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4/28/06

by @ Friday, April 28th, 2006. Filed under Life

Smart and Sassy is no more. Now I won’t have to wake up Sunday mornings and think “Oh, shit! I have to answer Smart and Sassy questions before I do anything else!”

* * *
Thanks, you guys, for your honeymoon suggestions. At this point we’re leaning toward Hawaii, but I’m sure we’ll spend the next two years dithering about it before we make a decision! We did consider Australia and New Zealand (especially since that’s where the Amazing Race-ers were the other night, and Fred said “We’d just go there to listen to them talk!” and I said “Yeah, we’d say ‘No, we don’t need anything… but could you just keep talking to us?'”), and I actually suggested saving up to go there for our 15th or 20th anniversary, which we might do. I definitely want to visit Australia AND New Zealand someday, along with Scotland and Greece and just about every single country in existence, really. (Well, except Iraq and Iran and that area of the world. At least for the time being.) So many choices, so little time…
* * *
So last week, I think it was, I put a picture of Mister Boogers up on Flickr, and as I usually do, I put a note on the picture that explained that the collar he was wearing was an electric fence collar. A few days after I posted the picture, I got a comment on the picture from a complete stranger, saying: i think this is cruel to animals! I toyed with the idea of responding with Well, luckily you don’t get a vote in my life, dumbfuck, but instead opted to say: Crueler than letting them wander the neighborhood at will to be mauled by a dog or run over by a car? I heard nothing else for a week, and figured I wouldn’t. But then I logged into Flickr this morning and found another comment responding to mine: what kind of neighborhood do you live in? My cats won’t get anything like this! Of course the only possible response was: A neighborhood where there are dogs hanging out in their back yards and don’t take kindly to cats dropping in, and a neighborhood where cars tend to drive down the streets. You don’t live in a neighborhood with dogs and cars? I didn’t actually CALL him a dumbass, but I hope he got that it was implied.
* * *
My GOD was yesterday a busy day for me. I started it by dropping the spud off at school on my way to the pet store (I was covering for the usual Thursday morning person). I spent an hour at the pet store, cleaning cages, scooping litter boxes, and loving on kitties, and by the time I left there I was dripping with sweat. (62.5 pounds lost since my surgery almost 3 months ago, and I’m still dripping with sweat when I leave the pet store. I wonder if it’s something that will always make me sweat?) I left there and drove home. As soon as I got home I went upstairs to empty out the litter box (something I’d put off for longer than I should have, AS USUAL), and I kid you not – the INSTANT I got the lid put back on top of the litter box, Tommy ran in and shat it up. Little bastard. I dragged the dirty litter down to the garage (the dirty litter in a garbage bag, I mean. I wasn’t carrying handfuls of it down the stairs or anything) and the dirty litter boxes out into the back yard, where I filled them with soapy water and let them sit. I got my sneakers on and went for my 3.9-mile walk (which takes me almost an hour and 15 minutes – I have short ‘n stubby legs), and at one point while I was listening to a Keith and the Girl podcast, I laughed out loud, and I don’t even want to know what the people in the cars passing me by thought of me. My god, those people crack me up – and now that Chemda’s touring in Europe and they’re not doing the podcasts as often, I can go back and upload some of the old ones I haven’t listened to yet. When I got back from my walk, I went out back and scrubbed down the dirty litter boxes (golly, I wonder why our back yard isn’t as green as it could be?) and rinsed them out, then scrubbed down the bird bath and refilled it, and THEN scrubbed out the water dish we have sitting on the back patio and refilled it, because GOD FORBID our cats should have to come INSIDE the house if they get thirsty. Then I came back inside and went upstairs to take a shower and do some laundry. Outside the laundry room I was greeted by a ball of poo (not Poo, though. Actual POOP.) sitting there on the carpet with a piece of grass sticking out the top. Apparently one of the cats had used the litter box and jumped out to find that he (or she) had a hanger-on, and remedied the situation by dragging his (or her) ass along the carpet. I love my cats, but sometimes I really HATE MY FUCKING CATS too. I cleaned that mess up and commenced with the showering and laundry-ing. I was standing in front of the TV watching QVC (shut UP, we apparently lost power for a short time while I was on my walk, and when I turned the TV on, it was already tuned to QVC.) when my sister called. I talked to her for about half an hour, then got dressed and ran downstairs, grabbed the deposit I needed to make and the shopping list I made, and was out the door. My first stop was the credit union, where I was told that the insurance check (from the insurance company, paying for the repairs on E’gar) couldn’t be deposited because it was made out to “Fred And3rson”, but I’d endorsed it “Fredrick L. And3rson”, and insurance companies are apparently sticklers for exact endorsements. I thought about taking the check (when she sent it back out to me), signing it the correct way, and sending it back in, but I try not to be quite THAT obvious about my constant forgery of Fred’s signature, so I decided to stop on the way home and deposit it. Then I headed off to Sam’s, where I bought only a few things – Snuggle liquid fabric softener in the “Oh my GOD, NOTHING needs to be THAT soft!” size and garbage bags – that weren’t on my three-item (bottled water, paper towels, shrimp) list. I actually left Sam’s without spending $100 – I think that’s the first time EVER. Let me digress for a moment to say that I was THISCLOSE to going on a shooting spree during my trip through the Sam’s parking lot. What the FUCK is up with people who just MOSEY the fuck along in the parking lot when a car is trying to get past them? JESUS CHRIST, PEOPLE, GET OUT OF THE FUCKING MIDDLE OF THE LANE! MOVE OVER TO THE SIDE, YOU ANNOYING-ASS MOTHERFUCKERS! And THEN I get inside and need to go into the frozen foods section to get my shrimp, and every person over the age of 78 was crowded into the frozen foods section, crowded around the women who were giving out samples of whatever they were giving out, and just fucking STANDING IN MY WAY. I don’t give a shit if the old people visit Sam’s every day for lunch, but MUST THEY stand right the fuck in the way? ARGH. So I left Sam’s and went to Target, where I bought some shorts, a bunch of socks, and underwear in a size smaller than the too-big underwear I’ve been wearing for the last month. I don’t know if y’all have this issue, but when MY underwear is too big, it tries to solve the issue by crawling up my ass, and I spend all my time in public trying to find a hiding place where I can wedgie-pick without horrifying the people around me. I went through the shoe section, trying on shoes, because suddenly my shoes are too big for me, and I was trying to determine what size I should be wearing. I actually got a pair of size-8 canvas slide-on shoes on my feet (I’ve been a 9 wide for years), but when I tried on non-canvassy shoes, it was clear that 8 was too small. I think I may have gone from a 9 wide to a regular 9, but I’ll require time in a shoe store to determine that for sure. I left Target and went over to the pet store, where I bought nail clippers for the cats (our other ones have mysteriously vanished), and a sifting tray to replace the one we already have and which has a big crack down the side of it and needs to be replaced. (It’s too bad you can’t just buy the sifting tray, because I don’t need the other parts to the litter box). By this time it was the middle of the afternoon, and as I swore under my breath at the woman standing in my way as I headed out of the pet store, I realized I hadn’t eaten a single damn thing all day. Luckily, I was right across the street from a smoothie store, and one for which I actually had a $1-off coupon. Someone at my WLS support meeting on Saturday recommended the smoothies at this place, so I decided to get a low-carb smoothie and give it a try. Naturally, I realized once I’d ordered the smoothie that I’d left the $1-off coupon at home OF COURSE. I paid for the smoothie and headed out the door. I took one sip and realized I didn’t like the smoothie at ALL (but then had to take a second sip to confirm that, of course), and ended up tossing it when I got home. THEN I realized that I’d forgotten to go to the bank, so I ate lunch (which put me in a much better mood, no surprise there) and then went back out to the bank. Where I sat in line for what seemed like forever (luckily I’d brought a book with me), and by the time I got home, it was only a few minutes before Fred was pulling into the driveway. God. Just thinking about yesterday makes me feel like I need a NAP.
* * *
By the way, E’gar is home and running just fine. I sure did miss him!
* * *
“Would anyone notice if I gnawed off her pointer finger so she couldn’t flash that fucking thing at me anymore?”
* * *
Previously 2005: KIND OF LIKE HERPES. 2004: The mind boggles, does it not? 2003: Sam’s! Whoo! 2002: No entry. 2001: No entry. 2000: Ah, the intrigues of 11 year old girls…]]>

