Archive for November, 2007

I wonder if the carpet layers will be able to move the puano on their own because I sure don’t wanna be bothered with it.

Friday, November 30th, 2007

landfill1.jpgYes, that shower head got me on a roll. One of my little missions for today involved the vacuum cleaner and what we call the “back room,” although most people who own old ranch houses (or whatever this is) with Aaaa-ditions on the back would probably call it the “family room.” I was just vacuuming up the big chunks and not moving large pieces of furniture around, although I do need to do that one of these days. Anyway. I’m sorry, I just can’t stand it any more. There’s that footprint (you can’t see it in the picture) that I *swear* happened the day we moved the puano over from Royal Joke. I don’t know (or care, kee-reist!) whodunnit. But somebody tracked something in that permanently imprinted a footprint shape into my already old and crappy chocolate poop brown carpet. I do not know what was on their foot. That was, lemme see, I think it was the winter of 1985. I’d blahg more about it but there were a few youthful-type side stories that fall into the category of things-I-won’t-blahg-about. But, yaknow, vacuuming just seems futile any more. There are all those little burned spots back by the fireplace where sparks came popping out onto the carpet and melted it. You can’t see those in the pic either (and there are some on the couches too, sigh). And then there are the carpet tacks that stick up at the edges of the carpet by the sliding doors and in front of the hearth. Yes, we had little kids here with those things. Bad parents with kids smart enough, even as toddlers, to avoid things like that. I usually ignore all that stuff. I’ve been ignoring it for at least 20 years. But I dunno. When I went back there to vacuum up the big chunks today, the light was just at the right level that I could see how horribly awful the rest of the carpet shabby piece of synthetic whatever that more or less covers the floor looked.

Okay. I have had enough. This is like the shower head. Or like the time that I decided I had been living with a crack in the seat of the Blue Toilet for long enough. I may *be* a Trailer Trash Mom but I am sick of *living* like a Trailer Trash Mom*! Why don’t we forgo packages under the tree this xmas** and give each other some brand new back room carpeting? Okay? The Dexter Floor Store has the measurements for the room. C’mon, it’ll be fun!!!!***

*Paula, where are you when I need you? Grrrrroooooaaaaaarrrr!!!
**Don’t worry, little lizard, you will have packages to open.
***We’ll talk about the kitchen floor — and kitchen — later

Thistles and Cowboys and Walmart Trucks

Thursday, November 29th, 2007

trafficjam.jpgNot too long ago, during a certain spring as black as the depths of Mordor, I was feeling like my life had disintegrated into the consistency of old dry crumbly toast. I’m okay, I’ll just go eat some thistles. I was spending way too much time hanging around on the Internet, specifically tweaking and tinkering with whatever my daily blahg entry was. I *do* spend time on that but that spring it was pretty ridiculous.

I desperately needed something constructive to do, so I created a resume on monster.com. I hadn’t had a real resume in years. I wasn’t even sure how somebody like me could write one. Some of my skills are easily quantified but others are not that tangible. We won’t go there. Oh, only because it’s too long. Sheesh.

I have a better resume now but, with that original monster resume (which I should change), I get weekly emails listing jobs that are *somehow* matched to my resume and skill set. Some of them are sort of close but I do *not* know where they get “sales” out of anything I’ve posted out there. The other day, I actually got an email from a recruiter. The job entails expertise in a well-known server-side scripting language that is listed in my resume. And I do have experience with it. But I am not an expert by a long shot. I could learn more. I’m very adept at picking up on programming languages of all stripes. But this job is full-time and it’s in Troy. I can’t even begin to imagine commuting to Troy every day. Kee-reist, that involves taking M14 to I275 to I696 and then I lose track.

With my current little internship job, I drive I94 from about mile 172 to about mile 176 (I was gonna check that on my way home from school tonight but I got distracted or whatever). Anyway, this morning, I met my first work commuter type jaffic tram. I was a couple minutes late. I hate to be late. But it could’ve been worse. I was only stuck for a mile or so.

I didn’t reply to that email. I doubt that Troy company really wants me. I’m sure they want someone who knows the language well enough to be able to just step in and do the job. On the other hand, learning on the job is a part of it all and I’m pretty good at that, so maybe I would work out. But I will not commute that far.

I dunno where I’m going next. But my life is no longer quite so dry and crumbly.

