Saturday, November 30, 2013

New Year's Resolutions

I've decided I need a head start on my resolutions.  And since they haven't varied much since I first became aware of New Year's Resolutions, this should be a fairly simple exercise, with one or two new entries.

1) Don't let friend or acquaintance drive new Porsche.  I'm looking at you, Paul Walker; may you rest in peace.

2) Buy a Porsche.

3) Exercise more.

4) Eat less.

5) Complain less.

6) Be nice.

Huh, that just about sums it up.  Don't let Paul Walker's friend drive, be nice, exercise more, eat less.  I just may be able to handle this. And yet, I haven't been able to for umpteen years prior.  Maybe THIS is the year.  ;)

Friday, November 29, 2013

The Most Important Question of Our Time

Who the hell are they talking to on Modern Family??!!  You know, when one or two of the characters has a confessional moment with us and with whoever is interviewing them.  Otherwise, these people are just answering unasked questions to the fourth wall of their set.

Is it Chuck from Happy Days?  Did he climb out his bedroom window and go off to film school?  Makes sense.  His younger brother, Ron Howard, became a famous director...

Or maybe it's an as yet unnamed and unseen additional family member.  Maybe Claire and Mitchell have a sibling who is documenting the family's dysfunction.  Maybe a career student.  The economy's been in the sh*tter or at least on the toilet seat for quite some time and jobs are scarce, so maybe Esther Pritchett decided to pursue a Ph.D. and this is all part of her thesis.

Who is it??

They say when you're staring at a blank page and having a difficult time writing that you should just start writing.  

This is the result of that.  

Day 29, bitches.


Thursday, November 28, 2013

I Think You Might Like It

On this our yearly government-sanctioned day of Thanksgiving, I'd like to say how thankful I am for my girlfriend, our new home, our dogs, and our life together.  I'm also thankful for my friends, what's left of my family, and my adopted family.  I'm thankful for my health and my job.  I'm thankful for any number of things every single day.

But the one thing -- the one thing -- I'm most thankful for is this visual and aural abomination and the chance to share it with you:

I Think You Might Like It

Happy Thanksgiving!  Next stop, Christmas!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


1993 was 20 years ago.  This isn't what I was going to write about, but I just saw a commercial for The Bodyguard with Whitney Houston singing, "I Have Nothing," and I thought, "She looks so young!  Oh, and alive.  She's dead now.  Wow, that was 20 years ago.  Damn, that went fast.  In 20 years I'll be 64.  Oh, shit."

Welcome to my high-speed train of thought that has regularly scheduled trips daily.  Now that I am truly, maddeningly mid-life, it's become a new source of anxiety for me.  But, I continue to play ping pong with my thoughts and try to stay in the moment and more importantly, ENJOY the moment.  It's the one time knocking things out of bounds is good.  

Speaking of time flying, my sweet little "poodle" is now, somehow, 14.5 years old.  Technically, 14.583 years old.  And man, it's gone by fast!  In a sweet collective consciousness conspiracy, I snapped this photo of a photo at work the other day and then stumbled into her Origin Story earlier tonight.  

I was watching an episode of Will & Grace and Eileen Brennan was on, wonderfully, as Jack's acting teacher and I thought to myself, "I should look for Clue on Hulu or Netflix."  Only, I didn't feel like getting up to get the Apple TV remote, so I decided to search regular cable, assuming it wouldn't be on.  Damned if it wasn't set to air -- on a channel I actually get -- in 30 minutes.  

That just seemed like a little too much coincidence for me.  And so, how Bodhi the tall beagle mix came to be:

I was living in Richmond, VA and at some point thought a small dog would be a good idea.  I'd only had one before, as a child, and my father won him in the divorce.  My mother got me.  I think it was no contest both ways.  

I digress.

While I thought getting a small dog might be a good idea, my landlord most definitely did not.  But I was looking for a new place with two friends and thought I might be able to squeeze a dog into the equation.  One of the friends and I were hanging out one night and decided to rent Clue.  I strolled the few blocks to the Video Fan, my local rental place, to see if they had it and when I approached the counter, there was the smallest of dog crates on top.  I thought it was empty.  But tucked away in the back, next to and about the size of a plastic croissant, was the smallest of Jack Russell (or so I thought at the time) puppies.  

Oh my.  I was a goner.

Louise, the clerk, sensed my melting and took the puppy out of the crate for me to hold.  She was a pro.  She said the puppy had been abandoned; tossed over a fence at Powhatan Animal Control.  Friends of hers who lived on a farm took the puppy in, but already had a bunch of rescues and couldn't keep another one.  Louise offered to bring the puppy with her to Richmond with the hope that someone would adopt her.  

And so, I found my dog at the video store.  

