an utterly random discussion

Thursday, January 26, 2006

If I had a million dollars

I'd be rich.

Here's what I'd do if I had enough money so I never had to work again (unless I wanted to.)

Buy modest yet charming house on very large tract of land not too far from civilization
Build luxurious barn and well-fenced paddock areas
Buy an ATV (for gettin' around the property)

You'll notice that I haven't mentioned my husband or the dog. They both get to stay -- my husband will continue to work his job as usual, and my dog would stay close to the house in a nice, fenced-in yard because he eats horse poop and would terrorize the chickens. I would get several more dogs, but I don't think Mickey would like being part of a pack. If Mickey weren't around, I'd get two Irish wolfhounds.
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Monday, January 16, 2006

Pushing the envelope

All right. That's it. If you have the right to drag your kid into the office because he doesn't have school and you don't feel like paying for/arranging for childcare, then I have the right to bring my dog into the office with me. I think that's fair.

Plus, if you're going to bring your little angel to work, could you please, um, actually WORK instead of parking your fat ass in the kitchen directly across my office and cooking his breakfast in the office toaster oven? And, if you must cook the kid's breakfast in the toaster oven, could you please watch it carefully to be sure you don't BURN IT, which would fill my office with noxious fumes for the rest of the day?

And finally, if you're going to turn our office into your personal day care center, could you please not flaunt the rest of the rules of the office (as ridiculous as they may be) by wearing jeans? We'd all like to wear jeans, too, but we don't because senior management frowns on it.
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Sunday, January 08, 2006

People watching at the Starbucks

I have always said that each Starbucks has its own personality. For example, the one in the middle of the town where I live is populated by homeless folks and one not-homeless person who I am so fascinated by I can't take my eyes off him -- he sets himself up at a table against a wall with his laptop, piles of paper that I'm sure are part of some sort of filing system, and a little battery powered fan that he strategically places so that it blows toward him. The staff tells me that he's there first thing in the morning and he stays all day.The one in the next town over, however, is Scary Mommy Central. I cannot tell you how frightening I find this place. It is swarming with Scary Mommies, and I mean SWARMING. They are all size twos, beautifully coiffed and turned out in $120 jeans -- I mean I don't have a kid and I have no chance of ever looking this nice no matter how much time I had to get ready -- and carrying children outfitted head to toe in expensive stuff they'll outgrow in a matter of minutes and hoisting Burberry diaper bags. If you listen in to their conversations it gets even worse -- talking about dance classes and play dates and preschools and other stuff I couldn't begin to care about. Some even have nannies with them. It's utterly frightening. Clearly, too, if they're hanging out at Starbucks at 9:30 am on a Thursday, they have no jobs to go to.And oh! The strollers! These things are bigger than my car, and they're everywhere!Who are these women, and what were they before they became Scary Mommies? Did they ever have jobs? Goals? Personalities? How does one turn into a person like that? Do they ever wonder how they turned into such Stepford Moms? How do their husbands feel about them? Are they pro-this, or do they wonder where the real woman they married went to? Or maybe they married them on purpose because they were this way?Anyway, while I was there just trying desperately to get my latte and get the hell outta there before I caught whatever disease they had, I noticed that there was this kid there in a stroller brandishing a spatula. Like, the kind with the little leather loop at the end, the kind you use to flip burgers on the grill. Apparently he really, really likes this spatula and won't leave the house without it. You know, cause you never know when you might need a spatula.
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Friday, November 04, 2005

A good idea gone horribly wrong

I set out with the best intentions of creating a simple little Ipod cozy and apparently something went horribly wrong with its genetic makeup because here's what came out.

It's totally lumpy and misshapen, a horrible, Frankenstein-like thing...I'm sorry, Owen, of course you don't actually have to USE this. All the other kids on the playground will laugh at you.

In retrospect, this merino wool was not the right wool to use for this particular project (but, hey, it was leftover) and I probably should have used smaller needles, and I definitely shouldn't have tried to make that little point at the end of the flap -- I was trying to be fancy but I should have just finished it off straight across. Showoff.

Anyway, pity this poor, ugly thing. Pity me for bringing it into the world. But most of all, pity poor Owen, who will find this in his mailbox in a few days.
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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Please to abandon all hope of any discernible theme in the following post

Ahhh. Finally, the rain has stopped and the weather has turned crisp and clear. This is, by far, my absolute favorite time of year. I've already broken out Mickey's little sweaters and my gloves and scarfs. (Scarves?)

