Wednesday, June 27, 2007

REALITY TV CONFESSIONAL

I must confess something to all of you. It's embarrassing. Embarrassing for two reasons:

1.) Because reality TV is certain to kill brain cells by the millisecond, and because last night, at last count, I killed ... well, I killed A LOT OF THEM!

2.) Because at some point during this blog entry, my mother will turn to my father and say, "Remind me again. How much of our retirement and their inheritance DID we spend on their private education?"

At which point my father will rock back in his office chair, close his eyes, and shake his head.

To which my mother will reply disgusted, "Yeah. That's what I thought."


I must confess that I watched a reality TV show last night. I must confess in this public forum that I watched (when not reading my current favorite read QUEEN OF THE BIG TIME by Adriana Trigiani between commercial breaks or providing running commentary on the action to Maddie the Cat, who, let's face it, could care less unless it's attached to kitty kibble) 2 hours of reality TV, because the first half hour wasn't nearly mind-numbing enough.

I must confess ... and this is where it gets very difficult for me ... I must confess, my dear readers, that I watched 2 hours of DOG the BOUNTY HUNTER.

[Insert appalled gasps here.]

I know. It's nearly incomprehensible that I sat glued to the TV and watched, with rapt attention as Dog and his posse nabbed bail jumper after bail jumper ... for 2 straight hours.

And if it couldn't get embarrassing enough, I found myself, in hour 2, wondering why I thought Leland's funky buzz cut-pony tail combo was suddenly so hot to me.

You will pardon me while I run out for a moment. I need to find a rusty hanger to give myself a lobotomy ...

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

CLASS D FELONS -- A PARAPHRASED CONVERSATION

I went out last night and helped my friend Elly celebrate her 30th birthday at the Mexican Monkey. I could go into great detail about the drink that needed to be lit on fire, but because these ladies are upstanding citizens, I will refrain. Suffice it to say, it was an absolute riot, and a good time was had by all ... and I believe, somewhere, there are photos of Elly wearing a rather stylish sombero.

One of the conversations floating around the table last night was why the "let me have your number" guy hasn't called me. My friend Susan turns to me and says, "Let's see! Who could we hook you up with?"

Another teacher buddy, at the other end of the table, was talking about her classroom that is being moved out of our building and into the newish middle/high school building. It's a fiasco, and a subject for another blog. At any rate, Susan hears the conversation and says to me, very excitedly, "I know! I know! Go to school when the Class D felons are there moving the stuff! I am sure you could get a few dates!"

"CLASS D FELONS!?!" I squeaked. "Seriously!? You want to hook me up with Class D Felons?"

"Well, they aren't as bad as the other felons," Susan replies, while giggling.

Yes, because Class D Felons are just starting out on their criminal careers. I mean, I should strike while the iron is hot, right?

Monday, June 25, 2007

HAS HE CALLED YET?

Okay, so it has come to my attention that many of you feel a bit ... oh how shall I put this ... LEFT HANGING by my entry that there was a man running around Frankfort somewhere with my numbers saved in his cell phone (is it "in" or "on" ... I'm never sure how to handle the prepositions in technological sentences).

Yes, I said numbers! I gave him both my home and cell numbers. A little over-zealous? Perhaps ... but you are dealing with a 35 year old woman that would just love to see some action, and by action I mean, having a man pay for something that she consumes ... dinner, coffee, a piece of trident gum ... I'm not picky. I mean, when your life has come to sixth graders advising you on pick-up lines, well, let's just say it's time to reevaluate how one lives one's life.

Anyway, the answer to all of your questions is ...

Nope ... no call. It's been a little over a week, and I've heard nothing. Just so I am very clear about this, I didn't throw those numbers at him. He asked for them. Yes, I did happily oblige, because, quite honestly, he was cute, in a nerdy, totally adorable sort of way. And he was nice, and let's face it, I could use nice in my life. Did I mention I taught sixth graders last year?

Also, there are those of you out there that are shaking your heads and saying, "Seriously, how desperate is she?"

Umm ... yeah, let's talk about desperate. I am 35-years old and single. It's not by accident. I am picky. I am willing to wait until the right one comes along, and I am really not all that interested in settling. So, desperate is not really part of my vocabulary. Willful and stubborn ... independent and pig-headed? Oh yes, I will own those, but desperate, nope. Not me.

