Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Tuesday Of The Living Dead

Thankfully, I was on my way BACK from the Coffee Trough when I ran into the VP in the hallway this morning.
If I had been on my way TO the Coffee Trough and run into him, that cheerful, positive and motivated "Good Morning!" might have been a barely audible grunt, instead.
Juuust a little tired...
But I think that it is important to greet the VP like you fully intend to take over his job one day.  It's a personal motivation thing for me.  I have no idea what this guy does for a living, and I don't actually want to be a VP at an insurance company, but I find that VP's, unlike Middle Management, appreciate people who driven--after all, that is how they got to be VP's in the first place.
And when they ask how you are, always say, "Great!"  Like I did this morning...even though I'm actually the walking dead. 
He'll never know the difference.
A little about the tired--we went out last night.  A Monday.  Please shoot me....
...just kidding...its fine.
Barb and I have come to the conclusion that we attract wacky people.  Well, maybe it is BARB that attracts the wacky people, and, I'm just here to make commentary.  Tell me, does this qualify as wacky?  We're at First Avenue, having a beer, hanging out, etc., and the BoDeans take the stage and I hear this voice from behind me say, "Oh thank God, Sam got a haircut!" and I turn around to see a totally non-gay, non-metrosexual dude, who apparently has great interest in the length of Sam's hair.
A Little Wacky.  Right?  (I cannot lie, I'm always highly entertained by the deep discussion among BoDeans fans regarding this man's hair...its just hair.  It grows, it gets cut, it grows again...*yawn*  Reminds me of that old joke--"If you don't like the weather........wait.")
We did have a great time except for the Everybody Who Needs A Beer, Be Sure To Walk In Front Of Those Two Women thing that was going on all night.  Oh, and the chick in front of me who kept changing her shoes.
Changing her shoes.
Like, bending over and changing her shoes...
I didn't even bring a wallet, she's got three pairs of shoes.
Sure, I could have asked, "Why?", but what fun is that?
Meanwhile, BarbKissy-KissyNoah (but only with her eyes...), and, Non-Gay, Non-Metrosexual Dude insisted that Bob was much more fun, but, we like Eric.
And, that's about all the stuff I can write about.
Back to the coffee trough...

Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Moving Experience (AKA Grand Nirvana)

On the couch, feet up, a cup of pressed coffee within reach, laptop at the ready, cat curled up nearby, nobody is awake but you.  These are the blissful moments that you get to have that somehow make all of other insanities worth going through.

Strange how, since most of my life and career has involved me putting myself "out there" in front of people, waving and smiling and saying "HI!  Its me!  Shelly!  Yay!" and maintaining some level of pretend social-ness, the reality is that Alone suits me just fine.  I can take Alone in long stretches and it doesn't bother me one bit.  I'm a rechargeable battery, I guess.

So now that I finally have some time, let me tell you about the last two weeks, in which I didn't.  Have time, that is.

I had a few major things bearing down upon me for the end of December--one was the holiday, and the other was moving to my apartment. 

As far as the holiday was concerned, because I was moving, I was ready to call it a wash--I mean, really?  What am I gonna do?  Work triple time to get my apartment ready to house a pine tree for one week?  Nah...  So, there was that.  I didn't even think about it, at all.  Ended up wrapping some gifts late into the night on Christmas Eve-Eve, when I should have been sleeping.

The moving was not horrendous, a fact about which I am truly grateful.  I've had horrendous moving experiences, and they are awful, though you do recover.  The thing was, though, starting around the 10th, PAPERWORKPAPERWORKPAPERWORK ("In order to approve you for the apartment, we do require a blood sample, your tax forms for the past 12 years, 18 bars of silver and a lock of Johnny Depp's hair.  How soon can you get us those things?").  A gigantic pain.  But I got through that.  Johnny Depp was super-cooperative, by the way--apparently he gets this kind of thing all the time.  Then, of course, you have to call all the utilities, all of whom I EXPECTED to ask for a blood sample, tax forms, 18 bars of silver and a lock of Johnny Depp's hair, but all of whom just said, "OK!  You're set!"  Thank you!  I thank you, my accountant thanks you, my cat thanks you, and I'm sure Johnny Depp thanks you, too.

We got the keys to the apartment on the 13th and starting moving things in, here and there, a car-load at a time.  Meanwhile, I was working and the kids are going to school, so, the shuffling of boxes happens in the evening hours after work, when I was all tired and delirious because work has been insanely busy lately.  The days went like this:  Get up, hustle out the door, kick ass at work all day, drive home, pick up kids and stuff, drive to apartment, drop off stuff, drive to fast food place, eat, drive home, collapse, and get ready to do it all again the next day.  That was five slammin' days in a row.  Woot!  Then, we got a Saturday, which was to be the final day of moving stuff, and a snow storm hit....You have to laugh about these things.

With a snow storm in full effect, we loaded a small moving van with the last of the stuff and crawled it over to the apartment, where the Moving Karma Gods smiled upon us and said, "Here!  There is a parking spot directly in FRONT of the building!"  That was nice.

About 4 in the afternoon, at the exact moment we finally had all of our possessions moved from Point A to Point B, my brother called me to say that he and his fiance were stuck at the airport because of the snow storm.  They were on their way from North Dakota to Oklahoma, and they had been on and off planes and on and off the tarmac for about 12 hours, just getting from Minot to Minneapolis.  Of course, they missed their connection, and, had no guarantee of getting to Oklahoma any time soon, but they were provided with a lovely ticket to Dallas the following day.  Never mind the fact that Dallas is hundreds of miles away from where they were headed.  They would worry about that tomorrow.  Tonight, they needed food and a place to crash.  I wasn't sure that I actually had either of those things to offer, but, ever up for the challenge, I advised, "I'm on my way..." and set out to pick them up.

You could tell that their day had been hellish up to that point because when I told them all I had was a spot on the floor to sleep and a Subway near my house, they fell all over themselves in gratitude.

Wow....that was easy.

Of course, finding the spot on the floor was not as easy, considering that the entire apartment was filled with boxes, but, we made do.

The next day, we had a leisurely breakfast at a restaurant and dropped R&B (Randy and Bethany) back at the airport, then returned to the sea of boxes, which I just stared at for most of the day because I was suddenly gripped with a complete blank as to where to put anything.

As the work week started the next day, with nothing put away, I struggled to find acceptable office-type clothing and the required hair products to make my presence at the work place less frightening for my co-workers. 

Three days of that.

Christmas Eve, I was at the office when my sister called to advise that she was on her way from New Jersey to North Dakota, but, surprise, surprise, was now stuck in Minneapolis.

Leave work, pick up sister.

The traffic between Minnetonka (where I work) and the airport will forever be known as The Christmas Miracle and I was there in very short order.

That was easy.

Getting back to the apartment from the airport was also easy.  Christmas Miracle Number 2.

We hung out with my sister for a few hours, then dropped her back at the airport.

Christmas day, my teen-aged daughters acted like they were teeny kids again and woke up before the sun, ready to open presents.  They loved everything they got.  Christmas Miracle Number 3.  We went to our dear friends house for a dinner of lasagna and a spirited game of Balderdash, then, gifts in tow, went home to rest.

Finally home, even with boxes still strewn about the place, I felt at ease.  I had a few days off ahead of me, my kids and I were at Our Place, which was so significant because we hadn't had a place of our own for so long, the cupboards and fridge were full, the lights and heat worked, and we could finally relax. 

I crawled into a hot bath and scrubbed away all of the insanity of the past week--no, the past YEAR, and started feeling like myself again, for the first time in a very, very long time.  I remember thinking, as I scrubbed, how weirdly symbolic it was to be stripping away the filth and dead off of me, all the way down to the new skin, after a long and hard-fought battle to do exactly that.  Even a rank amateur psychologist wouldn't have missed that metaphor.  It felt so good.  Best Christmas, ever.

