Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Freeze Frame

It's been cold around here lately. Verry cold. Colder than a witches ......

fountain! Yeah, a witches fountain.

We went to visit our recently vacated house on Saturday. While driving down the driveway i noticed that there was water seeping out from under the garage doors.

Note to self: This is a bad sign.

There was a new water feature at our house!

And like Mrs Piggle-Wiggle's upside down house, the garage ceiling was on the garage floor!

What i enjoyed the most about this is that the big fluorescent lights that were hanging down, still worked.

What i enjoyed the least is that the water had gotten into the house and ruined some of the flooring in the dining room.

But hey, that's what insurance is for, right?


On a different note, i'm going to have to put word verification on here for a little while. I apologize for that, but some damned ad-bot program is leaving me little presents on all my old posts and i weary of deleting them.

There's a special place in hell for spammers, right next to John Wilkes Booth.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Going for a guilt trip

A phone call from my mother.

She just wants to "drop off" a little present for Em on Sunday. Would that be all right?

So i invite them to come and have lunch with us. Seems like the decent thing to do. They are bringing my child a present after all, and they haven't been to our new place.

After we get the directions and the details all worked out, my mom starts protesting. "Oh, are you sure it's okay? It isn't too much trouble?"

After a few more of these statements, which i have answered with "Oh, no, it's okay" i realize something else is going on, and i say, "Why are you questioning me?"

"Oh," she says, "i had just hoped that YOU would call us."


After she hung up it took me a few moments to identify the emotion i was feeling.


Which was exactly her intention. Which made the guilt shift to mad. I do mad better than guilt anyway.

Friday, December 11, 2009

One quiet moment

I took a bus to downtown Seattle the other day, as i sometimes do.

While i sat reading, waiting for my next bus, a rare moment of quiet descended on my little section of the city, causing me to look up from my book.

I looked to my right, curious as to the source of a tiny sound. It was the toenails of one of the ubiquitous pigeons clicking on the sidewalk. He cocked his head to look at me, trying to intuit the possibility of my possessing food.

The quiet was ended by the raucous laughter of two women walking behind the bus stop. I looked over to see them clinging together, one woman hopping on one foot while her other foot was no longer shod.

Her momentum had carried her forward without her shoe when the fashionable heel had been snared by a sidewalk crack.

She hopped back to retrieve her shoe and they continued on, still laughing. I smile at their fun.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Evangelical Atheism

Some fools have paid for advertising on the buses around here that says "Yes Virginia, there is no God."

I am an atheist, but i don't like evangelicalism of any ilk.

As if an ad on the side of a bus would convince anyone of anything.

Can't you just see this happening?

Spying one of these ads, a woman slaps herself on the forehead, "Oh man, that makes SO MUCH sense. Now i know the truth. Thank you Atheism Board."

Yeah, right.

Seems like it's just designed to annoy and upset people.

Obnoxiousness from the other side:

Last week i saw a bumper sticker with this

If you are living your life like there's no God, YOU'D BETTER BE RIGHT!

My bumper sticker response?

If you are living your life like your God is the only true God, YOU'D BETTER BE RIGHT!

Friday, December 04, 2009

As promised


Also, you know i rarely post links, not because it's beyond my skills or beneath my dignity, but because i'm too lazy.

But if you have never been here, please take a few minutes to check it out. You won't REGRET it. (har har)

If you need enticing, it's some of the weirder stuff that makes its way to Etsy, A site where people can sell crafty stuff, or in some cases, crazy stuff.

Back later with the usual ranting.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

If i gave birth to you, do not read this

There are only so many responses one can make to complaining, only so many times you can say "i'm sorry," or "that sucks." But the urge to complain is strong within this one (like the force within Luke.)

I finally went to the doctor for my sprained ankle.

I've been sentenced to THE BOOT!

I hate THE BOOT. I spent 8 weeks in one several years ago. THE BOOT makes your calf muscle disappear, leaving it looking like a deflated balloon. Disgusting.

And, the worst visit ever with Em over Thanksgiving.

She was mean and argumentative. Constantly spouting song lyrics or inside jokes from her buddies at school. Which is boring and off putting. Talked about how much she missed her friends and how lonely she was. All this for a week away from them.

I never before have been happy to see her leave.

Guess she's finally doing some separating. In talking about it with other parents, it seems like the sophomore year at college is the worst as far as stress.

I hope so.

So, i'm a little sorry for all the bitching, but it had to be done.

Next up, a post about FLUFFY BUNNIES!

Friday, November 27, 2009

The week in review

Saturday: I sprain my ankle playing squash. It hurts, but the colors are pretty. I try to keep it in perspective by remembering that it's not liver cancer (which a friend of mine has, so i should just shut the hell up.) I am grumpy.

Sunday: I wash my face with hair conditioner. The good news is that my face is tangle free, but my hair is not. Frequent applications of ice to my ankle help reduce the swelling.

Monday: I complete my first load of laundry at the new place. Already, a sock is missing, i kid you not.

Tuesday: The Roomb@ shows up! All of us, including the cat, watch in fascination as it navigates around the house and vacuums up cat and meno hair.

