Sunday, February 27, 2011

and another bunny update

I was going to stop the Facebook bunny updates but the bunny has fans. They demand to know. So here is the bunny after yesterday's snow. One ear has disappeared again.

sunday morning


Ella decorated the cupcakes and a fine job she did! She would sprinkle a few on, then ask my advice, then sprinkle some more. We had crayon candles for Elliot. He loves crayons.

Evelyn, Ella, Alex, and Elliot at the little table. I'm pretty sure Alex is saying cheese.

I don't know they ended up on the kitchen floor but at least it was clean. Ha!

Elliot was tired here and not so much interested in birthday cake or candles or singing.

Alex was a real trooper. He had a birthday party last week so he knew the deal with presents. He cried when he realized these were not for him but he recovered quickly and then took the job of toting presents to Elliot. He waited patiently while Elliot opened it, then went for another one.

By popular demand, I brought back the dreaded cheesy potatoes for dinner last night. This is the hash brown stuff you throw in a crock pot with a couple cans of nasty faux yellow cheese soup. I like to doctor them up a little but they are still unpalatable, as far as I'm concerned. Oh, well, I don't have to eat it.

I woke up early and cleaned up the party mess before we went to Mankato to buy groceries. We used paper plates and plastic forks so the clean-up was pretty easy. There were a few wine glasses because I won't serve wine in plastic cups. I am a wine glass snob. I admit it. Boy, I'm admitting a lot of bad shit today.

What the hell is up with the redesign of the HyVee? Oh, my God! Was this a complete random, throw a dart at the wall to decide where to put stuff job? We found men's deodorant in the baby section, kleenex in the cracker and cookie aisle, candy in the plastic bag section, cheese sticks by the get the drift. Then the nice girl checking us out asked if found everything alright. We did the Estle eye-brow raise and laughed. She gave us a map which doesn't look nearly as insane as it really is. At least they haven't moved the meat department.

Maybe we're just getting old and cranky. I groused about the loud music by the gas pumps at Kwiktrip when we stopped to get the ice we couldn't find at the HyVee. It was probably with the vinegar. Just what you would expect. The proliferation of nasty processed food is another disturbing trend in grocery stores but that's a rant for another day.

I hate house plants. We don't have enough light in the winter and they look like hell most for most of the winter, then they die. I had a lavender plant I was trying to nurse through the winter...well, my version of nursing a plant is to stick it in the corner and forget about it for months. It kicked the bucket sort of suddenly so I watered it and cut it back and now it's just a dead thing in a pot. I did manage to keep Howard's rosemary alive, at least for now.

We're getting our weekend chores done this morning...laundry, bills, dishes, cooking for the week...and then we're going to have a fun afternoon. I'm not sure what that entails, but for sure we won't be cleaning the basement or anything like that.

Here's what I'm cooking this week:

  • Carne asada fajitas with grilled peppers and onions
  • Meatballs and marinara
  • Spinach salad
  • Chicken parmesan
  • Cheesy egg bake
My task right now is to redesign my grocery shopping template to be a better fit with the new, crazy layout of the store. 

Saturday, February 26, 2011

here he is!

bunny update but no pic

The bunny's ears appeared again yesterday, proving that the sun is strong this time of year even if it's colder than hell. (Regis took a picture which I will post later because I'm too lazy to get off the couch.) I don't know what the temperature was but the bar was full of people who started out crabby about the weather. After a glass of wine or beer, not so much. Vickie wore flip flops, a way of flipping off winter. Good for her.

We're celebrating Elliot's birthday today. I have two big beef roasts in the crock pot already and I'm making a spinach salad, cheesy potatoes, and cupcakes. I love birthdays. I have some work to do today to get the house ready for company but I enjoy the preparations.

We watched Pirate Radio the other night. I really enjoyed it. There was more drama in the end than I typically can appreciate in a movie and I would have been happier if I had known that the ship DID NOT go down and they DID NOT die. I don't like suspense in movies, I much prefer to know there is a happy ending.

I'm reading Let's Take the Long Way Home: A Memoir of Friendship by Gail Caldwell. I love it. It's about a friendship, dogs, 9-11, illness, and death. She has a lovely and lyrical way of writing about tough things. One of the best books I've read in a long time. I'm also reading The Road Home by Jim Harrison. I never give way (or even lend) Jim Harrison's books. They're part of my landscape and I like having them on the shelf by the bed. The characters are like people I have known my whole life.

I've forced myself to get rid of some books over my life. There would be too many if I kept them all and we would be buried in books. If I'm not emotionally attached to a book, it can go. Books by these three authors don't go: Louise Erdrich, Jim Harrison, Kent Haruf.

I'm going to the Pulse to exercise this morning. It's usually quiet for the first hour on Saturday. I like my exercise to be serene so it's a motivation to get there early.

More later. Happy Saturday.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

the philosophy of green glitter shoes

This blog post is not written in real time. It’s been written over several days and paragraphs have been inserted and deleted many times. No wonder I get confused.

