Saturday, December 29, 2007

After Christmas 66% Off!

Even good girls like to show their wild side every now and then...

I dig the post-rush cheapskatefest that comes about after every Christmas -- it's a great chance to stock up on the stuff that'll keep for a year, like wrapping and ribbon and bows. I also have no complaints about half-price chocolate, and I see no shame in munching on those lovely four-boxes-for-a-buck cherry candy canes well into February or March.

This year, I put up my tree for the first time since 2001, and I thought it looked quite nice once I covered it with those two buckets of (pet-proof plastic, not glass) shiny ball ornaments that I bought during the after-Christmas sale in '01. I probably don't really need any more ornaments, but I ran onto two adorable kittens with presents, so there's no tellin' when somethin' cute will turn up.

In the course of a lovely afternoon of After-Christmas-Sale shopping, we went to one of the larger artsy-craftsy stores. I'm not going to mention the name, partly because of Go0gle, partly because I'm sure they'd be deeply offended by the admittedly sick humor of this post.

Since there wasn't a whole lot of wrapping paper left in this particular store, but there were five or six aisles full of ornaments, we were checkin' out the ones that weren't black. Seriously, who puts black ornaments on a Christmas Tree anyway??? Christmas Tree Ornaments have come a long way since the days of plain glass balls, and they fall on just about every point on the scale between "cute" and "tacky/gaudy." Every kind of cat or dog or other pet, any shape you can cover with glitter, golf bags, basketballs, a tiny sky-blue motorcoach, a "Soccer Mom" ornament with a very detailed red mini-van; you can hang anything on your tree.

The aisles were tall, and peg after peg of ornaments reached from the floor to the far edge of arm's reach. At 5'6", I've never really thought of myself as short, but I've never really thought of myself as tall either... Near the end of an aisle, I happened to look up, just above my head. I was shocked by what I saw, right there in the middle of that store that always plays their muzak out of a Hymnal, that store that closes on Sundays so that their employees "may worship or spend time with their families," right there with "Away In A Manger" playing on the overhead speakers, there it was.

Now, I'm secure in my heterosexuality, I'm not into lookin' at chicks unless I'm thinkin' "Mmm, where'd ya get those shoes?" I've heard that Scotsmen don't wear drawers under their kilts, but I'd never really put much thought into what any given ballerina wears under her tutu. I have no idea why the sight I saw jumped out at me like it did, but it did.

"Heyyyyyy, that teeny ballerina is wearin' crotchless panties!"

Who knows, maybe it's a manufacturing variation, or maybe there's somebody in the ornament factory who's got a little streak of sick humor... I checked out the other three ballerina ornaments just like this one, one had ordinary undies, and one appeared to have have a serious wedgie; which is quite likely to happen if you've got your leg up in the air a lot. I also saw a couple pink ballerinas who had scary gaping holes in that area, but we're not even goin' there 'cause I'm sure those were only a mold-point or something like that.

I wouldn't ordinarily buy a ballerina ornament, but hey, a ballerina showing her wild streak at 66% off of original price? Yeah-yeah-yeah!! She'll be on my tree next year, just to see if anybody notices!!!


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Thursday, December 27, 2007

And he doesn't even know he's Hilarious.

A couple weeks ago, we hauled in this Bronco that had made one too many passes down the dragstrip. I know, I know, a Bronco isn't exactly a first choice for drag racing, but, if ya knew this kid, you'd see what we're dealin' with.

For what it's worth, this kid's mom has, uhm, starred in a previous rant, if that tells ya anything...

So, once it was out on the yard and therefore "fair game," handfuls of "car junk" got carried in here out of it. Nothing out of the ordinary, just the usual crap that gets left in cars -- pens & pencils, a couple hair accessories (straight to the garbage can), and some other little stuff like that... There might've even been a couple bouncy balls in there that got played with; and y'all know how I giggle inside when I think about 'em pickin' up every germ off the floor and bouncing it right into each other's hands. Heh heh.

Amongst the fistful of pens & pencils that got tossed on the counter (let's face it, we can always use writin' sticks around here), there was one of these Almay Eyeliner Pencils, it's very, very Brown, and very, very touched by a stranger. I didn't have the heart to toss it straight in the trash can (because they're around eight bucks, aren't they?), but I also was not about to put it anywhere near my eyes.

