Friday, June 30, 2006

BUI or 'You can't go home again'

That'd be 'blogging under the influence'. Oooo...I think I spelled everything right, even.

I never drink alone. Well, hardly ever. I can probably count the times I've done so on one hand. Tonight, I might hafta start on the left hand.

I dunno why, but a little drinky-poo just sounded good. And it was sooooo good that I've had three. I might even have anohter one. Or three.

And I"m so excited! Nooooo...not that way. I mean excited about our weekend plans. We're heading this place.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

'Course Ziggy doesn't know it yet, but he'll be cool with it. He likes it when I take charge and make plans. hehe I'll tell him tonight when he gets home and you watch...he'll say "Cool!" I love how easy he is.

I know. It doesn't look like much. Believe me, it ain't. It's "The Boat" tavern in Bath. It's home. Well, the tavern isn't home...but Bath is. And, even better, one of my bestest friends, Mary (which may or may not be her name), is gonna meet us there. Or maybe The Brick. That's a cool place, too. My grandma and grandpa ran it for years. Kinda cool to go back and see how the joint has changed.

Ya know, I understand the whole "you can't go home again" thing. I forget who said it. But ya can. Sorta. I mean, no...things will never, ever be like they were. But it IS sorta like going home again whenever I go back...which isn't very often. It's great to see people I grew up with, went to shcool with. I'd never wanna live back there again, though. There's nothing there. And I mean literally nothing. Except a couple of bars. Besides that, if we DID live there, it wouldn't be any fun to go back and visit, now would it?

Back in the stone age, we used to do a little something we'd call 'checkin out the crops'. We'd get a cooler and a 12 pack and just cruise all the country roads...checkin out the crops, listenin to the radio and drinkin beer. 'Course, there were multiple 'hang onto the back bumper and pee' breaks. If you were REALLY good, ya could do it without hangin on...but it was always a challenge.

I lectures about drinkin and drivin, ok? Back THEN, it was THE thing to do. No one I know ever got killed...hell, most of the time, we didn't drive over 20 miles an hour. And you could drive miles and miles on those backroads down around Snicarte and never meet another car for hours. (Somebody...go ahead...ASK me where the hell Snicarte is...I dare ya)It was a VERY rare occurance if ya got stopped by the cops...and even if ya did, if you were polite, ya rarely got more than a "be careful" outa 'em.

I know things have changed. It's like we were slow, fun drunks. Today's drunks are fast...and mean. Aaahahahahhahaa! Now, THAT sounds ridiculous, I know. But you know what I mean, right?

Gawd, I miss those days.

Anywho, I've already got the camera in my purse. There are SOME things that happen down there that you've just GOTTA have pictures of...otherwise, no one would believe ya.

Have a safe and fun 4th, eveyone!

It's like the Sopranos meet I Love Lucy

Meerkats have always been my favorite "exotic" animal, so last summer I was tickled when I discovered that our local zoo has a couple of the entertaining little critters. It cracked me up...this little guy climbed right up on the stump alongside Karsin and posed for me! After I took a couple photos and put the camera down, he went right back to...well...doing whatever it is meerkats do.

Which segues nicely into....has anyone caught the new "reality" series
  • Meerkat Manor
  • on Animal Planet yet?

    Oh. My. Gawd.

    It's like the Sopranos, All My Children and I Love Lucy, all rolled into one show and plopped right in the middle of the Kalahari desert.

    I see that
  • Laura
  • is hooked, too.

    "What would you do if your daughter was out slumming around with a rival gang member? Or if your other daughter was pregnant without your consent? Or if your brother- in- law took one of your babies and left it in the hot sun to die? Or if your most reliable son was bitten by a puff adder and seemed doomed to a certain fate? What if your house was invaded and you had to move out, into the hot dessert sun, and there was nothing to eat except beetles and scorpions and centipedes? And you are the Matriarch of the family, the one woman that everyone depends on! How are you supposed to keep your SANITY???"

    Americal Idol? Pfffffffft! The Apprentice? BAH! Survivor? Buncha pussies.

    THIS is a reality show.

    Thursday, June 29, 2006


    Or maybe I'm just mostly bored. And I do hate that. Boredom. I'd almost rather be sick than bored. Almost.

    I don't get bored very often. I can usually find something to occupy my mind. Read. Paint. Write. Clean. But tonight, I'm just too restless to do any of those things.

    I dunno...I just there's something I need to do...somebody I need to call...somewhere I need to go. Like there's some little thing niggling at me and I can't quite put my finger on it. Like there's some kind of message that I'm just not getting.

    Somethin's just not quite right in my little world, but I don't know what it is. Somethin's wrong somewhere. Not personally...not with me...but something.


    Tuesday, June 27, 2006


    A simple title for a simple topic.

    No, I don't mean 'simple' as in simpleton. Simple as in 'basic'...uncomplicated. I mean that, in my opinion, men are pretty simple to understand. Not nearly as convoluted as women.

    Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, but I'm speaking in generalities.

    In a roundabout way, I suppose my tv viewing habits are the cause (or to blame, maybe) for part of this particular little treatise. Have you noticed that in most sitcoms, as well as many commercials, men are portrayed as bumbling, fumbling, lazy kings of the remote control? The buffoon that doesn't know how to clean, cook, feed a child, turn on a washing machine or pick up their own clothes. The moron who can't even be trusted to watch their own child, run a simple errand or put a dish in the dishwasher. The oaf who can't even find his own ass with both hands, let alone a woman's G-spot.

    Personally, I don't like the way men are portrayed on tv. I'd like to know just exactly why they're portrayed that way...why the general public seems to think it's so funny. I suspect that it's backlash from the whole 'women's lib' thing. We've been portrayed as the ignorant little woman for decades, so now it's their turn.

    Yea, well screw that.

    I'm not saying that there aren't plenty of buffoons, morons and oafs out there. I've known my share...briefly. I don't wanna know any buffoons, morons or oafs any longer than "briefly". But in general, men aren't any of those things. They're

    They're different than women. They don't think the same way women do. They don't see things the same way women do. They don't react the same way a woman might. And any woman who thinks that she's gonna change the way a man thinks or acts is just plain stupid. We're different, thank gawd. I'd rather work with a half a dozen men than two women, any day. Men don't have ulterior motives. Men don't have agendas. Men don't backstab. (Again, remember I'm speaking in generalities...there are always a few exceptions.)

    There are a few observations that I've made and things that I've learned about men in the last 35 years or so that I'd like to share with you. These are just my observations. Feel free to add your own.

    Don't ever ask a man "What are you thinking?" unless you're prepared to hear that he's thinking about the car's gas mileage or fixing himself a sandwich or that nagging problem at work or even "nothing". It IS possible that he's not thinking about you. It doesn't mean he loves you any less. He just doesn't think about you every waking minute. Get over it.

    If there's some little household chore that you ask him to do, and you happen to be one of those picky-asses about that particular chore, do not expect that it will be done to your standards. It won't. It won't ever be. Change your picky-ass ways or do it yourself.

    If you think that a man is gazing you in adoration, he's probably just wondering what it would take to get your clothes off and/or what you look like without 'em. Most men don't 'adore' anything. Except maybe a classic '64 Mustang or a 16 ounce rib-eye.

