Monday, March 24, 2008

DIAL-UP IS DEAD

My dial up is causing my computer to have FATAL ERRORS. Far as I can tell, this isn't good. So, I am off (after my math training ... ON MY SPRING BREAK!) to see about adding cable digital computer access ... whatever the heck it's called ... to my cable plan. Hopefully, I will be back on line soon!

Much to share with regard to the wedding I was at this past weekend!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

DIG OUT THE ARMOR AND GET READY TO RUMBLE

Well, I've gone and done it. I've made the yearly appointment TO HELL AND BACK WITH MADDIE THE CAT. Next Tuesday ... I can hardly wait. She's due for her yearly shots and licensing requirements that my county requires all pet owners to undertake.

It's really a whole afternoon's worth of O.R.D.E.A.L. The first ordeal is attempting to shove her rigid body into the cat carrier. Once that occurs, I must sit and listen to the flurry of kitty swearing that ensues. If this feline could talk, I'm pretty sure she'd swear like a drunken sailor and have that chain-smoking raspy voice, with a bit of a Bronx/New York accent accent mixed in for good measure. It takes probably 15 to 20 minutes to get from my house to Dr. Massey's office, across town. I feel pretty confident that I will hear some relatively choice words.

Once I get her royal highness to the office, the swearing starts in earnest and at an obviously higher decibel. Sometimes, I'm even treated to some rather threatening growls.

The real fun, though, begins when one of Dr. Massey's office assistants dares to stick her hand into the carrier in an attempt to drag her out. Yes, that is a performance worth many golden awards, mainly due to the rapid-fire shrieks that resemble those of a banshee's cries. I usually end up wearing a coat of hair, half of which I inhale.

Oh yes! This time of year is always great fun. I think I might just enjoy paying taxes to the federal government MORE than I enjoy taking Maddie to her vet. appointments.

HALT ALL CONSTRUCTION ON ARK ... FOR THE MOMENT

Well, it looks like I don't have to try to convert cubits. It's a good thing, too, because, although I am a teacher, I get confused with the conversion from cubits to measurements more modern ... say a foot, or something along those lines.

The rain finally stopped for good sometime last night. I don't remember quite when as I've turned into my parents and managed to fall asleep while watching TV. Sad state of affairs ....

At any rate, Louisville is still dealing with the flood waters; the Ohio won't crest until tomorrow sometime. However, I have been assured that I will be able to "hang a right" toward Indiana tomorrow without a problem. Thank goodness!

In the meantime, I will continue my flurry of spring cleaning. I managed to get my kitchen, living room, and dining room all clean. I am tackling the bathrooms and upstairs today. Plus, I have a list of TO DOs a mile long ...

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

READY, SET, BUILD AN ARK!

Rain is a natural precursor to Spring. Without it, we end up with a lack-luster spring display, if it's a display at all.

Growing up, I'd been privy to many flash flood warnings, and I even remember asking my parents if our little town would ever flood, seeing as the Kalamazoo River cut right through the middle of town. Their answer? Since there'd only ever been one significant flood in the town's history, and that had happened after RECORD level snows and melts and rain, all in one fell swoop, the likelihood was that we would all stay above flood levels.

There were communities around us that had threats of flash floods, but really, it wasn't a huge issue. Just immediate area sort of stuff ...

Well, down here, when someone utters the phrase FLASH FLOOD, you'd better dang-well take it seriously. There are times where, if you spit, you could be well on your way to some serious flooding.

So, it was with intense interest that I watched the weather reports for the Louisville area. You see, I have to travel to a wedding this weekend, with a friend, that is flying in from Florida, and our route is suppose to take us right over the Ohio River, which, at this very moment, is rising! How high it will rise, no one knows. I'm just hoping I can get over the bridge and back as I really don't have any other clue how to get to my destination.

Ahhhh Spring ....

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

IT'S WHERE MY MIND IS THESE DAYS

We have no less than five people that are in various stages of gestation (or have just given birth) here at work. Pregnancy is the ONLY THING anyone can seem to talk about these days. For those of us that have no sort of procreation in our immediate future, it can be taxing.

