Thursday, March 31, 2011

Isn't she lovely

A few weeks ago, BNG was nice enough to send me a faaaaaabulous care package, which included pet mats for the cats. I placed them on a chair in the living room, and now that's Little Girl's napping place of choice.

She likes to survey her kingdom from the chair:

Strike a pose, Little Girl:

That crossed paw just kills me.

If you get a chance, head over to BNG's etsy shop - she's got all kinds of cool stuff there.

Oh! And in other news, guess what it's going to do here, tonight! And tomorrow. And possibly for the rest on my natural life.

That's right. The S word. Six to ten inches worth, and we're not talking a fun kind of six to ten inches.

Could somebody please, PLEASE make it stop snowing? It's not funny anymore.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Let's talk about rugs, bay-bee

First off, thanks for all of your suggestions in the comments of the previous post. Kate, I thought about Ithaca, too! I knew it had a tibet shop, so then I had to go and look up what religion tibetans are.

(It's Buddhist. I'm a moron. I should have KNOWN that, what with the Dalai Lama and all.)

Here it is, the rug that started it all:

Look at that red! I found that at Charlie Brown's Antiques, an awesome local multi-dealer, reasonably-priced store, for ten bucks. It was kind of dirty, so I threw it in the washer. (That's kind of like my acid test for fabrics - if they can't make it through a wash cycle, they're probably too fragile to survive in my house, anyway.) I put it on top of an old oriental rug, 'cause I liked the contrast in the colors. Please to excuse the cat-scratch-post in the corner.

Oh! And while I was there, I picked up this beauty, originally priced at thirty bucks, for one dollar:

Tres tacky, no? There's a reason it was only a buck. And I'm pretty sure that was meant as a wall hanging - I mean, I don't think you're supposed to walk on Jesus' face.

That first rug ignited my fire for prayer rugs, which you can read all about in the previous post. I remembered that there had been another prayer rug at Charlie Brown's the day I bought the first one, but it didn't have a price on it, and because it's a multi-dealer shop (meaning the dealers themselves are not there), there wasn't anybody I could ask for the price. So I went back last night, thinking maybe the dealer had shown up and priced it in the meantime, and voila:

Isn't that gorgeous? And I haven't even had a chance to throw it in the washer yet - I'm sure those colors are going to be even more vibrant once it gets a bath. I paid twenty bucks for it, but man, I couldn't pass that up.

This is how hoarders get started, isn't it?


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Shop Local

Okay, first off, evidently Blogger has STILL not resolved its little paragraph problem. I'm currently trying to work around the problem in Html, which is iffy at best, so bear with me, please.

So! I was out shopping last weekend and picked up a pretty little throw rug at a junk store. It was kind of dingy, so I threw it in the washing machine, and wow! It really cleaned up nice. It was a vivid red color with a pattern of some kind of turkish-looking buildings on it.

A little Googling revealed that it's an Islamic prayer rug. Gee! I thought. I'd really like some more of these - they're really pretty. Of course, I could always shop on line, but I thought I might see if I could find some around here, first. Shop local, and all that.

Hmmm, I thought. Where would I find prayer rugs? I thought about the local religious book store, but they skew exclusively Christian; really more born-again, evangelical Christian, so that was out. And I was pretty sure that the Catholic shop wouldn't have any prayer rugs. I know! I thought. I'll try the local Asian grocery store.

Because ..... Asians are from another country, and so therefore ... they're probably Muslims?

Holy SHIT I'm not too bright, am I? Granted, I have lived a pretty freaking sheltered life, but still ... Asians aren't me, so therefore they're probably Islamic?


Hey, at least I ADMIT my stupidity. And here's where I admit that I DID go to the Asian grocery store ... just in case?

Hoo boy.

No, the Asian grocery store did not have prayer rugs. But it DID have a clerk who gave me the old stink-eye, no doubt intuiting that this blond-haired white lady was there to get some kind of a cultural diversity fix, and let me tell you, that dude was NONE TOO PLEASED to have me in his shop.

