Saturday, December 30, 2006

Prompt care?

Not so you'd notice.

We spent three and a half hours at a prompt care today because I have a raging, throbbing toothache, complete with abscess, of course. I'm tellin ya...I had my share of toothaches and earaches as a kid and pain-wise, there's not much that I've experienced that's worse.

Except having to wait three and a half friggin hours at a prompt care for an asshole of a doc to give me a couple of scripts. And lemme tell ya...he was an asshole.

The long wait wasn't so much because the joint was was. Not packed. But busy. However, not one single person there had anything that should have made the wait that long. Sniffles and sneezes and the usual crap that's goin around. Nobody looked like they were in severe pain. Well..nobody except me. Nobody looked like they might need some IV fluids or extra care. Nobody looked like they belonged in an ER, rather than there. I've worked in prompt care before...I know.

No, the reason there was such a wait was because of the doc.

The whole concept of a prompt care is to get 'em in and get 'em out. The doc isn't there to do a whole health history. He's not there to work up each and every person like they're a new patient. That's what the patient's regular doc is for. He's not there to give a 30 minute lecture. He's not gonna change the world. He's there to address a specific problem...diagnose it and treat it and send the patient on their way.

And I realize that doc's hafta be more careful...especially nowdays with the malpractice crap the way it is. And I know all about the drug-seekers that use every trick in the book to cadge a pain script. But this guy...ooooo, boy.

I went in, told him my problem, told him I was an old ER nurse and that I needed an antibiotic and maybe a pain med...if he was feelin generous. I went on to tell him that I was under a doc's care, but since it was Saturday, her office was closed. And believe me...otherwise, I wouldn't have been there. He proceeded to poke around in my mouth for 5 seconds...then gave me a lengthy lecture on my stupidity because I still smoke. Duh?

I finally told him that I know all the dangers, I've discussed it with my own doc and if he thought he was tellin me anything I haven't already least a thousand times...he'd better think again. Him lecturing me certainly wasn't gonna flip on the ole light bulb...especially with his attitude.

Then, he proceeds to order me to see a dentist, first thing on Tuesday. But adds that I probably won't find one that's taking new patients. Uh huh.

Then he wants to recheck my blood pressure because it's up. Duh. It's right there in black and white that I take a blood pressure med. And I've just had to wait for three and a half fuckin hours in a small waiting room, filled with smelly, coughing, hacking people and screaming brats. I have pounding tooth pain that's shooting up into my left eye and right outa the top of my head. AND, I've just had most of my buttons pushed by a doc with an inferiority complex who would like to believe he's a fuckin brain surgeon or somethin. You betcher ass my blood pressure is up, moron.

Just what do you think you're gonna do about it, anyfuckinway?

Thanks, doc. You've really been a big help. Now gimme the fuckin scripts and let me get outa this hellhole and you can get busy with some other poor bastard that's gonna hafta sit through your bullshit.

Prompt care, my ass. Wasn't nothin prompt about that.

(Can you tell I'm not feelin much better?)

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

No raindrops on roses or whiskers on kittens for this gal

And ix-nay on the bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens, too

I did, however, get my favorite things for Mixmas. The Zigster went waaaay overboard. But what the hell...I deserve it. I've been very good this year. (ahem)

I got books - The Grapes of Wrath and an interior design book by Doug Wilson. I got movies - Cleopatra, Amadeus and Dangerous Liaisons. And I got sparkly things - a gorgeous amethyst ring and a diamond "O" necklace. I also got some makeup that I've been lusting after and...oh...OH!...I got a tube of Liquid Nails in my sock, too!

Hey...don't laugh. Liquid Nails ranks right up there with duct tape and 20 gauge wire on my list of Most Useful Tools Ever Invented. If ya can't tape it or war it, Liquid Nail it.

I really love it that Ziggy knows me so well. I mean, I think a lotta women would be offended at gettin a tube of Liquid Nails as a Christmas gift. Not me. Well...if that was the only thing he got me, I might be a tad...ah...disappointed. In fact, I might be so disappointed that I just might be tempted to Liquid Nail a particular part of his anatomy to another part. But that's the thing...he knows how to temper it with other stuff. Like sparkly things. Good thing for him, huh? heh

Oh, and my prime rib roast was absolutely, positively perfect. I mixed up a rub of rosemary, thyme, freshly ground black pepper and lotsa garlic in a little olive oil and coated that sucker good. I topped that gooey mess with a handful of kosher salt, then threw that bad boy in the oven, seared it at 500 degrees for about 15 minutes, then turned the oven down to 425 and let it hang for about an hour. It was still rare enough to suit me, but was just beyond the "moo" stage...which suited Ziggy just fine, too. It was tender and delicimous.


