Thursday, December 31, 2009

Tragedy at Bethlehem

With a purposeful grimace and a terrible sound he pulls the speeding high tension wires down

Helpless people on subway trains scream bug-eyed as he looks in on them

He picks up a bus and he throws it back down as he wades through the buildings in the center of town

Oh, no .... they say he's got to go

GO GO GODZILLA! (whooa ohh ohh)

Oh, no ..... there goes Tokyo Bethlehem


Rock on, Godzillacat.

The year in review

Let's see ........

In April, I quit smoking after thirty years.

In July, I became a first-time homeowner.

Peeps, I can't go any bigger than that.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The most fun ever

Every year, on Christmas Eve, I give my Mom a Christmas stocking filled with stuff from the dollar store - Puzzles, pretty soaps, warm gloves, candy, etc. As usual, this year I ended up buying way more stuff than I needed for her stocking (the dollar store does that to me). And when I ended up with some stuff from the office gift exchange that I already had, I really had a surfeit of stocking stuffers.

So I Secret-Santa'd my neighbors.

Two of my neighbors are women who live alone and don't seem to get much company. I wrapped up all the extra stuff, put it in gift bags, donned a trench coat and a Santa hat, and on Christmas Eve I left the bags on their porches.

And I had SO MUCH FUN wrapping up all that stuff and deciding who got what and sneaking through the neighborhood (don't call 911! It's just me!) that I think I'll do it again next year. Maybe pick a few more neighbors.

Next to the owl hooting, that was the best part of my Christmas.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Wait a minute .....

.... I can't even take a tube of christing toothpaste on a flight, and some asshole already on a watch list manages to carry on enough sh*t to take down an entire plane?

And then we have Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, after this sh*t goes down, saying flying is "very, very safe"?

F*ck you, bitch. No it AIN'T.

and I can't get it out of my head

I saw a deer get hit by an SUV last night.

Actually, I would have hit the deer if I had been just a few seconds later. It was dark and I was on a busy two-lane road, going about 50, with cars behind me and cars going the other direction next to me when I saw the deer step out of the woods and onto the shoulder on my side of the road. I couldn't slam on the brakes because of the other traffic, so all I could do was pump the brakes and watch as the deer hesitated, then jumped into the road right in front of me.

I missed it, barely, but an SUV going the other direction nailed it. I heard an incredibly loud CRRRRRUUNNNNNCCCHHHHH and watched in my rearview as hooves flew in the air and the SUV lurched onto the shoulder. When I got home I checked the car, fully expecting the driver's side to be covered in blood, but it wasn't.

And I know I'll be thinking about this for a long time.

I remember several years ago, driving that same section of road, and watching a cop pull his service revolver and shoot a deer that had been injured in a car collision.

And there was that time I saw a cat ........ oh jeezus christ I still can't talk about that.

And I don't understand why I can't just put this stuff out of my mind and forget about it. I mean, I don't bring back good times in my mind in graphic detail; it's just the nasty stuff that sears itself onto my brain and lurches to the surface, unbidden, from time to time. I wonder why.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Well, at least THAT'S over with

Actually, I like everything about Christmas except the day itself, when I have to spend time with people I do not like. Bah. It helped to know that I don't have to see these folks again until Easter.

But! I got through the day without killing anybody or even making any snarky remarks. Well, there was that one incident with the monster truck show*, but that's between Ditzy and me.

My Christmas bonus came through, meaning that I spent yesterday morning at Home Depot buying new light fixtures for the bathroom. Woot!

My sister Texas was nice enough to gift me the new Stephen King book, which weighs approximately ten pounds and is over 1,000 pages long. I predict a March finish. Shit, I don't even think the Bible has that many pages.

By far the coolest part of the weekend came yesterday afternoon, when I was out in the woods and heard an owl calling. I've been spending a good chunk of my weekends in forests for years now, and that was the first time I've ever heard an owl call. Hoo hoo hooooooo hooo hooo. TOO COOL.

I hope everybody had a good Christmas, and nobody's in jail for murdering a relative or anything. Ho ho ho!

*Did you know that there's a TV channel devoted entirely to monster truck shows? Is true! And it doesn't even have, like, a voiceover or anything, it just shows monster trucks jumping over stuff again and again and again, with a heavy-metal soundtrack. It's EXTREMELY popular with my two-year-old nephew, whose favorite Christmas present was something called a "Gravedigger". Yeah.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

All is calm, all is bright .....

Merry Christmas from our house to yours!

My Christmas gift to you

First off, to everyone who sent me a card, thank you very much! You're helping to make the new house a home.

Now, a blast from the past.

Scene from a wedding:


There's so much to say about this, where do I even start? How about:

Out of the five people in the photo, three of them have bad spiral perms. Hell, just because it was 1984, that's no excuse.

The cinderblock wall, with the electrical outlet hanging down. Talk about a no-budget wedding. Check out the lavish decoration: One measly paper-bell-thingie.

The maid of honor, who is apparently using her drink cup as a spitoon.

Paper plates and plastic silverware, peeps. At the wedding party's table. Jeezus Christ. Who organized this?

OhmyGAH that poufy-sleeved dress. *shudder*

The groom, who apparently thinks he is one of the landed gentry, instead of a pot-smoking, job-losing asshole.

Looking at this photo, you know I was doomed from the start. I think I realized it as soon as the reception was over, when instead of heading home to get busy (no money for a honeymoon, doncha know), the groom decided we should head over to the best man's PARENTS' house to get stoned. I shit you not. Thank god it only took me four-and-a-half years to make a break for it, and now I can look at these pics and laugh. Oh, and cringe. Lots of cringing involved as well.

So I hope you all are having a very merry Christmas, but if not, take another look at that photo and rest assured that things could be worse. Much worse.

Happy holidays!

Oh! Oh! Oh! The best part? The house I bought this past summer? I can now SEE that reception hall from my front yard. Whoa.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

In which The Runt impersonates a refrigerator magnet

The magnet (the crawfish one on the right):

The Runt:

How do you like my old-lady sofa with the old-lady afghan artfully placed across the back? Bitchin', no?

We won't even talk about the f*cking Bills schedule on the fridge. Bah.

Oh, and while I'm talking about cats (jeezus anything as long as I don't have to talk about the Bills), The Runt and Little Girl aren't that fond of human food. They're not even that fond of tuna juice, which Rocky used to love. I've tried all different kinds of food with them, including broccoli and other weird shit that cat owners claim their cats adore. These guys? Not so much.

So I was really surprised when I set a cupcake on the table the other night, left the room for about thirty seconds, and came back to discover that The Runt had hoovered all the frosting off that sucker. I mean, seriously, I think he set a land speed record for getting the frosting off a cupcake.

A cat after my own heart.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

This is why our taxes are so high

I was reading this thing on AOL today about this woman up in Boston who was pissed off because her son wouldn't put down his video game and go to bed.

So she called the cops.

She called the f*cking cops to come discipline her son.

You know, you need a license to get a dog, but any f*cktard can have a kid.

Check this out .......

I got a Christmas (and Hogmanay!) card from Scotland! How cool is that?

Obviously, Fish Food* and her husband have mad computer skillz - my poor cards look like a third-grader made them compared to this! (Click on the image to embiggen.)

Thanks, Fish*!

*I'm using her alias because after what happened on her blog earlier this year *cough*, I'd hate to start an international incident or something by mentioning her real name. :)

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Catholics have all the good stuff

I went to a couple of religious stores this weekend looking for images to use in some projects I've been thinking of.

I went to the local "Christian" store first, which was a total bust. It was all new-age-y and vague, with no actual images of Christ at all.

So I headed down the road to the Catholic store. Bingo! The first thing I saw when I walked through the door was a picture of Christ with his bleeding heart in his hands. Literally, he was holding his bleeding, possibly still beating heart in his hands.

