Saturday, December 31, 2005


You’ve seen those books, when do fish sleep? Ok, well I’ve got some of my own imponderables.

1. First, how big of a geek am I that I’m up at 4 a.m. not only thinking about these questions but then going so far as to get up and write them out for my blog?

2. Theoretically speaking, if I believe in the God I’ve been thinking I believe in do I then have to follow through with that belief and accept the fact that if Adolf Hitler asked for forgiveness and felt it in his heart before he died that he could be sitting in Heaven with my Grandma?

3. Is it a dichotomy that I am so an obsessive hand washer and yet have cats—animals that use the bathroom in a litter box in my house, which they walk in after using, and then walk across my counters, furniture and beds?

4. Why do some dogs howl unnecessarily when they hear a siren and others do not?

5. Is there something deeply wrong with people who can and do write horror novels or who produce and direct and write movies like Saw?

6. Why, when you think of something really, really horrendous and brutal or evil does your mind keep worrying it like a fresh cavity?

7. Has the government ever conducted studies of the writings of people under the influence of some sort of stimuli?

8. Why can’t real politics be like the West Wing where the good guys really have good ideas and feel passionately about the whole idea of by the people and for the people instead of being like a bunch of whores going to the highest bidder?

9. Is it weird to read someone’s blog, someone you don’t know, and then feel compelled to comment on an entry, and then feel weird like you’ve burst in on some conversation you weren’t invited to and made some lame comment and everyone is just standing around looking at you like, uh, who the hell are you?

10. Do you ever wonder, late at night, if your entire perception of reality is just a bit off register? Like if you peeled things back just a bit or looked a little too close you’d find out that you’ve been completely wrong about everything you ever thought?

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Life at home

Today's the first official day of my holiday vacation I guess. It's Tuesday, December 27, 10:49 a.m. I'm on the first cup of coffee, got up 20 minutes ago when The Boy brought me the Darth Vadar Helmut to fix.
It is huge and sounds totally like Darth Vadar--not the best thing to hear first thing in the morning.
The Girl is on her way to become a sculpture, she got a battery operated pottery wheel (not from me) for Christmas, it's loud. The same aunt and uncle that got her that got The Boy a 310 piece art set : ) Too bad all their kids are grown up, I'd buy them some drums and cymbols.
Christmas was quite nice. The Hubby and I don't really do extravagant gifts for each other, for many reasons, but he usually ends up out doing me anyway. I got a great pair of pjs, the first season of West Wing on DVD, perfume, a very cool photo/scrapbook thing, and the kids got me the big ass box of crayons (hands down one of my best gifts, truly), fuzzy pink slippers (I look like a Yeti who fell in some food coloring) and the original Willy Wonka DVD. My Mom got me the new version (with Johnny Hottie Depp) and March of the Penguins, which I've already watched once! : )
Today they want to go out shopping. I have grand plans for this week--reorganize the kids' rooms, get caught up on paperwork, find a new job, etc.
He he--got ya going on the job thing huh? Yes, I'd love to find a new job this year, but so far I'm not doing much on that front.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Wrapping it up

Well, 2005 is almost over, thank God! I really think next year will be our year for some reason. It’s going to be a good one. The last few haven’t been so great, too many losses and too many family issues.

Our latest loss was Doc, our shepherd mix. He died quite suddenly Nov. 29. Of our four pets he was the Hubby’s favorite, the one he’d bonded with most. It’s never a good time to lose a pet, but the holidays are especially hard for the Hubby since his Mom died a year ago in September and his Grandma died that November. He is, however, doing a little better. It’s interesting because on the outside he’s probably the toughest, most hard assed person you could meet; he likes to think he’s very laid back and things don’t bother him; he’s arrogant and brutally honest; and Doc’s death really threw him for a loop. My prediction is within the next six months we’ll have another dog—but the Hubby’s excuse will be it’s because our remaining dog is lonely. Leah has found the silver lining in this cloud and turned herself into an inside dog. She’s a big black lab; she lounges on the couch, or chaise or loveseat nightly now. She’s been looking forlornly at our bed—but I’m drawing the line there. Granted we have a king size bed but between me, the Hubby, usually two cats and occasionally The Boy, I don’t need another breathing body in there. (Yes, The Boy is 6 and he still occasionally crawls in bed with us in the middle of the night. He’s my baby and I’m fine with this unless it goes on for another 10 years.)

As for the extended family, I almost hate to jinx things. My sister is no longer getting married, apparently El Taco cheated on her. She has remained episode free since Christmas day of last year, so I’m hopeful. She seems to be parenting her children more, and has held down a job for more than six months, a real job with a future, benefits and everything. This could be a good year for her as well. My Mom hasn’t been especially annoying lately either.

