Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011


**** updated to add: there is a duck in my backyard. I am not even kidding. Does it not recognize the danger it's in, just traipsing around willy-nilly in suburban back yards? I thought wild animals were supposed to be wily. The jokes are just boiling over right now, dying to come out, but I have already promised Ina, as you can see below. Curses!
















It's the very last day of 2011, can you believe it? I was just looking for last year's 'Goodbye, 2010, I Hate You with an Unending Passion' post so I could compare, but I guess I hated 2010 so much that I didn't write one. It seems unlike me, but I guess you never know what wacky thing I might do, or not do, next. Oh well, it's probably better; who needs to read a bunch of dreariness from the past when we can look to the future and talk about delicious squirrels or similar? For example, look at the picture of my backyard this morning! See all those beautiful, tender birds??? The bite-sized ones are best, I hear.

Naturally, though, I can't do a New Year's post without remembering the best New Year's Eve ever, when Janelle's washing machine caught fire and her cat saved their entire family. I didn't write the part about the cat before, but it's 100% true. Because she has multiple small children, her washing machine is always running, including in the middle of the night on New Year's Eve. They turned on the 6,583rd load of the day, shut the cats in the laundry room and went to bed. Pretty soon, they were awakened by Speedy's unholy yowling and frantic scratching. It could have been because he was choking to death on the belching black smoke but I prefer to think he was thinking only of his loving family. And that, C Mike, is why we don't eat cats.

Let's see, what else? I would keep going on the dog/squirrel/cat/bird eating theme, only Aunt Ina wrote me a note yesterday and told me I was very gross. I guess she's kind of squeamish. Also, she is one of those people that feeds the squirrels in her back yard. I'm not kidding, she has at least three feeders and she goes through sunflower seeds and peanuts like I go through wine. So Happy New Year, Ina! I will try to not gross you out for at least a month.

I hope you all have a fantastic New Year's Eve and a great start to 2012 tomorrow. I don't have any big plans to go out and drink too much and get in a ridiculous fight with friends or family members, because I can do that without leaving my house. It's much cheaper and more convenient that way, plus I don't have to wear spanx and lipstick. I'm practical that way. But tomorrow, I plan on making the most of the traditional New Year's Day thrift store shopping spree. All of a sudden, I have a compelling need for some very small saute pans. Happy New Year, y'all!





Thursday, December 29, 2011

Monopoly

I used to love Monopoly. When I was little, my sister and I and our cousins would play for hours with rules of our own devising and plenty of cheating. My favorite tactic was to stash some extra bills in the bathroom and then pretend I had to pee if my cash flow was getting dicey.

I was none too pleased to find it under the tree this year, though. And not because I've outgrown questionable financial practices, either. Nope, it all has to do with my outrageous vanity. See, Weston has been regularly kicking my ass at chess for quite some time and the last thing I need is another avenue for a vigorous thrashing at the hands of a seven year old. I'm pretty sure he wouldn't fall for the bathroom scheme, too. The truth is, I haven't been able to trick him for at least a year and a half.

So I had to develop a new strategy: now I pour a giant glass of wine, hide some extra in the bathroom, and see how fast I can blow through those colorful bills in pursuit of blissful bankruptcy.

Do you guys care if I talk about squirrels now? I'm super tired of talking about Monopoly. The squirrel thing is kind of gross, though. First you have to read this article in today's Seattle Times about an urban squirrel harvester. She sounds a little nuts, but it's an intriguing idea. Read the comments, too- they are hilarious. There seems to be an aversion to chowing down on cute food sources. I don't know why; once you cut the face off the meat all looks the same, right? Also, it reminded me of this awesome post on eating dog by Ask A Korean. I don't care what you think of eating dogs, that post is pure brilliance.

Because I am slightly demented, I was intrigued by the methods by which you could dispatch the squirrels, but I will spare you all the gory details. After some lengthy and very interesting discussion, it became apparent that I would be less than successful should the necessity or opportunity for squirrel killing arise. It's unfortunate, too, because I'm not a girl to miss many meals, which makes me a fan of having a robust food reserve. Oh well, there's always those tasty and attractive slugs! In fact, I would eat a whole sack of those slimy things if it would get me out of this Godforsaken game. A girl can dream, you know.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Holy Cat Yak

Happy Boxing Day! I had quite the adventure today, you guys will be so jealous! I don't even know where to start. We had the cousins over today and it was NUTS. I'm not exactly sure how this happened, but somehow it was agreed that my sister would drop off her charming children at my house and go shopping. Sounds pretty promising, right? I mean, what could go wrong? The kids LOVE to play together.

And, in fact, it did go along pretty swimmingly for quite a while. After about 11 million hours of providing free child care, though, Shane and Teddy announced that they had been cutting the curtains. Sure that they would NEVER actually be slicing up the drapes, I responded casually, and returned to sifting through the 73 pounds of debris I dumped out of my bags while looking for my missing work watch. They were a little too quiet for a little too long, so I went back over there and questioned them more thoroughly about this cutting the curtains thing. Sure enough, they had very efficiently snipped through the better part of two panels. A little annoying, sure, but the thing that really pisses me off is that after all that work they have neither play clothes for themselves nor an elegant gown for me to show for it. Clearly, they have not been watching enough television, which I started to remedy as soon as they got back from their time-outs for being such slackers.

All that scissor work apparently made them hungry, so I whomped up plates of color coordinated orange snacks: cheez-its, carrots and oranges. I looked for orange downers to crush up and sprinkle on top but I didn't have any and had to go with the standard white ones. While they were sitting there inhaling the goods, the cat yakked up on the living room floor. It had ribbon in it. I will have no more to say about that. Ever.



Then, Jennifer came back. I was so happy. Until she plopped herself down in front of my computer and continued shopping. She didn't even bring me any wine, my watch is still missing, and my sedatives are all gone. HELP ME.



Sunday, December 25, 2011

Dead Cat Christmas

Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope you had a great day, with plenty of presents and wine! I got lots of wine, leftovers from my sister's traditional Christmas Eve soup and sammies party. I was going to go to the party, but I heard Lillian was going to call me a chipmunk, so I stayed home. And since I didn't go, there was plenty of leftover hooch for me to drink today. So that worked out nicely. For me.

