Friday, November 28, 2008

I'm Fairly Certain Alcohol Will Be Involved At Some Point

I'm stuck at work today (not really, as I volunteered to come in), and I'm looking forward to the weekend, a very special weekend, as Tomorrow! Is! My! Birthday!

As a kid, having a birthday right after a holiday kinda sucked, because everybody was still recovering from Thanksgiving, most of my little kid friends were out of town visiting the grandparents, and who wanted to think about planning a birthday party when Christmas was right around the corner?

But! I could have it worse - I know two people (not including Jesus, heh), who were born on Christmas. And seriously? If I had been born on Christmas, I would just change my birthday. To, like, June 16 or something, a nice warm day with no major holidays around.

Oh! And one of the people I know who has a Christmas birthday is a total snot about it. This is a grown man, and he throws a little hissy fit if he doesn't get birthday cards! and presents! and a birthday cake! On Christmas Day. Buddy, word up: You're fighting a losing battle.

I hope everybody had a happy Thanksgiving, and for everybody who got up before dawn this morning to go shopping, all I can say is, better you than me. I hope you got some great deals!

Oh, and one of my birthday! festivities! involves taking Little Girl to have her stitches removed. Party like a rock star, indeed.

A Cautionary Tale

On today, Black Friday, I thought I would relate a tale my niece tells at the dinner table every Thanksgiving.

Her friend, Tracy, was shopping at CrapMart with her two kids and got into a disagreement with another shopper, who also had children. I believe the words "trailer trash" were involved, along with much swearing. After the manager broke up the little altercation by escorting the other woman out of the store, Tracy finished her shopping and headed for her car. The other woman was waiting for her in the parking lot and coldcocked her in front of the kids, breaking her nose. Unfortunately the other woman picked the wrong gal to mess with, because when Tracy came to, she got up off the pavement and beat the shit out of the other woman.

Be careful out there!

I Survived!

My future as a seer looks bleak; #2 (see below) was the only one that turned out to be correct. I have discovered that when it comes to these holiday gatherings, "Last in, first out" is the best policy. I was gone before they even sliced the pie (and before anybody could stuff a dishwashing rag in my hand). Success!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Here's my predictions for tomorrow:

1. I will show up at my sister TIB's house with pies and whipped cream as requested, and she will make a snotty/snide/catty remark to start the festivities. (My favorite so far? "My God, you've still got that ratty old purse?"* (btw, the purse was old, but it was NOT ratty.))

2. Dinner will be ready approximately one and a half hours after the advised time.

3. Somebody will get drunk and belligerent. Everyone else will ignore that person, unless more than one person gets drunk and belligerent, at which point all bets are off.

4. At some time my niece L. will show up, coked out, and will be all lovely and smiles and hugs until the drugs start to wear off and she morphs into a seething mound of anger, throws an honest-to-god tantrum, and storms out the door. This usually occurs before dinner, but sometimes after.

5. My Mom and I will get stuck doing the (5,000) dishes, as everyone else will suddenly remember pressing engagements elsewhere as soon as the dishwashing liquid appears.

6. I will drive home, exhausted and very, very glad to have survived another holiday with the family.

Hope your Thanksgiving is calm, peaceful and bright!

*And yes, at that moment there was NOTHING MORE I WANTED IN THE WORLD than to snap back, "My God, you've still got that ratty old face?" But while baiting TIB into a snarling, spitting frenzy can be highly entertaining in a mean-spirited way, the fallout from a TIB explosion drifts like ashes onto everyone in the family, so I keep my mouth shut.

Okay, okay, I admit it ......

...... I watched "My Shocking Story - Octopus Man" on TLC last night.*

And Pauline, I'm pretty sure it's got "The Day the Whale Exploded in the Street" beat. I mean, I'm not sure how you top an ex-carnival freak show worker, hiding from debt collectors, who just happens to have some extra arms and legs.

Further proof that I will watch anything.

*Followed by a chaser of "The Secret Lives of Women - Child Brides" on WE. Which was unintentionally hilarious.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Game? or Lame?

Another blogger (I'm sorry if it's you and I don't give you credit; I read a LOT of blogs) recently wrote about leg warmers. And a light bulb went off over my head! I hadn't given much thought to leg warmers since around, oh, 1985 or so, but living here in the frozen Northeast and wearing skirts/dresses to work on occasion, I thought leg warmers were a brilliant idea.