Saturday we babysat my youngest nephew, he’ll be two in Feb. That, once and for all, wiped away any twinges I had or deep dark thoughts I held about having a third child. I’d forgotten how much work little ones are with the diapers and naps and watching them 24/7. The Boy helped babysit (the Girl went with my Mom and sister and niece for the day) and he was quite nurturing and possessive. When he made the statement that we needed a baby I said well, if I had another one then IT would be the baby and not him. He looked at me for a minute and then said, nah, we don’t need one because I’m your baby. Sniff sniff.

Then when I was changing my nephew’s diaper the Boy looked down and blurted out, why does his penis look like that? It’s so tiny! He then proceeded to yank his pants down (commando again) and pull on his own and say, look how HUGE mine is compared to his! Was mine that small when I was a baby? How do you keep from laughing at that? This weekend he also decided he couldn’t wait for a haircut and decided to snip his bangs with Dad’s moustache trimming scissors. His excuse was that he was starting to look like Harry Potter.

We finally found all of The Girl’s missing allowance (she’d lost it twice) and she, on her own, decided she wanted to buy each of us gifts with her own money. What a sweetie! She informed us last night that we can’t sleep late on Christmas, that we’d be getting up at 5 a.m. I hope I can teach her to make coffee in the next few days so she’ll have a pot on for me that morning!

Friday, December 16, 2005

Disturbing news

Just Googling around the news this morning and these popped out at me.

US Christian right threatens to boycott Ford over ads in gay media

I can’t even begin to express my shock and anger—WTF? Really? How hella stupid! Why, why, why are people so incredibly bigoted that they’re boycotting a company because of where it places it’s advertising? Do they REALLY think white, Christian, married couples are the only people in the entire freaking world that buy Ford cars? Why do they even care where Ford puts its ads? Are they afraid if ohmygod, a GAY person sees a Ford in a magazine ad that then THEY’LL buy a Ford and then people will start thinking everyone who drives a Ford is GAY so the white Christians will then have to stop buying Fords, or God forbid, someone would think they’re GAY? Do they think being gay will rub off on them? What about the whole Christian thing? I mean, I’m no expert and certainly don’t know my Bible, but I thought God was like, the creator of EVERYONE (including gays). What’s that stupid bumper sticker? God don’t make no junk? Well, uh, hello, God made people regardless of their color, sexual preference etc. and I don’t really think he gives a flying flip who drives a Ford.

My next question is which of those so-called Christian’s was reading a gay magazine and saw the Ford ad?

Fred: Dammit Fredia, do you see this ad Ford put in my magazine?

Fredia: Why, Fred, what are you doing with THAT magazine?

Fred: (said sheepishly) Well, I, uh, I’m just trying to find out about this whole lifestyle so I can bring them over to the good side. You know, the whole, going into the den of iniquity to save the poor souls there. Yeah, that’s it, that’s why I’m reading this.

I’m stopping now because this whole issue just pisses me off. Grow the fuck up people! We’re all humans and it doesn’t matter who’s sleeping with who it’s none of your damn business!


Computer decodes Mona Lisa's smile

This one baffles me for a few reasons. First, do scientist really not have anything better to study, than oh I don’t know maybe a cure for cancer or Alzheimer’s (because this is the disease I know I’ll get), AIDS, childhood leukemia, etc.? Who the hell funded this? Did they have extra money lying around, because, hello, I’ll sign up to study something—like why is the Statue of Liberty wearing sandals instead of some other shoe?

Did that many people have a burning desire to know why Mona was smiling? Hmm, report said she was smiling because she was…I know, hold on because this is just too unbelievable…she was HAPPY! No shit!

Isn’t the whole purpose of art to make you think, make you wonder, expand your horizons? Next thing you know they’ll be studying Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s soup piece. Why did he choose that brand instead of another? Why soup, why not a can of peas? Was Campbell’s underwriting him?

Thursday, December 15, 2005

I'm a retard

Have you ever done something so incredibly stupid that you can't even explain it? At work we have a blasted password for just about everything we touch, and we're prompted to change them about every other month. Log into the computer, change your password and it can't be one of your last five. Log on to the employee site to fill out expense reports, another password. Check your voicemail on the phone, another password. So this morning I check my voicemail and then get to work, yes, I do that occassionally.

Then I had a telephone interview with this incredibly rude airhead I have to write a story about and during the interview I get two calls that go to voicemail. I get off the call and try to check my voicemail and for the life of me I can't remember my damn password!!!! The same damn password I used less than two hours ago!

