Monday, July 19, 2010

Tales From My Crypt

Blame The Damn Merry Munchkin, Mitch

We finally purchased a second vehicle. Namely, my vehicle. I started off interested in a Cadillac, was horrified by the annual license plate fee (in the neighborhood of $500) and quickly lost all interest in a Cadillac. Besides, am I that much of an old lady? I get my first Cadillac at 44? Such a cliche.

Instead, I got a kick ass VW Wolfsburg Edition Jetta. It's fast, it's nimble, it's sporty but high end and I fly completely under the radar. Of course, the first thing I did was ask Martin to put on my Death Hag sticker.

My car is a 2007; my plates still cost nearly $400, more than a monthly car payment. Apparently, The Damn Merry Munchkin did something to lower property taxes but raised plate fees. I didn't read the whole scenario, my eyes were rolling so much I was afraid they would roll right out of my noggin. I admit, I'm not as well-versed in Indiana politics as I should be. Maybe this wasn't even The Damn Merry Munchkin's idea, but everything I've read about his policies, I think exactly the opposite and I just dislike the guy so he makes an easy target. Besides, from what I've seen, it's just like something he would do.

I thought I was getting shoes for my birthday, but instead I'm getting license plates. Ain't that grand? I'm so responsible. Twenty years ago, I would have been artistic with the white-out and milked that temporary tag til the tape curled and it fell off the back window and just bought the damn shoes.


We've been getting a lot of calls lately that show up on the caller I.D. as IN ST FOP which I can figure out is the Indiana State Fraternal Order of Police, looking for money. I'd already told them no a few months ago, I'm sketpical if this is the legitimate thing, but I guess they thought they'd try the pond again. Finally, I shoved the phone at Martin and told him to take care of it. I hear him telling the person on the other end that yes, his wife made a donation just last week, by golly!

When he hung up, I asked him, "Did you just lie to the state police?"

Martin said, "Yes, I did, I wanted to get him of the phone, I'm trying to watch Futurama and play Children of The Nile." (Geek.)

Mia: "You lied to the POLICE?!?", clearly agog with this news.

Me: "Your turn to explain."

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Growing Into The Bitch

I'm going to be 44 next month, as Martin keeps reminding me. He has been saying this since January, which, okay, but really, I don't need to hear it in the various versions of "Well, in seven months, you'll be 44!" I keep reminding him, it's not until July.

This has become my Year of the Bitch.

It's rather glorious.

I no longer have patience for bullshit in any of it's forms. You tell me I owe something, I know I've paid it, I'm not making one iota of effort to prove it; your dumb ass will figure it out sooner or later. If you can't smile at me or say hello when I come into your store or go through your check-out line, don't expect me to do anything other than roll my eyes and shake my head at you; if you didn't want to be a cashier at Kroger's, why didn't you get off your ass and reach for something else? And guess what? Lots of the cashiers who's lines I go through regularly, they like their jobs, they like the people, the regulars. It's a pleasant moment for me as well and that's why I go there. Dumb ass.

I'm not a Republican anymore and I haven't been for a long time. I do not intend to return to the tub of grape Flav-R-Ade anytime soon. If I was any more liberal, I'd cross into Granola Territory, and trust me, I'm not going there anytime soon; I enjoy shaving my legs and wearing cute leather shoes and steak is always on my menu, baby.

If you are conservative, well, if we like each other, we just won't talk politics because if we do, if you bring up Sarah Palin for any reason whatsoever, I will instantly dismiss and never take your intellect seriously anymore. That's okay, though; you will think the same of me. In that, we must agree to disagree. That doesn't mean I hate you; it just means we can respect each others choice to agree to disagree and that's part of what being a grown up is all about. Respect for those who are different from you, no matter the way.

My last ex was such a Rapid Republican; I can't help but laugh at myself in those days; I was brainwashed, stupid, trained to ignore hypocrisy, and just generally deluded. When I re-discovered my own opinion, it was rainbows and unicorns to my heart.

I was a Stepford Wife, but it helped me to grow into The Bitch.

This is what I am and what and who I suspect I will be forevermore. People tend to either love me to death or hate me and wish death upon me. I can respect that.

Just realized it's late on a school night for me. Remember when your mom made you go to bed at some ridiculously early hour when it was still daylight and other kids were still out riding their bikes? I do that to Mia now. Meanest Mommy on Earth; just ask her. I try to be the same way about work nights; i.e. those evenings before the days I work. A good nights sleep, which I rarely seem to achieve, and a good pair of shoes, is making a difference in my energy level.

I'm tired and we'll go with the next saga in my very lackluster but embracing the Bitch story of my life.

Not enough hours in the day today.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Working For A Living

Sometimes, fate does smile on me. Not often, but enough to keep me hopeful.

I found a new job. I've been applying to everything I've been remotely qualified for, in addition to filling out online applications to every place I drive by. Nearly all of the Craigs List jobs seem to be scams, making you pull a recent credit report or background check for a job that doesn't exist. Because you know, there is nothing quite so noble as preying on the unemployed. I've applied to everything in the Indy Star, which uses Career Builder, and everyhing on the Indiana Career Connect site. Indiana Career Connect has commericals nearly as annoying as those for Don's Guns.

One of the places I applied to online was a chain of local smoke shops. Since I'd sent approximately 4392 resumes at that point, I was on auto-pilot and instead of clicking on my resume to send, I clicked on a picture of Martin and I that was saved under a title very close to my resume's. Instead of thinking I was a big dunderhead, the lady I sent it to thought it was funny and asked me to resend my resume.

When she finally got my resume, she sent me an email saying she was forwarding it onto the manager of their Indy distribution center. So, now I have a job.

