Thursday, December 31, 2009

Mort The Wonder Dog

I should preface this post by saying that if they lined up every single person in the United States in order of how much they love dogs, and the most avid dog lover were placed at the northernmost tip of Maine and the line wound around down to the southernmost tip of California, I would probably be standing in San Diego.
That's why Mort really is a wonder dog because I have fallen madly in love with him. Here's a little movie I made:

Did you notice how when his human starts to talk to him he turns around and gives that tail one last look? I think that's priceless.

Mort is leaving Friday morning to head back to Princeton to continue his studies. Oh wait, that's his human that does that. I have no idea why I fell so in love with this dog, but I sure will miss him. Oh, and:

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Decade Happenings TVwise

On Tuesday, the national news that I watch ended their broadcast with a quick recap of the big events of the decade. As soon as it was over I said to My Sweetie, "They forgot to mention something." I then told him how the EMMY awards finally began to recognize actors and shows that were not on the three major networks (okay I know that Fox is considered a 4th major network but it's my blog.)
They also didn't mention the fact that Denzel Washington and Halle Berry won best actor and best actress at the Oscars the same year (2002). And yeah my little decade factoids are slanted toward TV and movie entertainment, but c'mon! They ended their segment with three famous youtube hits.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Im Old

I keep the radio on all day in my smoking room. I keep it on the cool hip station because I like to keep up with "what the kids are listening to" and I like to dance around in there while I smoke and it's all fun peppy music. I'm not one that pays attention to all the lyrics but I know all the hooks and choruses. There's this one song called "Birthday Sex."

The thing is when I hear this song, I do not think of birthdays or sex on birthdays. I think of filling out forms when you go to a new doctor because on the top right of every page is this:

Date of Birth: ___/___/___ Sex:______

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Craziest Christmas Yet

It's really odd (but wasn't at the time) that Big Brother asked me in the comments two posts down, "You get snow in Texas?" Because what happened was. WE GOT SNOW IN TEXAS. And it WAS BIG. As usual I was sleeping the morning away on Christmas eve when My Sweetie called as he was leaving work around noon and said, "You should get up and look at the snow. It's really coming down and it's not supposed to last very long." So I got up and sure enough it was snowing. It wasn't a big snow. It looked like the typical Texas snow: tiny little flakes fluffing around.
I got up and started doing all the things I had planned to do to prepare for going to My Sweetie's Mom's house and having Christmas with his family. We gathered all of our stuff together and as we headed out we stopped by Carole's house. All was well and good. And it was still snowing. I took this picture just down the road after we took off because I thought it was neat and snowy:
As we continued to venture west, it became even more snowy, but it was still fun and Christmasy and all good even though the words "White Out" came into my head a few times. This picture does not tell the tale of how the snow was blowing sideways and all over the place:
The roads started to get worse and then we had to come to a complete stop on the highway. At this point traffic was a total crawl. After creeping across a bridge for what seemed like ages, my cell phone rang. My sister-in-law, who was at my MIL's house, called to tell us that they were leaving. She said the roads over there were terrible and icy. That convinced us to cancel the trip and turn around and THAT'S when we realized that we were halfway on what was normally a 35 to 40 minute ride and a WHOLE HOUR had passed. This is a picture of the service road that we turned round on:

If you are reading this and you live somewhere that this is normal and you are rolling your eyes, then I need to explain the weather where I live. Usually, mid April through mid October is either very warm or insanely hot. Mid october through mid April is always a crazy mixed bag of anything. As a matter of fact, it was in the low 70's on December 23rd. So when the snow started on the 24th, Christmas eve, everyone assumed it would snow for a few hours and stop. And by everyone I mean the weather people as well as regular folk. But everyone was wrong. It snowed like crazy for 7 straight hours. It was HISTORICAL. It has never snowed like that here in the history of Christmas or Texas or possibly both of them combined.
So back to our "trip." After we turned around, it took us another hour to get home. I spent the first 20 minutes thinking, "What the hell? Now I have to make dinner. I was expecting to get fed, dammit." We actually ended up fishtailing into our grocery store parking lot on the way home to pick up some easy food. The brightest spot was knowing I could see Mort again. I'll get to Mort** in a minute.
When we finally got home, I thought our yard was the most gorgeous it has ever been. I learned the hard way that taking a picture at night while it is snowing is nearly impossible. The snowflakes reflect the flash:
Way later when the snow let up some, Carole got a good picture of us (I'm on the right):