Wednesday: The Mister takes the day off to relax and then spends the entire time watching worker bee dudes fuck around with the lighting and security system. The Mister is grumpy.

Thursday: Thanksgiving with the family. My brother and i fuck up the gravy, but my sister, dragged in for a consultation, manages to rescue it with the liberal addition of sherry. The Mister drinks too much and Em is sick and grumpy. She has to go to work at midnight so we leave early.

Friday: The Mister falls down the stairs whilst carrying a nightstand. We spend 3 hours in the emergency room mostly waiting. He gets his chin glued shut and three stitches in his lip. His face looks like he came in third in an axe battle. He is grumpy.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Stuff it

Boxes and hand carts and newsprint and STUFF, SO MUCH STUFF!

We are moved into our new place, without really being moved out of our old place. In the midst of so much chaos, i find that the one thing i must do every single morning, before the sheets are even cold, (Get your ass out of bed NOW, Mister!) is make the bed. It seems i need to have at least one thing in my life in order.

In our new place, we have a storage locker (Now full of The Mister's STUFF, but really, who notices things like the fact that 90% of the STUFF is his STUFF?) There are also a couple of restaurants in the building, one of which has the storage locker next to ours. It's where they keep the booze.

When we were moving some of our STUFF into the locker last week, someone made a trip to the restaurant's locker and dropped a bottle of beer whilst inside. The whole room full of lockers smelled like a frat house for three days.

Today when i went to our locker to drop off some MORE STUFF, i noticed that the restaurant's storage locker has been left unlocked.


I peeked in. Bottles and bottles of wine and Patron and Bombay Sapphire and Grey Goose and and......

Oh, how it hurt to go out through the restaurant and tell them.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Rub me the right way

I joined a massage place, kinda like joining a gym, only with massages instead. There is a pretty cheap monthly rate, for which i get one massage a month, and any other massages after that are 39 bucks! THIRTY NINE BUCKS! For an hour massage!


I have come to realize one thing about massages though, it's hard to relax while keeping your butt clenched.

She's pressing down, HARD, on my back, and it's pretty soon after lunch. Guess i shouldn't have had a burrito. But on the plus side, i did shave my legs this week.

I guess getting face farted must be an occupational hazard of being a masseuse. Not every one can have the butt clenching abilities i possess.

Oh, and that MUSIC they play. One lute accompanied by a stoned harpist. Today i asked the masseuse if she blasts Metallica in her car on the way home after a whole day of this crap. I know i would. She didn't answer yes or no, but she laughed.

It feels so good that each time after they finish with me, i ask the masseuse for her hand in marriage.

So far no luck with that.

Friday, November 06, 2009


Okay, i am busy moving, but i have the best mother story ever. EVER!

A tiny bit of background:

Seattle built a new trolley in the past few years. It's called the South Lake Union Transit. Amazingly, no one thought about the acronym that would result from this.

Here's the mom part.

I went to breakfast with my sister a few days ago, she told me this story, for which she WINS for all time.

She went to visit my parents for the 16th birthday of her youngest daughter.

The present from my parents was some money, and a t-shirt that said "Ride The Slut."

Oh My God! This for a sixteen year old girl!!

My jaw dropped on my chest and bounced a few times.

The fun thing is that Em's birthday is coming up soon, and my mother often gives the same present to each grandchild. So, thanks to my sister, i am prepared to deliver a total smackdown.


i don't think so.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

In case that's too small to read, it says, "What men see in women or women in men to admire is generally a puzzle to those who know the men and women in question intimately."

It's a quote and picture from a book that is over a hundred years old. It belonged to my grandmother and was published in 1901. the title of the book is Crankisms and the author is Lisle de Vaux Matthewman, with illustrations by Clare Victor Dwiggins.

At some weddings a part of the ceremony is to ask the audience if they will support the newly minted couple. I always enthusiastically answer this question in the affirmative, and i really mean it.

So, some of us don't understand what you see in the man you have chosen. He's not a bad man, i just don't think he's anywhere near wonderful or funny or engaging enough for you.

But you chose him. And i support you in that choice.

I do.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Gentlemen, start your grills

In the past few months i have observed some interesting behavior in regard to meat grilling.

Scene 1: At someone else's house, i watched a male guest critique, and then ultimately take over the grilling of the fish. The host, a secure and calm man, let Mr. Rude Guest take over without a fuss and went off to toss the salad.

(As an aside, the fish was slightly over done.)

Scene 2: Steak this time, also at someone else's house. Three male guests began to argue rather vehemently about the correct steak grilling technique. To sear or not to sear? How long on each side per inch of thickness? Is the grilling fork with the temperature gauge a worthwhile tool or a crutch for the incompetent? Apparently. THESE THINGS ARE VITALLY IMPORTANT!

(My steak was also overdone, but to be fair, i like it RARE.)

Scene 3: Our house this time, and back to fish. The Mister and Mr. Polite Guest were outside. When The Mister declared the fish done, Mr Polite Guest expressed concern that the fish was NOT done. The Mister's explained his theory that the fish continues cooking after being removed from the grill.

