Saturday, April 29, 2006

Why we go postal

Skyways are a midwest/Minnesota phenomenon. I had never seen or heard of them till I moved up nort'. They are a fabulous invention and make life here far more bearable. Basically we have habitrail like connectors all over the down towns that connect every building. Thus no need to walk outside in crap weather. Because of this system there are numerous restaurants and shops located throughout the 2nd story maze. This is how you go about lunch, post office, hair dresser, coffee, etc.

Normally I can zip through the system to get to whatever it is I need to.

Yesterday, not so much. Slow walking groups insisted on walking side by side often 4 or 5 people across. NOT enough room for the rest of traffic. It seemed as though yesterday no one in all of St. Paul had to be anywhere at any time. All I wanted was to get from point A to point B. I did not want to have the mental time to contemplate the entire existence of the universe. But, thanks to the snails pace I got to.

I was also dumb and went to the bank, on a friday, on the last day of the month, to deposit checks. Yeah, I admit already it was an idiotic move on my part. So there were 25 people in line at the bank. But one of the employees took anyone with a non-cash transaction out of the line and had us go to the front customer service desk. Ok, cool, this will go fast. BULLSHIT. The two, count them, two people ONLY in front of me both decided to open checking accounts. Both looked too old to need to open a damn account. Both looked reasonably intelligent. Both were dressed nice. But,as it turns out both were MORONS! Complete and total. The first guy was clueless about how to do anything related to having an account. Then the second person, we'll just refer to her as SB - stupid bitch - also opened an account. However SB did not fill out, sign, or prepare anything. So, while the teller rather quickly got the new account stuff together the SB decided to sign all her checks. I have now watched all 25 people in the line I was in leave the bank. I have also watched another 50-75 people also go through the line I used to be in. And my blood is now boiling. Why was I stupid enough to stay? You know, I asked myself that as I was stewing back through the skyways - remember, snail pace so plenty of stew time - and I came to only one conclusion. I think I was waiting to see at what point I would fall off the ledge of sanity. I was a little curious at just how far I could get to the edge. I'm rarely if ever there so why not play around with my mental fate a little. After all, I hear insanity can be fun and relaxing. So about 15-20 minutes into my standing stew I started to imagine an automatic in my hand, or maybe it was a tommy gun. I took out the biatch that put me in the line first. And then I just went from there. The SB in front of me opening an account went next. I pictured her bullet riddled body half hanging from the counter. Blood dripping off her fingers and pooling on the ground. Yeah, sick. Need to get my head examined. Maybe, but damn it was kinda fun. I mean, if you are going to fall off the ledge, let's do so in style. Plus, I felt better.

Thanks Hollywood for giving me the graphic images necessary to fulfill my little fantasy.

To top the whole mass murder image off, the SB actually tried to deposit a check that was automatically deposited so it had that "This is not a check" thing across the center. She wanted to know where it was deposited to. So this opened up a whole new can of worms.

Anyway, when SB finally left the lady processed my deposit and the 4 people behind me so fast that I didn't even have the receipt in my purse and there was no longer anyone waiting in line. The people that were behind me I'm sure were experiencing the same boiling anger. I wonder who they shot first? Hopefully it wasn't me.

So, there you have it. Mental postal is kind of a fun activity.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Book worming revisited

I have three different books going right now. Well, actually four if you include the one that I only read while Sophie chows in the morning. I don’t like the book but part of me needs to know how it turns out. Sick huh?

I am re-reading a book by my favorite author; James Lee Burke. I got my dad hooked on him so he’s reading the whole collection right now. I first fell in love with Burke’s writing when I picked up a copy of “In the Electric Mist with the Confederate Dead”. It’s a marvelous and haunting tale (literally). Burke’s writing is very beautiful, descriptive, yet fast paced.

I recently sent a letter to the editor of a book magazine. His editorial in the last issue was about re-reading books and that he personally doesn’t do it very often. He finds that most books aren’t as good the second time around. But he knows that many people out there will re-read stories all the time. Some people will read a certain story every year. I agreed with him for the most part. I think the major reason for not picking up a book a second time is that the magic of discovery and surprise is gone. We know what happens.
And some of the great books that change us, move us, or bring us to laughter or tears could never do so again because that surprise is gone.

