Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Better said...

Though I don't regret my foray into serious matters, I do think (upon rereading it all) I could have put it in a more succinct, less raving manner.  Harry Belafonte made the point much better than I did, with some drums and some Muppets.  I love this song, it has always resonated with me ever since I first encountered it (the lyrics that start around 2:57 in particular)

The $64,000. Question!!!

WARNING: I am about to break from the generally frothy tone of this blog and get all profound and/or philosophical and/or neurotic. Definitely verbose (though, that's a given, regardless of subject matter). 
So...a question has been ricocheting through my brain lately, one that should be omnipresent, and I think it has been, but I'd heretofore done a stellar job of drowning it out. The question...


I'm beginning to feel like I've fallen prey to the complacency that entraps so many--that is, the presumption that if I am not an actively BAD person, I am a good person. That's bollocks.  I need to actively aspire to be a good  person. 


 I wish I could slap a unequivocal HELL YES on that, but alas, I am an onion of neuroses that overthinks everything. Yes, I want to be a person that does good. But what I really, really want to be is someone that TRULY cares more about other people more than I care about myself.  I know it sounds harsh to say that I care more about myself than I care about other people, but I think it's true. It's hard for me to say that it's true, but when I committed to pitching "frothy" out the window for one post, I guess I committed to brutal honesty too (blast it!!)  I have family and friends that I love, that I would take a bullet for....but would I take one for a total stranger??  I am not devoid of ethics...I KNOW that that's the right thing to do.  But would I do it?  Well, it's often said (of EXTREME situations like that) "you don't know what you'd do until you're in the situation" and that may well be true.  But honestly, if I was in that situation, and I did the right thing, I would surprise myself (if I lived to be surprised).

Yiiiikes, let's take a real life example that is not so horrifically extreme....

Though my ID badge at work identifies me as an "Office Specialist", I call myself a "clerical gun for hire".  Any non-clinical jobs at the agency (I work for a visiting nurse agency) I either have done or am doing.  Oh well, except for Accounts Payable/Receivable.  Have NOT worked that gig because I seriously can only withstand brief, sporadic doses of math (or I sprain my brain). So one of my tasks now, is answering front desk calls. Although I only sit at the front desk when the receptionist goes to lunch, I get a good deal of these calls all day long-- they have the main phone line set up so that any calls missed by reception ring to me.   A call I got the other day was a woman inquiring about bereavement support groups.  That is something the VNA organizes, but it's the purview of our hospice chaplains.  The chaplains have yet to post a centrally accessible calendar of support group meetings that would help me answer these calls myself, so how I've been handling such calls is just to take the caller's name and number, and assure them that one of our chaplains will call them back to help them find something.  And then I shoot an email to the two chaplains, who are always really prompt and conscientious about getting back to these folks.  One of the chaplains just writes back "I will call this person this afternoon"  but the other one is hyper-conscientious (about everything, really) and she writes back like a paragraph summarizing how the call went.

So the other day, I get this email from Sharon, " I called back Deb this afternoon. She lost her husband to cancer this summer, she lives alone but has some adult children nearby.... {not going to paraphrase the entire email but it summed up like--} no meetings in her area until February but I offered to meet with her on a one-on-one basis until then."  And this simple little email launched an interior dialogue that went a li'l something like...
  • That Sharon is really good at her job--a real natural
  • Why wouldn't YOU be a good hospice chaplain, Sandra?
  • Because other people's grief / strong emotion makes me uncomfortable
  • Terrible, but true.
  • You are too wrapped up in your own shit, Sandra.
  • Everybody's wrapped up in their own shit.
  • Sharon's got her own shit...her husband was just hospitalized with some pretty serious health probs. So she either: a) truly cares about other peoples' shit more than her own OR b) can put aside her shit and care about other peoples' shit. A is more outstandingly virtuous than B but in either case she's a better person than you.
But like I said before, I am an onion of neuroses (many layered, that is. Not tear inducing...though, if I've made you cry, please let me know.) and I even question the goodness of my wanting to be a good person.  I'm sure my motives are partially selfish..and selfishness is at the root of my problem! 
I think there are people--extremely RARE people--who by default, and in all cases, put others before themselves.  Not only are those people few & far between, I think they are superhuman.  I sort of visualize it as scale--one side selflessness...the other side selfFULness.  I worry that my scales are too egregiously tipped toward selfFULness (durrr,OBVIOUSLY).  Ideally, I would be tipped waaay in favor of selflessness, and I wouldn't even know it. I would just innately put others before myself, I wouldn't think about how good I was for doing so, I wouldn't have any images of scales dancing in my noggin, it would all be very simple, and easy, and natural and, and...well, clearly I was not born that way at all.   So now I can do good things, and make a deliberate choice to consider other people and that's great.  But....fucked-up onion that I am....it will always irk me that my altruism is tainted by a lust for personal betterment.

BIG SIGHH. I'm going to stay in this same heavy duty territory, but take a break from obsessing over my own emotional deficits and talk about why Eleanor Roosevelt is full of shit.

 "Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people. "

I hadn't heard that quote before, but discovered it when a former coworker had it as part of her email signature.  I tend to not like email signature quotes, but only because I've never known anybody to rotate their quote. Just the same pearl of wisdom, over and over and over again, ad infinitum and I get desensitized to what would otherwise be a very wise pearl. Exceptin' the above quote, that is.  I don't know if Kathy's email signature attributed the quote to Eleanor Roosevelt, but according to the illustrious Quote DB, that is who said it. Kathy was...well, kind of tough to get along with...not just for me, but recollecting objectively, she didn't have a lot of friends. Before I started aspiring to be a good 'un, I would have dismissively summed her up as a rager/ nutter.  I imagine she was aware of people talking smack about her all the time, and that is why she so liked that quote.
Eleanor, though,  was condemning gossip...I think.  Truthfully, I only know a smattering of US history, but I think I do recall that ol' FDR was a bit of a rake in his pre-polio days.  And infidelity is primo gossip fodder, as y'all know.

Well, sorry Eleanor, gossip is not all  bad, and your famous quote is shite. Ideas?  What good are ideas unless they somehow relate to PEOPLE? Events spring from things that PEOPLE do. To me, that quote is shit, because people are the best and ONLY thing to talk about.  There is, for certain, an element of schadenfreude in gossip that is not to be commended.  But, at least if you are gossiping, you are taking an interest in people around you.  Yes, I worry about my selfishness level because I worry about the health of my personal soul.  But I also feel like my issues are a microcosm of a huge societal defect. I return to my earlier thought: EVERYONE IS WRAPPED UP IN THEIR OWN SHIT -- it's a big generalization, so not 100% accurate. But it's pretty much everyone, right?  We would have to be some sort of  amazing cyborg-saint society if everybody is willing to take a bullet for everybody else.
But I'm not hoping for such drastic measures...  It's as simple as looking at someone on the street and really wondering, "Who are they? What is their story?"  I mean it's a simple thing, but so huge.  And maybe it's all in MY head, but I get the feeling lately that people aren't doing that enough. That people are isolated. And to make with more specific examples (and I hate to disparage my own kin in doing so) my sister was encouraging my nieces & nephew to talk at the dinner table about their day at school. And my oldest niece and nephew were just spouting off about all the kids in their class that were "stupid" and "weird" and "gross".  My sister told them to "quit the negativity".  But me,  I had to open my big yapper and elaborate "You should always remember that people have troubles that you might have no idea about.  You should consider that before you call them stupid and gross" Yeah, yeah, I know-- even as I was saying it, I was gagging at how preachy it sounded.  And I'm a big hypocrite too.  Of course, I was the very same way as a kid.  And really, I'm the very same today except now I will reproach myself after my snap judgments about 50% of the time.  I know it's a dreary thought, to think "Everyone I see is somehow, secretly struggling." It's a hell of a downer.  But I feel like if people were able to be mindful of that truth, than we could reduce some of the judgement and anger and envy that pollutes life.  Criiikey, I make compassion sound like such a maaassive effort, don't I?  I wonder if that makes me compassion-challenged or just jaded ? Let's just hope that I'm jaded without cause, that my seeing everywhere this epidemic of selfishness is just me trying to write off my own selfishness as societally inevitable.

