Sunday, October 31, 2010


Just in case it happened to slip by any of you, I did manage to post here every single day in October! Twice today! Halloween/Samhain magic! Actually, it's more of a matter of discipline. Scheduling. And possibly an attempt to rationalize time spent on the interwebs. After all, I am a writer, so this is an exercise to keep my language skills sharp! We'll see how November shapes up...

Downtown Saturday Night

The bars were packed full with costumed merry makers last night. Yes, I know that it was merely Halloween Eve, but we did stay out past midnight, so technically it was Halloween. Earlier on, when Reid and I stopped for burgers and sweet potato fries at Cubby's, there were already people out in costume. Most notably, a ten or so

foot tall fellow with lit up red eyes and horrifying electronically assisted vocalizations who appeared to be a ghoulish Bigfoot. I was relieved that he was too tall to follow us inside. Later on, there was the usual assortment of zombies, vampires, and slutty versions of French Maids, brides, gypsies, cheerleaders, and gun molls. We ended up sitting with one of my personal favorites of the evening, Georgiana and Chris dressed

quite adorably as Raggedy Ann and Andy. Other favorites were Gumby and Pokey, who had to remove their heads to drink. Probably the most remarkable costume of the evening was our robotic favorite from Futurama, Bender. Complete with cigar. Another favorite was this guy dressed up like Ace Ventura. He had it all going on, Hawaaian print shirt, goofy pompadour 'do, and a rubbery expressive face rivaling Jim Carrey's original. I was quite amused. Seeing a guy in a rather lame cow costume reminded me that I have a terrific bovine get-up. I'm feeling inspired to put the final touches on it for next year! I can see it now! MooBoo! I can hand out Milk Duds and Milky Way candy bars! I do love Halloween.

Saturday, October 30, 2010


I know, I know, politics are never this simple. But for me, particularly in light of the Tea Party's proliferating nonsense, the upcoming election, and today's Return to Sanity Rally, I am reminded of one simple thing. You are entitled to your opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts. Opinions are like, well, you know, and everybody has one. Facts are facts are facts, and you may not edit them to suit your purpose. Any questions?

Friday, October 29, 2010

White Knuckles

Honestly, would you get in the passenger seat with this guy behind the wheel? When you're a mother, there are some things you must do. One of these things is riding shotgun with your reluctant driver son who does not yet possess a full driver's license. He did just fine. The biggest problem was other impatient drivers. Drivers who insisted on speeding, pulling out into traffic illegally, and jumping through a 4-way stop before it was their turn. If you can't be courteous, at the very least follow the rules! Maybe I should get one of those student driver placards to slap on the side of the Forester. Then all those discourteous drivers might just keep their distance! Yes, and thank you for asking, I am just fine.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

ByeBye, Pasties!

For this girl, the worst part of the mammogram has always been removing those horrible, and horribly sticky, pasties. I never was of the opinion that I needed to exfoliate my nipples. And it seemed those nasty little pasties did just that. Their purpose was to clearly identify the nipple tissue, which is more dense than other breast tissue. More dense or thickening of breast tissue can be a sign of trouble in there, so the pasties with a little metal ball inside were used as an indicator of normal but dense tissue. Enter digital mammography! And those evil little sticky things are no longer necessary! Yesssssss! And October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so for once I'm taking care of this bit of feminine business during its designated month. Now that the dreaded pasties are a thing of the past, maybe I won't be so reluctant to do this annually. Although next October I'll probably be saying, what, already? Time flies when you procrastinate.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Maintenance, High and Low