So! I have come to the conclusion that I need to find a ... Muslim shop? A shop that sells Islamic religious items?

I think I'm in over my head, here. Any advice?

Monday, March 28, 2011


Okay, first off, Blogger's being a pissy bitch about paragraph spacing this morning, so if this publishes as one block of run-on, I'm sorry. Blogger is NOT cooperating. Now: On to the big news: I've got a price in on new gutters, and it is good! The gutters on the house are falling apart. Every place there's a seam, they leak. And I've caulked and I've taped and I've tried everything short of superglue, and still the gutters leaked. I've got one downspout that has totally disconnected from the gutters, and the snow's too deep to get out the ladder, so it's gonna hang there for the time being. Bah. I got a couple of prices on replacement gutters, and they were, well, more than I wanted to spend. On gutters, at least. So! A couple of weeks ago, one of the contractors we work with, a roofing guy, came into the office. I asked him if he did gutters, and he said Sure! Let me get you a price! As it turns out, he actually subcontracts the gutter work. So he called his gutter guy, and is giving me his contractor's price. Which is about HALF what it was going to cost me otherwise. For seamless aluminum gutters. Brand new gutters! I will never again spend a summer Saturday up on an extension ladder, taping seams, waving wildly at approaching bees. Oh happy day! Maaaaaan, I never thought I'd get excited about gutters. I guess that's what happens when you buy a house.

Friday, March 25, 2011

D is for Dork

All my hiking hats have a tendency to ride up, leaving my ears exposed and freezing. So after resisting for lo these many years, I finally broke down a bought a trapper hat:

Nobody's called me Elmer Fudd yet, but I'm sure it's gonna happen.

Oh! And while I was out walking last weekend with my nice warm ears, I saw this little puddle:

That ice looks like Saran Wrap, doesn't it?

Hopefully we can get through this weekend without any blizzards or torrential rainfalls or plagues of locusts, although I'm sure the cats would appreciate some locusts to chase.

Anybody got any big plans?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

It's twue! It's twue!*

The rumored pizza shop is open!

Well, maybe.

The readerboard out front says "Now Open - Sorta" and "Help Wanted - Pizza Maker".

So! What we have here is a sorta-open pizza shop in need of a pizza maker.

I'll think I'll give 'em a few weeks before I stop by.

Oh! And in other neighborhood news, the local paper says we have received 113 inches of snow so far this winter.


Gah. I need some pizza.

*Obscure Blazing Saddles reference. Just forget about it.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


How's the weather, you ask?

How's the weather?


It's snowing now.

It snowed last night.

It is going to snow some more tonight, just for a change of flippin' pace.

THAT'S how the weather is.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Maybe it's just me?

First off, I'm about to get in trouble in Blogland, AGAIN, so hold on to your hats.

Okay, so there's this blogger, to whom I am not going to link here, in the hope that her fans don't find me and kill me. If you want to know who she is, email me.

ANYway, she's pretty funny and breezy, and she gets lots and lots of comments, and recently she found herself in a tight situation, money-wise.

She lost her job and her husband is leaving her, so she was going to have trouble making mortgage payments and the like until she found another job.

So she put up a paypal widget on her blog so that people could help her out until she finds another job, which looks like it's going to happen fairly quickly, as she's already had some interviews and stuff.

So people are all, like, of COURSE we'll help you, you're charming and funny and here's some money so you can make your mortgage payments and buy bread and stuff!

And now?

Now she is blogging about the bluebird house she bought, and the statue of Saint Somebody she bought for her garden, and her new teakettle that she bought, and blahblahblah.

And frankly?

I think that's lousy.

If I had donated money to her? I'd be asking for it BACK right now. I mean, it's one thing to ask for donations, but then to talk about the flippin' garden gnome you bought with the money, on the very blog on which you asked for money to begin with?

I think that stinks.

But maybe that's just me.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Oh, Little Girl ...

...what's that on your chin?

"Oh ... nothing," she says.



