If Grammar is So Hard, What Hope Do We Have for World Peace, Really?

Posted by Kathy on July 12th, 2014

Amazon just yelled at me in an email to get off my ass and blog more. Apparently, they like it if the people who subscribe to Junk Drawer on Kindle actually get something they pay for.

Since I haven’t written in a month, I got flagged for being a slacker. Sorry Kindle people! I promise to do better and stop writing exclusively for The Facebook.

Starting with two grammar failures I found on TV graphics within 12 hours of each other.

Signs the world is going to hell in a hand basket: unnecessary apostrophes and misspellings.

First, this one had me confused because the TV was muted and I thought by the graphic it meant there was a $25k lawsuit involving champagne. Makes no sense, right? So I unmuted to discover they’re referring to a three-story, $25,000 per night NYC suite, if you’re so inclined to spend your riches that way.

Suite. With an “e.” Not suit. Got it?

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And then there’s this thing. God, I hate when people don’t get its correctly. This one bothered me more because, although the above picture came from a local news station with tighter deadlines, this one comes from an ABC program called What Would You Do? Presumably, the show is in production for weeks or even months and surely they would have plenty of time to review and edit for grammar. No?

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This concludes my one month absence from blogging.

I promise to try and write more for Junk Drawer, especially since in two weeks it’ll be 7 years old. It deserves more. You deserve more. At least the three readers I have left.

Have a splendid weekend, folks!

My Weight Loss Support System

Posted by Kathy on December 30th, 2013

chocolate santaMany of you know I’m on a weight loss journey and anyone else who’s been there knows that it helps to have a good support system.

My husband Dave sees how hard I’ve been working, watching calories and doing cardio every single day at 5AM.

Once in a while I have a craving for something sweet, sickening sweet.

But my support system of a husband was having none of it.

Tonight when he went to the store, I asked for “a Santa, a solid chocolate Santa, just one. They probably have leftover discounted stuff.”

He came home Santa-less.

He said “They didn’t have any Santas. Just Valentine candy and you didn’t say Valentine candy.”

I wanted to both hug him and punch him in the face.

Bugs, We Had an Agreement, Didn’t We?

Posted by Kathy on September 7th, 2013

I’m still shaking uncontrollably. I had an unwelcome visitor on my patio today.

This thing.

giant bug

It wasn’t just on my patio. It was on ME. Exactly the same leg where this happened.

I really would rather that nature stays where it belongs. I thought we had an agreement. You stay on your side, I stay on mine and I don’t kill you.

When I started writing this, I noticed that he came back. So I took another picture so you could have better perspective.

Size of a Volkswagen, right? I think even the mouse was afraid of it.

giant bug with mouse

So now that

OMG. It’s back again!!!!!!!!!

You have GOT to be kidding me.

What I was about to say was now that I was done taking the second picture of it, I needed to get rid of it.

So I ran in the house and grabbed a broom. I gave one big sweep, saw it fly up in the air for a millisecond, but I didn’t see where it landed.

Not good. If I didn’t see where it went, it might come back.

And it did.

But because it failed to stick to The Nature Agreement, I’m happy to report, Monster McMonster Bug is deader than dead, thanks to my spastic bug smashing skillz.

I’m never using that broom again.

So much for a peaceful afternoon. Now somebody pour me a drink.

UPDATE: A friend researched this thing for me. It’s known as the wheel bug and I’m pretty sure it actually wanted to kill me because it’s a member of the – I kid you not – the Assassin Bug family.

I don’t feel guilty AT ALL for getting to him before he got to me.

Facebook Meth

Posted by Kathy on August 10th, 2013

candy crushThanks to my friend Sharron, I now have a name for the monkey on my back that’s been strangling me the last few weeks.

That monkey is Candy Crush, or Facebook meth, as Sharron so bluntly and accurately referred to it. I’m happy to report I’m off it. Blocked. No more. Fin.

For all the articles I’ve read about how to beat the game levels, I think I’ve read just as many about how people kicked the habit and blocked it from their lives. So now this makes another one for the pile. Writing this post is the most productive thing I’ve done in a month.

So, how did I get here?

The Candy Crushers in my life warned me in earnest not to start. “Just don’t,” they said. “Learn from my mistake,” they said. And for a while I was fine without it, had little interest. But then.

Like a child who’s been warned not to touch a hot stove and burns themselves doing it anyway, I added it to my apps and was instantly hooked. Here is how that first hit got me to where I am today.

Candy Crush Your Hopes and Dreams lets you bank only 5 lives, with an automatic one life renewal every 30 minutes.

I remember emailing my sister and saying “That’s ludicrous. Who would wait 30 min. for a life renewal? I can’t play this thing. I’m out.”

But I wasn’t out because I’d already had a taste of the candy. And the candy was good. “Delicious! Sweet! Divine!

You can get more lives by requesting them of other players, but how fast you get them is dependent on their availability and willingness to give lives.

No problem. I’ll just request them of my husband’s Facebook account. Log out of mine, into his, send the life, go back to my account, retrieve it and request another. Do this five times as fast as possible. Play those games, go get more.

I played morning, noon and night this way. It disgusts and embarrasses me to admit that I played Candy Crush Your Spirit for four hours a day, at least. All the while, professing that I wanted to get back to blogging. All the while saying I needed to stop. All the while, ignoring everything productive, save for my day job.

When I played during prime time hours, renewing lives was easier because many other Crushers were also playing. But as soon as I’d request and receive lives from them, I’d ask for more. And I thought “OMG. These people. These people know how bad I have it. I’m mortified. I need to stop. But can I have another life first?”

One person did start messaging me during my early morning sessions. He’s in a later time zone than me, so sometimes when I’d be playing at 4AM my time, he’d pop up and say “Morning. My, you’re playing early today.” In my head, that sounded like Hal in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Shame washed over me. He’s watching, knowing I have a problem, but enabling me by dutifully sending me lives as soon as I request them. I didn’t want him knowing I’d become such a slave to this beast, but he had the power to feed me lives. Lives that kept the hamster wheel turning.

As the weeks went on, things got worse. My husband Dave asked if I could work on his current maddening level. Now I’m playing my lives and his lives, requesting more from and to each account. Log in, log out, round and round we go.

I mention to my sister that I passed levels for Dave and now she asks if I can work her tough level, too. And so I do. I get her account information so I can log in and out to request and retrieve lives. I’m doing this for three accounts now. Mine, my husband’s and my sister’s.

I am in a very bad place.

It sickens me that I played three people’s games today for almost 12 hours. Yes, 12 hours. I only stopped to eat and vacuum a little. I see two cats roaming around the house and remember Oh, I have cats, don’t I? Hi, Lucky. Hi, Shadow. How’ve you been? Long time, no see.

Even though I was cross-eyed and catatonic at Hour 10, I pressed on. See, I’d been stuck at level 182, blowing through a couple hundred lives with no payoff. The addition of boosts would certainly help my game, but you have to pay for them.“Don’t ever pay for boosts,” they said. “Don’t give them real money. Just don’t.”

I considered myself “not that bad off,” as long as I didn’t pay for anything.

But.

But.

But.

Somehow I managed to achieve a near-win on Level 182. Only a single jelly remained on the board. Crush it and I win the level. I couldn’t clear it with the existing candy alignment, but I could if I had a lollipop boost to smash it with.

Ignoring all warning and reason, I opened my wallet, clicked Purchase Boosts, filled in my credit card information and bought $10.62 worth of lollipops to finish a level that had just robbed me of most of my Saturday.

After I paid, I clicked the shiny new lollipop and smashed that last jelly to smithereens. I felt euphoric! Eat it, Level 182!

But my euphoria instantly turned to regret and depression. I had just wasted perfectly good disposable income on something that had taken over my life, something so useless, something that kept me from blogging, kept me from having a normal routine, a normal life.

I puttered around the kitchen a while, wringing my hands, knowing what I had to do.

I scooted up to the laptop again, clicked Account Settings, Blocking, Block Apps, and entered Candy Crush into the box.

Die Facebook Meth, die!

I wish I could get all those hours back, wish I’d put it toward blogging, wish I’d put it toward anything else. But I can’t. It’s gone.

A new day starts in 3, 2, 1……

When Automated Phone Systems Work But Don’t

Posted by Kathy on June 14th, 2013
phone padSo I call the 800 number for my bank and all I’m trying to do is get a listing of my recent ATM transactions. I got far through the menu, after giving my 16-digit account number, social security number, PIN, what I had for dinner and my tax returns for the last five years.

Beep, boop, beep, boop, beep, boop, beep, pound. Geez.

Finally, auto-lady is going to start reading off my transactions.

Then I coughed and that caused the auto-lady to say she would transfer me to a human. The ONE time I don’t actually need a human and I get one.

Story of my life.

Men, How Much Do You Hate Wearing Neckties?

Posted by Kathy on March 20th, 2013

necktieIn an unreliable and totally made up survey, when a group of 100 women were asked to name the most uncomfortable piece of clothing or accessory that society expects them to wear, 79% of them said high-heeled shoes.

Most of my imaginary study group were wearing said heels and half of them slipped them off during questioning because their feet were blown up the size of bread loaves and the group got really unruly when danish they were promised for their time never showed up.

Anyway, I’ve been thinkin’ about what men would say is the one thing society expects them to wear that they wish didn’t have to.

That thing has got to be the necktie.

As for me, I hate, hate, hate anything around my neck. I will allow a winter scarf when it’s cold, but none of my shirts or blouses have necks on them. I need to breathe, people.

A turtleneck? Kill me, why don’t you.

So men. Here’s where you get to bitch and moan. Exactly how much do you hate wearing neckties?

It’s gotta be some kind of hell, always worrying it’ll fall in your food or get caught in something, not to mention choking you all day long.

Do you pick out your own ties? Do you give any kind of crap about what tie goes well with what suit?

Is the first thing you do when you leave the office undo that bastard?

I don’t feel sorry for men very much, but ties? You win.

However, I will say that women have you beat on the hosiery front. We will always have you beat on constricting sausage-making legwear. That and the aforementioned spikey, toe malformation-making footwear.

I want my old feet back. Just sayin’.

