Saturday, August 30, 2008


Here are this week's celebrations:

31 August
Love Litigating Lawyers Day

1 September
Building and Code Staff Appreciation Day
Chicken Boy's Day
Emma M Nutt Day

2 September
V-J Day

3 September
Australian National Flag Day

4 September
Newspaper Carrier Day

5 September
Be Late for Something Day

6 September
Read a Book Day

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Who Da Thunk It?

A couple of weeks ago, A noticed one of her cats wasn't 'quite right.' The next day she took him in to be checked over. He was diagnosed with high blood pressure. He is now on blood pressure medication. This is something I NEVER had heard of before--and neither had A. And she works for a vet!

By the way, a cat's blood pressure is taken on the tail. Hmmm, interesting.

If he is THIS lazy, maybe that's why he has BP problems. :)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

This Could Be Trouble

As I mentioned earlier this year, some of my ancestors are Sami. I have been reading about the Sami culture and history off and on since then. One of the aspects of the culture is jewelry making--specifically bracelets. They use reindeer hide, pewter thread, and reindeer antlers. And I found a website where I can get 'inspired' or authentic bracelets made by present-day Sami artisans. Oh, boy. I ordered my first one already--it is the black one:

This style is an 'inspired' one--not traditional.

My next bracelet--and yes, I will be buying more--will be an authentic/conforming-to-ancient-tradition one:

I'm also thinking of one in an ancient pattern, such as this:

I decided to start out conservatively and get the thinnest one I could--I have to be very careful with my overly sensitive skin. I'm hoping I won't be allergic or otherwise not able to wear these. I can see wearing at least three of these as a 'stack' at the same time. Hmmm. I guess I have some serious saving up to do. :)

Hockey season better get here quickly--I have too much time on my hands and I can get into big trouble!

For more bracelets and other Sami-made items, go to NORDartDESIGN.


Here are some cool places I have been to lately:

--Interesting Tricks Of The Body
Some of these things I have heard of before, but they still are fascinating. I mean, really, how many people have known that if you scratch your ear you can stop the tickle in your throat? You can find that and 17 more tidbits on this site.

--Eight Crazy email Hoaxes Millions Have Fallen For
I have heard of at least half of these and have only fallen for one: the 'Bill Gates Wants to Give You Money' one. (Hey, I have a perfectly legitimate reason: I had just started online and emailing--after all, this WAS about ten years ago!) Anyway, it is a good read.

--Making Homemade Pop-Tarts
Pop-Tarts were never my favorite food--however, Toaster Strudels make my mouth water! And the recipe on this site looks closer to the Toaster Strudels than the Pop-Tarts, so this may be something worth trying. How cool would it be to give your kids homemade Pop-Tarts for a snack?

--Six-Word Memoirs
I really can see this as a meme: Using only six words, can you tell your story? On this site they have a bunch of readers' submissions to inspire you to write your own story. It is very fun--and frustrating--to try.

A Place To Live

I could be happy living in the Envoy--that is, if it had a frig, coffee maker, and bathroom. But, other then those few things, I could be happy living in it. It is very comfortable with seats that recline completely. It is extremely quiet--so quiet that you pretty much have to open a window to make sure it is running. There is Onstar and the Onstar phone--you can ask the operator for directions or call for a pizza. What more can you want? And finally, you have XM Radio--hot damn! There are so many great stations that I can't make up my mind what I want to listen to--so I wind up pressing buttons just to see if there is something better playing elsewhere. Every musical style imaginable is offered, plus news, talk radio, and sports. AND hockey!!! There are even a couple of comedy stations. Wow.

The Onstar phone is pretty cool. You dial just by talking--or you say the 'name tag' for whoever you want to call. So far, I have been using up all of my minutes just to call people and 'make sure' it works. ;) I did do an 'oops' tonight, though. There are three buttons to use Onstar: the phone button, the Onstar button, and the emergency button. These are all placed on the bottom of the rearview mirror. I went to call A to 'make sure' the phone was working fine and pressed the wrong button. I realized my mistake when the Onstar operator answered. I had to tell her I pressed the wrong button and only wanted to make a phone call. She laughed and said it was okay--I'm sure they have this happen all of the time. But I still felt like an ass.

