Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Your plastic card has been declined

Friday, January 18th, 2019

I know that it is stooopid to auto-pay a utility account with a plastic card because they expire, etc. Nevertheless, I’m still auto-paying Cloverland (moomincabin lucky-shucky) via my debit card. Or at least I was until today when I got the message that (of course) my *canceled* card was declined. Oh, don’t worry, I had the bill paid in about five minutes within receiving the text and it now connects to my actual bank account so no need to change it again, knock on wood.

I have always been really good at paying bills on time. I’m a banker’s daughter. But stuff happens and once, a while after The Commander went on to the other side, I did not pay for the moomincabin’s lucky-shucky and it GOT SHUT OFF! I was at work when I got an alarming email from my cousin reporting that there was a big pink (I think) sign somewhere saying the lucky-shucky was shut off. Since the cabin was closed for the winter, it didn’t really matter that there was no power because everything was off. But what the heck?

I got online IMMEDIATELY and paid the outstanding bill. Then I called. Because the reason I hadn’t *paid* the bill was because I hadn’t *received* it! At that time we got billed only once a year because it was a seasonal dwelling and I hadn’t yet internalized when the bill should arrive or I would have been watching for it. I actually think it was supposed to be delivered in August but THAT August I was distracted by unnecessarily threatening letters from a hostile relative’s unnecessary lawyers and an unnecessary trip through probate via my own unfortunately incompetent lawyer. Or I might’ve remembered to watch for it. Ugh ugh ugh.

It turned out that the billing address had been changed to to none other than The Commander’s at her assisted living facility. Meaning the bills were going into a black hole. At that time, I couldn’t ask The Comm why I wasn’t getting the bills at *my* house but I *suspect* that *she* had changed the address so the little monthly magazine associated with Cloverland would be delivered to *her*. It is a nice little mag and Radical Betty was once featured in an article in it but I would’ve mailed it to The Comm. She didn’t care about the bills by then. She was done done done. “You’ll have to talk to my daughter.”

Heat and Light

Thursday, January 17th, 2019

After I wrote all of that stuff about not wanting any gifts on No Politics Day and counting up all the unwrappable gifts I received yesterday, a couple of unexpected wrappable gifts showed up (not wrapped though, which was good! 🐸). They were gifts of LIGHT! In his “desperate” search for gifts for a woman who has EVERYTHING, the GG thought, hmmm, what does she like? Heat and light 🐸 Heat is somewhat arguable although I did not Egregiously Idle the Ninja this AM because there was no ice to defrog. I started it when I left for work and I was pretty dern cold until it warmed up. It takes about 3/4 of a mile for that process to get going but after that it gets really cozy. But! Also! It had an unexpectedly FULL TANK of gas! Another small but welcome gift from yesterday and I know he did not go to the skimmer gas station. Anyway…

Light! Two “strings” of LED lights. One to string across the only place in the Landfill Chitchen that doesn’t already have a string of LED lights. That is under the shelf right here above my laptop. I love love love my chitchen but I think in every prodject there can be small details that are overlooked or not thought of during the design process. If I had it to do again, I would have specified an LED light string under the shelf. And then there’s the Coffee Station that I wanted but didn’t quiiiite happen. Basically a planned lucky-shuckyal outlet wasn’t installed and no one (including us) noticed it until it was too late. On the positive side, Jerry (lead carpenter) neatly liberated “Mouse” (upside-down U, mind you) from the old wall. She was 2-1/2 when she started writing her name (“Mouse” with an upside-down U, mind you) everywhere including the wall and we really wanted to save it. “Jerry is a genius.” So said the GG.

The other string is tiny LEDs (see pic) to wind along my “collection” of glass vases and bowls of all colors on top of the cabinets above the sink and stove, etc. Like my Santa collection, this is not an active collection. It is stuff that I have owned for a while or have snagged from The Comm’s stuff and a few from various deceased in-laws. I did increase it in a minor way when my Mouse found me some aubergine items for xmas but I am not “into” piling my house high with vases, etc. I needed some aubergine items but I think I have enough for now.

Those light strings (and also a new nightlight, which we needed) were wonderful, thoughtful gifts, especially in the January dark and cold. Not a bad life here on The Planet Ann Arbor, knock on wood as always!

January lights on No Politics Day

Wednesday, January 16th, 2019

I’m sure I’ve written about this before but I like indoor lighting to be as natural as possible, which means dark at this time of year in the Great Lake State. Well, unless I actually need good lighting for something. I do not need good lighting to type a blahg entry on a laptop or use an iPhone. So almost all of the lights are out in the Landfill right now, except for some LED twinkle lights, candles, and a cute li’l faaaaar in the faaaarplace.

So what do you give someone who has everything? NOTHING!

I was happy to have someone get up early and Egregiously Idle both vee-hickles to melt the ice off zee veeeendsheeelds. I chose the Frog Hopper for today although the Ninja would’ve done fine as it turned out.

But since I did *not* drive the Ninja, I was happy it received an oil change today. The light has been on for a while. I can do car stuff if I have to but it seems more efficient if the GG does it. He was outta town when the light came on and this was no emergency.