They Heard Me Coming a Mile Away

Posted by Kathy on June 23rd, 2012

mufflerDear Heavenly Father,

We thank You today for getting Kathy safely to the muffler repair shop, following what sounded like cannon fire coming out the back of her car as she drove on a busy highway.

We thank You for giving her the ability to train one eye on the road in front and the other in back, just in case the muffler decided to divorce itself from her car right then and there.

We thank You for giving her steadiness under pressure the entire seven miles to the shop, four-ways on, driving only 15mph and annoying the hell out of everyone who followed her.

She made it there without so much as a stink eye.

We thank You for roads not too bumpy, places to pull over to let others pass, and for a suspension that she later learned kept the whole broken pipe assembly from dropping out.

We thank You for allowing Kathy to release her Kung Fu grip from the steering wheel upon arrival at the shop, and for her dear sister who picked her up so she didn’t have to waste money on cab fare getting home.

Speaking of money……

We do not thank You for the $600 bill, but all things considered, at least Kathy’s not shopping for a new car tomorrow.

Amen.

I Hate This Commercial With the White Hot Intensity of a Thousand Suns

Posted by Kathy on May 6th, 2012

There are a lot of things that irritate me. In fact, I have a whole category on Junk Drawer devoted to “Stuff I Hate.” That doesn’t sound healthy, does it?

Anyway, fewer things annoy me more right now than the jingle at the end of the Empire Today carpet commercial that runs in my area. For all I know it may run nationally and everyone else’s ears are bleeding, too.

Or maybe it doesn’t bother you and I’m the only one who needs to sign up for crankiness management classes.

Mind you, it’s not the whole commercial I hate. It’s just the jingle at the end.

The saving grace is that I can see or hear the commercial coming on and have ample time to dive for the remote to change the channel or mute it.

So what’s wrong with the jingle?

It’s a singing phone number jingle and I hate those so much that I want to cry. I know. That’s not a sane reaction. I shouldn’t be this bothered.

But I am.

What’s worse is that I still have a problem when I’m visiting my mother and it comes on her TV.

There, I’m in a Remote Control Unawareness Zone.

It seems to move a lot. At any given time, I don’t know where her remote is, so I can’t get to it fast enough to change the channel.

And then I have to hear it against my will.

I have to hear this.

And I hate it.

Hate.

It.

So.

Much.

The singing phone number jingle:

 

Also? Empire people? You think you’ve won by writing a singing jingle? You think that phone number of yours will get stuck in my head and you’ll be the first ones I call when I need carpeting?

No. I specifically avoid you, avoid hearing your number, and now you done gone and made me blog about how annoying it is.

It’s a wonder you can sleep at night.

Now where do I sign up for those Cranky McCrankster classes?

A Brain Dump Post

Posted by Kathy on March 14th, 2012

Calvin-Brain-DumpI generally avoid writing posts made up of a stream of random thoughts, but you know, sometimes you just have to write anything.

So here goes, the brain dump:

1.  2011 was the year I ate a PBJ for the first time in my life. 2012 is the year I ate scrapple for the first time ever.

Liked it, didn’t love it. I wanted it to be more like sausage, but it wasn’t firm enough. Little crispy on the outside, loosey-goosey in the middle. Made much better when lying in a pool of maple syrup, though. That is all.

2.  Today while leaving work I spotted a student practicing walking on a tightrope pulled taut between two trees, only inches off the ground. Wanted to ask “What for?” but was too lazy to walk over and probe. Cool, though. Rock on, Sidewalk Wallenda!

3.  On the way home from work, a tiny piece of plastic bag blew into my car and settled on my dash. Then it blew out the other window. I thought of Windy and smiled.

4.  The other day I freaked out when I found what I thought was some kind of mutant curly worm behind the toilet bowl. So I let it sit there until I got the courage to investigate closer.

It wasn’t a worm. It was a large shaving from my eyeliner pencil. Why was it there? Because I sharpen the pencil over the toilet bowl so the shavings can go down a pipe instead of shaving it over my trash basket, which has open slats in it and I’m always thinking the shavings are going to fall through the slats and onto the floor where I’ll have to clean them up later.

So instead of shaving the pencil over a trash can, I’m shaving it over a toilet, where debris falls on the floor, I still have to clean it up, but now I have the added stress of thinking it’s a bug that will jump on my face and burrow a hole through my eyeball.

Also, how does one miss a target the size of a toilet bowl? Oh, wait. Men do it all the time. Never mind.

5.  For all you cat owners, I just read a post on a pet website that claims to sell an “unbreakable” plastic pooper scooper. You know what’s unbreakable? A slotted metal spoon you’d use for spaghetti. Seriously. Plastic always breaks, and unless your cat leaves 10lb deposits, a metal scooper will last you forever and then some. You’re welcome.

6.  After watching an interview with a very pregnant Jessica Simpson yesterday, I had a pregnancy dream last night. I was close to delivery and the only thing I could think of was “We don’t have any diapers.” So in my dream I went on Facebook and asked all my friends whether I should buy Huggies or Pampers. The winner was Pampers.

7.  Expired Greek yogurt has the consistency of regurgitated oatmeal. Discovering you’ve eaten expired Greek yogurt is scary and keeps you close the bathroom. Just in case.

8.  I hate whistlers. There is nothing fun about hearing a person whistle. It doesn’t make me think “Oh, what’s he so happy about? I would like to feel happy too, so I shall whistle as well.”

It makes me want to roll up an old sock that my cat plays with, encrusted with kitty spittle, and shove it in said whistler’s mouth.

The end.

 

Why Hitchhiking is Dangerous

Posted by Kathy on February 24th, 2012

OK, bees, wasps and any other flying things that try to hitch a ride in this….

hair

Your lives will end in a very bad way ……

dead wasp

Yesterday I went outside to enjoy the balmy weather we’re having, and took a short walk around the courtyard of my building.

Within seconds I was hit in the head by a directionally-challenged wasp. Peripherally, I saw it coming in for a landing, and then heard it pierce my wall of curls.

Then silence. Did it die on impact? Is it still in there, wondering why what he thought was a shrub is so soft and smells like Pantene?

I flicked and fussed and shook my head until I was sure it was out.

I walked back into my office and met up with a student assistant who had just started his shift.

Trailing behind me was a client who followed me into the office and started chatting with the both of us.

I turned away from them to log into my PC and heard the client ask “Is that a wasp up there?”

Oh, for crying out loud.

I knew instantly I hadn’t gotten it out of my hair and that it must’ve hitched a ride with me to my office. It was clinging to the ceiling, surely perplexed by his new surroundings.

Big mistake, buddy.

It took ten minutes of my student’s merciless swinging, swatting and smashing to finally get it injured enough to stay on the floor.

A fighter, he was.

After a few pitiful wing waves, it gave one last gasp under my bookcase, where it shall remain. Because me no likie bugs, dead or alive, and I ain’t touchin’ that thing. I can barely even look at the picture of it.

Incidentally, killing wasps and photographing them is now considered “other duties as assigned” to my work study student. Thanks, Chris.

Wasps should really consult with the bees in the neighborhood, since they too have been victims of my Venus Flytrap head.

Bugs, fly with caution. Just sayin’.

Texting the Hard Way

Posted by Kathy on November 23rd, 2011

Playskool phone Honestly.

I don’t know how anyone tolerated texting in the old days. And by “old days,” I mean last year.

You know the way, don’t you?

Press the number 8 key on your phone once to get a letter “T.”

Press the number 4 key on your phone twice to get a letter “h.”

Press the number 4 key on your phone thrice to get a letter “i.”

Press the number 7 key on your phone four times to get a letter “s.”

 

Press the number 4 key on your phone thrice to get a letter “i.”

Press the number 7 key on your phone four times to get a letter “s.”

 

Press the number 2 key on your phone twice to get a letter “b.”

Press the number 8 key on your phone twice to get a letter “u.”

Press the number 5 key on your phone thrice to get a letter “l.”

Press the number 5 key on your phone thrice to get a letter “l.”

Press the number 7 key on your phone four times to get a letter “s.”

Press the number 4 key on your phone twice to get a letter “h.”

Press the number 4 key on your phone thrice to get a letter “i.”

Press the number 8 key on your phone once to get a letter “t.”

Press the star key to get to the punctuation menu for a “.”

Today I texted with the contractor we hired to work on a bathroom. I set out to tell him to arrive at my house at 11:30 and I would leave work and meet him there.

It took me so long to type that message, I had to change the time to 11:40.

I hate texting with my Playskool phone because not only does it take me forever to tap out letters, I must use proper punctuation, spelling and capitalization. I also don’t use “2” for “to” or “u” for “you.”

Shut up. I know I’m making it harder than it has to be, but you gotta admit it’s pretty ludicrous to begin with. Now somebody buy me an iPhone with a data plan and make it snappy.

Happy Thanksgiving blessings to everyone! May your house be full of fun and laughter, your plates be overflowing and your pants be all stretchy like.

Amen.

The Best and Worst Clothes Shopping Trip

Posted by Kathy on May 24th, 2011

shopping I just experienced both the best and worst clothes shopping trip in the span of two hours.

The best experience was jeans shopping. You read that right. It is possible to shop for jeans and not cry the whole time.

I was delighted to find that because of my weight loss, I can now move down another size in my jeans. I know exactly the style to buy that fits my freak body. Lee “Relaxed Straight Leg – At the Waist” medium length jeans are made for me.

Ladies, if you carry more weight on your bottom than on the top, try those. And don’t let the “straight leg” worry you. In reality, they’re more a boot cut, which is a better style for women shaped like us. You won’t get the dreaded peg leg look.

So I’m sifting through the wall of Lee jeans looking for my size and I can’t find them. Why? Because every other woman where I live is my size, apparently.

I take the style I want in a different size to the counter and ask the saleswoman to order my size in that exact cut, length and wash.

She enters the information in the register and determines that she can’t order the wash I want, dark stone, because it’s not available.

Poo.

She tells me she’ll try several different search methods to find them, but I’m sensing I’ll be out of luck the longer this process continues.

But then. Then! She says “Wait right here. I have one last place to check.” She returns a couple minutes later with my exact size, cut, and wash that I want, telling me there was a single pair in the back room.

Thank you, JCPenney’s Clarissa! You made my day.

