Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Psst! Hey, Mom!

I found it!!

And the Girls Got Rawhide Treats!

Joey Ate Like a Champ!

This little guy ate up a storm today ... been a few days since he really dug in. Had half a can of food this morning, then 2.5 oz Gerbers turkey tonight, then a few additional mouthfuls of the latest can put out.
Ate so much he fell asleep pretty much immediately.
In my office chair.
So I stood next to it to run through e-mails and write previous post (cuz he's just a teeny-tiny bit spoilt).
And look at those claws! Are those little-old-man-never-been-clipped-in-17-years claws or what?!

Even MORE News ... Today

The headline read, “In U.S. Scandals, Wives Don't Stand by Their Men”, immediately equating common sense to the strains of a country classic, performed by a woman whose husband was a notorious nogoodnick. Grrr.

The gist of the story was that neither Ruth Madoff nor Jenny Sanford have quietly stood by in silent support of their husband’s ridiculously callous behaviors and actions.


I cannot tell you how very, very disappointed I was (and still am) in Hilary Clinton’s inaction when her husband … husband! … went through that fun-fest of infidelity and perjury. To be honest, I was more disgusted with her than with him (although the fact that he wasn’t man enough to own up to it really peeved me).

Ruth Madoff has admitted to being embarrassed and ashamed while feeling completely betrayed by Bernie’s actions. Good. She’ll have 150 years to rub it in.

Jenny Sanford stated, "His career is not a concern of mine, he's going to have to worry about that. I'm worried about my family and the character of my children" when asked about her husband Mark’s alleged Argentinian affair. Good!

What really peeves me about the article is it’s tone, though … which appears to be casting a negative view on these women by saying such things as, "It may be that women just feel that they can do whatever they want.” Um, yes, yes they can.

In this day and age most of us see the quiet, supportive wife as a ridiculous throwback to the barefoot-and-in-the-kitchen age … or as a woman who is perfectly willing to compromise her own values for the greater good of her personal comfort or political goals.

Monday, June 29, 2009

In the News Today

Bernie Madoff asks for leniency, gets 150 years. Hunh … bet that kind of leniency he could have done without. Is it wrong that I have about eleven jokes based on his name and how he “made off” with … ? Oh, okay; I’ll stop right there. Except I have to say, “Yay!!!”

Who else is tickled pink Steve Jobs is doing better? I’m so happy, it’s like I know the man or something! I’m a bit peeved with the media (yes, again) over their portrayal of him as using his “tremendous” wealth to get better treatment than others in the same boat, though. Firstly, wouldn’t you, if given the same opportunity? Yes, yes you would … as I suspect you’d yank that baboon’s still beating heart right out of his living chest if your child needed it. Secondly, turns out the only area where his wealth may have made a difference is in his ability to get to a far distant hospitals if/when a liver became available … and last I knew, most major airlines are perfectly willing to help out in a medical emergency. Thirdly, it all seems like media sour grapes because Apple kept the private life of their employee private.

One word wrap-ups on recent celebrity deaths: 1) Ed McMahon; sweetheart; 2) Farrah Fawcett: complex; 3) Michael Jackson: tapioca; 4) Billy Mays: boisterous.

Ahem … this one? Irritates me no end. The Supreme Court has decided that caucasian firefighters who took standard firefighter tests for promotion in New Haven CT, the results of which were subsequently thrown out because no minorities had scored high enough for promotion, were the victims of racial discrimination. Well DUH! People, please … it isn’t racism only when it involves a minority! It matters not; if you discriminate against anyone because of their race, that, my friends, is racism. Ho, boy.

You is goin’ ta hell, missy: a 46 year old moron … er, congregant … at Our Lady of Hope Roman Catholic Church in Westbury, Long Island (NY) snicked cash from the open purse of another congregant sitting in the pew in front of her, during mass. The theft was observed by an usher and Missy Sticky Fingaz was apprehended on her way out. Hmmm, what do I have to say about this? Well, duh! She was in church! Of course she was caught! Fidiot.

FDA weighs options to reduce painkiller overdoses. Here’s a thought: legalize medical marijuana nationwide!!! Seems so simple, no? Even if people did abuse it as a prescription drug, all they’d really do is get waaay mellow and make s’mores.

And there’s a recent commercial on the boob tube for one of the major cellular providers in the U.S. that depicts a couple meeting up with a friend for lunch, and showing off their new cell phones while said friend scoffs but secretly envies. And I thought, wow, how insulting can they be? Now those of us who have a basic cell apparently secretly envy all the bells and whistles … we just won’t admit it? Not bloody likely! I’d shoot my phone if it got such grandiouse ideas. Not really … I’d be pretty amazed in an oh-my-goodness-skynet-just-came-on-line kind of way, but you get my point. Which is that I am firmly in the corner of “Dammit Jim, I’m a phone, not a doctor!”

Okay, that’s all I have for today … be well, see you in a few days!!

Friday, June 26, 2009


"Now gimme the ball; I'm always open!"
- Terrell Owens spoofing himself on tosh.0

Huff, Huff, Huff, Huff … GASP! Gurgle …

Our plant elevator has been down for three days, necessitating the use of the stairwell if I want to, you know, get paid for working and all.

So for the past three days I, along with all my 5th floor peers, have been hoofing it up 87 steps (we count, every time, hoping we're somehow mistaken) in a 90 degree stairwell with oh-I-don’t-know 9000ppm CO2, in order to take in the breathtaking vista of a lobby filled with sweaty gasping fat people strewn along the walls or collapsed in the limited seating (the only reason we even pretend to rush up the stairs is the faint hope we'll be one of the few who gets to sit down during this phase), before we have recovered enough to walk down the hallway and into our various offices, where we further convalesce, mopping our sodden brows and slaking the thirst of the truly unfit after minimum exercise.

That climb? Killer. Not so bad in cool weather; I just make sure I breathe through it. In the hot-n-muggies, though? Erk! Not fun. Dad, picture me the day you and I climbed the tower in P-Town, and snicker.

