Thursday, January 31, 2008

It Could Happen

One of the many things I do with the sweet, sweet freedom Ethan's school days afford me is the grocery shopping. Although he loves "helping" me push the cart into bread racks, I find these solo trips much more expedient. And, well, less destructive.

As I perused the ripe hothouse tomatoes on one recent excursion, the new produce manager nodded her hello. "Hey, don't you usually have a little one with you?" she asked.

"Yes, I do," I replied with a smile, impressed that she would remember him after only seeing us together a couple of times in the handful of weeks she'd worked at the store, and welling with maternal pride that my boy had made such an impression on her.

"Cute little brown-haired boy?"

"Yep, that's him."

"That's right," she laughed. "He's the one who talks to the pineapples."

My smile faltered a bit.

"Yep, that's him."

I finished my shopping in a hurry and sulked home, convinced that I should break Ethan of his pineapple conversing tendencies before the media picked up on this particular idiosyncrasy.

Future Presidents do not talk to pineapples.

But neither do they lick restaurant windows or quote SpongeBob in the middle of Christmas programs.

I was still mired in quandary when I went to pick him up from school and helped him into his coat and hat.

(Future Presidents don't wear stupid reinypus hats either.)

If the option to give up on the dream of raising a future Commander-in-Chief were open to me, I'd totally take it. I can think of nothing more taxing than molding a prospective leader of the free world.

Unfortunately, Ethan was born with Presidential hair. My hands are tied.

But short of breaking his luminous spirit, I can't see how I can succeed. The quirkiness is as ingrained in him as the good hair gene. He's destined to be different.

Quixotically different.

As a parent, I can't help but love this about him, as I do everything else. He's my happy little clown.

Future Presidents are not happy little clowns.

So, the way I see it, my options are limited.

Blame his vaccinations.

Or hope the world is ready for tropical fruit on the ticket.

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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Pimpin'

Last year I was jonesin' for blog peeps.

And I found 'em. Boy howdy, did I ever!

I went from having one visitor a day--hi, Dapoppins!--to over 200.

A lot of you I met through cre8buzz. 'Cause, hey, The Buzz is a great place to meet people and increase blog traffic.

(Have invites, will share!)

And some, like my lovely pals, Momma, Dawn, and Amy Turn Sharp, I met through the accursed NaBloPoMo.

(It is a fool's errand! Turn back while you still caaaaan!!!)

I get a few a day who find me through keywords on Google or some other search engine. Odd that the ones looking for "diapered sorority girls" or "dirty woman baking" don't stick around long.

At least the one who found me by searching "old gray and not nice" lasted 3 minutes, though I'm not quite ready to examine my feelings about that just yet.

But in the last couple of weeks, I have been getting a high volume of hits from men in foreign countries through Blog Catalog.

I have no idea why.

BC isn't one of those sites I visit often. I only signed up there so I could snag the widget.

(I'm a whore for widgets. Can't be helped.)

Has this been happening to anyone else? I'm really curious.

Anyhow, speaking of my buddy Amy, a fellow writer who actually writes, she has tagged me with a thought-provoking meme. It doesn't really have a name, but I'm calling it "The Plus One Meme". I think you'll see why...


Name something you do everyday:
  • Poop.

Name two things you wish you could learn:
  • Candor.

  • The winning Powerball numbers a day in advance.

Name three things that remind you of your childhood:
  • Pabst Blue Ribbon.

  • Styrofoam.

  • Pod chairs.
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Name four things you love to eat but rarely do:
  • Duck.

  • Sturgeon.

  • Nachos.

  • Pineapple cheesecake.

Name five things that make you feel good:
  • Unexpected discounts.

  • Good hair days.

  • Jeans that fit right.

  • Good lovin'.

  • Comments. ;o)

(Did I mention I'm also a whore for comments?)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Not THOSE Again

Because I abhor all things serious (thanks for your great responses, BTW), and because it has literally been DAYS without a single reference to my boobs, and because they begin to wither and die if I don't mention them, and because I like my boobs unwithered and not dead, I thought I'd take a moment to update you on the latest news regarding the Wonder Twins.

Didn't know they were imbued with superpowers, did you?

Well, neither did I until I read this. It seems my secret identity as the Cavernous Cleavage Girl has been discovered.

Curses! And here I thought I hid it so well.

Mild mannered stay-at-home mom by day, sex kittenish superhero by night. How could anyone possibly recognize me? The lighting is so different. Plus, I put my hair up during the day, wear comfortable shoes, sprout carefully cultured 12-hour zits, and drive a mid-sized (armored) SUV.

To the untrained eye, I'm your average soccer mom.



But fear not! I vow to continue to "stun and mystify savage male bloggers everywhere."

Just as long as my stylish collection of appliqué vests doesn't impede the view, I'm golden.

What? You didn't think I would stop talking about the girls now that my secret is out, did you?

No way! If I do that, the terrorists win. And Mr. Engineer, too.

(Who, by the way, has admitted defeat and will no longer plague me, spouting inanities about too much boob talk or other such nonsense. Guess he didn't know who he was messing with, huh?)

In other news, my husband has reversed what I have long thought was his position on the heated Butt, Boob, or Leg Man debate.

A decade ago, he told me he was a Leg Man. And as you can imagine, I died a little inside that day.

I have a butt, and I have boobs, but my legs? Not really my best feature.

However, the subject came up again recently, and he is now denying that he ever took a stance.

Typical.

But even though he says my boobs are great, he's still not declaring himself a Boob Man.

Oh, when will my sweater puppies ever get the love and respect they deserve?

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Monday, January 28, 2008

Cutting Ties

I tried to think of something funny to tell you about today, but my heart just isn't in it. It's not that I'm brooding necessarily, but I'm struggling with a sort of moral dilemma, and I honestly don't know what to do.

Think you can help me?

Awhile back, I wrote a post directed at my friend. We'll call her Alison.

Alison and I went to high school together. We ran around in the same circles, so even though we weren't the best of friends, we were fairly good ones. But after graduation, we all went our separate ways, and I lost touch with her.

A couple years ago, we met up again. We caught up on old times, started hanging out again. It was fun, but it quickly became clear to me that she and I were in vastly different places in our lives. I was married and had a child, she was single and still on the prowl.

But more than that, I felt that she still had a lot of growing up to do. This didn't really become clear to me until I set her up with a very good single guy friend of mine, Jon. In theory, they would have been great together. She was a nurse, but she'd always wanted to get married, have some children of her own, and stay home with them. He made the kind of money that she could do that, and he would like nothing more than to have a wife and kids to care for. As a matter of fact, he considers his ex-girlfriend's children, who he'd helped raise for over ten years, as his own, and he's still very involved in their lives.

By the time Alison and Jon had gone on their first date, I truly believe she already considered herself in love with him. By the second date, she was picking out china patterns. She called and texted him incessantly, begged him to let her come over, and complained when he wasn't thrilled that she'd shown up on his doorstep despite the fact that he'd told her he just wanted some time to himself. But the death knell came when she tried to impede on his time with the kids.

She couldn't understand that. She said, "They're not even his kids."

Yes, I explained, by they are important to him. More important than any new relationship. He's their dad, even if he's not their father.

In true Alison fashion, she shrugged it off.

I guess I never really noticed how selfish she was until then. But the more time I spent with her, the more I realized it. When she would call to talk, it was never about me, or about my family, it was about her. Her life, her work, her friends. When I got Ethan into school and finally had some time to myself a couple days a week, she claimed one of those days as "Alison days". And, of course, she would choose how to spend them.

I tried to give her the benefit of the doubt. I realized she was lonely, and in need of a friend, and I wanted to be there for her. But the more time I spent with her, the more I felt like I was being used.

Eventually she made another single friend at work, and the two of them would go out partying and drinking a lot. They were like two peas in a pod, but Alison's attitude just seemed to get worse and worse, and her decision-making skills just went right out the window. If something felt good, she'd do it, and damn the consequences. It wasn't long before she was alienating lifelong friends.

But she was still lonely, still looking for someone to fill the growing void in her life. When she got back in touch with her high school sweetheart, I urged her not to rush into anything. He was going through a divorce, and there were children involved.

They were engaged two months later.

Since then, she's moved up to where he lives, and is supporting him and his children since he lost his job.