I have re-read only a few books. “Great Gatsby” – which the editor and I both agree is a book you can re-read mostly because as we grow older we collect more experiences and can relate to this book on a different level every time. I have also read the George R.R. Martin series “Song of Ice and Fire” a couple of times. Mainly because an ungodly number of years passed between books. I can remember a lot of the story but not enough to feel comfortable picking up the next volume. And now I am re-reading the James Lee Burke story.

Thankfully doing so has not ruined anything for me. I am as deeply in love with the author’s prose as I was 10 years ago. The same actually goes for the George R.R. Martin series. Even though the element of surprise and wonder are gone the style is so fabulous that I get carried into the story just as easily the second time around.

I have always hesitated to read any book through a second time just for the fact that I don’t want the magical memories to be tarnished. But both author’s are so exceptional that everything is just as bright and beautiful the second time around.

Are there books you have read more than once? Just curious.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Ring dammit

Alright, slight change of the normal here:

I went to a dermatologist last week to have her look at a bump on my nose. My regular doctor already assured me it wasn’t cancer or anything like that but it would be best to have a dermatologist look at it.
So I went. And she took off the bump. She also sent it into the lab just in case. No biggie. She even said it was probably one of two things both of which are not a problem. She then checked face, neck, and back for any spots that shouldn’t be there. Nothing. She said I had great skin with no sun damage.

That’s a good thing

She asked if I had any spots at all on my body. I told her I had a mole on my hip that I have had since childhood. So she looked at that. And that one she said worried her. So she dug some of that sucker out and sent it to the lab.

So last night the message on the machine was one of the nurses and she said to just give them a call.

Of course it’s easy to tell one self, and to tell someone else, don’t worry, everything will be fine. Easier said than done. I spent all of last night on the verge of tears, sick to my stomach, and in general misery. This was not one of those things I could talk myself into not worrying about. I tried, honest I did.

My poor husband had to help me through a total melt down that occurred sometime after the Simpson’s but before we went off to bed. He tried to assure me it would all be fine and that I worry too much.

As I said, easier said than done.

So, now I have been playing phone tag with the hospital. It’s almost noon and I got nothing yet.

But slowly, I am going crazy.

I do it to myself. I know. I shouldn’t worry so much. But melanoma is not a forgiving cancer. And, as someone so helpfully pointed out to me on Monday, he knew a guy, only 32 years old that was dead within six months of diagnosis.

Yeah, that helped a lot.

Alright, I got a hold of them. I was told that both spots were benign but the hip one is starting to change so they want to remove it. Minor surgery scheduled for May 23rd. This I can handle. And now I can sleep. I won't worry about what could happen in the future. It's been caught early enough and in 30 odd years it never changed shape or color so I would assume that it's going to be okay. To think otherwise will just drive me to a level of crazy I can do without and wouldn't do anyone any good. Life is to be lived, not worried over what might have been or will be.

I'm going to go home and hug my puppies.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Token chick

Well, I had a pretty yellow flower from my yard to show you but it won't upload. Ah well. So much for happy yellow.

I spent the last two days at our other campus conducting a training class. I was the token female. I'm in one of the few remaining male heavy industries. Though I must say the girls that do work in the field get treated really well. Nothing gets a guy's respect like a woman with better power tools than anything they have ever dreamed of.

Ditto for working the heavy machinery. Which I get to do during class.

I don't always do a lot of talking during these sessions. There are 4 of us leading the class so I tend to take a back seat. But being the token female has some advantages. I think the mere fact that I am in the room and can actually run the machines gets me points. And I appreciate the fact that the attendees approach me for help. Thankfully they don't all see a girl and assume I don't know the subject we are teaching. And trust me, this industry can be a good ol' boys club depending on where they are from in the country and how old they are.

It was nice though that a bunch of the guys were bummed that I wasn't going to dinner with them. And trust me, I am no Cindy Crawford so they aren't asking me to go cause I got legs up to here......................In fact I'm short and stubby enough that you may not even notice I have legs.

