Friday, July 31, 2009
Most likely a flour, though, seeing as we have two new ones at the plant, and I've been sneezing non-stop (only at the plant, though - thank goodness!) for two days straight.
And it's not like I have a delicate little "chew! chew! chew!" sneeze, oh no! I have a rowdy crowd-pleasin' "Rah-ah-ah-AH-CHOO! RAH-CHOO! CHOO!" sort of sneeze.
They're taking bets, people ... so not fair.
Mer. Gonna make it tough to concentrate.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
I had to DVR Deadliest Catch because I had a work timeline that was due today, so everything got taped the past couple days.
Anyway ... I just watched the episode, and wouldn't you know right at the end there they had Larry Ryser, Deck Boss (and poet) on the Incentive reciting this beauty ... so I overwrote my original "Wicked Awesome Poem Wednesday" from yesterday with the one he recited.
I love it. Love it! Go back to yesterday's WAPW and read it. Go on. Now.
You'll love it, too.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
- The Example He's Setting
- How Not to Help
On the "example", I'm talking about President Obama. There are these actions he's taken (I want to say lately, but they're really just the latest), and I find them increasingly disturbing:
FIRST he attempts to ramrod various programs and bills through Congress (e.g., health care/cap & tax), going so far as to threaten to effectively shut down our federal governmental processes if he doesn't get his way. The federal govermental processes of the United States, people!
SECOND he purposely fans the flames of national racial debate by calling PRESIDENTIAL attention to what is essentially a local issue of a man, of some political clout, who refuses to hold himself accountable and accept responsibility for his own indelicate and indiscriminate actions. The President, people!
NOW he has the nerve to accuse political detractors of engaging in "petty politics" while placing blame directly on Congress for maintaining the healthcare crisis. Congress, people!
Yep. Exactly the example I want the leader of the Greatest Country on Earth to set.
On "helping", here's the gist of a recent e-mail I read, advising of upcoming changes.
In effect a new position has been created (yay!). At the same time the duties of an existing position will be split between some other ... existing ... positions ... in order to make room, organizationally, for the new position.
With you so far.
And we'll be working to help the ... uh, seceding ... existing position holder find a new ... er, job ... over the next little while.
Wow. Is it just me, or is this a preeeetty effective way to damn any chances the incumbant has to get a lateral move anywhere within the confines of the recipients of that e-mail? I mean, if that person was actually wanted, the author'd have just said something along the lines that effective such-and-such a date, so-and-so's new job title and responsibilities would be X, while his/her old responsibilities would then be split between Y, Z, and A.
Or am I being way too negative?
On the one hand, maybe the author was trying to let everyone know this great person was coming up available soon, so they'd better snatch him/her up while they have the chance (very naive, but plausable); but on the other hand, it certainly appears the author has absolutely no use for this person and doesn't want to be even remotely responsible for saddling anyone else with him/her. Especially since the tract ended with the standard get-in-touch-if-you-have-any-questions-or-require-clarification.
Er, yeah ... you were preeeeetty clear.
I fished a place where the hours are long;
I fished a place where you spend countless hours
I fished a place where the weather can turn
I love this place
Monday, July 27, 2009
Sunday, July 26, 2009
- Strange dog being walked on our street
- Strange dog running around loose in the neighborhood
- Utility people reading the meters (they walk through the yards)
- Kids cutting through the yard to the back neighborhood
- As a signal they want to come in … now
They also have this howling thing they do on occasion, but I don’t know why, or even if they start it … I just know it becomes a neighborhood chorus of many dogs when it happens, but it doesn’t last long (and sounds kind of cool).
They do not, however, walk out the door and bark. And bark. And bark. At a blade of grass, at a fence, at the neighbors (enjoying their backyards), at the cars driving by, at the wind, etc. They just don’t.
And, of course, Lonnie was here for days before I realized he barked at all, and another couple before I figured out the dog that was constantly barking was him. His people told me he doesn’t like to be outside (whereas my girls are out every minute that I’ll let them) but that turned out not to be true … he loves to be with the girls, so I’ll leave them all out from 6am ‘til 7am, then again from 5pm ‘til bedtime. Lonnie stays inside while I’m at work, though, because I don’t know whether he can handle the midday heat, so I want to be home when he’s out.
So anyway, I realized he barked after he’d been here a few days, and thought it was because he was having fun with Kaia and Boogie … but a couple days after that I realized the really annoying dog next neighborhood over who barked absolutely non-stop was in effect Lonnie, in my backyard.
