Monday, December 29, 2008

Middle Age: Phase 1

Remember all the times that you were innocently listening to music in your room and your folks yelled at you to "Turn that racket down!", or the number of times they said "I don't know how you can listen to that garbage! You can't even hear the words!" And, in reply, we rolled our eyes, sighed heavily and thought "You are so old and uncool." Well, clearly that brand of fuddy duddy-ness has set in on yours truly. I've always admitted to being stuck in the musical past. Tonight, I slipped beyond that into something much darker.
So, there I was in my car flipping through channels on the satellite radio until I find The Blend- a mix of pop and alternative current tunes. I'm listening, listening and the song is starting to drive me crazy and I'm thinking things to myself like "Good lord, why doesn't he just clear his throat before he sings?" and "God these lyrics are just stupid" and "What is the point of this song?" and "I think he's trying to sound British or something equally affected." Out of curiosity, I checked the songs artist and title. Artist: Thriving Ivory. Title: Angels on the Moon. Both these things set off a flurry of new thoughts like "What a stupid name for a band" and "What a retarded name for a song. No wonder the lyrics make no sense." It was ugly and I started to feel really uncool and parental in my judgments. So, I switched over to the ever reliable 80's on 8 where all is right with the world and I know all the lyrics to Bust a Move by Young MC. Yeah. I'm cool.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

It wasn't me. I swear.

There have been moments when I have fantasized about clubbing the noisy teenagers at the movie theater, or breaking the kneecaps of the seat kickers behind me, but I would never do it. Check out this story from the city of brotherly love:

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A man enraged by a noisy family sitting near him in a movie theater on Christmas night shot the father of the family in the arm, police said.
James Joseph Cialella, 29, of Philadelphia, faces six charges that include attempted murder and aggravated assault. He remained in custody Saturday.
Police said Cialella told the man's family to be quiet, then threw popcorn at the man's son. The victim, whom television reports identified as Woffard Lomax, told police that Cialella was walking toward his family when he stood up and was shot.
Detectives called to the United Artists Riverview Stadium theater in South Philadelphia found Cialella carrying the weapon, a .380-caliber handgun, in his waistband, police said.
Lt. Frank Vanore called the incident "scary that it gets to that level of violence from being too noisy during a movie."
Lomax, 31, of Yeadon, was released from a hospital after the shooting. He declined to comment when contacted by phone Saturday.
It was not immediately known whether Cialella had a lawyer or whether bail had been set. A woman who answered a call to his home number Saturday declined to comment.
A theater manager referred calls to Regal Entertainment Group spokesman Dick Westerling, who did not immediately return a phone message Saturday.
Police could not confirm what movie was playing in the theater, but The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that it was "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button."

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Bad knitter. Baaaad knitter.

This goes out to Madame Leiderhosen and her subversive, anti-American needles. Hee hee hee. (They call it knitting, but it looks like crochet to me.)

Friday, December 26, 2008

For real? And they won't run?

The FDA has approved a new drug for thicker, longer lashes. Is this treating a health condition or a vanity condition? Hmmmmmmm. I thought this was why we had mascara.

Whoa! Now that's a powerful tool.

Scroll down and check out the new widget that I installed from If you click on options, then choose the map, you can zoom in on your location. I'm not sure how accurate it is since it probably just tracks to the regional office, but one of my relatives paid a visit and I zoomed in and the little flag was on their road. Is that possible? Cool, if true.

Makes me chuckle every time:

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays!

Happiest of holidays to everyone! This little birdie gifted me this morning by sitting in the arborvitae right outside the dining room window long enough that I could get a good picture of him. What a treat!
Curt and I are celebrating tonight with an early dinner at my favorite spot Kincaid's followed by gift opening. I have no idea what Curt got me since I barely put anything on my list except bird feeding stuff. So, this should be exciting. I got Curt one thing from his list and two other things that I know he needs. I like surprising him with things not requested.
Tomorrow, we head to Monticello, MN for Christmas day with Curt's family. They are a wonderful, civilized bunch. We always get our fill of good homey food and great humor. If we're lucky we'll play cards, which with Curt's family is a blood sport considering they are all as competitive as Curt. I've seen broken nails and lots of name calling during these games. All in good fun though.
My best to all of you this holiday season! Stay warm and enjoy friends and family!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Marry Him! Marry Him!

Yes, Bristol Palin, please, please, please marry your baby daddy, Levi. Not for the sake of your unborn child, but for the pure entertainment value your future mother-in-law could provide to a future run for office by Sarah Palin. It has such potential. Now the poor thing has two bad grandmas. Shame.

