Maybe Poke It With a Stick?

Posted by Kathy on June 1st, 2014

lying on grassI had no intention of walking ten miles today, I really didn’t. In fact, when I went to bed last night, it was with such a creaky body I figured I would spend all of today on the couch. Instead, I woke up feeling like my whole body had been replaced with one that actually works.

When that happens, you take every advantage of it, especially since I’ve suffered from some recurring, frustrating knee pain lately. Pain that’s kept me from doing any kind of meaningful exercise. Since I had zero pain today, I set out to do one or two miles. Which turned into four, which turned into six and then eight and then a glorious ten!

Now I’m not gonna lie. It wasn’t without its pains. While I was delighted the knees felt amazing for all ten miles, I can’t say as much for my hips. I took breaks along the way, stopping back home twice to hydrate, stretch and sit a bit.

Back out on the circuit, during mile eight, I needed to stretch and relax some more. I sat under a tree for five minutes with a shit-eating grin on my face. I just couldn’t believe I was doing this. Ten miles ain’t nothin’ to sneeze at and I was feeling kind of awesome.

But the last two miles had something to say about that. Around mile 9, I had to park my butt on a curb and engage in a total body stretch, which is really something that ought to take place in the privacy of your own home. I decided to ignore how this probably looked to people driving by.

After I was done contorting myself on the curb, I decided to take a rare opportunity to lay back on some cool, luxurious grass and simply watch the clouds roll by. Suddenly, I was five years old again and enjoyed the blissful downtime, stopping to think, to daydream and just chill, all with a welcome breeze passing over me.

Lying there, with a relaxed body and mind, I shut my eyes and listened to my jams on my iPod. I got into a nice little zen state and I didn’t move a muscle. I probably could have fallen asleep there.

Until.

Until my zoned out space was abruptly interrupted by a neighbor woman calling out to me over and over “Ma’am? Ma’am? Are you OK?” I hadn’t heard her at first because of the music in my ears. But when I did, I opened my eyes to a worried-looking woman a few feet away.

“You weren’t moving. I thought maybe something was wrong,” she said. And by “wrong,” I think she meant “dead.”

So, word of advice. If you’re going to be a weekend warrior and need to park yourself in the middle of someone’s lawn, move a body part every now and then because you kind of look like a corpse otherwise.

Death tends to frighten people.

I Don’t Need No Stinking Lids

Posted by Kathy on August 28th, 2013

So I just finished eating my scrambled egg and cheese breakfast at my desk at work and go looking to reattach the lid on the container I brought it in.

Yeah, no.

It’s not anywhere, but I know it didn’t just get up and leave. I mean, it’s somewhere, right? Did I file it in a drawer? Did I put it in my purse? Did I eat it?

Half an hour later I find it in the garbage, where I put it, because clearly a garbage can is where you put things that are important and that you need again.

Glad container lid

This is probably one of the reasons I never have enough matching lids for containers. Many times I’ve gone to work with containers and lids that have no business being together because I couldn’t find a single matched set.

I’ve used poorly constructed makeshift lids, because I love living on the edge. I’ve wrapped them in foil, despite the risk of content oozage. I’ve put on a close-enough lid and then dug for a rubber band to secure it.  If you have to rubberband a lid to a container, you’re lidding all wrong.

If you throw out lids you need again, you really don’t know what you’re doing and shouldn’t even drive a car or have a job or be responsible for anything.

And now I have to go teach a class on blogging.

That’s right. Students getting their advice from me.

Go ahead. Just let that sink in.

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……

All That and a Bag of Chips

Posted by Kathy on May 14th, 2013

So you know how you’re goin’ along eating your favorite potato chips, Lay’s Salt & Vinegar, and you’re making good time, but you probably ate so fast that you jammed a chip up into your gum line and say “Ouch, dammit” but then you just keep eating anyway?

And because now you probably poked a hole in your gums, the salt and vinegar is like throwing gasoline on a fire and your mouth really hurts and you’re like “I should probably stop eating these” but you can’t because Salt & Vinegar chips are your most favoritest kind of chip and before you know it, the bag is empty?

And then the next day your gum still hurts, on fire actually, and it’s painful to eat anything else and you’re like “OMG, what a dumbass. Should have stopped eating those chips.”

And then like a week or two goes by and this bastard still hurts and now you’re starting to worry that there’s part of a chip stuck under your gum, getting all infected and now the infection is going to travel through your bloodstream and kill you just about the time you land in Paris for the first leg of your long-awaited vacation and you wonder “How do you say “I think I’m dying” in French?”

So then you call the dentist and ask for an emergency visit to see if there is a chip stuck up under there and the receptionist writes “Check patient for potato chip” in the log book and the dentist and his hygienist greet you laughing when you show up to have it looked at?

And then the dentist takes a look and says “Wow, you really messed that up in there. From a potato chip? Remarkable.”

And you’re like “Well, I really like those chips.” And he’s all “You really injured your palate, but it’s healing OK” and says to the hygienist “Here, take a picture” and tells me “We take pictures of everything now” and then “Do you wanna see it? and I’m like “Um. No. I know what I did, thank you.”

Yeah, that happened.

Seven Dollars. That’s It. Seven Dollars.

Posted by Kathy on March 27th, 2013

So you know how you’re all fresh and newly married and you care how you look?

You dress like a human for your spouse because they deserve to look at someone even remotely presentable.

You dress like you could even leave the house in the clothes you’re wearing to, oh, maybe check the mailbox.

And then.

And then 20 years of marriage later you just really don’t care any more and you’re even afraid to check the mailbox because a neighbor might see you in your tattered clothes and they’ll start a crowd funding campaign so you can get a new wardrobe that you can wear in public.

Yeah.

I’ve had these shorts for like 10 years. They’re my favorite pair. Yes, that’s a series of giant holes in the butt region. Didn’t care. That’s also a hole in the crotch. Also didn’t care.

004

And that’s the elastic waistband showing through from a thousand washings. Didn’t care.

003

Today I finally cared. I bought a brand new pair of shorts at Wal-mart for $7. Seven measly dollars that I apparently couldn’t find in the budget for the last 10 years.

So let’s hear it, folks. What exactly are you getting away with wearing that is years beyond its useful life?

I know there’s something.

TL;DG

Posted by Kathy on March 12th, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-03-12 at 12.25.17 PMNo doubt some of you know what the acronym TL;DR stands for. If you don’t, it’s “too long; didn’t read.”

TL;DR is often used in response to a very long post somewhere on the Internet that people feel was too long to read and just skipped it.

Sometimes a writer will add TL;DR to the end of their post and give a short summary for their long-windedness for the benefit of lazy people.

I’m one of those lazy people. And my acronym lately is TL;DG (too lazy; didn’t Google), for today I posted a comment on a friend’s Facebook status that I was surprised I hadn’t heard about a streaming webcam fixed on the pipe from where smoke will bellow after a pope is either decided or not.

I ask, exactly how lazy do you have to be to not Google something? I mean, in the time it took for me to tell my friend that I didn’t think there was a pope smoke cam, I could have actually Googled whether or not there was one.

Think back to pre-Internet days. To learn anything at all about the pope election process, I’d have had to walk to a library. We were encyclopedia-free in my house, so finding facts meant actually putting a coat on and walking two blocks to Mary Meuser Memorial Library, where I did all my school work that involved research.

Now we have Google at our fingertips and somehow I think it’s still too much work to move my cursor all the way up to the search box, type “pope streaming cam,” tap Enter and get an answer instantly.

I mean, really. Lazy is as lazy whines about doing.

Now if you’ll excuse me, typing this post nearly killed me. I have to go lie down.

Oh, and if you’re curious, yes, there is a streaming pope pipe cam here. Get it while it’s hot!

Just Don’t Do It

Posted by Kathy on February 23rd, 2013

balancing actIt is possible to make a quick stop at the grocery store on a full bladder, for just a few things, but pick up more things than you planned and all heavier than you should carry on one arm, stacked precariously, and then run into a woman you used to work with thirteen years ago, and you really did want to see her, and then stand in the middle of an aisle wearing a winter coat and gloves, and catch up on those last thirteen years for half an hour, on a full bladder (in case you forgot), and the items you’ve been holding on your arm like a Jenga game now feel like they weigh 58 pounds and you’re trying to think of how not to pass out because oh my God you’re wearing a parka, not pee in your pants because full bladder, politely end the conversation, say your goodbyes, give a hug, and not drop the Jenga tower all over the floor.

Yeah. It can be done. But I don’t recommend it.

Awash in Stupidity and Incompetence

Posted by Kathy on February 3rd, 2013

laundryYesterday I visited my Mom at her nursing home. When I left, I took her laundry so I could wash it at my house and take it back this morning.

Laundry is a no-brainer. Yesterday I did it with truly no brain at all and we’ll see why.

When I sensed Mom’s wash was done, I opened the lid and moved everything to the dryer. But it felt funny, a little slippery. A little off.

All sorts of warning sirens went off in my head, but I ignored every last one of them and put the load in the dryer anyway. Then I immediately put my own laundry in the washer, poured in some liquid detergent, closed the lid, pressed the start button and nothing happened.

Why? Because evidently Mom’s cycle hadn’t finished yet. The knob was still on “Rinse.” Dumbass.

This is an issue now, of course, because I realize my mother’s laundry never got rinsed or spun, and now it’s in the dryer, tumbling in its own soapy residue. Aaaaand, now my own laundry is sitting in the washer soaked with detergent

Here’s where you would think I’d just wash my own load since it’s already in there. But no. I inexplicably chose to remove it – dripping with detergent – and dump it in an oozy pile on the floor and put Mom’s back in for a second cycle.

A second cycle because my washing machine is harder to understand than the Higgs boson particle. I cannot get it restarted where it left off. I can only start it all over again.