He barks constantly, but has this super-muffled bark that seems to come from far away. I have to actually look at him to confirm that really is him … it’s very muffled, and deep … hard to explain; it’s weird, but totally cool. When the girls bark there is absolutely no mistaking it … sounds like they’re standing right next to you, even though there’s a wall between you.
So anyway, I make my grand discovery and determine to not leave Lonnie outside without supervision anymore (although it doesn’t bother me, I am well aware that for many people a dog barking is as annoying as fingernails on a chalkboard) … all I have to do is say his name and he stops barking. I don’t want to upset the neighbors.
So I implement my Lonnie diligence: he starts to bark at my neighbor out gardening, I go and call him in … at which time neighbor says (in an I-am-not-even-attempting-to-hide-my-annoyance voice), “Thank you.” I feel like dirt; I apologize and explain he’s only temporary and will be leaving the 2nd, blah, blah, blah, blibbity blah.
Now I’m totally on watch; the rest of that night I’m on Lonnie like white on rice … he even looks like he’s drawing a deep breath and I’m there. Next morning I left him out with the girls while I grabbed my shower, and knew it was a mistake as soon as I stepped out … wouldn’t you know all three of them had set up an awful ruckus? But since the girls were in on it, I knew they were barking at someone, and turns out I was right; they were barking at whichever lovely “neighbor” smashed my birdfeeder in the street and moved a neighbor’s “For Sale” sign to in front my house (that part was actually funny) and dumped a couple other neighbors full trash bins all over their front yards (it was trash day).
My first thought was that a dog had hit the trash cans and my birdfeeder … but no dog I know of can move a 'for sale' sign! Moving that sign, by the way? Still funny!
So, I’m kind of bummed, though … bummed about my birdfeeder, which is the first I ever got and was not cheap and was the bird’s favorite … bummed that when I replace it someone will damage the new one … bummed that if this was some kind of misguided retribution because a visiting dog barked for a week, then that means I have at least one assbucket “neighbor” who can’t even man-up enough to complain to me in person … and bummed that it bothers me this much.
It’s like that time a few years ago when I extended my Summer vacation by a week and my lawn wasn’t mowed while I was away due to miscommunication, and I received a letter from the Police the day after I got back (about three hours after I had finished mowing the field … er, lawn) detailing how I was in violation of ordinance yadda yadda yadda and a neighbor had notified the police and really?!?! No are-you-lying-comatose-in-your-kitchen, is-there-anything-we-can-do-to-help, are-you-okay?!?! Just your-grass-is-too-high-you’re-destroying-my-property-value-quit-it?!?!
And the notice made the mistake of detailing exactly how high was too high, so I determined for the rest of that Summer to keep it one inch shy of too high (because you asked for it, assbucket neighbor!) … but couldn’t figure out how to do it, so they skated on that bit of retaliation on my part (although I did only mow every three weeks the rest of that Summer, ostensibly to keep the grass from turning brown and dry as long as possible, but kind of really to thumb my nose at assbucket).
So here's my bad timing ... if I had realized it was Lonnie sooner, would our three houses still have been hit by whichever neighborhood punk was out at 6:30am last Thursday morning? I don't know, but I kind of think the dog barking was what little excuse the dirtbag needed. I can't believe how bad I feel the the birdies, because I won't be putting more seed out until after the 2nd, when Lonnie's people coem get him.
Now I'm going to go sit out on the deck with my three wards, and we're going to scope out the neighborhood (but we're not going to bark at anyone, lest we offend their tender little sensibilities).
Friday, July 24, 2009
ORIGIN OF NAME: 1988 movie "Willow" ... Kaia was the name of Willow's wife
STATUS: Sitting on my couch in the kitchen, awaiting an opportuniy to steal Boogie's "binky", the Purple Platypus.
BREED: Labrador Retriever
BIRTHDAY: March 14, 2003
ACTIVITIES: Following Boogie's lead (if I let her think she's the boss life is ever so much easier for everyone!), tail-wagging, convincing everyone I'm a "lapdog", notifying the nearby vicinity of all and sundry neighborhood activities, staring at Boogie like she has three heads when she starts barking at nothing (but TOTALLY joining in when Boogie starts howling ... we ... sound ... awesome!!), chasing Boogie in the rain, perfecting my she's-so-cute-lets-give-her-a-cookie look, getting so excited at the thought of taking a walk that I have to go pee, stealing rawhide chew-toys from Boogie when she's not looking ... in general, being awesome!
