Friday, July 31, 2009

Hot times

Ding dong, the heat is dead! After three days in the hubs of hell, we're looking at mid-80s today, max. I'm slowly rejoining the living and am ready for some serious Friday Rockin'!

This week's retro-pop-rock may cause some of my peers to experience serious whiplash, so take adequate precautions, please.

I had just started elementary school when this song came out, making this one of those long-term primal childhood tunes deeply embedded in what's left of my memory.

Hey, and it's Friday! Time for all you hot cats lookin' for a kitty to button up the Nehru jacket and have at it. Just be sure to look in every corner of the city.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Nope, still dead

We did indeed die again yesterday. The smell of pot roast has been replaced by the odor of burnt toast.

BTW, that's 105.9, and it's a temp, not a radio station. I want full credit for that point nine.

Official high was 104. Average high is 76. Today we might stay below 100. And by tomorrow I may be able to think about something other than the weather.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Excuse our dust

We all died yesterday and now there are huge piles of ashes everywhere, enhanced by a somewhat disturbing (yet still delicious) smell of pot roast. We will probably die even worse today. Maybe by Friday we'll be alive again.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


I whine a lot about the weather on this blog. Too hot, too cold, too wet, too dark... waaah-friggin'-waah.

But this time, well, it's different.

OMFG!! We're all gonna die on Wednesday!

Yeah, OK, we're pussies. We know that. But I will have you know that 100 deg is the highest temperature ever recorded in Seattle, ever! So if the mercury creeps even one little bit higher, it's all over. We'll dissolve like slugs on a salt lick.

So if there's no posting tomorrow, I'll trust you'll understand.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The defense rests

So, after many years of frustration and toil and, as I understand it, something not dissimilar to indentured servitude, Mr B's nephew J survived his dissertation defense last week and is now swinging his bright, shiny new PhD around. His thesis was something relating to... uh... physics? Optics? Yeah, something super science-y like that.

Even better, he send us this vid of the last few moments of his defense.

Way to rawk it, J!

Oh, how I love the internets....

Friday, July 24, 2009

Makes me say oh my lord

This Fridays Rock! is dedicated to brandy-new Dr. Nephew J! w00t!! Schweeet!!

Less-than-optimal day at work. Massive traffic jam in town cut 20 minutes off my lunch hour. Heavy flow day, IYKWIM.

So I'm needing something FAB-ulous to Rock my Friday! In fact, I think I need two things.

Thing One:

and Thing Two:

I tell you, this shit never gets old. Another dozen viewings and my mind should be back to rights. More or less.

I really wanted to post the original, but The Man... well, you know.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


(Wow, that reminds me, the new HP movie is out! But that's a topic for another post.)

I wrote about IT the other day, and apparently IT has retaliated by turning its life-sucking gaze on me. What it this, freaking Mordor? Did I attract ITs attention by putting on the fucking Ring or something? I can't even write about my depression without IT kicking my ass? I mean, I know the post wasn't that good, but chris on a cracker, cut me some fucking slack.

Or did IT make me write about IT?

OK, that's weirding me out a little.

I give up. It's summertime in the PNW, the whole reason we live here. Sky is clear blue (most of the time), temps are simply lovely, and here I am drag-assing home from work, ignoring the seemingly endless tasks waiting to be completed, and immediately collapsing on the couch to stare at an endless stream of Star Trek: Voyager and Ace of Cakes episodes on the TiVo.

(BTW, anyone else think the ol' Eye up there is looking rather, um... nudge nudge, wink wink, "organic"? Or is that just me?)

I'm going to assume it's a result of being a woman in mid-life, subject to the whims of an endocrine system switching to All Bets Are Off mode, and that the wave will pass quickly.

Mr B best dig out the flack vest and survival rations, just in case.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Low life

A large percentage of my twelves of loyal readers know me personally and know that I've struggled with depression. Some may even know that I've been pestered by it since sometime in my teens. Problem was, I didn't know what the hell my problem was. There would just be these time when nothing was worth doing and there didn't seem to be any point to anything anyway so why bother? Laying on the couch was just fine, thanks. Everything was a h-u-g-e effort. Gravity was at least twice its normal strength. I was exhausted. Everyone around me was stupid and going out of their way to piss me off.

These periods would last for weeks, maybe a month or two, then very gradually things would seem to get better. Often the lows were followed by an extreme burst of Shiny, and a new project or hobby would become all-consuming. And I could do THIS, and also THIS, and wow! Does that look like fun!

It took a long, long while before I realized the pattern. No, my life didn't just go to hell all of a sudden, and I would recognize that THING again, and remember that it would probably pass eventually. That realization didn't make it go away but it did seem to help a bit, knowing that I (probably) wouldn't feel this way for the rest of my life. Because? Ugh. That would be really, really bad.

Oh, and being married and having a kid? Well, let's just say it wasn't easy on any of us, especially since we didn't know there was an IT, much less what it was. I just knew that there was something inadequate about me, that some significant portion of the time I was unable to do the things other people seemed to handle just fine.

