Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Walk for Pancreatic cancer

My landlady was diagnosed with Stage III pancreatic cancer, more than five years ago.  Today, she is cancer free and walking a 5K in support of a cure.  Roommate and I are walking with her.

She had a 2% chance of survival and she did it.

I think that's reason enough to walk in the rain.  In Seattle.  In November.  I think that's reason enough to wear every scrap of purple I can find and get my face painted.  I think that's reason enough to get up ridiculously early on a Sunday morning.

And if it weren't reason enough, the 98% who died, like my ex's mom, would make up the difference.

It's not a new sentiment,  or even a particularly pretty one, but all in all, I have to say:

Cancer sucks.

Friday, October 12, 2012

How do I let myself get talked into this?

Worst band.  Crappiest bar.  Roommate's coworkers.  One extremely toasted friend in absurdly high heels.

At the risk of sounding like Cinderella....


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Bits I Left Out

Dearest, I was reminded by the Great and Powerful Deb that I had not mentioned one or two tidbits about my weekend of gardening fun.  I am certain that this is a loss that would devastate you, so I shall correct this immediately, pausing only to breathe a word of thanks to the G&P Deb.

Thanks, Deb.

1)  I renamed lasagna gardening.  [I know, I know.  You wouldn't have survived not knowing this. Critical stuff here.]  After the forty-fifth layer of  Yes, we'll just call it organic.  After the forty-fifth layer of something organic, I was reminded of another layered character.  At that very moment, I dubbed my activity "Shrek Gardening."  I do recognize that I am opening the door to endless, and annoying, impressions of Donkey, but what to do?  Shrek Gardening was dubbed.

2)  At one point, I looked over at my dog.  All three dogs were keeping me company as I Shrekked away [see, now it's a verb!] and HRH Tuppence Marie had just visited her stylist the previous day.  She was all clean and clipped and fluffy and white.  She lay there, happily sunning herself, enjoying the beautiful fall day, watching birds wing by and gazing up at a cloudless sky...while draped like the Queen of Sheba across my newly created Shrek garden.  I stopped Shrekking to shriek, "That's a FLOWER BED, not a DOG BED!!!!" 

I believe the look I got from her could be accurately interpreted as, "Whatevah."

3)  While I Shrekked away, Roommate helped with the yard work by doing one of her favorite things:  demo.  In yard terms, that means pruning some hapless tree or shrub within an inch of its life.  I didn't realize that while doing so, Roommate's gardening attire behaved poorly.  Her jeans had gotten too loose and wanted to slip downward.  Her shirt kept riding up in back.  If I had been paying attention, I might have noticed these minor wardrobe malfunctions and therefore not been surprised by Roommate's statement:

"I bet you're glad I put on underwear!"

I know.  It was an absolute General Foods International Coffee moment.  What else could I do but celebrate that moment in our lives?

Gardening.  It's pretty awesome.  ALmost as good as underwear.

How I Spent My Weekend

So I found a book at my local thrift store entitled "Lasagna Gardening." Surprisingly, this isn't a book that instructs on how to plant lasagnas, pan and all, nor is it a garden for growing the products needed for lasagna. This is a profound relief to me, as I've heard the mozzerella plant is an absolute bear to grow.

 No, this a book on a particular gardening technique. 

The idea is, instead of digging and tilling and plowing and amending, organic matter is simply layered on top of sod. Or craptastic soil.  Or dead bodies--no, no.  Wait.  That's a different book.  One is to create layers of this stuff like layers of lasagna.

Ahhh!  Clever, huh?

Not the cheapest gardening technique on the planet, I don't mind telling you.  On the last run to the home improvement store, I dropped a C-note on this crap.  Literally.  Steer manure.  Chicken manure.  Compost.  And a small mountain of peat moss.  Roommate was thrilled to have this in her car. Thrilled.

Because she has a hatchback with foldy seats, that's why. Volvo couldn't have carried nearly as much crap.


Anyway, between the stuff I got on Saturday and the other organic ickiness I'd picked up the day before, I managed to lasagna three-quarters of the ugly fence line and one of the four raised bed areas.

And no, the last one is NOT a shallow grave.  Silly!  I would never do such a thing!


Monday, September 24, 2012

Another Return

Yes, it's that time of year.  Actually, it's not quite that time of year yet, but since the first day of fall happened over the weekend, I decided to do a surprise Soup Day.  That's why I made the sign.

I showed the sign to X-ray Andy, whom I adore, darling little cueball that he is, and he exclaimed, "Why didn't you tell me?"

Well.  Because it was a surprise Soup Day.  Hence the sign.

Fortunately, Andy is more than just a pretty face and he put the pieces together quickly.  I adore Andy.

The soups are nothing special or even particularly good, but it's been a long and soupless summer, so I'm hoping I get a pass. 

The cookies turned out well, though.  New recipe, called Butter Bars, though with the melted colored sugar on the top I felt they should be called Brulee Butter Bars.  I wanted to bring in cookies, but didn't want to shape the dough, put the cookie sheet in the oven, shape the next batch, trade out the cookie--snnnnnnnnnnn.

What?  Oh, sorry.  Even I fell asleep on that one.

Soup Day has returned.  Let the rejoicing begin.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Cure For Gravity

<p>I'm so tired of gravity!  If only there was something, <i>something</i> in this world to correct my posture and lift my sagging bustline! Something that would help me sit up straight at my desk while being super stretchy and comfortable, with just a soupçon of lace, to make me feel pretty.  Oh, oh, and can it self-adjust for periodic changes, too?

Ah.  An answer to a maiden's prayer.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Computer Woes

My computers hate me.  Don't look at me like that, it's true.

See, I had plans for this weekend.  Computer related plans.  There was going to be writing on my blog (and therefore conversation with you, my lovely) and work on my horribly neglected work-in-progress and possibly, just possibly, forays into my next WIP.  I told Barnabas all of this.

Hm?  Oh, Barnabas Pimm.  My netbook.  Yes, I named my netbook.  No, it isn't weird.  No, it isn't.  Listen, do you want to hear this or not?

Thank you.

