Friday, December 29, 2006

I Talk Too Loud

I talk too loud, and I know it. Believe me, I'm not proud of it. I think it's because I spend so much time alone, I have a hard time modulating my voice around other people. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a SHOUTER, but I don't have a really soft voice either. And people with really soft voices drive me crazy. My brother Alan, whom I love dearly, is a very quiet talker. A typical phome conversation goes something like this:

Me: So, Alan, how have you been?

Alan: mumble mumble mumble

Me: Excuse me?

Alan: mumble mumble mumble

Me: I'm sorry, Alan, what was that?

Alan: mumble mumble

At which point my ears are about to break from the strain of trying to hear what he is saying. A couple of years ago, I had a phone conversation with Alan in which at some point I missed the news that he had HAD TO HAVE A PACEMAKER INSTALLED, because he had been talking so quietly for so long that by that time I had resorted to the old, "Uh huh", "Oh really", etc., because I could no longer discern any of the words that he was saying at all.

So I'm sorry, Alan, that I missed your pacemaker news. I'm sure that there is a lot of things you have told me that I have missed, because I CAN'T HEAR YOU. Sorry. So, so sorry.

P.S. - Yes, I have had my hearing tested and it is fine. I also had a manager at Wendy's at one point who talked so softly that none of the employees could hear him, and we all just mostly tried to steer clear of him, because it was so damn hard to hear what he was saying.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Good Movies

Over Christmas, I taped (yes, I still use my VCR - I have a DVD player, but not yet a recorder) the movie "Love, Actually" with Hugh Grant, because I heard that it was really good. I actually almost bought it on DVD, but decided to watch it first to see if I liked it.

It was ok, but nothing really good or really memorable. Which makes me think of all the many, many movies that I've really wanted to watch, and then they turned out to be not as good as I thought they would be. Especially independent movies. I always want them to be good, and they so seldom are.

So can anybody recommend some good movies?

Friday, December 22, 2006

Christmas Party 2006

Today is the office Christmas lunch. Lord, help me get through it. Why do I dread this?

1. The guys I work with all make more money than me, but they all dress like high school janitors. Embarrassing to be seen with.

2. A guy that used to work here, Jim, ate like he had never seen food before. Keep your fingers and toes close by, or he might just eat them too. Thankfully Jim no longer works here, but we have a new guy, hack-it-up Ed, and judging by his personal hygeine, I am afraid that his table manners might not be the best. Also, he brought in something for breakfast yesterday and heated it up in the microwave, and I don't know what is was, but it smelled like what I imagine roadkill would smell like if you scraped it off the road and heated it up. Not that that has anything to do with Christmas lunch, but still.

3. Because we have a new guy, hack-it-up Ed, this means that the Boss will feel free to tell all his stories from his ironworker days that we have all heard a billion times before. The first time, the stories were interesting. The fifth, twentieth, or thirtieth time? Not so much.

4. Because this is the last day of work before Christmas, it can be counted on that fifteen minutes before quitting time, the Boss will decide that there is a letter that absolutely has to go out the door today, and he will make me work late to finish it. Count on it.

OK that's it! I'm off work until next Wednesday (oh, but first thing Wednesday I have to take mom to the dentist - boy, what was I thinking when I scheduled that one?) so everybody have a merry Christmas and try not to kill your obnoxious relatives. Nothing dims that Christmas spirit like getting drunk and telling your loved ones what you really think about them! It might feel right at the time, but boy, you'll regret it later! If you absolutely have to get something off your chest, wait until you are stone cold sober, because then you'll realize that it's not the best idea.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Salvation Armani

I ran into my sister Ditzy at the Salvation Army last night. We are both dedicated thrift store shoppers. Lately I have been looking for patterned pants, as I get tired of just plain old solid color pants, and I am always trying to liven things up. Let's face it, office attire is pretty boring. So, I found a pair of navy paints with a really small polka dot print, but they're a size (at least) too big. Did I buy them? You betcha! They're supposed to be washed in cold water, so I'll just wash them in hot water & see if they shrink. Ha! But they can only shrink width-wise, not length-wise, because if they shrink any length-wise, they'll be too short. Will all this come together? Ask me after the next time I do laundry.

I also bought a pair of corderoy paisley pants. I know, it sounds horrific, but I really have a jones for patterns right now. I actually, seriously considered buying a pair of plaid pants a few days ago, but images of Rodney Dangerfield in Caddyshack restored me to sanity.

I painted my first watercolor of Rocky last night. Looked pretty good to me, until this morning, when I realized the eyes were waaay too close together. I'll try to fix that tonight.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Baby Geese!

Is there anything cuter than baby geese? Check out this photo:

Looks like Mom's got her hands full!

(Not) Going to the Gym

I was just reading someone else's blog, where they talk about going to the gym for 30 minutes three times a week.

Confession: I cannot think of (much of) anything I would less like to do than go to the gym. I like to hike, I enjoy physical labor, but hopefully the last time I went to the gym (26 years ago, in high school) is truly the last time I went to the gym.

But if they had dodgeball? That would be a totally different story. Dodgeball rocks.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Oh Christmas Tree

Yay! The tree is up! And decorated! And I have a confession to make - I bought it at Lowe's (a big box home improvement store, for those of you who may not have one in your area). I usually go to this place out in the sticks, and make a day of it, blah, blah, blah, but their trees were getting pricey last year, and I just didn't feel like it. So I scooted to my local Lowe's, picked out a tree, got it baled, etc., and got it back home in the space of about half an hour. Putting up a tree by myself can be interesting, to say the least, but I'm getting better at it after all these years - no swear words at all this year!

Yesterday I took Mom antiquing - I found a small desk for the back deck to replace the awful rusty charcoal grill that I never use except to put stuff on top of, which was difficult because the top of the grill had a slope to it! So now I have a nice flat desk to set stuff on. And I found this plaster tiger that's about 18" long and weighs about 20 pounds. He's on watch duty on the deck.

All in all, a good weekend.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Dear Me.

Click on "Merry Christmas!" above to see what I'm talking about.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Bathroom Ceiling Part 2

Back in September I posted about scraping and painting my bathroom ceiling because condensation was forming on the ceiling and dripping down on me. Scraping and painting didn't work -the water still dripped down. And the problem started getting worse - condensation was forming on the ceiling outside the area of the tub and dripping down on the towels, the floor, etc. So I went up in the attic and put down more insulation in this area above the bathroom. The problem got worse.

I was stumped. I've been putting a garbage bag on top of my towels in the morning to keep them dry.

Then, this morning, I ran the water into the tub until it was the right temperature, then turned the diverter to make the water run out the showerhead, the way I do every morning. As soon as I did so, I could feel a fine mist from above. I thought, there is no possible way that condensation could already be forming and dripping down - I just turned on the water just this second!

So I got into the shower, and pondered this latest development. Then I reached up and felt around the showerhead, and guess what? There was a teeny, tiny crack in the showerhead where it connects to the pipe, and a teeny, tiny spray of water was coming out of that crack like a geyser, arcing up and over the shower curtain, and spraying the bathroom ceiling with water, which was then dripping down.

So I rotated the showerhead until the teeny, tiny crack and the teeny, tiny spray of water were pointing toward the tile in the tub. Problem solved. Now I can't decide if I'm a genius for figuring this out, or an idiot for taking so long to figure it out.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

My New T-Shirt

I just ordered a new t-shirt off the web. I saw a picture of Heather wearing it on, and I burst out laughing and had to have one. Click on the title of this post to see a picture!

Just finished cleaning the bathroom at work. Oh, yuck.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Getting Ready for Christmas

There is less than two weeks to go until Christmas, and I still don't have a tree. Oops! I wanted to do it last weekend, but I wasn't feeling well, and I had a ton other stuff to do, and (insert appropriate excuse here), so I am going to do the tree this weekend. I am starting to get a little worried - some of the local tree lots look like they've been pretty well cleaned out already. But if I do it this Saturday, that's the 16th, and that's not that late, is it? or is it?

I did make gingerbread cookies on Sunday to take into work. As usual, I'll probably end up eating most of them!

I did wrap Texas's presents last night. I'll finish the package tonight, and pop it in the mail tomorrow.

And I got the creche set up last Saturday, and the porch decorated on Sunday. All my Christmas cards are done and addressed and ready to pop in the mail.

All of which I am using to justify the fact that I still don't have a tree.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Post Secret

One of my favorite sites to visit, Post Secret, needs more community support. Please check out the site! You can click on the title above to go there. Thanks!

Here's a sample:

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Size 12 Model Too Big

Click on the title of the post and let me know your thoughts - What is beauty? What is "too thin"? What is "too fat"?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

I Survived the Dentist!

