Friday, August 31, 2007

I win the freaky neighbor award

I proclaim myself the winner. And this is why.

The other night, when MM was here, for the slumber party, I left the room for a moment, and when I came back he asked me "does your neighbor below ever call your name, for any reason?"
No, I answered, because she never has. She is loud, and I was thinking he'd misheard something. I didn't think too much about it.
Yesterday evening, when I left for work, she was coming home. She's all smiles, and tells me she has a new boyfriend, and she has seen MM, and knows I have one, too. Then she asks "do you hear us?"
To which I answered, quite honestly "yes, until I put my iPod on. (thank God for my iPod). "Oh, sorry" she says, trying to act embarrased. But then she says "so then did you hear me call your name out the other night?"
And I say "no, but MM did. I thought he misheard you." About this time, my mind bounced back to last year, when I was dating the "villiage drunk", J. I did not get intimate with J, (I am so glad), but she had told me once, if J. and I ever did get intimate, that I should holler out her name. I had mentally blocked this request, until last night. Then it all came back to me in a horrible flashback, and I muttered something, jumped into my car, and ran away, grateful to be going to work.
I am so freaked. EEEW
And her new boyfriend?
lives with my other neighbor, 2 doors down. The one that's drunk all the time. (the neighbor, not her new boyfriend). I thought he was married to the drunk lady.
This is Peyton Place, I swear it is.
If any of you can top that with your neighbors, maybe I will give up the freaky neighbor award. But I think I've got it in the bag, for now.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

It's Comcastic!


Many of you have realized that I changed my e mail address. The story goes like this. A lovely young man, who emigrated to the US from Cypress (by way of Slovakia, long story) and now works for Comcast came to my door last week.
Last week I was all atwitter, and ready, bags packed by the door for Portland. I didn't WANT to think about Comcast. But he made me.
It turns out, that since I am a slave to them for any decent television, (I can't strap a sattelight to anything here), it would save me money to let them commandeer my internet and telephone systems, as well.
I am my father's daughter, and ALL for saving some money where I can. (So I can spend it on something else. Like another trip to Portland. Or nice lingerie. Ahem.)
Anyhoo- since this seemed to be a way to save, I went ahead and gave them permission to come take me over.
Yesterday, was C- Day. My appointment window was 8-12, so of course the asshat didn't arrive until 11:45. MM was coming over for a slumber party last night and I had wanted to go to the store for various things. But it took Mr. Asshat almost 4 hours to do what he came to do.
At one point, he wasn't able to get online. Then he discovered it's much easier to do so when the modem is connected to the computer. Things went a little better after that. The whole time he was working he kept nattering on about things, stupid things. Like the person who lived in my apartment before me, (Celtic Rose's sister, actually), and the art work I have on my walls and desktop (okay not stupid, but he was clueless) and also about how he showed his 14 year old daughter "The Clockwork Orange". AND, if I remember correctly, at one point, he asked me what I did for a living, and I stupidly told him. Then he called me Nurse Ratched. Asshat. I'm not a psych nurse. But if I was? I'd have totally had him committed for showing A Clockwork Orange to a 14 year old girl.
Then, he proceeded to make a hole in my wall in the kitchen. He cleverly tried to disguise it with the plate that holds the phone jack into place, but I can still see it. And, there was no need for the hole to begin with! He didn't really change anything over there that I can see. Bastard.
When MM got here, I told him my tale of woe, and showed him the hole. He just shook his head, and said
"I could have done that for you". (Did he mean make the hole, or update my phone system to Comcast?). He meant all the computer stuff, actually. Since he does that for a living.
But all is well that ends well. My internet is actually faster now, and nothing has reached out to shock me. I can fix, er, disguise the hole in the wall with some putty, and stuff. And I had a nice night with MM.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Wordless Wednesday, Portland Style

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

First Loves

Do we ever get over our first loves?

There are those that say we don't. That when we fall in love the first time, there is not any 'scar tissue', no emotional baggage. You are wide open to the sensation and will give yourself freely to the person that you love. And, that is something you can never truly get over. Some are lucky enough to marry their first loves, and the marriage works, which I think is great. Some of us, however, are not that lucky.

While I do see their point,these people who think you'll never get over the first love, I can also see the reverse. When you love someone, it takes a whole lot of damage to fall out of love, doesn't it? It does for me. While I do not HATE HATE HATE my ex-husband, who was really my first love, I could never be in love with him again. Even if he turned into the perfect man and redeemed all the pain. I just couldn't. (Not that it will ever happen. He's in Rhode Island, where he belongs.). I would never WANT it to happen.

So, am I over it? Yeah. I really am.
Do I have baggage now? Well. Yeah. But baggage is what we learn on. It's how we figure out what we really want. It's how we figure out what annoying things we can tolerate in someone we care about, and what we cannot tolerate. It's a part of growing up.
While the first love is sweet, and exiting, and unknown, I find love much more fun when you do know what is happening, you know what that exited feeling is, and you fully embrace it, and enjoy it, knowingly. Because you CHOOSE to. And I think, even though it may not be your first love, its your LAST love that really counts.

