Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Oh! Ho! That Was Fun!!

I'm not sure whether to post this in the form of a public service announcement a la Katie Couric, or the usual tongue in cheek (um, suddenly that sounds really bad) humor associated with this standard medical procedure. Heh, if I really wanted to spoil your appetites, I'd throw in the 8x10 color glossies with the circles and arrows that document this "three hour tour." Instead, just sit right back and you'll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip. Fortunately for me, the brave mate here was my beloved husband. I was just the designated driver.

I'm told it "really wasn't all that bad," and given the possible alternative of undetected colon cancer, I'd say that's a pretty hearty endorsement to jist git 'er done.

It goes something like this...

First, you starve yerself for a day and then you gather up all the necessary supplies, starting with a couple small bottles of Plumber's Helper* concentrate (and maybe some Depends). Begin slugging this down at about 7:00 pm the night before "the procedure." Spend the rest of the night wishing you could just have your bowels removed but instead spend the night on the toilet. Swig down the last of this stuff at about 5 am, three hours before the deed, and spend the rest of the morning moaning and sitting on the toilet.

Next, show your wife the doctor's note that proves that yes, she really does have to drive you there and wait for the duration and then drive you home and spend the rest of the day with you. This is humiliating and it takes precious time out of your wife's busy schedule, but how many opportunities do you have like this? Don't lose this note when the doctor gives it to you, or else your wife will tell you to jist drive yerself and spend the night in the hospital if you have to, to sober up.

Next, load up pillows and such in the car just in case you have to ride home in the prone position. This probably won't be necessary as it turns out but you can't be too prepared.On the way to the hospital, ask your wife to "please hurry" because, well, you're not sure that everyone has had a chance to "exit the building" yet.

Check into the hospital, sit down in the private admitting room so no one else can hear the overly friendly "digestive unit staff" asking you all those private questions, like "Who are your next of kin?" And "Do you have a living will?" and "If you have to spend the night, would you like to be visited by the clergy?" Now start to wonder if you'll make it out of the hospital alive and begin praying that clergy won't be necessary, but also be thankful that they're available if needed.

Then wait...and wait...and wait...

Finally, when your name is called, give your wife a kiss because this might be your last chance. Then try not to slap her when she tells you to "have fun." [hey, I was just copying the 85 year old man sitting next to me who wished the same to his elderly wife...we thought it was cute]

Then comes the "fun" part. No, really. Next comes La-La Land. Just as the doctor finishes explaining how he plans to insert the gastroenterologist's equivalent of an All-Purpose Swiss Army Knife (equipped with camera, lights, blow torch, laser, lasso, and a broom) and an industrial sized air compressor up your you-know-what, you drift off. Ahhh, none of that scary stuff matters anymore because you are on some serious hallucinogens and have already begun dreaming of sailing away to the South Pacific, and are seeing pink dancing dolphins and flying fish.

The next thing you'll remember is babbling to the nurse, or is it your wife? You're not sure which, but you're in between the South Pacific and downtown Detroit about now. A little too pleasant, a little agitated. The nurse will tell you to "feel free to fart." You wonder if this is a professional thing to say. Your wife will tell you that you look like Violet in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, what with all that air pumped in since she last saw you. Ignore your wife and follow the nurse's instructions.

Wait for the nurse to issue her release command, accept your photos graciously (thankfully, you've no food in your stomach to come up, otherwise, you could not be held accountable for what might happen upon being forced to look at the inside of your colon) and then bolt out of the hospital as fast as you can, refusing to sit in the wheelchair escort for fear this might further reduce your manhood. You'd rather not think about what has just happened to you.

Tell your wife you are hungry and want an extra-extra large manly bowl of War Won-ton soup at the Chinese restaurant, but you'll have to take it home to eat because you have been overinflated and need a safe place to decompress.

Once the sedatives have worn off and the air has been released, you will feel good as new. Surprisingly, there is no painful evidence of all the work that was just done to your nether regions.

So there you have it. Just do it! It's good for you. :-)

* Just kidding! Do not drink this! It will kill you!!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Remedial Geometry

Summa Susiebadoozie knows Geometry. I warned you there was more where that other stuff came from. Here again, from the Long and Boring Travelogue of the Trip With Excessive Luggage, is an example of bad Geometry...

MBH has always been the one in the family to ask for directions. In fact, he loves to ask for directions while I will travel to the moon and back before asking for directions. He will go out of his way to ask for directions, and then start telling stories about his kids and dogs. Now I see that this is a part of his heritage. All Croatians share this trait...the stories go on for hours. MBH even asked for directions to Diocletian's Palace when we were standing right outside its Golden Gate.* I was embarrassed, but MBH made yet another new friend. Croatians are terrible at actually giving directions, but they make friends easily. Ask for directions and you’re liable to end up at a stranger's house for dinner.

To begin our long journey home, we left Split (Croatia) mid-afternoon for the 450 km drive to Zagreb where our plane was scheduled to depart at 7:00 am the next day. Would it take 2 hours or 2 days? It would all depend on the road conditions. Would there be snow? Ice? Detours? Freeways? Country lanes? Winding cliffs by the ocean? Treacherous mountain passes? Flocks of sheep? Would it be a straight shot, or a haphazard journey around the country? As it turned out, we encountered all of the above and it basically turned into a two day project.

We found our way out of Split easily enough, and immediately entered a toll highway the likes of the autobahn (ah, this looked like it would be a breeze, 2 hours max), but the autobahn ended abruptly (like a movie set, it ended as soon as we were out of visual range of the city). It actually ended in baricades across the highway, not even a gradual escort off of the highway. This was more like a Smokey and the Bandit kind of detour. So we were forced to exit onto a two-lane country road and drive around (literally, around, in circles) the farmlands of inland Croatia for awhile. We carefully followed detour signs that seemed intended for someone else (someone not aiming for Zagreb). The detours eventually took us back to familiar winding seaside cliffs (the cliffs from which we were nearly blown off just days before). At least, we knew where we were, although we knew we were in danger of being whisked into the ocean by the slightest 100 mph "breeze."

Eventually (several coastal towns later, without much encouragement in the form of follow-up detour signs), the detours took us back to “the” freeway (we never found this freeway on the map, therefore, we never really knew where we were). We continued to follow signs pointing the way to Zagreb, up and over and partially through the mountains that run north and south the length of the country, via the longest tunnel known to man (we were beginning to think we had entered the bowels of the earth and started to experience shortness of breath...this tunnel must have been 10 miles long)! And just in case we weren’t discouraged enough at this point, the distance markers made us think we were traveling backwards because, even though we were following signs to Zagreb, the distance to Zagreb continued to increase. Should we have given ourselves more time?

