Monday, June 30, 2008

Something New, #64

Another Something New involving food...

I bought a whole mango today. I usually buy it off the salad bar, frozen in bags or in jars. But they were on sale for 59 cents, so I picked one up after work, when I "just ran into the grocery store to pick up milk..." and cereal and cheese and bananas and bacon and strawberries and a cantaloupe...

I now know why I've never bought a whole mango. Little suckers are about 80% pit. I think I get more for my money the way I usually buy them, even at 59 cents a pop.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Something New, #63

I had planned on my Something New for today to be "attended a wake," but that fell through. Apparently, the deceased is not quite dead yet.

I got a call last week from the woman I cater-waiter for, asking me to work today for a wake this afternoon. This morning, I got a call from her saying that it had been post phoned until Monday or Tuesday, depending on when the honoree actually passed away.

That would be the definition of putting the cart before the horse if I ever heard it.

Actually I thought wouldn't have been nicer for the soon-to-be deceased if they just propped her up at the wake before she actually passed away, that way she could go to her grave after hearing everyone say all those nice things about her?

So technically, I didn't try or learn Something New today, but I think this makes a much better story.

Anyway, here is a photo of my great-great-great grandfather's headstone. Last summer I took The Big One and The Little One on vacation, and one of our stops was the family plot. Other moms are mean, and take their kids to theme parks and on cruises, but we visit the family plot.

At least they'll know where they'll eventually end up. Much more important than a ride on the Tilt-a-Whirl.

Wild Kingdom, Part Deux

I kept dreaming about the bunny all night, so at 5 this morning I went down to check on it. After I told TCGIBS42Y about it, he said in his cute Minnesota accent, "Oh ya, if they get a scare, they'll just die of fright, ya betcha." (OK he didn't say "ya betcha", but he COULD have.) I figured I'd scoop the body up and put it in the trash if it was dead, and tell The Little One its mama came and got her in the night.

The bunny was gone.

I figure either she hopped off, her mama came and got her, or one of the other neighborhood cats did.

2 out of 3 ain't bad.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Something New, #62

Sometimes it's like Wild Kingdom at my house.

The Almost Feral Cat brings us a present about once a week. Three days ago, there was a dead chipmunk in the front hall, that was about half chewed up. One time, I walked into the house to find a perfect baby bunny face looking up at me. About 15 seconds later, The Big One called from the upstairs living room, "Mom, I found the rest of it." One morning, there was an awful smell in the garage. I found out what it was when I stepped on a decapitated bunny. With my bare foot. One night, The Neurotic Dog was barking like crazy, and when I got the flashlight and shined it up on the deck, there was an opossum, STANDING on the deck rail, on one back foot, and reaching up to grab the tree branch above him with a front foot. He had the strangest look on his face that I will never forget. Like he recognized me or something. Not to mention the time I found the world's most pitiful mouse swimming around and around and around in the kitchen sink, in the dishwater I was soaking something in overnight.

So today when both girls were yelling about another bunny in the house, I got the broom and dustpan and figured I had another corpse to deal with.

This one was not quite dead.

It didn't look injured, and there was no blood so I scooped it up in the dustpan and took it outside and placed it under one of the bushes. We left it a little dish of water and I gave the bunny, Sally, as The Little One has christened her, some drops of water from a medicine dropper. The Little One wanted to leave it some carrots, but she settled for celery tops. She's standing with her nose pressed against the back door now, watching it to make sure The Almost Feral Cat doesn't finish her job.

The Circle of Life.

Friday, June 27, 2008

How to be a Good Parent

I feel that one of my priorities as a parent is to embarrass my children as much as possible.

Case in point:

Last night I had The Big One in the car with me and we were driving through our neighborhood to pick The Little One up from dance class.

We passed a woman on the sidewalk, who was wearing the exact same t-shirt as I had on at that exact moment.

This would not be that unusual, but the t-shirt in question is a rainbow tie-dyed "Keep Austin Weird" t-shirt. What are the odds that the two of us, living in Johnson County, Kansas, would have on a rainbow tie-dyed "Keep Austin Weird" t-shirt at the exact same time, in the exact same neighborhood?

