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Friday, December 24, 2010

If You Aren't Already Inclined To Think Us Odd...

...This is what I gave Jason for Christmas this year:

Yes, that is a drawing of our dog, Luke, attacking a zombie priest. I had an incredibly talented artist draw this for me. Her name is Silva Noir, and she is also the artist responsible for the sweet, sweet not.a.lion t-shirts for sale over on You Suck At Craigslist
If you find yourself in need of amazing art at a very reasonable price, here's her website.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

It Was A Dark and Stormy Christmas

If you are unfamiliar with the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, click that link and become familiar with the awesomeness that is bad writing.
As I may have mentioned a few hundred times before, I used to fancy myself a decent writer, but I've spent a fair number of years not writing much of anything so I am surely rusty at the least. I also used to have an insatiable appetite for books. No really, dip them in an egg wash, coat with breadcrumbs and deep fry them, I guarantee they are as tasty as anything you might find at the state fair. But I also enjoyed reading them, yet this too was something that I had gotten out of the habit of doing. So a few weeks ago I downloaded the Kindle app for my phone and, being the cheapskate that I am, I've been plowing through the hundreds of classics that I downloaded from Project Gutenberg.
As I had hoped, reading has sparked my interest in writing once again, but I'm taking baby steps. I plan to submit a few deliciously bad entries to Bulwer-Lytton, then graduate to slightly less bad creative endeavors here. From there I may try my hand at a short story, or perhaps a novella. If I persist through to a full fledged novel I will have surpassed my own expectations several fold, for I thoroughly expect to crash and burn on stage one.
Writing takes practice, and surprisingly, bad writing takes far more practice. So consider this my first exercise. I've concluded, through no actual study, scientific or otherwise, that the detective fiction genre holds the record for having the worst opening sentences of all fiction. Really though, with detective fiction it isn't just the opening lines. There is a reason this stuff is parodied.
Paired with the fact that I did indeed promise holiday themed blogs, I now present:

Dead Reindeer Pull No Sleighs

Rudolph took a long drag off his fourth cigarette since entering his office less than ten minutes before. The Chesterfield was stale, as stale as a Christmas cookie in February, perhaps more so now that hydrogenated oils kept baked goods fresh longer than any comestible had the right to exist. He picked up the manila envelope that had been slid under his door at some point during the night and dumped the contents onto his desk. Surely the chief knew about this by now and would be calling him for a lead. This case hit close to home.
Dancer was dead.
Rudolph knew she had hit hard times since the layoff, and he was well aware that dancing wasn't the only thing she was doing down at The Jolly Pole, but the girl had a head on her shoulders and had always kept her nose clean. Sure, no one bought that line that she was only doing it to pay her way through med school, but The Jolly Pole was a class establishment, at least as much as an establishment that served watered down drinks to lonely businessmen looking to fuel their lonely motel night fantasies could be. But murder wasn't on the menu.
Rudolph cursed the day that Santa called them into the office only to inform them that they were being replaced by Sony's new old stock of Aibos and cheap pixie dust from China. If he hadn't lucked out and ran into the chief back in his beat cop days, and offered to sit atop his patrol car and blink his nose in place of the broken emergency light, Rudolph could have ended up in a worse situation. He thought about poor Cupid. Despite the foppish name, no one really had any use for a Valentine's day reindeer.
The door handle clicked and Rudolph looked up, expecting the chief to walk through with some lame line about cheap booze and red noses, like he had every day for the last 2 years. But the voluptuous silhouette that he spied through the frosted glass was not the chief, not unless the chief had hastily acted upon some hitherto unknown secret desire. With a deft motion, Rudolph swept the envelope and its sordid contents into the top drawer and crushed the Chesterfield into the overflowing ashtray.

She cast a sultry glance around the shabby office, barely concealing her distaste for shabbiness, before settling Rudolph with a smoldering look that would have made Texas barbecue out of any other reindeer. But he wasn't any other reindeer. He had a red nose and a memory like a bear trap, and he still didn't trust this dame.
"Rudolph, it's been too long." She flounced across the threadbare carpet and draped herself into the faded upholstered chair across from him. "You used to tell me that you couldn't bear to be away from me for hours, yet it's been years."
"Save it sister," he puffed through a freshly lit stale Chesterfield, "You're trouble and you know it and Dasher happens to be a good friend of mine. I can't say I didn't warn him, but he's a grown man who stands on his own four feet so if he gets hit in the tenders he has only himself to blame."
Vixen frowned. "Dasher, there's nothing tender about him anymore. All he cares about is that stupid business of his and talk of IPOs, ROIs and a bunch of other silly letters that I simply haven't the head for. Oh don't think bad of me! I'm as gentle as a lamb with him, I just wish he'd pay more attention. Sure he buys me nice dresses, but does he compliment me when I wear them? I should dress myself in stock quotes if I want him to pay attention."
"I'm sure you didn't come all the way down to skid row for a shoulder to cry on and those letters on the door say 'Detective Rudolph, Private Investigator' not 'Dr. Rudolph, Head Shrinker to the Rich.' So spill it."
"It's about Dancer."
Rudolph's blood ran colder than Santa's black, capitalistic heart. There was no way Vixen,wife of the most successful of all of them who ran with the A-list and had permanent reservations at the most exclusive restaurants in town, could have known about a murder that had only happened a few hours before. But it was no secret that there was no love lost between these two broads. Their cat fights back at North Pole were legendary.
"What about Dancer?" Rudolph's poker face would have made both Kenny Rogers and Lady Gaga proud.
"Don't play dumb with me. Who do you think slipped those pictures under your door?"
Rudolph raised one eyebrow and took a deep drag off his fifteenth cigarette. This case was getting more interesting by the minute, and he hadn't even had his first whiskey laced coffee of the day.

And there you have it, the beginning of some seriously bad Christmas pulp. Who dunnit? What did they do? Where the hell is this story going? Don't ask me, I didn't even think up this much plot when I started out. Feel free to imagine the rest, or not.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Raised By Tigers

Check it out, and I'm not just saying that because my husband is in the band and made the video, it's actually pretty bad ass. And none of this is computer generated:
**Edit: Fixed the broken link. Switch the resolution to 720HD before watching. It looks a lot better that way.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Something About Christmas

I promised some holiday-esque blogging, but I used up my best stories last year. This blog is making me a liar.
This is a odd year. Jason and I pooled our resources to create what we hope will be a fantastic gift for the folks we know, rather than work on a super secret gift for each other. Because of this, and because we finished almost a month ago, I've got leisure time that would normally be spent making mad dashes to the store on a daily basis. I wish I could say that this time is being put to good use, but in all honesty, I'm just sitting around reading stories on the internet and occasionally remembering to do dishes.
So until I can talk about the pretty spiffy gift, I'll just have to rack my brain for fun stories or post what ever weird observation I happen to make. That's how blogging goes, I guess.

