31 December 2007

The Thing About My Folks

The recent declining health and illness of my father has put a magnifying glass upon my parents and all connecting relationships like never before. In a series of telephone calls between my brothers and I, we have conducted therapy/poker sessions. "I see your paternal disconnection and raise you mom's co-dependence." It's almost become a one-upmanship of scarred childhood memories. It's terribly sad but met with loving sarcasm, if there is such a thing. Sometimes it is just so absurd, that all you can do is laugh.

Have you ever watched Christopher Titus "Norman Rockwell is Bleeding"? That is a portrayal of my father. "The Anti-Dad" But his dad at least had cool cars.

Here is the thing about my folks. In two examples, I can clearly define their relationship:

My dad was recently transported to the hospital at 8 in the morning by ambulance. My mother calls, in snot and tears, and needs me to come down to take her to the hospital. While I am driving down (it's a 45 minute trip) my cell rings. It's my mother. "Do I have time to take shower?" she asks. Sure, mom, why not?

I am NOT making this up.

My dad had surgery. It was a major surgery as he had a perferation in his bowel. They kept him in a medically induced coma for a while as he was on a respirator. The nurse told my mom that while he was under, mom could still touch and talk to him and he would probably know that she was there. So, my mom took his hand and talked to him.

He took his hand away.

When the nurse looked at my mom with a puzzled glance, my mom says "Well, he never did like holding hands."

And that is the thing about my folks.

The Barone Family

I have mentioned previously that the show "Everyone Loves Raymond" very closely parallels my own life. Just in case you've forgotten, or are a new reader, yes, my in-laws live next door. Both brother & sister in-law and parent in-laws. *Right* next door. Within visual and auditory range. Cannot swing a cat without hitting a relative around here. I have been intending to get a sign made "Welcome to the Compound, Don't Drink the Kool-aid" (you think I'm kidding.)

What was my point? Oh yeah...

The MG's brother is definitely Robert. It is shockingly accurate, from the demeanor to the downtrodden posture. My sister-in-law is mostly like Amy, she does everything right: cooks, cleans, sews. The MG is a smart version of Raymond. There are times that what Raymond is saying, I have actually heard come out of the MG's mouth.

The parents are strangely a blend of all our parents. Raymond's mother is a mixture of my mother and MG's mother. The acid-tongued but well-intentioned comments are my mother, the neurotic clingyness is MG's mother.
Raymond's Dad is a more verbal version of my dad. And their marriage is a mirror of my parents relationship (more on that in my next post) The only one left out of the equation is MG's dad. The only parallel is that Frank is constantly watching television and eating. Both of our fathers do that.

I think, I hope, that I am not Debra. I've always found her abrasive, even bitchy. Perhaps she is my evil twin.

I have heard Raymond mention in interviews that people comment to him regularly that it is as if he has peeked into our lives and put it on television. In my case, it couldn't been more true. I am still not wholly convinced that there aren't Everyone Loves Raymond spy cams installed in our house.

So, if you ever wonder what my regular, day-to-day life is like: watch television. There it is.

Now, I have to go get ready for the party next door. Where my s-i-l will have prepared all the food and my b-i-l will keep track of how many hands of poker his brother has won. While my f-i-l watches football and my m-i-l hovers.

Poker - BlackJack - Crib

We are playing cards tonight, in celebration of the new year. Just a few friends and family, gathering together to win money away from one another. It's the spirit of the holidays.

The MG and I are easily bored. We're very well suited in that way, but we can be frustrating for everyone else.

The last time we played cards, we grew bored and began making up our own rules. Much like the game of "Cups" that Chandler played Joey on Friends. (perhaps my fave episode, ever)

Much to my b-i-l's consternation, we developed Poker-Blackjack-Crib. We are each dealt 5 cards and whoever can make the best hand out of the three games listed, wins. Of course, this isn't always possible, so it is sometimes settled by paper, rock , scissors or whomever shouts the loudest. (usually MG)

So, give it a try. Don't get bogged own in the rules...make 'em up as you go along. It's so much more fun that way!

Thieving Bastards

So, I am addicted to magazines. I have a huge pile of them, usually. The essentials: People and Entertainment Weekly, the grown-ups: Time and Newsweek and the fill-ins: Ladies Home Journal, Redbook, etc. Lately, I've been branching out: Vanity Fair, Domino, Home. Next to receiving a book in the mail. there's nothing better for me than to glimpse a new magazine patiently waiting for me in the mailbox.

The Mad Genius also gets magazines, boy stuff mostly: National Dragster, Maxim, all the car magazines, National Geographic.

So, we are always getting subscription notices. I have to admit, I am not the best at keeping track of them. Mostly because we get so many and so often. By accident one time, I let a subscription "lapse". I got a cancellation notice but the mailing label on the magazine stated two years in advance subscription.
(Do you know where to find that? On the mailing label, on the upper right hand corner. It should read something like "DEC 08")

Well, this is accurate only if paid in full. If you've simply ordered the magazine but not paid, it's isn't accurate. And also, you are usually subscribed for six months in advance, meaning there is a strange little grace period that I haven't quite figured out yet.

But the reason this is titled "Thieving Bastards" is this:
I went online today to attempt to determine which subscription is due & when for the MG's magazines. Usually, they are about $20 yearly. Imagine my shock and surprise and irritation, when I discover that if I order them online, they're half-price. And it's not a "Special Offer", it's the regular subscription. We've been paying the old subscription rates and *Gasp* they didn't offer us the lower available rates! Thieving Bastards.

So, I've let the "mail-in" subscription lapse and have ordered two years for the price of one online.

Check it out. Don't get ripped off like we did.

Also, if you belong to an organization or business of any kind, you may be eligible for "commercial rates" I ordered a subscription through the school I used to work at and got the magazine at a significantly lower rate. Just make sure that you're ordering through the actual publishing company and not a clearing house. You have to be careful!

Now that I've saved $20, I should be able to subscribe to two more magazines...I must search...

Oh, one caveat: Oprah's Magazine is apparently printed with ink derived from extinct mammals because her magazine is EXPENSIVE. And she graces every cover. If you can get over that, it's not a bad magazine, otherwise borrow it from the library.

Oh, and one more thing: I am trying to reduce my carbon footprint so I do recycle the magazines. I also donate them to different organizations. Someone is always looking for magazines: senior centers, preschools (for cutting out pictures, so no Cosmo or Maxim!)
libraries, etc. Even Value Village will accept magazines now. Just make sure you've taken off the mailing label.

This ends my rant about Thieving Bastards. You may resume your regular activities now.

28 December 2007

Addy

After, finishing our Christmas cards this year, I found myself flipping lovingly through our address book. This is the first address book the Mad Genius and I have had together. So, it's 17 years old. There are lots of scribbled out numbers, pen ink colors and business cards stapled inside. Some addresses are old, some people have passed or are just not a part of our lives anymore.

It's fun to browse nostalgicly (is that a word?)

I laughed when I saw "Jesse and Amy" Then saw that Amy's name was scratched out. They married young, went "on a break" (yes, Jesse actually used that phrase) and then split. Jesse lives in Vegas baby and Amy is long gone.

Or the grouchy, gruff old lady, Mrs. Gritz, that used to own our house. She would be amazed to see the property now.

My God how many times has "W" moved? How many names has "D" had? It's all listed there.

It made me sad to see names of people who have passed or simply faded out of our lives.

If you think about it, an address book is kind of like your life story. A journal of people you knew and places you've been.

Go look through yours...

16 December 2007

What Would Bill Would Say?

In tribute to a friend that was lost to time and circumstance...

"What does your gut say?"

"Lock your door"

"Don't be so coy!"

"Fake it until it's true."

"Sometimes you just gotta cry."

" 'I don't know' is not an answer."

10 December 2007

Jesus Lived in the Closet

Okay, I find it very funny that as I typed that sentence, my computer whigged out....

Many years ago, while shopping for a present for the Mad Geniuses mother, the MG saw a picture that I swear he said he liked. So I bought it for him. It turns out that he didn't say he liked it. Hmm, welll, now what? It wasn't my taste but I had to admit it was a beautiful picture. So, I put it up anyway.

It was a picture of Jesus hugging a man and it had a caption about being accepted wholeheartedly.

When we moved into the Malibu Barbie Dream House, the picture no longer matched anything and I didn't want to put it up "just because" So, with a small twinge of guilt, I stored Jesus in the closet.
On a recent cleaning binge, I took Jesus out and decided to donate him to the church that is across the alley from my work. As Jesus waited patiently for me to actually remember to put him in the truck, the MG noticed and asked where he was going. I explained that I was donating him to church because I didn't want it anymore.

MG fairly choked. "I have been living the life of Job because you've kept Jesus in the closet because he DOESN'T MATCH!?"

Although I laughed, I did feel another little twinge of guilt. I must admit. But I promised MG that Jesus would be much happier at the church than he would be with us. And made darn certain that I didn't forget the picture again.

The next morning, I dropped him off with one of the church ladies. It was kind of awkward to explain to her the story but I went with the truth. I told her that MG was teasing me that I was a heathen. She kindly patted me on the hand "I think you're going to be all right."

