Pigs, Lipstick, and Other Shiny Objects

This is not a light-hearted post, so if you’re just not in the mood to be real, that’s fine.  But right now,  I’m thinking that blogging about my patio flowers, or thoughts about floor covering choices for a remodel, or how much I’d like to mail my flea-ridden pets to Siberia are not worth spending time on.

My mind is heavy with the election, and decisions, policies and issues, and I have to pull the plug sometimes. I’m listening to 911 coverage in the background, remembering, and thinking how strange it is that seven years can go by so quickly, yet so slowly…

Continue reading “Pigs, Lipstick, and Other Shiny Objects”

Silver linings and Butthole dragging dogs.

As Far As Today Has Gone…

What was annoying?

Getting up the second the alarm went off, getting ready for my first official day as a person who actually goes to work after a year (only part time) and is ten minutes late because of traffic.  Three miles in twenty minutes is a problem.  I am not someone who is ever late.  Ever.

But what’s good about it?

Not getting pissed off about it.  I got to work.  All was well.  And tomorrow, I’m taking another route.

What’s gross?

Realizing that the dark smudge and related four-foot streak across one of the only clean places left on the carpet this morning was caused by the dog who couldn’t take an extra minute to poop outside, so came upstairs, summarily parked her butt hole on the carpet, then proceeded to skooch forward using all four paws, removing whatever offending turdlett was hanging on for dear life.  It worked.  What a genius.

Where’s the proverbial silver lining?

Obviously not on the carpet.  But the image of the dog dragging her butt hole is completely, side-splittingly HILARIOUS even though the spot remover didn’t quite remove the stain.  The bottle lied.  I’m an expert at lying carpet stain bottles. And in knowing that she doesn’t have worms or clogged anal glands.

What makes me want to rip my hair out?

After pulling off a B+ so close to an A in Algebra II during the first grading period this year, the RT has systematically worked to destroy his grade (okay, so it’s a B-) by not doing most of his homework because he doesn’t feel like it.  He’s knows it’s more than strange that he’s engaged in this rather highly developed form of academic suicide, but hey!  He’s good at just not thinking about it.
Why do I grit my teeth, grinning to bear the agony of this revelation instead of ripping his lovely brown eyes out of his skull?

He’s in more agony about it than I could ever be.  Daily, he procrastinates, then doesn’t do the work and the routine begins again the next day.  He must love the torture.  Plus, he must love my rather lengthy and antagonizingly argumentative discussions about life and work and responsibility.  And the concept of beginning to look for a job now that requires no degree and a cheap place to live while employed in said fashion.  In San Diego, that would be a cardboard box.

And the bright side of this debacle is?

He gets this flat look about the eyes, like I have the calm audacity to suggest he will have to fend for himself in this world, and that he may not get it right.  It lets me know I’ve gotten through.  And then I get to tell him that he’d better figure it out because he only has about six years of math left to take in his life if he isn’t planning on the minimum wage job route.  It doesn’t matter that he most likely will NEVER use any of the math he’s required to take, but you can all rest assured that at least with my kid, the good ol’ U S of A will have a chance to compete.  You know.  Mathematically.  In the world.

Could someone tell Edwards for me please?  He was sweating bricks over it during the minute or two I listened to the debate today on NPR.

Oh, and the RT completed his math while I wrote this, so clearly it’s not challenging.

Like I said.  Torture.

Dear Desiree…

Tally-Ho NaBloMoPo on Day 14. So move it. Can you do it? Make it burn…on three…ready? Let’s go. Whatever. But this one will be short, because I have to do a post on my food blog today, too. I was nearly done with a post two days ago, was loading the last photo, and then…Yes. That stoopid message that says something about being reset so the connection was lost came up after I realized things were getting a bit slow and I suspected the inevitable was about to happen. When’s the last time you actually saw mad? You know. Like, really mad.

November 14, 2007

Dear Ms. Bartlett:

I just thought I’d take a moment today to let you know you kicked my butt the other day. Seriously. I should have known better, and that’s what I get for not taking the time to do a bit of research; i.e., look before you leap. I should have channel-surfed a bit. But you looked so harmless. So sweet. It was that smile.

I’m sure you’re far too busy for someone like me, but I’ve been trying to find ways to make sure I get regular exercise. I don’t always look forward to it, but do a fairly good job of getting in some exercise at least four days a week. But I’ve been struggling with the time change since I have a tendency to go out late in the afternoon or early evening to walk — hopefully right before the MoH gets home. One day it was completely dark by the time I’d finished, and although I sort of enjoy that, occasionally, the brush by the side of the road engages my overactive imagination and my constructive pessimistic proclivities begin to map out my defense on the chance the boogey man is hiding in the bushes and is getting ready to jump out to get me. Little does he know that I’m ready to grab the sides of his face in my palms and dig my thumbs into his eyeball sockets, knee him in the nards, and if necessary, ram his nose up into his sinus cavity with the base of my palm. Of course, a lifetime of repressed rage would most likely also be unleashed and there wouldn’t be much left of him.

