Sunday, August 31, 2008

Guess Today's Theme

1. mad - noun, enraged; greatly provoked or irritated; angry.

2. rage - noun, 1. angry fury; violent anger. 2. a fit of violent anger.

3. anger - noun, a strong feeling of displeasure and belligerence aroused by a wrong; wrath; ire.

4. aggravate - verb, to rouse to exasperation or anger; provoke.

5. furious - adjective, full of fury, violent passion, or rage; extremely angry; enraged.

6. irritated - adjective, angered, provoked, or annoyed.

7. livid - adjective, enraged; furiously angry.

8. incensed - adjective, angered at something unjust or wrong, extremely angry.

9. ticked - adjective, slang, angry: miffed

10. pissed - vulgar slang, extremely irritated or angry. Often used with off.

Yep, that just about covers it. Anything you'd like to add?

Funny How the Universe Works

You may recall my friend, Eva May, and I ventured into the city at the beginning of the month. While there, I recounted a trip I'd made years ago with another friend and her son, T, to visit the Statue of Liberty. It was a glorious day. A Tuesday or Wednesday as I recall and we had the place amost to ourselves. We walked straight to the top, no waiting, looked around without being rushed, and had plenty of time to enjoy the rest of our day. This outing took place 18 years ago. I'm guessing it's been 15 since I last saw T.

One morning last week I was checking emails and came across one listing various details about myself challenging me to connect the dots and determine who sent it. Yep, it was from T. Do you think I summoned him by speaking of him with Eva May? I wish I'd known I have this ability. I'd have done it years ago.

I first met T when he was a cute, gawky eight-year-old kid. His mom and I were friends. He lived with his dad where he went to school so he and his sister would visit during summer vacations. I was in college and we spent a lot of time hanging out at my mom's pool. I remember the first year he had this yellow ball he floated around with tucked under his chin the whole time.

T was a non-kid kid if that makes any sense. He was a kid in a lot of ways but he wasn't. His mind was way too advanced for that. Got him into lots of trouble over the years too. At one point I offered to spend some time talking to him but was told in no uncertain terms by my friend to butt out. After all, I had no children of my own so how could I possibly help? Hm, perhaps because I'd also been a kid who didn't always fit the mold? Sorry, T. I did try to protect you. I sure wanted to and I would have if I could have. Bet you didn't know about that, did you?

One year, among other things, T got a bag of sweatsocks for Christmas. He knew I got terrible migraines and gave me one to tie around my head to keep it from exploding, sweetheart that he was. Guess what, T? I still have it. Yep, your sock is still making me feel better after all this time. And I still have the blue and white painting you did when you tried your hand at being an artist.

When T turned 16 and got his license I let him drive my precious little blue car and me to dinner with his family. What he didn't know was at that time I didn't let anyone else drive my car. See T, it was as big a deal for me as it was for you.

Anyway, back to that trip to the Statue of Liberty. You challenged me for details. We had Dove bars on Ellis Island and then we went to the Manhattan Chess Club where you had a game with one of the members. I admit I didn't know much about chess at the time, still don't but I did know about reading people. The man you played wasn't humoring you with that game. Yes, he won but it was a real game that required thought on his part.

I'm so glad you're back, T. In the few conversations we've had I can see traces of the cute, little boy you were and the funny, sarcastic (and hot!) teenager you grew into. I'm looking forward to getting to know the man you've become.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

I Was Remiss

This week was my best friend, Neeley's birthday. She's now 25. And I neglected to tell you in order for you to help me wish her a happy birthday from the whole wide world. So today I'm going to post a few guys to help get the party rolling and I'd like all of you to continue it in Neeley's honor. She's beautiful, smart, funny, caring... and honestly going to save the world one day. Yep, busy girl that Neeley is! I'm very proud of her, not to mention honored to be her friend. Why she puts up with me is something you'll have to ask her though sometimes I suspect it's for my entertainment value.

I love you, Neeley. Happy Birthday! Now blow out your candles and let's get this party started. Who wants cake?

Friday, August 29, 2008

I Was Bad

When I was about seven or eight I remember watching This Old House with my dad. The episode featured the re-pointing of an old stone farmhouse.

You guessed it. That’s what we lived in. Only I thought I’d practice first on the small smokehouse before tackling such a large project on my own even though there was absolutely no doubt in my mind that I could do it. The whole chipping out of the old mortar and the squishing in with your thumb of the new looked like fun. Hey, I was a kid. What did I know?

One day, not long after viewing the program I was left to my own devices. Really, you think by then they’d have known better, wouldn’t you? I thought to surprise them so I went down to the basement, collected the tools I thought I’d need off my dad’s workbench, my dad’s woodworking bench, and wandered outside to begin.

There I was, happily chipping away with my hammer and my chisel, my wood chisel, and my dad appeared. He came to investigate what the tapping was about. When he saw what I was doing I got my standard head shake with the sigh and the “Barbara Lynn”. He took the tools from me and, as we picked the bits and pieces of cement out of the grass, patiently explained the differences between wood and stone chisels to me.