And today was our monthly potluck, which was a breakfast this time 'round, so the 3rd shifters could participate. Breakfast was at 6am … which meant I needed to leave home by 5am … which meant I needed to get up by 4am. Sheesh. All you who know my sleep habits (I believe Duke accused me just days ago of sleeping “like a teen”) have an idea how very much I enjoyed that. I do not joke when I tell you that when the alarm blasted off I actually levitated out of bed, practically yodelingWhere’s the truck?!?!” because I was sure the loud, obnoxious beeping was a huge truck getting ready to back over me.

It wouldn’t have been so bad, had I gotten the full night’s sleep I planned ... but.
  • But I am hopelessly behind schedule and did not have the ingredients.
  • But I had company last night so couldn’t get to the store until after 8pm.
  • But I got further sidetracked and didn’t start to make my contribution until close to 10pm.
  • But my neighbors must’ve had today off, because they were hanging out on their deck, listening to loud base-thumping music until the authorities officially shut them down after 1am.
  • But I can't sleep when I can feel the ever-changing base vibrating through the bones of my home … thump-THUMP-thumpthump, thump-THUMP-thumpthump … and, just when I get used to that, the song changes, so now it’s thumpitythumpthump-THUMP-THUMP, thumpitythumpthump-THUMP!
  • But I refused to call the police because it wasn’t so long ago that our crew did the same from Jules ‘n Mario’s deck to their neighbors, so I kind of have to take it when it decides to “come around”, you know?
  • But I only got about three hours sleep all night.
  • But I did remember to take my breakfast contribution out of the fridge and bake it while I was getting ready for work, so “yay, me!

Anyway, I brought the Stuffed French Toast that Kim served us Super Bowl weekend, and it was a huge hit. Of course, arriving at the surface of the sun … er, plant … thisclose to 6am (breakfsat time!) and anticipating the upcoming charge of the Light Brigade up 87 steps in the furnace … er, stairwell … while lugging what felt like 6 lbs of hot!hot!hot! stoneware at the bottom, fuhgeddabowd how much it would weigh by the time I got to the top … I totally girlied-out and schlepped my packages into the Maintenance Shop so the guys could see my pathetic-ed-ness and help me out. Which they did, because they’re p’awesome!

It was, as usual, a great turnout … the 3rd shifters were so grateful to finally be included in a potluck (yes, shamed to admit we’ve had about five potluck lunches this year without even considering the 3rd shift), that we’ve decided to rotate the potlucks between breakfast (6am), lunch, (11am), and supper (6pm) from now on. Everyone is happy now.

Aside from my SFT today’s dishes also included two breakfast casseroles (egg, sausage, cheese, potato, green pepper), biscuits & gravy (this has got to be the single most disgusting breakfast food ever), fruit (blueberries, pineapples, strawberries, kiwis, cantaloupes, and bananas), doughnuts, scrambled eggs, blueberry muffins, o.j., milk, coffee, and a variety of cereals. Breakfast rocked!

So, back to the elevator, or lack thereof … all this has brought home the realization that I have got to start exercising. But I don't like it! I find all number of reasons not to exercise … at least, I can't get myself to do it … and I have a treadmill and a stationary bike! So I’ve enlisted my girlfriends today, and with dedication we will do it. Hunh.

For those of you who wonder about the absolutely fabu stuffed French toast Kim fed us, here’s the recipe (I wish I had taken pictures, but I was literally stumbling out the door this morning, and in too much of a rush cobbling it together last night to spare a mo):

Stuffed French Toast

  • Grease 13x9” baking dish.
  • Cut 1 lb. loaf of firm white sandwich bread into cubes.
  • Spread half the bread in prepared pan.
  • Cut 1 package (8oz) cream cheese into small cubes and sprinkle half over bread in pan.
  • Repeat layering with remaining bread and cream cheese.
  • Whisk 12 large eggs; 1 ½ cups of milk; and 1/3 cup of maple syrup together.
  • Pour mixture over bread.
  • Cover and refrigerate over night.
  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Bake covered 30-40 minutes; or until knife inserted in center comes out clean (I used a stone pan, and it took 55 minutes).

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Wicked Awesome Poem Wednesday ... er, Thursday

Woman Work

I've got the children to tend
The clothes to mend
The floor to mop
The food to shop
Then the chicken to fry
The baby to dry
I got company to feed
The garden to weed
I've got the shirts to press
The tots to dress
The cane to be cut
I gotta clean up this hut
Then see about the sick
And the cotton to pick.

Shine on me sunshine
Rain on me, rain
Fall softly, dewdrops
And cool my brow again.

Storm, blow me from here
With your fiercest wind
Let me float across the sky
'Til I can rest again.

Fall gently, snowflakes
Cover me with white
Cold icy kisses and
Let me rest tonight.

Sun, rain, curving sky
Mountain, oceans, leaf and stone
Star shine, moon glow
You're all that I can call my own.

- Maya Angelou

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Rain, or Shine?

So here's where the birds nested this year ... due, no doubt, to the fact they couldn't use the attic this time 'round, what with the attic fan being used so much this Spring. I'm thinking it would have been like living in a hurricane for them, so they wisely opted for outside.

For those of you back home who are living through the rainiest Spring in 50 years, here's what the sun looks like, from my backyard at 6pm this evening.

And this one is from my driveway, around 6pm this evening as well. Here, where it's 97 degrees F, and the heat index reached 112 (112!!). So stop complaining about the rain, people, or I'll bring some of this heat back home with me, just see if I don't!!

Duke ... this is the exact picture I took while we were talking and I was waiting at the traffic signal. See the blue sky? Remember what that was like? Naner, naner, naner!

Media Hack: Will Exploit for a By-Line

I’m sure everyone is well aware of the Metro accident in DC that has claimed nine souls, and I’m sure you’ve read some of the "information" out there. I’ve included here the AP story, just so I can point out examples of why today’s media hacks annoy me so. To my mind, blue font is factual, maroon font is just plain incendiary and meant to elicit an emotional response, which highly aggravates yours truly. Read on:

WASHINGTON — Crews dismantled the wreckage Tuesday from a subway train collision that killed nine people and injured scores of others in the nation's capital, and a federal investigator revealed an old train involved in the crash should have been replaced because of safety concerns.

