Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A Moment on the Lips....

The leaves aren't the only things a-changin' around here; big changes are a-happenin' on the homefront. Today I finally committed to re-joining the girl gym, Lady of America, which is about 5 minutes from my house. I just decided to do it, just like the Nike commercial advises. Or used to advise. The decision was spurred along in part from this health survey we can choose to take at work, doing so entitled me to a $150 credit on our health care costs. So I took it last week and the results should have come as no surprise, but it's always eye-opening to actually see it in print. I'm below-average in the overall health category for my age. Drat. Pretty much in part to my lack of any extra-curricular activity that doesn't involve the sofa. When I was single and had my house, I worked out all the time in the basement, it was all set-up with the treadmill and whatnot. Now that is disassembled in the garage and the exercise bike that's in the "sound studio" portion of our house (ckn - commonly known as - the dining room in most other people's houses) somehow lost it's tension settings upon the move and I'm just not inspired to use it without a random interval challenge. So I do nothing instead. Until today! I'm an official Lady of America member, and I committed to going 2Xweek for a consecutive 10-week span, which will save me a dollar per month. We all know how I like to save a dollar!

Anyway, I was all geared up to work out, and she informed me they were closing in 20 minutes, which confused me because the decals on the window in the front listed the Saturday hours as 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. and it was 12:20 p.m. The gal told me that it didn't say that, at which point of course we had to walk to the front and look (I couldn't let that one go) and she said, "Huh. Those must be summer hours. We're closing at 1:00." So. It seems posted hours don't matter, if the person working has something going on and wants to get the hell outta there. Twenty minutes was actually plenty, I did the elliptical and would have passed out if I had been allowed to go any longer. It probably saved my life, being "forced" to quit early.

After, Kenny and I headed to Parmatown, he wanted Sakkio Japan's famous Teriyaki Chicken for lunch and I - hold on, this next statement is going to come as a surprise - needed to make a return. Yes, I know, that's unusual for me. I purchased some makeup from Prescriptives back in August and I just don't like it (and it was pricey). I may be close to my "out of time to return" but was going to give it a shot. Well, the Macy's at Parmatown doesn't sell Prescriptives, only the Great Northern and Strongsville's stores carry that line. So my return attempt was moo (Friend's reference).

While we were malling (yes, I've turned a noun into a verb), I happened upon some friendly folks at the T-Mobile counter and I believe we're getting new phones. They give you a pretty decent credit towards your cancellation fees with our other contract, we got to take 2 new phones home with is for a 14-day trial period and, if all goes well, it's a one year contract vs. two years. Not to mention we'll save $30ish dollars per month vs. my Verizon bill. There's always a catch with the stuff, but the most compelling reason to change is that we get NO RECEPTION at home on our cellphones. Calls drop as soon as we pull in our driveway, and Verizon has been unsuccessful with fixing the problem. So far, we have a good signal in the driveway and house. I still haven't figured it all out yet, that will take some time. I am going to try and sell my old phone, it's a Samsung and was quite pricey, but I've never really loved it. I can't quite figure out how to put my photos as wallpaper on this new one, that better work or it's going back. So that was a random decision, but hopefully we'll be much happier and actually be able to use our phones in the house - imagine that.

I've had some busy past few weeks, catching up with a bunch of people and reconnecting. It's been fun, I had lunch with a girl who was my BFF during the school years. We've drifted, even though she just lives in Columbia Station, but our lives have different paths and hers is full of kids, which makes her even busier than me. Her days and evenings are filled with obligations, while mine is basically just the daytime work obligation, with evenings free to gad about town.

I met my friend Brenda (well, she was my mom's friend, but mine, too) for lunch at Olive Garden last weekend, it was fun catching up with her. She and her husband start their winter flock to Florida next week and I wanted to squeeze in a visit with her before she migrates. I enjoy her company so much, the time flies by and we ended up sitting til we were both stiff in the knees. I talked so much, my lips needed fanned down to keep 'em from bursting into flames. I wish them safe travels and perhaps I'll take a timeout and go down there and visit this winter for a few days, a nice good-for-the-girl-soul trip. It would be awkward, however, to go there and not see my father, but I can't feel guilty about everything. I get enough of that from Sophie, intentional or not.

It was a very big week - I finally got the revised Deferred Compensation agreement signed and sent to the Ohio Pension people. Fucksteve finally quit dicking around. Hooray!! I'm finally, 100% done with that worthless fatass human being. Those words sound harsher than I feel, I couldn't care less about him at all anymore actually. It's just fun to call him names, because, well, he is fat and he doesn't have a strong moral character so why not. But really, I'm just relieved to have all of that settled. Chapter closed.

Very few folks have heard about this (folks that I've talked to, anyway), but the Cinemark in Valley View (where Kenny works) will be showing the Garth Brooks concert via satellite on November 14th. He's performing in Kansas City for a week, and the show on the 14th will be beamed to select movie theaters and tickets to see it "live" were only $10 each. Of course we snapped up 6 of them, a couple of other couples are going with us, and I'm very excited about the whole thing. It will definately be something a little different to do and I'm happy that I have a boyfriendie who loves Garth even more than I do - he didn't hesitate to grab up the tickets. We're going to make an evening of it, with dinner before the show. I'm excited, our friends Dan & Bev and Kim & Jim are joining us. My friend Joanne from work might come, too - it will be one big festivus! I asked Kenny if it was sold out yet, and he said that his friend Chris - who works in the ticket booth - hadn't even heard about this yet. They have done a piss-poor job of advertising, to say the least. Good for me, I'll get better seats.

