20 May 2012

Ankle Pants and Senioritis

A couple of weekends ago, my choral society had its spring concert, featuring the a work called "Letters from War" by Paul Moravec and John Rutter's "Mass of the Children."  The concert itself went splendidly, thanks primarily to the indefatigable efforts of our both our director and accompanist (who was also the director of the fabulous children's choir which performed).  The soloists were particularly outstanding, as was the children's choir, and the concert went extremely well.  There is nothing like beautiful music to make the heart swell and the spirit soar!

I also had the fortune to learn from some of my mistakes at the previous concert; for starters, I knew where the concert hall was this time, so I didn't spend 15-20 minutes wandering lost around campus, in part because no one had told me that the name of the music building was the same as that of the concert hall.  I also brilliantly chose not to put on my concert attire till after the run-through because standing for two hours under stage lights in all-black clothing?  Not the best idea.  Instead, this spring I wore flip-flops and regular clothes and passed the rehearsal quite comfortably, bar all the standing in a confined area right next to the edge of the top riser. 

After the run-through, I stared in fascination at the mitten-shaped harp cover (it's Michigan!), then changed clothes and grabbed one of the sack dinners.  Okay, so I clearly didn't learn everything since I promptly got sesame seeds and Harvest Cheese Sun Chip dust all over my concert clothes.  Note to self:  change AFTER eating next time.  In spite of that small faux pas, I got through the concert without falling off the risers and breaking anything new (thank heaven for small favors), though I was exhausted after standing in my little square foot of space for nearly 4 hours.  I get that it's cheaper to rehearse before the concert in terms of paying musicians, and I don't even mind because it gave me a chance to get all my musical brain farts out ahead of time so I didn't repeat them during the concert; I just wish we could sit for the rehearsal because that's a lot of freakin' standing around.

Anyway, though the concert was great and the music transcendent, in typical Ginger-style things didn't get "interesting" until after the program was over.  Once we'd finished, I went to chat with a friend who'd come, then I went to grab my things and head out.  I told the hubs I wanted ice cream and so we agreed to meet at Dairy Queen.  As soon as I got to the car I immediately stripped off my knee-high hose and black shoes and put my flip-flops back on.  Blessed relief!  I looked around and saw that the parking garage was largely deserted, so I decided to change out of my sweaty clothes there as well.  In my mind it seemed like a good idea; I figured I'd pull up my pants, which would be camouflaged by my long black skirt, then I could fasten them and slip the skirt off.

Didn't quite work out that way, needless to say.

I successfully got the pants over each flip-flop and was in the process of trying to pull them up under my skirt, which was not going quite as smoothly as I'd envisioned, when I heard someone a car's door locks unclick behind me.  So there I am, standing beside my van's open side door in the parking garage, with my skirt pulled half up and pants around my ankles.  No doubt it looked like I was trying to take a whiz (or worse). 

I grabbed the front of my pants and pulled them up to my knees.  I stood there, at a bit of a loss for what to do next.  It's kind of hard to be discreet when you know someone is in a car behind you trying to figure out what the hell the psycho woman across the parking garage is doing.  I settled for leaning in the van and grabbing the rest of my clothes, which I threw in the front seat.  I then slammed shut the side door and proceeded to climb into the driver's seat.  Or, more accurately, I tried to climb into the driver's seat, which was considerably more challenging with my pants around my ankles.  I finally managed to hoist my heinie into the seat and swing my be-panted ankles ("pants on the ground, pants on the ground--looking like a FOOL wit your pants on the ground!!") onto the floor board.  I then spent the next five minutes trying to get my pants up and fastened under my skirt, using the Weeble Wobble method of yanking first one side a couple of inches then switching cheeks and working up the other side a couple of inches because I was too hampered by the skirt simply to hoist the pants straight up.

Once I got the pants maneuvered into position, I tried to fasten them, but had difficulty.  Because of the skirt and the way I'd pulled them up, they were angled oddly high in front.  I finally got them fastened, looking like nothing so much as an 80-year-old man with pants nearly up to my nipples (minus the suspenders).  Rather than attempt the reverse operation with my skirt, I pulled it straight up and over my head and threw it into the back seat of my van.  Success! 

So there I sat with my wedgie and wearing my khaki old-man pants with a black shirt and pearls.  Yup.  I gave up on changing my shirt because there were still people in sight on the back dock of the concert hall, so I tossed the rest of the clothes aside and decided to head towards Dairy Queen.  Now for both concerts I've not had too much difficulty actually getting to campus and the vicinity of the concert hall, but both times I've had a much harder time finding my way out of the confusing twists and turns on campus, because you can't get out the same way you go in.  So I drove around and found my way out eventually, but then couldn't figure out how to get back to the main drag so I could find the Dairy Queen.  I ended up getting rather lost, no thanks to the TomTom app on my phone, which had recently been updated and which decided I needed to click through several licensing screens and such before allowing me to use it.  I finally had to pull off the road, turning around in the gravel parking lot of some tiny church on a hill and parking till I could click through all the stupid TomTom nonsense till I could access the program and find my way out.

