Monday, October 31, 2011

Who was on LM watch????

Darling invisible friend, I have returned! Did you miss me? Did you cry?

Can you fake it? Sheesh. All right, then.

But I'm back! A bit tired, thanks for asking, but back. I have once again attended the Emerald City Writers Conference.

No, sadly, actual emeralds were not given out. But I did get to see some dear friends and buy waaaaay too many books at the book fair. I believe my credit card's exact words were, "Are you ___ing kidding me????"

Sadly, I was not.

The problem was, Roommate was not with me and no one else was on Lisa Marie watch. If I am left unattended...

...things happen.

But oh! A little bird in Pennsylvania told me she was disheartened by some of her usual favorites in the world of romance writing. She asked, via comment on my Betty Neels post, for suggestions of a great read. I present unto you, Birdwoman...

Julia Quinn.

I love Julia Quinn. She doesn't know me from Adam--or Eve, rather. I would assume she could differentiate me from Adam. She's very clever, you know. And I don't know her personally. But I love her books. It's happy reading. It's some of the sweetness of Betty Neels with just a drop of Cherry Adair-type spice to give it some heat. It's hot chocolate with a pinch of cayenne pepper. Or whiskey!

Mmm. Whiskey.

Anyway. I was able to talk to JQ at the bookfair offered by the conference and I fear she thought I was gushing a bit, but I told her the truth. I did worry when an eight-book series she wrote ended, that I wouldn't enjoy her newer stories as much. Wow, was I happy to be wrong. Normally, I don't enjoy being wrong. There's sulking involved. Copious volumes of chocolate are often consumed. I can admit to you, darling one, that I am, sadly, not above a snarky comment. But in this case, I wasn't snarky. I may even have burbled a bit.

Oh, like you've never burbled. Pfft.

I did have a nice time. And I had some very interesting things happen, too, but we will discuss them later. Yes, we will. Yes, we will. Because I have a Julia Quinn book to read.

Happy sigh. It's happy reading.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Soup Reply

A comment was made on Soup Day, as follows:

Remind me why I left podiatry again....because this alone solely would have
kept me there!! I miiiiiiiiss soooooup daaaay!!! (that's me complaining and
smacking my head against the wall)


Oh, Jamie. Jamie, Jamie, Jamie. Darling one, you can ALWAYS have soup! People come from other buildings, other work satellites, on Soup Day. Why should you be excluded???

NB: I did try to reply to the lovely and talented Jamie via the comment section of my blog, but evidently, according to, I am not authorized to comment. On my own blog.


Blogger is NOT invited to Soup Day. Pfft. That'll teach it.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Today's Word of Advice

This is Alaska Fish Fertilizer. It's made from fish. Long dead, deeply rotted fish. This makes me think of my friend Carole.

No, no! Not like that! I'll explain.

Carole has Shetland sheepdogs, AKA shelties. This is a sheltie:
Carole has four of them, in fact. Her darling husband Roger refers to the grouping as a "spasm of shelties." Evidently, it's a herd of cattle, a pod of whales, a pride of lions....and a spasm of shelties. Who knew?


Carole was walking her spasm by a river near her home when her furry children spotted a salmon that had washed ashore and partially rotted on the riverbank. The four of them surrounded the dead fish and had after a good sniff, and before Carole, now running, could stop them, they fell as one upon the fishy corpse and commenced rolling in the stink.

Look at the picture of the sheltie again. Now, imagine, if you will, that small mountain of fur saturated with rotting fish stench and goop.

Yes, goop is the technical term. Add it to your notebook.

I thought of Carole today as I was dealing with my own wee beastie. In the process of trying to get her to do her business outside, I knocked over and shattered a four-year-old bottle of Alaska Fish Fertilizer. Did you know that a shattered bottle of fish fertilizer actually spatters as it shatters? It does. Oh, it does.

Word of advice? If you have the opportunity to shatter and spatter a bottle of fish fertilizer...