I’ve been in a funk the last two days. I started thinking about it on my way to school this morning which complicated things since I had to remember to go by the PO to mail my TRA application and then meet Regis at Arvin’s so my car can get serviced today. The plan was to stop at Kwik Trip for coffee on the way to school. That’s a lot to remember.

Regis said he told Arvin that I left before he did so he might have to back track to find me. It’s never quite that bad but I have to get a ride to Arvin’s after school and I’m worried that I might forget and will walk into the parking lot at the end of the day and wonder where my car is.

I dropped my TRA application in the mailbox by the bank. As it was leaving my hand, I realized I hadn’t put a return address on it. Oh, brother. It will probably be lost in the mail for years like that box of get-well cards I read about last month. Forty years later, they turn up at the guy’s house. This could be bad.

My damn coffee cup sprung a leak and ran all over the floor as I ran down the hall to try and capture some of it in a different cup. I’m fussy about my coffee cups so wouldn’t take the first one offered. I know. Weird.

I went to the doctor to see about a funny lump on my hip. I had already internet diagnosed it as a lipoma and that’s what Dr. Ruth said it is. Another word for it is this: fatty tumor. Like your pets get on their backs. Good grief. How disgusting is that? A fatty tumor? Really? Nothing more exotic than that?

I believe my funk is related to contradictions I am feeling. I diagnose my own psychological problems, too.

I wish the days away and then I feel overwhelmed and sad because time goes so fast. Waxing gibbous, waning gibbous. Moon after moon.

I am exctied at the thought of retiring and being able to sweep some of this BS out of my head and then I feel deep sadness at the thought of walking out the door for the last time. I can feel it welling up as I think about it and I don’t quite know how to handle it. I had another professional commitment a few years back and I was eager for it to end but as I walked away, I wept bitter tears. More like sobbed. What the hell.

I read in some philosophy article online that contradictions are part of life. Guess I might have conjured that deep thought up on my own.

I spent one hour in a philosophy class when I was in college. I could not wrap my head around that way of thinking and thus, my reflections on these ideas are poorly developed. Doh, as Homer Simpson says. So, having properly butchered this guy’s philosophical message in my tiny mind, I move forward, no longer cranky and tired.

And on a happier note, we were invited to a Halloween costume company party on St. Patrick’s Day. It’s a pub crawl in Mankato and costumes are half price! I bought a green top hat, a green feather boa, green hand warmers, and I have a pair of green and white striped tights. I really should act my age more often. Ha!

I shopped for some green glitter heels but they were very expensive so I bought a pound of glitter and a bottle of glue and I plan to sacrifice a pair of shoes that I already own. Craft projects are not my forte so we’ll see how this goes.

I got an email today from the assistant web content writer who told me that I was not selected as a candidate for the web content writer position. I am disappointed. I thought of all the jobs I have applied for there, I had the best shot at this one. I knew I wasn’t qualified to be web data analyst although I would have accepted the position and faked it. I could probably do that, right, Mom?

Regis thinks I have to be realistic (more realistic, does he mean?) about the jobs I am qualified to get. I don’t care. I want a DIFFERENT kind of job and think I could do a lot of things. What the hell. Did I doom myself to a life of…whatever it is I have been doing for all these years?

I talked to my doctor about my retirement plans. She thinks it’s a fabulous idea but she did not offer to clean out her spare bedroom in the event that we run out of money. In fact, I can’t think of anyone who has offered to do that. We’ll be living in a van down by the river.

We're considering flood insurance even though we live in what they call the 500-year flood plain. With our luck, this would be the year. It covers up to 2500 dollars in furs. After the tornado, a very serious agent came to "adjust" our losses. He walked out the back door onto an area that had been the screen porch but it had blown away leaving only the cement floor. He asked what had been there. I said, "A screen porch...and a hot tub and a big chair with a fur coat and my diamond ring in the pocket." I laughed maniacally but he was not amused. A sense of humor ought to be mandatory for those guys.

Well, that’s it for the day.

Monday, February 21, 2011

and the bunny is gone

The gray shadow is the tip of his ear. Poor guy.

The weather looks wretched. I have a haircut appointment in Mankato at 4:30 and being the wuss that I am, I am inclined to cancel. Regis, being the eastern guy that he is, is inclined to go.He says he is feeling spry. I said he will be feeling spry in the ditch.

Regis was called into a conference room today to talk to his boss. He said he felt like he was walking to the gallows. But, the guy told him what a great job he's doing and now he can work up to 32 hours a week. Hurray!

There is a squirrel out in the yard hanging upside down on a bird feeder trying to shake some peanuts loose. I know they don't really hibernate but it must be a bitch to wake up from a nap, wander out into a blizzard to try to find a snack...and what the hell...all this snow. Poor guy.And I forgot about the part where you have to hang upside down in your somnambulant state.

We haven't done a very good job of feeding the birds and squirrels this past month because it's hard to wade through ass-deep snow to get to the feed.