And they're planning to try to take the children away from their mother because of her "mental problems"--i.e. she's bipolar, and Alison claims she's suicidal.

I know this is information that is being fed to her by her fiance, but I'm disgusted with the whole thing. This situation, like every other she has behaved herself into, is going to implode, and she is going to end up hurting those kids.

She doesn't get that it's not just about her anymore. And I'm sick of dealing with the misery she creates.

How do I tell her it's over?

(P.S. I'll try to be funny tomorrow. ;o) )

Friday, January 25, 2008

Retraction? I Don't Think So.

Oy.

It appears Mr. Engineer is feeling a tad put out by my recent post wherein I stated:

"Lovey tells me that her husband, Mr. Engineer, thinks I talk about my boobs here too much."

His response?

"I have NEVER complained about a woman talking (or showing) her boobs too much...never. I enjoy hearing/seeing/feeling a lushious rack as much as any man.
What I told my wife is: "Avery sure talks about her boobs a lot.""


Then, like the big, strong brute he is, he threatened to egg my house "like a man" if I didn't post a retraction.

Nice.

But I just have one thing to say to that...

SUCK IT, TREBEK!!

Suck it long and suck it hard, 'cause I ain't goin' down like that.

You know, for a smart man, you're pretty clueless. Do I need to remind you that the road between our houses goes both ways? Or that I've already proven you don't need to be a man to throw an egg at a house? You just need an egg and a house at which to throw it.

Or does doing it "like a man" mean you'll leave me disappointed and forced to finish the job myself?

As any woman can tell you, your words can be construed any number of ways.

Take, for instance, the statement: "Avery sure talks about her boobs a lot."

For you, that may just be a statement of fact. I do, in fact, talk about my boobs a lot. But what we hear depends largely on your expression and inflection, and the context in which you are speaking.

Since I was not present, I do not know your true intention. Thus, I have to rely on the second-hand information I received from your wife. She WAS there, and DID hear you, and perceived, dare I say, a hint of admonishment in your tone?

And considering the reason why you read my blog in the first place--i.e. to keep tabs on us--I did not find it hard to believe that you would not approve.

(Your Puritan morals must be chafing with all this talk of Satan's sinbags!)

So, I will not retract my statement, but I would like to extend an offer to you to GET YOUR OWN BLOG.

Then maybe you can talk about how much I talk about my boobs.

Be sure to link to me!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Happy Birthday, Little Man

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Five years ago...

9 and a half months of pregnancy, 98 hours of induced labor, and 2 months of postpartum depression...

Today...

I would do it all over again.


Love you, Bubs! Happy Birthday!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

CD-Mi-Mi

Gosh, people. Is it Gang Up on Avery Day?

How come I can't get no love?

First Lovey tells me that her husband, Mr. Engineer, thinks I talk about my boobs here too much. Then my husband told me my old profile pic made me look like a dowdy librarian. Now Emma says my new one makes me look like the Joker from Batman.

I'm developing a complex.

Is it really that bad?

I tell you, I am this close to jumping off the nearest high-rise today, people.

(Imagine I'm indicating a very small distance between my thumb and index finger.)

I'd best quit while I'm ahead and post my album cover.

Didn't know I was a musician, did ya?

Well, I am nothing if not a ROCK STAR!!

I saw this meme over at Meleah's place and it looked like a whole lotta fun. And it was! It was so fun, I did it twice, 'cause I'm an overachiever like that.

Here's what you do:

You are about to have your own band’s CD cover. And NO THOUGHT is involved. I followed these instructions to the letter and below is the end result. Try it yourself? Here are the directions:

1.The first article title on this page is the name of your band.

2. The last four words of the very last quote on this page is the title of your album.

3. The third picture, no matter what it is, on this page, will be your album cover.

4. Use your graphics program of choice to throw them together, and post the results.


So, here's what I came up with...

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This one is from my folk/grunge/polka phase. I was lead accordion. Sadly, the singer, Yon Ferguson, developed a harrowing addiction to the Butterball hotline shortly after this album was recorded. Despite the introduction of Skippy, the miniature yodeling bunny, albums sales lagged, and 1972 in Australia broke up after only two weeks together.

On the bright side, Yon never kicked his habit. And he still makes the best turkey.

Now, this one...

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This was my ill-advised tribute to the ladies of Lilith Fair, back when I was playing the dowdy librarian circuit in the mid to late-90's. Lilith Fair, you'll recall, was a music festival attended mostly by lesbian hippies and the lesbian hippies who loved them. While I did not attend for obvious reasons--mainly my aversion to all things hippie--I was all about the message of female empowerment. So, I donned a new persona--Chester McGlockton.

Why that name?

Well, although I have great jugs, I felt Chesty was probably a little too sexist and pornish, and I needed a strong name to convey not only my innate woman powers, but also to play up the awesomeness of my rack. (You know, for the lesbians.) Hence the name Chester.

And McGlockton? Well, it sorta sounds like McLachlan if you say it fast. And I wasn't above using the Lilith Fair's founder to pimp my CD.

Money talks, homes.

In the end, it only sold 11 copies. But I'm still hoping "...And Illiterate Sport Fishermen" will make a comeback.

Hey, if you buy a copy, I'll show you my boobs!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Bit Nippy, Eh?

I recently spoke with the woman who did Ethan's observation back in November. She was quite insightful and pleasant to talk to, and I felt an immediate rapport with her. We chatted at length, not only about my son, but about her own kids and their experiences dealing with sensory integration issues. She had some great advice on how to help Ethan deal with environments of excessive stimulation (like a noisy classroom), and also things we can do at home.

Things like buying foam bats and beating the crap out of each other.

Or squishing him with a pillow.

Or making him carry heavy things around the house.

Yes. If you can believe it, these kids actually do respond well to these activities. Kids with auditory processing disorder, like she believes Ethan has, tend to need lots of physical stimulation to counteract the painful stimuli. They need joint pressure (hence the squishing and the lugging), and roughhousing to release the pent-up energy (aka the beatings).

And I am nothing if not a caring mother. If I have to beat him senseless, well, that's what I'll do.

Out of love, of course.

(An excuse to beat my child? How jealous are you right now?)

In the classroom, for a short-term solution until we can get him into occupational therapy, she suggested we get him a pair of earmuffs that he can put on when the room gets too loud for him. So, off we went to the sporting goods store this weekend to buy him a pair.

We found some nice gray camouflage ones. And while we were there, Ethan fell in love with a stupid looking reindeer hat.

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Seriously, it's like a reindeer/platypus hybrid. If you saw an animal like this in nature, you would shoot the poor thing and put it out of its misery. But since we were expecting some arctic winds through our area this week, my husband went ahead and bought it for him.

He hasn't taken it off since.

When I took him to school yesterday, being that it was a holiday, his regular teachers were not there. He was in a new classroom with new teachers, and he was feeling a little uncomfortable. He asked me if he could leave his retarded reinypus hat and earmuffs on.

I said he could. I understood that he was using them as a sort of security blanket, as he does at times with his coat. It's not unusual for him to leave his coat on in new environments. If it helps him cope with the stress of the situation, it's fine by me. And if a ridiculous hat and earmuffs make him feel more comfortable, only the world's biggest bitch would have a problem with that.

(Can you sense the foreshadowing?)

Okay, the new-to-him teacher was not a bitch, but she is used to working with the older kids. She's a third through sixth grade teacher who is obviously unfamiliar with Ethan's peculiarities.

As I was saying my goodbyes, I kept feeling the weight of her stare.

So, the kid wants to wear his fugly hat. Big deal!

She was still staring when I spoke with the other teacher about his eccentric apparel.

When Ethan walked me to the door.

When I gave him a kiss.

When I waved good-bye.

Then I heard it. A pithy little remark under her breath.

"Must be cold in here."

I paused for a fraction of a second, considered turning around and giving her my best "I'm watching you" DeNiro gesture. In the end, I didn't. I'd already explained Ethan's little get-up to the other teacher. She understood. And since this was just a one-day arrangement, there was no use getting into a "thing" with her.

I left.

Walked out to my car, and happened to catch a glimpse of my reflection in the window.

I mentioned it was cold, right?

Yeah. Let's just say it was noticeably so.

(Basic physiology, wench. Get over yourself.)

Free at Last?

My mother sent me an e-mail a few days ago. You might be familiar with it. It claims Barack Obama is a RADICAL MUSLIM and may be part of a terrorist plot to infiltrate the US government and bring it down from within.