As we neared what we guessed to be the half-way mark (although that’s all it was...a guess), we realized that the inland freeway had veered back to the coast without warning (and without tunnels or mountain passes...hmmm, how did that happen?). We were once again unexpectedly close to Senj (MBH's hometown), from which we had departed a few days prior. We can be sure of one thing: the folks who came up with the axiom, “the shortest distance between two points is a line,” were not from Croatia. It was early evening and it appeared the rest of the road to Zagreb would be good (but this is where it would have been good to be able to distinguish between appearances and reality). We decided to make one last surprise visit to MBH’s family in Senj (pronounced “insane”...I have managed to confuse MBH before, by telling him he is insane), and perhaps stay the night, getting up early for the remainder of the drive to Zagreb. Since our flight left at 7:00 am and we were more than a little uncertain of road conditions, we gave ourselves plenty of time for the alleged hour-and-a-half long trip, leaving at 2:30 am. Given that we had family and friends to visit, it was 1:00 am before we got to bed. This gave us 1 hour of sleep. Not sure this counts as "staying the night." But it’s a good thing we left early because once again, the autobahn came to an abrupt halt and gave way to a treacherous two-lane winding mountain pass, this time covered in snow and ice. This was the only snow or ice we saw on our entire trip, and it was 3:00 in the morning, on our way to the airport! God help us! Well, God did help us because if there’s one resource Croatia has a lot of, it’s salt, and they had laid down a good solid layer of it to dissolve the snow and ice on the road. Fortunately, it wasn’t snowing at the time. Aside from having to drive much slower than anticipated, we were able to pedal our tiny Flintstone car up and over the mountains and to the airport just in time to turn in our car, check our bags, and clear security, all with 15 minutes left over...perfect timing! Who needs sleep anyway? Some Geometry lessons maybe, but not sleep.

* In all fairness, the Golden Gate was covered in scaffolding and not exactly visible.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Bravo's Top 100 Funniest Movies List

Eric started it. Bravo reran this today. So, here it is. Bravo's "top 100 funniest movies of all time." Obviously, they didn't include a lot of old classics and you've gotta wonder if some of these newer ones will even be remembered in a few years, but here it is, in its entirety:

100 Anchorman ****
99 Birdcage **
98 School of Rock
97 Happy Gilmore **
96 Four Weddings and A Funeral **
95 Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle @
94 Waiting for Guffman ****
93 The Aristocrats
92 Father of the Bride ****
91 Revenge of the Nerds **
90 Clueless **
89 Slapshot
88 Team America
87 Kentucky Fried Movie *
86 Zoolander
85 Dirty Rotten Scoundrels **
84 Silver Streak ***
83 Sister Act ***
82 Tootsie **
81 Half Baked @
80 Lost in America ***
79 Three Amigos ***
78 Bananas ***
77 Flirting With Disaster @
76 Ghostbusters ***
75 Dumb & Dumber *
74 Trading Places
73 City Slickers ***
72 Moonstruck ***
71 Roxanne ***
70 The Nutty Professor * (top honors for flatulence scenes)
69 Blues Brothers *****
68 Broadcast News
67 King Pin
66 Dazed and Confused @ *
65 Office Space
64 Spinal Tap @ *
63 Manhattan **
62 The Pink Panther ***
61 Election
60 When Harry Met Sally ***
59 Police Academy Series *
58 Private Benjamin
57 Swingers
56 Young Frankenstein *****
55 Bull Durham **
54 Ferris Beuller’s Day Off ***
53 Dr. Strangelove
52 Meet the Parents ***
51 National Lampoon’s Vacation *****
50 The Princess Bride *****

49 American Pie *
48 American Grafitti **
47 9 to 5 **
46 The Incredibles
45 Raising Arizona ***
44 Sixteen Candles ***
43 What About Bob ***
42 Harold & Maude *****
41 Austin Powers ***
40 Monty Python and the Holy Grail *****
39 Mrs. Doubtfire **
38 Best in Show **
37 Dodgeball
36 Good Morning Vietnam ***
35 Beetlejuice ****
34 Rushmore
33 Clerks @
32 Groundhog Day ***
31 Big Leobowski
30 The 40-Year Old Virgin
29 Legally Blonde **
28 Annie Hall ***
27 A Fish Called Wanda *****
26 Wayne’s World @ **
25 Meet the Fockers **
24 Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure @
23 Big
22 Beverly Hills Cop ***
21 Shampoo
20 The Jerk ****
19 The Wedding Crashers **
18 Stripes **
17 M*A*S*H
16 Old School
15 Fast Times at Ridgemont High *
14 Napoleon Dynamite ****
13 Naked Gun Series *
12 The Producers ***
11 PeeWee’s Big Adventure *
10 Arthur **
9 Blazing Saddles **** (the Godfather of flatulence scenes)
8 The Wedding Singer
7 Ace Ventura, Pet Detective ***
6 Airplane *
5 South Park *
4 There’s Something About Mary ***
3 Shrek ***
2 Caddyshack *****
1 Animal House ****

Egregious omissions from the list:

A Christmas Story *****
The Gods Must Be Crazy *****

My Big Fat Greek Wedding ****
Up in Smoke @ ***
Princess Diaries ****
Some Like it Hot ****
L.A. Story ***

First, I have to believe there is absolutely no rhyme or reason to the ordering of these choices. There is just no way that Blues Brothers falls below the top 50 while Legally Blonde is in the top 50. And Monty Python at #40 is just plain wrong…clearly this is one of the Top 10 best movies of all time, not just funny movies. Anchorman doesn’t belong at #100 either…that was clearly one of the funniest movies made in the last few years and should stand the test of time. Next, there is a disproportionate number of low-brow, frat boy humor flicks (not that I’m above this type of humor, but still) and even worse, stoner/heavy metal flicks (I’ve noted these with a “@”) and many contain extreme flatulence scenes (for the record...just sayin).

I’ve put stars by the films I’ve seen (one star means it’s lousy, but I’ve seen it; 5 stars is Top 10 quality). I reserve the right to make revisions to my original top 10 at any time. ;-)

Apparently Ben Stiller has a nice contract w/ Bravo. What else could explain the number of times he appears on this list?

I’m surprised at the number of movies in the top 50 that I have not seen.

Bravo sure repeats itself a lot with its trailers and recaps...sheesh! I think I’ve had enough TeeVee for one week.

A Time to Remember

From our visit to the National Cemetery in Leavenworth, in memory of those who have served...



It is done! I must say that using the right grout makes all the difference, as one might expect. I won't be doing this again for a very long time, but I'm happy to have finally completed this project.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Fun At the Zoo

Have I ever shown you these? I know I told you there is lots to do in Omaha. That was no lie. Here's proof. ;-)

I had my hands full "filming" this action sequence (without a video camera). There's about 50 more slides making up the whole sequence of events, including a baby orangutan helper. Basically, these shots capture the main events...monkey sees hose and fashions a retrieving tool out of a tree branch (obtained from outside of her cage, I might add), monkey reels in the entire hose while one end is attached to a faucet outside the cage, monkey tries unsuccessfully to drink from the hose and when that doesn't work dismantles the entire nozzle assembly, hauls the hose up into the tree and builds a nest, then coils up the hose as if to put it neatly away before the zookeeper shows up. It was quite entertaining for us humans.