I've tried every combination I can think of, I think it had my birthday in it. I've tried to work on something else and not think about it hoping I can just go back and do it automatically, but no, that's all I can think of the stupid numbers! So I had to break down and call our IT dept. which is located God knows where, so they can call our phone support which is probably located on another planet and now I have to wait for them to call and reprogram my phone.

Meanwhile my message light is sitting there blinking, probably laughing hysterically at me, much like the IT guy who took my call, and taunting me because I can't answer it.

That's what friends are for

My friend TL, one of the handful of people who actually reads this thing, sent me a great email in response to my last two posts. Although I haven't asked his permission, I'm going to share the email because it so succinctly ties everything up in a nice little zany snowman Christmas wrapped present with a bright green bow.

If your relationship is like a menstrual cycle and you're not QUITE in the holiday mood, you might want to bring the family together with a project or two.

Kudos to TL for such a perfect gift. I'm feeling holly and jolly right this very moment. It's either that or the fact that I've been listening to the radio station that plays Christmas songs (the same 10) all day. I think I can sing Rockin' Around the Christmas tree just as well, if not better, than Brenda Lee at this point!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Holiday eating tips

A friend just sent this to me and I couldn't resist sharing, with my own comments added of course. WOO HOO!

With the holidays close by here are some Holiday Eating Tips. Have yourself a traditionally angst-filled strange little Norman Rockwell disaster.

1. Avoid carrot and celery sticks. Anyone who puts carrots and celery on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit and they’re cheap asses. In fact, if you see carrots and celery, leave immediately. Go next door, where they’re serving rum balls. (I’ve never had a rum ball.)

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can and do it quickly. Like fine single-malt scotch, it’s rare. In fact, it’s even more rare than single-malt scotch. You can’t find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It’s not as if you’re going to turn into an eggnog-aholic or something. It’s a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It’s later than you think. It’s Christmas! (I’ve also never had real eggnog that is with liquor in it.)

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That’s the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat. (I’m not a big gravy eater, but feel free.)

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they’re made with skim milk or whole milk. If it’s skim, pass. Why bother? It’s like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission. (Ok, skim milk is just like white water, at least go for 1%. When it comes to mashed potatoes, the key is butter and lots of it.)

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat other people’s food for free and lots of it. Hello?

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year’s. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you’ll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don’t budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They’re like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you’re never going to see them again.

8. Same for pies. Apple. Pumpkin. Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or, if you don’t like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day? (Uh, what the hell is mincemeat? Through in a Derby pie and it’s all good.)

9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it’s loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards. (Again, never tasted this, ever.)

10. One final tip: If you don’t feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven’t been paying attention. Reread tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner.

Remember this motto to live by: “Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming, “WOO HOO what a ride!”

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Similes are like...

...creative, yet sometimes bizarre ways of comparing totally opposite things to make someone understand a vision you have. Yes, I know that’s not the Webster definition; that would be a comparison; a figure of speech comparing two unlike things that is often introduced by like or as.

The Hubby is always using similes and metaphors to explain things, especially when we’re in deep conversation or an argument. Sometimes these are thought provoking; sometimes they irritate the shit out of me because they make absolutely no sense.

Last night we were just having a conversation about things going on in life right now, how we are not, and do not really know anyone who is, in the holiday spirit; going over the week’s busy schedule; talking about his work/my work; our relationship etc. During this conversation I came up with two similes that I thought were pretty cool. These are specific to me of course.

Life is like Neapolitan ice cream. When things are going bad and it sucks—that’s the strawberry (because it’s my least favorite). You move on and everything’s ok, not necessarily exciting, not bad, it’s vanilla (because it’s boring to me). Then you kick into the hella good times and you’re happy as a pig in shit (another simile), feeling good as a kid in a candy store (another) and that, my friends, is chocolate. Feel free to switch that one up for your own ice cream junkie needs.

My marriage is like a menstrual cycle. Ok, I know it’s gross but I was hella tired when we were having this talk and it made perfect sense at the time. Sometimes the relationship is PMSing, everything pisses you off, usually for no good reason, you’re moody, go back and forth between love me and leave me alone, etc. Then comes the period; this is the fallout from the PMSing and you’re fighting and arguing and nothing’s really good. After that comes the good times, everything’s on an even keel, you’re pretty much happy, etc. I really think relationships go in a cycle, if not this particular one. The Hubby and I can go for almost a year riding on that in-love high, being happy, taking care of each other, all that mushy stuff and then bam, the PMSing starts. We’ll go for a few months of fighting off and on, being testy etc. and then there’s the light at the end of the tunnel. Maybe these are growing pains; that sounds reasonable. I mean after 13 years of marriage and basically 22 years of a relationship (GOD that’s a LONG TIME!) you’re entitled to a few growing pains right?