I turned up at the Dairy Queen some 20 minutes after the hubs, who was sitting in his little Miata and watching all the co-eds infesting the parking lot and front of the DQ.  Since I have not yet been to this particular Dairy Queen, I was unaware that it was primarily a walk-up and that they didn't have indoor seating.  After standing for 4+ hours, the last thing I wanted to do was fight through the crowd of perfect-looking Southern college students in my old-man pants and incongruous pearls to suck down ice cream while being judged.  Um, no thanks.  I decided that we should go to Baskin Robbins instead, and took off around the corner.  I got there and parked next to some awesome-looking classic cars in the parking lot, one of which was a spectacular teal color.  While I waited for the hubs to arrive, I was able to get my pants re-situated into a more comfortable position.

Once the hubs arrived we went into Baskin Robbins, but nothing really sounded good.  I made some comment about a root beer float and the guy waiting on us said, "Oh, you want a root beer float??"  I told him yeah, then he promptly informed me they couldn't do that.  Indian-giver.  We negotiated a few more times and I finally ended up with a mint chocolate chip shake, but I told him to put whipped cream on it because it had been one of those evenings and he owed me since he reneged on my float.  First the guy rang me up for 9.65, but then he must have felt bad because he punched a few more keys and then told me "It's $8.74--if anyone asks, you're a senior."


Oh, no, you did NOT just say that. 

Seriously, Dude, I'll pay the extra dollar.  I don't care how bad you feel, don't be announcing to everyone in here that I am a SENIOR.  For the love of God, I'm only 47!!

Check out the order number...told you calling me a "senior" was evil!
I do appreciate the guy's efforts to try to make me feel better, but that was probably not the best way to accomplish it.  I paid my senior bill, the group with all the classic cars got up and drove away.  Bye, cool cars!  Then we found a table and say.  As we ate our treats, it occurred to me that I was sitting in the middle of a Baskin Robbin's at 10 pm at night wearing a black concert shirt and pearls...I could almost hear Chandler's voice in my head saying "Could you BE any more 'Designing Women?'"  Well, probably I could, because I sincerely doubt any of the Designing Women would ever be caught in a parking garage with their pants around their ankles.  First this, then my naked laundry time with the water thief.

Clearly I cannot be trusted with clothes.  Pretty ironic for a seamstress, no?

Protest March

Wisdom is a funny thing.  Sometimes wisdom helps up to keep our heads in difficult circumstances, even when those around us are losing theirs.  Sometimes, however, wisdom is finally realizing that in order to effect change in the world, one must sometimes stand up for what one believes, even when it is often unpleasant.  Today was just such a day.

Actually, if I'm honest, most of this year has been like that.  Instead of being some passionate protestor in my twenties when I had little to lose, I find myself, at the "ripe old age" of 47, suddenly choosing to stand up for the things I believe rather than being content to follow a path of least resistance.   Rather than sitting around grumbling, as I have been wont to do in the past (and which ultimately accomplishes pretty much nothing), I am finding my voice.

For example, I have become rather vocal about TSA's abuse of civil liberties and its wild inconsistencies in procedure from airport to airport.  It's not that I have a problem with trying to protect American citizens from potential terrorist threats, because I don't.  It's more that I object to the methods being used to accomplish this supposed protection, and even more the general public's willingness to put up with any amount of crap from airport officials just so individuals can be sent on their way as quickly and with as little fuss as possible.  And yet one airport will pass me through with enough metal to build a small Death Star while another airport will frisk me for even thinking about the metal involved in orthodontia.  Things like pen knives and nail clippers are expressly prohibited, but I can bring a 12" SPIKE knitting needle, capable of piercing eyeballs and skewering hearts, with no questions asked.  All my containers must be less than three ounces for fear that I might be transporting materials which could be used to create a bomb, yet it occurs to no one that the 10 mini-shampoos I have shoved in my Ziploc bag could just as easily all possess napalm or liquid plutonium which could then be combined into sufficient quantities once I'm through security.  But as long as each is under 3 ounces and safely contained by a baggie, it's all good.  One airport will let me transport a large boxed birthday cake, but another will confiscate a single cupcake on the grounds that the icing might be a flammable gel.  One airport will scan me and recognize that the random beeping is from the rivets on my jeans, whereas another airport will frisk me TWICE and have agents shoving their hands down the front of my pants in case those same rivets are attached to a detonator.  And that doesn't even begin to cover the potential exposure to radiation, which caused x-ray scanners to be banned all over Europe.  The US, however, is adding more scatter scanners to airports all the time, making the old metal detectors nearly obsolete and removing the power of choice from passengers.  We are being subjected daily to "unreasonable search and seizure" or at least "remarkably inconsistent search and seizure," yet most of us stand by and do nothing about it.

