Saturday, June 27, 2009

Time for the Yearly Obligatory Inspection

So I got a courtesy call from my mechanic this week to let me know it was time for my annual inspection.  My car inspection, that is... I got my personal inspection last week at the gynecologist's.  Each year I wonder why you have to keep going to the gynecologist after you've had a hysterectomy... it's not like that sucker's gonna grow back or anything, so what are they looking for in there anyway?!

But, back to the topic at hand...

Vlad's car is also in my name, as insurance premiums tend to go up exponentially when a car is registered to a young male.  And it was time for his car to be inspected as well.  I decided to take his car in one day and mine the next.  (Vlad actually had to be at work before the shop opened, so it was up to me to make the morning delivery of combined auto parts that were still connected.)  I went out to get into his fine automobile, only to discover he had not yet unpacked it since he arrived home from college six weeks ago.  Including his dorm refrigerator.  With the door still attached and tightly sealed.  

Danger!  Danger, Will Robinson!

It's not like I expected the neighbor kids to break into his car, pry the mini fridge out from the other crap, squeeze their little bodies into it and await suffocation.  Rather, I was imagining the potential contents of said mini refrigerator bubbling and churning as they begin to rot and emit gasses within such a tiny, hermetically sealed space that was getting hotter and hotter in the summer sun.  God knows what all he's been keeping in there... including most likely the remnants of the last meal he made for himself at school, which happened to be fish.  I know this because he told me how proud he was of preparing this delectable taste treat... in fact he was so proud, he even took a picture of it.  

While I feel good that my child has learned how to fend for himself, there are a few things he has yet to learn.  Not wanting Jim and the rest of the folks at The Wire Wheel to think I was a total clod or anything, I walked into the office to drop off the keys and immediately beat them to the punch by telling them all about the refrigerator and other assorted crap before they could take a look at it and condemn me for being a terrible parent who raised a bozo who would leave a refrigerator in a car for six weeks in the summer.  We all had a good laugh over that.  As long as it didn't explode while they were working on the car, they didn't give a shit.  It was all good. 

So, the next day I went to take my car in, failing to realize that I had not yet unpacked all the crap from my camping trip last weekend.  Opening the back door to grab my brief case, I notice that not only is there firewood still in the back seat, there's a little bottle of propane strategically located beneath the wood.  Just ready for a little summer heat!  Boy, do I feel like a royal ass!  How do I explain that one? Actually I don't.  I just hope Jim and the guys don't notice!  

At last report, Vlad's car has yet to be unpacked, but at least my propane tank is now stored in a cool, dry place.   Look at the bright side... the mini propane tank could have been in the mini fridge.  Vlad and I are known for blowing things up, after all!

Guess we both just like living life on the edge!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Madame DeFarge Solves the Mystery of the Scongs!

We have a winner!  In my last post I was wondering WTF the scongs were that got left on the moon...

Number 18 on the list is "scongs". WTF is a scong? (If anyone can tell me, I'll personally give you credit in my next blog posting.)

  Madame DeFarge promptly enlightened me....
Madame DeFarge said...

Scongs - a combination of a
scoop and tongs for rock samples. Husband is rockhound and space fan. I feel that our domestic mess is a homage to the moon now.

I'd been staying up late at night, wondering what scongs could possibly be.  Inquiring minds wanted to know!  And now we do!  So let's give credit where credit is due...

Thank you, thank you, Madame DeFarge!
What are the odds M. DeFarge would be BOTH a rockhound and space fan? How freakin' awesome is that?

Your friend,
Cat Lady

P.S.  According to Urban Dictionary online, scong has yet another meaning.  
sconglove it hate it
Scong is a word meaning to steal or hit someone
I ran up on that dude and i was like scong and snatched that shit.

Maybe Neil Armstrong was like...   "I'm so gonna scong anybody else who be trying to scong this crap."

Thursday, June 18, 2009

And I Thought I Was a Slob...

Today on Twitter, Rachel Maddow posted a link to a site that lists all the crap that's been left on the moon by NASA. And I thought I was a slob!

Check it out:

I mean, really! I can see them leaving an American flag on the moon... just to prove to detractors and conspiracy theorists that man really did land on the moon. I may be a slob, but even I know you're not supposed to leave your junk around when you visit somebody else's house.

Anyway, here are some of the things that got left behind...

  • Number 18 on the list is "scongs". WTF is a scong? (If anyone can tell me, I'll personally give you credit in my next blog posting.)
  • Number 33: Defecation collection device. Talk about a worthless piece of shit!
  • Number 50: Urine collection assembly, small (2)
  • Number 51: Urine collection assembly, large (2) Okaaay! So which one would you request, large or small? Is it better to get two small collection bags or one big one? How are they allocated... by how you frame your request? Which of these people do you think would get the large collection assembly:
"Excuse me, but I believe I have to urinate.
Would you be so kind as to direct me to the water closet?"
"Holy Shit! Do I ever have to take a piss! Where's the head?"
  • Number 60: Central Station As in Grand Central Station? No wonder people are wandering around NYC looking lost all the time.
  • Number 64: Gnomon (includes mount) Is this like a little statue of a gnome riding a horse?
  • Number 78: Footprint Just one? Sure looks like a lot more in the photo below... but maybe that's just part of the whole conspiracy! Besides, can a footprint even be considered something you "left"? I'm thinking a list of things that were left should include actual objects.
  • Number 81: Plastic covering for Flag (1) So, does it rain on the moon? Did they leave the covering on the flag, or is it just lying there, waiting for someone to come back and use it to protect the stars & stripes forever?