...Just say NO.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Soup Day Returneth.

It's a cool-ish day, dear one. Not yet 50 degrees Fahrenheit, and the weather people tell me that it should only top out at 51. Yes, they told me. No, they didn't call, but the guy was looking right at me as he gave his report. To whom else would he have been speaking??? I was alone in the room.

Anyway, it turned out to be the perfect day for Soup Day. Vicki and Shelley brought bread and Adriane brought cookies. Yum!

And I made this:

It's white bean soup. I added arborio rice and quinoa, because beans alone do not provide complete proteins for humans. One must add a grain. And arborio rice makes it taste almost creamy. Mmmm!

Adriane was mocking me earlier, which is surprising. I have the power to deny her soup, after all.


She was teasing me because I told her that I usually do a "safety" soup as well as a main soup. I shall explain.

Yes, I shall. Why is this always a surprise to you?

Say I make a variation on French Onion soup and it's a Tuesday. Nina the X-ray tech, who arrives at 2PM and works until close, won't be able to have any. She doesn't eat red meats. So...say I make a chicken noodle soup. Lisa, the PA from Ear, Nose & Throat, won't be able to have any of it because she's gluten intolerant. Actually, so is Leanne from the Walk-In Clinic. So they wouldn't be able to have any soup. Dari is lactose intolerant, so clam chowder would kill her, and Coley, Nathan and Tyler are all vegetarians. Harlan is vegetarian who also doesn't eat eggs and Rezia is Muslim and doesn't consume any pork products or alcohol. No beer or wine in her soup.

And I make an awesome beer and cheddar soup. Just saying.

So. I make whatever soup I want to make as a rule, then I make a safety soup. It's usually in the smaller Crock Pot. But today, I didn't have to do this because my main soup is vegan, gluten-free and low fat. We pulled out a small container for Vicki before I added the rest of the vegetable stock, as Vicki [and her husband] are watching their sodium intake very closely.

Oh, stop that. It's good. If I hadn't told you it was vegan, low fat and gluten free, you wouldn't even notice. What are you, five???

My point is, no mockery was necessary. After all, what's the point of making soup for everyone if everyone can't enjoy it?

Plenty of soup. Are you headed over?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Warning: Ickiness Ahead

If you have a delicate stomach, darling one, please, please read no further. Under other circumstances, I might be able to discuss last night's debacle in a more tasteful manner, but right now, I'm too darn tired to employ any such socially acceptable communication. You understand.

Get comfy. Tired doesn't mean silent for me. I think you already knew this, too.

I had gotten to bed late-ish. Bad idea on a Sunday night, with the 12+ hour shift looming over me the next day, but...I don't claim to be that clever, do I? I was getting ready to email the recipe for Nurse Wendy's birthday cake [it's a bundt] when Roommate tapped on my bedroom door.

"Did Bailey get in to anything?"

I had been in the kitchen earlier, preparing for the first Soup Day of the season, so this was a reasonable question. I told Roommate I felt he hadn't and was informed that Bailey had been "sick" in the bed.

Yeah. That kind of sick.

I climbed out of bed and hurried into Roommate's room to find that Bailey had, indeed, been repeatedly ill, most frequently while still under the covers. Some on top of the covers. Still more on the bedroom carpet.

Did I mention that Roommate had just stripped and remade her bed that very evening? Yeah.

Bailey was so distressed, in fact, that he ran into the living room and vomited there. Several times. Since his evening would surely be incomplete with only vomit as his visitor, diarrhea was then invited to the party. We found him huddled under the dining room table, dribbling bile and foam.

He's fine. As we were washing the sheets, the mattress cover, the comforter cover, the down comforter, several blankets and countless towels, he crept over to the couch and had snuggle time with me, and the next morning, was completely himself again.

Roommate spent some deep and meaningful time with the steam cleaner and once again, peace and harmony reigns over the household.


