Tuesday, September 30, 2008

writing

I have been neglecting my blog. I think I'm getting my writing (and soul-baring) needs met with my MC journals. It's consuming.

My therapist (cringe factor, sorry) says morbid obesity is a physiological disease process meaning that your body sort of betrays you and it's not as simple as calories in and energy out. Ugh. We talked about shame today. She says I should try being more honest about how painful this has been for me all of my life. It's hard....she says it's like the elephant in the room. I've tried everything: comedy, avoidance, denial... to deal with it. I have two assignments for next week: to think about the self-talk I do when I'm fearful of failure and to think about the things I believe that have no basis in fact. Like everyone who exercises loves it. I guess that's not true.

Ah, life sucks sometimes but we go on and put one foot in front of the other.
And if you thought it was all silver saddles and Sunday parades, get back into fiction. Johnny Bush used to come into Brannigan's on Sunday afternoons and he said that. At least the part about the silver saddles and Sunday parades.

So of course, being more open and honest, for me, means writing about it before I can talk about it. I can put it here for who-knows-who to read but I can't put it into real words with people I see in person.

We went to a retirement gig for one of my favorite school district pals today. Some people retire and you don't really think about them again until you see them at the thrift store but this guy, I will miss. A woman at our table had a card for Tom so I asked her if there was a fifty dollar bill in it because if there was, I would remember that when I retire. Fair's fair.

I've only been mildly interested in the economic bail-out and the stock market. Mostly because I am completely ignorant about money. Regis heard yesterday that he gets some amount of money from a life insurance policy his dad had through the steel worker's union and that same day he cracked a tooth, had it pulled in a two-hour ordeal, and finds out that it costs the same amount of money to fix the empty spot where the tooth was. You have to appreciate the irony in that but it's economics and it sucks.

I'm trying to watch a baseball game. You probably know the one. It's like math to me which is pretty much random: guys running around and once in a while someone scores and in the end, there's a winner and a loser. That's it. Like life.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sunday night and the Virgin Mary peanut

Regis and I are eating a healthier diet which includes more whole grains. This is our Sunday night pizza...a whole wheat crust, lots of vegetables, home-grown tomatoes, and sausage crumbles that are really tofu but taste so good that I don't know why a guy would eat pork products. Don't get the idea that we've forsaken all our vile ways, as hops counts as a vegetable for us.

While I finished the pizza, I told Regis it was his job to find something to watch on tv. This is totally a man thing: he picked the last fifteen minutes of an Arnold Schwartzenegger movie. What the hell. I didn't like that movie (includes someone hanging hundreds of feet in the air on the end of a crane) when I saw it the first time so I don't want to watch the most stimulating part again. What's with men anyway? Do they all like to watch little bits of things? What's wrong with starting at the beginning and watching to the end of a program?

This is the Virgin Mary peanut. I want Regis to put it on eBay but I can tell he thinks I'm kookoo and so he probably won't do it. We finished the bag while we were sitting outside this afternoon and I looked for a companion peanut but no luck.

A woman stopped while we were having a glass of wine in the late afternoon sun. (The sun on the birch leaves was enough to take your breath away...) She said ours looked like a good democrat house. Could it be the weedy garden? The lack of lawn edging? The long grass? No, it was the Terry Morrow sign. Ha. But still funny. She was looking for Ruth Johnson't house and I thought I knew where she lived so not only gave her that information but a history of who has lived in the house for the last ten years. There was a reception at Ruth's house and Al Franken was expected to attend. Regis is kind of an Al Franken magnet (he thinks it's because he was a fan back in the day when Al performed with Davis) so we kind of expected Al to pull into the driveway at some point, jump out of the car, and shake our hands.

We watched a PBS program tonight about dogs. The dogs that live in the arctic never spend a night indoors and subsist on whale blubber and snow. Border collies in Scotland run up and down steep hills all day, and follow whistle commands from as far away as half a mile. I tried to wake Kramer up to make him watch so he would be reminded of how good he has it, sleeping on a Slumberland bed and napping on a leather love seat, but he resisted. I think I saw his eye twitch once so I know he was listening.

