Thursday, December 31, 2009

What's with that?

Okay...this is obviously a "guy" thing and it drives me crazy.
There can be something not done around here for months.
Clean the porch, fix the leak in the barn, dig a fire pit, burn the trash...stuff like that.
Stuff can stay undone, unmoved and untouched for months.
Then when I get a bee in my bonnet to go out and do whatever "it" is, Hubby will inevitably come out and tell me how I am doing it wrong.
Even though he has totally ignored whatever "it" is for months.
It always happens.
What is up with that???

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

It's just easier this way.....

Well..thank goodness Christmas is OVER.

I cannot tell you how much better I am starting to feel once the mandatory holidays are over being crammed down my throat.
It's like a weight lifting off my shoulders.

But here's the deal:

I have decided that this is the last time I am going to let the holidays bother me this much.
I can't do anything about the Seasonal Affective Disorder.
It comes around every year totally predictably and I turn into a mean, cranky zombie.

But the holidays are something I CAN do something about.

And just like staying angry or holding a is just too mentally, emotionally and phyically exhausting to continue on a regular basis.

I don't want to do it anymore.

So this is it.

I have decided to stop expending energy complaining about how much I hate the holidays.

I just don't care any more and it takes too much out of me to fight it.

I can't do anything about it.

That's the thing about hitting your head against a brick wall.

It feels so good when you finally stop.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

NO NO NO Nooooooooo!!

I absolutely CANNOT believe this:

I am NOT lying.
I am not making this up.

We went to Target this afternoon.
The day after Christmas.
And amazingly, unbelievably.

They had the Christmas stuff put away.
(Except for the sale stuff, of course.)


And people WONDER why I am so cynical about the holidays...........

Blocking Porn Sites from reaching Blog comments

Okay...question here:
Yesterday I found a comment on my blog that was a bit bizarre looking.
When I followed it back, it led me directly to an Asian Porn site.
I obviously don't want this showing up on my blog.
I immediately deleted the entire entry.
I want to block this from happening again.
It did NOT make me happy.
Any suggestions other that changing "Comment Moderation" settings?
Can I report this to AOL?
Can I report it to Blogger?
Will they even care?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Jingle Bells, Shotgun Shells, Jingle All the Way..

Here's the deal.
I did NOT get the Taurus .38 special revolver that I was excited about.
Unfortunately, the guy who said he was going to hold it for me failed to put a "Sold" ticket on the gun and one of the other guys put it back in the case and it was sold.
And needless to say, I was very disappointed.
VERY disappointed.
And pissed at the guy who failed to put a sold sign or anything else on the gun for me.
I did wind up getting a really nice 20 gauge single shot shotgun as a Christmas gift.
A friend of ours had one that he rarely shot.
It is a very nice gun and when we had lunch yesterday, he gave it to me.
Wooo hoooo.
That was soooooo nice.
I couldn't believe that he gave it to me.
It was a very nice gesture on his part.

Jingle Bells
Shotgun Shells
Jingle all the way!

WTF is the matter here????

Monday, December 21, 2009

It's Christmas! Let's buy a gun!

Well, apparently, this is becoming a Christmas tradition with me.
It's Christmas...Let's buy a gun.
I went off on my own yesterday because it was a nice day, I was bored and I didn't get to go to the places I wanted to go on Saturday.
So off I went on my Sunday odyssey.

It was pleasant enough.
I left early so the crazed Christmas shoppers were not quite out yet.
And the Episcopalians were still in church so the restaurants were not mobbed,

I had a delicious chicken salad sandwich at Zaxby's (I like that place. It's a little nicer that "fast food" and they have very good $5 lunches.)
It was nice.
Then I went downtown.

I went to the range because I have been thinking about getting a little larger caliber gun to carry.
I thought about a 9mm semi-automatic and there was one hubby suggested I look at, a Taurus single stack.
I actually wanted to go by myself.
I find it easier to look at things when he isn't there.
He tends to hover and he knows so much about guns, he isn't willing to do anything by gut feeling, it's all book stuff.
I know what I like when I like it.

Well, I looked at the 9mm and I did NOT like it at all.
It is a single stack so the grip is very narrow and the slide makes it quite top heavy.
Very wrong.

BUT Lo And Behold..It must be my Christmas angel.
In the used case, they had a lovely Taurus revolver (I don't mind Taurus revolvers..there's not much that can go wrong on a revolver.....).
I was a .38 special, 2" barrel, Ultralight special edition with rubber grips and hi-viz sights/ And it even comes with an ankle holster (I've always wanted one of those..)

Damn if I didn't fall in love.
I want that gun.
It felt good, it looked good and I love it,
It is mine...or at least it will be this afternoon.

The funny coincidence is that I am always finding guns around Christmas.
The gun that I want to trade for the new a Ruger .22 target pistol that we bought.. guess what....we bought on Christmas Eve 4 years ago.
we are going out today and I am going to try and negotiate a trade for my new love.
I think I can do okay.

It's Christmas.
Let's buy a gun!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Thanks for the Bag O'Crap.

Alright.....Here's one of the many things I hate about Christmas.
CrazyFriend came over today to visit the animals and do her "chores" (for some reason, she feels better when she does my laundry, runs the vacuum, sweeps the porch) and she brought me a bag of Christmas crap.
I hate getting bags o'crap.
It is useless, pointless junk that I don't want and will never use.
Some of it was regifted and one item was clearly left over from Halloween.
All in a Christmas bag.
Thanks for the bag o'crap.
I put it in the hall closet along with 4 other bags o'crap that I have stored in there.
I guess I could regift them, but I really don't want to pass along the bags o'crap.
If I don't want them, why would I want to give them to someone else??
PLEASE stop giving me bags o'crap.
If you are really feeling the holiday spirit and want to give me a gift, give me something I can actually use.
Give me a gift card for Home Depot or Michael's or Cracker Barrel.
Give me 20 scratch-off lottery tickets.
Give me a $20 dollar bill in a card.
I just don't need another bag o'crap to store in my hall closet.

Friday, December 18, 2009

You really don't need children....