I was happy to be served a celebratory ‘hattan “up” in one of my in-laws’ gorgeous etched crystal glasses recently retrieved from The Beautiful Suzie’s house in Fla. It’s from their wedding china, etc. I wonder if they ever used those glasses what with 10 children to raise.

And then there was the supply of fake logs for the faaaarplace. We always buy faaaarwood but a fake log is good in a pinch. Not to mention that it doesn’t spit sparks out onto the carpet.

I was happy to receive a DM from MMCB1 early this morning even though she also canceled our coffee klatch for today. Why? Because ice. Her driveway is practically vertical, in an upward direction. It’s okay. We’re gonna try for tomorrow. Then texts from beach urchins. And now a group is texting and a Bacon Pocket pic is making the rounds.

I was maybe the happiest to receive the story that went along with Ninja’s oil change. A woman whose first language was not English brought her car into the oil change place and they refused to serve her because it was OUT OF OIL! I couldn’t repeat all of the details if I tried but the short story is that the GG came to the rescue and helped her get the situation sorted out. There was a lot of stuff about going back and forth across the street to get more oil that I couldn’t follow 🐽 but all I have to say is I’m glad he helped and it kind of made my day. PAY IT FORWARD!

“I ain’t gonna work on Maggie’s farm no more”

Tuesday, January 15th, 2019

So, I had a really good blahgging idea and then I walked across the room to cut up the last of Farmer John’s AWESOME potatoes to cook up tonight and that took me maybe three minutes and now I can’t remember what I was gonna blahg about.

But then again, oh yeah. I don’t get very sentimental about the places I used to live or my grandparents’ homes, etc. Last Saturday night I randomly looked up my MacMu grandparents’ address in Detroit and for a few minutes I was kinda wondering if we could fit a drive-by into our sorta-planned Sunday activities over in Detroit. Of course it didn’t really fit and in the cold clear light of the next morning, I was kind of like, “What was I thinking?”

My Detroit grandparents had a lovely art deco kind of house on Mark Twain Street. It had actually belonged to my [beloved] step-grandmother Bolette and her first husband. I didn’t know this until much later but some of Bolette’s siblings also owned houses on that street. It was kind of a family street. Bolette didn’t hook up with my granddad until a year or so before I was born. She and my grandaddy were both widowed and I remember Bolette telling me much later that she was so confuddled about my grandaddy’s marriage proposal that she missed her streetcar stop. The answer ended up being YES and they took a trip “around the world” to celebrate it.

I loved visiting their house on Mark Twain in Detroit. It was an art deco house and there was a beautiful breakfast nook where we would sit and make toast in the morning. They left their pretty Detroit tree-lined neighborhood after the 1967 riots and moved out to the “fancier” suburb of Birmingham.

Years ago, when I first knew the GG and we weren’t married, etc., we navigated (in one of our Ford Fiesta veehickles – no GPS) to 9975 Mark Twain to check out that address. A black man* noticed us and our color and asked “Are you the paper boy?” I was kind of scared because I realized that I didn’t belong in that neighborhood anymore. I replied that we were driving by my grandparents’ old house. He immediately softened. He suggested that I must miss the place. I told him that I did. And then he told me about the single mother who was living there at that point and I was happy that he felt okay about telling me that for whatever it was worth.

Sunday Moomday was NOT the best day to re-visit that old neighborhood so we didn’t. But maybe we will try to visit again some other day.

* What can I say? I do not understand what skin color has to do with anything but it still did at that time (early 1980s.) I’m not sure we understand anything any better now.

How Now [Brown Cow]

Monday, January 14th, 2019

Alert! Alert! Alert! Your card was denied at Kroger in [neighboring city]. What? For a few split-seconds I was really confused. I was over in Cubelandia trying to decipher one of the worst flow-chart diagrams anyone has ever created. I was not at any grocery store anywhere. The GG had plans to drive to a neighboring city today and for a nano-second I was worried that he might not have been able to purchase something. But he has other cards and anyway, THIS card ended with MY card’s number. His card has a different number. And he had traveled to a DIFFERENT neighboring city in a totally different direction.

It slowly dawned on me that I had been HACKED! This has never happened to me before. Fortunately, we have tools to deal with that stuff these days. I went straight to the bank app on my phone and within about a minute’s worth of navigating, I had canceled the card. Whew! I got one more declined transaction alert and that was it. Since the declined “Kroger” purchase was gasoline, I’m guessing the person was prompted (at the pump) for a zip code and, having no clue what address the card was attached to, entered the wrong one and that triggered the declination and alert. How stooopid can people be? The second declined transaction was at some kind of vending musheen bizness and by that time I had canceled the card. (To be clear, I still have the card. It was not “physically” lost or stolen.)

We have a gas station in the neighborhood that is notorious for “skimming” incidents (or whatever they are called). It is the most convenient gas station for me to get gas at and I filled up there but that was WEEKS ago. Shortly after I did that more skimming incidents were reported. I stopped going there. So, not sure if someone got my card info from there or from somewhere else.