Those Catholics have all the good stuff.

So I loaded up with prayer cards, little plastic Jesuses, and an illustration of a nun holding a crucifix with Christ on it.

Crazy Catholics!

And I felt a little guilty, because if the nice old lady running the store knew what I was going to use this stuff for*, she probably wouldn't have sold it to me.

That said, I'm definitely going back for more.

*Christ on a cracker. I KNOW.

Friday, December 18, 2009

..... and while I'm on the subject ...

...... of pop culture, what the f*ck is up, Survivor? You voted Shambo off? SHAMBO?

Dear Survivor-people: You need to get that little Machiavellian bastard Russell off the show RIGHT NOW. PRONTO.

I don't understand these people. They're wandering around the damn island bleating like flippin' SHEEP about how Russellllllll willl wiinnnnnn, bleattt bleattt bleattttt, when all they have to do is VOTE HIS ASS OFF.

Of course, the minute they vote him off, I'll stop watching, because then it won't be any FUN anymore, not being able to watch evil Russell manipulate his flock of freaking SHEEP, but still.

Save yourselves, Survivor-people.

Updated 12/21/09 to add: The finale was last night, and Russell lost to a woman with a Bumpit in her hair. *sigh*

Just plain wrong .....

The "Finding Nemo" ice skating spectacular is coming to our town, and the media have been flooded with ads for the show, the better to get the kiddies to beg their parents to take them.

And I have to wonder who thought up the costumes, because every time I see one of the ads, all I can think is, "what is it with the boob-eyes?"

Because, really:

Who wants to see a bunch of people skating around with eyes in their boobs? Not me. That's just creepy. It's, like, oh my God, what was that Stephen King short story where the astronaut grew an eye on the palm of his hand. Bleccch.

And how do you explain this to the kids? I'd like to be a fly on the wall for THAT conversation.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Well, I thought about the Army .....

So! Last night's Sing-Off!

First, let's backtrack to Tuesday's show. I am embarrassed to admit that when they did "Freedom 90", I knew every. single. word. And, the song got me thinking about the album it was on (yes, I said "album" - I am old) and the song "Praying for Time", which totally rules, and which I also sang, in its blessed entirety, during a commercial break.

I know the words to twenty-year-old George Michael songs! Aren't you glad you don't live with me?

Anyhoo, moving on to last night's show. That college group, the Beelzebubs, or however the hell you spell it? I've come to the conclusion that they're my faves because I have a totally inappropriate crush on the chunky, curly-haired dude. I don't know if I want to give him cookies and milk or f*ck the hell out of him, and that's just wrong.

But! "Baba O'Reilly"? Really?! Rock on, dudes!

I couldn't figure out why the lady judge was on the show, because none of her comments made any sense. Then I read the captions and discovered that she was a "Pussycat Doll", which ..... um ..... aren't they strippers? WHY IS SHE ON THE SHOW?

I'm getting a little tired of the beat-boxing. I mean, I know they need it to keep time, but still ..... and I just now thought about how much spit must be on the floor of that stage by the end of the night and ........ ew. Just ew.

Oh, and Voices of Lee did Man in the Mirror, which, Michael Jackson notwithstanding, is one of the best songs ever. I'm sorry, but that song is the shiz. Too bad Voices of Lee butchered it.

One last thing: Seeing as how BEN FOLDS is a judge, when, oh when is one of the groups going to whip out "Jesusland"? Come on, guys, there's only one night left! Man up! Or wait ..... "Army!" I wanna hear somebody sing about three sad semesters and Chick-fil-A!

My prediction? The Beezlebubs (or however the hell you spell it) for the win!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I didn't know what to do

Okay, so I was in line at the grocery store last night, and the woman ahead of me was unloading her groceries out of her cart. And she was doing it slowly, because one of her arms was crippled.

And I SO MUCH WANTED to ask if I could help, but I was afraid it would embarrass her, or insult her.

And I remembered back when my wrist was broken and my arm was in a splint, and I would have GLADLY accepted any help offered. But then I worried that maybe it was different when the disability was permanent, and maybe she'd be mortified if I tried to help. I didn't know what to do. So in the end, I did nothing, and this morning it is STILL bothering me.

So. As usual I am clueless here. Should I have asked if she needed/wanted help? Should I have just gone ahead and started unloading her groceries with her? What would you have done?

I need to know, in case it happens again.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

What nerds can do

So! Last night was the first night of "The Sing-Off". Anybody besides me watch? ...... anybody?..... Bridgett?......

The opening number, "Under Pressure", really showed off what these groups can do. A cappella singing is difficult, and these guys made it look easy, letting their nerd flags fly, creating something beautiful with their voices.

And for you non-nerds, you have NO IDEA how much practice it takes to get to that level. The hours and hours and hours and hours of often mind-numbingly boring practice, practice, practice.

Cool kids would never try, but the nerds sure will.

A few notes from the show: I'm sure glad they aren't using props, because that would pretty much suck. I can't figure out if that Mormon girl always rocks the bleach-blonde fauxhawk, or if the producers told her to do it. Speaking of which, who the hell is picking those god-awful outfits? And I'm not sure what the barbershop gals are doing there - that rendition of "Dancing Queen" was pretty f*cking painful.

That said, will I keep watching?

Aw yeah.

Monday, December 14, 2009

O Christmas Tree

Remember last year, when I ended up with Stabby, the Homicidal Christmas Tree?

As it turned out, there was a tree shortage last year, supposedly due to some big ice storm. Which I'm not sure I believe, because you know that 90% of the "fresh-cut" trees out there were actually chain-sawed back in August.

Anyhow: The Tree, 2009 version.

This was my weekend: Football, cats and tree:

I am a spinster. Bet you didn't know that. *cough*


Note that there is NO tinsel on the bottom two feet of the tree. If you have cats, you know why. Nothin' says "festive" like a cat strolling through the room with a foot-long strand of tinsel hanging out of its butt. Happy holidays!

Oh, and trust me, those curtains are going after the first of the year. Along with those nasty ceiling tiles. Shhhh, don't tell them.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Thinking of warmer days

Nerd Alert! Nerd Alert!

Ah-OOOO-ga! Ah-OOOO-ga!

From the NBC web site - ""The Sing-Off" is a four-night event premiering Monday, December 14 (8-10 p.m. ET) that features a one-of-a-kind battle of voices that continues on December 15 and 16, culminating with a live finale on December 21 (8-10 p.m. ET each night).

The show will feature the country's top eight a cappella groups performing popular songs in a way that viewers never heard them before. There's no lip-synching, back-up bands or safety net. They'll be singing for America's vote with the winner walking away with the ultimate prize -- an Epic Records/Sony Music recording contract."

With the enormous success of "Glee", you had to know this was coming. I am assuming they won't autotune the shit out of the songs like they do on Glee, so I'll be tuning in fer sure! Although how much Nick Lachey I can take is anybody's guess.

(Full disclosure: I was not compensated in any way, shape or form for this plug. Just so you know. Although I'm pretty sure I could've left this out, since I am fairly certain that NBC and the FTC have no idea whatsoever that I exist.)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Memories are Tricky Things

Back when I was 9 or 10, I remember me and my Mom and a couple of my sisters were sitting around talking, and I brought up an occasion from a couple of years before. I had been hospitalized with pneumonia, and the family was going up to the lake for the weekend, and they all stopped by the hospital before they left.

At which point my sisters began laughing hysterically, and informed me that it never happened. And I was all, "It did TOO! It did TOO happen! Mom, remember?"

