Thursday, June 29, 2006

On being a snob

Accusations of snobbery have been hurled my way in the past, and yes, they are frequently justified. I have come to truly appreciate the slither of 330 thread count sateen-finished sheets against my skin; the taste of reverse-osmosis filtered water instead of iron-laden dreck from the well; the whisper of lavender teasing my nose during a bath instead of chemical scents overwhelming it; so yes, I am undoubtedly to some extent a snob.

This is never clearer to me than when I listen to wine advertisements on the radio. First of all, if the wine's that great, the waiter will recommend it in the restaurant or the clerk will recommend it in the store. Second, to the ad agency behind the ads for Frontera wine: those background singers intoning "Frontera" just makes me think of the Simpsons' episode with the rolling, exploding SUV, where the background singers chant "Canyonero" while it goes *BLAM* (not exactly a stellar association for a wine). Frankly, any wine with singers makes me think of the radio ads in my high school years for Canei wine. "Canei? Yes, you can!" Possibly even sweeter than Boone's Farm, Canei white was a staple of high school parties, screw top convenience and all.

Equally irritating are the radio commercials for the Ohio winery which claims, "We bottle perfect days." Evidently you also bottle Hallmark cards, then drink them and spew them out at the public. Granted, there are a few spots on the shores of Lake Erie where someone can enjoy the summer sunshine, but it's easier to do that if you haven't got ninety-gazillion clichés romping around in your brain.

If given a choice, I will stick with my fancy sheets, my fancy bath products, my bottled water and my unadvertised Ohio wines. Sometimes, it's okay to be a snob.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

I'm only happy when it rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrains

Not really. I'm generally a happy person with a couple of short circuits in my brain that lead to depression, so I'm not "only happy" when it's raining. It sure does help, though. There's a special staccato rhythm to a hard rain, and a lot of excitement in thunder and lightning. Plus I love thinking that all my plants are getting a good soaking, and I always remember mid-August of 1995.

I had moved into the house on Curtis in April of that year, and as happy as I was to finally have a house of my own, around June I started discovering that it's difficult to sleep in the converted attic of an un-air-conditioned house during an Ohio summer. My bedroom had only one window, so there wasn't much air circulation, and even with a fan, the heat in there would build up and pretty much remain through the night. I tried sleeping in the living room, which didn't work, because I couldn't sleep on a loveseat, and the floor was a concrete slab under the carpet. I tried putting my mattress on the floor of the bedroom and putting the box fan at the foot of the mattress, but that just got me sore eyes from having dust and whatnot blown in my face all night. I'd gotten in the habit of lying in bed, crying slightly from being so uncomfortable, counting off the days until autumn and waiting for exhaustion to claim me.

One night in August, I was going through my usual desolate counting routine when there was a huge CRACK of thunder and then the sound of rain hitting the roof. I threw on a minidress, ran downstairs, flung open the door and danced out into the storm. I played in the rain until close to one in the morning, and finally slept a full eight hours, blessedly cool and slightly exhausted. A day or so later, we were back to no rain and high heat, but I could hold on because I knew that the misery was finite. The next year, my dad got me a window A/C for the bedroom, and I never had to go through that again.

So now, even when my garage floods because the driveway drain is full (and let me tell you, unclogging whateveritis that's washed onto the driveway drain while it's pounding down rain and you don't know what you're grabbing is GROSS), I still smile, and think of that wonderful August storm that saved my sanity. And then I peel my Chow/Shepherd mix off my leg and make him take his fraidy-cat butt into the other room before I kill him. *grin*

Blatant plug--if you're at a computer where you can access an erotic stories website, click on the link for my NWS stories and read "Tail of a Summer Thunderstorm." Then read everything else, and vote, and comment. Thanks.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Today's Gardening Lessons

#1: Lamium is deer-resistant, but not bunny-resistant. The six plants I put in the wayback are gone as if I'd never planted them. At $2/plant, it's neither the most expensive nor the least expensive plant mistake I've ever made. We'll see how the toad lilies do back there--the astilbe have thus far survived. If worst comes to worst, I'll just fill the whole area with lily-of-the-valley.

#2: If necessary, have "cheap dirt is worthless" tattooed on yourself somewhere. The $1.07/40 lbs stuff I bought at Home Depot is awful. Sometime this week I'll have to swing by Ace and buy a carful of good topsoil. I basically wasted $11 at Home Depot. The front bed progresses, but needs more dirt, and I won't be starting another bed in the back until I have about twice the amount of topsoil I need ON HAND, BEFOREHAND. I'll put the new hydrangea in where the blue flowers from Spring Hill failed to come up.

#3: I've been gardening like mad since April, and I still want more money for more dirt, plants, mulch (and maybe some labor for the stuff that's killing my back). If pressed, I would have to say that it's a fairly benign addiction, since it does at least improve the landscape as well as my own state of mind.

