Friday, December 31, 2010
Do you want to drive a creative and conscientious person to despair? Give her a lot of spreadsheets. I mean, a lot of them. Make sure that some of them only she will ever look at - that they serve no purpose whatsoever - and then require her to keep them up to date.
Next, some spreadsheets should never add up because you have not given your creative and conscientious person the correct data. Change her data to correspond with the numbers she is not allowed to know. Berate her for the spreadsheets not adding up. Repeat.
Of course you, gentle readers, would never want to drive anyone to despair because that is not what nice people do. But I think it's going to be a while before I stop jumping like a cat on hot bricks every time I see the Excel icon on my computer desktop.
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Still, I find myself like a deer caught in the headlights, like the victim of an accident wondering what just happened. I've spent three days wandering around, in and out of my home, starting at sudden noises and forgetting what I'm doing. I've slept a lot.
Part of me has been upset about this, thinking that I should Get Things Done and Accomplish Tasks -- presumably to justify taking time off. But my body and mind have not cooperated. Beyond taking showers and feeding self and cat, I have accomplished nothing.
This morning the sun came out after a year and a half of overcast days (I may be exaggerating a tiny bit). I sat in my sunroom and thought, "I can do this. I just think I'd feel better if I knew what this is." Apparently, the answer is not forthcoming.
And so, I'm sitting here, watching the sunshine sparkle on the snow, and waiting. Patience. It's a virtue -- one I am being dragged kicking and screaming into cultivating.
Saturday, December 25, 2010
"If you should happen, by any unlikely chance, to know a man more blessed in a laugh than Scrooge's nephew, all I can say is, I should like to know him too. Introduce him to me, and I'll cultivate his acquaintance."
Gentle readers, I wish you a very Merry Christmas, filled with laughter and good cheer. Enjoy the day, my friends. You are all awesome and deserve the very best the holiday has to offer.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Friday, December 17, 2010
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Wednesday, December 08, 2010
He took this picture of me cleverly disguised as a demure lady-person whose little cup of joy overflows at the mere idea of ordering more staples and Keurig K-cups. Pretty impressive, isn't it?
Tuesday, December 07, 2010
Sunday, December 05, 2010
Saturday, December 04, 2010
Thursday, December 02, 2010
I looked at her with my patented quizzical puppy expression, head cocked to one side, and said "You socialize with people like that voluntarily?"
The older I get, the less patience I have with people whose entire social agenda entails proving that they are better than someone else. I also have no patience with people whose favorite topic of discussion is whoever is not there to defend herself, people who manufacture drama, those who have to control the behavior of everyone around them, or who don't read. I can't stand people who are humorless and boring (be one or the other, but for God's sake don't be both).
This, my friends, is why I rarely leave my house -- and when I do, I choose carefully. Because I don't want to bring up the length and severity of my menstrual cycle to shut up a dude who is an obnoxious know-it-all, but I will. In fact, I feel it's my duty.
I'm turning into an obstreperous old bitch, aren't I?
Wednesday, December 01, 2010
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
It was both easier and harder than I thought it would be. For the first week and a half, I was convinced as soon as I posted each day that I'd never think of another thing to write and that the next morning I'd be sitting at the computer staring at the blinking curser until I started bleeding out of my eyeballs. It never happened. There were busy days, and days when I was exhausted, but I eventually figured out that if I had nothing at 6 a.m. I'd think of something before bedtime. Basically, it was one of those Zen-like exercises of living in the day and letting tomorrow take care of itself. I suck at that.
The best part was having a blogging partner in Monica of 5 Cats Shy. We reminded each other to blog, we each tossed out ideas when the other had run out, and we encouraged each other along the way.
It was fun. I would definitely do it again. But not next month.
Monday, November 29, 2010
Sunday, November 28, 2010
While I was noodling around Google looking for a link to make an extremely hip Bobby and Cissy reference on my other blog, I came across this little gem. It's Gail and Dale, dressed as Holly Hobbie and a barbershop singer, respectively, singing "One Toke Over The Line" on The Lawrence Welk Show. Clearly, they are blissfully unaware of exactly what they are singing about. At the end, Lawrence Welk calls it a "modern spiritual." It's hilarious.
[Mom, if you're reading this, a "toke" is the inhalation of the smoke from a joint ("marijuana cigarette") for the purposes of getting high. I only know this because I Googled it. Honest.]
