Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Freckles, Speckles And Barnacles

Today I went to the dermatologist to have a little eruption on my nose checked out. I go through this process every year or two, when the thingy on my nose shows up. My doctor froze the spot, as usual, and checked out other specks, spots, and freckles on the old bod. My face had some new “maturity spots”, heretofore known as age spots. I was particularly interested in a rough circle on my back. Dr. F said it was a barnacle. A barnacle, seriously? What am I... a rusty old boat? I would expect something like that to grow on my butt, but not my back. I was starting to feel not-so-pretty, then remembered the last time I visited Dr. F. There was a man in the waiting room with a small grape-sized thing growing below his left nostril. I felt bad for him, and tried not to stare, but damn... I would run screaming into the street if I had to see that thing looking back at me from the mirror. Before I moved from Salt Lake City to Seattle twenty years ago, I visited my dermatologist. When that doctor saw me in his office, he practically kissed me. He said he was so glad to see a young person, as most of his patients were elderly. Even though I’m twenty years closer to the elderly category, I should feel like a goddess. I may have barnacles and maturity spots. At least I don’t have a grape growing out of my nose. Not yet anyhow.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Le Bark

As I left the house with the dogs yesterday morning, Stella began her incessant barking. As usual, I wondered what the hell she was saying. Announcing her presence to the world? Warning the birds that Stella Was Here? My other two dogs ignore her, so I doubt she is talking trash to them. Every walk is the same. Yappety yap yap yap. So, I started thinking... If I took my dogs to another country, would the dogs there understand them? Are there regional dialects in the dog world? I’ve always thought Scotties in Scotland would probably say “Barrrrrk, Rrrrruff, Grrrrowl”. As a child, I loved the Pepe Le Pew cartoons. A female black cat would somehow get a stripe down her back, and Pepe (a skunk) would fall in love, and pursue her. The poor little thing would frantically run away, speaking kitty French “Le pant, le puff, le mew”. I know that was the cartoon world, but still... do dogs in France bark similarly to that little cartoon cat? I believe dogs talk to each other. Isn’t it reasonable that a huge barrier like the ocean would create a language difference even in the animal kingdom? It’s too bad someone hasn’t invented a machine to decipher barking. We, as humans, guess what is being said, but it’s only a guess. We muddle through, knowing when our pets are hungry or need a potty break. The in-between noise, however, is what I’m interested in. Yesterday, Cosmo made a noise somewhere between a whine, and a squeaky screen door. Very intriguing. At the time he was lying under the coffee table, not wedged, just lounging. The noise he made sounded like there was a purpose to it... something meaningful. Or maybe he was yanking my chain, and just feeding me gibberish. Tee hee. Oh you dogs are crafty, with your secret language. Someday we will crack the code. Maybe.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Slow Motion Crash & Burn

Today I worked in the yard. I was standing on my raised rockery, pulling wild grass when I lost my footing. So, why is it, when we are in dire physical peril, time defaults to slow motion? I started to fall, then twisted and turned, eventually doing a backwards roll down onto my neighbor’s lawn. I immediately jumped up, with a forced laugh. Ha ha ha! I meant to do that! Actually, as I was slowing falling, I had a memory flash from about 12 years ago. I was at my daughter’s soccer game. The other team had not shown up, so the parents decided it would be fun to have our girls play each other, with a few parents sprinkled in. I was somehow cajoled into playing. Up to that point, the only soccer I had played was in my mind as I watched Molly. My feet would kind of spaz out, as I tried to help (from my seat in the stands). So, there I was, down on the field with a bunch of seasoned twelve year-olds. At some point, the ball came towards me. OMG! Nobody was around...and the goal was nearby. I started to run at the ball, taking giant steps. This was my big moment! Then, as I got closer to the ball, my knees slowly buckled. I kind of melted into the ground, ending up flat on my back. I tried to act dead, and hoped everyone would just leave and go home. To my dismay, they all came around to see if I was OK. I wasn’t hurt, but if you could die of embarrassment, I would have gotten my death wish. Molly still laughs about my brush with athletics. I have secretly harbored a lifelong desire to be a prodigy the first time I try a sport. So far, golf, skiing, softball and tennis have gone prodigy-free. I think I can just write off that fantasy, unless there is such a thing as an imagination prodigy. It may not be a sport, but I think I got that one covered.