I don’t want to be smug about the online banking business. We* take security issues very seriously and are constantly working to ward off hackers and other attackers. But it is very hard to keep up with people who make a career out of trying to hack financial systems. Today my bank (which may or may not use my company’s software, I wouldn’t know), did a good job. (*I sit waaaaaaaay back from anything “real”. I do not have anything to do with security technology so not taking credit for anything.)

Sunday Moomday

Sunday, January 13th, 2019

Actually it isn’t Moomday but we did Moomday today because I figured the beach urchins might feel guilty if they didn’t drive all the way over to the Planet Ann Arbor on a weeknight. In the winter, no less, although snow does not seem to be in the immediate forecast. Today was a beautiful sunny day, a perfect day to drive to DayTwa, so that’s what we did, picking up our Mouse on the way.

There are lots of things to do in Detroit and I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. This weekend has been psychologically slodgy for me (it’s okay, just the January blahs) and the small amount of coffee I had this morning gave me a stoopid Covfefe High so I did not start out as a particularly happy camper. When museums were mentioned, I caught myself being a bit whiney. I did NOT feel museum-y at all today. I felt more Belle Isle-y than museum-y. In the end we compromised and drove around Belle Isle, then back downtown, where we parked at MOCAD and walked up to the Detroit Historical Museum.

The Detroit Institute of Arts would’ve totally overwhelmed me today (it’s HUUUUUGE) but the historical museum turned out to be just the ticket, a small easily digestible museum. And free, although Lizard Breath and I did put a decent donation in the box to cover the four of us.

LB commandeered the Frog Hopper when we got back to the MOCAD parking lot and we had a loverly pizza and beet salad lunch at Ottavo Via, one of our Detroit faves. This place gets slammed at night (3 hour waits?) but on a weekend afternoon it is not usually busy. After that a trinket store (where Yooperlight came out) and then a mini-ride so we could arrive at Motor City Wine for a “nightcap” when it opened at four. We were giggling about a possible skeleton in the family closet when we arrived there and had to kind of ‘splain ourselves to the bartender. We didn’t say toooo much to him (of course) but he was great fun for us.

And then we headed off into the sunset. Literally. The setting sun was in our eyes to a dangerous degree. But then we headed north for a bit and by the time we headed west again, it was so low on the horizon that it didn’t interfere with driving and then it set. A little bit later every day.

Mahmmy Blahgging

Saturday, January 12th, 2019

I am seeing a spate of articles about mommy bloggers these days. These are mostly about how the bloggers’ children are none too happy when they learn how to read and navigate the internet and discover moom’s blog. “Why are pictures of me plastered all over the internet?” “Why did you write about me pooping/vomiting/throwing a tantrum/whatever when I was two?” “Why did you put [sensitive story about me] on the internet?”

Quiiiite a while back, there were a lot of mommy bloggers out on them thar tubes. I stalked a bunch of them. I’m not sure when the mommy bloggers got started but I discovered them after I began my blahg in 2003. I loved reading their stories and enjoyed looking at pictures of their lives. Voyeuristic? Maybe, although I think that word particularly refers to watching sexual stuff. My interest was totally benign. I simply enjoyed peeking into other people’s lives. How are these young women raising their children? Are they struggling with the same problems I did? (Of course! And often worse.) Yes they were strangers. But it *is* the internet and if you post something, there is at least a chance that Other People Will See It. Better meeee than a child porn enthusiast? I always wondered what these people would do when their kids got old enough to read and navigate the internet and discovered themselves all over the momosphere.

I never considered myself a mommy blogger. When I started my blahg, one of my kids was in college, the other in high school. Both of them could drive if I’m doing the math accurately. I began my blahg because Mouse and I went to the moomincabin for a few weeks and I didn’t want to have to talk on the phone every night. My early posts were little snippets like “Grandaddy patrolled the Old Road and parts of the beach”, hilarious descriptions of my parents fighting the weekly Garbage Fight, and The Comm discussing how to cook a bat (yes really) with Radical Betty and Bubs. The point was to say, “here I am, I am well, we are having fun, no reason to talk on the phone tonight”. Yes, you are wishing I would go back to that snippety style of posting 🐽🐽🐽 (hee hee, I had to explain to the GG today what the pig nose emoji was used for, at least within our little family texting groups).

I can’t say I have never posted an embarrassing pic of my kids or told a borderline non-PC story about them. I’m sure I have and if so I am sorry. But the beach urchins were never my focus. They were well into forming their adult lives by then and I tried very hard to make the blahg about *me* and my own misadventures. If I told a story about a long-ago toddler having a tantrum, I tried to give the kid the benefit of the doubt and focus on the unfortunate circumstances that precipitated the tantrum and what *I* had done wrong. Teenage snark was a similar thing. I loved when they eye-rolled or made sarcastic comebacks at me (actually one of my kids was already doing that by the age of two or so, I’ll letchyall guess who 🐽). I knew that they were practicing for adulthood and were questioning authority, which is a good thing, at least in my book. They’ve turned out pretty darn well, in my opinion, little thanks to my parenting skills.