NAME: (Full Tilt) Boogie
ORIGIN OF NAME: Racing yacht in Newport, RI ... thoroughly describes her personality (either "on", or asleep)
STATUS: Laying under the kitchen table, slobbering all over my "binky", the Purple Platypus.
BREED: Labrador Retriever
BIRTHDAY: March 14, 2003
ACTIVITIES: Barking, tail-wagging, "cleaning" off the kitchen counter, notifying the nearby vicinity of all and sundry neighborhood activities, defending my demesnes against all invaders (who like to disguise themselves as neighborhood kids cutting through the yard, but I'M ON TO YOU!!), running in circles in the rain, rough-housing with my sister Kaia, baring my teeth at the leash (no, I do NOT want to go for a walk!), devouring rawhide chew-toys like I'll never eat again while ignoring a full bowl of food ... you know, stuff like that.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Or, “Why’s It Take So Long For the Delivery?” in a really, super-duper whiny voice.
So I have this list of stuff around the house for Dad to fix (or otherwise work on) next time he comes for a visit (because, yes … at the decidedly grown-up age of 44 I still need my Daddy!), including:
- Washing machine – it’s been knocking on spin a couple years now (somebody either overloaded or unbalanced loaded it).
- Overhead light in guest bathroom – fan part works, but not the light part (yes, even with a new bulb … I’m not that dim!).
- Automatic icemaker – leaks right into the fridge (well, not right now, but that’s only because I shut the water off … after Dad told me how).
- Ceiling fan – last one to replace is in the office (the one there now is from the ‘70’s … not really, but you get the picture), and put a light fixture on the one in the living room (I just plain love ceiling fans!).
- World map – have I mentioned how my completely, totally, perfectly awesome parents circumnavigated the world in their Hans Christian sailboat “Kemo Sabay” (mentioned, by the way, in Heyward Coleman’s memoir “The Next Port”)? No? Well they have! Left from the Chesapeake, went all the way ‘round to the left … er, West(ish, some East/South/North, too) … and came home to Newport Harbor? Took ten years, thereabouts, with a few trips back home to visit. Well, they gave us kids world maps with the route outlined to that point (about halfway), and I want the rest of their route added so I can frame that sucker and hang it high.
I also had the garbage disposal on the list, as it crapped out when the little-engine-that-no-longer-could burned out in late June … and at first I was all, “Oh, no!” but then I realized I don’t actually need a garbage disposal, so it was all good. But then I quickly discovered I just can’t wait ‘til October or so for Dad to come out and install another … that thing stinks!! Since the disposal outlet is about an inch high up on the garbage well wall, water just sits in there and stagnates. I’ve been pouring a half cup of bleach in every night after I do the dishes, but it still stinks, so I’ve ordered a replacement from Sears (where America shops) and they’ll be installing it as soon as it gets here and I can schedule it.
Which brings me to the title of this blog; seems when I go on a buying spree, I go on a buying spree! Not only do I have the garbage disposal coming from Sears, but I also have a new toaster (shorted that out in June … apparently June was a bad month for appliances in my kitchen … while attempting to clean out the crumbs), and a new blender (with a glass container, because the plastic one became a bit of a chew toy after it was left within easy reach of a certain someone who’s name rhymes with ‘oogie’).
But ordering from Sears wasn’t enough, oh no … I then went over to Amazon.com and comparison-shopped for a new George Foreman Grill!!! I’m very excited about the grill. If you’re a hater, I don’t want to hear it.
I loved my old GFG, but it was tiny, and a nightmare to clean … either had to clean it before eating supper, thus letting the food get cold (kind of defeating the purpose of cooking a hot meal) or reheat it after supper to get the gunk hot enough to clean off … but the parts weren’t removable, so I could never dunk it in the sink to really clean it.
Which is probably why Boogie really loved that thing. I’ll bet it smelled like every burger, brat, pork chop, and chicken breast ever cooked on it. She simply could not resist that day I left it on the counter … so I came home that night to a three-piece GFG that would never … ever … work again. Not such a big deal in the Winter months, but in the Summer? Whoa, Nellie! I don’t know about you, but I am absolutely loath to turn on the oven when I’m running the air conditioning … so it’s either replace the GFG or eat a lot of take out.