Dogs. Still easier than kids. Right?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Nurse Wendy's Birthday Cake

This is the cake I made for Wendy for her birthday.
It's a bundt.

This is the top of the cake I made for Wendy for her birthday.

It's still a bundt.

This is the inside of the cake I made for Wendy for her birthday.

It's still a bundt, but here you can see the sheer magnitude of cream cheese frosting slathered over the top of it. Why did I slather four pounds of frosting on a one-pound cake, you may ask? I shall tell you.

This is the pan I used to make the cake for Wendy for her birthday.

It's a Williams-Sonoma Heritage Bundt pan. It makes very, very pretty cakes. If, however, one does not use a half a pound of butter or three-quarters of a can of nonstick spray, the pan will hold on to the cake with the desperate grip of a teenager on to the ankle of her favorite pop star. It isn't pretty.

Guess what happened.


So, the cake parts had to be reassembled after being prised from the bundt pan's clutches, and unless I wanted to present Wendy with Frankencake, something had to be done. So it was. Something was done. Something involving butter and powdered sugar and vanilla and a vat of cream cheese.

If the cake imperfections cannot be seen, do they really exist? A little cake philosophy for you.

So the cake was slathered. And the imperfections were covered. And the cake and slathering substance were good. And a light shone down and peace reigned. For five minutes.

Until the fat and cholesterol hardened everyone's arteries and paramedics had to be called.

Hey, if you're making an omelette, or a bundt cake, for that matter, you gotta break some eggs.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Toes Have It.

I was going to write you a quick note yesterday, darling invisible friend, to let you know how the first session with the personal trainer went. I was going to do this, but it all turned out like this:

Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow.
Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow.
Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow.

So I decided against it.

Anyway, despite the massive "discomfort" of being two days past a workout, Roommate and I had the distinct pleasure of spending time with the lovely and delightful Laura. Laura is married to one of my favorite people, coworker John. We love John, but after having spent time with Laura, he may have to move down on the Favorites List.

She's just that good. We plan on keeping her.

No, we haven't consulted her. Why do you ask?

So we stole Laura away today and forced her to have a ladies' day with us and yes, of course, pedicures were involved. It was lovely and afterward, we just felt so darn pretty, we went lingerie shopping.

No, I won't go on about that part.

Then it was off to lunch and talking talking talking. I even let Roommate and Laura get a word in. I did, so.

All in all, it was such a nice day. Good friends, good food. Three televised games of hockey after we got home. A fire in the fireplace. A clove-cinnamon bundt cake cooling in the kitchen. Dogs sleeping soundly. It almost makes up for the fact that my abdominal muscles keep screaming at me every time I move.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

And that's when the fight started.

My Fabulous Neighbor came to dinner last night and was, as usual, lovely. We adore her, Roommate and I. Not quite to the following-her-around, making-a-shrine-with-surreptitiously-snapped-photographs level, but adore her, none the less. When we are so fortunate to spend time with her, however, my thoughts inevitably turn to plastic surgery.

What? No! No, no, no. She's lovely, I told you that. No, she happens to work for a plastic surgeon, that's all. I can't tell you how reassuring that is to me, on a strictly selfish level.

No comments from the peanut gallery, please.

The thing is, assuming that my endeavors to lose more than half of my body weight are successful, I'm going to have to get a little tailoring on the birthday suit. I don't know how much tailoring, obviously; I haven't reached that goal weight and I have no idea how my skin will react. As we all know, I'm not in my first bloom of youth.

Seriously, peanut gallery. I'm about to make peanut butter.

Anyway. I feel fairly confident that no matter what "work" is to be done, the breast lift will have to be on the list. Even if I were to stay at this weight, I'm tired of the Girls looking so depressed all the time. We've talked about it.

Me: Perk up, already!

The Girls: Why? [This said in mournful, Eeyore-like tones.]

Me: People are talking to you! Look 'em in the eye, for Pete's sake!!

