Tuesday, May 30, 2006

To quote Homer Simpson....


I think my liver is pickled.

We had a wonderful, relaxing Memorial weekend. Even though we're a couplea hedonistic pagans, we both did take a moment to remember the reason for the season, as it were.

On Sunday, we enjoyed the company of several of our friends at a lovely home in the little burg of Chatham. Grilled burgers, potato salad, great conversation and more laughter than should be legal were on the menu. Oh, it was hotter than hell, but thankfully, there was a lovely breeze in their gorgeously landscaped backyard. When the sun went down and it got a little cooler, a long dip in the hottub...and a lot more laughter...was the perfect ending to a perfect day.

Yesterday, we decided that we really should get out and do something. I mean...we've been bitching about how the cold, rainy weather has been putting a serious dent in our 'topless' time for what seems like weeks now. Seemed like a shame to waste a brilliant day like yesterday.

So we headed out for a little ride up Galena Road, along the river. We went as far as Chilli and stopped at a little joint along the river for an icy-cold Corona (just one for Ziggy as he was the designated driver) and one of our favorite activities...people watching. We sat at the bar (it was just a tad too warmish to sit on the deck), watched the locals and made up stories about 'em. I'd be willing to bet that most of the stories were pretty close to the truth...Chilli seems to be chocked full of...ah...colorful characters.

As we meandered our way back towards town, we stopped at a place that we 'discovered' a couple years ago in South Rome (I didn't know Rome had a 'north' and 'south'?), the "River Beach Pub & Eatery". We liked it last year....we like it even better this year. It's under new management.

It's now owned by a British chap and his wife, who are in the process of trying to bring a little...panache...to the joint. Though I'm not so sure that Rome is the greatest location for panache, as the usual clientele consists of locals, boaters and Harley riders, I wish 'em well.

Which brings me, in my usual meandering way, to the title of the post. They have a generous helping of imported beers on tap, as well as bottled.

Now, I'm not what you'd call a beer afficianado. I like an icy cold beer now and then, but it's not my usual drink of choice...not like it used to be, anyway. But I think I could become a serious beer drinker again. Though I'm not sure where it's imported from, I noticed that they had "Blue Moon" on tap. I liked the logo, so I ordered one.

The barkeep asked if I'd like a 'regular' or a 'tall'. Thank gawd I ordered the regular. I'm not sure how much the tall is, but the regular was 16 ounces of pure heaven, served up with an orange slice. I know...I thought the same thing...
"Ewwwwww! An orange slice? With BEER?" But it was awesome. Sweetish and creamy and mildly fruity and smooooooth and....wonderful.

I noticed that there were a couple of "beeries" sitting nearby, one of them suckin down on this big assed glass (the "tall") of something really dark. I asked him what it was and he replied "Newcastle". I made the comment that I'd always thought of British and German beers as being heavy and dark and...well...bitter.

"Nothing could be further from the truth", I was told. The barkeep promptly placed a small sample...Hah!...'sample'...probably 8 ounces...in front of me and said, "Here...try this."

Ooooooo, my. Smooth. Rich. And after it was swallowed, it left a wonderful little buzzzzzz on my tongue. I liked it. I liked it a lot.

Which made me start wondering. Ya know, there are several places here in Peoria that have wine tastings. Because I just can't seem to force myself to like wine, I've always kinda made fun of the "winies"...seemed a little too...yuppie to me.
But beer? Now a beer tasting joint is something that I could really get my...uh...lips into, I'm thinkin.

At any rate, Ziggy hadda pour me into the car for the ride home. I'm sure it hadda be that 8 ounces of Newcastle. It couldn'ta been those three 16 ounce glasses of Blue Moon.

So we didn't get a whole lotta topless time...but I did manage to get one helluva jones for imported beer and a pickled liver. But hey...at least I got a healthy dose of Vitamin C.

That's gotta be a good thing.....right?

The next time? Well, the next time, I'm tryin the "Mackeson Stout". "An English stout with a hint of chocolate". Beer. And chocolate. It's like two of the basic food groups, huh?

Thursday, May 25, 2006

It's the little things

If I ever talk about buying another General Motors product (as in Chevrolet), somebody kick me.

Now, my dad swore by Chevrolet. Talk about your brand loyalty. But the thing is, every single Chevy he had was a damn good car.

This is the first Chevy I've ever owned. And all I ever do is swear at it.

Engine-wise, it's been just peachy (knock wood). Well...pretty much. But then again, I've only put about 13,000 miles on it since I bought it. But it's the little things that have gone wrong that just irritate the hell outa me.

I hadn't had it but a few months (but of course, it was after the limited warranty had expired) when the turn signal stopped working. Occasionally. It might work for a few weeks, then it'd just quit. I finally got a recall notice about it and had it fixed.

Then, there was this funny, quirky thing with it starting. It wouldn't. Occasionally. I called the Chevy dealership and they said that it was a glitch in the anti-theft system that was a 'known' problem, but evidently not well known enough for a recall. If it wouldn't start, turn the key to the 'on' position, wait 12 minutes (not 10...not 15...12) then try it. Bingo. Kind of a pain in the ass if you're in a hurry to get somewhere, but hey...

Repair? "Very" expensive, I was told. So expensive, he didn't even tell me. Howz about just disabling the anti-theft system, I asked. Yea, that's one solution. But it'd cost me nearly 400 bucks. And he didn't think that was 'very' expensive?