“Aw heck. Lets throw caution and sentimental feelings for the old head to the wind”

Wednesday, November 28th, 2007

showerhead.jpgI have had it! I am not going to let a shower head get the better of me! The shower is NOT a place to feel stressed out. It’s the first place I go every morning and I am NOT going to start out my morning stressing out in the shower. Yesterday morning, I got up and stumbled into the bathroom at 0-dark-30 to take my shower. I do this every morning. It’s how I wake up. If I don’t get a shower, I am not a happy camper. Preferably a hot shower but I have been known to make do with less than that. I carefully arranged the shower curtain and liner — like I always do — to keep the water *inside* the shower. In recent months, it seems like almost every time I take a shower, water leaks out onto the floor. I don’t know how it does this. It isn’t always catastrophic. Usually, enough of the bathmat is dry enough that I can use it to mop up the floor and then just throw it into the laundry. Yesterday morning, the whole blasted floor was totally flooded. The bathmat was sopping wet and it took about five towels to mop up the mess. The GG claims it is only *me* who causes the flooding. *He* somehow stays directly under the water the entire time. Or whatever. In my defense, I have just about the biggest head o’ hair on earth. GROK! grok grok! ‘n’ th’ ugliest! grok grok! I don’t waste time but I’m probably in there longer than he is and I *do* use a lot of water! It’s a necessity. And I probably move around in the shower a bit more. And, dern it all, I *like* showers! I like to be clean. When it’s really hot and humid, I take a second shower in the afternoon. Or go hang out up to my neck in Lake Superior if that’s where I happen to be. Anyway, I was in the shower this morning and, like I said, I don’t really know how the water is getting out. It could well be a shower curtain failure. But I was thinking that if I could adjust the angle of the spray just a tad away from the curtain, it might just help. Except I can’t do that! Because our shower head is immobile! I think it was probably old when we bought The Landfill and that was 23 years ago and you might be wondering, like a friend of mine recently was, how I could remember such an odd number and the answer is because we bought it a few months before Lizard Breath was born and she turned 23 about a month ago. Does that make you feel old? Good. Anyway. I think it’s time. I don’t know why we are so blasted cheap. It’s true that we have never been anywhere near wealthy. We might buy a new vee-hickle every nine years or so and that’s usually after about a year of arguing about money. And after 25 years of marriage, we are still living in a mishmash of Student Ghetto, Early Inlaw, and a few loverly pieces that we bought on our own that have seen better days. Shabby is the new black, roight? But, fer kee-reist? A shower head? What on earth are we waiting for? Would *you* use a shower head like ours?

Hmmmm….

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007

I am the decider. But I dunno what to decide. So here are some cute snowballs. Sorry, Sugar and I did not rescue them. They’re still over in the schoolyard. I doubt if they melted today. I don’t know what Others Who Are Not Girls might’ve done to them.

snowballs.jpg

Muckity Muck Kersploosh

Monday, November 26th, 2007

Just sloggin’ along trying to avoid being sprayed with muddy slush, emergency sirens wailing in the background. Yes, that is snow, people. Slow down! Will my boots hold up for one more winter? Only time will tell. That is all. Except for something about politician hair but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t apply to my loverly, overgrown mop.

slog01.jpgslog02.jpgslog03.jpg
click to enlarge

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine

Sunday, November 25th, 2007

tipuptown87.jpgAnd counting… A week ago today I was happily anticipating a long Thanksgiving weekend at Houghton Lake with a trip to Petoskey for Black Friday shopping and the whole works. At the same time, I sighed as I realized that in one short week, I would be back on the Planet Ann Arbor, gearing up for the next month and really not looking forward to it. We had an absolutely fantabulous time this weekend. We did everything we wanted to do. The weather was gorgeous and we watched ice form and thaw and get pushed around the lake. As an added bonus, we were joined on Friday by the GG’s wonderful sister Lizard Breath. Good times. I am *not* looking forward to the next month. I don’t have a huge number of people to shop for this year and one of those is in Africa and it’s so hard to send things over to Africa that I will just resort to transferring money from my bank account into her bank account. That’ll be easy. But, as for the rest? I just dunno. What do all you guys want? Equally perplexing is making my own Mom’s Cheep Xmas List. Last year was easy (er, not exactly cheep, but). I needed (er, wanted?) a new digital camera. And that was all. It was an easy and enjoyable thing for the GG to shop for (I think) and I am really happy with the camera! This year? Hmmmm. There are some coding/web design books I’m interested in. That more or less went over like a lead balloon, even though it’s just a matter of ordering used books online. How easy can it get? I also think on and off about a *real* video cam. It would be fun and there are some that aren’t that expensive. But I wonder if I would have time to learn to use it. And it would be another piece of electronical crap to have to schlep around. I dunno. I do *not* need more drudge toys or trinkety stuff. I am decluttering my house. Maybe that’s why it was so hard for me to buy trinkety stuff in Petoskey the other day. Anyway, I don’t know what to put on my Christmas list. Looking back to a year ago, some things have improved a bit. My house is nowhere near perfectly neat and clean but I have made major inroads in cleaning, organizing and dealing with clutter. I have *very marginally* more income this year than last. ‘course, it’s not hard to have marginally more income than zero, is it? 😉 And I do not have a blasted coding class this semester so there’s no reason to regularly break down in tears. Check with me at about this time next semester (that’d be about early April) ’cause I’m taking php/Ruby next semester. Er, I better get my you-know-what in gear and sign up quick because Jason’s classes do fill up. For good reason! 🙂

