Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Positively medieval

I swear, there are days....

Look for the English subtitles near the bottom of the video.

Just goes to show ya, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Monday, September 29, 2008

When I grow up

I love Dooce®. I know, I'm late to the party. Heather's already famous (been on the Tee-Vee and everything!) and pretty much lives off the income from her blog now and has an ® after her blog name and everything. Yup, she's pretty much as commercialized as a blogger can be. And boy howdy, do I envy that.

You may be surprised by my fondness for Heather's blog since she definitely does not fit my typical favorite-blog profile. She's not a food blogger or a smart-ass guy in a technical profession. She's quite a bit younger than I, and sometimes it bothers me that I can't get into the music or some of the other things she says she loves*.

But she's smart and funny and edgy and says bad words in her blog. Her photography and design sense -- both of which I am congenitally incapable -- are amazing. I'm a sucker for all of the above. And that's why I love her blog.

As a tribute to Heather, I'm going to blatantly copy-cat and blaspheme the shit out of share my interpretation of her Daily Style. Please prepare for a dose of:

Random Liz-ness

Black Shoes

These are the shoes I wear almost every single day to work, rain or shine. Because I can. I suppose I get partial credit because they're Skechers; at least they aren't Easy Spirit. Or White Stag. They willingly accept my benign neglect and overuse and keep on tickin'. When they finally decompose off my feet I will be very, very sad.

(Don't look too closely -- I haven't shaved recently. And hey, why do my ankles look fat?)

* WTF?!?!

Friday, September 26, 2008

But it's a dry heat

Now that you mention it, I am feeling a little parched.


My loony bun

I can't believe I haven't posted this yet! I gotcher Grade-A Guaranteed Friday Rocker! right here.

Kalluri Vaanil by Prabhu Deva, 'translation' by Buffalax

Young Son & I have been enjoying the hell* out of the Indian music videos we're finding on YouTube, both the real ones and the fake-English-subtitled ones.

The whole Bollywood thing is such a different aesthetic than we're** used to. I find it charming that many of the men in the Indian music videos would not exactly be considered hunky here in the Ol' Yew Ess of Ay-uh.

I admit, I'm a little bit smitten with Prabhu Deva and his crazy mad dance moves.

Don't get it? Check this out. Puts it all in context. So g'won wi'cho crazy hobo sef, Prabhu Deva!

* To be precise, Young Son has been enjoying the heck out of them. I, on the other hand, have been enjoying the shit out of them. I figured 'hell' split the difference.

** That would be us Amurrikins

Thursday, September 25, 2008


OK, stand back -- she's gonna blow!

Top ten things pissing me off this week:
10. Whatever the hell is going on with the economy. I'm trying not to make direct eye contact with it (lalaLalaLAAAA... I can't hear you....) but it's still scaring the shit out of me. I'm considering stuffing my garage full of dried beans and rice. And canned peaches -- lots of canned peaches. But even delicious canned peaches won't help my puny-ass, pathetic retirement funds. I will never be able to retire.

9. Walking into the bathroom at work this morning to find both toilet paper rolls empty. C'mon, people! If you have to scrape the last square off with your fingernails, it's a good indication that you should reach out the two feet in front of you to grab a fresh roll and change it out. You can lay in a darkened room with a cold cloth on your forehead afterward, if you must.

8. Me vs. me: Left brain vs. right brain. Some weeks are harder than others. Especially when there are other people that need to be taken into consideration. Makes things so complicated....

7. The election. I haven't watched national news in months and won't until November 4th. And then I will be watching with my hands over my eyes, peering through my slightly-splayed fingers, whispering pleaseohpleaseohpleaseletitend....

6. My car required $400 worth of emergency surgery yesterday. I was also advised that there's another $1000+ of work that MUST BE DONE STAT if it is to survive. It is cheaper than buying a new car. It is cheaper than buying a new car. It really is. Really!

5. Sarah Palin. Puh-leeze! How stupid do they think we are? But in her defense, she can see Russia from her house. I admire that in a woman.

4. My shoulders. Last year I went to physical therapy twice a week for 12 weeks to treat my left shoulder for a complaint 'common to older women'. Now my right shoulder is giving me grief, to the point where shaving my right armpit presents a challenge. Considering I'm so blind I can hardly see my right armpit anyway, bringing a sharp blade anywhere near it could constitute a health hazard. And the measly 14 hours of leave I have left for the year is not gonna cover 12 more weeks of prescribed torture.

