Archive for March, 2006

Goin’ to kzoo

Tuesday, March 14th, 2006
Dum de dum de dum. grok grok. Haveya packed the listerine? ooh ooh ooh ah ah dum de dum. How ’bout the frog juice? ooh ooh ooh ah ah la la la. I can’t believe (grok grok) the ol’ witch (grok grok) is lettin’ us outta here. grook grfok. Didya check the engine? ooh ooh ooh ah ah. How ’bout paddles? grok. Do we have ’em? ooh ooh ooh ah ah hee hee hee dum de dum de dum. We are goin’ on an adventure! grok grok. We’re gonna fly to Kalamazoo (grok grook) and take my owner (grook) out for a nice flea and fly lunch (frok grok) with spider shortcake for dessert. grok grok. Mmmm. She better be ready to eat! grok grok. ‘n’ then we’re gonna (grok frgok) pick up Squeaky and Aunt Mousey (grok grok) and bring ’em back to the Planet Ann Arbor. Grok grokka. Smokie, strap Clammy onta the back o’ buoy 22 there (grok grok) ooh ooh ooh ah ah and let’s fire up this here flyin’ machine (grok grok) and get outta here (grok grok) before the ol’ witch changes her silly ol’ mind. grok grok. Bats in her belfry!! Grokgrok. Ready. Set. Ten. Nine. Grok. Eight. Seven. Grok. Six. Oops. Smokie! I lost count, where am I? Oh, yeah. Five. Grok. Four. Three. Grok. Grok. Two. One. Ignition. VARRROOOOOOOM!!!! GROKGROKGROKGROKGROK!!!! We’re in the air! grokgrokgrokGROK! Kalamazoo, here we come! grokGROK! Hey Smokie, grok grok, hand me that jug o’ (grok grok) frog juice. grok grok. With a niiiice listerine chaser. Schlurrrrrp chuga-chuga-chuga grokgrokgrok HIC!

Walking in Thunderstorms

Monday, March 13th, 2006

Well, I walk three miles or thereabouts *every* morning and again in the late afternoon. A few years ago I used to say that one walk was for teenagers and the other was for men. Men and teenagers, sheesh! But really I am just a plain old addict. Without arthritis, thank you very much. There are very, very few weather conditions I do not walk in. I can do from about -15 up to around 100 Fahrenheit, although I am pretty much a bedraggled mess anywhere above 95. Hey, youse guys, I am half yooper, ya know, eh? I do rain, snow, and wind. I do ice up to a point. If I can’t maintain my footing on about a 2 degree incline, I call it quits. Yes, it *has* been that icy around here and it just isn’t worth it. Free fall is only fun in space. Uh, like I would *know* that 😉 One thing I definitely do not do is lightning! Lightning is just too weird and unpredictable. I was standing in my kitchen one time on a nice, warm, quietly rainy afternoon when suddenly, KABOOM! Lightning exploded a tree in the woods behind my house. Out of nowhere. No big front moving through. Nothing. There isn’t any lightning right this exact minute but there have been thunderstorms half the night and it is raining cats and dogs and there is a 70% chance of more storms this morning. Plus there is a tornado watch. I *really* need to walk right now but think I will just have to take a pass today. And to think, just over a week ago, I was at Houghton Lake and it was so cold, I had to wear every blasted item of winter clothing I possess to take my morning walk. Yes, including snowpants. It is March and this is Michigan. Anything goes.

My Brother Married a Flutist

Sunday, March 12th, 2006

My brother did a lot of good things in his life but one of the best had to be to marry a flutist! One who sometimes drags me out of my musical stupor to do something flutey. Yesterday, our plan was to participate in a Native American flute workshop at the Flint Institute of Music. Not only was I overdue for some kind of musical experience, this was a week that I desperately needed the companionship of a female friend. All of the usual Ann Arbor suspects were out of town or couldn’t be scared up for whatever reason. Sigh 😉

I drove up to Grand Blanc and we caught lunch at a nearby restaurant and then had some good dog time. Along the way, we caught up on all the bits and pieces of our so-called lives, kids and octogenarians and work or lack thereof in my case :-/ and bombed-out houses and aminals grok grok and you name it.

We got to the workshop only to find out that the presenter was stuck in an airport in Oklahoma or somewhere. But there were still flute choirs to listen to and a chance to participate in one and we were certainly up for that. I have been on plenty of stages in the last ten years or so but usually it has been to deliver food to the stage manager of one play or another. Definitely not to perform. Yesterday, Karen and I were two of about twelve flutists of all ages and abilities and we read through five or six pieces, ending with an arrangement of The Pink Panther scored for 100 flutes! It was a total riot! Non-competitive, unlike Interlochen or college. No big egos involved.

