Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Everyone hail to the pumpkin song

I love Halloween. There's something magical about it, even at this in-between stage of life where I'm too old to go trick-or-treating and don't yet have kids of my own to take out. I look forward to living in a regular neighborhood where trick-or-treaters will come to the door. We've been apartment dwellers since 1999, and the three trick-or-treaters we got tonight are the only ones we've ever had at any of our apartments. Every year I buy a little bag of treats and wait hopefully, but (until this year) no one comes. It makes me kind of sad, really.

I don't carve a pumpkin anymore, because I'm afraid to leave it outside (smashed pumpkins make me incredibly sad, even when they're not mine) and every time I consider carving one and keeping it inside, I remember that Ramona book where Picky-Picky ate half of their jack-o-lantern. Kitters would so totally do that. I didn't put up decorations this year, either, since this month has been busy and really no one would be around to see them except for us.

I can still remember the excitement of getting into my costume and heading out with my jack-o-lantern-shaped bucket. I can still remember the unique smell that all the Halloween candy made when it was mixed together in the bottom of the bucket. It's the one night in the year that it's okay for kids to knock on stranger's doors (with parents waiting on the sidewalk, of course), when kids can dress up as fantastical characters, and in that I think there is a chance to connect to the past. From the pagan traditions to the medieval ones to the very American ones, Halloween is a one-of-a-kind night. In an increasingly shut-off world, on Halloween we throw open our doors and turn on our lights and don't get mad if other people's kids walk on our front lawns.

I met up with Danger and Evilducky for chai earlier, and as I was driving home around 7:30, I drove past neighborhoods with porch lights blazing, a house with its tiny lawn packed with giant Halloween-themed inflatables, children in costume with parents waiting on the sidewalk. I saw people sitting in front of their TVs with the front doors propped open. I saw two little girls dressed as witches sitting at a dining room table with their haul spread before them. I saw several small groups of older kids, middle-schoolers maybe, gamboling along with candy bags swinging.

I'm still a little sad that I'm mostly a Halloween observer these days, but I'm wistfully and happily looking forward to a time when I can share the joy of one of our last remaining magical nights again. Happy Halloween, everyone!

Reading:  M is for Magic by Neil Gaiman

Playing:  Prolonging the Magic by Cake (sound warning) (and the magic theme is a coincidence, I swear)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

All right, but dogs can look up!

VBG: Do you need gum?

MB: *throws two packs of Orbit onto the conveyer*

VBG: You only want two?

MB: I already have two at work.

VBG: If you already have two, why are you buying more?

MB: *tries to look innocent*

VBG: Well, I guess when you're locked down in the plant because of a zombie apocalypse, at least you won't run out of gum.

MB: Exactly.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Om Mani Padme Hung

Yesterday, Evilducky, Danger, MacGyver, and I drove to Bloomington, Indiana, to hear the Dalai Lama speak. It was a really incredible experience, and I'm so glad that we went.

It feels sort of weird to say this about a world-renowned and much-respected spiritual leader, but the Dalai Lama is ADORABLE. Instead of standing at a podium, he sat in a large cushy armchair draped with yellow cloth. The first thing he did when he sat down was say, "First, I will get comfortable." He took off his shoes, sat cross-legged in the chair, and pulled a little red visor out of his pocket to wear to shield his eyes from the lights. He said, "Ah, now I can see your faces! It's almost like you're looking down from heaven!" Then he looked at the people up in the balcony seats and said, "If you fell from heaven, that would be disastrous!"

His speech focused on the need for compassion in life. I've never studied Buddhist teachings or read much about them, so it was really encouraging and uplifting to hear the Dalai Lama advocate living the way I've been trying to live for years--treating others with compassion, even the ones that don't treat you that way; giving affection and love; embracing warm-heartedness; working to let go of negative emotions like anger and jealousy.

He spoke about how letting go of destructive emotions can take the form of an inner disarmament, which can then lead to outer disarmament and an end to violence and warfare. He expressed his view that the world is getting better, and that we shouldn't generalize that the world is a sad and violent place, because the majority of people are not committing acts of violence. He discussed the two levels of compassion--feeling compassion for people we care about, which is easy and comes naturally, and is based in part on a biological response; and feeling compassion for people that we don't know or even who have hurt us, and how we can feel compassion for someone as a fellow human being and yet take a stand against that person's unjust actions.

