Thursday, October 29, 2009

Speaking of public restrooms

Here's something I've been curious about for awhile and I need to know what you think.

OK, say you have to pee. You approach a toilet that obviously has been recently cleaned. You know it's been cleaned because the the water is still tinged with blue, indicating the person responsible neglected to give that final flush to clear the last traces of the toilet bowl cleaner.

Do you sit and do your business, or do you flush first?

I know it's a dreadful waste of water, but I must flush first. I am afraid that a) there might be splashback, causing traces of the cleaning solution to come in contact with my, uh, lady parts, which can't be good, and/or b) the ammonia in the urine will react in some violent manner with the chemicals in the cleanser and release a toxic gas that will knock me out. And wouldn't that be embarrassing? Perhaps even more embarrassing than flooding the joint with one's coat.

But what about toilets with water colored blue on purpose, with those giant Sweetart-looking things? Well, I'm not a fan, but I figure it must be fairly safe to pee in that water. I haven't seen Mythbusters tackle any myths on hazardous blue potty water so it must be OK.

Go ahead and laugh, but I'm not as bad as Young Son, though. If he enters the bathroom to find a tissue floating in an apparently clean bowl, he must flush before proceeding.

What about you guys? Is it just me?

Maybe next time we can discuss leaving the faucet on while brushing one's teeth.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

When it rains...

Look, a missive from Evil Twin! And it's a good one, too.
Hubby’s high school reunion was weekend before last. I am a dutiful wife, so when he asked me to go with him, I agreed. It’s always a good thing to get extra wife points.

He went to a private school which bears a remarkable resemblance to Hogwarts School of Wizardry.

The weather forecast for the weekend was grim. Temperatures in the low 40s with high winds and 2 inches of rain predicted. I packed accordingly. Saturday morning was just miserable. We left the hotel for the school to attend all the stuff Hubby signed up for. Which was everything.

We began to run into members of his old crowd, and after lunch, we all headed to the homecoming game. Fortunately, there was a break in the rain, but it was still cold and windy. The football field was behind the school, up a winding road through the woods at the top of a hill. It was a ten-minute walk, but they had provided shuttle buses for the old and infirm, which I guess we are, now.

We found seats in the bleachers, and Hubby kept bringing me large cups of coffee to keep me warm. Of course, after an hour, nature was calling my name, and it was beginning to rain again. There were two port-a-potties at the end of the field, with long lines. The thought of resting my ass on cold plastic, with my coat bunched up around my middle, and then not being able to wash my hands was all it took for me to hail a shuttle going down to the school.

"Take me to the closest ladies’ room, if you please," I said to the driver, and she did.

I found it down a long, dark hallway. When I got inside, I locked the door. It was the handicapped toilet – a one-seater. My coat was wet, and I don’t pee very well while wearing a coat, so I took it off. There was no place to hang it. No hook, nothing. So, carefully placing the wet side down, I draped it across the sink. I was seriously running out of time, and ran over to the john to do my thing.

Finished, straightening my clothes, zipping zippers, tucking things in, I sashay over to the sink to find my wool-lined raincoat filling up with water. The goddamned sink had a motion detector, and the coat had set it off. The entire basin, lined with the raincoat, was full, and now, water was pouring onto the floor.
CRAP! CrapCrapCrapCrap! The only way to stop it was to remove the coat. About two gallons of water poured out of my coat onto the floor. My pockets were full. The cuffs were full. The woolen lining was completely soaked. The damn coat now weighs 20 pounds.

Rattle. Rattlerattle. Someone is at the door, and wants to use the bathroom. "I guess it’s locked," says one woman to another. "Excuse us, is anyone in there?" I froze, keeping my mouth shut. "I guess this one is closed off. I know where another one is." And they left.

I surveyed the damage. There was about half an inch of water on the floor, with no floor drain. My coat was sopping wet. I began pumping the paper towel dispenser. You know the kind where you push down on the knob, and it dispenses about 12 inches of paper. Yep, that one.
Pump. Pump, pumppump. Pumpumpumpumpumpumpumpumpumpumpump!!