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Friday, November 26, 2010
Hell no, I don't want to go shopping on the busiest retail day of the year. There is nothing I need or want so badly that I would get up while it is still dark and fight crowds for it. Nothing. Not even at Tiffany's. I started my Yuletide shopping weeks ago to avoid just this sort of panic.
Instead, I have spent the day doing yoga, napping, reading, browsing catalogs, and getting my holiday baking plan organized. (Oh, and I also showered. Go me!) Tonight, I'm going to eat leftover lasagne and watch a movie in my pajamas.
Now that's how you spend a bonus day off.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Forget shopping! Follow my directions and you will be enjoying a new wardrobe without spending a dime.
1. Make friends with someone much tinier than you are, who believes -- despite the fact that she is an adult -- that she is going to grow any day now and should shop accordingly.
2. Wait around while this friend stocks up on things that will never fit her. During this time, it's a good idea to ascertain that this friend has excellent taste. (If not, go back to step 1.)
3. When it finally dawns on your friend that she is not going to grow, and that she is running out of space in her closet, go to her house and select things that don't fit her (but that fit you) and take them off her hands.
4. Enjoy your new wardrobe!
Monday, November 22, 2010
Sunday, November 21, 2010
I woke up yesterday morning to a flat tire and a neck sorely in need of a chiropractor. I placed a 911 call to the Army Dude, and to his everlasting credit he hopped in his car and came right over.
After getting me to my chiropractor appointment, a hearty breakfast, and making a couple of unsuccessful attempts to get a new tire for my car, we decided to rearrange the weekend and do some pre-Christmas shopping at Target. We'd originally planned to shop on Sunday, but since the Army Dude lives an hour away and has his own life to lead and cat to cater to, we decided that it would be more efficient to reschedule.
By 4:30, we were exhausted, tired of being around people, and hungry. We stategically chose the Cracker Barrel. I figured that given the early hour, it would be filled with senior citizens quietly scarfing down meatloaf and macaroni and cheese.
If only I could make oracular predictions like this all the time. Life would be so much simpler, wouldn't it?
Saturday, November 20, 2010
I have prepared this presentation to explain why, at times, I look like I am waiting for a firing squad. You can make it into a multi-media presentation by humming a showtune -- I suggest "The Lady Is A Tramp" from the Broadway musical Babes In Arms.
Friday, November 19, 2010
Thursday, November 18, 2010
My first attempt was a huge Christmas snow globe with snowmen and reindeer inside. It played eleven different Christmas songs. It lit up. The lights changed color. The "snow" was made of little balls of styrofoam. At the party, the son of one of my co-workers fell in love with the thing so his dad had to swap for it. The person he took it from was actually disappointed.
Last year I purchased a calendar with vintage pinup gals from the 1940s. I taped some lottery tickets to it and I warned the ladies I work with which gift to avoid. I thought it would be like a hot potato but the boys fought to get it.
This year I'm bringing a leg lamp from A Christmas Story. It looks exactly like the one in the movie, except it's smaller and therefore more tasteful. Well, it's smaller anyway. Nobody could possibly want that. Could they?
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
I have recently discovered, however, that Miss Daphne knows the difference between "one" and "many." If one treat drops on the floor, she looks at it and then looks up at me with an expression that says "One treat? Really? How much do you like having a poop-free comforter? Think about it. Take your time." If I put down a few treats, she dives on them and eats them gleefully with no sarcastic facial expressions.
Just between us, sometimes I put one treat down because her snarkiness amuses me. But then I follow it up with more because I am no fool. I like having a poop-free comforter a lot.
Monday, November 15, 2010
Sunday, November 14, 2010
He then asked me if the rat was getting into my side of the house. I thought, have you heard any crazed shrieking lately? Then, no. But I simply replied in the negative. He told me that the rat was getting into his kitchen garbage and that he'd tried a few different things but had not managed to get rid of him. He was thinking about calling in the guys with chemical weapons.
At this point I started to feel sorry for the rat. After all, he is just trying to live his rat life and do his rat things. He had probably lost his regular habitat because of all the road and sewer work that has been going on in town. None of this was his fault.
