Saturday, March 31, 2007

SHOPPERS OF THE WORLD UNITE

An open letter to the produce managers of America:

I am not completely sure who you are trying to kid here, folks, but you are going to have to get a bit more creative than your current tricks. Did it not occur to you that I wouldn't look ALL the way AROUND the apple? Putting the bruised side down isn't going to trick me into buying that pathetic little excuse for an apple (or in this particular case, a whole bin full of pathetic excuses for apples). If you are going to charge me $1.49 per lb., you better believe I'm going to inspect the crap out of the thing!

Come on, now. I wasn't born yesterday (as my sister so kindly reminds me every chance she gets)!

Friday, March 30, 2007

180

Why is that number significant?

Well, that would be the number of stomach crunches I did today at the gym!

Count 'em! 180!

I figure that at least buys me a two-pack very soon ...

Right?

Thursday, March 29, 2007

SPRING HAS SPRUNG




THINGS THAT GO BOOM AT THE GYM

I worked hard at the gym today. Harder than I've worked yet.

I put my all into it.

I stretched my body to a new level.

I sat down on the machine that works your pectoral muscles. I set it at 20 lbs. I wanted to try to get 4 reps of 10 each in today. I was going to show the cops who was really boss!

And I was doing it to ... making those muscles pulse ... I was feeling the strength in my arms ... I was feeling the burn ... I was feeling like "I AM WOMAN; HEAR ME ROAR!" ... and then ...

BOOM!

The seat dropped down two notches on the machine!

Apparently, I didn't know my own strength. Nor did anyone else at the gym that happened to whip around to see what all the commotion was.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

SPRING CLEANING -- IT'S DONE!

The fruits of my spring-cleaning labor. Isn't it impressive? We shall see how long it lasts ...













Tuesday, March 27, 2007

UPDATE ON THE WRITING

Okay, I'm dealing with a case of writer's block with a bit of ADHD mixed in for good measure! Oh joy! I promise, Carrie, to have something to you by tomorrow! I promise!!!

Ladies and gentlemane, keep bugging me!!! I soooo appreciate the nagging, seriously! I need inspiration to finish this bad boy!

Hugs to my blogosphere!

WHY DO I BOTHER?

I'm in heat. That's what Christy says.

I'm ready to date. I've spent a long time trying to get my act together ... my career on track ... my life in order. It's in order already! Now, it's time to look for Mr. Right. Or Mr. Right Now ... Or Mr. Forever ... whomever comes first.

Okay, I'll give this one to Christy. Perhaps I am in heat. Spring has sprung in Frankfort. Perhaps my biological clock is ticking madly!

I had to return a book to the library -- of course, it was overdue. But that's a blog for another time. I pulled into the parking lot and, in doing so, witnessed a gentleman walking to his truck. An older, slightly rugged-looking gentleman. I use the word gentleman to describe him, because I had no idea what I was about to see him do. Had I known what he was getting ready to do, I might have chosen something more appropriate ... say PIG or LOSER or DISGUSTING EXCUSE FOR MALE FLESH.

You see, ladies, he proceeded to pull off his white t-shirt (he was well-sculpted for an older man) and BLOW HIS NOSE INTO IT!!!!

OH MY GOOD GLORY ... FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS GOOD AND DECENT IN THIS WORLD!!?!??!?!??!?! Dude! There's this new invention. It's called a Kleenex. Try it some time!

That scene left me wondering this: "why bother looking for Mr. Right, if he's just going to snoot snot in his shirt!?"


In other news, I've been going to the gym for three and a half weeks now (it would have been more like 5 weeks if it weren't for all the crud I've had lately). I was hoping that I would see some sort of difference in those three weeks, but no! Not ONE measly difference ... AAARRRRRGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!! It's sooooooo frustrating. I'm working my butt off! You'd think I would see something ... anything ... the slightest bit of change in the flabby flesh.

Nothing ...

Nada ...

Zip ...

Zero ...

None ...

I did, however, get to watch seven boys in blue, literally, drool over a teeny, tiny little woman that came prancing in wearing nothing but a sports bra and tiny spandex shorts. She flaunted her little six-pack abs at me, as the sweaty city cops stood there holding 50 lb. weights with their tongues hanging to the floor.