Don't worry; no birds were harmed in the making of this post. Little Girl caught a cardinal and brought it in to the garage, where it caromed around for a bit before I discovered what was going on and opened the overhead door so it could fly away.

And no, that's not dirt on her nose, it's just spreckles.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Freaky Friday: Finito

Okay, guys, I've been doing Freaky Friday for over a year now, and I think it's time to give it a leetle break. It's not that I've run out of Freaky stuff; far from it! I just need some time to take some new pics.

So! Let's end with a lion:

This is a doorstop featuring one pissed-off, ripped lion. He's only around eight inches long but he weighs about ten pounds; trust me, you don't want to stub your toe on him.

Hope you enjoyed this past year of Freaky Fridays!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

"Dignity for Precious Memories"

Okay, well, first off, I'm kind of worried about the China Syndrome they've got going in Japan right now, but I was just leafing through a Cat Fancy magazine (don't JUDGE; besides, I get them from the library; it's not like I SUBSCRIBE or something) and there was an ad in the back for pet caskets.

Pet. Caskets.

Granted, I had Rocky cremated, and yes, I bought a pretty little box for the ashes because I keep them in the living room*, but pet caskets?

I mean, they're just going in the ground, people.

Back when I was a kid, we just used shoeboxes. Or, you know, blankets, depending on the size of the pet. We had a regular little pet cemetery going on outside the back door.

If you wanna check it out (the web site, not the pet cemetery), it's

Anything for Fluffy, I guess.

*hahahaha you KNEW I was CRAZY, right?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

You GUYS ...

... I just got WANDED at the flippin' County CLERK'S office because I had a couple of pennies in my pocket!

It was bad enough that FIRST they had to search my PURSE, which ... what was that old game show? The one where the host would go into the audience and whoever could pull, like, a pen, a pack of gum, and a ferret out of their purse the fastest would win a prize? Remember that show?

I would have won EVERY TIME. Because everything in the FREE WORLD ends up in my purse.

The purse that they searched this morning.

And then! And then! I have to walk through the screening thing, and it's all


and then the wand came out, and all these LAWYERS and COPS and shit are walking by because it's the County office building, and there's little old me, getting the flipping WAND in front of God and everybody.

Dudes, it's only ten a.m. This does not bode well for my day.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

If I can't be good ....

I went to a watercolor-painting demonstration a while back. I've been painting for a long time - oils, acrylics, watercolors - you name it. I picked up some good tips, but it was only a teaser for a class that would cost $50.00 for four hours of a group lesson.

Which I thought was kind of price-y. I mean, if there's a bunch of people in the class, you're going to get little to no personal attention.

And plus, I took a (more reasonably-priced) series of painting classes a few years back and didn't get a whole lot out of it, because the classes were self-directed, which is not my thing. I need someone to show me what to do.

And basically, the main thing is, I suck at painting. I'm really not very good, at ALL, and it's frustrating the heck out of me, because let's face it, the reason I started painting to begin with is because I looked at some paintings and said, "hell, I could do that!"

Except I couldn't. And I still can't. And I try and I try and I try and while I've turned out a few pieces that aren't too bad (for a twelve-year-old {sheesh}), I'm still pretty sucky.

And I guess it's the perfectionist in me that's saying if I can't be good, I shouldn't even try. Don't even bother.

But I like to paint! Even if I look at what I've done, think, "I could fix that", realize, "No, there's no fix for suck", and toss it, the process itself is still fun. Right up until the end, when I realize how bad the finished product really is. And then I get mad, because, "why can't I be good at this? I really, really want to be good at this - why do I suck so bad?"

I mean, at least I realize I suck. It's not like I'm churning out horrible crap and trying to submit it to art galleries or anything. So where's the harm, right?

Then again, if I can't be good .......... what's the point?

So let me ask you - Is there anything you do just for fun, even though you're not any good at it? Anything you do just for the heck of it, 'cause you enjoy it?

