Saturday, December 19, 2009

Snow Event Horizon Part VI

It's snowing. On my stuff.

[thud]

Friday, December 18, 2009

Snow Event Horizon Part V

Yeah, yeah, they say it's gonna snow. They don't only say it's gonna snow, they say it's gonna snow a LOT. "Dangerous." "Take precautions." "Megastorm." BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Yeah, right. We all know it will snow around me. Eyup.

This is the current satellite photo. I've added the pink dot to represent East Nottingham:



I predict this is exactly how the satellite picture will appear during the height of the storm:



Bet me.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Naaah, Can't Be True... Snow Event Horizon Part IV?

It's snowing! Not a blizzard mind you, not even a real "snowstorm" but snow nonetheless. I'll take it!

And yes, it's melting off the roof of the crooked greenhouse... thankfully!

Considering my track record, I'm sure it's the last I'll see this winter.

But it sure is purrrrty :)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Generally Inhospitable: The Final Chapter

I know, I know, I've been remiss. Mostly because I've been so sore for the last 24 hours I couldn't even move, and my hands hurt so badly I couldn't even type. Really, I'm not makin' this up. And all this is WITH a Fentanyl patch and a very unhealthy level of but extremely steady supply of Excedrin. And with that...

Day ten: I got R up at 12:30pm to do the last remaining bits on the interior of the greenhouse, *really* feeling the stress of the promise of a 42-44 degree night temp looming. I know that 12:30 sounds late to most peeps, but R didn't go to sleep until 6am. In case you haven't figured it out yet, we're "night people." Well, R is "night people," I am "all night people." It's 7:45am and I'm writing this *before* I go to bed. I also realize that 44 degrees doesn't sound very cold to some peeps (I personally don't even consider wearing a coat until it gets down well into the 30s). After all, it's not the typical "killing frost" temps we're talkin' about here. The problem is that my passion is orchids and tropicals. Anything below 50 degrees is major trouble. And when I mean major, I mean MAJOR. You might say I have more than a few plants.

At 3:30pm I couldn't stand it anymore, I thought for sure that after a few hours even R would be done putting in a few brackets and reassembling some very simple greenhouse shelves we had left over from our last, crappy greenhouse. Eeeewrong. The stress of the situation called for action, and I could see I had no choice but to break my own rule and "do" rather than just "point." This took some defiance in not only breaking my own rule (which is always in place, regardless of physical condition), but in defying what has been the "prescription" for some time for what is likely either piriformus or a seriously screwed up disc in my back that has had me practically bedridden for almost a year (the MRI I am about to have will hopefully and finally put an end to the guessing games). No problem, rules are made to broken, and I am known to love that. What the hell do the "experts" know anyway? They've not found a solution yet, right? And besides, I happen to be the Queen of Pain (HAH! Try a hotter poker next time, loser!). Just don't tickle me, to me that's infinitely worse than any pain you could possibly inflict (YESYESYES, I'll tell you ANYTHING you want to know AND pay you to stop! BIG MONEY!!!). I digress. I break down and tell you this because you need to understand my position, and because you need to know the Fentanyl patch isn't around just for good times (I have a 'scrip for Percoset for THAT... it's just a damn shame they make me puke my guts up). Truth of the matter is, if one were to be totally honest, I literally can't stand up for more than 2 or 3 minutes without wanting to scream in agony. I'm not exaggerating. Thank GOD my job practically requires that I sit (well, other than it may have caused all this to begin with). And the peeps I know personally whom I suspect are reading my little diatribe that I didn't fill in on all this needn't freak out. I'll live and besides, it gives me more options in making R suffer ("Sweetie, would you get [fill in blank] for me?"), so there's obviously a good side to my dilemma. Enough about me.

So with fresh patch of uberdrugs installed and reinforced with three Extra Strength Excedrin (it's the caffeine that makes it works so well, ya know), I get up and go [crawl] downstairs and out the door. I look out over the back patio and there is just "crap" everywhere, mostly tree droppings in the form of leaves from our over-anxious "forested" property, mixed in with anything the four puppies decided was fair game for chewing on (mostly my potting materials), and the occasional tiny dog poop (it pays to have small dogs) from when our precious babies didn't want to get their little paws wet and venture out from under the roof and into the incessant rain this summer to do their thing. Not having actually been out on the patio for almost two months, I refrained from suggesting that maybe the patio should have been swept up in the meantime. After all, I still needed R to play along with this whole greenhouse thing and I wanted to keep him in a good mood. But still.

"Sweep the patio so I have a clear path and don't have to dance around anything to get to the greenhouse. I'm going to help you."

My husband isn't exactly the type who thinks someone in extreme pain *shouldn't* help him, so there was no look of shock or argument on his part. There was even some mild protest about having to sweep (which made it even harder to resist suggesting that an adult, responsible male might have done it sooner), but after his requisite complaining and some requisite (though mild) bitching on my part, he did it anyway.

When I arrived on the scene, the interior was done as far as building materials were concerned, and R was just beginning to work on the shelves. As he assembled the frames inside the greenhouse, I would spend short, exceedingly painful, bursts of time getting up from my seat on the patio, walking down the path to the greenhouse, and then into the greenhouse to install the actual shelving that sat on the frames. It didn't take us long to get this part done, mebbe an hour.

I had R put a patio chair right outside the greenhouse and he started using trays to bring me plants. I would spend my time between getting up every time he brought a tray and putting the plants where they were best suited in the greenhouse, and literally running to the chair to plop my ass into it before all the neighbors would hear me screaming and think that R and I had finally decided to kill each other. I'd say we started this routine about 5pm and it never varied from that point on (other than the occasional smoke and ill-advised excessive dose of Excedrin on my part). After the greenhouse was finally full of all the plants that would comfortably fit and were suited to greenhouse living, we started bringing the remainder into the house (mostly hanging plants and my really big babies). Since it had already dropped well into the 40s only a couple hours after we started working together, I tried to categorize the greenery from "most delicate that I love" to "at this point I'm in so much damn pain I don't care if it friggin' dies, save it for last." Without stopping once for even a 5 minute break, we finished around 2:30am. Did I mention I might have a lot of plants? I might even have more plants than shoes. Mebbe. Nah. But close.

When it was all done I know R was a hurtin' puppy, and I was practically suicidal. Richard went up to take a shower and I lay down on the couch in the den, with the agreed upon intention that when R came back down we would reward ourselves by watching some stuff we'd recorded and spend the rest of our night (your morning) snooging (our word, we own the trademark) and generally just spending some time doing nothing more than being together. Unfortunately, Magnolia (one of our bichons), who happens to be very snoogy in her own right, decided Mommy's head was a good place to be, and with very effective puppy paw blinders in place, I fell asleep almost instantaneously. I awoke at 6am to find R asleep on the other end of the couch (it's a biiiiig couch) and myself painfully pinned to the leather at my end by all four dogs. How they ever figured out to lay on me because they know it will cause me great pain to move (and thus being much less likely) while they slumber, I have yet to figure out, but they sure know where the most stable of sleeping environments is. I got R to get up and let them out and sent him up to bed. I fortified myself with mass quantities of Excedrin and worked until 11am, and then slept until 4pm, when I finally woke a complaining Richard up.

And so the saga ends, though I might point out that my initial prediction that this project might be painful in more ways than one certainly came to pass, though not exactly how I had hoped (I have to admit that only mental pain was anticipated on my part... my index finger failed me in end). Yes, we still have to figure out the final details of how to heat the thing until the leaves fall and how the high pressure sodium lights are going to be hung, among a myriad of other greenhouse-type concerns, but our little greenhouse is doing what is most important for the time being. All-in-all, the project was a success and the orchids and tropicals are safely ensconced in their winter home, protected from the nasty cold. And though I do love to give my hubby a hard time, he knows I love him to death and am grateful for all the hard work he put into the project. Well, at least I *think* he does.

And it only took him ten days.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Generally Inhospitable: Episode Ten

Day Nine (yesterday). Houston, we have a door.

So, all that's left to do is finish the interior floor, all the brackets that attach the roof on the inside, the outside corner doodads, the shelving, and get all the plants in there before it drops to 44 degrees tonight.

I feel like cackling insanely.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Generally Inhospitable: Episode Nine

Day eight. Door still isn't on. Apparently we "dropped a screw." Apparently we also have not mastered the use of a flashlight.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Generally Inhospitable: Episode Eight

Day seven. We survived the wind storm and our greenhouse is still firmly planted at its "aesthetically interesting" angle to the fence.

Because Richard knew the missing door thing was potentially a big issue (we have a lot of high winds here), and knowing he would have little remaining light after work, I asked him to work on the greenhouse as soon as he got home. He did. About an hour later he came into the house.

"So, you got the door on?"

"No, I did the vent."

"You did the vent?"

"Yeah, I just put the door together."

Let's just say that prioritizing is not my hubby's strong point.

"So, you put the door on and then you're done, right?"

"Well, no."

"But you said all that was left to do was the door and the vent."

"I just read the manual and there's still a lot to do."

"Wait. You just read the manual? You mean you didn't read the manual before you started working on this?"

"No, not all the way through."

"You didn't think you should at least have read the whole thing before you started building?"