4/27/06

by @ Thursday, April 27th, 2006. Filed under Life

reading: Blood Memory, by Greg Iles. Finished recently: Dancing in the Dark, by Mary Jane Clark. Pretty good book, but I think the ending was a wee bit predictable – at least, I figured it out beforehand, and I don’t generally do that very often, so probably to your more discerning reader it was even more obvious. I enjoyed it, though – Mary Jane Clark books read very, very fast.

* * *
Yesterday, in and amongst a bunch of errand-running, I got a chance to sit down and watch a little TV. I was in the mood to watch TV since it was pouring outside and a kind of cool, so it was perfect weather to sit on the couch under the lap quilt and a cat or two and clear off the DVR some. I watched what ended up being a very interesting episode of Oprah (lately, I delete more episodes of Oprah than I watch, because it seems like Dr. Robin Smith is on there ALL the freakin’ time. Now, I LIKE Dr. Robin Smith, but she does go on and on sometimes, so even though I like her – I do! – I find myself saying “Okay, Dr. Robin Smith, we get the idea, she’s trying to fill her hole ( ::juvenile snicker:: ) with food or THINGS or men or whatever, can we MOVE ON?”) entitled Class in America. And the more I watched people talk about how they look at someone and decide, due to their bad teeth or cheap clothing or weight that they’re “lower class”, the more interested I got. Because anyone who looked at Fred and I out in public would never in ten million years guess that we have the yearly income that we have. We drive inexpensive cars, we wear fairly inexpensive clothes, I don’t carry a Louis Vuitton bag or wear expensive jewelry (or ANY jewelry, for that matter), and he doesn’t wear Armani suits. The only thing that might give away our income is the frequency with which we update our electronics (more frequent than the average person, I’d guess) and the house we live in – and we actually live in a house that we had no problem at all getting a mortgage on, because we would have been approved for a house almost twice the price of this one. And next year we’ll be selling this house and hopefully buying an even less expensive one, because we’d rather have a smaller house that we own after 10 years than a big, expensive house we have to pay on for 30 years. We have pretty inexpensive hobbies – books and movies, and the kayaks we bought are a one-time purchase – and we put away a lot of money every month toward retirement and our future. And I love the fact that if someone looked at me while I was wandering through the mall or whatever, they’d have no idea that I’m married to a man who brings in the amount of money he brings in, that they might look at me and disregard me as being “lower class”, because I think that gives me an advantage. Because I don’t need Betty Sue in the mall to be impressed by me, and thus I don’t need to dress like I want to impress (and not having a life where I NEED to impress strangers is a blessing, as far as I’m concerned, as is having a personality that is uninterested in whether strangers are impressed by me and my stuff) and not having to live up to expectations from other people is freeing. If you gave me $10,000 right now and told me to spend it however I wanted, I’d probably buy a new laptop (much smaller than the one we have), clear off my Amazon wish list, and then I’d have one hell of a time trying to figure out what else to buy – well, except I’d probably be all “More cats!” and Fred would have to threaten to divorce me. The older I get, the more importance I – we both – place on being able to take care of ourselves when we’re old and decrepit. Would I like to have one of those really cool phones you can send and receive email on, or one of those iPods with a video screen so I could watch TV shows and videos? Well, of COURSE I would, because they’re badass and cool – but I don’t need them, because I’m hardly ever that far from home. (If anyone would like to offer me a job wherein you pay me a lot of money and I do a lot of traveling, necessitating the purchase of said cool stuff, just say the word. I have no skillz, but I’m a quick learner!) The kicker about this whole thing is that I fully realize that the only reason I’m in a comfortable financial situation at this point is because I happened to fall in love with a man who is brilliant and extremely good at what he does, and what he does is very specialized and there are people out there who realize how good he is at what he does and are willing to pay him well for it. It’s just circumstance that I’m in this position, and I realize how lucky I am (though Oprah says there’s no such thing as “luck”, it’s just… something meeting opportunity? What the hell does she say? I don’t remember!) and you’d better believe I feel plenty guilty from time to time at the fact that I stumbled into a comfortable life. I don’t guess I really know what my point is, here. Maybe that next time you look at someone and disregard them as being in a lower class than you are, the truth might amaze you.
* * *
And speaking of money and all that, we finally decided it was time to take all the change from our big-ass 5-gallon water bottle (remember, the one we’ve been tossing our change into for the past 6 years or so?), turn it in, and send it off to our account at Emigrant Direct, so that instead of just sitting there in the water bottle until it’s time to go on our 10th anniversary trip, the change could be earning some interest. I know and you know that you want to know how much that change ended up being. Ready for this? $1600. Worth of change. That Fred had to cart into the credit union and put in the change machine. And which is now earning interest along with the money we send away every payday to the same account, so that in two years when we’re ready for the honeymoon we never had, we are going to be ALL SET. The only thing we need to do now is decide where exactly the hell we want to go. We were going to go to the Bahamas, because Fred wanted to stay at the Atlantis, but then he looked at room prices and found that they are incredibly expensive. So we talked about San Juan, and we talked about Hawaii (the only down side being the plane ride) and we talked about the Grand Caymans, and we talked about the Virgin Islands (very expensive, apparently), and we talked about taking a 7-day cruise that would hit the Virgin Islands, among other places, but I don’t know yet exactly what we’re going to do. I guess we don’t have to decide just yet, since we have another couple of years. Beach vacation, pretty (warm) water, and if there are mountains for Fred to climb, so much the better – where should we go? I know you have suggestions, leave ’em in the comments!
* * *
This is your brain on drugs.
* * *
Previously 2005: Spot let out a sad, drawn-out demon-from-hell sound. 2004: Meme-licious. 2003: No entry. 2002: No entry. 2001: No entry. 2000: I live to please you, my beloved readers.]]>