I need some inspiration here!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Freaky Friday - Chomp

Yeah, yeah, I know it's late - I had kind of a busy week last week.

Okay, well, first off, we're not even gonna talk about the spider that was in my kitchen this morning. Suffice it to say I hope he was the only one of his kind, because if I see another one of those mofos, I am going to lose my shit.

And then call an exterminator.

'Cause that shit ain't right.

Now! Freaky Friday! A few days late.

I was walking down by the creek the other weekend when I saw some trees the beavers had been working on:

The tree in the photo above was probably about seventy feet tall, and about ten inches in diameter at the base. You can see that they had actually chewed down two trees, and had already hauled one away.

And to think they do it all one bite at a time.

See the teeth marks?

Chomp, chomp, chomp ...

So that's where "busy as a beaver" comes from.

Friday, March 11, 2011

All is well

Okay, guys, I just went back to the house, and everything's fine. The crawlspace took on water, but that's what it's designed for. The rest of the house is dry, and my neighbors are all okay, too.

I probably won't have time to put up a Freaky Friday today, so let's shoot for Monday, shall we?

Thanks for all your kind thoughts - they are appreciated.

And the cats and I can go back home tonight!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Oh hi!

Sorry I haven't been around much - I've just been a little ... erm ... preoccupied.

Let's see: Sunday was the flood, Monday was Snowpocalypse, Tuesday was cleanup from Snowpocalypse, yesterday I had some quality time with the dentist, and today and tomorrow?

Flood. and flood.

It looks like this time the flooding is going to be a little more, well, vigorous than it was last weekend, so I've been packing up and picking up, and right now the plan is to go home and get the cats at lunchtime and get them to safety, and then, well ... hope for the best.

I'll be back here when my heart's not in my throat with fear, and when things have shaken out.

See you soon.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Well, at least we had Saturday ...

Saturday morning was warm! And all the snow from the last snowstorms was melting! There were pretty little mystery flowers in my yard!

So I went for a walk, and the maple syrup farm had their buckets out:

And while there wasn't a chicken with a capon, there were horses with coats on:

And deer were browsing the newly de-snowed fields:

And then the rains came. And by Sunday morning, I was looking at this:

Those are flippin' SEAGULLS. In the park next to my house. Attracted, I am sure, by all that WATER. That is not supposed to be there.

And! No sooner did the rains stop Sunday, than the snow came. Leading to ...


At least the TWO FEET OF SNOW covered over the floodwaters.

Oh! And did I mention that my driveway is six hundred and fifty square feet of shoveling misery?

And! When I was shoveling, one of the lenses of my glasses POPPED OUT and kerplunked into that two feet of snow, necessitating a frantic search while half-blind, due to half of my glasses being somewhere in all that snow.

And now! On Wednesday and Thursday, we are supposed to get more rain! Lots and lots of rain!

I hope it's a nice long hot DRY summer, is all I've got to say.

Monday, March 07, 2011

We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming to bring you ...


There's a good two feet of snow on that garbage can to the right of the shed.

Likewise, there's a good two feet of snow on the roof of the house. I hope they built those roof trusses sturdy!

Jeezus CHRIST, I'm sick of this. Somebody send me a ticket to Bermuda, STAT!

Friday, March 04, 2011

Thank you for being a friend

Look what came in the mail!

Complete with toy mice for the cats:
And cat mats, and decorations, and soap and lip balm and bath salts and ALL KINDS of cool stuff, all hand-made:
Despite having recently undergone surgery, BNG was kind enough to send me a package full of handmade items from her Etsy shop.
You're the best, BNG.

Freaky Friday - Lady Madonna

Okay, first off, a great big heartfelt thank you to BNG, who did something very very kind for me. BNG, I am firmly convinced that you are the nicest person in the world. With the best handwriting. Thank you!

Now, on to Freaky Friday.

I picked up this plastic Madonna at a flea market. The guy wanted five bucks for it, which I thought was pretty steep, but then he started giving me some sob story about how he wanted to take his little girl to see the Harlem Globetrotters* that night and blah blah blah and I forked over the cash.

