Tuesday, December 30, 2008

And suddenly I'm transported back to junior high ...

Don't ask me why ... I find myself thinking, "Thunder, thunder, thunder, thundercats ... HO!" Psst... was that simply Lion-O letting Cheetara know what he really thought about her?

I used to watch Thundercats every day after school, along with Linda Carter's Wonder Woman, the Beverly Hillbillies, Scooby Doo, and the occasional Little Rascals. Oh, the wonder of growing up with four channels plus PBS! I'd come home, turn on the TV, and settle down to do homework. I had two blissful hours with the house to myself (provided my little sister Jenny would stay next door with my aunt). I'd eat, study, and watch the normal after school programs. I was temporarily queen of the tattered golden throne (old gold couch).

I would find it funny the next day when I would not only know the answer to Mr. Dodson's question in history but also remember what Wonder Woman was doing at the time that I had read the answer while studying. Nice study tool, yet a tad distracting. Mr. Dodson was quite the character. Mr. Dodson and his yellow hands. Short, round Mr. Dodson in sharp contrast to that tall, thin English teacher ... Keester? [help me out classmates]. Mr. Dodson was to Mr. Keester what the Penguin was to the Joker. Mr. Dodson and his precious pointer that he used to love to smash down onto a student's desk who wasn't really paying attention as required. Mr. Dodson and my vague memory of a story about a Christmas tree and a little girl's underpants [really ... please help me classmates ... cause that one sounds a bit .... wrong].

Isn't it odd how just over a minute of cartoon can completely transport you back to a different time?

God, life was so much simpler then. Of course, I'm sure I didn't think that at the time. Junior high was a highly stressful mishmash of kids from different schools and the necessary shifting of tween power amongst cliques as everyone fought to find their place. Friends became enemies, couples broke up, you had to switch classes EVERY hour and remember a complicated set of numbers and movements to get into your locker. Ooh, and you had just become overly concerned with your looks at the same time that Mrs. Matthews deemed 10 minutes enough time for a girl to shower and dress amongst peers.


Nevermind. I take it back. Not simpler.

Monday, December 29, 2008

I Don't Wanna Come Back!!!!

I just spent two glorious, sunny, warm weeks in Florida with family.

Dad made us breakfast every day, my stepmom cooked all our favorites at other meals, I watched the first four seasons of The Office and, so, can nearly join the rest of the civilized world in tuning in every Thursday night, we went to a couple movies (including my little sister's 12th viewing of Twilight!), visited the Disney Marketplace (where I would live if given the opportunity), and lounged in the sun. The warm wonderful sun. Ooh, we also won the Christmas lights contest in Dad's subdivision (again) ... 'cause we're awesome. That's right ... we kicked some blue-haired, retiree boot-aye!

It was two lazy, sunny, wonderful Florida weeks.

Now I'm back.

I arrived finally this afternoon at 1:30 p.m.

First stop - the post office to pick up my mail from the last two weeks. I love how you can indicate via a click as to whether you want to pick up your mail or have them deliver it on a specified date. I chose to pick up my mail. Yep, that's the box I clicked. That's what the confirmation sheet said ... as well as the sheet bound around my mail once I surgically removed it from my wee 5X5 inch mailbox. Apparently the post office is unable to follow their own directions. Nothing like waiting in a long post office line only to be told that your mail "isn't back there" and to "let them know" if my carrier doesn't deliver it. Why? 'Cause if she doesn't then you'll look harder and find it????

Second stop - my blessed apartment. I smartly turned down my thermostat before I left for vacation so I wouldn't needlessly heat the apartment while away. So, I expected it to be cool and it wasn't until I also noticed my fridge light was out ... oh and the kitchen light ... and the TV .... that I realized that not only was I not in sunny Florida anymore ... I returned just in time to take part in a high wind power outage.


My last shower had been Saturday night. I spent 16 hours in the car with my older sister Linda driving from Dad's to Dayton yesterday. 16 hours. And at times 5 hours without exiting (as the PO-lice like to say) the vehicle. I slept, woke, and hopped back into the car for another 5 1/2 hour drive this morning. Do not tell me that I can't take a shower!!!

I ended up visiting my gym solely for its hot water this afternoon.

About an hour ago, right after I gave up and buried myself beneath enough blankets to make it difficult to move my legs, a light flickered ... popped (not sure how I feel about that sound) and finally remained on ... the heat turned on ... and I climbed out of my cocoon to, well, bitch about not wanting to come back.

Ah ... normalcy at last.

[I still don't wanna come back though!]

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Reason #34 To Go See Twilight

The longer, better trailer for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is shown before it, giving us that wee bit of needed Potter to sustain us until July ... after our multiple viewings of Twilight, of course.

My Twilight Movie Review

As I'm sure you've all been biting your nails and waiting anxiously to read what I think of Catherine Hardwicke's movie version of the Stephenie Meyer book, I finally sat myself down at 10:35 this morning in sweet anticipation for that one "scene of sensuality" and Robert Pattinson's cornucopia of intense looks.

I have to say I was impressed with the choices of all the secondary characters. The high school kids, Bella's Dad, Jacob (yes, Jacob), Billy, Mike, Jessica, etc., all do a wonderful job of bringing a natural humor to the film. I did find myself chuckling at scenes that were not perhaps intended to be humorous, like when Edward first "smelled" Bella in Biology class. In fact, most of my untimely chuckles were unfortunately based on the expressions of the two main characters. Where most of the actors/actresses seemed comfortable in their roles, it felt a bit like Pattinson and Stewart were told to attempt to cram thousands of emotions into a 3 or 4 second closeup and the result was Stewart's facial features running through about six emotions in painful succession before muttering, "Um, yeah." Or Pattinson morphing from intense stare to angry intense stare, confused intense stare, and/or mildly amused intense stare.