#4: Gardens will always surprise you. In addition to the things that didn't come up, some of the things which have sprouted have done so in odd colors. I bought pink-and-white gladiolus bulbs, and they're blooming peach. Either the package was wrong, or last year's plants have morphed (which happens sometimes with glads, I don't know why). At any rate, the peach is a pretty color, and if it will spoil the overall effect, I'll just cut all the blooms and take 'em in to the office. It sure does have me scratching my head, though.

I'll try to remember to post some pictures in a month or so, when things are blooming. Right now, there's a lot more mulch and dirt than flowers, and I still have stuff to weed and mulch (the not-fun part of gardening).

Corinne Bailey Rae - Put Your Records On

Or at least the chorus of same:

girl put your records on
tell me your favourite song
you go ahead let your hair down
sapphire and faded jeans
I hope you get your dreams
just go ahead let your hair down
you're gonna find yourself somewhere..somehow

This song is just so much fun to listen to, to sing along with, to think about. It's a cheery little number that makes me think of stacks of 45s on a turntable, and sleepovers and makeovers and giggles. I'm not going to romanticize junior high--there was as much hell there for me as there was fun, but I'm not going to wallow in the pain, either. I'll just say that most of the best times were caught up with silly fun music, and be glad that every now and then a song pops up that helps me remember that.

I'd love to host a musical sleepover for a lot of my friends, just without the sleeping on the floor part (age does make that more difficult!). In fact, I'm working on getting people from my favorite message board to visit me. I'm a pretty good hostess, even if I do say it as shouldn't. *blush* I can't think of anything more fun than late nights just talking and listening to music. I think I'll go put some fun music on...

Friday, June 23, 2006

Rains on the plains and pains in the brains

At five a.m., I awoke mid-migraine. When that happens, the only question is if I'll be able to get pills down before my stomach won't accept any input. Today, I couldn't. I hate barfing, I really really really hate it. And migraines scare me, because in the last year, two people I know of have said "This is the worst headache I've ever had" while having a brain aneurism. The first one, a slim, fit, sixty-something year-old, died. The second, a heavyset thirty-something, is in ICU. So every time I get a migraine, I freak until it's down to just being a bad headache. I guess that's my last vestige of dramania lurking. *blush*

Since I couldn't manage meds, I took a shower with oodles of lavender bath gel, and then drowsed in the recliner with my HeavenScent draped over my head. Eventually, my body calmed down enough to accept a smidgen of water and three pills, and then it was off to nap, at least until Bosstopus called worrying about the unattended office (that's a shout-out to Sherri, who inspired me with "Bosszilla"). There were no crises on the voice mail, just a very bad thing which happened to one client, and something which I am not going to tell Bosstopus about since it is frustrating and anger-inducing, but not something she can do anything about, and there is no point in ruining her weekend along with mine.

After that, I took advantage of the short non-raining moment to let the dogs out, and then Littlefoot and I saw the Large Economy-Sized Chipmunk. I swear, this one was the size of a kitten! I even thought it was a frog at first, until it waddled off, tail held straight up the way they do. I'm not sure what he's been eating, but dayummm, that is one BEEG chippie! Must be something in the water around here, though--my lawn guy says Rooter is the biggest groundhog he's ever seen, although not as big as the ones his grandpa used to tell him tales of. Maybe it's due to the electrical substation across the street? Anyway, I'm keeping an eye out for more oversized critters...

The non-rain portion of the day didn't last very long. In fact, Littlefoot's time outside was cut short because *gasp* water started falling from the sky again and he just doesn't deal well with that. Meanwhile, I'm chortling over the fact that a gal on one of the message boards where I post said there was "psycho, almost unnatural" weather in Ohio when she drove through. There's nothing unnatural about psychotic weather in Ohio, it's always been crazy! Last night we had flash flood warnings and tornado warnings, and I drove out to my folks' house to find they'd had gumball-sized hail followed by rain. My nephews had a wonderful time romping in the rain and kicking hail around on the deck. *grin* The six-year old tried to tell Gramma that he didn't need a bath because he got wet all over playing in the rain. I'm pretty sure he knew that wasn't going to work, but it was a good try! I drove home watching the rush and tumble of water in the roadside drainage ditches, and thinking that if I had a ton of money, fully half of my garden would be water features. I'd have ponds and streams and fountains all over the place. Man, I hope my buddy Snicker wins the lottery. :-p

Thursday, June 22, 2006


I'm sorry, folks. If someone has a temper tantrum because he didn't find out about a contest after it started and he feels he doesn't have enough time to do his own contest entry, then yes, you have to take that into account when he's reviewing contest entries!

He's not "brave," he's not "honest," he's already accused other people of getting "special treatment" and "head start"(s). He's having a tantrum, cloaking it in objective-seeming language and taking his anger out on the contestants. Please STOP praising him for doing so.


