Random bits of my so-called life.

bottomless pinocchios

December 10th, 2018 by kayak woman

If you haven’t seen this hashtag yet, use The Google. I remember when GWB was the president and used the term “The Google” and I cracked up. What an idiot, I thought. I know GWB isn’t really an idiot but I wasn’t crazy about him and, as a person who has been hanging around on them thar tubes since even before the WWW (wild wild west) days, my brain kind of exploded.

And yet, I get that I am an earlier adopter of technology than many people on the older end of my generation (like GWB) and even though I am an, AHEM, WOMAN (generally a CIS woman at that), the first time I wrote a computer program, I was HOOKED FOREVER! It was an Apple II+ and of course my first program was to write “Hello World” to the screen.

I went on from there and I won’t bore y’all with my squirrelly career “trajectory” except to say that whether or not I was getting paid to do info tech work, I was out there pushing it on to whatever organization I was currently involved with. If I had any kind of control, I would make email groups and websites. If I didn’t, I would push for internet communications. As a middle school PTO treasurer, I argued (unsuccessfully) with administrators for an EMAIL GROUP to enhance the dreaded backpack mail, fer kee-reist sake. “But what about the people that don’t have internet access”, they asked. Well… “The more people that have the news, the better. Hopefully people who have the internet will spread the word to other parents via their kids.” Wishful thinking, I guess. The public schools were not ready for this at that time but I’m gonna guess most of them now incorporate technology into their communications with parents. In no way can I take credit for that.

Then there was The Commander (my MOTHER). She certainly did not adopt technology earlier than I did but I will never forget the day I received my first EMAIL from her! I almost fell out of my chair! Jeebus, she went out and bought a personal computer all by herself and got somebody to help her set it up. And emailed me. Just to give me hell. Like, I can do this without you. I loved it!!!! (It is entirely possible that my brother helped with this but I kind of think she did it herself.)

Now that we are in the middle of the Orange Baboon’s term, I actually long for GWB. And all of that got me missing my moom for the moment so I’m going to end for now. Don’t worry, I am okay. I’ll talk about the Real Baboon some other day.

Drivin’ to Jackson to get gasoline

December 9th, 2018 by kayak woman

I have been subjected to some Magical Thinking the last couple years. The other night, over dinner at the Red Hawk it was a bunch of stuff about oil, you know, the natural resource that when refined, turns into the gasoline that runs our automotive vee-hickles. Most of them anyway. I know that some folks are driving hybrids. That’s wonderful but if you are living and driving in the Great White North and you frequently pull trailers of various sorts behind your vee-hickle, you really need to have something beefy enough to handle those kinds of conditions.

Anyway, there is apparently some turbulence in the stock market (this does not surprise me at all) and some people think it has to do with oil prices. And maybe it does! Or maybe it doesn’t. Whatever is going on with the stock market, apparently if you are living on the Planet Ann Arbor and you want to put petroleum products into your automotive vee-hickle so you can drive it, the gas prices are much much much cheaper over in Jackson, which, according to the google, is 32 miles away from the Planet Ann Arbor. Ain’t no way I am driving all the way over to Jackson to buy gas. Whut?

However. I will not (for now) buy gas at the Shell station on the corner of Jackson/N. Maple (where I have been buying it forever) until they let me opt out of their request to send me text messages by clicking ONCE, not umpteen bazillion times. And fix their dern gas pumps to dispense gas without making me have to pump the nozzle 10-12 times before it begins to dispense gas. I got gas out at the BP on Zeeb today. That is apparently OKAY to those who follow the stock market and I was going to Meijer out there anyway. It was cool and, hey! what’s this? I downloaded an app that is supposed to let me pay for gas without sticking a plastic card into a slot. We’ll see how that works.

And so, I hung out here at the Landfill again today and I picked away at some more bits of cleaning and wrapping and laundry and I got the Santa “collection” out. Again. I am not actively collecting Santas. This is a merged collection of The Commander’s Santas plus mine, most of which she sent me. They all fit into a small box and that is good enough for me. I do NOT want a hoarder house with walls of Santas staring at me year round! 🎅🎅🎅

Four boxes of xmas

December 8th, 2018 by kayak woman

Oh man, I slept late late late today, like 7:30 or something. I needed to do that. I am fine fine fine. I do not have a fever but I needed some sleep. I am still coughing and blowig by doze but I am surfacing above ground again.

One of my missions today besides chores and errands and finishing a book was to find Froooogggy’s Santa glasses. It took me forever! I found three boxes of xmas stuff in the Landfill Dungeon but I couldn’t find the Santa glasses. I pulled everything out of all three boxes. Nada. Finally I looked across the room and there (lo and behold) was another box of xmas stuff. I wasn’t optimistic about finding the Santa glasses in that box but (lo and behold) there they were.

I read a novel about a hoarder today. (It was a good book, “The House We Grew Up In”, read it if you have any hoarders in your family. We all do, to some extent.) As I was looking for Froggy’s Santa glasses, I was looking around the Landfill Dungeon and thinking I really need to get back into flinging because I was starting to feel a bit encroached upon by the *stuff* down there in the dungeon. Like how many toasters?

