Friday, May 30, 2008


Whew! That was awkward.

Coming back to work after a trip only to discover we were 24 hours into a 48-hour ISP outage... may I just say: Ouch. We finally rejoined the civilized world about three hours ago. There was much rejoicing. No, really; we were just convening to share a coffee cake to celebrate a birthday when the data started flowing.

The best part was having to explain to more than a few of my coworkers (and one of the owners) that no, there would be no flood of emails and web orders awaiting us when the issue was resolved. Since we host our website on an internal server, no ISP --> no website, no webstore, and no email. We effectively ceased to exist on the interweb. That caused a few assholes to pucker, I tell you.

The second best part was bearing the brunt of the irritation of my coworkers for the ISP's hardware failure and the fact that the ISP apparently doesn't keep spares for every single system on hand at all time. (Smile and nod, smile and nod...)

Also, one coworker asked why I wasn't screaming at the ISP over the extended outage. A of all, I am not a screamer. B of all, I'm thinking that the privilege of screaming at a customer support person who has nothing to do with the repair should be reserved for someone who pays the bill; namely, one of the owners. But maybe that's just me.

And I wonder how, in the name of all that's good and beautiful in the world, I spent the first 15 years of my work life sitting at desks without internet access. It's like trying to remember the world before ATMs, microwaves, and cable TV. I simply can't do it.

Needless to say, it's now Friday afternoon and my concentration is shot. I should be able to get my shit together over the weekend and be back at it good and proper on Monday. See y'all then!

I'm in hell

No internet at work! When I go to hell, I will be sitting at a desk for all eternity with no internet.

I'll try to get caught up over the weekend...

Friday, May 23, 2008

Kiss me

On this Very Special Episode of Fridays Rock! I'm compelled to share one of my all-time favorite videos that you've never heard of.

Kiss me, Alphastates

Yes, that's Lovely Daughter* with the eyes and lips and hair, circa some four or five years ago. She and some drama pals were tapped to shoot this video for the Irish band Alphastates. It's very fun to watch now and wave at the kids, all of whom have long since moved on to various corners of the country. Especially the hands on her chest, which belong to her first gay husband, BC. I always give BC a shoutout when I see the hands.

This is Lovely Daughter's Very Big Weekend. She's turning 25 and graduating after seven years of college. Whatever I was doing on my 25th birthday, it sure as hell wasn't that cool. I can, however, pretty much guarantee it involved chasing a 2-yr-old. And wine. It definitely involved wine.

Maybe in that regard, her 25th and mine won't be all that dissimilar after all.
(I'm positive this piece of 'ancient history' will mortify her, but that is my solemn duty as her mother, no matter how grown up she is. At least I didn't post her jr hi school pix... yet! Bwah-ha-ha-haaaa!)

Program note: Mr. B & I are headed Back East to join the Ex, Young Son, Sis, Evil Twin, and the rest of the gang for the festivities. I'll see y'all next Thursday.

* Nope, she's not singing, just lip-synching.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Well now, wasn't that special!

Yay! Wednesday is over and everyone is more-or-less intact.

It was a long goddamned day, for sure. Just shy of 12 hours in the hospital plus 3 hours travel time. But Mr. B got a decent night's sleep and is now home in his bed with a laptop perched on his lap and his bottle of Very Good Drugs in his pocket.

I only hope I placed his wallet far enough out of reach. Surfing Under the Influence can be a costly endeavor....

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

When it rains...

Look! A missive from Evil Twin, just in time to save you from having to read something totally lame about how stressful this week is turning out to be*.
We just received 4.5 inches of rain over Mother's Day weekend, on top of 3.5 inches last Thursday and Friday. Somehow, the $6,000 we spend on "french drains" (oo-la-la) and a sump pump in the basement sounds like a better investment. I looked at the output yesterday afternoon, and saw the pump shoot out a gallon of water every 40 seconds. That works out to 2,160 gallons over 24 hours. That's far better than listening to Hubby run the shop-vac for hours on end, and dumping the results in the sink.

(You DO remember the storm last year when he took off from work, ran the vacuum for 12 hours straight, and emptied it in the sink, rather than the floor drain on the other side of the basement? That was a classic.)