Christmas day was bright and sunny but still very cold for quite a while. I took a few pictures in the backyard:

So, Big Brother, yes, it does snow in Texas. And I can't even begin to say how odd and crazy it was for us to have a white Christmas. But all's well that ends well. And here's a pic of Kate and Me that was taken tonight:

**(And now I just want to see Mort again. Carole's son and his wife are here from Princeton and they brought their dog Mort. I have fallen madly in love with this dog and I am NOT a dog person. I am a cat person. I don't even like dogs. I'm afraid of dogs. But I am trying to figure out a way to steal Mort. I love him. He's awesome.)

Flip Video Test

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Here's wishing everyone a great Christmas eve and Christmas day. I hope your holiday is full of fun times, good friends, loving family and wonderful memories. And don't forget to rock around the Christmas tree.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

More Christmas Fun

This is currently my very favorite Christmas thing:

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Good News, Earthlings!

This lovely blue rock that we cruise around the sun on has reached the point on its path that leads to longer days. Because (like me) Earth is tipsy, we are always changing angles as we wander around. We will now start tipping more toward the sun and gain a few minutes a day for the next six months. I say that's a good plan.

Of course if you are reading this from a site south of the equator, none of this applies to you and your days will start getting shorter. Sorry about that.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

My Christmas "Movie"

Okay, so technically it's not a movie, but that's what I was calling it all day. All day. That's how long it took me to make this one minute not really a movie. I guess it's more like a video comic book with self-turning pages. And speaking of that there is no sound, so don't waste your time fiddling with your volume control like My Sweetie did. Anyway, here it is:

Friday, December 18, 2009

What Time Is It, Stupid?

Because I call my friend Lo and Mom quite often and they live in North Carolina, which is an hour later than here, I am always checking the clock to see what time it is there. Except I can't just look at a clock and add the hour instantly. Here's how it goes in my brain: What time is it there? Oh it's 2:30, so it's 3:30 there. Today I was thinking Maybe I should just buy a North Carolina clock and keep it on North Carolina time so I don't have to "do the math" every time. Naturally at that point I had to check the internet to see if such a thing as a North Carolina clock existed.
I typed in "North Carolina state clock" and I got a bunch of clocks for North Carolina State University as well as University of North Carolina. Which really grossed me out. See, I am a Duke fan and those two schools are arch rivals of my team. So I changed my search to just "North Carolina clock." I still got a few of those school ones, but right there on the images page were two different North Carolina clocks. They weren't very expensive, so I was seriously considering ordering one just for funsies. Then I realized that the clocks do not have numbers. Or dots, or dashes, or anything on them except North Carolina pictures and hands.
So that was the end of that because I know for sure it's a lot easier to add that 1 than to try to tell time on a clock with no numbers.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Time & Money

(photo from Kalamazoo Gazette)
I woke up today planning on going to the post office and the grocery store. I bought some groceries on Monday but the cashier did not bag my Italian sausages for whatever reason so I had to go back today to get them (they gave me fresh ones). But this is not about that. It's about the post office.
From almost the moment I woke up, I kept picturing the post office and what the line might be like and wondering how long it would take and even wondering if there would be a parking spot. I thought about it while I was eating lunch. I thought about it while I was in the shower. I thought about it while I was putting curlers in my hair. When I was almost ready to go out, I was drinking a beer and smoking a cigarette and I was thinking again about that post office line and just like that I said to myself, "Yeah, I'm not going there."
See, I could picture the post office and picture the line, but I could not for the life of me picture myself in it. And just like that I decided to go to one of those shipping stores. There's a little one in the strip shopping center by my grocery store. I realized it would cost more because they have to pay rent and utilites there, but it just made way more sense to do that than stand in that line. And sure enough, I walked right in and had to wait maybe 3 minutes while the fellow made a few copies for a lady. 65¢ worth of copies for that lady and then it was my turn. My guess is I paid maybe $5 more than I might have paid at the post office, but I walked out of there thinking, no, knowing that it was well worth it.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