There you have it ... no call. Could be I won't ever get one either. Who knows, but as my good buddy Carrie told me, "you've got it, girl! You've got it."

Sunday, June 24, 2007

PMS - POST MISERABLY UGLY SYNDROME

This is a decidedly female entry today. So, for any of my male readership (and really, I am not even sure I have a male readership), let this serve as a warning -- this is extreme girl talk. If you choose to read on, you do so at your own risk and possible embarrassment!

When I turned 30, things started falling. I looked in the mirror one day, very soon after the big 3-0, and realized my butt wasn't where it used to be. It was lower ... some sort of weird gravitational pull occurred the night of my birthday. Same thing happened to "the girls!"

Gray hair started sprouting on my head too. Those pesky, unruly buggers caused me some tears the day I discovered them. My stylist, Stan, helped me work through the pain, though, by explaining that gray hairs, on my blonde head, were really just highlights. I could live with this explanation if they would only stop growing out of my head standing straight in the air, like they are standing at attention or something. They're a haughty bunch, my gray hairs are!

When I turned 35, something started happening internally. Personally, I think the internal stuff is much more disconcerting than the outward stuff. Case in point ...

I've always had to deal with PMS. My mother has always sworn (on a giant stack of Bibles) she will never, ever let on to any possible future husbands the bowels of hell that is unleashed when I hit my PMS week. Apparently, I am not fun to be around. Imagine!

According the the aforementioned parental unit, I tend to pick fights. I will snap for no apparent reason, and there is a sort of "head-spinning, green-bile-spewing" effect that occurs that changes what would, in others' words, be a relatively even-keeled, sun-shiny disposition. Nope, my mother swears she will slap a smile on her face and lie through her teeth that I am the most amazing person to be around during that week. Otherwise, she fears she will be stuck with me forever!

But here's the thing, I am now very much an amazing person to be around during PMS week. Because, at the age of 35, my body has decided to ride this particular horse backwards. Now, instead of crying at a Hallmark commercial the week before the Carny comes to town, I cry the week AFTER it comes to town.

Instead of wanting to consume the entire DARK CHOCOLATE supply within a 300-mile radius the week leading up to THE CARNIVAL, I now want nothing more than to graze that entire radius AFTER THE FACT!

I do not know why this has happened. Maybe it's because my eggs have now begun dying by the nanosecond. Or maybe something inside is being pulled downward as well by that biological gravitational pull. All I know is that I am so very confused, and I am wondering if I could earn some extra cash in some sort of bizarre medical study ... hmmmm ...

I SHOP AT THIS KROGER




You've got to read the article in the State Journal! It's freakin' amazing that no one was injured.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

BRAIN TRUST

We have quite a brain trust here in my townhouse complex. So much so, that I can't believe someone hasn't discovered the cure for cancer ... or world peace ... or something!

Let me give you just a sampling ...

We are experiencing a draught here in Central Kentucky. I know this because when you step outside onto, what used to be grass, there is this sickening, crunching sound. For those of you not familiar with lush, green grass, the aforementioned crunching sound is NOT normal. Nothing good can ever come from crunchy grass.

Fast-forward to Thursday night ... two pyromaniacs down the way decided to light a THOUSAND fireworks (not illegal here in Kentucky, apparently) into the air, thus causing a million showering sparks and ash to fall to the brown, chapped earth below.

I was fully expecting to hear a giant "WHOOSH!" and see my entire complex go up in smoke. Thankfully, the fireworks ended without incident.

Then there was the scene I witnessed last night: A couple across the street decided they had too much crap in their garage. So, they brought out their wheelbarrow (in case you didn't catch that, I SAID WHEELBARROW!), and began lighting various sundry crap on fire ... in the wheelbarrow. At one point in the evening, a glass bottle, that the wife slipped in, unbeknowst to her husband, exploded, sending shards of glass and lit debris everywhere. Amazingly, no forest fires, yard fires, or general human tragedy was started. AMAZINGLY!

