Friday, May 30, 2008


I now have the power of strikethrough text!

Bwah ha ha ha ha!

Fear me, all ye powerless minions!

Unfortunately, I promised Manic Mommy that I would use my new power for good, not evil.


Thursday, May 29, 2008


Because I somehow time-warped ahead a week in my mind, and thought that this weekend was actually next weekend (don't ask - I don't understand it either), Momma and Baby get to stay with me one more week.

Unfortunately, it does not look like they will have an opportunity to be adopted together. Momma will have to stay at the shelter to get spayed and recover, while Baby will be placed at our local PetSmart's adoption center while her adoptability (i.e., tiny cuddly baby) factor is high. The good news is, the people at the shelter are certain that Baby will find a new home immediately, because she's just so damn adorable. And because Momma is also good-looking and still fairly young, hopefully she get a new home soon as well. The problem is, Momma's just not very friendly. She doesn't really care anything about being petted or held, and while she's certainly not an unfriendly cat, she's just not a cuddler. Hopefully someone will come along who doesn't want a cuddly cat, and then Momma will be good to go.

Baby's latest trick: Climbing underneath the comforter on my bed and tunneling around at ninety miles an hour. Momma just looks on in amazement, like, "WTF?"

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Motherf**king Squirrels

So! In recapping my weekend, on Friday my car dropped dead and on Saturday I was under surveillance by a guy standing on the struts of a helicopter. I was hoping the weekend would get a little less ........ strange.

On Sunday afternoon, I decided to do some garden stuff, and I needed to get in the shed. I reached for the shed padlock key, which is in a secret undisclosed outdoor location, and ...... the shed key was gone.

Now, the reason the shed key was kept outdoors was because I used to share the shed with another tenant. Seeing as how he moved out some time ago, and nobody else wanted the shed space, I could have taken the key inside, but somehow I just never got around to it. And now the key was gone.

The thing is, my craft show tables are in that shed, and I was supposed to do a show this weekend (oops! Make that next weekend - see below), so I really needed to get into that shed, sooner rather than later. I took a look at the hasp on the door, thinking maybe I could just unscrew it off the door, and .... not. Not enough of the screws were accessible. I decided I would wait until Tuesday, and ask the opinion of the guys at work. Crowbar, maybe? Boltcutters? I figured if worse came to worst, I could always just call a locksmith. Yeah. More money down the freakin' drain.

I finally decided to wait a few hours, until the guys who live downstairs got good and drunk (safe bet; they do this every single day), and ask for their help. Because drunk guys are always more cooperative than sober ones.

So about eight o'clock Sunday night (yes, they are drunk by eight. and passed out cold by ten thirty), I went downstairs, explained my problem, and J., one of the downstairs guys, told me to get a hammer and a screwdriver and meet him at the shed. And he worked the screwdriver under the hasp, gave it a good hard pop with the hammer, and that hasp flew off that shed door. The entire operation took all of twenty seconds. Thanks, J.!

Of course, then there was a whole other saga of finding a new hasp and a padlock that would fit through the hasp opening and blahblahblah .......... but! Back to my point!

I am fairly certain that the motherf**king squirrels made off with that shed key. I think they visited the secret undisclosed shed key location, knocked the key off its perch and onto the ground, and either carted the key off themselves or left that job to the crows. (Look! Something shiny!) Because the squirrels in my neighborhood are assholes.

I long ago gave up birdfeeding, because the goddam squirrels were able to break the code of any "squirrel-proof" feeder I put up. Now I just feed the finches (squirrels don't like finch seed) and the hummingbirds (ditto, hummingbird juice).

I had a set of deer antlers mounted on my back porch, and a while ago I noted the the antlers were often .... askew. I thought maybe the wind was blowing them around, and I'd reach up, adjust them, and go on my merry way. But the other night I was doing dishes, and I looked out the window, and there was a squirrel perched on the antlers, chewing away. I went out, shooed the squirrel away, and discovered that the squirrels had been chewing chunks out of the antlers. Yep, chewing right into solid bone.

WTF? Why? It's not like it's the dead of winter here and they're starving to death. They've never bothered the antlers before. What up?

Motherf**king squirrels.

Oh, and it is of course possible that I forgot to replace the shed key the last time I used it, and it got left in my jeans pocket, and made a trip to the laundromat and ended up in the bottom of the washing machine. But I'm sticking this one on the squirrels. Because they're birdseed-eating, antler-chewing assholes.

Wait ....... What Day Is It?

So, I was supposed to do a booth at a local outdoor festival this Saturday, but the weather forecast is calling for cloudy, windy and thunderstorms on that day. And I was kind of waffling back and forth as to whether I was going to do it or not, because if I was, I would have to either buy or rent a canopy, and I really don't want to put any more money into this whole craft thing, and the cats are supposed to go back to the shelter this weekend and I'd have to reschedule that, and blah blah blah .........

And then this morning I looked at my calendar and realized the festival isn't this Saturday, it's next Saturday.

I swear I'm losing my mind.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

and then I waved at the guy in the helicopter ....