4/26/06

by @ Wednesday, April 26th, 2006. Filed under Life

Tuesday Three (a day late). List three movies you could watch over and over again: 1) When Harry Met Sally. 2) O Brother, Where Art Thou? 3) Braveheart List three things you’d like to do before you die: 1) Bungee jump. 2) Sky dive. 3) Zorb. List three people who have helped influence who you are today: 1) My parents. 2) My siblings. 3) Fred and the Spud.

* * *
Around 1:30 Tuesday morning I was woken from a very deep sleep by someone knocking on my bedroom door, or calling to me or in some way waking me up. I flailed around to get free of the kitty blanket I was under (Mister Boogers pinning me down on one side, Miz Poo on the other, and Sugarbutt somewhere in the middle), and took my earplug out. I saw the spud standing in the doorway, looking at me. “I think I might be getting an ear infection,” she said. “Oh, does your ear hurt?” I said stupidly. “Yes,” she said, wisely opting not to say something smartass to me, like Fred would have in her place. “Okay,” I said, and had to stop and think for a moment. “Go take a couple of aspirin, and I’ll call the doctor’s office in the morning and get an appointment.” “Okay,” she said. “Don’t go to school,” I said, figuring I’d probably be able to get an appointment for her pretty early in the morning. “Okay,” she said again, and went back to bed. It took me forever to get back to sleep – perhaps due to the fact that Sugarbutt spent the next hour kneading and licking my neck – and I slept fitfully for the rest of the night. When I got up around 8, I knocked on the spud’s door and asked her if her ear still hurt. She stared off into space and pushed on her ear a few times. “A little,” she said. “Okay, I’m going to go call the doctor’s office,” I said. “Should I go ahead and take my shower?” she asked. “Yeah, and get ready to go,” I said, envisioning that they might give me an appointment in the next hour. I called the doctor’s office, told them I needed the next possible appointment, and found that they didn’t have anything available until 1:45. I took that, and figured the spud could just hang out and catch up on her sleep – she didn’t get much sleep last weekend, between working and the prom and the seeing of the boyfriend – but when I told her they couldn’t fit her in ’til 1:45, she got upset. “I’m going to miss all that school?!” she said, aghast. (Which only confirmed my belief that she’s an alien child. Because what child, given the choice, wouldn’t be THRILLED to miss a day of school?) “Well, I can drop you off at school and pick you up at 1:30 for your appointment,” I offered, but the look on her face made it clear that that was not an appealing thought. “I’m going to miss my Spanish test!” she said. “Well, then you’ll make it up tomorrow,” I said. “I’m going for a walk. I’ll be back in a while.” I was putting my sneakers on when she came out into the garage and asked if I could take her to school and pick her up later for her appointment. I could, and I did. So we got to the appointment on time, and they called her back to the examining room right on time, and I sat in the waiting room and waited. And waited. And waited. When it had been a little more than an hour, the spud came out and told me that she had strep throat. Strep throat! I had no idea, though in retrospect I realized that her voice was kind of husky. But according to the nurse practitioner, her throat was very red and her ear – the one that hurt – was kind of red. In fact, they had to flush the wax out of her ears, and she apparently got a lecture about using q-tips in her ears. Poor spud. She doesn’t have to miss any more school, though, and I guess that’s a good thing!
* * *
Y’all KNOW how much I love my DVR, right? Well, I still love it, only it has this weird habit that is rapidly getting all over my nerves. Two minutes before it’s about to start taping something, a little box pops up and it says “In two minutes (whatever) will start taping.” It stays there for about ten seconds, and then disappears. So the other night we were watching something – I don’t remember what – and the box popped up. “In two minutes, So NoTORIous will start taping,” it read. Fred opened his mouth. “SHUT. UP,” I said. So, in essence, the fucking DVR TATTLED on me. Why didn’t it just SAY “Hey, Fred, want to know what stupid fucking thing your wife is taping NOW?”? Because he ALWAYS has to know what’s taping. He sees the red light on the DVR and says “What are you taping NOW?” Now, if I might ask, what bidness is it of HIS? It’s not like I make him watch all the stuff I watch – no, I watch most of the crap I tape on my own, during the day, while he’s at work, so he won’t whine about how Dr. Phil’s voice is making his head hurt. But still, “What are you taping NOW?” he says. “I don’t KNOW,” I always say, because (a) I usually don’t remember; the magic of the DVR is that you can SET IT and FORGET IT and (b) If I answer with “The Real Housewives of Orange County” or whatever, he will mock me and then I’ll have to swear at him, and it is oh-so-tiring to come up with new and inventive swears all the time. Stupid tattletale DVR.
* * *
A few weeks ago I realized we were running low on checks, and so I went to ChecksInTheMail.com, which is where I’d ordered the last batch from. I was going to go with the plain, boring safety blue checks we already had, but I got to looking around and, well…
What’s better than a Sugarbutt on a check? That’s right – NOTHIN’! (I got return address labels, too, while I was at it!)
* * *
“Ah, zees lahf. Eet ees so hard. So hard to be a tubby Tommy in zees lahf.”
* * *
Previously 2005: E’gar goes into the shop. 2004: I must be mumbling or something today. Everyone I’ve spoken to has looked at me like I’m speaking French and they can’t understand what the hell I’m saying. 2003: No entry. 2002: Blah blah blah. 2001: No entry. 2000: “Um… you mean, she lies on your butt to muffle your farts?” he ventured.]]>