I don't know what brought this mindset on, but it could just simply be the time of year.  I suppose all this ranting could just boil down to the  Christmas cliche of wishing for "Peace on Earth and Good Will to Men".  Except that I really, really mean it, and I've dissected the hell out of it.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Bow Wow Wow yippy yo yippy yay

This is the latest addition to my family--is he not ADORBS??  He's not quite mine (I cannot have one in my lame-ass apartment) rather he is the doggy I've been harping on my sister to get for aaaaages ("I can't believe your kids are growing up without a dog. You are a BAD MOTHER.") Well, I wasn't nagging her specifically to get this very Yellow lab-Golden retriever mix, but I've just wanted her to get a dog in general.  
I came over the Sunday they got him and immediately was solicited for my best name suggestions. Of course, I had input, but  the debate was fierce and I didn't particulary want to throw myself into the fray. 

The first name to spring to mind, after gazing at this sweet punum, was Henry. I think it fits him quite well, but of course, no unanimous support could be found (though my sis liked it lots..that was her top pick)  More brainstorming ensued.... someone tossed off "Duke" and Seth really liked that one.  Duke is a pretty cute name, albeit a tad trite.  But this dog looks nothing like a "Duke" .  I know the most famousest doggy Duke--Duke Bush-- is a golden, but he doesn't look like a Duke either. Oh, also he is a duplicitous bastard of a pet, so there's another fine reason to veto that name option.
I thought we should look to U.S. Presidents of yore for inspiration.  I often do this when naming things and tend to find anybody FDR or earlier  to be interesting (not sure why the more recent prezzes bore me, but they do).  So, in this vein, Laura said "Woodrow?"  Now, even though I get the distinct impression that Woodrow Wilson had a colossal stick up his ass, his first name is , nonetheless, all sorts of awesome.  I declare it the BEST dog name ever!! You can be all cas. with him and call him "Woody" and if he drops a deuce on the carpet, it's "Wood-DROW!!" Ohh, and additionally it has connotations (in my mind, anyway) of curmudgeonly but adorable cowboys because of Tommy Lee Jones's portrayal of Woodrow Call in 1989's Lonesome Dove. Yeah, I said it: Tommy Lee Jones is adorable. I STAND BY THIS ASSESSMENT!!

Well, amigos, you have my express written permission here to utilize my #1 top dog name because they didn't go for that either.  The kids rather hated it.  (Again, Laura and I were pretty simpatico on our faves)  We settled on Bo. Or Beau. Chloe *insists* it is spelled the latter way. I don't see why the spelling matters too terribly much, because how often are they gonna see it in print? Probably just on postcards from the vet. It's not like this is a bonafide, with PAPERS show dog.  Crikey, that would have been an EPIC battle--if they'd had to come up with one of those ridicu-long show dog names. Pemberton's Incredibly Posh Beau of the Cypress Glade  or some such shite, y'know?    Though they did give him a middle name....Duke...a nod to the name Seth had his heart set on.  And yes, we did make the Dukes of Hazzard connection (OF COURSE! Um, have you met me?).  It's kinda cute, naming this pale pup after one of the blondest organisms ever to draw breath.  I was always more of a Luke Duke devotee, personally, but it's still pretty cute.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

sing it, Rosie!!

I was really in a black mood this past Sunday and Monday.  I can't quite say why ...perhaps my "humors" got all imbalanced.  I mean, I for sure have my issues, but they are all pretty much longstanding issues.  I didn't get any *new* ones thrown into the mix recently.  It's just that, I have this fundamental sense that the world is a good place and I am a good person and that sense helps me handle aforementioned issues.  And then , on Sunday, all of a sudden, I could tell myself that, (world=good/ me=good) and rationally agreed with it, but I just was not at all feelin' it.  And I exacerbated the whole thing by dwelling on it, although in my defense, I am inescapably doomed to dwell.  Aren't we all?  Or maybe it's just me...  it plays out thusly : I start dwelling--questioning WTF is up with me, trying to dredge up a bit o' happiness, failing at that, then asking: but am I feeling better now? Maybe incrementally better? Hmmm..no. How 'bout now?Now?  Then part of me realizes: the only thing to do is to go on auto pilot, stop obsessing, put it out of your head. It will simply hit you  at some point that --hey, the overhead cloud is gone and you gave it the slip without even trying...without even noticing.   All very sage counsel, but in summation I instruct myself: DO NOT OBSESS.  Is there anything more condusive to obsessing than that, I wonder??

I was right of course...  Yesterday (Tues) I was driving. It was sunny. I was singing along top volume to "Dynamite" by Taio Cruz and ...Oh hey...I'm happy now.  That's how it goes.  But Sunday and Monday I was really trying to FORCE it.  And I was thinking on Monday.. I think what would really help is if I had a good cry.   But try as I might, I couldn't.  Yep, down in the dumpiest depths of the proverbial dumps and I couldn't muster any tears.  Oh, wait--that's not true.  I squeezed one lone trickle out of my right eye and I think that was from multiple big yawns in rapid succession. 

I got to wondering about it--- how did this notion of the "good cry" evolve? (that was, believe it or not, the intended focus of my post before I got carried away with neurotic blathering. Criiiiiikey-- I don't mean for this blog to be a cheap-o therapy alternative)  How is a cry "good" for you?  Now, from my own personal experience, I have found this to be true.  I have felt the...après-sob calm kick in. But *WHYYYY* is that?  It's weird to me-- that your troubles and sorrows can pain you less  just because some amount of fluid has seeped out of your eyes.  Heyyy--(*idea lightbulb*) perhaps it is not the eye leakage but the nasal output that makes things better. It just so happens that many of my "good cries" involve the snot in my noggin fwoooshing forth like the water at Splash Mtn.

Oh, I'm sure there's some dull, science-y reading that would enlighten me ...blah blah blah hormones...endorphines...yadda yadda (can you tell I'm not much of a science buff??)  But I am opting to give credit to Marlo Thomas, Rosie Grier, and a little film called "Free to be You & Me"  It was well over 20 yrs ago, but I still recall being introduced to this in my formative years---

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


I usually don't go all out cooking for just li'l ol' me, but I  was going to make a delish  BLT for my dinner the other night. Ahhh, but the best laid schemes of mice & men go oft askew, am I right??

 I had my tomatoes sliced & spiced, lettuce washed and bacon starting to fry up in the pan. I got the bread outta the fridge, and I slid the toaster forward on the counter in preparation for plugging it in and toasting...
The commotion of toaster relocation startled A RODENT and caused him to run across the back of my stovetop. I know that brave, level-headed people always say of mousies: "They’re more scared of you than you are of them" I really can’t imagine that my shifting the toaster 11 inches was too awfully terrifying for the critter....however  I think probably the BLOOD CURDLING SCREAM that I let out when I saw him did frighten him a bit. It is a damn good thing my landlords were out because this scream was such that any hearer would  instantly call 911 and/or a priest. There would be no response of "YIKES—izzat screaming person ok??"--all bystanders would  just  presume that the situation was too horrific to be attended to by laypeople. You could hear the bowels-loosening terror.
So anyway, after that, I didn’t want to stand there and cook. I threw the semi-cooked bacon in a glass bowl and put it in the fridge, rebagged the bread and threw that in the fridge, threw the frying pan in the sink, shut off the burner, and I really was *throwing* shit around because I wanted to be out of that quadrant of the apartment as quickly as possible. My abode has the added disadvantage of having that very open layout which denies me the small comfort of shutting any doors between me and the vermin....unless I wanted to shut myself in the bathroom but I was not about to let one distasteful encounter make me miss my Wednesday night shows.
So on the menu for dinner that night?? I had tomatoes and lettuce and Diet Coke...also Nerds... I could fetch my box of Nerds from the kitchen without lingering extensively. So the largest part of last night’s fare was Nerds. Yes, yes, it DOES serve me right for being such a colossal candyass.