Perhaps more surprising to me has been the change recently in my political viewpoints, which I have assiduously avoided voicing most of my life because I believed that my political opinions weren't really anyone else's business.  Were you to ask, I would probably say that I have always viewed myself as an Independent, though I've tended to lean right when voting because of my philosophical beliefs.  In truth, politics have always a bit problematic for me because I grew up in a very blue collar, Democratic household, but I married a very white collar man from a very conservative, Republican household.  Not surprisingly, my political opinions over the years have been fairly evenly split between the two camps.  Yet in the past year, I have found myself becoming appalled by the increasingly extremist views of leading Republicans, particularly regarding the current "War on Women."  It's one thing to have conservative beliefs based on one's religion, but I don't understand when it became acceptable to start using those beliefs to dictate the beliefs of others.  Wasn't religious freedom one of the cornerstones of our Constitution?  I have no problem with Democrats or Republicans or whomever having whatever religious views they like.  I do, however, have a big problem with elected officials forcing me to be bound to laws based on the moral and philosophical views of someone other than myself.    That is as un-Constitutional as much of what TSA does.  No one should have the right to imprison me for having a miscarriage just because somebody conservative doesn't believe in abortion.  Miscarriage and abortion are not the same.  I don't believe any government has the right to force me to submit to unnecessary medical procedures just because somebody conservative doesn't believe in abortion.  For the record, neither do I--that would be pretty hypocritical for someone who was adopted. I DO believe there can be extenuating circumstances which justify it, however.  But that doesn't matter.  Whether or not I (or anyone) believes in abortion doesn't change the fact that decisions regarding it are not the purview of the government but rather a concern only of the patient and her physician and any relevant significant others.  Politicians don't ask the medical community for advice on nuclear weaponry and/or the domestic economy, so why do they feel the need not only to offer their advice on medicine, but to enact specific laws demanding that we follow that advice?  Big brother indeed.

I could go on for days regarding things like contraception and equal wages and any number of other issues currently clogging the news media, but I won't, because that wasn't the point of this post.  The point is to explain how things such as the above have been leading me to take a more active role in standing up for what I believe to be right.  As Edmund Burke once said, "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."  I understand that quote a lot more now than I did when I was 20; I guess that's what comes of getting older and theoretically more wise--or at least getting a little more perspective.  So today, I did something.  It probably won't make a difference in the grand scheme of life, but I did something.  I made a gesture.  I made a point.  I went on my very own protest march.

Not long after we moved here, I spent several weeks trying to find a new church home.  Through a bit of a fluke, we ended up at one that wasn't even on the original list.  In due course we made friends, found a place and settled in, eventually transferring our membership to the new church a year or so ago.  Sadly, however, within 2 months of having done so, I began to regret it.  I still love and appreciate the friends I've made there, but as time has gone on, I became increasingly more disturbed by the sermons and behavior of the senior pastor at the church in question.  Granted, I wasn't particularly star-struck by him in the first place, but he seemed to be struggling more and more and his sermons became more and more insulting and/or offensive as time went on.  It became clear to me that on a good day, our philosophical and moral and theological views were radically at odds.  I began to be aware of problems that most of the congregation wasn't privy to, things like his bullying of staff, an inability to delegate or work cooperatively with staff, an unethical manipulating of both people and attendance statistics, and firing staff he has no right to fire, as well as outright lying.  It was bad enough that the man had a rampant megalomania and messianic complex going behind the scenes, but worse yet that the one person who was most supposed to "guide the flock" was becoming the largest stumbling block to those earnestly trying to strengthen their faith and solidify their beliefs.

I could go on for days about some of the more sordid and intolerant things the man has done or said in the past several months, but I won't.  Suffice to say that the staff-parish committee has ardently been seeking his transfer for the last two months or more.  Today in service, it was announced that he would be staying another year and that the minister for our contemporary service would be going to another church.  I knew this was coming, and many of us "in the know" were despondent over the decision, not the least because we know the man is just petty enough to seek punitive action against those who crossed him.  In our anger and frustration, the girlie and I have frequently threatened to walk out of the service the moment the announcement was made.  After months of waiting for word about whether or not he'd stay, of deciding whether or not we would then stay if he did, etc., I became became exhausted and demoralized, and even this morning I didn't know whether or not I would do anything.  I just didn't want to deal with it.  I also didn't want to leave my choir friends in the lurch going forward, but neither am I interested in tolerating the world's most appalling and narrow-minded sermons for another year.  I knew that several people from the previous service walked out after the announcement was made or before the senior pastor began his sermon; eventually the service started hemorrhaging members.  But I still didn't know what I was going to do (or not do).  Then after the announcement was made in the traditional service I sat and listened to the minister flagrantly lie about how the contemporary service's minister had been "talking about going to the new church and was looking forward to it and really wanted to go" when he had, in fact, been ordered to request transfer by the senior pastor.  As I listened to the moral leader of my current church stand in the pulpit and lie his ass off, I started shaking.  At that point, my mind was made up for me; there was no turning back.  As soon as the choir finished singing its anthem and the minister stood up to begin his sermon, I stood up in the choir loft, walked out past the piano, then marched straight up the aisle, stripping off my choir robe along the way.  When I reached the back door, I slammed my hand into it hard to open it and strode out.  I wasn't the only choir member to leave the traditional service, but I was the only one to do so as definitively.

Afterwards, I went to the contemporary service, boldly wearing the "Get Out of Hell Free" card I'd gotten from the "Hey, Nunnie Nunnie" show at the RenFest yesterday (I figured I'd need all the help I could get...)  I found my girlie and sat by her.  My mouth was dry and my hands were still shaking enough that I had to have the girlie open up my peppermint for me.   When the contemporary service ended, several members found out what I had done and hugged me and even said they were proud of me, which made me feel a little better, but not as much as knowing that my girlie was proud of me for standing up against the intolerance and injustices being perpetrated by the minister.  I know others at the traditional service probably felt like following me but were too afraid, just as I know that others will probably not want to talk to me anymore.  But that's okay.  I made my statement, loud and clear, just as I did when I signed petitions against SOPA or voted against damaging legislation or spoke out against injustice or hatred.  It may make a difference or it may not; doesn't really matter.  Either way,  I will continue to support the congregation and the church (as opposed to the pastor) whether or not I am there, just as I will continue to support my country even while I exercise my freedom of speech against the tyrannical and/or damaging policies of short-sighted politicians more interested in serving their own ends than the people they were elected to represent.