It's a good thing she left when she did. I was preparing to ask one of the neanderthal boys if I could borrow a side arm. Clearly, she needed to be put out of her misery!

Monday, March 26, 2007

WHAT THE HECK IS A 1099-MISC FORM?

If you hear of a 30-something female that has either:

A) thrown herself in front of a Jim Beam truck (there's a distillery just down the road)

OR

B) been carted off to jail because she screwed up royally,

please be forwarned that the 30-something female in question is me! I am doing my taxes for the first time in my life ... all .... by ... myself.

So far, I've managed to log three phone calls in a 5-minute span to my sister (whose response was, "you call me one more time, and I will refuse to answer it! Do these taxes on your own! You are a big girl!") and two phone calls in a 15-minute span to my father (whose response was, "When I get home, I'm planning on doing some yard work, so I will be unavailable for anymore of these tax questions for a while" but what he was really thinking was "I really hope she finds an accountant to marry!").

Friday, March 23, 2007

KENTUCKY WILDCATS AT GAME PERSERVE



These guys were being very lazy today ... much like the "Kentucky" wild cat I've got at home!




FISH AT GAME PERSERVE


Frank, do you smell something?



Well, hello there!


BLACK BEAR AT THE GAME PERSERVE

These guys were very enjoyable to watch -- they were in rare form. One of the docents at the front desk told me that this is the first winter these two have ever hibernated. They shocked the whole staff!



Once you are done playing, it seems only fitting to cool off in a pond.




Smiling for his public ...



A fairly accurate respresentation of my butt as well ...

VIEW I SEE EVERY SINGLE DAY


This is a testament to the camera, not the photographer. I, literally, pointed the camera and snapped the photo, keeping my eyes on the road the whole time!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

NEVER KNEW THAT WOULD HAPPEN

Did you know that on an electric stove, you can, literally, unplug the burner from the hole in which it rests on the stove top?

Oh yes! It can be done!

I whipped up a batch of my mother's famous sloppy joes this evening, and somehow, during the preparation of said sloppy joes, I managed to squirt ketchup all over (and under) the burner behind the one I was using. Of course, I didn't notice this mess until after it had been cooked to a fairthy-well by the neighboring burner's heat.

It was sheer providence that I happened to be washing dishes and wiping down all the counters with my hot, soapy dish rag. So, I took the burner, lifted it up, and tried desperately to reached the drying ketchup. And that's when it happened ... the whole ding-danged thing came off in my hand.

An unsavory word was uttered as I stood staring at the burner in my hand, a myriad of excuses for my property manager tripping through my brain. It was then I realized that there was some sort of plug affair on one side of the burner, and, folks, I swear, I light bulb popped up over my head.

"These things unplug?!?" I practically shrieked.

In true ADHD fashion, I forgot what I was doing, and I unplugged every single one of them, plugged them back in, and then unplugged them again, just for the fun of it. Then, since I had the hot, soapy water anyway, I tore the stove top apart and scrubbed every last inch of it!

The bright gleaming aura coming from the centralish part of the United States is, in fact, my nicely cleaned stove top!

I won't mention that this is my third electric stove I've used in the course of nine years. It would just make my mother slap her hands to her head and mumble sadly to my father, "we spent how much money for her private education?"

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

I SHOULD COME WITH A WARNING LABEL

My buddy Christy and I decided to have a little fun this evening, and so, we started out at Capital Cellars, a new wine bar in town. It's a great place, and if you're ever in the area, you really must make a point to stop by and, at the very least, browse their selection.

We ended up with a nice bottle of PINK TRUCK.
[Side Bar: This is a semi-sweet rose' from the makers of RED TRUCK. I received a bottle of RED TRUCK a year or so ago from a teacher friend. He got it for me for Christmas merely because he knew I liked wine, and I loved driving my red truck. I loved the gift!]

The guy behind the bar (I'm sure there is some fancy name for those guys behind the counter of a wine bar) poured us each a half a glass, and we settled into conversation while sipping away.

