Monday, August 31, 2009

Good Things! Good Things!

Okay, no more renditions of the Warren Zevon classic, "Poor, Poor, Pitiful Me!" I'm going to knock off the whining and complaining for now.  If I look at the bright side, I just realized I can start collecting social security in only 6 more years... provided they still have any money left in the coffers by then. And my house will be paid off in 10 years.  Plus, I have copious quantities of Dr. Pepper empties stashed in the basement that could be returned for enough nickels to feed a family of 5 for three weeks. (And since I'm currently a family of one while Vlad is off at college, it will last even longer.)  In the event I can scrape enough shekels together to go out to eat, I can take advantage of the 55 & over menu.  So you see, life is worth living.

But, the thing that really made life worth living this week was returning from a lovely trip to Massachusetts to find another award from the Quirkster!  Now I have 2 awards to grace the pages of my blog!  This one originated with The Scholastic Scribe and I have the honor of being the 900th blogger to register my Superior Scribbler Award.  (As you can see, it's a rather exclusive club.)    

I'm number 900!  I'm number 900!

Here are the rules Quirky sent me for becoming a Superior Scribbler:

*Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass The Award on to 5 most-deserving Bloggy Friends.
(see below)

*Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author & the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award.  (In this case. Quirky at Musings of a Quirkyloon.)

*Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog, and link to This Post, which explains The Award.

*Each Blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit this post and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List. That way, we'll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who receives This Prestigious Honor!

Here it is:
The Superior Scribbler Award!

I hereby bestow the Superior Scribbler Award on these Bloggy Friends:

Mr. Glob... because he has a cool name and he's afraid of Mormons too.

Eternally Distracted... because that's what I am.

JB at Black Thoughts... because it's going to take more than a hamburger to make her happy.

Aubs over at My Life on Lined Paper... because she's a great scribbler and I hope she starts scribbling again soon!  (I've missed her scribblings.)  

And last but not least...

Nanodance... because she's my primo scribbler friend and I wouldn't be scribbling without her.

There you have it... my Superior Scribbler nominees.  I hope you'll have as much fun reading them as I do.  They'll make life worth living again... I promise!

Thanks, again, Quirky! 

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Bad Things! Bad Things!

I got a little sidetracked this week. If you've been reading my blog for awhile, you may have discerned that I used to be the director of a small school and I was one of the most popular kids there, what with the
rubber chickens and all. But I didn't particularly care for all of the grown-up things I had to do, so I decided I'd rather go back to the classroom and leave the directing to someone who knows what they're doing. Great plan! All spring I kept getting more and more excited as I came closer to the light at the end of the tunnel.

And then I added the fortune cookie widget to my blog. (Look left, as they say in the UK.) It's always fun to click on the cookie to see what my fortune is for the day.... in fact, I've even considered starting a "Friday Fortune" blog theme, listing of the best of the week.

But then, I got this fortune:

The light at the end of the tunnel could mean bad things.

Bad Things? Bad Things? What bad things?

Last Friday I finally figured out what the bad things were. It seems that when I took over the directorship of the school, I lost my seniority as a teacher... which meant that when it came time to give out assignments last week, I was at the bottom of the list... which meant there wasn't a spot for me after all. The only position left was one for which I'm not certified. Which meant I'd suddenly become unemployed... two weeks before school starts. I have an idea....

Let's Panic!

Damn fortune cookie! I know this never would have happened had I not tempted fate by adding that widget.

So, as I started out saying, I got a little sidetracked this week. I had thought I'd be getting my classroom ready for the kidlets, but now I'm getting my resume ready for the grownups instead.

The surprising thing is, I'm not panicking... at least not yet. What do you suppose that means? I figure it's a sign from the Fortune Cookie Goddess that I'm supposed to be moving on. Or maybe it means I'm supposed to apply for a job at the Fortune Cookie I bet I could write fortunes that are a lot better than the ones they have now. I could even personalize them for all my friends. And maybe they'd give me all the fortune cookies I could eat. They even come in cool (but unappetizing) colors:

So let's try out some of these fortunes out:

Get busy... Blogs don't write themselves.