Only a few of the mommy bloggers I used to “know” are still around. I will continue on with my own navel gazing into the foreseeable future. I can because I was never focused on my kids. I also don’t care a fig about making money from my blahg or how many readers I have. I love to write but I know that am a rank amateur in every way. Well, almost every way. I am PDG at writing functional specifications for the online banking software my team supports. But that “gig” pays the “rent” (plus it is fun!).

P.S. I do not fault the mommy bloggers for anything. I know why they blogged about their kids. They loved them, they were proud of them, and they found a community out there. The World Wide Web and blogging platforms were Shiny New Objects. If it had been easy to post pics of your kids on the internet when my kids were small, I’d’ve prob’ly been doing it too.

January holidays

Friday, January 11th, 2019

What I will call the solstice holidays are over and we are now into a sort of Birthday Month. Our friends of porterization both celebrate birthdays this month and I can think off hand of six relatives and friends, living and dead, who have January birthdays. Not to mention Martin Luther King and Richard Nixon, who share birthdays with a couple relatives and friends.

Back in the very early days of this blahg, I used to shout out to birthday folks but I gave that up a long time ago. I couldn’t keep up with it. And then the first year I was on Facebook, I hadn’t thought/known to hide my birthday and everybody and his brother wished me a happy birthday. I was kind of creeped out by that. I don’t mind if somebody I actually *know* in real life and knows my birthday wishes me a happy birthday but I don’t think most of my facebook friends have ever known my birthday, certainly not people I went to high school with but didn’t really talk to much at that time. I got into my settings and blocked my birthday from public view PDQ.

We got porterized for dinner at the Oscar Tango tonight and then continued that back here at the Landfill a wee bit with this loverly xmas bottle from Pengy and cBear. We didn’t drink all of that bottle tonight. I think it may have made the trip to LSD Land and was probably shared a bit or maybe just sipped at the end of some very long days.

At any rate, I am not writing this tonight just so the beach urchins know I am alive. I don’t bombard them with text messages EVER but I did send them (and Pengo and cBear) this pic tonight.

G’night! KW.

Lemme see…

Thursday, January 10th, 2019

First, this is not my cat and I did not take this pic. In fact, I wasn’t even there for the pic but the GG was. The GG stayed overnight with my niece Pengy and cBear on his way down to LSD Land, Fla and she texted this pic to a family group. They live in Fla for now but if I had to venture an edu-micated guess, I don’t think they want to settle there permanently but that’s their bizness, not mine. They took good care of the GG and I love them for that (and ANYWAY).

This beautiful tortoiseshell catsa is quite the character. When I first met her (a few years ago when she was in late kittenhood) she shied away from me like crazy at first. “Who are you and why are you in my house?” I “ignored” her like I do with aminals and small children and eventually she decided it was okay to be in the same room with me and even get (guardedly) up close and personal. Anyway, I don’t have a pic of my own that I feel like posting so here is Simcoe.

The GG stayed in Knoxville (in a BEST WESTERN, thank you very much, not el cheeepo) last night and that is about an 8-hour drive from here so he got back to The Planet Ann Arbor mid-afternoon. I got notified that he purchased gasoline in Knoxville and then Crittenden, which I think is in Kentucky. The email said “Crittenden, US”. Okay, how many states have Crittenden as a town or city name.

I was really antsy about this trip for reasons I can’t totally articulate. My brain was thinking stuff like “SNOW” (or “tornadoes”) and “car problems” and staying in el cheeeepo drug dealer motels and, well, just driving that distance alone. I felt better when I knew that (going down) he had stopped at “our hotel” in Chattanooga and ate at the Logan’s Roadhouse up the hill. I felt even better when I knew that he stayed with Pengy and cBear the next night.

I really wanted to do this trip with him but didn’t feel like I could do it. My work has been nutso lately. After a “technical” release that I wasn’t really involved with, everyone has re-discovered that we have a (one, alas) BA, that would be me. I am now busy getting thrown down every Rabbit Hole on earth and then some. I love this and am learning a lot down in those Rabbit Holes. As it turned out, the GG’s driving was good outside of maybe some rain, the Frog Hopper did NOT break down, and he made the executive decision not to pull a U-Haul trailer back up.

I will leave you with a link to a man who knits sweaters depicting various, uh, well “places” (Stonehenge for example). He travels to them and takes a selfie of himself in front of the sweater’s “place” wearing his sweater. I love this kind of stuff and his story too! We have various knitters in all of the families I call mine and one of my children is one of the best. She didn’t learn it from me although I am capable of knitting. She self-taught with maybe a little early help from The Commander but the beach urchin surpassed anything The Comm ever did and she got to that level when she was in HIGH SCHOOL. Her work is very precise, which I love. I also love that this guy exuberantly knits sweaters without following a particular pattern, just a picture in his mind.

Technology “whiz” (or not)

Wednesday, January 9th, 2019

So, I had to renew my driver’s license. In our state, we can do it by mail every other time. The other time was last time for me. When I have to renew in person, my usual strategy is to get to the DMV (actually ours is the SOS) before the place opens and hope there isn’t a huge line. Nowadays they have all kinds of technological options available. I chose the option to join the “line” via phone or browser. I’m a systems analyst. I talk to computers all day. What could go wrong?

