“We’re Extremely Fortunate”

We’re extremely fortunate
not to know precisely
the kind of world we live in.

One would have
to live a long, long time,
unquestionably longer
than the world itself.

Get to know other worlds,
if only for comparison.

Rise above the flesh,
which only really knows
how to obstruct
and make trouble.

For the sake of research,
the big picture,
and definitive conclusions,
one would have to transcend time,
in which everything scurries and whirls.

From that perspective,
one might as well bid farewell
to incidents and details.

The counting of weekdays
would inevitably seem to be
a senseless activity;

dropping letters in the mailbox
a whim of foolish youth;

the sign “No Walking On The Grass”
a symptom of lunacy.

— Wislawa Szymborska
(Translated, from the Polish, by Stanislaw Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh.)

The final poem from the collection View With A Grain of Sand: Selected Poems.


Bad. Kitty.

Posted: December 22, 2010 in Bring the funny, Holiday, pets
Tags: ,

I finished wrapping presents last night. I’d been storing them in the workout room until they were wrapped, and probably would have left them in there until Christmas had I not been claimed by an unanticipated and unwelcome motivation to exercise. So, in order to clear the weight bench and the floor, I moved the presents out onto the pool table. I figured they’d be safe enough there until the Grand Paper Tearing Extravaganza of Saturday afternoon.

I know you know where this is going.

I let the dogs in this morning – they’re so old, poor things, that the cold effects them more than it used to. I put them in their crate with the door open so they could lay in padded comfort, but still be able to venture over to their water bowl should they need a drink. I heard them shuffling around, the vinyl bottom of the pad making a rustling sound against the bottom of the crate.

Then the rustling got more enthusiastic… urgent, even. I hopped up, thinking that maybe Gypsy had gotten her foot caught between the bars – it’s happened before. I rounded the corner from the living room to the game room, and saw Ozzy digging at one of Bill’s presents in a SPECTACULAR, GLEEFUL fashion. I stood, flabbergasted, for a fraction of a second, then YELLED BLOODY BLUE MURDER at that asshole cat.

He took off like a bat outta hell, and now he’s glaring balefully from the safety of their litter closet.

I KNOW it’s my own fault for putting temptation in his reach, but he’s honestly never messed with the presents before. Oh, sure, sometimes there’d be gnaw-marks along the edges, or toothy impressions crimping the ribbons, but never outright destruction. Besides, Zoe is the one with the obsession for chewing on crinkly paper. I figured I’d have to defend the presents from her, really.

Obviously, you can tell how upset I am, since the fraction of a second AFTER I finished yelling bloody blue murder, I thought “Blog post!” and grabbed my camera. Heh.

I was tagged, dadnabbit.

1. Just who the hell do you think you are? No really.

These days? No idea. Not as much “me” as I’d like to be, that’s for sure.

2. Who is your favorite person you have met via blogging/internet (besides me, obviously).

Well, there’s Marie who had BETTER be available for drinkage during our next Indy trip is all I’m sayin’. TB and Dys are the most recent friends that I met in person, that were friends on-line before I met them in real life. I hope to meet Temerity Jane some time in the near future, seeing as she lives in the same state as me and all. Aw, hell, I hope to meet ALL of my on-line friends in person sooner or later!

3. Do you remember that one episode of Twilight Zone where that girl is driving and she has a flat tire and that guy stops to help her, but then there’s this weird hitchhiker and he keeps showing up and then it turns out she’s dead? That was awesome. Okay, but seriously. I liked AR’s fictional characters question, so I’ll put that one to you guys as well.

Do you remember when David Duchovny, aka “Jake Winters”, used to host Red Shoe Diaries on Skinemax? Le pant, le gasp, le sigh, le drool.

4. I need an idea for a Christmas dinner side item to go with ham. Thoughts?

Get ye hence. May I recommend the Connoisseurs Vegetable Casserole?

5. What are you proud of?

My sanity. My basically optimistic nature. My fudge.

6. What’s your poison?

IPA’s and whiskey.

7. What question do you WISH I had asked you?

Who was the last person you drunk-dialed, and what were the circumstances?