I whipped the car around, stopped, and hopped out to show the woman. We both squealed and thought it was a riot.

Meanwhile, The Big One was scooting down under the dashboard.

Just doing my job.

The Little One's Brain Twinkle

Last night, as The Little One and I were walking the dog, she was reminiscing about her friend Kate, from pre-school. Keep in mind, The Little One is all of seven.

"Yep, I miss Kate. She and I were like two ends of a dog."

Come again?

"You know, like two ends of a dog sewn together."

Say what?

"You know, like the front half and the back half of a dog costume."

Oh, right.

I guess that does define friendship.

Something New, #61

I just found the best internet radio! Slacker. com.

It's similar to Pandora, in that you can put in your favorite genre or artists. Since I'm such a creature of habit, I put in 80s Alternative.

First song up was The Knack's, "Good Girls Don't," which I have probably not heard since I bought the album in 1979. I still remembered all the words, which was that short-term, long-term memory thing that has been working against me lately.

I'm still pretty much stuck in 1979 anyway, so I guess that makes sense.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Something New, #60

I saw this really great quote today, so I painted it on my bathroom wall. Don't know why I chose to paint it on the bathroom wall, but it seemed like a good idea at the time.

"I am fairly certain that given a cape and a nice tiara, I could save the world."

Never underestimate the power of a tiara.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Something New, #59

I continue my life in petty crime (the honeysuckle died, BTW) by trying to learn how to crack a combination lock.

I have absolutely no short term memory. So when I lost the combination to my lock I use at the health club, I figured I was SOL.

I went online to see if Master locks would email me the combo if I gave the serial number. They will, but you have to mail in a signed affidavit. Seems a lot of trouble for a $4 lock.

So then I looked online to see if I could figure out the combo. Apparently, it can be done, just takes time and patience, of which I have very little.

I worked on it for about 30 minutes then took a break. I'm going to keep trying, because it's a cute purple lock, and I KNOW the combination is buried somewhere in my memory.

Another thing: Why is it when I go to work out, there is always someone sitting in their vehicle, waiting for someone to pull out of a parking space that's close to the door? Doesn't that seem ironic, given that the person who is waiting for the space 20 steps closer to the front door is very likely going inside the health club to run on the treadmill for five miles?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Something New, #58

Watching the Detectives
I was doing a search today on a case, and looked in what should have been the most obvious place, since we deal mostly with probate, the obituaries.

I found what I was looking for, and since the deceased has the same first name as my great-grandmother, I did my ADD thing and looked online for her obit. Lo, and behold, it was in the Indian Journal archives. (this link also mentions my maternal great-grandfather, GW Grayson.)

"Friday October 29, 1915 MRS. MATTIE AINGELL DIES SUDDENLY AT HER HOME SATURDAY MORNING. An Intense shock, which resulted in a vast gloom being cast over the entire town, came early last Saturday morning when it became known that Mrs. Mattie Aingell had passed away at her home on High street. She had not been well for several days and was planning to go for an operation last Monday, but no one suspected her ailments of being at all serious, hence her death came as a bolt from a clear sky to the entire town.

When she arose in the morning she complained of not feeling well and went to an adjoining room and on returning fainted and fell into the arms of her son who carried her to her bed, where within less than ten minutes she had passed away before medical aid could reach her.

Mrs. Aingell, aged 46, wife of the late Chas. H. Aingell, had been a resident of Eufaula since the early days of the town and her life and character had made her the friend of the entire people here. No more beautiful and befitting tribute could be paid her than the words of Rev. Willmore Kendall, a former pastor of the Methodist church, at the funeral services. . . Funeral services were held at the Methodist church. . Sunday afternoon by Rev. Willmore Kendall, assisted by Rev. Teer in the presence of practically the entire populace. After this the body was followed by a sad procession to the Cedarlawn cemetery where it was interred with Eastern Star honors. . . She leaves a son, Robert; four brothers, J. C. Belt of Eufaula, A. J. and G. A. Belt of Ft. Smith; J. H. Belt of Canadian; a sister, Mrs. M. E. Bender of Canadian and other relatives here to mourn her untimely death."

