Friday, September 17, 2010

What is wrong with our country?

If you dress like this:

















You are labeled a crazy, nutcase, loon, teabagging nazi.

If you dress like this:


















You are a visionary, saint, humanitarian, creative, good person.

Yep, that's what is wrong with our country, when we idolize rich pop stars and mock and shun our history.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Where Was I?

I was at work, less than a mile from the Baltimore/Washington International (BWI) airport.

I was on chat with Icky, who wrote "A plane just flew into the World Trade Center".

I typed back: "LOL"  I thought she was joking.  How can a plan hit a building that big?

I turned on my radio and found WTOP and listened with horror as a second plane hit, then reports came from the Pentagon, and there were rumors that a car bomb exploded at the State Department, then Shanksville. 

I called my husband, who was on vacation with his parents, who were staying with us and were scheduled to fly home that afternoon.  "Turn on the tv!"  He told me they were watching a movie.  "Turn on the news right now!"  He did and we hung up.

Co-workers ran into my office crying, their loved ones at the Pentagon, or at day care in DC, or family in New York.  They didn't know what to do.  I told them the obvious; go to them.  A co-worker came in and sat down and wanted to discuss some work.  I looked at her and said "Are you serious?  What with everything going on now?"  She looked up and said "I don't know anyone in those places, I guess it just doesn't affect me."  I told her to leave, because I was leaving, going home to my family, and I pitied her for not having a soul.

As I walked out through the lobby, the television someone had set up with a coat hanger for antenna, showed the 2nd tower falling.  I wasn't even aware that people had jumped until I got home and my husband told me.  The airport was quiet, the police guarding a government facility on my way home didn't seem to care that I sped by the facility quickly... I just didn't want to be near it... in case.

That night, the familiar glow of BWI was gone, replaced by darkness and silence.  For once we could see the millions of stars usually blotted out by the airport's lighting.  We felt so vulnerable.

We both lost several co-workers in the attack, none were close, but it didn't matter.  It turned out that we lost more people through friends, and friends of friends, and friends of family.  We ran out of condolence cards and went to the local drugstore for more... but they were sold out.  It took us several stores to find more. 
Never forget.

Friday, September 10, 2010

BRILLIANT!

The other night I was laying in bed with my container of ice cream watching the First 48 (Raspberry chocolate chunk goes best with homicides) and there was the most brilliant commercial in the world!  Usually I fast forward through commercials, but after catching this one, I may actually start watching live tv again, because I would have so totally missed this most brilliant and absolutely commercial for Tresemme Fresh Start!!!!!

Oh yeah, the dry shampoo for those times when you wake up really late and don't have time for a shower and need to get to work fast and not reek from dog ass (because I know I'm not the only one that has a Siberian Husky that insists on sleeping with his head on your nightstand with his butt rubbing in your hair all night... nope, I'm sure everyone has that issue)

I mean, this product is pure genius!  It claims not only to get rid of the funk smell of dirty hair, but also make it look JUST LIKE you got up, washed it and styled it!  Seriously, I may not ever bathe again!  Why should I?  Some baby wipes and this stuff, who needs to ever step in a shower again?

Er, then I looked at the price.  A bit steep for laziness sake.  Hmmm, it would be convenient if it did what it said.  I could save so much time and energy with this stuff.  Then I remembered seeing something like it at the pet store when Sam had his surgery.  We couldn't bathe him if he messed on himself, but they had this really cool waterless shampoo stuff like this:

Look, its even "Pet Head" so its made by the same people that do that "Bed Head" stuff for humans!  It even smells like (seriously) BLUEBERRY MUFFINS!!!  Well, that was the clincher for me.  Not only would I never have to bathe again, but my hair would be all stylish, clean, and smell like blueberry muffins.

Since I had to buy tooth cookies for the dogs, I cruised through the dog shampoo section and nabbed a bottle of it.  I have no idea why I was trying to be all sneaky about it.  Its not like I had a sign on my forehead that said "I'm actually going to use this on myself and not my dogs".  Its not like anyone would know.  I mean I was also buying dog cookies, but then I figured that if someone where to buy this for their own use, wouldn't they also buy dog cookies to further the lie?  Of course they would, so I also bought a 40 lb bag of dog food because nobody in their right mind would buy a 40lb bag of dog food just so they would look convincing about buying waterless shampoo stuff for their own hair.  Then again, someone with three dogs buying half the store just so she wouldn't look suspiciously like she was planning to use waterless dog shampoo probably isn't in their right mind either, but hey, I still can't get Xanax, therefore I'm totally normal... right?  Plus, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be the first one to try a dog product on themself... shut up!  Besides, I'm pretty sure the entire store staff would be on to me when I walked in next time reeking of blueberry muffin.

So, I'm here to say that the waterless dog shampoo is JUST as good as the human version, and a lot cheaper in the long run.  I do have to say that it totally brings out a new sheen to my hair as well.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Extreme Napping: The Handbook

It has come to my attention (and lack of google results) that there doesn't seem to be a handbook on Extreme Napping.