Well, for two days I tried to use my phone browser to join the “line” but it didn’t seem to be fully functional. The DMV is over by the Plum Market so my plan was to get in “line” early early so I could get my business done and head off to work. But that didn’t work because phone browser dysfunction. Today I was having the same problem so duh, I switched to my laptop. Bang! I was in line!

The next part is too confusing to report but basically I was so anxious to get over there that. I. left. my. phone. on. the. table. at. home. Um, the way this technology works is that after you do a quick check-in, they TEXT you when it is your turn. Okay. Home again to get my phone. Which (and this was a GOOD thing) reported via text message that they weren’t quite open yet (they weren’t) but they would let me know when I was up. Oh, and if I needed a little more time, I could text back “M”, which I did because HOME GETTING MY DERN PHONE, and they gave me 12 extra minutes. Whew! (This was all snow-driving but it wasn’t scary snow-driving, even for the Ninja.)

I got back there and ended up having a 10 minute wait (which was fine since I was the ninny who forgot her phone) and I was outta there PDQ. I didn’t even have to take the “What Every Driver Must Know” multiple choice test. I dunno when they stopped that requirement. I don’t remember if I had to take it the last time or not. I asked the young whippersnapper about the test and he looked at me a bit like I was nuts. Fortunately, I was done done done by then so they couldn’t haul me off to the loony bin or whatever.

All in all, that was a GOOD experience and our DMV/SOS has done a great job improving user experience at their offices. Our state government has done something right! And yes of course, my pic is fugly as sin. I just said “that’s okay” when he showed it to me. As always, the fewer times I have to show my driver’s license to a cop, the better.

We won’t talk about the gyrations I am currently going through to read New Yorker articles or do their weekly xword or their jigsaws (yes, they have online jigsaws). I have an automatically paid renewing subscription but somehow I keep getting caught up in these “you have no free articles left” loops where I go nuts trying to figure out how the heck to log in. Usually I end up having to log out and in again. You guys? Hire some UX pros or at least some lowly business analysts.

And then Cubelandia was nutso today. Meetings with Indians here and on the subcontinent. I love these folks. They are sooooo smart. We speak different languages, linguistically and technologically so sometimes I struggle. One language we all speak is life. Two of the young men over on the Indian subcontinent are getting married and another is expecting a baby. Of course, I mean his wife is having the baby. Congratulations, love, and much laughter all around in that meeting today.

Romance novels?

Tuesday, January 8th, 2019

I have read exactly one romance novel in my life. I was in my early 20s, living in an apartment in East Lansing and I was sick that day and hanging out on the couch. A roomate’s romance novel was within reach and I read it. I don’t really like romance novels. Male length? I mean, c’mon. I have always been more interested in sci-fi, classic lit, and modern novels, dystopian or not. So…

The problem is that I did NOT read the 50 Shades of Grey book but we keep seeing the movie on TV. I usually fall asleep before it ends but *should* I read it? The scene I see on TV over an over again is where Christian(?) buys a new automotive vee-hickle for Anastasia and her parents see it and process what is happening. This is not something my parents would have been happy with but there is also no way a super-rich person would have “loved me” enough to buy me an automotive vee-hickle. Every single automotive vee-hickle I have ever owned was purchased by me and the GG. My parents helped a bit with my first two but I paid them back.

So is the 50 Shades of Grey book good or not so much? Should I read it? I haven’t been inclined to. I hated Gone Girl. But…

Love that lens flare

Monday, January 7th, 2019

Yeah, okay. Stay in *decent* motel/hotels when you can. The bank emails me when our account is debited for seemingly random expenditures. These are definitely emails I signed up for but I signed up a long time ago and at this point, I have no clue what I signed up for. I could go out to the bank website and look but why bother. These alerts do tell me where the GG is and sometimes that can be helpful.

So I got an email the other day that he had checked in to a decent hotel in a kinda seedy area and I was happy about that. We stayed at this place on our LSD trip down there and it was not a picturesque place out on the beach but we weren’t there to hang out at the beach and anyway the RED TIDE was at the beach.

Next day, I got an email that indicated he had moved to an El Cheeeeepo motel. This is a motel chain that I once vowed never to stay at again. We were at the end of an airport runway. Jets were taking off until something like 11 PM and illicit activity that I won’t describe was happening and I dunno when that stuff ended but fortunately I couldn’t hear it.

Fast forward to the NEXT day and I was alerted that he was back in the good hotel. When asked about this, he said that he told Little Ed where he was staying and Little Ed said, “That’s where all the drug dealers hang out.” I think the price difference was something like $20 per night.