Ok, so I'm rarely in a hurry to get anywhere.

Problem number three reared it's ugly head in the form of a gear shift that wouldn't...well...shift. Occasionally. Again, something with turning the key to the 'on' position...all related to the anti-theft system, too. Luckily, that's only happened a couple of times. (Frantically knocking on wood again)

Problem number four? The air conditioning quit. Permanently...ain't no 'occasional' about it. The compressor won't even kick on. I haven't even bothered to have that checked out. Ziggy did try replacing some little tiny, highly expensive doohickey...I forget what he called it. But he might as well of flushed his 30 bucks down the toilet.

What the hell. I like sweating my ass off while I'm stuck in traffic. It makes me feel.....alive. I've often thought that it'd be kinda neat if the electric windows quit, too. I'd have my own, private sauna on wheels.

(Gawd...I shouldn'ta said that. You just know that'll be the next thing to go, doncha?)

Tonight? Well, tonight, my tilt wheel quit tilting. In the 'up' positon, of course. I feel like I'm driving a semi, not to mention that I can barely see over the damn steering wheel now. I suppose I could sit on a pillow, but then my foot wouldn't reach the accelerator.

It's in the perfect position that, gawd forbid, my airbag deploys, it'll drive my nasal bones right up into my brain.

Which is probably what I deserve for buying a Chevy.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

A dirty little secret

Here are some of the things I've said about "reality" shows and the people who watch them:

"Reality, my ass. If that's real, then I'm the Queen of fuckin England."

"Somebody....for the love a gawd...tell Donald Trump to ditch the disgusting comb-over and buy a decent toupee."

"They're a buncha ignorant, uneducated sheep."

I'm sure I've spewed a few more...ah...colorful remarks, but you get the idea. I'm just not a fan of reality tv.

Until this year.

I admit it. I was an American Idol junkie. Oh, I caught a few episodes last season, but it was hit or miss. If it was on, I'd watch it, but I didn't make it a point to turn it on....like I did this season.

And I don't know why.

I don't know why I turned that first episode on...no idea. But, I got hooked. It was every bit as addicting as that damn Key Lime cheesecake that we brought back from Florida. I wanted it. I neeeeeded it. It was a monkey on my back of ginormous proportions...a fuckin King Kong.

And when each episode was over, it was like..."Ahhhhh yea, baby. That was goooood." Like some kinda heroin addict after that first needle of the night. I'd be satisfied for a few days. Then, come 'long about Monday, I'd start gettin the itch again. Time for another fix.

But it's over and I'm gonna go cold turkey. Well...I'll go cold turkey after the American Idol concert, anyway. Hey...it's gonna be right here in Peoria...I can't very well let that last big fix go if it's gonna be right under my nose, can I?


Honest ta gawd, I yelled. Right here in my living room, all by myself. I yelled.


Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Oh lawd...another man and his mid-life crisis

I can see it now. He divorces his wife and takes up with some 20 year old, blonde bimbo with a bra size that's about equal to her IQ. He rushes right out to the local BMW dealership and purchases a snazzy, red penis extension...uh...I mean sportscar. He starts wearin gold chains, a toupee and Speedos.

No, wait. That's not how it's gonna be.

  • Grau
  • is about to celebrate his thirty-fifth birthday and he's invited us all to his mid-life crisis. Rather, he's invited all of us to dictate just exactly what his mid-life crisis will be...and he's made it a contest.

    Of course, the deadline was today. I'm such a lazy bi-otch that I didn't get this posted in time.

    But DO go read all the 'suggestions'...they're a hoot. And wish the big guy a Happy Birthday, willya? Though I've never met him, he's an Illinoisian too, and one of my favorite bloggers.

    Happy Birthday, Grau. Can't wait to see what they're gonna make you do....

    De-dedeee ala Carlos Mencia. I'm such a dorkwad. The deadline isn't until the 29th. Duh. So go on over there and tell Grau just exactly how he oughta handle his mid-life crisis.

    Sunday, May 21, 2006

    That's my girl

    Chowin down on hot wings dipped in Ranch dressing at a bar...yup...that'd be my grandbaby.

    Last week, I spent a couple days in St. Louis to attend my granddaughter's kindergarten graduation....which is a whole 'nother rant...but I'll save that for later.

    Anywho, the night before the festivities, we headed downtown to a local, family-type bar for supper. Karsin promptly insisted on rib-eye steak (she's 6). Well...actually, it was the rib-eye steak sandwich, but it was a nice-sized steak. I was informed that the only reason that she wanted it was because she'd just learned how to properly cut meat and she wanted to show off. She did a fantastic job of it, I might add...cutting AND eating. She ate every bite. Then proceeded to scarf up her mama's hot wings. I was pretty impressed. Last summer, she stayed with me for several days and I swear...she didn't eat anything the whole time. In fact, I'm pretty sure she didn't eat anything from the time she was three or so until this year. She's evidently going through a growth spurt.

    The proud graduate.

    The 'graduation' was cute as hell. And it only lasted 40 minutes or so...loved that part. There were four kindergarten classes...about 80 kids in all. They sang "If You're Happy", "Do Your Ears Hang Low?", I Can't Spell Hippopotamus" and...get this..."Ballin the Jack". The first three...well, yea...they're kinda 'traditional' kids' songs. But I wondered where the heck the music teacher dug up "Ballin the Jack"...that's like...probably 60 years old, at least, and not something that I'd ever considered a kids' song. Anywho, it was a hoot.