Saturday, December 11, 2010


This is not about Christmas. In this entry I question what it means to be a girly girl. Above is a picture of the most common obsessions of the stereotypical girly girl. While I own a purse and shoes, I would not say that I am obsessed with them. In fact, I've been carrying the purse pictured above for a whole year without regard to season or current trend. I do own more than one pair of shoes, but the loafers pictured here probably get worn 80% of the time that I am required to be shod in something other than sneakers. I don't like shopping for shoes and I absolutely loathe shopping for purses. In fact, I pretty much hate shopping unless I'm at a specialty grocery store.
Yet, I'm totally a girly girl. I have a whole closet dedicated to hair and makeup products (admittedly, I barely ever wear makeup, but I have it if I need it). I get manicures and pedicures when ever I can afford them. Spa manicures and pedicures, none of this quick polish change crap for me, I'm girly. I named my car (Dodo, for she is part of a now extinct tribe). I speak to my dogs in cute voices. None of them are chihuahuas or teacup poodles, but girly girls can have mutts, right? I work in the beauty industry. That should totally seal the deal.
True story: At my last job, someone sent me an email that began, "Dear Mr. (my last name)." I thought it was funny, seeing as my first name is never shortened to Chris and I have what I believe to be a feminine voice (okay, it's a step higher than Bea Arthur's, but still....). So I jokingly told my coworkers that my gender was being challenged, to which one of my friends replied, "I'll send her an email back saying you have boobies." Another friend countered with, "And I'll tell her I've seen your shoe closet, she may be right."
So it all comes back to shoes.
Well, nonexistent readers, come back from the depths of the internet and weigh in. Can one truly be a girly girl with a mere 5 pairs of shoes?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas Creepy: Why Is Yo' Mouth So Big?!?

I've developed a seasonal phobia. Blame it on the Burger King, or clowns, or the creepy painting in my doctor's office, or...well I don't know. But this guy does:
Yep, I'm scared of nutcrackers. Not all nutcrackers, I mean, those simple metal bars that one actually uses to crack open nuts are just fine. We even have  sturdier version that has a vice grip and handle for all the pecans we get every couple of years. But these creepy fellas that crop up mid-November and stare in that condescending, Snidley Whiplas mustachioed way freak me out. Like they're saying, "Go on, I dare you to actually stick a walnut in my mouth. You and I both know I'm just going to fall apart or launch a walnut across the room."
The worst part is that most of these Soldiers of Satan aren't even functioning nutcrackers. They come in all sizes from tiny ornaments to life sized blow up sentinels of electricity consumption.
Beyond the nutcracker, I haven't found much about Christmas that I don't like. I suppose the whole "War on Christmas" thing annoys me. Personally, I don't care if a store emblazons their windows with "Merry Christmas", "Happy Holidays", "Happy Hanukkah", "Happy Kwanza", or even "It's December, Buy Stuff!" (though that would be awesome and if I ever own a store that's what I'm doing). The point to me isn't the name, it's the happy and merry part. I mean, come on, it's December, and in the northern hemisphere that means it's cold. People get crabby when they're cold so we need more happy and merry. And if blinking lights, mechanized snowmen and reindeer, pine trees, and electric bills that require a federal bailout make you happy, then I say awesome! Just pass on the nutcracker, okay?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Oh Tinker Tree, Oh Tinker Tree!

How flimsy are thy branches!

Seeing as I had neither the time nor space to embark on my insane project of making a tree out of hangers tape and green lights, we put up the tinker tree again this year. We tried to add lights, but the end result was as disastrous as you would imagine. This thing doesn't stand up very well when it's bare. We did add some new decorations this year:
We had to represent Hanukkah, though I admit to having no real clue as to how one plays with a dreidel so I made up my own rules. Every time I spun and it stayed on the table I won. This is a very hard game to play. 
I made this snowflake cookie star wood and glitter thing in 1978, which incidentally, is the year my crafting skills peaked. Notice how there's a drum in that picture, and the one above? Look at this next picture:
Look! Another drum! Obviously, I bought the drums because my husband is a drummer who now also makes drums, but seeing as there are so many on the tree, it has become a fair representation of our home (oops, I think I just heard Jason putting coal in my stocking). The airplane was added because it's about the same size as the plane I flew last year. Crowding the plane is an ornament I made last year. I told you my skills peaked 32 years ago.

Our local grocery store is now advertising that they have the freshest trees in town. Either I've been missing out on the culinary delights of Scotch pine souffle, or  that's a thinly veiled advertisement for drugs. Given the grocery store in question, I'm going with the latter.
Someday I'd like to have a real tree, but I don't like the idea of cutting down a tree for the sake of one month of decoration, and I don't like the idea of a fire hazard/dog disaster in my living room. So one day, when we are rich, I will have a large house with an atrium, where I will grow a magnificent pine tree that I will decorate every year. Granted, this doesn't solve the dog disaster issue. 

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Cheapskate Splurges

I'm that person who signs up for every membership card or rewards program, no matter how likely I am to ever set foot in a store again. I like discounts. I like free stuff even more. I got my newest pair of running shoes for $3 using a combination of clearance rack, credit card rewards, and a birthday discount coupon.
Today I used my $10 off reward from World Market. I only had one thing in mind that I wanted and it was $2.50, so I spent a good 45 minutes scouring the store for odds and ends that I could use. Below is the result:
Silicone mini-muffin molds, a teeny grater, 4 chocolates and stuffy crackers. I also got a pack of spinach gnocchi, but it threw off the feng shui of the photo.
My mother's birthday card can be seen in the background. She included some pictures to remind me that I didn't always have fabulous fashion sense. She emailed one of the photos to me, which I have included below, after adding a bit of artistic MS Paint high tech computer enhancements for the sake of decency:
For a kid in the tub, I'm having a pretty good hair day. That all changed around third grade.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Tale of Frizzilocks and The Three Gadgets

Once upon a time there was a girl who fancied herself a decent writer. She wanted to share her deepest, innermost thoughts with the world, so she started a blog. At first it was fun, her husband had given her a laptop so she could write her blogs almost anywhere.
But then she got her first smart phone and found that browsing humor sites from the palm of her hand was so much more convenient than lugging out the laptop, and blogging fell by the wayside. It's not that she didn't want to blog, but her phone, while smart, was very small and not the easiest thing to type on. Soon she was writing once a month apologies for not being more prolific. She promised that she would write more when she got a better phone, for at this time, the cell phone industry had made great improvements in multimedia applications and her contract was about to expire.
So the girl bought an android phone, with an on screen keyboard and voice recognition software. She wrote a blog post, it worked. But then she played with the phone for a while and found that blogging with a phone, even an android phone that knew what she was about to type before she did, was not as easy as it seemed.
And then, on Black Friday, while the girl was busy being very bored at work, her husband braved the crowds to find the solution to all of her problems. You see, Monday is her birthday, and her husband happens to be the most wonderful human monkey who has ever lived, so being wonderful, he could not wait until Monday to give her the gift. He placed in her hands a box. A smallish, lightweight box which contained a netbook, a 10 inch, three pound, Windows 7 enabled netbook that was not too big, and not too small.
There was much rejoicing. And the girl has no excuses, she will write, she will be funny, dammit.

