Category Archives: Goofy Crap I Do

Phone Intensity

I have a problem with cell phones. I can’t seem to hang on to them. Last summer, I jumped in the pool with my phone. Smart, huh? One time, my youngest used my phone to stir the commode. Fun. One phone dropped (along with the rest of my purse) into the Chesapeake. (Hey, it was either the kid or the purse!) The purse was eventually recovered by my father, but the phone was a wash (nyuk, nyuk). Maybe my problem isn’t with phones, but with water? Hmmm… Nah, the last one had a glitch in it’s whatjamacallit so I couldn’t charge it, and as I’d been through so many phones already, my insurance company wouldn’t pay for a new one, so I had to accept this POS loner for a few months until my contract renewed and I could get…. (drumroll, please!):

The Samsung Intensity II!!!

Now, I’m not too much of  a gadget geek, though I like a good toy as much as the next nerd. But as far as a phone goes, I don’t need it to watch TV or tell me when to turn left, or any of the new things these mortgage-the-house phones can do. I’m also leery of touch-screens. I don’t need to do much with my phone – I want to be able to talk on it, send the occasional text message, and play a good game of Sudoku or Trivial Pursuit when I’m sitting around bored. This phone works great for that.

I also want to carry a photo or two of my kids around with me, which I FINALLY figured out how to do, after two email exchanges with Verizon and an hour or so of fiddling around on my own, as the emails from Verizon were essentially useless. But I finally figured it out, and uploaded some of my favorite kid pics, and now I’m happy.

What I’ve read about this phone online is that it’s a good “starter phone”, basically a cheap option for your teenager so they can Facebook and send a thousand texts and whatnot. Well, I’m not a teenager, I don’t send a thousand texts, and I don’t Facebook. This phone works great for me anyway. The keyboard is clumsy, but what pint-sized qwerty keyboard isn’t? It’s much better than hitting the number keys over and over like I used to. The camera isn’t the best, but again, it’s a phone. I have a camera when I need a camera. It’s nice that the camera option is available if I get caught unawares, but I’m not planning on having a gallery opening or anything, so this camera works fine for me. The screen is lovely, the flip-out keyboard is fun, my oldest son says he hates me because he likes my phone better than his, and the coup de grace, it was free. (Well, I had to sign up for another two years, but I was gonna do that anyway.) What more can one ask for?


Looking Ahead

I was at the swimming pool yesterday. I watched my boys as they interacted with the other boys. Bigger boys. Stronger boys. Bigger fish in their small pond.

Eldest Son was the easiest among them. If he didn’t like what was going on, he simply went somewhere else. No argument. No criticism. No judgement. This was not where he wanted to be, so he went somewhere else, looking for a happier spot. I have worked my whole life to be like him.

Middle Son was more incendiary. Boys who were mean to him were playing in the diving well – so he decided NOW was the moment he had to jump from the board (a decision that made the lifeguards ‘clear the well’). He got back at the mean boys, even in a small way, and he felt better. I have spent a good part of my life this way.

Youngest Son moved from moment to moment. He didn’t like what was happening in front of him, so he thought he’d yell at it. That didn’t work. He tried to bargain. (Play with me now and I’ll let you have the ball later…) That didn’t work. Eventually, he followed what he wanted, and jumped in at the right time to play. That worked… until he had to start over. That’s my life in a nutshell.

At this point in my life, I am trying to incorporate my children into my personality. The attack, the retreat, and the mediation. Those are my boys. They change places periodically, which is confusing, but keeps me alive. Sometimes Eldest Son is the attacker. Sometimes Youngest Son is the mediator. Sometimes Middle Son is so sweet he breaks my heart.

I want to be my children. I want to learn the lessons they teach me, and incorporate those lessons into my heart. I want to be young enough to learn.

PS – I know I’ve been gone awhile. I needed some time. I’m still with y’all, though. (Especially Hangar Queen, who I can’t wait to chat with, and Gimme a Minute, who’s removed me from his blogroll, the jerk, but I’ll still read him…)

Killing Uncle Bob, Part Deux.

Wow. Three posts in one day! I’m on a roll…

It occurs to me that the ‘Killing Uncle Bob’ part in my recent post doesn’t make sense. Until you hear it in context.

When learning how to fight with a sword, you must recognize that if you screw up, you’re going to undo the man standing behind you. In our little play, we called him ‘Uncle Bob.” All three of the boys murdered said ‘Uncle Bob’. They swung their swords so wildly, they killed anyone who ‘had their backs’.

The only member of my family who did not issue an untimely death to his relatives was Hubby. I wonder where he learned to use a sword?