We sell cigarettes, tobacco products, candy and novelties, in quantity. It's not open to the public. We have some real characters for customers and the neighborhood itself is sketchy, in an Indy sort of way, i.e. only Ypsilanti sketchy. Since my co-workers have been there for years and the customers have been coming there for years, a lot of trash talk fills the air. I can trash talk with the best, and when I told one customer who came in with a big bag of change that we didn't take change on Thursdays, he promptly told me, "I'll be back with green" and walked back out to his car. I had to chase him down and tell him I was only kidding.

Eventually, I will be handling the daily reports, payroll and other paperwork. Right now, I'm learning how it works by stocking, running orders and doing whatever needs to be done.

I like it. I feel like I'm a good fit with my co-workers. We close at 4 so I'm usually out no later than 4:30. It's not too far from home, although the transportation thing is a huge pain in my ass since Martin's job is in the other direction and I'm driving a good 40 minutes each way. We're trying to solve that problem with purchasing a second car. I've been exhausted every evening; I'm not used to being on my feet all day. That problem is hopefully solved with the new pair of kicks I got yesterday.

The in-laws came for a visit this week-end, but that's a blog for another day.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Little Miss Independent

Pretty soon, my precocious daughter will be telling us that she's got a job and a car and her own place. It's very funny, though, to be getting your marching orders from a three foot tall, six-and-a-half year old who knows everything. She loves to boss people around. Martin and I often wonder how we've survived this long without Mia's guidance, because clearly, we are incompetent. Just ask her.

I pity the man who falls for our Mia because she's going to run him like well-oiled machine and he'd better hop to it.

She doesn't have to be on the school bus until 7:30 but she's still up at the butt crack of dawn. In fact, who needs an alarm clock, with Mia around? I'm often asked, at 6 a.m., "Mommy, do these earrings match my outfit?"

Lately, she's taken to preparing coffee for Martin and tea for me in the mornings. She loads up the coffee pot and microwaves water for my tea. I came downstairs one morning to find a hot cup of tea steeping on the counter and when I asked Martin, "Did you make me tea?!?" (he hasn't in years, other than when I've been deathly ill), Mia very firmly set me straight: "NO, Mommy, I did. The lemon kind, your favorite."

She loves to pick out clothes and shoes for both of us. If I dressed in what Mia picked out for me, I would look like an insane collage of every conceivable shade of pink or purple (or both!) of sequins, feathers, ruffles, and flowers. I would always look like I was on my way some sort of Pink and Purple Cosmic Disco, where no doubt unicorns jump over pink and purple rainbows. She is past the point of dressing herself like a blind bag lady and is now onto cute. Everything must be cute. If it's shiny and pouffy, it's that much cuter.

When she spots something she particularly likes, she almost squeals. "Oh Mommy! Loooook at these shoes!"

Atta girl.

If Mia weren't such a sweet little girl, I suspect she'd be a big pain in the ass. She never says anything in a mean way, she just knows that she knows better than you and is happy to pass her knowledge along. I worried about Mia going to school; I was afraid she'd end up being such a goody-goody, the other kids would give her a hard time. It can be tough living with Cindy Brady. Everyone loves Mia, though. She's always happy and truly just wants to be everyone's friend.

I'm so very proud of our girl.

Friday, May 7, 2010


This new job I have, that I like so much? The hours are perfect, the pay is just right, my responsibility is at the level that justifies all this; I like the people I work with and it's a positive, relaxed atmosphere with the right attitude.

I got "Let Go" today. I haven't had that happen since I was working at O'Connors Deli, long since gone, in Brighton, MI. O'Connors had the bonus of a drive-thru window, although you did have to go inside to buy booze. When I worked at O'Connors, it was for a summer, their busiest season. Everyone hired knew that we were gone the first week of August. It was a job with a finite ending.

There's a sucker born every minute and if it seems to good to be true, it probably is.

Or, it could just be me.

Three people were hired when one job was advertised. I think the Boss Lady liked three applicants very much and made an impulsive decision to hire all three of us. I think, after three weeks, I was the most expendable. I'm fairly certain that financially, I cost as much as each of the other two did for full time work while I was working part-time.

I'm guessing she thought she could sit me in front of a computer with a minimum of training and I would just do it. It was as much as admitted in the bye-bye speech that she didn't have the time to sit down with me and train me and she had to go back and correct my mistakes.

I was also told to freely use them as a reference and that they liked having me there, but it just wasn't working. I was even given a couple leads.

To my mortification, I cried.
I didn't sob, or snivel, or anything like that. I just shed a few tears once I realized what was going on.

I sometimes feel like ">Kate Bush just running up that hill.

My paycheck was going to help us toward a big-ass down payment on a house and then, once we cut our housing costs by a couple, three hundred a month, mortgage vs. renting, it was time for a car for me.

And it probably was me. As my Gran used to say, I got too big for my britches. I was too happy. I still had my troubles, but I was dealing with them much better and I was proud to add to our family income. It boosted my always fragile ego tremendously and my self-confidence was higher than it's been in a decade. I had a light in my eyes and glowed, and it wasn't only the spray-tan.

I was told that it wasn't anything to do with me, not to take it personally; I was even given job suggestions with free use of their name.

It's hard not to take it personally.

I'm trying really hard to not let this be a spiral down into the deep depression. I don't like sleeping on the couch all day and on the verge of tears constantly. I know Martin is very worried about me because he keeps hugging me (I am NOT into hugs unless I am mucn more miserable and needy) and telling me to not worry about it til Monday.

Did I mention that I cried? And I am mortified that I did?