The Metrorail transit system kept the old trains running despite warnings in 2006, said Debbie Hersman of the National Transportation Safety Board. It wasn't immediately clear what caused the crash and whether age played a role in the rush-hour collision Monday.

The crash sent more than 70 people to hospitals. Metro officials said two men and seven women, all adults, were killed.

Mayor Adrian Fenty said at an earlier news conference that seven people were killed and he hoped the death toll did not climb any higher.

Hersman said
investigators expect to recover recorders from a newer train that was stopped along the tracks waiting for another to clear the station ahead. But the old train that barreled down the tracks and triggered the collision was part of aging fleet and not equipped with the devices, which can provide valuable information on the cause of a crash.

Hersman told The Associated Press that the NTSB had warned of safety problems and recommended the old fleet be phased out or retrofitted to make it better withstand a crash. Neither was done, she said, which the NTSB considered "unacceptable."

Metro officials planned to replace the old trains, but were years away from them rolling on the tracks.

AP - Probe Launched Into D.C. Subway Crash

It was the worst crash in the history of Metrorail, the pride of the District of Colombia tourism industry that has shuttled tourists and commuters around Washington and to Maryland and Virginia suburbs for more than three decades.

The operator of the train that collided into the stopped cars was identified as Jeanice McMillan, 42, of Springfield, Va., according to Metro officials.

McMillan was hired in March 2007 as a bus driver and was tapped to become a train operator in December, but it wasn't immediately clear whether she had control of the cars.

Metro has a computerized system on most trains during rush hour that is supposed to control braking, speeds and prevent collisions. The system, however, has failed before.

In June 2005, in a tunnel under the Potomac River, a train operator noticed he was getting too close to the train ahead of him even though the system indicated the track was clear. He hit the emergency brake in time, as did the operator of another train behind him.

Metro spokeswoman Candace Smith didn't know the outcome of the investigation into that incident, which she called "highly unusual."

The crash Monday occurred on the red line near the D.C. and Maryland border,
in an area where higher train speeds are common because there is a longer distance between stops. Trains can go 55 to 59 miles per hour, though the train's speed hasn't yet been determined.

* * * * there's more, but it's pure filler from here on, so I've dumped it * * * *

Associated Press writers Brett Zongker, Sarah Karush and Sagar Meghani contributed to this report.

So, in effect, these "professional" news reporters have loosed the speculation that: a) the crash was caused by an old train; b) because it was an "old" train the NTSB may never know what really happened; c) the driver was unqualified; d) the automated computer controls were down; and e) the train was speeding! And why (why!?!?) is anyone from the NTSB spouting off anything before even the preliminary investigation is complete?!? Anyone remember what the media did to Richard Jewell? Yeah, me too.

Here's the deal; it may well be that some, or even all, of these suppositions end up being true. But they may not. What if the driver stroked out, or had a seizure, and was incapacitated or already deceased by the time her train split itself in two while ramming into the other from behind? What if it truly was an accident? Yes, the truth (as the media see's it, through a veil of "what is sensationalist enough to make people want to read?") would also be in print and broadcast, but with nowhere near as much vim and vigor.

All I'm saying is that these are real people, living real lives just like the rest of us ... their loved ones don't need the added insult and aggravation of being tried and convicted in the press before the metal of the wreckage even has a chance to cool down.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Still Waters and All …

My Dad is a good man … and not just a "good man", but a great Good Man. He’s the original family man; for every decision he’s made he’s had his family in mind. We’ve always come first. With my Dad, it’s important to watch what he does, because he’s not particularly garrulous in his decision-making process. While my Mom is the soul of my family, my Dad is its heart … and the two of them together are bedrock.

When we were young, Dad wasn’t always a very talkative fellow … he’d give his opinion, and that was it. When he really thought one of us kids was making a big mistake, he’d let us know exactly why, exactly what he thought would happen, and exactly what he thought we should do instead. His almost-mantra was along the lines of, “Don’t do it … I already did it and it didn’t work” or “I know what you’re thinking, but you’re missing the point.”

It took long years for me to realize he wasn’t just talking smack … my Dad really had already done it. There’s nothing like getting to that age when you understand you’re not the first person on Earth (or even in your family) to have thought of whatever it is you’ve decided to implement, and that maybe, just maybe, the guy who came before you has an understanding of not only where you’re planning on going, but also where you’ve been.

And he can fix anything. Cars, appliances, electronics, buildings … you name it. He says these days the cars have him beat, with all their computerization … but not really. And he can teach himself how to do anything: construction, roofing, picture framing, design, etc. He’s worked jobs he did not enjoy, for miserable bosses (from whom he took huge rations of pooh), during long thankless hours and holidays … all for the good of his family. You may remember from my Mother’s Day blog that Mom and Dad ensured we had these incredible family vacations to all points New England during a time when they didn’t have much of anything (back when “yachting” wasn’t just a rich man’s pastime).

Those were great times. He’d teach us various things about sailing, geography, fishing, wildlife, ocean life, games ... we’d play board games, word games, and made-up family games while underway, getting to where we were going. I think the greatest gift Mom and Dad gave us with this family time was the gift of slowing down. You don’t get anywhere fast on a sailboat … not even in rough weather. And back then was before this digital age, so most entertainment was of a physical and interactive nature: swimming, spinnaker flying, hiking, collecting stones and seashells, picking berries, fishing, digging for clams, feeding wildlife, conversing, telling stories, star-gazing … you know, living.