    Daughter, granddaughter and "Meme".

    Though I don't have anything to measure by (it's been a loooong time since I've had a kindergartner), it seems to me that Karsin is pretty sharp. While I was there, she read three of her favorite books aloud to me. I can't even begin to tell you how tickled I am that she loooooves to read. She can count by fives and tens, do simple math problems and she writes pretty darned good.

    Which, in a roundabout way, brings me to my little rant. Just exactly when did they start having 'graduation ceremonies' for kindergarten? And, more importantly, WHY? I mean...these kids had real caps (some have real caps AND gowns). And you can order DVD's of the ceremony. I mean...it's cute and all, but don't ya think it's a bit...much? Well, I think it's a bit much. It's like they're trying to push these little kids into growing up waaaay too fast. I dunno...personally, I think it's kinda silly.

    Grade school graduation? Well sure...it's ok to make a bit of a big deal about that. High school? Of course. But kindergarten? C'mon. It's too much, too soon. And don't even get me started on her dad's gift to her...a
  • Firefly
  • cell phone.

    A friggin cell phone...for a SIX YEAR OLD! Yea, so it will only call pre-installed numbers...but...a CELL PHONE? I wanted to take it and shove it...well...nevermind. I suppose it's really none of my business. I just don't wanna hear any complaints from him about her growing up too fast...not when he's encouraging it like that.

    Ah well. Let's just hope she takes after her mom's side of the family. heh

    Friday, May 19, 2006


    Your Political Profile:
    Overall: 45% Conservative, 55% Liberal
    Social Issues: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal
    Personal Responsibility: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal
    Fiscal Issues: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal
    Ethics: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal
    Defense and Crime: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal

    Now that's one smart old broad

    As an old ER nurse, this was something that was talked about...a lot. Every paramedic...every other nurse I worked with...said the same thing.

  • "I'm gonna have DNR tattooed on my chest."

  • DECORAH, Iowa - Mary Wohlford has made it perfectly clear what her final wishes are: It's written in ink — on her skin. Wohlford, 80, had the words "DO NOT RESUSCITATE" tattooed on her chest in February.

    Wohlford hopes she's made her wishes perfectly clear should she become incapacitated. She also has a living will hanging on the side of her refrigerator.

    "People might think I'm crazy, but that's OK," she said. "Sometimes the nuttiest ideas are the most advanced."

    Bless her heart.

    I can't even begin to tell you how many times I've been part of a resuscitation on an elderly, chronically sick person. I firmly believe that everyone should be made to watch an especially...aggressive...resuscitation on a frail, elderly body.
    Simply put, it's beyond cruel. And in most cases, it's a complete and utter failure.

    Perhaps the surviving family feels better that "everything" was done. But I'm pretty sure they aren't realizing that they just unknowingly put their loved one through an agonizing, painful, degrading process that just didn't have to take place.

    I'm not one to "champion" anything. But this...this is a topic that never fails to make me wanna raise my voice.

    It's all about the quality, people. Not the quantity. When it's time, it's time. Let your loved one go peacefully...comfortably. Everyone...EVERYONE...should have the right, when the time comes, to decide how they die.

    And, for gawd's sake...get a Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare so that, if you're unable to express your own wishes, you have someone who can do it for you.

    Because, unfortunately, that tat isn't worth the skin it's written on. A Living Will isn't worth the paper it's written on either, if someone...another family member or a loved one...objects to it.

    Because I don't have to think so hard

    I've got several things to blog about...kindergarten graduations...mouth breathers at the Waffle House...but frankly, what little creative writing skills I ever had seem to have disappeared...right along with any semblance of "normal" sleep.

    So I swiped this '30 Questions' (ie: Far More Things About Me Than You Ever Wanted to Know) thingy from
  • Guy
  • , who I believe, swiped it from
  • El Capitan
  • .

    1. Have you ever been searched by the cops?
    Nope. Despite my "Rebel Without a Clue/Respect No Authoratah/Tiptoe the Legal Line" attitude, I'm pretty much a straight arrow.

    2. Do you close your eyes on roller coaster?
    Yes. But only because it's hard to keep your eyes open whilst screaming at the top of your lungs in sheer, white-knuckled terror like a bloody banshee. (What the hell is a 'banshee', anyway?) It's like one of those physiological things that just can't be done together. Like keeping your eyes open when you sneeze.

    3. When's the last time you've been sledding?
    Good gawd. At least a hundred years ago.

    4. Would you rather sleep with someone else, or alone?
    At this point, I'd be willing to sleep with the damned Mormon Tabernacle Choir (during choir practice, even) if it guaranteed actually getting a decent night's sleep. Under 'normal' circumstances, another warm, snoring body is nice.

    5. Do you believe in ghosts?
    I don't not believe.

    6. Do you consider yourself creative?
    I hate to keep harping on the sleep thing, but under normal circumstances, I'd answer with a resounding YES. Now? Not so much.

    7. Do you think O.J. killed his wife?
    Why, of course not. After all...a jury of his...(ahem)..."peers"...found him not guilty, didn't they?