My Soldier Box and More Christmas Gifts

That's most of the stuff I packed into the 12" x 12" x 5" box that you can send to soldiers. I also ended up throwing in some more stuff and I sent him a letter with a picture of Lo and me as Dorothy and Glinda. I had so much fun packing the box that I didn't think to take pictures, but I took a piece of heavy Christmas paper and cut it to fit the bottom, run up one side and fold over the top so that when he opens it he sees Christmas paper. And since putting the Christmas paper in that way meant it was the inside of the paper on the bottom, I cut an extra square to fit the bottom. I really hope he likes the things I sent. (And I was really proud of myself for getting it out on December 3rd - a whole day before the deadline.)
Friday night we went to one of our old favorites for dinner. We had not been in a while and it's a great place to go for Christmas because they have a piano player. There's nothing like live Christmas piano music. Also we were finally having our wedding anniversary celebration since we stayed home because of the Duke game that night. We had the waiter take our picture because every anniversary since we were married I have a picture taken to add to our wedding photo album. Even after just 9 years it's fun to flip through and see our changes. I can't even imagine what flipping through 20 years might look like.
On our way home we stopped at a bar that used to be a different bar. We knew the old one had closed and were happy to see it had reopened. There was a young soldier there and I went over to thank him for his service and told him about my soldier box to see if he thought it was good stuff. He was very nice and it was funny that 15 or 20 minutes later I noticed another middle-aged lady talking to him and I wondered aloud to My Sweetie if all the young soldiers in bars were always being "bothered" by middle-aged ladies. I bet it's a 21st century phenomenom. I could explain it using our age and Vietnam and stuff but don't really feel like being philosophical or too thinky.
Later that night after My Sweetie went to bed I printed out a big batch of pictures of that picture from a few posts down of My Sweetie, my daughter and myself (I cut off her fiance) to put in Christmas cards. I then wrote out nearly all of my Christmas cards. This was after the wine at the restaurant, the bar beers and then coming home and drinking more beer. I hope they are not too goofy. I really should stop doing that. You've heard of "drunk-dialing?" well, every year I do "drunk Christmas carding." Tonight I finished up my last 6 cards and I imagine, if nothing else, my writing will be much better.
With the exception of My Sweetie's stuff, I also finished up our Christmas shopping today. We made it very easy this year and mostly got gift cards for people and you may think that's impersonal, but I like to think the personal part is picking which type of gift card to get. There's a big difference between Lowe's, Barnes & Noble and TGIFridays. I did pick out an actual real gift for my friend Carole and for My Sweetie's grandmother. And I'll get real things for My Sweetie. Oh and my brother-in-law the fireman gets a special firefighter T-shirt from some exotic place each year. Those are fun to pick out.
So anyway, here it is: a whole 10 days before Christmas and I am stress-free and easy peazy. And on top of that, it was sunny today. It's all good.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Reconsidered Christmas Decor

I originally took pictures of my Christamas decorations and then I remembered how much I disliked looking at pictures of other people's Christmas decorations so I decided to take extreme close-ups of my stuff:

I thought this was better. I still haven't decorated outside because I am mad at the weather. I have proclaimed that I will not decorate outside until the sun stays out all day. What's with that anyway? I mean seriously, consistently sunny days are a big selling point to living here. What's with this constant grey crap? I am so tired of it. I NEED SOME SUN PIECES!!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Things You Learn From Marriage