It was quite a lovely day, truth be told. Awesome presents and a fantastic meal followed by 248 minutes of the heaving breasteses of the voluptuous Elizabeth Taylor. Gawd...when she was in her prime, she was a beautiful woman.

The only low point was that the kids couldn't be here. But they'll be here in a couple of weeks...and we get to do it all over again! Cool, huh? Two Mixmases instead of one.

Ok, there were really two low points. I had such a lovely day yesterday...but the fact that I had to work today was hangin over my head. How screwy is that? We got the day after Thanksgiving off...but not the day after Christmas. Ah well. If I've learned anything in all my years of labor, it's to never underestimate the screwiness of upper management.

Anywho, hope y'all had a great Mixmas, too!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Cherry Mixmas??

Remind me to never blog after four Newcastles

It's vewwy, vewwy quiet here at the Lollygaggin headquarters this evening. I'm waiting patiently for the fat guy in a red suit to show up. And while I wait, I'm indulging in a bit of English Christmas Cheer and perusing (what a great word...peruse) a few blogs. Just to see if there are any others out there watching for the chubster with the goodies.

I noticed that
  • Peoria Illinoisan
  • posted a simple "Merry Christmas". As I began to post a reply, in my head, it came out as "Cherry Mixmas" that's what I typed. From brain to fingers in an instant. I kinda like it.

    We've had a very nice evening, even if it has been quiet. We went out for our non-traditional-that's-become-a-tradition Christmas Eve the Chinese joint. Honest ta gawd, they had roast duck. I couldn't help but think of
  • A Christmas Story
  • ...which we came home and watched. It's never been my favorite Mixmas movie, but it's growin on me.

    "He looks like a pink nightmare!"

    I was really suprised at the number of people doin the same thing as we were. What's happened to the family thing on Christmas Eve? I dunno...I kinda like buckin tradition, but it makes me kinda sad at the same time. Fortunately, I wasn't too sad to chow down on some nice, big crab legs. Nothin says "Mixmas" like a plateful of crab legs, huh?

    Ok. I'm off to watch "Starman" and suck down another Newcastle or two. Hopefully, I'll wake up tomorrow morning with visions of sugarplums still dancing in my head....and not a hangover.

    Cherry Mixmas!

    Friday, December 22, 2006

    I'm not a Grinch...I'm not a Grinch...

    ...I'm not a Grinch. Dammit.

    After work today, I ran by Aldi's to grab some of their cheapcheapcheap frozen shrimp to make shrimp cocktail and some fresh mushrooms (also cheap) to make stuffed mushrooms.

    For those of you not familiar with Aldi's, it's a sort of...I dunno...warehouse, I guess...kinda grocery store. They have carts, but you hafta insert a quarter into this little gizmo that attaches each cart to the next. I suppose that's to guarantee that people will bring their own cart back (you get the quarter back when you return it) instead of leavin 'em out in the middle of the parkin lot like they do at Kroger.

    Aaaanywho, as I was walkin up to the store, another woman was bringin a cart back. Rather than have her put her cart back, get her quarter back, then me havin to stick my quarter in, I just held out my quarter...bypassin the middle man, so to speak. She smiled and shook her head.

    "Someone gave it to me and wouldn't take my quarter, so just take it. Merry Christmas!"

    I smiled and thanked her and returned her cheery "Merry Christmas" and went on in the store for my shrimp and 'shrooms, thinkin that I'd "pay it forward" when I got done.

    Honest ta gawd, I fully intended to. But.

    As I came outa the store, I looked around. The only person that was on their way into the store was this very well-dressed, snooty-lookin broad with a disgusted, snarly look on her face. To be honest, she didn't look like the kinda woman who shopped at Aldi's on a regular basis, if ya know what I mean. She kinda looked like she smelled somethin bad, ya know? That sneery kinda look?

    She looked at me and demanded, "Here. I'll take that", holding out a quarter between her thumb and forefinger. Didn't even crack a smile.

    I paused...maybe half a second...turned loose of the cart...and grabbed the quarter.

    Yea, I know. Maybe if I'd have just given it to her like the first gal did me, she'd have appreciated it. Maybe she was just havin a bad day. Maybe I shoulda set an example. Maybe I shoulda been a bigger person.