    If your partner doesn't seem to get it in bed, don't expect he'll learn by osmosis. If it works for him and you're not complaining, then it's all good. If you want him to rock your world, ya gotta tell him how. If he still doesn't get it, then it's a lost cause. Some men are naturals, some won't ever be. Either live with it or move on.

    If a guy doesn't seem to be 'into' you, he's not. He's not busy at work. He doesn't have a lot on his mind. He's not playing 'hard to get' like women do. He's just not that interested. Nothing you do or say will change it. Believe me, if he's interested, you'll be the first one to know. We're not in grade school anymore, Toto. Move on.

    Men can be as stubborn, obstinate and hard-headed as a mule. They've got women beat all to hell in that area. Especially when it comes to health-related matters. Most adhere to the belief that if they ignore it, it'll go away. See a doctor? When they're damn good and ready. Not a minute before.

    Men don't like to talk about 'feelings' a lot. Oh, when the relationship is new and things are really hot, he might be content to stay up until 4 in the morning discussing things like feelings and contemplating the absolute wonder of your newly-found love...after the mind-blowing sex, of course. The 'chatty' phase will pass. Then he'll sing you show tunes. Like "76 Trombones". Unless he makes it a point to tell you that his 'feelings' have changed, assume that he still feels the same way. He just doesn't feel the need to share again. And again. And again.

    Don't ever expect a man to read your mind...about anything. Unless you tell him, in no uncertain terms, that household appliances...or a set of bowls...are NOT appropriate gifts for your birthday, rest assured you WILL get a set of bowls for your birthday. Belive me. I speak from experience.

    Men have larger egos than women do. And they like them stroked...frequently. It's a 'man thing'. You hafta be careful, though. Don't let his ego get too inflated. You'll wake up one day to discover that you've created a monster. It's always good to get a little dig in now and then...a little prick (no pun intended) to the over-inflated ego. Keeps 'em on their toes.

    Give him some space if he needs it. Remember the old saying...if you love something, set it free. If it returns, it was meant to be. If it doesn't, stalk the damn thing down and stomp the shit out of it. Seriously...most men really don't like to go shopping with you. They hate it, in fact. I figure as long as he doesn't make me sit through six hours of World War II documentaries, I won't make him go shopping with me. Everybody's happy.

    Men are gonna ogle other women. Think your's doesn't? Think again. It doesn't mean he doesn't love you. It doesn't mean that he's gonna have an affair. It's like...genetic...for men to look at other women. They're just doing what's natural...what's been programmed into their very molecules. They're supposed to spread their seed far and wide. It was their purpose from the get-go. If ole Johnny Appleseed there opens his sack and starts sowing..well, then you've got a problem. But just looking? Pfffffftttt. It's natural.

    Oh, I know...a lotta women would say that they can do anything a man can do. Yea, I can, too. I just happen to love the fact that I don't hafta. I went through a lotta years living with someone who never made me feel completely safe. Completely...complete. I just happen to love the fact that I do now. Could I get along without him? Sure. But I don't want to.

    Men are simple and wonderful creatures. It's us women that make 'em complicated.

    Monday, June 26, 2006

    NOBODY puts Baby in the corner!

    Note to self:

    1. No matter how drunk I get, I must remember that I never have been, nor will I ever be "Baby" from
  • Dirty Dancing
  • .

    2. No matter how drunk I get, I will NEVER try doing the Bachata on

    Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow.
    (Works wonders on those pesky calluses, though.)

    3. As gawd is my witness, I. will. NEVER. drink. beer. again. Ever. I mean it.

    Whatta hoot! I think. From what I remember, anyway. Thank gawd there was no bowl of fruit handy...I'd have been compelled to put in on my head and do my best Carmen Miranda imitation. Which would have been just, plain....wrong. On so many levels.

    Fruit or no fruit, Ziggy and pal K did their own little version of a Carmen Miranda 'table dance'.

    The remaining two members of the "Sinister Six-some", J and J, tried not to let our insanity rub off on 'em. They might just have a little more...ah....couth than we do.

    Now, before I continue, let me just stress that all six of us have both feet firmly planted in that horrible thing called 'middle age'. But, for some reason, when we all get together, we just seem to bring out all of us. Of course, some show their juvenility (if that's not a word, it should be) a little more than others. And then there are those rare few who show a little more than their juvenility.


    I swear, officer....I don't know WHO those ass cheeks belong to!

    (Can they really dust for ass-cheek prints?)

    Oh, and this was before the party really started. You see, since none of us had a car that would hold all of us comfortably, we decided to take two up to the River Beach Pub for a burger before heading down to the Riverfront for the Mambo Jam. Girls in one, boys in the other. And...well...boys will be boys, ya know. I'm sooooo thankful that we snagged the convertible. Otherwise, we could have very well spent the evening chatting up a local bail bondsman instead of Marengue-ing the night away.

    Of course, this particular little stunt was in retaliation for an earlier 'flash' by the girls. I'm not postin that little photo, though.

    We did pretty much behave ourselves during dinner. Well. Except for the female J knocking down those two old ladies and pushing the old gurn in the wheelchair out into the road in her haste to snag us an outside table.

    Gotta give her credit, though. She did holler "Sorry!" to the old gurn as his wheelchair tumbled over the embankment on the way to the river. Oh, and she did call 911 to report that one old lady's broken hip. Toldja she had a little more couth than the rest of us do.

    All seriousness aside, (and belive me...there was NO 'seriousness' happenin...none at all) we had a blast. The weather couldn't have been more perfect. The company couldn't have been more fun. The beer couldn't have tasted better. And the music couldn't have been hotter.

    The hangover, tell ya the truth, I could have done without that just fine. Fortunately, I was the only one out of the 'Sinister Six' that seemed to be a bit...under the weather.

    Guess I deserved it, though.

    Singing to self:

    Her name was Lola
    She was a showgirl
    At the hottest spot south of Havana.....

    Wednesday, June 21, 2006

    Whatcha doin?

    Glad summer's here? Me too.

    And in celebration, we're hosting a house full this weekend.

    Honestly, I can't wait. I loooove to entertain and we don't get the chance to do it nearly often enough. So I've been busy this week, fluffing and buffing, trying to get the pigsty that I've let the spare bedroom become spiffed a bit.
    I'm on the homestretch now, kiddies. That spare room looks like something from a bed and breakfast. Whatever ya do, though, pleeeeease don't look in the closet, m'kay?

    So anywho, two other couples are coming for the weekend...great pals, they are. The booze will flow freely and the conversation will purely sparkle, I tell ya. Those four are the absolute funnest people to be around.

    We were planning on taking them to one of our fine local eating establishments, so whilst talking last weekend, I asked them what they were up for. After all said that they trusted us implicitly to choose and suprise them, one added, "I don't care a bit as long as it's nothin fancy. I've been known to walk in a joint, see it had white linen tablecloths, and walk right back out."

    Gawd love 'em!

    They want 'local color'...somethin fun and unique but nothin fancy. My kinda peeps. I'm thinkin something with a river view...either the Burger Barge, Captain Ron's or maybe back up to South Rome to the River Beach Pub. Dining al fresco alongside the gently flowing Illinois...ahhh, yea. And plenty of "local color".

    After dinner, we're planning to head down to our beautiful riverfront for the 'Mambo' part of the annual "Jumbo Gumbo Mambo Combo". It's a rather unique concept...combine two cultural festivals in one weekend. The 'Jumbo Gumbo' part is Friday night and consists of Cajun music and grub. The 'Mambo' part on Saturday night is the Hispanic equivalent. We've gone the last two years and had a blast.

