Saturday, August 31, 2013

Power Camping

Sometimes, when you don't have a full weekend available, it becomes necessary to pack an entire weekend's worth of fun activities into approximately thirty hours. I am pleased to report that despite my advanced age I am still able to do this. Though it's going to require a day or so to recover. One overnight camping adventure included lunch out, a stint of power shopping, sangria happy hour, delish pizza enjoyed on a lakeside patio, the requisite beer around a blazing campfire until midnight, up at seven this morning for a 25 mile bike ride followed by pancakes, eggs and sausage for breakfast. All I have to say is, whew!, I'm home. Oh, and those pancakes were topped with strawberries. And I bought another little black dress. I'm pretty sure sleep is in order. 

Friday, August 30, 2013

Such Beauty Stilled

This is just wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Linda Ronstadt was recently diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and her vocal cords have been affected by its onslaught. She can no longer sing. I regret that I never saw her perform live! We can still enjoy recordings of her truly amazing voice, but how heartbreaking to lose such a beautiful gift.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Oh, Yeah...

I thought you might be wondering. Yes, Amelia was able to work around my wrap. The tiny bird charm just peeks out from under the new ends of my hair. Which means, yes, three or so inches are gone! But so are all the split ends. I recommend the deep conditioning treatment. I can't stop touching my hair! It's so soft! If you see me out and about somewhere, I'm the girl with the bird charm who is trying desperately not to touch her own hair.

Tami's Birthday

Jill said her friend Colleen's band was playing at the 1481 Grille in Arlington. We had to go somewhere to celebrate Tami's birthday, so why not somewhere that has terrific food and live music. Turns out 1481 was celebrating their own birthday. They do something called the Bayou Boil, featuring jambalaya, crab legs, shrimp, hushpuppies and corn on the cob. This allows patrons of the restaurant to sit outside under a big tent and play with their food while enjoying the band. I recommend it.  Josh, the owner and chef, appreciated us showing up to liven up the party and distributed the last of the event tshirts at our table. I expect now that we know how good the food is, we'll have to go back. Even when we're not celebrating a birthday.

Down at the Sunflower

I have spoken of her before. She does exist. This is Amelia, who does the most fabulous job with my ornery hair. Go to the Sunflower. They offer a wide variety of services all of which are wonderful and pampering. All I have to say is, if they had a wine bar I would never leave.


The twentysomething fellow behind the counter in the book store yesterday afternoon wasn't using his indoor voice. Maybe he thought I was reeeaaalllly old and he needed to shout to overcome my advanced age hearing loss. Perhaps he was under the impression, despite the fact that I'm almost certain I was speaking English, that I am a foreigner and that to compensate for my lack of understanding he was obliged to turn up the volume. Then again, maybe he's just kind of an idiot who is also a loud talker. Come to think of it, he seemed to be totally unaware of the cartoonist B. Kliban. Please! And he works in a bookstore? Clearly option three is the most correct assessment.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Twerking on My Mind

Classic Americana -- I've been twerking on the railroad, all the live-long day.

Disneyesque -- Hi-ho, hi-ho, it's off 'twerk I go.*

Disco -- Car wash, twerkin' at the car wash, yeah.

Don Henley's New York Minute -- And the twerk I put between us doesn't keep me warm.

Shakespearean -- Thou twerk a puking rampallian hedge-pig!

*On a completely different and somehow within the same perverted train of thought, did the Dwarves greet Snow White after a long day at the mines by saying "Hi, ho!"? 

That's a Wrap!

I am happy to report that I will be getting in to the Sunflower this afternoon for a haircut with the amazing Miss Amelia. So it may be bye-bye to the wrap I had done at the arts festival the middle of July. If she can work around it, I'll keep it even though it has grown out considerably. If she can't then I shall sadly part with this most fun adornment.

Close-up on the darling little bird charm that dangles at the end of my pink and burgundy and sparkly bead hair wrap.