Of course we aren’t hoarders like the matriarch of the family in the book was. I have been accused of being a hoarder but that same person also accused me of throwing stuff out with wild abandon. Which is it? I am still scratching my head… Anyway, a person can walk into our house without having to squeeze sideways through a narrow passageway through a wall of crapola. And we only have four boxes of xmas stuff, which isn’t really too bad. Funny that in the book I read, it was Easter that was the important holiday. There was a chocolate egg hunt and the pretty foil egg wrappers were saved (forever) in the craft “box”. xmas was never mentioned. But still, I feel like another round of Landfill flinging is imminent.

Terlet donations

December 7th, 2018 by kayak woman

Yerb. I felt like crapola again this morning. Problem? I needed to get up in time to get the recycle container out to the curb before 7 AM. I dunno why I didn’t just abandon my stoopid anal Garbage Woman rules and put the dern thing out last night.

I *always* put the *garbage* cart out the night before pickup. Whether or not it has anything in it and sometimes it doesn’t. This week, I put a particularly stinky bag of garbage into the garbage cart mid-week.

The morning *of* garbage pickup is when I put the *recycle* cart out. I put whatever various pieces of recycling are hanging out into that cart and wheel it out along with whatever other garbage I can bag up. Those are my rules. I shouldda bagged my rules this week but I didn’t, so I had to drag my sicko self outta the rack and suit up for 20-something degree weather to deal with it.

I am not really all that sick. It’s just a cold virus. Early early this morning, I sensed that the GG was touching my forehead. I thought, “he thinks I have a fever.” I actually may have (I was wondering) but if I did, it was a very low-grade fever. It was certainly gone by the time I dragged myself outta the rack and schlepped the dern garbage down to the curb this morning. He seems to need someone to mollycoddle but it cannot be ME!

I went to the ladies room during the Beach Boys concert intermission. I really kinda wanted to go HOME at that point but I sucked it up and stayed. But man oh man, did I have to wait in a long line to concertP. It was only a few years ago that the Michigan Theatre was totally renovated. The ladies room was beeyootiful. But *three* measly stalls? Say what? 20 people in line? C’mon. Nobody was waiting outside the mens’ room.

So, finally I got to P. I was really fast (’cause when you grow up using an outhouse, you are fast at using terlets because, er, oh well, outhouses would be a whole ‘nother topic) but then I turned around to figure out how to flush this new Michigan Theatre terlet and there on the wall was a little plaque with the name of a friend of mine from the Haisley Mafia days. I guess she donated a terlet? Of course I had to take a pic.

I sent a pic of the donation plaque to the beach urchin who went to grade school with my friend’s daughter and she suggested that maybe *I* would’ve been an appropriate person to donate a terlet to the Michigan Theatre. I could not disagree with that and it TOTALLY cracked me up!

Porterization at Knights tonight. Seems as though the Porters are also in some stages of The Cold That’s Going Around. Good times anyway.

Right before I got busted

December 6th, 2018 by kayak woman

Psst, wanna see the Beach Boys play at the MI Theatre for $12.50? Why did I agree to this without checking it out first? Like, why are the tickets so cheap and why are they playing at the MI Theatre, and (especially) do the Beach Boys even tour any more and, if so, aren’t some of them dead? It turns out it was Mike Love and his son and a bunch of other people but they are allowed to tour as the Beach Boys and apparently the other living members of the original group are a part of the organization even though they don’t tour. So it’s a legit group of sorts if not THE Beach Boys.

It turned out okay (I could’ve done without the xmas music) but when I first got there and realized what was going on, I was pretty annoyed. But you would be too (maybe) if you had the kind of day I had, not to mention that I do not like to sit trapped in seats in crowded venues for hours.

I caught my work buddy FZ’s code id da doze and I woke up feeling like crapola today. Enough like crapola that I bagged my 0-skunk-30 walk in favor of sleeping an extra 45 minutes or so before draaaaaaagggging myself outta the rack. Work was pretty okay and about mid-morning, I was finally warm enough (via an “illegal” space heater) that I started feeling a bit better. Commute home? Absolutely SUCKED! 45 minutes to go eight measly miles, big back-ups everywhere, and where there weren’t backups I was stuck behind some idjit that insisted on going 10-15 miles BELOW the speed limit! We had some icy crapola fall out of the sky this afternoon but the “back” roads were really okay. I knew better than to take the freeway after hearing about the jack-knifed semi, which was probably also why the back roads were all snarled up.

Okay, home. Quite a bit icier on this side of town than at work, at least on the sidewalks. I was going to meet the GG downtown at the Red Hawk and I figgered it was late enough that the bus would be the best way to get down there?!? There are three buses I can take from the general vicinity of the Plum Market and I don’t really know the schedules all that well but I know that if I just walk over to that area and use my phone app, eventually a bus will come along that’ll get me downtown. So I strapped on my YakTrax and took off. I was waiting next to another woman for the 31 and here it came! Or so I thought. Before I knew what was happening, she waved it away. It turned out it was the 60, which would have gotten me (and her too, actually) where I wanted to go. So I was left waiting for the 31 to come along. It gets long and boring from here but basically the 31 was a little late and I had to ride it *out* to its turn-around point and then back *in* to downtown. From the time I left the house to the time I got to the Red Hawk, I could prob’ly have *walked* downtown.