A Steady Diet of M&M's

Is it wrong to subsist on M&M's alone? Because that is what I have done today. Well, M&M's and coffee. And a Diet Black Cherry Vanilla Coke, which doesn't count as food or beverage, last I checked, since there are 0 calories in that. Which is good if you're going to eat a half ton of M&M's.

Last night, in fulfilling my duty of filling the candy jar (I just moved to a new office and people keep stopping by to ask how I like my new's like an open house and I felt I needed to have something to offer in addition to my perfunctory "like it, thanks") So I purchased the Mega-sized XXXXXL bag of peanut M&M's. I've eaten roughly half of them. I've done the math. This is roughly 3,850 calories. Gluttony is what this is, right? I didn't even go out for lunch, working away at my desk, popping M&M's in my mouth at the rate of about 100/hour. And now, hubby wants to know what's for dinner. [sigh]

Searching Leviticus 11 for M&M's...I'm pretty sure this qualifies as "detestable," but I can't put my finger on it.

Tomorrow's a new day.

Christian One-Liners

Again, from the e-mail box (I've done a little culling, but still a long list):

Don't let your worries get the
best of you; remember, Moses started
out as a basket case.

Many folks want to serve God, but only as advisors.

The good Lord didn't create anything
without a purpose, but mosquitoes come close.

When you get to your wit's end,
you'll find God lives there.

Opportunity may knock once, but temptation
bangs on your front door forever.

Quit griping about your church;
if it was perfect, you couldn't belong.

A lot of church members who are singing
"Standing on the Promises"
are just sitting on the premises.

We were called to be witnesses, not lawyers or judges.

Be ye fishers of men.
You catch them - He'll clean them.

Coincidence is when God chooses to remain anonymous.

Forbidden fruits create many jams.

God doesn't call the qualified,
He qualifies the called.

God loves everyone, but probably prefers
"fruits of the spirit" over "religious nuts!"

God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage.

He who angers you, controls you!

On Prayer:

Don't give God instructions --
just report for duty!

The task ahead of us is never as
great as the Power behind us.

The Will of God never takes you to
where the Grace of God will not protect you.

We don't change the message,
the message changes us.

You can tell how big a person
is by what it takes to discourage him.

The best mathematical equation I have ever seen:
1 cross + 3 nails= 4 given.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

U Can't Touch This!

This just in, via of a series of pictures depicting a very large and imposing dog behaving in a most gentle and maternal manner. Still, I'm glad it's not my child.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Banana C-rappuccino

I finally tried one of Starbuck's new banana flavored drinks and in the words of Eric and Beth...


Brain Fodder

Your Brain is 33% Female, 67% Male

You have a total boy brain

Logical and detailed, you tend to look at the facts

And while your emotions do sway you sometimes...

You never like to get feelings too involved

What Gender Is Your Brain?

My husband accuses me all the time of thinking like a man. I'm the one in the family who refuses to ask for directions. I'm the one who always has to solve the problem rather than just listen patiently. I'm the brain (as in I listen more to my brain than my heart, not like I'm some genius or something) while he's the heart of our relationship. Well, now we know. Apparently he's right. I'm really a man in a woman's body.

Fun Quiz comes via Foo, who really is a man.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Travel Tips - No Need to Cry

Princess Jami has a good post up for those who like to travel frugally. I fall into that camp. I love travel, and even moreso if I know I'm not spending lots of money. Check out her post for some great tips. Then, I'll share another excerpt from my Rather Long and Boring Travelogue of the Trip With Excessive Luggage to reinforce a point that Jami and I discussed briefly in the comments of her post...which is, don't bother taking Traveler's Cheques to Europe.

As background, I was experiencing a bit of a meltdown due to the language barrier in Croatia where English is not a 2nd language like it is in Western Europe. My beloved husband was born there and was my only means of contact with the rest of the world at this point. Being more than a little independent, the language barrier began to put a big strain on me. This took place after spending an entire morning in fruitless search of a camera battery:

At one point, I broke down, crying tears of frustration, when the bank refused to cash my traveler's checks because I had already dated them (at my bank, back home, when they were issued, as required by the teller who sold them to me). I couldn't convince MBH (my only source of verbal communication) or the tellers (who don't respond well to hand gestures) that they were wrong. Hmm, I’m sure this was good for me, but I was now officially…broke! We were counting on those traveler's checks! Oh sure, we had a few credit cards, an ATM/debit card and some U.S. dollars in our wallets, but have you ever tried to pay to use the toilet in Eastern Europe with a credit card? Or purchase a squealing pig from a farmer with your debit card? Or a few figs, some fresh goat cheese and sausage, from vendors who have no teeth, at the farmer’s market, with U.S. currency, when they have no way of converting it? Ahh, you see…I was officially broke and I had to pee! Please don’t ask me why I didn’t think to whip out one of these alternate forms of currency at the bank where I surely could have exchanged something for Croatian kunas…I guess I needed to indulge in a little self-pity over the traveler’s checks for awhile. It was the principle of the matter. So I begged to use the toilet for free and officially became…a panhandler! [thud]

As it turned out, there were ATM machines on every corner (not so on our last visit when none of the shopkeepers even took credit cards). The beauty of the ATMs was 1) I didn't need no stinkin' bank teller, 2) I could take out only as much as I was willing to lose in a day for a nominal transaction fee (i.e. I didn't need the security of traveler's checks), 3) I didn't have to pay their stupid 10% bank fee for the priviledge of cashing and exchanging my traveler's checks, and 4) the ATM spit out the local currency, using the optimal exchange rate (no longer at the mercy of the local banks and their usorious exchange rates). Even better? When I returned home, I discovered that all those ATMs were put there by my client, whose headquarters are in Kansas City! Small world.

But wait, don't go yet!

Here's my absolute favorite cheap travel tip: whenever I'm planning a domestic trip (as in someplace in the U.S., not a fall down your own stairs, or "tripping" over all the domestic chores you have to do), I use Priceline for the hotel and rental car reservations (but not plane reservations...their air fares are not much cheaper and you lose all your flexibility if you go with the bidding process). I usually consult Travelocity, Expedia, and/or Orbitz to get an idea of what hotels are charging in the area, and then go to Priceline and bid about 60% of the going Travelocity rate. This has only failed me once (on this past trip to Chicago when I couldn't find a single downtown room anywhere using any of the sites...downtown was all sold out which wasn't Priceline's fault). Priceline works so well that I will sometimes even book a last minute room someplace local just for a fun weekend getaway.

