Archive for the ‘Drama’ Category

But I mean, well, GOD! Look at that, would you? We had that for our Christmas dinner and everybody FELL ON THE FLOOR DEAD, it was that good. And the gravy? That was supposed to be au jus but I thickened it? Was the BEST DAMNED GRAVY I have EVER made. I would totally take a bath in that gravy. And lick it all off when I got out.

(Head’s up, this is where the swearing and the all caps starts.)

Oh, ha. Speaking of gravy. Did I ever tell you guys this story? Back when Bill and I first got together – like, the first MONTH we were together, we were making fried chicken for dinner. He asked me if I knew how to make gravy. At that time, I did not. Because:

1. My ex didn’t like gravy (I KNOW, RIGHT);
2. My Grandmother had never taught me because she was the Gravy Maker Extraordinare and Get Thee Hence From My Kitchen You Amateur;
3. I usually stuck with buffalo wings and plates of asparagus when I was single;
4. I was 23 years old. How many 23-year-olds do you know that know how to make gravy from scratch, I ask you?

So. We’re in the kitchen, puzzling until our puzzlers were sore. He looked at me, looked at the drippings, looked at the phone, and visibly came to a decision. As I watched in growing HORROR, he picked up the phone, DIALED HIS EX-WIFE (who wasn’t actually officially “ex” yet, at the time) and ASKED HER HOW TO MAKE GRAVY. I could hear her incredulous, “You’re kidding, right?” from across the kitchen. But, here’s the thing. She told him, step by step, and didn’t include such waylaying ingredients as, oh, say, HEMLOCK. Which was nice. BUT, she told him in a mocking manner that was all, “Oh HO, you’re new pretty little plaything doesn’t know how to do EVERYTHING that makes you happy, does she?” Which was NOT nice. I don’t blame her, but still. Hey now.

(Of course, if I have to teach Bill’s next little chippie how to make my meatloaf, I’m gonna be all, “… and then you add a half-cup of chopped pickled herring… yes really! Trust me…”)

Anyway. He hung up, I beat him about the head and shoulders, and we made a passable gravy. And then, OH AND THEN, BY GOD, I learned how to make fucking gravy. BETTER gravy. Absolutely fucking AWESOME goddamn motherfucking gravy.

(End swearing/all caps zone.)

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New Year’s Eve is upon us. We are foregoing the partying, but probably not foregoing the hangover. Just gonna hang at home and watch movies, and feed whoever shows up. Here’s the planned nosh, in case you need some inspiration for your own festivities:

Bruchetta with toast points
Buffalo Chicken Dip, with tortilla chips and celery
Cheese Enchilada Chowder
– Finger sandwiches (chicken salad, ham, whatnot)
Four Bean Salad
– Chips and pretzels and whatnot

Of course, if you happen to be in the area, you can drop on by! Pajamas are encouraged. Pants are optional.

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I don’t get blog-induced drama. Never have. Never will. I don’t understand how some folks’ blogs can be blown up in the comments with posters offering vitriol and poison and hatred and angst. I don’t get how some folks can write about the success of another blogger in terms of disgust and anger. I’ve never gotten the whole blog clique thing, with the gang of bloggers in this corner heaping scorn upon the gang of bloggers in that corner, and vice-versa. I’ve never held with popularity contests.

I guess, being on the sidelines of the blogisphere as I am, that I’m only exposed to this sort of thing in a small way. I see it in the blogs that I read, but not in my own blog. And I LIKE IT THAT WAY. I don’t bring controversy. I don’t shock blog. My opinions on subjects are, for the most part, unoffensive – I am a pretty darned easygoing kind of gal. I just have this peaceful little corner of the internet, surrounded my great readers and great friends, and every comment and e-mail that I receive is a gift.

A GIFT, not an expectation, and not an indicator of my “success” as a blogger. So I get seven comments, and another blogger gets five thousand comments. Big deal!

If somebody posts something on their blog that offends me, I just close my browser. They’re entitled to their opinions and their perspectives. I don’t blow up their comments. I don’t fiendishly type away in my solitude in the dark because “someone on the internet is wrong!” I don’t come over here and talk about them. I don’t go all, “UNFOLLOW!” and try to start a crusade against them. Most times, I go back to their blog another day, and I laugh at their funny story, or sympathize with their issues, or appreciate their perspective. And if I don’t, so what. I don’t expect everyone to LOOOOOVE me, either, or hang on my every word as if from the Prophet Himself.