It was a very rainy and windy day until late in the afternoon, so the kids had to stay inside and shriek. Luckily we were at Grandpa's house; there's a little more cousin tackling space and Grandpa can't hear. For the rest of us, there was the leftover wine. I just jammed the corks in my ears and bottoms up, my friends! I was going to post a short video, but I think I'll just spare you. Consider it a little Christmas gift from me to you. You're welcome!

Then Jennifer and I went down to the Carol tree in the storm. It's a hemlock, and it's at the park on the lake near my parents' house. That was super fun, and frigidly cold except for the broiling hot tears coursing down our faces. Wait, where did that wine go? Oh yeah, I drank it all because I deeply appreciate its numbing qualities. The afternoon improved, weather-wise, and I went for brisk little trail run, which has improved my disposition remarkably, until tomorrow, when my thighs will feel like badgers have been chewing on them again.

And, that's the Christmas report from the house of dead cats. Merry Christmas, y'all!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Elk Poop. Oh, Honey, You Shouldn't Have. Really.

Merry Christmas Eve, my sweet friends! What did you do today? Whatever it was, I bet you didn't get to see elk poop. It was a beautiful day here in the Pacific Northwest after raining all night. I know this because the cats woke me up at least thirteen times by rolling around in the wrapping paper I left on the floor and I could hear the rain pounding the roof every single time.

The clouds started to lift about mid-morning and we packed up and headed to Elkville. Lloyd mocked me for toting along a huge backpack filled with food, water, antibiotics, rappelling gear and a rubber raft, but I've been out in the woods with him before. I'll write about it someday, after I'm over the PTSD, but for now just remember that if we are ever out triangulating together and I tell you to move your compass away from the truck before you get your bearing because the needle is pointing straight at the engine block, you should listen to me.

Moving on, because I'm starting to twitch and my medication is in the backpack: check out the pictures! We traversed some twisty logging roads that went high, high into some steep terrain. In fact, it was so twisty, high and steep that Shane commented, 'I would be damn scared if I had to walk all the way up here.' Four, people. He is FOUR. My mother is rolling over in her handcrafted artisan urn right this very second. There were no actual elk, but Lloyd was thrilled to see the piles of droppings. Personally, when it comes to elk poop, I can take it or leave it, but live and let live, I always say! There were also tons of birds and some very cool rocks.

I hope you all have a fantastic Christmas! As for me, I can hardly wait for Lloyd to plunge his hand into his stocking on Christmas morning.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Chipmunk, My Ass


You know, I'm not a fan of resolutions. But the end of the year is coming and something happened at work last week that made me think that perhaps I need to step up my game. A couple of my friends/co-workers vexed me past my limit, and I vowed revenge, only to get a note that said this: "Eh, scary. About like being threatened by Snow White or a chipmunk." Obviously, this will not do. Seriously, a chipmunk?? A wolverine, fine. A bobcat, even. But a chipmunk or some nancygirl princess that waits around for some stupid prince to save her bacon? Definitely NOT. Oh, and yes, I know, that's a picture of a squirrel. I don't HAVE any chipmunk pictures. So sue me.

Now, usually I prefer to keep my world domination on the down low. I like to let people think that what they're doing is their own idea. The sweetest victory is the one where the enemy doesn't even know he's been vanquished, right? I can't remember who said that but whoever it was is brilliant and probably not some asshole like Aristotle.

So I can see why someone might think that way about me. I have a pretty perky facade and I pretend to have a sunny personality all the time. That's how you manipulate people into doing your bidding without them even knowing it. But a CHIPMUNK? This calls for serious measures, my friends, and a new year is just the time to get started. In fact, I started today. I always like to get a jump on things, you know me! I sent out a slew of very bossy emails and I know it's working because I got notes back that were chock-full of swearing. Along with complete capitulation. My favorite one called me a 'booted princess'. Then I made rude and inappropriate jokes in the weekly staff meeting, so I think that was a pretty good kickoff. Tomorrow I might thrash some slackers and then set the kitchen on fire. Chipmunk, MY ASS.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Sweet

I had the sweetest day today! I woke up this morning and looked out the back yard at the sheep farm to see an awesome sunrise. Then, the boys and I did our morning chores and headed out to make our rounds. First we visited Grandpa, which is always a popular destination, possibly partly because of the chips and cookies that are always readily available. Then we went to Jennifer's house, which is the picture with the Christmas bears in front of it. I would arrange the pictures in the proper order, but it never works, so you're just going to have to keep up. Sorry! But I have total confidence in you.

It was a gorgeous day and I had a fantastic walk at the park and then laid on the bio-mat. It's chock-full of vibrating crystals and is supposed to juice you up good. I'm not too sure about that, but it is warm and quiet and a good place for a nap.

Then we came home and I cleaned out the tomato vines, rotated the compost, and inspected the brussels sprouts and cabbages. They've already survived a couple of hard freezes, so I'm thinking they might be indestructible. I'm just going to let them grow; they're part of my emergency kit. They're the perfect post-earthquake food: see the slug holes? You can get your meat and vegetables all at the same time. I've looked into cooking slugs before without too much success, but I have not previously considered slug cabbage rolls.

But wait! It gets even better! There is nothing I like better than giving unsolicited advice and I was presented with a golden opportunity this afternoon. One of my charming friends, who shall remain nameless so she won't kill me, mentioned how annoying her husband is being. Not that I would know anything about that, but I do know a most excellent technique for relieving negative feelings. It's called energy tapping, and I've written about it before. I know, it sounds a little weird but I have used it successfully in multiple ways. So, naturally, I cheerfully offered my expertise in this arena, and I'm sure everything is fine now.

Now I am having wine and watching 'The Cat from Outer Space'; it never gets old! Did I mention the wine? Good night!







My Kitchen Was Clean Twenty Minutes Ago

video


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Catwalk



I know, I know: WHERE ARE THE UPDATES?!?!??! Sorry, peeps- I have just been all discombobulated this week. So in lieu of an actual post, I have a picture of cats on leashes and some links.

Jake and Henry have been just itching to get outside but after the death of the original Henry, we have been VERY reluctant to let them out. I'm not sure how well this really worked out, but there were no reported injuries to either the boys or the cats. Aren't all four of them just the cutest? Boys and their cats; I love it!