4/25/06

by @ Tuesday, April 25th, 2006. Filed under Life

People Envy Your Compassion

You have a kind heart and an unusual empathy for all living creatures. You tend to absorb others’ happiness and pain.
People envy your compassion, and more importantly, the connections it helps you build. And compassionate as you are, you feel for them.
What Do People Envy About You?
* * *
You Should Be a Film Writer
You don’t just create compelling stories, you see them as clearly as a movie in your mind.
You have a knack for details and dialogue. You can really make a character come to life.
Chances are, you enjoy creating all types of stories. The joy is in the storytelling.
And nothing would please you more than millions of people seeing your story on the big screen!
What Type of Writer Should You Be?
Yeah, I don’t know about that second one.
* * *
I talked to my brother on the phone for a while last evening. He was driving to Annapolis, MD (he lives in Maryland, at least for the next few weeks) to spend the night, because he’d never been there and wanted to visit the town while he was still living close enough to drive to it. He had me absolutely drooling to visit it, because he kept saying what a pretty little town it is. And I thought “There are no pretty little towns in ALABAMA, damnit!” But, you know what, I bet there are. Surely there are pretty little towns I could visit and spend the day on Main Street poking through little shops, aren’t there? Then I remembered that Fred and I, back when we used to drive to Hartselle once a month to get our free-range chickens (the dead kind, meant for eating. Not the live kind meant for raising. In case you were wondering.) talked about spending the night at the cute little bed and breakfast we passed every time we drove into Hartselle, and then spending the next morning walking down Main Street (I don’t know that it was actually named Main Street, but it had a very Main Street feel to it) and checking out the antique shops. I’ll have to see if I can convince him to do that one weekend this summer, in and amongst the kayaking and the hiking and the day trip to Ocoee and the possible trip to Florida. So, Alabamans – what pretty little towns should I visit, and what’s good to do there? I think I’m going to try to actually get out and see some of this state, since I haven’t seen much of it so far in the 9 1/2 years I’ve lived here.
* * *
I have a Gilmore Girls DVD I’ve had for a couple of weeks, and haven’t watched any of it yet, and I also have that cheesy looking Jennifer Lopez/ Robert Redford movie that I think I’ve had for over a week and haven’t watched yet, either. There are several Dr. Phil and Oprah episodes cluttering up the DVR, along with the pilot episode of What About Brian? and last week’s The Real Housewives of Orange County as well. I was going to sit down Sunday afternoon (Fred’s shoulder was hurting, so we didn’t go kayaking as we’d planned to) and get some serious tv-watching done, but I just had NO desire to sit in front of the TV all afternoon. Lately I haven’t wanted to sit in front of the TV or the computer all that much, so on Sunday I ended up just sitting in the recliner and reading. I think I need to find myself a hobby. Maybe something to get me out of the house. Good lord… maybe I need… a JOB? Nah. That’s just crazy talk!
* * *
My E’gar is currently in the shop having his behind fixed. It took several days to get the parts ordered for him, and then we had to wait for the guy who hit my poor E’gar to mosey in to his insurance company and file a report (or somethin’), and then we waited for the check to come from the insurance company, and finally we got the check and the parts came in all at once, and so yesterday we dropped E’gar off and went to rent a car for me to drive for a few days, at the insurance company’s expense. By the way, here’s a shot of E’gar’s behind, if you missed it:
And the story of what happened to his poor behind. So anyway, as we pulled into the car rental place I saw a couple of Camrys and hoped I’d get one of those. But alas, it was not to be; I ended up with a Dodge Stratus. I do not care for the Dodge Stratus, only because (a) I feel like I have to practically get on my hands and knees to get into the car, it’s so much lower than my E’gar, and (b) I feel like the top of the car is resting directly on my head when I’m sitting in the driver’s seat. Also, (c) I feel like I can’t see as clearly out the front and sides, because the windows are smaller than E’gar’s. With E’gar, I barely have to bend down to get in the car, there’s tons of head room, and plenty of window room as well. Poor E’gar. I’ve barely had him more than a year, and this is the SECOND time he’s been in the body shop. I just love him to death, though. (Oh, and PS: We actually haven’t had any trouble with the insurance company at all. Things went pretty smoothly.)
* * *
A belly rub is a religious experience for Our Tommy. Doesn’t he look like he’s seeing God? “Run, Jack Bauer! Run!” Mister Boogers hates President Logan, but he’s got a soft spot for Martha Logan. Aaron, too.
All of today’s uploaded pictures are hither.
* * *
Previously 2005: Friday sucked ass for the following reasons 2004: No entry. 2003: I am apparently married to a 100 year-old man. 2002: “Your air gap floopy.” 2001: And thought about putting my motherfucking fist through my motherfucking monitor because my motherfucking internet access has been going down every 9.8 seconds. 2000: “There’s no Easter bunny, there’s no tooth fairy, and Bruce Willis is DEAD, he’s DEAD, DEAD!”]]>