Whatever. Second cycle. Mom’s clothes are gonna be super clean now.

Another half an hour later, hers is done. My drippy load goes in. Yea! We’re making progress.

Except.

When Mom’s clothes are finished in the dryer and I start unloading, that’s when I hear it.

Clink.

thread spoolNothing fills me with dread more than having to sew and now I have to because a button has fallen off one of my Mom’s blouses.

Yes, I know it’s just a button, but sewing for me might as well be open heart surgery. I’ll strain my back and neck from hunching over so long and there will likely be blood.

Swear to God, my first thought was to somehow staple the button back on. Shouldn’t there be a device for that? If there is, I don’t have one, and so begins the blind-as-a-bat, gorilla fingers part of the show.

I assemble my little sewing kit, the pathetic kind you get at a dollar store, on the kitchen counter.

My cat Lucky catches wind of this, sees all the thread and he’s like “Awesome! I’m getting string? Are we having a string party?”

No, we are not having a string party, now GET DOWN! He does not get down; instead, he starts purring because he’s thinking the circus came to town and this is going to be fun.

It is not fun. There’s no way in hell I’m threading this needle without the help of that wiry diamond-shaped thingamabob you put through the eye of the needle, and then put the thread through that.

This goes fairly well, except now Lucky’s in bat-the-string mode and so I have to move the operation to the dimly-lit laundry room, which is so helpful for open heart, you know.

There, I begin a process whereby I totally miss threading around the bracket thingy on the back of the button and instead do nothing but make holes in the blouse as the button eludes me and falls off to the side. Bloop.

Sew, sew, sew. Bloop.

I stab myself several times. I curse a little.

This process goes on with enough successes that I finally have the button attached, but with a giant blob of unnecessary thread on the other side of the button.

But you know what? It’s lined up perfectly and fits through the button hole!

I’m ecstatic that I’ve finally completed this weekend laundry project, hang the blouse on a hanger, button the top button and marvel at my achievement.

Ahhh, so pretty! So functional! A masterpiece, really.

And then.

Clink.

A second button falls off and I consider my choices:

1. Kill myself. 2. Realize that it’s the bottommost button on the blouse, and does my mother really need that one?  3. Throw the blouse away and buy a new one.

Reluctantly, I get crackin’ on the second button, going through all the same traumas as the first. Swearing, stabbing and sulking until we achieve sewn-on, locked-down buttony goodness.

I hope my sisters are reading this. Flip a coin, ladies. One of you is getting Mom’s laundry next week.

Don’t Mess With My OCD, and I Won’t Mess With Yours

Posted by Kathy on January 25th, 2013

I wouldn’t say I’m textbook OCD, just some little quirks here and there. For instance, I have never pressed the trip counter button in my car since I bought it 13 years ago.

I just can’t reset the mileage. You would think someone with OCD tendencies would do something like reset it to a row of pretty little zeroes each time she gets out of the car. But you’d be wrong.

Knowing I’ve never pressed it in all this time means I can never press it ever, ever, ever. You know?

And then there’s this.

Dial soap dispenser

I’ve been refilling the same soap dispenser for over 10 years. I can’t replace it. Why?

Not because I’m an earth-loving environmentalist (although consider how much plastic I’ve saved by not buying new bottles. Go me!).

It’s because I’ve had it for over 10 years. That’s all. It’s like a contest with myself to see how long I can keep it going. And now I can never part with it.

And my husband better not toss it just to get a rise out of me because, if he does, he’s going to be left with the kind of wife who whines and cries every time she washes her hands with an imposter soap dispenser.

forksBesides, two could play that game. Seems my husband has a little OCD himself.

See how perfectly he stacks forks in the  silverware tray?

I oblige his OCD by stacking them neatly when I put dishes away, even though I don’t care if they’re all askew.

But get rid of my soap dispenser and just see how organized I keep them. Just see. [insert maniacal laughter here].

So You’re Saying I Can’t Get Food With That Tackle Box?

Posted by Kathy on January 2nd, 2013

Cabela'sSo I mentioned to my husband Dave that I entered a sweepstakes drawing for a $500 gift certificate for Cabela’s.

I was all excited because wouldn’t it be nice to have a huge gift card for delicious dinners at an Italian restaurant? Yeah, it would.

Except.

Dave: Where did you say you entered?

Me: Cabela’s.

Dave: That’s not a restaurant.

Me: Yes it is. It’s Italian.

Dave: No it’s not. You buy guns and ammo there. It’s for sportsmen. You know, tackle boxes and camping equipment.

Me: Oh. I guess I thought it was Carrabba’s.

Dave: Ya think?

So, if I win this thing, anyone need a kayak? Cuz apparently I’m not getting any food there.

Beware the Flying Coffee

Posted by Kathy on December 24th, 2012

shiny pennyI’m on a roll. Apparently this is the week where I throw food and drink at people.

So today I went to visit my Mom at her nursing home. When I go, I always bring coffee for both of us.

When I parked and got out of my car, I saw a shiny new penny lying on the ground and grabbed it.

You know the saying?

See a penny, pick it up. And then all day you’ll have good luck!

No, not you, Kathy. Just put it back where you found it. Good luck pennies are only for other people.

Because when I prepared my mom’s coffee with creamer and put the lid back on, I bumped the table the coffee was sitting on into her bed and the cup went flying, end over end, and coffee spurted out the drink hole like Old Faithful.

Coffee.

All.

Over.

My.

Mother’s.

Bed.

With her still in it.

I didn’t stop apologizing for an hour, even though my mother said “That’s OK. It’s my fault. If I’d gotten out of bed earlier, this never would have happened.”

Oh, Mom. Stop making excuses for your numbskull klutz of a daughter.

Of course, you could make an argument that the penny did actually bring me good luck.

The lid stayed on securely and ohmyGod, thank you McDonalds for making tight-fitting lids because a half-soaked mom is better than a full-soaked one, if you’re keeping score.

I fear Christmas dinner tomorrow. There will be a whole table full of things I can dump in people’s laps, catapult into their faces and all manner of silverware that I can accidentally stab them with.

If all anyone at dinner wants for Christmas is their two front teeth, I’m not sure they’ll be leaving with them.

Beware the Flying Cookie Dough

Posted by Kathy on December 20th, 2012

Toll House CookiesSo I get an email from a friend today. She’s asking me when and where I’ll be available tomorrow for her to drop something off for me.

Because it’s probably a Christmas gift and I want to return the favor, I decide to head to the store to buy some Toll House Cookie Dough and make her a cookie gift bag.

I grab a two-dozen package and head to the checkout. Pay for the dough and then because I’m wearing soft gloves, when I quickly pick up the slippery plastic package, it goes flying right out of my hand and into a lady bagging her groceries in the next aisle.

“I’m sorry! I’m so sorry! I don’t normally throw food at people!”

I continue, “You know why I’m buying these? Because I just know someone’s going to gift me tomorrow and I didn’t have anything for her and you know how awkward it is when someone gives you something and you don’t have anything to give in return? This is why Christmas stresses me out! Really, I’m sooooo sorry!!!!”

She stood there, smiling pitifully at me, as I scoop up my cookie dough from the floor at her ankles.

All she could muster at the sight of my mortified self was “I hope you have a Merry Christmas anyway.”

God bless you, stranger lady who I threw food at. I’m so happy you had pity on me and weren’t some Scrooge person who would sue me for cookie dough assault and battery.

I hope you have a Merry Christmas, too.

All Aboard the Crazy Train

Posted by Kathy on November 16th, 2012

So I noticed last night that my car’s left headlight burned out. No problem. I got this.

I’ve changed out the bulb in the right headlight all by myself before. In fact, I’d be surprised if you didn’t hear about that because I told everyone by all means of communication how awesome I was, for like six months after.

So now I get to be awesome all over again.

I drove to my local AutoZone and told the sales guy what I needed – a single bulb for a 2000 Honda Civic LX.

He checks the database for the kind I need and then takes me over to the bulb aisle.

He explains that I can’t buy the exact bulb as a single, since they’re out of singles. He tells me I can either buy a pair of them, an option I decline, or I can buy a bulb that’s similar, but somewhat brighter than the one I really need.

I tell him I don’t want a bulb that’s more intense than the other.

He says “Don’t worry, it’s not one of those really bright ones that blind other drivers.”

I said “No, you don’t understand. I know it’s not the screaming bright ones. But I’ll know that it’s slightly brighter than the right side and that will bother me.”

“Bother you how?”

“Bother me because I’m OCD.”

“But you won’t see that they’re different while you’re driving.”

“But I’ll know they are different.”

“But you don’t have to care because you’re not the one looking at them.”

“But I’ll care. I’ll just care.”

He stared a hole through my forehead, which ended the conversation right then and there.

I thanked him and left immediately, in search of another auto parts store that sells singles of the bulb I need.

I found one and here it is:

nipple headlight

I don’t remember the last bulb I got having a nipple on it. I was just about to ask the sales guy “Why does this headlight have a nipple? Am I supposed to take the nipple off?” but thought better of it.

One ridiculous conversation at an auto parts store is plenty for today.

I’ll just Google it because Google doesn’t judge me for the stupid questions I ask.

Wish me luck replacing my nipple bulb!

Life is Like Movie Props. You Never Know What You’re Gonna Get

Posted by Kathy on November 8th, 2012

Many of you know I’m in Savannah, Georgia this week. Havin’ a great time, but I just know I’ve gained 12 pounds or so. Not sure I’ll fit into any of the clothes I brought with me for the flight home. I might have to fly there naked.

Yes, I would feel awkward, but that’s not all together different than I felt flying here, as I was the recipient of a very personal pat down at my local airport after failing to get through a metal detector because I stupidly wore clothing with metal built into it.