Big storms coming tonight, Miles. Keep an eye on the radar and close the windows before you go to sleep.

Friday, September 26, 2008

a peanut that looks like the virgin mary

On the porch last night I had a bowl of peanuts and a glass of wine (the dinner I made was awful) and I found a peanut that looks like the Virgin Mary. I took it to school today and showed it to lots of people, who, to a person. said, "It looks like the Virgin Mary! You should put it on eBay!" Pictures will be posted tomorrow.There are two VM peanuts on eBay already but neither looks as much like the VM as mine does. Pictures will be posted tomorrow.

The dinner I made last night was something called hot and sour soup. Ick. It sounded like a good idea but the result was nasty. I don't like the taste of toasted sesame oil and that was overwhelming. Not much substance either. Tonight we had a homemade marinara and whole wheat pasta. Much better.

Last night I went back and read a lot of my old blog posts. I was a lot funnier a few years ago and I wonder why. Maybe I'm out of snappy observations about our imperfect lives. Maybe I was funnier when I got less sleep at night and therefore, was a little loopier all the time. Hard to say.

We have the debate on our newly connected cable and the bullshit vapors are so bad in the house that Regis closed the windows and turned on the air conditioner. There just wasn't enough of a breeze to move the foul air through. If you know what I mean. And don't bother leaving comments about another point of view. Ha! I like the opinion that I have!

I tried to follow a baseball game but I have to admit, my mind wanders. When I think I have finally stumbled onto some profound truth, like striking the batter out would be a good idea right about now, it turns out not to be so profound after all.

Regis and I are teaching the safe driving for the elderly class tomorrow. See you later in the day.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

fritches be home

The Fritches arrived in St. Peter about 8:30 this morning. Regis slept for a couple hours and then got up so he could sleep tonight. He looks a little raggedy around the edges and he seems to be a slow processor as we say in the special education business. As a matter of fact, he's a little cranky and as my cousin Deb said to Aunt Vi one time, the road goes both ways. What that means is that the cranky person could get on the road and go back the other way from which they came. Or something like that.

Regis took Tom some Yeungling today. Toted all the way from Pennsylvania from the oldest brewery in America. The second oldest is Schells. For balance in the universe he should have toted beer from the Schells brewery out to PA.

Not much else new on the home front here.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

commercials endless

I have watched some junk television in the absence of my husband this weekend. I have a feeling that the length of programs has decreased and the frequency of commercials has increased. Even if I cruise channels, there are always commercials. I'm starting to think that I pay money so they can pipe their propaganda about laundry soap and allergy medication into my house.

We had a brief but violent storm this afternoon. I watched it on the radar and it was almost the length of the state but very narrow and it moved through in about fifteen minutes. I was scared and almost went to the basement but by the time I shut the front door and called the dog, the worst of it was over. My neighbor lost a big ash tree in his front yard; it split right down the middle. I've never seen a tree struck by lightning but there was a black spot on the bare wood up at the top, where it split.

The Regises are in Ohio, having left Pennsylvania about noon. Their ETA is late morning tomorrow. The two city boys were enormously weary of the traffic and the rude drivers in Philadelphia. Can you believe it? They think a traffic jam is two people at a stop sign now. I remember when we were out there a few years ago and Regis pointed to a broken down car along the road. He said in a few days it would be stripped of radio, seats, wheels...and set up on cement blocks. Holy cow.

Regis took a pass on the healthy eating when they hit the first WaWa on the way in....I think he smelled the soft pretzels and it was all over. They're hauling back a gianelli or a giaconni. I think it's a stuffed pizza crust, or something like that. I can't remember. Bob? This is a picture of a cheesesteak from Pat's. It's worth a look. I love the way they sell food on the streets in Philadelphia. You line up at a window on the street and buy food. Weird but really good.