Friday, June 22, 2007

A PARAPHRASED, PARTIAL CONVERSATION WITH THE MOM REGARDING MY PRINCE CHARMING

"Your prince charming isn't so much a knight in shining armor riding that white stead as he is some poor schlub in a rusty suit of armor that's lost his map and is riding a jack-ass backwards."


Gotta love mom. She tells it like it is!

Monday, June 18, 2007

THE SOAP OPERA EFFECT

The Soap Opera Effect ...

I tell you, sometimes I am absolutely brilliant! The things that pop into my brain could really revolutionize the world ... or at least, I think so in my own happy place. The Soap Opera Effect is just one of those revolutionizing principals ... right up there with the discovery that the world is, indeed, round, and the Laws of Gravity and Motion.

It came to me today when I was talking with my mother. She was telling me, between hysterical bursts of laughter, about the current book her book club is reading. THE CINDERELLA PACT is written by Sarah Strohmeyer (I believe I have the author's name correctly spelled -- my apologies if I didn't), and it is, according to my mother, so real for her because she can hear me saying pretty much every thing the main character Nola has said. In other words, I very well could be Nola.

I am very eager to read this book, mainly, because my mother had me in stitches as she was reading a particularly funny part of the book. You see, Nola's single, 35-year old life hasn't exactly fallen into place the way she had envisioned it. Boy can I relate! And then it hit me ... it's the soap opera effect. Let me unpack it for you ...

Soap operas are an escapists' dream world. Every thing is pretty ... everything is perfect ... everything is modern and stylish and very "now." Yes, there is always, running just beneath the surface, this foreboding train wreck barrelling down on the town Happyville. Yet, it's always miraculously, amazing when the soap opera haz mat team is able to single-handily fix the wreck, and not a hair was pulled out of place! Nary a lipstick shade was smudged!

I had a friend that lived by this theory. Her life was supposed to follow exactly as Cassiopeia's on LOVES LAST LILT. She was under the false impression that she and her husband would ALWAYS feel amorous at the very same moments ... that there was no such thing as morning breath ... that you always wake up the next morning looking like you could stop traffic (in a good way!) ... there are always fresh flowers on every surface of your immaculately cleaned house and that those flowers all came from your very creatively, romantic man.

Here was my response to her: "PAHLEEZE!"

However, there's always been a small part of me that has perhaps, during moments of weakness, maybe day-dreamed about being swept off my very delicately, thin feet (attached to a delicately, thin body) with roses and Sonnets and all that flowery crap.

Real life hasn't exactly worked out that way. Here I sit, on my celluloid butt, in a less than immaculately clean home (some might even say, PIG STY), with nary a real flower to be seen, and the only one greeting me at the door with any sort of romance in mind, is my psychologically, unbalanced cat that only whips out the amorous card when she sees her food bowl is empty. I don't meet handsome, mysterious strangers that ride into town at night ... in fact, when I do meet them, it seems, these days, it's when I am sweaty, stinky, and otherwise, down-right disgusting.

That, my friends, is the soap opera effect.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

I LEFT MY SWEAT AT THE CUMBERLAND FALLS WHILE HE WAS LEAVING HIS HEART IN SAN FRANCISCO

I just got back from an overnight in Corbin, KY, where Christy hails ... or is that hales? Anyway, another beautiful trip. Christy and her mom took me to Cumberland Falls today.

WOW!

That's all I've got to say ... WOW!

The Cumberland River is just so pretty, and the rock formations are ... well, they are breath-taking. I am quite sure I said it close to a bazillion times ...

They were both a bit tickled, I think, when I got down-right excited over pieces of coal along the river's edge. I snagged three pieces, and they will go in my jar of cool treasures I've picked up "along the way."

It was one of the hottest days on record today ... 90-something, and I do believe I left a trail of sweat along every trail we walked along.

I did almost get run out of town, I think. I tried to order a Diet Coke at the Dixie in downtown Corbin. Little did I know that Corbin has a large Pepsi distribution plant. You could see it in the waitresses eyes. Her face read, "Yep, she's a Yankee. She talks funny, AND she tried to order a Coke. Good freakin' grief!"

I will post photos later ... right now, I am going to be one with my reading. Three articles for tomorrow ...