We still have plenty to do around here--there are still boxes everywhere and the household projects will have us busy for a long time, but we finally have it--sanctuary.  Sanctuary, where you can sit on the comfy couch with your laptop and write, or, go to the other corner of the room and paint something, or hang out and watch a movie, or chat with your friends on the phone or online, or hang out in your room and learn a new piano/guitar part to some song you like...whatever.  (One of the better parts of my long soak in the tub was listening to my children working out a song together in the next room.  I was so delighted, I can't even describe it.)  And there is nobody there to make you feel guilty about just doing the things that make you happy, as long as you're not hurting anybody else.  Its nirvana on Grand Avenue.  Welcome home...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

I Jus' Wanna Say....

Merry Christmas, Baby!
I dunno....I heard that song on my way into work today, and that pretty much sums it up for me...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Tuesday!

You know how, when, you move to a new place,  and everything you own is still in a box somewhere, so you're flopped on a floor, sleeping, shivering under mismatched blankies, and the alarm goes off and all you can think about is how all alarm clocks must be destroyed, and you're hitting the snooze and hitting the snooze and hitting the snooze until you finally look at the clock and see that you're about to be seriously late, so you rush to a mirror and discover that your hair is quite unsaveable, but you are just going to have to suck it up and look silly, cuz you're late, and the best you can do for coffee is some re-heated java from the day before, which you heat in a pan on the stove cuz your microwave isn't set up yet, THEN, you find some clothes to wear and they look like hell, but it's all the clothes you can find, so screw it, and then you go outside to discover that your car is covered in snow and you have to stand knee-deep in plow wake to clear it off? 



And you take off for work, but the roads are crappy?



















Just me?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Why This Will Be The Best Christmas, Ever

My Aunt Darlene used to send my brothers, sister and I, giant candy canes every year at Christmas.  We would set our calendars by it--6 giant peppermint sticks, in our hands, by Christmas Eve, whether we went to Grandma's house or stayed home.  It wasn't Christmas until we got them.
She continued this into our young adult-hoods, as one by one, we all left my parent's house and went out into the world.
When Darlene died of breast cancer some time ago, was a huge blow to the family--not only was she quite young at the time, but also, she was a hell of a woman...vibrant, boisterous, busy, smart, caring, classy.  I liked her a lot.  She was beautiful the way her mother, my mother, and all of her sisters are, or were--dark hair, high and defined cheekbones, strong faces framed by expressive eyebrows.
Darlene never knew my daughters, but, in her honor, my sister sends my children giant candy canes at Christmas, just like Darlene used to do for us.  It is one of my favorite parts of the holiday, and I enjoy telling the story every year, of why it is so cool to get those candy canes from your Auntie, like I got them from mine.
The last time I saw my aunt was at my Grandfather's funeral, when she herself was quite ill.  Her doctors had actually recommended that she not attend the service, as she was hospitalized at the time, and chemotherapy had devastated her immune system.  She couldn't hug any of us or grip a hand, lest she might catch some virus and become sick.  It was incredibly sad, and looking at her I knew that her life would soon be over.  She died a short time later.
It was fitting, I think, that the very first piece of mail that I got at my new apartment was a tell-tale long and skinny box from New Jersey, which was waiting at for us at the door last night.  While I have always found the fact that Donna picked up that tradition to be particularly touching, this year, the thought of it moves me to tears.  It has been such an insane year--nothing is as it was, except, candy canes in the mail at Christmas--something I have lived with for some 40 years. 
I'm not a "traditions" person.  Its not that I don't like the holiday food or Christmas trees, its that I feel that any "must have", really isn't, and there is no such thing as "have to".  The fact that I am in the middle of moving to a new apartment, and an entirely new life, has provided me with the option (excuse) of skipping all of that this year--no tree, no decoration, no large gathering of people for a meal, no specific foods to prepare or consume.  Too busy.  Can't really afford it, anyway. 
In fact, those candy canes might be the only thing that looks like Christmas in my house.
It will be just us three.  We'll be sitting around in our jammies, watching movies, unpacking--whatever we feel like doing.  And we could very well be eating frozen pizza or something, I don't know.
Still, it may be the Best Christmas, Ever.
2008 has been particularly crazy for me.  So much has happened.  I started the year living in Duluth, MN, working, being married, and doing all the working/married stuff.  I end it living and working in Minneapolis, having left virtually everything behind.  "Everything," meaning, everything I was ever fooled into believing really mattered, that really didn't.  The emotional upheaval that has occurred between the beginning and the end of this year has been, at times, gut-wrenchingly awful.  It has been nine months of "Are you strong enough?" time, coupled with, "God is testing you!" time and joined by "Are you really the person you think you are?" time.
But, having a vision--just a little kernel of a dream of how things are supposed to be, and what life is supposed to feel like, has made it worth it--every minute.  And after all that has happened, I know, for a fact, that there is nothing I can't handle.  As gifts go, you couldn't ask for a better, more useful one.
And as feelings go, you couldn't ask for a better one than the one you get seeing a box of giant candy canes, when you know EXACTLY where they came from.
Last night, Punky told me that when she grows up, she would like to send her nieces and nephews giant candy canes at Christmas.  We laughed when we both realized that her lone sibling, aged 15, had long since declared that she "hates" children and will NEVER have any.  It was a good thought, though.  Punky is definitely Candy Cane Aunt material...

Monday, December 15, 2008


Isn't it amazing that every year, when the weather comes, we talk about it as if this sort of thing never happens?
I'm just sayin'.
Oh, and I would like to personally thank each and every person on the roads between my house and my office this morning, for behaving themselves and driving perfectly. 
No, I'm not being sarcastic!   :-)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Relax! Its The Weekend!

All week long, I have been thinking about the weekend--not in the "relaxation" vein, but rather, the "OMG I'm going to be running my a$$ off all weekend" thought process.
Short list:  Moving!  Yes, moving.  Well, starting to move, I mean.  This would constitute random trips to the new place with car-loads of stuff that I don't need for the next week.  I'll figure a few trips.  I think.
Then, since we are moving, and oh, by the way, we actually don't own anything like plates and bowls and such, we have to find time to get out and buy plates and bowls and such.  And toilet paper.  Real exciting shopping trip, there.
Sandwiched in between all of that excitement, I have to buy bread.  Bread.  Sandwiched.  Get it?  Yeah, yeah...anyway...I need to take a trip to the bread store to help with the lunch-packing extravaganza that we have every morning at our house, and I want to go to a particular bread store, which is sort of out of the way.  Like, Eagan, out of the way.  Cuz I like that one, and I'm a dope and won't settle for the one just a half mile from my new place.  I'm not sure how this errand was raised to any level of importance on a weekend in which I should be concentrating entirely on the logistics of getting all of my possessions from Point A to Point B, but, it was.  And I refuse to let it go, for some reason.  What the hell is wrong with me?
Meanwhile, storms are brewing all over the place.  Full moon, you know...I found out from a friend that there were massive lay-off's at her job yesterday--she survived.  Of a staff of 200, 40 people were let go.  Oh, and TODAY is the company Christmas party.  Merry Effing Christmas.  Hope that Christmas party comes with an open bar.  There are a lot of overwhelmingly sad and ridiculous details, but in the interest of confidentiality, I'll just say that it's a disaster--an absolute disaster.
Then, I had a friend ask to borrow money.  And some clouds rolled in. 
I have a thing about that...a gigantic thing.  Ask me for money, and automatically, I start to twitch.  It is easily the most uncomfortable thing in the whole wide world, for me, anyway.  I hate it.  HATE.  It. 
Now, I'll buy you lunch, I'll put gas in your car, pick you up a pack of smokes (or a concert ticket! Guess who we're going to see?  HA!) if I'm going--any of that kind of stuff.  I'm good like that.  This morning, I scooped up one of my friend's bills off the dining room table and paid it.  He didn't ask, I just did it--he needed it, so, I did it.  So, I'm not an evil penny-pinching witch or anything.  I just have a thing about people asking me for money.  I can't help it.  My mind automatically flies into the "What did you do with YOUR money that makes you now want some of mine?" mode and I shift into overdrive trying to be as nice as humanly possible to avoid being as bitchy on the outside as I feel on the inside.  In fact, perhaps the only occasion in which I feel OK about blatantly lying to someone is when they have asked me for money, cuz I wanna be nice and tell you I'm hurting for cash right now, rather than say what I'm thinking, which is more along the lines of "Are you fucking kidding me?  What did you do with YOUR money that makes you now want some of mine?"
The thing is, I don't want to know what they did with their money.  Not really.  I don't care.  People can do whatever the hell they want with their money.  Until the very second when they ask me for some of mine.  What if the thing I want to do with my money is not the same thing as what you want to do with your money?  Does that mean we can't be friends?
Here is the thing...I have found, in this life, that there is virtually nothing that I can't live without, except air, for a period of time.  Most people in this country have way more than they need, myself included--roof, food, job, car, easy life--I want for nothing.  When I tell you that I never borrow money from people you can believe it, because if I can't afford something, I do without, period.  Sometimes, its tough.  Sometimes, it is extremely tough.  But, you survive.  Sometimes, people (including this particular friend) are extremely kind and give me things at a time of need, but I would never ask.  Not ever.  I just don't.  I believe that if I can't obtain something through my own hard work and resourcefulness, then I don't really need it.  It's one of my very core values.  In fact, it might be THE core value in my life.  I don't "get" borrowing money.  I can't grasp why a person would do that--I just can't wrap my head around it, at all. 
I have accepted a million (billion?) kindnesses in my life--people have been very, very good to me.  Extremely good.  In return, I have offered many kindnesses--some accepted, some not.  I don't recall any one of them in particular, but I do remember the nice things that people have done for me--or at least I remember the feeling of it.  I think that ultimately, humans are programmed to share--its just something that we do.  You have space on your couch, so you invite someone to sleep over if they've had a few, or, you have a gigantic turkey to cook, so you have people over for a meal, or, you have a bunch of extra widgets that you will never use, so you give them to someone that you know will use them.  We're like that--all of us.  When life is bountiful, we share.  Unless we are complete assholes.
In my blissful brain, I don't keep track and I don't apply a value to any act of kindness.  They are all priceless.  A little thing that was easy for you to do might mean the world to somebody else.  There is no way to measure it.  I suppose that is my problem when it comes to money--It can be counted--in fact, it begs to be counted.  When you start to place a value on things, rather than considering all kindness precious, well, then you start to keep track, and it all goes downhill from there, doesn't it?