    Part of what makes the Mambo Jam soooo much fun is
  • Banda Rika
  • . If you love Latin music...ooooo!....are you in for a treat! They put on a high-energy, extremely entertaining show. Their music just makes you wanna get up and move.

    So if you happen to be at the Mambo Jam at the riverfront on Saturday night and happen to see six slightly tipsy, middle-aged people laughing like hyenas and generally making asses out of themselves, do stop by and say, "Hey!"

    I'll even buy ya a beer. I'll buy ya two if ya can teach me the Merengue.

    Monday, June 19, 2006

    International intrigue...

    ...right here in River City!

    Ok, so all the excitement was probably just for a parking ticket. But, ya never know...

    A couple of Peoria's finest came knocking at my door last night. Well...they buzzed first...we have a 'secure' building. Believe it or not, that's a pretty rare occurence in this particular area. In fact, in the three years we've lived here, I've seen the police here exactly three times. Once because our 97 year old neighbor accidently set her Lifeline thingy off. Once because I called 'em to report someone stealing...uh...'borrowing'...our Netflix version of Midnight Cowboy. And last night.

    So it was unusual, to say the least. What made it even more unusual, was the fact that it was at midnight.

    Oh, they weren't here for me or Ziggy. Thankfully. They were looking for someone who lives upstairs.

    Now, I won't bore you by telling you how much we like where we live again...I've mentioned it several times before. We do. The small complex has an extremely diverse group of people that live here. I like that. But our building, in particular, consisted of mostly elderly women...until about a year or so ago.

    In the last year or so, I've noticed that this particular complex has become home to many of those from middle-eastern countries. It's not the least bit unusual to see women in birkas watching their little tykes on Big Wheels or tricycles in the parking lot. Or women in brilliant saris going to and fro. They all seem to be friendly, though quiet.

    But they sure seem to have a lot of...visitors. Rich visitors, evidently. When we first moved here, there was more than enough parking. Now it's not unusual to leave and return, only to find your parking spot occupied by a BMW or a Jag. Frankly, they stick out like a sore thumb amongst the Fords, Chevys and Buicks that are de rigeur for this area.

    Other than the parking situation, there's rarely much to complain about. Well, except that one day. I saw a bright yellow sari flopping around from the patio directly above someone was shaking it. I walked out onto our patio, only to find little black hairs scattered ALL OVER our patio. Ewwwww! In our tomato plants...all over the floor...on our grilling table and grill. ACK!

    Mrs. Middle-east evidently gave Mr. Middle-east a haircut.

    Aaaanywho, back to last night. The nice, young policemen said they were looking for someone upstairs, not mentioning any names. I said that I didn't know any of the people that lived up there now, except for one elderly lady...the rest were fairly new and I couldn't pronounce any of their names, anyway.

    They started up the stairs, one drawing his nightstick and one drawing his gun. Ooooo.. So, I hear the nightstick go bangbangbanging on the door a couple times. Nothing. They banged some more. Nothing. The cops come walking back down the stairs. Just at that moment, I hear a key in the foyer door, and this guy walks in, starts up the stairs and comes face to face with the cops. He looks startled, but doesn't try to run or anything.

    They ask him his name, he replies something unpronouncable and one of the cops says, "Ok. You're the one we're looking for"....and immediately grabs the guy and puts handcuffs on him, ushering him, post haste, out the door.

    Now, I've seen this particular guy before. But I don't think he lives here. Oh, he might be living with someone upstairs, but I don't think he's...well...'legal', if ya know what I mean. I don't think he's a 'legitimate' renter. I've noticed him, in particular, because he just acts...well...shifty. Of course, it might just be because he's a foreigner in a foreign land, so to speak. And he' paraphrase one of my favorite movies, "He's the funny-lookin one, yah." He's light-complected...almost pasty looking, really...with a full beard and kind of unruly, snarly-lookin hair. For some reason, he sort of reminds me of an Hassidic Jew...without the curly sideburn thingies.

    I know that Caterpillar brings others to this country for employment...when he first moved in, the guy above us (the haircut guy) told us that he'd just come here from India to work for Cat. And I know that Bradley attracts a diverse crowd, teachers as well as students.

    But I can't help but wonder...why now? I mean, it seems like there's an inordinate number of middle-easterners moving in...just in the last year. What's the attraction here...this particular complex...all of a sudden? Maybe it's just coincidence. Maybe it's the fact that like seeks out like...they know that they'll find some commonality here. I mean, if I were to move to another country, I'd probably seek out other Americans to live amongst, as well. Is it a 'comfort' thing?

    I dunno. Like I said, I do like the diversity...I like having other cultures around and wish I could communicate with them better so I could learn a little more about 'em. Most of the women speak very little English, if any. And I try really hard to be open-minded and non-judgmental...not to have any pre-conceived ideas about who these people are and why they're here.

    But frankly, when the cops drag off a middle-eastern guy in handcuffs in the middle of the night...hell, I can't help but wonder.

    Sunday, June 18, 2006

    Headline writing - 101

    Now, I'm sure I don't have to remind you that I'm a
  • bonafide pervert
  • .

    But doesn't this headline just you, somehow?

    A priest dreams big for kids

    The story is
  • here
  • .

    This particular priest is probably a great guy. And he's got a vision that sounds good on paper, anyway.

    That's not my point.

    In the light of all the current hoo-hah about pedophile priests who've been accused of sexually abusing children, I think this particular columnist might have chosen a little bit different headline.

    'Course, not everyone thinks like I do. Which is probably a good thing.

    And, as if that wasn't bad enough, I almost choked on my coffee when I read...

    The Rev. Cassidy is pastor of St. Ann's Catholic Church, and he has just been named the head of the Peoria diocese's Cursillo-TEC movement. Obviously, he has his hand in many things.


    Friday, June 16, 2006

    This time, I MEAN it

    I'm boycotting Kroger.

    I've bitched and moaned about 'em for the last time. Oh, I managed to snag a great parking spot. I managed to get through the store with no cranks running up on my heels. My ears weren't bleeding from a passel of screaming brats. I even found everything on my list relatively quickly.

    But, it was nearly 8 pm on a Friday evening and they had ONE FUCKING CASHIER.

    Now, I'm no genius. And I haven't had a job for some time now. But I seem to remember that Fridays are paydays for a lotta people. And as such, a lotta people cash their check and go get groceries on Friday evening...before they blow their money on booze, crack and ho's.

    In other words, Friday evenings at a grocery store are generally busy.

    I counted 'em...there were ELEVEN people in line, most with half-full to full carts.
    I, of course, was number six in the lineup.

    To top it off, the one, lone cashier was about twelve years old. Too young to legally ring up my twelve pack of beer and my bottle of Malibu (we're going to a party tomorrow). Sooooo we all had to stand there, thumbs firmly inserted up asses, and wait for someone over the age of 21 to ring up my booze.

    Not being blessed with an overabundance of patience, I started to bag the rest of the groceries that he was in the process of ringing up. Just to help him a little and save a little time, ya know?

    "Uh. I'm not supposed to let you do that," said the twelve year old. "We or a bagger is supposed to do it."

    "We?" I asked. "Do you see anyone else standing here, doing it? You're busy. Who's gonna know? There's evidently NO one else in the store. If you get in trouble, have 'em call me."

