Wednesday, April 27, 2005

The Emancipation,...nevermind

If you are expecting this to be a review of Mariah Carey's new release, well all I can say is that you are going to be disappointed. However, it is inspired by her new musical product,"The Emancipation of Mimi" which is also being heralded as "The Return of the Voice". Like the sequal to a horror film.

Even though I don't care for her singing, I scanned a review of the release and read where this collection of songs is taking her back from whence she came, allowing her to be more independent and release the inner Mimi, thus the title.

Release the inner Mimi.

What a clever marketing idea. This really got my little wheels spinning. If Mariah can find her alternate ego and capitalize on it, why can't I? I immediately set about the task. Who knows what changes it might bring?

So, off I went on my inner journey, looking for that alternate ego, anxiously waiting to see what it would be like. Who would it be? A suave sophisticate that will jet around the globe? Or a mysterious, maybe artistic type, ingiting the imaginations of all who meet me? I couldn't wait to find out.

I deciding there's probably nothing better to bring out one's inner Mimi than a good, old-fashioned shopping trip. That would be the perfect place to start. Not only would I find the "new me" but I could also get the wardrobe to boot.

It was a pretty warm day despite the wind, so I wanted to dress to be comfortable. I also wanted to dress for ease of making many changes so I opted for old jeans, sandals, a tank top commonly referred to as a beater and a shirt over that. You can see my Mimi is in trouble. I headed off to the local large town in our area and it was right about when I got there that I realized I had exactly $35. Hmmmm...this could pose a problem. Normally, I would just go to the Salvation Army anyway but what about Mimi? Would she ever find anything there? I recounted the money. Yep, $35. It would have to be the Salvation Army.

As it turns out, they happened to be having a sale of 50% off all clothes and shoes that day. Cool. Definitely cool. I headed to the women's department.

My first ensemble to try on was a nice little pair of plaid capris, a knit tank, and a sassy little cardigan. Definitely Mimi. I changed in the dressing room and, when I turned around, it was all I could do to stifle a scream. Someone had let a small, Scottish PTA member in while my head was turned. Oh, wait. That's me. This will not do. Back into the trenches.

The next outfit was a pair of actual girl jeans, a knit short sleeve top and a suit-type jacket. I don't know what it is - and it just might be the way I'm built - but it seems that women's pants are designed to sit somewhere right around the armpit. These would definitely not do. The jacket looked nice but, since I have the shoulder spread of an NFL player (and, mind you, it looks pretty spiffin on my 5'2" frame. Right.),I would only be able to wear it on days when I wasn't planning on doing anything that involved moving my arms.

I started to wander further and further until I found myself in the men's department - where, by the way, I did manage to snag a nice pair of jeans and a swell pair of hiking shorts.

I didn't want the day to be a total loss for Mimi so I decided to check out the shoes. Maybe I could find a Is that the word women use to describe their shoes? A cute pair. Ok.

I picked up a pair of little black things with what, I believe, is called a kitten heel. Give me a break - and make it the left leg, please. These shoes have absolutely no structural integrity whatsoever. Are you telling me that I can wear these shoes and not only be comfortable, but not be a menace to society at large as well? Riiiight...

Let's have a look at the sandals. Well, if I want to go for the middle school look, I can get the ones with the 5" platforms - again, don't they have any engineers in the design department at the shoe factory? Or, if I want to go with the prostitue look I can get the ones that strap all the way up the leg and tie somewhere on top of the head. Nah...

Then I saw them. They were beautiful. I tried them on. They fit! And they were comfortable! And they would look perfect with...the hiking shorts. Oh, all right...I bought a pair of hiking shoes. Sue me. But it won't be for falling on you.

I did manage to find a few more things, plus a jacket for work, and then headed home with my treasures where, upon arriving, I pulled them all out to look at them again. Oh boy. No Mimi here. No siree.