Don't misunderstand, I love the movie, love the casting even, but I hope the director eases up a bit in the future (and yes, there is most definitely a future!) on pushing the actors to put so much emotion into one scene that it seems over the top ... even more over the top than is the norm for a vampire movie. You see glimpses of how well the two actors can be together when the intensity is toned down a notch, as in the scene in Edward's bedroom that ends in a genuine (read, not overly intense) Pattinson grin before he whisks Bella out the window. And, of course, that one "scene of sensuality" could just be put on repeat and most fans would be entertained for days. Oddly, my little sister's description of what she thought was goofy in the movie (a twinkling sound when Edward's sparkles make their appearance) was not at all as distracting or cringe-worthy as I expected. In fact, I found some of the flashbacks a bit more comical. I'm sure I'll think of other particular examples after I've seen the movie again (or a few more times).

We should all expect now that a movie will never be able to tell the complete story, that certain aspects are changed to make things easier in movie land. Two scenes I personally would have loved to have seen were Jasper and Alice coming into Edward's room to suggest the baseball game, when Alice quips that she thought Edward might share Bella (as a snack), and seeing Alice, Jasper, Rosalie, and Emmet dancing at the prom. *sigh* But, overall, Hardwicke does an excellent job sticking with the book, and I think most fans will be pleased with the adaptation.

What about a sequel? It seems the studio was simply waiting to see if the hype of Twilight lived up in monetary terms on the theater screen. The result was the biggest opening for a female director ... ever. And so a New Moon, based on Meyer's second book in the series, will soon be shining (sure to have thousands of females throwing popcorn at the screen and/or growling within the first 20 minutes - if you don't know why then read the book).

After my fear that Hardwicke would Eragon *shudder* this movie, I am highly pleased. If you are a fan of the books, or even of just pretty pretty people, you'll find something to enjoy.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Don't Mess With My Biggby Mocha!!

Biggby, Biggby, Biggby ... just when you've brainwashed me into calling you that ridiculous name instead of Beaners ... just when you've reclaimed the Monroe Center location from the menace of an evil owner (sorry Ryan) and turned it into the successful, thriving coffee shop it now is (thanks be to Steve, Justin, and crew) ... you do your loyal customers wrong once again.

Biggby is changing their frequency card program. Instead of the paper cards that are stamped with a "B" each time you partake in the java, luring you back for more so that you can obtain the blessed 13th free, Biggby is giving their customers a plastic frequency card to be swiped with each purchase. Cool idea, right? Less waste of paper, one card to worry about instead of five or six, Biggby heading into better technology. But wait. They swiped my card but I got no credit on my account. What happened? A glitch? A problem with the program?


See, I used a $1 off grande coupon when purchasing my drink.

Now, I understand that the old cards did say that you get the free beverage after purchasing 12 beverages at full price, but most locations I knew of continued to stamp for purchases made with coupons since, let's face it, if you are a loyal customer, those most likely to use coupons in the first place, local owners/managers WANT to keep you happy. They recognize that their "regulars" still drop a lot of cash in their shops even while using the coupons. And they recognize the importance of keeping "regulars" happy in a business where competition is so high. I walk by at least three local coffee shops on my way to Biggby ... not including the Starbucks that is right across the street from them.

Biggby! Don't piss off your regular customers by lessening the effect that a frequency rewards program has to that all important group!

Hell, you changed your name from Beaners to Biggby in response to a small group of uninformed people upset about a name having nothing at all to do with an alternate derogatory meaning and everything to do with ... gee ... I don't know ... COFFEE BEANS ... and now you're going to change the rewards program in a way that hurts the customers that have remained loyal to you?

Dumb ass move. You know, I hear those Starbucks Frappecinos are yummy.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Score: Halloween Hair Color - 3; Me - 2

I scored with the bathtub (this tub is clean) and my clothes from that night (also de-pinkified); however, Rotten Red scored so far with my bathroom counter (almost clean but I keep finding more spots), two washclothes destroyed, and my bathroom floor, by far the worst casualty.

Please please please tell me what hope I have when pure bleach holds no power over the pinkness on my bathroom floor!! Anyone? I'm open to suggestions here.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

What's In A Name?

I was searching my PC earlier for old photos I'd already scanned for safekeeping and ran across a series of early shots from my family's B.J. (before Jenny) days. You know ... back when I was the baby of the family ... those blissful, fondly remembered days of old. *sigh*

The shot depicts my sister Linda's birthday during a time when somehow we each got a gift (in this case, totally cool transistor radios in yellow, blue, and red!), helped blow out the candles, and apparently wore matching nightgowns. Beyond relishing just how adorable I was (am), I look at this picture and have to wonder why on earth you'd choose "Uncle Wiggily" for the title of a children's board game. Really? Uncle Wiggily? Perhaps it is only a result of being bombarded daily with criminal cases involving crimes against children at work but to me Uncle Wiggily sounds a bit more like the username for a pedophile on his favorite kiddie porn site.

My only exposure to the rheumatoidal rabbit was through this game; however, apparently Uncle Wiggily Longears (who knew Wiggily was a first name?) is the main character in a whole series of roughly 79 children's books by Howard Roger Garis, who began writing the stories in 1910. The stories included a number of bad guy characters including Woozy Wolf and Bushy Bear and, according to the Wikipedia article, they were all intent on nibbling the "souse" off Uncle Wiggily's ears. Did anyone know what "souse" was without looking it up?

I'm completely grossed out now.

Halloween Aftermath ...

