Monday, March 31, 2008

The Black Death Craves Vanilla Soft-Serve

Who knew?

Seriously, in breaking news, THE BIG DIPPER IS OPEN FOR THE SEASON!!

The Big Dipper is the closest authentic ice cream stand to my house. Authentic, as in free-standing, seasonal, and owned by an individual as opposed to a chain franchise. And bless this particular individual, who leaves his nice warm seasonal home in Florida every spring to come back to the still-frozen North to open up his ice cream stand.

The Big Dipper usually opens for the season the last weekend in March. So I found a reason to drive past it this weekend, and YES!! It was open.

Did I do a U-ey and get myself a cone? You bet your butt. Did I eat it in the car, with the heater on, because it was only 30 degrees out? Also affirmative. And I was surrounded by people sitting in their cars, with the heaters running, getting their first soft-serve fix of the season. Evidently, I am not alone.

Living in the Twilight Zone

So! On Friday, the work week was finally over, so I got home, kicked back, and relaxed.

And then the phone rang.

It was my niece, who was staying with my mom while my sister TIB was out of town. My niece explained that my mom had been trying to call me, but "was having some problems with the phone", so my niece volunteered to dial my number, and put my mom on the line.

Mom was, to say the least, confused. She wasn't sure who she was talking to, she wasn't sure where she was, and she kept talking about how Christmas was coming soon. But hey, she's still a very pleasant person, and it's always good to talk to her, if a bit confusing.

I got off the phone with mom, and the phone rang again. And it was Jabba the Hutt, from downstairs. Jabba who drives me crazy with his LOUD LOUD NOISE.

Jabba, speaking VERY LOUD: "I wanted to offer my condolences on the death of your son".

Me: (?)

Me: "Um, thanks, Jabba, but I don't have a son. I don't have any children".

Jabba: "You don't? P. told me that your son died."

(Note to Self: Kill P. the next time I see him.)

Me: "No, Jabba, I don't have a son. My cat, Rocky, passed away - is that what you're thinking of?. Maybe you misunderstood what P. said."

So we finally got things straightened up, sorta, and I got off the phone, and I unplugged it for the rest of the night.

My life just keeps getting stranger. Saturday night, one of my fish died. I swear, one minute it was swimming around the tank, and the next time I looked over, it was dead on the gravel. Sheesh. I'm beginning to feel like the Black Death, or something.

Friday, March 28, 2008

A Room with a View

Looking west out of one of my living room windows.


Why do so many of the announcers/commentators on NPR lisp?

It just seems to me that if you have a speech impediment, radio may not be the proper career milieu for you.

My Kinda Gal

A local 63-year-old woman just won a million dollars in the lottery. From the newspaper article:

"Sons Tim and Christopher hope their mother looks forward to enjoying life.

"I'm going to", she said. "In fact, I'm going home now to put a sweat shirt and sweat pants on and have a good stiff drink"."

Sounds like a plan!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Stranger than Fiction

A couple of hours ago, this burly, twenty-something, cracked-out guy came charging into the office. And he started talking a mile a minute about a twenty-minute oral presentation he had to do about the history of this area and what exactly did we do in this office and how did it relate to the history of the area and blahblahblah .... the guy was clearly nuts.

I have never been a real think-on-my-feet type of gal, so I told him he would need to talk to the boss, who was not there, but if he'd like to leave his name and number I'd have the boss call him back etc. etc. etc. There are certain disadvantages to working the front desk.

And then Hack-Em-Up Ed came over and started egging the guy on. Hack-Em-Up's all, like, "oh, yeah, you need to talk to the boss, heck, he built half this area, definitely talk to him" blah blah blah.

Thankfully, at that time the voices in crazy guy's head evidently told him he was needed elsewhere, because he went charging out of the office, ran across the street, and started pounding on the doors of an empty warehouse. Then he went running up and around the corner, and has not been seen since. Whew.

UPDATE!! Just a few minutes ago, the guy came back. Thankfully, my boss was here, listened to him for a few minutes, explained that he (my boss) charged $200 an hour for his time, and shooed the guy back out the door. Jeezus.