    Fuck that.

    I'll "pay it forward" the next somebody who I know will appreciate it.

    Thursday, December 21, 2006

    Everybody ready?

    I'm as ready as I'm gonna get...for now, anyway. The kids aren't coming up to celebrate Christmas til after the first of the year. I've picked up a few little things for 'em, but I'll go shopping after Christmas and get 'em double what I could if they were comin up this weekend.

    I expect it'll be pretty quiet around here this weekend. I've never had what you could call a "big" family, but it's downright dinky now. Sometimes, I wish that I'd have had a bigger family...especially during the holidays. But then I look at what some big families do to each other and I think I must be crazy to want that. I suppose it's ok if everyone gets along well. Seems like there's usually at least one horse's ass in a big family, though.

    I bought a beeeeeeutiful prime rib roast, so that's gonna be Christmas dinner for the Zigster and I. I've never done one before, but I'm always ready to try somethin new. I just hope I don't screw it up and it turns out...(gasp!)...well done. Ack! I'll do the whole turkey thing when the kids come...guess they don't want lobster again this year. Especially after I chased Karsin around the kitchen with one a couple years ago. hehe

    There are times...

    ...when this'd be pretty handy.

    (Thanks, SusieQ!)

    Wednesday, December 20, 2006

    More product pimpage

    Yea, I'm pretty sure I've talked about it before. Cut me some slack, ok? With each passing day, I discover that I'm turning into one of those old farts who tells the same story over and over again.

    Let me preface this by saying that I'd do almost anything to keep from catching a cold. I wash my hands religiously. Ok, truth be told, it borders on obsession nowdays. And I avoid the sick like they have the bubonic plague. Those are really the only two things that you can do to prevent catching a cold.

    If it was just a mildly uncomfortable, irritating cold, it wouldn't bother me so much. But when I catch one, I'm down. For days. I can't sleep because I can't breathe. I cough. And cough. And cough. And it nearly always turns into something worse. Like bronchitis or pneumonia. It just fucking hangs on forever.

    A couple years ago, I thought I'd try Zicam. It says it can cut the length of a cold in half. I've used it, I think, six or seven times now. For me, it's been nothing short of a miracle drug. If I start it the minute I feel any cold symptoms, it doesn't cut the time in simply knocks it. Stops it cold. Ok, it takes a day or two, but IT WORKS.

    Day before yesterday, I woke up feeling all stuffy and coughing. The back of my throat/nose was....itchy. For me, that's a sure sign I'm catchin somethin. It's sort of a raw feeling in a particular spot. I've had more than my fair share of colds over the years, so I knew what was coming. I know how my body acts.

    I started pokin the ole Zicam up my nose, post haste. Yesterday, I felt bad. Couldn't get warm. Nose/throat still felt raw. Sneezing. Coughing. Thought maybe the Zicam wouldn't work for me anymore.

    Today? It's gone. Ok, not completely. I still feel some mild symptoms. But, it's definitely not progressing. I'll keep using the Zicam for a day or two...just to make sure.

    But if it works for me like it has in the past, this cold is over.

    I'm not sayin it'll work for everyone. But, what the hell...if you hate catching a cold as bad as I do...if ya hate taking all the over-the-counter remedies that cost a friggin fortune and don't do anything but mask the symptoms and make ya feel goofy, try it.

    Tuesday, December 19, 2006

    Can you say "tense"?

    Hopelessly, helplessly lost in the deepest, darkest depths of the South side of Peoria can, in no way, shape or form, be called a comfortable place to find oneself in, even on a bright, sunny day.

    Especially if you're a hick from the sticks whose idea of "knowing her way around town" pretty much consists of knowing how to get around town on War Drive, University, Sheridan, Pioneer Parkway, Glen, Sterling, Main and Western.

    I'm just sayin.

    I need a half-dozen ibuprofen. And a massage.

    Sunday, December 17, 2006

    What do Ziggy and Clement Moore have in common?

    Well...a little more than you might think. Except that I don't think Ziggy'll ever be famous for writing one of the most beloved Christmas poems ever.

    T'was A Couple Months Before Christmas

    By Ziggy

    (With apologies to Clement Moore...and most of the rest of the civilized world.)

    T'was a couple months before Christmas and throughout Carriage Hill
    Not a creature was stirring, not even Nabeel
    The flamingos were hung by the chiminea with care
    In hopes that St. Buffett soon would be there

    And Zig in his dermis and Pammy in her (BLEEP!)
    Had just settled down for a long weekend sleep
    When out in the hall there arose such a ruckus
    That Ziggy sat up and said, "What the fuck's this?!"

