Archive for July, 2012

In which…

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

Why is it that whenever you are about to go on vacation, your job goes totally crazy and you can barely manage to get outta there alive. Actually, I am not *quite* about to go on vacay but I put in some of my week’s hours on the weekend and I will squeeze out the rest of my 40 for the week by working remotely from various places, some more exotic than others. I won’t try to describe my “guinea pig” project of the last five days or so (reading about it would be like watching paint dry) but I wrote and re-wrote and re-wrote again and rearranged and went through several internal reviews and a big “cast of thousands” review today. And then there were all of the typical post-review negotiations. Because I was doing a guinea pig sort of prodject, there was even more than the usual confusion and dissent and, when I was done presenting, the LSCHP suggested I should go get myself a beer!

The good news? At the very end of the day, 10 minutes before I was planning on leaving, I overheard a conversation about *my* prodject in a certain neighboring office. So I crashed the party. Of all things, I found myself taking sides with a very valuable but, uh, well, sometimes “difficult” person and together we managed to convince a person that I *usually* side with that we were heading down the wrong path. I got outta there very late but it was worth it. Knock on wood that it won’t all come back to bite me in some weird way. It probably will but I am going to celebrate this small success.

So, how about those waves? Would you let your six-year-old kid swim in that storm? There’s that tow-head again, aka meeeeeee, yer fav-o-rite blahgger >wink< The geography of the moominbeach is one reason why this photoooo represents an okay scenario. We are on a shallow bay (12-13 feet deep at the most) and there is a sandbar system near the shore. Two sandbars and the water in between the two is rarely more than waist deep on me as a medium height adult female. You can tell your small beach urchin, “Don’t go past the second sandbar” and they usually won’t. There’s plenty of stuff to do between the sandbars when you are small. There is no undertow! My old coot held the opinion that the island in the middle of our bay (not shown) prevented undertows. Whether that’s true or not, I dunno but there isn’t an undertow so, even with those big waves, swimming was pretty safe and us kids learned early how to play in those big waves.

Oh yeah. We are absolute *fanatics* about water safety up there on the moominbeach. When you are a kid, you do NOT go swimming without asking an adult to watch you. It is totally absolutely utterly verboten. You learn that at a very early age. The good news is that you can always find an adult who *will* watch you. Even if it is so cold enough that they have to wear a winter jacket to sit on the beach. When I became totally fanatic about being clean as a teenager / 20-something, I had to bathe in the lake (no hot running water or shower in the cabin and yes I did wear a bathing suit (don’t ask)). I remember that I would often ask The Comm to come down to the beach if it was really windy. Just in case. And she always would.

As a moom, I cannot count how many hours I spent sitting on the moominbeach counting heads. My two kids and whichever first and second cousins were in the water. Wait, where is Mouse? How many heads were out there? Did I lose count? Oh, there she is. Coming down from a bathroom break at the moomincabin (or maybe sneaking a snack before 3:00). Whew! All I have to say is that lifeguard is a very hard job.

Missing those days… Being a kid on the moominbeach and being a moom on the moominbeach. Good times.

Dredging operation (for Our Northern Correspondent)

Monday, July 30th, 2012

Actually, at the moment, we have multiple northern correspondents. These photooos are for our *real* northern correspondent, the one who lives on the moominbeach year-round. We’ll call her Paulette. Click and click again to embiggen the pics.

When I was six years old, there was a big dredging operation out in the shipping channel in front of the moominbeach. We had a lot of big nor’westers that summer. The Sherman clan was camping out in our back yard with their VW bus and popup camper. That’s a lot of people using one outhouse but we managed. It seemed like whenever the Sherman clan was there, we had a lot of windy days and the grownups would joke that the Shermans brought all that wind with them. The Commander and The Goddess Esther would hang out in the moomincabin discussing the Joy of Cooking’s diagrams on cutting up cows or making spaghetti sauce like the mafia makes it or whatever and The Goddess Esther would periodically tell her five children “Sherman kids, go play on the highway”. (She was just kidding. Anyway, we all wouldda had to walk a mile to get to anything resembling a highway.)

Where was I? Oh yeah, there were a lot of big nor’westers that summer. In one of them, a whole bunch of dredging equipment got blown in to our shore. I’m not sure who the first person to discover this bonanza was. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t me. But what fun! And there we all are hanging out with our new playground equipment. (I’m the tow-headed kid with diamond patterned slacks — which I don’t remember at all…)

Eventually the dredge folks retrieved their equipment. But not all of it. Someone over in the little bay on the way to Birch Point managed to make a dock out of a long dredge pipe. When we were kids, we used to walk to Birch Point all the time. (It’s almost impossible to do that nowadays but that’d be a whole ‘nother post.) Anyway, it became a part of our routine trek to Birch Point to crawl *through* that pipe and jump out into the shallow water at the end. Probably not something our parents wanted us to do. I certainly never told.

Another northern correspondent reports that severe storms may be rolling onto the moominbeach tonight. He has secured all the boats and chairs and things up on the bank and there are no dredging operations out in the channel this year but I am wondering where the boats moored in shallow water down at Doelle’s AND Grow Taller 4 Idiots will end up if we get a good one, like Labor Day 2010. My childhood beach friend Kev predicts “they’ll be in the woods” and I agree.

Gotta git rid o’ this hitch in my git-along

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

That would be the psychological git-along because boy oh boy was I in a crappy mental state today. I am not an extrovert. I am absolutely fantastic at finding things to keep myself occupied when there’s nobody around to “play with”. Like this weekend. I did really well yesterday.. I got up and took my 0-skunk-30 walk, hit the gas station and the Jackson Meijer and Staples, where I bought an 8-pack of banker’s boxes. Whew. Returned to the Landfill, flung all of the grokkeries into their appropriate places, then flung books into four of those banker’s boxes and dropped them off over at the AAUW book sale drop off. That felt so good! Made lasagne sauce and flung it into the freezer for my upcoming bit of vacay and then dug out my work laptop and, uh, worked.

