Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Crazy, but not that crazy.

I know, it's nuts of me, but every time somebody mentions MySp@ce (or FaceB@ok), I go back and look through mine.

When Mom called to tell me that Neighbor Phil had said something about HR Managers checking "social networking sites" for photos of potential new hires, I even thought about taking down that one picture that has a beer bottle in it; but since the bottle is obviously in front of Clay, and it's one of very few really good pictures of us together, I left it there. Yes, we were at a bar, and yes, there may have been some sort of a glass not visible in the picture; but we were there to see a friend's band play and not to show off any titties, so I left it up. Out of three hundred and some, that one's the only picture that has alcohol in it.

This morning, there was a story in the newspaper about this wanna-be "gangsta." The story mentioned his MySp@ce page and pointed out that lovely default picture where he's posing with a gun.

Not that I'm "passing judgement" or anything, this is just my opinion: that wanna-be gangsta's page kinda puts out a message that reads a little bit like "Hello, I'm a Dumbass!"

In the interest of avoiding the dumbass factor, and because I almost always do this, I opened up my page and clicked through trying to look at it like a stranger would look at it, to try and see what my page says about me.

I'm never sure, but I like to think mine says most of the things my readers here already know -- I'm somewhere around 30, I'm wordy and reasonably educated, and not particularly interested in discussing politics. I've lived in the same area all my life and I love my little hometown. I work with my family. I'm not a very serious TV watcher, but I'm a big fan of PBS. I love obscure music, I race on the dirt, I love cars. I'm a little on the "butch" side but I Love a man. I knit, I read, I write, I proofread compulsively. Melted cheese makes me smile.

Oh, and one more thing, I almost always have a camera with me and I take a lot of pictures.

I've uploaded 359 of 'em to my MySp@ce account.

Three hundred and fifty nine. Wow.

So, I went through those 359 files (yes, again) just to see what all shows up in my pictures. Two are gif, the rest are jpg. In spite of my OCD-ish tendencies, I didn't count how many times I myself appear, but I did count Clay 34 times. Race cars make 63 appearances. Twelve pictures feature trucks, 36 of the ambulance, fourteen of various hearses. Keep in mind, I'm counting picture-by-picture, a shot with fourteen hearses and one ambulance counts as one picture... All together, there are 118 with vehicles. Twenty eight pictures have cats in 'em, including my Hannah kitty and the late ShadowCat, friends' cats, irresistible LOLCats, and one adorable grey kitty who belonged to an old boyfriend. One American Eskimo dog, one Chihuahua with cheeseburgers entitled "Warm, Cheesy Feets," and one teeny-tiny English Bulldog Puppy. Three frogs; one tree, one Kermit, and one teeny-tiny one. Sixty three pictures have birds, including baby parakeets from egg to fuzzy feathers to full-grown. Eight shots of Mom, seven shots of Dad, two with my brothers and me, one with one brother and me, three of the late Dave. There is one picture of Santa Claus holding a gift and kneeling down in front of Baby Jesus.

You'll see me in racing t-shirts, band t-shirts, motorcycle shop t-shirts, a couple polo shirts, a couple button-up shirts, a bit of flannel, some polar fleece, a flag uniform, a band uniform, a prom dress, and looking over one bare shoulder that may or may not involve a sleeveless top. You'll see all manners of hair; with clips, with ponytails, with sunglasses, with chopsticks, with clips. You'll see me holding all sorts of things; bottled water, Diet Dew, Diet Dr. Pepper, a five-gallon fuel jug, several baby animals, a camera, a screwdriver, a curtain rod, a leather handbag, a roll of masking tape, a can of paint, knitting needles, yarn, race car trading cards, the fender of a Kawasaki ATV, a flag on a five-foot pole, a 350-turbo bellhousing, baby animals, steering wheels...

You'll see all sorts of sick humor picked and chosen from various corners of the internet, a '72 Pantera, a sunflower, My Mom with a beehive, and me in a hot pink fur Bunny suit with my arm around a guy who looks a lot like Willie Nelson.

Somewhere I have a digital shot of me with a bartender in Oklahoma City who looked a lot like Freddy Fender, I keep thinkin' if I run onto that again I'll upload it too.


I'm crazy-fun, not crazy-shooting-spree.