So, busted! Man, I guess this was a “rock” concert so they were serious about security. Or sorta anyway. They had flashlights and wands of some sort at the door (they never do that for Arlo). I had my backpack with me and I tried to proactively explain that the funny looking coils of metal inside it were my YakTrax. For Ice Walking. They didn’t seem to care. Then they “wanded” me (or something), saying something about checking my pockets but then they said, “Oh, you don’t have any pockets”. Well, yes and no. I was wearing a skirt, not jeans, and it does not have pockets. But I have pockets in both my jacket and vest. I’m not sure exactly what they were aiming for but they didn’t seem all that serious in general. But I am such a scary, terrorist-looking person!

Photography though? Boy oh boy! I took this pic of the GG shining his phone flashlight along with all the other folks and the “police” were all over me. I thought at the time that they noticed me doing it because my flash went off. I usually keep my flash turned off but I turned it on last Sunday so I could get a pic of Michigan Basement Bob and forgot to turn it back off again. But then they busted several others nearby, those being young parents mostly taking selfies of themselves and their kids. I’m not sure what they thought we were gonna do, post the concert (or the GG’s nose) on YouTube? Why? You guys, EVERYBODY has a handy cam/videocam nowadays. The genii is not going to go back in the bottle.

This may be just about the most higgledy-piggledy blahg entry ever but I don’t care. I am home (finally) and Mercury’s State of Retrograde apparently ends tonight, or so I’m told. Thank you god!

And I haven’t even talked about the toilet donation!

Crescent moon rising with Venus above

December 5th, 2018 by kayak woman

I actually *stopped* in the schoolyard for a few minutes this morning. The moon is in the late waning crescent stage and I could actually SEE it this morning, along with Venus, quite a bit higher in the sky. This is big news. I am not sure I have seen the moon since it was last full. It has been so frickin’ cloudy and nasty and fugly.

I am not going to even try to wax into any kind of eloquence about George Herbert Walker Bush, although (in my humble and largely uninformed opinion) he was a MUCH better president than the Orange Baboon and his sycophantic circle of enabling old fossils. Whatever GHWB was or wasn’t, he was a contemporary of my dad back in WWII. My dad certainly didn’t meet Bush in the war. Dad was a pilot/flight instructor/flight engineer in the Army Air Corps and Bush was a pilot in the Navy. And my dad was five years older than Bush.

Dad never saw action in that war. He remained a flight instructor for the duration. As I have no doubt said many times before, he was about to be [finally] sent to the South Pacific when “we” dropped bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I have to say I am glad he was not sent over there. If he had died, I would not be here. My parents married during the war but I wasn’t born until almost a decade after it was over so, although I have an idea about what my aunts/uncles and grandparents went through, I didn’t experience it first hand. Not at all. I grew up skipping up and down the south side Sault Ste. Siberia streets and Red Queening over to Lincoln School every morning without thinking about war. Well, except for Bay of Pigs but that’d be a whole ‘nother post.

So, here is a caricature of my dad when he was the flight engineer on a B29 bomber, drawn by someone else on the crew. In life he was much more handsome but I LOVE this caricature. I don’t know who drew it. I hope whoever drew it was was able to incorporate his artistic talent into whatever his career ended up being.

Godspeed to George HW Bush.

Book blaaaahhhhhg

December 4th, 2018 by kayak woman

Just a few of the eclectic selection of books I’ve read recently, not in any particular order…

“Anne”, by Constance Fenimore Woolson, yes, *that* Fenimore, I think she’s his niece but you can do the google if you really wanna know the exact relationship. Set before and during the Civil War, published in 1880. What drew me to this book was the title character’s name, even though I am not crazy about the name on my birth certificate. And the fact that the title character grew up on Mackinac Island and a significant portion of the setting was there. Of course, I had to investigate. Was it good? It was fine if not perfect. I loved reading the bits about life on the island back in those days, long before there were modern ferries transporting tourists to and from the island. If you don’t know anything about Mackinac Island, there are no motorized vee-hickles on the island to this day (except for emergency vee-hickles). Probably my favorite passage is when Anne travels (by steamboat) to the lower lakes and witnesses (in the dark) a huge forest fire in what would have to be our northern lower peninsula. It would’ve burned on its own in those days, unlike how we handle forest fires today when there are towns and dwellings everywhere.

“Freaky Deaky”, by Elmore Leonard, one of the Great Lake State’s own. I have never read any of this acclaimed author’s books before and I picked this one because of the title. Crime is not my usual genre but I enjoy it if the author is talented and this was fun. I love how when he refers to landmarks in the Detroit area (and other areas of the state), he refers to *real* places, not made up ones. Like Jacoby’s Bar, which is apparently still alive and well, according to the Google.