Things went a bit south in the late afternoon when I went down to the dungeon to stash a few books that I decided *not* to fling (not yet anyway) and… Squish, squish… Wait a minute? Squish? I am walking on carpet. It’s nasty ugly old yellow shag carpet but why is it wet? It wasn’t wet earlier today. Oh. Standing water in the GG’s adjacent Freakout Chamber… Sewer backup… Yiiy! I high-tailed it back upstairs and washed my feet! A few texts / phone calls later, I decided that, since this drain (or whatever the heck you call it) doesn’t have anything to do with The Blue and Only Toilet, I am not gonna have Michigan Power Rodding (yes, that’s really the business name and no, they are not particularly “woman friendly”) come out. I’m gonna spend a few days dumping my dishwater out the back door until the GG gets back down here and snakes it out or whatever. I’d been thinking it smelled kinda funky down there for a while…

Today? I dunno why exactly but I didn’t even take my blasted walk this morning. I got up a wee bit late but not enough to bag my walk. I just couldn’t get it together. Grumpy and cranky and even lonely and that’s weird for me. I had to wonder how lonely The Commander was those last years when Grandroobly and then Radical Betty left the earth. My ghosts were haunting me today.

I did my best to mobilize. I took the Ninja out for a river ride. And then I walked down to West Park and back. In the heat of the day, which wasn’t the best thing, but I knew I had to get out and moving.

Another afternoon of work settled me down. I don’t usually have to work on weekends and I didn’t have to work *this* weekend. I’m just trying to stretch my vacay out a bit and if I work this weekend, when I get to the moominbeach later this week, I can maybe not have to work too many hours. I am taking the week after this completely off as vacay. In my industry, we are required to take five consecutive days off every year. This will be my five. (I have to say that I do not work for a slave driver. *I* have a work ethic that regularly slaps me up the side of my head and so I do my best to get my hours in.)

The photoooo? That’s me and Danny and my dog Tigger Goldie Finlayson. I think that Bubs or Radical Betty may have named her Tigger but I added the middle and last name. It was an appropriate name because, you know, Tiggers don’t jump, they *bounce*. And my Tigger bounced! It might look like Danny is my younger brother but he is not. He was my boyfriend at the time and we were both six. There was a lot of handholding that summer and he had this schtick about going to Niagara Falls to get married. His family lived near Niagara Falls… We didn’t get married. I married the GG and had two kids and Danny has a longtime partner and a dog named Horace. I still love Danny and I wish I knew his partner and their dog…

I won’t talk about how the carpet in the back room got wet. I am a human being and I make mistakes (and no, I did not pee the carpet).

Black Thumb Banana: Anyway, so I harvested some basil from my garden and th [“CUT!” yells Kayak Woman]

Saturday, July 28th, 2012

Since when has there been anything approaching a “garden” here at the Landfill? Garden? Say what? I can haz garden? It’s true. Black Thumb Banana created a garden (sort of) this year. It isn’t much of a garden but BTB actually harvested some basil this afternoon. KW chopped it up in her ancient Cuisinart and threw it into a batch of lasagne sauce, which she is gonna freeze and take up to the Moomincabin.

So, how does BTB’s garden grow?

  • Four big pots of impatiens: A total failure. And an unexpected one because they are the one thing I am usually successful at keeping alive. All summer. This summer? Either The Commander is messing with me or Henry ate them. It’s fun to speculate about The Comm’s involvement but Henry is a more likely suspect.
  • More basil than I can use: Thriving like crazy!
  • Two hanging pots of unknown flowers that I bought to (sorta) make up for the impatiens fiasco: one of them faltering (it was a “manager’s special” over at Kroger), one of them thriving against all odds. Maybe because Black Thumb actually read the directions about dead-heading?
  • Rosemary tree from Mouse: seems to be doing okay. I wonder if it can live inside in the winter.
  • Clematis and morning glories for the New Arbor: growing in leaps and bounds (especially the clematis) and taking over the arbor, which is exactly what they are supposed to do. Yay!
  • Mouse’s strawberry and raspberry plants: looking good and I have seen strawberries but Henry eats them before they get ripe.
  • Front lawn: total disaster. We got it re-sodded and planted professionally but I don’t blame the contractor, I blame us. It was looking good until extreme heat, drought, and grubs got to it. That is, I am told that grubs got to it. I wouldn’t know a grub if I found it under my pillow.
  • Tomato plants? Producing tomatoes! Fingers crossed that they will become ripe when I am *not* out of town.
  • Lavender? Didn’t plant it yet. Supposedly it’s better to plant it when it’s cold? I dunno. Seed packs on my counter.

Some words about lawns. I am the antithesis of a lawn fanatic but since we have one, it would be nice if it were actually, you know, somewhat green. The back “lawn” is at least green albeit probably more from weeds than actual grass. [“Oops. Hi Chippy. Don’t run away, Chippy. I won’t eat you.”] Fortunately, we live on The Planet Ann Arbor. I am sure there are some people around here who are lawn fanatics. I know that there are McMansion-style housing developments around, the kind that have “associations” that exist to make rules about how tall your grass has to be. I’m sure there are probably neighbors who look upon our lawn with disgust. On the other hand, there are front lawns that are filled with six-foot tall weeds. The point is, the stereotypical Ann Arborite is actually thinking about I dunno, global warming, housing the homeless, getting their kid into the “right” college (or pre-school), organic food, alternative education, medical marijuana, building a train station for trains that don’t exist. You name it.

More and more often, I dream of hiring a landscaper / yard maintenance company to come and clean up my yard, get rid of some shrubs and things that have seen better days, fix the lawn, and then come back and maintain things. I am not talking Chemlawn. I know that there are folks out there who can do this stuff without toxic chemicals. (Oh hey, I just managed to actually turn on the radio in the back room! One small step…) I don’t even want a perfectly manicured yard. In fact I want a certain percentage of chaos. It isn’t that we aren’t able-bodied or don’t have the energy to do it ourselves. It’s more that we are spread way way way too thin with our careers and our vacation property(ies) and our gazillion other interests and and whatever. (I feel that way anyway.) I enjoy a certain amount of yard work but I don’t want to spend every non-working moment on it. And I don’t. And it shows.

So, how does your garden grow?

Yours truly,
Black Thumb Banana
(and Kayak Woman)

P. S. What I am LOVING about my yard right now? I’m sitting out in back and mama birdies are flitting back and forth to a couple of birdhouses feeding their babies! My yard may not be as beauteous as it could be but the birds love it. And I love when our birdhouses are rocking back and forth with chirping baby birds.