You don’t want a pat down at the airport. In front of people. By someone wearing latex gloves. Who’s not afraid to put hands where you generally don’t want hands to be in an airport in front of people.

Anyway, today’s agenda included a visit to two sites featured in the movie Forrest Gump. One of them was the building where they filmed the opening scene (from its rooftop), where the feather floated through the air and landed at Tom Hanks’ sneaker while he sat on a bus stop bench.

The other site I wanted to see was where the bench was located. Both were in or near Chippewa Square.

I knew from earlier research that the bench was built specifically for the movie, constructed of fiberglass, and relocated afterward to the Savannah History Museum.

But what I wanted to see was the exact spot where the bench sat for the filming.

Could I find it on my own? No.

Was there a marker for it? No.

Savannah, get on that, OK?

But, curiously, there was a tour group of people standing around this thing. Taking pictures of it, with a tour guide talking at length about it out of earshot.

Chippewa Square concrete post

Every person standing around it took a picture from the top down. It had to be something. Surely, you wouldn’t take a picture of something so boring as a concrete post unless there was some history behind it, right?

When the crowd cleared, I ran over and yelled to Dave “It must be something! It has to be it! It’s an important marker!”

“I think it’s just a post,” replied Dave.

“But everyone took pictures of it! I have to take a picture of it! I’ll find out later what it is,” I insisted.

Did I ever find out what it was? No.

Did I ever find out where the bench did sit for the movie? Yes. I asked a pedicab driver where it was, but was too embarrassed to also ask if there was significance to the post.

You know, because I didn’t want him to tell me I was as dumb as one.

For the record, here’s where the bench sat.

Chippewa Square Forrest Gump bus bench

And for you trivia buffs, they had to reverse traffic around the square for the movie. Normally it runs counter clockwise, but they needed the bus door to open at the sidewalk. This meant forcing traffic clockwise for the duration of filming.

If anyone knows what that concrete post signifies, there’s a reward in it for you if you tell me.

I Don’t Have the Remotest Idea

Posted by Kathy on September 30th, 2012

remote controlYou know how I’m always doing monumentally stupid things?

Well, pull up a chair and let’s talk about last weekend.

One of my TV remote controls has a label stuck to the back of it. The label gradually began peeling away and left glue behind that stuck to my fingers as I channel surfed.

Of course, this annoyance had to be solved immediately and without forethought.

For the record, we have a second remote that did the same thing, one where I successfully removed the sticky residue by scrubbing it with a damp SOS pad. All smooth. No glue. Life was happy.

But for this remote, and for reasons unknown, I decided to scrub it directly under a stream of water. Water seeped into the bowels of the remote, which of course rendered it useless.

Dumbass.

I cursed my stupidity, removed the batteries and pointed a hair dryer at it for five minutes. This didn’t help, so I gave up and set it on a windowsill to let a breeze run over it all night.

Twenty four hours later, I picked it up and noticed that pressing some buttons illuminated them and I thought “Eureka! It’s dry!”

However.

Pointing it at the TV and pressing buttons resulted in nothing. It was still working in a broken kind of way.

It occurred to me that since I’d given my remote a bubble bath, I might need to reprogram it to work again with my DVR and TV.

Enter “Remote Control Manual for Synergy V.” Now just go look at that thing. It’s like 40 pages long and I was already tired and ready for bed.

But I had a manual and a mission and so I set out to fix this bastard.

According to the Manual from Hell, you have to enter certain codes for your model of DVR and TV. They give you several possible codes and if one doesn’t work, you try another until you get a match.

Within minutes, I successfully reprogrammed the DVR, the TV and the audio, which meant I could channel surf again.

However, I still couldn’t call up the list of recorded shows. I also couldn’t record anything new.

And so I did what stupid people do and go all Angry Birds on the buttons, press something really wrong and now we have no joy on the TV.

Only a message that reads “No Signal.”

Son. Of. A. Bitch.

I was so close, yet in a moment of keypad frenzy, I ruined all the progress I’d made.

And so I was left with the option no one wants. Ever.

I was going to have to call RCN cable tech support.

I dial, make my way through a maze of options and then hear something that makes me cry.

“All of our operators are busy. Your approximate wait is 20 minutes.”

I listen to horrible little RCN jingles and advertisements for services I don’t want for what feels like an eternity.

Eventually a nice man gets on the line and I tell him how dumb I was by cleaning an electronic device with actual liquid and would he kindly save me from myself.

Our goal was to get a signal to the TV and he sends reset instructions to my DVR, but this does nothing because the problem isn’t with the DVR.

It’s with the TV itself.

He has me walk over to the TV and look for a menu with Input on it somewhere. I start pressing buttons haphazardly and he asks me to slow down and tell him what’s going on.

I work in tech support and I’m surprised at how spastic and uncooperative I’ve become. Chillax, Kathy!

And so I slow down.

I press Menu and see Input listed as an option. But there’s no “Set” or “Enter” button that lets me lock anything in.

Tech Guy doesn’t know what to tell me because he can’t see what I’m seeing and I just know I’m explaining things to him like a three-year-old.

Button not go isn’t work what the can’t set help me waaaaahhhh!

Meanwhile, my husband is calling me from my cell phone and keeps beeping into the call. There’s no way I’m answering it.

I’m not about to risk a hang-up on Tech Support Guy, who is right now the most important man in my life.

I email my sister and tell her to call Dave and ask that he stop calling me, as I’m in tech support hell.

She writes back and says she couldn’t reach him and left a message.

I email her again. He’s not going to listen to voice mail! It’s my phone! Call him again until you reach him!!! He keeps beeping in!!!

Tech Support Guy is still mystified why I’m getting no signal on the TV, but I’m happy now that the incessant Dave beeping has finally stopped.

I return to the set and start pressing buttons again, but this time I realize that if I choose HDMI-1 and wait a beat, then it sets to that option.

A football game appears on the screen. Yippee!

I run through all the resets again on the remote, codes galore, but then I surf and realize I have no HD channels.

I report this new misery to Tech Guy and he sends another reset to the DVR. At once, all my pre-recorded shows display, I can record new shows again and all the HD channels are back.

Halleluiah!

We share some laughs and I thank him profusely. I ask him if he’s close by and if he is, I’d like to come over and give him a hug. He is duly creeped out.

As we prepare to end the call, I ask him if he could please fix something that bugs me in the Manual from Hell.

“What’s wrong with it?” he asks.

“Well, every place where there should be an “its” is spelled wrong. There’s an apostrophe where it doesn’t belong,” I report. “It’s full of wrong “its”!”

Dead. Silence.

“Hello?” I say.

“Uh. Yeah, well, um. The people from the remote control company wrote that manual, and they just gave it to us to post. We can’t fix it,” he replies.

I reluctantly accept the fate of the manual. I’m sad that it will remain forever incorrect, but then I count my blessings because I have a TV signal and all systems are go. Gotta pick your battles, right?

Tech Support Guy prepares to jettison me off this phone call so he can tell all his co-workers about this stupid woman who washed her remote control and who also happens to be a Grammar Nazi.

You just don’t get calls like that every day, and if you’re in tech support, nor do you want to.

Good Deed Gone Wrong

Posted by Kathy on May 31st, 2012

grocery cartSo I’m walking to my car after grocery shopping and notice a woman parked next to my car.

She’s leaning into the driver’s side, with her empty cart positioned behind her.

I decide to give her a moment to load up her car and then wheel her cart back to the cart corral and then I can leave.

Except she doesn’t.

I wait longer than I should have to, peeved that she’s not walking her cart back to the cart zone and lady, just what are you doing?

It’s then I see her walk her cart to the back of her car and try a few times to make it stop rolling, so it’ll sit still there.

Again lady, what are you doing? If you think you’re just going to leave it there and pull away, you’re the laziest person on the planet because the cart corral is just two car spaces over.

My God, lady, are you really gonna leave that cart there and drive away?!

I see her lean into her car again and I’m getting more and more annoyed because she’s lazy and she’s not leaving the area so I can pull out without squashing her.

I decide to wait no more, back my car out of my space, and then pull over just in front of the cart that she’s too lazy to put away.

I put my car in park, mumble to myself Holy hell, she’s lazy and get out. I grab the cart, deciding that if this lady is going to be such a bad grocery store citizen, someone should put the cart back where it belongs.

And that someone will be me!

Hurray for good citizens!

Except.

Except as soon as I started wheeling it back to the corral, she said “Oh, I need that. I was just holding it there because I forgot something in my car.”

Oh.

Never mind.

It took me a while when I got home to scrape all that egg off my face.

Love Note

Posted by Kathy on May 2nd, 2012

My husband left me a love note this morning.

big knife in washer

Translation: I love you and your ten fingers. Please don’t stick your hand in the dishwasher and slice one of them off with the machete I used to cut vegetables last night.

He knows I have a problem with knives.

Thanks, dear. I like all my ten fingers, too.

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.

 

I Have No Defense For This

Posted by Kathy on February 14th, 2012

glassesToday I helped a client, a Professor Emeritus, troubleshoot his email.

I often have to take my glasses on and off because I’m near-sighted. While working on his PC, I took them off so I could do close-up work.

When I finished fixing his problem, I stood and gave him his seat back.

He tested sending an email message, expressed his satisfaction on the fix and I prepared to leave.

I picked up the glasses on the desk and motioned to put them on.

But they wouldn’t go on because at some point between fixing and standing, I had already put glasses on my face. My glasses.

It’s really hard to put a second pair of glasses on top of another.

And it’s worse when you do it in front of someone who would rather like to keep his.

So there sat one of the smartest gents in my college looking quizzically at the stupidest woman on the planet.

I said good-bye, nice to see you and went running back down to my office, where I realized I would now have to avoid him forever.

The end.