I'll be honest, I screwed around with it just a little bit, my inner eight-year-old-boy got the best of me, but don't worry, I washed that little potted daisy off my hand within a couple minutes. I had to check it out, 'cause hey, I'm not gonna go hand over eight dollars for one if it's a POS that's not worth havin'.

The Almay Eyeliner Pencil is pretty nice, I was impressed, and I'd seriously buy one if I ever gave in to wearing eyeliner on a regular basis or if I ever had to patch a hole in my eyebrow again (don't laugh, it has happened).

So, after messin' with it a little bit, I kinda got busy and forgot about it. It got left on the counter amongst the other pens that get left on the counter. I should've been a more "responsible adult" and made sure it got in the garbage or at least "out of reach of children," but I didn't. Whups.

This morning I looked over to find HoMeSkOoL dAd staring at it and pulling the lid on and off a couple times. He made a couple marks on a piece of paper and looked puzzled, and totally serious, he says "What the hell kinda pencil is this?"

I still don't know how I managed a straight-faced answer of "Uhm, eye makeup." but I did.

The only thing funnier would be watchin' him shoot his mullet with Krylon and then ask "What the hell kinda hairspray is this?" or maybe oatmeal in a coffee pot.

It was a big smile almost as entertaining as an AOL CD in a car stereo.

I just wonder how long it'll be before the HoMeSkOoLeRz notice that I've been stabbing holes in all my empty plastic bottles just 'cause I'm sick of hearing them try to blow 'em open with the air compressor...

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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Moderately Amusing...

Somewhere between entertainment and irritation, there's a special place for radio shows that involve the phrase "Hello, Caller, you're on the air!" Maybe it's something like "doers don't talk and talkers don't do," it seems to me that people who know their stuff aren't very interested in making a call to a radio show. I get the impression that most of the people who call in are just dying to get on the radio, without any consideration of the lack of anything relevant to say.

In a small snippet of mid-day radio, in my car between the post office and the bank, I heard a caller make mention that his mom knew Billly The Kid's mom; "when she was very old, and she died late in her life."

No shit?

She died late in her life.

Now, seeing as how death is the end of life, I'd figure that right before you die, that's late in your life. "Late in the day" seems alright because the day always ends at the same time and we all know that at a quarter 'til midnight, we've got fifteen minutes 'til tomorrow is here; but death can get ya at any time. Whether you're fifteen or fifty-something or ninety-nine, the day before you die is guaranteeably late in your life, whether you see it coming or not, isn't it??

I was so proud to hear the in-studio guest (historian) shoot the whole mess down without even going into my little language rant there.

The Historian's Response: "Well, I doubt that that's the case because his mother died quite young, she was forty-seven." The historian also asked the caller what year his mother was born; but I didn't get to hear because I had to roll the window down at the drive-thru teller.

What I really wanted to know was did he shoot the Chihuahua or did they just use that line 'cause it fit in the song?

Sunday, December 23, 2007

What It Is, And What It Is Not.

FIrst of all, this pisses me off:

Lawyer is killed; Partner arrested.

What sickens me the most is that this is referred to as "racing." Real Racing involves a lot more safety equipment than what you get when you buy a factory-delivered Nissan. Real Racing involves tech inspections of the car and the driver's gear (including a helmet, which would save you from that nasty black eye), and no respectable track official would turn a blind eye to drugs or alcohol. Most importantly, Real Racing is done on a closed course where ALL of the cars that come through the gate are built to the same safety standards and are there for the same purpose, to Race -- There aren't any SUV's or mini-vans trying to get through the traffic to make a turn onto a side street or pull out of a parking lot; and the spectators are sitting in the bleachers on the other side of the fence, because Real Race Cars don't have passenger seats.

(Yes, that's the same text I posted in the "comments" section of that article, where my grasp of written English definitely put me in the category labeled "minority.")

What Real Racing looks like from inside the car:

(This YouTube video is from TS4S, who has several other awesome in-car films.)

Note that there are no intersections, no stoplights, no old folks tryin' to get out of the Walgreen's parkin' lot -- all Race Cars, all the time. Sure, some of 'em are feckin' crazy, or don't know how to drive, or don't have enough sense to keep from hittin' other cars, but the fatalities in Dirt Track Racing have stayed in fairly low numbers compared to the "street racing" fatality rates.

