Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2014 Resolutions

Now that Christmas is over, we can kick the last year in the shorts and move on to hopefully a much better year. Retailers put all their storage supplies on sale and try to force us to get organized. We are inundated with ads for exercise equipment, fitness programs and diet aids. It’s time to slim down while we are packing away all our junk in our new plastic storage boxes. Change is in the air whether we like it or not. I don’t usually make resolutions, but I could benefit from some self improvement. So here goes... In the year 2014, I plan to:
  • Try to get more sleep. 
  • Become reacquainted with my exercise bike. 
  • Step in less dog poop, especially in my living room. 
  • Learn to twerk (right after I master pole dancing). 
  • Get one of those Mike Tyson face tattoos (just kidding). 
  • Learn to play the oboe (OK, not really. I just like to say “oboe”). 
  • Clean the garage, and any nook or cranny that hasn’t been touched in 10 years. 
  • And the Grandaddy of all resolutions - Be more tolerant and less judgmental. If successful, I will need a new hobby because the judging thing has gotten kinda big, ugly and time consuming. I may have time for the oboe after all.

Here’s hoping 2014 is one of the good ones!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Poor Bertha

I don’t understand what’s going on with the Alaskan Way Viaduct, Seattle’s raised double-decker waterfront highway. It’s scheduled to be torn down and replaced with a tunnel. Once it’s torn down, 100,000 of us who drive on the Viaduct every day will have to find an alternate road. An attack from space aliens would be more welcome. It’s going to turn Seattle’s already heinous traffic into a gawdawful mess. Right now, though, there’s been a bit of a snafu. The tunnel is going to be built on landfill next to the Puget Sound. Currently the workers are having to pump water out of the hole that’s being dug by a giant tunnel-borer machine named Bertha. I’m no engineer, but it seems like digging a hole next to a giant body of water is a really bad idea. My only building experience was getting Tinker Toys for my fifth birthday, so I guess my expertise is lacking. Even so, I don’t think I would put a tunnel where I had to pump out water. Bertha is down about 60 feet but has only traversed 10% of the way she needs to go. She has run into some sort of obstacle and can’t go any further. Nobody seems to know what is blocking the way. OMG! I am so totally creeped out by this Mystery Thing. What could it be? I say back out, Chunky Girl! Who knows what’s lurking under Seattle streets? This could be a really, really big rock or maybe the Gateway to Hell. If this were a monster movie, cars would get sucked into a vortex or maybe into someone’s TV. I doubt there is an ancient Indian burial ground down there, but you never know. I’d hate to be big Bertha... first of all because of that name. Seriously, one could never be svelte and petite with a name like Bertha. So, she’s definitely in the right business, busting through bedrock and who-knows-what-else. I picture Bertha deep underground, digging happily away. Maybe she starts to hear the theme from “Jaws”. Duh dum... duh dum... duh dum duh dum duh dum... Poor thing. All alone in the dark, dirt and water everywhere. Then off in the distance she hears a menacing voice say “Release the Kraken!”. No wonder she stopped. Just a theory, mind you. Poor Bertha...

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Baby Jesus vs Santa Claus

There has been so much silly talk about the “War on Christmas”. The only conflict I see is trying to keep up with both Christmas stories - Baby Jesus and Santa Claus. Both stories have elements that bother me. First of all, there’s something hinky about the depictions of the Nativity scene. Everyone is kneeling around Baby Jesus, who looks way more mature than a newborn baby. Even though Mary has just given birth, there she is kneeling with everybody else. She apparently didn’t even have time to take a shower or swallow an aspirin before the Wise Men showed up. So I ask you... How do we know they were wise? Did they have to do one of those thought problems? A train is leaving Penn Stations at 1pm, meanwhile a guy in a rowboat in Sacramento is trying to get across the river with 3 people and a dog. How many people got on the train in Poukeepsie? Bet the Wise Men knew. Then you have Santa and his flying reindeer. I think some serious drugs went into the crafting of this story. Santa is a fat man in a red suit who somehow comes down your chimney to leave presents... without anyone hearing him, no sooty evidence, no reindeer poop on the roof. The first time I saw my mom or dad open the chimney flue, I looked up there. I couldn’t see the sky and started to worry about Santa getting stuck. I wondered how he got his fat ass past all the metal stuff. It’s hard to get onboard equally with both Christmas stories. Growing up I was totally on Team Santa. I got to be an angel in our Nativity pageant when I was in first grade. It was fun but I just couldn’t get enthused about Baby Jesus. Santa was a whole other story. I was a little creeped out that he could come into my house all stealthy-like, but I gave him a pass due to the loot he left under the Christmas tree. Now that I’m grown up, I admit I still like receiving presents. And I still don’t feel a connection with Baby Jesus. I try to see past all the buying hoopdeedoo, and focus on good times with friends and family. It’s my way of joining the two stories of Christmas. So Season’s Greetings, Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, or whatever works for you!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Naughty, Not Nice

I had a million things to get done this weekend. In order to maximize my time, I squeezed my Sunday grocery shopping in on Saturday. Things were zipping along at a brisk pace, when I got stuck on my last item. Who knew sage would be hard to locate? I spent about 8 minutes searching through the spice aisle. Since I was standing still, and not zooming around the store, I became aware of the endless Christmas carols that were playing. They became more annoying the longer I searched for the damn sage. I finally turned into Crabby Old Man and started to mutter under my breath about whatever hideous version of “Jingle Bells” was being sung. Fast forward to Sunday night... The annual neighborhood Christmas carol event was scheduled, and in keeping with tradition, I was intent on keeping my perfect Non-Attendance record. There is something about carolers that bothers me. They aren’t scary like clowns or people with clipboards. I just don’t know what I’m expected to do when I encounter them. Should I throw money at them? Should I join in and sing along? Should I smile and nod insanely as I’m serenaded? None of these choices floats my Christmas boat. So Sunday evening, when the doorbell rang... twice... I did nothing. I didn’t really need to. My dogs barked their heads off as they tried to bite the front door. I couldn’t have opened the door if I’d wanted to, and I didn’t want to. I felt a little guilty, but nothing could have forced me to endure one more Christmas song for the day. If asked where I was during the festive hootenanny, I’m going with my standard Laundry Room Mishap excuse. Somehow the dryer door hit me in the head and I fell into a coma until the neighborhood carol event was over. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. And I’m also destined to go to Naughty, Not Nice Hell someday.