Wanna be my friend?

More later... _\,,/


Monday, February 09, 2009

Saturday Afternoon Salute...

Saturday afternoon, Clay got the new taillight put in and we took the Towncar out for it's first little ride around. Aside from discovering the intermittent lack of brake lights, we had a lovely time.

After a quick spray at the car wash, we drove out to the edge of Skiatook for what we'd presume to be this car's first unloaded trip to a cemetery.

I have no idea what kind of traffic any given cemetery sees in any given day; everything from minivans to motorcycles, everybody stops by for their own reasons in their own time.

Don't look at me like that. We weren't just full-out obviously taking pictures, we didn't have any half-naked goth chicks sprawled on a casket hangin' halfway out of the back. Oh shit, I said naked goth chicks, here comes Go0gle...

We were respectable about it; that's why there's only this one picture that I took with my phone; and it's not like we just pulled into some random cemetery somewhere -- My Grandma is buried there, along with a few other members of her side of the family.

I'm quite sure Grandma wouldn't mind... She might even see the humor in the situation and decide to ride along...

My Grandma answered phones for the wrecker service way back in the day, and she was "car people" just like the rest of us, even after she and Grandpa split. My Dad was her oldest, and she was always warm & kind, even to all of us took-in kids.

The holidays were always big at Grandma's place; out in the yard when it was warm, back in the garage when it was cold. Easter was always a big cook-out with egg hunting, and Christmas was huge.

I remember one Easter, I guess I was in College or right around there; I remember several of those odd years of wondering if I really fit in or not. I was standing on the porch with My Mom when Grandma called me over. "Turn around a minute," she said, and I wondered if I had something on my skirt. "I had to see closer, you've got SEAMS!" Grandma grinned, "I had no idea they still made stockings like that! Where'd you find 'em?" I sat down beside her to chat about Frederick's Of Hollywood and watch my aunts shoot me funny looks. To this very day, I remember that moment every time I walk by that store, and when I smile to myself, she's on my mind.

Christmas with Grandma was always huge, every variety of table, covered with party plastic and snacky goodness, and surrounded by every variety of chair, from dining room chairs to lawn chairs, to picnic tables with benches, all in the garage with the tree in one corner, and Santa came every year with a big sack of toys. Even after I'd outgrown "Santa" as a guy who came down the chimney at home, I was still just stunned by the idea of this Santa who came to Grandma's every Christmas Eve with toys for all of us. I got a Barbie every year, and there were never any repeats, and even though I knew it was a guy in a suit, I wondered where they found this guy who'd bring everybody toys and how he knew which Barbie Dolls I already had at home.

I was sixteen or seventeen when I was finally "let in on the secret." Yes, it was a guy in a suit, but Grandma left the bag in her laundry room for Moms and Dads to sneak the toys into so Santa could pick it up on his way in -- that's how there weren't any doubles, My Mom did the shopping. I also realized that's how I got a teddy bear the one year my folks were split and Mom didn't come.

One of my greatest moments with My Grandma happened in late 2001 or early 2002, out on the Keystone Expressway somewhere between Tulsa and Sand Springs, doin' sixty five or seventy in her electric-blue Ford Contour. We'd been to a doctor appointment, then had lunch downtown at The Interurban before heading out to the Pharmacy. That was the first and only time I've ever been to The Interurban; I can't remember what I had for lunch, but I remember vividly that it was the first and only time I've ever stepped into a ladies' room and heard Southern Culture On The Skids playin' through the overhead speakers. Once we were back in the car, I opened my purse to get out my Rio (remember the MP3 player before there was an iPod?) and share a little music, and Grandma asked me about the fake sunflower that was sticking out.

The wedding flowers sparked a discussion that still makes me smile; My Grandma was the only person in my family who seemed excited about the idea of me having an actual wedding. She kept our picture on the coffee table, even though she had to fish it back out from underneath the table every time my aunt or my cousin had been there and tried to move it out of sight. She knew I was always fascinated with that big strange bottle of wine that she had a shelf made special for; so she gave it to me when we moved her in with Dad. She gave me a really thick sewing book and told me to just try it and don't be so afraid of that blue velvet. She also cried with me when David died; I still have a rather large quantity of those fake sunflowers -- they're almost everywhere and it seems like one ends up in almost every car.