(The fish was yummy.)

I'm trying to think if any guest, other than my mother, has ever criticized me while i was cooking. To my face i mean. (When my mother did it, i told her "Great idea. Here, you do it." That shut her up!) I couldn't remember any.

My theory is, if someone else cooks, my job is to offer to help, shut up, and eat it.

Monday, October 19, 2009


The Mister and i went to an obligatory brunch with my parents yesterday.

Those of you who have been following the adventures of meno know that my mother likes to talk, and is constitutionally unable to listen.

So all that was needed from me was the occasional "uh huh," "really?" " is that right?" and "you don't say," to keep the monologue conversation going.

As she likes to do, she began to complain about one of my brothers and his wife, who had visited them a few days before. "I never learn anything from them about their lives when they are here," she whined.

"Did you ask them any questions?" i asked.

"Oh you," she answers, "don't be that way." Which is her standard reply when i say something she isn't expecting or doesn't like.

I am not wondering why she didn't learn anything from them.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Fun in bed

Last night, unbeknownst to me, a nickel, yes, a coin worth 5 pennies, was lurking in my bed.

As i rolled over, again, unbeknownst to me, the nickel stuck to my hip. A few seconds later, it detached and slid down my leg, because gravity, it works.

All i knew at that point, is that something vaguely cold was moving down my leg under the covers.

Being the calm and collected person that i am, as well as (sadly) an arachnophobic, i screamed and leapt about 5 feet from the bed, dragging the blankets and top sheet with me.

Oddly enough, this woke up The Mister, who also leapt out of bed, ready to do battle with whatever evil hell minion was attacking his woman. He seemed rather put out that there was nothing to slay.

The nickel remained calm and stayed in bed.

Oh, for a video camera in the bedroom at that moment.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Crank Call

I got to give someone a well-deserved verbal dressing down the other day.

Man, it was FUN!

I was answering phones during a pledge drive at our local public radio station. They had just announced a special premium for a $250 donation. It was two tickets to come and sit in on a live taping of a show featuring Al Gore.

So the phones start ringing, including mine.

"Thank you for calling KUOW. Are you calling about the Al Gore tickets?"


I raise my hand in the air to make sure that caller dude gets one of the special stickers that denote this premium.

He continues talking;

"I wouldn't give warm spit to see Al Gore!"

I reach out with my hand to prevent the station worker from attaching the sticker to the pledge sheet i had begun to fill out.

"Never mind," i tell her, loud enough for the man on the phone to hear, "he's just calling to bitch."

The other people at my table start to pay attention. We all love a good cranky caller. We trade stories about them during the down times.

"So," i say, "you don't like Al Gore?"

"No!" says my caller. " I think he's a total fraud."

"And you felt so strongly about this that you called me, a volunteer on the pledge line, to complain about it?"

"Well, ah, yes"

"Seriously? I think that was a poor choice. What possible good do you think that will do? What a complete waste of energy."


"And what exactly would you like me to do for you?"


"Unless you are willing to give me you name and phone number so i can have someone from the station call you back, i'm going to hang up now."

(small voice) "Uh, okay. Bye."

My table mates were quite shocked that i had spoken to this man so sharply, and then hung up on him. But the lady from the radio station said, "You handled that really well!"

I was grinning! So, thanks Mr. Caller Dude. That was fun.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Getting Started

Years ago, like thirty years, i saw an little animated short film called "Getting Started" at one of those ubercool film festivals that universities are so fond of.

The movie depicts the difficulties of just getting started.

A man sits at a piano, hands poised above the keyboard, ready to play. He stops, deciding that perhaps a nice cup of tea would be just the thing.

Back at the piano with tea, hands raised, when his pet mouse appears. He talks to the mouse.

He scratches his nose, he gets up to take a phone call, he stares out the window.

And so on.

I've never been one to blog daily, but i begin to recognize that one of the advantages of it would be that you would not have to get started, you just keep going.

It's like those sexless dry spells that married (and i suppose unmarried) couples go through. After a while, you have to stop waiting for the time to be right, and just DO IT fer crissakes!

Writing is something i do. In many it's ways necessary to me. But the longer i go without writing, the harder it is for me to get started.

1) Things are going on in my life that are hard to talk about. Not necessarily BAD thing, but things.
2) My daughter ferreted out my blog and reads it. That i feel a tad stifled by that.
3) The cat needed to be petted.
4) And so on.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Stuck in the Middle

Scene 1: Dinner with my parents last week.

Partway through the meal, my dad starts complaining about my brother, Tim, how he never sees them and doesn't feel close to them, etc. etc...

My mom chimes in about how busy they always are and how they never return her phone calls. (I'm thinking, 'They return MY phone calls,' but wisely decided not to say that out loud.)

Blah, blah, blah, more complaining ensues.

Scene 2: Dinner at my brother's house Monday.

I tell Tim the good news, that mom and dad aren't going to be around for Thanksgiving this year! (Well, i thought it was good news!)

Tim starts complaining about how busy mom and dad are, and how he never sees them unless he invites them to do something and how they never see their grandchildren.