We finished off the day with a cappuccino at the Indian Hills neighborhood Starbucks and then I said goodbye to the dogz and Karen and Pengo Janetto and jumped onto southbound US23. Perfect day. Until I got about two miles north of the M14 interchange. I was passing someone at about 75 mph when I realized that there was a po-lice car with its lights on *directly* behind me and my cute little Honda Civic. YIKES!!! I completed my pass and prepared to pull off, thinking something like, “shit, this is my first speeding ticket ever!” Wonder of wonders, HE KEPT RIGHT ON GOING! WHEW! A moment later, another po-lice car passed me. I got onto M14 and prepared to make my ascent up to the Planet Ann Arbor when I saw both of those po-lice cars pulling somebody else off. They were obviously after someone for something but it was not me. This time. grok grok You should’ve asked me for (grok grok) a ride on buoy 22. grook grook Froogy, you and buoy 22 are grounded, remember?

The day didn’t turn out exactly as planned but it just didn’t matter because Karen and I actually got to spend some time hanging out together somewhere besides a goddamn horspittle. We have spent too darn much time hanging around horspittles in the last couple years. THANK YOU BRO’, wherever you are, for marrying a flutist. THANK YOU KAREN, for dragging me out of the walking train wreck I seemed to be stuck in.

Octowoman Accosts Old Man

Saturday, March 11th, 2006

First and most important, Sam (dog, not archaeologist), was thirteen years old yesterday! Happy Birthday, old man! Other than that, we have a guest blahgger today and it is none other than The Commander:

This morning, at about 8:30 AM, as usual, I went over to see Jack for a few moments before I started my daily routine. About that time he is in the rehab room doing his little exercises so I walked down the hall and could see him sitting as usual — facing away from me in front of the big windows. His head was bent over something which turned out to be a puzzle designed to exercise the mind. Sooo I put my arm around his neck and gave him a big kiss on the cheek. He turned around to look at me and!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! it wasn’t Jack!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. Jack was one chair down doing something else. Everyone in the room – which was 6 or 7 people, just roared with laughter. After they stopped laughing someone asked me how long we had been married and how we had met. I may never live that down.

Actually, I have some experience with mistaking someone for my husband. But I have a pretty good excuse because the GG has an identical twin. His name is Bob and they look, well, identical. They were numbers 5 and 6 out of 10 kids and when they were born, their oldest sibling, Gary, was 6. Sound like fun? Their aunt Gale once told me, “the twins were holy terrors”, and she is absolutely right but that’s a whole nother blahg. Anyway, I definitely can tell the difference between them but sometimes, when I’m not totally paying attention, I get them mixed up. Fortunately for Bob, I have never accosted him in the overt way that The Commander accosted that poor, unsuspecting old man.

Octowoman Accosts Old Man

Saturday, March 11th, 2006

First and most important, Sam (dog, not archaeologist), was thirteen years old yesterday! Happy Birthday, old man! Other than that, we have a guest blahgger today and it is none other than The Commander:

This morning, at about 8:30 AM, as usual, I went over to see Jack for a few moments before I started my daily routine. About that time he is in the rehab room doing his little exercises so I walked down the hall and could see him sitting as usual — facing away from me in front of the big windows. His head was bent over something which turned out to be a puzzle designed to exercise the mind. Sooo I put my arm around his neck and gave him a big kiss on the cheek. He turned around to look at me and!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! it wasn’t Jack!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. Jack was one chair down doing something else. Everyone in the room – which was 6 or 7 people, just roared with laughter. After they stopped laughing someone asked me how long we had been married and how we had met. I may never live that down.

Actually, I have some experience with mistaking someone for my husband. But I have a pretty good excuse because the GG has an identical twin. His name is Bob and they look, well, identical. They were numbers 5 and 6 out of 10 kids and when they were born, their oldest sibling, Gary, was 6. Sound like fun? Their aunt Gale once told me, “the twins were holy terrors”, and she is absolutely right but that’s a whole nother blahg. Anyway, I definitely can tell the difference between them but sometimes, when I’m not totally paying attention, I get them mixed up. Fortunately for Bob, I have never accosted him in the overt way that The Commander accosted that poor, unsuspecting old man.