Tonight was dinner on the beach out on Anna Maria Island and look at that lens flare. Oh but that lens didn’t flare for me. I am here on The Planet Ann Arbor and my mouse made bibimbap for me here at the end of a rainy and unseasonably warm January day on The Planet Ann Arbor. Very good food and she did most of the dishioshios although I also have Bertie running 🧡🧡🧡

A little spot of rainbow

Sunday, January 6th, 2019

So I have been spacified all weekend, which isn’t a bad thing but I reveled in a bit of Kexting at the end of today. Beach Urchins checking in about what they were cooking, etc. Pics included! Pizza in one home and pasta in another.

I am heating up some of the last scrabbly leftovers from the xmas season for myself. A bit of pheasant from New Year’s Day and some accompaniments. I tried to text this message to the beach urchins and TWO TIMES, autocorrect changed “scrabbly” to “scrabble”. Just to set the record straight, I am NOT eating Scrabble tiles tonight! [Jeebus]

I didn’t see the sunset today because clouds started to set in but, before they did, I caught a bit of rainbow on Chrissy the Police Mouse’s foot. I have prisms in the window and they occasionally rainbow something up.

Chrissy? I paid $4.00 for her at my once fave Kroger grocery store. I am not sure which incarnation of Kroger I bought her at. Eventually the Plum Market became my fave grocery store. I am not sure the Plum EVER sells stuffed aminals…

Whatever. Chrissy became the police mouse that helped me corral one of the beach urchins when I needed to. It was easier for that beach urchin to comply with directions issued from Chrissy than from me. It was okay for me to use stuffed aminals to talk to my children if that was what seemed to be needed.

Another day, another roadhouse

Saturday, January 5th, 2019

A couple years ago we took a road trip to Crazy Old Florida. It was NOT an LSD trip, like the one we took last fall. It was a vacation trip and we rented a beautiful studio apartment in a retro place out on on Long Boat Key, on the beach.

One afternoon we went to the Sarasota Jungle Gardens and we were on our way to pick up FloridaMan to take him out to eat. The GG got all roto about where were we gonna eat, can you look up a place to eat, yada yada. I did NOT look up restaurants. I knew that FlaMan would know exactly where he wanted to eat and I was right! We pulled up in his driveway and he greeted us with a NSFW story about his male dog’s reproductive adventures the night before (this was before anyone said “hello” by the way). When we asked him where he wanted to go for dinner he had a ready response. Cody’s Roadhouse! Okay, let’s go.

Cody’s Roadhouse was fine. We sat at the bar and by the end of everything, the bartender, who I think had noticed my predicament of sitting next to FlaMan, topped off my second glass of whine in order to empty his bottle. I actually love hanging out with FlaMan and I was having fun. I kinda think that the bartender may have had previous experiences with FlaMan and probably guessed that I would tip a lot better than FlaMan and his friends do. I do tip well, sometimes excessively so, but we’ll talk about that some other day.

We encountered another roadhouse (Logan’s) on the way back north from that trip. We took a lot of back roads and eventually landed in Lexington, KY, on a Friday evening and we tried to gain access to a fancy brewpub or whatever it was but it was absolutely slammed so we ended up at a Logan’s Roadhouse, which ended up being very good and a lot of fun and the bartender had some kind of connection to Cananananada.

Of course, we have our own roadhouse here. It’s Zingerman’s Roadhouse and it is a pretty quick walk from The Landfill. It is a wonderful restaurant but for various reasons, I have only been there a few times.

Baboons are us

Friday, January 4th, 2019

I have a cute li’l timehop app that lets me look at various tweets and other things that I made “on this day throughout the years”. Nine years, in my case. Sometimes I do not even want to remember the stuff it serves up.

Today, it totally cracked me up! We [almost] NEVER talk polly-ticks at work. We are professionals who are focused on our web application at all times. One year ago, if I have it right, the LSCHP (who is no longer at Cubelandia and we miss him) said something like, “The secretary of state is calling the president a moron”. I did not fact-check that but that’s the last thing I heard anyone at Cubelandia say anything out loud about polly-ticks until today. DYND said she had received a news alert that the Orange Baboon was talking about how he could declare a state of emergency in order to build a wall or whatever. She and I and FZ spent about 60 seconds discussing this topic, all in horrified agreement about the Orange Baboon’s words, and then – abruptly – returned to our work.

We make a lot of trains run on time where I work and we can have our own polly-tickle opinions but they don’t inform our jobs. A LOT LIKE THE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES WHO HAVE BEEN FURLOUGHED OR ARE WORKING WITHOUT PAY WHILE THE ORANGE BABOON CONTINUES HIS CHILDISH NARCISSISTIC TEMPER TANTRUM. I am not afraid of those ragged, destitute people from Central America who are trying to gain access to a better life in our country and I’m not sure why he thinks they are a categorical threat, especially since he has hired undocumented immigrants to work in his own dern organization. I don’t consider this situation a national emergency. This is just a ridiculous temper tantrum by a man-boy who craves attention, nothing more, nothing less. As much as I want this idiot out of office, I am not for impeachment unless/until there is a legal reason for it. I am glad that there is *finally* a person of power who is willing to call him out for the idiotic crapola he constantly spews.

Okay. I wrote all of that and then I walked over to Knight’s to get porterized and three hours later I am here and I am kind of dun dun dun for the night. One ‘hattan and a glass of cab over all that time. Love y’all, KW!