That ended that project for the time being. Years later my mother and I did finally complete the smokehouse. Let me tell you re-pointing is one hell of a lot of work and not something to be done by a child, no matter how exuberant she is.

Oh in case you’re wondering, yes, my dad got new wood chisels for Christmas that year.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


If I get one more of those poser emails that starts out all sweetness and sunshine and then ends up promising doom and gloom unless I do something to a number of people within a certain amount of time, I am going to figure out how to reach through the screen and throttle the sender. Seriously! I’ve had it.

What is with the sending of these messages? They always start out so promising with the pretty pictures, the hopefulness and light, the warm and fuzzy stories. You scroll down, thinking yeah, this person who sent it must really care about me all the way to the bottom until you get to the terms and conditions. The fine print of their friendship. The bottom line of their blessings. You must comply with whatever or they’re taking it all back. Not only that. No, they’re also sending a plague of locusts to descend on your happy homestead just before the heavens open up and rain fire upon your now tumor-laden brow.

Come on, people! If you aren’t willing to be my friend, wish me well, give me blessings, hope for the best for me, grant me good fortune without me forwarding some email, no matter how cutesy or poignant it may be, then forget it. I’m not interested.

I’m not kidding here. Stop it! The world is paranoid enough. There is already plenty of bad stuff happening to good people everyday without you making them think it’s because they didn’t forward some damn email. Tell me something. How often do they hear from you otherwise?

Trust me. Your second cousin twice removed on your father’s side did not get hit by the bus last Tuesday because you deleted that email last Monday. Bertha was squashed because she wasn’t paying attention and stepped off the curb without looking. Or because her husband, Percy finally got sick of listening to her bitch and shoved her. Or whatever but it certainly wasn’t due to some lameass email.

That said, I do forward one occasionally if it contains something I feel appropriate. But you better believe it’s only after I’ve deleted the threats at the end. Yes, to me, that’s what they are, threats. And do you know what? My life is no better or worse than those who send on each and every one of loathsome messages The earth hasn’t opened up and swallowed me. Neither of my pinky toes have turned green and fallen off, nor do I have a third ear sprouting out of my navel.

Here, I’ll try to put it into perspective for you. Imagine going to a store, any store. You finish paying for your purchases and as the clerk hands you your change she says, “Have a nice day but in order to do so you must first tell ten other people the same within the next three minutes or the wheels will fall off of your car when you open the door.”

Okay, I’m done. Going back to sit quietly in my corner. Feel free to talk about me amongst yourselves.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Tastes Like Chicken

We got a pizza ad today at work. Well, not us specifically. But we, as current resident, snagged it because it was nearly lunchtime and we were hungry. Forgive me, I digress. Anyway it was one of those oversized postcards. You’ve all seen them so you know what I mean. This one served multiple purposes.

One, it promoted their fourteen, yes count ‘em, fourteen specialty pizzas. Of these, only half are what I consider pizza. I’m sorry, you start loading it up with spinach, chicken, and garlic Parmesan Alfredo sauce or barbeque sauce, grilled chicken, bacon, onions and pineapple then its no longer pizza to me. Neither are a bunch of fresh veggies piled on a whole wheat crust or grilled chicken, bacon, onions, roma tomatoes with garlic ranch sauce.

Two, it pushed online ordering. Bilingually. Ahora Pida su Pizza en Línea en Español. Bet you didn’t realize you could teach yourself a second language just by reading the pizza ad, did you? I’m sure that’ll come in handy next time I’m in Spain. Now as I was saying they are promoting this to the extent that the card doesn’t even include a menu. Only one problem here folks. We don’t have internet capabilities at work. Guess we’re SOL unless we want one of those non-pizza pizzas even though there are coupons for regular menu items.

The third thing featured only not really because it’s more of a one line afterthought tacked onto the bottom is the NEW Chocolate Pasty Delights made with real Nestle Toll House Chocolate Morsels. All they display is a freakin’ logo. Hello! We all know what the damn logo looks like. What I don’t know is what the NEW Chocolate Pastry Delights look like. How do I know if I want to try it? Oh I know. I can see a picture online, right? Not that I generally have desert with pizza anyway but I’m just saying. Oh wait, if I order up this stuff it’s not really pizza anyway so maybe I would desert with it.

Oh, one more thing I almost forgot. There’s a partner coupon for a movie theater, buy one 44 oz. fountain drink, get one free. I don’t know about you but if I gulped down one of those all by myself I would miss half the movie. Two would be enough for the entire theater to share.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Tuesday Extra - For Sandra

Not many people could get me to respond to a tag. Fellow cat lover and awesome author, Sandra Cox, is one of them. What I won't do is tag other people but if you'd like to play feel free to consider yourself tagged.

Tag rules:

1) Link to the person that tagged you. Yep, did that.

2) Post the rules on your blog. Did that too.

3) List six unspectacular quirks you have. Will do that below.

4) Tag six bloggers by linking them. Nope, don't want to.