My life seems to be chock full of bizarre. I thought maybe the car dropping dead in the driveway on Friday (see post below) would fulfill my quota of bizarre for the weekend, but no .......

On Saturday afternoon I went to the grocery store, and I was loading the groceries into my car when I heard a "whup whup whup" noise from overhead. "Helicopter", I thought, and I looked up, and sure enough there was a helicopter hovering over an area just to the west of the parking lot.

At first I thought maybe it was a police or TV helicopter, but this one was orange-and-black (not the local or state police colors), with no police or TV station markings of any kind. And then I noticed ........ wait ......... that can't be ...... there was someone standing on the struts of the helicopter as it hovered around. And whoever was standing on the struts was filming something.

How bizarre!, I thought. And then I looked around, and with the exception of one woman a couple of cars down who gave me a WTF? shrug of the shoulders and smile, everybody else was just going about their business, loading up their cars and returning their carts, while some guy was standing on the struts of a helicopter and filming, right above their heads.

So I looked back up at the guy fifty feet above me standing on the struts of the helicopter filming. And I waved. And he waved back.

Then the helicopter moved off to the north, with the guy still standing on the struts and filming, and I got in the car and headed for home.

You can't make this stuff up, folks. Well, I mean, you could, but I don't have to. Because it all happens to me for real.

And who knows? Maybe I'm on YouTube right now. "Crazy lady waving in parking lot".


I had a four-day weekend, and still couldn't get my to-do list whittled down to a reasonable level.

Friday I headed off to Ithaca, with a little bit of trepidation due to the INSANE cost of gas. I really didn't want to put that money in my tank, but I figured if I stayed close to home the rest of the weekend, I could justify the expense. I'm real good at justification; I can justify darn near anything.

So! My first stop was the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art on the Cornell campus. Their web site advised that admission was free! Unfortunately, their web site did not advise that parking is a buck an hour. Oh well, a couple of bucks is a cheap price for museum admission. (Gah, I'm tired of talking about money. It's just that it seems like all of a sudden, everything costs a lot more than it used to. Another sign of growing old, I am sure.......... oh, and I'm tired of talking about getting old, too. Enough, already.)

So anyways, I had my MapQuest directions to the museum, and I pulled onto the campus, and I promptly got lost. Luckily, there were lots of people to help, because it was GRADUATION WEEKEND, and there were approximately nine kabillion people on campus. So I made my way to the museum, and it was very cool, if small. There was an exhibit of pre-Columbian art which was interesting, and some other neat exhibits.

So after the museum, I wandered around Ithaca for a while, did a little shopping (I love you, Spirit & Kitsch!), and headed back home, with a few more stops on the way. The Hi-Way Dairy Bar is selling soft-serve berry twirl again this year, and oh my God that stuff is good. I got home in the afternoon, realized I had one more errand to run, hopped back in the car, and .......... the car was dead. Deader than a doornail.

Shit! I figured it had to be a loose wire or something, because I was getting no juice at all. No lights, no door chime, no nada. Let me say this: Sometimes it is a very, very good thing to have a mechanic's garage kitty-corner from your house. Especially when you own a Saturn.

SO! Let me give a shout-out to Jerry at the garage, who once again saved my butt. It turned out to be a loose battery connection (which ...... WTF? Has someone been messing with my wiring? Seriously?), fixed with a couple turns of a wrench. Cheapest car repair EVAH.

Ooops ......... I've just written nine million words, and I'm still on Friday. I'll come back in a bit, and see if I can wrap up the rest of the weekend a little more succinctly.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Praying for Time

Why, yes, I did watch the season finale of American Idol last night. Well, parts of it anyway, in between the nine million other things I was trying to get done last night.

And it was just as craptacular as I expected it to be. And I had to laugh, because was it just me, or did skunk-haired girl look really pissed off to be there. She was all, like, "I had other plans for tonight, but jeezus, they forced me to come back to fulfill some stupid contractual obligation, and now I'm surrounding by all these flippin' Mary Sunshines and oh my God let me out of here now!" I mean, she was just stomping and frowning all over the place. You go, girl!

And then they came to the George Michael medley. Folks, I do love me some George Michael. I know, I KNOW that he's a skeevy pervert who likes to have "dates" in public bathrooms, but his post-Wham stuff still holds up. The man knows how to write a song. And then he came out and did "Praying for Time", and I just about lost my shit, because that is one of my favorite songs. Ever.

(Note to George: Were those sunglasses? Really? Because they looked like giant bug eyes to me. Not that you asked.)

And so I got to thinking about that song, and I thought it came off the "Listen Without Prejudice" album. Which I was pretty sure I had in the glovebox of my car, on cassette tape.

And THEN I got to thinking, wait a minute, if I've got that sucker on cassette, how freakin' long ago did that thing actually come out? And then I got all depressed thinking about how, if it came out in the eighties, that was, like, twenty years ago, and ohmyGodIamancient.

So! I grabbed the cassette tape out of the glovebox this morning, and found to my relief that the album/cassette tape came out in 1990. Whew! No eighties stuff for me!