I really ought to come with a warning label, and here is the reason why:
If one has only eaten what amounts to a 1-cup measuring cup full of saltines and Popsicles in a period of five days, one should NEVER walk into a wine bar and proceed to sip (no matter the slow speed) a half a glass of wine. It WILL put you under the stool you were sitting in!

If anyone had asked me to walk a straight line to the restuarant we were heading to, I would not have been able to do it! I was good just to be standing upright as we walked the short block to Nema's Grille.

The upside to being slightly sloshed is that any residual stomach bugs that had been residing in my tum-tum have now been systematically killed off (a little wine for thy stomach's sake). This allowed me to sup on a Marinated Chicken Salad and Barsimati (spelling here???) Herb Rice. And guess what ... minus a moment or two of questionable gurgling, dinner managed to digest nicely! Yeah for the end of the ROTOR-ROOTER VIRUS, and yeah for PINK TRUCK!!!!

SALTINES, POPSICLES, ENGLISH MUFFINS, AND TEA

I fear that I will now and forevermore only subsist on saltines, Popsicles, English muffins, and Plantation Mint tea (Bigelow Teas ... gotta love them!).

The Rotor-Rooter Virus has passed. However, when I try to put anything in my stomach past the above-mentioned items, I'm reduced to the world's WORST case of acid reflux imaginable, followed by these lovely cramps that would double over Godzilla.

I guess this will help the waistline, but I worry about all the lovely veggies I purchased just prior to the Storm that is the Rotor-Rooter Virus ...

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

OH MY GOSH!!!

On my 35th birthday, I was given many treats. One of the biggest treats for me was getting a personal greeting on this blog from one of my favorite author's, Adriana Trigiani. It made my day. Oh who am I kidding!? It made my whole year!

I must admit, however, that I was more than a bit skeptical. In fact, I sent a blanket email out to great number of my friends to see who, exactly, had played this fabulous practical joke on me.

Well, I now know that this was no practical joke. I did, in fact, get a personal greeting from the one and only Adriana Trigiani!

In the height of my "OH MY GOSH IT'S ALMOST SPRING BREAK I THINK I'M GOING TO LOSE MY MIND" week last week, I received the following email from my mother:

"I got on Adriana Trigiana's website and there was an email address for her. I liked this book so much that I emailed her (or who knows ... perhaps an assistant!) and she wrote back!"

This was my mother's email to Ms. Trigiani:

" Dear Ms Trigiana,
I just finished reading the last in the Big Stone Gap series. I loved it every bit as much as the first one. I couldn't put it down! My daughter turned me on to your books. She loves them as much as I do. Somehow you read her blog
http://teachersworld.blogspot.com at her birthday time (Feb. 21st) where she wrote that her sister had given her your book for her birthday. Trust me, your comment was the highlight of her birthday!
So often we read books and do not get a chance to let the author know how much we enjoy it.
I guess my favorite part was when Jack and Ave are in Scotland. It has been my dream to visit Scotland since I was a teen! You described it so well it just makes me want to go even more now!

Thanks for your great writing and very enjoyable books.
Jan M."

Well, dag-gone it, if Adriana Trigiani didn't reply to my mom!

"Jan darling,
Thank you for this fabulous email! I love your Megan! I was so happy to write to her blog on her birthday- a friend of mine saw it and alerted me! I hope you plan a trip to Scotland soon- you would LOVE it- really, it's so gorgeous and mystical- and the people are wonderful! xoxooxxo Adriana"

Now, I ask you this: HOW FREAKIN' COOL IS THAT!?

WELCOME SPRING 2007

Daffodils are in bloom ... Forsythia are brilliantly golden ... Birds are twittering loudly ... the Bluegrass is, well, it's green ... yep, Spring is here in the land of horses and bourbon.

To celebrate the entrance of Spring, my body decided to accept the ROTOR-ROOTER VIRUS. To explain this virus, any orifice in your body that is capable of spewing ick forward ... will ... and it takes FIVE DAYS -- count 'em, FIVE -- to rid your body of the unwelcome virus. Thankfully, I didn't have the full-blown ROTOR-ROOTER VIRUS. I had a watered-down version, which if I had to have it at all, the watered-down version was a good one to have!