Uh oh!

My 2 cents:

I tend to think, from past history, that Tim possesses the opinion closest to reality.

Now i'm wondering what to do. Truthfully, i would do nothing if not for the fact that Tim seems truly hurt. If i were to talk to anyone, it would be Tim, as i think he has the more adult view, but i am hesitant to stick my big fat nose into this, because i can see how it could VERY EASILY come back to bite me in the ass.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

If you give a Meno a Cookie

I'm staring down a Star8uck's oatmeal cookie right now. I made the mistake of looking up the calorie count on the interwebs after i bought it and before i ate it.

400 calories, 65g of carbs. Wow. I've been in denial and it was a lovely place to visit. I think i stayed too long.

So the cookie is sitting next to me. The struggle is that it cost $1.49 (plus tax) and i hate to waste money. But then, at the end of the day, would i pay $1.49 (plus tax) to have eaten 400 fewer calories? I think i would. If only it were that easy, because what i actually have to do is much harder than spending money. I have to not eat the cookie.

Can she do it?

I don't know.....stay tuned.

The Mister somehow damaged his Visa card, so he called for a new one. When it arrived he got on the phone to activate it, and was puzzled when he got transferred to an actual human.

"Can you tell me what you use your card for? she chirped.

"To charge things," answered The Mister, thinking "WTF?"

"What kinds of things?" asked little Miss Ch*se Bank employee.

"I'm not willing to answer that. If you want to know, look it up in your records. Is my card activated?

"Yes, sir, your card is activated. We are trying to assess your spending habits in order to sell you shit you don't need better determine your credit card needs," responds Ch*se Bank employee, her accent becoming more pronounced.

"I'm going to hang up now. Bye." And he does.

"Let's cancel that credit card," is my helpful suggestion.

"Excellent idea!"

Fucking marketing.


Since when did the criteria for pulling in front of someone in traffic change from 'You shouldn't cause them to have to slow down' to 'If there's any possible way that they can slam on their brakes to avoid hitting you, go ahead???'

I must have missed hearing about that new law.


The cookie is still outside my stomach. For now.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Attend to me!

Today is my birthday.

I mention this for two reasons
1) so you can shower me with attention and,
2) so you can see what a geek i am when i tell you about the presents i got.

I got a wireless mouse for my laptop (the Wireless Mobile Mouse 6000, she's a real beauty,) and a gift certificate to get my car detailed! No perfume or clothes for this woman, no indeed.

Looking over the literature accompanying my shiny new black mouse i notice that (and i quote);

"Failure to properly set up, use, and care for this product can increase the risk of serious injury or death."

OMG! Death by mouse. It happens you know, just like spontaneous human combustion.

Apparently i should also not eat the battery. Good to know.

That is all.

Sunday, September 06, 2009


Do you know damaged people? I know damaged people.

I have a friend, a friend that most other people don't understand how i could be friends with, because she is so guarded, so odd, so....uninteresting.

I have recently found myself trying to explain why i like this "uninteresting" person. In thinking about it, replaying the conversations to think about what i should have said, i suddenly got it.

What i find, in this damaged person, really damaged, damaged in ways that i don't know and cannot truly understand, is the courage this person has, to go on and find a way to live a life, a full life, maybe not a full life in a way that i think a full life might be lived, but full for her.

That means courage to me. Not a courage easily recognized, but i see it. I just realized that i see it, and i respect the hell out of that.

Quietly, and with great respect for the distance that living this life requires, for her.

Look around. Do you see her?

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

A Frown and a Smile

As a favor to The Mister, this morning i took his shirts to the dry cleaners. (Because i am a good wife. Not good enough to wash and iron his god damned shirts, but good enough to deliver them to someone else to be serviced.)

The Mister strips off his shirts and dumps them into a bag (on a good day, mostly they land on the floor,) and leaves them buttoned up and with the sleeves rolled up.

The dry cleaner man, a joyless human, does not like this. Maybe it's all those chemicals he works around that make him so grumpy. He pulled the shirts out of the bag, one at a time and glared at me whilst unbuttoning them and unrolling the sleeves. Slowly.

"Oops, sorry!" i said and grabbed one of the shirts out of the bag to help. Mr. Grumpy Pants snatched the shirt out of my hand and continued to grumble and glare.

Okay, i get it, i should have done this, but since this is only an occasional chore for me, i forgot. He could have said, pleasantly, something like, "If you could please unbutton the shirts and unroll the sleeves, it would be most helpful." But no, he just gave me the stink eye.

I react badly to this kind of disapproval. Fuck you Mr. Grumpy Pants, there are lots more dry cleaners in the sea!


And now for something completely different.....


Never mind, my Monty Python brain cell turned on for a moment.

Later in the day, while driving to my quilting group, i was stopped on the way by a shiny yellow school bus. As we all sat there waiting, two VERY TINY little girls, complete with brand new pink back packs almost as big as they, got on the bus, while mom, dad and baby sister all watched from the sidewalk.

As the last one hopped on, she stopped in the doorway and turned back around so that her dad could take a picture.