At least now I'll have more time to keep up with all the blogs I follow. That's the way the fortune cookie crumbles!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch...

I know I got a little carried away the past few days with all the excitement about the Meme Award. Thank you! Thank you! It was getting so I couldn't even go out in public because of everyone wanting my autograph. (Like on charge slips.) I did make it out into the real world to go to the therapist, though... my doctor won't give me my drugs unless I see my therapist regularly, so every once in awhile I go and we shoot the shit and laugh about my weird life and she tells me what's new with her and then I go away and fill my prescription. It's a win-win situation for both of us.

Anyway, my therapist started telling me about taking her granddaughter berry picking and it reminded me of the first time I took Little Vlad berry picking.

When Vladimir was little, he wasn't a big fan of animals. He was always somewhat nervous around animals, especially large ones, because they are so unpredictable.* Trips to the zoo were highlighted by Vlad avoiding most of the caged animals and staring at the fish in the aquariums. Fish are generally pretty innocuous because they don't charge at you or anything, like man eating tigers or rhinoceroses do. And you can forget about pony rides... that just wasn't happening. (In fact, Vlad was so disenchanted with animals that he took a stuffed Thomas the Tank Engine to bed every night instead of the typical teddy bear.)

But getting back to the berry picking...

We had gone strawberry picking with some of our best friends when Vlad was three. It was a beautiful day and we were having great fun watching Vlad and his little friend Maggie eating berries as they moved along the path. They just looked so gosh darned cute with strawberry juice dripping down their chins!

We finally got several baskets filled and took them up to the farm wagon to pay for our bountiful harvest. Sitting on the wagon was a cardboard berry basket with a tiny bird inside. Apparently the owners of the field had found the bird abandoned under one of the strawberry plants. And believe it or not, Little Vladimir was fascinated by the wee bird. He just kept staring at it. I was amazed and very heartened by his interest in a real live animal... finally! Could my child actually be forming a relationship with a living creature? I was even more excited when he said....

"I want to take that bird home!"

Oh, be still my heart! My child likes an animal! I was ready to go buy a bird cage and start making up names for the little critter. The lady told us the story of how she found the baby bird and how they were hoping they could feed him and nurse him back to health until he could make it on his own. Vlad didn't make eye contact with the nice farmer lady as she spoke, but continued to just stand there and just stare at the bird. He even asked if he could climb up on the wagon to get a better look at it.

It was so sweet I almost cried. Then, as he eyes remained glued to the bird, he said...

"I want to take that bird home and eat it for dinner!"

Where did I go wrong?

And just in case you were wondering.... We did not have fowl for dinner that night.

*It turns out that wariness of animals is an Asperger's thing. Vlad was 9 before we got our first and only pet... Hickory the Wonder Dog. Vlad had finally begun to show an interest in animals and I figured a dog was a better bet than the slug he brought home and begged me to keep.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I Win! I Win!

Imagine my surprise when I checked my favorite blogs this morning and discovered that Quirkyloon over at Musings of a Quirkyloon paid it forward to me with the coveted "Premiere Meme Award!"

Here it is in all it's glory!

I'm shocked... I'm honored... I didn't have an acceptance speech ready!

I've never received a blogger award before, so this is really, really, super duper exciting!
But there's a catch... there's always a catch... in order to claim the coveted MEME award, I have to divulge 7 Quirky Personality Traits about myself as evidenced in my blog and then pay it forward to seven other bloggers with personality... and sparkle... and dash... and... well, bloggers I like to read.

What can I say that will not shock and alarm Quirkyloon too much?

Here goes...


I'm thinking.....

1. I tend to look for the humor in most situations... that way I don't have to be depressed all the time.

2. I am scatter-brained... my mind goes on many exciting field trips... what was that I was writing about?

3. I am the sum of my experiences... without all the weird crap that happens to me, I'd be very boring.

4. I'm obsessive compulsive... but not about cleaning.

5. I'm a laid back mom... so it's lucky I've escaped Mommy Jail this long.

6. I'm too nice for my own good... I let people walk all over me... but I can be catty and bitchy to people who just plain annoy me... and then let them walk all over me.