The one thing that is bothering me about the Envoy is the color. It is called 'deep crimson metallic.' Now, doesn't this make you think it must be red? Wrong. At the very best it is a very, very dark wine color--and that is only apparent in bright sunlight. The other evening, as it was beginning to get dark, the color changed to a very dark blue-violet. I know, I know: HOW can crimson metallic turn into blue-violet? I just know it did. I think I am just going to have to say "dark" whenever the Carside-To-Go girl at Applebee's asks what color the car is. Great--another thing to stress over. :)

Saturday, August 23, 2008


Here are the celebrations for the next week:

24 August
National Peach Pie Day
National Waffle Day

25 August
National Banana Split Day
Kiss and Make Up Day
National Second-hand Wardrobe Day

26 August
National Dog Day
Women's Equality Day

27 August
Global Forgiveness Day

28 August
Dream Day
Race Your Mouse Around the Icons Day
Crackers Over the Keyboard Day
Dream Day quest

29 August
More Herbs, Less Salt Day

30 August
National Toasted Marshmallow Day
National Holistic Pet Day

Friday, August 22, 2008

I Think I'll Whine

Okay, so I should be in a very good mood because of the new Envoy, but I just realized something that makes me want to go in the corner and whine: The students are coming back into town this weekend! {screaming like a banshee!!!} Now I not only have to get used to driving a new vehicle, but I have to do it while trying to avoid the idiots that will be driving around town. Or walking in the roadway like they own it. Or riding bicycles like they were Corvettes. When the students get here, our town becomes the perfect example of the younger generation that believes it is entitled to everything. Everyone is supposed to watch out for them as they eat, drink, talk on their phones, listen to their iPods, while they are walking, driving, etc, and not paying attention to the roads around them or the vehicles driving on them. Looks like I have to become a hermit for a couple of weeks. UGH!!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Happy, Happy

Tomorrow at 1:00 PM we will go and pick up our new vehicle--a 2008 GMC Envoy. Right now, I'm so pumped--and this will last until we make the first payment. AAACCCCKKKKKK!!!! But it WILL be nice to have a new vehicle.

We have been talking about getting something new for a while now--the Jimmy is a 2000 and we bought it used in 2002. There were a few things wrong with it--the back wiper, for example, was broken--and it seemed as if we were having small mechanical problems off and on. It got to the point where we were having to make the decision as to whether it was actually worth it to sink more money into the thing, or just go out and buy new. With the employee discount pricing, the incentives given, and our GMC card points, we got an excellent deal--and had to take it.

The Envoy doesn't QUITE have everything the Jimmy did--the Jimmy was top-of-the-line in terms of options--but it comes very close. I am going to miss some of the storage that we had with the Jimmy, but that can be dealt with. One thing that I can't wait for is the three-month trial of XM radio! I almost think I might be able to convince K to keep the subscription going once we listen to our first Wings' game--or even the talk portion of NHL radio! We still will have to get the remote start put into the Envoy and look into running boards--I REALLY would like to have them, as I am short on one end. :) This will be fun.

And here is a picture of what our new Envoy looks like--but the one we're getting is colored 'dark crimson metallic.' I'm not too sure WHY the color is called that, because it looks black except under extremely bright sunlight--unbelievable.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Dropping The F-Bomb

I have never had the word f*** as part of my vocabulary and at this late stage in my life, I don't think it will become common usage for me. In all my years of living, I probably have said the word a couple dozen times. And if you remove the times I 'sang' along to MC5 and their song "Kick Out The Jams,"--"Kick out the jams, motherf***ers" is the way it begins.--then you probably have less then a dozen times I have uttered f***. But, I don't necessarily run and cringe whenever someone else says the word--unless it is a little smart-ass, under 18-year-old trying to act like a big-shot! ;) (CAN'T stand kids who use the word.) Only on rare occasions will I quit watching a movie or show because of usage of the word. I live in the real world and realize people use it in the same way I use 'damn' or 'shit.' But that being said, I don't like the word and would rather not hear it. That makes my love of hockey an even bigger mystery than it already is.

Of all athletes, I think hockey players are the biggest users of the word. Every few games, an announcer will apologize for the on-ice mics picking up 'inappropriate language.' Even though I have never HEARD the word come over the air, I have SEEN almost every player say it at least once--and sometimes more than once per game! I truly believe it is the first word of English that the European players learn when they get here.