In eight seasons of racing, I've been in quite a number of crashes, I doubt that I could come up with an exact count; but I came home with bruises exactly four times and none of those bruises were anywhere on my face or head -- that's what safety equipment is all about. In all of those parts-throwing, car-ripping crashes, some airborne, some tangled, some piled with me on the bottom, I have never had any part of any other car intrude past my cage more than two inches; and even the night I watched the car body split open from the passenger door clear over to my feet, nothing touched me and I never worried for my safety. That's the difference between a Race Car and a Street Car.

As for crashing Street Cars, I've had one fender-bender, and one serious crash in my fifteen years of licensed driving -- lemme tell ya, a half-ton Ford is a damn tough truck; a passing-gear impact was not enough to fold the cab up, but even with my seatbelt on, I still ended up with one eyebrow that doesn't move quite right, and the scar is still visible if you know where to look.

I spent a couple weeks stumbling around not sure what day it was and trying to figure out why I couldn't remember Christmas, and I wondered if I'd be able to see out of my right eye when the swelling went down enough to open it. I was in a fog, but I was very, very aware of what I'd done, and that I'd had a drunk-style wreck stone-cold-sober in the broad daylight. I wasn't "racing" or showin' my ass for anybody, I was just comin' home from droppin' off the Christmas film for developing -- made one wrong decision, couldn't fix it in time, and ended up in the midst of life-changing consequences. I've been there; I was a stupid teenage kid when I learned the hard way -- it saddens me to think a lawyer in his thirties didn't already know better.

Drive safe, and drive a safe car -- it could save your life if some moron runs into you.

As Red Green says, "We're all in this together..." When you get all drunk and crazy, it's not just your personal safety that's at risk, everybody's safety is in your buzzed, blurry hands. I don't trust drunk people, I'd rather y'all stay off of my highway.

While I'm at it, If you're on a city street, you're not "racing," you're just "driving like a moron."

More Later... _\,,/

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Friday, December 21, 2007

Is "Amazement" An Actual Word?

As in "Much to my amazement," is that proper, or not? In my lazy-ish mood, I'm not gonna go look it up...

When I got back home after the ice storm, Hannah had some nasty little scabby-lookin' places above her eyes and close to one ear. Upon closer inspection, I also found varying sizes of scabby bits of cat hair on my white blanket. I knew I had to do something, but I wasn't sure what. Though she's sweet & cute at (rare) times, she's not exactly the easiest cat to deal with, and the thought of getting shredded while trying to get her into a carrier and then back out of the carrier at the Vet's office scared me to death.

I spent most of the night with a million horrible things (like mange) running through my mind and wondering if I should try to call a cat-owning friend first or just call the Vet's office, I also considered just slathering her with some Neosporin, but I decided against it because the bits of hair on my bed were gross enough, I didn't need 'em mixin' with greazy medicine. I was ever so glad Becky called me the next day -- and I was very relieved when she said I should just stop by the Vet's office, sans-a-kitty, and ask if they could just give me something without having to go through the stress of hauling her in.

Hannah was sweet as ever that night, purring and kneading and rubbing her scabby little head on me; and the next morning I left early-early to stop by and see the Vet on my way to work. They wouldn't sell me anything without seeing her, I had to make an appointment. Dammit.

While it's good to know that I can take her to a professional who'll check her over and give her what she needs so I don't have to worry about her, I know this cat pretty well -- this cat who growls at My Mom and does a little hiss & hide routine when Clay walks in. She's a one-girl-cat, but sometimes she's even mean to me, and I'm the human who brings home the cat food and makes sure the speeyack gets washed out of the blankets. She's not going to be easy on me when it comes to gettin' her in the cat carrier, and she's probably not going to be easy on the person who opens that cat carrier in a strange place with strange people and the smells of strange animals. Opening that cat carrier would probably bear a close resemblance letting an angry Lion out of the trunk of a car. Inside a closed garage. A very small, closed garage.