So that's my "wisdom" for you today--stand up for what you believe, whatever that may be, however big or small.  Things won't always go the way you'd like, and that's okay.  But change will never happen while you sit on your backside complaining about the things you don't like.  And your children are watching you...what lessons do you want them to learn from you?  Today my child watched me protest ignorance and injustice; she saw me put my "money where my mouth is" as I stood up for what I believe to be right, instead of spewing meaningless and powerless platitudes.  Today I made her proud of me.  Who can ask for more than that?  What I did today may seem small in the face of all the political divisiveness and unrest fomenting in the US at the moment, but it was still a step forward.

Stand up for what you believe.  Do SOMETHING.  Because times?  They are a-changin'.

08 May 2012

It's Naked Time!

You know how people sometimes say they can't wait for their kids to leave home so they can run around the house naked?   Well, it's sort of true.  It's not so much that you run around deliberately performing naked versions of the Time Warp or Single Ladies or re-enacting a particularly spectacular touchdown.  Well, I don't know...you might.  I don't.  (Usually.)  It's more that, just occasionally, you worry less about getting dressed in between chores.  For example, if you get out of the shower and realize you're out of clean underwear, you might meander to the laundry room to acquire some.  With the drapes shut and no kids at home to consider having you committed, there's no harm done and no one is the wiser.

You know how I also sometimes say that life down here is often freakishly boring?  Well, often it is.  Not today so much.  Don't you hate it when weird crap happens just to make a liar out of you?  Now imagine combining "naked" and "weird crap" together and you'll maybe have an inkling of how I spent part of my afternoon.

Because I often stay up rather late, my schedule tends to get shifted back.  So earlier this afternoon I took a shower.  I got out, dried off, hung up my towel and went to get some clothes when I realized I was fresh out of clean bras.  Typical.  Since the blinds were indeed drawn and no one but the dog was at home, I strolled starkers through the house to the laundry room to reclaim a basket of freshly cleaned laundry which I knew possessed at least one of the AWOL undergarments.  While in the laundry room, I noticed that the washer was done with the load I'd put in before climbing into the shower.  Always one to economize effort, I decided to go ahead and transfer the load into the dryer.  While I was standing there.  Naked.  Like you do.

As I was bending over to retrieve more clothes, I suddenly heard water running.  At first I thought something was wrong with the washer, then it clicked that the water was running outside, from the spigot right next to the laundry room.  I ran through the checklist:  the hubs is at work, the girlie is at school, and the dog lacks opposable thumbs.   Clearly I was not outside, what with the being naked and all, so WTH????   I scrunched myself against the wall between the window (with the inconveniently OPEN blinds) and the washer and leaned over to peek through the slats to see what the heck was going on.  I caught a glimpse of a grey t-shirt sleeve waving next to the window as its occupant worked the tap--on MY house--without permission.  I quickly scrunched back against the wall and the washer to avoid being seen in all my nuditude, then peeked out again.  This time all I saw was some big-ass dog trotting down my driveway.  I didn't recognize the dog from the neighborhood, either.  I quickly ran to the front window and peered through the blinds to see if I could espy either the big dog or Grey Shirt, but I couldn't. 

I still have no idea whether the person helping himself to my water bill was a random dog walker watering his beast or one of the workmen clearing the lot across the street who decided to stop laboring long enough to help himself to quick drink.  Either way that's trespassing, dude.  It's not that I would begrudge a dog or a worker a drink of water if asked, but I still want to be asked first and not have random people just helping themselves to whatever the hell they want from my house, especially when I'm standing around in the buff.  On the other hand, if he had knocked on the door to ask first, he'd have gotten quite a little shock, no?  Bet he wouldn't be stealing water from me again any time soon.

So what lessons have we learned from this little episode, boys and girls?

1.  Do not leave random construction workers unsupervised around your home.
     (And boy, doesn't this bode well for when I'm gone a few days later this month
     to drive the girlie's car to her campus?  Color me thrilled that workmen across
     the street will know when I'm gone and will have easy access to my property...)


2.  Having kids away at college doesn't guarantee you won't one day find yourself
     exposed and literally up against the wall while unable to hold your water.
     I'm just sayin'.

05 May 2012

Sink Full o' Mayo

Happy Sink Full o' Mayo, everyone!

I hope your day if full of creamy, tangy goodness!  Wait--that didn't sound right...

04 May 2012

What Happens When My Phone Battery Dies

Because I am a glutton for punishment, last night I decided to create a Ginger Doodles Facebook page because I thought it might be an easier way for some of my friends to keep up with my posts (feel free to head over there and "like" the page if you want to follow my updates).  Anyway, what sounded like a good idea last night (before I fell asleep in my office chair) turned out to be a bit more labor-intensive than I expected; in fact, after once again waking early--in part due to the obnoxiously loud couple of birds outside my window--I spent the whole.freakin'.day. uploading all of my posts from here to the Ginger Doodle timeline, changing all the dates, and creating a cover photo.  You know, it seems a lot more impressive to blog (sometimes) on a daily basis when you're not having to move each one of those posts individually from one location to another.  Still, I finally finished updating them shortly before the hubs came home, after which I informed him that I was BORED from being cooped up all day and wanted to go see a movie.