If someone puts ads on their blog or somehow makes money from their blog, I don’t take offense. I don’t sit on some sort of high horse because I haven’t “sold out”. I don’t believe them undeserving to receive monetary compensation for how they spend their time. More power to them! For the most part, people have learned to place ads in an unoffensive, unobtrusive manner. So if they get five cents for every click, congratulations! If they have sponsors, good for them! Freebies are awesome!

See, WHO a blogger IS quite often has very little to do with their blog at all. So I don’t pass judgement. I just observe, join in when I’m motivated to, walk away when I need to, and never ever forget that life is lived OUTSIDE of the internet.

This soapbox moment brought to by Jack Daniels. I’m about to enjoy the HELL out of this sunshiny afternoon. I suggest you all do the same!

Chutes and Parenthesis

Posted: January 20, 2010 in bitching, Bring the funny, Drama, Home, Pimp

There was a big rain storm last night. There will be an even bigger one tonight. And then Thursday night will be the biggest one of all! It’s all Goldilocks up in this state. (It’s the same series of storms that are lambasting California right now, by the way.)

Meanwhile, we have a leak in our roof. Not the one that we got fixed last year – thankfully that one’s holding up. And there isn’t a hole in the kitchen ceiling for Ozzy to play Ceiling Cat in this time (man, I’ve been hollering at that damned cat for a wicked long time, now). No, this is another, new leak. Originating, Bill thinks, somewhere in the vicinity of the skylights. He thinks the flashing needs to be repaired, and if that’s all it takes to stop the leak we’ll consider ourselves lucky this time.

The problem is, fixing the leak will require getting up on the roof. And not JUST the roof, but the steepest part of the roof (you can see which part in the fourth picture down in this entry – MAN, is it handy to have had an on-line journal for nearly ten (10! TEN!) years).

(Oh, and my favorite line from that entry, “A gaggle of Marie’s friends stopped by, ran shrieking into the backyard to see the spa, ran shrieking back into the house, and shrieked their way off to the mall with Marie in tow.”)

(Also, I used that template for a grand total of TWO entries before I came to my senses and changed it. Again.)

Anyway, yeah. More ladder-climbing for us, and I believe I’ve mentioned before that I have a hate-hate relationship with ladders. I don’t have a problem with heights – I HATE the process of climbing up a ladder, or climbing down a ladder, or stepping off the top of the ladder onto something (say, the roof), or stepping off of something (say, the roof) onto the top of the ladder. Edges and rungs are my problem, people. Edges and rungs. Oh, and tipping. That too. And not so much the falling as the hitting of the ground.

I doubt I myself will have to do much actual climbing on the actual roof – I expect Calvin Bill (hah, it’s been a while since I messed up!) will be the more precariously positioned of the two of us. But I will help (“I’m helping!”), which will surely mean at least standing up at the top of the ladder and handing him things.

Razzlefrackin’ roof. Razzlefrackin’ rain (which I actually love, if it weren’t for the ironic fact that rain is necessary for the discovery and location of existing leaks). Razzlefrackin’ skylights. If I haven’t Tweeted by 8:00 tonight, send an ambulance.

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A few things I’d like to mention before signing off:

1. NASA put out this slideshow of the Saturn system. The photos were taken during the Cassini Equinox Mission. Very, VERY high up on the cool scale.

2. This is the coolest picture I’ve seen in a long time. Pay close attention to the reflections. SO neat.

3. It’s headlines like these that make me love my hometown newspaper: “Portland Man Charged in Fox Urine Attack“. How can you NOT read that???

Whistling in the dark

Posted: December 2, 2009 in Drama, Headspace, misc, Music, Pimp, Video

My husband and I have been operating under an INSANE amount of stress over the past, oh, month or so. So much so that we’ve been routinely searching one another out when we’re together at home, just to hug. Though it’s more along the lines of commiserative leaning and hanging on, really, than hugging. It’s almost like grief, or PTSD (not to diminish those folks who are suffering from either) – the elephant in the room that hovers around the edges of conscious thought, that we’re trying like hell to pretend isn’t there. So we laugh a little louder and talk a little faster and try to distract ourselves, knowing the Big Bad is still looming like a cat waiting to pounce on a mouse whistling in the dark.

It has been said that joy would go unrecognized if it weren’t for the dark times in our lives. All I can say is, 2010 had better be really fucking joyous.