Ah, the first day of school.

For some reason it brought tears to my eyes. So tiny to be heading off all alone.

Not so long ago it was me watching from the sidewalk.

Em, before heading off to her first day of school.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Trip report

Blueberries and huckleberries so ripe and sweet in the mountain sun that i could smell them as i hiked through the bushes. I had a blue tongue for most of the day.

Blue Grouse clicking and cooing in the bushes, allowing us the occasional thrill by crossing the path in front of us.

Sweat and rubber legs as our lungs struggled to cope with less oxygen.

Mount Baker from the Lake Ann trail. You feel as if you could almost reach out and touch it. Don't use your tongue though, it might stick.

Swirling patterns in the volcanic rock, enhanced by erosion and lichen.

Mountains have glaciers. The blue of the deepest ice crevasses looks painted on. We could hear pieces of the glacier breaking off and thundering down the mountain. We were glad to be observing this well away from the fall zone.

The terminus of the hike, and our lunching spot. Lake Ann with Mt. Shuksan in the back, looking all mountainy and volcanic.

Right after lunch, i decided to take the opportunity to pee in the bushes whilst no one else (except The Mister) was about.

So i head off the trail a little ways, drop
trou and commence liquid evacuation. All goes well, as in i don't pee on my pant leg or into my boot (yes, i have done these things, it ain't easy being a girl sometimes,) but when i stand and pull my pants back up, i inadvertently trap a black fly inside.

I don't know who was more surprised, me, at having a small buzzing insect near my tender parts, or him, being confronted with a huge wall o' ass.

He's dead now, because in this case, might makes right.

Friday, August 28, 2009


Night before last i woke myself up at 2:11 am just to stop the horrible dream i was having.

It involved slit throats and rape and blood and desperate fleeing and one person having complete power over another. I seem to not have been a participant in the dream, just an observer, as there were two main characters, neither of whom were me.

I lay awake for a few hours, trying to shake the dread i was feeling, trying to find something else to focus on. I did eventually go back to sleep, but the yukky feeling stayed with me through much of the day.

I am disturbed by me, wondering what kind of mind i would come up with this.........plot line.

I sorta hesitate to ask, but does this ever happened to you?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Things there not here

Things in Ohio, not in Washington;

Fields of grasses...
Wonderful old barns...

Road kill. (lucky for you, no picture)

Teasels... (i don't know if that's what this is, but that's what i want to call it.)

Corn... (okay, there is corn here, but there is LOTS of corn there.)

Tent caterpillars... (again, no picture because they creep me out.)

CRICKETS! I love that noise they make at night.


Friday, August 21, 2009

Way to go Ohio

Tomorrow morning, Em and i are flying to Ohio. I am accompanying her to kick off the beginning of her sophomore year of college.

Did you hear that? Her sophomore year of college!

How the hell did that happen?

This year, in much contrast to last year, i am just staying long enough to get her stuff from storage and drive it to her dorm room. I am becoming obsolete, or i will be as soon as she is old enough to rent a car.

Since i am really just going as the wallet and the chauffeur, i am only taking one small purse-sized bag. I am not even going to take my laptop. I am a little anxious about leaving my precious behind, but i think i am far enough along in my rehab to take this momentous step. It's kind of refreshing to reduce my stuff down to the essentials, which, by the way, include my Kindle, my camera and my ipod. I have my priorities in order.

Mixed feelings about Em being gone again. I realize that i view these little trips off to college as temporary things, just something that has to be endured before she comes home where she belongs. Anyone else recognize the denial in that? Yeah.

But it will be quieter and neater around here. Not a very good trade off for her company, but hey, i'm looking for any good i can in this.

I will be leaving The Mister at home alone for the weekend. Wonder what will happen in my absence? Will the cat get fed? Will the dishwasher get run? Stay tuned....

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Back lit field of fire weed and tow-headed babies (also known as mouse on a stick.)

I have never lost anyone close to me. At my age, i think that's unusual. I am lucky. I wonder how i'll feel about it when i do.

Or maybe i'm not lucky, because i have lost two grandmothers, two grandfathers, two-step grandmothers, a step-grandfather, a father-in-law and an Uncle.

And i wasn't close to any of them. It's not that i didn't like most of them, the ones i knew, but i never felt any personal sense of loss when they died, just a vague "Oh, that's sad." Maybe i have a deficit of feelings.

One of the members of my quilting group had colon cancer last year. She is a really nice woman, the kind who never swears or has a bad thing to say about anyone, and i like her anyway. She went through treatment and slowly recovered. Last week she went back for some tests and learned she has liver cancer. That terrifies me, for her, for her family.

I have feelings about this, about her, but i don't know what to do with those feelings, the helplessness. Of course, this is not about my feelings, it's about her, supporting her in any way i can.

I just don't know what those ways are.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Adventures in Hiking

It's been oppressively hot here lately, the kind of hot that has middle-aged women, myself included, wearing severely inappropriate outfits, and NO ONE frowns disapprovingly at us.

So i borrowed The Mister's car and took off to the mountains to go hiking with Kim.