So, whaddy’all have on your xmas lists this year? Er, those of you who celebrate xmas, that is. Not everyone does and love y’all.

Grok grok! I *like ol’ bag guys! Th’ more bags, th’ better. grok grok.

Black Friday Bling

Saturday, November 24th, 2007

santa.jpgNo, I did not line up in the parking lot of the nearest Walmart at four o’clock in the morning. Y’all know me better than that. I have no interest $10 jeans that don’t fit or the hottest toy of the season. I have all the electronical crap I need and it’s all working right now, thank you veddy much. Er, knock on wood. Anyway, in my book, the day after Thanksgiving is a day to do *anything* but go shopping. Hiking? Let’s go. Slugging around in front of the computer? You bet! Christmas shopping? No thanks!

Except that this year, Petoskey has been calling my name. Petoskey has been calling me all fall but it is just not on my regular beaten path up and down the I75 SUV Speedway. But here we are, spending a nice long Thanksgiving weekend at Houghton Lake. I have to buy a *few* trinkety type Christmas gifts. So, why not spend Friday driving the back roads up to Petoskey and do a little shopping in the gaslight district. It’s the *perfect* place to find trinkety stuff. C’mon, it’ll be fun!

So, I packed up some turkey wraps and off we slithered, through blasts of lake-effect snow over ice-coated old county roads. Now *this* is Christmas shopping the way it’s *supposed* to be. Busy but not too crowded. All the stores were loaded up with all kinds of eye-candy. And you have to go *outside* to go from store to store. In the snow! I didn’t see anyone fight over the last <inserthotitemoftheyearhere> in the bargain basement. What I *could* see was Lake Michigan, every time I looked down Howard Street.

Did I buy anything? Naw. I saw lots of really neat trinkets and some beautiful art. Most everything cost more money than I make in a week. And I kept thinking, “What would <insertgiftrecipient> do with this? Would they like it? Would it just clutter up their living space?” I guess I just wasn’t ready to settle on Christmas gifts yet. I’m still hoping I can come up with some *useful* things and limit the trinkety clutter to a few stocking stuffer type things.

Was going to Petoskey worth it? Yes indeed! The drive was gorgeous. The stores were fun and I was inspired by a lot of the art. And people were in good spirits! After we had had enough of Petoskey, we headed up to Alanson and the GG *insisted* on stopping at the Dutch Oven Bakery and Yarn Shop. I went inside the bakery but I could not bring myself to go in the yarn shop. Not without Mouse. I’ll wait for next summer and the third annual Below the Bridge Yarn Store Boondoggle! I’m putting a lasagne together in honor of Anti-Turkey Day (that’s today!) and then I’m going out for a walk in the wind and cold. Click here for bling (or on Santa). Seeya later, KW.

Ice!

Friday, November 23rd, 2007

8degrees.jpgEr, I thought I had posted ice pics but I guess I got distracted. Click here or on the pic.

“8 degrees!” proclaimed my iPhone. It was 0-dark-30 and I was still in bed, figuring out what clothing to put on in order to face the elements on my early morning walk. That was a little colder than I had expected and I’d forgotten to pack my balaclava. Or maybe it was a conscious decision, considering that when I woke up Tuesday morning, my iPhone proclaimed 55! But that was on The Planet Ann Arbor and we’re in the Great White North. I should’ve known better. Anyway. “8 degrees!” I said to the GG as I got up to take a shower. He asked if there was ice on the lake. By then, there was enough light to see that there wasn’t any ice to speak of directly in front of the cabin. In fact, there was just a bit of movement on the water. Okay. There was no wind, so I was warm enough in just my ski band (and scarf and about five layers on the top and two on the bottom). And boots. I walked down to the end of the point and around to the first bridge. The canal was frozen! And so, it seemed, was much of the north bay. The canal was frozen at the second bridge also. Later, when we were taking off to our Black Friday boondoggle, we were driving by the state park and saw a duck hunter’s boat out in the water. So *that* part of the north bay was not yet frozen. By the end of the day, as we returned home, that part of the bay was totally iced over. But then I walked around the point again. The canal ice had great big holes in it and it looked like there were lots of holes (and waves) out on the bay. I think the ice is just getting pushed around. I think that it will melt again. So don’t getcher sno-mos out juuuust yet!