My grandfather would have just turned 18. He lost his father when he was about 9 or 10 and was an only child, which I always thought was unusual for that time. He married my grandmother when they were both about 19, and she was also an only child. They had known each other since childhood. I have a great photo of them together when they were both about 5 years old, as members of a "Tom Thumb" wedding. It's one of the items I grab, right after my children, if the house ever catches on fire.

I think as far as obituaries go, it's poetic, and I did notice that she was just 2 years older than I am now.

Lucky for me, now the women in my family live well into our nineties. We just completely lose our minds at about 85.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Something New, #57

In order to get more chi flowing into my house, I'm painting the front door red

I say "painting" rather than "painted" because even though I've painted the kitchen red, one wall in the den red and several pieces of furniture red, I still haven't learned that you have to tint the primer when you paint something red. I thought I could skip it this time, but learned I shouldn't have. Even with 2 coats of primer, I think it will still take 4-5 coats to get it even.

So I'm trying not to rush and maybe avoid all the drips I usually have.

According to the feng shui conference I attended last month, and "Move Your Stuff, Change Your Life," this is a sure way to get chi moving.

I hope so.

I need all the help I can get...

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Something New, #56

"I call it "But-First" Syndrome. YOU know. It's when you decide to do the laundry. So you start down the stairs with the laundry but then see the newspapers on the table. OK, you'll do the laundry.
BUT FIRST you decide to put the papers away. So on your way in to put the papers away, you notice the mail on the table. OK, you'll put the papers away.

BUT FIRST you'll pay that bill that needs to be paid. So you look for the checkbook. Ooops...there's the baby's bottle from yesterday on the floor. OK, you'll pay the bill.

BUT FIRST you need to put the bottle in the sink. You head for the kitchen. Darn it, there's the remote for the TV. What's it doing here? OK, you'll put the bottle in the sink.

BUT FIRST you need to put the remote away. Head for the TV room. Aaagh! Stepped on the cat. Cat needs to be fed. OK, you'll put the remote away.

BUT FIRST you need to feed the cat...

So, do I need to describe what happens at the end of the day? (Hint: Laundry not done, papers on the floor, bottle on the table, bills unpaid, checkbook still lost, cat ate the remote control...)

Perhaps someone enters about this time and asks: What did you do today? And, when you try to figure out how come nothing got done all day, you are KNOW you were BUSY ALL DAY!!

That's "BUT-FIRST" Syndrome."

This is how I spend about 12 hours of each day, no matter whether I'm at home or work.

So today I decided to work on one task at a time and finish it before I moved onto the next.

It was VERY difficult.

I started with clearing off the top of my dining room table, which was covered with all the papers and art projects that came home the last week of school. It was a laundry basket's worth. But I focused, and sorted them and put them in labeled boxes and put them in the basement, while resisting the urge to go look in the box in the basement that I know has the outgrown dancing shoes in, because The Little One had left her dance bag on the dining room table, and that reminded me that I had to go "shopping in the basement" for an outgrown pair of jazz shoes to put in the bag, because she needs those for her lesson on Tuesday.

I managed to focus on one task at a time, and if something came up while doing that task, set it aside until I was finished.

I felt like I got more accomplished, or at least I can see the top of my dining room table, which has probably happened about a dozen times in the 11 years we've lived in this house.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Something New, #55

Just when I think I'm up on technology and pretty hip, I come crashing down, and am clueless and White and Nerdy.

Today I discovered

Since I went back to school in the fall of 2005, and had class every Thursday, I missed the debut of The Office and every episode. Since I discoverd hulu, I've been catching up on episodes and spending way too much time at the computer.

Now I gotta find a website that lists all of Jim's pranks.

I wish I really could put someone's stapler in Jello.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Something New, #54

I took a real leap of faith today.

We always crate The Neurotic Dog before we leave the house. We've done this since the third day we've had her. The first day we left her home alone, I came home on my lunch hour to find a wad of batting on the floor when I opened the door. She had eaten out the inside of the couch cushions. I found more batting around the house, mostly from stuffed animals.

Then I found the batting on my bedroom floor.