I have a theory about usage of the word in the NHL. I think somewhere, in every European's contract, there is a clause that states he MUST use the word at least once per season--preferably as often as possible. (The North American players don't need such a clause--they come by usage of f*** naturally.) At the beginning of last season,the only thing that kept me from believing my theory 100% were three players: Lidstrom, Datsyuk and Filppula. Last year I THINK I saw Lidstrom use the word--surprising, I know. After all, he IS 'the most perfect person,' as his teammates refer to him. Now, I only need to see Datsyuk and Baby Boy say it to know that my theory is true. I have high hopes that Datsyuk will use it this year--after all, he DID show a feisty side during the playoffs. (He had a couple of tussles and led the team in hits.) Despite his being the perpetual winner of the Lady Byng, he does have a darker side to him. Then we are left with VF. He never argues or says a word whenever he is sent to the penalty box, so I don't know if he will prove my theory. He's not too physical, yet, and doesn't get hot under the collar even when he gets hit illegally, so I don't know if he will 'honor' his 'contract.' So, I have one more reason I can't wait for the season: Seeing who will drop the f-bomb this year! :)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Let's Get Ready To Ramble

It feels like fall. The temperature is 20+ degrees less than it was yesterday--unbelievable. Now, I'm not sad if we have an early fall, but this is freaking crazy.


I found out on Saturday--it was just announced that day--that the Eagles will be in Green Bay the day before we see them in Minneapolis. Great. It will take us eight hours to get to Minneapolis and it takes us three hours to get to Green Bay. Just where do you think we would have traveled if we had had a choice on the day I bought the tickets? The only good thing about going to the Twin Cities is the fact that A and her husband will be with us. That is worth the travel time.


This past weekend I ate calamari. THAT is one sentence I NEVER thought I would say. It was a bit chewy and tasted like Mrs. Paul's fish sticks--or the fish sticks we used to get in school. I'm not sure which. While it wasn't TOO bad, I still think the only place for octopus is in the ocean or on the ice at a Red Wings' game. I won't go out of my way to eat it again, but I probably won't run away screaming if I'm ever served it. Kind of interesting.


I have a wonky thyroid, so that is why I was always cold. Having a medically-induced menopause caused me to have hot flashes and heat sensitivity. I always figured putting the two together would make me feel 'normal' in terms of temperature. Didn't happen. I have turned from being very cold all of the time to not being able to handle ANY kind of heat whatsoever. That is one of the reasons I hate it when the temp is above 68. When we were out of town this weekend, it was very close to 90--I was NOT happy.

My friend cannot handle cold of any kind and this weekend was no different. Every time we walked into a place that was air conditioned, she put on a sweater and mentioned how cold she was. (I STILL think if she would eat a sandwich once in a while and put on a couple of pounds, she would do much better. She is VERY thin.) Anyway, at one point I turned to her and said, "If you don't stop it already, I'm going to do something to make you understand just what the phrase 'bitch slap' means." We both got a good laugh out of it, but I'm not REALLY sure I wasn't serious! ;)


Other than being a good emotional support, there is another reason why I talk/spend time with females I am close to. Talking to other women and being around them and their significant others gives me a chance to see how others live. And to compare K with other men. I told K a few days ago that I am SO happy to be married to him--if I was married to some of the other men I know, I would have committed murder within six months of the wedding.

I am not, in any way, saying these men are not good. They all have their good points, otherwise why would the women I know be with them? They just so happen to be suited to one another--but DEFINITELY not for me. And I am sure the other women I know must feel the same about K. It is true that there is someone for everyone. I'm just happy I found my 'someone.'

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

Remember when we had to write a paper with that title whenever we went back to school in the fall? I NEVER had anything interesting to write--the last vacation I remember taking with The Family was when I was 8-years-old. Now, at my advanced age, I came so very close to having the ultimate 'what I did on summer vacation' story. Alas, it didn't happen.

Before the Eagles concert came up, K and I were supposed to be in St Paul this weekend. We decided not to go because we'll be there next month, so we took one of our regular road trips instead. I had made our reservation for Saturday and let our friends know we were going to be in town and everything was normal. Then, on Friday, I got a phone call. "How would you like to see the Stanley Cup?" my friend asked me. I don't think I was able to answer. As it turned out, her husband works at a veteran's facility and Brian Rafalski was going to be there with the Cup on Saturday morning. Excitement, anticipation, ecstasy...words don't describe.

K and I were on the road shortly after 6:00 AM on Saturday so that we could get there in time for the viewing. Just before 10:00 AM, we got to our friends' house--just in time to get to where the Cup was. As it turned out, they weren't ready to leave, but rather assured us that we would get there in time to meet Rafalski. I guess it made sense that he would stick around for at least an hour, so we had plenty of time. WRONG!!! When we finally got there, we had missed him and the Cup by ten minutes. The whole visit was only announced internally at the facility--no newspaper, no TV or radio--and he stayed until he had greeted everyone that was there when he arrived. He just figured that was it, so he left. (He also had other obligations, so...) And I missed it.