Fromma outta nowhere, thisa song isa inna my head besmirching my pleasant Tuesday morning. Beware, ifa you click on the little arrow, it willa be inna your head, too. I swear I'm not even a smidgen Italian, so my apologies to any of you of Italian extraction. 

Monday, August 26, 2013

'Twerks for Me

I am hopelessly out of touch. But I am internet savvy. So when I am not familiar with a term, I look it up. Often at more than one website to gain a full range of knowledge. Just this morning I was introduced to the word twerk, which understandably spellcheck does not get along with. And this seems to be a consensus sort of meaning: 

"A dance move that involves a person shaking their upper hips and lower hips in an up and down bouncing motion, causing them to shake, wobble and jiggle."

Now I am ever so slightly confused. I was not aware that there are two sets of hips, the upper and the lower. Perhaps this is some sort of human anatomy anomaly that allows for more suggestive dance moves. Not to mention the, well, ahem, other moves that have quite interesting connotations that do not require a dance floor. As for me personally, one set of hips is quite adequate, thank you.  

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sunday Tired Sunday

Uffda. Stayed up much too late last night watching the two final Dollhouse episodes. Then woke up much too early to Einstein's chilly nose right in my face. Startling to say the least. Despite being short on sleep and having apocalyptic scenarios on the brain I completed the Sunday crossword with just one error. And I really do need to make a haircut appointment. My bangs are long and flabby and the layers don't bounce anymore. And somebody come over and help me locate my copy of B. Kliban's Never Eat Anything Bigger Than Your Head. On your way pick up some sort of delectable pastry you think I might enjoy, pretty please. I could seriously use a foot rub, too, but not until I know you better. All I can say is, where is Tim when you need him.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Doesn't Add Up! Or Divide, for That Matter

First of all, I don't have OCD tendencies. I do, however, appreciate the elegance and beauty of mathematical expressions. The thing I really love about math is that there is only one correct answer! There is no discussion or touchy-feely exchange of ideas, there is the correct answer and all the others are thrown out. This would be my pragmatic side speaking. She's all about nondiplomacy and my-way-or-the-highway thinking. So here's the problem. In the tv series Dollhouse, the actives are given names from the NATO phonetic alphabet. They are grouped in fives, like in the sleeping pods in the photo. The thing is, there are 26 letters to the alphabet that correspond to 26 names, like Echo and Victor and Sierra. Twenty-six is not divisible by five! Which would mean that there is one podless active wandering about with no place to sleep! Unless they only have 25 or fewer at any given time due to the fact that Xray and Hotel and Uniform are really kind of dumb names that even a basically mindless active might object to due to the lameness and uncoolness of it all. Of course, maybe the full contingent of 26 minus the rogue Alpha is how they are making it work at this point. I'll get back to you with my final arithmatical answer when I have completed the series. I repeat, twenty-six is not divisible by five!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Oscar Mike Golf

Pardon me for being away, but I have discovered Dollhouse and am currently obsessed with watching it. It's the weirdest combination of pod people nightmare plus mad scientist technology tossed into Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind crossed with Nikita and transplanted to Stepford that could possibly be imagined. Joss Whedon is a brilliant yet sick and darkly twisted human being. And I love him.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Happy Birthday, Mr Nash

He would have been 111 today. We are talking about Mr. Ogden Nash, who was born on this day in 1902. I had wondered what it would have been like to grow up with the name Ogden but it turns out his actual first name was Frederic. Which, when you think about it, maybe wasn't so much better when picturing playground incidents or how it sounds when your mom calls you home for dinner. Neither name makes it onto the top 40 list of popular names for boys that year so who knows what his parents were thinking. Nashville, TN is named for his great-great uncle, or something like that, at least some forebear on his father's side as far as I can tell, and, no, I haven't totally lost track of today's blog topic. Which is to celebrate the fact that it is Ogden Nash's birthday and he happens to be one of my favorite poets. He wrote a whole series of poems about animals. What follows is my favorite of those. I love how he makes up rhymes when no suitable word exists.