Yay! I made it through this morning's visit to the dentist. I was there for two hours, which seems an awfully long time to be at the dentist. First, they did a full set of x-rays, which is difficult because the inside of my mouth is very small due to an extra bone in the bottom of my mouth (I swear, this is what they tell me). Then, a cleaning. Then, they offered to ultrasonically clean my appliances (mouthguards), so I said sure.

The good news: No cavities! and they didn't even use that awful pokey probe thing to jab between my teeth & into my gums! I'm sure they'll probably do that next time, but not today. Whew! The hygienist was very good, which makes a huge difference. I called the one I used to have "Nurse Ratched".

So my dentist was telling me about a nightmare she had last night about going to the dentist. Even dentists have nightmares about going to the dentist! I didn't have the heart to tell her that I had a nightmare last night about going to the dentist, too.

I'm off the hook for six more months! Hopefully, my jaw won't act up too much after today's cleaning.

Note to dentists: Every once in a while, let someone out of there with just a cleaning. Those of us with troubled teeth get tired of hearing bad news visit after visit - it tempts us to stop going.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


The local newspaper here runs a charity, Lend-A-Hand, which gives assistance to people in need who can't get help anywhere else. Usually it's something like help with prescription medication costs or help with rent if someone has been laid off. The newspaper prints anonymous "case studies", along with the names of people who have donated money, if they wish to be identified.

In today's case study, a couple who got flooded out in June had more than $100,000.00 in damages to their home and had to move into a FEMA trailer. Then the paper states, "Even though their income was significant and normally led them to live a comfortable life, (emphasis mine), they were now desperately seeking help from whomever they could get it, just to make it day to day."

My question is, why? Why, if these people have a significant income, don't they just go to the bank and get out a loan, instead of hitting up local charities? And if their home had more than $100,000.00 in damages, that means that the home was worth more than $200,000.00 to begin with, or else it would have been marked for demolition by the local municipality (the more-than-50%-damaged rule), and around here, $200,000.00 will buy you a very nice home. Heck, $70,000.00 will buy you a nice home around here.

The article continues, "They had received help from FEMA and New York state, but still had not gotten enough help to be able to afford paying for the flooring supplies necessary for their home." The article goes on to say that Lend-A-Hand contributed money toward a supply of flooring materials.

Again, why? Literally hundreds of families in this area were affected by the June flooding, many of them who did not have the proverbial pot to pee in before the flooding, let alone after. And yet this couple, with a significant income and a house worth more than $200,000.00, after receiving help from FEMA and the State, were right there with their hands out.

I know that I don't know the whole story of this couple's particular situation. I also know that I'm not donating any more money to Lend-A-Hand unless I find out. I donate to Lend-A-Hand, even though I don't have much myself, to help people even less fortunate than I am, not people who have significant incomes and live in $200,000.00 homes.

That's my rant for today.

Quoted material courtesy of the Press & Sun-Bulletin, Binghamton, NY, December 5, 2006 edition.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Going to the Dentist

I have to go to the dentist Wednesday morning for my six-month cleaning and five-year x-rays. Thanks to a massive amount of dental work done in a very short period of time (not recommended)a few years ago, I developed Temperomandibular (sp?) Joint Disorder, or TMJD. What this means is that if I have to have any dental work done, even a cleaning, my jaw aches for days afterward. If I have to have a cavity filled, my jaw aches for months. I have a mouthpiece to wear which helps immensely with the pain, but I still dread going to the dentist. Chronic pain teaches you things. It taught me that I am a whiny, depressed mess when faced with pain that doesn't go away.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Health Insurance

I was just reading an article in a magazine about workers' benefits, and one sentence began, "In 1945, when President Truman first proposed national health insurance ....**" - If this is true, than the idea of national health insurance has been kicking around for at least 61 years, and there are still a shameful number of people in this country who cannot afford to go to a doctor. Case in point:

In 1992, I broke my shoulder (or, more accurately, someone broke it for me). Trip to the emergency room, x-rays, trip to the bone doctor and more x-rays ensued. The bone doctor wanted to operate and set the shoulder with pins. He estimated that the surgery would cost $5,000.00. At that point in my life, I could no more afford a $5,000.00 surgery than I could finance a trip to the moon. So I went home with my arm in a sling. Even so, the bills from the emergency room, etc. totaled more than $800.00 (keep in mind, this was 1992). I had to borrow money from my parents (oh, the shame) to pay these bills off. Thanks Mom and Dad!

So my shoulder today, while not painful, has this weird little dip in the top. And for whatever reason (the way the bones set themselves?), that arm is now a little longer than the other one.

I now have health insurance through my employer. But do I believe in national health insurance for everyone? You betcha.

** The New Yorker, "The Risk Pool", August 28, 2006

Don't Pet .... Sweat ..... Oh Never Mind

Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.

Thursday, November 30, 2006


My sister Ditzy is the one who, when asked to help out, will invariably say "I'm too tired", or "I have to take a nap". I ran into Ditzy last Sunday, and here was her agenda for the past weekend:

1. On Saturday, she and her new BF went to NYC. They saw the Radio City Christmas Show, walked 20 blocks to Central Park, walked around Central Park, ate lunch, toured St. Patrick's Cathedral, then returned home (3 hour trip each way).

2. On Sunday morning, they were taking a nice long walk around State Park (this is where I ran into them), and had unspecified plans for the afternoon.

Funny how she always has plenty of energy for the fun stuff, but ask her to wash the dishes, and she gets the vapors.

I don't have a lot of use for this kind of person.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Threadbared - a cool site

This is a test to see if I can figure out how links work. I sincerely doubt it, but I'm gonna try. Try clicking on the title of this entry to see if it will lead you to Threadbared, which is a funny, funny site. Let's go!

Holy crap! I just tried it and it works!! Good things really do happen on your birthday!

OK, for future reference (by me), here's how I did it - (1) bring up new (blank) post; (2) in the "title", put the name you want to give the link (for this one, it's "Threadbared - a cool site". (3) In the "link" section, put the official name of the site (for this one, it's Then put in your commentary, publish it, and when you click on the "title", it will send you right to the site selected in the link. Sorry to bore you, but if I don't write this tech stuff down, step by step, I will forget how to do it in approximately 30 seconds.

Oh, this is too, too cool. I love learning how to do new stuff.

Happy Birthday!

You say it's your birthday
It's my birthday too - yeah
- "Birthday" by the Beatles


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Smart People

The problem with smart people is that after a while, they start to think that they're smarter than everyone else. That's when the trouble starts.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Braaaaaaiiiinnss . . . .

I had a dream about zombies last night that scared me so badly I had to get up and turn on practically every light in the apartment and check underneath the bed to make sure a zombie wasn't hiding under there. Seriously. Am I the only one who still has very scary dreams about things that don't even exist, for pete's sake?
So when I went back to bed the cat jumped up next to me and stared intently out into the hallway for several minutes, like something scary was out there. Thanks, cat.
And why are zombies so scary, anyway? I mean, all you have to do is outrun them, and they're not exactly sprinters.

Living Room Ceiling

Yay! I did it! I painted the living room ceiling on Friday. And it looks really, really good. So good that I want to paint more of my apartment. Maybe after the holidays - I'm not going to have a lot of free time for the next month. So the ceiling looks great, and I spilled little drips of paint, but not whole buckets, like I was doing in my dreams. My neck and shoulders were really sore, though, from painting "up", but I feel good now.
And I scrubbed the kitchen floor, and that looks good. I went up to TIB's for Thanksgiving - it was her, her hubby, my mom, me, and my sister Ditzy. So TIB and her hubby start talking about how they are going to go visit their new grandson in Atlanta in January, and again in June. When I got home that night, I started thinking "uh-oh. What if they're hinting around for someone to take care of Mom while they're gone?" Last year, they made all these plans to go out of town but didn't bother to tell anyone until a month before they were to leave, at which point me & my sister Texas already had plans & plane tickets, Ditzy said she would be too tired, etc. The more I got thinking about it, the madder I got, because (a) why can't TIB just come out and say what her plans are, and that someone will need to take care of Mom - (b) why doesn't she ask if anyone will be available on the dates that they want to go out of town before she ups and makes all her plans - (c) why does this get dumped on me year after year when I have three other sisters and a brother who could be helping, but don't.
So I called TIB on Friday and laid it all out on the table. First, I asked if her comments from the night before were meant to solicit help in taking care of Mom. She said, of course, she was giving us early notice this year. At which point I asked her why she couldn't just straight out and say it, because frankly, I would have missed the point of her little hints if I hadn't got to thinking about it later. And she said, "I was being clear". Yeah.
So, on to the next bombshell - I told her to count me out for this upcoming year. I refreshed her memory that I have used up every bit of my vacation time for the last seven years, since Dad died, taking care of Mom. I reminded her that there are three other sisters and a brother who could be helping out, but don't. I told her that it was high time that other people in the family started helping out, and that was why I was opting out for the upcoming year.
At this point I know that steam had to be coming out of TIB's ears. I told her that if she thought it was time Mom went into a nursing home, the rest of the family would support that decision. That's when she told me, "it sickens and disgusts me that you think it's o.k. for Mom to be in a home. Mom belongs here with me". You have to understand, she treats Mom like a piece of furniture most of the time. But this particular piece of furniture is paying her (TIB's) bills, so she wants to keep it around. I thanked her for her opinion. I told her I knew she must feel like throwing down the phone at this point and running screaming into the yard, because believe me, I know she was pissed. I explained that I wanted to make my position clear as soon as possible, before we had another rerun of last year's debacle. And I got the heck off the phone before she could beam evil death rays through it and explode my head.
So. A hard job done. I was just determined not to be taken advantage of for another year while the rest of the family coasted. And of course, now I feel terribly, terribly guilty. But that's not going to change my mind this time.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