I stopped at Day Care yesterday to pick up Cookie.
And the guy in front of me....well, let's just be polite and say I HOPE he and his yuppie wife don't have children because if they do they will be just as neurotic as the guy and his three dogs.
To begin with:
The dog's names: Bailee, Sasha and Connor.
Now I am sorry but those are kid's names NOT dog names.
And I waited very patiently while this guy explained at great length about the dogs and their quirky habits :
Bailee had to be fed as early as possible or he would throw up.
Connor was on Prozac.
Sasha had to have water mixed with her food because she wouldn't drink any other water.

He went on and on and on.
He had 3 pages of instructions.
He had everything explained and mapped out.
He had all their food and medicine in individual pouches.

Now, don't get me wrong.
We baby Cookie as much as the next guy.
I cook her chicken and rice.
We take her to day care.
She has here special toys that she loves.

But I am worried about this guy and his yuppie wife,
Bailee, Connor and Sasha.
I think they will be working on adopting a Chinese baby soon.
And the will name her Brittney Laura.
And they will play Mozart and buy her Baby Einstein videos.
She will have designer clothes and a $700 top of the line ATV stroller
They will make their own baby food in a Cuisinart Food Processor.
And she will be on Ritalin for her ADHD when she is 5 years old.
(And she will be in therapy until she's 30......)

HELP!! Maybe this is how it all starts!!!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Trying to out passive aggresive the Queen.

Okay.....I am in a battle of passive-aggressive behavior and I am not sure of who is winning.

I am, after all, battling the Queen of All Things Passive-Aggressive and it is not an easy fight.

I was being the sensitive, supportive understanding guy.
But last week tore it all and I have given up.

CrazyFriend's sleazy boyfriend has won and I simply am not going to fight it any more.

It is one of those things that I learned a long time ago, requires too much time and energy and you never really win.

So I give up.

I've thrown in the proverbial towel.
He got what he wanted.
He wins.

Now....all I can do is be passive aggressive and play on the guilt.
That seems to be working and it is more satisfying than banging my head against a brick wall.
I've been there, done that, got the T-shirt.
And I just don't want to do it any more.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Never together... is my question of the day:

Why don't things that you use together ever run out together???

I keep noticing this more and more and it is bothering me more and more.
It started with my shampoo and conditioner.
I always wind up with about a third of a bottle of conditioner left when the shampoo runs out.
SO I buy more shampoo...WHAT do I do with the remaining leftover conditioner?
Do I use it up? Do I throw it away and start over again, only to run out again?
It really really bugs me.
And now..I seem to be noticing it more.
I buy coffee and sugar at the same time.
I always run out of coffee before the sugar runs out.
I buy two different kinds of milk.
I always run out of one and have about half the other left.
I buy dog food and cat food.
Dry and canned for each.
I always run out of canned before I run out of dry.
Both cat and dog.
It is annoying.
I wish things would run out together.
It would make shopping and planning sooooo much easier.
And it would be one less thing that bugs me.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

It's okay to hate Christmas....really.

I've seen a couple posts lately by some edgy super uberparents of tiny little children who for some reason feel the need to be intensely defensive about liking Christmas.
Guess what. Here's the news bulletin:
You are supposed to like Christmas.

But someone like me has as much right to hate Christmas and the holiday season as much as you have a right to love it.

Here's the deal:

I am 60 years old.

I have been around the Christmas block once or twice.
I live on a fixed income.
I have no particular religious leanings.
I do not like children (everyone who knows me knows that..)
I do not have any children. hence no grandchildren to indulge.
I have no extended family whatsoever.
My friends drive me crazy.
There is just my husband and me.
And Christmas is not a happy time for him (when he was 16, his father died suddenly on Christmas Eve).

Christmas has turned into a time that is all about greed, conspicuous consumption and selfishness.
It is a time for retailers to make their bottom line.
It is a time for greedy children who have to get the "must have" toy of the season and a time to make parents feel guilty if they cannot get that toy.
The church groups can scream "Remember the Reason for the Season" all they want but they cannot win against Tickle Me Elmo or a ZhuZhu Hamster.

We do not want to feel pressured to buy gifts that we can't afford for people who don't appreciate or need them.
We find the traffic and the crowds to be extremely annoying.
We cannot STAND the Christmas music that starts blaring in the stores as early as October.
We hate the rampant commercialization.
We find the craziness on Black Friday frightening.
We find the political correctness to be ridiculous.
We don't like the cold weather.
(You want a white Christmas? I want to live in Florida..)
And we cannot wait for the holiday season to be OVER, the sooner the better.

On Christmas Day, we eat at a Chinese restaurant and then take the dog for a long walk in the park.
And we buy $100 of lottery scratch-offs.
That is what we do for Christmas.

If I had my way, I would avoid it all together.

So you and your little babies have a wonderful Christmas trying to make memories.

But don't try so hard.
And don't get so defensive about it.
It's okay.
But give me my space to hate it.
I have my reasons too.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

I really needed to be someplace else today.

Okay, it was one of those days.
It got down to 30 degrees last night.
I brought the plants in and put them in the little "greenhouse" that I built for them on the screen porch. I think it worked pretty well because they seem fine while the plants that got left out are all quite dead.
But it was so cold, I tried Cookie's sweater on her. LOL. It was like trying to stuff a 10 pound sausage into a 5 pound casing. I think she's gained a little weight.
So, while Petsmart had its 30% off sale, it seemed like a good time to buy her a new sweater.

We drove in to town.
I planned on having brunch with CrazyFriend but we had about an hour and a half so that was plenty of time to find a sweater for Cookie.
She has to try on every one in the store because she is very...uhhh..."full-figured", if you will.
But we eventually found one for her.

We got it and hubby went back home and I went into town, thinking I was going to meet CrazyFriend for brunch.
We talked about it yesterday.
So, I called her and said "CrazyFriend, I'm on my way into town, what are you doing, what time do you want to meet at Cafe Strudel?"
There was a long silence on the other end of the line and then she says..."Oh I'm here with my boyfriend (insert: creep, sleazebag freeloader) and we're taking pictures of the renovations he's doing at such and such a know..before and after stuff."
And I said, "Well, how long is that going to take?"
And she said hesitantly, "All day....."
I said, "Thanks, CrazyFriend. I thought we were going to have brunch."
"I guess I got distracted.." she said lamely.