Crappy Christmas Gift Challenge

The MNMom has issued a challenge to post a thing or things we would consider a crappy Christmas gift. Okay. I can do that.

#1: Fantasy "Art"

I just plain hate this shit. If anyone were to ever buy me a piece of fantasy "art" and think they were my friend, they would be mistaken. This one sucks because of all the bubbles and frickin' wings attached to everything and the blissed out look on their faces and the little red girl's Laura Ingalls Wilder bonnet bullshit. This just sucks on all levels. The only things that could make it worse: a castle, a dragon, a dolphin and some chick with big boobs and a sword. Now if this were painted as a joke, I could laugh along, but someone probably looks at this thing every day and finds some spiritual contentment. I'm sick just thinking about it.

#2: Novelty gifts

This sad thing is Billy Bob the Singing Bass who sings "Take Me To The River". Someone gave this to my dad as a novelty gift one year. (If it was one of my sibling readers, my apologies for what I'm about to say.) It was amusing for one button push when the fish would flop around on the board and move it's mouth to the music. However, at family gatherings, after the grandchildren had pressed the little red button to make the damn thing flop around for the 100th time (no exaggeration), I wanted to stomp on the thing. This would have scared the grandchildren so I refrained, but I really, really wanted to stomp it out of its existence. The only remotely amusing novelty gift my dad ever received was a remote control farting machine that he once taped to the bottom of a chair to confuse his visitors.

#3: Games that help you relate to one another on a deeper level

Little makes me crankier than forced bonding. These cards were brought out at a friends house once when a group was over (Dear friend- I don't think you're a reader, but I am sorry for what I'm about to say if you are. I know you'll forgive me because you know what a cranky old fart I am and love me for it.) We were supposed to pick a card and tell a story about it and then the next person would do the same and it was supposed to reveal insights about you to the group so they could understand you better. Wretch! And look at the cards for god's sake- there are two people dancing in unitards and a clown. A clown! You think I'm going to enjoy this game if there's a CLOWN?? Read the complete bullshit that the makers of the cards have on their web site:
These beautiful cards are designed to increase intuition, imagination, insight and communication. Around the world people are using these unique cards to reclaim their sense of self and their sense of place in this universe. The OH Cards were created to put you in touch with yourself and with those around you.
I mean really, could you just about puke??
Merry Christmas, all! I know if I receive any of these gifts that you do indeed hate me.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Fun With Bone Marrow Disorders

Today I had part one of my annual performance review at work. (Thank god I don't get one at home because my ranking for "Cleans House Without Prompting" would be in the toilet.) Anyway, before the review got started my boss asked me about the results of my bone marrow biopsy. I explained about the two disorders, blah, blah, blah. So, here's how the rest of the conversation went:

Boss: So what are the symptoms?

Me: Well, the one that affects my platelets makes me fat and the one that affects my hemoglobin can make me crabby. So, basically you're just sitting across the desk from one big disability and you'll never be able to give me anything but a positive review because I've got an excuse for all my weaknesses now.

Long pause, after which I bust a gut laughing.

Boss: Get out of my office.

After he got over the shock of being so gullible, we had a good laugh about it. There was some context for him believing me because his extremely cute wonderful wife has some circulation thing with her hands and the medication she was on caused some sudden weight gain- which promptly ended the medication after two weeks.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Want Some Blood? It's Extra.

So, why go for just one bone marrow disorder when you can have two? Yes, two. I got the results of my bone marrow biopsy back today. No cancer is the great news. However, I have two different multi-syllabic bone marrow disorders- one affecting my platelets, which we knew about, and the other affecting my hemoglobin. Odd. My hemoglobin is in the normal range- high in the normal range, but normal. My doctor diagnosed it paritally because my kidneys aren't producing enough of a hormone that stimulates the marrow to produce the blood. Apparently, it just does it without the stimulus. So, I just basically make too much blood. My doctor tells me that I'm no longer of any use to the Red Cross or any plasma donation center. (Not that they want my blood anyway as their policies exclude me because they infer that because I am in a relationship with a man that I have HIV. Quite a leap and not true.) I also presumed that any vampire that might want to latch on would also likely no longer be interested. Can I convince mosquitoes that drinking my blood is also sucky for them in some way? Hmmmm.
So, I had to sit for a nice blood letting after my doctor's visit. They call it phlebotomy, but I prefer the more medieval terminology. I very quickly filled the bottle up all the way to the top. Not so exciting except that when they took the needle out of my arm, my blood sort of sprayed all over briefly then dripped on to the floor. I thought it was funny and apparently the phlebotomist did too because she yelled out "We've got a gusher!"
Anyway, I have to have blood lettings every two weeks until another blood level gets below a certain point. Hematocrit, I think. Afterwards, I will probably need a blood letting every month for the rest of my life. Oh, and I need to do all of the other things that one should do to avoid blood clots and strokes. This includes losing weight. Frick. Again.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Like Living On the Prairie Only Less Drafty and Less Work

