Sunday, January 31, 2010


The only peculiar vestige of clothing from ages past that men seem to be occasionally required to wear is the necktie. An odd encumbrance, if you really start to think about it -- even when done in a tasteful paisley. I suppose you can fix stuff with it. Maybe turn it into a temporary fan belt or something.
Women's clothing, however, is a whole other world of weirdness. What man in his right mind would try to squeeze himself into something called "Lipo-in-a-Box" just to look smoother? The Lipo-In-A-Box onesie -- is a one piece, flesh-colored elastic-thingy that does not have much in the way of instructions with it. They used a plastic torso mannequin to model the one I purchased. When I was watching QVC I thought to myself: "How the heck do you go to the bathroom in that thing? Must have snaps or something." The "or something" was right. It had this little hole in the crotch that I guess you were supposed to use if you had to tinkle. I don't know how you were supposed to go number two. Guess you'd better pack a can of WD40 so you can slide the thing off in a jiffy. Actually the little pee-pee hole would have been kind of naughty if the Lipo-In-A-Box onesie hadn't been the single most unattractive undergarment I had ever seen in my life. After I got the thing on (Damn, does it stretch!) I wasn't sure what I was supposed to do -- did the pantyhose go under or over? I decided over, especially since I already had the thing on.
I know it is no longer fashionable to wear pantyhose, but I hate shoes without socks. My mother used to tell me as a child to never to go barefoot outside or we could get worms. I would watch Opie on "The Andy Griffith Show" skipping around, barefoot and whistling, and wonder how come he never got worms. I don't know what this has to do with socks, but I have never had worms. I don't know about Ron Howard, but maybe somebody from child services should have looked into that little scenario. I think this relates to why nobody in Hollywood wears stockings any more, but I haven't put it all together. I guess their feet don't stink either. Mine do. This is why I wear socks.
That brings me to "the-shoes-that-would-not-stay-on-my-feet." Michael (DH) gave me a mere 24-hour notice on attending a Spring formal for the Army. I decided to work this whole scenario to my advantage by telling Michael I would attend the formal, but it would cost him. Shortly thereafter I chanced upon a pair of shoes that were perfect. They were a cream D'Orsay style shoe made out of snake belly. That's right: Snake belly. How such a beautiful pair of shoes wound-up at a "Rack Room" just off of Ft. Bragg I didn't ask -- they were just beautiful and I needed them. They were even comfortable. One problem, though. They would not stay on my feet. Other than that they were perfect. No problem. I hate dancing, so I could forgo the dance part of the evening, thus keeping the shoes on my feet. My plan was for Michael to drop me off at the door of the hotel and walk as short a distance as possible to the ballroom. Who knew the ballroom was miles away from the hotel entrance? Looking as graceful as a wounded moose, I made my way to the hotel ballroom. Michael kept getting ahead of me and I kept having to tell him to wait-up. I would take two steps, a shoe would come off, two steps, shoe off again. I actually had to turn around a couple of times to retrace my steps to fetch a wayward shoe. I think maybe they would have stayed on if I had put carpet tape on the bottom of my feet. Why hadn't I thought of that earlier? I blame it on the Lipo-In-A-Box that had cut-off all circulation to my brain.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Future Shock is Now

This morning, after a less than restful night of having anxiety dreams about losing my Sony Reader, I remembered I needed to phone in my prescriptions for refills. I phoned the pharmacy, and using the touch pad, I keyed in my refills on the phone. Clutching the telephone in my hand, I then caught myself trying to change the T.V. channels with the telephone. Oops. This is what I get for forgetting to set the timer on the coffeemaker for auto brew.

I then had a thought: "Where were we before we had all these time saving devices, and just where is all this time we are saving?" I believe I have the answer: We are putting together our own furniture. Remember when they would bring you furniture, take away the old stuff, and you lived happily ever after? Now we go to the giant everything store, load-up our carts, haul the stuff home, after using self-checkout, which is promoted as saving time and money. (Not moi, I REFUSE to use it. "Self-checkout" is just another way of spelling "the-end-of-civilization".) Then we mull over the "easy assembly" furniture instructions (in Swedish), if we are lucky. If we are not-so-lucky (me) the instructions include how we can get the instructions online, as the Eco-conscious furniture people are trying to save the trees. We go online, are briefly distracted by the shear volume of spam cluttering up our email, and then remember that our task when booting-up the computer was to find the instructions for assembling the furniture. If all goes well, the website is still in operation and we are able to print them up on our printer. So much for saving the trees. At least the furniture manufactuers have clean hands. If we are not so lucky (me) we get video instructions. Never mind that the computer is upstairs and the furniture is downstairs, and I can't remember my own phone number half the time, let alone that "H" fits into "N" after watching the video twenty times. After running back and forth between the construction project and the computer, we finally get the damn thing together. We are faced with a pile of packing material that we really feel guilty about tossing in with the other trash, but there are not enough hours in the day to recycle all of THAT. Then we are stuck with the old piece of furniture we were replacing. Which, provided it isn't a mattress, we haul to the Salvation Army, or some other charity in hopes that someone else can use our discard. (A cautionary note: I have had my primo junk rejected by the Salvation Army. That's right: The stuff I was content to use for years, the Salvation Army REJECTED.) I don't know what you do with an old mattress. I'm pretty sure the Salvation Army doesn't want it. I guess I'd have to boot-up the computer to figure-out where to take that, after I get done deleting all my junk email.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Abyss of Filth

I come from a long line of people I would refer to as "Scrubby Dutch". They are obsessively neat people known to scrub their sidewalks. I did not inherit this genetic trait. At all. I haven't decided whether or not that is a good thing, but I have always marvelled at the non-messy among us, you know, those people who actually buy white sofas and manage to keep them that way. Tidiness is just not in my nature.