You know what's fun? Having blazing red hair for a ghoulish Halloween night of candy and multiple spidermen and princesses. How does one get such blinding hair, you ask? Why step right up and gander at the Fright Night Temporary Hair Color in Rotten Red. As noted on the can, "Instantly change your hair color to go with any costume design. Streaks 'N Tips sprays a fine mist of color accents or sparkling glitter. It's the perfect touch for parties, holidays, special occasions, or just for fun!"

You know what's not fun? Trying to figure out how to rid yourself and your surroundings of said "fine mist of color." The directions state, "REMOVAL: Brush hair thoroughly and shampoo and condition as usual. Those with prelightened hair may need to wash hair several times for complete removal."

Somewhere in the land of Fright Night Cosmetics, the cackle of an evil scientist can be heard. You see, there are several things not noted on the can.
  1. "Light mist" = everything within a five foot radius of where you're standing when you administer the spray will be hit, you just won't know it yet.
  2. "Wipe off excess with a damp cloth" = you'll push said mist around on your counter top and bathroom floor (which you stupidly forgot to cover with an old bath towel) trying in vain to wipe any of it actually off these spaces. The thought of turning your bathroom into a Pepto-bismol ad flashes through your mind.
  3. After throwing an old towel onto the now pink floor and removing your now pink socks, you move on to your makeup and file away these troubles until later.
  4. You sport brilliant red hair, give out all the candy except the Heath bars you've discovered you now love as an adult, and generally have a wonderful night with friends.
  5. Later arrives. You pull a brush timidly through your rock hard hair once or twice then scoff at the "brush hair thoroughly" command and stumble into the shower.
  6. "Wash hair several times" = five ... so far.
  7. You step gingerly from the shower and steadfastly refuse to acknowledge your new slightly pink tinge or the light pink streaks across your cream colored bath towel. And, no, not the towel used to dry your hair.
  8. You cover the now pink shower/tub floor with Comet since, come on, if Comet can't cut this color, nothing will.
  9. Nothing will.
I'm going to need a much bigger bath rug.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!! And Good Luck Beulah!

I wasn't planning on dressing up for Halloween this year. I'm too busy, too tired, too uninspired (and didn't intend that to rhyme either). But recently, our office was informed that a long time member of our staff has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Her major surgery, to hopefully remove all traces of the tumor and discover that the cancer has NOT spread may be ongoing as I type this. Her request was simple. Dress up for Halloween and take a group picture for me.

This was for Beulah Doyle ... and a reminder to us that life is too short not to act silly sometimes. [Note: The official version of the group shot - on someone else's camera - is better.]

Monday, October 27, 2008

This Makes Me Want To Break Out My Hogwarts Fleece!

That's right, you heard me (read me). I have a totally awesome, black, hooded fleece with the Hogwarts coat of arms. You're jealous, I know.

But now, watch this ... just when we will have finished watching Twilight for the 27th time, Harry Potter will once again be cause for a midnight show.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

God Can Move Mountains, Why Not Obama

Saturday morning, I received an email from my Mom, one of the nicest, Christian, do-anything-to-help-another persons you could ever meet. The only thing my Mom wrote on the email was this:

"Obama scares me. How do you girls feel? Love, Mom"

Attached to the email was a forwarded email entitled, "God Can Move Mountains." Within that forwarded email was essentially a call to Christian Americans to pray that God delivers us from the evil Obama. Seriously. It used accusations to incite blind fear and hatred, commented on religion and the need to protect our country from becoming "Under Allah," as well as on what it called the anti-white feelings of Michelle Obama. It cried out that Bush has been fighting a "holy war" and urged the reader to pray "to keep a man as suspect as Barak Obama from leading our country to who knows where with his message of 'change.' "

I responded to my Mom. I responded by letting her know that Obama doesn't scare me. The hatred and venom spewed in that email is what scares me. That email was one step away from some nut job reading it and deciding that he/she must take our future into their hands and "do God's will" by ridding us of the evil Obama. By assassinating the leader. That man or woman will likely call themselves Christian and, on that day, if/when such a horrific event happens, I will be ashamed.

If you want to see the email itself, email me at justacogitating@yahoo.com and I'll send it to you.

I don't think my Mom was quite prepared to see just the shade of blue all four of her daughters have become. But, as I told her, it is okay if we disagree, we still love her - that is the kind of Christian upbringing that she gave us - not the ignorant rantings of racist fanatics intent on spreading a message that any difference means you must be evil.

And now for some intelligent, comedic relief! God save Opie!!
See more Ron Howard videos at Funny or Die

Curses Be To Cotton!

Yes, I know, you deserve more ... but right now my only thought is how annoyed I am that I forgot the load of clothes in my dryer that includes a shirt that demands prompt removal to avoid the dreaded iron.

Have I mentioned what a domestic Goddess I am?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

New Record

Wow ... apparently 10 days of Match.com is all I can take at the moment. I'm already sick of looking. Within those 10 days, at least according to Match.com, my profile was viewed 406 times, I received 20 emails, sent 13 emails, and received 23 winks.

I don't believe I'm supposed to be feeling this disillusioned already, am I?

Monday, October 6, 2008

It's a Match Reunion! [Just a Short Rant.]

Unbelievable. Two prior "dates" from Match.com years gone past have popped back up to "wink" or email me during my current round.

One of the two firemen I've dated: We went out four or five times, I went on vacation, he decided while I was gone that he didn't see a "romance" in our future. A year later, he contacted me again and asked me out. The day of our scheduled date, he left a message letting me know that he had a sick child and needed a rain check. What happened? Never heard from him again ... until this time around when I got, you guessed it, an email on Match.com from him wishing me the best roughly two years after first meeting him.

The other is even better - the EMT: This was the first man I went out with (or stayed in with) following my divorce. We saw each other for two months the fall of 2004 before he broke things off due to my then weight. Yes, that was the actual reason he gave me. Apparently I was a great girl with whom to "stay in" but not so much with the taking out. I just got a "wink" from him on Match.com tonight.