Yes. Well, um, so I had waited too long to walk and it was already dark, so I decided to take a look at the free On Demand channels on cable. I thought I’d seen something about Exercise on Demand and thought I’d give it a shot. Mind you, it was some time ago (like years) that I’d see this feature of our monthly service to Time Warner, but that’s beside the point.

You would have been proud. I had appropriate exercise clothes on, and my tennies. Hell, even my weights were close by. I have to be honest though — I was a bit worried about my left arm since it’s been so screwed up with tendonitis. But I wasn’t going to use that as an excuse. I was going to suck it up.

Suck dough balls was more like it.

Sheeeeee-it. You smiled the entire time you were kicking my butt. In fact you kept telling me to smile and each time you did, I wasn’t. What’s up with the whole smiling while your tongue’s flapping around your chin? Have you ever tried to do that? But since I’m a team player, I tried, and I did learn that if I smile with my teeth, at least I can get air into my oxygen deprived lungs.

And I did appreciate that you kept telling me that I could take a break any time I wanted. I did notice that you smiled when you said this, like it was some kind of a dare. I’ve got you all figured out, marching in place there and not losing count while you’re smiling and telling me to take it easy. And not sweating. Not a single shiny place on your body.

Do you have any idea how hard it is to hang on to a weight when sweat’s dripping down your arms? Huh? And your your spine? Well, suffice it to say it was a veritable river headed down to my drawers. At least the RT didn’t make any comments when he walked by wondering about this latest project his mother had gotten involved in. And he didn’t laugh when I grunted, either, and I was listening.

I know you know that I knew I’d be doomed after the warm up and before the weights because I was already toast. That you knew that I’d know those repetitions would make my muscles feel like they’d been flopped into a frying pan set on sizzle. You totally knew. And you smiled the entire time. But you also knew I’d feel like *thank gawd I’m done* successful and proud after you ran me through the wringer the routine. I know you’d know that I knew I’d know you knew. Yanno?

So all in all, the beginner’s (ohmygawdwhatmustheregularworkoutbelike?) workout was a freakin’ killer great and because it was an interminable, exhausting only 30 minutes, I switched to a cardio salsa dancing workout that finished the job you started immediately afterward. I’ll have to thank her another time since I couldn’t see the writing on the screen with my face on the floor didn’t catch her name.

But hey! It was so incredibly tortuous and I was so sore the next day fun, that I was thoroughly encouraged to go on my walk again, making sure I got it in before the sun went down — in the drizzling rain.

So thanks, Desiree! The next time I need my butt royally kicked an amazing workout, I know how far and fast to run in the opposite direction you da man.



p.s. Might you be related to Rachael Ray? Just asking. It must be the smile.


Actually, the workout was excellent, and I was surprised that I felt as if I’d gotten more done than twice the time on a vigorous walk. I enjoy getting outside, keeping an eye on my odd neighbors in Paradise breathing, and watching the sunset, but this is something I need to do a couple of times a week. The on demand channels are an included service, and I can exercise whenever I want, which is, well, not a whole lot different that most everything else I do. So…okay. Whatever.

Writing until the cows come home

November 10, 2007

Dear NaBloPoMo,

My tongue’s not quite hanging to the ground yet with daily blogging, because I’ve missed very few days since I began last March. I do have the ability to write my way around any situation while standing on my head and singing Yankee Doodle. Or something like that. But I have a tendency to not write both days in the weekend because my house really does need to be cleaned occasionally.

The other reason I may not write on the weekend is because of my food blog. It takes some time, and I enjoy spending time there with other foodies. And I fear that I neglect that world far too much compared to this one. And foodies are such a lovely bunch of people. I truly enjoy them.

So today, I’m deferring to said foodie haven Sass & Veracity for today’s qualifying post. Even though this actually counts as a post.

Besides, my post there is for a very worthy cause.

And thanks to Mike at Port 16 for the idea.

Have a lovely Saturday!


Dear Walmart…

My journey as a NaBloPoMo-Ho continues into its second day…

November 2, 2007

Dear Retailers (and in particular, Big Box Retailers, but specifically, Walmart):

It has been noted that you have begun to show concern with respect to your sales projections for the upcoming holiday season, and as a result, have begun to slash prices. Evidently, your thinking can be encapsulated in this concept: If the price is low enough, the consumer will want what you want them to want because you want them to and your attorneys always get what you want them to get. Simple.