The End.

Seriously, I got a netbook, how cool is this?
In other news...
Okay, since I work in wholesale distribution, it's technically been he holiday season for me since August, and the stores started pulling out the green and red before Halloween. But now the turkey has been eaten, football has been played, and Elmo apparently took a dive, so Christmas is ON! The best part? WE'RE DONE SHOPPING! Seriously, finished that stuff today, here's the result:
No, that's not a pile of quilting quarters, thems is presents! No, I am not telling you what they are, but you'll find out.
Since I don't have to frantically spend the next month running from store to store, I plan to dedicate the next month to more crazy holiday themed stories. In the mean time, here's Luke, enjoying the comforts of a spoiled dog:

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

This is Just a Test

Just checking my blogging capabilities with the
new phone. this next sentence is done using voice prompt. damn that works pretty well. Granted, it didn't capitalize anything.

50 lbs and $50

I got a new phone yesterday, the LG Optimus for Sprint. An android phone for $50. Once i finally find a blogger app that works, I should be a little more wordy than I am now. Jason got the same phone today after spending about 3 minutes playing with mine, so if he doesn't like it, it will be all my fault. :) (not too worried, I found our last phones, the Palm Centro, and we had them for three years)
While playing with the phone, he snapped this picture of me:
Not my finest, I admit, dark circles under my eyes, no makeup, sweaty, what ever. But if compared to a picture from a year ago, I can finally show how much weight I have lost:
Mind, this is one of the better pictures. I'm not posting the one where I'm in pjs with my dogs and I have a double chin and my belly looks like Santa's. Please feel free to pick on my white "athleisure" Sketchers. I do not know why I thought those were a good idea.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween Aftermath

We had a grand total of three trick-or-treaters show up last night. Apparently this was pretty normal all over town. I suppose this has a lot to do with the sad state of the world today. No more concrete and steel playgrounds, no more delicious lead based paint chips to chew on, no more trick or treating. Kids today are soft, I tell you, soft!
Or not, the little jerks were probably terrorizing the rich neighborhoods or whooping it up at Six Flags.
On a positive note, I was smart enough to buy the good stuff, so we have snack sized packs of Goldfish, dark chocolate Kisses and Toblerone minis (oops, make that had Toblerone minis) to snack on this week.

And now, just to be completely random, here's a picture of me and Sally wearing our most winning smiles:
I'm still trying to get a good picture to show off the weight loss, but there seems to be something wrong with my face in most of them. 

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

The Crystal Spider is ready to eat greet trick or treaters.

Have a happy and safe Halloween!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Out Of Touch

I have no idea what is going on in the world around me. We ditched our television this summer, my commute is all of 15 minutes so I hear snippets of news on NPR. I don't read news websites very often and I haven't read the paper since I delivered it in 1988.
And I'm totally okay with that.
Of course, there are moments when this blissful naivete becomes apparent to others. Earlier tonight, Jason was showing me some Bjork videos he had been watching. About one, I asked, "Is this newer?" He told me no, it was around 2002. I realized that by newer I was thinking of the last Bork video I had ever seen, Bachelorette (which, by the way, Firefox does not believe is a real word). It should say a lot about her promoters that I even know who Lady Gaga is (okay seriously, bachelorette isn't a word but Gaga is?).
Not that this is a new state of being for me, a few years ago, I heard a lot of people talking about the Hilton sisters. This really threw me. As far as I knew, Daisy and Violet had been dead some years so the fact that they were making headlines meant something new was discovered about them. So I Googled, and found out that there were two new Hiltons, much more deserving of the title, Freaks, than the originals.
So how does this affect me? I'm not really sure. I suppose I could claim some sort of superiority over the masses for not having a clue as to what is happening on the Jersey Shore, but to be honest, it's not as if I'm filling my head with knowledge of more important or high brow matters either. Hell, I've been wasting most of my free time browsing Awkward Family Pet Photos .
I have awkward pets, this resonates with me.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Happy Little Closet

We finished the bedroom closet a while back. Here are a couple of pictures I snapped when it was still clean:

I'm pretty happy about it. So is the closet:

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Dinner Imitates Dinner

A vegetarian turkey burger is not unlike a poster of a knockoff Rembrandt, painted on black velvet.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Definition Of Spoiled

Jason went to bed at a reasonable hour last night. I stayed up until half past reasonable.
Sally saw an opportunity:

"I snooze, you lose!"

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Hitchin' a Ride

This is not the first freeloading grasshopper to hitch a ride on my windshield, just the first I was able to get a picture of.

He rode from Target to the Dollar Tree. Grasshoppers are bargain hounds.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Third Anniversary: Spiders and Meth

Jason and I celebrated our third anniversary last Tuesday. Like every anniversary, birthday and Valentine's day, he did something amazing and awesome. The traditional list says this is the "leather" anniversary. Seeing as we're both pro-cow, he opted for the modern list, which says the third anniversary is crystal.
I can home from work to find the door covered in plastic wrap with a set of plastic hillbilly teeth taped to it. Jason informed me that we had a "problem" in the house.  Here is the problem:
Apparently the Crystal Spider from the movie, Krull, came over to help out because Jason was busy. Unfortunately, the spider wasn't very good at decorating, opting to fling webbing all over the living room. The teeth on the door (pictured here below the spider's face) were all that was left of the crystal meth addict that the spider ate on his way over.
Jason bought me some lovely gifts, but the spider wrapped them in a lot of webbing (plastic wrap) so it took both of us to open them (Jason and I, the spider refused to help).
Unfortunately, my camera was dead when this happene so all the good pictures are on my phone and I haven"t had a chance to pull them off yet. I had some very lovely flowers, and Jason picked these for me on Saturday:

The spider is still hanging out in our living room. I don't think he's had many jobs since Krull so he's probably low on funds and thinks he can crash with us for a while. I'm okay with that, at least through Halloween, he makes a great decoration. As long as he doesn't leave crystal "surprises" all over the floor.

I'm sure there's people out there that think this is an odd way to celebrate an anniversary, but those people obviously don't know me too well or have never read this blog.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


I suck at blogging.

It"s probably going to be a while before I start seriously writing again. We're still working on the house, it's 108 degrees, and honestly I dont have much to say.
But, I do have some big news...
SIZE 10!!!
I did it. Currently hovering between 175 and 180lbs. I'm stopping at 170, I doubt I can get much thinner without looking like a corpse.
More apologies for not keeping up with other blogs. I suspect this will change when I get a new phone or a netbook.
Sorry for being so meh.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Big To Do Of To Do Lists

I made a to do list this week that consisted of about twenty items ranging in importance from rolling my 401k over to bringing highlighters to work. The highlighters are in my purse as of this evening. Not much else got done.
I want to be a type A person, I really do, but something in my scattered brain just can't accept the fact that making lists and scheduling reminders is only the first part of the job and that I actually have to follow through with the tasks that I so neatly reminded myself of.