A little later that day, I went to the local farmer's market (remember, the one with hardly any actual farmers?) with my hubby. I was still smarting from my lack of chic and it is this that made me act in such despiration. I bought sunglasses. Now, being the absentminded cheapskate that I am, I will never spend more than $10 on sunglasses. I will either lose them, sit on them, or both. However, if you want cheap sunglasses, the farmer's market is the place to go because you will undoubtedly find quite an array of styles to choose from. Quite an array.

It still kind of surprises me that my husband didn't stop me. I mean, doesn't he care about me at all? Doesn't he love me? Or is it because he loves me that he couldn't bring himself to tell me that the sunglasses didn't, in fact, make me look like Sophia Loren but more like Elton John in his early, more flamboyant years?

They are big and round and big and black and big. And did I mention they are big? Here is a picture of them. I placed them next to our pick-up truck to give you a sense of scale.
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At the end of the day, I had to really take a second look at this whole Mimi thing. What happened? Where is my Mimi?

Well, as it turns out, my alternate ego is not in fact a Mimi at all. No stylish diva, no mysterious artist. No, it seems as though my alternate ego is actually a chubby, balding 60-ish guy that likes to sit on the porch in a bath robe, drinking beers and yelling at by-passers. I think his name is Gus. Sigh... Well, I suppose I could try only letting him out on the weekends...

Monday, April 25, 2005

What is wrong with this picture?

Dig, if you will, this little vignette...

My daffodils are at the height of bloom. My hydrangeas (from last year - not this year's disaster) are starting to poke wary green buds from the ground. The birs are chirpping merrily at me as I stroll down my walkway. The magnolia trees are covered in blooms, about to burst open with beauty and fragrance. And everything is coated with a fine sugary powdering of snow.

That's right. Snow.

If I was ever going to us the f-bomb in my blog, it would be about now.

This is very, very unfair albeit completely expected. You see, the story goes thusly...

10 years ago when hubby and I were in the midst of purchasing this property, it was always abloom with tantalizing things - a bunch of daffodils here, lilacs there - and the magnolia trees! Oh, the magnolia trees! They were absolutely amazing. Big sprawling trees covered in pink flowers!

Well, that was the last year that happened.

Since then - every freaking year - the magnolias are just on the verge of a magnificent display and Whammo! We get a cold snap that turns all of the flowers brown and they fall, limp and pathetic, to the ground.

So, it is with this in mind, that I have now decided to make my magnolia trees into memorial trees. I am naming them Kurt Cobain and Sylvia Plath. This seemed like an appropriate choice of folks who were cut down in the prime of life. I picked Kurt Cobain because, even though I am not a fan, I think he was somewhere in the misunderstood genius category and I can sympathise with that. Wink, wink. Also because it was in April when he decided to blow his brains out.

My other choice, Sylvia Plath, came after exhausting a search for another suitable person who died young in April. I guess, fortunately...there are not many young folks who expired in April. My choices were rather limited. The contenders were Lisa "Left Eye" Lopez (I can't imagine Kurt Cobain would be thrilled to have his tree next to Lisa's), Stu Sutcliff (the lost Beatle), and Rob Pilatus (You know, the guy from Milli Vanilli. Need I say more?). While Stu was certainly a contender, I still wasn't happy because, while he died from a cerebral hemorhage, it just didn't seem to fit into the scheme of things.

Sylvia, as it turns out, did not die in April but she did die on the day I was born, although a few years earlier. It seems, after going through a particularly cold winter - and rough life, apparently - she put her head in the oven and called it a day. The choice couldn't be more obvious - the tree goes to Sylvia.

So now, when my trees are ready to burst forth in the biggest show of flowers yet, and the nightly temperature dips to 40 below, and all the buds fall limp and pathetic to the ground, I can think of Kurt Cobain and Sylvia Plath - one in the green house and one in the kitchen - and say to myself, "Well, things aren't so bad".

On a lighter note...