Oh! if only they were as adorable as they appear in kid's books!! Is it VERY wicked of me that I'm gonna stock up on D-Con?

The following night, I came home from dinner out with a pal, and started hoofing it up the back steps and almost ran into--literally--a raccoon who was assessing the trash can situation on my balcony.  Now at this encounter I said "WUUH-AHH!" (pretty much verbatim, that)  which sounds wussy but it was not nearly so  terror-laden as my mouse scream.  It had a little burst of force behind it, but it was not *too* loud.  It was similar in tone, really, to one of  the nonsensical exclamations James Brown peppered his songs with. "Gooo GAWD y'all!" 
After my "WUUH-AHH!" I retreated down the steps back to my car.  I paused...he looked like he clearly wanted to leave my presence, though it  occurred to me if he crawled down the stairs we would pass on the stairs as I re-ascended.  I called up to him "Hey you, you get off my deck wouldja? C'mon dude!!"  coming off all calm and amicable all of a sudden.  He hopped down to the roof of the carport and we locked eyes.  I like to think, in that moment, we had a little telepathic exchange --
ME: Going forward, don't even try it, buddy.  I tie down my can lids pretty tightly.
ROCKY: No worries. *I* will trouble you no further, but I cannot vouch for my woodland associates.

Not sure why I was so much more threatened by a 2" mouse than by a raccoon.  I am going to posit that I was more alert upon returning home (having just been driving) and in the kitchen I was less alert (less alert = more startleable) as I was in an "Mmmm BACON" trance.  That, or... I just irrationally fear mice more than I do raccoons.

I wonder what I would do if I happened upon a  streaked tenrec??  I did happen upon one online today, and found him temporarily fascinating.  I don't know if I'd have the same response to an in-person meeting.
The creature in question (native of Madagascar)---

Monday, September 26, 2011

Wall Flair II

Sometimes I find myself inordinately amused by the bizarro  WTF??? factor of an action. My work comrade Paul and I were email bantering one time, and the topic du jour was blaxploitation cinema (we have a wondrous variety of email subject matter)  He alerted me to a SPECTACULARLY BAD movie poster and in response, I proposed the hilarious notion  of buying a HUGE print of this poster and taking great care to frame it nicely and then hanging it in a place of prominence in one's living room.  I don't know why, but the thought cracks me up.  Well, of course I'm gonna make w/ the visual aid--
I wonder if Roxanne would have fawned over THIS for a housewarming gift??   I think what I *most* love is that line of copy : "NOW you are ready for Mandingo" 

Oh, and here is a poster that I really would genuinely like to hang on my wall. Vinnie Price is the COOLEST.
This reminds me to remind you--NOW is the time of year to start with your Vincent Price movie marathons.  I streamed "Theater of Blood" on Netflix on Saturday night.  I only managed to get about 1/2 way thru it though.  The movie was decent, but the sound quality was AWFUL.  I had the sound on my laptop turned up all the way and so was the volume on the Netflix player, but I was still missing bits. I felt like my Dad without his hearing aids. NOT enjoyable.

Wall Flair

My friend Roxanne just moved into a new house (well. . . new to her ) in mid-August. We met up for lunch a couple weeks later, and I wanted to give her a little housewarming somethin-somethin. I didn't know of anything she really needed ..this wasn't a first house for her or anything.

I decided to make her some art. Nothing so creative as like, what you see on those HGTV shows where they enlist the aid of their carpentry team, get out in the yard with a 4ft wide canvas, and paint rollers. Muuuuuuch smaller scale, much less effort, but she seemed to like it. I got a couple of cheap frames at the Dollar General and I printed out some art from The Athenaeum and framed them. I actually printed out a lot more than I framed, but I wound up giving Rox all the print outs in case she didn't agree with my picks for the best-of-the-best/ most frameworthy. Anyway, it worked out well..particularly with my ever-present budget constraints. I also think it's a good idea for those people you know whose lives seem to be overflowing with gadgets and trinkets and tchotchkes...those ones that demurr "Oh I REALLY don't need anything!!" (and it's true) . Usually even they can find a 8"x 10" patch of real estate on the wall..unless they've already done their abode up like an Applebees, that is.
Here is the art I picked out. I was trying to do a home & garden theme (Rox is an avid gardener--I do believe she loves her 10 acres & gardens even more than she likes the new house).

I was digging around the internet for nice art for this project and I suddenly was struck by a memory... a ubiquitous bit of mass produced art that I'd seen in umpteen mobile home living rooms throughout my formative years. Not limited exclusively to mobile homes as my uncle still has this hanging in his dining room--of his modified Cape (not my cup o' tea, his house, but it's for certain an immobile home) Anyways the scraps floating through my mind's eye was a shady area with very red water mill, boy fishing, additional boy or girl skipping rocks. I was thinking it would be amusing, in a kitschy sort of way, to print that and give it to Roxanne, but I quickly dismissed the idea because she just doesn't have the taste for kitsch that I do. She would probably think I was 100% in earnest and either really LOVE it or love it because it came from yours truly. It's quite difficult to tell with her, she really seems to adore everything I buy her...but she has *got* to be lying some of the time.

Anyway, even though I wasn't going to print it out, I was still very compelled to look at the picture. Sometimes I feel a very pressing need to fact-check my memory. Like, do you recall that time on Sesame Street when the girl took her llama to the dentist?? If your answer is "NO" , I am not shocked because for aaaages, I would reminisce over this and nobody knew WTF I was on about. I was starting to suspect my parents of slipping hallucinogens into my apple juice. But thank heaven for YouTube!!

I finally found my answer on eBay (where else?). It wasn't easy though. I searched for the better part of an hour (pausing once to proclaim via Facebook that I had stumped the internet). I looked for--
kitschy art red water mill
  • red mill fishing boy mass produced art
  • mill boy kitsch painting
  • gallery of kitsch art (throwing a wide net here)
  • red mill mass produced print

  • boy skipping rocks red mill
ohhhh, and many more. I wish I could remember what magical combo of keyword (s) + search engine finally worked, but I can't. The artist of this kitsch classic is Paul Defletsen, and it seems he was mighty prolific. But I had only seen 2 of his works and had somehow conflated the two in my mind.

In the painting of my memory the boy from this picture--

Was in the below picture (but on the right side). I had forgotten entirely about the girl and the dog, covered bridge & horse& buggy.
But as soon as I clamped eyes on these they were instantly familiar and I knew--Eureeka!!--I'd found 'em.

Monday, September 19, 2011

First Day of Fall This Week!!

The other day I wore an odd sort of outfit-- one of my warmest cardigans...and capris. Though the parts were irrefutably chic, the sum was confused. And so it goes these days in my part of the world: mornings where you wake up--BRRrrr!--a-freezin' yer knobs off, but mid-day heat in the high 70s . And this seasonal limbo is wreaking havoc with my emotions. I'm quite torn over this upcoming Thursday & Friday (the last day of summer& first day of autumn, respectively) . It's not that I don't love autumn. I do ..I always have. I think that's required of me, being an Oktober babe, and all. THAT SAID, my appreciation for summer has grown & grown over the last few years. So, while I do not want to disparage autumn in anyway...the bottom line here is...I AM A SUMMER JUNKIE--I AM **NOT** READY TO BE DONE WITH IT.

But, really I do love autumn and it would be just like me to really peak in my appreciation of a season just as that season's slipping away. I have a tendency to do that with Autumn & Summer. So NOW is the time to embrace Autumn. I am hoping to do so, here and now, via CATHARTIC VIDEO EMBEDDING.