Monday, December 8, 2008

Hey Moon

Teetering on the edge of a serious political discussion (Still waiting! Bring it! I wrote my amazingly brilliant response while soaking in the tub, so you know it's a killer. Remember, Karma is a bitch, and so am I.)...

...she instead opts to post a music video.

15 years old in real life, thank you.

Let me tell you a little story. Saturday, I was at the mall with The Diva. THE freaking mall, in December, at the height of holiday shopping, when the kindly traffic officer directs you to your parking spot IN ALASKA (top floor, West side, for the uninitiated). You'd think it would have been a miserable experience. Not so bad!


Well, we were in a particular loud clothing store, and I looked up at a billboard advertising Panic at the Disco Live In Chicago!

Woot! Mood boost.

I bought one....and a bunch of other stuff.

After shopping, we hoofed it back to the car (IN ALASKA), and popped in the CD for the ride home. We hadn't really looked at the cover of the CD, or read the liner notes, which is a Pretty. Odd. odd for us, cuz we generally have those things memorized by the time we ever listen to anything. Not this time...we were too bleary-eyed from shopping.

I made the Ultimate Boo-Boo on the drive home and landed on the 494 West parking lot. DOH! It would take a while to get back.

Luckily....new CD.

And here are the kind of geeks my daughter and I are about Panic at the Disco: Listening to this live CD, not knowing what songs were even on it, what order the songs would be in, or what any of it was going to sound like...

...we both found ourselves making little "Yay!" noises every time we heard something remotely familiar. Like we were actually in the audience. Clapping and Woooo-Hooo-ing and showing our glowing approval from the freeway. Like they could hear us.

That was fun.

And, about two seconds later, we were home.

Anyway...the story is just an excuse to post the video. I like the video, but I've listened to this song about 27 million times without "seeing" it, and, I won't mind if you just close your eyes and listen. That's what I do.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Some Light Reading For A Sunday Morning

Senator John Marty, author of the Marriage and Family Protection Act, has written an article about the case for action on marriage equality in Minnesota.  Check it out!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Wait! Wait!!

There is MORE!
I couldn't resist sharing this, cuz.....well....it's the Wisconsin Cheese Cupid.
Yes.  I said, "Wisconsin Cheese Cupid".
Go There.  Find Love....in the curds.

And You Can Tell She's Hungover...

By the bottle(s) of Vitamin Water on her desk.
I wonder how long it will take my co-workers to figure that out. 
Torrontes.  That's a good grape.  We love you, Argentina.
(Hey, at least I didn't call in sick...Happy Weekend, Everybody!)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

C'mon Get Happy

Someone said--OK, we'll just name names, even though I'm the AntiNameDropper.  It was my buddy over at Awkwardly Social (White Trash since 1976, baby!  And, she's kinda from North Dakota, like me), AND, in the interest of full disclosure, I should tell you that I think she stole the quote from Ideals For Living., though...I don't really know. 


The quote was, "Happiness writes white (…it doesn't show up on the page)".  I read her post about that very thing, and, got to thinking about how fecking boring I am now that I'm not miserable.


Happy, yes, but, such a yawner.

In her case, she's all blissy and eating right, and quit smoking and hardly gets massively fucked up any more (Kidding!  Juuuusst Kidding...) or writes about super-crazy nights and inner turmoil cuz she's all boyfriended and getting regular and spectacular sex and lovin' and stuff.

I do want to CLARIFY that, while I'm plenty happy...I'm not THAT freaking happy, OK? 

I mean, I'm willin' to GET that happy, but I'm not freaking out about it.  Eventually, I'll be ridiculously, retardedly, stupid-ass happy.  This I know.  I think I've known it my whole life, which is why a lot of the times, I'm so miserable.

We humans are drawn toward the bliss (forgive me while I get all metaphysical on ya).  We want to be happy.  Most people, sadly, have ideas about how to be happy that are not their own--somebody told them HOW to be happy, and, like morons, they believed it.  Maybe they thought that they needed a particular "thing" (whatever that thing might be) to be happy, and they got that thing and surprise, surprise, not only are they still NOT happy, but now they are also disappointed and feel a bit stupid.  But for some reason, now they are on the lookout for the next "thing".  Which also won't work.

In the mean time, the total confusion of The World telling you what should make you happy and your inner voice continuously telling you "Meh, that's not it," makes you all jumbled in the head, so, you suffer.

Most people suffer.  The good news is, most people don't even realize that they are suffering.  Oh, some do--some realize that life isn't working the way they want it to. 

We call those people "writers".

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Before The Food

I discovered this song some time ago--love it.  And I wanted to share a video of it this morning, but couldn't find one of the quality I wanted to share, so, you get a lyric instead.

(If you check out the Amazon widget on the right side of the screen, you can hear a bit of it, then go buy your own.)

Back in June, I was fortunate to see Jonny Lang in Mobile, Alabama.  Dude played Stevie Wonder's Ribbon In The Sky, OK?  Ribbon In The Sky...one of the greatest things EVER written.  Ever.  I've seen Jonny play, several times--I saw him when he was a little kid, saw him opening for people, saw people opening for him.  His latest stuff is so rich and incredible.  I do recommend picking it up, or seeing him if you get the chance.  The standout track, in my opinion, is the one called Thankful: 

Someones standing in a welfare line
Or off the freeway with a hungry sign
Someones stressing bout to lose their mind
I gotta be thankful, thankful

Someone just became a single mother
Someone just lost a sister or brother
Its so important that we love each other
And be

Thankful, thankful
I've gotta take the time to say, that I'm
Thankful, thankful
For every single breath that I take
I've gotta be thankful, thankful

Someones sitting in a prison cell
Wasting away in their own personal hell
Everybody's got their own story to tell
I've gotta be thankful, thankful

Man, I used to think I didn't have a lot
Now I realize just how much Ive got
Now every day I'm gonna take the time and stop to be

Thankful, thankful
I've gotta take the time to say, that I'm
Thankful, thankful
For every single breath that I take
I've gotta be thankful, thankful

Any one of these so easily could have been me
But if it had not been for grace and mercy who knows where I'd be

I've been riding on this roller coaster ride
Round and round Ive seen the up and downside
And I'm here to tell you that the secret of life is being