I made waffles yesterday. Since I live in a refrigerator it is very hard to eat warm waffles so I have a little routine. While the waffles are in the toaster, I have just enough time to get my coffee ready (cream and sugar, thank you), get the butter out of the fridge, and Mrs. Butterworth's into the microwave for a few go-rounds. It is a very precise routine and requires strict attention to waffles and syrup.

I was stirring my coffee when the phone rang. Answer it? Don't answer it. Answer it? I answered it. It was my husband.

Him: Hey, what are you doing?
Me: Having waffles and then I'm coming up. (To the other house that we are working on and getting ready to sell.)
Him: I thought you were going to the Earth Day thing.
Me: No, I'm coming up there to help you.
Him: Why? Why don't you go to the Earth Day thing?
Me: Forget it. I'm coming up there. Do you want me to bring lunch?
Him: Ok. Could you check if I left my water bottle in the fridge. Are you sure you don't want to go the the Earth Day thing?
I turn and look in the fridge.
Me: Yes, it's here and no I...
Toaster: Pop! The waffles are done.
Microwave: BOOF! You blew Mrs. Butterworth's butt off.

Yes, it's true. I blew Mrs. Butterworth's butt off and the inside of my microwave was coated in hot syrup.

Now, if I was feeling dramatic, I could have put my head in there and turned the microwave on again.

As it is, I just sopped up what I could with my waffles.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Where did THAT come from?

So, last night my hubby and I decided to watch another one of our movies from the verylowpricedmovie bin. I think it was called "Creature". It doesn't matter because the title of the movie is irrelevant. What is important here is the music played during don't really know what you call it. It's the part of the movie in the beginning when there is music playing and the name of the video or dvd company flies around on the screen in some kooky graphic design.


The music is playing and the name is flying and I say "What is that music from?" because I swear it was something I know. It really was vexing me. My hubby, on the other hand, was none to concerned with the music and was anxiously waiting for me to start the movie. I couldn't...I just couldn't. I HAD to know where I heard that song before!

Me again: What is that music from?
Hubby: Would you just start the movie? You'll think of it later.
Me: No, I won't be able to concentrate. Just wait a minute...
Him: Come on...
Me: Just hold on a minute. God! I know this from somewhere!
Him: It's the song from Greatest American Hero.


Greatest American Hero.

Where the hell did that come from?

Greatest American Hero.

It was like having your psychiatrist pull you out of hypnosis with a memory from waaaaaay in your past.

Greatest American Hero.

For those of you who may now know what it was a show from the early 80's in which a guy finds a suit, sans operating directions, and dons it to become a kooky superhero. Here's a little visual to help you out.

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Oddly enough, when I was searching for an image to post, I also found a picture of Homestarrunner as Greatest American Hero.

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An even odder still...wait, should that be most odd? Whatever. This image also came up in my search for Greatest American Hero.

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I have to stop now because that's just too damn funny.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Well, If You Can Have A Knee Jerk Reaction...So Can I!

Click on the title for the link. This is what happened at school yesterday. And so, being the reactionary I am, I give you...


For preventing the children of the School District from becoming a burden to the administration, and for making them potentially beneficial to the
Department of Homeland Security

Shameleesly Adapted From Jonathan Swift

It is a melancholy object to those who walk through this great school district, when they see the halls, the cafeteria, and sports fields, crowded with administrators surrounded by any varying number of teenagers, all in a vast array of clothing and frightening every passerby. These administrators, instead of being able to enjoy the honest work they do for their livelihood, are forced to endure the increasing attempts at individuality and self expression, adult problems and child-like pranks, of said teenagers: who as they grow up either turn into independent beings or, quite possibly, conscientious thinkers.

I think it is agreed by all parties that this prodigious number of contemplative teenagers at the heels of the administrators, and frequently of the teachers, is a very great grievance; and, therefore, whoever could find out a fair, cheap, and easy method of making these teenagers submissive, dependent and easily kept in line, would deserve so well of the public as to have his/her statue set up for a preserver of the district.