Here's how she prefaced it:
"I don't know how much of this is true. I haven't personally researched the allegations. And I know that everyone seems to love Opra [sic]. However, I have heard some of the allegations previously. I remember when it was in the news that Barack Obama refused to put his hand on the bible--but instead, the Koran. I'm only sending this as "food for thought" to the rest of you."

Wow. Thanks for the heads-up, Mom.

I might have actually done something stupid, like research the facts myself.

(How many times do I have to tell her Snopes is our friend?)

This is par for the course for her, sadly. The word "Muslim" is synonymous with "terrorist" in her mind. And the fact that he's black just seals the deal.

Would she believe the same lies about Rudy Giuliani? Or Mitt Romney? Or Mike Huckabee?

No, she wouldn't.

So, why Obama?

It should come as no surprise to me. I once dated a black man. For some reason that I still don't quite understand, I took him to meet my mom. She was gracious and welcoming, and smiled just a tad too brightly. And when my dad called her from work to let her know he was on his way home, she informed him that I was there with a friend.

"He's black," she said in a stage whisper into the receiver, almost the same way she might have said, "He eats boogers."

I was mortified.

We only went on a couple dates after that, then he hooked up with someone else. It was no big deal; we weren't intimate or in a serious relationship, and we'd never discussed dating exclusively. Still, my mother ran with it.

Mom: "That's what they do, you know?"

Me: "What who do? Men?"

Mom: "Black men."

Me: "Oh, good Lord!"

As if she'd ever met a black man who didn't scare the bejesus out of her.

When I was in a three year relationship with a white man where we lived together and talked about marriage, and he ended up cheating on me (with a minister's wife, no less), all she said then was, "Well, you did gain a little weight."

Mmm hmm.

How does that go...about not judging a man by the color of his skin, but by the content of his character?

I'm afraid we have a ways to go to realize that dream.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Say What?!!

Recent conversation with my four-(going on eighteen)-year-old:


Me: Hey, buddy! How was school?

Him: Good.

Me: What did you do?

Him: Played with my girlfriend, Princess Darrien. I love her so much.

Me: You do? That's nice. What do you love about her?

Him: Well, she has a jacket, and I have a jacket...

Me: Sounds like you two have a lot in common.

Him: Yeah. We're going out on a date.

Me: Uh, what?

Him: We're going on a date to McDonald's.

Me (laughing): You are?

Him: I'm going to get Darrien chicken nuggets and fries and a drink. And I'm going to get chicken nuggets and fries and a drink.

Me: Yeah?

Him: I'm going to order a napkin for Darrien. I'm going to pay.

Me: Well, that is very nice of you.

Him: Yeah. And then I'll take her home.

Me: And walk her to the door like a gentleman?

Him: Yeah, and then I'll take her to Mommy and Daddy's room and kiss her on the bed.

Me (no longer laughing): WHAT?!!

Him: And I'll give a beautiful white glass heart bracelet to the lovely Darrien.

Me: Sweetie, you can give Darrien a bracelet, but kissing is for mommies and daddies.

Him: Yeah, I can kiss her. At night I can kiss her on the bed.

Me (making mental note to lock bedroom door from now on): No, Ethan. You can hug your friends, but we don't kiss our friends.

Him (to himself): Yeah, I will lay down and kiss her on the nose. And she can kiss my--

Me: You're grounded. Forever.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

100 Things About Me

1) My pen name is Avery Gray.

2) Besides this blog, you've probably never read anything by me.

3) I was born in Oregon.

4) I turned 30 last year.

5) I'm 3/4 German, 1/8 Russian, and 1/8 Scottish.

6) I'm told I look Greek.

7) I'm 5'8".

8) I have brown hair.

9) I have blue eyes.

10) I am the youngest of six children.

11) I have 16 nieces and nephews.

12) I'm addicted to Diet Coke Plus.

13) I hate coffee.

14) I've never tried alcohol.

15) I have a son who will be five at the end of this month.

16) I've been married six and a half years.

17) I thought my husband was an ass the first time I met him.

18) I was right.

19) I love him anyway.

20) My first car was an '89 Dodge Colt hatchback.

21) My wedding ring cost exactly fifteen times what I paid for the car.

22) My husband is my best friend.

23) I married well.

24) I'm a halfway decent cook.

25) I'm a horrible housekeeper.

26) I have a nearly photographic memory when it comes to numbers.

27) I only type 41 WPM.

28) I sometimes cheat and look at the keyboard.

29) I can't stand the smell of patchouli.

30) I should own stock in Bath and Body Works.

31) I love bubble baths.

32) I get regular pedicures.

33) My favorite toenail polish color is OPI's "Mauving to Manitoba".

34) I've never had a professional massage.

35) I drink a gallon of water every day.

36) I like the taste of Pepto Bismol.

37) I miss the smell of leaded gas.

38) I think bunnies are soft.

39) I'm a terrible public speaker.

40) I'm naturally quiet.

41) I can get loud.

42) I love to sing.

43) I'm a terrible singer.

44) I'm a terrible dancer.

45) I dance to amuse people.

46) I'm funny.

47) I'm sweet.

48) I make friends easily.

49) I hate to disappoint people.

50) I'm not afraid to stand up for myself.

51) I've never had a cavity.

52) I've never broken a bone.

53) I have 20/15 vision.

54) If I were a horse, I'd be worth a lot of money.

55) I've never wanted a horse.

56) I did want a unicorn.

57) I never got one.

58) I did have a chicken.

59) I hated that chicken.

60) I love to eat chicken.

61) My favorite food is a tomato with salt.

62) My favorite ice cream is mint chocolate chip.

63) I don't have a favorite color.

64) I do have a favorite palette: fall in wine country.

65) My home decor is inspired by Old World/Tuscan vineyards.

66) I've never been to Tuscany.

67) I have been to a vineyard.

68) I drank grape juice.

69) I know how to use chopsticks.

70) I know how to crochet.

71) I'm quite proficient at counted cross stitch.

72) My sewing machine is a Husqvarna.

73) I can drive a stick shift, but not very well.

74) I barely passed my driving test at 16.

75) I was in gymnastics for a couple of years.

76) I can't balance to save my life.

77) I can touch my toes.

78) I can't sleep unless I read first.

79) I average 15 books a month.

80) I'm a very hard reader to impress.

81) I scored a 1430 on my SATs.

82) I'm intimidated by smart people.

83) I'm often at a loss for words.

84) I'm a visual learner.

85) I'm more creative than analytical.

86) I'm right-handed.

87) I'm fascinated by medical oddities.

88) I'm not squeamish.

89) I love "Man vs. Wild".

90) I think Bear Grylls is the sexiest man alive.

91) I love camping.

92) I have never built my own shelter.

93) I love funny movies.

94) I'm a sucker for romance.

95) I like long walks on the beach.

96) I enjoy searching tide pools more.

97) I'm fascinated by history.

98) I know how to play chess.

99) My worst game is Risk.

100) I'm not cut out for world domination.

Friday, January 18, 2008

You Asked For It

For any of you who may be squeamish about the chopping off of body parts, it's probably best to skip today's post. But don't worry. Tomorrow's post will be gore-free (and Gore-free, for anyone squeamish about the guy who invented the internets and global warming.)

Matter of fact, it will be the much anticipated (by two of you) 100 Things About Me meme.

Mi mi mi...

For everyone else, strap in. Have I got a story for you...


I'm not going to show you a picture of my brother, Joe, because I can't. He works as a correctional officer, and it's probably best that the state where he works continue to believe he's sane.

He's not.

Okay, technically he is, but do you think someone who cuts off his own finger on purpose has a firm grasp of reality?

Yeah, me neither.

(And since he cut off his finger, he doesn't really have a firm grasp on anything!)

Ba-dum-bum

No? Okay then. Where was I?

Ah, yes. My "special" brother.

To start off, I feel a little back story may be in order.

My brother has always been a tough-as-nails kinda guy. When he was twelve, he broke his ankle falling off his friend's roof, and he walked the two miles home on it. You might think he has no perception of pain, but he'll tell you it hurt like a mother. He just didn't want to get in trouble for playing on his friend's roof.

If you knew our parents, you'd understand.