Carrie called me last night. She was having a bad day, and she needed to talk to someone on her drive home. She was in mid-conversation when she suddenly said, "What the heck!? The pump isn't even on!"

Because of the conversations floating around work, I immediately blurt out, "What? Is your chest leaking?"

Yes, it was a tacky thing to ask, but it's where my mind is these days based on all this baby talk!

There was a long pause, and Carrie finally replies, "Nooooo [very slowly]. I'm at the gas pump."

Oops! Wrong pump ...
Well, shoot! Open mouth, insert foot ... again.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

MISSING THE POINT & BEING CALLED A BITCH

So, today, I got on-line to see that my writing has stirred up a big bowl of controversy.

I've got to tell you, as a writer, I am THRILLED that folks are reacting to my work. For some of you, this may not be the reaction you were hoping for, but it's true.

I heard a quote not too long ago ... it went something like this, "Art's purpose is not to answer questions, but to ask more questions."

I am certainly not laying my writing up as some elitist form of art. Far from it ... it's my random opinions on certain touch-points in my world ... nothing more, nothing less. No one said, least of all me, that anyone had to agree with my opinions.

Having said that, let me first address the Divorced Anonymous Reader who commented on my PLEASE DON'T ASK blog entry. I think you might just have done what I ask my fourth graders NOT to do each time they read something. If you don't read carefully, you miss important nuances of a piece.

Case in point, I didn't just say this once, I said it twice ... I WASN'T GOING TO REVEAL ANY OF THE COUPLES WHOSE MARRIAGES HAVE CRUMBLED. Not ever. I believe the sentence that made that point crystal clear went something like this: "If you are more concerned with who they are, you are, I feel, missing the whole point of my post. Rather, it's turning my post into a thing of gossip, which was not my point at all." While, I didn't come right out and say, "hey, I'm not mentioning names ... EVER," I sort of thought the above statement made that clear. Never, in a million years, would I ever consider outing someone going through such a painful experience like that or exploiting their pain.

Also, I believe I used the term periphery to describe how I was privy to watching each married life. That word, by it's very nature, implies that I didn't know any of them intimately. Therefore, I was an outsider ... NOT in their inner circle.

Finally, I never referred to any of the couples as plastic people. Rather I was referring to this need that our society has with seeing perfection in EVERYTHING. When we sanitize basic humanity out of everything, essentially getting rid of everything that is messy about life, we create plastic people living in a plastic world. I thank you, Elly and the other Anonymous, my dears, for sticking up for me on that one! You totally get my subtle implications in my writing ... that or you totally get my rambling thought process. Either way, ten thousand hugs and kisses in your general direction!

The whole point of that blog was actually an outing of myself ... I tend to be an observer of people's behavior, and as an observer, especially an outside observer, I tend to make assumptions, sometimes, very incorrect assumptions. For me, I've been sucked into the PERFECT LIFE/FAIRY TALE vortex, and three times, I've been reminded that there is no such thing. That blog was a commentary on how I need to be a CAREFUL observer. Again, a picture is worth a thousand words, but a picture very rarely tells the truth.

It's a bummer that you immediately felt offended and missed my "Life Lesson #4,023 -- the one I might have actually learned ... finally." Still, I am thrilled for the reaction.

On to TatGuy21, who, after almost two years of having a random blog hanging out there regarding what I felt (again, with my own, personal opinion) was a somewhat uncreative name for a tat shop, has finally decided to call me a b*tch over my opinion. Cool! Whatever ... wasn't the first time, I'm sure it won't be the last. I've pulled out the crown and set it squarely on my head ... it's all glittery and b*tchy just for you.

As I recall, I never commented on his actual ability to do a radically, sick tattoo, which, I am pretty sure, Herb could do. I merely suggested I would have chosen an edgier title to the business. I'm also entitled to an opinion, just as you are. That's what makes the United States such a cool place -- we all get an opinion. Not that it matters, but I'm a huge fan of the tat ...

In the spirit of random thoughts, on my list of all-time favorite tat shop names is Slash's, a great little tat place in Battle Creek, Michigan. Slash is the proprietor, and I'm pretty sure, he's a rocking cool dude. I have this impression based on a girl I took Black and White Photography with in college. We were charged with doing an edgy portrait that told a story. She went to Slash, her tat guy, and asked him if he minded her taking photographs of him doing "his thing." Those photos were amazing!