Today was my first time outside of my townhouse since last Friday! It was good to "blow the stink off," as my father always says. However, I've wiped myself out! Watered-down or not, this stomach bug will knock your sea legs out from under you!

Elder-Beerman is having their GOODWILL SALE. While I was still in denial about having the aforementioned virus, I cleaned out my closet (well, I'm not completely done with the organization, but it's almost there!). If Ann, my sister, were sitting here right now, I do believe she'd give me a big ole kiss ... okay, at least a gold star. See, Ann's theory is that if a piece of clothing has not seen the light of day in the past 6 months, it needs to find a new home. In the spirit of Ann, I piled 20 items into a big bag and marched into Elder-Beerman. You see, all of my bras have decided to disintegrate in unison. This could prove to be very dangerous for onlookers and slightly problematic for me when out in public. So, I thought I would use some of the 20% coupons you get for donating clothing to Goodwill toward some new bras for The Girls.

I found three! Whoopee!

Now, the first two are the same style, and they are considered minimizers. When your talking about my chest, minimizing is a good thing. The third bra is a bit of a departure for me. It fits wonderfully, and when you are bra shopping -- I don't care what size you are! -- a good fitting bra is a MUST. Bra shopping is sort of like bathing suit shopping. A lot of trauma is involved, and it usually results in much therapy! So, I decided to go ahead with the purchase of the third bra. However, the departure with this particular bra is that The Girls point directly out ... they are like missiles ... weapons of mass destruction ... which I think could be good, but which also could be possibly dangerous. We shall see. I'm keeping the receipt just in case!

This purchase was not made without a call to my mother. "Are your boobs supposed to point directly out?"

God bless my mother. She gets calls like this from my sister and I all the time. After she finished laughing, my mother's non-committal answer was, "well, I guess that all depends."

Ahhh ... Spring! I'm going back downstairs and inhale the fresh scent of Spring from the comfort of my papasan chair.

Happy Spring one and all!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

GETTING BEHINDER AND BEHINDER

I am a writer ... okay, yes, I am a teacher, by trade, but if I were asked to name my dream job, I would answer unequivocally, "I WANNA BE A FULL TIME WRITER!!"

They (whoever "they" is) would then point out that the use of wanna is really not at all appropriate in the very esteemed career of writer, and I would promptly reply, "Whatever!"

I have been working on a book for the past ... oh gosh! I can't even remember! Perhaps, it's been three years now. Or possibly four. I'm not altogether sure, but I've been working on it. Sometimes slaving over it .... laboriously ...

At other times, flows from my brain, into my finger tips, and out onto the keyboard. It's a beauty to behold on those days.

Life, however, keeps getting in the way. I find that those days I'm really itching to get at it ... when my characters are practically screaming in my head to get theirs thoughts, feelings, and actions down on paper, I have this little complication called BEING A TEACHER that always seems to get in the way.

If it's not endless reams of paper to grade, then it's an insidious, overwhelming need to sleep that seems to cloud my brain ... stopping up the muscles in my fingers. And here I sit, with a manuscript yet to be completed.

Lately, my father and mother's gentle pleadings of, "when are you going to finish just one thing?" have turned into, "We really want to see SOMETHING of yours published before we die!"

My incredibly patient friend, Carrie, has been my first read through girl! She's a trooper, because she's been reading this thing, chapter by chapter for close to a year now. I will get into a flurry of writing and send her 10 chapters, and then the poor girl goes for months with out reading anything. Then another flurry of chapters ... it's crazy! It's insane, and it's going to stop.

So, I have a plan. I need my faithful blog-lurkers' help, however.

I have three weeks of luxurious spring break, beginning tomorrow at 3:20:02 p.m. (the seconds included is the approximate time it will take my sixth graders to sprint from my room screaming, "we're free! The hellish scourge that is our language arts teacher has finally freed us from her evil grasp!'). Among many, many Spring Break home projects, tops on my list is to FINISH THIS BOOK! Come hell or high water ...

I need you, faithful blog-lurkers, to give me not so subtle prodding during these next three weeks. Drop me a line in a comment (they go automatically to my email). They could be something like, "HEY! YOU! YEAH, YOU WITH THE DUST RAG IN YOUR HAND. DROP THE PLEDGE CAN AND GO TO YOUR COMPUTER AND WRITE! NOW!"