Thankful, thankful
I've gotta take the time to say, that I'm
Thankful, thankful
For every single breath that I take
I've gotta be thankful, thankful

Hope you and yours are safe and cozy over the long weekend and beyond.  Do youself a favor and don't go out shopping in the morning, OK?  :-)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Some Of It Was True

  • I hereby ban people from saying "Old School".  No particular reason other than, I'm so done hearing it.  I came to this conclusion today after hearing someone actually say it.  Out loud.  Like they thought it was still sorta cool.
  • Listening to The Clash on your headphones while doing mundane stuff at the office?  Recommended.  Steel yourself, if you can, however, against thrashing around like you're enjoying it.  People look at you funny.
  • Ahem...that didn't happen, though, because I have nerves of steel.
  • The girls were dying to have PIZZA for Thanksgiving dinner, and I really wanted them to have exactly that.  Alas, we were invited over for more traditional fare.  Next year, my pretties...next year...I don't mind whipping up the traditional thing, but to be honest....its a yawner.  I'm a bit more off the beaten path. 
  • I'm contributing mashed potatoes to the dinner this year, and you know, I'm so non-traditional that I had to get CLEARANCE from the host for my mashed potatoes!  MASHED EFFING POTATOES.  Like, I'm gonna fuck those up...
  • OK, let me tell you how I'm going to fuck up the mashed potatoes...old trick I learned from a friend of mine when we worked together at a school.  Mrs. Jablonski, the coolest....ANYWAY, the night before the meal, or, early in the day, boil yer taters the way you normally do, then put them in a crock pot with massive quantities of BUTTER, CREAM CHEESE AND SOUR CREAM, preferrably the sour cream with the chives and stuff in it.  Use an entire container of sour cream.  Seriously, just do it.  And at least one stick of butter, maybe more.  And a whole block of cream cheese.  Then whip them up with your mixer, so they are mashed, set them on low on the crock pot and....walk away....no need to mess with them while you're trying to make gravy and such.  They are ridiculously good potatoes....thank me later.  And, since they aren't boring and sucky potatoes, probably the host won't be having any, which means more for me.
  • Don't forget!  The web address is www.barelycontained.blogspot.com !  If you are reading this on www.catsandyarn.blogspot.com, just be aware that VERY soon, CatsAndYarn will be an archive, and the new stuff will only be posted on Barely Contained.  Got it?  Good.  So change your bookmark, or reader, or whatever you do...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Another Round--Fully Loaded

Just a meme, stupid meme...

I haven't done this in a while, so, with the usual apologies regarding heavy rotation of certain artists (like, I have about 100 Indigo Girls songs, for example...) its time to do The Shuffle!

1. Put your mp3 player on shuffle
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.


Steady As She Goes--The Raconteurs

When The Day Met The Night--Panic At The Disco


Crazy Love--Van Morrison

Chocolate Cake--Crowded House

A-Punk--Vampire Weekend

Try It Again--The Hives

Psycho--Puddle Of Mudd

Add It Up--Violent Femmes (HA!  Yeah, well...)

WHAT IS 2+2?
We're Having A Party--Sam Cooke


Hand In Hand--BoDeans

Getting Closer--Paul McCartney (Game will pause momentarily while I listen to Getting Closer in its entirety.  Little side note:  When I was in high school, I bought Back To The Egg and wore it out--in particular, there was a spot in the beginning of Getting Closer where the record always skipped, but I still listened to it relentlessly, cuz it was my favorite song.  When I got all grown up and bought the CD, it took me forever to get used to hearing the song without the skip at the beginning...)

I Want You--Elvis Costello

Lost In The Supermarket--The Clash


Mystery--Indigo Girls

Long Black Veil--(this is a Johnny Cash song done by Dave Matthews and Emmylou Harris--quite lovely, and has nothing to do with my parents except for that Johnny Cash story I already told here once...)


Baby Workout--Jackie Wilson  (Ahem...no more weddings...oh, and the game will pause momentarily while we listen to Baby Workout in its entirety...and dance around the living room....)

Maneater--Nelly Furtado (BAH-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA....Oh, that kills me...)


Paralyzer--Finger Eleven

Go Slow Down--BoDeans (HA!  That's only a secret to some of you...Game will pause momentarily while we listen to Go Slow Down in its entirety...)

Little Perennials--Indigo Girls

Too Little Too Late--Bare Naked Ladies


Naive--The Kooks


Cleveland Rocks--Weezer (Almost moved to Cleveland once...hmmm...)

Delayed Devotion--Duffy


Yield--Indigo Girls (Ya think???)

Where Did I Go--Justin Curry


Walking Contradiction--Green Day

Four Horsemen--The Clash (Game will pause momentarily while we, uh, you know....)

Soon Be To Nothing--Indigo Girls

Another Round--Enter The Haggis

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Of Course You're In Love With A Vampire...

Who wouldn't be?
Never mind the fact that in Twilight, Edward is just the hottest thing you've ever seen in your life and you can practically see the steam rising from the screen during all of that mega-hot kissing.
No, I mean it--totally dreamy.
Why are the books (and now the movie) so damn hot?
Because every girl wants a bad boy who is actually good.
Say it again--you know it is true!  Every girl wants a bad boy who is actually good.
We want them to be dangerous to everybody but us.  Even though we would never admit it, we'd like a guy to hang out in a freaky stalker fashion. watching us, and not be a total creeper, but, a hero who is protecting us.
We WANT a guy who lives for us--and, NEVER SLEEPS!  Just, hangs out, protecting and serving.
They may have created the perfect man...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Something...Something...A Cowboy?

You know how, when you're all, at work and stuff, and you're thinking about how you haven't written much in the blog lately, but you don't want to say "sorry I haven't written lately" cuz that is sooooo effing lame?


Anyway--pretend I never said that, cuz it's so effing lame...

With any luck, we'll be checking out a sneak peak of a certain vampire movie tonight.

With any luck.

It's one of those Get There Real Early Or You Might Not Get A Seat" things, and, I'm not entirely sure I have a "Real Early" in me at the moment.

Its also one of those annoying sneak peak things where you have to leave your phone and stuff in the car, and you will be there Real Early and standing in line with nothing to do, and you'll really REALLY want to do the thing you do when you are waiting around with nothing to do, which is.....? Call people. *sigh*

Don't laugh--my sister and I built our entire relationship on phone calls we made to each other while stuck in traffic (she's in New Jersey--happens a lot) or waiting for a table (I apparently only eat at lame restaurants where you have to wait around for a table). One time, I was on 494 at 5 in the afternoon, and was kind of excited to be stuck in traffic, so I could call my sister.

Anyway--Hopefully I will make it through without wanting to kill anyone. Wish me luck. I'll tell you all about it tomorrow........PSYCH! No I won't...

Well, maybe a little... :-)

Awesome movie, and, I didn't kill anyone. Yay!

Friday, November 14, 2008

More Something/Nothing

Why are memes so much fun?  Curse you Cursing Mama!  And your super-fun Meme-ness!
OK, not really...
1. Do you like blue cheese? I have some rather specific conditions regarding the blue cheese, but I will eat it if certain parameters are in place.  LIke, its on one of those salads with walnuts and roasted grapes, for example...

2. Have you ever drank alcohol?  Uh, no....never... (insert desk-pounding guffaw...)

3. Do you own a gun?  I don't particularly like them, so, no.

4. What flavor Kool Aid was your favorite? Tropical Punch!

5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointment? No--I've been to so many doctor appointments that its kinda like going to work at this point.

6. What do you think of hot dogs? Um...don't love them.  Brats are better.  No Polish, though...

7. Favorite Christmas movie? Scrooged

8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Ahem...there is only one thing to drink in the morning, and that would be black coffee, preferably in bed.

9. Can you do push ups? Maybe one or two

10. What's your favorite piece of jewelry? I don't wear a lot of jewelry, though I did buy myself a neat ring for Mother's Day, and I wear that every day.