Yay! I have to work today, and then I'm off until Monday! Tommorrow, Thanksgiving, I will have my annual Thanksgiving Morning Scrub the Kitchen Floor Marathon. Every Thanksgiving, I move everything that I can move out of the kitchen onto the back porch and scrub the kitchen floor, then wax it. Of course, I mop the floor at other times during the year (not really - ah hah hah hah!), but on Thanksgiving, I really give it a scrub. I'll have the Macy's Parade on the TV in the living room, and whenever I hear a marching band come on, I'll go in and give it a look, and it'll make me sniffle, just like it always does, for my fond memories of my marching band past (what a nerd!). While I'm scrubbing, I'll have the pies in the oven (one apple, one pumpkin). I always worry that they'll taste like Mr. Clean from the floor scrubbing aromas, but they never do. In the afternoon I'll head up to my sister TIB's house for Thanksgiving Dinner. I'll drink some beer and spend half the time out on the porch, smoking. At least it's not supposed to be too cold tomorrow!. I don't know who will be there - for sure TIB and her husband, my mom, and me. Hopefully TIB's daughter AM and her hubby will be there, because AM is a lot of fun. But she doesn't seem to be spending a lot of time at TIB's house anymore since TIB quit smoking and won't allow anyone to smoke in her house. (AM and her hubby both smoke.) AM's stepdaughter is 14 now and acts every inch of it. Just a couple of years ago she was a gawky, adorable little girl, and now she's this adolescent from hell, surly, incredibly beautiful, and will surely be causing heartache for everybody for the next several years.
On Friday I plan on painting the living room ceiling. Oh gosh, I hate to paint! And I am sure I will make an insane mess - I had a dream last night about repeatedly spilling huge amounts of paint on the carpet. I'm nervous already. But I'm going to give it a try!
Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Here's A Thought

Happiness is equilibrium. Shift your weight.

Why Am I Still No Good At This?

I've been doing this for a while now. Granted, I don't have a lot of free time, so it's not like I can spend hours perfecting this hobby. But you'd think I'd be better at it than this by now!

Monday, November 20, 2006

On Losing One's Wife

My sister TIB's mother-in-law passed away a few weeks ago. The mother-in-law's husband did not attend the calling hours, the funeral mass, or the luncheon afterward. They had been married for over 50 years. This guy has always been a jerk, but I thought not attending your own wife's funeral was taking it a bit far. Of course everyone said, "Oh, he's grieving", and I guess I understand that in a way, but I think he could go and grieve at the funeral.
This past Saturday, he had a stroke.

Friday, November 17, 2006


Yay! It's Friday. This week did not start well - I was late to work on Monday because there was a six-car pileup on the highway. (It could have been worse - I could have been in the pileup!) Last night, it took me an hour to get home instead of 20 minutes because heavy rains yesterday caused major flash-flooding. But the weekend is here; unfortunately, tomorrow I have to do three weeks' worth of laundry (I postpone this particular chore as long as possible, especially since I have no washer & dryer and have to go to the laundromat). I don't have a computer at home either, which means (I admit it) I am doing all my blogging from work. Don't tell my boss! Although, actually, I am not sure he would mind if he found out - he's a nice man. Hunting season starts tomorrow, which means no walks in the woods for a while, but hopefully, this will give me a chance to do more art stuff. Just finished the "Catholicism as presented by Mastercard" flip book - it came out pretty good.
Have a good weekend!

I Miss My Mom

Part of my horoscope today says, "Your heart sings out, "Hey, Mom, look at me!"". I miss my Mom. I mean, she's still alive, but with the Alzheimer's, it's kind of like having a little kid around. I still share my accomplishments, problems, etc., with her, but she just doesn't understand very much. I mean, of course we still have long conversations, but they're one-sided, because she lacks the faculties to do a back-and-forth chat. Luckily, I'll talk all day, as long as there's someone there to listen. But it's sad not to be able to dish about The Young and The Restless (yes, I admit it, I've been watching Y&R for about 20 years! I even tape it & then watch it when I get home at night! Ay, Caramba!). It is just terribly, terribly sad to watch my Mom deteriorate like this. But I really think it bothers the people around her more than it does her, because she seems happy most of the time. And for some reason, that makes me even sadder.

Photo Enlargements

This is a picture that I am having enlarged to poster size (20" x 30") at (gasp) Walmart. They actually do a good job with enlargements, and for this size print it only costs $15.00, which is a lot cheaper than other places charge.

I had them do the picture below previously, and it came out really well. I am currently in the process of switching over from 35 mm to digital - seeing as how I am totally technologically retarded, this could be a real challenge!

That's Disgusting

There's a new guy at work. Let's call him "Hack 'Em Up Ed". Nice enough guy, but about every 15 minutes or so, he hawks up a loogie. And he works for it. It sounds just exactly like a dog trying to puke up a chicken bone.
That's disgusting.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Lisey's Story by Stephen King

I just finished the new Stephen King book, "Lisey's Story". Stephen King has always been one of my favorite authors, but lately, I find myself liking his old stuff better - kind of like I don't like anything Elton John did after about 1975. I find I like Stephen King best when he is just writing about normal, day-to-day stuff - he has a real eye for detail and dialogue. When his books inevitably veer into the supernatural (I know, I know, that's his genre), I lose interest a little. But to get back to Lisey's Story, it is a good book, and a fast read (even at over 500 pages, it's one of his shorter books). Should you buy it? If you are a diehard Stephen King fan, you will anyway. Otherwise, I would read it first (you can get it at the library, like I did, although there will probably be a waiting list), and then decide whether you want it for your bookshelf.

By the way, I think the critics tend to be much too harsh on poor Mr. King, so I was glad to see that this book has been pretty much well received. In my opinion, his best book, and the one you may want to start with if you are new to Stephen King, is "The Stand". Even if you saw the miniseries, the book goes into much more detail and is really an enjoyable read.

Oh and also by the way, I sincerely hope that never uses the word "smucking" in any of his books, ever again. I thought it was going to drive me nuts, and all I could think of was Smucker's Jam. If you read the book, you'll know what I'm talking about.

As always, all comments - positive, negative or otherwise - are welcomed! Let me know what you think!

The Crab Is In

I made this little doodad & put it on my ledge at work.

Here's A Good Movie To Watch

I watched a really good movie on IFC last night - in fact that's the name of the movie - "Last Night". Please, please do not confuse it with that lameass movie "About Last Night". This movie, "Last Night", is about what people do when they know the world is going to end in six hours. It's a Canadian movie made in 1998 and is available on Amazon and several other sources, I'm sure. It also plays on IFC from time to time. Anyway, it really makes you think about mortality and about what you would do if you were in the same situation. If you get a chance, give it a watch - and if you don't like it, it's only 90 minutes long. Have you noticed that movies today are getting longer and longer? It's almost impossible to see anything with a running time of less than two hours. And if it's a bad movie you're watching, that's a long time to sit there.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

I've Got Issues?

I like to check out other people's blogs, especially people who write about their day-to-day lives. I also like to read the comments other people leave. The other day I was reading a blog entry about this girl's new relationship, how great it was, etc. This gal has a history of getting herself in trouble with guys. All the comments were stuff like, "you go, girl", "yay for you", etc. I posted a comment that she might want to use caution, given her dating history. WELL!! I was immediately jumped on by the girl herself, and all her regular comment-ers, one of whom said that I (me) must have issues. I honestly never realized until now that you are only supposed to make positive, cheerleader-type comments on other people's blogs. I thought the reason people allowed comments on their blogs was because they welcomed other people's insight. I was wrong. So here's the deal. My blog is not going to be like that. Make any comment you want, positive, negative, or whatever. I am certainly thick-skinned enough not to be upset by what somebody else might think about what I put on my blog. And I really want to know what people think. So go ahead - make my day. Make a comment - anything at all.