If I get enough people nagging me, perhaps I will feel the pressure to complete my Great American Novel. You see, I work best under pressure. Drove my mother crazy when I was in school. If she were given a timeline of a very large research paper to do, she would start writing months in advance. Meanwhile, I would wait until the very last second (no use of hyperbole intended here) to write the sucker and then come up with some of the most profound and monumental drivel you could possibly imagine! Brilliance under pressure.

So what do you say, blog land? Are you with me? Will you nag me AD NAUSEUM?

EARTHWORMS

Where is the weirdest place you've ever found an earthworm?

I guarantee I can top yours in both the WEIRD and GROSS categories.

This morning, I was getting water to start the coffeemaker, when a movement in the sink caught my attention.

OH YEAH, FOLKS!!! Mr. Earthworm was wriggling around in my kitchen sink!!!!!

I don't care how much rain we got in Michigan, we NEVER had earthworms in the kitchen sink!

Mr. Earthworm is now winging his way through Frankfort's sewer system ....

Saturday, March 10, 2007

THE FULL-ON FUNK

I didn't go to work yesterday because I have the FULL-ON FUNK. Sore throat, achy joints, stuffy nose, annoying little cough ...

Instead, I stayed home, drank lots and lots of liquids, and watched an UNEARTHLY amount (and all-day marathon, ladies and gentlemen) of TLC'S WHAT NOT TO WEAR. The good news is, when I'm feeling better, I must go through my closet, as I know for a fact that I've got loads of stuff in there I shouldn't be wearing.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

GETTING THE FUNK

I should have known this was going to happen ... my right ear has been itching for days. That is usually a STRONG indicator that I'm working on getting the funk!

It probably didn't help that I was startled out of a nice, early sleep by my neighbor who was locked out of her apartment (someone should tell her she needs to carry keys with her!!) and started pounding (I should have such strength after a few more gym visits) on her doors and SCREAMING her son's name! Yes, lady, not cool to do at 10:15 p.m. I mean, who can sleep after that!?

Here I sit ... listening to the obnoxious tones of 5th graders in Humanities, feeling VERY tired, VERY worn down, with a slight sore throat, praying I can make it through the day. My plan is to go to the gym tonight ... perhaps the endorphins will help drive the funk away.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

PLEASE PASS THE HEATING PAD AND IBUPROFEN

I've rendered mysef lame ... thanks to my WATCH THE COPS workout yesterday. Please refer to yesterday's blog entry if you are at all confused ...

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

WEIGHT MACHINES AND PHEROMONES DON'T MIX

A while back, I saw a news blurb about pheromones ... the chemical trails animals leave to show they are attracted to the opposite sex. It seems some researchers feel that getting the ESSENCE OF SWEATY MAN, bottling, and then, later on, dabbing a bit on your neck, could, quite possibly, attract more of the opposite sex your way.

Now, I must admit that ODE TO STINK doesn't sound like an appealing perfume to wear. However, let's not completely discount the Sweaty Man.

Today, for instance, I went to the gym -- earlier than normal. Well, it was sheer providence, I tell you, because, before me, were men ... glistening, sweaty, hot, COMPLETELY GOOD LOOKING MEN! Oh my ... oh my! Not only that, but these were men in uniform ... the boys in blue. I know this because there were about 6 police cruisers in the parking lot, plus all the FOP t-shirts in the place (Fraternal Order of Police, for those not versed in cop speak)! Apparently, my gym has some sort of reciprocal agreement with the city police department and the county sheriff's department because they all come to lift weights and keep fit (my hometown could take a few cues from such a program ... but I digress).

So there I was ... on the thigh crunching machine ... crunching those inner thigh muscles until they were screaming in pain (yes, muscles do scream in pain ... I know this now) ... and why were they screaming in pain, you ask?

Well, because I couldn't keep my count for all the drooling as I was doing. Ladies and gentleman, I can barely move this evening because I sat at that machine for 10 minutes watching men lift 50 pound weights up and down in the air!!!!!!!!!!

