From our house looking down the street. Everything’s much greener than it was back in April, you’ll notice. I love that yellow house to the side. I don’t know what that plant is called, but I always refer to it as “That big pile of wheat”. I can only imagine the bugs living in there… (note: I’m told it’s called Pampas Grass. You learn something every day, don’tcha?) Down another street. The Crepe Myrtle to the right (by the garbage bag) always has a big, nasty pile of Japanese Beetles underneath it. Gah. Last year, there was a lot more water in this river thingy, and there were even fish living in the water. No fish this year, though. See those kids standing there? The sidewalk that goes off to the right behind them leads to the scary walkway I walk down most days. This yard is still my favorite, especially now with all the stuff flowering, and the gorgeous green of the lawn. There’s this Dachsund who lives somewhere in the neighborhood, and I call him (or her) “Weinerdog”. This is where I usually see Weinerdog, trotting down this sidewalk. No Weinerdog today, though. Weinerdog, where are you? Not in our subdivision, but nearby, there’s this road with small, older houses, sitting on a ton of land. I’m jealous of how much land they all have, and I bet with the Yuppification of Madison, that land is worth a pretty penny. There’s this little pond of water at the corner of two roads I walk on, and it’s about two feet deep. There are two bullfrogs (“Hallo, Clarice”) who live in this little pond, and the other day when I walked by, I noticed that there are fish living there now, too. A main part of my walk is down this street. I like the sidewalk, but hate the traffic, because it’s hard to hear the book I’m listening to (currently, The Talisman). I walk by this new subdivision-in-construction most every day, too. I wish they’d start building the houses, because I’m curious to see what they’re going to look like. The scary walkway. See all that overgrown foliage on the right side? I’m always afraid someone’s going to jump out of it and grab me. The scary, overgrown foliage. This is another neighborhood I walk through occasionally. It leads to the hill that kicks my ass. The bottom part of the hill that kicks my ass… And the top part of the hill. The problem with ass-kicking hills is that they never photograph well. Halfway up the hill, there’s a street that turns off to the right. I walk down this street instead of going to the top of the hill sometimes. This part of this subdivision always reminds me of Gatlinburg, because it’s hilly and quiet, and there are lots of trees. Another of my favorite yards – there’s a groundhog that lives in this yard somewhere, but he wasn’t around today. I’m always afraid he’s going to run out in front of my Jeep and I’ll run him over, which would suck. Fred loves this house, because it’s so big and imposing. A cool shot of the sun coming through the clouds down the street from our house.]]>


After Fred brought the groceries in, Tubby decided that he needed to sit and guard the bag of cat food. Getting impatient, because Fred hadn’t carried the bag of food upstairs and poured some fresh food for his majesty, Tubby started bitching “Give me food, damnit!” This is the reason it takes me a long time to write entries some days. She looks so damn comfortable, how could I possibly disturb her sleep? Friday Five. This week’s questions are focused toward those who have weblogs, but I’m going to change “weblog” to “journal” and answer the questions that way. 1. How long have you had a [journal]? It will be three years in October, which just amazes me. Before I started the journal, I thought for sure I’d run out of things to talk about after about a week – imagine my shock when I think about the fact that I’ve posted 5 days a week for most of the life of my journal. 2. What was your first post about? It was a basic “welcome to my journal” post, followed by a bitch about my parents, who were going to come visit for 10 lonnnng days. 3. How many changes (name, location, etc.) of your [journal] have there been, if more than one? I’ve only changed the directory so that you can go straight to bitchypoo.com and not have to go to bitchypoo.com/bitchypoo.html. I’ve thought about changing the name once or twice – I always thought “The Bitch Factor” would be a good name – but since the domain is bitchypoo.com and I don’t want to have to deal with moving shit around and buying a new domain and all that. When I bought RobynAnderson.com, I thought I’d move bitchypoo over there, but I like that I only have to type bitchypoo.com to get to my main page. 4. What CMS (content management system) do you use? Do you like it or do you want to try something else? Well… I use Dreamweaver, but I sense that that’s not really a CMS. I’ve thought about switching my diet journal over to Moveable Type so that people can leave comments, but don’t know if I’m going to do that or not. 5. Do you read people who have both a journal and a weblog? Or do you prefer to read people who have all of their writing in one central place? I prefer weblogs to not have journal-type entries in them – I’m picky, and prefer to have journal entries each on their own page – but it all depends on the writing. To me, weblogs are meant to have short, quick entries, whereas journals are for longer entries. Of course, that’s just my opinion.]]>