I still wasn't allowed to have one in my apartment.  The first weekend with her, I tried taking her in and out of the apartment in a duffel bag when she had to go to the bathroom so no one would see her.  The landlord and his mother (who by then was renting the apartment above me) happened to be around A LOT that weekend and quickly busted me.  But once they saw her, they quickly fell in love and changed their minds about the pet policy.  The mother changed her mind back once Bodhi started digging in all of her outdoor potted plants, but that's another story.  

When it came to naming the puppy, I was stumped.  Clue seemed like a cute idea, especially since I was studying forensic science at the time, but it didn't seem right.  I was also watching a lot of Wallace & Gromit and she would pad pad pad pad through the apartment like Gromit, but her coloring was different.  Somehow, finally, after a couple weeks, I settled on "Scooter."  

The next time I brought her into the video store (seems all local non-chain video stores allow dogs) and had to tell people her name was Scooter, I felt a little silly.  It didn't seem like an adult-given name.  Sure enough, one customer asked if my kids had named her and another told me his dog was also named Scooter and that his 4-year-old son named the puppy.

Back to the drawing board.  

I was reading a lot of books concerning Buddhism at the time and had learned that the Bodhisattva are awakened or enlightened beings and help others become awakened/enlightened.  At the same time, we were using a company named Bode (pronounced the same way) at work.  One of my friends mentioned that his supervisor was obsessed with, "Bode Bode Bode!" and the pieces started to fall together.  She was "awakening" me several times a night, after all.  And so, she became Bodhi Sattva.  

And now that she's 14.583, she's back to awakening me several times a night.  Is this the Dharma Circle?  :)

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Don't Quit Your Day Job

My illustrator / comic strip writer / greeting card designer career is just never going to take off.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Color My World

So...we're painting again.

Where we = my girlfriend.  

I'm not sure where you and I left off, dear readers.  We painted the kitchen, dining area, living room, and hallway Lime Light and liked it for about 4 minutes after the job was completed.  Somehow, what was a subtle shade of gray in the living room turned into a tropical Jimmy Buffet turquoise in the hall.  

So that had to go.  


Pensive Sky.  

Here's the progression, for anyone who's been paying attention:

We started with the sage-esque Clothesline Fresh on the left, moved to the inexplicably turquoise (??) Lime Light in the middle, and have now embraced fan-favorite, Pensive Sky.

As you can imagine, the walls are starting to close in on us.  I'm sorry I didn't think to add insulation to the paint because by now we'd have one toasty home for these 20-degree nights.  I never thought when we were choosing a color and I said (repeatedly as it turns out), "It's just paint -- if we don't like it, we'll paint it again!" that we'd be doing so multiple times within just a few weeks.  

I'm pretty much amused at this point.  I had my house for 8 years and the only thing I painted was the living room, in an ill-chosen Smurfish blue, and not well.  

I tried to convince Girlfriend to let me paint over the upcoming 4-day weekend, but she wanted to get it done now.  She is truly the yin to my lazy ass, procrastinating yang.  So do what you need to do, honey.  It's just paint -- if we don't like it, we'll paint it again!  

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Scott Simon's "Thank you, Mom"

NPR's Scott Simon began tweeting from his mother's death bed last summer.  I heard about it very close to the beginning and began following him.  As someone who normally has a fairly bent sense of humor and who has lost a parent, I recognized a lot of the humor and heartbreak.  Then again, I'd think anyone would, regardless of their sensibility or parental status.  But, you be the judge.  Someone's put Mr. Simon's tweets in motion, with his narration.

Grab a hankie or three:

Thank you, Mom

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Peace on Earth

The wall color winner is......Lime Light.  Resembling neither lime nor light, this subtle shade of grey-green is both soothing and refreshing.  It all depends on the lighting.

As we spent most of the day painting, we entertained ourselves by arguing mildly about Pandora stations.  After listening to the Willie Nelson, Simon & Garfunkel, Billy Joel, & Lumineers stations and a short trip to NPR, we settled on Christmas carols.  

I know, I know.  It's not even Thanksgivukkah yet and we're listening to Christmas carols.  I'm making a concerted effort to not fight it this year.  Every year I lament the encroachment of Christmas into the months preceding December.  But these last few years, by the time I felt the Christmas Spirit, Christmas was over!  So this year, I'm just going with the flow.  I think carols before turkey is a problem, but they were enjoyable.  I'll just let Santa know I started a little early when he marks the official start of Christmas shopping season at the end of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday.  

We didn't hear one of my favorites today, but I heard it the other day at work.  One of my friend/coworkers is an elf in scientist's clothing and he's had the all-Christmas music radio station on since it began on November 1st.  No comment.  