Oh yeah! Pass me some ODE OF SWEAT please. I think I may need to bathe in it!

Monday, March 05, 2007

FROM HER LIPS TO EVERY ELIGIBLE BACHELOR'S EARS

A conversation between myself and Maggie* today at Rewards ...

"Hey, Miss M, do you have a boyfriend?"

"No, Maggie, I don't."

With a look of utter devastation, "Oh Miss M. I'm sooooooooooooooo sorry!"

"Thanks, Maggie."

It was then that Maggie puts her hands on her hips, and with every ounce of motherly consternation she could muster she said, "You are much too pretty to be without a boyfriend!"

Okay, gentlemen! You heard the girl! I'm much too pretty to be single ... so get with the program and ask me out.

*Name has been changed to protect the innocent.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

THINGS THAT ARE BUGGING ME TODAY

  • To the ding-bat that sat next to me last night at the concert and sent and received text messages all night LONG:

DUDE! SERIOUSLY!?!!? Are you kidding me?? What is so ALL-FIRED IMPORTANT that you MUST send text messages the entire concert? Really? Beyond the fact that the whole feel of the evening was SUPPOSED to be "dimly lit coffeehouse-esque" and your cell kept blinding me, what could you possibly need to message someone about ... A HALF A DOZEN TIMES??? Do you not see RUDE written all over that?

People like that just bug the crap right out of me. There are times and places for everything, and sometimes, you've just got to put the cell phone away. Unless you receive a message that says "HELP ME! I'VE JUST PLUNGED OFF OF A 40-FOOT EMBANKMENT, AND I'M GOING TO BE FORCED TO DRINK PEE FROM MY SHOE IF SOMEONE DOESN'T COME AND RESCUE ME NOW," an unplugged, folksy-bluesy, coffeehouse-type concert is just not the place to text. Period. End of story!

SHEEZE! Get a clue people!

  • To the idiot woman that ran RIGHT UP ON MY TAIL in her fancy Esclade last night:

Lady, I'm not sure where you got your driver's license from, but I feel relatively sure it's in jeapordy of being taken away! Had you not pulled into the Speedway and turned around, you would have been seeing police lights flashing because I was seconds away from calling 911 on your sorry butt. You were driving recklessly, and I wanted you nailed before you killed or hurt someone! Next time, go for the gumball ring in the CRANE GAME at the grocery store, okay?

  • To the folks whose homes and businesses were seriously damaged or destroyed in the fire today in downtown Frankfort:

My thoughts and prayers are with you today!

  • To the girls that go to the gym in their best bib and tucker with not a hair out of place:

Seriously, girls! This isn't a meat-market. We are here to work out! Not do the speed-dating gig. You're making me gag, ladies. Really!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

EUREKA MOMENT IN THE SHOWER

I found something while in the shower this morning.

No, please! Read on! I promise, it's not gross.

I found a muscle while I was showering this morning ... yes! Really! An honest to goodness muscle! It's amazing. I believe they call it a DELTOID, and apparently, I have two of them!

About a month before my 35th birthday, I made a decision. I was going to spend the rest of my 30s feeling fit and healthy, able to do ANYTHING that I want to without worrying about a bum ankle or sore knee or getting my asthma really out of control. My body had gotten out of control, and I was going to take the control back.

It's been a week of using my birthday gift from myself and my parents (thank you Papa and Mom!!!), and what do you know, I've discovered a muscle group! I mean, who knew!

Actually, I think this was just a group of muscles that was closest to the surface ... the rest of them are still hopelessly buried under all that fat. However, I'm making headway and feeling like I could kick some serious butt!

Oh yeah ... I'm going to be so ripped by summer time! You just wait and see!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

SADIE THE DOG -- 1997 - 2007


WEATHER

It's 56 degrees right now on this, the first day of March. I woke up to lightening and thunder. Not something that I typically woke up to in Michigan on the first day of March.

The weather guy on WKYT said that we could be in store for some real wing-dingers today, in the way of storms.

Oh goody! Here I sit, on the edge of the Kentucky River, a breeding ground for tornado highways, without a tornado plan in place!!!

Spring ... Gotta love it!!!