5) Leave a comment on each person's blog to let them know they've been tagged. N/A


1) Getting tagged makes me grumpy for no rationable reason.

2) I have the complete due South series and am in the middle of watching it for the fifth time.

3) I let my cats name themselves.

4) I fell asleep during the original Star Wars movie.

5) In high school I wrote really bad dark poetry. My English teacher was "concerned" so I wrote a highly sarcastic sunshine and flowers poem that he didn't get and submitted to a contest. It won and was published.

6) I'm afraid to stand on steps, any steps, facing up.

The World...

…revolves around me. And everything that happens within it is directly related to me. Conceited bitch, aren’t I? No. Really, I’m not. Why? Because I fully acknowledge and accept that for you, the world revolves around you. And you. And you.

Ah now you’re getting it. It’s as it should be for each of us. Unless you have children or have someone who for either mental or physical reasons is fully dependant on you, that is. Those are the exceptions to this. But even then there should still be moments in your life when you are the center of your universe.

Okay great, so why am I bothering you with this today? Because I think it’s important for all of us to remember that while we’re going about our day being the focus of our own little world the person next to us is also going about their day being the focus of their own little world. We must keep this in mind when we interact with each other. We should have balanced conversations. As in an even exchange of thoughts and ideas. Do not, for instance, if you’re a proud parent, tell me every tiny detail of your child’s life absolutely every time we meet. Yes, even though I may like your child and even though I may ask about your child on occasion, I also know there is more to your life than your child. Tell me about something else too please.

Or here’s a novel idea, since after all, my life revolves around me, ask me what’s new with me. Perhaps I’ll tell you. And then you'll comment. And I’ll add to your comment and ask something about you. Then before you know it we’ll be having, what was it called, a conversation.

See how it works? Sound reasonable? I think so. Now go out there and give it a try. Let me know how it works out for you. Who knows? You might have fun and you could even get to know some very interesting things about someone you never imagined possible.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Under the Weather

Be back tomorrow. The boys are taking good care of me. Funny how they know when not to pounce.

Kelly, upcoming Olympics...

Winter - Vancouver, February 12 - 28, 2010

Yes, I already have my Beijing to Vancouver pin.

Summer - London, July 27 - August 12, 2012

This is the proposed logo. Um, looks like a dated radio station logo to me. Just my opinion but I sure hope they come up with something better. Of course they haven't asked me.

Okay, going back to bed now.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The End, For Now

Tonight are the Olympics closing ceremonies. Some of you have already had the opportunity to watch them. It makes me sad to see them end.

There were some great moments, like watching the men's basketball team redeem themselves after the debacle of 2004. They did it with style and class as atheletes of their caliber should. And in an exciting game, worthy of being a gold medal game too against Spain who made it more of a challenge than I'm sure some expected. Did you see the medal ceremony? They were so excited and proud and cute! Grown men, incredible atheletes and little boys all in one.

The womens beach volleyball gotta love those ladies!

What about the Australian platform diver who surprised the heck out of everyone and ruined the Chinese sweep? He was so ultra-serious while diving and then as soon as his has cleared the water coming out he had the biggest grin on his face. And then when he realized he won and burst into tears...I was crying right along with him.

Did you see the jump off? Two massive horses had double clear rounds and had to go again on a shortened course. I was holding my breath over every jump as if it would help. The first horse knocked down a few blocks on the last hurdle. That meant the second jumper could miss one jump in less time or go clear in more time. He had to choose which to go for. What did he do? Clear in less time. I think it was me holding my breath that did it for him.

Anybody catch the Russian synchronized swimmers? OMG those women amazed me! Actually all of them amazed me because I have this thing about being able to breathe. I can't hold me breath when I'm told to. Nope, can't do it. I panic. I'm okay when I decide to do it myself but tell me I have to keep my head under water for twenty-seven minutes while waving my legs, my body from the neck down, around in all sorts of fancy contortions like they do, no way. I'd die!

I'm with Molly, what's with the trampoline nonsense in the Olympics? When did that happen? Didn't stop me from bouncing on the sofa along with them every time they hit to help them get high enough to do their next trick though.

Marathon runners - what makes those people want to do that? Do they get up one morning and say oh I think I'll run to the neighboring city that's about 12 and a half miles away and back again for the heck of it?

What about the rowers? Don't you love how the coaches ride along side the courses on their bicycles shouting at them? I kept waiting for them to crash into each other. There's a sport I think I'd like to try. Hm, perhaps I'll get me a rowing machine and start practicing. If I do that at home for the next two years I wonder if I could find someone to take me seriously? I wonder how you go about trying out for the rowing team? And where I go to do this? I think I need a coach. Better get a stationary bike too.

There are plenty of other memories I could add but I'll stop here since not all of you are Olympic junkies like I am. And this is before the closing ceremonies which I'm sure will be spectacular!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

An Observation

Last night while Mouse was sitting next to me, once again laughing, I was petting him, pulling off handful after handful of loose fur and I got to thinking. I do this just about every day. Several times a day when it's hot. And when I vacuum which I do at least weekly, sometimes more, I still get a full basket of cat fur.