Left: It's Right's fault. She has that...divot.

Right: That wasn't my fault!

Me: That's right, Right. It's wasn't your fault. It was a mass. And you look...fine.

Right: [more depressed than ever] No, I don't.

Me: No one's complained about it. [Meaningful look as Left snorts in derision.]

Right: That's because no one stays around long enough to notice.

Me: Hey! That's---

Left: That's true. And it doesn't matter how many people offer to buy us drinks---

Right: ---You don't let us drink anymore.

Me: Well, you two are irresponsible drinkers.

The Girls: We are not.

Me: You are, too. Remember what happened last time?

[A brief, uncomfortable silence.]

Right: That was Left's fault.

Left: Excuse me?

Right: Excuse you, all right, with the tassel?

Left: Um, I wasn't the one on the table.

And that's when the fight started.

I tell you, some days in the Peanut Gallery are hell.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Oh, Betty.

I've been on a Betty kick, dearest invisible friend. And for once, it's not the Crocker I mean.

Betty Neels. Oh, beloved and lovely Betty Neels. She is the epitome of sweet-romance authorhood, the apex of writers of the pristine love story. I adore her work.

Sadly, I will never get to meet Mrs. Neels, as she passed in 2001, but she lives on in more than 134 novels and novellas. 134. That's right. Oh, sure, Nora Roberts has her beat. And Nora Roberts is still alive and writing. But Nora Roberts is an alien life form and no rational comparisons can be made between her and any other writer. On the planet. Ever.

But still!! 134 stories in print! Not bad for a woman who started writing after she retired from nursing. Her first book was published when she was sixty years old, and man oh man, does that give me hope.

How sweet is she????

She was in her local library, evidently, when another patron was bemoaning the lack of good romance novels. And Betty, God bless her, was obviously a fixer. She started writing and continued for the next thirty years.

Nursing cap off...

Writer's hat on!

Her heroes are almost all Dutch doctors, an amalgam of the doctors with whom she worked during WWII. She married a Dutchman, too, so she knew of their hotness. [Hey, she wrote the stories!] Occasionally, the hero would be an English doctor. Once, he was an architect, but it was uncomfortable for everyone.

Anyway. Her heroines are nice English girls, some pretty, most very plain with one outstanding feature. Lovely eyes, killer smile, blah blah blah. But for the most part, not the hot tamales one might expect. I love that.

Every now and then, there's another woman. She is invariably lovely and beautifully dressed, but a hideous person. The reader may feel quite comfortable in hating her. I love that, too!!

Beety Neels' books are classic and formulaic mid-to-late century romance novels. They're sweet and adorable and brain cand---no, they're not even that. They're brain cotton candy. Fluffy. Easy. And best of all...

Filled with loving descriptions of glorious food.

No matter what, when I read a Betty Neels book, I must have snacks. Oh, darling, the eating in these books! Teas and breakfasts and cream buns with coffee! Divine dinners at restaurants the heroine could never afford! Late suppers thrown together by the hero's inevitably devoted and culinarily gifted housekeeper!

Sandwiches. Scones. Clotted cream and "lashings" of jams and jellies. Silver teapots and tissue-thin teacups and saucers.

Madeira cake and more tea, always more tea in the afternoon. Beautiful china plates filled with delicacies and nibbles, bites and just-one-more.

Bread and butter and toast with preserves and buttered, toasted teacakes. And butter. With butter. And then some butter. Excuse me, may I have some butter with that?

Weight Watchers????? What's that?

Saturday, October 15, 2011


Darling invisible friend, life, as I know it, is over.

Of course I'm being melodramatic. What are you, new? Have you met me? I thought we had this aspect of me firmly established.

And yes, I am going to whine. Get the cheese.

Not that kind. The good kind. No, I'll wait. No rush.

[foot tapping]








All right, let me see...yes, much better choice. Now. Where was I? Oh, yes. End of the world.