ultra-crappy Andie MacDowell movie (Andie MacDowell in a crappy movie? Is that possible? Well, since Groundhog Day and Four Weddings and a Funeral were good movies despite her rather than because of her, I would say a resounding yes), read, and at 10:00 decided I should get my ass out of the room so that housekeeping could do their thing. About half a mile from the hotel is the Lakeforest Mall, so I hoofed it over there (crossing against the light, because my mind went on vacation, and thought that the hand held up in a stop motion meant that I should walk, rather than, y’know, stop) and wandered around for about two hours. Just as I made it back to the hotel, Fred’s meetings let out for lunch, and he picked up a sandwich for me, and met me in the room. When he went back for his afternoon meetings, I read and lolled about lazily upon the bed, finally snoozing for a few hours. Fred got back from his meetings, and I learned that the business dinner I’d been dreading all day had been cancelled because some muckety-muck couldn’t be there. I was relieved, to say the least. “Hey,” I said. “Now we can have dinner with Bozoette!” “Who?” Fred said. “Remember? She emailed and offered to take us to dinner?” “I thought her name was Mary,” Fred said. “Yeah, and she’s Bozoette online,” I said. “Well, do you have her number?” Fred asked. “Noooo….” “Her last name?” “……” “Do you know where she lives?” “I think she lives in Washington, and works in Gaithersburg,” I said. “No last name, no idea where she lives, how were you thinking we would contact her?” Fred said with a smirk. “Bite me,” I said, which is my usual response. So we went out to LoneStar, despite my vote for a trip to Bugaboo Creek. Fred, you see, gravitates to the familiar and is frightened by the unknown, much like Unfrozen Caveman LawyerLadies and gentlemen of the jury, I’m just a caveman. I fell on some ice and later got thawed out by some of your scientists. Your world frightens and confuses me! Sometimes the honking horns of your traffic make me want to get out of my BMW.. and run off into the hills, or wherever.. Sometimes when I get a message on my fax machine, I wonder: “Did little demons get inside and type it?” I don’t know! My primitive mind can’t grasp these concepts. Dinner was good, and after, we drove to something-or-other lake and checked it out. There were tons of geese and ducks, and it was a fairly small lake located next to an apartment complex. There was a jogging path around the lake, so Fred and I walked along it for a little while and I admired the apartments. After a stop at the grocery store, we went back to the hotel room, and settled in for the night. We watched 30 Seconds to Fame, which is a show Fred likes far more than I do, the second half hour of Meet the Parents (the first episode I’ve been able to catch), Bernie Mac, and American Idol. May I say that not only am I creeped out by the creepy creepy Justin, but I am incredibly annoyed by judge Randy Jackson’s habit of saying the name of the person who just sang three time – ie, “Kelly Kelly Kelly.” or “Justin Justin Justin”, etc. And Paula Abdul just a pain in the ass as well. I think Simon’s needlessly cruel sometimes, but I’d take him over either of the other two. Fred was ready for bed slightly after 10, but I wasn’t tired at all (see: afternoon nap), so I read for an hour or so. When I was ready to turn in, I put in my earplugs, turned off the light, and was immediately accosted by Fred’s LOUD snoring. I tried to trick myself into believing that it was just a noise the air conditioner was making, but he wasn’t snoring rhythmically enough for my brain to go along with that. After ten minutes of trying to get to sleep, I went over to his bed and put my hand on his arm. He woke immediately and I said “Is there something we can DO about the snoring?” He obediently turned over on his side, and I fell asleep a few minutes later. Fred got up early Thursday morning to go jogging, which I slept through, and left for his meeting