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01/30/2002

by @ Wednesday, January 30th, 2002. Filed under Life

Okay, people, am I going to have to be the one to say it? I watched the State of the Union address last night, and I immediately noticed it, so is it a conspiracy, or a cover-up, or what?

When did Dick Gephardt die? Obviously they stuffed him, propped him up in his seat, and someone was sitting under his seat with sticks attached to the back of Dick’s hands, moving them back and forth to make them clap.

And they stole Howdy Doody’s wig to top it off. A sad state of affairs when our nation’s leaders think we won’t notice something so blatant.

While I’m insulting the leaders of THIS GREAT NATION OF OURS (oh, sorry, I guess some of the speech rubbed off on me), can I mention that it looks like Teddy Kennedy has finally given up the booze?

Since I still have a ton of bills to pay and have to go through my picture albums for tomorrow’s WordGoddess collab entry (putting it off ’til the last possible moment? Moi? Surely you jest), I’m going to share a story or two about the spud and call it an entry.

Last night, I was brushing my teeth before bed when Fred came in the bathroom, laughing. He’d just come from saying goodnight to the spud. I demanded to know what he was laughing about, and he finally told me.

The spud got a fart machine from a certain someone (I’m lookin’ at you, Moira, you troublemaker!) for Christmas. The idea is that you stick the part that makes the noise under someone’s chair, and then use the little remote control to set it off. Only, instead of sticking it under someone’s chair, the spud stuck it to the front of her bedroom door. She did that a few weeks ago, and from time to time I’ll be sitting in front of the computer, or in my room reading, and hear it go off, and it always makes me laugh a little.

Well, last night as Fred approached the spud’s bedroom, she heard him coming, and set it off. When he got to the door of her room, he saw that she had taken a piece of yarn and tied the remote to the head of her bed. And she casually reached up and used the remote to set off the fart machine again.

I have no idea why, but something about that had me laughing so hard that I couldn’t breathe. It’s like some weird confirmation that she does, in fact, share my genes, and the thought of her so proudly reaching up to set off the fart machine makes me laugh my ass off. Like, it’s not enough that there’s a REMOTE for a fart machine, but that she felt such a strong urge to have it close at hand that she TIED the remote to the head of her bed.

Pardon me while I go wipe my eyes. God that just cracks me up like nothing else.

And THEN, Fred told me another fart-machine story. It appears that Monday night, while I was watching the last hour of Castaway (since Ally McBeal wasn’t on), he was in the bathtub, and the spud knocked at the door wanting to talk to him about something. He told her he was taking a bath and would be out soon, so she went back to her room. When he was done with his bath, he walked out the bedroom door, with the intent of heading for her room. He took a single step toward her room, and the fart machine, which she’d set in the corner by our bedroom door, went off, scaring the hell out of him. It appears that the thing has a MOTION DETECTOR built in, so the spud set it by our bedroom door as an alarm, so she’d know when Fred was coming out the door! A fart-machine alarm!

Now if we could just get her to use her powers for good instead of evil.

 

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01/29/2002

by @ Tuesday, January 29th, 2002. Filed under Life

::Sob:: Stephen King to leave horror writing?! Say it ain’t so, Steve!

I’ll believe it when I see it.

Just for the record, Mike Tyson is the biggest fucking idiot in the entire world. I used to feel slightly sorry for him, back when he and Robin Givens were married and she was badmouthing him all over the place RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIM on 20/20 or whichever news show it was, but now I completely feel for that girl. I bet she still has nightmares about that idiot.

The cold or flu or whatever it is is still hanging on. I’m still stuffy and fuzzy-headed, but it’s only mild, whatever it is. I hope like hell it continues to stay this mild and then goes away.

I was all over hell and creation this morning, starting with a hair appointment – color and trim – at 9 am. You know, 9 am, when I’m usually lounging in front of the computer recovering from exercising? Yeah, that 9 am. So I actually had to get up when my alarm went off at 7:25 instead of lolling in bed and cuddling with Miz Poo.

Confession: I have currently taken to calling Miz Poo "Monkeypants." I have NO fucking clue why, but I guess I’ll just go with it since it’s not hurting anyone.

Speaking of cats in general, I got out of bed yesterday morning and looked out the window. Under one of the trees in the back yard were gathered all the cats except for Miz Poo, and they were all staring at a bright red bird in the upper branches of the tree, flitting to and fro. It would have made a good picture if I’d had the camera upstairs with me.

Where was I? Oh yeah – getting up when the alarm went off. So I exercised, blahblahblah, and was out the door about 5 ’til 9. It actually takes a little longer than 5 minutes to get to the hair place, but the woman who cuts my hair is usually not quite ready for me if I get there exactly at 9, so I’ve learned to be a few minutes late.

Got my hair colored it’s usual medium brown, had about 1/4 inch cut off the ends – after a year of growing out the layers, my hair is very close to all one length. It’s about time to chop it all off again, isn’t it? – was blow-dried and styled, and on my way by about 10:30.