Clown Day and The Movie Trailer

Posted by Kathy on January 27th, 2012

Clown Day was a huge success, except for the fact that students on our campus couldn’t have cared less that a clown walked among them. I’m still calling it a win because no one threw a pie at me.

I’ll recap the day and then let you enjoy the movie trailer we produced to commemorate events. I’m submitting it to Sundance. They take everything.

The day began with my clown assistant sister Marlene collecting me at my house. I made a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to eat later, and she immediately chastised me for putting too much of everything on the bread. I can’t do anything right.

We piled in the car and headed to work, getting noticed by no one. We clowned around in my office with everyone who came to get an eyeful. Took video and pictures and then headed out to our first stops.

No one said anything to us. And I looked like this. I don’t get it either.

Clown Day Students, if anything, simply glanced and put their heads back down. Only one student spoke. “Run! Run away!

Wow. Tough crowd.

We headed for visits to various buildings on campus, stopping at my satellite office, where I followed a grad student back to hers, saying “Would you mind if I followed you back to your desk? in the creepiest way possible. Until I told her who I was, she would not look me in the eye. Note to self. Creepy is only fun for the clown.

Before we knew it, lunch time! We headed to a deli nearby, where I had my first and last PBJ sandwich. I know I made it wrong. I know I used the wrong jelly (strawberry), but that didn’t matter. I was a “mouth feel” thing. Jelly too slimy. Make clown sad.

So my videographer graciously offered me half his BLT sandwich. Bacon good. Make clown happy.

The rest of the afternoon was more of the same: Students not caring, but friends and co-workers loving it.

By 3PM, my clown assistant and I were exhausted. Clowning is much harder than I thought it would be. You always have to be ON. We felt OFF by then and decided to head home.

Made a quick visit to my clown assistant’s workplace for pictures. Found out that her co-worker’s son is a campus police officer where I work and got the email that I sent warning that a clown would be on-campus (can’t be too careful).

Can you imagine the morning briefing? Be on the lookout for a clown today. She’ll be unarmed and hilarious.

So what did I learn by clowning all day?

  • A clown can hold her bladder for eight hours and not suffer any ill effects.
  • She can also eat a whole pizza for dinner by herself.
  • No one’s butt looks good in a clown suit. Hourglass figure? Forget it.
  • A blue afro rocks.

Thanks go again to my sister for helping me with picture-taking and lugging all my clown paraphernalia around. Clowning is hard, but I think clown assisting is harder.

Jason Slipp, my good friend and co-worker, filmed and edited the following movie trailer. Thanks for your creative spirit, time and talent! (Movie to come in a later post).

Here you go!

Whoopin’ it Up on a Saturday Night

Posted by Kathy on June 4th, 2011

pepsi Me: You know what I could go for?

Husband: What?

Me: A Pepsi.

Husband: Are you pregnant?

This exchange is hardly odd because I haven’t had a real soda in about ten years and so Dave thought something was up. I’m strictly a water and coffee drinker.

The last time I drank a Pepsi was the first day of a vacation. It was a special event that I was going to drink a soda. And so after that, any time we had real soda for Dave in the house, it became known to me as Vacation Soda.

I tried to drink a carbonated Orange Crush at a picnic once and I remembered why I don’t bother with liquids of the bubbly variety. My eyes and nose watered and then I experienced that ever-painful thing where I blow up and can’t burp. Fun.

I don’t drink alcohol either. Not because I have anything against imbibing. It just turns me narcoleptic, which makes me no fun at all for the people who are enjoying a drink. I can’t even be the designated driver because I’m two sheets to the sleep after even a half glass of wine.

So if you’re considering taking me out to dinner or a night out with the girls, you pretty much have to order me a water on the rocks or things could get real ugly. And by ugly, I mean I’ll either explode at the table or fall asleep in your lap.

Dave’s running out now to get me that Pepsi. Mark the date. June 4, 2011. Kathy drank a soda this decade.

Ask a Simple Question, Get an Answer That Gives You a Headache

Posted by Kathy on March 18th, 2011

light bulb Got a call at work from my husband.

Dave: Are you going to the store later?

Me: Yeah.

Dave: Can you pick up a couple things?

Me: Sure. Go ahead.

Dave: Cat food, paper plates, cheese and light bulbs for the bathroom.

Me: I can’t get that.

Dave: Can’t get what?

Me: Light bulbs. I don’t do light bulbs.

Dave: Huh?

Me: I don’t do light bulbs. Remember when I tried to replace the kitchen one without measuring and I was so sure I had it right, but I was wrong and it cost like twelve bucks and you had to take it back and get the right one?

Dave: Oh, yeah.

Me: They have so many stupid bulbs now! The corkscrew kind, what are those? Are those the new eco ones we’re supposed to buy now? I hate those. I can’t even find the three-ways anymore. So don’t ask me to try the sphere ones. I won’t get it right. God, I hate light bulbs.

Dave: Are you gonna have problems like this with the cheese? Because if you are, I’ll just go myself.

Me: What? Don’t you trust me?

Dave:

Me: Dave?

Dear Lady Who Fell into a Mall Fountain While Walking and Texting, Let Me Show You How It’s Done

Posted by Kathy on January 20th, 2011

This week, the Internet went all knee-slappin’ hysterical when a video of a woman who fell into a mall fountain while walking and texting was posted on YouTube.

Yes, she was embarrassed and, of course, she’s suing because that’s what people do in this country when they should just walk away and laugh at themselves.

And that is this woman’s problem.

She does not know how to laugh like a hyena at her own stupidity.

Let me show you how it’s done, you silly woman.

flambed ice cream I lunched with some blogger friends a few weeks ago at a very fancy shmancy restaurant. I’m more of a cheeseburger and fries kind of girl, so I was totally out of my element.

After our meal, we decided to order some dessert. The only thing on the menu that sounded exciting to me was fried ice cream.

Who doesn’t like ice cream, and holy clogged arteries, who doesn’t like it fried?

All three of us ordered it and when it was delivered to the table, the waiter approached each dish with a small serving boat, which I was hoping was full of hot fudge.

It was not.

It was full of something that set my dessert on fire when the waiter touched a flame-tipped lighter to it.

OK, so now I’m hip to the dessert. I’m getting flambéed here.

I dig it.

It’s pretty.

When my dessert flames out, I start eating. It’s good and decent, but not fabulous, as I prefer my desserts to be.

Why? Because at the bottom of my dish lay a puddle of cream mixed with alcohol.

Alcohol? Why is there alcohol in my dessert? Who puts alcohol in ice cream? I didn’t ask for it and I’m not at all pleased.

But I continue eating because my lunch mates are infinitely more refined than me and not the kind of people who go around freaking out about alcohol in their desserts.

After we say our good-byes and I get home, I immediately Google “flambé” and am surprised to learn that it’s alcohol that makes a flambéed dessert shoot up in flames when you light it.

Oh.

Oh, wait.

I knew that, didn’t I? Yes, I’m sure I knew that. I think. No, I didn’t. Did I? No. I did not.

What I’m sure of is that I’m a dumbass and my blogger friends who are just now reading about this will never invite me to lunch again because I’m just that stupid.

So, lady who fell into a fountain while texting, that is how you laugh at yourself. You do not sue someone. Instead, you realize how dumb you are and then you blog about it for other people’s enjoyment.

That should be the new American way.

I’m an Ill-Prepared Total Slob (UPDATED)

Posted by Kathy on December 15th, 2010

So you know those unlucky motorists stranded in snow on a Canadian highway for 24 hours?

Yeah.

Better them than me, because if that were me, I’d be the one pounding on other people’s car windows asking to be let inside because my car ran out of gas, I have no heat and no blanket or anything that qualifies as something smart people do to winterize their vehicles.

I put gas in mine. It makes it go. That’s helpful.

Here’s what I have in my car that’s not:

The front seat: Christmas wrapping paper, a shopping bag, ice scraper and a newspaper from last week that I picked up from my driveway.

front seat 

The back seat: Jumpin’ Jesus. We have a Consumer Reports magazine, an alumni magazine, a shopping bag, a bag of plastic bags, notebooks, empty water bottle, ice scraper, a Congratulations on Your Graduation card I addressed and stamped a year ago but never mailed, a hoodie from a spring coat and a pair of bacon sneakers.

back seat

Nowhere in there is a blanket, first aid kit, water, flashlight, extra clothing and gloves or snacks.

Also nowhere for anyone to sit, actually.

So don’t ask me for a ride or anything. I clearly own and operate a junk yard on wheels. I’m an unprepared Pig Pen.

How ‘bout you?

UPDATE: OK, so y’all got me worried about being impaled by something in the back seat of my car in an accident.

So I got cleanin’.

Do I get a gold star?

clean car

Craptacular Christmas Gifts

Posted by Kathy on December 3rd, 2010

I’m no fan of Christmas shopping. Not so much for the usual reasons, like having to shop with members of the insane general public and spend every last dime doing it.

It’s more because I’m the world’s worst gift-giver.

About five Christmases ago, I shopped online for really creative gifts for my husband Dave. Gifts I actually put some thought into. Things I assumed he would go nuts over and say “Wow! This is the best gift ever! You really outdid yourself!”

That was the year I got all artsy-fartsy and bought this:


An egg lamp.

An egg lamp that got used on a desk by the computer for a few weeks before it mysteriously wound up here and where it remains to this day:


An egg lamp that I thought was so funky and awesome and eggtastic and the gift to be outdone.

Wasn’t.

And then.

Last night my helpful husband said “Kathy, if you need any ideas for Christmas gifts for me, I would really like a small lamp for the computer room that I can sit on the desk.”

But …. but …. the egg lamp. I know it doesn’t cast enough light to read by. I know it doesn’t go with anything in the room. I know it’s only good for show and it was stupid and expensive and expensive and stupid, but still. It’s an egg lamp. Can’t you just squint and go blind a little?