4/24/06

by @ Monday, April 24th, 2006. Filed under Life

* * * I see by my reading list that I’ve only read 10 books this month. That’s a verrrrry low number for me; guess I’ll need to spend less time in front of the TV and more time reading this week to at least bring it up into before the end of the month. The reason I’ve read so few books this month is because two of them were Greg Iles books, and those things take me for-freakin’-ever to finish. Luckily, they’re usually pretty good. Currently reading: Dancing in the Dark, by Mary Jane Clark (Poet! Knowit!). The Footprints of God, by Greg Iles. Not bad, not my favorite of his. Dragged on a bit at the end. The Colorado Kid, by Stephen King. Pretty good, but the end was a bummer. Lost in the Forest, by Sue Miller. Pretty good, but a certain part of the book gave me the willies. No pun intended. Dearly Devoted Dexter, by Jeff Lindsay. I find the idea of Dexter more compelling than the actual execution. I’m not sure I care for the writer’s style, but I don’t doubt that I’ll keep reading the Dexter books as they come out, because I do find myself wanting to know what happens next. Mortal Fear, by Greg Iles. Very, very good.

* * *
So yes, I took the week off from journaling, and didn’t really get all that much accomplished. I did force myself to do some house cleaning on Wednesday, which included mopping the floors downstairs. I don’t know why I have such a hard time getting the lead out and mopping the floors – I probably, literally, spend more time thinking about how I need to mop the floors than said mopping actually takes to accomplish. I’d like to say that I’m going to start mopping them weekly, but I think we all know me better than that.
* * *
Fred and I have spent some time, over the past two weekends, kayaking. This past Saturday we went to Point Mallard in Decatur and paddled around for a couple of hours. The weekend before, we went to Decatur and paddled around on the Tennessee river itself. Both times I enjoyed myself a great deal (it helps that I’ve developed callouses on my inner thumbs, so I don’t have to deal with blisters), and I also took the camera with me. So, for you! Pictures! Lots of ’em!
A crane Great Blue Heron, in flight. (I know nothin’ about birds (OBVIOUSLY) – Fred said it was a crane, so I believed him!) The same crane Great Blue Heron, before he took off. You can see the end of my kayak as I sit and wait for the boat to go by, and the wake to reach me. Some of those boats go damn fast, and the resulting wake makes me feel like I’m on the ocean. A tree growing at the end of a marshy area in the middle of the river. There were a ton of turtles by this little island (I dubbed it “turtle island”), but I was never able to get a picture of any of them. The marshy area, to the left. Straight ahead, big metal thingies (the scientific term, I believe) that barges are occasionally tied to. Me, in a kayak. In the middle of the river. I had to get photographic proof, or I think my sister would never have believed it. Fred’s kayak (the yellow one) and mine (the red one) as we sit side by side and drift for a few minutes. A neat little cove we “discovered”. Only I couldn’t think of the word “cove”, so I called it a “cul-de-sac.” Heh. Fred’s creeped out by stuff growing in the water. A hawk’s nest up in an electrical tower. One hawk, taking off. The other, sitting in the nest giving me the hairy eyeball. As I drew closer, the one in the nest took off and circled above me. I think Fred was afraid I was going to get my ass kicked by a hawk. I thought this was pretty cool-looking.
You can see all the kayaking pictures – and there are a ton more than the ones above – here.
* * *
Speaking of kayaks, anyone in the area interested in buying an inflatable kayak? If anyone’s interested, we’re selling an Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame inflatable kayak, plus a double-action pump and a paddle. Basically, it’s everything you need to kayak except a life jacket. The kayak’s been used 4 or 5 times (we’ve only had it about 2 months), and is in excellent shape. We bought another kayak and no longer have a need for this one. Paid $460 for all three items, will sell for $275. If you’re interested or have questions, shoot Fred an email.
* * *
“Robyn,” you are asking, “What the hell? Why did Fred buy yet another kayak and why is he selling his inflatable kayak, when he appeared to love it so?” The story is thusly: After he bought his new vehicle, we started talking about going kayaking together, and since he only had the one inflatable kayak, we had to use the old, plastic kayak for me. So he had to get a roof rack. And then we decided that having to inflate the inflatable kayak every time we went kayaking was turning out to be a pain in the butt, so he bought a new plastic kayak, and the roof rack thingies so that both kayaks could go on top of the rack. Which left us with an extra kayak we’ll probably never use, and voila! Time to sell it.
* * *
The spud went to Prom on Saturday. She was going to go with a friend, but between the time she decided to go to the Prom with her friend and the day of the Prom, she found herself a boyfriend, and ended up going with him. Here she is, all gussied up and ready to go:
She decided she didn’t want an updo this time around, just to blow-dry her hair and then curl it, only that didn’t work out so well and I ended up kind of blow-drying her hair straight for her. Which is not necessarily a good thing, since I can’t do shit with other peoples’ hair. She ended up looking pretty good, but I think the next time she goes to a big dance, I’ll be insisting on professional styling.
* * *
Brudderly love. “HEY! YOU! GUYYYYYYYS! Daddy just said it’s S-N-A-X time!!!!” Crappy picture, but the looks on their faces crack me UP.
All of today’s uploaded pictures are hither.
* * *
Previously 2005: No entry. 2004: No entry. 2003: No entry. 2002: $65 for that bullshit. Bargain, eh? 2001: Dumbass, take two. 2000: THE MIDDLE OF THE AISLE IS APPARENTLY WHERE YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO COME TO A DEAD STOP AND STARE, WITH GLAZED EYES, AT THE 145 POUND CANS OF KETCHUP]]>

4/17/06

by @ Monday, April 17th, 2006. Filed under Life

4/14/06

by @ Friday, April 14th, 2006. Filed under Life

reading: Mortal Fear, by Greg Iles. So far it’s a really good book – though I didn’t realize when I started reading it how old it is, and the protagonist was explaining computer-related things to the authorities, and he had to explain what a Sysop is, and I thought “What? What the fuck? EVERYONE knows what a Sysop is, for god’s sake!”, and then I realized it was actually published nine years ago, and those were the early-ish days of the internet (hell, I hadn’t even discovered online journals and there were no such things as blogs, way back then), so I guess it makes sense. Sysop definition, because I know one of you smartasses will ask. Finished recently: The Love Wife, by Gish Jen. I really wanted to like this book, but for the love of GOD, it dragged on forEVER and read so slowly that I thought for sure I was on page 300 or so, and looked up to see that I was on page 57. The book has its moments, but I don’t really recommend it. Also recently finished: Close Range, by Annie Proulx. It really was amazing how closely Brokeback Mountain the movie followed Brokeback Mountain the story. It was worth reading the book, just to get to read BrokeBack Mountain. I recommend it.