Monday, August 27, 2007

I'm home

And it was an excellent long weekend.
I got to hang out with some of my favorite people, including the fur people
I got to sleep in the cupboard below the stairs!
I got many really good blendy and tiki drinks (Apple Bombs and Fuzzy Navel Margarita's ROCK)
I drank some really good wine
I ate some really good food
I went to a zoo
I now have a five year old life coach
Said life coach beat me at Wii bowling, and got a new personal record (It Was Awesome)
I stayed up late every night
And I get to go back in March. And my life coach? She says I have to stay FIVE days next time.
I hope the Kaos household can put up with me for that long!
Now I am tired.
Oh. Newman's new blog moniker? I thought of it as I was driving home today. "Mustang Man". Or MM for short. He's in the process of restoring one at the moment. I love mustangs. So this works for me.

Friday, August 24, 2007

from the house of Kaos

As I sit here, all girls in PJ's, watching Cami make breakfast and listening to K tell me about something. . .(she got to ride Unicorns in her dreams)
I just wanted to wish you all a happy weekend.
We are going to the zoo today

Thursday, August 23, 2007

long weekend

Well, its early in the morning. And I am going to leave soon for my journey to the land of Kaos. The airport is, sadly, not to close to where I live. I wish they'd build one here but it will never happen.
Newman came over last night, and a good time was had by all. I really am thinking. He's not so "new" anymore. Must think of something better, perhaps. Will discuss it with CK while I am there.
Ah. I hate getting out of bed. My brain is fuzzy and I need at least an hour to wake up. But I'll be leaving in an hour. Middle sister is taking me to the far away airport, and I must get myself to her house, first. And leave my car there. (Freaks me out a little to do that. They live in the middle of nowhere in a very rural setting. It's fire season. And, well. There is BIL. 'Nuff said.)
Hope you all have as much fun this weekend as I am going to have. I'll take pictures. And, MANY MANY drunken postcards are going to be going out.
I will be home Monday.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Not so wordless Wednesday

This is usually Wednesday, and wordless. But spurred on by professed love of Shel Silverstein yesterday, I decided that I was going to post a Shel poem. Or a few Shel poems. I don't think any of you will mind. . .

How Many, How Much
How many slams in an old screen door?
Depends how loud you shut it.
How many slices in a bread?
Depends how thin you cut it.
How much good inside a day?
Depends how good you live 'em.
How much love inside a friend?
Depends how much you give 'em.

Put Something In
Draw a crazy picture,
write a nutty poem,
Sing a mumble-gumble song,
Whistle through your comb.
Do a loony-goony dance
'Cross the kitchen floor
Put something silly in the world
That ain't been there before.

So there you are, my friends. If I haven't given you enough love to fill your insides. well. I've slipped. Consider yourself loved. I am off now to do a loony-goony dance 'cross my kitchen floor.

Oh, and if you want your love in the form of a postcard from Portland, you have until tomorrow morning to send ME your address, or you can go to Mommified me, and hit CamiKaos up with it. (Since I'm going to her house TOMORROW! I'm so exited. . . my bags are packed, waiting at the door. I'm going to Kaosland. ha haa haaa haaaa!)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Damn, hate it when that happens

So I was happily playing Kingdom of Loathing, and I figured out that if I let my character eat and drink I'd get some more adventures. See, I was getting my ass kicked by these guys, trying to get car parts from them. I've gotten beaten up so many times.
Well I went back and ate and drank a few times, then it started telling me I was too full to eat. So I did what any responsible Turtle Tamer would do. I drank. I had a couple screwdrivers, and something called a 'slip and slide' a few times. Girly fruity drinks they call them. Gave me lots of adventures.
BUT. Now my turtle tamer is falling down drunk. And when it goes on an adventure it tries to seduce people. And then it fell into the gutter.
AHHHHHH. I love this game!
oh. And my animal 'familiar'? A mosquito. It's gaining weight rapidly, too. It weighs 7 pounds at the moment. His name is Tapio. (Tapio is the consort of Mielikki, the forest goddess.) I figured it fit well. What else could I name a 7 pound mosquito?

"It was missing a piece. . .

and it was not happy".

This is the opening line to a book that I received as a child, and is still in my collection.
It is a book that actually changed my life. I didn't know it at the time, because, I didn't fully understand it when I first got it. My Aunt S, who gave it to me, knew that I wouldn't understand it, but told me to hang onto it, and someday, I would. She was so very right.
The book is called "The Missing Piece", by Shel Silverstein * Warning, I am going to discuss this book now. Its a short book. And yes, I will spoil it for you. But even if I do, it's worth going and purchasing. And keeping forever. (CK, not you. K is going to get it for Christmas. . . unless she somehow already got it. Probably from Aunt S. if she did. . .)
It's seemingly a simple plot. There is this round guy, (the zoloft rock resembles him.) But, the round guy, is missing a piece of himself. Kind of like a pizza missing a slice. He slowly rolls through life, looking for his missing piece. He smells flowers, talks to bugs, and sings little ditty's. He tries some pieces, even tries to force some pieces in. Some pieces don't want to have anything to do with him. Some, are too eager, and annoy him. One day, he finds the piece that he thinks is the perfect fit. But, once a "whole" circle, he rolls too fast, running over the flowers, going to fast to talk to the bugs, and, worst yet, he can't sing ditties anymore, either. (Apparently, the piece that was missing functioned as his mouth.). So, in the end, he gently lays the piece down, and rolls away, slowly, softly singing
"Oh I'm looking for my missing piece". . .
I still get just a little bit teary.
The lessons I took from this book, once I was old enough to see the whole picture?
No matter how much you want to, you can't force anything (or anyone) to "fit".
Be selective in the pieces you do try to "fit"
Enjoy life while you are looking for your missing piece. Sing, talk to the bugs, and smell the flowers.
What seems to fit "perfectly" often does not. Don't be fooled. If you are, you'll roll through life too fast to really enjoy the small things.
Sometimes, you have to let go, to be happy.
And, sadly, sometimes, you won't find the missing piece. But you should always look.
I love this book!
There are countless other Shel Silverstein books that are good, too. Like the Giving Tree. Which is also a great life lesson. I have all his books now. But, "The Missing Piece" will always have a special place in my heart.