The song is 1977's The Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth by Bing Crosby and David Bowie.  I have this vision of Bing taking a drag on his pipe, eyeing Bowie, and saying, "I have no idea who that dame is, and she's rough on the eyes, but she sings beautifully."  If only Bowie had been in his full Ziggy Stardust getup for this Christmas special.  Bing died shortly before the special aired and probably had no idea how beloved the song would become years later.  It might be one of the most awkward duets of all time, but it's a beautiful song, written just hours before the special was filmed.  

Friday, November 22, 2013

Color Wheel's Got to Go Round

We had finally settled on Clothesline Fresh.  It was a fairly large leap into a colored world for my girlfiend, Lover of Greige.  The bedroom was already set to be gray, so we were going to introduce something bold and crazy like a faint shade of sage into the open-plan living room, dining area, and kitchen.

And then the light changed.  

Seems our Clothesline Fresh can be green, gray, or blue depending on the time of day.  To the point that I received a somewhat frantic text from home with a photo of two adjacent walls, one seemingly blue and the other seemingly green.  

This would never do.

Fortunately, we'd been at a party a few weeks earlier, complimented the hostesses on their wall color, and were sent home with a gallon of Pensive Sky to try on our walls.

I've been calling it Pensieve Sky and have been very much looking forward to storing my memories in the paint on our walls.  (That joke would've killed at Hogwarts.)

Between getting my house ready to rent, building our farmhouse table, and painting the kitchen cabinets and walls at this house, we've been visiting Lowe's several times a week for the last month or so.  And by visiting I mean spending money as if we had any.

The loaner gallon of Pensive Sky is Behr and Girlfriend felt it went on thicker than Valspar and wouldn't require primer beforehand.  

And so we cheated on Lowe's and headed off to Home Depot for our weekly hardware store date night.  We were originally just going to purchase our own gallon or two of Pensive Sky (which has recieved the "You People on Pinterest are Complete Strangers to Me, But I Feel Better if You Really Like a Given Paint" Seal of Approval) and then something went horribly wrong.

Girlfriend started to second-guess herself.  Thus began a very serious study of 50 shades of gray and green, our own form of sadomasochism.  Girlfriend spoke with the Paint Person who recommended we get a tester of Pensive Sky in case our loaner gallon hadn't been professionally mixed in a while.  We also picked up a tester of Lime Light.

And then this small, quiet woman approached the paint counter with a brick of paint chips and asked for a gallon of something.  Girlfriend's eyes lit up like it was Christmas morning and the next thing I knew, our Home Depot Paint Mistress was sending us home with this:

Pray for us.  I don't know how we can possibly choose a color now!  I'm beginning to think we should really just run with our tester-speckled walls and start our own trend.  I'll let you know when we post it on Pinterest and then everyone can pin it and it will become hugely popular and we'll have fooled everyone!!  Mwahahahahaha.  


Thursday, November 21, 2013

It's Time for a Haiku Break

Twenty posts thus far
Drafts need more love than I've got
Maybe tomorrow...

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


As my brain swirls with the prospect of making and raising a child and the financing of said making and raising, one question keeps nagging at me.  Forget the reproduction costs, forget the pregnancy and delivery costs, forget the clothing and feeding and educating and entertaining and healing and mending costs and riddle me this:

How on earth will I afford all the professional photo shoots??!!

Have you noticed this?  Every time I turn around, one of my friends is having professional photos taken and then posting them on Facebook.

There are the pregnancy announcement photos.  
The pregnancy photos.
The shortly-after-birth photos (not to be confused with afterbirth photos; that's something else entirely. Ick.  Yet, a woman in Nebraska just thought, "Hmm...a professional photo shoot of my afterbirth would look GREAT in a scrapbook...")
The shortly-after-birth with older siblings (where applicable) photos.
The seasonal attire full family photo.
The multiple generations photo.

You get the idea.

Now, I'm not mocking these at all.  And I love looking at them when they're posted, truly.  But I have two serious concerns.  The aforementioned, "How the hell will I pay for all of these photo shoots?" and the potentially more serious, 

"Holy crap my girlfriend and I are both unphotogenic and will surely produce an unphotogenic child and now I'm expected to pay someone to document this professionally??"

When did this happen exactly?  

Everyone and my mother has a camera on his or her cell phone and there is certainly no dearth of photos on the internet.  Is it because the professional photos are more suitable for printing?  Maybe we've all realized that for all the Instagram photos we're taking, we're just not looking our best.  Or maybe it's simply an arm issue -- our arms aren't long enough to get everyone in the selfie.

Regardless, I will once again be soliciting donations.  Please see my Kidstarter account for payment options.  :)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Bound 2 Cause Douche Chills

Please tell me this is a parody.  This can't be for real.  It's as bad as the Michael Jackson/Lisa Marie Presley video -- the only difference being this one features a black man.  ;)

And if that bumpbumpbumpbump of the motorcycle is supposed to mimic Kanye's sexual prowess, he might want to slow down a little lest he gives himself a hernia.  F*ck like bunnies, indeed.