I threw the paper on the floor, and the only thing that happened was I ended up with 15 feet of sodden paper floating in a sea of bathroom water. I was going to have to cut my losses. I scooped up the paper, threw it in the trash bin, and carefully unlocked the door. I peeked my head out and saw the coast was clear. I grabbed the 20-pound coat and dashed down the hallway, leaving a trail of water. Once I got outside, I was safe, because no one could follow the trail of water since it was raining. I ran the two blocks to the parking lot, and got into our car. I was freezing and wet, my hair plastered against my head, my makeup gone.

I spent the next hour trying to warm up and get dry. The inside of the car fogged up.

My phone rang. Hubby asks, "Where ARE you?"

"I’m in the car trying to get warmed up."

"What happened?"

"It’s a long story."

"Well the reception is beginning in the main hall, and everyone is asking where you are."

And so I went.

Could there possibly be enough Wife Points in the world to make that all better? I'm guessing she enjoyed an adult beverage or two at the reception. What do you think?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

And the winner is....

According to the fine folks at, Virg is our lucky winner!

So Virg, go ahead and email me at anywayiwasjustthinking -at- gmail -dot- com with your mailing address and Amazon will have a package headed your way pronto. And if you get it to me by Monday, you could have your prize in hand before NaNoWriMo starts.

OMG - is it really only a week away? I think I just peed a little....

Friday, October 23, 2009

Last chance (and bonus track)

First a reminder that this is your last chance to enter my totally spontaneous and un-sponsored giveaway. It's easy! All you gotta do is click on the link and leave a comment to enter. I'll do the drawing and post the results tomorrow morning. If you want to comment anonymously, that's cool too. Just be sure to check back tomorrow for instructions on how to get your contact info to me.

Anyway, sorry for the overall lack of light-hearted-osity lately, but it's been weird around here. I'm totally stoked for the wedding, yet for some reason I'm drag-assing around like it's February. I did just up my meds this week so hopefully sometime next week I'll be able to approximate normal.

But enough about my medicine cabinet. This song seemed to capture my mood this week. I can't say it's a Friday Rocker, but it sure is a Friday Groover. What do you think?

Actually, Charlie, that sounds like a damned fine plan. I'll be right over.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Please Enter My First Giveaway!

Wow! Only 16 days until NaNoWriMo and I'm getting psyched. A few weeks back I was concerned I wouldn't be able to get fired up in time, what with the WEDDING and all, but lately I can feel myself starting to slip into 'story space' -- almost a trance/daydream state where bits of the story seem to play in my mind like a YouTube video.

Like the other day after work. I was cruising along letting the car drive itself home when I realized my secondary main character was sitting at a desk handwriting a report to headquarters. He shoved back his paper and pen, rose, and shuffled across the dingy room to a battered wooden armoire. He pulled open the door and surveyed the selection of outfits available for that night's mission. With a sigh, he reached up and pulled out the leopard-print thong and the black leather vest with matching assless chaps. He suited up, resigned to another night of indignity.

I have to admit, I was a little shocked. I wouldn't have taken him for the type.

Also, I've learned my main character gets sucked into playing World of Warcraft after she gets laid off. As I am more of a Freecell/Minesweeper type, I've never played any such online games (MMORPG? Is that right?) but Mr. B has, uh, dabbled a bit in the past and generously offered to be my mentor. I downloaded the ten day free trial and am working my way though the noob experience, strictly for research purposes, of course.

Oh yeah, this is going to be fun.

I really do have to hit the ground running because I don't know how much writing I'm going to be able to do during the four says we'll be in LAS VEGAS getting MARRIED. I'd like to build up a good cushion before we leave town for the festivities.

But why should I have all the fun? In honor of my second NaNo -- and Mr. B's first, I hope -- I'm going to give away a copy of the official NaNoWriMo guide, No Plot? No Problem! by Chris Baty, the guy who started it all ten years ago.

To enter, just leave a comment on this post before midnight Friday, October 23rd. I'll use a random number generator to pick the winner and post the results on Saturday, October 24th. Be sure to check back so we can make arrangements to ship the prize to the lucky winner.