So I told Barnabas this, and reassured him that he would remain plugged in for all of it, as his battery is dying.  Or giving up the goat, as Roommate's mom would say.  And everything was fine until the power cable was bumped by a passing beagle.  Then suddenly, Barnabas was no more. 

Was it death by battery implosion?  Power cable failure?  Both?  A hideous plot by invading alien life forms? All three?  I do not know, and none of my geek friends have called me back.  I had to stride forward and find other solutions.

And stride I did.  I set up the desktop computer that had been languishing in Roommate's room for over a year.  Despite the acres of dust and miles of cords, I put it all together and booted it up, only to discover that the computer's ability to recognize the cable modem had disappeared.

Now I have no Barnabas, nor do I have access via internet to retrieve work stored on Barnabas and other places.  You know.  There.  The cloud.  Whatever. 

All I have left is my phone.  And wow, did I just say that and doom this poor phone??

I'm going to bed.  Wake me when technology is easier.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Goat? What goat?

Yard sales.  You either love them or hate them, right?

I love and hate them.

No, really, I do.  I love going to yard sales, garage sales, rummage sales, flea markets.  I love digging around in piles of stuff, searching for treasure.  I love finding that unbelievable deal, because someone is sick of his or her own clutter.  I love looking at what one of aunts calls "used crap." 

Seriously, she does.  She also calls antiques used crap.  Several years ago, she, my uncle and my cousin took me to a nearby town known for its antique stores and let me run wild for the day.  My aunt was ever so helpful, too.  She'd point at a store and say, "Oh, there's some more used crap we haven't looked at, over there!" A pip, she is.  An absolute pip.

Anyway.  While I love going to yard sales, I am pretty much sick and freaking tired of putting on yard sales.  Okay, yes, Roommate does do most of the work, but I get dragooned into a boatload of work I did not want to do in the first place.  Which begs the question; has Roommate forgotten what an essentially lazy creature I am?  I am beginning to fear this is the case.

Roommate's heart is in the right place, though, bless her.  The yard sale proceeds go to support breast cancer research and treatment for people who cannot afford care.  Any leftover items at the end of the yard sale is donated to Goodwill or the Salvation Army or Value Village.  And when she heard about shortages in Seattle Food Banks, she added a canned food drive to this sale; anyone who brought a canned food item to the sale to donate would get a free baked good.

Guess who baked the goods?

Roommate was quick to point out that "we" baked the shortbread, the chocolate chip cookies and the four loaves of banana bread the night before, because she HELPED with the baking.  Which is true.  She did help.  She pulled a cookie sheet out of the oven and slid another sheet I'd loaded with unbaked cookies into the oven.  Really, it was tremendous.  Based on this criteria, Roommate's mom chimed in that she, too, helped with the baking, since she pulled out two of the loaves of banana bread.  Now that I think of it, I have no idea why I was even in the kitchen. 

Despite my utter exhaustion afterward, the sale was a success.  Roommate and her mom worked very hard to make it so and I walked around, trying to talk people into buying more used crap than they ever wanted.  And after it was all said and done, the rest of the used crap was donated and is no longer in my basement.  It just doesn't get much better than that.

No, wait.  It does.  The best moment of the whole weekend happened when Roommate's mother made reference to an object that finally broke after a long period of ownership and use.  "It finally gave up the goat," she reported to Roommate.

I stopped unpacking a bin of glassware onto the folding table to turn and stare at her.  "What did it give up?" I asked.

"It gave up the goat," Roommate's mom repeated.  "Haven't you ever heard that saying?  That means it died."

The ten minutes it took me to stop laughing and explain the origin of something giving up the ghost was the absolute best moment of the whole three days.  It almost made the work worth it.


Sigh.  It's done.  I'm done in.  I'd better get to bed now, as I feel like I'm about to give up the goat.


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Bailey's Super Power

Dearest, I know I've told you that I live in a three-dog household. And I adore them all, really, I do. My wee beastie, Tuppence Marie, is a little demon spawn, but she's my baby. Maddie Mae, the thirteen year old Pillow That Eats, has wormed her way into my heart. Now if she would only scoot over in my bed.

And then there's Bailey. Beagle Bailey.

He's Roommate's dog, primarily. Oh, sure, when I'm on the couch and he wants under my blanket, he completely forgets who his mama is, but he loves Roommate. And she loves him. And I love Mr. B, too, despite his propensity for stealing and eating used Kleenex and dirty underwear.

But last night, neither Roommate nor I were feeling love for the beagle.

Bailey spent the majority of the evening driving Roommate nutso. While I was safely occupied by my hideous job, Bailey was acting like someone had slipped speed into his kibble. Itching, scratching, itching, scratching, racing around the house, bow-WOOOOing at the top of his lungs. Not his usual snuggly, couch-potato self.

Naturally, Bailey needed a bath to ease whatever irritation he'd found for his pink and bumpy skin. And if the boy gets a bath, the girls get baths. NO ONE was happy about this.

Btw, when dogs get baths, one person does the job in my house. Here's a hint.  It's not Roommate.

So the dogs were bathed and it was late and Roommate and I retired to our respective chambers for an abbreviated night's sleep. Until quarter to one. That's when Roommate opened the door to my room and asked me to help her.

Bailey had been unwell. In Roommate's bed.

I will not inflict the details on you, dear one. I like you too much. I can tell you this, however; it was better than last week. Last week, when Bailey was sick in Roommate's bed, then under Roommate's bed, then in MY bed, then under my bed. Yes, he was The Incredible Barfing Beagle.

So Roommate and I didn't get a lot of sleep and even when we did go to bed--AGAIN--Bailey was still squirrelly. Which, for a beagle, is very conflicting.

We're both exhausted. And jealous of the fact that the dogs all got plenty of sleep when we went back to work. And we have a boatload of laundry. And everything needs to be steam cleaned.


Rotten little beast.