No? OK, then. Let’s go with function over form this year.

Would this work? Cuz I really need it to be a winner this time.


So what about you? Have you ever bombed spectacularly in the gift-giving department?

If you’d like to read about more craptacular gifts, Tribal Blogs is having a worst gift carnival! Head on over to Redhead Ranting’s The Worst Christmas Gift, Ever and then check out the carnival to see more gift carnage. It’ll put you right in the holiday spirit!

A Grocery List That Writes Itself

Posted by Kathy on November 27th, 2010

Yesterday I took my oversized comforter to the laundromat. Y’all know how much I love the laundromat.

Nothing remarkable happened there except for the guy in neon orange sneakers who lifted the lid to his washing machine about twelve times during one cycle to, I don’t know, see if his socks were all getting along in there. Dude, it’s OK. They know how to mingle.

After my visit, I decided to make a run to the store. Since I didn’t have paper and pen with me, I used the Notes program on my iPod Touch to make my list.

Oooooo! Electronic grocery list. So convenient.

Except…..

When I walked the length of the store for something I hadn’t tapped out and worried I’d forget, this happened.


Apparently, my swinging hand action caused me to hit all kinds of buttons and suddenly I had a new grocery list.

Great. Now we’re having pasta for dinner, with Ld and Q on the side.

I remembered only half of the rest of the list I’d created.

And then when I got home I saw that I’d been hitting the enter key the whole time, so the rest of my list was there, just way down at the bottom out of view.

Whatever, technology. You suck.

Week in Review

Posted by Kathy on November 5th, 2010

A co-worker of mine sneezes so violently I’m afraid his spleen may come flying out one of these days. And it startles me every time. I told him “Geez, dude. Ring a bell before you do that.” Was that rude of me? I think it was a little bit rude.

I went to a church bazaar at lunch with another co-worker this week. It was their last day, so they handed us grocery bags and said “Anything you can fit in this bag is one dollar.” So we loaded our bags with a lot of stuff and paid our dollar on the way out, thinking all the while “We really should pay more than a dollar. This doesn’t feel right.” When we left, the handle of my co-worker’s bag came off, the bag fell to the floor and broke her ceramic bundt pan. Clearly, Jesus would have wanted us to give more generously.

I went to my credit union to deposit a check. While signing paperwork at the table near the teller windows, I dropped a pile of deposit slips, the flip-calendar thingy and then my purse, and I hit my head on the corner of the table picking up all the dropped items. A clerk sitting at a nearby desk rolled her eyes at me. I’ll give you an eye roll, lady. To add insult to injury, the ink in the pen chained to the table ran out. Tuesday was not a good day for me.

Those who follow me on Facebook know now that my husband puts mayonnaise on everything. This week he put it on pizza. Commence vomiting.

The reporter from NPR who interviewed me on-air about Windy the Plastic Bag emailed me Monday to ask how she was doing up in her tree. That both cracked me up and warmed my heart. Incidentally, when all the leaves on Windy’s tree come down, I’ll post new pictures of her. What’s left, that is.

Someone in my blog audience got her first boyfriend and she stopped commenting here. I miss her. But her boyfriend adores her, as well he should, and so it’s all good. But still. Sniff. Pass me a tissue.

The student assistant who works in my office is 6’ 4” tall. It means that he can see over the partition to my cubicle. He’s caught me more than once doing something I shouldn’t by peering over it to ask a last minute question. So now whenever I’m shoveling, say, six miniature Halloween candy bars in my face, I have to make sure he’s really gone before I begin another session wherein I disgust myself for all I can eat in one sitting.

I know I made a co-worker green with envy when she watched me back my car into a parking space in one quick, perfect action. I’m an excellent back-in-parker-inner. Admit it. You’re jealous, too.

Hope you guys had a good week! Don’t forget to turn your clocks ahead on Sunday. Or is it back? Whatever. Just turn it whatever way you feel and hope for the best.

The Pre-Baseball Briefing

Posted by Kathy on October 16th, 2010

10 Ways I’ve Been Walkin’ Around After Bowling For the First Time in Seven Years

Posted by Kathy on August 2nd, 2010

bowling 1.  Knuckle-dragging cavewoman.

2.  Thrown from horse.

3.  Baby with a too-full diaper.

4.  Drunken Quasimodo.

5.  In high heels with one heel missing.

6.  Defective weeble.

7.  Angry Frankenstein.

8.  Eighty-year-old man with two hip replacements.

9.  Newborn elephant’s first steps.

10. Woodstock Joe Cocker.

If you see Valerie, the woman who suggested we do this fun activity during our first-ever blogger meet-up, throw a brick at her head for me, will ya?

Our other blogger guest, Meleah Rebeccah, fared way better than me. She golfed the next day. Golfed.

I hate everybody who can move right now.

It’s Hard Being Me

Posted by Kathy on July 25th, 2010

car explosion It’s really a wonder I can function at all.

Yesterday I had to get gas for the lawn mower and while pumping the gas was uneventful, driving it home in the trunk of my car caused a three-alarm panic attack.

As soon as I pulled out of the gas station, I started imagining every possible scenario that would cause the gas container to spontaneously explode and render me extra crispy.

Is the cap on tightly enough? Is the cap on too tightly? Will it fall over and spill? Will the fumes knock me out?

Will the heat of the day boil it and make it explode? Can you survive an explosion if it’s at the rear of the car and not in the front?

An ambulance pulled out in front of me and I thought surely, if my car explodes, the driver will see it and render aid quickly. So I followed him as long as possible.

I released my seat belt so in case my car blew up, I could get out fast.

I had a headache when I pulled in the driveway, but at least I hadn’t been blown to bits. Is there anyone reading this who doesn’t think it’s a bad idea for me to be anywhere near gasoline?

Today brought more car challenges.

I used my husband Dave’s car to run errands so I could get used to driving it. I plan to take a road trip next Saturday and wanted to make sure I was comfortable with all the bells and whistles his car has that mine doesn’t.

Before I even got in it, I worried that I would set off the alarm and not know how to turn it off. Of course, because I’m me, this happened the minute I left the first store.

I did what every noob does with keyless entry cars and pressed ALL the buttons at once to make the alarm stop.

Unbeknownst to me, one of those buttons is the trunk latch release.

When I got home, I noticed the TRUNK OPEN light on and almost chastised Dave for letting me drive his car with the trunk open. An hour later, I realized it was me who opened it with the button ten miles ago. By the way, I try to blame all my shortcomings on my husband. Just doin’ my job.

I took another trip to a store later in the day and when I was about to come home, it started to pour. OK, now I have to figure out where the headlight controls are, as well as the wipers.

Wipers, no problem.

Headlights? WTF.

I had to call Dave to ask where the controls were and let me tell you, they are in a very stupid place on a Ford Fusion, way over to the side and low, not even on the steering wheel. Who does that?

I set my GPS to take me home (even though I was only 15 miles away) and all goes swimmingly well until I inexplicably ignored the GPS lady’s instructions and got off one expressway for another.

“Recalculating, recalculating,” she says.

I miss two opportunities to turn around and the GPS lady says “Dumbass! Dumbass!”

Ignoring her, I stayed on the wrong road and added 12 miles to my 15 mile trip home.

I am exhausted. Is it any wonder?

More importantly, why does my husband — who knows me inside out — think he could just tell me I’ll be fine jumping in his car and going?

I’m never fine. I’m a panic-stricken, instruction-needing, GPS-is-not-enough train wreck.

I think I need assisted living. Not an old folks home. Just an assistant. For living.

This is Why They Write Instruction Manuals

Posted by Kathy on May 4th, 2010

I hate instructions manuals. I pity the people who write them because nobody reads them.

But I deserve an “I told you so” for what I just did.

See the yellow part of my Dyson vacuum cleaner cylinder?

That’s what I somehow untwisted the first time I cleaned it out. It was real easy. I took the lid off and dumped the dirt out from the top.

But this time I couldn’t get it to do that.

Instead, I groped around for other buttons and found the latch that, unbeknownst to me, opens the bottom of the tube.

A weeks’ worth of dirt, kitty litter and hair came rushing out and landed at my feet. Smooth move, ExLax.

Dyson mistake

But Lorraine was happy to help me clean up my mistake. That’s right. I named my vacuum cleaner Lorraine. What about it?

I know someone who named his lawn mower.

So there.

The Grocery Store Walk of Shame

Posted by Kathy on April 19th, 2010

Pickles On Saturday I had to run to the store to pick up a bunch of things. Among them, salad dressing, paper towels, hot dog buns, pickles and a blog post.

I grabbed the first couple items and moseyed on toward the pickle aisle.

I selected a small jar, but put it back down for something bigger. When I picked up the next jar, I changed my mind again and put it back — atop another jar on the shelf, as they’d been stacked two-high.

And then, what charted in as the 78th stupid thing I’ve done this year, my finger slipped.

Ruh-roh.

I knew as soon as I withdrew my hand the jar was going down.

Down, down, down it went and all I could do was watch for the inevitable crash, the broken glass, the wayward pickles and juice splattered a la Jackson Pollock.

Awww, crap.

I parked my cart over the mess of glass bits, juice and pickles. So many pickles! All of whom I’m sure suffered massive internal injuries from the fall. I warned fellow shoppers about the glass and to be careful. A girl of about age 10 looked at me with such scorn, I the Pickle Killer, Destructor of Glass Jars, Spreader of Pickle Juice.

I set off to flag down a store employee so I could admit my klutziness and make sure it got cleaned up. For a moment, I wondered whether I should say “Someone dropped a pickle jar down there.” I could blame in on that mean girl who was still in the aisle. But I opted to fess up completely and announce to the cashier in lane #8 that it was I who dropped the jar.