Jill and I have tickets to see Keith Urban on November 9th. We're working on our relationship - maybe WE need couples counseling :). Course, it didn't work for me and Fucksteve, so I don't put much stock in that. I think we'd be better off with just a few cocktails and a heart-to-heart. And that would be more fun, too!

I have big plans for some house cleaning tonight, after I fuck off on the computer for a while longer. All the cats are in serious nap-mode, and it's well into the early evening. They are lazy little felines.

Yesterday there was a great episode of Survivorman; Les was deserted in the Kalahari Desert and had to fend for himself with little more than some bags, chocolate, a couple of vessels (look at my big word here!), some disgusting peanut butter and some knives. He faced dehydration, scorpions, the heat, the cold and some venomous cobras. He made some water by peeing in a hole he dug out in the sand, peeing around a cup, covering it with plastic and weighting it down with sand. Condensation formed as the pee evaporated and he captured it in the cup. He also ate a scorpion kabob, sans stingers. I think Les would be the perfect date. There is absolutely NOTHING that man won't put in his mouth, and I am sure he is even a butthole licker. He's not scared of anything on his lips. If he didn't do all of that - and then some - I would be pretty worried about my "situation" down there. He'll drink water made from pee, eat scorpions and locusts - he better be getting down there and getting into it all. So. If anything happens to Kenny, I'm going after Les. Kenny knows this and okays the plan.

And with that, I bid you adieu and wish you another fine week.


Sunday, October 21, 2007


So I'm cheating today and just posting my speech that I wrote for Toastmasters this past week. Speech went pretty well, still need to get more comfortable and rely less on notes, but overall pretty good.

It seems you can't turn on the television or read a magazine these days without the words "green," "carbon footprint" and "eco-friendly" leaping from the headlines. Al Gore's documentary An Inconvenient Truth really brought the issues of global warming to the forefront and made it hard to ignore our own wanton waste. We're repeatedly reminded that we have a moral obligation to make changes to our daily routine to help slow global warming. But what changes can we reasonably be expected to make that will have an impact on the climate?

Well, luckily for me, I have spent 40 years and learned a lot with the most eco-friendly person I know: My 90 year old grandmother, Sophie. Sophie's been "green" long before Al Gore invented it. And Sophie didn't need some documentary to teach her how to conserve. She learned to conserve from the toughest teacher of all time: The Great Depression. Sophie learned to reduce, reuse and recycle because they just didn't have anything to waste.

Depression-era lessons in conservation have stuck with Sophie throughout her lifetime, in spite of the fact that she now has plenty of money to afford a few luxuries. Today I will be sharing some of the recommendations from "the experts" as well as Sophie's take on how to really make an impact on the environment.

One simple change the experts recommend for reducing the impact on global warming is switching out our regular light bulbs for compact flouresents. Sophie's the master of electricity conservation. Turning off the lights and electronic devices when not in use is a given – it doesn't even warrant a discussion. Sophie's rules don't allow electronic devices to even be turned on before noon. No –sir- eee. You can use the natural morning light to see just fine. And there is absolutely nothing you need to see on television before the news comes on at noon. It was just too bad that The Price is Right came on at 11:00. Even Bob Barker didn't justify wasting electricity. Sophie wasn't going to be making the electric companies rich. Little did she know that she was also saving thousands of pounds of carbon dioxide waste along with saving pennies.

Another recommendation for reducing carbon emissions is a simple adjustment to your thermostat. Turning your thermostat down 2 degrees in the winter and up 2 degrees in the summer can save 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year. Sophie has saved enough each season to represent a small town. In the winter she walks around the house with a babushka on her head and layer upon layer of fleece clothing. If she's cold, she adds another layer and never considers turning up the heat. It took a few threats and the words "nursing home" thrown into a conversation last winter to get her to move the thermostat up from the 58 degrees it was set on. As she argued time and time again with me, "Dolly Girl, I just don't want to make those damn gas companies any richer."

Now, on the other side of the coin, she refuses to turn on her central air in the summer. As you all remember, we had some scorching days last summer and I called her on one of the particularly hot days to see how she was faring in the heat. It was 96 degrees and at least a 2000% humidity level and I asked her if she had her air on, knowing the answer even before she spoke. "Dolly, I have a fan and it's doing a fine job keeping me cool." I'm sure blowing that hot humid air around the room was really cooling things off, but the Polar Bears and Penguins thank her for protecting the ice caps. While Sophie melts in her living room from the heat, she can have a clear conscious that she's not contributing to the melting of the glaciers in the Arctic. And she's not making the electric companies rich, either.