7. I seek attention... let's talk about me! Me! Me! So the Meme award is perfect for me!

Now, if I've done my blog properly, the above revelations should not be too much of a surprise to you, my loyal readers.

And now, for some bloggers much more worthy of the honor....

Drum roll, please....

1. Nanodance over at Callithump Thunderblog... without whom the Cat Lady would never have been born... and it's her birthday tomorrow, so this way I won't have to buy her a real present.

2. The Right Reverend Sister Phillipia at Writes Phillipia... the first stranger to become a follower of my blog... and I do mean stranger in a good way.

3. The mysterious Mr. Roth over at IndigoWrath... because I love a good man of mystery.

4. American Guy at Canadian Blend... because he'll need it, having just married the Canadian Gal with 5 kids to add to his own brood of 3.

5. Madame DeFarge at Bateau de Banane... because her posts are always so carefully knitted.

6. KC at Good Twin/Bad Twin... because she's from Iowa, the land of my birth.

7. Spudballo over at Chez Spud... because she looks so swell in her glasses as the butterflies carry her away.

So there you have it... more than you ever wanted to know about me and seven new bloggers to check out.

All that's left to say is...

Thank You, Quirkyloon!
I Love You!

Now, can I have the damn award?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Rebranding the Crazy Cat Lady!

Last week the San Francisco Chronicle ran an article entitled Rebranding the Crazy Cat Lady. Apparently, the folks over at Tidy Cats are trying to improve the image of cat owners. Seems that the predominant public perception is that people who have more than one cat are Crazy Cat Ladies. And for some strange reason, people are not happy with that designation. Go figure!

"...heading up multiple cat households is a way of life for millions of Americans who aren't happy about the negative stereotyping."

They went on to say:
"The majority of non-cat owners who responded described people with more than one cat as being a homebody (75%), lonely (69%) or, that old zinger, a "crazy cat lady" (58%). They also described multiple cat owners' homes as smelly (75%), having furniture and bedding covered in cat hair (85%) and being cluttered (66%)."

(Take away the cats and you have me.
Note pajamas & comfortable chair.
The books on the shelves are way too tidy, though.

But what about this sweet Russian lady:

Her neighbors don't complain about her at all... at least not very much. And she has 130 cats.

Anyway, they're having a contest to find people with multiple cats who don't fit the stereotype. They want people to write in and tell them how perfectly normal they are and list all the fun 
activities they do with their cats. They want to "redefine what it means to be a (well-adjusted) "cat lady" (or lad)."

That's all fine and good, but what about those of us who don't have cats? Why can't we enter the contest? Don't we have an image to maintain as well? Can't we be well-adjusted, too?

Not everyone was born to have a pristine house and lots of social events to attend on a regular basis. Some of us were meant to be reclusive and untidy, regardless of pet ownership. All I'm asking for is a little patience, understanding and equality here! Because I look like a Crazy Cat Lady doesn't mean I want any actual cats... I'm a dog person. So why can't I enter the contest? It's just not fair!

Or, maybe it's just time to Rebrand the Cat Lady? Stay posted!

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Light that Launched a Thousand Ships

I was reading another great post over at IndigoWrath yesterday.  You should definitely check him out. Anyway, Indigo was mentioning how he was watching the movie Troy and telling about all the great British actors who are it, which sent my mind going off on another tangent.  

Back when the movie first came out, I'd been hearing great things about the actors... and how they look in loin cloths.  The other (male) members of my household at the time didn't seem too interested in going to see these great actors in action, though.  They just weren't into the whole epic historical drama thing.  So, that left me to go see it on my own.

The perfect opportunity presented itself when Vlad asked me to drive him and his buddy to the prom.  Vlad went to a very small school, where the entire student body went to the prom regardless of whether they had dates.   With Vlad being only 15 and having no driver's permit, it was up to me to provide chariot service.  Since the prom was at a country club all the way over to hell and back on the other side of town, I decided to go to the movies while I awaited the call to retrieve the prom goers.  

I figured it was the perfect time to see Troy.  The movie ran about as long as the prom did and I had a good book with me, so I could stop for coffee after the movie.  Being the conscientious parent I am, I kept my cell phone on my person at all times.  I figured I could  turn off the ringer in the theater and leave it on vibrate so I didn't miss their call.  