One Hundred Percent

Friday, March 10th, 2006

Good news? Hmmmm. Yes, I do actually have some. By some miracle, I managed to get 100% on the mid-term test I took a couple weeks ago. I had all but forgotten about that test because I blasted up to the Yoop the next day. For the life of me, I do not know how I got that score. There were some truly surreal multiple choice questions. I had to parse them right down to individual words about five times before I could even begin to figure out what they meant. That is all. Yeah, I know, that’s not much, is it? I am happiest when I am operating in a head down, one foot in front of the other mode, preferably at full-tilt boogie. In other words, when I have a mission, even though I may not always completely understand what the mission is. But I have been adrift this week. Not fun.

Update: Good news item number two: Jacob the cat actually came out and let me *pet* him a bit today! His sister Sarah is a pretty good friend of mine but Jacob is quite a bit more skeptical.

Arthritis? Say What?

Thursday, March 9th, 2006

“So, how’s your arthritis?” Say what???? The questioner was a friend and neighbor that I haven’t seen for a while and the questionee was, well, ME! I ran into her in the woods behind my house at the end of my 3-or-thereabouts-mile afternoon walk. Of course, I replied with a surprised, “*What* arthritis?” She was appropriately embarrassed but went on to tell me that she and some other neighbors frequently discuss what a good walker I am for someone who has rheumatoid arthritis. JHMK. This whole conversation absolutely totally utterly cracked me up. I think it is hilarious that there are people out there who think I have rheumatoid arthritis and are amazed by my walking capabilities! People! I do NOT have ANY kind of arthritis. I do not have aches or pains. ANYWHERE! I avoid tylenol and ibuprofen et al like the plague. I do not NEED any of that crap! My joints do not hurt. We talked about lots of other stuff too and it was fun and I needed it because the only other living beings I interacted with yesterday were felines. They are nice, but. Anyway, maybe I should start wearing a sign on my back saying, “I don’t have arthritis. I’m just addicted to walking.” I just do not know how these rumors get started!

Get a Grip

Wednesday, March 8th, 2006

Kee-reist, woman. FOCUS!!! Yeah, grok GROK! ooh ooh ooh ah ah!

Shopping Rant No. 8734234

Tuesday, March 7th, 2006

<shopping_rant>Ooock. I hate shopping. Especially for clothes. Especially at the mall, Marshall Field’s, to be specific. But I am just about at the absolute end here. Can we just say tattered? It is too late to do anything about my winter clothes this year. But, for once in my life, I decided that March was a more appropriate time to replenish summer stuff than July, which is about when I usually wake up and realize how awful my summer so-called wardrobe is. By July, all of the size mediums are long gone and there is a long line of people waiting to try on clearance sale items. Screaming kids in strollers and the whole works. I don’t know, to me, it’s almost worth paying regular prices to avoid that scenario. Today, there was only me and a couple of other old bags in Marshall Field’s and I was actually somewhat successful, to my great surprise. Nothing exciting, just some basic stuff. In basic black, as usual. I tried to find something a little more colorful. But peach and celery and mauve just make me want to yawn. Not that those aren’t good colors. I use them in fiber art projects all the time to great effect. Or at least *I* think it is to great effect 😉 But I just do not like to *wear* those kinds of colors. I need something a little brighter. grok. Like frog green! Yay! grokGROK! Ignore him. I could’ve gone on to Chico’s, where they usually have some brighter colors, but after Marshall Field’s, my budget was shot and I was getting mall-dizzy. I was done and Chico’s’ll just have to wait.</shopping_rant>

Excavation

Monday, March 6th, 2006

“Stadium Blvd. construction begins mid-March,” says the sign just before the turn-off to my favorite uscan at the Westgate Kroger. Actually, I know what they’re gonna do and “excavation” would be a better word but it just proves that not only am I back on the planet Ann Arbor but somehow winter has ended. Or so thinks the city, er, planet, in its infinitely superior wisdom. grok GROK! Hey, if we are on a (grok grok) planet now, (grook grok grok) you will have to take (grok grok) the buoy 22 shuttle (grok) to get to the Dexter Pub. grok grok grok frok frok? Yeah, right, Froog.

Sock Subscription

Sunday, March 5th, 2006

I subscribe to magazines. Why can’t I subscribe to socks? I wear polartech socks every day all winter and plenty of times in the spring and fall too. They are great but they do wear out and then I am stuck with bare heels or whatever. I cannot stand wearing holey socks. I always get the same size, medium, so I don’t have to try them on. I don’t even really care what color they are. Heck, I get dressed in the dark, sometimes I end up wearing mismatched ones anyway. So why can’t I just subscribe to them? New socks on my doorstep every month.