So! I went on line and bought some leg warmers, did the whole ship-to-store thing, and picked them up two days later. And now my knees will be nice and toasty on cold mornings.

But! As I said, leg warmers scream "Flashdance" to me. Although I really don't care if I'm twenty-odd years out of style, as long as I'm warm. So what do you think? Are leg warmers a great idea or a really lousy fashion choice? Game? ...... or lame?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Another Mall Thing .......

There was a sign in Sears that read, "Don't just give a gift, grant a wish". But on first glance, I thought it read, "Don't just give a shit .........." And I was like, "Wow, Sears! Edgy!". Until I read it again, that is.

Seen at the Mall

I succumbed and went to the mall on Sunday. In my defense, it was cold and crappy out, and hunting season (which means stay out of the woods) is here, and hey! Walking the mall still counts as walking, right? No? Here are some of the things I saw:

1. Two girls, I am guessing eleven or twelve years old, shopping together, in their PJs. I must be officially a million years old, because all I could think was, where are their parents?

2. You would never guess that the local population is mostly geriatric, because at least 70% of the shoppers were under twenty. And the local mall is chock full of teen/tween shops. I guess the kids are the only ones with discretionary income to blow these days.

3. An Asian woman who loudly and rudely accosted a sales clerk about a price differential. (Why is a seemingly identical item priced more in "petites" than it is in "misses"? It's called marketing, honey.) Sales clerks must loathe the holidays.

4. Lots of guys in shorts. It's thirty degrees out, fellas! Put on some pants! Please!

5. Santa was already in center court, and it's not even Thanksgiving yet. Although he could have been there since Halloween, for all I know. Pretty soon they'll just have him there year-round, with a one-month break for the Easter Bunny.

6. Lots of local college students, flinging around their credit cards and their Long Island accents. There's something about a Long Island accent that makes my head hurt.

7. (This bullet point deleted by the author, for fear it might get her hunted down and killed.)

8. Thank God, I think the mall finally outlawed "heelies". The last time I was there, several months ago, there were a ton of kids wearing heelies. And I wanted to brain each and every one of them, and their parents for letting them wear their heelies to the mall.

So! I guess you know why I try to avoid the mall - it irritates the shit out of me. And I did not find the one thing I was looking for (an air purifier with a replaceable/washable HEPA filter -know anyplace selling them?), so the whole thing was kind of a bust. But! I did get a blog post out of it, so there's that.

Sugar Cookies

Does anyone have a good sugar cookie recipe? The one I've been using for years just isn't doing it for me anymore. Granted, I only make cookies once a year, if that, but I'd still like a good recipe.


Friday, November 21, 2008

About Last Night, Part Two

Last night after work I went to the shelter vet's to pick up teh kittens.

(Oh! And I had to draw a line in the sand with my boss. I had TOLD him earlier in the day that I could work no later than 4:30, my normal quitting time, because the shelter vet's closed at five promptly, and it's a twenty-minute drive to the vet's. At 3:30, the boss decided he wanted to do a big report that *supposedly* had to go out that day. I reminded him again that I had to leave at 4:30, and he started to hem and haw, and I said, quietly, that I would get as much done as I possibly could, but I WOULD be walking out that door at 4:30. And I did. Ahem.)

So! I got the the shelter vet's (with a whopping ten minutes to spare! Woot!), and teh kittens were all grogged out in their carriers. The vet tech was explaining their care for the next few days ("keep them quiet"? Reeeallly?), and then said that Little Girl would have to come back in ten days to have her stitches removed. "Or", she said cheerily, "I can show you how to take them out, and you can do it yourself!". Um, NO. Not gonna happen. I'll bring her right back to you, thankyouverymuch.

We got home, and The Runt staggered out of his carrier, ready to rock. But he was still so groggy that he kept listing from side to side. Little Girl came out of her carrier much more slowly, and was obviously in quite a bit of discomfort. Which was not helped, I am sure, by her brother, who kept going over and poking at her with his paws, trying to get her to play. At one point I looked over and LG was laying on the floor with The Runt STANDING ON HER STOMACH, poking at her. So I kept distracting him, trying to keep him away from poor LG, who just wanted to rest.

This morning The Runt was raring to go, and while LG was still obviously in pain (poor thing), she was able to move about a little less stiffly. They were both eating and drinking and using their litterbox, so hopefully all will be well.