    8. Jennifer Aniston or Angelina Jolie?

    9. Can you honestly say you know ANYTHING about politics?
    Nope. But I know a lot about human nature. I know that there are a lot of stupid people out there. And I know that most stupid people will believe anything that someone in a position of power will tell them.

    10. Do you know how to play poker?
    Nope. No desire to learn, either.

    11. Have you ever been awake for 48 hours straight?
    Heh. It only feels like it.

    12. What's your favorite commercial?
    The ones featuring "Bob"...the Enzyte guy.

    13. Who was your first love?
    It was Timmy. Or maybe Donnie. Or it mighta been John. Coulda been Palle...mighta been Danny (the other Danny)...coulda been Rick or Roger or Bob. I forget.

    14. If you're driving in the middle of the night, and no one is around you, do you run a red light?
    You betcher ass. I'm the Rebel Without a Clue, remember?

    15. Do you have a secret that no one knows but you?
    Not anymore. Ziggy knows 'em all.

    16. Boston Red Sox or New York Yankees?
    Even BIGGER Yaaaaaaaaaaawn.

    17. Have you ever been Ice Skating?
    Yup. Never was any good, though. Roller skates? That's a whole 'nother story.

    18. How often do you remember your dreams?
    If I'm sleeping normally, I rarely remember 'em. Nowadays? I remember them...ALL.

    19. What's the one thing on your mind?

    20. Do you always wear your seat belt?
    I only wear it when I absolutely HAVE to. It just incenses me...in Illinois, any moron can climb on a motorcycle and drive like an idiot WITHOUT a helmet and it's perfectly legal. But just let me (someone who has never been in an accident and hasn't had a speeding ticket since 1977) pull outa my driveway without my seatbelt on and I get a big ticket rammed up my ass. Ohhh...don't even get me started...

    21. What talent do you wish you had?
    I wish I could play the guitar like Carlos Santana.

    22. Do you like Sushi?
    Hey, it's raw fish. What's not to like?

    23. What do you wear to bed?
    Lotion. Sometimes.

    24. Do you truly hate anyone?
    "Hate" is a wasted emotion. There are people that I highly dislike, but hate? No.

    25. If you could sleep with one famous person, who would it be?
    Albert Einstein. When he was alive, I mean. Sleeping with a long-dead, withered corpse probably wouldn't be much fun. Uh. On second thought, I probably already know what sleeping with a long-dead, withered corpse is like.
    Don't ask.

    26. Do you know anyone in jail?
    If anyone that I know is in jail, I don't know it. (Does that make any sense?)

    27. What food do you find disgusting?
    Well obviously I find very few foods 'disgusting'. Except bugs. Though I don't think I'd have a problem eating bugs if I was starving, they're not something I'd choose to try as someone's warped idea of a 'delicacy'.

    28. Have you ever made fun of your friends behind their back?
    I've made fun of a lotta people. But I'm pretty sure that I've never made fun of any of my friends. Gossiped about 'em...maybe. Bitched about 'em...possibly. But never made fun of 'em. I usually only make fun of stupid people. And if someone is stupid, then they're probably not someone I'd be willing to call 'friend'.

    29. Have you ever been punched in the face?
    Twice. Once in a high school catfight (I won, though) and one other time that I don't care to talk about.

    30. Do you believe in angels and demons?
    I believe that there are truly 'good' people out there. I also believe that there are truly 'evil' people out there. But real angels and demons? Nope.

    Sunday, May 14, 2006

    It's ironical

    I do a lotta things that aren't 'good for me' but I do them anyway because I like to...because they make me feeeeel gooood. Vonster accused me of being a hedonistic bitch, and I can't argue with him. Actually, I was sorta flattered, though I'm sure he didn't mean it to be flattering.

    Aaaaanywho, I got the start of a nice tan when we were in Florida. Now, ya hafta understand...as fair as I am, tanning really isn't something that I should do. I know the risks. But dammit...fat women just look better with a nice tan...kinda disguises the cellulite, doncha know? And I do try to be as careful with it as I can. I don't do it year-round. But it makes me look good...well...better, anyway, and I like it.

    We've got several summer parties and events to go to this season, so I wanted to keep that nice glow I got started. So I signed up for a month's worth of unlimited tanning the other day at one of the local shake and bake joints.

    Since I already had a pretty nice 'base' to start with, I went ahead and had 'em set it for the limit...a full 20 minutes. It wasn't a problem. I didn't get hot and I didn't burn.

    For those of you that have never been in a tanning bed, it feels sorta like a womb. Except it's not dark. Well, it's dark if ya wear the eye protectors like you're supposed to. (I do) It's warm and you're enclosed...surrounded...when you pull the lid down. They have fans that blow across you to keep ya from gettin too overheated, so there's this white noise. It's especially nice when it's a chilly day...like the other day was.

    I always think of the movie "Altered States". William Hurt experiments with a sensory deprivation tank thingy and regresses into this....ball of molecular matter...aaaaanywho...it's kinda like that. Warm, white noise...ya just kinda...zone out. Even doze off occasionally.

    So I skip a day and go back for my second session. They automatically set the bed for 20 minutes again, but this particular bed must have just had new bulbs put in because I got hot. I mean HOT. I wasn't burnt, just plain hot. After 15 minutes, I decided that I just couldn't lie there a minute longer, so I got out. Since I wanted to get all the goodie I could out of the session, I pulled up a stool, stuck my legs in and closed the lid. I figured I'd at least irradiate my lower legs a little more.