We got up at the crack of 8:30, in time to eat the magnificent repast provided for us at the B&B where we stayed, then moseyed on out of the place at 10 am or so.

After stopping at the Ranger Station, we decided to tackle a hike that would require every fancy-assed gadget on The Mister's SUV in order to reach the trail head. High clearance, low gears and Hill Descent Control. WHEEEEEE!

As we were bumping along, about a mile below the trail head, we come across a white pickup, stuck in a ditch on the roadside, such that no one could get past in either direction.

And OH! GET THIS! The Stuck Truck is a FOREST SERVICE vehicle containing two mortified young ladies in their little forest service uniforms.

Kim and i get out, joining Grumpy Smoker Woman and Boring Man, who are blocked from above by Stuck Truck. (NOTE: Made up names reflect Kim's and my ability to stereotype people in an instant.)

Begin head scratching, requests for tow ropes and lots of 'helpful' advice. None of us has a tow rope. Boo!

A third vehicle stops, just below Kim and i, out comes The Silver Fox, and Bar Mitzvah Boy, with their little dog Shadow.

More head scratching.

Oblivious Dad, various small children, Crusty Grandpa

Two more vehicles pull up from below. Families pour out, complete with Wandering Grandpa, Frustrated Daughter-in-Law, Small Crying Children and Oblivious Dad.

The men and Kim cluster around the truck, giving advice, while the rest of us make stupid jokes and slap at the biting black flies.

I finally think to get my camera out. First intelligent thing i've done since stopping.

Attempts are made to rock Stuck Truck out of its rut. Gravel is fetched. Tree branches are laid down. Shovels are employed. All to no avail.

Wandering Grandpa wanders off and has to be pulled out of the road by Kim.

More cars pull up below. Groups issue from each car, including Crusty Grandpa and more small children. Some one has a chain, but no hooks. Oblivious Dad tries to TIE one end of the chain to Stuck Truck. I tuck a small child under each arm and move way far away as i know a tied chain will not hold and flying chains can be fatal.

Finally, maybe 45 minutes later, British Guy comes from below. Hallelujah! He has a towing cable!

Men take over, much fussing ensues.

British Guy, Silver Fox and Boring Man

I love men!

Cable is attached, in a complex scheme that somehow involves a toy carabiner from The Mister's key chain. I move further away.

Clear everyone out, she's gonna blow!

Frustrated Daughter-in-Law, Silver Fox, Bar Mitzvah Boy, British Guy, Wandering Grandpa and Mortified Ranger Girl.


Frustrated Daughter-in-Law, Oblivious Dad, British Guy, Mortified Ranger Girl and Kim.

Wandering Grandpa's wife wonders where wandering Grandpa is.

It was a great shared experience. Since we were all heading the same way, we nodded and smiled at one another as we moved along with our day.

So, on with the hike. The flowers are in full bloom.
This flower is a Fringed Grass of Parnassus.

I'm using the wet bandanna under the hat trick. I don't look stupid do i?

Kim, rolling in the snow like a frisky husky dog. Did i mention it was hot?

It was all worth it.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


It's hot enough here that i have retreated outside to a lawn chair in the shade. I know other places are hotter, but most people here do not have air conditioning, so 100 degrees F is pretty F-ing hot.

I don't spend much time sitting outside in our yard. I realize that this is sad because as i sit here, quietly reading, the wildlife that i normally miss because i am blundering around carrying a hose or a shovel, has forgotten i am here.

A bunny hopped right by me, about a foot from my chair. (Good thing my cat is too hot too move, as he likes bunnies.) Normally i squeal when i see a bunny, but this time i managed to just watch him hopple by, nipping at the grass as he went.

Off to my left, several birds are cooling off by splashing in the creek.

The douglas firs have a whole tiny forest growing on their trunks.

An opportunistic bit of grass and a baby maple tree are the first signs of a tree trunk reverting to soil.

In the lawn, an bright orange bug sits on a white mushroom.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Went hiking last Friday with my friend. It was beastly hot that day. (Stop snickering, it was over 90 degrees F! So it was too hot.)

At the terminus of the hike, this is what we found:

Mmmmm. That water sure looks cool and refreshing.

We looked left:

We looked right:

No one in sight.

Hmmm. What to do, what to do?

I'm sure you would have made the same decision we did.

(As an aside, the most common way for google searchers to get to my blog is something like "family sk*nny dip" or "sk*nny dip blog" all because of a post i wrote over two years ago about a hot summer night at our house. Weird.)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

An effective method for surviving teenagehood (hers, not mine)

It was observed by a clever friend (also the parent of teenagers) that teenagers often add a silent "dumbass" to the end of their sentences. The "dumbass" is communicated by tone rather than the actual word, as they can deny tone.

Examples: (use your inner snotty teenager tone for the second sentence in each example.)

"Have you seen the cat?"
"No? Why would i? dumbass!"

"Do you have work today?"
"I already told you my schedule, dumbass!"

"I like that new song by Linkin Park. Can you tell me the name of it?"
"They have lots of new songs, dumbass!"