Except that I discovered I had no pockets.  Rather than hold it in my hand for two hours, I did the next best thing.  I reached down the front of my shirt and tucked the phone into my bra.  I figured it was dark so no one would notice and the chances of Vlad calling during the movie were slim.

But not slim enough.  With about a half hour remaining in the movie, the phone began to vibrate.... and flash!  Whoa!  Here I was, in the middle of a darkened theater, desperately trying to step over other patrons to get out, with a mysterious strobe light emanating from my boobs. Talk about a great way to get noticed!  All the eyes that only moments before had been riveted on the well-oiled, heaving, male muscles on the screen were now riveted on me.  The fact that I was laughing hysterically didn't help.  I felt like I was the bearer of the light that launched a thousand ships.

So, after humiliating myself in public once again, I never saw the end of the movie Troy.  I kinda figured out what happened, though.  Maybe I'll rent it on DVD some day and watch it in the privacy of my own home.  That's the way well-oiled, heaving, male muscles should be appreciated anyway.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Getting My Inner Wench On

"Ye Olde Knights In Shining Armor", set to defend themselves on the Field of Honor

So, I went to the Renaissance Festival on Saturday. What is it about those things that makes you want to get your inner wench on? Perhaps it comes from reading too many steamy historical novels where the "Saucy, Yet Naive Wench" wins the unwanted attentions of her "Liege Lord", only to be saved from impending moral turpitude by "Strapping Young Serf Next Door" with a heart of gold, who loves children and in his spare time volunteers for Ye Olde Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Dragons:

And before you get too many ideas about my intentions toward yonder "Strapping Young Serf Next Door", calm down! I'm not going to go into details here. Besides, it's intellectually stimulating historical research I'm doing here to teach the kidlets at school about the Renaissance! Geez!

Anyway, one simply cannot go to a Renaissance Festival without at least trying to get with the program by looking the part. I'd already done the whole princess thing last spring when I offered up my "huge tracts of land" for a cameo in the middle school's rendition of Monty Python and the Holy Grail*. (Not to mention the fact that my princess outfit is still not back from the cleaners.)

*The audience at the play was so blinded by the awesomeness of my "huge tracts of land" that they were unable to take a photo of me in said costume, so I will substitute this photo of the comely "Queen of the Renaissance" for your enlightenment as to costuming.

Since it was a little hot for the chain mail, I resorted to the wench outfit.

(Note to "Scary Dude in Horned Armor": I think we need to talk... Seriously... even if you are my Liege Lord, that outfit is just wrong!)

It was also too hot to drape myself in wool tartan plaid to honor the Highland Games that were going on. Besides, I didn't plan on tossing the cabre anyway. Throwing trees around on a hot summer day is not my idea of a good time.

I'd much rather hang out with "Weird Guy on Stilts" who's pretending he's a chick riding a horse.

But, wait! What's this I see? They're having a tournament in which one of the prizes is for skill at archery?

Since "Ye Olde Knights in Shining Armor" wouldn't let me joust, this was the next best thing.

Bring it on!

Of course, I shall have to ruin the effect of my wench outfit by wearing spectacles, which are somewhat anachronistic, but sacrifices must be made. (In the interest of the safety of others.)

After 40 years, I still have the touch!
(Although, I should really lower my elbow just a wee bit.)

I was able to slay yon dragon with my fearsome prowess!

(Please just don't let "Strapping Young Serf Next Door" find out about the dragon.)

Zounds! Here comes the local constabulary! They seem to have discerned that I've been banned for life from archery for that unfortunate incident when I was a lass. Damn my wicked step-sister for reporting me! (She's actually my regular sister, but step-sister sounds so much better in this instance.)

Alas, I'm afraid that means the loss of the tournament crown, along with the affections of "Strapping Young Serf Next Door". It also means a trip to the stocks. I'm not sure which is worse... the stocks or the dunking pond.

But, not to worry... I vow to live to fight another day! (Especially as they forgot to lock me into the stocks very securely.) After all, you can't keep a good wench down! And there are always more "Strapping Young Serfs" where that one came from.

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