Sunday, August 30, 2015


I've posted so many entries to Bubbles & Baubles that it feels weird to start this one without a disclaimer at the top!  It was a good week at work.  I met a couple of nice women from my city who were serving as jurors on an ugly case, my boss came to talk to me about some suggestions I'd made to our notices, citations and call day (and she left with my good pen!) and I didn't even think about killing or maiming anyone. :-)

I did think some nasty thoughts about someone else who works in the courthouse.  I don't know who she is, but she drives a black Cherokee with some distinctive window art.  A couple of weeks ago she pulled that "zoom up the far right line at top speed and then jump into the far left lane just before you need to turn" move.  Okay, I really, really dislike that move, but I didn't want her to die in a car fire until I got caught in a lane I didn't realize was closed ahead and she wouldn't let me in the other lane.  Selfish cow.  DIACF.

Next week is going to be a really good week for books--a new Cherie Priest book (squee!), a new Seanan McGuire book (squee!) and a new Terry Pratchett book (squee!) which is sadly the last Discworld novel ever (sniffle) will all be mine by the end of the week.

This morning was interesting--I had to go to the grocery store and get frozen food, then come home and stuff it in the freezer so I could go work out.  I put my bathing suit on under a dress and shopped and unloaded successfully and did the unthinkable in terms of the Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

I forgot my towel.

Now, if you've been to Casa de Jammies, you know that the Natatorium is only about 2 miles from my house, but when I got there and realized I'd forgotten my towel, I didn't go back for it.  The reason was in part because I didn't want to waste gas, but also in part because we had a storm forecast, and I didn't want to miss my window before it started and the pool got closed because of lightning.  It turns out I didn't need to worry about that, but I worked out anyway and then drip-dried in the car on the way home.

We hates the quad stretcheses, Precious, yes we do.  Nassssty, nasssty horrid little stretcheses.

Yesterday, one of the local radio stations played a live version of Fleetwood Mac's "Rhiannon" complete with horrible feedback squeal, and this morning, the album version was the last song I heard played as I finished my workout.  So here's a little Stevie & co. so you can share my earworm:

Sunday, August 23, 2015

What's up?

Not much here, just working, reading, painting my nails and working out.  There have been some bumps in the road at work, but since said bumps have led to more of a friendship with a co-worker, I can deal with them.

I have heard from 3 independent sources that citrus essential oils will cut the bond chlorine forms with skin, so I've taken to using a grapefruit eo shower gel for my post water-walking showers.  I don't know if there's less damage to my aging skin, but I do smell good. :-)

It's hard to believe that summer is almost over and even harder to believe all of the travel plans for next year.  In March, I'll be going to Universal in Orlando with Mom, Dad, Captain Crossword and my nieces.  In April, Mom and I are going to France and England, and then in December, the whole famdamily is going to London because The Awesome Nacho's band is performing.

Dad is reluctant to go because he dislikes the inconvenience of travel.  Well, I don't know anyone who likes it, but Scary Bear does not want to be winkled out of his cave.  Of course, he was then bemoaning the possibility of losing his whole family to one plane crash or terrorist act, and Mom said "Then come with us."

That was exactly what I thought when she told me about it. :-D  Oh, yes, we'll all go down together...

Oh, and it is nice that a quick Google search shows that I am far from the only person who thinks that a white Kia Soul in your rear view mirror looks exactly like a Storm Trooper.  I feel vindicated and less paranoid.

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Laughter, tears, family and frustration

When I called to wish my dad a happy birthday, after I had done so, Mom got on the phone and told me Aunt Cathy had died.  Aunt Cathy was really Mom's aunt, and my great-aunt, but she was always Aunt Cathy.  She was married to my grandmother's baby brother, a wonderful man who she survived by 10 or 11 years, and they had three kids, five grandkids and four great-grandkids (by the time Aunt Cathy died).

My grandmother was the oldest of four, so there was quite a gap between her and Cathy, but despite the age gap and despite my grandfather moving the family from Pittsburgh to Elyria, my mom still grew up spending time with her cousins and her aunts and uncles.  Mom and her siblings attended Ed & Cathy's wedding, but were deemed too young for the reception, so they were bundled off back home while their parents went.  Mom remembers that Gramma brought them each a piece of cake, but that she was still mad because it wasn't the same.  That may have been what inspired her to allow my brother's and I to come to the wedding of Ed & Cathy's younger daughter.