He expressed his belief that a religious upbringing is not a prerequisite for living a moral life, and pointed out that from infancy we learn affection and compassion by receiving it from our parents. He talked about how even pets can express love and affection, and said that in Tibet, people often say that when a cat is purring on your lap, it's saying its om mani padme hung mantra.

I'm sure I'm forgetting many, many things that he said which resonated with me. I'm so grateful that I got the chance to hear him speak, and I'm definitely going to try to remember to be compassionate and warm-hearted in my day-to-day life.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Tactically, I believe this is what's known as a Bad Plan

As I was driving to work this morning (still in my sister's car), I had a sudden realization that I couldn't remember the last time I bought gas. I've been so ridiculously busy at work that lots of things have been falling by the wayside (including, for instance, shopping for a new car), so this wasn't a big surprise.

What was a surprise was looking down to see the gas gauge hovering around empty.

I promised the car I'd take it out for a fill-up at lunch, if it could just get me to work and then to the gas station.

As I turned onto the street leading to my workplace, at a point when I could literally see the parking lot where I needed to be, the engine died.

Luckily, there was one spot open along the street parking, and I had just enough momentum left to guide the car into that spot like it was my plan all along. I would've probably just left it there and walked the half-block to work, but I was in front of an alley and didn't want to risk a ticket. I called my dad to bring me some gas, and he got there in under ten minutes (Yay, Dad!), and all in all, things could've been so much worse.

But still...BAD PLAN. I'm such a dork.

Photo Friday

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The shortest-lived victory of all time

Every day when I get home from work, I crush up half of a kitty Prozac and stir it into 1/3 of a can of cat food. Every day, Kitters picks morosely at his dinner and then opts not to eat it for as long as he can stand the gnawing hunger.

Guilt ridden, I sought a solution. Last night, inspiration struck. I stole a few shreds of ham from MB's lunchmeat packet, fed Kitters a few decoys, and then slipped him his Prozac, rolled up in a little piece of ham. He swallowed it without complaint, and even asked for more ham.

I was, as you can imagine, immensely pleased. I didn't blog about it, because I didn't want to jinx it. It didn't matter, though, because Kitters heard me thinking triumphant thoughts.

Today, the rolled up ham went in, the pill came back out. He unwrapped and rejected the pill with only the use of his (apparently slightly prehensile) kitty tongue at least five times before I gave up and decided to try the old-fashioned way.

I managed to get Kitters more or less tucked under my arm, but no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't pry his mouth open while he was wriggling madly in my grasp. I tried taking advantage of his bitching, popping the pill into his mouth when he opened it to cuss me out, but alas...prehensile tongue strikes again. The pill dropped stickily from his jaws and I was finally forced to admit defeat.

I crushed up the slightly slimy pill, stirred it into his dinner, and watched as he eyed it dejectedly and then wandered off to begin the nightly process of wasting away, his ears set as if to say, "Blog this, pinky."

Cat 1, Human 0

I'm going to keep him, though, because every once in a while, he does stuff like this:

"Woman, hand over that donut."

Edited to add:

lolkitters, by basscomm:

Reading:  Little (Grrl) Lost by Charles de Lint

Playing:  Elect the Dead by Serj Tankian (sound warning!)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

We Heart Mike Rowe

I'm a big Dirty Jobs fan, so we watched a few episodes on the Discovery Channel last night. Mike Rowe also narrates a show that I'll always stop for when channel surfing, Deadliest Catch, and some episodes of my Wednesday night must-see, Ghost Hunters. Because, clearly, TV is no fun unless it's scaring the pants off me or totally grossing me out.

Anyhow, this morning, MB told me that he had a weird dream last night after watching Dirty Jobs. He and BoMB and Mr Muskrat* invited Mike Rowe to go camping with them, but they made sure it was the "ultimate Kentucky camping trip," so there was a mudpit. When they got back to camp and announced it was dinner time and then busted out their traditional camp meal of giant steaks, Mike Rowe was all, "This is my kind of camping."