Now, my new GFG? It’s the G5 … it has six (SIX!!) take-outable (okay, “removable”) cookplates! Six! I can cook almost anything! The only problem I have with it is that its red, and all my kitchen appliances are white, but the white one was $50 more, so you know in the end I just fell in love with the red after all (snicker!).
Oh, and I also ordered “Coupling”. If you don’t know what “Coupling” is, you’ve missed out on some serious funny … Google it. Go ahead, Google it. I love BBC America, I truly do.
So c’mon Sears and Amazon! Get my stuff here soon!
Monday, July 20, 2009
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Just to give you an idea of how madly suspicious I can be, I’m going to fill you in on the Great Key Incident (which is technically still a Work-In-Progress):
I have a pretty extensive set of work keys, that grant me access to everywhere in the plant but two locations; because of this I have many, many staff requests throughout any given day to borrow my keys, access to which I by-and-large grant with no troubles. There are so many keys on this keychain that it is completely separate from my “real life” key chain (which itself is pretty full … I may be a key nut).
I have the outer access doors key, the office master key, the Security Room key, the PPE (personal protective equipment) key, the supply closet key, the locker room key, and the petty cash key, not to mention a myriad of filing cabinet keys, to name a few … but it’s the supply closet key that sees the most use from my key-borrowing staff. In general, if a staff member has cause to borrow my keys repeatedly, I simply authorize one of his/her own for him/her. So s/he will stop bugging me for mine at the most inopportune times (an “inopportune” time being any time s/he asks for it once s/he’s reached my patience limit).
So, a particular staff member, who shall henceforth be known as “Cuhrazy”, seems to absolutely delight in asking for my keys, almost daily, sometimes multiple times a day, right when I am in the midst of something that requires my full attention. I tend to signal the staff that I am working on something of this nature by closing my office door … and locking it … partially covering the window from the inside (so peepers have to stand on tippy-toe to see in) … scheduling the time as “busy” in my Outlook calendar … and sending all my calls to voicemail.
None of which seems to phase Cuhrazy in its quest for a pen, or folder, or staples, or any number of other office supply It simply must have, right now. Of course, this is the same It that inserts itself into any conversation involving it’s support staff, apparently of the erroneous opinion that just because they report to it, it has every right (It was recently reprimanded for accessing it’s people’s Outlook from their desks when they were elsewhere and not only reading through their e-mails, but forwarding some to itself and then holding disciplinary meetings with the "offending" employee … It was thoroughly spanked for that invasion of privacy, but you get my point: It is wildly inappropriate and lucky to still be employed).
So, Cuhrazy has been employed with us for a number of months now, and the rest of us have worked the kinks out of dealing with its oddities and personality quirks. I’ve been telling It for a few weeks now to get it’s own key (which I’ve already authorized), ostensibly so It won’t have to wait ‘til I’m available, but really to get It off my neck when I can’t afford the aggravation and wasted time). It has yet to do so.
Wednesday was the last straw. I had twice the work to do this week, having been on vacation the week before and not having a backfill, but It just had to have the keys. So I declined and sent it to Key Master for its own (Key Master's office being less than 30 feet down the hall). It grimaced, muttered under it’s breath, and harrumphed off.
A while later I watched as It harassed one of its support staff, then asked if It had had any trouble obtaining the key. It informed me it hadn’t yet (interesting, since it simply had to get into that supply closet badly enough to interrupt me … again … earlier). I offered to get the key for It from Key Master. It refused. Later in the day I checked with Key Master that It had gotten a key: yes. Good, all’s well that ends well. Except.
Except that when I was packing up to leave for the day my keys were gone. My keys that are stored throughout the day in my desk, and that only three people have ever removed without my express permission: 1) First Person, who has blanket approval to take them whenever needed (but who always lets me know anyway); 2) Second Person, who only took them once in an emergency and only then because Third Person assured her it was okay); and 3) Third Person, who happens to be Cuhrazy, and to whom I read the riot act when It lifted the keys without permission, and who knows never, never to do so again.
I know for a fact I had the keys that morning, I know I had them when It asked for them, I know they were gone after It was in a snit for not being allowed to use them. And yes, I suspect It took them.
So I sent a BOLO e-mail to all staff members for the keys, and spoke with the Sanitors to ensure if I did somehow drop them unbeknownst somewhere in the plant they’d be returned. And both Thursday and Friday Cuhrazy made it a point to smirk … er, ask … me, more than once, “Did you find your keys yet?”