And my Mom, who I am sure was trying very hard not to laugh, assured me that said incident had never taken place, that the only time I was ever in the hospital was when I was born, that they would certainly not go out of town if I was hospitalized, etc. That I must have dreamed about this at some point, and somehow the dream had become real to me.

And I remember feeling crestfallen and very confused, because I was SO SURE that it had happened.

I wonder if this is how my Mom feels now. She has Alzheimer's, and will come up with the craziest stories, and if we tell her (gently) that what she is saying did not happen, she often replies with, "It did TOO!" She can really get angry, insisting that yes, that man DID stop by to deliver a cake, but she wouldn't sign for it, and now Tib's going to be really mad because the man delivered the cake somewhere else. And she really BELIEVES that this actually happened.

I don't try to reason with her anymore, after it was pointed out to me that trying to reason with someone with Alzheimer's is really, really pointless. Now I just nod my head and sympathize, and if she wants to talk for a while about the man with the cake, that's okay with me.

Alzheimer's sucks.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Today's WTF

Yahoo headline:

"WWII vet returns book he stole from Hitler"

Ummmmm...... returned it how, exactly?

I am DYING right now, people. DYING.

Okay, so there's this blog that I read (no, it's NOT one of the ones on my blogroll), and the blogger just put up a post about picky (adult) eaters at holiday parties and what a pain in the ass they are.

And ALL THESE PEOPLE commented in, like, "I'm not a picky eater but if I eat wheat I WILL DIE so I HAVE to talk to the host about my allergies IN GREAT DETAIL" and "I'm not a picky eater but OH MY GOD no cilantro or corn or watermelon ewwwwwwww" and "I'm not a picky eater but I DO NOT LIKE bananas oh nonononononooooooooo"

and I'm, like, twisting around in my brain, trying not to comment along the lines of,

"Holy shit, people, you are MISSING THE DAMN POINT. The blogger is saying that if you are a picky eater you should either bring your own stuff, shut the fuck up or stay the fuck home. Do you not understand?"

and I didn't do it because that's just being an ass and starting a flame war on someone else's blog, but oh it was KILLING ME to keep my mouth shut so ....... here we are.

Oh hai! How are you today?

..... because this made me burst out loud laughing at my desk:

...... don't call me, PETA, okay? I couldn't help myself.


On Mental Floss today, they have a list of seven horrifying aircraft landings.
Check out Number 5:

5. British Airways Flight 5390

Birmingham, England to Malaga, Spain6 crew, 81 passengersJune 10, 1990

The quality of every part of an airplane is crucial to safety. Before flight 5390 took off, the left cockpit windscreen had been replaced by a technician who used the wrong size bolts. At 17,300 feet, the window blew out. Captain Tim Lancaster had just removed his seat belt and had set the plane to autopilot. The sudden loss of pressure sucked Lancaster out the window! His body was outside the plane while his feet became entangled in the controls, which disconnected the autopilot. Flight attendant Nigel Ogden grabbed the captain and tried to pull him back into the plane. Copilot Alistair Atcheson took control of the plane and sent it into a dive to an altitude where the pressure could be stabilized. Chief steward John Heward helped Ogden hold onto the pilot’s legs. They could not pull him in due to the raging wind and cold temperatures at 11,000 feet. The crew, assuming Lancaster was dead, considered letting the pilot’s body go, but decided that was too risky as it could be sucked into an engine or damage a wing. Besides, he was partially blocking the hole where the window once was. Atcheson landed the plane at Southampton, despite the fact that the airport’s runway was shorter than recommended for the BAC 1-11 aircraft. Then the unexpected happened -captain Lancaster came to! He was hospitalized with a broken right arm and wrist and a broken left thumb as well as frostbite and shock. Minor injuries, considering he had ridden on the outside of an airliner at high altitudes for 18 minutes. Lancaster was the only person injured in the incident. He recovered and returned to flying a few months later.

Dude. Duuuuuuude.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Since my sense of humor may be off ......

.......if I put this pic on a Christmas card:

and captioned it "Merry Christmas from the Duggars!", would you get it? Would you think it was funny? Because I'm having a kind of a hard time judging which pics are funny.

Oh, and that reminds me: I'm doing cards again this year! Woot! If you got one last year, you're on my list. If you did NOT get one last year and would like one this year, email me (rockycat24 AT yahoo DOT com) with your name and address (and blog, if you have one), and I'll send you a card! If you DID get one last year and never wish to receive another lame card from me again, email me and I'll pull you off the list. Let me know, mmmmkay?

I promise, they won't ALL be Duggar cards.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Oh, no, not the leg again ......

So, the stores are doing their annual "let's see much money we can get people to spend" thing, and the Sunday papers are thick with flyers. And the one thing all the flyers seem to have in common is the leg lamp.

Come on, you know what I'm talking about. That movie, "A Christmas Story", with the little kid who wants a BB gun for Christmas, and his Dad "wins" the leg lamp"? And it comes in a box marked "Fra-GEE-lay"?

The first time I saw the leg lamp for sale was in a PBS catalog a few years back. I admit, when I first saw it, for about .04 seconds, I was all, like, "OMG! So funny! Must have!"

And then I came to my senses and realized what it would be like to have to look at the damn thing every day.

But I have to wonder, am I missing the boat here? Is the leg lamp the next big thing? Do you have one? Do you know anyone who has one? Is anybody buying these things?

Just wondering.

.... since you asked ......

Friday, December 04, 2009

A little shiver

I didn't know how happy owning a house would make me.

I mean, I rented for my entire adult life, and I didn't really have a problem with it, except for the asshole neighbors and their LOUD NOISE which kind of killed the whole renting-thing and is really the only reason I started looking at houses. To get away from the DAMN NOISE.

I am old.

But anyway, I'm thinking of putting up a tree this weekend, unless I get stuck here at the office, and the thought of decorating MY HOUSE for Christmas has just got me ridiculously excited.

Oh yeah, and I've never done outside lights before, because I lived in apartments, but I swear, I have the strongest frickin' urge to buy a bunch of outside lights and go to town. But you know what's really weird? I want to decorate the back of the house, facing the woods. I am odd.

It's not just decorating for Christmas that's got me pumped. Ever since I moved in, I'll be just sitting there watching TV or reading a book or putting away dishes and the thought flashes through my mind, "this is MY HOUSE", and I swear, I do this little involuntary wriggle of happiness, like a little puppy squirming with joy.

I had no idea how happy this would make me. I swear, I don't know if I've ever been this damn happy in my whole life.


Thursday, December 03, 2009

I am not alone!

Zucullea posted a baby-with-booze photo of her very own!

Anybody else? .........


Okay, here we go, ANOTHER post about (not) smoking. Feel free to skip.

I got home from work last night and I could smell cigarette smoke. My niece and her boyfriend were over last weekend, and they both smoke, but I thought there was no way that smoke from a few cigarettes could linger that long, especially since I hadn't smelled it in the days between.

Then I went to get out of my "work clothes", and as I pulled my sweater off, I got a great big whiff of smoke.

I was in my boss's office yesterday, taking dictation, and he was smoking. The smell of the cigarettes had gotten into my frickin' clothes, and it didn't smell good. It smelled like I made a great big fat MISTAKE for the past thirty years. Did all my clothes really used to smell like that?! *sigh*

Time for the monthly counts:

Number of cigarettes I would have smoked between April 3 and now, had I not quit then: 7,200.

Amount of money saved: $1,284.00.

I was talking with another one of my nieces at Thanksgiving about quitting. To my surprise, my sister TIB, who quit herself almost four years ago, chimed in. It was surprising because TIB, who actually smoked even more than I did, if that's even possible, hadn't talked about her sudden quit. All I knew was that after being a heavy smoker for years and years, and after many, many attempts at quitting, she went to a hypnotist* and quit. Just like that.