    The kid apologized for there only being one cashier. I told him that I wasn't bitching at him, I knew it wasn't his fault....but it was just as easy for me to drive to Schnuck's as it was Kroger.

    And that's exactly what I'm gonna do from now on.

    I mean it.

    Thursday, June 15, 2006

    Biting the hand that feeds you

    I caught just a snippit of something on the
  • news
  • earlier today that I thought I heard wrong. I thought 'Surely that can't be right. I evidently didn't hear it all.'

    Oh, but I did.

    From the Washington Post:

    BAGHDAD, June 14 - Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on Wednesday proposed a limited amnesty to help end the Sunni Arab insurgency as part of a national reconciliation plan that Maliki said would be released within days. The plan is likely to include pardons for those who had attacked only U.S. troops, a top adviser said.

    I'll be the first to admit that I try to avoid talking about politics at all costs. Mainly because I just feel like I'm dumb when it comes to that subject. I also think that it's one of those topics where there's no "right" answer. Everyone has an opinion and everyone thinks their opinion is the only "right" one.

    However, I'm comin out of the closet with this one. I might sound naive and simplistic. I might come across as a stupid hick from the sticks who doesn't know what she's talkin about. But I'm gonna say it anyway.

    Wasn't it Bin Laden the one that we really should have gone after? And whatever country that's harboring him?

    It's like Bush felt like he had to do something in retaliation for 9/11, so he created this war with Iraq. Kinda like kicking the dog when you're really mad at your wife.

    Hussein may have helped finance the terrorists. But I'd be willing to bet that he wasn't the only one that did. And there's no doubt that he was a murdering despot. But let's face it...Iraq has been governed by murdering despots for a loooong time. They evidently like it that way or they would have changed it before now. Hell, they can't organize a decent army NOW, even with our help.

    Oh, yea...I forgot...we're fighting for Iraqi freedom, aren't we? Uh huh. And as thanks, the Iraqi's are gonna grant amnesty to the insurgents that MURDERED OUR SOLDIERS. No amnesty for those that killed other Iraqi's, though...that'd just be wrong.

    I have no doubt whatsoever, that the minute the last of our troops is outa that hellhole, it's gonna go right back to the way it was. Hussein may be gone, but you can bet your ass that there's another one just like him somewhere, waiting for his chance.

    2500 brave men and women dead. Billions and billions of OUR dollars wasted. For WHAT? For Bush's chance to shine. For political gain. Pure and simple. Now he's stuck. How many more of our soldiers have to die before Bush weasels his way out while he tries to 'save face'?

    We're fighting for nothing. Nothing will be gained. Nothing will have been made better. The only thing we'll have to show for it are grieving families and some nice photos of Iraqi's with purple fingers. But hey...we helped create a democracy, didn't we? Yea. For about ten minutes.

    This war is WRONG. It's BEEN wrong all along.

    A little local 'flavor'

    Anyone checked out
  • Alwan's
  • new digs on War Drive yet?

    While out running errands yesterday, I stopped in. The exterior of the building businesses moving into Peoria and existing ones who are planning a facelift should look up the architect. It's clean-lined, yet has a distinct vintage flavor. Were it not quite so spiffy, you'd think it had been there for years. The extended parking rocks, too. That was one of the reasons that I rarely shopped there...the old, cramped parking lot had maybe 6 spaces...all of which were filled every time I tried to stop.

    The interior is spacious, clean and well-lighted (lit?) with lots of friendly, helpful employees. No dicks behind the deli counter like Kroger, that's for sure. They have a wide variety of stuff...nearly everything you'd find in a big box store...only on a smaller scale.

    What a radical idea...a neighborhood grocery store! Whod'a thunkit?

    The real star of Alwan's show, though, is the meat counter. Oooo, my gawd. I stood and drooled over the 1 1/2 inch ribeyes, porterhouses, t-bones and hotels. Since I already had a few steaks in the freezer, I didn't buy any. But you can bet the next time I need some steaks, Kroger can kiss my big ass.

    But the main reason I stopped yesterday was for their natural-casing hot dogs. I've had like a major jones goin on for the last several months for some of those babies. Ooooo...they're huge, juicy and they pop when ya bite into 'em.

    I bought five pounds.

    What can I say? I'm just a sucker for a big, juicy weenie.

    I do love me some nice hard salami, too...but was a little disappointed in that area. (Doncha hate it when that happens?) The only hard salami they had was some ho-hum, run-of-the-mill brand...can't even remember the name. In fact, it wasn't quite as good as what Kroger has. But I bought a pound, anyway.

    I'd like to see a little more variety in their deli area...maybe some nice Genoa salami...a few more 'specialty' items as far as deli meat and cheeses go. But hey...ya can't please everybody, right? As long as they continue to carry my weenies, I'll continue to shop there.

    Oh, and I also picked up a bottle of their 'tangy' barbecue sauce. Yea, "Alwan's" brand. Though the gal at the register didn't know if it was truly "theirs"...if they created the recipe themselves...she assured me that it was "really good".

    Not unimportant to me is the fact that they're locally owned and operated and have been for years. They also used local union contractors for the construction. Given the choice, I'll choose the local, independent guy over a big corporation any day.

    All in all, the joint gets a major thumbs-up from me.

    Wednesday, June 14, 2006

    I'm naked

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    I bet that got your attention, didn't it? Good. Because I want your full attention. I especially want the attention of those who get all hinky or make intelligent comments like "Ewwww!" when I talk about being naked.

    (I'm not, by the way.)

    But now that I have your attention (hopefully), go read
  • this
  • . It's perhaps the most eloquent, truthful thing I've ever read about nudity and our perception of "beauty". Diana Hartman speaks the things that I've only thought about.

    "Quite suddenly we were discussing the merits of perfect bodies and how those who don't have them shouldn't show them to the rest of the world. They told stories of 300-pound female bodies donned in denim and gauze-like material. They talked about flabby, middle-aged men in Speedos. They told these stories as if the world was made up of only two kinds of people — perfect and most decidedly not perfect. There seemed to be no in-between for them. They talked as if perfection was real and wasn't the end result of physically airbrushing away freckles and healthy protruding blood vessels and digitally altering the least bit of contour out of the picture. They don't see themselves as perfect and automatically categorized themselves as not beautiful."

    I got the link from
  • Joanie
  • . I tried to comment on her post, but her nitpicky filter decided that my comment was "objectionable". And I didn't even use any dirty words. Not once. Anywho, Joanie?...awesome.

    No, I'm not a nudist. Not even close, really. I don't even run around the house naked all the time. But I believe that being naked is matter what you look like. It feels good. And, like Hartman says, your body is the only thing you truly own. It's yours.

    Oh, it took me a looooong time to realize that. It took me a loooong time to accept my imperfect body. To look upon it as 'beautiful'. Even now, I have a hard time even typing that without snorting with laughter. Because by most standards, my body doesn't even come close to being "beautiful". Not by the remotest standards.

    But, every wrinkle, every stretch mark, every saggy boobie, every scar, bump and bulge tells a story. They tell my story. Who I am, with no hiding. No shame.

    "Many of us could relate to the stories these bodies tell — surgery, being pregnant with a big baby or more than one baby, walking everywhere, carrying small children, holding larger sick children, years of bending down to pick things up, and climbing stairs and hills with heavy bags of groceries. Combine the lines, scars, wrinkles, stretch marks, and varicose veins with the look in someone's eyes — wisdom, sadness, and joy — and you all but know their life story."