So, I'm taking opinions. How do you handle men, be they online dates or other, who have popped back up after treating you poorly in the past?

My first thought? You don't.

My second thought involves a transvestite named Destiny who guarantees a Crying Game experience for the right price.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Be True To Yourself

I have been "viewable" on Match.com for less than a week and have already updated my profile multiple times. How much of yourself should you show on a dating site? I tend to be a tad sarcastic. [I know, it's true! Who knew?] Consequently, my profile came across that way and, according to one advisor, it was too negative.

*cue the death knoll of my dating life*

Thereafter, I substantially cut negatives and sarcasm from my profile. It was much MUCH shorter and sweeter. It was also, according to one friend, "bland and blah."

So, how much should you say about yourself in an online dating profile? How much wit and/or sarcasm can a sarcastic person bestow upon potential dates without completely tainting the lot of them to her? I mean, hell, I've removed the "All Men Suck" mantra ... so I'm good, right?

According to Evan Marc Katz, we should figure out what makes us different and use it to our advantage. Okay, I can go with that and it adds points to my friend's cry of "bland and blah."

*5 minutes of thought about what makes me different. I'm stumped.*

Katz also advises the date seekers to stay consistently positive. *Oh my.*

No spelling mistakes. *Agreed! *

No glaring insecurities. *Define "glaring" please.*

No superficial wish list about looks. *Does that mean I have to remove my reference to Orlando Bloom?*

No giving anyone a reason to say no to you. *WHAT!!??*

Now I have to really draw the line there. I know, I know, mystery is a good thing but, frankly, I'd like a potential date to know that I am not even a distant relative to Betty Crocker or Sara Lee. I know my Papa John's phone number and he knows mine. I would just rather weed out right now those men who find a domestic deficiency to be a deal breaker. Bah Bye. I would also rather someone have a sense of my sense of humor before the phone numbers are exchanged.

I'll stick with Katz's ultimate tip: "If you have fun writing it, the reader will likely have fun reading it." My current profile leans back in my original humorous yet cynical direction. And honestly, if "my guy" is out there anywhere then the wit will be appreciated, accepted, and returned. No wusses allowed!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

My Descent Back Into The Hell Of Online Dating

That's right boys and girls, "kimmiesis" is going back on view. *Whimper*

The year following my divorce, I realized I was going to need assistance going out into the dating world. After all, I'd just spent 11 years of my life with one man, *cough* and knew nothing .... NOTHING about dating. I turned to Match.com and my-oh-my have there been some rides on that shiny roller coaster of the dating forlorn during the past few years.

Example: One early date wanted to cook me dinner and, when I arrived at his apartment, I found that I was a few minutes early and he had just arrived home from work. He showed me around his apartment, which turned out to be a tribute to Napoleon that included not only framed artwork but ... an actual bust of the French leader as well. Did I mention that he had laid out his "date clothes" on his bed that morning? Without any of the gory details, the date ended with my standing abruptly, uttering, "I need to leave," and walking out the door. [Ah, hell, there are going to be bad dreams tonight.]

I have been away from the online dating world since the beginning of April. I can only take a couple months at a time of Match.com before I need a break ... am I the only one with this pattern? Anyway, I have successfully updated my profile with a cynicism sure to frighten away 98% of all men and am only anxiously awaiting the approval of my newly uploaded photos before clicking that "show profile now" link. Wish me luck, pray for me, pray for them, throw some salt and knock on wood.

With my apparent love for online dating, you might wonder what has succeeded in dragging me back into the insanity. That's simple. A combination of boredom, curiosity, and a buy 1 month, get 3 free offer for MSN customers.

No, really, I'm that easy.

Monday, September 29, 2008

You Know You Need A Vacation From Life When ...

You know you need a vacation from life when the realization that you've left your phone at work results in an odd feeling of contentment. Mind you, this is my one and only phone. I have no other means of instant communication (unless the person with whom I want to converse happens to be online at the same time).

Other than a slight uneasiness over my current inability to dial 911 if necessary, I'm good. Great even. And obviously inching ever nearer to my ultimate destination ... hermithood.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Udderly Ridiculous ... or ... "EEEEEWWWWW!!"

In case any of you missed PETA's newest suggestion, the group has contacted our beloved Ben & Jerry's urging the popular ice cream creators to stop using cow's milk in their product and, instead, use human milk.

That's right, for those of us who mentally cringe at the thought of the possibility that we suckled (Eeeeeew) our mothers' breasts at any point, PETA might just have hit on the one and only way to curb our ice cream cravings .... even my insatiable desire for their pints of Strawberry Cheesecake.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Name a Remake Better Than the Original

Because it is certainly not the new Knight Rider. Raise your hand if you agree that Val Kilmer's "K.I.T.T." is freakin' creepy.

The series starts tonight ... I doubt it will last longer than the eight episodes of Bionic Woman, now cancelled.

So Sorry Little Lamb

In a stunning piece of legal literature, the Michigan Court of Appeals has finally answered that question nagging so many sexual predators out there: Is that soft woolly form so beloved on Old McDonald's farm considered an "individual" under Michigan law?

Um ... No.

The opinion, released just yesterday for publication, includes the dictionary definition of "individual" as a "single human being" or "person," along with a claim that the definition of "victim" from the Crime Victims' Rights Act is "an individual" capable of having a spouse or guardian and the panel of three's leap of legal analysis, "Only human beings are able to marry and have spouses." [Note to self: apparently gay men and women are not considered human beings in Michigan either.]