I had myself all psyched-up and I carefully planned the whole ordeal in my head. I soaked the inside of the cat carrier with that "calming spray" and let it dry, then soaked it again. I sprayed a towel to line the bottom of the carrier, and then I sprayed my jeans and my sleeves with it too. I put the carrier on the desk in the living room, 'cause if she saw me walk in with it, she'd hide for sure and then I'd be two hours late and shredded and dirty by the time I managed to wrangle her out of wherever she decided to hide. I was as slick as I could be about it, I just went in there and picked her up, loved on her a little bit, and headed for the door. She squirmed a little as I headed for the living room, but she didn't howl or bite like I'd figured she would.

Much to my amazement (see, whether it's a word or not, I'm gonna use it), she let me put her right into the carrier without a problem at all, and it was nothin' like when ShadowCat would make himself as huge as possible so as not to fit through the door. I was stunned.

The fifteen minute drive to the Vet's office wasn't near as awful as I'd expected either; she cried a bit, but when I turned up the radio and sang, she got pretty quiet and just stared at me. Heh, my Grannie used to do the same thing, I think they're both just stunned at how bad it is...

When we got there, they were ready for us; or, well, they were waiting for us, I kinda figured there was no way anybody was ready for the fur-tooth-fang-and-claw tornado that was surely about to come flyin' out of that cat carrier.

I put the carrier on the table and the Vet reached to open the door; all I could think of was "Oh shit, don't you want me to close these doors so she doesn't thrash everybody in the office??" The Tech reached in and took her out and I was stunned. Hannah Kitty, the super-meanie, was totally calm and quiet, and she let a total stranger hold her and love on her while another total stranger stuck a scope into her ears and poked her in the shoulder with a needle so big it made me feel a little woozy just watching. I was in total shock. She didn't make a single sound, no biting, no clawing, and she even let the Tech turn her over and rub her belly. This girl even picked a scab off to look at it up-close. Seriously, pickin' a scab off a cat, that's incredible, even I am not about to try that bare-handed. When they were done, she went right back into the carrier without a single protest. I was completely stunned. I'll say it again, Stunned.

So, the kitty had ear mites. She got a shot to stop the itching, and a squirt of stuff to kill the little critters. She has another squirt coming in January, which shouldn't be near as scary as trying to give her pills or drops or ointment.

Thankfulness? Check.


Sunday, December 16, 2007

Who's gonna disjoint your Sunday Night?

The power is back on at Clay's house, thankfully. Just so ya know though, it's not so bad taking a shower by candle-light in a 49-degree house; the hot water is enough to warm up a small-ish bathroom, so I was able to stuff the rug under the door to keep all the steam inside so I wouldn't freeze to death before I could get my clothes on. Just watch out for that ceramic tile wall, it's a cold summitch.

We've also discovered that leaving the door closed, with or without the steam of the shower, makes the hallway bathroom get quite toasty. Now, if I can just remember not to bash my skull into the closed door in the middle of the night...


I thought about going home to My Mom and My Kitty tonight, but I've been told to stay put due to the fact that we can't leave the generator on overnight 'til we get that blow-by problem fixed. Apparently it made quite an oily mess on the patio. Whups, sorry. I guess it'd be about eight years old, give or take. I'm not completely clear on where or how Dave got his hands on it, or if it was completely new or slightly used then.


I can't complain about stayin' with Clay's brother, but it's still so good to be back home. 'Twas certainly a learning experience -- Clay's Sis-In-Law teaches science to ninth graders at a school in "that part of town," and in the course of hangin' out with her while she was grading papers, I got to see a few things that scared me even worse that the HoMeSkOoLeRz. There are kids in ninth grade who are "reading at a pre-K level," yes, seriously.

I remember chatting with her at the first of the school year, and thinking about how hard it must be to change jobs, to go from working with adults to being in a room full of junior-high kids all day. I wasn't really surprised when she mentioned discipline problems -- but the full-on-stupidity I saw in those papers she was grading was just sad. Scary and sad, and they're so far behind by the time they make it to ninth grade, I really don't know how she does it. There's some kind of "policy" that teachers can't count off for questions left blank -- when I was in school, if you left it blank, you got it wrong! I seriously think that if any of the teachers I learned from had watched some kid write "I-D-K" for an answer on a homework assignment, they would've displayed it for the entire class and made an example of the little punk for everybody else to laugh at so it would never happen again.