The other thing we did today was participate — in our own way — in Black Friday. I’ll blahg about that tomorrow. And post pictures. I think. Unless something better comes along.

I gotta go. Lest anyone think that the GG and I might kill each other up here alone at HL for a long weekend, his sister the lovely Lizard Breath will be here any minute. I’m sure she’ll be glad to referee! Sayonara, KW. Stay tuned for some bling tomorrow!

No trolls here, please!

Thursday, November 22nd, 2007

palmtree.jpgI’m not talking about people that live below the bridge, I’m talking about troll-like behavior. And I do mean that. You know who you are. But it *is* Thanksgiving and I do have a few things to be thankful for, not in any particular order. Lemme see…

  • Having relatives of all degrees, in-laws included, who are able to bury whatever differences they may have in order to get along with each other. There are some horror stories out there that I’m glad I don’t have to live with.
  • Calling from The Bridge.
  • Digital cameras and accidental photos.
  • Snow.
  • Car window scrapers. Wish I’d’ve thunk to bring one up here this weekend!
  • Being at Houghton Lake for Thanksgiving and being able to watch the lake freeze. Except that I doubt we’ll get to see that happen this weekend because, even though it is cold enough to form ice (I think), it is way too windy.
  • Text messages from Africa.
  • Manatees.
  • And mice.
  • Grok grok! What about froggies?
  • Kids that grew up to be eagles, not that I can take any credit for that. Seems to me about the only two “parenting” ideas I had going into it all were that I would not argue about clothing or music. And I didn’t. (Did I?) I suppose my own clothing is probably more objectionable than anything any teenager could come up with. And I generally *liked* their music, although I can remember sometimes saying something like, “you play whatever you want but I *am* just a little tired of Ani.” You have to pick your battles.
  • Thanksgiving Day parades, which are on TV right now, even though I’m not watching them. I used to *love* watching them when I was a little kid! Hey, we didn’t even have a color TV set then.
  • The turkey triage (or whatever it is) show on NPR. 11 AM.
  • LED holiday lights.
  • Not having to deal with airlines or airports this weekend.
  • Oh yeah, how could I forget? Having an oven, washer, and dryer at Houghton Lake. Although I do still miss the old Bucket Brigade plumbing system too.
  • Oh, mi’se’well add football on TV too. The two days I actually enjoy that are Thanksgiving and New Year’s. Note I said “enjoy,” not “watch.”

I dunno what else but maybe I’ll think of something. What’re y’all thankful for today? Click here or on that loverly palm tree up there for a few more loverly pictures. Betchy’all can’t guess who that is in the pic on the right of the palm tree. 😉

Having a wonderful time! Wish you were here!

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

taillights.jpgPep talk to self: Git outta that cranky mood! And I think I am finally out of it a whole 24 hours later! Sheesh! Yesterday was a gray, foggy, drizzly day and I usually like that kind of weather but I like it better if I can get out into it and I couldn’t yesterday because I was at work. And then I left work and the reason I was able to take that picture without totaling my vee-hickle is because I was *sitting* in that long line of cars, inching toward the I94 18-wheel Slogway, hoping that it wouldn’t be backed up in my direction, and it usually isn’t and it wasn’t, so I was lucky. You can only see a small fraction of them in the pic. All in all it took me a half hour to get the seven miles or so from work to the Westgate Kroger and the only reason I went to the Westgate Kroger was because I tweaked the Thanksgiving menu just a tad at the last minute so I had to obtain a few more things. I knew it would be a zoo in there and I was right. Panicked shoppers with glazed-over eyes were standing with their carts in the middle of every aisle. Total gridlock. People, cooking a turkey is not that hard, so relax. And they were running out of things, including one of the ingredients on my list. I had to substitute. I’ll let y’all know how it turns out. *Finally* I got home and worked on organizing and packing stuff up. It was *still* a mad scramble getting out this morning and even though I had carefully packed the bourbon and vermouth, I forgot it (!) but that was okay because there’s a liq-wire store right next to the Best Choice deli/market and of course we had to go there too, for a few other things I also spaced out. Oh, and that feta spread, which they had already packaged because every other person who walked in there was buying it. Anyway, we’re here in the Great White North and I took a walk in the cold dark sleet and now I feel a bit more cheerful.