From there, I returned movies, checked my mail at the post office (found something from Jolene and a post card from Jolene and Heather – whee! I LOVE real mail. Have I mentioned?), hit Wal-Mart (Met-Rx Vanilla Butter Cream flavored powdered protein shake mix – I hope it doesn’t suck), the grocery store (a buttload of stuff we’ve run out of since Fred got groceries on Saturday. Or to replace stuff I’ve dropped and broken on the kitchen floor. Grrrr), home to put away the groceries, and back out again to hit Target (orange roughy, scallops, Kashi bars), Wendy’s for lunch (I DID miss a meal while I was out running around, you know), and home again.

And all this while feeling under the weather. Go, me!

Oh, man. It’s practically the end of January, and I haven’t even thought about starting my WordGoddess collab for January. I guess you know what tomorrow’s entry will be about… And I need to pay bills. And vacuum both upstairs and downstairs. I swear, it seems like the more I do, the more I need to do.

I need a nap.

 

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01/28/2002

by @ Monday, January 28th, 2002. Filed under Life

Signs of spring:


Daffodils beginning to grow


Tubby sniffing the air for food


Spanky waiting under the tree for a bird to fall into his lap.

We actually did go out Saturday morning and look for a new table for the kitchen, to my great surprise and happiness. The first store we went into had a table we liked a lot, but since it’s usually not a good idea to buy the first acceptable piece of furniture that you find, we checked out three other stores. And ended up buying the first table. They’re going to deliver it next Tuesday, and I can’t wait!

Getting excited about furniture – isn’t that one of the signs that you’ve become a grownup?

We watched Rock Star Saturday night, and it was really an entertaining little movie. Fred thinks Mark Wahlberg just looks like a really nice guy, but to me, he seems to have true asshole potential – I’m not sure why I think he does, but every time I see him I think it. Which isn’t to say that I dislike him – I’ve liked most of the movies he’s done – but I wouldn’t want him dating someone I liked. I spent a large part of the movie saying "I think that’s Jason Bonham. No, wait – I think THAT’s Jason Bonham… I think that’s Zakk Wylde!" I’d recognized both the names during opening credits, but had to finally check out IMDB to figure out who was who. I’d expected Jason Bonham to be a skinny geek, but apparently I got him mixed up with someone else.

Anyway. A really pleasant way to pass the evening.

On the other end of the spectrum, I sat down Sunday morning and watched Bully. You see, years ago I rented and watched Kids, because the buzz about it was that Harmony Korine – who wrote it with Larry Clark – was the Next Big Shit. I watched it, hated it, and went on to live my life. When I saw that Bully was coming out on video, I decided to rent it because the story – kids kill a bully – sounded like it had possibilities. I didn’t realize that it was directed by Larry Clark.

God in heaven. What a friggin’ trainwreck. It was like I had no control over my eyes – I kept watching it to the very bitter end, and MY GOD did it suck. Every kid in the movie walked around naked at one point or another, and Larry Clark’s gotta be the biggest perv that ever lived – in one shot, Bijou Phillips (The Most Annoying Little Girl in the World) sat down, and Larry Clark decided to train the camera between her (clothed, thankyajeezus) thighs for a long 20 seconds.

If you ever see that tape in the movie store, run as far and fast as you can in the other direction. Trust me. That’s, like, two hours I’ll never get back, and I’ll be cursing Larry Clark’s name for it while I’m on my deathbed.

I think I’m getting either a cold or the flu. I sneezed several times yesterday, and started getting stuffed-up and very tired. I feel a little better today, but not quite 100% – I could use a nap or two. I guess, since I haven’t been sick in about two years, I can’t complain much.

But I am going to go take a nap. See y’all tomorrow!

 

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01/25/2002

by @ Friday, January 25th, 2002. Filed under Life

I’m so horribly behind on my email, y’all. If you’ve emailed me in the last two weeks and I haven’t responded, I’m not ignoring just you, I’m ignoring ALL my email. I’m going to do my veryveryvery best to get caught up on it this weekend. I promise!

I was 75 pages into a Lisa Scottoline book last night when I realized I’d read it before. It had seemed kind of familiar as I read along, but I came upon one certain paragraph – a somewhat pivotal plot point – and the entire plot came back to me in a rush.

I hate it when that happens.

So I put the book up and was looking for another one to start, when I picked up a Sue Miller book. I always read the flyleaf to see what the story’s about, and wouldn’t you know? I already read the damn book. I can even remember where I was when I read most of it – sitting at the spud’s soccer game a couple of years ago.

I was up and out of the house by 9 this morning, because I needed to buy a few things at the grocery store (and stop at McDonald’s for my Friday morning Egg McMuffin and Diet Coke). I wandered about the store picking up this and that, and then went to check out. While I was standing in line, the old guy standing in front of me glanced at me and did a big double-take. I gave him my patented "What? You’ve never seen a fat chick before?" look, and then proceeded to ignore him.

When it was my turn to check out, the cashier smiled and said "Hi! How’re you?", looking up as she did so.

And then she did the double-take. I smiled coolly – honest to GOD, I HAVE LOST 125 POUNDS! I’M NOT THE FATTEST WOMAN IN THE CITY ANYMORE!, I thought to myself – and completed the transaction.

As I was walking out to the parking lot, I looked down into my purse, trying to find my keys. And that’s when I realized what everyone had been looking at.