So anyway, she told my niece and I that for the past week and a half, she'd wanted a cigarette in the worst way. She keeps ashtrays out on the back porch for smokers, and she explained how she could just go out there, light up a half-smoked leftover, and nobody would ever know.

And she kept talking. She talked about how if she were ever diagnosed with an incurable disease, and given a limited amount of time to live, she would start smoking again. And she would smoke as much as she wanted, every darn day, for as long as she had left.

"Makes sense to me", I said. Because it did.

And that's why it's so hard to quit. That mindset.

I just hope that four years from now, it's not me still craving a cigarette.

But even if it is, I'm not lighting up. I'm done with that.

I sure hope so, anyway.

On the bright side, I did not smoke on Thanksgiving day, for the first time in thirty years. I did not smoke on my birthday, for the first time in thirty years. I have not smoked a single solitary cigarette, not even a puff, since April 3. Even when those around me are smoking, I am not. I'm a quitter, dammit. Go me.

*or maybe it was an acupuncturist. Or a laser-thingie. I don't remember.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Crazy? Or Sane?

First of all, sorry* about those baby's first alcohol photos. Evidently you guys sided with the half of my family that voted "horrible" and not "hilarious". Whoops.

Here is today's question, prefaced with a little backstory.

I do not do much "seasonal" decorating, except for Christmas, and I haven't even started with the Christmas crap yet, other than almost killing myself getting the boxes out of the attic. Somebody should have rethought those ten-foot pull-down attic stairs, is all I'm sayin'. Oh, and they should have rethought installing a furnace three times the size necessary for the house. Which I found out on Thanksgiving eve at seven p.m., when the damn furnace croaked. Thanks, previous owner!

Ahem. Anyhow, I don't do a lot of "autumn" decorating. I've got a bunch of Indian corn that I hang on the door every year, and some godawful fake fall leaves that I drape on the porch rail, and a corny cardboard sign with pilgrims on it that says "Happy Thanksgiving", and that's about it. You know those scarecrow-things, those ones that are, like, four feet tall, with stakes on the bottom so you can stick 'em in the ground, those ones that they sell at the Dollar General?

Yeah, I don't have any of those, because I think they're frankly a little odd. Like sticking giant dolls in your yard or something.** But yesterday I had to run to the grocery store at lunchtime, and evidently this store really, really wanted to get rid of their remaining stock of scarecrows-on-a-stick, because they had them piled up by the front door on sale for seventy cents each.

And I was like, "Holy shit! Seventy cents each! I should buy some!" And then I was like, "But I don't even like those scarecrows! They're creepy!" and then I was all, "but they're SEVENTY CENTS EACH! I could give them to my neighbor!***"

I did not buy any scarecrows-on-sticks. And by the time I came back out of the store, someone with a scarecrow fetish had scarfed up all the stock.

So here's my question: Would you have bought the seventy-cent scarecrows, had you been me? You make the call!

*yeah, not really.

**no, not "or something". It is exactly like sticking giant dolls in your yard.

***my darling neighbor, whom I love, who decorates extensively for every holiday.

Friday, November 27, 2009

I'll show you pics from my Thanksgiving .....

....... if you promise not to call Child Protective Services.

Baby's first wine box:

.... and the wine always leads to harder stuff, don'tcha know:

Awwwwwww. Baby's first highball. It's a Manhattan - the kid has good taste.

Members of my family found these pictures either horrifying or hilarious, depending on which way their sense of humor skewed. I think you know which side of the spectrum I fall on.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The holidays are here .....

...... let's talk about some really depressing shit.

I'm reading this book, "Closing Time", by Joe Queenan. It's a memoir about growing up poor with an alcoholic, abusive father.

Frankly, I'm not sure I'm going to make it all the way through - I thought it would be really good, but this dude is just intellectualizing the heck out of the whole thing, so it's kind of tough going.

But he does bring up some interesting points about growing up, and being, poor. Here's some examples:

"Poverty, conceptually as well as viscerally, suffers from a mythology concocted by those who were never poor. Poverty goes far beyond not having money or food. Poverty means that when you do have money and food, the money gets spent unwisely and the food is not nutritious."

"Poverty is a tumor it takes a lifetime to excise, because poverty is lodged deep inside the brain in a dark corner where the once-poor don't want to look. Poverty is a lifestyle, a philosophy, a modus vivendi, an agglomeration of bad habits, which is why nobody who has ever been poor physically ever stops being poor emotionally."

"Most things in life come down to the luck of the draw. Line up ten poor people. Nine of them won't make it. One, maybe two, will. It might as well be you, third pauper from the left. It will help if you are born with chutzpah and personality or are capable of unleashing a stupefying amount of violence on complete strangers in a short period of time with little concern for the consequences. But even that may not be enough. Everyone who is saved is saved because someone tossed him or her a lifeline ......... as the events of Good Friday make abundantly clear, no one is saved all by himself."

Okay, I find this stuff fascinating. First off, let me make clear, I do not have my own personal Poverty Card to pull here. I was born into an upper-middle-class family. Due to an unwise choice of (ex)husband, I did go through some pretty tough times, financially, in my twenties, but I was never actually hungry or destitute.

What Mr. Queenan seems to be saying is that you can't pull yourself up by your bootstraps. You have to have help. And even with help, you may not succeed. I think of that line from the Bible that goes something like, "There will be poor always". In other words, you can't save everybody. Some people will always be poor. Some people, astoundingly, seem to choose poverty. I am thinking of one friend of mine in particular. This dude has been given chance after chance after chance to improve his situation, but he always f*cks it up.

So! I have lots more thoughts on this (oh boy, do I), but this has gone on kind of long already and I'm getting ready to split for the weekend. Feel free to leave your thoughts on poor people in the comments, and Happy Thanksgiving! Sorry if I depressed the shit out of you by talking about poverty.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Holy Bullwinkle!

My sister-in-law sent me a forwarded e-mail with these pics. They were supposedly taken at Elliott Lake, Ontario, Canada. The road is supposed to be a regular dirt road, i.e., one wide enough for a car to drive down.

What do you think? Real or Photoshopped? There's nothing on Snopes about a giant moose. I'd love to believe that a moose of that size is out there, but do they really get that big?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Memento Mori

On Saturday, I was pawing through old photos at an antique store, and I saw one that caught my eye. I asked the store owner, "Is this one of those ...... coffin photos?"

"Post-mortem photography is actually the term, and, yep, that's what that is!", he said.

It was a photo of a dead guy. In his coffin. Surrounded by floral arrangements.

I bought it.

I'd seen photos like it on line, but I'd never actually held one. And I have no idea why, but it just kind of spoke to me. Sort of like the deer antlers. You see something, and you want to give it a home.

Oh, and I did finally hang the antlers - they're on the door frame between the living room and kitchen. Klassy. And maybe I'll hang the coffin photo above the antlers.

Which should be a big hit on Halloween, but I doubt I'll have much company the rest of the year. And someday when I make the news for having, I don't know, a house full of bones or something, you guys can all be, "I knew her back when she was just starting to go crazy!"

Friday, November 20, 2009


I predict that lots of this will be going on at my place this weekend.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Stop threatening me, Rite-Aid

Rite-Aid's ad campaign, "With us, it's personal", cracks me up. Every time I see one of their ads, I'm all, watch out, peeps; this time, it's PERSONAL.

I couldn't remember where I'd heard that before, until I googled it and found out it was the tag-line for "Jaws: The Revenge."

Hmmm. Invoking comparisons to a killer shark out for blood? Way to go, Rite-Aid. And oh my God, has anybody else noticed the cartoon reindeer adorning their latest flyer? The reindeer who looks like it's on crack? With blood-red eyes and a messed-up mane and giant teeth? And it's just a disembodied head floating on the edge of the ads, making me think of the Godfather movie? Yeeeaaaahhhh, THAT mo-fo's not gonna give your kids nightmares.