What I want to know is...

What would Neil Armstrong's mother
say about all this? 
She obviously didn't bring him up very well!

(BTW... I distinctly remember staying up really late, into the wee hours of the morning, to watch the moon landing on television. The astronauts were late... very late. Just like everyone usually is to an appointment watched by millions.)

To Camp or Not to Camp? That is the Question

The first week of January I went on line and reserved a couple of campsites for the summer. Now my first camping trip is a day away and the forecast is calling for thunderstorms the next 5 days.


With my pristine record of uneventful camping trips*,
perhaps I should reconsider.

The original plan called for launching my kayak from my campsite and paddling around the islands. Would that still be relaxing during a raging thunderstorm? Would I be blown off course before I would be hit by lightning? Rain and static always make my hair frizzy, so that could be hazardous.

Then there's the gentle flicker of the campfire at night that's so mesmerizing. A thunderstorm might make it a bit trickier to get the fire started and wouldn't necessarily be conducive to keeping the flames flickering. Smores might be out of the question.

Of course, there's always the peaceful serenity of gazing at the stars as I look out of the open flap of my tent. Perhaps if the flood from the rain doesn't float my airbed right out of the tent, there might be hope for that. At least then there'd be nothing between me and the stars... except for a few thunderheads

So, to camp or not to camp? What shall it be?

* For your further enlightenment, I suggest you consider the following blog entries: "Phantom Canyon", "The Great Smoky Mountains" and "Sweet Dreams", as well as the "Killer Raccoon of Kejimkujik."

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Congratulations, Nanodance!

Congratulations to my friend Nanodance, who's graduating from massage school tomorrow! Maybe that means we'll be seeing the return of Callithump Thunderblog soon... it has been sorely missed!

In the meantime... I've got this crick in my neck that maybe she can work on....

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Gingerbread Shenanigans... or... On My Way to Mommy Jail Part 3b: "Incendiary Devices"

Okay, so it's been some time since I wrote "On My Way to Mommy Jail Part 3a: Incendiary Devices."  You've no doubt been waiting with bated breath to find out what else could go wrong.  

Actually, nothing really went wrong.  It's just that our neighbors were not amused and neighbors who are not amused can threaten you not only with Mommy Jail, but with real jail!

But, enough of the preliminaries...   
On with the story itself....

It all started about 11 years ago, when we had a lovely gingerbread house that we didn't quite know what to do with after the holidays came and went.  They're so pretty, you hate to just throw them out.  But then it sat around gathering dust until it was really disgusting.  Fuzzy peppermint candies on top of green (formerly white) frosting just aren't that appetizing!  Even Hickory the Wonder Dog didn't want anything to do with it by that point.

Seeing as how we had assorted firecrackers laying about the house, we decided to see what would happen if you put one, or two, or fifty of them inside it.  A harmless pastime, to be sure. 

The next year we decided to actually build the firecrackers right into the gingerbread house. Both festive and effective!  In fact, it was so festive, we felt the urge to invite a few people over to share the joy.  

The only question that remained was who would most enjoy our hospitality.  As I was teaching Kindergarten at the time, I figured the kidlets and their parents might enjoy a few pyrotechnics. (It could even count as a science experiment.) So Vlad & I decided to throw a little party between Christmas & New Years. Nothing fancy... just a pot luck dinner for a few close friends. Everybody brought something to eat and, more importantly, something to drink and the party was on!  

The first three years' parties were fabulous!  "Vlad & Larew's Holiday Soiree" quickly became a favorite amongst young and old alike... the must have invitation for the season.  People asked months in advance if we were going to be destroying another gingerbread house that year. Each successive party got a little bigger and a little better.

Then, fate caught up with us. 

That final year, the gingerbread house was exquisite and the pyrotechnic effects spectacular! We were all having a lovely time, clapping and cheering and swigging beer, when we heard the sounds of sirens in the distance.  Imagine our surprise when the sirens got 


and closer 

and closer 

and stopped right outside our door! 

People ran in all directions, trying to be the first one to gain a hiding spot in the house.  Vlad grabbed the gingerbread house and lunged for the garage to bury it under a pile of lawn furniture that had been stored for the winter.

As the flashing lights lit up the living room, our beloved guests peeked out the windows to watch not only the firemen, but the policemen wander up and down the street looking for the offending party.  One guest, who shall remain nameless, wanted to go out and explain to the kind officers that we were just having a few fireworks and that we were so sorry, no harm done.  (Damn You, Adam Uzelac!  Don't you know it looks really bad for a kindergarten teacher to go to jail because she was blowing up a gingerbread house for the personal edification of 5 & 6 year olds!)  Another parent stood in the front window, merrily taking photographs of the fire trucks. I'm lucky nobody asked the firemen if we could take pictures of all the kidlets on the friggin' fire truck! I'm seriously starting to think that all my friends are as demented as I am.