* * *
So when I posted the picture of the spud in her prom dress yesterday, what I forgot to mention is how very amazing it is that she ended up buying such a body-conscious dress when back in the Fall when we were looking for a Homecoming Dress she wouldn’t even (at first, anyway) entertain the thought of a dress with spaghetti straps, and I despaired because everything we could find with sleeves was kind of matronly looking, and she’s got (as my mother would say) a cute little figure, and it seemed a shame to put her in a dress that would look at home on a 60 year-old woman. Then she finally said that she might be willing to do the spaghetti straps thing and ended up with a cute dress, only in black, and I wondered if every formalish dress she was ever going to wear would be black, and then her best friend told her she needed to buy the pink and black dress with the tight bodice and the spaghetti straps, and I think it’s perfect. I wish I could have pulled off a prom dress like that, but instead I wore this to my Junior Prom:
(Pardon the horrid scan)
My mother ordered it for me, from JC Penney’s. God save me from the permed ‘fro.
* * *
From my comments: Hey! I’ve been meaning to ask you, what kind of kayak do you use when you go out with Fred? According to Fred, it’s a Wilderness Systems Critter, which is no longer made. Have you considered putting down a rug in the lounge room to maintain the niceness of the new carpet? We’ve thought about it, but the problem areas in the living room were in front of the couches, where we sit and our nasty, dirty feet dirtify the carpet. Now that we have couches with recliners, we spend 99% of our time with our feet up off the carpet, but if that changes, we have a carpet remnant (left over from the carpet installation) that will fit nicely in front of both couches. Hey Robyn, this is off the subject, but after having your surgery, I haven’t seen any entries on how you’re doing, how much have you lost, have you found it difficult, do you wish you had never done it. I ask because I am considering it. That’s what my weight loss journal, OneFatBitchypoo is for. I update it around once a week or so. (And as of this week I’ve lost 54.5 pounds. Woot!) There’s also a permanent link to it in the sidebar to the right.
* * *
I’d write a longer entry, but I’ve decided to drive up to Tennessee to get some Powerball tickets ($220 million! Woot!), and I have to run to the post office, so off I go. [Edited to add: Or not. Apparently the jackpot’s only $15 million Saturday (Ha! “Only”!). Duh. Oh well – it was a nice drive and if they wanna give us $15 million, I won’t turn it down!) Have a great weekend!
* * *
“Don’t touch my water, damnit.” “I smell somethin’ good. IS IT S-N-A-K TIME?!?!?!” “It’s hours and hours ’til S-N-A-K time? How can that be?!”
* * *
Previously 2005: Why do I bother to make New Year’s resolutions, I ask you? 2004: Bastard. 2003: “That’s right, you LITTLE SHIT, get the hell out of here!” I yelled, stomping at him. 2002: No entry. 2001: No entry. 2000: Not much of an entry.]]>

4/13/06

by @ Thursday, April 13th, 2006. Filed under Life

the show. I think they showed the first three (which were on ABC or NBC or whatever the hell channel it was originally on) this past Tuesday (and they’re rerunning them again all weekend), and then they’re starting with the unaired ones this coming Tuesday at 9:00. I REALLY liked that show, so you can bet I’ll be setting the DVR! Schedule is here.

* * *
Today’s earworm: I went as far as I could, I tried to find a new face There isn’t one of these lines that I would erase I left a million mile of memories on that road And every step I take I know that I’m not alone You take the home from the boy, but not the boy from his home These are my streets, the only life I’ve ever known, who says you can’t go home (Who Says You Can’t Go Home?, by Bon Jovi and Jennifer Nettles)
* * *
I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned this before, but I’m not a person who bruises easily. (Oh god. I’m suddenly struck with the intense urge to write a completely oblique entry about how even though you can’t see my bruises on the outside, inside I am bruised like an apple tossed against the wall and when (insert innocuous thing here) happens, although I might be smiling on the outside, on the inside I am GUSHING BLOOD because it bruises my soul, even if you can’t see it, and people should think about what they’re going to say before they go rushing around the internet willy-nilly hurting other people. Must… resist… evil… urge…) Anyway, physically, I just don’t bruise very easily. My friend Liz bruises if you so much as speak harshly to her – seriously, if she rolls down her car window to use the atm and rests her arm between the punching of PINs and choosing where the money’s coming from and all that, she always has bruises on the underside of her arm. I think someone accused her first husband of abusing her, so bad were the bruises. If I hadn’t seen the bruising process myself, I never would have believed it. ANYWAY. I was talking about ME. I don’t bruise very easily. So the other day when Fred and I were moving the living room furniture back into the living room, we were on the last piece of furniture, which was the kitchen table and I carried my side of the table – which is pretty heavy as kitchen tables go – resting on my right forearm. And the next morning when I woke up, I had a bruise about the size of a quarter where the table leg had rested. And I keep looking at it and poking at it, because I think it makes me look VERY BADASS. I think I might be a little weird.
* * *
Answering the Smart and Sassy question about tipping reminded me of back when I worked at Fred’s company (I was the office manager, for those of you who didn’t already know that, and I quit because I COULD) and we called a local courier company to deliver a document to someone’s home in Huntsville. Now, I’ve never hired a courier before and I thought it was going to be expensive, but I was stunned to find out that it was only going to cost $5. (Which of course made me want to start hiring a courier to do EVERYTHING. “Yeah, take this two offices down and make sure they sign for it, eh?”) I asked everyone who was around whether or not I was supposed to tip the courier, and none of them knew, ’cause none of THEM had ever hired a courier before, either. So I called the office and asked the lady who answered the phone if I was supposed to tip the courier. Now, instead of just saying “yes” or “no”, the lady hemmed and hawed and basically gave me a non-answer. And I decided that I’d rather be safe than sorry, so I got $5 cash from one of the owners to tip him. The guy showed up, and I gave him the envelope to deliver, then I handed over the check for the courier fee, and with the check I handed over the $5. The courier looked at the $5 and the check, and he gave me a puzzled look. “What’s this?” he said. “That’s, um,” I stammered. “A tip. For you!” He shook his head sternly, said “No,” and handed the $5 back to me. And I felt like the BIGGEST ASSHOLE ON EARTH. Even now, thinking about it, I get embarrassed.
* * *
Also, this entry of Jane‘s for some reason reminded me of several years ago when my mother sent the spud a Furby for Christmas. The spud kind of liked it at first, but after a while it kind of took on a creepy aura. The damn thing would just suddenly start SINGING and MOVING for no particular reason, and for an 11 year-old kid, it’s not a great leap of the imagination to think that the damn thing might come to life and kill you in your sleep. About two weeks after Christmas I was putting laundry away in the spud’s closet, and I found the Furby wrapped in a blanket, shoved behind the toybox – in fact, wedged in there so tightly that even had the damn thing come to life with bad intentions, there’s no way it could have gotten out and done its evil deeds. And quite frankly, I can’t blame the spud. That thing was fucking creepy.
* * *
The spud, in her prom dress. Hopefully the ankle socks won’t be a part of the final ensemble, but I can’t guarantee anything!
* * *
He keeps his svelte shape by practicing Sugilates regularly. The Sugilates move known as “lift and lick” is excellent for developing core strength. The dilemma: Something on the floor. The solution: Lay on it. This is a total Mister Boogers look.
All of today’s uploaded pictures (there are a bunch today) are hither.
* * *
Previously 2005: “Ah JEEZUS, here she goes again with the Gatlinburg! She goes for four days and talks about it for four weeks!” 2004: Oh. My. Eyes. 2003: No entry. 2002: No entry. 2001: Entries I liked. 2000: No entry.]]>