First off, a fond reminiscence of this past summer:

I cobbled together that video** from footage I shot in early June, when I went to Knapp Pond for a picnic with my sister and nieces.


And now, a piece of music** I've been listening to quite a lot lately.. it gives off a lovely autumnal vibe, methinks.

Isn't that great? I know the accompanying imagery isn't at all fall-ish, but if *I* had made the video, it sure as scat woulda been. Close your eyes and listen-- it's all the grandest trappings of autumn in your ear: majestic stags, shiny fluglehorns, corduroy blazers with elbow patches. Okay so actually it's a gleaming brass hunting horn (at left) evoked here and NOT the "fluglehorn" (at right)--not quite. But can you really fault me for jumping at the opp to use "fluglehorn" in a sentence when I kinda had the chance? Heh..heh. .fluglehorns.

The Footnotes:

**Please forgive the shoddy audio work. I tried to loop the mp3 with some free software I downloaded online. I tried 3 different free programs, but could not get one that would eliminate that gap and make it "seamless". Note the proliferation of that "f-word"....FREE... my friend Mark suggested (ever so tactfully) that maybe I would have been able to loop the audio seamlessly if I had been willing to shill out a little $$ for some premium video editing software and not used the standard issue shite that came with my FlipCam. Me? Spend money?? Yeah, Mark doesn't know me so well. Since obviously I was gonna settle for the free shite, what I probably shoulda done was pick a track that clocked in at 2min 14 sec or more. But I was adamant that that song was THE *PERFECT* fit for the footage so I resigned myself to accepting the f-ng ANNOYING gaps. Or..kinda resigned myself...as obviously they still irk me and I also feel I just gotta apologize for them...

I dig making vids but NEVER had I intended to post anything on YouTube...stupid Blogger made me do it!! I tried to upload to Blogger a couple times and it was in a holding pattern of "Uploading.. .. .. uploading. . . .uploading" foreeeeever (and then some) and I finally gave up. I had a YouTube account (of course... who doesn't? Just for commenting on shit) but had never before uploaded there..I decided to give it a try and put the YouTube embed code in my blog instead. It was sooo easy it was RIDIC. The whole process done in <10min., I swear. This may move me to shoot more & share more...who knows, we shall see.

** This is also a very enjoyable version of Jagerchor and sort of new to me because I've never heard this sung in English before. The one I picked for embed is very close to the one on my iPod. When checking out the various offerings on YouTube, I was weighing the merits of THIS vs THAT ... I think that THIS definitely has considerable power--it's absolutely GRANDEUR PERSONIFIED. But on the other hand, THAT kinda charmed me too. And might it not be more faithful to the spirit of the song? Y'know, like swarthy, burly fellahs back to the village after a hard day's hunt. I dunno... you be the judge.

Monday, September 12, 2011

APOLOGY + some grooooovy YouTube finds.

The formatting on that last post was colossally EFFED UP and, try as I might, I couldn't get it fixed. Formatting in Blogger leaves A LOT to be desired.

Anywhooo, sorry about that.

Some goodness that I just couldn't hoard --

Discovered Chase via AccuRadio and I had to download their song "Get It On" . And who wouldn't "get it on" with that hubba hubba, Merlin Olsen- lookin' singer?? And those pants! Manly!!

"Hocus Pocus" delights and bewilders me. Those Dutch rockers be CA-RAAAAZY!!

I am powerless to resist that. I wish today's popular music had more shriek-yodelling.

Now, I'm sure I'd heard "Mas Que Nada" (surely it's been used in a commercial or two, si?) but I'd forgotten about it, and forgotten how very rad it was. I rediscovered it recently, because my Dad went out and bought a new turntable so he could play all his old vinyl. He's such a hipster, and he doesn't even know it!! So I was rifling thru the old record collection, and put on the very cool Sergio Mendes & Brazil '66. Of course, the album version of this song is the best version. But I'm in LOOOOVE with the below vid for other reasons. Well, to begin with, I have always adored Tom Jones. I'm pretty sure he mispronounces "samba" (yeaah..he definitely does at the 2:25 mark)and he doesn't do it very well, but I love this nonetheless. I'll say this for him--he is very, VERY skilled at changing from head-to-toe denim to a snazzy tux with magical speediness. This is just 1000% undiluted SWANK concentrate. Dig it..

Tomorrow, when cubicle-life is making me glum, that is EXACTLY where I wanna go in my head. I wanna samba with TJ, baby!!

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Grizzly Sandiego

I'm sorry, my darlings, that I've been so remiss in posting. I've been so caught up in havin' a summah...but that is no good exxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxcuse for such gross, prolonged neglect. Oh-and in other news, my laptop keyboard has a wonky x that pops off on occasion. I thought for once I would not wipe out the nutty side effects of me repairing that. I have deleted many, many, rows of xs in the past year or so...but perhaps, if I stop covering up evidence of this malfunction, in effect outing the wonkiness of this wonky X in this "public" forum, then maybe x will be shamed into behaving. We shall see.

So, "having a summah" --what does that entail for me?? I did go camping, a summer "must" that I have neglected for the past 2 or 3 years. Yep, I spent a lovely 5days, 4 nights at Emerald Lake in E Dorset, VT. It's a beautiful campground about 5 mi. north of Manchester VT. It's less than 2hrs away from home for me, so it's not as if I made a huuuuge journey for my vaca, but it was new territory to explore and I enjoyed a lot of hiking & beach time. I've been wondering how that park & general region fared when Hurricane Irene blew through my state on 8/28. I should hop on the
VT State Parks website and see what info is shared therein (they've got a TERRIFIC website , BTW)

I'm a strange dichotomy y'know-- at times I get these sharp PANGS of wanderlust and I pine for all the places I want to see. I actually find it more time-saving to express my travel aspirations as a list of places I don't want to see (that being a much shorter list). But on the flip side of that, I also get these kinda surges of love for my home state and this sensation that Vermont has to be the most gorgeous place on the planet. So, consequently what I want to be--due to these two mindsets being strong in me- is the rare paradoxical World Traveller Mountain Woman.

I've said it before (somewhere around a zeeeeellion times, actually) that the very best part of having a vast fortune is that you could travel whenever you wanted in whatever style you liked. I wouldn't say budget travel is entirely worthless, but how freakin' AMAZING would it be to plan a trip and not have to mete out just how many ETO days you can afford to take and delve into "gee, would it save me more to stay at a Comfort Inn or a Days Inn??" (in a related aside, I would love to stay

someday) (Oh, and, only slightly-relevant aside: while in Boston, I would be thrilled to the f-ng gills if I happened to run in to Bruce Springsteen busking in the park

. How boss is The Boss?? Love him!!) Anyway, I've yet to amass my vast fortune, so I haven't quite developed that "World Traveler" part of my dream persona. Now I did hatch a get-rich-quickish scheme the other day...maybe that will result in my globe-trotting (not with the novelty b-ball team...though that seems equally plausible) I don't think I'm going to stumble upon the winning Powerball numbers by letting a computer generate my picks. Plus, if I did, what a bland sort of serrendipity would that be, right? I wanna ridiculously huuuge fortune with a charming backstory attached!! Family birthday combos are so played out, so I'm not going that route. I'm going to start collecting the QC stickers on new purchases (I usually find them on clothing) and when I have 7 of them, I'm going to choose all my Quality Control Inspector #s as my lottery numbers. Totally BRILL, isn't it? It is 7 numbers, right? Pretty sure it's 6 regular lottery #s and then that one almighty Powerball number. Not entirely sure.. see, I don't even buy lottery tickets, I don't really know. Hey, I'm going to make sure to mention my total noob-ness in all my apres-win interviews, so that all the longtime players (y'know--2 tickets a week for 28 yrs--them folks) get severely pissed off.

