Friday, September 30, 2005

Yeah, but no more doggy breath

I cannot possibly begin to accurately describe the face that a dog makes when a Listerine breath strip starts to melt on her tongue*. But I can tell you it sent me into absolute hysterics.

Inasmuch as a dog can wrinkle up her nose, she did. Boy, did she. it was like someone had put 2 pieces of string on her upper lips, right near the front, and then pulled up. Wrinkled her whole lip right up to her nose. That was funny. But what may have sent me over the edge was The Look. She walked away a few steps, presumably to finish what she thought was going to be a treat. And she turned her head and looked at us over her shoulder, with a look that very clearly said, "That was just mean."

And you know, then she came back for more. Funny, cute, but not always bright.

Now I know how to bring about a laugh if I ever need one. AND it gives her minty-fresh breath.

*Cute Blonde Boy was getting one out for himself, and she was making a pest of herself, insistent that whatever it was, she wanted some too. So, we obliged. Didn't force it on her. Her own darn fault.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

"But soft, what light through yonder window breaks?"

I know, I know, it's been a while since last I posted. Frankly, I've been too busy with the CBB to think about being all clever for the blog. But today, I had a couple of vaguely related thoughts, so here they are.

First off, when I came into work this morning, not only was it gray and hazy outside (which, as you may know, I LOVE), but it was a bit gray and hazy in the office (which, oddly enough, I don't love). It seems the guys who get here before me have something against illumination.

We have these cheerful flourescent lights, and the little square frames dotting the ceiling every 10 feet or so each contain 3 bulbs. Most days, 2 of the 3 bulbs in each square are on. But this morning, I'm only allowed to have 1 bulb on, which makes it this sortof annoying half-light. And since my body responds quite noticeably to the light levels around me, I'm fighting off this urge to go curl up on a couch and drift off to napville. And yes, I could go try to figure out which magic combination of switches would turn on 2 bulbs, but knowing how much I hate it when someone else goes mucking with the lights, I'll just grin and bear it.

On the upside, I got to wake up this morning to not just an alarm, but to gradual light, as well. We haven't hit the end of Daylight Savings Time yet, but I know we will soon, and when we do, I'll be waking up in what seems like pitch black. Which is fine with me, until it's time to turn on the bathroom light. And I just hate the feeling when your pupils are contracting to pinhole-sized openings. It makes for kindof a Cranky Pam.

So I bought a progression light alarm clock from Hammacher Schlemmer, which starts a gradual light about 30 minutes before the alarm is set to go off. So when it does go off, your eyes are already somewhat adjusted to the light, and there's no stumbling across the room to find the alarm. Yes, I need to put mine across the room, or I'd just reach over and hit Snooze, and never make it to work, or the store, or reheharsal, or book club or anything. I really like my sleep.

This new clock seemed to work pretty well, though I was a little annoyed to find that hitting the Snooze meant that the light went off, too. I haven't yet toyed with the aroma warming feature that it has -- I can have that little gradating lightbulb warm up some aroma beads that release a scent somewhat like coffee, or perhaps lavender, or patchouli (ugh). Or I can add a few drops of my own essential oils to a felt disc and have that scent wake me up. We'll see.

And yet, even with all those features, I'd rather wake up to a bit of Sunshine.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

When the Universe speaks.....

.....I sometimes have no choice but to listen.

First, I set my alarm to wake me up at 6:30, so that I'd have plenty of time to shower, get dressed, have a bite of breakfast, and catch a cab to work. No such luck. Whether I actually turned off the alarm, or simply didn't set it right in the first place, doesn't matter -- I woke up at 8:15, looked at the clock, and thought, "Crap! I was meant to be in the office 15 minutes ago! Crap!" Threw on my clothes (thank goodness I always iron things the night before), threw everything into my bag and out the door I went. Got to the office, and the other guy's flight was delayed, so we didn't get started until 10:00 anyway. Grr....

So, all through the meeting I was sitting in yesterday, in Chicago, all I could think was "I can't wait to get home and see my CBB." When my boss looked up our flights, he saw that my 6:45 flight was cancelled. No worry. I e-mailed the agency, and they booked me on the 8:00. And, I thought to myself, I'll just go get on the standby list for any of the 3 flights before the 8:00. After waiting in far too many lines, I decided that the 8:00 would be just fine, It's get me back at about 9:30, and then I could just pop down and see the CBB (the dog was still in the kennel, so this was a rare opportunity to see him, without worrying about how long it'd been since I'd been home to let the dog out). The flight finally left about 9:10, putting me on the ground at 10:45. Heck, just a little snuggling would be really nice after this day, I'll still scoot down there.

And then I heard it.

The sound of the Universe putting the kibosh on my plans, resonated through the flapping of the tire walls that had just blown out on my rear wheel.

Coincidentally enough (yeah, right -- as if I believe that any of this wasn't Planned), it blew out right before I came up to the exit for the only gas station on the road from the airport. So I pull in, dredge everything out of my trunk (I really do have too much crap in there, I know) and change the tire, Something I knew how to do, but hadn't actually had to put into action before. And since I had Andrew's latest post scrolling through my head, it was much easier, knowing that I was a) not doing this in the freezing snow, and b) doing it all-by-myself.