And for some links- here is a new blog someone just shared with me. You know it has to be good when it's called People I Want to Punch in the Throat. And, another one- do you guys read Thought Catalog? It's home to multiple essays every day about weighty topics such as The Different Types of People You See at the Gym, how there is no such thing as too many cats, and the quiz to determine if you are Springsteen or not Springsteen. Actually, now that I think about it, you don't really need a quiz for that. It's one of those things you just know, like if you're gay or not. And, if you must know, I am DEFINITELY Springsteen. And not gay. I couldn't care less if you are gay, but I have to admit I might discriminate against you a tiny bit if you're one of those deviant not-Springsteen people.

Okay, gotta go, because baby, I was born to run................ Smell ya' later, friends!




Saturday, December 10, 2011

Early

Happy weekend, my friends! I got up super early this morning, probably because I went to bed at 6:30 last night, and I was out early enough to see the total lunar eclipse. It was very cool; I had a fantastic view through the branches of the denuded maple tree in the front yard. I tried to get some pictures but failed miserably; one of these days I'm going to take another photography class. So often I can visualize what a picture should look like but can't make the camera do what I want.

Oooh, that reminds me of a story: A long, long time ago, I was in Electric City, taking some samples from a quarry, I think, and I came across this fence with hard hats all over it. In all different colors. The sky was really blue and if you looked at it a certain way it looked like balloons and I could just see the picture I wanted. This was in the pre-digital camera days, so I was fiddling with the controls on my old 35 mm and snapping shot after shot from different angles, even laying on the ground and shooting up. Before long, a gate opened, and this little tiny and very strange looking man sidled out. Because the gate was open, I could see that the yard was full of all sorts of metal objects and other junk. I don't remember what he said, and he wasn't mean in any way, but he TERRIFIED me, because it was clear that his driveway didn't go all the way to the street, in the words of one of my coworkers who definitely should not be throwing stones if you know what I mean. I stammered out what I was doing, and he grabbed a hard hat off the fence, plopped it on my head, took the camera and took a picture of me. Then he gave the camera back and scurried back inside the yard and shut the gate. I ran out of there so fast your head would spin, and naturally, not a single one of my pictures was worth a damn. Except that last one of me. It actually wasn't bad. And I can STILL see in my head what that blasted hard hat picture should have looked like.

Oh well, what can you do, right? Anyway, back to this morning: there was a pretty thick frost on the ground and my rake was still laying on the ground where I left it the last time I thought about cleaning up the leaves on the ground. While I was standing there, just watching the moon, I thought I would warm up by running the rake for a little while. This was completely unsuccessful because the leaves were frozen onto the ground in a sort of mat-like fashion. It almost might remind one of a orange and yellow quilted lawn-cozy, in fact. I was tempted to see if I could just roll it up but my hands were already freezing. I figure those leaves have been laying there for months; they can lay there a little while longer. Or a lot longer, if I'm being totally honest. And you know good and well I always am.

Now I'm working hard at whomping up some hippie Christmas presents, and man, does my kitchen smell awesome. That doesn't happen very often so it's extra enjoyable, mmmmmmmm. I think I might take a blanket and pillow in there and sleep on the floor. I hope you all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

School

Hey, everyone! How's it going? I probably wouldn't be writing today, but I have received MULTIPLE reports that my last post was extra dreary and it sure would be super nice to have something different up here instead. So I thought I would put up some pictures and make a report. I am too lazy to check and make sure, but I believe I previously reported that I am at at the National Fire Academy along with my tinfoil/amethyst hat for protection from The Man. Did I mention that there is a guy here that looks exactly like Ferris Bueller? Every time I see him I think, 'Bueller? Bueller?' Oh, I crack myself up. But I feel sorry for him, because I bet if he had a dollar for every time someone said that he would have enough cash for some plastic surgery.

Here are some pictures, just for funsies. The one from the
Fallen Firefighter's Memorial that was supposed to go with the Timmy Stackpole post, along with one of the memorial itself. The flag one is a 9-11 memorial modeled on the flag-raising photo that everyone loves so much. Sorry they were taken in the dark but that's pretty much my only option, since I am EVER SO BUSY learning all day long.

This place is weird, you guys. Do any of you remember college? I kind of do. It's sort of like that, only not quite so much fun. Ratty dorm room? Check? Dining hall food? Check. Alcohol and explosives restrictions? Check. Actually, now that I think about it, it bears a certain resemblance to prison, too. Not that I would know! Definitely not, and anyone who says they were my roommate in prison is definitely lying. I can't believe how many people lie these days. It's very discouraging for truth-telling folks like myself, seriously. Next thing you know they are going to be making me pee in a cup. What? They didn't do that at your university? I suppose you didn't have bars on the windows, either? And why did I have to pick potatoes on the weekends wearing that funny jumpsuit? I am definitely going to stop writing checks to the alumni association, and I think I better have a chat with my dad.

Huh, better go to bed. They are calling lights out. What? That's normal, right? Good night!
































Monday, December 5, 2011

Timmy Stackpole

Usually I don't write about where I go until I get back. It's so The Man doesn't know where I am all the time. In case my tinfoil hat with the amethyst crystal on top isn't strong enough to protect me. Not this time, though. I am throwing caution to the wind. I still have the hat, after all. I am on the site that houses the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial. It's a beautiful memorial- it's got an eternal flame inside a masonry and stone circle with a bronze plaque for each year since it was dedicated. The plaque has the names of all the firefighters killed that year. 9/11 has its own plaque; 343 extra names wouldn't fit on 2001.

Timmy Stackpole's name is on there, near the end. I didn't know him, of course. He was dead when I got there, just like all the rest of them. The firefighters I worked with were plenty pissed off in general, believe me, but they were EXTRA furious about Timmy. See, he had been badly burned a couple of years before and had gone through a long painful rehab process so he could go back to work instead of taking a medical retirement. He had recently come back to work, only to have a giant building crumble on top of him. So, yeah, they were all pretty hot.

My point? I don't really have one, I guess, and you know how much I hate that. I suppose just seeing his name made me think about it. Know what else I don't have? A good ending. Good night, my friends. I'll try to post some more about this place tomorrow.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Orange

Orange you glad I'm posting today? Yuk, yuk. I had quite the exciting day, and I know you are DYING to hear all about it. It had its ups and downs, of course, but I'm just going to hit the ups. Well, that might be a lie. I will probably come back to some of the downs later, because let's face it, those are much more entertaining.