Lastly, a third simple tip for the good of the environment is to Use Less Water. The experts suggest to run the washing machine with a full load every time, and washing on the cold or warm water setting saves about 500 pounds of carbon dioxide a year. That's nothing compared to what I learned growing up. Trips to the bathroom warranted the reminder "if it's yellow, let it mellow; if it's brown, flush it down." We were encouraged to use less water by eliminating any needless flushing. Gallons upon gallons of water have been saved over the years from this simple rule. Not so good was seeing a daily dose of pee in the toilet if I had to use the bathroom, and I got yelled at more than once for flushing both before I used the toilet and after.

Sophie's efforts in conservation have had less to do with the environment and more to do with her pocketbook. Regardless of the reasons, her ideas have sunk in.

I find myself turning off lights as I leave a room, shutting off the water when I brush my teeth, and keeping my thermostat about 2 degrees away from total comfort in both the summer and the winter.
Knowing that I'm helping to slow down global warming and making my own carbon footprint just a little bit smaller gives me a sense of satisfaction that I'm meeting my moral obligations to do so. And saving a few cents along the way doesn't hurt, either.

Maybe you'll find one of these ideas to help the environment and slow global warming helpful, too – be it Sophie's old-school suggestions or the less radical tips from "the experts." Sophie's spent a lot of years on this earth and I do know one thing. Had she received the proper recognition for all her conservation efforts during the past 90 years, she would have stolen the vote for the Nobel Peace Prize right out from under Al Gore's nose!

Sunday, October 14, 2007


How many weeks have I been back from vacation now? Seems like forever ago. It's been hard to get back into the groove and I was waylaid by some type of bug that had me missing 2 days of work this past week. I'm sure it had something to do with the recycled germs on the plane or something caught from the myriad of cruisefolk. Still worth it, though.

So it's been a weird couple of weeks to say the least.

We visited our friend Dan this weekend, he had knee replacement surgery a week ago and came home from the VA on Thursday. He's my real-life hero. He lost part of a leg in Vietnam when he stepped on a landmine and now his remaining "good" knee failed him. Life is not for sissies. I don't claim to know much about the Vietnam war, but it's often likened to the Iraq war going on today. I see that. What are we doing there exactly? I'm not sure. All I know is that our good people are going and fighting and doing as they're told, and for that I offer them my support and unending loyalty. I don't claim to have the answers or solutions to any of it, but I stand behind our troops - past and present - and thank them for doing a job I'm fortunate enough to have never had to do. Dan's my hero because he came back home and made another chapter in his life after all that. That's strength and courage.

So anyway, I digress. Dan's doing incredible, he's up and walking around already and said the only bad part of the whole ordeal was he opted for a nerve block rather than anesthesia. He said he was doing fine until they started up the saw. Maybe something to consider if anyones having surgery - a nerve block doesn't block out sounds, and there's just some things you might not want to hear.

Kenny and I made our holiday plans. We're going to be visiting Uncle Caesar over Thanksgiving and our Aunt Paris for New Year's Eve. They're always happy to see us!

My grandmother Sophie mentioned a butcher shop in Euclid that has supposedly substantial savings on meat, she's seen it advertised on the television. She's mentioned more than once that she'd like to get some chicken from there, but it's not exactly around the corner from me - or her! I finally called them today to see just how good the savings are, and they do warrant a trip out there to check it out. I wanted to make sure that I'm not spending $20 in gas to save Sophie $2. Which is basically what it will be anyway, regardless of the savings offered on chicken thighs. By the time I drive 30 minutes further East to Euclid and drive the "bargains" an hour West back out to her, it will be a half a day and a tank of gas in my guzzling SUV. But that doesn't matter, you'd have thought I had reached into the heavens and handed down the Christmas Star to her when I called her back and told her I'd make the pilgrimage next Saturday for her. They have broccoli for 39cents a bunch. Who can pass that up?

I've been busy writing a speech for Toastmasters on Tuesday. I've been struggling with a topic and have concluded that basically I'm a crap-ass writer and have no business even thinking of writing a book. It's HARD to write and make sense. Finally, around 11:00 last night, I branched off onto an entirely new topic and whipped something up. I decided to write about Sophie, how she's been 'green' long before Al Gore invented it. We'll see how it goes on Tuesday. I just don't feel very creative lately, I have writers block. I loosened the block with a half bottle of wine last night, and that seemed to help. If I ever do write a book, I'll be a full-fledged alcoholic by the time I'm done. By the way, I do have a first paragraph down, Rob. I dedicated myself to doing something, good or bad, because I haven't forgotten my vow to you. I will have something typed before the end of the year! It may suck, but it will be something.

Other than that, I purchased a new DVD, "Anyone Can Dance," to teach myself some groovin' moves so I can tear up the dancefloor when we go out. Because, ya know, we do that so often ~~insert sarcastic tone here~~. But anyway, I figured I'd teach myself a few smooth moves in the privacy of my living room and then delight the crowds in some imaginary disco. Well, there is officially no Black Blood in my genes. I have so little rhythm, I'm surprised I can get the movements down to even fuck. I'm rhythmless when in the vertical position. I'm going to keep trying, but I have very little confidence in spite of the encouraging title.

That's my ramblings for the week. Peace and do something that makes ya want to get your own groove on!