And folks, even my car is ancient, because it actually has an in-dash cassette tape player (along with a CD player! Not that old!), so I will be able to listen to some quality, post-Wham George Michael when I toodle up to Ithaca tomorrow. (Yes, tomorrow! Because I have the day off! Which means four-day weekend! Woot!)

And I've been having kind of an existential crisis all morning about liking George Michael, and did that album really come out eighteen years ago, and ohmyGod I am 45 flippin' years old and I have wrinkles and I peaked, like, twenty years ago, and boohoohoohoohoo.

I'll be just fine. Really. Who knew that a mid-life crisis could be inspired by George Michael?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Thrift Store Tips!

Try saying THAT three times fast! Go ahead, I'll wait!
Okay, so gas has hit four bucks a gallon, your grocery bill gets higher every week, and you've decided it's time for a little belt-tightening. Maybe, you've decided, you should check out the shopping options at your local thrift store. (and then you kind of shudder a little and think, eewwww!, and then you take another look in your wallet and think, well, it wouldn't hurt to give it a try.)
So! As a loyal thrift store shopper (because I know no shame and I am cheap), I am here to give you some helpful tips! Here goes:
1. If you enjoy garage sales, you will probably enjoy thrift stores, because a thrift store basically is a garage sale. A giant garage sale. If the idea of going to a garage sale makes your upper lip curl, you probably want to avoid thrift stores.
2. Thrift stores are full of (gasp) poor people. Is true! If you are going to shop in thrift stores, you will have to get over your aversion to being in proximity of dirty/smelly/clearly insane people.
3. While more and more thrift stores are accepting credit cards and personal checks, be prepared for ye olde "cash only" sign. Also, once you buy something, it's yours. No returns. No refunds. No exchanges. Ever.
4. If you are looking for the latest clothing styles, you're shit out of luck. If you are looking for clothes that were in style twenty years ago, you're about to hit the jackpot. But the great thing is, mixed in with all the out-of-date stuff are plenty of classics. Keep an eye on the labels. For some reason, Talbots is very well-represented at thrift stores. (Of course, I'm not saying that everything that comes from Talbots is a classic. Far from it. But their stuff does tend to be more well-constructed than, say, clothing from the Kathie Lee line.)
5. I don't care if it's a pair of Seven For All Mankind jeans on sale for twenty-five cents, if the cut/fit/style isn't right, you're not gonna wear it. Oh, you'll try. But your heart won't be in it. And a deal is only a deal if you actually wear/use whatever it is you've bought.
6. There is only one reason that a pair of women's shoes ends up at the thrift store: They are incredibly uncomfortable. Because a woman will wear a pair of comfortable shoes until they fall apart on her feet. Just stay away from the women's shoes. Trust me on this one.
7. I was totally lying in Item #6. I just want you to stay away from the women's shoes so I can have them all to myself. No, but really, you can occasionally find a gem of a pair of shoes at the thrift store. You just have to kiss an awful lot of frogs before you find your prince in this particular department. Oh, and by the way, as soon as you get those shoes home? Either lysol the ever-loving shit out of them, or put them in the freezer for 24 hours. You don't want to catch a freakin' foot disease from thrift store shoes. Been there, done that. And yet, I still buy thrift store shoes. I never learn.
8. If an item of clothing is wrinkled on the rack? Those wrinkles are never, ever coming out. You can use all the Spray-N-Starch you want, but the reason the wrinkly clothes are at the thrift store is because they are permanently wrinkled, and the previous owners got tired of ironing, and ironing, and IRONING, to no effect.
9. Check carefully for pit stains. Likewise, crotch stains. I know it's gross; I'm just sayin'. Also check for food stains. Hell, just check for stains, period. (Also period stains. Heh.) (Eeewwwwwww.)
10. Check the clothing tags. Not just the name brand tag, but also the size/care tag. If these still look like new, chances are the item has been worn very little, if ever.
11. Do not buy electronics at the thrift store. EVER. I don't care how good the deal is; you're gonna get it home and plug it in, and five minutes later you're gonna wonder where that burning smell is coming from.
12. Virtually every thrift store has a sale day once a week, when all clothing is 50 percent off. Find out when that day is, then shop the store the day before. If you find something great, conceal it on an out-of-the-way rack, then come back on sale day for the kill. Ahem. However, if you find something SO GREAT that you just HAVE TO HAVE IT, bite the bullet and pay full price. Because invariably, those are the items that are gone when you go back the next day.
13. Some thrift stores sell only name-brand clothing, and almost all thrift stores have at least one rack of "brand new" stuff, with the tags still on. If the idea of wearing someone else's clothes is skeeving you out, start here. That being said, the best deals are always on the used stuff. I got my Talbots, fully-lined, wool peacoat which I have worn virtually every single day for the past several winters at a thrift store for seven bucks. Today at lunch I paid a grand total of $3.98 for four summer polo shirts, two of which are L.L. Bean. I mean, not like L.L. Bean's the messiah or anything, but it is fairly good-quality stuff.
14. I'm sure this goes without saying: Before you wear anything you buy at the thrift store, wash it or have it dry cleaned. Just to be on the safe side. Heh. Oh, and tons of clothes that say "dry clean only" are actually not averse to the washing machine. And when you've only paid a couple of bucks for something, even if it says "dry clean only", you might as well throw it in the washer and see what happens. (Except wool, of course. Unless you are trying to shrink it in half. Believe it or not, I actually had to learn this one the hard way. Because I am an idiot.)
So! There you have my helpful tips for thrift store shopping. Did I miss anything? Unfortunately, I am well aware that I may have scared some of you away from thrift store shopping forever with this post. Sorry about that. On the other hand, more stuff for me!
Oh, and people wonder if the thrift store employees "cherry-pick" the good stuff before it ever gets to the sales floor. Sadly, I am pretty sure they do. I know that I would, if I worked there. However, I have found enough great stuff as a shopper to know that the employees aren't getting all the good stuff. Evidently, there's plenty for everybody.
*In case you're wondering, the little ' marks that have been in between my paragraphs lately are there because Blogger has evidently lost its ability to properly space paragraphs. So I am helping poor little Blogger out by forcing the "correct" spacing, i.e., the spacing as I want it to appear. You're welcome, Blogger!