"I did, just not all the way through."

Notice that R just stated that he did do something he immediately contradicts in the same sentence... "I did [read the whole thing], just not all the way through." He does this all the time. It's a large part of why having conversations with R can make my brain hurt.

Three nights from now it is going to get down to 44 degrees. I better have a friggin' door or guess who's gonna be sleeping in the greenhouse.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Generally Inhospitable: Episode Seven

Auntie Em, Auntie Em! Hate you, hate Kansas. Am taking the dog. But check out these to-die-for shoes, will ya???

--Dorothy

Oh yeah, it's windy. Seriously windy.

Generally Inhospitable: Episode Six

"Richard, look out the window and tell me what's wrong with the greenhouse."

Looking... "Why? What's wrong with it?"

"You don't see anything wrong with it?"

"No, what's wrong?"

"Nothing. Nevermind. Read the blog when you get to work. And send your supervisor to read it as well."

That last part will never happen. Richard actually admitting it's way crooked won't either, but I've obviously been forced to come to live with these things.

"There was a crooked man, who had a crooked cane. He walked a crooked mile, down a crooked lane... "

He had a crooked smile, and a crooked brain, and though he is a goofball, I love him the just the same.

And that my friends, is what you call "poetic license." And mine is about to be revoked.

Generally Inhospitable: Episode Five

I was still awake working when I woke R at 9am. At noon he made it outside to work. I do have to admit he made breakfast (our own version of quick Eggs Benedict, to boot), but THREE hours? Welcome to my nightmare. Oh wait... you're already part of my nightmare. Nebbermind. And I'm so sorry.

I fell into an egg-induced coma shortly after noon. I awoke about 3:30pm (I don't sleep like a normal person, in case you haven't figured that out). Afraid to look out the master bedroom window overlooking the "greenhouse area," I intercommed R on the phone.

"Howz it goin'?"

"Well, if you look out the window, you'll see I have part of the frame up."

"You mean the pavers are done?"

"Yup."

Miracle #1

I worked, avoiding the whole window thing. A little after 5pm I hear R's cellphone ringing in the kitchen. Then again. Then our house phone rang. Someone was sure desperate to get hold of my hubby... and the rest of this diatribe demands a bit of a back story.

It was a call from Richard's supervisor at the university where he works. Now, let it be known that, as much as I can complain about my husband in just about every other aspect of life, my husband is a computer supergenius. An ubergenius, even (think "savant"). And having been a professional geek for a decade before becoming a jewelry artist (longer than he has been), and the fact that I love to pick on my husband (duh), this is a HUGE compliment coming from me; however, one I cannot in good conscience deny him. If it's impossibly complicated technically-intense software he's never seen before, he simply WILL make it work. The RIGHT way. Better than the support peeps from the software company will. EVERY TIME. However, he was hired by the university as a lowly programmer/analyst. He took the job and a HUGE cut in pay in exchange for a 7 minute commute to work and a much less stressful lifestyle. This lasted for 15 minutes, until the university realized they had hit gold. Now he administrates just about every major system the university runs, but STILL gets paid his original pathetic programmer/analyst salary. This has been an ongoing point of contention between us and the university, with them continually promising a big raise and promotion are moments away. My husband is pretty forgiving, and though he does nudge them on occasion, he's not pushy about it. I, on the other hand, want him to quit his job and find one that will pay him what he's worth (a girl needs the occasional Dior accessory, no?). I am also not shy about letting the university know they can kiss my ass every opportunity I get, which are few. My husband also has an incredibly annoying habit of jumping to the university's every beck and call. It's what he loves. Still incredibly annoying.

Now that you have the back story (I'm paraphrasing here, I didn't take notes):

"Hello?"

"Is Richard there?"

"He's out working on the greenhouse."

"I need to know if he was in the system and changed anything. Somebody did, and things are not as they should be and it's causing major problems."

Now, as annoying as it is that his supervisor would call him on a vacation day (and this happens EVERY vacation, though I also realize that's because R holds ALL the marbles), I also know she wouldn't call if it weren't a major issue. Heheheheheh. BONUS!

"I don't think he's logged in today, he's been outside working all day."

"Oh, well, would you please have him call me, I just really need to ask him a quick question."

Really? Would you PLEASE KISS MY ASS?? Like I'm going to have him stop working to call you. So NOT.

"Sure, I'll tell him you called. THE NEXT TIME HE COMES INSIDE."

"Oh. :::pause::: OK."

Damn right, OK. And you may BITE ME. Do you understand I am being denied DIOR????

Around 6pm R came inside. I mentioned the call. HE WENT BACK OUTSIDE TO WORK WITHOUT CALLING HIS SUPERVISOR.

That, my friends, is Miracle #2.

Content I had done my bad deed for the day, I fell asleep again. I awoke at 8pm to find a freshly showered hubby and a bevy of puppies surrounding me in bed.

"And?" I asked, with no small amount of trepidation.

"Well, you can't see it because it's dark now, but everything is done except for the door and the bracket that lifts the vent."

O.o
o.O
O.O

Brain cells immediately fire, losing all remnants of sleep. I made him say it again. He said it the same way.

Miracle #3.

So everything is hunky dory, right? Ummmmm... no.

Eventually he did call his supervisor, and the extent of the call was to tell her he didn't change anything. Life goes on, he works, I work and nap and work, and at 2:45am he comes up and tells me he's going to bed.

At 3am Weatherbug decides to throw a wrench in the whole business.

NON PRECIPITATION ADVISORY: HIGH WIND ALERT FOR CHESTER COUNTY

Back on the intercom.

"We have issues."

"What?"

"High wind advisory and there's no door and nowhere for the wind to go."

"I'm sure it will be fine."

This from the man who has pulled our umbrella AND glass/iron table out of the pond more than once.

"You don't KNOW it will be fine."

This is an argument we have often. If it means work for R, it will be "fine," no matter what the situation.

After clearly explaining the basic laws of physics to my husband, and painting the scenario of our brand new greenhouse ending up an acre away in our new neighbor's yard (I finally irritated the old ones enuf to move), I apparently made enough of an impact to convince him to at least put the piece of fence he removed back in front of the door before he leaves to go back to the blood-sucking university. I'll be waking him up in 12 minutes to do just that.

I also just looked at the greenhouse for the first time. I wonder if he'll notice the first time he sees it from above how much of an angle it sits in aspect to the fence it is supposed to butt up against at 90 degrees. Assuming he is not aware of this already. There had to be something, right? Well, of course there did. I am forever doomed to look down at a crooked greenhouse, apparently.

And as Day Six gets underway, we have high winds, a possible complaint from the boss (one *so* hopes), a door, a bracket, and one hell of an explanation about our lack of actually measuring anything to look forward to. I just know you live to see how this ends.

As so do I.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Generally Inhospitable: Episode Four

Day four. At 4:30pm I was informed the pavers are 2/3 done. Now I'll be the first to admit that math is not my strong point but it seems to me if one is 2/3 done something, and then one works on it for another four or five hours, one should make some progress. I bet he's out there hammering on cement to just make me *think* he's working. He's probably laying in the hammock, sipping a pina colada, and striking a piece of paver with a mallot every time he swings in that direction. That's my guess.

I wonder if all our tropical plants will survive the winter if I just shove them in the box with the unassembled greenhouse.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Generally Inhospitable: Episode Three

End of day three. Pavers are "2/3 done." Apparently we're "moving right along."

Generally Inhospitable: Episode Two

Day three of greenhouse construction.

Well, I was wrong. I didn't hear sand. When R quit working last night, the ground wasn't even level. He got up at 10:30am today and made it outside by 11:30 (a new record). It's now 2:50pm and the ground is *almost* level. Did I mention this greenhouse is 8' x 6'? And lest you be thinkin' he's carving out a mountain trying to make it level... so not. The ground is flat. Really flat.

He came in a little while ago to uhhhh... say hello, I guess. I asked, "The sand isn't even in yet?" and received a response of "That's next." I know it's next. It's been next since this project started, it's the second step.

Will the pavers be in before the first killing frost? Will I go insane and have to be institutionalized? Will there be more bloodshed? Stay tuned to find out!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

This is Gonna be Paaaaainful... in More Ways Than One!

OK, so hubby is finally putting up the greenhouse we bought *months* ago. It's supposed to take two people one day to assemble. Since as we discussed earlier, I don't "do," I "point," I figure it should take one person 2-2.5 days to assemble. Sounds reasonable to me. Hubby has five days (three of which were taken as vacation time specifically for this project) and I'm takin' bets. And I should state here that hubby doesn't *want* me to help. On that, we agree.

First and foremost... do I call the medics and have them on standby? R came back into the house after about 30 seconds of working on the thing with a slice in his finger. Nevermind he bought gloves for the project Thursday night. New gloves because he can't find the old gloves. I kissed it and sent him back outside but that's not going to suffice if he amputates something.

And why is this the most major thing I have to report? Because he was supposed to have all the supplies to do this weeks ago. Au contraire. R didn't go to Home Depot until Thursday night. Friday was *entirely* spent going back and forth to Home Depot (in Delaware, no less), to pick up what he couldn't haul Thursday night. It's now well into day two, and he's still putting in the paver floor. No actual greenhouse has yet to be assembled. In fact, I don't even think any pavers have actually been set yet, he's still leveling the "huge" 8 x 6 area.