I looked up the movie options which, as usual, weren't overly exciting.  I just don't understand why a college town has such limited movie choices.  Sure, I expect a few good adventure/blow 'em up selections, but the local theaters show surprisingly little variety.  It always seems like if a theater has 10 screens, 4 screens will show a movie, 4 screens will show the same movies in 3D and the other 2 screens will show obscure movies no one cares about.  But I digress.

Anyway, I printed out the movie lists and we jumped in my newly-cleaned van (vacuumed to better highlight all the carpet stains) and headed out to get a bite to eat.  I was mildly annoyed on the way over because while singing to the radio my voice was starting to fritz out, something that is never good news--especially right before a concert.  But I'm hoping a good night's sleep will help.  We ended going to Longhorn Steakhouse for dinner because it's close to the theater.  Shortly after being seated, I discovered that my cell phone was completely dead.  I found this odd considering I had just recharged it overnight.  On the one hand, the phone has been holding charges for increasingly less time.  This is not unexpected since it's almost two years old, but it's never drained in a mere 10-11 hours before, particularly not with any apps running (at least that I know about).  So now I have to figure out what's up with that.  So there I sat, across from the hubs, thinking "Oh, crap, now I actually have to talk to him!"  And that reminded me of this cartoon:

If the phone fits...
While he does that to me fairly often (usually he's playing Sudoku), I must admit that I do it sometimes too.  After 25 years there just aren't that many new stories to tell, even when your spouse isn't an Aspie with communication issues.  So I grudgingly set the phone aside and we ordered our food.  Without our usual electronic distractions, things rapidly got silly, starting with the mound of bacon piled on top of my loaded potato soup.  While slurping one spoonful, a bit of bacon went down the wrong way and made me cough.  I was fine, but the entire time I kept thinking of the cartoon I'd seen online earlier:

Six Degrees of Pork Products.
(Seriously--like anyone's gonna give up bacon just because of a minor choking episode.)

While finishing our soup, we started talking about random things.  I made a few lame observations, including the one about driveways vs. parkways.  This is how things shook out from there.

Me:        ...and why do we drive on a parkway but park on a driveway?

Hubs:     Well, that is a connundrum.

Me:        You can't even spell "connundrum."

Hubs:     C...O...well, that's what Google's for.

Me:        That reminds me of another cartoon I saw today:

Hubs:     Yeah, that sounds about right.

Me:         Then why didn't you use Google when you wrote "potatoe" on the grocery list?

Hubs:      That's what it said on those potato cups.

Me:         No it didn't...it said "potatoes."  With an "ES."

Hubs:      Wait--you're saying it doesn't have an "E" on it all the time?

Me:         No, Dan Quayle--only when you make it plural.

Hubs:      Are there other words that do like that?

Me:          Yup.  Like "volcanoes" and "heroes" and "dildoes."

Hubs:       I'm not touching "dildoes."

Me:          That's what she said.

Hubs:      Wait--I thought "dildos" didn't have an "e."

Me:         Well, technically it can be spelled either way. (Except not.)

Hubs:      That's stupid.  That doesn't make any sense.

Me:          That implies that half of the rules of English make sense in the first place.

Hubs:      Well, you have a point.

Me:          I usually do.

Hubs:      And look at this card--what's a "skinny" cocktail?

Me:         What, drinks come in "anorexic" now?

Hubs:     "I'm on a diet, I only want 'skinny' drinks..."

Me:        If you're drinking something that can be skinny, wouldn't that be cannibalism?

Hubs:     ::snorts, during which his hairline raises::

Me:        Dude--do that again.

Hubs:     What?

Me:        You made your hair move up and down.

Hubs:     ::succeeds in repeating the move after a few tries::

Me:        You know, that just makes it look like you're wearing a Beatle wig and making
               it shift back and forth.  You know your hair still looks like Prince Valiant's,

Hubs:     Why are you scribbling notes on that notepad?

Me:        Because my phone is dead and I can't use the notepad on it.

Hubs:     You're writing down what I say, aren't you?

Me:        What?  Don't you like starring in my blogs??

Hubs:     I don't mind, I was just wondering what you were gonna write down next.

Me:        Hey--I was nice to you!

Hubs:     Yeah, I know I was actually surprised.  I liked it being quiet.

Me:        I wasn't talking about your birthday.

Hubs:     Oh, I thought you meant my 50th.

Me:        Dude, I don't actually write about you that often, and if I did, you'd be
               screwed--and that's if I was being nice.

Hubs:     That's probably true.

Me:        Besides, it's kinda hard to be mean to you for your 50th if no one is around to
               help, and I can't exactly lob 50 of your computers into the yard if I have a
               pulled muscle.  If I could, I'd have taken a picture of it and sent it in to
               Redneck's Weekly.

Me:        Wait, that doesn't sound right.  Can computers even be redneck?

Hubs:     High-Tech Redneck? 

Me:        Possibly.

So would throwing computers out on the hill be "downloading" them?


Me:        You still haven't gotten your ketchup yet, have you?

Hubs:     Nope.

Me:        When's the freakin' ketchup coming?  (I did not say this loudly enough to be

Waiter:   Did you need ketchup over here?  Here's a bottle.