The secret is to bid first on the highest star level (and only on the highest level). If bids are rejected, you can't bid on the same star level again for 72 hours, but you can bid on the next level down. I've never had to go below 3 stars and I've never been disappointed. Don't limit your options by starting out bidding on a 3 star hotel because Priceline will search all star levels above the one you pick, but not below it, and eliminate them all for 72 hours. For an idea of what to expect, we've had the following successes (and this represents 100% of what I can remember):

5-star Hyatt in La Jolla, CA for $75/nt (the best deal of them all!)
Doubletree in Omaha, NE for $55/nt (hey, don't knock it til you try it, there's lots to do in Omaha)
Mariott in Kansas City for $45/nt (a Valentine's Day treat)
Grand Hyatt on Union Square, San Francisco for $75/nt (at Christmas!)
Radisson Plaza-Warwick in Philadelphia for $65/nt
Hilton on Michigan Ave in Chicago for $65/nt
Sheraton in Alexandria, VA for $65/nt
Mariott in Charleston, SC for $65/nt
Mariott Suites in Savannah, GA for $65/nt

This doesn't work in places not populated by the big chain hotels, and it doesn't work for bed & breakfasts (I used to be a bed & breakfast person until I discovered Priceline; now, I'll take cheap luxury over friendly, but expensive, hospitality ;-). Another downside is that you can't filter your request, so that if you require a hotel that takes pets, for example, you can't specify that, and you may end up with a hotel that doesn't allow pets (you submit your credit card information with your bid, so you don't have the option of undoing the transaction after you've submitted your bid). Certain other choices like # of beds or non-smoking rooms can be handled easily enough, with a follow-up phone call to the hotel. Even though the process seems irrevocable and that can be scary, I've never had a bad experience with's always been reliable.<*/end commercial>

Be warned, there's more where this came from. ;-)

Sunday, May 21, 2006

The Fur Ball

Last night's Wayside Waifs Fur Ball was probably the biggest fund raiser I've ever attended for a bunch of very lucky dogs and cats! Is it worrisome to anyone else that some of the community's wealthiest citizens view animals as more deserving than humans? Me, I'm a dog lover, but still. Just a thought. Here's just a quick tally, off the top of my head:

1,000 tickets sold for a minimum of $125 each (probably $150 on avg, less the cost of dinner and drinks) = $100,000

Silent auction: approx. $30,000

Live auction - 12 items, plus some that were sold twice(!) (things like donated trips via private chartered jet for $20,000 each and dinner with a local newspaper columnist, Charles (C.W.) Gusewelle, for $17,000 each)! Roughly $225,000

And a final round-up of general donations, rustled up by the live auctioneers at the end of the event (all to be matched by an anonymous donor), starting with $25,000 pledges and ending with $100 (needless to say, my own arm went up only near the end of this frenzy). These easily totalled $250,000, which means $500,000 for the shelter.

So what is that? About $855,000?!

Anyway, more about the events of the evening. The theme this year (it's always called the Fur Ball, but each year is a different theme) was Animal House, and so we arrived to find some people dressed in togas and others dressed in cheerleader uniforms, including a few in drag (we were not among the sheet wearing bunch, for those who are curious, nor were we in cheerleader uniforms). Here's what the place looked like:

While the silent auction was going on, there were adoptable dogs outside. We came dangerously close to bringing home "Lady," a sweet Aussie mix, but the handler assured us that she was very popular and was sure to be adopted very soon. If not, he will call us. There were also games of chance going on and ring toss games, etc. The place was crawling with people and sensory overload. We steered clear of all the games and poked around the silent auction a bit but mostly stayed outside and played with the dogs. I was too busy petting Lady to take her picure, but here's a shot of a couple of rescued former racing Greyhounds and a couple of toga sportin' ladies:

And what I just realized in looking at these two photos is that I've managed to capture the back side of the same guy in both of them, out of the 1000+ people in attendance. I have no idea who he is.

And then we enjoyed a lovely dinner and the live auction, followed by a wonderful story read by C.W. Gusewelle about his daughter's experience of traveling to Romania to adopt a baby. When they arrived, they learned of another baby in the orphanage that had just been rescued by a mother dog and carried to her den (underneath a building). According to folks that found the baby, the dog even nursed it alongside her litter of puppies. Whether that's true or not, at the very least, she protected it from the elements until it could be found. If that doesn't warm your heart, I don't know what will. And if you have a chance, check out one of CWG's books. He's got good wit and a warm heart, all essentials for a good writer. :-)

Oh yeah, almost forgot. The evening was topped off with a great band, that opened with R.E.S.P.E.C.T. by Aretha and followed with other Big Chill favorites. We snuck out during the dancing part but enjoyed a few songs before we left. Not a bad way to spend an evening compared to some of the other charity events I've been to. Lucky for me, my company forked out the big bucks for the table.

Friday, May 19, 2006

"Do Not Wait for Leaders; Do it Alone, Person to Person"

What Famous Leader Are You?
personality tests by

I took this test twice, each time presented different questions (I chose the 9 question test, as opposed to the 45 question test). The first result said that I was Hitler! Refusing to believe this, I had to retake it, don't you think? I mean, where did I go wrong??? I do drive Hitler's car, the People's Car (aka the Volkswagen Beetle), but I draw the line there at any similarities between me and Hitler. [shudder]

So I was quite happy to see the Macedonian Dwarf as my alter ego.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

The Day my Computer Battery Died

This is just a snippet of the copius notes I took on our last trip to Croatia, for Christmas. My last post reminded me of this. My battery power, which would turn out to be the only power I would have for my exhaustive travel journal, was exhausted by the time we hit Detroit. Here's why:

I kept a contemporaneous journal until my computer battery died (oh, yes, I carried lots of stuff requiring 110 electrical current, and special European adapters too, but not a converter, so I burned up my printer and after that, I didn’t dare plug anything in). I could have left at home the computer, the printer, the adapter kit, the digital camera, the tripod, the printing supplies, the blow dryer, the curling iron, the flat iron, and the brush and hair products used in conjunction with “styling” my hair curly or straight, depending on my many moods (and since when do I even take all of this stuff on domestic road trips?). Goodness, a whole suitcase full of useless stuff! I'll forego the 3 pages of notes related to the inept staff at Northwest Airlines, who nearly kept us in Kansas City for the holidays (and are responsible for the premature death of my computer battery), but I do feel compelled to touch on their “sendoff” just a bit. Here goes...

I’m glad we arrived 3 hours early for our departure from Kansas City. KCI is normally a very quiet airport requiring less than an hour to park your car, check your luggage, clear security and wait for boarding. I mean, heck, deer roam the halls of KCI, no joke! But after a severe winter storm hit the Midwest, I came armed with patience (they don’t let you bring guns anymore) and was prepared to spend the night in Detroit rather than over the Atlantic. I did not expect to have to draw upon the patience reserves so soon. Would we possibly spend the night in Kansas City? With self check-in the only option, except for “unusual circumstances,” we were off to a bad start because there were only two agents available to process the 200 or so unusual circumstances. We discovered, after trying unsuccessfully to check ourselves in, that we were indeed among the "unusual circumstances." This did not surprise us. We all know how quickly the processing of unusual circumstances goes! Many were angry passengers re-booking flights that were cancelled the day before, due to the weather. And then there was the guy who didn’t have health papers for his dog (since when is a rabies tag not enough?). And then, all of us international passengers who required “special” attention (I didn’t feel very special, frankly).