A couple of buttons on my brand-spankin’-new, never-before-worn shirt had popped open, you see. And Mildred and Myrtle were hanging out merrily in their very sheer bright yellow bra, waving at all and sundry.


Nice start to the day, yes indeed. Needless to say, I came home and sewed the buttons on tighter. Hopefully we won’t be having that problem again anytime soon.

While I’m sharing pictures, I found one yesterday that cracked me up.

See the head in the second window? Know who that belongs to? Dave Barry. Years ago, Debbie and I went to see the Rock Bottom Remainders in Portland – they were benefiting some charity or another. The important thing, to me at least, was that STEPHEN KING was going to be onstage singing and playing the guitar.

As the concert started, I said "They’re not bad!", and Debbie look at me like I was crazy and said "They SUCK!!"

Okay. Maybe they weren’t GOOD, but they didn’t suck, either. Not totally.

After the concert, we went and got the car out of the parking garage, and parked across the street from the theater – there was a hotel directly across the street, and we were parked in front of the hotel. We saw some activity at the back entrance, as Dave Barry and other people – possibly Amy Tan among them – signed autographs and talked to people. I was looking elsewhere for a second, when Debbie said "Um…"

I looked up, and Stephen and Tabitha King walked RIGHT in front of the car, headed for the hotel. My jaw dropped and I gaped at him like the idiot I am. Up the street, a guy yelled "Mr. King! Can I get you to sign this for me?!", and without looking at him, Stephen King yelled back "Sorry, I don’t do that!", and he and Tabitha disappeared into the hotel.

Thisclose to my car, he was!

Over at the theater, Dave Barry and a bunch of other people got into a van and took off, driving by us. I got the above picture as they drove by us, and then we turned around and started following them. They stopped at a convenience store for beer, and Mike (Debbie’s ex) went in and said something like "Good show!" to whomever it was in there (not Dave Barry). We followed them for a while after they left the convenience store, and then we either lost them, got bored, or they went somewhere we couldn’t go. I don’t remember.

It’s not like STEPHEN KING was in the van, after all.

Friday Five:

1. What cologne or perfume do you wear? Right now my current favorite is BCBGirls Star, which I got for Christmas. I also adore Sand and Sable, and Dark Vanilla. I have a lot of different perfume, though, and I wear them all from time to time. If they made a perfume that smells like Yankee Candle’s Buttercream, I’d for sure want that.

2. What cologne or perfume do you like best on the opposite sex? Fred’s started using some Nivea aftershave moisturizing something-or-other that I really like, but I couldn’t tell you what it’s called, ’cause I haven’t a clue. Personally, I like the smell of his skin, particularly the back of his neck, but he thinks that’s weird.

3. What one smell can you not stomach? The smell of cat poo as I go upstairs. If I can smell it as I’m walking upstairs, that means the Mad Shitter has been at it again. The bastard.

4. What smell do you like that others might consider weird? Aside from the smell of the back of Fred’s neck, I kind of like Miz Poo’s fishy breath. Something about it is comforting to me. Shut up.

5. How do you plan to spend your weekend? Aside from the wild monkey sex, you mean? I’m going to do my best to respond to the 100ish emails in my inbox, start sanding the toybox I’ve been meaning to repaint for the last year, and hopefully drag Fred out to look for a new kitchen table. If he doesn’t go shopping with me for it this weekend, I’m going to shop for it myself, and trust me – he won’t like what I end up coming home with. Hear me, you?!

In closing, I leave you with this link, which has me laughing my ass off. For future readers, or if you don’t want to click on the link, here’s the lowdown: the mayor of a small Florida town has come up with a proclamation banishing Satan from her town. And the ACLU says it will file a federal lawsuit unless the proclamation is repealed. Separation of church and state and all that. It’s got to warm Satan’s black heart to know SOMEONE out there is willing to go to bat for him.

"Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz"

 

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01/24/2002

by @ Thursday, January 24th, 2002. Filed under Life

I just spent four hours cleaning the house from top to bottom. Well, really more like three and a half, since I took a half hour break for breakfast. But the house is shining clean – hell, I even mopped the floors! It’s been a really long time since I did that, and I actually had to dump out the bucket of water halfway through the dining room/ kitchen area, because it got so dirty. I guess that makes sense, since that’s about the highest-traffic area in the house, but it was pretty nasty to see. I guess I need to do it a little more often, huh?

I used wood floor cleaner on the (can you guess?!) hardwood floors in the foyer, hallway, and library. They’re shiny and pretty again, save the one set of kitty paw prints running down the middle of the hallway. I wonder who could have done that?

So, when I wrote about falling the other day, Debbie emailed me and reminded me about yet another falling incident I’d forgotten to mention.

We were living together in a duplex on Goddard Street in Lisbon Falls, while the ex was stationed in South Carolina. It was in the winter, and there was a ton of snow and ice out, and we were going somewhere. I’m pretty sure Debbie was driving, because I usually made her drive – I’d be a happy camper if I never had to drive anywhere again; not that I dislike driving, but I’d rather be in the passenger seat so I can look around. We were taking my car, and Debbie was sitting in the car already, waiting for me to get my ass in gear. I walked along the icy sidewalk toward the car, and as Debbie always puts it, "One second you were there, and the next you weren’t!" – I slipped on the ice and fell flat on my ass.