The next time I took out the trash, I directed a little speech toward where the rat was suspected to be nesting. I said "Dude," (I call all animals whose actual names I don't know Dude. They seem to like it) "you need to find a new home before the Big Blue Bug Guys show up. Take my advice and move along. Also, I hope you've enjoyed my cooking."
I didn't see him - or any evidence of him - after that. Coincidence? I don't think so.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Friday, November 12, 2010
That, my friends, is grace under fire.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
I'm sure many of you have been asking yourselves "How can I get that quirky old maid style in my own home?" Fret no more, gentle readers. Auntie Maria is here to help.
1. Forget about trends. They come and go, and then where are you? You're in a dated living space, that's where. If you absolutely must have something trendy because you love it, indulge in moderation. Try places like Target for trendy on the cheap. Remember: retro is cool, vintage is fabulous, but dated is tragic.
2. Buy things you love and they will go together. You may not realize it, but your likes and dislikes are probably fairly consistent - you prefer light or dark woods, solid colors or patterns, florals or stripes, modern or traditional furnishings. If you love it, you will find a place for it even if it's a little outside your usual zone.
3. Try moving things around before you buy anything new. Redecorate with what you already have and you'll get a fresh look without spending a dime. Move things around and from room to room. If space permits, store small decorative items and rotate them as the seasons or your moods change.
4. Your home should make you and your family happy. Whether you prefer the clean lines and clear spaces of a Zen monastery or the busy bric-a-brac of a Victorian parlor, if you walk through the door and you're happy to be home, you're doing it right. You don't want to decorate to impress people who don't even live there, do you? Well, do you? I didn't think so.
5. Hello Kitty goes with everything.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Tuesday, November 09, 2010
Monday, November 08, 2010
Sunday, November 07, 2010
Saturday, November 06, 2010
Friday, November 05, 2010
I received the following text message from the Army Dude yesterday morning:
Swamp Yankee update: Hillbilly cat contemplates coup d'etat of oppressive non-democratic military regime. Coup revealed via communication intercept bewtween hillbilly cat and the revolutionary tick army. Hillbilly cat planned to fund coup with blood money.
Now you know why I forgave him for the Military Ball dress debacle. The Dude is hilarious.
Thursday, November 04, 2010
Wednesday, November 03, 2010
Tuesday, November 02, 2010
Monday, November 01, 2010
You are probably asking yourselves, gentle readers, "How can she tell?" My answer to you is that I've signed up for NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month). Both blogs. That means 60 posts in 30 days.
I told you I'd lost my mind. But I figure it this way: global domination will probably require more effort than I have heretofore been putting in. Did Genghis Kahn sit around watching the Food Network and wondering if maybe he should invade the Caucasus? I don't think so.
Wish me luck!
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Don't stress? Clearly, the Army Dude doesn't know me all that well. If the invitation says "Flannel Pajamas," I have a multitude of options. But for a ball? Not so much. I didn't just stress, I hyperventilated and began plotting his murder.
Fortunately, this little number will be perfect. After all, you can't spell Army Sergeant without a little T and A, amirite?
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
The Army Dude and I went to Salem, MA on Monday. That's right, we went to a tourist destination on a holiday weekend. I don't know what I was thinking. Actually, I do - I was thinking that the town would be filled with professorial types in sensible shoes and cardigans with elbow patches taking advantage of a day off from school to revel in colonial history. I was wrong.
This very pretty headstone is in the noisiest graveyard in Christendom. Seriously, there were people all over the place. Kids were running around and climbing trees. There was a loudspeaker announcing the times for tours of a nearby attraction. It was like a carnival, but with gravestones. You'll note that Mistress Higginson's stone does not say "rest in peace." Good thing, because she isn't getting any.
Eventually I had to mentally block out my fellow tourists because they were getting on my nerves. I tried to focus on the history and architecture, like this door on the house at number ten Chestnut Street. It's not every day you see a doorknocker wearing a tricorn hat.
Or this building, which had a pagoda-like feel to it and I have no idea why. It was pretty, though.
Over all, we didn't get more than a smattering of history, and what we did get I already knew. So our trip to Salem was not the learning experience I'd hoped for. We didn't even go the the House of Seven Gables, because it turns out the Army Dude still harbors some resentment against Nathaniel Hawthorne for a little book you may have heard of called The Scarlet Letter, which the Army Dude was forced to read in high school.
My friends, I was not about to argue with an Army Dude who has been nursing a grudge for thirty years.