Thursday afternoon, when I was grumbling to a colleague about the sitch, said colleague filled me in on some other It-induced shenanigans of which I wasn’t previously aware involving seemingly klepto tendencies and episodes of light-fingered-ness. Hmmm. Then It asked again if I’d found my keys yet … again (the "yet" is what really sets me off).
So, when Bossman came back from a business trip (forgot to mention that), I confirmed still no keys and asked if I needed to get some of the locks changed, and the conversation grew to include the entire story from my perspective (all he’d had prior to that was my general BOLO to staff) … and he asked me if it was my "gut feeling" that It took the keys. So I had a micro-second heart-to-heart with myself and said that if It did take them, then It was either stupid or evil … and that my gut feeling was that it was too much of a coincidence, so yes.
And Bossman then chuckled and informed me it wasn’t the first item that had come across his desk of this nature involving Cuhrazy. He said he’d jump on the e-mail to shake the tree and we’d see what fell out. And within five minutes of his RE e-mail, It came and asked if I’d found my keys ... yet … to which I replied, “It’s not have I found them yet, but rather has the person who took them returned them yet. And the answer is no.” Because I was far to the right of "peeved" by then.
Bitchy? Yes. Justified? Perhaps not. I had kind of expected them to be back in my desk at some point, with no one fessing up (we discovered during a review of the security footage that my end of the hall is currently off-line, natch). But here's the deal: unless someone says, straight to my face, that they had the keys and can provide a plausible explanation, I will continue to believe in my bones that this nutjob took them and is either toying with me or is just plain mental. Neither very enticing prospects, eh?
Thursday, July 16, 2009
The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long as I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth,
Then took the other as just as fair
And having perhaps the better claim;
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that, the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet, knowing how way leads onto way
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh,
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
And what a lovable fellow! Once Boogie and Kaia got over their nerves, all three started running and jumping and generally romping around chewing on one another like a box of puppies. I have to keep in mind Lang’s age and repeatedly reign in their shenanigans before someone (namely our houseguest) gets hurt. I’d hate to return him to his regular people in a bad way. I work with Lang’s “mom”, and she and his “dad” are overseas on vacation.
Lang is 9, and he’s a bit stiff and definitely has some hip dysplasia going on … so he requires a little extra care in that he can’t go up or down the deck stairs outside; to that effect we’ve been traipsing down the carpeted inside stairs (where he has some purchase) to the basement and using the ground floor door (this has required significant gutting up on my part, as the black hole betwixt the house door and the storm door is the Domain of the Big Honkin’ Lisa Eatin’ Spyderz).
Lang also gets 4 pills at supper, and three are huge, but I just drop them into his bowl and he eats everything (Lang’s eating habits have thrown a slight curveball, because I can’t leave the girl’s food out like I regularly do … he’d eat himself sick on it ... so they only get to eat when they’re outside, which right now is overnight due to the heat ... although the next 3-4 days they should be able to stay out all day, so they’ll be happy).
I was nervous at first, but he’s doing well … doesn’t know a gate signifies “no trespassing”, though, so walked right over it while I was at work today (and down to the bedroom where he ate the bowl of cat food that was out; I’ll have to shut Maddie & Joey in there tomorrow), then happily greeted me at the door when I got home this afternoon, sweeping his tail back and forth in a lazy arc… and repeatedly goes to the front door with his stuffy (green blob in pic) waiting on his people to return.
Last night was Lang’s first with us, and I was afraid he’d cause trouble at bedtime (he’s been shadowing me around the house like a giant cat ... Lang is much, much bigger than 88lb Boogie), when I gated him out of the bedroom so Maddie and Joey wouldn’t flip out … but he actually went out to the kitchen and lay down in front of the oven (not even on his bed) and slept through the night (as far I know). Didn’t even twitch at 4:30am when Boogie & Kaia went off full volume at my leaving-early-for-work-and-setting-out-the-trash neighbor.
The biggest change in my (non-existant) dog-care routine is that Lang is on a set schedule … the girls just generally do what they want, when they want … Lang has a breakfast time, a snack time, and a supper time. Plus three specific bathroom break times.
I’ve just discovered, for about the umpteenth time, that my girls spoil me with how low-maintenance they are. Heh, good girls!
Whatever you give a woman, she will make greater.
If you give her sperm, she'll give you a baby.
If you give her a house, she'll give you a home.
If you give her groceries, she'll give you a meal.