To help the process along, self-check-in (for the non-unusual circumstances) was conveniently located inside the traffic circle that was quickly forming around these portals by those of us with unusual circumstances, so that no one could get in or out to actually check themselves in, thus causing additional unusual circumstances. To add to this confusion, all luggage was deposited by the passengers inside a large roped-off area, on top of a growing heap of untagged luggage…to be inspected and tagged later…huh?! Couldn’t we at least have the false sense of security we get when we watch our luggage float down the conveyor belt in single file to a similar pile in the basement somewhere? At least then it has a tag on it. Okay, deep breath. Have a little Faith!

It just so happened that we were standing in line next to two other passengers headed for Amsterdam just like us (not our destination, but our first stop outside the U.S. and KCI is not known for being a big departure point for international travel), only they hoped to change planes in Minneapolis while we hoped to change planes in Detroit, even if we had to hitchhike to get there (no doubt the faster option). But still, a strange coincidence. They joked about the mess. Talking amongst themselves, I overheard them say, with Dutch accents, something like “only in America.” I interrupted at that point and told them to “hold on there!” This is how I normally strike up a conversation. Issue commands, orders, interrupt, whatever it takes. But then, they admitted that maybe the problem was not really America, but Northwest Airlines, or maybe the French because KLM, the parent of Northwest Airlines, was recently sold to a French airline. There we go. Let’s blame France! Once this was established, we became fast friends in all the mess and discussed things to do in Amsterdam on our 4 hour layover (canal boats, museums, Red Light District...would there be time for it all? The resounding answer was "no," we never even left Amsterdam's airport, due to bad weather there), their jobs (university math professor and dairy production equipment salesman), our jobs (travel writer and sea captain), and why Northwest airlines needs to hire some industrial engineers since they’re saving so much money on ticketing agents.

Then there was the small scuffle between me and a woman (an Arab woman…not that I’m profiling or anything) who cut right in front of me, coming from across the room where she claimed the line began. I will admit the “line” had become more of a circle at this point (thanks to Northwest’s school lunch lady who was doing a lousy job of organizing the masses…we formed a circle…for reasons unknown to me). The Arab woman claimed she had been waiting for 45 minutes and was an international traveler. Like that makes her special?! I told her we too were international travelers and had been standing in the “line” for an hour and 45 minutes (like this made us even more special), but that did not deter her. So I wished her a Merry Christmas (knowing this was not the “politically correct” thing to do). This elicited an “apology” but only after the agent began booking her seats. It turned out her flight was delayed. Ours left on time and made a safe trip to Detroit. Somehow, things always work out for good. Our connection in Detroit was perfect…no waiting, no delays (no mass quantities of snow), no rushing to catch it…just perfect. I sure hope she arrived safely at her destination. And we never saw the boys from Amsterdam again, each of us on our independent journey, on different aircraft, deplaning and replaning in different cities along the way, but with the same starting point and destination.
And so began the use of scraps of paper, pen and ink, to write notes by hand (gak!) in order to document the rest of our journey.

It's All About Me

It was only a matter of time until I succumbed to this narcissistic meme. Everybody else is doing it, to quote my teens. So here goes...

I AM what I am, by God's will

I WANT a peaceful life

I WISH that I was a better mother

I HATE making mistakes

I MISS my family and friends who live far away, and my good friend Art, who died of AIDS 15 years ago

I HEAR nothing at the moment except my typing on the keys

I WONDER how this life will end

I REGRET almost nothing

I AM NOT a sales person


I CRY very little, but always at certain sporting events (swimming, running, and bicycling) when someone shows guts and determination; and at most animal movies (Babe, March of the Penquins, Seabiscuit, etc.)

I AM NOT ALWAYS sociable (but I prefer Jim's answer here..."I am not always nor do I want to be") ;-)

I MAKE WITH MY HANDS meals and jewelry

I WRITE a journal when I travel

I CONFUSE myself

I NEED alone time

I SHOULD be more sociable (God did not intend for Man to live alone)

I START lots of projects

I FINISH what I start but not always on time

I TAG Ellen and Susiebadoozie and Mis Nomer (if y'all have done this already, I missed it, and regrettably request that you do it all over again, for my benefit) ;-)

Update: And since Lyn(don) is blogging, I also tag him! If it means not blogging to you, Lyn, you can just post (I mean leave your answers) in my comment section. ;-)

Zero Percent Midwestern?!

Your Linguistic Profile::

60% General American English
15% Upper Midwestern
15% Yankee
5% Dixie
0% Midwestern

What Kind of American English Do You Speak?

You see, I grew up in the Midwest and live in the Midwest now. I'm a little puzzled by this result. They never asked what you call the sofa or couch. My grandpa always called this the "divan." He was from Kansas. I've never heard this word used in other parts of the country. But I'm happy to see that I've gotten rid of most of the Southern (Dixie) roots. What's this "General American" category anyway? That's so generic and boring. Notice there is no "Western" category where we said things like "like" a lot, or "gnarly" and "totally awesome." There were no Valley Girl or Surfer phrases in the quiz, so I think we can assume California (my home for 17 years) was left out and is lumped in with "General American." Okay, so this quiz gets bad marks from me for not being more definitive, but it was fun.

Props to Jen, who is only 35% "General American"

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

No Meeting Tonight!

I love it when I put things on my calendar that don't exist. Love it! We switched our monthly art gallery meetings to bi-monthly and this is an off month. So now, I've no excuse not to blog! Still nothing to blog about, but that's not the point. Blogfodder is all about having nothing to blog about. If I had something important to say, I'd be...what? I'm not sure. That's what I'm exploring right now. What would I be if I had something important to say?

A minister?
A politician?
An author?
A teacher?
A reporter?
A beautician?
A comedian?

Let's move on.

Eric said when things got slow, he was "interested" in hearing about how our church does small groups. Having only participated in one small group on a regular basis, I probably can't intelligently speak to this. But that's never stopped me from speaking before. The church I attend most regularly (my husband is Catholic, so I also attend his church at other times) is large, maybe 1,500 members every week between two services and so, the heart of the church (the discipleship) really is in the small groups. My understanding of how the small groups work is that 1) there are lots of them with many different lines of demarcation such as age, marital status, special interests, etc.; 2) they are all published each week in the bulletin and people can just stop in at the designated time to join (very informal); 3) most meet on site in one of the church meeting rooms although there are also a handful of home based (usually smaller) groups; 4) they are led by folks who have been approved in some manner by the pastor (I've never put myself up as someone capable of leading a small group so I don't know what this entails exactly); 5) with so many groups to choose from, selection is mostly by word of mouth; 6) each may have a different style of leadership, from those who lead by teaching, to those who lead by facilitating group discussion, to one-on-one discipleship, to who knows what; 7) some are topical discussions while others study the Bible book by book, or my favorite, interweaving studies of the Old Testament with the New.

I think the most meaningful job anyone can have, if they truly have something important to say, is that of minister/pastor/preacher/priest. But I do not, so I am not.

Okay, this is funny. I just ran a spell check on this post because I was feeling responsible or something, and the suggested replacement for "blogfodder" was "blackbodies." No joke. I'll try to remember that, but I'm letting "blogfodder" stand. Thank you, spell checker.