Holy crap! We were without high speed internet for a day and a half and I nearly lost my mind. Apparently, cable service can be interrupted when there are rapid changes in temperature. I'm not sure that's not just an excuse for crappy service, but I have no choice but to believe them. Anyway, without my internet, my thoughts turned to things like making candles from the beeswax I collected from the hive in the tree in the front yard, or making soap from the fat of the cow we just slaughtered and lye from the ashes from our wood burning stove, or making a doll from a log and piece of yarn ma had left over. Then I realized I have none of those things. What was I to do with all this god forsaken time on my hands? What? What? Read a book? No. Clean the house? No. No. What? What? I ended up killing zombies thanks to our fabulous Wii and a shiny copy of Resident Evil 4. Now that our internet is back, I'm feeling much better.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Does My Butt Look Big On This Wii? And other thoughts

1. It was raining here most of the day- unusual for this time of year. This didn't stop the squirrels from cleaning up under the bird feeders. Unfortunately, wet squirrels aren't nearly as charming as dry fuzzy squirrels.

2. I ran out to Best Buy this morning and picked up a Wii Fit. The thing took me through a bunch of set up activities, asking me my height, my birthday, then weighed me and calculated my BMI and my fitness age. Then it did the worst thing of all- it told the truth. I am obese. #%^@#* toy! I knew that already. When I step on to the balance board, I swear the machine says "OW!" Curt, very kindly, convinced me that it says "oh" along with all the other cute things this little miracle of a toy does.

3. Anyone have any ideas on how to calm a tickling in the back of the throat that comes on during the night, initiates annoyingly frequent coughing fits, keeps me and my lovely Curt up for hours and drives one of us into the guest bedroom for the night? The first night, I went to the guest bedroom and lost almost a full night of sleep. The second night, I got up and took a few more Trazodone and slept through the coughing. When I woke up, Curt had gone to the guest bedroom.

4. I counted 10 cardinals in a single tree just on the other side of the fence yesterday- 6 males and 4 females. They are the earliest and the latest at the feeders. I heart cardinals.

5. My obsession with getting a Pileated Woodpecker at our feeders- not just on the tree next door- has driven me to further expand my feeder set up. It is getting a little ridiculous and I may end up needing another pole. Anyway, I bought a big log feeder filled with a peanut buttery suet mixture. The Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers seem to like it and the Nuthatches have discovered it, but, alas, no Pileated. Why so obsessed with Pileated Woodpeckers? Well, not only are they as big as pterodactyls- okay, maybe a little smaller- they are amazingly beautiful and notoriously a little shy, but once you get them at your feeders they are your friend for life. And, its fun to brag a little about getting a Pileated at your feeder in the city, okay burbs.

6. The temperature started out a balmy 37 degrees this morning at 8 a.m. Now it is 12 degrees on its way down to -6. How butt sucky is that?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Does This Resonate With Anyone?

This goes out to all the readers who are moms or anyone who has had a mom.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


I had the dreaded bone marrow biopsy today. As I suspected, it hurt like hell. The first part when they take the sample of the bone marrow core wasn't so bad. The second part where they suck out the liquid part of the marrow was really, really painful. To make it worse, they did it three times to get the required number of samples. The sucking of the liquid part was described to me as a sensation of pressure. Oh no, no,no. It was rather like a cold serrated ice pick being twirled around in the bone. Ouch!

The next step is waiting for results. I already got my blood work back. Everything except the platelets looks normal again. So, this is good news.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I Hate the Sound of Music

Don't you just want to slap them all?