Here’s Youngest Son, killing Uncle Bob:

Here’s Hubby, issuing a cathartic war cry:

And here’s Middle Son, committing a family massacre:

Stepford Beverage

It’s not every day that I am surprised by advertising. In fact, as an average American, I consider myself nearly immune. I am so inundated with it, I don’t really even see it anymore.

Which is why it’s amazing that this little gem got my attention:

Hubby and I were at the Kroger (grocery store). We’d been there a while (shopping for five can take some time). Anyhoo, we were checking out, and I spotted this little bottle in the ‘impulse buy’ checkout fridge.

I was peaked. And thirsty. And because I’m a nudnick, I actually read the fine print (the whole e.e.cummings bad grammar thing is all theirs):


orange-orange (C+calcium)

ah, orange juice commercials. funny stuff. mom cheerily prepares some huge breakfast while the rest of her family sleeps. sure, this could happen. but every morning? please. maybe if mom were heavily medicated, in which case, we wouldn’t condone operating a stove or any electrical appliance.

for those of us who don’t live in an orange juice commercial, there’s still a way to get your morning nutrition. this product has calcium and lots of vitamin c, so you can you can get your day started right, minus the whole stepford mom thing.

vitamins + water= all you need.”

How could I argue with that? A laugh, a beverage, and some vitamins. Well done, “the center for responsible hydration,” aka Glaceau*.

(*Now owned by Coca-Cola. Take that, Hubby, you Pepsi-drinking fool!)


Lucky Cats

Hubby and I love the local Japanese steak house, Kabuto. We go there once or twice a month.

The last time we were there, we noticed this weird little golden cat, with its fist pumping up and down. Neither of us knew what this was about. Hubby asks me, “Why does the manager have a cat on his desk that looks like, ‘Fight the power!’?” He then made the same gesture as the cat, leaned over to me and whispered, “Meow, motherf**ker!”

Once I was back in control of myself (I probably laughed for a full ten minutes – I couldn’t help it. Hubby doesn’t normally talk like that, and it just killed me), I asked the manager what the cat was about. He said something in Japanese that I didn’t understand. I thanked him and let it go.

But I couldn’t let it go. So I spent some time looking into this cat phenomenon. (Once I noticed the first one, they began to pop up everywhere. Well, not really everywhere, but I eat sushi a lot and they’re in every sushi place I go to.)

They’re called Maneki Neko (beckoning cat), and they seem to be very popular.

The gold color is to attract wealth; the fact that it’s the left paw beckoning is to attract customers. The reason it looks like a fist is that Japanese beckon with their palm showing, as opposed to Americans and most other westerners, who beckon palm-in.

They’re available in all kinds of colors and styles, and the colors mean different things (red keeps away evil spirits, for example).

Now I think I have to run out and buy one of these things. I’m fascinated.

Who knew you could learn so much by web-searching for ‘Japanese steak house cat’?


Dreaming of Nigel Terry

Try this one on for a psychoanalytical creep-fest: I had a dream about Nigel Terry last night. Complete with “O Fortuna” soundtrack.

Was it a sexually explicit dream? God, no. That armor looks painful.

We were, in fact, shopping for houseplants at the local garden center.


So what does it mean when your average middle-class housewife shops for plants with King Arthur? Especially considering I am generally considered to have a black thumb? I am bewildered. Perhaps that’s why I remember it so clearly.

I cannot fathom what my subconscious is trying to tell me with this. I haven’t seen ‘Excalibur’ in ten years. Though I consider it to be the best Arthur movie ever made, I don’t spend any time thinking about it. So why now? And why houseplants?

I’m baffled.

*** Because I’m anal about crap like this (or maybe just obsessive), I researched the lyrics to ‘Carmina Burana’:

Sors salutis                        Fate is against me
et virtutis                         in health
michi nunc contraria,               and virtue,
est affectus                        driven on
et defectus                         and weighted down,
semper in angaria.                  always enslaved.
Hac in hora                         So at this hour
sine mora                           without delay
corde pulsum tangite;               pluck the vibrating strings;
quod per sortem                     since Fate
sternit fortem,                     strikes down the string man,
mecum omnes plangite!               everyone weep with me!

Sounds like I’m pretty screwed. With houseplants.

I’ve kinda already done this, but…

…everyone else is doing it, and I’ve always been one of the herd, so I’ll follow along. (I can hear my mother snorting at that lie from 100 miles away.)

1) Ever been in a relationship lasting over 5 years?

Most of them, actually. I’ve had four serious relationships in my life. One of them I’m married to. Two of them I’m still friendly with and communicate with fairly regularly (you know, Christmas cards and the like), so if that counts as part of the relationship they’ve all been over five years. (I’m a pretty loyal, or possibly just very stubborn, gal.)