But my intention is very far from being confined to provide only for the administrators of this district; it is of a much greater extent, and shall benefit the entire state, nay, United States of America!

It is true, a high school student may be prone to rebellious acts; quite possibly noticeable to the administrative hierarchy; and it is exactly at this age that I propose to provide for them in such a manner as instead of becoming an individual who questions authority – or anything for that matter – they shall on the contrary think only thoughts provided for them by the district and contribute to the policing of the student body as a whole against such heinous crimes as an original thought or demands for parity.

I shall now therefore humbly propose my own thoughts, which I hope will not be liable to the least objection.

I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance, that a teenager is a most impressionable, easily influenced and eager person; and I make no doubt that it will be a rather simple challenge to not merely mold, but entirely take over his mind.

I do therefore humbly offer it to public consideration that the School District enact a program to shape the young minds of all high school students in the manner following:

1. The School District shall adopt a dress code , to wit,
Regarding clothes: Khaki pants, no pockets – size 10; navy blue polo shirt – size medium; white socks – size 9-11; brown loafer shoes – size 8.5, medium brown leather belt – size 38 inches; white brief-style underwear – size 10; white bra, no under wire – size 34B.
Regarding hair: All students will wear hair length to the bottom of the ears – no bangs, with a center part – and will dye hair with Miss Clairol Nice n’ Easy in the shade of 118 Natural Medium Brown.
Regarding eyes: All students, whether medically necessary or not, will purchase and wear brown contact lenses.
Regarding teeth: No braces on teeth will be allowed. Only three fillings will be allowed per mouth – two allotted for bottom teeth, one allotted for top teeth.
Absolutely no jewelry, piercing, or adornments of any type that would set an individual apart from the rest of the student body in any way, shape or form.

2. No student will be allowed to carry a backpack, book bag, purse, gym bag, pencil case, pocket protector, wallet, change purse, sleeping bag, paper bag, sandwich bag, brand new bag, or any item in general in which any other object larger than a tic-tac can be concealed. Books and calculators will be carried in hand. Pens and pencils will be handed out at the beginning of each period and collected at the end of said period.

3. All students will be fingerprinted and will be assigned a Security Identification Number. The Security Identification Number shall be tattooed to the back of the right hand of each student.

4. All students will be given a daily “supplement” that will be provided by the United States Central Intelligence Agency. It will be in pill form and this, quite frankly, is all you need to know about it.

5. All parents, upon a child’s entering into high school, will sign a contract which explicitly outlines activities that are and are not allowed in the home. It will detail what television shows, newspapers, magazines, music, radio stations and internet sites are approved for student viewing. It will also detail what conversational topics are acceptable for family discussion. Failure on any parent’s part to comply with and strictly enforce the contract will result in forfeiture of that parent’s custody of the student and said student will become a ward of the District.

6. At the beginning of each day, all students will rise, recite the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States of America, recite the Pledge to the Department of Homeland Security and recite the Oath of Conformity.

7. If a student suspects a fellow student from having any thought deviating from the list of approved district thoughts, the student should report that fellow student for immediate purification. Following the purification, all students will be punished in accordance with District whims.

8. All students, upon their 18th year, shall register to vote as Republican.

I can think of no one objection, that will possibly be raised against this proposal, unless it should be urged, that the students will become like drones, stripped of all identity and free thinking. This I freely own, and ‘twas indeed the principal design in offering it to the District and Department. I desire the reader will observe, that I calculate my remedy for this school district and this great nation. Therefore let no man talk to me of other expedients: Of treating these students as young adult persons: Of punishing only guilty parties as opposed to the entire student body: Of allowing for individuality in any form: Of supposing anything other than the Complete Destruction of the American Way of Life as motive for a student’s misbehavior: Of allowing any privacy whatsoever for members of the student body: Of seeing anything other than fear of litigation as the most important factor in determining district policy: Of allowing the student body to have any voice in anything, especially in opposition to district policy: Of allowing students the right to peaceful protest: Of having one degree of sympathy for how district policies – even if those policies blatantly will not achieve the end they are proposed to – may adversely affect the lives of students.