Monday, May 19, 2008

For the love of Pete .......

...... would it just STOP RAINING already?! And warm up? It was thirty-four degrees on my back porch this morning. It SNOWED up at the airport yesterday. Folks, it's almost June.

Saturday morning was beautiful. In the sixties and sunny. So I made sure I got outside, because the weather was supposed to go downhill from there. And boy, did it. It started raining on Saturday afternoon, and it finally stopped ...... oh, wait. It hasn't stopped yet. And it's just that dribbly kind of rain that pisses out of the sky, on and off. And it's cold. Struggling to hit fifty. Waaahhh.....

In other news, Momma and Baby kitten go back to the shelter in two weeks. This is gonna be tough .....

But wait! Here's a picture to cheer me up! My new house:

Heh. That's the mansion adjacent to the local museum. Pretty, no?

I KNOW it's crooked. What can I say? Sorry.

For Reals?!

So, the other night, I was reading this interview with Playboy's Playmate of the Year (further proof that I will, indeed, read just about anything). And the article said, and I quote:

"Besides preparing to represent Playboy, writing a motivational book for young women and planning a reality-TV show, Jayde's agenda includes"........

Writing a motivational book for young women? Really?! And first I laughed, then I got sad, then I got angry. This little tart who posed nude in a national magazine actually thinks she is qualified to motivate young women? To do what? Pose nude? Pole dance? Become a porn star?

Oh, folks, is it just me? Or is there something very, very wrong when someone can flash her private parts for all the world to see, and think that she's some kind of fucking role model for young women? I'll bet her dad's real proud. Yeah.

Now, I have nothing against nudity. And there's nothing wrong with nude photos. Whatever floats your boat. But jeezus christ, if it has come to this, if this trollop thinks she is a role model, and hey, little girls all over the country want to grow up to be just like her, there is something seriously wrong here.

The article goes on to say that one of the things on her agenda is "getting the RESPECT tattoo on her lower abdomen touched up on the TV show L.A. Ink". Oh, honey. Nobody's going to respect you until you first respect yourself.


And somehow this all reminds me of an old joke. A man asks a woman if she would sleep with him for a million dollars. "Maybe", she says. So then he asks her if she would sleep with him for fifty cents. She gasps and says, "Of course not! What kind of woman do you think I am?" and the guy says, "We've already established what kind of woman you are. Now we're just negotiating the price."

Thursday, May 15, 2008

"Look What I Can Do! Look! Look!"

Baby is now almost six weeks old. Her eyes are starting to change color, from baby blue to a yellowish-green:

(Oh, and that mark on her chin is not dirt. She actually has a little spot of black fur there, which makes her chin look perpetually smudgy. I keep wanting to reach over and wipe that spot off.)
She's ready to rock out to my marching band records. (That's right, folks. Marching band. Records.)

She is ready and willing to climb on to anything she can sink her claws into:

And, last night, she (drum roll please) ate solid food for the first time:

Lest you look at these pics and think I live in a van down by the river, please rest assured that my place is usually much neater and cleaner than this. It's just that with two cats tearing through the place 24/7, things are getting a little disorderly.
Oh, and Baby followed her "first food" performance last night with her "first pee on the carpet" performance. Does anyone have any tips for litterbox training kittens?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

What's the Punishment for Giving a Wedgie?

From the local newspaper:


"Seven male second-grade students at Margaretville Central School District have been charged by New York State Police at Margaretville, accused of plotting to attack a classmate last week.

The charges were filed after a parent of the targeted student learned of the plot May 7 and informed school officials the next day, state police said.

The seven were charged with fifth-degree conspiracy, a misdemeanor. The boys were two 7-year-olds, four 8-year-olds, and one 9-year-old.

State police referred questions to the school district.