And, no this post has nothing to do with Newman. We had a great weekend together this week. I just felt the need to talk about one of my favorite books ever, today. . .

Monday, August 20, 2007

a new game

The click clickety of Pirates is slowly loosing it's maritime fun for me, as well. (Sybil is having the same problem. . .)
One of the things that has drawn me away, though, is this.
Its called the Kingdom of Loathing. I love the name.

I got this game from a Respiratory Therapist over at my medical blog who seems to have the same kind of twisted sense of humor I do. I've been laughing at it ever since.
You get to make yourself a character. I am a "Turtle Tamer". You can be a seal clubber from the northern climbs, a Pastamancer, and some other wierd things.

I have found myself "fighting" drunken half orc's, goblins, possessed can's of tomatoes, elbow macaroni, a pool table, and some bunnies. Just to name a few.

My one complaint about this game is that you have a set number of "adventures" you can go on a day. Then, your done. But, that could be a good thing, really. You don't end up sitting there for hours and hours with it. But, there are ways to get more adventures given to you daily. I just haven't figured it out yet.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Here I sit, Dog-gone it!

This is Fancy. . .
Not much going on. Getting ready for my trip to Portland!
Newman was supposed to come to dinner last night, but he fell ill from eating "cardboard pizza" at lunch. So, we have rescheduled for tonight. All is well.
Today seems to be a day for the people of my neighborhood to let their dogs run for freedom, though.
I got up early this morning to the mournful voice of someone hollering for "Peanut" up and down the street. I hope he wasn't turned into Peanut-butter.
A little bit later, I heard a voice hollering for Nathan. However. Nathan could well be a child. (I really hope he wasn't turned into Nathan-butter. I'd think I'd have heard it if he was.)
Then, right after that, was a very effeminate male voice calling for 'Marshmallow'. And yes, a dog did come running. Sigh. ( I suppose he could have been made into fluff? Then, there would have been some street fluffer-nutter. Eeew)
Though I suppose, the few dogs we ever had when I was a kid didn't get named much better. Lets see. Gidget, Onery (I am not to blame for those, they were in the family before I was. Yappy stinkin' poodles). Uhm. We had a Samoyed for about 5 weeks once, Maruschka. But Mom gave her away due to the fact that she was chewing everything in sight. Another dog did not make its way into the household until many many many years later. A pekingnese named Fancy. But, other people named her. And, Fancy suited her. She was sweet to people she knew, but mean and bitchy to those she didn't know. She died this year, it about broke Dad's heart. We do get attached to our pets, don't we?

Friday, August 17, 2007

CamiKaos questions, take 2

The 5 question interview me Meme is floating around, again. It landed in CK's lap, and, being as one never knows what's going to happen when you give CamiKaos the power to ask of you any 5 questions, I, once again, told her "interview me". So here it is. . .

1. Does what happens in the cat free zone stay in the cat free zone???

Ahem. Yes. It does. It should. Unless one of the cat's get in. If they were to see what happens the whole world would know, because my cat's are the worst of gossipers. When people are in the cat free zone, they are at the door, listening, and trying to trip people when they leave the cat free zone on a hall pass.

2.You like to cook yet you have said before that you don't necessarily get your culinary skills from "Aunt Tuna". Where did you get the itch to start cooking well?

My Mom worked an hour away from home as I was growing up, and came home tired enough to not want to cook dinner for three starving kids. My sisters were capable of it, (she thought) so they did. If I didn't like what they wanted, it was too bad. So, out of sheer survival instincts, I started messing around in the kitchen. At times, it was disastrous. Inedible. But, I love reading, and quickly figured out that cookbooks might be the way to go.I actually read tons of them. Then, I started changing recipe's into things that sounded more appealing to me. Eventually, I took a cooking class in high school, and learned a few things there, as well. Of course, on the weekends, when Mom did cook, I was subjected to Taco Casserole, or whatever meat she chose to torture with onion soup mix, or cream of mushroom soup (gag) or BOTH. But, in her defense. I will say, that my Mom, (Aunt Tuna) can rock the fried chicken, and the chicken and noodles. (She even makes the noodles from scratch).

3. My daughter is having a huge meltdown right now because I asked her to wash her hands. . . Are you sure you want to come and spend 4 days with me?

