Monthly Archives: February 2012

A is for Airports in the A.M.

Today I was at the airport around 5:15 a.m.  The reason that’s admirable and a bit astounding is that I’m not the one going away.  I foolishly mentioned yesterday that I could drive W out there and much to my dismay he accepted my offer and wouldn’t let me retract it.  Gawd.  Although we were going about 10 klicks over the posted speed limit, at least a dozen taxi cabs went flying past us on the half hour drive, so that when we got to the drop off at departures they were all stopped in every available stopping spot plus blocking traffic to exit the bloody place.  What a zoo.  His flight to Winnipeg was scheduled to leave at 6:30 a.m., so apparently it’s never too early to get the hell out of Edmonton.

W is off to northwestern Ontario for a week to visit his family.  I’m going to be flying out at the same gawdawful hour in the morning on the 3rd of April to visit mine, but that also includes making a connecting flight in Winnipeg and continuing on to London, Ontario.  He says he will drive me to the airport for that one.  He does owe me one.

I’ve got a doctor appointment to go to in an hour, and then work to show up for in four.  There didn’t seem to be much point in going back to bed.  It’s like getting extra hours in the day and having all kinds of time to make coffee and do some laundry and shower and make breakfast and play some intelligent well thought out moves in my scrabble games for a change when you get up this damned early.  Perhaps later on this afternoon when I fall asleep in the middle of a conversation I’ll be second guessing the decision to start my day so soon especially since I haven’t included a plan for a power nap in there somewhere.

My astrological forecast for today is definitely meant for someone who will be slightly less sleep deprived.

Talk about a great date night — with the right person, you can make an astounding connection that’s intellectual, emotional and physical all at once. If you don’t have the right person, you just might by night’s end.  

Operative word here being “might”.  Word not included but understood – NOT.  And the part about being intellectual is definitely a stretch.  If I’m still conscious later on I’ll come back to let you know how that panned out.  It’s going to be a looooooooooooong day.

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Z is for Zygapophysis

 

I found my ancient old dictionary!  It was in a desk cabinet, of all places.  Not that I was searching for it or anything, but since I’ve come across it, I’m suddenly inspired to do some alphabet posts.  Try to contain your excitement, please.

It’s a beat up old red Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary, copyright 1973.  It is older than my children.  And appears to have been mauled by them, since there are a few pages obscured by scribbling in pen, pencil, and lime green crayon.  There are several rips and tears (repaired with brittle yellowed tape) and many dog ears and a half missing spine.  I can’t remember the last time I used it.  Probably not since discovering an on-line dictionary with thesaurus and reference section and quotes and all kinds of information I had no idea ordinary people needed to fill their heads with.

It’s almost too easy, this new and improved way of looking things up.  Kind of takes away the thrill of the chase when you’re searching for the definition of a word but have no idea how to spell it.  Now there’s no need to flip through pages and run your finger down long columns of words until you find the right one.  The on-line dictionary looks at your ridiculous hodgepodge of letters and says “did you mean….” and then spews out fifty possibilites so that you can click on the right one and stop your brain from hurting.

I’ve decided that since I often do things left right and sideways, I will go backwards through the dictionary instead of forwards.  Besides, the Z section is only four pages long and therefore less intimidating than the A’s.  So, zooks and zounds, it’s time to get to the point. Z is not just for zip, zero and zilch, although all of those are truly awesome words.

Z is for Zoot Suits

Is that not a beautiful thing?  The Zoot Suit coat has wide lapels and wide padded shoulders.  The pants are high waisted, wide legged, and tight cuffed.  One completes the look with a felt hat with a feather, a crazy long watch chain, and pointy French style shoes.  Popular during the Jazz Age in Harlem in the 1940’s.  Reintroduced in banana yellow by Jim Carrey in “The Mask”.

Z is also for Zazous.

Zazous were a young French subculture during World War II expressing their individuality by all dressing the same (but differently from sane people.)  They stole (or perhaps just borrowed) the Zoot Suit look.  Jackets were big and garish, with stripes or checks.  Add some heavy shoes, crazy socks, sunglasses, long hair, and an umbrella – and don’t forget to dance.  Swing and bebop on the Champs Elysées.  Eat carrot salad and love decadent jazz.  The women wore their hair long and curly, had giant shoulder pads, short pleated skirts, net stockings, and clunky shoes with thick wooden soles.