I still can't believe that we were so close to the Cup and didn't get to see it. I was going to get my picture taken with it and everything. WAHHHHH!!!!! I'm trying to be a big girl and suck it up, but I'm still disappointed. I must keep telling myself, "Everything happens for a reason." Maybe the first Red Wing autograph I get has to be from my Baby Boy! Just a thought. :)


A little late, but here are the things to celebrate this week:

17 August
Meaning of "Is" Day

18 August
Bad Poetry Day

19 August
National Aviation Day
National Potato Day
"Black Cow" Root Beer Float Day

20 August
National Radio Day

21 August
(World) Daffodil Day

22 August
National Tooth Fairy Day
Southern Hemisphere Hoodie Hoo Day

23 August
National Sponge Cake Day
Valentino Day

Friday, August 15, 2008

Turn Left Now

Anyone who drives has made left turns numerous times. You put your blinker on, you look both ways, and then you turn left. Easy--unless you are in Michigan. We have something called a 'Michigan left' here--at least that is what K calls them. It goes like this. You come to an intersection and want to make a left turn onto a divided highway. In a common-sense way, you would think you could cross over two lanes and then turn left, but no, you have to turn RIGHT before you can come to a place where you can find a left-turn lane and then do a U-turn so you can go in the direction you wanted to in the first place. Got that? You must turn RIGHT before you can make a left turn. That is what is called a Michigan left. We have MANY places in this town where you have to make a left turn this way--and it is one of the most confusing things tourists have to contend with. While it isn't surprising that tourists are confused, I still would like to shoot the next one who doesn't read the signs that say HOW to make one of these turns. I once was caught in the middle of a four-lane highway when the light changed because a tourist wanted to make an illegal left-turn--fun. I was going straight, as I was ALLOWED to do. And I was the one that got honked at by the other drivers! How humiliating. So, consider this a warning if you ever have to drive in Michigan: beware the 'Michigan left!'

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Me and the Mountain Man

We went to the state fair yesterday and it was the 'same old, same old.' Our day began as it usually does with a walk-through of the grounds, ending at the animal barns. We got to see the rabbits and chickens and ducks. There was a pair of peacocks and a lot of geese. We didn't go into the sheep barn and did a quick run-through of the swine barn--they were moving them in and out for the judging and I wasn't in any mood to be mowed down by a 200 pound pig, so we got out. We didn't do the dairy barn and went through the beef barn quickly, also. I like seeing the very large animals and, again this year, there weren't any that caught my eye. I went into the miracle of birth tent, but there weren't any females in labor--however there were a few newborn lambs and newly hatched chicks. I don't know if I could handle watching a calf be born, though, so it probably was good that birth wasn't imminent. As usual, I had to go and say hi to the llamas and alpacas--they are neat.

As I have said before, my main reason for going to the fair is the food. Again, I wasn't very pleased with the offerings. My main focus this year was to find a deep-fried Twinkie. While I found the deep-fried food tent, they didn't have any Twinkies. So, I had to settle for a Snickers bar. This is a Snickers bar on a stick, which is dipped in batter, then deep-fried. After frying, it is sprinkled with powdered sugar. You bite into this concoction and you have a melted Snickers bar inside of a fried donut--and the chocolate and caramel and nougat is all melty and gooey. NOT hard to take, but it wasn't what I had my heart set on, so I wasn't happy. I really think you have to go specifically for the Snickers bar in order to enjoy it to full capacity, otherwise it is just kind of okay. One of these days I WILL find my deep-fried Twinkie AND I will find deep-fried Coke--I think those will be the ultimate disgusting and nummy things I will be on the lookout for.

The other reason I went to the fair was to buy some fur. For many years, I would go to the 'mountain man' booth and buy bags of fur scraps for my cat. She always 'adopted' these as her babies and I get her new pieces every few years. A also wanted some for her cats and C wanted some for her kids--it is really good for sensory skills for her son and if one of the kids has something, the rest want it, too. :) Well, for the second year in a row, there were no fur scraps. However, when I asked about them, the older of the 'mountain men' said I could call him and he would send some scraps for me--and he remembers me from years past when I asked for the fur pieces. So now I guess I will begin a relationship with a 'mountain man.' It is a little scary.