Yes, absolutely. It will be novel for me to see a girl meltdown, if she has one. I have seen nothing but little boy meltdowns for the past 7 years, thanks to my lovely nephews. Plus. . . I don't think I've actually seen you in person since the early 1990's? So, yeah. I coming. Girly meltdowns don't scare me.

4. What's THE drink to get "in the mood"?
Huh, me? Or him ;). And in the mood for what? Huh?
Seriously. I discovered, about 4 years ago, I think, that Malbec really makes me dreamy and amorous, for some reason. My boyfriend at the time and I were sharing a bottle, and I just, well, felt those special feelings start to wash over me. Of course, since he was the Villiage Idiot, and was cheating on me, (and told me he'd given up sex for lent the asshat)he could do nothing for me. We broke up VERY shortly afterword. (I knew what he was up to, and finally tossed his arse out!).
But Malbec. Gets me EVERY time. And yes, I have a few bottles gracing my wine rack. No other wine has affected me that way. And, the maker doesn't matter, as long as it's good Malbec. Yum.

5. If there is one thing you will never eat, what is it and why?
** anyone who is squeamish should look away now**
Balut is a Phillipine specialty. They age a fertilized duck egg until the embryo is almost a hatching baby duck, then they boil the poor thing, and eat it! I saw this, in person, when I was in the Navy. They were doing it with chicken eggs, too. And it SMELLS TO HIGH HEAVEN. I really don't think I need to explain why I'd never ever in a million years, even if I was starving, eat this, do I? Really, do I? Just, eeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwwwwwwww. And the poor duck. Or chick. God I want to retch even thinking about it.

Phew. Okay. I'm ok.
Here are the rules, if you'd like for me to dream up 5 different questions for you.
1. Leave me a comment saying "Interview Me". ( perfect strangers to me are welcome, as well.)
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your blog with a post containing your answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


Michael Vick should not be allowed to play football again in his natural born life. EVER.
There. I said it.
I read, in today's MSNBC that he is considering a plea, but wants to know first how it's going to affect his football career. Because he would love to play for the Falcon's, again.
Well, idiot, how about those dogs that you so enjoyed watching tear each other up? I bet they'd like a good bowl of kibble about now, or to be able to run and play in a yard or field somewhere, or even just to be scratched behind the ears.
Play football again, my arse. I hope they suspend him from the NFL for forever.
Sigh. Rant over. Its just that it really angers me. I hope every football fan out there sends a letter, e mail, or at least a telepathic thought to the NFL commissioner asking that this asshole not be allowed back onto the field. I am sure he already has enough money to buy his own way out of this mess. And when he does that, I am sure he'll be right there, begging for forgiveness from the legion of football fans, and the NFL, and his team-mates. I for one, will not ever support any team that chooses to utilize this player.

In other news, one week from today I will be leaving for the wild's of Portland, and the Kaos house of Chaos (or is it non chaos, now?). You all have one last week to get in any requests for the drunken Portland Postcard. Or a non drunken Portland Postcard. Your choice.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

why I joined the Navy

Some Navy History

American Naval History............................

The U.S.S. Constitution (Old Ironsides) as a combat vessel carried
gallons of fresh water for her crew of 475 officers and men. This was
sufficient to last six months of sustained operations at sea. She
carried no evaporators.

However let it be noted that according to her log "On July 27, 1798,
the U.S.S.Constitution sailed from Boston with a full complement of 475
officers and men, 48,600 gallons of fresh water, 7,400 cannonshot, 11,600
pounds of black powder and 79,400 gallons of rum."

Her mission: "To destroy and harass English shipping." Making Jamaica
on 6 October, she took on 826 pounds of flour and 68,300 gallons of rum.

Then she headed for the Azores , arriving there 12 November.
She provisioned with 550 pounds of beef and 64,300 gallons of
Portuguese wine.

On 18 November, she set sail for England . In the ensuing days she
defeated five British men-of-war and captured and scuttled 12 English
merchantmen, salvaging only the rum aboard each.

By 26 January, her powder and shot were exhausted.
Nevertheless, although unarmed she made a night raid up the Firth of
Clyde in Scotland . Her landing party captured a whisky distillery and
transferred 40,000 gallons of single malt Scotch aboard by dawn.
Then she headed

The U.S.S. Constitution arrived in Boston on 20 February, 1799, with
no cannon shot, no food, no powder, no rum, no wine, no whisky, and
38,600 gallons of stagnant water.

Reinlistment was 100 %


Monday, August 13, 2007

free cat-I'll even pay the shipping

Anyone want a black cat?
His name is Jack, and he is within inches of dying.
I am having a really difficult, hormonal day. And he is asking to be murdered.
I finished all the solid squares of the baby blanket I am making, and I blocked them. (rinsing them in a wool wash). To dry them, I thought I'd try something new, tacking them up on the wall in the nice square shape I want them to dry in. (I usually just lay them out on the table, covered to prevent kitty's from laying on them).
That little bastard was pulling them off the wall. I caught him in the act. CLAWS CAUGHT IN ONE OF MY SQUARES.
I've been knitting almost non stop to get this dang thing done so that I can go back to designing my celtic knot pillows, which is what I REALLY want to be working on.