at 8:30. I ate breakfast, watched a little TV, read, and dozed off for another hour. I got up and showered and then waited for him to get back. He did, and had some peanuts while we watched an episode of Little House on the Prairie. We checked out and then went to the mall so that I could buy a refrigerator magnet that had caught my eye in Spencer’s the day before. This one, to be exact: because it cracked me up. We had originally planned to go into Washington for a few hours before driving to Baltimore to catch our 6:00 flight, but Fred had heard that after about 2:00, the traffic in the area becomes incredibly horrible, and was worried that we would get caught in traffic and miss our flight, so we, instead, drove directly to the airport. We were there by 1:00, and after turning in the rental car, we headed for the ticket counter. The line was pretty long, so I suggested to Fred that we find a restroom and something to eat and perhaps later the line would have cleared out a little, but he wouldn’t go for it. We stood in line for about an hour, and I was glad I had something to read while we stood there. Finally, the ticket chick waved us over, and asked our names. Fred told her, and he and I slapped our driver’s licenses on the counter. She got our boarding passes ready, and never once so much as glanced at our licenses. Of course, if you think about it, someone who’s up to terrorist-type activities is surely going to not only fly under an assumed name, but also will have the resources to get a passable driver’s license. We went through security – “Don’t make eye contact with the wand guys!” I hissed to Fred, believing that it was the eye contact that had doomed me in Huntsville – with no fuss, and then found ourselves some food. Well, Fred ate a couple of pieces of fruit he’d brought with him, and I ate a crappy chicken salad sandwich (which caused me to burp up chicken salad all afternoon. Yummy!). Then we found our gate and proceeded to wait. And wait and wait and wait. Fred thought that the time went back fairly quickly, while in my opinion it just crawled. Whatever it was that Fred was reading just sucked, so he went into the bookstore and bought a David Sedaris book – I’ve been suggesting for ages that the man check out David Sedaris, but does he listen to me? No! – and proceeded to read and giggle like a fool. Finally, FINALLY, we boarded our plane to Cincinnati. Because Fred was in charge of buying the tickets, we were in the very last row of the plane. And because the plane was packed and Fred is skinny while I am not, I made him sit in the middle seat instead of where he wanted to be, next to the window. I’ll encroach upon the space of someone I’m related to, but not a complete stranger, and if I had ended up in the middle seat, I would have spent the entire flight scrunched up, legs crossed, arms crossed, trying to make myself as small as possible, so that I wouldn’t encroach upon the space of the woman in the aisle seat. The flight went quickly, though due to turbulence, the flight attendants couldn’t take the time to serve us drinks from the drink cart, but rather came through and passed out cups of water. Once off the plane in Cincinatti, I informed Fred that we must find a bathroom immediately. As so often happens when we’re together anywhere, I stopped paying attention to what was going on and just kept following him. “Restrooms are over here,” I heard him say. We entered a hallway, and I just had think to think “Where does the hall branch off to the ladies room?”, when I realized I’d followed him into the mens room. There were crowds of men standing around doing manly bathroom-type things, and as one, they all paused what they were doing, and turned to stare at me. “Uh. Oops!” I said loudly, and hauled ass out of there. We rode the shuttle to Concourse C, which is where – in my experience – they put all the bitty planes with tiny whining engines run by hamsters on wheels. We sat down by our gate, and Fred went off to get us something to eat. While he was gone, the ticket agent announced that there was an “oversold situation”, and anyone offering to take a later flight would be compensated. Since Fred and I had talked in passing about giving up our tickets in such a situation so that we could return to Washington for a vacation, I went to find him. After much discussion, we decided not to go for it – though if given the opportunity on my way to or from Maine, I’ll probably take it. We weren’t even done eating when our plane started boarding. “We’ll be walking out to the plane and up those rickety steps!” I told Fred, who hadn’t apparently had that pleasure yet. I found that with 100-plus pounds less of