Travels Around the Globe

This was enlightening. Look at how much of the globe I've never seen! Wow!! Must travel more.

create your own visited countries map

via Ellen, who also has a very nice reflection on the story of Samson posted over at her site.

Let's try states (while trying to figure out how to shrink the maps to fit on my blog page):

create your own visited states map

Okay, fine. Skip the visual aids. Who needs a stinkin' map to show where all they've been? Suffice to say, I've been to some countries and not others, but I've been to all 48 of the contiguous United States, plus Hawaii, and hope to visit Alaska one day so that I can check that off of my "to do" list. I've no real desire to go to Alaska otherwise and that seems like a rather vain reason to visit someplace, don't you think? I'd much rather cross a few more continents off my list. Except Antarctica. No desire to go there either.

I'm All Out of Blogfodder

I rely heavily on divine inspiration for whatever spews forth on these pages. You could no doubt see that in my work. ;-) And lately, all of God's work has apparently been spent sustaining me through seemingly endless hours of teaching, hacking and spewing, well, things not worth detailing on the world wide web.

But my sense of duty calls. That, and a certain blogger friend (who has weaseled her way into Eric's esteemed neighborhood...anyone else notice that? Way to go, Beth! Our property values are going up as I speak!) has called me on the table for not fulfilling my blogging duties. So here I am. Blogging.



I'm all talked out. My throat hurts. Anyone care to learn about Basic Trust Taxation? Or some Estate Planning Basics? I'm all over that. Over and over and over. But it's finally over! I could never be a full-time teacher. I'd wear myself out, working up the adrenaline needed to "entertain" those who insist on sitting there looking at you, eyes half closed, arms crossed, leaning back in their chair, legs crossed too, caring not one bit about what I am saying. I would love to shoot spit wads at those people! On the other hand, I love the ones who sit in the front, asking questions, nodding like they understand, showing enthusiasm for what I, just minutes before walking in the room, might have been less than enthusiastic about myself. I want to take these people under my wing and mentor them. I want them to work in my office.

My favorite part of teaching was the part where I got to wear a microphone. With my voice already altered by my cold, the amplification really accentuated it. I sounded like Darth Vader. That part was cool. But then about midway through this morning's session (before I was fully awake and caffeinated), I was droning away and reminded myself of Ben Stein in Ferris Beuller's Day know the part where he's going "Beuller? Beuller?" I cracked myself up. But nobody else "got it." Then, as I was warming up, I became less of a drone and more like the "know-it-all teacher" that I pretended to be when I was about 7 and teaching my 5 year old brother how to read in my make-believe school. For crying outloud, I was very stuffy this morning, literally and figuratively. Not at all in the mood for joking around. Yesterday was better. I hadn't worn myself out yet. I was still running on adrenaline yesterday. Today was just exhausting.

My cold is on the way out but I violated rule #1 when fighting a cold and took more antihistamine than I should have. I had to in order to teach. The downside is that in about a week or two, I'm probably going to suffer a sinus infection. Happens every time. But I'll keep popping sudafed and drinking lots of water to keep the sinuses draining and maybe I'll escape the infection.

And in other "news," we have...let's see. We have a big Fur Ball to attend this Saturday! I'm on the board of a local humane society and our big fundraiser is the Fur Ball. It's a lot of fun and well-attended which means mucho mula for the dogs and cats that are unfortunate enough to require their services. So there's that.


I'm also on the board of a local art gallery for which I have financial statements to prepare before tonight's meeting at 7:00 and so, I must get going...

Thanks to all who have stopped by faithfully in my absence!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Not in the Mood

I'm not in the mood to blog today. I've caught a cold. I pride myself on not catching colds. I do not like them! And the worst part is that tomorrow I teach...all day. Nothing like teaching with a head full of mucus. And a voice like Mae West (okay, not quite that lovely...more like a gravelly Al Pacino). Since talking is not my favorite activity, and public speaking even less so, I do not look forward to what tomorrow and Wednesday will bring. There are about 150 bright eyed new accountants from all over the country anxiously awaiting my performance (time to learn a few dance moves). Joy!

And I spent Mother's Day scrubbing the grout "haze" off of those bloody tiles on the front porch. Even with the aid of hydrochloric acid, it was not an easy job. Perhaps the acid accounts for my cold...what exactly happens if you accidentally get some of this on you, anyone know? I know I inhaled the vapors. But finally(!), the tiles have been restored to their original, unfinished, condition. And I have purchased the appropriate grout with which to complete the project. That will be next weekend's project. Then, I'll post a picture of the completed project for all to see (because I know this is what you are all waiting for).

Happy Monday!

Friday, May 12, 2006

Famous Last Words

Your Famous Last Words Will Be:

"I dunno, press the button and find out."

What Will Your Famous Last Words Be?

If I had post categories on my blog, this would fit right into The Stupid Things I Have Done in My Life category. ;-)

Fun Quiz via Beth

The Evolution of Dance

I've never been a good dancer. Actually, I don't dance. For me, dancing is like trying to complete a multi-dimensional math problem, and transmitting choreographic messages from my brain to my feet just doesn't compute. In fact, I think I'm missing those transmitters altogether. I received this in an e-mail today and in all liklihood, I am the last person on the planet to receive this, but in case you haven't seen it, this is good for a laugh or two.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Thursday Thirteen - "B" Movie Classics

Yeah, I know it's not Thursday yet, but I will be out of pocket most of tomorrow and can't find the option to post at a later date that is probably available on the more sophisticated blog models.

Beth recently reviewed what she thought was a "good" B movie. I'm no B movie expert, but I enjoy cheesy movies, so I thought this would be a fun meme. I think there's a fine line between "A" & "B" movies these days, as Beth noted when trying to name those worthy of 5/5 Kraft Singles. I think the key is "low-budget," in every sense of the word. The challenge for me is that I don't care for sci-fi or horror movies, and that's where most B movies are made. And once I started this list, I realized I was on a very slippery slope (but after reading that the Southern Baptist church invested in Ed Wood's film, Plan 9 From Outer Space, I felt a little better about myself ;-). So, here are my suggestions for the 13 mostly non-sci-fi, mostly non-horror (zombies don't count), mostly PG-ish but many unrated (all, without a doubt, unsuitable for children), "B" movies to see before you die:

1) *Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (this may just be the funniest of all "B" horror films)

2) Dawn of the Dead (this is the spawn of Night of the Living Dead , the quintessential, original zombie movie; this one brings back fond high school dating memories).

3) *Bedtime for Bonzo (who can resist Ronald Reagan and a monkey?)

4) The Mummy (classic Boris Karloff)

5) *Touch of Evil (classic Noir…I wish there were a lot more where this came from)

6) The Blob (this movie scared the daylights out of me, but who can resist?)

7) *Rocky Horror Picture Show (this was just becoming a cult film when I was in high school and so, yes, I threw toast and shot water pistols in a movie theatre, who hasn't?)