Wednesday, June 21, 2006



My brother stopped at the office today in between two hearings, one in Canton and one in Ravenna. While he was hanging around the office, I gave him the url for this blog. I don't know if he'll read it, or if he'll read it more than once, but just in case, I'm going to issue this warning: This is my place. I'm honest about a number of things here, family included. However, kidlets are off limits. There will be NO pictures of any family member under the age of 18. Stories, yes, particularly when I am in adoring aunt mode. Pictures and/or details, no.

That said, I'm having one of those head-shaking moments about the modern family. I'm sitting at home, staring at my blog and wondering if my brother's actually going to read it, and my phone rings. Two years ago, the caller would have gotten a busy signal because I couldn't afford DSL or cable. Four years ago the caller, my mother, wouldn't have had a cell phone. And not even a year ago would she have thought to call me and say, "The house phone's busy, e-mail your father, I'm worried!" I did, he didn't see it, called me and I told him to call Mom. *grin* It's amazing that all this technology actually makes us more worried about each other instead of less. The reason for the busy phone line? More technology--Dad was playing with the caller ID function on his new cordless phone and pushed the wrong button.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Spam--new and improved! Now more irritating than ever!

Dear Friend,

We never thought the Ohio Restaurant Association would stoop this low.

The Ohio Restaurant Association has partnered with Big Tobacco (and other special interest groups) in a dirty tricks campaign to amend our state Constitution to guarantee the right to pollute indoor air with tobacco smoke.

And, they have the nerve to call it "reasonable" policy. They actually think that forcing customers, children, workers and senior citizens to breathe dangerous smoke-filled air is reasonable. No way!

Click here now to tell the Ohio Restaurant Association to take tobacco off the menu in Ohio!

The Ohio Restaurant Association seems convinced by some myths about smoke-free initiatives. We need to set them straight on these and other important points:

Smoke-free workplace laws have no negative impact on the hospitality industry. In fact, 90% of Ohioans polled said that, with a smoking ban, they would eat out more often or as frequently as they do now!
Secondhand smoke poses a serious public health risk to workers, children, customers, and everyone in between, increasing the risk for developing serious health problems like heart disease, cancer, and asthma.
Ohioans support SmokeFreeOhio! Nearly 3 of every 4 Ohioans support clean indoor air laws, including almost half of the state's smokers!

When 91% of Ohioans agree about the danger of secondhand smoke, it's no wonder our support is so strong!

We need to clear the air for the Ohio Restaurant Association. Let's show them the facts and let them know how powerful and passionate this movement for a SmokeFreeOhio really is!

Click here to tell the Ohio Restaurant Association that smoke-free consumers will not be ignored!

Thank you for your help! Please forward this email to your friends and family so they can help clear the air for the Ohio Restaurant Association.


Tracy Sabetta, SmokeFreeOhio

Dear Anti-Tobacco Fascists:

Your tactic of using bulk e-mails is irritating in and of itself, but the message contained in said e-mails is reprehensible and repugnant.

How dare you tell American business owners how to run their businesses? Just as non-smokers (including myself) have the right to avoid businesses which allow smoking, so the businesses themselves have the right to make their OWN decisions about running THEIR businesses.

Funny how Ohio is so fucking Republican in terms of the winning candidates, but when it comes to issues like telling fellow citizens who they can't marry and/or what they can allow in their own businesses, Buckeyes are actually slobbering for more and bigger legislation.

You people need to get lives of your own and stop interfering in the lives and livelihood of others.

*rolls eyes back so far they hurt*

Monday, June 19, 2006

Floor potato

*wandering through living room*
Anything good on?

Oooh! Lady and the Tramp! I love this movie!

*sniff* *sniffle* *sniff*
This is my favorite scene!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

It's Father's Day, and I have the BEST Dad

First of all, a story I'd been meaning to post here anyway:
The Milkshake Story

I've never actually bought a computer in my life. Dad upgrades, I get a new hand-me-down computer. Some of them have been pretty Frankensteinish machines, like the Tandy laptop hooked up to an exterior keyboard and monitor, with a loud old Epson dot-matrix printer and an Atari power supply cord, but hey, they've all worked better and faster than they're supposed to, which is what my dad excels at.

In April of 2000, I think as a reward (unspoken, of course) for tossing Jim the abusive out of my house and my life, Dad gave me TRex. TRex was a 486 with a 14.4 modem, the first computer I ever had capable of surfing the web. TRex was slow and ponderous, but I'd never been online before, so I was happy just to surf, and have the world open to me in a new way, I didn't care much about speed.

In January of 2003, when I knew that there were programs I couldn't run, websites that timed out, games I couldn't play, I got a phone call from my dad. He was at his favorite computer store, and he'd just found a stack of IBM boxes from a company that had traded in to trade up--$100 each. "You want a new computer for $100?" Dad asked me.

Well, duh, of course I did!