Should be an interesting weekend!

Oh, and The Runt doesn't have to have stitches removed, because he doesn't have any. The guys always have it easier, it seems. But how, I wonder, do you cut an animal's nuts off and not have to put in at least a stitch or two? Is a mystery.

About Last Night .......

You know those stories that go around about how there are body organ thieves operating in third world countries? And there's an interview with a supposed victim, who's all, "yeah, I was just walking down the street, minding my own business, when something clonked me over the head, and the next thing I knew, I was waking up all groggy in a dingy hotel room with a big incision in my side and I don't know what happened ............"

I'm pretty sure that's how The Runt and Little Girl felt last night.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Profiles in Kittens

While the kittens are at the vet's today having measures taken to ensure that they do not beget kittens of their own, I thought I'd jot down a few memories. Hard to believe that they're six months old already.

The Runt:

When The Runt was younger, he was the instigator of the litter. He'd stir up trouble with the other kittens, then saunter out of the room, leaving them to take the rap.

He has really large ears. When he was teeny, he looked more like some kind of alien being than like a kitten. And now he's really long and lean.

He will tolerate being held, although he doesn't really seem to enjoy it. If I pet him, he gets up and moves, which - honestly? Hurts my feelings, just a little. He only purrs when spending quality time with his nuk-nuk towel.

Little Girl:

She likes to sleep curled up against my head at night, which is fine until I roll over in my sleep and get a face full of kitten. And lately, her favored play time seems to be four a.m., when she wakes up, goes down to the foot of the bed, makes a flying leap, and lands square on my head. Her attitude seems to be, "If I'm awake, everybody's gonna be awake!"

When you first pick her up, she lets out a wail, like she's saying, "oh my doodness! OH MY DOODNESS!" Then she calms down and starts purring.

She still has googly eyes. I'm hoping these straighten out, as it's really disconcerting. Although as I've said, it doesn't seem to bother HER at all, so I guess I should just calm down.

The two of them:

They both love to be outside, running around the backyard as fast as they can. They will chase anything that moves, including rabbits bigger than they are. Oh, and The Runt finally seems to be learning "the rules" about tree-climbing, i.e., don't climb any higher than you can turn around and jump down from.

When they are together, I can easily tell them apart. The Runt is bigger and has darker fur; Little Girl is more compact and is lighter and more stripe-ier. When they're apart, well, honestly? I have a hard time telling which one's which. Sorry, guys. They're now wearing different-colored collars, which should help some with ID.

They remind me of my sister Alabama's sons, V and M, who are eight and ten years younger than me. I swear that V was born with a furrowed brow; he was a serious, worried little kid who grew up into a serious, worried man, sometimes taking breaks from the seriousness of it all to get himself into almost unbelievable amounts of trouble. M, on the other hand, was a smiling, friendly little kid who grew up into a smiling, friendly man. When he was younger, we used to joke that he would grow up to be either a bank robber or a bank president, because he could talk himself out of just about anything. (For the record, he grew up to use his powers for good.) The Runt is very much like V - Serious, with splashes of "oops!". And Little Girl is just like M - smiling and sunny and very likely to have a trick or two up her sleeve.

They are both fearless. They are not afraid of loud noises, of water, of anything. They are not even afraid of the vacuum cleaner.

How they got their names:

These two were part of a litter of four, with their mama, whom I started fostering when they were four weeks old. None of them had names when they came from the shelter, and I had to call them something. I named their sister and brother Fluffy and Tuffy, for the obvious reasons. The Runt was the smallest of the litter and the first to get kicked to the curb when they were all nursing; thus, "The Runt". Little Girl was the last to be named, and I really never did come up with anything formal. I just started calling her "Little Girl", and it stuck.

And incidentally, I really thought about calling her Sandy, because her fur is the color of a Pecan Sandie cookie, but everytime I thought "Sandy", I got a visual of John Travolta singing, "Oh Sandy baaaayybeeeeeee, soommedaayy, when high-eye-school is through...." from "Grease", and that sort of scotched that idea.

Good luck at the vet's today, guys! Full food bowls and a warm bed await you when you get home.


The Runt and Little Girl have been safely delivered to the vet, where they will have their bidness taken care of.