If you don't know what a 'mountain man' is, remember the movie Jeremiah Johnson. (And if you have never seen the movie, by all means, do--it is really good.) Montain men are trappers who live hermit lives--or at least they did in the early years of the US. The ones I have personally met--at least the older ones--have long hair and full beards and have a 'wild' look to them--very stereotypical. And 'my' mountain man is no exception. We lives in an extremely rural area around here and--if the picture on his brochure is any indication--lives in a log cabin. He isn't completely socially inept, so I would assume he doesn't live the life of a hermit. But, his life revolves around furs and making items from the fur he 'catches.' And I am about to start a relationship with the man. Oh, my. The things I will do for my animal and my kids. :)

Monday, August 11, 2008

Yes, I'm Excited

On 30 September, K, myself, A, and her husband, will be at Target Center in Minneapolis at 7:30 PM. We will be getting ready to greet the Eagles as they come onstage!!! Hot damn! I just got the tickets and could only be more excited if they were tickets to a Red Wings' game. (Who am I kidding--I would probably be in a dead faint on the floor if I just bought Red Wing tickets!) This is almost--no, not quite--as exciting as when I bought the tickets to see Clapton.

In my early years, I wasn't a big Eagles' fan--K was one when we started dating, so I followed. Their music was DEFINITELY different than what I was a fan of, but I have come to appreciate them more and more with each passing year. (At the time I listened to Black Sabbath, Cream, Alice Cooper, Led Zepplin, etc, and had a lot of distain for 'Top 40'-type of music. I loved hard-, acid-rock--anything with great guitar riffs. Is it any wonder my love of Clapton borders on hero-worship?! ;)) A became a fan through default, I guess--she was held captive in the car while I played their CDs. :) She shares a lot of my musical tastes simply because that is all she heard in her early years. When I asked if her husband was going to come to the concert she said, "I don't care, I AM!!!"

This is definitely an event I didn't want to miss. After all, with all of the in-fighting they have done over the years, you never know WHEN their last public performance will be. It will be great to be able to share the experience with A--I will always regret her not being there for the Clapton concert. Unfortunately, she couldn't afford to go at the time and I couldn't afford to treat her to a ticket--I HAD to sit on the floor and get as up close and personal as possible to Clapton as I could. (We had AMAZING seats to that concert--14th row on the floor, if I remember correctly.) All in all, it will be another memory of a lifetime. I can't wait.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sometimes Squeaking Helps

The day before C and her family came into town the last time, we were having a conversation about what they were planning to do when they were here. She mentioned they were going to visit the children's museum and also mentioned the trouble they had the last time they went. All eight of them went to the museum together, and expected to pay the 'family rate' as was posted. It turns out that they were told families were two parents and up to four children. This seemed odd to C and her husband and they questioned it--and were told 'this one time' that they could get into the place for the family rate. Well, I had not heard this story before and it rather got my back up. The more I thought about it, the more I felt I needed to do something.

The first thing I did was to call the museum to see if I could confirm what the family rate was. Sure enough, the person I talked to told me the exact same thing. WTF??? I thought the reason for family rates was so large families could participate the same as small families can. I then called the YMCA to ask about THEIR family rate--and their's was the way I thought it should be. The policy at the YMCA is: A family consists of how ever many members live in the same household. (Or something along those lines.) So, with THAT straightened out--I thought maybe the policy of the museum was something unique to our city, which wouldn't have surprised me!--I decided to pursue this further. (I think our city motto is : Anything for a buck!)

My next step was to contact--by email--the director of the museum. Now, my email wasn't the most pleasant, but it definitely was NOT mean. I just questioned her as to why someone who decides to have a large family should be penalized because of it. Well, THAT got such a fast reply that I didn't even think anyone could type that quickly! She wanted more information and wanted to assure me that the policy of the museum was NOT as I was lead to believe. For the remainder of that afternoon, we emailed back and forth with her last email stating that she would get to the bottom of this the very next morning during their daily meeting. Wow.

The following morning I received another email from the director thanking me beyond words for brininging this whole matter to her attention. It seems as if the 'cheat sheet' the volunteers used DID state the pricing policy as C was told--and this was TOTALLY WRONG! Somehow or another, the sheet had been typed up incorrectly and who knows how long this had been going on. It just so happens that no one had bothered to take this up with the director before, so it couldn't be corrected until I told her about it. As an apology, she offered C and her family a free pass to the museum--and she thanked me over and over again. So this proves that--at least some times--the squeaky wheel DOES get the grease!