Oh, and did I tell you that a guy was killed in a drive-by shooting two weeks ago, two blocks from the office? Nice neighborhood.

In other breaking office news, Hack-Em-Up Ed has a hack-em-up dog!

I kid you not. For whatever reason, Hack-Em-Up Ed brought his dog into the office for a few hours the other day. And I swear, thirty seconds after they walked in the door, the dog started in with, "haaaccckk!! haaaccckk! HAAAACCCCKKK!" And he did it THE ENTIRE TIME HE WAS HERE. Haacckkk! Haaccckkk! HAAAACCCKKKK! Jeezus.

What. the. hell. I have heard that people tend to buy dogs who resemble themselves, but I had never heard of the "sound effect factor" until now.

I Rock So Hard I Scare Myself

A while back, my kitchen sink faucet developed a drip. It would only shut off completely if you adjusted the swivel-thingie (sorry about the technical terms) to exactly the right spot. So I called the building super, and she sent someone over to replace the faucet.

The new faucet was all bright and shiny, and was not wrapped in duct tape like the old faucet, but the water flow was less than it had been before. So I looked under the sink to see if they had installed some kind of water restrictor or tightened up the valve shut-offs, but the answer was no. So I figured it was some kind of low-flow faucet. Whatevs.

Over the past week or so, I noticed that the flow coming out was less and less. So! Time to break out the tools. (Oh sweet Jeezus, famous last words. I wish I had a buck for every appliance I've broken to smithereens attempting to repair it.)

I had tried to get the end cap thingie of the faucet off before, because I could feel a screen up in there and figured that might be contributing to the low flow. I had tried unscrewing the faucet end, with no luck. So last night I broke out a wrench and one of those round grip-thingies you use to open stuck jar lids. And I started reefing on that faucet end. (Reef: To yank the hell out of.)

TA-DA!! Off popped the faucet end! And inside the faucet end was a screen, some kind of funky flow-restrictor thingie (I KNEW it!), and a couple of washers.

And some pebbles. I shit you not, there were pebbles in the screen. WTF? I am on municipal water! Granted, it's well water, but still, it goes through a treatment center before it gets to me! Why are there freaking pebbles in my drinking water?!

So! I tossed the pebbles, and played with all the faucet-end parts until I had put it all back together, but with a 500% improvement in the water flow.

And then!! I pumped my fist and did a victory dance around the kitchen, because I was SO EXCITED!! FOR ONCE I actually managed to fix something instead of breaking it into a million little pieces in a misguided repair attempt.

And I just realized that I could have written, "Last night I fixed a broken faucet" and been done with this whole post. Sorry about that.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Fishes and a Mystery

The fish are in the upper right corner of the tank - one is partially hidden behind a plant. Still don't see them? Look for two out-of-focus orange blobs. Yep! That's them.

I am a little embarrassed to admit that I have been enjoying the shit out of these fish. I actually stare into the tank and watch them swim around. Is fun! Really! And much more entertaining than last night's episode of "American Idol".

And I am learning new things, too. Like, these fish do not like to have the light on in their aquarium. AT ALL. If I turn on the light, they get all nervous and jerky and start darting around all over the place and they're all like, "AAHHH!!!! AAHHH!!! BRIGHT LIGHT!!! BRIGHT LIIIGGGGHHHTTT!!!!!" So I turn the light off, and they calm right the fuck down. Back to gravel-grazing (WTF is up with that, anyway? What of interest are they finding in that gravel? I have a sneaking suspicion that it might be their own poop, and I sure hope I'm wrong about that), lazily hanging out, etc.

So now I only turn the light on when I want to mess with their minds. (Kidding.) (Sort of.)