Friday, March 14, 2008

PLEASE DON'T ASK

Because I've already fielded a few questions about my post last night, I feel like I need to post the following request today.

Please, please, please ... don't ask me who the couples are that I am talking about. If you are more concerned with who they are, you are, I feel, missing the whole point of my post. Rather, it's turning my post into a thing of gossip, which was not my point at all.

THE POINT??? What's the point?

Well, my point was, and still is, that a picture is worth a thousand words, but a picture very rarely tells the whole truth.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

RANDOM ... RANDUMB ...

My life has felt like a random stream of consciousness ... strike that. I think it has really been a random steam of unconsciousness! Everything that finds it's way on this entry will be extremely random. That's just how it's going to have to be.


**We are all looking for picture-perfect. It's amazing the lengths this society is willing to go in order to achieve PICTURE PERFECT. Folks are willing to go into serious debt for it. They are willing to starve to death for it. They are willing to go under the knife for some sort of warped version of perfect. Rarely does it ever look perfect, though. Women are even willing to put themselves in degrading, self-deprecating position to try to grasp at perfection, with regards to a relationship ... because perfection means you've nabbed a Ken doll guy to your Barbie.

Recently, I found out about a marriage that is over. I've hesitated writing about it, because I know that folks will ask, "Oh my gosh! Do I know them?" And really, who they are, isn't important. This particular marriage was one I'd been only peripherally aware of, but from my very distant vantage point, I had a pretty rose-colored image of it all ... my thoughts? They seem picture-perfect. This is the third time I've been caught in the Barbie-Ken vortex. Beautiful people owning beautiful people things and living the seemingly beautiful people lives. Plastic people living plastic lives.

Life is messy and very rarely perfect. I'm beginning to appreciate the dysfunction of all those messy relationships I see. At least you know those people are real. No plastic involved there.

I'm most ashamed at my inner reaction to the news. Rather than feeling broken-hearted for the individuals involved, I very haughtily thought, "Well, not so perfect, are we?"

**On to lighter topics ...I think I could be in trouble. Without really paying attention, I bought waterproof mascara the other day. I've not worn waterproof mascara since the first Bush was in office ... or maybe it was Reagan ...

I'd forgotten how hard it is to get the stuff off. Nothing has touched! Not my special facial cleanser ... not my body soap ... not Vaseline ... not even sheer will power. NOTHING! I can see why one's lashes might be more voluminous using this particular product. The build-up alone will have my lashes approximately HALF the size of my head!

HAS SPRING FINALLY ARRIVED?

I would say it's making a valiant effort, if it's not here now.

62 degrees ...

Partly cloudy ...

Wind SW at 6 miles per hour ...

My kids had an absolute BLAST at recess today, and who wouldn't really? It is beautiful out. Pansies are blooming. Birds are singing.

Only one thing would make it better, and that would be if my committee meeting was cancelled for this evening, and I could go home early and enjoy some of this amazing weather ...

That, I think, is a pipe dream, however.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

THE BEST POST EVER

Inspiration hit me like a ton of bricks. I had the BEST idea for a blog post ... possibly the best I've ever had. It had the potential to be Earth-shattering. It had the potential to cure cancer, solve world peace AND world hunger, snag the Pulitzer Prize, and answer the age old question, "How many licks DOES it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?"

Then my browser decided to act as though I'd just asked it to conjugate 187 Spanish verbs in under 10 seconds (in its defense, I couldn't do that in under 10 years!), and it staged a coupe. By the time I stopped cursing it and actually got on ....

Well, the fantastic brillance had faded ... the thought? Lost ... in the black hole that is the left side of my brain ...

QUOTABLE QUOTE

"There's no poop here I wouldn't eat myself."

I love this quote. I've decided that one of the books I plan to write is one built entirely on quotes I hear in every day life. It has the potential of being a very, very funny read. I mean, come on! The quote above is classic, is it not? And taken totally out of context, it leaves the reader with a sense of ..."UMMMMM ... WHAT THE HECK!?!"

