Saturday, August 30, 2008

Nosotros Vacacion a Lago Sanguijuelos: Dias Uno y Dos

We are having a fabulously relaxing time at Leech Lake this weekend. We arrived on Friday afternoon and did nothing but lay about. This is the ideal vacation for me, particularly coming off of two weeks of pure, unbridled hell at work. Aah. The Motley Crue: Andreas, Curt and Marina.

Saturday: Here are the Motley Crue acting up at the headwaters to the Mississippi River in Itasca State Park. Who knew the Mississippi was ever so small.

Later Saturday: We went to Uff Da Days in Nevis, MN where we saw a creepy clown giving out balloons to children, a flea market, a Swedish Meatball stand (the extent of the ethnic foods) and a little girl tormenting a dog with a bike horn. Oh, and I almost forgot, the world's largest Tiger Muskie- though I am fairly certain my brother-in-law caught one just a bit bigger than this a few years back. The festival was a bit of a bust, and in my opinion, could use a gay or two on the organizing committee to add a little sparkle to the event next year.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Favorite Bumper Sticker of the Day

Come to the dark side. We have cookies!

Men Are Hogs

I'm going to betray my own gender. Men are hogs. All you have to do is look in the men's restrooms at my work to prove this statement true.

1. You know when someone drops a Skittle and says "5 second rule" then picks it up and pops in in their mouth? You wouldn't do that if you spent just a moment looking at the floor below the urinals in the men's room. Urine EVERYWHERE. The amount urine that must get carried to the carpets on shoes is appalling. We're all professionals in nice clothes. Aim! Aim! Aim!

2. What is it that I see on the stall wall facing the toilet? Oh, yes. They're boogers. Yup. Boogers. Today in the 7th floor men's room, I counted 6 boogers flicked on to the facing wall and one on the side wall of the stall. WTF?? You picked your nose on the toilet and with all that toilet paper right there in which to deposit your pickings, you choose to flick it on the wall? No frickin' way.

3. Ring. Ring. Ring. "Hello?" You don't expect a lot of conversation in the bathroom, but the fine art of talking on your cell phone on the toilet is classy, classy, classy. Who the hell answers the phone while pinching a loaf and while the urinals and toilets are flushing all around you? Who is it so critically important that you need to answer the phone while pooping? And if they're so important, does it demonstrate some special level of commitment to them when they hear the grunting and flushing? Sheesh. Let it go to voice mail already.

4. Don't shake hands with a man. Just don't. Most men either don't wash their hands at all, or they do the quick soapless rinse on their way out of the bathroom. Nasty. Really nasty. At my last job, we had this hot looking former MN Twins baseball player named Scott Leius who came into the office to sell software. All the chicas and this chico loved to say hi and shake his hand when he came into the office. That is until I was in the restroom one day washing my hands (with soap, thank you) when he emerged from a stall and walked right out of the restroom. Talk about someone going from hot to hideous in one swift motion. Scott, if you're reading this- wash your wealthy hands, you pig.

5. IF you have rinsed or washed your hands and used a paper towel, don't throw it on the floor. The mouth of the waste bin is long AND wide. You would have to be seriously myopic to miss this particular receptacle. Pick it up and try again. We are all well paid professionals. Though hitting the receptacle is not part of your performance appraisal, it is all a skill we should hone. Squeal like a pig. You are one.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Bits o' My Head

1. I am Ruth-less. My friend Ruthie, of farting fame, and her son moved from Decorah to Illinois to live with her fiance and his two boys. I've known Ruthie since I was four. She is a rock- one of the strongest women I know, has a killer sense of humor, always lands on her feet, does everything with a signature ferocity, but always out of love, and has been a great friend all these years. I'm going to miss her a lot on my trips back to Decorah.

2. I've been vascilating between anger, joy and maudlin weepiness for the past three days. At least there is some joy in there. The weepiness is good, too. At least I think I'm feeling things that I thought the ongoing family drama had erased.

3. Our dog Claire refuses to learn anything because she knows we're not going to stop feeding her or loving her. She is a clever thing.

4. I took a walk with my employee C around Lake Harriet tonight. She's nifty. We like her.

5. Only 3 more work days until we leave for Leech Lake for a 5 day weekend. Woo hoo!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

How Should I Take This?