National Duran Duran Appreciation Day

After reading burg's comment on my 'Celebrate' post, I had to make sure that today we celebrate the BAND that is/was Duran Duran and not the character from 'Barbarella.' And it seems as if it IS the band we celebrate today. So, with that in mind, I give you 'Hungry Like A Wolf.' And here is where you can find links to many more of their songs. Sing it out!


And here are the celebrations for the week:

10 August
National Duran Duran Appreciation Day
S'mores Day

11 August
Play In The Sand Day

12 August
Sewing Machine Day
Vinyl Record Day

13 August
International Lefthanders' Day
National Underwear Day

14 August
Yukon Discovery Day

15 August
National Relaxation Day
Best Friends' Day
National Men's Grooming Day

16 August
Joke Day
Sandcastle Day

Saturday, August 09, 2008

And So...

I am a very happy camper! Today we experienced what would normally be considered the first day of fall--if it was later in the year! The temp never got higher than 65 degrees and it is now 52. Absolute heaven. I know, there is something wrong with me. :)


Talked to the youngest tonight while she was 'baby'-sitting. Her 'babies' were a male Westie named Itzhak and a female of mixed breeds named Delcie. The couple who own the dogs don't like to leave them alone for too many hours at a time, so they hire a babysitter for the evening. Unbelievable.


Two months from tonight--9 October--I will be a very happy person: the Red Wings will have their season opener. The Stanley Cup banner will be raised that night, etc. Now THAT would be a game to be at! {sigh} It is getting harder and harder for me to go through a day without being able to look forward to a game. I need a life. :(


I haven't been doing much online for the past few days, but I HAVE been on the computer. I finally decided to order--and received--my anniversary gift. I know I had a hard time deciding, but after realizing that I had some unwritten rules about the gift, the decision came easily. It had been suggested to me that I save up for a really spectacular gift at a later date, but my 'rules' wouldn't allow that. My 'rules' seem to be: the gift has to be something I WANT and not need; I must have immediate--or as close to--satisfaction as possible; and it has to be a bit of a luzury--as in an upgrade of something already owned, for example. So, this year, my anniversary gift wound up being--drum-roll, please--a Creative Zen X-Fi 32GB music/multimedia player. Awesome! Not only does it store 32GB of music, etc, but it also has a slot for an SD card--so even MORE room for music. There is an external speaker, so it can be listened to without earbuds--but the sound is much better (actually is spectacular) WITH the earbuds. It has an FM radio and enhanced X-Fi technology for sound. It also has wireless capability to transfer music from your home network. Quite a neat little piece of technology--and it is the NEWEST player Creative makes, so I am a happy little tech nerd! Here is a pic of my newest toy:
I have almost completed transferring EVERY piece of music that I own. I am loving this thing--it is nummy! :)


Now for a few entries from the police log:

--10:23 AM, belligerent, cursing workers

Well, I guess if you have to work on Monday...

--10:57 AM, shirtless male yelling obscenities

I wonder if he knows the belligerent, cursing workers?

--11:35 AM, blue office chair found

I want to know where it was--and if 'a missing chair' report was called in.

--8:45 PM, used syringe needles found near property


--12:20 AM, bonfire in back yard

YIKES! And the area of the city where this is has houses EXTREMELY close together.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

The Great Soap Opera

If you have been living under a rock or have been in space for the past so many days, then you haven't been aware of the Great Soap Opera. It involves Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers. And it continues. And WILL continue throughout the football season. Every time Favre scratches his nose, it becomes 'breaking news.' The story is front-page news in our local newspaper. Every time the GB coach has something to say, the Wisconsin TV stations preempt regular programming. The early national news breaks for Favre's arrival in New York. Even the evening news talks about what is happening. Will it ever end? Will I be able to put up with much more of this? Will someone finally go 'postal' and put us all out of our misery? Stay tuned.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Great Insults

On Frozen Blog has come up with a great idea: a contest to find the best insults hurled at a ref during a hockey game. Some people are so damned creative. Here are some of my favs:

--If you had another eye you’d be a cyclops!
--Save a Deer: Shoot a Zebra
--Bend over and use your good eye!
--Hey ref, I thought only horses slept standing up!
--I’m blind, I’m deaf, I want to be a ref!
--Hey ref, I’m leaving with your wife — even she’s disgusted with you.
--Hey ref… get off your knees! you’re blowing the game!
--Were you the lookout at Pearl Harbor?
--Even PETA agrees - KILL THE ZEBRA!
--Hey ref, I think I’ve got your cell phone here… it says you have a bunch of missed calls!
--Hey ref, wanna borrow my phone so you can make a #$&%ing call?!?
--Hey ref! Next time buy dinner before you screw us!
--Smith! Your own mother doesn’t even love you!
--Hey ref - go back to Foot Locker!
--Hey ref! While you were out takin’ a whiz, there was a hockey game goin’ on!!!
--Ref, you suck like a newborn calf!!