I went suitcase shopping today, at a store that sells unused goods. I had been looking at Goodwill for quite a while and didn't see what I wanted so I had to suck it up. Sometimes you can't have what you want, you know. Annoying beyond words, but true. I have had a luggage deficiency for quite a while, ever since Lloyd marked up my beloved LLBean rolling duffle bags. I snapped up two of those babies at the Osan thrift store. I don't think I posted about them when I found them because I thought y'all would be jealous. They look like this only they are covered in very loud orange flowers. They still work fine, it's just that Lloyd wrote on them in permanent marker for a NEO exercise. For those of you fortunate enough to not know what that means, it stands for non-combatant evacuation operations. While in Korea, all the spouses had to participate in NEO exercises every six months. We were required to pack up all our documents, evacuation gear, gas masks and etc. and present it for inspection and practice actually turning in our house and car keys and becoming refugees. You know, just in case the evil communist dictatorship a mere 60 miles to the north that might or might not possess a nuclear arsenal appeared to be a little more threatening than usual. Naturally, we all got hammered on margaritas first, so that worked out well. Lloyd, being helpful, wrote my name and NEO in big letters on the bags with a giant sharpie, and I have considered them ruined ever since. I might forgive him someday soon.

I recklessly purchased myself two new suitcases, and then went thrifting with my sister. I totally hit the jackpot, too. Among other things, ORANGE PANTS! Now, I love orange. You all know that, right? But I especially love orange pants and I haven't had any for a long time. Interestingly (to me!) my last pair is memorialized on Stories From Korea, from the day I bought them along with the most awesome coat ever, to the day they split right up the middle in the library. My new pants are quite fabulous but it probably wouldn't hurt me to run around the block a few times before I sport them at the office Christmas party. Oh hell, who am I kidding? As long as there is room in the pockets for my wine bag I'm golden.

Also today, for the first time in a long time, I was asked for breastfeeding advice. I'm a little rusty, since Shane gave up the boob earlier this year in exchange for a Nerf gun, but I did my best, and it made me remember with joy and pleasure the Osan BF support group days. While I was looking for my orange pants posts, I found this one with a nursing picture that I love. Wanna hear something funny? I was pretty hesitant to post that picture originally. Now I don't know why, it seems like so long ago, and who cares? It's hard to remember just how small that base is. I miss you all!

Huh, you know what? I have absolutely no desire to go into the downs. I'm off on another trip this week, so it might be a few days-have a great week! I love you guys.






Thursday, December 1, 2011

Phone

Well, I did it. I went right into the phone store and did it. I got a phone so smart that it could probably finish that cold fusion device I've been working on. I was terrified, of course. All that creepy technology staring me down. And it was full of zombies*! But I just told them to get out of my way or I was going to blast them with my death ray and they all just turned back, then shuffled off to look at ipads.

I did tell the greeter man that I wanted the phone with the death ray option, but his name tag said 'Jazz' and if there's one thing you can count on from a man named after music it's that he will not think I'm funny. After that he palmed me off on a lovely young woman named Erin who immediately helped me purchase my phone along with many potentially unnecessary accessories, including a cover with purple and white birds. I don't even like bird designs, though I understand they are very fashionable as items of decor these days. She was very adamant that I needed it, though, and who am I to argue with her? The zombies steered clear of her, so she must know what she's talking about. They're probably scared of birds.

Here's the part that kills me: I went in there, plopped down my credit card, and they let me walk out of there just as if I had any clue about what to do with that thing. It was just like having a baby, when you go into the hospital like a regular person, and come out with this very small, delicate and expensive thing that you have absolutely no idea how to operate. Oh, sure, you've read all the books and have some theoretical knowledge about sleep deprivation and pure desperation. Hell, you might even have some practical knowledge from the time you drank beer for 96 hours straight then lost your shoes, wallet and several other pretty useful items of apparel at Waterbust. Hypothetically speaking, I mean.

BWAHAHHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!! SUCKER, you have no freaking clue what you just got yourself into!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh wait, where was I? Oh yeah, the only difference between the phone store and the baby hospital is that the phone store was free of blood, vomit or spurting geysers of milk. Zombies usually have some gore hanging off them that looks pretty similar to the detritus of childbirth but they were surprisingly clean at that store. Maybe they're unionized?

In any event, once again, I'm pretty sure I have no idea what I've gotten myself into, but at least I can take the phone back, right?

*Yes, Ina, the zombie part is all lies



Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Smart


I'm going to do it, you guys. I'm going to get a phone that's smarter than me. Yeah, I know: not at all hard. WHATEVER. I am suspicious of technology; I always have been. It took me forever to get on facebook; remember that? My car doesn't open with a remote, and my home phone has a cord. Mine will work when the power's out; will yours? Hmmmmmm? I won't stand in front of the microwave and we have no cable. But sometimes, you just have to get with the program. I'm not getting anything fancy, of course, just the most basic model that has the death ray option. Or maybe that's an app? I'm not quite sure but you can bet I'm smart enough to figure it out, and quick. Oh yes, and guess what? My list of death rayees is scrawled on some junk mail from the utility company. I just scribbled out that obnoxious 'FINAL NOTICE' written in red across the front and then there was plenty of room, though I will admit I needed a second envelope from the fascists at the phone company for the last few low-value stragglers because my list is so long and distinguished. I used junk mail so no one will ever catch on. That's because Shane burns it all. He's kind of an addict. I wonder if there's a name for that? If I had a smart phone I could find out. Then, if he needs therapy I could send him on an airline trip! I totally should have called this 'Brilliant' instead of just 'Smart', don't you think? Well, that's enough of that. I think I might be about to get myself in some serious trouble. Always to be avoided, no matter how much fun it is. If you're smart. Which I am. Sometimes. Unless the death ray/pyromania is so awesome that it cancels out my good sense.