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Name Game

This week, a co-worker and I were discussing the latest hurricane name - Bud. Not very threatening. All I can picture is the son on “Father Knows Best”. It got me wondering - Who gets to name stuff? When I was a child, nuns relinquished their given names when entering the convent. Some of the names they received in return were curious, hideous, and even horrible. Perhaps there was a large Price-Is-Right type of wheel used to select the Holy Names. Here are some names from my Catholic school past:

- Sister Michella: Her name wasn’t so bad, but she was. She was my first grade teacher, and about a thousand years old. That may explain her ill temper.
- Sister Jane Robert: Girl-guy name combo, and my favorite nun.
- Sister Susannah: A pretty normal name. She was round and jolly.
- Sister Wilfred: Pretty darn heinous name. I always suspected she wasn’t in it for the long haul. Sister Wilfred was fairly young and had braces on her teeth. I think she took full advantage of her orthodontic benefits, and then hit the road.
- Sister John Baptist: Not to be confused with John THE Baptist.
- Sister Claire Assisi: I think they let her keep the family name - I’m pretty sure she was the sister of St. Francis of Assisi. She was a scary genius, and ancient.
- Sister Christian: She wore brown, like a UPS truck, which she resembled.
- Sister Mercedes: The first time I heard someone say they wanted to own a Mercedes, I almost had a heart attack. I hadn’t heard of the car, only the nun.
- Sister Paraclita: I believe this refers to the Holy Ghost. I would hate to have a name that forces people to respond “Say what?”.

If there is an open position for Grand Imperial Nun Namer, I’d like to apply. Is it cheating to use inanimate objects or animals? Flora and fauna? So many choices...

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Dog Day Afternoon

Today, I made a face at a dog. I didn’t plan to do it. It just happened. I was driving home from work, and stopped at a light. In the car next to me was a white bulldog. He was hanging his head out the back window directly behind his owner. Bad owner! Don’t you know the little guy could go flying out the window at any moment??? At one point, the dog and I made eye contact. We had our own private moment. Then, I made a face at him. Who could resist imitating that ugly under-bite below that Winston Churchill face? Not me! I stuck out my bottom teeth and looked over at Winston. Then I felt bad, sure that he knew I was mocking him. If he had been a person, I never would have made a face. Oh the guilt! Then he turned away, the light changed, and life went back to normal. It must have been my day for weird dog happenings. Earlier, I had to wait while a woman in a big SUV turned left in front of me. She was having a rough time turning because she had a big dog on her lap. The dog was right in front of her. She couldn’t see out the windshield because he was blocking her field of vision. To turn, she had to kind of peer around Fido, and steer with one hand. Might as well have been chugging a beer and texting. What a dummy! I’m not sure if Citizen’s Arrest is a real thing, or just something on TV. It crossed my mind, though, to try it out on Fido and his mom. Then reason got the better of me... or maybe I just wanted to get home. As I walked through my front door, my husband cautioned me that I might not want to kiss Stella (my Yorkie). Apparently, she ate poop today. Great. Too bad I’m allergic to cats... I think I might need a break from the dog world. At least for today.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Cheesed Off

There was a 6.0-magnitude earthquake in Italy this past Sunday. It occurred in the parmesan cheese-making area of Italy. I didn’t know cheese came from specific reqions across the globe. Like most everyday things in my life, I never gave the cheese-making process a second thought. I know it isn’t grown on trees, or dug out of the ground like a potato. I always thought cheese was an accidental product of milk-gone-bad. Isn’t a butter churn involved? So now I find out that parmesan cheese comes from Northern Italy. Wheels of cheese, not that weird powdery stuff in the can. I had a bad experience with the fake stuff 30 years ago. My husband and I were dining at an Italian restaurant in San Francisco with another couple. I spooned what I thought was powdered creamer into my coffee. As my coffee wasn’t getting any lighter, I kept spooning. My three companions just watched, never saying “Hey, how come you’re shoveling parmesan cheese into your coffee???”. I felt like a big idiot, and am still kind of mad at that nasty, fake parmesan. The real stuff, though, is awesome. I wonder if all cheese is regional. Can cheeseheads in Wisconsin make parmesan, or are they restricted to just American cheese? Does Swiss cheese really come from Switzerland? And what about Gouda? Rhymes with Buddha. So, this earthquake occurred north of Bologna. Hmmm... bologna and cheese. Too bad the Sandwich Islands are in the Pacific Ocean. How awesome would it be if they were off the eastern coast of Italy? You’d have a geographical cheese and Bologna sandwich.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Sights Around The 'Hood

This morning, while I was driving home from a local coffee shop, I noticed an interesting woman walking in the neighborhood. This prompted me to make a new list - Sights Around The ‘Hood:

-Woman in hat. It was 52 degrees outside. The woman was wearing a tank top, shorts, and running shoes. Topping it off (literally) was a wintery, itchy-looking hat with the ties fastened tightly under her chin. Kind of an incongruous look, like a bald guy who has a bushy beard.

