Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Monday, October 30, 2006
My friend Kim posed the following question to me today in email:
"Tomorrow Ty has a football game at the base of Mt. Lemmon at 7 but we have to be there by 5:30. Would you like to come with me???? We would have fun."
I responded with,
"Um, no, I would not like to go to a KID's football game with you - that's combining two things I hate - children and sports. Why would I want to do that???"
I might as well have added,
"Why don't you just invite me to a smokers only bible study hosted by Bill O'Reilly, held in the middle of July in Death Valley, California? Oh, and maybe you can serve souse sandwiches. Ooo, that would be fun."
Sunday, October 29, 2006
OK, so I'm not much of a big deal animal lover - in fact, if this cutie was any bigger, I might have clubbed him and turned him into a fur coat, but since he would have barely made a respectable hat, I let him go. He was a city groundhog, from Chicago, so I guess he was used to people around which is most likely why I, at two feet away, didn't deter him from his acorn nibbling. He was so engrossed in his find, he didn't notice me snapping his picture. If only he knew what having his picture taken was going to lead to.
Since I've been driving more, it allows Ed a whole lot more time to putz around on the computer. And when he has all that time on his hands, he tends to get creative. And by creative, I mean dabbling in projects worthy of old MAD magazines and bad sci-fi movies.
And with that time, this is what he did to my perfectly adorable groundhog:
Saturday, October 28, 2006
It all started with me telling her about my hair and how I'm at a frustrating in-between stage. It's going from my short summer cut, to a little bit longer style. I really liked the short hair, as it was easy to style and I could make it look cute in an instant. Now, it's pulled up on the top of my head in a butterfly bobby pin, with a poof that is not exactly what I envisioned when I began styling it this morning. It's just eh, not really that great.
Lynn said, "Less than perfect?"
I responded, "Exactly. And I hate less than perfect."
"It's just lazy," she said.
I agree with that completely. When you don't take time to fix yourself up, it's lazy. My situation this morning with the hair is not laziness, since I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to get it to do something, but still - it's less than perfect.
I don't understand how people go out of their house without taking the time to do something with themselves. Men can almost be forgiven since they can throw on a ball cap or sport the unshaven look in a rugged, handsome manner.
But women? This is not the time to be lazy, ladies. As my grandmother used to say, "You never know who you're going to meet." I've heard her voice in my head my entire life saying that, and I've always made sure I left the house looking presentable. Even more famous than my tiny Italian grandmother would be Coco Chanel, who said, " “I don't understand how a woman can leave the house without fixing herself up a little - if only out of politeness. And then, you never know, maybe that's the day she has a date with destiny. And it's best to be as pretty as possible for destiny.”
Four of my biggest pet peeves are:
1. Women who pull their hair back into a sloppy ponytail...tufts or lumps are sticking out in what should otherwise be a smooth span of hair, pulled into a nice ponytail holder or barrette.
2. Unwashed, greasy hair. No excuse.
3. No makeup. Unless you are Heidi Klum or 17 years old with a peaches and cream complexion, you need some makeup. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Mascara and lipgloss can even save the Camilla Parker-Bowles' of the world from looking completely hideous.
4. Sloppy Clothing. Torn, stained, baggy, pilly, mismatched or out of style. Throw away the leggings from the 80's and get rid of your boyfriend's dingy gray drawstring sweatpants with the hole in the knee. They don't look good.
I am just not a big fan of the "I'm just running out to the store, nobody's going to see me" mentality. Inevitably, you see someone you know. And most likely, it's someone who you wish would have seen you in a better light; your boyfriend's ex-girlfriend, your husbands ex-wife, or the guy from the video store you've been scoping out and flirting with. Whoever it is, you're going to wish you could disappear the moment you run into them.
So the lesson is this: Take a little extra time to get ready when you go out. Pull your hair back neatly or put on a baseball cap. Wear mascara and lipgloss. Do not wear the t-shirt with the stain on it because you think "no one is going to see me and besides, it's only Home Depot," and do not wear anything you wouldn't want to be photographed in.
Remember: Today could be your date with destiny. You'll want to be looking your best for that.
Thursday, October 26, 2006
The word paralyzes me.
Anything that I have to think of as being "forever" makes me want to run. It's really unrealistic, because most of these things are not forever, just typically require long term committment. That's the part that makes me uncomfortable.