           The Panther 

The panther is like a leopard,
Except it hasn't been peppered.
Should you behold a panther crouch,
Prepare to say Ouch.
Better yet, if called by a panther,
Don't anther.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Strong Bad Sings

Now this is what I call a love song. And if you were wondering how Strong Bad can play the piano while wearing boxing gloves, just remember he is also an excellent typist.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Living With an Aspie

Pretty much since he was able to speak, Reid has possessed the remarkable ability to share too much information at length. Seemingly without repeating himself, like he has this deep, deep well of information concerning subjects he loves that he can access effortlessly. Initially I listened attentively, or as attentively as I could manage until my eyes glazed over, my head listed over to one side and the drooling commenced. Unfazed, he would continue to spout trivia. To my amazement, I discovered he would happily stop spouting when I found some excuse to move on to something else that was demanding my attention. Okay, so not really demanding, which made me feel like a terrible mother. In a flash of inspiration I realized he was cool with me not being able to listen more at that moment, he just lacked a shut-off switch for his behavior at the moment. So I devised a method that made both of us happy. I would say, Sweetie, Mommy's brain is full. Can you tell me more later? It turns out one's brain can become overly full from its everyday experiences. And part of the function of sleep is to clear away those bits that serve no real purpose. My brain really was full! I love it when I'm ahead of the curve. And I love validation. But I know, your brain is full. Move along. I won't take it personally.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Sir Paul

Whenever I listen to this cd, as I am at the moment, and I pause to pay attention and appreciate the piano solo, as I did just now, this is what I think. Wow. That's Diana Krall! Sometimes I dance. Even when I'm washing dishes. This is what multitasking was invented for.

It's The Little Things Dept.

I love how it makes my whole freaking day when I randomly post something on Facebook and a certain friend likes it. It is, indeed, the little things.

Btw, the above thought is too long for a Twitter post. Even when I think I'm being concise I'm overly verbose. Hooey, I say, on less is more. Less is less!

Thursday Confession

Ssshhhhhh. Come closer. Don't tell anyone. Promise? I have a Twitter account but I've never sent out a tweet. Never. I signed up with Twitter two years ago because my son and dil were documenting their road trip/move to Seattle via Twitter and I wanted to be in on their adventure. And I don't think I've signed onto Twitter since then. It simply does not captivate me. For me personally, Twitter is like brain farts with no archive. Which is maybe where most of those mini-blogs ought to be left, wafting in the breeze. I know many people who enjoy Twitter, my friend Deanna calls it the crack cocaine of the internet. I don't need to have my ADHD tendencies reinforced and encouraged by tweeting or following those who tweet. It's kind of like light beer. I don't drink it and don't judge those who partake, it's a matter of personal preference and choice. Okay, fine. I do judge the light beer drinkers. A little. But only because I think the goddess gave us beer because she wants us to be happy. As Shelby remarks in Steel Magnolias, I would rather have thirty minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special. I just know she was thinking about beer and how she'd rather have a nice Sam Adams Cream Stout or Fat Tire rather than a whole barrel of Miller Lite. Social networks and beer, boys and girls, it's what life is all about.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Tuesday's Brain Menu

1. Downton Abbey has disappeared from Netflix.

2. In reference to Item 1, moi is very displeased about this development.

3. Anxiety induced furniture rearranging is a bad thing. 

4. Being married or having a girlfriend is only the very most obvious outward sign of a man being unavailable.

5. Referring to Item 4, there are many, many ways to be unavailable (emotionally for instance) that may not surface for years. Years.

6. Once I realized Item 3 for what it was, I decided to reroute that energy into vacuuming.

7. The letter from the doc has arrived, hence the anxiety.

8. Back to Item 4 again, if being in a relationship does not seem to be a problem for the man, please do regard this as an enormous red flag.

9. The construction of the Camelot Intermediate School has seriously compromised the best night sky watching habitat within walking distance!

10. Due to Item 9, I was limited to observing the Perseid meteor shower from my backyard, resulting in a paltry count of 5 streaks of light in half an hour.