Maybe I'm just too far out of the game and too far out of touch. Maybe I'm too old. Maybe I'm just not meant to do this work thing anymore. The time I spent with Mia was diminished by more than half. The time I spent on my house was nearly non-existent. Both Bennie and Luna were quite put out with their Momma gone. If I'm not meant to earn a regular paycheck, I still need some sense of a worthwhile purpose which includes a paycheck.

I'm hurt. My ego and self-confidence are totally shot, again. Filled with doubt, and twitches, here I am.

I'm really tired of making lemonade.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Lunch At The Airport

It's really not that strange that Martin chose to take Mia and I to lunch yesterday at the airport. He works for a company that is located on the campus. I make four round-trips to the airport every day now that I am working. (And yes, that is getting really old really fast, the driving part; I like the working part.)

The Indy Airport is really quite impressive. It's all shiny and new and features that cool moderne vibe that I love. The airport boasts some really interesting art (the breathing sculptures, which are red and look something like bellows) and some very la di da shops and restaurants. Did I mention it's all shiny and brand new?

We ate at the Indy 500 restaurant there. Unfortunately, they don't seem to have a website. The food is awesome, the Cosmos are to die for, although they should bloody well be, at ten bucks a pop in an over sized thimble of a glass. Mia had chicken tenders (I realize that this is a huge shock to everyone who knows Mia), Martin had a pork stacker sandwich and I had a wonderful tomato and bleu cheese salad with mustard vinaigrette dressing and homemade crostini.

The best part of lunch at the airport, of course, is the people-watching. At the same restaurant as we were, there was a girl who can best be descried as (to paraphrase a great Glee line) looking like she was taking her fashion tips from Lindsey Lohan, who looks like she belongs in The Hobbit. Said girl had on a tee-shirt dress, lavender tied died. I use the word "dress" optimistically; it was really a long tee shirt and all the world was her gynecologist. For footwear, she chose square-toed motorcycle boots. This spectacular display of Fug was topped with stringy, unwashed over dyed black hair and a John Deere trucker cap. I shit you not.

I really wanted to get a picture, but there was no way of doing so without being very obvious and she was kind of scary looking (or just really dangerously hungover) and I didn't think it would be good idea. I wasn't in the mood to be spat upon.

I finally bought a new bag this week-end. I originally wanted a shiny purple one, but I decided to be practical and buy a black one. It's HUGE and I love it. Where the rule used to be, "She who has the biggest earrings wins", the new mantra is "She who has the biggest, coolest bag, wins." I may not be the winner, but at least I'm in the running.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Puppy Love

We made an incredibly quick trip to the Mitten yesterday. We had planned on going up for the week-end a few weeks back, but it didn't work out. Martin's dad was very disappointed, so he gave Martin a ticket on the Guilty Train and off we went.

They have a new Boxer puppy, nine weeks old. His name is Willem and he is adorable, as you can see. Willem is going to be a big boy. He already weighs twice as much as my pocket Pom and is twice her size.

I'm a dog magnet. Nearly every dog I meet loves me. Every dog Martin and I have ever owned has become my dog. I'm their mommy. Willem was no different. My dogs were pretty pissed when we got home and from my smell of puppy, it was obvious I'd been cheating on them.


I'm reading Kitty Kelly's latest book, Oprah.
(Note: I got mine at Target for a lot less.) I've never watched a lot of Oprah's show, but of course, I'm familiar with her story and her works. The book is explosive. The best way I can describe the revelations in the book is that Oprah has distorted several facts of her life and is not the transparent person that she presents herself to be. Also, it is not a good idea to make the O mad; she went sixteen years without talking to David Letterman after he pissed her off on his show. That is just one example of her ability to neither forgive, nor forget, and her power. The sheer power of the woman is incredible. Sometimes, she does use that power for good.

I quite like my new job. No one there is crazy. I've worked in some interesting places. One job, the boss was a complete paranoid loon; he kept a loaded gun in his desk and was just off

At another job at a car dealership, one of the salesmen was arrested in Detroit for soliciting a prostitute. His demo was impounded. When the demo was picked up, there was a very large woman's shoe (bronze leather mid-heel open toe pump, an 11 at least, which makes you wonder which waters the above mentioned salesman was trolling) under the seat, along with an empty bottle of vodka.

I worked for a company that scammed poor people out of their money under the guise of repairing their credit. We ran commercials about our "services" and people called an 800 number that directed them to a 900 number that charged $3.95 a minute to take a "credit app" from them then turned them over to "underwriting", which then directed them to a finance company in their area that might give them a loan. I have a feeling this is operating again, or at least a good imitation, since I've seen commercials that are eerily similar. That boss was fairly paranoid, as well.

Boss The Father at one place I worked was a nasty dry drunk, one of the worst I've ever seen. I'd worked there about a week when a delivery guy was dropping off a rebuilt engine that Boss The Father was overcharged for. He went berserk on the poor driver, who took off in a blaze of dust and called 911, which prompted the cops to come out, where BTF ranted at them as well.

It's nice to have a job, and it's nice that it's normal.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Welcome To The Working Week

So I got a job. It's in an office setting, doing the type of work I've done in the past. I'm excited.

I will lose my daytime tv, though, which means I will miss such shows as Unsolved Mysteries, which I've been watching every morning on Spike. Its no surprise that I love that show; it's exactly the type of show my mom and I would have watched together. The host, Dennis Farina, is perfect; his voice always has that tinge of suspicion, like you know he doesn't really believe what this so-called witness is blathering about. I love it when it veers off into Fate magazine territory, as well. On those segments, he sounds completely convinced that the person relaying these incidences is absolutely credible, while whatever authorities involved are obviously part of a huge cover-up. My mom had a subscription to Fate for years and years, along with the National Enquirer. She called them her scandal sheets and hid them when people were coming over.