    As I sat there and looked at the tanning bed with my fat little legs stuck inside, I noticed just exactly how much it looked like a coffin with the lid closed. Since the lids are always up when you go in, I'd never really had the opportunity to see one closed before.

    So I'm sitting there, still about three-fourths 'zoned out' and I'm thinkin that this thing looks, for all the world, like a coffin.

    And it was like...so ironical.

    Thursday, May 11, 2006

    Every breath you take

    Every move you make
    Every bond you break
    Every step you take
    I'll be watching you

    Every single day
    Every word you say
    Every game you play
    Every night you stay
    I'll be watching you

    WASHINGTON - Following a report that the U.S. agency in charge of a domestic spying program is building a database of every phone call made in the country, President Bush on Thursday told the nation from the White House that all anti-terrorism efforts are within the law.

    “We are not mining or trolling through the personal lives of innocent Americans,” Bush said before leaving for a commencement address at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in Biloxi. “Our efforts are focused on links to al-Qaida and their known affiliates."

    I can't believe you haven't already heard it on the news today, but the story is
  • here
  • .

    Uh...excuse me? "We're not mining or trolling..."??

    Then what the fuck do you call it, George? You're playing with words. It most certainly is 'trolling'.

    Ya know, last year, when Bush said that he authorized the NSA to listen, without warrants, to international phone calls involving Americans when terrorism is suspected, I didn't have much of a problem with it. And I figured most other people wouldn't either. At least the ones that don't have anything to hide.

    I figured if you're not a terrorist, well hell...what's the big deal?

    But now...just think of all the information they could learn from eavesdropping on every telephone call made in this country. And it's not just phone calls. Hell, I don't really care who knows who I'm calling or who's calling me. But if they're doing that, then what else are they doing? And, more importantly, why? Just exactly what could they do with this information?

    Bank records, health information...private things. Confidential things. Things that I once believed we, as Americans, had the right to keep private.

    And while I'm on the subject of privacy of health information, go read
  • Dave's
  • post about New York City's newest public health regulation. I've gotta admit...I'm feeling just a teeny bit schadenfreud-ish about this, though. If you think what the smoking nazis are doing is a good thing, you oughta love this...as long as you're not a diabetic.

    I can't even begin to tell you how disturbing all this is to me. It goes waaaaay beyond any kind of "national security" issues.

    The government is slowly stripping away personal rights...personal freedoms...personal choices and responsibilities...and no one seems to be too awfully concerned about it.

    They're eavesdropping on our personal telephone conversations. They're using what's supposed to be confidential health information to coerce us into doing/not doing things for our own good.

    I dunno...I always thought I lived in the United States of America. But it's starting to feel more like Communist Russia or Cuba.

    Wednesday, May 10, 2006

    A little linky lovin'

    I read my blogroll nearly every day. Sometimes twice...just to see if anything new has been added.

    I do this because...well...because I like to. I love to see what other bloggers are saying or doing...what's going on in their lives...how they think...what their views are on any particular issue.

    I've added each and every blogger because I like what they have to say. If I don't, I don't add 'em. Plain and simple. I usually don't feel any obligation to link to someone just because they've linked to Lolly. Maybe that's not proper blogger etiquette. Sorry. I'm not exactly 'Miss Manners'.

    Though I DO read each and every one, I'm afraid that recently, I've been remiss in linking to those specific posts that make me laugh, make me think or even better, make me do both.

    So, without further ado, and in alphabetical order..."Pammy's Picks of the Week":

    We have a
  • couple
  • of
  • gems
  • from Andy Martello. The guy's mind is a straaaaange place...but I feel oddly comfortable there.

    Our next offering is from
  • El Capitan
  • , whose exploits in pigeon-watching just beg reading.
    "I gather a general lack of lips amongst the pigeonry means they can't just do a "ptoo!" and spit something out." Indeed.

    Next, we have a little eye candy from my favorite
  • Curmudgeon
  • . I wanna party with those babes!

  • Eyebrows
  • has THE perfect solution for all your customer service needs. Wish I'd a thunk a that.

  • Grau
  • is my hero.
    "Now kindly fuck off, go huff some Zyklon B, and make the world a little brighter by your absence."
    Gawd. I'm in awe.

    "Mouth breathers and nose pickers". Go read what poor
  • Jimbo
  • had to endure whilst waiting on an oil change.

    Eric, who happens to be on holiday in Scotland, tells us that there are just some
  • things
  • that are better left to us Yanks.
    "...eight inches of non-descript wiener..".
    Getcher mind outa the gutter! He's talkin about a chili dog.

    And, on a more serious note,
  • Chatty
  • thinks pretty much like I do on this subject.

    Tuesday, May 09, 2006

    A long and somewhat stressful day

    Though I haven't seen her in nearly seven years, I finally spent some time with my ex-mother-in-law today.

    Unfortunately, it was in an Intensive Care room.

    Frankly, I was more than a little hesitant to go see her. I just wasn't sure how she'd handle seeing me. After all, I wounded her little boy pretty badly and you know how moms are about stuff like that. Hurt my kid, hurt me. And to be quite honest, I wasn't sure how I'd handle it. We'd always been pretty close and even though I'm no longer a part of that family, I've continued to think of her as my mother-in-law. I've always loved her. And she's trying her damnedest to die, but can't quite get the job done.