Dad’s got this tremendous work ethic, too … if he’s going to do something, he’s going to do it right, and with expedience. If he tells you he’ll do something, then he gets it done … and if he feels he did it wrong, he’ll do it over again until he’s satisfied that he’s done it right. He and Mom, by dint of example, have instilled the same in us kids, from which our various employers have benefited a great deal over the years. He and Mom retired early to circumnavigate the world (which they did … awesome!) … but didn’t remain retired when they were done and back in the U.S. They didn’t have to work, but they both did, to fund various items, adventures, toys, and circumstances (part of Dad taking care of the family: ensuring the mortgage was paid off and the renovation was complete, among other things). In fact, Dad has just retired again, for fourth (?) and (with any luck) final time … almost twenty years after the first time!

Dad’s not into much of what you’d call frivolity, but he knows how to have a good time: he doesn’t watch serialized television programming, although enjoys movies and has a definite appeal for the unexplained … he doesn’t read fiction, but has an extensive non-fiction library he’ll loan out to anyone who expresses an interest … he can converse for hours, with anyone, on a variety of fascinating topics. Dad gives his full attention to what’s going on, too … whether it’s helping my big brother with design work for his business, or my niece learning her lines for a Summer play, or my other big brother with boating questions, or me with job stuff, or one of his many friends with various mechanical emergencies … you always know he’s right there with you.
And Dad definitely is not a black and white kind of guy; he sees the shades of gray. He’s not a knee-jerk reactionary either. He puts a lot of thought into making decisions, and puts much effort into seeing all the way around an issue to the other side (a trait that comes in particularly handy in these days of zero tolerance, economic hardship, and terrorist fears).
He sets the bar high, and leads by example.

There’s not a big event in my life I can’t run by Dad and about which I don’t get terrific insight and advice … he thinks so far outside the box that I think in, he’s invaluable. And he’s got this unshakeable faith in the abilities of his wife, kids, and grandkids. It’s incredible. It’s just there, a fact, no doubts, no question … that’s pretty cool. As with Mom, I can’t recall when our father-daughter relationship changed from strictly adult-child to adult-adult, but I give thanks for it every day, as well as the fact that we’re people who just really like and enjoy one another. So have a fantastically wonderful Father’s Day, Dad … I love you!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Where Are Those Bootstraps, Anyway?

I’m bored … and cranky. Why’s it have to be so lame this time of year? Nothing good on the boob tube, nothing good in magazines, too hot to go out, don’t have the attention span to read a substantive book, don’t want to work, don’t want to play, miss my friends, just want to whine and whinge and be a boogarhead in general.

I feel like a kid … I want to follow my Mom around the house, lamenting my boredom but completely unwilling to take her up on any suggested activities, “that’s so stupid”, “nobody does that anymore”, blah, blah, blah, blibiddy-blah.

What am I, eight? Got to get out of this funk.

Part of it has been work, which has been difficult lately (prolly why they don’t call it “Chocolate Thunder from Down Under” or “happy fun time”, no?) … I’ve been betrayed by my own expectations. This was the first job I’ve had in a long-and-long time that I really and truly enjoyed, but that all changed and it’s been a long, uphill battle to regain my footing.

I was severely sabotaged by a horrible troll of a barely-passes-as human miserable wench (I’m trying to clean up my language), and my boss has finally started making noises that he may have been misled. Really? Really. Sigh. Because obvious hard work and dedication are such suspicious behaviors.

So I’m re-thinking my options; coming up with a plan, as it were.

Part of the silver lining to this cloud is my Most Awesome Bastard Ray Doc has determined I am vitamin d3 deficient, and started me on 50,000IU/week. So I looked up vitamin d3 deficiency and found out these are the symptoms:
  • depression and/or seasonal affective disorder (hmm)
  • fatigue (well, duh)
  • diminished cognitive function and/or memory loss, (not touching that)
  • auto-immune disease and/or immunodifiencies (as if that Bastard Ray's methotrexate wasn't problem enough)
  • increased susceptibility to chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, tuberculosis, cancer, periodontal disease, multiple sclerosis, etc. (since we are of the opinion a massive periodontal infection opened to door to that Bastard Ray ...)

I start my weekly supplement tomorrow, thereby increasing the number of Bastard Ray related meds from three to four. I tell you, I cannot wait for this to kick in. Knowing my grrrr-arrrgh attitude may not be entirely my doing does make it somewhat easier to bear.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wicked Awesome Poem Wednesday

Funeral Blues

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crêpe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

-W. H. Auden

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Upcoming Bummer, Dead Ahead

I stopped by the vet's tonight after work, to discuss my Joey, who at 11 lbs is now exactly half his former 22 lb self.

The deal now is that my boy is basically starving to death. I'm not starving him, oh no! His all-but-defunct thyroid is keeping him from maintaining (let alone gaining) weight.

And since he's got maybe four itty-bitty teeth left in his entire maw, he's on a soft food diet (which he loves, but with which he grows a mite bored).

His regular catch is Prescription k/d, and his treat is Gerbers baby food (the meat ... right now it's chicken he likes). All of which is slightly to the right of ex-puh-hen-sive ... but worth it for my guy.

Last night was the first really rough night he's had (he snuggled right up into my armpit and talked at me all night), but I don't know whether it was due to the incredibly loud thunder-boomers all night (bad weather never seemed to bother him before), or something to do with his coming to the end of the road. My decision now is what to do and when.

As far as I can tell he's in no pain, but I have to pay close attention, because cats hide pain well. The real signs are (of course) his weight (plummeting), food consumption (little to moderate), stools (depends on how much he eats, but healthy and firm) ... hey, you're the one who's decided to continue reading this ... sleep habits (pretty much all the time), socialization (when he's awake he's super lovey-dovey and absolutely must be in the same room as me, but ignores his feline/canine community, to their great dismay), vocalization (as of yesterday: non-stop when he's awake), and motor skills.

It's the motor skills that have now been impacted; just a couple times, but still. He can climb the bed and the sofa, but that's because he uses his claws as pitons and just velcros his way up. He can also jump down from said furniture no worries. Where he has a problem is when he shakes his head ... then his hind legs splay out and one of them seems to weaken enough that his rear end starts to collapse.

He's sort of been catching himself before he sits completely down, though ... and his front end is steady as a rock. If it didn't bum me out so much it would be kind of cute the way he turns around and stares at his rear, as if to say, "What happened there?"