Even if you aren't interested in doing NaNoWriMo, please go ahead and enter 'cause otherwise I'll end up giving it to Mr. B and we already have a copy at home. You can always re-gift it to a potential novelist. I won't mind.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Name Game

One of the benefits of getting married is getting that Free Name Change card. I get to change my last name, just because! How cool is that? Should be simple enough, but is anything I do ever simple, really?

I did think about taking back my maiden name, but I really want to have Mr B's last name. You know, so everyone knows we're part of the same unit and all that*. But... I could take this opportunity to officially include my maiden name somehow.

His name, my name, middle name... what to do? Hey, I smell a spreadsheet!

(What? You thought I was kidding?)

Oddly enough, my maiden name really is the same length as 'Maidenname'. Mr B's last name is only six letters long, but if I go the double-barreled route, that's 16 letters! I just don't know.

The other issue -- and probably more distressing -- is that I will need to change my signature, the one I developed decades ago and now have perfected to a unique and easily identifiable-yet-illegible scrawl. It's almost more of a logo than a signature, really. The thought of actually having to write out my name is really bothering me. It took me probably ten years to come up with my current scribble and I'm not at all excited about repeating that process. Although I could get myself some notebook paper and have at it, middle-school style.

I have no idea what I'm going to do. I suppose I'll find out when I show up at the Social Security office sometime after November tenth.

You think this is bad? You should see me in restaurants. And just imagine what could be accomplished if I ever manage to turn my mental energy toward something productive.

* Hands off, ladies!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Even Harder

I've found some more Daft-mania for your enjoyment. I know, I already posted my favorite "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" vids, but I just saw these and had to share. 'Cause I'm like that.

((Don't worry, these are both Safe For Work)

First, one for those who appreciate the male form:

Like? I think you should watch it a few more times to see if they made any mistakes.

There's even a version for those of us who have embraced the prime of life:

And this one is pretty awesome as well:

I don't know why, but I just love that damned song! I can't remember the last time I danced in public but this song almost makes me want to do it again.

Strange but true: You know what? Mr. B and I have never danced together. I do remember vaguely an event Back In The Day (perhaps my 26th birthday?) where Evil Twin, Mr. B and I may have been on a dance floor at the same time, but there was no actual 'together' involved.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

You Want Me to Put What? Where?

I get a huge kick from some of the old, whack print ads that can be found in the intertubes. I especially enjoy the ones I actually remember seeing back in the day when we all thought they were completely normal and appropriate. The Tareyton ads always weirded me out, though; as a very young and extremely literal child, I couldn't make the connection between the black shoe polish under the eye and a real black eye.

There's one particular 'vintage' ad I just can't let it pass without comment, even though I am blessed not to have been exposed to it at an impressionable age. I know it's been blogged to death, but every time I see it, or one of its variations, I have to read it again. It holds a horrible fascination for me. Surely I misread it last time. They really can't be suggesting what I think they're suggesting.

You tell me.

I think we can all agree that this is wrong on every level, so I won't bother to expound. However, I would like to take this opportunity to point out to the youngsters out there that as fetching as the styles of the day were, overall it was not a good time to be a female. Consider that your PSA for the day.

Anyway, dysfunctional culture aside, the main reason this ad has a particularly horrific hold on my imagination is because I have an eye-watering, gut-wrenching, drool-producing aversion to the smell of Lysol. And I'm guessing that right about now you're bouncing in your seats, simply dying to know why.

When I was a teen, we moved into a four bedroom house. I immediately claimed a miniscule -- maybe 8' by 8' max? -- office in the corner of the partially-finished basement as my bedroom so I wouldn't have to share a room with any of my three younger siblings. I loved my little hole in the corner, even though it had sheets hanging where two doors should be and all I could fit in there was a cot, a chair, an armoire, and a TV tray to hold my turntable. What else could I possibly need?

We almost always had pets. At that point we had one (maybe even two) dogs and at least one cat. The dog(s) decided they preferred to do their business in the basement. Luckily, the few square feet of floor space I had was usually buried under at least a foot of clothing so my little slice of heaven was spared.

