Friday, October 30, 2009

Our Vermont slide show

Pull up a seat, kids.  Take some popcorn - we can always make more.

Harris - I told you to leave kitty alone.  Now sit down.  We're going to look at some pictures of our recent trip to Vermont to see Grandma and Aunt Cee Cee...

(and to pay those unmasked bandits at the Hyundai dealership a f*cking fortune to get our car back...)

Okay - here is a picture of the trees turning their Autumnal colors as we entered Vermont


Isn't that just beautiful?

Harris!  I told you to leave the kitty alone >SMACK<

And here's a lovely picture taken at the Maple Syrup store we stopped at.


The pictures just don't do the colors justice.

I must tell you, though, that that Mercedes was just pulling in and - oh my lord, Jesus - those people from New Jersey just waddled their fat sweat-pant clad behinds into the store and decimated the free samples tray.

Before you could say "Go back to Jersey, you bums," they had devoured an entire bowl of maple-glazed pretzels, two bowls of maple-mustard dipping sauce and half of the napkins.  They then decimated the maple candy samples, which - as you know - pretty much makes me faint on sight.

I mean, lordy - we're talking about beige candy here.  BEIGE!  And if that weren't enough - it's like eating sand!  Mixed with sugar.  Sugar and sand - and that awful, cloying maple taste.  Oh, it's enough to make the baby Jesus cry.

Well, it was all too much for me and your uncle had to take me to the nearest restaurant to revive my spirits.

On the way, we encountered some of the "locals."  They take great pride in being from here - anyone else is called a "Flatlander."  After taking this picture, this friendly local man offered to sell us some Montreal Rock.  I can't imagine he'd be very successful...




...after all - who wants to buy an old rock, even if it is Canadian?  And the way his one eye kept orbiting in its socket, independent of its mate, was enough to send me screaming back to the car.

So after a few vodka martinis and a salad, we hit the road again.  I snapped some lovely images but I think there was something wrong with the camera.




But after a while it cleared up again.




Once we reached your Auntie Cee Cee's house, Grandma was so happy to see us, she had my own special martini glass and shaker waiting.

I know we ate a bit later, but I think we watched a movie as well....something about a man...a comedy.

mmm.

Anyway - the next day we got up and it was gray and rainy - Brrrr!  But the leaves added lovely color to help dispel the gloom.





And here we see....

HARRIS!

Do you see that barn?  Good - because that's where poor people live - poor people with no teeth and that is where I will by God put you if you touch that damned cat again!!!

Lord-amighty Sally-Ruth, I don't know how you put up with that child of yours.

We stopped at the von Trapp tea room for lunch on our way home - oh yes!  Those von Trapps!  The Sound of Music people!  They escaped those terrible Nazis and moved to Stowe.

Well, you know, old Maria in real life thought she was the Queen of Sheba - big Miss La te ta - in Stowe and let me tell, they still talk about her.  But they have a lodge and a bakery and a tea room that serves lovely sausages.  And you can ski and snow shoe - or just take in the views.

Unfortunately, on the day we stopped - the tea room was closed.

The gift shop attendant had apparently produced a gun and shot four diners before killing herself.

They have a lot of trouble with gift shop attendants at the tea room.  They never last long - and some of them - at least 3 a year - commit suicide, usually during lunch.

I don't know why - it's a lovely little gift shop.  You can buy postcards of Maria gazing over her kingdom of mountains and fields; various CDs of her singularly untalented grandchildren and great-grandchildren - who play all sorts of strange Bavarian type instruments; and, of course, DVDs of the Sound of Music in which that lovely Julie Andrews gives no HINT of the mad cow she will eventually become.

And oh yes - they have the soundtrack to the Sound of Music always playing on a loop over the sound system - no other music is allowed to be played.

"DOE - a dear, a female dear, RAY - a drop of golden sun...."

How could anyone not enjoy working someplace this charming?  The poor girl - she must have had a mental illness.

"Make it stop-" she supposedly said before expiring in the paramedic's arms.

Well...that's about all the slides we have right now.

Oh - wait.

Oh, yes  - this is the one that made our trip worthwhile.

Remember those awful people from New Jersey?  With the Mercedes?

We saw them again on our way home.  And they were able to inconvenience us one more time. 

But the good news?



They're dead.

Just like you are going to be Harris - put that cat down!

HARRIS!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A momentous day



 "After more than a decade of opposition and delay, we've passed inclusive hate crimes legislation to help protect our citizens from violence based on what they look like, who they love, how they pray, or who they are."