And they were so good this morning! They were obviously perplexed by the lack of breakfast, but happily played with their laser toy instead. When I put the carriers up on the bed, they hopped into them before I could even get the towels in.

Goooooood kitties. See ya tonight!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Ho, ho ....... ho?

There was a "Party City" flyer in the paper yesterday, with a section of "Christmas Costumes". And I was thinking, why on earth would anybody dress up in a costume for Christmas? And then I was all, well, yeah, if you get roped into playing Santa at the company Christmas party, you'd need a costume. And the flyer showed some elf costumes, and I was, yeah, okay, if it's a BIG enough company Christmas party, the head honchos might want some elves to go along with Santa. And there were shepherd costumes, presumably for the kiddoes' Christmas play. But then, tucked into the middle of the line-up, was this lovely costume:

It's Tiffany, the Christmas Ho!

I don't even know what to say about this. It's got all the classic "skank costume" elements: Low-cut, lace-up bodice; skirt that you don't want to bend over in (although, if you're actually wearing this, you probably DO want to bend over in it), thigh-high, horizontally-striped leggings, and f*ck-me pumps. Oh, and Party City? I think maybe whoever designs your costumes is a tad misogynistic, because anybody who weighs more than, say, one of the Olsen twins is NOT gonna look sexay in horizontally-striped leggings. Just sayin'.

I've been trying to think where one might wear such a costume (outside of the boudoir, that is), and ......... yeah. I got nothin'. Although I WOULD be willing to wear it to Christmas dinner, just to watch my sister TIB's face turn purple. Totally worth it.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Nervous and Jerky

So! The Runt and Little Girl go to the shelter vet on Thursday to get neutered and spayed, respectively. And while I am immensely relieved to be getting this over with (they ARE, after all, a boy and a girl, and from what I understand, cats don't really have a taboo about incest), I am also a little nervous.

First off, let me say that the people at the local shelters are doing great things. They are EXTREMELY dedicated, considering that they are (almost) all volunteers.

That said, these people are also EXTREMELY disorganized. It's like a Chinese fire drill, all the time. Nobody knows who's doing what, nobody knows what's already been done and what still needs to be done, etc.

So I'm just a little nervous about leaving the cats there on Thursday for their operations. I am sure everything will be FINE, and other than printing my name in Sharpie marker on their carriers I'm not sure what I could do to make the process smoother for them. And so I'll be nervous and jerky for the next couple of days.

Oh! And I've got a question: What is the recovery time for neutering/spaying? I remember when I had Rocky neutered he was basically fine once the anesthesia wore off, but the last time I had a female kitten spayed, many years ago, I seem to remember that she had a much longer recovery time.

Nervous. and Jerky.

Finding New Ways to Get into Trouble

On Saturday night, The Runt came around the corner from the kitchen into the living room with a piece of yarn in his mouth and a funny look on his face. You know when little kids get into trouble, and they realize they've got to tell their parents, and they get that look on their face, and they go, "" Yeah, that look.

So, I went over to see what was up. I figured maybe he wanted to play with the piece of yarn he was carrying. This yarn string is several feet long; the cats like me to drag it around the house so they can chase it.

Can you see where this is going? I tugged on the yarn, gently, and discovered that The Runt had swallowed some of it. So I pulled again, very gently, and pulled, and pulled, until the several inches of yarn that The Runt had swallowed were safely outside of his body again. I felt like a magician (a furious magician, heh, sorry, Dooce) pulling scarves out of somebody's pocket.

The LaSouer Pea Syndrome strikes again.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Ha! I TOLD you so!

On Friday's Young and the Restless, Marge's ghost showed up at Katherine's funeral. And then went to the riverbank where Katherine's body lay undiscovered*, and somehow, well, incorporated herself into Katherine. And the last thing they showed on Friday was Katherine's hand, twitching just a little bit.

So now the question is whether Katherine will come back as Katherine, or as Marge. And I hope it's not Marge, because the actress who portrays Katherine/Marge (and god bless her, she's been on the show for thirty years) cannot do a Southern accent for shit.

Such duh-rama!

*Not pretending to understand this. Nikki and Jill found the body, for Pete's sake. Oh, and wait! According to the local paper, "Jill got news that Katherine died in a car accident, unaware that it was really Marge." Huh?

It's Been Seven Hours and Fifteen Days ........

Since they took my floor away ........


