Friday, December 30, 2005

We're back.

I'm working on polishing up my posts and getting back to reality. I hope to be back in the swing of things shortly. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

We made it!

Chowhound and I are here in beautiful Exuma, Bahamas. The flight yesterday was a little unnerving but we eventually made it. It wasn't bad enough that yesterday morning the news reported two airplane crashes. Both in the cities I was flying out from. Nothing like hearing this hours before you climb on board. But, then 10 minutes into the flight out of Miami, the pilot announced we were having a minor indicator problem and were returning to Miami. He assured us it was minor but then added that it involved the propulsion system. I'm sure they are trained to always announced that problems are minor. We landed back in Miami without indicent, but not without my nerves being on edge. Maintenence boarded the plane, without tools, went into the cockpit for a short while. Then, the pilot announced that we were good to go because one of the two systems was still operating properly. Finally, we made it.

Today, diving was great. We will have pictures tomorrow. I forgot to charge my camera battery and then a bird committed suicide in the transformer so we had no electricity. And when the power is out, it doesn't matter how many outlets you plug the charger in, it won't work. I know I tried three. My brain hasn't destressed and kicked back in yet. Teenagers will do that do you.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Teenager Logic

I, no longer being a teenager, have long shed the teen brain gene. The gene that makes stupid things seem like wonderful and obviously sensible ideas. But, they abound in my household.

Example #1: Yesterday was 45 and drizzly. Terribly weather to have to be out in. Daredevil was called into work. He opted to peddle my beachcomber bike the mile to work in the nasty, miserable weather, rather than pick up the phone and ask his father to take him. When asked why he didn't call for a ride, he stated, "I was feeling lazy. I didn't feel like calling" Hello, knock knock. Anybody home. Ride in a warm car vs peddling your ass off in frickin freezing rain. My logic says call for a ride. But, then again, what do I know? I'm only the mother.

Example #2: Improviser lives up to his name again. I'm once again shaking my head and wondering, why? I came home to a trail of mischief today. I moved into Mother Detective mode immediately upon spying the lid to the spackle lying on the kitchen counter. Okay. Where is the rest of the container? And where is the hole? So, move into living room. I spy the spackle, a screwdriver, a knife, pliers and a chair. This is getting interesting. I'm scanning the walls trying to find the repair job. I can't spot any. Must have done a good job (beaming, I taught them well) or I'm just looking in the wrong place. I haul the boys in for questioning. It was the latter. I missed where the living room closet door had been repaired. BUT, THEN I HEAR THE REST OF THE STORY. That's not all I overlooked. The door had originally been on the hall closet when it was damaged. Big brother vs Little brother. Teasing. Taunting. Things flying. People running and ducking. Only the closet door was injured. No further explanation needed there. Just explain to me why Improviser thought the hole in the door would be less noticeable in the living room verses the hall. He went to great effort to take both doors off and switch them. THEN he looked for the spackle and repaired the hole. I don't understand the logic, but it actually worked out well. The living room closet door never has closed right. Now, it closes just fine. Dumb luck saves his butt again.

I am sooooooooooo ready for my vacation. Chowhound and I leave tomorrow. I must really be out of my mind and need this vacation if I can find logic in leaving an 18, 19 and 20 year old alone in my house and with possession of my car for a week while I am out of the country. Yes, you counted right. There is an extra hormone driven, dain bramaged male staying in my house. Improviser's best friend who just completed bootcamp. And who turns 20 Friday. OMG. What am I doing? Evidently, I still possess a small amount of that teen gene or senility is moving in already. If I don't return from the Bahamas, you'll know I regained my senses.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Christmas Music Memories

Momma Bug dug out the Christmas Albums and this resurrected memories for me as well. I grew up in an era of 33's and 45's. Record players. Adapters. Scratches and skips. And the ability to change the speed on the player so everyone sounded like Alvin and Chipmunks. We, too, had a collection of Christmas records. I believe my mom still has them tucked in a closet somewhere too. We decorated our pilfered tree to dogs "singing" Jingle Bells and Alvin and his cohorts screeched out traditional songs in a non-traditional style. Those were my mom's favorites. My favorites included two songs on a 45 sung by Yogi Jorgesson , "I yust go nuts at Christmas" and "Yingle Bells". They were in a Swedish accent, I believe, and were comical. **OMGosh. I just googled it and found the lyrics and someone else's memories revolved around this song. Too funny. Hat tip to StinaLisa.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