That line of storms that moved through here is headed across Wisconsin. If it doesn't break up over night, it could cause some trouble for the men on the highway. I told Regis to pull over if it gets bad and he laughed and said of course they would. Oh hell.

Monday, September 22, 2008

grammar are on their last leg

Windows is Shutting Down

Clive James

Windows is shutting down, and grammar are
On their last leg. So what am we to do?
A letter of complaint go just so far,
Proving the only one in step are you.

Better, perhaps, to simply let it goes.
A sentence have to be screwed pretty bad
Before they gets to where you doesnt knows
The meaning what it must be meant to had.

The meteor have hit. Extinction spread,
But evolution do not stop for that.
A mutant languages rise from the dead
And all them rules is suddenly old hat.

Too bad for we, us what has had so long
The best seat from the only game in town.
But there it am, and whom can say its wrong?
Those are the break. Windows is shutting down.

"Windows Is Shutting Down" by Clive James from Opal Sunset: Selected poems, 1958–2008. © W.W. Norton & Company, 2008. I'm sorry if I'm violating copyright law (and I'm sure that would sound fine in a court of law) but I hope this might sell a few books for Clive.

This poem made me laugh out loud twice. Once when I read it to myself and once when I read it out loud to Peter. I'm lucky to have a son who will let me read a poem aloud to him, even a short and funny one.

We had been talking about the use of text as a verb, as in I texted him and he was texting me about the movie. Peter said it irritates him and makes people sound ignorant. I love that he has an opinion about that.

I'm watching Barton Fink, a Coen brothers movie. So far, my favorite part is the old 1940's art deco hotel where Barton lives when he goes to Hollywood. It has long hallways with transoms over the doors and a big front desk. Cool.

It's been unseasonably warm and dry here. Today was windy and it felt like it was going to brew up a storm (it was an uneventful summer for the most part, Miles) but there's nothing on the radar if you can trust radar.

Regis is all done with the family business. Howard had a fine send-off that ended with a lunch at the Yardly Inn, a beautiful restaurant in Bucks County. They don't do church basement dinners there for some reason. Regis and Young Regis were in search of Yuengling to bring home tonight. Yuengling is brewed at the oldest brewery in America, or so it says on their website. It isn't distributed west of PA, making it more desirable. Like Coors used to be when I was in college. Whenever people went out there skiing, they brought back trunksful of it but it really wasn't all that good.

The men are heading home tomorrow afternoon so their ETA is late Wednesday. Long haul.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Regis and Brother Kurt

They dressed alike so they would look like twins. Ha! Note: Regis has a Vikings cap on and Kurt has one for the Eagles. Go team.

scrapple


Regis called. He and Young Regis are seeing lots of old friends and family on their trip back east. They've also eaten at the 130 Diner in Howard's honor. We don't have restaurants here in Minnesota that are called diners (except for Mickey's Diner in St. Paul) but there are some, mostly cafes, that are similar. I don't quite understand the distinction but there it is. Young Regis had scrapple for breakfast this morning at the 130 Diner. Scrapple is mentioned in the John Gorka song, "People My Age Are Startin' to Look Gross" if that gives you a hint.

Believe it or not, this is popular and it's served in most diners. It doesn't look too bad, kind of like meatloaf, but it has a mushy texture that is off-putting. This is what Wikipedia says about scrapple:

Scrapple is typically made of hog offal, such as the head, heart, liver, and other scraps, which are boiled with any bones attached (often the entire head), to make a broth. Once cooked, bones and fat are discarded, the meat is reserved, and (dry) cornmeal is boiled in the broth to make a mush. The meat, finely minced, is returned, and seasonings, typically sage, thyme, savory, and others are added. The mush is cast into loaves and allowed to cool thoroughly until gelled. The proportions and seasoning are very much a matter of the region and the cook's taste.

Yeah, lovely. Hog offal. That doesn't sound good, does it?