She had clawed and chewed up my new comforter. The new comforter that was the first major purchase I had made in probably 10 years. The one I saved change in a coffee can for. The one thing in the house that was off limits to the kids. Yeah, that comforter.

So we got the crate the following weekend. At first I thought it would be cruel, but after about a week, she knew to go into it when she saw us getting ready to leave.

The Neurotic Dog, I later found out, is mostly catahoula. After I read the description of their traits and personality, I was glad I hadn't read it before we adopted her, as I wouldn't have adopted a catahoula in a million years.

But, even though no matter how many times I tell her that no one likes a needy female, she still whines when I shut her out of the bathroom, and barks like crazy when left in the backyard for any time longer than it takes her to do her business, and that I can't even go in the garage without sticking her head through the cat door, and that she worries the cat about half to death, and attacks all other dogs, except for TCGIBS42Y's dog, she is good with kids and loyal to a fault.

So when I had to run The Big One over to a friend's and she threw up in the crate, (the dog, not the child) I just let her be loose in the house. We got back about 20 minutes later, and the house was in tact. In fact, she kept coming over to me with a look on her face like, "See what a good girl I was! I didn't eat the house while you were gone!"

Maybe I'll try to leave her for longer stretches if she calms down.

I should probably refill the doggie downers first, though. That's her, sticking her head through the cat door into the garage.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Something New, #53

I actually did walk again today at lunch and this time, counted my steps. I've heard you're supposed to walk 10,000 steps a day to maintain your weight.

I clocked the mileage of the route I took and it was 1.7 miles. That was just over 3,300 steps, and I didn't use a pedometer, just counted.

10,000 steps. That's crazy talk.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Something New, #52

Sunshine Day

Instead of sitting on my botto at lunch and surfing the net, I went for a walk. The new office is in an area of town that is being built up at a rapid rate, so there wasn't much traffic.

The office is across the street from one of Southern Johnson County's megachurches, or as I my friend Scott and I like to call them, Warehouses of God. This church is so big it has not one, but two warehouses, a huge parking lot for the handicapped (Although, if they're such a great facility, why do they need this at all? Shouldn't they be healing all the crippled?), a special parking lot for first time visitors and its own stoplight in the campus. I wondered if the members of this congregation have their own serial numbers and if they have to wear them on little embroidered patches on uniforms.

Anyway, it was a nice day for a nice walk and it was a mile around the campus. I may get motivated and keep a pair of sneakers under my desk, in case I get inspired again.

Something New, #51

Since I completed my kitchen remodel, I'm still without much counter space. So I skulked about the aisles at Home Depot and came up with a way to add about 4 feet of counter space.

I learned that hot glue sticks immediately to laminate and it is almost impossible to cut off an extra quarter of an inch with a handsaw. (that's why the shelf is not flush with the cabinets.)

It's not perfect, and I figure since its particle board, will sag in a year or so (much like my botto), but by then, I'll come up with another solution.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Something New, #50

Wrong Side of the Bed

This is another simple Something New, but I tried sleeping on the opposite side of my bed. Even after 4 years of being a singleton, I kept sleeping on the same side.

I ended up back on my regular side, after sleeping diagonally for a while, because of The Neurotic Dog. Then The Little One got in bed with me, and that really pushed me back.

Old habits die hard, I guess. I did get a new bed since my divorce, hoping that would rid me of the bad ju-ju. Haven't really seen much difference, since the only other people sleeping with me now are The Big One and The Little One.

Monday, June 16, 2008

This Just In...

MSN has just confirmed something I've suspected all my life. Gay men and straight women are basically the same.

This would explain Goldie Hawn, Elizabeth Taylor, Cher, Judy Garland (AND Liza Minelli) and the grande dame of them all, Bette Midler. All are fabulous gay men, trapped in women's bodies.

I have wanted to be a fabulous gay man since I was twenty, and now I realize that I am, and have been all along!

This is just going to open a world of possibilities...

Something New, #49

In These Shoes

I'm a big girl. I'm five feet, nine and three quarters inches tall, and my average weight is 154. (Although, I have managed to keep off the 10 pounds I lost 2 years ago, and am holding at a size ten. I have long abandoned the dream of weighing what is says on my driver's license. OK, I have issues with my size. Moving on...)