High from my successful jeans shopping excursion, I went on the hunt for some summer tops. And then my world crumbled around me.

I hate shopping for tops because I dislike my arms and need something to accentuate my smallish waist, so I tend to stick with one style that is structured enough to lay well on the hip, give me shape and form and cover most of my beastly arms.

I found one such top after looking through hundreds. Hundreds, I tell you.

I try it on and love it immediately. But I notice it’s had its price tag ripped off. Why? Why, God, must you let me find the one top I love that will give me trouble at the register?

And trouble I got.

The saleswoman sees it’s missing its price tag and she looks at the manufacturer’s label, thinking she can look it up at the register.

She cannot.

Why?

Because, she says, “This isn’t ours.”

“What?”

This isn’t our merchandise. We don’t sell this brand.”

But I found it on a rack in the store.”

But it’s not ours. Where did you get it?”

You mean out of the hundreds of tops I looked at? Uh. How ‘bout over there in Kansas. I have no idea where I got it.”

She checks with another saleswoman, who agrees they cannot sell it to me because it’s not theirs.

BUT I FOUND IT IN YOUR STORE!!!

I am flabbergasted. It takes me months to find clothing that I like and that flatters me and I’m standing there holding the perfect garment and yet I cannot buy it.

I consider for a moment asking if the three of us can make up a reasonable price and just call it a day.

But they are not budging. They will not sell me the top.

I was so tired and disgusted by then, all I could ask was “How do I get out of here?”

They pointed the way out of the store that sells clothes you can’t buy and left in a huff.

Without the pretty turquoise, structured top with the lovely neck line.

Tell me, Boscovs salesladies. What are you going to do with that? Throw it out? Because you probably could have charged me a made-up price of eighty bucks, pocketed it between yourselves and I wouldn’t have said a word.

For now, I’ll have to keep wearing the crappy clothes I hate and think about the top that could have been.

Honestly. Have you ever heard of something so stupid?

At least I won the jeans war. And I didn’t cry once.

I Can’t Go Through This Again. I Just Can’t.

Posted by Kathy on April 22nd, 2011

Length of time in tree: Six weeks

Approximate height in tree: 25 feet

Store of origin: PathMark

New bag

Yes, it’s in Windy’s tree.

No, I’m not happy about it.

Yes, I want to get it out.

No, I don’t know how.

Yes, it’s really twisted up on there.

No, you can’t knock it down with a rock.

Yes, I hate PathMark now.

No, you can’t name it.

Really, we’re not getting cozy with this thing. I might contact a guy in New York City who’s aware of the Windy saga.

He owns a company that makes and sells extension poles with a grappling hook on the end, made specifically to extract bags from trees.

Nevermind. I just checked the price of the poles and I can’t afford one.

I guess we’re getting cozy with this thing.

God help me.

New bag2

15 Tries on the Ear-y Canal

Posted by Kathy on April 15th, 2011

garden hose Today I had an ear lavage. The word lavage is derived from the French verb laver “to wash.”

An ear lavage thus means “to drown through an opening where only a Q-tip should go, if that.”

Last weekend I developed what at first seemed like a cold, but turned out to be only a cold wannabee. Some sniffles for a day, some sneezing, no cough. In the end, just clogged ears.

My doctor says “Could be allergies. You might be one of us now.”

Yeah, me.

She recommended I have my ears irrigated to eliminate wax build-up as an issue and I agreed.

A nurse came into the room with what can best be described as Thanksgiving dinner supplies.

A huge turkey baster, some plastic mixing bowls and a tablecloth.

In one bowl was what I thought must be a gallon of water, the other one empty.

The turkey baster kinda scared me because I know this woman had plans to squirt all that water into my ears until my brains came out.

Have you ever had an ear lavage?” she asked.

Yes. Once. And I didn’t like it.”

“Most people find it enjoyable,” she countered.

I’m not most people. Something must be wrong with most people.”

First she prepped the equipment, then she asked if I could pull my hair back so it didn’t get wet.

Uh. I really can’t because once it’s shellacked like this, it doesn’t move. But I’ll braid it.”

Done. The back is braided, but the top is not and now my head looks like cotton candy on a stick.

The nurse cloaks me with the plastic tablecloth to keep the water from spilling on my clothes. I’m asked to hold the empty container up to my ear to catch my brains as they fall out.

Then instead of asking me to sit on a chair that’s way lower than the elevated exam table, she climbs up on the table with me and leans in with the turkey baster.

I find this positively medieval and tell her so. She either doesn’t know what the word means or she’s heard it all before because she totally ignored the remark and continued on with Death by Lavage.

Very quickly she starts shooting warm water into my right ear and I want to scream because it’s a freaky feeling and ME NO LIKEY!

But I put my big girl panties on and made it to the end of six or so injections of water where water shouldn’t go.

After each gusher, she looks inside my ear with yet another medieval device and proclaims it “really bad in there” and continues with the torture treatment.

Each time, more of the same. Nothing but clear water dribbling into the giant cup I hold to my ear.

Where’s all the wax she sees in there? Maybe it’s not wax at all! Maybe it’s a T-U-M-O-R! It’s always a tumor! I have a tumor!

After the last treatment, she looks again and says wax is still “way back there.”

I disagree that what she’s seeing is really wax, because all of a sudden my ear pops, a little water comes out and I’m almost totally clear now.

I believe what the nurse saw was the part of my brain that’s suspicious of nurses who stick turkey basters in people’s ears.

She does the other ear and this time, and after 7 or 8 tries, some gross globs of wax come out and she shows it to me as if I might want to confirm that it is, in fact, not brain matter.

See? Not brain!

We’re done now. I’m happy it’s over and I’m pleased my ears are much clearer than they’ve been. I can hear all the voices in my head much better now.

Maybe I have allergies. Maybe I don’t. I got a prescription for a nasal spray because apparently I also have sinusitis. Or a tumor.

So.

Ever had an ear irrigation? Did you like it? Maybe like it a little too much? What’s wrong with you people?

You May Have to Squint a Little

Posted by Kathy on March 15th, 2011

dilation

The Worst Chore in the World

Posted by Kathy on March 12th, 2011

bathroomSo we have a leak that found its way to our master bathroom and roofers are coming to check it out next week.

The worst thing about that is not that we may find we need a new roof.

No.

The worst thing is that strangers will see my bathroom and so I was forced to clean it, because we all know roofers care deeply about how many hair tumbleweeds are hugging the toilet.

After my mad, spastic cleaning frenzy, I discovered:

1. I would rather be locked in a room for 72 hours with a coke-jacked, no-sleep, machete-wielding Charlie Sheen than clean a toilet again. I hold a lot of respect for people who do this as their day job.

I want to give a medal to the person who had to clean the ladies room where I work when I saw a Tootsie Roll (not the kind you eat) resting on the back of a toilet seat. Some filthy woman either doesn’t know how to sit on a toilet or a key opening on her anatomy is in the completely wrong place. How do you get that on the seat???

2. All those months I collected not-quite-empty shampoo and conditioner bottles and threw them in a pile in the corner was a bad idea. They drained completely. Scrubbing a floor that’s already soapy just makes it soapier and takes hella long to finish. Also, I’m a slob or a bottle hoarder. There were four on the floor.

3. Scrubbing a tub hurts every cell in my body. I will not be able to do this when I’m 80. I’m just going to stop showering. People forgive 80-year-olds who don’t bathe, right? Wait. Would they forgive a 45-year-old, too?

4. I found something unidentifiable stuck to the shower wall. It was bright orange. I don’t use orange products in the shower. I may need to see a doctor.

5. The Dyson doesn’t like it when you suck up half a plush bath mat and then try to pull it out when it’s still turned on. I groaned. It groaned. Also, I dumb.

6. Curious cats who investigate when a bathroom’s getting cleaned, and get in the annoyed cleaner’s way, are wet when they leave. But they take a good lesson with them.

7. Shampooing the carpets in three rooms after cleaning a bathroom, when your body is already cracked in half, is completely moronic, unreasoned and possibly dangerous, but damn if the upstairs doesn’t look like The Ritz.

Let’s see Charlie Sheen do that. Who’s the winner now?

Do You Look Like the Picture on Your Blog?

Posted by Kathy on February 12th, 2011

Kathy Some bloggers put a headshot of themselves on their blogs, and like me, did so when they started blogging.

Years later, that same picture is still there. For some, they still resemble that old photo.

But not me.

I’m many pounds heavier now than when this picture was taken.

I want to look like my headshot again.

Which is why I joined a health & fitness center last Sunday. Sure, I should have joined long ago for the health benefits, but I admit it was more vanity that got me there.

That’s because I’m speaking at a blog conference at the end of June. I’ll be meeting fellow bloggers who’ve only known me visually by that picture.

When I registered for the conference, I realized I didn’t want to show up and have no one recognize me. Worse, I imagined them huddled in a corner whispering, “Wow. She doesn’t look like I thought she would. Is that really her?”

So I’m doing something about it. Finally.

Every day at 5:30AM, I show up at the gym, shove my stuff in a locker and look in a mirror that faces another and another. The dreaded 360.

I don’t know who that woman is because that’s not who I see when I think of myself.

But the hard reality is that it’s what people see when they look at me and it nearly brings me to tears.

Somehow I’ve managed to look in mirrors past and ignore the obvious. That extra junk in my trunk, the double chin, the tree trunk legs.

You get used to it. I fell into a dangerous habit of thinking “It’s not so bad. I’m not that fat. There are people heavier than me. It could be worse.”

But I’m already worse.

Fifty pounds worse than my perfect weight of 2004.

And so there in the locker room, I reacquaint myself with those extra pounds. Face them. Hate them. Mark their last days.

I do an about face and head through those doors.

I stretch, I strain, I slog, I sweat.

I smile, too.

Because I imagine my old self emerging. A stronger, healthier, thinner me. Pound by pound, I’ll get there.

And then when I reach my goal, people will say “She’s just like I pictured.”

Maybe better.

Wait and see.

Where There’s a Hair, There’s a Way

Posted by Kathy on February 4th, 2011

I have eyebrow OCD.

No, I’m not one of those women who plucks her eyebrows until there’s no hair left and then have to pencil in new ones. That’s just freaky and wrong.