No comment

Friday, July 27th, 2012

I mean to say that I don’t intend to provide any deep thoughts about this little bit of Planet Ann Arbor sidewalk grafitti or whatever it is. Is it a political statement? Probably. I can’t help but fantasize a bit about how I would like my own personal “lifestyle” (if you can call it that) to “fall” just a bit…

Lemme see…

  • I would like to lose one piece of real estate. I am currently legally involved in the ownership of three real estate properties and informally involved with a fourth. How did a baggy old kayak woman get to this point? I wish I knew. It seems like it was just yesterday that I was schlepping all of my belongings from apartment to apartment in the crappiest old rusted out Ford Pinto station wagon on earth. Don’t get me wrong. None of these dwellings are palaces or even McMansions by any stretch of the imagination but each is comfortable and beloved in its own way. Still, it will be a relief when we can finally get The Comm’s house on the market. Although I have many good memories of the place, it is not my childhood home and I am not nostalgic. I guess I will miss walking from there down to the locks at 0-dark-30 on a sub-zero January morning but I suppose I can just as easily do that from the Holiday Inn. I *will* miss coming back from those walks to the smell of bacon frying and coffee brewing and I will miss having breakfast there in front of the TV news while planning a day of gallivanting around town with The Comm. Going to the art gallery, having lunch somewhere, buying a big-ass TV set at Woldemort. Whatever. Going to the grokkery store. *Always* going to the grokkery store…
  • If you are one of my five readers, you know that I would love to lose some more “stuff”. I’m at a sort of a plateau on that prodject. ’nuff said. Keep on flingin’ you guys. I’ll catch up. Hmmm, maybe some more books over to the AAUW book sale dropoff tomorrow morning? But I gave the GG all the boxes. But maybe I can find some grokkery bags. Where there is a will, there is a way.
  • Have I mentioned the fact that I own one too many puanos pianos? I really really do want to own one (and only one) puano piano and I know which one. Will I win this little battle? Hmmm. I could also lose a flute. Anyone want an ancient Gemeinhardt “pro” model open-holed B-foot? Needs work. I didn’t think so.
  • I wanna lose my ancient chitchen. I know, I was all hot to do it a few years ago and then I freaked out and then things deteriorated in the northern reaches of my life and for a while I was schlepping a sleeping bag around and living out of an old LL Bean duffle bag and various laundry baskets and saying the f-word about a hundred times a day, mostly on the days I was trying to *leave* the Great White North and, at the last nano-second, couldn’t find my phone or my keys or whatever. That episode completely sucked but it is over but here I am, still hesitant. Where to start… I don’t wanna room full of cabinets. I don’t know what I want… I want somebody to sit *in* my chichen with me and talk to me and help me sort things out. Why is this so easy for so many people? Oh yeah, they are extroverts…
  • I am about done with some of the rest of the decor here too. The decor? Student Ghetto / Early Inlaw. Of course! What were you thinking? We are not of the elite 1% but one or both of us have worked hard for about a gazillion years and we can afford better. If only furniture stores didn’t employ sharks. Because I cannot THINK when somebody is bombarding me with all of the latest “deals” (and my companion insists on making small talk with the shark and navigating all over the whole warehouse). (Note to Art Van: If someone buys furniture once every 15 years, they probably don’t care all that much about “deals” — not that they want to be fleeced…) (Note to self: stay away from Art Van.)

Still, they’re cousins, Identical cousins and you’ll find, They laugh alike, they walk alike, At times they even talk alike, you could lose your mind!

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

Well, okay, maybe not so much. I mean Lizard Breath and The Beautiful Renee have always rather strongly resembled each other. That might be because their dads are identical twins, maybe? But they are four years apart in age and they do have different mothers, although The Beautiful Gay and I are kindred spirits. (I’ll admit that TBG has a much stronger affinity to vacuum cleaners than I do though >wink<)

Still, these gals have a lot of similarities even besides appearance. They are both intelligent, friendly, popular, and gracious young women. Nice to everyone but not to the point of compromising their own carefully developed values. Well, I know this about Lizard Breath because I have known her since before she took her first breath on earth. I am making an educated guess about TBR based on what I know about her family and the glimpses I have had into how she conducts her life.

I had another entry started earlier but I didn’t quite finish it before we decided to head over to Knight’s. And then I thought something like, “Wait a minute!” It is Thursday and the biggest news of the week happened on Tuesday afternoon and I have not blahgged it yet. And that news is that… Drum roll… The young woman on the right in the photoooo and her husband brought their first child into the world Tuesday afternoon. A beautiful daughter named Mae Elizabeth.

And so why did I not post this news before? It’s complicated. Back in the wild wild west of the internet, and I’m talking the 1990s, it seemed okay to post photos of just about anybody out there. Even people who had computers had to run a gauntlet to get to the internet and most people, at least those that I knew, seemed to enjoy seeing pictures of themselves and their kids posted. Nowadays with ubiquitous broad-band internet, mobile devices, and social media, I am reluctant to post photos of people without their permission. New parents have plenty of opportunities to post their own photos of their babies. It isn’t my job (not that it ever was) and actually I’m kind of glad to be out of that “business”. It was fun back in the 1990s but there are getting to be a lot of babies around these days…

So pictures of the beautiful baby Mae were posted on facebook and I decided I would post this 10-year-old photo of the Twinz of Terror and their “identical” daughters, which was taken at Lizard Breath’s high school graduation party.

Anyway, a huge congratulations to The Beautiful Renee and Nick and Mae and all of the grandparents! And good night!

P. S. I LOOOOOVED watching the Patty Duke show back in the 1960s. My parents were not quite so enamored… They seemed to think it would be a bad influence >wink<

Face plant

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

So, tonight they are blathering away on NPR about all of the new voter fraud laws that are being proposed or enacted or deliberated upon by various courts or whatever. Do we really need those laws? Really? Can somebody point me to some actual, *unbiased* statistics on how big a problem voter fraud is in this country? A lot of the elections I vote in manage at best to attract maybe 6% of the eligible voters in the precinct. 23 voters by 3:00 PM, etc., etc. Voter fraud is a *problem*? Seems to me the problem is how to get registered voters out to the polls.

I am personally acquainted with exactly one case of voter fraud. It was the eccentric father of a woman I worked with back in the Jurassic Age and he was a local landlord and he was all hopped up about some issue or other. Ah kain’t recollect (‘scuse my totally fake southern politician accent) what issue he was all hopped up about but he actually registered to vote in two different places. And got caught! My co-worker rolled her eyes from here to Kalamazoo as she told that story. But he was committing election fraud to further his own personal interests, not throw an election for political reasons.

I promised myself and Sam (archaeologist, not dog) that I was done ranting for the week, so I will not rant. Instead I will just sit here agape at what a travesty our political system seems to have become.