This morning I finally got around to putting ornaments on the tree, it's the first one I've had since 2001, and the first one Clay's had since he moved out of his parents' house. I was standin' there untangling ornament hooks and trying to make sure there weren't too many empty gaps between the shiny bulbs & colored disco balls while Clay was cleaning the bird cages. I'll be honest, we both talk to 'em, sing to 'em, whistle for 'em; sometimes they react, a lot of times they don't. I've tried for a long time to coax The Quaker into saying nutty stuff like "Got any bananas?" or "Popcorn's Done!!" but he pretty much stays with his standard phrases. Clay's been trying for quite a while to get him to say "Hi Grammy!" when My Mom is on the phone, but it still hasn't happened.

When he pulled the tray out of the bottom of the cockatiel cage, the mean one swooped right down and started peckin'. As I'm finding a place for a shiny blue disco ball ornament, I hear Clay say "Get up off that floor, don't eat poop!" It really didn't strike me as all that out-of-the-ordinary; he says crazy stuff to the birds all the time. And then The Quaker says "Don't Eat Poop!" and I about died laughin'! By the time Clay stepped back around the corner to see if I'd heard it, the bird had heard me laughing and started laughing too. We couldn't get him to say it again... But we're trying.


I fixed spaghetti for dinner tonight, along with some bread, and I also bastardized a lovely Paula Deen recipe that she calls "Gorilla Bread." I'm calling mine "Babboon Bread," since it wasn't exactly to recipe specs and it just seemed like I should choose a different primate. I did not use chopped walnuts, and I didn't have a Bundt Pan here, so I used a flat round cake pan. I was really glad I put it on a cookie sheet, 'cause it forced most of the butter out over the sides -- but it was still soooooooooo good.

Of course, we're talkin' about me in the kitchen, so if The Quaker was going to repeat just any phrase out of nowhere today, it's a good thing he didn't pick up that sound I make when I realize the timer has gone off but I still haven't found any oven mitts. Or that sound I make when I knock the second spatula off the counter and have to wipe spaghetti sauce up off the floor again.

I'm told it turned out good, Clay ate a second helping, so I'm guessin' that's a good sign. I liked it alright, but it wasn't as good as the last batch I made -- probably due to the fact that I didn't really think it through at the grocery store. Spaghetti was a spur-of-the-moment decision this time, and it involved the phrase "Heyyyy, this sauce is only a dollar for a big jar..." Heh, in the words of Frannie M., "There's a reason for that..." It was okay though, I guess spaghetti is a good choice for me because I like it, but I don't have any problem quitting before I'm stuffed. It seems like more work to eat spaghetti than to cook it.


I guess that's a first-class sign that I've worked through a thing or two over the past few years -- I managed to mention Frannie M. without takin' it into a huge angry rant. Don't get me wrong, I still think the time we worked together could've gone better, but hey, it's good to be able to pull a little humor out of a phrase she originally used in a snarky, hateful way and in reference to my personal life and someone I Loved very much, someone she'd never met. Her words stayed with me because I'd tried so hard to win her respect; and then those words, along with a few sights I'll also never forget, made me lose all respect for her.


Does that mean it's time for me to quit typing and get some sleep? Probably.


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

On the Wi-Fi in the "Disaster Area."

Apparently we're in an official "Disaster Area." Home Sweet Oklahoma.

I'm very thankful to be warm (@ Clay's brother's house in Mounds), even if I'm not quite as comfy as I could be due to feelin' filthy. I guess I shouldn't be feelin' so filthy, I know there are millions of people who skip a day (or two) of showering even when there's water available, but I'm set in my habits and I just feel grungy this morning. All was well 'til the water pressure went...

At Home, My Mom has the generator off the race trailer, which is sitting on the patio and running the fridge & furnace through a big orange extension cord, but I'm not sure if the car would make it into the neighborhood.

At Clay's house, about halfway between here and home, there's water, but no heat -- and let's face it, nobody wants to try to dry off in fifty degrees.

We'll figure somethin' out when Clay gets back.

A voice from the TV just said "I was readin' this article by this doctor, well, not a medical doctor, but the kind of doctor where ya don't have to go to school..." Good gawd, it's like a horrible vacuum that'll suck the brains right out of the human skull. The news mentioned something about FEMA yesterday while I wasn't completely paying attention, then later, there was something about people calling 9-1-1 in attempts to "get a FEMA generator."