Feeling like quite the Independent Woman of the World, I was somehow even more anxious to have the Cute Blonde Boy wrap his arms around me with a "Poor baby....I'm sorry your day sucked". Late, but anticipated nonetheless.

The Universe put its foot out and tripped me, by way of 2 different road construction delays/detours. Sigh.

So, I settled for having a nice long phone conversation with my beau as I got myself ready to crash into the blissful oblivion of sleep. He really does just have the nicest laugh, which is really a fabulous sound to have echoing through my head as I drift off to Dreamland. Such a sweetheart he is, too, to put up with my mumblings and bitching, even though there was nothing that he or I could have done to change any of this (well, aside from me agreeing to buy new tires last week, instead of waiting until my budget could accommodate it).

I just don't understand why the Universe felt the need to keep me from him. Unless it was to make me realize how very much I appreciate/dig/adore him.

Like I needed any help with that.

Friday, September 16, 2005

IQ - Rag mag....

So, in preparing to travel to Chicago (again) this Sunday, I'm thinking what reading material to take (yes, the obvious answer would be the book club selection for next week, wouldn't it?). I have a Cosmo that I have yet to read -- plenty of excellent articles there, I 'm sure. 50 different ways to Be A Better Girlfriend would no doubt please the CBB immensely (especially as I know Cosmo's style, and they're bound to have ideas that he would approve of. ;)

But then there's the travel magazines that I have yet to read (as if I need any help in daydreaming about travel locales), and the Harry Potter book I want to re-read, and the couple of other books I've had sitting on my coffee table for months, and......

And yet, I'll take Cosmo, just because it amuses me so. And I'll probably stop by the newsstand on my way to the flight, to pick up the latest Vanity Fair, because it makes me think. And so I ask you tis Insightful Question:

What's your favourite magazine?

I wanna know. Even if it's MAD, or Maxim, or even the Weekly World News (okay, especially if it's the Weekly World News). You have all weekend, and I'm out of the office on Monday -- give me something to look forward to reading on Tuesday.

Presuming I've finished Cosmo, that is.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Winning and whinging

Well, kids, the competition season is over. What's that? Well, the local pipe band competition season, of course. Silly.

My pipe band, the defending WUSPBA InterMountain Branch Champions, once again had a kick-ass weekend in Estes Park. Though you'd be hard-pressed to know that, unless you're in one of the bands. Oh, wait.....

Saturday brought gorgeous weather (although fairly windy in the morning), for which I'd like to thank CBB. ;) We competed in the Quick March Medley, which is 4 marches, all the same tempo. Not my best piece, but I managed to not screw anything up too much. And we took 1st place. Quite handily, I might add.

And since we drew 1st in the lineup, I was then free to spend the rest of the afternoon with CBB, exploring the games, and doing something I'd never done before -- watch some of the guest bands. What a marvelous afternoon that was!

Sunday was a much busier day. We competed in the Timed Medley (where you can put together any bunch of tunes you like, as long as the whole selection fits into a specific time length). This is my strongest piece personally, and I think I did fairly well. And once again, we won this one handily.

We turned right around & competed the same piece in a Grade 3 (one grade higher than we're ranked). I messed up a few flourishes in this one, but nothing major, I don't think. We took 2nd behind the only actual Grade 3 band (and our pipers were scored higher than theirs -- wa-hoo!).

The drum salute was a different story. We had no more than 10 minutes from the end of the Grade 3 Medley to warm up & go through this, before performing. We didn't really compete, as there were no other drum corps entered. But still, ya wanna put forth your best effort. And apparently my best effort was wasted in one of the run-throughs. Boy, did I fuck that up. Missed entire phrases. Flubbed flourishes. Ugh. All in all, though, was I less upset than after falling on my arse in Salt Lake? Yes, I guess so. Really wasn't happy, though.

But CBB was right there, not telling me "It's okay", "You were great", all the crap that people generally console you with. He was just there, and let me be cranky, and put his arm around me. Have I mentioned how much I love that?

Now at the last post (massed bands) on Sunday, we find out how we did. We march in, with not nearly as much structure as we should have, play the 2 tunes that the entire massed bands knows, and then patiently stand around, listening to the announcer drone on & on about this Best Clan of the Games and that Best Dog of the Games. And then, as we were expecting to hear the band competition results announced, he asked the drum majors to retire the bands. Wha'? Wait, I mean.....who.... um.......Hey!

He let several hundred pipers and drummers leave the field without knowing the results of their hard work. And BOY, were we cranky about it. Whinging & moaning about how the organizer of the games really just has something against pipe bands. Lots of ideas about how to get the point across to him that the public really enjoys having us there.

Oh, well. It really was a great weekend, all around. Great weather, fabulous company (I got the CBB for the whole weekend.....*grin*), winning stuff, beautiful scenery. And I don't get to do it again until next year.


