Monday, January 29, 2007

Just So We're Clear On The Subject

When in the course of human events, say after The Holidays, one is forced into action against the clutter of the closet and dresser, one must take arms against the aggressor.

Somethings are helpful in this battle to regain the ability to see the floor of the closet and to close the drawers of the dresser.

Somethings are not helpful.

Let's review:

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Stackable shoe shelves: Helpful

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Maurading small, black creature: Unhelpful

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Clothes neatly arranged so that the drawers are able to close easily: Helpful

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Maurading small black creature: Unhelpful

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Large, heavy-duty trash bags for putting in the items for donation: Helpful

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Maurading small black creature: Unhelpful

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Second tie rack to organize the ties: Helpful

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Maurading small black creature: Unhelpful

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Large, furry dog lying quietly by the door, watching: Most Unhelpful

(Trick question. True, she's not actively hampering the process but she should be chasing the small black creature around other parts of the house, not laying with her back against the egress door, so the small black creature can't even leave to go see what's happening in the kitchen.)

So, to sum up: Even if she says she really wants to help and all, the small black creature is never helpful.

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Never. Ever. Helpful.

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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Confessions Of The Obsessed

So, what have you been up to, Diana? We used to hear from you 2-3 times a week. We got non-stop drivel about the mundane and banal in your life and now you can barely condescend to throw something up once a week.

We are not sure what we are complaining about, as who needs to read about your trials with detecting which appliance was leaving the rust smears on occasional articles of clothing all those months (turns out it was the nefarious dryer). Or that the dog has been taking to grabbing 2-3 pieces of kibble in her mouth and just leaving them in a cluster here and there in the kitchen and dining room (there can be no possible answer for that). For a while, we kept hoping you would forget your vows of confidentiality and blog about the patients and all, for we all know that there must be scads of good work stories, but we've given up on such sensational and gruesome fodder. We are just wondering why the change.

Ah, dearest darlings, many reasons. Work has been busier, I've been duller, and I found something to replace the hours in front of the computer at home, at least for now.

Actually, that's not entirely true. It's sort of computeresque, it's just small and hand-held and I can curl up in the Big Chair with it and a blanket and consume hours and hours that way.

Yeah! Mama got a DS.

Actually, mama stole the Animal Crossing game her daughter got from Santa.

See, it has reading in it. Sara can't read. Therefore, Sara can't possibly enjoy the game as much as she should. Therefore, the game should, nay must, go to the one person in the family who would really enjoy it.


The control freak.

Well, actually, Colin would also enjoy it, but I'm bigger than him.

To be honest, I did let him play with the game for a short time and, as I handed it over to him, actually heard myself tell him quite sternly that he could on no account get that axe and cut down a single tree. OR trample a flower. OR pick any of the valuable apples or coconuts that I'd so painstakingly planted (the cheap oranges he could do with what he would). OR touch anything in MY house (which he shared).

That weekend, I went and bought him his own game. And, as I didn't actually have my own DS, we had to get me one, so I wouldn't have to share with the small-handed ones. Now we play curled up together in the Big Chair. Harmony.

Soooooo, what is the attraction to this game?

Tcha! It's brilliant! You get to inhabit your own little town and order it just the way you want. Sort of. Well, at least your house. Sort of. Actually, you are completely dependent on the proprieter of the single store for all your furnishing goods, and he only offers a few things each day. But! You get to run around with your shovel and fishing rod and butterfly net and catch fish and dig up fossils and catch bugs (Well, you can catch the bugs when the weather is warmer. Currently, it's snowy and the bugs aren't out. Except the flies.) The flowers still bloom, though, and the orange trees fruit, which is good. The coconuts do, too. On the snowy beach.

And you get to weed the town! And water the turnip plant that you hope to sell for a fat profit. (In fact, you'd really rake in the dough if that sow, Joan, would sell you more than just one turnip seed at a time.) And you get to re-arrange your furniture. And (squeal!) pay your mortgage! To the slumlord that also owns the company store (Anyone feel the urge to sing 16 Tons?)