No, I am not going to kill him. Yes I can call him a bastard. I doubt his mother even knew his father. I even managed to save the square he was hooked into. The knitting is now in the "cat free zone" where I should have hung it in the first place. But he better stay clear of me for the rest of the night. Or I swear, one of you is going to get a meowing package. With a drunken Portland Postcard stuck to it for good measure.

I know its Monday, but

I am feeling lazy,hormonal, and out of sorts. So I am going to toss up a picture, and call it a day. Enjoy.

Oh, and yes, what CamiKaos said. Applications for drunken Portland Postcards are still open. Fire at will. . .

Sunday, August 12, 2007


That is one of the better ways I can describe yesterday. Really.
A kind of fun Cluster, but a Cluster, none the less.
I spent most of the day with the kids. After I made a giant bowl of guacamole, that is. (And yes, CK, all she really had was the avocado. Was a good thing I brought what I did.)
My particular buddy of the day was Dewey, my four year old nephew. He's a riot. But not when he hasn't had his nap. And getting him to take a nap usually involves someone going into his room with him, and holding his struggling body down until he surrenders. During this time, he has more moves than a pro wrestler. I've taken a foot to the trachea many times. But wrestle him down yesterday I did, because without a nap, he's a NIGHTMARE. Since I was so successfull wrestling him down, I got sent to the rocking chair with Louie, the almost 2 year old, too. He was so tired he didn't even fight. Feeling pretty good about that, I went outside to await the arrival of BIL.
However, all the bratty kids that accompanied their parents to this shin-dig, led on by my oldest nephew, Huey, changed all that. They got so raucous they woke up Dewey, who came outside, saw all the people he didn't know, and sat down and had a HUGE meltdown. So, back to the wrestling mat I went. Problem is, those bratty kids kept running through the bedroom to get into the play room. There is another door to the playroom outside, and I STRONGLY suggested to all of them they use the other door. Every time Dewey saw another kid, he started yelling and crying. The more often this happened, the more irritable I got, as well. Then they started throwing things against the wall that is shared by the bedroom, and play room.
Aunt Mielikki turned into the 'house troll' at that point, and I kicked every single one of them completely out of the house. No playroom, no nothing. My sister and BIL have a huge piece of property, with a sandbox, and a Fort, and other things for kids. They could go there!
I never did get Dewey back to sleep, but, after about 20 minutes of quiet time, (during which, BIL showed up, I missed that whole thing), he was ready to go back out and face the world. So away we went, my date and I. I fed him his weight in tortilla chips and ice cubes (it was all he'd eat), grumbled at the maurauding children, and then, took my cake to go and came home. I didn't get home until 10:00, and I went straight to bed. I don't need anyone to hold me down until sleep claims me. I was happy to go.
Oh, and BIL? I saw him twice. And, I left before people started telling stories about him, thereby dodging that bullet. The cake wasn't even served until after 9 o' clock at night. I'm sure the maurauding children were all sugared up!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Do we really know the cost of what happened, on the day that "Little Boy" was dropped on Hiroshima, (Aug. 6th) and "Fat Man" was dropped on Nagasaki? (Aug 9th).

There are pro's and con's to this arguement. I've heard quite a few of them. And, having lived in Japan for two years, I have "seen" both sides of the coin. I never went to Hiroshima, or Nagasaki. I didn't really have enough days off to travel there, and to be honest, I didn't want to. Even at 18, I knew the impact that those bombs had on that region. I knew it would really disturb me to see it. I should have gone, anyhow.

Today, I am watching a documentary, which is nothing but some of the few survivors talking about that day. Its called "White Light, Black Rain". If you can stomach it, I highly recommend it. It is another perspective on what happened. Be warned, though. It's graphic. Very graphic. Even I flinched, and had to look away. And I have yet to watch the whole thing. (I recorded it, for some reason.)

It is said that these bombs were a large part in finally ending the war. They made obvious to Japan that we, the Allies, WERE going to be the victors, no matter what the cost. And, they did their job. Japan completely surrendered in less than a week after the bombs were dropped. A familiar, comfortable way to justify the dropping of these bombs is "we saved lives by taking lives." Its a mighty high price.

The cost? Civilians. Innocent people. The people in this documentary.
I understand this happens in war. But I don't like it.
And it makes me wonder. What are they going to do next to end this "war" we are in now?

Okay, getting off my soapbox. Going to go get ready for the birthday extraveganza. (Perhaps, this morning was not the best time for me to watch this documentary?)

Friday, August 10, 2007

how far can you jump?