And now I thrust this task upon my usual suspects (the ones I figure will do this, anyway):

Mr. Bad Pants
Oregon Sunshine

Please for to be answering the following RIVETING requests for information, and then impose upon seven of your friends with questions of your own:

1. Favorite holiday TV special, Christmas or not.

2. Favorite pre-1960 movie.

3. Most embarrassing moment of the year 2010.

4. Do you love football in the snow as much as I do?

5. Do you think people that sweeten their coffee with honey are totally weird? Or are you ONE OF THEM?

6. What’s your guilty pleasure?

7. Would you video tape yourself dancing to cheesy 80’s music? Please? No, seriously, please? Name the song!

BONUS QUESTION: Who was the last person you drunk-dialed, and what were the circumstances?

I’m off work this week (AcronymCo, that is), which of course means I have a honey-do list (self-imposed, that is) a mile long. The very first order of business, though, is to venture forth and purchase a new coffee pot. I broke the carafe last night while getting the coffee ready for the morning, and as anyone who has ever done the same thing knows, it’s just easier to buy a whole new coffee pot than try to track down a replacement carafe.

I recall promising Bill that I’d get up with him and run out to the nearby Dunkin Donuts to procure some coffee for him to have with his morning paper (he’s as routine-oriented about his morning cup as I am), but what I DON’T recall is the alarm going off this morning. I woke up when he kissed me goodbye. Ah, well. Hell. Road. Good intentions. Whatnot.

I got up at 6:45, brewed a cup of tea and toasted some rye, and spent the next hour-ish balancing the checkbook and doing a spot of financial planning for the new year. I always approach such tasks with dread, and then feel a sense of relief and accomplishment when it’s over. Stupendously enough, we’re still in the black and didn’t put ANY of our Christmas on credit cards. Go us! That’s a first, I’m pretty sure.

On deck: doodie duty. And major, epic grocery shopping. And wrapping Bill’s presents – I got the kids’ out of the way yesterday. And folding laundry before it gets too far ahead of me. Clearly, I know how to LIVE IT UP when I’m on vacation.

As an aside, how many of you have seen the original True Grit, the one with John Wayne? When I expressed interest in seeing the remake in theaters, Bill waxed enthusiastic and said we’d have to watch the original first. Make a day of it – watch the original at home (I bought it from Amazon, should be here any day now), go have lunch, watch the new one at the nearby AMC. Sounds like fun to me.

As an additional aside, we watched “The A Team” this weekend – twice. I was a HU-YOOGE fan of the TV show when I was little. I don’t know why, but I was completely and thoroughly entertained by this movie. I mean, utterly. Especially by the cameo appearances by the original “Face” and the original “Murdock” at the very end. The VERY end, after the credits – the brief clips that only the die-hard theater-goers (or at-home fast-forwarders) get to see. I’ve taken to fast forwarding past all the credits in every movie we watch, now, just in case there’s an extra tidbit at the end.

Do you guys do that, too?

Here’s the one from 2009, and here’s the one from 2008. And I just realized that for BOTH years I spelled it “pictoral” instead of “pictorial”. WHATEVER. I’m whimsical, okay?

This, by far, is NOT a full and all-inclusive list of everything that went down in this busy, BUSY year. It’s just a few selections that had photographs to accompany the memories.


There was a leak and we realized we needed a new roof:

I had several photography gigs:


I FINALLY made Boeuf Bourguignon:


Bill and I went to Oro Valley, hiked in Catalina State Park, and SAW A BOBCAT!

An awesome day, that included a visit to the zoo, made me cry:


We went to Flagstaff, stayed in a haunted hotel, and saw the live raptor program at the Arboretum:

Aaaaand Billy bought some… stuff… for the zombie apocolypse:


We observed body painting in progress:

Zoe flirted with me:


I started my second sabbatical:

Bill and I went to Payson:


We went to Maine and it was the best vacation back home yet:

We also fell in love with this stuff:


I went back to work:

Bill and I attended MotoGP in Indianapolis with TB and Dys:


I got a new camera:


Another month, another gig:

We lost Grandpa Ed:


I wrote some entries about some of the things I love:

There was Thanksgiving and a puppy:


I met some new boozes:

And some new treats:

And now we’re heading onwards and upwards into 2011. My hopes for the coming year are to pay off as much debt as I can, get a Jeep (yes, I’m aware that’s counter-intuitive to the first point), get my ass to Maine, get my ass to Indy, and get my ass fit.