Friday, November 14, 2008

The Young and the Restless

I kicked my Y&R habit several months ago, but I had heard that this week was going to be Katherine's funeral, and they were going to be bringing back some old characters, so I watched a couple of episodes.

And here's the thing about soaps: Nothing ever really happens. And when something does happen, they draaggggggggg it out. A fistfight between two characters can last, like, a WEEK on a soap opera. I expect that Katherine's funeral will last a month or so.

Which makes me think of my favorite line from a TV show, ever. On an episode of The Golden Girls, one of the women was talking about a soap opera. And one of the other women says, "Why, I haven't watched that show in years! What's been happening?" And the first woman says, "Well, it's later the same day ............" Heh.

Oh, but there is one MAJOR exception to this rule: Rapid Aging Baby Syndrome. Take, for example, the character of Noah on Y&R. When I last tuned in, a few months ago, he was around 10 or 11 years old. When I tuned in this week, he was 15. And in Paris with his girlfriend, who turned out to be Michael Baldwin's long-lost half sister. And that's another thing about soaps. Unknown relatives tend to spring out of the woodwork. ALL THE TIME, like once a week or so.

Oh! And let's talk about Victor for a minute. The character of Victor Newman has been on Y&R since the beginning. And a few years ago, Victor started to, well, expand. Now, the actor who played Victor prided himself on his physique, and they used to show him on the show all the time working out in the gym. Evidently as a little treat for teh ladies. But! When ol' Vic started to pack on the pounds, pretty soon they weren't showing him at the gym anymore. Then they weren't showing him in profile in any of his shots. At his, well, weightiest, they were only showing him from a distance. And they'd put him behind chairs and stuff. I shit you not. But I guess the producers sat the actor down and had a little chat, because lately they've been showing the whole Vic again. And he's definitely lost some of that weight.

But! I was amazed to discover that Victor and Ashley are back together. Bleeearrrggghhh....

Now, I have no intention of re-upping with Y&R. As I said, I'm just watching this week for Katherine's funeral. But here's another thing about soaps: Even death cannot kill these people. I mean, you can have a character get blown up in a nuclear blast, and a few years later they'll come back on the show, suffering from amnesia and explaining how they woke up in Spain and had to regain their identity but ......... here they are! Good as new!

So even though they showed Katherine's dead body in the car crash, and the funeral is this week, and they will presumably bury a casket with Katherine in it, it's anybody's guess as to whether she's actually dead or not. She may show up in a few days or weeks or months or years, brushing the dirt off her shoulders and wondering why everybody's so freaked out to see her.

Or, she could come back as a ghost. Hey, it worked for John Abbott! (Another Y&R character who passed away and is currently haunting his son, Jack.)

Oh, and Katherine has an alter-ego, as well - Marge, I think her name is. A gum-chewing, wise-cracking truck stop waitress. I wonder if Marge is dead now, too, or if it's just Katherine who croaked. Hmmmm....

Thursday, November 13, 2008


I just ordered myself a birthday present. (Why, yes, I DO buy myself birthday presents. Hey, SOMEBODY'S gotta do it. SHUT UP.) (And no, my birthday is not today. No need for birthday wishes. It's in a few weeks.)

Anyway, I went to Cafe Press and ordered myself a sweatshirt with this logo on it:

I just made my day!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Dear Rocky,

It's been several months now, and I just wanted to let you know that I miss you and think about you every day.

I have your ashes in a pretty container in my living room, along with some photos of you and a clipping of your fur.

It was a good fifteen years, wasn't it? All the adventures you had, and we had together. You were the best cat I ever had. I hope you enjoyed having me as an owner as much I enjoyed having you for a pet. You were truly one in a million, and I love you very much.




There is a client in our office right now who is wearing SO MUCH PERFUME it is making me gag. And it's that perfume, I can't think of the name right now, that smells like lilacs, but with a little, well, acrid tinge to it, so if you wear a little of it, it smells pretty, but if you BATHE IN IT, it smells like bllleerrrrgh.

Helpful hint from RockyCat: When you are putting on perfume in the morning, spray a little bit of the perfume into the air in front of you, and then walk forward through the spray. THAT IS ALL THE PERFUME YOU NEED.

Excuse me while I go open a window.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Blog Etiquette

Or would that be, "bletiquette"?

Anyway, I was reading someone's (honestly, I don't remember whose) blog the other day, and she was talking about people who read her blog but never comment.