Am I right? You are soooo thinking that right now, are you not?

So, can anyone guess the context in which this might have been said???

Answer to come later ...

Monday, March 10, 2008

I THINK IT JUST MIGHT BE HERE!!

I heard my first Red-Winged Black Bird, the true sign of spring. Heard it yesterday!!

I don't want to jump the gun, but I think spring just might be here after all.

AND WE'RE SHOCKED AT THIS WHY?

"Report Links N.Y. Governor to Prostitution Ring"
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23561606?GT1=43001

This is the headline that seems to be dominating the news this afternoon/evening. I first saw it on CNN while waiting in line at my bank.

Okay, you didn't think I wasn't going to comment on this, did you?

Seriously, Governor Spitzer. Are you honestly going to tell the good citizens of New York, and the United States, that you didn't think you wouldn't get caught?

What made you think you could dally about and NOT get caught?

Did the myriad of others that have apologized publically before you not tip your hat that, quite possibly, your sins would find you out?

Honestly, I don't know what goes on in people's heads ... especially politicians' heads. It's as if, once you take that oath, you have some sort of secret decoder ring or invisibility cloak that ONLY YOU CAN USE, with magic powers only you possess. Meanwhile, the rest of the free world has a vague (or not so vague) notion that you are as twisted as the road you are bulleting down, call girl at your right in the passenger seat.

For cripe's sake, give the American public a bit of credit, would you? We are not all idiots ... like, apparently, those in public office are. Otherwise, why would they even entertain the thought that they were above moral decency and public decorum?

Oh! That's right. I forgot. Public decorum went out with shoulder pads!

What was I thinking?

Sunday, March 09, 2008

I NEED TO START EATING PBJs

I desperately want to go to a tropical island!! I want to soak up some tropical sun and just be one with the bright, blue water. Since I work in a job that doesn't really provide me a lot of extra expendable income,I think I need to start eating PBJs every single day! The money I'll save on groceries can go directly into my TROPICAL VACATION FUND!

Don't these sound dreamy? Ocho Rios ... Montego Bay ... Negril ... Kingston ... Book the plane! Pack the bathing suit and sun screen! I want to have my butt on a Jamaican beach somewhere!!!!

Saturday, March 08, 2008

SOMETIMES A GIRL JUST NEEDS TO SIT IN A BOX


VIEW FROM MY WINDOW ON A SATURDAY MORNING

The news -- yes, they are doing SPECIAL snow coverage all morning -- just said that the east side of Frankfort has 5 1/2 inches .... and this is newsworthy. Just in case you are on the fence about this, in Michigan, 5 1/2 inches is NOT newsworthy. However, in Central Kentucky, where they shut down schools for half an inch, this is indeed newsworthy.


I've not been out in it yet, because it was about 7:40 a.m., when I took these photos. However, I plan to go out and "brush" it off my walk. I'm brushing the snow off with a broom because in a shrewd and somewhat idiotic move, when I was packing all my crap up in Michigan, I said to my mom, "Why don't you just take my shovel. I doubt I will ever need it." Oops! Okay, yes, it's been two years, and I'm just finally in need of one, but still. What was I thinking?


Here's what I want to know? WHERE THE HECK IS SPRING!?!?!??!?!


This is a view out of my living room window, which looks out to the "backyard."




I am standing in my living room with my back door open. This is the snow that has drifted up to the door. Pretty cool, right?





If you look very carefully, you will see my neighbors across the street (their dog is there, too, but he's white and, therefore, camoflauged). You can't tell it, but she's digging out the snow with a garden spade. This made me laugh until I remembered, "Oh yeah! I'm the idiot that will be brushing the snow off with a broom!"


MORE FREAKIN' WINTER SCENES








Friday, March 07, 2008

THE SHIRTLESS SOLDIER

I've had some questions about the photo of the shirtless soldier I put on my blog the other day. Who is it?

None other than Prince Harry, himself. I'm sorry, but my middle-aged self thinks he's yummy. So sue me!

IT CAME AND BIT ME IN THE BUTT!

