Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thick as a brick

For those of you who know me and my hubby, you know we have a kitty and that we love our furry little girl.

Fuzzums . . . or The Fuzz . . . named so because, ironically enough, she’s, well, fuzzy. 

The Fuzz has some serious ‘tude and is quite a character.  I’ve had cats all my life and I have never had one with this much personality.  She’s a hoot and is truly a wonderful addition to our family.

The Fuzz has a plethora of toys, a blanket, a bed and . . . a brick.   Yes, you heard me right . . . a brick.  A big, ugly brick . . . and she loves it. 

If you’re wondering how a brick made its way into our household, my husband stuck it in with one of my Christmas presents last year so that I wouldn’t be able to guess what it was when I picked it up.  And, it never left because the cat immediately glommed onto it.

She rubs on it, sticks her paws inside it, lies up against it and generally just hangs out near it.

I understand that it’s cool and it’s rough, so it probably feels good when she’s lovin’ it.  And she does love it.  But, really . . . it’s just a brick.

She’s funny.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sorry if i spit on ya'll... I kinda have a problem with doing that.

Spitting image . . . to bear a strong likeness to someone.

Where does the phrase come from?  Is it really wet, slimy and potentially carry spittle-borne pathogens?  Yes, actually it kind of is.

‘Spitting image’ comes from the expression ‘spit and image’ . . . ‘spit-n-image’.  As in you look so much like someone they may have just spit you out.  Yeah, just like that. 

So, where does the expression actually originate?  With God . . . yes, He who created the heavens and earth and man.  The Biblical God created Adam in His own image using spit and mud . . . using something of Himself to create man.

Similarly, along this same vein, when Haitian Voodoo and Philippine Kulam diabolists create effigies to influence or curse another they need something of that person in order to make the magic work.  They require a likeness of the person . . . the manikin . . . and something from the person such as fingernail clippings, hair, or spit.  They create a spitting image.

Pretty slick, eh?

LIBBY'S® Famous Pumpkin Pie

I’m all about making stuff from scratch . . . and I’ve made pumpkin pie from scratch . . . but this pie is about as close as you can get to the real thing.

3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cloves
2 Large Eggs
1 Can (15 Oz.) Libby's® 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 Can (12 Fl. Oz.) Evaporated Milk
1 Unbaked 9-Inch (4-Cup Volume) Deep-Dish Pie Shell
Whipped Cream (Optional)

Mix sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk.

Pour into pie shell.

Bake in preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Top with whipped cream before serving.

Sorry if i spit on ya'll... I kinda have a problem with doing that.
Joel Madden

Monday, November 28, 2011

I tried marijuana once. I did not inhale.

As a requirement of employment for most jobs I’ve ever applied for, I’ve had to offer a sample to be tested for illegal substances.  I've always taken such a thing seriously, after all . . . whether or not I got the job most likely hinged on the results of said test.

For anyone who’s been subjected to a pre-employment drug test, you know that it’s a painless procedure but it can be unnerving.  You’re handed a plastic cup and escorted to a bathroom.  You are told to urinate into the cup while someone waits right outside the door.  You are instructed to place the sample on the back of the toilet, not to flush and not to wash your hands until the waiting person take possession of the piddle.

A friend of mine has to take periodic drug tests to maintain his job.  He told me a story about one of these tests that had me practically peeing my pants . . . with laughter.

He did as he was told and urinated into the cup and placed it on the lid of the toilet tank.  When the woman came to retrieve it she looked at it but did not touch it.  He had filled the cup so full that it was literally domed at the top and there was no way she would be able to pick it up without spilling it all over the place.

Keep in mind my friend is not a malicious fellow, but he does have a quirky, impish sense of humor.

She said, “how am I supposed to pick that up.” 

Spontaneously he said, “carefully, I’d say”.

Needless to say, she was not amused.

Again, She goes to pick it up and  . . . again . . . hesitates.

“How am I going to pick that up without spilling it?”

Without thinking he said to the person testing his urine sample upon which his employment was hinged, “why don’t you take a sip a little off the top.”

Woman?  Definitely, NOT amused.

Him?  Miraculously, still employed. 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Hey . . . we're famous

Last February (2011) hubby and I took a winter trip to our favorite place in the whole wide world . . . the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

While we were there we went to one of our favorite brew pubs . . . Woodstock Station and Brewery.  While were there we did the brew tour and, as it turns out, they were shooting a commercial that day.  Guess who got to be in it?  You guessed it.  