Here's Howard's obituary. Don't think you've missed something if you're surprised to see the H in my name. There is no H. Must be the newspaper's mistake; Howard wasn't a WWII vet either.

I made whole grain, low-fat biscotti this afternoon. They aren't exactly the white chocolate and macadamia nut ones that are so good but they'll do.

I'm reading a book that is so good, it's stunning: Divisadero by Michael Ondaatje. Same author as The English Patient, of which I was not a fan. But this is very good. I liked this line so well I stuck it on my email as a signature: There is the hidden presence of others in us, even those we have known briefly. We contain them for the rest of our lives, at every border that we cross.
In modern times, maybe that's considered a sign of respect for a person's words....sticking them at the end of an email. I've been known, though, to assume mistakenly that a signature is part of what the email sender is writing to me. I hate this expression, but... duh.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Friday night

The two Regises have arrived in Pennsylvania. They left last night just before 8:00 and arrived in Sunbury this afternoon about 4:00. I looked at the map and the roads there go all over the place. I imagine there must be elevational situations in between the crookedy roads or they would have their roads laid out in grid fashion like we do in southern Minnesota. Regis said his brother only bought the place he did because he couldn't find anything more remote in western PA. Then he said something about the blankety blank street signs being hidden by tree foliage.

They have about three hours to get to Philadelphia tomorrow but at least they'll be fresh. Well, it will be three hours to get to the city and about a hundred hours to get where they're going after that. Cities go on and on and on and never end on the east coast.

I wasn't fond of that trait of the parts of Pennsylvania that I visited. The trees come right up to the road and obscure your view of the sky. It's a little creepy and it would be easy for someone to sneak up on you there.

Kramer and I have been exceptionally lazy tonight. We've almost had to arm (and paw) wrestle for the couch. There isn't much more on television than there was two years ago when we gave it the boot. I've watched re-runs of Cheers and Law & Order and my favorite news program...The Daily Show. Pitiful. Tony Blair was the guest but he was pretty diplomatic rather than being provocative. That guy must know some good dirt; he should just give it up. I suppose that wouldn't go over big with the folks at Yale who are giving him big bucks to teach a class.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

long trip

Regis and his eldest son just left the driveway for a 1200 mile trip to Philadelphia. Howard, the elder Fritsch, passed away this morning so they're making their way east for the family gathering and the funeral. Howard had been in the care of hospice since the first part of the week so his passing wasn't a surprise, but still hard.

I'm sorry I couldn't go but a 1200 miles trip in the back seat of a two-door car is beyond my capabilities. They would have had to sedate me, put me out in LaCrosse, or let me out and stand back when we arrived. Plane tickets were 1400 dollars so that was out of the question.

So I'm on the own for a few days. I could do something constructive but I don't really see that happening.

I'm about half-way done with a book, a mystery that I want to know the ending of but I'm not interested enough in a page-at-a-time to keep reading. It's a chore. I'd like to skip a few pages but that doesn't work with a mystery. You can't put it together in the end.

Regis just called. Instead of driving straight through to Philadelphia, they're going to stop at his brother's house somewhere along the way. That's better. I wish I had thought to ask the name of the town. It might as well be the moon as far as I know. I'm not a great traveler.

Tom called a little bit ago with the information about the Lake Express ferry that crosses Lake Michigan. It's a cool idea but expensive and the idea of being in a vehicle full of cars as you cross a big body of water is kind of creepy to me. But hey, that could be just me. I know they do it all the time. I was going to put in the link to Lake Express but apparently blogspot is not doing links tonight.

More tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

autumn

Hard to believe it's almost the first day of autumn. It's been warm and sunny and summer-like, well...since Monday. Regis and I went for a long bike ride and then cooked on the grill. The little bugs are pesty so it isn't completely pleasant out there. A guy has to keep a hand over the wine glass or it's a swimming pool for gnats.

