Thursday, October 13, 2011

When did October get here?

I was sitting here bored out of my mind tonight and thought, “Crap. I should really do a blog update.” Of course, I immediately opened up my lap top to get to work – and now see that my Internet is having connectivity issues. Being too lazy to get off the couch and reboot the magic box, I’m writing in Word instead. By the time you read this, you’ll know that I eventually did get off the couch to unplug the magic box, let it rest and got it started again.

The irony, of course, is that I work for a technology company. And yet have no idea why I have to do this fifty percent of the time when I want to get online. Someone smarter than me could probably diagnose the problem just by reading this. But, my answer is to unplug the modem and router, go do a few chores, and then remember hours later to plug them bag in. Problem solved. I mean, at least I get points for knowing how to fix it, no?

Oh - and clearly I've become a slacker blogger.  Doing it once a week was getting too stressful.  Like I had to make up stories just to fill the page.  But I will try to do better.

I’m one of the few people in North Carolina (or is it the whole world?) who gets bummed out when the weather starts to change. I mean, yeah – there’s that ickyness of it getting darker earlier. I hate that – makes me feel like I have to fit more into the daylight hours than before. Like I’m some kind of farmer trying to beat sundown. Oh, this is what the Amish go through.

I also hate the change in temperature. Everyone around me dances with joy at the chill in the air. I want to hide under a blanket. I love the heat and humidity of Summer. Love, love, love. The hotter the better. Humid? Great. Hair frizzing out eight ways til Sunday? I don’t even care – that’s what ponytails are for. So when it starts to be cool mornings and cooler nights – well, it’s just a downer for me.

I know how this goes – I’ve been to this rodeo before. First we’ll be putting away our white Capri's, next we’ll be gorging ourselves at the fair, then fighting the crowds at 6am on Black Friday. And then we’ll be hunkering down for the threat of snow. Yes, if you live above, well if you live anywhere above me on the map – we’ll be hunkering down for any threat of snow – millimeters even. For me the end of Summer means time fast forwards into Winter and there’s nothing I can do except dig out my sweaters and boots (the only plus) and dust off the neighborhood snow shovel. Yes, if you live above me – we all share a shovel here. And I’m the proud owner.

(If you’re keeping track, I did just get off the couch and unplug the modem. During which time I realized I was tuned to The Millionaire Matchmaker. Lawdy.)

And with Fall comes my other nemesis. Allergies. For the last six weeks, I’ve been dealing with a tickle in my throat that has ranged anywhere from just-a-tickle to a cough so bad I’ve nearly tinkled myself. I’ve tried it all – over the counter drugs, sprays and prescription stuff. No dice. I’ve coughed so much that I’m pretty sure I dislocated my jaw on at least two occasions. And I may have developed an addiction to cough syrup with codeine. I haven’t tried to take it at work yet – although I may during the next long conference call.

See, there is a rush to beat the allergies. If you don’t, they will eventually turn into an all out cold. It’s touch and go until you either start feeling better or you wake up one day caked with run out around the rim of your nose. I know, that’s gross. And yet you know exactly what I mean.

I lost this round – the cold arrived on Monday. So now instead of just being the annoying coughing girl at work, I’m the sneezer. And I can’t stop with just one sneeze – I really like to go to town and throw out at least a couple and possibly up to a half dozen. I also mix in sporadic frog-like voices.

Have you tried a Netti-Pot yet? Because I’m using the heck out of mine this week. And, without going into details, I will say, “Tip of the Hat to You, Netti.” Try it. It’s like fishing around in one of those mystery bag treasure chests – you really just don’t know what you’re going to get.


Okay, so there is usually a ‘good’ thing about this time of year. Sports. We have college football in high gear. We have the Phillies, who I can always count on to be making a playoff run. Well, not always – but lately. Hockey starts. And the Eagles are in their normal crap shoot of a season. How’s that going for me this year?

Phillies lost in the first round. Really? The Eagles Dream Team is actually a nightmare. The Canes finally, finally won a game last night – but not before starting out the season with a week of losses. And the Heels…well, they are actually winning. So that’s a nice surprise. Please don’t let me have just jinxed that. It’s not secret we’ve had a few football issues over the last year so I certainly don’t want to be the catalyst that sends the season into a tailspin. Which might have been what we all expected early on.

(Still keeping track? I’m going to plug the modem back in.)


Okay back to me. I know you always appreciate an update to the life of a single girl. Last Friday I actually did go to a singles mixer after the hockey game. Train wreck. Well, maybe not quite a train wreck. But I did learn that if you are going to a singles mixer, you should try to get there on time. Not three hours after everyone else. At which point you will really just find yourself trying to squeeze your way into a very tight circle of fairly buzzed people.

At which point you will graciously exit and find another table to sit at with the rest of the late comers. At which point you will all mock the man making an ass of himself in the circle. Okay, so maybe it wasn’t so bad. Fine. For you, I’ll go again.

(Internet’s back up. Time to get cutting and pasting)

Friday, September 9, 2011


My nephew is turning 17 today.  I find this very difficult to wrap my head around.  Only slightly less difficult than the realization that next year, he'll be 18.  While he is turning 17, I'm turning into one of 'those' Aunts...wanting to tell him about how I remember the day he was born.  And how he had quite the cone head from the bungee jumping exercises on his way out.  And how his infant smile filled my heart with warmth.

I find it impossible that 17 years have passed mainly for one reason.  I'm pretty sure I haven't gotten any older, so I'm not sure how he did.  Very suspicious.  Maybe the air is different in Pennsylvania.

I count my blessings everyday that my nephew is who he is.  And that he still considers me to be cool enough to hang out with (or at least he lets me believe that).  Hanging out with him has become more of an exercise in danger over the past few years, but still, I'm in.  What's a few bee stings, after all?  Or who is really going to remember which one of us fell into the Neuse River on a nature walk?

He's grown up to be one of the most caring, sensitive people I know.  Super protective of his friends and family.  And he's inherited the family sense of humor.  The one where things are funny, even if they aren't.

Just this week, my brother and I were talking about how my nephew's suddenly bloomed into this responsible, logical sounding person.  Where'd that come from?  Fortunately, he came home the next day with these:
Can you see the giant earrings?  That's a new addition.  Whoopsie. 

And when my brother asked me my thoughts...well...I've got a few tattoos and five holes in my I'm pretty sure I don't have a dog in this fight.  It did make me chuckle though.  It's a moment that reminded me that he's still my slightly nuts, slightly spontaneous nephew - not yet a grown up, but getting close.

And we'll probably survive the earrings.  


Life at the ranch continues.  A full house of cats and dogs who are rapidly training me how to behave.  I've now taken to mumbling "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em" over and over while I squish my way onto the couch between four legged creatures.

I'm not sure I'll be giving the kitten back.  I mean, just look at him:

Or what about this:

Or this:
Clearly he is very happy at my house and enjoy snuggling with me more than anything in the world. 

The week's been mostly uneventful - except for some canine mood swings.  Did you know dogs can wake up cranky just like people can?  We started out the week with a hunger strike by Bogey.  For a few days in a row, she flat out refused to eat her breakfast.  Flat out refused AND offered up a look of disgust that I was evening offering her some kibble.

Yesterday it was Hacker's turn.  She wasn't interested in any of the morning walks (or more importantly - the business at hand).  She wouldn't be taking her morning vitamins, thank you very much.  She practically shoved me out the door to work. 

This morning was the first 'normal' day of the week.  All dogs happy.  All dogs fed.  All dogs walked successfully.  Now if I can just convince them to sleep in tomorrow, we'll be in business.

Finally, I guess I'd feel funny writing a blog this week without mentioning the 9/11 anniversary.  Although to be fair, I think I'm going to do my best not to get wrapped up in all the coverage.  Which is already proving difficult as it seems to be on every station.