Roommate has located a personal trainer for us. I know. All I can say is:


We met with her last night. She's a delightful creature, really, despite her blonde prettiness and relentless fitness. I am trying not to hold this against her. She is, and I shudder as I type this, enthusiastic about working with us.


While she is appropriately priced, even seeing her once a week will outstrip the costs of my dog's water therapy. And while this is a perfectly reasonable amount of money to spend on this type of service, the thought of spending the equivalent of a monthly car payment on exercise and other tortures is pretty horrifying to me. I would far rather spend that money elsewhere, on other things. Like a car.

And she's going to make us do things that involve core strength, of all horrors. We're going to be required to do cardio things at home. She "likes running."

Why is it no one will shoot me??????

It's not even 2012 and the world is ending. Bet the Mayans never saw this coming.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Giggling here

Okay, I realize this is a non-blog today, but darling one, you have to see this. This kills me.

BP Wings


Thursday, October 13, 2011

And I didn't even cheat this time.

Darling invisible friend, I haven't bored--ahem, regaled you with tales of drama and woe lately, have I? Oh, you're right, let me be specific. I haven't regaled you with tales of drama and woe in regards to Weight Watchers lately, have I?

And by lately, I mean within the last five minutes.

Obviously, your abuse level is sadly diminished. We shall rectify this immediately.

Yes, we do "have to." Silly rabbit.

So last week, I had an...unsuccessful weigh-in. Oh, it was successful in that I stepped on the scale and my weight was accurately measured, but my numbers went up. Not down. Up.

Btw, they're aren't supposed to do that. In case you wondered.

Anyway, I gained--gained! Gah!!--3.6 pounds last week. 1.5 kilograms for the metrically-minded.

I found this distressing.

Much like the time I met with an endocrinologist. Delightful man. I adore him. I sat in his exam room and showed him the diet diary and exercise logs I'd been keeping, and told him, "To work this hard, and to have gained weight is [pause in which I struggled for self-control and verbal filters] distressing."

My doctor, who was born and raised in western Oklahoma, stared at me incredulously for a moment then uttered these words:

"Yer not distressed, yer pissed off."

Love that man.

Anyway. I had gained 3.6 pounds/1.5 kg, and for this, I blamed Roommate. Okay, it wasn't all her fault. But it was partly her fault. Why? Because she is TURBO HORMONE WOMAN.

I shall explain. You see, it doesn't matter how anyone else is cyclically situated. Enough time with Roommate, and all cycles will be synced to hers. I was fine, until Roommate started her hormonal surge and then, WHAMMO! Cramps, bloating and salt cravings--oh my! Yes, I ate an ocean's worth of salt that week. Yes, I was retaining water like Hoover Dam. But was it because of my timing? No. No. All hers.

I think Roommate should dress up as THW for Halloween. Do you think there'd be a cape requirement for this costume?


I made not-so-great food choices, ate an insufficient volume of produce and voila, 3.6 pounds. I wasn't freaked out or ridiculously upset; I figured I'd earned part of it. And on the upside, Roommate was much less upset by her own 2.4 pound gain, as it was significantly less than my gain. Competitive little snot that she is.

I say that with love, btw.

This week was going to be different. I knew it. Roommate knew it. She was a trifle downcast--no, not downcast. That's too much for Roommate and her famous even keel. She wasn't filled with hopeful anticipation. After all, for a net loss to occur, she would have to lose more than 2.4 pounds. Her hope was to have lost the 2.4 pounds she'd gained, though, she said in an Eeyore-like fashion, this would mean she had just stayed the same for two weeks in a row. I suggested that she might have lost all of 3 pounds, making her average weight loss for the past two weeks a whopping 0.3 pounds per week!

And I got a Look.

You can imagine my delight when Roommate actually did lose 3 pounds. Heh. No, I didn't say I told you so. I wanted to. But I didn't. Well, I said something, but it wasn't exactly that.

Yes, this does, too, count.