Generators... That's one more concept that makes me wonder, with all the TV-watchin' goin' on, do people not learn anything at all from the things they see? Haven't they watched the scenes in the movies and shows on the brain-sucker-box where somebody gets all "sick-of-it-all" and puts their car in the garage with a hose from the tailpipe to the window to "end-it-all?" That generator has a gas tank where you put gas, and it has a motor on it, a tiny little copy of the thing under the hood of the car; which means it has a tiny little tailpipe where it blows out the same stuff that the car blows out. If you start it up in the living room, it will kill you, and you will be on the news for it. Same goes for the Hibachi, you can't light that inside the apartment, okay? Please don't attempt to light a fire unless your place has a fireplace, common sense, though not so common, saves lives every day.

I think there should be a new category of Darwin Award for the generator-user situation, maybe the little statue could curl up on the carpet next to a generator with a space heater plugged into it, and maybe a Hibachi with a can of ravioli sittin' on it.

Oh dear, cabin fever has made me an angry bitch... Maybe FEMA will bring me a formaldehyde-infused campin' trailer to make me feel "all better."

More later... _\,,/

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Friday, December 07, 2007


I'll admit it, I'm addicted to MySp@ce. I just am. I don't know how I ended up hooked like I am, but I am, and that's that.

There's one little thing that irritates me: The Ads.

Nobody's giving any large electronic items away, they're just not. There's not any real person in the world who was handed a FREE computer or MP3 player or game console without first spending a buttload of money on whatever "participation" was required. Sure, you don't pay for the computer, but you pay enough for three computers on whatever subscription or service or whatever else you might be required to take part in to get your freebie.

Yesterday when I went to the ATM, there were two little stand-up card holders with stacks of 3x5 cards in them. Closer inspection revealed recipes -- one for spaghetti with chicken, and one for something else that I can't remember because it didn't sound like anything I'd be willing to cook or eat. Hey, a free recipe, how nice of my bank...

You can get a free phonebook at the post office. You can get a free calendar at the bank, or a free recipe at the ATM. You can walk right in here to my desk and get a free map to other salvage yards. If anybody was giving away FREE computers, there'd be a stack of 'em layin' out somewhere, don't ya think?

If you want a computer, just go buy one; it'll be cheaper that way.


Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The Childfree Couple Goes To The Big Toy Store

Me and my Hotwhee1 problem... Sorry 'bout the "1" there, I just figured I'd better Go0gle-proof that. Anyway, me and my addiction, along with Clay, went to the big toy store last night. I'm also Go0gle-proofing that one, but I'm sure y'all know which one I'm talkin' about -- the "R" is backwards. I know, I know, the proper English version is "My addiction and I," but nobody ever says it like that, so there.

I have to go back soon because there were 2008's on the pegs, but they were picked pretty thin -- so there must be a shipment coming any day now.

Once I'd satisfied my tiny-car obsession, I wandered over toward the doll department just to see what I could see.

Have y'all seen that "Butterscotch" Pony? It's made by the same people who made the purrin' kittens and those life-like baby lambs that just melt my heart. They also make that parrot that would be so cute if it would just skip that damn song. The little horse is just as cute as it can be, and it responds to touch in a fairly realistic manner; it whinnies, it wags it's tail, it turns it's head. The one at this store must've been under constant covert watch with a security guard lurking in the nearby baby car seat aisle so that he'd be able to snatch up the little bastards we'd seen punching the pony at T@rget -- this one was still in complete working order, which is amazing considering that it was totally accessible sitting right down on floor-level.

The little girl pictured in the advertising photos is sitting on the pony's back, her outstretched legs don't touch the carpet, but she's leaned down with her arms around the pony's neck -- the smile on her face says it all, every little girl's dream, "I want a PONY!" She's sittin' on the pony, without a doubt, but the ad makes no mention of the pony's ability to actually carry a rider at all.

That's why THIS little pony caught my eye:

There it is, the "Tango Interactive Ride-On Horse." Yes, it sells itself as a Horse, not a Pony. Yes, there's garbage in the display, isn't that nice? I'd guess it came from the same quality of people who thought it was okay to let their kids punch the pony -- they'd be pretty likely to think it's okay to eat candy in a store and then pitch the wrapper in a toy display, wouldn't they? I should stop right there; I didn't start this post to bitch about scumbags, I'm here to write about a horse!