The truth is - the day can still hit my stress button even though a decade has gone by.  I will never forget the phone call from my brother announcing a plane crash.  Or waking up my sister and her husband (I was visiting them at the time) to turn on the news.  And then realizing that it was just one plane crash - but much, much more horrific.

The days that followed were a mash of sadness and fear and trying to figure out how I was going to get home to North Carolina (I did finally, by car, thanks to a Chad-Mom-Kathy shuttle).

I know we all have our own stories about that day.  I'm just not sure, for me, that it's healthy to watch news story after news story after news story.  I remember.  But I'm not sure I want to get back to that place of despair that the endless coverage is bound to bring up.  It's not that I don't think the anniversary is deserving - it's just my choice.

I remember.  And I know you do too.  I'll wear my red, white and blue proudly on Sunday - and send up a prayer of thanks and remembrance.  And that will be enough for me.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Fine. I'll get back on track.

You've probably been wondering what happened to me.  Or rather my excellent record of posting a blog each week.  Well, nothing really happened.  Except I didn't post for like a month.  I don't even have a really good reason - just that every time it came up on my mental list...I did a quick scan of my brain and realized I was having a lack of good stories.

Oh, great news - I still have a total lack. I thought maybe if I just started plugging away, something would come up. 

It has been an interesting few weeks here in the Carolinas.  If you're into natural disasters. 

Everybody knows we had an earthquake - that's no longer hot news.  Well, I think I was one of two people in Raleigh who didn't feel a thing.  Or rather, I was at the gym at the time - so was probably pumping so much iron that the weight of the weights prevented me from bobbling around like a Weeble Wobble.

And, yes - it was the talk of the town.  Much to the amusement of my West Coast friends.  Hey, give us a break - this is not our norm.  I tried to be really still for the rest of the day so I could maybe feel aftershocks.  No dice. 

And then there was that little storm - Irene.  That was more exciting than the earthquake.  This is something we are good at here - prepping for hurricanes.  We call it hunkering down.  I never even knew 'hunker' was a word until a decade ago when I moved south. 

The thing about hurricanes - is that they aren't as predictable as you'd like them to be.  Anything that rolls onto the weather map surrounded by a Cone of Uncertainty is just that...uncertain.  So depending on where you sit in the cone, you either pay no attention to the reports or you stock up on water, beer and books. 

In this case, I hunkered down at my parents' house (yes, I went closer to the storm) and we pretty much planned on a Saturday of sitting inside listening to the rain and wind.  They are on well water, so we were ready to not be able to use the water should the power go out. 

We got up for the day - and waited.  And waited.  And waited.  And eventually got bored of waiting and went out and about.  As it turns out - there house sat right in the spot where no rain fell and the winds only gusted to 25 mph.  Which was gusty enough to turn off the power for a few hours, but nothing serious.  Although we were mere minutes away from pulling out a board game before the lights came back on.

Obviously we got the best of it.  I have had to shake my head several times at the arm chair quarterbacks going on and on in days that followed about the 'overhype' of the hurricane.  I'm pretty sure most of the state of Vermont would disagree.  And isn't the point of evacuations to save lives?  And didn't that work out pretty well? 

So now our minds are on Katia - the next storm out there.  Which has a rather large Cone of Uncertainty pointing our way. 

If that comes along next week, I'll be hunkering down Noah style.  I'm currently loaded up with guest pets at my house - and am a little nervous that TLC is going to drop by to film an episode of "How many animals are too many?"

Months ago, my friend asked me to keep her cat while she was off learning to be a doctor in Colorado.  Of course!  No problem!

What I failed to realize was that the exact time she would be gone would coincide with my parents' trip to Alaska - during which I'd be caring for their two dogs and kitten.  So I've got three cats, three dogs and a tiny square of room on the couch.

The biggest challenge?  Picking up three poops without, well, messing up. 

Mainly it's just hilarity though.  Especially with the little kitten (and I just realized I did not put him in his crate before I left this morning, so am now panicking a tiny bit).  Yesterday morning I was making a turkey sandwich for lunch.  There was a white streak up and across the counter and suddenly I was making a sandwich with much less turkey.  Then there is a the nightly playtime - when the collies use the kitten as their plaything.

And then there's bedtime.  When every dog and cat decides there is plenty of room to hop on in.  It's tricky to find enough room for my own arms and legs.  And then even trickier to lay very, very still so as not to disturb the masses.

Yes, my heart did jump a little this morning when I heard of an earthquake in Alaska.  And being geographically inept, I had to pull up Google Earth to figure out that my parents' cruise ship was nowhere near it.  That sure would be a wild vacation story.

The real shocker right now is that it's already September.  How the heck did that happen?  I'm already feeling glum at the chill in the air each morning.  I really do prefer hot and humid.  There is a bright spot, however.  My toes.

About the only think I like about the switch to fall is the switch to close toed shoes.  And I only like that because it means not having to keep my toes pristine for a few months.  It's a lot of work to keep your toes sandal worthy from May to September. 

Next year I may start a campaign for naked toes. 

Okay scratch that.   I was going to put in a picture here of naked toes.  Here's something I do NOT recommend - searching Google Images for "Toes". 

I now have to go wash my eyes out with soap.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Sunburn, Sharks and Somebody just pinched me.

I'm not sure what is happening out there in that ocean (well, I have a frightening idea since I'm watching a little bit of Shark Week), but it seems the water is getting rougher and rougher.  I mean, I specifically remember decades ago when waves wouldn't toss me around.  Or when I could body surf for hours without landing on my face while ingesting a mouthful of sand.

These days, not so much.  And while I can already hear your mind ticking...

Clearly it has nothing to do with my age.  It has to be something else.  Global warming.  Santa Ana winds.  El Nino.  His little sister, La Nina.  Normally, I would blame being tossed around like a rag doll on the latest Tropical Storm - as they generally seem to plant themselves off the coast the same week we are vacationing.  But this time, we lucked out - the storm was still way far away.

Maybe it was the raft.  Probably.  Raft error.  That sounds good.  I mean, I think I used to be able to actually sit on a raft in the ocean and just right the swells while chatting it up with my pals.  This go I spent a good twenty minutes trying to launch myself onto the raft without success.  Unless you rate success as falling off the other side, tipping backwards, getting stuck under the raft, nearly losing a piece of your suit or drinking several gallons of ocean water. 

Obviously the ocean is changing.

Never mind that after a quick half hour of flailing about I developed a great urge to lay down on my beach blanket and read.  This actually frightened me a bit as I specifically remember thinking (again...decades ago) how lame 'those' people were.  The ones who dragged all their stuff out on the beach and then just slumbered on their blankets reading.  Have I become one of those people.  Um.  Yeah.  Actually.

Of course in order to reach that goal I had to work my way back in from the deeps.  Proof again of a changing ocean.  I'm sure it was just last year that I would trollop to the shallows, practically skipping and dancing over the incoming waves.  There was no skipping this year.  For some reason my legs got shorter making it impossible to trollop anywhere.  It was more of a lean forward and push kind of action that seemed to gain me only about three inches at a stride. 

I made it eventually. 

I've also become, evidently, a beach walker.  Again - one of those people I used to mock.  Why would one drag all their stuff out to the perfect spot (cooler, towels, rafts, blanket, book, snacks, lotion, hat, sunglasses, tshirt) only to lay it all out with a nod and then head out for a long walk?  Why?  I have no idea.  But I actually enjoyed it. 

Since we were at the beach as a group - my brother, nephew, niece and pseudo-nephew - we would take turns being the go-getters.  Jamie and I would head out on our walk first leaving the boys in charge of our stuff.  I have no doubt that was all talk - I have no doubt they paid zero attention to our stuff because they were busy trying to pick up chicks.  When we returned, the boys would head out for their walk.  Which was actually a run - because if your young and single at the beach you've got to show off what you can. 