11. Favorite hobby? Deep thinking

12. Do you have A.D.D.? Decidedly not, although it may appear so...

13. What's your weight? HA!  You're very funny...

14. Middle name? My middle name is my maiden name, legally, and, I'm just going to leave it as-is, cuz I like it.
15. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment? 1) Its so cool that work is so slow today!  2)  But I'm sure there is something I could be doing, other than this stupid meme! and 3)  How come every time I put my mp3 player on random, it plays Willin'?  500 songs, and that one comes on within the first 5 every time?  This is the kind of shit that keeps me up at night...

16. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink? Coffee, diet soda of some variety, and whatever grown-up thing is handy.

17. Briefs or Boxers? On who?  Me? 

18. Current hate right now? The weird thing at my work where 6 people tell me to do a thing a certain way and it turns out to be the wrong way and the 7th person yells at me.  Nice.

19. Favorite place to be? I'm looking forward to the Alone and Quiet aspect of my own place, which will be happening soon--doesn't matter where it is, as long as I can shut a door behind me and it's not noisy and full of people all the time.

20. How did you bring in the New Year? I'm sure I was at the Duhblinn.  I think.  Was I?

21. Where would you like to go?  See item number 19.

22. Name three people who will complete this? Not a clue!

23. Do you own slippers? Barb just bought me some slippers!  They are giant and pink and fuzzy.  Hilarious!!!

24. What color shirt are you wearing right now? Would you believe multi-colored stripes?  Blue, green, burgundy and a kind of a mustard-yellow, and white.

25. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? Not a big fan

26. Can you whistle? Yes!

27. Favorite color? Red

28. Would you be a pirate? I have a feeling they don't bathe much, do they?  Hmmm...

29. What songs do you sing in the shower? I do not sing in the shower.  As far as you know.

30. Favorite Girls name? I like my daughter's names a lot, but of course, we just call them Sis and Mads, so their real names are seldom used.  How that ended up happening, I may never know.
31. Favorite boys name?  I was going to name one of my daughters Mason if they were boys, but, instead I got to use the super-awesome girl names I picked out.

32. What's in your pocket? Paper clips.  Don't ask.  Oh, and two dollars bills and 63 cents in change.  I'm RICH, Bee-Yatch!

33. Last thing that made you laugh? That picture of Barack Obama in the FDR pose, with the hat and the cigarette-holder bit.  VERY well done, whoever did that!

35. Worst injury you've ever had as a child? I had no physical injuries as a child, that I recall.

36. Do you love where you live? No...do not love.  I'm living with friends, and we're all underfoot, and it's a pain for everyone.

37. How many TVs are in your house? 2 functioning TV's and one in the garage.

38. Who is your loudest friend? Well...we are friends because we are equally loud, but, I'll have to say Barb.

39. How many dogs do you have? I have no dogs of my own, but currently live with one.

40. Does someone have a crush on you?  Wouldn't that be great? ;-)

41. What is your favorite book? Life 101 by Peter McWilliams.

42. What is your favorite candy? Oh Dear God...I like it all.  Resers soft chews are like crack, though.

43. Favorite Sports Team? Don't really have one.

44. What song do you want played at your funeral? I don't really want songs played at my funeral--I know I am about to step on some toes, here, but, I think it is kinda lame, EXCEPT, one time, on an episode of Six Feet Under, a lady had 'And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going' (from Dreamgirls) and I thought that was pretty funny.  I haven't really found THE song that says it all--thank God they are still people writing them...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Concerned About Sin

My employer sends out lots of mail of the promotional variety.  Some of you might refer to it as "junk" mail.  We're just trying to help.  You need us.

Anyway, since a lot of promotional mailers go out with pre-paid reply envelopes (See?  Helping!) we get a lot of them back. 

Some people send them back, saying, "Hey!  That thing you're selling!  Love it!  I want me some of that!"  Of course, we love those people right back.

Some people send them back with a little note saying, "Thanks, but no thanks...take me off your mailing list."  I appreciate those people.  One less thing to mail, right?

Some people were taught that the best way to deal with junk mail that includes a postage paid envelope is to mess with the sender, because something in their sh*t-free day tells them that we should know better than to try to talk to them about anything they don't already know about.

Once, many years ago, I was watching the Oprah show, and they advised, on Oprah, that when you get "junk" mail with a postage paid return envelope that you should stuff that postage paid envelope with a bunch of crap you have sitting around the house (specifically other "junk" mail) and send it back.

After all, how dare they interrupt your sh*t-free day?

And if you stuff the envelope to capacity and send it back, the sender has to pay for it, and gosh, isn't that funny?  Won't that teach 'em?

Funny, yes. 

Doesn't teach us anything, though.  You'd think it would, but, alas, it does not.  Sales departments are notoriously thick...skinned.

Enjoying the contents of the pre-paid mailers that come back to my department is one of the highlights of my job.  Seriously!  This is some funny stuff!

Once, somebody sent back a picture of Al Franken with a caption about a lobotomy.  That was funny!  Way to go, bored-person-freaked-out-by-junk-mail!  Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha....OK, it's no longer funny.  But you had me for a second, there!

I got a copy of somebody's death certificate the other day.  They had been dead for a couple of years.  Nice mailing list.  Anyway, a simple, "He's dead" scribbled on the reply would have generated the appropriate action on my part--I'm a quick study--but the point was made.  Strongly.  So strongly, in fact, that If I could, I would take that person off of every mailing list, ever.  Alas, that is not my job.  I'm just some schmoh working for a company that sent the dead guy some stuff.  I mean, we're not bright enough to know where to buy mailing lists without dead people, what makes you think we can solve your junk mail problem?

Come to think of it, there are a fair amount of dead people on our mailing list.  Every once in a while, you get a note from a grieving widower--"My dear wife passed in February of 2007.  We raised four wonderful children.  I miss her every day.  I hope you rot in hell for sending this."

Or some variation thereof.

I got some of my favorite stuff today--soul-savin' stuff!  Lord knows I need it!  I got an envelope stuffed to the brim with pamphlets about how I needed God.  I'm not sure if the Jo-Ho's left these at the guy's house, or if I was really worried about my immortal soul, but the one that caught my eye was simply titled, "Concerned About Sin?"

Why, yes....yes I am. 

I'm concerned that there isn't nearly enough sin in my evening routine.  I'm just sayin'.  If you could please send booze and sex slaves, I'm sure I would have less to worry about.  Or, I'd be too busy having fun to be concerned.  Either/Or

If you are bothered by junk mail--perhaps you are one of the dead people on our mailing list--feel free to have your survivors make the necesarry arrangements to stop that mail from coming.  Here's an eHow about itYou can also go the Mail Preference Service method.  Or, one of my personal faves, 41pounds.org.

But I'll miss you.  You wacky, amusing, bored, paranoid freaks....I'll miss you...

Monday, November 10, 2008

But I'm Not The Only One

I called my husband to ask him a question about some mundane thing (like, "What year was this car made?  I can never remember...") and one of the first things he said to me (after answering the question) was how hard things were now that we weren't together anymore.

I didn't disagree.  It is hard.  It has been difficult.  I miss my friend, which is very much what he was--a good friend.

But it was a guilt trip, pure and simple.  He wanted me to feel bad, like he feels bad.  Well, I felt bad for a long time--then I left, and now, I don't feel like it anymore.    Screw feeling bad...I don't want to.

To snap myself out of it, I rationalized that he couldn't have been that good of a friend, considering I never felt like he "got" me and a lot of the time, I felt like he didn't care about me or my feelings, which is one of the main reasons I left in the first place.  I mean...I think if you make your girl cry, often, you should say you're sorry, often.  But that's just me.

But let's be honest:  I don't think I actually know anybody who truly "gets" me, the way I would like them to "get" me.  Jim is just one in a long line.  I actually have fantasies about having someone in my life who "gets" me--friends, co-workers, and especially, lovers.  Fantasies.   Little, hopeful dreams of understanding.  Is that wrong?  And every once in a while, like today, I get bummed out, when it feels as if they will never come true.  *sigh*  Like, being treated like crap by someone who doesn't get me will be the best I can do.  Pretty pathetic...

The whole "somebody has to 'get' me" fantasy--we're just going to go right ahead and call it a fantasy--seems selfish in the telling.  I don't feel like it is.  I spend an extra-ordinary amount of my waking hours kicking ass for others, and sometimes, the doing for others is a bit of a hassle for me, but, I do it anyway, because I can--I'm physically able, so, I feel like I should.  And I don't do things just to stand around and wait for applause, but I can't help but wonder...when is somebody going stand up and kick some ass for ME?  Cuz I could use that about now.  And I'd totally applaud.