Monday, August 12, 2013

By Any Other Name

Friday evening Holly, Tami and I were enjoying the evening and an adult beverage out on the patio at Skinner's. A gentleman of Holly's acquaintance named Kyle joined us. He was wearing a tshirt bearing an illustration of the laughing Buddha with a rooster. The caption was hilarious, mostly due to the fact that a word other than rooster was used. I laughed, perhaps even preceded the laugh with a bit of a snort. Which is part of my charm brought forth by the combination of surprise, amusement and having had a drink or two. This did not daunt Kyle one little bit. We talked about tattoos and he swiped my shot of Patron right out from under my nose and tossed it back! But he replaced it with another so I forgave him. As we continued to chat he asked what my name was. This is where it got interesting. I said Carla. Kyle sat back as a look of horror stole across his face. I know, I wasn't fond of my name as a child and for a while insisted that others call me Sally, my preferred name at the time. No one cooperated. But I had never been horrified by my name, merely a bit disgruntled over it. Turns out his ex-wife is also named Carla! This has never happened to me before! And she spells it the same way! Kyle shook it off quickly, though, and we had a most pleasant time. Unfortunately, Kyle's girlfriend was too drunk to join us. He was on the phone with her a couple of times and it seems she had enjoyed immoderately at home and would not be showing up. Hmm. A guy with a drunk girlfriend at home and an ex-wife with the same name as me. And I thought I had met all of the interesting men around here.

The Managerial Grid

In the last century, soon after I moved to Brookings, I settled into employment teaching life skills to developmentally disabled adults. Fancy stuff like preparing basic meals and how to sew a button on a shirt. We also wove rag rugs and made quilts. It was an interesting and challenging job and I enjoyed it. Occasionally one of the upper management staff would attend some type of workshop and return to share the amazing crap he had learned and enlighten us greatly. Actually it was more like confound, puzzle and amuse us. These were reactions we hid behind expressions of earnest interest while slightly nodding our heads. It seems some of this stuff is still clogging up my brain. This afternoon a memory of something called the managerial grid rattled loose from where it had been hiding. Our esteemed assistant director drew a diagram on the blackboard*. Apparently to illustrate different styles of management among those who, well, manage. He paused as if for comments or questions. There were none. As he replaced the chalk in the tray he indicated his sketch once more, saying, briefly, that's the managerial grid. I remember his presentation but still have no idea what he was talking about.   Other people have drug flashbacks. I have training seminar flashbacks. I bet the drug flashbacks don't make a heck of a lot of sense, either. But I bet they're more entertaining.

*Yes, children, before there were dry erase boards in classrooms there was something called a blackboard. The really ancient ones were slabs of slate attached to the wall. They were written on with chalk. Really cool teachers had various colors of chalk to liven things up. Think sidewalk chalk. The music teacher had a special gadget that held five pieces of chalk right in a row so he could quickly and evenly draw a music staff on the blackboard. It was a magical time.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Little Juke Joint on the Prairie

The cool thing about the Knotty Pine, aside from the food, is that they have a genuine old fashioned juke box. It has vinyl 45rpm records in it! Really! While we were there one of the staff opened it up so we got to see the inner workings. I can't say the musical sound quality is the best, but sometimes just being a cool retro thing is the best. Which is sometimes how I feel about myself. I'm often the coolest retro thing in the room. Whether I light up or not is in the eye of the beholder.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Archer Humor

This so totally cracked me up I had to post it. I would love to give credit but do not know who is responsible. There is tiny but unreadable print in the upper left and lower right. At least it's unreadable to moi. If you can read it, please translate. And laugh. Say the captions out loud! That makes it even funnier.

Mr Hegg, I Presume

There is this divine little establishment in Sioux Falls called Monk's House of Ale Repute. They have tasty eats and beer. Lots of beer. Pretty much any kind of beer you can imagine. AndiBean and I were hanging out there last Monday evening solving the problems of the world. We had tried on dresses which always works up a powerful thirst. So we were drinking and eating. Trying on dresses also requires a great deal of energy. At least the marathon way we try on dresses does. Andrea joined us for a bit as well. And look who wandered in while we were there. Jeremy Hegg of Spooncat! and Hegg Brothers and South Dakota Jazz Collective and Holiday Jam fame. How does he fit all of that into one body, that's what I wonder. Now you're wondering that, too. 