I have been off work a number of weeks. This has left me acutely aware of projects around the house that require attention. These bits of household maintenance randomly scream at me. Fix me! Paint me! Winterize me! A few I've been able to tackle and finish, others are simply impossible to accomplish with my cranky, tendinitis-plagued hands. So I have focused my attention in another direction. Maintaining me! Last week I had a date with my dental hygenist. I left with my teeth all x-rayed, examined, glittery and clean. No cavities! Today I visited my gynecologist and experienced that most joyfully anticipated ritual, the quasi-annual PAP test! And all the assorted poking and prodding that accompanies it. I'm hoping for that short but sweet letter in the mail saying I'm just fine and dandy, see you in two years. Have I saved the best for last? You will have to be the judge of that. Tomorrow I return to the clinic for, yes, a mammogram! That most pleasant of diagnostic exams involving an evil machine designed to compress and torture human mammary tissue. I have never enjoyed a mammogram. I have never heard another woman admit that she does, either. For me, it's just a matter of standing still, holding my breath, and it's over with in pretty short order. And when you compare it with having your teeth cleaned, all I have to say is, I'm glad I don't have 28 boobs.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

More Fun With Tigh & Lloyd

I have been drinking Patron margaritas at Bravo's. With Tigh and Lloyd. Where it isn't just a happy hour, nonono! It's happy half the afternoon! BBQ chicken sliders. Fried green beans. Nachos. While I am sad that Lloyd is moving on for the next leg of his American travels, I think perhaps my liver needs a rest. It has been great fun! And I'm so happy to have acquired another son! And I need one of those Power Ball tickets to pay off so I can make a trip to Australia! And now, it's either too late for a nap or too early for bedtime, so I'll compromise by falling asleep while watching a movie. I love it when things work out.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Fun With Tigh & Lloyd

When a friend flies in from Australia and has been awake for 36 hours, the obvious thing to do is take him to International Night at Jim's Tap. Then he snaps a photo of you leaning before you've had your first drink. Welcome to Brookings, Lloyd!

Later, we introduce Lloyd to midwestern American delicacies like mac & cheese, pheasant chislic and pumpkin pie!

Instead of making the "kids" sit in the kitchen, they all gravitated towards the table set up in the living room. That was fine with me, the grown-up table was closer to the wine.

A trip to east river South Dakota just isn't complete without an outing to Falls Park. Even if it's raining. Here in the requisite shot with the falls in the background are Tigh and Lloyd. Looking well hydrated, don't you think?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Dinner for Twelve

It's United Nations Day! How appropriate that an Australian will be here for dinner! I don't have time for anything else here, there is a table cloth to iron and dusting and polishing to do. It's also time for the traditional shoving of whatever is sitting about and looking messy into the laundry room! And that last minute bathroom quickie spiffing-up with the Windex. I do love a dinner party.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Getting Patron-Ized

Patron is so beautifully packaged. Like lingerie from Macy's, it is carefully wrapped in tissue paper before being placed in its box.

Each bottle is identified with a hand written and initialed label to ensure the customer that it has been lovingly sealed in its bottle with professional expertise. Thank you, PSM. Bottle 1990155 shall be enjoyed.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Bunnies & Bums

Tomorrow is the biggest one day celebration here. South Dakota State University's homecoming, also known as Hobo Day. Hobos and Jackrabbits, I've never understood the connection. But people are converging from all over the place, whether they attended SDSU or not. There will be the standard parade and football game and a general state of celebretory inebriation. Something I like to call celebriation. I'm having a few people over on Sunday so I need to go pick up some beer and wine...I hope there's some left at our one and only liquor store. It's entirely possible that the town could be drunk dry. So, Go Jacks! and happy tailgating to you!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Wait...Did I Buy a Car Today?

Behold! My newly acquired 1998 Subaru Forester! The lengths that I go to in order to have something interesting to blog about.

The Forester shall become the younger son's ride. As soon as it's insured. And the 3% sales tax is paid. And licensed. And he's fully licensed. As a driver, that is. Reid, it's time you got a job!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Palindromic Day

I am a fan of numerical oddities. Of this we are all aware. I'm also a fan of wordy oddities such as palindromes. Today is 10-20-2010, not a true palindrome, but feels like one when said aloud. Go ahead. Say it out loud. You know you want to. Ten twenty twenty ten. So I considered living the day in a palindromic fashion. At the midpoint of the day I could do what I did in the first half of the day, only in reverse order. But then I thought that was much too complicated and required something of a plan. And even then, as a day often unfolds in a completely different fashion than you anticipate, it would be unlikely to work out anyway. At any rate, since my first waking thing most days is the brewing and drinking of coffee, maybe not such a great idea right at bedtime. Instead, I offer some of my favorite palindromes for your entertainment.