And of course, by the time I had the computer (a Pentium this time), the new monitor, the keyboard, the CD burner, the snazzy Epson PhotoStylus 825 printer, the extra RAM, the 20 and 10 G hard drives and all, it added up to over $300. Still, it was a damn nice computer (still is!), especially for that price, and for being built by my dad. Dad built the new computer in the garage and named him "Tank."
It could have been worse--he could have named it "Paulenstein's Monster."

Dad loaded Tank to the gills with software and came over and set him up for me in early April of 2003. My exSO's birthday is in May, and I'd been scrabbling around for gift ideas. I knew he was trying to convert his video collection to DVDs, so I'd gotten him the miniseries of The Stand on DVD, but wanted to get him something else, since I felt as if I was giving him something he already had (which I was). He's nuts about soundtracks, so I looked around, found the one for The Stand, which was instrumental, and noticed that there isn't one with the pop music which is in the book and the miniseries. So I found a website listing all the pop music from the book and the miniseries, ventured into downloading mp3s, and converted them to .wav files. Finally, I burned my very first CD.

It was a Saturday afternoon--I set the program up, hit the burn button, went off and made a coffee milkshake and washed the dishes. The software Dad gave me, Nero, sounds a trumpet flourish when a CD is done burning. I heard it, and came running in to check. In my excitement, I set the big plastic milkshake cup down on the desk in front of the CD drawer. I hit "close" on the software and to my horror, the drawer popped out, hit the milkshake cup, which rocked forward, then back, slopping the contents right into the drawer!

I grabbed the cup and the disc, rushed both to the kitchen sink, snagged a dish towel, and was doing a fair job of swabbing out the drawer when I inadvertantly pressed the front of it and it slid back into the computer. No amount of pounding on the button would get it to come back out. I shut the computer down and called the exSO, whimpering, not explaining precisely what I was doing, but that I had killed Tank and that Dad was going to kill me. He told me I had to tell Dad, and he was right, so I sadly said goodbye, told him I wanted red roses at the funeral, and made the call I dreaded.

Dad hates it when I start a phone call crying, it scares him, so I tried to keep my voice even when he answered. He asked what was wrong, and trying not to sob, I 'fessed up. Then and there, with no hesitation, my father said something I haven't heard since I was three or four.

"Daddy fix."

He did, too--gave me the CD burner Mom had never used for $30, put a plain CD reader in her computer and did it within a week. I will never forget hearing the forgiveness in his tone in those two words when I expected an outburst.

Secondly, a mini-story from last week. I was having problems hooking my hose reel up to the spigot on the house, mostly because the spigot is all of 2" above the ground, and my knees don't like it when I get down that far. If I can, I reserve kneeling for actual gardening instead of maintenance. I asked Dad if he had anything that would allow me to hook the connector hose up more easily, and despite the fact that I did not explain myself very well, Dad came up with this:

Not only had he bought it for me, he attached it to a hose remnant and called to make sure I could figure it out and it worked. When I said that it was perfect, he told me he'd bought two, and would I like the other one for my back faucet? I said of course I did, and so now I can hook two hoses up to both the front and back spigots. Dad also threatened me with disinheriting if I let either one freeze next winter. *giggle* I'm not ignoring him today, it's just that my brother and his family have custody of the parents this weekend, so I am not going to get to see Dad today, but will probably have dinner with him and Mom tomorrow night. We'll see how he likes his 500 cable ties, his chocolate-drizzled caramel corn and his copy of Patrick McManus' A Fine and Pleasant Misery.

Friday, June 16, 2006

An Exciting Friday Evening

Last night, after a week of banging his head into things, rubbing it on other things, clawing and pawing at it, all to no avail, Bigfoot decided to try to force me to take the e-collar off of him. For upwards of thirty minutes, he lay in the hallway, emitting a noise which closely resembled the Emergency Broadcast System Tests, a high-pitched "EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE" designed to get a human's attention and put her totally on edge. Bribing, cuddling, consoling, even yelling failed to still the canine transmitter, and I swear he only stopped because his ears finally hurt. I went to bed with my ears on fire.

Yay for Dr. Mark, who removed the Collar of Shame and the Vet Tape of Doom and then removed Bigfoot's stitches. Double yay for tech Adam, who cleaned said ear and the other one as well, both of them being absolutely disgusting after having been taped up for a week. Yay for Bigfoot for not growling or snapping at anybody, but not so yay for leaving presents on the vet hospital carpet runner. *turns the flaming red of a humiliated pet owner*

Yay for Laurel, for getting my check to me so quickly. Yay for me for writing a winning story. Yay for my Snicker for giving me carte blanche for my birthingday present. Yay for my fuzzy bud for writing a story that made me cry at work. Yay for the 9 or so people who all decided to message me on Yahoo at the same time--I feel so popular! *more blushing*

Anyway, the dog is fine, he's being an angel about not attacking his ear, I've had a nice dinner and now, in between chats, am going to fulfill my promise to write down three true shaving stories.