So anyway ... the vet. They're going to give me a sedative to administer to Joey before I bring him in; Jo-B-Jo does not enjoy the car or the vet, which somehow seem to always go hand-in-hand in his experience, and (now I know I'm anthropomorphizing here) I don't want the last thing I ever do with him to be this big traumatic thing for him, you know? It will be bad enough for me.

But I can't just keep hanging on to him for my sake; it's a very fine line between his quality of life and my emotional needs, because I'm fairly sure I'm the same as half a million others owned by their pets ... we're not exactly the best at determining when it is not only fitting but appropriate to let our little guy go gently into that good night.

And yes, I know that "in the wild" he'd already be long gone, but he's not in the wild (duh) so that's a particularly stupid argument/moot point. As an added tension, I have vacation coming up and it seems particularly cruel to leave the responsibility of caring for a terminal eldercat with the house/pet-sitter ... I'd feel horrible if he passed on them while I was away, and they would, too, thinking they somehow did something wrong.

Sigh. So I'm bummed. I've pretty much made up my mind that I'm going to have Joey put down sometime in the next week or so, and I feel like a rat. I've had him seventeen years ... I honestly cannot remember a time without Joey (yes, I know ... that's more a sign of my age than his!). This is emotionally agonizing.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Someone's Trying to Tell Me Something 'Bout My Driving

I just had to share that my drive into the plant this morning was the scariest commute I’ve made, ever ... bar none; I believe I fully experienced every type of rain there is. At one point an arc may have surfed past!

We started out in my sunny neighborhood (but I luckily watched the news before I left and kept the girls inside, or they’d have been fluff-dogs by the time I got home … again), then edged over into gloomy the next town over.

By the time I got near Arrowhead I couldn’t see the car in front of me. Not so bad, but the speed with which road conditions changed was shocking! We went from drizzle to category five hurricane in a flash. One second I could see the car in front of me (about four lengths ahead) … then nothing. So I let up on the gas (being disinclined to brake because I don’t enjoy the perceived lack-of-control of the ABS), then let up some more, and kept letting up until I was traipsing along at about 35 mph. I could almost see the headlights of the car behind me in my rearview mirror, but pretty much everything else was shades of gray with obscured visibility due to the windshield wipers being completely overpowered by the rain.

I could juuuust barely make out the lighting rig on the semi two lanes to the right of me, so I just matched speed with it (but really, it could have been a low flying blimp for all I knew). My mindset at that point something like I imagine a yachter’s in the middle of the ocean, on a moonless night, trying to keep track of the whale pacing along next to her tiny little sailboat.

Part of my problem was the noise, too. It sounded like the finale of a drummer’s competition, where they all get together and BAM! Show us what they got.

Anyway, this horror show only lasted a few miles, then turned right back into regular rain. But I find it hard to put into works just how frightening it was to experience such a sudden gray-out. Prolly made it worse because I watched Ice Road Truckers last night and … whoa, nelly! … they have some situations with which to contend! All I’m saying is my imagination may have run wild.

A little.

Okay, a lot. But still.

Then, on the way home from the plant tonight, at the exact same location I got my speeding ticket back in January (ahem … say it … you know you want to!), I came right up on a multiple vehicle accident. And not just a fender-bender either. A quick glance ascertained (quick glance because I’m not into rubber-necking … Heaven forfend I ever do and see some poor schmucks arm lying by the roadside … ickpoo) smashed vehicles in all three lanes and debris all over the road.

So I maneuvered my way through and dialed 911 on my cell. 911 was busy (actually felt good about that, because I figured they were fielding the 911 calls of everyone else driving by) … I gave my info when it was my turn (she actually had clarifying questions … how cool!), and kept on for home.

Now I have to be good and admit the accident has had a much greater impact on my future driving habits through that area than my speeding ticket back in January.

Yes, I am that big a chucklehead!

Yep, That's Me ... Hypocrite!

For someone who claims not to like reality programming I sure do come down on the wrong side of the I-only-like-the-classy-one argument … I mean, I bloomin’ love I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!

I’ve been waiting what feels like years for this to be on … last time I watched the dude who was married to J Lo for like a minute won it.

And this year has me laughing out loud repeatedly. That former model chick? Cuh-ray-zee! And not … no …no …NO not … in a good way. I’d need Dr. Drew to diagnose that hot mess, but I’m thinking some form of narcissism is a check-list must-have.

And the Baldwin brothers? Awesome! I have loved Daniel Baldwin since he was on Homicide; Life on the Street, and am sorely miffed that he was voted off . When he and Stephen erupted in giggles over the repeated phrase “Where’s the granola bar?” I chortled in glee right along with them ... it snapped me back to my youth with my two big brothers getting all goofy like that. Ah, family … too fun and too funny! And the Baldwins are normal!

Then there’s Patti Blagojevich, who’s been nothing but a class act so far, which, I have to admit, now has me thinking second thoughts about her hubby’s troubles. Not that that’s such a stretch for me … what with my huge mistrust of the (exceedingly biased) media these days, who pretty much control all thought world-wide by proliferating whatever they want, information-wise.

And young Sanjaya Malakar, who was on American Idol one of the seasons before I started watching, and became a national joke footnote? Turns out to be this really, really, really sweet and goofy kid. Who’d have thought? Not me.

And Speidi (ho boy!) was just so young and clueless as to be completely inoffensive … it’s like blaming the two-year-old for going through the terrible twos ... these kids are a perfect example of youth being a currency only the young can waste.

Not being into wrestling or basketball, I’d never heard of Torrie Wilson or John Salley, but they’ve been entertaining thus far, and seem nice enough people (I mean, I know the show is edited, but these guys must be exhausted and stressed out, and no-one … besides Miss Half-a-Nutbag … has gone too far down Crazy Lane to date).