I found a beautiful angora sweater, bright red, at TJ Maxx the other day for five dollars. What a deal. I have it on today. I love red.

I'm reading a wonderful book on my kindle. Right away, I found passages I liked but didn't know how to mark so I had to come home and scroll back page by page. I know there is an easier way to do it but I have never investigated it. I just curse the kindle every time it happens. Damn e-books.

The book is called Let's Take the Long Way Home by Gail Caldwell. Lovely writing. Here are a couple of sentences I liked:

What they never tell you about grief is that missing someone is the simple part.Before one enters this spectrum of sorrow, which changes even the color of the trees, there is a blind and daringly wrong assumption that probably allows us to blunder through the days. There is a way one thinks that the show will never end – or that the loss, when it comes, will be toward the end of the road, and not in the middle.I suppose every friendship has such indicators- the checks and balances of the relationship that make it stronger or more generous than either of you alone. For both of us, the volume of the world had been turned up a notch.The flaw is the thing we love. We all need a person who admires and cares for us not in spite of our flaws, but in acceptance of them, as part and parcel of who we are. 
It's still snowing. I have no idea how much snow we got in this last dump but it's a lot.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


weekend schizophrenic

I'm having a tough time making a decision about anything today. I changed the picture on my blog, then changed it again. I've spent an hour changing the template. Should I change the sheets on the bed or wait until tomorrow?

It's because we're teetering on the edge of winter and spring. Winter clothes don't look so good anymore but it's too cold for spring clothes. And what about footwear???

We're in the midst of a blizzard warning that includes up to a foot of snow.

Ah, hell.

We had a good time yesterday. Went to Mankato and did some rapid shopping of sale racks in two of my favorite stores. We wanted to get a new bedspread thing for our bed because the one we have is so heavy it slides off. We had one for years that Mom got at some after-Christmas sale dirt cheap and we loved it. Exactly the right weight and it didn't slide off the bed. I found a Vera Wang set at Kohl's that had been 300 dollars. Seriously? Someone would pay that much money for a thing to cover a bed? This was 80% off so I got it for 57 bucks plus another 15% off. I love a good deal.

We watched Elliot for a couple hours while his mama went to pick up a different car. He's such a doll. I made him chicken and vegetables for dinner with a piece of peanut butter toast. He loved the toast, not so much the chicken. They teach signs at his school so he signs things like full and good. So cute.

We've been documenting the disappearance of our snow via bunny updates. Here he was on Friday. The weather had been warm all week and he was slipping his mantle of snow.

Here he is this morning looking so bereft and so forlorn. It could be a long day for the bunny. It's snowing so hard we can hardly see across the street.

Regis is making me a Mexican omelet for breakfast. We have left-overs (ahi tuna and a ribeye steak) from our dinner last night. I'm going to make buffalo chicken meatballs later. I bet I said that yesterday. Ha!

We have tickets to see a comedian tonight but I wonder if he'll even get to town in this weather. Or if we'll get out of the driveway.

We stopped at the Cedar's Grill on our way back through town. We just had a drink at the bar but Jamie gave us a tour of the hotel rooms and we're decided we'd like to live there. It's beautiful. We talked to lots of people as they left the restaurant and they all said the food was wonderful.

Well, off to enjoy the day. More pictures later.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

saturday coffee

Vickie brought us coffee from Jamaica so we're having a cup this morning. I went to the Pulse even though my tiny winter-weary brain objected to going outside in the cold.

She also brought me a voodoo doll and Regis this little rasta guy.

I'll leave to your imagination what is beneath the banana.

The weather forecast is miserable, pitiful, damnable, curse-worthy. One of the things I love about keeping this blog is that I can look back to previous years. I did that yesterday and what do you know, I was in the same ugly end-of-winter funk the end of February as I'm in the year. I was taking pictures of the bunny ears emerging from the snow. I was complaining about the cold and dark. I was eager for sandals and tired of winter clothes. Ah, well. Such is life.

We celebrated Alex's 2nd birthday last night at Bob and Emily's house. Alex and Ella love the camera and the minute they see it, they pose and shout, "Cheese!" It's a hoot.

We have a quiet weekend planned. I'm going to do some cooking: oatmeal cottage cheese pancakes, buffalo chicken meatballs, and chicken parmesan. We're going to return a skirt to Kohl's later and then stop for dinner at Pappageorge. (After all that cooking, right?) Tomorrow night we're going to see a comedian at the Firefly Theater. We have some necessary chores like laundry, house picking up, and dishes but for the most part, we'll relax and enjoy. And wait for the snow.

I saw a really ghastly swimsuit on a message board this morning. It burned my retinas and now I need eye surgery. Just kidding about that but if you want to see what I saw, put mankini in google and do an image search. I know you'll do it, Mom. You might regret it, but you'll do it.

I think one of the greatest strengths a person can have is to see life's issues as problems to be solved and not as a crisis du jour that provokes hand-wringing and shirt-rending and dire predictions of further disaster. Oh, my God. Usually, a week after one of these episodes, the hand-wringer doesn't even recall what the Friday crisis's over and done. So my philosophy is to let that stuff float off over the horizon like a big balloon.