So no world travelling this summer, but I have been being a mountain woman. No , that doesn't mean hairy legs, not necessarily (though, incidentally, now that we're past Labor Day, shaving frequency is bound to drop off) . But my parents live out in the country, the homestead is at the base of Mt. Ascutney, surrounded by woods, and all sorts of lovely nature which I have been communing with. And, as I prefaced in one of my multiple banal Facebook albums: "Nature photography is is a swell hobby on a beautiful summer day when no tengo dinero."

Here some photos showing my nature-communing over the course of the summer--

Spotted on the garage floor near the end of June--

Help me out, is this a centiped or a milipede?

The cat spied it too, but was not much help...

Camping at the start of July (this is the hiking trail that leads down to Emerald Lake)--
Mid August-- found a fatty toad loitering in the vicinity of the shed when I was out one night searching for the cat...

Whilest rifleing thru the tall grasses I interrupted two strange bugs in the midst of an intimate, butt-touching ritualThis pic of them does not do justice to how interesting-looking they were. They were a very awesome irridescent blue-black.

Yes, and speaking of bugs, I like this shot I got of a bug having his very worst day on record...

OHMM NOMNOM NOM NOM NOM NOMMMM!!! The excessive moisture in the air lately has resulted in a BOOM of mushroom growth. Seeing shrooms all over the lawn, lots of 'em and ones I'd not seen before...that was one of the cutest ones. Also found very unusual tiny, shiny, red-orange shroomies..

some more floral flora--

I always have found milkweed to be strangely fun but had never realized (prior to this summer) what cute pom-pom flowers they have.

I shot these orange spotted touch-me-nots this month. This is the time of year when their seed pods get all fat and they EXPLODE wonderfully when you brush them.

Now, to achieve true Mountain woman status, one must do more than simply ponce about the great outdoors with her camera. There was also much gathering of wild fruit...

First off, in late May to early June, you have wild strawberries--

In late June to early July, there are black raspberries. I picked these with my 2 youngest nieceys--

We made a semi-decent cobbler with those black raspberries. I discovered some group called NARBA (their website is where I got the cobbler recipe). I told the nieces I was going to join up with NARBA (being as I am such a prodigious berry gatherer) but betwixt you & moi, that name almost rhymes with another, horrifically creepy organization --NAMBLA, and for that reason methinks I will remain an unaffiliated berry enthusiast.

Then, late July through late August...you guessed it....

BLACKBERRY SEASON!! For as long as I can remember, we've had blackberry bushes between our house and our neighbors to the east. Now we are getting a new thicket, behind the house, next to the shed, where it's getting a bit overgrown where the doghouse used to be. But the berries, on these new bushes...they're different. I thought, initially they were maybe loganberries or boysenberries, but my sister scoffed at that. She said maybe they're a different sort of blackberry, but she even seemed skeptical of that. Sheesh..just because she was once a florist (a very good one, I concede) doesn't mean she's a botanical genius. I am quite confident that *I* am more NARBA material than she. Look at the "blackberries" below and compare/contrast with those pictured in my hand above (definite blackberries...from the older thicket)

Not only are they a tighter, more conical berry, but they peaked in ripeness, a good 2 weeks after the other blackberries did.

I picked a whole lot of these and made 'em into muffins. Not *awesome* muffins...but they were a step above the cobbler. And bonus--got photographic proof of these--

My latest harvest was *wild grapes*. Holy frijoles-- we had A TON of those this year!! I briefly considered making jam/ jelly/preserves with these,(considered it for like, a NANO-SECOND) but then decided that jam-making looked like quite the pain in the ass, and I much preferred wine anyway.

My grapes in the wild--

and, below, harvested ( I got 16 cups en toto!! Doesn't sound like a tremendous amount but seemed like a big haul to me!!)

I was feeling like this Dionysian goddess, and so, consequently my current FB profile pic--

dig my vine-y headgear?
And yes, I am making vino (these are the instrux I used...same "recipe" I used last year, but this year I'm doing 4 gallons vs. last year's 1 gal. Huzzah!!)

Fermenting now in my parent's basement-

WE SHALL DRINK NO WINE BEFORE ITS TIME!! (I've been puzzling over the origin of that phrase, btw, gimme a shout if you know anything about it..)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

blah blah blaaaaah

You'll never guess where I am blogging from right now. Whenever someone prefaces something surprising with "You'll never guess.." I feel like they are impugning my powers of speculation and I very much want to guess, even though the person just wants to make with their shocking intel. So if you have that contrarian compulsion to guess, I get that, and I shall respect that. I'm giving you a moment to guess. I will not reveal my location until "below the jump" as they say ..they do say that, yes? Well, anywhoooo, locale revealed after this totally arbitrary pic..

I'm aaaat PEGGY'S!! Nothing innately surprising about the place, really, but how loopy is she that she wanted me to housesit/ petsit again? Guess I proved my skill at safeguarding UNFEATHERED life forms, and sure enough, both frogs are still with us, as I type this and both dogs are alive and well, not kicking... alive and napping. I'm actually sharing the couch with Trill and am VERY glad he is snoozing because his favorite pasttime, aside from slumber, is licking himself loudly and for prolonged periods of time. I know that sounds pretty mundanely dog-like, but just trust me--it's annoying as all hell.

Also annoying is the horrid basic cable she has. I miss Comcast onDemand. I miss being able to pause live tv. I know, I know, I'm a slave to technology. I, too, am disgusted with my inability to amuse myself in some wholesome Luddite fashion.

Last time I was here, I tried to pass the time watching episodes of Airwolf on RTV But I soon discovered, no matter how confoundingly ridiculous the plot of the episode, I was asleep within 20 minutes. Airwolf, I learned, is not half so exciting as its theme music implies it will be.

That was ok last time, because I was pretty busy all weekend and coming & going a lot. My downtime filler was pretty lame, but I didn't have much downtime to fill. But THIS weekend...oy. I'm trying to keep ahold of what little funds I have, as next Thurs is payday but 75% of that is going to pay rent. And I'm going camping for July 4th weekend and will have to cough up some $$ toward that if I don't wanna come off as a complete &total mooch. But enough of that kvetching...the upshot here is that now I do have lots of downtime to fill, and Airwolf ain't gonna cut it. Thank GOD she has wi-fi here. I mean, I can't meander 'round the 'net or loiter on Facebook for 48 hrs (and OHMILORRRRD do I hate all the games on Facebook! ) but I did a bit of that, but also am streaming movies off Netflix Instants. Their selection is not quite what I'd like ...I have this --admittedly unreasonable-- expectation that whatever I'd like to see, it should be available to stream . I mean, their overall selection covers tons and tons and TONS of movies...but really the bulk of it is still on DVD format. Can't beat the deal I get on it though...it's my Dad's account (and I just know he has the same password for everything)

So far I've watched New In Town (I don't know why Harry Connick Jr should be at all appealling but he totally is) and also the BBC miniseries Wives & Daughters (which I own & have seen a few times.. my initial plan was to just skip to the romantic denoument at the very end, but I so strongly felt that I was somehow cheating that I watched the WHOOOLE thing last night. ALL . FOUR. EPISODES. Stupid, eh? Well, I had the time to kill) Yesterday I watched Staying Together (laaaame time-suck of a movie. I think I only stuck with it because Dermot Mulroney is so dishy. SIDE NOTE: Dermot Mulroney and Dylan McDermott are totally linked in my brain. Except I much prefer the former...though I probably would not kick Dylan McD outta my bed for eating crackers) Modern Girls (technically it's total dreck...but I so dig this sort of dreck. This fit the bill EXACTLY. I wanted a marathon of all this type of movie, but it's distressingly hard to find on Netflix Instants because they don't have much in the way of 80s cheeze and "80s cheeze " is not a viable search term to help you to root out what little they do have . I may break down and watch My Chauffeur because I know they have it and it is exactly that sort of movie. The only reason I would be "settling " if I watched that, is just 'cause I own it on DVD and have watched it like a thousand times or so. Deborah Foreman is the shit.