01.20.09

Not since I was 15 years old, have I wished for a year to pass quickly more.

Will someone (excuse me, Mr. Kennedy?) please sacrifice their career on the altar of all that's good and pure in this country and call for a fricking impeachment already? If nothing else, to show the rest of the world that we don't stand behind this Idiot King whose Daddy bought him a presidency.

But, I guess, we're just stuck white-knuckling it through the next year.

01.20.09..... I've always wanted a tattoo. This very well may be it.

Computer Wizard

I am not a computer geek. Most of what I've learned is from trial and error. There's been a lot of "hmm, I wonder what this button does?" in my learning.
In fact, I was taught computers in high school, WAY back in 1987. Along side of my bff at the time on a Commodore 64. Back in the "RUN" days. Thank God it's easier now. Or is it?

My new computer (Thanks, Gerry the Computer Dude!) had suddenly bogged down while using the internet and slowly as I used my email as well. As I am one of the ten people in the US that still has dial-up: this was incredibly frustrating.

So, I did all the tweaks I knew how and then wandered out into the vast world of search engines.
I am a search engine rebel, I don't use the Google. I heard that gasp, it's true: I don't use the Google. I use Dogpile, I like it much better and have had better luck with it.

I found something interesting: "10 Simple Ways to Speed up Windows XP" A clever girl would have the link for you but I didn't think that far ahead. You are smart beings, I am sure you can find it if you wish. It was fairly easy and it did seem to help the computer.

The other piece of information that I learned is that a person only needs three programs on their computer and sshhh, little known secret: (to me at least) they're all free. FREE I say!
AVG Antivirus. Spybot and CCleaner. These programs have made me into such a better computer owner. LOVE that!

And I have to admit it, I have to honor my inner computer geek: I love download.com. There, I said it. I feel better now.

I also discovered something I had been told before but failed to truly realize and appreciate: you don't have to use IE! There's another option! I know! The overall cure of my internet woes laid in the hands of Mozilla. It fixed my internet! All is right again in Whooville.

So, there is the complete edition of my limited knowledge of computer stuff. It may be "DUH" to some people but perhaps it's not to others. In the spirit of Christmas, I am sharing my new knowledge.

And can I just say that the new spell-check option on Blogger is a godsend? I usually cut and paste my blogs, one of the things that thwarts my regular postings. Ooops, did I just say that aloud? Sh*t, now I don't have an excuse. Oh well...

Flurries

Allo poppets! It is, at long last, me again. Once again, I have been caught up in the whirlwind of life and for a moment, it has spat me back out so that I can concentrate for one quick moment at the computer.

There was been snow over the past seven days, nothing that exciting, actually it's the perfect kind of snow: enough to make everything pretty but not enough to keep everyone at home.

And like the snow, I will post in my usual style: in a flurry of small posts.

Thank you, as always, for your patience. And on we go...

11 November 2007

Viva Las Vegas!

We just returned from Vegas Baby! I really wasn't that interested in going but after staying behind three years running, I decided to go. I LOVED IT. I sooo want to go back and I wasn't ready to come home! We didn’t get to see quite everything that I wanted to see but we experienced lots. I figured I would break it down by day:

Thursday:


We were in Vegas at noon. Glorious sun and heat! We left rain and cold in Seattle, of course. We picked up the rental car and headed down the Strip to our hotel, which is at the opposite end of the Strip. This was great because we got to see everything right away. It’s not as garish in the daylight but it’s not as enchanting as well. Some of the hotels are just as beautiful in the daylight: The Venetian, the Bellagio, Paris, and New York New York. We stayed at the Stratosphere, which is Space Needle-like.


We drove the entire Strip, checked in and took a nap. Then we went to the top of the Stratosphere to see Las Vegas. It is impressive during the day as it is at night. During the day, you really realize how far up you are. During the night, the lights are amazing! I would have never guessed that Vegas was that large of a city.


There are rides on top of the tower that are mind boggling. I didn’t do any of them. In fact, I was scared just WATCHING them. They were definitely in the “No Fucking Way” category.
Here is a link and you can click on the right side to see the rides. Be sure to click on “See Image” to see an actual picture of the ride. TERRIFYING.
http://www.stratospherehotel.com/attractions.html


Then we took a cab down to the Mandalay Bay, which ist the other end of the Strip. (this is important to remember)

This hotel has a Shark Reef Aquarium. It is amazing. The sharks literally swim right past your nose. You can walk underneath their tank and see them swim above you. AMAZING.


Then we went to the Harley Davidson Café, not necessarily because it was on our list of things to do but because it was close and we were hugnry. Lots of comfort food, but expensive.
See virtual tour here: http://www.harley-davidsoncafe.com/

After dinner, we decide to walk a bit to see the town. We walked up one side of the Strip, looked at everything as we went. Las Vegas has overhead walkways so that you don’t have to risk your life crossing the street. These also allow you to see more. Pretty darn cool. We didn’t go into any of the casinos or hotels but did walk through their entrances if they caught our eye.
Well, it turns out we walked the entire Strip. Just under FIVE MILES. I know!
Remarkably, it didn’t feel like five miles. I think it’s because everything is so interesting to look at and everything is so energized.

Once we got back to the motel, we crashed. We did have friends there but their flight was late, go figure.

Friday:
We had breakfast with our friends in the casino buffet. I am not a big fan of buffets, one would think I would be but nope. I want someone to bring me my food. Also, I don’t eat lots so it’s a waste most of the time. We couldn’t coordinate going on the Hoover Dam tour so we decided to drive out to Red Rocks Canyon instead. The drive allowed us to see more of Las Vegas, more of the desert and time to just chill. Our friends were in the other SUV and we followed them, not without getting lost of course.

We went back to the hotel because we had tickets to see a show at the Excalibur Hotel, Tournament of Kings. It was a jousting competition and Medieval dinner. I wanted to copy and paste the picture, because it was the Prince we cheered for. (you are assigned a country to cheer for) but I couldn’t.
They give you ceramic steins to keep and you have to use them to cheer when prompted. Here is the link to the page. It’s nothing at all but at least you get to see our prince! http://www.excalibur.com/entertainment/tournament_of_kings.aspx


After dinner, we went down to Fremont, which is old Vegas. It’s AMAZING. They have the old neon signs up and lots of kiosks and stores. There is also a laser show that runs every hour on the hour. This was more family friendly and also seemed to be more for the locals. We saw much more humanity here, always entertaining.

After this show, we went to Margaritaville. It’s just a bar but they have these margarita pump pots that they set on your table. 2 liters of margaritas. There was also a live band. This experience showed us just how old we are. (:-D

Saturday was Boys Day. We went to the Las Vegas Motorspeedway to watch our friends race. This is where MG was a crew chief last year. He’s so glad that he wasn’t one this year. Our friends did really well!
I only lasted half the day because I was too tired. I took the rental back to the hotel and T and I went upstairs in the Strat (as the locals call it…haha) to shop. I tell you, they slap the words “Las Vegas” on everything! I didn’t buy much of anything, other than postcards of course! Then I returned to the room to take a rest.

One of the most interesting things about Las Vegas was that the hotel had a tourism channel, which played nothing but A&E, Discovery, and History Channel documentaries about Las Vegas! It was Very Interesting! The history of Vegas, etc. I loved it!

The Mad Genius came “home” late and we ate downstairs at “Roxy’s” which was a 50’s café, featuring singing waiters! There was a woman (customer) in her late sixties, singing and chasing the waiter as he sung. They ended up dancing on the table! Then the deejay played the Chicken Dance for two little girls and the waiters danced with them. It was too cute! He also played Johnny Horton “North to Alaska”, he wore a beat up hat and held a pony stick. Too funny. Here is the link: http://www.stratospherehotel.com/roxys_diner.html

Sunday:
Sunday I slept in while the Mad Genius went to the buffet and then off to the races we went. T stayed at the hotel. I promised to come back in the afternoon and take her to the Venetian to see the canal. As luck would have it, all of our friends did really well. I stayed until just the start of the semi-finals and then left.
I drove down to the Venetian. Getting around Vegas was easy and our rental was nice. (A Suzuki SUV)

The Venetian was AMAZINGLY BEAUTIFUL! As luck would have it, I didn’t take my camera, *head slap* The gondoliers are opera singers! Beautiful! Also, there are human statues to see.

It is a high-end hotel with shops all through. Designer stores and galleries. Some of the stuff we saw was incredible. Glass work for thousands of dollars! http://www.venetianhotel.com/TOUR.aspx# Definitely take the “tour”.

I went into one gallery because it had Snoopy paintings …

They were HUGE. This one was probably six foot by four foot. Bright colors, and I’m not sure the medium. They look almost like tempera paint and deflated balloons. It sounds garish, but they were cool. The salesperson approached us and said the above picture’s last bid was $2400. The person that does these creations is reportedly Charles Schulze’s best friend and he painted these during Charles’ final days, with Charles permission. It was a touching story, I hope it is true and not a sales technique.
The website is www.s2art.com I haven’t gone there yet so I have no idea what I’m sending you to.