Go hang a salami, I'm a lasagna hog.

Dammit, I'm mad!

Resume so pacific a pose, muser.

Noel sees Leon.

Enid and Edna dine.

Won't lovers revolt now?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Medical Ping-Pong

I slept just plain crappy last night! I observed some increment of every single overnight hour by the time I saw light creeping across the sky. And I wondered if there might be some cause and effect from reading a fellow blogger's detailed account of a sleepless night. But he was not to blame. Some nights, regardless of how tired I am, my inability to shut down my thought process gets in the way of slumber. For a number of months, my sleep pattern was more likely to be interrupted by the constant dull ache of tendinitis in my hands. Or once in a while, just for a little variety, I'd experience personal thermostatic fluctuations brought on by one of my favorite near constant companions, menopause. But last night's struggle for snoozing was due to a psychological ping-pong match between the logical/rational thinking side of my brain and the emotional/visceral side. Concerning my current post/pre surgical medical situation that is bandied back and forth between Work Comp insurance representatives (I'm on my fourth case worker, and they all seem to be functionally incapable of answering their phone or returning calls in answer to voicemails), my medical caretakers (who are more than competent and very caring), the local HR Specialist (yes, that's her title, though I can't say it's fitting...), and a nurse case manager (assigned to me by my company to advise me through my recovery from a work-caused injury). The net is a tightly drawn dividing line between approved and not approved, valid and not valid, allowed and dis-allowed. The thing is, I wasn't handed a rule book at the beginning, I expected to be properly advised by HR and the medical professionals who are in charge of my treatment. All of these entities seem to have a problem with sharing information, and I have signed a number of forms allowing them to do just that. And nothing seems to move forward unless I'm flying the bitch flag and get on the phone. I'm tired, and not just because last night was nearly sleepless. I'm tired of fighting this neverending battle between the bureaucracies. I would like to focus my energy on healing, on becoming well enough to return to work and have some normalcy in my life. This is practically impossible when I'm wondering why my disability pay has disappeared when I have bills to pay. The stress over all of these issues is an enormous distraction as well as detrimental to my overall health. I'd just like to know who is in my corner besides me.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Sandwich Monday!

I don't know about you, but I find Monday a much more tolerable place to be when it contains a good, hearty laugh. A reliable source for such a laugh is this. Sandwich Monday, brought to you by those responsible for NPR's Wait, Wait..Don't Tell Me!. I count on them each and every Saturday afternoon for an irreverent and hilarious look at the news and not so newsworthy happenings of the week. I'm with Ian and Mike on this one, something you are about to eat should not contain references to horses or shoes.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Aiding and Abetting

Just on the other side of the wall to my left, is a server. A monster of a computer that has like a hundred bazillion megabyte memory. It belongs to my elder son. He has tv shows and other stealthy and possibly edible things stored on it. It hums. In kind of a friendly, minor key sort of way. This is not the first time a server has lived in this house. I remember when the elder son was in high school. There was this constant back and forth struggle between the semi-tech-savvy staff at the school and the extremely creativly scary-smart verrrry tech-savvy students. Said staff was always looking to head off at the microchip any computer related rules that the students might be trying to somehow circumvent. Like, gasp, playing games on the internet or accessing web sites the school felt were inappropriate. Or fun. No fun shall be had on this school's computers! So, many sites were blocked and, sadly, inaccessible from inside the school. Or so they thought. Dwelling in our basement was a server that my son had constructed and programmed. The web address for the server was quite accessible, thank you. And from there, the entire internet was his. I sighed and shook my head. I knew he wasn't accessing porn or exposing the school's computer network to viruses, he really just wanted to play web based games on his lunch break. So he found a creative way around a rule. He didn't get caught and no harm was done. Had his purposes been malevolent or destructive in nature, I certainly would have unplugged him. I was pretty sure that I wasn't contributing to a certain future of crime and degredation for my son. Now, five years later, the wackiest thing he's done is dye his hair green. Fluorescent pink. Or cobalt blue. And as far as I know, he has only used his geek skills for the greater good of mankind. Oh. And for fun.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

I Loves Halloween!