The purpose of this decision? To determine whether a defendant convicted of an “abominable and detestable crime against nature” with a sheep, i.e., bestiality boys and girls, should be required to register as a sex offender. The answer, unfortunately, is also ... No.

Now, I understand the reasoning of the panel and the need to following the law as written; however, the thought that individuals showing such a willingness to harm animals in this way, a way that demonstrates their sexual depravity and violent, sexual predatory natures, are not required to register as sexual offenders rings wrong.

Mary had a little lamb ... run little lamb, RUN!!

Monday, September 22, 2008

To Forks or Not To Forks ...

That is the question. And apparently the answer for an increasing number is ... YES! YES! To Forks, To Forks!!!

Forks, Washington, the small town depicted in Stephenie Meyer's Twilight craze is going through some delightful, economic, growing pains as fans descend upon the town in the hopes of finding a silver Volvo stalking them.

My own personal descent into a permanent mental age of 15 could only be capped off with a visit.

Little sister? [$5 says she just went all giddy with the thought that I'm actually serious.]

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Public Fart or Why Me/Why Now

Have you ever found yourself wondering why God, the universe, or karma has worked to place you at a particular place at a particular time?

At roughly 9:30 a.m., I donned my jacket and went in pursuit of my skinny skinny mocha lattecino, first stopping by several offices to see if I could find a cohort (in order to use the weekly coupon), then spying mail in my mailbox, reading the enclosed opinion and order, which led to the need to hunt down a motion, talk to others about the motion, and file a response to said motion, then finally stumbling out to the elevator an hour later ... in pursuit of my blessed SSML once again.

I pressed the "down" button as a large woman came out of a neighboring office and stood quietly beside me. We waited. The elevator "dinged" open and, as I walked by her into the small enclosed space, she looked flustered, stepped inside next to me, and the following exchange took place:

Woman: "Oh, excuse me," in an embarrassed tone.

I turned in the elevator surprised, "What?"

"I farted."

*uncomfortable pause as the elevator doors close*

I added, "I didn't hear anything"

"Oh good. It's just so embarrassing."

"Um, don't worry about it."

She put a hand over her stomach, "It's just that sometimes depending on what I eat, my stomach is unsettled."

*silent prayer for doors to open immediately*

"Yeah ... well ... I hope you feel better."

Her "thanks" came from behind me as I squeezed through the opening doors.

Bounding out into the relatively fresh air of downtown, I found myself wondering: What is the proper response to the public fart? Do you ignore it, hoping no one else noticed? Do you fess up, as this woman did, only to find out that you've exposed yourself needlessly? Do you enter into an expanded discussion of bodily functions with complete strangers?

I have no answer ... other than to pray that I personally never need an answer.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Laugh At A Funeral Kind of Girl

My Uncle Claude died on September 2, 2008. "Aunt Eula and Uncle Claude's" was a destination commonly stated at home growing up. The names were always uttered together. Aunt Eula, who passed away eight years ago, was a sweet, soft-voiced woman with an affinity for hats and clip-on earrings while Uncle Claude smelled of tobacco, cussed every other breath, and had a cackle of a laugh that defies duplication. They were an important part of childhood in my family.

Uncle Claude was 90 years old when he passed away following a massive stroke. Although he spent his final few months in a nursing home, my Uncle Claude managed to completely elude hospitals in his 90 years, many of which were spent smoking cigars and most of which included the chewing of tobacco. He valued friends and family, loved old stories and older jokes, and didn't expect a damn thing from anyone or anything. Uncle Claude informed the nurses of Miller's Merry Manor (No, seriously, that's the name - as if any nursing home can truly claim to be a source of merriment) that when it was his "time to go" they should not call in a minister but, rather, a bartender because he wanted to leave happy!

"I say, I SAY ... I said I told 'em not to call a minister but call the bartender 'cause I want to leave happy!" [insert indescribable cackle]

Uncle Claude's funeral was a week ago Saturday. I left early Friday to go to his viewing Friday night at the insistence of my sibling and we ran smack into my mother's side of the family in full force. My Mom is the youngest of seven siblings and one of the five remaining. I left the viewing with two observations: 1) I am a lofty lofty 5'3" despite the Mishler blood in my veins and 2) "We're enjoying the view" should never be uttered by an elderly uncle to his niece ... ever.

My sister and I had a mission when we arrived for the funeral the following morning - give my Uncle Claude one last round of Skoal pouches for his journey. My uncle was being buried as he would have wanted in his classic bib overalls and he typically kept his round in his front breast pocket so ... well ... the covert operation went smoothly and Uncle Claude will keep his end of his deal with best buddy Virgil (Virgil is apparently supposed to bring the beer when his time comes).

Why am I a 'laugh at a funeral' type of girl? Perhaps because this was the funeral of a beloved relative who had enjoyed a long happy life with little sickness and a lot of sass. Perhaps because having to unbutton bib overall pockets for the purpose of stashing your uncle's "stash" there makes one feel irreverent. Most likely because the minister began to speak and a clear image of The Princess Bride popped into my and my sisters' heads. In particular, the priest, played by Peter Cook, from the "mawwage" scene of that "bwessed" film.

I dared not look down the row to any of my sisters during that funeral. We all sat together in the second row ... right at the front ... and I just don't know if our shaking shoulders would have been viewed as appropriate crying or not. Add in the minister's low, loud, stage-whispered "Aaaaamen" and we were all very nearly and completely 'laugh at a funeral' kind of girls. In a way, I kind of wish we would have let it loose ... somehow, from somewhere, I bet we would have heard an indescribable cackle added to the giggles.

And I have no doubt, none, that he's cackling heartily today with Eula at his side.

Monday, September 1, 2008

I Hurt.

Every. *%*#ing. Muscle. Hurts.