I drove the Strip after we left the Venetian. We got to see and listen to part of Bellagio’s water fountains, Elvis music of course.
Here is the link to see the fountains… http://www.bellagio.com/amenities/fountains-of-bellagio.aspx

That night we went to Treasure Islands Pirate Show. It was very porn-y. There is a ship with siren maidens (I think they called them) Witch whores, essentially. They capture a sailor from another ship and the ship tries to retrieve him. They have a battle and the man ship sinks. It’s very over-done and the women are dressed like strippers. But the effects were cool. Here is the link…
http://www.treasureisland.com/ The Sirens of TI are pictured and you can watch a video of it.

Monday was a long day. We went on the Hoover Dam tour, which took allllllllllllllllllllllllllll day. We stood at the top of the dam and looked down…it’s really far. (:-D http://www.usbr.gov/lc/hooverdam/gallery/damviews.html


It took an hour to get there, then we spent two hours there, and then we had lunch at a buffet (my fave!) at a casino called Sam’s Town. It has a huge atrium with a fountain in the center with animatronic animals, which certainly needed refurbishing. Here is the virtual tour…http://www.samstownlv.com/vr_tours/index.cfm You want to see “Mystic Falls”.

We also stopped at Ethyl M’s Chocolates, which is M&M’s top shelf chocolates. Yum!

We returned to the hotel, took a nap, packed and were at the airport a little before 7 pm. Our flight was at 9:32 pm and was delayed 20 minutes. MG & I slept on the plane and again in the van. (his parents picked us up at SeaTac)

I really want to watch the movie Fools Rush In with Salma Hayek and Matthew Perry again. I think I’m going to this weekend. I even saw it on a poster at the Hoover Dam.

I loved the weather. It was 80 degrees but felt more low 70’s, which is perfect. My weather e-friend Scott said that it would be that way. I’m relieved, I was worried it would be HOT and I would be miserable. But I felt so good in that climate!!!

Okay. Now you’ve completed the tour of my vacation. We had so much fun! I really want to go again, I really wasn’t ready to come home yet.

I really really want to go again. I reccomend it even to people that don't gamble...we don't at all. There is too much to do!

We didnt' get to see the lions at the MGM Grand (a horribly ugly building)
Or ride the roller coaster at New York New York and the NASCAR Cafe.
Or do the NASCAR Experience at Las Vegas Motorspeedway.
I want to see the Las Vegas Sign Graveyard where they store the old casino signs.
We traveled through Boulder City, which looks like a cool town to walk through. It's on my list of things to go back and look.
We also need to take at least one full day to drive/fly to the Grand Canyon. I've decided that I want to try to do the Skywalk.

And would you believe that we didn't see one single Elvis while we were there?! I feel robbed! It was on my list of things to do!

We also momentarily considered getting remarried at the the Little White Chapel, just for fun.

When I figure out how to post pictures, I wll do so. This post was so much more cool with the pictures.

Happy Freaking Thanksgiving

I am Chandler Bing. If you don’t know who Chandler Bing is then stop reading, as we can’t be friends anymore.

I don’t like Thanksgiving. It’s not my favorite holiday, at all. It’s not even in the running. No consideration whatsoever. I have no thanks for Thanksgiving.

We “celebrate” (the quotation marks are for sarcastic measure and will be a theme) Thanksgiving twice. Once in the early afternoon and once in the late afternoon. Yes, I am aware that the math doesn’t make sense in that sentence. Welcome to my life.

The first “celebration” is with the in-laws. This, one would think, would be easy as they all live here. Well, except that we all gather in one house with not nearly enough seating and it is approximately 5000 degrees in said house.

Every once in awhile to add to the fun, my m-i-l will invite random aunts or cousins.
Also, add in that the sister-in-law invites her sister and brother, both of which are probably featured in at least one episode of COPS. So, not only do we “celebrate” twice, we “celebrate” with people we don’t like and would never associate with. Yea, yea for us.

Oh, have I mentioned not enough seating? Yeah. This is a problem. My nephew-in-law ALWAYS stretches out in one of the recliners and falls asleep. While I admire the coping technique of sleeping through the holiday, get your 25-year-old ass (I mean this literally and figuratively) out of the chair and let one of the adults sit down. (And I am talking about my father-in-law, not myself. I sit at the kitchen table and read the paper or play Solitaire with actual cards.)

Then as if that’s not enough, let’s mention the loser nephew: The Jon Lovitz perpetual liar of the family. He stretches out in the middle of the floor and sleeps. This, I find immensely rude and irritating, and I must admit I laugh with sadistic glee when my grand-nephew either jumps on him or shrieks a sound only four-year-olds can emit.
Although, conversely, if he’s sleeping, we don’t have to listen to his bullshit stories of how he is a semi-pro football player or is going to fight in a MMA fight.

Dinner is always late, there is always way too much food, and the cook is always grouchy. ALWAYS. Without fail. We even attempted using two stoves to alleviate the hassle and it still didn’t help. The Mad Genius and I have offered to have dinner at our house, with two caveats: we order dinner and the COPS regulars aren’t invited. So far, we’ve been turned down. “Because it’s *FAMILY*” Um, no, it’s not MY family. It’s not even my in-laws; it’s not my pretend family. It’s not, it’s not, IT’S NOT! *foot stomp*

Our forks barely touch our plates as we finish and we are in the car to drive 45 minutes to my parent’s house. Here is the exact opposite of the first “celebration”. It’s quiet, the house is cool, the cook (my mom & brother) is happy and there is enough seating.

What’s the problem here? Well, there’s the fact that my younger brother is always late and my mother insists on waiting for him. (Because this holiday seems to be a surprise to him every single year) We always get to watch fascinating television like CURLING. (I’m not kidding, people)

But the Piece de Résistance is the “Who’s Going to Take the Lord’s Name in Vain Game?” We play this on Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. I am still not kidding.
Usually, we can count on my Dad to win this game. It became such a shoo-in, we added on a time limit: within fifteen minutes of arrival, or thirty?
My eldest brother caught us laughing one year and wanted in on the joke. We told him, so now he gets to play along too.

Another fun part of that game is every once in awhile; my nieces will chime in with a singsong “Language!” warning after the offending utterance has occurred.

We usually eat buffet style, which is genius of my mother. So much easier! And no one usually notices how little the Mad Genius and I don’t eat.

Then we drive back 45 minutes about 9:00 at night to our own house. We usually try to sneak past the house so that our phone doesn’t ring with the inquiry “Do you want pie?” as soon as we step foot inside. No, we don’t want pie. We want Prozac. We want bed. We want you people to go away.

So, now you know why I don’t like Thanksgiving. And, hopefully, you can now go celebrate with your family and think, “Thank God I only have to celebrate with my family!” Because I know, my families make most families look like the Cleavers.
You’re welcome. Enjoy.

25 October 2007

Go Red Sox!


14 October 2007

1987

Late last night, I realized that there are still some things that I do that I did when I was a teenager...
I still watch Saturday Night Live, and I still fall asleep before the end.
I still think Jon Bon Jovi is hot.
I still will spend my last $20 on a CD
I still need $20 to get through the week...some of it goes in the gas tank, some of it goes toward coffee. (used to be soda when I was younger)
I still watch John Huges movies every time they come on.
I still have the televison on when I read. I still have the radio on when the televison is on.
I still wait until the last possible second to get my chores done.
I still play my music loud in the mornings on the way to work (used to be school)
I will still make myself macaroni & cheese , if I am only cooking for me.
I still clean when I'm stressed.
I still mutter when I'm mad.

I am sure there are more things that I do that I just have't realized. However, it's odd to think about doing these things thoroughout all the stages and settings of my life. It's difficult to think that I've been an adult for twenty years. Twenty Years.

1987, in some ways it still feels like yesterday.

03 October 2007

An Abandoned Soap Opera Script

What the hell is going on in Hollywood? Starlets in jail. Car and motorcycle crashes. Breakdowns. Feuds.
It is as if the agents banded together, culled together abandoned soap opera scripts, and set this current Hollywood in motion.

What happened to Hollywood glamour? What happened to discretion? Hollywood used to be considered American Royalty. Now they've become like characters in a graphic novel. Exaggerated.

Is it the media? Is it the agents? The stars themselves? Probably a mixture of all.

In response to an interview question "Why don't we see you in the tabloids?" The Mad Genius's "freebie", Jessica Alba, said "Because when I go out in public, I consider myself at work."
I think she summed it up: celebrities used to conduct themselves as if they were at work when they went out. They were never caught looking less than fabulous, they conducted themselves (mostly) properly. They were at work.

Also, the media used to cut them a break. They'd squelch unflattering photographs, they'd turn a blind eye to compromising situations. Neither of these things happen any more.

I want 1940's glamour back. Bring me Hepburn & Tracy (although they were scandalous in their own right)...Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn. Give me hats, gloves, walking sticks and suits.
Bring back the glamour! And not just because it's the Academy Awards.