Which brings me to Lou. How can you not love Lou? He was Richie Valenz, and Angel Guzman, and Jose Chavez y Chavez, and Hank (in one of my favorite guilty pleasures to this day), and Monfriez, and Cisco, and George Lopez! And he is … every so often … Agent Ian Edgerton … aaaaaaaaand … I hear he has a part in the new Stargate, and you know how much I love me some Stargate!

So I’ll just keep on watching my latest guilty pleasure from the comfort of my air-conditioned home while these most entertaining folk suffer for my enjoyment (that’s half the draw, isn’t it?). At the end of it all, the fact they’re doing this for charity is pretty darn cool, and excessively decent of them. Rock on, celebrity B-listers!

Friday, June 12, 2009

I’ve Reached My Limit …

... on this topic of discussion; so let me once and for all clarify where I stand so we can move on with our lives.

I don’t care who you want to marry, so long as: 1) he or she wants to marry you; 2) you’re both consenting adults; 3) neither of you are being forced or coerced in any way; 4) you’re both of sound mind; 5) you both pay your taxes and are responsible members of the community; and 6) … and this is very important … I don’t have to hear the details of your sex lives ad-nauseum.

Yes, I understand the definition of “marriage” includes verbiage around the act of joining a man and a woman in an official capacity as husband and wife, but it also includes verbiage around formalizing an agreement between two enterprises to combine operations, without the qualifier that said enterprises need be opposites in any way, shape, or form. So no, I don’t see the need to change the definition of a word that has been in use for centuries.

Moving along to civil unions vs. religious unions, I have to say, “What the fuck, people?”
One of the main doctrines governing the United States is the separation of church and state (e.g., a secular government, meaning non-religious, and the freedom to practice the religion of your choice, meaning you’re not forced to practice any religion, let alone any particular religion).

So I have to ask, why not choose your battle wisely and get the state recognition first? I suspect the organized religions will follow; they most often do. Sure, right now there are some that will not allow for same-sex marriages. What do you care? Why would you want to be a member of an organization that doesn’t want you, anyway? Go start your own! Henry VII did it (sort of), and the United Kingdom didn’t fall into the ocean in a sea of bubbling fire.

Here’s what I think: God doesn’t care. He just loves us all and wants us to figure it out on our own.

I’m not trying to insult you, I am simply tired of the debate and the (forced upon me) need to justify my position. You know what? I just plain do not care. You gays want to marry? Big deal. I want to know if you’re still going to pay into the economy, because we could really use that influx of cold, hard cash right about now. I mean, seriously, do people have any idea the wealth you gays represent? Damn.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Boston, You're My Town!

I just got this wicked pissah email, I was reading down cella, while sipping my cabinet.

Going to college in Boston? "Mary-mutha-ah-gawd, you gotta be wicked smaht!"

But we bet you don't know some things. Like, what's a three decka? A packie? How about a rotary? Ever banged a U-ey? Worn dungarees or ordered a frappe? Even a Rhodes scholar would have a tough time deciphering the language Boston calls its own.

"New Englanders have had a long and strong tradition of eccentric ways of expressing themselves, especially in Boston," said Boston University Linguistics professor Michael Feldman. "It's very distinctive."

Indeed ~ and we'd have a pissah time tryin' to stump ya, then make fun a ya behindja back ... but that's wicked mean. Instead, here's a little primer to take with you on the T, while you're on the Common or in the Gahden, maybe catchin' a Pats game or sipping a regulah coffee at Dunkies.

American Chop Suey ~ Found in school cafeterias, this delightful dish doesn't resemble anything American or Chinese. It's macaroni with meat and tomato sauce. (and no one can make it like my Nam!)

Bangin' a U-ey ~ This is what you do while driving after you miss a turn and you have to turn around.

Book it ~ To hightail someplace, as in, "I better book it to Stah Mahket before it closes."

Bubblah ~ Spelled "bubbler", it's a water fountain.

Der ~ An interjection indicating disdain for someone else's stupidity, as in, "The old Gahden was way betta than the Fleet! Der!"

Down Cella ~ The basement. As in; "run down cella and get me a dishtowel outta the drya." Derived from "upstayuhs".

Dungarees ~ Jeans. Hardly heard anymore, unless you're at some sort of senior citizens event. (or almost anywhere in MA/RI with folk over 50)

Frappe ~ What the rest of the nation calls a milkshake. But in Boston, a milkshake is just flavored milk; no ice cream allowed. And don’ even get me stahted on a cabinet!

Fried and Bizaah ~ Weird. "That dude is wicked fried." "Yah, he's totally bizaah."

Fudge-icle ~ To the rest of the world, a frozen chocolate pop is a Fudgesicle, but in Boston, the 's' is silent.

Hermits and Black 'n Whites ~ Cookies. A hermit is a molasses and raisin bar. Black 'n Whites, known anywhere else as "half moons" or "half and halfs", are round, cakelike cookies with chocolate frosting on one half, vanilla on the other.

Jimmies ~ Sprinkles you put on ice cream, usually chocolate. (the best on an ice cream cone!)

Packie ~ Liquor Store. You'll have to make a packie run if you want a kegga (keg party.)

Pissah ~ Good.

Rotary ~ traffic circle. And in Massachusetts, those in the rotary have the right of way. (as it flippin' should be ... think about it!)

Scrod ~ a generic name for white fish. We think it's cod, but no one's sure. Usually breaded and laden with butter.

So Don't I / So Aren't I ~ So do I, So am I. "I have tickets to Aerosmith tonight." "Oh my Gawd, so don't I!" "No Suh!" "Yah huh." "Wicked Pissa!"

Three Decker ~ Pronounced "three decka", it's a three story house in which each story is a separate apartment.

A Time ~ A party. "We're going to a time for Sully at McGuire's."

Tonic ~ Soda.

Wicked ~ Extremely. "Nomaaah's a wicked good baseball playa." (of course, we're really not supposed to use that traitor Garciaparra as an example anymore ...)

Yah Huh and No Suh ~ Yes and no. Usually heard during an intense conversation. "I saw Mickey at Castle Island and he was with another girl." "No SUH!" "Yah huh."