That duplex on Goddard Street (should you ever make it to Lisbon Falls, well, first you have my sympathy, but if you turn onto Goddard Street from Main Street, it’s the first house on the right – not the one facing Main Street, the first one facing Goddard Street, and we lived in the duplex on the right side if you’re facing it) was such a shithole, I can’t believe we lived there for two years.

The spud was 4 1/2 when we first moved in, which means that Brian would have been around 1 1/2.

"Brian, take that rah-rah out of your mouth!"

Debbie had a job the first summer we lived there, so I watched Brian while she worked, and Brian very much took after his Auntie Rahbah (what he called me) with the falling stuff. Once, I was sitting in the living room, and he started tumbling down the stairs. I ran over and caught him by his foot. That wasn’t the only time he fell – there were one or two other times while we lived there, and I know he fell down the stairs at my parents’ house – but thank god, he was never hurt.

The duplex had a basement with a dirt floor, where the washer and dryer were. As the summer went on and it got hotter, the basement started to smell kind of funny. We joked about how there must be bodies buried down there, and once when the landlord’s wife came by to pick up the rent check, we made a joke, and she and her daughter got all freaked out. In retrospect, their reaction seems MIGHTY suspicious.

Next to the washer and dryer, there was a sink that the water from the washer drained into. After we’d been living there for a while, the sink didn’t drain as well as it had, and eventually, the sink would fill with – are you ready for this? – raw fucking sewage as something in the sewer line got clogged up. It would fill the sink entirely up, sit for a while, and then spontaneously drain.

And we wondered why it smelled funny down there.

There was no disposal in the kitchen, and you don’t realize how much food waste two adults and two somewhat picky kids get rid of in a week until you don’t have a disposal. We tried just dumping the food remains in the trash, but after the first week, when we went into the shed behind (attached to) the house, where we kept the garbage and found a lovely mass of flies and maggots. After that, we kept the food scraps in a big plastic container in the fridge, and when it got full, we’d dump it on my dad’s mulch pile behind their house, or find a big dumpster to toss it all in.

The sink in the kitchen was always stopping up, requiring repeated plungings with the toilet plunger. I remember clearly at least once, after getting the fucking sink unplugged, while Debbie was sitting on the front porch with a friend, I flung open the front door and bellowed "I CAN’T WAIT TO GET THE HELL OUT OF THIS SHITHOLE!"

And I can bellow pretty loudly, y’all. Just ask Himself.

The aforementioned shed was pretty damn big, and we kept a bunch of stuff stored back there. Once, I cleaned it out and held a big-ass garage sale at my parents’ house with the stuff I was getting rid of, and cleared over $200.

I didn’t have y’all to give it all away to back then, you know.

Next to the living room and kitchen was the dining room – if you think of the downstairs as a box divided into 4 squares, the two on the left were the foyer (front) and kitchen (back); the two on the right were the living room (front) and dining room (back). The dining room ended up being more of a toyroom for the kids, as I recall, and I don’t think we actually ate at the table very often.

The living room was small, but big enough for a couple of couches and a recliner (which eventually died and had to be hauled to the dump) and a small entertainment center. On the walls was cheap and crappy-looking wood paneling.


(You don’t know any of these people) See the crappy walls? The couch on the left is actually a love seat, which I got rid of after some time, and put a couch in it’s place. On the walls, you’ll see a poster of the US (on the left) and a poster entitled "Signs of the Times" (on the right). Over the windows hung multi-colored swags with mickey mouse heads on them. We were so fucking cool.

There was no downstairs bathroom, which ended up being a HUGE pain in the ass. The spud would be out playing with Brian and the neighborhood kids and wait until she REALLY had to pee before coming inside, and by the time she’d make it upstairs, she couldn’t get her pants down fast enough, and she’d wind up peeing on the floor in front of the toilet.

The carpeted floor, with carpet that didn’t come up.


Taken at a later time, this is the couch I bought at the Salvation Army to replace the loveseat. I had also gotten rid of the other curtains and bought red, white and black mickey mouse head curtains. See the pillow I’m holding on my lap, attempting to hide behind? I made that from the old curtains.

Upstairs were three bedrooms and the bathroom. One bathroom, four people. Shades of my youth…

I got the biggest bedroom because, I believe, I "called" it. I think the walls were light purple, but I may be making that up. My bedroom was next to the bathroom. Next to my room was the room the kids shared, and next to that, at the top of the stairs, was Debbie’s room.

But Debbie carries some weird gene my mother passed on to her, and always preferred for some weird-ass reason to sleep on the couch downstairs. The blue couch on the right-hand side of that picture above was Debbie’s couch. I don’t think she slept in her room more than twice in the entire time we lived there. Loooord did I hate walking down those stairs in the morning to see her sound asleep on the couch. I have no idea why I hated it so much – probably because of my anal belief that a LIVING ROOM IS NOT A BEDROOM, DEBORAH.

I’ve since loosened up. Really!