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If you don’t follow me on Twitter, these are the kind of gems you’re missing out on:

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If you don’t read Bound and Gags, this is the kind of gem you’re missing out on:

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I just spent $142.79 (free shipping!) on Overstock.com for a king sized comforter (microsuede!), two shams, a bed skirt, three matching pillows (a decorative pillow, a breakfast pillow(??), and a neck roll), a six-piece queen sized 500 thread count sheet set (flat and fitted sheets, four pillowcases), and two down pillows. The last time I bought new bedding for our bed was in February of 2005. We were far, FAR overdue. God bless Overstock’s periodic Bedding! Blowout! Sale!

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Happiness:

Aaaaand she’s out!

Posted: November 24, 2009 in blogkeeping, Drama

Okay, people, here’s where you get confused. Ready?

“Laura” = Tiffany
“Calvin” = Bill
“Michael” = Robert
“Marie” = Amanda

All the other “characters” names are pretty much their real names, as far as I can remember (I was once going to give even the PETS their own nom-de-nets, then I was all, “Jaysus, fucker, get a life.”). I’ll correct ’em as I go along, how’s that? Some things are still going to remain as they were – referring to my primary employer as “AcronymCo” being one of them. I won’t be publishing my address and phone number, either. Some bloggers I know actually do that, and I wonder how much harassment they get as a result.

This is going to take some getting used to. Whenever I talk about Bill my fingers automatically want to hit Shift-C. Anyway. If you happen to see any areas of the site that need names updated (the “About” page is next on my list) let me know!

I’m still going to write as “Laura Charon” over at Beyond Megapixels and UpTake – at least until I talk to my editors about whether or not they want me to change over there, since I’m removing the veil of anonymity.

So! Uh, yeah. Anticlimactic much? Yet, I feel kind of nervous. God knows why. This is bound to make things easier on me.

Start/Stop/Continue

Posted: November 19, 2009 in Calvin, Drama, goals, Headspace

Calvin and I had the fight to end all fights last weekend. Not a disagreement, not a discussion, not an argument. A. Fight. It will henceforth be referred to as THE Fight, because it has eclipsed all other fights that we’ve had during our relationship. Kind of like how WWI was “The Great War” until WWII came along, then that became THE War that everyone referred to in their vernacular.

The what’s, how’s, and why’s of the fight don’t really matter. What does matter is how we go on from here.

Also, before anyone worries, we’re fine. We had a fight. Every married couple fights, some more than others. We don’t, very often. But when we do, it causes us to sit up and pay attention.

I’m paying attention. So is Calvin. But, since this is MY journal, I’m going to write about what I’m going to do (not an all-inclusive list, but a start):

I’m going to Start:
– Getting out of my own head, and pay attention when Calvin has a complaint. I fuss at him when he doesn’t validate my feelings, and yet I seem to have gotten into the habit of doing the same to him.
– Better organizing my time. I’m not “spending time” with Calvin if I’m just sitting on the couch next to him, working. I can’t pay attention to what he’s saying, and what we’re talking about, and how well I’m communicating, if I’m distracted.
– Making sure I am heard and understood, clearly and accurately.
– Bringing back “the little things” that seem to have fallen on the wayside, lately.

I’m going to Stop:
– Assuming his feelings can’t get hurt.
– Formulating my own response in my head, while Calvin is talking, thereby missing what he’s actually saying.
– Interrupting.
– Stressing when we don’t finish the discussion by agreeing 100%. Understanding and consideration (and the permission we give each other to disagree) is more important than complete agreement.
– Ignoring and/or avoiding problems.

I’m going to Continue:
– Making a positive effort.
– Being patient, and having confidence in our relationship.
– Communicating my needs, while considering his needs as well.
– Doing the best I can.
– Holding myself accountable for the fault that is mine.
– Being myself, and loving Calvin for who he is.

In which I have an opinion.

Posted: September 5, 2009 in bitching, Drama, weekend, WTF

stupiditySomebody explain to me the uproar over President Obama addressing a speech to school children. The man is our president. We voted for him. We elected him. We dragged our school-aged children through the election process. Don’t pretend that your kids didn’t learn all about the process in school, hold mock elections, and debate the pro’s and con’s of each candidate’s agenda. I know I did. When I was in school and it was an election year, that’s ALL THAT WAS TALKED ABOUT. Every class managed to fit the election and political process into their agendas – hell, even my ALGEBRA class diverted into statistics and polls.

So, I’m reading this CNN article, and every other line I’m freaking out and shouting an unheard commentary. And then I thought, gee, I have a forum and by gawd I’m gonna USE it.

Politics on a Saturday morning. Who woulda thunk it over at this humble little site? I don’t talk about politics often, but by gum when I have an opinion people are gonna hear about it! So. Go read the article, I’ll wait. Then come back, please.