She asked “Where?”

“Um. The pickle aisle?” Where chunks of glass will cut people’s feet and if you don’t hurry I’m going to cry and run away and never come back, do you hear me?!

I dutifully added “Aisle #1.” I threw in an “I’m sorry” and headed back to scene of the crime. I still needed pickles.

I didn’t even know what kind to take, flustered as I was. Should I even continue shopping in this aisle?  Can I pretend like this didn’t just happen and say to other shoppers “Oh, look what someone did! Tsk tsk.” What’s the protocol here? Do I stay and guard the mess until someone comes to clean it?  Somebody help me!

All those questions gave me a headache and so I just grabbed a jar — any jar — and scurried away.

Then I made the broken-glass, splattered-juice, injured-pickle walk of shame through the rest of the store, hoping no one would look at me and point “There she is! She kills pickles and cuts people with glass!”

I have never wheeled a grocery cart so fast in my life.

When I finished speed-shopping, I queued up to checkout lane #8 with the cashier who’d summoned a clean-up crew. She rang up my things and when she got to the pickles, I kid you not, she said “I’ll double bag them for you so they’re secure.”

Why? Because now you think I’ll drop pickles wherever I go? You think I’m a pickle-droppin’ loser whose face will be posted on the employee break room wall so that everyone knows to walk behind me with a mop and dustpan? Is that it?

I thanked her for her help earlier, took my change and slunk out of the store, possibly never to return without a bag over my head.

When my husband got home from work, he noticed the pickles on the counter and said “Oh, you didn’t have to get those. I was gonna get them later when I went to the store.”

Sure. Now you tell me.

Does the Five-Second Rule Count for Ice Cream?

Posted by Kathy on March 27th, 2010

Because I really wanted that.

Also, scoops should come with a seat belt or something. It just went sailing.

Crap.

ice cream fail

The Venus Flytrap of Doors

Posted by Kathy on March 23rd, 2010

<Digimax S1000 / Kenox S1000> I loves me automation.

Automatic drive. Automatic coffee makers. Automatic car washes.

I do not love automatic doors.

At least not the ones who eat you like a Venus flytrap.

Some time ago I had a doctor’s appointment that finished up after the medical building closed for the day. By the time I got to the lobby, the place was deserted.

Not a problem.

I found my way to the exit and headed through the first set of double electronic doors.

They made a nice little swoooosh sound as I stepped through, but as I continued walking, the outer set of doors refused to open.

Oh, geez. They locked up already.

Not a problem.

I’ll just go back in the way I came and find someone to let me out.

Or not.

The first set of doors had locked behind me and now I stood in the belly of the beast. Stuck between two sets of doors that wouldn’t open and no one to set me free.

Think. Think.

OK, there’s a panel here that reads “Emergency Push to Release.”

Yea!

I’ll just push this latch and the doors will open.

Um.

No.

The doors will not open. Instead, I will freak the hell out and become the Incredible Hulk. My suddenly panicked self will gather superhuman strength and take the door clear off its tracks and it will get lodged in a way that renders it completely and utterly BUSTED UP.

I am now trapped and have just ruined a perfectly good door and I can’t run away because the beast ate me and now whoever comes to save me will know exactly who broke the door because I’m inside and I realize at that moment I’m just like that moronic burglar who gets stuck in a chimney trying to rob a house and the firemen and cops have to come and let him out and then have a good laugh over the chucklehead’s predicament.

Yeah, that’s me. In a predicament.

And so I, the newly-ordained chucklehead, waited.

And sweated.

And felt a good cry coming on.

Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock.

Will they charge me for breaking the door?

Will they even be able to move the door now that it’s broken?

Will I have to sleep here tonight?

I don’t have any food. And nothing to drink! I’m going to die here!

I considered pulling a Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate church scene (1:30), but thought better of it. No sense in making too much noise. But how will they know I’m here?

Why do these things always happen to me?

Just then, a maintenance worker — my savior — walked by and we locked eyes. From the belly, I mouthed the words “I’m sorry” and my ordeal was nearly over.

I can’t quite remember how he unjammed the door and I don’t remember what I said to him as I slinked out of the beast.

I do know that I don’t trust automatic double doors now. And you shouldn’t either. They’re hungry for humans. Just sayin’.

BURRRRRP!

Remember That Crazy Cat Lady Thing?

Posted by Kathy on March 3rd, 2010

Lucky Do you remember the other day when I found out I’m that crazy lady who talks to herself and that I’m thisclose to being a crazy cat lady, too?

Well, we’re there.

I took my cat Lucky to the vet yesterday for dental work.

When I arrived at the office, I checked him in, along with three other people who brought pets in for some kind of surgery.

After I finished filling out paperwork, I delivered my cat to the receptionist who said “We’ll take him from here.”

Being the worrying type, I suddenly got a thought in my head that maybe with all the other cats there for surgery, the vet might mistake my cat for another and do the wrong procedure on him.

And then I didn’t want to give up my cat.

What if they do a microchip implantation? I didn’t ask for that!

What if they declaw him? No, no, no!

What if they try to remove a gall stone? He doesn’t have any!

And what if they think he’s in for what the poodle came for? I’m pretty sure Fluffy McFluffster was in for a botox treatment.

So I asked the assistant “How will you know what he’s here for? How will I know you’re working on the right cat?”

She assured me that he’d get an ID wrist band just like people get in a hospital and walked further back to the prep room.

I said “So you’ll put it on him?”

“Yes.” She kept walking.

“Like, you’ll put it on him right now?”

Her walking, walking, me following, following.

“Yes.”

Hey! Did she just roll her eyes at me?

“You will? Promise?”

[blink blink]

Mrs. Frederick, I can guarantee you Lucky will get the right treatment.”

And then I left, happy in the knowledge that Lucky would have his teeth cleaned and cared for and I wouldn’t be picking up a clawless, plump-lipped cat with an incision for a gall stone that never existed.

He did come home with one less tooth, though. Sorry, dude. I could save you from the wrong surgery, but I couldn’t save you from this.

Lucky

I Am Now That Crazy Lady

Posted by Kathy on February 23rd, 2010

crazy lady You know the lady. The one who walks around life talking to herself. Carrying on entire conversations when no one but her is listening.

I never was that lady, but today I am. Officially.

Thrice today I was caught talking to myself.

1. On the way back from a meeting this afternoon, I walked along the street by myself (or so I thought), and to no one in particular I announced that I would really like some malted milk balls. As soon as I said it ALOUD, two joggers came up behind me and passed, no doubt happy that they were running away from said crazy woman.

2. Washing my hands in the ladies room after my meeting, I cursed myself ALOUD that I did not have any hairspray in my purse, complete with hand gestures. I went onto say that I should have popped it in my purse, knowing I would be walking back from the meeting in the wind and rain. I did not know I had company until another woman walked around the corner to find me discussing my hairspray neglect.

3. When I stopped at a grocery store after work, I stood in front of the bread aisle wishing ALOUD that they had my favorite type of bread flats for sandwiches. I said “Why do they never have the 7 Grain kind?! Where is the 7 Grain? God! I turned to leave and found a woman behind me, also looking at the bread, and wearing what must be the quietest shoes ever made. I did NOT hear her coming and she startled me.

Then, of course, I went on to explain that I don’t normally talk to myself like that and that she was the third person who caught me doing it in one day. The woman gave me a pitiful look, the look you give that crazy lady you’re just a little bit afraid of.

For the record, I have three cats, so I’m thisclose to also being the crazy cat lady. And we all know there’s no turning back from that.

Taking It to a Whole New Level of Dumbassery

Posted by Kathy on February 13th, 2010

open garage door Dear All the Burglars Who Could Have Taken Everything in My House While I Was at Work Because I Left the Garage Door Wide Open and the Inside Door to My House Unlocked,

Thanks for not noticing and stealing everything I own.

Sincerely,

The Dumbass

When I drove home from work yesterday and saw the garage door up*, I figured my husband Dave got home before I did. Until I didn’t see his car inside. Then I thought maybe he did get home, but left to run an errand and forgot to close the door.

Then I thought I’m the idiot in this relationship and realized that when I brought garbage cans in from the curb that morning, I likely forgot to close the door when I left for work.

I’m used to just opening the door, pulling forward and shutting the door. If I diverge from my morning routine, all bets are off. So, yeah, it was me who left it open.

When I came into the unlocked house, I thought “What if burglars harmed my cats? What if they stole the TV? What if they found our safe with everything important in it? What if they’re still here? Why am I walking into a house that I think might contain a burglar?”

I checked for cats and all were accounted for. None of them appeared to have had a particularly weird day, you know, like entertaining robbers as they wiped out everything we own. All of our stuff was still in its place. I breathed a sigh of relief and carried on with my business.

And then I beat myself up for an hour about being a dumbass.

Of course, I’m not the only one in my family that leaves things wide open for thieves. I’ll keep the offender’s name out of it. She knows who she is.

For an entire summer one year, we stayed fit by driving to a large park and walking for an hour around its perimeter. The routine was to meet there, get out, lock all but our car keys in the trunk and head off.

On this one occasion, the unnamed person and I got sidetracked trading things we brought to loan each other and then headed off to walk. When we got back, this is what we found:

1. Her driver’s side door still WIDE OPEN.

2. Her keys on the driver’s seat.

3. Her purse on the passenger seat.

4. Her wallet in the purse.

5. Everything that identifies her, including her home address, in that wallet.

6. A garage door opener to her house.

For an hour, the car sat like this. The first thing we did was scream. The second thing we did was ponder how it was possible no one stole a car with the keys in it. The third thing we did was vow never to tell anyone about this because, you know, it’s colossally stupid.