And my favorite--yelled out by a 70-year-old woman:

--Hey ref — you must be pregnant, ’cause you’ve missed three periods!

You have GOTTA love your job to put up with this kind of abuse! :)

Time With Stanley

You can tell it is the off-season with the lack of real hockey stories. But, then, this IS about My Boy, so indulge me!

On Monday and Tuesday, VF had his time with the Stanley Cup. He brought it to his home town of Vantaa, which is a suburb of Helsinki. This isn't the first time the Cup has been in the area, however--Teemu Selanne brought it to Helsinki last year. I'm not sure just how many Finns have won the Cup over the years. The whole thing was well covered by the press--and it is all in Finn. With a little bit of translating luck, a site here in Michigan was able to get the gist of what was going on in the videos and articles. Finnish is one of the most difficult languages to learn and even the 'translator' programs online aren't able to do much with it, so what actually is going on is just a guess. However, after reading the 'translation' and watching the videos, I was able to recognize some words and the person who 'translated' seems to have done a decent job. VF was asked about his new contract (he isn't sure how he will spend his $15 million) and whether he was planning on taking the Cup for a sauna (he is) among other things.

I LOVE listening to the Finnish language--I think part of what is so fascinating to me is the fact that it is spoken so quickly. Natural-born Finns talk so fast that I don't know many people here who could follow along with a conversation, despite their life-long use of the language! And for that reason--and the fact that Baby Boy is so damn cute--I post this video of one of his interviews:

(By the way, don't you just LOVE all of the little blond Finnish kids in the pic? Just what so many of the kids look like around here! :))

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

True Friendship

I tried to not post this, but it is impossible. I am not a sentimental person--hell, I am a cold bitch, if truth be told--but THIS story and video made me reach for the tissues. If you haven't seen this yet, be forewarned. I present Christian the lion.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

My First Job

When I was in high school, there really weren't a whole lot of jobs for teens. Those that got any job other than babysitting were lucky. To become a salad girl in a restaurant ten miles from our town was big time. The closest fast-food restaurant was 100 miles away and in a town of less than 1000 people, the jobs were few and far between. That is why my first job was something special--in so many ways.

The summer before I was a senior, I worked for our intermediate school district as a teacher's aid. The summer program was for mentally and emotionally handicapped people. More than a handful of the students were older than I was. I'm still amazed that as a 15-year-old I was able to talk my way into that job--I still don't know how I did it!

The summer program for these students lasted eight weeks. We were in the classroom for three weeks, then we were at Camp Wayoutinthewoods for one week--and repeated the same. This was the summer right after I had been to Camp for the first time. THAT part of the job sucked eggs big time. In a cabin full of mentally handicapped females, there were three aids, myself and two young college-age girls. And a lot of the students could barely do more than dress themselves without help. One girl got her period during the week--and couldn't take care of herself. Fun. Showering wasn't any better.

While I don't know how the classifications are today, the students I worked with that summer were considered 'educables' and trainables.' The 'educables' were a rung up the ladder in terms of what they could/would be able to do. They actually could be taught simple things up through the later elementary school level. The 'trainables' could be 'trained' to do things in a way that there would be no thinking involved--personal hygiene and living skills, basically. Most of the students I worked with could never be expected to live on their own--at best, they would be able to live in group homes and some wouldn't even be able to do that. Even after all these years, I still remember some of the students vividly.

Autism wasn't a term that most people had ever heard of during the time I worked with the mentally disabled--but I know now that at least two of the students were autistic. The girl who started her period while we were at camp probably was autistic. I remember her 'flapping' her arms like wings whenever she ran--one characteristic of autism. She also had no/very little vocal skills. I don't know if I ever heard her speak. There really was little or no social interaction with her. Thankfully, she never had any tantrums, that I remember. One boy, on the other hand, probably was a high-functioning autistic. He talked, but only about the things he was obsessed with: sewers/pipes/drainage ditches and alarm clocks. One day I had to follow him as he tried to find the end of the roadside-drainage ditch. I finally had to stop him--I didn't want to continue for 50 miles, something that HE would have done. While there wasn't much of a personal interaction with him, he at least talked and was very interesting. He, on the other hand, had meltdowns.