3. School fundraisers. I paid $30 for two pieces of cheap plastic shit I neither need nor want so Young Son can 'win' a tub of plastic snot.

2. The other day I caught a guy at work watching porn on his computer. I could have lived the rest of my life quite happily not knowing that this 65 year old guy liked to watch a Lesbian MILF Seducing a Teen on YouTube. This is the same guy I walked in on in the restroom a few months back. Ew.
And the Number One thing making me say 'Fuck' this week is....
1. Money. 'Nuff said.
Is it Friday yet?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Have I told you about Cake Wrecks yet? No? How could I possibly have overlooked what has become one of my go-to blogs for quick laughs at the expense of others?

Jen was inspired by the very same cake that caused me to snort coffee out my nose last fall. Except she did something about it. That one unintentionally hilarious wreck spurred her to round up and broadcast cake disasters that someone, somewhere, actually paid cash money for.

It's almost impossible to pick a favorite post, since each new freakish edible is more astonishing than the last, but I do particularly love the Fan Wrecks. These are intentional Wrecks, made by fans to honor the spirit of Cake Wrecks past. The last cake in that post was particularly inspiring, as it combined the absolutely worst elements from several Wrecks. It's positively inspired!

As a recovering cake decorator, I find Cake Wrecks to be both painful and hilarious. What more can one ask from a blog, really?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Big head

I reached into the back seat of the car to get my purse and found this staring up at me. Eeeeeek!

Even better, it's a bobblehead! After some quality time spent shooting it across the living room floor and giggling, I gave it to Lovely Daughter to take back to NYC to share with her actor friends. It's good to know that if you really hit the big time, you too can have your likeness crafted into a freakishly proportioned bobblehead on wheels.

I wonder if these things give Natalie Portman nightmares?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Chicken Chronicles: I did it!

After a couple of years of chickening, we* decided to adopt a couple of retired racing greyhounds. No, the two events are not connected in any way. I am just random and arbitrary like that. It's the Shiny -- I'm powerless in its grasp.

Greyhounds are sighthounds, bred to chase small game. They are, as you might suspect, irresistibly attracted to motion. Especially racing dogs, where this instinct is honed to a fever pitch during training where they chase the white, furry thing around the track all day long**.

The chickens were kept in the shed/coop at the far corner of the yard, surrounded by a 7+ foot high chicken wire fence. They were, for the most part, secure. Oh sure, there had been a few escapes early on before we realized that a) chickens can fly, kind of (especially the Leghorns), and b) chickens can move an amazing amount of dirt, especially when they scratch too close to the fence and create an apparently irresistible egress***. I guess even a chicken's walnut-sized brain can discern the apparent disparity in the hues of grass from one side of the enclosure to the other. But with a judicious application of chicken wire, plywood, and large rocks, we considered those issues resolved. And, as you can probably imagine, our back yard looked simply fabulous!

Now Cosmo, the male, was the larger dog and therefore the most cowardly. Upon his arrival, I'd taken him out by the chicken yard to see what would happen. He seemed slightly interested and tentatively stuck his nose out to sniff, until one of the chickens fussed, at which time he balked and bolted to the house. Wanda, the more compact hound, was one cool customer. Although she seemed to have a pretty decent prey drive (at least where cats were concerned), she showed no interest in the birds whatsoever.

(I'm pretty sure you know where this is going but I'm pressing on, mainly because I love to hear myself talk... er, type. Whatever.)

One afternoon I look out the kitchen window to see Cosmo tossing something around the yard****. It looked like a white plastic grocery bag. He seemed to be having a good time, but then I realized he'd probably ingest it, whereupon it would block his intestines and cost me a thousand dollars at the vet. I decided I'd best go relieve him of it.

By the time I reached him, he was standing over his booty (Ha! Snort!) with an unmistakable expression of purest and most radiant joy on his face. He was positively beaming with pride. And I swear I saw a thought bubble appear over his head:
' Look! I did it! I caught the white fluffy thing! I really did it!'
No, that was no simple bowel-obstructing plastic bag laying on the ground between his front paws. It was an Ex-Leghorn.