The majority of the current damage to my body occurred Saturday while moving my little sister into a new apartment. A new apartment three floors and six flights of stairs up. Without counting the four steps down into the basement and two steps up in the lobby. A new apartment without air conditioning.

[I know I'm writing in fragments - be patient - I'm improving from the single word sentences above.]

Saturday passed in a blur of sweat, pain, and ice-cold, Brita-filtered, water. Then, after a night sleeping on the floor with multiple things piled under my legs in a desperate attempt to curb the lower back spasms, I woke early to several more hours of lifting, bending, stairs, water, and sweating. I will say I am hugely thankful that Jenny's new Indiana-fed pet spider didn't crawl from its cedar chest home to introduce itself while we were transporting said chest up the stairs (he waited until later when she was alone and ready to sleep to announce his presence in the middle of her bed). I'm also thankful that Jenny was the one who fell backwards onto the stairs with the last load (a blessed air conditioner). Nevertheless, every frickin muscle in my body hurts especially my feet, calves, thighs, biceps, back, palms, and, yes, fingers.

So, on this beautiful holiday as I head into work (!!!!), I've been researching how to handle my sore frame. It is amazing how many things pop up with a simple query "what to do about sore muscles" but here is an example. There were many suggestions but I think I'm going to start with lots of water, some protein (for use as my body repairs), easy stretching, and a walk mid-day downtown to keep things moving and hopefully get rid of some of the lactic acid that causes so much of the soreness.

That's my plan. One protein smoothie coming up!

One last thought ... the wikiHow site linked above allows users to edit their answers. I am fairly certain that a 5th step needs to be added to their How to Make Sore Muscles Feel Good answer - "Hire gorgeous, heterosexual, moot, professional masseur for relaxing massage followed by chocolate and/or ice cream."

That Online Lessen We All Need To Learn

People are CRAZY! Especially, it seems, people from North Carolina.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Labor Day Weekend - Emphasis on Labor

My Labor Day Holiday will consist of exactly that ... labor.

This weekend I will be helping my little sister move from an apartment in Evanston, which she shared with her now ex boyfriend, to a solo apartment in Chicago.

I envision a day of bending, lifting, sweating, swearing, and the inevitable need to lower a piece of heavy furniture half-way up the stairway because giggle fits have completely depleted our strength. And, have you ever noticed how moving always takes at least 46% more time than you originally planned, part of which is spent puzzling over the exact angle of lifting needed to fit a couch or chair around a corner?

Added to this day of merriment is the location: Chicago. I dislike Chicago for several reasons, one of which is admittedly petty.
  1. There are too many people ... 9.7 million in the Chicago metro area ... and by reading this blog you must know that I generally hate people.

  2. Driving to Chicago takes too damn long ... why?

  3. Because there are too many people

  4. Driving in Chicago sucks big hairy donkey balls ... why?

  5. Because there are too many people

  6. And, finally, Chicago is the city of my exhusband ... thank God there are too many people.

So, as you are sitting around the lake/pool/grill/backyard enjoying this holiday weekend with a burger and ice cold drink, take a moment and add to that enjoyment by picturing me sitting in a car for several hours with my mother fielding the standard questions of whether I'm dating anyone and/or attending church regularly, then fighting to curb my swearing in front of said parent while driving around Chicago, followed by the bending, lifting, and sweating.

Rinse, reverse, and repeat for the return journey.

Yep, I love my little sis ... and that Venti Mocha Light Frappucino she'll have waiting for me.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Invasion of the Bowl-Cuts

It seems that names like Devon, Doyle, Maynard, and Doris are on the rise across the country! Those of us who grew up in northern Indiana, particularly Shipshewana, Indiana, are accustomed to road apples decorating our roads and losing half of our classmates after 8th grade; however, according to this recent study, the Amish population has nearly doubled in the last 16 years and settlements are spreading across the country.

The article also mentions that more than half the population is under 21. You know what that means, right? More and more of the country is being introduced to J.O.'s - our local Shipshewana slang "jerked over" for our Amish teens who are currently driving cars, wearing jeans, a bit of makeup, and otherwise stretching their freedom before deciding whether to stay with the Amish way of life. The vast majority do stay in the church so be prepared to welcome the bowl-cuts and bonnets coming soon to a town near you. On the plus side, they are generally peaceful and friendly neighbors.

Um ... I do not recommend googling the phrase 'jerked over Amish' ... and noooooooooooo, I did not click on it!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Speaking about Chianti ...

About four years ago, while working at an appellate court, I met my 10 year twin.

I was a research attorney, meaning that I would read the briefs submitted in a case by the appellant and appellee, research the issues, and write a report for the panel of three judges who would decide the case (oh so exciting, I know). We occasionally had interns in our department and it was in this way that I met Amy. Now, I've admittedly had many Amy's in my life ... I have my best friend from college and ongoing, all-around, closest of close friends Amy, my 'one good thing that came out of my marriage, wine partner, excellent chef, close friend' Amy, and my 10-year twin Amy.

My 10-year twin Amy interned at our office soon after my divorce was final. What I remember about Amy was that she is a tad eccentric, intelligent, a bird-lover, and exactly ten years younger than me. Amy drew me out and back into fun during a time when I could easily have fallen into a deep dark hole. Amy also introduced me to Chianti.

I am not a wine connoisseur by any stretch of the imagination. I am not a connoisseur of any particular alcoholic beverage. I hate beer. I was, and sometimes still am, that annoying girl at the bar asking if there is a bar menu or giving some sad-assed request for a drink with rum in it. Wine was an acquired taste for me and Amy helped me figure out that I enjoy red wine, particularly Chianti, best. If you have ever been that person waiting very impatiently at the bar behind me ... you owe Amy your thanks.