Quite a few of the students had Down's syndrome. I'm sure it is a cliche, but I found most Down's students very easy going and sweet--for the most part. One of the girls/women--she was MANY years older than me--was the sweetest person you could ever meet. She always had a smile and hug for you. And she would do anything she was asked--and do it very well. Her mother spent a lot of time making sure she was as self-sufficient as possible. I would have taken her home with me in an instant.

The student that I disliked the most that summer, had Down's. She was in her early twenties, was very large--approaching 200 pounds--and had parents that indulged her at every turn. She DEFINITELY didn't fit the cliche. Her personality was not sweet and she was very difficult to handle. And here is the story about her. In the classroom, there was a teacher and four aids--myself, two other girls and one guy. Part of the guy's job was to transport one or more students to school every day--and the one he had to transport always was this girl. One day he was driving--with her in the backseat--and she told him she didn't want to go to school. They were more than halfway to the school and he told her his turning around just wasn't going to happen. She insisted that she didn't want to go to school and he insisted she WAS going. After a couple of minutes of this, she leaned over the back of the seat--with her metal lunchbox raised--and screamed, "I DON'T WANT TO GO TO SCHOOL TODAY!!!!" Thankfully, they were at the school by this time and the teacher was able to take over and calm her down. Frightening.

Those eight weeks, way back then, taught me many things. I learned I COULD be around mentally handicapped people--and that I didn't want to be. In that I mean, I never wanted to be a special education teacher. While I don't have a prejudice against the mentally disabled, I also don't have the disposition to be around them all of the time. I found the whole thing to be too nerve-racking for me--that summer is when I began smoking full-time. I learned tolerance and compassion--which is a very good lesson at such a young age. And I learned that I could do much more than I thought. While those eight weeks weren't the most fun I ever had, they were very interesting and educational. I admire anyone who has the passion to work with the disabled--and am grateful that there are people who have the passion. It is something I could never do.

Oh My!

I can tell it is the off-season for hockey: several of the sites/forums/message boards that I read daily have posted about Zetterberg's engagement. Now, this isn't so unusual except for the fact that almost all of the people posting on these sites are male. And while I COULD make an argument that the guys are only interested because of the nekkid pics of her, that doesn't make sense. During the days after the Cup win, there was an unusual amount of interest in VF's girlfriend/fiancee and what her relationship to HIM was. And there are NO nekkid pics of HER. I guess there are a whole lot of girly men out there. No, it just proves that men gossip as much, if not more, than women. :)

--Henrik Zetterberg and Emma Andersson. Photo by Rebecca Cook--


Saturday, August 02, 2008


Celebrations for the week:

3 August
Watermelon Day
Sister's Day
Friendship Day

4 August
National Chocolate Chip Day

5 August
National Night Out

6 August
Wiggle Your Toes Day
National Fresh Breath (Halitosis) Day

7 August
Lighthouse Day
Particularly Preposterous Packaging Day

8 August
National Waffle Day
The Date To Create
Happiness Happens Day
Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor's Porch Day

9 August
National Garage Sale Day

It's Hard To Say Goodby

It is always a sad day when one has to break it off with a friend who has outlived all usefulness. Years of closeness, keeping of secrets, going everywhere together--all has come to an end. But I must move on.

Okay, before you start feeling sorry for me, I must explain. My friend is not a person OR a pet--it is my Palm Zire 72. After four+ years, I have had to put it to rest. It doesn't want to keep a charge anymore and the thing is just too darn big. It is more than twice as big as my cell phone and it feels like a brick sitting in my purse. And frankly, I don't use it very much anymore. Other than using the calendar to schedule appointments, it just sits.

The Zire is the third or fourth Palm I have owned--can't remember for sure. When I got my first one, I thought it was the greatest invention ever. I carried around every piece of vital information I could possibly ever need PLUS I always had a game or two on it for whenever I got bored. With my Zire I also had a music player--which I only used a couple of times--and a camera--which I ALWAYS forgot I had. I had a program where I could write Word documents and much, much more. It was my lifeline and I always felt 'naked' without it.

It is unbelievable to think that the Zire had more processing power than our first computer. And yet, it seems so slow to me these days. My cell phone does things faster--even though it is in a much different way. The last couple of days I have transferred all of my contacts, calendar, etc, to my phone so that the Zire can retire in peace. I will have to be satisfied with the differences between the phone and the Zire--that is until Nokia comes out with a smartphone!

Rest in peace, my friend. I'll miss you!