P.S. - Just checked back to that site - now, in addition to "having issues", I am a "douchebag", a "loser", etc. Wow.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Delightful Blogs

Well, I did it! I submitted this blog to, which showcases the best/most interesting blogs! Gulp! It actually took me a few tries, because I am painfully ignorant about stuff like URLs, etc. Remember, I was all grown up by the time PCs came along, so this stuff does not come naturally to me.
I love doing my blog and it's been a great outlet for me, but sometimes, frankly, I wish someone else would read it. No one in my family, of course, because I blog about them, and no one at work, of course, because I blog about them, and none of my friends (if I had any), of course, because I would blog about them if I had any friends. So that leaves strangers to read my blog. Have at it, guys!

Mr. Z Dresses Up for Halloween

Here is Mr. Z wearing his Halloween costume. Check out his familiar in the window!

Monday, November 13, 2006

What Season Is It?

No posts for a while because I've been so darn busy, plus the wrist was in trouble. I finally went to Walmart & bought a splint that fits, & the wrist is feeling pretty good now. I never did go to the doctor, and now I'm glad I didn't, because evidently it was just a sprain. Albeit an extremely painful one.
I took Mom for a walk on Saturday morning, it was beautiful out, sunny and 60 degrees. A while back, Mom commented that she thought spring was coming, not winter. Who, for Christ's sake, doesn't know what season it is?
A person with Alzheimer's.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Raking Leaves Part II

After raking leaves for 3 hours on Sunday, all my aches and pains have faded away, except for my right hand, which I am beginning to suspect may have a couple of stress fractures. The pain is getting worse, not better. I should go to the doctor's, except that it's a $25.00 copay right off the bat. He will want to do x-rays, and no matter what time of day I go to the doctor, the x-ray guy is always at lunch, so that means a couple hours sitting around while the x-ray guy has lunch. Then, my doctor will read the x-rays, will say, hmmm, this could go either way, and send me to a bone doctor ($40.00 copay), who will want to take more x-rays, which means more sitting around. When I broke my left wrist several years ago, the bone doctor wanted to put it in a cast. When I explained to him that I lived alone and had no one to help me bathe, wash dishes, etc., and I requested a (removable) splint as opposed to a cast, he reluctantly agreed. It worked out quite well, and it was quite amusing (albeit painful) to take off the splint and watch my hand flop around. Why oh why don't they make waterproof casts? Or do they, but it's like a secret thing that only people with super special health insurance are eligible for?
So I may or may not go to the doctor.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Go Vote!

Today is Election Day, so please, if you are educated about the issues, go cast your vote! If you don't vote, you don't have a right to bitch about your elected officials! If you are not educated about the issues and have not been keeping up with current events, then you probably shouldn't vote. "Uneducated voter" should be an oxymoron. By "educated", I do not mean you have to have a college degree - I don't. I mean educated about the issues, the political parties, and the people who are running for office. And if you don't care enough to educate yourself about these matters, then you should be ashamed to call yourself an American. People are fighting and dying every day (Iraq) for this country - the least you can do is educate yourself about the process - voting - that gives us a say in how this country is run.

Raking Leaves

On Sunday, I raked leaves in the backyard until my arms gave out (which took three hours). I walked four miles going from the backyard to the curb with a bedsheet full of leaves across my back like Santa. That pile out by the curb should be the eighth wonder of the world! It's Huge! Sunday, my arms hurt. Yesterday, my legs hurt. And today, both my arms and my legs hurt. At least it's only once a year, and there is a great deal of satisfaction in this particular chore, because it makes a visible difference, unlike a lot of chores.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Flu Shot

I called my doctor's office last week to schedule a flu shot, and the soonest they could do me is the end of this month! Then, I called my mother's doctor's office to schedule a flu shot for her, and her doctor's office doesn't have the vaccine yet and therefore has no idea when they might start scheduling shots. All you hear this time of year is "Get a flu shot". Well, good luck.
P.S. Although I am not technically old enough (thank God) to be in one of the high risk groups, I get a flu shot every year because I actually got the flu a few years ago, and I thought I was going to die. Seriously, I thought the firemen would have to break into my place after no one had heard from me for a few weeks, and they would find my dead body, chewed on (the cat's gotta eat). I missed an entire week of work, and I was so sick, I don't even remember what was going on half the time (Saturday morning to Sunday night is this vague blur).
So now I get a flu shot every year.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Silent House by the Dixie Chicks

I was watching the Dixie Chicks on VH-1's Storytellers series the other night. They were talking about their song, Silent House. I have the CD that this song is on (Taking the Long Way) and am sure I must have played this song at least a couple of times, but I never realized that it was about Alzheimer's disease until they started talking about it. One line goes, "The books that you read, are in scattered piles, of paper shreds". They explained that one of the their relatives had Alzheimer's, and when this relative realized that she could no longer read, she started shredding her books. This really hit home with me, because on one of my visits to my Mom a while back, she had a little pile of shredded photographs in her bedroom. When I asked her what they were, she said that she had been sorting through old photos, and these were the ones that she no longer wanted. I explained that she could just throw them away, that she didn't have to shred them, and she didn't have an answer for why she was shredding them (keep in mind, she is way before the shredding generation). Anyway, it was really creepy to see arms, torsos, faces of some of my relatives, and I realized, maybe she doesn't know who these people are anymore, and it bothers her to have pictures of "strangers" around. Maybe. Anyway, I strongly urge everybody to (legally, of course) download this song (shameless Dixie Chicks plug), because it's really beautiful, even without the Alzheimer's connection. Here's some partial lyrics:
Every day that will pass you by
Every name that you won't recall
Everything that you made by hand
Everything that you know by heart

And I will try to connect
All the pieces you left
I will carry it on
And let you forget
And I'll remember the years
When your mind was clear
How the laughter and life
Filled up this silent house .....
"Silent House" by the Dixie Chicks

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Painting Pictures

I did some more painting yesterday. I finished up the 11" x 14" watercolor landscape experiment - It started out as a watercolor, but I kept on adding acrylics to get the look I wanted, and now it's more acrylic than watercolor. Tried another watercolor last night - bare branches against a cloudy sky that I saw outside my window. Did the background in watercolor and the branches in acrylic - but now the branches are too dark against the watercolor background. So maybe I'll add watercolor leaves to hide the branches, then try again all watercolors. Sigh! I am not getting the results I wanted, but I want to keep trying, until I get something good. Or good enough to satisfy me.

Halloween Card

My mom sent me a Halloween card, which is really touching, since she has Alzheimer's and no longer remembers birthdays, etc. The first time she forgot my birthday was an absolute shock. I mean, I didn't care about the lack of a card, phone call, etc., but, to paraphrase "16 Candles", "Parents live for that shit!"
For Halloween, she must have had her caregiver take her to the store for the card, and then she must have gotten help with my address, since she can't process that kind of stuff anymore. It was a card for a little kid, but that's ok. And here's the good part - she signed it "The Spook", just like she used to before she got Alzheimers.
Very touching.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Gas Station Pizza

I admit it - I had some gas station pizza last week. It was last Friday, I had to work late, then I had to go the post office, then I had to get gas. When I went in to pay for the gas there was a display of pizza next to the counter, and it looked and smelled really good, and I was really hungry. So against my better judgement I bought a couple slices, took it home, and you know what? It was actually pretty good pizza.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Time to go to the V-E-T

Here's Rocky.
My cat Rocky had to go to the vet last night for his annual check-up. So I left early from work, went home, got changed, got him in his cat carrier, and off we went. Rocky does not like the vet's office - after the vet tech weighed him, etc., she left us in the room to wait for the vet, and Rocky tried to hide himself under my coat, pushing against my stomach as I stood by the examining table - it was really kind of cute, but I felt bad because he was so scared. Anyway, he is doing fine. His teeth are looking good - He used to have to have his teeth cleaned quite often, which is quite an ordeal for cats, because they have to be anesthesized - but I started added Friskies Dental Diet to his cat food mix, and it really helped! Yes, I will give Friskies a plug here, because their product really works. He has lost a little weight, which is not a bad thing - down to 11.6 pounds from 13 pounds. He is now 14 years old, which the vet said is equivalent to 72 person years.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

It's the Great Pumpkin

I saw a giant pumpkin going down the road on my way home from work last night. It was on a flatbed trailer being pulled by a truck. This pumpkin had to be at least 4 feet wide by 3 feet tall. Wouldn't it be cool to tow a giant pumpkin down the road?