Anybody want a beagle? He's going cheap.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Doing The Math

I had planned this for a while,  dearest.  I said to myself, "Self, what we really need at the clusterama that is my workplace is a COOKIE JAR.  Preferably filled with cookies."  Fortunately, the other personality that was present that day agreed.  We approached Roommate with the idea.
Roommate, being who she is, was on the job immediately.  While she doesn't sprint to the kitchen the second baking projects are discussed, she is an ardent and committed shopper.  It was she, unsurprisingly, who spotted the cookie jar at a local thrift store.  She spotted it, I bought it and then, the sprint to the kitchen occurred.

(N.B.  I do not sprint.  Or run.  Or jog.  I have a car for these things.  And while I believe you might have recognized hyperbole in word choice for dramatic effect, I felt it was only right to confirm your possible suspicions.)
So I baked coconut cookies and I brought cookies and aforementioned jar to work.  Then I posted the sign. 
Then the questions started.  While I had prepared for one question, and pre-answered it ("Oooo!  May I have some cookies?") I was blindsided by the question I received.
"Did you make the cookies, Lisa Marie?"
Okay, okay.  Other people can bake.  Other people do bake.  Other people can and do bring things they've baked to work.  Other people are less likely to bring in a cookie jar for the cookies, but it's still possible.
But then there's the sign. 
Oh, sure, other people can do a smart-ass sign.  Coworker Vicki the Wonder Xray Tech does so quite frequently.   But the combination of baked goods, jar AND smart-ass sign pretty much points the thinking being to me.
Cookies + Cookie Jar + smart-ass sign = Lisa Marie.
See?  It's just simple math.

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Return of VNP

Very Nice Person came to town this week; his cousin got married and he attended said cousin's wedding.  Although we're no longer dating, we're still friendly, and we had the chance to hang out a bit, grab a few meals together and catch up.

This was from breakfast this morning, at the Maltby Cafe.

After breakfast, we stopped at Flower World, so I could covet nearly everything I saw.  VNP was really quite patient.  Which was understandable, given that he was working toward renewing certain aspects of our former relationship.

Dearest, I'm not saying that to be unkind, nor am I angry with VNP for this, as he was respectful and caring an interested in my while doing so.  But I have to say, I find it a bit startling.  After all, VNP is still the same person.  I am still the same person.  The dating thing didn't work before.  So why the rekindling effort?

And now my brain won't work because of massive frustration.  Mind-body connection?  Yeah.  Gosh, it's fun!

Sigh.  If someone can explain the Y chromosome type, please, please do so.  Immediately.  I think my brain is actually starting to bleed.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Change of Season

Okay, okay. I fell off the face of the planet again. I could apologize, but I've done that before. Instead, I think we should just move on.
Yes. I do. Stop glaring.
I've let too much fall to the wayside in the last several months, blogging being the least of it. But enough is enough. If I want my wish list fulfilled, I'm going to have to act on it.
1) I need to get back in the habit of Weight Watchers.
I've completely fallen off the wagon there. Yeah, I know the keys to success. But unless I actually pick them up and fit them into the locks, keys don't do me any good.
2) I have to return to the gym.
GAH. I cannot believe I typed that. The gym is a place of evil, and not the fun kind. Not the seven different types of chocolate in one dessert kind. Not the fleshy misbehavior with the really hot guy kind. Not the kind that, yeah, will send you to hell, but the trip is going to be awesome. It's just the sweaty, stinky, nasty kind of evil. And it's evil that must be done.
I just have to figure out a way to do it without needing to return to counseling afterward.
3) I must write every, single day.
It's not rocket science. I just have to do it. Whether it's a blog or one page of craptastic prose that kind fits in my sadly neglected work in progress, it has to be done.
Btw, how do rocket scientists describe things that are really, really complicated? Any clue?
It's a whole lot of change, my dear invisible friend. A whole lot.
I'm not sure I have a large enough jar.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Newfoundland Pictures!

We'll chat about this soon, but oh!  How gorgeous this place was!!!!  Perfect weather, awesome surroundings, fantastic people.  I almost stayed.  I would have stayed, but my hideous job requires that I "show up for work" in order to get paid.  Pfft!  Unreasonable much?

Here are a few of the pictures taken by my not-so-super camera phone.

Must.  Go.  Back.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

On My Way!

Dearest, I've been naughty yet again, I know I have.  It's been another chunk of time apart.  Can you forgive me?  Will you forgive me?

I'm writing this as I sit in an airport, praying to an Omnipotent Comedian that the free wi-fi emblazoned on the signage dotting the long hallways will actually allow me to use the internet on my phone without having to sell an internal organ to pay the roaming charges.

That's right.  ROAMING charges.   I'm in Canada. 

Okay, I'm  barely in Canada.   I'm just over the border in Vancouver.  But I'm waiting for a flight that will take me to St. Johns, Newfoundland.

Well, I should be accurate.  If nothing else, let me be accurate, right?  I'm actually waiting for a flight that will take me to Edmonton, which will lead to another flight that will take me to Montreal, which will then let me board the flight to St. Johns.

I know.  I know!  But it was the only flight that got me to St Johns at a decent hour.  So what if that decent hour is sometime tomorrow?   So what if I'm beyond exhausted?  I'll nap a bit and be ready to enjoy a summer evening in Newfoundland!

I just have to get there first.  On a teensy, tiny little plane.

...No problem!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Live with it.

So Roommate decided it was time for me to get a haircut.  Normally, I am profoundly indifferent to hair, but at this point, my hair had gotten a little out of control.  After all, a woman of a certain age isn't always done a favor by longer hair.  The problem was, I hadn't decided on a hairstyle.

Again, normally, this isn't a problem.  The best haircut I ever got was picked out for me by my former coworker Paula and her stylist.  Paula had had a rough day that week and I told her she could pick out any hairstyle she wanted for me.  It sounds selfless and giving of me, doesn't it?

Yeah.  It isn't.  That's seriously how little I usually care about my hair, per se.  I want to look decent over all, but hair...meh.  It grows.  You get a bad cut and you hate it, it grows out.  You get a good cut and you love it, it grows out.
Anyway.  Roommate and her coworker Kelly [who does a very nice job cutting hair] flipped through some hair magazines and the snipfest began.  By the time Kelly was done, there was enough hair on the floor to make a whole new Lisa Marie.