#1: When I was in high school, I had a conversation with my paternal aunt about the family tendency to dark hair, long dark eyelashes and pronounced eyebrows. While I agreed with her that it was nice not to wear mascara, I bemoaned the concept of plucking my eyebrows, particularly the hairs which, if left unchecked, would lead to a unibrow. My aunt confided in me that she simply shaved between her eyebrows. A few days later, I decided to try shaving instead of plucking. Mom had given me one of those old time, very heavy metal razors, where as you unscrew the handle, the top opens to allow you to drop in a double-sided blade, and then you screw it closed again. I put a fresh blade in, applied a teeny dab of shaving cream between my eyebrows, and whisked the razor down between my eyes, promptly removing approximately twelve to fifteen eyebrow hairs and the end of my nose. I told everyone I walked into a door.

#2: When I was living in my first house and my hours had been cut to part-time, I was doing my usual Sunday girlfest and shaving my legs in the shower. I turned slightly to rinse shaving cream off the razor and my foot slipped. As I tried frantically to regain my balance, knowing I was going to fall, only one thought went through my head. Not, "How badly am I going to hurt myself?" nor "Am I going to hurt myself?" but "SHIT! I can't afford to fall on the shower curtain and break the rod, I can't buy new ones!" I managed to hurl myself into a wall and escaped with a slight concussion and an intact bathroom.

#3: Same shower, a few years later, also on a Sunday. At some point during the shaving of the legs and armpits, I managed somehow to drag the blade side of the razor across my left breast. I did not notice this until I was bleeding profusely on a white bath towel. The SO of the moment, a pharmacy tech, was sweeter and more considerate of the injury to my left boob than he was to any other injury or illness I suffered. In fact, he supervised my use of an antibiotic analgesic cream like a true professional. :-p

These days, I try to avoid combining sharp blade-y things with hot water and soap. Thank heavens for Nair.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Jammies to the rescue!

10 a.m. EST.

A law office in Akron.

At the second desk from the front, our heroine, the charming (if trollish) Jammies, fetchingly attired in her new turquoise slacks & tank, with turquoise tye-dye duster.

The phone rings:

Jammies: "Good morning, law offices."

Attractive, charming, smart, older attorney, henceforth known as K: "Hi, Jammies, it's K. I need a favor. Do you have a set of Stark County Guardianship forms?"

Jammies: "They're available online."

K: "I know. I tried that and something is wrong with my computer. I download the [PDF] form, fill it out, and print it, but all I get is a blank sheet of paper."

Jammies: "Sorry, we just use the PDF forms. Have you updated Adobe Acrobat recently?"

K: "I think so. I'm just going to drive to Canton and get a packet and I'll get you guys one too."

Jammies: "K, Canton is a one-hour drive! Gas is $2.70 a gallon right now. Just give me a second before you go charging off to the courthouse."

K: "Hmmm, all right."

Jammies, after downloading, completing and printing a form: "K, it worked perfectly for me. Hey, what kind of printer do you have, inkjet or laser?"

K: "I don't know, it's got a cartridge thingie."

Jammies, glad nobody can see the eye-rolling: "Inkjet, then. How long since you used it last?"

K: "A long time. My secretary prints everything at her desk."

Jammies: "Ink cartridges can dry up and the nozzles clog. Go to "Start," "Printers and Faxes," right-click on the printer you're using, then left-click on "Print Test Page."

K: "Oh look, it says my ink is low. I've got spare cartridges, I will try one of those."

Jammies: "Better than driving to Canton!"

K: "Thanks! Have a good one!"

Proof once again that a post-graduate degree doesn't necessarily mean practical smarts. *snerk*

Captain Conehead and Jiffy Pop Butt

Bigfoot, aka Captain Conehead, has beat the heck out of the Collar of Shame. Last night, I had to grab him and shake him slightly to stop a full-on puppyfit of running, rolling and slamming into things as he tried to rid himself of the collar. Flannel Jammies, aka "Mom," got upset with me for calling it the Collar of Shame. She says I will give Bigfoot a complex, and I should call it the Collar of Healing. No matter how much I explained that only *deepen voice* baaaad dogs */end deepening* pester their ears until they have to wear the Collar of Shame, Mom refused to believe that Bigfoot brought this on himself. Next vet appointment is tomorrow night at 5:15, if anyone wants to cross their toesies for us.