In any event during the height of this storm, I noticed that one of the gutters was overflowing, and (stupid me) told Hubby. He was out there in his foul weather gear -- still has it from the CT hurricanes -- and dragged the 12-foot step ladder out to the front. This involves unlocking the gate to the back yard (to stop criminals), and then unlocking the shed (to stop criminals from getting the tools and ladders to break into our house), getting the step ladder out from behind the garden tools, dragging it around to the front yard, and setting it up under the power lines to the house (in the rain, on a metal ladder). "I've done it hundreds of times! Quit telling me what to do!". He gets up the ladder, missed the lines by inches, cleans out the gutters.

Ah, idiot-saved by God, once again. Daughter is going nuts -- "Mom, stop him!" All I can say is, "Just don't watch. He doesn't want our input, and he won't listen anyway". I mean, I love him and all, but we HAVE been married 28 years, If he wants to be the latest entry into the Darwin Awards, I can't deny him that joy. I just don't want my daughter's last image of her father to be:

She's my hero! We get to meet up with her (and hubby, thankfully) this weekend at Lovely Daughter's graduation. Can't wait!

* Don't despair. I'll be sure to post something lame tomorrow while I'm waiting at the hospital for Mr. B's procedure to be over.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Joke of the night

Scene: Young Son's room, around midnight last night. He'd been drifting in and out of sleep in between coughing jags for the last couple of hours. Things were finally starting to calm down. We were both exhausted.

He rolls over on his side and is drifting off to dreamland....

YS: Mom, can I tell you something? What does a stick figure look like from the side?

M: I dunno, what?

YS: A stick.... zzz....

Ba-da, dum! Thank you ladies and gentleman, I'll be here all week. Enjoy the veal and be sure to tip your waitress.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Na-naa, na-na-na-na-naaaa...

Why, look! Here's my other favorite Beck song, just in time for Fridays Rock!

If you've ever abused mind-altering substances, this will make perfect sense.

E-Pro,Beck, Guero

I think there are a few IPAs in Mr. B's fridge just itchin' to be abused tonight!

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Location: Sabino Canyon, Tucson AZ, Feb. 2008

To quote Young Son*, 'My, that's oddly specific!'

All of a sudden I'm noticing more amusing (to me) road signs. I may have to start a collection. Unfortunately, that implies more drive-and-shoot action.

Hmmm... wonder if there's a caution sign for that**?

* Who is quoting a cartoon, I'm sure.

** Note to Evil Twin: Pssst! That's your cue.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

What happens next

Mr B and I spent a large portion of yesterday in the clutches of a Large, Highly-Regarded Medical Institution that, oddly enough, still maintains its medical records on thin sheets of dried wood pulp*. It was a fascinating glimpse back into the 20th century.

Anyway, next week they are excising an area about the size of a children's wading pool from the top of Mr. B's head in hopes of banishing any remnants of melanoma and obtaining the coveted clean margins.

Learning that the prognosis is good and getting the info on what is supposed to happen next week was nice. The Keystone Cops atmosphere of the clinic with people running around in circles looking for paperwork and tracking down doctors while we sat, and sat, and sat, was not nice.

During the extended waiting portion of the program we enjoyed reading the sex tips in the Cosmo mag they so thoughtfully provided. I learned that things have not changed much in that department over the last 30 years**. In fact, I think it was the exact same magazine I bought in 1978 with a different cover. And since fashions have pretty much cycled around, it may well have been the same cover.

But the highlight of the day was when the plastic surgeon told us that the best wound dressing is a maxi pad. Mr. B visibly blanched. It was awesome!

Did I mention that two days after the procedure, Mr. B and I are hopping on a cross-country red-eye flight for Lovely Daughter's graduation***? I only pray that they are generous with his pain meds and that he has enough to share....

* ‹rant› I swear, Mr. B filled out the information about medications and medical history at least three times and still had to recite the information to at least one of the residents. Insane. As much as I bitch about Navy medicine, they've got it all over the competition in this regard. ‹/rant›

** Another Cosmo article had 20- and 30-somethings describe the horror and trauma of walking in on their parents having s-e-x. It took me a moment to realize that those parents were probably our age. Then I realized that those young whippersnappers can only hope they're enjoying a vigorous sex life at that (read: my) age. (smirk!)

*** Even as we speak, he's shopping for tasteless ball caps to complete his ensemble for the occasion.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Cost of doin' bidness

Lovely Daughter's in the final couple of weeks of grad school. She's making many trips from CT to NYC for meetings with managers and agencies and casting folk and the like. Next week, the whole class is off to L.A. to do the whole thing over again.

You know what? All that shit costs money.

And you know what else? Grad students typically have, like, no money.

Today I received her weekly appeal for funding.
I don't know how we are all expected to blow this much money without loads of help.