    A knock at the door - from the frozen North Pole?
    Just to be sure, we checked the peep-hole
    Not Jimmy, not Santa, no not in the least
    But two little guys from the steamy Mid-East

    We opened the door for the little brown man
    His problem, it seemed, was a massive divan
    He and his pal got it up the first flight
    But the turn on the landing turned into a fright

    He said, "I am sorry to bother you so
    Our new sofa is stuck and we can't make it go
    Up the next set of steps, then we still have one more
    We have engineering degrees, but our planning is poor."

    There they both stood with a hide-a-bed couch
    Just the thought of it's weight made my scrotum say, "OUCH!"
    It was new, you could tell by the cardboard and plastic
    But their efforts to move it were just short of spastic
    It was jammed at the turn and hung up on the railing
    They were sweating and panting, but their muscles were failing

    "We thought if one end was moved into your doorway
    The other'd swing 'round and we'd be well gone on our way."
    A logical plan, we thought to ourselves
    That would work if these guys weren't the size of two elves

    Pammy said, "Well ya know, if you'd take off the packing
    You'd gain a few inches that, so far, you've been lacking.
    You could then make the turn and not be stuck in our foyer."
    But the two little fellows just seemed to ignore'er

    No matter how jammed or hung up on the rail
    They were NOT taking advice from a lowly female
    More grunting and straining and pushing and stuff
    But the couch didn't move and we'd about had enough

    So Zig said, "You know, if you'd take off the packing
    You'd gain the few inches that, so far, you've been lacking."
    So the packing came off of the stubborn divan
    The idea would work fine, it seems, if expressed by a man

    Zig got on one end and the elves on the other
    He braced his feet and gave a shove on that Mother
    Well that's all it took for the couch to break free
    As their roommate arrived, and then there were three
    Three Mid-Eastern guys, two more flights of stairs
    But they're out of our doorway and now it's all theirs

    And what about Buffet, well he'll be along
    He's bringing Corona and a beachcomber's song
    And Mid-Eastern guys who knock on our door
    We don't think about them a bit anymore

    Flamingos glow softly by our Christmas tree
    And bring Key Largo memories for Pammy and me
    Our Christmas traditions are slightly offbeat
    Flamingos and palm trees and lobsters to eat
    Thinking of beaches and not about snow
    And don't ask what goes on 'neath our mistletoe

    So another year passes and we're doing swell
    And to you, dear readers, a joyous Noel!

    (You might wanna go
  • here
  • and refresh your memory before reading this...ah...epoch. It might make a little more sense. Or not. hehehe)

    It must be somethin in the water

    While makin the rounds in my little corner of the blog world, I noticed a couple photos posted by
  • Elisson
  • . I never tire of the tales (or would that be tails?) of Hakuna and Matata, his very skritchable pair of kitties.

    But what was ironic was the fact that I just snapped this photo of The Big El a couple days ago. (Not "El" as in Elisson..."El" as in Elwood)

    Because El doesn't have as Matata, he evidently thought the hand towel would make the cold porcelain a little cozier.

    Could you?

    I'm watching the movie
  • Alive!
  • ...for the third or fourth time.

    If you don't remember the story (I remember when it actually happened), it's about the Uruguayan soccer team members who were survivors of the airplane crash into the Andes mountains on October 13, 1972. They survived for 72 days by eating the flesh of their dead teammates.

    Can you even begin to imagine? 72 days in one of the harshest climates in the world with no food and not much shelter? It boggles my mind.

    I've read the book and have also seen the documentary
  • Alive: 20 Years Later
  • .

    Yea, I guess you could my interest in it is a morbid fascination. I mean, the story of the
  • The Donner Party
  • fascinates me, too. But it's not just that, really. Both stories really are testaments to the strength of the human spirit...the survival instinct.

    I imagine that we'd all like to think we'd be strong in a situation like that. But the fact of the matter is, none of us...unless we're forced into that position...knows just exactly what we'd be capable of.

    But when I first heard about the details of the soccer team's rescue...that they survived by eating the dead...I remember thinking that, should I ever be put into the same position, I could do it, too. I think I could. I mean, I wouldn't have any kind of "moral" problem with it. Put in the simplest of terms, it's a matter of survival. Period. You either do it or you die.

    So, yea...if I should find myself in a position like that, I could do it. But I'm curious as to how many of you think you could do it, too.