And I had a hairstyle that makes Carol Brady

 look sexier than Salma Hayek.

Yup.  It's that...unsexy.  Seriously.  It is the hair equivalent of the mom jean.  It's not the length.  It's not the fact that my hair has a freaking mind of it's own.  It's that this cut, that looked adorable on the model in the magazine, makes me look like like Carol Brady's less appealing sister.

I'm never getting lucky again.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Ad nonsense

At what point, dearest, does one say to oneself, "I am just too freaking lazy?"

Oh, yes...when one is worn to a nub holding a book.

And look at that picture!  She's not even reading a book!  It's a couple of sheets of paper!  If she were reading the Oxford English Dictionary, maybe I could see it.  But come on!!!!

And she's got decent arms.  It's not like she's suffering some debilitating disease, fer chrissakes.

Look, I know I'm lazy.  I know I spend a fair amount of time figuring out ways of doing as little as humanly possible.  I know part of my hatred and loathing of the gym and all things exercise are related to my laziness.  But, again, come on!!!  Even I'm not this bad.

Ooo!  I just found a boundary.  How...unsettling, really.

I'd best go lie down until it goes away. 

Friday, June 22, 2012

The new addition!!!!

See, this is why I don't usually go antique shopping.

It's not that I needed another teapot.  I of them.  And while this wasn't an expensive teapot, I certainly didn't need to spend money on it.

But look at it! It's pretty and swirly and it has a comfortable handle! It's got the cool hook-y bit that keeps the lid on the pot while pouring. And it's a happy color. It goes with my growing collection of
of Paragon china, the commemorative pattern designed to honor the birth of Queen Elizabeth's younger sister.  Princess Margaret Rose.  It's so pretty, too.  It's got parakeets and rosebuds and the rosebuds are raised--

Never mind.  Here.  Look:

The soft yellow with the bolder yellow of the teapot?  And the center of the daisies?  How adorable is this?

It blends.  It looks nice with my pale green Depression glass.  Can't you just imagine coming to tea at my house and having your scone and tea sannies on this plate, your tea poured out of the sunny yellow pot?  Doesn't it just make you feel pretty?

Oh, don't be silly.  You are pretty.  Almost as pretty as my new teapot.

You know what?  I changed my mind.  I did actually need it.

Monday, June 18, 2012

"It's a simple question."

A few weeks ago, I saw my primary care physician. No, nobody likes it. I expected not to enjoy myself, and I wasn't disappointed in that expectation.  But that really isn't my point.

Yes, I do so have one.  Here it is--and you couldn't have waiting another two seconds?

Anyway.  During the Q&A session with the medical assistant, I was asked:

"Are you sexually active?"

Dearest, I was completely stymied.

After a few moments of opening and closing my mouth like a codfish, interspersed with furrowed brow and contemplation of the ceiling, as if it might hold the answer to this perplexing query, the medical assistant said rather sharply, "It's a simple question." 

I would have to disagree.  I would also submit the idea that this MA was, in fact, not single.

How long does one have to be celibate before one is no longer considered sexually active?  Where's the cut off, so to speak?  What's the practical and specific definition of "sexually active?"

It can't indicate awareness or thought about sex, can it?  Obviously, given the terminology, one must be actively involved with the process.  Of course, active involvement might preclude a fair number of married people whose response to sex is along the lines of, "...Fine.  Go ahead.  Whatever."

Ah, romance.  Some marrieds sure know how to live.

It also can't be willingness.  I'm willing to look exactly like Kathy Ireland, but that doesn't make me a supermodel, does it?

And it certainly cannot be about availability.  After all, the Mr-Right-Now dating site provides nearly endless opportunities for random and/or illicit sexual activity.  The twenty-somethings who are looking for a good time alone allow for numerous penises on call.

Yes, they actually put that on their profiles.  "Looking for a good time."  The penis on call designation is mine.  But really, wouldn't that be a useful box to check?  So to speak?

Oh, but let's not leave out my other source of readily  available potential partners, the STD patients!  My, what a fun group they are!!  If there's anything that makes me just feel pretty, it's the overly flirtatious STD patient.  I can't count the number of times I've said, "Here's your cup for gonorrhea and chlamydia testing, and yes, I am single, thanks for asking!"

I'm single.  But am I sexually active?

It's not really that simple a question.  And I have absolutely no idea.

Monday, June 11, 2012

And Cup Goes To...

The Los Angeles Kings. Yeah, I know. It's because I didn't bake yesterday. I blame myself.

Wait a minute. No, I don't! I blame whomever sold his soul to make this happen! [coughDarrylSuttercough]

But it's okay. The Kings won. Good for them. I wish them all the joy and satisfaction in the world. There can be no feeling like this, I imagine, and it should be cherished.


And now begins three long and painful months...without hockey.

Sniff. No, no. I'll be okay.


Saturday, June 9, 2012

Comment Theory Update

I baked chocolate cupcakes and shortbread...

...the New Jersey Devils won game five against the Los Angeles Kings.


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Difference

Dearest one, have you ever wondered what fine line separates a normal person from a complete freak? No? All right, then, stop reading immediately. I won't say anything further.

I'm kidding, of course. I'm always going to say something further.
I had a little experience yesterday that made me pause and recognize this line, this delicate demarcation of character. This is what happened.
Tuesday was a truly hideous day. Honestly ghastly. Seriously craptastic. And as we stood together at the end of it, X-ray babe Nina, Nurse Wendy and I, the lab rat, as we stood trembling and shell-shocked from the horrors of the Tuesday that was, Wendy offered a theory.
The day was terrible, she claimed, because of an insufficiency of sugar and treats.
Neither Nina nor I disagreed with her. After all, this is health care. Snacks make everything better. Not saying the cancer goes away, but chocolate is still good.
Anyway. It was suggested that goodies should be part of Wednesday in order to make it all a bit more bearable. How could I argue with such logic, dear one? How, I ask you, could anyone?
So we finished our work and we left for home and, my dear invisible friend, this is where the reality of differences in sanity were made abundantly clear.
Wendy stopped at Safeway the next morning and picked up doughnuts.
I went home after fifteen hours in the workplace and made this:

It's a rhubarb-cream cheese pie.