Jamie and I had some fantastic talks on our walks.  I think that's why I enjoyed them so much.  So much that I didn't realize my back was turning lobster red or my calves were begging for mercy.  Sand walking is a tough sport.

This was our routine for most of the week - up for breakfast, off to the beach, home for a late lunch, activity, dinner and cocktails.  The activities included riding the giant Ferris wheel in Myrtle, Broadway at the Beach, shopping and the annual World Championship of Mini-Golf.  Which I still didn't win.  Apparently in order to win that you have to have a wiener.

We did do a charter trip to go deep sea fishing.  Remember Matt?  My pseudo-nephew who caught half the sea on last year's fishing trip?  I'm happy to say his take this year was zero.  I feel bad.  I really do.  Remember how I only catch things that can't be kept?  Yep.  Blue fish.  Too small.  However...lest we come home empty handed....there was this:


Of COURSE I didn't catch that.  But you know why?  It's because I'm so nice.  Because when you are on a good charter, they make you pick a reeling order - that way everybody knows who is reeling in the next 'big' one.  There's none of that panic "I don't want to do it!" stuff.

And because I'm so kind, I let my brother have the first go.  Had I known this would be our only 'big' catch, surely I could have thought differently.  Or not.  It looked kind of hard.

Mid week - we got an update from my sister, showing her latest tattoo...a picture of a dog paw on the top of her foot with the names of her two dogs above and below it.  Which got my mom thinking.  That maybe she'd like a tattoo of her animals' names.  And just how far up her leg that would go.  Is it weird that we spent the morning giving my mom a tattoo with a dry erase marker?  Is it weird that she walked around all day with this on her leg?

What'd you do on your summer vacation?  Get beaten by a bunch of waves?  Turn your back into the shade of a ripe tomato?  Tattoo your mom?  Chase around a new kitten?  Give your dad a titty-twister just before this picture was snapped? 
If you said no to any of these...then you didn't have as much fun as we did.  So sorry.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Jigger takes a trip (vacation...part one).

I do love vacation.  I know, I know - who doesn't love vacation?  The problem is, whenever I come back I have to spend two or three days coming down from the high.  Which mostly is spent wondering how I could convince my parents to just let me live in their motor home full time.  I'm guessing that's a no-go.  Plus, I really do see the writing on the wall - eventually it might get old.  Still, I'd be willing to try.  It's just that whole pesky income thing that holds me back.  Like I actually need an income.  People say you can't win the lottery if you don't play - well, I'm here to tell you that you also can't win if you DO play.  At least in my case.

Vacation included seven people - Mom, Dad, me and the Pennsylvania crew of my brother, nephew, niece and pretend-nephew.  Plus three dogs.  And a surprise entry.  So you know the planning was extensive as we were all staying together at a campground in North Myrtle Beach.  And you know how planning sort of overwhelms you - even when you are just plain ready to roll. 

Now, what do most smart, normal, sane people do the day before they leave?  Probably wrap up the little things - last minute packing, last minute grocery shopping, getting gas for the car - stuff like that.  I say 'probably' because what we did was, well, not that. 

Instead, after a brief phone call with my mother on the Friday before the Sunday we left - we decided the best way to spend an already busy Saturday was to drive north of Raleigh to deliverance and pick up a kitten.  A brand new kitten.  Who does that? 

Well, just look - and tell me, who wouldn't?

This is Jigger.  He's a three month old Flame Tip Siamese bundle of goodness.  Here's the thing.  There is no such activity as 'driving to look at....(insert item)'.  Sure, we pretended we were just going to look at Jigger, but he had us at the first purr.  As if to say "Oh, here you are!  I've been waiting for you to bring me home!"

So we did.

We drove him back to Raleigh to my house and then my mom drove him back to Pinehurst to their house. 

Wait a minute, you say?  Weren't you just getting ready to head out on vacation?  Oh fear not - this little guy didn't know it - but he was getting ready to be introduced to the motor home in a big way.  Yes, he has spent twelve of thirteen days of his new life living in the camper with his new best friends - the collies.

And the rest of us spent these days being reminded of what it's like to have a kitten.  You forget just how high they can jump (onto every flat surface and many that aren't quite so flat).  You forget just how cute they are when they sleep (if you can get them to stop moving enough to take a nap).  You forget how curious they are (as he cuddles into an eighty pound collie with all of his two or three pounds of weight).  You forget their climbing abilities (Curtains?  Check.  Human legs?  Check.). You forget that they don't know that it's the kitten food they are supposed to eat (as he samples anything he can get his paws on - often directly from some non-guarded plate).  You forget that they have to be, well, reminded to use the kitty litter (he'd actually sign in relief being placed in the box).

And then you remember just how sweet a tiny boy can be.  And how he was just what the doctor ordered to help heal a heart that was broken recently by another cat's passing.

Clearly Jigger is bonding just fine with his new family - and totally taken with his new surroundings.   Today he will arrive at his 'real' house to spend his first significant time out of the motor home.  Now, knowing how wide open he was in that small space - I can only imagine what he'll get into with all that new space to play in.

Oh - and his name.  "Jigger" is the name that was once used for sand wedges.  Keeping up with our golf themed pet names.  Even though none of us actually plays anything more than mini-golf.

Once we had settled into our campsite, the next thing on the docket was to go pick up the Pennsylvania group from the airport.  They were slated to arrive at noon on Monday.  Because we like to keep ourselves on a tight schedule - we opted to be up and out of the motor home by nine and off to Costco before heading to the airport.  The wrinkle in that plan was Costco not opening until 10am.

The other wrinkle is that we had eaten sparingly for breakfast - knowing that Costco would be a mecca of samples.  Except they didn't have any out so by the time we got done shopping we were about to tear into a twenty pound bag of anything in the snack aisle.  New rule:  There is nothing wrong with pizza at 10:30am.

The day then turned into one of those 'hurry up and wait' episodes.  First the flight from Philly to Charlotte was delayed as they had over fueled the plane.  Really?  How'd that work out?  Not so great - the flight was then delayed further as the fuel had to be balanced.  Still, should be okay.  Back we went to the motor home to wait it out.   

We prepped for the next departure time (this was a two car operation).  And then learned the flight still hadn't left Philly.  And when it finally did - there was a pretty big question as to whether the kids would make their connector in Charlotte.  But since they were in the air we really weren't sure. 

We kind of goofed around waiting for the text saying they were on their second flight.  We kind of planned to be on the road to the airport.  We got the text.  Saying they'd missed their connector.  Back to the relaxing.

We got a note saying they were on a new flight and in their actual seats.  We prepped again.  We got a note saying there was now a mechanical problem, so they'd be delayed.  Back to relaxing.  We got a note saying they were taxi-ing out.  Back to relaxing.  That should have been 'Back to prepping' because after all of this - they arrived at the airport well before we did.  Whoopsie.

So the noon arrival was now a 3pm arrival.  But, as I always say - any flight that lands safely is a good flight.  Even if it does cut into our beach time.

Vacation was officially underway.  To be documented on a giant dry erase board to include daily schedules and meals.  This was no shoddy operation.  We had an agenda for each day of the week and we kicked ass.

The dry erase board also included chore lists for each participant.  My dad almost got away with one here - for his name didn't quite appear in the chore list.  Until it became apparent that there would be one job requiring a keen eye and cat like reflexes:

Jigger watch.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Just Axe

I love that I just gave myself a minor scare.  Totally forgot I changed up the scheme on the blog yesterday.  Then opened it today and couldn't figure out what I was looking at.  Is that a sign of aging?  Or just forgetfulness?