Sometimes, the people you do stuff for are neutral, sometimes grateful, and sometimes, they're just downright UN-grateful...at which time I really want to stick a fork in their eye.  Of course, I don't actually stick a fork in their eye, cuz, I'm a nice person.  But I do allow myself to engage in the fantasy--you know, the fantasy that, if people paid attention, they would know that there are times in life where you should be saying "thank you" and if they don't say "thank you," it should be punishable by, say, a fork in the eye?

If I had to describe my personality in any particular way, I would say that I am a chronic and pathological "thank you" sayer.  And when I'm not saying it, I'm thinking it.  I'm just a damned grateful person.  One who thinks that ungrateful people need a fork in the eye, especially when they try to make you feel guilty for leaving, when staying was killing you.  And I'm looking for some other chronic and pathological "thank you" sayers to hang out with.  Other people, like me, who are nice and, as a result, maybe end up being taken for granted because of it.  Yeah...where are my people?

And, if you're hot and charming and killer good in bed, you get to go to the front of the line.

(Did I just say that?  Better go read it again...)

I didn't say the words to my husband...I didn't say, "Well, if you'd just been nicer to me, I wouldn't have left."  I thought about it, but I didn't say it.  See, I'm a nice person.  And, I have this fantasy...

Saturday, November 8, 2008

You Have Been Granted A Third Date. Do Not Screw It Up.

I would classify myself as an intolerable bum in the blogging world so far this month, and wouldn't be wrong, but that's only because I've been Queen of Productivity in every other department.
There is one sure tactic in being the Queen of Productivity, and that is the dreaded "avoid the television".  That, and being left with a stack of stuff that has to get done, plus the incredible freedom to tackle it in my own way, for approximately 9 truly focused hours every day. 
You'd be a productive freak, too, if it was you.
I remember back in the olden times...the ancient days, when I was a youngster in my 20's, the thought of turning off the television seemed absurd to me.  WHY would I do such a thing?  I mean, didn't these people dishing advice on my viewing habits realize that I had SHOWS to watch?  IMPORTANT shows?
I no longer have shows.  I haven't had shows in a long time.  Sure, there are programs that I like to watch on occasion, but for the life of me, I couldn't tell you when they come on, or what day they air.  I watch them only if I happen to turn on the TV and they are on.  You know...geek stuff like Modern Marvels, or any of those "This freak thing will cause the complete destruction of the planet" shows on the Weather Channel.  That's right...talk to me about tectonic plates and volcanoes under a particular national park and how not a one of us will survive the shit--that is the kind of perspective a person needs, lest they start thinking they are important in some way.
Speaking of people feeling important, let me explain the main reason I've been avoiding the television for the last several days.  Can you guess?
If you said, "The Election", treat yourself to your choice of a hunk of fabulous chocolate or...I dunno, whatever it is that guys like--the chocolate is for the girls.
It isn't a case of sour grapes keeping me from watching the Woot!  Woot!  Obama! coverage--I voted for him, after all.  I wanted him to win, am glad he did, and knew, weeks ago, that he would.  But watching election night coverage, the media started to bother me for real.  All the days leading up to the election, they were there with their barely contained candidate lust, which was kind of annoying, but when he won the thing, the top popped on the champagne and the gushing commenced.
Since I like to (obviously vainly) imagine that I might have something to offer, perspective-wise, to this situation, I'm gonna say something that I think needs to be said, so, here we go:
"Elected" does not mean the same thing as "crowned".  "Elected" means that the American people are giving a person a shot--giving him a chance.  It means that a majority of people who voted thought one might do a better job than the other, and please never, ever forget that the presidency is just that--a job.
Now, sadly, this particular job doesn't have the standard 90 day probational period.  Barring extraordinary circumstance, the presidential probational period is a long-ass four years--a hell of a long time to be stuck with someone if you happen to find out within the first several months that they suck at their job.
That is part of the reason why electing a president is so hard...they are notoriously difficult to ditch after the second date, if you find out that they still live with their mother/chew with their mouth open/etc.  (Cuz nobody ever talks about that stuff while they are campaigning....)  No, the just keep showing up.  You're kinda stuck with them.  *sigh*
I suppose my avoiding the TV this week is about the same as me plugging my ears and doing the "La-La-La-not listening!" thing.  It's not that I don't want to know, I just don't want to know EVERYTHING.  And also--I don't really care.  There are a dozen networks that do nothing 24 hours a day except dig out minutia and obscure facts and try to make them significant--significant to a campaign, or to a presidency.  They are not.
What matters?  How about, what kinds of thing does a guy do when he actually starts DOING THE JOB? 
Cuz that's all I really care about.
I don't care what color he is, if he likes pancakes, once disobeyed his 4th grade teacher, needs a haircut, grabs his wife's ass in public, picks his toenails in bed, doesn't rinse his milk glass--none of that.  Doesn't matter one iota.  My judgement will be based entirely on if he does, or does not, royally suck at his job. 
Is that strange of me?
Anyway...if you should happen to ask, "hey, did you watch that thing about Obama last night?", understand that if it isn't yet mid-January 2009, the answer will likely be "No, I was busy".  (Bummer that we can't get things rolling with the two-week notice like in the real world, but, oh well...)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Invent Your Own Title Post! Wooot!!

(There are reasons why I have declared him one of the most funny people on the internet...this post was one of them, and here is a sample:)
Obama's speech was far more unifying than anything I've heard from Democrats or Republicans in the last 30 years. Seriously, it was stirring and moving and eloquent. If you managed to sit through it without getting just a little choked up and hopeful for the future, then all I can say is thanks for reading my blog, Vice President Cheney.
Hey!  I just realized!  We can make Irb the "Most Envied Person Of The Week," thereby making it look as I'm actually planning to continue the Most Envied Person of the Week thing!  Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha....Aaaah, never mind...if I declare him, he'll be wondering why there are no cash or prized to go with that...I love you, Irb, but I don't Love-Love you...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Oh, And That, Too.

I think I will be dropping in occasionally when I find good stuff to read today....Linky McLink Link....sure beats "writing", huh?


It feels pretty damn good to be an American this morning.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Release From Bummer-ness

At the start of the day, I sat down to work, hit "Shuffle" on the mp3 player...
And was drenched in a succession of really depressing songs.
What the hell?  Where were the uptempo songs?  Just sad, slow, acoustic songs today? 
By the time Hope Alone came on, I was ready to ditch the whole "Random" mode entirely.  After all, it is difficult to explain open weeping at your desk..
I have to have headphones on at work.  I must.  Why?  Well, you know how when you call customer service and the person you end up talking to is a complete ass and they treat you like you are retarded?  I sit within earshot of the person who answers those calls.  I don't do customer service myself, and, I dont need to call customer service at this particular company, but I must tell you--every time this person answers the phone, I cringe...like they're talking to me, personally.  
So, headphones.
But then, lunch came.  I went outside.  It was 70 degrees....gorgeous.
And all around this country today, people are doing it...finally.
No, not doing THAT!  I mean voting.
Doesn't it feel good today?  Really good?  Like you just know something WILD is going to happen?  I love that.
(Besides, if I had to see another political ad, I was going to strangle someone.)
So, here's to a Sure-Thing Crazy Tuesday, everybody--it you haven't already, get out and join the fun.  Then we'll all sit around our TV's tonight as a nation, watching things unfold, getting ready for a whole new tomorrow.  What's not to love about that?

Monday, November 3, 2008

Gentlemen Prefer...

I just read an interesting article about how, when it comes to girlfriends and fun, a guy would rather have a blonde woman, but when it is time to get married, he's all about the brunettes.

Read it for yourself, here.

My favorite part of the article was when they pointed out that around 50% of men surveyed (a group of 3000) stated that they thought that brunettes made better home organizers, mothers, and cooks!  They also think that brunettes are "more reliable" and "most loving".  The survey goes on to say that only 18% of men think that blondes make good wives.

Hmmm....where, oh where, shall I begin?