Getting a college degree? OMG, I don't want to be a dental hygeniest forever.
Moving in with a boyfriend? I can't imagine dating a guy who works at ABC Construction forever.
Signing a contract at work? Hell no, I don't want to be involved with this project forever.
Buying a house? That means I have to live in this town forever?
Dieting? I don't want to be eating cottage cheese and carrot sticks forever.
Having kids? Shit. Those things you have to take care of forever.
I think that's why I like the lifestyle I have so much; nothing is forever.
But lately, Eddie and I have been talking about buying a house or property somewhere, to establish our little homestead. The options we have are overwhelming and the idea of settling somewhere makes me think I'll be there forever. And what if I change my mind, which is something I do often.
My friend said that I have to start thinking about what I want to do, commit to it and just do it. Even the thought of that is giving me hives. I have to decide on something? Shit. She knows I'm a Libra; we're very indecisive. In my mind, I have forever to decide.
Hmm...in that respect, maybe forever isn't such a bad thing.
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
I'm on the road. In Oklahoma.
She lives in Nashville.
She knows I'm always on this damn computer and because of that, she knew I'd be the one able to help her find this information in a matter of seconds, so she called with her request.
You know, this isn't the first time I've come to her rescue. I think I'm going to start charging her.
*Photo of mystery cowgirl taken on the beach in Cape Cod, MA
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Gazing up at the Friendship Arch, the largest such archway in the world, erected to celebrate the friendship between Washington, DC and its sister city of Bejing, China, I knew I had come to a crossroads. As one would expect in such an international setting, a Starbucks rose before my very eyes, complete with the name scrawled in Asian lettering:
As I leisurely sipped my latte and munched on my Maple Oat Nut scone, I listened to conversations and honking horns as I stood on the corner, watching everyone scurry around me. My walk had been invigorating and the people gazing was a treat.
I arrived back at the truck refreshed and happy, as I had gotten in a walk consisting of about three miles and got to snap some pictures as well. Ed, on the other hand, was still waiting for the truck to be unloaded.
Since I had a captive audience, I showed him my pictures and told him of my little adventure; including the unusual discussion I had about travel with a toothless old woman on the street who stopped me specifically to ask, "what exactly are you taking pictures of?"
Monday, October 23, 2006
Um, hello? Are you people paying attention to what’s going on in your camp? Do you read your own newspapers? The Mark Foley scandal? Rush Limbaugh, with his three failed marriages and drug addiction? The Sara Evans divorce announcement? Who, by the way I love – but she’s included here because of her husband and his touting of family values, marriage vows and Christianity as reasons for keeping his family together and his life clean. I’ve had enough of the hypocrisy.
In an article I was recently reading, it opened with, “If the blue states are sinkholes of moral decay, as right-wing pundits insist, how come red states lead the nation in violent crime, divorce, illegitimacy, and incarceration, among other evils?” Hmmm. Interesting.
Imagine our surprise when Ed and I, after spending some time in Indiana (red state) searching for a home and/or property to buy, found out that the town we were looking at, according to our research and the help of the National Sex Offender Public Registry, produced 136 registered sex offenders. In one zip code. I can only imagine where all the unregistered ones are hiding.
In addition to that, after talking with the waitress at the local “kountry kitchen” type dining establishment, we found out not much was being done about it. She said that she waits on the local cops daily and the most they do, when finding these pedophiles and sex offenders hanging out at the local park “watching” the kids, is pick them up and take them right back to their homes, which doesn’t seem to do much good since they wind up back at the park within hours.
And this is in America’s heartland, in the center of the pool of righteous red that covers our nation. I did another search, compiling the zip codes I lived in while residing in New York, Seattle and Los Angeles and came up with only 71 hits. In five different zip codes. In towns surrounding metro urban areas, one of which was Hollywood. So it’s extremely unsettling to think that the town with the beautiful, tree lined streets in the heartland of America didn’t measure up in that very important respect.
Although I am extremely critical and just as opinionated, I really don’t care what you do in the privacy of your own home or in your life. I have no problem with gay people (getting married or otherwise), I don’t care if you want to dress up in costumes and role play, I couldn't care less if you suck oxygen from tanks for health reasons, don’t eat pork for religious reasons or practice Wicca for personal reasons; I might think it’s strange, but ultimately I do not care.