Other tips:

  • Don't say COPEly Square, it's COPley.
  • Worcester isn't WOOster, it's Wisstah.
  • Say Commonwealth Avenue, Massachusetts Avenue or Dorchester Avenue and you'll get pinched. It's Comm. Ave, Mass. Ave and Dot. Ave.

BOSTONIANS!!! . . . . ya gotta love 'em!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Can't Help It, Still Giggling

Looks Like a Man, Only Not

This week it’s supposed to be rain, rain, rain for days … but, since the weather in MO is way similar to the weather in RI (Don’t like it? Wait a minute!), I have this mistrusting lack of faith in Gary Lezak and his brethren. I listen to Boogie.

If the Bear doesn't want to come in from the dog run when I leave for work, then she must know something, so I let the girls stay outside.

Huge FAIL yesterday! Her little weather radar must have been all out of whack because by 10am it was an earth-shattering-thunder-rumbling-lightening-crashing-pitch-black-deluge … and that was at the plant, an hour West of home. So I pulled up the local radar from my office and, sure as shit, there was a big honking storm right over my house as well. Sigh. My poor girls. All I could picture was the two of them huddled on the concrete pad outside the basement door under the deck, wet and miserable and really unhappy with me. Also about two inches bigger all the way around because when they get wet, they PUFF UP. Poor little rain-soaked puppies … and it’s not like the rain let up. At. All.

It rained like stink the entire day … I drove home in it, but in one of those frequent practical jokes of Mother Nature the sun came out about two miles from home. So, of course I left the girls outside for another couple hours to dry off. By the time I let them in they were curly-haired fluffballs covered in mud.

Needless to say, this morning, even though it looked nice out, they came right in when I left for work. And needless to say, no rain all day. Sheesh.

Remember our awesome vendor that I love (small business owner, bends over backwards to get us what we need, like, yesterday)? Well, he has a contract to clean out a warehouse over in the West Bottoms for the bank, which foreclosed on the owner, who defaulted on the loan.

As a complete aside, I often wonder why it is that when I drive through the West Bottoms on my daily commute it always smells strongly of something awesome, but generally unrelated. Could be food (coffee, steak and fries, bacon and eggs, muffins), could be fragrance (jasmine, rain), could be clean laundry, cut grass, rain forest, studmuffins (just checking that you're paying attention). I discovered the origin of the great food smells yesterday … there’s a Waffle House tucked up under the viaduct! If they taste even half as good as they smell, they must be the busiest place in town. Okay, back to the story …

Normally I’d feel bad for the owner who lost his building, but check out this scumbag; he deserves to be kicked in the ass by karma. He used the warehouse as storage space for various businesses, so our vendor is going to have an open house to try to get rid of whatever he can (the bank can’t put the building up for sale until its empty, and right now it’s four floors of ... um ... stuff). Our vendor wanted to know if we wanted any of the stainless steel equipment, trolleys, lockers, office supplies, etcetera for the plant.

We go over with him to take a quick look around to see of there’s anything salvageable, and that’s when we discover what an assbucket the building owner really was. That place was chock full of not only business storage (a couple radio stations and boutiques, etc.), but many, many different folks worldly and household possessions. I’m talking furniture, photos, paperwork … entire households. Four stories worth. At first I thought the owner must have picked stuff up at estate sales, but the flavor was all wrong. There were items from all ages and walks of life. It looked like people’s moving vans had gotten lost between their old homes and their new ones. If the place had been set up neatly, it could have looked like a massive consignment shop. But it wasn’t neat.

It was a shithouse wreck, but that was all due to the owner. According to the bank, once he knew the jig was up, he took the final three months before the bank took possession to ransack these people’s belongings and steal anything and everything of value. None of it was arranged in any way, shape, or form anymore. He meticulously went through each and every box on all four floors and took everything he wanted and flung the rest wherever he felt like it.

The first floor was mostly business storage … until we got to the back section, which was the only place in the entire building that leaked. So that is where assbucket moved all the valuable furnishing he couldn’t steal (apparently if he couldn’t have them, neither could anyone else). We’re talking formerly beautiful woodwork, upright pianos, hutches, you name it.

On the second floor was more business stuff and some residential stuff … strewn to hither and yon. The rest was residential items, with a lot of the furnishings still wrapped for transit. The third floor had a HUGE pile in the middle running the entire length of the building, where he threw the cartons as soon as he had plundered them.

It was like an above-ground rabbit warren, with towering tunnels of furnishings and belongings we had to backtrack through because they dead-ended once he’d thrown the stuff too high. There was even one area where it was impressive how high he’d been able to chuck recliners. Top of the heap, as it were.

Then he set off the sprinkler system and flooded the basement … so now the whole place stinks to the rafters or musty mold and mildew. Douchenozzle seems a fitting term for this guy.

By the time we left we were so depressed it was ridiculous. And itchy. Felt like we had chiggers from top to bottom. Decided it was something in the dust. Not comfortable at all. We also came up with a working theory: we’ve decided he’s one of those soulless wastes of skin who scam families that are moving. You know, estimate the move to be $800, then refuse to release the belongings until the movees come up with additional thousands. We have no actual facts, we just feel since he’s obviously such a feckless dick, that line of work must have been right up his alley.

But Lisa, why isn’t the bank trying to reunite these belongings with their rightful owners, you ask? Guess. Yep, assbucket did away with any recordkeeping he may have had. There’s no way to tell who owns any of it (well, actually, we figured out a couple of the radio stations), or where in the country they may be.

Vendor will advertise the open house, but can’t put specifics, so even if someone who’d been scammed by this prick were to see the ad, s/he wouldn’t know it was his/her stuff. I really, really want what goes around to come around for this guy in the worst way, you know?

Enough of that … on a completely different note: if there’s a Jimmy John’s (www.jimmyjohns.com) located anywhere within driving distance of you, next time you’re in the mood for subs/grinders/hoagies, get the #12 Beach Club. Mmm, nom-nom. “Fresh baked turkey breast, provolone cheese, avocado spread, sliced cucumber, sprouts, lettuce, tomato, and mayo." Holy guacamole, Batman, that sammich is da BOMB!