Here’s another shot of the living room. That’s Liz in the doorway – she was about to get married (not in that dress, though). You’ll note that the "Signs of the Times" poster is gone, replaced by a Kramer poster.

The spud wasn’t accustomed to sharing a room with anyone, least of all her younger cousin, and for the first few months, after we put them to bed and were sitting in the living room watching TV, she’d come to the top of the stairs and yell "Brian keeps WATCHING ME, and I can’t go to sleep!", and Debbie would yell at Brian to stop staring at the spud, and I’d yell at the spud to turn away so she couldn’t see Brian staring at her.

Sometimes Debbie would go out on Thursday nights, and I’d stay home with the kids. She’d wait ’til the kids were in bed before leaving, but somehow Brian ALWAYS knew when she was going out, and after she left, he’d come crying to the top of the stairs, and despite my repeated attempts to get him to stay in his room, he’d always end up there, so I started letting him sit up there until he fell asleep, when I’d carry him to bed.


The spud, Brian, and neighborhood kids on the porch of Dive Central.

There are about a thousand more stories I could tell about the Shithole on Goddard Street, but this entry has gone wickedly long, and I know Debbie’ll have stories to contribute, so I shall save the rest for another day.

 

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01/23/2002

by @ Wednesday, January 23rd, 2002. Filed under Life

Big thanks to reader Denise in Georgia, who sent me Killing Critics. I love me some Carol O’Connell, indeed I do.

When I was bitching about cashmere sweaters and wondering why they were so expensive, someone should have pointed me to this entry of Willa’s. It all makes sense now!

I spent hours and hours out of the house today, which is highly unusual for me, so this won’t be a terribly long entry.

I left the house around 10:30, with the hopes of being back shortly before 1, picking up a salad and grilled chicken salad on the way home for lunch. I hit Sam’s first, because we needed tablets for the dishwasher (Electrasol – I use nothing else. Nothing, I say!) and shrimp (how sad is it that the best shrimp I can find in the area is the frozen shrimp from Sam’s?). To the utter shock and dismay of all the Sam’s stockholders out there, the only thing I bought was a big-ass refill bottle of Windex, because we go through it like water around here for some reason. I picked up and ultimately put back both The Millionaires and Basket Case, since they’re both on my wish list. Upon checking the prices on Amazon, though, I’m thinking I should go back and buy them, because they’re $4 cheaper.

Sam’s rocks. Just so you know.

After leaving Sam’s, I went to the mall, hit the bathroom, checked out the Hallmark store, and went into Lane Bryant, which was the entire reason I was there. Moira sent me some really pretty bras for Christmas (how cool is she?!), and I needed to exchange one of them. Since I’ve lost weight, I don’t wear the largest size in that store anymore – though to be honest, I think I wore a larger size than they even carry in their stores – and I ended up wasting over an hour in there, looking around, picking out bras, going through every bra on the sale rack to find the right size, and trying stuff on. I ended up with several bras and a couple of shirts, all on sale, and after fending off the salesclerk’s attempt to convince me I need new underwear ("Oh, I just bought some at Christmas!" <—lie) and get me to apply for a Lane Bryant card ("Oh, I have one! I just didn’t bring it with me!" <— lie), I headed back to the other end of the mall to buy some cards at the other Hallmark store, use the bathroom (3 liters of water will do that to you), eyeball the Godiva stand, and then I was out of there.

At this point, I’d blown the "home by 1" plan, because it was already 1:20. I called Fred and bitched to him about the fact that I wear one size on the bottom and another on the top (I’m apparently built like a linebacker), and headed for Target. I was looking through the Valentine’s t-shirts, when a woman came running up to me, looking all serious and concerned. I thought for a second she was perhaps a reader (I have a few in the area), but she was asking for money for Brittany someone, a little girl with leukemia (or was it AIDs?) I hadn’t one single solitary dollar on me, and I apologized, and she moved on.

That’s right. I apologized to some woman who came up to me in Target and wanted money.

I went back to looking at the shirts, and a moment later someone in a Target smock went by, obviously looking for someone.

That’s about the time it occurred to me that Target wouldn’t be terribly happy about someone walking around the store asking for money.

She was breaking the rules! And I apologized to her. I’m such a nice girl.

I ended up buying two of the Valentine’s t-shirts, which were marked at $7.99, but rang up for $5 each. Score!

Then I was off to look for long johns for Fred, the crazyman who goes jogging no matter the weather, but oddly, the only long johns they had were in Small or XL, and Himself wears neither of those sizes.

My last stop was in the section with the phones, where I stood and stared at the various selections for about ten minutes before making up my mind which phone to get.

By the time I left Target, it was 2:00, and since I hadn’t had anything but a shake after working out this morning, I was mighty hungry. I stopped at Wendy’s for my grilled chicken sandwich and big-ass salad, came home, and ate.

I’m having the worst luck finding a phone for the living room. When we moved here, we had a cordless phone/ answering machine combo that sat on the table next to the couch, but it started holding a charge for less and less time, even after I bought a new battery for it. So I bought an answering machine, and brought the cordless phone that had been in our bedroom downstairs. That died shortly after too (we got both phones at the same time), and so last week I went to Wal-Mart and bought a cordless phone/ answering machine combo for a low LOW price.