Wheaties, Schmeaties

Since you asked, yes, I do think pound cake is a reasonable breakfast. And upon discovering that there were only three loaves under the blue plaid dish towel this morning, I expect Reid thinks so, too. That's my boy.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Save Me!

This photo has been making the rounds on Facebook and in goofy emails. I found it so amusing that coffee nearly came out my nose. All I can say is, I'm glad all my garden statuary is too small to attempt any of these shenanigans. As long as they don't band together and plan a revolt. There's a reason why I lock the doors.

Then I got to thinking I had seen this sort of thing before. Of course! My own children! On a visit to the Omaha zoo over ten years ago. Here we see Reid in the perilous clutches of what appears to be a small alligator while Michael calmly observes. I told them not to feed the animals.

Mmmmm, Pancakes

Farm eggs from Karen. And my new Pampered Chef bowl, also from Karen, that has a cool pink lid that is not shown. I was wearing a cowboy hat, from Tami, also not shown. Happy birthday to me! Again or still? Just a continuing celebration, I'm never quite sure how to wind things up. But a quadruple batch of buttermilk pancakes would be appropriate.  

Shoe Store Metaphor

Friday night conversation...

Nadene (who is wise beyond her years): You need to try yourself on some different shoes.

Me: There aren't any great shoe stores here. No shoes worth trying on. If there are, I'm not aware of them.

Nadene: Exactly.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Coffee or Cocktail?

You know what this is. You may very well have one in your living room or family room. Heck, you might have a wicker one out on the porch or patio. So what I'm wondering is, what do they call it in furniture stores in Utah? Can Mormons have them in their houses? Maybe they refer to it as the hot cocoa table? The lemonade table? Perhaps the herbal tea table? I'd say water table but that's already a thing. Discuss.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Shrinking Family Tree II

Over six years ago, in the very early days of my blogging saga, I wrote about this very subject. Since that time my mother and my younger brother have died. Much closer to home and closer to the heart than any previous losses I had experienced. In just the last few months my former mother-in-law has passed, also my father's last surviving sibling, Uncle Morris. Not meaning to be a downer here, just struggling my way toward a sense of perspective for this whole circle of life thing. The first funeral I attended was that of my paternal grandfather. I was weeks shy of turning fourteen and the whole experience was culture shock incarnate for me. A rural Baptist church in Mississippi with lots of Amen! shouting from the pews and knowing not a soul but for my own immediate family. I had no real memory of my grandfather, I had not seen him since I was a toddler. My sense of loss was completely overshadowed by the strange atmosphere I found myself in. Surreal to say the least. The loss was very real for my father, though, it's the only time I recall ever seeing him cry. Certainly there had been many deaths in the family prior to this time, they probably just slipped by in the background of my unaware childhood. I either didn't know the people in question at all or they were distant relatives I knew only from photographs. Though I realize now that the passing of these family members and friends was mourned deeply by my parents' and grandparents' generations. Only now is it occurring to me that there are many more family members younger than me than older! My contemporaries and I are being pushed up into the leafy canopy of the family tree by the children and grandchildren more recently born. I'm one of the elders now. I feel like I need to say that twice for it to truly sink in! I'm one of the elders now. And after meeting niece Megan's beautiful daughter, Mira, last Sunday, I have to say that I don't mind one bit hanging around in the upper branches. There are some pretty wonderful roots coming up behind me. It's their turn to shake things up and rearrange the world with their ideas and vision. And that's precisely how it ought to be. Not that I'm done being ornery and opinionated and living with passion and meaning, not by a long shot! I am enjoying being the old sage of a crone. I feel honored when I'm approached for advice and recipes. I may be halfway up the arc where the circle of life is concerned but my work here isn't close to being done. I suppose the family tree doesn't really shrink at all. The only thing that changes is your position on it.