I felt genuinely sorry for him as I swallowed my bile, grabbed his collar, and dragged him away from his moment of glory incarnate. The expression on his face as I shut him in the house was heartbreaking.

Until I had to go pick up the bird. Luckily he hadn't managed to eviscerate her. And did I mention my unreasonable fear of dead animals?

Whitey, safely double-bagged, followed her compatriot to the giant landfill in the sky. Released from captivity, Cosmo stood over the site of his greatest achievement, obsessively combing each blade of grass for any signs of his moment of conquest, to no avail. Was it a dream? But it had seemed so real....

We never did figure out how he got at her. Nor did we figure out how he got a hold of the next one. He must've stood by the fence, willing them to come out with every fiber of his being. Or something.

I tried to deny it, but I realized even then that was probably the beginning of the end of the Chicken Chronicles.

Be sure to check back for the next and final installment, where Hubby utters the timeless quote: 'If I saw one rat, I saw fifty....'

* And by that I mean I.

** Or not. I could be making up that whole paragraph.

*** I was going to say 'glory hole' but that would be inappropriate.

**** Wait for it...

Friday, September 19, 2008


Is this song really almost 30 years old?? Maybe so, but on this Friday it still Rocks!

Yeah, it's old -- old enough that there isn't an Official Video on YouTube. I guess since it still gets fairly regular airplay on my favorite radio station, it doesn't feel old.

Then again, neither do I. But I got married that same year so you'd think I must be, too. Except I was 8.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Tell me it isn't so

Is there really a large enough market share in the universe for beer, clam juice, and tomato juice cocktails to justify this?

In case you can't read through the reflection* that's Budweiser and Clamato. Or, if you're watching your waistline, you can opt for the Bud Light and Clamato.

Even the thought of Clamato weirds me out. But throwing Bud on top of it? I'm obviously missing something. At $3.50 a pop, it better either taste freakin' amazing (color me skeptical...) or deliver a buzz that would knock Ken Kesey on his ass.

Urp... I think I need a Tums.

* Once I realized what it was, my stomach started rebelling. By the time I did a cartoon-worthy triple take and grabbed my cell phone, I didn't spend too much time composing the shot for fear of hurling in the grocery store. Sorry.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Life Lessons Learned

I had some pretty painful jobs in my early life. I worked at a DQ for $1.25/hr (I was only 14 so apparently that was OK), suffered through a short stint of telemarketing for Olan Mills, and spent a few weeks doing some sort of mysterious assembly in a machine shop. But the most interestingly painful was the summer of '77, right after high school graduation, when I was awarded an internship in a biology lab. I was so excited! A real science lab! Doing real live researchy-biology-sciency stuff!! And they would pay me $500 whole dollars!1!!11!!!

Then I learned that I was going to be working in an entomology lab. Where the entomologist was studying the breeding habits of mosquitoes.

Ohhh... kaaayyy... exactly what part of mosquitoes breeding haven't they figured out yet?

That was Chapter One of a summer-long crash course in Welcome to Reality.

I quickly learned that undergrad summer interns are the lowest caste in the ranks of indentured academic servants. I was to tend the mice used to feed mosquitoes. Oh yeah, and count the mosquito eggs. And go into swamplands (on purpose!) to catch mosquitoes, using my forearms as bait. And mount mosquitoes on slides -- hundreds and hundreds of slides -- using adhesives and solvents that dried and cracked my fingertips until they bled, transforming them into something that looked not quite human*.

The mosquitoes were kept in those big round cardboard ice cream cartons (think Baskin-Robbins) with mosquito netting secured over the top. A mouse would be placed on top of the netting so the mosquitoes could feed, for as we all know, fresh live mouse is the best.

The big problem was how to restrain the mouse. The grad students had tried drugging the mice but that impaired the mosquitoes, thus compromising their egg-laying habits. Not to mention OD'ing more than a few mice.

A grad student came up with what seemed like a good idea: He built a small wooden frame with mosquito netting on the bottom and a square of dental dam nailed along one edge of the top. See, you just slap the mouse onto the frame and stretch the dental dam across just so, snagging it on the nail heads placed on the opposite edge of the frame, completely immobilizing the mouse. You then set the frame, with only a little pink nose and tail sticking out, on top of the netting and the buffet is open.

