Friday Five – on time! Woohoo!:

1.What did you want to be when you grew up? When I was little, I wanted to be a vet, until I realized how much schooling was required. When I was in high school, I wanted to be an orthopedic surgeon (this was right after I had the tumor removed from my knee), until I realized how much schooling was required for that. These days, I want to be Queen of the Universe. Or a fairy princess. One or the other.

2. Do you have any nicknames? Fred calls me Bessie, and the spud calls me "Muh-muh."

3. If you could change something about yourself what would it be? I would less of a flighty, ditzy airhead.

4. Have you ever bought anything from an infomercial? Hell yeah. Let me think – we bought that stupid rotisserie thing where you put an entire chicken inside and "set it and forget it!" (it worked okay, but was such a pain in the ass to haul out and then clean afterward that it didn’t last long in our house), I’ve bought numerous cds – most recently, an Olivia Newton-John collection (shaddup) – we bought the "Phil Up and Go" system, and never so much as took it out of the box, the Citrus Express (which worked pretty well), Epil-Stop (didn’t work worth a crap), the George Foreman Grill (which we use about once a week, but I’d prefer a real grill), the Time Life History of Country Music cd set, Oxi-Clean (which the Hag mentioned in passing as working well on pet blood stains, and the cat barf stains I’ve tried it on have come up extremely well), Banned from Television tapes (don’t get Fred started on the Train Lady), some stupid set of Magic Tricks tapes (Fred ordered those), and a set of funny tapes from England (I can’t remember the name of ’em). We are total suckers, and have to avoid the infomercials or risk bankruptcy.

5. How do you plan to spend your weekend? I think I’ll be getting the rest of the Christmas packages ready to be mailed out on Monday, do some vacuuming and straightening up of the house, since I think Fred’s parents will be coming over to watch a movie with us Saturday night, and hopefully I’ll get the last of my daffodil bulbs planted, depending on the weather.

Many, MANY thanks to the Bitter One, who sent me a surprise package in the mail (well, there was something for Fred, too, but it was mostly for ME) – and I think we all know how much I love the surprise mail! – consisting of a cool little hand massager thingy, and some Healing Gardens Jasminetherapy lotion and shower gel. And great minds think alike, for I believe it was less than three days ago that I was sniffing appreciatively at that VERY SAME SCENT while Christmas shopping.

Also, many MANY thanks to reader Lisa in Ohio, who purchased for me Bridget Jones’s Guide to Life, from my veryown wish list.

Last, but CERTAINLY not least, thanks to reader Robbie, who sent me the cutest little ornament, Quackers:

who is sitting atop my monitor at the moment. I may have to move him, though, because a certain portly cat’s wide ass keeps knocking him off. Looks like Quackers is waving at the camera, doesn’t it?

While I’m sharing pictures, here’s what the room we call the library (because that’s where all the books are, y’see) looked like at 11 pm last night (is "11 pm last night" redundant? I fear it may be. Perhaps it should be "11 pm yesterday"?) after I’d spent about an hour wrapping presents for the spud’s grandparents and aunt and great-grandparents on her father’s side. One of these days, I’m going to start making the child wrap her own presents. Anyway, click on the picture for the full-sized version:


Trust me, it was far more horrifying-looking in person. It looks a little better today because I packed up the presents going to three different places and mailed ’em, and also sorted through all those bags in the first picture, and separated them out into gifts going out and stocking stuffers for the spud, Fred, and I.

That’s right. I bought the majority of my own stocking stuffers, since I was out and about anyway, and I usually know what I like. I have to admit, it was pretty fun.

I don’t know that it’s all going to fit into the stocking, though!

We finally decided on what to get the spud for her big Christmas gift. A new TV. She has an ancient and crappy TV and VCR in her bedroom (we limit her TV viewing, so hush), and the TV has crappy volume control, probably because it’s a cheap piece of crap. The VCR is probably 8 years old, so Fred went out today and bought her a new TV/VCR combo. I think she’ll be surprised and like it.

I’m still curious as to whether the ex is going to get her the Playstation 2 she wants. I hope her heart isn’t set on it, because I really do think he thought she meant she wanted a Color Gameboy, which she got from him for her birthday. I suppose he could surprise me, though.

Speaking of the ex, I spent a long time (as mentioned above) wrapping presents for his side of the family, from the spud. She made soap for everyone this year, made little beaded ornaments, and they’re each getting one of her school pictures. After I was done wrapping, I hauled it all into the library, and separated it all out in piles according what was going to whom, and then looked at the sad little pile going to the ex’s side of the family compared to the pile going to my side of the family. Of course, my side of the family’s pile is going to be bigger because there are presents there from Fred and I as well, but I still felt a little guilty.

I always want EVERYONE to have LOTS of presents, y’know. Ah well.

I took my brother Randy off of my Christmas list this year. That’s right, just CROSSED HIM RIGHT OFF, and the world didn’t stop. It’s not that we don’t get along or anything – we get along just fine for the 2 hours I see him every year – but I’ve been sending him presents and cards for the last 10 years at least, for Christmas AND his birthday, and they’ve always and forever gone unacknowledged. I don’t require a reciprocal gift, because I really do enjoy the giving, but it’d be nice to know that whatever I give is being appreciated, even once.