Seriously, though, my charming and well-loved Aunt Ina, the one that thinks I lie on here, sent me a text today and I could read it but not answer it, because my 1997 ebay flip phone has no keyboard. What if her head exploded because her Starbucks was closed one Saturday and in desperation, with her last conscious thought, she sent me a text looking for directions to the Tully's and I couldn't write back? I couldn't forgive myself! That will just not do, my friends. It's time to step up for the greater good. So here's what I'm going to do: as soon as I sleep off my hell trip I'm heading to the wireless store. I'll let you know when I'm done. Then I'm going to set the thing on vibrate and stick it in my pocket. TEXT ME.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Home

Yep, I am home, PHEW! The return trip was a significant improvement, thankfully. Oh, there, see? I DO have something to be thankful for! Besides wine and xanax, I mean. Unfortunately, everything is just as we left it, although there WAS a new pair of boots on the porch. Yay, me! It's a sickness, I told you, so SHUT UP!

I had to sit in a middle seat, which sucked, especially since it was the end of the day and my hippie deodorant was all worn off, with just a hint of patchouli left. I felt bad. I'm not CRUEL, you know. Now, normally, I hate talking to people on airplanes, because really, what's the point? Plus chances are good that they are total idiots, otherwise what would they be doing traveling cross-country in a flying sardine can? Oh, right. On the other hand, there are some benefits to talking to someone you'll never see again. There's absolutely no reason to censor anything you say, as long as you haven't killed any nuns or crippled children lately. Because you should definitely keep quiet about THAT. If you can get the right flights, it would be pretty cheap therapy. You could just buy one of those super cheap round trips when the fares go on sale, since you don't care where you're going. Plop down next to some poor schmuck and spill your guts. Problem solved! I would totally do it, too, only I have Helen for that.

Anyway, it was a super long flight and I guess the guy next to me got bored of his email because he started talking to me. Turns out he just invented this technology to analyze the receptors on the adaptive immune system. I know, blah blah blah, boring geek talk, right? But this geek was into germs so I asked him who is crazier, the germophobes or the people who pick their noses and let their kids play in the toilet. Guess what? He said there are so many pathogens around all the time that it's ridiculous to think that anything you do will make any appreciable difference in your susceptibility to illness. AND, germs are good for you, because many of the microbes are similar in certain ways and being in contact with common ones might help you out some day when you encounter freaky ones. So there you have it. I don't know about you guys, but for me that's awesome news! I especially like the part about how there are so many pathogens that nothing I do makes any difference, because that totally lets me off the hook for any lack-of-cleaning related illnesses.

Then, I got home and I can't find one of the new used cats. The house doesn't stink, though. Any more than usual, I mean, so it's all good, right? RIGHT?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Dinner

Happy Thanksgiving from 27A

Sorry if this looks weird, you guys! I am posting from very austere conditions, indeed. I am typing on a mobile device I can barely operate; I think it might be some kind of a toaster or something. You are not even going to believe what I am doing right now- I can barely believe it myself. I am on my way to the east coast on a cram-jammed flight on short notice to visit the in-laws for a few days. I know! Nuts, right?

Shane just dumped a glass of water onto the backpack that holds all my clothes. I bet I know what you're thinking: what the hell? Are you CRAZY??? Yes, yes, I am. But come on, you know that. I almost feel like my friend Amanda (I can't link her from this stupid thing but she's over on the right under 'blogs I like'), who is well known far and wide for her love of embarking on last minute ill-advised trips. My mother used to ask me almost weekly what Amanda was up to now. I would tell her and she would laugh in disbelief.

Of course, I'm not Amanda crazy but I am wondering what the hell I'm doing here. And, you might ask, why are all my clothes in a backpack? Am I some kind of patchouli-smelling, Birkenstock-wearing, tangle-haired HIPPIE? No, because Lloyd is a stingy non-bag-fee-paying tightwad, that's why. Hey, I think I forgot the best part: I'M SO SICK I COULD DIE. In fact, it might be preferable.

What? It's Thanksgiving? Thankful, thankful..... This could take a while. No, I know. I'm kidding. I am very, very lucky and have much to be thankful for. You are also lucky, because I'm going to stop there and not get all gooshy on you. But damn, what I would not give to be in my warm bed with a book right now instead of smushed in this airplane seat with a sopping wet backpack. From 27A to your house, happy Thanksgiving, y'all!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Suckers

Haha, suckers! I am totally only writing today so I don't bust up my awesome consecutive string of posts. I might have cobbled together this many in a row before, maybe, in about 2009, back before I hit forty, when the fire could still fly from my fingertips on a regular basis, but it's pretty much unprecedented in the recent past. Dammit. That's all I've got. Well, I'll see what I can do. I might have to resort to pictures of brussels sprouts again. I'm not proud.

Work SUCKED today; I accidentally insulted this crusty old ex-colonel and then crashed the travel program on my computer after I spent approximately twelve hours planning a trip I'm not super enthusiastic about to start with. When I got home I saw on facebook I missed the birthday of one of my favorite people ever. Because I never, ever look at facebook at work. Sorry, Janelle! Actually, you know what? I never remember birthdays. It's one of my character flaws. I think it has to do with my whole Jehovah's Witness/Holiday aversion thing. That might be an excellent topic for another day, but I'm too tired and cranky to go there today.

Oh, I know! Once again, I need to address the issue of lies on here. Yesterday, at our early Thanksgiving party, one of my charming aunts informed me that sometimes she just skims my blog because she knows it's full of lies. It's just too outrageous to be true, she said. MY OWN AUNT! Can you believe that? I have talked about this before, multiple times, but a nice refresher is always good. Everything I put on here is basically true. Things will usually fall into one of several categories. Reports of events are always mostly true, but might be slightly exaggerated or embellished for effect. Hare-brained schemes, which are labeled with that category, are always straight out of my imagination, but are most often based on something that actually happened. Flat out lies are pretty obvious, like above where I said I never look at facebook at work. Also, if you'll notice, I have categories called 'lies' and 'true'. If you're wondering, you can always check the label. And, of course, you can always ask in the comments or email me at womanwithadeadcat (at) gmaildotcom.

And, finally, here's an example of a typical exaggeration, for future reference: After I posted this I received this question: 'Did they really lock you in your apartment when the President flew into Osan??' Now, the answer is no, they didn't really lock me in my apartment. Instead, they shot chloroform into my ductwork so I was unconscious for the whole event. But see, that's not quite as funny.