    Anyone with any intelligence at all knows that there are very few of us who are blessed with the "perfect" body. So why do we expect to see one every time we see a naked person? And we're shocked beyond words when we don't?

    Am I the only one who sees the irony in our present mindset concerning the whole self esteem/beauty issue? We're supposed to encourage our children, female children more specifically, in self-esteem issues. We're supposed to teach them that each and every one of them is unique...special...perfect in their own way; that they can do anything that they want with their lives. Yet, the minute that they're "grown", we (society) tell them that...suprise!'re not perfect, after all. You're too fat, too short, too thin, too tall, your nose isn't quite right. You can't do that because you're too fat/short/your nose is crooked/your breasts aren't big or perky enough.

    And show that awful, naked body? Gawd forbid!

    It's no wonder that we're all so damned neurotic about nudity.
    Frankly, I'm suprised that we don't all hide ourselves under birkas and veils because, evidently, none of us are "perfect". None of us are "beautiful". And none of us will ever be.

    Unless, of course, we all conform. We all...assimilate. We all have JLo's body, Angelina's lips or Gwyneth's nose. Uniqueness, be damned. We wanna look like everyone else. And if we can't, well then, we'll go through life continuing to be neurotic, hung-up women with huge inferiority complexes who cringe every time we look in the mirror.

    Now, I could get into all those sticky issues about nudity and perception of beauty and use reasons and excuses like 'morals' and 'pornography' and 'the media'. But I won't. Most adults have already been believe that nudity is bad. And it's particularly 'bad' if you don't have the perfect body. I don't expect to change any minds in that area.

    But I do hope that you'll at least think about it. And maybe...just might become just the tiniest bit more...non-judgmental?...about your perception of nudity and beauty.

    And maybe...just maybe...the next time you look at your naked body in the mirror, you won't be quite so dissatisfied with it and be a little more accepting...a little kinder.

    After's the only body you'll ever have. It's yours. Might as well learn to love it.

    Tuesday, June 13, 2006

    She's gotta have a great sense of humor....

    .....or I am, as I've suspected all along, a true-blue, bonafide pervert, in a Bevis and Butthead sorta way. Hehe. Heheh. Hehe.

    Several months ago,
  • Eric
  • mentioned an actress that he'd seen in a commercial for K-Y Personal Warming Luuuuubricant.
    He particularly mentioned the "twinkle in her eye" or something to that effect, though I suspect the truth is, she causes a twinkle in his own eye every time he sees her.

    Shortly after that, I happened to catch the very same actress, Erica Shaffer, in a commercial for Miracle Gro. Being the bonafide pervert that I think I am, I hadda mention that to him. I'm quite fond of irony and, though I don't know for sure, I have my suspicions that Eric may share in my...bonafideness.

    I mean...c'mon...K-Y Personal Warming Luuuubricant and Miracle Gro? Surely I'm not the only one who's able to link the two products, not by usage, but by.... implication? Yea, I know. It's *perverted implication, but still...

    So, the other day, I'm reading
  • Jay
  • and much to my suprise, he mentions the very same actress, though he didn't seem to draw the same conclusion I did.

    Yesterday, as I was pushing and pulling and lifting and shoving all the furniture back into place, a commercial caught my attention. It caught my attention because it featured the winsome Ms. Shaffer. I stopped, mid-push, to watch. It was a commercial for Nestle's Quik. Deciding that surely that product couldn't have even the remotest link to K-Y Personal Warming Luuuuubricant OR Miracle Gro, I started to turn my attention back to the task at hand.


    One of the last lines the winsome Ms. Shaffer speaks concerns the benefits of drinking Nestle's Quik with milk, which includes.....

    "...promoting healthy bone growth..."

    Toldja. BONAfide!


    Ooo! Ooo! Ooo! I just had a thought. Wouldn't *Perverted Implication be an awesome name for a blog?

    Form follows function

    Or in my case, the form can be whatever I want it to long as it functions the way we want it to.

    I've had a couple of emails about my carpet cleaning post...more specifically, about the furniture. One person wanted to know if we used the chaise as a sofa. Nope. The chaise is a chaise, pronounced "chayzzz", of course. I "built" the sofa several months ago after a fruitless search for something that evidently doesn't exist.

    Style-wise, I'd describe myself as eclectic, but I looooove the post-modern, 1950's kinda stuff. Clean lines...almost industrial, but not quite. I also love the 'natural' stuff...wicker, bamboo, wood, wrought iron. I like what I like and I figure out some way to make it all go together. The living room is a kind of a 'George Jetson meets Pier One', which sounds like a horror, but it actually works pretty well.

    But about the sofa...see, we lollygag on our sofa. It's GOTTA be comfortable. It's GOTTA be sturdy and durable. It's GOTTA be big. I've GOTTA be able to change it on a whim. And, it's GOTTA be simple. No ruffles or frills or pleats or(gawd FORBID! flowers) or hunting scenes or any of the other myriad of ghastly designs they come up with. No's cold as hell in the winter and hot and sticky in the summer. No poufy, frou-frou things.

    Not being able to find exactly what I saw in my mind, I decided to make my own.

    A hollow-core door, painted black and two pieces of 1x10 (for extra support while we 'lollygag') form the base. Four wooden, box-style paper towel holders on clearance from Target, also painted black make the low, chunky legs. A twin-sized mattress is the 'cushion'. A variety of colored, fitted sheets and pillowcases (so I can do the 'change on a whim' thing) do just swell as the 'upholstery'. A couple of king-sized bed pillows are the 'arms', but are generally used as...what else?...pillows. And three square pillows from Big Lots serve as the 'back'.

    You can lay on it. You can sit on it. You can sleep on it. Because the 'upholstery' is as simple to clean as throwing it in the washer, you can eat on it, though we never do. You other things on it, too. Nevermind...

    I recently recovered the ottoman from our old sofa in a funky, animal-stripe, plush fabric. I don't think Ziggy was too thrilled with the idea, but he says it's "growing on" him, now. Bless his heart...he just lets me do my thing, even though I know that he sometimes thinks I've lost my mind. Anywho, add a tray, and voila!...a small, movable coffee table that can also serve as extra seating.

    It might not suit your particular style. It most certainly isn't a high-end, designer piece. It's definitely not for everyone. But it was inexpensive and it serves our purpose in spades. We also had the fun of brainstorming about how to put it together, shopping for the 'details' and actually creating it ourselves, which makes it even better.

    It's "us" and we love it.

    Monday, June 12, 2006

    Beat me, whip me, make me work





    Had the living/dining room and hallway carpet cleaned today. Whatta job. 'Course, I suppose I coulda picked a company that moved the furniture for ya, but they were recommended. Besides that, I like handlin my stuff myself, ya know? It's not that we have anything really valuable, but...I dunno...I just don't like strangers handlin my stuff.

    'Course, I don't suppose I'd squawk much if a really hunky guy wanted to handle my stuff....

    But I digress.

    Anywho, I've gotta provide a little company pimpage. The company, Maloney's, did a great job. They were here exactly when they said they'd be. Well, ok...they were 15 minutes late. But I figure that's perfectly acceptable. It only took him about an hour and he paid special attention to the traffic areas and a couple little stubborn spots that I couldn't get out myself. And, cheap, cheap, cheap. 65 bucks took me all the way.