If you got the tension of the dam just right, all was well and the mouse was returned to his little cage none the worse for wear, excepting a few little stars and tweety birds circling his head. But if you stretched it just a little too tight, you'd come back to find the nose and tail all purple and swollen... and the poor little mouse came out with 'Xs' on his eyes.

We went through a lot of cute white mice that long, long summer. To this day I hate the smell of rodent bedding. And it was years before I was able to stop flinching at the whining buzz of a lone mosquito flying by.

As horrific as that whole experience seemed to my 17-year-old self**, one of the grad students regaled me with the tale of the worst job she'd had, in a lab researching something to do with wound healing. She used to have to put the mice in tumblers, like clothes dryers with spikes inside, for some pre-determined number of spins then pull them out and catalog their injuries.

That, I realized, was Chapter One in the advanced course: It Can Always Be Worse.

* And babysit the entomologist's preschool-aged daughter. Oh yeah, and spend a weekend helping to re-roof his house for free. I'm just lucky he wasn't a pervert.

** Especially the babysitting.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Gone with the wind

You know, if I use the little can of compressed air on my desk to blow the crumbs out of my keyboard and off my desk every so often, you can't hardly tell that I spend all day eating at my desk.

Maybe that's why the owners' dogs always make a patrol through my office when they're here. The detritus field surrounding my work area must be some good eatin', at least on Wednesday and Friday afternoons before the cleaning folks come.

I probably should do something about my monitor, too. If I ever disappear without a trace, be sure to tell the forensics guys they can probably get a decent DNA sample from the dried spots on my screen.

I'm such a delicate flower.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Chicken Chronicles: Kicked the bucket

As you may or may not remember, at the end of our previous Chicken Chronicle I had a very ill, freshly-molested chicken slumped in a cat carrier in the corner of my workshop.

(Now there's a sentence you don't get to type very often.)

As the day wore on, it became obvious that the poor hen was not going to get any better. She needed to be put down. By... someone*.


Now may I take a poll of city-bred folk out there? If you had to kill a chicken today, would you know how to do it? I mean really do it, as in walk out into your back yard, pick up a chicken, and kill it?

Yeah, me neither. I knew from extensive cartoon watching that you can wring the neck, or lay it on a stump and whack the head off with an axe and chase it around the yard. But we lived in the middle of a nice middle-class development. Animal sacrifice in broad daylight would probably not go over will with the HOA. And then there's the whole wringing/whacking/chasing thing. I just didn't see us* doing that.

So, hmmm, how could I learn how one* should humanely and discreetly dispatch a chicken in the privacy of one's not-so-private back yard? To the internets!

(Safety tip: When using Google to search for methods for offing poultry, be very very careful with your search terms.)

I did find one amusing anecdote about a guy who decided to hang the chicken from a tree and whack the head off by pinning it against the trunk with the axe, kinda pinata-style. That apparently did not go so well, ending up like some sort of tetherball game from hell. It seemed prudent to not try that method.

I finally found what seemed to be a reasonable option: you* lay the chicken out and cover the body with a 5-gallon bucket, leaving the head and neck exposed. You hold the bucket down with your foot and cut off the head with one swift stroke of the axe. This leaves the body safely contained under the bucket to contain any unsightly postmortem thrashing about.

Sounds easy enough, right?

I briefed Hubby on what was going to happen**. We decided to wait until cover of darkness and perform the deed under the deck on the concrete pad so as not to alarm the neighbors.

I wish I could tell you that I was out there with him, but I wasn't. My memory fails at that point, but I was probably cowered in a corner at the farthest end of the house, rocking back and forth with my fingers in my ears, wetting myself.

Now, Hubby had hunted some when he was younger and decided that it wasn't his kind of thing. So while he does not share my pathological fear of dead animals, they still aren't his favorite things to play with. He reported that he followed the procedure and all seemed to be going according to plan... until he took his foot off the bucket.

What the interwebs failed to mention is apparently there's a longer-than-expected delay before the postmortem thrashing commences. He did not end up chasing headless chicken around the yard, but it did scare the shit out of him for a moment there.

Originally, the plan was to raise the birds as layers for a year or two then cycle them out into the freezer. That evening, Hubby laid down the law: We were not eating those chickens. He was not going to do that ever, ever again if he could at all help it.