Post-it confessions


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Made me laugh...

I promise to post a personal update here soon - just came off a week of vacation to an e-mail inbox of over 450 things to be dealt with NOW.

Man - I just don't bounce back like I used to...wish me well - and enjoy.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

And since most people who come here...

..are bound to be going to go to Hell anyway.........





Hey - it made ME laugh.

Post-it confessions



UPDATE:  For additional perspective on this remark, I refer readers back to this stellar 1990 performance by Paula Poundstone.  Beginning at about the 6:23 mark, replace the words "Daryl Hannah" with "Zooey Deschanel."


You'll find it as crisp and relevant today.

OMG


If you don't know about TFLN - you must...


That's Texts From Last Night - it's mean, it's dirty, it's inappropriate - which makes it solid gold. 

My older and prettier twin sister edder turned me on to it months ago - and I've wasted hours there ever since.

A few "family-friendly" excerpts:

(516): Thank God they found balloon boy, I was afraid that Michael Jackson was ordering take out from heaven.

(973): I'm a terrible person. There are two guys speaking sign language on the metro platform and at first I thought they were drunk and doing a silly dance.

(843): When I came home you were watching infomercials, eating croutons out of the box and salsa from a funnel. Well done.

(703): So for two years my friend Mark has been building a catapult in his basement. Yesterday he realized it's too big to get it out.
(1-703): You need to give me a reason immediately why he is your friend.

Check it out - but don't say I didn't warn you!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

It's a stay-cation...with a little protest thrown in for good measure...


I am happy - nay - pleased as punch (!) to inform you that I am going to be spending the next four days doing absolutely nothing.  I am taking my first vacation time off in 2009.

It's been a roller coaster of a year - but with positive benefits all around.  Well, mostly.

Our car fiasco in Vermont set us back a bit, so any vacation time is being spent pretty close to home.

But that's okay.  This is one of those "let's catch up on projects" vacations.

The scorecard so far:

Nothing.  Absolutely nada.  Zip, bupkiss, zilch.

I spent today playing computer games, reading blogs, watching scary movies on cable and - oh wait, I did go to the bank drive thru for Brian to make a deposit.  Wow!  I did do something productive!

I also ate.  Breakfast and lunch.

 And I brought the recycling and trash cans in from the curb.  I guess I did do quite a bit for a guy on vacation.

Go, me!  yay.

I bopped into the office yesterday to wrap up a few loose ends from last week's event.  Get the CD from the photographer, return some stands - that kind of stuff. 

Then it was back home for a week of sleeping late, drinking early, and generally pissing the day away.

Brian is off tomorrow and we're going shopping for Halloween costume pieces.  They're having a fancy dress wine tasting at his place of employment on Friday.

I may attend.  I may not.

I found out today that his boss - who can be a very lovely and otherwise open-minded person - donated to the Republican Party for the upcoming election cycle.

I have an issue with that.  I don't like to patronize the businesses of people who support an organization or an ideology that fights to deny me rights and recognition as a fellow human being.

There is a very popular tree service company in town, but I've never even had them out for an estimate.  Why?  Because all of their trucks have huge slogans on them in big, black letters - "God Bless America."

And no one else?  Piss off.

I found out last year that my chiropractor donated $3,000 to the Republican National Committee.  Done.  No longer my chiropractor.

I certainly don't go so far as to inquire when I hire someone or patronize a business.  After all, they may not wish to deal with me if they knew my views. 

It all comes down to common civility.  Keep your views out of my face and I'll keep mine out of yours.

Shove your ideology down my throat, and you can find a new customer, bubbie.

Maybe on Friday I'll go as a drunk guy who vomits on neo-conservatives.  That could be fun!

Wish me well, kittens.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Post-it confessions



I helped bring back the surviving former Directors of Research for my company and capture them on film and on stage - and organized a packed house of researchers who could celebrate their legacy and created a venue where they could meet the men - these giants - upon whose shoulders they now stand .

I helped make history this past week and if that ain't something to shout about, baby - I don't know what is.

A boy's dream comes true

After years of badgering, I succumbed...



It was not a life changing experience, just so you know.

We did have ice cream, however.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Meme me me me meme..............

Not to be outdone by my lovely yet three months older twin sister, edder, or my "if-we-weren't-both-happily-partnered-I-might-stalk-him-except-he-lives-in-the-South-and-we've-already-done-that---dear lord..." buddy Bob, I have jumped on the latest meme train out of town.