Next month we have two sessions back to back. So four days of dazzling the boys with my super girlness :-)

Monday, April 24, 2006

Shhh be vewy vewy quiet

I'm hiding up at the empty receptionist desk here at work. Well not so much at work, but at our other campus. I am helping with a training class. I snuck away to check email, voice mail, all the important things. The only place I know I can do this is up at this empty little, well actually huge, receptionist desk that no ones uses. And only my nose and eyes actually show up over the desktop. Kind of the kilroy effect.

However I don't know how any receptionist gets any work done. Because I am up here I am apparently the person to say hello to, nod in acknowledgement, stare at like an eight legged freak, (actually it would be 8 eyed freak since that is all you can see) etc. When in all actuality I am hiding here doing what? Blogging. Yeah, that's right. I'm reading some pickled beef and blogging. The catering lady rolled by with our afternoon snack so before she hit the elevator she snuck me a brownie. A drive by snacking if you will. Life is good.

I can't read Mikerzz as the spam filter has decided he is illegal material for me to access at work. But as long as they leave blogger alone I am good.

So, anyway, back to being vewy vewy quiet and hunting blogs..........................

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

A gem

My dad got a book from a coffee shop friend of his. It’s called “Last Days of Summer” by Steve Kluger. He absolutely loved the story and told me that I had to read it. So I picked it up last night. I’m a little less than half way through the story and I have to admit this is one gem of a book. This book is laugh out loud funny. It is also told in a very different format. The entire book is done in letters, new clippings, report cards, memos, and various other short and sweet forms of communication.

Dad said that he got up at 3 am to finish the book, I can understand why. If I didn’t have a dozen meetings today I think I would have called in sick. (Okay, not really because tonight is my monthly mall night out with friends) but it is that good.

Anyway, check it out. I think you too will fall under its spell.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Broken hearts

Back in the fall I fell in love with a puppy on Petfinder. But she was in bad shape and needed a person that would be there for her all the time. I had to travel for 2 weeks and didn't think it would have been fair to her. So, I said to myself that if she was still there when I got back I would go get her. But, fortunately for my already over populated house she was adopted.

I am an animal freak of the weirdest (weird in a good way) kind so I always check to see who's up for adoption. Just in case, cause you never know when you heart will get stolen away. Well, damn if my little girl isn't back up for adoption. But, and this is a big but, she is now a pair adoption. Which would officially force Matt Groening to make me "The Crazy Dog Lady" on the Simpsons. So, sigh....I have to sit back and let my heart break from a distance. By the way, she is the little one on the right.

So, anyone out there who has the urge to come to Minnesota and get a couple of dogs, come on over! I'll buy you a drink, leash, bed, and some food too :-)

As for crazy dog lady, just ask Mike or Scott. I've emailed them both puppies in their area that they should check out. I can't help it. There are so many tiny angels out there that need a good home.

So, little lila, I wish I could be your mommy but, alas, we are already over our legal limit.

I will just sit quietly and cry.................

Monday, April 17, 2006

Random ABC's

Antihistamines are a great thing when you remember to take them
Buying food the day before a holiday sucks
Colanders were a great invention
Don’t leave Chinese food containers in the kitchen garbage, the cats will get into them
Eggs in the hole in the middle is my favorite breakfast with my dad
Finding money in coat pockets rocks!
Gerber daisies are happy flowers
Happiness is a puppy sleeping in your lap – or a kitty for that matter
Ice cream: Mint chocolate chip or mocha almond fudge
Jingle all the way
Kleenex – another great invention
Love is the foundation on which a happy life is built
Milk and oreo cookies – need I say more?
North is where my nose is pointing – I have no sense of direction
Onion bagel with peanut butter for some reason it works
Peaches taste great in a yogurt smoothie
Queen of the South is a good story by a talented author
Reading takes you on a grand adventure and you don’t have to go anywhere
Simon says: Clap your hands
Time will tell
Up up and away
Variety is the spice of life – so why do I always eat, do, read, and watch the same things
Wine makes me sleepy
X-men three looks like a great movie
Yellow is a happy color
Zoo’s are one of my favorite attractions

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Cube Etiquette

Here are some of the things I have learned as a cube, cell, cave dweller:

1. All pathetic weepy phone conversations should be conducted on your cell phone outside the building
2. This also goes for phone calls to the police, truant officer, the courts, the parole officer
3. Even though each caller is new to whatever grand story you want to tell today your cube mates are not. STOP telling the same story over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over.
4. NO ONE needs to hear: I love you – no I love you more – No I love you more- No I love you more.
5. Nor do we need to hear: No you hang up first, no you, no you, no you, no you.
6. Do not try to disguise sex talk – everyone here knows what it is you are discussing and since the most disgusting and repulsive individuals tend to do this the most I can assure you this is not an image your fellow dwellers want in their heads.
7. Rule 6 applies even if you are hot. This is because as a fellow cave dweller I may be lusting after you and I would prefer my own fantasy’s about you rather than hearing about your real life.
8. If you are uneducated white trash or brown or black trash for that matter please do not talk at all. Pretty much everything that comes out of your mouth is ridiculed and repugnant.
9. Though to violate rule 8 does give the rest of us water cooler talk for weeks
10. If you are on your third, fourth, or fifth marriage, have children scattered throughout the previous wreckage points, and are now only interested in the 18 year old you are boffing and planning on marrying – STFU! We really don’t want to hear abut it.
11. This also goes for stupid women who give up their children, neglect them, and pawn them off on relatives so as to engage in skanky ho relations with gross blechy men.
12. And for those who fall into #11 we really DON”T want the details of your love life or pending marriage. Trust me, we are all disgusted.
13. For those who fall into #11 and #12 see rule 8.
14. Do not come to work with a hicky especially if you fall into #10 or 11.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Bare toes bare witness to nature's glory

Spring means great thing for Minnesotans - fresh warm air and bright warm sun. It means shedding the layers, painting toes and wearing sandals, and heading outside. Downtown goes from empty streets to crowded social occasions. Everyone is outside and everyone is happy. No, really, you look around at the faces and they are genuinely happy. Every make and model in this city has a smile on his or her face. It's the best time of year here.

I walked down to the river (Mississippi) for lunch today. I grabbed a park bench and read a book. Well not a whole book but I could have. The temperature was perfect, it was peaceful and quiet and just all around glorious. I didn't want to go back inside.

Having come from an always warm climate I never basked in the glory of nature as much as I have learned to do here. It's a very different attitude about the world around you. And until you live in a seasonal climate it's hard to understand. It's very refreshing and magical. I don't know how else to describe it.

So today, along with a thousand other Minnesotans I worshiped nature in all her glory and splendor. It was wonderful...................

Monday, April 10, 2006

Fun, sun, and poop!

Friday we just hung around the house. I cleaned up some of the yard and then crashed on the couch for a little Dr. Who.

Saturday I had breakfast with J. Always fun. Then met A. at a craft show. Very high end show with nothing I could afford. But that is okay. I got some inspirations for jewelry to make.

Saturday afternoon we putzed some more around the yard. Almost done with the annual post winter poop scoop! I swear I vow every year to go out with the dogs and clean up daily so as not to have to partake in the spring poop disaster from hell. But as with every previous year I stick one toe and my nose outside and decide that spring poop clean up ain’t that bad! I do aspire to go out about 3-4 times during the winter to at least clean up some of it. But it’s frozen solid to the ground or into the ice and snow. Not easy, nor pleasant. Oh well. Such is life with the pups.

Sunday was another mellow day. I did start the spring cleaning,. We emptied the living room out, sucked up all the puppy tumble weeds, found all the toys lost under the couch, the dog food that the cats kick around, etc………..Washed the floor and made the room all pretty like. Even had the windows and doors open for a while yesterday.

Lastly our friends came over and we watched Narnia. We grilled for the first time this year! YIPPEE! And made a batch of Chinese cole slaw salad. Nothing says warm weather is coming better than grilled meat and yummy salads.

Then we watched the Simpsons. I’ve been looking forward to this episode as it starred Richard Dean Anderson. And I have as big a crush on him as Selma and Patty. It was awesome. They had a lot of fun with the episode.
Now we just have to get John Stewart on the show. Both he and Richard Dean Anderson have always made references to the Simpsons. John Stewart does impressions and quotes the show all the time during Daily Show. And aside from Patty and Selma being in love with MacGyver, Richard Dean Anderson's character Jack O'Neil on Stargate SG! has always made references to the Simpsons.