Someday, there'll be at least one fake sunflower at a wedding...

Until then, here's to you, Grandma Ruth, we'll remember you with Chicken & Dumplings, and Wacky Cake, and maybe even Margaritas on the patio at Pepper's Grill in Utica Square!


Monday, February 02, 2009

A joke from way back.

Thursday, our printer started making odd noises and trying to scoot itself across the counter, so after quite a bit of blowing, brushing, pecking, thumping, and dropping, we gave in and decided to replace it.

Friday night after dinner, I went shoppin'. I got a new printer that was just almost the same as the dead one for about three bucks less than a new ink cartridge, so I was a satisfied customer. I know that most folks wouldn't take kindly to shoppin' for work at nine-something on a Friday night, but this is a family business, which means that if something isn't going right at work and it might come anywhere close to being my fault, well, I'm gonna hear about it at the dinner table or on the weekends or on the phone at night. Since I'm right at home with the concept of comparison shopping and totally unafraid to pick things up and place them in my shoppin' basket, I knew I could fix the problem.

Saturday morning, I drove back into Sperry for "Knitting Buddies" at the library (which was lovely), then had lunch (yum!) with my Librarian and several ladies from the group (also lovely), and then came here to get the new printer going.

Getting the new printer working really seemed like no problem, and after I'd printed a couple pages with it, I figured it was ready to go, so I turned everything off and went on about my day.

Here's my sign, I'm stupid. I just thought that since the old one had been turned ON 24-7 ever since it came outta the box, that might have contributed to it's early demise, so I turned the new one OFF for the weekend.

When I got here this morning, HoMeSkOoL dAd said it "wouldn't print and wouldn't do anything."


I remember a joke from a book by Larry Wilde from way back...

(this is a paraphrase from memory, not to be a quote of any sort)

So this Polak carries a chainsaw into a chainsaw store, and demands a refund. He's sweaty and tired and angry, and he says, "You sell me this saw yesterday, you say it cut down forty trees an hour, I been in the woods all day and ain't made it through the first tree yet! This saw's defective, I want my money back!"

So the salesman takes the saw and says, "Here, lemme have a look," he pulls the rope and the chainsaw roars to life.

The Polak jumps, wide-eyed, "What the hell was that noise?"


When I asked "Did ya turn it on?" I was met with a blank stare.

"I never had to turn the old one on..."

So, while I'm in here e-mailing back and forth with Scott and trying to get this monthly close-out to print on the new printer instead of the now-disconnected old printer without disappearing into the ether, HoMeSkOoL dAd and the kids are apparently out on the yard, having built a ramp, trying to "jump" cars.

I shopped on my own weekend time and brought in the new printer to replace the dead one. My Mom was notably short-tempered and preemptively nasty with me about this on the phone last night, so I was trying to get here a little early this morning in hopes of helping alleviate that nastiness. Apparently, it's my fault that somebody didn't know that the damn thing had to be TURNED ON in order to print. Apparently, it's my fault that the publishing company who makes this software did not leave us any sort of provision for re-printing documents in the event of a printer malfunction. It must be my fault that the PC has grown slower and slower with all that p@rn that SOMEBODY loves so much, since "that cable internet thing" is "supposed to make it faster." Since it's taken as "nasty" on my part if I try to explain that faster internet does not automatically make a sluggish PC speed up, that's probably my fault too. I usually get here at 9:00, today I was here about ten minutes early. The printer window shows he tried to print the close-out at 8:47, a whole three minutes before I got here ten minutes early. I'm sure that'll my fault as well. I might've been comin' through the door just as he clicked "print" if I hadn't had to wait behind that street sweeper just as I came into town, so it's probably my fault that the County decided to clean up all that sand from the ice storm too.

I guess what bugs me most is that even though I know that I am neither God nor Bill Gates and therefore cannot will the PC to function, I may be the only one who knows this. The documents that I have printed on the new printer since I got here are fine, but that means nothing if the document that SOMEBODY else tried to print isn't here. What? You think there's a chance SOMEBODY other than me screwed up before I got here? Oooooh, Nooooooooo, there's no way that could happen!

Is it 5:00 yet?

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