And I could respect that.

Poor Hen ended up double-bagged in the garbage. I wished there had been another way to see her off, but she was too big to flush and we had raccoons regularly patrolling the area.

Good news: I haven't yet exhausted my cache of chicken stories! Aren't you glad? In a future Chicken Chronicle, you will find out what happens when the greyhound catches the white fluffy thing.

* And by that, I mean 'Hubby'.

** And by that, I meant 'what he was going to do'.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Cowbell Up!

This Friday cries out for some extra special Rockin' so here's something... extra special for ya.

This goes out to Evil Twin, to commemorate her very special time with her doctor.

 Make your own at MoreCowbell.dj 

Here's the one Evil Twin made. I think it wins the prize for Most Inappropriate Use of Cowbell. I am a little concerned by the fact that she had an mp3 of a bagpipe Christmas song readily available, but who am I to judge?

And there's always this one, a sentimental favorite of mine. I'm such a softie.

If you want to hear some really funny cowbelled-up songs, head over to List of the Day and check out the ones Cary posted. I'm particularly fond of Purple Rain and Modern Love.

All in all, good clean fun, I'd say.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Chicken Chronicles: For want of an egg

I'm starting to get a little concerned. For the past couple of months I've been on the lookout for a farm stand that sells fresh eggs.

This is puzzling and a bit disturbing. As recently as two years ago, I knew of four places I could get eggs grown on the premises. Now, I got bubkes.

I've known the joy of a good farm egg, and I also know how much of a pain it is to grow your own. Some four or five years back I ended up with a dozen chickens who, at times, produced a dozen golden-yolked and delicious eggs a day.

The chickens, like many of my Projects-with-a-capital-P, were the result of a severe case of Shiny. I don't even remember what sparked the idea. I had no prior exposure to chickens -- I grew up in the city so the whole farm animal thing was new to me. But my enthusiasm (and the interwebs) would be enough to carry the day, right? After a furiously intense period of research I bought chicks, we built a Chicken Tractor, and eventually turned the shed into a coop.

Things went along pretty well until the day I found one of the Black Australorps crumpled in a heap. I didn't know why but guessed it couldn't be good. I got her into a cat carrier and brought her into the house. But then what? You don't take a chicken you paid less than a dollar for to the vet... do you? (Yeah, I can hear you farm-savvy folks out there snorting your coffee. Told you I was clueless.)

I called a pal with a small farm and in short order I learned more than I ever wanted to know about hens becoming egg bound.
"So what do I do?"

"You stick your finger Up There and break the egg. If you don't, they die."
After my vision cleared, I performed a fairly predictable Gollum and Smeagol routine: "We can do this." "No, we can't it's too weird." "But we must! Think of the poor chicken!" "Eff the chicken! No f'n way!" "Just f'n do it, you pussy!" "Get off my ass, you pushy bitch!" and so on. Luckily I was able to get a grip before it came to blows.

After much pacing and hand-wringing and garment-rending and breast-beating and ululating*, with the chicken sitting in the cat carrier looking catatonic and pathetic and emitting random mournful squawks (brrrrraaAAWwww....), I decided I could do it. But I couldn't do it alone.

I called Hubby and laid** it out for him. I told him I needed him to come home and hold the hen while I tried to break the egg... the hard way.
(cue crickets chirping over stunned silence...)
He came home on his lunch hour and held the poor thing while I shoved a (gloved) finger Up There and felt around for something egg-like. But unfortunately, as much fun as that was, there was no joy that day. I could find no egg to break.

As with most dark experiences in life, there was one positive result from that traumatic episode: Hubby got to tell everyone at work that his wife called him home to molest a chicken***.

Be sure to catch our next episode of Chicken Chronicles, in which our clueless couple tries to euthanize a chicken without traumatizing their quiet suburban neighborhood or themselves.

* Not really.

** Ha! I'm gross!

*** My mission statement: When in doubt, always do what makes the better story. -- A stand-up comedian I can't remember, sorry.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

You'll get used to it eventually

Evil Twin reports on the latest addition to their family:
We usually name our cars -- sort of like men naming their dicks. Hey, they're important to us! So now that Big Blue the Caravan has gone to pasture and we now have a Highlander, I thought we could name it Angus. Made sense to me.