I repeat, let no man talk to me of these and the like expedients, ‘till he hath at least some glimpse of hope, that there will ever be some hearty and sincere attempt to put them into practice.

I am not so violently bent upon my own opinion as to reject any offer proposed by wise men, which shall be found equally effectual. But before something of that kind shall be advanced in contradiction to my scheme, and offering a better, I desire the author, or authors will be pleased maturely to consider two points. First, as things now stand, how they will be able to find a way to maintain the school as a safe educational environment, preventing the district from becoming the defending party in liability litigation. And secondly, there being a population of intelligent, capable, caring, aware, inventive, industrious, athletic, scientific, witty, compassionate students at Tamaqua Area High School: I desire those who dislike my overture, and may perhaps be so bold as to attempt an answer, that they will first ask these mortals, whether they would not at this day think it a great happiness to have been effectively sheltered from being treated as a human being - with dignity and fairness, innocence until guilt is proven, protection from punishments undeserved, respected, consulted and given opportunity for input on topics directly affecting their daily school routine - and thereby avoiding ever having known those considerations we would give to any stranger - those basic rights we believe everyone deserves - taken away in one shattering blow that came as a result of adult anger and frustration.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

A Discussion on...Boobies

Ok, first of all, I am going to type two versions of this entry - one for the guys and one for the ladies. I figure this would make it easy on everyone. The guys will be first - Ladies, you can just scroll down to Version #2.

Version 1 - For the Guys

Bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch, boobies, bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch, boobies, bitch, bitch, bitch, boobies, bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch, boobies, bitch, bitch, bitch.

Version 2 - For the Ladies

I was getting ready for work this morning, picking out the necessary items for the day's ensemble, when I discovered, much to my chagrin, that my normal stand-by bras were both in the laundry on the "to do" list. Sigh. Yes, I said "both". I have, literally, two bras that I can live with - at least for work. I do have a few sportster models but, as a professional woman, I cannot go into the office with a uniboob, even if it would stay put during a 9.6er on the Richter scale. All I had left to pick from were those bras that we all keep but pretty much never wear.

The choices were slim at best. I had to finally settle on the Victoria's Secret Hydraulic Lift 4100PP (pastel pink). This thing is a work of genius that any civil engineer would be proud to lay claim to. It features Super-Squish Gel Lifterators, reinforced with rebar, all cleverly hidden in pink satin covered concrete cups. It is the bra Wonder Woman would wear.

After I finished my shower, I put it on and...hey, wait a minute...something is wrong here. What are...why...Oh my God! I have boobies! There they were all of sudden like. I vaguely remember having boobies as a teenager but then, after the children came along, they disappeared to what I refer to as the Mother Earth Effect.

The Mother Earth Effect is simply this: We all know the earth is mother of every tiny living cell out there. We also know the various things moms tend to yell to her children. At some point in every woman's life, Mother Earth will yell to the boobies, "I said, 'Get down here RIGHT NOW!'" And there they go. So, imagine my surprise when the prodigal boobies came home to to speak.

I pulled my top on and glanced in the mirror. Boobies. No doubt about it, they were definitely there. I mean, they were really there. Like, they were so there I would have to introduce them to my clients during the day. "Hello, I'm Mrs. Quintessence and this is Righty and Lefty." It definitely was not going to work.

I went back to my drawer and rummaged around some more. Finally, from the deep, dark depths of the bra drawer, I found it: The Battle Bra. That is the name my husband gave to it mainly, I think, because it has the structural integrity of full armor. Plus it's been around a while and looks like it might have been through a battle or two. Ok, maybe ten or twelve. Oh, for Pete's sake, it went through the freaking Hundred Years' War, Ok? At any rate, it would have to do - anything to restabalize my center of balance.