Now, in regards to my weigh-in, I was a trifle more reserved. I knew that losing a nice round [no pun intended] number like 4 pounds would give me a two-week average of 0.2 pounds per week. I also knew that I had only lost that much weight once before. Realistically, my recovery from this gain would likely take more than one weigh-in.

By-the-bye, I don't think 4 is a particularly round number. It's really rather pointy. Look at it.

But I digress.

I congratulated Roommate and stepped on the scale. And...

5 pound loss.

I have no idea how it happened. But I will take it.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Virtue versus vice.

Have you ever noticed, dear one, that virtue or vice is in the eye of the beholder? If one waits around for things, she might be described as patient, that lovely, impossible virtue, or...she might be described as sedentary. Lazy. Unmotivated.

If one is expressive in feeling and point of view, one might be described as open, frank, no-nonsense, forthright. Others will say, however, that one is opinionated, loud, rude and pushy.

Tomato. Tomahto. Let's call the whole thing off.

So...not to name any names, but let's just say someone, let's go with "LM," shall we? Yes, perfect. Let's say "LM" is teetering on the brink of termination. The ugly, Arnold-Schwarzenegger-on-a-motorcycle type of termination, too. Now, LM [as we have agreed to call her] is very aware of the tenuousness of her position and has taken steps to reduce the chances of homelessness and starvation should this occur. She has applied for other positions within her current company. She has applied for open positions outside of her company. She has a solid Plan B.

In this case, Plan B would mean emptying out the 401k she's been building for the last seven years and, after a brief period of sobbing as the taxes and fees are deleted, she would live on this and focus exclusively on writing and marketing her work.

Plan B doesn't sound half-bad, does it? In fact, given that LM wishes to make her living as a published author, this sounds a bit like a dream come true. Okay, a dream come true with a finite boundary. The 401k isn't that large. Maybe a year, year and a half's worth of writing time.

Boy, doesn't that sound great! So great, in fact, one might wonder why LM hasn't already implemented Plan B. And this is where the question of virtue and vice comes into play.

If LM quits her current hell-job, empties her 401k and sets to writing, she may be demonstrating courage. It takes tremendous courage to pursue a dream without a safety net. On the other hand, without a backup plan to the backup plan, she might be merely foolhardy.

I think the difference in courage and foolishness is, sadly, dependent on the outcome. Edmund Hillary was wildly courageous in his venture to climb Mt. Everest. [Good job, Ed! Way to go, buddy!!] If he had failed to reach the summit or died in the attempt, how many people would have called him courageous? How many people would have called him a freakin' moron?

"Did you hear? The Hillary kid bit it trying to climb that big-ass
"Ah, jeeze. His poor parents. What the hell was he thinking?"
"I don't know that he was thinking. What an idiot."

Hillary, himself, might have thought the very same thing as he was falling into a crevasse, had he done so. "WTF was I thinking????? God. I hate when my mother's right." Maybe. Maybe Mrs. Hillary was a lovely woman.

But this is hardly the point.

Let's just say LM takes a deep breath, tenders her resignation, dives into the deep end of unemployment and complete lack of health care benefits. She writes. She submits proposals to editors and agents. She writes some more. Is she brave? Valiant, even? Undaunted by life's vagaries? Or did she just blow seven years of retirement savings a mere twenty/twenty-five years before her age of retirement? Has she destroyed any chance of buying her home? Has she completely lost her mind?

Henri Matisse once said that creativity required courage. True enough, but as I ponder that, I am reminded something brilliant my friend M has said to me:

Creativity is a prerequisite to survive your own courage.

Which, then, is the best choice? Creativity-bred courage? Or caution?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Very lazy.

Hello, dearest invisible friend. I want you to know that I know I'm being a lazy blogger. I do. I'm simply not able to think too deeply right now. If I do, I will recognize that aspects of my life [coughJOBcough] add up to an absolute suckfest, and I will either burst into tears, spiral down into a depression or walk my sizable ass out of here, giving everyone the finger on the way out.