“Everything Under”, by Daisy Johnson. Growing up on a decrepit houseboat anchored on a canal with your kinda crazy moom and not knowing who your dad is. I dunno. This book was really “dark” in some ways and some horrible things happened but somehow I enjoyed it anyway. I don’t know why I was fascinated that the author was “only” 29 years old when she wrote the book. People do all kinds of amazing things at any age. Maybe it’s just that I’m glad to be reminded that civilization and culture are not going to “die out” after my generation (video with an ad). P.S. Watch those two 29-year-old women who have been elected to the house. Yes, there are two. Are they perfect? No. No one is. But you go girls.

“Washington Black”, by Esi Edugyan. What can I say? Young black male slave on a plantation in Barbados is freed in a rather spectacular way and makes his rather extraordinary way through life as a free man. The story itself is interesting but I loved how the characters were portrayed. Good/Bad/Evil/Whatever, they were complicated (like we all are) and I loved how their inner thoughts were portrayed (especially George Washington Black’s but others too) without distracting from the story line.

Michigan Basement

December 3rd, 2018 by kayak woman

We had the occasion to visit a home with a Michigan Basement yesterday. At least that’s what I called it. The GG and I had a difference of opinion. This basement had a concrete floor. The GG thinks that a Michigan Basement has a dirt floor. The definition of a Michigan Basement is probably complicated as so many things are.

What this basement reminded me of was my own childhood basement in our shabby little bungalow on Superior Street in Sault Ste. Siberia. I so wish I had pictures of that basement. Alas, photography was not as simple as clicking a button on an iPhone and why the heck would anyone want to take pictures of a fugly old basement anyway?

Our Superior Street basement did not have a dirt floor. It was a concrete floor. Other than that, it was totally unfinished. I remember the washing musheen and dryer down there and various dusty old shelving units and other crapola. There was a Scary Room that I was afraid to go into. I think it was the room earlier owners kept the coal in. I think there was still some coal hanging around in the Scary Room when my parents bought the house, even though the original coal furnace had been replaced by one of those big old octopussy oil furnaces.

My beautiful tortoiseshell cat Twinkle had kittens somewhere in that basement when I was in about first grade. Four kittens were born. Two of them survived successfully, Spot and Puff. There were two more kittens in the litter. One was what my mom called a “monster”. I didn’t see that kitten. The other was a calico kitten who died with a nosebleed. Not sure what the problem was there. Twinkle had another litter of kittens at the moomincabin and a bunch of us watched them be born but that would be a whole nother story.

I shouldda known Mercury was in retrograde

December 2nd, 2018 by kayak woman

I like to pay for things via PayPal because it doesn’t (I don’t think) text people that I have purchased something. I earn my own money so it doesn’t really matter what I spend, as long as I can afford it without breaking the family budget, it’s just that sometimes I might be buying something for *them*, you know, as a surprise. I eventually solved my PayPal problem by (duuuuuuh) switching browsers.

The shiny bright light in the pic is NOT Mercury and it is NOT Mr. Golden Sun. It is a streetlight. The one between the deep dark scary woods. The one that a tree took out a few years ago and yer fav-o-rite blahgger finally figgered out how to get the city to prod DTE to fix. It was foggy when I took this pic and Mr. Golden Sun had not made his way up above the horizon yet.

The GG did not make his way up above the horizon until close to 9:00 AM. I had bacon and hash browns and COFFEE ready for him. But that is *late* for the GG. I attribute it to the fact that he and a bunch of gals have been taking 10 mile hikes over in Trumplandia (small-town mid-southern Great Lake State) the last couple days. Women love to hike with the GG. Apparently they don’t find him creepy. And actually he isn’t creepy and I don’t mind lending him to accompany female hikers.

Mr. Golden Sun finally triumphed over the fog this morning and we got a good dose of sunshine this morning via humming along over the back roads in the western area of our own little solar system, i.e., between Dexter and Chelsea, in the Ninja. And then we spent a fun and interesting afternoon over in Ypsilanti. One that culminated in beer/whine at the Sidetrack, where we often meet MacMullan cuzzints when they come to town but today we were with Mouse and a tall person.

One of the other times Mercury was in retrograde, there was a surprise appendectomy in the Great White North and that turned out well but I will take browser dis-functionality any day.

Yes, let’s have some thunderstorms, we need those!

December 1st, 2018 by kayak woman

It was a difficult day technologically speaking.

I tried to pay the Planet Ann Arbor property tax bill online and I could not do that because of an “invalid certificate”. I sometimes ignore stuff like that but this time I actually wrote out a paper check to pay my taxes. C’mon, Ann Arbor. We won’t even talk about how we pay the moomincabin tax payments.

And then I tried to pay the propane gas rental fee for the moomincabin and I thought that I was auto-paying all of that stuff but apparently not, so I did pay it and we are okay with that even though I had to switch from my laptop browser to my phone to get the dern thing paid.

And then… I tried to order some stuff on-line and… Oh man, it is usually so easy to order stuff on line. Clickity clickity click. Today. What a pain. No, you cannot complete your order because you haven’t selected a shipping method. But I couldn’t select a shipping method because there was no way to select a shipping method. And then I realized that the site was telling me they didn’t really have a store, i.e., the technology for people to pay for the items they were selling. Jeebus.