Oh! And let me say first off, I was FUH-REAKED OUT when I first discovered that you could put a thing on your blog that would tell you who was reading it, and when, and for how long, etc., etc. Because sometimes I will click on a blog, and the phone will ring, and a client will come in, and the computer will go to screensaver, and I'll come back, like, two hours later and still be on that blog. And now I'm all, like, "Oh my God! These people think I'm insane! They think I've been reading their blog for, like, two hours!"

And also, sometimes if I get really really bored, I'll start clicking on random blogs over and over, just to see if anybody's updated in the last, oh, half-hour or so.

So when I found out that PEOPLE KNEW WHEN I WAS READING THEIR BLOG, I was all, "Great. Just great. Now they think I'm an insane stalker who reads their blog for HOURS and checks back nine million times a day."

But! Well! Okay, back to the bletiquette thing. I'm relatively new here, and obv I still don't know all the rules, because I had NO IDEA that if you read someone's blog, commenting was mandatory. I thought you could just read along, la la la, and if a post really spoke to you, or if you had something of value to add, then you could comment, but it was strictly optional.

And while I do comment on some of the blogs I read (hi, guys!), I don't comment on all of them. I don't think I do, anyway. Actually, it never even occurred to me to keep track, until now. And I almost never comment on the really popular blogs, like Dooce, unless they're running a contest or something, because honestly? Comment #853? Who cares?

Oh! And also! Having you ever been reading a blog, and the blogger will post a pic of, oh, I don't know, their butt-ugly nephew or something, and you want SO BAD to comment something along the lines of, "That's the ugliest damn kid I ever saw! What did your sister do, mate with a freakin' MONKEY or something?!" No? That's just me? Okay, then. Moving on ........

Or what about when someone is making a reallllly bad decision (I can claim my fair share of those, believe you me) and all of their bloggy commenters are supporting them, and you just want to comment, "Nooooooooo! Don't listen to them! They're idiots!" But you don't, because you know that all of those other commenters will turn around and shoot you down in hot hot flames. Folks, believe me, if you see me about to commit a grievous error (and like I said, IT HAS BEEN KNOWN TO HAPPEN), please let me know.

So! Well! Okay! Running out of steam, and time, here. So I guess here's my bletiquette question for the day: If you read a blog, are you SUPPOSED to comment on it? Or is it optional? And how often are you supposed to comment? Every time you stop by? Or just once in a while?

Oh, and for the record, I do not have one of those site meter thingies here. Frankly, I don't want to know who's coming here, and why, and how many times a day, and for how long, and which search terms they used to get here. Even though this is my personal blog, I somehow oddly feel like it's none of my business if you're stopping by, and so I'd just as soon not know. Ignorance is bliss, and all that.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Five Months

I just looked out my window, and it is snowing out. And it is quarter to four, and already getting dark.

I loathe winter. I despise winter.

Earlier today, I had to run an errand for work. I looked out my window, and it was sneeting out. (Sneeting = snow/sleet combo. The word sounds cute, but trust me, SNEET IS NOT CUTE.) A co-worker happened by and said, "you've got the saddest look on your face!" I am sure it was true.

Here in upstate New York, drivers lose their ever-lovin' minds the first time it snows. It's like they totally forget how to drive in the snow, when let's face it, the last time it snowed was not all that long ago.

I will have hat hair for the next five months. It will snow and be dark and cold for the next five months. I will not be truly, truly happy again until, oh .... April.


Weekend Stuff

I had sweet potato pie for the first time - it tastes just like pumpkin pie!

After watching the latest installment of "Crossroads", I am in love with Taylor Swift's butt. I do not ordinarily spend a lot of time looking at women's butts, but the cameraman kept swinging around behind her and, well ..... that's one cute little butt!

If you get a chance to see "Young @ Heart", please do. It's a documentary about a senior citizens' choir doing songs like "Schizophrenia" by Sonic Youth. It's touching, sad and uplifting - the best thing I've watched in while. If you don't cry at least once watching this, you're .... well, you're not me, 'cause I cried twice. ("Forever Young" and "Fix You", for the record.)

Because my apartment did not have enough crap in it already, I picked up this at a local thrift store:

I'm pretty sure that I paid money for some elementary-schooler's art project, but that's how I roll. And after getting this thing home and realizing the crap overload potential, I rounded up some other stuff and took it back to the thrift store. Recycling!