Beanie Halloweenie!

Flying witches! Gnarly trees!

Half a coven congregating on the table in the hall. The line for broom rides is forming just around the corner!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Philosophy 101

Finally! Nietzsche made simple! A Nietzsche I can understand! In honor of his birthday, I am spreading to the masses his message in a relatable form. Thanks to Liz for sharing this link. Like her, I am finding I must continue to hit refresh for a new cartoon. Hmmm. I wonder what old Friedrich might make of that!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Odometer Oddity Deaux

Remember back in July? Are you concerned that moi is paying much too much attention to the numerical nuances on the dashboard display while she is driving? Worry not. I noticed this impending convergence about ten miles before it occurred, and was sure to be in a reasonable spot to pull over when it did. In case you haven't deduced why on earth I bothered to snap a photo, note that both the odometer and trip odometer show the numeric sequence 3495. That is all. When you commit to posting a blog every day, sometimes it's just cat pictures and hairballs. But with any luck, never a picture of a hairball.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


In honor of Trent's birthday, which was yesterday, I volunteered to bake birthday treats. Cupcakes are always a big hit, so I went with a seasonal recipe. Don't tell anyone I started with a cake mix! Not just any cake mix, mind you, I am loyal to Duncan Hines. For these I used a Duncan Hines Spice cake mix, followed the lower fat baking instructions, and instead of applesauce, I substituted pumpkin. Yum.

The frosting, however, was home made. I avoid the ready-made frosting in a tub. Too many chemical sounding ingredients. And what goes better on a pumpkin spice cupcake than cream cheese frosting! And although my tendinitis plagued hands were very tired after all that piping, squeezing a pastry bag full of frosting turned out to be excellent post-surgical therapy. Like squeezing a stress ball, only tastier.

And here we have the final product, festively decorated for the fall. If you ask me, the only thing better than a cupcake with cream cheese frosting is one with candy on top.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

75% of The Beatles

Last Saturday evening, while watching A Hard Day's Night in honor of John Lennon's birthday, I had a revelation. No, not a Revolution. It occurred to me that a former boyfriend bore a striking resemblance to the younger Ringo! Additionally, the former boyfriend bears the names of two of the other Beatles! I'm not saying which two, because that would be indiscreet. I will say, however, that should I ever be involved with a man named George, something akin to a sacred circle will have been made complete. In case it should interest anyone, Ringo is responsible for coming up with the title for the movie. If you ask me, sometimes the DVD bonus material is just as good as the movie!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Marriage in Hell

Sometimes the funnies are funny. Today was one of those days. And it occurs to me that the title of today's post could have many, many meanings. Many. Don't overthink it. And do laugh. As far as I'm concerned, Hell is more of a state of mind than a physical location.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


It's numerical oddity time! The date is 10/10/10. The clock is shown at ten minutes, ten seconds past the hour of ten. I was working on the Sunday crossword when this momentous moment passed, and I can't say that I felt anything remarkable. Also, we're pretty much right smack in the middle between two other interesting calendar dates, 8/9/10 and 12/11/10. While you ponder the numerological significance of all this, I have laundry to tend to.

Saturday, October 9, 2010


Or more specifically, MPR. Minnesota Public Radio. I am a proud and loyal sustaining member. So pleased that their broadcast is not blocked at the state border! Whilst I am sorting laundry and tending to other household tasks, NPR's fabulous Saturday line-up will be playing in the background. You can listen, too!