The Mister and i have taken to voicing the silent dumbass after many of Em's sentences. It makes us laugh, and occasionally makes her laugh too. But mostly it pisses her off.

I count that as a double win!

Do try this at home. It's lots of fun!

Sunday, July 12, 2009



Lying liars.

People who lie. A person who lied.

Right to my face.

I am many things. Not all, in fact not many of them, nice. But i am not a liar.

(Okay, i will lie about those pants and your butt.)

I will not lie about where i am going and with whom.

I will not compound the first lie by telling background lies to cover up the original lie.

And when i am caught, i will not try to lie my way out of it.

I hate being lied to.

I am now looking back at all the things you told me, and wondering what else you are lying about.

I hope it was worth it.

Right now i hate you.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Conversation effectively killed

I bet everyone has had this happen. You are chatting with someone about whatever the hell and the other person inserts a comment that leaves you sputtering to justify yourself or without anywhere to go, conversationally speaking.

Some examples:

Me: "Hey did you see what happened on American Idol last night?"
Conversation Killer: "I would never watch reality TV."
Me: "Ah..."

Me: "Hey, have you ever eaten at
*local steak house*?
Conversation Murderer: "I don't eat animal products."
Me: "Okaaaay."

Me: "Fred Meyer is having a sale on store brand diapers!!"
Conversation Snuffer: "I would never let my child wear disposable diapers."
Me: "Ummm."

And so on... You get the idea.

For a long time i didn't watch TV. Not because i was too cheap to pay for the cable (really!), but because i am vastly morally superior to you. People at work would often be conversing about whatever TV show was in at the moment. I learned to say "I don't watch that show. Tell me what happened," rather than "I don't watch TV," because that made me sound like an ass and left them with no where to go.

So i am trying to come up with a response to conversation killers that is as effective and non-snarky as my response to useless ranters.

My first thought was (as my dad likes to say) "Well, SMELL you!" But that doesn't pass the non-snark test.

Maybe the best thing is to just let the conversation die right there, and sit there looking at them.

Got any ideas? Snarky answers accepted and appreciated, as always, but i AM looking for a real idea too.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009



This morning i found an unexpected $45 in the pocket of my shorts. SCORE! Funny how such a little thing can give me such a lift. It's my money in the first place, i just forgot i had it when it disappeared last fall. That makes it a bonus.

I was eating a sandwich when someone came up to me and asked me what kind it was. I told them, and the response was "Ewwwww." What the hell is it with people saying "Ewwww" over my food? I mean, what's wrong with cat food and peanut butter anyway? (Kidding. It was hummus and pastrami.)

I am always amused when people feel compelled to voice an opinion over something that has nothing to do with them. Next time i will say "It's cat food and Velveeta! Want a bite?"

Friday, June 26, 2009


Two cool cats.

Sometimes when Em and i are chatting, i will idly ask her what i should post about. She always answers, "You should do a post about how awesome i am." I tell her that i do that all the time.

Yesterday i was hanging with Em, and i told her that today was the three year anniversary of my blog. She immediately piped up with "You should let me do a post about how awesome you are."

So i did. Behold;

by Em McMenodaughter, age 18

So on this illustrious day I thought that, to make up for all her posts about how spectacularly great I am (all 100% true), I'd make a post about how spectacularly great my mom is for you all.

I think it was during the summer when I did almost nothing but surf channels looking for Roseanne reruns that I heard that the basic mission of a parent is to, if nothing else, make their kids' lives better than their own. If you do that, you succeed, because in theory it means continued progress. If we're using this as a measurement for whether or not a parent is successful, my mom is a rock star. She is the Michael Jordan of moms. Because I can honestly say that my life is great and that, the majority of the time, I'm a pretty happy person.

My mom is basically my best friend. As she can attest, she's the first person I text, call, or instant-message to tell if anything exciting or even remotely interesting happens to me. Even while I was in Ohio most of the time over the last eight months or so, I contacted her probably at least once a day. If I have a problem, I'll go to her, and even if she can't come up with a solution-- which she usually can-- she can make me feel better about it. Hell, she's been willing to mother me over instant message while I've been sick and at school and she's been back in Washington. I know I can talk to her about basically anything and she'll tell me if I'm being an idiot or if I'm totally justified in plotting to kill whoever has most dreadfully wronged me recently. She is also a very talented giver of hugs-- perhaps a function of being tall-- and excellent at back and foot massages.

A lot of women, or so I hear, dread accidentally turning into their mothers when they grow old, but I'd be happy to have someone tell me that I was turning into my mom. What's so bad about being funny and smart and slightly insane (and it'd be nice to be tall like her, too, but I'm guessing that's not gonna happen)? I don't know if we look all that alike, but some people seem to think we do, and I think that's awesome. I can't imagine how I would have turned out without her and I don't want to, but I'm pretty sure I'm a better person than I might have been with a lot of other possible moms.

I feel like I don't tell her how lucky I am to have her enough, especially given how good she is at reminding me how loved I am, so hopefully this post will suffice for a while. Dear Mommy: You are great and I love you. Thanks for not leaving me to freeze to death on a hillside after I was born, even though I was an ugly baby with blue limbs and no hair.