Lovely Daughter tell the tale of one time when she was about 11. I was immobilized on the couch in the upstairs TV room, unable to reach the remote across the room. I actually hollered at her to come up from downstairs to bring it to me.

I know. What's sad is that at the time it seemed like a perfectly reasonable solution.

So more things happened and then it was early 1999. I had just turned 39 and we had just found out I was p... pr... PREGNANT, for cripes' sake. And you know what? Once we wrapped our head around the knowledge that this was indeed happening, life got better. Things I used to have to literally force myself to do (matching socks, emptying the dishwasher, changing the roll of toilet paper) came so easily that I couldn't even remember why it was ever a problem. I felt... normal, or at least how I imagined normal people felt. Daily life was almost effortless in comparison. I got shit done!

I floated normally along, all normal-like, all the way through until Young Son was almost two. Then one day I was staring at laundry that was glaring back at me, and I felt IT again, like a nearly-palpable veil of 'fuck it' settling over me, sucking the very energy of life from my bones*. My heart sank. I hadn't even realized that I had been above water all that time until I felt it close in over me again.

But this time, thanks to the seemingly hundreds of commercials on the TV, I thought I knew what it might be. I went in to my doc and he told me right away what IT was. And guess what? As the commercials had promised, there were now a whole raft of medications to try. I picked up my prescription and within a week I felt my world level out. I was one lucky girl, to get a workable med on the first try.

So the lowest of the lows are gone**. Life isn't always puppies and diamonds, but most of the time it's within a standard deviation of normal. I still have dips and occasional episodes of stupidity, and I still hate to empty the dishwasher, but I can change the toilet paper roll without engaging in a contest of wills with myself. And I can fetch my own damned remote, most of the time.

Except in February. Don't expect much from me in February. Don't say I didn't warn you.

* Dramatic, much?

** Along with the highest of the highs, but I'll take that hit.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Truth in advertising

If this outfit looks this bad on a mannequin, I'm screwed.

"By the way, this outfit sucks and it sure ain't gonna look any better on your fat ass. We just wanted to be upfront about that. Hugs and kisses, Old Navy."

Friday, July 17, 2009

You wouldn't understand. It's a summertime thing.

It's pushing 90 outside, it's almost the end of the workday, and it's time to Rock this Friday, summer-style.

I haven't heard it lately on the radio, and that's a damned shame 'cause it's one of my favorite summer tunes. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Who can take a sunrise...

What can make a fully-grown man squee like a little girl*? I know, baby red pandas can!

The red pandas are the gray fuzzy ones at the beginning.

This interlude of adorableness was brought to you by Mr B, the National Zoo, and the letter squee!

* There is no proof that any audible squeeing occurred in Mr B's office today.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Abandoned projects

One of the unfortunate side effects of having an affinity for the Shiny! is that no matter how much enthusiasm I have for acquiring a new skill, sometimes it just doesn't work out. Best case is the light dawns before I spend hundreds of dollars on equipment/books/lessons and I escape with a little ego bruising. Worst case is I find out after some or all of those expenditures, like I did with running and weaving and patisserie and... well, let's draw the curtain there, OK?

Fortunately, fiction writing seems to have fallen into the Best Case category. I bought some books, but otherwise it has cost me only time and mental energy. Although it is with some bruising of the ego to admit that I've had to step away from it for awhile, mainly because I suck at it.

How bad do I suck? Well, let's just say a Bulwer-Lytton entry isn't out of the question.

What? You've never heard of Edward George Earl Bulwer-Lytton, the man who penned possibly the worst opening line in literature? The one that begins It was a dark and stormy night and continues well beyond reason? You must visit the site forthwith and rectify that grievous oversight. Scroll down to read the history of the contest, and click here to read the 2009 winners.

OK, maybe my stuff isn't quite that bad. I think I'm feeling a little better now.

Monday, July 13, 2009

One word at a time

This falls squarely in the category of Who Knew?

You know those reCaptcha things you see on web sites? Where you have to type two words to validate whatever it is that needs validating? Annoying, aren't they?

Did you know they actually serve a purpose other than to piss you off?

One of the words is a plain old 'are you a human' test, as one would expect. But the other word is a piece of scanned text from a document that OCR software was unable to recognize. By taking a stab at it, you're helping to digitize old books, newspaper articles, and the like.

Serious! Check it out here, and by the way, that reCaptcha box at the top of that page is live, so digitize some words while you're there, wouldya? I can't do it all myself, you know.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Hotel, Motel, Holiday Inn

We all know Fridays Rock! But do we all remember when disco met rap? Gather 'round, children, and bear witness to this crucial moment in rap history.

I've probably mentioned this before, but I still dance like that....

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I am unfamiliar with your Earth ways

Last weekend included a trip to the Portland Saturday Market where much jocularity was had at the Spoonman stall.