And try not to face-plant because, after an unexpected evening of dinner and socializing with various cuzzints over at Bugs & Horsey’s house, I am surprised I have not done that yet. It is always fun to socialize with cousins that you have known all your life and are close to because you share memories and that means you can talk about people and places and family “stuff” without having to go through a whole bunch of explanatory crap or make calculated decisions about how much “stuff” to omit or sanitize or whatever. But still, I was on the edge of face-planting by the end. And of course then the GG didn’t wanna leave. “But I liiike it here.” Yeah, but you are into the moonshine… (Oh, just kidding about the last. Yes there was moonshine but everyone was being responsible and I just had a couple glasses of whine because once in my youth I saw a couple of guys we’ll just call Foot and Chewy get so drunk on moonshine that they… well, I won’t say what they did because to this day I am grossed out just thinking about it. Let’s just say they lost all control over their bodily functions. (Kinda glad The Comm isn’t reading this. But maybe she is. Oh well…))

Good night. I hope we actually get some of the rain they are predicting for us tomorrow. Lately it seems like it gets to just outside of The Planet Ann Arbor and then goes north. Or south. Or north *and* south. Anywhere but here. I hope we do not get a derecho. I am not in the mood for a derecho.


Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

I don’t actually feel all that ranty. Maybe it’s because 88 degrees actually feels cool? Who knew? But no rain, even though apparently that beautiful state to the south of us, once the home of Big Butter Jesus, I mean O-haaaaa-o, had a derecho today. I wanted rain today but I was NOT up for a derecho. I used that word in a work meeting today and people were saying “Whaaa?” Until I asked, “Who remembers The Green Storm of 1980?” “Ohhhh yeah.” Yes. Derecho? No thank you. Not today. According to Wikipee, the word “derecho” was first used in 1888 or thereabouts. I thought it was a new word in this century.

Of course, now that I have ranted about the aurora shooter (not gonna mention his name or the fictional character he thinks he is), that leaves only one topic (well, besides politics and I’m not going there today). And that is… Drum roll… Football. Of course. What else is in the news these days. I am not going to rant and rave about rape. That is one of the few issues that I see in black and white. It’s wrong. Don’t do it. To anyone.

I did not study the NCAA sanctions against Penn State in detail. Actually, I heard most of it while driving the gauntlet my eight-mile homeward commute has become this summer. That is, in snippets between shifting gears and stopping at stop lights. I couldn’t tell you the name of the NCAA president (without googling) or accurately repeat his words. I know that there are a lot of opinions out there, including “It’s too strict, it punishes innocent athletes. Football subsidizes other less popular sports, *women’s* sports…” I also have some reservations. A grownup does a horrifically awful thing, other grownups apparently help him get away with it in some misguided attempt to save their own careers and/or reputations and college students who had nothing to do with it are hurt. Is that good? I have mixed feelings.

But I got the essence of some of what he said and I felt like he was reading my mind.

Yes, let’s not forget that the focus of education is not sports. It is academics. And let’s ratchet back the hero worship culture that surrounds our elite sports.

I don’t really have anything against football. One of my cousins played high school football when I was a kid and I was soooo excited when my dad and grandaddy took me to a football game. When *I* got to high school, I thought I was so cool because I was a “line leader” or whatever it was in the marching band. In the yucky old band uniform I got randomly assigned as an 8th grader, marching in the rain, snow, and mud that October brings to Sault Ste. Siberia. Yeah, you are really cool when the mud sucks your shoe right off your foot… Still. I don’t care to watch football (speak slowly, I am blonde and I don’t get all those downs and things) but I love when Michigan has a home game and my whole town fills with people. I love when Michigan (or any team) is in the Rose Bowl and people are watching it on TV (yes, TV). I don’t even mind that some of those fancy football player heroes (but not all of them…) are dumb as rocks and will only make their way in the world via football. We all gotta be somewhere and probably better that some of these guys are making a good living doing something other than shootin’ up people in the ‘hood or whatever. I have no problem with that.

But. Some of these football players *are* heroes (and so are some doctors, lawyers, Indian chiefs, bankers, cello players, teachers (TEACHERS, anyone?) and whatever). Some others are not so much. Many of our young footballers have been elevated to a status that they are too immature to handle and are worshipped for the wrong reasons. Some of those kids take advantage of the young women who adore them and some of them go on to acquire positions of power so that they can take advantage of just about anyone.

In the grand scheme of things, the Penn State thing is just a bump in the road. College football will (and should) go on. I hope that no football coach ever again rapes a child because he/she is a trusted adult in a program for disadvantaged kids. I hope that no football player ever again rapes a fellow student (or anyone), believing that he is a hero. But those things will probably happen again. Just like mass shootings at movie theatres or malls or McDonalds restaurants or wherever. I do not have the answer.

Good night,

Survival Mode

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

So far I am surviving, that is. We didn’t hit 100 today although once this afternoon, my phone proclaimed 99. The humidity is creeping up though. That can be a bad thing except that I am thinking that higher humidity is involved in what little rain we’ve had. Weather aficionados, is that true? We did have [a little] rain this morning. Not enough to sneeze at but every little bit… I have been watering like a fiend and the clematis and morning glories that we planted on our new arbor are thriving! And, knock on wood big-time, so are my tomato plants. Still crossing my fingers on that one though.

I really don’t want to start a whole bunch of political crap going so maybe I should leave this topic alone. It’s just meeeee and my own uninformed opinions. But. I have spent just about my entire life living with people who own guns and use them *responsibly*. Yes, that is possible. I have never lived with someone who kept a loaded gun around “for security”. Well, except that maybe my dad did. He was a small-town bank manager, who was, for many years, the person the local police called when they did their rounds and found the bank door unlocked in the middle of the night. Yes, really. That kind of job in itself might be a reason for packing some heat, so maybe the old coot did take a gun when he was wearing that hat. I don’t know or remember. If he did, I never knew it. Was there a gun *at* the bank? I’m racking (yes) my brain trying to remember if there was. I am gonna guess that there was one there back when my *grandfather* was the bank president…

Anyway, my folks kept the guns unloaded and locked up. I never even knew where they were (and didn’t care) although I’ve been told that The Engineer did. No surprise there. There is a difference between being a private citizen who owns guns (and uses them responsibly) and a citizen who, well, does what the Aurora shooter did. Why can anyone go out on the internet and bulk-buy all the stuff he bought without catching somebody’s attention? It was a different age when my late neighbor Burke used to go down to Schlenker Hardware and buy dynamite. He probably knew those guys and I’m sure they knew he was a fun guy who was not going to use the dynamite to blow up a school or something. Although a few years ago when his widow called the bomb squad, I was told there was enough dynamite in his basement to blow up his house and the two houses on either side, one of them being mine. That was a fun day of bonding with the neighbors >wink<

I’m not sure exactly what point I’m trying to make here. Guns and explosives are half the equation. Other than that, there are always going to be “crazy” people. I don’t know the Aurora shooter. I am just reading bits and pieces of news about him. Yes. So many of these shooters seem like lonely misfits. Not very many friends. No romantic attachments. Bullied and teased. Yada yada. That’s a pity (as my Dear Uncle Harry would say). On the other hand, there *are* people who have childhoods like that and much, much, much worse who make it out alive and thrive and become good citizens, loving parents, and productive members of society.