So there you have it, the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, from a woman with a dead cat in her purse.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sunday

Holy cow, people! Look at me go! I think this is my seventh post this week. I missed a day, but I did two on Monday. This is the second to last thing I should be doing, right in front of boot shopping, because eleventy jillion people are coming over for early Thanksgiving this afternoon and the place is a mess and there's no food. It's just the family, though, and they've met me so probably aren't expecting much better. Dad is bringing the turkey, fortunately for me, and Jen is bringing dessert. So really, all I need to do is wash some forks and open wine. The aunts are coming also, though, so my excellent manners are hounding me to mash potatoes and make stuffing. Maybe even some vegetables, because I'm an overachiever that way. I'll get right on it as soon as I finish blogging and boot shopping. You might wonder where Lloyd is, and observe correctly that this operation would be proceeding much more smoothly and appropriately were he running it instead of me. As luck (bad for me, good for him) would have it, he is taking a refresher course required to maintain his instructor ratings this weekend. That's what he said, anyway, as he tore out of here this morning with an evil laugh, leaving rubber on the driveway.

So, yep, I'm going to get on that pretty soon. Those potatoes won't mash themselves! Unless I invent something. Maybe after I look at some more boots. I don't actually NEED any more boots, of course, especially after I bought some last night. I now have perfectly good black ones AND brown ones, and still I want MORE. It's a sickness. I am close to justifying it, though, with all the money I've been saving on shampoo and conditioner. I haven't used a single drop of either one for at least two weeks, so I figure if I keep it up, the boots will pay for themselves in only 94 more weeks. Of course, I do incur a cost for the baking soda and apple cider vinegar replacements, but we already buy that stuff by the bushel for volcano making and the like, so it's practically free. Plus, I am almost out of my store bought hippie deodorant and am about to switch to homemade, so that will be an extra couple of bucks a month.

All right, FINE, I'm going now. I just remembered I also have to police the house for pee balloons. Not everyone is as tolerant of such things as you guys are. Oh, it might be too late- one of the boys just said 'I smell something stinky!', and their standards are pretty low. I'll try to provide a full report later. I know you're dying to know what the boots look like.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Saturday

****updated Saturday afternoon: the toylit plan was too close to coming to fruition for my liking, so I bribed him to come out with promises of Taco Time. After that, we went to Target, where Shane dumped his milk out all over the cart in the checkout line. That was fun, but I would have preferred balloons filled with poop.

Lots of times I don't post on the weekend; I try to put up a couple of posts during each week so if I write on the weekend I usually save it for later. This is because there is less blog-reading on Saturday and Sunday, and I can't always be counted on have something to say during the week. Some weekdays my job wrings me dry, leaving just a crumpled-up husk of a wine sponge and the writing falls by the wayside along with many, many other things. I have been extra prolific lately, though, and this morning I have a surplus of kid-related raw material, so I'm going for broke.

I had big plans today, you might remember them. I was going to go cat collar and Skittles shopping, but it appears I will be staying home for the foreseeable future. See, Weston got mad at Shane over a helmet from Weston's Lego Transformer car. I'm not even going to get started on this stupid car kit, except to say that the whole concept must have been invented by Lucifer himself. Weston went behind a chair in the living room and won't come out. He is communicating with us by writing notes, which he attaches to a metal tape measure and projects out in front of the chair. They are HILARIOUS and I would take pictures but that would probably make him mad, and I try to be careful about that. I'll just paraphrase: 'I am never coming out!' 'NO!!! NO!!! and double NO!' 'I am MAD'. You get the idea.

So Shane and I started discussing the logistics of actually staying behind the chair forever. How would he eat and drink? What about pooping and peeing? He responds via more notes: 'I will pee and poop out the window!' Shane and I parse each idea and when we shoot one down he comes up with more. Surprisingly, Shane came up with a workable plan for the pee: he can pee in balloons. Shane helpfully tested this in the bathroom, and I would be pretty supportive except for I had to tie it for him. As an added bonus, it is an excellent way to get rid of about eight thousand of those cursed things we have laying around here. Of course one can't poop in a balloon, at least in my house, and he can't go outside because that would require coming out from behind the chair. He considered making himself a litter box and currently plans to construct a toylit (sic) out of a bin, a rim, a lid and a pipe. The last note even had drawings. I'm not sure where the materials will come from but I trust he will come up with something and I will find out about it from the trusty tape measure express.

I am tempted to go on with my shopping (mmmm, Skittles!) and let the chips (hahahahaha) fall where they may but the consequences would likely be a little more dire than I am willing to accept. There's always delivery. I'll let you know how it comes out, if you can stand it! If not, check back next week, this little episode will probably have run its course. Hope you're having a great Saturday!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Travesty

You guys are not going to believe this, but I did NOT win the chili cook-off! I know, I am stunned beyond words, too. I DID receive a 'participant' certificate, which I spitefully pasted over a real award won recently by my office mate. I also came home with some chili in my hair and a small pancake griddle burn on my right index finger, and I'm pretty sure my cowboy hat is not a lucky hat. I'm going to try to shake it off, though. Because what else are you going to do, right? On the bright side, I am now out of kidney beans and I re-discovered my love affair with Fritos.

Did you know that if you set a Frito on fire, it will hold a flame like a candle? Because they are a dual purpose and delicious snack food, they are an excellent addition to your emergency kit. Just your Dead Cat emergency management tip for today! A blogger named Snack Girl experimented for you so you don't have to run to the store right this very second. You can see her analysis here, though I have to note that I don't entirely trust someone who calls herself 'Snack Girl' and doesn't have a robust appreciation for potato chips. I don't even want to consider what she might think of Skittles. And now that you mention it, I am very curious about what would happen if I set some Skittles on fire.

I am now wiping the chili travesty right out of my head forever. MY MIND IS A BLANK SLATE, PEOPLE! Where was I? Oh yeah, Fritos....MMMMMMMMMMmmmm........

Chili? What chili? I have no idea what you're talking about. Weren't we talking about cats? In the most recent cat news, Jake and Henry have been clamoring to get outside, so tomorrow we are going collar/tag shopping. Also Skittles shopping.

Let's see, what else? I went to the library today at lunch and picked up an entire book about Twitter. Is it just me, or does that seem the tiniest bit strange? I will definitely let you know if there is a book's worth of stuff about Twitter that you need to know.