See if you can spot us  . . . and if your ever in Woodstock, NH visit the Woodstock Inn, Station and Brewery.  You won't be disappointed.

Friday, November 25, 2011

I choose the places I go to carefully and wisely.

Happy Black Friday . . . I'll be hiding inside while all the wackos shop.

I hate to shop.  I do most - nearly all - of my holiday shopping online and I haven't been into a mall in . . . well I couldn't say the last time I went shopping in a mall but I can tell you it has been MANY, MANY years.  I don't do malls.

Just the very idea of going shopping at a mall is repulsive to me and on Black Friday?  There is no way!  You'd have to drag me kicking and screaming and the suffer the consequences when we got arrested for disorderly conduct in a public place.

Yes, I know there are deals to be had.  But at what cost?  I have no desire to play tug-o-war with some lady with her hair wrapped in curlers and wearing a mumu to save a couple-a-bucks on the latest and greatest toy to give to some child who would rather play with the box it came in and who would have absolutely no appreciation for the suffering I went through just to get it for them.

Stores open at 10 or 11 PM on Thanksgiving day . . . or sometimes at some god awful time of the morning when most sane people would be sleeping off the turkey glut.  And what of the people who camp out in front of the stores days before Thanksgiving and Black Friday just to be first in line to get into the stores.  That I can't even fathom.  People are crazy.

Me?  I'll happily pump a couple extra dollars into the economy and not have to lug around packages.  UPS is my best friend this time of year and I'm sure they hate me.

Happy shopping suckers . . . get me something good while you're out there.

I choose the places I go to carefully and wisely. I'll rarely go to a shopping mall anymore. 

Fran Drescher

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Hurrah for the pumpkin pie!

Over the river, and through the wood,
 to Grandfather’s house we go;
 the horse knows the way
to carry the sleigh
through the white and drifted snow.

Over the river, and through the wood,
to Grandfather’s house away!
We would not stop
for doll or top,
for ’tis Thanksgiving Day.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  It's all warm feelings and loving family with a fantastic meal, to boot.   Our tradition is immediate family getting together and spending the day together . . . chatting, playing games, drinking , nibbling and drooling over the smell of the cooking turkey.  My brother-in-law does most of the cooking and the holiday wouldn't be complete without him having a spastic over-reaction to some little ol' thing.    

Over the river, and through the wood—
oh, how the wind does blow!
It stings the toes
and bites the nose,
as over the ground we go.

Over the river, and through the wood,
with a clear blue winter sky.
The dogs do bark
and the children hark,
as we go jingling by.

The dining table is always set with the nicest linens, dishes, cutlery and glassware . . . everything sparkles and looks lovely.   When the food is almost ready everyone is pretty much famished and everybody sneaks into the kitchen to dip their fingers in the mashed potatoes or pinch off a piece of the turkey which is invitingly settling on the counter top. 

Over the river, and through the wood,
to have a first-rate play.
Hear the bells ring,
 “Ting a ling ding!”
Hurray for Thanskgiving Day!

Over the river, and through the wood—
no matter for winds that blow;
or if we get
the sleigh upset
into a bank of snow.

The whole day climaxes with the turkey being set onto the table . . . five minutes later the carnage is complete, everyone is stuffed and then, of course, there's a huge mess to clean up . . . and pie.  With a shoe horn and a little lubrication you might be able to knock off a piece.

Over the river, and through the wood,
to see little John and Ann;
we will kiss them all,
and play snowball
and stay as long as we can.

Over the river, and through the wood,
trot fast my dapple gray!
Spring over the ground
like a hunting-hound!
For ’tis Thanksgiving Day.

Thanksgiving, of course, is about taking the time to reflect on the things were are thankful for.  I am thankful for a family that is doing well in this god-awful economy . . . we all have jobs, have plenty to eat and we have our health.   I am thankful to be able to come home every day to a safe, warm home . . . especially after particularly stressful work days.  I am thankful for a  son who is thriving and, even though he's at the angsty teenage stage, still gives his mom loves and hugs and snuggles.  I am thankful for my fuzzy companion, Fuzzums, who never fails to be sweet, cuddly and evil all at the same time.  I am especially thankful for my husband who is . . . despite his poopheadedness . . . is kind, respectful and  - above all - very loving.

Over the river, and through the wood
and straight through the barnyard gate.
We seem to go
extremely slow—
it is so hard to wait!