Not everyone deserves that. A few people, oh, sure. All that and more. But not everyone.

Anyway. I'm in a travel mood. Okay, I'm in a get-me-the-hell-out-of-here mood and no one has offered me any of the jobs for which I have applied. Not dwelling. Just saying.

But back to travel. Look!

Isn't that gorgeous? Here in the Pacific Northwest, we don't get quite as much fall color, so the idea of being surrounded by all this gorgeousness is very tempting. I don't think I'd have to go back to Maine, but wouldn't a little leaf-peeping drive be nice today?

My Fabulous Neighbor and I were chatting about the travel bug just recently. Of course, we were chatting about cats, too, so maybe this doesn't interest you as much, as you have not had the distinct pleasure and privilege of meeting Fabulous Neighbor. You only wish you had a neighbor this fabulous. And funny! No, really. We were talking about my friend Karina's cat and his hoarding tendencies.

I am serious. Well, when you pick up a couch to move it out of an apartment and you find all the plastic bits from milk jugs and juice containers, barrettes, small plastic toys and every other small thing you haven't been able to find in the last six months, and your cat has a look of "Oh CRAP! Hey! Hey! That's my stuff! That's my stuff!" then you know your cat is a hoarder. FN was ready to call TLC right then. She even started practicing the voice-overs.

Tonight, on TLC....Cat Hoarders! [Not the kind you
think!] Fluffy has buried for years!
"Okay, Fluffy, I'm just putting the stuffing in this box..."
"No! I need that! Hey, leave that scratching post alone!!
I told you, I still use that!!!!!"

FN is still working with a production team on the details. But this isn't where I was going with this.

FN and I have talked about places to go and see, and my list of travel spots. As I'm mentioned, Roommate and I will go to Italy when we reach our goal weight. But in the meantime, there are other, equally or nearly as fabulous place to visit. Like Newfoundland.

Newfoundland. Home of Great Big Sea. And a few other people. Very nice people, I'm sure; I just don't know them by name. Look.....

This is Cabot Tower. Evidently, the FIRST Trans-Atlantic wireless message was sent from this spot! How cool is that? And isn't it pretty?

Almost as pretty as this.

Ahhhh. I could get used to a view like this. You know, when it isn't raining. Or snowing. Or hurricaning.

Yes, I realize that this is not a real word. Go with it.

And look at this!

When icebergs from Greenland and Iceland calve [bits break off of the giant icebergs] the baby icebergs like to travel south to Newfoundland. I think they like the music. Yes, that's it. I'm sure most icebergs are HUGE Great Big Sea fans.


Give ten minutes to pack and grab my passport.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

No Coherent Thought Today

Darling one, today is the day. Hockey season has arrived. The Canadiens play the Maple Leafs at four o'clock my time, the Flyers play the Bruins at the same time, and--AND the Canucks play the Penguins at seven. Yes, I am drumming my feet in excitement.

So, since I have no capacity for coherent thought today, I shall offer you this. Because it made me giggle.

Oh, Betty. How brilliant you are.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A gift from Stephanie

My delightful ex-coworker Stephanie sent me this:

Oh, come on! It's a little funny. Heh.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Hey, isn't that a Red Flag?

I looked in at the Mister-Right-Now dating site today, just to see if anyone had emailed me. While I was there, a chat window popped up. I was feeling brave, or perhaps just cavalier, so I accepted the chat.

Jim, or Canada40, seems a pleasant fellow. He is, surprisingly, from Canada. I know! Whodathunkit. Anyway, after initial greetings were exchanged, he asked if I would be willing to go to Vancouver to meet.


While I've traveled farther to meet men, it did seem a little quick off the mark, and I suggested we see how things went before we worried about my traveling to Vancouver. Not that I mind such a short drive. Not that I haven't driven to Vancouver for Coffee Crisp and Hungarian sausage. But still.