Where the heck does it all come from? I have average, short-haired cats that really don't shed all that much. I used to have an orange tiger who I got baseball sized clumps of fur from multiple times a day and he still looked as nice and fluffy as ever. Unless a cat has had a patch shaved or has an illness of some sort you rarely find a spot with shorter hair. Why is that? With all the hair they lose in a day's time shouldn't there be lots of areas with shorter hair?

I think perhaps the pharmacuetical companies are going about this whole baldness issue from the wrong angle. They should be studying feline genetics since that's obviously where the secret lies. Seriously, how many bald cats have you seen?

Friday, August 22, 2008


I am so far beyond enraged the word hasn't been invented yet.

I was driving along, minding my own business, on my way to pick up more food for the little boys when I passed a truck load of men with my father's canoe tied to the roof of the truck. My father's canoe. MY. FATHER'S. CANOE. The one that my ex stole from me. Bastard!

I was in the process of turning my car around to go after them when I realized what I was doing and managed to stop myself. Barely. Just barely. It was so close though. All I can say is that it's a damn good thing that we were both driving and not stopped on opposite sides of a traffic light because if we had been I would have been out of the car running on pure reaction, no thought involved.

Now before you ask, yes, I am positive it was my father's canoe becaue it had very distinctive markings on it that even upside down at 45 mph I could easily recognize. I'm furious, not delusional. Maybe I'm looking at this the wrong way. Maybe I should be telling myself my dad would be happy his canoe is being used instead of angry because it's being used by someone other than me. Nope, not doing it today. Still major pissed. I think I'll go before I take this out inappropriately. It's my ex I'm mad at. Much madder still than I thought I was. Hm, good thing he's around right now or I might be tempted to demonstrate exactly how angry I am and today I think I'd be willing to make an exception on that whole non-violence thing I practice.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Meet Quinn

About two weeks ago I looked out the window by my desk and noticed a new addition to the menagie in our walled garden at work, a small, gray tiger cat. Not a kitten, just small. When I went out to feed the squirrels later, he ran. A few days following that he reappeared on the second floor porch where a co-worker feeds our two yard cats. Again, he ran.

One day, she was out so I fed them. He was sleeping in the shelter so, food in hand, I told him to come say hi. Wow was I surprised when he did. I stayed out with him while he ate. He kept taking breaks for more petting. The next day I introduced him to my co-workers and ever since he came every time one of us opened the door.

The thought of him possibly getting hit in the street broke my heart. After much soul-searching and debate, not to mention consultation with my boys, I decided to offer him a home, after a stop at the vet for a check up and neutering of course.

Sounds good, right? Wrong. That simple trip to the vet was the beginning of high drama in my household that is still being resolved. First, the kitty had a bite on his paw. With no way of knowing if he'd ever had shots there's always the risk, no matter how slight, of rabies. Problem - no place to quarantine him in my house and, due to Mouse's seizures, no current rabies shot for Mouse. Mouse, under much protest from him, now has a current shot. The seizure trigger is more from the distemper vaccination than the rabies so after discussion with my regular vet instead of the mean associate (that's another blog) I opted to have him get it. Now I'm the only one we have to worry about but I had a quick lesson on what to watch for so I'm not overly concerned.

Now for the real problem...Harry. I hadn't anticipated his reaction. Harry is generally mellow, silly, easy going, playful. You get what I mean. He's an overgrown kitten. Apparently, he likes being the kitten in the house. As soon as Quinn, that's the new baby's name, Quinn was released from the carrier, Harry started making these noises that I had no idea he even knew how to make. He kept poor Quinn pinned to the front door for two hours until I finally chased Harry away long enough to show Quinn where the litter box and water dish were.

With much growling from Harry and hissing from Mouse because Quinn smelled like the vet's, they had a snack, all at the wrong spots but I'll worry about explaining to Quinn that he has his own set of bowls some other time. Then Harry went back to growling. And yowling. And I don't even know how to describe the sounds other than to say he closely resembled the sounds made by a hump-back whale during mating season. Mouse, who I expected to be the problem spent the evening on the sofa next to me, watching this performance. I swear I heard him laughing several times.

It was quiet when I got up this morning. I think Harry lost his voice somewhere after the women won the volleyball game. Oh and Bixby? He tried to say hello but Harry got so upset that he gave up trying and went to take a nap.

I'll post better pictures later when things calm down enough for me to take some but this will give you an idea. I've included one of Harry, standing guard.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Watch Out

It’s been said that I’m in a mood today. Hm, why yes, I do believe I am. And you know what? I’m going to stay in this mood until I’m damn good and ready to get out of it so you may want to back off and stay out of my way. There. You’ve been warned.

What’s brought this on? Nothing. And no, it is not PMS but I assure you, if one more ignorant male suggests it is, I won’t be responsible for my actions. Anybody have PMS who wants to help me show them the difference between that and a simple bad mood?