    I know it's hard to answer this as we sit in our warm homes with plenty of food in the refrigerator and nearly every convenience known to man, but try to put yourself in their food, no heat, 40 degrees below zero and just the tiniest glimmer of hope of rescue. Try to imagine the unimaginable.

    Could you?

    Saturday, December 16, 2006

    A little light at the end of the tunnel....


    I had my final sleep study last night. A couple months ago, I found out I have sleep apnea. I already knew that, but of course I hadda be horsed around for two months so that a doc could tell me so.

    That's really what I hate about goin to the doc...all the damn horsin around. It used to be so easy. Now ya hafta see all these friggin "specialists". And if ya don't hafta see a specialist, ya hafta go somewhere else for this test or that test. Nothin's simple anymore. It's just such a pain in the ass.

    In the last two months or so, I've been to my doc twice; had blood work done; a transvaginal ultrasound; a PAP test; two mammograms at two different places with a breast cancer scare thrown in...just to keep things exciting; two sleep studies...and a partridge in a pear tree. And speaking of something being a "pain in the ass", the only thing I haven't had done yet that my doc keeps suggesting is a colonoscopy.

    I'm puttin that one off just as long as I can. It's not so much the test itself that bothers me...I'd be asleep. But it's the preparation. Drinkin two gallons of salty, slimy shit and then spending three or four hours on the toilet just isn't my idea of a good time.

    I'm sorry, but they don't make toilet paper soft enough for that.

    I looked at my calendar for Monday and SUPRISE! I don't have any friggin appointments. It's like the first day off in I don't know how long that I haven't had to go some damn where to have some damn thing done to my old carcass.

    So anywho, this sleep study went a lot better than the first one. I actually slept. I'd almost say I slept well, but I'd hate to jinx it. Kinda amazing, really. I figured I'd never be able to sleep with that damn pig-nose thing jammed up my nose, let alone all the wires and tubes. But I did. In fact, when they woke me up this morning, I could barely move. The tech said, "But that's a good thing. It means that you slept so well you didn't have to keep changing positions."

    Yea, well. Tell that to my aching back.

    At any rate, though I still think all this "sleep study" thing is a "jab the insurance company for the BIG BUCKS" racket, I don't doubt the benefits of a CPAP machine anymore. Halleujah! A'hm a believer! No waking up, gasping for breath and feeling like I'd been strangled in my sleep. No bizarre dreams. And most importantly, no horrific anoxic headache when I woke up. I can't remember the last time I woke up without a terrible headache.

    After I got outa there this morning, I had an appointment with my "regular" doc to see about my wayward bitch of a uterus and to catch her up on all my current adventures. Yea, I know. I was shocked, too. A Saturday morning doc appointment. Whoda thunkit?

    Anywho, as it stands now, that's the last thing I hafta do...see a gyne. Well, next-to-the-last. The last thing will probably be a hysterectomy. Ah well. It's not like I need it anymore, anyway.

    Aaahahahahhahhaha! A hysterectomy. "Light at the end of the tunnel...", indeed. Quite appropriate, doncha think?

    Animal Planet, eat 'yer heart out

    Yea, yea...they might have all those cute little meerkats of "Meerkat Manor".
    We doan need no steeenkin meerkats here.

    We've got...........................................................................

    wait for it.........................................................................


    And this is, of course, whatcha get when ya try to steal a little....ah.....
    private the bathroom. No rest for the wicked.

    Or the constipated.

    Wednesday, December 13, 2006


    At least it's somethin simple this time

  • Mark
  • wants photos of our ugly mugs...uh...I mean "smiling faces". And ya can't get a much bigger smile on my face than when I'm near a beach.

    This was taken last April on our annual pilgrimage to the furthest-most point in the USA. Well, within 90 miles of it, anyway.

    Now go check out Mark and his gorgeous wife.

    Monday, December 11, 2006

    Now ya know why I call 'im "Big Head Ed"...

    ...along with a few other more...ah...colorful...names.

    Oh, he looks angelic, doesn't he? The sweet mug is just a ploy. He's ordinarily a stealthy, sure-footed jungle cat. He thinks. Except he's not quite got the "sure-footed" part down pat.

    The other night, I was taking a bath and he managed to fall into the water...twice.
    I'm not sure what he was trying to do, but he fell in once, jumped out onto the floor and in an instant, jumped back in. When he jumped out the second time, he looked at me with a highly offended look on his "What the hell did you do that for?"