So far today he's been in to show me his "boo," complain about his muscles from unloading the pavers from the truck yesterday, to assemble a rake (which for some reason had to be assembled in the *bedroom*), to "take a short break," and to tell me about his future plans for the patio area... a project that will take place several years down the road (after the waterfall and edge of the pond he started building four years ago finally gets finished). By the way, he started work at 2:00pm, 1 1/4 hours after he got his ass outta bed. At least he rushed right out there to make up for all the lost time. And yes, for R that IS rushing.

And lest you think I'm just sitting on my own ass... I am. But I also happen to be sitting on my ass *working.* I've been sitting on my ass working since noon, when I got up. I went to sleep at 9am after I finished working last night (*my* last night). Don't give me no crap.

I'll keep ya posted. Either I end up with a greenhouse or a divorce. It's a win/win.

Oooooh, wait!! I think I hear sand!!! Ground must be level. It's 6:36pm Saturday. It's dusk. Will the pavers get set? Will Richard live another day? Will we stay married? Tune in tomorrow for another episode of "Generally Inhospitable" to find out!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Hittin' Da Big Time!

I am having a hard time deciding if this was way too much fun or way too much of a time waster but either way, I entirely blame The Bloggess for this mess (@TheBloggess on Twitter). I suggest you do the same. (You needn't mention my name to her however... this woman actually has her own army. Literally).

So anyway, apparently after ten years of exceptional hair jewelry artistry, I've finally done a global advertising campaign for LongLocks. Nevermind that I used the same ol' tired promo photo I always use, go with what works I always say.
















And my personal fav, in my own sorta twisted way...




You can waste your own damn time over at Photofunia. Just remember when you get roped in, it's The Bloggess you blame.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

HaiCuckoo - You Have No Clue!

A "bitch" you call me?
But... this is not a bad thing
I practice this art

Monday, August 17, 2009

Be Still My Heart!

Some women swoon over movie stars. Some women swoon over chocolate. Some women swoon over roses. These are what I swoon over... well, these and Blake Shelton, of course. Have you ever seen anything so gorgeous IN YOUR LIFE???



I can see that I'll need to immediately do a completely unselfish good deed so I can reward myself.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Can I Customize That?

Ooooo lookie! It won't be long now before I have my own personal Blake Shelton XT220 Personal Houseboy Version 1.0!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Why Don't Husbands Ever Just *Listen?*

Sweetie, I don't know HOW many times I have told you, you just CANNOT...



put Mr. Bubble...



in the spa tub.



:::sigh:::

Sunday, July 26, 2009

That of Which Nightmares are Made

OK, I'm afraid. I'm *very* afraid.

Hubby just called me from the LongLocks studio to tell me about his, ummm... "situation." Apparently we have an infestation of flies (probably came in through the vented window to get out of the INCESSANT rain) and he is convinced the "fly collective" is conspiring against him. I am told they lay in wait until he has enameling brush in hand and starts finishing a design. Then, while both his hands are busy, several flies will distract him while another one will attack his bald spot, using its proboscis to "implant alien beings into his noggin."

You do realize it's not the *flies* that are scarin' me here, right?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

I Am So With It, I Tell Ya!

Look! Over there, to your right ---------> See that? (OK, so now you have to scroll up too because you were too damn slow and didn't get here before this post moved down the page, ya loser). I have a new Feedburner reader subscription link and/or you can now get your Reality Checks in email. Go ahead, click one. I dare you.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Gawd, I Just LOVE Automation!

Check this out, an automatic blog post generator. Below is my own personal auto blog post. Thank god I don't have to write this crap myself anymore and can now freely spend all my time on Twitter instead of trying to amuse you people. This thing writes better than I do anyway, it's a win/win.
------------------------------------

Geez I just had a terrible scare when I thought I had not updated this since people stopped clapping and Tinkerbell died. You would not believe how hard it is being waited on hand and foot and generally lounging around. I prostrate myself in sorrow and beg thy forgiveness.

I am absolutely consumed with sleeping my way to the top, selling my soul to Google, and just generally being a biatch to various lawyers I met recently. My day seems to involve the authorities from lunchtime until I run out of alcohol. I am beyond drunk most of the time. Can't they see I am blogging????

I declare solemnly I will update you with my nefarious activities as soon as I get a chance. Seriously! This is for my ever faithful, devoted public.

I Gotta Stay Off Twitter

Today's meme on Twitter is to come up with rejected "First Draft Band Names" (#firstdraftbandnames). Needless to say, this was a very good use of my time. I've listed my favs of my own offerings below, can you decipher all of 'em? Bet not.

LeAnn Busta Rimes
Panic! How Did I End Up At A Friggin' Disco???
Jay-R
Steely Daniel James Stevenson, III
Inexpensive Chicanery
P Diddy Change it Again?
My Chemically-Induced Bromance
Superho
Electric Light Garage Band
Kanye Pest
Yawnni
Inhospitable Native Garden
Jane's Intervention
Plagiarized Soundtrack
Godsmooch
Neil Ain't So Young Anymore
Pauper
New Kids on the Chopping Block
Pixie Styx
Da Peach A La Mode
LinkedIn Park
Jimmy All-You-Can-Eat Buffet
The Balding Eagles
AD/HD
Aunty Eminem
Naughtyfinger
No
Feud
Whammy!
Who Do You Do Gurus
Van's Aunt
Dupioni Silk Revolver
UB WD 40
Talking Rest Rooms
They Might Be Really Big Scary People
The YouTubes
The I Like Turtles
Three Dog Day Afternoon
T-Itchy Rash
Anorexic Lizzy
Twisted Second Cousin Once Removed
Ringtone-Loc
Scoop Dogg
Smashing Butternut Squash
Jefferson Winnebago
Salt-N-Pepa Steak
Simple Ego, Id and Super Ego
Jessica Simpleton
Fjork
iPodhead
The Copycat Dolls
Poisson
Pure Prairie League Bowlers
Public BFF
Mother-of-Pearl Jam
Tom Picayune
The Inlaws
Yoko Oh No You Dinnint!
The O'Kays
The Trucks
Blush Pink Floyd
Poughkeepsie Dolls
My Bloody Christmas Card
"Pure" Milli Vanilli Extract
The Premenstrual Blues
Canned Spam Puppets
Marilyn Manson Family Values
Tim Quickdraw McGraw
Lords of Alkaline
Korny
Crazy Bozo Vigilantes
Iggy Pop Rocks
House of Mild Irritation
Hot Tuna Melt
T-Rex Jr
Dead Can Do the Hustle
Dead Mailmen
Destiny's Illegitimate Child
James Dull
Blood, Sweat and Snot
Brunettie
Nearsighted Faith
Keith Suburban
Aerojones
Guns and Pansies
King Fire Engine Red
The Intracranial Hemorrhages

And my personal fav:
Kid Easy Listening

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

My Favorite Joke of ALL TIME

"Hurt me, hurt me!" begged the masochist. Her sadist lover put his lips to her ear and seductively whispered, "Noooooooooo."

Hmmmm. Am I warped?

Noooooooooo.

HaiCuckoo - To A Geek I Said "I Do!"

Archos and netbook
Laptop, desktop and iPod
That's just the BEDROOM

HaiCuckoo - In the Drive-Thru

When extra toasted
I feel an Egg McMuffin
Is food for the gods

Snow Event Horizon Part III (or It Never Snows on Me)

So, I'm watching a show I recorded on the DVR months ago and every few minutes the show is interrupted by a local news flash warning about the huge amounts of snow we're absolutelypositivelydefinitely going to get. Yup, I actually taped the show when I was inspired to write the original "Snow Event Horizon" post and start this blog off by sharing my pathetic inability to be snowed upon. Apparently the original experience wasn't horrible enough and I am doomed to relive it for all eternity.

Did I mention we've had like 4,328 inches of rain this summer? It NEVER stops. Generally speaking, one inch of rain equals 1 foot of snow around these parts. Eeeeeeeyup. Can't wait for winter and the friggin' DRY SEASON.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Monday, July 20, 2009

Sunday, July 19, 2009

HaiCuckoo - What I'm About to Dig Into

Lasagne noodles
Roasted peppers, cheese, meat sauce
Too bad you're not here

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Monday, July 13, 2009

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Saturday, July 11, 2009

HaiCuckoo - Intrusive Crew

Puppies on my bed
Sixteen additional legs
Why not hubby's side?

HaiCuckoo - Please Don't Die 'Til I'm Through

New Archos tablet
Your interface excites me
Your battery sucks

HaiCuckoo - Oh Look, He's Blue!

Hot water heater
You do not hear hubby's screams
When warm turns to cold

HaiCuckoo - Man, They FLEW!

Rev up new chainsaw
Scare neighbor's tresspassing kids
They flee in terror

HaiCuckoo - Tastes Good With a Brew

Oh Philly cheesteak
Artery clogging goodness
My tummy thanks you

HaiCuckoo - Et Tu?

Evil New York Times
Why are your crosswords so hard?
You make my brain hurt.