8) *Hercules (I actually saw Lou Ferrigno in real life, working out at Gold's Gym in Venice Beach, CA, circa 1981...he was the Incredible Hulk at that time...don't ask why I was in Venice Beach, I really don't remember that part; the reviewer describes this as the "most insane sword and scandal film ever made;" yeah, that's about husband owns just about every variation on this film ever made).

9) Planet of the Apes (if you've only seen the tee vee series, you owe this one to yourself...Charlton Heston at his finest; there are really no words except "brilliant!")

10) *Little Shop of Horrors (adorable schtik)

11) The Killer Shrews (vintage schlock)

12) *Bagdad Café (downright odd...this one will throw you off balance and you'll wonder what just happened)

13) *Polyester (the only Scratch & Sniff movie I've ever seen and probably the only John Waters movie, besides Hairspray, worth watching)

Now, don't even get me started on Spaghetti Westerns (or Macaroni Westerns, as they are known in Japan). MBH has just about every one ever made. ;-)

* I own these ones (I don't own many movies, but these are really just that "good").

Island Pork Tenderloin

Another recipe. It's not tax season anymore. ;-)

Below (I couldn't get the link to work but you'll find the whole recipe, including a great salad accompaniment, at is my all time favorite pork tenderloin recipe. Last night (while the last of Elvis Idol Worship was airing), I decided to cook the pork that was going to spoil if I didn't do something quick. I wanted to try something different so I pulled down one of my favorite cookbooks, Barefoot Contessa's Family Cookbook. Surely, she'd have a good recipe to try. Looked in the skipped from something like "pasta," to "potato." Huh. No pork? Not even pork roast? Pork shoulder? Nothing? Um, no. Look at her other recipes, silly. They all call for "Kosher" salt. Oh. So back to my old stand by (and if anyone wants a really good cookbook to add to their collection, this one is awesome!). This recipe never disappoints. And we didn't have the salad makin's, so we had it with roasted asparagus and baby new potatoes. My husband thanked me again this morning for the good dinner...and that's A Good Thing. ;-)

And Eric and Beth, there's no bananas in this one. ;-)

Now, go visit Rachel's recipe blog (and maybe someone can tell me where in America you can buy "Wattie's Sliced Mushrooms in Peppercorn Sauce"). In the meantime, I'm going to try her Banana Sour Cream Waffles. Yum!


For pork
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 pork tenderloins (2 1/4 to 2 1/2 lb total)
2 tablespoons olive oil

For glaze
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
1 tablespoon Tabasco

Prepare pork:
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Stir together salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, and cinnamon, then coat pork with spice rub.

Heat oil in an ovenproof 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until just beginning to smoke, then brown pork, turning, about 4 minutes total. Leave pork in skillet.

Make glaze and roast pork:
Stir together brown sugar, garlic, and Tabasco and pat onto top of each tenderloin. Roast in middle of oven until thermometer inserted diagonally in center of each tenderloin registers 140°F, about 20 minutes. Let pork stand in skillet at room temperature 10 minutes. (Temperature will rise to about 155°F while standing.)

Cut pork at a 45-degree angle into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Pour any juices from skillet over pork.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Mmmm, Banana Cake!

Rachel mentioned Banana Cake recently and I'm sure her recipe is superior to this one, but this one is easy and delicious. I made one just for us Saturday night. There's only a little bit left. ;-) It's so delicious in fact that we used this recipe for our wedding cake. Bear in mind that there were only 7 people in the church for our wedding and I made our cake myself. I'm not sure this cake would translate to a true wedding cake, one that keeps for several days and serves hundreds, suiting the needs of Wedding Cake Nazis everywhere, but it's definitely suitable for a dinner party or a quiet weekend of yardwork and self indulgence. I can be a bit of a food snob, and generally steer clear of recipes that rely on packages and mixes, but I stand behind this one (go ahead, poke fun, but do try it).

1 pkg Duncan Hines Moist Supreme Banana Cake Mix, oil, eggs
1 sm pkg Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix
1- 8 oz pkg Cool-Whip
2 cups milk
3-4 bananas

Make cake according to package instructions.

Make frosting by mixing pudding, Cool-Whip, and milk in a bowl and refrigerate while the cake bakes.

After the cake cools, slice each layer in half so that you have four layers.

Frost each layer, and layer sliced bananas on top of each frosting layer, reserving 1/2 of the frosting for top and sides.

That's it. You end up with a torte-like cake that is beautiful and delicious (unless you don't like bananas).

For pot-lucks or anytime you want to simplify it further, skip the layering and bake the cake in a 9 x 13 pan so you just have one layer of frosting and bananas…still good, just not as impressive, but easier to serve. This is how I had it the first time, but then I added layers for more banana-y taste. Enjoy!

Enter Don Carlos

Physical exhaustion is good, right? This was my annual yardwork initiation weekend. Which requires the use of muscles that don’t exist. I don't get out there often enough. It's all I can do to keep the weeds at bay. Thank heavens for perennials and ground cover. If not for those, our yard would be a composition of mulch and rocks. And more mulch. And rocks. Anyway, that's not the point. The point is…

When it comes to yardwork and home improvements, I believe my purpose is to serve as a warning to others. I am the shining example of what NOT to do. Hence, I feel compelled to share my findings with others.

First, everybody should have one of these. This is the handiest tool ever. I now know what it is called (I found it in my kitchen drawer)…the "Don Carlos Lead Putty Knife." Am I the only one who finds this humorous, naming a painting/glazing tool after an opera? Probably just me. Anyway, should you ever find yourself needing to remove oh, say, indoor grout from an outdoor application of some sort (not that you would, just sayin'), do not attempt to remove the grout with a grout saw, no matter how many pimply faced kids at Home Depot tell you to get the grout saw. A hand held grout saw is extremely time consuming and messy and downright difficult (I have the bruise on my palm and pain in my hands to prove it). With The Tool, I removed the grout cleanly and completely, in about 1/4 the time that the grout saw was taking. So finally, the indoor grout is gone and I am ready to start this project over. This has to be the most time consuming re-do I've ever faced.

In case you missed it, the first lesson here is to read the grout package to make sure the grout is suitable for outdoor use. ;-)

But there is a second, equally valuable, use for The Tool. After spending about an hour pulling weeds by hand, and fighting with resistant dandelions, I went in to get the garden shovel and then thought about The Tool. I grabbed that instead. It worked like a charm on the weeds growing in between the rocks and in the cracks of the sidewalk. I also killed several dozen earthworms in the process…but work had to be done. This was much easier and quicker than a small shovel.

Having the right tool for the job makes all the difference. This may not be the kosher tool for the job (it's not unlike using your shoe to pound nails in the wall), but trust me, it's probably the most effective one.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Elvis Inn Jerusalem

If I had Purgatorio's readership, I might offer up a caption contest for this here photo, but instead, I will simply share it. It ties in nicely to the latest Fire Ant Theatre reading, I think, and of course to my own ties to the King.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Elvis is in the building. No, Elvis has left the building. No wait, Elvis is ON the building! Yes!