Onto the Next Episode

Saturday, March 4th, 2006

Well, here we are, two days after the most glorious ski of the season, and I think I am about finished. For this year, that is. There are those who think I might ski tomorrow, and maybe I will, but I have half a mind to just quit while I’m ahead. Beaver Creek was a fast ski today. Unfortunately, I am not crazy about leaf skiing. I can slow myself down perfectly well without the help of a bunch of oak leaves or pine needles. A lot less abruptly too! Honestly, falling down in front of a bunch of snowmobilers just totally cramps whatever measly little bit of style I can manage to muster in my dirty, ratty old Columbia ski jacket. The ski ranch, which grooms its trails, does not have a leaf problem but by this afternoon, we might as well have been water skiing. Two sorta glides forward, one and a half back. Ice turning to slush. The season has turned. Yes, this is Michigan and it’s not over until it’s over. It will snow again. But the ski season has entered a downhill slide. And, of all things, my feet hurt! I have blisters in about five places. I think my feet will scream bloody murder if I try to put my ski boots back on them again. I’m done. It is time to kick the squirrels out of the kayaks. Fancy boots, etc., are not needed for kayaking. I can kayak in my bare feet and old ratty bathing suit. And uber-sunhat. Onward to the next episode! We do have pics, click here.

Memory Issues

Friday, March 3rd, 2006

I don’t remember!

Skiing the 8 Mile at Algonquin

Thursday, March 2nd, 2006

Whoosh! I am tired tonight. I have been up here in The Great White North for the last week for a pretty serious reason but life here has not been without a few little guilty pleasures. One of them has been lunches at Penny’s Kitchen. And seeing the new Coast Guard ice breaker Mackinaw. But the best is skiing! When we get enough snow in A2 to actually make the local hiking trails skiable, usually by the time we can drive there, it all melts. Houghton Lake is a great jumping off point for skiing but it’s a three hour drive *to* Houghton Lake from A2 and then 15 minutes to the closest trail.

Here, it is three and a half *minutes* to a ski trail. There is a lot of snow here. It is heaven. I have skied every afternoon since I got here. It gives The Commander a little break from me and a chance to nap or work on her own projects without any of my smart-alecky commentary. I can do any number of different distances at the Algonquin ski trail. Usually I just do the five mile loop. Today I did the eight mile loop, the longest loop. It was fabulously perfect today. Not a cloud in the sky, cold but not bitter, just a little bit of breeze, plenty of snow, fast but not slippery or icy. After six days of skiing in a row, my skiing endurance has built up to the point that I felt like I could go on forever. And now I am feeling that nice, fuzzy kind of tired like I got some good exercise today. And my face feels just a leeeeetle bit sunburned.

Of course, I am here for a serious reason. Grandroobly is doing okay at Tendercare but it certainly isn’t all wine and roses. We have settled into a routine of visiting him twice a day, after breakfast and before dinner. We are never quite sure where he’ll be or what he’ll be doing when we get there. They do keep him pretty busy and physical therapy can be very hard. There are encouraging moments, especially watching him interact with the staff and the other residents. A bamboozler from way back for sure. But he is also nice and friendly to everyone, including those who, well, are just not all there any more. He’s particularly empathetic with those who are having difficulty, especially with physical therapy. But then there are the times when we know he is tired and thinking about how much he hates being in a place where he has no control over his life. I am heading back south tomorrow. Onward and hopefully upward but there are some definite bumps in the road ahead…

Me, Popular? Say What?

Wednesday, March 1st, 2006

Confusion? Say what? For about five minutes around noon today, I was actually popular for once in my life 😉 First Lizard Breath called me. As I was talking to her, there were some little beepity noises in the connection and I thought it was because my troll phone often does strange things up here in The Great White North. But it turned out that Mouse was trying to call, so I called her back and while I was talking to her, The Commander’s land line rang and *that* was the GG. For me. All the while, Radical Betty was banging on the door trying to get in. Besides that, I did manage to successfully put out the garbage last night with minimal supervision and no blue language. But blue language was definitely in order during a Waste Management/National City confuddlement, proving for the umpteen millionth time that garbage processing is never boring. And we won’t talk about why my debit card was declined at The Mole Hole but it had nothing to do with Waste Management. That is about all, I guess. It could be worse. The Commander has just read me an obituary about a 44-year-old woman who died in Hessel. Her husband died in 1994. They had some children and as sad as it is, my first thought is that at least those kids will not have to deal with wheeling their old decrepit parents around Tendercare. But, really, Tendercare is a pretty good place and there were definitely a few moments today when I was beginning to wonder if maybe they had a couple more beds over there, either for The Commander or me! Grok Grok. No, you can’t go to Tendercare! grok grok. You need to help me grok grok catch flies and spiders grok grok and keep my flying machine going grokGROK!!! Kee-reist!