HaiCuckoo - Uh Oh, Past Due

Dear Late Taxpayer;
Thank you for sending payment.
It is about time.

HaiCuckoo - Hey! Over There Too!

Husband mowing lawn
No matter how hard he tries
Misses many spots

HaiCuckoo - They Say It's Like Flu

Rain, rain go away
The mosquitoes are on wing
I might get West Nile

HaiCuckoo - You Expect FOOD Too?

Lovely potted plants
I water you, yet you die
What more do you want????

HaiCuckoo - Dust Makes Me Achoo!

Messy, messy house
I clean you annually
Might not be enough

HaiCuckoo - Ewwww

Fuzzy white puppy
Must the hair you shed become
A food condiment?

Friday, July 10, 2009

Kids, Love 'em or Leave 'em. LEAVE 'EM! Nono, Really... TRUST Me! DON'T GO THERE!!!!

It occurs to me that in all my 49 years, I have only met one woman who was genuinely happy to be a parent. Really, just one. Granted, she was also "born again" and perfectly willing to do the "lord and master" bit as well, so I'm not sure my lone example can even be considered to be in full control of her mental faculties less a good example of the opposing argument. That being said however, simply knowing her well and being intimately aware of her outlook on life makes me unable to honestly say "no" woman I ever met was happy to be a parent. The rest of 'em should have talked to me first.

I just don't understand the attraction. I suppose my first question is the most basic.

"Why?"

OK, mebbe my first question would actually be "WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU THINKIN'???" but I'm trying really hard to be diplomatic here.

When it comes right down to it, I gotta admit the reasoning behind the entire concept completely escapes me. My life and the ability to rule almost every aspect of it is indubitably the most treasured possession I own. I can't understand why giving up that ability would appeal to anyone. What is the attraction? There obviously is some kind of awfully powerful one of which I am blissfully ignorant, as plenty of women are practically desperate to have kids beforehand, it's only after the deed is done that they rethink the intelligence of the decision. And they always do. Other than the afore-mentioned questionably sane person, every woman I have known well enough to share such intimacies (and several I didn't) has regretted the decision, at least to some extent. Maybe it is nothing more than some deeply ingrained instinct to procreate. I don't know if I can buy into even that though, we've certainly evolved far enough along to be able to out-think most of our instincts. I for one have no desire to hoard nuts and berries to tide me over the winter months.

All that being said, can you imagine the pros and cons list if one were to make one before embarking on this tenuous journey? One based on the assumption that everything will go as well as can be expected, of course (and by that I mean everyone is physically and mentally healthy, and your kid doesn't grow up so maladjusted they end up putting out an all-points bulletin for your car and Phillip Jr. after they find your body parts strewn throughout your home).

Shall we? Oh yes, let's!

PRO
I get to enjoy the beauty and romance of pregnancy. I will absolutely glow!

CON
I will suffer extreme mood swings, gain 40lbs. (if I'm lucky), puke my guts up every morning for months, likely get hemorrhoids the size of Ohio, have unbearable back pain, stretch my skin so far it scars (what exactly do you think "stretch marks" are?), contemplate if murdering my husband is a viable option as my hormone levels fluctuate wildly, and have to buy an entirely new wardrobe I will wear for five months, tops. I will not make love to my sweetie/devil-incarnate, or even find a comfortable position in which to sleep for that matter, for several months. Then I will experience pain for hours on end far beyond any I have ever previously known, will be sliced open either through an episiotomy or caesarean, and spend several days in a hospital (if my health insurance, assuming I have health insurance, allows for such a luxury).

PRO
I have an adorable little bundle of joy to nurture and love.

CON
I will give up what would have been my study (guest room, gym, home theater, shoe closet for the Louboutin collection I will now never own, etc.) so it can become a nursery. I will spend many, many months getting little to no sleep, regardless if I have to get up at 6am when I return to work. If I do choose to work outside the home, I will abandon my career for several weeks at the very least, and will spend an even longer time playing catch-up when I return. Every minute spent at home will revolve entirely around my child's sleeping, eating and eliminating habits. I will either suffer intense breast pain or will live with the fact that I am sacrificing the ultimate in nutrition and antibodies I could give my child when I choose to feed it formula, which hopefully does not include any deadly ingredients manufactured in China. I will spend thousands of dollars a year on disposable diapers, which will end up in a landfill and will just begin to decompose in the next several decades, maybe. I will begin the many years of buying clothing, and soon shoes, that my child will outgrow long before it outwears. It will be months, if not years, before I can leave the house again in the evening for an adult outing, providing I can bring myself to leave my child and actually find a babysitter at all, much less one I can trust. I will add a minimum of $50 to the cost of said night out to pay for the sitter I settle on, whom is likely to come nowhere close to my expectations, and I will spend a good deal of the time during my outing worrying that I may have hired Aileen Wournous' reincarnation to care for my child.

PRO
My child will grow quickly and I will watch the miracle of those first important milestones with utmost pride.

CON
I will spend at least a year dealing with The Demon Seed through the toddler period. My child's first words will be "mama," "dada" and "NO!" I will become selectively deaf to my own child's screaming, much to the extreme annoyance and utter disdain of every other person in the immediate vicinity. I will become the bane of anyone trying to enjoy a meal in every restaurant I enter. I will have to live with cabinet locks, outlet guards, gates throughout my home, and a muzzle on all four dogs even though they wouldn't hurt a fly. OK, so maybe they eviscerate flies, but they don't have a taste for human flesh... yet. There's no saying how they'll feel about it after little Jimmy eats all the food in their bowl and then tries to remove a fuzzy ear from its rightful owner. I will not be able to let my child out of my sight for even mere seconds for fear it will either cause itself, my home or a bichon frise irreparable harm. My main focus in life will be reduced to teaching my child to use a toilet as intended, while at the same time teaching it not to use it to flush Mommy's engagement ring, Daddy's iPhone, or the cat. I will spend long periods of time, three times a day, trying to get food into my child, and then just as routinely spend long periods of time cleaning up the food I didn't get into my child, as well as the food that comes out the other end of my child that didn't manage to successfully follow the uninsured diamond, cell phone and feline.

PRO
I will watch my child blossom as it grows and begins to learn about the world.

CON
I will go to work every day with a mind to escape the madness, but then spend the day convinced my child is suffering at the hands of a pedophile with a daycare license. I will have quality time with my child in the evenings after I have traveled ten miles out of my way to pick them up from said daycare, for which I spend one third of my salary, and go home to watch the news with the hope I do not see anyone from Budding Genius Babycare being led from the building in handcuffs. I will then spend two hours with my child before they go to bed, which is a half hour later than it should be due to the delay caused by the incessant whining and screaming it took to get them *into* the bathtub and again when I tried to get them *out* of the bathtub. I will read "The Velveteen Rabbit" for the 174th time. I know how it ends.

PRO
My child will begin school and flourish with its newfound knowledge.

CON
I will get up two hours before I have to leave for work to prepare my child for school, make a nutritious breakfast even though the thought of food in the morning nauseates me, and pack a lunch (or search frantically for enough cash to pay for lunch). I will then send my child to what has become America's "killing fields" and hope they have enough sense to duck and hide when the bullets start flying. If my child is sick, is home for one of the 186 annual school holidays, or has a "snow day" I will either have to take off work or frantically find someone trustworthy enough to care for my child, since I understand locking them in a closet with a coloring book, a supply of crayons and a few cookies is not an acceptable option in the eyes of the law (as much as it *should* be). I will spend my few free hours attending PTA meetings and parent/teacher conferences, baking cupcakes for a classroom full of other people's brats, and trying to remember how to help mine do the "new math" I learned decades ago, which is no longer new enough to be the way it is done *now.*

PRO
My child will become an intelligent, independent free thinker as it enters its teen years.

CON
My child will no longer tell me it loves me, but instead will go into great detail about why it hates me while stomping dramatically up stairs and slamming bedroom doors. My mere presence in front of little Lizzie's friends will embarrass her to no end, no matter whether I have chosen the occasion to intentionally torture her mercilessly for my own amusement or not. I will feel guilt when I wrestle with deciding if I should call the police when my child runs away from home, while secretly hoping they stay away for at least a day or two. I will struggle with the choice of being the "cool, realistic parent" and buy him/her a steady supply of contraceptives, or the "protective, over-my-dead-body parent" and elect to lock them in their room until they are 21. I will begin to wonder if giving up foie gras and tenderloin over the course of almost two decades in exchange for Kraft Macaroni and Cheese and Hamburger Helper was worth the gamble that my kids would actually go to college, much less move out of my house before the age of 30. I will cringe at the idea that Mary doesn't know her mother well enough to actually think I will let her leave the house wearing a belly shirt emblazoned with the Playboy emblem and a pair of low-rise yoga pants that proudly declare "Juicy" across her butt. I will continually reassure myself that my son really does have a future as a space shuttle pilot, simply because the only skill Johnny has ever mastered is his outstanding ability to fly a starfighter on his PS3.

I will eventually find myself muttering aloud to my few childless friends with a wistful sigh that I "wonder what would my life have been like if I didn't have kids." And then I will do my best to ingore the sympathy-with-just-a-hint-of-smug-satisfaction look in the eyes of those who were actually smart enough to make a pros and cons list before taking the plunge.