me, those steps were a lot less rickety, thank god. Aside from me, there were maybe three women on the very packed plane – the rest appeared to be men returning from business trips. Although the flight was just over an hour, by the time we landed, all I wanted to do was get our asses home so I could strip down and never get dressed again ever in my life. By 9:30, we were home, petting cats, checking mail, and unpacking. I’ll tell you – there’s just nothing like sleeping in your own bed, there really isn’t. As we were checking our email – I got 600 entries for the giveaway while we were gone, since apparently y’all are some reading fools – I heard Miz Poo howling. I looked all over for her before I saw her sitting outside the cat door, howling frantically. She had apparently gotten so excited to see us that she forgot how to push through the door, so I held the door open and coaxed her inside. Very very very good to be home, yes indeedy. What I forgot to mention in yesterday’s entry: 1. Every time I saw someone being randomly searched at the gate, it was almost invariably someone old and female. In Atlanta, they were searching a 100 year-old black woman who couldn’t stand by herself without assistance. I understand that they’re probably going out of their way not to be seen searching suspicious-looking swarthy males (that’s an Ann Coulter reference, by the way. I didn’t make it up myself, so keep your angry emails to yourself), but if Granny can hardly stand and doesn’t even know her own name, it’s possible she’s not into terrorist-related activities. 2. People who MUST have big-ass carry-on bags are the people I hate most in this world. Look, I understand that if you travel a lot, it’s possible that you’ve been the victim of lost luggage. Understanding that doesn’t make me hate you any less, though, as I keep my ass in my seat so that I’ll be out of the way of those of you who are frantic to wrestle your bag out of the overhead compartment and run off the plane. You know what I’d do if I had a say in the matter? I’d make it a rule that people without carry-on baggage are to be the first off the plane. Everyone else would have to stay in their seats until the non-baggage-carrying people were off the plane.]]>


Miz Jenna, who makes blog templates, used a picture I took from our hike in Gatlinburg (with my permission) to make this set. Like I told her when I emailed her on Sunday, she took a pretty good picture and made it just awesome. I keep going back to look at it, thinking “Did I take that picture?!” Heh. * * * Yesterday, I finished the book I was reading – L.A. Woman – and when I closed the book, I noticed that the publisher was Red Dress Ink. I had never heard of that particular publisher before, so I looked them up online and found that I’d read one of their other titles – Confessions of an Ex-Girlfriend – which I enjoyed, and I also own Milkrun and See Jane Date, which I haven’t read yet. And here’s what I find particularly funny – Red Dress Ink is a Harlequin offshoot! According to the articles in USA Today and Newsweek, which are linked from the front page at Red Dress Ink, Harlequin launched Red Dress Ink to attract younger readers (the average age of a Harlequin reader is 44), those interested in what they’re calling “chick lit.” You know, the kind of books I named “Zany chick” books. It cracks me up, because I’ve always whined about how Harlequin heroines never have hot, steamy sex and how much more interesting they’d be if they did, and it’s like someone was listening! * * * After being together for six years, Fred and I are going to fly together for the very first time tomorrow. Considering how often I’ve flown since I moved to Alabama, it’s amazing that Fred’s never flown with me – but then, he hates flying, and has actually only flown once since I’ve moved here, and that was for business. The most recent People has an excerpt from a book about September 11th’s Flight 93, which is probably something I shouldn’t be reading directly before flying. I’m not really nervous about flying, but it does seem like I’m rather tempting fate by flying four times in the space of a few weeks. When I started reading the excerpt from the book, I turned to Fred and said “Huh. According to this, there were many people on Flight 93. I didn’t know that.” My tone was ironic, and Fred smiled at me. “You mean Todd Beamer wasn’t the only one on that flight?” He knows how pissed I am that the media holds up Todd Beamer as the only hero on that flight – there were many heroes on that flight, but I didn’t see Jeremy Glick’s wife sitting next to Laura Bush days after September 11th, when the President addressed Congress, did you? Though I guess it’s entirely possible that she was invited – I don’t claim to know the details. Anyway.]]>