This day had better not get any worse!

Tuesday, November 20th, 2007

xmaslights.jpgNothing like a big old wild, rummaging scramble to start the day. And no, it wasn’t me that was rummaging. Not today. I am organized. I work today and I have my lunch and my coffee cup and my grocery list ready to go. And my phone and my purse and my computer. Oh yeah, and my WORK BADGE! The one that gets me into the building. The whole works. I hate rummaging for things. That’s why the *basket* is by the door. And that’s why I have spent the last eleven months slowly and diligently decluttering the landfill. I’m convinced that clutter is one of the biggest sources of stress there is. And I have quite a few choice words about Homeland Security this morning but I had better keep my mouth shut. Anyway, we are not off to a good start here. I sure hope things improve. I did get to talk to my old buddy Manuel. Oh well, now I have to go rummage for something resembling business casual. Sayonara, KW.

I hate dashboard lights aka I *know* when brakes are bad.

Monday, November 19th, 2007

And when they are not! It is the BRAKE LAMP light. NOT the BRAKE light. I am pretty good at knowing when brakes are bad just by how the vee-hickle responds when you apply the brake pedal. There was that time I was driving one of the Fiestas, also known as “Mama’s Little Gold Car, Daddy’s Little Blue Car, and The Orange Car.” Or was it the Jetta? It was something with a manual transmission, I know that. How do I know that? Because the brakes were making an absolutely horrible noise and the only way I made it home that day was by using the transmission to brake the vee-hickle. If that makes sense. And then there was the time I had the old red minivan *full* of girl scouts. In fact, don’t tell anybody but I don’t even think I had enough seat belts for each kid. It was starting to snow and the brakes were making an awful noise and it was not because they were wet. I couldn’t slow that car down with the transmission but I did make it home. The Resident Engineer’s opinion was, “they’re just wet.” That is, until the Resident Engineer took a little test drive. Next thing I knew, the van was in the shop. Whomp! But this is what the green honda’s dashboard looks like today. The brake lamp light is that rectangular one at the bottom of the little vee-hickle diagram on the lower right. I’m not going to mess around getting a clear picture. You’ll have to trust me that it says, “brake lamp.” I drove the green honda all over town this morning and I think the brakes are fine. Next to the dashboard is what the booooook says ’cause I actually looooooked in the booooook:

dashboard.jpgbrakelamp.jpg

I don’t know which of the three brake lights is out because I’m not quite stretchy enough to keep my foot on the brake pedal while snaking my body outside and around to the back of the vee-hickle to look at the lights. The other red lights on the dashboard? Oh, don’t worry about those. They indicate that the vee-hickle is currently in park and that I’m not wearing a seatbelt. Which is okay because I’m sitting in my driveway not going anywhere. Finally, you can rest assured that this vee-hickle has never been droven anywhere near 140mph. I don’t think. Who knows what the beach urchins may have gotten up to. But in all truth, I doubt that this vee-hickle goes *quite* that fast. I think that’s just for show.

And now, I get to go get my ski jacket on again and walk over to Ann Arbor Muffler. Again. I better not forget my debit card because for the second time in two weeks, I get to pay Ivory somewhere around $500 $745.86 for the privilege of driving The Indefatigable from Ann Arbor Muffler home to its parking place on the street in front of The Landfill. I just *love* rusty old vee-hickles. Don’t you? 🙄

Accidental Photos

Sunday, November 18th, 2007

gateway.jpgI think what I use my iPhone for more than just about anything else is as a camera. It’s not that bad, not that I am anywhere near an expert at photography. Actually, in some situations, it does better than my “real” camera, an 8.0 megapixel Canon Powershot. I’m not sure why that is, and the Powershot definitely beats it out in most situations. But if I’m trying to get low-light stuff, like holiday lights, the iPhone wins, even though the Powershot has canned settings for night scenes and “fireworks.” I *think* it’s because the iPhone has a *huge* view screen and I am able to see what I’m shooting at a little better. I’m sure if I got to know the internal settings of the Powershot, it would win. But why bother? Another thing the iPhone has done for me is push me out of the framework of always pointing the camera straight at something and taking a picture with an exactly, well, horizontal horizon. Even if the horizon has nothing to do with the picture. Within 24 hours of using the iPhone, I was taking pictures at all angles. It’s something about how I can just hold the thing in my hand, look at it, and click. This can be a mixed bag. I’ve taken a few off-angle pictures that I thought fit the situation at hand. Others just look stupid or make me dizzy. A particularly unsuccessful one with tall red pines on a slant was just plain ugly. Might work in a nightmare film sequence. Hmmm.