And as terribly difficult as it is, I really do try to keep it to just a *hint.*

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Total, Unadulterated BS. What Fantasies Are Made Of.

So, I am faced with an excruciating dilemma of dire proportions. As many of you know, I lust wholeheartedly after country-music-most-gorgeous-man-who-walks-the-earth-heart-throb Blake Shelton. Not the "real" Blake Shelton mind you, the "for-public-consumption-fantasy" Blake Shelton. The one who looks so finger-lickin' good (that was a country food reference, get it?) in the "Goodbye Time" video. The one who sings "Underneath the Same Moon" while I allow my over-active imagination to wallow, wholeheartedly, in the idea he recorded that one "just for me." Essentially, I want Blake Shelton to be my houseboy. Never mind he's sixteen years younger than I am. I can do the cougar thing, not an issue.

Those who know me know how much an anomaly this is. Blake is not my type by any stretch of the imagination, not even in the fantasy world. Of course, neither is my husband, but that's another story (I love my cute geek anyway, and besides, he takes my incessant Blake Shelton teasing with good humor... usually). Until I married him, I tended to date "sophisticated" men. Architects. Commodities brokers. Heads of international sales. Engineers. Men who would take me to the theatre (see how I spelled "theatre?" That's the "sophisticated" way to spell it), and the Silk Purse for dinner, and would buy me precious gems for no reason whatsoever, and could intelligently discuss current events, politics and recent scientific breakthroughs, and were almost *always* older than me... sometimes *much* older. Ann-Marie, a bud since college who knows my taste in men better than anybody, cannot for the life of her figure out my attraction to Blake and tells me so... often. Oddly enuf, she has never mentioned my choice of husband. Smart gurl.

I digress.

My fantasy attractions, though rare, were never about down home, country boy personas. Antonio Banderas. Cary Grant. Bogey. Robert Redford. Rod Stewart (especially in his hard rock 'n rollin' Faces days). Steven Tyler and Joe Perry. Axl Rose (I'm guessin' because he's a clone of the first great love in my life... but not nearly as maladjusted). OK, I do have to admit I have a huge crush on Lyle Lovett and his lyric-writing capabilities (and never could understand why HE married HER), but none of these have ever qualified as true take-your-breath-away-ohmigod-you-are-friggin'-gorgeous crushes, with the exception of Rod Stewart... a crush that was in full swing a good 30 years ago. Blake, on the other hand, is yumminess personified in my fully adult awareness.

Now, I understand that the fun of infatuation, especially with a "celebrity," is the image that is projected rather than the reality of the person behind the image. My husband suggested I might enter the "Be Blake's Roadie for a Day" contest (even though he knows I would have entered *him* into the contest and just tagged along for the ride if he won... I don't actually "lift" things, I point at the things I want lifted). I said I had no intention of actually meeting Blake and ruining the illusion. I'm no idiot. I know Blake doesn't stand out in a field singing his heart out about how "if it's too late for love to change your mind, then it's goodbye time." I know he doesn't practically come to tears standing in the middle of the street because he is reminded of a lost love. I know he doesn't sit in an empty farmhouse kitchen crying into a TV dinner. I know he cut off all that gorgeous hair (and frankly, if that wasn't a deal-breaker, nothing is). However, the fact that I know these things consciously does not affect my ability to effectively fantasize Blake into being the perfect object of my dellusionary affection. No, my fantasy world is willingly self-induced with full disclosure and no mental instability, at least no more than a good daily dose of Prozac can handle. Hence, the dilemma.

It just so happens that Blake has a Twitter account. And Blake does all his tweeting himself. So, alas, I find myself torn. Do I follow Blake and risk exposing myself to the real thing? Will it ruin the illusion? I've seen Blake "as Blake' on TV and he's a pretty hilarious guy, which gains tremendous points in my book. On the other hand, I'm pretty sure at this point that Blake is not going to be tweeting about unrest in Iran, who deserves the Tony this year, nor his fondness of the Democratic party (an assumption on my part due to the usual affiliation of musicians in his genre with that "other" party). So, do I *really* want to know what Blake thinks, does, and eats?

Uhhhh... eyup. Apparently I do.

:::click "Follow":::

Apparently, Blake drinks a lot. A whole lot. Though I've personally never had alcohol with my corn flakes, I can relate. He drinks beer (though he apparently likes mixed drinks too), I drink wine. No big disclosure here, every other song he cuts has him practically laying in a gutter somewhere. Pass.

Blake also apparently chews tobacco. I think chewing tobacco is disgusting. On the other hand, I smoke. Many people think smoking is disgusting. All that being said, the next time I am fortunate enuf to dream about kissing Blake's luscious lips, my unconscious mind will hopefully omit the whole chew thing. I hereby give Blake permission not to consider my bad habit next time he dreams about me. All's fair. Pass.

Blake had to paint his own house, which he feels "his people" should have done for him because he's famous. My level of LongLocks celebrity is comparably infinitesimally low and about as niche as it gets, but that doesn't keep me from feeling I should have my own "people." Come to think of it, I'd feel that way regardless of the lack of any celebrity whatsoever. Pass.

Blake hates PETA. Now, I know Blake is either an animal lover or loves his girlfriend (singer Miranda Lambert) enuf to at least donate time to her animal welfare causes. And I have to agree that animal lover that I am, the PETA fanatics have given the whole organization a really horrendous image, and is not among the animal welfare charities worthy of even my support. On the other hand, Blake hunts. I cannot for the life of me wrap my mind around the whole "I enjoy killing things" mindset (I have trouble killing insects). By complete contrast, I wear fur. I can definitely get my mind around the whole "I love my full-length lavender mink coat" mindset. I happen to be one of those twisted animal lovers who enjoys being at the top of the food (and apparel) chain who would become a vegetarian in a heartbeat if I had to kill my own meat (or fashion trend). Pass. And btw, the whole Miranda thing isn't an issue. She's cute, talented, and much more his type than I'd ever be. Besides, fantasies are customizable. Though if I had my druthers, I'd hook him up with LeAnn Rimes. She's on a more even sexual-tension level with Blake, methinks. Now *that* would be watchable. I'm just sayin'.

Blake loves dogs. PASS *plus* extra credit. Though I'm guessin' he doesn't have bichons. His loss.

Blake is perceived as a pervert by many of his followers. I think those followers are clueless and have no sense of humor. Besides, when he posed the question "Were Tinker Bell and Peter Pan dating? If so, how did they mess around?" my response was "I imagine Bell tinkered with Pan's peter." He did not respond to me. I bet he thinks I'm a pervert, which is *definitely* worth a pass.

Blake likes to drive his truck fast. When it comes to driving fast, Blake is an amateur. When it comes to driving fast *everyone* is an amateur, get the fuck out of my way. NOW. Pass. Pass on the left, right, whatever is convenient and not currently occupied by a patrol car.

Blake has never experienced the magic of matzoh ball soup and apparently thinks chicken fried steak is an appropriate meal to request in NY. Blake is obviously uninitiated to the magic of good food made by the hands of Jewish NYers. I reserve judgment until Blake has been fed a proper salt bagel with smoked lox and whipped chive cream cheese and *then* states his preference. I may not be Jewish, but I'm a native NYer and an extravagant cook. I KNOW good food. Luckily for Blake, I'm willing to share.

Blake is friends with Reba. Reba is the personification of "Republican scum" and trashed the Dixie Chicks when they dared to use their constitutional right to voice what the majority of this country felt, thus helping to fuel the downright terrifying fallout the Chicks suffered from right-wing fanatics. Guilt by the inability to recognize the effect of the association. At this point Blake earns his first tentative "Fail." Conversely, I am dying to know the back story behind Blake's "Reba's a robot, a totally wasted robot" tweet. She may even gain some points. Well, mebbe not, but anything trashin' Reba is dirt worth sharin' in my book, even if it's only a suggestion that something may be untoward. OK, I'll give... half a pass for the effort.

Blake is not afraid to suggest liberal use of the "Unfollow" button and has no intention of kowtowing to make himself more popular among his minions. Neither do I. Feel free, you'll find it at the top right in the side bar. Pass.

Blake has mastered a supreme level of sarcasm. Pass. DUH.

Blake can't spell for shit. I am an English language anal-retentive. But on him it's cute. Pass, though admittedly this one pains me.

OK, so Blake is exactly who he *should* be and not exactly who I would build-my-perfect-guy-from-the-ground-up guy would be. But he's pretty damn funny, has more than half a brain, isn't too offensive (in my admittedly-offensive opinion), and is a smokin' hot guy with a drop-dead-sexier-ohmigod-hold-me-back-look than any other human organism. Pretty much what fantasies are made of.

Pass.

You can follow Blake and find yerself blessed with his BS on Twitter by going to https://twitter.com/blakeshelton or searching for blakeshelton using the Find People function. Just remember, he's MINE. Don't make me come over there.

Monday, July 6, 2009

So, Tell Me... What's News With You?

Did you know these things happened last week?