Stilllllll, I might just watch Sahara. I have seen that (on Netflix Instants) but only the one time. And no, it's not the "Sahara" you're thinking of. Rather from 1983--

I feel kinda sheepish admitting that I dug a movie soooo very schmaltzy & Harlequin like that. But it was pretty decent. And Lambert Wilson, despite having a real poindexter-ish name, is très easy on the eyes.

Well, as a break from Netflix Instants and making a huge crater in this couch with my arse, I am going out to dinner tonight with an ex-colleague who is in town from TX. I'm contemplating where to go...I want to take her somewhere that's not a chain--somewhere nice that's unique to the area. But not somewhere too nice, as I've given myself a $30 allowance 'til Thurs. It would be a shame to blow it all in one night. And then again...if I do, I do. I always feel like that's the best, and least regrettable way in which to "blow your wad"-- on good times out with friends...the expenditures entailed with being a bon vivant. And hey, if I'm without cash for a few days, I do have a full tank of gas...and my supply of emergency Ramen.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Fruit Gushers--OOooh!!

I am the technological equivalent of the poor girl in high school who is embarrassed that she has a homemade wardrobe. It's silly...we all know that belongings are no measure of one's worth, right? She should not be embarrassed of her homemade clothes, and *I* should not be sheepish about having a Tracfone and bogarting free Wi-Fi from McDonalds. It's understandable that I covet others' iPhones (and OHHH do I!!) but to feel a bit...I dunno... less than because I am lacking in technologies? STOOOPID!!

{a moment of contemplation elapses..}

Hmm, well... I suppose it's symptomatic of the much more substantial issue of me lacking in the organization/ambition/ initiative (yes, all of the above) that would take me to where I'd like to be, vocationally/financially. So perhaps it's not such a misguided vanity...but definitely the rhetorical example girl has no call to fret her frock. It's not her fault that her parents are slow-witted drunkards, and now in addition to her embarrassing poverty, I'VE used her futilely to prove a point that collapsed in on itself. SORRY BETSY!!

Well anyway, whether my shame is warranted or not, it's there nevertheless but what I was going to segue to (aaaaages ago!) was the consoling fact that I'm not the only one. I went through the McD's drive thru last night and looked through the windows as I circled the building, and I saw a guy on his laptop. Now I've seen this guy before...I find solace in the fact that he is a repeat offender...but it gets even better. He has to be all weird about it...he puts his laptop on top of the trashcan (where the trays are supposed to be stacked up)...the trashcan right by the bathrooms...and he stands there, computin'. OK, well, I probably misspoke..it's probably just that he *wants* to be all weird about it...I doubt he *has to* ...unless there's some painful hemorrhoid troubles that compel him to surf whilest standing... but, uhhh, let's not speculate on that. Suffice it to say, I am comforted by these repeated sightings of standing-up-wifi-off-the-McDonalds-trashcan dude.

Maaaan, "hemorrhoid" is a toughie--- I instinctively misspell it EVERY time!!

I hit up the drivethru, thinking a small vanilla cone would be just the thing, but then when I got to the speaker, I saw "New!! Limited Time- Rolo McFlurry!!" OF COURSE, that is what I ordered. Not only is the word "New!" a siren song to me, as a consumer, but the whole "Limited Time" part of the equation cinches it. I'm uber- game for trying new things, but this caveat tells me I absolutely CANNOT procrastinate on this deal. But here's the ruhtarded part-- I really wanted a vanilla cone and I don't really like Rolos. Hey, I don't hate them (how could I possibly?) but in relation to all the candy out there, in the realm of num-nums...they rank as "mehh". The premise of the Rolo is sound: caramel + chocolate =SCORE! But where the Rolo falls short is in the quality of chocolate . Now, I wouldn't liken it to that

Palmer's shite
, but it is somewhat shoddy. It's dried out, and not creamy, and just...substandard overall. Look, if I was foodie, rather than a mere glutton, I could probably say it better. I don't why I get this vibe, but I feel like the Rolo should be more of a hit in the UK. As a semi-major Anglophile, I do like to dawdle in the UK area of my grocery store's "Shop the World" aisle. I can half-make-believe that I'm popping into Tesco's for a few necessities on my way back to my flat. So you see, I'm not completely unqualified to toss off a nebulous, unsubstantiated assessment like that.

So anyway, I was pondering this advent of the Limited Edition Rolo McFlurry thinking: there was demand for this --really? Are Rolos really so popular on this side o' the pond? And still, like I said: "new!" and "limited time!" so there was really no avoiding this purchase. I thought perhaps immersion in ice cream might fix the Rolo's chocolate problems. That was not the case. It wasn't awful (the caramel sauce swirled in there is quite good, actually. I think the lady in the car parked next to mine spied me with my mouthhole firmly pressed to the opening of the McFlurry cup lid, trying to lick the inner rim (hubba, hubba) But mehhh Rolos in ice cream are still pretty mehhh. I'm glad I went with the snack size.

Ohhh..other "new" McMenuOffering that I succumbed to: Frozen Strawberry Lemonade. YUM!! I hope this is not a Limited Edition thing. Although, I could go for it being seasonal---I can't really picture myself knocking these back in bleak midwinter. Right now, though, it's the PERFECT bev. I did attack it a bit too zealously though, and got a bitch of a brainfreeze.
Y'know what all this ravings on gnoshables makes me? I am this kiddo--

I'm OK with that. He f-ing cracks me up, he does. I know he's got his critics, his, meeeean, MEAN troll critics, but I have two words for them: Jerry O'Connell.

Anyway, I figure..I am OK with me...as long as I'm not all---

(I don't recommend watching the whole thing...it's quite the ordeal)


Ditat Deus---the pissed off epilogue

OK, homeskillets, if you were paying verrrrry close attention to my prev. post, you will notice that there was no video of Sedona nor was there any video of the Grand Canyon. That's because Blogger is a shitty piece of shit. After eons and f-ing EONS of looking at---

and numerous encounters with---


Well anyway, I'm sorry Blogger is so bloody aggravating and uncooperative and that it's making me be bitchy to you. Here we have a complimentary picture of me and some cacti. Hope you ENJOY IT!!

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Ditat Deus*

I don't particularly feel like rehashing my AZ trip, but I feel like I oughtta. That makes it sound like it wasn't a good time, my not wanting to "rehash it", but that is SOOO not the case. Despite the heinous sunburn I took home with me (hey, at least my skin-molting forehead gave me something to do on the plane ride home) I had a terrific time. It's just that, I'm not one to usually have such adventures, and so the trip was a hot convo topic, even before I left and even more so since my return home, just feels like I've been talking and talking about it... A LOT.

However, I did make mention of it on my last post, so I feel like it would be a good way to recommence blogging...sorta "picking up where I left off" y'know? Also I feel like it's incumbent upon me to blog about actual happenings when I actually have something happen rather than just natter on about whatever inconsequentia flickers thru my head ..although...check the top left o' the page..that's kinda the promised premise here)

Well, I was gonna take the shortcut of posting here all the pics I put in my FB album--complete with the verbose captions I gave 'em (a bit of a phot0-essay, it woulda been) But I soon realized that that is not much of a shortcut--- there are 54 pics in the album...and I find that Blogger is a BITCH for uploading photos. Has that been y'all's experience too, or am I just unfair/impatient/nitwitted?? Of course I could have chosen the highlights out of the 54, but that would entail reviewing and evaluating and sorting and...unnnnh..NOT a shortcut either. As you might have surmised by now, a written recap of the adventure is also too cumbersome an undertaking. I know, I know, blatant and acute laziness is an inauspicious blogging recommencement. (Parenthetical mini-tangent: I've always felt like the word "auspicious" had a negative sounding ring to it...even when I DO know it means quite the opposite. I do use the word, but it dogs me as a slightly defective word. Oh!! and even more so with "annex" -that one really sounds like it means the opposite of what it does mean. And I used the word "nascent" tonight, and looked it up on m-w.com because I was uncertain about the spelling. Come to find out, I was not only wrong about the spelling, I've been wrong all along about my pronunciation of it too---which I hadn't even questioned. I was thinking it was "nay-scent" but it would seem the proper way to say it is "naaa -scent" --the a sound like that of "nap"--Look, I dunno how to type fancy pronunciation letters--schwa vowels and whatnot, so just lay off OK?? Anyway, I still feel like my pronunciation is righter.)