I have to tell you, I think going on a camping trip with Mike Rowe would be pretty damn awesome, if he didn't get everyone killed.

If you haven't seen Dirty Jobs, you're seriously missing out. Apparently the Discovery Channel website streams full episodes here. They also stream two of my other favorite shows, Mythbusters and What Not to Wear.

*BoMB = Brother of MB, Mr Muskrat = coworker and camping buddy of MB

Reading:  Little (Grrl) Lost by Charles de Lint

Playing:  Cowboy Junkies on shuffle (great rainy-day music)

Monday, October 22, 2007

It's all about Meme

I should probably save this for November, but after several days of constant blah blah blah Al Gore's Peace Prize (cool) blah blah blah Ellen DeGeneres gave away a dog (sad, but sometimes necessary) blah blah blah Dumbledore is gay (who cares?), I'm feeling annoyed and uninspired.

So, here's a meme I stole from my darling Chick:

1. What kind of soap is in your bathtub right now?
MB's Irish Spring with aloe and my delectable Lush Happy Hippy bath gel.

2. Do you have any watermelon in your refrigerator?
No, but I have a cucumber, which always reminds me of watermelon (I know, I'm weird).

3. What would you change about your living room?
First, it would be in a house that we owned instead of an apartment. Then, it would have a hardwood floor instead of this all-too-easily stained beige carpet.

As it is, though, I'm pretty happy with our living room. I think the only thing I'd realistically change would be to get rid of the monster draft from the patio door. (It's so bad that the curtains move in the breeze in the winter.)

4. Are the dishes in your dishwasher clean or dirty?
Dishwasher? What is this strange technology of which you speak?

5. What is in your fridge?
Milk, juice, leftover fish / shells & cheese / corn / rice from last night, leftover Stovetop stuffing from tonight, lunchmeat, cheese, butter, brown sugar, eggs, the last 1/3 of Kitters's current can of food, uh...cream cheese, mustard, some Mountain Dew, strawberry Quik, that cucumber, mayo, sweet pickles...ok, that's all I can recall.

6. White or wheat bread?
Wheat. Or honey wheat, if you have it.

7. What is on top of your refrigerator?
Our crock pot, a plastic veggie tray thing with a lid that I used for Christmas cookies last year, MB's giant 1.5 Liter Nalgene bottle, a pouch of dry erase markers, a partial jug of distilled water for my carnivorous plant terrarium, and a few miscellaneous jars.

8. What color or design is on your shower curtain?
The background is sort of frosted white / clear, and it has pale green bamboo on it. I really like it.

9. How many plants are in your home?
Right now, there are 5, if the terrarium counts as one. I also have my pineapple and three little aloe plants. In a few weeks, these will be joined by a ficus tree, a huge ass palm plant, a very tall potted pine tree, a nice shade-loving plant of some kind that Spanish Monkey gave me, two spider plants, a hoya plant, a broccoli plant, some spotted thing that I bought for MB years ago, some little green thing that's sharing its pot with a crop of clovery shamrocky stuff, and a dawn redwood seedling that I bought at the Chicago Botanic Garden. I'm not really looking forward to battling to keep Kitters out of the salad bar all winter.

10. Is your bed made right now?
Not likely.

11. Comet or Soft Scrub?
Scrubbing Bubbles?

12. Is your closet organized?
It's not too bad.

13. Can you describe your flashlight?
I have an LED Petzl Tikka headlamp. It's the bomb. I got it back when they were new and cost twice as much as they do now, but it was worth every penny.

14. Do you drink out of glass or plastic most of the time at home?
We have more plastic glasses than glass glasses, so odds are, I drink out of the plastic more often.

15. Do you have iced tea made in a pitcher right now?
Nah. I only drink iced tea at restaurants or at MB's mamaw's house.

16. If you have a garage, is it cluttered?
No garage for us.

17. Curtains or blinds?
Curtains, except in our room, where we have the old school roll-up kind of blinds with curtains over them. There was a vertical blind over the patio door when we moved in, but it was missing a slat, it was ugly as sin, and the first night we lived here, the cat ran through it and knocked two more slats off. I went to Walhell the next day and bought lovely dark sage green curtains and we said good riddance to the blind. It was one of the best decisions we've ever made. I can't imagine looking at that fugly vertical blind every day for 3 years.