Margaretville School Superintendent John Riedl was not available for comment Tuesday."
- Jim Wright

I am just dying to learn the backstory on this one. I mean, come on, seven year olds? On the one hand, ok, maybe this is a group of vicious little bullies, and the school district finally got fed up and called the cops. But the State Police? Why not just call the Feds while you're at it, for Pete's sake?

And can you imagine that phone convo, when the superintendent called the Staties? "Um, well, officer, we thought maybe you could come over and just .... well, scare them. You know, take away their sippy cups or something."

And I can totally see Officer Whoever sighing, getting up from his desk, and heading over to the school to put the fear of God into the little thugs. But at what point did things escalate to charges being filed?

And why is a nine year old still in second grade? Get this kid some tutoring, or something. The worksheets are not that hard. If you can't make it through the second grade, I truly fear for the rest of your academic career.

And I'm sure the parents of the accused are all up in arms over the wrong done to their little angels. And to them I say: Think about this, Mom and Dad. Your seven-year-old is such a little bastard the police are filing charges against him. You might want to pay a little bit closer attention to what the little darling is up to.

And I was thinking, if schoolyard bullying had resulted in criminal charges being filed back when I was in elementary school, half the class would have ended up in Alcatraz.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Best Nine Bucks I've Spent In A While

Momma cat is a very, shall we say, enthusiastic litterbox user. She is not happy unless she can finish her bathroom break by flinging litter out of the box and into the hallway. I swear, I had a pet rabbit who had better litterbox manners than this cat.

I mean, it's not that I blame her. I don't know if she had ever even seen a litterbox before she and Baby came to visit with me. But vacuuming up litter several times a day (okay, okay, once a day) was getting kind of old. And so I went and bought a covered litterbox on Sunday. And I got it all set up, and Momma kind of sniffed around it, and all was cool.

And then I woke up in the middle of the night on Sunday to this: thud. thud. thudthudthud. THUDTHUDTHUDTHUDTHUD.

It was Momma. She was in the litterbox, kicking the crap out of the sides of the thing. Obviously frustrated that she could. not. fling. the. litter. out. of. the. box.


On a belated note, Happy Mother's Day to all of you mothers out there! I honestly do not know how you do it. But I know what you put up with. It's something like this:

Talk about multi-tasking!

Oh, and sorry, Exador. I hope the Rolling Stone mag in the background didn't send you into a state of shock.

Lost In The Woods!!!!!

......... and yeah, it pretty much sucks as much as you'd think it would. Hey, I do this stuff so you guys don't have to!

I was going to take my Mom out to lunch yesterday, but TIB and TIB's hubby took her up to the lake for the day. So, I decided to go for a walk instead. I decided on a state forest I had never been to before, grabbed my map, and off I went (insert ominous music here).

I drove out in the boonies for several miles, and the road went from paved, to oiled gravel, to dirt. I finally reached the turnoff for the forest and had to drive another mile down a dirt access road to get to the turn-around where the trails started.

It was not a good sign that I was sharing the turn-around with a rotting deer carcass, a "no target shooting in this area" sign that had the obligatory bullet holes in it, and not one other car. Hey! More room for me! 500 acres all to myself!

My guide book said the trails were marked, but ...... yeah ........ not so much. Not one trail marker. But the trail I elected to take was actually an old logging road, so it was nice and wide. Hard to miss. Now let me say, I started off down this trail and got a creepy vibe. A Pet Cemetery kind of vibe. Like the banjo-playing kid from Deliverance was going to pop out around the next corner. But it was a beautiful day, and I elected to keep walking. I walked and walked and walked, and then started back. Except ...... after a while I was passing stuff I was sure I had not passed before. Like a creepy, tarpaulin-covered lean-to. (insert Deliverance banjo music here.) Oops! So I started backtracking. And then I got pissed off.

Let me say this: I have been doing weekend walks for over ten years, oftentimes in large, isolated areas, and this is the first time I've ever gotten lost. And it really sucks, and I was mad at myself. Not too scared, because hey, this place was only 500 acres. There is a limit to how lost you can get yourself in 500 acres. And the trail I had been on originally had ended at a paved road, so I knew that if worse came to worst, I could just walk back until I got to the road and then take the road back to my car. And yes, I do carry a cell phone, which was actually picking up a signal out there (you bet I checked).

I started marking the trails which I knew were the wrong ones, and pretty soon, I was back on the access road and heading for my car. Which I was never so glad to see in my life. It turns out that on the way back, I had gone wrong at a trail intersection not more than 100 yards from my car.

So! That was my big idiotic adventure yesterday. Will I be going back there? Not on your life. Or at least, not until they mark the damn trails. And probably not then. Because that place? Was creepy.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Here On The African Plains

As soon as it got light out this morning, Momma and Baby starting tearing around the apartment. (Oh yes! The Baby, she is running now! Also climbing up on furniture and eee-eee-EEE-ing when she can't figure out how to get back down.) And for one seven-pound cat and one tiny kitten, they sure can make a lot of noise. It sounded like a herd of elephants running back and forth.