I’d say right now we’re coming out of our period, heading into the good times and the vanilla is edging over into the chocolate. I’ll take two scoops with hot fudge please!

Thursday, December 8, 2005

The work vent

So far I’ve not said much about work and my co-workers, but I think I’ll give a little description of the environment and the inhabitants.

The environment:
The company I work for is so big I couldn’t honestly tell you where it’s headquartered because I don’t know. Year after year we’re told the raises are so small because there’s not much money in publishing. Hmmm, hard to believe a company of this size would stay in business if there weren’t money to be made. Perhaps they could save some cash and not give us the yearly stupid gift (mouse pad, pen, desk ornament, shoulder bag) laden with the stupid company logo. You can’t even regift the damn things because they have logos on them. One year my friend and I decided to gather up all the mouse pads and make a mobile. It was huge; it should have been in MOMA. We hung it in our conference room. It lasted for a few months and then mysteriously disappeared.

The boss:
I have to preface this vent by saying that for the most part I like my boss, however, she’s pretty passive aggressive and avoids confronting most issues. This used to bother me because we have one employee who basically decides her own hours (she might stroll in around 10 a.m., though technically we’re supposed to be here between 8:30 and 9) and she does not work late to compensate. This same employee started the same day I did, but miraculously it seems she has like 20 more weeks of vacation than I do. Before I knew better I’d talk to my boss about issues I had with this person, like I was tired of picking up her slack etc., but then I think I just came off as a whiner, because my boss never did anything about it and sort of tiptoed around the subject from then on. I’ve learned to ignore the inequalities and go on with my day. One thing that really irritates me is that when my boss wants me to do something that pretty much isn’t my job or that she figures no one else will do, she heaps on the phony flattery. Oh, I need you to write such and such because you’re just so good at it. Give me a break, you’re asking me to do it because I’m the only one who’ll get it done on time and not bitch about it.

The Diva:
This is the person I was referring to above. We started work on the same day, so we fell into sort of a ‘we’re in the same boat’ type of friendship. After a year of vapid conversations about shoes, shopping and why the latest guy she was seeing wasn’t perfect (meaning he wasn’t rich and European) I realized that relationship wasn’t going anywhere. Plus I got tired of feeling like regardless of what she did, she got away with it and was playing by a different set of rules than the rest of us.

The Whiner:
On the surface this guy seems ok, though a bit strange. From the first day he started work here all you heard out of his mouth was I’m ready to go home, I don’t want to be here. Yes, we all have these days, but this guy says it EVERY SINGLE DAY during every conversation you have with him. And, he’s spoiled and immature. Though I never really had respect for him, I lost any positive vibe this summer when his wife was expecting a baby. Early on in the pregnancy he made comments like, I hope my kid is cute, I can’t have an ugly baby. He bitched because he wasn’t getting sex every day and wondered aloud what he’d do for the six weeks after the delivery. Then there was the prenatal test to determine if there’s a possibility of downs syndrome, cerebral palsy etc. and he pushed his wife to have the test (which is infamous for false positives) because if it came back positive he’d push for an abortion, without a second thought, because he can’t have a retarded kid. Yes, this is me letting my personal views influence how I respond, but this just appalled me. I realize some people are pro-choice, and I support their right to be so, and maybe at one time in my life I leaned more toward pro-choice views, but since having kids I just can’t see that way anymore. It isn’t necessarily that he’d consider an abortion, because I wouldn’t hold having an abortion against anyone, but it was his reason why and the way he presented it. Now that he’s a dad all we hear about is how he doesn’t have any time to do what he wants to do, complaining about the kid not sleeping, complaining if one of the parents can’t help, and then he’ll throw in but I really love that kid. It’s almost like he feels obligated to say it so we here it, like he’s trying to convince us. Granted I know sometimes I go on and on about my kids, telling the incredibly funny and creative things that come out of their mouths, but I don’t feel compelled to tell people how much I love them every time I talk about them. Maybe it’s me, maybe I’m being judgmental, but he really just pisses me off.

Wednesday, December 7, 2005

Vince the hottie

Vincent D'Onofrio is new to my list of intriguing actors. I've recently started watching reruns of Law & Order in which he plays Det. Goren. This character is eerily brilliant and full of obscure information that I didn't even know existed, let alone know anything about.