We've had tv since Monday and finally remembered to turn it on today for the only news programs to watch, The Daily Show and the Colbert Report. Commercials are about as irritating as the gnats. You can get most of this stuff on Youtube, you know.

I have about 80 pounds of paper to go through in the other room. Where does that crap come from, I ask? Every day we get catalogs and junk mail and it's a constant battle to sort out the stuff you don't want from the stuff you do. We should put a recycling bin right next to the mailbox and train the postal carrier to sort it for us. I suppose he wouldn't think that was his job.

As part of our healthy eating regimen, we're eating lots of different vegetable dishes; last night we had stuffed mushrooms and black bean salsa. Peter checks the menu or the recipes on the table and promptly goes to Taco Johns or McDonalds. He says he's creating balance in the universe by countering our healthy menus with his junk food. We think he has a friend of the female persuasion in Mankato but he won't breathe a word about it. I accused him of being secretive and he said he's not secretive, just not very open. He says I should know that about him and I guess I do. Ha.

I have a new standard for independence in your off-spring. It isn't when they get their own apartments, it's when they get their own cell phone plans. Both Tiffany and Peter are still on ours and we are dangerously close to going over both in calls and in text messages. See the previous paragraph about the female friend. The cell phone companies are like bandits when you use too many minutes. Bandits. Outlaws who live by plunder.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

rotten formatting issues

You can probably tell in the post below that I had formatting issues. Something wrong with my html. I know just enough about this to be dangerous. I can upload video and pictures but I have no idea what html is or how to fix it when it's messed up. I just kept deleting things and eventually it appeared as below, not perfect but ok.

long time no blog


>I don’t know what I’ve been busy doing. Not writing, I guess. I miss it.

This is a picture of our other grandchild, Tiffany’s baby, due to arrive February 26th. Ella’s sibling (Bob and Emily's baby) is scheduled to arrive the same day but I’m not worried, knowing how baby arrivals go. I’m hoping at least one of them will look like me.

I think it’s cool that expectant parents get to see their babies so early. I didn’t have an ultrasound until Peter was on his way and it was because they thought he was coming wrong-end first. I don’t think anyone thought to show it to me, at least I don’t have a copy of it. This may have been back in the days before ultrasounds were printable.

Anyone who communicates with us by email will be dismayed to learn (that may be giving it a little more importance than is due) that we’re switching internet providers again. I won’t go into the gory details but you will be getting a new email address from one or both of us soon. It’s a horrible job to switch email addresses; like switching phone numbers. My mom has the same phone number she had when she moved to Canby. That’s the way it should be.

Regis and I have been trying to get some exercise. He’s worked harder on it than I have, to be honest. I like bike riding but I have an aversion to walking when he takes the dog. In the last week, Kramer has gotten into a fight with a pit bull, eaten a baby bird, and stuck his head through the fence where a nasty Schnauzer lives. (Do I need that kind of stimulation? I don’t think it’s fair that reading doesn’t count as exercise.) Kramer does not back down from a fight and he made that pit bull cry like a baby. Latching onto the lip is his favorite strategy; it works on dogs of all sizes.

We watched Ella all day Saturday and she was very entertaining. Being ultra-liberal grandparents, we have been indoctrinating her into the ways of the DFL as you can see in this clip. (I'm sending Regis to film-making school so he learns how to edit out messy cupboards behind cute little kids.)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

marinara

Regis and I made a marinara recipe from the Cook's Illustrated magazine for dinner. It was messy and made a lot of dirty dishes but it sure was good. No meat either as we're trying to eat less meat. I even looked at tofu (ack) recipes on the web tonight. Maybe if I try to have a better attitude about it...

As we were eating on the porch, a little rain shower came through. I ached like hell today and maybe that's the reason. I don't think it's usually connected to the weather but you never know. Damn achy joints.