Another thing the iPhone camera has done is inspire me to learn how to use my “real” camera more effectively. Hey, there are probably millions and millions of people that, like me, use their Powershots as point and shoots. But like most computers these days, that thing will do so many more interesting things if you delve into the settings a bit. Being a photoshop whiz also helps. Sam the Archaeologist is another inspiration. She calls herself an amateur but she has a pretty fancy digital camera and she will be modest but she *does* know how to use her cam!

One of my favorite things about the iPhone camera has to be Accidental Photos! The first picture my phone took was at Barry Bagels. MMCB was checking out my phone and she accidentally hit the shutter button (or whatever you call it) and there was a bag of bagels and some salt and pepper shakers and whatever else is on a table at Barry Bagels, my laptop for one thing. She wanted me to delete it but I posted it! What a riot! It is so easy to hit the shutter button instead of the button that takes you back to the main phone menu! Sometimes you just get a totally black picture because it’s in your pocket or you get a sort of glowing red thing, meaning you have the shutter loosely covered with your hand. But other times? Someday I’ll have to make a slide show out of all my more interesting accidents!

Hail! to the victors valiant, Hail! to the conqu’ring heroes,

Saturday, November 17th, 2007

leaves01.jpgHail! Hail! to Michigan, the champions of the West! Well, I think we’re the *north*, not the west but anyway. I heard the marching band play that loverly little ditty at 7 AM. I could hear it all the way over at the Yellow Slide Playground. It was followed by Let’s Go Blue, then silence. It’ll probably smell like beer downtown by around 10 AM. I think I’ll stay cozily ensconced in my shabby little west-side bungalow. I *will* be watching for the blimp. Er, maybe *listening* for the blimp is more accurate — see comments.

Good morning, Ann Arbor!

Update: Thanks to today’s commentors for keeping me posted on the game and surrounding activities. Jane, who is in the usual flight path of the fighter jets reports that they didn’t show. Maybe the cloud cover was too low. I dunno. I, who am under the Daytwa Metro flyway, thought I heard one leaving the area just after the game began but I guess it was an auditory hallucination. John reported that “we” lost the game. I spent the day on illustrator, html, decluttering, and all the usual routine chores and only ventured out of the house for a couple of small, local errands, oh, I’m guessing probably in about the second quarter. Anyway, you guys, it’s just a game.

Grok grok! This is th’ stoopidist blahg ever! Grok grok! I wanna sing my babushka song! Grok grok! FROGGY!!! I think the babushka song might SCARE people!

What did you do all day?

Friday, November 16th, 2007

peace.jpgIt drives me nuts when some guy asks me a question like that. What did I do all day? Do you have five hours? Lemme see. Now that I am a working woman again, even though it is a teeny tiny little job (plus two classes and a couple of very small freelance jobs), I have had to resort to having an *errand* day again. That’s not to say that I don’t ever waltz in and out of the Westgate Kroger uscan as if it had a revolving door any more. I do. But I am *painfully* training myself to get organized and make lists again. And even bring my own grocery bags to the store. So, what *did* I do today? Lemme think. I got up and walked. Ate cheerios, made my bed, threw a load of laundry in, cleaned the bathroom, washed a couple dishes, checked my email and a couple of blahgs and some bank accounts and flylady. Took off and got groceries at the Westgate Kroger, another package of LED xmas lights at Tarjay, Michael’s who didn’t have what I was looking for, Bed Bath and Beyond because it was next to Micheal’s but I didn’t buy anything there either, Arborland Border’s and I won’t *say* what I bought there, Cost Plus for a basket (red) to keep by the door for me to put my gloves and scarf and ski band and various other outdoor paraphenalia because I can never get into the LL Bean bench because the GG always has three or four briefcases on top of the seat, and finally Lowe’s or Home Depot or whatever that big box store out on Jackson is, and I didn’t buy anything there either because I couldn’t decide if the snowman lights were what I wanted or not. They were *not* LED and I’m trying to stay away from anything *not* LED but darn it, I want some funky holiday lights. So. Then I came home and decluttered a few things and finished up the laundry and made some gravy and sorted through some bank papers so I could make a quick but ultimately disappointing trip to the bank and then I did a bunch of coding for a little freelance job and fooled around with Illustrator and inched along on my Unfinished Prodject. And then, since I hadn’t heard anything from the GG all day, I figured we were *not* going to eat downtown, so I took off on my walk, figuring that he would eat downtown and I’d forage. And I didn’t really care because I didn’t really want to eat downtown anyway because tomorrow is the Michigan/Ohio State game and I knew downtown would be a zoo and I wouldn’t be able to hear myself think. But I got about a block into my walk and my phone rang and he was on his way home, so I cut my walk way short and we drove down and ate at Conor O’Neil’s and it *was* a zoo and I couldn’t hear myself think and then he went to volunteer at The Ark and I. walked. home. In the dark. Chill out! It was a busy day and I have quite a lot on my mind anyway and most of it is good but some of it is bothersome. And the Blue Toilet still talks!