Wicked Awesome Poem Wednesday

I Knew a Man by Sight

I knew a man by sight,
A blameless wight,
Who, for a year or more,
Had daily passed my door,
Yet converse none had had with him.

I met him in a lane,
Him and his cane,
About three miles from home,
Where I had chanced to roam,
And volumes stared at him, and he at me.

In a more distant place
I glimpsed his face,
And bowed instinctively;
Starting he bowed to me,
Bowed simultaneously, and passed along.

Next, in a foreign land
I grasped his hand,
And had a social chat,
About this thing and that,
As I had known him well a thousand years.

Late in a wilderness
I shared his mess,
For he had hardships seen,
And I a wanderer been;
He was my bosom friend, and I was his.

And as, methinks, shall all,
Both great and small,
That ever lived on earth,
Early or late their birth,
Stranger and foe, one day each other know.

-Henry David Thoreau

Friday, June 5, 2009

... yawn ... Killer Week

I'll tell you, that complete lack of sleep last weekend set me up for one hellacious week I've just barely survived. In case you don't recall, I spent last Saturday sleeping the sleep of the (almost) dead, but ended up sleeping nary another wink until (very late) Sunday, and it's been a looooong, sloooow, downhill slide into sleep deprivation since.
I can hardly see straight and have been ... all week ... yawning the big, hearing-impairing yawns that result in eyes squinched shut tight, squeezing tears out between the lids anyway; mouth gaping wide open, unable to close, making horrendous Ben-from-Grizzly-Adams noises; head shaking to snap out of it; flubbering like a horse. I just did it three times while typing that line!
Anyway, got the car washed on the way home from work this afternoon and the brakes decided to play the old "we're really slick!" game with me. Normally not a problem, but have I mentioned I'm flippin' tired? Well, I am. That was a fun few moments, not. Thought I was gonna RAM the guy in front of me before I came to a stop. So then I looked like a driving novice as I revved/braked for the next 100 feet or so to dry out the brakes.
Got home, and neighbors have gotten together for a multi-household garage sale (what they call yard sales out here). They have an old Army jeep I am desperately in love with, but want $3k for (no way!) ... but I covet it, yes I do, sitting out there in front of the house on it's own little flatbed trailer. Calling to me. Dadnappit.
Earlier this week I got a huge check from Allstate, which led me to believe someone over there completely fucked up my homeowners insurance changes. Called the mortgage company and, yes, they did. Glad I was suspicious and didn't just cash the check. Have to send it in to Chase to apply to my escrow account. Fastest big check I've never spent in my life. Mer.
And I had my quarterly check-up Monday, the one with a physical and bloodwork to check that all's well in Lisa Land. (Expletive deleted) new tech looks up at me and flatly states, "I'm closed."
To which I replied, "No, you really aren't." Don't know what she was expecting, but I had just spent the last 5 minutes listening to her bitch to the patient before me about her hours, and I was in no mood.
So she then tells me, "But I'll take care of you, I won't make you come in again." To which I thought-replied, "You bet your sweet ass you will." Thought-replied because I may be surly when I'm tired, but I'm no fool.
Well, anyway ... usually the way this works is I get a call the next day telling me everything's fine and to continue on with my Bastard Ray regimen. This time, for the second time in a row, I get the message to call the doctor's office. Shit! This was old last time! Doan wanna do it agin. Grumble, grumble, mer, mer, whine.
I call the doctor's office (you may recall last time it was not scary bad news, just a change in plans), and they tell me (expletive deleted) tech screwed up my tests and I have to go back in to do it again after all.
First thought? Bitch did that on purpose. Second thought? Hope she got fired! Third thought? No I don't, that's just plain mean.
So tonight I'm catching up on recorded stuff I haven't watched yet:
Saw a great documentary called "A Man Named Pearl" about Mr. Pearl Fryar of Bishopville, SC, and his fantasmagorically awesome topiary garden, and am still a bit speechless in my awe of the man. Please rent this or Netflix it or whatever. Mr. Fryar is a truly imressive man, although he'd prolly think that description as off the mark. Wow. Just watch it, or Google him. I can't do him justice, but I want to shake his hand.
Then, I watched a bit of fluff called "Maneater" - worth it just for Gregory Harrison's heartwrenching funeral speech at the end, which had me in tears and introduced me to my new favorite Ray LaMontagne song (how did I not know about this one?): "A Falling Through". Of course, I have to qualify that with the assertion that I am sleep-deprived, people; which is when I turn into a big ball of waaah for anything even remotely happy, or sad, or haunting, or beautiful, etc.
Then I caught the latest of "The Unusuals" and it only confirmed I have every reason to be heartily pissed this gem with an effing lame name has been cancelled. What a terrific cast! What an aggravation they've gone and canceled it!
Aaaaand I finally got my act together and left a key to the back yard dog run for the lawn guys, who came in and beautified it yesterday (well, technically day before yesterday now). The dog-poo guys came by today (technically yesterday) and apparently are so happy my own little topiary-from-hell experiment is over that they felt the need to actually leave a note that said, among other things, "Thumbs up on the back yard!" Now maybe my neighbors will actually speak to me instead of looking daggers at me every chance they get.
I'm quite chuffed ... it was perfect timing for the big yard sales the other neighbors have going on ... I don't have even a smidgen of guilt that my yard is stinking up their works. Yay!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Wicked Awesome Poem Wednesday

Sea Fever

I must down to the seas again,
to the lonely sea and the sky
and all I ask is a tall ship,
and a star to steer her by;

And the wheel's kick and the wind's song
and the white sails shaking,
And the grey mist in the sea's face,
and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again,
for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call
that may not be denied;

And all I ask is a windy day
with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume,
and the seagulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again,
to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way
where the wind's like a whetted knife

And all I ask is a merry yarn
From a laughing fellow rover,
and quiet sleep and a sweet dream
when ere the long trip's over

-John Masefield
Blog Widget by LinkWithin