Don't let me influence you; see for yourself:

Bound 2

Monday, November 18, 2013

Evening Mist on the Isle of Skye, 1939

I used to stare at this as I fell asleep on the couch at my grandparents' house and would swear that the clouds and sheep moved.  We don't have it anymore, but I'd love to find a copy.  I'm not really sure where I'd put it.  There isn't much call for 1930's Scottish art these days.  Then again, I've been threatening to turn our quarter-bath (that's a half-bath that's so small it's only a quarter) into a library and perhaps it would fit in there nicely.

In the meantime, I'm just happy to see it again after so many years, even if it's an online search result from an old auction.  

Sunday, November 17, 2013


Girlfriend and I have been talking about having a baby for a while now and since neither one of us seems to be producing sperm, we're going to have to stray a little from the more common "insert tab A into slot B" step of human reproduction.  And that's not cheap! 

So it occurred to me a while ago that we should start a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for the other half of our genetic equation.  My girlfriend either rolls her eyes or just keeps talking when I say this little joke to our friends and family.  I brought it up again tonight after we were checking out the pricey cryobank donor menu and decided to see if anyone had tried crowdsourcing for this product.  Sure enough, CNN Money did a story on it in July of 2013:

Crowdfunding for adoptions, fertility treatments

Girlfriend is not digging it at all.  I kind of like it.  "Sponsor Our Kid!"  I know with Kickstarter that you as a supporter receive different gifts/incentives for your donation, usually increasing in value proportionately to the donation amount.  So I'm thinking we can have Junior draw you some pictures or you can buy his or her middle name.  Maybe a corporate sponsorship if the crowdsourcing doesn't work out?  We can put your company's logo on diapers or the stroller?  Maybe put Junior in a logo-saturated little pair of Nascar coveralls??

I can dig it. 

Girlfriend is not amused.  I'll keep working on her, so please have your credit card ready.  ;)

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Hey Bert, We Built a Table!

Bert's my one friend who isn't on Facebook.  Excuse me, my one friend who isn't on Facebook who reads my blog.  I have maybe one other friend at this point who isn't suffering from an online social network, but I doubt he knows I have a blog or even knows what one is.  I'm confident he doesn't care that he doesn't know and if he knew, he wouldn't care either.  He's super blasé that way.  It's his thing.


Bert, we built a table!  My FB friends saw a couple pictures of it as it was built over the last two weekends, but you haven't.  So here it is as we left it earlier tonight; stained, with two coats of polyurethane, and the legs and undercarriage primed for painting:

I have to say, I'm pretty impressed with us.  It was deceptively easy and yet, not.  We hit a couple snags along the way, but nothing earth-shattering.  We actually took an order for a custom one tonight, so that's pretty cool.  

Tomorrow, we have to get the table from Pungo (Virginia Beach farm country) to Norfolk on a flat bed trailer and then into our house, so hilarity and tears may ensue.  I'll keep you posted.  ;)

Friday, November 15, 2013

Making Brain Waves

My friend Linda posted the results of a left vs. right brain test on Facebook and I took it this morning.  My results came as no surprise to me:

You can take the test yourself here:

What did come as a surprise to me is that it's all been determined to be a bunch of hooey.  Please enjoy the following video, wonderfully drawn and animated, at your leisure.  I pronounced that "lez-shur," if you're truly trying to hear my voice.  ;)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

I Get a Shiver in My Bones Just Thinking About the Weather

Typhoons, tornadoes, tsunamis, cyclones, hurricanes, oh sh*t.

What the hell are we going to do about the weather??


While we humans continue to fight with each other incessantly about whether or not climate change is caused and/or exacerbated by our human actions, the weather is seemingly getting much worse.  At the very least, the effects of the storms seem greater -- whether that's due to an actual increase in storm numbers and strength or due to the human population being so much greater, therefore affecting a greater number of humans, I don't know.  

RE-FREAKING-GARDLESS, this weather sh*t is SERIOUS.  We can't fight it.  We can debate it until the methane-producing cows come home, but what the hell can we really do as a HUMAN POPULATION to protect ourselves?


So it makes one wonder -- are those selfish bastard people of a certain higher tier of a certain political party accidentally correct?!  Should we all live for today because tomorrow our straw and stick AND brick houses will be wiped off the planet by Typhoon Big Bad Wolf?  Well, isn't that a kick in the face?  Maybe they're right.  Maybe we should just embrace our animal instincts and revert to survival of the fittest because our days are drastically numbered.