On a related note (kind of)(maybe), every. single. time I see that commercial for the post office? You know the one, "If it fits, it ships"? I think, "if it fits, it shits."

I don't think that's quite what they intended.

Although I'm sure that somewhere, an ad agency exec is laughing his ass off.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

This is EXACTLY why I quit smoking

Seriously, guys, I'm not trying to beat a dead horse or anything with all this "ha ha I quit smoking" stuff, but something happened today that really rattled me.

See, there is this blogger who I've been reading for, oh, a year or two now. I'd link to her blog, but she doesn't know me from Adam, and I don't know if she'd appreciate it, and to tell the truth, she's got her hands pretty full right now.

Because she went to the doctor with a persistent cough, and they did an x-ray, and holy motherfucking shit, they found masses. In her lungs.

And as far as I know, this woman is not a smoker and has never smoked, and yet. She has masses. In her lungs.

And I am well aware that it could be too late for me already. Even though I quit in April, I spent the previous thirty years before that lighting up with abandon. Frankly, I have already made my bed, and some day down the road, I may have to lie in it.

But this poor woman? Who, as far as I know, has never smoked? Is facing my worst nightmare. Sitting in a doctor's office and being told, "We've found something."

I am pulling for this woman right now just as hard as I can. With every fucking fiber of my being, I am hoping, hoping, hoping that she will be fine. Because she doesn't deserve this. I may deserve it, but she certainly doesn't.

I just want to cry.

I can only imagine how she feels.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Recently Read

Per usual, skip it if you wanna.

1. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith - Novel about one summer for a teenager in England in the thirties. Kind of old-fashioned (I think it was actually written in the thirties) and very good.

2. Going to Bend by Diane Hammond - Novel about life in a small Pacific Northwest town - Very good.

3. O Rugged Land of Gold by Martha Martin - Memoir written in the 50s about a woman who lived, alone and pregnant, in the Alaskan wilderness - I loved this one. I'm a sucker for books about people who live in the middle of nowhere.

4. The Ladies' Lending Library by Janice Keefer - Novel about a group of women in the early sixties - Well written, but I had a hard time getting into it. Meh.

5. Killing Yourself to Live by Chuck Klosterman - Ostensibly a book about a cross-country road trip, but it seemed like more of just a vanity project for the author. I get the feeling that this guy thinks he's a lot hipper than he actually is, kind of like Ira Glass. The book got good reviews, but I found it really annoying.

6. The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder by Rebecca Wells. Oh, boy. I guess the title alone should have been a tip-off. I got a ways in and realized that it was better than reading the back of the cereal box, but not by much. The plot itself was okay, but the writing pretty much sucked. I really liked "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood" by the same author, so I'm not sure why I found this one so god-awful. It was almost like somebody else wrote it. Moving on ....

7. June Bug by Chris Fabry - Fantastic! If you want to read something entertaining, read this. It's a novel about a young girl who discovers she was abducted as a toddler (or was she?), and it's just really good. All of the characters had interesting back-stories. I really recommend it.

8. Half-Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls, author of The Glass Castle. This is "first-person fiction" (that's what they called it on the dustjacket, anyway) based on the true story of the author's grandmother. A great, great read - really interesting. Loved it!

9. Crazy for the Storm by Norman Ollestad - Memoir about growing up with an unstable, controlling father, interwoven with a plane crash - Wow. I really liked this one.

So! I haven't been reading as much lately - Since I bought the house, it seems like every time I sit down to read I think of something else that needs to be cleaned/assembled/put away/repaired. Boy, who knew houses were such a gigantic time-suck? Heee.

Oh, and my birthday is coming up, so I've been scouring my Amazon wish list for a couple of good books to order. Normally I get all my books from the library, but there's some stuff that's not available locally, so this time of year I treat myself and order on-line, because God forbid I not have a good book to read on my birthday and on Christmas day. Am I the only one who does this? Oh, and I "preview" books that I have - read a little bit of each - to make sure I'm not stuck with a dog on the actual days themselves. Because how depressing would it be to be stuck reading a sucky book on your birthday?

God, I'm weird. Just stamp "NERD" on my forehead and leave it at that.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Now THAT'S scary

Happy Friday the Thirteenth!

I was trying to recall if anything bad had ever happened to me on a Friday the 13th, when I remembered something I had TOTALLY forgotten about: I met the man who eventually became my ex-husband on a Friday the 13th.


I was going to stay home that night, but I decided to go out because, hey, it's Friday the 13th, and if you need an excuse to go drinking, that's as good a one as any.

I ended up at the bar my Dad owned at the time, and ran into the man who became my ex-husband. I actually already knew of him, a little - we had been in marching band (NERDS) together, although we never hung out together or anything back then. So, I ran into him that night, we started dating, and the rest is (unfortunate) history.

Oh! And something else I had totally forgotten - We got married in 1984, which means that if I hadn't left him back in '89, we would have been married ..... drum roll, please ....... twenty-five years this year. AND, our wedding date was around the tenth of November (can't remember the exact date), so THIS VERY WEEK we would be celebrating (or cursing) our silver wedding anniversary.


Okay, that's enough scary-ness for Friday the Thirteenth. Have a good one! And you might want to stay out of the bars. I'm just sayin'.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Whoa-ho-holy shit

Okay, I admit it. I watched the clip from Oprah's show where that woman who got her face torn off by a chimp did the big reveal.

I'm not proud of it. I watched it on a clip show, and they gave plenty of warning, and I could have turned the channel.

But I didn't.

What is it in us, I wonder, that draws our attention to the train wreck? Why do we feel a compulsion to look, even though we know we shouldn't? Even though we know we'll feel ashamed of ourselves for doing so? We are taught as children not to stare, and yet we still do it as adults.

Having said that, I have to send kudos to that woman. Holy mother of God, she's got more courage than I will ever, ever have. Jeezus, to go through life knowing that you will never see again, that you have no hands, no face ...... man. I could not do that.

And here's what I probably should not think about, but I am - I wonder, if I were put in that position, if I would kill myself. If I would rather be dead than to know that the rest of my life would be a series of surgeries just trying to make me into something remotely resembling normal again. And knowing that I would always be blind, that I would have no freakin' hands, that my life as I knew it as a functioning human being was over.

Would I kill myself? Would my life be worth living? Obviously, this woman has found a purpose, a reason, to go on. And God bless her for it. I don't know if I could do the same.

What would you do?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Holy shit, maybe I AM a crazy cat lady

I had to look up the lyrics to "Senor Don Gato"* this morning, because I started singing it to The Runt last night and I couldn't remember the words, and it was driving me CRAZY.

And I mean, God only knows it's important to know all the words when you're singing a song to your cat.


Of course, you know what's in my head on an endless loop right now. Oh, Senor Don Gato was a cat ....... on a fine red roof Don Gato sat........

I need to get a grip.

*When I was a little kid, I LOVED this song, because it contained the words "and his little solar plexus meow meow meow" (oh peeps, I am leaving myself WIDE OPEN here; I'm aware of that), which were the most magically pleasing words in the world to little-kid me. I don't know if I even knew what a solar plexus was (and frankly, I'm still unsure, other than knowing that it's a body part), but I just loved the sound of those words. Am weird.

Oh, and to all of the veterans out there today, Veterans Day: Thank you. Thank you for doing what the rest of us are unable, or unwilling, to do: Putting your lives on the line for your country. Thank you from the bottom of the crazy cat lady's heart.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Quel Dilemma

The stove in the new house is, well, pretty old. Judging by the color, I'm guessing 70s-vintage. It's supposedly self-cleaning, but I'm not sure I really want to test that particular function.