18. How many pillows do you sleep with?
Two for me, two for MB.

19. Do you sleep with any lights on at night?

20. How often do you vacuum?
Honestly, if I remember to do it once a month, I'm doing well.

21. Standard toothbrush or electric?

22. What color is your toothbrush?
It's blue, but it's going to be replaced any day now, and I can't remember what color the reserve toothbrush is.

23. Do you have a welcome mat on your front porch?
No, but we have a plain tan mat inside the front door to cut down on the dirt that gets tracked in (very important since I only vacuum once a month).

24. What is in your oven right now?
Uh...the rack that it came with?

25. Is there anything under your bed?
Some cool Chinese panel things I bought at Goodwill and may someday get framed and hung, a plastic tupperware box thing with batteries in it that I used to use to carry my Discman and headphones when I went on trips, and probably about three hundred cat toys.

26. Chore you hate doing the most?
Cleaning the bathroom. Luckily, MB does it.

27. What retro items are in your home?
Hmmm...I have a few records, and there's a turntable in the spare room closet that used to belong to my parents, which I've been meaning to hook up to our stereo for three or four years now.

28. Do you have a separate room that you use as an office?
When we first moved in, the spare bedroom was our office, but MB hated sitting in there to work at the computer with the door shut to keep Kitters out of the plants in the wintertime, so we moved the computer and the giant desk into the "dining room" area of the apartment. Now that we have laptops, the couch is usually the office.

29. How many mirrors are in your home?
One in each bathroom, so two.

30. Do you have any hidden emergency money around your home?
I used to have 15 bucks hidden in my underwear drawer, but I'm pretty sure I raided that a long time ago.

31. What color are your walls?
White. God, I'm sick of white.

32. Do you keep any kind of protection weapons in your home?
My fists of steel and feet of death. Oh, and my psycho bloodthirsty cat.

33. What does your home smell like right now?
I don't smell much of anything at the moment, but I know that the kitchen smells like the vanilla candle I lit earlier.

34. Favorite candle scent?
Vanilla, but it has to be a nice, subtle vanilla and not an obnoxiously strong fake vanilla.

35. What kind of pickles (if any) are in your refrigerator right now?
Sweet pickles, for grating into my tuna salad.

36. What color is your favorite Bible?

37. Ever been on your roof?
Nope, but when the trashtastic girl with the elephant-children lived up there, I had an enduring fantasy in which I climbed up onto the roof around 2 in the morning and did my best Riverdance impression with tap shoes on my feet.

38. Do you own a stereo?
Yep, I've got a 3 disc Sony. We run the sound for our TV and all of the assorted accoutrements through it.

39. How many TVs do you have?
Just one. Is that unusual?

40. How many house phones?
Zero. Well, one...but it's on the top shelf of the front closet.

41. Do you have a housekeeper?
Only when I have time to clean.

42. What style do you decorate in?
We don't really have a style. I think we're finally getting away from obvious college -dorm style, though, so that's good. All of our shelving is faux-wood in maple finish, so at least that matches. We've got lots of framed snapshots around the place, and various knickknacks. I'm at a point now where I only keep knickknacks that remind me of a trip or of a certain person, and don't just buy stuff because it's cute or cool.

43. Do you like solid colors in furniture or prints?
I prefer solids, but if you pay attention to most of the Kitters pictures I post, you can see that our couch and loveseat have a pattern that looks like a cross between a Native American design and a Norwegian sweater motif. They're not awful, though they're not what we'd ever pick. We inherited them from my parents, and I have to say, they're a lot nicer than anything we could've afforded at the time that we got them.

44. Is there a smoke detector in your home?
Yep, and a carbon monoxide detector.

45. In case of fire, what are the items in your house which you’d grab if you only could make one quick trip?
MB and Kitters, obviously. After that, probably my teddy bear (my mom made him for me when I was four years old), our wedding / honeymoon photo album, and the external hard drive with all of our digital pictures.