I do have some consternation about this kind of thinking. It doesn’t exactly keep me awake at night, because not much does other than my relentless hot flashing, but still, I do think about where your narrow minded economics will end. At some point, someone has to lose. With any luck at all, it will be you, and not the consumer.

The average consumer is tired of being the poster child for your faulty thinking. Well, except for the consumers who have figured out that they can purchase until they are bankrupt, and then have all their debts excused in bankruptcy court so that someone else has to pay for it. Okay, so the IDEAL consumer, not the average consumer. You know. Honest ones. Where was I? Oh yes…

However, other considerations force me to acknowledge that if you lose, then you will claim that you will be forced to lay off employees (when all the while your CEOs will reel in massive bonuses even after the Board of Directors gives them a vote of no confidence and asks for their resignation), who are ultimately consumers, who then have no funds to consume consumables in a comfortable fashion. A different perspective could be that if you claim to have high losses, you’ll have fewer resources (minions) to convince consumers (suckers) that they can’t live without a 50″ flat panel plasma television for $998.00 and wouldn’t it make so much sense to get your Christmas shopping done now instead of waiting because wouldn’t you like to impress your holiday guests with this new purchase? Poor, poor unsuspecting consumers will then have to find out that in order to actually see High Def on their newly purchased and initially cheap television, they will have to subscribe for HDTV service and that the industry is sort of dragging in getting more than the basic channels up and running with High Def. Oh, and that warranty? And what about those cables and energy cleaners? Not so cheap. But still. $998.00 does sound good, doesn’t it?

I’d just like to let you know that I am one of the new “increasingly resistant” consumers that you fear. I’m not coerced by sales or advertising. I don’t make impulsive purchases because you expect me to. I have no trouble at all in resisting any remote urge to “keep up with the Joneses.” No sweat. I will not be in line at your heavily advertised 8 AM sales events with the purple kool-aid drinking lemmings who seem to live for the fighting opportunity to get their hands on a limited number of sales items, and then when they fail, shop because they’re now in your clutches, and spend money on other items. Just like you planned. And you will sigh with relief because they are not spending their money on The Dreaded Gift Card that is such a detriment to your reported earnings.

I will be content to shop when I feel like it, purchase what I want and continue to hope that the whole point of giving is just that. And that looking for the “just right gift” isn’t because of a sale, or cutting edge, or newest of the new. It’s just the right match for the person I have in mind.

I won’t be using my home equity like an ATM to fund Christmas, nor do I expect to charge anything that won’t be immediately paid off. I could. But I won’t.

So just a word of advice.

Resist upper management when they tell you they have pro-rated product coming your way. Take a stand. Let them choke on it for buying it without consideration for how much inventory you currently have. It’s really not a big deal because they guy who will get screwed in the proposition is the one who okayed the initial purchase.

Somebody has to be big enough to stop the nonsense. Just say no! Or maybe at least think about it?
Besides. I’ll be forever indebted to you for not having to watch all the ridiculous advertising that is sure to come this year, acting as if it can tempt me to get out my wallet.

Good luck to you and your bottom line in the rapidly approaching season. Perhaps you’ll soon come to realize that the projected 4% increase in sales over last year is really just fine. Just practice what The Ideal Consumer has to practice: restraint.

Thank you for taking the time to consider my thoughts on this matter. I’m off to IKEA.


An Increasingly Resistant Consumer in Paradise

Do I Look Good in This?

This morning, I could hear the MoH’s voice coming from the closet, but couldn’t quite make out what he was saying. I think it’s a passive form of control, actually, expecting the one you most love in life, the soul who makes your sun rise and set each day to get up, come to you and inquire gently, “What was that you were saying dear?” But I don’t, because I know how this works.

He soon walked out of the closet and stopped to look at himself in the mirrors that are on the closet doors. I noticed the black, corduroy baseball hat on his head before he returned to the closet. “So brown, black, and grey are neutrals, right?” he called out, returning quickly with yet another baseball hat perched on his head and stopped again in front of the mirrors. It was a dark Navy blue with a Yankees logo on the front. I was surprised it was even on his head and couldn’t remember where he got it.

“Yes,” I confirm, remembering that he and I had watched What Not to Wear last night before heading up to bed, and that this is exactly what Stacy and Clinton were trying to teach that Philosophy doctoral candidate who had absolutely no clue about clothes. “Tan, beige, and khaki colors, too,” I continued as he headed back into the closet, evidently not liking the second hat either. He emerged with a third, black hat that kept him standing and appraising longer than the two previous choices. It was an SDSU hat sporting the fierce face of Monty Montezuma, the Aztec’s old mascot. “What are you doing?” I asked him, watching him begin to smile because I’d found him out.