4/12/06

by @ Wednesday, April 12th, 2006. Filed under Life

Keith and the Girl podcast (they always totally crack me up), then came home, had breakfast, took a shower, and headed off to the dentist. My teeth were looking okay this time around, according to the hygienist, except that I need to pay special attention to a couple of teeth in the front, on top, because in my usual sloppy, lackadaisical way I’ve not brushed them enough, and the gums are inflamed around those two teeth. So she was cleaning my teeth and she said “How long have you had that spot on your tongue?”, and I said “I have a spot on my tongue?” – in other words, I have no idea how long it’s been there. She got out the hand-held mirror and showed it to me, and I just basically kind of shrugged and said “I dunno!” So she measured it with her metal torturing pointy tool of satan, and told me it’s about 3 mm across. “Hmm,” I said, like that meant something to me. She quizzed me about whether or not it was painful or tender (no to both), and then said she was going to take a picture of it for their records so that if it’s still there when I go back in four months they’d have a baseline picture to go by. She told me, trying to be reassuring, that perhaps it was just an inflamed tastebud, but before I left one of the dentists wandered by and she grabbed him and asked him to take a look at it. He said he thought it was a – I might have this word wrong, it’s been almost a day since he said it – fibroma, and nothing to worry about. I think they’re liars. I think it’s tongue cancer, and they’re going to have to remove my entire tongue. AND THAT WILL SUCK. Then I was off to the pet store (not the one I volunteer at, another one) to buy a couple of small bags of Natural Balance cat food at the suggestion of a reader (Hi, Susan!), who had a cat with a swollen-lipped problem like Miz Poo, and Susan used the magic words “less litterbox bulk, and less toxic stank” and I was SOLD on the idea of giving the Natural Balance cat food a try, because anything that will reduce bulk and stank in the litter area is going to be A-OK with me. Here’s hoping it works! I left the pet store and headed to Sam’s, because I was out of Mr. Clean Magic Erasers, which I use for absolutely EVERYTHING (a couple of people recommended that I try one on the walls in the living room when I was bitching about the state of them last week, and I would, except that the stain that annoyed me the most was comprised of oil – a great big mouthful Miz Poo spit out on the wall a few years ago – and Mr. Clean’s erasers might be magic, but they ain’t THAT magic, trust me). I KNOW I’ve gotten the magic erasers at Sam’s before, but to my dismay there were no magic sponges to be seen anywhere, so I had to content myself with buying a big box of microwave popcorn for Fred and the spud and a huge-ass box of trash bags just because I like to live life on the edge. Also, you just can’t possibly ever have enough trash bags in the house. From Sam’s I went to the mall, because I was a woman on a mission. See, these days I wear pants without pockets, and if I use something – like a pair of nail clippers – that I need to remember to bring back upstairs with me to put away and I have no pockets, I stick it in my bra. And the day I realized that I’d been wandering around the house with a pair of nail clippers in my bra (because of course I immediately forgot I’d put them there) and hadn’t remembered until I took my bra off when I was getting ready for bed is the day I realized I needed to go shopping for new bras. And there’s a Lane Bryant at the mall, and Lane Bryant is where I currently get my bras, because Victoria’s Secret doesn’t carry bras in my size just yet. So I get to the mall and I walk inside.. and Lane Bryant isn’t where it’s always been. They’re doing some work on the inside of the mall and I thought perhaps Lane Bryant had moved, so I walked around the entire mall looking for it, and it was nowhere to be seen. I remembered that there was a Lane Bryant near Target so I decided to go there, but first I had to stop at Yankee Candles and see what I could find on sale. I ended up with an air freshener for my car (grapefruit-something scented) and a bunch of wall plug-in refills. I LOVE the Lemon Zest scent and for that matter Fred and the spud like it too, so that’s a bonus. Anyway, I headed for the other (I guess “the only”, now) Lane Bryant, and must have spent forty-five minutes browsing. First I had to try on bras to see what size I’m wearing now (I’ve gone down three band sizes since the surgery, but the cup size has stayed the same) and then I was looking through the shirts on sale and decided to try one on and I liked (!) the way I looked in it so much that I ended up getting two of them, one in blue and one in yellow. I had a hell of a time finding six bras in my size, but finally did. Now I’ve got bras that fit, at least for a little while, and I can get rid of the old ones! I was going to just go straight home from there, but I passed Bed, Bath and Beyond and decided to go in and see what I could find for a shelf unit to go over the toilet in the downstairs bathroom. And I ended up standing there dithering for at least half an hour. What I really wanted was a unit with doors on it so that I could put things like tampons in there and then shut the door so people – like the carpet guy who used the bathroom yesterday morning and shat it up* – wouldn’t necessarily come face-to-face with my tampons. But the shelf unit with doors that came with the bottom part that straddles the toilet top – for want of a better description – was $129 (more than I wanted to spend), and the shelf unit I really liked with doors that closed didn’t come with a part that straddles the toilet and Fred would have had to hang it over the toilet and that would require finding studs to hang it from, and you just KNOW that there aren’t studs centered over the damn toilet. And I dithered and dithered and dithered some more, and then I finally did “eenie meenie minie moe”, which I fucked up because I couldn’t remember the words, but in any case even after the eenieing and the meenieing, I still dithered some more until finally I checked the clock on my cell phone and realized it was 1:30 and I’d left the house three hours earlier, and I could either make a fucking decision or throw myself off the nearest bridge, because I was tromping all OVER my own nerves. So I decided on an open spacesaver/ shelf unit (similar to this, but not that one) and decided I’d worry about the whole tampon thing later. Like I have SO many people in my house, using that bathroom, that I even have to worry about shielding their tender eyes from my tampons, right? But, still. I worry because I am a freak. And I’ve decided that a lovely decorative basket would be JUST the ticket to hide my tampons from the public. Problem solved! And THEN I left there and had to stop at the grocery store on my way home to pick up a prescription and some baby spinach (I support the torture and eating of innocent baby spinaches) and by the time I got home and hauled everything inside, it was past lunch time and I was STARVING. So I made lunch and ate it while talking to my sister on the phone, and the next thing I knew it was after 3:00 and Fred was calling to tell me he was on his way home. Shows are piling up on the DVR like mad. I’m going to need to schedule myself a tv-watching day or two so we don’t run out of space. *I don’t care if strangers go Number Two in my bathroom – hell, everyone! Come on over for a poop! – but for the love of GOD, people, flush twice! I don’t want to walk into my bathroom and come face to face with poop dust in the bottom of the bowl!