“”Thinking about my kids in school having to listen to that just really upsets me,” suburban Colorado mother Shanneen Barron told CNN Denver affiliate KMGH. “I’m an American. They are Americans, and I don’t feel that’s OK. I feel very scared to be in this country with our leadership right now.””

Okay, holy frickin’ crap. God save me from the PTA. (Shanneen?? Hansel??) She’s an American, she says, and her kids are Americans, she says, and he’s the mother-fucking PRESIDENT of the United States of (hello) AMERICA. You don’t think it’s okay for your president to talk to your kids? About staying in school? You are scared that your leadership wants your kid to stay in school? Idiot.

And then there’s this guy (Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty):

“”At a minimum it’s disruptive. Number two, it’s uninvited. And number three, if people would like to hear his message they can, on a voluntary basis, go to YouTube or some other source and get it. I don’t think he needs to force it upon the nation’s school children,” he told reporters at the Minnesota State fair.”

A President’s speech is “disruptive”, eh, you putz? There’s going to be rioting in the classrooms because the kids are receiving a positive message to “challenge students to work hard, stay in school and dramatically reduce the dropout rate”? Really? Also, “uninvited”? The President is encouraging schools to air this speech in classrooms, and is providing optional lesson plans to go along with the speech. Yeah, no gun, no scare tactics, no threats, no force. Finally, what this idiot is saying is that he’d rather have the kids educate themselves via YouTube, than in the classroom. Where there can be point-counterpoint discussion. Fan-frickin’-tastic. Next he’s going to encourage kids to learn their social skills from Grand Theft Auto.

And then there’s this idiot John Greer (Florida GOP Chairman):

“”As the father of four children, I am absolutely appalled that taxpayer dollars are being used to spread President Obama’s socialist ideology,” Greer said. “The idea that school children across our nation will be forced to watch the president justify his plans … is not only infuriating, but goes against beliefs of the majority of Americans, while bypassing American parents through an invasive abuse of power.””

so*cial*ism (noun) – a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.

“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” I’ll let you all digest that one on your own.

Also, “It goes against the beliefs of the majority of Americans…” HI, the majority of Americans VOTED for this guy. I’m sorry, but John Greer does NOT have the authority, knowledge, or friggin’ BRAIN CAPACITY to speak on behalf of the “majority of Americans”. Also, we’re “bypassing American parents” by subjecting their kids to Reading Rainbow, too. And sex education. And school cafeteria food. And US History. And Algebra II. And pretty much everything else that the parents expect the educational system to teach their kids without their understanding or presence.

“The idea that school children across our nation will be forced to watch the president justify his plans…” Huh? First, do you make your kids leave the living room whenever the President is on television? Also, what’s wrong with his efforts to keep your kids in school? There will be no political “message” in this speech. The White House replied with:

“”The goal of the speech and the lesson plans is to challenge students to work hard, stay in school and dramatically reduce the dropout rate,” an administration spokesman said. “This isn’t a policy speech. It’s a speech designed to encourage kids to stay in school.””

Now you tell me, because I honestly don’t understand, how could THAT be construed as negative in any way, regardless of if you’re a righty or a lefty?

And then? There’s this gem:

“”As far as I’m concerned this is not civics education — it gives the appearance of creating a cult of personality,” said Oklahoma state Sen. Steve Russell, a Republican.”

BWAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAA!!!. Okay, yeah, I know he meant Stalin, but all I could think of was Living Colour. At any rate, that statement was just ridiculous. I’m sure CNN just threw it in there for levity. For fuck’s sake.

I have to note that the article states that back in ’91 when Bush did a similar speech to students, and back in ’88 when Regan did a speech to students (that DID have a political message, mind you), there wasn’t nearly as much fit-pitching going on. Yeah, that’s because they were Republicans. And now it’s Republicans pitching the hissy. Because their Democrat (democratically-elected) President has the NERVE to DO HIS JOB.

Okay, rant over. I just couldn’t let this particular bit of ridiculousness blow over without adding my two cents.

bugssteamtailAugust is over, finally. You won’t find me complaining.

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I’m scheming up something to surprise Calvin with on his birthday. It’s squee-worthy for me, as well. Full deets will be disclosed after October 1st!

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Calvin and I watched the Country Music Festival on TV last night, because there was nothing else on. But! These three songs specifically are tending to change my mind about country music. I might have to become a (selective) fan, after all.