“Well, I don’t like this one because it’s pointy on top,” he said, raising his arm and extending his index finger to point directly down toward the offending crown of the cap. He was right.

“It makes you look like a poindexter,” I said, because that’s my job when he preens, and I’ve been doing it for years. I noticed that he’d put on his blue grey fuzzy lined sweats purchased at Old Navy years ago, and had chosen a waffle weave two-toned steel grey and black Nike long-sleeved tee, pulled over a white tee. It’s what I call his Spock shirt because it reminds me of the Star Trek uniforms from the old TV show. It was all coming together now. He was actually trying to apply his learning from the show last night. Unbelievable. I’d tell him to go without a hat, but learned long ago that the hat comes out when he feels he’s having a bad hair day. I’ve never quite been able to figure this out, because there’s just not that much hair. I’ve thought about encouraging him to shave his head, but it’s kind of lumpy here and there.

I went into the closet to look at the stacks of baseball hats with him and knew which he’d choose. It was a longer billed cap with a more shallow crown. A soft worn khaki green with a golf logo. His favorite. “It looks like you’re going out in a boat,” I told him, but I like that hat. He smiled and pushed past me to again survey the fruits of his fashion labor, and admired his reflection. I could tell he thought he looked cute, satisfied with his artfully mussed appearance.

“Yes, that one works,” I told him. It’s a neutral. It doesn’t have to be grey or blue or black. You look fine, I confirmed as he headed downstairs to leave for the office on this maybe final Saturday he’d have to work for a while.

He’s in the stretch, and this must have been his way of celebrating. Choosing just the right type of slacker wear to crunch numbers on the weekend when nobody’s around.

I should probably email Stacy and Clinton.

He never trusts what I have to say about his clothes.

A Day of Whimsey and Frolicking Cavortingness

Today, my horror-scope read, “Something may be important without having to be serious. Today, the roles whimsy, mischief and laughter play can’t be under-estimated. Something wonderful comes out of all your clowning around.” Oh. My. Permission to be a bad girl.

But laughter play? Is that a thing one does? What does it look like? *images of people too old to be engaged in this particular type of activity are conjured frolicking and cavorting in a woodland scene with ribbons and wearing their birthday suits* Bouguereau's Nymphs and Satyr Hey…I recognize those glutes!

Whimsy and mischief indeed.

Okay, twist my arm. I had already put on my rubber suit to tackle the RT’s bathroom since I put a serious dent in detoxifying it last week and could see that if I gave it another go today, I might actually come out ahead for the first time in months. The last time my middle son was here he quietly informed me that the RT must have gotten a bit wild with the toilet bowl cleaner because the lid was stained blue. I told him that, “No, I did that just to keep a safe distance” and still have a prayer of getting it clean without having to put a bomb in it. I reminded him of what his bathroom used to look like. End of ratting on his little brother.

But I tell you, the possibility of whimsy instead of scrubbing the RT’s toilet? Now that’s a pretty tough decision. Moot at this point, however, as I could tell that he’d already given the porcelain bowl a swish or two. *Okay, so he’s actually figured out that there are tools one uses to clean things.* I’m detecting progress here.

I will have to talk to him about leaving his toilet bowl scrubber next to his toothbrush on the counter, however…Don’t Do This At Home *Don rubber gloves and scrape all articles into black plastic bag…* It’s supposed to go ON the tube… *Hmmm…I know I’ve mentioned to him that the paper goes ON the roller a few thousand times…*

What does one do when one practices whimsey? *Remove one’s pants with never a care as to where they land, or who finds them…*Does he put them there on purpose?

I could eat bon-bons and watch old movies all day? How much different would that be on the whimsey meter than blogging? I could paint my toes blue or purple and the dog’s red. I could play hookey, but that’s what I do every day. If that isn’t whimsical I don’t know what is.

With respect to mischief, I’d need to hire a tutor for that. I’ve never been very good at it. Well, there was that one time a few friends and I went into the surf one evening outside the Ritz Carlton sans some of our clothing. That wasn’t really mischief as much as it was group unwinding after a grueling period at work. And I would never have done it without the evil influence of my friends. I’m seriously out of mischief these days. I’m so boring and put out to pasture relaxed. Contentedly Chewing Cud

As far as the “laughter play” is concerned, I think snarking is on the agenda this afternoon. So that would be more of a “snark-n-laugh” activity, with absolutely nothing playful about it at all. That has to count for something, doesn’t it? I’ve been called to an emergency get together with some very good friends who are celebrating the announcement of their boss’s premature exit. It seems he wasn’t up to the task expected of him and people had begun to question whether he was all he was purported to be. Pity.

A Reason to Celebrate They’re heart-broken and will be suspending all clowning around out of respect for the dire situation.