So, as I lay myself bare with yet another round of  "get to know you" kind of questions - sit back, fasten your seatbelts, and return your tray tables and seats to their upright positions.

  1. Is there anybody you just wish would fall off the planet?
    Space does not allow me to list them all.

    Let’s just say that removing every trailer/shack-dwelling, booger eating, underwear-striping, confederate flag waving, illiterate, American red-necked yahoo and their obese, anti-everything that ain’t white and stupid progeny (and yes, I realize this means most of my extended family), -- breathe! -- Christian evangelicals and every damned Republican would be a very, very good start.

  2.  How do you flush the toilet in public?
    Commode – with my foot. Urinal – elbow.

  3. Do you wear your seatbelt in the car?
    ALWAYS!! Oh my god, with my record of accidents not caused by me, I’d be dead otherwise. I apparently have a bull’s-eye painted on the back of my head and a little sign on my rear window that says “Hit me and you’ll orgasm.”

    There is no reason NOT to wear one – except suicide. But not in my car, my little biscuit. Even my obese and rabidly anti-seatbelt father is forced to wear one in my car. I always remind him that a) I am not paying a fine for his stupidity, and b) that I am the one who gets to decide where to put him away in his dotage. For him, it’s the belt or the ice floe.

  4. Do you have a crush on someone? Oh, my – rarely, beyond the man I still rush home to see (or would if I wasn’t a mobile employee) after 19 years. But I am currently (and somewhat ashamedly) totally crushing on the gay kid in Glee. He emits that stylish Celtic nerd/fag underachiever that so attracted me in high school.

  5. Name one thing you worry about running out of.
    Mixers. That’s my signal that I need to go to the grocery. I can whup up a wicked Gai Tom Ka out of just the staples I always seem to have, but I’m sorry – I need to mix my vodka or bourbon with something.

  6. What famous person do you (or other people) think you resemble?
    I used to get John Ritter from Three’s Company days. Once, I was shattered when someone said I looked like John Candy. These days, self-fulfilling prophecy. It’s Candy-time.

  7. What is your favourite pizza topping?
    Meat. And the more, the better.

  8. Do you crack your knuckles?
    I do – not as much as I used to. Especially in public – it’s inconsiderate (albeit fun to see people wince). I also crack my neck, my back, my knees and my ankles – and sometimes when the moon is just right, I manage to crack the bunion on my right foot free long enough for me to enjoy a few moments of blissful absence of throbbing pain. The latter is usually accompanied by one of those weird pain/ecstasy shrieks you so seldom run across in your later years.

  9. What song do you hate the most?
    Any of the blatantly patriotic pap that has emerged on the Country Western scene during the Bush years. Makes me want to puke on anyone from Texas.

  10. Did just mentioning that song make it get stuck in your head?
    No – but I’ve been watching Glee clips, so I have “It’s my life” running through it.

  11. What are your super powers?
    I am able to put anyone at ease. I am totally self-effacing, unpretentious and wear my shame on my sleeve like a tap-dancing gibbon in stiletto heels waving sparklers.

    But if you f*** me over, I will make sure your future consists of being a vague, bad smell in a place where no one will ever find you.

  12. Peppermint or spearmint?
    They’re different? Oh yeah – like wintergreen. I always think of urinals. What?.............

  13. Where are your car keys?
    On the bakers rack in the sunroom.

  14. Last song you listened to?
    Queen – The Show Must Go On

  15. What's your most annoying habit?
    Oh, where to start…I’m going to go with my random-ness.

    My co-workers can never guess what will come out of my mouth on a business call or in a meeting. I had a website migration call yesterday where I used the terms “old and busted” and “new hotness.” I have also quoted The Joy Luck Club and use the word “festouche” freely.

    Discuss.

  16. Where did you last go on vacation?
    Italy – it seems like ages ago. We LOVED it. Especially Rome.

  17. What is your best physical feature?
    Over the years, I have been seduced over my torso, my legs, my hair, my eyes, and anything and everything including my eyebrows, in fact (he was a freak – yow.... ).

    But at this point in my life, I’m going with winning smile and engaging nature (and my 401K and stock portfolio).

  18. What CD is closest to you right now?
    Oh shit – Enya.

  19. What 3 things can always be found in your refrigerator?
    Mixers (see above), orange or cranberry juices (if it has juice in it, it counts as breakfast), and cheese (no one knows why….).

  20. What superstition do you believe/practice?
    None. Although, I confess to a certain nervousness now about putting my shoes on the bed after seeing our super-girlie Boston gay Italian friend lose his shit over it when I did it at his apartment some years ago.