Oh! But I do have a mystery for you! When I was at the pet store on Monday (returning a heater which DID NOT WORK, despite costing twice as much as the heater I was going to buy but was talked out of by the pet store owner himself, thankyouverymuch, and the pricey heater he sold me DID NOT WORK, did I mention that? And did I mention that I went to CrapMart and bought a heater that was half the price, and ACTUALLY WORKED? And was totally submersible, which the other heater was not?) ..... oops, where was I? Oh, ok, I was at the pet store, and I was looking at fish, and they had these fish that were, like, half an inch long, maybe 3/4 inch, and they were white. And some of them had pink and blue vertical stripes, and some had pink and blue polka-dot markings, and some of the striped ones had, I shit you not, heart-shaped markings on their sides. And I was all, like, holy shit, look at that! And then I was all, well, duh, obviously somebody PAINTED these fish to look like that. Fish don't just LOOK like that. But then I was all, like, but how the hell would you paint a fish? I mean, how would you dry them off enough to get the paint to stick? And wouldn't the paint just wash off once you put them back in the water? And who has the TIME to paint all these fish, anyway? And even if you outsourced it to China, to a fish-painting factory, wouldn't the factory employees just eat the fish instead of painting them?

Such were my thoughts in the pet store. And I did not think to look at the front of the tank and get the NAME of this particular kind of fish, because that would be too easy. And now I'm not inclined to go back to that particular store, because of the whole incredibly-expensive-non-functioning-heater thing.

So, what are these fish? Are they born with these really cool stripes and polka-dots and hearts? Or are they painted fish? Please tell me - I'd love to know.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


From the "Free" section of our local newspaper's classified ads:

"ADULT MALE to good country home. Call Chris (insert phone # here) after 4 p.m."

I wonder if Chris is trying a unique approach to house-hunting. Or maybe Chris is a woman, and she's trying to get rid of a pain-in-the-ass husband/boyfriend? Whoever Chris is, I'll bet (s)he's gotten some interesting phone calls - the ad's been in the paper for over a week now.

Monday, March 24, 2008

And the Award for Best Use of a Chocolate Easter Bunny Goes To ...

First, a little backstory. Yesterday, I found myself at my sister TIB's house for Easter dinner. Yes, the same TIB who spontaneously combusts at the very thought of me. I really don't care to go into the details of how this came about; let's just say that last weekend, I became the World Champeen Shit Eater for the sake of my family. (And this is the LAST TIME I am doing that. Seriously. LAST TIME.)

Anyhow, my sister Ditzy was there with her boyfriend, C.
C. had given her a large chocolate Easter bunny, and he kept bugging her to open it up and share it. Bugging, and bugging, and bugging. So finally, she opened up the packaging, and he asked for an ear. She broke off an ear, and there was a piece of paper rolled up inside the bunny. She unrolled the paper, and it was an e-mail confirmation for two tickets to an upcoming James Taylor concert. Fifth row, center.

Is that cool, or what? C. has definitely just raised the bar for all the guys in the family.

Oh, and how did he do it? He unwrapped the bunny, drilled a hole in the bottom, and pushed the paper up through the bunny until it lodged in one of the ears. Then he re-wrapped the packaging. Such ingenuity!

Friday, March 21, 2008

What I'm Doing This Weekend

A few days ago I went to the pet store to get a couple of fish. I had a goldfish bowl, so I was thinking I would get some goldfish, but when I looked at them, they looked too ....... fishy. Then I looked at the guppies (the other major kind of low-maintenance, hard-to-kill fish), but they, also, looked alarmingly fishy. So I started looking around, and found a tank full of something called, ummm....... somethingsomething"platys". And the "platys" looked pretty cool, about half the size of the goldfish, and not at all "fishy".

After the debacle of picking out two (possibly pregnant) platys, the pet store gal asked me if I had a tank, filter, etc. I told her I had a goldfish bowl, but that was about it. She said the platys would probably do ok in it, as long as I kept the water clean, but I might want to consider a tank with a filter. And a heater (after I explained that I turned down the heat in my apartment when I'm not there).

So. OK. Took the fish home, got them set up in their little bowl, and they seem very happy. But they've gotta be chilly. Although, honestly, I've been leaving the heat turned up since I brought them home. Cause I'm nice like that.