Occasionally, I look at my Site Meter blog hits to see the locations of readers and view the search words, if used, that got them to my site. Today, I found a reader from Lincoln, NE who found my blog by using the following search words at

Becky Homecky Pickles

I know that some of my other blogging pals could be found with words like "fabulous yarn lady" or "funny left wing mom" or other interesting phrases of envy. So, I'm not sure how to feel about the whole "Becky Homecky Pickles" business. I write about hobbies and interests, none of which are homemaking or pickling, and this is how you found me? I am amused and horrified.

A Happy Saturday

Yesterday, Curt and I made our annual trip to the Minnesota State Fair. Why? The food, of course, with a few animals and shopping thrown in. Here is a brief visual chronicle of the day.
We always start with a tower of hot cinni-minis with cream cheese frosting on the side. My they're tasty.

Hello, lover! This was 1/3 lb of bacon on a stick, deep fried then coated with a maple glaze. I have two core beliefs- the first is that everything is better with bacon; the second that everything is better with glitter. I think we can all at least agree on the first. I still have some proving to do on the second.

Here we see the U.S. team in the blue waiting to take on the Chinese team in the red.

We stumbled upon a sheep klan rally in one corner of the barn. Clearly, this black sheep is an infiltrator. Who let's the klan in to the state fair anyway? What a shame.

Here is Curt with what we felt was the loveliest cow in the barn. Notice she is not me.

Mmmmmm. Butter heads. For the uninitiated, the fair royalty, Princess Kay of the Milky Way and her court, all get their likenesses carved from a 90 lb block of butter that is on display in the dairy building for the whole fair. They are a little better than creepy to me. Each court member gets to take their butter head home at the end of the fair and use it as they wish. Rumor has it that many of the families have a feed of their remaining sweet corn and roll the hot ears around on the head. Others, I guess, keep it for high school graduation when it emerges from the freezer for guests to stick their knives in as they butter sandwiches. In any case, creepy.

Goats are just cute. I love goats.

Clearly someone else got the memo about gay day at the fair. This is Curt and our friend Michael. Michael and his partner were out with partner's 90 year old mother, who looks A LOT like Angela Lansbury, who I believe is about the same age by now.

This is a gratuitous yarn shot for Madame Leiderhosen from the Alpaca booth. Alpacas, like goats, are exceptionally cute.

Friday, August 22, 2008

So Glad It's Over

This has been the week from hell at work. I got a lot accomplished, but found myself taxed in the area of human interaction. By the time 2:00 rolled around today, I found myself on the phone for the 3rd time today with the same person, explaining the same thing and every time she spoke all I could think was "Shut up! Shut your pie hole! Please hang up! If you say one more word, my head will explode! Shuuuuuut Uuuuuuuup!" It was time to go home, and so I did.
Let's have a little end of week party with the original "queen" of disco, Sylvester, circa 1978! Rest in peace, dear.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Random Bits of My Head

1. Tuesday there was an eastern gold finch sitting atop a spent purple cone flower pulling out seeds. So, far I've gotten two days of mental delight out of this. Don't ask me why. It was just remarkably satisfying.

2. Older athletes at the Olympics rock! Dara Torres is frickin' 41! And that German gymnast vaulter is 33! Me: 42 and I grunt when I get up from a chair. I remember as a kid that my dad used to do this when getting up and I was so irritated by it. Now, I completely understand.

3. Why do other drivers get so prickly when you tap your horn at them? I consider it a public service if they have been sitting cluelessly at a green light. They see it differently, or at least their fingers do.

4. I was very nervous giving a very, very brief presentation to half of the company's senior most executives yesterday and realized that I was completely out of breath after my first sentence. So out of breath in fact that had I breathed through my mouth at that moment I would have sucked the executive next to me into my lungs. I quickly made the choice to trade the deep asthmatic sounding mouth breath with a nose breath. Of course, I forgot I was a little congested, so the executives were treated to the sound of snot and boogers rattling around in my head. I'm on the fast track after that performance. *sigh*

5. That which doesn't kill me makes me stronger. At least that is what I have to tell myself in my Pilates reformer classes.

6. My housekeeping skills are particularly abhorrent this summer. I think Curt is about to beat me with a toilet brush. Better try to focus on some improvements in this area.

7. New toy(s) at discount prices: despite our attempts to balance our old washing machine, it still crawled across the floor every time it spun a load. The dryer was no better. So, after much research and shopping around, we bought an LG steam washer and dryer set. Lesson learned in this exercise? Everything is negotiable. I asked for a package price for the washer, dry and two pedestals and kept asking them to go lower until I got the whole deal for about $950 off including a 5 year service plan. Sweet! Oh, and they are marvelous.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


If I didn't return your phone calls this weekend, and there were some- my apologies- this is why. We started this project last weekend when we removed all the old plant materials and potted them up, ripped out the old rotting railroad ties and removed about a ton of landscaping rock and had it hauled away.