You can tell when I'm really lacking on things to share when I start playing with the layout instead of doing any actual writing.  Hence the new scheme. 

I guess it's a good thing that I don't have any life lessons to share this week. 

July is dragging along.  Literally dragging.  Next week is a beach week - so obviously this week seems to be taking a month to get through.  Remember I have that problem that most five-year-olds have - the one where you get excited about something, so at night you can't sleep just thinking about it.  Yeah.  I'm there again - ready for a vacation and laying in bed at night willing the days to go by faster.  If I could figure out a way to make my actual vacation days go as slow as these ones, I'd really be in business.

We're having seven people at the beach this year.  An actual crowd.  A gaggle even.  Enough people to where it will take two cars to get us anywhere.  That's how you know you're big time - when you start traveling like an entourage. 

We'll be that annoying group that takes forever to get anywhere.  You remember what that's like - remember dorm living?  And trying to get a half dozen people out the door?  And how it took at least an hour to get everyone ready to go at the exact same time.  Sure - you could offer a go-time "7pm".  Oh wait, this is college I'm referring to, so that would be more like "10pm".  And at 10pm, two out of six people would be milling about, ready to roll.  Then at ten after, another would be ready.  Then one more at quarter past.  Then one of the first two would see what the fourth was wearing and need to go back to change her outfit.  Then the fifth would be ready - who is really the fourth ready because the first ready is back changing.  The first would come out all anew but the sixth person would still be missing.  All five would crowd into her room to offer moral support at which point persons three and four would disappear to reapply something or other.  Finally number six would be done and that group would be off to find three and four.  Well, you get the picture.  By the time anyone left the dorm it was nearing eleven thirty. 

Somewhere along the line I should have learned not to be the first one to be ready.  Maybe that should be my new goal habit.

I have developed the no-need-to-be-on-time habit.  This is from years of re-conditioning by my *ahem* tardy friends.  I'm now starting to keep them in categories.  If I'm meeting someone from Category O, I know that I should be on time - or even a little early.  If I'm meeting someone from Category L, I know that it's okay to dawdle a bit as there will be an explanatory phone call within minutes of our scheduled arrival time offering details of the revised time.  I realized that arriving on time and being annoyed for the Category L's was just stupid.  Better to take my time, not stress and still arrive before them. 

We'll also be that annoying group at the restaurant who can never seem to get it together.  The group that servers want to dash from.  Because no matter how many times we're asked, "Are you ready to order?," somebody won't be.  It's the trick of the numbers again.  When you get seven people together at a table - it's almost impossible to get a quick order.  Because you're first choice will go to the wayside when you hear what everyone else is getting.  Then you'll start worrying about having food envy and hem and haw over what the heck to get.  It'll turn into a near panic where you'd almost rather not order at all just so you know you didn't mess up and order the wrong thing. 

And then the server will have to list the side choices seven times because God forbid we all listen and memorize the list of three things the first time.

My mother plays this game well - she started collecting menus from our regular haunts.  This gives us days to plan our meals.  Well done.

We'll also be the group playing miniature golf in the pouring rain.  Each year we have the World Championship of Mini Golf tournament and each year it pours in the middle.  I'm not sure why.  It could be dry as a bone all week long.  All week.  Not a spit.  Except for the hour in which we are on the course.  You'd think we'd stop.  Especially if said rain involves lightening.  I mean, there's nothing smarter than standing around in a storm with a lightening rod in your hand.  I thank you for considering us a smart bunch.  The tournament runs much like the post office - rain, sleet, snow - we will find our winner.  And it generally won't be me.  Although I do talk a good game.

We'll be the group out deep sea fishing begging our stomachs not to betray us with weakness.  Last year, we were the group that refused our mother's call for Dramamine.  Then we were the group on the boat that didn't know you could bring things along like:  a cooler of beverages, sunscreen, bait or towels.  Then we were the group who had one member turning a suspicious shade of green towards the end of our trip.  This year we'll be the group which has taken their Dramamine and brought along a basket of essentials.  Play smarter, not harder.

In the meantime - I'm just the girl sitting here wondering how to make time go a little faster.  Rumor on the streets is that my mother is doing the same thing.  And up north, my nephew is working out how to get all his dude-stuff to the beach (what with those pesky airline rules against bringing more than four ounces of anything).

In the category of things I never saw coming - we had a bit of texting between the two of us as I'll be needing to pick up some Axe for him.  As if he could go a week without smelling good.  When I asked what scent - he said "Vice.  Or whatever you (meaning me) thinks smells good". 

I'm not really sure why he's trying to pick up 40 year old ladies...but there you have it.  Something to kill time with.

Friday, July 8, 2011

This may be very random.

I'm having on of 'those' weeks.  Not all over the place - just in the blog world.  It's a week when everyday, several times a day, I think, "Man, I got nothing."  No great tales to share.  No stupendous events to babble about.  No amazing lessons to be forwarded.

Granted - the last event was the loss of our cat - and I'm fine without another one of those.  Thank you all for your kind words - I'm happy to report that the folks seems to be doing well and, rumor on the streets is...they might be on the hunt for the next member of the family. 

Oh, wait - there's a story. 

Mom accidentally hopped on Marley's Cats website.  If you're in this area, you've probably heard of them.  They are one of the many rescue groups that hock their animals on the local news station during the lunchtime report. 

Yeah, so Mom looked on the site and saw the cutest little guy just begging her to submit an application.

Now you should know that being a pet in my parent's house is very, um, un-pet-like.  It is very much like living in a furry Shangri La with full access to just about anything.  I mean, they do have limits.  I'm just not sure if anyone knows what they are. 

This means when I go camping with them and I set up my pull out bed - I start out the night with plenty of relaxing space.  Until three seconds later when I am joined by a collie.  Collies are not small dogs.  Then three more seconds later, I am joined by another collie - who, upon seeing the first collie in bed, turned a little green with jealousy.  And therefore decides just getting in the bed isn't really enough - she also has show who the better snuggler is.  Did I mention the size of these dogs?  So, I generally spend the night squished between two big furry butts.  I should also mention that my parent's motor home is not small.  Which means there is actually plenty of floor space for said dogs.  But see...who would really say 'no' to such big teddy bears.  And even if you did say 'no,' - all you'd get is a tremendous feeling of guilt when the dog looks up with these sad, pitiful, "Did you want to hear about my last life?" eyes.

Right.  You get the picture.  If you want to be reincarnated, make sure it is to come back as an animal in my parent's house.  You will have full access to beds, couches, dog beds and laps (no matter what your size).  You will be given intricately designed meals courtesy of Chef Bo - and if you aren't so hungry at meal time, you will be given many other chances throughout the day for a snack.

So back to Marley's Cats. 

My folks are a shoe in to adopt a pet, right? 


My mom got denied like a teenager in a bar.  Their reason?  That if she couldn't adopt two kittens, she couldn't have one kitten.  This may be the dumbest thing I've ever heard in my life.  My mom didn't want two kittens.  She wanted one kitten.  To keep the same combo of animals that they've had for years. 

But the rescue thought that two kittens was better because then the kittens would have each other to bond with.  Hello?  Have these people ever had pets?  The whole point is that they bond with their owners.  That's what makes them pets, I believe, and not just a pack that got sidetracked from the forest. 

Isn't the whole purpose of a rescue to place animals in wonderful homes?  From the minimal details I've already given you - do you not think this is a wonderful home?  Never mind that animals in this household get to explore the world by motor home travel.  I don't know a single kitten out there that wouldn't give up bonding with another kitten in order to gain a few stamps on his Passpurrrt.

No need to start mailing kittens to us.  One will turn up eventually (unless you have a Siamese type kitten at your house that you want to send to Eden, in that case, mail away).

So Dumb.