You can dress her up, you can't take her out

OMG. I can't believe what I did. I re-enacted the restaurant scene from Pretty Woman. I am usually dressed in jeans, tee shirt, hard hat, steel toed boots, grease and dirt. But, last night for our Company Christmas party, I dolled myself up. Elegant, sexy dress. Pantyhose. Heels. Makeup. The works. I looked good. Sophisticated and Uptown. But, you can dress me up, you can't take me out. As I attempted to pinch the tail off my shrimp cocktail, it took flight. Unlike in Pretty Woman, there wasn't a waiter standing by to catch it. Instead it sailed right into my Boss's forehead. Cocktail sauce splattered all in his hair and face. After the initial shock wore off, he laughed and said, "Slippery little bugger isn't it." Oh, I was so embarrassed. So much for a Christmas bonus.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Christmas Cake Recipe


You'll need the following:

1 cup of water
1 cup of sugar
2large brown eggs
2 cups of dried fruit
1 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of brown sugar
Lemon juice
1 bottle of whisky

Sample the whisky to check for quality. Take a large bowl. Check the whisky again. To be sure it's the highest quality, pour one level cup and drink. Repeat. Turn on the electric mixer, beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl. Add one teaspoon of sugar and beat again. Make sure the whisky is still OK. Cry another tup. Tune up the mixer. Beat two leggs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit. Mix on the turner. If the fired druit gets stuck in the beaterers, pry it goose with a drewscriver. Sample the whisky to check for tonsisticity. Next, sift two cups of salt. Or something. Who cares? Check the whisky. Now sift the lemon juice and strain your nuts. Add one table. Spoon the sugar or something. Whatever you can find. Grease the oven. Turn the cake tin to 350 degrees. Don't forget to beat off the turner. Throw the bowl out of the window. Check the whisky again and go to bed.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Mistletoe at the Airport

Being a frequent Airline traveler, I had to post this one. I fully expect to see this in Miami.

Mistletoe At The Airport

It was slightly before Christmas. The trip went reasonably well,
and he was ready to go back. The airport on the other end had turned
a tacky red and green, and loudspeakers blared annoying elevator
renditions of cherished Christmas carols.

Being someone who took Christmas very seriously, and being slightly
tired, he was not in a particularly good mood.

Going to check in his luggage (which, for some reason, had become one
suitcase with entirely new clothes), he saw hanging mistletoe. Not
real mistletoe, but very cheap plastic with red paint on some of the
rounder parts and green paint on some of the flatter and pointier
parts, that could be taken for mistletoe only in a very Picasso sort
of way.

With a considerable degree of irritation and nowhere else to vent it,
he said to the attendant, "Even if I were not married, I would not want to kiss you under such a
ghastly mockery of mistletoe."

"Sir, look more closely at where the mistletoe is."


"Ok, I see that it's above the luggage scale, which is the place you'd
have to step forward for a kiss."

"That's not why it's there."


"Ok, I give up. Why is it there?"

"It's there so you can kiss your luggage goodbye."

New 12 Days of Christmas Policy


To: All Staff
Date: December 1
Subject: New "Twelve Days of Christmas" Policy

The recent announcement that Donner and Blitzen have elected to take the early reindeer retirement package has triggered a good deal of concern about whether they will be replaced, and about other restructuring decisions at the North Pole.

Streamlining is due to the North Pole's loss of dominance in the season's gift distribution business. Home Shopping TV channels and mail order catalogues have diminished Santa's market share. He and the Board could not sit idly by and permit further erosion of the profit picture.

The reindeer downsizing was made possible through purchase of a late model Japanese sled for the CEO's annual trip. Improved productivity from Dasher and Dancer, who summered at the Harvard Business School, is anticipated. Reduction in the reindeer will also lessen airborne environmental emissions for which the North Pole has received unfavorable press (gas and solid waste).

We're pleased to inform you that Rudolph's role will not be disturbed. Tradition still counts for something at the North Pole!

Management denies, in the strongest possible language, the earlier leak that Rudolph's nose get red, not from the cold, but from substance abuse. Calling Rudolph "a lush who was into the sauce and never did pull his share of the load" was an unfortunate comment, made by one of Santa's helpers and taken out of context at a time of the year when they are known to be under 'executive stress'.