Today was my daughter's fiance's 26th birthday. He thought he was old. heh heh heh. We met for drinks near my house and had a nice evening. Old? I should have said, "Old people do not wear a T-shirt when it is 37°."
So I was thinking the other day about my marriages. Not a whole lot of people have been married three times. (Except Ian.) I feel guilty about it sometimes because I was the one that left each time and I guess it's the guilt that makes me constantly try to analyze all that stuff. On the one hand, I do have a strong belief in fate and think it was all meant to be. Also I learned things from both guys that are part of who I am. I imagine all they got from it was "how to avoid certain types of women". Except my second husband, who I imagine should have figured out that he wanted to avoid women from the get go.
My first husband was raised on a ranch in Oklahoma and he was Mr. Fix It. That's how I learned all my home repair stuff. He's an electrical engineer, but his personality was more farm hand/handyman, than laboratory. My second husband is also an electrical engineer but he was more of a deep philosophical thinker. From him I learned about politics, astronomy and the scientific method. He also taught me critical thinking, although we never used that term. I guess it's part of the scientific process.
That was a joke earlier about what they learned from me. I believe my first husband learned that women are not to be treated like servants and second class citizens because he ended up marrying one tough cookie and they have been together for quite some time. My second husband learned to be himself and not live for the approval of his parents although I am not sure if he has "come out" with that or not.
As for my current husband, My Sweetie, I am sure we have taught each other various things but mostly we have learned how to make each other laugh and I think that's the best thing of all.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

On Olives

Because the weather here has been 10° to 15° below normal and it's the Christmas season, I haven't had much else on my mind except olives. I was thinking the other day that the whole world could be divided into 4 different groups: Those who like only green olives, those who like only black olives, those that like both types and those that like neither. Of course I didn't consider that there might be people who have never tried an olive.
I took an informal poll of the people in my immediate circle. My husband does not like either. Nor does my future son-in-law or my buddy Lo. My daughter likes only green, as do I. My mother likes both as does my friend Carole. My brother likes only black. I'm not certain but I think Dad liked only green, but who knows? I can't ask him.
The picture above is of some olives that I chopped up for a salad. I really love green olives on a salad. I also like them on a pizza with Italian sausage and on an Italian sub (that's a sandwich that maybe you call something else like a hero, hoagy, hoagie, grinder or poor boy). Oddly, I don't really eat olives out of the jar. I have, but I probably had only maybe 10 olives "straight up" in my life.
So I'm curious. Where do you stand on olives?

Friday, December 04, 2009

Thursday, December 03, 2009

The Precognizant Restaurant Hostess

I've been having a lot of OUT days lately. It may not register to anyone that reads here how many IN days that I have because I mostly post about the OUT days. I mean, what sort of blog would it be to say, "I stayed home again today." Heck I could post more often if I were going to do just that.
Monday morning I woke up really early for me. It was 10:15. I was lying in bed and thought, "Since it's so early and I have some errands to run, I think I'll go out for lunch." And I did. Of course my lunch time is 1:30 so I had plenty of time. Normally (ha ha! that word doesn't really fit me!) I can't seem to get out of the house before 3:00 unless there is some hideous ungodly reason there is something I really have to do.

So I stopped by the QT (a local convenience store) and grabbed a "USA Today" and went for some Mexican food at On The Border. I tried a new menu item that was crazy messy yet delicious and headed out to run my errands. As I got to the door, the hostess yelled at me, "Watch out for the bench!!" I was all, She explained, "We just put that bench there and I'm afraid someone will walk into it." It was on my right and I just shrugged and thought, "What the hell? Anyone can see that. Who's going to walk into that bench?"
Tuesday morning the phone rang and it was Meals On Wheels asking me to sub for a route. Although they called at 8:15 am, and I had gone to bed at 5:00 am, I said okay. Then I turned my alarm on, which is set for 8:44 and went back to sleep. I then pushed the snooze button about 18 billion times until around 9:30.
I had only picked up food at this location, a library, once before. I had gone in one door and saw another guy go out a door that was closer and so had gone out that door. Well Tuesday morning I tried to go IN that door and it was locked, so with my arms full of the containers for transporting the food, I walked around to the door I had gone in the first time and as I rounded the corner my right knee smacked right into A BENCH. Smacked into it in a bad way. My first instinct was to drop everything, lay down, curl up in a ball, and call for my mommy. But after the stars and swirls and little birdies that were swimming around my head subsided I bucked up and kept walking into the library. Then I remembered the restaurant hostess yelling, "Watch out for the bench!"

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

For My Sweetie

Happy Anniversary to My Sweetie. Thank you for being such a wonderful husband. Thanks for all the laughs and fun adventures and all the little things you do to make every day a joy. These 9 years have been great and I hope we have many many more.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009