I’m human. I don’t feel chipper at the moment. Check back with me later if you dare and I might. If you’re really brave, stay. I’m at times quite humorous when I’m pissed off at nothing as long as it’s not directed at you or so I’ve been told.

Seriously here people, it is not possible for everyone in the entire universe to be pleasant and cheerful one hundred percent of the time. That’s just plain unrealistic and if you think otherwise then you’re going to be disappointed every day of your life. So how about we let this serve as a reality check for anyone who might have let themselves slip into thinking that way? Sometimes people are grouchy just because they are. Don’t take it personally. Don’t try to fix it. If you do either you could make it worse and prolong it and then it will be your doing.

That said, have a pleasant day!


Years ago, I was given a gift certificate for a glider ride, the variety where I would be permitted to actually guide the glider.

I remember I had the day off from work. It wasn’t the best of days, weather-wise, but I took my mother and headed to the diner beside the small airport for a late breakfast while we waited to see if the weather would clear. It did somewhat, enough to walk over to the airport to ask if gliders were flying ever though we hadn’t seen any the whole time we were eating. My mom was hoping not, the only reason she accompanied me was that she expected me not to be able to go that day.

The person behind the counter was hesitant but left it up to the woman who piloted the gliders. She went outside, looked around, grinned at the few holes in the clouds and told me to follow her. My certificate was for a twenty minute ride. Mine lasted almost two hours.

I’ve never experienced anything else like the sensation of pulling the release lever to disconnect the glider from the tow-plane. We went from obviously being pulled behind a noisy twin-engine plane to nothing. Absolutely nothing. It felt as if we stopped, like we were sitting still however far up off the ground we were in a paper airplane. For a moment it seemed silent too. That was an illusion that didn’t last long. There was plenty of wind whipping around. I just didn’t notice it at first.

The pilot told me to take a few breaths and put my hands on the stick in front of me. It took a minute but soon I was able to breathe again and then I started looking around. Oh my, talk about incredible! A bird’s eye view of this area sure is something. If you have the chance I highly recommend it.

The clouds broke up into what the pilot called a cloud alley, a string of puffy clouds in a row that kept drawing us higher and farther. Something about the temperature gradients resulting from the clouds causing air currents and lift that made the glider soar. And wow, did it soar! We ended up out over first one, then the other of our local lakes. I’m sure she was ready to take control at any given second but for the most part the pilot had her hands resting on the sides of the glider while telling me what to do.

All too soon, or what felt like it to me, we headed back to the airport. No, the landing was left to the expert. As much as I enjoyed myself, I wanted to live to tell everyone about my adventure.

My mother? A total wreck! She was certain I had crashed us somewhere. Our lengthy flight had her so upset she called the friend who had given me the gift certificate and extracted a promise to never give me one for a sky diving adventure, something that was also on my list at the time.

Monday, August 18, 2008

An Amarinda Monday

Yes, it’s Monday. And that’s about all I can come up with to say. I’m not feeling at all clever or informative. The day is, to put it as Amarinda Jones does so often, pukeable. No particular reason other than it’s Monday. I had a day and a half off at the end of last week which only makes it that much more so.

It’s so pukeable that I doubt I’ll make it through the whole week so I better take another day off at the end of this week too, just to be on the safe side. Hm, better make that two. Oh my, merely thinking about it has me feeling so much better already.

Now what shall I do with my time off? Last week I met up with the girls and believe it or not, managed not to get into any new trouble. Wait, I know. I recently learned that my artist friend, Eric Armusik, is restoring a painting on a canvas that is pasted to one of the local church’s walls. From the few pictures he has posted on his website it seems to be a rather fascinating process. Perhaps we need to know more about the whole thing.

And I’m sure he must have some new paintings that I have yet to see. Yes, I think I'll go visit since I’m long overdue. I also saw on his website that he’s now giving art classes. Unfortunately they’re all already closed. I’ll have to ask about them anyway, just to see the expression on his face since he knows I can’t even draw a stick-figure. Hey, maybe he needs a model for one of his studio classes.

Sunday, August 17, 2008


Must write very quietly.

My current heroine is attempting to save a little girl from a pair of serial killers who believe the more brutally they murder their victims, the more worthy they will become in her eyes. They are wrong of course. In reality, she would risk her own life to save any and all of the unknown individuals they've killed in her name.

This brings up a question that I've been discussing with some of my fellow writers. Technically, this book is still an erotic romance. But there are lots of horror elements in it. Perhaps too many to qualify as a romance. On the other hand, there's too much romance in it for it to be strictly a horror story. Would you, as a romance reader, read a psychological thriller/erotic romance story? There are others out there. Perhaps not quite as gruesome as mine is turning out to be but you already know I'm not ordinary. I'm curious so let me know what you think. Is it time for something different? But please, softly.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

My Summer Events

The other day Ashley Ladd talked about being in a Jr. Olympic Archery League. She asked what events interested her readers, both summer and winter. Unlike Ashley, I have no athletic talent whatsoever. None at all. I love to watch everything. I'm even enjoying basketball again now that the team they assembled is taking it seriously. I still wish the network would show more of the unknown athletes who don't stand a chance of medalling because they've worked their butts off to get there and they're the best in their countries but I do understand advertising dollars and all that.