    Poor little guy. He's gonna grow up and not know what his name is. On any given day, we call him Elwood, Big Head Ed and Fuzznuts. When he's being nice I call him Pretty Boy or Sweet Boy. When he's being bad, we call him...well...use your imagination. I've also hung the moniker "Sukkkkeeeeeee Boiiiii" on him. (You hafta say it like you're Chinese to get the true effect)

    I call him Sucky Boy because when he's sleepy, he tries to suck. On anything. A neck. A mole. An earlobe. A wrinkle. Whatever's handy. That, in itself, wouldn't be quite so bad. But when he does it, he droooooools.

    So, the next time you see me and wonder what that lovely scent I'm wearing is, don't ask. It's eau de cat spit.

    What the hell. Better drool than pee, I always say.


    Dodged that particular bullet.

    Well, for now anyway.

    I have a lot of calcifications in my breasticles, which is normal for an old chick like me. But there was one particular little spot that looked suspicious, so I hadda have a magnified mammogram today.
    The doc says the suspicious spot is something called "Milk of Calcium". He looked all of twelve years old, so I hope he's some kind of child genius when it comes to reading mammograms. I looked it up, but can only find loooong, detailed PDF files about it.

    His simplified explanation was that it's a little something extra with the calcifications, that can sometimes develop into cancerous tumors, so I'll hafta have a mammogran (aahahahaha...I typed "mammoGRAN"...perfect) every six months until they're certain it isn't changing.

    Lemme tell ya...I'm just not a worrier. I prefer to put worrisome things aside...I'll think about that tommorrah......but I was worried. As with most stressful things I've had to deal with I was ok. Until after it was over.

    When I got home and saw the look of concern on Ziggy's face, I said, "It's ok."

    And I cried.

    Despite the "normal" upsetting things that most of us have to go through at one time or another...losing loved ones, divorce...ya know..just the general "life things", I really have lead a charmed life. I've never had a catastrophic illness. Never been in a horrific car crash. Never been a victim of a violent crime. I know "bad" is subjective, but nothing really bad has ever happened to me.

    I figured I was past due for ole Karma to creep up and bite me a good one in the ass, ya know?

    Anywho, thanks so much for all your good thoughts and prayers. I really, really appreciated 'em.

    Sunday, December 10, 2006

    Ooooooo! Ahhhhhh!

    After living here in Peoria for almost six years now, we finally got to the
  • Festival of Lights
  • last night. And it was a perfect night for it...warm enough to keep the windows rolled long as the car heater was on "high", anyway.

    As it turned out,
  • finding it
  • was a piece'a cake...when in doubt, go directly to the source. Ok, so I asked a woman that I worked with who just happens to live in that neck of the woods and I wrote down the directions. (74 to Washington Street exit, make a left, make another left at Springfield Road and go up the hill. Voila!)

    I've gotta admit...I was impressed. It was a two and a half-mile crawl through some of the most fabulous light displays I've ever seen. The 'moving' displays just blew my mind. Deer leaping over the roadway. A snow skier schusssing down a big hill and flying over our heads. A big cat jumping through a hoop. That's not to say the stationary displays weren't just about as impressive. They were great, too.

    With accompanying Christmas carols on the radio via 107, it almost gave this Scrooge-ette a bit of the ole Christmas spirit. Almost.

    Anywho if you haven't been, just let me say that it's well worth the wait in line (which wasn't bad, at all) and the ten bucks a carload to get in.

    We had some great friends from Springfield up for the weekend (they were impressed with the Festival, too) and we had just the greatest time. They gave us
  • Fact or Crap
  • for Christmas and it's a hoot. If you're into trivia games, go get this one.

    After our little trip to EP, we came back, I threw a big pan of homemade lasagna in the oven, whipped up an Olive Garden-type salad and we had a feast. Then it was a Fact or Crap marathon...til after 2 am.


    Thursday, December 07, 2006 that explains it

    Wednesday, December 06, 2006


    "Trouble is the common denominator of living. It is the great equalizer."
    Soren Kierkegaard

    "It ain't so much the things we don't know that get us in trouble. It's the things we know that ain't so."
    Artemus Ward

    "Troubles are like babies - they only grow by nursing."
    Douglas Jerrold

    "A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort."
    Herm Albright

    Yea, yea, yea. And then there's...

    Don't put the cart before the horse.

    Don't count your chickens before they hatch.

    Don't borrow trouble.

    And finally, my personal favorite...

    What? Me worry?

    They found "something" on my mammogram.