This kind of thing has been happening throughout history and it will happen again (and again (and again (and again))). I am not *for* gun control per se but I do think that it shouldn’t be possible to buy what this kid bought on the internet.

Are his parents to blame? Well, I dunno what went on in his home as he was growing up. I know that his mother has been quoted as saying something that indicated she wasn’t surprised when reporters called her in the middle of the night. If I heard right, she has since kind of retracted that. I dunno. I just happy that I am not that mom. I know that there are moments in parenting when you are absolutely terrified that your kid is heading down some wrong path or other. And I am speaking from the viewpoint of a mom whose kids are very successful human beings (despite having meeeee for a moom). I am gonna guess that the Aurora shooter’s mom had been very worried about her son and probably has been for most of his life. Is there something a little weird about my kid? Why can he not make friends? Did she try to intervene? Play dates? School counselors? Psychiatrists? Who knows. Maybe she tried her darndest to socialize him to no avail. Maybe *she* struggles to socialize. I do… And, when your kid gets to be 24, there’s not much you can do any more. Your child is an adult. I’m sure that the shooter’s mom is grieving almost as much as any of the people who actually lost loved ones in her son’s massacre. I think that her lack of surprise may indicate that she knew he was struggling to maintain his sanity. I also think that she had no idea about how to help him or any indication that he would do something as horrific as what he did. I am glad I am not the Aurora shooter’s mom and I hope the media leaves her alone.

Mahmmy Blahgger

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

I don’t usually blahg about my kids, at least not specifically about what they are doing. They are adults who run their own lives and don’t really ask much from me and I know they wouldn’t want me broadcasting the details of their lives on the Internet, even if I actually *knew* those details. In detail, don’tcha know.

So I won’t go into detail about this (I don’t really know the details >wink<) but, after six years in Cally-forny, my older beach urchin moved back to the loverly but god-forsaken Great Lake State during the spring into a gorgeous apartment in Fabulous Ferndale. That’s just down the road from where the GG grew up and about 45 minutes away from The Planet Ann Arbor on a good day. This was more or less in her plans from the start but it still took me by surprise because… Hey wait a minute? You graduated from college SIX YEARS AGO? Say what?

Anyway, her move came at an opportune time because the FF apartment is unfurnished and she left what furniture she had in Cali and I had some *extra* furniture hanging around from The Commander. And dishes. And houseplants… We were over there today delivering a dresser and I was ecstatic to see that The Comm’s houseplants are *thriving* (and this is only a couple of them):

And there are these shelves, which The Comm made in a woodworking class in college. They have been around my entire life and there was no way I was gonna get rid of them but I also don’t have room for them. (And a couple more plants.)

Our kiddo cooked us a wonderful breakfast of scrambled eggs, ricotta-lemon pancakes with blueberry sauce, and a nice green salad and we ate outside on the Rat Pad. If she wants, she can shop at the Holiday Market, one of my fave grokkery stores but too far away for me to shop at more than occasionally. And the plate? One of The Commander’s “everyday” dishes. On The Comm’s kitchen table. (And you can’t see ’em but some more plants.)

Finally, our cook, in her own chitchen, which is a heckuva lot prettier than mine! (Er, prettier cook too.) (And yet another plant.)

After dresser delivery / breakfast, we headed up to Clawson so that Fake Bob Bob could visit his baby “grandson”. Very very very cute baby and I’ll get just sappy enough to say that I love how his dad interacts with him. He (dad) has certainly grown up since I first met him as a 4-year-old who was (at that moment) totally focused on riding his Big Wheel up and down his driveway. Er, as if this whole post isn’t a bit sappy…

Home again eventually and spending the afternoon being totally annoyed with myself for feeling sluggish and slodgy. Nothing constructive accomplished at all! (Except for a walk over to the Plum Market where I found myself in a checkout line behind one of the ditziest women I have known in my entire life and had to pretend to be looking out the window so as to avoid meeting her eyes.)

P.S. Thanks Lizard for letting my readers — all five of them — peek into your life for just a minute.

A day of mystery and adventure…

Saturday, July 21st, 2012

Hey, KW? You are kidding yourself? More like chores and errands… Up and at ’em at 0-skunk-30 to hoof it down to The Planet Ann Arbor farmer’s market, thankful that the temperature was in the upper 50s / lower 60s. Today. I dread the weather reports because apparently we are heading back up the old escalator toward triple digits. We bought coffee (and the Roos Roast folks photographed us wearing our new tie-dyed t-shirts, coffee in hand). We bought tomatoes, lettuce, corn, onions, and yellow wax beans and I schlepped it all the way back up the “hill” to home on my back (and then trucked over to the Plum Market and schlepped an equivalent load home from there). I loved this simple presentation of zucchini and summer squash (or whatever you call that yellow stuff) at the farmer’s market.

On the way home, we encountered The Restroom at the End of the Universe Top of Haisley School. Fortunately, I was able to hold it until we returned to The Landfill.

A while back, I packed up a couple of boxloads of books to donate to the AAUW book sale. The book drop-off is right next to my fave Plum Market so it’s a no-brainer to drop things off there and The Commander was a long-time member of the AAUW, albeit not here on The Planet. Today was a good drop-off day but *someone* couldn’t leave well enough alone and, while I was at the Plum Market, that person pulled this little book [below] out of my “kid book” box. I was kind of annoyed until I looked *inside* the book and discovered that there was a special hand-drawn picture of a *mouse* and “mene” (“meanie”? or what?) written on EVERY page. Okay, we’ll keep that one. (Note to beach urchins, I have saved a LOT of kid books but MUST thin out. They’re all available either as ebooks or on eBay anyway…) To be fair, that same *someone* subsequently went down into The Dungeon and filled another box with books *he* was ready to ditch. Thank you! (And *I* saved Monkey outta that batch but that’s a whole ‘nother story.)