So a few months ago my face started breaking out like crazy. I tried my best to keep it under control using a wide range of over the counter products but by mid-August I was in dire straits, zit-wise. I was really displeased about this because I am pushing forty for Pete's sake, this acne stuff should have been just one more faint, unpleasant memory from high school. I knew I had to take action when, one day I woke up with my entire face actually tender to the touch and, although I was afraid to look in the mirror, I eventually worked up the courage to do so and saw a veritable CONSTELLATION of zits on my face that were not there the night before. So, in a last-ditch effort to avoid the dermatologist (I hate my dermatologist, although she did once say that she thought I was too young to get married, thinking I was 24 when really I was 31, that's gotta be a good thing if a dermatologist thinks you're younger than you are, right?) I ordered the Proactiv, thinking, hey, if its good enough for P. Diddy and Jessica Simpson, then I can at least give it a try. Plus if it doesn't work -- which I was sure it wouldn't -- I'll just return it for a full refund. Well. Let me tell you. That P. Diddy realy knows his skincare. Within a couple of days my face calmed right down. A week later and the breakouts had completely stopped. Now, two months later and I'm completely zit-free.

However...when they ship you the Proactiv it comes in a box that says, really big, PROACTIV on it. Not very discreet. Of course I was stupid enough to have it ship to work. Someone comes walking in, brandishing this humiliating package, going, "Hey, Denise, your zit cream is here..." Greaaaat.

So Michael recently tested for his next level in the martial art he does (Aikido, if you must know.) Lots of other people were testing, also, from all different levels. One of the tests at the very highest level involves the tester fending off simultaneous attacks from three other students. While I was waiting for the testing to begin, I overheard one student walk up to another, introduce herself, and say, with utter seriousness and not a trace of irony, "Hi, I'm Karen, I'll be attacking you later."

Meanwhile, in other hobby-related news, I'm having a great time in riding lessons, I just can't get enough of it. I live for that one hour a week when I get to ride. I had to miss last week's lesson because of a scheduling conflict and it practically killed me. I really wish I hadn't stopped doing this when I was eight, I am kicking myself because I could have been really good at this, I think. Now I feel like I'm learning so slowly, and the more I learn the more I realize how much more there is to know. If I could quit my job and do this for a living I would. I'm desperate for approval from the horses, I get very hurt when one of them doesn't like me. Yes, I know, that's a little strange.

Also, speaking of being desperate for approval, I've been thinking a lot lately about the nature of family. I've never been one to buy into the whole concept of having to love someone just because they're related to you. You may be forced to deal with them on some level, at least, or you may be called upon to make polite conversation on various holidays, what have you, but generally I don't believe that you must automatically have warm, fuzzy feelings for people simply by virtue of being related to them. But I've also never understood the concept of "making your own family" either. I've always seen it as you play the hand you're dealt, family-wise, and that's that. But I look around me now and I realize that without conciously meaning to I've actually done exactly that, chosen a group of people with which to surround myself that is beginning to look a lot like a little pseudo-family, which is kinda interesting. The thing is, though, I'm not telling any of the people who I've "adopted" that they're honorary members of my own personal family-of-choice because I'm afraid it would freak them out and then they'd secede and I'd lose my little family nest egg. I'm making it my little secret.

Finally, I'm knitting my friend Owen an Ipod cozy out of hand-painted merino wool leftover from the baby blanket I made my niece last year. (Its really nice yarn, very expensive.) I am making this for him because he was kind enough to make me a wardrobe of Ipod earphone-cord-wranglers. I'll post a photo if it comes out good and I'd be happy to take orders (gratis, of course) if anyone likes it enough to want one of their very own.
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Sunday, October 09, 2005

A Fish Story

A stormy night. A long drive ahead. As we climb into the car -- me, Michael and Mickey -- I say to my husband, "Now be careful. Everything I care about is in this one car."

Michael replies, "Everything?"

"Yes, everything. In this one car."


"Oh. Cause I like my fish too."
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Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Is it time to hibernate yet?

Yes the weather is unseasonably warm. Which I hate, by the way. (COLD, bring on the COLD, dammit!) But my office…well…let me put it this way. Have you heard of a temperature measurement called Kelvin? It’s used by scientists to measure stuff that gets really, really cold. Well, the temperature in my office right now could be measured using the Kelvin scale, it’s that frickin’ cold in here. It is really hard to type stuff or write stuff when your hands are so cold that they stay cramped into these crabby claw-like things when you try to wrap them around a pen or something. My nose is like an ice cube.

The other day I had a migraine, so I took my pills and went upstairs to sleep it off. I woke up three hours later to find several of Mickey’s toys resting on my person. Apparently he kept trying to get me to play with him by dropping various toys on me as I slept.

Scary happenings last night at the stable. Someone in the next ring took a very nasty fall. I saw the whole thing – her horse took off on her and she tried to hang on but eventually she slid right off and hit the ground like a sack of potatoes. The scary part was that she didn’t move for a few minutes, and when she did she couldn’t remember what day it was, what horse she was riding or why she was on her ass in the middle of the ring. She was up and walking around soon, but they called an ambulance for her anyway.

Oh, and I have to say this regarding our President’s recent appointment to the Supreme Court…doesn’t it seem like he just picked his head up one day, looked at Ms. Miers and said, “Hey, you! You’re a woman, right? You’re a lawyer, right? I got a job for you!” Then he checked off “appoint Supreme Court Justice” off his to-do list. Kinda seems like a job you don’t want to give to just anyone who’s hanging around the White House, doesn’t it?
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