*Car Talk
*Wait, Wait! Don't Tell Me!
*This American Life
*The Splendid Table
*Weekend All Things Considered
*A Prairie Home Companion

Friday, October 8, 2010

Anthropologie, I Love You

One day last week, a catalog arrived in the mail. Not just any catalog, but the Anthropologie October 2010 catalog. I have never been to one of their stores. I have never purchased anything from them. At least, not that I'm aware. I must then assume, logically, that some sort of divine intervention has brought this catalog to me. Now that I have opened it and perused its luscious images of clothing and household items, I feel decadent. Like a bad girl who has rounded a certain corner and has passed the point where she can return to her former sensible self. Primarily due to having beheld these boots. They are called Adroit, and occupy the entirety of page 25. For a measly $328 they could be mine. I adore them. Covet them. Desire them. Anthropologie has led me into Temptation. And it is there that I shall reside. For a while, anyway.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

English Expands

Yesterday, in an IM conversation with Crazy, a new word was discovered. He described a behavioral attitude that he might resort to using the word jackass. I responded that assertive might be the better approach. Sparking in my evil little brain the idea to combine the words. Resulting in the word jackassertive. Which I expect would mean behaving in an assertive manner, perhaps an overly assertive manner, leading others around you to think you're being a bit of a jackass. While I regard behaving as a jackass a poor way to go about standing your ground, I expect different people draw that line between assertive and the former in different places. I suggest we clarify that gray area with the word jackassertive. Still gray, but now with a colorful idiom assigned to it.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Subaru BoO!

Isn't this cool? Behold the Subaru Badge of Ownership! Shown above are the lifestyle icons available to go with an icon indicating how many Subarus you have owned. Mine will be a "1", as my three year old Outback is my first Subaru. Now I have to wait four to six weeks for my BoO to arrive in the mail. Naturally, there will be photos when it is affixed to my car. Pretty exciting. And wouldn't it be fun if it's here in time for Halloween? My own personal Subaru BoO. Sadly, there was not a witch icon available.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

In Appalling Taste

It is a most auspicious day. Forty-one years ago, Monty Python's Flying Circus made its debut on the BBC. Memorable moments included the death of numerous pigs as well as the funniest joke in the world. The program was not received with open arms, the ratings were terrible and it barely survived its first season. It went on to air for four seasons, forty-five episodes in all. My younger siblings and I were glued to the tv when the Pythons arrived here via PBS around 1973. We were enthralled. Our mother was puzzled. Why would anyone play tennis with a blancmange? Why would grown men dress up as old women and terrorize the town on motorcycles? How did that exploding penguin appear on top of the telly? Why would anyone go to a clinic to learn about arguing? What is funny about a dead parrot or a cheese shop that has not a scrap of cheese? Vikings singing about Spam? We didn't really know, but we laughed anyway. Thank you, Terry Jones, John Cleese, Michael Palin, Graham Chapman, Eric Idle, and Terry Gilliam. For the novelty. The accents. The appalling bad taste. And for the sheer mindless, disjointed glee of it all. Indeed, no one expects a Spanish Inquisition.