Yesterday was Martin's fortieth birthday. We went to dinner at the Macaroni Grill, Martin's choice, where Mia took our picture. (I photograph so badly; I always feel like I should say, "You know, I'm a lot cuter in real life.") Our waiter was a hoot but the food was pricey for what it was, which was ehhh. Nothing great, just okay. I'll take Buca di Beppo anyday.

Tomorrow, Martin has the day off and I had to coerce him into spending the day doing all our week-end running around. He wanted to go hide in the Train Cave and work on his choo-choo but I convinced him that he can do that all day Saturday and Sunday.

Only in the D.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Notes From The Bat Cave

The Easter Bunny is the lesser of the childhood mythical deities. He's above the tooth fairy somewhat (after all, he does bring candy) but much farther down the rung than Santa, who is, you know, the Grand Poobah of all childhood mythical deities.

The Easter Bunny brings Barbies to my house. This year, Barbie almost smothered in her basket, wired tightly into her pink convertible, wrapped in 6000 yards of pink cellophane but thankfully none of that shredded grass. She was buried in various candy products, and it had been a rough hop in that basket. Mia had helpfully drawn a huge Easter Egg on our sidewalk that had an arrow pointing to our door, in case the Easter Bunny had been hitting the Bloody Marys, pregaming for Easter Lunch and might have missed us.


I wasn't sad to see Michigan State lose to Butler; I was mad. The Spartans did not bring their best game to Indy. However, I was thrilled for Butler; that's what March Madness is all about. Who had ever hear of Gongaza before they suddenly showed up during Sweet Sixteen all those years ago? Lehigh made it to the dance, LEHIGH. There's always lots of nail biters, hearbreakers and big surprises.


Martin's turning forty this week. He's already an avid model railroader and has asked me to start buying the "special" ice cream; next, he'll have to be careful not to poop his pants when he sneezes, since he's old now.


I had a job interview last Thursday, my first in over three years. I had a second interview today, and start with an orientation next Monday.

Friday, March 19, 2010

How's That Working Out For You?

I was going to make this big effort to crawl back into the land of technology and also try to write every day, starting with this, right? Yeah, well, we can tell how that worked out. Good intentions, blah blah blah.

I have, however, been making use of the lovely red leather Franklin Covey planner my father-in-law got me for Christmas. I have a big page for each day, so I write down things that I've done, things that I want to get done, the weather, what we had for dinner, what book I'm reading. And I write down various writing prompts as I think of them.

I just haven't actually used them to write anything yet.

I've had the windows open and to let the house air out. I've done the spring cleaning and it feels good to see the sunshine and smell the spring sneaking up.

Of course, there are other ways to welcome the Ides of March.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Saturday, In The Park

Well, it is Saturday, although we didn't really get near a park, unless you count driving by a park. It's gloomy and gray outside, spitting rain, but fairly warm. It's spring in the Hoosier State.

Instead, we went to Michael's and Wal-Mart. Good times, good times, kids. Martin got lots of goodies for his train layout, which he is embarking on in earnest. This is on N scale, if that means anything to anyone (i.e. pretty small). You can watch his progress here. Some of the stuff on the end is screen shots from some game he plays but the video on there shows what he's up to now.

Model railroading is dorky yet strangely quaint and cute. Martin tips the scales considerably on the "normal" scale compared to some of his fellow model train enthusiasts who tip the scale on "pretty damn weird in more than one way."

I love my Crock Pot. I made a pork roast with potatoes today. It was totally lazy cooking. I bought the Hormel pork roast and Green Giant roasted potatoes with herb and garlic sauce. I put the roast in the Crock Pot with some Chop House flavored marinade, turned it on high for 3 hours, then added the frozen potatoes and a jar or Heinz pork gravy and some frozen green beans. I am so lazy. Who cares, though, it came out very tasty and Martin will have pork sandwiches for lunch this week.

That's the week-end so far. A glamorous middle age I am living, no?

Friday, March 12, 2010


Luddite: According to the Google online dictionary, to call someone a Luddite is to criticize them for opposing changes in industrial methods, especially the introduction of new machines and modern methods. 

I've been acting like a Luddite lately, it's true.  I've gone two and three days in a row without checking my email or even turning on my computer.  I decided to avoid the lure of the mindless joy found on the Internet.  I haven't been reading anything other than Vanity Fair, and even that with mild disinterest.  Even though I had a very high score and 118 badges in Shape Shifter, I haven't written a word in months.  I've barely even blogged.  My house wasn't up to the standards I wanted it to be, but I spent plenty of time reading about dead celebrities, fooling around on Facebook, and in general, doing a whole lot of nothing.

I thought a lot about how much of ourselves is easily accessible online.  How much of me is out there, because I've been around a long time online.  It kind of creeped me out. I've been thinking about taking this thing private.

I made a conscious choice to to take a few steps away from the Internet.

When we got our income tax refund, I ordered a stack of books I've been wanting to read from Amazon and also had a brief spree in Half-Price Books.  I've read:

In The Name of Love; Ann Rule
Pretty typical of her true crime files books; interesting cases; think I'm getting Ann Ruled out.

The Best American Crime Reporting 2009; edited by Jeffrey Toobin et al
These have come out every year for several years and are always a great read.

On Writing; Stephen King
  My second copy of this book; I loaned the first to someone (I've forgotten who) and never gotten it back, which is quite all right.  It's the Bible for Writing for me.