    So I think you can understand just how stressful it was for me. Loving someone, hurting them then trying to "make peace"...on a deathbed.

    Even though she's nearly 87 years old, pretty much bedridden and in precarious health at this moment, I wouldn't have been suprised had she jumped out of the bed and kicked my ass out, post haste. Lovely woman that she's always been though, she assured me that no ass kicking would happen today. And yes...I told her of my hesitation.

    But she was glad to see me.

    In fact, she even said, "I choose to remember the good times."

    She's much frailer, thinner, a little mixed up at times, but she's essentially the same woman I knew for nearly 30 years. Her dry sense of humor, though a little harder to pinpoint, is still there.

    Bless her heart. I know she's ready to go...I even told her that I knew she was ready and she agreed without hesitation. I just hope it's easy, painless and peaceful. It's what she deserves.

    She was glad to see me. And I was glad to see her.

    And I'm so glad I did go.

    Monday, May 08, 2006


    I just happened to realize that, in my previous post, I described some of the things I was doing this morning as "housewifely".

    That might be descriptive, but it's not exactly correct. I don't happen to be a "wife", nor do I necessarily wish to be.

    Therein lies part of my conundrum. Which sounds something like 'condom', but it's not the same thing. Trust me.

    You'd think, after living with someone for five years, some of these conundrums would have been solved. But there are times when I still have a problem figuring out just exactly what I am...what to call myself when speaking to other people.

    Several weeks ago, after a funeral, I was chatting with my first ex-husband's aunt (there...figure THAT one out), who had always been one of my favorite 'in-law-type' relatives. I hadn't seen her for a number of years, and while she knew I was divorced, she was asking about where I lived now...if I'd remarried...where I was working and so on.

    I told her I was living in Peoria, wasn't married but was living with someone and no, I wasn't working. I jokingly added that I was a "kept" woman. She got a big kick out of that. I knew she would...that's why I said it.

    But there are some people that I probably wouldn't feel comfortable saying that to.

    So, what do I call myself?

    I'm not a 'housewife', even though I don't work outside the home. I'm not a wife. Hmmmm...maybe "live-in housekeeper...with benefits"?

    And even more puzzling...an even bigger conundrum...what do I call Ziggy?

    Let's face it, the whole 'boyfriend/girlfriend' thing seems pretty darned silly, especially at our age. I feel just dopey introducing Zig as my "boyfriend".
    I think it's different for guys, though. No matter how old they are, I think they secretly get a little kick out of saying "my girlfriend". Ya know? Like they're saying to all their married cronies, "Looky here, you poor married suckers! I got me a girlfriend."

    "Significant other"? That sounds pretty dopey, too. Kinda...I dunno...stilted or formal. He IS 'significant', but 'other'? Other what? Half? My better half. I hate it when people say that. I don't think so. I hate it even worse when someone calls their...whatever..."old man" or "old lady", though.

    "Yea, me and my old man decided to spiff up the doublewide a little, so we planted some purty flowers in that there old toilet that the old man brung home from the dump. Now we got the nicest yard in the whole trailer park!"

    "Partner"? Nope. I was talking to someone who didn't know us about my 'partner' once and they thought I was a lesbian. Don't get me wrong...I have nothing against lesbians. I just don't happen to be one.

    "Best friend"? Well, yea. But he's a lot more than that, too.

    "Lover"? Uh huh. But a tad too much info for some, though I really don't mind sharing.

    "Shack up"? I've described him as that before. But again, only to people who know me.

    I dunno. Maybe I should rethink this whole 'old lady/old man' thing. It's not definitive...doesn't really say husband or wife...but the message is pretty clear.

    On second thought...nah. I think I'll stick with "shack up".


    "We did so much fun things"

    And we wonder why Johnny can't read.

    While doing laundry, dusting and other 'housewifely' type things this morning, the tv is on and tuned to "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire", where it happens to be 'college week'.

    The first little binkie to try her luck was a little gal from Joliet, Illinois, who happens to be a SENIOR at Eastern Illinois University. Education major, no less.

    "I've wanted to be a teacher since I was in second grade...we played games and did so much fun things."

    Uh huh. She wants to be a teacher.

    She obviously can't construct a sentence, nor did she know what a limerick was.

    The kicker was when she was asked this question:

    "Which of these internet abbreviations contain more syllables than the actual term, itself?"

    The choices were: WWW, HTML, URL and HTTP.

    After pondering and pondering, she chose HTML. Since she obviously doesn't know what an abbreviation is, I'm pretty sure her little blonde head would have been spinning around had they substituted 'acronym' for 'abbreviation'.

    But boooy, howdy....she was right on top of a quote from the movie 'Napeoleon Dynamite'....'cause, like....she'd seen it "lots" of times.

    I'm tellin ya...nothing illustrates the sad state of education more clearly than watching a few of these college kids fail to know the answers to things that I learned by....oh, I dunno....third or fourth grade.

    I see very little hope for the future.

    Now, you'll have to excuse me. I have to attend to Ziggy, who was an education major in college, though after teaching only a short time, found that getting your hands dirty pays far better.

    He's rolling around on the floor, screaming "Kill me! Kill me NOW!"

    I think he's having a stroke.

    Friday, May 05, 2006

    I AM a good cook, dammit!