Okay, yes, I knew it would happen. I knew the minute I got my gloat on, it would come back to haunt me. Here I am ... sitting in my office/guest bedroom, watching snow come down ... I HATE YOU, WINTER!!!

We are suppose to get a substantial 6 to 10 inches by tomorrow evening. I guess that was the impetus for sending us all home from school at 1:00 p.m. today. Not that I'm complaining. I have loads of stuff to do here at my house ... top of the list would be taxes and cleaning. I lead an exciting life, no?

I decided to go to Kroger because I legitimately needed some things ... tooth paste. Can't NOT have tooth paste. That's just one of those items that one can't live without. Well, I suppose you could, but yuck!

Kroger was packed, of course! Panic has hit the streets of Frankfort. Apparently, many do not realize that this white stuff, by it's very nature, melts. Anyway, I was cruising by the milk department, and you know what I saw? Well, it wasn't milk! THEY WERE SOLD OUT!!! That didn't bode well in my search for bread, which, again, I legitimately needed. Good news there, though. While it was picked over, there were still loaves left. I doubt there will be tonight at, say, 6:00 p.m., though.

I saw my friends Gala and Ellie there. They were a little put off, I think, by my lackadaisical attitude toward the substantial snow. As Gala reminded me, "You are used to this stuff. We've not had a substantial snow fall for probably ten years."

In Michigan, we don't start getting excited until they start uttering "a foot," and then it's a mad rush to make sure your snow-blower works and has fuel and making sure you're stocked up on salt. I don't think milk or bread has ever factored into the snow equation up there ... unless, of course, you live in the UP, in which case, it could be middle of May before you get to the store again!

I think it was 2000 when we had a blizzard over the New Year. The only thought I had running through my head was, "I'M SOOOOO SICK OF SHOVELING THIS #*(@# WHITE STUFF." It was at that timely point that my shovel broke, and, the next day, when the roads were clear, my dad had to take me out to the hardware so I could purchase another one. Good times!

Actually, I'm glad it's snowing, and I've had to drive in it. It keeps me sharp. I fear that the longer I live down here, the softer I will become when it comes to driving in the slop. I don't want to ever lose my Michigan snow driving ability and render myself a winter weenie. That would be unfortunate and would put me in a position of being mocked by all my Michigan family and friends.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

GETTING MY GLOAT ON

Okay, yes, I realize as soon as I utter these words, the snow will come fast and furious with an ice storm chaser, but I must gloat, if for no other reason than my parents read this. They will momentarily hate me and loathe my existence upon reading this.



It was 55 degrees today! Yeah!



I walked to Farmers Bank for a student art show ... in my sweater sleeves.



The birds are definitely more active and much chattier than usual.



And on my way back to my car (three blocks away ... I didn't mind the walk in such beautiful weather), I saw both pansies and crocus blooming!



I swear if Spring doesn't come soon, my head will explode. Seriously. I'm not even kidding. I'm sick of cold and mittens and boots and winter jackets and wool and snotty noses and nasty coughs and gray skies and ....

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

I BRAKE FOR UNIFORMS


I'm sorry, but YUM-MY! The world needs more photos like this, right?

103.3, 3, 102.1, 75, 18 million, 50 billion, 35

I'm back ... again. Back from another bout of "DON'T WANT TO GET THAT, NO WAY, NO HOW!"

The official word is BRONCHITIS.

I thought I would share some numbers with you ... just for a little fun.

103.3 ... that was my temperature the first time I tried to cook what few brain cells I had left.

3 ... the number of days I missed school, as well as the number of lesson plans I typed at crazy, freakish hours in the morning.

102.1 ... the second time my temperature spiked, after I started coughing up blood, and just before I decided it was NOW prudent to see the doctor.

75 ... the amount of money, so far, that I've spent on doctors, chest x-rays, TB tests, antibiotics, medicines, Kleenex, Popsicles, and Crystal Light. Not bad, considering what it could have been ... no complaining here.

18 million ... the number of times I've coughed over the course of 12 days.

50 billion ... the number of Kleenexes I've gone through.

35 ... the number of pounds I've lost between the stomach flu and bronchitis.

Winter is a load of fun!