Well hell.  Guess I can go eat those Twinkies now.  What difference does it make?

And yet.......

What are we without hope?

Foolish, I suppose.  I mean LOOK at that radar.  

So it just makes me kinda want to scream, you know?  


We're all doomed as a species.  Even if the storms don't get us, the sun's going to burn us up eventually.  So maybe we focus more on getting along and helping everyone get by.  And having an obscene amount of fun!  Sheesh, is it so difficult?  

Eat, drink, and be merry.  

And bring an umbrella, you silly hopeful human.  

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


When it's 8:30 pm and you're tired and you're slumming for a manageable blog topic during NaBloPoMo, you just might turn to your phone to see what you've jotted down in Evernote over the past year or so.  And you might find this nugget from last May:

Mom called on my birthday and I thanked her for bringing me into the world.  She said it was her greatest achievement.  I said, "Wow, just a couple pushes and you had your greatest achievement?  That doesn't seem so bad.  I feel that way about my poop sometimes.  Especially when I have to work at it for a while or when it feels like it's coming out sideways.  [Girlfriend] has to come in the bathroom sometimes to tell me to just breathe.  I'm going to make sure it's in my obituary.  'Her greatest achievement was a particularly difficult bowel movement on April 3, 2032.  She named him Ralph.'"

Friends, this is what happens when one is an only child and one's mother thinks she's just the funniest thing around.  I'm sure we were both crying with laughter during that phone call.  I'm sorry.  You deserve better.  

Day 13 of NaBloPoMo.  Poop humor.  

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

New Shoes

In this month of thankfulness, I thought I'd share one of my favorite photos that I was very thankful to find after many, many years.

My maternal grandparents had a book of Life photographs that I would look through before falling asleep over the many weekends that I stayed there as a child.  I had the luxury of having grandparents who lived around the block from me, so I spent a lot of time there -- for which I'm very thankful.  

One of my favorite photos and one that's stayed with me all these years was of a boy in an orphanage joyfully hugging a brand new pair of shoes.  I remember them being described as his first brand new pair of shoes, but that may be a childhood embellishment.  I was probably about his age when I first saw the photo and maybe that's why it stuck with me.  

Once the internet was invented (Thanks, Al Gore) and I realized it could be used to track down childhood memories both serious and silly, I began searching for it to no avail.  Type "orphanage boy new shoes" into a search engine and you get a disturbing number of matches.  I didn't know where it was taken or when or by whom.  Eventually, Time-Life introduced a website of their photos, but still, I was unable to find it.

And then this summer a friend randomly posted a link on Facebook to 40 Must-See Photos from the Past.  I love old photos, so I took a look.  And as I scrolled on through, not expecting anything in particular, there he was.  I couldn't believe it.  I hadn't seen him in 30 years.  

"Austrian Boy with New Shoes During WWII"

After very little research, I learned the photo is really entitled, simply, "New Shoes," and it was photographed/published by Gerald Waller, in 1946-47.  I found a description that said, "Six-year-old Austrian boy 'Werfel' receiving a new pair of shoes at the Am Himmel orphanage, donated by the Junior Red Cross in America."

How much do you love him?  

Remember Werfel the next time you "need" something.  And whether your possessions are frivolous or necessary or a combination of the two, try to be thankful.  Remember Werfel's old shoes and his joy over new shoes and please be thankful.  He sure would be.  

Monday, November 11, 2013

The A-Table

So that happened this weekend.  

We built a table!!  

My girlfriend and her cousin were gung-ho from the minute they decided we could do this and I should never have doubted them.

Then again, they hadn't built what came to be affectionately called, "The C-Table," when they were in 7th grade.  

I had to take a marking period of shop in 7th grade and decided my project would be a table.  Things were going fairly well until it came time to stand that bad boy up.  Three legs were the same height and one was off by just enough to make the table wobble.  I got to filing the other three and then two were the same height and two others were off.  Scrape scrape scrape scrape.  All four were different now.  Wobble wobble.  Scrape scrape scrape scrape.  When I finished, I pretty much had a board on the floor.  My teacher -- probably out of sheer compassion and thankfulness that he'd never see me again -- gave me a C.  

Hence, my trepidation about tackling this project.  All I could see was a much bigger C-table board on our dining room floor.  Girlfriend told me we were going to use prefab legs, so that made me feel a little better.  Then she found some amateur instructions online for us to use as a guide and I said, "Oh, we can totally make that!"

And we did.

And we didn't even use any prefab legs.  

Though we did have a leg hiccup after all.  We had a giant storage bench built a few weeks ago and despite our request for chair height, the bench is 1.5" higher than standard chair height.  Which I didn't think of until we were driving home last night after constructing the table top and support frame.  There was a good chance no one was going to be able to fit their legs under the table if they sat on the bench!