Our small town, small county fair is going on this weekend over at the local fairgrounds.
I won't be going, because, frankly, compared with what I grew up with, this fair just isn't that much fun.
Oh, they have the usual things, all the fried food, the rickety rides that look like they will fall apart in a stiff wind, the carnival games, all the kids with their 4H animals, who try to tell you they are not attached to them, then cry when the animal is sold to slaughter. (Some of them do ok, though). They have all the booths with the contests, photography, quilting, jelly, ect. ect.
I do like all of that, and will usually shuffle through. Especially the photography section.
But, what I miss, and just is never the same, is this.
I grew up in Calaveras County.
That may not mean much to most of you out there, but maybe, just maybe, some of you will recall that Mark Twain once wrote a story about my County, "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County".
In honor of that, our county fair was lovingly referred to as "Frog Jump".
Frog jump runs every May, usually the third week, from Wed-Sunday. Every day, fine people get out there with every kind of frog there is, and the contest is on, to see which frog can jump the farthest. They have catagories for kids, and adults alike. The whole thing is frog oriented. The town closest to the fairgrounds, Angels Camp, even has frogs painted on the sidewalks. Saturday night there is always a concert, Sunday night is ALWAYS the destruction derby (my favorite night.). There are rodeo events all weekend, as well. But the frogs? Those are the main attraction.
And even now, when I have not been to a Frog Jump in over 10 years. I still miss the frogs when I go to any other fair. Its just not the same.

Thursday, August 9, 2007


The women in my family have this malady. I think it's my Mother's DNA. Because she does it all the time.
This means, we are not happy with our household furniture staying one arrangement for very long times.
My living room is fairly easy to move around. I have a few options, and I exercise them. My bedroom, however, has been stuck in the same rut for the last 4 years or so that I've lived in this apartment.
Yesterday, for some reason, I decided I could not tolerate that anymore. I was going to find a way to turn it around.
And I did.
It took me all day, and a painful right shoulder from pushing and hauling things around. But I did it.
As I was re-arranging, I came across something that triggered a memory I hadn't remembered in years.
My Grandfather loved to wear caps. (Maternal grandfather, the only "real" grandfather I've ever known.).
He always had a cap of some sort on his head. When I joined the Navy, I started sending certain caps home to him. A ship came into port once called the "USS California". He was so proud to be from the Golden State, that I had to get him one from there. So I did. I don't really remember the method I used to get that one. Usually, one just asked one of the on board Sailor's for one. It wasn't difficult, especially being a female on a hugely male dominated base.
Then, one week, the USS Fresno came in. Now, Fresno is where my Grandparents have lived for as long as I've known them. I HAD to get one of those ballcaps for Grandpa. Just HAD to.
So, I made friends with some of the Fresno Sailors. The ones I met were frequenting the same bar/dance floor I frequented on base. At the time, I was dating my ex husband. His ship was out to sea, of course. But I met this really nice man. He told me all about his wife. He was so crazy in love with her. I think I even saw pictures. I told him about my boyfriend. We'd sit and chat, I danced with him a few times, maybe. I was careful who I danced with, because rumors on a Navy base run rampant, ESPECIALLY when your boyfriend (whom you loved) is out to sea.
Eventually, I asked this guy if he could get me a Fresno cap. He was very happy to do so. He was such a nice guy.
He brought the cap to me that next night, and I was thrilled. But, then, out of the blue, and very awkwardly, he kissed me. Not a big kiss, not even a "romantic" kiss. But a kiss. Now, this was totally unlike his personality. I knew he loved his wife. I was shocked beyond belief, and he? He was instantly mortified and upset. He cried.
We went, and talked, and he was so apologetic. He missed his wife, and the physical comfort of her so much. Deployments are hard. They CAN turn the nicest men ever into cheaters. Six months is a long time. This was before the advent of e-mails, so communication is mostly by letter, and, occasionally, telephone. Sporadic to say the least. I found this out on my own six month deployment. It was hard.
The next day, the ship left Yokosuka, Japan, to continue their deployment. I sent the Fresno hat to Grandpa, and, when I came back, every time he wore it, I kind of thought about that guy. I think his one weakness, that night, kissing me, scared the fidelity back in him. I bet he kept on the straight and narrow the whole time. I hope so.
Why I remembered all of this, is because when Grandpa died, Grandma gave me back the California, and the Fresno ballcaps I had sent for him. Ballcaps he had worn, frequently. They sit proudly, in my room, with some of the other caps I've collected. (The USS Midway, USS Texas, and my tugboat ballcap. I didn't keep one from my own ship, I hated that piece of tin crap.). I moved them during my re arrange, and there it was, USS Fresno. And the memory just came rolling back. . .

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Postcard gratification

back translation:
Jasmine: look at the size his PENIS!
Ali: it's not that big
Jas:I've never seen anything that magestic in my life!
Ali: What about mine?
Jas: Hahahahahaha-please. Al, I love you for your fashion sense
Ali: I thought you said size doesn't matter. I would have wished for a bigger dick instead of freeing that damn blue guy!!!!

zzzzzzzzzzzz, NOT!

Precious sleep eludes me, this week.
It's like my body has decided that it wants me to walk around, feeling kind of tired. And go to work that way.
I'm fine, for the first oh, ten hours of the shift? Then wham! I start to really hate the monitor, the noise, and most of the people around me. Because I want nothing more than to go home and sleep! But I can't, because I have to finish my shift.
I know what's going to happen. Tomorrow, my first day off? I'll sleep the whole thing. My body will decide I need to. Then I'll be up all night tomorrow night when I could have been sleeping.
It's not fair, I tell you.
But I have no scintillating plans, tomorrow. Newman is spending quality time with his daughter this week, and I wouldn't dream of interfering with that. The most I have to do is go to the dollar store and see if they have any good decor for a 40th birthday party. Vulturish, "your getting old" stuff. Middle sister wants to find an old walker and mount a gun rack to it for him.
My sister recommended that I get him movie tickets for his birthday. Sounds like an excellent idea. Though now, DK has got me thinking about Obama wrapping paper for them. . .