We love the Spoonman. We have this clock in our kitchen.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Engagement: Week 3

I admit it: I'm getting caught up in the whole wedding thing. We're not doing anything big or fancy; in fact, Young Son was crushed to learn there will be neither tuxedos nor limousines involved*. But even though we'll be lucky to round up a dozen guests, I'm kinda getting into it, and I can place a goodly portion of the blame for that squarely on the Offbeat Bride.

Where was this site when I got married the first time? Oh yeah, Al Gore hadn't invented the interwebs yet and Ariel, the proprietress, was probably still wearing feetsy jammies.

I doubt our wedding will qualify as truly offbeat -- there will be nary a tattoo nor skull in sight -- but the site's message of 'it's your thing, do whatcha wanna do' is sitting real pretty with me.

Although I have to admit it's real hard to read about super cool things like View-Master invitations and not suffer a little misson creep....

* Kudos to the Ex for setting the bar on that one.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Adventures in transportation

Have you ever had one of those mornings? You know, the ones where you wake up as usual, make coffee as usual, sit down at the laptop to check your email and calendar as usual, only to discover that you were supposed to drop off your car at the shop last night for an appointment that morning? And the appointment was scheduled two weeks ago because the shop is pretty busy, and your guy is already at work an hour away, and you have approximately forty minutes to get to work, which is thirty minutes away?

Yeah, me too. Hate those.

After wasting a few minutes venting my distress by flapping my arms and shrieking, I pulled up the regional transportation website and was thrilled to learn that there was a bus stop right next to the repair shop where I could catch an express bus to the mall, followed in short order by a bus to the transfer center right across the street from work. If the stars were aligned just so, I would only be 15 minutes late.

I grabbed my crap and bolted out the door. I had twelve minutes to make it to the repair shop, throw my key at the front desk, and find the bus stop.

Ladies and germs, it worked! I found the stop and waited less than two minutes for the bus. I even had $2.00 in cash money to pay the fare! The second bus pulled in to the mall five minutes after I disembarked the first. And I was, OK, twenty minutes late for work.

I have PT this afternoon, and you'd think that would be a problem, but the BESTEST part is that the bus that stops at the repair shop also stops at the Naval Hospital. After my scheduled pummeling, I can walk over to pick up my car if it's ready or Mr. B can come get me.

I tell you, I'll take lucky over smart every single time. I should buy a lottery ticket.

Friday, July 3, 2009


I'm headed out of town with Young Son and Mr B, but I would be remiss if I did not do everything in my power to ensure you were in the proper frame of mind for the holiday.

My original scam plan was to re-post my First Annual Traditional Independence Day Post from 2008. However, THE MAN has deleted my favorite clip from YouTube; the one where Will Smith is dragging the alien's sorry ass across the desert and bitching.


Anyway, despite THE MAN's oppression, I am still going to celebrate the 4th by watching Independence Day, and I am still going to share a clip. Even if it's just the trailer.

So kick the tires and light the fires, y'all, and I'll be back on Monday.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Jump start

Many of us here in the US of A are taking tomorrow off for a long 4th of July weekend. Luckily, this year that includes me so I'm Rockin' this Friday prematurely.

Hey, don't laugh! It happens to everyone sometimes.

This tune has been getting some heavy airplay on my local station. Love it, love it, love it! I'm guessing you might, too.

In my completely uninformed and arbitrary opinion, a good song/group is one that hold up outside of the studio. Does this one? You tell me.

Oh yeah, how the girl feels! It's kind of like the best of the best from the eighties - almost has a Cheap Trick feeling to it. At first I though it was an oldie. Made me want to get myself up and shake it around a little. Sad thing is that I still feel like I can kick it, but am also well aware that at my age it tends to look kind of pathetic. Oh well.

BTW, is there anything sexier than guys rocking it on guitars? I'm just sayin'....

p.s. I might post something tomorrow before we head out of town, so feel free to check in if you're at loose ends.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

To be frank

OK, it really wasn't all that chaotic at work, but compared to the baseline level of activity around here, it was a madhouse so I can claim artistic license.

The couple that owns the business moved out-of state yesterday, taking the corporate portion of the company (their offices) and other assorted office furniture with them. Some of that furniture was in my office so it had to be excavated, and that generated a mound of ancient electronic equipment that had to be dealt with.

Then, the ISP change we've been trying to schedule for two months ago ended up being scheduled yesterday. BTW, thanks, Comcast. Impeccable timing, as usual.

But now the furor has passed, the offices are calm, and all is well, except for the half hour I just spent on the phone with an old guy who doesn't know how to navigate a directory tree in Windows or save an attachment from his email to his hard drive.

I wish I was making that up.

Worst part is, after all that, we were unsuccessful. He ended up cutting me off by mistake, then called back to tell me he was going to lunch and would call this afternoon. I can only wish my most fervent wishes that I am at lunch when he calls back.