OK, here goes...

My trips to NY:
Two train tickets at $28 apiece.
Transportation (lots of cabs, I was running all over the city and this will never happen again) I probably spent around $200 over the span of three days on the yellow chariots of death.
Food- Once again probably around $200 for all three days.

Other business:
I have a friend who used to be a hairstylist for Aveda who said she could touch up my roots and trim my split ends for only $60 bucks and a bottle of wine. This is going to save loads of money. The other salon is great but too damn expensive. I was going to try and squeeze by without doing this but it's never good when the casting director eyes my roots and says "Hmmm... natural redhead? Hmmm..."

I just ordered more headshots and that cost $168.

I'm about to go have my resume printed on the back of my headshots and that should cost $20.

I was told that I looked squat and that my costumes were not flattering so I had to get new ones. That cost me $150.

And there you go. I'm also wondering how L.A. is going to work with transportation/food/whatnot. I can't rent a car yet so I'm going to chip in with some other classmates. They don't provide us with food either, not so surprising when you consider that we'll be in LA LA Land.

Alright, breathe... breathe....

Let me know what you think and just keep in mind that when I start booking all my commercials and voice-overs you will be paid back in full, plus interest, with puppies and diamonds.

love you and thank you,

Puppies and diamonds?!? Count me in!!

p.s. I got $854 + a bottle of wine. What'd you get?

p.p.s. The next person that tells her she looks squat is going to get bitch-slapped.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Run, baby, run

On this edition of Fridays Rock! we're* giving you another excuse to shut the office door and crank up the volume.

Run, Baby, Run,Sheryl Crow, Tuesday Night Music Club

I just unearthed this CD from the back of my CD cabinet. I'd completely forgotten about it and how much fun her songs are to sing. Not only does Sheryl Crow make groovy music, but her songs are (mostly) in my range.

Very nice of her to keep me in mind, don'tcha think?

* That would be the Royal We. It's really just me.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

F 'em all!

OK, 'conservative' is not a word commonly used to describe me, but there are days when I feel like this.

True Confession: I shot this with my cell phone camera while driving. As in 'dig my phone out of my purse one-handed then fumble to get it open and find the shutter button while all vehicles are in motion' driving.

One of these days I'm going to hurt myself doing this. For you. I only hope you appreciate it. I'm just sayin', is all.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


Speaking of Lovely Daughter, I just heard that she had a Very Nice Meeting today with some casting people at Warner Bros.

Can I just say?
My daughter.



Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

Thank you.

Career Day

Scene: In the car, on the way home yesterday evening.
Young Son: Hey Mom, I need to tell you something!

Me: (grunt)

YS: So tomorrow's Career Day at school? And we're supposed to dress up like what we want to be when we grow up? I'm going to be someone who does comedy. Hey, I can dress up like Jim Gaffigan!

Me: (ohsweetbabyjesus....)
It's no secret that I'm a Jim Gaffigan fan, and I certainly love to PMP as much as the next person, but c'mon! How can I possibly encourage a second-grader to pursue a career as a stand-up comedian? Like Lovely Daughter earning her MFA in acting isn't enough drama for one household.


But a second-grade Career Day does not a lifestyle choice make. So after much discussion about clothing options, which included reminding him that he did not own a suit coat, we discarding the always popular all-clothes-on-backwards gag in favor of a more subtle look -- his Caliente Pockets t-shirt topped with an open button-down shirt. I thought we were all set...

...until this morning, when he decided that instead he wanted to wear the button-down shirt mis-buttoned over a plain t-shirt, with one cuff buttoned and the other opened. Wow!! Does that scream WACKY! or what? Oh well. At least he didn't choose Gallagher*.

Oh yeah, and Talent Day is coming up. I managed to gently discourage him (I hope) from singing along to an mp3 he downloaded from the Bionicle website. Phew! But this morning he decided that he wanted to display his special talent to the school: singing the Super Mario theme song while demonstrating the neti pot**.

Direct quote: But I'll need a bucket....

I am not making this up.

You know, the more I think of it, maybe it wouldn't be such a bad idea after all. Could there possibly be any better ammunition for future adolescent humiliation?

* Too bad I couldn't talk him into dressing up like a humor-blog author....

** BTW, if you have any sort of nasal issues and have not tried the neti pot, get thee to the drugstore immediately. Srsly. Go. Now. More info here. We started about a month ago at the beginning of allergy season and it has made all the difference in the world. I get a slight water-up-the-nose sensation (which I always hated) but it's just for a second and it's well worth it.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Rant: Stop givin' it up!