Mom and I continued our World Tour of Local Diners yesterday. And here's the thing: I had always thought that the word "gyro" was pronounced "hero". But a while back we were at a diner, and I overheard a waitress pronounce it "gyro". So! Because I would much rather look like an idiot for asking than look like an idiot for mispronouncing, yesterday I pointed to the word on the menu (oh yes I did! I'm one of those people - you know, bumpkins) and asked the waitress how to pronounce it. Her response was a cross between "hero" and "euro". Sort of "heeuhrow", with a rolled "r". So now I know. Except I'm not gonna roll the "r" when I say it. That would just sound pretentious. A greek waitress sounds cool when she rolls her "r"s - I would just sound like a jerk.

The Runt loved the leaf piles so much when I raked the other weekend that I raked one up yesterday just for him:

He likes to tunnel around in it, surfacing periodically to look for things to chase.

Oh, and I think I may have killed my camera. I downloaded some pictures this morning, and now it refuses to turn on. I'm going to try new batteries tonight, but if that doesn't work, I think I'm screwed.

And you may not want to order a greek hero sandwich unless you really, REALLY like feta cheese. Word.

Friday, November 07, 2008


I was out walking last weekend when I saw this little guy fluttering around:

Better get a move on, fella!

THAT'S Entertainment!

There was a knock-down, drag-out FIGHT downstairs last night.

P., the only current downstairs tenant, had a bunch of his drinking buddies over. Which is usually not a problem, because although they may hoot and holler, they're a bunch of lightweights, and everybody's usually passed out by ten or ten-thirty, and then all is quiet again.

Well, last night, they all got drunk and loud, a disparaging comment was made about someone's sister(!), and the shit hit the fan.

And! Due to the odd acoustics of the building, if I go into my bathroom I can hear EVERYTHING that goes on downstairs. Although, granted, listening to a bunch of drunks argue tends to get old pretty fast.

But! Then! There were crashes and bangs and cries of "look what you did to my door, you m*therf*cker!", and then the fight SPILLED OUT into the front yard and I was sure the cops were gonna show up any minute, but then two of the drunks went running off down the street, P. hopped into his jeep and took off, and all was quiet again.

I noticed this morning that P.'s storm door has been completely kicked in. I don't know what the inside of his place looks like, but I think he's gonna have some 'splainin' to do to the landlord.

And, truly, there's something ..... well ....... ridiculous about grown men punching each other out. I mean, really, guys? REALLY? You couldn't find ANY OTHER WAY to settle your argument other than to punch each other's teeth out? Come on!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

A Little Scare

(Note: My oldest sister's pseudonym on this blog is "Texas". So when I talk about "Texas", I'm talking about my sister, not the state.)

My sister, Texas, accidentally left her phone off the hook.


I got an e-mail from her friend Mo, who lives in North Carolina, yesterday afternoon. Mo explained that she had been trying to call Texas since Sunday and kept getting a busy signal. She wanted to know if I had the phone numbers of any of Texas's local friends, so that someone could go and check on her. (I live in upstate New York and Texas lives in, well, Texas; it's not like I could just pop over to her place.) She had an e-mail address of one friend of Texas's, but she didn't know how close that person lived.

I didn't have any of Texas's friends' phone numbers, so Mo said she'd try the e-mail address that she had. In the meantime, I had the phone company test Texas's line; the test showed that a phone was off the hook. Which was not particularly reassuring; who leaves a phone off the hook for FOUR DAYS?

I went online, did a reverse address search, and got the names and phone numbers of some of Texas's neighbors. Then I got the number for the local PD, just in case.

Mo e-mailed back right before I left work and said if she didn't hear from her e-mail contact in a couple of hours, she'd give me a call at home and we'd go from there.

Right after I got home last night, the phone rang. It was Texas.

It turns out that Mo's e-mail contact actually lived over an hour away from Texas. But! She had e-mail addresses for some of Texas's golfing buddies, so she e-mailed them and one of them went over to check on Texas and tell her to put her damn phone back on the hook, for Chrissakes!

All's well that ends well. But, Texas? Buy a new phone. Please.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

What Lies Beneath?

Okay, first off, I would like to congratulate President-Elect Obama. Mr. Obama, we are counting on you.