Over the river, and through the wood—
old Jowler hears our bells;
he shakes his paw
with a loud bow-wow,
and thus the news he tells.

I am thankful for many other things, but those are the most important.

My best wishes to everyone for a happy, gluttonous holiday.  Be safe and be grateful for all the good things in your life.  Remember no matter how bad things are . . . they can always be worse.

Over the river, and through the wood—
when Grandmother sees us come,
she will say, “O, dear,
the children are here,
bring pie for everyone.”

Over the river, and through the wood—
now Grandmother’s cap I spy!
Hurrah for the fun!
Is the pudding done?
Hurrah for the pumpkin pie!


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Simon's Cat - Catnap

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Wile E. Coyote, genius.

As a parent, I am disappointed in the quality of public education, in general.  And, from the little bit of experience I have with the private school system, I'm not particularly impressed by that either.    

So, when my hubby told me a tale from his elementary school days, I was shocked.  My husband is like Wile-E-Coyote-super-genius smart.  By the time he was in the fourth grade he had already devoured every book in the children's section of the library and had moved on to the adult section.  Needless to say, he was pretty well read for a nine year old. 

So, when his teacher gave here students a test requiring her students to define a list of words you think it would be a piece of cake for him.  And, it was . . . sort of.  One of the words on the list was 'minute'.  He defined it as the adjective meaning 'extremely small'.  He was very upset when he got his corrected test back and saw that she had marked it wrong.  Besides being precocious, he was also out-spoken.  He brought the test up to his teacher and asked why he got it wrong.  She said that she didn't give him the right definition.  He argued his point but she said the the definition she was looking for was the noun meaning 'A period of time equal to sixty seconds or a sixtieth of an hour'.  And the reason he got it wrong . . . because she hadn't taught them the other definition and he shouldn't have known it.  

Nice huh? 

His parents pulled him out of that school shortly thereafter and put him into a school that could accommodate his genious-ness.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Don't worry mate, everything's jake.

I read a lot . . . mostly for pleasure.  I read lots of different genres from the classics to the lastest releases.  Because of my eclectic tastes in literature, I often come across words and phrases that don't mean a heck of a lot to me and I end up looking them up sometimes out of simple curiosity or other times out of necessity to grasp the meaning.

Such is with the phrase 'everything's jake'.   The meaning was easy enough to comprehend in the context of the sentence I was reading but I'd never heard the expression before.  So, here we are . . . 

By all indication, the idiom clearly originates in the English language . . . but is most likely not British.   It basically means that all is well.  It was fairly popular in North America and Australia in the early 20th century but has mostly gone the way of the Dodo bird.  

'Jake' seems to be nothing more than a made up word from a time when the youth of America was bucking the system . . . mainly against the older generations.  New words and phrases were popping up left and right and many of them stuck . . . 

such as: mind your beeswax, don't take any wooden nickles, that gives me the heebie jebbies and so on and so forth.

So, there it is.  Curiosity satisfied . . . there will be no cats killed today.

Monday, November 21, 2011

I don't like Mondays

On January 29, 1979, 16-year-old Brenda Ann Spencer sat in her bedroom window with a .22 rifle her father had given to her as a gift.  She opened fire on children arriving at Cleveland Elementary School in San Diego as they were arriving for school.  She wounded eight students and a police officer. The Principal was killed while he was attempting to rescue children in the line of fire,  The custodian was slain attempting to aid the principal.

During police negotiations she said such things as:  ''There was no reason for it, and it was just a lot of fun'' and ''It was just like shooting ducks in a pond'' and ''they (the children) looked like a herd of cows standing around, it was really easy pickings.''

However, when all was said and done she wasasked what had prompted the shooting spree, she told a reporter, “I don't like Mondays. This livens up the day.''

At her trial, Spencer pled guilty to two counts of murder and assault with a deadly weapon and was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. She has been up for parole four times and has been turned down each time.

Despite pleading guilty at her trial, during her parole hearings she claimed that she hadn’t hit anybody with her gun and said they must have been shot by the police.  She also asserted that she had been under the influence of alcohol and hallucinogenic drugs at the time of the shootings; this despite the fact that evidence showed that there had been no drugs in her system. She finally, expressed remorse but still said that she had been drunk and high on marijuana laced with PCP the day of her deadly rampage.

She is eligible to again apply for parole in 2019. It's unlikely that she will ever be released . . . California doesn't generally parole convicted murderers.