I forgot to tell a good story. When we were on our way home Sunday from the brunch buffet at Dangerfield's, Tom wanted to take the scenic route through Carver. It really is beautiful and if you've never been off 169, you'll be amazed at the hills and trees back there. So as we're coming into Carver, we see a big sign: Steamboat Days; and suddenly we are the tail end of a parade. Hundreds of people carrying lawn chairs and small children, hay wagons full of bales, dudes on dune buggies you couldn't see over the front of the car, and all manner of weird Americana. The streets are narrow in Carver and there was no getting around them and out of the way so we just putzed along patiently behind. Good thing we weren't two minutes ahead or we would have been part of the parade. It was fun and a good end to the day.

Tomorrow's Friday. Hurray. (And television comes back to the Fritsch-Saum house. I swear the only news I'm watching is John Stewart. Did I say that before? You start watching that stuff and pretty soon you got a white Bronco and a slow motion freeway chase. Who needs that BS in their life?)

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

weird stuff

I was on my way to Rochester yesterday and had the radio on some station, not sure which one. I heard an ad for a dentist that went like this:
Are you nervous about going to the dentist? I have a solution for you called SEDATION DENTISTRY. I give you a little pill and before you know it, your appointment is over.
What the hell. This sounds like something that used to be on Saturday Night Live. Like John Belushi's ads for Little Chocolate Donuts breakfast cereal. No offense meant to sedation dentists out there.

I made it to Rochester and back without incident. I really loathe driving... and riding, for that matter. After an hour, I am out of patience so it's too bad the drive takes 90 minutes. The last thirty minutes are a bear.

The appointments were interesting. The first one was with a psychiatrist and it wasn't at all like I imagined. She sat at a desk and I sat in a chair, just like a regular doctor. I don't know what I thought it would be like, Freud or something maybe. Both doctors, women, were very nice. I met with the dietitian again and I just love her. She is so interesting and engaging and funny. Onward and upward, she says.

There is some beeping noise going on here tonight. Like a garbage truck backing up for hours on end which does not seem possible. I may be forced to go outside and investigate. That gets irritating after awhile. The beeping noise and the neighborhood dogs who bark at it. Holy crap. What else.

I had to scrape frost off my windshield this morning for the first time this year. It wasn't hard frost but it was frozen stuff. Hard to think of a whole winter of that stuff coming on us.

We should have gone for a bike ride tonight but instead I'm having a glass of red wine and a piece of Lindt dark chocolate (with orange peel and tiny almond slivers) on the porch. I think it was a good choice.

I stayed with Steve and Sherry last night in Rochester. They're the ones with the funny little dog, Pepsi the Jack Russell Terrorist. He has a foot fetish and likes to lick your toes. I don't mind but if they have fancy company, it might not be so popular. Sherry and I went to a liquor store and perused the wine. My favorite was a box with a picture of three monkeys and it was called Pinot Evil. I often buy wine because I like the label or the name. I must not be the only person in America to do that because there are some great labels and names.





This is the wine I bought. We liked it but I just read some reviews that said the nose is a little too fruity. Whatever; it's a great label. I can't remember if I was blogging a few years ago when Tom and I tried a 50 dollar bottle of pinot noir and a 10 dollar bottle of pinot noir. We decided that we did like the more expensive wine better but we would have to have jobs other than school teacher and mail carrier to be drinking expensive wine. Tough being middle class these days. When I have to go back to drinking Boone's Farm, I'm moving to New Zealand.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

unvoiced linguolabial trill

That's a raspberry. My old college friend called it the Sunday psychosis. Seeing amoebas. I've written about it before.

We went to Dangerfield's for brunch today. Nice view of the river and lots of ducks. Too bad that boo-fay food looked so good.

We went down to the park to hear Lehto & Wright. Great band but not my favorite venue. Too many kids riding bikes across the stage.

Tom rode his electric bike down to the park yesterday. He was stopped by the local Barney Fife who said his bike isn't street legal in St. Peter because it doesn't have an internal combustion engine. He wasn't driving in the car lane but along the curb where you would ride a bicycle and he wasn't on a major highway but on a back street on his way to the park. With that logic, you couldn't drive a motorized wheelchair in St. Peter which, of course, people do all the time. We encouraged him to take it to the Supreme Court of Nicollet County and Regis said he'd take a day off work to see it.