Anyway, I always wear flats or sneakers. In fact, the last time I owned a pair of heels were the shoes I got married in, in 1993.

Yesterday, I saw a REALLY cute pair of wedges. I remember wedges from the first time around, and owned a really cute pair of Bass ones I wore throughout jr. high. So, I tried them on, and they felt really good in the store. After much internal debate, I bought them, and since I was feeling too cha-cha for words, wore them to the grocery store.

Now I remember WHY I haven't owned a pair of heels in over 15 years. I didn't fall off, but since they were slides, I kept stepping out of them. How the hell did those girls in jr. high wear those Candies?

Anyway, they're going back to the store, and I'm getting a nice pair of flats.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Something New, #48

I let The Big One watch an R rated movie with me.

She's twelve, and it was a musical, Sweeney Todd, so I thought, how bad can it be? A nice English farce.

I didn't really pay attention to the reviews, I guess.

She watched most of it from behind a pillow, then about 5 minutes after we turned off the lights, she came in my room and got in bed with me.

And seriously, we all know now that Helena Bonham Carter did not get the role due to her voice. That should have been reason enough for the R rating.

Since my movie star boyfriend is always cast as the bad guy, here's a reminder that he played the best good guy ever.Mmmm...Colonel Brandon.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Something New, #47

Where There's a Will

Today I sat through an 8 hour CLE on probate and didn't die of boredom.

Actually, it wasn't that bad. The speaker about estate taxes was a little dry, but it's probably really hard to make tax code entertaining.

I did realize that I'm very irresponsible by not having a will. Until I get one made up, if anyone sees this, here are my final wishes.

The house and contents go to The Big One and The Little One.
The Big One gets my diamond ring.
The Little one gets my pearls.
Cousin Shay in Alaska gets my wedding band, which was my great- and her great-great-grandmother's.
If at all possible, I would like all ties to The Ex be severed for the kids and for M & M to be guardians.
I want to be cremated and my ashes scattered on the beach at Coronado del Rey.

I'd better draft that will on Monday.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Something New, #46

Today's Something New was work-related and my head is now full of numbers and computer screens. I'm going to start doing more of the mundane things my boss was doing, and after doing them, I can't believe she's been doing them this whole time.

Things that are taking up WAY too much of her time.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Something New, #45

Being Julia

One of my favorite TV characters is Julia Sugarbaker, from Designing Women. I loved that she was such a ballsy broad, but in the nicest, most proper way.

The character had a talent of letting you know exactly what she thought and with eloquence and style. She may have left some of her victims in a puddle on the floor, but you always knew where she stood.

I think I channeled some of her today.

I was on my 5th call in about 2 1/2 weeks to an attorney. Every time I've called, the receptionist tells me, "He's on another line. He'll call you back"

I was so frustrated with this attorney's client, that when she gave me the "He's on another line, he'll call you back," I decided that was the last time I'd just leave my name and number.

Instead I said "Oh, thank you. Could you tell him it's in regard to the police report we're filing against his client?"


"Oh, he just hung up, let me get him for you."

"Thank you very much

I'm sure Julia was smiling down on me..."

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Something New, #44

I don't cook.

Don't like to cook, don't like to shop for groceries, don't like to look for recipes and not even that fond of the Food Channel. Except for Ace of Cakes.

But because the price of everything is going up, I'm having to try cooking from scratch, rather than using all the convenience foods I usually get.

I tried making fajitas tonight. It wasn't a total disaster.

However, the grill did run out of gas, and I finished them on the stove, so the whole process from start to finish took about an hour and fifteen minutes.

Maybe I can set the thermostat to 80 and get pre-packaged fajita meat next time.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Something New, #43

I have to walk The Neurotic Dog everyday, at least 2 miles, or else she's so hyper and clingy, I can't get anything done. We usually take the same route, a half mile to and from the park, then at least two half mile laps.

Tonight I went in a different direction. We've lived in this neighborhood for almost 12 years, and I was on streets I've never been on. I guess I always just keep to the same routes when I'm driving, and have had no need to drive on other streets. Really reflects what a rut I'm in.