Chianti, and other varieties of red wine, is generally an alcoholic beverage of choice among those of us acutely aware of calories. It has lower calories per serving than many other drinking options. I like the warmth of red wine and its sometimes spicy, oaky, earthy, taste.

If you are currently one of those annoying, indecisive bar patrons, let me recommend a wine tasting. Take a moment and google wine tastings in your particular city and I have little doubt that you'll find several from which to choose. Typically, for a set price, you and your group of friends can have a relaxing evening trying a variety of wines and learning a bit about them at the same time. It is the perfect way to find out whether you're a fan and have fun doing it.

Thank you, my 10-year twin!

I Know I Hate People But ...

Every once in a while, you run across a person or persons who shock you in a way that doesn't inspire the desire to maim or kill.

I have a family and a group of friends like that. Friends with whom I've shared my high points ... keeping a convicted killer behind bars with his new best "friend" Bubba (I'm making up the Bubba part, that's just my hope, but you can find out more about the murder this fall on the Discovery Channel), losing an 5th grader in weight and hitting single size digits again, volunteering at the zoo, reclaiming myself ... and my low points ... too many to list and, frankly, you people already have enough ammunition on me.

I am lucky enough to have people in my life who accept me for the warped, funny, sarcastic, bitter, cynical, broken person I am and it amazes me daily. I have recently had occasion to feel ashamed of myself (oh shut-up) and explained why to a few of these friends. The response? Pointing out that I had just described millions of people, that I'm human, and that I'm a good person. Absofuckinglutely amazing.

I truly hope you have people in your life that mirror these inexplicable accepters from mine. They are what keep us honest, keep us humble, and keep us sane.

And I swear that is not just the Chianti talking ... trust me.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Seriously? SERIOUSLY?

I hate people.

In particular, I hate physically healthy people who nevertheless feel the need to impede my day by getting on the elevator and hitting “2”. Yesterday, I watched as a stunning blond, perfect figure, perfect legs, waited until the elevator door was closing then stuck her tan, toned arm out to stop it and stepped inside smiling as she pressed the “2” button. You know what doesn’t look so stunning, sweetheart? My Beaner’s aka Biggby mocha chill all over that blindingly white top of yours!

Seriously?? It’s one freaking flight of stairs!! I realize that you’re probably one of those over-metabolic freaks who can down a McDonald’s super sized fries every damn day without adding a mere jiggle to your cellulite deficient form but I think the bloody nose from my upward thrust might just mar your dainty face for a day or two.

God, I wish an assault conviction wouldn’t muck up my career.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Why Oh Why Oh Why!!!

Why is life so hard?

Life has become a jumbled up heap of mangled relationships growing higher and more unstable as we get older. I forget now how old I was when I realized that we never truly grow up, we simply get older, and the cliques we hated in high school simply changed locations to the workplace and church or our other current social groups.

Bridget the perfect cheerleader has been replaced by Bridget the perfect mother, Rob the ultra athlete is now Rob the successful vice president, Ben the slacker/pothead is now .... well, Ben the slacker/pothead.

Do you remember at what point you realized the falsity of "growing up"? I sit here feeling much of the same insecurities, the same fears, the same uncertainties about my life as I did when I was a senior in high school, a senior in college, a law school graduate.

Maybe it is just that I haven't crossed the invisible boundary; is it parenthood?

Maybe we finally "grow up" when forced to attempt to shepherd our own children into and through this life. But, no, that's not necessarily true either. I have been an aunt and even a step mom yet nothing has changed. I still feel the same. And I've certainly witnessed the vast ability of parents to behave as children or even worse than children.

I give up. I might as well accept the fact that I am now and forever will be an adolescent of life living in this adult version of high school. Fine. Then I only have one question.

Who the hell is taking me to prom!!???

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Wanted: A Fantasy Football Ringer

Have I mentioned today how much I hate people?

Just under a week ago, I was banned for the first time in my life from a message board. It's true!! I am such a sweetheart, such a caring, considerate, *cough* completely non-bitch that I can well imagine your shock. In all honestly, I don't believe I've ever felt more hurt and betrayed by this many people at once.

Weeks before receiving that fateful "removal" email, I had been talked into joining a Fantasy Football League by the very people who tossed me with little comment out their cyber door. I only recently remembered the League and promptly removed myself; however, there are now two empty teams sitting there waiting for the draft on September 2nd.

If, by any chance, a reader comes across this blog and deems himself or herself a king or queen of such fantasy games, might I suggest that you go to ESPN's Fantasy Football Homepage and join the Daily Dose League? They need some good competitors and somehow it will not cause me any distress if one or more of you kick some ass there.

Bitter? No, why do you ask?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

It's an ABBA Summer!!

This is my own personal summer of ABBA. [FYI: You SO want to turn down your speakers before clicking on that link!]

Among their many songs, the Swedish group made up of Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus, Anni-Frid Lyngstad (Frida), Agnetha Fältskog gave us Dancing Queen, Waterloo, Winner Takes It All, and my personal current favorite, Take a Chance On Me. And now, the 70's/80's group has invaded my summer of 2008 from three unrelated directions:

1) Mamma Mia, the movie. I highly recommend seeing Mamma Mia, a musical based on the songs of ABBA and starring the fabulous Meryl Streep along with an ensemble cast that includes my Pride and Prejudice boyfriend, Colin Firth. Now ... this post is about ABBA, I know, but really ... could there have been a better Mr. Darcy? I think not. *Sigh* Okay.

Mamma Mia is simply fun ... fun and lively and funny and feel good and, did I mention fun? I was entertained, impressed with most of the singing, and slightly uncomfortable listening to Pierce Brosnan sing S.O.S. Oye! Pierce needs to stick to those "I'm the coolest British [spy, thief, mystery man] you'll ever meet" roles.