No, I never made the recipe before. Yes, I was tired. No, I didn't just say, "Screw it. I'll bring in that box of graham crackers and some jelly." I looked up a brand new recipe, precooked the rhubarb, baked the fruit layer, whipped up the cream cheese part, baked the cheesecake layer, cooled the pie in a draft-free area for thirty minutes then chilled the pie overnight in the fridge. Then I washed the dishes and went to bed.

See how clear all of that is? I did all of that. Wendy brought in doughnuts.

Because Wendy is a normal person. I am a freak.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Excuse me?

The Kings beat the Devils again tonight. The Kings are leading the Stanley Cup Finals three games to nothing.  3-0.




One more win and the Los Angeles Kings will win the freaking Stanley Cup. If that win happens in the next game, they will have swept the New Jersey Devils.

My world has been turned upside down. I have no words.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Gym Hatred

Darling one, you've heard me whine countless times about my hatred of all things exercise.  You know how I feel about it.  You know I have no sense of decorum when asked about it.  Surely, then, you will feel no surprise when I tell you that I am unhappy about my current exercise situation.

But you might consider acting surprised.

Pfft.  Fine.  

Since visiting the trainer, Sandy the Sadist, was waaaaaaaaaaaaay too expensive and sadly, since exercise is required for continued weight loss, Roommate and I had to find another was to get this hideous activity in.  We...sigh.  We found a gym.

[Pause for sobbing.] 

Anyway.  On Thursday evening, Roommate dragged me, kicking and screaming, to a local gym and forced me to sign up.  Okay, she didn't actually drag me.  I did walk in.  And I wasn't actually kicking or screaming, but I was irritated, sulky and snotty about it.  And while she didn't actually hold a gun to my head, there was a beating.  Okay, there wasn't a beating.  But she wanted to.  I could tell. 

What?  You want me to lie?

Back to what I was saying.  John, the gym's manager, signed us up rather gleefully for our membership which included a free training session/orientation.  Roommate chose Monday evening, while I'm working my long shift, and I had the choice of the next day [Friday] or Friday the following week.  What would be the point, I wondered, of waiting to be shown around this den of torture?  Fine, I said to John, who was grinning like the Joker.  Tomorrow.  Gah.

Great! John exclaimed cheerily.  Nine AM?

Nine AM?  Are you kidding?

See, Friday is the day I get to sleep in.  The day when Roommate goes to work without me, rather than dragging my butt in an hour and a half earlier than I need to be there just so we can freaking carpool, get better parking and preserve the damn planet despite the fact that I'm barren and have no reason to care about the damage done to the planet by extra cars on the road--

---But I digress.

Begrudgingly, I agreed to a nine AM appointment.  Then John informed me that I needed to eat a "protein" meal an hour-hour and a half before my appointment.


But I agreed.  And the next day, I did everything I was told.  I stomped into the gym about ten minutes before my appointment.  I waited until everyone in front of me was taken care of.  And then...

I was told that no one was there to meet me for my appointment.


The gym bunny behind the desk waved her arm rather dismissively at the treadmills and other implements of Satan and told me to "go ahead and warm up and Tony would be here soon."    Despite the fact that she had no idea if I knew anything about operating one of these machines, she felt comfortable not worrying about my well-being at all. 

Now, did I start screaming?  Did I snap her scrawny neck like a twig?  No.  I went over to the [curses deleted] treadmill.  And at nine-thirty, I walked back over to the desk.  And, as you may have guessed, Tony the Trainer still wasn't there.

I went home.

Tony the Trainer called later, to apologize and offer me three free training session.  As I was about to leave for another appointment, I told him I would call him back later to discuss the situation.  At this point, I have no idea why I would want training sessions, free or otherwise, with someone who may or may not show up.  I have no idea why I have a membership with a gym that has such horrible customer service.  I have no idea how I got talked into this freaking exercise crap to begin with!

Oh, wait.  The last one, I know.  It's because my ass has its own zip code.

Sigh.  Exercise.  Gyms.  Trainers.

Maybe I'll just stay fat.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Hints Like Anvils

Remember when, in yesterday's post, I told you that seeing Alan Doyle in concert was almost enough to make me want to go to Newfoundland?

I'm going to Newfoundland!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nooooooooooo, it's not because of Alan Doyle's fabu concert. It's not even because of Great Big Sea's incredible music. It's because pal Betsy and I made a choice between Dublin, London, Krakow and Newfoundland. It's because neither of us have been there. It's because, if the pictures are even half right, that place is freaking gorgeous.  Look!

Don't worry, I'll take pictures.  They'll be hideous, as I am the world's worst photographer, but I'll take them.  Since Roommate can't make this trip, I'll have to.  Dammit.

Oh!  And btw!  Milestone moment, dearest.  This is my 300th post.  I know!  Can you believe it??  Three hundred posts over two years.  And all of it about pretty much nothing.

That's gotta be some kind of record.

Boy On Bridge

Dear Invisible Friend,

You've been so patient with me.  So kind. So tolerant.  I'd like to tell you that these virtues will be rewarded by my appreciation and personal growth, by thoughtful and thought-provoking blogs, by a freaking change of subject now and then.  I'd like to tell you that, but you know how poorly I lie.

So here's what happened. 

Roommate and I got back from vacation in San Francisco [yes, we'll talk about that later] and the reminder email about Alan Doyle's solo album was there, staring at me from my inbox.  Alan Doyle, dearest, is the lead singer of Great Big Sea.  Which, of course, you knew.  Great Big Sea is my favorite band.  Which, of course, you also knew.  And Alan Doyle's solo tour started on May 22nd in Seattle.

You might not have known that.  Should I have mentioned it earlier?

Anyway.  It was only to be my second day back at work from vacation, so I hesitated to ask my coworkers to adjust their schedules to accommodate me.  Then I remembered.  I'm not really that nice.  So I asked and coworker Tonya covered part of my shift so I could attend.  I know!  Isn't she sweet?  Everyone!  Do a head tilt and awww!