Hubs:     Thanks.  ::opens bottle::

Me:        This is like when I asked last week why that person from Memphis had friended
               you months ago and not me, then less than 12 hours later I got a friend
               request from him.  Isn't it cool how I always seem to do stuff like that?


Me:        Not that.  Stop making the ketchup fart.

Hubs:     What are you writing now?

Me:        Your ketchup fart.  After spending all day transferring files from my blog to 
               Facebook, I didn't have time to think of something to blog about tonight.  
               It's a lame joke, but I need a post.

Hubs:     Well, there's always the extra-terrestrial bras search.

Me:        The extra-terrestrial CHURCH BRAS???????

Hubs:     No, the extra-terrestrial bras.

Me:        Why are you talking about alien church bras???

Hubs:     NO, alien bra search.

Me:        I have no idea what the hell you're talking about.

Hubs:     I was thinking about all your weird search terms and that something random 
               like "extra-terrestrial bras" could be one of them.

Me:        You know if you have to explain a joke it isn't funny, right?

Waiter:   Did you save any room for dessert?

Me:        ::makes a face::

Waiter:   Oh, your eyes lit up when I said "dessert!"

Me:         No, I'm full.

Waiter:   Okay, I'll get your ticket.

Me:        (to Hubs)  Because I always confuse looks of horror and consternation with 
              "Yum!  Dessert!!"  If I ate any more, something would explode from my middle.
               At least then there would be a reason for you to be talking about aliens.

Hubs:     I thought you'd think it was funny.

Me:        Do you even know me??  For example, do you even know what my favorite
               color is?

Hubs:     Blue.

Me:        Are you sure?

Hubs:     Yes.

Me:        Are you sure?

Hubs:     Yeeeeeeees.  You're not saying you've changed it, have you?

Me:        Well, sort of.  I mean, it's been 25 years, Dude.  Is it so hard to believe my
               tastes might change?  I still like blue, but my current favorite favorite shades are 
               probably aqua or teal.  Turquoise.  In the blue family.

Hubs:     When did this change?????

Me:        A while ago.  You weren't paying attention.

Hubs:     But they're all still blue, right?

Me:        You're kidding, right?  What color is that stripe on your shirt?

Hubs:     Blue.

Me:        And what color is my shirt?

Hubs:     Blue.

Me:        Are you saying it's the same blue?

Hubs:     No, yours is darker.

Me:        No it's not, yours is.  

Hubs:     This is why everyone uses the Pantone scale to define colors.

Me:        No, they don't.   But then you probably think there's only one shade of 
               every color.  Because you are a guy, and therefore genetically color-impaired.

Hubs:     No I'm not.  I know your shirt is a different shade of blue than mine.

Me:        So how many colors of blue are there?

Hubs:     Dark blue and light blue.  And maybe medium blue.

Me:        So what color blue is your shirt?

Hubs:     Faded.

Me:        That's wasn't one of the options.  Navy.  Your shirt is navy blue.  Mine is 
               royal blue.  Well, a little darker than royal, really.

Hubs:     I still say yours is darker.

Me:        No it's not.  Hey, waitress!

Waiter:   Yes?

Me:        What color is that stripe on his shirt?  ::points at hubs' shirt::

Waiter:   Well, it's, um, I don't know, this is hard.

Me:        Well, it is faded...

Waiter:    Blue.  It's blue.

Me:        What shade?

Waiter:    Navy blue.

Me:        And what color is my shirt?

Waiter:     Indigo.  With maybe a little bit of purple in it.

Me:        And is my shirt lighter or darker than his?

Waiter:     Lighter.

Me:        Ha!  I WIN!!!

Waiter:    Did you guys have a bet or something?

Me:        Something like that.

Waiter:    Okay, well have a great weekend!

Me:        See--she's objective.

Hubs:     No she's not...humans can't be objective by definition.

Me:        ::headtable::   I meant that she's objective because she was not biased
               about which of us had what color or how much light was reflected off of it.
Hubs:     Colors are just a large collection of names randomly assigned to a few shades.

Me:        Could we be any bigger nerds???

The problem with the girl's side of this chart is that it's making me hungry.

After dinner we waddled back out to the car, feeling as distinctly over-full as if we'd just finished Thanksgiving dinner and were sprawled on couches with our pants undone in the traditional American fashion.  We opted to save the movie for Sunday afternoon when we were less miserably full and might possibly not ralph at the first whiff of popcorn.  We got home, crawled upstairs, and watched episodes of Castle on Netflix instead.  No more random and nerdy conversations ensued, but that's okay because I still won.

03 May 2012


Today has been one of those days.  Not bad, precisely, just, well, meh.  It started when I woke up at the unpleasantly early hour of 8:30.  I know, I know--8:30 is NOT early.  Well, maybe it isn't when you go to bed at 10 or 11 pm like a normal person.  But when you go to bed around 2 or 3 am every night, 8:30 comes pretty early.  As if that weren't bad enough, the ankle that I'd rolled for the first time in months was a little swollen and distinctly unhappy when I awoke.  Still, I decided to take advantage of the early (for me) hour by showering and going to Panera's for my favorite breakfast sandwich since I'm usually getting up too late to shower and drive over in time to get there before breakfast ends.  It was glorious...I get a Power Sandwich with an egg, ham, and lovely white cheddar, but I switch the healthy whole grain bread for ciabatta so I can enjoy that lovely crunch.  There's little more relaxing than sitting in an empty booth at Panera's and munching away on that little slice of heaven while reading one of my books.

