Thursday, February 23, 2006

Eleven Dollars and Change

My Meals on Wheels drive started out this morning with my driving by a landscaper dude who was on a riding mower right by the street and hearing a rock hit the side of my truck. I'm guessing the irritation of that made me clench my thighs together. Well I was holding a plastic bottle of water between my legs which I had opened but not drunk from and I apparently compressed the bottle enough to make the water gush out the top and onto my jeans. Not a great start. The next fun thing was when I reached the first apartment complex. This is the one I mentioned sometime back that has reserved parking and the only unmarked spaces are in Cleveland. By now I was just parking on the main road and walking into the complex. The walk is about the same as if you walked out your front door, crossed the street and walked two houses down. If you lived in a normal house, that is, and not on some rolling 8 acre estate with a 400 yard driveway. So I'm holding my tray in my left hand, raise my right hand to knock and happen to glance down at the tray. My first thought was, "Oh no! I brought the wrong cookie!" I was looking at the chocolate/chocolate chip cookie which was for "regular" clients and this lady was "diet." So then I see the diet cookie and think, "Oh, I just put both on there." But something wasn't right. THEN I noticed there was no hamburger bun. Because you know how easy it is to confuse a large chocolate/chocolate chip cookie for a hamburger bun. So then I had to walk all the way back to my truck and then back to the apartment. And did I mention my foot is still not 100% healed and does not care for shoes? I was at least glad that I noticed all this BEFORE I knocked.

Last Wednesday I went to Friday's for lunch. I didn't realize how long it had been since I was there until I complimented Sarah on her new hair color and she said it had been like that for nearly a year. Well she let slip that Chad, my favorite Bennigan's bartender, was back on Wednesday lunch, so I went there today. I love (LOVE) their ribs.

In my last post I mentioned how my brain has some sort of First Glance Dyslexia. I was going to count my cash today at Bennigan's and when I pulled my money out of my pocket, two ones were folded together exactly as in the picture above (which is an actual scan) and my brain said "Eleven dollars." Another example is a large sign at the intersection of Denton Highway and Watauga road (or Mid-Cities boulevard - geez I HATE streets that change their names every couple of miles). When I first looked at that sign, I thought it said, "Push For Cash." So I was sitting at the light thinking, "What the hell does that mean?" Of course, when I looked at the sign again it said, "Posh Car Wash." This has been happening to me for at least 30 years and is usually very amusing. I'm going to try to start documenting them.

I think it''s odd that I've never heard of this before. I wonder if it's a documented thing and has a scientific name? Speaking of things that may be unique to me, I realized that in all my years of reading and hearing about people's pet peeves, I have never seen mine mentioned. I'll call it The Door Stop. It's when you are walking into a public building and the people just in front of you walk through the doorway and stop. TWO INCHES IN!! Oh My God. That drives me completely insane. And people do it ALL THE TIME! The worst sites are restaurants and department stores. I notice it is particularly bad in touristy places. I can't for the life of me figure out what these people must be thinking. "Okay, I'm in. Must stop moving." or "Oh I better freeze here in the doorway in case I need to bolt." It's also a close relative to people stopping suddenly on a busy sidewalk or in a busy mall, which I guess could be called The Sudden Walk Stop.

If you learned anything from this post I hope it was: Do not stop in doorways! Well, and two ones is not eleven dollars and a chocolate/chocolate chip cookie is not a hamburger bun. But you probably knew those last two.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Weird Headline

I misread things all the time. I always have to look at signs and headlines twice. I found this one really troublesome to my brain:

Ape guru develops coffee certification scheme

I haven't read the story. I just like the headline.

Is it just me?

Friday, February 17, 2006

Crazy Weather

(a part of my back yard in late Spring)

We have a nicely landscaped back yard. I don't know how it exists. Today was close to 80 degrees and tomorrow is supposed to be a high of 35 degrees. How are these plants dealing with this crazy weather?

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Roses for Me!

Wow! I actually got a dozen roses today from My Sweetie. I was so surprised. Then he was surprised that I was surprised. And I was surprised that he was surprised that I was surprised.

Anyhoo, I LOVE my roses! And I WAS surprised.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Let The Games Begin

I've been very busy doing major house cleaning. I usually spend the two weeks after Thanksgiving doing major cleaning for my annual Christmas party and well, if you've been reading this, you know I broke my foot the week before Thanksgiving. So the clutter was driving me mad, but now the house is almost better than usual. I'll recap the last few days:

Wednesday: Meals on Wheels was short and sweet. I didn't have the lady in the apartments with the convoluted security system, so everything went very smoothly. I arrived at my usual lunch place and everything was pleasant as usual. My daughter called and showed up just as I was through eating and finished my meal. (That may sound strange but the food is great and the portions are ridiculously large.) She looked really nice. Chris the magician did some great new tricks. Well, then the guy I met last week that I thought was so cool showed up and unfortunately, just after my daughter went back to work, he, the bartender and myself got into the most ridiculous political argument ever. I decided when I started this blog not to discuss politics, so I'm sticking with that and I won't go into it. I'll just say I'm right and they were stupid. And it annoyed the hell out of me. So basically instead of going there every Wednesday, I've decided to do a weekly rotation with the two restaurants I used to frequent and a third restaurant that I haven't picked yet. That way, I'll only hit every place once a month. Also I'll have a lot more options for lunch. I like this new plan. I'm thinking Red Lobster for my 4th place because I really should eat more fish, but it's still up in the air.