But when it comes to children (even though I don’t have any) being hunted by sexual predators, I have a problem. With all the random crime people are subject to these days, where they fear going to the post office, grocery store or school, adding sexual (or any other) crimes against children or teens and worrying about whether I'm going to be abducted and raped going out to get the mail, is not something I really want to deal with.
So when I hear a hypocritical political figure telling me that the place I choose to live or the choices I make aren’t morally upstanding or in some way show that liberal, Democratic people are the cause of the fall of a society, I first laugh and second, wish they would do more research before letting the lies spew from their mouths.
Here are some of the statistics the article produced. I’ve highlighted the red and blue states respectively:
10 states with the highest incarceration rates in 2003:
LA, MS, TX, OK, AL, SC, GA, MO, AZ, DE
10 states with the highest female incarceration rates in 2003:
MS, OK, LA, TX, MT, ID, AZ, AL, NV, CO
10 states with the highest number of executions in 2004:
TX, OH, OK, VA, NC, SC, AL, FL, GA, NV
15 states with the highest rates of death by firearms in 2003:
AK, LA, NM, WY, NV, AL, MS, MT, AZ, AR, SC, TN, WV, GA, KY
15 states with the highest rates of suicide in 2003:
WY, AK, NV, MT, NM, ID, OR, CO, UT, AZ, WV, OK, AR, SD, KY
11 states with the highest grossing gamily markets:
NV, NJ, MS, IN, LA, IL, MO, MI, IA, CO, SD
10 states with the highest divorce rates in 2004:
NV, AR, WY, ID, WV, AL, KY, OK, TN, FL
10 states with the highest illegitimacy rates in 2003:
NM, LA, MS, DE, AZ, SC, FL, NV, GA, AR
15 states with the highest percentage of obesity:
MS, AL, WV, TN, LA, AR, KY, TX, IN, MI, OH, SC, MO, OK, GA
10 “smartest” states 2004-05:
VT, CT, MA, NJ, ME, MN, VA, WI, MT, NY
Obviously, people with different ways of thinking reside in all of these states, but when an entire region seems to go in one direction, and it's a direction people were steered into by "twenty-plus years of conservative propoganda" as the article states, you start to wonder.
Perhaps there is a good reason the color red typically signifies danger.
Sunday, October 22, 2006
In addition to all the fishing, hunting, camping and outdoor gear you can think of, they also had several displays of animals that made a little visit to the taxidermist before they were put on display. Both educational and quite entertaining, the animals are museum quality - absolutely fantastic specimens, set up in realistic re-creations of their natural habitats. I was quite impressed.
If you're not interested in looking at those animals, there are several others you ladies might be interested in. I noticed that the male to female ratio was quite high. The men outnumbered the women at least 10 to 1.
So girls, listen up....if you don't have your own Eddie, like I do, you might want to check out the local outdoor super store to find a handsome, virile, manly man for your very own.
The only problem I forsee is being a sportsman's widow once hunting season comes; which isn't really too much of a problem, it'll actually give you more time to get your camouflage camisole ready for when your man comes home!
Saturday, October 21, 2006
10. He always wakes me up with sweet kisses.
9. He listens to all my celebrity gossip updates and tries very hard not to roll his eyes.
8. He is a great kisser. GREAT. GREAT. GREAT.
7. He massages my feet, back and hands, even if I don't ask.
6. He thinks I'm beautiful, sexy and fun.
5. He is patient, loving, kind, honest, generous, loyal, smart and respectful.
4. He is handsome, with a great head of hair and the twinkliest blue eyes I have ever gazed into.
3. He is a great driver, doesn't panic in emergencies and always makes me feel safe on the road.
2. He will snake the truck into the teeniest parking lot just to get me an iced latte.
and the number one reason I love Eddie today...
1. He loves me.
Friday, October 20, 2006
He was busting my chops, teasing me about something when I said to him, "You know, you are really lucky to be in bed with me right now. There are people who would be line up to be in your position. You would have to fight them off."
He said, "Fight the moth??"
And this is precisely why I have fodder for discussion when I'm talking to my girlfriends about men and the ginormous communication gaps we have to endure.
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Recent example: While out with a friend at a local dining establishment, they came across fruit smoothees. So on our next phonecall, she went on and on about how delicious they were and how "...they're so popular these days, everyone's doing it."