It works just fine, and there's only one problem: The drip pans (those metal bowls that go under the burner elements) are disgusting. They're covered in baked-on crud, and so old they've literally rusted. Problem #2 (I lied; there's more than one problem): The stove is so old that the burner elements aren't removable, meaning the drip pans are this funky-ass shape and not the normal drip pan shape.

I was at K-fart a few weeks back (I know! I HATE K-fart! I can't even remember why I was in there to begin with - it's like Walmart for zombies (brraaaaaiiiiinnnnsss)) and they had drip pans that would fit my stove. Of course they did, because the store hasn't been restocked since '78.

I wanted black porcelain, not the cheap-ass chrome. The black was, like, twenty bucks for a set, and the chrome was, like, twelve bucks, and because I am INCREDIBLY CHEAP, I decided to see if Walmart had them cheaper. Because let's face it, Walmart has everything cheaper, because it all comes from Chinese sweatshops and is made of used medical waste. I'd think twice before I bought any FOOD there, is all I'm saying.

Walmart did not have the drip pans. I went back to K-fart, and evidently they did their first restocking in thirty years, because they no longer had the drip pans either. Fine, I thought, I'll go on line.

Cheapest on-line price? FORTY BUCKS. And now I'm all, shiittttttt, I could buy a NEW STOVE for, like, three hundred bucks. Should I really blow forty bucks on f*cking drip pans? Especially since I could have gotten them for half that if I had just shelled out the money at K-fart to begin with and not been so goddam cheap?

Oh, the woe.

And be very, very glad you don't, like, live with me or anything, because peeps? I DO THIS SHIT ALL. THE. TIME.


(Oh, and hey, look at that! I just did my NaNoWriMo novel thing in one day! I wrote a book about drip pans! *cough*)

Monday, November 09, 2009

Friday, November 06, 2009

Grammar matters

Or, maybe I'm just an asshole.

I got a form letter in the mail the other day from a local financial planner. Now, I'm no grammar expert, but this thing was so chock-full of typos and punctuation errors that I just had to laugh. (Example: "I'd be happy to met with you." Did no one proofread this thing before it went out as a mass mailing? It was like trying to read the flyer from the local Chinese take-out place, for Pete's sake.)

Then I got out a red pen and started editing.

When I was done, I put the letter in an envelope and mailed it back to the financial planner. I had added a note to the bottom of the letter saying, "This thing is full of typos, and you want to do my TAXES? I think not."

Yeah, I guess I'm just an asshole.

(Feel free to point out any grammatical errors contained in this post. Go for it; really.)

Thursday, November 05, 2009

"Surprise", indeed

When I pulled in the driveway last night, the girl who lives two houses down came over with the cookie dough she had talked me into buying a couple of months ago.

She was selling magazines and cookie dough to raise money for her school's class trip, and while I really didn't want to buy anything, I could totally empathize, because I remember having to go door-to-door selling boxes of fruit for the marching band, and it royally sucked. Plus, I had already turned down her little brother when he came around selling entertainment books, so I was feeling kind of guilty.

So anyway, the cookie dough landed last night, and natch, the first thing I did was grab a spoon. "Rocky Road Surprise" was the dough I had ordered, and I kind of figured the "surprise" was that three pounds of dough cost fourteen bucks. I dug in, and man, that stuff was good. I stood at the counter, staring into space and shoveling in the cookie dough, as vague thoughts of salmonella flitted through my mind.

And then I started reading the container, and guess what? One cookie has a hundred and thirty calories.

I think I had downed about a thousand calories' worth of dough before I read that little tidbit.


Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Quite a few

A couple of weeks ago, I asked one of my new neighbors how many trick-or-treaters the neighborhood got, so I would know how much candy to buy.

"Oh, quite a few", she said, a little vaguely.

I bought three big bags of candy, thinking that would be plenty for "quite a few".

As it turns out, "quite a few" is right around fifty. I didn't run out of candy, but it was close.

I never got any trick-or-treaters at my old place (apartment), so having those knocks on my door coming fast and furious was way cool.

Best outfit? A little girl, maybe nine or ten, dressed as the grim reaper. She scared the sh*t out of me, I'll tell you that.

Worst outfit? A mom dressed as ....... well ........ a hooker, as far as I could figure. I mean, I'm assuming it was a costume, and that she doesn't wear thigh-high hose and just-past-the-ass skirts every day. Despite the overwhelming preponderance of "slut wear" in the costume store ads, she was the only trick-or-treater I had who was dressed ...... um ....... inappropriately. Even the teen girls were going for the goth look or the undead look or the eighties look as opposed to the "I just got paid to have sex look."

All and all, a very good night. And the house didn't even get egged, which I kind of thought might happen, being right next to the park and all. Woot!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009


Yep, another month has rolled around, and it's time to do the counts:

Number of cigarettes I would have smoked between April 3 and today, had I not quit: 6,300.

Amount of money saved: $1,123.50.

Last night I polished my nails for the first time since I quit. You see, I had a routine: Put on the base coat; smoke a cigarette while it dries. Put on the first color coat; smoke a cigarette while it dries. Lather, rinse, repeat.

And no, I never lit my nails on fire while smoking and putting on polish, but I know a girl who did. Her name was Beth, and she was the younger sister of one of my best friends in high school. Not only did she burn the polish off her nails, the flames singed her eyelashes and eyebrows as well. Her sister and I were sixteen or seventeen at the time, meaning Beth must have been, oh, 14 or 15, and already smoking. God, we all smoked like chimneys back then. Heck, they allowed smoking in the "senior lounge" in high school - you'd walk past it and the smoke would roll out into the hallway.

You could smoke everywhere back then - I remember visiting my Dad in the hospital when he was recuperating from back surgery and he was smoking in his hospital bed. A few years later, when he was in the hospital again, they had tightened up the rules, and he could no longer smoke in his room, so he had to go out to the hallway to light up. Can you even imagine lighting up in a hospital today?

I was on one of the last continental smoking air flights - My sister Texas and I went down to visit our parents in Florida in 1992. We could smoke on the plane on the way down, but by the time we came back, new rules had gone into effect and you could only smoke on intercontinental flights. If you tried to smoke on a plane today, you'd probably be accused of being a terrorist.

I have a picture of myself at eleven months old in the smoke-filled family rec room. The wisps of smoke are curling around me like wraiths. Everybody smoked back then, or at least it seemed like it. I guess it would have been surprising if I didn't start smoking; hell, I was probably addicted to nicotine before I ever lit that first cigarette.

That said, I'm sorry I wasted 30 years of my life in such a useless pastime, but I can understand, sort of, why I did it. It's hard to stop doing something that you've been doing all day, every day, for 30 freakin' years, but damn it, I'm doing it.

And I've figured out a new routine: Put on the base coat; watch a little TV. Put on the first color coat; read a few pages. Got it!

Monday, November 02, 2009

Friday, October 30, 2009

In honor of Halloween

Honestly, I think that turning the clocks back this weekend so that it will be dark out at 4:30 is scary enough, but in case you want some more chills, here is a post I did a couple of years ago about the house I grew up in.

Now here's the thing: I don't know if "ghosts" exist or not. The mind can do all kinds of things to make you believe in something that's not really there. But there was something in that house. I will always believe that.

Here's my story:

I was born in upstate New York. My family moved into the house I grew up in when I was 10 months old, in 1963. They bought the house from the original owners, who had built the house a few years before, so the house wasn’t very old. It was a two story house built on a sloping lot, so the finished basement (rec room, laundry room, den, bedroom, bathroom, storage room) was partially below ground. The storage room in the basement was maybe 10’ x 15’ and was in the corner of the basement; there was something very, very wrong about that room. When you walked in there, the hair would stand up on the back of your neck. None of us ever actually saw any kind of apparition or anything like that, but you really, really didn't want to turn around sometimes.