Gasoline? Did I want to enroll in a “program” to get text messages about their “specials”? Yes or No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No….. No matter how many times I pushed the “No” button, the question would not go away. No! F-i-n-a-l-l-y. I was just about ready to stomp into the station to ask what the heck was going on when the question went away and I managed to get my gas.

But the gal I bought cabbage rolls from at the farmers market this morning? She had the technology for me to pay for them no problem, even with a debit card that is so old it is peeling.

Joybox Express

November 30th, 2018 by kayak woman

Finally a day without any white-knuckle commuting and even with a bit of Mr. Golden Sun this afternoon before he decided to go down down down. I think it was 5:03 PM today? And we are on the western edge of the Eastern Standard time zone here so I’m sure the sun goes down a lot earlier to the east of us, 4:36 over in Cobourg, Ontario, for example.

The Oscar Tango was slammed tonight. Much more so than last Friday, which was the day after Thanksgiving and the day before the Umich / Ohio State game. But tonight was Midnight Madness. I cannot stand Midnight Madness. I am sorry. I mean I like the *idea* of Midnight Madness but I do not like to shop with a hundred gazillion other people and their entire extended families. Nevertheless, we did make a quick stop at Downtown Home & Garden. We couldn’t get close enough to see the aminals but that was okay. I was happy to let the little kiddos have a chance to get up close and personal with them.

I did get up close and personal enough with Mr. B to get a pic of him and his Joybox Express. He is based on the Planet Ann Arbor but he bikes his “puano” all over the place. One epic trip he took a couple years ago involved biking his puano up to the Yooperland and *swimming* it across to Mackinac Island. Looking it up, I think that means a team of swimmers towed a boat with Mr. B and his puano on it over to the island, not that Mr. B. somehow swam it over all by himself like I was trying to envision. I am an inveterate fact checker and y’all should be too.

And now I am kind of *done* after having a surreal conversation about why a light in the Landfill Dungeon was on. Or off. Or whatever. Turn it off. Yes, there is laundry in the dryer. I may or may not go down to take it out of the dryer tonight. If I do, I will turn the light back on. But I might not deal with the laundry in the dryer tonight. So leave the light off for now.

The cake sun is a lie

November 29th, 2018 by kayak woman

After a looooooong sloooooow slodgy commute home tonight, I was in the Blue and Only Bathroom washing my feet, ’cause I doooo that, and I heard my phone vibrate. It was icy (in places) here today and people wanted to know if “everyone” (parents, mainly) were safely home. When your children reach a certain adult age where they feel well out of your clutches, they start to turn their attention to whether or not you are safe.

Public radio this afternoon was full of gloom and doom about the road conditions around here. Things were iffy. We have hovered around the freezing mark all day with various forms of precipitation coming out of the sky. Light precipitation! Deceptive precipitation. “Oh, there’s just a little skiff of snow so the roads are not slippery.” “Oh, the roads are ‘just wet'”. Until you (if you are a yayhoo who goes too fast or cavalierly takes a turn too fast or doesn’t slow down early enough before an intersection or are tailgating and the tailgate-ee has to stop fast or or or…) spin out or crash or whatever.

There were accidents galore on the freeways this afternoon but I took the Zen Commute home and had no problems. But maybe that’s because *everyone* was going below the speed limit for once and there were plenty of times we were *all* slodging along at 4-10 mph, which may or may not have had anything to do with the weather. The only time I encountered an ice incident the entire way home was when I stopped at the stop sign a half-block down the street from the Landfill, and when I started to go again, the Ninja’s taaaars spun a little bit until they caught. But our street was lightly snow-covered. The main roads were not.

Don’t get me wrong. I am glad the beach urchins care about my whereabouts, especially on an icy day. They could’ve turned out to be the kind of kids who would put strychnine in the well, roight? Turning time back? I was nervous about my children driving solo (as everyone is or should be) and I will never forget one day when they were driving together down Miller to Community High in a snowstorm. As a senior, Liz had a parking place down there. Mouse was a freshman. I asked them to call me when they got to school and I didn’t hear and I didn’t hear and I didn’t hear. So, I went into full tilt boogie moom mode and took off down Miller to see if the Indefatigable was in the Commie High parking lot. Except. When I got down Maple and turned onto Miller, the traffic was totally backed up and I realized that they were undoubtedly okay because the average speed people were going was about 4 mph at the most. I bailed out and went through the neighborhood long before Commie High but it still took me forever to get to Monday Coffee, which was what *I* was scheduled to do that morning.

I learned something that day although I admit I am still nervous when anyone I love has to drive in nasty weather conditions. Please be careful everyone!

I guess it’s Vintage Week

November 28th, 2018 by kayak woman

I never know what The Pensioner is gonna be doing on any given day. Today I pulled up in front of the Landfill after work (in the dark) and Reddy Kilowatt had obviously taken over (and I couldn’t get into the driveway right away because there was a UPS truck blocking it).