Now, being the guy, if I had done that, she would have been angry and launched into her most passive aggressive hissy fit that she could muster.
But I just said, "Thanks a bunch." I'll remember next time I get "distracted".
And I went on my way.

Lunch sucked.
I haven't been to this place in ages because I didn't like it before.
But another friend has decided that it's his new favorite place so I thought I'd give it a try again.
Well.....guess what I STILL don't like it.
My brunch, although very inexpensive, was just not that great.
I wish I had just gone next door to the coffee house.
And unfortunately, you cannot fix a bad lunch.
It stays with you all day.

I headed over to the other side of town, where we don't usually spend much time and I just kinda chilled out.
It was nice.
I needed to be someplace different.
I needed a break.

I went to Barnes & Noble.
Rarely go there.
I spent $20 on 3 books (2 journals and 1 cozy that looked cute).
And I just wandered around.
Aimlessly, mindlessly.

I went to the sporting goods store and looked at metal detectors.
I want one but I just can't bring myself to spend $150 on one.
I looked at tents.
I bought a spoon for $1.99.
Big purchase.

And I stopped at Sportsman's Warehouse.
I bought a Chicken and Noodle camping meal.
A pair of socks.
And a tiny Lexan spatula.
I spent $16.00.

It turned out to be a very relaxing day.
I didn't spend too much.
I bought a bunch of stuff I didn't really need.
I hit $4.00 on my lottery tickets.
And I found a quarter in one of the parking lots.
Wooo hooo

On the way home, I stopped at Dunkin Donuts and had hot coffee and a French Cruller.
It was VERY good and I enjoyed it.

Even though I was and still am miffed at CrazyFriend for her uncharacteristically inconsiderate action, it turned out to be for the best.
I know I enjoyed the day more.
I needed a change of pace.
I needed to be someplace else today.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Final Episode of Monk

I stayed up "late" last night to watch the final episode of Monk.
Late for me, that is.
And I had to make a real effort to do it.
This time of year, I can easily go to bed at 7:30, read for 30 minutes and then be in for the night.
But I wanted to see the end of Monk.
So I had coffee and chocolate chip trail mix pancakes for dinner.
The pancakes were delicious, I must say.
And the coffee kicked in.

The final episode?
I liked it.
It kept the fabric of the show intact.
It put the characters at rest.
It was sweet and satisfying and a happy fuzzy warm (but not sappy) ending.
It tied up loose ends, sent everyone on their way and made you feel good.
I think it was very well done without being gimmicky or overly sentimental.

UNLIKE the final episode of Xena.
We could have done with a warm fuzzy ending there, instead of a brutal destruction of the iconic character who everyone loved so much.
We could have done without Gabrielle left descending into madness and depression.

Rob..take a lesson from Mr. Monk.
Your character doesn't have to die a horrible, violent, brutal death or be a martyr for her cause.
You could have given your hardcore fans a break.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A Day without CrazyFriend.

Okay.....well, I must admit I am feeling a tad guilty but I had a day without CrazyFriend yesterday and it was fun and pleasant. But since I am the guy, I can't help feeling like I was sneaking around and cheating.

I had to go to Charlotte to pick up some medicine for our dog, Cookie. I don't mind going to Charlotte, in fact I enjoy the drive and I enjoy having lunch up there BUT everytime I go up and take CrazyFriend with me, I wind up having the most unpleaant, stressful drive and it just makes for an unfun day. Because we ALWAYS wind up arguing about her "boyfriend" and being trapped in the car for an hour an a half, I usually lose it and go ballistic about 2/3 of the way back to Columbia. It is so bad, I can just about tell you the mile marker on the interstate where I am going to lose it and start yelling. I turn into the guy. I know I am right, and I say things I know I shouldn't say, I raise my voice, I throw in a few expletives and then I am sorry and wish I hadn't done it. Sometimes, I even make her cry. Jeeez, it's too hard being the guy.

But..yesterday, I drove up there by myself. I love I-77. It is flat and straight and fast. I got to listen to my CDs the whole way. I had coffee and I stopped at the rest stop for a 5 minute pee break (not the usual 20 minutes it takes when I am with CrazyFriend.) When I rolled into Rock Hill, I called Cousin suzie (who I really like....think Barbara Jean on the Reba Show.) She said she could meet me for lunch. We met for lunch at a place called the Peach Stand> It's a really nice place with a restaurant, all kinds of gourmet foods, a bakery, souvenirs and treats. We had taco salads and talked about going to New Brattonsville next week.

Since Cousin Suzie lives right there, she went with me to the vet's office (which was very helpful because she showed me a much easier way to get to the vet's office). We shopped a little bit (all the same places we shop anywhere...Books-a-Zillion, the Goodwill Store, Best Buy. And then we went to Starbuck's (don't usually go there but we wanted coffee and something sweet). It was fun. FUN is the operative word here. There was no whining or complaining about the food or spending 20 minutes in the bathroom.

We killed the entire day and made plans to go to New Brattonsville next Tuesday if the weather is decent. (CrazyFriend can go with us for that.) I enjoyed the day very much.
And on the way back, I stopped at a gun and hunting store just outside of Rock Hill. It was just on the spur of the moment. I'd seen the signs for it so many times and this time I decided to stop. It was HUGE. I was very surprised. I didn't buy anything but it was fun finally stopping.

I made it past mile marker 83 without having to yell or curse or go ballistic. I drank my soda, listened to Bette Midler, rolled 70 mph the whole was and got back here at about 5:00. What a nice, relaxing FUN pleasant day. It was a gorgeous clear, sunny day, in the high 50's and I must admit, I actually enjoyed myself this time around. I wish CrazyFriend would learn to lighten up and let go of things a little but to spout a platitude, you can't change a leopard's spots. We all are who we are.

Unfortunately, when I got home, I found out hubby did not have quite the nice day I did. The transmission on his truck went out about as far away from home as it possibly could. He had a terrible time getting back with it since it wouldn't go more than 30 mph. And it looks like he is going to need a new transmission (This is the truck I asked him to wait and look around a little more but he bought it straight out = we won't go there...)

And it is pouring with rain today And he HAS to go out because he has two doctor's appointments (who schedules TWO doctor's appointments on the same day??) and he has to have dinner with his buddy.) So guess who's car he has to take. Yup. Uh well. He drove the thing the whole time I had my broken ankle. I just want him to be careful and I want him to fill it back up with gas and I want him to clean the SAND and dirt out of it when he is finished with it. In other words, please just give it back to me in the same condition that I gave it to him.