I will, however, obsess over a wayward, disobedient hair and won’t be able to function until it’s plucked and gone.

You know that hair, right? The one that sticks out so long it starts to curl like a question mark, when all the other hairs are lying down flat like good little hyphens? Yeah, that one.

Yesterday I found a question mark.

At work.

Where I don’t have tweezers.

I did find this, though. It’s a Swiss Army card. I think you use it if your office gets hit by an avalanche and you have to MacGyver your way out.

swiss army cardLookie here. We have scissors, a letter opener/blade, a pressurized ballpoint pen, a magnifying glass, an LED light, four screwdriver tips and TWEEZERS.

Score!

Since I didn’t have a mirror, and a coworker who likely had one wasn’t around, I headed to the ladies room and got working on my hairy question mark.

I had problems immediately because there was barely any tension in my cheap Swiss Army tweezers. Over and over, they kept slipping off the hair. 
Then I heard a very faint rustle coming from a nearby stall. That was the “I’m here, wish you weren’t” rustle of someone trying to take care of business.

The #1 rule of bathroom etiquette? You exit the room if there is someone thinking really hard in there. They don’t need you loitering any more than you want to hear them thinking.

So I leave disappointed. The hair will have to wait. GRRRRR!

As soon as I get in the hallway, I’m ambushed by a student who frantically asks me the time.

When I tell him it’s 9:30 he says "Oh, man. That’s late. I’m really late for class, like 20 minutes late. I overslept! I never oversleep! I don’t want to go in now. Should I or shouldn’t I?"

I’m thinking "Dude, do you NOT see this question mark growing out of my head? I got bigger problems. Outta my way, Jack."

I wish him luck with his decision and leave him standing frozen in his tracks. I feel a little sorry for him, but not sorrier than I am about my errant hair. Priorities, people.

I head to a different ladies room upstairs. Good, no one’s in here.

Now. Let’s get to work.

I figure out how to pull hair easier by positioning my fingers at the tip of the Swiss Army tweezers and putting all the pressure there. Except, I keep pulling the wrong hairs.

Every time I think I have the question mark in my grip, it’s not. It’s a hyphen.

I’ve now pulled at least five hyphens and still have the question mark. And now the left brow is looking a little thinner than the right. Uh-oh.

Come on, Kath. Question mark! Question mark! 

I’m also getting red and puffy under the hairs because I’m over-plucking hyphens and they scream on the way out and leave a mark.

Worried now that I’m going to have to spend the rest of the day looking like a cross between Rocky Balboa and Bozo the Clown, and also scared someone will walk in on me during my hair surgery, I retreat and return to my office.

Luckily, my coworker is back at her desk and loans me a compact. Hunched over the mirror, I fluff up what remains of my left brow so the question mark stands out. Again. There it is, still taunting me. Oh, I’ve got you now.

With a steady hand, expert precision and perfect pressure, I grab hold of the question mark and yank away. I’ve got it! Yes, I’ve got it! Oh, sweet relief.

When I get home to a normal pair of tweezers, I even out and shape up my brows like I should have done sooner.

I make a mental note to buy a spare pair of tweezers so I can keep one at work because I’m pretty sure I’ll see another question mark – or worse, an ampersand – and I want to be ready for that bad boy.

&

Yeah. It could happen.

Checkout Line Class

Posted by Kathy on January 17th, 2011

shopping cart People, people, people. It’s so simple.

When you stand behind me in the grocery store checkout and you inch your way ever closer to the cashier, and in the process kick my feet, you can avoid having to say “Excuse me” and I would not have to burn a hole through your skull with my angry stare.

I promise you, you will get through the line with all your stuff quickly enough, whether you’ve hopped on my back or not. I prefer you not get all up in my grill and then have to apologize for it.

Here’s today’s lesson: There is an comfortable distance that you should stand behind a person before that person gets decidedly uncomfortable. For me, that’s two feet, not two inches.

You’re not running a marathon, there is no prize for getting to the end of the line faster and all it does is make me want to squeeze your bread until it looks like one giant matzo ball.

Two feet. Not two inches. Got it?

It’s Not Like I Asked Him to Shave My Legs

Posted by Kathy on January 13th, 2011

I don’t understand the resistance, really. It’s not like I asked him to shave my legs.

I’ve asked my husband repeatedly if he would help me do something that is impossible for me to do by myself.

When we took our wedding vows, I’m sure there was something in there about helping your wife in her times of need — whether it’s when she’s sick, needs moral support, or if there’s a clog of some horrific magnitude in the shower drain.

But most especially – I’m pretty sure I heard it, right before the death part – he’s supposed to pull gray hairs out of the back of my head where I can’t see to pluck them myself.

Yes. I’m sure I heard it.

Listen. I’m not gray enough to start getting my hair colored, or maybe it’s that I’m too cheap to start laying out fifty bucks every six weeks.

I just want those few suckers gone. I know they’re there, and I need someone to do it for me.

He won’t do it because it’s “weird.” Weird shmeird. Pull ‘em out!

Maybe I should remind him that when we were bride and groom, the operative word there was groom.

grooming monkeys

Photo credit: Alex Clayton

Stop Looking at My Underwear!

Posted by Kathy on November 20th, 2010

I used to say the one thing I can’t live without was Internet access. That’s true most of the time, but as of 1:42PM today, the new thing I can’t do without is quick-drying clothes.

Our Kenmore up and died today. Rest in peace, 19-yr-old heavy duty front-loader, model #96273800. You served us well.

The panic didn’t set in right away. For an hour I thought I could manage. Maybe try to dry clothes in it with just cool air. We get cool air. But a single blanket we ran through a full cycle didn’t even get half dry.

I have two options: 1) Buy a new dryer and pray it gets delivered within 24 hours, or 2) Go to a laundromat until it does.

Option #2 is not a happy option. I would rather scoop my eyes out with a melon baller than sit in a laundromat watching my pants dry. And I’m not one of those people who puts their stuff in the machines and leaves to run errands. I have clothing separation anxiety. No, I don’t actually think someone will steal my clothes, but I kind of do.

Also, I feel so weird exposing my clothes in a public setting. Yes, yes, I know I wear them in public. I just don’t want to wash them in public.

This leaves Option #1. And that means I’m taking my sister’s advice and going to the same family-run store where she bought her washer/dryer and got them delivered the same day.

I will be there when they open Monday morning. Waiting with a credit card in hand. I will step inside, point at the first dryer I see and buy it. I will ask if I can have it that day and hug them if they say yes.

If they don’t, then it’s to the laundromat, where random people doing there laundry run the risk of seeing my clothes, and that includes these shorts. Don’t judge me. You know you have something that looks just like it.


Cashier Class in Session

Posted by Kathy on November 8th, 2010

Any cashiers out there? Gather ‘round for class. Today’s lesson is brief and simple.

What I’m about to tell you is something you should have learned in cashier kindergarten, but bears repeating.

Ready?

When giving change to customers, always, always, always give them coins first, then place bills on top.

Why?

Because the customer only has so many hands. They need to put the coins in a pocket or wallet. By putting the coins on top of bills, the customer risks spilling coins as they attempt to drop them in whatever coin-carrying vessel they have on their person.

They are likely trying to do this with the other hand holding the thing, let’s say Lay’s Salt & Vinegar potato chips, that they just bought.

I repeat. Do not try to balance coins on bills as you extend them to customers. If you’re having problems balancing coins, what will the customer do?

The customer will spill them all over the counter and the floor, watch a dime and a quarter roll away spastically under a refrigerator, curse you under her breath and wonder why you thought that handing her a shaky pile of bills and coins as though you were passing her plutonium would end well.

So, to recap.

Coins in the palm.

Bills on the top.

Receipt when customer has deposited her change in her wallet.

Class dismissed.

p.s. For an insider’s look at the other side of the equation, check out the most excellent Confessions of a Cashier blog for insight into what it’s like dealing with the general public. This woman has all my pity.

My Wall Street Journal Interview

Posted by Kathy on July 30th, 2010

wsj So remember when I was interviewed about Windy on NPR’s All Things Considered program? Yeah, good times baby!

Well, what you don’t know is the day the Windy interview aired, I was interviewed by the Wall Street Journal for an entirely different story. I was pinching myself all over because I couldn’t believe my good fortune.

That morning I received an email from a marketing reporter, asking if she could interview me about the YouTube video I made about the very loud Sun Chips bag, a bag that’s so loud husbands can’t eat out of it near a sleeping baby or their wives will kill them dead.

The reporter found my video online and was putting together a story about the bags and all the people who can’t stand them.

She took some vitals from me, my name, town and blog information and then asked me some questions.

When did you realize the bag was so loud?

As soon as I got it home and opened it. My husband and I irritated each other for a week. You can hear it on different floors of the house.

How do you feel about Frito-Lay’s efforts to improve the environment by making 100% compostable bags?

Great, except I’ll never buy them again. I thought of writing the Frito-Lay people and telling them that they’re losing sales because the bag’s so loud.

[This turned out to be untrue, because I recently purchased a bag, but only to give to a colleague so he could hear for himself how loud they were. When I drove to work with it and went over some bumps, the bag made a noise. Just sitting there, it made a noise. God.]

Do you write companies about products you dislike?

Oh, yes. In fact, I just wrote the Glad Wrap people to tell them they need to help consumers find the end of a new roll. The thin plastic is clear and sometimes you can’t see or feel where the end of it is. They can fix the problem by tinting the end of the roll in some color or attaching a little pull tab.

I went on to say that companies should hire me as a product tester to let them know what will work and what won’t. I would make an excellent focus group participant and they should want me full-time because I would never shut up.

Do you hate a lot of things?

Oh, no! I’m in love with my Dyson vacuum cleaner. In a really unhealthy way. I told her that vacuuming was a joy now, and despite the high cost, it’s worth every penny and she should go buy one. Like right now.

We touched on a couple other things and then the interview was over. She thanked me for my time and said the article would appear soon, but it’s been six weeks and still no story. I think I scared her.

What a loss. Just think of all the people who won’t get the chance to leave comments on the WSJ site, saying how certifiably mental I am.

So that leaves just you guys to tell me so on the blog. But I’m a lovable certifiable, right?