Uh, Mom, hate to break it to you but fruit smoothees have been around since the days when Jane Fonda was still making work out videos. On Beta.
It just amuses me that she's into something that "everyone's doing" when she was, for so many years, the advocate of "just because everyone's doing it, doesn't mean you have to do it too."
Oh how her tune changes when she finds something like a tasty fruit smoothee to jump on the band wagon about.
Monday, October 16, 2006
They explain that they noticed several out of state purchases, some totaling more than $100 in one transaction. Ed is asked to verify some information to assure the customer service rep that he is who he states he is and when done, she begins going through the charges she said were posted this week.
She starts to rattle them off:
$33.00 at Chili’s…
$9.00 at Dunkin’ Donuts….
$199.52 at Travel Centers of America…
Yep – oil change.
$14.00 at Starbucks…
$19.68 at Waldenbooks...
$18.08 at the Flying J...
$56.35 at The Outback….
$27.42 at Bob Evan’s….
$14.00 at Barnes and Noble….
$137.39 at Interstate Connections…
Yep – wireless headset I’m talking to you on right now.
$9.00 again at Dunkin’ Donuts….
Yep, that's mine.
$632.00 at Travel Centers of America...
$3.59 at Walgreen's...
$23.01 at Sbarro’s….
Yep, me again.
At this point, I’m laughing thinking that this woman must think all he does is travel around the country, eat and just buy random stuff. Come to think of it, I guess that is what we do.
He gets these calls every once in a while since he has a fraud alert option on his account. Being all over the country flashing your debit card can be cause for concern; I guess all it takes is one unsavory person to get your account number and it could turn into a huge mess. But for us, it’s a lot easier (and safer) than carrying cash everywhere.
In any case, it’s still amusing to hear the person on the other end of the phone rattling off dollar amounts and cities that we’ve been to; often naming several states in one day.
We’d probably actually welcome someone stealing our card; there is no doubt that a thief would spend less than we do. After all, how many identity thieves do you know that use $50,000 a year in fuel??
Saturday, October 14, 2006
Among the many places we looked at, we were searching for a particular piece of seven acres for sale but couldn't find it. Armed only with an aerial photo, we decided to stop into the local airport, figuring these people if anyone, know aerial. We thought they might recognize the parcel since they probably fly over it all the time.
We stepped into the hangar where everyone was congregating, armed with the photo and our questions. We were greeted right away and directed into the office for more information. Everyone in the place was SO nice; and fun!!! The owner, a vivacious, cute little blond, has been in the skydiving business her whole life, going back as far as the 1940's when her grandfather owned a local airport. Her Dad was into skydiving and as she said, she was "born into it."
They spent a crazy amount of time helping us find this piece of land; they had out their laptops, downloaded Google Earth to check the aerials and called upon other people in their outfit to weigh in with their knowledge of the area. We felt like we were taking up so much of their time and it got to the point where I felt like they were going too far out of their way to be polite, but they kept saying it wasn't a problem and that they weren't busy that afternoon, so they didn't mind at all helping out. I was thinking, man, if they give that much attention to strangers, imagine how they treat their skydive clients!
This whole group of people were so warm and down to earth, even inviting us to come back and join them for a few beers at the end of their day, that I might even consider jumping out of a plane just to hang out with them!
OK, maybe that's a little extreme, but Eddie and I will definitely be visiting this place again. Maybe we can talk them into a little trade; "I'll give you a ride in my truck if you give me a ride in your plane..."
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Apparently, while I was peeing, he was browsing. Do you see why he can't be left alone too long??
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
"...I've begun to descend into what I've come to call traveller's melancholy, a profound displacement that occasionally seizes me for a few hours when I am in a foreign country. The pleasure of being the observer suddenly flips over into a disembodied anxiety. During its grip, I go silent. I dwell on the fact that most of those I love have no idea where I am and my absence among them is unremarkable; they continue their days indifferent to the lack of my presence. Then an immense longing for home comes over me. I imagine my bed with a stack of books - probably travel books - on the table, the combed afternoon sunlight coming through the curved windows, my cat Sister leaping up with her claws catching the yellow blanket. Why am I here where I don't belong? What is this alien place? I feel I'm in a strange afterlife, a haint blowing with the winds. I suspect the subtext to this displacement is the dread of death. Who and where are you when you are no one?"