If you give her a smile, she'll give you her heart.
She multiplies and enlarges what is given to her.
So, if you give her any crap … be ready to receive a ton of shit!
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Yup, for sure. Case in point: last night
- Lights out at midnight.
- Up just after 1am: Maddie wants someone to put the pats on her. That someone being, oh, I don't know ... me! (this may occur up to three times a night, depending on Maddie's mood)
- Zonked out again, after removing Maddie claws from my forearm (not the result of kitty anger, rather of "nonnies" ... those of you with feline critters have no doubt experienced this phenomenon of simultaneous purring/shredding "love").
- Up around 4am: Joey's climbed onto my pillow, practically on top of my head, purring loudly (I consider this his "prep" to get up "for reals" around 5:40am, seeing as he does it every. single. night).
- Up "for reals" at 5:40am .... Joseph letting me know he's ready for his closeup ... er, breakfast ... now!
So, after yawning my way through only my second day at work back from vacation, and discussing the sitch wth Mom, the plan is to (gasp!) shut the critters out of the bedroom tonight and see what happens.
But I already know what's going to happen.
First, I'm going to forget to put something in front of the door, and both are going to sit immediately outside it and stick their clawed paws under it and try to puuuuull the door open that way.
Second, I'm going to stumble up out of my cozy nest and move the suitcase in front of the door.
Third ... and most important ... I'm going to get a full night's sleep!!! WOO HOO!! YEE HAW!!
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Back to me: arrived back in MO around 9pm last night after almost a full day of travel (RI to DC short leg, 3-hour layover, DC to MO long leg). Very tired! Read “Maneater” by Gigi Levangie Grazer in its entirety … pretty funny, laughed out loud more than a couple times … perfect airport travel and/or beach read … with that name, the author coulda, shoulda been any one of her Star Chamber.
The worst part of any vacation for me is the air travel, so of course it bookends all of them. As I get older, and more planes crash, I dread it more and more. I know take-offs and landings are the two most dangerous times, so grind through them in extreme agitation, concentrating on not hyperventilating while Machine Head runs through my mind, “breathe in, breathe out!” Thank you, Gavin Rossdale!
It prolly wouldn’t be so bad were I not a total control freak … if I were actually piloting the plane I’d be fine! Instead I have to stare straight ahead at the bulkhead toward the fore of the plane while my stomach clenches around whatever is in it. For someone who never got seasick in years of sailing as a child (and in some pretty rough weather at times) I’m a horrible motion-sickness sufferer in cars (unless I’m driving or have shotgun) and planes. Bleh. Anyway; survived just fine, par usual. But it’s when I get back to MO each time that I decide I’m driving the next time!
Brig, of course, was waiting at the gate, so we got my baggage and then I (quite selfishly) made her come to Walmart with me to restock on the way home so I wouldn’t have to go back today (I know myself well enough to know I ain’t leaving the house day after I get home from vacation!). Thus lengthening her day by an hour or so, because she still had to drive back to her house afterward … sorry, Brig!
The menagerie is extremely happy to see me (always most awesome!) and hasn’t let me out of site for more than a few minutes since last night. Joey’s eaten quite a few times, and the girls have been laying practically on my feet with their rawhide treats … even Maddie didn’t wait the usual requisite 24 hours before she deigned to “notice” my reappearance in her life.
Good to be home.
Now, about the picture below … in keeping with those from my blog on the 8th, this is the house I spent most of my childhood in. It looks much, much different these days. When it was ours it wasn't shingled, but rather was painted a light gray, with pale green garage and front doors and dark green trim everywhere else, and we had a beautiful Maple tree in front of the living room windows on the left. In fact, the living room windows were completely different (two large on top, two small push-out on the bottom). And although we did have the double driveway (natch, with the double garage), we didn't have the additional parking lot to the right (in fact, over there we had a lovely evergreen tree that eventually towered over the house) ... and we had bushes and other shrubbery along the right side of the house and under the front picture windows. Oh, and the shed in the backyard to the right wasn't there.
What I'm saying here is this house ... formerly my home ... was much better when we lived there! And I totally admit to being completely biased here. But I'm also right!
Friday, July 10, 2009
Hey, we do aim to please our audience!
We were all a bit tipsy after having cocktails and dinner at Persimmon, this spectacularly out-of-our-league Bristol restaurant to which we had a hefty gift certificate (what can I say? Friends are awesome!). We had:
- Passion fruit mojitos and gin martinis.