Suffice it to say that I was not arrested that night, nor was Vlad, nor were any of our guests.  It was by far the most talked about holiday party on record and will go down in the annals of Cat Lady history as the closest I've come to actually going to Mommy Jail.  However, if I had to go, I would have certainly taken the kidlets' parents with me... they were the idiots who brought their kids to the party in the first place!

And before you condemn me... take a look for yourself.  It's only good, clean fun, after all!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Real King Kamehameha

I must ask your forgiveness for the blatantly sexist picture I used to illustrate Kamehameha Day.  If only I'd thought to include a manly specimen to go along with the girly-girl.  

As it turns out, I have much more in common with the real King Kamehameha himself.  What, you may ask?  I simply refer you to this painting of his corpulent visage*:

Enough said!

*illustration blatantly stolen from Wikipedia

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Happy Kamehameha Day!

Time to get out that hula skirt and the coconuts again!  

It's Kamehameha Day!  

Can you believe I almost missed this important national holiday?  Why wasn't it on the school calendar?  Surely it should be cause for celebration.

Now it's been a long time since I put on a hula skirt and somehow I think it might not be exactly what everyone's looking forward to seeing.... even if I ply them with perfect poi, a succulent roasted pig and fermented coconut juice.  

It just ain't happening!

So, kind readers, I'll just have to fashion little paper leis to put on the black construction paper cat silhouettes in the windows and call it a day.  Or perhaps Hickory the Wonder Dog can be convinced to wear a lei made of doggy biscuits.  

For now, I'm off to Blockbuster to see if they have Gidget Goes Hawaiian or Elvis's Blue Hawaii for my evening's entertainment.


(FYI... this cheesy illustration was stolen from a cheesy catalog on the web)

Saturday, June 6, 2009

School's Out... and My Reign of Terror is Over!

Yesterday was the last day of school for the year.  A good time was had by all. That also means that I'm no longer the responsible adult in charge. Can you believe they put me in charge in the first place?  To paraphrase Vic... 

What Were They Thinking?

The fact that they would take someone who barely escaped Mommy Jail and who is a confirmed Cat Lady and put them in charge of an entire school should definitely give one pause.   

Instead of putting the fear of god into anyone sent to the principal's office, I found that I was a magnet for kids who wanted to come hang out!   Kids would actually beg to come have lunch with me so they could play with the tree house and rubber chickens.  There were many days I went to go home, only to find a rubber chicken in my coat sleeve.  

Miscreants, one and all!  

When the Upper Middle Grades teacher couldn't find his class, the first place he'd look would be in my office.  OOPS!  

They actually formed a club called "The Beach Club" for those who got to hang out for lunch. They came up with the name "Beach Club" based on the Zen sand garden in my office that they liked to mess around with.  HAH!  Like it provided any atmosphere of Zen serenity as promised on the outside of the box it came in.  Why is it these things never work for me?

The only rule for Beach Club membership was that you weren't allowed to whine or complain while you were there.  No Butt-Chunks allowed.  (FYI... Butt-Chunk is a professional term used for someone who is always being annoying.)  Whining or complaining would result in immediate expulsion from the club.  

As part of the initiation into the Beach Club, you had 
to be willing to have your photograph taken with a rubber chicken hanging from your nose. (Founding members of the Beach Club are shown in the tasteful picture to your right.)  

We enjoyed many a lunch together, goofing around. spewing milk out of our noses when we laughed and spilling food all over the furniture. As a result, I kept up the Cat Lady appearance in my office. Big stains on the furniture, papers everywhere, candy wrappers on the floor, wads of paper that missed the trash can... etc.  You get the picture.

Occasionally, I had to act like a grown-up to keep them in line.  It was not pretty.  Imagine the principal of your school coming after you, ranting and brandishing a rubber chicken.  


At one point, someone in the office thought it would be a good idea to buy me a bull-horn. Again.... 


It had a really cool siren that could be used to scare the crap out of everyone just for fun!  Being a very small school, there was really no need for such a thing, but then again... it provided us with endless hours of mindless entertainment.  So invigorating to come up behind someone and make them go into cardiac arrest by saying "Hello!" really, REALLY loud!  It made me feel so important!  Like I really was in charge!

Most of the time, though, I felt like a fish out of water.  I was born to wreak havoc, rather than exude authority.  What can I say?  I'd much rather have a good time than have to be serious.  As a result I have a knack for getting kids to cooperate with me.  Unfortunately, the same can't be said of my interactions with grown-ups.

So... I asked to go back into the classroom next fall.  People were shocked at first... until it all started to make sense.  I'm just a fun-loving person who doesn't do "mean" well.  And they found a wonderful woman to replace me who's a Harvard graduate and actually knows what she's doing!  It's a win-win situation for everyone.   The only down side is that I'll be taking a serious cut in pay.   And you can't eat rubber chickens.

Hopefully I won't have to sell the rubber chickens to make ends meet.

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