Does anyone else have this problem?

Apologies once again for my absence, we had a few weeks without internet.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Weighty Issues

I've been asked to share my weight loss secrets. I'll be happy to do that, but first I should probably tell you that unless you are a sugar junkie in need of reform, this method may not work for you.
I'll get the ugly stats out of the way first, I'm not embarrassed by them:
October 2009
Weight- 226lbs
Size-16 (US)
Average daily beverage consumption:
Coffee with sugar and cream
40ish ounces Cranberry Juice
Starbucks Venti Mocha
Occasional soft drink or milk shake
Occasional water

Average breakfast:
Doughnut, croissant, burrito or nothing at all

Average lunch:
Too much food, usually of the take out variety; deli sandwiches, Chinese, Indian, McDonalds fries, etc...

Average dinner:
Pasta and bread played heavily into my diet and I had no regard for portion size.

May 2010
Size-12 (US)

Average beverage consumption:
coffee with cream, little or no sugar, if I go to Starbucks I get regular coffee or unsweetened lattes
unsweeted soymilk

Average breakfast:
plain fat free Greek yogurt with Fiber One cereal or cereal with soymilk

Average lunch:
cheese, crackers, veggies and nuts or a sandwich on sprouted grain bread

protein heavy meals that typicaly revolve around a soy meat product and veggies, some carbs and fat usually in the form of cheese

So as you can see, the biggest difference in my diet was to remove a ton of sugar and carbs and replace it with more protein. The cranberry juice alone was an insane amount of sugar, each serving was 28g and I was probably drinking about 5 servings a day. That alone was about four times the amount that a healthy person should have. Of course, sugar does not have fat, but it does have calories, and as a diabetic, the amount of sugar I consumed raised my resistance to insulin ans lowered my metabolism.
Portion control was the next step. On a typical pasta night, I would heap pasta into a bowl and go back for seconds. I was eating roughly 3-4 servings. Even though I was eating whole grain, the amount I ate counteracted any positives that may have been. Now if I do have pasta, it's one bowl, a small bowl, and I fill my sauce with chunky veggies and "meats" so that I'm filling up, but on the right foods.
I don't count calories, but by monitoring my carbohydrate intake I don't have to. I also don't worry about fat, but I do control the amount of fat I eat. The easiest and probably most satisfying way that I do that is with cheese. My rule is simple, no processed or bulk manufactured cheese. Sure, the grocery store brick of cheddar is $2, but it tastes like plastic. By spending more money for less, I eat less, and usually I don't notice because there is so much flavor that I don't need to add a ton of cheese to my food.
Chocolate is the same. I buy nothing less than 85% cocoa chocolate which has little sugar, but much fat. Rather than eat the whole bar, or even half (which is the typical serving size), I eat a single square, two if I feel like going nuts.
I allow myself the occasional indulgence, but the key word is occasional. In the past I usually bought some sort of dessert almost every day.
I should also add that I eat no processed foods, no reduced fat or artificially sweetened items. I buy organic, whole foods when ever possible. When the recipe calls for butter, I use butter, not that heart healthy stuff that is likely made of motor oil. I also rarely go out to eat anymore. If we do go out it's for Indian or Thai, and I'd say we probably do that about once every 2-3weeks.  
I do exercise, mostly walking and some weight lifting. I've started trying to run, but only when I know that no one can see me. I try to get 30 minutes at least 5 times a week. It's not much, but that's what is recommended for healthy weight management.
More than anything, the reason this works for me is because it's not a diet, it's a total lifestyle change and one that does not inconvenience me or make me feel like anything is lacking. Honestly, I feel that we have been eating much tastier food because of it.
I hope this helped!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


I had no idea that the marimba would be so intriguing!
(Cellar Door: Something funky happened when I accepted your comment about the marimba, it says it's there but I can't see it. Sorry!)

Here is the marimba, crowding my desk:

The story of the marimba begins with a trip to a local Thai restaurant that Jason and I would frequent mainly because we were too tired to cook or we had no kitchen. Jason always picks up a Green Sheet, a free classified ad paper, and look through the musical instruments section while we waited for our food.
On this particular day, about two years ago, he found an ad for a marimba. I didn't think he was serious about the marimba, but then he whipped out his phone and called the number in the ad. I don't remember if he scheduled a visit right then and there or if he called later, but the next Saturday we were driving to a Dallas suburb, about 40 miles from Denton to meet Mark, the marimba owner.
The first thing we noticed when we arrived at his house was a grand piano in the living room. Now, mind that this is a typical suburban neighborhood and the house was unassuming from the outside, this will be important to the story. The piano had 92 keys, a typical piano has 88. Above the piano were two ancient pieces of sheet music, hand written by Gregorian monks in a style that is no longer used. The other walls and all available shelf spaces were covered with a variety of old instruments. It was clear that Mark collected rare and antique instruments. He had a story for just about every piece that we saw. I don't know how long we talked to him before going into the next room, but we learned that his wife had recently passed away, but he was vague on that point. We didn't ask questions, of course, out of respect, but there were plenty of other objects and stories that he was willing to talk about.
At this point we were fascinated, but then we went through the kitchen into the back room of the house. The room was huge with high ceilings. It had been added on to the original house for one reason, which we could hardly miss, the centerpiece of the room was a full sized cathedral style pipe organ. He had got the organ from an old movie theater that was closing down and had it taken apart, moved to his house, reassembled, and then built the addition around it.  I've never seen anything quite as impressive as the detail that Mark had put into building this room. It was like a museum. There were windows that looked into the inner workings of the organ, more instruments, books and sheet music everywhere, a staircase that lead to a catwalk attached to the original roof and another room behind the organ. We must have stayed for a few hours, just listening to stories about how he played organ for the church, histories of different instruments and the architecture of the room (massive cedar beams and ornately carved doors in wood that can't be bought any more).
After all that, Jason couldn't understand why someone who revered his collection like Mark had would ever sell a part of it, but he bought it anyway, and for what is apparently a good price (I'm not the musical instrument expert, he is).We joked that the marimba might be cursed, but so far nothing unusual has happened with it. I've tried playing it, and honestly, it's not too hard, even for someone as woefully unmusical as myself, it's set up just like a piano so if you can play a piano, you can play a marimba. Of course I just stated that my musical talent is nil, so my idea of success is figuring out "Dance of the Sugarplum Fairies" and "The Worms Crawl In, The Worms Crawl Out."
Perhaps someday I'll stun the world with my mad marimba skills, but for now, it sits in front of my desk until the house is finished throwing problems at us.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Country Mouse, City Mouse, Townie Mouse