The House passed the climate change bill.
Nine staff members of the British embassy in Tehran were arrested in connection with the country’s post-election unrest, two remain in custody and will stand trial, and Iran recalled its ambassador to Britain.
The Honduran military staged a coup against their President and exiled him.
A Yemeni ariliner with 150 aboard crashed in the Indian Ocean, 1 survived.
Al Franken was declared the winner of the Minnesota Senate seat.
The U.S. launched a major operation in Afghanistan, the "most significant" marine encounter yet.
North Korea fired test missiles off its east coast.
The U.S. unemployment rate reached its highest in 26 years.
The Kremlin has given the U.S. permission to ship weapons to Afghanistan across Russia.
Sarah Palin resigned her governorship of Alaska.

Oh... and MICHAEL JACKSON DIED!!! OMG!!! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT????? And I bet with all this other important stuff going on, you didn't EVEN KNOW! Loser!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Welcome to the Abyss

I find it very amusing that the Google content-based ads that are currently appearing on this blog are all for "smoking cessation," "drug rehab" and "alcohol." Yeah, they got me pegged.

:::sigh:::

Sheesh, Who the Hell Raised You People????

Ya know, I'm watching all these sleazeballs cash in on Michael Jackson's death and it just creeps me out. I don't understand why so many people in this country don't have an ounce of propriety nor integrity. Didn't these people have parents????

I signed into my Amazon associate account yesterday and saw the LongLocks Boutique referred a sale of an MP3 download of "Thriller." Apparently someone must have used one of my "hair book" links, wandered around Amazon's site and ended up buying it. I made one dollar and I feel dirty. Contaminated by remote association. IckIckIck.

I love you Mom =)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Coming Soon to a Presidential Address Near You!

Does anyone but me think "Hail to the Chief" seems so old fashioned and outta place when played with respect to Obama? With all due respect to tradition, which technically I'm all for, you can almost see Barama cringe when his "theme song" is played. He should have a much cooler ditty, something with a beat. Will.I.Am's "Yes We Can?" Love it, but not for this purpose. Simon and Garfunkel's "America?" Nah, too laid back. Springsteen's "Born in the USA?" Not one of my favs Dick, but appropriate and has a good beat. I give it a 92. The Beach Boys' "California Girls?" Sooo NOT. Wait, I got it! Neil Diamond's "America!" THAT'S IT! Just mainstream enuf to make the tradionalists and Republicans happy, with a snappy beat and a much higher cool factor (in a socially acceptible, political sorta way) than "Hail to the Chief." I can almost see Barama when it comes time to give his next Presidential address, strutting up to the podium in time with the music, doing his unmistakeable Barama dance with his little barrel-roll arm move, mouthing paraphrased lyrics:

o/`
Got a dream they've come to share
Gonna talk to America
o/`

I'm likin' it. Who's with me?

Monday, June 29, 2009

Hey! Represent ME, WIll Ya????

No humor today, just a copy of the letter I just sent to my PA State senators with regard to the new pending legislation to restrict tobacco sales via mail. Feel free to copy it, edit it to make it your own, and share it with your own state senators. Whether you smoke or not, it's time to stop allowing our government to micromanage us and restrict our ability to make our own choices regarding any activity that is legal in this country. I'm a big gurl, I can make my own decisions, thankyouverymuch.
------------------------------------
To Senators Arlen Specter and Robert Casey,

Please stop the ongoing blatant discrimination against smokers. I understand paying taxes to "give back" for my addiction (addiction, NOT "habit"... though I readily admit an addiction I enjoy) and am in a financial position that this doesn't put an undue hardship on me (the majority who are targeted by these taxes are not), but restricting my ability to purchase tobacco through the mail so I can smoke the all natural Native American cigarette brand of my choice is not beneficial to anyone and really is nothing short of discrimination. Not only will this restrict my right to smoke completely additive-free tobacco (and we both know the new government-mandated babysitting of tobacco will not significantly change the mainstream tobacco products I prefer not to smoke) but it will detrimentally affect the Native American Nations and companies who distribute their products in the midst of the worst economy I have seen in my (thus far, very healthy) 49 years.

Smoking tobacco is legal and until it is not, it is my right to choose whether I smoke or not and where I choose to purchase it. By contrast, prescription drugs are quickly becoming the most abused drugs in this country, and are readily available through the mail. Even more pointedly, I could easily buy a gun online and negatively affect a whole lot more people in mere seconds than I ever will in my lifetime as a result of smoking. It's time to put things into proper perspective and for government to stop parading peacock-proud because they bask in the glow of the brownie points they earn by attacking the "easy" controversial issues while ignoring the matters that are infinitely more important to our society as a whole. In case you haven't noticed, this nation has lost its patience with "business as usual."

Smoking has already been so restricted that it physically affects no one other than the smoker, and cigarettes have been taxed above and beyond the call of duty to defray the health care costs attributed to smokers. Enough is enough... I have a loud voice and use it, I smoke, and I VOTE. As my representative I EXPECT you to support my rights to do anything I choose to do within the law and make sure that choice is afforded the same rights as every other industry in this country. It's time for YOU to represent ME.

Susan Maxwell Schmidt

Friday, June 26, 2009

Oh How I Love to Nibbles on Dem Mousie Feets!

So, lately I've been seeing ads for "indoor cat food." Supposed to supply all the nutrition your "indoor cat" needs. As opposed to what? An outdoor cat, obviously. An outdoor cat that apparently has a very different diet from an indoor cat. All that being said, can you imagine how the ingredient list of the "indoor cat" food must read?

Ingredients: Bacon suet, sunflower oil, motor oil, bunny entrails, mouse by products, cheese, your neighbor's chicken, dead racoon liver, easily digestible garbage can protein, baby bird eggs, hospital waste kidney meat, BHA (butylated hydroxyanisol), BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene), folic acid, menadione sodium bisulfite complex, rock salt, propylene glycol (from antifreeze), corn cob, calcium carbonate (from expired Rolaids), ferrous sulfate (from licking rusted iron), manganese sulfate, roadkill bone meal, zinc oxide, Vitamins A, B, D#, supplements, sewer water sufficient for processing

Yeah. Whoever paid for this marketing campaign needs to be fired yesterday.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Apparently I am!

Plinky asks what celebrities we've met in real life.

When I was a kid I lived on Long Island and every Christmas season Mom and I would make the trek to NYC for the whole fantasy shopping experience. This particular year (I'm gonna guess I was 8 or 9 or so) we made a stop at FAO Schwartz (a famous upscale toy store, for the uninitiated). At the time Schwartz's had a slide on the landing between the two floors, and I of course could not continue to live if I didn't go down it. Oblivious to all but my own self-satisfaction, I climbed the stairs, got on the rather lengthy slide (to me, but I wasn't that big at the time so my perspective is likely skewed), and slid down to the bottom. As soon as my feet brush the hem of a floor-length mink coat I realize there is a huge circle of people looking at me like I am absolutely out of my mind. My shy (no, really, I swear), paranoid self froze with the fear I had done something on the scale of wiping out an entire civilization, and my mother had to lean over and take my hand to get me up. She whispered to me, "Do you know who that is?" I didn't. Apparently I had run my grubby little shoes into Elizabeth Taylor, who was there with hubby-of-the-moment Richard Burton and a few of their kids. I have to admit that I was devastated to see that Liz, for some unfathomable reason, didn't wear "The Diamond" she had just recently acquired from her still-enraptured hubby when she was out toy shopping (I mean, c'mon... *I* would), and though I started my love of gemstones at an early age (and I'm sure all the news stories about the Taylor/Burton love affair with each other and gemstones large enough to be named had a good deal to do with that), I hadn't yet acquired my taste for fur. Though I do have a passion for a beautiful lush fox or lavender mink now, even back then I had my priorities in their proper order... still do. Jewels *always, always, ALWAYS* trump fur. And I'm just bettin' Elizabeth agrees.


The Faces of a Rolling Stone

This one could just as easily be filed under "One of the Most Embarrassing Moments of of my Life." In the late 80s I tended bar on the University of Delaware campus at a landmark nightclub called "The Stone Balloon." I wasn't exactly a kid at the time, I worked there from age 27-29 while I went to college (I had finally finished having "the good life" and figured it was time to get down to business).

The Stone Balloon was a big venue. National acts such as Iggy Pop, Meatloaf, Greg Allman and oddly enuf, The Charlie Daniels Band were booked to play there. On this particular night, Ron Wood (nice guy) and Bo Didley (major asshole) were doing the honors, and I was working the front bar.

Now, keep in mind this is a *college* bar. This means the crowd is wild, drinking like mad, and the bartenders are moving at the speed of light if they want to keep their jobs. I happened to be very good at this, mostly because I could care less if I worked up a good sweat and ended up completely covered in beer and orange juice by the end of the night (a concoction we referred to fondly as "Balloon Scum")... or at least I usually didn't care. It was not a good idea to work there if you were too concerned about leaving looking (or smelling) anything like you did when you arrived.

Elvin Steinberg owned the Balloon at the time, and he decided I was going to be his bartender for the night. He sat at my bar and I dutifully served him rock glasses full of Chivas all night long, filling 'er up before he ever saw the bottom of the glass. I'm no fool, I knew which side of my bread was buttered. Little did I know I was about to be "honored" for my hard work and devoted attention.