I suggested hanging a sign over the bench that said, "Skinny Bitches Only," but that idea got shot down.

So having already tracked down the lumber for the table legs and cut them, we had to go get some more lumber and cut them taller.  Now the question is whether the table will be too tall for any chairs we purchase.  If you visit us and find you're sitting on a cushion at the table, that's why.  It's our little secret.  ;)

We still have to distress the table ("You haven't saved enough for your retirement."), sand it, and stain it, but we three are very tickled with our progress thus far.  

Anyone remember who my shop teacher was?  I want to send him a picture of the table.  :)

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Mighty Girls

My girlfriend and her cousin decided a few months ago that it would be a great idea to build a farmhouse table for our enormous dining area.  I wanted to be involved because I like to build things and also didn't want to spend the rest of my life saying, "And that's the table GF and her cousin made..."  I wanted to be able to proudly tell people that we made our family's table.  If they asked.  Even if they never asked.  I'll just be saying it automatically.  Maybe stencil it on top: "We made this!"

Today was finally the day.  We went out to the cousin's home in the country because they have all the space and nifty table-building tools we needed -- not the least of which was a trailer to get the lumber from Home Depot to the house.  

The three of us are all take-charge alpha girls, so I was a little nervous as to how this would go down.  We seemed to strike a decent balance today, but I'm not sure.  Did I do too much?  I know I took a bunch of measurements and did a lot of figurin', but more often than not, when I finished, I discovered my girlfriend had already come to the same answer faster and in her head.  When it was my turn with the power tools, I kept asking if anyone else wanted to take a turn and they didn't -- or at least said they didn't...  

It's always hard for me to tell.  In most of my lab classes in college, I'd wind up with people who were happy to have me push them out of the way and do all the work, because they weren't really inclined to do it on their own.  In general, I'm not a big fan of teamwork.  I can ask for help when I need it, but I don't enjoy having too many cooks in the kitchen.  Less talk, more action.  I know what I want to do and how I want to do it, so...step aside.

It's a wonder I have any friends or a girlfriend at all.

I tried to check myself today, but I'm not sure how successful I was.  We're almost done with the construction and after that we have the sanding and then the staining and/or painting, so I feel like there are plenty of opportunities for me to step aside and let the others do the work.  And I certainly got shot down enough times today that I don't feel like I took charge at all.  I don't know.  As an Only Child, it's sometimes difficult for me to tell.  Is Only Child on the autism spectrum?  It probably should be.

And as I got close to home after our day of kick-assery awesomeness (we're very proud of ourselves), I was behind a car with the following saying on a bumper sticker.  I love when the universe mocks me.  :)

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Urine First Class Now

Gotta pee in the dark at an oyster roast? No problem -- we've got a lighted port-a-john!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Calling All Sticklers!

This test didn't seem that difficult -- and the average score of 91% would attest to that -- but I was still nervous.  I consider myself a bit of a Grammar Stickler (see Eats, Shoots & Leaves, by Lynne Truss for further clarification) and would have been mildly embarrassed to have performed poorly.  Then again, I'm guessing the only people taking this test think they're fairly good at grammar, so the results may be skewed.  Let's administer it to a wider audience.  Or to the six of you reading this.  Who I expect to do well on this test.  Oh, bother.

Have at it:

Grammatically Speaking Quiz

No pressure.


PS -- "Have vs. of" was my favorite.  :)

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Day 7 Blows. Like a Ghost. Or a Spirit.

I need a Mac.  And whatever software is necessary for me to get the things I see out of my head and on paper.  On computer.  On the internet.  WHATEVER.

I'm a little frustrated.  This thing was mildly amusing when I put it together a few hours ago in a matter of minutes, but still didn't look the way I would have prefered.  But I'm limited by my computer/smartphone/tablet's limitations.  Then when I was getting ready to post it, I realized I'd mistakenly said "ghost" when it should be "spirit."  And then all hell broke loose.  I had to edit it on my ancient Gateway PC.  I can't tell you how old it is because I can't even find where the hell the year is on this thing.  I hadn't turned it on in about a year and a half, so it wanted to do virus scans and Microsoft updates and any number of molasses-covered functions before it would let me do what I wanted.  Then the computer would stall and pause in between each of my commands.  I probably could have visited all 6 of my readers and drawn them this picture in less time.  

Now I'm just kind of disgusted with the whole thing.  You can't even tell that Sandy is ethereal.  It just looks like it's a bad copy of a picture.  But I MADE her ethereal, I swear!!  (Someone should probably warn Olivia Newton-John at this point.)

Well, here you go.  NaBloPoMo Day 7.  I'm not proud:

Until tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Virginia & Vagina, Perfect Together

Well, hello, what's this?