    Tuesday, December 05, 2006

    Blah, blah, nauseum

    A little background for those non-local readers.

    This past weekend, we had a snow/ice storm that essentially crippled our city. We had approximately an inch of ice under anywhere from 8-12 inches of snow, depending on where in the city you were. On Friday, nearly everything was closed...businesses, stores, even the courthouse and city building. The city's main school district, which I'm told never closes, was closed for three far. Businesses are complaining because no one is shopping...because it's such a gamble to get out on the damn streets.

    It's been FIVE DAYS and many of the streets are still nearly impassable. Four lanes down to two in many places and a thick layer of slush covered ice covers much of those lanes that are open, making driving a white-knuckle experience.

    I'm watching tonight's City Council meeting on tv right now. Well, I'm watching the current episode of "Finger Pointing Theatre", anyway.

    Not enough plows. Not the right "plan". Not enough salt. Equipment breakdowns. Lack of communication. Cars parked in the snow routes. "We were prepared...but not for a storm like this." And on and on and on. Excuse after excuse. Blah, blah, blah. Sports analogies, fer gawd's sake.

    Uh. Excuse me? Are these people aware of just exactly where we are? THIS IS CENTRAL ILLINOIS! Yea, I know. We haven't had a bad storm like this since 1999. But the fact of the matter is, we very well could. BECAUSE IT'S CENTRAL ILLINOIS. It's not Florida. It ain't even Arkansas, where an inch of snow is a major storm.

    And it's not like Peoria is some dinky little shit-spot on the road with a street department consisting of a 10-year old pickup truck with a blade. The greater Peoria area has a population of something like 300,000 and should have a decent street department. And we damn well should have the money to pay for it.

    Remember where we are? We're one of the states who's motto is "If ya don't like the weather, stick around. It'll change in a minute." And it's not like we didn't have any warning, fer gawd's sake. We knew at least two damn days in advance that something was coming.

    And we weren't ready. Not even close.

    Ya want sports analogies, Mr. Mayor? I've gotcher sports analogy right here.

    Peoria choked and blew it. Period.

    Game over.

    Sweet, sweet relief

    Ever have a 20-hour-long headache?

    I started gettin a niggling little headache at about 11 last night. By 3 am, it was a full-blown head-banger. I was up and down til 7 or so when I finally gave up, called in sick and started in on the pain relievers in earnest.

    I'm still on "probation" at work, but wasn't too awfully worried about callin in. It's a reasonably "loose" job, as far as jobs go. It's nice to know that I won't be punished in some fashion for callin off bein forced into a double shift or working an extra day. It's really nice to know that it's not a "life and death" kinda job. Nobody gets hurt if I miss. Nobody hasta take on extra work to make up for me.

    Anywho, three ibuprofen. Nothin. Three Tylenol. Didn't even dent it. Found some leftover Vicodin of the Zigster's...might as well have taken a vitamin for all the good that did.

    I finally popped three aspirin and soaked in a scalding hot bath for about an hour. I might die from liver failure, but the damn headache's gone. And I'm really clean.

    When the headache was at it's worst, I said to Ziggy, "If you really loved me, you'd chop my head off."

    "Ok. I'll just run down to Ace and buy an axe."

    Hmmmm...maybe I oughta suggest some other method of proving his love. Seems like he was awful agreeable to that.

    Sunday, December 03, 2006

    Bad roads and nekkid men

    After bein snowed in for three full days, the Zigster and I decided that we'd make a trip to the local Seventh Circle of Hell. Motha Hubbard's cupboard was gettin preeeeetty darned bare.

    I'm sooooo glad I didn't wait until tomorrow to go get groceries by myself. Good gawd, the streets are still awful. The parkin lot at the grocery store was awful. The driveway outa our complex is awful. The streets are sorta clear, but have a thick layer of lumpy, bumpy ice that probably won't be meltin any time soon. And on top of that ice was a layer of was like tryin to drive on a damn logging road covered with jello.

    And I swear ta people forget how to drive when it gets nasty like this? Or are they just idiots? I don't know how many big, ole SUV's we saw just barreling down the street. Do those drivers have any clue that they're not invincible on streets like this? When it comes to shit like this, all bets are SUV isn't gonna be any less likely to slide outa control.

    In other news:

    I'm tellin ya...ya ain't lived until you've seen a nekkid man, clad ONLY in a pair of penny-loafers, with a flashlight that just happens to have a blue light, runnin around on the snow-covered patio, chasin a cat, cussin the whole time...