One of the people in our family is experiencing car trouble with an old car. Another person in our family is a huge pessimist and is influencing the person with the car trouble to freak out and expect disaster. They both need better filters.

Regis just made us the most delicious Mexican omelet with a stuffed jalapeno pepper, grilled peppers and onions from the fajitas we had earlier in the week, some Andouille sausage, and cheese with Green Mountain salsa on top. Oh, my. That will make you forget about your troubles.

The only good thing about the impending inclement weather is that I can wear my winter boots for one more week. I wore boots every day this winter and now I'm kind of stumped about warmer-weather footwear.

Enough of sitting here blathering about this and that. On with the day! Make it a good one.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

boy does this suck but why are we surprised?

From our buddy, Paul Douglas:

3-6" potential snowfall in the metro area Sunday. Some parts of Minnesota could easily wind up with over 6" from Sunday's storm. I expect the NWS to issue Winter Storm Watches by late Friday or Saturday morning at the latest. It's still too early to tell where the heaviest snow bands will set up. This will be a wet, slushy snowfall, very different from what fell in January (much easier for MnDOT to keep roads wet/slushy vs. snow-covered). That said, travel may become increasingly tricky during the day Sunday, with the worst conditions after dark Sunday evening.

Holy crap is all I have to say.

We should have known that this was NOT spring even though it's been 50 degrees and snow is melting like crazy and all we get are flood warnings. This is not spring. WTF

I came home from work today absolutely whipped. I had a glass of wine then finished the preparation of the stuffed peppers that the sous-chef had started. He's a good man, that sous-chef. He did the dishes, too. I'm feeling much better now, thanks.

We've been watching the snow melt from around the cement bunny in the garden. Here is the latest photo:

I've been posting his daily photo on Facebook as a way to document how fast the snow is going away. Last week, we couldn't even see the tips of his ears. And those are pine needles around him which means we have gotten down to the layer of snow that came around Christmas. Is there Halloween candy at the bottom?

Our friend, Vickie, is coming back from her cruise (wherever that was...) tonight. She left on a bitter cold day, missed our big thaw, and is coming back just in time for more snow. We're going to help her return to earth by taking her to Pappageorge on Saturday night.

On the 38th of Guna Gonda in the year 1938 B.C., George Antrobus invented the wheel. Thank you Firesign Theatre. That's a blast from the 60's. The character, George Antrobus, is actually from a play by Thornton Wilder called Skin of Our Teeth. 

I keep applying for jobs at the Halloween costume company. So far, I haven't gotten so much as a bye-your-leave. Nada. What the hell. They must not know how much fun I would be and that my birthday is on Halloween. Maybe somebody there will do a google search and find my blog and hire me.

In the last week, a couple of people I know at school have said I should sub after retirement or contract with them for some part of my job. Nah. I'm not interested. I am reinventing myself as a fun and interesting person which means I disdain all the boring things I have done in my life thus far. Maniacal laughter.

We're having stuffed peppers for dinner. Andouille sausage and Monterey Jack cheese stuffed into banana and jalapeno peppers. Delicious.

On to the evening. If we had cable, we'd be watching Parks and Rec.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

the party what started out as jumpin' around

The title of this post is actually a blast from the past. A few years ago, I wrote a book in my dream and this was the title. I rarely dream, or I should say, I rarely remember my dreams. Regis has dreams where there is a well-developed plot and even sometimes a sub-plot. All the characters in his dreams have names of real people from his past. He had a dream once about Frannie Babenshack from kindergarten.

I had a dream the other night that we went to a fancy dress ball but everyone was wearing Nike sport shoes. That's it. That is the extent of my memory of this dream. Couldn't my sub-conscious have a little bit more of an imagination?

The weather was spectacular today. I had to do some driving around from school to school and it was warm in the car and almost too warm to wear a coat. Ah, spring. I checked out the bunny late this afternoon and the whole head is now exposed.

I went to an elementary school and entertained a funny little kid in a Spiderman hat with my phone picture of the Spiderman in the cupid costume taken at the costume place where Regis works. The kid was not really amused. I said, "Aren't you a fan of Spiderman?" "Not really," he said. Hmmmm. Mom got the hat at the thrift store or something.

My phone has this predictive spelling thing on it. I was typing something to Regis just now about a movie and I wanted to use the word mayhem. I was curious to see if swiftkey would recognize the word and finish it for me. Nope. Swiftkey has a limited vocabulary. It's like when something you type in an email, on the internet, doesn't recognize that internet is a word. It makes the squiggley red line under internet. Isn't that weird? Or is it just me? I've written about this before, haven't I? I'm obsessed with this phone feature, aren't I?

 I have a lot of favorite Gary Larson cartoons. This isn't one of them. I tried to find the one where two frogs are in a car at night. The caption says: "Watch out for that car, you idiot!...And now you're on the wrong side of the road. Criminy! You're driving like you've been pithed or something."