- House salad greens with crumbled blue cheese in a soy/vinaigrette.
- Cool cucumber and Jonah crab salad with citrus and young herbs.
- Mosaic of fresh melon, melon sorbets, coppa salumi, and calaminth.
- Pacific halibut filet crusted with Niçoise olives and fresh herbs, fresh-dug potatoes, greens and native vegetables, with tomato consommé.
- Grilled daycatch wolfish filet, sweet corn, squash and chanterelle mushroom ragout, light butter sauce with fresh tarragon.
- All natural young chicken cuit sous vide, stuffed morel mushrooms, potato purée, creamy mushroom emulsion with black garlic.
- Warm peanut and banana cake with banana ice cream, caramel and chocolate sauces.
- Yogurt and vanilla panna cotta with native mixed berries, berry sorbet and shortbread crumbs.
- House-made coffee ice cream with chocolate sauce.
Are you jealous yet? Because you should be!
Luckily Persimmon is just up the road from the ferry (e.g., within walking distance); we stumbled back to the Landing in time for the last ferry back to Prudence, during which we put on the show for our fellow travelers. Then got back to the house and promptly ordered up a PPV movie (Knowing), which we’ve been watching with giant bowls of vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce … apparently we need ice cream after fine dining and cocktails!!
But prior to all that, I had left the island on the 10:30am ferry to meet up with childhood friends I last saw for a couple hours 10 years ago, and not for at least 7 years prior to that (I’m saying “prior to that” a lot in this post!).
Although Jules had to leave early for her youngest daughter’s big softball tourney 100 miles away (an all weekend affair), Cathy and I were still gabbing out on her deck five hours later, when I had to leave to meet Mom and Dad for dinner.
Getting back in touch was wonderful! We talked about a hundred different things, but really just barely touched the surface of memories and current lives and blah, blah, blah, blibitty blah. I can’t get over how very much, yet very little, Julie and Cathy have changed! I can’t wait to see them again. Thank goodness for the internet, no? This way we can keep in touch easily until my next visit to the Northeast.
So I fly back out to MO tomorrow, then have Sunday as my last real day of vacation, then it’s back to the daily grind until January/February timeframe … vacation has accomplished all I needed it to: bring it on!
Now I have to get off the computer because a HUGE spider was stalking up and down the wall to my left and I’ve lost track of him and now must get kitted out for big game and go on a large-scale hunting expedition to rid my demesnes of his presence! Until then I’ll keep feeling imaginary somethings crawling across my feet, or up my legs, or around my neck and down my shoulders … eeeek!
Thursday, July 9, 2009
It’s been days of rest and relaxation, visiting with family I see once every year or so, exchanging gifts, watching movies, reading books, taking numerous pictures; in general reconnecting with my old self. I’d almost forgotten the sheer number of shades of blue and green to be found this time of year in Narragansett Bay … lovely!
And the temperature can be upwards of 30 degrees cooler here than in MO; it was so chilly today we only opened a couple windows and closed them before supper … meanwhile I worried that Brig left the girls outside back in MO, where the temps were supposed to have reached the low-to-mid 90’s. Not because Brig is in any way irresponsible, but rather because I really am that much of a worrywart (even when they’re kenneled … at the vet’s, no less … I generally call at least three times a week to check up on them).
Tonight we were watching the Jim Lehrer News Hour, and the story on Poet/Author Jim Harrison. I totally got sucked in. I know this because at first it was very distracting to listen to Mr. Harrison speak, as he’s a chain smoker and has the breathing difficulties that often result from a lifetime of heavy smoking. But.
Soon I was so drawn in by what Mr. Harrison had to say, and how he said it, that the distraction just fell by the wayside. I’d love to spend an afternoon with him. I plan to pick up some of his poetry, the latest tome of which is called “In Search of Small Gods”, and features his “The Golden Window” in its entirety. I cannot wait to read the whole thing, as the excerpt I read fair knocked my socks off (this is the part where you get a little bit of a future “wicked awesome poem”):
by migrations, south and north with the birds
and far from the metallic fever of clocks,
the self staring at the clock saying, “I must do this.”
I can’t tell the time on the tongue of the river
in the cool morning air, the smell of the ferment
of greenery, the dust off the canyon’s rock walls,
the swallows swooping above the scent of raw water.