Moving on.  You'll all be thrilled to know that I got picked up by a guy at the grocery storelast weekend.  This was after my botched gym trip - where I didn't realize they closed at 1pm.  I realized I was the only person actually working out and for a glimmer of a second thought, "Man, I'm hard core."  Moment destroyed when they asked if I wouldn't mind leaving.

Since I was starving - I went next door to Lowe's to get two things:  Milk and a Cantaloupe.  Here's why you don't go to the store after the gym.  I went through the line with a ball of fresh Mozzarella, a pre-made sandwich, salad from the salad bar, a bag of apples, a bag of bananas, Oreos and a whole watermelon.  What single girl buys a whole watermelon?  I love watermelon.  But I haven't even made a dent in that thing.  In the meantime there is watermelon juice on every surface of my kitchen because I also can't control it.

And while at Lowe's - a young chap came up to me to see if he could get to know me better.  In the grocery store.  While I was covered in sweat.  And my hair was plastered to my head.  And there may have been an odor.  Could have been flattering, but he was wearing a Dallas Cowboys shirt.  And may have been just over the legal age.  Still - I do have his email.  I just haven't used it.

I'm in my summer lull right now.  I'm in that span of time prior to vacation - where I'm all excited about vacation and it can't get here fast enough but I don't have enough stuff going on to make time fly.  I'm not really even close enough to vacation to start packing (something happened to my need to pack months ahead of time).

No, I'm not going international this year - just down to the beach for a week with most of the family.  We've already got our reservation on the Deep Sea Fishing boat so I can once again demonstrate my prowess for catching anything and everything that is under four inches long. 

This year we are chartering a boat for some privacy.  It even has a fight chair.  Which is dandy because, oh, wait - I'll probably never use it.  OR, keep checking back because maybe this year I'll have a picture of myself hold something gigantic.  And I don't mean the side of the boat while I'm in the midst of sea sickness.

So while I wait for vacation, I've been watching the days drag by.  I generally mess up my Fourth of July plans because work is so crazed the days before that I think all I'm going to want to do is lay around and recover. 

But then by the second day of recovery, I'm bored out of my mind and realizing that I never checked in with any of my friends to see what they were up to.  And if they wanted me to be up to it with them.

That being said - I did get some things done.  Vacuumed.  Cleaned the kitchen fairly thoroughly.  Bought a pile of landscape timbers from Lowe's to outline the front mulch beds.  Cleaned out the back beds and planted some flowers (okay, yeah - I know it's already July and I'm only about two months behind on that one). 

The problem with most of these projects is that I totally overestimated how long it would take to do any of them.  I do this all the time with vacuuming - it may be how I avoid it.  I think, "Oh man, I gotta vacuum, but that's going to take I better wait for a holiday weekend."  Then I get to it and it takes under twenty minutes.

Same thing with the flower beds.  Planned time...three hours.  Actual time...less than one.
Same thing with the landscape timbering.  Planned time...six hours or so.  Actual time...under two.

So that's how I ended up with way too much free time and a bit of an addiction to Words with Friends. 

And also how I ended up with just about nothing to talk about in this blog.

You're welcome.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Losing a Friend

I generally and purposefully do not blog during the end of quarter sessions at work.  Mainly because I get so wrapped up in the craziness that I totally forget.  So instead of beating myself up for forgetting, I just started giving myself two weeks off at the end of every three month cycle. 

That appeared to be how this quarter was going to go down as well.  I didn't even think once last week of taking the time to be eloquent.  I was too busy burning other candles at both ends.  Have you ever worked with sales people?  Then you know the drama with a capital "Holy Crap" that ensues whenever deadlines loom and approach.  Lots of hand-holding.  Lots of hurry up and waiting. 

And I would have totally been okay with a non-blog week. 

Except words keeps running through my head over and over - sort of pointing me to do some blogtherapy.


This is me avoiding.

If you know my family at all, you know we are huge animal lovers.  We've had all sorts of dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters, turtles, ducks and who knows what else - I'm sure I'm missing some pet somewhere along the way.  But now matter how many animals you have - one thing never gets easier. 

Saying goodbye.

Now, in a way, I do think it can be a little less jarring when you are expecting it.  When you have a pet who is way up there in years or is sick or has become decrepit - it takes the teensiest sting out of it.  It really isn't much, but it's something.

But over the weekend - we lost one whom we weren't expecting to lose.  And that just sucks.

The week was a great one actually.  My brother and nephew were visiting from Pennsylvania.  We had set up shop with my parents out at the lake.  We were a campsite full of people ~ plus three dogs and a cat. 

The cat, Putter, had recently made a return to campground life after taking a few years off for bad behavior.

But by week's end - we'd lost him.  To what?  We don't know.  Probably never will. 

Putter adopted us 12 years ago.  He was actually part of a 'master plan' in which Mom and Dad fulfilled my niece's wish have her very own white cat.  Her birthday was going to coincide with a family visit and the perfectness of it got my mom's mind ticking.  And so we were off to the local animal shelter to find a white cat.  We found Putter - tiny, white, playful...and with a bit of a runny nose.

It was pure coincidence that we had a camping trip scheduled on Putter's first weekend at my parent's house.  Surely they couldn't leave a kitten home alone - so, much to my father's dismay - we packed tiny Putter up and took him camping.

By weekend's end...the cat was no longer for my niece.  Putter had taken up residence in my dad's lap for the weekend and soon the question came...."Can we find another white cat for Jamie?".

So luck struck for the first time in Putter's life.  Because not 24 hours later - a neighbor with new kittens was knocking on the back door.  He was holding a white kitten and asking if we wanted it.  Fate won.  Jamie got her white kitten (if you are giving away a kitten, I recommend a gift bag rather than a box) and Putter got to stay in the Carolinas.

It didn't take long to figure out why fate put Putter in my parents' hands.  It had to do with their wallet and ability to afford him.  Evidently, upon arriving on earth, Putter heard loud and clear that cats have nine lives - and dang it if he wasn't going to make sure he used each and every one of them.

I walked into the living room once just in time to catch him hanging himself from the blinds string.  Actually hanging.  Swinging back and forth style.

As a toddler cat - who was snuggled with Mom as she worked on a quilt - he swiped the needle and thread straight from her hand to his mouth.  Xrays showed them both in his belly - removed with surgery.  The twist here was that after having his belly shaved for surgery - the hair grew back orange.  Apparently, he wanted to try out different fur colors as part of his nine lives.

He spent much of his time as a young cat on cliffs.  He preferred to lay on the tops of doors.  Or peering down from the Grandfather Clock.  The only glitch was you never knew when he was going to use your body as a launch to reach these places.  If you spent anytime with Putter, it would end with scratches in strange places.

Later in life, again...just trying to help...he jumped onto a pan of frying bacon - toppling it straight onto his head.  Now we had a white cat who was slowly turning orange with singed ears. 

And so Putter went through life - living dangerously and on the edge. 

In his later years, some may have called Putter cranky.  He became a big-boned cat with an attitude to match his twenty or so pounds.  He'd lost his privileges on the camping circuit when he started removing his collar and spending most nights throwing himself against the door to get out of the camper.  He loved to be petted - until he was over it and would kindly let you know by latching his teeth into your arm - often drawing blood.

Not everyone could have handled Putter.  We could.  We love him faults and all.  And there was a lot of 'all.'

Over the last year - my parents started spending more time in their camper and less time at home.  This meant Putter got to make visits to my house or receive visits from neighbors.  But then his camping privileges were given back - first on a trial basis and then permanently. 

He forgot about knocking on the door at all hours and got real content with being a camper cat.  He spent his days sleeping in one cupboard or another - always asking to be lifted to the higher spots instead of using our backs as a ladder.

And so he seemed to once again grab another life - this one with a new attitude.