    Ziggy and I piled all the furniture on the patio, and in the spare and master bedrooms yesterday and this morning, and I'm just now (it's nearly 9 pm) gettin everything put back. And I'm pooped with a capital 'P'...which rhymes with 'B'...which stands for "By gawd, I got all the furniture lifted, dragged, pushed or pulled back into place and everything dusted, fluffed and buffed."

    Only a couple little details to finish...hanging the freshly washed curtains back up and puttin the rug under the dining table.

    But I think those will hafta wait til tomorrow. I hear a hot bubblebath callin my name.

    Friday, June 09, 2006

    Heeeeeere's Johnny!

  • The Shining
  • on A&E tonight...the original, Kubrick version...for probably the fifth or sixth time.

    Genius. Pure genius. The whole aura of the movie is dark and foreboding. And I swear...the winter storm shots? I can feel 'em. They can make me chilled, even if it's 80 degrees.

    Nicholson is brilliant as the recovering alkie who slowly goes insane/becomes possessed. What a perfect choice of actors...that whole wicked eyebrow thing he's got goin on. (No offense there, Eyebrows)

    But, Shelly Duvall? Good GAWD. It's no wonder she's seemed to fall off the face of the earth. Every time I watch it, I'm amazed that anyone could even consider her an actress. She's just....really stinks. I've gotta admit, though...she was a perfect "Olive Oyl", looks-wise, anyway.

    You're forgiven

    I fear I've been a should I say it?..vanilla, my posts for the last several months. Well, except for my previous 'cynical' rant, anyway. Talking about installing a threshold or my trip to the grocery store isn't exactly...edgy material, I know. I don't post like I used to and there's a reason for that.

    Some of you might remember a while back, when in a fit of panic, I deleted Lollygaggin in entirety, immediately regretting it and starting it up again. I panicked because of an assholian anonymous comment that caused a lot of pain. I can only assume that whoever posted it wanted to cause pain. There was no other reason for it.
    It's just think that there are people out there that simply live for stirring up shit. Their lives must be so empty.

    But whoever you are (and I have a few suspicions), if you still read me, I forgive you. Not that you're probably sorry...ah...nevermind. Just between you and me though, I'll always wonder...why were you looking in the first place, hmmmm? Can you spell 'hypocrite'? I knew you could.

    But I digress. Kinda.

    I am who I am. I believe in what I believe in. I won't pretend to be something I'm not. I WON'T. Period. If I wanna talk about quantum physics, I'll talk about it. If I wanna talk about sex, I'll talk about it. Frankly, I know far more about sex than I do quantum physics. Ok. Truth be told, I know how to spell 'quantum physics'. That's it.

    The point is, from now on, I blog about my life. No holds barred. No fear. It's all about me, baby. I blog me. If you don't like it, well...I offer no apologies. There are a gazillion other blogs out there to read. I'm just a little pissant in the greater blog scheme. Don't get me wrong. I enjoy the comments...I encourage the comments...but if no one ever commented again, I'd still blog.

    After all...I've got a
  • reputation
  • to live up to.

    In which I cynically ramble and rant in no particular order

    So al-Zarqwai, or
  • that Jacuzzi guy
  • as Guy's Sweetthing so eloquently put it, blew a big one...literally. I hope all his virgins look like Quasimodo on a bad hair day. In the greater scheme of things, however, I highly doubt it'll make a difference. The terrorists are like cockroaches...stomp on one and there are 20 others, ready to take his place.

    And that's the problem with Iraq. Don't get me wrong...I completely support our troops...they're doing a dirty job that they've been ordered to do. I just can't support the reason they're there. Does anyone truly believe that there'll be any kind of long-lasting change after we're gone? Call me cynical, but it just smells too much like VietNam to me. Fundamentalist Muslims and all the various factions they spawn have always existed...they always will. Like cockroaches.

    And I see that the FDA has approved a vaccine for
  • cervical cancer
  • . Wonderful news. Amazing news. Except...

    "Some conservative religious groups and family-values advocates believe that the best way to prevent any sexually transmitted disease is to teach young people to be abstinent until marriage. They don’t want HPV vaccine offered to young women because it will encourage, in their view, sexual promiscuity. Or they only want the vaccine discussed by parents not in schools or in the doctor’s office."

    Uh huh. I knew it. Of COURSE abstinence should be taught, both at home and in the schools. Without question. But let's face it...teaching abstinence hasn't really worked, has it? It hasn't slowed the rate of teen pregnancies or STD's, has it?

    As a little aside, Ziggy just mentioned something so brilliant, I hadda include it. What if...just what if they discovered that testicular cancer...or prostate cancer...was caused by HPV? And they invented a vaccine for it. How much ya wanna bet we'd not hear a peep from the religious right?

    I'm sure the religious fundamentalists will use this as the flaming sword over young women's heads. "If you die from cervical cancer, it's just punishment for having SEX."
    But I suppose, like the Muslim fundamentalists, dying for what you believe in guarantees you a spot in heaven, doesn't it?

    Different gods. Same old story. Except for the 72 virgins.

    And in other cynical news, I see where the proposed
  • ban on gay marriage
  • has fallen short of the majority. Good. Smartest thing they've done in a long time, not that it really means anything, anyway. It just means that some politicians are afraid of losing the gay vote.

    I'd like someone to explain to a concise, non-theological way...just exactly why gays shouldn't be able to marry. Please don't use any religious arguments...just the facts, ma'am.

    I cannot, for the life of me, understand why two people who love each other and want to create a stable, committed life together, regardless of their sexual orientation, cannot legally do so. If the word "marriage" makes people so fuckin hinky, then use "civil union" or some other phrase. I'm sure it'd make no difference to them.

    Us heteros don't exactly have a glowing record when it comes to successful marriages. The divorce rate is still hovering at the 50% mark. I say let the gays and lesbians give it a try...they surely couldn't do any worse than we have.

    And with that, dear readers, I'll end my cynical ramble.

    Let the vitriolic lambasting commence.

    TOOLS...I got to use tools

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    On more than one occasion, I've mentioned how much I like where we live...Peoria, this small complex and especially the apartment, itself. I love the floorplan. I love the airy spaciousness and the amount of storage space. There are very few things I'd change if I owned the place. Well...uh...actually I have changed a few things, even though we rent. The stark white walls. The patio. I mean, if I'm gonna live someplace, even if it's not mine, I want it...well...the way I want it, even if it means paying for it ourselves, ya know?

    But there are things like the kitchen floor that kinda bug me. Though in excellent condition, it's a slightly dated, dark faux wood parquet. Kinda...blah. I wouldn't mind having different kitchen cabinets, either. But let's face it...there's gotta be a limit to what we can do.

    There's another little thing that's bothered me the whole time we've lived here.

    The floor covering in the rest of the rooms is a plush, cream-colored carpeting. It was installed a year before we moved in, so it's in great condition. It's not necessarily something I'd probably choose. I'd much rather have something in a Berber...or even hardwood.'s not our place.

    Because the carpet is so light and because Ziggy wears big ole greasy boots to work, I've always had to keep a rug just in front of the door. Now, without a rug there, the door barely opened, anyway...they didn't bother to shave the bottom of the door off or add some kinda threshold when they installed the thick carpeting. So when the rug was in place...well, let's talk hernia when trying to push the damn door open. It was especially fun with an armful of groceries or laundry.