A story about my dad

In honor of my dad's upcoming fight with cancer, I thought I would share our favorite story of us together.

When I was 16, my dad put a new roof on the house. He's been everything from a general contractor to a fire chief, so this was our normal. One day I was up on the roof helping him. I think I was just pulling nails, I don't quite remember.

My parents house sits on a lake. The front of the house has HUGE picture windows. They had taken their fair share of abuse, birds bouncing off of them, brothers throwing pinecones, etc.

My dad was trying to get the last truss pushed off of the roof. It was just the truss but it was a little too heavy for him to push alone so he called me over to help. Now, I am fine with heights as long as I am not on the edge. This required me to be on the edge.

So, reluctantly, on the count of one, two, three...we pushed.
As happens in most accidents, the world slowed to stop-motion speed.

We watched the truss fall and then take a shuddering left turn and down toward the house.

*SHATTER*

There goes two picture windows, in one shot.

My dad looked at me like, and perhaps even said, "oh shit." He scooted back up to the center of the roof, sat down, took out a cigarette and said "Let's stay up here awhile."

In the ensuing silence, we hear my mom. Thud, thud, thud, thud. We listen to her footsteps to the door. "DAMMIT FRED!" she yells.

He said something like "I know, it was an accident." and my mom lost her mind. She went on rant, reasonably so. Finally, my dad unwisely replies, "What do you want me to do, glue it back together?" I remember biting back a burst of laughter, so far she was only mad at him and I wanted to keep it that way.

You could actually see the fuming silence rise up to the roof. Her response was a house-shaking door slam and shortly thereafter the sound of the vacuum cleaner. I am sure there was much muttering and cursing.

I don't remember much else about the day. Just vividly my dad ever-so-calmly taking out a smoke, waiting for the armageddon that was going to be my mother.

When You're Feeling Blue..

My mom used to tell me that if I didn't feel well or was sad to dress up. Her theory was that it was difficult to feel badly when you're dressed up in your nice clothes. And, a by-product is that perhaps people will comment on how nice you look. So, if you feel like poo, your self-esteem will be feeling great. I've tried it throughout my life and it does help a little, I must admit.

Another random bit of fashion advice...
There used to be an ad on television years ago. (in the 80's) It was for Navy perfume "Because you always feel good in Navy." Of course the super-model spokeswoman was dressed to the nines in navy. And she looked good, I'm assuming she felt good too. This, too, I have found to be true. You do feel better in Navy!

And now, I'll leave you with whatever punchline you have in response...something concerning sailors, I am sure. (:-D

25 August 2007

Places I have Wandered to...

I am cheating a little, dear friends. I seem to have a little ADD mixed in with my OCD and now a dash of PTSD to make a lovely psychological alphabet soup. This is keeping me from spending much time with the computer beyond playing Spider Solitaire and checking my email. So, without further ado...Places I've wandered to...

This is a blog that passed along by a friend. He's crass and sometimes you have to wade through some stuff to get to the point, but I found it worth the wading. It's amazing to me that someone would actually move to Thailand on purpose...
http://ingnominousoffences.blogspot.com/

Hmmm. I thought about this site a lot. There have been times in my life that I might have used this. Perhaps even in current time. Must think on this...
http://www.say-so.org/

This site was also passed along by my co-worker. Good for a giggle.
http://www.stitchymcyarnpants.com/

And it's companion site...although it looks like it is discontinued now.
http://youknitwhat.blogspot.com/

For my fellow book nerds/book whores...the very same coworker referenced above is beginning her dream book business, online to start then with a brick & mortar version someday. She's just beginning so bookmark this (pun intended) and visit later.
http://www.nevermorebooks.blogspot.com/

And from my e-friend Terry in Chicago... www.ayntk.blogspot.com Terry's sister is running for office! This is an email that I am passing along to you all just for fun. It's kind of fun watching a campaign that one has no personal stake in. Amy has mentioned doing a blog describing the process as she goes along. Welcome to the New Century's Elections.

As most of you are probably aware by now, my ambitious younger sibling has decided to do something completely crazy: run for political office! Over the past couple of months, AmySue has been busily getting all of the pieces in place for a serious run at the Illinois 5th District Senate Seat. It's a big area to represent, including a large chunk of Chicago, and a big responsibility to hold elected office - but I can honestly say I don't know too many people better qualified to make a difference than my little sis. She's an ambitious, critical thinker with great ideas and an excellent understanding of how government works (and doesn't work, as our current leadership downstate has been demonstrating). Further, AmySue is genuine - someone who really cares about people and the problems we all face. She's the kind of person we need more of in elected office, so I am proud to say I support her all the way...and I hope you will join me in that support. Here's all I ask... won't you PLEASE visit her website and make a small donation to her campaign fund. Or a not-so-small one if you can manage it. She really needs all the support she can get between now and February's primary. Any help you can offer today, however small, would go a long way toward helping her make it happen. And it would sure make a great birthday gift! :) The site is a work in progress, but the link to donate is very secure: www.AmySueMertens.org

22 August 2007

Contented Sigh...


Just another beautiful Pacific Northwest Day!

Good Fortune

I've always had bizarre experiences with fortune cookies. From the laughable:
My family was out to dinner and my brother & sister in law were adding "...in bed" to the end of everyone's fortunes. I was inwardly rolling my eyes, because I'm not twelve years old, when my nephew...then 16 years old...leans over and says "I was going to play that game too but then I thought it would be immature."
I laughed right out loud. And I couldn't explain why without insulting his parents or getting him in trouble.

The next story is when I lost my job a year and a half ago. We had recently had Chinese food and my fortune said "You will soon be pursuing other career opportunities." Not knowing what the future had in store for me, I dismissed it. Low and behold, less than three days later: I was unemployed! It didn't even occur to me until the Mad Genius woke me up one morning by bouncing on the bed and telling me "It's all the cookie's fault!"

So then, last night I brought home Chinese food for dinner. The Mad Genius didn't get home until 7:30 so he was dog-ass tired. We hardly spoke during dinner, he just didn't have the energy for it.

He always chooses the fortune cookie because I have horrible luck with them. He opens his, reads it, then tosses it on the table. "Fuck that."

I reach over, pick it up and read:

"You will bring sunshine into someone's life"

Perhaps it's not the fortunes themselves, but our reactions to them. Hmmmm.

14 August 2007

EDDIE!


I am a huge fan of Eddie Izzard. H.U.G.E Fan. I actually belong to his fan club. (http://www.eddieizzard.com/)

I know, I know, it's shocking. Try to roll with me here. I am in a fan club. That, my friends, is how great Eddie is.


It was with joyous glee that I received an email notification that Eddie was making a trip to my beloved Seattle. I have seen him live once before and had a great time. The enitre experience was entertaining. To the 100 year old theatre, to the funky eclectic group of people, to Eddie himself.


After that whole exploding thing, I had to go. So, thanks to my friend W who spent a frustrating hour on the telephone on Monday morning, we got to see Eddie!!!


He was fabulous. He was using this set in Seattle as a test for his newest routine. He was nearly flawless. I say nearly because he was upstaged by a fly. Yep, a fly.

A fly flew right into his forehead during his set; apparently, on a kamakazi mission. (Eddie's line, not mine)
Eddie spent the next 30 minutes riffing about this fly. Including polling the audience on determing the fly's fate. (it was 50/50 of course. This is Seattle, after all) The crowd was roaring with laughter.
I figure anyone who can pull that off, deserves my adulation.


Eddie is not a comedian of the Jerry Seinfeld or Kathy Griffin ilk. I really feel awkard calling him a comedian. He makes you think. He teaches you about history, religion, science. And he makes you laugh. By the end of his shows, a person feels as if you are friends and you've just been chatting over coffee. Of course, snorting said coffee through your nose but chatting all the same.


So, if you get a chance, go see Eddie. If you can't, rent any of his DVD's. Go, go now. Log onto Netflix or Blockbuster. Go!

I personally love Dressed to Kill, but any of them will entice you into being an Eddie devotee. He is also an actor, currently in "The Riches" on FOX and has an upcoming movie, which name I can't recall. Forgive me.


Are you still here? Go, I said. Go rent Eddie. Go buy tickets! Go!

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

I spent part of my vacation literally getting blown up. How often can one say that literally?

This is a six inch mortar used to shoot fireworks. Well, actually this is the remanent of the mortar. As you can see, something went horribly wrong this year. For the first time in 44 years, we had an accident.

No worries, as we are all fine *now*. Unfortunately my brother was on the receiving end of the blast. He's nearly healed now but only after a week stay in a burn unit and a six-inch plate and six screws in his arm.
See news story here: http://www.komotv.com/news/8318837.html

The rest of us suffered mere flesh wounds, to go all Monty Python on you. Except for being shaken, most of the crew walked away with flash burns to the eyes and small cuts & bruises due to shrapnel flying through the air. To say that we are all lucky doesn't even come close. As odd as it sounds, we were blessed that we walked away.