I put the Hydraulic LIft 4100PP back into the drawer for another day. You just never know when you might have to jump into that invisible plane...

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Aerobics? Who Needs It?

So, I'm in the shower yesterday morning, getting ready for work, lamenting the fact that I can never get up early enough to do anything other than get ready for work. It's also kind of tough when you throw two teenagers into the mix - then you have to get up extra early if you want to have shower time prior to them leaving the house. I always have these pipe dreams of getting up, taking an invigorating early morning walk and then strolling into work freshly showered and glowing with good health, as opposed to the usual freshly showered but dragging my butt and mainlining coffee. I tried not to get too down about it because, after all, it was shaping up to be a beautiful day and I figured I could go for a nice walk in the evening or something like that.

I grabbed my loofa and started to sqeeze some Ocean Spray shower gel (not cranberry juice)onto it and began to ponder the name - "Ocean Spray". I sniffed it. It didn't really smell like ocean spray to me. It smelled more like Cosmetic Department. Maybe even Air Freshener Department, but definitely not Ocean Spray.

This caused me to ponder the descriptive names that various items are tagged with, particularly in the home paint industry. I mean, I've seen shades of green such as "Promised Land" and "Eternal Bliss", shades of brown such as "Discovery" and "Wheeling", and even shades of white by the likes of "Bubble Bath" and "Sweet Truffle". I think this is very clever marketing. Who wouldn't want to lay (lie?) in bed, surrounded by Eternal Bliss, gazing upward to a vast expanse of Sweet Truffle? How do I get this job of naming paint? In all fairness, I have to admit, my names would probably fall a little more to the practical side. For example...

Hello, miss. Oh, you're looking to paint the large, cast iron radiators in your home? Ok. Do you have cats? You do? Oh, then might I suggest this enamel base paint in a shade of Meow-Mix Vomit? It's perfect for hiding those clumps that fall down between the fins. You know, the ones you can never seem to locate until they are dried to a hardened crust that would require a jack hammer to remove. You'll take three gallons? Great.

Whilst pondering these things, something, I don't know what, caused me to take a closer look at my loofa. There was a wasp in my loofa. A freaking WASP in my LOOFA! What the crap?! My first instinct was to panic-and-flail-my-arms-about-slip-and-fall-and-break-a major-bone-in-my-leg but I resisted the urge. Instead I gave the loofa a little shake and the bewildered wasp began flying about in the shower, probably wondering "How did I wind up in the tropics and, my, isn't the sky a brilliant shade of Serenity this morning!" Normally, wasps don't trouble me. However, I was now trapped in the shower with one, my bare, white butt a glowing target. I began to submit to my earlier instinct of flailing about.

Oddly enough, it was at this very moment that my shower curtain reached that point in species evolution where it crossed the line from being "inanimate object" to "carnivor". It attacked. For several minutes, I danced the ancient dance of woman, wasp and curtain until, finally, the wasp flew up and out of the shower and the curtain slipped back over that precarious edge into its previouse state of lifelessness.

Whew! What a workout. Maybe I could skip the evening walk after all.

So, there you have it, my dear readers. If you don't have time for exercise - or if you just want to spice up your life a little bit - just put a little wasp in your loofa and flail those pounds away!

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Gather 'Round All You Home Renovators

Since, in my mind at least, I have some expertise on renovating old homes, I am going to impart a few words of wisdom for those of you who think this is something you would like to do. And so...