We drove away in our separate cars, thanking God that no one in the very busy park that day decided to steal the car, take her money, drive to her house, open the garage door and help themselves to everything inside.

Or maybe they thought of it, but considered that being stupid is punishment enough.

* If you’re not scared enough, read here about how bad it is to leave your garage door open.

The Trouble With Naps

Posted by Kathy on January 25th, 2010

alarm_clock I loves me a good nap. Naps that leave me waking refreshed are the best. Naps that leave me waking fuzzy-brained are the worst.

I’ve had one such nap.

I must have had a difficult day at work and laid down for just a bit, but when I awoke, I glanced at a clock and it read 6:30.

It was one of those sleeps where I didn’t dream, didn’t move, didn’t wake up once. I thought “Holy crap! I slept through the whole night. I must have been dead tired.”

I didn’t even remember Dave climbing into bed. Hmmm. That’s strange.

I pattered downstairs to make coffee and realized he was nowhere to be found. Uh-oh. He mustn’t have come home last night. This can’t be good.

So I got on the phone with my sister Marlene and immediately started screaming “Dave never came home last night! I don’t know where he could be! I’m worried!”

Marlene’s response? “Huh?”

Me: “He never came home last night!”

Marlene: “What?”

Me. “He never came home!”

Marlene: “When?”

Me: “Last night.”

Marlene: “What night? Tonight you mean?”

Me: “No! Last night!”

Marlene: “What are you talking about? What is wrong with you?”

Me: “Huh?”

Marlene: “Are you all right?”

Me: “What?”

Marlene: “You said Dave didn’t come home last night, but what did you do all day today?”

Me: Silence.

Marlene: “Kathy? You there?”

Me: “I’m confused.”

Marlene: “Ya think?”

Me: “What time is it?”

Marlene: “It’s 6:30.”

Me: “You’re gonna tell me PM, right?”

Marlene: “Yeah, what’s your malfunction?”

Me: “Um. I took a nap and woke up thinking it was 6:30 tomorrow morning. Nevermind.”

Marlene: “Good Lord, woman. Go back to bed.”

Me: Click.

A little while later, Dave got home from work and walked through the front door, oblivious to the fact that I’d almost filed a missing person’s report on his behalf and called all the hospitals in the area.

It would have been so hilarious explaining my mistake to the cops. Hilarious.

So How Bad Did I Screw Up?

Posted by Kathy on January 14th, 2010

Attention all shutterbugs!

How bad did I screw up my new(ish) digital camera? I think it happened when I dropped my purse getting into my car yesterday.

camera

Every good blogger carries a camera with them at all times. But every smart blogger puts it in its carrying case so it doesn’t sink to the bottom of their purses and break when it hits concrete.

D’oh!

For the record, I can still take pictures with it. I just can’t see what I’m taking pictures of until I transfer them to a PC.  I also can’t see anything through the small viewfinder. Why?!

Anyone ever done this and, if so, can it be fixed for much less than the cost of a new camera?

Nevermind the Slippery Sidewalks

Posted by Kathy on December 9th, 2009

Evil_Steps It snowed and sleeted and poured last night and this morning. I was concerned a bit about how well the sidewalks would be cleared around my building at work.

Icy sidewalks can be such a hazard.

But so can perfectly dry indoor steps that are pretty easy to navigate if you just pick your feet up as you ascend.

Not if you’re me. That’s right. I fell up the steps. I do not recall once in my lifetime falling up steps. Down, yes. Up, no. To me, there’s a big difference. The ego hurts more when you fall up.

(Note: Actual Steps of Death pictured above.)

I am currently nursing a very sore shoulder and a pretty ugly kneecap.

There is blood.

I ripped through skin when my knee stopped the fall.

The worst part? I fell in front of a colleague. He was terribly sympathetic and concerned, but if I were him, I’d be laughing all the way to wherever he was going.

I’ll be avoiding him forever.

Also, I’m getting a new husband because this is the email exchange we just had:

Dave,

I hurt myself pretty bad just now. I fell UP the steps in the back stairwell. I’m bleeding on my kneecap. I don’t think I need to get anything checked out, but I will have one hell of a bruise tomorrow.

His response?

Kath,

Way to go. 

—-

p.s. Since I started writing this, my knee is now softball-esque. Is that bad?

Careful Where You Stick That

Posted by Kathy on November 21st, 2009

door_cracked_open mo·ron  (môr?n’, m?r-): idiot: a person of subnormal intelligence.

The date: Circa 1971.

The location: Family doctor’s office.

The injury: Smashed fingertip.

My mother had taken three of us kids for an annual checkup at our family doctor. After my sister and I were checked out, we retreated to the waiting room while my mom stayed with my brother and the doctor.

With nothing to do and time to kill, little Kathy Simpleton became mesmerized by the opening and closing of the front door as other patients came and went.

Every time the door opened, a one inch crack opened between the door and its hinges, revealing bright rays of sunlight.

Open, sun, close. Open, sun, close. Mesmerizing indeed.

Curiosity set in. Kathy wondered if she could stick her finger into that sunshine-filled crack and …. do what? See if it fit? And then what? Cheer and bet her sister couldn’t do the same thing?

We will never know why. Asking why just makes it worse.

What we do know is that stupid is as stupid does.

When that two hundred pound metal door came to rest in its closed position on the finger of the dumbest child ever born east of the Mississippi, she learned in an instant that sometimes it’s best to be satisfied with imagining instead of doing.

Yeah.

Of course, one might think this qualifies as my most moronic kid moment, and yet, if you think about it at least I had the sense to do it right in a doctor’s office.

It is unclear whether my mother asked the doctor to examine not only the crushed finger of her whimpering child, but the brain that thunk up such a senseless idea.

Care to share the least thought-out stunts of your kiddom? Extra points if you needed a cast, crutches or a wheelchair as a result.

How to Make Nipple Cupcakes

Posted by Kathy on November 8th, 2009

Doesn’t everyone want nipple cupcakes? I mean, come on. They’re awesome.

Step 1: Pour too much cake batter in the cups. No, not bra cups, silly. Cupcake cups!

Step 2: Don’t shake down the batter like apparently you’re supposed to do.

Step 3: Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

Viola!

Nipplicious cupcakes!

Nipple_cupcakes

Step 4: Pile icing high, high, high and no one will notice!

Nipple_cupcakes_iced

Good grief. I can’t even make a normal cupcake. Don’t even try to help me. There is no helping me. But I’ll take pity. Pity’s good.

Halloween Came Early

Posted by Kathy on October 27th, 2009

scary Because God hates us, my husband and I started a weeklong vacation on Saturday and then promptly got colds Saturday night. This is a first for us. In the twenty three years we’ve been together, we’ve never been sick at the same time.

Which means our first fear was “Who’s gonna get food for us?

While I was still looking and feeling like I belonged to the land of the living, I went to the store Sunday morning and picked up a few things to last a while. But then Monday night rolled around and I was tired of chicken soup and wanted something high in calories and sweet. And that meant donuts.

But how could I possibly show up at a brightly-lit store amidst the general non-sick population in my condition just to get donuts?

I quickly realized I didn’t care what I looked like, grabbed my car keys, headed over and walked right into my grocery store looking a sight. I appeared to be wearing my Halloween costume early. The costume is called Disgusting Slob. Let me set the stage:

1. At the time I had not showered for almost three days.

2. Unbrushed hair pulled back in a scrunchy with wayward hairs sticking out in all directions. No makeup. Chapped lips. Chapped nose.

3. I was wearing what I’d slept in the night before. Stretchy pants and a shirt with chocolate stains on it.

4. I was not wearing a bra.

Walking into the store was an exercise in sheer willpower. My legs felt noodly and my head was spinning like a top. In a fog, I made a beeline to the bakery and grabbed a container of one dozen glazed donuts.

I pretended that if I didn’t look any of the other customers in the eye, they couldn’t see me either.

I held my purse tightly against my chest so as to keep the braless ladies in place until I got to the self-checkout. Thank God for self-checkout. I would never have put a poor clerk in a position to look at me. That’s not playing fair.

I did NOT look at myself in the giant floor to ceiling windows at the front of the store because then I’d have real confirmation that I looked the way I did. Denial is a powerful thing.

p.s. I’m still wearing what I wore that night. I still haven’t showered. We still feel like crap, but the donuts were delicious. Now can one of you come over here and make us meals for the rest of the week? I promise I’ll shower for ya.

What’s That Smell?

Posted by Kathy on October 20th, 2009

smell 4:15 AM

Me: Dave, I think there’s a fire in the house.

Hubs: What?

Me: It smells like fire.

Hubs: What? Go back to sleep.

Me: Wait. No. It smells like burnt coffee.

Hubs: Uh. No. It’s a skunk.

Me: Is not.

Hubs: Skunk sprayed outside.

Me: Maybe the furnace is broken.

Hubs: Skunk.

Me, on the floor, smelling the heating vent: Well, it’s not the heat.

Hubs: Skunk.

Me: I swear, it smells like burnt coffee. Maybe the cats turned on the coffee maker somehow. The pot’s not empty. Remember how Lucky called your brother stepping on my cell phone? He could totally turn on the coffee maker.

Hubs: It’s a skunk. And if you say one more thing, I’m putting a pillow over your head.

Stuff My Husband Doesn’t Know About When I Mow the Lawn

Posted by Kathy on July 1st, 2009

lawn I love to mow the lawn. It’s good exercise. But there’s one problem. I suck at it.

While my husband Dave is recovering from shoulder surgery, I’ve taken on the chore of mowing every weekend. He feels bad he can’t do it, but that’s not the reason he should feel bad.

He should feel bad for the mower itself and everything it touches.