2) What was one of your dreams growing up?

Singer. Writer. First female president of the United States.

3) What talent do you wish you had?

Will power. Is that a talent?

4) If I bought you a drink what would it be?

Diet Vanilla Coke.

5) Favorite books?

Better to list authors as listing books would take a while. Top ten are probably Orson Scott Card, Robert Heinlein, John Scalzi, Octavia Butler, Mark Twain, Alexandre Dumas, Madeline L’Engle, Arthur Clarke, Ray Bradbury, and James Halperin (of The Truth Machine and The First Immortalfame. Where’d he go?).

6) What was the last book you read?

Currently re-reading Dawn by Octavia Butler, listening to The Night Listenerby Armistead Maupin, and trying to get through East of the Sun, West of the Moon by John Ringo (Ringo and Weber are really more Hubby’s thing than mine, but I try). Just finished Kushiel’s Scion by Jacqueline Carey. Don’t know where I’m headed next. I’m open to suggestions.

7) Astrology: Menace to science education or entertainment?

I don’t see that it has much impact either way. I don’t think it’s important enough to be considered a menace, really, but I don’t find it especially entertaining, either.

8 ) Any tattoos and/or piercings? Explain where.

Ears pierced. That’s it, and if I hadn’t been pretty young (seven or so) when I did that, I wouldn’t even have gone that far. I’m terrified (like cold sweat, shakes, elevated blood pressure, and a strong desire to run kind of terrified) of needles. The idea of getting a tattoo makes my mind go numb.

9) Worst habit?


10) Best attribute?

Loyalty, I guess.

11) What are your favorite hobbies?

Reading, learning new things, crocheting, messing about on the computer, movies, and travel.

12) Do you have a negative or optimistic attitude?

Optimistic. Almost always. Many think this is naive of me.  

13) What would you do if you were stuck in an elevator with me?

I think if it was Shawn and me (the guy I swiped the meme from), we’d be cracking each other up by the fourth floor. Mostly, though, I stare at the door after doing the polite half smile. Unless I’m with my kids, in which case I’m trying to hold all six of their limbs to keep them from pressing all the buttons or hitting each other.

14) Worst thing to ever happen to you?

That’s a tough one, actually. Death, divorce, heartbreak, illness… there’re so many options.

15) Best thing to ever happen to you?

Marriage, children, friends, family, travel… Same deal. Many, many options.

16) Tell me one weird fact about you.

I pronounce words oddly, and occasionally accent the wrong syllables (Thanksgiving instead of Thanksgiving). And sometimes Hubby catches me with a little Valley Girl in my speech, which is exceedingly embarrassing.

17) What if I showed up at your house unexpectedly?

You’d be invited in. I would offer you food and drink. And then I’d probably make you babysit.

18) What was your first impression of me?

Goofy in a good way, and kind.

19) What scares you?

Needles. And losing someone I love.

20) If you could change one thing about how you are, what would it be?

I would be more ambitious.

21) Would you be my crime partner or my conscience?

I liked Jim’s answer: conscientious crime partner.

22) What color eyes do you have?

Grey-blue-green. They change.

23) Ever been arrested? If so, what for?

Kinda. I was protesting US involvement in the war in Nicaragua and El Salvador back in college. We blockaded the Pentagon. The police put twistie-ties on my wrists, sat me in a van, and called my parents.

24) Favorite dessert?

Not really a sweets kinda gal, but probably chocolate mousse.

25) If you won $1000 today, what would you do with it?

Pay bills. Get my house power-washed and my chimney swept. 

26) Tell me something you want me to know about you.

I want to live in Ireland.

27) What’s your favorite place to hang out?

Right where I am.

28) Do you believe in ghosts? Aliens?

Ghosts, no. Aliens, yes. And like almost everyone else, I don’t think any have visited us.

29) Favorite thing to do in your spare time?

Read. Eat sushi.

30) Do you swear a lot?

Not anymore. Though I dropped a few f-bombs at the blackjack table last time I was in Vegas.

31) Biggest pet peeve?

Hubby and the kids leave their shoes everywhere. This drives me nuts.

32) In one word, how would you describe yourself?


33) Do you believe in/appreciate romance?

Depends. I’m not overly romantic, but I get a lift every time Hubby brings me flowers.

34) Most unusual place you’ve had sex?

I’m reminded of the Newlywed Game blooper. Snort if you remember that one…

35) Do you believe in an afterlife?

I hope for one, but I don’t believe down deep. This really troubles Hubby.

Your turn!