Oh, and Midsummer Murders was back on last night so we watched that. It was a great episode. And since it is a British show my husband had his tea while he watched.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Weird addictions

When I was on a business trip I picked up a book of Sudoku puzzles. I had never heard of it but wanted something to keep my mind busy at the airport, on the plane, etc....

Well, I brought the book home and my hubby started to solve them too. We have become addicted to them. The book sits on the coffee table and if one of us is not solving them the other is.

There isn't anything particularly challenging or even interesting about them but dang if we can't stop doing them.

Who would have thought that this silly little puzzle book would become an obsession.

Try them sometime, you might like them.

My color

ColorQuiz.comNewt took the free personality test!

"Seeks an affectionate relationship, offering fulfi..."

Click here to read the rest of the results.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Spring means painted toes and barbecues

I just started a book called Queen of the South by Arturo Perez-Reverte. All 32 pages are so far so good. I have too many books to read. And spring is here. And the yard needs to be cleaned up. We seem to be the stopping point for the winter’s street garbage. Bottles, bag, and wrappers a plenty. Oh well. There is also a tree worth of leaves on the ground and all of last years growth done dead. The only problem with having an entire yard designed like an English Garden is the fact that it all dies back in fall. But I love it and wouldn’t trade it back for a lawn.

This year’s yard goal is to erect the copper trellis over the walkway. It is cut and ready, just need to glue it and put all the pieces together. And the other goal is to build a bench on which to sit my lazy butt once all the yard work is through.

We need to remodel the entire back yard too. That’s going to be fun. A virtual blank slate. I have visions of a privacy fence all around, a water fall in one corner, and raised beds all over the place. It’s going to be fabulous!

Oh, and yesterday we set the lady bugs free! (See November blogs for more on the lady bugs)

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

100 Things

Allright, here it is:
One Hundred Things

Author's be damned

Alright, I have to get a little pissy here. I am now on book #3 in which uncalled for, unnecessary, and inexcusable animal violence has occurred. What is with people? This did not need to be in the story. And frankly I pray that the Karma Cow takes a giant shit on their head, life, and everything in between.

The following books contain unnecessary acts of animal cruelty:

Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson(this one turned my stomach and I threw the book away)
Kings of Infinite Space by James Hynes
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon

I am an unwavering supporter of free speech and I abhor book banning/burning. Like all people I have the right of choice so I choose to stop reading.

I just wanted to let anyone else who's stomach turns at the idea of animal cruelty know that these books contain graphic images that you may not want rattling around in your brain.


So on the preview for Bones they are going down into the oceanic depths and finding skeletons that may have been either Pirates or put there by pirates. And all the male characters on the show let out a hearty “Yaaaarrrrr” in good pirate fashion, whilst the girls roll their eyes cause it’s a “guy thing”!
Well I take offense to that. Not a pirate joke, movie, story, commercial, quote or actually any oceanic reference can go by without a hearty “Yaaaaarrr” coming from my mouth, and that of my hubby’s and of our friends. This is NOT a guy thing! Or, if it is, then I like playing with the boys so much more than the prissy girly girls out there.

I may be getting old and wrinkly but one is never too old to have fun and enjoy life. EVER NEVER! So let out the pirate in you!

Come on ladies, let’s hear it: “Yaaaaarrrrrr”

The F&*$% with me show and more

So, I am addicted to 24. This is not news. And last nights installment made me realize why I like this show so much. Basically their nightly objective is to do a mind F&%$ on their audience. And because we all like to be shocked and surprised and have our minds blown away and the ground ripped out from under us we continue week after week to watch.

I’ve often wondered if they have an undercurrent of political commentary but with the rapidity of plot twist and change I can’t find any consistent theme. Of course I can draw my own conclusions each episode and decide that they are anti-V.P. or anti-homeland, or
Anti-whatever…………..Last night would be a huge anti-president. Or maybe, not so much anti as pointing out that the office of the President is not beyond guilt. Oh, Commander Coo-Coo Bananas plays it dumb and innocent and Chaney always seems to come off as the true evil in the oval but Commander Bananas isn’t that dumb nor is he at all the innocent puppet many accuse him of being. Oh well. It was a fun ride last night regardless. I try not to look for any messages while I watch because I tune in purely for entertainment and the mind F&%$.