Okay, that's enough.

This meant Roommate and I could race home from work, let out the dogs, change clothes and make it to the Tractor Tavern for Alan's concert.  No, no,  It's not nearly as classy as it sounds.  The Tractor Tavern is truly a dive of the finest/filthiest sort, with plenty of liquor and no food on the menu.  There were all of three tables in the place and the decor was...I'll use the word "inspired."  On the other hand, the employees had no problem with food being carried in from other establishments.

I carried in food.  A classic cheeseburger for Roommate, the Afterschool Special for me.  That's a burger with peanut butter and bacon on it.  It was AWESOME.  Just saying.

Roommate had snagged one of the three tables, which we later shared with some very nice people, and we scarfed burgers before the show began.  And oh, what a show it was.  Great music, wonderful singing, tons of fun.  And there were a few differences from a GBS concert. 

So glad you asked!  About halfway through the show, Alan let the other band members take a break while he played requests sent to him via Twitter.  Now, I'm not on Twitter, but it does seem amusing.  Dangerous, in the way of Facebook danger, but entertaining.  As Alan held up his phone, he shared that this being the first concert in his solo tour, there were still a few bugs in the system to be resolved.  The Twitter request thing was one of those bugs.

Evidently, Twitter names can be a bit creative.  I can only imagine Alan's consternation when he had to call out the request made by "@OilyBastard." 

Live and learn.

It was a great show.  It's a great CD. 

It's almost enough to make me want to go to Newfoundland.


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Hockey Happenings

Despite the fact that much of this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs have been ruined for me, it with no small amount of excitement that I await tomorrow night.

Opening night, Stanley Cup Finals.  The New Jersey Devils versus…

…wait for it…

The Los Angeles Kings.

I know.  I know!!!  The Kings???!!!  The EIGHTH-SEEDED Kings????!!!!!  They barely made it into the playoffs!  Heck, they barely made it through the season.  And not to say that I don’t like and/or admire some of the players, not to say that Jonathan Quick isn’t fulfilling his potential and living up to his name, not to say that Dustin Penner doesn’t make me feel like a dirty old woman.  The Kings are a perfectly fine team.  But between you and me?

I think Darryl Sutter sold his soul to Satan to pull this off.  Yeah. 

Oh!  And they’re playing the Devils!  HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Now, come on.  It was a little funny.
Fine.  Don’t be amused by me.  Just pass the popcorn and watch the game.

[It was a little funny.]

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

Darling one, please forgive me.  I know, I know. Six freakin' weeks.  I shall explain all.

First, let me tell you about my friend Karen.  Things have been rough on Karen for a few years.  Well, forever, really.  Her father killed himself when she was a child and she, herself, suffered from bipolar disorder.  She was fired from a job in the same place I work [different department; she actually was treated with respect and was paid very well] and had had trouble getting back on the horse, so to speak.  Roommate and I, after helping her move out of the second apartment from which she was evicted over a year ago, were prepared to house her and her young daughter for a short period of time, until she found another place.  Then Karen did what she normally did.  She created drama, poured gasoline over the bridge and tossed a match.

Needless to say, she didn't move in with us.

When things didn't work out with living/burning the bridge with her sister, brother-in-law, mother and nephew after that, she came to us again, asking to live in our house.  She did what she usually did, she played the kid card.  I love Karen's daughter, but I recognized the foolishness of allowing them into our home and therefore, I was willing to be the Bad Guy.  This was made easier by the fact that Roommate's mother needed to rent out a room in her condo and Karen and daughter definitely had a place to go.  But I did say no.

[NB:  This was not easy for me.  My cousin Dana calls it the Hungarian speech impediment, the inability to say no.  She's not wrong.]

So Karen and daughter moved in with Roommate's mom.  And eventually, Roommate's mom moved in with her then Significant Other, now husband.  And drama continued to abound.

Karen wasn't working full time at her temp jobs and money was always an issue.  Roommate and I told her at one point if she would just cover the rent, we'd help with everything else we could.  We started coupon shopping with Karen/daughter in mind and Karen would grocery shop in our basement.  We'd call or text on our way to the store, to see if they needed milk or bread.  Or anything.  About two months ago, I paid to have Karen's truck repaired and was gearing up for tabs and registration.  I'd given her thousands of dollars for bankruptcy legal fees. 

Now, that part sounds like I'm complaining.  I'm not.   I told her then and I'll tell you now, if I can share money, I will.  It's money; I can always make more.  If I need it back, I can't and don't share it.  If it comes back, terrific.  Otherwise...whatever.

After months of spiraling and dark days aplenty, things started to look up.  April 18th, Karen sent me a text message to let me know that she had been offered a full-time position in her field.  It would still be rough for the next few months, but she had plans to sit down with us and her sister, to work on a budget, to handle the beast of financial responsibility.  I expressed joy with her and felt hope.  The next day, Karen sent Roommate and me another text each, thanking us for being there for her. 

It was sweet.  It was also typical Karen; like Tennyson's little girl, when she was good, she was very, very good.

A couple hours later, I was talking to my landlord about something or the other and I heard a beep on my phone.  I glanced at the display and saw Karen's daughter's name, but it disappeared.  Pocket dial, I thought.  Not unusual, it happens.  So I continued my conversation with my landlord, who is one of the few people  who can out talk me---I know!----and heard the beep again.  Hmm, I thought.  That's weird.  But no message was left and I was at work, so I finally ended my call with my landlord and did my job for a few minutes.  When I peeked at my phone again, there was another missed call and a message, this time from Karen's mother, who was racing through traffic, driven by Karen's sister, from their town, an hour and a half away.

Oh, shit.

Evidently, Karen's daughter had come home from school, expecting not to see her mother until that evening.  She had an afternoon shift and as a 13-year-old, KD is old enough to be home alone for a few hours.  Instead, she spotted Karen's truck in the parking space and went immediately into her mother's bedroom to check on her.  What she saw was what appeared to be seizure-like activity in her mom; arms and legs jerking, spittle running from her mouth.  KD called 911, gave information as calmly as anyone could, then called me and her grandmother. 