    WTF?

  21. What colour are your bed sheets?
    Depends on the day – we favour solids in brown, green and tan to complement our Indian paisley duvet set. What they have in common is that they are all covered in black and white dog fur.

  22. Would you rather be a fish or a bird?
    Fish suck – I wanna poop on people.

  23. Last thing you broke?
    Let’s just say my kitchen smells of an enticing mélange of Middle Eastern spices after a bottle of Ras El Hanout fell behind the microwave while I was refilling my vodka tonic.

  24. What are you having to eat tonight?
    Baked pork ribs and potatoes with a side of some yet to be determined vegetable.

  25. What colour shirt are you wearing?
    Lime.

  26. If you could be doing anything else today, what would you rather be doing?
    Find myself snuggled under a lovely cotton blanket on the sofa, an engaging novel in hand – and an unfinished Manhattan cocktail on the table next to me.

  27. Do security cameras make you nervous?
    Oh my god. I LIVE FOR THEM….

    Face it – I will NEVER be on TV otherwise.

  28.  If you wrote a book about your life, what would the title be?
    "If the Rapture comes - I'm taking your stuff."

  29. Last time you went to a cemetery?
    I have video footage of my family having a picnic at my grandmother’s grave site. I was three. That was the last time.

    Thanks for the therapy, folks…

  30. Last concert you went to?
    Bette Midler in Manhattan – Madison Square Garden. 2006?

  31. Favourite musician(s)/bands you've seen in concert?
    Queen. Original – with Freddie Mercury. Period. Twice. There is no other.

    DO NOT ARGUE WITH ME - YOU WILL LOSE

  32. Next concert you're planning to attend?
    Que paso?

  33. Do you talk to yourself?
    No – I’m too polite to interrupt brilliant people or madmen.

  34. Have you ever adopted or purchased a pet?
    Purchased – never.

    Since 1993, we are on rescue dogs 5, 6 and 7 – and rescue kitties 3 and 4. And we anticipate more.

    Bring your antihistamines when you visit.

  35. Have you ever been present when an animal is being born?
    No.

Post-it Confessions


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Sordid scenes from a marriage


Hubby:  "Hey - I'm forwarding you an e-mail from (Hubby's boss who we love to shock out of her conservative, sheltered upbringing) and (her sister, ditto)."

Me:  "What's it about?"

Hubby:  "They're sponsoring a fun run and want to know if we can host some of the participants."

Me:  (Being a smart ass and extremely immature) "What if we reply asking if our participants are sexually available?  Wouldn't that be hysterical?"

Silence............

.................................................................................

Me:  (Remembering that hubby's boss volunteers with Special Olympics)  "Oh ...wait..Oh jesus...Oh my god.  I am so going to Hell right now."


UPDATE:

And then I received the e-mail and viewed the accompanying attachment.




I am such an ass.



Monday, October 12, 2009

A beautiful voice is stilled

Say what you will about boy bands and pop icons (I can't quite stomach either), the death of Stephen Gately over the weekend is indeed a loss to the music world. 

My first encounter with his amazing voice and stage presence was as part of the Andrew Lloyd Weber Albert Hall celebration.  I was mesmerized by his and Ronan's amazing voices.   But what really struck me was his sparkling eyes and his presence when he sang - I felt transported.

So, rest well and thank you for the music, Stephen. 

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Garden bounty


As usual, it took an external motivator to get me to do something I've been meaning to do for months.

An impending first frost tonight prompted me to finally get off my ample posterior and harvest this year's basil crop and turn it into that magical green liquid of joy - pesto!!!

It's hard to imagine that it takes two armloads of basil to make 2 quarts, but there you are.  Now, we have pesto for giving as well as for cooking throughout the months ahead.


A cursory tour of the waning garden also prompted the harvest of the last of the rhubarb, three butternut squashes (ahhh - soup!  With a little smoked chipotle pepper - it's heaven!) and the third cheese pumpkin from our volunteer vine that resulted from last year's Thanksgiving pie's carcass being chucked into the hedge line.  There are two more pumpkins nearly ready to harvest, but they just need a few more days on the vine.  Same for the butternut - one smaller, slightly greener sibling remains.

As for the gooseneck gourds - well, these are the last of the three produced from the carcass that Eddie discovered in the compost and made into a stinking, nasty toy - spawning multitudes of nasty, invasive gooseneck gourd vines that have nearly devoured our dahlia garden.

Now - to deal with the huge bowl of stewed-down quince I made yesterday.  Sigh...