Ask me where my ideal home would be located and I'd likely tell you New York, New Orleans, or perhaps Paris. I'm a City Mouse. I grew up in a small city, but spent most of my childhood within walking distance to parks, pools, corner candy shops and  all sorts of fun distractions. Later, in my pre and teen years I was a short bus ride from a downtown filled with shops, restaurants and cool places for an eighties chick with mall bangs and neon belts to hang out.  At eighteen I figured out that New York was a $10 bus ride away and suddenly my small city seemed smaller.
I never had the chance to live in NYC, but I spent as much time there as possible. I moved to San Francisco, then Dallas. Each move gave me a different perspective on city life, and the last eight years have afforded me with amazing travel opportunities so I've seen a lot of cities both large and small.
For me, the bigger the better. I'm at home in a place where I don't need to own a car and never  have to shop at a mall or big box store. I love corner markets, cafes and news stands. The idea of living in the "sticks" where driving is mandatory as the nearest store is miles away has never enticed me. I've never wanted land, gardens or anything of the sort. I'm okay with concrete and roof top gardens and inner city parks.
Yet somehow here I am, forty miles from the nearest big city, a sprawling city with limited public transit at that. I buy my dog food at a feed store that occasionally has horses in the parking lot. We have more western apparel and supply stores than news stands. Am I a Country Mouse?
Had you asked me a few weeks ago I would have said yes, I am an exhausted Country Mouse who works in the "city" and has no time to lament country life. But I would have been wrong, because I do not live in a town or village, but in a city, a small one, about the same size as the one I grew up in, but a city none the less.
Perspective is interesting. Since I started working in town, I've begun incorporating exploring my city into my daily walks. within a quarter mile of my house is a grocery store, three drug stores, more pizza restaurants than should be allowed, a local coffee shop and a Starbucks, several hair and nail salons and a beauty supply store, a craft store, dollar store, Radio Shack, a few bars, three Mediterranean restaurants and a sushi bar... and a lot more. Sure, I have to drive to the mall for clothes, and I usually drive to the grocery store because we tend to buy more than I can carry home on foot, and I can't take the train to work, but if I felt like it, I could be writing this from a cafe table while drinking a latte.
I'm a Townie Mouse. It took a while, but I finally found my groove.
Does that mean I've given up my dreams of a brownstone, or a winter home in the Garden District, or a vacation flat overlooking the Eiffel Tower? Hell no! But if none of that should come to pass, I doubt I'll feel that I missed out on anything.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Back From Yet Another Hiatus

In case you haven't figured it out, April was a pretty busy month for me. I would have loved to told the world about it, but frankly I had neither the time nor the space to do so. You see, part of what made April such a busy month is that we had a contractor come in and completely re-do the front of the house, which included knocking down a few walls, which meant we had to move out of both the living room and Jason's office, which meant my office is buried under the bedroom and a marimba. That made sense, right?
I didn't think so. Anyway, all that matters is that we have a shiny new house with insulated walls. Here's a picture:

The front porch is brand new. I don't have any pictures of what it used to look like, but trust me, this is an improvement. Here's a picture of one of the back windows that has yet to be replaced:

I'm pretty sure that's lead based paint flaking off there.
We're also close to finishing the main bathroom, and when the foundation gets repaired (again!) we'll have a nice new bedroom with a walk-in closet. Yay me!

I also started a new job on the third of May, which meant that April was ridiculously busy at my last job since I had to figure out exactly what it was I did and train others to do it. The new job makes me happy. I'm out of travel, and I took a pretty big cut in pay, but I no longer have to drive 35 miles each way. I'm 10 minutes from work, which gives me three extra hours each day to do what ever I want, or at least it will, once the house is finished.

And finally, I had my last A1C in April and I am at a 6.2 with a triglyceride count of 118, which is pretty awesome considering that when I was diagnosed in October I had an A1C of 10 and a triglyceride count of over 400. I've lost close to 40 pounds and I have just 10 more to go before I'm "normal." I do admit, I've been slacking a bit this week, but I'm on a schedule now. I will get there and I will stay there, dammit!

Finally, I apologize for not keeping up with everyone's blogs, this too will change. I miss you guys. 

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Another Visitor

We destroyed this poor fella's home today:

We didn't mean to. I had no idea he was living in a pile of wood that was left over from when we had the huge pecan cut down. The wood was intended to be fire wood, but it had sat there for so long that it grew some scary mold so we finally tossed it. I'm sure Mr. Lizard will find his way into one of the other trees, or maybe the shed, which is apparently a haven for lizards, squirrels, cats and god knows what else.
He too is welcome to stay. The dogs didn't seem the least bit interested.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Reason My Mom Won't Visit Texas

This little guy was hanging out in the bushes right at the top of the fence the other day:

Personally, I think he's cute, but I know some people have fears of snakes. I have a rational fear of poisonous snakes and the large ones that could swallow me whole, but this guy's alright. He was just hanging out, minding his own business until the paparazzi (that would be me) showed up.
Just a sign that spring is here, which is nice, considering our first day of spring brought snow. SNOW!!! In TEXAS!!!
Yes, spring. My second favorite season after autumn. A time when neither the heater nor the air conditioning needs to be on. A time when long sleeves are still appropriate, but jackets are not needed. I can walk the neighborhood without freezing or getting sunburn.
Of course I love spring rain storms, despite the fact that it means muddy paw prints everywhere.
So Mr. Snake, you are welcome to sit on my fence when ever you want, just mind the dogs, They think you have a delicious flavor.
Toads and mosquitoes, however, please find somewhere else to congregate, you give me the willies.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

New Page

I've added a new page housing all of the blogs that I had featured on the Your Blog Is Awesome site. The link is a little tough to see right now, but it's there, up at the top, right under the heading. I'll be changing the layout here soon so it should be easier to see.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Oh Hai-ku!

A Puppy's Lament:

The Shark's Tale:

Carb-less Indulgence:

Also Worth It:

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

So If They Don't Go In The Ear, What DO They Do?