So OFF he goes. I doubt he’ll even notice.

The weather outside? Frightful. The fire? SO delightful.


Seriously, we’ve been having some crap-ass weather ’round these parts. I think it’s been overcast and rainy for at least the past 10 days, and while it’s not raining today, it’s mighty cloudy. And I have about 30 daffodil bulbs I need to get into the ground. I think perhaps I’ll wrangle Fred into digging me a hole when he gets home from work today. Maybe. Depends on how nice he’s feeling, I s’pose. The sucky thing, anyway, is that it’s been pretty warm the last few days – 55 – 60 degrees – but it’s been raining so hard that we can’t enjoy it.

I was sound asleep this morning when Fred poked me and told me to cover my head. I did, and he told me later that Tubby and Miz Poo had been facing off over some dark object on the floor, with Tubby growling in his annoying Tubby way, so Fred turned on the light, and found that the dark object was (my guess that it was the sock filled with catnip – the GOOD catnip – and tied in a knot, but I was wrong) a little frog. Fred carried it outside and put it in the grass (and closed the door so the cats couldn’t get at it), and the cats spent the next hour sniffing at the spot on the rug where the frog had been sitting.

The mailman. It’s been a while since I bitched about him, hasn’t it? If I haven’t mentioned it – and I probably have, repeatedly – my monitor is set up so that as I sit in front of the computer, if someone is driving down our cul-de-sac, their vehicle catches my eye, and I usually glance out to see who it is.

I’m practically my own little Neighborhood Watch program all by myself.

Anyway, nine times out of ten, I’m sitting in front of the computer when the mailman comes. One day last week, I was surfing or emailing or something – who knows? – and the mailman drove up to our mailbox. He put his vehicle in park, which always means we have a package. So I sat and watched him get the package out and walk toward our front door.

Obviously, he didn’t know I was sitting there watching him.

Why do I say "obviously", you ask? Why, because as he walked across our front yard, he took the package – a small one, it was a book from Amazon – and FLUNG it up in the FUCKING AIR, and then reached out to try to catch it on it’s way down. Except that it caught some air, and flew halfway across the fucking yard before it landed on the lawn.

Nice, huh? The fucking mailman tossing my fucking package in the air. Asshole.

Then yesterday, as he brought another package to the door (in the pouring rain), I opened the door to take it from him. As he handed it to me, he suggested that we get a bigger mailbox. I half-laughed in agreement, like "Yeah, no kidding", and he insisted that we really should because, as he put it, "It would make MY job a lot easier!"

Because that’s what it’s all about, really. Making it so that his job is easier.

No, actually, we probably will get a bigger mailbox, because who wants to piss off the mailman? And I’m sure it’s annoying to him that we get 45,000 small packages every day that won’t quite fit into the mailbox. Because FUCKING AMAZON looks at where I clicked "Mail all items together please, you idiots", and decides to mail each and fucking every one of them separately. I placed an order for 10 different items near the beginning of December, and every damn one of ’em arrived in separate packages – several of them on the same day. Friggin’ Amazon.

And hell, while I’m bitching? Remind me next time we want to buy a house (which should be in about a year, if past behavior gives any indication) NOT to apply for a mortgage through a fly-by-night bank that doesn’t even HAVE it’s own mortgage department and is named "The B@nk". Because what happens is that we end up with a fly-by-night mortgage provider (I’m sure there’s another name for them), who fucking SELLS our mortgage to fucking Wells Fargo after one single, solitary month. And what happens when Wells Fucking Fargo has your mortgage? Well, apparently what happens is that Wells Fucking Fargo doesn’t make what they feel is ENOUGH from the interest you pay on your mortgage, and so every time you get a statement from them? Why, they have a CONVENIENT little form that you can sign, where they’ll AUTOMATICALLY transfer half of your mortgage payment every two weeks, and MY GOODNESS! LOOK AT OUR PIE CHART SHOWING HOW MUCH MONEY YOU WILL SAVE in the long run! Aren’t we just the MOST wonderful bank EVER, to offer such a wondrous service, aren’t we, huh?!

And waaaaaay down at the very bottom on the back of this magical form, in teeny-tiny, bitty letters, there is an itty-bitty statement telling you that this is not in FACT a free service, but something you will have to pay $7.95 per month to Wells Fucking Fargo to do. And then, under THAT, in even bittier letters, it admits that yes, PERHAPS you could do this verysame thing by, uh, writing a check for half the amount of your mortgage every two weeks and sending it to the lovely, helpful people at Wells Fargo, yes, they SUPPOSE that would work, but really, if you’re going to QUIBBLE over $7.95 per month, which would line the gold pockets of those blood-suckers at the top of the Wells Fargo food chain, perhaps you’re really Not Our Kind, Darling. Honestly. $7.95. You’re going to split hairs over that? Hard to believe. Some people can be so petty. Are you sure you can afford that house? Honestly. Be that way, then. $7.95. Look at your ass. I bet you eat $7.95 more food than you should every single day, and you’re being all picky-like because we want to make a little extra pocket change, $7.95 a month?

Amsouth, who held the mortgage on the old house never ONCE sent us ANY kind of bullshit like that, and not only are we getting this sort of stuff from Wells Fucking Fargo with the mortgage, but we’re also getting it in BETWEEN mortgage statements.