- Large plastic cow. This life-size creature stood in the back of a pickup truck in someone’s driveway. It was black and white, my favorite flavor of cow.

- Woman with exotic birds. On Mother’s Day, I spied a woman walking with two large birds, possibly macaws. One was on her shoulder, and she was cradling the other one in front of her. Maybe they were going out for brunch. I know Seattle is starting to allow dogs in restaurants. I’m not sure where exotic birds fit into the equation.

- Guy holding a violin. This sighting occurred a few years ago, while I was driving to work. It was 5:00 am, and still very dark. The tall young man was standing on a neighborhood roundabout traffic island. He was standing perfectly still, and looking slightly down at his feet. I thought he was watching his dog go potty. As I drove past him, though, I saw that he was alone. He was holding a violin, and was not moving. I kept checking my rearview mirror, but never saw him move. Seems to me 5:00 am is too early to play “Statue”.

- Sign language driver. While motoring home one day, I noticed the driver in the car in front of me signing to the other two people in his car... while driving. He was using both hands to sign. I’m not sure I want to know what he was using to steer the car.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Napper People

I hate taking naps. Always have, and probably always will. I currently will only take an official nap if I'm so tired my eyebrows won't move. (Sitting down to watch TV, and waking up, mouth gaping open, an hour later is not an official nap.) As a child, the top item on the list of things I would do when I grew up was "not take a nap". My mother was a huge fan of naps. Mom actually enrolled me in morning kindergarten so I wouldn't miss my afternoon nap. Seriously, I thought there was a massive plot to force me to sleep against my will. When I was about three, I was in my bedroom, supposedly taking a nap. I needed to go potty but was afraid I would get in trouble if I was caught out of my room. So, I was left with three little poop balls in my undies. I was trying to figure out what to do, when I spied the heater vent. Without hesitating, I rolled the turds down the vent, and my problem was solved. I don't remember if there was a bad smell the first time the heat came on after that. Perhaps this would explain why the sister who occupied the bedroom directly below mine was always crabby. Poop poisoning? When I met my future husband, I was unaware of his penchant for napping. By the time we married, I thought I could just "fix" Rick's desire to nap regularly. Little did I know he came from a family of extreme nappers. He couldn't help it, and I was a dumbass newlywed who thought she could make a few corrections to her groom. Duh. Now, over thirty years later, my daughter is showing signs of the Napper Syndrome. My son, however, hasn't gone over to the dark side. And I still don't want to take naps when I grow up, whenever that might be.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Ice Cream Man

Tonight I heard the siren song of the Ice Cream Man. I watched some kids playing outside. They heard the music and stopped dead in their tracks. It was as if they were trying to remember what that music meant. It’s only mid-May...way too early for the mobile frozen dessert pusher to be invading the neighborhood. Today was sunny and the warmest day of the year so far. By Seattle standards, summer has arrived. When my kids were in elementary school, the Ice Cream Man used to park his little truck outside the school and wait for afternoon dismissal. I always felt this was cheating. Parents were at the mercy of this unscrupulous dude. It ticked me off, so of course I dug in my heals and refused to buy my kids anything. Such a meanie! When I was a kid, we were rarely successful in pestering my mom for frozen treasures from the Ice Cream Man. Our home always had at least two kinds of ice cream, plus a couple different types of cookies. We really didn’t need to buy treats out on the street. But surely, they MUST have tasted exquisitely better. Thinking back on how much strife these guys have caused, I realized Karma has already gotten a piece of them. Can you imagine a worse job than driving around, trapped in a little truck that is repeatedly playing the greatest hits from the 1890’s? It must be hell...a well-deserved hell. Oh boo hoo...

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Things That Make Me Giggle

I spent the day just hanging with my bad self. While I relaxed, my brain was still churning away. For some reason, it came up with a short list of things that make me giggle. Here they are, in no particular order:

- Motorcycles with sidecars. You usually only see these in war movies, being ridden by evil Nazis. I actually drove behind one the other day. It cracked me up, even though I don’t know why.