I guess some kind of mini-fling was in progress today because he hauled out this collection of The Commander’s leather glubs and asked if I wanted any of them. Well. I have my own collection of leather glubs. I really don’t wear them any more. Those little “50-cent” one-size-fits-all knit glubs work for me in almost any weather. If it gets down to single digits or below, I wear two pairs on each hand. And that actually works. Thin leather glubs are beautiful but not usually warm enough for our winters.

In my young adult years, The Comm sent me a pair of elegant leather glubs every xmas. Driving glubs. I loved them. I have black and red and brown and even emerald green of all things. One year she apparently decided that Lizard Breath was old enough to be gifted with elegant leather glubs. She sent Liz a beautiful black fake fur trimmed pair and me a simple black pair. As it turned out, Liz and I traded glubs. I guess The Commander was thinking that a trendy teenage granddaughter would prefer the “fun” fancy fake fur trimmed glubs and a baggy old bag daughter would prefer the more sedate version. Or maybe she *wished* that her baggy old bag daughter would prefer the more sedate version. What’s true is that Liz dresses fashionably but elegantly. Her moom (meeee) has, um, her own style, which amounts to pulling on a “uniform” every day with some occasional “flash” when people are least expecting it. There was a lot more “flash” when I was a teenager and young adult. I think The Comm always wished for me to be more elegant than flashy. Sorry moom. Love you anyway 🧡

By the way, I am not ready to get rid of my own leather glub collection yet, even though I rarely never wear them.

Oh yeah, I waited a while for the UPS guy to deliver things and then he drove off and I thought he had left the neighborhood but THEN, I was getting my laptop, etc., out of the Ninja and HELLO, there was the [cheerful] UPS guy delivering FOUR packages to my house. I apologized to him for Ninja in the driveway and he apologized to me for *blocking* Ninja’s driveway. FOUR packages? What the hell did I buy? LOL!

Zebra Ashtray

November 27th, 2018 by kayak woman

Six years ago or so ago, we were cleaning out The Commander’s house. She had spent the last 10 years or so of her life sorting out stuff and getting rid of it (especially after my dad died) but when you live in a house for 40-ish years there is gonna be a lot of stuff even if you are not a hoarder. There are hoarders here and there in all branches of my family and in-laws but my parents were definitely not in that category, thank you very much.

Emptying The Commander’s kitchen was one of the more difficult projects and I cannot figger how much time was emptying all of the cupboards of dishware of every sort. My life was consumed with bubble-wrap. And storage boxes. Boxes? Hello? There was no big-box office supply store in Sault Ste. Siberia and WalMart had a limited supply so we were often reduced to scavenging (with permission) whatever empty boxes the Big KMart threw behind their building. It was a SCRAMBLE!

We got rid of a lot of stuff from Command Central but I saved most of the stuff I found in the kitchen. One of the beach urchins moved back from San Francisco to the god-forsaken Great Lake State a couple months after her grandmother died so I gave her a set of dishes and some glassware and some furniture and stuff.

And then there was a cupboard full of kinda random stuff that my family didn’t use or hadn’t in a long time. In the bottom of that cupboard was the Zebra Ashtray. I didn’t even think about getting rid of this artifact. I just packed it up. We used the Zebra Ashtray when I was a small child and I remember it well. My parents did not smoke cigarettes but when people who smoked came over, the Zebra Ashtray was available. When I was small there were sometimes “bank parties” at our ratty little house and some of those folks smoked cigs. My dad smoked ceeegars occasionally and I remember The Commander smoking a cigarette maybe once. Except I suspect she wasn’t inhaling (I knooooow) like I didn’t inhale (I knoooow) when I *lightly* experimented with cigarettes at 23 or so. To look cool? Whut? Sigh. Nope. I cannot inhale smoke. So I do not smoke. Anything.

Anyway, I encountered the Zebra Ashtray at the bottom of one of The Comm’s cabinets. My baby brain thought, “Zebra Ashtray” and I wrapped it in bubble-wrap and shoved it into whatever box was available and moved it down to The Landfill. And put it away in my drawer of holiday hors d’oeuvres dishes.

I got it out this Thanksgiving for some reason (not for an ashtray) and one of the beach urchins turned it over and wouldn’t you know there is a mark and an artist’s name. Georges Schreiber, an acclaimed artist. My artifact is not worth anything. It is not an original and I believe you can find these things on eBay or wherever. But so glad I didn’t just throw that ashtray into the Kiwanis Thrift or whatever. I loved the Zebra Ashtray as a small child and I am glad that one of my own children led me to discover its origin. I may not have ever looked.

It’s a wrap

November 26th, 2018 by kayak woman

Turkey Day, that is, although we are still working on leftovers. I’m not sure why I bought a 15 pound turkey for five people. I *did* want leftovers and I/we have used some leftovers and frozen others. Still.

I put my beautiful turkey platter away a couple days ago. I always like to say that this is the last xmas gift The Commander ever gave me. She loved to shop even at the end of her life and was much better at buying xmas gifts for adult children than I am. For many years, she would send a box or two of packages for us and the beach urchins. Useful or fun or elegant things.