And. Whew! Because as soon as I hit the “save and continue editing” button, I realized that I had typed that whole monstrosity without saving it and if my loverly hosting service — which I am *still* trying to find time to ditch properly — or Comcast or my airport or whatever had decided to blip out at the moment I hit the “save and continue editing” button, I’d have prob’ly lost the whole darn thing and then who knows what I would’ve blahgged about! grok grok! Y’ could’ve asked MEEEEEE! I’d’ve done yer blahg t’day! grok Grok! I’ve gotta babushka song! grok GROK!

And finally, I’m not sure if old Chucky realizes he has an old bag on his distribution list but back in the dark ages, he and some of his then 20-something buddies used to direct plays for YAG so that’s probably why I’m still on his list. I remember a few times, this *guy* who didn’t sound like a high school kid would sometimes call for Liz, who was stage-managing for him or whatever. During school hours. High school, that is. Not recognizing his voice, I would say, “Noooo, she’s at *schooooooll*!!!” Oh, that was okay, he’d say, he could just talk to me. Anyway, his latest email is a link to a little YouTube video and, in the interest of helping out some “starving” young actors, click here for Frog Island. If you dare. (Seriously, it’s work safe. And Chuck, if you ever stumble across this, don’t get me wrong, I like to be on your distribution list. I enjoy hearing what you guys are doing these days and wish you the best of luck.)

And I think that’s about enough, so sayonara. Grok grok grok! Nooooo! I haven’t gotten t’ do my babushka song yet! Grok grok! Please lemme do my babushka song! grok grok frok grfok! Just a minute. [FROGGY! LAUNDRY BASKET! STAT!] Sorry about that interruption. I am not sure that the babushka song is work safe! Sheesh!

November 15, 2007

Thursday, November 15th, 2007
  • The opening day of the 2007 deer season in the Great Lake State.
  • The fifth anniversary of the release of Xbox Live.
  • The day on which I think I have decided to switch from Firefox to Safari as my browser of choice because I AM SICK OF HAVING FIREFOX CRASH AT THE DROP OF A HAT!
  • Hail.
  • Leaf Pickup Day.

Who Knew?

Thursday, November 15th, 2007

I am currently working with a person who is married to one of the folks I see all the time on my morning walking route. Small planet?

“Menu will be in favor of potatoes, gravy, stuffing, and skip veggie things”

Wednesday, November 14th, 2007

hellokittylofi.jpgA quote from an email from Sam the Archaeologist talking about her planned Thanksgiving dinner. She’s done a survey and therefore has all the charts and graphs, so she knows what people want.

And I agree. The truth is that a lot of us look forward to turkey and mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving. I cook a turkey once, maybe twice a year and I am cooking one this year, even though there will only be the two of us. I think I have the smallest turkey in the universe. It probably has less meat on it than one of those turkey breasts. And that’s okay. There’ll be some leftovers and we’ll make turkey tetrahedron and maybe some wrap sandwiches out of the leftovers and whatever is left from *that* will get frozen. I will definitely do some mashed potatoes although we cook those fairly frequently around here anyway. Stuffing/dressing? We usually grill our turkey stuffed lightly with orange and lemon slices. I’ll do some stuffing/dressing in a separate dish. I’ll give a nod to veggies with that loverly old green bean french onion casserole. The one with the mushroom soup. I think it was the first Thanksgiving after Lizard Breath went to college that she called to ask if we were having that for Thanksgiving. I almost fell on the floor! She *wanted* that casserole? I can remember when I had to cook that fluorescent orange macaroni and cheese just to make sure little girls (and the grandchildren next door, etc., etc.) got something to eat! Oh yeah, cranberry sauce. I hardly think that qualifies as fruit after you put all that sugar in it. So what! Pie? I’m not sure I want to be bothered with pie for two people who won’t even begin to finish it. Maybe I’ll check out the grocery stores around here for some small ready-made pies or something. I also make a big deal out of breakfast on the winter holidays. Cholesterol Bombs Eggs Benedict! I cheat on hollandaise and use the packaged sauce. It’s still good and it’s okay, we’ll walk it all off!