I am going to stay home and have a nice quiet day. CrazyFriend just called me a second ago wanting me to meet her for lunch but I declined. Guilt guilt guilt. Sneaking around?? No, it wasn't me. I am going to lay low for a day or two. Isn't that what the guy is supposed to do?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Where is the outrage?

I am so sick of this.
15 people gunned down on a major military post by a guy on his own personal jihad.
4 cops murdered by a convicted felon whose sentence was commuted by the governor.
It never stops.
And I think it keeps getting worse.
And people keep getting more and more oblivious and apathetic.
Nobody seems to care anymore.
It happens over and over and over again.
Is that the politically correct way of putting it?
WHY does this keep happening?
There is no more outrage because we might offend someone or some group.
There is no justice because dangerous people are let out of jail.
We need to get angry.
We need the self-righteous indignation.
We need a longer memory than the 15 minutes of news coverage this carnage gets.
There is no more decent anger or outrage.
Let's stop worrying about offending someone and get mad about this.

You KNOW you're sick when all you WANT is Pepto-Bismol

Well, this was an interesting week.
Thanksgiving was nondescript and uneventful.
We ate at Cracker Barrel.
The food was reasonably priced, very good and there was plenty of it.
Even Cookie got a little plate of ham, turkey and stuffing which she enjoyed very much.
It's a little depressing sometimes, to realize that our dog eats better every day than many people in third world countries.
Oh well. That's life I guess. Maybe that's what we should be thankful for.

After our early Thanksgiving lunch, we went out to Sesqui Park and had a nice long walk.
It was very pleasant.
That's all I remember of it, frankly.

Honestly, Saturday is a blur. I could not tell you what I did or where I went.
I guess that's why I write everything down on my calendar.
Sorry...Wait. I remember now, we had breakfast with Cousin Suzie and then another walk in the park.
I made around the whole two miles this time.

But I DO remember Sunday.
First there was the great glove hunt.
On Saturday I thought I'd lost on of my favorite gloves.
I took them with me because it was chilly in the morning.
But I never put them on.
So when I discovered it was missing, I went back at 7 a.m. to all the places we'd parked, thinking I may have dropped it out of the car.
Well, no glove but I searched through hubby's truck and it finally turned up.
Then there was the afternoon.
Hubby was going to the commissary and I planned on staying home, having a nice lunch and a quiet day to myself.
I do not know what hit me.
We've all had a 24 hour bug going around and I guess it was my turn.
About 12 noon, I got sick as a dog (Sorry Cookie).
It was awful.
I went to bed, cranked up the electric blanket, took Imitrex and was sooooo miserable.
I stayed there the rest of the day and all night,
My stomach was so upset I couldn't stand it.
The Imitrex wasn't doing much but I really WANTED some Pepto-Bismol.
If you WANT that yukky pink stuff and it actually tastes and feels good, you KNOW you're sick.

Well, my stomach bug finally got better.
I made it to lunch with CrazyFriend at the Japanese place and had a yummy Bento Box with shrimp and fried rice.
And I got to hear all about the funeral.
I went to the range and shot a little bit.
I haven't been to the range in months, since I broke my ankle and I always feel obligated to go to the range and practice since I carry a gun (CWP) every day,

It was a nice day although I was being cautious with my tummy.

I am going to Charlotte to pick up some medicine for Cookie's teeth.
I'm going to meet Cousin Suzie and have a taco salad at the Peach Stand.

That's it......not very exciting but at least I didn't die.
The Pepto-Bismol saved my life...or at least it helped my broken stomach.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Oh Hooray! A Funeral!

Well, I was fortunate enough to NOT be a part of CrazyFriend's latest attempt to "help" someone.
She found out last week that her second cousin was dying.
Now this is a person who she did not get along with terrible well...
She told me numerous times that she was intimidated by these people, (the cousin, her mother, the boyfriend) and that she had "alienated" them.

And had had very little contact with them

Up until the last couple of days.

And then she was on a mission.

A mission of mercy.

She offered to sit with the woman.
She wanted the people to find out about the "resources" that were available.
She wanted them to know about products that would make her care easier.
She wanted to help so she would be more comfortable.
She wanted to read to her.
She wanted to talk to them about her pain medication.
She wanted to talk to the hospice nurse to find out exactly what they were doing.

CrazyFriend was totally in her element.

She was beside herself.
She was excited.
Someone was dying and she had a chance to be part of it (whether they wanted her or not..)
I could hear it in her voice.
She was excited.
She was animated.
It was her thing.

But sadly, it didn't last very long.
The poor woman died on Sunday.

Oh well.

But look on the bright side.

Now CrazyFriend has a funeral to go to on Saturday.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Everything was fine until the fish died.

Okay....Yesterday didn't turn out quite the way I'd hoped but I tried to make the best of it.
I went Christmas craft show at the fairgrounds because I finally decided that this was the year I was going to get a Missy Goode hat. After all these years (nearly 10) of looking at them and talking about them, I finally decided that I was going to get my very own. Fine.
So.....I went to the craft show.

I left early yesterday morning thinking I would get there early before the crowds, only to discover that that was apparently what everyone else in town thought. It was only 10:00 and the parking lot was half full and there were lines at the gates. No problem. I paid my $6 and went bravely on in.

I walked around the Cantey Building the way I normally would when we used to attend these shows regularly. I started at the far side and looked at the vendors, assuming that I would eventually come across the Northstar Leather guy about three rows over. He'd been at that show for years and I had no reason to think he wouldn't be there. But then, I started to get worried. There was no sign of him. He wasn't in his usual spot. I walked around the entire building and looked and double checked just to make sure. No Norhtstar Leather guy. I felt this sinking feeling in my stomach. So even though I knew it wouldn't do any good, I went over to the Ellis building. Just in case. Not there either. I went back through the Cantey building a second time, in case I missed him. Not there. I checked with the front desk. Surprise. The Northstar Leather guy retired from doing shows, He wasn't there, after all these years.