Monday, October 09, 2006
Sunday, October 08, 2006
It was over two hours long but I could have easily sat and watched Leo for another two. I have never been a fan of Leonardo, specifically because of the Titanic debacle, which I hated. Yeah, I know, it's the biggest grossing movie of all time and it made him a star, blah blah blah, whatever. I don't even know what those actual facts are, but in that movie, he was a skinny BOY. In this movie, he's a man. With crow's feet. And a goatee. And a leather jacket.In this movie; I am here to tell you - I am in LOVE with his face. Look at him. LOOK. I told Eddie that after the movie, I was dumping him and calling Leonardo. He laughed at me and as we sat in Barnes and Noble after the movie, Ed said, "Well look what we have here. You. Me. Drinking coffee at Barnes and Noble. And Leonardo is nowhere to be found....."
OK, I get the point. Leo is SO out of my league. I have no chance. Ever.
But then, it gets dark.
I lay my head on my pillow.
I drift off to sleep.
And Leonardo is there.
Saturday, October 07, 2006
Friday, October 06, 2006
Turns out the "thing" he had to do was watch football.
My Aunt, in her innate understanding of her son, gave a response laced with humor by saying, "Oh, so you got a little sex, now you're ready to watch football, eh? That reminds me of something your grandfather used to say: 'After sex, women should turn into something useful; like a chair.'"
I had to smile hearing that. It reminded me of how my grandfather always had something colorful to say and usually didn't pull any punches when offering his opinion or assessment of a situation.
I guess he learned early on, after having four girls, that he had to get right to the point or he might lose his audience in the flurry of taking turns in the bathroom, bickering with their sisters, fighting over boys and getting ready for dates.
I'm going to pick out my upholstery pattern now; see you all in the furniture showroom!
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Traveling on Interstate 94, just past Bismarck, North Dakota, you can't help but see a giant cow on a hillside. On a clear day, you can see her from five miles away. And no, it's not a figment of your imagination; it's Salem Sue.
Located in New Salem, North Dakota, Sue is a permanent part of the landscape. My picture doesn't do her justice, but if you want to read more about Salem Sue, just click here. That's where I found this little ditty:
After leaving Sue, continuing westward on I-94, on the Enchanted Highway, you will find what the 2002 Guinness World Book lists as the World’s Largest Scrap Metal Sculpture; Geese In Flight.
And how boring are real animals when you can see GIANT SIZED fake ones??
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
In addition to the low wages he made, the truck that he didn't own, the guy he worked for that he didn't really like and the felony/misdemeanor warrant out in his name, it seems his forty-five year old girlfriend called him that morning to give him the good news; she's pregnant.
The bad news? She doesn't know whose it is. Nice guy that Melvin seemed to be, he told her that he would do the right thing and since they were together, even if it wasn't his, he'd raise it as his own. Seems that the woman's ex-husband, the father of her two youngest children (4 yrs and 1 yr) is living in the house she shares with Melvin because the guy lost his license and can't drive, which in turn means he can't hold a job and I suppose that he's just plain down on his luck. So, to help him out, Melvin and the girlfriend decided to let the ex-husband live with them. Did I mention this is the girlfriend's tenth child? TENTH.
As a result, when Melvin and his girlfriend got into a recent tiff, she turned to the ex-husband and apparently got pregnant; but she's not really sure if it was that time that did it, or if it was the time she was with Melvin, last time he was home. Hence, the confusion.
The thing that amused me about this whole unfortunate situation is that Melvin kept telling me that he wanted her to take a "maternity test" to find out if the baby was his. I didn't have the heart to tell Melvin that the mother of the child was not in question, it was the father they are unsure of; which is why they need a PAternity test, not a MAternity test.
Perhaps Melvin shouldn't be having any children if he can't be sure who the mother is. And perhaps at forty-five, this woman should stop the baby making, especially when one of the known fathers has no job and the other suspected father doesn't know the difference between maternity and paternity.
The only thing that might ease 'ol Melvin's mind is if the kid comes out with flaming red hair; then he would be a spitting image of Melvin and no testing will be needed.
In any case, he's still going to have to wait the nine months.
Monday, October 02, 2006
I would LOVE to drive around in a truck that looks like cheese!! I wonder if they give their employees free cheese?
I love cheese. <~~~~ in homage to Jim Gaffigan.