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

And All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt

So, I was catsitting for my neighbor for two weeks while he was on his honeymoon. Mind you, I did not get an invitation to the wedding. Two weeks of feeding, petting, cleaning the litterbox, bringing in his mail, etc. Know what I got for all this? A lousy t-shirt from the cruiseship. $15.99 - he didn't bother to remove the price tag. Wow.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Death Cab for Cutie Video - Very Touching

Death Cab for Cutie - I Will Follow You into the Dark

This is such a touching video!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Music In Our Schools

When I was in the fourth grade, I started violin lessons at school. You couldn't start a band instrument until fifth grade, to give the less popular orchestra instruments a chance. In fifth grade, I started flute lessons in school, which continued until I graduated. For a time, I also took private flute lessons (That poor woman! I never practiced.). I also took drum lessons for a brief time. In high school, I was in the regular chorus, Vestal Voices (select chorus), concert band, jazz band (drums), marching band and field band. Yep, I was a bandie. It was a great way for a shy person like me to make friends and feel accepted. I really, really enjoyed my band experience - we even got to go to Florida once for a competition there. Twenty-five years out, my strongest high school memories are of band. It was a blast to go to competitions, do halftime shows, etc. I didn't care if it was geeky - it was so much fun! So it saddens me that music programs are being cut in favor of "gut" courses - science, math, etc. I know that those courses are very important. But I think I learned more of what matters in band - how to work with other people, how to handle failure (losing competitions), and, most importantly, the sheer joy of doing something you really love. I hope that educators will see that, for kids who don't excel in the classroom, music can be a chance to really shine in something - even if you're not that good at whatever instrument you play, it's still fun to do.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

My Slippers

These are my slippers. My feet are always freezing, so the slippers keep them warm at night. These absolutely do not have that non-slip rubber stuff on the bottom; what good is a pair of slippers if you can't slide around the kitchen floor in them? I tried wearing the kind with the rubber stuff on the bottom and found that I lurched around like Frankenstein.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Greenwood Park

Here are some pictures of Greenwood Park, where my Mom and I walked two Sundays ago. Lots of Canada Geese on the lake.

Favorite Web Sites

Here are some of my favorite web sites:,, Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Funeral Slobs

I had to go to a funeral mass yesterday. There were lots of people there, and it was held in a Catholic church. I could not believe how many people were dressed like absolute slobs. Most of the guys were wearing jeans, and out of approximately 100 women there, only two others besides me were wearing dresses/skirts - all the others were in slacks or jeans. Lots of untucked/wrinkled shirts. What happened to respect for the dead?

Friday, October 13, 2006

Mini Z

Earlier this summer, I took a kids' ride-on rocking horse and made it into a zebra - Mr. Z. I was at the Sal(vation) Army thrift store after work yesterday and found another rocking horse on springs, about half the size of that one - Mini-Z! I think I'll keep him under the stairs this winter and then paint him in the spring, and either put him with Mr. Z in the garden or keep him up on the porch.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Just look the other way

Texas finally called last night (Wednesday). After I called her last Saturday re the minor crisis with my mom, she said she was going to call me last Sunday to keep informed. Yeah. I guess I have a hard time understanding why she would rather slit her wrists than get involved with the care of her (our) mother.

A picture of me

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

I superglued my fingers together

OK, so on Sunday night, I needed to glue a bracket onto the back of a picture frame. So I got out the trusty superglue, pulled off the outer cap, unscrewed the inner cap, aimed, squeezed, and ........ glop! A giant glob of superglue went all over the frame, the table, and ..... my fingers, which promptly stuck together! Ran into the bathroom, tried nail polish remover - nope! Finally had to pry my fingers apart. Then tried to clean up the mess on the table, then spent next two days peeling dried superglue off my fingers. All over a lousy bracket.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


I experimented with watercolor paints last weekend. I had an acrylic painting that I was trying to finish, and I just couldn't get the clouds right. I thought watercolors might work, so I went to the dollar store and got a set of kids' watercolors. They worked out great for the clouds, and the painting went so much faster than with the acrylics, I got out a blank 4 x 6 canvas and whipped out a watercolor landscape in about 15 minutes, which is about 10 times faster than the acrylics take! So I'm going to give watercolors a go for a while & see what happens.

The pigsty next door

So, my next door neighbor got married on Saturday, to which I was not invited, and now I am catsitting for two weeks while he is on his honeymoon. The worst part is, his apartment is an absolute pigsty. Clothes heaped in piles everywhere. Boxes piled on boxes, so you can't even get to the windows to open the blinds, which he always keeps closed. A cast iron pan on the stove with about 1/4" of grease in it. Dirty dishes in the sink full of dirty water. Keep in mind, he went away for two weeks and left it like this. I can't believe the building doesn't have cockroaches thanks to him. I feel sorry for the cat.
Here's the scary part: This man found a woman desperate enough to settle for him.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Texas Bails Again

There was a minor crisis w/my mom on Saturday, so I called Texas on Saturday night to keep her apprised of the situation. She was really concerned, etc., & said she'd call me back Sunday night to keep updated on the situation. Did she call on Sunday? No. I guess some people are more concerned than others. I'm not surprised - I just don't understand why she (& half the other people in the family) really doesn't seem to give a rat's ass about their mother.

Doctor, Doctor Part 5

Picked up the new bifocals Friday night. As it turns out, they cannot make bifocal contact lenses for me because my astigmatism (whatever that is) is too severe. So the eye doctor said that when I am wearing the contacts and need to read fine print, I should wear a pair of cheater reader glasses, 1.0 magnification. Went to the dollar store, got the glasses (Foster Grants - orginally $17.99 - now $1.00, thank you very much), and it works! The bifocals work really well too - just a little bit of dizziness at first, and now I can read fine print again! Yay!

Friday, October 06, 2006

I can't even get invited to a crappy wedding

My neighbor Bill is getting married tomorrow. Good for him! He asked me to catsit for two weeks while he is on his honeymoon, after which he is moving in with his new wife. Congrats! We have been on good terms since he moved in around 10 years ago, and we would trade catsitting duties when out of town, taking in each other's mail, etc. Great guy! We had lots of conversations on the deck that our apartments share, and I've met/talked to his fiance lots of times. Good people!
I didn't get invited to the wedding. I am taking care of his asshole cat for TWO STINKING WEEKS, like I have done nine million times before, and I didn't get invited to the wedding.

Fun with tripods

I bought a tripod for my camera last night. Some of my flower pictures have been coming out blurry, and I thought a tripod would help. That tripod is a blast! You can adjust the legs nine million ways, adjust the camera angle, turn the camera vertical, etc. While I was monkeying around, I figured out how to use the timer on the camera, so of course the first thing I did was take a self-portrait. My camera is 35 mm, not digital, which means I have to use up a whole roll of film and get it developed before I see what I shot. I've got to get a digital camera - maybe as a combined birthday/Christmas gift to myself?

Thursday, October 05, 2006


I watched the season opener of "Lost" last night, and I was not impressed. I want some answers, not more questions! And I'm getting sick of the flashbacks. I want to know what is happening to these people now, not what happened to them five years ago. I really loved this show when it first started, but I'm getting tired of it.

Doctor, Doctor Part 4

Upon doing an internet search, I discovered that they do indeed make bifocal contact lenses. So why is the trial pair for the new prescription that the doctor gave me not bifocals? I am going to have some questions when I pick this stuff up. Why would they make the glasses bifocals and not the contact lenses?

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Doctor, Doctor Part 3 - Rosacea

While I was at the dermatologist he took a look at my Rosacea, which I have had for years. Rosacea is a skin condition which basically makes it look like your nose and cheeks are sunburned all the time. He asked me if I wanted to try a prescription ointment, which surprised me, because when I was in there last year he said there was no presecription medication for Rosacea. So anyway, he wrote me a prescription for this stuff called Metrogel, which sounds like metrosexual + hair gel, no? It's this clear ointment that goes on once a day. I also made an appointment to start laser treatment again. I had one laser treatment last year, and then the laser technician quit & I didn't see any improvement anyway, so I didn't go back, but they say it takes 3 - 4 treatments to see improvement. But the treatments are $100.00 a pop, so I'll have to wait and see if I have that kind of money when the appointment time rolls around.

Doctor, Doctor Part 2

I went to the eye doctor Saturday. The verdict is ........ I need bifocals if I want to read fine print again. Geez! So I ordered a pair of no-line bifocals which should be arriving the end of this week. I just hope I can get used to them. I kicked up such a fuss at the eye doctor's that she said if I couldn't get used to them, I could bring them back & they would put in regular lenses for free. I won't mind wearing them if it means I can read small print again without feeling like I am going blind with the effort. But...... they don't make bifocal contact lenses, so even if I like the glasses, I will just be wearing them at night, cause I wear the contacts during the day.