When I asked him the same question, he responded with the information that he did not come to the US.

No passport.


As I redirected the conversation to one of my favorite topics, hockey, Jim seemed willing to discuss this delightful pastime. He asked which teams I followed and seemed to approve of my favorites.

NB: One cannot assume that all Canadians are interested in hockey. That would be a stereotype. Okay, it's accurate some of the time. A lot of the time. Most of the time. But not all of the time.

In a very short amount of time, Jim posed a new question to me, one I can only assume was based on my love of watching hockey. He asked---wait for it---

--He asked if I am "feminine."



I replied, "Feminine? As opposed to...butch? Hm. I guess so."

Jim's response was to inquire if I liked women. I managed to reign in my initial response.

This guy is waving more high-alert flags than Red Square in the height of the Cold War. The Kremlin didn't have this much red-flag action. If I ran, I would be running away now.

God bless Border Patrol.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

A Short Walk

A couple of months ago, Roommate sent me an email at work, informing me that she'd signed us up for a breast cancer walk. It would be the first Sunday in October, she wrote, but it was only a 5K. I was bathed in relief. I can walk five kilometers.

What? I can so! Look, just because I whine and moan doesn't mean I can't walk. I...just like to avoid it. And for once, I wasn't concerned about myself.

I'm sure we all remember that Roommate's grueling 3-Day Walk was a mere two weeks previous. Her shins are still a trifle put out by her behavior. I read aloud M.'s advice to her [oh, she was so touched by the kind words! I keep forgetting to relay her thanks to all who wished her well--thank you!!!!] Naturally, being who she is, she did the walk anyway.

We are now officially out of tape. Note to self.

Oh! And we saw a woman wearing this on a hoodie:

Still giggling.

Anyway. When we arrived at the courthouse plaza, the starting point of our little walk, we were delighted to see all the dogs who had signed up to participate. Conveniently, they brought their humans along. Roommate and I realized then that we could have brought our beasties, too.

Of course, it was probably a good thing we didn't bring the furry children. They tend to get a little excited when meeting new people. Well, Bailey and Tuppence Marie get "excited." Maddie....rouses from her coma.

Hey, she's old. Don't judge.

I could just imagine what it might have been like, had we brought the dogs. Probably something like this:

Tuppence Marie: Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi! Here's my belly! Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi!

[This would sound a bit like "Uh! Uh! Uh! Uh! Uh! Uh! Uh! Uh! Uh! Uh! Uh! Uhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuh!!!!" and have the vocal effect of a cross between a timpani and a machine gun.]

Beagle Bailey: Hi, who are you? You smell GREAT! Hi! Hi, who are you? You smell GREAT! Hi! Hi, who are you? You smell GREAT! Hi! Hi, who are you? You smell GREAT! Hi! Hi, who are you? You smell GREAT! Hi! Hi, who are you? You smell GREAT! Hi! Hi, who are you? You smell GREAT! Hi! Hi, who are you? You smell GREAT! Hi! Hi, who are you? You smell GREAT! Hi! Hi, who are you? You smell GREAT! Hi! Hi, who are you? You smell GREAT! Hi! Hi, who are you? You smell GREAT! Hi! Hi, who are you? You smell GREAT! Hi!"

[The boy dog varies between actual screaming with excitement and making a noise that sounds like, "Bow-WOOOOOOOOOO!!!" Imagine a clarinet in the hands of a sadist.]

And then there's Maddie Mae, who says: [blink blink] Hello.

Miss Maddie doesn't talk a lot. No, really. It interferes with her napping. When she does, it sounds a bit like a tuba. Or a cello. "Woo. F." She says this when she wants to go out. Or come in. Or get a cookie. Or her dinner. You know, the Important Stuff.

So there we were, dogless in another sea of pink, walking for the cure. And while I appreciate the opportunity to exercise [cough] I really think it's time to kill this disease.

After all, cancer, to use the vernacular, sucks.