She's kinda dirty and could use a good scrubbing, but I sort of like the way she looks with the earth in the folds of her gown and between her toes.

Other stuff you can see in this photo, since I know you're gonna pick it out anyway: Part of a wall sconce; the end of a tree branch that I thought looked like antlers; the shadows of some actual antlers; and a globe. I was going to position the Madonna so it looked like she was comforting the globe, but then she wouldn't have been able to look out the window, so I didn't.

Boy, I hope you guys had a quieter workweek than I did. In addition to researching new company health care plans**, coming up with last year's budget numbers for the boss (which is time-consuming, frustrating, and boring, all at once), and proof-reading technical drawings (now there's boring for you), I was asked yesterday afternoon to "find us a new person" for a bunch of work we just landed.

All of the really qualified people either left this valley long ago or are currently employed, so I may resort to trolling skid row and finding a bum to clean up by the time I fulfill that little request.

On the other hand, if anybody knows of a skilled AutoCAD drafter who's looking for work, have them email me their resume, would ya?

Oh, and tomorrow, I get to go have my taxes done. That should be fun. Whee.

We made it through the week, folks. Our work here is DONE.

*I saw the Harlem Globetrotters. Once. When I was, like, eight. I'm pretty sure it will never happen again. Not voluntarily, anyway. See also: Ice Capades.

**I am going to save my company a shitload*** of money. I should get a raise. Or, you know, a finder's fee.

***technical term.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Oops, I did it again

Yeah, that song never got old.


ANYhow, I just accidentally (briefly) published tomorrow's Freaky Friday while I was writing it, so if you just saw a botched-up mess of a non-paragraphed, half-finished post here, ignore it for me, would ya?


See you tomorrow.

New Study: Cute Adorable Kittens True Cause of Lung Cancer

I should write for The Onion, no?

As some of you may know, I quit smoking a while back, mainly because I did not want my "quit date" to be the day the doctor told me I had lung cancer.

Oh, let's face it, the REAL reason I quit was so that I could spend the money I was spending on cigarettes on other things instead. FUN things. But hey: The lung cancer thing was right up there.

And yet, and yet, I know smokers who still insist that cigarette smoking does not cause lung cancer. They'll tell you it's all genetic, it's a crapshoot, it's coincidental, the studies were rigged, blahblahblah.

Folks, even when I WAS smoking, I was under no illusions about what causes lung cancer.

So why? Why are these people in denial?

You know why? I think it's because for a smoker to admit that smoking causes cancer, that's admitting that you're participating in your own demise. That you're taking an active part in shortening your own lifespan. That you're, basically, an idiot.

Man, I did that for thirty years. Until I just couldn't do it any more. Until I refused to accept what I was doing to my own body.

But still: Thirty years.

So when I listen to tea party wingnuts (i.e., some of my company's clients) go on and on and on about how Obama's a Muslim, how he's not a U.S. citizen, blahblahblah, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, despite the fact that he is now two YEARS into his first term, I guess I can sort of understand their refusal to accept reality.

Because to admit to the truth is to face the fact that a black man is legally President of the United States.

And they would rather deny deny DENY than face that truth.

So yeah, I kind of get it. I don't LIKE it, but I get it.

Denial is a powerful thing. And the truth is not always easy.

But the truth is always better, don't you think?

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Movie Review: Australia

Okay, first off, I heard on the radio this morning that the LAPD went to Charlie Sheen's house last night to take his kids away from him. And I was all, like, he had his kids with him?! Through all this coking and whoring and doing crazy-ass rants on talk shows, he had custody of his kids?

Kind of takes things to a whole new level, doesn't it? And I'm kind of wondering at this point where the kids' mother has BEEN the past few weeks.

Oh, and this all-Charlie-Sheen-all-the-time stuff is cracking me up right now, because I KNOW that if I happen to be reading through my archives a few years from now and come upon this post, I'll be all, "who's Charlie Sheen?"