There was a bedroom next to the storage room that was traditionally the room of the oldest sibling in the house at the time. (In a family of six kids, having your own room was a huge privilege!) Staying in that bedroom could be a scary experience. Sometimes I would be in that bedroom and just have the strongest feeling that I had to get out right that second; the worst part was, you had to pass the door of the storage room to get from the bedroom into the main part of the basement and up the stairs to the main living area. I remember steeling up my nerve to open up the bedroom door and get past that storage room door and across the basement to the stairs; by the time I hit the stairs, I'd be hauling ass so fast I'd scuttle up the stairs on all fours, desperately trying to make the door at the top before ....... whatever it was in the basement got me.

We always kept the door to the storage room closed, but it would often be open when someone would walk by. Lots of times I would leave my stereo on a particular radio station before I went to bed in the basement bedroom; when I got up in the morning, the radio would be on a totally different station at the other end of the dial. The living room was upstairs, and many, many nights we would be sitting up there watching TV while we listened to the furniture re-arranging itself downstairs. The floor downstairs was linoleum and the furniture was wooden “camp-style”, so it would make a very distinctive sound scraping across that floor. But when we would go down to check, the furniture would always be where it was supposed to be. Other times the downstairs rec room stereo would come blasting on in the middle of the night; as soon as you got to the top of the basement stairs, it would stop.

If we were in the basement, we could hear what sounded like people walking around upstairs, even when no one was up there. After I grew up and moved out, I would house-sit for my parents when they went out of town; I always stayed upstairs and made sure the door to the basement was shut and locked. When I'd get up in the morning, that door would be standing wide open. That happened a lot and almost gave me a heart attack every time.It wasn’t just our family who experienced this stuff; in-laws and friends were privy to these experiences as well.

It has been over twenty years since I lived there, and I still have nightmares about it. Especially the door to the storage room. When I wake up, I have to remind myself that I don't live there anymore. And I never have to go back.

Happy Halloween! And be glad you didn't grow up in a house like that, because really? It sucked.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

So, last night, I grabbed an ashtray .......


Wait! It's not what you think!

I was doing some hemming* in the living room, and I needed something to put the little bits of end-thread in.

Yeah, I've still got a couple of ashtrays, on top of the fridge. I have friends who smoke, and if they want to light up when they stop by, I'm not going to be one of those assholes hypocritical reformed ex-smokers who banishes people to the backyard to light up.**

For those of you who may be new here, I quit smoking on April 3. The same day an insane whackjob went berzerker and killed a bunch of people in my little town. An auspicious start, no? Nothing makes you want a cigarette like a crazed gunman on the loose.

But here I am, almost seven months later, able to grab an ashtray without wanting to run down to the quickie-mart and grab a pack of smokes to go with.


*There's the real shocker - I was actually sewing! Alert the media!

**I mean, come on, up until this spring, I was the one smoking like a chimney. Just because I quit, it doesn't mean that everybody has to.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Deer poop and compost

Last night, and the night before, I was out raking the leaves in the backyard, in that brief interval between the time I get home and the time it gets dark out. Said interval is about to get drastically briefer this weekend, but I'm not thinking about that right now.

There really aren't all that many leaves out back, at least not compared to where I used to live, and I wasn't going to bother raking at all, but then I got a brilliant idea: Compost! The lazy assholes people up the street load up their grass clippings in a wheelbarrow, wheel them down the street, and dump them on the town land adjacent to my property, so I figured, Bingo! I'll rake the leaves, layer them with the grass clippings, add in the coffee grounds from work, and I'll have nice earthy compost ready for use next spring!

Yeah, I'll let you know how that turns out. Like all my brilliant ideas, I'm sure it'll turn into a clusterf*ck of massive proportions. I'm good like that.

ANYHOW, I was raking, raking, raking, and noticing that holy cow, there's a lot of friggin' deer poop out here. We're talking piles and piles of poop. And I was all, like, yeah well, more organic material for me! I just raked up the poop with the leaves as I happily made my compost piles.

But then I got to thinking, what's that disease? You know, that wasting-away ....... Crutzfield-Jacob, is that it? Because I know I read something in the paper a couple of years back about how deer could be affected, and hunters should wear latex gloves when field-dressing their kill, and I wondered ........ is the disease in the poop? The poop that I'm raking into my compost piles?

Hmmmm .......... if the CDC comes for my compost in the spring, I guess I'll have my answer.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Watching The Runt and Little Girl play with their various prey, I got to thinking about the hunting instinct.

You see, these cats came from a shelter. I got them, their brother and sister, and their mom as a foster when the kittens were wee. Their eyes had opened, and they were just starting to explore the world. Momma was feral; the entire time I fostered them, she only let me touch her once or twice.

Because they were fosters, I kept them inside the whole time I had them. Momma had no opportunity to teach her little babies how to stalk and kill prey.

But somehow, they knew. When I decided to keep The Runt and Little Girl, after the others had gone back to the shelter (their brother and sister were put up for adoption; Momma went to be a barn cat as she was too wild to be a house pet), I started letting them outside.

And they started hunting. And catching stuff. And (sometimes) eating it.

They didn't need Momma to teach them. They just knew. And I don't know how much patience it must take to catch a flippin' wild bird, but they've got it.

Do I feel bad for what they catch? Yes. Especially the birds. I love birds. I would gladly have a yard full of bird feeders and bird houses if not for the fact that, well, I have cats. Setting up bird feeders in yard with cats hardly seems fair.

And I wish, if they are going to hunt, they'd at least eat what they catch. A lot of the time, they just play with it until it's dead, and then walk away.

Other than keeping them inside, which I am not willing to do, I really can't control what they do.

They're animals, after all. It's in their nature.

But I will admit to getting tired of being on corpse-removal detail when they bring the stuff into the house.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Groundhog Day

Ah yes, here I am, back in the office again. Let's see, the last day I had off was ....... hmmm........ October 11.

Hell, I don't mind - I can use the money. I'd just like to be able to sleep in for a day. That'd be nice.

Oh, heck, who am I kidding; I'd rather work. I just had to put tires on the car. Show me the money!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Palate Cleanser

Miss Doxie is back!

Miss Doxie, one of the first bloggers I started reading, and one of my all-time favorites, has returned!

Welcome back!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Little Savage

The Runt brought in (yet another) mouse last night. I heard him thud through the pet door in the kitchen, and watched as he trotted past me in the living room with his catch dangling out of his jaws. He headed for the hallway to enjoy a little snack. I've learned to leave him alone with his prey; if you get too close, he gets really defensive and starts to growl.

Anyhow, after a session of flinging the (now dead) mouse into the air and pouncing on it, he lost interest and walked away. I went over to initiate carcass removal and discovered that ......

Okay, here comes some quease-inducing info ...... I'm giving you a chance to click away now .....

scroll down ........

down ..........

down .........

......... The Runt had eaten the mouse's face off. Not the mouse's head, although lord knows I've cleaned up enough decapitated mouse corpses. No, just his face.

And then he ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.

Seriously, WTF? I hope when I die that somebody finds the body right away, because otherwise, it's gonna be gruesome.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Live-blogging from the nuthouse

Right now, my boss is on a conference call with one of our clients. And they are discussing how Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh have it right, and our country is going to hell in a handbasket because of the liberals. And the word "fear" keeps coming up.


You know what they're afraid of? They're afraid that now that a black man is president, their rich white asses are going to have to start paying their fair share. Because a non-member took over the club.

Oh shit, now they're discussing the genius of John McCain.

Gentlemen. For the record, John McCain is crazier than a shithouse rat.