You know that saying "You get what you pay for"? It’s true. The phone sucks, it’s all staticky, no matter how many times you change the channel it’s on. So I bought a (I hope) more powerful one (2.4 ghz as opposed to 900 mhz) at Target today, and I’m hoping like hell it works well. If it doesn’t, I’m about ready to get a non-cordless phone for next to the couch, and call it good enough.

For someone who loathes talking on the phone, I sure am jumping through hoops to make sure we have a decent one, aren’t I?

I think I lied about this being a short entry.

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01/22/2002

by @ Tuesday, January 22nd, 2002. Filed under Life

So. I have a question, fellow Ally McBeal watchers. If no one but Harvey believed that he would truly fly, why then was the ambulance parked on the OTHER side of the river? Anyone? Bueller? And how come the EMTs only worked on him for 30 seconds before giving up? It’s not like that on ER.

Yeah, I know. It’s just a show.

Oh man, speaking of TV shows, I comPLETEly forgot to mention the fact that during Temptation Island last week, they felt it necessary to show a commercial for some medicine that treats genital warts. Damn, that cracked me up. Where was the commercial for condoms, you’ve gotta wonder.

Did you know that adding 4 or 5 drops of Visine to someone’s food will give them almost instant diarrhea? NO, I don’t know this from experience – I heard it on the radio when I was working out Saturday morning. Apparently it gives you sudden can’t-make-it-to-the-bathroom diarrhea – is this true? Can anyone out there confirm it for me? Inquiring minds, they want to know, y’know.

I’m a klutz. Have I ever mentioned this? A total, total klutz. In fact, when I was a child, my mother nicknamed me "Grace", and would call me by that name whenever I did something particularly klutzy.

As a result of lifelong klutziness, I’ve learned to be careful in potentially dangerous situations. For instance, any time I pick up a large knife to chop something in the kitchen, the thought Man, it would really suck to stab myself in the eye – along with a happy little visual of such a thing happening – flashes through my head, as a sort of reminder not to forget that I’m holding a knife. Don’t shake your head at me – I once accidentally stabbed myself in the eye with a toothpick. If an act of idiotic klutziness can be thought of, I’ve probably performed it.

When I’m at the top of our stairs, the thought MAN would it suck to fall down those stairs. I bet I’d break my neck goes through my mind – I have a history (if two incidences can be called a history, and I think it can) of falling down stairs, so that one is understandable.

When I have to use the hammer to hammer a nail into the wall, I think to myself Wouldn’t it suck if I was swinging the hammer and accidentally brained Miz Poo? Poor Miz Poo! That would really hurt her! Yes, you’ve guessed it – I once accidentally smacked my childhood dog Taffy with a hammer, though it was on her side, and not her head. Poor Taffy. Even thinking of the way she yelped makes me cringe to this day. She wasn’t seriously hurt though, thank god, but I don’t think she completely trusted me ever again.

As a result of all these little warning-type thoughts, I’m very careful when I have a big knife, go down the stairs, and hold a hammer. I’m also very careful to hold the jar of mayo with both hands, because if it hits the tiled floor, it’ll shatter, and I don’t relish the thought of stepping on one of the resultant shards of glass in three months. In fact, I’m pretty careful with most glass objects in the kitchen. I guess you could say that that little voice of warning in my head makes me more careful when I need to be, and is probably the main reason I’m still alive and kicking today.

The problem comes when I’m in a situation that the voice doesn’t recognize as being potentially dangerous. After going out to get the mail one day last week, I walked back inside the house and into the computer room, with the intent of walking across the room to my desk, whereupon I planned to sit down and check my email.

They pay Ah-nuld millions to perform death-defying feats like that, you know.

Two feet inside the room, all was well. I glanced through my stack of mail while I walked, confident that since I’d done this 24,067 times before, there’d be no problem this time around. I passed the edge of Fred’s desk, and lifted my right foot to step over the small space heater sitting and glowing evilly in the center of the floor:

"I waaaaant to huuuuurt youuuuuuu..."

I glanced down at a bill as I lifted my foot, and stepped over the heater, and my slipper caught on the edge of the heater, which was just enough to unbalance me. For the next fifteen minutes (or so it felt) I fell down, hitting my hip on Fred’s BIG FUCKING CHAIR and my shoulder on the corner of his desk. My head missed the corner of the file cabinet by mere inches, and I thus avoided being struck on the temple and dying immediately. (It would totally suck for the spud to come home from school one day and find me dead on the floor, don’t you think?)

Unlike people who fall on TV and in the movies, when I fall, I don’t scream on the way down – I’m completely silent, because everything seems to kick into a slow surreality, and the fall always lasts long enough for me to think I can’t believe I’m FUCKING FALLING DOWN.

When I was done falling, Miz Poo came chirruping from the other room to check me over, and I sat up, tearing the cover off of Oprah, and swearing a blue streak. I was pissed – pissed that I had fallen, pissed because I knew that Fred (after making sure I was okay) was going to laugh his ass off, and pissed that THAT FUCKING HEATER WAS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FLOOR.

So what if I was the one who left it there? That’s not the POINT.