While sitting around watching the Olympics (not beach volleyball), I asked Hubby "So what do you think of the name Angus for the new car?"

He turns to me, and switches his hearing aids from the TV switch to the annoying wife switch, and said (of course), "What?"

"What do you think about the name Angus for the new car?"


Jeebus. As soon as my son heard this, he latched right on to it. "Great! Can we load up the Anus and take my stuff to school in it? Can we go on vacation in the Anus? Even better, can I take the Anus out on a date?"

I'm going to have to rethink this. Maybe Kirk.
Yeah, I'm thinking Kirk. But I'm also thinking that the matter may already be out of her hands.

You know, if you say 'Anus' enough times, you can say it without even hardly flinching.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

No, thank YOU!

I just got the best thank-you note in the history of thank-you notes.

The card reads:
Dear Everyone,

Thank you for the money! You know how I love money....
This winning entry came from our Pet Mormon, Lovely Daughter's best bud from high school. PM lived with us for a brief time before going on his mission. (Yikes! Was it really 7 years ago?!?) He stayed in LD's room in the lower level of the house so we used to tell people we has a pet Mormon in the basement*. He's a great kid, great sense of humor, and a lot of fun.

PM really made himself part of the family. Literally. With Photoshop.

Anyway, he got all growed-up and moved on, but we still touch base occasionally**. He just got married and I rewarded them with some $$.

If I could be guaranteed thank-you notes that funny, I think I'd give away a lot more $$. I'm just that shallow, apparently.

Speaking of thank-you notes, a while back I received a thank-you note for some extremely rare act of niceness I perpetrated on someone. I opened it up, and the following conversation ensued:
Young Son, excitedly: Hey, you can put it on the Thank You Wall!

M: The huh?

YS: You know, the big board where you stick all your thank-you notes. Like Dad and Miss Fiance have.
I didn't think it prudent to point out to him that the thank-you note(s) resulting from my acts of generosity wouldn't cover an 8.5"x11" piece of paper, let alone a bulletin board.

Way to feel like a troll, Liz!

* I'm not Mormon. If I was, that wouldn't be very funny now, would it?

** I <3 Facebook!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Almost-brush with greatness

So Lovely Daughter's trying hard to adjust to post-graduation life. She's going to auditions (mostly voice-over and commercials) and she just nailed a restaurant job. This was wonderful news, as she'd had a hard time finding likely prospects. Apparently August is not a good time to try to find a restaurant job in NYC.

I'd lost track of the various places she'd applied over the last month, so when she told me she got hired I wasn't really too focused on exactly where she was working.

I found out today that she's working at the Downtown Les Halles! I know, I couldn't believe it either! Now, Tony Bourdain worked at the Midtown restaurant, not the Downtown one, but, still! She is almost working at the same place Tony worked! And you know how I feel about Tony.

I mean, what if he stops by for a quick bite, LD waits on him, he's taken by her charms* and engages her in conversation and she mentions that her mom is a huge fan and has this blog**...

I'll be in my bunk.

* She's very cute and personable. This could totally happen.

** OK, probably not this. She doesn't even read my blog.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Little Hater

You know when the voices in your head tell you all the things that are wrong with you, and why you shouldn't bother to write that story/do that dance/take that chance?

Well Jay Smooth knows all about that and is here to Rock our Friday, short and sweet, while telling us about his Little Hater.

I guess it's no secret that I have a teeny little old lady crush on Jay Smooth. What can I say? Dude is awesome.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Eyes only

I finally picked out a new pair of glasses the other day. I doubt you realize what a BFD that is. I hate picking out frames as much as I hate buying pants. I am not good at it and I should never ever be allowed to do it without assistance. But as Lovely Daughter is across the country and unavailable for consult, I had to tough it out alone.

I've worn glasses for over 40 years. My lenses got pretty thick pretty quickly -- a good way to be popular in school, no? And you know what? High-index plastics aside, lenses generally do not get thinner as you get older. The lenses I have now would probably be great for setting ants ablaze on the sidewalk if I ever felt the need. If my lenses were made of glass, they could probably function as shot glasses. (Ha! Shot Glasses -- get it?)

In real life, this means without my glasses, I can barely see to shave my own armpits let alone see myself in the mirror when trying on frames. Compound that with my complete lack of fashion sense and it's pretty clear I am a disaster waiting to happen. The only thing that saves me is that I know it. And I'm OK with that.