When I finally got the message, ten [endless] minutes later, I called Roommate and told her the situation and within a very short amount of time, we were racing to the condo.  I found out later that when the paramedics came in to work on and transport Karen, KD was trapped in the room by all of the equipment and had to see all of it.  All of it.
Roommate and I arrived, had a few questions answered by the paramedics who stayed behind with KD until we could get there, thanked them, albeit not nearly enough, for their kindness and hustled KD off to the hospital. 

At this point, all I could think was medication-related seizure.  Although Karen had attempted to take her life in the past, there was no reason to do so now.  She had a job in a place she loved!  She had reconnected with a man she really cared about!  She was trying to get into therapy for people without insurance until her insurance kicked in!

But Karen had overdosed on her bipolar medication.

She was placed on a ventilator for 72 hours and the plan was, reassessment after that..  Roommate and I went back and forth between our house, the condo and the hospital for the weekend.  We stood next to the bed and prayed that Karen's mom would realized that there was nothing left of Karen, that the "seizures" that first day were really just evidence of her brain dying.  That the only things keeping her alive were the machines.  That Karen was gone.  And then, in the waiting room, Karen's mom asked us if we thought Karen would come out of her coma.

And we told her.

On Sunday night, we went home after a day in the hospital.  I'd spent a fair part of the weekend contacting her coworkers and telling them what had happened, keeping them up on developments.  I also managed to track down Karen's boyfriend.  [Btw, dearest, if you ever have the chance to tell a guy you've never met that the woman with whom he spent last weekend had overdosed and it wasn't looking good, JUST SAY NO.]  We'd gone home and sat numbly in front of the television as my Canucks lost their chance at winning the Stanley Cup to the eighth-seeded Los Angeles Kings.  Two hours later, Karen's sister called. 

After leaving the hospital for the night and driving an hour and a half home, they were on their way back, as Karen's body had taken a turn for the worse.  We met at the hospital and Karen's mother talked to Karen's sister, to Roommate and to me.  She wanted to be sure that we were all on the same page, as Karen's family and the family we'd become for Karen.  We agreed with her thinking, with her decision.  And then Karen's mom told the hospital staff to take Karen off the machines.

It was very quick.  I stood in the ICU room at the very end, after the other family left.  I don't know why, but I stayed until the last bit of life eased away from what was left of my friend.

In the weeks that followed, we helped empty the condo, sold Karen's belongings and raised money for the family.  A memorial was scheduled in the central part of the state, specially organized so Roommate and I could attend after our trip to San Francisco, but after driving three hours to be there, we found out that Karen's mom had given us the wrong date. Unfortunately, we had obligations and were unable to return the following day.  We didn't get to attend the service.

To add insult to serious injury, KD's father is now insisting that KD should live with him.  Despite the fact that he hadn't been part of her life for the past year or so, due to conflict with Karen, despite the fact that he signed away visitation, despite the fact that his current wife dislikes KD and doesn't treat her kindly.

I don't know how any of this will turn out.  I don't know if KD, who has been remarkably resilient through this entire nightmare, will...gah.  Will what? What do I expect?  That she'll be okay?  Happy?  Emotionally intact?

Why don't I ask for the moon?

I don't know why Karen made the choice to kill herself.  I don't know why she did it in a way that forced her daughter to find her.  I don't know why she only wrote a note to KD telling her that she loved her.  I will never know.

I do know that on the day we remember the dead, I remember Karen.  And despite my anger and sadness and frustration, I hope she's at peace.  I hope her fight is fought.  I hope we know some of that peace here, we, the people she left behind.

Monday, April 16, 2012

More Condolence

My dear friend Courtney, parent of Jasper and Kita, has lost her own mother. Please join me in keeping Courtney and her family in your thoughts.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


I can no longer access my blog from work.


Oh, sure, I can see how this blog, and blogs like it, could be viewed as "harmful" to the security of this place. Uh huh. I just hope they restrict butterflies from the immediate area, too.

Oh, wait! They already have.

I need out of here. Maybe today is the day I'll get fired.

And my Canucks lost Game One of the first playoffs series.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Okay, I've held back on this topic. Mostly because I don't want to send you into a coma, dearest, but also because I know teasing will commence. Let's go over this one more time before we commence.

  1. I am not a Canadian.

  2. Despite the fact that Canada is a lovely, lovely country, I am not moving to Canada.

  3. One does not have to be Canadian to appreciate the game of hockey.

All clear? Excellent. Let's move on. Ahem.

STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS START TONIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, I am excited. Thank you for asking. I looked at the schedule for the first round of the playoffs, though, and turned to Roommate. "I'm very, very sorry," I told her with utmost sincerity.

She nodded with grave resignation. "I can still watch tv on Mondays and Tuesdays," she replied wistfully. This is true, btw. I work long days at my hideous job on Mondays and Tuesdays and Roommate has the house all to herself until I drag myself in at nine-thirty or ten.

But tonight! Tonight!!! The Philadelphia Flyers will play the Pittsburgh Penguins. Yeah. It won't be pretty. Hopefully they'll be able to get the blood cleaned off the ice in time for Game Two.

Then! The Detroit Red Wings will play the Nashville Predators. This should be a very interesting series. I'm not sure whom I support in this one. Nashville is a good team, but Detroit...come on. They have to live in Detroit, fer chrissakes. Shouldn't they get to win for that alone?

And finally, the Vancouver Canucks will face the Los Angeles Kings. Oh, my darling Canucks. My nearest thing to a hometown team. Please win. Please win it all.

All of these games will be televised and televised on channels I actually have. I could go home early and watch them ALL. Given this information, do you really think I'm going to make it to the Weight Watchers meeting tonight?

I didn't think so, either.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

NYC? Or...

Spicy Cuban Mo suggested that friend Betsy and I visit New York City for our July travel plans. Very tempting. Okay, perhaps not so tempting to Betsy, as she can pop up to NYC anytime---she lives outside of Philadelphia. But it would be lovely to see my spicy Cuban friend again.