The Tango Interactive Ride-On Horse was all alone on an endcap display, sittin' up off the floor at about elbow level. He's kinda cute, but has a more stuffed-animal-ish look to him -- not quite as life-like as the Butterscotch Pony, but more horse-proportioned in a smaller size, and it even has a cute little cowboy-style saddle with stirrups hangin' down. When it comes to toys, I'm touchy-feely, I can't help it -- so I rubbed-petted-felt of it a little bit, and since they were within easy reach on an elbow-level display, I could not resist checkin' to see what the legs felt like. It's a big-dog-sized horse, for all sake, my inner child had to know. Much like the only chick in a dress at the Speedway's Awards Banquet, my inner child is almost always desperately torn between the girl world and the tomboy world -- she's drivin' the go-kart with a Barbie under her arm, she's ridin' the dirtbike to her friend's house with a Cabbage Patch Kid in her backpack; but alas, as a chunky little thing, she's always been told to stay away from the stuff that could break if a fat kid were to climb on it... Would the spindly little legs on either pony be tough enough to stand up to bein' sat on by a kid?

I was stunned to find something that felt a little like mechanical parts under the fur; which I felt right about the same time my eyes landed on the red "Try Me! Press Here!" circle stitched on his right hip -- so I pressed... The clip-clopping was so very cute, I just had to press the circle on his forehead too, and that was right about the time I saw the sign.

Look at that!! Hand Crafted, okay... Durable, we hope... Eighteen inch seat height, yeah... THREE HUNDRED POUND CAPACITY!!! Do ya believe it? Fat kids the world 'round will rejoice this Christmas!!! Three Hundred Pounds! Seriously, that means a couple fairly thin adults could hop on this horsey together and go for a ride. Three hundred pounds is five or six healthy-sturdy-husky first or second graders; or a couple fairly curvy junior-high girls, or a senior-year star Defensive Lineman.

I'm stunned! I'm fascinated! It's cute and cuddly and every bit as cool as the shiny red P0wer-Wheels Mustang Convertible!

I'm thirty-one, I have a Kawasaki ATV that I can play with in the backyard, but seriously, if they made that furry robotic pony a little closer to horse-size, I'd damn sure buy one and ride it into town!!!

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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

What is it?

What is it that makes Crazy Aunt Debbie so crazy???

I'll tell ya.

HoMeSkOoL mOm was just here, dropped off the kids to go work the evening shift or teach the evening class or whatever. I pray that she's working because the thought of her teaching and passing her logic along to strangers scares me more and more every day, every semester, every year. God help us all, at least those kids get a little bit of exposure to common sense from my folks -- those Vo-Tech students are on their own with her; alone with that chick who managed to get a Bachelor's Degree in Nursing but has to go find a book to figure out where "the subcutaneous" is. Not that I'm passing judgement on anyone who doesn't know where "the subcutaneous" is; I know that most people who work in professions other than healthcare don't really need to know what that word means -- but someone who signs her name with "RN, BSN" on the end really should know that Subcutaneous means under the skin, I'd think it would seem like pretty basic knowledge, especially considering the fact that I know without lookin' it up, and I just work cheap sellin' car parts. I flunked out of PTA School, she got a BSN. Yeah, go figure that one out.

Anyway... Back to what irritates me, what gets under my skin, what pokes me subcutaneously... (heaa-haa, sorry, couldn't resist)

These kids are nine and thirteen. This Mom says that she "had to take their lighters away" because apparently they were "playing with them outside" where it's December, it's Dry, and it's Windy, and they "didn't tell an adult first."

She had to take their lighters away? What the fuck? Am I old now or something??

When we were young we got our TV taken away, or the Atari, or the Nintendo, or the Computer. When we were a little older, we might've had our car keys taken away. We'd say things like "I'm gonna go outside and ride my bike," or "I'm gonna go upstairs and play Mario Brothers." No parent in their right mind would stand for a kid of any age saying "I'm gonna go out in the back yard and light things on fire over there by the propane tank!" No-no-no, fuck no.

We never had our lighters taken away. We didn't have any fucking lighters when we were nine or thirteen because our moms would have beat our asses to bloody death when she found 'em, and she'd damn sure find 'em, 'cause Mom always found out about whatever...