It's the end of the night, I am a mess and completely covered from head to toe in Balloon Scum. My makeup is no more than a memory and I am sure that I smell more like the disgusting remnants from a distillery than the Anais Anais I had applied before leaving the house. The musicians are up in the dressing room, the lights are up, and the last stragglers are leaving the bar. Elvin is apparently three sheets to the wind and thrilled with my bartending capabilities.

"So, you're a fan of the Rolling Stones, right?"

"No, not particularly, but I'm a HUGE fan of The Faces."

To this day I'm still sure I was the only one in the entire club who knew the words to "Ooh La La" when Woody sang it. Granted, it was my undying love for the hard drinking, seriously rock and rollin', long-by-this-time-gone-persona of Rod Stewart that inspired my undying love for The Faces. And btw, if you love the Black Crowes, you really have to check out The Faces. They did it first, and they did it better (Black Crowes fan that I am).

"Well, you've done such a good job tonight, we're gonna go upstairs and meet Ron Wood."

Ummm... huh? You're kidding right?

I've never been much of a stargazer and frankly, I wouldn't even want to meet George Bush adorned in Balloon Scum and sweat, and I *despise* him. Unfortunately, I have a more pressing issue. My boss is favoring me with something that is apparently supposed to honor me to no end, and he wasn't exactly planning on doing the same for any of the other half dozen or so bartenders who busted ass that night. I was The Chosen One and I could tell by his attitude that gushing with much appreciation on my part was expected.

I did give it as much thought as I figured I could get away with before answering, but couldn't quickly come up with a way to gracefully back out of this one. After all, I had apparently accomplished my mission to keep the boss happy, I just hadn't realized there would be consequences to pay for my efforts. How do you turn down a gift the person who pays you is sure you are going to consider to be The Shit? Well, if you're smart, you don't. I reluctantly acquiesced. I reasoned the ordeal would be over quickly, that I would escape unscathed in no time at all and get home to my longed-for shower, and Elvin would be content that he did me right.

Wrong.

Up we go to the dressing room, and we make a beeline for the bar. Elvin now decides he is going to honor me with being *my* bartender and starts serving up drinks. I'm standing next to Bo Didley, and if I wanted to make this diatribe even longer than it already is, now would be the time to explain why Bo Didley was a huge asshole. Perhaps Plinky will provide an appropriate prompt for that story down the road, so I'll save it.

Some chick who was a friend of Elvin's and apparently knew Woody comes into the bar and starts talking to Elvin. Ellvin asks her where Woody is and explains he has brought me up to meet him. And with that, the horror begins.

This chick goes running into the dressing room screaming, "Woody! Woody, c'mere, this girl REALLY wants to meet you!"

OH... MY... GOD. Just shoot me now. Please. IN THE HEAD.

I tried to hide my face in my hand and started slowly trying to shrink down behind the bar, frantically planning my escape route through the side room, to the door and down the stairs as stealthily as possible. Just as I had almost managed to sink low enough to employ my plan I hear, "Hi! I'm Woody." I took this as a sign that my escape plan had gone horribly wrong.

"Hi." Weak smile as I nonchalantly stood back up.

Now, I gotta admit, for as horrible as this was up to this point, and granted that there was little that was going to improve this situation, Woody sure did his best to make it an enjoyable experience. And considering he was entirely oblivious to my angst, I will be eternally grateful.

He grabbed me by the hand (at least *that* was clean, bartenders wash an awful lot of glasses), drug me into the side room, and sat me down at a table. He asked someone for a piece of paper, and when presented with a paper towel, scrawled an autograph on it for me (which I suspect I still have somewhere). We chatted about unimportant things like the crowd and how busy it was, and briefly discussed the music he had played. I told him how much I adored The Faces and that I'd be front and center if they ever managed a reunion. Hard as it was to resist, I was wise enough not to ask him any questions about Roderick, as much as he would have been my main focus if I could have made the best of the situation without the fear of insulting this person who was so incredibly nice and certainly had much more right to be an ass than Bo Didley did... afterall, Woody is a Rolling Stone [insert appropriate swooning here]. His wife popped in and said hello as well. Also very sweet.

My ordeal ended quickly and much better than the stressful, angst-ridden way it had progressed from the beginning would have suggested. I reasoned that Ron Wood met so many people he would instantaneously forget all about my Balloon Scum-ridden self as I finally made my escape down the stairs, only to be met by a circle of bartenders and bouncers who apparently also thought my experience must have been The Shit. As far as I know, they still do... unless any of them Plink.


I'm a Starr

When I was reeeeeeal little (I'm guessing six or so), I met this long-haired hippy guy walking down the sidewalk outside our Long Island home. He handed me a tiny sample box of Bold detergent and told me to give it to my mother. I asked him who he was and he replied, "Ringo Starr." I suspect that given my age he didn't think I would question why a multimillionaire rock star who couldn't even walk down a street without being mobbed would be handing out detergent samples (he was right), much less that I'd even know who Ringo Starr was, but the fact of the matter was that I had three much older brothers, the oldest of whom, Gene, was determined to destroy every Hi-Fi speaker in the house by blasting The Beatles with the volume turned up all the way to 11. Not only did I know who Ringo Starr was, I had named my cat Ringo... after my favorite Beatle (at the time). I chose to believe he was who he said he was. Still do.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Hey kid, c'mere. See this? It's a laser turret. Lemme show you how it works...

Plinky asks what lessons I would instill in my kids...

I don't have kids for a reason. The neighbors have kids, which is why I have laser turrets. OK, not really, but if I did have 'em, I'd use 'em.

The neighbors to the north of me recently moved their trampoline to the other side of the yard and now it's about an acre away. Not only would this make for much tougher moving targets, I now have less incentive to make such a huge investment in James Bond-type weaponry. The neighbor on my other side has a trampoline too. She moved hers after I asked her if she'd send the squirrels she complained about destroying it over to the other neighbor's when they they were through. I don't think she appreciated my humor but my husband and I thought it was pretty damn funny. At least we now have about three acres between trampolines and in the summer when all the zillions of trees have leaves, we can pretty much live in ignorant bliss. Which reminds me, I gotta put out more corn for the squirrels. A local squirrel is a useful squirrel.


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tornado Event Horizon

Tornadoes in southeastern Pennsylvania. Exactly how often does that happen? This isn't exactly Tornado Alley, it's actually pretty much The Land That Weather Forgot. In fact, anyone who has been playing along since the beginning of Reality Check knows that I started my journey into the blogging abyss with a post regarding my own personal inability to get snowed on, no matter how hard I try. So, is it any wonder this was the satellite map of an urgent tornado warning issued by the National Weather Service today? The box is so small and precise that it may as well have been issued as "Urgent Tornado Warning for Susan Maxwell Schmidt's House." Thankfully the "tornado event" didn't pan out to be any more than dime-sized hail.



As long as I live here, you will NEVER see this with a blizzard warning.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Kids, Love 'em or Leave 'em. LEAVE 'EM! Nono, Really... TRUST Me! DON'T DO IT!!!!

It occurs to me that in all my 49 years, I have only met one woman who was genuinely happy to be a parent. Really, just one. Granted, she was also "born again" and perfectly willing to do the "lord and master" bit as well, so I'm not sure my lone example can even be considered to be in full control of her mental faculties less a good example of the opposing argument. That being said however, simply knowing her well and being intimately aware of her outlook on life makes me unable to honestly say "no" woman I ever met was happy to be a parent. The rest of 'em should have talked to me first.

I just don't understand the attraction. I suppose my first question is the most basic.

"Why?"

OK, mebbe my first question would actually be "WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU THINKIN'???" but I'm trying really hard to be diplomatic here.

When it comes right down to it, I gotta admit the reasoning behind the entire concept completely escapes me. My life and the ability to rule almost every aspect of it is indubitably the most treasured possession I own. I can't understand why giving up that ability would appeal to anyone. What is the attraction? There obviously is some kind of awfully powerful one of which I am blissfully ignorant, as plenty of women are practically desperate to have kids beforehand, it's only after the deed is done that they rethink the intelligence of the decision. And they always do. Other than the afore-mentioned questionably sane person, every woman I have known well enough to share such intimacies (and several I didn't) has regretted the decision, at least to some extent. Maybe it is nothing more than some deeply ingrained instinct to procreate. I don't know if I can buy into even that though, we've certainly evolved far enough along to be able to out-think most of our instincts. I for one have no desire to hoard nuts and berries to tide me over the winter months.

All that being said, can you imagine the pros and cons list if one were to make one before embarking on this tenuous journey? One based on the assumption that everything will go as well as can be expected, of course (and by that I mean everyone is physically and mentally healthy, and your kid doesn't grow up so maladjusted they end up putting out an all-points bulletin for your car and Phillip Jr. after they find your body parts strewn throughout your home).

Shall we? Oh yes, let's!

PRO
I get to enjoy the beauty and romance of pregnancy. I will absolutely glow!