In holiday news, we are having an early Thanksgiving party with the fam this weekend. I have some pumpkin in the freezer and was thinking of making a pumpkin/coconut milk/ginger soup but for some reason my soup making confidence is shot. I have no idea why; it's like there's this big void in my brain when I try to think of cooking or soup, and all I can think of is salty crunchy processed corn products. Weird.

Have a good weekend, and try to stay dry, my friends. I don't know about where you are, but around here it's going to be soggy! Funny, now all I can think of is boots.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Skirt Report

I know you've all been waiting breathlessly for the skirt report. It appears that the skirt is neither a good luck nor a bad luck item of apparel. I did get several compliments on its sassiness, so that makes it a win. I know you want a picture, Helen, but I am pretty lazy and didn't get it done. As much as I would appreciate some extra good luck, I guess I can't complain about clothes that are neutral in the providence department.

The chili is done. It's called 'Deer Me, it's Delicious! chili, and it's a surefire winner. I did get an unusual and unsolicited cooking tip- I was advised to liven it up with a can of Copenhagen. I was intrigued, but managed to resist. Also, doesn't a can of chew cost like four thousand dollars these days? I can't afford that, because I already spent the $867 per pound for the free venison. It does have several of my own top secret ingredients, though. I'm willing to spill if you promise not to tell anyone: chicory coffee, cocoa powder, and bloody mary mix. I also considered some actual coffee grounds, for texture, but decided to skip it this time.

Right now, the chili is resting comfortably in the car. Don't worry, it's going to be COLD tonight, so the chances of food poisoning are low. It takes some serious salmonella to overcome the kidney bean toxins, anyway. I'm going to tote it back and forth to the cook-off venue in my Osan shopping cart. I hauled that thing out of the garage and it still had a commissary receipt crumpled up in the bottom. I will admit to a tiny pang. But just one. The cart is the perfect size for my two giant vats of chili stacked on top of each other, and the purse basket is just right for the pancake cooking griddle. I'm not sure people in my office will have the proper appreciation for the hard-working cart, though. If someone mocks the cart I will probably have to punch him in the face, and then force feed him some kidney beans with salmonella sauce.

So that's it for today! I'll let you know how the cook-off goes! I'm going to wear a cowboy hat and everything, how can I possibly lose?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Stop the Presses

Stop the presses, people! I am going to wear a skirt to work tomorrow. 'WHAT??' I'm sure I can hear you gasping. Yes, it's true and I'll tell you why. Mostly because I have been stuffing my face and my pants are pinchy and I couldn't find anything good at the Goodwill today, so I had to go closet shopping. I found a flippy skirt that I hadn't worn since the day I got shafted at Osan and tried it on. Luckily, it still fit so I twirled it around and asked Shane what he thought. He said, 'Mama, you look FABULOUS! Like a diarrhea!' I think he meant 'ballerina' so that's what I'm going with, because it's much better than the alternative. I hope it's not a bad luck skirt, after the shafting and the diarrhea thing. I guess I'll give it one more chance, and if my phone explodes or something tomorrow I'm definitely taking it to the thrift store for someone else to enjoy. I totally believe in bad luck clothes, and so naturally, I also believe in good luck clothes. I just don't have any. Maybe that will change after I win the chili cook-off!

I've been working on my chili; it's a multi-day process. So far I have a giant vat of beans and a container of seasoned meat, and I invented a way to keep the pots hot using just a pancake griddle. So that's a pretty good start, don't you think? I don't have a recipe or anything, because those are for candyasses. I'll just toss some other junk in there tomorrow and call it good- what could possibly go wrong? It will be just in time for good chili weather, too: it is going to get wintery soon. I say BRING IT ON, winter! I have new boots, so suck on that! The boys and I jumped on the trampoline tonight and my feet were FREEZING. At least I'm not in Alaska like some of my work friends. Boy, do I feel sorry for them. The zombie sewer robots will probably be covered up with snow and they won't even get any chili. TOTAL BUMMER.

I guess that's all for now; send my skirt some good luck vibes! I'll give you a full report if anything out of the ordinary happens.


Monday, November 14, 2011

Jake and Henry

The cats now have names. I know you were worried so I rushed right over here to tell you. The black and white one that looks like Henry is named Henry, and the shy one is named Jake, after the cat in 'The Cat from Outer Space'. Have you guys seen this movie? It's an excellent flick, as you might expect from a movie about a cat from outer space. It's a must-see, especially if you love cats and outer space, both of which are very popular around here.

We also have been watching NOVA's Elegant Universe, which is fascinating. Weston is especially interested in string theory, but Shane has trouble figuring out the part about the eleven dimensions. I told him nobody really knows for sure if the theory is true and that maybe when he's a scientist he can figure it out. He quickly informed me that he's not going to be a scientist, he's going to be a 'piwot'. Lloyd, naturally, assumes he means 'pilot' and is thrilled, while I'm holding out for 'pirate', because that's WAY better. Not as good as scientist, of course, but you only have so much influence, right? He would make a super cute pirate, like Wesley, aka the Dread Pirate Roberts, in The Princess Bride. I'm sure I needn't describe 'The Princess Bride' beyond stating the obvious and well-known fact that it's the most awesome and fantastic movie ever made. Also, it boasts the brilliant and beautiful theme song 'Storybook Love' by the late, great Willy DeVille.

Let's see, what else is going on around here? I wore my stunning new boots to work today and I could hardly get any work done because I had to spend all my time admiring them. Also, I agreed to enter a big vat of kidney bean chili in the cook-off at work. You totally thought I was just kidding, didn't you?? But nope, I'm really going to do it. I'm going to use three different kinds of beans, though, to dilute that nasty kidney bean juice. I'm not EVIL, you know. I'm going to pretend that it's my revolutionary and double-top secret three bean chili recipe but really I borrowed it from my friend Yolanda after she was enough of a sucker to tell me her plan. So that should work out well. I'm in it to win it, people!

Recatted

Hurray! Our new cats are here! Aren't they GORGEOUS?!?!?!?!?!? They are fat and glossy, and came with more accessories than I even own. A three-story kitty condo, some wheeled, soft-sided carrying cases, multiple scratching items, a sack of toys, and two high-tech litter boxes, and they got delivered right to my front door from usedcatsRus.com, just like a pair of boots from Zappos. So cool! They have so much stuff that I might have to move out to the garage to make room for them. Sure, it's cold and dirty out there but there's plenty of clothes, boats, household items, bee hives, spare construction materials and emergency supplies. It'd be nice and quiet, and I bet there's plenty of wireless around here free for the taking. I'm sure I could live out there quite happily for some time. Of course, then I would need some garage cats. You can never have too many cats, you know.