Isn't that a humdinger?  Welcome aboard, Terry!

Last night was way too much of a nail-biter for me.  I was beginning to think I had cursed the race with my blog post in which I so confidently announced that Cuccinelli would lose.  

He did, but not for the efforts of the ONE MILLION TEN THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED AND THIRTY-FIVE people who voted for him.

I may never be able to wrap my brain around that one.  

I admitted yesterday that I didn't really know much about McAuliffe.  Fortunately, NPR was discussing the election this morning and I discovered that McAuliffe has never held office, is viewed by most everyone as a huckster, and is known for his campaign fundraising abilities (some of which may be ethically questionable).

Additionally, he has admitted publicly that he prefers campaigning and isn't really interested in governing.  

Maybe he didn't hear how similar the words sound.  Governor.  Governing.  Nah...not related.

I did know that he was tight with the Clintons, so it dawned on me this morning (I'm guessing this isn't a revelation for anyone else) that he was probably hand-picked by them to be Virginia's governor during Hillary's bid for President in 2016.  Virginia's governor who loves campaigning and fundraising.  

Those wily Clintons!

I like it.  He's only going to be in office for 4 years.  How much harm can he do?  (Gilmore).  I figure he's smart enough to surround himself with a smarter team of policy-makers and financial advisers.  As a huckster campaign fundraiser, he'll be good at shmoozing and attracting new business to Virginia.  He also welcomes diversity and isn't trying to staple pregnant women's vaginas shut to force them to keep unwanted pregnancies.

Maybe we can paraphrase the old New Jersey slogan (New Jersey & You, Perfect Together):

Virginia & Vagina, Perfect Together.

Speaking of New Jersey...

Picture it: Some US college, September 2016: The Hillary Clinton / Chris Christie Debate.  Oh, I can't wait!  And let's, for a second, try to picture Chris Christie's international diplomacy: "I can't pronounce your name, so I'm just going to call you 'Vinnie', ok?  And...shut the f*ck up, you idiot!"  Hang in there, Saturday Night Live, you'll be funny again in just a few years!!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Cooch, Stay Out of Mine

Who are these 16% of precincts reporting?!  Granted, with the number of people voting today, this could be a total of 27 people.  But still!

I can't really tell you much about Terry McAuliffe other than he's NOT Ken Cuccinelli.  I've caught a whiff of some business scandal, but I'm old and jaded enough to assume that's some sort of political candidate default.  Any man who would use my tax dollars to defend the illegality of sodomy (anal - no, thank you; oral - get it) is not fit to be my Governor.  Then add his fanatical obsession with denying women access to reproductive healthcare AND his fanatical obsession with assaulting them with an inanimate object (transvaginal ultrasound) and I have to wonder, what in the hell are you people thinking?!  Let's go out on a limb and say you're similar to me -- you're not voting FOR Cuccinelli so much as voting AGAINST McAuliffe.  What has McAuliffe done that comes even remotely close to Cuccinelli's legal tantrums while he's been Attorney General?


I'm confident McAuliffe will win and by a fairly large margin.  But I'm still troubled by these early numbers.  I think anyone who voted for Cuccinelli should immediately stop having sex unless both parties sign legal documents beforehand saying they will keep and raise any resulting offspring and share in the financial burden equally.  And the guys get to be kicked in the balls while the women are delivering the babies.  

Thank you.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Home Ownership Is Not for P*ssies

Or maybe it's just ownership of old homes.  Old homes with odd renovations performed by a previous owner.  Let's hope so, because if I have to go through half the trials and tribulations with our new house as I've gone through with my old house, I'm renting a condo.  As soon as my 14.5-year-old dog slips earth's surly bonds.

My girlfriend and I bought a house in August, right around the time I finally got my house professionally renovated in an attempt to rent it.  The renovation's been done over a month now and it's been taking us FOREVER to get the place ready to rent.  Painting went fairly well, but it seems like even the simplest tasks snowball into something much bigger.  We are thisclose to being done.

And yet...

I have a termite warrantee with my pest people and they contacted me saying the underwriter of the warrantee requires the occasional inspection of the structure for termites.  I set it up for today and the good news is that there is no evidence of termite damage.

The bad news is that the pest control technician emerged from under my house and said she startled two Norway rats nesting in insulation under my house.  She mentioned that they startled her as well.

She then proceeded to take me on a tour of my previous-owner-oddly-renovated closets to show me every nook and cranny through which my crawl space tenants can enter the living quarters.  She suggested I replace all of the foundation vents to keep the rats from entering the crawl space.  But here's my question: how do I get them out of the crawl in the first place?  Because if I seal off the foundation vents better, they'll be trapped in the crawl.  And when they want to leave, where will they go?  Up into the living quarters!