What the hell are they doing with lighters in the first place? Why the hell didn't she "take their lighters away" before they had a chance to try to light anything with or without "adult supervision?"

Did we not just hear several news reports about how that huge fire in California was caused by a kid playin' around with matches or a lighter? Did nobody else notice that? Will Oklahoma be next??

Is there a junior division of The D@rwin Awards or something along those lines?

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Monday, December 03, 2007

Iams Pepperoni

Even though I forgot to bring home the to-go-box out of Clay's fridge last night, I vividly remember deciding I was full and putting the leftovers in a box to take with me. When I got down to the last two bites of the piece I had on my plate, there was a bite that was just crust, and a piece that was thick and cheesy with a perfectly centered slice of pepperoni. In the interest of "saving the best for last," I ate the crusty bite first and then finished off with that lovely thick, cheesy, saucy, pepperoni-loaded last bite, and it was good.

And why might I have such a vivid memory of something so small, so trivial, so pointless? Well...

Last night when I got home, I was struck by a distinctive smell, and even though it took me a couple minutes to figure out just where it was, the stench was unmistakable. Cat Puke.

I still wonder why she never pukes in the litterbox; as human logic sends (most of) us toward the toilet when the urge to spew hits. They say Cats are clean animals, so why can't Hannah at least find her way to someplace easy to clean when she feels that urge to "eich-iech-eich" comin' on? I wouldn't mind tossing a magazine into the garbage, or shaking a rug out the back door, or spraying some 4-0-9 and wiping the tile floor, or even rinsing a gob down the bathtub drain. Why does she always have to speeyack on my bed and usually right where my pillow belongs???

Unlike my kitty, I've never been good at puking. I can go years without it, and when it does come around, it's usually violent. In the past ten years, I've barfed three times, tops. Twice while seriously ill, and one time involving booze; that's it. I inhaled a bug at the Fair the first year Clay and I were dating and I was soooooo sick and sooooooo close to puking, but I just couldn't get it to happen -- no matter how hard Clay tried to get me over the edge. I've had close-calls with cat products in the past; after two years of flinging the litterbox in it's entirety into a dumpster or over a ledge in the backyard, the first time I had to stay in the house and dump it into a garbage bag, I almost puked; but it's always an almost, and I wasn't exactly at my best then anyway...

Last night when I turned the Shop-Vac hose on to that turd-shaped gob of Iams Original mortared together with clotted hair and relentlessly stuck in a near-dried puddle of cat saliva on my pale pinkish peach bedspread, I was very, very close to that edge. I might've been alright if the Shop-Vac had worked the first time; but when I pulled it away and the gob strung back out of the hose, I was a near-goner. As I started to heave, I had to look away to concentrate on bein' tough, c'mon, don't be such a wuss, it's only a little cat food; but by the third heave, I had already decided that if it was gonna happen, it was gonna happen and I'd about as well just point the hose upward and mainline my puke into the Shop-Vac instead of making my bed even worse. At least Hannah's speeyack wasn't enough to soak through the blankets and into the matterss -- if I puked on the bed, I'd surely kill the mattress with my all-but-two-slices of a medium deep-dish pizza, two Diet Dr. Peppers, and then a bottle of water, and a couple mints that I ate on the drive home.

It must've been knowing that the end of the Shop-Vac hose had just been dragging about in a gooey gob of partially-digested cat food that stopped me from putting it close to my own face to let fly with my own partially-digested dinner; because once I'd "threw up in my mouth a little," I forced that last bite of pizza (which had apparently crowded around the mints) back down so I was fine and therefore able to scrape the chunk off the bedspread with the end of the hose and let the suction take it away. If you have pets of any sort (or maybe kids too), the Shop-Vac is quite possibly the greatest thing you could bring home -- because let's face it, if I'd had to use paper towels and plastic grocery bags to get that wad off of my bed, I really would have barfed full-on into whatever was handy and then had a much bigger mess to clean up. Plastic grocery sack full of my own vomit? No Thanks, that's why I forced it back down -- shorter path, less resistance, absolutely no visual...

So, tonight, it's Laundry-Mat Night -- where I'll happily have time to knit away from home and possibly finish up Mom's "Christmas Scarf '07," while listening to SmodCast on my iPod.

See, cat speeyack isn't all that bad...

More (hopefully with less puke) later. _\,,/