1. You're wrong. This is something you think you want to do, but you are sadly mistaken.

2. There is no such thing as a "small project". A project you think will only take a day - or weekend - will spiral into some great time and money consuming endeavor. You think you want to paint the bedroom? Well be prepared to dig up the septic system. Planning on installing a gas insert in the fireplace? You better buy about 30 squares of shingles. You think you want to put a GFI in the bathroom? Sorry, you will have to move the garage first. What you will find is that every single item in your old home is inextricably tied to every single other item. That roofing nail in the uppermost corner of your peak is directly in contact with the foundation walls. You want to replace one, you better be prepared to replace both.

3. Before you start your project, go to the local bars and find the oldest home builder/contractor you can find. See what beer he/she is drinking. This will now be your beer. If you think a case of your favortie micro brew will be enough to see you through to the end of the project, you are a namby pamby beginner and you will be broke in no time. Your project is going to take so long that, by the time it is completed, you will have spent enough money on beer to purchase that micro brewery. You had best adjust your taste buds now and find something cheap that you can stomach. If you are lucky, you will have a good, cheap local brew (such as Yuengling) and you won't have to resort to Pabst.

4 Whatever you think your project is going to cost - in time as well as money - multiply that by 5 or 6 or 12 and you will start to be in the ballpark. If you are trying to specifically figure cost, make sure to multiply that figure by 1.054. This number is known as the Beer Factor. For every $250 dollars spent on home improvements, you will spend approximately $13.50 on a case of beer (if you followed Rule #3). This is the only mathematical rule I've ever invented but it's pretty darn good and I'm figuring it will win me a Nobel Peace Prize somewhere down the line.

5. Remember carbide. Suppose you are aimlessly wandering through the ailses of your favorite hardware store and you happen upon, oh, let's say a paint scraper. If it doesn't have a carbide blade, you are to immediately cast it to the ground and sing praise that the Lord has delivered you from buying a cheap but ineffective tool. Don't waste your money on crap. Your mother told you that years ago.

And finally...

6. You will have lead poisoning before you are done. Get used to the idea now because you probably won't be able to understand it later.

So there it is my fellow renovators. Good luck and good luck.

Monday, April 11, 2005

My First Movie Review

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Attack From Space is a Japanese sci-fi movie from the 60's that I purchased from the verylowpricedmovie bin at our local record store. (Yes, they actually sell some records.) We watched it this past Saturday night, anxiously waiting to see what our hero, Straman, would do to save the earth from nuclear war this time. I say "this time" because we also have another of Starman's movies and the general storylines go something like this...

The Emerald Planet sensed that, once again, things have gone awry on Earth and those crazy Earthlings are, once again about to destroy everything with nuclear weapons or crazy rockets of some sort. They send Starman who, with the powers given to him by a special Timex, can fly, detect radioactivity and be a generally all around great guy.

Starman flys to Earth in his spandex suit with Super Wedgie and goes about the business of setting things straight. Starman isn't exactly what you would call "cut". He's got some heft to him and his spandex suit gives no illusions as to where the lines of his briefs are. Let's just say we know he's not weraing a thong. Also, if you have the chance to see "Atomic Rulers of the World", you will get to see a great scene where Starman flies through a rainstorm sporting Super Nipples.

Starman, or course is Japanese. The bad guys are, of course, suspiciously American looking with some Japanese helpers. All of this is dubbed over in English so it is very possible that the bad guys are any number of other nationalities - but, really, they're American.

In Attack From Space, Starman fights one of the longest fight scenes that I've ever witnessed. Nevermind that some of it is the same footage played twice and sometimes three times. It was exhausting just to watch. All I can say is Quentin Tarantino is a dirty ripoff artist and Uma Thurman fighting the Crazy 88 has nothing on Starman fighting the Superians.

The best part of the movie is when Starman saves the pretty girl. He always saves her by flying away with her after telling her "Hold on tight to me", at which point, depending on whether or not the kids are in the room, we can interject all sorts of other fun possible dialogue.

So there you go. In my book, Attack From Space gets Parmesan.