There are two summer sports I'd like to try, neither of which I ever have. Yes, stop laughing please. I do, on occasion, attempt to be athletic. Never lasts. The first is platform diving. I never mastered even the simplest of dives from the spring board so I'm sure I'd be a complete disaster but Ashley didn't ask what we'd be good at, just what we'd like to do. Can you imagine it, standing up there on a tower, taller than your three-story house, poised on the tips of your toes with your back to the water? You jump, pushing out, twisting, turning as you go, bending your body into all sorts of contortions, losing all sense of direction and then straightening out at the very last second to enter the water, perfectly perpendicular, without a splash. Well, them, I mean. Me, I'd be sideways hitting the water with my butt, wailing like a banshee. But it would be something if you could do it as the incredible divers I've been watching can.

The other summer sport that I wish I had the talent for is pole vaulting. The whole running, planting the pole in that little square, hoisting your body, twisting it up and over the bar while remembering to release the pole, fascinates me. I used to work with a woman whose daughter was a pole vaulter. Frankly, I'm a little surprised not to see her at the Games. Yeah, she was that good but I think it's a timing thing. She graduated from college two years ago. Had the summer Olympics been in 2006 you'd probably all be glued to your sets watching her with me.

I'll tell you about my coveted winter events sometime next week.

Friday, August 15, 2008

My Day Off

You ready for this? Don't panic. I'm okay. Somewhat hyper-aware of everything but otherwise fine. Really. I just spent the first few hours of my day off being domestic. Yes, you heard me correctly. I was domestic. I made myself a cooked breakfast as in with a pan and toaster which required a plate and a fork. Then I emptied the dishwasher that I had started when I went to bed last night in order to put my dishes away. I hate dishes in the sink! Next I cleaned my house. On my day off! I'm really beginning to wonder if this new drug is such a good thing after all. I went to the grocery store the other night because I had some extra energy. After work! Oops, I better be careful here. There's probably some sort of law against being this domestic at such odd times.

While I was out in the yard, rinsing out my trash can, damn drugs again, I noticed my strawberries are all screwed up too. They're making berries now. Lots of them. Sometimes I get stray ones throughout the summer but today I found a whole bunch. I took a break and ate them right out there where I was, wet T-shirt, juice dripping down my chin and all. There, my mission of keeping the neighborhood on its toes is accomphlished for the week.

I paid bills too. Wow, am I scary or what? All this was done while the Olympics were playing in the background. Water polo now. How they keep from drowning each other I'll never know. And these were women playing today!

A personal Olympic tidbit for you. I have pins from every Olympics since I was born except for the Lake Placid winter games in 1980. The pin store I like never gets any of those. Not sure why since I'm sure they made them. I know I'd be able to find one on ebay if I looked. I just haven't yet. Hm, maybe that's the token my "prince" will need to produce when he comes to sweep me off my feet. How's that for different? But then you didn't expect me to be ordinary, did you?

Next I'm off for a late lunch with Riley and the girls. Riley invited me the other night when she took me out for my birthday drink. She's such a sweetie, isn't she? Anyway, the other ladies don't know I'm coming in case I decide not to show since I was given so much notice. Yes, Riley knows me well. Should be fun. Neeley's supposed to join us too. Apologizing in advance here...the tears aren't controlled completely yet and I know I'll cry when she gets there. I know I called my website "Be An Adventure" but at the time I named it I wasn't necessarily thinking in terms of me personally. Oh well, at least my friends will never be able to accuse me of being boring!

Have a good weekend everyone.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Problem Solved

I'm engaged!

No, not really. But I got your attention, didn't I? Actually I was proposed to yesterday. And I accepted.

Perhaps I should back up and explain. Last night, just as I was ready to call it a night, my phone rang. It was my dear friend Paddy, calling from Colorado to wish us a happy birthday. His is the day after mine. He moved out there about 13 years ago so we don't get to celebrate in person anymore.

We talked. And talked. And laughed. And talked. It's been about two months since we've spoken and there was plenty to catch up on. So we talked. And I cried. And we talked. And we laughed. Did I mention he was having birthday toasts for both of us?

Anyway when I mentioned that I was sad and lonely some days he said, and I quote, "Damn girl, I'll marry you in a heartbeat just get your ass out here." You can imagine the laughter that followed on my part. And then he said, "Well, how about it? You know I love you. I've always loved you."

Yes, Paddy has always loved me. And I've always loved him. He's the best kind of FRIEND a girl could ever hope to have. But he's so much the same person as I am that it's downright freaky. That's why all we've ever been and ever will be is friends. We'd ruin that if we ever attempted to be more. Of course, since it was our birthdays, I said, "I love you too. Sure, I'll marry you."