    "C'mere you little #%^#^@! You #%@^& CAT! C'MERE!"

    It's a long story. Ya hadda be there.


    Our Christmas tree is up. Which is part of the reason there was a nekkid man in loafers out on the snow-covered patio, runnin around, chasin a cat.

    Don't ask.

    Flip it

    Oh, the irony...

    Or maybe irony doesn't have anything to do with it.

    I'm a big fan of most of the decorating shows that are on HGTV. Decorating and remodeling homes on a budget is what I used to be all about, but some of the things they do on these shows is just plain...stupid. Like painting a ceiling after they paint the walls. Uh...excuse me? Anybody with any brains knows ya paint the ceiling first. That way, if the paint splatters on the walls (and rest assured, it will) you don't hafta go back and touch up the walls.


    But I digress. A little.

    Just this morning, I was watching one of those shows..dunno which one, but it was basically realtors coming in and doing appraisals of people's homes. I told Ziggy that I wished I was ten years younger...I'd go into the "flippin" business again. Ya know? Buy up crappy, cheap houses and throw a little sweat equity into 'em and resell. The ex and I did this (very successfully, I might add) a couple-three times and I was hooked.

    I mean, it just amazes me that most people have no imagination whatsoever when they look at a house...they simply can't "see" what it could be with a little work. Sometimes, very little work. Lemme tell ya...a good cleaning and a couple cans of paint can do wonders, but people just can't see it.

    Aaaanywho, I'd absolutely love to get into this again but physically, I'm not so sure I could do it. So after I said all this, I'm readin my horoscope:

    September 22 - October 22
    Are you buying a new home or possibly investing in land, dear Libra? If so, you couldn't have picked a better time to do it. Business dealings involving real estate of any kind show promise of being very profitable, so don't let doubt get in your way. Explore every possibility, consider all the pros and cons, and then, if it looks like it's going to work, go for it!

    Freaky, huh?

    Anybody got a cheap house I can buy?

    Saturday, December 02, 2006

    Censor THIS!

    Beheadings, dismemberments, gory hit and runs, horribly disfigured rednecks, Black Magic, gallons of blood, buckets of body parts, gratuitous sex...and that which they dare not show...

    Ziggy and I just caught
  • Monster Man
  • on the SciFi Channel.

    In all fairness, it's genre IS described as "comedy/horror". I wish I'd have known that before we watched it...I just thought it was a really bad horror flick that was accidentally funny.

    The premise was the usual. Two dudes, out on the road in the middle of nowhere on their way to a wedding. They meet up with and piss off the aforementioned horribly disfigured redneck driving a monster truck that looked like it was a prop left over from "Mad Max". A variety of particularly horrible paybacks ensue.

    As films of that genre go, I've gotta admit it really wasn't entirely awful. I've seen worse, anyway. It was however, very violent and gory. Very. I did say "very", didn't I?

    Of course, bein on the SciFi Channel, all the naughty words were bleeped...and there was a lotta bleepin goin on. But what really killed us was the fact that they digitized a guy's hand...flippin the bird.

    What the fuck is wrong with us as a society that showin a guy shovin a pencil into another guy's eyeball is A-ok? Showing a dude gettin cut in half is just peachy. But gawd forbid we show somebody givin somebody else the finger.

    What. The. Blue-eyed. Fuck?

    How the hell did it get so damned turned-around? I'd like to know just exactly who or what to blame for this stupid, idiotic, moronic, totally and completely twisted and distorted set of values.

    Gimme a name. I'll go shove a pencil in his eye. And then, just to be perverse, I'll give him the finger.

    Friday, December 01, 2006

    Snow birds

    Ok, so we were goin with a "Christmas in the Keys" theme on our tiki patio. We filled our planter boxes with a mixture of cut greens and stuck the flamingos in. I even found some pink twinkle lights to thread amongst the greenery.

    And then... looks like I'm gettin what I wished for...eight inches.

    I guess I should be more specific when I make a wish, huh?

    I haven't seen this many closures due to weather in...oh...I don't know how long. Oh, all the schools...that's a given. But, gas stations? Beauty parlors? Banks? Doctor's offices? Bradley University? The courthouse? The city! Uh huh...the City of Peoria is closed today. Well, the city building, anyway. Hell, even Peoria's mass transit is shut down.

    I've gotta admit, it's a disgusting kinda way. I'd be even more disgusted if I hadda get out in this mess. But I don't. My office is closed, too! Yippeeeeee! A snow day!