- Sexy scenes in novels. I avoid romance novels, or “bodice rippers”. Terms such as “throbbing manhood” and “trembling thighs” make me snicker. 

- Turtleneck dickies. OK, the term “dickies” alone makes me titter (as does the word “titter”). Am I in 4th grade or what??? I’m convinced they were invented for people who are too damn lazy to shove their arms through sleeves. Years ago I was in Fred Meyer's with my kids, looking to buy a present for my niece. We walked past some turtleneck dickies. When I suggested we get her a dickie, my son was horrified. He thought I wanted to buy her a tiny penis.

- Fanny packs. When these arrived on the fashion scene, I thought they were neat. Go figure. I also had a crush on Liberace when I was 3, also inexplicable. I have never seen anyone beautiful, or cool sporting a fanny pack. Apparently, you have to be overweight, middle-aged or older, and be wearing dark socks and sandals to pull off the fanny pack look. No hotties need apply. 

- Dancing “The Pony”. This was my signature dance in high school. Maybe I should be more embarrassed than amused. Tomorrow is Mother’s Day. I just might trot out the old moves, and demonstrate them for my kids. They have to appease me, due to it being my special day and all. Hee hee. I can amuse myself, and horrify them all at once. It’s a win-win situation (at least for me).

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Marco... Polo...

President Obama held a fund raiser in Seattle today at 3:00pm. The contribution required for attendance was out of my price range, so I didn’t attend. Around the time the event started, I was driving home from work. At some point, my car made a weird noise - BRRRRUMMPPP BRRRRUMMPPP BRRRRUMMPPP. I pulled into the parking lot of the Marco Polo Motel to investigate, and found I had a flat rear tire. Sigh. After AAA came and changed my tire, I headed off to the tire store. My new tire installation would take a couple hours, so I walked to a coffee shop for the wait. When I returned to the tire store, I still had about a half hour to wait. The TV was turned to CNN, so I watched it with two knuckles shoved up my nostrils (to block the bad tire smell). The news dude reported that the President was landing in Los Angeles for a fund raiser dinner at George Clooney’s house. WTF??? While my car was having tire issues, President Obama came and went and arrived in Los Angeles??? How is that possible? Were Dorothy’s ruby slippers involved? That must have been a magical 3 1/2 hours. I guess it’s good I didn’t have the $40K required for the Clooney dinner, because the whole tire thing would have messed it up for me. Plus, my wardrobe is kind of lacking. OK, “lacking” is putting it mildly. There is a pervasive theme of dumpy housewife/lumberjack throughout my closet. Pretty sad. But damn... dinner with the President AND George Clooney... at his house. If I’d had enough warning I might have been able to rob a bank, gotten a wardrobe whisperer and had a makeover. I assume an invitation would have been required as well, but since this is all a fantasy anyway, I choose to ignore that part. Oh well, I got a new tire. The bad tire smell is gone from my nose. And I can say I’ve been to a flea bag motel on Aurora Ave. Marco... Polo...

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Are You Pulling My Leg?

After four weeks of medical leave, I went back to work yesterday. In the afternoon, I walked my dogs. By the time I got home, I was experiencing so much pain in my upper thigh I couldn’t bend over to take off their leashes. So, today I made a trip to my rheumtologist’s office. It turns out I have somehow pulled my groin. I wasn’t sure girls even had groins. I think mine should at least have a chick-friendly name, such as “groinetta” or “groingina”. If I could, I would paint it pink and sew a ruffle or two on it. But, back to reality, how could I possibly pull my groin when I’ve been housebound for four weeks? I always thought such an injury required participation in a contact sport like football, or perhaps pole vaulting. The only contact I’ve had is my butt with the couch cushions. Just imagine what damage I could do if I actually got more exercise than walking my dogs. If I could jog, would one of my feet fall off? My unicycle is hanging idle in the garage. I was hoping one day to master it. Now, I’m a little frightened of what might happen. Trying to ride a unicycle is really difficult. My current lack of physical luck makes me think I could get impaled on the bike seat, or perhaps swallow my crash helmet. Hey, it could happen. So, it appears my next project is to rest my groin. I’m not sure how much more rest it could get, since I was unaware of its existence until now. I wonder if a movie would be too strenuous for it. Maybe a spa, or mud treatment might appease it. One thing for sure, though. Chillaxing on the couch is out, as that is how this whole thing started.