I was born a blonde.  In fact, I had the lightest hair of anybody in my family.  Still do.  My father and two of my brothers have jet-black hair.  Um...jet black, and grey, I mean.  (We're all old and sh*t.)  My mother, and two of my other brothers, have brown hair--actually, the boys' hair is more brown-leaning-red.  My sister's hair is light brown. 

I was the weird one in my family with the shockingly blonde hair--until my teen years, I was VERY blonde, then, I faded to something a bit less mega-watt.  I like to avoid terms like "dishwater blonde", so, we'll stick with "Less Shockingly Bright Blonde" for the moment. 

And "Dirty Blonde" just means something entirely different to me, so don't even bring it up.

I don't recall thinking of myself as different from anybody in my family growing up, and nobody really told any blonde jokes at our house, and they barely acknowledged my hair color.  Amazing.  The fact that I was a middle child, AND had the only shockingly blonde head in the household makes it seem incredible that I didn't stand up in the middle of every meal and declare that the family must now  Pay.  Attention.  To.  Me. 

I guess I knew I was outnumbered--it would have been futile.

So, maybe I'm an unusual blonde.  I'm incredibly organized, reliable, loving, a great cook and a pretty damn good mom.  I'm also here to tell you that those things don't necessarily qualify me as good "wife" material.  I've been a wife before, and I kinda think I suck at it, even though I kick ass in all the brunette categories.

These 3000 men and their "wife" qualities....Cook?  Really?  Why don't you go live with your mama?  I'm just sayin'...who feeds you when there isn't a woman around?  Specifically, a brunette woman?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Yay Me!

Cursing Mama always pulls me in with these quizzes, and she had such a lovely result--her's was "Humility". Well, you can see by my result that I have none.

I mean....No humility.

How can you have NO humility? That's just so weird! But I suppose if anyone were to be afflicted with such a deficiency, it would be me. If you take this quiz and have the same problem, please drop me a line and let me know, so I don't feel like such an ass...

Your result for The Best Thing About You Test...


Hot! Passion is your greatest virtue

Passion is an intense emotion that compels feeling, enthusiasm, or desire for anything, and that often requires action. Get that? Requires action. It's very likely you submit to your deepest needs and live life with a flair few others achieve, but many envy. All 7 virtues are a part of you, but your passion runs deepest.

Passionate types: artists, writers, composers, athletes, and heroine addicts.

Your raw relative scores follow. 0% is low, and 100% is perfect, nearly impossible. Note that I pitted the virtues against each other, so in some way these are relative scores. It's impossible to score high on all of them, and a low score on one is just relatively low compared to the other virtues.


30% Compassion

56% Intelligence

0% Humility

56% Honesty

50% Discipline

29% Courage

58% Passion

Take The Best Thing About You Test at HelloQuizzy

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Wouldn't You Like To Be A Pepper, Too?

She might be just a little bit spoiled.

Just a little.

And....what the hell, right?  If you can do a little something for your kid once in a while, you should.

So tomorrow, Halloween, I am taking my kid to a show--specifically, The Academy Is, The Diva's all-time favorite band.

At a bar.

On Halloween.

I'm sure I've mentioned before that I'm not a big fan of going out to a bar on Halloween night.  It's one of those "Amateur Nights" out on the town.  Mostly just assholes go out on Halloween night.  The rest of us either stay home or go to a party at the home of someone else who is staying home.

So, I expect to be surrounded by assholes.

Well, either assholes, or other parents, like me. 

Parents who might also be assholes. 

Hell, I might be an asshole, too, now that I think about it.

Anyway--it should be fun.  The Diva gets a good close look at Mr. Beckett, and I get to...uh...stand around and be the old person at the show.  It's a parent thing...please come, so I'll have someone to co-miz with, and drink grown up drinks, and hang out in the smoking section...with all the other people trying not to be assholes at a bar on Halloween.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Teenage Runaway

This little darling likes to make me cry about once every year and a half. He has a bit of the wanderlust...

So, Sunday morning, despite his life of leisurely indoor-ness, he decided it would be fun to have a little field trip. He just got home today, with the help of some wonderful fellow animal owners.

I hope you had fun, Bailey, because you are soooooo GROUNDED!

Much, MUCH thanks to our neighbors who found him and caught him and called! We love you!

Most Envied Person of the Week...

Isn't it funny how I declare a most envied person of the week, implying that I will be declaring one EVERY week?

I think we all know that I'm not that ambitious...

I might as well tell you that next week, there probably won't be a most envied person. Or I might declare myself the most envied person. Either/Or.


I'm calling it for this week--Brian Oake...he's all calm and relaxed on the radio in the afternoon while a lot of us are out there, examining close up, the social experiment that we call the afternoon commute.

(I'm actually much more calm driving home than I am in the morning...I guess I don't care what time I get there. So, I'm fairly relaxed. Except for swearing at people who don't know how to merge. You are now free to picture me driving in a leisurely fashion at 4:55PM on a weekday, angering every other person on the highway. Enjoy.)

Brian, I'd like to say that I would love to have your job, and I would, but you definitely out-geek me in the artist info department, so you just keep doing what you're doing--and I'll be over here, trying not to incite any road rage.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Just A Number

I'm so old where I work.

Actually, I'm about average, age-wise, in the building, but, it's a damn big building.  It's one of those big buildings with lots of granite and marble and thoughtful hotel-like touches, so, it was pretty much designed with "old" people in mind, cuz we're all about granite and marble and thoughtful hotel-like touches.  We've earned that shit, haven't we?

I'm not old in real life, I'm just old around some 5 or 6 of the dozen or so people that I work with directly--those 5 or 6 are the ones who party and go to clubs on the weekends.  Good for them.  But...I'm old.

Not that I don't party on the weekends.  When you reach a certain age, you just do it differently.  For example, this Saturday night, while my younger co-workers were paying way too much for some weak, foo-foo drinky-poo, I was relaxing with a bourbon and water (cough-cough) that only a bonafide drinker would enjoy (read: strong), and, I didn't have to tip anybody or dress up to get it.  Somehow, I worked it into my regular errands.  Cool.

I also ate "good" food--some semi-incredible ribs with amazing sauce, that some lovely person (me) prepared just for me.  Also Cool.

The best thing was that there was some semi-intelligent conversation to go with that drink and food, and very little drama.  Cuz when you're old, you don't "do" drama.

Let's re-cap...granite and marble, thoughtful hotel-like touches, strong drinks, good food, delightful conversation, no drama.  Hmmm....with that added perspective, I think I will agree to be old, just for the time being.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Diva Is....A Punk Rocker

Diva got a new hair cut and color...

...and for some reason, did not fully appreciate it when
I referred to her as "The Late, Great, Johnny Ramone".

Ahem....am I right? Or am I right?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

You're Almost As Paranoid As I Am


It's gettin' so a girl doesn't want to talk about things anymore.  I talked about Michaels, then discovered Michaels checked up on me to make sure I didn't say anything bad about them...

What are they going to do when I show up at the door waving money?

The presidential election conversations have been similarly observed.  Only, the fabulous tracking devices used by those who's job it is to secure the safety of high-level political candidates can't be seen by my lowly stats counter. 

But I know you are out there, Secret Service Agent Whomever.  Don't worry, I'm probably not going to do anything rebellious. 

Except vote.

I know that may be frightening for some candidates.  Good luck with that.
Mostly, I say nice things around the blog-o-rama.  I'm not a meanie.  If I feel like telling someone off, I contact them directly, whenever possible.
Besides, like Olympia Dukakis said in Steel Magnolias--if you can't find something good to say about anyone, come and sit by me.  We'll talk privately.  Catty bitch conversations are for enjoying with your girlfriends, not sharing with the world...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blog Action Day

Today is Blog Action Day, with this year's focus on poverty.  Check out 88 Ways To Do Something About Poverty Right Now on the Blog Action Day site.

And note the recurrence, throughout the list, of the one most important thing...Don't Be Lazy!

We tend to be complacent here in the United States, because many of us have more we need.  The very fact that you can read this web site at all is a clear indicator that you have more than most people on the planet.  You have access to a computer, and presumably, electricity, and a roof of some structure covering you.  Kind of a big deal, when placed in proper perspective.  Large population groups on this planet don't have that.