You do get accosted by the other townies, who are annoying and animal-shaped, but you can ignore them or hit them with your butterfly net, which causes them to shun you for a bit. (Sadly, you don't get to wack them with the shovel.) Also, sometimes they give you stuff, which you can turn around and sell off. They have short memories and don't seem able to hold a grudge for more than 5 minutes, so pissing them off will only buy you a modicum of peace.

So, that's what I've been doing of an evening. Pulling weeds and watering the turnip.

Maybe, if I'm really, really lucky, I'll get to buy a lawn mower and mow the town. Or maybe a vacuum?

Sad. So very sad the life of an obsessive-compulsive control freak.


Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Ghost In The Machine

While some out here in the frozen tundra of the upper Midwest are cranky about the inevitable fall of the lovely white stuff that is snow, some of us, namely this Pacific Northwest transplant, delight in it.

Especially as we live in the country (no sidewalks to shovel in the grim before-work darkness, trala-trala) and have a garage (no car to shovel in the grim before-work darkness, tralalalala).

True, there is no covered parking while actually AT work, but this is usually a minor problem.

Yesterday, being a holiday in honor of our beloved Dr Martin Luther King, some of us had no school while others of us had to drive in to work.

As it was icy and snowy and the snow was blowing, and it was all dark (and who knows if the deer will be sensible and stay under cover in the trees and not take to leaping to and fro across the highway) some of us convinced others of us to take the shameful SUV into work.

One of us adores the shameful SUV. He also is sadly right when he says that we need to hang on to the gas glutton for the 10-20 times a winter that we really need it to get through to work. The other of us hates the damned thing (but also acknowledges that it is, indeed, paid off and can't really justify selling it for something more efficiently 4WD and built like a tank, if indeed such a vehicle exists) . It is also the vehicle that transports the dog and is, therefore, the vehicle that the dog barfs in.

Currently, it has one of those tree-shaped air perfumers to try to combat the smell of dog barf. As a result, it smells like the dog barfed cheap floral perfume. Some of us have assured others of us that this is a vast improvement in odor. Others of us have decided to take his word for it.

So, off I go, hating yet needing this 12 mpg monstrosity that smells like a whore who is still sleeping off her binge and has not realized she has gotten sick all over her lycra leggings. My head aches but I arrive in the parking area at work, safe and sound.

I get out.

I stand by the door in the snow and watch and hear as the door is locked by pressing the 'lock' button of one of those keyless remotes.

I made a point of it.

I go to work.

I leave work.

I wonder why the hell all the windows except the front driver's and passenger's windows are covered in an inch of snow.

Well, that would be because both windows are completely open.

The said inch of snow is a lovely white blanket covering every irregular surface of the car's interior.

In a situation like this, one can either cry or bring a blunt instrument in to play or laugh. As my co-worker, L, was there, with sympathy, giggles and snow brush in hand, I chose the laughter. Tears would have frozen to my lashes and made it hard to see the snow I had to scoop out of the car. The blunt instrument wasn't at hand.

So, we removed as much snow as we could and the rest melted all over everything on the way home.

On the plus side, though, the car aired out nicely and only vaguely smelled as it had.

How the windows opened? I have no clue.

I can swear they weren't down during the drive in. I was a bit sleepy but would certainly have noticed wind and snow blowing in on me as I drove along behind the plows.

I can swear that they weren't lowered on accident as I bumped something as I got out. The window lowering control is a lever way away from what I'd reach. Plus, the car was turned off when I got out.

The windows don't lower unless the engine is on.

There's no 'lower windows' button on the keyless remote, so even had it gotten bumped in my purse, it would only have unlocked things or set off the alarm. Plus, again, engine off.

All I can figure out is that either someone snuck in, rifled through my purse, took the keys, went out and did this on purpose (which is pretty unfathomable as we are not that sort, here, AND this is not the car I drive, well, ever, as we drive in together unless he's off or there's some late meeting for one of us) OR the car did it on purpose as it knows how I feel about it.

So, let this be a cautionary tale for you. Beware what you say around your machines for they may well turn on you. They certainly can hold a grudge.