We both know we're not serious. But it was absolutely perfect for the moment and now I feel so much better. I've spent the entire day laughing over my "engagement". And now that I've shared my big news I hope you are too. I think this calls for a party. With cake!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I Was Bad

After I realized what a remote hog my ex was and how incapable he was of letting me view something even as short as a half hour TV program, I started conveniently misplacing the remote. I’d turn on the channel I wanted to see and then tuck the remote away somewhere. While he spent the next however long the show was searching for it, I’d happily watch while making the occasional “Gee, I don’t know where it is, you had it last,” noises. After whatever I wanted to see was over, I’d slip the remote somewhere for him to find on his next circuit around the room.

When we switched cable services and added a second box upstairs I would sneak to the top of the steps every so often and change the channel on him. After he’d switch it back I’d wait and do it again. And again. Once he started complaining, I’d sneak back to my computer and pretend I’d been there the whole time. I’d let it alone for a few days, just long enough for him to forget and feel secure and then I’d repeat my little prank. I went so far as to have him swap boxes upstairs and down to prove the problem was the way he sat with the remote always in his hand and not the receiver.

I did the first for the entire fifteen years we lived together, the second for the last two. He never caught onto either. You know what? I really hope someone who knows him is reading this and tells him, just so he finally realizes that I’m not quite as stupid as he liked to think.

Note: For those of you who have expressed your concern over the last few days, thank you. It means so much to have your caring. I assure you I will be fine if you can just bear with me another month. The topamax that is causing my temporary insanity will hopefully alleviate my migraines and then I’ll be a happy girl even when it’s hot. Wow, what a concept…pain-free all year round!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I'm Insane

It’s the new meds. And this, still the first low dosage. I have to slowly increase it over the next 2 months until I reach the level where my doctor thinks it will work best. By then I should be used to it and the side-effects should even out. I say should. There are no guarantees.

What’s going on, now that it’s had a week to build up? I cry. Over everything. Over nothing. Totally out of control I am. For example, I flipped through the Farm Journal. And cried when I came to an article on a mock Foot and Mouth disease disaster. It described how all the livestock on an infected farm would need to be quarantined, destroyed and then buried in mass graves. Yep, sobbing like the world was ending at the mental image of 2300 hogs loaded into covered dump trucks and then gassed.

Gassing living things. The Holocaust. Hitler. I worked with a girl once, cute, pleasant, charming individual who said to me wouldn’t it be awful if Hitler really existed and all that stuff had actually happened. Scary to think that she was a high school graduate.

I cried last night because I read a post written by a former Marine about a Russian friend of his who died yesterday in Georgia. My dad was a Marine during the Korean Conflict. Good thing he didn’t die or today wouldn’t be my birthday.

I was all mad and mopey this morning because no one made a fuss over it being my birthday. Yes, I know, I don’t want a fuss and I’ve made that very well known to all my friends over the years. Except today I wanted one. So I was mad at them. And I cried because I was mad at the people who are my friends and care about me. Then my alarm went off and I got up out of bed and eventually turned on my phone to find a text wishing me a happy birthday with an invitation for after work should I feel like a little celebrating. Which made me cry.

Work. I looked down at one point and cried because the purple shirt I really wanted to wear was ruined in the wash the other week. How does that happen? And why is it always a garment I like more than others? So I wore my other purple shirt that is a shade lighter. It didn’t match the purple Crocs I had on. It matches the other pair that I didn’t wear today. Oh no, I was mismatched. How tragic! Yep, more tears. As if I actually care if my clothes match my shoes. I wear my purple Crocs with just about everything, either pair and it honestly doesn’t matter any other time. I can picture the look on my dad’s face if he’d lived to see these shoes.

My dad, after the war, went to school to become first a teacher and then a psychologist working within the school district. I heard him talk people down on several occasions. He was good at it. I can still hear his “diffusing voice” echoing through my mind. Probably a good thing at the moment even though it makes me cry because I miss him.

So there you have it. A semi-unfiltered two minute glimpse into the chemical imbalance caused by this new medication. I increase the dosage tonight. I can’t wait to see what happens next. Part of me is weirdly fascinated, sitting back, taking notes for future reference. Yes, I’m sure I’ll be able to use bits of this somewhere.

I want to get serious for a minute before I go back to crying here. I’m lucky in that I know what’s happening to me and why. If things get too overwhelming and I lose the ability to reign most of it in as I have been able to so far I can call my doctor and be told to stop taking this medication. He will prescribe something else to combat my migraines. But what about the people who really are losing their minds out there? They have to be scared to death because, let me tell you, it’s a bit intimidating at moments even fully aware.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Dinner Anyone?

While I was waiting for another round of Olympic installments I happened upon a show on the Travel Channel. Deep Fried Paradise. Anyone ever see it?

Deep fried turkey I've heard of. Not particularly fond of turkey except in monti-cristo sandwiches but I might taste it one of these days. Deep fried dill pickles, love 'em. Deep fried veggies. Well, it kind of defeats the purpose of eating fresh vegetables but I suppose it's better than not eating vegetables at all.