It's been a very long time. I have missed her so. And her insanely cute shih tzu Lulu. Oh, and her hubby. Love him! He's not as cute as the shih tzu, but come on. Who/what is?

Then again, Chicago might be a reasonable midway point for us.

"I think that's how Chicago got started. Bunch of people in New York said, 'Gee, I'm enjoying the crime and the poverty, but it just isn't cold enough. Let's go west.'"
--Richard Jeni

Chicago. I'd love to go to Chicago again. There's so much to do there, so much to see. And it's easy walking because of its flatness.

Chicago is, however, in the Midwest. And humidity in the Midwest in July is its own level of hell. Not that I don't enjoy sweating like a whore in church--oh, wait. I don't actually enjoy it. Gah.

How expensive could Italy be, really?

Monday, April 9, 2012


Roommate is in charge of many things in my house. She is. I don't even bother thinking about it anymore. One of those things is vitamins.

There are two vitamin organizing thingies in the kitchen; one is for me, one is for Roommate. Roommate has been known to bring out my mound of supplements to me if I haven't taken them by evening time, often in a teensy little cup. Just like in the picture. She hands me the cup and I, without a word exchanged between us, pop them into my mouth and wash them down with whatever she's brought me to drink.


It reminds me a bit of the time Debbie, my wee beastie's water therapist, stepped in front of me after said therapy and said to me, "Open." I opened my mouth and she tossed in what turned out to be a ginger-mint pastille. Quite good, actually.

Debbie stopped and studied me for a moment and said, "Wow, you're trusting."

Maybe I am. Or maybe I've spent too much time with dogs and will pretty much each anything. But the fact remains that I have no idea what Roommate is putting in my vitamin organizer. I have no idea what she puts in my tea. I could be taking belladonna, hemlock and arsenic.

During a recent conversation with one of the walk-in clinic doctors, we were chuckling over our willingness to scarf down pretty much all food products, particularly when offered freely. After all, anyone could bring in anything in cake form and leave it on the counter, and I would pretty much eat it.

I have no idea what was in my little cup of pills this morning. I suppose I should care.

I don't.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Input, please.

My dear friend Betsy has informed me [and few other friends of hers] that she's unloading the hubster and spawn for a week and is ready to do a bit of traveling. I'm ridiculously excited about this. I'm not entirely sure how I'm going to pay for it, but by golly, I'm going on a trip this July.

I just have no idea where.

Betsy, delightful creature that she is, is fairly open to many different locales. We only have a week, mind you, and we're trying to be somewhat realistic in our spending. Yes, it does go against the grain for me! Thank you for knowing this about me. And here I thought you hadn't really been paying attention.



Machu Picchu is probably out of the question, but it would be seriously cool. Incan ruins? Are you kidding me??? Peru, though. Not cheap.

And I would love--LOVE--to go back to Ireland. Betsy's open to it, and it is a little bit less expensive than London. But...a touch pricey still.
Amsterdam...ah, how tempting! It is a hub city, so we might be able to get a cheaper flight, but following the trail of Betty Neels' heroines [not heroin!!!] might put us in the red.

Noooo. Not the district, silly.

Prague! The Paris of eastern Europe! It would be cool, seriously cool. Would we find people who spoke English? I don't know that I am capable of learning Czech.
If we wanted to stay on this continent, we do have a lot of options. Miami. Savannah. New Orleans.

Of course, given my own insulation and the heat/humidity of the American south, this may actually kill me. Maybe up north a bit. Montreal?
Ooo! Prince Edward Island!! Who's read Anne of Green Gables? I loved that series!
But if I'm headed to a Canadian island, shouldn't it be my dream vacation of Newfoundland? I'm not saying I expect to run into Great Big Sea, but it would be incredible.

So, dearest. What do you think? Impart unto me your wisdom. Or...whatever you can manage.

Wisdom seems like a lot to ask, doesn't it?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Obsessed much?

I prefer not to think of myself [or Roommate] as coupon-obsessed. We're just organized. And it's utterly useless not to be organized if one is going to try to save money and donate foodstuffs via coupons. How do you know what you have? How do you know when they expire? How do you know the air velocity of a laden swallow?

Okay, that last one, the coupon organization doesn't answer. But the others? Tcha! Totally!

I have no idea why I'm channeling a fourteen year old girl just then. But she makes her point clear, doesn't she? I shall call her Kelsey.

Anyway. Here's the binder, some of the tabs exposed.
Nice, huh?

I think the snack section is my favorite. I don't care that most of the coupons are for nutritionally unsound and Weight Watchers overly pointed food products.
Kelsey shares my opinion. She's also been known to whine when Roommate will not allow Pop Tarts to come into the house. Pop Tarts coupons, in case you're interested, are in the cereal section of the binder.

Pasta and sauces coupons have their own section. And because they got all snobby about it, the rice and hot sauce coupons were added in to take them down a notch.

Nothing worse than a snobby coupon. Okay, one or two things are worse. But not many. It's enough to make Kelsey cry...and then she needs tissues. Fortunately, we have coupons for those. In the paper products section.

Kelsey, the annoying inner fourteen year old, doesn't always appreciate the need for lean protein [coupons found in the meats section]

...And has been known to demand pizza. Fortunately, we have frozen pizza coupons to the shut that whiny little cow up.

Sometimes, I just want to say to Kelsey, "Christ in a sidecar, kid, would you like some cheese with that whine?"

Yeah. In the dairy section.

Kelsey better start shaping up, or I'm grounding her and making her clean the entire house. Cleaning supplies...yup. Got coupons for those, too.

And she'll get a nice healthy bowl of canned soup for lunch. I won't even feel bad about it.
But inner fourteen year olds need cosseting, too. Not often. Otherwise they try and run the show, and then there you are, covered in glitter eyeshadow and drinking way too much soda pop.
Maybe I'll bake her some cookies. Or a pie.
Which may result in Kelsey's developing a weight problem. Or maybe it's just hormones. After all, she is at the age...

Oh lord. That stuff is in a whole different binder.

I really need to channel someone else.