I once worked with this woman whose desk was always in perfect order. Mine always looked like the aftermath of an explosion in a office supply store. Every day before I went home, I had to dig through all the crap, reorganize, and by the end of the day the next day, my desk was once again a junk heap. I tried keep the desk organized. It lasted about a week. I couldn't get a damn thing done and it made me a nervous wreak.

My mother once painted the inside of her cabinets. It had never even occurred to me to do this. Paint the inside of cabinets? Isn't that is what the doors are for?
I have a housekeeper, a lawn guy and a bug guy and they just barely keep the home from teetering off in to the abyss of filth. Yet, I always seem to be cleaning something or other. Somehow, the Rubbermaid tub of books just doesn't get dragged into the basement. The garage never gets cleaned-out.
I love those beginning-of-the-year, get-organized New Year's resolution articles and shows where everything is in its place. Every time I have ever tried to organize stuff there is always something that doesn't quite fit in the handy-dandy organizer that seemed like such a good idea at the store. Some big ass lid, or something, will always trip me up when I have delusions of neatness. Or I have one thing too many. I like to think that somewhere Martha Stewart has a messy closet packed full of crap that won't fit anywhere else.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

More Kitten Training 1/3/10

In order for the adult resident cats (Patsy and Eddy) to like the new kittens (Arturo and Lew), the experts advise dropping treats for them near the kittens so they will associate the kittens with the treats and all things good. They suggest doing this discreetly, so the cats do not know where the treats are coming from. Cat experts also suggest giving the resident cats loads of attention, petting and praise whenever they are around the kittens. Patsy and Eddy are not too much into public displays of affection, but I will do my best to assume a soothing tone of voice as I praise their efforts for tolerating the new trespassers, er, kittens.

While petting and praising the kittens, kitten Lew persists in chewing and clawing on my pants pocket. Lew has discovered the bribes, er, treats I have discreetly hidden for the elder cats . While exiting the kitten safe room, elder cats Patsy and Eddy are parked outside and stare at me as if I have lost my mind. I try to drop treats discreetly, but I sense that they associate the treats with me. It could be because I am holding a little yellow bag full of them. Eddy sits and stares at the dropped treats and allows Patsy to eat ALL of them, then looks at me for more. I give Eddy more, not wanting her to feel neglected, and Patsy promptly eats them. Shortly thereafter, Patsy throws-up the treats.

Meanwhile, kitten Arturo has discovered the springy door stop and and is making it go boing, boing, boing.

Kitten Training 1/3/10

We adopted two kittens last week: Arturo Fuente and Lew Rothman, age 12 weeks. After reading the kitten books and online veterinary advice on introducing new kittens to the resident adult cats (Patsy and Eddy, age four), I formulated what I thought was the best plan to follow: Put the kittens in the carrier when the adult cats are upstairs. Sit carrier in the middle of the living room. Adult cats will become curious and come downstairs. Let the kittens sit in the carrier and allow the adult cats to sniff them. When adult cats start to ignore the kittens, allow kittens out and roam a bit to spread their scent so adult cats can get used to it, and kittens can explore their new surroundings. Under no circumstances allow kittens to roam unsupervised.

Here is how it went:

Took kittens downstairs in carrier. Patsy and Eddy, who have been staring at the closed door to the kitty safe room for the past four days, wondering what is behind door number one, completely ignore the two kittens and stay upstairs. I wait as the kittens sit in the carrier and start to get restless. REALLY restless. O.K., I thought, if the big cats are upstairs, I might as well let the new kittens get used to their environment. I let Lew and Arturo out of their carrier. After bouncy, bouncy, bouncy-ing around the downstairs, elder-cat Patsy decides to see what is going on downstairs. Patsy is the poster cat for the phrase "curiosity killed the cat". Patsy comes downstairs and crawls into the kittens' carrier, sits inside of it as the kittens sniff HER from the outside. Lew shoots off up the stairs. I follow suit. Elder-cat Eddy stands at the top of the stairs, looks at Lew with disgust, then fear, and runs and hides under the bed, where she has remains all morning. Eddy is the poster cat for the phrase "'fraidy cat". Eddy is a full grown, 12 to 13 pound kitty. The kittens weigh about two pounds each. After chasing down the kittens and returning them to their safe room, I realize I have my exercise plan for the New Year.

Note to self: Cats do not read cat training advice.