What are your hopes and plans for the coming year?

Do you think that happiness is a choice?

Ponder, comment, discuss.

Saving the dreams

Posted: December 15, 2010 in Memory Lane, Waking Mind

I’m terminating my Waking Mind site, so I’m just transferring the handful of entries to this post for posterity.

Read the rest of this entry »

For Our Future Reference

Posted: December 14, 2010 in TV
Tags: ,

For those of you who care.

I decided upon the prime rib, and I’m not gonna lie to you, Marge(*), that shit is EXPENSIVE. Like, $18.99 per pound, expensive (damn AJ’s anyway… but they DO have the best meat). And a four-rib roast is 10-12 pounds. So. Yeah. You do the math. This “counts” as a Christmas present, though, this dinner that we do. Which is why it tends to be lobster or prime-rib expensive.

As a point of interest, I just ran a quote through Maine Lobster Direct’s website, and a half-dozen “large” lobsters (around 1.65 pounds each) would have run us a tad over $160.

Anyway! I’ll probably make mashed potatoes to go with it, though I do love Pioneer Woman’s Crash Hot Potatoes. But I’m too lazy to do both, and Bill likes to dump gravy on stuff, so mashed it is. Maybe I’ll add bacon and cheddar and chives and make loaded mashed.

This is fascinating stuff, isn’t it? Onward!

I’ll probably steam up some asparagus for the veggie, and make either these bacon onion cheddar biscuits, or these cheddar biscuits ala Red Lobster (Bill loves those).

We will, of course, have baked potato soup. It’s tradition.

The family isn’t much into sweets or desserts, but Robert would KEEL ME DED if I didn’t make at least one batch of Magic Cookie Bars. I’ll probably make a batch of Irish Cream Brownies, too. I seem to recall Bill really liking the Walnut Chews I made a few years ago, so maybe those will make an appearance as well.

It all really depends on just how much cooking I feel like doing that week. This weekend I need to make a batch of Killer Fudge to hand out to my co-workers next week (I’m off the week after). I’m the favorite because I do food instead of Christmas cards. Heh.

So. That’s the menu. Who’s comin’ over?

(* Totally stolen from Wil.)

I revealed my uber-embarrassing choice in movies for nothing! Turns out Bill didn’t have the part he needed up in the City of Tubas, so he did a one-day turn around and waltzed in the door at about 6:30. I’d called him twice, in the hour leading up to his waltzing, and he didn’t pick up his phone. Whether he was hoping to surprise me, or catch me in the act of something nefarious, is debatable.

Anyway, the upshot was that I didn’t watch the movie. We *did* watch the Charlie Brown Christmas Special, though. Linus’ monologue makes me tear up every time.


Occasionally, I like to peruse the stats over at World Famous Nosh, to see what people are cooking these days. Seems lately folks have a hankerin’ for Steak Dinner with All the Fixin’s, Hershey Kiss Cookies (which would be AWESOME with the caramel kisses, wouldn’t they???), Incredible Crock Pot Meatloaf (and it is), Five Flavor Pork Roast, and Irish Cream Brownies.

The meatloaf recipe has had the most hits of all time (1,212!), followed closely by the World War II Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake (972), with the crock pot recipe for Chicago Italian Beef coming in third (736).

I’m probably the only one who finds stuff like this to be kind of interesting.


Here’s some wicked awesome stuff that has come to my attention in the past week or so:

– A recipe for Apple Cider Sugar Donut Muffins, courtesy of Dlyn, that you can BET YOUR BIPPY I will be making in the near future.

– Sweet Salty gives us permission to suck. Thank God, since I’ve been sucking in an unauthorized manner for all this time!

– Did I share this with you guys? I forget. How to deal with your camera getting lost or stolen. Link shared by Karl over on the Twitter.

– This OH MY FUCKING GOD AWESOMENESS that Heather shared with me:

– This other OH MY FUCKING GOD AWESOMENESS that Blogography Tweeted:

– This video that a co-worker shared with me that made me laugh until I pee’d:

There. You’ve been entertained.