Thanks to my cousin, Mike, who just reported in from the Holy Land (and we're not talking Memphis here; we're talking Israel) where he is working on assignment, we have this. This being, of course, the Jerusalem. Mike, being from Tennessee and being related to me, recognizes good kitsch when he sees it. And I probably owe him a big turkey dinner or something for allowing me to share this with ya'll. Thanks, Mike!

Friday, May 05, 2006

Friday on the Pod

Still adapting to the's Top 10 list:

10 - Rockin Gypsies, Willie & Lobo
9 - Boot Hill, Stevie Ray Vaughan
8 - Annie Mae, John Lee Hooker
7 - Here We Go Again, Ray Charles
6 - Wright Brothers Rag, Wynton Marsalis
5 - Hand it Over, Keb' Mo'
4 - Faithful to Me, Jennifer Knapp
3 - Nobody Knows You When You're Down & Out, Eric Clapton
2 - You Rascal You, Taj Mahal

And then, just as I'm gettin' in the groove of a fairly decent set, we get this...

1 - U Can't Touch This, MC Hammer

Ah, yes, somebody needs to clean up her iPod. ;-) At least no Christmas music this round.

Have a great weekend!

Cinco de Mayo

...will be celebrated May 5th, 6th, 7th at Crown Center in Kansas City. That would be Cinco, Seis, Siete de Mayo, right? I wonder if there will be French people there.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

Today is the Thursday Thirteen meme. I first saw this at Bloggin Outloud and then around the 'sphere. It can be about anything you want (13 things to take with you when you travel, 13 things that make you cry, 13 get the idea). So today, I was craving some sugar and decided to make a list of 13 nostalgic candies that I loved as a kid:

#1 Peeps, hands down (Easter would not have been Easter without them and they're best when left out to dry and shrivel so that they're chewy, and if you visit the link, be sure and read the solubility testing)
#2 Jolly Rancher Apple Stix (we were pic-nicking at Bodega Bay and seagulls stole our sandwiches...isn't that also the location for The Birds...anyway, we survived on Apple Stix...yum!)
#3 Abba-Zaba (I'll bet Jim and Beth liked those ;-)
#4 Candy necklaces, the kind that colored and sugar coated your neck
#5 Cinnamon toothpicks (why? We even learned to make our own)
#6 Fun Dips (Who needs all this hassle? Why not just shoot it up?)
#7 Sugar Daddies (it's a miracle I never had cavities until I was 38!)
#8 Sixlets (this was a budgetary choice...basically just cheap M&M's, made with "chocolate compound," but at a penny a pack, they were affordable)
#9 Bottle Caps or Pop Rocks (remember that chemically sizzling sensation on your tongue? Oooh, Yeah!)
#10 Chick-o-stiks (mmm, peanut butter, coconut, vanilla, artificial coloring...tres magnifique!)
#11 Smith Brother's Cough Drops (you know you pretended these were candy too...cough, cough)
#12 Wax Pop Bottles filled with syrupy liquid (we chewed the wax like a wad of was either this, or wads and wads of those enormous packs of bubble gum, the kind the size of a baseball card and 1/2 an inch thick)
#13 Squirrel Nut Zippers (this was the last thing in your Halloween bag to be eaten, but once you acquired the taste, you realized they weren't all bad; um, and having seen There's Something About Mary, I'm not going to comment on the name of this candy...eeek!)

My first supplier was the liquor store across the street from our house. My newspaper route provided lots of spending money and most of it was spent on candy. Though this was also the loitering place for wayward teenagers smoking cigarettes and other things, the only fix I ever needed was sugar.

Did I leave out anything especially heavenly?

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Blogroll Additions

Please allow me to introduce two new blogs on my roll, Foo, at Random Synaptic Misfire and Susiebadoozie, at My Gobhole. These folks meet the high standard (of making me laugh out loud) that I require in a blog, making them Intrinsically Worthwhile. If you have not already visited them, then drop in and say "Hi." Susie might even send you stuff. ;-)

Oh, and Foo lists Monty Python and the Holy Grail among his Favorite Movies, which makes him a very Good Guy. ;-) And if he ever visits here again, I hope he will go see my photo of Mr. Spamalot. This will earn me Big Bonus Points in his book, I'm sure. ;-)

This is Just Filler

I just realized that yesterday was post-less. Gasp! Pandering to my fear of abandonment, I figure I better post something. I meant to post pictures of the latest home improvement project Gone South. It involved the use (or non-use depending on what "use" means) of 5 (FIVE!) different saws, some cabinetry and one slightly oversized refrigerator. News at 11.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Un Dia Sin Inmigrantes

In an effort to show my economic impact on the country, I stayed home today. Did you feel the ripple effect? I thought not. I wasn't protesting anything except the need to stay home and wait for Refrigerator Man, and Insurance Man, and Car Man.

First, the new refrigerator showed up (we bought the new refrigerator because our old one wasn't refrigeratin' needed a new compressor). Ah, but the new one doesn't fit in the hole. My husband will be delighted to know that he gets to use his chain saw in the kitchen. ;-) AND, we do not have a water hook-up for the ice maker/water dispenser. Despite the fact that we told the sales clerk this at the store and she sold us a water supply-line hook-up kit and charged us extra for the water hook-up, Refrigerator Man is having none of that. Sooo, we must go back to the store and get a plumber out to the house for which I'm sure another day of waiting is required and for now, we have a refrigerator sitting in the middle of our kitchen.

After the refrigerator, we bought a new van because the old one was, well, hit by a Mack Truck a few years ago. This is nothing to get excited about unless you get excited about white Chevy work vans. But, after we signed all the papers on Saturday, we drove past another dealership that had just received a whole fleet of them and one in Navy Blue. MBH was practically doing somersaults over the blue van. So this morning, before the purchased van was delivered, I had to call up Johnny, the salesman, and inquire about the possibility of trading the van we bought Saturday for the van we saw down the street at a different dealership. Johnny agreed to jump through hoops only to come back and tell us that the engine on the van we thought we wanted was a much bigger V8 and we would only get 10 mpg. This, following the morning news that we can expect $3/gal to be the minimum for a few years out. Hmmm. I called MBH and gave him the bad news. So what will it be, color or fuel efficiency? An hour later, "we" decided to keep the one we had already bought.

So there was that.

Then, I worked some at home and waited for Insurance Man, who arrived a little late, but before the rain. He was to inspect our roof. We thought perhaps we had suffered some hail damage in the recent round of hail ball sized hailstones! He noted a few missing shingles and a few dents in the gutters, but otherwise noted no damage. Guess we need to get a real roofer out here if we want a real assessment of any damage. So, more waiting.

The highlight of the day is that Map Stats tells me that someone (or something, I'm never sure how to interpret what Map Stats tells me, which is mostly not much) visited today from Kópavogur, Gullbringusysla, Iceland! How cool is that?! Cold even! I can't tell if they used a word search (Finland is close to Iceland, right?) to get here or if one of my "regular" readers just happens to be in Iceland for the day, but anyway, thought I'd share that tidbit. I don't got much else.

So did anyone miss the illegal immigrants today?