Love, Em.

P.S. (She told me not to make this too embarrassing, so as a less flattering postscript: her taste buds are broken. For years I thought salad was disgusting because of the way she made it, but no! Salad is perfectly acceptable! My mom just doesn't taste things properly or wanted to sabotage my health or something.)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


At my mother's 80th birthday shindig last month, one of my brothers gave her a gift certificate to use to create a video montage of her life. We were told that we would all be interviewed for the video, and that we could tell our beautiful memories involving mom.

"Oh shit!" i thought. "I'm fucked. How on earth will i be able to pony up beautiful memories?"

In my usual fashion, i put it out of my mind, as denial is my favorite state.

But last week, as i was cleaning my hairbrush, it came to me. Some happy memories involving mom. Oddly enough, they both involve birds too.

As a girl, i mostly maintained long hair, so my hairbrush needed to be depilated frequently. I always made a point to take the wad of hair outside to fly away in the breeze because Mom had told me the birds would use it to make their nests. The thought of baby birds peeping in a cozy nest insulated by my hair charmed me. I always pictured those baby birds as my hair was drifting away.

I had a bad accident as a child, and had to spend two weeks in a hospital. When i returned home, i spent quite a while recuperating in my bed. At the urging of my mother, my father installed a flat platform outside my second story bedroom window, where it could be seen from my bed. He nailed a shallow aluminum tray to the platform and filled it with bird seed. I spent many hours watching and being amused by the antics of the local bird population.

I'm ready when the video people come!

Monday, June 22, 2009


You know what i hate? I hate it when someone sets his alarm for....say....7 am, and then doesn't get out of bed until 8:30 am almost EVERY MORNING.

Why do i hate this? Because it so happens that i am sleeping at 7 am, and the alarm wakes me up.

I wouldn't mind if that person actually GOT UP at 7 am, but when he doesn't, it makes me feel like i was awakened for no reason.

And that makes me crabby.


I got a free book on my electronic reading device. It was a soft porn romance novel, but hey, free books are free.

In this particular novel i made it about 75 pages in before i read this line;

"She inhaled his manly aroma and her stomach began to quiver."

That's when my stomach began to quiver too. After i stopped laughing, i deleted the book.

How could anyone read a line like that without laughing? I think we should start collecting the worst lines ever written. Got any more entries?

Monday, June 15, 2009


I got a promotion!

Yeah, it's true that i don't have a job, but i do volunteer at a non-profit agency. I've been asked to step up and take over the Volunteer Coordinator position. So i will be the Volunteer Volunteer Coordinator. It will involve learning a few new things, and will take up about 6 to 8 hours a week.

That's what they told me. I know better because i know how any job will expand to fill the time available (just like the crap in my house expands to fill the space available,) but i said yes anyway. I think i was flattered that i am viewed as one of the more competent volunteers.

We'll call most of the other volunteers..... pre-computer age women. I think that's a nice way to put it, don't you? Anyway, something as simple as filling in hours in an Excel spreadsheet is beyond them. I know this because i tried mightily to train a few of them. It was scary. They would write down every step, say they got it, and next week i'd have to show them again.

This opportunity appeared just when i was looking for something to take up some of my time. Funny how that happens.

I'm going to get paid TWICE what i make now. You do the math.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Hot News Item

Home from Chicago. A great city. But the highlight of the visit was the morning walks along the lake with my friend. I miss having a walking buddy who lives in town. I miss my friend.

In other news, EM GOT A JOB!

When the plane touched down last night, i turned on my phone to let Em know we had landed. She texted back with "Yippee, and btw, i got a job."

I gasped "Oh my god!" as the plane was still taxiing and then had to explain myself to fellow passengers, who were looking at me in some consternation.

It's at a national toy store with a backwards letter in its name. She filled out an online job application, from which i expected exactly nothing to occur.

But i was wrong. She got called back for a second interview and then heard back that night that it was a go. She starts on Monday.

The reasons i am so happy she got a job:

  • Earning your own money is a fine, empowering thing. ( I know because i used to do it and i remember.)
  • This gets her butt out of the house where she has been mostly languishing for the past month.
  • She will become part of a team. I have had some really fun times at crap jobs (not saying this job is crap mind you) with the other employees. Remember your first job? Yeah.
  • Plus she will be all set with a job at Christmas and for next summer. Bonus!

Now i am the only member of this family who is a useless parasite feeding upon the blood of society.

Friday, June 05, 2009


Tomorrow morning at o'fuck thirty The Mister and i are leaving for Chicago.

(Dammit, there's a bug in my wine! Oh well, no better way to die than in a glass of wine.)

Anyway, i love Chicago. I have only fond memories of the last time i was in Chicago, where i sort of attended Blogher and roomed with two of my favorite bloggers. (No linking as one of them has gone underground. You know who you are.)

We will be meeting up with two of my favorite people (not bloggers) and spending 5 days roaming around and avoiding the police. YES!

We are leaving our child at home alone, so if any of you attend a kegger that she holds, please try not to spill wine on the carpet or break anything.