Herewith are the things I’ve done to the mower or with the mower in the last year:

1. I took out part of a tree he planted in the front yard. I don’t know how. All I know is when I motored past it, an entire branch broke off and got stuck in the hole that keeps the pull string attached to the mower. I threw the branch to the ground and mowed over it a bunch of times –the equivalent of hiding the body.

2. The first time I mowed alone, I got too close to a curb and the mower tipped over into the street. I heard a horrible propeller-type banging. That’d be the blade striking concrete at 3,600 RPM. I didn’t turn off the mower for a really long time because — all together now — I’m an idiot!

3. Dave likes to remove the metal rainspout extensions that run parallel to the ground before mowing. You know, so the grass is cut evenly. Why move perfectly placed rainspouts when you can run right over them? That’s mowing the efficient Kathy way.

4. Those big gashes at the base of the mailbox post? Sorry.

5. Remember, honey, how nice the front yard used to look when I would take the time to make nice diagonal lines through the yard? I know it looks like a child hopped up on Jujubees mowed it now, but really, can’t the grass just be short? We’re not going for design points, are we?

6. If the azalea bush doesn’t blossom next year, well, let’s just say I was getting tired and I had to take it out on something.

I love mowing! It’s so easy my way.

Dave, you’re not reading today’s post, are you?

Step Away From the Kitchen

Posted by Kathy on May 26th, 2009

Anyone who knows me knows I can’t cook. Never really tried. Didn’t get the gene.

But after enjoying a delicious meal at the home of Kim and Bryan, the bloggers I met last weekend, I decided I might like to try my hand at it. You see, Kim made homemade manicotti, including making the pasta shells from scratch!

I thought it would make a nice birthday dinner for my husband, Dave, and so I slaved away in the kitchen making my own pasta. You do it by pouring a thin mixture of eggs, flour, water and oil in a saute pan and swirling it around like you would a crepe. When the top dries, you simply pop it out on a plate and instant pasta!

I made 15 of those beauties and confidently went on to make the cheese filling and meatballs. Didn’t they turn out nice? Thanks for the recipe, Kim!

manicotti 

I basked in the glow of knowing that if I apply myself, I can pull off a decent meal and no one even has to go to the emergency room to get their stomach pumped.

And then God said "Get over yourself. It was a fluke."

The very next day I made a grilled cheese sandwich in the brand new saute pan I’d bought to make the pasta in, but didn’t wind up using.

When the pan heated, I started smelling something. I chastised my husband for not cleaning some burned food off the stovetop.

But the smell wasn’t exactly burnt food. Oh, no.

It was the smell of stupid.

pan 

We had a good chuckle over it, took this picture for proof a moron lives here and I ate my grilled cheese sandwich.

The very next day I was making an omelette in the very same pan.

Hmmmm. What’s that smell?

That’d be the smell of short term memory loss.

You’ll be happy to know I finally took the paper off the bottom of the pan and my house doesn’t smell like burning barcode anymore.

Is this universe’s way of telling me to get the hell out of the kitchen and leave it to the experts?

Yeah, I thought so.

Wherein I Find Out I’m Awesome

Posted by Kathy on May 18th, 2009

Do you hear me?! I AM AWESOME! I recently posted that I was meeting up with some fellow bloggers 200 miles from home, and it would be the first time I ever drove such a distance by myself.

Sure, I was pee-in-my-pants scared getting there, but the way home was an absolute breeze. After a short time, I was whizzing by slow poke drivers, eating a box of chocolates off my lap, steering with my thumb, and cursing at all the amateur drivers who annoyed me because they seemed lost and inept. You know, like I was two days before. My, how I’ve changed.

The weekend with Kim, Bryan and Jenn was a laughfest and what a joy to finally meet them after a year of knowing them only through their blogs and emails. Kim and Bryan were the consummate hosts and Jenn was fun company at the B&B where we both stayed.

As a bonus, Bryan’s hilarious sister Lisa traveled over an hour to visit with us, along with her cutie pie son, who upon meeting me tried to ride my leg while I was sitting on the couch. I considered it a high honor.

Let’s review some random trip details, shall we?

Peeping Tom Deer 1. A deer saw me naked. Freshly showered, I stepped out of the bathroom, turned to a window that faces the woods and saw this. I decided it was OK because he didn’t snicker or call over any of his deer buddies to get a look. In fact, he stared a long time. I think he wanted me.

2. Even though I took my cell phone, I lost reception during the return trip and later learned that a "reboot" would fix it. Until that discovery, I had to find a pay phone to call home. I found one on a desolate road, but some guy was using it and wouldn’t hang up! Why? Why would you talk on a pay phone in the middle of nowhere for ten minutes? I figured he was saying "There’s a lady here who looks desperate to use this phone, so I’m gonna keep talking about nothing, OK?" Jerk.

3. It took me three weeks to lose four pounds before my trip.Putting on the pounds I gained the four back in three days. I won’t be eating again until Thursday. That oughtta do it. 

4. I don’t get out enough. Kim planted some lovely Lamb’s Ears in her front lawn. I’ve never seen them before, and after Jenn told me "Feel ‘em, they’re velvety soft," I stooped down to touch every Lamb’s Ear I encountered from then on. I’m not sure if everyone thought that was endearing or just sad. I’m guessing sad.

5. Kim needs her own cooking show. In the span of a day, she made homemade soup, homemade bread and homemade manicotti and meatballs. My version of homemade means "I made water boil and dumped a box of pasta in it, in my home."

Overpacked6. I overpack. It’s a disease. On checkout day, my fingers slipped and I dropped my suitcase flat and it almost blew a hole in the floor and killed Jenn in the room underneath. When will I learn I only ever need half of what I think I need? 

7. Bryan agreed, at my request, not to take any photos of me. Yes, yes, I need therapy. He decided instead to take pictures of only my feet at various places we visited. Check out his foot photologue for proof I was actually there.missing

8. I hope someone located this lost baby. I found a "Missing" flyer taped to an ice cream shop window, but I can’t figure out why the baby would be wearing a collar and a harness. And only a $50 reward? That’s shameful. 

Close Enough9. All of my pictures of the beautiful Pennsylvania Grand Canyon look like this. Each one features a view-obstructing railing because I refused to step any closer. Railings good. Falling hundreds of feet to my death bad. I thought it best to enjoy the pictures that others took; people who aren’t afraid to live close to the edge. Literally.

So there you have it. The trip I made all by my lonesome awesome self!

Next up? I fly alone for the first time this summer, wherein I’ll cry for two hours, clutching my blankie and teddy bear. Or maybe not. Awesome people don’t need no stinking teddy bears!

My First Road Trip Alone

Posted by Kathy on May 9th, 2009

highway Next weekend I’m taking my first ever road trip alone. This should worry every single one of you, for I am The Queen of Getting Lost. You earn that title by losing your way only two tenths of a mile from your house.

Despite that, I agreed to drive 180 miles to meet up with three of my favorite bloggers, Bryan of Unfinished Rambler, his wife Kim of Dispatches from the Outpost, and Jenn of Cabbages and Kings.

For the record, I have never driven alone more than 30 miles from my home.

Am I nervous? Yes. Is my husband nervous? Crazy more. Have I considered all the things that can go wrong from here to there? Only since the day I agreed to this insanity.

But for every problem, there is a solution.

1. What if I get lost only ten miles from home? Solution: Turn around, shake my head, and ask myself why I thought I could do this.

2. What if the GPS breaks? Solution: See if I can finish navigating with my Mapquest directions.

3. What if the GPS breaks and my Mapquest directions get sucked out a window? Solution: Call my husband to come get me.

4. What if the GPS breaks, my Mapquest directions get sucked out a window, and my cell phone dies? Solution: Pull over and commence meltdown.

5. What if the GPS breaks, my Mapquest directions get sucked out a window, my cell phone dies, I have a meltdown and nobody stops to help me? Solution: Lock the doors, sleep in my car and have a nightmare about all the murderers waiting for a sitting duck like me, in which case this will be my last post. It was great knowing you.

If I do actually make it there, I likely won’t blog during the weekend. But I will tweet and update on Facebook. So check there next Friday afternoon to see if I’m alive.

If I’m a no-show, send a search party. I’ll be sobbing quietly somewhere in the middle of Pennsylvania.

File It Under Stupid

Posted by Kathy on April 23rd, 2009

Making some room in my desk drawer today, I came across my interesting filing system. I do enjoy a good alphabetical one, as it’s kind of helpful.

I do not know under what circumstances I thought it would be appropriate to file My Laptop Order under M for, you know, "My."

Discuss.

File_Folders

Does This Car Make Me Look Fat?

Posted by Kathy on April 15th, 2009

newcar My husband Dave and I went car shopping today. He knew exactly what he wanted, picked it out, and we went for a test drive.

Even though it’s his car and I thought I couldn’t care less about it, he drew the following out of me when he was about to sign on the dotted line.

Dave: So you like the car, right?

Me: Yeah. Sorta.

Dave: Sorta?

Me: I don’t like the passenger seat.

Dave: How so?

Me: It makes me look fat.

Dave: Come again?

Me: It makes me look fat. I feel like a giant.

Dave: What in the hell are you talking about?

Me: The seat isn’t low enough and I feel like I’m sitting up too high. Higher than the driver’s seat.

Dave: The seats were adjusted the same.

Me: No they weren’t.

Dave (to the saleswoman): Do you believe this?

Saleswoman: Do you want me to bring another car around to test the seat?

Me: Um. Do you mind?

We wait a while until the exact same car in another color is driven around to the front of the dealership.

We walk outside and I get in the new and improved, make-me-look-skinnier car.

The seat is exactly the same as the other one, but somehow I don’t look as fat as I thought I looked before. I went back to the original car and, magically, it didn’t make me look fat.

So either my fat perception is off a little or, more likely, maybe I’m just insane.

Pity my husband. The guy’s got his hands full.