Rules were strictly enforced. If you disregarded them, there was hell to pay. Which meant you either played by the rules (like I did), or you learned early on not to get caught (like somebody else did).

I can't be sure that that was the reason Joe learned to hide his pain so well or not, but I do know I never saw him so much as shed a tear. Not even when he got clocked in the face with a baseball and it broke his eye socket.

The guy is invincible.

When he got out of the army, he developed an affinity for such manly pursuits as hunting and fishing and all that testosterony stuff. He'd camp out for weeks at a time by himself. It was on one of those trips that he badly injured his finger skinning a deer. He packed up his camp and headed into the nearest town to have it stitched up, but they ended up having to operate on it.

He was getting feeling in it again and getting his movement back a few weeks later, but he told his doctor that despite the pain meds they prescribed, it wouldn't stop hurting. The doctor told him it was all in his head, that it wasn't unusual to feel pain after an operation, and to give it time.

My brother?

Yeah, right.

He figured he would take matters into his own hands. Literally.

Now, my brother may not be the brightest bulb in the bunch, but he did plan ahead. Though I will not incriminate his accomplice, I will say that we have a close family member who is in the medical field and was able to accommodate his request for a local anesthetic. I do not blame this individual in any way. Whether she got it for him or not, she knew it would not dissuade him from his course of action.

Come hell or high water, that finger was coming off.

My brother said he had a "half rack of beer" before the deed. I don't drink, so I'm not up on all the lingo the kids are using these days, so I don't know what a rack is.

I mean, I know what a rack is...

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I just don't know how it pertains to quantities of beer.

Three? Six? Thirty-six?

Still not enough for me, thank you. When contemplating the removal of my digits, I like to believe I would be lying in a comfortable hospital bed, completely oblivious to the world and deep in dreamland.

Failing that, and forced to do the deed myself, I would probably elect not to be in an altered state of mind. If I have to feel anything, at least let it be quick.

(That's what she said.)

Sorry. Couldn't help myself.

Now, if I had to choose something with which to cut off my finger, it would be my compound miter saw. It's bolted down, so no shifting would occur, it's quick, and just look at these edges!

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Impressive, no?

My brother went a different route.

He decided to forgo the one shot deal and turn his little escapade into his own brand of torture. First, by smashing his bone with a sledgehammer...

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then by cutting the whole thing off with a pair of these...

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Tin snips.

Of all the stupid...

Nope. Not gonna go there. It's his finger. He can cut it off how he wants.

Wanna know the worst part, though?

He doesn't know where it went.

Now aren't you glad you asked?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Quick Question

For those of you using Internet Explorer, do you see my blog like this:



or like this:



If it's like the first, do you know how to make the background show up?

I ask because I'm helping Lovey update her template (which I will let her unveil when it's done), but it doesn't show up on her browser. I checked IE on my computer, and it's not showing up here either. Shows up fine in Firefox.

Does anyone know what I'm doing wrong?

EDITED to say: Thank you, Doodaddy!!! You are the wind beneath my wings!

Problem solved, thanks to your "Doo" diligence.

*collective groan*

Hey, shut your yaps and visit his blog. Not only is he technically gifted, he's uber-funny, too! I think I might have found a replacement for this guy.

(Don't look at me, pal. You both live in San Fransisco. How do I know he's not really you anyhow?)

And while you're at it, give Lovey's new template a gander. As she says, it's totally her.

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

100th Post!

Yes, today is a momentous occasion. For absolutely no one but me.

It's my 100th post!

*one person slow claps*

Thank you. Thank you. You're too kind.

I'm not going to ask if you can believe it. It would have been more shocking if I hadn't made it this far, knowing how much I love the gab. It's funny to think that it almost never happened.

I never planned on starting a blog. I never thought to myself, "Self, you are too funny, insightful, and/or informational not to express yourself in an easily accessible electronic format on a regular basis."

No, it was more like, "Hey, Dapoppins told me to start a blog. I better do it. She has ninja-like reflexes and bouts of uncontrollable rage. Plus, they only found an arm bone from the body of the last person who crossed her."

And thus The Blog was born on September 29, 2007.

Do you remember where you were?

George W. Bush was the President then, and we were at war. So long ago...

Here's a look back at some of the more memorable times:


September

A grand total of one post. It was a music video--Kate Nash, "Foundations". Mostly I just needed something up while I worked on my template. No offense to you, Kate. I really do like your song. And yours was, by default, this month's most popular post.



October


Ah, yes. This was when it really began...to go downhill. Animal abuse, racist rants, word annihilation. Even a list of my most controversial beliefs. It's like I was begging for an ass kicking that never came.

But what disappointed me most about the month of October was that NO ONE asked me to share the story about the time my brother purposefully cut off his own finger.

On purpose.

Meant to do it.

Doesn't anyone want to know the story?

Anyone?

Last chance, people. If you don't ask me this time, it's going in the vault forever and will never see the light of day. Last warning.

My most popular post this month: "For Ethan". One of the few serious posts I've done on this blog, and the one that has the most meaning to me of all of them.



November

Ugh. Couldn't we all just forget the month of NaBloPoMo? Yes, I posted every day. But what did I say, really? I haven't the foggiest. It all sort of ran together.

I vaguely remember something about "Brits", though why they're in quotes I can't recall. This was also the month "Ham Diapers" and window licking came in vogue.

Most popular blog post this month: it was a tie between the one where I unleashed my snark on my husband--"I'm Thankful for...Revenge"--and one where I blasted a "relationship expert"--"I'm Thankful for...Perceptiveness." Apparently I'm bitter. Or something.



December

The month started out with a consumer high as I landed a much-coveted Wii, but was quickly overshadowed by the evils that men do...with eggs. Or egg, singular. (Who'd have thought that would become one of my most popular page visits?) I got baked with some blogger buddies, co-conspired on the tasing of my husband, and likely made some mortal enemies.

Heck, all in a month's work.

Most popular post this month: "It's Contest Time, Sweet Cheeks!" I'm still getting hits on it. The contest is over, people. Let's move on.



January

January marked the end of MemeHiatus 2007!!! And wouldn't you know Holly broke me back in the hard way with the longest meme known to man. Lovey and I celebrated her 30th birthday in style, and a crazy woman sent a tornado to rid me of my beautiful cobblestone edgers.

The battle between the Choconots and the Frenemies appears to be at a standstill as negotiations between both camps are being hashed out. It seems many Choconots may be conducive to the idea of forsaking chocolate for the month of February if a number of Frenemies are willing to work out at least 3 times a week. I've already signed on for that. Any other Frenemies out there willing to give it a go?

Most popular post this month: "I Heart Mike..." Thanks to the droves of looky-loos coming from his blog. Mike is one popular guy.


So, there you have it. My greatest blog hits.

Hope you've enjoyed the ride as much as I have.

Here's to another 100!

Monday, January 14, 2008

A Little Something for the Fellas

I haven't forgotten about you, guys.

I'm sure you could care less about chocolate or whether or not the ladies of blogland ever eat it again. So, before I chase you away in droves, I figure I'd show my appreciation for you sticking around as long as you have.

Consider it a bribe. I might need to talk about hormones at some point, and I don't want to have to do this every time I get a little girly on you.


So, first things first, for M@, I have a major award!

I'm sure I'm small potatoes on M@'s radar. He's amazingly articulate and intimidatingly intelligent, and he's not afraid to speak his mind on any topic. I may attempt to match wits with him on occasion, but I never delude myself into thinking I have a shot in hell at succeeding. But even though he may insult me from time to time, he does it in a way that makes me think I might not be insulted after all.

Now, that is skill.

So, for him, I have an original award I've named the "Blog of Steel Award".
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For the guy who don't take no guff off no one.

Hope you like it, M@. It's no "Yoga as Porn", but it's the best I could do.


Now, for Jef, I have a big ol' box of chocolates.

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Ha! That'll teach you to sass my burgeoning resistance forces.


Next, I told Lazy Ig a while back that I would post pictures of our boat. We actually have two--a 15 foot Alaskan Smoker Craft for drift fishing, and an 18 foot Jetcraft for fishing in the Columbia River. The Jetcraft is my husband's baby, as I'm sure Ig can relate. He's quite the boater himself.

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There's hubby and the boy after a day of Kokanee fishing onboard the "Happy Hooker". (No, that is not emblazoned on the back. Over my dead body will it ever be.)