 This one of my favorites. The Floating Head of Death. I swear, you can find anything on the internet.

Somehow, the blue ray thing we have will play our Picasa pictures and our Facebook accounts. What the hell. Pictures that I have on my computer will play on the television. Amazing.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

sunday in pictures

I made an egg bake with cottage cheese, sharp cheddar, and lots of spicy peppers. Regis pronounced it delicious.

We cooked a ton of peppers and onions for the carne asada fajitas. I don't know what carne or asada's just in the recipe. We use flank steak and it's wonderful. We use the peppers and onions in almost everything.

Our patio as it is now. I waded out to try and find the charcoal chimney under the grill. No luck. Boo hoo...

The bunny ears are our gauge of how fast the snow is melting. On Friday morning, we could see the tip of the left ear (nearer the sun) and none of the right ear. It got to about 45 degrees today. That, my friends, is 65 degrees warmer than it was last week. Holy shit, Batman.

Here's the view of the bunny ears from the front door.

Since we couldn't find the charcoal chimney, we had to improvise. Regis worked with newspaper and an old White Owl cigar can to get those coals going. He also had to expend some air blowing on them. Success!

They were stubborn little buggers but we got them to light and cook!

Here's the flank steak. Oh, my. We had almost forgotten how good grilled meat can be. We'll eat this for at least three more meals. Remember all the peppers and onions?

Regis cutting the flank steak. He kept his cooking talents from me for a long time. Ha! His secret is out of the bag now. He made the most delicious Mexican omelet for breakfast today.

Our Valentine's Day dinner which we ate tonight. We couldn't pass up a chance to grill on such a nice day. This is probably the earliest we've grilled in a long time. It's hard to keep charcoal hot enough in the winter, unlike gas.

It was another sweet weekend. We got a lot of little tasks done today like laundry, grocery shopping, cooking for the week, recycling, and such. You can bring on Monday because we're ready...not psychologically prepared but ready.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Ella and Nana spend the day together

saturday plans

I'm where I start every day, in front of the fireplace with my hands wrapped around a cup of coffee. Not sure if it's the caffeine or the warmth I crave.

It's almost twenty degrees outside so it makes me dread the going out a little less. How's that for a couple good qualifiers. Almost and a little less. Not very definite this morning, am I?

I'm going to exercise at 7:00. We're picking Ella up later for a dress-up day. She's bringing all her fancy stuff and I'm sure she'll want to rummage through all my scarves and jewelry. We put on long dresses and hats and every necklace I own. Regis will take pictures and we'll have a blast.

This afternoon, we'll go to the Polar Plunge. I can't imagine how people do that, but they do. They go down there in skimpy clothes and wait to jump into a hole in the ice. I can hardly stand to watch it much less think of doing it. I Spiderman will be there today. Regis will take pictures

We had a nice time at Patrick's. I love Friday afternoons when we know a lot of people and get to visit. Reg and Amber came in with Mike and Peggy. A group of teachers from the high school were there. Three paras from our school were there. Ann and Jim who went on the Summit trip with us last winter and we don't see very often were there. It was a good Friday afternoon.

We came home and watched the Thursday night episode of Parks and Rec on the computer. What a hoot.

Regis got his new phone and had to spend an hour on my phone with them so they could program it. Seriously. The drawback to these amazing new phones is that they are complicated and touchy. This is not your mama's crank-up telephone.

I applied for another job yesterday as a web content writer. I think I could do that since I looked at the web content this company currently has and it isn't Pulitzer prize stuff. I keep trying to sanitize myself so I don't seem old. I try to make my resume and letter less education-sounding and more hip-sounding. I think it's going to take meeting the right person. Maybe we have to start cruising the high-end restaurants and bars on Saturday night. I would hate that. Ha!

Here's a link to one of my favorite short stories. Why I Live at the P.O. by Eudora Welty.

More coffee. Exercise.

See you later.

Friday, February 11, 2011

3 a.m.

I woke up at 2:45, unable to get back to sleep. I want to go to the Pulse this morning... it's too late to take an Ambien so I get out of bed, make coffee, turn up the furnace, and start the day.

I don't mind it, really. I like the early morning hours but the day gets long. I need a little nap about 9 o'clock and they frown on that at work. Ha!

In the fuzzy minutes between sleep and waking, I thought of a good blog title but of course, like dreams, now it's gone.

We had a quiet evening. I read an article in a magazine, read a book for a while, paid bills for the middle of the month, talked to Mom on the phone. We planned to watch Pirate Radio but it got too late.

We want to go out to Canby for a visit but I want to wait until they have five days without a late start. That could be May. Last week, they had one day of school and that started late. When the wind blows out there, it's awful. Tiffany and I drove out one sunny, warm late February day last winter and I was scared to death between Canby and Marshall. The snow had drifted across the road and left six inches of slippery slush. Meeting a car in one of those patches was interesting, believe me. One of us, Mom or me, needs to move.