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Glue That Binds Me

The incisions from my laparoscopic surgery were glued back together. How cool is that? I have other scars where stitches were used. They are unattractive, and you can actually see the marks made from the needle. Over the last few weeks, as I’ve watched the surgical glue peel off, I’ve been reminded of my Catholic school glue encounters (I know, what in my life doesn’t remind me of Catholic school?). In elementary school we used to spread a thin layer of Elmer’s glue on our hands, let it dry, and then peel it off like a layer of skin. As with all things in elementary school, it was gross and excellent at the same time. One day I was blowing on some wet glue spread on the palm of my hand. My teacher caught me, and accused me of sniffing glue. I had no idea why anyone would sniff glue, when blowing on it worked much better for the drying process. Duh! Nuns always thought the worst of you, and were suspicious of anything fun. In eighth grade we got an honest-to-god new text book. It had a new book smell, something I was obviously unacquainted with (because it wasn’t 30 years old like all the other text books). Even though it was a social studies or history book (what’s the diff?), I was eager to receive it. I would open it up, shove my nose in as far as it would go, and sniff deeply. It was glorious, until I got yelled at for smelling my book. Nuns were masters at making sure no one was having a good time. I wonder what they would think about my glued-together incisions. Must be sinful, because I have really enjoyed them!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Beauty or Beast?

Climbing back on  my soap box... I don’t understand some current “beauty” techniques. A New Jersey woman, Patricia Krentcil, has been accused of child endangerment for taking her 5 year-old daughter in a tanning booth with her. Upon seeing a photo of this uber-tanned person, I was prompted to visit my 68-color Crayola box. As I figured, her skin color matched the Burnt Sienna Crayon. Not a good look. Kind of orange, and much darker than a clay pot. Why would anyone think this was pretty, and wassup with people in New Jersey and tanning booths? Does the whole state have a serious vitamin D deficiency??? I would expect it maybe from sun-deprived Seattlites, except we like things more on the natural side. Ms. Krentcil denies her daughter was near the tanning booth. Her awesome quote sums it up - “Never in my life would I endanger my child by putting her in a tanning booth. I’m not dumb.”  I beg to differ. If you do that to your skin, you are a big, dumbass nimrod. She admits she wouldn’t endanger her daughter, so she knows tanning is not safe. Likes to live on the edge, or just plain stupid? My vote is the latter. The other fake beauty trend that I don’t get is lip augmentation. I have a theory where this originated - the porn industry. Nobody else would think big, fat lips were a must for a beautiful face. I wonder if aging celebrities think inner-tube sized lips divert attention from wrinkles and crow’s feet. Seriously, you are not fooling anyone. You are just prompting the rest of us to race to Google for a contrast and compare session with the former you. Cheek and chin implants, and Botox injections belong in a horror movie, not real life. I’m reminded of an old margarine commercial where an angry woman says “It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature!”. This stuff is fairly new. Who knows what will become of these faces in twenty years? It won’t be pretty. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

My Staycation

I found out yesterday that my medical leave was used up sometime last Thursday. If I want to get paid (and I do), I need to use vacation time through the end of this week. Wish I would have known I’ve been on vacation for almost a week. I immediately changed my thinking from surgery convalescence to Party! The first thing I did was to move to the middle cushion of the couch. It was poofier than the corner one I had resided on for the last few weeks. I gained a totally new perspective on life by moving a foot east (not really, but I lead a rich fantasy life). I’m prohibited from driving until I’m totally off my pain meds, so I have to get creative to believe I’m vacationing while stranded at home. Today, I went spelunking in New Mexico. OK, I was really navigating piles of dirty clothes in the laundry room. I formed them into stalagmites to aid in the illusion. At least in my version of caving, there are no bats to scare me. Just dirty clothes. Tomorrow I plan on visiting Paris, where I will be painting on the banks of the Seine River. In the real world? Back in the laundry room. This time I will be painting my art picture frames. There is actually water nearby, though... a utility sink. A little smaller than the Seine, but maybe smells better (I have no clue if the real Seine has a smell). That leaves Friday. Hmmmm. I suppose I could go outside, sit my chair in the sun, and be transported to Cabo. Except it’s supposed to rain (hello... I live in Seattle). How about herding sheep in New Zealand? Not very vacationy but it’s a faraway place. I wonder if it’s possible to get my dogs to bleat like sheep. The far cushion of the couch is looking pretty interesting. Oh yeah, I got this staycation thing all figured out.