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Second Time Around

I have a pile of books over a foot high on my nightstand. One of them is pretty thick, I started it last summer and couldn't get interested, so Infinite Jest is out of the running. As far as I'm concerned, self-involved jerking off does not an interesting novel make. Pardon me for speaking ill of the dead. Three of the books I have started and want to get back to, and probably will in the ensuing weeks. That still leaves approximately ten inches of books I haven't yet read. And there are more of them unread in the shelves in other various places about the house. But lately I am distracted from new reading by rereading other books that I remember enjoying immensely the first time around. And it's interesting how the stories take on a new and different significance a few years later. It all started with Julia Phillips' Hollywood expose, You'll Never Eat Lunch in This Town Again. All that drug infused name-dropping went so well with a beer in the hammock on a late summer afternoon. Following that, I reread Moo, by Jane Smiley. I remember frequently laughing out loud the first time I read it, and it was even funnier the second time around. Moo also held greater depth for me during this most recent read now that I've dated a college professor and worked in a seed lab. This girl has seen firsthand the agony of sweating out tenure and the conundrum of publish or perish, as well as the nasty underbelly of the ag-industrial complex. Now I'm well into The Robber Bride, my favorite among Margaret Atwood's many disturbing and well written tales. Last night, I laughed out loud at a passage that took on a whole new meaning from this vantage point in my life. Roz, who is interviewing a man for the position as her personal assistant, is surprised by his candor over the fact that he is gay. You might as well know immediately, it saves time-wasting speculation. I'm gay as a grig, he says, but I won't embarrass you in public. My straight act is impeccable. A grig, in case you wondered, can mean either a short-legged hen or a young eel. I prefer the young eel version, myself. When I had recovered from my hysterical laughing jag, I looked it up myself. Grig can also refer to a young cricket or grasshopper. Or a dwarf. Do trust me when I say I am not gay bashing. The quote is a direct reference to a former sweetheart. One who did me serious wrong. Broke my heart and handed the mangled pieces back to me in a dirty cardboard pizza box. So, now that I am 99.999% over him, it gives me great pleasure to think of him as an eel or a dwarf. It was that short-legged chicken that totally cracked me up. Proof that you can learn something new rereading an old book. And that when you can laugh in the face of a thing that once brought you so very much pain, you know that you have healed at last.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Three for Three

You'll be thrilled to learn that I am attempting to repeat my July 2010 amazing feat. Meaning that I posted here every single day of that month, and will endeavor to do so in October as well! I was going to say that this was due to popular demand, but I have no proof of such a phenomenon. Of course, I have no proof that I shouldn't, either, so I'll plod on ahead. And what's on the agenda for October? You have Halloween decorating activities to look forward to, as well as cooler weather activities such as pie baking and soup making. Also updates on my ongoing medical adventure with tendinitis. Just your standard peek into the life of a goddess. And now, back to dusting and bathroom cleaning.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Chronological Order

At Best Buy yesterday afternoon, I nabbed a dvd of the movie, Memento. Found it in the five buck bin! This is not one of my favorite movies. It is, however, one of those films that sticks in your head and won't go away! While the way it is structured is brilliant, it is also infuriating. I'm not a linear thinker but I do have a functioning short-term memory, and the disjointed way this story plays out was meant to induce the sort of disorientation Leonard feels. Since a traumatic injury has short-circuited his brain, he is no longer able to form new memories. Memento confounded me to no end, but no more! At some point this weekend, I shall pop it into the dvd player, and with the assistance of the scene selection menu, I shall view the action in chronological order! And if that doesn't help sort things out, I will simply track down director Christopher Nolan, like the infuriating talented dog that he is, and tattoo him. With a thus far not determined image. To let him know in no uncertain terms, that, well, even if it still doesn't make sense, I ended up liking the movie anyway. That's telling him!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Yes, She's a Pottymouth

I do adore Julie Andrews. It is her natal day today, she is 75. And fabulous. Several years ago, when appearing on The Rosie O'Donnell Show, Julie admitted to being a, gasp, pottymouth. Rosie was aghast. I was delighted. Yes. The portrayer of novitiate nun, Maria, and Mary Poppins owned up to knowing and using swear words. Wonderful English swear words. Excessively, it would seem. To the point where Dame Julie's teenage daughter challenged her to stop swearing so much. All right, said mum, if you'll clean up your room I'll clean up my speech! My children have never complained about my swearing. They're amused by it. Sometimes they goad me into swearing because they find it so entertaining. Meaning I never had the opportunity to barter my dirty mouth for their dirty rooms. I found it endearing when Julie's colorful language habit was immortalized in husband Blake Edwards' acceptance speech for the Academy Honorary Award in 2004. This, indeed, is true love.

"My mother thanks you, my father thanks you, the beautiful English broad with the incomparable soprano, and promiscuous vocabulary thanks you, and I sure as hell thank you."