Now, my apartment is small. Basically, if you are running around in it, as soon as you get up a good head of steam, you have to come to a screeching halt, or you're going to run into something. Now Momma is pretty good at that. Baby? Not so much. While her body is finally growing to match her ginormous head, and her tail is finally growing enough to give her some rudder control, she is still kind of unsteady on her feet.

So this morning, I am lying in bed, and I am hearing this: runrunrunrunrun(thud). runrunrunrunrun(thud). runrunrunrunrun(thud). And I laid there and giggled.

Garden Stuff - Feel Free To Skip This One

The peony has shot up to almost a foot tall in the last week. And it has buds! I just put this peony in last year, and everybody was like, "oh, peonies are hard, if you plant them too deep they'll never bloom, and if you plant them too shallow they'll croak." Hah! I have peony buds!

The bleeding heart that I separated is huge, as usual. I swear, I divided out at least half of that thing, and it's still almost as big as it was last year. I gave some to my sister Ditzy, and the rest I planted along the sides of the yard - now I've got three bleeding hearts instead of one. And I've got lilies of the valley all over the place - they keep spreading, and spreading, and spreading.

The tiger lilies that I dug up from the side yard at my sister Alabama's summer place are coming up. It's a good thing I got 'em last summer, seeing as how she sold the place this spring. She also gave me a "bubblegum lily" that she had at her place, and that's coming up as well.

The white lilac is starting to bloom, but it seems to be a couple of weeks behind everybody else's lilacs. I can't remember if it was late last year as well. That, my friends, is why I'm writing all this stuff down.

The rose-of-sharons are starting to green up, as are the hydrangeas. I sulfated the hydrangeas a few weeks ago; last year they were starting to go from blue to pink, and I'd like to keep them blue if possible. The cinnamon fern is starting to uncurl its way up; it's about 8" tall now. The eastern fern, which I thought was dead, was actually just struggling to send up new growth through all of last year's fronds. When I cut all the old stuff back, there was quite a bit coming up underneath. Note to self: Cut that thing way back next fall. The honeysuckle is back with a vengeance; one of these days I'm afraid it's going to topple the garden arch right over. The turks-cap lilies are coming up (yay! they were an experiment), and the asiatic lily I divided a couple of weeks ago is huge again. The phlox that I dug up down by the creek (shhh!) is doing good, as is my store-bought phlox. The poppy and daylilies are doing good. The azaleas don't look so hot, but they do have buds. Maybe I'll move them this fall. The catnip's back. The hosta and sedum are looking good. You know, actually, I DO NOT LIKE either hosta or sedum, but my Mom gave them to me, and so I let them live. Big of me. The teeny rose bush that she gave me is leafing out as well. Every year I think that poor thing is gonna croak, and every year it surprises me by going nuts at the tail end of the summer. The jacob's ladder has mysteriously disappeared.

On a sucky note, someone stole my copper flamingo out of the garden! I had a three-foot-tall flamingo that was made out of copper tubing (tacky much?), and someone stole it this past week! I'm sure it was probably the neighborhood kids (darn whippersnappers!).

First viewing of a hummingbird at the feeder was Wednesday night. First goldfinches were last night. The goldfinches are late this year.

If you see a copper-tube flamingo laying around anywhere, it's mine.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Too Stunned To Swear


Warning to squeamish people: Squeams ahead.

Last night, I was being Miss Good Do-Bee, washing out the recyclable cans before I took them down to the bin, when I reached the dishcloth into a Progresso soup can (Yes, Progresso, I BLAME YOU! It's all your fault!) and cut the holy living shit out of my hand. The big knuckle on my right hand, to be specific.

And I just kind of looked down at it, and it had not yet started to bleed, but I could tell that the cut was pretty deep, and I swear, the first thing I thought of was that old Julia Child skit on SNL. You know, the one where one of the guys (I think it was Dan Akroyd) was playing Julia Child, and she was, like, de-boning a turkey or something, and she cut the shit out of herself? And Julia/Dan's voice ran through my head last night as I looked down at the cut - "Ohhhhh, you've gone and done it this time! You've cut the dickens out of yourself!"

And the cut still wasn't bleeding much, and I was thinking, "I reaallllly don't want to have to go to the emergency room." Because if I had ended up at the emergency room last night, I would quite possibly still be there. So I decided to try and see how deep the cut was, and to see if any tendons or bones or anything were visible, so I kind of ..... spread the cut apart a little.

And the blood, it was spectacular. Rivers of blood flowing out of my knuckle and into the dishwater. And all I could think was, "well, if I have to go get stitches, I won't be able to get this hand wet for a while, so I guess I better finish up washing these cans." Because I am an idiot. So I'm trying to finish the last few cans, and the blood it is flowing all through the water, and it looked like Shark Week on TBS in my kitchen sink.

Cans washed (with BLOOD!), I grabbed a kitchen towel, wrapped it around my hand, and headed for the bathroom for some bandages. And here is one of the few things that suck about living alone: It is hard as hell to open up a box of bandages when one of your hands is bleeding like a stuck pig. Seriously, I had to press the towel-wrapped knuckle up against my flippin' CHIN to keep applying pressure and bring the box of bandages up with my other hand in order to use both hands to get the box open. Suck!