But....I decided all was not lost and I was going to figure out something. I had my lunch at California Dreaming like I'm supposed to when we go to the fairgrounds (it's a rule to keep the universe in balance...) and then I tried to think of where I could get a hat. I half-heartedly tried the BackPacker but all they had were Tilley hats (i knew that, I just wanted to check..) and then I decided to try Sportsman's Warehouse. I wasn't that far and I knew that they had a few leather hats. So off I went down I26. It's fun to go to Sportsman's Warehouse anyway. I was distracted (we won't even go into the post office question on Assembly Street because I clearly wasn't thinking. ) and trying to figure out what to do.

Well...THAT little side trip paid off.; I found one of their one remaining leather hats that looked good and actually fit well. And it was marked down from $40 to $24. Worked for me. It was NOT an official Missy Goode hat but I got it anyway. After all that, it was close enough. I also picked up a few small items and when I got to the check-out counter, the cashier took ANOTHER $7 off my hat! Wow! So I got an unofficial Missy Goode hat for $17. That made me happy.

The rest of the day was spent wandering around. It was too early to go home. I went back to Five Points. I stopped at Loose Lucy's and bought 30 sticks of incense for $5.00 and I discovered that they had put a stupid new boutique retail shop in the storefront where Adriana's had been. Crap. We NEEDED a good local coffeehouse....not that crappy Starbuck's on the corner....but oh no! They put in another retail store with ridiculously expensive clothes for anorexic 18 year old college students. Oh well. I got my incense (Did you know that being "censed" is having incense waved at if you were a saint and a censer is an incense burner? ) I didn't either.

Off I went from Five Points. Normally,, my next stop would have been Earth Fare, nut I have quit going there (unless I really need to use the bathroom) but I didn't so I went on past. I did stop at the Fresh Market. Now THAT was well worth the extra stop. I went in to buy scones but the last ones I bought were really dry so I opted for filled croissants instead. As i was walking through the market, wearing my new faux-Missy Goode hat, a lady stopped me (total stranger in the middle of the store) and said "You look sooo cute. You are just adorable. I love your look...." Look? I didn't know I had a LOOK (I guess it was the new faux-hat) and I have NEVER in my life been called "cute" or "adorable". Hell.....I'm KEEPIN' the hat!

That was that. I headed on was 3 o'clock and I'd driven over 70 miles and spent more money than I should have (although it was considerably LESS money than I'd intended to spend). And everything was fine, or so I thought.

Unfortunately, this is where the sad part starts and I am still very upset and unhappy. I got home, had a cup of coffee and too Cookie outside. Hubby had been home all day, making a pot roast for himself and taking the trash to the dump. Well, Cookie wanted to walk around the house so I took her out. Well........when we got over by the fish pond, she was jumping around at something. Sad sad sad......I found one of the fish DEAD on the outside of the pond. It was awful. I had no idea how he'd gotten there. I know he didn't commit suicide because they were very happy fish and they'd been in that pond for over 2 years. They'd grown from tiny little fingerlings to almost 6" long and they would come to the top of the water to be fed. Well, I quickly buried the poor guy so Cookie or the cats wouldn't find him and I came in and told my husband that I'd found one of the fish on the outside of the pond, dead. He thought for a moment and then said..'I was taking leaves out of the pond about noon....' "Oh NO!!! The poor fish came to the top, thinking he was going to be fed and hubby must have scooped him out with the leaves!!!!!! Noooooo! Now, I KNOW this was an accident and hubby felt really bad but the poor fish. What a sad ending and I DO wish hubby had been more careful. I am just very sad. He was a pet, after two years. I know hubby feels bad and I haven't said anything more. I am just very sad.

That was it. I showed hubby my new hat and told him it was a Missy Goode hat even though it really wasn't. I didn't have to cook dinner because he'd made his pot roast for himself. I had a bowl of instant mashed potatoes for my dinner, watched a B-movie on the computer. I didn't feel like listening to hubby's clever comments through all the television shows. I had a book to read so I claimed being tried from my shopping day and I went to bed at 7:30. I was just very sad.

Like I said.....everything was fine until the fish died.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Why is everything I eat SWEET?

My head hurts.
My teeth ache.
And it starts out this way every morning.
I feel like I have had an IV shot of 50% dextrose.
I hate this feeling.
It seems like everything I eat is sweet.
Ugh...ack. :-p
I suspect that I am "pre-diabetic" (if there is such a thing).
And it won't be long until I am really diabetic.
I guess I need to change this.
But I don't quite know how.
Everything I eat is sweet.
Sweet tea (this is the South, y'know)
Sugar in my coffee.
Jam on my toast.
Sugar in my cereal.
Maple syrup on my pancakes and French toast.
EVERYTHING I eat is sweet.
Yuck. :-P

Monday, November 16, 2009

What makes it "ART"?

I guess I just don't get it.
I really don't understand what makes something "ART".
The reason I got to thinking about it is I went to the Art Museum this weekend.
A friend who makes silver jewelry had her things at a high end "art" festival that was sponsored by the museum.
Along with about a dozen or so other ....I want to call them "vendors" but they want to be called "artists". about a dosen or so other "artists".
I enjoyed the show.
I thought some of the stuff was really neat.
Weavings, hand made Christmas ornaments, mosaics, pottery.
And I like my friend's work.
But what escapes me is: What makes it "ART" and not just a unique, kitchy craft that someone enjoys doing.
And WHY does it demand outrageous prices?
One woman at the show was actually selling "Tin Can Telephones" (two old soup cans painted in bright colors and attched with a string).

Is it the cost of the materials?
Is it the time?

Is it the uniqueness of the creation?
Is it because you have a degree in "ART"?
I guess it's like my husband said: "Either you're artsy-fartsy or your not."
Maybe it's how you think of yourself.
It's like that old platitude, "If you want to be a writer, just call yourself a writer".
If you want to be an artist, can you just call yourself one?
What if nobody else will call you an artist.
It's a very closed community.
I like to paint a little bit just for fun.
But apparently it's not "ART".
I can cut things out on my band saw and paint them and they are clever and unique (I LOVE my fish and kitty cats). Handmade. Hand painted.

I LOVE my Wizard of Oz collage.
But apparently, they are not "ART".
We met a sweet elderly lady who was making the neatest bracelets out of troll beads to pass the time while she was waiting to visit her dying husband who was in the intensive care unit.
She sold them for $5 just to cover the cost of the materials so she could have something to do to pass the long hours. They were beautiful. They were made with love and patience.