Quickly growing into one of the biggest sports out there, Extreme Nappers all over the U.S. are practicing and hope to travel to London to participate in the 2012 Olympics if their sport is considered for inclusion.  Lobbyists feel that the Extreme Napping event would best be a winter sport, and held in conjunction with Curling, as most viewers of a sport that includes a broom and big stone thing are familiar with napping.

Not for the amateur, Extreme Napping takes years of conditioning, preparation, and plenty of free time, something a lot of Americans have in this troubled economy, therefore coaches feel that the U.S. will most probably win all three medals, although Greece is said to have a very strong team as well.

Extreme Napping isn't just napping.  It takes practice, skill, and a lot of preparation in order to perform it well, and avoid injury. 

Stretching

Participants need to make sure that their limbs are limber to avoid injury and interruption of napping. By staying limber, you will be able to assume the sleep position for long periods of time, and keep your muscles from atrophy or cramping, which is a big issue with Extreme Napping.  One of the disqualifiers in competition is getting out of bed, so its vital to ensure that muscles are stretched when: shifting positions, turning over, and plumping the pillow.  Extra points are given during competition for fluid movements from one position to the next, so transitional stretching must be natural and lead to the next nap position.

Cramping
 As mentioned earlier, getting out of bed means points are taken off your score, and you may also be disqualified, especially if getting out of bed is for anything other than going to the bathroom.  Some hard core nappers even use depends to allow for more bed time and extra points.  If a cramp occurs, make sure you take care of it in the bed, and not by leaping out of bed and standing on the offending foot or massaging the calf.  Water intake needs to be carefully monitored, as it is essential for avoiding cramps, but too many bathroom runs will mean demerits on your point score.

Free Style
 Unlike Professional Cat Napping, another potential Olympic sport, Extreme Napping does include a Free Style sub-category, but instead of lolling off and getting a 15 minute nap, the Extreme Napper will spend hours in the contorted position.  Drool amounts are much more advanced, and there is no head bobbing while nodding off.  The Extreme Napper will assume their position and fall asleep without lolling, jerking, or bobbing, which is a common point earner for Cat Napping.  Cat Nappers are known to suffer from more injuries for their sport, to include; broken noses, imprints of keyboards on their foreheads, and broken arms from falling out of chairs.

Another difference between Cat Napping, and Extreme Napping is the amount of time: Cat Napping is considered a "sprint" while Extreme Napping is a "marathon"  Typical Cat Nappers are unable to go back to sleep after their session, whereas Extreme Nappers can drink a cup of coffee during one of their waking periods, and then go right back to sleep.  People who suffer from narcolepsy are typically disqualified in professional Cat Napping competitions because they have an unfair advantage.

Regardless of what sport you train for, remember: stretching, water intake, and cramp preparedness will help you train for that professional career in napping.

Monday, September 06, 2010

This Old Foreclosed House - Tree Edition

In this episode, we'll show you the wonderful front yard of this lovely little "fixer upper" next to us.  While the back yard now has a quaint little tarp covered dance floor over the partially mud filled mosquito lair, it also sports this lovely maple tree invading the back porch.  In the front yard, bordering our house, there's a MUCH larger maple tree that seemed pretty sturdy throughout its life, except for a time or two where it would deposit a big branch into the neighboring yard.  Our neighbors, being inventive people, would drag the huge branch into our yard... like we wouldn't notice, and expected us to take care of it.  Um, its your tree.  Initially I just dealt with it, but toward the end of our neighborly relationship, the branch would miraculously appear in their driveway when they came home from work (or wherever they went during the day).




So, it came as some surprise during a storm when I happened to hear a really loud noise coming from out front.  It wasn't THAT bad of a storm, but apparently there were some pretty strong wind gusts, and...  tree in their yard... and blocking the entire street.  GREAT!  Of course, in a normal situation the owners of said tree would do something about it, but as there are no owners of said tree, that left me to call the county street department and report it.  A few hours later, when there was no sign of the county street department, and I would have to lay in bed and listen to people run into the tree, my neighbors and I revved up the chainsaws and hacked off the parts sticking in the street and dragged the remains into the foreclosed home's yard.


Pretty, ain't it?  That's after a few days, of course, but still impressive.  The next day I called the bank and told them they had a lovely surprise on the front lawn of their house, and by the way, the tree took out some of my property too.  To their credit, they were out the next day... to take pictures of it, then they left.  Helpful.

It took a full month for someone to do something about it.  I expected a decent tree service would come out and get rid of the tree properly, fix the fence it uprooted and my property damage while they were at it.  You know, a bunch of workers that knew about trees and could get the root of the tree out without damaging the fiber optic cable that's buried RIGHT UNDER the tree.  So here is what they did initially:
Yep, they cleared a tiny little spot in the front yard to plop down a "for sale" sign.  WOW!  Its amazing just how well that sign hid all of the branches.  You can barely notice them, and what person in their right mind would pass up a house with a freakin dead tree in the front yard?