And after mercilessly razzing him about losing his cell phone two years in a row, we are happy to report that my brother was able to keep ahold of it this year. Go figure. His glasses also survived the blast. It took some engineering work to get them to fit again but let's hear it for titanium frames!

So, dear friends, that is the way I sent my summer vacation. Thus the lull in posts. Only this time I had a really good excuse! Trust me, this is the only time I will use this excuse!

Thanks to everyone for their well wishes. My telephone rang off of the hook the next few days and it was great to hear from everyone. Too bad it wasn't under happier circumstances.

27 June 2007

Y It's a New Adventure!

I have begun a new adventure. As much as I said that I didn't want to work full-time ever, ever again, I am. I've taken a pretty easy job at the local YWCA. I applied on a whim and it turns out they really, really wanted me to work here. So, I am trying it out.
Returning to full-time made me anxious, I've had nothing but free time for a year and relinquishing it was difficult. It's taken some juggling to make everything fit but it seems to be working out just fine.

Now, onto more fun stuff...let me tell you about this joint:

I work in a historic building; it’s over 100 years old. This would, of course, on be considered historic in America, as Eddie Izzard would comment. However, I believe that it is on the historic registry and I know that somehow the tree in the yard is a historic monument. I don’t yet know why.
It is brick on the outside and semi-Victorian on the inside, with a splash of 1980’s hotel décor. It overlooks the bay and part of downtown. The view is beautiful and soothing. The purpose of the building has always been a YWCA and was built specifically for the program.

My desk is set diagonally, against another desk. It’s an odd set-up, not one that I would have chosen but it works. I can see the entryways, as per my job. I have some privacy, as I am partially obscured by my monitor. The nearly floor to ceiling windows are behind me. I am tempted to turn my desk so that I can look out the window without turning in my chair but then I would lose privacy and probably concentration. I love to watch the cars pass by on Forest Street.

I have a family portrait and a clock from my home on my desk. Those are the only personal touches that I have brought here. There isn’t space for many homey touches. In addition, after my last career adventure, I am hesitant to make the space too personal. I’m enjoying the anonymity a little and I am reluctant to yet commit to a job wholeheartedly. There are two plants on the little ledge. One looks like a giant dandelion, I think it’s supposed to be outside but it’s been left in my office. The other is a strange little ivy-ish plant that suddenly appeared and no one has claimed.

I have the radio turned on, which is unusual I have been told. Apparently the girl before me never had it on. It would be a slow descent into insanity for me if I were forced to endure silence all day. Alas, I have to endure what I refer to as pabulum radio. It’s “family friendly” pre-programmed radio. Nothing like what I would normally listen to. But the staff and residents alike have had fun listening to the music, it’s become a good ice-breaker.

The front desk/reception area is a long counter and has folding café doors. There’s a transom window above it, which allows in more light. I wish transom windows were used in houses more, there is just something about them that I like.

The lobby has a grandfather clock that literally came with the building. There is also a chandelier that lights the lobby. I don’t think it came with the building, it looks too modern. Nevertheless, it adds to the grand ambience of the building. Again, 1980’s hotel style furniture is placed around for residents and guests. The residents will often hang out in the lobby in the afternoon and some of the conversations that I hear are remarkable!

There is a ballroom, a real authentic ballroom with huge windows that overlook the bay. As you walk in, you can feel and nearly picture the spirits of women past that graced that floor. The ballroom is used for classes, meetings, and weddings now. A remodel will soon return it to its past glory. I can hardly wait.

Upstairs is all resident housing, set up as a mixture of hotel and dorms. Each floor shares a bathroom (yikes!) and a kitchen. It has been remodeled so spirits past are not so prevalent upstairs as down.

The basement houses the old YWCA pool. Sadly, it’s not longer in use. It’s been covered and is now a staging area for a clothing give-away program that this Y program has. I am disappointed that it’s not accessible and will soon also be remodeled for more offices and storage. I’ve only been here three weeks and a few people have asked if the pool is still here as they swam in it as a child. I think I would swim every day if it were.

The residents here have been a trip. There are some women that it’s clear how they ended up here. There are others that I wonder what the hell happened that they are here. Each of them has a specific, personal story, of course. The underlying themes all seem to include mental health issues, domestic violence, or drug use. Sometimes all three factor in.
(And, the residents will give me more fodder for my name theory!!!)

It is nice to be working in the non-profit world again. I just had such issues at my other “work” with not having contributed to the well-being of the community in any way. I guess, if nothing else, it clarified that I don’t want to work for any for-profit companies if I have the choice.

This position is part babysitter, parent, and security guard. The honeymoon period is over so I’m slowly being asked for special favors or getting snarked at. They said it would happen and it has. That’s okay though, I’ve had to think on my feet all of my life.

So, there you have it: a lovely tour of my new work. If I can figure out how to post pictures and make them stay, I will do so soon.

23 June 2007

Surprise!

So, I am chilling, watching Ralphie May on Comedy Central when the commercials come on. I am trying to convince myself to go do something constructive when a commercial comes on:

A couple sitting at a romantic dinner setting. The guy is smirking knowingly when the girl discovers a ring box. Typically, she opens it, her eyes widen, and she smiles.

But wait, what's that? The box is vibrating. WTF?

Now, my attention is caught. Cell phone? Panic button? What could it be?

Fade to text...Durex, the first of it's kind. A vibrating ring. A vibrator ring.
It looks like a child's toy but it's not. Oh, well it's a toy but ...

I've got nothing...I'm not a prude but Damn. Oh My God. I think I need a shower now, and not in a good way. I have no other words, just a shudder and the sudden need to go watch a Disney Movie to cleanse my brain.

Oh wait, yes I do have something else to say. Do you know how pissed I would be? P-I-S-S-E-D. Give me a ring box and have it turn out to be a sex toy. Tell you what, that toy would be inserted someplace I'm sure Durex never intended it to be inserted.

One last thing: Can you imagine being the ad guys for that product? I would love to hear the pitches that ended up on the cutting room floor.

18 June 2007

Silly, stupid people

We are stupid, stupid people that shouldn’t be in charge of our own lives. Really. Seriously. We are both youngest in the birth order and should never be married. This will illustrate why:

On Saturday, we drove nearly three hours, spent three hours racing, and then drove three hours home. It was one of those “It sounded like a good idea at the time” things.

Our original plan was to stay the weekend but the weather forecast called for rain so we cancelled our hotel reservations so that we wouldn’t waste $75.00
And then, our friend called taunting us that the weather was great and that we should come down. So, we did. Stupid, stupid people.

Imagine our surprise at how tired we were upon our return trip! It was a three hour tour, to go all Gilligan on you. Essentially, we traveled from one end of the state to nearly the other end. The MG had been there before, but I hadn’t. About ¾ of the way there, I told the MG that “Even Moses would have turned around by now.” Jeez.

We were asked to race down there, actually, as hired guns. There was another racer from Oregon that is an ASS. A.S.S. It seems that any time he loses a race; he takes his stuff and goes home. Since The MG has had the fastest car so far this season, the other racers asked him to come down and beat the guy. Ever ready for a challenge, MG was equal to the task.

While we were there, the Ass was cordial until he found the need to insult MG after he had been beaten twice. The MG, ever the diplomat, took it well but declared the ASS a definite ASS.

It began to rain about 5:00 p.m. so we headed home having accomplished our mission. Apparently, the Ass didn’t know this and asked for his money back, took his toys and went crying home to his mama. Racers rejoiced!

So, this is why we drove three hours, to race three hours only to drive three more hours. Probably not the best idea we ever had. But we did make a memory and we know that it’s something we’ll never do again! And the Ass will probably not return.

14 June 2007

Incredible Flying Stove

I have one of those embarrassing "Oh please, God, do we have to tell this story" stories. Everyone has one and I went through a large percentage of my adult life without one. Until a few years ago. Someone mentioned the other day that I should post this story on the blog as it's *so funny*

For a wedding anniversary, my brother-in-law bought his wife a stove. A really nice ceramic cooktop stove. I, being the nice person that I am, offered to pick it up for them.

Now, I don't like Sears. I never have liked Sears. They don't have an on-site warehouse and it's always in some far-off weird place. This was no exception.

After work, I went to the warehouse to get said stove. It's in an industrial park in an unpopulated area so I'm not happy about it. It's November, so it's dark. I am regretting offereing to get the stupid stove at this point.

The dude working in the warehouse was literally on top of boxes nearly to the ceiling. (oh, twenty feet up) Because...and this is a quote: "It's warmer up there." AND he seems irritated that I'm there. Apparently I interrupted him watching his "stories" or something.

He goes to get the stove, which is apparently located somewhere back in the bat cave, judging from the amount of time it took him to get it. While I am waiting, I'm reading all the signs posted. Some are for customers, some are not. This comes in handy later.

The dude loads it in my truck, tucking it upright against the cab. He tells me that it can't be laid down, I don't remember why now. I asked him if it needed to be strapped down as I was traveling a distance ON THE FREEWAY. He scoffed at me and said no as if I am an idiot. I just *Love* being treated like a girl. *Love it*

So, off I go. I returned to my office, taking regular streets and even going uphill. Indeed, the stove did not move. I'm golden. Or so I thought.