The Purse Curse

Posted by Kathy on July 2nd, 2010

purse The good thing about carrying a purse is that I have everything I need in a day whenever I need it. The bad thing is that I have everything I need in a day whenever I need it. It’s freaking heavy.

Granted, I’m not one of those suitcase purse kinds of women. That’s just crazy. Nor am I like the Sherpa woman I work with who walks into the office a few times a week carrying no less than four kinds of bundles: her laptop case, her regular purse, her knitting materials bag and usually some books. She’s a librarian Sherpa, so I can make a concession for the books.

That’s not me. I need exactly one bag and I’m thoroughly annoyed if I have to grab a bigger sack to put the purse and other things in. I want to be a minimalist, like my husband, who gets to walk around earth carrying a five ounce wallet.

Anyway, I’ve got a bag big enough to hold my wallet, a digital camera, my sunglasses case and about a thousand envelopes with what I think are important papers in them, but never find the time to actually check. At least they’re all rubber-banded together so that I look some measure less disorganized when I go hunting for something.

Even though I don’t think I have too many items in my purse, the weight of it all means that everything is laying at the bottom of it and I still need to dig around. Since I have nothing unnecessary in my purse, this annoys me to no end.

Tonight when I went to the vet’s to pick up medicine for one of my cats, I got in line behind a woman who had her purse slung over her shoulder and in that purse sat a dog.

Cute little thing. Really little. About the size of the turkey sandwich I had for lunch today.

The woman was trying to check out, pay her bill and be on her way. But she just could not get to her wallet. Dig, dig, dig. Sigh, sigh, sigh.

She says “I don’t know why I can never get at anything in here!”

I’ll tell you why.

Because there’s a dog in your purse.

So tell me, ladies, do you hate your purse? Love your purse? Do you wish you could walk around with only a wallet? Do you wish you could carry a teeny-tiny dog around in it, ignoring the snickers of people like me who think that’s hysterical?

If He Dies, I’m Having a Yard Sale

Posted by Kathy on April 26th, 2010

entertainment center

I give up.

This is a picture of our living room “entertainment center,” which I prefer to call the “Ain’t gonna figure any of that out, even if you make me take a class on it center.”

All I want to do is watch TV. Regular TV. With one remote that has power, channel-changing and volume buttons.

Instead, we have:

1. An HDTV set.

2. A surround sound audio system with four speakers and two subwoofers that will shake your teeth and rip your face off.

3. A DVD player.

4. A Wii.

5. Wireless headphones.

6. A DVR.

7. Three remotes, all unfortunately necessary.

I’ve long since stopped trying to figure out how to watch DVDs. I don’t even know if I remember how to operate the Wii. The wireless headphones are a new addition, but luckily, they’re not for me. My husband Dave wears them so I can have some peace and quiet while blogging in the kitchen, which is feet away from this monstrosity.

I hate having to use two remotes just to watch TV, one for sound, another for channel-changing.

Sometimes I think I want to pop in a DVD, but I would need kindergarten instructions and by the time I figure it out, the movie will be free on regular cable.

All I’m saying is that if my husband gets hit by a bus, there’s gonna be one big ass yard sale at my house. I would sell everything for a dollar and not look back.

Do the men in your house have toys like this? Do you know how to operate it all? Do you need an assistant like me? Or does your house have a man cave where all this stuff lives and you don’t have to think about it?

I’m All For Eco-Friendly, But Geez….

Posted by Kathy on January 30th, 2010

Has anyone bought Sun Chips in the new eco-friendly bag? Ay-carumba!

They are touted as the first of their kind to be “100% compostable.” That’s great, but they’re loud as hell!

I Googled the issue and found a few discussion boards where people left the following comments:

I swear it’s capable of waking the dead if you so much as breath in its general direction, much less actually touch it or reach inside to get a chip.

Just curious about other’s comments on this ear-splitting bag. Is a fully compostable bag worth it if everyone within 1/2 mile knows you’re eating Sun Chips?

My wife was asleep upstairs and I opened the bag in the kitchen and it literally woke her up. Man that bag is loud!

Well, at least the neighbors know you are engaging in the proper consumption of said “Sun Chips”. Next time you go out and pick up your mail just say you had an excellent dip experience.

Sounds like a car crash whenever I go to grab a chip.

I’m all about snacking, but I’d like to do it in peace. Does everyone have to know I’m off my diet?

Have a listen…..

I Conquered Another Fear!

Posted by Kathy on December 22nd, 2009

Some of you might know that one of my biggest fears was to fly on a plane all by myself. I managed to show that fear who’s boss last summer when I attended a blogging conference in Chicago. Let me tell you, I felt like a superstar getting that behind me. Kathy, 1. Fear, 0.

Unfortunately, I’ve got other fears, one of them heights, which was triggered when I walked over a bridge with my husband Dave in the Bahamas circa 1995.

We walked along just fine, until Dave exclaimed “Look! The water is beautiful!” I turned my head to take in the view and promptly lost my mind. I had to run over to the other side of the bridge and take a cab ride back.

There were to be no more walks over bridges for me.

Until today.

For years I avoided joining some of my coworkers who would take walks over the bridge for exercise or to enjoy their lunch hours at a summer music festival held every year on the other side of it. I simply could not fathom walking across that bridge. No how, no way.

But it bugged me that I couldn’t — wouldn’t — do something so simple as to walk across that thing. I mean, it’s just a sidewalk, albeit a sidewalk high in the air.

So I made a decision today to join my coworker Heather for a walk around town and a stroll across The Bridge. I’m pleased to report that I made it without crying in hysterics or having a panic attack.

Were there challenges? Yes. Did I sweat like a pig, even though it was only 20 degrees out? Yes. Oink.

If I looked to the left, there was fear of being so high up. Sure, there’s a railing there, but still. It’s the only thing between me and DYING.

If I looked to the right, I felt the closeness and rush of cars whizzing by and worried that I’d somehow fall over the guardrail, get hit by a car and DIE.

I had two choices: either look straight down at the sidewalk or look way, way off to the distance so that I didn’t have either death threat in my peripheral vision. I alternated between both methods until I reached the other side.

And thanks to my trusty co-pilot Heather, who gave me words of encouragement the whole time and notified me when we were and weren’t over water, it was almost a piece of cake.

If any of you have fears that keep you from enjoying life to its fullest, there’s pretty much only one way around it. You have to stare down that fear and kick its ass to the curb.

I know it sounds easier said than done, but I’m here to tell you that I thought I might die today and I didn’t!

Not dying is awesome, but living with one less fear feels even awesomer.

 

Bridge

We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Remote

Posted by Kathy on December 2nd, 2009

stockvault_673_20070301Remember when your TV had twelve channels, 2-13, and that was enough on the dial?

Yeah.

And then we thought it was all cool and progressive to have channels that went up to a hundred or so?

Uh-hmmm.

My cable service just sent some hocus pocus through our receiver and suddenly my favorite channel is 1,129.

Discuss.

Fall Fashions of 1974

Posted by Kathy on September 1st, 2009

A good friend of mine sent her kids off to public school yesterday. This year her school district implemented a uniform policy that the kids understandably hate.

I can guarantee it’s not as bad as the fashion dictated by my Catholic grade school.

The requirements?

Green and gold plaid jumper no higher than an inch above the knee, preferably below.

A choice from a wide selection of either white or green socks.

Shoes judged to be sensible by a panel of nuns.

Failure to comply resulted in death.

school_uniforms

The upside is I never had to worry about what to wear any day of the week. For 18 years. The downside? Plaid is dead to me.

If you have school-aged kids, do they wear uniforms? What do the styles look like nowadays? Do your kids hate it? Tolerate it? Maybe even like it?

Editor For Hire

Posted by Kathy on August 20th, 2009

Dear Bravo TV:

Editor for hire. Call me. We’ll talk.

Sincerely,

The Grammar Nazi 

BravoTV

Thirteen Cents

Posted by Kathy on August 14th, 2009

We have a winner! Kristin correctly guessed that the What’s That Wednesday item is a metal detector.

whatsthat metal detector

The part shown was from the base of the unit. Please don’t ask me what the hole is for. I know nothing about metal detecting except that I’ll never do it again.

My husband Dave spent some time with it a few years back and found a ton of coins, a few rings and incidental items, enough to keep him interested. The most valuable coin he found was a mid-1800s three-cent piece, worth about $75 today.

Me? I tried it once and found a dime and three pennies, worth thirteen cents today. I simply do not have the patience for something like this. After scanning the ground for an hour and not finding much, I quickly lost interest. The device isn’t too heavy at first, but it feels like a bar bell when you carry it around for a while.

Has anyone ever gone metal detecting? Did you enjoy it? What was the coolest thing you dug up?

Thanks for playing! I love this series because your guesses are so good and are a blast to read. Kristin, I’ll contact you shortly about your prizes.

I Hear Buzzing

Posted by Kathy on August 3rd, 2009

Walking down the hall in my building at work today, I ran into three ladies I haven’t seen in a while. They were headed out to the patio to eat their lunches and so I joined them out in the sun for a bit.

No sooner did I sit down to regale them with my vacation details than I heard a buzzing in my ear. I knew it was a bee, but after a second or two, I thought it’d gone on its merry way.

No such luck. All three woman, looking more concerned than made me comfortable, yelled in unison "Don’t move!!!!"

The bee was still there, though now silent. A sitting duck, I waited to get stung.

Mercifully, one of the women swatted it away before the bee could get its stinger positioned for the kill.

Later in the day, I emailed my savior and thanked her for getting the bee out of my hair. I told her how my Monday would have sucked had I gotten stung in the head. My big, fat mop top head.

She wrote me back and said "Just think what the bee was thinking…. "Help me! I have flown into a hair labyrinth and can’t find my way out!""

She’s not kidding. Would you want to get stuck in this?

Hair

A Scary, Hairy, Curly, Whirly Thrill Ride for Bees

Somebody oughtta check for Jimmy Hoffa in there.

The Summer of a Thousand Legs

Posted by Kathy on July 19th, 2009

showerhead I once lived in an apartment that saw two kinds of bug infestations. Bees one spring and thousand-leggers one summer. That summer tested me and tested me good.