Finally, bandages were opened, adhesive tape was found (because adhesive bandages WILL NOT STICK to me. Seriously. It's like my lame superpower or something: No bandage will adhere to my skin. I have to take adhesive tape and, like, wrap it around and around the bandage and any nearby skin to have any hope of the bandage staying on for more than five minutes or so before it gives up and falls off. Duct tape actually works really well, but it looks a little white-trashy for my tastes.

ANYHOW, I washed off more blood, and took another look at the cut, and while it was still bleeding like holy hell and probably could have used a couple of stitches, I threw some gauze on it and covered it with a bandage and covered the bandage and my hand with adhesive tape and called it a day. And this morning, while that knuckle is really sore, the cut is not gaping open and apparently will heal, so I guess I'll live. The end.

And the moral of the story? Throw those fucking Progresso soup cans in the garbage. Because they will gut you like a fish. Oh, and as a side note? Do not ever, ever, let your pets eat directly out of cans. I had read that somewhere once before, and now I totally understand.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

You Sneeze Like a Girl

You know how some women, when they sneeze, kind of like suppress the sneeze, so instead of coming out "achoo!", it's more like, "squeak!"

That drives me crazy.

On the other end of the spectrum are the histrionic sneezers, who instead of going "achoo!", go, like, "ah-ah-ah-ah-AH-CHHHOOOOOOOO-oo-oo-*snort**sniffle**coughcoughcough*-loudly-blow-nose-then-sigh."

Give me a break. Unless you are suffering from swine flu, you do not need to sneeze like that. And if you are suffering from swine flu, go home and get the fuck away from me.

Hack-Em-Up-Ed, one of my coworkers, sneezes like a girl. Which is mystifying to me, because he has absolutely no compunction whatsoever about coughing up his lungs, LOUDLY, on a regular basis. But every time he sneezes, it's that little "squeak!" And then I want to punch him. Oh, and also, every time I walk behind him, I want to grab a pair of scissors and cut off his ponytail. (Seriously, dude? You're in your thirties. You have a wife and two kids. It's time to lose the freaking ponytail.)

Now, some would say I'm being judgmental. Lately, it seems, that word is all over the internet. "He's so judgmental." "Don't be so judgmental."

You know what? Damn right, I'm judgmental. I judge people all the time, every single day. And frankly, I don't know what's wrong with that. How are we to form our own moral compasses without judging the actions of others? Tell me, what's wrong with being judgmental?! Oh, and plus, it's fun!

Phew. That's out. I feel better now. And judgmental.

And seriously? I really feel like that word needs another "e". It should totally be spelled "judgemental". Shouldn't it? Doesn't it look better that way? You be the judge.


I was talking to my sister Texas last night, and she was talking about a golf tournament she was in, and she said, "Well, at least we didn't come in D.A.L."

And I said, "What's D.A.L.?"

And she said, "Dead Ass Last!"

Hahahahahaha! You learn something new every day.

In other initial-related news, I was switching through the radio stations on my way to work this morning, and the "oldies" station was playing an ELO song. ELO songs are now "oldies"? Really? Sigh.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Poor Jesus House

I wrote earlier about the Jesus House. It turns out that the guy who decorated it was a renter and did not own the house.

The City has ordered that the Jesus House and the house next to it have to come down. Supposedly, the house next door is supposed to come down right away, and the owner of the Jesus House has up to a month to have it demolished. I say "supposedly" because in that part of town, the (usually out-of-town) landlords of burned-up houses tend to just stop paying their property taxes and answering notices from the City, so that the City has to take them to court and the whole thing drags on for years and years until the City finally takes ownership of the buildings and tears them down. Although things might go a little quicker with the blue house on the right, because it is so badly structurally damaged that the entire building is actually leaning, the Jesus House could be standing for quite a while longer.

Last week I swung by the neighborhood to get a couple of pictures.

Poor Jesus House. I'll miss you.

Monday, May 05, 2008

This Is What Happens When You Die ....

......... and nobody gives a shit.

Your neighbors leave food and water on your gross, dirt-encrusted windowsill for your cat, because nobody will come and pick her up for over a week:

Your son, the landlord, can't be bothered to clean your place out. So he sends over a maintenance guy to do it. The maintenance guy is pissed off/skeeved out over having to clean out a dead guy's apartment, so he takes your beat-up, crud-encrusted furniture and throws it out into the parking lot, where it will sit for over a week until yet another maintenance man shows up with a pickup to haul it to the dump:

Nobody wants any of your gross stuff, so extra-large trash bags are brought in to handle the situation:

Some of the stuff is so gross that the maintenance guy doesn't really want to touch it, so it gets left on the closet floor:

Your rented medical equipment waits to be picked up:

Hmmm .... what is that mysterious light? I was not using the flash on my camera for that picture. Also, can you believe all those oxygen canisters?! It's a wonder the place didn't blow sky high, what with your chain smoking.