I turned in my retirement letter yesterday. I really hadn't agonized over it for about two weeks but wanted to see how the decision sat. It sat just fine. I'm looking forward to the next phase. I don't quite see how I could be old enough to retire but I guess I am. I'm going to be looking for a job with daytime hours and week day hours, good pay, low stress. Let me know if you hear of one of those!

It was a good day to send the letter yesterday. It had been a week of meetings and running around. One day I was in four buildings. I just can't keep it all straight anymore. I'm sure there are people who do that more than I do and are able to juggle competently all the paper and tasks. I can't do it anymore. I can't do it with any sense of enthusiasm.

I have some big projects I want to do before the end of the year so I'm not planning to be sitting on my haunches waiting to spring out the door on the last day. But it's nice to look forward to sweeping some of these things out of my head in July.

I think I wrote about Regis and the 5,000 text messages back in December. Yesterday he started sending and receiving random texts again. By the end of the day, he was up to more than 350. He sends texts to weird numbers like 106. Hey, that ain't no phone number! He has his computer set up to be a SETI receiver so my theory is that the aliens are contacting him on his phone and 106 is an alien phone number. The upshot is that they are sending him a new phone. Verizon customer support didn't want to try to reprogram the alien text codes out of his current phone.

Regis has this t-shirt. There are only 10 kinds of people in the world: Those who understand binary and those who don't. Whenever he wears it, I read it and hear a distant ringing. I think there was a time I learned about binary and even understood it. Now, it's in the gray fog at the end of my brain's alley. He tries to explain it but I say it's ok. It's one of life's mysteries.

There are other things I have given up trying to understand. Why some people are mean and ignorant when they have an education and lots of opportunities is one. Why tiny bird legs don't crack off on the days when it's 30 degrees below. How airplanes fly.

I thought it was supposed to be warmer this morning but the Trib says -3. That is not much warmer. I guess technically, it is, but come on....three degrees? That's not enough to notice. Not like any damn heat wave, my friends. the end of the day, Paul Douglas says it could be 30 degrees. Above zero. That might almost be enough to make a guy shed the snorkel parka and put his face up to the sun.

Happy Friday! Plan something fun this weekend. Don't be cleaning the basement or dusting shelves. Lifes' too short for that BS.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

my skin is flaking off, I swear

It's been so cold out this week that we're all tired. Tired of wearing forty extra pounds of clothes. Tired of dry skin and cracking finger tips. Tired of thinking about whether or not you can leave a thermos of coffee in your car for an hour without it freezing rock solid. The good news is that today could be, just could be, the last day of it for this year. It will be, they have said, in the 30 degree range over the weekend. Hallelujah!

This is the Spiderman costumed character at the place where Regis works. They dress him up for holidays... Spiderman, not Regis...and here he is in his cupid costume. I love it. They had a Christmas party last Friday which we were unable to attend. The theme was Party like a Rock Star and I guess they had quite a time. I want to work in a place that has fun like this.

As if life isn't weird enough, Regis volunteered to do taxes for the old people organization this year. He went to a bunch of training first, then started doing taxes yesterday. I don't know what possessed him as we don't even do our own taxes. I hate anything like that. When I look at numbers on a page, they lift up and float in the air around my head like dust.

Doesn't he look happy?

By the end of today, I will have been to 9 meetings this week. I haven't been at my desk since Monday and I have a bag full of notes, lists, and paper that needs to be sorted out...or maybe just recycled. Yeah, that's a good idea. Just dump the whole thing into the recycle bin. Maniacal laughter. I realize lots of people probably do more meetings than that in a week but it isn't my bag. I'm a slow thinker and this is too much input in a short amount of time  for my head.

I woke up early this morning but didn't go exercise. I'm boycotting the weather. I'm not getting into my car at 5 a.m. to drive a half mile to exercise. Tomorrow will be a different story. It will be ten degrees tomorrow instead of ten below and I can deal with that. Today, not at all. It's coffee and the fireplace for this cat.

I keep thinking of this song by John Gorka.

People My Age

People my age
Have started looking gross
I cannot say all
And I shouldn't say most
I've seen 'em in the grocery
I've seen 'em up close
And people my age
Have started looking gross

People my age
Are showing some wear
There's holes where their teeth was
And their heads have gone bare
Their brains are shrinking
Faces sinking into fat
And as for the mirror
We won't be looking into that

People my age
Have started looking gross
Maybe not in Colorado
Or up the Silicon Coast
Back in Pennsylvania
I'd eat scrapple on toast
Those were my first steps
On the road to looking gross

People my age
Are looking overripe
Some are getting operations
To tighten up what ain't tight
What gravity's ruined
They try to fix with a knife
What's pleasant in the darkness
Is plain scary in the light

Hey, a youtube video of John singing People My Age! Ain't the internet something!

People my age are fascinating. When I don't see someone for a while (like at these meetings I go to all the time....) I realize that people my age are getting old fast. What the hell is up with that? It seemed like we were young (or youngish) forever and now suddenly, we're around the bend. We're kind of losing our color like my tropical fish used to when they got old...they faded. Rage against the loss of color, my old friends. Don't go easy into that good night.