Thursday: I pretty much finished up the bar room. We call this room the bar room, but it doesn't really describe it. It does have a wet bar along the short wall and a separate standing bar. I use the freestanding bar as a craft station. For some reason I can not explain, I like to stand to do things and this bar is perfect for that. Also the sink in the wet bar is great for crafting that requires water or rinsing (for paint brushes and such). This room also has the two corner desks with computers, a TV and a stereo. It also has a half wall (by the wet bar) of built-in shelves which house our DVDs and videos. Well I totally digressed. Anyway I cleaned and de-cluttered the hell out of this room, whatever we should call it.

Friday: More intensive cleaning and de-cluttering. This time it was the bedroom. I actually found the receipt from the birthday cake I bought last April. That's really pathetic. And then Friday night we watched the opening ceremonies for the 2006 Winter Olympics. Okay I have to comment on that now.

What the hell was going on there? Brian Williams was all "Debbie Downer" during the part where the athletes file in. Every other country that arrived, he would talk about the bad political happenings going on there. Man, it was annoying! We noticed after a commercial break he stopped talking at all and we were making jokes about how they got rid of him. Bob Costas was giving OLYMPIC facts and telling OLYMPIC stories about the countries. Yeah, that's what the Olympics are about. I don't want to hear every horrible story about a particular country. Hell, we get that on the regular news and in the newspaper every day. Other than that we are very excited that the Olympics have started. And we saw Chad Hedrick (from right here in Texas!) win the first gold medal for the U.S. That's good stuff.

Speaking of sports: Duke had it's second game vs. Maryland today. At Maryland. It was great. We won 96-88 and never trailed. When we played Maryland at home last month the Cameron Crazies chanted "You're not our rival, you're not our rival," so today we kept chanting that. We really get into these games! The team is playing better and better and a spot in the Final Four looks very likely right now. For the next two weeks, the only thing we will watch besides the Olympics are Duke games. I don't know how we're going to keep up with "Lost" and "Survivor," but I'm sure we'll figure something out.

Anyway, that's what's been going on and as they say, "Let the Games Begin!"

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

On Duke, Dust and Taxes (okay, no taxes)

Tonight was the BIG game. The Duke/UNC game. And. We. Won! It was a great game . . . considering. Considering that we're still making a lot of stupid mistakes (not to mention our lack of rebounding, which has driven me nuts all season) and I think both teams may have almost broken a turnover record. Duke had a giant lead at the top of the second half and it was slowly and consistently whittled away. I freaked out when UNC took the lead and then worked all the way up to a 5 point lead. I've never been so happy that J.J. Redick stuck around for his senior year. Yay! As much as I look forward to these games every year, I'm SO glad it's over.

I coined an incredible phrase today. I was talking to Lolo on the phone and I said, "Man, I have some skanky breath. I had a hot dog, or maybe it's the beer and cigarettes. I have New Orleans street breath!" So next time you have awful breath feel free to use my phrase: New Orleans Street Breath.

I did a bunch of random access dusting Saturday. By that, I mean dusting in odd unreachable places. Also known as the horrid places where all the dust is. I HATE dust. First of all, I'm allergic to it. I wore a dust mask some of the time, but after a while, my breath gets to me. My first wave of dusting is electronic: I use the "hand vac." And by hand vacuum, I guess they mean, "A great vacuuming method if you have four hands." So I had My Sweetie follow me around with the vacuum/motorized part while I did all the aiming of the suction apparatus. Even after all that, it still feels like I've just touched the tip of the iceberg. That old saying about the only two guarantees in life are death and taxes is wrong. There are THREE things. Death, Taxes and DUST. I HATE dust.

Speaking of dust (which I hate), I've always felt somewhat lacking in the housewife department because I have never ever purchased drapes. I think DRAPES is an acronym for Dust Receptacle And Pet Entertainment Site. Seriously, I see drapes as a giant holder of dust and something very entertaining for my cats. I am a mini-blind person. And thank God I'm married or how else could I ever vacuum the mini-blinds? (Note to self: Vacuum the mini-blinds.) Full disclosure here: I do have a small pleated Roman shade in my blue bathroom. It's a natural cloth small thing, but every time I see it my brain goes "Dust Magnet!" I have vacuumed it a few times (not enough) but, anyway, I don't believe it qualifies as "drapes." Also I would appreciate any tips on how to wash the thing as it is attached to a wooden dowel.

I was going to mention my favorite Super Bowl commercials but it's been done Ad Nauseum. Get it? Ad? but now I've decided to do it anyway. The pony one where the pony tried to pull the Budweiser wagon and the two older Clydesdales were pushing it from behind. I actually shed some "Oh that's so sweet!" tears. The funny ones were (not in any specific order) the ads for 1) I work with monkeys/I work with jackasses 2) the magic beer fridge 3) "Addicted to Lost." Okay that last one wasn't funny, it was just cool.