Well, my family of origin was/is full of, uh, colorful and strong-willed characters. It didn't take but no time at all for everyone to decide that it was not his/her job to pick up the fucking poop. Instead, someone would spray the newest pile of warm, fragrant, rust-covered soft-serve with Lysol and drape a paper towel over it. Because, obviously, a pile of shit that reeks of Lysol and is obscured by a paper towel is much less offensive than a plain pile of shit. And there would sit until the smell has dissipated and the mass had dessicated to where it could be handled with, theoretically, less grossitude.

And, because of this very important curing process, the atmosphere in my magical subterranean hideout of teen-aged angst was, at any given moment, positively redolent of aging canine feces and Lysol spray. Even though I only lived in that house for maybe five years, that odor became imprinted on my brain, and not in a good way. Even now, 35 years later, a whiff of Lysol can take me right back.

Mmmmm. Good times. Anyone have a mint?

Hey, if you too enjoy seeing how fucked up the early/mid-20th century was, check out these babies. Then tell me how much better things were in the Olden Tymes.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Pre-Wedding Porn

Hey, Look! Over in the left sidebar is a slideshow of wedding-y stuff. My dress, shoes, and other random bits are now available for your viewing pleasure. I have a few more pix to add, as soon as I get a few more things bought/made.

Friday, October 2, 2009

You Have No ID

How do you replace your ID if all your ID is expired?

Short answer? Um, sorry, in this post-911 world, there is no short answer. It's every bit as complicated as one might suspect. Let me tell you how I know that.

About six months ago, Lovely Daughter had her purse stolen. We panicked, then she went about getting her debit card replaced which solved the immediate crisis. Since she's not currently driving, the driver's license wasn't an issue. We looked into replacing her stolen ID anyway, since it was all expired, but there was no easy answer and it didn't seem to be an urgent problem. So we blew it off.

A couple of weeks later she got a call from someone who had found her wallet, seemingly intact. O, glorious day! Unfortunately, what followed was an unending tragicomedy of months of missed communications, culminating recently with the news that the finder had taken the address off "one of the cards inside" and mailed the wallet.

Mailed it where? We have no idea. The one address not in the wallet was the current address. I'm guessing we can officially color it lost.

Now what? Shit, it's October! The wedding is coming up in six weeks -- she'll need ID to join us in Vegas. OK, now we can panic. Options? She should probably get a New York State ID. Oops - need a social security card for that. Where is hers? In the wallet. OK, so how do you get a social security card? Oops - requires an unexpired photo ID, like, say a New York State ID. Sorry, expired passports don't count.

So... can't get a social security card without an ID, can't get an ID without a social security card. I'm sensing a slight problem.

Then, in the darkness, a light dawns... what about the expired passport? Can it be renewed? As a matter of fact, it can be renewed by mail, as long as it was issued on or after the age of 16. SCHWEEET!

Wait, when was Lovely Daughter's issued? Age 15 years, 10 months.

Options! I need options, people!

Hey, look, she can re-apply in person. I found the list of required documents on the State Dept site and read it between the fingers clamped over my eyes. I didn't want confirmation that we were officially fucked, even though I was sure we were. Pleaseohpleaseohpleeeeeze, let them not require a social security card....
  1. Undamaged passport? Check.

  2. Birth Certificate? Check

  3. Large chunk of cash? Check! I'll pay whatever you want, just make it stop!
All she has to do is fill out the magic application form, get the photos taken, grab the large chunk of (my) cash and find her way to a (deceptively-optimistically-named) Passport Acceptance Center. In approximately three weeks she may actually have an unexpired ID in hand which will qualify her to start jumping through the SSA and NYS DMV hoops. All will finally be right in the world.

Lesson learned? Aside from the obvious one (Don't ever leave your wallet in your unattended purse slung on the back of a chair in a bar in Manhattan,) do not, under any circumstances, carry your social security card in your wallet. And don't let your passport expire.

Mama needs a drink.