You'll note that I blocked out the phone numbers and name of the realtor because I know my audience... they'll be dialing the phone and listening to the handy recording, but one thing that I didn't realize when I was listening to how much they were trying to sell this craptastic house (thus making our house barely tread water) is that they KNOW what phone you called from, and like me, you will get a realtor calling you back almost the moment you hang up the phone, slathering about the fact that SOMEONE called and may be interested in the potential crack den from hell.

"Hi, did you just call the number for XXXX street name?  Are you interested in the property?"

Whoa there frantic realtor, I'm the neighbor, and although I'd love to buy the lot just to bulldoze the crappy house into the crappy pool and build a huge garage, I'm just curious to know how much damage you're causing my neighborhood by dumping this craphole for any amount you can get.

I'm pretty sure I heard the realtor's spirit break over the phone.  "Oh, well, if you know anyone..."

Holy crap dude, do you think I'd actually tell someone I knew to move into that mold-fest with built in West Nile virus incubator?  Tell ya what though, I'll keep bugging the bank about the dead tree, the damage to my property, and the health hazard that thing is, and I'll even try to refrain myself from screaming "FOR THE LOVE OF GAWD RUN, RUN AWAY FROM THAT MONEY PIT" whenever you bring someone to look at it.

The next day I got another call from the other realtor's associate asking if I was interested in the house (see above), and the next day called the bank again to complain about my damaged property.  Apparently the first person I spoke to neglected to tell me that I had to "file a claim" so I asked to "file a claim" and the woman told me that someone would promptly contact me... I'm still waiting.

A few days later, I came home to find some guy in a ratty pickup truck piling it full of branches.  By the time I came home from work, I found this:

I'm guessing that guy with pickup truck wasn't too sure how to handle the very expensive fiber optic cables entwined in the tree's roots and just below the surface (don't blame him), so here it sits while people come and look at the house... and there have been people coming to look at the house.

It takes every fiber of my being to not scream at them from our deck "HEY!  Take a look under that fancy tarp covered dance floor" or as they walk into the house "Where's your OSHA approved respirators for all of that black mold?"  If the bank doesn't fix my property, I'll be sure to add: "... and if you buy it, you have to fix my property too!"

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Grocery Shopping with Lobsterman

As usual, after Lobsterman goes on his vroomy ride, we meet at Starbucks and chat with each other via Facebook.

I told him that he was all out of lemonade drink so we needed to go to the grocery store for more.  He HATES the grocery store, but since I claimed that I didn't know which exact special brand of lemonade drink he liked, he begrudgingly agreed to follow me to make sure I got the right stuff.  Its a hard name to remember:
I mean seriously, how can he expect me to remember THAT! 

We walk in, and he immediately realizes that it isn't the store across town where he knows EXACTLY where the stuff is, this store is different.  He's thrown off by the juice section that is "natural" juices, and claims that "Simply Lemonade" is simply lemonade, so it should be in the "natural" juice section because how much more natural can something called "simply lemonade" be? 

Apparently its not "natural" enough for the natural food section (although Starbucks mocha frappucino is there, and THAT'S hardly natural), so we begin to wander toward the back dairy section where the other unnatural juices are kept.

I spy the new apple/cinnamon Cheerios, which sounded uber tasty right then.  I wondered (aloud) whether they would have the same razor sharp knobs on them like Apple Jacks.  I LOVE Apple Jacks, but they somehow bind cinnamon-apple shards of glass on them that rip your mouth to shreds.  Very tasty until your mouth fills with blood and that's all you can taste.  Lobsterman ignores my Apple Jacks rant, as usual and we get to the juice section and find his tasty beverage.  I tell him to get two (because I'm NOT going back to the store for more this week), then announce that we must walk all the way back to the other side of the store because now I must have the apple/cinnamon Cheerios or else I shall die... but manage to grab a dozen eggs along the Bataan death march for Cheerios.

"OHMYGAWD, don't get eggs, they're dangerous!" Lobersterman tells me.  "They've killed people."

"You make it sound like people are asleep in their homes and eggs come out of the fridge and stab them." Since Lobsterman is going on a long vroomy ride during the week, I have major plans for a gigantic gooey egg salad sandwich for dinner, which will involve hosing myself off afterward.  As Lobsterman can't stand the smell of egg salad, its my only opportunity to indulge in some messy comfort food.  I'll wash it all down with some apple/cinnamon Cheerios for dessert.


"I can't believe you're getting killer eggs"

"These are pasturized!" I inform him

"Oh, even worse, they're free-range killer eggs, and you're buying cereal, which means they're free-range cereal killer eggs!"

"I seriously have no idea why I keep bringing you to the store" I grab the Cheerios and head for the check-out line to see if there's a new grotesque picture of the dying Mouseketeer Annette... I'm not disappointed.  I also know he says these things hoping that I will stop bringing him to the store... I'm not stupid.