    I'm not braggin. I'm a good cook. I make one luscious lasagna. I make fantastic fried chicken, scrumptious sausage gravy and biscuits, nectarous noodles and opulent oyster stew. My chili? Captivating. Roast beef? Remarkable. Stir fry? Succulent.

    I know how to make a roux. I know just how long to leave my homemade noodles to dry. I know how hot to get the grill (reeeeally HOT) to get that lovely sear on the ribeyes. I know how to cook AND clean an artichoke, a duck, a lobster and a big, ole catfish.

    I'm not a fancy cook. I guess you'd call my style 'downhome', though I'm a Yankee. Once in a while, I'll try a new recipe, but I like to experiment with it...tweak it just a bit. And my 'experiments' usually turn out just swell.

    So why am I tellin you all this?


    Oh, I've tried. Believe me. I've tried...for YEARS.

    I just cannot figure out what the problem is. It's not the taste...they all taste pretty good. It's the texture. It's kinda like....uh....well, think of the texture of your left rear tire on your car if ya tried to chew it. It's kinda like that.

    It doesn't matter what recipe I use. It doesn't matter if I even USE a friggin recipe AT ALL. I've tried everything. Adding milk. Adding cream of mushroom soup. Adding a can of mixed veggies. (Ok, I know that sounds strange...but I had it like that at a restaurant once and it was awesome). Cooking it less time. Cooking it MORE time. Adding LESS cracker or breadcrumbs. Adding MORE. Not adding any at ALL. Using one egg instead of two...using three instead of one.

    My mom told me once that mixing it too long could make it 'tough'. So I've tried mixing it less...just enough to get all the ingredients combined. Nope.

    And, why am I bringing this up at this particular time?

    Because, gawd help me...I'm tryin it again tonight.

    Why don't I just give up and accept the fact that there's just one thing that I can't cook? It's not like it's something fancy. It's not like it's some fine French cuisine that calls for three dozen unusual ingredients and takes hours and hours to prepare.

    It's MEATLOAF, fer chrissakes! A friggin MONKEY could probably master a meatloaf.

    Anybody got a monkey I can borrow?

    It just makes me wanna smoke more

    A nearby town just passed a smoking ban in public places. It's sister city, Bloomington, is considering the same thing, evidently.

    From Tuesday's PJStar:

    NORMAL - The Town Council voted unanimously Monday night to approve a townwide smoking ban which will go into effect Jan. 1, 2007.
    The move was met with cheers and clapping from a local group whose members say they can breathe easier now.

    "We can have a life now," said Smoke-Free Bloomington-Normal Coalition member Bobbie Lewis-Sibley, 34. "We're very pleased. It's a health issue, and that's all it is."

    Normal is the first central Illinois community to approve a smoking ban. The Bloomington City Council votes May 8 on a similar proposal.

    "We can have a life now."?? Puhleeeeeese!

    I'm sorry, sister...but if smoking in public places was keepin you from 'having a life', then you must've had one sorry excuse for a life in the first damn place.

    And just as a little additional aside, I caught a short story about the Bloomington vote on the local news tonight. The clip showed some chickie, a member of the above-mentioned group, raging about the 'health effects' of secondhand smoke...yada...yada...yada. I might be mistaken, but I believe she was a college student.

    The thing is, she was probably 75 pounds overweight. At least.

    I wonder if she'd be screaming quite so stridently about 'health effects' should the city of Bloomington try to push an ordinance against Big Macs and Doritos?

    Fuckin hypocrite.

    I'm pretty sure that most of the people that scream so loudly about secondhand smoke aren't really concerned about the health effects (that have NOT been proven...to MY satisfaction, anyway) on them. They just plain don't like smoking. I'd have far more respect for 'em if they'd just admit that and quit using scare tactics. But of course, simply not liking something just isn't enough justification to ban it, is it?

    Too bad it's not. I don't like stupid people. Can we ban them? After all, they have FAR more detrimental health effects on us non-stupids than some piddly secondhand smoke. Don't believe me? Go drive on the interstate sometime.

    But start running around and shrieking "WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!", whether it has any shred of truth to it or not, and people tend to pay attention.

    Thursday, May 04, 2006

    There's just somethin to be said for 'brown-nosin'...

    ...especially if you're on the 'receiving' end.

    Zig is a supervisor at the nasty place that gives him a paycheck. He's either well-liked or someone's tryin to majorly suck up.

    Last night, he came home with a big ole bag of morels that one of his guys gave him. I almost had an orgasm...uh morelgasm, right there on the spot.

    For those of you not in the know, the elusive morel is just about the most wonderful morsel of delicious goodness that you'd ever wanna wrap yer lips around, especially when they're dipped in egg, rolled in cracker crumbs and fried up to a golden brown. Well, hell...they're good fixed just about any ole way, but fried is my own personal favorite.

    I'm certainly no stranger to these little bits of yumminess. Every spring, my dad, who's personal hero was Euell Gibbons, would tromp through the timber, gathering morels. They were plentiful back then...I mean plentiful. Honest ta gawd, I remember times when I'd get sick of morels.

    "Mushrooms? AGAIN?" Ok, maybe it wasn't that bad. But we had fried morels, sauteed morels, morels over steak, roast and morels, morels in vegetable soup or spaghetti sauce...kinda like Bubba Blue tellin ole Forrest about all the ways to fix shrimp.