As for further restructuring, today's global challenges require the North Pole to continue to look for better, more competitive steps. Effective immediately, the following economy measures are to take place in the "Twelve Days of Christmas" music subsidiary:

1) The partridge will be retained, but the pear tree, which never produced the cash crop forecasted, will be replaced by a plastic hanging plant, providing considerable savings in maintenance;

2) Two turtle doves represent a redundancy that is simply not cost effective. In addition, their romance during working hours could not be condoned. The positions are, therefore, eliminated;

3) The three French hens will remain intact. After all, everyone loves the French;

4) The four calling birds will be replaced by an automated voice mail system, with a call waiting option. An analysis is underway to determine who the birds have been calling, how often and how long they talked;

5) The five golden rings have been put on hold by the Board of Directors. Maintaining a portfolio based on one commodity could have negative implications for institutional investors. Diversification into other precious metals, as well as a mix of T-Bills and high technology stocks, appear to be in order;

6) The six geese-a-laying constitutes a luxury which can no longer be afforded. It has long been felt that the production rate of one egg per goose per day was an example of the general decline in productivity. Three geese will be let go, and an upgrading in the selection procedure by personnel will assure management that, from now on, every goose it gets will be a good one;

7) The seven swans-a-swimming is obviously a number chosen in better times. The function is primarily decorative. Mechanical swans are on order. The current swans will be retrained to learn some new strokes, thereby enhancing their outplacement;

8) As you know, the eight maids-a-milking concept has been under heavy scrutiny by the EEOC. A male/female balance in the workforce is being sought. The more militant maids consider this a dead-end job with no upward mobility. Automation of the process may permit the maids to try a-mending, a-mentoring or a-mulching;

9) Nine ladies dancing has always been an odd number. This function will be phased out as these individuals grow older and can no longer do the steps;

10) Ten Lords-a-leaping is overkill. The high cost of Lords, plus the expense of international air travel, prompted the Compensation Committee to suggest replacing this group with ten out-of-work congressmen. While leaping ability may be somewhat sacrificed, the savings are significant as we expect an oversupply of unemployed congressmen this year;

11) Eleven pipers piping and twelve drummers drumming is a simple case of the band getting too big. A substitution with a string quartet, a cutback on new music, and no uniforms, will produce savings which will drop right to the bottom line;

Overall we can expect a substantial reduction in assorted people, fowl, animals and related expenses. Though incomplete, studies indicate that stretching deliveries over twelve days is inefficient. If we can drop ship in one day, service levels will be improved.

Regarding the lawsuit filed by the attorney's association seeking expansion to include the legal profession ("thirteen lawyers-a-suing"), a decision is pending.

Deeper cuts may be necessary in the future to remain competitive. Should that happen, the Board will request management to scrutinize the Snow White Division to see if seven dwarfs is the right number.

Happy Holidays all!!

Monday, December 12, 2005

5 Indicators of my Uniqueness

I'm renaming this Meme that Quality Weenie passed off to me. Weird habits. I have none. They are not weird to me, anyhow. They are eccentricities of my personality. The things that set me aside from the mainstream. I don't notice them until people point them out.

1. I rock. We're not talking music. And I don't need a chair. Think autistic. Rainman even. Definitely Rainman. Definitely. If I can't rock back and forth or side to side, then my leg or foot will be moving. I am hardly ever still. Something has to move.

2. I rarely watch a movie at home from beginning to end. Either I fall asleep or I have to get up and wander around. Do something. Sitting still doesn't happen very often. See #1. Now, I can go to the theatre and watch the entire movie without a problem. But, it takes 2 or 3 viewings at home before I see the whole thing.

3. It has to be noisy for me to go to sleep. I use the TV for a nightlight and background sound. If it is quiet my mind conjures up all sorts of ghosts and evil things lurking. If the TV gets turned off, I will immediately sit up and say, "Hey, I was watching that." Evidently, I watch it with my ears. (This only applies if I'm not with my Sweetie. I guess it's a security issue.)

4. I post notes for myself everywhere. On doors, mirrors, on the steering wheel. Anywhere obvious. I am extremely forgetful. I have to post a note on the door leading outside when I light candles in the house. Otherwise, I will leave without blowing them out. I have done this more than once. So now I have a note on the door.