I leave my office and get on the freeway. Again, it's November in the Northwest so it's dark and damp. (not raining though) As I get up to speed, a semi whooshes by in the fast lane. My truck shakes, un-naturally I might add, and I can suddenly see out my rear window. Just in time to see a box hit the ground and a car swerve.

My mind has blanked what happened shortly thereafter but I'm positive there was a LOT of cursing. I know that I pulled over, jumped out, and somehow dragged the stove to the side of the road without dying. This is a miracle unto its self.

But now, having exhausted my super-human powers, I am unable to return the stove to the back of the truck. I was just getting ready to leave it there when passers-by from the opposite side of the freeway stopped behind me. They said that they saw what happened and did one of those "Did you just see what I just saw?" things. They swung off the freeway, back onto the southbound lanes and stopped. God Bless Them. (a couple, by the way and not from here. That's all I know about them. )

They tucked the stove, now laying down, into the bed of the truck (screw you, mr. Sears Warehouse Man) and sent me on my way.

By now, what has happened is sinking in. The adrenaline is fading and the dread is increasing.

Also, this is the period of time when I didn't have a cell phone. *great* So I pulled off at the next exit and risked catching tuberculosis by using a pay phone to call MG.

I told him what happened: the stove fell out of the truck. He thought that I was kidding. *ouch* No, I explained, it fell out and someone helped put it back in and now I'm coming home. There was a little pause in the conversation and MG asked "How did it fall out?"

Probably a reasonable question. However, this question must have caused a little psychosis on my behalf. My response?
"It was in the truck and THEN it fucking WASN'T!"

Needless to say, the conversation ended shortly thereafter.

Later, I realized that the MG had the more difficult job: breaking the news to his brother that I had lost the stove.

I finally get home and we thrust the stove into the shop and dare not look at it further.

In a show of forgiveness, the borhter-in-law feeds me dinner. After dinner, I called Sears and ask for the manager. Of course, as it's evening now, the manager is not there but I could speak to ...well, we'll call him Steve. (because all Steve's are assholes, just ask me)

Steve dares to mock me about strapping it down. Enter another psychotic break.

I succinctly told him about their warehouseman who mocked me for asking about strapping it down. "Sears does not take responsibility for any item after it has been loaded onto the customer's vehicle. There is a sign posted at the warehouse." was his response.

Hear that cracking sound? That's my head exploding.

"I realize that." she says in a strangely calm voice " I saw the sign and it *actually* said that Sears employees are not responsible for providing rope, straps, or any sort of tie-downs to the customers. That is NOT the SAME as telling me it would be FINE and I could transport it without them."

I guess when I copped an attitude, it gave him an attitude and we were done from that point forward. Go figure.

I waited until the morning and called the *real* manager. SHE was very nice. Although she too tried the "Sears is not responsible" tact and it didn't work for her either. I proceeded to quote every single sign that was posted on the walls. Including the one that stated that Rick was to remember to turn down the heat before he left. I'm assuming that Rick is the idiot on top of all the boxes. Apparently, he's a lizard.

Once I finished my quotation of all the signs and played the "I'm a girl, how am I supposed to know" card, she relented. They sold the Brother in law another stove at 50% cost. I thought that was a pretty screaming deal. Good on Sears.

I offered to pay for it but the b-in-law wouldn't allow me. That's the very definition of forgiveness right there, ladies and gentlemen.

And I DID NOT go pick up the second stove.

And I DID receive tie-down straps one month later for my birthday. Funny, funny man.

Epilogue:

So, the crashed stove sat neglected and ignored in b-i-l's shop until Thanksgiving, about two weeks later. On a whim, MG and b-i-l plugged it in and checked it out. Thinking "Wouldn't it be wild if it worked?"

IT WORKED. Granted, it was cosmetically messed up but it worked. The ceramic top was intact, the oven worked. It was a Thanksgiving Miracle.

AND then, the b-i-l GAVE it to me. How's that for forgiveness? Throw a $800 stove off a truck into the middle of the freeway and get it for free.

It's now residing in my niece's house as we got a brand-new stove with our brand-new house. It's been a busy little stove.

Moral of the story: TIE EVERYTHING DOWN.

And use caution if you shop at Sears. (:-D

Vote Dammit

"60.7 percent of eligible voters participated in the 2004 presidential election, the highest percentage in 36 years.
However, more than 78 million did not vote.
This means President Bush won re-election by receiving votes from less than 31% of all eligible voters in the United States."

Don't tell me your vote doesn't count. I'm not listening.

10 June 2007

Weather Report

My weather friend, Scott, has returned from vacation! This was a report he did a few days ago. I don't know how he comes up with this stuff:

Sunshine, Never a Slam Dunk

Aaaaiiiiirrrrr baaaallllll.....
Usually, it's not hard for Mother Nature to hit the Northwest with rain, but today, to keep with the basketball terminology, she bricked the free throw. As expected, rain wrapped around the backside of a low pressure area moving to the east, but the rain overshot the Puget Sound area, instead soaring west to Vancouver Island, then turning south -- sort of like tossing a basketball too far over the hoop, only there's no backboard to stop it. Instead, it's left a rather complex pattern with clouds blowing every which way.
But the gist of the forecast for around here is that it won't be as rainy this evening as first thought. However, there is a Convergence Zone forming, so rain will be developing between Seattle and Everett, but outside that area, just a few isolated showers amid mostly cloudy skies. Lows tonight will drop to the mid-upper 40s. For Thursday, we'll just see some lingering showers in that Convergence Zone area, then all areas drying out and even improving to partly to mostly sunny by afternoon. Highs will warm a touch to the mid 60s. Friday is still on track to be the most pleasant day of the period, with plenty of sunshine and comfortable temperatures in the upper 60s and low 70s.
But get out and enjoy it, because rain is putting the full-court press on for the weekend. A rather strong front -- especially by June standards -- will push in from the coast Saturday morning. This looks to make for a soggy and windy day. We usually seem to say "Rain, but not a washout" this time of year, but I'm afraid this does look like a washout. Windy too, with gusts to 30-40 mph along the coast and up north, and perhaps 20-35 mph in the Puget Sound area. For those of you going to UW graduation -- bring rain gear. (As wet as it'll be, I'm still glad they do it at Husky Stadium now. It was at Hec Ed when I graduated, and it was a bummer to only be able to have three guests.) Temperatures will stay in the low 60s though the day.

Showers and breezy for Sunday, with highs staying in the low 60s. (Why does this feel like I'm writing a November forecast? About the only difference is that low 60s is cool now, whereas in November, we're sweating and it's pineapple express.)
A broad area of low pressure remains in the area Monday, keeping scattered showers in the forecast, but a better chance of sunbreaks in between. Just a few isolated showers for Tuesday amid partly sunny skies, and then we dry out for Wednesday, although still looks cool and fairly cloudy, with temperatures through the period in the mid 60s. Long range forecasts are flip-flopping for the end of next week and the following weekend. Dry and sunny is leading cool and showery 2-1 so far in model runs this week.
But as we've found out many times before, sunshine is never a slam dunk around here :)

The Name Game, continued

I need to add a few things to my original post:

Jody's are almost always, without fail, psycho bitches from hell. Almost always.
Gary's are usually much like Scotts: ISSUES. Danger, danger! Will Robinson!

If your name is Harmony, Heaven, Peace, or some form as such, your life will be exactly opposite of your name's meaning. This I have seen proven time and time again.

Also, MSNBC recently posted an article about how certain names usually have certain facial characteristics. I am fascinated by this and was disappointed that the the writer didn't go a little further in depth. Everyone has met someone and thought "They don't look like a Melissa, they look like a Kelly." Apparently there is a basis for the thought.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18805010/

09 June 2007

Time Out

I think that I am the only person on the planet that feels badly for Paris Hilton at this point.

Now, before the flames reach me, Listen: At This Point.

I believe she should have to sit her little ass in jail for DUI, etc because that was the sentence given to her. I believe she should have to sit the whole sentence and not days off for good behavior, etc. Let me make that clear.

HOWEVER…

When the sheriff let her out, that should have been the end of it. Let the judge fire the sheriff or whatever but don't ping-pong someone back and forth between jail and freedom. That would fuck with a normal person's head, let alone an aristrobrat who has always gotten her way.

Let's put aside the Paris Hilton persona for just a minute. Is it possible? Let's try.

Here is an aristobrat who has had everything handed to her all of her life. Everything. She never has to think about where toilet paper comes from or how to replace a lightbulb. Basic survival skills, not her thing.

Now, let's take her and set her in a closet-sized room. (although her closet is probably bigger than most master bedrooms but whatever) No telephone, no cell, no computer, no Blackberry, no television other than the community television that you know is set on the news channels discussing her very public imprisonment.

Add in that she has said in interviews that she has never been totally alone. I believe her; there are always parents, siblings, friends, media, bodyguards, drivers, and personal assistants. There is always someone. Now there is no one.

So, stark & empty room. No interaction. Nothing recognizable.