If I came home late, I feared flicking on the light since the time I found a thousand-legger chillin’ out just above the switch. After that, I kept a little flashlight in my purse to survey the area for critters in the dark.

Another time one fell out of the dishwasher onto my bare foot, which triggered a spastic freak-out dance that my downstairs neighbor later told me made her wonder if I was going to crash through the floor and land in her lap.

The last straw was when one particularly ballsy thousand-legger tried to take a shower with me.

Soaking wet and washing my hair, I turned around and opened my soapy eyes to find a giant specimen crawling up the back end of the tub.

I let out the kind of scream suitable for any decent slasher movie. The kind of scream that comes from deep within and shocks you that you can even make a sound like that. Is that me? The kind of scream that should prompt all of my nearby apartment-dwellers to call 911. Don’t do that! I’m naked!

My first course of action was to pummel that thing into submission by shooting it with water and sending it down the drain. I jump out of the shower and aim the showerhead at my intruder. Die! Die!

What? It’s not moving.

Oh, wait. It is moving. Just not toward the drain.

Oh, nooooo. My little visitor evidently works out at the gym. Pilates much? Every single one of its creepy, crawly legs fought against the current and it was making remarkable progress up the tub wall. Of all the bugs in the world, I get Arnold Schwartzelegger.

A jet stream of water clearly wasn’t going to save me.

I was going to have to crush this thing with my bare hands. Well, not bare. These hands would have to be covered with a half roll of paper towels.

Dripping wet, I run off to the kitchen, trying not to slip on the floor, crack my skull on a counter, fall to the floor unconscious and have a new problem. Not the bleeding cranium, but returning from the ER with the knowledge that the freak insect is still in my apartment!

I pull at the roll of towels like I’m starting a lawn mower and scrape up enough courage to smash that thing with my paw — and then what? Where do I put it? No, not in the toilet. We know now water is no match. It swims!

It needs to go outside. I need an exit hatch. Yeah, yeah. An exit hatch. My bedroom window!

A woman on a mission, I dash to the bedroom with my enormous supply of Bounty towels. I thrust open a window and then head to the bathroom.

Stay cool. Breathe.

OK, Mr. Not Welcome Here, prepare to meet your Maker. And why, by the way, did your Maker make you? Are you good for eating other bugs? Is there something beneficial about you that only entomologists know about? Regardless, you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time and you need to die today.

I position the wad of towels over Leggy McLegs and grab and squish with all my might. I spin around, run to the bedroom and toss the whole crushed-appendage mess out the window.

I am safe now. Safe from a thing that weighs less than a postage stamp, yet has the power to make a person a million times its size and weight turn into a quivering idiot. I don’t get it. That. Shouldn’t. Be.

OK. Now where was I? Oh, yeah. Taking a relaxing shower. Fat chance of that now or ever again during the Summer of a Thousand Legs.

Epilogue: I moved to a nice, bug-free townhouse that fall and I haven’t seen a thousand-legger since. It is bliss.

Flowers are Scary!

Posted by Kathy on June 10th, 2009

A few weeks ago, I glanced out at the back yard and noticed a patch of what looked like weeds. I didn’t think much of it until they started to grow larger like this:

sunflowers 

I decided to bring this situation to my husband’s attention and it was only then that I found out he surreptitiously planted sunflowers.

Sunflowers?! How could you?!

I know. I should be glad. Sunflowers are…. well, sunny. And happy. And yellow and bright.

But they scare the crap out of me.

Why?

Because Dave planted them at our old house and at night, in the faint glow of a street light, they looked like PEOPLES!

Big, swaying heads of PEOPLES in the darkness!

So now when these things grow right next to our house, I’ll be jumping out of my skin every time I look out the window.

Would it be bad to call 911 because I think flowers are breaking into my house?

OK, let’s hear it. What irrational fears to you have?

A What’s That Winner

Posted by Kathy on June 5th, 2009

Wow! I gotta tell you guys. Your guesses for the What’s That contest were outstanding! So many good ones, but only one correct answer and only one winner.

The first person to guess the object correctly was Maya, who said it was part of a Brita water filter.

whatsthat BritaWaterFilter

Congratulations, Maya! I’ll be in touch with you shortly about your prizes.

In other Junk Drawer news….

I spent Thursday in a hospital with my husband Dave, who had rotator cuff surgery. Despite an annoying four hour delay, all went very well and he’s coping OK with the pain, thanks to some delightful Percocet.

Commence mini-rant.

There is perhaps no greater annoyance in hospital waiting rooms than a too-loud TV mounted on the ceiling that you can’t turn down or control the channel. That is why I spent most of my waiting time in the cafeteria reading a book in peace and quiet.

After playing nurse and not getting enough sleep last night, I had a doctor’s visit myself this morning. While sitting in the waiting room, I was subjected to the horror that is early morning TV news, complete with inane chatter and all-too-chipper people for eight in the morning.

Is it just me, or wouldn’t people who are probably not feeling well rather just sit quietly waiting for their names to be called? Instead, we had listen to a performance by the Dave Matthews Band outside the news studio. Since when did morning news shows involve screaming loud music before people have had their coffee?!?!

For all the people who hate this sort of thing, I’m pleased to tell you that I risked getting yelled at by the office staff, stomped over to that TV and MUTED IT!

That’s right. I’m a badass. Fear me.

Next up in waiting room annoyance reduction? Throwing my shoes at loud cell-phone talkers.

You’re welcome.

An Unwelcome Visitor

Posted by Kathy on May 23rd, 2009

Been three weeks since the day we became one.

Three weeks of sheer torture.

I wake up to it.

I shower with it.

I cook with it.

I go to work with it.

It’s with me right now.

It haunts me.

It’s sneaky. It’s merciless. It’s painful.

It may never leave.

But I don’t want it.

And I can’t take it.

I want peace.

I need to quiet the voices in my head!

The voices of ….. The Pointer Sisters.

Yeah, the song I heard over a grocery store speaker three weeks ago.

They’re. Still. Here.

Someone once told me the best way to rid yourself of an earworm is to give it to someone else.

Else, it’s all yours:

 

My Right Foot

Posted by Kathy on April 22nd, 2009

I defy you to tell the difference.

Sesame Street’s Ernie with his Rubber Ducky….. (fast forward 30 seconds past intro)

And my right shoe that I swear did NOT squeak when I tried them on at the store. Why, shoe people? Why?

I broke out these spring sandals yesterday and everyone — I mean everyone — knew when I was on approach.

I can’t sneak up on people anymore. I squeak up on them. Damn shoe.

I’m sorry if you get the Rubber Ducky song in your head all day. Although it is kinda catchy.
 
Incidentally, I had an Ernie doll as a child. He had the cutest, troll-like mop of hair until the Scissors Incident of 1971. Sorry, Ernie, but I still loved you bald!

Monday Mishmash

Posted by Kathy on November 3rd, 2008

scribbles What’s on Kathy’s mind today?

To my best good friend, Tracey, who threw her back out lifting an object she could have thrown over her head twenty years ago, I’m sorry for your injury, but you’re old now. Welcome to the club.

To the guy who called me today and left his phone number at lightning speed, I didn’t get it. I had to listen to your message three times because you sounded like you had a mouth full of marbles. If you’re leaving me your number, it’s because you know I don’t have it. Slow the hell down.

To my colleague, Heather. Thank you for making a pot of coffee every day before I come into the office. You don’t even drink coffee. You’re good people.

To my cat, Lucky, who insists on burrowing under a blanket on the couch for whatever reason. I do not know you are there. Learn how to make a warning noise or you shall require a visit to the vet to get unflattened. And I’m not so sure they have a procedure for that.

To my other cat, Stinky, who just walked across my laptop keyboard, you know that screws me up, right?

To daylight savings time, you suck. I feel like changing into my pajamas before I even leave work.

To whoever thought of putting bread in a thin bag and then thought to put it in another bag, that’s just stupid. Trust us. It goes stale as fast in two bags as it does in one. One is less annoying.

To that guy who darted unsafely in and out of my lane this morning, it gave me great pleasure to time my speed such that you never got back into the lane and then missed the exit you wanted so bad. Me, 1. Jerks, 0.

And there you have it. Anything on your mind today? The more random, the better.

My Vacuum Cleaner Sucks

Posted by Kathy on September 18th, 2008

Boring post coming up. My apologies, but I’m desperate.

I don’t ask for much in this world. I just want my washing machine to clean clothes, my microwave to heat stuff, and my vacuum cleaner to suck up dirt.

It’s not sucking anymore.

At least not very well. We have a cheapo Red Devil vacuum that we’ve had for a couple years. The only benefit is that it’s very light, unlike my former Bissell vacuum that made me feel like I was pushing furniture around every time I cleaned.

But it fails to suck well enough and I want your recommendations on a new one. All it needs to do is adequately vacuum up kitty litter and not spit it back out through the sucky part.

And it needs to have its electrical cord coming out the top, not the bottom.

Look at this stupid thing. See where the cord comes out? Try vacuuming with that. It falls on the floor, I curse, I run over it, I curse, do the mambo trying to get at it, and I curse, all while trying to dodge kitty litter spraying out like shrapnel.

vacuum

If you have an unhealthy love for your vacuum cleaner, I want to hear about it. Does it make you want to vacuum for the sake of vacuuming? Do you brag about it to your friends? Did you give it a name?

Bring it on. I need the exact make and model. Money is no object. It just has to have a cord that won’t trip and kill me, and it has to suck real good.

What’s it Worth Melted Down?

Posted by Kathy on September 16th, 2008

100_0865

More importantly, is it enough to save my retirement account?

My Sister Can Rant, Too

Posted by Kathy on September 9th, 2008

The Junk Drawer celebrates its first-ever guest post. Actually, it’s a guest email I received last night from my sister, Ann of the Shampoo Bag.

I decided her rant had all the qualities I look for in a blog entry: customer service hell, a hatred for waiting in line, idiots and pizza. And so I give you …

Ann Buys a New Cell Phone 

cranky Gather round kittens, for I have a story for you…

What is with Verizon Wireless? Is this the worst environment in which to purchase a phone AND in which to interact with the buying public?!