One thing that he said last night stuck with me. He said, "I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face."

And you know what? I believe him. I didn't believe a word that came out of George Bush's mouth, but I believe Obama. Of course, I believed Bill Clinton, too, and we all know how THAT went, but I think that Obama is going to treat the office of the presidency a little less, well ..... cavalierly than Clinton did. And I believe that he will try his damnedest to get this country headed back in the right direction.

Now: Back to our regular blog schedule: Kittens, whining, and malfunctioning bathrooms!

What lies beneath?

Why, THIS. THIS is what lies beneath my bathroom carpeting:

Stunning, no? I particularly like the nine million nails that have been randomly pounded into the linoleum. And the different-colored tiles. And the carpet-backing remnants that refused removal. Look at Little Girl in that pic; she's like, "Oh, SNAP, that is one fucked-up floor!"

On Saturday, the toilet-fixer-person came over. What's that, you say? He was supposed to come over last Wednesday night? Why yes, yes he was. Did he show? Do you even have to ask at this point?

But! He did finally meander on over on Saturday afternoon, bringing a "helper" with him. As far as I can tell, the only thing the "helper" did was pull up the toilet-fixer-person's pants, when they had slid SO FAR off his butt that they were in danger of falling off entirely. (I know we have talked about this before, but WHY do these men REFUSE to wear belts? I think there's some passive-aggressive exhibitionism going on here.) And after installing a THIRD wax ring underneath the toilet, the toilet-fixer-person decided to pull up the carpeting to judge the state of the floor underneath it, which has been water-saturated for, oh, SEVERAL WEEKS now.

And lo! He determined that the floor was shot. And would have to be replaced. But not on Saturday, oh, no. And not Sunday, or Monday, or Tuesday either, because his "guys" are really busy. Maybe Wednesday. Oh, but wait. TODAY's Wednesday. Possibly NEXT Wednesday?


Tuesday, November 04, 2008

I Voted!

And I felt like I was helping make history.

And I felt like I was on the side of the angels. Like I was voting for joy and hope, instead of anger and vindictiveness and spite.

And my dinky little polling place, which is usually deserted, was swamped with people.

And it felt great!

I voted - now it's your turn! Go vote for the candidates of your choice!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Quick Question

A lot of states now have early voting. What happens if you "vote early", and the candidate you voted for drops out of the race (scandal, illness, whatever) between the time you voted for him/her and the actual election day itself? What happens to your vote? Does it just not count? Does it go to whomever steps in to take the (former) candidate's place?

Just curious.

Updated to add: Okay, I've had a little time to think about it, and I guess that was a stupid question. I mean, say I'd already voted, and this afternoon the person I voted for went batshit crazy at a campaign event, did something unspeakable, and dropped out of the race. Of course my vote would not count, because the candidate I'd voted for was no longer running.

But what happens then? Does the VP candidate automatically become the presidential candidate? Do they just scratch the whole thing and start all over again?

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Recently Read

Standard disclaimer: Feel free to skip.

1. Verbena by Nanci Kincaid - An enjoyable light read, but I could have used more ... explanation ... about the ending. What, exactly, was Lucky's illness?

2. Beautiful Children by Charles Bock - Novel about a boy who disappears in Vegas. Downer subject, but interesting book.

3. The Rolling Years by Agnes Sligh Turnbull - First published in 1936, this is a good, old-fashioned read which I thoroughly enjoyed.

4. Once Upon a Day by Lisa Tucker - Novel about a man who "disappears" with his two kids, and what happens when the kids grow up and discover the world - very good.

5. Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brasheres - Sure, I'll admit it - I read this one, and it was enjoyable, if slight.

6. The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff - Novel about polygamist Mormons. It got good reviews, but it didn't hold my interest. I got a hundred pages in, realized I had four hundred more to go, and gave up.

7. In a Pickle by Jerry Apps - Novel about farmers in the 50s - meh.

8. Made in the USA by Billie Letts - Novel about two kids in Vegas - darker than her other stuff - entertaining.

9. Away by Amy Bloom - Novel set in the 20s. The main character, who is trying to get to her young daughter, whom she thought was dead, sticks with you. (Sorry about that mess of a sentence. I'm too lazy to clean it up.)

10. The Flying Troutmans by Miriam Toews - Novel about an aunt taking her niece and nephew on a road trip - good.