Can you imagine how scary that would be? Jail would be scary enough, actually for a normal person. Now imagine it through her eyes.

"Normal" people have been alone, have been hungry, have been scared, and have been with nothing. This is something she has never experienced and she must be terrified.

Do I think she should be released for it? No. I think this is a very Buddhist opportunity for her.

I just can't imagine going from the red carpet and parties of the MTV Movie Awards to jail. I don't think you can get much farther apart on the spectrum, can you?

I don't like Paris Hilton. I think she is a waste of time and "celebrity." I wish she would go away and do something with her life. Nevertheless, I wouldn't wish being bounced back and forth between home and jail on anyone.

Now I pity her. She obviously has issues. I was surprised to read she was in her mid-twenties. She is very immature. Now, you just said "DUH!" didn't you? This is what I meant: The sobbing in jail for three days straight, the reported mouthing of "I love you" and "Mommy, help me," and the screaming of "This isn't FAIR!" are not the actions/words of a twenty-something. They are the words of a child.

With this realization, the rest of her antics make sense now. The tantrums, the girl fights, the name-calling, the dressing up. She never progressed beyond the age of four. Seriously. What the hell happened that she stalled so young in her development?
Is there something wrong, something that is disguised by money, good looks, and good clothes? I read that she never finished high school and never really went to school anyway. So, what level her education? Grade school? Perhaps.

So, now I pity her. She is four and she is on the biggest time-out possible.

What would I have done, you ask?
I don't think jail is appropriate for her. (Now, settle down!) I think house arrest for her is appropriate. HOWEVER, I would have restrictions: no visitors, no take-out or delivery service, 40 hours weekly community service. Summed up: She is confined, she has no visitors, and she has to contribute to society. She has to hear about the world going on around her through her cell phone, Blackberry, and computer and worst of all: she cannot participate. I think for her, specifically, that would be punishment enough.

What happens next? I'm guessing a break-down. And I don't think it will be contrived. I think it will be genuine. That's the saddest thing.

I do pity her now. She is just a toddler in a porn-star body.

And now, I have to go write something meaningful to erase the fact that I just wrote an entire blog entry about Paris Hilton.

Rice-a-Wrongy

I am rarely political with my friends but this boggled my mind so much, I have to get it out:

History will rate Bush well.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says history will remember President Bush's foreign policy favorably despite current troubles in Iraq, Iran, North Korea and the Middle East

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19116101/

I am just curious: What color is the sky in her world?

That's all I had. I'm going to go bang my head against something and hope the bad people go away soon.

17 April 2007

The Name Game

Have I mentioned my name theory? Well, I'm gonna tell you about it anyway...

It started in high school actually. Which means the theory is twenty years old now. yikes.

It started out as "All Steves are assholes". Now if you're married to a Steve or heaven forbid, *are* a Steve, then I kind of apologize: There are exceptions to every rule.

So, a while ago, my friend K asked me to elaborate and I've been formulating my theory since.

Every name has a connotation. Many people are hesitant to announce their new baby's name until the birth in fear of hearing "Oh Don't use THAT name, I knew a bladda bladda once and she was a bitch!"

First, you'll always know someone who has the baby's name so shut up, for the sake of the new mother.

Second, it's true: certain names do have certain characteristics. All Steves are assholes. Think about it...do you know a nice Steve? (I actually do...this is an odd story: The MG's aunt married Evil Steve, finally divorced him, and is now married to Good Steve...go figure. Exceptions to every rule. *whatever*)

So here is a partial list:

Deanna's are always bitches...the MG can attest to this himself. (cough *ex-wife *ahem)

Scott's are terribly complicated creatures. I have yet to meet a Scott that didn't have issues.

Kelly's are usually really nice, fun people to be around.

Any person with a "baby" name, like Jimmy or Tommy or Billy (Or Missy, Sissy or anything ending in "-Jo") are Trouble. There's a reason they still have a baby name.

Wayne's are always nice guys. Dependable, loyal.

Ian's are always Nerds.

Tiffany...*shudder*...my own personal nightmare...are usually, shall we say: "free with their affections"

Any girl that ends her name with "ie" are usually party girls. Kind of goes along with the Baby Name thing.

Jim's are usually dependable, strong, loyal. You can usually always count on a Jim.

Sean's are usually very nice guys, shy but generally good guys.

Karens are anyone's guess. I've met a million Karens and have difficulty finding a common denominator among them.

Anyone with an unusual name usually has an unusual personality to go with it. I think it's a self-protection thing.

Anyone with an old-fashioned name are nice enough people really, but usually socially stunted, if you will. Floyd comes to mind. (yes, I know a Floyd. Well, two actually: one human, one dog)

Becky's are always gregarious and loud and fun.

Kim's are usually strong-willed, stuborn and opinonated.

Charles falls almost into the Scott territory...

Davids are usually really smart, giving and dependable.

If you really want to mess up your son: name him Zachary. I've not yet met a Zachary that wasn't a Satan-in-training.

Brittany's are almost always, without fail, high maintenance.

Laura's are kind of like Karens. They're complicated usually.

So, add or subtract to the list. Everyones experiences are different. I would love to hear others theories.

Weather Forecasting

I have an e-friend named Scott who works for KOMO TV in Seattle. He does the daily email forecasts. Somehow, Scott has figured out how to make a weather forecast funny. I don't know how he comes up with the ideas but he does. One forecast was based around ducks and bunnies. (It was beautiful out with lots of cumulus clouds). He writes about the holidays, he makes Mother Nature into a person frequently - a used car salesman once, he relates the weather to the stock report. Every day, there's a different theme.

I have to give a shout-out to my friend, Scott, who makes a boring forecast funny.
Anyone who can figure out how to write about rain, in some form 365 days a year, in an entertaining way deserves a shout-out.
I'll post some of his forecasts from now on. If you want to check it out for yourself: www.komotv.com and click on the weather.

Today, in honor of Tax Deadline Day, he posted the following forecast:

In honor of tax day, we were hoping Mother Nature would let us fill out the EZ version of the forecast form today, but with showers and thunderstorms roaming around, looks like we'll have to soldier through the longer version. No problem, we've got our calculators at the ready.
This evening and early tonight will continue to see scattered showers and thunderstorms as a cool, unstable air mass drifts overhead. Some showers could see hail and gusty winds, so keep an eye to the sky as you race to that mailbox to drop off your tax form. Once the sun goes down, showers and thunderstorms will decrease, with lows will drop into the upper 30s and low 40s.
Wednesday will be about the same as today, only half as wet. (Or, in tax speak: Take volume of water accumulated from Day 16 and multiply by 0.5. Enter that value on Line 23A.) The air won’t be quite as unstable, so while the sunbreaks should be there, the showers should be more sporadic and not as intense. There is still the risk of an isolated thunderstorm, so we're not completely out of the woods. Highs will top out in the low 50s.
The showers end Wednesday night as that trough of low pressure moves away, leaving us with a dry and partly sunny Thursday and Friday. (Although to claim the sunshine, you might have to fill out form 30-SY). Highs each day will warm into the mid-upper 50s.
The weather pattern changes for Saturday as another front approaches the area. As of right now, it looks like rain will develop by afternoon, but there are some signs that the rain might hold off until Saturday evening or even Saturday night. So there is hope for at least a dry start to the weekend. Temperatures will hit the mid 50s. That rain will linger through Saturday night and then leave us with showers and sunbreaks for Sunday (although one caveat -- if that Saturday rain holds off until Saturday night, that could make for a wetter Sunday morning. Sort of robbing Peter to pay Paul, but there you go. Just be sure to claim any sunshine losses on form 17-W.)
We should eke ourselves a dry day for Monday, before rain returns for next Tuesday. Or, for the IRS agents out there, "Monday will see an increase in our adjusted gross sunshine, but standard deductions will be applied on Tuesday." :)

06 April 2007

The Polite Game

The Polite Game

When the MG and I went to California for my grandmother's 100th birthday, we discovered a fun game to play, completely by accident.

We were waiting at SEATAC for our flight and decided we were hungry. So we stopped at one of the EXPENSIVE cafes...actually, I think it was Starbucks...well, if it wasn't it is now just to make it a fun Seattle theme...

ANYWAY...

I had to go back to the counter to retrieve something and there was a woman standing there that was dressed to the nines. And she was standing in the way.
I SUPER politely asked her "Excuse me, please."
She looked at me with a mixture of "Little people don't talk to me. Ever" and surprised apparently that I used my manners. So, being me, I used them again upon my return because she was still standing in the way. Again, the surprised look.

I mentioned this to MG and we decided that until we got to CA. we were going to be hyper-courteous and freak people out. And we did and it did.

The one clear reaction I remember was from a security guard at LAX. A plus-sized black woman with a very stern expression. I had to ask her directions because we were lost-ish. (a whole other story but suffice it to say that we were supposed to fly into Anaheim and not LAX but there we were.)