Now! On to yet another review of a movie that everybody else saw three years ago.

"Australia" stars Nicole Kidman as a woman who goes to, well, Australia (duh) before World War II to, I don't know, run a cattle ranch or something.

It could've been pretty interesting, but instead it was just overblown. Just trying too hard. And it threw every cliche in the book about Australia and aborigines and life on a ranch into the mix.

But, I don't know, I mean, it wasn't a true stinker or anything, and I actually started to get interested in it toward the end.

So I guess if you've got two-and-a-half hours to kill, there are worse ways to spend it than watching this one.

Ha! How's THAT for a tepid review? "Meh".

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

This is why I have a headache

Okay, first off, scroll down to the previous post if you wanna dish about Charlie Sheen. Come on, you KNOW you wanna.

Moving on:

So! I'm reading the local paper this morning and there's this article about how the Social Security withholding rate has decreased by 2%, from 6.2% to 4.2%.

Which is kind of interesting for a couple of different reasons.

1. I do the payroll for my company. The IRS and the SSA have my name, my phone number, my e-mail address, my mailing address and my fax machine number. And yet NO ONE bothered to inform me of this tax cut. I had to READ ABOUT IT IN THE PAPER*. Oh sure, when I went back through the myriad reams of paperwork the government DOES send me, I found a mention of this cut buried on the bottom of a page, but COME ON. A little notification, here.

2. WTF? Social Security is going broke, we're told. Don't count on it, we're told. So WHY ARE THEY CUTTING THE WITHHOLDING RATE?

Ow. Excuse me while I go take some Advil.

*Archaic form of information, my ass.

Okay, let's talk about Charlie Sheen

Come on, you know you want to. Plus, it's not like you can turn on a TV these days without seeing him doing some batshit crazy rant on some talk show or other.

First off, I have never watched "Two and a Half Men", so I have no idea if it's a good show or not.

Second, what Charlie Sheen is doing in his personal life, at least until recently, was what every man in America wants to be doing. Porn stars and blow? Shit, if I was a guy, that's what I'd want to be doing. Well, except for the whole STDs-and-holes-in-your-nose-and-it's-illegal thing, that is. I mean, come on, there a LOT of guys out there who want to BE Charlie Sheen.

Now, on to the recent ranting. Is he doing it on purpose? Is it a big joke? Is it performance art?

Because if not, I'm pretty sure he's either (still) higher than a kite, or he's mentally ill.

And in either of THOSE cases, I'm not really sure all these talk-show hosts should be crawling all over each other trying to get him on their shows.

But if it IS a big joke, maybe the talk-show hosts are in on it? Maybe Charlie, like, takes them aside in the green room and says, "Hey, look, I'm about to get all batshit crazy and anti-Semitic up in here. Just roll with it, okay?"

Oh! But what's really cracking me up is all these "professionals", like Dr. Drew Pinsky, which, come on, THERE'S a big fat joke right there, anyway, all these professionals going, "Oh, we're so CONCERNED. He's OBVIOUSLY bipolar and he's in a manic phase right now and if he doesn't get help right now he won't last much longer and blahblahblah ...."

"Won't last much longer"? WTF? For one thing, okay, they're obviously not considering that the whole thing might be some big bizarre put-on, and, b, this dude has been acting crazy for YEARS. Unless he, like, ODs or his heart explodes or a hooker shoots him or something, I'm pretty sure he *can* last longer. Do you know any addicts? No? Well, let me tell you, they've got the constitutions of f*cking OXEN. You could run one over with a TRAIN and they wouldn't die.

Personally, I don't think he's at death's door. Sadly, I also don't think it's an act. I think he's probably mentally ill and coked out of his mind, and those bimbos who are partying with him in Jamaica or wherever ought to be taken aside and SHAKEN.

So! What do you think?

You know what? I think he's gonna get cleaned up and appear on next season's Dancing with the Stars. Because ALL washed-up famous people end up on that show sooner or later, don't they?