy beauty" match for the "girl beauties", most of whom also look like they've made the acquaintance of a plastic surgeon or two.
Here's a confession: I try not to leave the house without makeup on. Because I have Rosacea, my skin complexion is .... not the best. Trust me - I look much, much better with some foundation on my face. And honestly, my nose is ...... not small. I mean, it's not HUGE, it's just not a pretty little petite nose like some of my friends have. I got my Dad's nose. Thanks, Dad!
But to let a doctor knock me out and carve me up so I can look better? I don't know about that. And it just amazes me when people who are already pretty "have some work done". It seems like it's cheating, somehow. Cheating at what, I'm not exactly sure.
*(Oh, and he looks crazy, too. When he widens his eyes? Absolutely batshit crazy. Or high on crystal meth.)
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
I was looking at the Party City flyers in October, and almost all of the women's costumes were, shall we say, sleazy. And I read on some blogs that even pre-teens are now going for the slutty look. I say, if the highlight of your Halloween is going out in public dressed like a sex-industry worker, maybe you've got some issues to work on. Just sayin'. (Of course, what you wear in the privacy of your own home is completely up to you. As far as that goes, what you wear in public is completely up to you.)
So! While I was a cheerleader, my outfit was modest. Granted, the skirt was above-the-knee, but just barely. And my top, while red, was not low-cut or see-through. And I wore not stilettos (although I do have some), but flat shoes. Amish devil's cheerleader!
I'm not really sure why I wanted to clear that up, but I feel better now.
A man walked in the door, so I got up from my chair and asked if I could help him. He smiled and handed me something. While I was looking at what he had handed me, he walked toward the back cubicles. Here is what he gave me:
WTF, people? I don't even know what to make of this. And neither did my co-workers. I mean, was this guy truly deaf and trying to make a living (which I HIGHLY DOUBT), or was this just another scam?
My office building is situated in what might be called a sketchy neighborhood. Not terrible, but definitely low income. And boy, do we have some characters around here.
There's Colorado Bob, a drunk who wanders the neighborhood all day collecting cans for the nickel refunds. When he gets enough for a bottle of beer, he heads for the grocery store, gets his beer, drinks it, then starts all over again. It is not unusual for Bob to be three sheets to the wind by eight in the morning, so I am assuming he also imbibes something other than beer. And he's filthy. And smelly. And if you greet him, he will TALK YOUR EAR OFF, slurring his words and weaving back and forth.
Elvis is often sighted in this neighborhood. Elvis is this tiny little man who dresses like a cowboy, right down to the (toy, I hope) six-shooters. He is always color-coordinated, and he has several different-colored cowboy getups. I have no idea whether his name is really Elvis, or whether they call him that because (maybe) he used to dress like Elvis, or what. Elvis gets around - he can be spotted all over the city - and everybody knows of him.
Our office is in a mixed-use building, and there are two apartments on one end. A few times over the years, drug dealers moved in, and it was interesting watching their clientele, until the landlord kicked them out. Oh yeah, there was a hooker living there once too, and she always took a bedpillow with her when she went out. All the comforts of home, I guess. And a drunk guy lived there once; he used to stagger out into the parking lot in the middle of the afternoon and rant and rave until the cops came and took him away.
So I have no idea if this flag-distributing guy is for real, or just more of the "local color". Hard to tell. I mean, I know that the vets selling the poppies are legit (they are legit, aren't they?), but I've never seen them going door to door. Or maybe they do, and they've just never come to my door.
Last Friday, a judge ordered Cal Harris, the alleged killer, out of jail, due to new evidence in the case. Interesting. The local community is pretty much divided in their opinion of whether he actually committed the crime or not.
Monday, November 05, 2007
Friday, November 02, 2007
Last night, I created most of the Denny's breakfast menu in my kitchen. Here's what happened:
I decided that I wanted breakfast for dinner. And I could not decide between an omelet and pancakes. So I made, and ate:
A three-egg, ham, cheese and onion omelet.
An english muffin with enough butter on it to drown someone.
Pancakes (again with the butter. And syrup. Lots of syrup).
Oh, and ice cream! For dessert!
And then I sat around for the rest of the evening like a beached whale, in a sugar stupor from the syrup, wondering, "why did I just do that?" I am a fairly small person, and by my calculations, I will not require any more caloric intake until sometime on Sunday afternoon.
Don't try this at home.
Click on the title above if you'd like more info about the case. Personally, I am not sure whether the hubby did it or not.
Oh, and no, I am not getting reimbursed in any way for plugging this show. At the rate I am going, it will take several years and an Act of God before advertisers notice this site. And that's a good thing!
Thursday, November 01, 2007
That being said, the car has been behaving itself lately. Back in the spring, I was seriously thinking about trading it in (even though I was still paying on it; that's how big a piece of crap this car is), and ever since then it's been running just fine. Well, except for the oil leak. And the squeaky brakes. And the heat shield that fell off. And ...... oh, never mind.
Anyhow, now that it's paid off, I can take that extra money every month and sock it away for my next car's downpayment. Funny how that works, isn't it? It seems I'm always paying on a car, one way or another.