Too Much Money; Dominick Dunne
 I didn't want it to end.  I adored Mr. Dunne and savored everything he's ever written.  Great dish; the characters are easily recognized as their true life counterparts; the ending, alas, isn't up to his usual.

Half Broke Horses; Jeannette Walls
Her second memoir, this one a "true life novel", whatever that means.  She's a lively, wonderful storyteller.  I look forward to more of her writing.

Methland; Nick Reading
About a small town in Iowa that is devastated by meth.  Not a happy read but well written and topical.

The Innocent Man; John Grisham 
 His first non-fiction and it's full of Grisham-isms like heavy sarcasm done well and perfectly chosen adjectives and a conflict on every page.  I'm in the middle and so far, it's really pissing me off.  One of those cases of "You Are Just Plain Effed" justice, like the disappearance of Adrianna and Jennifer Wix or the case of David Camm. 

I've also watched a few movies, some good, some awful.  Stay away, in particular, from the snooze fest of Australia.  I kept getting up throughout it, doing chores and coming back and asking, "Isn't this dirge over yet?" and no, no it wasn't because it's about 4 hours long and nothing at all happens.  Even cute Hugh Jackman doesn't make it watchable and he's one of those guys that I generally want to see in anything, even a toothpaste commercial, and I'd still think he was handsome.  Although I do fear he may be short.

Speaking of which, (handsome actors, not short ones) I can't wait to see Andy Garcia on the Martha Stewart show.  I've actually watched Martha a couple times lately, and it's unintentionally hilarious.  She's so snooty and superior and when she tries to be funny, she just sounds like some over bred WASP-y condensending type with a stick up her ass. She's not warm or maternal at all and let's be real, the only reason why she has time to do all those stupid crafts is because she obviously has live-in help. Can you seriously picture her loading her dishwasher and picking up dog poop? Well, she did start a trend by knitting ugly shawls in prison, so I guess it's possible. She was giving away some really "amazing", as she said, trips yesterday but she's just such a snot and so anal and perfect. She packs a lunch when she flies, a little insulated carry-on of potato/ bean salad and tabbouleh that she whips up the night before her trip and puts them in Chinese carry-out containers that fit so nicely in her insulated carry-on lunch bag for those 26 hour flights to Bangkok.  Oh, and the bean/potato salad had tuna in it, which she assured her audience wouldn't smell and offend other passengers since it was Italian tuna. Who does that sort of shit? Seriously? If we take a road trip, my family is happy if I pack a couple sandwiches and some chips and remember some juice boxes; you can bet if we fly anywhere they will be happy to get plane pretzels and lukewarm 7 UP or maybe if Mom is really on the ball, a piece of fruit. Martha's guests all were yakking it up about their favorite places to travel to and it was Galapagos, climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, some country in Asia that starts with a B I'd never even heard of, that sort of thing. 

I guess I'm just not in her demographic because these days, I'm pretty happy to get back to the Mitten a couple times a year.  And the night before my trip to anywhere, I certainly wouldn't be in the kitchen mucking around, except to finish off that bottle of wine before we leave.  I'd be running around like a lunatic throwing crap in suitcases, like any normal person would be.

I finally broke down and went to get my eyes checked.  I knew they'd gone way wrong recently because I was a having a really hard time seeing to read anything and it was damn annoying.  Welcome to the wonderful world of bifocals.  I have new glasses, no line bifocals, and while it's wonderful I can see so well, I'm not knocked out by the frames.  Choices in frames tend to be limited when you want the ultra light lenses, and no line bifocals.  Or you know, you can wear Coke bottles with huge magnified parts on the bottom that weigh about five pounds.  I am so grateful glasses have come so far.  I can even get contacts to fix this, which I'm just waiting for. 

I think I'm out of my complete Luddite phase, which let's face it, wasn't a total cutoff, I snuck peeks of my email on my phone and read the news and kept up with a few blogs but I know I'm an addict and I accept that.  Cutting down makes me feel like I got a lot accomplished.  My house is looking much more like the way I want it to and I did a fierce de-clutter on our bedroom and got new linens. It was nice to take naps and watch Cold Case Files and bad On Demand movies. I've missed reading, getting lost in a book. It feels good writing this, I feel inspired after reading some fine writing. 

I'm setting a certain goal for myself as far as writing and a part of that, is to start writing something here every day for at least a month.  I need to get back in the habit of writing everyday and this is a good baby step to start with.

* You will note that I didn't link stuff in here I could have.  I'm too lazy and I figure if you really want to find that stuff, you are perfectly capable of using Google all by yourself.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Romance Is Lost On Me

I appreciate it in other's lives, but in my own? Not so much. My dear friend Tiffany's sister's birthday is this evening and in addition to celebrating that, her boyfriend will be proposing, and she has no idea. He went to Build-A-Bear and built one or got one or whatever you do at Build-A-Bear, the bear you can record something and press the bear's paw and it will replay. He's recorded his marriage proposal and after handing her the bear and getting down on one knee, will tell her to squeeze the paw.

The "Awwwww" factor is overwhelming and so so sweet.

If Martin, however, had proposed to me in such a manner, I would have had to decline based solely on the fact that he went to Build-A-Bear and imagined in some way that I would appreciate that. It would be a blatant sign that he didn't know me at all.

Instead, Martin has ordered me a pink Ed Gein tee-shirt for Valentine's Day. I'm pretty happy about that; my husband knows me well.

I've never embraced romantic gestures. My last ex, when we were financially comfortable, used to buy me a gift every Friday. He worked hard on it, probably to make up for the normal everyday shit he put me through. Ninety per cent of time, I'd look at the gift, say, "Thank you," and set it aside. Buying me slutty underwear, ugly jewelry and clothes I would never wear doesn't do it for me. Chocolate, particularly Godiva, is always a win-win situation, though.