We just never thought our time with it would be so short.  He seemed to just have a bit of a stomach bug ~ we've all had those nights...and if they made Pepto for cats we probably would have dosed him up and sent him back to the cupboard. 
But they don't, so we didn't.  Instead, Mom made the hike back home to leave him with the vet for the weekend - where he could get the medicine he needed and we could get a good night's sleep.  Who knew?

Saturday he seemed to be doing well, according to the vet. 

And then he wasn't. 
Then he suddenly a cat in need of oxygen and resuscitation. 
Then he suddenly became a cat who had run out of lives. 

We were floored.  We thought he was a jerk for dying. 

And then we remembered all the living he'd done.  How he went through all nine lives, checking them off, one by one ~ perhaps even knowing he'd spent them all.  How he was lucky enough to be thrown into a family who didn't care that he grew bitchy or heavy or lazy.  How he skirted death time after time - and that only counts times we knew about. 

I know my dad was sad last night.  Lounging on the couch without his buddy. 
I know my mom will cringe the next time she opens a can of tuna and no one comes running.

But I also know how lucky Putter was to have adopted us.  And how lucky we were to have loved him.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Diddy's Day

After bombarding you with the history of Mother's Day last month, I would really be shirking my duties if I didn't offer the same blog space to Father's Day.  Which - as you probably Sunday.  You're welcome.  I could have saved the posting of this blog until actual Father's Day - at which point you may have read the headline and panicked because you had forgotten all about it.  But see, I'm a good friend to you, so I've given you a few days notice.

I always feel like Father's Day kind of gets the short end of the stick.  I mean, it makes sense to me why it does - women tend to be a lot more 'in' to Hallmark Holidays than men are.  If you don't believe me...please refer to any Valentine's Day.  The hype often outweighs the actual day.  And if you want to see how much either holiday really means to a lady - just don't give her so much as a card.  You'll never underestimate the power of a pink envelope again.

So as I suspected, the whole reason for Father's Day was to give equal recognition to our mothers' male counterparts.  Like, "Oh nuts!  What about our Dads?".  This, no doubt was followed quickly by Grandmother's Day, Grandfather's Day, Kid's Day, Pet's Day and so on.

Just like Mother's Day, Father's Day is celebrated on a variety of dates around the world.  And, according to Wikipaedia...involves gift-giving, special dinners to fathers, and family-oriented activities.  Well, for me, this is only true is my father is actually in weekend visiting distance and not off gallivanting with one camping club or another. 
My father taught me that just about anything can be funny. And that the most important person you can laugh at is yourself.

For my dad, this year is going to be a stellar family-oriented activity.  I'm taking him to a Father's Day Grilling Clinic at the Angus Barn.  Which is his favorite restaurant.  Actually it's the whole family's favorite restaurant, I think.  As usual, this was supposed to be a pretty simple event - drive up, have our class, head out.  But then we all realized that my brother and nephew's visit started the same weekend so this has become an event of crazy logistics organizing which people would be where at what time and where the camper would be parked when.  If there's one thing my family loves, it's a project.

My father taught me that you can make a project out of just about anything.  Including getting ready in the morning.

Right.  Back to the history of Father's Day.  The first observance of Father's Day took place in Fairmont, West Virginia on July 5, 1908. It was organized by Grace Golden Clayton, who wanted to celebrate the lives of the 210 fathers (downer alert) who had been lost in the Monongah Mining disaster several months earlier. Now, if you remember your times and places...and I'm sure you do...just a few weeks before this was the celebration of the first Mother's Day, right around the corner. 

So while Clayton was probably influenced by that first celebration of Mother's Day - it also happened that her father's birthday fell in June ~ thus her pick for the third Sunday in June. 

My father taught me that it's okay to be a Daddy's girl. Even now that I'm forty.

Clayton actually go totally hosed because her 'invention' of Father's Day wasn't officially recognized until 1972.  In the meantime - all the credit went to a lady named Sonora Dodd out in Spokane, Washington who admittedly started the celebration of Father's Day in direct response to our old friend Jarvis' invention of Mother's Day.

My father taught me that if you do get totally hosed, sometimes it's just the universe telling you to regroup and get back to the basics.

It wasn't until someone saw Nixon's proclamation of Father's Day, realized the mistake in credit and worked to restore the correct legacy of Clayton's first Father's Day service. Of course, in the meantime - back in 1913 - a bill asking for national recognition of the holiday was introduced in Congress.  Still, it was a no-go for several years as Congress was worried that this might be yet another holiday to become commercialized.  Which makes me think that back then, Congress was a lot smarter than it is now.

My father taught me that farting is funny.

In 1924, Coolidge recommended the day be observed by the nation, but stopped short of issuing a national proclamation. Then things started to get heated....and in 1957, Maine Senator Margaret Chase Smith wrote a proposal accusing Congress of ignoring fathers for 40 years while honoring mothers, thus "singling out just one of our two parents."  Finally, in 1966, Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers, designating the third Sunday in June as Father's Day. Six years later, the day was made a permanent national holiday.

My father taught me that sneezing out a giant ball of snot is even funnier than farting.

Now, here's a fun fact ~ in addition to Father's Day...International Men's Day is celebrated in many countries in November for men and boys who are not fathers.  I don't get it.  Is that just a day to celebrate being a man?  Because I think it takes it a bit to the "Aw, c'mon, really?!?!" side of the coin.  I mean, it just sounds pretty random - hey, let's have a day to celebrate me being me.  Guess what - that day was already invented.  It's called your birthday.

As with Mother's Day, Valentine's Day, Easter, Halloween and, really, any day on the calendar with a special notation...Father's Day did become commercialized.  This day can thank The Associated Men's Wear Retailers.  They were the first to put together a council to help people celebrate.  And, while I couldn't find written proof - I suspect this was also the group that put together a council to help people pick out the appropriate tie to give their fathers on Father's Day.

My father taught me that ties...well, he just doesn't wear them anymore.  I'm not even sure he has any in his closet.  I mean, it was fun when he did - to pick out super unique and humorous ties.  But we don't have that easy out any more.  This year I bought him a (nice try,'ll have to wait).  Anyway, I like the non-tie-wearing version of my dad better.

The council scored - because although people were well aware that they were commercializing Father's Day, they still felt compelled to participate in the gift giving.

Here's the trend by the numbers.  In 1937 the Father's Day Council calculated that only one father in six had received a present on Father's Day.  By the 1980s, the Council proclaimed success ~ the one-day event had become a three-week commercial event, a "second Christmas". 


Dad...this does NOT mean you get to hang out a stocking on Father's Day Eve. 

My father taught me that I've always got someone to call for advice, laughter and a shoulder.  My father taught me that it's okay for men to cry - especially if it involves animals.  My father taught me that he will listen when I need an ear - but that he will also laugh at me as needed, even (or especially?) when I may be making a mountain out of a mole hill.  My father not to be afraid to explore ~ a lesson I'm finally just getting the hang of ~ and not to worry if they road you are taking looks a little mucky.  My father taught me to always stand by those you love, no matter how much they are driving you completely bananas. 

Not that I ever drove him bananas. 

That's just crazy talk.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

What Would YOU Do?

I went to a lovely party last night where I was reminded of several things:
* It's possible not to see someone for actual years, yet still consider them a good friend.  That probably has more to do with them being a good person - but the feelings the same.
* Pigs in a Blanket are delicious.
* Anyone brave enough to adopt a child on their own amazes me.
* Playing tennis in 90+ degrees is a great idea if you want to spend the rest of the day sweating bullets.
* I know a lot of people who aren't thrilled with their current career choice.
* There is such a thing as too much icing.
* There's nothing wrong with a late, late nap.