Today I came clean. I said something to my employee C that I have rarely let out of the bag and that few people will admit to. We were walking through the lobby at work where someone, who was supposed to be singing Christmas Carols, was singing "My Favorite Things" instead. I turned to C and proclaimed "I hate Julie Andrews and I hate The Sound of Music." Apparently, this darn lingering cold has turned my filters off and I'm just spewing out the truth. C looked stunned. I looked up for the bolt of lightning then around me for the gay mafia coming to revoke my membership. It's true. I can't bear to listen to Julie Andrews, look at Julie Andrews and especially can't stomach another viewing of those annoying little Austrian brats in foofy leiderhosen and skirts made from those garish curtains chasing after that prim little Julie Andrews and her annoying guitar. If I were Captain Von Trapp and my perky little governess had destroyed my curtains, came between me and my mistress, and taught my children cloying ditties like "So Long, Farewell" and "Doe a Deer", I would have gunned her down and maybe even taken out her Mother Superior for sending her my way. Every time Ralph blows that damn whistle I hope and pray that they'll at least capture Maria and send her off. Never happens though.

Now I know at least three readers of this blog who will be horrified. So, while you're forgiving me, please also forgive me when I say that I didn't much care for "Victor Victoria" either.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Mazel Tov!

Last night, Curt and I were honored to attend our first ever Bar Mitzvah for the son of one of Curt's former co-workers. When we arrived at the sanctuary, we were directed by the young lady at the door to the "optional" bowl of yarmulkes. I asked "Are they really optional?" She said, I think so, but I'm not Jewish. " Oh. Turns out the yarmulke bowl was full of kids yarmulkes with soccer ball and football designs on them. We passed, since they were "optional." Later a kindly woman came by to hand out yarmulkes to the men to whom the shikse at the door had misinformed. I asked Curt if mine looked rather fetching and he said he should take me a picture . Oy vey. I'm guessing my giant Scandinavian cabbage head dwarfed the yarmulke, making it look silly rather than respectful. Time to put an XXL yarmulke on my Christmas list. (Jesus was a Jew after all and will appreciate the irony.) Anyway, young James had clearly done his studying and did a marvelous job with the Hebrew. Curt and I understood none of it, but clapped along during the more festive numbers led by the cantor and rabbi. The service helped me to recall one of my favorite poems from 'Haikus for Jews: For You, A Little Wisdom', a brilliant little tome if you've never picked it up:

Today I'm a man
On Monday I will return
To the seventh grade

While I'm at it, another favorite:

A lovely nose ring,
Excuse me while I put my
Head in the oven

Anyway, we also attended the dinner and dancing after the service. We saw what appeared to be a head table set up and just assumed that it was for the family. No, it was for James and about 20 of his closest friends. The family was just scattered about with the rest of the crowd. What a great way to honor his accomplishment. After all, he had been studying for this day since he was six. This was all about him. Very cool.

Just one more thing. At the dinner, we were served beverages by this woman:

Eeeeeeek! Curt and I both immediately thought of this character from Monsters, Inc. when we saw her. But, to make it better, she had the attitude to match. First, she slammed the wine bottle down on the table so hard that people jumped. Then came the water- SLAM! A little later came the coffee- SLAM! Did she pour any of them for us? Nope. It was fabulous. We loved and feared her by the end of the evening. She was divine.

A Little Sister Challenge

Here is my entry into the kitchen sink challenge set forth by Little Sister (a.k.a- Ruthie the farting wonder girl- will she ever live it down?) My view does not invoke the same sense of serenity that Little Sister's does, but I am light in fresh flowers and religious icons. One of Little Sisters many gifts is that she is always creates and lives in beautiful surroundings. And, better yet, she can do it all for $3.50 at the local thrift store. Massively creative that woman is. Anyway, for my view I had to remove a water bottle and a pair of pliers off the window sil, so as not to obscure your view of my suburb. Enjoy.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Strange Greetings

Other than developing a hideous cold, I had a nice trip to Appleton. The highlight of the trip was the opportunity to see several of my traveling companions from the El Salvador Habitat for Humanity build that we did in October. I hadn't seen most of them since returning a month ago. So, it was odd and appropriate that we were all greeting each other with "Oh my gosh! I didn't recognize you clean!" and "Look at you, so clean!" and "You smell really good." I kind of wondered if this is what dogs say to each other when the a dog they know gets back from groomer. Anyway, it was wonderful to see them and reinforced that the bond we developed on the trip was very real. I'm thinking of leading a trip back to El Salvador next year. Anyone up for it?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Please give a big blogging welcome to......

...SUZIEQ at Tomorrow is Another Day! It took her years to master e-mail so her entry into blogging is a particularly proud moment for her and her family. Please shower her with comments and other blogging love in celebration of this achievement.

Oh, and strongly encourage her to post the photo she recently received from Brenda for her 4X birthday. It might be a few long months before the scanner skills come up to par, so ongoing encouragement will be helpful.