I think I was born in the wrong era. I remember that outfit from highschool.  Ooo la la.  Ah well.  C’est la vie.

(Sorry about Zygapophysis – if you really want to know, it’s one of the articular processes of the neural arch of a vertebra of which there are usually two anterior and two posterior, and I only threw it up there to catch your attention and appear to be smart. I was having a zinfandel moment.)

No Brainer

February 27th is No Brainer Day.  A day after my own heart.  Or head, or whatever.  Even my astrological people appear to be taking a day off from putting much thought into their predictions.

A certain amount of nostalgia is natural, but if you’re longing for the past and indulging in thoughts of what could have been, snap yourself out of it. Physical activity’s good for getting your head back into the present.

  • Compatibility: Leo
  • Mood: Moody
  • Lucky Color: Rose Pink  

I never long for the past.  It’s over and done with, and that’s perfectly fine with me.  And  my mood is MOODY?  Really?   Huh.

It’s also February Fun Day.  Normally I might try to think up something more fun to do than go to work and actually work, but the no brainer thing is an easier choice of priority, so I’m going with that instead.

It’s Monday.  The perfect day of the week for the walking brain dead to get their little brain dead selves over their weekend and back into the present.  It’s good to have an entire day to do that.  I don’t feel like thinking up a reason why.

Egg On and Early TV

(Perry and Della – the unbeatable team)

These topic suggestions have egged me on.  Such a strange expression – makes me think of someone pelting me with raw eggs to set me in motion.

What’s the best way to find out about new books you might like?  Go to the Word Press Home Page and click on the Books topic.  Lots of people out there are reading like crazy and sharing their experiences.  All of the e-books on my Kindle come from Amazon of course, and the reviews and suggestions there are great.  The “customers who bought this item also bought”  thing can be very helpful too if you’re looking for books that are similar to, or just as interesting as, the ones you’ve already enjoyed.  It never hurts to have friends who read a lot and like to make suggestions.  And I love bargain book tables.  Although those aren’t piled high with new books, they’re usually new to me and there’s always the possibility of discovering some obscure gem.

How do you spend the majority of your non-work time? Non-working.  Eating, sleeping, reading, blogging, playing games, keeping up a house, washing my hair.

If you were going to redecorate your home, what would you change? A better question might be, where would you start?  But frankly I’ve spent a lot of years changing things up and around, and now I’m at the point where I don’t really care that much about it anymore.  Our house is too big for just the two of us.  If we ever move to something smaller I’ll think harder about the whole decorating thing.

Are you an early bird or a night owl?  Nope I’m not really either one.  I don’t get up excessively early, and I don’t go to bed ridiculously late.  So I’m one of those boring intermediate chronotypes with no sleep disorders, unless you count liking sleep a lot as a disorder.

What creeps you out?  Unexplainable mystery noises in the dark. The kind of strange sounds you’re not quite sure you actually heard, because they might have been part of a dream, so you listen so hard you stop breathing but you don’t hear anything else.  And so you drift back to sleep.  And promptly hear something slightly different that could have come from the same unidentifiable source so you have to start the whole listening without breathing process all over again.  Or you get up to investigate and make your own mystery noises in the dark because you only knock over extremely cacophonous objects when you’re trying really hard to be quiet.

You can pick one chocolate from the box.  What kind of filling do you hope is inside?  Deliver me from sweet cream fillings that burn my throat and hard chewy centres that stick to my teeth for three hours.  Just give me chocolate covered nuts – in fact, how about a whole box of them so I don’t have to read the quide and try to figure out the pictures and decide what exactly might be inside a Himilayan Pink Salt Peanut Butter Red Velvet Dark Chocolate Truffle From Hell.

What’s your most treasured possession?  My brain.  Such as it is.

Who are your all time favourite authors?  Absolutely impossible to say because I have no idea even where I might begin.  Every single person who writes has something to say, ideas to get across, stories to tell, insights to share.  If I read a book I particularly like, I’ll always see what else that author has written but it’s not good to get bogged down in any one particular genre.  There is brilliance everywhere.  And complete garbage too, but how would you recognize the great stuff without the crap?