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Ethan helping Dad drive the boat.

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And these are what we catch when the boy's not around. The big one on the left is a Chinook salmon. The one on the right is a Coho. And, yes, I landed them both.

Rock star!

Hope you like those, Ig! I can even tell you what kind of depth finder we use--it's a Lowrance! But don't ask me anything more technical than that. I'm sort of like the Julie McCoy on The Love Boat. I doubt she'd know anything about bilge pumps either.


Last but not least, Mike, this one's for you...

Hey, Choconuts, I've Got a Plan For You Right Here

I think Holly's been spending too much time playing with dolls. Her minions are running rampant, leaving little rice cake crumbs all over my blog.

Hey, if you're not going to clean up after your cardboard-munching selves, I'm going to have to ask you to leave. It's bad enough I allow you the freedom to express yourselves without any recriminations (I'd feel a little hypocritical if I didn't), but calling us fat little Oompa Loompas? Well, that's just hitting below the belt.

But I have an idea.

Since giving up chocolate for the entire month of January is going so swimmingly, why not extend that into February? You know, the height of the chocolate giving season. That would really put us in our places!

What?

What's that?

Do I hear a little grumbling from your camp?

You don't like that idea?

Well, why ever not? If indeed chocolate is the enemy, to be avoided at all costs, I would think you'd embrace my plan. After all, rice cakes do taste so very much like creamy, delicious chocolate, you're not really missing much, are you?

And February is only 29 days.

After that, you could go back to eating all the chocolate you wanted.

Which would be none, right?

So, what do you say?

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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Friday, January 11, 2008

Frenemies Unite!

We have a common nemesis, and her name is holly.

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Sure, she seems sweet and innocent on the outside, but beneath the saccharine exterior lies the creamy nuggat of a corrupt and reprehensible foe. A scheming villain with a butterscotch chip on her shoulder. A mastermind of epic portion control.

A denier of all things good and right in this world.

Namely chocolate.

She and her band of ne'er-do-wells, pictured here...

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are attacking our very way of life--not only by refusing to consume ANY chocolate in the month of January, but also by recruiting untold masses to their twisted agenda.

Are you going to sit silently by while the militant hippie radicals spew virulent anti-chocolate propaganda?

What's next?

Can the coffee?

Say no to Sauvignon?

Where will it end?

Already they have set in motion their insidious plot to weaken our defenses.

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To them we say "You will not prevail!"

We will stand united against these fiendish malcontents, and we will FIGHT!

We will not succumb because our way is right and true, and our hearts are pure.

Now is the time to act! Show your support. Join the resistance! And together we will defeat the celery scourge!

Viva le Chocolat!!

Unnatural Disasters

Kinda got off track yesterday with the tornado and all.

Rude!

I'm sure lots of you from the Midwest are rolling your eyes. The twister was an EF1, 90 to 110 mph winds. For you, that's probably kite flying weather.

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Hey, give us a break. We don't see this sorta thing often.

Earthquakes? Yes.

Floods? You betcha.

But tornadoes? Not in the past 36 years. I've never even seen a funnel cloud until yesterday.

But the damage was comparatively minimal. Lots of trees fell into homes, lots of clean-up to be done, but no one was hurt, thank God.

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So, for most of us it's back to the grind.

I was going to tell you that all of my cobblestones are present and accounted for after my mysterious encounter with the crazy lady, but I completely forgot in all the excitement.

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(See? There they are!)

I now have a sneaking suspicion that she owns some sort of weather-control device, and sent the winds of vengeance down on my 'hood. Except she's old and has bad aim, so they actually didn't touch down on our house, but ended about a quarter of a mile away.

I shudder to think what she might have in store for us next.

A downpour of frogs?

That would just be gross.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Keepin' Tabs on the Grays

Really quick...

About the tornado--it touched down about 5 miles from us, but lost a lot of strength before it passed over. We got the dark skies, the hail, and lightning and thunder, and we lost power for a little under two hours, but sustained no damage. Thanks to everyone who called and e-mailed. Hope you're all okay, and that your homes are still intact.

The wind and the rain are weaker now, but new systems are forming to the west of us. It is unlikely that they'll form another tornado. They're very rare in this area. But it will make clean-up more difficult for those whose homes were damaged.

Thankfully, as far as anyone knows, there were no casualties this time. Still, pretty scary stuff.

Okay...

Misssy, the dear, has tagged me with a simple little meme. Three questions:
  • What am I reading at the moment?
  • What am I listening to at the moment?
  • What am I watching at the moment?
Fair enough.

What I'm reading:

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Started this one last night, so I haven't really gotten into the book yet. It's a little darker than my usual fare, but I told a friend I would read it, so I shall. It's paranormal and gothic, set in Louisiana in present day and also the late 1700's. The book chronicles the fall of Damien du Bourg, who sold his soul to a demon's daughter in exchange for immortality, then lived to regret his decision. So, the premise is nothing new, but what is it they say? There are no new stories, just new tellings. So, I'll try to keep an open mind.


What I'm listening to:

In constant rotation on my iPod--Aqualung, Blue October, Citizen Cope, Coldplay, Damien Rice, Death Cab for Cutie, Evanescence, Guster, Interpol, The Killers, Maroon 5, Midlake, Modest Mouse, Panic! At the Disco, The Raconteurs, Ringside, The Shins, Snow Patrol, and Travis.

Just downloaded yesterday--Timbaland, "Shock Value"

What I'd love to have on my iPod, but can't find on iTunes--


What I'm watching:

Nothing. Damn writer's strike!

What would I be watching if there were no writer's strike?

The Daily Show, The Colbert Report,The Office, 30 Rock...the usual stuff.

Okay, I'll confess. We're watching The Celebrity Apprentice. I'm rooting for Omarosa. She is just too evil to be real!

As for tagging... Heck, I don't know. If you want to do it, feel free.

Strange day...

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Crazy Comes A-Callin'

Strangest thing happened to me today.

I was home alone, working on some research for one of my stories, when the doorbell rang.

I wasn't expecting anyone, but this happens quite often. Our neighborhood gets lots of solicitors who think it's funny to ignore "No soliciting" signs. But my husband also has family in the area who think it's a hoot to drop in unexpectedly.

They're wrong. No one likes uninvited guests. If you do this, stop it now.

When I opened the door, I found a grizzled, middle-aged woman standing in my flower bed with her dog on a leash.

"Where'd you get this edging?" she asked as soon as she saw me.

No, "Hi, my name is..." or "I was walking by and I noticed your lovely edging..." Nope. Just a demand to know where I'd procured it.

Something about her raised my hackles more than a bit. Perhaps it was the hint of accusation in her tone. Or the way she allowed her dog to poop on my lawn while she pointed her gnarled old finger at my quaint little cobblestones. Whatever the case, I didn't take to the cut of her jib.

"Uh, Home Depot? Yeah, Home Depot."

Even before I felt the lilt of my voice rise, I knew I'd made my first tactical error. I'd answered in the form of a question. Then answered my answer.

What the hell was I thinking?!

What should have been, "Home Depot, bitch! Get off my bark chips," became a sad, meandering excuse for a non-answer wrapped in answer form.

Stupid, stupid, stupid...

"You don't know for sure?" she pounced.

"Yes, I do know for sure. I loaded and unloaded enough to remember."

Ha! Take that. This chickadee ain't going down that easy.

"I don't remember seeing them the last time I walked by here," she said.

I shrugged, really wishing she'd get to her point and falsely accuse me of short-edging her lawn already. Instead, she pointed at my house numbers and ominously intoned, "I'll remember."

And she left.

I'm still scratching my head.

There are 106 cobblestone edgers in my yard, each weighing 10 pounds. If she thinks she'd going to come "reclaim" them for herself, I welcome her to try. That should make for some awesome bloggin'.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Ah, Fiddlesticks!

Having a Wii has brought out the worst in me.

I'm a swearing swearer.

Well, in a totally non-swearing way. I say "fudge" a lot. And I don't mean that I say the actual "f dash dash dash" word, and this is just my inoffensive means of proclaiming myself a potty mouth. I mean I literally yell, "Fudge!"

Yep. Bad ass all the way.

Being lame is nothing new to me. When all my friends in high school were cursing up a storm, reveling in their cooler than cool, devil-may-care teenage rebelliousness, my vocal chords would actually seize around the words I knew were forbidden. And they'd come out sorta like...