More later kiddies, Dinah's heading back to the kitchen for more.

Cheers

Thursday, October 08, 2009

To Robert, with love...(and pickins!)


So, a while back, during a conversation about words that make you cringe, we found out that our brother-in-law Robert hates the word "pickins."

Apparently, his mother uses the phrase to mean "a little bit of this and that" regarding food - usually in a casual, left-overish kind of way.

So for Robert - we had to grab this photo on our way back from our most recent trip to Vermont. (more to come on that trip soon - suffice to say, we have our car back in somewhat good running order...however, it is apparent that the clock is ticking...ticking...)

It's all meant with love, buddy.

Anyway, not to single Robert out - I must confess that the one word in the English language that makes me cringe - nay, foam at the mouth and fight a desire to poke sharp things into my eardrums - is the word "crisp."

I can't explain it.  The word simply creates a negative limbic response in me whenever I hear it.  Like George Bush or Rush Limbaugh.

I once had a great aunt who was dining with us one summer's day inform my mother that her lime jello salad with shredded carrots, diced cabbage and dollops of cream cheese was so "refreshingly cool and unexpectedly crisp."

I almost fainted.  I was thirteen.

Interestingly, most people I talk to have these "trigger" words.  I understand that the majority of women polled intensely dislike the word "moist", followed closely by "panties."

On the way home, I heard a National Public Radio (NPR for us Yanks) report on phrases/words that annoy people.  Surprisingly - or maybe not - "whatever" tops the list by a whopping 47%.

So, you know - whatever.  What word or phrase creeps you out?

Whatever.

Moisssssssssst.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Overheard at the Walgreen's pharmacy

Elderly woman 1:  "What's going on out there?"

Elderly woman 2:  "A woman is laying out there bleeding."

Elderly woman 1:  "Was she hit by a car?"

Elderly woman 2:  "I don't know - she's lying by the bushes bleeding."

Elderly woman 1:  "Did she fall?"

Elderly woman 2:  "I don't know!"

Elderly woman 1:  "I bet she's poor."


I don't know why I go out anymore.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Dupree's nuggets - dipping sauce extra

Just a few thoughts as I wrap up the week - and yes, there will likely be a little moaning and whining because the past week has largely sucked.  I mean AUDIBLY sucked - you could hear it sucking.

LOUD.

I mean it.
---------------------------------------------------

First off - on a happy note.  I have discovered a new Fall/Winter dish to make you droooool.  Courtesy of my older but prettier twin sister Edder over at I don't care for your tone, I have tasted the sensual and earthy delights of the Lazy Person's Cabbage Roll Recipe (I call it Cabbage Roll Stew for short, although I am truly a huge fan of both sloth and indolence, in that order).

Given my German/Lutheranesque upbringing in the pioneering wilds of Ohio (Lakewood), this dish brings back memories of my grandmother's cabbage rolls that were often served as Sunday dinner.  The aroma of this dish alone sent me into paroxysms of nostalgic ecstasy.  I even made it the night before we planned to eat it to let the flavors meld.

Helpful hint if you try this:  Remove the bay leaves before serving.  You'll be glad you did.  I just reheated some for lunch and slashed the hell out of my gums.

---------------------------------------------------


Today's helpful hint for dog owners:   If your dog somehow manages to procure and devour a black ink pen on your living room oriental, do not attempt to scrub the ink out of your carpet.  Douse it liberally with rug cleaner and daub with paper towels, attempting to wick as much ink out of the carpet as you can instead of messing it around.

Then your rug will only be slightly ruined.

Sigh.

---------------------------------------------------


Discovery of the week:


There is never so much work on your plate that more can't be added.  Crying is permissible, but only if your boss can't see you.

And after that, man the hell up and soldier on.

---------------------------------------------------

 This year's vacation destination:


We had hoped to make a West Coast jaunt this Fall to the San Francisco Bay Area and to Seattle to see some wonderful friends.

Instead, our vacation funds will be allocated to paying off the repair work to my car up in Burlington this week.

So, as we drive back home this Sunday with our 9 year-old solid-gold car, we'll listen to the Grateful Dead, eat sourdough and throw fish at each other.

The drizzly Pacific Northwest weather will be simulated by us weeping quietly into our Starbucks.

---------------------------------------------------

On the lighter side...


While last weekend was not quite 'peak' for Vermont's annual foliage extravaganza, we're assured that this weekend will be spectacular.

So - once again, camera in tow - we're hoping to catch some spectacular images to share when we return.

Best wishes to you all for a great weekend!