I hope my audio-visual offerings compensate for my letting my laziness deter me from telling you ALLLL about my great trip (and also for my unchecked word-nerdy nattering a moment ago) Here are the vid montages I put together of the Grand Canyon & Sedona --two of the most beautiful bits of AZ (though I was really taken by Bisbee, AZ too, and eally recommend swinging by that berg)

* I was gonna name this post with the AZ state nickname but feel like "The Grand Canyon State" is just waaay too obvious a nickname to impress. However I am a sucker for a state motto in Latin (South Carolina's is especially marvy) hence the "Ditat Deus"

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Epic Hodge Podge

I have an ongoing quest for the perfect pair of aviator style shades. It's tricky to find just the right shape. No, it's really, REALLY tricky--don't you belittle my tribulations!! Anyway, I have a silver pair and a gold pair, but those are pairs I've just settled for. But, y'know, even with less-than-optimum aviators, the vibe you convey is authoritative cool , a la "Do you know how fast you were going sir/ma'am??" Oh, and this cool-effect is compounded when you wear aviators with the mirrored lenses. Yeah, look at yourself lookin' at myself. See you gape at my authoritative cool.

But I wonder...what sort of weird hybrid persona are you putting on when you drive down the road wearing mirrored aviators over your RX horn rimmed glasses? Granted, these are not chunky Drew Carey-caliber horn rims, they are a slimmer, more femme version. So I imagine the effect is sexy librarian...with a badass streak. Either that or just batshit crazypants. I assure you (semi-confidently) that I am *not* batshit crazypants. My affliction is a bit more physiological....scratched cornea...AGAIN. Therefore, I am on a break from contacts but my eyes have been rather light-sensitive and I do not own a pair of these honkin' Roy Orbison shades. I swear, my eye doc is the nicest chick ever. She bestowed on me the "don't-be-cheap-and-wear-2 week-contacts-for-a-whole-month" lecture with the utmost tact, for the 2nd time. How she refrained from calling me a moron, I cannot fathom. But I swear...this reoccurence is not completely stemming from stupidity. It's this stubborn miserly old man streak in me that insists "What a racket!! They're perfectly fine to last ya a month!! Those Accuvue bastids are just trying to con you into spending more. A RACKET, I TELL YOU!!" It's weird how I can be like that. You'd think I lived through the dadburned Great Depression!!

Actually,my eye feels a good deal better today. I sustained the injury on Sunday --be it from a grain of airborne grit(my theory) or from a raggedy-ass contact lens. But I spent Sunday with my eye clamped shut with a cold wash cloth over it, drifting in and out of sleep. Monday , it wasn't feeling spectac. but I could manage to hold my eye open for 30 sec at a time, and I figured I should put in a full week before I take the week off next week (a trip to AZ-- yaaay!! More on that later..) so I worked that day. But then Tuesday I woke up, expecting to feel a smidge better, but the sunlight gave me a sharp pang of ouch right in the mid browbone and made me yelp "Oh FECK!!" And still, I got up and dressed with the intent of heading off to the office, but doing my hair in the mirror, I became increasingly dismayed that I still looked like Sloth from The Goonies, and maybe this won't clear up in time for my vaca, perhaps I should've seen the doctor on this? So I called in to work and went back to bed for 4 hours. And ya know, when I woke up again, I felt lots better. But I made the opthamologist appt. anyway. I got dye drops in my eye, the aforementioned lecture, and an RX for a li'l bottle of magic called Tobrimycin. It's antibiotics + steroids (for inflammation...me peeper was seriously inflamed. Incidentally, I am now waiting for someone to mildly perturb me so's I can TOTALLY UNLEASH HELL on 'em and then blame it on 'roid rage.) As soon as I got into my car in the Walgreens parking lot, I administered the first drop. Then, I looked in my rearview mirror and saw that the right side of face was streaked with rusty yellow rivulets--eye to jawline. I want to believe that this streaking came about immediately after the Tobrimycin drop, but I am not 100% sure. There is the chance that I went from the eye doc, across town, into Walgreens, consulted a pharmacist , sat in the store for 15 minutes, paid up & left, all while looking like my right eye was profusely seeping pus. Well, short story long, since Sunday I have been consistently hagged out and, at times, looking batshit crazypantsl I feel the need to rectify this sitch before I head west on Saturday. In a related news item, I am strongly compelled to buy a no-no.

So this is how my trip came about. ..

They told me at work that I had hit my roof for ETO accrual and would be losing it/ no longer earning if I didn't use some. So I just arbitrarily picked the week of May 9-16. I included that Monday the 16th so that I'd be returning to a short week of work...thusly diminishing (somewhat) the suckishness that is returning to work after vaca. It's the week after the first May pay day...so I guess not so arbitrary, that pick. Anyway, my time off was granted, but then the next day I started to dread the probability (the very probable probability) that I would fritter away my week off doing nothin' much. So, since I had a little nutmeat of my tax refund left, I thought--be un-Sandra-like and buy yourself a plane ticket!! The destination came to mind pretty quickly, as I have been promising my amiga out in Mesa AZ for about 10 yrs that I would...someday....eventually...one of these days...come visit her.

What I need to get crackin' on is some itinerary suggestions. Paula has asked me what I wanna do/ see, and rather than fall back on my usual passive M.O. ("Oooohhh, gee...I dunno. ..whatever you think would be fun") I'm gonna make with some actual, specific ideas. So far, I got Tombstone, and the Grand Canyon for my brilliant ideas. I gotta get some 'net-vestigations underway.

I have no good segue for this...but I was housesitting acouple weeks ago, and BOTH of the parakeets in my charge died. I have no good segue, because it hardly ties in with all my preceding news, but I had to include it in here somehow, because it was the funniest thing that happened to me lately. Oh, alright, YES-- I realize that makes me sound beaucoup insensitive, but dead parakeets just ARE funny. It's an empirical fact. I thought perhaps they died from me jinxing myself. Y'see...when I originally agreed to housesit for Peggy, there where 2 dogs to tend, along with 2 frogs, mail to fetch, and of course, the house to sit. But in the time between my consent to the gig and her departure for VA, she acquired 2 parakeets. I am renowned (in local circles) for being NOT a bird lover, and I proclaimed, when I learned of this new acquisition to Menagerie de Peggy "UGH. PARAKEETS. I'm just going to check them in the mornings to make sure they're not dead and then lob a handful of seed at their heads." Of course, I didn't do that, but just the mere mention of "dead" and "parakeets" in the same sentence might've triggered some bad hoodoo, y'know? Granted, my bird care regimen wasn't overly nurturing, but it was adequate. Every morning, about 10 min before leaving for work, I would get their water dish out that hangs on the side of the cage, give that a bit of a rinse, refill with new water. Then dump out their seed dish, and replace with new seeds. Other than that, I ignored them. I was vaguely aware of their horrid squickity-squwacking, but got adept at tuning them out. Peggy's notes said to "sing to them" and I did neglect to do that, but I'm not regretting that too mightily as I'm pretty sure that note was in jest and also pretty sure that my lack of crooning did NOT kill them. It may have even prolonged their life....who knows? As you mighta surmised, I didn't exactly bond with them... didn't even memorize their names actually. And so, on Thursday morning, when I saw the both of 'em laying (lying??) motionless on the bottom of the cage, I did the silliest thing. I shook the cage and I hollered , "Birds? BIRRRRDS!!!" I mean, that woulda been idiotic, even if I had known their given names (as if they'd spring up, all "What ho, guvnah? We was just havin' a bit of a snooze there..") but the fact that I didn't is just the perfect finishing touch of ridiculousness. I truly did feel awful about the two 'keets dropping dead (because this would make Peggy & her kid sad...because it would sully my rep as a top-notch housesitter) but, looking at it from outside the situation (and now, via a bit of hindsight) it just f-ing cracks my shit up. And so, I was dubbed a 'keet killer at the office...and many fun theories were bandied about (murder-suicide...CAGE match gone horribly wrong) Also I joked that I was going to dispose of the bods by feeding them to the dogs. Peggy has this ritual, when she feeds the doggies 2x daily, she doles out a little treat on top of their dry food-- a hard boiled egg, some bologna, etc. etc. (this is stupid... They --by and large--ignore their regular dog food. I feel certain that Caesar Milan would disapprove. I know the dude has his critics, but I think he knows his shit. But I digress...)So, here I was taxing myself, trying to dazzle the hounds with an exciting array of num-nums and suddenly I have 2 dead parakeets on my hands (it would have been cool if I'd had somebody like The Wolf to call, am I right?). Now that would be an exciting and different delicacy....