Admit it, you stick cotton swabs in your ears. I bet you even look at the swabs to see how much ear wax you pulled out. What? Only me? Well okay, but you do realize that despite the fact that the box clearly states that swabs are not to be stuck in the ear canal, most people buy them for this reason.
So if swabs are not for ears, what are they for? Let's look at the handy dandy pictograph from the back of my not-for-ear swabs:

Uh huh, I see. Detailing my tub. Like the little cardboard stick is going to hold up against lime deposits and god only knows what. No thanks, that's what the dollar store sells quick-erase sponges for. Seriously, those things are awesome. And if you are paying $3 a sponge for the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser then get your booty down to the Dollar Tree. You get two for a buck.
Wait, I'm not pitching products, I'm discussing swabs. What's next?
Cleaning the cookie crumbs from between the keys on the computer. Not bad, I can see doing that in a pinch, but really a can of air works a lot better, and you don't mash down the keys, inadvertently opening every help file and sending emails to your company's distribution list that say: gugsfgdhlfdhguyis....
Eye Makeup application. I've tried this, it doesn't work. Swabs will leave little Haley's Comets across your eyelid and you'll be blind from all the shadow that gets in your eye.
I'm going to say the next one is for applying antibiotics because the possibility that it's toothpaste or hemorrhoid cream bothers me. This one is okay, I do this as not to contaminate my antibiotics with cooties. Although, it's antibiotic, isn't it supposed to kill the cooties?
And finally...
What in the name of all things sugar coated is this? Either that's one huge swab or one tiny baby. In fact, I don't think that's a swab at all. I think this is what you call cross-promotion.
Let's take a closer look:

Ah ha! Mothers everywhere know that babies have wispy fly-away hair, but babies are far too young for Aquanet. By gently greasing your babies hair with a delicious chicken drumstick you not only get lie-flat hair, you get the added bonus of aroma therapy! Mmmm...chicken baby head!

*please note that I don't really eat chicken...or babies.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Music Theory

Somehow it seems appropriate to write about music while being aurally assaulted by the Flaming Lips. No joke, they are about a quarter mile from where I sit and damn they are loud! Yeah, I know, free concert, and hey, if that's your thing then cool, but they're not my thing. Especially the song playing right now.
You see here's the weird thing about me: My life ambition up until the age of sixteen or so was to be a rock goddess. I used to own over 500 cassette tapes (thank you Columbia House!). I married a rock star.
Clearly music has had a huge impact on my life.

But I hate music.

No really. I do. Not just new music either. As it happens, those 500 cassette tapes? Mostly crap from the late eighties that I cringe to think about now. I've probably switched gears musically about fifty times in my life.
But I didn't write this post to complain about what is wrong with music. I'm simply giving you the background needed to understand my point of view.
This post is actually about what makes a pop song me, at least.
Now, keep in mind that I'm skipping over the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Elvis, Michael Jackson and all the rest of the "legends." What I have compiled is a list of songs, at least ten years old that still get frequent radio play, that I think hold up.
By all means, feel free to disagree with me. I am certainly not claiming any authority on the matter (please reference my "technical speak" below).
On with the list!

'Love Song' The Cure
Not their best, but I'm willing to bet their most popular. It's been covered, what fifty seven times? But none of the covers come close.
The reasons:
Jangly-clangly guitars (see that's a technical term); trippy, acid days of the sixties keyboards; Robert Smith's semi-suicidal drawl.
Yep, I spent a lot of my youth wearing black and writing poetry, but I think this song has universal appeal.

'Whiter Shade of Pale' Procol Harum
Covered twice, incorrectly I might add, that I know of. This is the number one most played song of the last 50 years in English pubs so in a way it speaks for itself, but I'll speak for it anyway.
The reasons: Trippy acid organ, I have a thing for that; Fantastically confusing lyrics; elements lifted straight out of classical compositions.
I once had a friend who told me that my love of this song was "a phase" that I was going through. I was 23 at the time. Twelve years later I still love it. So there!

'Cars' Gary Numan
I know, this song is steeped in eighties elements that should make it as dated as jelly shoes and Rubik's Cubes, but it totally perseveres.
The reasons:
Intentional minimalism; Kickin' synth bass; Short and too the point.
Think about it, a lot of pop in the eighties did minimalistic synth, but the songs repeated for a full three or four minutes. This song is almost four minutes, but it doesn't get bogged down with key changes, repeating choruses or the like. It's simple, and I like that.

'Under Pressure' Queen and David Bowie:
As stand alone acts, these two are disqualified as being in the "legend" category, but I'm taking this one out as it was a slight departure.
The reasons:
The contrast of Bowie and Mercury's voices play well against each other; More intentional minimalism from artists not known for that; The Epic crescendo that takes us to the end of the song, yet still retains the minimalist feel.
It's now been 20 years since a certain rap reject sullied the good name of this song, yet every time it comes on the radio I listen very carefully and count out the first eight notes. If it repeats at eight I listen, if a bastard 9th note slips by I reach violently for the tuner.

'Losing My Religion' REM
They may fall into the "legend" category, but REM has been off my radar ever since 'Shiny Happy People' (which, if I remember correctly, was the next single from the same record?) so I don't really know what the general consensus is on them. Like The Cure, this is not their best, but it still gets airplay...a lot.
The reasons:
Guitar/Mandolin/Sitar or what ever the hell it is, it's got a pretty twang; Excellent use of simple rhythm; Subtle key changes as opposed to the eighties gimmick of simply repeating the chorus a half step higher.
To be honest, Michael Stipe has a voice that annoys the hell out of me. But I'm a sucker for plink-plunk*, jingle-jangle, swirly music.
*I lifted this term from a review of my husband's band. This is probably the reason I love them too.

There are, of course, many others, but I think I've carried on long enough. Besides, I also wanted to list a few songs that do not stand up to the test of time, yet still get heavy rotation. I promise not to be as verbose:

'Burning Down The House' Talking Heads: Everything that I previously mentioned as being wrong with eighties pop.

'Come Sail Away' Styx: This song embodies what is wrong with Prog Rock. Not that I hate Prog, well, some Prog, but this song is epic navel contemplation material.

And Jason's additions, that I agree whole heartedly with: Anything by The Cars.

So how about it? Weigh in on what you think holds up, and what doesn't. I'm curious.

Friday, March 5, 2010

A Big Bloggy Mess

It's pretty obvious that I have not had a lot of time to spend writing about what ever happens to catch my fancy as of late. I wish I could say that I've been busy doing very important things.
The truth looks more like this:
I wake up at 6:30am to be to work by 8:00.
I leave work at 5:00pm and get home sometime between 6 and 6:30pm.
By the time I've finished dinner, exercise and what ever housework needs to be done it is after 8:00.
At that point I've got roughly 2 hours to relax and rather than crack open the laptop I tend to whip out the phone and catch up on Lovely Listing or You Suck at Craigslist.
I then get in bed and if I'm lucky I get a few minute of Ultimate Ghosts and Goblins in before getting to bed.

Weekends tend to be spent catching up on housework, shopping or just vegging about.

I started this blog back in July for the sole purpose of documenting my trip to Europe, and once that was done I decided to just keep in the habit of writing. I used to write a lot, and it seems that I don't do that anymore.

Then I had this crazy idea to set up another blog that would be a portal for all the great blogs out there. It worked well for a while, and I've discovered a wealth of awesome writers, but in the end I failed. It wasn't for a lack of awesome blogs. No, I still have bookmarks that haven't been added. It's my fault. My inability to manage time for these things.
So very soon I will be dismantling Your Blog Is Awesome! and I'll be adding it as a feature over here. All of the awesome blogs will be listed in a side bar or some creative widget. I'll post a note about the merger over there as well.