"Fuh..."

"Shith..."

"Dan..."

Yep, that's right. I couldn't even say the word "damn" without blowing it. Never mind the word "blowing". It sounded kinda like "blomm..."

Blame it on my parents and their moral fortitude (read STRICT parenting). If they heard you say so much as "crap", you were grounded for a week. And God forbid they heard you taking the Lord's name in vain.

You'd be meeting Him soon.

The habit of non-swearing is deeply ingrained in me. Though I've gotten past the worst of the debilitating bouts of stuttering that accompany most of the tamer expletives, me and the f-word still have a somewhat contentious relationship. We have our differences, but we're working on it.

Case in point: for those of you who don't know me well, I have a 21-year-old stepson, Shawn.

(Pause for exclamations of "No way! You look so young! How old is your husband anyhow?!")

Yes way. I'm thirty. My husband is a young forty-two. And, yes, I'm well aware that I'm closer in age to his son than to him. Good thing for my husband that I've known since kindergarten, when Mark, a fifth grader from down the street, planted a big ol' wet one on me that younger guys do absolutely nothing for me. It was older men from then on out.

Holla!

Anyhow, Shawn used to live with us when he was in high school, and he seemed to have none of the hang-ups about swearing that I did. He and his dad both have the mouths of sailors. When one day Ron was talking to him from another room, Shawn hadn't heard what Ron said, and asked me to repeat it.

So, I did.

And Shawn's sailorfied mouth fell to the floor.

"You just said fuck!"

I looked at him, pondering the words I'd repeated, and sure enough, he was right. I'd said it. Me, who could write the word until my hand turned blue, but who could never, ever so much as whisper it aloud. I said it plain as day.

"You're right, I did say fuck. Ha! I just did it again!"

Both Ron and Shawn beamed with pride at my monumental accomplishment, but inside I was on the verge of panic.

What if Mom finds out?!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Is this wrong?

Everything is wearing on me today.

I tell myself to relax. To calm down. That things aren't so bad. Never so bad that I can't handle it. And I go for a walk and breathe deeply and feel almost okay.

And then I open the door.

Good Lord! What happened in here?!

And then I remember. I have a goddamn five-year-old!

Precious, angelic, love of my life five-year-old, yes. But goddamn all the same.

Hours I spent yesterday cleaning this house. Hours I spent scrubbing, dusting, vacuuming, organizing. And today?

Oy.

Was yesterday a dream? I can't think of any other explanation. How else could one small child create the utter devastation I see before me?

So, I do what any sane person would do. I retreat to the mind-numbing haven of the interweb. I find sweet salvation in the inane.

I find this...

13


And I feel better.

Oh, internet, you've done it again!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

That's No Lady...

Last night, I took my buddy Lovey out for a night on the town to celebrate her 30th birthday.

Hilarity ensued.

I don't think we stopped giggling from the moment our Jimmy Choos hit her monogrammed doormat on the way out of her house. (And she calls me Martha Stewart!)

Since I am an abstainer of spirits, the task of transporting knackered birthday girls (and other assorted revellers) inevitably falls on me. I am the quintessential designated driver--not only am I never tempted to partake of the devil's brew, I'm naturally goofy (read "drunkish"), but without any of those pesky vehicular homicidal tendencies. Hence, I drove.

First we hit Powell's Bookstore to kill some time while waiting for our table at P.F. Chang's. And if you're not familiar with this particular Powell's, let me tell you, it's not somewhere you want to go just to kill time. It is "the largest used and new bookstore in the world...occupying an entire city block."

So you know it's trouble.

Bibliophiles such as ourselves cannot resist the allure of 68,000 square feet of row upon row of booky goodness. It is best to devote hours to a visit to Powell's. Alas, we only had 45 minutes, so we made the most of it.

I found a couple of books to add to my growing TBR shelf. (That's "To Be Read" for all you literary noobs.) But the best find of all was the selection of fridge magnets.

That will be going next to my "A Clean House is a Sign of a Wasted Life" magnet that my mother-in-law loves sooo much.

*cough, wench, cough*

Oh, excuse me. Phlegm.

Anywho, we ate our dinner of Chengdu Spiced Lamb and Phillip's Better Lemon Chicken. Delicious, as always. And, of course, when the fortune cookies came, adding the words "in bed" to the prophetic wisdom within led to rounds of unbridled laughter.
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Apparently, Lovey has an excellent sense of honor in her bed, while the time appears right for me to make a new friend in mine.

Oh, those frisky Chinese!

One place where I was virtually guaranteed NOT to find a new bed warmer was the drag show where we capped off the night.

I'm sorry. "Showgirl emulator show."

This is Darcelle of Darcelle XV Showplace, a 77-year-old female impersonator who owns the place and performs in some of the numbers. (Including one where he shows his butt. It ain't pretty.)

Lovey and I were floored by how good some of these guys looked in dresses. (Dare I say a little jealous?) And doing all that dancing in platform stilettos? Hats off to you, girls!

By the end of the performance, Lovey had been felt up, and I got to stuff singles in Tina Turner's brassiere, and had my boobs serenaded.

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I mean, come on. How could they not be?

After the "girls" were done with their show, a cowboy by the name of Johnny Steel took the stage in a get-up kinda like this and set to strippin'. Which wouldn't have been a terrible thing, except that he bore more than a slight resemblance to a former friend's loser fiance.

We decided to call it a night.

So, no stories of sordid debauchery. Sorry to disappoint. But we had a great time.

Happy 30th, Lovey! Next time, limo!

Friday, January 4, 2008

I Heart Mike...

It was a chill October day late last year when I "met" a man by the name of Mike. He left me a sarcastic comment, and I've been in bloggy love ever since.

Yep, I'm easy that way.

Over the course of the weeks that I've known him, our relationship has devolved into a torrid, seedy Photoshopping affair.

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Mike is one of those rare individuals who not only lets me do that to his image, he makes me laugh until my sides ache. He's humble and self-deprecating, and even though he blogs about his groin a lot, he does it in a way that doesn't make me feel dirty inside. He's a devoted family man--married to his wife, Hank, for 11 years, with whom he has an 8-year-old daughter, Daisy--and an at-home computer programmer in the San Fransisco area.

I thought it would be fun to interview him for mah blog, so he graciously let me rake him over the proverbial coals. Talking with him was like talking to an old friend. One in the grips of dementia, but still fun at parties. And here's how it went down...


Mike: So, should we do this interview thing?

Avery: Okay.

Mike: Let me put on my interviewee hat. Fancy!

Avery: Are you ready for your first question?

Mike: Was that it? No.

Avery: Does your interviewee hat have sequins?

Mike: It does not. It's gold lame' (where is the accent mark when I need it?)

Avery: Nice. I have some pants that would go with. Anywho, tell me about your childhood in ten words or less.

Mike: My childhood was excruciatingly normal and well-behaved. 7.5 words!

Avery: Yeah, that's less than 10. Great. But where did the funny come from?

Mike: Hmmm. (that's my thinking noise)

Avery: Yeah, I got that.

Mike: I have no idea. It's not like I was the class clown. I was the mildly amusing nerd guy.

Avery: Kinda like you are now?

Mike: Not much has changed.

Avery: Apparently. Did you see a lot of action? Girls must have thrown themselves all over you. (That's my sarcastic voice.)

Mike: Yeah, I got that. Let's see. I had a "girlfriend" in 6th grade whom I kissed on the cheek once. Then another girlfriend my junior year. I kissed her right on the kisser!

Avery: Whoa, whoa! Tone it down! This is a family blog!

Mike: Sorry. By "kisser", obviously I mean hand.

Avery: Sure. Next question--you run. Are you sure you're not gay?

Mike: I had a gay friend in high school who pretty much thought everyone was gay. However, when it came to me, he was convinced that I was straight. So, there you go.

Avery: Wow. A gay guy without gaydar? What are the odds?

Mike: Proof from the gay community that they reject my gayness. PROOF!

Avery: Mmm hmm. Moving on. What kind of music do you listen to?

Mike: Show tunes. Clay Aiken.

Avery: A little Celine Dion perhaps?

Mike: Oh, she is fabulous. Obviously Barbra.

Avery: Oh, obviously. If you had to choose a theme song, what would it be?