So now that I've rambled on and on, I feel caught up. Tomorrow of course is Meals on Wheels, so I'm hoping to have more tales to tell. And hopefully no dust will be involved.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Dirty Little Subject

I was thinking about prejudice for some reason and how different it is regionally. When I was growing up in North Carolina I heard a lot of weird things. I do want to point out that none of these things were said by my parents who were very progressive for their time.

Creepy things I heard as a child:
1) Black people are all lazy, live in government housing, and use their welfare money to buy fancy cadillacs. (And this went with "If you vote for a democrat, they will take your hard-earned tax dollars and spend it on lazy black people" and this is still the common ideology of the south.)
2) The Jews killed Jesus
3) Catholics don't worship God or Jesus, they worship Mary.

So it was odd when I moved to Texas in my senior year of high school and everyone was using the word "wetback" in the same tone I heard another word used in North Carolina. I must have heard 50 "wetback" jokes involving swimming before I finally asked someone what a "wetback" was. And I never heard the "N word" here. It never came up.

In May of 1983, my brother left California to come to Texas to live with me and get over his divorce. He had been in California for 4 or 5 years. His common belittlement "joking" involved Mormons. I had never heard a Mormon joke in my life. He was constantly saying, "I hate those fucking Mormons!"

When I was married to my second husband, his sister from Prince George, B.C., had non-stop stories to tell about how horrible Asian people were.

So what I'm wondering about all this is: Is bigotry based on something so simple as proximity? And if so, isn't this a problem that dates back throughout the known history of mankind? Oh, wait! That sounds like I am excusing it. Just the opposite. My thinking is, if this is a base behavior that is thousands and thousands of years old, why haven't we learned anything? Why do we fear being near people who look/think/believe differently than we do?

And because of current politics, many Americans hate the French, but the French have a great saying, "Viva le difference!" I've used that expression all my life. Maybe the French know what they're doing.

And seriously, someone would have to hold a gun to my head to make me place an order for "freedom fries."

Friday, February 03, 2006

Some Stuff, a Recipe and a Movie Review

I was going to post about the really cool guy I met at the bar after Meals on Wheels, but then figured it wasn't a good idea. He told me a lot of cool stories about being on a submarine, but I'm afraid to say anything because I don't want the feds showing up at my house. He was very charming and we talked non-stop for about 2 hours. MOW went much better this time. I figured out how to work that security keypad thing at the one apartment complex and also found a better way to park at the other one. Oh and my daughter dropped in to have lunch with me after MOW. She has finally decided to work on getting in shape so I really hope that works out for her.

I've always had something I call "sign dyslexia." I'll see a sign and for just a moment think it says something totally different. I was at a stoplight Wednesday and saw a sign that said "Push For Cash." I thought "Push For Cash? What the hell does that mean?" The sign actually said "Posh Car Wash." It's a weird temporary brain dysfunction, but it can be pretty amusing.

Mini Movie review: We watched Flight Plan tonight. I liked it. I must mention though that I'm a HUGE Jodie Foster fan. I thought the movie critics did a good job of not giving too much away, because I was actually surprised at the end. Peter Saarsgard gave a great performance but sometimes we felt he was doing an impersonation of John Malkovich. And it was nice to see Sean Bean playing such a different role. If you love thrillers, you should watch this one.

Mangled lyrics have always cracked me up. It's when someone sings a song wrong: like my Mom thought the song was "Medieval Woman." (That's "Evil Woman.") My daughter used to think the words were "sister, sister" instead of "Mr. Big Stuff." Well tonight I was singing Adam Ant's "Goody Two Shoes," and when I finished My Sweetie said, "That's wrong. It's what you do, you do. I've listened to that song thousands of times." I said, "No it's not, it's 'What do you do?'!" He was insistent and we looked it up on the internet and of course I was right. So then I was imitating him saying what he thought it was and we laughed and laughed. Yeah, he's not going to hear the end of that for a while.

A simple quick yummy spicy dinner: I marinated some chicken tenders in a small can (about the size of a vienna sausage can) of smoked chipotles in adobo sauce and garlic powder for a couple of hours. Salt and pepper them, then cook in a skillet with olive oil and a little butter. For the side dish I used Del Monte's Santa Fe corn mixture - it's with black beans, tomatoes and red and green peppers, and I added a little chipotle chili powder and ground cumin. It was a quick and yummy dinner. When I make it again, I think I'll sprinkle some grated cheddar over the corn.

Tuesday I made a pillow case for the body pillow we keep at the head of our bed. It turned out great. I hadn't sewed (sewn?) in ages. I need to take some pictures of that. The goofy part is I think I bought the material 3 years ago.

Speaking of goofy. I've been trying to walk normally without limping and I forgot how. I forgot how to walk! I've been practicing. I have to actually make a conscious effort not to limp.

Duke beat Boston College Wednesday night. It was a great game. The fans were nuts there - almost as intense as the Cameron Crazies. They got quiet when we had our big lead, then BC had a big run near the end and the fans were going bonkers, but Duke held on and we had another win. Yay! So that's it for now. Good Night and Good Luck.