Replace the bacon with ham for a yummy, yummy meal.
Since I was up and about earlier than usual, I decided to go and finally get my car washed since it's been a while because my preferred car wash closed and I foolishly kept waiting.  There was always "one more road trip," and who wants to wash a car only to get it encrusted with bug guts again days later?  Plus, since I have a van, getting to the top is a hassle.  Friends don't trust me on ladders or, you know, the floor anymore, and the hubs has never been particularly good about keeping up with washing the vehicles.  So off I went to a local car wash.  I probably need to get the van detailed, but I figured I'd wait and see how they did with everything else first. 

I drove in, ordered the "special," which is a full wash, vacuum inside, window wash inside and out and, theoretically, a wax, though I'm not convinced I got that.  I walked inside the office/waiting room and strolled through the displays of air fresheners and car accessories to get to the cash register, where a young lady of vaguely surly mien took my money.  I found it difficult to breath inside because of an overwhelming miasma of what could loosely be termed "fragrance."  Not even the multiple air fresheners could produce a pong that strong.  I never could find the source, thought there were candles and other odiferous items deployed throughout the shop, so it could have been anything, or perhaps even everything.  My sinus started rebelling.   I tried sitting at the end of the shop by the outside porch which overlooked the cars being wiped down and vacuumed, where I promptly knocked over one of those plastic fishbowls of business cards.  It didn't help.  I began to get a headache and so went outside to sit at one of the tables.  My book hadn't been open more than 3 minutes when a woman came out, sat down, and lit up a ciggie directly upwind of me.  Great.  First cloying perfumes, now smoke inhalation.  I moved to a bench on the other side of the porch that was mostly out of fumes' way, though it was directly in the sun.  I sat and sweated and read for a while till the lady left, then again changed seats to one in the shade.

Eventually my car was finished and I was called to "examine" it to make sure I was pleased with the results.  I noticed a few little spots, which the guys then rushed to rub off, stopping in front and asking if one spot was scratches or bug guts.  "Oh, no, ma'am, that's scratches...sometimes the bugs gets imbedded in the scratches and won't come off 'cuz of the clearcoat..."  Uh-huh.  Sure, dude, whatever you say.  That's the same sort of logic that encourages conservatives to defund Planned Parenthood and make contraception more difficult to get on the basis of it "reducing the frequency of abortions" or which suggests that teaching to tests instead of teaching critical analytical skills and not holding students accountable for their own responsibility to their learning will somehow magically improve education in this country.  Because yeah, that's it.  And because I was raised in the era of accountability and critical analysis, I see certain flaws in your argument, such as 1. how can bugs get imbedded in scratches less than a millimeter deep and 2. why in the hell would you be clearcoating a car that isn't all the way clean in the first place??  But whatever, dude.

Rather than waste my time arguing about something that wasn't going to change, I got in the car and drove off, but not before noticing smears which somehow got missed all over the inside of my windshield.  Sigh.  To be honest, I didn't check the windows very well since I was focused on the car body, except to look and see if the sticker gunk was still on my back window.  Yesterday I admitted to myself that since the girlie is almost a junior now in college and will be gone virtually all summer, it was finally time to accept that I'm no longer a Soccer Mom and remove some of the Soccer Mom flair from the back window of my van.  It was a sad moment, but I still giggled thinking about how everyone must have thought I had two kids since one sticker was for dance and used the girlie's first name, whereas the other sticker was for her playing flute at All-State, but had her middle name, which is what she used in high school.  I love my girlie and her multiple personalities!  Anyway, though I'd scraped them off, I didn't scrub off the goo that was left behind because I was curious to see how the car wash people would deal with it.  Which they didn't.  When I came out to inspect the van, the gunk was still proudly there, mocking me from the otherwise clean window.

I left the car wash and drove to the grocery to pick up a bag of dog food.   When I got home I spent an hour or so de-gunking the back window, wiping off other spots, and cleaning the windshield more carefully, as well as removing the bits of processed egg that had fallen from a hasty breakfast into the middle console of my van and lodged in the cap of the power outlet for my phone charger.  (Don't ask).  The car wash place dutifully wiped out the inside of the compartment with Armor All or whatever product they use, but thoughtfully left the petrified egg bits inside the cap.  Double sigh.  I went inside for a late lunch, took my drugs (4 hours late) and settled in for the mostly uneventful rest of the afternoon.

Other than exciting things like putting away dishes and making some travel arrangements to handle playing musical dorms with my kid's stuff, not much happened.  So here I sit, at the end of just another boring day in not Paradise.  I need to find something more interesting to keep me occupied.  Either that, or find a website from which I can order a hot pool boy.  At least if I got arrested for trafficking in pool boys it would be less dull around here. 

Of course, I suppose it would be help if I actually had a pool.

02 May 2012


Because I was busy all day today, you get only get a picture.  Enjoy.

Incidentally, I used to work in a bakery.  I'm just sayin'.

01 May 2012

Fun With Keyword Searches 2

Every once in a while I like to take a look at the stats page for my blog.  Sometimes it's quite educational.  For example, I am now being found by searches on Google India, Google UK, Google Australia and even Google Algeria, among others.  I feel so international.