Mike: Hmmmm (again, thinking)

Avery: Again, got it.

Mike: I reject the notion that I need a theme song.

Avery: I don't. Pick one. YMCA?

Mike: Name something by Clay Aiken. Clay Aiken puts the CA in YMCA!

Avery: Well, I'm sure you celebrate his entire catalog, but I don't know any of his songs. Sorry. Okay. You're an at-home programmer who looks a bit like Keanu Reeves if you squint. Do you have a huge Neo complex?

Mike: Surprisingly I do not. I reject Keanu Reeves as a programmer or as a messiah symbol. Steve Jobs is the Messiah.

Avery: Amazing. So, who is cooler, then? Laurence Fishburne or Steve Jobs?

Mike: Nobody rocks the black mock turtleneck harder than Steve Jobs.

Avery: And that is the epitome of cool.

Mike: The very definition of it. It mocks turtlenecks. What's cooler than that?

Avery: Ummm... Nothing comes to mind.

Mike: Good. For a moment there I thought you were a pawn of the turtleneck lobby.

Avery: Scrabble?

Mike: Scrabble is pretty cool.

Avery: You like playing it in your free time?

Mike: I'd prefer to play it during my non-free time, but, yes.

Avery: And you're pretty darn decent at it.

Mike: I'm NATIONALLY ranked.

Avery: La di da!

Mike: Of course, anyone who shows up a tournament and sits in their chair long enough for the game to start will be NATIONALLY ranked. But still.

Avery: You also admire looking at old boobs. Ever consider a career in elder care?

Mike: I'd prefer to look at young boobs, but old boobs are better than no boobs.

Avery: I suppose that's true. If you're into that sort of thing. Which apparently you are.

Mike: I am. Yay boobs!

Avery: If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?

Mike: Eucalyptus. They smell bad and poison the ground around them.

Avery: And feed koalas.

Mike: And I like koalas!

Avery: So there you go.

Mike: They were my favorite animal when I was about 12.

Avery: Mine, too! Did you know (not like you could know, but still...) that I was knocked off a tractor by a eucalyptus tree branch when I was about 10? I almost got run over!

Mike: That was me! Sorry. my bad.

Avery: What? You swinging the branch?

Mike: No, but weren't we pretending that I was some sort of tree? Scroll up, babe.

Avery: Ah. I get it now. Sorry. Hey, who's running this show?

Mike: I'll roshambo you for it.

Avery: Huh?

Mike: Roshambo!

Avery: Huh?

Mike: Rock scissors paper!

Avery: Oh. It's a nerd thing.

Mike: Ro = rock. Sham = scissors.

Avery: Yeah.

Mike: Bo = paper! Duh!

Avery: Why "sham" for scissors? And "bo" for paper?

Mike: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rock,_Paper,_Scissors Look, I don't make this stuff up.

Avery: Ugh. More links.

Mike: Links are bad? Have you seen the Internet?

Avery: Moving on. If there was one thing that you could change about yourself, what would it be?

Mike: Hmmm. I guess I'd like to be able to fly. Yeah, lack of flying.

Avery: Like a superhero? Or in a plane?

Mike: Like a superhero.

Avery: You wouldn't want x-ray vision?

Mike: You only gave me one thing to change.

Avery: You could look at all the boobs you wanted then.

Mike: If you give me 100, I'll add x-ray vision to the list.

Avery: Where does x-ray vision land on the scale?

Mike: Low. Down near my 100th change.

Avery: Wow. Really? Hmmm...

Mike: Sure. Check out http://www.mikes100TopThingsToChange.htm.

Avery: Ugh. More links. What was your worst subject in school?

Mike: PE

Avery: But you run now?

Mike: Not right now, but, yes.

Avery: You weren't active in school? Or you just didn't like getting drilled with the dodgeballs?

Mike: I was a scrawny uncoordinated little nerd. I sucked at PE. Running was the only physical activity I could perform where I could attain mediocrity. All it required was effort instead of skill.

Avery: So that's why it appeals to you! I was wondering.

Mike: That and the fact that it's measured in time. I'm a slave to time.

Avery: Okay, so let's say in fifteen years, your daughter brings home a guy just like you. What would your reaction be?

Mike: I'd encourage her to pick someone who had more ambition.

Avery: You're not ambitious?

Mike: Not traditionally, no. I have no desire to climb the corporate ladder, or boss around a group of minions. Totally unappealing.

Avery: That's because you like working with code. Nobody who writes code likes dealing with living people.

Mike: That's not entirely untrue.

Avery: See? I'm pretty perceptive.

Mike: If only this was about you.

Avery: Shut up. You've never even seen the movie "Tron". How can you call yourself a techie?

Mike: Hmm. I guess I'm just that good.

Avery: You don't know what you're missing. It's got cool special effects. Very futuristic. In a really crappy 80's way.

Mike: I've played the video game. Does that count?

Avery: No. Okay, last one. Convince people to read your blog...nnnnnooow!

Mike: What? There's no reason for people to read my blog. It's mindless drivel. They should send me money though.

Avery: For what? Writing mindless drivel?

Mike: Because I'm a lovable lunk.

Avery: That's true.

Mike: How about a dollar?

Avery: I like your blog. I guess you're worth a dollar.

Mike: Woo hoo!

Avery: Check's in the mail.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Damn it, Holly!

Before I get to the many and varied reasons why I am damning Holly, I'd like to take a moment to congratulate myself.

Congratulations, self! You're somebody now! Well done.

Thank you, thank you. You're too kind.

So what's all the hoopla, you ask?

Why, my very first spammer, of course! Yes, I've hit the big time!

(Make sure you read the whole thing. It's very Brad Pitt in 12 Monkeys.)

Anywho...

Because my meme hiatus was sooo last year, 2008 is bound to be filled with all sorts of meme goodness. And what better way to kick it off than with a blasted birthday meme that Holly--I'm sorry, holly--so graciously saddled tagged me with.

Thanks. So. Much. Holly!

Here's the deal--I have this list of traits based on my birth month (June), and I have to say whether they apply to me or not, and I have to make it humorous, or you're not going to want to read the whole thing, and for that I. Damn. You. Holly!

Could you have given me a less funny list of traits? I don't think so.

Well, it's just a good thing that when life hands me lemons, I say something flippant, like, "Gee, thanks, Life. Just what I always wanted. Lemons. You shouldn't have. No, really. They're great. Thaaanks."

Oh, yeah, I can take whatever you dish out, Hol-ly.

Frick!

Here goes nothing...

JUNE

Thinks far with vision. Okay, can anyone tell me what this even means? That sounds like corporate mission statement mumbo-jumbo. If it means "are you a planner", then yes. I most certainly am. But I never synergize. I'm not paid enough for that.

Easily influenced by kindness. Embarrassingly so, unfortunately. I've been known to hand out sexual favors in return for the time. (Could that be why my hubby is always getting me watches for my birthdays? Hmm...)

Polite and soft-spoken. I can be. Why? Who you been talkin' to? I'll pulverize 'em!

Having ideas. Um, I'll have to come back to this one.

Sensitive. To what? Light? It makes me sneeze. No, seriously, it does. It's the strangest thing. Shine a bright light in my eyes, and I will sneeze. But then I will cry, because I'm sensitive. And why did you have to go and shine a bright light in my eyes anyway?

Active mind. No. It's quite sedentary.

Hesitating, tends to delay. I'll tell you later.

Choosy and always wants the best. Duh. Jackass!

Temperamental. Fux you!

Funny and humorous. Oh, goodness no! How would I ever get into Heaven?

Loves to joke. Um, yes?

Good debating skills. Oh, yeah. I'm a master debater.

Talkative. Oh my Gawd! Like I so totally am! Like this one time, at band camp...

Daydreamer. Come on! What writer isn't?

Friendly. Is THAT what they're calling it these days?

Knows how to make friends. Thanks to "Making Friends for Dummies"!

Able to show character. ABLE TO show character? Sure. I'm able to show character. Just like I'm able to speak in an Irish accent. Whether it's a good Irish accent has yet to be seen.

Easily hurt. Only by sticks and stones. Or bullets, knives, pepper spray, fire, acid, ice, shrapnel, and itchy, scratchy wool.

Prone to getting colds. How is that a personality trait?

Loves to dress up. I'm sorry. Does that say "Loathes to dress up"? Then, yes.