But they were not "ART".
Where is the line here?
What exactly makes it "ART"?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

No, you may not put your dead cat in my refrigerator.

Well, another episode in a day with CrazyFriend.
As I mentioned, one of the little kitties died last night.
It was sad and we miss her but it was not unexpected and she went very quietly.

But I had to break the news to CrazyFriend this morning.

Now CrazyFriend is one of those over the top animal lovers.

Not quite to the level of PETA but she has her own crusade.
(it has to do with don't even ask.)
She does everything and goes everywhere and will go to extraordinary measures for a stray kitten she finds on the street.

And every time something (or someone) dies she wants to have an autopsy.
When her mother died, she wanted to have an autopsy.
(I was there with her in the emergency room. The doctor was puzzled by the request)
When her father died, she wanted to have an autopsy.
He was 85 years old, a brittle diabetic, double amputee, had had multiple surgeries and spent the last two years of his life in a nursing home.
When she returned from California and her cat she had out there died, she actually put the CAT in the FREEZER then had it shipped overnight here to South Carolina and tried to take it to the Clemson Research Center to have it autopsied.
And she wanted to have this poor little Sicky Cat autopsied.

She has this guilt thing.
She wants everything posted so she can know if there was something more she should have or could have done.

She's never done enough.
If a gerbil died, she would want to have an autopsy.

If a parakeet died, she would want to have an autopsy.
(yes, I know if it's an animal it's technically called a necropsy but I digress)

The little Sicky Cat died yesterday evening, quietly in her bed.
She was warm and comfortable and did not struggle.
I did NOT call CrazyFriend to tell her.
It was after dark, raining and cold.
And she would have driven out here, taken the little cat home stuck it in the freezer (I am SERIOUS) and then driven around with the dead cat today until she found a vet who would do an autopsy .
She would have gone to the Clemson Research Center.

Where they would have looked at her like she's just landed from Mars in a spaceship.
It was "important".

I waited and told her this morning.
AFTER we had a very nice little $2.49 funeral here at the house for the kitty..

We buried her under a tree near the bird bath.
She would have liked that.
She had a long and difficult life.
She died quietly.
She needed to be left alone.

This is one of CrazyFriend's ongoing REALLY crazy notions.
Everything that dies...she wants "answers".
It's a real guilt issue, not a "knowledge" issue like she claims.

Leave the little kitty be.
Rest in Peace, little kitty.

Dead is dead.

Nothing is going to change that.

Get over it, CrazyFriend.

(8 days to Missy Goode)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Sad evening....poor kitty

Well, it's a very sad evening.
One of my little kitties just died a little while ago.
She was very frail and had been in poor health for a very long time.
I guess she finally used up all of her nine little lives.
Sad. Poor Sicky Cat has gone to Kitty Heaven.
Bye bye Sicky Cat.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Finally finished with the doctor....

Well, yesterday was a busy day but it turned out pretty well.
We went to lunch at Mr. Friendly's (one of the best lunch places in town and one of the more expensive as well). But it was well worth it.
We had roast duck (yummy yum), garlic mashed potatoes and succotash.
It was soooooo delicious.
We don't go there that often because it winds up being a $30 lunch but once in a while, it is so good, we just can't help ourselves.

After lunch, we went to my orthopedic surgeon appointment for my ankle.
I was hoping it would be my last appointment.
I've been seeing him since the middle of July when I broke it.
I did have some new questions and concerns that I wanted to talk with him about.
I REALLY needed to get the stitches out.
That was driving me crazy and that was the first thing they did.
But the ongoing problem is the fact that my ankle is still very swollen and while it doesn't hurt in the sense of "Ow ow, I want some pain medication", I am always aware of it feeling not quite right.
My gait isn't quite right, I have to be very careful on any uneven surfaces and if I don't put on my compression hose, the swelling is really bad.
He checked it over and took some additional x-rays just to be sure I hadn't cracked the stainless steel plate.
He said everything looked fine on the x-rays.
And he asked me how much I was doing.
When I told him, he kinda said "Well, you may be doing entirely too much and you might want to take it easy, stay off your feet, elevate your ankle and maybe ice it down."
And he offered to start cortisone injections if it was really bothering me.
Now THAT is a can of worms that I really don't want to open up.
BUT on a good note, he said he'd done all he can do, more physical therapy won't help and I was free to go on my merry way.
So unless this swelling really becomes a problem. I won't have to see him again.
AND he was nice enough to extend my handicapped sticker for another 3 months.
He has been very nice and very accommodating throughout this entire ordeal.
I have been very pleased with his care and his office staff have all been very kind and professional.
If I had to break my ankle. I had a very good doctor.

Sooo. that was it.
An exceptionally yummy lunch and a good doctor's visit.
Not an entirely bad day.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Worsr Lunch EVER and my Feud with Earth Fare

Now...I am a lunch person. It is no secret that we eat out 5 or 6 times a week and almost always it's lunch.
I don't care much about breakfast (coffee and toast will do) and I simply don't eat dinner anymore.

But lunch is very very important.

We go to many different restaurants and have a number of favorites.
The quality of lunch sets the tone for the day.
LUNCH is important.
And I believe that on Thursday, I had one of the WORST lunches I have ever had here in Columbia. EVER.

Here's what happened:

I went into town to do a number of things. I wanted to go to the Goodwill Store, I wanted to go to Home Depot and I had to go to the commissary to do the grocery shopping.

And here was my dilemma. I left the house early so I couldn't really go to lunch at one of the places on this side of town.

And I really didn't feel like driving all the way downtown. Plus, although I was not is a rush, I didn't want to spend the time dawdling over an hour long lunch like I would normally do.

So.....I got halfway downtown and I thought of Earth Fare. The warm, fuzzy, feel-good "healthy" grocery store. Now, I know, it is not my favorite place and the food there is some what unpredictable.

But I thought, okay, I just want a sandwich.

And I thought, yeah okay try Earth Fare. I'm right here. What could possibly go wrong?

Well, honestly, it turned out the be one of the WORST lunches I have ever had in this town.