I've also graduated from being referred by Ukranian porn sites to being referred by a Ukranian website which appears to sell "Military weapons without a permit and documents."  Well, I know I'm  relieved to have made the jump from pornography to illicit gun sales.  Phew!  Near as I can tell, the website is based on some movie and subsequent Danish stealth game.  Still, the website looks disturbingly real and were I so inclined, I could spend many happy hours filling my "cart" with assorted guns, gun parts, and live ammunition.  I'm still trying to figure out what on earth I could have previously written that would garner me such attention in the Ukranian underworld.  It's rather disconcerting, to say the least.  Of course, I'm also getting hits from a place in Russia that sells modular cabinetry and office furniture, as well as Russian hockey webpage.  Perhaps the Soviets think I'm luring people to my lair of modular furntiture with my wanton and scantily clad body, after which I bludgeon them with a hockey stick and stuff them into the Walnut Emill Wall Unit, with my trusty illicit Luger standing by in case of emergencies.   And I thought I was overly dramatic...

When my blog isn't being discovered through searches by nefarious home-decorating Ukranians, it's being discovered by an inordinate number of people feeling the need to search for "bad ginger perms."  Apparently my 1983 prom picture has become the definitive image for bad ginger perms.  Don't get me wrong--I'm not saying it wasn't a bad perm or that I'm wasn't "ginger."  On the contrary--my hair was poofy and poodley in the grandest of '80s traditions.  What I can't fathom is why so many people are suddenly interested in finding images of red hairdos gone wrong.  Is there some uprising of Disturbed Overreacting Independent Citizens Against Redheaded Egregiousness (DOICARE) about which I have not been informed?  And, if so, why??  All this redheaded discrimination just reminds me of Tim Minchin's song about prejudice, called...Prejudice.  (Be forewarned; some of the lyrics are not family-friendly.  Of course, neither am I all of the time.)

Seriously--Gingers often get a bad rap, and for no good reason.  Redheads are feisty and fiery and full of passion.  Redheads are awesome and brilliant; Galileo, Thomas Jefferson, Mark Twain, Van Gogh, and James Joyce (good Irish lad) were all ginger.  And because we are feisty, you don't want to mess with us--just ask Lizzie Borden, Oliver Cromwell Margaret Sanger and Queen Elizabeth I.  Redheads are talented and entertaining, just like Reba McIntyre, Willie Nelson (apparently we also like country music), Carol Burnett and Lucille Ball.  And if you think redheads can't be hot, all you have to do is read about Jamie Fraser from Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series.  You'll be fantasizing about tall ginger Scots for months.  Of course, the whole men in kilts things doesn't hurt.

DeviantArt's imagining of James Fraser.

Gabriel Aubry, with hair photo-shopped to red.
Sorry, what was I saying?  Oh, right.  When I'm not getting hits for bad ginger perms or all things Russian, I also get some distinctly interesting keyword searches.  One of my favorites was for "Duct Tape Messiah."  I don't even want to try to figure that one out.  Other recent searches have been for "d latch and a d flip-flop using magic layout tools" and "laurie hugh - cannibal."  Um, scuzemewhat??  In the first place, I wasn't aware that Hugh Laurie had ever been cannibalistic, and in the second place, trying to find a "d latch and a d flip-flop using magic layout tools" sounds like something I might try to find/accomplish while on some equally magic chemical substances.   Some of the keyword searches make sense after I think about them for a while; at least I can see how my blog is getting pulled for them.  Then I get stuff like this:

"Toddler sports bras?"  Really??  What toddler needs a sports bra?  That's just messed up.  Also, "shirt woot ginger boobs??"  Um...are we wooting for the ginger boobs in a shirt, or what, exactly?  I know there is a company called Shirt Woot, but to my knowledge they've never had any shirts related to ginger boobs, nor have I written about that particular aspect of gingatude.  Still, it makes for a colorful search term.  "Bizarro Wuxtry" I get; that's a local comic book/music store.  "Tressed" I also get; that would relate to my post about bad haircuts--and we're back to bad ginger perms.  Then we get to "Enlargement time delay electric shock physiotherapy."  I don't know who told them what I do in my spare time, but...  Seriously--while I've probably had a couple people suggest I need electro-shock therapy, I don't actually write about it, much less about any "enlargement time delays" resulting from using it.  I'm starting to think people need to get out more.  Step away from the computer...well, read this first...step away from the computer and get some sunshine and fresh air.  Take a book.  NOT one about toddler sports bras or electro-shock therapy.  Or learn a new hobby.  Like macrame.  Apparently macrame is the hot topic of the current decade; I've gotten over 200 hits off of the term "macrame" alone, never mind the 150 or so from "macramé" (because that accented 'e' makes all the difference to the macrame elite in the world).  And you haven't lived till you get hits in Cyrillic for "macrame."  Who knew so many Soviets were into macrame?  I guess one has to have something to do when one isn't trolling the web for pornographic hockey hit men who like to decorate houses.

I probably shouldn't be surprised by some of these hits, though; I know what goes through my warped mind on occasion, so I can hardly expect that other people are any less "colorful" in their searching needs.  And they give me the occasional laugh, as I hope they do for you.

Now if I really wanted to keep this interesting, I'd offer up a dozen snickerdoodles to the person who creates the most entertaining sentence using no less than 5 of the search terms above...hmmmm...