    Dad was an eagle-eye when it came to morel huntin, too. Unlike his progeny. I can clearly hear him screeching at me, "You're WALKING ALL OVER THE DAMN THINGS!" It was the strangest thing...I could be lookin right AT one and never see it, but once I found that first one, they were a helluva lot easier to see. Never did figure that out.

    But as farmers started clearing more land around where we lived, they became harder and harder to find. Add to that all the "NO TRESSPASSING" signs and morel hunting just got waaaay too difficult.

    When I was working at the small hospital in my hometown, every spring I'd buy a couple pounds from kids that would come in selling 'em. I think the last time I bought any there, they charged $10 a pound and we considered that a damn bargain. I have noooo idea what they'd sell for now. Twice that, I betcha.

    So anyway, I've got this lovely big bag of heaven in my refrigerator...probably enough for two good messes for us. I was just thinking...I bet it's been seven or eight or years...oh, at least that long...since I've had any. So, like some miser drooling over his pile of money...some coke-head waiting for his next snort...some nymphomaniac breathlessly waiting for her next encounter...I've been planning and planning just exactly how I'm gonna fix 'em.

    Ohhhh...the planning. The anticipation....it's like...morel foreplay.

    He almost always makes me cry...

    ...but it's usually crying out, "What the FUCK?!"

    I have a love/hate relationship with one of our local rag's columnists, Phil Luciano.

    There are times when I scream out in frustration at my computer screen in response to something he's written. Sometimes, he just gets things so....wrong. Once in a while, he hits it right on the head and when he's on....well...he's on, know what I mean?

    I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who gets their knickers in a twist after reading something he's written. Occasionally, he'll devote his entire column to the hate-emails he gets. Calls it the "Random Axe of Snideness". Gotta give him props for that one, but I often wonder if he thought it up himself.

    Aaaaanywho, reading his
  • column
  • this morning...well...I sat here with tears streaming down my face, sniveling into my coffee.

    "After more than six decades of marriage, Kenneth Gabbert knew his wife as well as he knew himself.
    And with his health failing, he wanted to help his children prepare for the inevitable. So, a year ago, he told them to start making funeral plans - and not just for him.

    "You're going to have a double funeral," he said calmly."

  • Scott
  • , I'd read the obit the other day and wondered about it. As a nurse, I've heard of things like this happening before and it never fails to instill a sense of...awe, I guess is the word. I mean...the love...essentially becoming part of another person like that is awe-inspiring. It just seems so fitting...so right.

    Anyway, go read the column. The PJStar's archives only stick around for a week, I think.

    Wednesday, May 03, 2006

    Happiness is a warm gun

    Ok, so I got a Beatles thing goin on here today.

    Happiness might be a warm gun...to some people. Might be a million bucks'll do it for another. But to
  • Mark
  • , it's "a life well lived".

    I know his post is almost a week old. I shoulda linked to it sooner, but I've been thinking about it while I've been workin on another 'project'...transforming our patio into a tiki bar. Stuff like that makes me happy. But I've been thinkin a little....deeper...than that. About happiness, I mean.

    (Y'all oughta be scared...I'm just NOT a 'deep' thinker.)

    In general, I tend to agree with Mark's obversation that the young are never happy...truly happy. Look at your average teenager. The only time they are happy is when they're miserable. The drama...the angst. They seem to thrive on it.
    I pretty much agree that you can't be happy...truly happy...until you're older...more (ahem) mature. Until you've had plenty of time to figure out just exactly what it is that trips your little happiness trigger.

    "The happiest family I ever came across was one that my wife documented with a DVD with interviews and pictures of their lives and the lives of their children and grandchildren all set to music. They lived well, they traveled, they served their children by instilling genuine virtues of love and risk-taking and thrift and service and family and friendships and adventure and a liberal education and physical and mental activity. These parents looking back on their lives, their children, and their grandchildren, could genuinely claim to be happy."

    The thing is, I'm not so sure that a 'life well-lived' can guarantee happiness. It certainly can't hurt. But I think that there are an awful lotta people that have had well-lived lives that still find themselves on the short end of the happiness stick.

    On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are those (like me) that haven't exactly had "well-lived" lives that can say they're truly happy.

    Though my life has had it's ups and downs, I can honestly say that I've been a happy person through most of it, and never more so than at this particular point. I seem to have sorta stumbled through life with no ultimate 'goal', other than to be happy. At least, that's the way it looks from this end.

    I'm not always a "nice" person. I can be selfish as hell and sometimes do things with no regard for the other person's feelings. Ok, not often, but it happens. I'm lazy and opinionated. I certainly wasn't anyone's idea of a 'perfect' wife and to be completely honest, I wasn't a very good mom and was even worse as a daughter.

    But the thing is, I know all those things about myself. I've accepted them. Yea, I've tried to change a few things, but in general, I can still be a selfish bitch. I accept that, too.

    I think that's my definition of happiness...accepting yourself. It's not money. It's not how many 'things' you have. It's not power or prestige or recognition. It's not a big, gorgeous mansion or a ridiculously expensive car. Happiness can't be bought or sold or traded.

    Money or things sure can make life easier, there's no arguing that...but neither can guarantee happiness.

    Looking back, it seems as though I shouldn't really have any right to be happy, yet happiness has come to me almost effortlessly.

    Sometimes I feel kinda guilty that it has come so easily for me and that there are sooo many that people struggle their whole lives to be happy.

    But not very often.