So! I went out and bought a little aquarium. And a heater. And tonight I have to go and buy more gravel. And some plants. And possibly an air pump, whatever the hell that is. I'll be lucky if I get out of this for less than eighty bucks, all for three bucks worth of fish. Go figure.

Oh! Last night I un-boxed the aquarium (mini-bow 2.5 gallon, if you're interested. No? I didn't think so.). And I started looking for the instructions. And there weren't any. There was, however, a sheet of paper directing me to the company's web site, where I could view set-up instructions, on-line tutorials, etc. Super! Except I don't have a computer at home. Oooops.

I thought about calling the 1-800 number and making some poor customer service rep walk me through it over the phone for three hours, because, HELLO, TETRA, not everyone in the world has a computer at home**, but then I realized I would probably be talking to somebody in Bangalore, India, and it would be harder on me than it would be on him.

So I came in to work this morning (where, obviously, all things non-work-related actually get done), watched the tutorial, TOOK NOTES because I am stupid, and I am ready to attempt a fish tank set-up this weekend.

How hard could it be, right? (Famous last words.)

** Well, ok, actually, I understand that probably everyone in the world DOES have a computer at home. Except me.

It's Time .........

........ to take down the Christmas card display at work. Seeing as how it's almost Easter.

Recently Read

Here are the books I've read recently. I'm too lazy to link to their Amazon sites, so you're on your own there.

1. Peace Like a River by Leif Enger. This is about a boy whose brother kills two men and goes on the lam. His family sets out for the badlands to find the brother. This was a good book, although I doubt the boy's nine-year-old sister could have written such inspired poetry. Still, I enjoyed this one.

2. What You Have Left by Will Allison. This received great reviews, but I found it to be just so-so.

3. Shem Creek by Dorothea Benton Frank. This was a light, fluffy read.

4. Louisiana Power and Light by John DuFresne. Interesting and enjoyable, but not great.

5. This One and Only Life by Anne Carroll George. Frankly, I don't remember anything about this one, but I made it all the way through, so it must have been okay.

6. South of Reason by Cindy Eppes. About a family with way too many secrets. Pretty good.

7. Bruiser by Ian Chorao. This one is set in the 70s and is about a kid who runs away from home. Interesting, but not great.

8. Cage of Stars by Jaquelyn Mitchard. About a young woman facing tragedy. This one was good.

9. Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver. Pretty good. A little heavy on the environmental message.

10. The Whistling Season by Ivan Doig. This author is pegged as a writer of "Westerns", which I usually do not like, but I really enjoyed this book, perhaps the most of anything I've read so far this year. There was a plot twist at the end that was really unnecessary (and which you could see coming from the beginning of the book), but I still enjoyed this one. I'm currently reading his memoir, which is also interesting.

Here's what I tried to read, and could not get through:

1. Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler. Meh. None of the characters were particularly likable, so I lost interest and gave up about halfway through.

2. Mermaids in the Basement by Michael Lee West. I usually like her stuff, but I could not get more than 40 pages into this one.

3. Brother Odd by Dean Koontz. I had never read any of his stuff, but gave this one a try while I was in Texas. No thanks.

4. Julia's Chocolates by Cathy Lamb. Chick lit - blecchh. Made it to page 90 and had to quit.

5. Mother Road by Dorothy Garlock. Started out promising, but quickly degenerated into a Harlequin Romance-type book. Nope.

6. The Southern Belles of Honeysuckle Way by Linda Bruckheimer. I really liked her book "Dreaming Southern", but I could not fight my way through this one. Just one cliche after another. I actually left this book in Texas.

So! There you have it! What I've read, and tried to read, since the first of the year. Any recommendations?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Our New Superhero!

I was just flipping through my Rolodex (why yes, I AM a billion years old!), and came across a mysterious card. It was not written in my handwriting, nor the handwriting of anyone in the office. It was, however, unmistakably female handwriting, which makes me think one of the temps must have stuck it in there.**

Anyway, all that was written on the card were the words "Climate Control Chuck", followed by a local phone number.