Now on to other things: (boys, you may want to stop reading here)

Hormones are a funny thing. I have never been one to treat my girlish chemistry as an excuse for my day to day moods. I strive for even keel and friendly 24/7. Cause it is ALL about the positive attitude! And I don’t use PMS as an excuse to be a raging bitch or blubbering idiot. In fact, I barely pay attention to the color on the old pill wheel. (Unless vacation time or travel time is approaching). Now, I know that some women experience some pretty severe chemistry swings so I am not in any knocking what they go through on a monthly basis.

What I am getting at is that the one thing I know I am more susceptible to as the chemistry swings is random acts of choking up and crying. And at stupid shit. Take last night during 24, they ran that stupid “Diamond is Forever” commercial with the couple in Italy. The man asks her to “marry him again” in front of her parents and the crowd. Now I have seen that commercial what, a million times? But last night, I got choked up. Hell just watching Stargate last night got me choked up. Then this morning, I can hear J’s radio in the background and some stupid mushy country song is playing. I know the song from when I was a country girl and just catching a split second of the song had me getting all choked up. Come on!

So, I will handle this chemical disaster like all good girls do.

CHOCOLATE and lots of it.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Hyper Scouts and sewing calamities - what I learned this weekend

Several of our Sea Scouts are also Boy Scouts. And one of them was working on his Eagle Scout badge. His project was to get a group together to paint a church school gym.
My hubby and I volunteered to help and we both had a great time. Nothing is more entertaining than two dozen boys ages 8-58 hyped up on sugar painting a gym. The sheer chaos that ensued was beyond description. I think I laughed the hardest though when my husband was helping one kid to paint over the basketball hoop. The young man had put a large piece of wood across the back supports of the hoop as a scaffold sort of set-up. He and my hubby (standing on scaffolding next to the hoop) managed to get the area painted.
So, on to the next section of wall. My hubby jumps down, and moves the scaffolding over so more of the monkeys could start painting the next section. Only he forgot the poor guy sitting on a piece of wood over the backboard. Now stranded he just quietly sat there. I almost peed my pants. Then of course did the “Uh, honey, I think you forgot something.” My hubby looks at me blankly and I point up at the backboard. The look on his face was precious. So also was the contraptions he and another gentleman devised to help the kid down. Cause to move the scaffolding back was apparently to unoriginal an idea.

Boys will always be boys no matter how old they get……………………..

The rest of Saturday was spent watching Neverwhere. The BBC did a 6 part version of the book by Neil Gaiman. Or it was a show first and book second. I don’t know for sure, but the two were identical. I love British T.V.

The day ended with a surprise visit from the in-laws. We went out for dinner and had a really nice time catching up. They had been down south in the warm weather for the past month.

Sunday was rainy and quiet. I made good headway in Kavalier and Clay. I really like the story. Also went to JoAnn’s to get fabric for some projects. I got the fake fur fabric a few weeks back for the animals and some blanket piping but the back of the fake fur is kinda nasty so instead of trim I got some baby flannel to sew as a back. Found a cute kitten print for the kitties and a “best Friends” print with a cat and dog snuggling for Sophie’s blanket. We are trying to get her to sleep at the end of the bed so we are hoping a special place for her will keep her there.

I also got “princess puppy” fabric to make Sophie a u-shaped pillow just like her daddies. She loves to sleep on it when we go up to bed. Since dad doesn’t come up for a few more hours she takes advantage of his absence. But then I have to hear “Hey, why did you give her MY pillow to sleep on?” So, now she has her very own. And she slept on it last night thank you very much! Despite the fact that mommy can't show the actual shape of a "U" to save her life. It's more in the shape of a "U" that maybe an out of control lawn mower driven by drunken gnomes might carve into the landscape. A distorted if you squint really hard sort of "U" shape.

Simpson’s was hilarious as usual. And they announced the release date of the rumored full feature Simpson’s film. Yippee!!!!!!

Lastly, Midsummer Murders was not on for whatever reason so we watched Poirot. Actually we didn’t have a choice in the matter. I love my Sunday night Biography mysteries.