Reading:  Promises to Keep by Charles de Lint

Playing:  the Cowboy Junkies on shuffle on the mpMonster

Friday, October 19, 2007

An auspicious day

Today, my little sister turns 21. I can hardly believe it, really. Because she's an awesome and brilliant math major, I made her this cake:

Today is also my two-year blogiversary! Woo! Sorry, cake for you.

And, because SSFB suggested that Fridays need more lolKitters action, I made this for her:

I also need to make a formal apology to all my blog friends for my continued ignoring of my blogroll. I promise as soon as I finish the three giant brainsucking projects that I'm in charge of for work, I'll open my Google reader again and try to catch up. I miss you all! xoxo

Photo Friday

(click to make it larger, and you can see the moon!)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Holy Pygmy poo:  a long-overdue Googleage report

Kitters never had his big debut on I Can Has Cheezburger, but he'll always be a real lolcat to me.

method to make a bull pinata
I don't know about making one, but here's how you unmake one:

webcomic squirrel pengiun cat
I couldn't find anything to fit this description, which is a bummer.

"i wear my hair up every day"
Me, too!

baby makes egg salad youtube baby makes egg
I didn't see any baby egg salad chef videos, but there are lots and lots of "how to make egg salad" videos on YouTube. I also learned that the week after Easter is National Egg Salad Week. Heh.

buckeye nut crafts
"Buckeye nut crafts" didn't turn up anything good, but I had a hunch that a little more specificity would make all the difference. Behold, the fruits of a search for "buckeye nut necklace" :


My boss is a loyal Ohio State alum...maybe I should get him one of these keychains for Christmas:

kitters chilling out
Has someone been looking in through our windows?

Bonus Kitters photo:

Shark attack!

It slays me when searchers use capital letters in an attempt to get Google to work harder. You can really feel this guy's frustration. And, having seen how little info there is online about Squire Boone back when I was writing about our visit, I can feel his (or her) pain.

"bob ross's hair"
Proving that you can find anything on the internet, here's a musical tribute to the original be-'froed painter:

slow turtle garden statue
Everybody's heard of butterfly gardens, but this site has a guide to creating a turtle garden. I want one!

title of people that work with dermestid beetles *
Bone beautifier? Beetle wrangler? Badass?

scam "bibliophile" adhd 2007
I've known the bibliophile since Kindergarten, and I'm reasonably sure she's not lying about the ADD.

9 month old son has baby hair fuzz on his scrotum
I'm going to pretend I didn't even read this one and show you a sad but hilarious photo that my friend Katie P. sent me. It's not really work-safe, so you'll have to click through to see it.

"rotary telephone" recycle
I LOVE rotary phones. Even though they now have a pair of cordless phones, my parents still have and use the rotary phone that was in the house when they moved in back in the 1970s. I asked my mom once if she'd promise to give it to me rather than get rid of it if she ever got sick of it, and she told me that officially the phone still belongs to the phone company. There's still a tiny per-month charge on their phone bill for the telephone. I can't imagine what the phone company would think if my parents tried to give it back.

I didn't find any tips for recycling rotary phones, but I did find the most rad rotary phone ever:

Yellow phones are sort of my thing, and I WANT THIS PHONE.

lolcat a modest proposal
I didn't find any lolcat satire about homegrown edible children, but here's the lolcat Bible.

good housekeeping march 2006 vibrators
I don't know about Good Housekeeping, but Slate ran a slideshow article on the history of the vibrator.

john muir vibrator
The legendary naturalist John Muir patented his own vibrator for men in 1899.

"best about me ever"
I still say that Megs wins:

I'm sorry to say that you've been led here under false pretenses. I am not, in fact, edible. Please don't attempt it.

how do rock stars dress
Googling this led to these:


I want the skull maryjanes. BAD.

These are the most rock-star-worthy shoes I they count?

spawn clothes
I have to show these off (from Target):

warning shoots flaming balls shirt
I found this, which is somewhat amusing:

And then, I found the pièce de résistance:

Ugly christmas sweaters
This one is exciting because it allows me to reveal my new blog project, Regrettable Sweaters!

There are a lot of ugly sweaters ( jumpers / jerseys ) in this world, but it seems that Christmas sweaters as a genre are disproportionately unattractive.