We're watching The Big Lebowski which has become, I guess, a cult classic. I read in the Rolling Stone that people yell lines from the movie at the actors when they see them on the street. There are a lot of very strange characters and the lines are good if you aren't offended by the f word. I wouldn't watch it while your kids are in the house. Those Coen brothers are crazy.

Regis just checked our lottery tickets. We don't buy them all the time, only when we're desperate to quit working and lie on a beach somewhere. We didn't win so it's back to work tomorrow. Crap. I don't care much for casinos and have only been in about three in my life. They're too stimulating....loud clanging and such. But a nice quiet lottery ticket is a risk I'll take.

Regis has to start paying for his own damn phone so he can do his job at home. Incredibly cheap ass of his company, I think. So, the choice is to pay 20 dollars a month for a phone and 69 dollars a month for internet for a total of 89 dollars or 90 dollars a month and they throw in...you got it...cable damn television. Guess we're getting tv again. We can stop devolving.

Rainy Sunday morning

I have the usual excuses for not posting much lately:
  1. School just started and that takes more brain cells than it used to.
  2. We've had a lot of birthdays to celebrate: Tom, Harvey, Bob. Each required a meal and some gift preparation. One I delivered in a Bath and Body bag, one still had price tags on the stuff, and one had no card. Lame, I know.
  3. It's the weekend of the Rockbend Folk Festival. Yesterday was gorgeous but that meant the crowd was huge and thus I was greatly over-stimulated (and not in a good way) by the time we went home.
  4. I have an appointment at Mayo on Tuesday so I've been gathering all my records and musings from the last month. I like to be prepared.
  5. The weather, until today, has been beautiful and we've been trying to enjoy what might be the last nice days of autumn.
I could go on but I guess that's enough. We're going to Dangerfield's in Shakopee for the brunch buffet today. I generally don't like buffets so I hope we can order off the menu. We're going back down the park to hear one of our favorite bands, Lehto & Wright (great Irish rockers) at 5:30. That will about do it for this weekend.

Friday, September 05, 2008

a couple o' things

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Deb sent this funny video. I don't know it cracks me up. I'm glad to see Mr. Butler has recovered so well from his surgery and is able to dance like a fiend.

Deb reminded me of an addition to the story about Grandma Grace. Her mom had called Grace earlier and said, "It as a bad day. The dog died and Deb wants to get married."

I just have one more comment. The price of men's underwear is outrageous. We bought some for Regis at Kohl's last night. Twenty four dollars for four pair. I said for that price a guy better learn to go commando.

Re: the math in the post below. The math is right, for once. I get one year of credit toward retirement from TRA for each year that I work. So a total of 86 years means I work 2 and have 2 years credit, making a total of 90. 86 + 4= 90 Ta da! I can add with a calculator. Sheesh.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

no betty

The formatting is all screwed up tonight so make sure your window is big enough to accommodate the ends of my
well-crafted sentences.

My Cousin Deb called her Grandma Grace to tell her she was getting married. Grandma Grace said, "No, Betty!"

Betty McGraw said she thought that Fletcher had been mildly diabetic all his life. Tom said, "Whatever, Betty!"

When I thought of these two conversations last night just as I was going to sleep, there seemed to be a connection
to the selection of Sarah Palin as VP candidate. Today I can't remember what that was.

Tom sent me a great political rant by email today and I asked his permission to publish it. If he tells me I can
and I do, no comments please. I think it's great, of course, because I agree with him. If he was one of the White
People's Party as he calls it, I would have hit delete. I'm not too interested in reading opposing views.

I had a stressful day at school so I had a glass of wine in the lawn chair when I got home. Son Regis came to help
change the headlight in the VW. By the way, I heard on the radio that someone in TX was caught driving 120 mph
in a VW Beetle on a freeway. The announcer was surprised a VW would go that fast. I'm not surprised.