I really enjoyed it. It gave me a chance to get new landscaping ideas, and I noticed several vegetable gardens.

We'll have to head the other direction next time.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Something New, #42

Step On It
On the way back from Tulsa to pick up The Big One and The Little One from Grandmother and Puja's, I got stuck behind a truck on the two-lane highway. The trailer was hauling what looked like a giant PVC pipe, about 6 feet high, and what turned out to be the base for a wind turbine.

Cars were backing up behind me, so I knew I'd have to pass. Problem was, it was a REALLY LONG trailer, and it also had escort vehicles in front of it and behind it. If you've ever driven on a two-lane highway in Oklahoma, you'll know that the highways pretty much suck, and I'd be waiting a while for a clear spot.

I finally got a clear spot to pass and FLOORED IT. I mean I really had the pedal to the metal.

The thing is, I drive a hand-me-down 1994 Toyota Corolla wagon, that turned 176,000 miles on this trip. It is not an automobile made for speed.

But I got it up to just over 90 and got around the long, long trailer.

Watch out Danica Patrick.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Something New, #41

Absolut Freshness
I read an article in the KC Star a few weeks ago about local actor, Ron McGee. He mentioned an old theater trick of using vodka in a spray bottle to freshen the costumes.

I will have to admit, like most women (and you know you do this, too)I'll wear a bra for a couple of days before I rinse it in the sink, and hang it on the shower rod to dry ("and I don't like the panties, hanging on the rod").

So I had an old bottle of Absolut that I think I got in the duty-free when The Ex and I took a cruise, sixteen years ago. I did the spray bottle thing, and I think the bras did seem a bit fresher. I sprayed down my comforter, because it does have somewhat of a doggy odor, and I think it seems better too.

Don't know if it's cheaper than Febreze, but what else was I going to do with a sixteen year old bottle of vodka?

Friday, June 6, 2008

Something New, #40

With Six, You Get Eggroll

I had a feeling that a lot of my Something New's would have to do with food, but I'm doing pretty good so far. So tonight, I tried the new Panda Express that just opened near me. I ordered my usual, Kung Pao Chicken, and instead of the Beef and Broccoli, had the String Beans and Chicken.

It pretty much tasted like the Kung Pao Chicken, which was REALLY HOT. In fact, I think it exfoliated my lips better than any chemical peel.

I know, that's boring, as most of my Something New's seem to be. But the point is SOMETHING new. I guess it doesn't have to be a ride on the Sling Shot every day.

I'm keeping my eyes open for the Sling Shot moment. Meanwhile, enjoy the photo of the cute pandas.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Something New, #39

The firm where I work has decided I'm ready for more responsibility, so I went to court today with my boss. It was creditors and debtors, and I was very impressed with the judge. He explained everything very clearly and zipped through the cases called. In and out in 30 minutes. My kind of public servant.

I also had dinner with my friend Jodi, with whom I'm enjoying a new acquaintance. I tried a new beer, Blue Moon, rather than my usual Boulevard Wheat.

Two things in one day. I'm livin' dangerously!



Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Something New, #38

One for the Gipper
The Something New for today is something I never thought would happen in a million years.

I actually admitted that compared to his successors, Ronald Reagan didn't suck.

I hope the Democratic party will forgive me.

Something New, #37

I had asked for something specific. When I was told that I couldn't have exactly what I wanted, instead of saying, "Oh, that's OK, I can live with that," I insisted on getting what I wanted in the first place. The other party agreed to what I wanted.

That's a big deal for me.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Something New, #36

I think I came up with a new IM/text acronym.


Gay best friend.

I looked it up on, and didn't find anything close.

Feel free to us it. Example: "I celebrated Gay Pride week with my GBF, Scooter."

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Something New, #35

Today I paid for something with foreign currency.

I've never been outside of the US, not even Canada, which is like, you know, attached.
I made a pledge for the wife of a friend from college for her Walk the Walk Worldwide she's doing this month in Edinburgh.

I have no idea how much exactly I pledged, but it's for a good cause. Check it out.