Monday, August 6, 2007

what I am doing this weekend. . . sigh.

This weekend is BIL's 40th birthday party.
A surprise one.
Over stressed middle sister has so much on her hands, already. Yet, we are having a surprise birthday party for BIL.
I may be dragging Celtic Rose to go with me.
People will be there. Lots of people, that, well. I don't enjoy being around, and spending time with.
But it's his birthday party. And he never has those.
So, I have to suck it up, and go.
Besides, my parents will be there, my three little adorable nephews will be there. It will be ok. really it will, IT WILL!
So, what do I get a nearly forty year old, substitute teacher, hunting and gun enthusiast civil war history loving western living type BIL for his birthday?
Uh, I don't know. But we have an Army Navy surplus store. And I bet they know.

On a more fun level, soon, very very soon (thurs Aug 23, which is soon!) I am going to the land of Kaos. My own little Disneyland trip, but it's to Portland, Oregon. Anyone wanting to continue the postcard theme and get a Portland postcard, (probably postmarked from here, just because CK and I may be far to busy to mail them) send me your address over the email. Maybe, CK and I will sit down in a haze of whatever the beverage of choice is one day, and write them all out together.

I'm hoping my DL one will come today. It better.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Macaroni and Cheese Recipe-sorry Moonbeam!

Start by making a basic bechamel sauce
3 tbs each of butter, and flour. Heat these in a saucepan, whisking until it is lump free. Add three cups of milk, and then, temper in an egg. (Take part of the warm sauce out of the pan into a cup, break the egg into that and stir it in, then add it back to the sauce pan. If you add the egg directly, it's too hot and the egg will actually scramble).
Next, is the cheese. I use fontina, a soft white Italian cheese, it melts well. And I use lot's of Cheddar. My favorite one to use is Hoffman's sharp cheddar cheese. I use a lot of cheese, so its really cheesy! Grate the cheese and stir it in, to your taste.

While your doing this boil large elbow macaroni al-dente. When it's all done, throw it into a casserole dish, and mix it. Now is a good time to salt and pepper it as well. For the top, grate more cheddar on to the top. Then, take some melted butter, and stir some Panko bread crumbs into it, and spread that on top of it, to make a crunchy crust. Then, bake it in the oven, for 30-40 minutes, until its all bubbly.
It does get VERY HOT so let it sit for a few minutes before serving. It makes GREAT leftovers, too. And you can use any kind of cheese you like.

Sorry about taking down the last post, I just got a little second-guessy about some of it, and would have rather been safer, than sorry! Argh. Gotta stop doing that. ;)

Lazy Sunday

Its another Sunday, and I'm sleepy.
Newman came to dinner, and stayed very late. It was very nice. But, I did make a promise last night of "what happens in the cat-free zone stays in the cat free zone". And, really, I do intend to leave it that way. Let your imaginations go wild. I will neither confirm nor deny. . .
Dinner itself was really good. Basalmic marinated flanksteak with garlic, macaroni and cheese made from scratch, with really good cheeses. Earlier I posted the recipe, but now I'm sleepy. Maybe I'll do it later.

In other interesting news. My crazy oldest sister is at it again. She thinks we should take our Grandma, who has been having health problems, on her 85th birthday, on a cruise to Mexico. Yeah, right. I can't get those days off, anyhow.

And my Mom is in a bitchy mood today because she can't get the paint for the back splash in her kitchen to match her new countertops. They got some granite ones put in and my Dad told me yesterday "We paid a lot of g-d money for a giant piece of rock". LOL. I had to laugh.
Happy Sunday, everyone
I still have not gotten my CK postcard. I am going to interrogate the mailman on Monday if I don't. . .