Hmmmm. I could use ol' Chuck right about now. The climate in this neck of the woods is in serious need of some control. I wonder what his Superhero outfit looks like. I wonder if he charges for his services, or if he just dashes around changing the weather for free.

Maybe I should give him a call.

**Seriously? I hatehatehate it when I get back from vacation and the temp has taken it upon herself to rearrange my office space. Particularly the desktop on my computer. Honey, you're only here for a week. I'm here for the foreseeable future. DO NOT mess with my stuff. I have been here for twenty-plus (yikes) years, and I have it arranged this way for a reason. If you're that damn bored, go scrub the bathroom or something.

My Bathroom - Let Me Show You It

My bathroom is tiny. The total "walkable" space (not including toilet, tub or sink) is 2.5 feet by 3.5 feet. Tiny! Here is my bathroom before I started painting. Try to ignore the round green heron pic; I know it's tacky, but I just can't seem to rid myself of it. Anyhow, the bathroom had off-white walls, with a white ceiling:

Here is my bathroom after:

The back wall is a mint green. I was going to do all the walls this color, but after doing the one, I realized the bathroom was going to look like the inside of a toothpaste tube if I continued with that plan. So I did the rest of the walls yellow, the ceiling and shelving blue, and the trim "fuchsia fizz".

Not sure if this is an improvement or not, but it sure is "different". Hey, if I get sick of it, I'll just paint it again.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Spec That Would Not Die: Update

Last night, 175 single-spaced pages of spec went out the door. Unfortunately, we're still not done. The boss estimates another 20 hours of work, but you have to triple any estimate he gives you to arrive at a realistic number, so that means another 60 hours to go. Sigh.

I'm really, really glad that when this thing first floated onto my radar screen (last summer!), I had no idea how long it would actually take. I have no doubt that the project (a hotel/restaurant/meeting center) will be constructed in less time than it took to write the spec. And of course, once the thing goes out for bid, that's when the addenda rear their ugly heads. And once construction starts, then we're talking change orders and revisions and ......... oh, well. 175 pages of it is done. That's something, right? Right.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Not the Sharpest Tool in the Shed

So, I got the fish tank all set up and went to the pet store to get some fish. I picked out the kind I wanted, the girl working the tanks asked how many, and I said, "two".

She asked if I cared if they were male or female. I was looking at the tank set-ups, so I just said "no" over my shoulder. Then I thought about it, and said, "...... well, if I get a boy and a girl, they'll have babies, right?"

Bless her, she did not laugh. She just said, "Well, yeah, that's the way it usually works".

So I said, "Ok, I'll take two males or two females, whichever you net out first".

So I went home with two females.

It wasn't until I woke up this morning that it struck me: They could already be pregnant.

Looks like the store clerk got the last laugh.

Friday, March 14, 2008


I am thinking about getting another cat. Or two.

I know, I KNOW. I feel terrible guilt just thinking about it. Or writing it down. But I'm just so damn lonely and sad right now, and I did something really bad last night.

I went to an animal shelter. NOT the nice clean shelter where I donated Rocky's food. This was another local shelter, a kind-of-skeevy, smelly, noisy shelter. And I felt so damn bad for those poor cats that I was ready to pile every single one of them into my car and take them home with me.

I did not, of course. Although such was my desperation that there were two cats in particular that I was ready to take home. And I was all, like, "no no no don't do anything rash step back and think about this and maybe come back in a week and if they're still here it was meant to be and .........." Oh, I am losing it.

So I went home, took several deep breaths (or sobs .... hey, if the shoe fits), and thought about the situation. I remembered that at one point the nice shelter where I took Rocky's food was looking for "foster families" to take in cats on a temporary basis until there was room for them at the shelter. I don't know if they're still doing this, but .......... I called and left a message on their answering machine, saying I might be interested.

Also, goldfish. I am going to get a goldfish bowl this weekend and a couple of fish.