Meanwhile, Littlefoot is blowing coat and leaving giant tufts of fur everywhere, earning his nickname of "Jiffy Pop Butt" (thanks, FSO), and reminding me to never, EVER again get a long-haired, double-coated dog. If I were cleverer, I would write a comic book about how Captain Conehead and Jiffy Pop Butt save the world from evil squirrels or something. Since I'm not, I'll just vacuum some more. *sigh*

Gardenwise, I've got all but the last nine plants in the ground. This weekend, I'll edge the new round bed in the front yard, and put in the white and pink plants I'm planning to fill that bed with. The phlox, canterbury bells, white balloonflowers and daisies are here, then this fall, I'm going to save up and buy a bagful of pink and white daffodil bulbs from Breck's to fill in, along with achillea, daylilies, carnations and hollyhocks. I'm thinking it will be very pretty when I'm done.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

NastyGram Du Jour

Dear Mr. Downey,

Today, for the second time, I asked to be removed from your company's mailing list. Is it not enough that you charge $1,440 for a ONE MONTH supply of Copaxone? Is it not enough that a year's cost ($17,280) exceeds the U.S. minimum wage? Must you also taunt me by flinging my hard-earned money away on cheesy bulk mailings? I may have multiple sclerosis and lesions on my brain, but I am not STUPID.

When you send me a greeting card to mark my second anniversary of taking copaxone, are you actually thinking this is a happy day for me? Are you under the utterly idiotic impression that I will have cake, balloons, presents and a party? Do you not understand that I, and others, are a captive market? I need your drug in order to do things other people take for granted, and you want me to celebrate that fact?

I'm a writer, and I lack words blistering enough to convey to you the abysmal stupidity your marketing department displays by sending out Copaxone anniversary cards. I already know you spend twice as much on advertising as you do on research and development, and you expect me to be sanguine about the way you are frivolling away my money?

Send me one more thing, Mr. Downey, and you will be out $17,280 per year, because I will stroke out and die from sheer rage. Of course, then you will just raise the price, won't you?


Monday, June 12, 2006

Third place and "woo!"

My "How To" contest entry won third place in the How To contest. Unlike the end-of-year contests, this one was a cash prize of $75.00. I still think there were better stories entered, but I'm not going to turn down the money.

And yes, I like having the little symbol next to the story indicating it's a contest winner.


*stifles ego and shoves it under the bed with the carnivorous dustbunnies*

Monday morning rant

Nothing like being screamingly angry first thing Monday.

You know what, John? You didn't need to bring up an old issue just to say "nyah, nyah, nyah." And that horse hockey about thinking people might be interested is ridiculous. What really got me was your fake sig line. You're lucky there is a country between us, asshole, because I am not a person for physical violence, but you merited a slap for that comment.

You're lucky either Bill or Nicole deleted your little ass-flash. I wanted it left up so people could see what a nasty little spawn you really are.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Gardening is worth it

Right now, I hurt. I'm pretty sure I also stink. That's okay, though, because there are two new flower beds filled with balloonflowers, campanula, astilbe, lamium, geraniums, clematis, delphiniums and other good stuff. I've planted 30 of the 57 plants from Spring Hill, and will probably get the rest done in dribs and drabs evenings this week. I'm just too sore to finish the job today. I sat down here intending just to catch my breath and then go shower before I go get dog food, but I think instead I will change my clothes, throw a baseball cap on my disgusto hair, and run out and get the dog food.

Then, when I come home, I will have the longest, hottest shower on record, and collapse in a puddle in whatever piece of furniture I reach first.

This was supposed to be a profound essay on gardening and the peace it brings me, but tellwiddit. I can't manage profundity when my body is screeching at me.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

The Big Giant Head and The Collar of Shame

My schedule lies in ruins, alas. The Big Giant Head, aka Bigfoot, aka that rotten little shit who won't quit shaking his head, had to go to the vet this morning, theoretically to have his sutures from the hematoma surgery removed. Five minute visit, no charge, in and out.


Because there was still fluid built up in the ear (the same stuff I've been squooshing out all week), Dr. Mark had to drain it with a needle. Then he taped the ear down, and we finished off with an e-collar (Elizabethan, because it's a giant plastic ruff). I made the appointment early, so I could garden the minute it was over, and skipped breakfast to get there on time. Then, of course, we were there longer than I'd planned, when I stopped at BK to grab some OJ I found my last $5 missing, and now not only is it past my comfort level as far as being warm outside, I've got a pulsing low blood sugar headache. All of this because the dog I adore can't keep from shaking his big fat head.

Bleah. Sometimes life just bites you in your big fat ass and you have to deal.

Friday, June 09, 2006

They're HERE.

My little green babies have arrived! 30-odd plants from Spring Hill were waiting for me when I got home tonight. It's supposed to be fairly civilized tomorrow, weather-wise (which just means the high is supposed to be 66º, not 96º). I've laid out the beds for the blue-flowering plants, and the foxglove and pink campanula are going along the streetside edge of the front yard. Two of the three butterfly beesh are going in the bed along the sidewalk, and the third in the bed running alongside the driveway. The astilbe, lamium, toad lilies and lilies-of-the-valley are all going in the wayback, around the various old trees back there. I've double checked my list of plants that can survive around a nasty, cranky old American black walnut, and all of those plants should do well. The bastard's killed a number of potential new neighbors, though, so we'll see.