Texas Calling

Texas finally called me last Friday to thank me for her birthday presents. We talked for a long time, but I am still miffed.

Monday, October 02, 2006

The Day After

I was watching a made-f0r-tv movie this weekend, The Day After, which was made in 1983, starred Jason Robards, and was about the aftermath of nuclear war. One of the characters had this great line: "Einstein said, "I don't know how they will fight World War III, but I know how they will fight World War IV - with sticks and stones"".

Friday, September 29, 2006

Doctor, Doctor

I had to go to the dermatologist this morning for my yearly skin exam (that sounds creepy, doesn't it?) I have one mole that will have to be removed. This is nothing new; I've already had a ton of them taken off. This one is on my lower back, and it will be a royal pain trying to clean the stitches. But that's not until February, so let's worry about it then, shall we?
I have to go to the eye doctor tomorrow for an eye exam. It is getting harder and harder to read small print; I hope I don't need bifocals! I can't be that old, can I? I wear contact lenses during the day and glasses at night; do they even make bifocal contact lenses? Oh boy.

Cloud Chair Part 2

Here is the cloud chair before:

Here is the cloud chair after:

Pretty neat, huh?

I got a raise!

I got a raise yesterday! Several months ago, when Kevin was leaving for greener pastures, John gave Eric and J 10% raises because they would be shouldering more of the load. Yesterday, John told me to give Eric another 10% raise (I do the payroll). I literally gasped, my jaw literally dropped, and John turned around and left as fast as possible because he knew I was pissed off. The last raise I got, 5%, was a year and a half ago!
I almost got my coat and left, I was so upset. I tried to work, but I was literally shaking I was so mad, so I went outside to have a cigarette. John followed me out & lit up too, and I said, "Can I ask you a question?" He said "Of course", and I said, "Why do the guys keep getting these big raises and I don't? Is my work not up to par?" He said, "Of course you do great work, you know that. When's the last time you got a raise?" I said, "A year and a half ago." He said, "Didn't you get a raise the last time (meaning, I assume, when Eric and J got theirs)", and I said, "No". He said, "How much do you make an hour?" I told him, and he told me to raise it to X amount, which equates to an 11% raise. Yay! I just hate that I have to practically beg for my raises, when the guys get theirs handed to them.

Call me! Anytime!

It hurts when someone you care about says they'll call, and then doesn't. Texas was supposed to call me the last two Thursdays (after Survivor) in a row, and bailed both times. I guess she doesn't enjoy talking with me as much as I do her. So I'll write my blog instead.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

The Crocodile Hunter

The "Crocodile Hunter", Steve Erwin, died a couple of weeks ago. Last night on TV they were showing clips from an interview his wife did with Barbara Walters. Two questions:
1. Why on earth would anyone want to bother this poor grieving woman just to get ratings?
2. Why on earth would she agree to be interviewed such a short time after her husband died? She was sobbing, having a hard time holding it together. Who told her this was a good idea? Did she think it was a good idea? I am sure that, at some point in the interview, she probably brought out some hoary old chestnut like, "Steve would have wanted me to do this interview", or, "it's to educate people about the dangers of stingrays". Oh, please.
It reminds me of the Don Henley song "Dirty Laundry" -
"Can we film the operation? Is the head dead yet?
You know the boys in the newsroom got a running bet
Get the widow on the set - we need dirty laundry"

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Bathroom Ceiling

I painted my bathroom ceiling over the weekend. Yuck! I loathe to paint. My entire apartment needs a coat of paint, but I'd rather look at the dirty walls than have to paint them. But in my bathroom, the ceiling paint was starting to bubble from all the condensation, and big drops of cold water would form on the bubbles and then plop onto me while I was taking a shower. I couldn't put up with that! So I scraped the worst of the bubble-ceiling paint off, then repainted with exterior latex paint. Problem solved, right? Oh no no no, it's never that easy. Now the cold water drops are forming on the perfectly smooth ceiling and dropping down on me! I have no idea what to do next. I tried running the fan while in the shower, but all that did was freeze me to death, and the cold water was still dropping down on me. Sigh!

IQ as related to TV volume

One of the things I do at work is answer the phones, which have been ringing off the hook since I walked in the door this morning. The company I work for does business with other companies, government agencies, etc., and we also do residential work, so I take a lot of calls from "civilians", i.e., people at home. I have noticed that the louder the volume of the TV in the background, the less intelligent the caller seems to be. The other day someone called, and "The Young and the Restless" was playing so loud, I could barely hear the caller over the sound of Katherine and Jill debating the sale of Jabot. This morning a man called, and the game show in the background was so loud I had a hard time taking a message.
I don't know about you, but when I'm at home and about to make a call, I hit "mute" on the TV remote.

Home Improvement Part 2

So I went to Lowe's last night - I only needed a couple of things, but I didn't know where they would be in the store. I wandered around for a little bit, then went up to the customer service counter, where, Surprise! (1) There was no line; (2) There were actually employees behind the counter; (3) The employees were women; and, No Surprise, (4) They were very helpful and told me where I could find what I needed.
So I survived my trip to Lowe's.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Home Improvement

I have to stop at Lowe's after work tonight to pick up a couple things - I really dislike those big-box home improvement stores. I am a woman, and the salespeople totally ignore me, preferring to assist male customers instead of me. I am just as knowledgeable about this stuff I need to buy as the male customers are, and pisses me off to be ignored because I'm a woman. Being a blonde probably doesn't help.

Cloud Chair

After I finished the zebra, I wanted something else big to work on. I bought an old wooden dining room chair at the Sal Army, and painted it blue with white clouds. I put some lines of poetry from "High Flight" on it (Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth .....). It looks pretty cool. I'll post photos once I get some more film developed. I just don't know where to put it; my apartment is really small. Maybe I'll leave it out on the back porch for now. I'll have to have an "art yard sale" in the spring if I keep going at this rate! Anyway, it will be getting too cold to paint outside real shortly (I prefer to do the big stuff outside; it was a snot getting that zebra in the kitchen!), so I guess I'll go back to flat paintings for the winter. I took a 4 x 6 photo of some gladioli in my garden and had it blown up to 16 x 20 at Walmart - it came out really, really good and only cost $13.00!
I don't know how much longer I'll keep going on this "artistic" streak, but it's loads of fun for now!

Monday, September 25, 2006

To Catch A Predator

I watched Dateline NBC Friday night - they had another one of their "To Catch a Predator" shows, where they set up guys trying to meet underage girls on line and then confront them. These show are so depressing - can you believe that these sad-sack, fat-ass losers actually think that a young kid would sleep with them? It's so gross to think that there are actually people like that out there.

Friday, September 22, 2006


Ha ha ha ha ha! I got the answer to final jeopardy last night, and none of the contestants did!
Category: Word Origins
Answer: Appropriately, this word comes from the Greek words meaning "sharp" and "dull"
Question: What is "oxymoron"?

I got it! And none of the contestants did! Ha ha ha ha ha!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

None for me, thanks

I am in my early forties and have never had children. It's not that I didn't have the chance; I was married, back in the day. It's just that I never had any maternal instinct whatsoever. I didn't like kids when I was a kid. When I met my now ex-husband, I let him know right up front that I did not want kids and he agreed & said he didn't want kids, either. After we married, however, he let me know that he wanted to start a family; I refused. That's not why our marriage broke up, though. And even if I met Prince Charming today, I still don't want kids. Kids to me are like snakes are to some people; slightly repulsive and nothing I would ever want to have.


Did you hear about the dsylexic devil worshipper? He sold his soul to Santa.

What did Buddha say to the hot dog vendor? "Make me one with everything".

Ha ha!


