Friday, March 30, 2007


It has been quite the absence, and quite a bit has happened in the past two months. I talked to Jenn pretty regularly during most of that, so I'm sure she'll keep me honest and point out if I missed anything truly significant.

I was gone for no good reason, really, other than I was in a deep funk and had to dig out. I was solidly entrenched in anger phase for a while--I picked a fight with Tom one morning on the car, complete with floorboard stomping, because he had the audacity to pay me a compliment! How dare he! I'm coming back to grips, still dealing with issues, but it'll get better. March 2 was Dad's birthday (and Todd's, too) and that was much harder than I expected it to be.

My son is now addicted to Blue's Clues (preferably the episodes with Steve). I can't check the mail without singing. He asks for it as soon as he wakes up, as soon as we pick him up from daycare, and as soon as he walks in the door. He has begun to incorporate the dance moves during the songs and can now perform Jazz Hands! He also cleans up his toys before bed, although we have fights every night about bedtime. Namely he doesn't want to go. I long for the days when he would pick up his blanket, say night-night, and try to climb into his crib at night. Oh, well.

I have a new car. Instead of renewing the tags on the 2000 Olds I'd been driving, I bit the bullet and got a great deal on my first new car ever--a 2007 Toyota Prius. I'm getting 48 MPG on my 85 mile commute now, and feel better about not contributing to the brown cloud that hovers over Phoenix. It's a sweet ride, once one gets past the feeling that the engine has stalled when transferring to the electric motor.

Home improvement news--had the old, non-sliding glass door removed and replaced with french doors, which make a big difference! They have the blinds inside the door, between the panes, so no more dusting, and despite having less surface glass than the sliding doors, they somehow make the room seem brighter. My only regret is I didn't have it done sooner.

Let's see, what else? There's something big that I'm missing, but since I quit smoking my brain has turned to mush. I just don't know what it could be? I'm sure Jenn will remind me.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Five Fragen Questions

Oh, Jenn, thinking I would go a full two months! I'm not that bad, although it has been a dry spell. I'll post some quick hits about the past two months in a bit. First, I'll address the questions that Suze asked of me:

1. What the most unusual thing about your hometown of [tiny town] KY? Well, Suze and I are from the same area, but I lived out in the county from the main town. This town had a population of 250 people while I lived there.

That's right. 250 people.

I lived next door to one of the descendants of the town's founders--it came into existence as a depot on the old passenger route during the days of the steam engine. I lived there for 12 years, counting my time home from college, before moving out West. I can't isolate anything particularly unusual from anything else in the town--I'd say the town itself was highly unusual.

When I lived there in the mid to late 1980s, one could still go to the general store on Main Street and buy penny and nickel candy from glass canisters by the register. The bank had a giant vault that was opened each morning and locked every night and was never robbed. A grate covered the vault opening during business hours while the vault door itself rested against the wall. The post office was run by one person, who also sorted and delivered all the mail, and there was never a line for service. There was one funeral home and five churches. And there was Mabel.

Old Mabel--Mabel Ganz was her name, and she was almost as old as the town. Everyone was against her, as Mabel told everyone, and she lived in an old house on 32 that was falling down around her. She had no family that I can recall, and she walked all over town with a huge limb as a walking stick. She kept her hair tied back in a bandanna, wore long sleeved henleys and old dungarees, and walked right down the middle of the road as she pleased, where ever she went. She never left the town, and didn't even own a car. She got all her groceries from the general store, but I don't know what she did for clothes or other items. She went to every City Council meeting and loudly disagreed with every suggestion--traffic light, police officer, sewer system--didn't matter what was proposed, she opposed it while claiming corruption by the town government. Mabel didn't like much of anything or anyone but for some reason she liked my family. She came to visit every so often when she felt like hiking up the hill. She was an interesting yet annoying woman, I confess.

When Mabel's house was eventually condemned by the county, the town built her a new house. I always found it interesting that a town that didn't like her found the funds to build her a new house right where her old house stood, and I think Mabel was surprised, too. She still hiked all over town and went to the City Council meetings, but kept her grumblings to a minimum after that.

2. What's the geekiest thing you've said or done in the last 24 hours? Yesterday my team went to a place called Jillians' to blow off steam--lots of video games, skeeball, and bowling. I wore my old bowling shirt from TC that Jenn might recall, and I bowled a 68. In my defense, I only bowled one game and the beer didn't have a chance to kick in before I had to go pick up the boys and head home. I scored a 50000 playing Galaga, beat my boss in a driving game (I made him spin out in the last seconds), and did fairly well blowing away bad guys in a handgun shooter game. So well that one of my coworkers watched in awe and proclaimed he would never, ever piss me off. Not bad for a chick who's never handled a gun.

3. Where's the most exotic place you've traveled? Hmm. When I think of exotic, I think of palm trees, tropical climate, and sandy beaches, but I've never been out of the country. The closest I've come to any place truly alien was my first visit to Las Vegas; Tom and I went on the spur of the moment on a Friday night when we had a long weekend and arrived at 11pm after driving about 5 hours. I didn't know about the lax liquor laws and was shocked to see people walking down the street with open beer bottles. We went to Fremont Street and I bought a bong-size margarita for a dollar before going into Binion's Horseshoe and quickly losing $20 playing BlackJack.

I love Las Vegas!

4. Name 3 guilty pleasures you have. First would be a good glass of wine with a good steak. Second, watching all the home flipping shows on TLC like Flip That House and Moving Up. I'm convinced I could successfully flip a house because I'm not a moron like the people they always seem to find and I might be right--keep in mind that I also convince myself I could run a restaurant after watching a Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares marathon on BBCAmerica. Third? Hmm...I guess jelly beans, since I quit smoking.

5. If you found yourself sitting next to your favorite celebrity on an airplane, what's the first thing you would say to him/her? "Are you using that armrest?"