One time, he got me an outfit. It was a pair of navy blue long Bermuda like shorts; wool; a blazer to match, with those stupid brass buttons and a navy blue and beige blouse. I actually wore this atrocity, with off white hose and navy blue flats, a couple of times, before "I lost it at the dry cleaner." I don't think I have ever in my life pretended to be Muffy Worthington. Whole outfit and gesture was so not me.

We were planning on going to our favorite Mexican joint tomorrow so Martin can take his girls out for Valentine's Day but instead, I think we will be staying home and having lasagna hopefully with Tiffany and Timothy. I may not be a huggy kissy type, except with my kids, but cooking,to me,is love.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

So Say We All *

I am not a big science fiction fan. Generally, whenever I realize that there is a spaceship involved, I instantly lose interest.

Martin, being the geek that he is, loves it. He started watching the revamped Battlestar Galactica when it first aired. Since it involved spaceships, I paid no attention. He recently decided to re watch the entire new series from beginning to end.

Some of it creeped in and I got interested. Not because it involves spaceships, but because it has an intricate, interesting story. It involves sociology, culture, politics, religion, courage, and tolerance.

The characters are well-developed and complex, with lots of back story. There's a bit of romance and lots of action and adventure thrown in. Good guys turn out to be villains and villains turn out to be good guys. When Martin started watching it, I declared it The Soap Opera On The Spaceship, but it's not at all. Any student of history will find it fascinating.

So yeah, that's where I've been.

* "So say we all" is the Battlestar Galactica catchphrase, much as Capatin Picard, aboard the Enterprise during the Next Generation, used "Make it so."

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A Sea of Blue, An Ode to Indy

Did you hear, the Colts won? Being as lame as I am, I fell asleep. Am I turning into a middle-aged fat guy? I didn't even have a beer.

The enthusiasm for the Colts is heartwarming, and contagious. I've resisted buying a jersey or hoodie because I'm cheap and they start at about 30 bucks. They do not go on sale, let alone clearance, ever. I'm just going to have to break down and fork it over. The Colts are not only a great team, they do a lot for Indy, in many positive ways. The least I can do is give them part of thirty bucks.

I'm really very happy in Indy; who could have predicted that one? Out of all the places on the map we stuck proverbial pins into, I would not have put Indy in the top five for I Can Tolerate Anything. It turns out that I really love it here. It's got that mixture of the blue and white collar vibe I fit into so well.

I like not knowing everyone and their brother here though, and the history behind every building. The only people who know I used to be a Republican here are the ones I tell. It's a shameful secret that I haven't always shared with everyone.

I like living in a city. I find it funny when people say parts of Indy are "bad". They are bad like Ypsilanti bad. Not very bad ass at all. Knock wood, I'm never fearful. That's not to say Indy is without violent crime; it just seems that the cops have a fair handle on it and it's not like a war zone.

There's so much to do, no matter what your age or background or interests. We've got art, we've got music, a zoo, sports, theatre, lots and lots of food. We Hoosiers like to eat out, and we've got every type of restuarant you can imagine. People are for the most part very nice and friendly and everyone really tries to get along. People don't think you're weird if you pass the time of day with them. It took me a while to get used to people I didn't know talking to me; I couldn't imagine why they would be.

Now, I sometimes talk to strangers. Me, socially awkward me.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Girly Stuff

I love makeup. I like trying new things, but I'm also picky and I'm not willing to spend a lot on makeup unless I know it's something I will use. I wear a mismatch of department store and drugstore makeup. I'm the same way with hair products and skin care.

I'm not any sort of expert, but I thought from time to time I would write about beauty products that I use. I'm always curious to know what other people use, their never-fail stuff.

I'm sure if I have any male readers, they are dozing off by now; that's fine guys, see you in a couple days. Sometimes I feel badly that more people don't read my blog, like I'm not funny or interesting. Other times, I like it that I'm under the radar. I feel more comfortable, I guess.


Deeply Violet *

It's taken me a long time to get my nails in decent shape. I wore acrylics for at least ten years. If I take care of my nails, they can look nice. I use Sally Hansen Hard As Nails original formula or Opi Nail Envy. I like wearing color on my nails lately. This is Sally Hansen Diamond Strength in Deeply Violet. I've been wearing it pretty much since I got it. I love the color and it wears pretty well, touch up every other day or so. It is thick, though, and requires careful application. That's kind of a pain, but the color is really great.

A Brighter Me

I have dark circles under my eyes. They drive me crazy. I've used everything on them. Clinque All About Eyes worked for a long time. I tried Hydrozolyne, which I had high hopes for. They really sold me on that stuff. Not impressed.

I've been using the Physician's Formula for about a month now. It's heavy, you have to really blend, and it dries quickly. It does cover well, and it does seem like my dark circles are lessening.

I haven't tanned since laying out by the pool in mid-September. You can do that in Indiana in mid-September.

I think my tanning days may be over. Except for the spray-on or other sunless type.

Winter Splash

I went into Bath & Body Works to get a gift for a friend's birthday. They were having a huge clearance sale. Some stuff was even 90% off. I got this body splash, which is actually a spray. It's a huge bottle, ten ounces. I have a hard time with scents; florals smell terrible on me. I've worn Clinque Aromatic Elixir for years but I'm pretty tired of it. It's rare that I find anything I like enough to wear more than once other than the Aromatic Elixir.