2) The Grand Rapids Symphony Picnic Pops - ABBA, The Hits. If you've never attended a Grand Rapids Symphony Picnic Pops concert, you're missing one of the many things that make Grand Rapids a wonderful place in which to live. The concerts take place outside at the Cannonsburg Ski Area. You grab food, drink, friends, and lounge under the stars while the symphony plays. I took my stepmom to the July 31st concert based on ABBA songs. Surrounded by people of all shapes, sizes, and ages, we enjoyed an evening of ABBA songs that began rather mildly yet ended with an all-age MOSH pit for lack of a better description. I cannot begin to describe the level of people watching that these events supply. I had tears in my eyes and smile-pained cheeks by the end of the night.

3) The Murder Trial. Finally, on a more somber yet just as insane note, ABBA again entered my summer through a trial in which a man was convicted of first-degree murder for killing his estranged boyfriend by shooting him five times and beating him with the boyfriend's metal crutch. What caused this man to snap? To lash out in such a vicious way? An unfulfilled promise that the boyfriend would "hold" him after they were intimate.

Defendant claimed that this was a murder committed in the heat of passion and not worthy of a first-degree murder conviction. This man went down to a basement, grabbed a loaded gun, went back upstairs to the bedroom and unloaded that gun into his sleeping boyfriend. He then went back downstairs to reload the gun, went back upstairs, and attempted to shoot the victim again but the gun jammed. Did he then stop? No. He grabbed a crutch when the gun jammed and proceeded to beat the boyfriend until he stopped crawling and the crutch broke. I say that these events took enough time for a reasonable person to think about what they were doing; that's first-degree murder. And, let's face it, the thought of cuddling after sex as a reasonable basis for a murder to be deemed committed in the heat of passion should frighten all men, gay or straight, young or old.

The ABBA connection? After murdering his friend, defendant went into the living room and proceeded to listen to the same ABBA song, "their" song, over and over again for 3 hours before calling anyone to the scene. What song? It is rumored to be Fernando; however, the officers responding to the scene have apparently blocked the specifics of the blaring music out because they are now not certain. So, we only know that it was ABBA.

After all of this, could I help myself digging out my ABBA Gold CD from the depths of my unused CD collection? Of course not. How else can I listen to "my" song over and over again on repeat? Share the insanity. It is the summer of ABBA!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

@#$& Cheap Ass Plastic Containers!!

I sit in my apartment eyeing a large, crecent moon shaped, dark spot on my carpet that hugs one corner. Following my disappointing afternoon at the movies (see below), I dutifully got groceries including a large gallon of spring water from Meijer. My little sister called while I was driving home and, consequently, I found myself balancing my bag o'groceries, a 12-pack of pop, and the gallon of water as I used my key to unlock my door, the opening of which threw off my delicate balancing act.

Picture with me the subsequent and sad attempt at juggling, the slow fall of the gallon jug of water to the nice, cushy, carpeted floor, and then the ensuing string of profanity that followed my realization that the gallon container burst upon impact. Burst! No trickle, no small leak, a gushing ruptured bottom. Do you know how much water is in a gallon? Because it certainly seems like way more than a gallon when soaking down into the carpet. Over three full-sized bath towels ... then I gave up.

Stupid, cheap ass, plastic water containers!

X Files ... I wanted to believe, too.

I miss the X-Files. I miss Dana Scully and Fox Mulder's chemistry and wit. I miss the freakishly fascinating show about paranormal cases and Mulder's obsession with porn. I miss the smart twists and the swing between alien shows and completely warped non-alien shows. And after paying my $6.50 and watching the new X-Files movie, I still miss all of those things.

We join the pair as Dr. Dana Scully is treating a terminally ill child in a religious hospital and Fox Mulder is playing the hermit he was always meant to be ... until the FBI asks Scully to find Mulder because they need his help with a psychic. The first scene between our beloved Scully and Mulder disturbed me ... dare I say the acting wasn't what you thought it should be? They just had no chemistry anymore. It was awkward watching it. And the movie went down for me from there.

SIDE NOTE: I miss the smoking man, William B. Davis, who, by the way, is a spokesperson for the Canadian Cancer Society and started smoking herbal cigarettes on the show when he realized that his old smoking addiction was coming back simply because of his infrequent appearances on the show. Raise your hand if you, at some point, thought he might be Mulder's real father. No? Was that really only me?

Saturday, August 9, 2008

What the Hell am I doing?

Why, I'm following my little sister, of course.

Is this all because I'm getting older? She's 8 years younger and dragging my slightly sagging ass into new-to-me things like Facebook (never did set up that Myspace page), Twilight (sharing the addiction), and now blogging. Blogging! How did this happen?

My little sister is on Facebook ... I should join. I did. Now words like "flair" and "walls" and "status" have whole new meanings for me. People I haven't heard from since high school, even people I don't believe I ever knew in high school, are becoming friends with me on Facebook, bringing that small town, "everyone knows what everyone is doing" feeling of Shipshewana, Indiana, right back into focus ... which now makes me wonder what the hell I'm thinking.

My little sister hammers me to read a teen book called Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. I fly through that, New Moon, Eclipse, and, finally, Breaking Dawn, deeply offended that I passed through high school totally unaware of the hot vampires and werewolves roaming around. See, I knew there was something odd about those Amish!

And now I'm starting a blog as if I'll have things to write that others will want to read. Ha! I feel slightly ill. Ooh, and I'll have to try and watch my language. Do I write about all one type of thing or just random thoughts? Will my random thoughts just succeed in pissing people off? In painting the banner over my head that states "I hate people"? Hmm ... and is that necessarily a bad thing?

I can't imagine what will be next.