Joey by Sugarland (I actually have, and love, this album.)

In Color by Jamey Johnson (Made me bawl right there on the couch. I miss my Grammy.)

Then by Brad Paisley (Couldn’t find the full version on Blip, so this is a link to YouTube.)

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I’ve actually been pretty busy over at Beyond Megapixels, and UpTake. Here’s some links if you’re interested.

Beyond Megapixels:

Add a Signature to your Digital Photos
Gems – Black and White
Five Photography Websites I Rely On
Photo vs. Image (this one sparked quite a conversation in the comments!)

UpTake:

The Story of the Happy Buffalo
The Cody – Luxury and Comfort in the Heart of Rodeo Country
Eight Road Trip Pet Peeves
Three Jumping-Off Points to Canada

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There has been big drama in the Land of Marie, lately. I think I mentioned a while back that her boyfriend joined the military, and his departure to boot camp coincided with the end of Marie’s lease on her condo, so she moved back in with us to await his return. From there they were planning on getting another place together and living Happily Ever After.

Yeah. SO not happening.

Turns out that this punk ass kid was carrying on a DUPLICATE relationship with another girl. And by duplicate, I mean exactly that. He was giving them the same Christmas presents, right down to identical “Build-A-Bears” with the exact same song that plays when you press their paw. He was writing them identical letters from boot camp (with identical requests to send money), just changing the names. Or, referring to them as “cutie” instead of using actual names. The list of transgressions goes far, FAR beyond that.

This all came to light when the other girl’s sister started calling and harassing Marie. Then the girl herself got on the phone, and they started comparing notes. The other girl would read one line from a letter, and Marie would follow with the next line. He was trash talking Marie to the other girl, and trash talking the other girl (who he referred to as his “Bitch Ex”) to Marie.

Marie started putting pieces of the puzzle together, and it turns out that this kid had not been faithful to her for their entire two year relationship. Calvin and I never liked him (which this kid knew very well – we haven’t seen him since last Christmas, and he left for boot camp in July), and have always thought he was kind of an asshole, but now the full truth comes to light. He’s been warned to never EVER show his face around our house, if and when he comes back to Arizona.

So. Brandon Mason. He’s about 6’2″, twenty, blonde, scrawny, and is stationed in South Carolina right now. If you run into him, kick him in the nuts for us. Tell him Laura says hi.

Asshole dickhead motherfucker.

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On that note, happy Tuesday!

Whupped.

Posted: August 25, 2009 in Drama, Family

1iconpenToday I’m going to do something that I, personally, HATE it when other bloggers do (the grammar isn’t right, there, but I’m too lazy to figure it out). I’m going to mention that there is drama going on, without actually saying what the drama is, then wax verbose at how it’s all making me feel, all without going into any details.

Writing is how I deal with things.

I’m very sad today. There was a big blow out that has resulted in a lot of upset folks, and Calvin and I are kind of keeping distance from one another. The whole mess erupted very late last night, caused very little sleep to be had, and bestowed upon me one WICKED headache. Add to that the fact that Calvin had his round of tests with the cardiologist this morning, which left him feeling whupped and unwell (we find out the results on September 11). I have no idea how the other people involved in the argument are faring, but I can’t imagine it’s any better than we are.

So. I’m at work, he’s at home, parties aren’t speaking, and it all pretty much sucks.

I wish that it was a cultural or instinctual rule that people write down all of their negative feelings, issues, anger, and upset, formulate their arguments point by point, articulate their point of view (with no swear words, mind you), and exchange documents with the other party. Who would then answer each point with a counter-point of their own, and give the document back. Thus would an actual conversation take place, with far less misunderstanding than would occur during a shouting match where everyone is emoting and nobody is trying to resolve anything.

Yelling the words, “SHUT UP AND LISTEN,” does not, in fact, result in ANYONE shutting up OR listening. Who woulda thunk?

I have no idea how to fix this. None whatsoever. Keep on keepin’ on, of course, but there’s some big bad stuff hanging out there, words exchanged that can never should have seen the light of day and now cannot be un-said, and terribly hurt feelings all the way around.

Fucking drama. I HATE IT. I’m ill-equipped to deal with it. My immediate reaction is to try to force everyone to talk about it, but talking is SO not working, and probably never will work in this particular situation, regarding this particular topic. My next reaction is to just lay low and let it all blow over, but I’m really not sure if it will, this time. Certainly, relationships have been altered, as have perceptions.

I have no idea what the fallout of all of this is going to be.

Writing is not making me feel any better, dammit.