They don't have names yet. Their original names don't suit us, but there has been some serious discord over potential new names, especially for the black and white one that looks like Henry. Shane favors 'Henry', while Weston thinks we should call him 'Alex'. The other one, who doesn't look like any other cat I know, hasn't spent enough time out from under the chair to let us ponder names for him. My sister is horrified that we aren't keeping their names but I don't think cats care about that kind of foolishness. They know who they are and aren't the tiniest bit concerned with what stupid humans call them; that's my theory. Cats don't need labels, only people seem to need labels. I have a high confidence level that I would not be appreciably different even if I had a name that was totally unsuitable. Like Molly or Tiffany or Edna. I don't even care what people call me, and it's a good thing, too. ESPECIALLY at the office.

That's all the cat news for today- I will keep you posted on the names. We can only call them 'The black and white one that looks like Henry' and 'The shy one' for so long, right? Have a good week!





Friday, November 11, 2011

Veteran's Day

Happy Veteran's Day! I actually think our veterans would be much better served with adequate pay, benefits and support than with a day of celebration in November. I guess it's a nice gesture. That makes lots of money for corporate America, no doubt. Sort of like Mother's Day and Father's Day. Tons of cashola for retail giants but no family friendly policies anywhere in sight. So that's business as usual. Have a nice day, veterans! Sorry about that TBI; you know how it is. We found a corporation that had to pay a few bucks in taxes, so we have to remedy that instead of fixing your head that we damaged in the first place. Among other issues, veterans are much more likely to be unemployed than non-veterans, and non-veterans aren't doing all that well, employment-wise, these days. Lots of families don't have enough food- it's a great time to donate to Northwest Harvest or a food bank near you. You can probably donate right at the cash register the next time you go grocery shopping.

Anyway, moving on, because that is super depressing, I got a new pair of boots today! The guilt-inducing ones I ordered last week came today. They are quite fabulous, and Shane turned the box into a WALL-E type contraption and wore it around the house all day with nothing else on except his teeny-tiny tighty whities- SUPER CUTE! Also, I discovered what Lloyd and the boys do all day. I strapped Shane in his seat this afternoon to hit the grocery store, and he said, "I would like to go to Starbucks for a hot chocolate and a blueberry scone, please."

Sorry I didn't post all week- I MEANT to, but there was this giant hurricane-ish storm in the Bering Sea so I had to work from 0'dark thirty to a million o' clock all week. Lloyd was gone, too, requiring painful, expensive and exhausting child care machinations. Thank God I get a celebratory day in May! I'm not sure about this standard time thing, either. It seems like it shouldn't be THAT big of a deal but I have not been sleeping properly ever since we fell back. It's such a stupid idea, anyway: it's not as if we REALLY get any more daylight. I have an idea! Let's donate Mother's Day, and bust it up into 24 one hour chunks, which we can then spread out for an actual extra hour on 24 different days! Brilliant, right?

And call me crazy, but I am getting some new-to-me cats tomorrow. I found them on Craigslist, and one of them looks exactly like Henry! We have been easing into the idea for a while, but the Fur Real cat Weston got at the Goodwill last week was the final straw for Lloyd. He said if we're going to have that creepy hideous thing around here, we might as well have real cats, as long as they're free. Lloyd has a real aversion to paying good money for used cats, especially if that money could be used for hot chocolates and blueberry scones. I'll keep you posted.

Have a good weekend!


Monday, November 7, 2011

Leavings


Wow, winter is really coming. Standard time is here, and look at all those leaves! We have this industrial-sized dual-tired wheelbarrow, and I have filled it up at least seven times so far with maple leaves from the front yard and apple leaves from the back yard. Apple leaves are poisonous, did you know that? Especially when they are wilting. So don't eat them. But it's okay to let your kid roll around in them. That's the Dead Cat safety lesson for today. And here's another one: kidney beans are EVIL. Look at this! I just found it while I was looking for a link to how bad wilting apple tree leaves are for your kids or dogs. Isn't that TERRIFYING?? I swear, you can't eat anything these days. I thought kidney beans were HEALTHY, and until today I made chilis and soups with them all the time. GEEZ. Now I'm going to have to donate them all to the food bank so the poor people get poisoned instead of me. I'll take a big fat tax deduction, too. Just call me BP! Or maybe I could just chef them up for the big chili cook-off at work. No deduction, but there's something to be said for job satisfaction, too.

Normally I'm not super concerned about leaves piling up in the yard. In fact, I like them, because they cover up all those broken toys, rotting jack-o-lanterns and wine bottles out there, just like a cozy orange and yellow quilt would. If it was big enough. That's just a little idea I'm going to keep in my back pocket in case I ever live in a place with no deciduous trees. Feel free to help yourself to it, especially if you're crafty that way. Today, though, I found myself inexplicably compelled to rake them up and do some other chores around the house and yard. Now, I know correlation does not always equal causation, but I think it might be because I just bought myself a pair of the most fabulous, but possibly unnecessary, black boots from a non-thrift store, and the guilt is getting to me. I resisted, though, because Lloyd wasn't even home to see me busting my ass, so what's the point?? Sure, the lawn would be clean, but not for long, because there's still at least a dump truck worth of leaves still on the tree. Gravity, she's a relentless bitch, ain't she?

Because I'm introspective, and also lazy*, I started thinking about this whole boots=chores thing instead of actually raking up more leaves or cleaning up the toys, pumpkins and wine bottles. I got to thinking about my Berenstain Bear-inspired shopping chore chart idea, in which penalties are assessed for inappropriate purchases. Perhaps, I thought, the chore chart could be more proactive, where you earn shopping trips by doing chores. So, for example, raking leaves and thinking about cleaning the yard gets you a fantastic pair of boots with cunning little buckles on them. To get a new treestand, you would have to steam clean the carpet, scrub the grout, clean the gutters, bleach the toilets, sweep the chimney and wash the windows. That sounds fair, right? I see a trip to Cabela's in Lloyd's future. You can thank me later, honey!



*Or, yes, only lazy. Have it your way. Just call me BK!