What were your favourite tv shows when you were a kid?  We didn’t get a tv until I was nine years old and then we had only one channel so we watched whatever stupid thing happened to be on.  We especially liked staying up later than our normal bedtime to watch a show, which meant that The Ed Sullivan Show and Bonanza (on Sunday nights all the way to ten o’clock) became our favourites by default.  Later on I liked to watch Dr. Ben Casey and Dr. Kildare, and argue with my sister about which one was more sexy and swoon-worthy.  I liked Perry Mason a lot too, because he never lost a case, and I was convinced that Della Street was the main reason why.

        

Now seriously, who would not prefer those sexy hairy arms and Ben’s brooding good looks to Dr. Hairless Wonder there on the right who looks like he’s fresh out of grade eight?  (My sister isn’t here to defend her heart throb from the ’60’s so I feel like being a bit ruthless).  We argued about hockey players too, pretty much just for the sake of arguing because it rarely had anything to do with the game or their hockey skills.  And then we moved on to male singers (Mick Jagger vs. Eric Burdon, for example).  It’s an endless list for a fun game of ‘have an opinion and defend it, no matter what’.   All in the spirit of egging eachother on.

Things On Shelves


In our retro wall unit in the basement there is a drop-down door on hinges with a lovely little storage area behind it.  I’m wondering if normal people might use this space as a liquor cabinet.  We obviously use it as a place to put miscellaneous assorted crap.  I can’t imagine how a half used lint roller ended up in here but I suppose it’s just as special as two crochet hooks in a brandy snifter.

This wonderful piece of furniture has lots of shelves, a glassed-in display section where we keep some northern artifacts, two drawers (full of even more junk), and a place for our tv.  It’s a great spot to keep part of our ridiculous collection of movies.  I’ve posted this picture of a small section of it in an effort to shame myself into going down there with a garbage bag and emptying it of half it’s contents.

So far, my plan is not working.  Contrary to popular opinion, it’s not simply because I’m too lazy to be bothered.  Although that does explain part of my reluctance to part with things.  I was raised by people who saved stuff and taught me that it was wrong to throw away anything that was in perfectly good condition.  Even if you could not imagine yourself actually using it in this lifetime.  Someone, somewhere, might just want it for something. So it got stuck away out of sight and out of mind, to be thrown away at some future date by a ruthless person with way fewer hoarding hang ups.

One time when the power went out, W used those very candles for light until the electricity came back on about twenty minutes later.  That situation could recur again at any time.  So don’t tell me this stuff is useless.  No, it wasn’t exactly an emergency, but they did come in handy.  And gawd only knows where the flashlights might be.

Every so often I start going through areas of my house where my random collections of possessions are verging on fire hazard status.  It’s a very time consuming process because it involves a lot of decision making.  Often I’m torn between organizing some kind of a garage sale, or just starting a big bonfire.  The bonfire would be more fun, except for the guilt.  And the air polution.  So I put most things back where I found them, trying to make them look more organized and cherished and important enough to keep.

That’s not working well either since so many things mean something only to me.  I’ll just have to wait until my memory fades some more and it becomes easier to pitch stuff that I eventually don’t even recognize as mine.  Maybe I’ll start with W’s things and then tell him he must have ‘misplaced’ them himself.  Or we could move to a new house that’s half the size of this one, and be forced to downsize.  Or every time I go to visit a family member I could give them some kind of precious family heirloom that they could dispose of themselves ten minutes after I leave.  See how hard it is for me to formulate a plan when there’s so many great options?

Anyway, I can’t do anything with this cupboard today because it’s snowing.  There’s no way I’m going to lug a garbage bag out to the bin in this weather.  Probably better to wait until summer. Some things cannot be rushed.

Cinder Block


This is a page from my Argyle Sweater calendar.  Just so you know – writer’s block is not the worst thing that can happen to you.

My horoscope for today (condensed version) – If everyone else was jumping off a bridge — well, you know where this is going. Don’t get so caught up in the moment or in the group mindset that you turn into a lemming. 

It’s meeting day at work, and by the looks of the above, I should NOT go there.  Seems like a perfectly valid excuse to me.  I’ve used lesser ones.  My mood is determined.  It’s gonna be an awesome day.

An Attractive Mood

(image from toonpool.com)

Daily Horoscope: February 23, 2012

Even in your grubby errand-running clothes, you’re undeniably appealing. Yes, they’re looking at you, so don’t just stand there — smile and say hi. Make the world a nicer place, one person at a time.