What got me was the segment on chicken fried items, more specifically chicken fried bacon. Chicken. Fried. Bacon. As in bacon dipped in batter similar to that resembling the stuff you put on chicken before frying it only with an extra layer of cornmeal for added flavor and then tossed into hot grease. Yes, these people fry their grease-based food in grease. They actually stated that it's the location men have been lying about frequenting for years. Um, I don't really think they're fooling anyone. All the patrons I saw in the background looked like they'd been eating chicken fried bacon for years. The sad thing is I think I'd like to taste it. Anyone in Texas want to join me?

Next up was a bit about deep fried burgers. Fried in the same grease they've been using since 1912. Okay they do strain and filter it daily but 1912? They even lock it up at night to keep it safe. Ah yes, I can see how that would be a concern. In case you're wondering, they don't offer lettuce or tomato for your burger but they do dip the buns in the grease for extra zing.

Don't worry, if you're not a burger person, there's another place where you can get deep fried hot dogs. You order them by how long they've remained in the oil. Apparently ones that are well done are an acquired taste. Again, these people take pride in their product. The only condiments available are cheese, onions, mustard and their special secret recipe relish. Ketchup shows lack of class so they don't offer it. I knew there was a reason I don't like ketchup besides for the taste!

Leave it to the British. There's a transplant in New York who started his own chip shop because he missed fish and chips. Fair enough. If I moved away I'd still want my tradiional comfort food too. But this guy has gone too far. He tosses everything into the fryer. Pizza, mac and cheese formed into patties, pie, candy bars, twinkies...

Go ahead and fry my pickles but leave my desert alone!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

So Tell Me

If you were of an age as I am and found yourself single again how would you go about meeting someone new?

I've tried the traditional ask my friends route. Nope, didn't pan out. Forming a friendship through work is not an option. I'm not doing the whole bar thing again. That's what got me the last loser. No thank you, sure as hell don't want an updated version of him.

I even looked around at the grocery and book stores. All that did was make me silly and get me disapproving looks.

I've had joining a church suggested. Um, sorry, that seems just a tad hypocritical to me, feigning a religious affiliation merely for the purpose of hooking up. Somehow I don't think the dieties would be very happy with me and I think I've been smited more than enough with everything that's already happened in my life.

So what's that leave me? The internet? Perhaps. When I was working on a story and had some questions I couldn't ask either at home or of my friends' husbands I logged onto one of those adult friend sites. It was an experience and not necessarily a bad one. I worded my profile to make it known that I was curious and needed guidance. Yeah, I know. You can laugh all you want but it was effective once I weeded through the pigs. What I'll never understand is the guys who sent me photos of their parts that, fully erect, weren't all that much larger than my finger. Can anyone explain that to me? Were they wanting to provide me with a good laugh or what? Seriously, some of them were obviously very proud of their teeny weenies. Yep, confidence is a good thing to have, isn't it? Anyway, I managed to find some real people who I then explained my purpose to. I got the answers I needed.

A few months ago I filled out a Yahoo personals profile. You'll never guess who they sent me as my very first match. The transition guy who'd been such a bad experience. You better believe I deleted that one instantly. Actually it's kind of funny now but at the time it was just too much.

After that, I tried eharmony. Just the free profile part. I figured I'd sign up for real and pay the $60/month if they offered me someone I felt would be worth that much to get to know. There was no one even remotely interesting. I don't know where they find those couples on TV but I'll never be one of them.

I checked out a local singles type thing that's similar but this had the advantage of being able to communicate if a paying member contacted me. I did chat with a few. One man who keeps popping up I think has some sort of word limit. We'll chat and then he vanishes. Maybe he's flat out lying and is married or involved. Maybe he's just plain nuts. Don't know. Don't care. Not finding out.

There is another reputable site that I actually met a few people from. Wish I hadn't. Not the site's fault. Maybe you can explain this one to me too. Why do men think I want to hear all of their sexual encounters within five minutes of our meeting just because I write erotic romances? I am so much more than my books. A tip for any men who might be reading this or anyone who has a brother who's looking to date. That is just about the biggest turn off there is and a guaranteed way to end an evening early. Also it ensures there won't be a repeat. Talk about creepy!

What I find fascinating here is that I encountered the most interesting people on what is for all intents and purposes a sex site. The handful of men I ended up chatting with there understood that I am more than my writing. Oh sure, they were curious about it and asked questions as they were answering mine but they also seemed to want to know about the rest of me. They were willing to share some glimpses of their whole lives, not merely their sexual experiences and remember, those were the ones I asked for. I heard about their jobs, their friends, what they do for entertainment, what sports teams they follow, some told me about their families. You know what I mean, real life stuff. They just happened to fill out the questionairre that had a box for when they don't currently have a partner for sex, masturbation would do instead of the one for how they don't like people who fly off the handle on a regular basis. I'm not altogether convinced one is more meaningful than the other.

I'm open to suggestions of how to meet people. I would like someone to hang out and do things with on occasion. Even though I'm perfectly capable of heading out and about on my own it would be nice sometimes to not have to. Where would you look if you were in my shoes?