And, well, yes, a few bits of mystery and adventure were tucked into the corners of a Workday-type Saturday. Chores and errands… A surprising and very welcome email led to the [re]-discovery of the VERY COOL artifact below. I am not going to blahg about this for now. Maybe someday… Courtois folks may know something about it. Obviously the Courtois person that has tolerated meeeee for the last 30 years does >wink<

There were other little bits of mystery and adventure today but y’all will have to wait for those too… … …

Oh the humanity

Friday, July 20th, 2012

It’s been about a billion years since I’ve gone to the Planet Ann Arbor art fair(s). I used to walk down there from my apartment — I guess I must’ve taken a day off work or whatever — and cruise through the whole thing. It was fun back in those days. I didn’t mind the billions of people and I would see all kinds of things I was dying to buy but I could barely pay my rent and car payment in those days so I usually came home empty handed. Maybe a few little cheap trinkety things that have probably been flung by now.

I don’t exactly remember when I started practicing art fair avoidance but it was probably during the YAG years. I didn’t have time to *attend* the art fair during the YAG years but I had to *navigate* the art fair because we did our summer theatre day camp performances in a rattle-trap old black box theatre on the U of M campus almost right smack in the middle of the art fair. There was NO place to park within blocks of the place which meant that I had to park illegally to unload all of my crap and then park over at Commie High or someplace and schlep the rest. And NO air-conditioning in that place. Now I did actually go to the art fair during those years but my one foray into the fray was planned with surgical precision. My favorite jeweler of all time used to have a booth almost at the Huron / Main intersection. I would beat tracks outta the Trueblood Theatre down Huron to Main, nip in to my fave jeweler’s booth, grab a couple pairs of earrings and high-tail it back. (Yes, of course I paid for them.)

My fave jewelers died back in 2004 and I stopped doing YAG, which meant that I had no reason to be anywhere near downtown during the art fair and the beach urchins were able to go to the art fair under their own power and then I started working for corporate America again and yada yada yada.

We went to the art fair tonight. It’s Friday and you know what we do on Friday night roight? Yeah, we walk downtown and meet at the Oscar Tango for cocktails and dinner. And tonight, we cruised a bit of the art fair afterwards. I did not do well with the humanity and I hope it is just the overwhelmed, kind of one foot in front of the other survival mode I have been in this summer but I really wasn’t even *interested* in any of the art. Pretty ironic. I mean, we aren’t anywhere near the 1% but I don’t pay any rent or even a car payment any more and, for the first time in my life, I actually earn enough money that if I squint hard enough, there’s just enough of a little squinchy slush in our funds that I probably could’ve spent a little money. But not $6,400 which is what those crazy colorful whirly sculptures were running. Even if I did buy anything, where would I put it? So, we trudged along home empty-handed. Except for a couple of new tie-dyed t-shirts that the GG bought earlier in the day. Tie-dyed t-shirts that don’t have somebody’s damn logo on them. He was wearing one when I got to the Oscar Tango and I was all, “Where did you get *that*?” And then he pulled another one out of his backpack. For me. I needed a new tie-dyed t-shirt. I will wear it until it literally falls apart. Thank you!

I am done blathering for today. 10:05 on a Friday night and I worked eight hours and walked about eight miles and I am sucking down water and I can hardly prop my eyes open any more. Goooooood night. KW!

Overheard in the Knight’s bathroom

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

“You HAVE to tell your mom to complain! My toenail is ripply!” This was an 11-year-old girl [or thereabouts] complaining to her friend because apparently her pedicure wasn’t perfect. I didn’t inspect it. I kind of felt like giving them a piece of my mind but I knew they would just regard me as a baggy old bag. And a cranky one at that. Like the time the beach urchins were a little antsy at the Spike Horn barrooom (and family restaurant) and some old drunk woman came over and told them [over and over] that Santa Claus wouldn’t give them any presents if they didn’t behave. The kids were fussy because the service was interminably slow and I wanted to slug that old woman. As it was, I’m sure my kids knew even then that Santa Claus would spoil them over and over and over again until they had so much “stuff” they didn’t know what to do with it.

You have to know that I would not *ever* complain about one ripply toenail polish job for any 11-year-old. I would probably figure out some creative way to get my kid to stage-manage a high-maintenance friend like that away from their cranky old moom. In fact, when the beach urchins were around that age, the last thing they wanted to do was go out for a fancy pedicure. Not that they weren’t interested in nail polish and sparkly eye makeup and stuff. Just that it was a do-it-yourself job, preferably with friends.

Anyway, I sucked it up silently, exited the ladies powder room, and returned to our booth and the argument du jour. Which I will not even begin to try to describe except to say something like, “Can’t [they] find a better way to make a living?”

Yes, we were at Knight’s tonight. There was a rather amorphous plan to meet downtown at the art fair(s) after work but I had a happy hour to attend after work today and when, after my obligatory one glass of whine there, the GG was still at work, we decided to bag walking downtown. We’ll get there tomorrow night. We are a stodgy bunch of stick-in-the-mud geeks at work but there were a couple of extroverts at tonight’s happy hour and I was just getting going about the time I needed to leave. I didn’t want to…

We are still on the verge of drought here but this morning, I started out my 0-skunk-30 walk under my trusty old rainbow umbrella. It wasn’t raining very hard but we got a little. And a little more throughout the day. And it is cooler thank you god. For now. At the moment, I almost feel like I need my polartech jacket…

Love y’all,

Eating an elephant

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

How *do* you eat an elephant? You eat it one bite at a time, of course!

I don’t think I actually started the flinging craze that seems to be going on amongst various family and friends. I’m sure I have been blathering away about it on the internet for longer than anybody else so if I *have* inspired anyone, that’s great. In reality, I think most people somewhere around my age have reached the tipping point when it comes to possessions. I don’t know why I acquired so much stuff. I don’t think our house was jammed full of “stuff” when I was a kid. That would be a whole ‘nother blahg post.

Anyway, I do blather about my flinging prodject from time to time and sometimes family / friends blahg or report back to me about their own flinging prodjects (which I *love*!). Or, very occasionally, ask questions like, “How do I get started?” My answer to that has become a question: How do you eat an elephant? And you know the answer to that.