One of my younger colleagues was telling about being on the beach in Hawaii and an "old" guy was walking around in a Speedo. She was amused but I was encouraged. Ha! Good for him, I said. What the hell. He should sit in the shade and sip his tea in Hawaii?

The other day, I mentioned the tv show Hercules to a young woman at school. I said she might not have seen it because it was on in the 1980's and she was probably too young. Some awareness on my part, right? She said she wasn't born until 1989. Whoa. Really. Hard to even get your head around that piece of information.

I've probably spent enough time here this morning. I've had three cups of coffee, warmed my feet before the fire, and babbled on in my usual way. Have a good day. Gather some stories and have some fun.

Monday, February 07, 2011

we got res

After unloading our cable tv which we do from time to time in irritation, our kids have been teasing us about being NO RES, as opposed to high-res. Ha. Very funny. We got res, just not as it pertains to television.

We watched Pixar Short Films Vol. 1 tonight. What a hoot. Amazing to think about how different this is from the animation of my youth. It's really a different art form. Regis says it's done with computer source code and I have no flippin' clue what that is.

Regis is trying to put an RSS feed on a blog. I managed to do it on my blog and I know it means that people who are regular readers can get notified that you have posted. Beyond that, I have no flippin' clue. I tried to help him but really, it was some sort of cosmic miracle that I managed to do it so I'm useless.

I looked at a funny website last night. First I wrote that it was the absolute funniest website but I think that would be like calling it awesome so I erased that and wrote that it was just funny. It's Damn You Auto Correct. If you are bothered by profanity, don't bother to check it out. If you text and get a kick out of the mistakes your predictive speller makes, then you might find it funny. I laughed until I cried.

I've developed an invisible shield of invincibility for bullshit. It's been very good at helping me maintain a cheerful demeanor throughout the day.

The temperature in the morning is supposed to be about 15 below with a wind chill of 25-35 below. It's almost gotten boring. Really? I could die or freeze my face off if I'm outside with exposed skin for ten minutes?

A Wind Chill Advisory means that very cold air and strong winds
will combine to generate low wind chills. This will result in
frost bite and lead to hypothermia if precautions are not taken.
If you must venture outdoors... make sure you wear a hat and
No shit?

I ordered this book today: How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free: Retirement Wisdom That You Won't Get from Your Financial Advisor by Ernie Zelinski.

Pay no attention to the click to look inside the book. it doesn't work here. It looks like exactly what I want to do.

See you tomorrow, friends. Stay warm.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

weekend in Rochester

Me at Martini's, the bar in the Grand Kahler.

Regis at Mac's Cafe where we had a most delicious breakfast.

We had a wonderful weekend that didn't always go as planned but still was, as the billboards say, awesome. (Aside: I never eat in a restaurant that claims its food is awesome.)

Our intention was to spend the weekend in Rochester so we could attend a Lehto and Wright concert on Saturday night at a place called the Acoustic View. We had two tickets reserved for us and we put the place in google and had the address and a map. More on that later.

Friday afternoon after checking into our hotel downtown Rochester, we met Steve and Sherry for dinner at a place called Chester's. I had dinner there before and thought the food was good. There was a Rick Springfield concert that night at the civic center so the place was crawling with big-hair 1980's types.

One woman had a denim jacket on with a painting of what must have been Rick's face on the back...bigger than life. It was a cheap looking jacket that must have been painted by machine in some factory because that dude could have passed for Elvis, Michael Jackson (before all the nose surgery), or Rick Springfield. Really. The way some people clothe themselves is frightening. We didn't think to get a picture of this thing which is probably good.

The meal at Chester's was loud. Very loud. We were seated in the bar area and were too stunned by the bazillion decibel level of the music to even protest. There was a lot of "what?" going on at our table. the bar manager was perky and ubiquitous with spiky hair and a big diamond earring. We're not at Patrick's anymore, my friend. If we tell him about it, maybe Hombre will adopt some of this guy's affectations. You never know.

We wandered up to the University Square shops and found this amazing (awesome) chocolate shop where Catie works.

I bought (or Sherry bought for me...thanks, Sherry!) two rum beans, two dark chocolate coins, and two sugar-free dark chocolate peanut clusters. It's a good thing I showed that much restraint. I had one of the peanut clusters for breakfast with the left-over chicken.

We went back to Martini's and shared a bottle of wine and some good laughs. They have beautiful wine glasses at Martini's, something for which I admire them. I hate a bar with crappy wine glasses.

Saturday, we headed down the street to Mac's Cafe for some Greek breakfast and some good coffee. I had what they called a cheese omelet with some Greek salsa on top. Very, very good.

I looked in a couple shops that advertised sales but they were selling stuff that was $500 to start with so the markdown, even though significant, was still way out of my league.

I did find a few things at a store that says of itself that it has "cutting edge fashion at affordable prices". And a good sale.