I left a handwritten note for the manager of the store and this is a copy of the email that I sent their corporate offices:

Hello to Earth Fare:

I would like very much to tell you about my lunch at the Earth Fare store on Devine Street here in Columbia South Carolina.

I eat lunch out 5 or 6 times a week so I know the restaurants in town. This was not my first time at the rodeo.

Although I do shop there for just a few small items, I rarely eat at Earth Fare becuase the experience tends to be unpredictable at best and very negative at worst.

Out of time constraints and convenience, I decided (somewhat reluctantly) to stop at Earth Fare for lunch on Thursday, 5 November and unfortunately, it turned out to be one of the WORST lunch experiences I have ever had.

It was getting close to noon so the lunch buffet was pretty busy.

The staff appeared to be besides themselves, trying to do multiple tasks. The cashier in the lunch line was trying to ring up lunches, make coffees and smoothies. She was trying very hard to the lunch line was at a standstill while she blended strwberry-banana smoothies.

I went to the deli side and chose a turkey and bries sandwich. The disheveld looking young woman there was totally distracted, trying to heat up pizzas, fill deli orders and doing other tasks behind the counter.

She came around, pulled my sandwich out of the refigerator case, warmed it up ever so slightly in an "oven" and after adding a handful of stale chips that she pulled from a bag that was wadded up under the counter, the slapped it into a plastic container and literally shoved it at me and went back to other tasks.

The area around the deli was disgusting. There was an empty rotisserie case which didn't look like it had been used or cleaned in ages. There were crumbs everywhere on the counters and food was spilled along the lunch buffet. The "recycling" side where you are supposed to bus your own tables was stacked with trays, dirty dishes and plastic glasses. Food was spilled and no one was making an effort to keep the area clean.

My sandwich was cold and tasteless. The "chips were flat and stale. I couldn't finish it. I just gave up. This poorly prepared food was in no way worth the $7.61 that I spent.

I wanted to speak to the store manager but the place was very busy and I needed to be on my was because I had many errands to finish.

Instead I left a note in the "suggestion" box, explaining my very negative experience. I included my name, phone number and email address, hoping to get a responce.

I really feel this is a management issue and should be addressed.

The staff was overworked, rude and distracted. The lunch area was disgusting.

This needs to be brought to your attention.

Although I may still shop there for the few small items I like, I will NEVER try to eat lunch at Earth Fare again.

Thank you for your time.

I would appreciate a specific response from a real person about thism NOT just the standard form letter saying "thank yo for contacting Earth Fare." For a store that is promoting the warm, fuzzy, feel-good "healthy" eating experience, this was totally unacceptable.


Now hopefully, that will get someone's attention.

I did get a call from the district manager of Earth Fare but he left a message on my machine and I never did get to speak with him.

I don't know what he has to say.

Hopefully, he will call again.

I'm not even angry. I don't even want to go back there.

I will never, ever try to eat at "healthy" warm, fuzzy feel-good Earth Fare.

What a fiasco.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Say it anyway.....

I'm here.
I didn't mean to be here but I got here by default so I am going to hang around even though I don't have much to say.
Yesterday was pleasant enough.
I went to lunch with CrazyFriend and it was fine.
We even discussed her "boyfriend' (insert: leech,sleaze,freeloader,con man) and I suggested that if she is going to insist on him staying on (he's been living with her for 2 years, he's not going anywhere) that instead of just forking money over to him, that she sit down, figure out how much money he needs for the month and then give him that specified amount. If he spends it or saves it or throws it away, that is up to him but that is what he gets, no more, no less. That way, she will at least have some idea of how much he is taking her for every month.
Actually I think it is an excellent idea......but she will never do it.
He owns her and she is no longer in control of her house, her cars, her money or her life.
But it was a constructive suggestion.

After lunch, we wandered around a bit. We had cinnamon pumpkin frozen yogurt (it was absolutely delicious) and we shopped a bit.
One of our favorite stores (Christopher & Banks) is having a big sale this weekend (40% off everything in the store) but you could BUY stuff today at the sale price. You just couldn't pick it up until Saturday. I found a really nice denim-style jacket and I got it. CrazyFriend found a number of things that really looked nice on her and things she liked but she didn't buy anything. She e the jacket I wanted to "think about it.." I HATE that. I don't know what there is to "think about". If you like it, get it. If you don't, forget about it. But it was a very nice sale.

CrazyFriend also talked me into going to an Italian Festival they are having this Saturday in Finlay Park. I am not that keen on going (I have little interest in anything Italian except maybe lasagna) but her "boyfriend" (insert: sleaze,creep,moocher, golddigger) won't go with her so I said I would. Okay, I am trying to be the sensitive guy. I always wind up being the guy in this relationship.)

That was it. The rest of my Wednesday was quiet. I picked Cookie up from Day Care and on the way to get her, I stopped and bought a $1.00 scratch-off and I won $6.00. I was very pleased. I kept $5.00 and bought another scratch-off with the extra dollar. That of course was zero, nada. But I am not complaining about an unexpected extra $5.00/ Yay! I do so want to buy 100 scratch-offs. I wish I had the nerve and the $$$ to do that.

I watched TV the rest of the evening, changed the beds and had pancakes for dinner. It was a very quiet evening. Hubby got home early from dinner with his friend.

Today? What am I doing today you ask?

Well, today is hubby's day to go to the commissary but it is so gorgeous out that I told him I would go. I really don't want to stay in all day and I wouldn't mind getting out. I don't mind going to the commissary and I can stop at a few places on the way:
Home Depot (landscaping timber)
Ace Hardware (3" wood screws)
The Goodwill Store (who knows?)
Petsmart (new collar for Cookie)
WallyWorld (potato salad)
Commissary (groceries)
Lunch (Zaxby's)

It looks like it will be a busy day but believe me, I would rather be busy than sitting around.

That is my non-entry for today.

Countdown to Missy Goode (15 days)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Children and Bars

It is a rainy Sunday.
I go out to have a quiet pleasant day all to myself.
And I want to have a quiet lunch.
So I drive all the way downtown to the university district and I go to a place that I KNOW is a slightly grungy college bar to eat.
Bar food. Twenty-two year old waitresses. Peanuts with shells thrown on the floor.
I think it is safe.
But what do I find??
Yuppies and their adorable (so they think....) CHILDREN (shudder).