Just start. Start *anywhere*. If there’s a mess in every room, it can be overwhelming! Don’t try to over-plan, over-strategize, or over-analyze, at least not at first. Start with the easy stuff that has no sentimental value. Or shouldn’t have. If it does, maybe some friendly psychoanalysis is in order >wink< Start with the junk mail that’s piling up on the dining room table. The old magazines cluttering up the dungeon. Old grocery receipts and shopping bags. Cardboard boxes. Once you get on a roll, empty space will start to emerge (really) and you will very likely start eyeballing other “stuff”. “Why am I keeping that?” Pretty soon you will be bagging up old clothes and toys for pickup by charitable agencies, dumping all most of those old college papers, boxing up books for donation. And so on…

Start slowly. Don’t force yourself to clear out a whole room or closet or shelf unit in one session. Do it a little bit at a time. Five or 10 minutes a day. Or get rid of 20 (or 25 or whatever) pieces of paper (or books or articles of clothing or whatever) at a time. Try to be persistent and do a little bit every day but do NOT beat yourself up if you miss a day here and there. Be ruthless but do give yourself permission to save a few things along the way for future consideration. I’m not quite ready to get rid of that old Mozart sonata analysis paper I got an A+ on (and many wonderful comments) back in college in the Jurassic Age. The one I typed on an actual typewriter. It doesn’t mean anything to any other living person and probably someday I will pitch it so the beach urchins don’t have to. That Mackinac Bridge thingy in the photooo (that I found in The Commander’s file cabinet)? Never getting rid of it. Probably a candidate for the safe deposit box.

If you are at a standstill in one area, change it up and de-clutter something else. I had a great time one rainy Saturday dumping partial bottles of liqueurs that were purchased over the years because a recipe called for two tablespoons of it or whatever. We will never *drink* it (or probably use that recipe again) so I dumped it all and resolved that in a similar future situation, I would look for the airplane size bottle or substitute. I sorta felt like I hadn’t made any progress in the area I was trying to de-clutter that weekend but what the heck. The liqwire had to eventually be de-cluttered too and now it was done! Progress!

Always remember, it’s just “stuff”. If you aren’t using it and you have to move it around to clean the house, it’s a burden. If you have been storing it in a moldy old rodent and spider-infested dungeon for so long you can’t even remember it’s there, why keep it? Travelin’ light is my new goal in life.

I’m really not writing this for you, my five dearly beloved readers. I’m writing it for me. Because I am at a sort of standstill. I am getting to the point where I am through with a whole ton of old papers and magazines and clothes and craft supplies and toys and books and I can’t even think what else. I have gotten to some of the more gristly parts of the elephant, meaning that I need the help or at least permission of others in order to proceed… Bunk beds? Craigslist? Oriental rugs? Not sure…

Anyway, if you are already flinging, you don’t need any advice from me. If you want to fling but don’t know where to start, a couple of resources to check out are Flylady and Unclutterer (you can google). And I am sure there are more. Back when I was desperate, I was a flylady lurker for a while. That helped me get started. Eventually, I kind of “flew” on my own. But there are always “those” moments and I am in one now…

We are all in this together and it is not easy! If you merely need a virtual hug, I am here.

Love y’all, KW

The Plaid Screen of Death in a Dry Heat

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

The good news is that my work laptop magically emerged from whatever black hole it disappeared into today!

I almost felt like kissing the delivery guy.

Even better news: It still has all my “stuff” on it.

Extra good news: Two out of three four specs published this afternoon! Yay!

Not-so-good news: My loverly laptop is now apparently afflicted with The Plaid Screen of Death.

As in, you are working nonchalantly away at whatever it is you are doing and the screen suddenly goes black and then plaid. Or what we’re calling plaid.

A bit better news: The Plaid Screen of Death is fixable although very annoying.

And you have to do a hard reboot.

Note to self: next time you get the PSD, take a picture!

You know, with that computer you carry around in your pocket.

Temperature in the Ninja at 5:00 this afternoon: 106.

Temperature in the Ninja at the Jackson/Maple left-turn signal: 99.

Outdoor temperature reading in the Landfill Chitchen: 96.

Indoor Landfill Chitchen temp: 94.

Humidity? 31%.

It’s a dry heat.

Really. I am actually standing in the Landfill Chitchen in 94 degrees WITHOUT a cold wet washcloth draped around my neck.

Yes, we could turn on the central A/C.

Don’t ask.

The bad news about a dry heat? NO DAMN RAIN!

Was Introduced to a visitor at work today as “one of those artsy Ann Arbor people”. Er, something like that.

Yeah, well *you* [introducer] hired me. >wink<

Yeah, those angle brackets are inside out but I’m keeping them that way because they *look* like a wink.

I wasn’t even wearing a tie-dyed tshirt!

I am now.

Do not ask about undergarments. You do not wanna know.

Apparently when it gets this hot, I can only think in fragments.

Blaaaahhhhgggg… Or is it blaarrrrrgggghhhh…

Monday, July 16th, 2012

It is 95 degrees. According to the Ninja.

It is 96 degrees. According to my phone.

It is 91 degrees. According to the Landfill Chitchen thermometer.

It is gonna be worse tomorrow.

My work laptop is on the mother ship.

I hope. I have not heard one peep from the mother ship.

I have had two loaners since my work laptop kicked the bucket.

Neither of the two loaners have all of the tools on them that I need to — easily — do my job.

Notepad is really not the best application for editing javascript files.

Somebody wants to use my latest loaner for a meeting tomorrow…

A crazy person just filed to run for mayor.

Last I looked, I think he was running for president too.

Yes, that president.

He plans to move the White House to the Big House.

I told you he was crazy.

No, I am not going to vote for him. What were you thinking?

The problem is that I don’t like the mayor either.

I mean as a mayor. I’d probably like him as a citizen.

The mayor is the only other person running for, uh, mayor.

Some choice.

Got home to find a totally incomprehensible letter from a bureaucratic agency responding to a letter I sent so long ago I can’t even remember it about The Commander’s “change of address”.

I mean her mailing address.

The one that doesn’t exist any more.

It goes on and on about court stamps and judge’s dockets and things.

I do not have the brain power to get on the phone and navigate the menu system to try to figure out what it means.

Why can I not do this via the Internet?

Oh never mind…

It will be interesting to see what this bureaucratic agency does when mail to The Comm starts bouncing back at them.

Which it will do starting about, oh I dunno, NOW.

I mean, I *tried* (apparently) to change her mailing address.

Wonder how many incompetent bureaucrats passed my letter around before it landed on the desk of whoever wrote this piece of crap letter.

We are drowning ourselves in rules, regs, security crap and red tape in general.

Incompetent out-of-touch bureaucrats and politicians are leading the way.

This stuff is going to sink our civilization.

It was a looonnnnnggggg day.

I do not have any kittens.

Guest blahgger from the Jurassic Age

Sunday, July 15th, 2012

Click to “embiggen” the photos if you want to read the post.