P.S. My bad. Credit for us winning really must be shared with our fantastic cinematographer, a.k.a. Video Bitch. We couldn't have done it without him. Okay, technically we could've, but we wouldn't be able to improve nearly as much for next time, without his efforts. MUCH appreciated. Honestly.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Everyone, this is Stanley.....

.....Stanley, this is everyone.

When I checked my mail yesterday, after neglecting it all weekend (I was in Estes Park at the Scottish Festival), I found a letter not addressed to me, but with my address on it. It wasn't addressed to the person who lived there before me, either. I know I shouldn't open other people's mail, but this was from an elementary school, and written in about a 4th-grader's hand, so I thought I'd see what it was.

It's Flat Stanley!

It seems there's a book about Flat Stanley, and how he gets squished by a falling bulletin board, but then he discovers that he can travel anywhere for just the cost of a stamp, not that he's all flat. So this class in Iowa has just finished reading Flat Stanley, and they've all colored, cut out and mailed off their own versions. I rather suspect that little Natalie Finken thinks she's sent her Flat Stanley to her Aunt or Cousin Emily, but he's landed in my hands instead.

And I'm thrilled about it!

So far, I haven't been able to take Stanley anywhere very exciting -- just out to play fetch with the dog, and to meet the OreoKitty, but I'll see if we can't find some more interesting venues to bring him to.

After a couple of weeks, I'm meant to send him back to Natalie, along with an account of his adventures. I bet I'll be sad to see him go.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

IQ - "Good day, my lord. What, at your book so hard?"

(that's from some guy named Will, in a play he wrote about Henry VI)

I used to be much more of a bookworm, when I was younger. Devoured the things. Nancy Drew, Roald Dahl, classics, Little House on the Prairie, cheesy Scholastic "zany facts" books, you name it. The really special days in the summertime were those when Mom would load us in the car for a trip into town to the library. Let loose to prowl the stacks, and pick out anything we wanted? Oh, joy!

I don't know when it happened, but at some point closer to adulthood, I stopped reading much at all. In fact, by the time I'd made my New Year's resolution in 2001 or 2002 to read more, I don't think I'd picked up a book in 10+ years.

I'm still not the type to go through a book a week -- there's just too much else going on (TV, pipe band, movies....and now the Cute Blonde Boy :) ). But I enjoy reading whatever book the GABsters have selected for the next book club meeting. And there's that Harry Potter series, which I could re-read several times and still find new things within. So here's today's Insightful Question (presented in 2 parts):

1) What's your favourite book of all time? Or series of books?
2) What book are you reading at the moment, or have you read most recently?

As for me, my favourite series is the Harry Potter series (though Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles held my attention pretty well, as did the few Sharon Kay Penman works I got through).

But the book that brings me back time and again is (promise not to laugh? really?) The Outsiders. If I've read it once, I've read it 60 times. And I still cry when I get to the part where Dallas is visiting Johnny in the hospital. It's not Shakespeare, or even Tolkein. But it takes me back to an era that I wish I'd been alive in, and to the time when I was reading it originally.

And I'm currently getting back through the 5th HP a bit at a time (as my computer freezes, I can get another chapter done). And I'll be buying the next GAB selection (something about Dressing Your Family In Denim) very shortly.

And I'll do my damnedest to get this one read. Honestly.

Friday, September 02, 2005

IQ - "Hey, you look like...."

Well, kids, as we're coming up to a gloriously long weekend, I wanted to leave you with an Insightful Question to ponder/reply to/ignore.

Cute Blonde Boy offered this one up, and I think it's an interesting one:

What celebrity have you been told you resemble? Or who do you think (or wish) you resemble?

As for me, I don't think I've ever been told that I look like a celebrity. I get a LOT of "You look like my 2nd cousin", or "You remind me of a girl I knew in high school". But "Hey, if you had a mole, you'd be the spittin' image of Cindy Crawford!" has never brightened my day. And you know what? Don't care.

Besides, I'm dating Kiefer Sutherland. ;)

Thursday, September 01, 2005


Those of you who know me well, know that I frequently stop to consider just how fortunate I really am. And these past couple of days have been no different.

The end of summer may be closing in quickly, which may mean camping is done for the season, but at least I'm not stuck on a rooftop in the wicked heat and humidity, wondering if someone might help me, before I die of starvation, thirst or heat.

My dog may shed too much, and my cat's claws need trimmed, but at least I'm not faced with the heart-breaking (and I really mean that word: Heart. Breaking.) decision to let my cat go on to the next place to avoid further suffering.

My computer issues may be causing my head to hurt and want to throw the machine out the window, but at least I have a job where, for the past 5 years, I haven't really had to deal with this crap too much.

Gas may be reaching unthinkable prices, but at least I have a car in which to pump it.

I may not have many co-workers around me (today marks the last day for most of the rest of those who have been here these past 3 months), but at least I have good friends to chat with in the off-hours, and a fantastic beau with whom to spend time this weekend.

And I may have 10 fingers and 10 toes, but at least that's not all I need to count up my blessings.