I swore at the heater, and moved it from the middle of the floor to the side of the room, setting it down very roughly to teach it a lesson. Damn thing.

It took probably half an hour for me to become amused at how funny I must have looked – god knows I’m always the first one laughing at myself – and to call Fred and tell him about it.

Aside from a sore neck, I was fine the next day.

The guardian angel of klutzes must be watching over me.

 

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01/21/2002

by @ Monday, January 21st, 2002. Filed under Life

Friday Five:

1. What do you have your browser start page set to? Google, because I use it 50 times a day to search on stupid things. If I get bored, I search on phrases that come to mind, or on the names of people I went to high school with.

2. What are your favorite news sites? Honest to god, I never read the news. If something big is going on, Fred will send me a link or call me. If I want to find out more information on a current news event, I might check out CNN or MSNBC, or even one of the local news stations’ web page.

3. Favorite search engine? Google. Is there anything else?

4. When did you first get online? January 1996, after buying a decrepit 286 from my friend Liz’s then-(asshole) husband, for $50. There was something wrong with it so that I couldn’t install Prodigy, so I ended up signing up with a local BBS (I was in Rhode Island at the time) and getting online that way. From there, I stumbled, somehow, on to mIRC, and spent probably 18 hours a day chatting. I gave that computer to my Dad when the spud and I moved to Alabama, and going from that computer to a halfway decent one – ie, Fred’s – was like night and day. I spent all day long on mIRC while he was at work, before I got a job, which finally spurred him to add a second phone line. Poor Fred. Now I hardly ever go on chat.

5. How do you plan to spend your weekend? I planned to do pretty much what I always plan to do – a whole lotta nothing. In fact, I stayed away from the computer except for about an hour Sunday night, because I wanted to get caught up on my magazine reading, which I did. I also watched The Stand with Fred and the spud on Saturday and Sunday, and we’ll finish it up today. I think they did an excellent job on the miniseries, but they could have used some help with the casting – Laura San Giacomo as Nadine was about the worst thing they could have done. Gary Sinise was a great choice for Stu, but Molly fucking RINGWALD as Fran? I think not. And didn’t they read the book? Didn’t they know that Harold was supposed to be fat? Of course, the funny thing about all my bitching is that I’m sure Stephen King had a hand in the casting, and he was probably thrilled to get Laura San Giacomo as Nadine, but I just can’t stand her – she really rubs me the wrong way and is the sole reason I don’t watch Just Shoot Me. Just so you know.

* * *

Here would be yet another attempt at getting a picture of Miz Poo and I, using the self-timer on the camera:

Miz Poooooooo.... Miz Pooooooo....

She looks a tad disgusted, doesn’t she? I shall not stop until I get a good picture of the two of us!

* * *

So, I spent most of Friday feeling kind of sad. I guess it started Thursday night, when I watched Temptation Island, and got mad at everyone on there, because they’re all such idiots. I mean, why do I watch this show? It pisses me off, every time. The guys see that the girls are having fun, and it ticks them off, so they decide that THEY are going to "raise the bar," which will only piss off the girls when they see what’s going on, and on and on it goes. Just a bunch of idiots, is what they are. And the female singles get all possessive of the guys and trash-talk about the girlfriends, and I just don’t get that.

Gah.

And then Friday morning I settled down to watch Glitter, with the full intent – as I mentioned – of making fun of it, but you know what? I just don’t have the heart. Mariah Carey obviously put her heart into that film, and tried her hardest, and it’s just a bad, bad movie. Not even campy bad – just bad. The only redeeming quality being that she didn’t hit those high, screechy notes more than a few times, for which my ears thank her.

As I mentioned about in the Friday Five, I caught up on my magazines this weekend. In one of them, US, I saw the scariest and most bewildering sight ever:

Holy crap. What was she thinking?! Probably "If a little cleavage is good, the whole damn boob is even better!"

Wrong on that one, Brigitte. Trust me.

 

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01/17/2002

by @ Thursday, January 17th, 2002. Filed under Life

So, the guys came and built the shed in our back yard today:

Everything in the garage that isn’t weightlifting or cardio related is going into the shed. And I get this feeling there’ll be an assload of room left over in there. I suggested that we run a power line out there for the spud when she hits her obnoxious teen stage. The cats freaked out all morning long, especially a certain Portly Poo:

"what the?"

who sat on the table all morning long and stared at the guys out there working.

She came looking for love at one point, and I tried to get a picture of the two of us, using the self-timer, but she was too agitated to sit still:

For the record, I don’t know why my tongue was sticking out like that.

Notice how my statement yesterday about how I wasn’t going to use the new camera again until I got the rechargeable battery for it kind of fell by the wayside?

I love me some messing around with the camera.

Did y’all know there’s going to be one last-ditch attempt to grab some Survivor ratings with tonight’s showing of Survivor: Home from Africa? And then we have to wait until the end of February to see the next one. That’s okay, though, because Temptation Island is back on the air after something like a one-month break, and you know how I love the cheesy reality shows. I’m an addict!

Speaking of cheesy, can you believe I actually rented Glitter this week? My intent is to watch and mock it mercilessly, but I wonder if I’ll get much more than ten minutes into it.

Okay, that’s it for today. See y’all tomorrow!