I keep trying to tell myself that I'm not a terrible person for thinking about getting another cat. Or two. I miss Rocky terribly. I'm just lonely. And sad.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Top Ten Reasons Why I Hate Winter

10. If school is cancelled due to snow, the municipalities do not bother to send out the plows. They worry about the safety of the kiddoes, but we adults are on our own.

9. Getting up in the dark, going to work in the dark, and coming home in the dark.

8. Having to scrape an inch of ice and/or a foot of snow off your car every other flippin' day. And then you slip and fall in the driveway and land right on your tailbone and it hurts for ..... well, it still hurts, actually.

7. Eleven below on the back porch. With twenty mile-per-hour wind gusts. Good times!

6. Not being able to walk in the woods for several months due to snow and/or ice covered trails. I can show you the x-rays to prove it.

5. Christmas, that loveliest of holidays, is followed by January. And February.

4. No three-day weekends between New Year's and Memorial Day. That's FIVE MONTHS, folks, in case anyone's keeping track.

3. Just when March rolls around, and you think you've almost made it through, comes the next one or five or eleventy-seven snowstorms.

2. In these parts, Winter is not followed by Spring. It is followed by Pothole Season. Bone-jarring, alignment-wrecking Pothole Season.

1. Hat hair. From mid-October until some time in April.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Texas Pics

Here is a view of downtown Fort Worth. It seems that everything in Texas is under construction, all the time:

Here is the new home of the Dallas Cowboys, currently under construction:

And here is the Ballpark at Arlington, home of the Texas Rangers baseball team. According to Wikipedia, it was completed in 1994, which has got to make it one of the oldest buildings in this part of Texas:

And no, that's not me out front. But it IS my sister!

Still So Damn Sad ........

......... that a contestant on American Idol singing "Let It Be" can reduce me to a sobbing mess.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

It's Baaaaack.......

The Spec That Would Not Die has awakened from its winter hibernation and has returned to kick my butt. Help meeeeeee ...........

This Post Brought To You Courtesy of Eliot Spitzer

(Seriously, I originally wrote the following mess quite a while back and just shoved it to the back of the drawer, but since this whole Spitzer thing broke, I can't resist putting this up for the world to see. Fasten your seatbelts - it's gonna be a bumpy ride.)

Ok, so this post is going to be pretty much chock-full of overgeneralizations and stereotyping - you've been warned. And this post may or may not be influenced by the fact that drunk men keep showing up on my doorstep - I'm not sure.

I was listening to the song "Roberta" by Billy Joel, which is basically a love song to a prostitute. And I got to wondering why men tend to romanticize prostitution. I mean, other than the fact that they can hand over some money and get laid, no strings attached, what's the fascination? It's just a business transaction. Most hookers I have seen are not exactly overly attractive. So why would a guy pay to sleep with someone he would not sleep with for free? Unless, of course, he can't get anyone to sleep with him for free. But why would you want to have sex with someone who's only doing it because you're paying her? That just seems kind of demeaning. (To you, not to her). I guess if you're horny enough,it just doesn't matter? Oh, and when a woman sleeps around for free she's a slut, but if she gets paid for it, that's ok? Oops, don't even get me started on the whole "slut" thing. Ditto the Madonna/Whore complex. I just don't have time to go into it right now.

So then I got thinking about strippers. While men fantasize about prostitutes, they go nuts for strippers. Maybe because men rationalize that strippers are not prostitutes? Um, better check your sources, guys. And while strippers are generally better looking than prostitutes, they're still not someone you'd really want to take home to mom. Or is that the attraction? Oh, and what do strippers do when they're too old to strip anymore? Go back to school and become nuclear physicists? (Oooh, am I implying that strippers are dumb? Let's put it this way: If you think that stripping is a viable career option, you're maybe not the sharpest tool in the shed. And yes, I know that it can be very lucrative, but taking off your clothes for money? Come on. Although, hey, it's your decision. I'm not saying it's wrong; I'm just saying .... oh, hell, I don't know what I'm saying.)