The thought of having all that we need, and having it without having to buy stuff has come up in several amazing ways this week.  For example, while I've always been a bit of a freak about frugality, having my soon-to-be ex husband tell me, over the phone, that I was "right" about not needing so much stuff in our lives was not necessarily gratifying to hear, but gave me some hope that when the going gets tough, even the avid shoppers can get by with less.

(Ahem...it might get tough here in the U.S.  Some would say it's tough already.  Don't be scared.  You can handle it.)

Later in the week, while watching a PBS program about life on a Minnesota farm in the early part of the 20th century, my friend and I reflected upon those "olden days"--how they survived with "nothing", and how it was incredibly difficult sometimes, but they did it anyway.  They heated their homes with corn cobs and cow pies, had to preserve most of their food because there were no freezers, and had to deal with incredible weather conditions, but when they interviewed the people who lived through it, what they remembered was not burning cow pies, but the good food, visiting friends and neighbors, and family gathering around the piano.  Nobody complained.

Lastly, at a get-together, Barb and I discovered that when we were kids, we both had to "make the milk"....what a strange childhood recollection to have in common!  My father drove a truck, and there wasn't much money, but there were six of us kids.  My mom would buy a half-gallon of whole milk, and mix it with a half-gallon of powdered milk. 

Barb's dad sold insurance, and when it came to milk, her mom went "full powder". 

Somehow, we both managed to survive this indignity and become productive members of society...(sarcasm intended)

It seems fitting, thinking about the economy in the US, and the poverty situation worldwide, that we should come together today and discuss this issue.  Some will take the information they receive today and use it to shrink their personal economic and ecological footprint.  Others will use it to help those in desperate need.  Either of those things will help, so go for it.

My best recommendation to you regarding poverty is simply to use less.  There are only a billion ways to do that, so to keep you from losing your mind and being overwhelmed with choices, I'll just give you my NUMBER ONE thing, the most important thing in my life, that I do in order to be happy and save money....ready?  Here it is...

Get a useful hobby. 

Seriously--that's it.  Get a useful hobby.

My hobbies tend to be utilitarian, and all involve making stuff, like painting, knitting, gardening, etc. 

I can buy a packet of tomato seeds, for example, and have a kajillion tomatoes for less than the price of one little bunch of tomatoes at the grocery store.  More importantly, however, it brings me great joy and a sense of accomplishment to do this.  I'm contributing something, even in my relaxation.  And usually, there are more than I can use, so I give a lot away.

I can also take a pretty cool photograph, blow it up and frame it for less than I could buy a similar item, and it will ultimately mean more to me and my family than something I just bought. 

Knitting, of course, always creates something of use. 

Very often, I look at a clever idea and think, "That is so cool!  I would like to have that!"  Even more often, however, I think, "That is so cool!  I should MAKE that!"

So, that's my secret....do something you love, that produces a usable result or item.  Use just what you need, and give the rest away.

About a million years ago, I wrote about all of this stuff, and you can read all about it here, but if you don't mind, I'll just pull some of the good bits for you:

I'm stuck hard in the notion that buying something that you could easily (or even not so easily) make yourself is practically sinful and definitely wasteful.  I'm tired of looking like the weirdo because I'm not a big "shopper".

Doesn't everybody know how to make their own soap? Can't ANYONE grow tomato plants and everything else under the sun from seeds you stashed safely away last fall (or bought from a catalog)? Or spend the winter enjoying all of the food that you put up from the garden? Isn't knitting a normal thing that people do just for the hell of it because they CAN? Don't "normal" people wear clothes that somebody MADE for them by hand and then just gave it to them to wear? Are we not supposed to cover ourselves with all of those quilts and afghans?

But, most importantly, aren't all of these things useful? Or do they only become useful when there is a crisis?

So, why the hell do I do this, even though nobody around me really appears to care one way or the other? (Gedney pickles sure are WAY better than mine, I can tell you that...) I don't know. I guess it is the feeling of knowing that no little kid in a far-off country had to have a shitty day because I wanted, no, NEEDED to have something that they could produce for pennies and I am too lazy to make myself, or hunt for something that is already made but just harder to find. That would be a good start.

And I suppose that we could spend some time in deep thought about our environmental footprint--you know what I am talking about!

But really, I think that I am into it for a lot of reasons:

) The giving. Making a gift of something that you made yourself is awesome, and usually very appreciated. ( Every year at Christmas, two or three ladies from my office give everybody a jar of jam that they made. It is my favorite gift, every year, and so clever! They are able to have enough of a thing on hand to give a nice gift to LOTS of people, and it costs them practically nothing...) You feel so much abundance when you can make a thing that is really special and then you give it away.

) Politically, well, the politics of being a massive consumer SUCK. Please make the effort to watch "When Walmart Comes To Town" or order a tape of it from PBS--go here for the broadcast schedule in your part of the world--you will never want to buy a thing that you don't ab-so-freaking-lute-ly NEED ever again, especially anything made in China.

) To be my own person and not blindly follow trends like some f*cking drone, and to be a good example for my children. This is probably the biggest one of all.

) To be able to have a good laugh at all the people who ARE f*cking drones...

) And, finally, though I have not really made much use of this one, to join a community of others like me, who think that all of these same things are important--to gather ideas, enjoy creativity at it's finest, and reap the benefits of just being around all of this--where people are creating and producing and giving and giving and giving...it is a beautiful thing.

Thanks, all, for your contributions to Blog Action Day!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Just Write Something, Boogerhead!

I've got the "house crowded" syndrome--nobody's fault, just no down/alone time for writing.  (Lucky you!  No way-too-deep reflections on way-too-deep topics!  Wooo-Hoo!)

I wonder what I'm going to be like when I actually AM alone all the time...Hmmm.  I'll probably be spending a ridiculous hours at Michael's, Williams Sonoma, and the various yarny-type shops all over this town.  Then hustling home to work on projects and food. 


A couple of light items in lieu of actual content:

Speaking of Williams Sonoma, here is a little bird starter for ya--I usually concoct my own turkey brine from, uh, stuff I have around the house.  I usually have stuff like onions and oranges and apples and seasonings and sea salt around the house, so its OK...  However!  As you can see here, brining has been compacted into this neat and tidy little bottle of stuff, with most of what I would normally pull in a brine, and a few other things. 


See?  I need to go there.  Brine and $6000 worth of cook wear.  I NEED IT!

I thought it would be fair to also visit Michael's online, but was so distracted by that thing they have there call The Knack that I couldn't do any actual shopping.  Everybody knows that The Knack has little to do with arts and crafts and everything to do with pop music.  I'm just sayin'.  Take your Service Mark and go home....but please don't stop selling me paint and stuff...

Looking for some other merch this week?  BoDeans, Live Acoustic, is available on their website, here.  And people are drooooooooling over this thing. 

Of course, now that I have actually ordered something from somewhere, this would be the perfect time for my mailman to take a vacation or retire.  Oh yes, he did.  The old mailman wore a cool hat and shorts, and parked on the street behind my car (in front of the hydrant) while he ran around our neighborhood.  The new guy (who I'm sure will be up to speed in no time) is quite a bit slower and larger, not inclined to park in front of fire hydrants, wears a baseball cap and was bundled up like February when he finally found us at about 1:30 this afternoon.  I know, I know...he's new.  But dude, don't lose my CD...Necesito eso.  Thank you.

Finally, I do have some stuff on the needles.  A few projects, actually--all Things Made With Cotton.  Here is the deal...I live in my friend's house.  My worldly possessions, save my children and my French Press, are in boxes in the garage.  Remember the box marked "Bedroom Misc" that contained a guitar amp and yarn?  Yeah, I still have that.  Tons of yarn, stashed in boxes in the garage.  It makes a lovely padding for the amp.  Of which there are now two.  ANYWAY...I got bored being project free and did a little digging--found my Denises and a couple of SPOOLS of cotton, so, I'm making kitchen cotton stuff for my soon-to-be kitchen--dishclothes, bag-bag, etc..  Thrifty, right?  Of course, I'll move in and the colors will be distractingly off, but, that's when I get to buy more yarn, right?  Cuz I'll need it...