Help me ........

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Notes from the weekend

I spent all weekend at the office, working on billings and reports. It pretty much sucked, except for the whole time-and-a-half thing, which pretty much rocks.

On Saturday morning before I left for work, I had to dispose of a mole which the cats had thoughtfully brought into the house for me. When I got home Saturday afternoon, it looked like a bird had exploded in the hallway - tiny feathers everywhere. While looking for the remains of the bird (which I never did find - where is it?), I found a dead mouse under the couch. Last night they tag-teamed a mouse in the backyard, and The Runt later brought it inside for consumption. I think they're bulking up for winter. Just like me. Heh.

I was out in the backyard late Saturday afternoon and looked up to see a great blue heron sailing overhead, silhouetted against the darkening sky. Really pretty. This stuff only happens when I don't have my camera. Of course.

A local politician knocked on my door Sunday night, asking for my vote. You know, in all the years I lived in apartment buildings, I never once got visited by a politician. Now that I'm a homeowner? I'm like a rock star.

Anyhow, this politician mentioned how she (and her hubby, who is also running for office), had been to the ham dinner at the local church earlier. Not for a million bucks would I go through all the bullshit you have to do if you want to get elected to local office. There were a shitload of people-running-for-office at the community picnic I went to this summer; they all chatted me up and asked for my vote, but not one of them asked what my concerns were. Of course, I'm sure that they get told people's concerns all the time, sometimes loudly and angrily, but I'd be much more inclined to vote for someone who wanted to know what I thought.

Car in, car out - it worked! Thanks for the advice, Kit.

The Bills managed to win a game, which the commentators were lauding as some kind of freaking miracle, which ....... yeah. The problem is that they usually run out of steam by the fourth quarter. Oh, and all those penalties aren't helping, either. Plus, the other day the coach said he didn't know what the problem was ........ better figure it out, buddy. Otherwise, it's gonna be a long season.

So! How was your weekend?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Doo, doo, doo .....

....... lookin' out my back door.

That was this morning. Sorry for the poor quality; they were at the back of the property, about two hundred feet away, and I couldn't use a flash so I had to monkey with the image on flickr to get it view-able.

There were four of them all together, traipsing single-file through the back yard. I know that come spring I'll be cursing them for eating all my perennials, but right now they're cool.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Me vs. the garage door

When they started predicting snow for the end of this week, I cleared the lawn mower and other miscellaneous crap out of the garage so I could pull the car in. Last night, with snow on the way, I pulled into the driveway, eyeballed the width of the garage door, eyeballed the width of my car and ....... went for the tape.

Now, I always thought that the cars were as big as barges back in the 50s, but evidently I was wrong, because my house was built in 1952-ish, and the garage door is eight feet wide. My car? From side mirror to side mirror, is six-and-a-half feet wide.

Which leaves me with, let's see, nine inches of clearance on either side.

How do I phrase this: I am, ummm ...... spatially challenged. It embarrasses me to admit this, but folks, I have a hard time aligning my car onto the rails at freakin' Jiffy Lube. When I BOUGHT this car, I had the salesman drive it off the showroom floor for me, fearing disaster if I did it myself.

It did NOT HELP that on the local news last night, they had video footage of a woman in my town who hit the gas instead of the brake when pulling into her garage, firmly embedding her car in her kitchen.

Can you imagine? It's bad enough that it happened, but then it made the local news. She's never gonna live that down. "Hey, Betty, could you grab me a cup of coffee while you're in there? Or, you know, change the oil?"

I do not want to make the local news. So what will I be doing this weekend? Practicing. Car in, car out. Car in, car out. And hopefully I won't be picking up pieces of side-view mirror from the garage floor. Or, you know, backing the car out of the kitchen.

I am NOT amused .......

This was the view from my bedroom window this morning.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Sometimes a great notion

Somewhere, the other day, I saw a silhouette image of a crow. And I thought it would be cool to put a few crows on one of my walls. I didn't want anything permanent, because I'm going to be painting the walls soon, so I decided on paper cut-outs. I went to Google Images and got a few crow outlines; I cut them out on paper and colored them black.

When I went to put them on the wall, I remembered that somewhere I had seen some kind of stencil of birds on a wire. (I have an awful time remembering where I've seen stuff; I swear, my mind is like a sieve. It processes everything, and most stuff passes through, but sometimes pieces get stuck, except I can't ever remember where anything came from to begin with.) So I grabbed some yarn and stretched it across the wall, fixing it with thumbtacks to the corner of the wall and a window frame. Then I took some sticky blob stuff (I can't remember the name of it; it's like chewing gum, and it's removable) and fixed the crow cut-outs on the wall.


And now I'm actually thinking of leaving that particular part of the wall blue, because it looks like sky. For the crows.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


I truly believe that for a couple of weeks every year, this is one of the most beautiful places on earth.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Oh, no, not the Roloffs!

One show I really enjoy is Little People, Big World. Nothing ever happens, nobody gets hurt (well, except for the trebuchet incident), and life just rolls along.

So imagine my surprise when Mom Roloff started talking
d-i-v-o-r-c-e on last night's show.

Oh, Roloffs, et tu?

You can't help but be reminded of that other TLC show. Consider the similarities:

1. Family gets offered reality TV show because they're unusual.
Jon & Kate - She had a litter of kids.
The Roloffs - Some of them are Little.

2. The money starts to roll in, and home improvements begin.
Jon & Kate - They move into a McMansion and promptly start remodeling.
The Roloffs - Their house seems to be undergoing one continuous expansion, and the pumpkin farm keeps expanding, as well.

3. The hubby quits his day job and starts acting like a twelve year old.
Jon & Kate - Jon starts partying with teenagers.
The Roloffs - Dad Roloff builds a castle, complete with stone walls and throne room, for his daughter. His fifteen-year-old daughter.

4. Mom and Dad start talking about how they've "grown apart".
Jon & Kate - File for divorce. The Roloffs - Please, guys, you can work it out! I love your show!

So, in short, a reality show may net you a ton of money, but it's probably gonna end your marriage. Not a good trade-off, in my opinion.

Monday, October 12, 2009

I took the morning off from work and all I got was this lousy rash*

I took Friday morning off from work and borrowed one of my coworkers so we could do this:

This is why the guys at work hate me.

Actually, we kicked ass, putting up over 300 square feet of insulation in the garage in four hours. And the first hour was spent removing all the random shelving, nails, screws, etc. that the last owner had put up all over the place. I think when he got bored, he went out in the garage and pounded nails in the walls. Seriously, I could build an entire house with the nails I pulled out of those studs. He had nailed up cardboard as walls in some places, along with (some) drywall, all of which had to come down. Good times! I was hoping to find some money stuffed behind a wall, but the best I came up with was an old license plate and a cat toy. Oh, and a chisel.

And my coworker didn't even laugh at me when I couldn't figure out how to fill up his staple gun. (In my defense, I KNOW how to load MY staple gun; I just didn't know how to load HIS. And hooo boy that sounds not-quite-right, doesn't it?) I also had a hard time figuring out a caulk gun the first time I used it. Slow-on-the-uptake, that's me.

But! Now I'm ready for winter. As ready as I'm gonna be, that is. We had the first hard frost this morning, and the "S" word is in the forecast for later in the week. Time to bust out the heavy coats.

*On the back of my neck. From the fiberglass. Scratchscratchscratch all damn weekend.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009


There's a huge willow tree in my backyard. It's really pretty cool looking, and when you get up close you can see how gnarled and twisty it is:

It looks like the tree in Poltergeist, doesn't it? The one that broke through the window and grabbed the little boy? Hmmmm, maybe that's why the previous owner screwed the windows shut.

The Runt's not afraid of it, though:

Kitty treehouse.