Tomorrow, after I've gotten myself all muddy-pawed and sweaty planting things, I shall take a break and sit out on the front step assembling one-third of my new plant stand. The other two pieces are back-ordered until the end of the month, but I should be able to get most of my houseplants outside and get the basil started in the long flowerbox. Then I shall come inside and treat myself to a bath with Something Wicked and a Black Pearl. Then I shall get online, read smut, whine to my friends about how sore I am, then nap. On Sunday, I will do much the same, but with the addition of laundry.

It's a wonder my friends don't just shoot me out of sheer jealousy over my glam lifestyle!

More on being a masochist

or maybe "being a moron masochist," I just don't know. So, the place where I'm getting into BS literary arguments--did I mention that this is also the forum that reinforces my low self-esteem about my writing? I didn't mention that? It is.

In 2002, the owner of this forum asked me and three others to write weekly essays for the home page. Every single little think piece I wrote was ignored. Even a short story written from the POV of one of my dogs was ignored. At the same time, another member wrote huge post, starting with things like "The life you live. The life you own. The life you left bundled on a randomly chosen doorstep. Abandoned. A tangential resting place. From the sidewalk. Hidden beneath the eaves. Sheltered and soaked. Mortgaged. Taken in and raised by wolves. Sinister eyes staring into the depths of a forming soul. Claiming territory. Picking away at the wide-eyed ambitions dancing along the freshly cut blades of an expansive front lawn. With strangers for neighbors. And friends far away. The sounds from outside amounting to nothing more than the limits of a tattered imagination." His pieces were slobbered over and he was acclaimed as being an amazing writer, a gifted artist, etc.

I gave up after six months. I told the site owner I quit and stood firm when he tried to persuade me to keep going. I gave up writing for almost two years, convinced that I was incapable of producing anything worth reading. In December of '04, I found Literotica and started writing there. Despite quite a bit of good feedback and support, I still don't believe I'm a real writer. I don't write stuff like I quoted above, I just sit down and let the story in my brain dribble out through my fingers. I don't revise and agonize and reflect and struggle. Slowly, I have come to be okay with that. I'm too thin-skinned to try to get published, so I'll continue to scribble and dribble and share my blitherings with anyone who wants to look.

I do need to STOP hanging around arguing with people who respected my writing so little that they wouldn't even comment on it and who fawned on someone whose most striking characteristic as a writer (imnsho) was a calculatedly befuddling effect on his audience. But then, I tell myself that and still hold myself to some artistic standard of "real writing" and spiral into hatred of my own silly pieces again.


Thursday, June 08, 2006

Masochistic behaviors

Honestly, pissing contests over literary meanings are one of the things I don't miss about grad school. So why the heck did I get involved in one on a message board? Either I did miss such contests and wasn't aware of it, or I'm a masochist. Given my potentially fatal weakness for cinnamon bears, I'm voting for the latter. If it's bad for me, I want to do it or eat it or buy it or whatever it.

'scuse me, I'm just angry with myself this morning. I'll live.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Swimmyhead day

It's not quite dizziness, not quite vertigo, just a gentle out-of-whackness feeling centering on my temples. It's not a heat thing, as the A/C has been on in the office since before I got here. I don't think it's a sick thing, as I've got no other symptoms. It could easily be a MS thing, and if so, may that be the only one. I've got a lovely track record on the remission and I plan to keep it that way.

Yesterday was supposedly the Day of The Beast and all, and while there were a few inconveniences in my life, I certainly didn't feel as if I'd fallen victim to Satanic forces. I feel that when there are squirrels around, because they are in fact Satan's fuzzy little crazed tree rat minions. I also strongly feel that the so-called Satanists are posers, and the real forces of evil are resident and working here in nice, quiet, oh-so-Christian/Midwestern/Republican Ohio. What are said forces doing? Taking nice, boring popcorn and turning it into the Devil's Temptation.

That's right. Things like chocolate-drenched caramel corn from KellBran Candies here in Akron, or cinnamon-glazed or bacon-cheddar flavored popcorn from Al's Popcorn in Columbus. Not only are both KellBran & Al's local, family-owned businesses, their products are freaking addictive. I always imagine Al (who looks rather gnome-like on his website ) tenderly stirring the giant vats of popcorn as he ladles on the cinnamon glaze and then dusts the resultant sticky goodness with a light layer of crack.

Woe is me, sucked into a remorseless addiction which has me haunting Al's website, calculator steaming as I try to figure out what bag is the best value. Of course, I always pretend to myself that there is such a thing as "that bag's too big--I'd never eat all that before it went stale." As if. Dreamer. You'd eat the stale stuff when it comes to Al's cinnamon-glazed popcorn.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Self-congratulatory blithering

Posted this on one of the message boards where I hang my hat, and was rather proud of it:

Jammies, you will embarrass yourself if you do that.