Cheese Scale:
Parmesan - good strong cheese, no goo
Mozzarella - very cheesey, lots of goo, almost embarrassing to watch
Brie - it stinks

Sunday, April 03, 2005

A New Philosophy

For those of you who don't know, we live in a reather old house that needs a little bit of love. Ahem.

One of our problem areas is water, as you can see in the photo. This is a wall in our basement. Yes, that crucial area of the house that keeps it from falling down. When we get rain of any significant amount, a small...fountain, if you will... springs from a crack in the wall.

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I used to worry about this. But not any more. Not after I've discovered...


Yes, that's right. Zen Shui. It is my new philosophy. It combines ideas of Zen and Feng Shui. I would try to explain how you too can get to this point but it would be useless. You must go into your own wet basement and walk the path yourself.

At any rate, now that I have achieved calm balance with my home, you can see the improvements...

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No more fretting about the house falling down around me! Now I just sit and realax, rocking in my chair, maybe reading (for the Literary Curious among you, the two books on the table are The Poetry of Robert Frost and Microhydro: Clean Power From Water) or maybe just meditating to the sound of trickling water and the coal stoker crunching away a ton a day.

Ok, not really a ton a day. More a ton a month.

WHAT?! A TON A MONTH?!! ARE YOU SERIOUS?!! Do you realize how much that is? A freaking ton a month! For what? To keep this monstrosity of a refigerator that I call home just above freezing? Ugh!

Stop. Calm. Breath, breath, breath. I have to work on a few things in my new philosophy. But I'm on my way to enlightenment!

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Friday, April 01, 2005

The Political Commentary You've All Been Waiting For


Since the planets aligned and I happened to have off on a beautiful, warm day, I decided to try to plant a hydrangea yesterday.

I had a general idea of where I wanted to put it but, once I scoped out the area, I realized, as with all things in life, I would have to dig out a thorn bush first.

I've done this type of thing before. It's never pretty.

Armed with a lobster and an axe, I defiantly approached the bush. Ok, really I had loppers and a hatchet. However, I am so experienced at this particular battle that it wasn't going to go any easier with my weapons of destruction than if I did have a guitar and crustacean as my only tools of removal.

I took to the bush like a woman possessed. Chopping. Slashing. Slashing. Chopping.

***Let me just pause here a moment to say that if you are ever of the mind to remove a bush, and in the process you notice it has yellow roots, you may as well pack you bags and move because it would be easier.***

Back to our post.

Chopping. Slashing. Cursing. Kicking. Throwing. Hurting. Kneeling. Weeping. Sobbing.

The bush is gone.

I am a broken woman. My back aches. My hip joints feel like they could use a little WD-40. My neck is stiff and showing the first signs of a killer migrain. My feet are covered in blisters. My hands are puffy and red, pierced by thorns, many of which have yet to be removed.

But the bush is gone.

So, you might ask "Well, what about the hydrangea? I just won't be able to sleep tonight unless I hear the whole story!"

The rest of the story goes like this...

With the evil yellow-rooted bush now departed, I began to dig the hole for the new, kinder bush. I tried to loosen the dirt with the pitchfork. It was going along fine until I hit a solid patch with a "ding" that sent a pain up my arms so strong it made my chiropractor smile.

A rock.

There was no way around it. It too would have to come out.

After another oh, say fifteen hours of digging, I was able to get the edge of the fork under it and pry it to the surface. When I did, it flipped over and revealed itself as a big blob of broken bricks, concrete and brown glass.

What the hell is up with that?

I can only guess that these are the leftovers of the bricks, mortar and beer that were necessary to build the pump house. The rest of the loose bricks and broken bottles were underneath.

As luck would have it, I had run out of time and had to pick up my son from track practice.

The hydrangea makes a lovely centerpiece on our dining room table.

So what, my dear readers, is the moral of the story?

It is simply this: Thorny, evil Bushes are yellow-rooted cowards that mess up your sunny day and even after you manage to get rid of them - even if it takes 8 years! - things are going to still be screwed up.