The last few years of her life, although she was still oot and aboot a lot, she lost the “steam” to do a bunch of shopping, packaging, and schlepping stuff to the post office. That was CERTAINLY okay with me! I was flinging by that time.

Her second-to-last xmas (that was 2010), we got her down here to be with us (Our Northern Correspondent drove her down and the GG and I drove her back). Boy oh boy, did we have a good time, including trips to the Plum Market, which she was entranced with. When she went home, she told people “there was a party there every night!” (at my house). There usually isn’t a party here every night during the holidays but there definitely was that year with FinFam, MacMu, and cFam relatives all coming to visit at various times. I don’t remember any gifts I gave or received that xmas and that is how it should be because gifts are not really what it’s about.

The next year (2011), The Comm was living at the Freighter View assisted living facility up in Sault Ste. Siberia but still owned her house a half mile or so up the hill. We schlepped a turkey and all the fixings up to Siberia so The Commander could have a Christmas dinner in her own house, Command Central. We opened our family gifts with her down at her FV apartment that morning. I received this loverly turkey platter, one that I had admired in an antique store up in Siberia. I loved it so much that the GG and The Comm conspired that he would schlep it for her to give to me. I totally cracked up when I opened it. THANK YOU MOOM! I LOVE YOU! I had a bunch of little gifts for my moom to open. Post-it notes are what I remember but I don’t remember why…

I didn’t expect that 2011 would be The Commander’s last xmas but things went south after that xmas and continued on a downhill trend. One day we were talking on the phone and she was ranting and raving about Rick Santorum (remember him?). And then a couple days later, people (her friends, not the goddamn hospital) were calling me to say, “You need to get up here.” I did and c-diff (Google it, damn it) had set in and it was all downhill from there.

Yeellllow cup! Yellow cup! Yellow cup! (small cup, small cup)

November 25th, 2018 by kayak woman

What we’re not talking about today: Yellow, purple (despite the pic), football (not really), or cups.

What we are talking about? Maize and blue, scarlet and gray, aaaaaaannnnddd… a surprise color.

So, I have a long-time friend whose husband is a long-time surgeon at the U of M here on the Planet Ann Arbor. They are Umich football fans but I don’t think they dress up in maize and blue when they attend games. Or maybe they do. Long ago, when yer fav-o-rite blahgger was still flailing around figgering out what to do with her life, my friend’s husband was in the later stages of his education at… Ohio State!

They were once invited to an informal football-related social affair at the department head’s house. My friend’s husband had attended several big 10 universities during his academic journey and he showed up in a couple of items of apparel from *two* of those unis, neither of which was OSU. Ahem. The department head gave him absolute hell about his attire. Do not do that again! OSU attire all the way.

It isn’t quiiiiite that crazy here on The Planet (I don’t think) but I listened agog to this story and finally said, “Well, I would never have that problem because I always wear black.”

Here? Today? Actually a wee bit of successful xmas shopping at a couple places on The Planet Ann Arbor and then I said, “Let’s take a wee River Ride” and so we did and then we ended up in Dexter for a bit more successful shopping at the Ace Hardware there and, oh yeah, chili, etc. at Dexter’s Pub. BIG PLUS, I managed to put together a KW xmas list. I don’t NEED anything but I found some things that probably won’t end up at the Kiwanis Thrift Shop, even though I don’t really need them.

A couple of fossils’ “antiques”

November 24th, 2018 by kayak woman

Continuing an evening of porterization with nightcaps at the Landfill, the GG insisted that we sit in the Holiday Room. (That means the dining “area” – we don’t have a dining *room* – where we actually eat at a table a few times a year.) I was grumpy about that but he insisted that he had a plan.

Well, one half of the plan turned out to be double-oaked Woodford Reserve bourbon in the teensiest tinesiest wee little liqueur glasses we own. Actually it was a taste test of sorts between some “regular” Woodford Reserve and double-oaked. The other half of the plan was the teensiest tinesiest wee little liqueur glasses on earth.

I don’t remember exactly when we bought those glasses (there are four of them) but it was in Gaylord and I don’t think we had discussed marriage yet. We were in an antique store. I think it was the only antique store in the bustling crossroads of Gaylord back then. Now that Gaylord is even more bustling, there are tons of antique stores (and a Meijer, a Walmart, an Ulta and all kinds of other stuff).

Anyway, we bought these wee little glasses in Gaylord and I figured they would all be broken within five years but here we are, more years later than I am strong enough to count, and all four of them are intact and we didn’t break any of them last night! I hope I haven’t jinxed that by writing this. I highly doubt that these little glasses have any monetary value but they are pretty and we like them.

While I’m reminiscing about glassware, I used to use cobalt-rimmed Mexican glassware in various sizes. Once I was in Kitchen Port (a wondrous but long-defunct shop in Kerrytown) with the GG and his identical twin, the UU. The GG and I had not discussed marriage yet. The UU was buying some of those glasses and I asked something like who the heck are you buying them for. He replied that they were for his sister-in-law. I was totally puzzled about which sister-in-law he was talking about. It didn’t seem like the right style for any of his sisters-in-law… Imagine my surprise when *I* opened that gift at the cFam xmas party!