    Ya know? It's just one of those little, insignificant things that only bothers ya when ya think about it. Or when ya open the door.

    Of course, the rug rarely stayed in place so, like a dumbass, I put three strips of double-sided tape under the rug to hold it. Uh...but I used the wrong kind of tape. I used the heavy-duty-glue-a-grand-piano-to-the-wall kinda tape. Can you say embedded? Uh huh. Into the carpet.

    This normally wouldn't be much of a problem. I mean...who's gonna know? Until we move, anyway. Except for the fact that I arranged to have the carpet cleaned next Monday.

    Not wanting the pros to know what a dumbass I am, I decided to go ahead and do something we'd only talked about. Install a tile threshold in front of the door.

    Frankly, I wasn't sure I could do it. I mean, I've participated in countless major remodeling projects in a past life, but it has been a while. And while this little project wasn't anywhere near the major undertaking of some of the stuff I've done, I've gotta admit...I've missed it. Ripping up stuff. Making it new...better. The satisfaction of a DIY project. Using tools.

    I love it.

    And yea...I did it all by myself. Well, except for the trim. Ziggy hadda cut the angles for me.

    But, I bet I coulda.

    Now, about that kitchen floor.....

    Tuesday, June 06, 2006

    Little kindnesses and karma

    Just got back from that particular little corner of hell that's otherwise known as the local Kroger store. How appropriate. I visited hell on 6/6/06.

    There are several reasons that this particular Kroger is hellish, one of them being the parking situation.
    I'm not sure why, but the Kroger in Evergreen Square, though it has a humongous parking lot, is nearly always crammed full. Maybe it's the sorta-central location...I dunno...but most of the other Krogers' I've been in here in town don't seem to have the same problem.

    Would-be shoppers school around and around....and around...the lot, searching for that absolute choice parking spot like a frenzy of sharks just waiting for the perfect opportunity to take a big bite outa the whale's ass. They follow people that come out of the store to see where they're parked. If it's a good spot, they'll just hang there, turn signal on, holding up traffic, clearly marking their territory.

    I love to fuck with the sharks. If I see one eyeballin me, I take my sweet time. I slow down. I spend an inordinate amount of time putting the groceries in the car...just so. I casually stroll the empty cart back to the little cart kiosk. One of my biggest pet peeves, btw, are those lazy, inconsiderate asses who can't be bothered to return the damn carts instead, leaving them parked exactly where they left 'em...usually right in the middle of MY parking spot.

    After I casually stroll back to the car, givin the shark a sideways glance, I take my time gettin in, mess with the seat belt, adjust the tilt wheel, maybe light a cigarette, maybe mess with the radio...just to kill a little time, ya know?
    Twist the knife a little. I can't help it. I've got a cruel streak.
    Anyway, today I just happened to luck into one of the choice spots...and I didn't even hafta go into shark-mode. Which I don't do. Very often.

    But I digress.

    The store was packed, as usual. That's another reason it's matter what time of day ya try to hit it, the damn store is packed...with only two checkers, of course. I successfully navigate through all the little yuppie moms with their three, screaming kids and their big-assed kiddie-car carts; the blue-hairs who can't steer a shopping cart any better than they can their Buicks and the big fat-asses who can't possibly do something so exerting like walk through the store...they hafta use the electric carts for their Doritos and donuts, doncha know?

    I make a quick stop at the deli for a pound of really good hard salami (no snide remarks, please). The old fart with the gold chain around his neck deigns to wait on me, looking like he'd be much happier if he were somewhere gettin his balls waxed. He stands there, sighing and rolling his eyes as he weighs my salami. He slaps the bag of sliced salami on the counter and just looks at me questioningly, not bothering to ask if I want anything else. I notice his name tag reads 'Dean'. 'Dick' would be far more appropriate. I grab the bag and walk away, heading to the checkout.

    I managed to find everything on my list, which was unusually short for a change and even luck into a checkout line that doesn't wind half-way across the store, even though there are ONLY TWO FUCKING CASHIERS. As I'm standing there, fuming, I happened to look behind me and notice an elderly lady with a bunch of bananas. That's it. Bananas. I stand there for a second, thinking to myself...

    Good Self: "It'd be a really nice gesture if you'd let her go ahead of you. I mean, all she has are those bananas."

    Bad Self: "Yea, but look at how it's gone so far...with your luck, the old crank probably wouldn't even thank you. And ya just KNOW she's gonna fumble-fuck around and write a damn check...for a bunch of bananas."

    Good Self: "Awww...c'mon. Be a nice person for a change. And besides that, you DID luck into that choice parking's like...karma. Pay it forward."

    Bad Self: "That movie sucked ass. Can't you ever just keep your damn mouth shut? Gawd. Who do you think you are...Mother Fucking Theresa?"

    Good Self: "Now, c'mon. You know you wanna."

    "I hope to hell you're happy," I smugly say to Good Self. "You're gonna be standin here for fifteen friggin minutes with your thumb up your ass."

    I tell the old lady to go ahead of me.

    I bet if that old lady thanked me once, she thanked me five times. And she had her billfold out BEFORE the cashier even got done ringing her bananas up. And...I'll be damned...she paid CASH.

    And I even got out to the car, got all the groceries loaded up, put the cart away...with nary a shark in sight.

    It's like...karma, man.

    Monday, June 05, 2006

    B - because I can't think of a title

  • Junebugg
  • nailed me with a little exercise. Ok, she didn't exactly nail me. I asked for it, but I'm sure glad she didn't assign me X, Y or Z. Or Q.

    "Write ten words beginning with the letter you've been given. Include an explanation of what each word means to you and why. If you want to play, ask for a letter in the comments section and I'll issue you a letter".

    My letter happens to be 'B'. Obviously, I'll skip
  • ballsy
  • 'cause it's already been addressed. heh

    Brilliant - No, I'm not. Not by a long shot. But, it's the first 'B' word I thought of. I've always thought of 'brilliant' as kinda onomopoetic. Pronouncing it sorta sounds like what it describes. Plus, I really like how the Brits use it.

    Brusque - Same thing. I'm not, but doesn't it just sound...well....brusque?

    Bitchy - Ok. I can be bitchy. It's rare, but it happens.

    (Gee...I thought 'B's would be easy. I'm struggling here.)

    Bite - Something I might do when I'm bitchy.

    Black - One of my favorite clothing colors. It's classy. It's timeless. Black is also a great little decorating trick. A touch or two in any room (a lampshade, a pillow) adds a little sophistication.

    Books - What can I say about books that hasn't already been said? Everyone's life is enriched by books.

    Beloved - What a perfectly lovely, underused word. My beloved. Ziggy is my beloved.

    Beautiful - I'm not that, either. But every woman, even if she knows it's not so, occasionally likes to be told that she is. Especially by her beloved.

    Buffett - Or 'buffet'. I'm a big fan of both.

    Basil - The herb, not
  • Rathbone
  • , though he did embody Sherlock Holmes, didn't he? I loooove fresh basil and grow it in a little pot on my patio. I like to go out, stand in the sun and sniff the basil, wallowing in it's earthy, licorice-y, Italian-y goodness. A few fresh basil leaves, a handful of warm grape tomatoes, a hunk of crusty Italian bread, a little Kosher salt and some good EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)'s Italy in your mouth.