At first glance he's not stunningly attractive, and I'm quite certain it's his character Goren that made me take notice of him--big brained quirky turns me on. I figured he'd been in other shows or movies, but had no idea his resume was so extensive. See below. Of this list I've only seen Mystic Pizza I think--which is a great movie.

Thumbsucker - ( Mike Cobb / 2005)
The Salton Sea
Chelsea Walls
The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys
Happy Accidents
Claire Dolan
The Player
The Cell
The Thirteenth Floor
The Newton Boys
Men in Black
Good Luck
The Whole Wide World
Feeling Minnesota
Strange Days
Being Human
Ed Wood
Household Saints
Adventures in Babysitting
Mystic Pizza
Crooked Hearts
Signs of Life
The Blood of Heroes
Fires Within
Dying Young
Little Victories
Nunzio's Second Cousin
Stuart Saves His Family
Salt on Our Skin
Imaginary Crimes
Malcolm X
The First Turn-On!
Full Metal Jacket
Spanish Judges
Hotel Paradise
Mr. Wonderful
Naked Tango
The Velocity of Gary (Not His Real Name)
Steal This Movie

Just thought I'd share that in case you too had not discovered Vincent.

Tuesday, December 6, 2005

Polar opposites

This notion of penguins and polar bears cohabitating is driving me insane. I've noticed it for years in print and on TV. PENGUINS and POLAR BEARS do not even live on the same damn continent people!

I understand creating ads can be challenging and when you think ice, cold, winter you think polar bears and penguins, but do a little research people, they don't live on the same pole. Penguins are South Polers and polar bears are North Polers.

In the latest Coke ad it shows a rookery of penguins dancing and having a blast. I'm cool with that. Penguins drinking Coke, should be Pepsi, but I can handle Coke. Then the polar bears come onto the scene. It's just wrong.

I know it's a commercial, but I feel like I'm one of the few people in the world who realizes the wrongness of it. Alas, it is my curse to know this trivial stuff.

It seems this time of year brings out the worst in people with the penguins and bears--I see it on cards, wrapping paper, ornaments and more. C'mon, that would be like showing pictures of camels and kangaroos hanging out together.

Friday, December 2, 2005

Deck the damn halls already

I'm not yet in the Christmas spirit, so I'm making these lists and checking them twice.

12 things I hate about Christmas
1. No snow
2. People who brag about the gifts they’ve bought to include how much they spent on them.
3. Lighted, plastic outdoor decorations—yes, the hubby has an affinity for these.
4. Blinking lights on the tree and putting the lights on the tree, which somehow became my job. I hate that part of decorating.
5. That it’s the only time of the year they sell eggnog in the stores, I love me some eggnog.
6. Buying gifts for people I don’t really want to buy gifts for because they either have everything or appreciate nothing.
7. Christmas cards from people I never see or talk to that just sign their name.
8. Designer Christmas trees, you know the ones that have all the ornaments in the same colors that look like an interior designer put them together—they’re so impersonal.
9. The commercialization
10. The fact that my dad is disengaged from my kids every other day of the year but on Christmas he thinks he can make up for it by buying them a bunch of toys that they don’t even like—he doesn’t even know then well enough to know what they like, yet he buys butt loads of crap.
11. Watching my Grandma open her presents because she never seems excited or happy with them.
12. Happy holidays instead of Merry Christmas

12 things I love about Christmas
1. Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack
2. The smell of a live tree in my house.
3. Wrapping paper.
4. Finding a gift you know is perfect for someone and taking them totally by surprise.
5. The song Christmas in Dixie by Alabama
6. Christmas music from my childhood—Johnny Cash, Sing along with Mitch Miller, Andy Williams, Eddie Arnold
7. The Bass & Rankin classics, Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas, The Christmas Story, Elf, The Santa Clause, A Christmas Carol, It’s a Wonderful Life, the original Miracle on 34th Street
8. Decorating our tree—I love Christmas ornaments and my tree is a hodge-podge of homemade and bought; most of which have a significance, like the kid’s first Christmas, the first ornament the hubby and I bought together (with his parents when I was about 16), etc.
9. The fact that the Girl is saving up her allowance for the first time to buy gifts for people.
10. Christmas crafts—we’ve made sweatshirts, ornaments, etc. and find something new to do each year.
11. Little traditions like the chocolate-filled advent calendars, the pickle ornament we hide in the tree and decorating sugar cookies.
12. Snowmen; some people are Santa people or angels or reindeer, I’m diggin’ on some snowmen.