Do you have a terrible holiday sweater or sweatshirt hiding in your closet? Do you have a jolly jumper that would put you on Stacy and Clinton's naughty list? Is your under-bed storage hiding something truly cringe-worthy or just plain horrifying? Do you wish that the rest of us could share your pain?

Submit photos to velocibadgergirl (at) gmail dot com, and come back in December for the official unveiling of all the Regrettable Sweaters people see fit to share. (And if you're a member of NaBloPoMo, you can win a prize for submitting the most regrettable sweater, as long as Mrs. Kennedy accepts my offer of prize-giving.)

Reading:  The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper

Playing:  Icky Thump by the White Stripes

Monday, October 15, 2007

Blog Action Day

When I signed up to participate in Blog Action Day, I figured I'd have trouble narrowing down my topics and choosing just one. Instead, I have the opposite problem. I can't seem to think of a simple, eloquent way to say what I want to say. Rather than continuing to stare at the flashing cursor, I think I'll post a verse of sorts that I copied down years and years ago, which still rings true:

If the earth were only a few feet in diameter, floating a few feet above a field somewhere, people would come from everywhere to marvel at it. People would walk around it, marveling at its big pools of water, its little pools and the water flowing between the pools. People would marvel at the bumps on it, the holes in it, and they would marvel at the very thin layer of gas surrounding it and the water suspended in the gas. The people would marvel at all the creatures walking around the surface of the ball, and at the creatures in the water. The people would declare it precious because it was the only one, and they would protect it so that it would not be hurt. The ball would be the greatest wonder ever known, and people would come to behold it, to be healed, to gain knowledge, to know beauty, and to wonder how it could be. People would love it, and defend it with their lives, because they would somehow know that their lives, their own roundness, could be nothing without it. If the earth were only a few feet in diameter.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The things we do for love

Most of the time, it's probably a good thing that MB doesn't have a blog. After all, I do a pretty good job documenting my own dumbassery for the whole world to see...I don't really need help.

However, last week, when there was a spider crawling on his arm in the car, and he held out his arm to me in desperate supplication (he was driving) and I plucked the offending arachnid from his skin without hesitation, with my bare hand, and then didn't even freak out when the spider fell into my lap and vanished somewhere in the neighborhood of my crotch? He should've been required to blog about my awesomeosity.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Not quite heaven, West Virginia

Dear Unnamed Hotel:

When I called and asked, "Do you have wireless in your rooms?" and you said, "Yes!" but you really only have it in your common room, well...that makes you a big fat LIAR.

Having spent a week and a half looking forward to working and blogging in my pjs from my plush hotel bed, I was less than amused when I found out the truth.

Also, when I changed my order after finding out that the chicken salad in your restaurant is made with mustard instead of mayonnaise (WTF?), and then the fish sandwich I ordered instead turned out to be no longer available, that sort of sucked.

I'm still disappointed that you are dirty, dirty liars, but at least the common room has this big squooshy armchair for me to sit in, tech-whored out with my laptop and digital camera hooked up and my mp3 player plugged into my ears to keep me from getting distracted by the people wandering through. (Seriously, I feel so ridiculously tech savvy, and it's all a clever ruse.) And at least the chicken Caesar salad I finally ended up with last night was almost orgasmically good.

the slightly mollified velocibadgergirl

So, anyway, I'm in Wheeling, West Virginia for a conference. It's been fun so far, if a little bit exhausting. Now that I've been able to get my anticipated blog / message board / email fix, I'm feeling less twitchy. (Addicted? Me?) It's too bad we don't have any time to go out and enjoy the area, because we're in an area of large hills / small mountains, and I'm sure it's gorgeous once you get past the parking lots. Plus, Wheeling itself would be a great place to spend a day. On the way through town, I saw a pink camo ATV in a shop window, with a giant sign that said "Ask us about layaway!" Classic.

Behold...Sputkin. I LOVE science geeks.

Hotel update:
I have wireless tonight! In bed! Sex-ay! I'm super pumped, but I'm still going to steal the little bottles of lotion from the bathroom every day. They smell like primrose and chamomile! No jury would convict me.