    Uh. Kinda got off on a tangent there, didn't I?

    Saturday, June 03, 2006

    "Ballsy"'s a learning process

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    Scott at
  • O'Brien's Briar Patch
  • offers his own list of Peoria's Most
  • Ballsy Bloggers
  • .

    He's bestowed upon me the dubious honor of the Number 1 spot.

    Well actually, I really don't think of it as 'dubious'. I'm rather flattered, truth be told. Being called "ballsy" is far more pleasant than being called "blowsy", doncha think? Especially for a woman my age. heh

    I'm sure that many people wouldn't look upon being called ballsy as a compliment, but I do. You see, it's taken me a lifetime to get here. It's taken me a lifetime to get to the point where I feel comfortable enough in my own skin to pretty much speak my mind. Speaking your mind might not seem like a big deal to most people. But to someone who was a painfully shy as a child (and still struggles with it, occasionally...really), it is a big deal.

    However, there's a very fine line between 'ballsy' and 'obnoxious'. I tread that line quite carefully. It's easy to be obnoxious. Well, I think it is, anyway. It must be...there are so many obnoxious people out there. Ya know the old saying? If it was easy, anyone could do it.

    But ballsy is harder. Ballsy is a little...softer...than obnoxious. Ballsy is a bit more...ah...diplomatic?...than obnoxious. Easier to spell, too.

    I've always claimed that, in person, I'm exactly like what you read. That's essentially true...with a few little exceptions. If you're being a dick, I'll call you a or in person. But it might take a little more provocation for me to call you a dick to your face.

    I cuss like a sailor, but I can be as prim and proper as Dana Carvey's 'Church Lady' when the situation calls for it. Uh...wait. That might not be the best illustration. The Church Lady could get pretty damned...prickly. You get the idea, though, right?

    Yea, I can be a hedonistic bitch, but I usually cry when I watch a parade, especially when I see those old vets proudly marching while carrying the flag.

    I can be as rude and crude and filthy-minded as a card-carrying pervert, but I've comforted countless grieving families, giving up a tiny bit of myself with every one.

    I absolutely love South Park, but my preferred tv channels are The History Channel, National Geographic and Discovery.

    I can be equally comfortable eating at a 'fingers-only' barbecue joint or some 'white-linen-tablecloth-and-fine-crystal' place. Oh, I might prefer the barbeque joint, but I can tell the difference between a salad fork and a dinner fork and can use them properly.

    I might be a pig's ear at heart, but there are times when I can be the finest silk purse. Yes, it can be done. Don't ever let anybody tell ya different.

    So, ballsy? I'm not offended, even a little bit. Wanna offend me? Call me 'boring'. Call me 'plebian'. Call me 'vacuous'. Call me 'tedious'.

    Wanna really offend me? Call me 'bloviating'. Or 'pompous'. And don't, fer gawd's sake...ever call me a 'journalist'.

    Ballsy. I wear the title proudly.

    Thursday, June 01, 2006

    Me MAN... FIX.

    So, in
  • this
  • post, I told y'all about my POS Chebby. I forgot to add to it's list of transgressions, that the cigarette lighter quit, too. That, however, was no biggie...a buck forty-nine at WalMart fixed it.

    A couple days ago, after sweatin my balls off (yes...I used to have balls. They're gone now, though.) due to the lack of AC, and fighting to see over the permanently-stuck-in-the-up-position tilt wheel, I decided that I must have a couple of these highly irritating problems looked at by a professional. (Howzat for a 'run-on' sentence?) Enough was enough.

    Now, I need to backtrack just a bit. Before contacting said 'professional', Ziggy had gone out and made an attempt to "fix" the tilt wheel. He...ah...removed...the cover from the bottom of the steering column in an effort to get to the tilt control lever. However, his method of....ah....removal...consisted of...well...let's just say that no torque wrench was handily available and he 'made-do', ok? The steering column cover is now in three parts. Instead of one.

    What the hell. Compared to everything else, no problem, though the thought did cross my mind that if I ever got stopped by the local gendarmes, I'm sure that the missing steering column cover would be a bit of a red flag. Ok, so it's highly unlikely that a fat, sweaty grandma would be some kinda car heist queen, ya never know, do ya?

    I have no desire to try to explain how the whole male/female dynamic concerning "fixing" things works to some 12 year old gung-ho policeman. Let him find out for himself.

    So, I called the dealership (aahahahahhaa....I typed dealershit first), and spoke to an extremely nice service guy. I went into the whole litany of problems (but skipping the part about the broken steering column cover...hey...a little super glue and no one ever need know, right?), ending with the story about the tilt wheel.

    "...and the other day, my tilt wheel got stuck," I began.

    He immediately cut me off with, "In the 'up' position, right?"

    Uh huh. It seems that that's been a problem with this particular model, too.

    "We can sure look at it, but try something first. Pull the little adjustment lever back and give the wheel a big YANK".

    I explained that I had tried to "yank" on it, but wasn't sure how much yanking should be done. I's like the thing that steers your car, man. I could picture myself, sitting in the sweltering heat of the car, giving the wheel a big yank and the whole steering wheel coming off in my hands. I'm thinkin that little problem might cost a bit more than a buck forty-nine to fix.

    "Oh, you're not gonna hurt it", he assured me. "For some reason, it just gets jammed up there and ya gotta yank hard."

    Um. Ok.

    So, we go ahead and set up an appointment to have the AC checked out AND the tilt wheel if my yanking prowess wasn't up to par. Later that evening, when Ziggy got home from work, I explained my conversation with the service guy and he, being of much stronger yanking ability than I (he's a man, after are quite familiar with yanking...but I digress), said he'd go out in the morning and give it the ole college try.

    I get up the next morning, drag my ass to the kitchen to get coffee, sit down at the table and look at Ziggy.

    He looked at me like a puppy who'd just pooped on the carpet and said, "Do you want the good news or the bad news?"

    Now, whenever I'm queried in such a manner, I always opt for the bad news first. I figure that I'll get the bad part over with and the good part will cheer me up. Kinda like a kid gettin a sucker after a shot at the doc's office, ya know?

    After replying that I wanted the bad, first, he very gently set before me, in a manner befitting a precious object, the little, broken stub of the tilt lever.

    I looked at the lever. I looked at him.

    "Uh...the service guy said yank on the wheel...not the lever", I said.

    He quickly explained that male yanking is different than female yanking, in that when males yank it's in a more...ambidextrous...way. Sometimes yanking requires a two-handed method. I suppose it's all related to the old 'if one is good, two is better' thing.

    "So...uh...what's the good news?"

    "Your tilt wheel works now. All you gotta do is stick your finger in the little hole and pull forward and the wheel will tilt."

    I looked at the lever. I looked at him.

    "I can fix it. I can put the cover back on with some tape and we have some industrial-strength super glue at work that I bet'll fix the lever part."

    After pondering this solution for a moment, I decided that him pouring industrial-strength super glue into my steering column to fix the lever, probably wasn't a good idea. I've always found that driving a car is much nicer when you can actually steer it. Going straight forward or straight backward is nice, but ya get to see a lot more of the country if ya can do other things turn corners and stuff.

    "No, baby. It's fine the way it is. It's no big deal. It's ok. Really, it'll be fine. It's no problem. Thank you so much for fixing it."