  • Compatibility: Cancer
  • Mood: Attractive
  • Lucky Color: Red
  • Lucky Number: 8
  • Lucky Time of Day: 9am      

Do you think maybe the people who write these things don’t really understand what the definition of “mood” is?  I’m trying to imagine how I’ll be acting when I’m in an attractive state of mind.  They did of course get the part right about me being undeniably appealing.  I’d be a fool to argue with that one. And red is the best colour ever invented.

Today is Take A Bath Day, Tennis Day, and International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day.  I have no idea how I’m going to incorporate all of these things into one 24 hour period.  I much prefer a shower to a bath, don’t know how to play tennis and don’t enjoy watching it being played, and I don’t have any dog biscuits in the house, or any dogs to feed them to even if I did.  So that pretty much takes care of that.

My sister and her family are back from their Mexico holiday, safe and sound, with some great pictures and beautiful tans.  I went back to work today after my extended Family Day weekend off and it was like I never left.  I don’t know what I was expecting, but you’d think something might have changed there during all that time without me.

We’re having very weird February weather.  It snows such great huge snowflakes that you can hardly see where you’re going, and then the sun comes out and melts everything and then it snows some more.  Right now the melted stuff has frozen, so it’s icy until the sun returns.  Or the snow.  The weather people are flipping coins to make their predictions.  Perhaps they should get a few pointers from the astrology people, and forecast an attractive day, just to change things up a bit.

Thought for the day from my “she said” calendar (Pauline Thomason) –

” Love is blind – marriage is the eye-opener.”

Have a happy Thursday.

                 

Be Grateful and Stop Complaining

We’re never sufficiently grateful for any of the day to day things we take for granted and only realize what they’re really worth to us if they’re taken away.  Or when we can vividly imagine being without them, or think there’s something infinitely better out there.

I’m so happy to be able to see, and to read, and to sit down and write.  And to have the time to indulge myself, doing the things I love to do.

I’m reading “How It All Began” by Penelope Lively, and came across this quotable bit that reminded me of my mom.

“She is as much a product of what she has read as in the way in which she has lived;  she is like millions of others built by books, for whom books are an essential foodstuff, who could starve without.”

When mom lost her ability to read because of macular degeneration, I imagine there must have been a period of time when she was quite devestated by it all.  For her, reading was like breathing, and thus rather a hard thing to give up.  But she discovered audio books, and embraced the whole concept of books on tapes and cd’s and never looked back.  She still struggled with a big lighted magnifying glass to read the paper and look at photos with her peripheral vision.  But she hardly ever complained.  She was grateful that she wasn’t completely blind.

It took a really long time, but I finally figured out what she meant when she told us to be grateful and stop complaining.  We waste so much time and energy whining about inconsequential crap when we should be happily enjoying the life we’ve been given.

The book’s theme isn’t gratitude, it’s all about cause and effect, and how one simple event causes a domino reaction of situations and life changes in the lives of people that you would never suspect the original event might influence.

So go with the flow, is my point I suppose.  Don’t sweat the small stuff.  Roll with the punches.  Be happy when you’re punched that you’re still able to roll.

The Pepsi Mirror

It’s not easy to take a picture of a mirror.  Well it’s not rocket science either, but you could hurt yourself stumbling over stuff behind you while trying to get the very best angle.  And then when you’re done you might look at the end result and wonder what the hell all that backwards crap is in the reflection.

Some foolish person put this little gem in a yard sale many years ago.  And some brilliant pack rat bought it and has had it cluttering up her messy basement ever since.  One of these days it could be worth a bazillion dollars as antique pepsi memorabilia, but I doubt I’ll live long enough to see that happen.  So in the meantime I will just enjoy having it hanging around.

Sarcasm – Love it or Leave it?

I never am sarcastic.

Why do you enquire?

Answer me directly

Or I’ll set myself on fire.

I’m not a fan of irony,

Or bitter cutting snark.

Don’t work so hard!

Be still my heart.

Where did you learn to park??

There aren’t sufficient circuses

And way too many freaks.

But sarcastic remarks are not the way

To write up good critiques.

If you think I feel as bad as you look,

I can’t help who I am.

It’s true I’ve been mistaken

For someone who gives a damn.

But never do I exaggerate.

I’ve told you a million times

Being a rude sarcastic bitch

Is not one of my crimes.

You’d have to hear the tone of my voice

To appreciate all I’ve said.

So rather than keep on mucking about

I’ll chase a wild goose instead.