Although it was a silly in joke between me and my husband, I think I picked a great name for this blog. Crève means "to burst" or as we say on the interwebs, "to go all 'splody."
Around here, crève currently means "to blog" and "a crève" is a blog post. It fits, my blog posts are a bit of mental explosion. I never know from one day to the next what I'd like to write about.

I'm going to try to organize my random musings into better categories, give them silly titles and proper tags. I'm not sure how long this will take but I will do it. I do know that I will be writing about music next.

And since this has been the most boring crève ever, I'll end with a joke, compliments of The Oatmeal:

What was Beethoven's favorite fruit?


You know you laughed.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Tax Tokens

A couple weekends back Jason and I took his mom to our local antique mall, which is a really cool place that we don't frequent very often for some reason. One of the sellers had bargain bags, which are exactly the type of things I need to stay away from; bags of old things that may or may not have a value, often not. But being the type who is attracted to the word bargain, and odds and ends, I had to spend the bulk of my time there sifting through the matchbooks, buttons, military badges and what not until I found something.
What I found was tax tokens, little coins made of paper, metal and plastic with odd things written on them like "For Old Age Assistance."
The sales clerk had no idea what they were either, but they were $3 for a bag of about 50 so I bought them.
Apparently these came into being in the 1930s and were used in some places up until the 1960s as a result of states starting to charges a sales tax. They were used as change when the sales tax was less than a penny. As it happened, a 10 cent item with 5% tax would be 10.5 cents. A store owner would either have to eat the half cent and pay the tax, or overcharge the customer, which, considering sales tax began in the depression for most states, was not something the average customer stood for. So the tax token solved the problem. The customer would pay 11 cents and receive a half penny's worth of change in the form of tax tokens. Then, the customer could use the tax token next time they made a purchase for 10 cents.
Most of the tokens I have are from Oklahoma, which used both paper (during the depression) and two types of metal, brass and aluminum. Missouri has red and green plastic tokens that look a bit like poker chips.
Apparently there are some rare tokens out there, but alas, nothing in my bargain bags are rare, though I also scored both a Dallas and Beaumont City Lines bus token. Both date to the 50s.
So what am I going to do with these?
Make jewelry, of course.
Have I ever made jewelry before?
Of course not.
I'll let you know how that goes. In the mean time, if anyone can come up with another interesting use for these let me know, they're just too neat to have sitting around doing nothing.

In the same bargain bin I also found a bag of postal service pins that had three that said "follow the tiger" so I had to buy them for Jason, obviously, because his band is Raised By Tigers (and he simply won't change the name to Raised By Not.A.Lions). I also bought a book about making cheese at home from 1976 for fifty cents, how cool is that?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Memories Of Lucky Mud

It is with great difficulty and sadness that I write this departure from my recent string of light hearted entries.
On Monday, Jason and I had to have or cat, Lucky Mud, put to sleep due to kidney failure. It was a decision that neither of us wanted to make. And neither of us has quite come to grips with the reality of it yet.
Lucky was 14 years old, and until a few months ago had the strength and playfulness of a kitten. There was no sign that anything was wrong until she stopped eating a few weeks ago. According to the vet this is not uncommon, especially in cats of her age. I know that she was suffering towards the end, and that she is no longer suffering now, but it is going to take me a while to come to grips with the decision.
Lucky Mud was not a friendly cat, or at least that was what Jason lead me to believe when we met. Despite my assurance that I wanted to meet her, Jason was weary as Lucky had apparently sent more than a few people to the hospital with venomous cat bites. She must have sensed the crazy cat lady in me because she was never anything but loving when I was around. I didn't even have to pet her, I would just hold out my hand and she would walk back an forth, earning her the name Self-Petting Kitty (original, I know).
She didn't have as much freedom in the later years as she would have liked. Luke, the boy dog, has no manners and thought that Lucky would make a tasty treat. Because of this she had to be separated from the dogs, but she was a smart and conniving kitty. When the dogs were outside and she had free range of the house, she would wander over to the couch, the kennels, the bed, anywhere that she knew Luke spent his time. She did it just to get to him, at least that's what I would like to think. Luke got into her room once. She kicked his ass. I was proud.
She used to play the piano. I think that was her code to let us know she needed food, or water, or time with the monkeys. I only just learned that Lucky was the first pet to "call" Jason monkey. It was a good choice, Lucky, and I am honored to be one of the chosen monkeys.
I know the hurt will subside, but like many cats and dogs before her, Lucky will never be forgotten.
We miss you, Lucky Mud, all of us, even Luke, in his own way.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Post-It Notes: The Glorious Coming of A Sticky New Age as Told By Abraham Lincoln

Because Fanboy Wife asked so nicely...

Four score and several years ago, our forefathers had not the means to affix transcripts of high importance at eye level on ye old ice box. Freedom was at risk, liberty in peril. But in a desolate Vermont forest one late October night, one brave man soldiered forth into a new era of wifely nagging.
Postit McGloo was a proud man of humble means who found his fortune in a paper mill.
Through sheets and reams and bundles and bulk, Postit McGloo toiled tirelessly in hopes of one day finding a means out of the pulpy drudgery of paper oppression.
And so came the fateful day when Postit was called upon by the foreman of the mill (which was named Miller's Mill) to deliver a memo of grave importance to the owner of the printing press in the next town (Which was named Maple Press).
Unbeknownst to Postit, who had come to Vermont just 3 score hence, the mighty maples of the wooded lane had begun to sap. As Postit walked the wind kicked up, sending sprays of sap in all directions. Knowing that this memo was of grave importance, Postit had the fortitude and strength of mind to hold the memo close, exposing only the back to the sap and wind.
Upon reaching the Maple press, Postit noted that the owner's office was in a state of wild disarray. Memos were stacked on every chair, table and on the press itself.
Knowing as he did, that this memo was of upmost importance, Postit McGloo hesitated to simply leave the memo upon one of the many piles (the owner as it happened, had just stepped out). Postit gazed down upon the sap covered note and in a moment of heroic genious, pressed the sticky memo to the door of the office and took his leave.
As it happened, the printing press and the paper mill had been forging a merger and
thus the memo had cemented the deal.
In recognition for his bold decision, the new company, which was to be named Maple Miller's Paper and Print, added Postit's own name to the title, thus Maple, Miller and McGloo, or 3M for short. To this day, Postit's notes are one of their top sellers.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Tragic Tale of Marco Polo As Told By Huckleberry Finn

I'm not really sure what prompted this other than the fact that the origin of the game Marco Polo is rather unclear.