The Thing I Hate Most Today: When drivers give up their right-of-way.

C'mon people, I know you think you're being helpful and nice by stopping in the middle of the road to let the guy on the side street slip in, or by letting everyone else at the 4-way stop go first even though it's your turn, or any number of other examples that I can't think of because I'm totally furious right now, but here's a clue.

All you're really doing is creating a hazard and pissing me off*.

If you need me to lay it out for you -- or even if you don't -- I will.
  • When everyone plays by the same rules, everyone know what to do and what results to expect, and no one gets hurt.

  • Therefore, it follows that when rogue dumbshits decide to flaunt the rules and behave unpredictably, no one knows what to do or what to expect and someone may well get hurt.
Yes, you may cause an accident, even if your choice was made in the name of 'courtesy' and your intentions were 'good'.

And by the way, when you stop in the middle of the road to let the guy on the side street slip in? You are slowing down the flow of traffic behind you which may well cause the person behind you to miss the light. As happened to me just recently, coincidentally.

So while being kind and courteous to the guy in front of your face, you just f'cked the people behind you**.

Just knock it the hell off, 'k?

(Shit. I need chocolate.)

* Or maybe that's creating a hazard by pissing me off.

** Actually, that's kind of an interesting phenomenon, really. I didn't think that was possible.

Monday, May 5, 2008

The future?

Location: Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, Feb. 2008

Photo courtesy of Mr. B

Frankly, this scares the crap out of me*. I had never seen one of these signs before, but it did seem appropriate that it would be in the Phoenix airport. I really liked how large the sign is.

I kinda wanted to go inside and see exactly what an Adult Changing Station consists of but couldn't make myself do it. Heck, I was too embarrassed to stop walking long enough and let Mr. B take a proper photo.

What could an Adult Changing Station possibly be? A super-sized version of the Koala wall-mounted changing tables for babies? A configuration of hoists & pulleys and a firehose? Whatever it is, I'm sure the reality of an Adult Changing Station is much less interesting.

I just hope I am never, uh, relieved to see one of those signs**....

* Ha! Good one, eh?

** Snort! I kill me!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Let the sun shine

We're bringing it down a little on this edition of Fridays Rock!

Here's a little gem I found on my new Mike Doughty CD. Don't get me wrong -- it's still a great, rockin' song -- but it has a slightly more... thoughtful tone than most (OK, all) of my other selections.

Fort Hood,Mike Doughty, Golden Delicious

Fort Hood is the army base that has lost the most soldiers in the current war. I don't think of this song as political -- instead I think of the people who go to war and what it does to their lives. That sucks, no matter what your political bent. It's hard for me to listen to without choking up.

I spent 23 years of my life as an active duty Navy spouse, almost half if it during the Cold War. I know about respect for the chain of command (and Commander in Chief), patriotism, and duty. I'm grateful that there are people who will still go and do what's required*. I just wish the people who go weren't the ones getting the short end of the stick.

And I wish they weren't so f'n young.

BTW, I'm really liking Mike Doughty these days. As you may remember, this is not his first appearance on Fridays Rock!

* Yeah, I know. But I'm not going there.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Scene from a trip II

Scene: US Customs @ Dallas/Fort Worth airport. We'd been standing in line for awhile and it was finally my turn. I was a little nervous -- I'd never been through US Customs before.
Young, Nice-looking Customs Agent: What are you bringing back?

Me: Decorative items, t-shirts, crap like that.

Agent: Any food items?

Me: Nope.*

Agent: You didn't bring back any coffee?

Me, a little startled by the direct question: ...nope?

Agent, smiling: You went to Costa Rica and didn't bring back any coffee?

Me, catching on to the game: Well, I did drink a lot while I was there** and besides, I'm going back to Seattle. Why would I need to bring back coffee?

Agent: Yeah, but it's Costa Rica!

He handed me my passport, I smiled back, shrugged, and went on my merry way.
Thanks for the brief pleasant interlude in an otherwise long day, Mr. US Customs Agent!

* Kind of a fib. I had brought back a small bottle of Salsa Lizano for Ex. I forgot about it until I said nope, then decided it was too late to backpedal. Oh well.

** Also kind of a fib. What can I say? We generally didn't go out for breakfast, and finding decaf in Costa Rica ain't exactly easy. But I did have a couple cafe con leche. They were quite tasty.