So I had to stop at Walmart after work the other night. I really didn't want to, but I'd put it off so long I was down to the last squirt of toothpaste. I am really conflicted about Walmart; on the one hand, you can't beat their prices, and let's face it, anything you could ever possibly need is sold there. I bought an entire Tiramisu cake for, like, $7.00. Tiramisu is the best dessert on the planet; it's like crack, it's so addictive. On the other hand, Walmart is always crowded with really obnoxious stupid ugly fat people. Here's a great example:
My niece's friend went to Walmart a while back with her kids. There was a woman in the store with small children who was loudly cursing up a storm; lots of people noticed her and were not happy about their kids having to listen to that language. So my niece's friend asked her politely to tone it down, at which point the woman told her where to go. So my niece's friend, who is no shrinking violet, said, "Why don't you go back to the trailer park with the rest of the trash" and walked away. Granted, not very mature, but it must have been very satisfying.
So my niece's friend finishes her shopping, pays, and walks out of the store, where the woman is waiting for her! The woman makes some kind of comment like, "as a matter of fact, I am from a trailer park, but I'm not trash", and punches my niece's friend right in the face! Knocked her out cold, broke her nose, etc. While their kids stood and watched.
That's Walmart clientele for you.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

TV Guide

Here's a confession for you - I'm so embarrassed.
1. I subscribe to TV Guide.
2. When it comes in the mail each week, I go through and highlight the programs I think I might want to watch. Weird, no? I just find it's easier. I do not like the new format, though. Mostly what I watch are reality shows (Survivor, Amazing Race), news magazine shows (Primetime, 20/20), and documentaries. No dramas or comedies. And who is that incredibly annoying guy on one of the news magazine shows (I can't remember which one) who talks in a sing-song, like a Dr. Seuss book? I can't watch when he is narrating - the voice drives me wild.

Monday, September 18, 2006


When I got home from work on Friday, there was a note in my mailbox from my sister The Insane Bitch (TIB). She had received a coupon for 25% off at Michael's and passed it on to me, knowing that I shopped there. She actually did a nice thing for me that she actually had to go out of her way to do! Weird. I called & thanked her & she was very nice. Weirder.
When I went up there the weekend before to pick Mom up for a walk, TIB & her husband D said that Mom had been giving them a hard time, being very rude to D. So I asked her about it and she basically denied saying anything rude, etc. D & I talked about it when Mom & I got back, and D said he was just glad that Mom wasn't mad at him about something. Sometimes I don't think Mom realizes how mean she can sound; it's so weird because before the Alzheimer's, she was the nicest, meekest person on the planet. Sarcasm does not become her. I asked her if she wanted to try going on anti-depressants and she said no. D & I discussed putting her on them anyway and just not telling her what they were. It's awful to have to do stuff like that to your own Mom. I wish she never got Alzheimer's. She is also obsessed with the idea that someone (TIB & D, their daughter, etc.) is going to take the cottage away from her. No matter how many times I tell her it isn't so (and it really isn't; nobody wants that cottage), she refuses to believe it. This whole thing is just so sad.

Oh Happy Monday

I was supposed to leave my door unlocked this morning so the plumber could get in (I know, I know, but it's easier than trying to get the plumber coordinated with the maintenance man who has the keys). So I left a note on my mirror last night, "Leave door unlocked" and left a note in my purse, "Leave door unlocked". Got up this morning, got ready to go, grabbed the note off the mirror, put it with the note in my purse, walked out the door, locked the door, and went to work. Got to work, realized what I had done, got back in the car, drove 20 minutes back home, unlocked the door, and drove back to work.
On the bright side, J at work brought in a huge bunch of flowers that he got from his landlord's wedding. I have two giant bouquets of hydrangea (my favorites) and pink, orange and red roses. So pretty

My Sister, Ditzy

I ran into my sister, Ditzy, at a yard sale yesterday. She said she had to quit her last job because the stress was just too much, due to her "fibro". I take it she means fibromyalgia? Last I knew, she had Chronic Fatigue Synfrome. And before that, it was Epstein-Barr (sp?) virus. The rest of the family knows it as "lazy". Let's face it, this woman is 50-something, and she always manages to pay her mortgage, feed her kids, shop at garage sales, etc., on very little income. Can you say "Sugar Daddy?"

Friday, September 15, 2006


Watched the first episode of the new Survivor last night where teams are separated by race. It seemed to really reinforce stereotypes - the whites are dumb jerks, the Asians use "ancient chinese medicine" crap to heal a migraine, and the black guy is fat and lazy. My favorite part is when the fat black guy is trying to talk his way out of being voted out, and he says to one of the black women, "If you kick me out, you won't have no fire - I'm the only one who knows how to make fire!" and the black woman says, "You haven't made no fire yet!" which is true, he had tried but not succeeded. So he retorts, "But I will learn how to make fire, and then you'll miss me, cause you won't have no fire!" Classic!
I think next time, they should sort them into groups by IQ.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

New rug

I put an area rug out on the back deck, and it makes the deck look much nicer. I just hope the rain & snow don't damage it (the deck is covered, but the sides are open). I got the rug for $35.00 at the Salvation Army, my favorite store of all time! Today is Wednesday, which is 50% off all clothes and shoes day! Whoo hoo! Not having enough money isn't all bad, because I probably never would have otherwise discovered the joy of thrift store shopping.

My Zebra

I took a kid's ride-on rocking horse and painted it to be a zebra. I think it looks way cool! Size - approximately 4 feet high x 6 feet long.

Now he lives in my garden.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Neighbors, Cont'd.

A girl named Kelly once moved in next door. Half of her hillbilly family promptly followed, into her one-bedroom apartment. One little girl proudly announced upon meeting me that she didn't have to go to school because she had head lice! They also had a dog (strictly prohibited), which they chained to a tree in the back yard just far enough from the stairs so that the dog could bark, growl and lunge at me, but not quite reach me to bite me, every time I went up or down the stairs. When yet another person joined the crowd, Kelly decided he could sleep in the (unfinished) attic, and put a kerosene heater up there to keep him warm (strictly prohibited). One night right before Christmas I was watching TV when I heard this awful crash and went into the hallway, where I discovered this guy's legs dangling from my ceiling! He had been poking around on my side of the attic (strictly prohibited) - and laughed when I started screaming at him. They kept a broken down ATV chained to the bottom of the stairs, and actually started building some sort of half-assed garage out front, directly in front of the downstairs neighbor's living room window.
Kelly just couldn't understand why she got kicked out.

Monday, September 11, 2006

What?! You can't move!

My neighbor Bill is moving at the end of next month. We live in a four unit apartment building, two up and two down, and Bill lives in the apartment next to mine on the second floor. He has been a super neighbor, never noisy, we traded cat-sitting duties, etc. I am terrified that he is moving, because God only knows who will move into his apartment. The current owners of the building are absentee landlords and the new building supervisor never returns my calls, and I am terrified that they will let trashy/noisy/yucky people move in. I love my building and I don't want to move, but I am not ready to have to deal with new neighbors! I have had some real losers for neighbors in the past - one even broke into my apartment to use my phone to call 1-800-sex numbers, and then threatened to kill me when I found out and called the police!
I hope my new neighbors are nice - knock on wood!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Our coat of arms

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

OK, I admit it, I have OCD. I went through a spell of it in junior high, and it came back several years ago. Here are some excellent passages from Growing Girls by Jeanne Marie Laskas:
"An excessive sense of responsibility, I read, is at the root of obsessive-compulsive diosorder." "Normal people sometimes need to double-check themselves. OCD people have to quintuple-check, over and over again. An excessive sense of responsibility is said to be at the root of this. And what it comes down to is this: you think you're more important than you are. You think your actions matter more than they actually do. Despite what you believe, you are just not that critical to keeping the earth spinning on its axis".
This is brilliant! This is exactly my problem! My brain tells me that if I don't check something a certain number of times, something bad will happen. Like if I don't check the stove a certain number of times, my car will break down that day. If I don't touch that manila folder an even number of times, my summer will suck. I try to tell myself that my brain is in me, that I control my brain, but still I do this stuff. Say and learn: I do not control the universe.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

I Like to Smoke

I smoke cigarettes. And I like it. And I'm not going to quit anytime soon. So take that, you sanctimonious pricks who act like I'm lighting up a crack pipe every time I smoke a cigarette. Fuck all of you! My sister The Insane Bitch (TIB) chain smoked for, like forty years, then quit, and now she's one of those assholes who has a heart attack if anybody lights up within a 100 yard vicinity of her. Keep in mind that when she smoked, she lit up in front of non-smokers all the time, including her husband who does not smoke, and my mother, who lives with her.
I like to smoke. And you know what? Nobody is going to miss me when I die, we all die of something sooner or later, and I LIKE TO SMOKE.
Politically incorrect? You betcha!