Easily bored. Nope. My pappy done learn me the book readin' skill. An' soun'in' out them big words done take me a fair amount o' time.

Fussy. Hussy? Perhaps in my younger days...

Seldom shows emotions. Isn't that what emoticons are for? ;o) :o( :oP

Takes time to recover when hurt. No. I do it after I'm hurt.

Brand conscious. Does Marc Jacobs poop in the woods? (For the purposes of this exercise, I'm going to assume he does.)

Executive. Does CEO of Gray, Inc. count?

Stubborn. Are you asking me or my husband?


I have to tag 12 people. I'm not going to ask you not to hate me. Do as you will.

1) Lovey
2) Kimberly
3) Jill
4) Natalie
5) Dooz
6) Dapoppins
7) Jef
8) Mike
9) Rachel
10) Claire
11) Rima
12) Fooferoo

Okay, now the boring part...

Here are the instructions:

1. Mention the person who tagged you and create a link back to them.
2. Copy-paste the traits for all the twelve months.
3. Pick your month of birth.
4. Highlight the traits that apply to you.
5. Tag 12 people and let them know by visiting their blogs and leaving a
comment for them.
6. Let the person who tagged you know when you've done it!

THE MONTHLY FLAVORS, WHICH ARE YOU?

JANUARY: Stubborn and hard-hearted. Ambitious and serious. Loves to teach
and be taught. Always looking at people's flaws and weaknesses. Likes to
criticize. Hardworking and productive. Smart, neat and organized. Sensitive
and has deep thoughts. Knows how to make others happy. Quiet unless excited
or tensed. Rather reserved. Highly attentive. Resistant to illnesses but
prone to colds. Romantic but has difficulties expressing love. Loves
children. Loyal. Has great social abilities yet easily jealous. Very
stubborn and money cautious.

FEBRUARY: Abstract thoughts. Loves reality and abstract. Intelligent and
clever. Changing personality. Attractive. Sexy. Temperamental. Quiet, shy
and humble. Honest and loyal. Determined to reach goals. Loves freedom.
Rebellious when restricted. Loves aggressiveness. Too sensitive and easily
hurt. Gets angry really easily but does not show it. Dislikes unnecessary
things. Loves making friends but rarely shows it. Daring and stubborn.
Ambitious. Realizes dreams and hopes. Sharp. Loves entertainment and
leisure. Romantic on the inside not outside. Superstitious and ludicrous.
Spendthrift. Tries to learn to show emotions.

MARCH: Attractive personality. Sexy. Affectionate. Shy and reserved.
Secretive. Naturally honest, generous and sympathetic. Loves peace and
serenity. Sensitive to others. Loves to serve others. Easily angered.
Trustworthy. Appreciative and returns kindness. Observant and assesses
others. Revengeful. Loves to dream and fantasize. Loves traveling. Loves
attention. Hasty decisions in choosing partners. Loves home decors.
Musically talented. Loves special things. Moody.

APRIL: Active and dynamic. Decisive and hasty but tends to regret.
Attractive and affectionate to oneself. Strong mentality. Loves attention.
Diplomatic. Consoling, friendly and solves people's problems. Brave and
fearless. Adventurous. Loving and caring. Suave and generous. Emotional.
Aggressive. Hasty. Good memory. Moving. Motivates oneself and others.
Sickness usually of the head and chest. Sexy in a way that only their lover
can see.

MAY: Stubborn and hard-hearted. Strong-willed and highly motivated. Sharp
thoughts. Easily angered. Attracts others and loves attention. Deep
feelings. Beautiful physically and mentally. Firm Standpoint. Needs no
motivation. Easily consoled. Systematic (left brain). Loves to dream. Strong
clairvoyance. Understanding. Sickness usually in the ear and neck. Good
imagination. Good physical. Weak breathing. Loves literature and the arts.
Loves traveling. Dislike being at home. Restless. Not having many children.
Hardworking. High spirited. Spendthrift.

JUNE: Thinks far with vision. Easily influenced by kindness. Polite and
soft-spoken. Having ideas. Sensitive. Active mind. Hesitating, tends to
delay. Choosy and always wants the best. Temperamental. Funny and humorous.
Loves to joke. Good debating skills. Talkative. Daydreamer. Friendly. Knows
how to make friends. Able to show character. Easily hurt. Prone to getting
colds. Loves to dress up. Easily bored. Fussy. Seldom shows emotions. Takes
time to recover when hurt. Brand conscious. Executive. Stubborn.

JULY: Fun to be with. Secretive. Difficult to fathom and to be understood.
Quiet unless excited or tensed. Takes pride in oneself. Has reputation.
Easily consoled. Honest. Concerned about people's feelings. Tactful.
Friendly. Approachable. Emotional temperamental and unpredictable. Moody and
easily hurt. Witty and sparkly. Not revengeful. Forgiving but never forgets.
Dislikes nonsensical and unnecessary things. Guides others physically and
mentally. Sensitive and forms impressions carefully. Caring and loving.
Treats others equally. Strong sense of sympathy. Wary and sharp. Judges
people through observations. Hardworking. No difficulties in studying. Loves
to be alone. Always broods about the past and the old friends. Likes to be
quiet. Homely person. Waits for friends. Never looks for friends. Not
aggressive unless provoked. Prone to having stomach and dieting problems.
Loves to be loved. Easily hurt but takes long to recover.

AUGUST: Loves to joke. Attractive. Suave and caring. Brave and fearless.
Firm and has leadership qualities. Knows how to console others. Too generous
and egoistic. Takes high pride in oneself. Thirsty for praises.
Extraordinary spirit. Easily angered. Angry when provoked. Easily jealous.
Observant. Careful and cautious. Thinks quickly. Independent thoughts. Loves
to lead and to be led. Loves to dream. Talented in the arts, music and
defense. Sensitive but not petty. Poor resistance against illnesses. Learns
to relax. Hasty and trusty. Romantic. Loving and caring. Loves to make
friends.

SEPTEMBER: Suave and compromising. Careful, cautious and organized. Likes to
point out people's mistakes. Likes to criticize. Stubborn. Quiet but able to
talk well. Calm and cool. Kind and sympathetic. Concerned and detailed.
Loyal but not always honest. Does work well. Very confident. Sensitive. Good
memory. Clever and knowledgeable. Loves to look for information. Must
control oneself when criticizing. Able to motivate oneself. Understanding.
Fun to be around. Secretive. Loves leisure and traveling. Hardly shows
emotions. Tends to bottle up feelings. Very choosy, especially in
relationships. Systematic.

OCTOBER: Loves to chat. Loves those who loves them. Loves to take things at
the center. Inner and physical beauty. Lies but doesn't pretend. Gets angry
often. Treats friends importantly. Always making friends. Easily hurt but
recovers easily. Daydreamer. Opinionated. Does not care of what others
think. Emotional. Decisive. Strong clairvoyance. Loves to travel, the arts
and literature. Touchy and easily jealous. Concerned. Loves outdoors. Just
and fair. Spendthrift. Easily influenced. Easily loses confidence. Loves
children.

NOVEMBER: Has a lot of ideas. Difficult to fathom. Thinks forward. Unique
and brilliant. Extraordinary ideas. Sharp thinking. Fine and strong
clairvoyance. Can become good doctors. Dynamic in personality. Secretive.
Inquisitive. Knows how to dig secrets. Always thinking. Less talkative but
amiable. Brave and generous. Patient. Stubborn and hard-hearted. If there is
a will, there is a way. Determined. Never give up. Hardly becomes angry
unless provoked. Loves to be alone. Thinks differently from others.
Sharp-minded. Motivates oneself. Does not appreciate praises. High-spirited.
Well-built and tough. Deep love and emotions. Romantic. Uncertain in
relationships. Homely. Hardworking. High abilities. Trustworthy. Honest and
keeps secrets. Not able to control emotions. Unpredictable.

DECEMBER: Loyal and generous. Sexy. Patriotic. Active in games and
interactions. Impatient and hasty. Ambitious. Influential in organizations.
Fun to be with. Loves to socialize. Loves praises. Loves attention. Loves to
be loved. Honest and trustworthy. Not pretending. Short tempered. Changing
personality. Not egotistic. Take high pride in oneself. Hates restrictions.
Loves to joke. Good sense of humor. Logical.

Good Lord, that's a long post!