Not so sexy: I can totally hear someone snoring in the room above me, through the damn floor. Yikes. Thank God for the mp3 player, that's all I can say about that.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

I Heart the Mythbusters

Reading:  Making Money by Terry Pratchett

Playing:  Icky Thump by the White Stripes (sound warning)

Saturday, October 06, 2007

No wheels

But a day later, I can definitely see the humor in the situation. After all, what are the odds that TWO cars die on me in less than one week. MB did NOT ask me what I did in an accusing fashion. In fact, he was ridiculously supportive, and even accompanied me on my errands and helped me decide on a laptop bag. When I called my mom last night and said, "Guess what happened when I tried to start Sister's car today?" she laughed. The timing isn't totally awful, since I'm leaving Tuesday for a conference in West Virginia and won't need a car again until a week from tomorrow.

I have three or four blog entries kicking around in my head, I haven't started packing for my trip, when I get back we'll probably have to start shopping for a new car, Kitters is on Prozac now and it may or may not be working, and I have an insanely huge list of things to do for work. Brain is full!

Friday, October 05, 2007

This has to be a joke.

Since my car is running now but more or less still out of the game for good, I've been driving my sister's.

I just loaded up a huge mess of recycling, got all my shit together to go run errands, and the FUCKING CAR WON'T START.

Is this some sort of cosmic joke? Because I'm missing the punchline.

Also, when MB gets home and I tell him and then he asks me what I've done (since it's admittedly very weird that TWO cars have died on my watch in one goddamn week), I will be forced to rip his face off. And that will just be awkward.

Photo Friday

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Don't read this if you haven't watched Top Chef yet.

No, really.

With apologies to Mike, who I accidentally totally screwed over not ten minutes ago.

Scroll down....

Dale was robbed!

I can't believe I had to watch the whole season just to see Hung win. Goddammit. Not that I hate Hung, but dude...DALE'S SCALLOPS. That's all I'm saying.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

A Smorgasbord of Buttons

Schmutzie has declared Wednesday, October 3, to be the date of the Great Mofo Delurk of 2007. Accordingly, I will comment on every blog I read tomorrow. If you could see my google reader, you'd understand how long this is going to take.

Also, please know that I read and appreciate all the comments I receive, and would love to meet some new people! Please delurk and comment and make sure you leave a link to your blog so I can find you again!

The Breast Cancer Site

I've added this button to the sidebar. Every time someone clicks, the site's sponsors give money toward funding mammograms for women in need. It's going to stay there all month, so use it often and steal at will!

Finally, Team Dale all the way!

Monday, October 01, 2007

One-way ticket to Weirdsville

This morning, right before MB got me up for the day, I dreamed that a friend was on her way to the hospital to have a baby. About three hours later, I opened my email at work to find a message from the same friend, announcing that she is 9 weeks pregnant. ((CONGRATULATIONS!!!)) If I tell you that this was one of the more normal things that happened to me since then, you may begin to understand how bizarre today was.

Work was pretty normal. (If only I'd waited until today to call the guy in LA about borrowing a taxidermied sloth for a display I'm planning...but I did that last week.) I left at 5:00, as usual, planning to hit the library on the way home, go to the grocery with MB, and then spend the evening catching up on my blog reading, doing laundry, and cleaning up the apartment.

I put the key into the ignition, turned it, and listened as the starter went rrrrrun rrrrun rrrrrrun a few times and did nothing else. There was a clunk so loud I actually felt something in the engine drop, and that's all she wrote. After that, there was nothing, not even enough battery to use the power locks. I called MB and called triple A, MB arrived like a slightly flustered knight in shining armor to help me transfer the recycling bin and my stuff to his car, and then we waited for the tow truck to arrive. And really, truly, MB was fab. He put aside all his own Very Important Plans for the evening to rescue me, and barely complained at all. Plus, he didn't napalm my car, and I know he wanted to, so badly. You see, the love I feel for my car is equaled only by the hate that MB feels for it. And yet, he did not do any firebombing. Thanks, babe! You're the best! Smooches!