They shorted my pills

OK, so I am on Lamisil for three months. You know, those disgusting TV commercials where bugs dig under toenails? That's Lamisil. Be aware that if you have no prescription coverage, this medicine will set you back between $900.00 and $1,400.00 for a three month supply, which is the length of treatment. (No, I'm not rich, I do have insurance, albeit crappy insurance. My share is coming to around $220.00).
OK, so I took my pill last night, looked in the bottle, and realized there were fewer pills left than there should be. When I counted, I discovered that I was seven pills short. I called the pharmacy and they told me to bring the bottle in. I was afraid I might get some sort of fight, I mean, these things are like $12.00 a pill, and I was short seven of them. But I went in, the pharmacist took the bottle, plopped seven more Lamisil pills in it, and handed it back. I'm really glad, but it made me a little uneasy - I mean, don't they even have to check the computer or something? Don't they keep records of how much of each pill they dish out?
But I'm glad I got the pills.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Labor Day Weekend

So this is Labor Day weekend, and it's supposed to rain all day tomorrow. Heavy rain. High winds. Sigh.
I haven't had a date in five (5) years. I am good looking, single, no kids, friendly. No dates in five years. Of course, I don't exactly "put myself out there". I don't like bars because I like to drink and I don't want to drive home drunk. Also, the idea of walking into a bar alone is not pleasant to me. All my friends moved elsewhere for jobs - does anybody else have that problem? and now it's just me holding down the home front (sniff). How do you make new friends when you're not a kid anymore (I am in my early forties but still clean up real well). There are singles clubs around, but I heard they are mostly meat markets. How do I make girl friends, let alone guy friends? Any ideas?
So I do lots of painting, art projects, etc. Right now I have an old kid's rocking horse on springs that I bought at a garage sale & am turning into a zebra. It currently looks more like a referee, but I hope it'll look cool when I'm done. I might leave it on the springs and put it in the garden, or I might take it off the springs and keep it inside or on the back deck. Not sure yet.
Hope it doesn't rain all day tomorrow.
I am debating whether to go after work & buy a pair of sandals I have been admiring. Was $30.00, then $15.00, now $9.97. Really, really cute but I don't need another pair of sandals, and I really need to stop spending money. I keep telling myself to create, not consume, but it's hard. And $10.00 is a lot for one pair of sandals - I usually buy mine at the thrift store for a couple of bucks. Actually, all my clothes (almost) come from the thrift store.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

What I did on my summer vacation

So I took two weeks off in the middle of July. My family has a cottage on a lake about two hours from here. My mom is 82 and has Alzheimer's, and I planned on taking her up there for the two weeks. My sister who lives in Texas was flying in too.
At the end of May, my sister The Insane Bitch, with whom my mom lives, informed me that she & her husband were going away the first and last weeks of July. She handed me a piece of paper with the dates written on it, and informed me that me, my sister Texas, and my sister Ditzy (not their real names) were to "take care of" seeing to Mom during those two weeks. Mom cannot be alone for an extended period of time thanks to the Alzheimer's. I explained that I had already put in for my vacation time, and Texas already had her plane tickets, and we all know Ditzy is useless, so I suggested we call Home Instead, the service that takes care of Mom during the day. The Insane Bitch (TIB) went ballistic and said absolutely not, "those people" were not going to stay in her house overnight, etc. Incidently, "those people" are all bonded, etc. Later that night I called Texas to fill her in on the situation and she said that TIB had just called her and called her a "bad daughter", among other things, and was furious with her. I called Ditzy and got the response I expected, i.e., no way could she take care of Mom, she didn't have an extra bedroom & Mom would have to sleep on the couch, etc. (Sleep on the couch?? Hello, Ditzy, YOU sleep on the couch.) So anyway, D, TIB's husband, got TIB calmed down, and Ann Marie, their daughter, agreed to stay with Mom the first and last week of July. SO, Mom and I and two cats (one hers, one mine), headed up to the cottage the second and third weeks of July for vacation. For two weeks, I cooked, cleaned, grocery shopped, kept Mom entertained, etc., while Texas did absolutely nothing but sip iced tea and read books. After I cooked dinner the first four nights, I suggested that the next night Texas cook, at which point she informed me that she "doesn't cook". She made a grand total of two meals the entire time we were there. She wanted to buy a new camper, and so I went with her camper shopping, for trailer training, etc. She never once took Mom out so that I could have some downtime. Great vacation, huh? After Mom and I went home & she went back to Texas she did call me & apologize, and say that she would help out more next year. News flash: There won't be a next year. Ever since Dad died in 1999, I have used up every bit of my vacation every year taking Mom up to the lake. I'm not going to do it again next year. I have four sisters (two of whom are retired) and one brother. It's their turn.

Wicker Man

Heard about that new movie with Nicolas Cage called The Wicker Man? I don't know if anybody else remembers the original movie, which was really creepy. I wonder if they'll end the new one the same way the old one ended. Speaking of creepy, isn't Nicolas Cage really weird? Very odd-looking and odd-acting.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Don't ever buy a Saturn

Three years ago, I was looking for a used car. "Buy a Saturn!" everybody said. Nobody saying this actually owned a Saturn, but they all had stories about sisters/friends/etc. who owned Saturns and thought they were the greatest thing since sliced bread. So I bought a 2000 Saturn LW wagon - what an incredible piece of crap! It started breaking down within a month and hasn't stopped since. Also, the Saturn dealership here in town is absolutely horrible - you can have an appointment for an oil change and sit there for an hour and half while people who came in after you leave before you. I have heard that there are two manufacturing plants for Saturns - one down south and one in Delaware. The one down south turns out good cars, while the plant in Delaware turns out pieces of bleep. Guess which one my car came from?
Never, ever buy a Saturn.
Oh, and remind me to tell you about my experience with Jiffy Lube.

Christmas Party

OK, so I need to tell you about the office Christmas Party last year. I work in an Engineering Consulting office with two guys, the boss, and the guy who runs the affiliated office next door. Usually the boss takes us all out for lunch a few days before Christmas, then we exchange secret Santa gifts (ugh! I hate that phrase!), then the boss gives us our sizable cash bonuses equal to about a week's pay. OK, so last year, the boss decided that instead of taking us out to lunch, he wanted to have a dinner party at his home. So he gave us four dates to choose from (each day of the two weekends before Christmas) and asked us to let him know what date would be good. Well! Immediately these three guys (the two I work with and the guy next door) had nine million reasons why none of these dates were any good. Eric actually said that the one date was no good, because his birthday was the following day. Huh? So they finally picked a date and gave it to John (the boss). A few days before the party, Bill (guy next door) said he would not be able to come because he couldn't find a sitter for his one year old kid. I assumed that his wife also had other plans that day and would not be able to watch the kid. John graciously said, well why don't you bring the baby? (to an adult party). At which point Bill said TO THE BOSS, well I would, but you smoke (cigarettes) and so the only way I could bring the baby is if you would agree not to smoke at the party (IN HIS OWN HOME!) If I was John, at that point I would have said, sorry you won't be there, but John actually agreed to this! Keep in mind that Eric and I both also smoke, and that Bill, the complainer, chews tobacco. So the day of the party comes, and Bill shows up WITH HIS WIFE and the kid - she didn't have other plans, she just wanted to come to the party too! AND, at the party, while we were all going outside in 20 degree weather to smoke, Bill actually pulled out his chewing tobacco and stuffed himself a mouthful, then proceeded to drool into a cup, inside at the party! These guys are a bunch of jerks.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Belly rings

What is up with belly rings? Don't your pants rub on them? And what about nose rings? How do you blow your nose? If you say, we take them out before we blow our noses; what about when you sneeze? Doesn't the, um, snot get all hung up on them?

Thursday, August 24, 2006


My mom is 82 and she has Alzheimer's disease. My dad died in 1999 and we all thought that Mom would be able to travel & do stuff that Dad didn't like to do while he was alive. But not long after Dad died it became clear that she was having some real problems coping with day to day stuff. Everybody else in the family thought it was grief, but I thought it was more than that. Everybody was furious when I mentioned the possibility of Alzheimer's, and even madder when I insisted she go see the doctor. Well, of course, it did turn out to be Alzheimer's. She is now on Aricept and Namenda and she is doing ok, it is the rest of us who are going insane trying to cope with this. She is like having a little kid around, and it's hard to see your Mom like that. I had to take her car keys away from her a couple of years ago (that was a fun day). She had two fender benders, got a ticket for going the wrong way on a busy road, and got lost on the way back from the mall. She was furious when I took her keys away, and stayed mad off and on for quite a while. She just didn't (and doesn't) understand what this disease is doing to her (of course, that is part of what the disease is doing to her).


OK I admit it - I've been watching "Rock Star - Supernova". But isn't "Supernova" the gayest name for a band ever? It's like naming a band "World's Greatest Band". Such hubris!

Entry for August 24, 2006

This is my first post. I am still seething because the new lawn mower person mowed over the johnny-jump-ups and actually hacked down the morning glories! Why? Is it too hard to understand that all you need to mow is the grass! jerk! I live in an apt. building so it's not like I have any say. God I've gotta move out - housing prices in this area are really low but taxes are incredibly high - My taxes each month would be as much if not more than my mortgage. Time to start buying lotto tickets.