Oh mother of all that is holy, Angelina heard my plea, my whining “I wish we knew for sure whyyyyyyyyyy they broke up, in Angelina’s own words!”, and she said “That fat chick is right. She SHOULD know why we broke up!” and she contacted US and gave them an exclusive interview. All for ME. I’m torturing myself, though. I’m going to finish this entry and then go fold laundry before I’ll allow myself to sit down and read every single word of the Angelina interview. I can’t wait! * * * So, I’m actually writing this on July 22nd, because we’re leaving the house at 5 am on July 23rd to go to the airport and fly to Baltimore. There will probably be an entry up on Friday, but so you don’t die from the horror of having no Bitchypoo for four full days, I’m going to toss up a bunch of pictures and call it an entry. I seem to be doing that a lot lately, don’t I? This is Fancypants’ favorite place to lay while outside. He can be found there most mornings, just hanging out and watching for birds. Tubby, on the other hand, prefers to lay under a chair. Doesn’t he look annoyed and disturbed? The face o’ evil. The cats have recently taken to sleeping on this particular shelf, I have no idea why. Sunday morning I walked out of my bedroom to see a cat orgy going on. Every cat except Miz Poo was present. Miz Poo has morals, you know. That Fancypants just loooooves to snuggle up to Spanky. Miz Poo takes over her daddy’s chair. A newly-bloomed rose in the garden. I love the way the color is darker on the outside than the inside. Just gorgeous! I love this rose, too. In fact, I like most roses, as long as they aren’t the boring red ones. For some reason, the cats don’t like to walk across the bath mat. Spanky just got done drinking out of the toilet, and if you look closely, you can see a drop of water on his nose. You can’t really see it, but Tubby was sprawled out of the floor rubbing his face all over the sock o’ love (ie, stuffed with catnip and tied close), and Miz Poo and Spanky were looking on with faint disgust. See something on the floor? Sit on it. Sit on it. Sit on it. If you see us wandering around Washington in the next few days, please come up and say hi! I’ll see you on the flip side.]]>


I took a picture, the flash blinded the frog, Miz Poo came running toward me, I scooped her up, ran out the door to safety, and slammed the door shut. Hopefully the frog is too short to reach the doorknob. But the cats are keeping watch, just in case. ]]>


Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant – and picked up Blonde, by Joyce Carol Oates. Now, Joyce Carol Oates, you may recall, wrote the book I loathe above all others, That Damn Mulvaney Book. I don’t know how it is that I happened to buy a book by the author who wrote the book I hate so much, but I suspect it had something to do with the fact that there was a miniseries based on it, and I didn’t realize that it was the same author. Or possibly I bought Blonde before I read Die Mulvaneys, Die. OR I may have thought to myself, well, every author is entitled to a horrid piece of excrement or two. Some might say that Stephen King built a career on horrid pieces of crap. They would be wrong and should be stoned for such blasphemy, but they can certainly think it quietly to themselves and not to me. I think I’ll give this other one a try. Just because I didn’t like the one doesn’t mean I will loathe the other! I probably thought to myself. Believe it or not, I’m an optimist. In any case, a couple of months ago when I was standing in front of the bookcase trying to decide what I wanted to read next, and dithering between something I’d had for a while or something new, I said sternly to myself, you always get all dithery and indecisive when it’s time to pick a new book! So here’s what we’re going to do from here on out. See that third shelf from the top? We’re going to start with the book on the left-hand side, and read each book in turn until every book on that shelf has been read! And so, with a few side-trips (I was NOT going to wait to read the new Evanovich, for example), I have been doing so for the last several weeks. I’m more than halfway through that shelf, but it’s not empty, no no no. With the vacation money left over from our Florida trip, we made a dent in our respective wish lists. (Of course, mine still has about 45,000 items on it, and Fred’s has something like 3) So last night, it was time to start Blonde. I wasn’t really looking forward to it – it’s not only written by that Mulvaney lover, but also 700 pages long – but I tried to get myself excited about it. Marilyn Monroe! I