I had a similar problem a few years back (Rats!) and was worried I'd trap them in the attic.  My boss at the time suggested I get a cat and just leave it in the attic.  And then I guess I'd get a dog to get rid of the cat and then Tweety Bird would make some sarcastic comment as Granny hit me with an umbrella...

In addition to my new Rat Relocation Project, it looks like I need to get some debris removed from the crawl, have new insulation properly installed, and cover the remaining 40% of the crawl floor that is without a vapor barrier.

I can't afford to have a pro do it, so I'm either going to have to do it myself ("Address the rats."    "Helloooo, rats!") or pay some poor shlub in beer to do it.  Beer, I can afford.  More materials for my house?  Negatory.

Home ownership is not for p*ssies.

At least I had an unexpected cavity in a molar today at my 6-month cleaning and got that filled.  It's been 10 years since I had Novocaine and I had a itsy bitsy teeny weeny anxiety attack as it took hold. I'm not proud.  :)

(It's All an Adventure)

Sunday, November 3, 2013

What Not to Wear*

Once again, I'd like to say how eternally thankful I am that the internet and social media didn't exist when I was younger.  I can't say with any degree of certainty that I wouldn't have come up with this costume in my early 20s.  Right around the time I chose "Botched Abortion" as a Halloween costume.  See, now I can just tell you about it and you can't search the internet and find my photo on Twitter or Instagram as proof.  I'll tell you in confidence that one component of the costume was a wire hanger around my head.

You're welcome.

So here we have this young lady who made a really bad decision.  Check out the response avalanche.  Let's be careful out there, folks.  Especially on the interwebs.  Remember, the people who comment on news articles can see you.


What Happens When You Dress as a Boston Marathon Victim

I'm thinking she's either a grief counselor or an etiquette maven.

Maybe I can start a support group for people with inappropriate senses of humor.  I'll wear my hanger.  Please, no pictures.

*Title provided by Girlfriend, after watching me stare at this completed, nameless blog post for 30 minutes.  Thanks, PB!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Too Much Wine on My Hands

In Vino Veritas.

In Wine is Truth.

Perhaps just a little too much.  Hooooo nelly, am I in the dog house!  It's a miracle I was able to compose last night's blog post, as bad as it was.  I joined about 10 friends for a birthday dinner at a local Greek restaurant that was offering $2 glasses of wine all night.  It was suitably loud for a Greek restaurant and I had a lengthy heart-to-heart with a friend as I tossed back an unfortunate quantity of wine.  

Thanks to the volume of the restaurant, we all had to yell at each other to be heard.  Perhaps the yelling got me fired up.  

By the time I got home to my sick girlfriend and her visiting mother, I was in rare form.  And as they discussed some plans they had that I apparently disagreed with, my filter was askew, but thankfully not completely off.  

Today's been loads of fun.  Lots of additional chores and teasing for me and apologies for them.  

I guess I'd feel worse about it if I remembered what happened.  ;)

Friday, November 1, 2013

NaBloPoMo 2013

"Did you really just ask my permission to write during NaBloPoMo?"

"Yup.  Because I'm WHIPPED."

"...because NaBloPoMo DOES blow..."

And with those encouraging words from my Significant Other, so begins another National Blog Posting Month.


The best of friends teach us things about the world and ourselves that we don't necessarily know.  I was told a long time ago that as an adult if I could count five true friends on one hand that I was rich indeed.  

I attended two friend gatherings tonight.  The first was a birthday dinner for a good friend and although my SO was home sick, I went without her.  Which was an excellent call since I've developed quite the reputation as a bailer since I've stopped playing kickball!  I was seated next to an old friend who, through no fault of her own, I felt the need to delete from Facebook a while back.  

Oh, that Facebook.  It may be the end of civilization as we know it.  

The reason I deleted this particular friend (and I mean lower case, f, friend in real life) is because she was associating with people I found to be insincere and undesirable in my life.  

And some of those people are causing her some grief now.

What a leap it is to trust ourselves and listen to that inner voice that tells us we can do better -- but still holds us accountable for our own behavior and thoughts.  It's a balancing act. 

The true friends will show up.  I'm guilty of not doing that for every event, but I try to show up when necessary.  I hope that my friends know I love them and will lend them an ear and will be there when they truly need them -- or will notice when they need help before they even do.  

We all talk about each other to some extent.  We all have our tics and 'isms.  But as I said to a friend tonight, I know that my real friends talk about me without maliciousness.  And I them.  

I wish the best for my friends.  They're good people, who struggle sometimes, and have somehow seen some worth in me.  I'll never take that for granted and I'm thankful.

~ This blog post is weak and was written after several glasses of wine.  There's no guarantee these will get better, but I felt full disclosure was necessary.  :)