Actually, I was hoping, when I broke the news to Peggy, that she'd say something along the lines of "Oh, just put the cage outside, Kate's gonna wanna see them, have a burial or something" Now, I've met her kid, (Kate)and I didn't have a SERIOUS hope that she was going to really want to do something queer like that. I was just hoping to hear that because as much as I hate birds, dealing with dead birds is ESPECIALLY repugnant to me. But Peggy said to just throw 'em in the garbage. You should have seen THAT process. You think the Thurs a.m. discovery was idiotic. Well, I'd left 'em there all day, because I had to get to work. Well after I found out I'd have to dispose of the keets, I stole some gloves from work, earmarked especially for the chore. But then when I was about to actually do it, a thin layer of powder-free vinyl seemed an inadequate barrier betwixt my hand and a grody befeathered carcass. So, I had the brill. notion to employ Peggy's BBQ tongs. Not only does this eliminate actual bird -corpse contact, this also puts the corpse about a foot away from me. But then I thought... if I knew my grilling tools had touched dead bird, I'd have to discard them. So I took the top of the cage off, threw a little 6"x6" (approx) shroud of Saran Wrap over each birdie and scooped them up in that. And I lobbed them into a plastic shopping bag, double-tied that, and disposed of that bag in the garbage bag---all in a manner that suggested I was handling virulent toxic waste .

Hey, 2 out of three pet pairs survived the week. So I'm not THE WORST housesitter ever. Still, I count myself lucky that I have no dependents of any species to entrust to anyone while I'm in AZ. Surely karma would smite they asses...

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Wish Me Luck!!! (I could sure use it..)

I stumbled on to this sweepstakes at the end of Feb and I've been submitting an entry once a day, every day. I still bet I won't win. I never win luck-based contests. Scrabble- yes, sometimes. Trivial Pursuit--aw, HELL yes. But sweepstakes, drawings, raffles..? I have a shit track record in these areas.

Once I won 2 tickets to a Bluegrass festival that ended up being HUGELY LAME. I mean, I suspected it might be lame but I filled out a raffle slip figuring--awww, what the hey. I never win this shit anyway. But then I won. The HR Dept showed me the jar o' entry slips that they drew my slip out of....there were TWO SLIPS. That was including mine.

Although I gotta say, lame as it was, that Bluegrass fest was a good memory. I took my friend Roxanne and it seems like we were laughing all day...at getting lost in Brandon VT, at all the comical old folks, at seizing some unsupervised lawn chairs, at the songs (there was one about an armadillo that particularly sticks out in my mind) And no, actually, we were not stoned.

Anyway, back to the sweepstakes du jour. . . .

I highly doubt there's only one other entrant in the running for this one. If I were to win..(which is, as I've explained, quite unlikely) I'd have to haul ass on obtaining a passport. I don't have one. (Isn't that SAD?? I think so...)

a few things that annoy me about work

It seems a damn shame to spend any fragment of the weekend blathering on about work, but to be honest, I probably spend a third of every Sunday dreading my return to work. So I'm 3 hours into Sunday already, I'll kvetch now, and maybe will manage to shave a coupla hours off Sunday evening's fretting. Yeah, that would be good.. "Upstairs,Downstairs" is premiering on Masterpiece Theater tomorrow night (well, tonight...but it still seems like tomorrow night since I've not gotten to bed as yet..) and it would be nice to take that in unimpeded by burgeoning trepidation.

1. My Boss. NO ONE likes my boss. My mind is rather too quick to spin everything into a pop culture metaphor but I can't seem to help it..and it's just too perfect..I've started to think of my boss as Ms. Hannigan. She doesn't micromanage, but if there's any lighthearted banter going around and she happens to stroll through the cubicle farm..she SCOWLS at everybody. OK, so yeah, it probably does impact productivity a skoach (non work related chit-chat, that is) but Hannigan, with her scowly-jowls, is LOUSY for morale. She's been gone on vacation for the past two weeks and it was evident how everyone's soul began, in tiny increments, to grow back. But she returns this Monday and I fully expect the misery to re-commence.

2. People who come to my desk and need something while I'm on the phone. Well, to begin with, I may just be perturbed to be sought out in the 1st place. I have a wide-ish irritable streak, but that can't be helped really, for if you saw how incredibly NEEDY these gits I work with are, you'd throw up your hands and exclaim " Well OF COURSE she's fucking irritable!!" Anyway, what reeeeeally gets me is that, when I'm on the phone, and someone comes up, needing my help...8 times outta 10, that person will just stand there. OK, typed out thusly, it doesn't seem like such a major offense. But trust me--it's way irritating? Am I the only one who hates to have people HOVER over me while I'm on the phone?? I can't be the only one!!

Because people are always coming to my desk, requiring my minioning, I have made signs to hang on my monitor to indicate where I am. Like, I have duties that regularly come up that take me away from my desk, and I've made a sign for those. Like, "Working In The Supply Room" or "Covering the Front Desk" . This signage is for the benefit of my cubby neighbors, because they would be grilled "Where did Sandra go? I need Sandra..." I don't have a "In the Bathroom...Droppin' a Deuce " sign but I do have a generic "Back In A Jiffy" and I have an "Out on Errand" sign for when they send me out delivering supplies to a patient or samples to the lab. And of course, I have a lunch time sign, something like---

Actually, it's EXACTLY like that, as that is a scan of the real deal. It's on fluorescent pink paper though (they all are), and that's not actual size. I also had to scan the sign I put up 2x a day when I bring out our outgoing mail and when I go to grab the incoming mail. I confess, I'm just amazed by my maaad self-portraiture skills. The likeness is UNCANNY!!

3. Every afternoon, about 10 min prior to go-home time, I fill the copiers with paper and I leave a spare ream or two. It really burns my crumpets when I happen upon a ream of paper where someone has ripped it open to swipe one or two sheets for use as scrap paper. I don't know WHY I get so pissed over that but I do. You'd think I paid for our copy paper outta my own pocket (I don't , of course) Maybe it's because we also have about 5 lbs of needless print outs daily. I have even started collecting such print outs in a tray...a tray I've labelled "SCRAP PAPER". But I suppose if the scrap paper is not readily available to them, they'll just crack open the copy paper...oh, and by "readily available" I mean 1" to 3" inches away from their right hand. Otherwise they'll disregard it. Well, I guess I am undecided on whether these offendors are lazy slobs or unobservant schmoes.