like Marilyn Monroe! Joyce Carol Oates? Never heard of her! She was certainly never a Mulvaney, nope nope nope! I decided I would read at least three chapters of the book to give it a fair shot, and if it hadn’t drawn me in by then, off to the giveaway pile it went, because life’s just too damn short. Halfway through the first chapter, I was whinily making deals with myself – let’s just stop now and pretend that we read all three chapters! – but still I soldiered on. Crap, crap, utter crap. I know that there are going to be those who disagree with me, it was a bestseller, after all, and that’s fine. Y’all can just happily go about your lives reading books by Joyce Carol Oates, but I’m not gonna. She’s obviously just not my cup o’ tea. Whoever wins it in the giveaway certainly has my condolences. 1. Where were you born? Bangor, Maine (home of Stephen King!). There used to be an air force base there (I’m fairly certain they closed it down), where my father was stationed. 2. If you still live there, where would you rather move to? If you don’t live there, do you want to move back? Why or why not? I don’t live there, and I wouldn’t particularly want to move back to Bangor – I only lived there a short time as a baby before my father was transferred, so it doesn’t really mean anything to me. I would love, love, love to move back to Maine, or at least own a summer cottage on the ocean. Maybe some day. 3. Where in the world do you feel the safest? In Fred’s arms. Y’all quit making those gagging motions! 4. Do you feel you are well-traveled? Not really. There are so many places in this country alone that I’d love to visit, plus I’ve never spent any time in Canada, let alone Europe, that if I were independently wealthy I’d love to spend all my time travelling. 5. Where is the most interesting place you’ve been? I think Gatlinburg is mighty interesting – it’s a very touristy town, and I could probably spend all my time sitting on a bench and watching the people walk by. Plus, it’s so beautiful that I never get tired of taking pictures of the scenery. Fancypants, Miz Poo, and Spanky all hope that you have a great weekend! Well, Miz Poo and Spanky do – Fancypants doesn’t care one way or the other.]]>


Fred bought these bags that come with bait and attract the damn things, and then they drop into the bags and roast to death (far too kind a death for them, in my opinion). Fred put up pictures toward the end of his entry here about how full the damn bags were when we got back from Florida – and the bags had only been out for 5 days, I believe. Just looking at those pictures make me want to gag. A few weeks ago, I went out to get the mail, and about fifteen minutes after I came back inside my scalp started itching. When I went to scratch it, I was horrified to find that there was a Japanese Beetle hanging out in my hair. I screamed, threw it to the floor, and stomped on it. Grrr. I hate Japanese Beetles. HATE THEM, I say! Since I was out taking pictures, I got a few garden pics: This rose is my favorite, because not only is it gorgeous, but it smells awesome (don’t ask me what kind o’ rose it is – I have no clue). I really like this one, too. The picture’s a little blurry, but I just love the color of this rose. Remember a few weeks ago when I asked for advice on trimming back petunias, and many of you emailed me to tell me that I could, indeed, trim them back? Well, the very next day I went out with the garden shears and began trimming. At first, I was careful to do as instructed – cut above the “y”, be sure to leave some leaves – but patience (at least when gardening) is so very much not my strong suit, so I started just kind of hacking away at random and when I was done, I had a pile of petunias beside the pot, and the plants inside the pot didn’t even reach the top. “I think I went too far,” I told Fred. “I just got bored and carried away and chopped the hell out of them. I guess it’s a good thing they weren’t expensive, huh?” Three weeks later, this is what they look like: Apparently Petunias aren’t all that delicate. Yay for Petunias! And inside the house, my begonia is doing a lot better than I expected. From what I’ve read, begonias are picky, delicate little plants, but this one is thriving and blooming like hell. I love the color, but after I bought this one, I saw some yellow ones and wish I’d bought one of those. I could actually have two begonias in the house, I suppose, but I try to keep the plants kind of up and away from the cats so they won’t chew on the leaves, and we’re rapidly running out of places to put plants. Miz Poo shows her portly side (and if you look closely, you’ll see she’s sticking her tongue out at y’all).]]>