Marco Polo ya say? I reckon I've heard of 'em. Weren't he the feller that invented spaghetti?Funny thing fer food don't ya think? Long noodles that slither of the plate like Mississippi mud snakes, covered in a bloody sauce. Not that I can complain, what with my steady diet of possum, squirrel and the occasional nutria, spaghetti sounds downright gourmet.
Marco Polo.
There's a game called Marco Polo isn't there? I seen kids playing that game along the river banks. Yelling their fool heads off; MARCO! POLO! MARCO! POLO!
Ever wonder why they call it that? Why they call it Marco Polo and not Thomas Jefferson or Lewis and Clark?
Truth be told I done hadn't a clue until one night this fancy rapscallion shows up in my neck of the woods wearing city clothes and looking to off load some fancy New York baubles. Not that folk 'round here got much use for fancy baubles, but I reckon the ol' Widow Douglas' eyes was as big as tea saucers when she seen 'em.
I'm getting off the subject again aren't I?
So after a few glasses of Miss Watson's "medicinal" sherry, this ol' city slicker starts telling me the story about ol' Marco Polo.
See here, before his spaghetti days ol' Marco, much like yours truly, liked to have himself some river adventures. 'Cept that ol' Marco wasn't stuck in some boggy ol' Mississippi like I am, he had the gumption to river raft himself all the way to China! I figure that's at least a million miles from Missouri, maybe a little less from New York, which is where this Marco Polo feller was from.
Marco Polo spent a fair deal of time in China, lighting off fireworks and fighting karate style with them dragons. Eventually though he must have grown tired of the orient, or maybe he done come up with his spaghetti idea and wanted to get back to New York to write it down. Either way, Marco Polo got back on his raft and pushed himself back into the ocean with the rest of his buddies.
This is when the tragedy strikes.
One night, the ocean let loose with a thunderstorm the likes of which you ain't never seen. Threw Marco Polo clean of the raft and into the ocean. Ol' Marco tried to swim for it, but the wind was pushing the rafts away from him. He swam like he never swam before but just couldn't make it to the rafts. That's when he began to drown.
Meanwhile Marco's buddies tried to paddle back to where he was but the wind was just too much and they couldn't see worth a lick what for the rain and all. So they started yelling:
So about this time ol' Marco Polo reckons he's dyin'. He has water in this ears, water in his mouth, he's even lost a shoe and there's sharks circling. Just when it looks like ol' Marco's gonna die, he hears a faint sound.
By this time Marco is so delirious, that all he can think to yell back is his own damned name.
Well I'll be a son of a snake oil salesman if they didn't find him just as one o' them sharks was fixin' to swallow him whole. They pulled Marco Polo back onto the raft (but not before the shark got his leg, all the way to the knee) and high tailed it back to safety.
After that ol' Marco Polo spent the rest of his days inventing spaghetti, which was a hit.He became something of a hero for it. He was given a gold plated peg leg and I heard he even married the Mayor's prettiest daughter.
I still don't reckon that explains why the kids are yelling ol' Marco Polo's name, but I reckon kids don't have much sense anyway now do they?

Monday, February 1, 2010


I've been a bit out of sorts as of late, hence my absence from the blogging world. I'm not sure if it's the wild weather swings (low 20's, mid 70's, low 20's again...), The post holiday wind down, the extreme stress of work, or what, but quite frankly I have had nothing of interest to say for some time now.
I'll try to do better.
But for right now, I need some sleep.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I Planned to Write...

...but I just stepped outside and it is about seventy degrees and raining lightly. I think I'm just going to sit out here and enjoy it for a while.

Well okay, I suppose I could sit here and write. After all, my phone is smarter than I am.

I had my follow up visit with my doctor on Friday and I'm doing really well. My a1c dropped from a 10.5 to 6.7 which puts me back in the range of normal (yay normal!). I've lost 15 lbs since October and I have about 20 to go before I am a Yes, I admit I have been heavy and I am losing the weight for my health, but honestly, I will never be thin. I'm almost a size 12 right now but I doubt I will get much smaller because I doubt my six foot tall skeleton would even fit in a 10.
On the upside, I don't feel as if I've sacrificed anything to do this. Quite to the contrary, we have been eating better than ever before.
My next test is in April. I plan to be fit enough to get off the meds... I hope.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Greetings From The Fuuuuture!

It is the year 2010 and while we aren't dosing ourselves with Soma, burning books, terraforming mars, or mating with alien ooloi; one cannot deny that this is the future. Big Brother is more of a bad Soviet Russia joke (in Soviet Russia YOU watch Big Brother) and no one I know has replicant sheep invading their dreams, but we are here.
Wanna know how I know?
Well since you asked, I am blogging from my 5oz "smart" phone (so please forgive the typos). Yep, in the future technology is smart. Smart phones, smart cars, smart grid infrastructure. Brains I could only dream of possesing right at my fingertips.
And what to I do with this power I posses? Why I browser failblog of course. And lose a little more of my grey matter with each click through to the comments.
Perhaps the visionaries of the past, aka the scifi authors of the 50s-70s were on to something with all that doom and gloom about humanity relying too much on technology. I admit to texting when I could easily call, and honestly I haven't memorized a phone number since 1999, but I still haven't embraced all technology. I still prefer brick and mortar to online shopping and I do not social network.
But damn if I'm not wasting a lot of time playing video games.

On a completely different subject: I have reopened Your Blog Is Awesome so please poke around.

*Bonus. this post refers to five pretty well know works of science fiction. If you can name them all you win your choice of a flying car or jet pack.
**edit: six actually, but one is very obscure. If you get all six you win the talking spaceship computer of your choice.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Shocking Weather We're Having...

It has been cold.

Cold and dry.

I wear a wool coat.

My car has cloth seats.

Yep, I'm going somewhere with this.

While having static filled hair flying everywhere and inevitably ending up in my eyes or mouth is pretty horrible, that is one nuisance I can deal with. The little static shocks that one gets when getting out of the car, or opening a door are another story entirely.
I have an irrational fear of static shock. This is time of year when I look like an obsessive compulsive spastic. I have a formula for degaussing myself that involves getting out of the car carefully, avoiding contact with all metal parts. I shut the door by pushing the window glass. Once I am safe I quickly tap the hood of the car with the flat pads of my fingers. This distributes the shock evenly and quickly closes the circuit that I am creating.
Even after this ritual though I tend to find myself doing a strange dance when faced with metal door handles. I reach out, hesitate, pull back, reach out again, close my eyes so that I "don't see it coming" and again do the weird tap/degauss maneuver before opening the door. People probably think I'm strange.*
It's not just outdoors. I purposefully do not have a spring mattress because I have been shocked while changing sheets. I just bought a new cotton blanket because the "fleece" one I had been using sparkles like a vampire when I pull it out of the dryer. I never enjoyed the rub-a-balloon-on-your-head-and-make-it-stick-to-the-wall game and I certainly did NOT enjoy the rub-your-feet-on-the-carpet-and-poke-your-older-sister-with-static-hands game.
The only other thing in the world that makes me this nervous is the glaucoma test at the optometrist that blows a small puff of air into the eye. Luckily I only have to deal with that once a year.

How about you guys? Please tell me I'm not the only person in the world scared of static...

*they are probably right.