[heavy sigh]

I guess the fun is over ...

Saturday, June 16, 2007

ALL THOSE STYLE MAGAZINES ARE A LOAD OF CRAP

Franklin County's Relay for Life was last night. I walked 25 laps (rendering myself lame this morning, by the way) in honor of my father, a cancer survivor.

It was hot in Frankfort last night ... REALLY hot. Not humid, just hot. I am not a delicate flower when it comes to physical activity. I sweat ... like a pig. When I sweat, my make up, if I am wearing any at all, begins to melt down my face. I get sweat in places it probably shouldn't be, and, of course, the perfume I was wearing, somehow leaves my body and perhaps jumps onto another person passing by.

So, there I was, a sweaty, runny, putrid mess, and two of my co-workers (who have been telling me for a good month or about this), introduces me to a single friend of their's. A single friend of the male persuasion.

As we are standing there talking, I'm thinking to myself, "Oh yeah, this will take all of 5 minutes. I'm repelling bugs over here, for heaven's sake!"

And here is where it gets really weird ... he asked for my number!

I'm thinking he's either:
a.) He's visually impaired
b.) He's got some sort of olfactory disorder
c.) He's both visually impaired AND dealing with some sort of olfactory disorder.
How else do you explain this?

It's either that or there is something to this whole pheromone research going on right now ...

Monday, June 11, 2007

WAITING FOR THE FIREWORKS




THE ONE-ARMED MAN

When the movie version of THE FUGITIVE came out, my friend Denise and I were there to see it ... with bells on! And we loved it so much, I think we watched it over and over again. In fact, so obsessed were we with it, that we quoted lines from the movie for months to come, basically, because we thought Tommy Lee Jones' character was the wittiest thing since sliced bread!

The above jumble of words has nothing really to do with the whole point of this blog other than the snarky play on the "IT WAS THE ONE-ARMED MAN!" line in the movie.

I have a neighbor at the end of my cul-de-sac that, in April, threw her live-in or husband or gigantic pain in her butt, out of her apartment. This was not done without some major drama and two separate police visits with no less than 5 police officers removing him from the premises. Now, it should be noted that he is a man with just one arm. Nothing discriminatory should be implied by this statement. It is just that ... merely a statement.

All was well in the world of break-ups until this afternoon.

I was busily typing away on my computer, when I was distracted by the screeching of tires. I look out toward the noise in time to see THE ONE-ARMED MAN flying out of his truck and storming toward the door he was asked to vacate almost two months ago.

At first, he knocked civilly. However, that strategy didn't last long. He then beat on the door like a rabid bear (because rabid bears knock on doors all of the time) and followed that up by shouting, "I KNOW YOU'RE IN THERE. OPEN THE DOOR!"

That didn't work either; so he stormed back to his truck, started to drive away, thought better of it, got out, and proceeded to kick the snot out of the lady's vehicle!

Clearly, THE ONE-ARMED MAN has some anger management issues he needs to cull through with a certified professional. Now, this anger could be a direct result of his being one-armed or could just be because he is a cussid beast. Either way, it doesn't seem normal to me.

Off he went, and out she came, telephone in hand. It wasn't very long before one of Frankfort's finest pulled up to take the report and, quite possibly, give her information about seeing the Personal Protection Order Officer.

Quite honestly, folks, I have a gut feeling about this, and it doesn't feel like it's going to end well. I am fully prepared to use the line that Harrison Ford's character repeated over and over again to the police as they questioned him about his wife's death, "It was the one-armed man."

I'm guessing this won't be the last time I see the FPD down in the cul-de-sac either ...

FIRST DAY OF SUMMER

It's the first day of summer, and I am all stressed out.

Today, I started my two-week summer graduate course. While it was a lot of fun, I left this afternoon feeling very stressed out about all I need to do for the class, let alone just around my VERY disgusting house. I am unsure, at this point, when I will be scheduling sleep in all of this.

Heavy sigh ...

I guess my REAL summer break will come in two weeks.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

COOL FIREWORKS SHOTS














All the photos were taken at the Capitol Expo Fireworks display in Frankfort, Kentucky

Saturday, June 09, 2007

COOL NIGHT SHOT


THE HEIGHT OF HOME DECOR

I am moving to fourth grade for the 2007-2008 academic year. This means that I, once again, had to pack my classroom in anticipation of a new classroom. And since I have no place to keep my plants at school, currently, I brought them home.