Moving right along, let's talk about porn. I have nothing against porn. Watching porn can really liven up a relationship that's maybe a little stale. But I don't understand men's complete and utter fascination with porn. I mean, while porn is a turn-on, if you've seen one porn movie, you've basically seen them all. And I don't understand watching porn by yourself. Really, unless you're watching porn with a partner, your options for action at the time are kinda limited. (To your HAND - hahahahahaha! Sorry, that was gross. But true.) Oh, waaiiiiittt a minute!! I just had a little glimmer of insight there. And I don't wanna talk about it! Ok, let's talk about it. To me, masturbation is something you do when you're horny and there's nobody around to have sex with. A poor substitute, at best. But maybe to guys, sex is sex is sex? Is masturbation sex on a par, quality-wise, with real sex, for men? Is that why they jerk off all the time? Oh, folks, I can't believe I'm writing about this. I should be blushing right now, except I'm not.

Remember when you first found out about sex? And at first you were all, "oh my God that's GROSS ew ew ew", but then you got a little older and the hormones kicked in, and sex was the most fascinating thing EVER?! And all you wanted to do was hold hands WITH A BOY OH MY GOD, and kiss, and sometime in your mid-teens, have sex? Yay sex!! Then you got a little older, and here's where men and women tend to part ways. Once the initial fascination over the whole thing wears off, it seems to me that women just accept the whole sex-with-other-people thing as just another interesting facet of life. Confusing sometimes, joyful sometimes, just like everything else in life. But men never grow out of that "oh my God it's SEXSEXSEX!!!" thing. It's like they just never grow up where sex is concerned. And yes, I do enjoy sex - very much so. It's just not an all-consuming, mystical thing for me. When it happens, it's great. And when it doesn't happen ..... well, it's not the be-all and end-all of life. Just a part of it. An important part, granted, but just a part.

Ok, I know this was kind of a random mess - just thought I'd throw it out there and see if anyone wanted to posit any explanations for men's fascination with all things sex. I mean, am I being really naive here? Is there something wonderful and magical about prostitutes and strippers of which I am not aware? Is it like some big secret that everybody knows about but me? Are people going to comment, like, "Oh my GOD you are an idiot let me spell it out for you!" Please, do. Because I'm afraid that maybe I'm really missing out on something basic here that I should know.

Oh, and if anyone wants to comment something along the lines of, "Gee, I sure can see why YOU don't have a boyfriend!!", go right ahead! I'm kind of expecting something along those lines, and I'll be disappointed if it doesn't happen!

And I KNOW that Billy Joel is lame, lame, lame. But some of his old stuff still holds up. Not much, but some. I defy anyone to listen to "The Entertainer" and not enjoy the shit right out of it.

Oh, and Eliot? Keep it in your pants, man. PLEASE.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Note to Self

You know that spot in the driveway between your car and P's car? That spot that just looks wet?

It's not wet. It is, in fact, solid ice. And if you should try to walk there, you will slip and fall and land right on your tailbone and it will be extremely painful.

Just thought you might want to know.

Friday, March 07, 2008


Wednesday would have been Rocky's sixteenth birthday. I was looking through old photos, trying to pick out some good ones to put with his ashes, when I came across some from when I first brought Rocky home. He was six weeks old when I picked him out of his litter of strays, and I had to wait a couple of weeks until he was fully weaned before I could bring him home. Until looking at those old photos, I had forgotten how impossibly tiny he was back then. Just a little ball of fluff.

What a cutie! (The cat, not that horrible chair.)

Thursday, March 06, 2008


I wrote earlier about the Blue Morpho butterflies in the botanic garden. They were quite large; about three inches tip to tail. Here is one with its wings closed:

And here is one with its wings opened:

Pretty cool, no?

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Things You Do Not Want To Hear From Your Pilot

1. (on the runway at DFW) "Folks, we seem to be having some electrical problems ......."

2. (in the air) "........ sorry about the turbulence ........"

3. (on the runway at Philly) "We're currently 13th in line for takeoff...... " followed shortly by, "they just let a few planes in ahead of us ....... "

Amazingly enough, I made it there and back with only short delays. Yay!