Thursday, January 3rd, 2019

I have noooo idea how to spell those lyrics. I did The Goog and it was all over the place. I’m sure I could use my super-Ninja internet research skills to come up with the exact spelling but I am not into it tonight. I did find out that it comes from an old Bing Crosby tune “I’m an Old Cowhand”, a song I heard more than a few times as a kid but undoubtedly did not know (or care) anything about Bing Crosby.

I do remember when my BFF in grade school was Laurie Ping and she had a cat for a while (I had a cat for a while too) and one day I was over at her house and we were playing in the basement and I dunno what the heck we were playing but the cat came downstairs and she said YYYKY (I’m abbreviating this because I’m taaaared of typing it) and we somehow incorporated the cat into our play although I doubt that lasted very long because cats…

To get to Laurie’s house, I walked down my alley, hung a right and walked about a block, crossing one street. We were BFFs throughout grade school even though I attended Stinkin’ Linkin’, the public school across the street from my house and she attended St. Joe’s, the Catholic K-8 school a few blocks away. Every Saturday morning, one of us would call at 9:00 AM (my phone number was 2-2565 and hers was 2-9310) and I would always go over to her house because she was “cleaning her room”. That was her Saturday chore and I *suppose* I was “helping” her with it but I certainly wasn’t and I don’t actually remember what we did on those mornings until her parents finally released her from her chores and we took off to…

…Well, bike riding or kickball in the street or playing on the playground equipment at Stinkin’ Linkin’s school yard if there was no snow. Or, if there was snow, walking on top of snow banks, making snow caves in the big banks that the plows left behind in our front yards, or sledding down big snowbanks into the street. Whatever the weather, we always made trips to Aunt Marion’s store to buy penny candy and/or popsicles or whatever. Aunt Marion’s was the name of the store but Marion was also Laurie’s great aunt and she and great-uncle Frank lived on the same block as Laurie. Along with great-uncle Angie, a recluse who was not all that nice to children and I, at least, was a bit scared of him when he worked at the store…

Laurie and I left our childhood friendship behind when we hit junior high. She continued at the Catholic K-8 and I walked downtown to the junior high. Junior high was a struggle for me, at least socially. One of the few times I met up with Laurie after junior high was when we were in about 7th grade and she told me she was kissing boys, etc. I so wanted to do that too but somehow did not have the social confidence. Plus those were the years that I felt I had to fail academically in order to better fit into the social structure. Like, if I get bad grades will I get a boyfriend? Jeebus!

A few boyfriends brave enough to call the small town bank president’s family phone and ask to speak to his daughter eventually came along and I did get to actually date boyfriends. And I married one of them and he is *still* around. Of course by the time I met the GG, I had my own phone (landline) here on the Planet Ann Arbor, so he didn’t have to call my parents’ phone to talk to me. It was hard back in those early days for a smart woman to fit into school or any job but I somehow managed it. It’s getting easier for women to fit in but there are still challenges.

Keep it up girls and Nancy Pelosi, YOU GO GIRL! I think I am becoming a fan.

“Well” bourbon

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2019

Man oh man, I wish I was hanging out in Chattanooga with the GG at the Best Western below the steep walk up the hill to Logan’s Roadhouse. But I am not. I am here on the Planet Ann Arbor driving over to Cubelandia to earn a wonderful living.

The pic is Logan’s Roadhouse. When we took an LSD trip to crazy old Florida back in October, we got a reservation at this particular Best Western. It was a decent place and then, when the GG was thinking about where we might get some food, I said… Well… There is a Logan’s Roadhouse just up the hill from here. Har har har. Downtown Chattanooga is wondrous but we had been driving all day and didn’t really want to drive anywhere else from where we were. The GG was like, “Where is this roadhouse?” 🐽

And so we ate at Logan’s Roadhouse that night. The GG ordered a ‘hattan and the bartender asked if he wanted to specify his bourbon or just order the “well” bourbon. What was the well bourbon? Of all things, it was 10-high, which is *our* “well” bourbon. Jeebus.

The GG is staying at that Best Western again tonight and he walked up the hill to Logan’s Roadhouse and I bet he ordered a “well” bourbon ‘hattan with his dinner. I wish I was with him but… I don’t like to take paid time off early in the year… Alas…

Here on the Planet Ann Arbor we are on the edge weather wise. Mist and drizzle at around 32 degrees but somehow slippery conditions have evaded us today. Just wet, gloomy, and fugly.

Gritty and mildly NSFW

Tuesday, January 1st, 2019

It was going to be another looooonng gray slodgy day so we mobilized for a wee bit of automotive exploration. We headed southward and eastward this time, stumbling onto a rural area I don’t think we’ve ever encountered. Just about the poorest, most rundown housing I’ve seen in a while, set against a desolate backdrop of scraggly northern winter vegetation. I couldn’t help but wonder about meth labs, even though I’m sure their existence is not limited to impoverished rural neighborhoods. Nevertheless, it was beautiful in a spooky sort of way. I wanted to take some pictures but usually feel uncomfortable about photographing other people’s poverty. As a bonus, we got to wait for this looooong freight train. I am mildly intrigued by train car graffiti and wonder if people have written dissertations on it.