More than I would by talking to myself in front of everyone at the AH?

Yes, more than that.

I don't think that's possible.

You really underestimate our capacity for self-humiliation, don't you?

Oh shut up and go eat a cinnamon bear.


Blithering, smittenhood, relief

The brat is fine, and the vet didn't charge me for squeezing the gross stuff out of the ear. Next time, though, I get to do it myself. Lovely. More grossness follows: I didn't speak with Dr. Bob, because he was busy doing a penectomy on a cat with severe blockage. It's apparently a new, life-saving treatment for cats, but dayummm--I know some male humans who'd rather die.

I'm feeling like Aqualung this afternoon. The plumber my dad sent over to fix the toilet was a built blonde hottie who liked dogs, called me "Miss" instead of "Ma'am" and was apparently just eighteen. :-P I just sat in the computer room and thought quietly lecherous thoughts.

All in all, though, not a horrible day of the beast, but not a great one. I did get into a political pissing contest on one message board, got into a literary pissing contest on another, panicked over Bigfoot's swollen ear and my leaky toilet, but I've had worse days. Of course, I can say that now, 'cos I'm home and not going anywhere else today. *grin*


Great. The dog's ear is swollen up again. The last vet visit was $207, I can just imagine what this one will be. I also have to drive to Hudson and back right at rush hour. *says a lot of unladylike words* I could scream from frustration.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Self-indulgent blithering

That's the only possible reason for three entries in one day, unless you have a much more exciting life than I do. Still, I forgot to mention that Rooter (my resident groundhog) is back or awake or whatever, and digging herself a new den in the wayback part of the yard, and that Josh refused to mow the circle in the wayback because there were three bunnybabies playing in it. Still haven't made up my mind about him--lovely husband for Amy, soft as a kitten about animals, but a flaming bigot who looks like a total skinhead. Weird.

Oh, and just to completely date myself, my yard is shaped like a station wagon, long and narrow. The front yard is the hood, the house is the front seat, and the back yard has the back and the wayback, that last being a term from my childhood. Ahhh, riding in the wayback of a station wagon, either in a seat facing behind the car or in the flat space created by folding down the seats. That would never happen in our safety-first times.


To the Malliementorperson for helping me set this up. *otterhugs*


This morning, I went to Play Four, and there was a banner ad for a Discovery Channel special on the first tomb found in 84 years. I'm not that interested in Egyptology, but if I had cable, I'd watch it, both because my alma mater and one of my former profs were instrumental in the discovery, and also for Ken.

Ken was an online acquaintance, and I say that advisedly because he never let anyone in close except his daughters. He was a very complicated man, and I'm not going to say only good things about him just because he's dead. I'll just skip saying anything except that he was passionate about Egyptology, and I can't help thinking that it's a bit unfair for them to be finding a new tomb a year and a half after his death. *sigh*

Thinking about Ken and about Bill, another online friend, reminds me that smoking is a Bad Thing. Unlike Ken, Bill survived his cancer, but it wasn't a pretty process, and he showed much more grace and guts than I think I have in me. It does irritate the heck out of me when non-smokers say things like, "I forgot even some smart people do that [smoke]." Clearly, MissPriss, you've never struggled with an addiction in your life. All I can think when I read something like that is "I wish you a sudden infatuation with baklava and hips that grow like sunflowers." :-p

The garden languishes, owing to a week-long attack of swollen feet. I have no idea what I walked through last Monday, but it was toxic as hell, evidently. Nonetheless, the garden awaits the arrival of my plants from Spring Hill, and I shall get out there and plant them the minute they arrive. I'm also looking at Spring Hill and Brecks catalogs for fall bulbs, as both of them have coupons for $25 off a $50 purchase. Me being me, that is going to lead to spending $100, but I haven't bought a single annual this year, so I'm investing in my future landscape. That's right, I'm investing. *grin*

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Oh my dog, what ARE the odds?

*gasping for breath*

What are the odds?One of my college crushes was a guy I used to see during my free period between two classes in the same building. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday we spent an hour playing Hangman and talking. Turns out that about the time he and I were in school together, my boss was drawing up his parents' wills. His mom just called, wanting to refer him to my boss for a will. I wonder if he will remember me? I wonder if he's still hot? I wonder if he's married?


Much cuteness


Damn, they are CUTE. And watching them makes me EMPHATIC. They just pulled their fake kelp into the water, and it was a cooperative effort and it was ADORABLE. I want otters of my very own!

Smile of the day: when I woke up this morning, my How-To contest entry was NUMBER ONE on the Literotica top list for the HT category. I'm tied with Colleen Thomas, She Who Has Been At Lit Forever & Has El Huge-O Fan Base-O! I'm grinning so big my face hurts! And feeling EMPHATIC. I don't even care if the trolls come and trash the story, I have a SCREEN SHOT!