This is light, yet not sweet or flowery at all. It's described as "A vibrant, winter-inspired blend of citrus, mint, iced pear sorbet and blonde woods." It smells citrusy and fresh and green to me. I quite like it. Original price? $19.50. My price? $2.90. I'm sure once this bottle is gone, it won't be around anymore, but I'll enjoy it while I can.

*I originally typed that as "Deeply Violent." That's kind of a Goth sort of nail polish name.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

All The Little Chicks With Crimson Lips

Indy needs to make a new tourism commercial. Instead of singing, "Cleveland Rocks," the lyrics change to "Indy Rocks" and it has "famous" Hoosiers featured. They could get Peyton Manning, that mysterious and spooky Greg Ballard, Not My Man Mitch, (wouldn't you pay to see those two act silly for the good of our fair state, and not in their political beliefs?), the Playboy chick and her cute Colts husband; some Colts fans all decked out at a game like the Indians fans in the video; Garfield, Bobby Knight (although I doubt he'd do it) and Larry Bird, John Mellencamp. They could film at Lucas Oil Stadium, the zoo, the Children's Museum and the Art Museum. Show the Pyramids and downtown, Mug & Bun, The Union Jack and the War Memorial, and of course, I hear there is a Speedway around here and why not get Sarah Fisher and Helio to jam out a little?

At the end, instead of shouting "OHIO!", obviously, "INDIANA" would be substituted.

I'm fairly sure I read that Indy is trying for an influx of dollars as a destination place. Other than the annual Future Farmers of America convention (get those kids in on the act as well!). Aren't they angling for some sort of soccer tournament? I think that commercial would make Indy look hip, which it is, in its quiet Midwestern sort of way.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Friday Fry Up

The Brit is fond of fry ups; me, not so much. In fact, I won't eat it, and prefer he cooks them when I am not home. A fry up happens when you throw all your leftovers into a pan, usually with eggs, and fry it up. I am terrible with titles and since I'm goint to write about a mish-mash of things, I thought fry up worked well for the alliteration value at the least.

The Debate Begins

Martin and I came to the decision that Indianapolis will be our home unless something extremely dramatic happens, i.e., he gets a huge promotion to a tropical locale or we hit the Hoosier Lotto. Which, at the pinnacle of irony, if we ever do hit the Hoosier Lotto, the first thing we would do is move out of the Hoosier state to a tropical locale.

Part of setting down roots is buying a home. Our goal is loosely set within the next year. There are a lot of options we can use financially that make it silly not to buy, even though we don't have anything close to a good down payment. Good for us, and the overall resettling of the middle class.

Already, we are disagreeing on what we want. I hate the cookie cutter subdivisions, known as "additions" or "vinyl villages" here. I loathe them. The idea of living in one sometimes makes me want to cry. When Martin sent me a link to a robin's egg blue member of a vast vinyl village, I actually got tears. The decor on the inside, which I realize is easily remedied but still difficult to get past, looked like Laura Ashely threw up. Any kind of surface that could have had a big ass flower or a precious tiny flower print of some sort on it, did. Why, people, why???

I'm all about a house with some character and unique charm. I love the mid-century modern style, anything modern for that matter. There are very few modern style homes I've been able to find that weren't way out of our price range, certainly no additions or villages of them, and although I love the MCM, which are fairly readily available here, most of the houses are in the area of fifty years old. We just aren't going down that road. We remodeled the house I grew up in, $17,000 over the budget we planned, and then it started to fall apart. Including three incidents of flooding in our finished basement. Which as part of that $17,000 overage, included an $8,000 repair to fix the leaking basement. Nope, not buying something that requires walls torn out or a new roof. I can handle tearing down wallpaper, tearing up carpet and painting, but nothing that requires a sledgehammer.

I understand the appeal of a new house. All the upgrades, wired for anything, big rooms, enough bathrooms and generally good use of space. The roof isn't going to fall off, the furnace isn't from 1970 and neither are the kitchen cabinets and the 14 layers of wallpaper.

The trick is going to be finding something that will suit what both of us want. A newer home that has some unique features and style. I pity the agent who ends up with us. I talked to one yesterday, and explained the situation; she sounded confident and up for the challenge, so I'm willing to give her a shot when the time comes.

The Christmas Underoo Bomber

Maybe I'm missing something. I've been following this story, and I'm a little confused. Why is no one getting all pissed off at Nigeria or Amsterdam about this guy? To paraphrase some of what Jon Stewart had to say and throw in my own ideas, he was coming from Nigeria, going through Amsterdam, had only a shoulder carry on and no luggage or coat, and paid cash for his one way ticket to Detroit. What was he going to do in Detroit? Start a new life? Look for a job? Why is all the blame falling solely on us? Regardless of whatever intelligence the U.S. may have had on him, none of those other things raised any sort of alert anywhere down the line? REALLY?

I also find it funny, that a passenger of the flight, when he figured out what The Christmas Underoo Bomber was up to, allegedly knocked the shit out of him. Like it's not bad enough you're ending up in Detroit, you have to deal with this joker?

It's All About The Hair

I am failing an innate duty to my daughter. Her hair is not beautiful and it should be, because she is a beautiful little girl, inside and out. I've tried to do her hair myself. She's not had great experiences getting her hair professionally done. The last time, Martin actually took her instead of me, thinking it would go better, and the stylist had some pretty negative things to say. In front of my daughter. About me and my care of her hair. In her defense, it was the Saturday before Mother's Day and it was very busy. In my defense, I had let her hair go a couple days, knowing she was getting it done. That still really soured me, at least on that salon. If she would have been kind, she would have been getting fifty bucks without fail every two weeks and I would have kissed her ass six ways until Tuesday.