Yuppie parents.
Please do NOT bring your little children to bars to eat.

Babies and toddlers do not belong in a bar.
I'm sorry.
If I cannot carry my gun in a place that has a bar or serves alcohol, you should not be able to bring your children either.
And maybe you should have to get a permit to have children.
I had to get a permit to carry my gun.

What was supposed to be a quiet lunch at a BAR turned out to be an adventure in baby-sitting.
Now, it is no secret that I do not like children.
I do not want to be around them.
I don't think they are cute or adorable.
I do not find them amusing or entertaining.
I find them irritating and annoying.
I do not understand them, I cannot communicate with them.
They are foreign little creatures to me.
They are aliens.

I think there should be safe, child free zones for people like me.
Like bars. Dark, slightly grungy bars where you order greasy food and throw peanut shells on the floor.
A bar is no place for a child.
I don't care how cute and adorable you think they are.

They don't belong in a bar.

No NaNoWriMo For Me

NOVEMBER 1 2009:

Today is the kick-off day for NaNoWriMo. I tried to do it last year but I failed so i won't be doing it again. Last year I was quite excited. I even went out and bought an old dinosaur of a computer for $125 from a guy in his garage. It had a functioning word processor (that was all I cared about) and I could drag it around with me everywhere. I started off very well but the first thing that happened was I got sick for four days (disastrous during NaNoWriMo) and then I just sort of ran out of steam and gave up. So I won't be doing it this year. I would like very much to write a cozy but I think I need to do it on my schedule. They say the one thing that all writers need is a deadline. According to NaNoWriMo advocates, that is ALL you need. They say "No Plot,No Problem" all you need is a deadline. But I don't think that is necessarily true. I think you need some inspiration otherwise you are just churning out words. No plot, no problem? Maybe so, maybe I can just make my own deadline. But this year, NaNoWriMo is kicking off without me. I do wish I could join some of the local groups though. That would be more interesting than the furiously writing a novel in a month part for me.
The time has changed.
Now I REALLY hate fall. I am miserable when the time changes like this. It gets dark at 5:30 and I wind up going to bed at 7:00. I HATE it but I can't help it. Once I have had dinner and it is body says it is time to go to bed. Period. I HATE this and I will complain about it from now until April or whenever it changes back again.
Frankly I don't understand WHY we continue daylight savings time. It is an arcane, outdated practice that we just continue for no good reason....the same as summer vacation for kids. There is NO basis in agriculture to continue it any longer. But it's still here and it still makes me miserable.
That's it. Not many profound thoughts for the first day of November. Yesterday was pleasant enough. We went out for a very nice lunch, I bought a pair of grey dress trousers at JC Penney's. Then we had frozen yogurt and went to the book store where I found another cozy on sale this time for only $2.97. For some ridiculous reason that I cannot figure out, Books-a-Zillion has put their Christmas books on sale now. So I found two books, from good established authors with good reviews, one for $3.97 and the other for $2.97. Both of them were current, $14.00 trade paperbacks. I don't understand it but I am not complaining.
Right now it is raining. I thought it was going to clear up and I pulled my car out but the rain started again. I guess I'll go out anyway and get some lunch and go to Wally World. It's better than sitting here all day bored to tears. At least I will get out for a couple of hours. My ankle hurts. I wish I could go to the doctor tomorrow and not wait until Thursday. I need to get these stitches out. They've been in too long. I mat call him tomorrow but it's really hard to get an appointment with him.

Countdown to Missy Good: 19 days

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

You bring out the worst in me.....

Well, she did it to me again.

I spent the day with CrazyFriend yesterday.
It was supposed to be a pleasant day st a charming restaurant for my birthday.
well, to make a long story short, at the end of the day, CrazyFriend did it to me again.

We drove 70 miles to Fort Mill and spent the entire afternoon having a leisurely lunch with another friend at a very laid back, lovely place.
We talked and told stories. We had chicken salad sandwiches and cheesecake.
It was very nice

Until the 70 mile ride home started.

Now, I KNOW this is going to happen....It happens every time.

It happens every time I am trapped in a car with her for longer than 30 minutes and we launch into an endless, pointless circular discussion about her "boyfriend" and I wind up getting angry.

I try to be the kind, understanding supportive friend.

But then:
I turn into the guy,
I never really thought I would understand how guys feel or think but I become the guy in this relationship.
I know I'm right but I get so frustrated with her, I wind up raising my voice.
I say things I know are right but I regret the way I say them because I am at the end of my rope with her.
And then I hate myself for losing it...

She brings out the worst in me..

I TRY not to lose it.
I try to saty calm.
I do everything I can.

I think I should have been granted sainthood a LONG time ago because I have been more patient with CrazyFriend than anyone else on the planet.

But then I finally go over the line.

Want to know what finally tore it this time?

Thirty-five years. That's how long I've been married.
Forty years......that's how long our other friend who had lunch with us has been married to her husband.

And as we were driving home, CrazyFriend, who went through a perfectly miserable 5 year marriage and a nasty divorce (and now looking back on it, I can see that a lot of it was HER fault, not the poor guy she was married too although he wasn't exactly a prize either..) and is currently in a "relationship" with a freeloading con man who is living in her house as her "boyfriend" and spending all her money,

Well, what started out as a question as to why we never use our fireplace.....CrazyFriend began her dreamy speech of "Gee...wouldn't it be nice if you could use you fireplace so you and your husband could go back in time and renew your relationship?"

Uuuuhhhhhh..NO. My relationship is just fine, thank you very much.

That's what tore it for me.
CrazyFriend and her dispensing of self-righteous advice on "relationships".

What a joke.

Constantly telling other people how to live their lives when her life is so totally screwed up and she won't fix it.

Yes, I got angry.
I yelled.
Yes. I lost it and I yelled.
I said a number of things I'm sorry I said..not because I said anything wrong.
I didn't.
I didn't say anything that was wrong or untrue or inaccurate.. but because of the way I said them.
And because of the fact that I know I am going to lose it every time we do this.

And when we got back.
CrazyFriend was meek and quiet. Subservient.
Now I know how the abusive guy feels when she just takes it.
When she won't call the police or seek help.
She's a doormat. She makes excuses.
She'll take any kind of abuse and then just go on as if it never happened.

I just hate being the guy.