I've had to slide my current glasses further and further down my nose to the point where a good breeze will send them flying. I'd been carrying around my new prescription for 6 weeks. I'd already been told I couldn't re-use my current frames a third time or they'd turn to dust. It was time. I was going to have to face The Wall of Frames.

Did you know that 90% of the frames out there look exactly the same? Dark, small, and fairly rectangular. And even though that's what I wanted, there were so many minute variations that I went into total analysis paralysis. I stood there for what seemed like hours, hands flapping uselessly at my sides, making little whimpering noises deep in my throat until the cute little girl optician's assistant came over and asked if I needed help. I almost wept with gratitude.

I told her my sad tale. She nodded knowingly and after a few questions about what I was looking for (uh... small, dark, rectangular?) she walked briskly around the room and had probably 30 pairs of frames in hand in less than a minute.

She pointed at the chair. "Sit."

I sat.

With the guidance of a trained professional, it took mere moments to put on each pair, peer at them in the little mirror, look up at her for a thumbs up or down, and drop them into the Yay or Nay pile. The Yay pile was a manageable 4 or 5 pairs, one of which was almost exactly like Sister's. In the absence of any more meaningful criteria, I chose that one. I know you are surprised by that.

With the wonders of vision insurance, for which I am eternally grateful to my employer, what would have been a $600+ pair of glasses* will probably cost me less than $300 all told.

Bonus points: The new frames are metal so I should be able to enjoy them for many, many years to come. I can only hope that small, dark, and rectangular continues to be not completely un-cool.

On a related note: After my eye exam at the military hospital, I was told I was eligible for a free pair of computer glasses. Free glasses? Score! Then they showed me the choice of frames.

Gulp... Anyone here familiar with the term BCG? As in Birth-control glasses?

Caution: May trigger uncomfortable flashbacks to childhood for those of a certain age.

Nope, sometimes free ain't worth it. If they're hideous enough to make Young Son look anything less than totally adorable, I don't stand a chance. He thought they were joke glasses and wanted to play with them but I wouldn't let him wear them for more than a moment, for fear that the concentrated light beams might burn out his retinas.

I can't think of a single instance when I would wear these things. OK, maybe one. If there was, like, an earthquake? And all of my other glasses (reading, computer, prescription sun, and backup pair) got demolished? And I happened to have these in my purse, which happened to be by my side? Then, and only then, might I wear these. If it was dark outside.

I won't even try them on in front of Mr B, for fear of never getting laid again.

Those of you with good vision should be sending thanks to the deity of your choice right about now.

I strongly recommend it.

* This is true. $140 for frames, and over $500 for progressive lenses with anti-reflective coating made of high-index plastic for over -10 diopters. I so wish I was making that up.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

How I spent my stay-cation

I took a couple of days off to extend the Labor Day weekend as much as I possibly could. That, boys and girls, is what you do when you used up 87% of your annual vacation and sick time by June 1st.

Some highlights:
  • Young Son and I shipped off a couple of boxes of cookies for Operation Baking GALS. With luck, two servicemembers in the Middle East will soon be opening boxes that may or may not contain one or more intact and mold-free cookies. We can only hope. Young Son and I ate plenty of cookie dough, just to be sure it was safe. It was a sacrifice, but it had to be done. For our folks in uniform, you know.

  • Mr B and I took off across the bridge to the Other Peninsula and ended up at the Very Top Left Corner of the Country! I'm a big enough geek to think that's completely cool. I waved at Canada, too; always fun.

  • Been there, done that

  • We took Young Son to the Gi-normous Arcade in the Big City. Since I am generally adverse to displaying my x-treme lack of skilz in public (or in private, for that matter) I carried the tickets and provided much-appreciated gaming advice while Mr B and Young Son tore the place up. I also enjoyed some primo people-watching -- enhanced by a gaming convention in town -- that made the statistics conference look like an Abercrombie & Fitch photo shoot. Amazing.
  • I'll leave you with Today's Fun Quote from Lovely Daughter, who is not-so-patiently-waiting for a check to arrive in the mail:

    Tick-f'n-tock, people -- I want my money!

    I'm so proud. As they say, it takes one to make one.