I've tried with Mia's hair. I really have. It's been an ordeal for both Mia and me, no matter if I do it or someone else does. But we're getting her hair done professionally from now on and that's it. She deserves to look better than what I can do.

I'll let you know how that goes tomorrow. Wish me luck, say a prayer, light a candle, please feel free to add whatever positive spirits you can send our way.

Shut Up And Drive

I got a flyer form our local State Rep, Kathy Kreag Richardson. I should preface this by saying, I know nothing about her, her voting record, her policies, nothing. There was an invitation to a survey in the flyer, so being an active citizen who never passes up a chance to voice my opinion, I dutifully filled it out.

One of the questions was regarding enacting laws about the use cell phones while driving. This, my friends, should be a no-brainer. Just like seat belts. I realize that people can see this as an intrusion into your rights, but sometimes, it is necessary to legislate common sense. This is a most basic safety element that most people would have no second thought about. I think motorcycles helmets should be required as well, because while it's up to the rider if they want get on a bike, I have no issues with that; I've ridden on the back of my share of bikes and Martin has toyed with getting one to drive to work; I do, however, have issues with the fact that if something happens, I don't want to see the remains of your head smeared all on I-465.


Part of the charm of Indiana is the friendly attitude of just about everyone you meet. I can't count the number of totally random conversations I've had with strangers in which we shared a laugh. It's nice. Aside from that hairdresser mentioned up there.

This outlook spills over into driving; they just don't think that person is going to pull right in front of them because people are nice and don't do stupid things to you on purpose.

I think the average Hoosier driver just lacks that sense of defense. I know that some of my fellow Hoosier drivers find me to be terribly aggressive and quick with the horn, or hand as the case may be since the Mini's horn is inconveniently located. Most find Martin just plain ass-puckering scary.

People, here is a hint: While you are leisurely rolling along, your fellow drivers are out to get you. Hang up the phone and pay attention. Although you may have learned to drive by running a combine in the middle of a field where the worst that can happen is you clip a few rows of crop you shouldn't have or run over a nest of unsuspecting bunnies, you aren't in the field now and there is danger and it surrounds you. Stop being so trusting and please don't try to talk on the phone unless it's hands free, or heaven forbid TEXT while you are behind the wheel. Must we waste time and money making this a law, when you should know better?


I grew up an only child and that's hard in so many ways. I spent a lot of time with cousins from both sides of the family as a kid. Vacations, holidays, summers. I have a lot of (mostly) good memories of those times. I've reconnected with many of them, through Face Book of course, and although sometimes I feel like I have nothing in common with them, I'm still glad to reconnect. I'm sure to some, I'm completely bewildering but I hope there's still something to make me likable there.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Magic of Motown

Martin got me a new Mp3 player quite a while ago, since my previous one had moved back to Michigan with Dexter. I did nothing with it for a good two months. The new one is very high tech, but to put not too fine a point on it, I hate it. It has the capabilities to hold a huge amount of songs, and pictures and video (which I will never use) but nothing about it is straightforward. I'm sure I'll get accustomed to the necessary manipulations, but right now, it just pisses me off a lot.

I really need to work on the patience thing. Sometime.

I'm on a kick, lately, with Motown. Some of the songs I'm loving lately:

Martha Reeves & The Vandells, Nowhere To Run To
The Foundations, Buttercup
The Marvelettes, Too Many Fish In The Sea
Junior Walker, Shotgun
The Jackson 5, ABC
Stevie Wonder, Superstition
The Miracles, Shop Around

Part of this, I am sure, is because I have distinct memories of driving in the car with my mom and listening to CKLW and singing along. She also played it a lot at home, on this ancient radio we had on the counter in the kitchen.

I'd forgotten how much I love Motown music, and what sheer fun it is. Plus, it's got a good beat and it's easy to dance to.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Home Alone

Martin went back to work yesterday, after being on call throughout the New Year Holiday, and actually working during a good portion of it. Mia is back to school today on her normal schedule and I am home alone.

I'm home alone and it feels so good. Just me and CNN in the background, with a dog sleeping on my feet. The dog on my feet is a good thing, though, because it's a balmy eight degrees outside. I'm a hearty Michigan gal originally, so eight degrees wouldn't bother me so much, except that the wind makes it bone chillingly cold, the type of cold that makes you want to make a pot of tea and lay on the couch with a quilt and a good book.

Our townhouse is terribly insulated. The upstairs is a sauna and the downstairs is a wind tunnel. I'm tempted to call maintenance and ask when they plan on coming over to cover the downstairs windows with plastic, since they obviously have the original poorly insulated windows from when the place was built, circa 1978 or so. It's a shame that the management company here is so cheap. The location is good, a bit off the beaten path; the townhouse itself is laid out nicely with a good use of space, the price is reasonable but there certainly isn't anything fancy about it and they aren't into upgrades or modernizations. You should see my kitchen cabinets; functional is the most complimentary thing I can come up with and it's a weak functional since all the drawers stick and the inside bottom of them sag precariously.

I've fallen in love with the Mid-Century Modern Style and Indy has a huge selection. I stumbled across Atomic Indy and I'm drooling. I love the use of the Indiana limestone, the wall of windows, the low profile fireplaces and the built-ins. Clean, sleek, utilitarian use of spaces, (built in planters, oh my!) yet timeless. As the Atomic Indy author points out, some of the remodeling is bewildering, but easily fixed. The nicest part is that we could easily afford many of the houses. Oh sure, there is a beautiful behemoth in Carmel for a half million, but I don't want to live in stinking Carmel. I'm an Indy girl, now.

I predict a busy spring of open houses.