I found a good consignment shop, too, and managed a few more bargains while Regis went back to take a nap before the trip to Byron.

So, we go to Byron armed with our cell phone map, a google map, and a copy of the email saying our tickets were reserved. We drive up to the address and it's a house. Nobody is home at the house. Clearly this is not the location.

We drive back down to the main drag and I go into a bar where everyone is drinking Bud Light and playing pool. They don't know where a folk music concert is because the juke box is blaring country western.

I go into the next bar. These people are drinking Bud Light and playing pool, too, but they are more helpful and direct us to a sign they had seen for a concert. We go there and I run in, even though it's some kind of alternative church. An old biker dude tells me that it's a Christian Outreach for heavy metal fans. They have a concert but not Lehto and Wright.

We go back to the Kwiktrip. The four kids working in there are all about 16 years old and they shrug. No idea.

By this time, it's after 7:00 and we make one more stop. This place is full of snowmobilers and they have a band setting up...not the right band.

We go back to the hotel. Not much else to do.

So, we had a wonderful weekend and did a lot of interesting things but didn't get to the one thing that drew us there in the first place. Oh, well. It was a hoot anyway. Might even say it was awesome.

P.S. I hate the word awesome. It's used way too much for everything from food to movies to God knows what. It's ridiculous. Find a new word, people. I had to talk to a reporter for the local paper about something once and he quoted me and had me saying the word awesome. I had a conniption fit. I was mortified. What the hell.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011


Elliot went home last night about 8 o'clock. He is a doll and we love him but he is exhausting as most little kids are when you're old. I have a renewed respect for parents of young children. They have amazing energy. Elliot's saving grace is that he runs up behind me and hugs my legs. When I pick him up, he kisses my cheek, then turns my face to kiss the other cheek. He reminds me of Tiffany.

I moved the Christmas tree into the dining area tonight and decorated it for Valentine's Day. In a month, it will become the Equinox/St. Patrick's Day tree.

For some reason, I started reading my old blog posts. I think I was looking for an old picture of the Valentine's Day tree which I did not find, but I did find an old post called: keep your fried baloney hole shut. I laughed out loud. Did I make that up? I asked people to use my two new favorite words, sycophant and ennui, in a sentence. The comments are priceless. This one, I fear, was written by my husband.
She really doesn't talk like that and she cannot spell either. I think sycophant is really spelled psychophant and the psycho lost his phat pants so he is now feeling some ennui.
If not Regis, then I have a big fan in Singapore who is looking for a market for his generic viagra. I get a lot of comments from those dudes. I also get a lot of comments from people who are learning English and some well-meaning teacher gave them the assignment to write comments on blogs. Clever. The comments have nothing to do with what I wrote and the syntax is all wrong. Can't you picture it? A 7th grader in Mozambique writing a comment about keep your fried baloney hole shut.

My friend Kathy gave me a gorgeous dress today. She wore it to a Tina Turner concert in 2000. It's long with a slit up the right side and snake skin looking jacket. Very hot. It has good mojo, too, since I got it from Kathy, who is a major hoot. I can't wait to wear it somewhere. Maybe to happy hour at Patrick's some Friday. Now that they've seen the red wig, no tellin' what I'll do next.

Kathy's daughter has a dog who looks like Bert named Elliot. Elliot was a rescue dog. He apparently does not like men because he barked constantly at Regis. When Regis bent over to pet him, Elliot nipped him. He's the reincarnation of Bert! Run for your lives! In case you don't bother with links, read this:

Dead Dog

By the time you read this, that dog might be dead. Today, I walked into the living room with the phone in my hand. Bert sauntered up beside me and lifted his leg to pee all over the Christmas tree skirt. I gave him a gentle kick in the ass as I uttered a stream of cuss words worthy of a sailor... and he turned to pee on my leg. I put the phone down and went to the back yard to dig a small dog-shaped hole in the dirt.
Maniacal laughter. That dog was the spawn of Satan.

I spent some time tonight putting things away. I don't know if this is normal behavior, but when I'm done using something like the KitchenAid mixer, I just plop it down on the kitchen floor. I walk around it for days and then eventually put it somewhere, sometimes even where it belongs. But not always. It's a despicable habit.

We're going to listen to one of our old favorite radio shows tonight. We've shunned it for a while because, seriously, that guy has had some weird shit on there. I won't mention his name because if you happen to be doing a google search for him (he's local) and this pops up, I would feel terrible. We'll give him another chance. We're listening to big band right now and I have to say, this is not a favorite era of mine. It all sounds the same. To me...uneducated musically, I admit.

 I went through my downloads file tonight. Here is an interesting one. Oh, the stuff you find on google.

 If you sit around in public places and stare at your phone...check these cartoons out. Probably have to click on them and they get bigger. That's how it is in the cyber world.
And I don't get this one at all. Why did I save this???
Anybody who knows me, knows I am one of the three who have trouble.

Can't remember where I got this but I thought it was darling.

Going to have a glass of wine and listen to Bruce. See ya...