The party of topic was at an old friend's house.  Old in that I met her years and years ago when I first moved to Raleigh.  Another one of those folks who I cross paths with often - either in person or, lately, via conversations with mutual pals. 

I hadn't talked to Gina in ages - until a year ago when I started following her increasingly exciting life via Facebook.  It was a year ago that her daughter, Ella, came home.  Hence the party -last June Ella landed on Carolina soil - adopted from Russia by Gina in what I consider to be one of the bravest moves ever made by someone I know.

And for the past year, I meant to go meet Ella.  I really did.  I thought about it just about every time a new picture popped up on Facebook.  But I never quite made it there and, somehow, a whole year passed.  So it was a bit embarrassing when I plugged in Gina's address to my GPS and realized she lived a stone's throw away.  Whoopsie!

Ella is wonderful.  Full of bounce and energy and curiosity - and, actually, very wise.  As I learned while she explaining the need for water based on some coughing she was doing.  It's impossible to see a hint of her past life.  Ella even resembles Gina with her sprightly eyes and the skip in her step. 

The party, for me, was awkward at first because I didn't know anyone.  Normally this doesn't bug me at all - but for a few minutes I had that out-of-place thing going.  Thank God for the food spread as I quickly forget my suddenly misplaced mingling skills and focused on the actual vat of pigs-in-a-blanket.  Did I mention I'm back on the eating healthy wagon?  Did I mention how quickly I forgot that at the sight of these tasty treats?  How many is too many, really?  Because I'm sure I passed it.

Before long, my partner in many-a-crimes showed...fresh from a tennis match.  Did I say fresh?  What I meant was, Kathy was learning what happens when you try to go from two hours of hitting balls in 90 degree temps to a public place without leaving the proper 'chill down' time in between.  What happens is - the flow of sweat that started hours ago cannot be stopped with a cold shower, cold beer or air conditioning.  Don't mind the girl in the corner - it's not heat stroke, we promise.

We claimed the kitchen table and were soon joined by other buddies.  And the topic turned to our jobs.  It turned there with a screech after Kcat announced that she had walked out on hers a few weeks before.  This is what I love about Kathy - to her, everything is very matter of fact.  "Oh man, I'm never going to stop sweating.  This is like when I quit my job at the end of May.  Can I have some water?  No, no job lined up - just left. How many of them little hot dogs are you going to put back?"

Yeah - she totally up and left her job because she was MISERABLE.  Wait.  We can do that? 

Thus, the analysis started.  CAN we do that?  Can we just quit our jobs with no prospects because we can't take one  more day of waking up and praying to the lottery gods before slipping into our sensible shoes?

I mean, I know I can't.  What with that pesky mortgage check due every month.  But if it were an option, would you?  It makes you think about the misery level.  I mean, I'm not so miserable that I'd just up and leave my job without something great lined up.  And Kathy is a superstar - one of those people who will not only walk out of her job but walk into one that is 900 times better.  We hate her.

Once we all panned our careers, I asked the question that keeps popping into my head.  Why can't a bunch of us just quit our jobs, move to the beach and open a bar?  I mean, it seems like a really good idea.  Especially now that I've become addicted to House Hunters International (on HGTV) - where most stories start out with, "(Insert Name) decided to give up his/her life in (name a place) and fulfill his/her dream of living in (insert place that is beach laden, beautiful and affordable.  Or maybe not so affordable)."

People really do this - they really do just pack it all in and start over.  I guess I did that when I moved to North Cackalacky.  I mean, no job, no home...just a gal with her uHaul heading back to her mama's.

What would you do?  Would you trade it all in and go start somewhere new?  How do you even start that process?  How much do you have to have saved before you're not considered an idiot?  I'm pretty sure I don't have that much - whatever the number is.

My brother and I talk about the day when he'll move south and we'll buy land and throw on some houses.  He'll have room to drive his ATVs around (I mean, when he gets them) and I'll have room to start an animal rescue.  Of course, then I wonder - what are we waiting for?

Oh right.  Lottery. 

This conversation continued past the pigs in a blanket and into cake time.  If you know me at all, you know I have an icing addiction. 

Last night, I hit my wall.  Turns out that weird icing that's all rage right now isn't meant to be eaten in large, sticky finger quantities. 

Turns out that while it's good for making shapes and structures and turning plain cakes into master pieces - it's not so good at, um, sitting in your stomach and behaving.  Turns out that kind of icing just becomes a giant blob of goo in your stomach - no more fancy shapes - just a ball of paste.

And that's how I ended up forgoing the conversation on what our career moves should be and finding my way to my couch for a late day nap.  Because even though the sugar low was forcing my eyes to shut - I refused to give up on myself and just go to bed. 

Instead, I opted for a 9:30pm nap.

Which seemed awkward what with my 11:00pm call time for bed. 

But hey - if I can't up and quit my job, I should at least be able to take a nap whenever I want to right? 

Wait.  Can I do THAT at my job?  Will keep you posted.

Friday, June 3, 2011

A little of this, a little of that....


I was just sitting on the couch wishing there was something GOOD on TV and I realized I hadn't blogged yet this week.  I went through a dozen or so reasons as to why this was okay.  Like who would really notice?  Or don't I get holidays off?  Couldn't I just do it tomorrow?  But then it just kept nagging at me.  Along with the thought that generally follows the 'time to blog' time.  What the heck to write about.  Generally I have a few ideas bouncing around in my head.  Today. Not. So. Much.

I should start off with some catch up.  I know - you probably think I'm going back to my California trip since I haven't quite finished that yet.  But no....

I spent Memorial Day weekend with two of my best buddies ~ Anne Marie & Jack.  Anne Marie being the only one qualified to be my best buddy.  Jack, however, gets to be a guilt by association buddy.  I mean, he really doesn't get my moods yet, but I'm sure that will come in time.  Like when he's visiting his mom and I at the fogey home in a few decades.  ("Oh, I just went to see my mom and her moody friend - yeah they were out in the rocking chairs making fun of people again.")

Sweet, sweet Jack. 

Who is clearly being raised perfectly right because he already knows that when you go shopping with the girls, you must assist in the hunting and gathering.

Even if it is a hot and sweaty day.

In the old days, Anne Marie and I would wake up exhausted from staying out too late.  In a bar, for example.

Things have changed. 

I was exhausted every morning from waking up excited to snuggle with Jack.  Who didn't want to snuggle.  Who wanted to continue whatever conversation we were having when he went to bed the previous night.  While playing with a truck.  No, make that the easel.  No make that the scooter.  No, a book.  No, it's time for a Popsicle.  Some cereal.  Chalk.  Plane. Plane. Plane. 

Oh.  THIS is how they roll in their two's. 

Sign of a good friend:

She dons a swimsuit among a party of complete strangers thus maximizing her Jack Time.

While Jack's mother gets to stay fully clothed.

So she can chase Jack around said party for two and a half straight hours while he played with a pool noodle.  No, a ball. No, the mud. No, the noodle.  Watching the local deer.  Watching the big boys.  Running down a hill.  Eating a hot dog.  Feeding the hot dog to the real dog.  Time for cake.  Time for chips. 

Holy moly does he ever stop?  No.  That would be a 'no.' 

God Bless Anne Marie.

I'm super proud of her.  And whenever I think of how well she does as a single mom with a toddler - I become tired in a Pavlovian way.

I've now upped my adoption age.  I'm going to wait until Jack's five or so and THEN get a five year old of my own.  Maybe a seven year old.  Someone who isn't so much on the go, anyway.

Moving On.

What really motivated me to get crack-a-lackin was watching the Today show.  Yes, that's right - I record the Today show so I can watch it at my leisure.  This is especially effective on weekends when I want to sleep in.  Have I mentioned 'sleeping in' apparently goes away as soon as you turn forty?  Suck ass.