So, that's what happens when you die and nobody cares. They pay somebody to clean out your apartment, and all your stuff goes to the landfill. And then they pay somebody to come in and paint your place and replace the carpeting, because your son, the landlord, wants to get it rented out again as soon as possible.
The end.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Suck It, Dooce

Has anyone besides me noticed that dooce, who was always a sporadic poster at best, is all of a sudden posting up a storm, now that she's got a book to sell?

And she's on TV shows! And doing radio interviews! And she's posting all of the relevant info on her blog, lest her readers miss one moment of her bloggy goodness!

Last night I dreamt that I went to the store to buy groceries, and dooce was my cashier.



I had dinner with my sister Alabama last week. She was in town because she sold her summer place up at the lake, and needed to clean the campers out.

And I'll bet my sister TIB and her family are fuh-reaking out over the sale, because they have been using Alabama's place (for free, natch) during the summer for the last several years.

So the other night, my niece AM (TIB's daughter) called my sister Texas to see if she and her husband could buy HER summer place up at the lake! It's like musical chairs, except with summer places!

And on top of all this, I heard that the marina property on which the family cottage is located is up for sale.

And everybody's all, like, "Ohh, noes!" And I'm all, like, "heh, heh, heh". Because after the bullshit that went on last Labor Day weekend, when TIB threw a full on hissy-fit rage about things I DID NOT DO and then demanded that I apologize to HER, I made my decision to pull away from the dysfunctional soap opera that is my family and just watch from a distance.

Best decision I've ever made.

Plus? Alabama sold her place at the lake to buy a summer place on a lake in Georgia. I've never been to Georgia. I'll bet it's nice.

Updated to Add: My sister Texas came up with a fair price for her camper. My niece offered her 30% less. What nerve! Obviously, the deal is off.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

This Shit Will Break Your Heart

So, last night I was at the animal shelter to pick up the de-worming meds for the kittays. And while I was there, waiting for the meds, a woman came in with three little girls and a shih-tzu on a leash. The woman went up to the counter and said that she had called earlier about dropping off a dog. And the worker gave her a form to fill out. I figured that the dog was a stray that the family had found.

Now, this shih-tzu was not a puppy, but it was not an old dog either. Maybe middle-aged. And it was all perky and bright-eyed and wagging its tail. Friendly little thing.

But then I noticed that the dog was wearing a collar. And there were tags on the collar. And I thought, why didn't the family just call the phone number on the tags and contact the owner? Why are they bringing it to the shelter?

By this time, Mom had the form filled out, so they handed the leash over to a shelter worker and off they went - Mom and the three little girls, back out into the sunny day.

And one shelter worker said to another: "Do you even believe this shit?"

And I said, "Wait a minute. Um...... was that their dog?" And the shelter worker said, "Yep."

Mom and her three little girls had just dropped the family dog off at the animal shelter and left without a backward glance. Without a hug or a tearful goodbye. Nothing - just out the door they went.

Jeezus Christ.

Breaking News!

1. The Jesus House has to come down. This makes me sad. I hope the guy who lived there finds a new house to pretty up with scripture.

2. The cats have been successfully wormed! I feel so much better! (And shortly, so will they!) When I stopped at the shelter last night, the vet tech gave me liquid meds for roundworms, which was fine, but then she gave me PILLS for tapeworms. Now, I can pill an adult cat with no problem whatsoever. I dosed Rocky with various meds for years and years, and I can pill a cat like a pro. But a three-week-old kitten? I asked the vet tech if the procedure was the same with kittens as it was with cats, and she assured me that it was. Then I asked if the kitten would actually be able to SWALLOW a pill, seeing as how it had never eaten anything solid in its entire life, and she assured me that the kitten would.

SO! I could not wait to get home and start the de-worming procedure. I did the kitten first, and she swallowed the pill like a champ (after a brief struggle). I got almost all of the liquid into her, too, until she shook her head and sprayed bright pink meds all over my shirt. Sigh. Momma's turn was next, and she did just fine. Maybe I should start a professional cat-pilling business!

They will get another dose two weeks from now, and possibly again two weeks after that, and hopefully at some point in time, I will stop shuddering at the very thought of worms. Because worms are GROSS. (shiver.)

3. The apartment building in which I live is up for sale again. When Joe, my landlord, bought it a few years ago, he paid sixty grand for it. Which is a fair price, because around here, in the apartment building market, you can plan on paying 15 grand per one-bedroom unit. The building I live in has four one-bedroom units x 15 grand = $60,000.00. And prices have not gone up much, if at all, in the last few years. And Joe has performed absolutely no upkeep on the building since he bought it.

So what is Joe asking for the building now? ONE HUNDRED GRAND. Hahahahahahahaa!!!! Good luck with that, Joe.

4. The blond girl got booted off American Idol, but that skeezy stoner with the disgusting hair gets to stay? I don't get it.
5. I took this pic up at State Park a few weeks ago:

Coming soon: Another "This shit will break your heart" story, courtesy of the local shelter.