It’s Saturday and… we’re on The Planet…

Saturday, July 14th, 2012

Today? Up early and hoofing it down to the Planet Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market and some people we know and love have never met a faaaarrr hydrant they didn’t like. It’s really, really not what you think it is (hee, I had to say that so I don’t get kicked outta the Landfill…) But still…

Trucking down to the FM is a Saturday morning habit for us but it’s been a while since we’ve made that trek. Which means we’ve been outta dodge for a couple weekends. And then there was that Saturday we met up with a bunch of folks down at the Daytwa Eastern Market and somewhere in there was a weekend that the GG wanted more sleep and I did my regular o-skunk-30 walk and made a run to the Jackson Rd. Meijer instead. Anyway, we were back down there this morning.

We had a good time talking to the Fish Lady. I mean the woman who salvages old planks and driftwood and paints them up to look (more or less realistically) like various fish species. Like the one in the photoooo below, which I bought a few years ago and “we” (y’all know who “we” is, roight?) finally hung up above the front door at the moomincabin. I dredged the photoooo off my phone and the Fish Lady was ecstatic! We will buy more fish but not today because I didn’t wanna schlep a three-foot wooden fish two miles up a hill.

As it was, it’s high summer and it’s a hot one, after an unseasonably warm spring, so there was a *lot* of wonderful produce and I was just almost over my limit schlepping a backpack full of stuff plus a couple plastic bags up the hill and so it was a long sorta hot slog home. And then, after doing a few chores, I schlepped over to the Plum Market for some other stuff.

At about 1:30 or so, after a morning of chores and errands, I was haaaaanggging around, talking on fb with a couple of beautiful childhood friends / high school classmates of mine, about getting their hair done. Whether for our upcoming (ulp) 40th reunion or not, I do not know but I assured them that I would be there with raggly unstyled undyed hair. I was kind of casting about for which chore or prodject to embark upon next, when the GG suggested a “joyride”. I was thinking, “Oh fun, another trip to the hardware store.” But no, he wanted to schlep some stuff up to Dogmomster’s and after a split second of “oh, no, I’d rather stay here and dredge through The Comm’s old paperwork and stuff”, I jumped up and MOBILIZED! And so, a very pleasant trip to Dogmomster’s (via the freeway) and back (via the backroads). With a beeru in between. Grilling tonight.

I dunno where I started with this and I’m not sure where I ended up but I think I am done. Duuunnnn dun dun dun.

Update: Except I guess I am not done. Because, just after I posted, the GG happened to look at the Houghton Lake webcam and this was what he saw:

You can’t see in this photooo but another photooo showed that the PONTOON BOAT WAS NOT IN THE HOIST!!! Lizard Breath and some friends are up there this weekend and we knew that they were out in the pontoon boat. So, um, were they out in the pontoon boat when the storm hit? WERE THEY OKAY? I texted immediately! I mean, this uber-responsible 20-something budding pontoon boat driver is also the BABY that I was once scared to death I wouldn’t be able to keep alive. After a few tense moments, a return text came in: “We were at the Tiki Bar with Bob and Gay when the storm blew through.” Okay then! Wish I’d been there too! 🙂

Now. Good night. -KW!

Calling all internet trolls on this loverly Friday the 13th

Friday, July 13th, 2012

Yaknow, you could probably put a dog on top o’ this vee-hickle.

I think this is similar to the vee-hickle The Commander learned to drive in. In a farm field.

We owned two of these (in serial, not parallel) when I was a kid. We had a green one and then a blue one and we traveled over to the Killarney in one of them — all four of us — a few times. I learned to drive stick in one of them — by stalling out at the Easterday / Ashmun intersection. The Engineer ended up with the blue one.

“This thingamajig used to be over there but it’s over here now. But it doesn’t really matter.” Ah yes, the days when The Engineer and Grandroobly and their mascot Sam (dog, not archaeologist) would have all of the car hoods in the moomincabin parking lot open at once. Inspection time.

Faaaarrrrr drill

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

Okay. Does everybody know what FML stands for? Because. Can I just say? FML!

I woke up feeling a little more frayed around the edges than usual. For various reasons. Ongoing “stuff” that you don’t wanna know about. And just, I dunno. I am sick and taaarrrred of the grind and not having any “real” time off. You know, a vacation that isn’t a busman’s holiday and doesn’t involve working (I mean telecommuting to my job, not processing the dishes (and garbage (and laundry (and recycling for multiple households))).

So, frayed. But, on the other hand, heavy into work prodjects right now, so looking forward to work. Except… Which keys are functional on my work laptop today? By the end of yesterday, all of the keys except for the dash, up-arrow, and one more that I forget right now were functional. Should I replace the keyboard or not? Is it really that a little water *may* have seeped into it or is it something worse?

My mood went beyond frayed into something resembling SURLY when I got a half mile down the road and the god-forsaken TAAAARRRR LIGHT LIT UP (yeah, I know). Can we just get the dern (NEW) taaaarrrrs FIXED???? WHEN???

Coffee with MMCB calmed me down a bit. I mailed some letters on the way to work and, by the time I got there, I was sorta feeling okay again.

Plugged in my laptop, faaarrrrred it up, checked my email on my phone, looked back and that thar screen in the photoooo was what presented itself to me. Okay. Continue. Starts to try to reboot… … … Same screen again. Hard shutdown… … … SAME SCREEN AGAIN!!!! Hey buddy. I have work to do!

Yes, another call to tech support was in order… My supervisor was walking by and asked how my computer was re wonky keyboard issues. I asked, “Can I just go somewhere and cry?”. (For the record, the answer was “Yes, or go take a walk if you need one.”)

I did feel like crying but I sucked it up and got tech support on the line and they opened a “ticket” and gave it a “critical” priority and told me they’d get back to me “within the day”. Except. They didn’t. And we don’t keep a lot of spare laptops around our office so it wasn’t until around noon that one was located that I could work on. So I sat around all morning twiddling my thumbs surfing the internet on my phone and feeling like crap in general.

And then I was late to a spec review (not my own, thank you god) because my loaner laptop doesn’t have Outlook on it and therefore I wasn’t reminded about the meeting. “Say what, there’s a spec review?” When I finally walked in, FZ handed me a cookie and said, “Here, you need to have *something* good happen to you today.”

Anyway, I am home. I am in a horrendously bad mood. I am done. That is all.

Oh yeah, P. S., when I got back to the Landfill, the internet connection was down (AGAIN) and I had to get down in the stoopid snake pit and unplug / plug things to get back online.