* * *
::lick:: ::lick:: “WHAT?” Brudderly love.
All of today’s uploaded pictures are here.
* * *
Previously 2005: Just because the fuckers are talking to me doesn’t mean I’m obligated to listen to their bullshit, does it? 2004: What exactly the fuck was I supposed to be doing at 5:30 on a Sunday afternoon, running for fucking president? 2003: No entry. 2002: Apparently the Committee for Deciding Who is Hellbound was meeting in the waiting room. 2001: “Jesus has arrived in Madison,” he said nonchalantly. 2000: Now that, my friends, is wickedly fast. ]]>

4/11/06

by @ Tuesday, April 11th, 2006. Filed under Life

I had him bring the vacuum cleaner down from upstairs, and then spent quite a while vacuuming up the cobwebs from the baseboards and tray ceiling, and one very long spider web strand that stretched between a corner of the living room and the ceiling fan in the center of the room. Once I was done with that he started disconnecting all the electronics from the TV, and I made breakfast for both of us – onion, spinach, mushroom and cheese omelets – and then we ate. He managed to pull the table upon which the TV set sat so that it was right next to one of the couches, and we each took a side and gently leaned the TV on the couch, then covered it with quilts so the cats wouldn’t scratch it up. Then I vacuumed where the TV had been, checked to make sure there was nothing else I could help with, and headed upstairs to take my shower.

With surprisingly little interference from the cats, he painted the living room and was done in a little less than two hours. So he went for a hike, of course. This morning, he stayed home and waited for the carpet guys to show up, while I went to the pet store and did my thing. By the time I got home, they’d been there for 45 minutes, had pulled up the carpet from the living room and stairs, and were doing… whatever comes next. Fred left for work as soon as I showed up, and I sat in front of the computer while the guys worked on the carpet. There were a total of four guys, and I think there were two guys in the living room and two guys on the stairs. They finished sometime after 11:00 and one of them offered to vacuum the carpet, but I told him I’d do it myself, and then it was just a matter of paying them and wishing them a good day. The stairs and the living room look about 63,000 times better, cheap carpet or no. Even Fred admitted that the stairs look a lot better with the new carpet. Think he’d notice if I contracted to have the rest of the house done? They could do it while he was at work!
The hideous, butt-ugly, god-I-hate-it Berber carpet. This picture does no justice to the hideousness of the damn thing. The new, cheap, only-gotta-last-a-year carpet. I like it a LOT more than the Berber. I don’t have a “before” picture of the stairs, but just imagine an ugly, stained, matted carpet from hell and then multiply it by a thousand. The spud has been informed that she’s not allowed to wear shoes on the stairs for the time being. The first time a cat barfs on the stairs, I’m going to commit murder, I swear it.
When Fred got home yesterday afternoon we started the job of moving everything back into its place, which took us about an hour. Fred was stunned and kept saying “It went together a whole lot faster than it came apart!”, and then I pointed out that he had help putting it back together (not a LOT of help, since I’m weak as a newborn kitten, apparently, and could only lift the couch and move it about six inches at a time). And now my living room looks awesome, and I’m not ashamed to have him invite his parents over to watch a movie with us!
* * *
Woohoo! The spud had a job interview at a local fast food restaurant (you’ll forgive me, stalkers, if I don’t name the place), and she got the job! And she goes for orientation tomorrow! And she starts (she thinks) this weekend! Yay!
* * *
Something has caught the Tommy’s attention. Is that a happy cat, or what?
All of today’s uploaded pictures are hither.
* * *
Previously 2005: Back from Gatlinburg. 2004: No entry. 2003: I love Von, and questions answered. 2002: No entry. 2001: Miz Poo gives me a scare. 2000: My husband, the diplomat.]]>

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