After an hour or so of meandering, we wended our way back to west side Planet Ann Arbor and I heard the GG say to the UU (on the phone) that we were almost home and we both had to P. And yes, I did but I hadn’t said anything about it so I don’t know how he knew. We parked and he said, “Go and P and then we’ll go downtown to Conor O’Neill’s for some of that potato soup.” So I did (go and P) and apparently he did too but he didn’t use Eco-Terlet so I can only guess he did Burke Style urbanP in the back yard. TMI? 🐽

I don’t really know how the folks who run barrrrooooms can manage to handle the New Year’s Eve crowds and rowdiness and then open again the next day but I was glad to see that Conor’s was open because their potato soup lobster bisque and brown bread and general ambience hit the spot for me. We don’t [typically] go anywhere on NYE and if we do we are usually home well before the ball drops so we are usually up for a wee bit of decadence sometime on New Year’s Day.

And then… We took down xmas. I should say that Suzy Homemaker did most of the work. I removed a few ornaments from the tree, put my Santa collection away, used my iPhone flashlight to find a small yellow star ornament that went missing in the depths of the branches, and held the tree up while Suz unscrewed it from the holder. Suz has a “system” for storing ornaments and I decided I wasn’t really interested in learning it so I largely ignored the whole operation.

Boredom and collusion

Monday, December 31st, 2018

Note to self: Maybe next year you should leave yourself with fewer paid days off that need to be taken before the new year rolls around. I ended up with three this year. I took one xmas eve and that was okay because the beach urchins were here. I took Friday because Pengie and cBear (and the beach urchins, et al) were here. And I’m taking today, which ends up meaning four looooooong days off without a whole lot on the schedule. Because bored?

Maybe boredom isn’t exactly the right word to describe my state of mind. I finished my latest reading adventure today and I enjoyed having some reading time. I just get antsy when I am not very active. As it happens, preparations are going on for an odyssey that begins in a couple days and the various rummaging and packing activities randomly happening in the background are making it hard for me to concentrate on anything even though I am only marginally involved in the odyssey (nothing bad, don’t worry).

On top of that, it has been raining cats and dogs almost all day. My 0-skunk-30 walk was dry except for some intermittent leftover slippery spots but it all went downhill from there. The upside? The temperatures are just enough above freezing that there isn’t any snow or ice. But not conducive to hanging around outside, just fugly.

LSSU, the yooper college you can see from The Commander’s old Dillon house, released its annual list of banned words. I was pleased to see that “collusion” was included in the list. As everyone who follows the Orange Baboon on Twitter should know, this seems to be one of his favorite words. What does this word actually mean? Does the Head Twit know what it means? I don’t think so.

Some of the other words are also obnoxious but others I use frequently, like “wheelhouse”. I mainly use that to describe the xword. Is it in my wheelhouse or not? I use “wrap my head around” ALL THE TIME at work (except I say “brain” instead of “head”). To me it means I understand something well enough to be able to write coherently and comprehensively about how it works. And “ghosting” totally cracks me up. A while back, I told one of the beach urchins that the GG often ghosted me when I texted him. She said something like, “Mooooom, ghosting is when someone BREAKS UP with you by not replying to texts.” The GG is not interested in “breaking up” with me, he’s simply (obnoxiously) inconsistent about checking his text messages.

I feel like I’ve read enough good books to do a book blahg soon but I’m outta steam for now. But the book I finished today was “Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk”. I’m not sure it would be in everyone’s wheelhouse [har har] but I thoroughly enjoyed it! Yay for classy, intelligent, accomplished, WITTY women of any age!

P.S. The young couple next door have been expecting a baby. Yesterday I noticed that one of their vee-hickles had been gone a particularly long time and I guessed that maybe the baby had decided it was time. I mentioned this to the GG. He was skeptical. But guess what? He encountered a Dog Walker with their dog today and I was right! I often am, in these sorts of situations🐽 Beyond that, it’s a girl and that’s all I know.

I dunno where I am…

Monday, December 31st, 2018

I am soooo taaaared. I was directed to wear holiday attire over to Knights last night and so I stuffed Frooggy into the new cute red hat that the GG got me for xmas and put on his xmas glasses. He got it from JJill. I had specified a couple of gifts from JJill but not the hat. The hat showed up as he was ordering some of the stuff that I sent him links to and he ordered it and I am loving it!

We had beautiful sunshine today and so we did our usual walk down by Barton Dam. It’s been a while since we’ve done this little urban hike. The GG has been outta town a whole lot in the last year. He has been dealing with family stuff and North Country Trail stuff. Yer fav-o-rite blahgger is working and wishing she had more time to take off except when she does get time off, she doesn’t seem to be doing much of anything.

The one thing I did accomplish today was to clean out my refrigerator. What a mess! I had totally lost track of what the heck was in there. Everything came out. A few things went into the compost. All the shelves got cleaned and I am ready to start the new year! Cheers!