So I had a glass of wine. Regis stops. I have a little more liquid loudmouth and pretty soon I'm talking smart and
offering to buy dinner at the bar. I had about 8 thousand calories of fat and I could be sick for the next four days.
Oh, the price of pleasure. It was a fat orgy.

I don't have a book to read tonight. I have a couple on the table to return to friends and I just finished one by an
author I usually like. (Bel Canto) This book was bland and tedious. I skipped a lot. I might have to read one of Jim
Harrison's books again.

I figured out today (on the calculator) that I have been teaching for 30 years in Minnesota. Thirty years plus my age
(almost 56) which make a total of 86. In Minnesota, we have the Rule of 90 which means you can retire when your age
and experience equal 90. If you can afford your damn health insurance that is. So, if I could afford health insurance,
I could retire in 2 years. And then I could work at Fleet Farm for 8 dollars an hour.

Monday, September 01, 2008

end o' the weekend

Regis decided we should take a trip to MenRNerds this morning. I don't even remember what the mission was...oh yeah...a swag lamp for over the table. It's gotten dark earlier and it's a little tough to eat when you need to see your plate so it was a necessary trip. We went to Lowe's first which was fine except the guy acted like I was from another planet when I asked about swag lamps. Apparently they are not fashionable anymore. Uh huh. Like Mr. Ponytail would know.

We bought a few things at Lowe's then went to my favorite dork hangout MenRNerds. They must not have known the temperature was close to 90 because they had the heat on, I swear. I was so hot and so cranky by the time we left that I butted in line in front of some old people and didn't even feel bad about it. I just had to get the hell out of there. Regis, in true man fashion, wanted to browse in the lightbulb section. Holy crap. Between the sun beating in the front windows and all the heat from the lights and lamps; it was enough to make you insane.

What, really, do men find so fascinating about nuts and bolts? I am on a mission when I go in there. I can't find the stuff I want fast enough. I ask one person, I ask another, I ask a third; I just want to know where the damn ceiling hooks are so I can leave. All the men I see are just plodding along and looking at the shit like it was just invented and they can't believe it. Oooooh look....a wratchet thing. A clevis pin. A locking washer. What the hell.

We're watching one of the Bourne movies which are all like a blur of noise and bright lights and action. It must be what being on some bad drugs in a big city where you don't speak the language must be like. Hey, that's usually a part of the plot. I haven't watched much of it but at least I don't have to peak through my fingers to avoid the blooody gore. I read the books and they're all the same. The secret agents are so dumb I think I could be one. In one book, a secret agent and some friend of his met up in a Swiss chalet (they like those as settings...) and, in the middle of the night, they sat in front of a brightly lit window. And what do you know....somebody shot at them. That was it for me. Stupid book. A middle aged school teacher knows better than that.

Gustav is weakening and the republicans have lost their excuse for a lame ass convention. Hahahaha. Sorry.

Two goals for Labor Day


Hope you are enjoying Labor Day and remembering the reason for it. It's not just the last holiday before school starts! Check out this web page for Eugene Debs, union leader and social activist. In organized labor there is enduring respect for Debs as one of the giants among the pioneers of the American labor movement. His kiosk stands in the Labor Hall of Fame, Department of Labor, Washington, DC as a tribute to his contributions to American labor.
  • “Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization. Progress is born of agitation. It is agitation or stagnation.”
For most of the day, I plan to sit in a lawn chair and enjoy the warm, fall weather, but there are two things I mean to get done today: pack up some clothes for the folks who come around and collect them on Thursday since I have a hellish mess in the bedroom and some of that crap has got to go....and the other thing I planned to do was go for a bike ride and we already did that. Hurray for goal setting. Ha!

We've got some great steaks to cook on the grill tonight, too. So long until later. Enjoy the day. Here's to agitation!