When the tow truck arrived, we told the driver we'd follow him to the Garage of Choice, and after he loaded my poor pitiful car onto his flatbed, he said, "See ya'll at the Garage of Choice." In hindsight, it was rather foolish of us to believe him, but we didn't yet realize how weird the night was going to get.

We followed the tow truck for a few blocks, and then he suddenly and inexplicably veered off down a side street that in no way, shape, or form could lead him to the Garage of Choice. We wondered aloud why he'd pulled off, figured maybe he'd needed to adjust a chain or something, and proceeded somewhat naively to the Garage of Choice. About half an hour later, I called my mom so she could look up the tow truck company's number and find out where the guy was. The dispatcher said he'd stopped off to get another car along the way. What the hell? At least we weren't paying him by the hour or anything, but he might've mentioned that he'd be making a detour and basically ditching us.

He arrived a few minutes later, and immediately we noticed that my poor car had been booted off the flatbed. In her place, a new shiny green pickup was looking a little too smug for my liking, while my homelier but way more charming car had to be pulled behind. Honestly the guy was nice, but it made for some fun righteous indignation while I got to be a little offended (not to his face) about my car getting no respect.

We decided to head to Backyard Burgers to get something to eat while we waited for the garage to call, only to drive over there and find that Backyard Burgers was closed. There were some lights on inside, but there were hand-scrawled "CLOSED" signs taped to the doors and drive-thru windows. Odd. We went to Culver's instead, hit the grocery for supplies, and went to pick up some books I had on hold at the library. When we got to our apartment, there was this skinny, slightly stoned-looking guy hanging out in our parking lot. He (of course) approached us and asked if we had a lighter and if we knew how far it was to Owensboro. I gave him the lighter that I inexplicably found in between the cushions of the couch a few weeks ago, and before I knew it he was using MB's cell phone and we were giving him a cup of juice, and I was hovering around the door trying to look menacing while MB chatted with the guy on the front steps. There's nothing like watering the plants cleaning your nails with a switchblade knife to show somebody that they better not fuck with your famiglia, man, or they're gonna be sorry.

Turned out he was, like MB, from Kentucky. He apparently got to the Greyhound station only to find that his ride was not there, and then wandered around for God knows how long until he stumbled across us. Now, this sort of situation is what J-Dog's husband Nick so aptly calls a "karma test" (for both him and us, really). I was wishing the guy would just leave already (without MB's cell phone), and MB was wondering if we should offer the guy a ride to Owensboro. When MB came in and told me he was giving the guy a ride to a gas station a few miles from our place, and he told me, "It's good karma," I suddenly wondered if I made a mistake lecturing him about doing something nice for good karma so many times. Stupid hippie!

Anyhow, the guy really did seem decent enough. He had phoned his mother, who was going to send his stepfather to pick him up at the only landmark in town he knew, the gas station a few miles away. I rode along and kept my phone in hand just in case things didn't seem right. As we were waiting to turn onto the highway, I saw a guy on a crotch-rocket motorcycle wearing skintight red leggings, ladies' platform boots, and what looked in the dim streetlights to be a red print jacket with a fur ruff. As we turned left past him, I saw that the jacket was actually a red and black plaid lumberjack affair with a tan hood liner. But still. It was a big bald guy in a lumberjack coat, ladies' boots, and skintight red leggings. On a crotch-rocket motorcycle.

We dropped off the non-scary non-psychotic Kentucky kid, doing a load of good for our karma, then headed to my parents' house so I could borrow my sister's car--a big, plodding, somehow elegant blue Buick Skylark that my parents bought cheap from my dad's mom a few years ago on the mistaken assumption that my sister would be getting her license sometime soon. It's basically my car in blue--biggish, oldish, lots of character, and a certain grandma-car charm (my car was originally Mom's mom's). Now, I'll have to drive her for a few days before I know for sure, but my sister's car doesn't seem to have the sass that mine does. I think she's a Betty. Big Betty, maybe. Or Blue Betty.

It was sort of a perfect end to a weird alternate-reality kind of day--driving home in a car that was almost exactly like my car except totally not my car at all, watching out for crotch-rocket-riding cross-dressers.

(And I'm totally not kidding about the cross-dresser. Or the sloth.)