 

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01/16/2002

by @ Wednesday, January 16th, 2002. Filed under Life

So, I’m taking time lately to read through my pile of magazines – they pile up pretty quickly – and last night I was reading "Ladies’ Home Journal" or "Rosie", I don’t remember which, and there was an article written by this woman who has lupus, about how people can’t see her disability, so they think she’s a big faker when she parks in the handicapped zone and so forth.

At the end of the article, she mentions that she doesn’t know how to respond when people ask "How are you?", whether she should say "I’d have to feel a lot better to feel rotten!", or "Hanging in there!", or what. Here’s the thing, and correct me if I’m wrong, y’all – when people say "How are you?", they don’t really want to know. It’s just a way of acknowledging that they see you and being polite. When someone says "How are you?", the correct response is always going to be "Good! How are you?", and never "Well, my hemorrhoids are really bothering me, and I haven’t had sex in a week, and I had onions for lunch, and I keep burping them up. What about you?" Not unless it’s someone you’re very close to, like your husband or best friend.

Also in "Rosie" is this column where people write in with questions to "The Mom Squad" – three mothers who give their own answer. This month’s Mom Squad (I’m pretty sure they rotate the moms) consisted of Judge Glenda Hatchett, Deborah Norville, and Joanna Kerns. The question that got me was (paraphrased) this one: "I need to lose 30 pounds, and my 9 year-old son continually tells me I’m fat. I want him to be able to express himself, but he’s hurting my feelings. What do I do?"

Gee, mom. I don’t know. Ever hear of "Shut up, Junior, that’s rude, and the next time you say it, you’re going to your room for the rest of the day"? Why is this woman even asking for advice on this – is she completely clueless? How is telling someone she’s fat repeatedly expressing oneself? Don’t people teach their kids that it’s not necessary to say whatever they think, whenever they think it anymore?

Ah well.

I was snoozing peacefully this morning some time after 6, when I heard the crash-bang sound of two cats running into a door or something. When Fred woke me up before he left for work, he told me the story of what had happened.

It appears that Fred was in the bathroom, and Tubby was sitting on front of the food dish (which you’ll recall is a few feet in front of the toilet), eating. Spot was sitting on the edge of the bathtub, which he apparently does every morning while Fred’s getting ready for work. Next to the toilet sits a magazine (yeah, yeah – pretend like YOU don’t read on the toilet, ya big liar), and as Tubby was happily eating, the magazine fell over. Which Tubby saw out of the corner of his eye, and to which he responded by jumping up in the air in what we call his "popcorn jump" – because he looks like a big, fat popcorn kernel popping. For a fat cat, he can get some serious height on his jumps. Spot then ran directly into the cupboards at the end of the tub, recovered after a second, and then hauled ass out the bathroom door. When Tubby landed back on the ground, he ran in place on one of the bathroom rugs, as it bunched up behind him, and then he got enough traction to run onto the OTHER bathroom rug, which did the same thing, finally got traction and ran toward the bathroom door, hitting his ass on the frame as he ran through it.

There’s just nothing funnier in this world than a startled cat. Unless it’s several startled cats.

Speaking of cats, I opened the back door briefly (thanks to everyone who suggested putting in a cat door – I’m trying to talk Himself into it) last night, and the cats went out and wandered about for a while. When it started to get cold inside, I went to the door. Fancypants and Spanky will come running when they see me at the door because they know I’m usually about to shut it. Miz Poo, on the other hand, runs away from the door, because she wants to stay outside. Fred tried calling her in, until I said "Just let her stay out there and she’ll be ready to come in after we eat dinner."

Two hours later, as I moseyed from the computer room to the living room, I heard the most pitiful-sounding meow, and I remembered that I’d never let poor Miz Poo in after dinner.

Oops!

So I let her in, and believe you me – she told me how it was for the next fifteen minutes, following me around, howling her fool head off, and insisting that I give her some ear-scratching love.

Poor Poo.

So, I took a bunch of pictures yesterday with the new camera, but here’s the sucky thing. It doesn’t come with a rechargeable battery, only a couple of wimpy-ass AA batteries, and in the course of trying out the camera yesterday I wore out three – yes, THREE – sets of batteries. I headed for Ebay and bid (and won!) a rechargeable battery for the camera, which should be winging it’s way here as I type. Therefore, I leave you with the best picture I took yesterday, which will hopefully tide you over until I get my long-lasting battery.

You see, the camera has a self-timer on it, which I find prettydamncool. So I set it, and then yelled at Fred to come hurry up and stand next to me and have his picture taken. In his haste, he ran head-first into the light hanging from the ceiling of the library.

"Duhhhhhh..."

Is it just me, or does he look like he’s not quite there?

Speaking of looking not quite there, I took this picture today just before the batteries died – and keep in mind that a) I didn’t style my hair in the slightest, and b) I used the flash, so I’m usually not quite that white. I present to you, Freakypoo:

Bitchypoo? Or is it Witchypoo?

A tad freakish, no? Frizzy hair, wickedly white hair, and a big ol’ hook nose. Not the most flattering picture, ya think?

 

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[Bitchypoo is peeing-her-pants excited to be powered by WordPress.]