First, step right up to the kiosk where there is no way of knowing who’s next. People are swarmed around the counters, all looking, standing, touching, but you have no way of knowing if a person is being helped or is waiting to be helped.

So, you belly up to the counter with rainbows and stars in your eyes hoping that a customer service rep will notice your pathetic-ness.

Next, you have someone’s attention and state your business. In my case, I wanted to purchase one cell phone and one Blackberry. I already knew which model I wanted so we launched right into the TRANSACTION. Fork over your license, birth certificate, cemetery plot deed, and a tube of blood.

During the data entry portion of the program, I begin looking for the bar stools and refreshments. Why must the customer be forced to stand for the entire transaction? I sent Regan for pizza and a soda while I waited for the rep to finish the sale.

In the middle of watching the reps SIT WHILE WORKING, I was informed that the only Blackberry in stock was pink. That was lovely, except I was buying it for Don.

So Jeanette mentions casually that the Circuit City Verizon kiosk in BETHLEHEM has a silver Blackberry that he may like instead. So, after having nourishment to continue making this purchase, we leave the mall and drive to another freakin’ store to pick up the other phone.

As you may know, the Verizon kiosk is located just inside the Circuit City store. I already see five people swarming the kiosk, where only one sales rep is visible.

Let the screaming begin.

At least this place has a sign in sheet. There is one couple deep in conversation with the only rep. He’s got one cell phone on his belt loop, and another in his hand. His wife keeps touching the model phones. OK, can you just pick the one you need. You can read all the features yourself, stop asking questions and buy one, dammit!

While I’m waiting, swear to God, a man is beside me WAITING IN LINE TO PAY HIS MONTHLY BILL!!!!!! He left his house, got in his car, drove to this store, signed a sheet, and waited in line to pay a freaking bill with cash. I’d hate to know what he does with the rest of his time.

So, after waiting 30 minutes, it’s my turn. Yes, my silver Blackberry is sitting on the counter waiting for me. The rep activates the number, answers my questions, and I am on my way home.  Only 2 hours and 30 minutes out of my life that I’ll never get back.

ann of the cell phone bag

Blogger’s note: And now we wait for all the Verizon people to show up, arguing that their system doesn’t need improvement.

This Will Be Me in 40 Years

Posted by Kathy on August 12th, 2008

old_lady While waiting for my car to be serviced today, I had the pleasure of listening in on a meeting between two elderly gentlemen sitting next to me. Complete strangers, I might add.

Since I had my laptop with me, I decided to take minutes.

Old Guy 1: I went to my doctor for stomach problems and he wound up finding I had polyps on my prostate.

Old Guy 2: I have arthritis. Have to get shots every three months.

Old Guy 1: Oh, I have it, too. My feet really bother me.

Old Guy 2: You better believe it.

Old Guy 1: Man, I can’t wear certain shoes. I got rid of the shoes I couldn’t even wear.

Old Guy 2: I like work boots. Can’t wear those either. I wear these (points to sneakers).

Old Guy 1: My feet are killing me. Especially this one (lifts and points to right foot).

Old Guy 2: Unintelligible rambling about pain in another body part.

Old Guy 1: Yeah, probably all that hard work outdoors. My dad died in his 70s.

Old Guy 2: Yeah, but hard work’s supposed to keep you young.

Old Guy 1: I had a dead tree in my back yard. Made my son help me with it. Let me tell you. I was beat for two days.

Old Guy 2: I have a hard time mowing.

Old Guy 1: On Wednesdays, I mow.

Old Guy 2: More unintelligible complaints.

Old Guy 1: My back hurts every day.

Old Guy 2: You ain’t kiddin’.

Old Guy 1: I have such a hard time losing weight (Me, to myself: I hear ya brotha!)

Old Guy 2: I can’t eat bread. If I eat bread, I gain weight right away.

Old Guy 1: That’s my problem, too.

Old Guy 2: I gave it up.

Old Guy 1: I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. Try to eat lean. My blood pressure’s always been a problem, but my cholesterol is great. 170.

Old Guy 2: Eh, but whatdya gonna do? I figure as long as I don’t have the Alzheimer’s gene, I’m good.

Old Guy 1: Yep. I hear that.

And then my laptop battery died. They went on like this for another ten minutes until Old Guy 1′s car was ready and the duel for the title of  Who’s Got It Worse ended.

God help me. I don’t want to get old.

A Mean Jeans-Shopping Machine

Posted by Kathy on August 10th, 2008

jeans Shopping for jeans is not for sissies. I spent one and a half hours yesterday trying on thirty pairs of jeans to find one that fit. Yes, thir-TEE!

If jeans shopping were an Olympic event, I’d have won a gold medal.

I beat everyone into the dressing rooms, was able to ignore a screaming child in the store for more than 30 minutes and scored an extra 15% off my purchases because I made a pouty face for not having a coupon. I also lost two pounds by the time I was done trying them on. I was a one-woman Dream Team.

Some facts about jeans shopping:

FACT 1. Jeans advertised as “instantly slimming” are not slimming if your legs are shaped like tree trunks. Nothing can be done about tree trunks. There is no magical pair of pants out there to turn hulking logs into toothpicks. Believe me, I looked.

FACT 2. There are more women over size 10 than under size 10 in the world. Please stack folded jeans top down from largest to smallest, instead of the other way around, so I don’t have to crawl around on the floor looking for my size. My size has a hard time standing up from a squat, sweaty, exhausted position.

FACT 3. Also not for my size? Low rise jeans. Normally, I prefer covering my entire crotch. Thanks.

FACT 4. Jeans are heavy when you’re carrying ten of them at a time. Please provide wheel barrows.

FACT 5. Five-way mirrors are cruel and unusual punishment. I wanted to cry at every angle. I prefer to think if I can’t see my ass, no one else can.

FACT 6. That is not me in the picture.

If you’re the type of woman who can grab a single-digit-sized pair of jeans from the rack and have them fit perfectly, please refrain from telling me so. I might have to hurt you. And I could snap you like a twig.

—-

Laugh your pants off at Humor-Blogs.com

I’ll Have the Ten-Toe Special

Posted by Kathy on August 1st, 2008

When eating out at chain restaurants, I almost always find stuffed mushrooms on the menu. And I’ve never been disappointed. Until yesterday.

After some late morning shopping, my husband Dave and I grabbed lunch at a popular seafood restaurant, which shall remain nameless for reasons that will become apparent momentarily. If you really must know, here’s a hint: It rhymes with Dead Mobster.

I’m not a big seafood eater by nature. Indeed, when the waitress asked what I wanted, I inquired as to which items came wrapped in bacon. Only the scallops did, but I do not like scallops, Sam I am. So I opted for two standards: mozzarella sticks and stuffed lobster and crabmeat mushrooms.

I asked for the cheese sticks to come out with Dave’s soup, and I’d have the mushrooms when his scallops and shrimp dish was ready.

We plowed through our appetizers with hearty enthusiasm and devoured their most excellent seasoned biscuits. It was a good thing I got filled up on sides because one of us couldn’t eat any more after that.

Soon Dave’s entree and my mushrooms arrived.

Dave made fast work of his bacon-wrapped scallops and shrimp, while I took a stab at the stuffed mushrooms. Within milliseconds, I knew I wouldn’t be finishing it because it tasted like the lobster and crab meat was mixed ala Lucy and Ethel in the classic I Love Lucy grape stomping episode.

Why? Because it smelled and tasted like FEET.

And not just any feet. Feet that ran the Boston Marathon, their sweat marinating in socks for six hours in broiling heat. And then baked in an oven, smothered in Camembert cheese. Feety enough for you?

My problem wasn’t so much that I hated my feet mushrooms, but that Dave was enjoying his shrimp and scallops dish. I didn’t want to complain immediately that my meal tasted like sweaty socks and ruin his own meal.

So I kept poking at it, announcing that I was simply too full to eat it. I also didn’t want to have to tell the waitress that they served me funky baked, feety-cheesed feet. As I poked around more, I noticed the mushrooms appeared uncooked and resembled brain matter. Yum.

I didn’t ask for the body part special, but this is what I was served. If this were a smell-a-blog, you’d all be gagging and running for the nearest exit.

stuffed_mushrooms

As you can see, when presented with a plate of feet and brain, the first thing any respectable blogger does is take a picture of it. Ah, but don’t be fooled. It looked delicious at the time, but I wound up taking it home and throwing it directly in the trash. (Don’t worry. I’m not taking that bag out.)

The fact is, we were fooled. How? Because we decided to eat there based on a beautifully-shot commercial for this restaurant that aired on the Food Network, better known as Porn for Fat People.

We hadn’t eaten at Dead Mobster for about twenty years because we weren’t overly excited about their food. But we let expert editing and mouth-watering visuals get the best of us.

Truth be told, Dave thoroughly enjoyed his entree, though I chalk that up to the mere presence of bacon. If we decide in another twenty years to visit, at least I won’t be ordering the ten-toe special. I recommend you avoid it as well. See, I’m always thinkin’ of you guys.

Do You Think We Can’t See Them or What?

Posted by Kathy on July 27th, 2008

bra_straps

Girls, girls, girls. You may not realize this, but millions of women before you regarded this look as slobbish. I know this seems to be a trend right now, but it’s really not attractive. Not cute. Not flirty. Just makes you look like you can’t dress yourself.

If you’re going to wear a bra with straps that are thicker than the ones on the dress, for the love of God, at least match the color. And, by the way, I believe most men prefer a little mystery. This ain’t it.

And, yes, I did take a picture right there in the church. It was at a wedding, so everyone had cameras out. They were just pointing them at someone else wearing white.

Geez.

I suppose I should ask whether the men out there actually like this look. Do you find it alluring and sexy? Or do you think underwear belongs under there? Be honest.

Draft Post #11

Posted by Kathy on June 29th, 2008

keyboard These are trying times. Kathy has no words. A whopping ten drafts in her queue and nothing worthy of posting.

I think if I don’t post something today, nothing will ever get posted again, the Junk Drawer will close shop and you guys will loiter outside wondering what the hell happened.

I have to get something on the page to kick start me out of this funk I’m in.