Only, I faced a dilemma. I had no place to put them at home. So, I brought an overhead cart home too. It will go back, with the plants, when my room assignment is made!

Doesn't it look lovely in my living room?

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

TAKING COVER, FINDING SHELTER

I got home, today, just in time to seek shelter in the only small, interior space in my townhouse ... the downstairs bathroom!

From out of nowhere, some sort of funnel cloud thingy popped up just west of Franklin County and was barreling right toward us.

Oh goody! You see, I sort of panic during these sorts of storms. I am terrified of tornadoes, due to a very traumatic experience I had in second grade.

The minute the sirens started blaring, I turned the TV on and looked to the west to observe the storm clouds.

Green! Great!

I then threw my purse into the bathroom next to Maddie the Cat, who was happily puddling in the water in the sink, and headed up stairs to get important papers. Now, what I would do with all these important papers, provided they managed to stay in my clutched fists post-storm, I am not really sure. But procure them, I did. Well, ... some of them. You see, I have a whole drawer of IMPORTANT PAPERS, and it's hard to decide what could possibly be advantageous to have in the aftermath of a tornado.

I chose the copy of my parents' Power of Attorney papers and my health records. Don't ask why ... I am not sure. I think that if a.) I could have wrestled the drawer loose, and b.) it would have fit into the bathroom with me and my cat, I would have brought the whole IMPORTANT PAPER drawer with me!

As it was, I was hard pressed to find a spot for me to sit what with the fan, bottled water, extra pair of shoes, cat food, important papers, car keys and blanket in there with me!

Monday, June 04, 2007

PET PSYCHOTHERAPY

Maddie the Cat is a bit psychotic. I am blaming this on the fact that, as a little kitten, she was summarily abandoned and is now dealing with the far-reaching effects of the gross neglect.

This is how I am rationalizing and justifying her very bizarre behaviour.

One particular behaviour has to do with smells. One of Maddie's triggers is strong scents, and, let me just say, she is not at all discerning on the scent. The stronger the scent, the more insane and erratic her behaviour becomes.

Case in point ... my dad sent some cotton swabs soaked in his cologne, thinking that the minute she smelled them, she would start hissing at them, mainly because she can't stand the ground my father walks upon. On the contrary, the minute she got a whiff, Maddie started ROLLING ON THE SWABS, DROOLING ON THE SWABS, AND BITING THE SWABS ... a similar reaction to a cat with catnip.

Now, the last time I checked, Calvin Klein doesn't use catnip as an ingredient in any of his colognes. Please, correct me if I am wrong.

Case in point ... #2 ... Scrub Free Shower Spray. Maddie will come from parts unknown when I've sprayed that in the tub and shower. It takes all that is within me to beat her away from the shower and out of the bathroom. Most days, I need to shut the door and then deal with her throwing herself against the door in a very persistent attempt to gain entry into the room with the toxic chemicals. Given the opportunity, she would roll in that, I dare say!

Case in point ... #3 ... I've thrown my back out ... badly! Yesterday, I spent the day with an ICY HOT Patch on my lower back. In fact, I went to bed with it on ... only to be awakened in the middle of the night, lying on my stomach, with a cat rolling and biting on my lower back and buttocks! The ICY HOT Patch does, indeed, smell.

None of the three aforementioned items contain catnip ... I've checked. This leads me to only one conclusion:
My cat is out of her ever-loving mind and needs to seek some sort of psychiatric treatment, IMMEDIATELY!

PLEASE, JUST GIVE ME A SIGN

I sometimes wish people would come equipped with a warning system. You know, signs ... a neon flashing something or another that might give you a clue as to the person's mood. A giant mood ring that would mechanically say something like, "Hey, I'm not feeling good, so please don't mess with me."

Or ...

"Today is not a good day. Leave me alone!"

Or ...

"You're one of many. Take a number."

Or ...

"My head will self-destruct in 10 seconds."

At times, I am great at reading body language, but, at other times, I never know when I am going to step squarely into something ugly.