Right - so today's concert on Today was...wait for it...sit down...deep breath...not one...but two...BOY BANDS!  NKOTBSB to be exact.  Not hip to that?  Living under a rock? 

New Kids on the Block and Back Street Boys.  Well, alright.

While watching, I was once again mesmerized by Joey McIntyre.  And was reminded of my plans to marry him.  Whoopsie.

Which then got me thinking of all the dudes I was going to marry.  I mean, really and truly, I was 100% convinced that I would rather die than not be with these guys.

Put your comfy shoes on.  For we are going to stroll down Memory Lane.

Shawn Cassidy.  My first love.  

 Numero Dos:  Leif Garrett.  Look at those locks. 
It was either his poster or Shawn's that I used to 'brush' the hair on.

John Taylor.  Duran Duran, people - stay with me. 
See, this is where I got smart. 
 All the girls were going to marry Nick Rhodes. 
So being brilliant, I saved myself for John - who would be sad and lonely because he was leftovers.

Marty McFly. 
Or Calvin Klein.
I'd have called him whatever he wanted.

 My tastes changed her - I started going for the short haired guys.
Joey, Joey, Joey. 
Again - strategery.  He was the young and impressionable one.

Apparently at this age, I was allowed to go to the movies.
Stay Gold, Ponyboy.

I gave up on my theory of the underdog at this point -
and decided to go straight for the star.
Oh Maverick.
If only I'd known.

First Hockey Love.
RIP my friend - Peter Zezel.
Who taught the whole league how to play with
their jerseys tucked in just a bit.

And my forever Hockey Love. 
Who has now gotten married twice without inviting me to the altar. 
I feel like he's trying to tell me something.  Doubtful.

Shortly after realizing I was falling for Justin Timberlake,
I realized I should aim for someone closer to my age.

 Someone dark and brooding perhaps.
Reality Bites.  Really.  It does.

And then with one flick of his brim - I was a goner. 
Brad Pitt - you win the prize.
Even through your, um, phases....I still hold out hope for us. 

I guess I'm getting more realistic in my old age. 
No sense living on pipe dreams. 
Just aim for giggles and smiles and a good sense of wonder.
Don't be weird - of course I'm not going to marry Jack.  But here's a guy who loves me for me.  And my access to the Popsicles.  Here's a guy who thinks I'm funny and wants to hang out with me.  So maybe he's two-and-a-half.  He makes me happy and sometimes that's just good enough.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Is that really necessary?

I know, I know - another early-in-the-week blog.  Totally throwing you off, no?  But...I'll be busy at the end of the week, so thought it was only fair to do something in advance.  Just to be safe.  I'm already pre-enjoying my Memorial Day plans - a much needed trip to see my lil buddy, Jack.  And to play one of my best roles - The Traveling Handyman.  While I should get started on packing clothes tonight - instead I'll be shining up the drill, saw and clippers for a trip north. 

Now for the actual blog.

I have always, always, always looked down on the Candle Snifter. 

Yes, I know - that is probably a sentence you'd been expecting to read for a loooooooooong time.  Well, good news, the day is here. 

Sometimes things get invented that I just fail to see any purpose in.

The Candle Snifter being one of them.  I always wondered who the genius was who, after blowing out a candle one day, said, "Gosh, that was super hard.  I had to exhale quickly just to get the tiny flame extinguished.  If only there were a way to do this in which I not only didn't have to expel any air - but could also refrain from holding my hand behind said candle to protect my belongings from any errant speckles of wax."

Was it really that traumatic or taxing of an experience that we needed a whole system to do the exhaustive job for us?  Were there people who had to skip events after blowing out their candles because they were just driven to function overload?

I'm wondering if the ability to blow out a candle should be a gauge of "How are you?"  Well, I'm good enough to blow out a candle all by myself. 

So there's that. 

As luck would have it - just a few weeks ago, I came across an ad for a product that was going to CHANGE THE WAY YOU FEEL ABOUT WASHING YOUR PET. 

Come again?  Will it enable dog to get into the shower by herself, grip the shower head in one paw while scrubbing her nether regions with the other?  Because I'm in! 


How your life is going to change is that when you wear these NEW inventions (in the form of, um, gloves) you will no longer have those pesky drips coming down your arms.  You know the ones - they start, well, at the faucet and careen toward you wrists.  Then beyond.  Until, before you know it, you're whole upper body is as wet as a towel removed from the washer before the spin cycle.

Evidently.  I mean, that's never actually happened to me.  Maybe it's because when I wash my dog, I'm not placing her above my head - so I don't have to reach UP, thus forcing the drips to come DOWN.  Another idea, my friends, is to bathe your dog in the tub.  Where drips don't matter.  Especially if you both wear your birthday suits.

Who is using so much water and/or product when washing something that they are currently jumping for joy - missing the whole point of this blog - at the news of this debuting product? 

Which led me to... my Bed, Bath and Beyond flyer.  Where I saw this:
You want to know why kids aren't as tough as they used to be?  Because someone has invented a way for them to fill water balloons that takes all the difficulty out of trying to fill water balloons.   I'm shocked that this doesn't come with a little man to tie the balloons as well.

Also - what good is a water balloon if it is the size of a baseball?  If it's not looming on volleyball size, I'll pass.  I'm not trying splish my friends with a dainty bit of water.  I want to SPLASH them with something akin to torrential.  I want them wet enough to start begging for a pair of Drip Free Gloves just so something on their person wasn't drenched.

If I'm not getting myself soaked in the struggle with the hose faucet - doesn't half of that glee disappear?  Their shouldn't be a faucet in America without the remnants of failed balloons wrapped around it.  You know what I mean - just when you've got the balloon to capacity, the neck of it breaks off - leaving you a mess and a bright orange band around the faucet?  Quickly forgotten while you go in with a reinforcement balloon.

But then it got worse.  Because I saw this:
Know what that is?  Bananza!  Bananza!  Bananza!

Because apparently it has become too much, just too, too much to peel our own bananas.  Now we have a special tool to "Pop the Top" and offers no mess and no mush. 

Newsflash A:  Bananas get mushy when they are old.  They get mushy when the brown starts creeping onto the peel.  If your bananas are getting mushy from the effort of your peeling technique, well, what the hell are you doing to it?

Newsflash B:  Bananas are NOT hard to peel.  No harder than blowing out a candle actually.  You can do it one handed really.  All you need is a fingernail or teeth or strong fingers to 'Pop the Top' and you are on your way.  With an extra ten bucks in your pocket because you were smart enough NOT to buy the Bananza. 

Newsflash C:  If you really need the Bananza, I here by forbid you to eat bananas. 

Ironically - I can't decide if these and products like these make us a lazier country or not.  I mean, yeah - at first glance it seems that there is a whole society actively seeking out ways to not do things.  Like peel.  Or blow.  But I also feel that there should be a teeny tiny bit of credit for creativity. 

But then I have to cancel out the tiny bit of credit for creativity because I remember my initial reaction of "Are you kidding me???"

If someone is going to spend time making my life 'easier,' here are the areas I'd like the focus to shine on:
* Changing a car tire.  Please make a machine to do it for me.  A machine that stores nicely in my trunk.
* I'd like a steam cleaner for my carpets that functions like the Roomba.  Automatic all the way with GPS.
* Unloading the dishwasher.  If that could just be done without my input, that'd be great.
* Folding the laundry - again, take me out of the equation and I'lll buy your product.
* Coffee.  Make it automatically appear in the mornings, even if I forgot to load the coffee maker.
* Fill my gas tank without my participation.  If they have automatic cow-milkers - isn't this just the opposite motion?

Just throwing those out there.  With a verbal Trade Mark.  I
n case anyone opts to steal my ideas. 

Like they did with the Snuggee. 

Because lying in a blanket was just too dang hard.