CON
I will suffer extreme mood swings, gain 40lbs. (if I'm lucky), puke my guts up every morning for months, likely get hemorrhoids the size of Ohio, have unbearable back pain, stretch my skin so far it scars (what exactly do you think "stretch marks" are?), contemplate if murdering my husband is a viable option as my hormone levels fluctuate wildly, and have to buy an entirely new wardrobe I will wear for five months, tops. I will not make love to my sweetie/devil-incarnate, or even find a comfortable position in which to sleep for that matter, for several months. Then I will experience pain for hours on end far beyond any I have ever previously known, will be sliced open either through an episiotomy or caesarean, and spend several days in a hospital (if my health insurance, assuming I have health insurance, allows for such a luxury).

PRO
I have an adorable little bundle of joy to nurture and love.

CON
I will give up what would have been my study (guest room, gym, home theater, shoe closet for the Louboutin collection I will now never own, etc.) so it can become a nursery. I will spend many, many months getting little to no sleep, regardless if I have to get up at 6am when I return to work. If I do choose to work outside the home, I will abandon my career for several weeks at the very least, and will spend an even longer time playing catch-up when I return. Every minute spent at home will revolve entirely around my child's sleeping, eating and eliminating habits. I will either suffer intense breast pain or will live with the fact that I am sacrificing the ultimate in nutrition and antibodies I could give my child when I choose to feed it formula, which hopefully does not include any deadly ingredients manufactured in China. I will spend thousands of dollars a year on disposable diapers, which will end up in a landfill and will just begin to decompose in the next several decades, maybe. I will begin the many years of buying clothing, and soon shoes, that my child will outgrow long before it outwears. It will be months, if not years, before I can leave the house again in the evening for an adult outing, providing I can bring myself to leave my child and actually find a babysitter at all, much less one I can trust. I will add a minimum of $50 to the cost of said night out to pay for the sitter I settle on, whom is likely to come nowhere close to my expectations, and I will spend a good deal of the time during my outing worrying that I may have hired Aileen Wournous' reincarnation to care for my child.

PRO
My child will grow quickly and I will watch the miracle of those first important milestones with utmost pride.

CON
I will spend at least a year dealing with The Demon Seed through the toddler period. My child's first words will be "mama," "dada" and "NO!" I will become selectively deaf to my own child's screaming, much to the extreme annoyance and utter disdain of every other person in the immediate vicinity. I will become the bane of anyone trying to enjoy a meal in every restaurant I enter. I will have to live with cabinet locks, outlet guards, gates throughout my home, and a muzzle on all four dogs even though they wouldn't hurt a fly. OK, so maybe they eviscerate flies, but they don't have a taste for human flesh... yet. There's no saying how they'll feel about it after little Jimmy eats all the food in their bowl and then tries to remove a fuzzy ear from its rightful owner. I will not be able to let my child out of my sight for even mere seconds for fear it will either cause itself, my home or a bichon frise irreparable harm. My main focus in life will be reduced to teaching my child to use a toilet as intended, while at the same time teaching it not to use it to flush Mommy's engagement ring, Daddy's iPhone, or the cat. I will spend long periods of time, three times a day, trying to get food into my child, and then just as routinely spend long periods of time cleaning up the food I didn't get into my child, as well as the food that comes out the other end of my child that didn't manage to successfully follow the uninsured diamond, cell phone and feline.

PRO
I will watch my child blossom as it grows and begins to learn about the world.

CON
I will go to work every day with a mind to escape the madness, but then spend the day convinced my child is suffering at the hands of a pedophile with a daycare license. I will have quality time with my child in the evenings after I have traveled ten miles out of my way to pick them up from said daycare, for which I spend one third of my salary, and go home to watch the news with the hope I do not see anyone from Budding Genius Babycare being led from the building in handcuffs. I will then spend two hours with my child before they go to bed, which is a half hour later than it should be due to the delay caused by the incessant whining and screaming it took to get them *into* the bathtub and again when I tried to get them *out* of the bathtub. I will read "The Velveteen Rabbit" for the 174th time. I know how it ends.

PRO
My child will begin school and flourish with its newfound knowledge.

CON
I will get up two hours before I have to leave for work to prepare my child for school, make a nutritious breakfast even though the thought of food in the morning nauseates me, and pack a lunch (or search frantically for enough cash to pay for lunch). I will then send my child to what has become America's "killing fields" and hope they have enough sense to duck and hide when the bullets start flying. If my child is sick, is home for one of the 186 annual school holidays, or has a "snow day" I will either have to take off work or frantically find someone trustworthy enough to care for my child, since I understand locking them in a closet with a coloring book, a supply of crayons and a few cookies is not an acceptable option in the eyes of the law (as much as it *should* be). I will spend my few free hours attending PTA meetings and parent/teacher conferences, baking cupcakes for a classroom full of other people's brats, and trying to remember how to help mine do the "new math" I learned decades ago, which is no longer new enough to be the way it is done *now.*

PRO
My child will become an intelligent, independent free thinker as it enters its teen years.

CON
My child will no longer tell me it loves me, but instead will go into great detail about why it hates me while stomping dramatically up stairs and slamming bedroom doors. My mere presence in front of little Lizzie's friends will embarrass her to no end, no matter whether I have chosen the occasion to intentionally torture her mercilessly for my own amusement or not. I will feel guilt when I wrestle with deciding if I should call the police when my child runs away from home, while secretly hoping they stay away for at least a day or two. I will struggle with the choice of being the "cool, realistic parent" and buy him/her a steady supply of contraceptives, or the "protective, over-my-dead-body parent" and elect to lock them in their room until they are 21. I will begin to wonder if giving up foie gras and tenderloin over the course of almost two decades in exchange for Kraft Macaroni and Cheese and Hamburger Helper was worth the gamble that my kids would actually go to college, much less move out of my house before the age of 30. I will cringe at the idea that Mary doesn't know her mother well enough to actually think I will let her leave the house wearing a belly shirt emblazoned with the Playboy emblem and a pair of low-rise yoga pants that proudly declare "Juicy" across her butt. I will continually reassure myself that my son really does have a future as a space shuttle pilot, simply because the only skill Johnny has ever mastered is his outstanding ability to fly a starfighter on his PS3.

I will eventually find myself muttering aloud to my few childless friends with a wistful sigh that I "wonder what would my life have been like if I didn't have kids." And then I will do my best to ingore the sympathy-with-just-a-hint-of-smug-satisfaction look in the eyes of those who were actually smart enough to make a pros and cons list before taking the plunge.

And as terribly difficult as it is, I really do try to keep it to just a *hint.*

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Agua Net

Plinky asks what was the worst time I've ever had at a place that was supposed to be fun.

----------------------------

Always, ALWAYS dress appropriately for the occasion. Always.

I actually covered my husband's unreasonable fear of roller coasters in my "Better Bring a Bucket List" post and as a result of said fear, my own fear of going Batmanless for my remaining days, so I'll refer you to that one for the real answer to this question. i do have a little ditty about how we ruined someone else's time however, and I have to admit it was the most fun I had at Great Adventure that day.

Thank god I was smart enuf to get Richard on the log flume ride early in the day before riding any of the "real" roller coasters. I LOVE log flume rides, some of my earliest childhood memories are of riding the log flume ride at the World's Fair in NY in the late '60s. You might say I grew up riding log flume rides.

So anyways, we're standing in this interminably long line, inching slowly toward the flume, and we observe this woman dozens of people ahead of us who obviously didn't read her "How to Dress for an Amusement Park" primer. Now, being the type who for years wouldn't answer the phone without her makeup on, I understand wanting to look at least presentable in public. Hubby and I mused however, that we just didn't get why anyone would come to Great Adventure dressed to the nines, red hair teased and sprayed to *there*, enuf makeup on to make Tammy Faye look "Cover Girl Clean" and sporting stilettos. This poor misguided woman became the source of our amusement for the long, boring wait to get on the ride. We were obviously desperate for something to do to pass the time.

Just as we are finally reaching the boarding ramp, the ticket taker starts pulling couples out of the line and having them stand aside while larger groups were directed to their logs. Eventually he points at us and points to a log. Just as I am about to get in, I hear this sarcastic voice coming from the back of the log, "Ha ha, you are going to get SO wet! The people in the front get SOAKED!" I looked up and realized it was the sprayed-to-within-an-inch-of-her-life redhead. I also realized she had never ridden a log flume ride before. I smiled.

As soon as hubby was safely tucked behind me, I whispered a little something in his ear. He smiled.

And away we went, sloshing and banging and slipping down small hills and making little splashes. I didn't even hear any unusual sounds emanating from hubby, so it is safe to assume that even he was enjoying himself.

Now unlike a roller coaster, which generally has the biggest drop in the beginning of the ride, the biggest drop on a log flume ride is at the end. I know this. I've done this before.

We reach the crest of the hill and find ourselves facing down. Just as the log goes over the top I yell, "NOW!"

I duck. Hubby ducks. The water goes SWOOSH! I am dry. Hubby is dry. Redhead is drenched. Life is good. And wet hairspray *so* sucks.

I love log flume rides.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

No, Really... He's Normal

My husband just came screaming up the stairs only moments after he gave me the requisite nose kiss and was off to work.

"AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!"

"What's the matter Sweetie?????"

"I forgot my pants."

And so is life in the Maxwell Schmidt household.