For some folks, it is as if you can see a cloud pass over their faces. For others, it may change like the weather pattern in the middle of the Great Lakes. At the drop of a hat, something might set them off, and, here is where I really think a sign would be helpful. If I knew to avoid certain hot button topics, with signs that said, "Ummm ... you're pushing it. I'd take two steps back!" Then, I would know that my line of conversation needed to be steered a little to the left (or right, as the case were).

This was never more evident than during a conversation I had not too long ago.

Things were going along swimmingly. We were laughing ... chatting ... having a really good time. We were sharing tidbits about the weeks we'd had ... the things we had coming up ... the stress levels in our respective jobs ... everything was fine. Then, because either I didn't understand what was being said to me, or because I was not being understood, the entire mood of my fellow chatter changed. Literally, in a heartbeat, we went from being chatty, chatty to ... well, nothing. Quiet ... no eye contact, and a sudden lack of wanting to continue being in the same room with me .. or at least, that was the vibe.

I don't know ... maybe it's just part of human nature. Perhaps there is nothing fool-proof when dealing with human emotion. Yet, I can't help thinking that these signs could be GOLD on an open market.

I can see my mass of millions in this concept ... hmmm ... how to make this work ...

Friday, June 01, 2007

I NEED TO TAKE A MOMENT

I need to take a moment ... I just received some shocking news ... my cousin, Kasey has just announced to me three things:

  1. She is driving (I'm ever so grateful we live two states apart ... otherwise, I do believe I would be investing in some sort of crash helmet device).
  2. She has a summer job (the last vesitages of childhood are slowly dissolving away).
  3. She has a boyfriend, and he's the sweetest, most gentlemanly thing since sliced bread (insert screeching brakes sound here!).

Kasey and I go way back. I spent the summer after college graduation nannying her and her little sister, Tamry. Those girls were a riot! Kasey was three at the time, and I still remember taking her for "nature walks" almost on a daily basis. We looked for "tones" and pine cones and bugs and other random crap on the sidewalk, that her grandfather would have probably fainted dead away if he knew I was letting her pick it all up.

We went to the library all the time, and I can still see her trying to pull EVERY book off the shelf, even after I reminded her, "no, we're only getting five. Let's count them again ... one -- two -- three --"

One of my best memories, by far, was the day we walked downtown. The Kalamazoo River cuts through the heart of the downtown area, and, as was the case this day, it is not uncommon to see a Great Blue Heron or two, wandering the shallow waters, searching for a light snack. We stood watching it, and I leaned over and whispered, "Kasey, that bird is called a Great Blue Heaven."

She just stood there giggling.

We then walked over to my parents' insurance agency to say hello, and I said to her, "Hey Kasey, tell Aunt Jan what we just saw."

With all of her 3-year old excitement, she exclaimed, "Aunt Jan! We just saw a Great Blue Heaven!"

To this day, whenever I see a heron, I think of that day.

Another vivid memory of Kasey was her first day of preschool. Her mother had told me that, if I felt game, I could try to wrestle her into a dress for her first day of school ... but only if I felt up to it.

I must pause for a moment and tell you that Kasey has always been a tom-boy. She loved sports, still does. And she's great at them. The girl loves b-ball and soccer ... she eats, lives, and breathes those games.

The last thing Kasey ever wanted to be wrestled into was a dress. But like an idiot, I tried. I did it up right, too. I put her in a dress, tights, cute little Mary Jane shoes ... she was A.D.O.R.A.B.L.E.

So, there she is ... standing in front of me, looking at herself, with these pitifully, downcast eyes. Then she looked up at me, and her bottom lip started to quiver, and I swear, she looked as though I'd just run over her cat!

The dress and tights came off and were replaced with a sweatshirt and jeans. The girl partically skipped to my car!

So, you can imagine my surprise, when I logged onto her webpage and saw her IN. A. DRESS. WITH. MAKE. UP. ON. AND. HER. HAIR. ALL. .... GIRLIE!

I'm reminded of a song ... TIMES, THEY ARE A CHANGIN' ...

And I'm pretty sure I can hear my sister saying, "Yeah, and you just keep getting older, too!"