5. I have to have keep at least one book in the bathroom. Otherwise, I will be reading the back of the shampoo bottle or anything within reach.

So, there you have it. Five indicators of my uniqueness. Now, who hasn't been tagged. If I tag you and already did this and I just couldn't find your post about it, then tag someone for me. So, I'm tagging Love and Koolaid Stains, Naya's Reality, Son of a DJ, and GA Mongrel.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Dive Day Two

Yeah! Chowhound and I completed and passed our diving certification. It was a wonderful experience. But, it was C.O.L.D. COLD today. I sometimes forget I live in NORTH Florida. Today the emphasis was on North. I don't know what happened to the Florida part. It was gone. We froze. The water in the spring is 70 year round. Today, it was warmer in the water. If you consider 70 warm. I don't. But, I guess if you learn in the worst conditions everything else is a piece of cake.

But, we froze our butts off. Well, I don't think Chowhound's butt was very cold because he commented at the end of the third and final dive, "I don't know why but I had to pee every 5 minutes." Wonderful. Kinda makes you feel like you're swimming in someone's toilet. Yuck. I guess that's how he stayed warm today. The thing is though, It wasn't his wetsuit. It belongs to the dive shop. And it was brand new. They took off the tags and handed it to him since none of the others fit the skinny beanpole. A $140 wetsuit. Hope they rinse it out good.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

I love living in FL

While a lot of you are shoveling snow and freezing, this is what you can do in Florida in December. Chowhound and I went diving in Devil's Den. We are completing our open water diving certification. It was his first dive. He did incredible. Better than I did and I've dove before (only twice, but still). Brat. I guess I should be glad that my children are more coordinated than I am. But, to be showed up by a 15 year old. Geezzzzzz. Actually, I was really proud of him. He said, "And, on the video they make it seem likes it hard." Gotta love him.

Devil's den is a beautiful place. Since it's a fresh water spring, there isn't much aquatic life, but there were giant catfish. They swam right up to us. Looking for those catfish goodies they sell there. I wasn't scared, but it was a little unnerving to have a group of 3ft catfish circling around inspecting you. Tomorrow we go to a different place. I can't wait.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Nerves or Mind which goes first

My nerves are frazzled and I'm about out of my mind. Any bets on which goes first? It's been an interesting couple of days in my household. And right now is no exception. The "boys" are wrestling. Daredevil, Chowhound and Remington. I'm taking bets on the dog. He'll whoop both of them. Although, I am watching my Charlie Brown Christmas Tree wondering if it will survive another season.

I fried several nerves yesterday and think I popped a blood vessel or two. At work, we are making and collecting shoeboxes for seniors. One of the guys brought in an undecorated box. I volunteered to make it pretty. So, during lunch I zipped home to grab my wrapping paper. Wow, I probably have a shoebox here somewhere, I thought. So I'm doing a mad dash through the house checking closets for shoeboxes. I whipped open Chowhound's closet door. My heart stopped and I screamed. THERE WAS SOMEONE IN IT! It took me several hearts beats and gray hairs to realize it was Daredevil. He skipped school. I guess it seemed like a place I wouldn't look. Two lessons learned. First, you can't skip school without your mother finding out. Secondly and more importantly don't ever scare the crap out of your mother like that. I fumed! Talk about boiling mad. Not to mentioned scared to death. He abruptly checked into school. (I didn't realize it at the time, it was a half day and they only had 15 minutes left.) It was a good thing for him I had to get back to work right then and he had to work that night. That gave me 8 hours to try and simmer down.

So, I come home. Still smoldering. I walk into a nice clean house. Improviser is currently job hunting and in his spare time as been "spoiling" me. In addition to the housework, he is making pumpkin pie. As he is pouring the pumpkin mixture into the pieshell, the bowl slips and splashes into the pie. Splosh! Pumpkin pie mix everywhere. All over and in the electric stove. We cleaned it up pretty well, I thought. Then, as I'm frying cube steak and talking on the phone to my mother, sparks start shooting from the stove like "old sparky". The entire house dims and then comes back to life. I'm juggling the phone, screaming, running and wondering if I have any lives left. So, now all I want for Christmas is a brand new stove. I just flipped the breaker and figured I'd deal with it later. Improviser took it apart today and is going tomorrow to get the parts to fix it. He sure has been handy lately.

And the story continues....Part II tomorrow.