Friday, January 12, 2007


From time to time, most of us have come to a crossroads of sorts. It's times like these that we are oh-so-glad we started this exhibitionistic pursuit that is blogging. The input of our peers is a helpful thing in outlining the pros and cons of what is at stake. (Yes, shoe-a-holic57, the Jimmy Choos are adorable, but when hiking in the Himalayas, I'm concerned that your ankles will require a bit more support and just think of what the snow will do to the leather...)

Our Ariella is at such a crossroads.

Let me sum up: She's an attorney. Not too long out of law school. A very reputable school on the east coast and she did well in her classes. She had no problem landing a job after she finished, but left it as the commute from Madison, WI is just a bit too far to Jersey. What's in Madison (well, beside moi as a neighbor)? Only the love of her life.

So, last June, she packed up and moved, and started that process that I hate more than anything, job hunting.

Pickings are slim, here. Sadly, Wisconsin has its own top notch law school and has the habit of not looking closely at those who do not graduate from it. (The same is also true at the education level, which will be a bonus for Charles when he finishes his trek in his own personal PhD Himalayas.) This is all very discouraging and has led to deep examining of her life and its course.

See, she's always felt a strong pull toward health care. Her dad's a vet. Sooooooo, med/vet school is starting to call quite loudly. And Madison has excellent programs in both.

But, that would mean leaving the law, which is hard to do, having invested all that time and tuition.

So. Pleasepleaseplease. Pop over and visit her,read what she's posted about it, and give her your thoughts. She's a lovely, funny person. Anyone else been in such a situation? What did you do? Were you happy? What else should she think of ?

You're the best!


Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Have We Met?

It's good to have friends in the know.

As I hopped about trying to catch up on all I've missed being a demi-hermit for the past many weeks, it was Cagey who clued me into that wonderful week in the blogging community that is Delurking Week!

All hale Delurking Week (brought to us by Cheryl, as I understand it). That hallowed week where we hope to both meet those souls who read the tripe we write to a greater or lesser degree (bless you, bless you!) AND perhaps increase our comments. Comments to a blogger are as chocolate is to a PMSer or as well-rotted compost is to a garden. They nourish and console the blogger's psyche. They also provide entertainment.

So please.

Come out, come out, wherever you are!

Pretty please?

With chocolate and manure on top?

We're really nice, here in the land of cheese and beer.

We just want the chance to say "Hi!" You don't have to even write anything. Just hit random keys. Or no keys at all. Make up a name and a really glamorous career. I'll never know.

I'll return the favor and will make sure to wipe my feet (and my mouth).

Still not convinced?

Well, maybe next year.


Friday, January 05, 2007

Off Kilter

I'm thinking that part of why I'm feeling a bit 'off'' is that my seasonal cues are terribly messed up.

I don't think it's right that I just spent a very comfortable 5 minutes standing on the deck cajoling Molly to just. pee. already. while wearing jeans and a t-shirt, barefooted and wet-headed. We've had no snow in a good month. We've hardly had the temperatures drop below freezing. It looks and feels like late March or early November. Christmas doesn't seem to have happened at all.

No wonder I'm not-so-subconsciously looking for bulbs to shoot up (not yet, thank goodness for their little green hearts) and branches to swell and start to bud (certainly happening to the silly lilacs, forsythia, crabapple and a plum, foolish things).

No wonder I keep resisting the urge to go and till things and dig holes for new trees.

No wonder I'm restless, still not wanting to be in front of the computer at-all-at-all.

Getting sick for the 3rd time in a month is also not doing much for my psyche.

Guess the only cure is to curl up with a gardening catalogue and a cup of tea, taking time hourly to repeat the mantra: It's only early January. 3 more months of winter. It's only early January. 3 more loooong months of winter.


Tuesday, January 02, 2007


Hullo. Just letting you know that I'm alive, just not feeling much like blogging.

I'm an asshole, I know. I just need a break and am in a bit of a funk. Nothing serious. Really and truly.


I'll be back around in the near future, I'm sure, I just have no desire to write right now. Didn't want anyone to worry.

Love and kisses.