I took the day off yesterday, as I figured I'd probably be pretty tired from my day of flying on Monday. I was correct! I got home around 8:30 p.m., went to bed at midnight, and slept until almost 11 a.m. It was another day of crappy weather, with sleet! and rain! and freezing rain! You know the drill. I was ready to go right back to Texas.

I packed up Rocky's leftover food and took it to the Animal Care Council, which runs a cat shelter. I had never been there before. It was really spacious and clean, and it did not smell like cats at all. Impressive! All the cats looked well-cared-for. They keep the cats in big rooms with couches and chairs and cat-climbing toys.

Then I went to the vet's and picked up Rocky's ashes. I brought them home and put them in the box my sister and I picked out. The package of ashes looked kind of lonely in the box, so I went to the craft store and got some potpourri to put in the box. That looked better. I put the bag with Rocky's fur clippings on top of the ashes. It's comforting to have him home.

Sunday, March 02, 2008


Today we went to the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens. They were having a special program called "Butterflies in the Garden". They have a huge conservatory there filled with all kinds of tropical plants and flowers and trees, and in March, they release literally thousands of tropical butterflies into the conservatory. You can go in and wander around and look at all the beautiful butterflies - it's really spectacular.

There was one species of butterfly there, called a Blue Morpho, that everyone was trying to get a picture of. When its wings are closed, it's just a dull brown, but when it opens its wings, it's a beautiful shade of iridescent blue. The Blue Morphos were just flitting around, never landing long enough for anyone to get a good photo (and there were people there with cameras that put mine to shame). Finally, just as my sister and I were getting ready to leave, one landed right in front of me and opened those blue, blue wings. I managed to get several photos, and just as other people with their fancy cameras were coming up and getting their gear ready, it closed its wings again. Heh.

We had a buffet brunch at the restaurant there, which was very good. (I highly recommend the chocolate cake.) I swear, I've eaten more meals "out" in the last few days than I had in the previous twelve months combined. Yum!

Tonight there are supposed to be quite bad storms here. Otherwise, the weather has been just beautiful the entire weekend. Tomorrow, it's back to the Frozen North for me. Blech. But, I think these few days with my sister have really helped improve my mindset (she is such a good listener/advisor/friend!), and hopefully the memory of this warm weather will carry me through until spring up North.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Random Notes From Texas (!)

1. It was in the seventies today and sunny. I wore shorts! I can prove it! I have pictures!

2. Arlington is much bigger than I thought, with a population of over 330,000 people.

3. We drove around the new Dallas Cowboys stadium, which is under construction and very impressive. My sister stopped so that I could get some pictures for the guys at work. The new Cowboys stadium is right across the road from the Ballpark at Arlington, the home of the Texas Rangers baseball team.

3. We had lunch yesterday at my sister's country club. Impressive!

4. My sister and I made a deal - I would clean her patio furniture and she would prepare my income tax returns (which were complicated by last year's craft show sales). So yesterday, she got clean patio furniture and I got my taxes done. Sweet!

5. I introduced my sister to YouTube last night. She enjoyed the Sarah Silverman/Jimmy Kimmel videos as much as I did, which I guess goes to prove that sense of humor is in some part genetic. (By the way, I have never liked Sarah Silverman, but that Matt Damon video? Brilliant.)
6. We wore our matching "Bad Daughter Leading a Sinful Lifestyle - Texas Tour 08" t-shirts today. Heh-heh.

7. After my poor sister chauffeured me all over town(s), I found a box that I liked for Rocky's ashes in an antiques store. It's a little metal hinged box, and I think it will suit him.

8. As part of our search for a box for Rocky, we went to Trader's Village today, which is supposedly the largest flea market in this part of Texas. Neither my sister or I were impressed. Too much new crap, not enough neat old stuff. But, the people-watching was fun.

9. Beef brisket barbeque is very good. Chicken-fried steak, not so much. But the white gravy they serve with it is very, very good.