Since Mom and Dad and I left at 7:00 a.m. to be at the church by 10:00 (with a generous margin of error for Pittsburgh traffic and directions), we had lots of time to talk about that wedding, my grandparents, and Ed & Cathy.  When we arrived early enough to grab a cup of coffee, Mom and I got a case of the giggles when Dad could not get the voice-activated Google maps to understand "McDonalds".  But we found one, and I had a quick iced coffee and Dad had a cinnamon thing (or McThing, who knows?).

The church was large and modern, the soloist/organist was a phenomenal musician and the priest did a good job despite the fact that he had never met Aunt Cathy.  Apparently, her church doesn't have its own priests, but relies on visiting priests from other parishes.  The one who performed her funeral mass was built on the same lines as Shaquille O'Neal.  He also had a very good singing voice.

The trip from the church to the cemetery was a long one, so more Mom and Dad and Jammies chatter ensued.  I mentioned that it was the only time we could run red lights in a car with out-of-state plates and not get pulled over.  Fortunately, as part of the procession we did not have to interrupt our conversation to listen to the GPS.  A large part of the chatter was Mom remembering where Uncle Henry lived, or Uncle Bill, or Uncle Ed, and whether or not she and her siblings had visited.  Two of Uncle Henry's children were at the funeral, and Mom made sure to get e-mail addresses for everyone.

The 'graveside' service was actually at the mortuary at the cemetery, and everyone else went straight from there to lunch.  Since Mom wasn't about to have visited Pittsburgh without visiting her parents', grandparents' and sisters' graves, we followed the hearse to the grave site.  When we left, we got lost in the cemetery, but found our way out in time to truthfully tell Mom's cousin that we were on the way to the restaurant.

Lunch was very nice, and I got to know two of my first cousins once removed more than I did 10 years ago.  They're very impressive young men, and Aunt Cathy had reason to be proud of all of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  When we left after many hugs and some tears, Mom asked if anyone wanted an ice cream cone or a milkshake, and Dad didn't, but I did.  Since we were right by the Pennsylvania turnpike, we got on and stopped for our sugar fix at a service plaza.  Mom got a milkshake, I got an apple & caramel sundae, and Dad got a frozen coffee drink.

Shortly after we left the service plaza, traffic started to slow up, and then it stopped.  We sat at mile marker 225 for an hour in the hot July sunshine, with the car turned off and all the windows open.  After a while, people were getting out of their cars and walking forward to try to see what was going on, a few cars managed to turn around and go back east on the westbound shoulder, and three assholes on motorcycles rode up the shoulder to try to get to the head of the traffic.  Dad hoped that there would be a cop waiting for them.  I just hoped they crashed and totaled their bikes!

After an hour, the traffic started to move, and we drove west to mile marker 223, where we were directed across the median and onto the eastbound turnpike, where we had to go 9 miles back to get to an exit, then wait in line for another 25 minutes to actually get off the turnpike.  It turns out there was a horrible accident and the whole turnpike was closed.  Although I had joked (before learning why we were stopped) that Mom's craving for ice cream got us stuck, it could very well have been that it saved us from being part of that accident.

Mom and I were relatively pessimistic about the people zooming up the left hand lane and whether they'd cross back into the right line just at the exit and Dad said he didn't want to hear us being negative.  So of  course as we tried to find an alternate route back home, Dad called the voice on the GPS a "chirpy little bitch", told it to shut up and told Mom that the frustration had to come out somehow!

After a stop for gas (for the car), cheese popcorn (for Mom) and almonds (for me), we got back on the turnpike and had an uneventful trip home the rest of the way.  I slept for a bit in the car, then took a short nap on my folks' couch, then came home to a very, very hungry dog.  Fortunately, LMPP forgave me as soon as the food hit the bowl, and does not seem to be holding a grudge.

One of the things Mom said as we left the church was that she was grateful for a happy childhood.  I am equally grateful for mine, especially as I have grown up and learned that happy childhoods are not as common as they should be.  Aunt Cathy was part of that happy childhood, and it's hard to imagine a trip to Pittsburgh that doesn't end with seeing her.