I used (and loved) my cobalt-rimmed Mexican glassware for many years and a bunch of them broke along the way, as glassware does. I personally (and accidentally) broke a number of my Aunt Katie’s waterfowl glasses at the cabin. She never got angry and (thinking back), I bet they were easy and cheap to obtain because there always seemed to be more of them around for me to break! Anyway, after we renovated the Landfill Chitchen, I decided to buy some different glassware but I have kept what’s left of the cobalt-rimmed stuff and every time the beach urchins come over, I find myself putting one or two of them in the dishwasher🧡 (Note that this glassware is available in quantity at every Pier One Imports store everywhere, so it is not valuable.)

But I do like cranberry sauce and gravy on turkey sandwiches

November 23rd, 2018 by kayak woman

I had some words earlier but now I am a blank. Not that they were very interesting words.

One of the perks of working a few blocks from your parents’ house is that you can text yer moom the day after Thanksgiving and have her pack you up a container of leftovers, top it all off with gravy, heat it up, and deliver it to you. Well, at least you can do that the day after Thanksgiving because yer moom is *home* albeit not actually *off* work since she decided to dial in and knock off bits and pieces of various prodjects.

One of the perks of having adult children who actually *like* to spend time with you (at least on holidays) is getting fancy turkey sandwiches for lunch. I was slodging around on my work laptop and somebody asked what the parents doing for lunch. I had a refrigerator full of food and absolutely no clue. Well, we could go to Sessions or somewhere, I yawned. The reply was something like, how about if I get some fancy mustard and make some turkey sandwiches? Hmmm… Yeah, we have bread here and turkey and the whole works. That sounded really good and it worked! And they even had cranberry sauce on them. But not gravy, although that was simply an oversight.

Some people took naps this afternoon and then some of us schlepped down to the Oscar Tango for the Friday night thing. I’m not sure why it was as quiet as it was given that the Umich/OSU game is tomorrow. It is in Columbus but the Planet Ann Arbor is usually slammed anyway. I figure now that the geezers are long home, the jungle noises have started up. B-r-r-r-rrrruppp-p-p! Kkk-k-k-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka!

So I thought I was outta words but somehow a few words sputtered out anyway. Now I am truly utterly absolutely outta words. G’night. -KW! Hope I remember to roll the garbage carts down to the curb tomorrow.

The Groke Arrives via her Alien Portal

November 22nd, 2018 by kayak woman

She has arrived from Planet Moominland to partake in a gorgeous Thanksgiving dinner. Menu? Turkey, gravy, stuffing, cranberries, mashed potatoes, roasted brussel sprouts and bacon, roasted carrots, delicata squash salad. And a loverly custard tart for dessert provided by a friend who couldn’t be here. Eggs Benny for brunch and snacks in the afternoon (as the Lions were losing), smoked salmon, goat cheese, baked brie, Greek olives, and bread from Zingerman’s and Whole Foods. And I fergit what else. Gobble gobble. Hope yours was good too!

Oot and aboot

November 21st, 2018 by kayak woman

As various Canadians have been heard to say. Except @tmotu texted “*Out* and aboot” today. Did I need anything? No, not really. He was also bugging me about what I want for xmas but we’ll talk about that (or not) some other day.

It was like a tomb over at Cubelandia today. I think there were six vee-hickles in the parking lot all day. And about a gazillion Cananananada Geese. Amazon Woman eventually came in but had to meet delivery folks at her house this morning so I ran the stand-up. I asked if anyone had any updates and exactly two people did, therefore the meeting took five minutes. All of the people who usually have a lot to say were on vacay and everyone else seemed relieved that it was so short. Building Mom got out the xmas decorations this afternoon. I think most of the Cubelandia decorations are things employees “donated”, i.e., didn’t want anymore and dumped off in the lunchroom. We already had a head start on xmas decorations because AW put up a string of lights for the Indian holiday Diwali. We are thinking about more comprehensive plans for Diwali next year.

I had coffee with MMCB1 this morning for the first time in three weeks. She’s been off gallivanting around Taiwan and now has a whole bunch of new facebook friends whose names show up in Chinese characters so she isn’t always sure who is who. I do not know how she keeps up with her jet-setter schedule. I drive to Houghton Lake for a regular old weekend and it takes me a few days to catch up. Anyway, I said that I was getting off work early today and had to go the grocery store on the way home. She was alarmed! It’ll be crazy, she said. The lines will be out the door, she said. Oh, no, I said. I am going to the Plum Market. It’ll be busy as all getout but it’ll be fine. And it *was* busy as all getout but it *was* fine. I did NOT have to wait in line at all and I had a great time bantering with the young man running the cash register about how slow the checkout lines in the traditional stores are the day before a holiday. And they *are*.

Okay, I lost my train of thought. That is the GG with his xmas gift (from meeeeeee 🐽), which he scoped out and went to purchase today. This is a sooper dooper yooper blooper blower. I hope we don’t need it this winter but I fear we will, given the crapola Old Man Winter has already thrown at us.