Saturday, August 4, 2007

I hate August

I really do. The dry heat of this month just kills me. I love the winter, with the rain, and snow. I love the fall, with it's crisp, cool air, and falling leaves. Spring, not so much, with my allergies. But August? If I could sleep through this month, I would.
The heat of it reminds me, kind of, of the time I spent in the Persian Gulf when I was on the ship. Granted, it is much much much hotter over there. It was so hot, that our work hours were from 5 am to 11 am. That's it. Because we were all falling out from the heat of things. Especially my division. I worked on the boat deck of the ship, with the small boats, and cranes. It was so hot, the metal we would try to paint would be porous, like a sponge, and soak in the paint.
To leave the ship, (which we all ran to do when liberty was announced) we had to be in long sleeved shirts. Because of the religious climate of the place we were in. Especially the women. They made sure we were covered from the neck down before we walked down that gangplank. Thankfully, I'd met a british girl who's parent's had a home in sunny Bahrain. She'd come get a bunch of us, and we'd go there, where we could change into cooler cloths, and use their swimming pool. It saved me, I think.
But I also did volunteer work at an orphanage there. Our chaplain arranged it. The orphanage was quite a shock. Bahrain is one of the richest cities. But these kids. . . I still get queasy thinking about it.
Everything there was broken. Most of the kids were deemed "special needs" for many reasons. There was this girl there, she was 18 or so. She'd been "normal" until her home caught fire. She had gotten burned, and was paralysed. And now lived at this hole in the wall orphenage. She spoke 8 languages, including English. She did a lot of translation for us. There were a few others, older like her. Both of them were also female, and developmentally delayed. There was also this very bright 5 year old. She was hyperactive, but what 5 year old isn't, really? Especially living in the situation she lived in. She followed us around like an adoring puppy, just starved for attention.
What got to me, though, were all the others. There were 3 rooms. Dark rooms. With at least 20 kids per room, most of them living on a mattress with an upside down, wooden play-pen over them. There was not enough staff to care for the children, and to keep them in one place, they had to contain them. The ones that couldn't move lived in larger cribs. It was horrifying. They were clean, and they were fed. But that was it. And it wasn't the staff's fault. There was just not enough of them to go around. Walking around these rooms, and seeing these kids almost killed me. I came across this one little girl. She had the most beautiful, thick black hair, and these big brown eyes. Her name was Shedara, someone told me. I thought she was maybe, 3 years old? I found out later she was 8. She couldn't walk, she didn't talk. She didn't weigh anything. For some reason, I latched on to this child. I went there all the time, and always went to her. They started letting me take her out. I'll never forget the first day I took her outside. It had been so long since she'd been out there that it frightened her. The noises of fear she made frightened me. She slowly got over it, and looked around some. Every day I took her out with me. One day, I found a physical therapy room. And we played in there for a while. (I played, trying to work her leg muscles and see if I could figure out what was wrong with her. I never did.). At lunch time, the arabic nurses came in, and they had the girl who spoke 8 languages with them. She translated for them, and for me. They told me about Shedara. She had a family, her mother had 6 other children, one of them a newborn. And she couldn't take care of Shedara at this time. But they planned on coming back for her, they told the nurses. I hope they did. By the time we had to leave Bahrain, I wanted to take Shedara with me. Something in that child's eyes connected me to her, somehow. I can't explain it.
Anyhow. I wandered pretty far off the subject there. I still hate August. Its too hot. And the heat reminds me of Bahrain, that orphanage, and Shedara.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Just a quick direction

Go see Celtic Rose and see what I did to (um, I mean, For, yeah that's it FOR) her. It made me laugh for at least a full minute. Even in this heat.

Its a new day

Its Friday. I'm glad.
Thursday kind of sucked. It was one of those days where things just felt, well. Wrong. I didn't like yesterday at all.
It all started in the morning. I went to run the fruit peelings in my garbage disposal, and without my knowing it, one of my cats had knocked my favorite Celtic Knot clip into the garbage disposal, from the counter. It WAS a beautiful clip. Sigh. It can be replaced.
Then, there is blogger. It won't let me take that empty poll down, it won't let me fill the poll in. So get used to that big white blob.
It was hot and sticky yesterday, and my air conditioner was having trouble keeping up.
Then I got an e mail from newman, he couldn't make our plans to go to the farmers market, he'd had to get up 0300 for work, and was just too tired.
yesterday sucked. End of whiny blog. It's a new day. It's Friday. Newman will come to dinner tomorrow night. I will order a new hair clip today. Blogger will fix the poll thing, eventually, right? Since I can't make you people vote for the grill name, I am actually going to go with NanaK's. Because I like the way her mind thinks. So the grill will be Peter. Peter Parker, aka Spidey. (cause its a Weber, get it?). Though I also really liked Ken the Barbieque. Just because the thought of grilling Barbie is almost irresistable.
As far as the hot, muggy, August heat. My air conditioner is doing quite well today, thank you.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

so this is what I'd look like

If I were a Southpark Kid!
if you want to do the same go here

junk food junkies

Its been a long time since I went into the wierd news catagory. Today's stories involve animals.

I've been hearing, for the last three weeks or so, about this odd little seagull in Scotland who goes to the same store every day, and nabs a bag of chips. I'm thinking this seagull is not long for this world, based on salt intake, alone! And you know, the store has gotten quite a large amount of noteriety, and advertisement from this seagull. They should put out a healthy snack for the poor thing. Instead of chips. And apparently, this seagull grabs the same brand, every time. For the record, I've never liked Seagulls. Flying Rats is all they really are. They also have good aim. . .

Not to be outdone, in Helsinki Finland, there is a store who has a squirrel come visit. The squirrel has good taste. He steals chocolate. Not just any chocolate, but "Kinder Chocolate". It apparently comes with a toy for the kids. He unwraps, then eats the bar in the store, then runs away with the toy.

So the next time you walk into a store, be on the lookout. Word is spreading amongst our animal friends that it's ok for them to come in, and eat junk food. I'm sure Yogi and Boo Boo are at the Quicky Mart in Yellowstone as I type, looking for their Picanic.

On a more somber note. I have to say the bridge collapse in Minnesota is really quite a sad, tragic thing. It is just another thing that has me saying we should all go out, and live, appreciate life and our loved ones. Because you never really know what's going to happen. I am sure, all those people, in those cars, would have never guessed that their lives would end when the bridge underneath them collapsed.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Wordless Wednesday