Come back in a couple days if this post bores you to tears. I’m about to tell you about my weekend:

1. I fell asleep on the couch at 5PM yesterday and awoke at 8PM thinking it was the next day already. I slept hard. I even had full, movie-length dreams. In one of them, I was standing in a reception line at a political function, holding hands with Henry Kissinger. Discuss.

2. I worked all day Saturday, brought a lunch, but ate it before 10AM. So the rest of the day I took from the other junk drawer in my life and gave myself a headache, a stomachache and left work on such a sugar high I don’t remember how I got home.

3. My husband cleaned the bathrooms, God bless him, but broke the toilet seat off one of the toilets. How is this possible? Broke an entire toilet seat off its hinges? Men, if you’re going to help clean the house, don’t do it in the manner you would, say, play football. Cleaning a toilet needn’t be a race nor a destructive act. It just needs to be wiped down — gently.

4. In the process of preparing to send DrowseyMonkey her prize magnet for having the fattest head, I got sidetracked researching whether I can mail it with U.S. postage or if I have to take it to the post office to get international postage put on it. I tried Googling for the answer to this simple question, but could not find a satisfactory one. I’m too embarrassed to ask Drowsey, so I’ll just head to the post office tomorrow where I’m sure a clerk there will tell me what a moron I am.

5. I didn’t have the energy to fix something that’s been bugging me for a month. Our wall clock is stuck at 4 o’clock. We don’t know why because the batteries are fine. The pendulum below the clock face continues to swing to and fro. I meant to check on why it’s malfunctioning, but now I’m getting really used to it being 4 o’clock all the time. Four happens to be my favorite number, so I’m keeping it.

6. Since I took such a long nap yesterday, I couldn’t get to sleep until midnight last night. But my body always, always gets up between 4AM-5AM, which means I’m running on fumes right now. I’m sorry. This is the kind of post you get on fumes.

Forgive me for having to post such lame material, but this was the prescription for funkitis and it had to be done. Pray I’m funkless tomorrow.

Night.

Brain Farts Stink

Posted by Kathy on June 20th, 2008

forget-me-not I had a massive brain fart yesterday. I completely and totally forgot my blog password. In my defense, it’s the most awesome password in the history of complex, deadbolt, Fort Knox passwords.

It’s a beautiful thing, my password. Piece of art, actually.

It has a mixture of upper and lower case letters, numbers, special characters and at no point among the 13 characters exists any word in any language. It took me days to be able to enter it without thinking.

The problem with my password is that I only know the whole thing if I can get going on the first character. And that was my problem yesterday. I failed on take-off.

I couldn’t remember if the first letter was capitalized or not. Then I got all messed up on the following two because I wasn’t sure of the first. By the fifth character, I was way off the tracks and I knew it.

Come on, Kathy. You can do this.

Start over. Stop sweating. Think. But don’t over-think! Look at the keyboard. Don’t look at the keyboard! Find your center. Ooom, ooom.

It took me almost a minute to get it right. In password-remembering time, that’s an eternity. It bothered me a lot that I struggled. Why did I suddenly forget it after months of using it without a problem?

Maybe it means it’s time to change it to something like, oh I don’t know… password? What was I thinking using one so difficult at my age? Everyone knows the brain can only hold so much information. Critical stuff like word-for-word dialogue from every Brady Bunch episode, my high school locker combination, and the name of the girl in 4th grade who called me fat once.

That’s it. This brain’s full. I need a new one.

The Day I Ate Rubber Bands

Posted by Kathy on June 4th, 2008

Some days I think I could be a vegetarian.

But here’s the thing. I loves me a good burger. What makes it easy to eat meat is that it doesn’t still look like the body part it came from, unless I’m eating Thanksgiving turkey, and then I try to ignore that it’s missing its head.

The most disgusting thing I’ve eaten that still looked like where it came from was this:

tripe

Italian tripe

Beef tripe is usually made from the first three stomachs of a cow, the rumen (blanket/flat/smooth tripe), the reticulum (honeycomb and pocket tripe), and the omasum (book/bible/leaf tripe).

I ate the reticulum. Sounds kinda like “rectum,” doesn’t it? 

I found myself presented with a plate full of the above “I’ll be throwing this up later” delicacy once when my high school boyfriend took me to dinner at his grandmother’s.

His was an old world Italian family where dinners were hours-long events to be taken very seriously. If something was served to you, no matter how revolting it looked, you respectfully ate it, smiled, and asked for more.

If I recall correctly, the vomit-inducing tripe was served to me in a soup. When I took my first helping, I was appalled. Each honeycomb sheet looked like bubble wrap after the bubbles were popped. It was pale in color and resembled something you might peel of your shoes if you should happen to walk through a garbage dump.

I couldn’t imagine eating this mess, but I really had no choice. A lot of love went into making this meal and I’m not sure I would have been allowed to leave if I didn’t at least try it.

And so I did.

I don’t remember the swallowing part; I only remember the chewing. I could have saved myself a lot of time and trauma if I’d swallowed the pieces whole because it took ten minutes to chew through the stuff. Essentially, I ate a bowl of rubber bands.

One by one, the sheets went down. Imagining I was eating food instead of an office supply, I slowly worked my way to the bottom of the bowl. I was careful to pace myself so that I didn’t finish too quickly, as that would only invite the question “Kathy, would you like some more?” Oh, no. Please, God. No.

To this day, I can’t believe I ate what I ate and have only the occasional nightmare about it. Give me another part of the cow — any other part — and I’m fine. Impossible-to-chew, sheets of skin-like stomach matter? No, thanks. I think I’ll pass.

So, what’s the most disgusting thing you’ve ever eaten?

——

It’s chow time over at Humor-Blogs.

Outing a Fraud

Posted by Kathy on May 6th, 2008

Notice: This post has been edited since its original publish date. I removed the link to the website in question because the person who took my material wrote me last night, made her site private and hopefully removed my stuff. I can’t prove it, since the site is no longer available to the viewing public, but I’m giving her the benefit of the doubt.

However, I’m leaving this post otherwise intact to remind everyone to periodically check for stolen material. Use Copyscape.com, which is free and will scour the web for places where your material has been republished.

Here is my edited post:

This is going to be one mean, angry post.

There is a woman, a fraud, who is posting my blog material to her Xanga website: [LINK REMOVED]

You’ll see on the first page my bathroom story from the other day. If you scroll to the bottom and click through “Next 5,” (bottom right) you’ll see more stories I’ve written (plastic bag story, First Holy Communion, and so on and so on).

She posted no less than ten of my blog posts, some in their entirety, some not, and some edited to make it look like those were her experiences. I also recognize some of my friends’ blog posts there. I’m disgusted and frustrated.

I’ve written her directly, posted to her guestbook, commented on each of the stolen articles and asked her to remove them immediately. I also submitted an email to Xanga to report the violation of their Terms of Use. Is there anything else you guys suggest I do?

What’s upsetting me the most is that she’s getting tons of comments on those posts from people who think she wrote them. As a writer, this is a most bizarre feeling. To have over 30 people comment to her about what a great story she wrote is extraordinarily painful.

It makes me want to give up blogging if people are blatantly stealing my content and getting away with it. This isn’t the first time it’s happened. I managed to get a MySpace page to “go dark” because I outed another thief.

Please, please, please do not tell me I should be flattered. I am not. I am fuming. Tell me something to make me feel better, and if you have any other advice for me, I’m listening.

—-

Fellow humor bloggers, you might want to see if she stole your stuff, too.

I Asked for Donuts and Got a Bag of Lard

Posted by Kathy on March 31st, 2008

bakery_trioBack in November, I wrote about a cake I bought from a new bakery in town. I threw it out because it was too dry and the icing looked better than it tasted. I promised I’d give them a second chance and post back about it.

They blew it. Again.

Yesterday after a 45-minute walk with my sister, I thought I’d reward my effort and ruin whatever benefits I gained from exercising by making a return visit to The Dry, Gross Cake Bakery.

Everything looked scrumptious in the case and I ordered three items (pictured above): A Napoleon, a Southwest pizza thing (don’t remember what it was called), and a half-dozen donuts.

The Scorecard:

1. The Napoleon: Not horrible. The cream and flaky pastry part were serviceable, but the icing was overly-sweet and gummy. It may or may not have been fondant, which is a bakery staple for wedding cakes that looks really pretty, but sometimes tastes like crap. Grade: C+

2. The Southwest pizza thing: Bad all around. The bread was rubbery and tasteless. What I remember of the topping was diced tomato, corn and some unidentifiable meat. I thought it had cheese, but no such luck. Had the topping been 100% bacon, I could have salvaged it. Instead, it went in the trash. Grade: D.

3. The donuts. Ah, the donuts. How can a bakery screw up a donut? Donuts are Pastry 101! I should have known something was wrong when the cashier handed me the bag containing a half dozen of the lovelies. They were so heavy, I almost lost my balance. In my opinion, glazed donuts are supposed to be light and airy. Artery-clogging, yes. Deliciously sweet and fattening, yes. Brick-heavy, no.

Here’s a closer look. See that nice sheen? That’s perhaps how a glazed donut should look. Except for one thing. That’s not the glazed side. It’s upside down. Go ahead and click to enlarge, just put your sunglasses on first.

greasy_donutThat shininess is caused by deep-fryer fat globules that are soaked all the way through. I wanted a donut, not a blob of lard. It tasted oily, burnt and slightly rancid. And crunchy. Donuts aren’t supposed to be crunchy, right? Grade: A Big Fat Lardy F!

Now look at the bag they came in. The grease reached flood stage about two inches from the bottom of the bag. It’s soaked through solid up to the first crease. If I thought all the grease got sucked out of the donuts, I might actually consider eating the rest. It seems such a waste to throw them out, but that’s exactly what I’m doing.greasy_bag

Here’s a question: It’s obvious I’m never going back to this bakery, but should I let the owners know how dissatisfied I am with their products?

They should know how un-yummy their stuff is, so they could at least fix the donuts. I refuse to believe I’m the only one who finds crunchy, oily donuts unappetizing. I wanted to love the bakery because they’re close to home and I need a new place for all my forbidden food needs.

I don’t want to post the name of the bakery, since I’m not a professional food reviewer (although I should be). If you know me and want to know where it is, give me a buzz. The rest of you don’t have to worry about stumbling into this greasy dive trying to pass as a bakery.