We ended up walking the beach over on the West Passage side of the island, and reminisced about all those beach walks we took around Saquish almost 40 years ago. Remember the Thompson’s outhouse? And how Dad set us up on rock-hunting contests (the one with the best rock got a bag of M&M’s or Circus Peanuts)? And the horseshoe crabs? And swimming under the boat? And believing Mr. Thompson’s stories that the microbe-induced colored sands were “Indian paint”? Or how about Mom & Dad making hash and poached egg breakfasts? And fighting off the seagulls when we tried to grill off the stern of Tallow II? All kinds of stuff.
I kind of pity the people who haven’t grown up by the sea … what did they do for fun growing up?
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Then we drove through the neighborhood I lived in as a very young child, in the home my parents bought brand-new … I still remember going to visit our new home as a three-year-old while it was under construction, and running through the ribs of the insides before the drywall was up.
Then we got to my Aunt’s and I got to meet the babies for the first time in person, cousins who are only 6 months apart in age, yet completely different. What an absolute blast the afternoon was! At one point my Mom and Aunt left to get us all lunch from D’Angelos, and our franchise dream was born:
Had I the Choice
Had I the choice to tally greatest bards,
To limn their portraits, stately, beautiful, and emulate at will,
Homer with all his wars and warriors--Hector, Achilles, Ajax,
Or Shakespeare's woe-entangled Hamlet, Lear, Othello--Tennyson's fair ladies,
Meter or wit the best, or choice conceit to wield in perfect rhyme, delight of singers;
These, these, O sea, all these I'd gladly barter,
Would you the undulation of one wave, its trick to me transfer,
Or breathe one breath of yours upon my verse,
And leave its odor there.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Monday, July 6, 2009
I didn’t bring my camera because I just knew that if I had it would’ve ended up overboard. In any case, they’ve done a terrific job of cleaning up after the fire: the two Quonset huts that were destroyed are completely cleared away down to the concrete, and the damaged huts surrounding them are all in the midst of ongoing repair, but the basin is open, as is the restaurant. Because I know you’re soooo interested in what we’ve been eating … we had Mojitos, Coronas, a Rueben, a pizza, a Chicken Club, and a Chicken Salad.
Once we got back to Prudence we rode over to Joel’s & Jane’s, where Mom, Jane, and I played in the surf with their Golden Retriever Annie … while Joel made Dad one of his rum punches, which included three different rums (Captain Morgan’s Spiced, Malibu Coconut, and Malibu Mango), grenadine, orange juice, and a slew of other stuff. They were feeling grand!
Mom, Dad, and I headed back to the house and hung out; watched the USS Bulkeley leave for parts unknown, and another funky looking little red transport that had a couple boats and quite a few new cars stacked on top of the cargo carriers (don’t see how the paint job on those new cars could possibly survive an overseas trip exposed like that, so they must not be going far) … eventually had burgers and cereal for supper (Dad is absolutely done with beef right now), and ice cream sundaes while watching “He’s Just Not That Into You”.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Finally got a better snapshot of the USS Bulkeley, keeping us safe. The large white building to the right of it is a 21 storey high-end condominium complex, just to give you an idea of the size of the ship ... that puppy takes up a lot of Bay!
We had a big ole breakfast of scrambled eggs, grilled mild and hot sausages, blueberry muffins, banana bread (with chocolate chips ... thanx, Kathryn!), english muffins, coffee, and juice ... out on the deck and down in the yard ... too nice to eat inside!
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Next were Mike and his crew (came over on his sailboat), then Steve and his crew (came over by ferry), then Mark and his crew (came over on his powerboat; two trips), and various neighbors throughout ... this year's turnout topped out at 32. Hot dogs, cheeseburgers, shrimp boil, pork chops, bean salad, potato salad, cole slaw, seed salad (you had to be there ... terrific!), regular salad, corn on the cob, cookies, cup cakes, brownies, peaches, soda, and beer.
Parade, water balloons, screecher balloons, smoke bombs, cookout, swimming, jumping off the pier, badminton, whiffle ball, and plenty of fireworks, fireworks, fireworks all around us, up and down the Bay (Newport, Fall River, Providence, Bristol/Warren, Portsmouth Abby, Portsmouth High School, Jamestown, Prudence Island) ... and pictures of much of it, although none of the actual fireworks themselves.
Great, great day ... what the 4th of July is all about: family and appreciation for all we have, and all those who have given it to us.
Friday, July 3, 2009
Bit of down-home fun ...