Tonight I am cooking Potato, Panir & Pea Curry from the original edition of The Enchanted Broccoli Forest by Molly Katzen. I have owned the Moosewood cookbooks since Seventh St. or before but it’s my kids who introduced me to this particular recipe and I’ve made it many times. Page 210. Love you girls. Moom.

Oh, and I am also making gravy for Thanksgiving tonight (and tomorrow, it’s an all day or two day process). I will freeze it and then spike it with some sherry or citrus or I dunno what. We’ll see. I never have gotten the hang of making gravy in the pan, despite the efforts of some excellent teachers.

What are you cooking (or eating) for Thanksgiving and where are you spending it and who are you spending it with?

Drrrrrrrr blip blip blip

Tuesday, November 13th, 2007

squirrel.jpgOkay, engage brain. No? Okay, I give up. For those of you who still have some working gray matter, you can play a word game over at Free Rice. For each one you get right, they’ll donate 10 grains of rice to the the United Nation’s World Food Program. How do I know about this? Because my UBERcool Illustrator teacher showed it to us in class the other day. It managed to distract me and my class buddy until we got up to 1050 points! With the teacher and the classroom aide *cheering us on*, I might add! Homework? Say what? FUN! It’s okay, the teacher knows that we are adults (older ones at that) and if we’re behind in our work, we not only KNOW IT, we WORRY ABOUT IT! Or PANIC about it in my case. We decided to quit when we got to 1000 but then the next question had an obvious answer, so we decided to go until we missed one, which happened at 1050. After that we managed somehow to buckle down and get some work done on our most recent project. Er, I think he got a LOT more done than I did. I am SO SLOW! I am really envious of all those graphic design kids (of all ages). Oh yeah, I did almost feel a little bit sore-throatish today. Maybe that’s why my brain won’t engage. I’m sure it’ll pass.

Grok grok! Ol’ Baggy y’ fergot t’ menshun ol’ Nutty th’ Sqirl there! grok grok. ‘n’ wher’s th’ pitcher o’ Kevin’s kitty? Grok grok

Froggy, Kevin’s cat would not sit still for me to take her picture. She kept moving her head and all I got was various blurred body parts. And I think she was cleaning herself throughout most of it and I’m not sure that kind of image is appropriate for my blahg, even if you couldn’t really tell what she was doing because of the blurriness. I hear Moley calling now so why don’t you go hang out in your laundry basket for a while. You can even take that fancy new head of hair in there with you.

The Obligatory Leaf Picture

Monday, November 12th, 2007

leaves.jpgIt’s that time again. The leaf pickup schedule could not be worse for our neighborhood this year. We always have two leaf pickup days. You are supposed to have your leaves out in the street by something like 7 AM if you want the planet to pick them up. On October 24th, I was heading out to coffee or someplace and I saw street cleaners. I wondered what the heck was going on. It couldn’t be a leaf pickup, could it? I hadn’t even looked up the leaf pick schedule yet because our leaves typically don’t even begin to fall by October 24th. It was indeed a leaf pickup. They have got to be kidding. Those planet employees or contractors or whoever they are had an easy job *that* day. Our second leaf pickup is Thursday. You can see how many leaves are in our street. What you may not be able to see clearly is how many leaves are still on the trees. Half maybe? I dunno what I’m gonna do with all of those leaves when they fall. My compost bin can only hold so many. It cannot hold as many as are in the street right now. The best schedule for my neighborhood (and maybe the whole planet A2) is for the first pickup to be in early to mid November and the second in late November or early December. Well, except for the year that the second pickup was on December 11th and we got 12 inches of snow that day. Actually, I remember that more because we were doing Merlin and the Magic Sword (or whatever we were calling it) at the Lydia Mendelssohn the next weekend and, with a foot of snow, we had to cancel the first tech week rehearsal. Not a good thing. And we got more snow that week. And more. And more. Enough to cancel three (count ’em) whole consecutive days of school. But not any more tech week rehearsals. The show must go on. I got so fed up with not being able to see out of the POC’s veendshield as I slithered my way downtown every day that I went in search of new blades for my always problematical veendshield vipers. When the folks at Murray’s heard “’96 Plymouth Voyager,” they just shook their heads and laughed. All out. We’ll have some later. Or tomorrow. The second leaf pickup never happened that year. Maybe December 11th is pushing it just a bit for the second pickup but most years it would be okay around here. November 15th is just too early. And then there’s that stupid little law about making people wait until the night before leaf pickup to put their leaves in the street. Get real, you guys. With the leaves we have, there’s just no way. Whaddya think this place is, Bloomfield Hills or something?