This past weekend, we built the walls, removed about a half ton of bad dirt, added about another half ton of soil amendments to the remaining dirt and replanted the perennials and added a few more. Whew! This area has been bugging us since we bought the house. So, we are thrilled to finally have it done.

The project also involved me learning to use a new power tool- a paver saw! It is basically a big circular saw that has water spraying on the blade to keep it cool while cutting through the wall bricks. Cool! I have to say that my performance with the saw was nearly lesbian in its precision, despite my squealing quietly in fear every time I turned it on.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


So, I had already poured myself a bowl of Honey Bunches of Oats with Strawberries when I discovered we were out of milk. Desperate for my cereal, I considered the options:

1. Put it back in the box. No.
2. Eat it dry. Yuck and no.
3. Use some watered down heavy whipping cream that expired two weeks ago, but eerily doesn't smell bad yet. Too risky. No.
4. Mix the cereal with a mound of non-fat whipped cream from a can. YES!

I was a little freaked out at first because it was so delicious. But, I quickly realized why it was delicious- it is a Lutheran salad and I invented it! Lutherans have Snickers Salad, Popcorn Salad and Oreo Salad. Now we have HBO Salad (Honey Bunches of Oats Salad).

Are you SURE you want me to come to your next potluck???

Paranoia Alleviated for Today

Some of you know this already, but I've been having a number of tests run because I have an elevated platelet count. It started back in 2005 when they went up and outside of normal range. We've been monitoring them since, but this year they took another slight leap up. So, if you know me at all, you know that anytime there is an abnormality, I quickly assume that I'm going to die. Stubbed toe, blister, sliver, all equal death. Okay, I'm exaggerating, but you get the idea. The thing that worried me about my platelets was that my mom died of leukemia. She had too few platelets and too many white cells. A different story completely, but I was still paranoid.
Happily, all of my test results and blood work showed that other than the high platelets, nothing else looks abnormal. At least in my blood. My ass is still gigantic and my man boobs cascade over my belly and flop around when I run (I avoid it), but those won't kill me. Actually they might, but that is a whole other struggle.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Crabby Old Queen Is Back Sort Of

I'm back, but mostly because I got stranded for an extra night in lovely Appleton, WI and I'm bored here in my hotel room. I have to report that I did have a great dinner this evening at a restaurant called Koreana. In fact it was so great that it was the second night in a row that I had the exact same meal. Koreana, as you might have guessed, is a Korean restaurant, but with a fabulous sushi bar. The meal? A cup of miso soup, white tuna tataki with raw veggies in a citrus soy sauce, and the Magic Crunch roll- tuna, salmon, cucumber, tempura crunch, nori wrapped in rice rolled in flying fish roe, and drizzled with a spicy sauce. It was marvelous. And in typical white person fashion, I am talking about eating sushi. Go figure.

One funny thing that happened during my hiatus was the curious incident of my employee C and the sweet corn at our department picnic last week. C and I had volunteered to go to the site early with some others to help get set up for the cookout and games. I was asked to purchase enough sweet corn for the department, which I delivered to the site, but had to ask C and others to husk and get ready for grilling because of an errand I needed to run. When I returned from my errand, I came back to find C sort of bent over near the picnic table with an ear of sweet corn in one hand held out in front of her at about waist level and the other hand held out while a male co-worker poured olive oil into it. She then took her oily hand and rubbed it back and forth on the sweet corn. When each ear was sufficiently oiled, she put it into an aluminum pan. She grabbed the next ear of sweet corn and repeated the process. I looked around to see that two other male co-workers were standing around watching C stroke the corn with her oily hand. Hmmmm. When C happened to catch my glance, I raised an eyebrow, looked at her, looked at the men and looked back at her. She was instantly horrified that she had been standing before a group of men simulating a hand job with an ear of corn not once but nearly two dozen times. She looked at me and said, "I shouldn't be doing this. I shouldn't be doing this." I said, "Oh, just finish you only have a few left." At this point, our semi-creepy co-worker says "Let me put more oil on your hands and it will go faster." SWEET! C turned bright red, finished the last ear of corn and promptly excused herself to go wash her hands. If I were a really good boss, I would have volunteered to step in to help her finish the corn; but I'm not a really good boss, I'm just a good boss.