At first, I got the one-eyebrow-raise and then she curtly answered my question...to my relief because I was having flashes of strip searches in my head upon waiting for her response...When I thanked her, I even got a glimmer of a smile. Just a glimmer but I'll take it. The smile could have been from pleasure of terrifying a little white girl, but who knows?

So, we played the game during the entire trip and people were 95% surprised and probably a little freaked out. Psychological warfare, that's what it turned out to be. FUN!

And I still play. Especially if I think quickly and someone has just been rude to me. My favorite: not holding the door for the next person will usually garner a cheery "No, thanks! I got it!" as I catch the door before it closes.

And if you actually hold the door for people, WOW. People are usually surprised, which in turns surprises me.

Next time you're out & about: Play the Polite Game. It's nice, it's easy and it freaks people out.

Gotta Dance!

Yesterday I had to go to the Post Office. I had already been earlier, for "work" but I didn't want to lug a 30 pound package two blocks so I came again later. Ugh, of course there were people there now.
I was silently cursing the MG's name, just because it was his stupid package, not because I was necessarily annoyed with him.
And of course my cell rings
And of course it's him.
Sigh...
Juggle package to the ground to dig cell out of my pocket.
I'm just about to answer it when out of the corner of my eye, I catch movement.
There stands the CUTEST little Hispanic boy EVER
and he's shaking it to my ring tone.

*Poof* There goes my pissy mood instantly.

Little Man is getting his groove on to the Tango ring tone I have programmed in for when MG calls.

I let it ring until it nearly went to voicemail just to watch little man dance. I almost had MG call me back so it would ring again.

Too freaking CUTE!

Bust a groove little man!

Lesson Learned: Gotta dance when the mood strikes you, even if it is in the middle of the post office.

01 April 2007

Addictive Arachnid

My coworker at "work"...I have a difficult time calling it "work" with a straight face...mentioned playing Spider Solitaire. As I have the world's oldest computer, I don't have it at home. I tried it out at "work" and OH MY GOD, it's addictive.

I came home, cleaned out my computer files so I would have room and downloaded it. Yeah!

And can I just say how much I love that it applauds when you win? Hey, I'll take validation any where I can get it.

Try it! Try it now! www.download.com
Join my in my addiction. C'mon, all the cool kids are doing it.

Godspeed Eric Medlen

www.johnforce.com

NHRA lost a great racer last week and I had to put a shout out. Even though we hadn't met him, it feels like we did as the drag racing world is small.
He lived every drag racers dream: working up from a local racer to a pro. He died doing what he loved.

Today I heard a great quote from him "Eat ice cream, you can't be sad when you're eating ice cream."

So, in his honor, we're having ice cream.

24 March 2007

Going Grocer

I'm going to rant on grocery shopping for just a moment. Then I'll be fine.

1) Treat the aisles as ROADS. People need to be able to get by while you read labels for dolphin friendly Rice a Roni. It's as if they've never been to a grocery store, ever. Indecisive, meandering shoppers make me, a fairly normal and calm person, want to go postal. (this doesn't include old people because they can't help it. I'm not a complete bitch)

2) Remember in school: We all took turns? We said "Excuse me" "Please" "Thank you".
Just think of this as a big school. Use your manners.

3) I know the racecar shopping carts are cute and the kids like them. But they're the size of three shopping cars taped together. Invariably the mother that's "driving" is completely oblivous to the fact that no one can get around her. See complaint #1
AND usually the kid is awful, rarely they're cute.
3-a) If your child is a screaming banshee, please for the Love of God and All Things Holy: take them home and get mac & cheese later. Seriously.

4) When did the grocery store turn out to be the social arena for old people? Perhaps it's because I shop during the week now but every time I go there's a bunch of old people hanging out, Starbucks in hand, and chatting over the lettuce. And, there's nothing like walking in front of the bench of old men who even though they are old, are probably still having the thoughts of fourteen year old boys.

*deep cleansing breath* Now that I've ranted about it, I'll be better able to cope next time I go. Theoretically.

Cartoon Bubble

Tonight, we're walking through the mall and past all the funky little kiosks.
We passed the massage kiosk where an older Asian lady is kneading someone's back. I'm thinking to myself "There's no way I'd ever get a massage in the middle of a mall."
Gee, do you think I have trust issues?

This thought just clears the air when the MG mentions AS WE PASS "There's not enough tea in..." embarrassed pause as we continue on... "for me to massage anyone."

I giggle for about five minutes. That was a sitcom moment. Comedy writers: take note.

Tough Old Bird

Tonight we had a dinner at a restaurant that the Mad Genius went to as a child. It's a little out of the way greasy spoon. Apparently he was up for a little adventure/nostalgia trip.

The woman who took our order must have been 107 years old, if she was a day. At first she seemed a little grumpy, understandable: she's old and working in a greasy spoon. But then I caught a glimmer of mischief in her eye when I sassed the MG over something. She's a tough old bird. Of course she was.

When another waitress came by, we asked if she was the owner or just worked there. We hoped that she was the owner, to justify our own peace of minds, but nope. She's worked there for 36 years. 36 years! And here she was working at 6:00 p.m. on a Saturday night.

MG asked me if I had cash for a tip and I said that I did in the truck. "Well, you better go get it because *she's* clearing tables. I turned and there's our friend, clearing tables. I hurried out to get my cash before she reached our table.

Alas, I wasn't quick enough and she was cleaning our table and chatting with MG. I casually approached the table, as if I'd just gone potty and not a frantic sprint to go get tip money.

Turns out, she had a stroke one year ago but she's still working. Turns out she was in the hospital last night. "But I'm FINE" she says. Tough old bird.

I slipped the five on the table when she wasn't looking, now wishing it were more. She turned, noticed it and said "Is this for us?" Us? How sweet is that? MG said "No, it's for you." She set it on her cart with the other tips. I told her "Put it in your pocket and go buy something pretty." She snagged that five up like it was on fire.
I hope she buys herself a treat on the way home. (She was haping to be off at nine.)

I'm choosing to think that she works because she likes having something to do not because she has to. That's what I'm choosing to think. I'm choosing to think that she'll buy a treat with that five. I'm hoping that I'm as tough as her when I grow up.

02 March 2007

Puppy Love

I am not a dog person. This may seem a little strange as I have a dog so let me clarify. I am not the kind of person that carries pictures of my dog. I don't refer to the dog as "our child" or to myself as "mommy."
Much to our dog's dismay, I understand that she is simply A DOG. I'm sure she would have a very plausible argument against that point of view but as she's simply a dog, she won't be consulted for her opinion.

However, it's not to be ignored that she has human qualities. She's a creature of habit. In fact, perhaps, a little OCD.

She goes to bed at 10:00 p.m. whether or not we do. Apparently, she needs her beauty sleep. She will also sleep until about 9:00 a.m. if she is left to her own devices.

The night time ritual that must be observed: Mad Genius announces to no one in particular "Let's go to bed." Said announcement will bring the dog scurrying from wherever she was previously snoozing. Outside she goes to go potty. Often, she considers us as idiots and tries to fool us. She'll walk around the corner where we can't see her and wait until we close the door. Then she scurries back to the door with her nose pointed toward it with an intensity on par with a laser beam.
This game drives the MG crazy but I don't worry about it as she's never had an inside accident.

A treat is given, thus the previous laser beam intensity. She behaves as if this is her daily methadone dose. Then we go to bed. But not before she drinks her water bowl nearly dry because we never, ever, offer her water. Just ignore the huge stainless steel water bowl that is often kicked over by the humans of the house.
Her favorite watering hole seems to be the little outside table that's just her size in our patio area behind the house. Apparently it's doggie Evian.

Right now, she is randomly barking. I think it's just for the joy of barking. There's no visitors, no intruders, no doggie friends visiting. She's just barking. I don't know if she's announcing that she's outside or just making noise. Thank God all the neighbors are a) family and b) gone for the day.

I believe I mentioned previously that she has Terror Alert Levels that must be observed. One of her Alerts awarded the poor dog with a jack to the jaw the other night. Now before you call the Humane Socitey, listen.

The MG is gone for the evening and I am watching "Lady in the Water." I am a huge M Night Shyamalan fan even though he scares the hell out of me. I am entranced into the movie and the dog is sleeping on the floor in the living room. (She's finally learned not to sleep under my recliner when the foot rest is up. Nearly beheaded the damn dog.)

In the movie, the creepy (literally) creature is steathily inching across the screen. The dog chooses this time to nudge my elbow to tell me something important. In reflex, as I'm not a screamer, I jacked her in the jaw with my elbow. She looked at me like "What the hell?" and rebuffed my apologies. I felt bad but I blame M Night. I think the dog was being empathetic and got jacked her her efforts. Poor girl.

As I've been home for nine months, I've learned that I'm truly not a dog person. We've been driving one another crazy for nine months.

She has lost the understanding that she's a dog somehow. Dogs go outside, humans usually stay inside. This seems simple to me yet we keep having the same conversation every single freaking day. Now, before you coo and ahhh and tell me "She just wants to be with you" know that once inside, I am completely ignored unless I have food. If I have food, then we're long-lost buddy ole pals. Otherwise, I am tolerated as the one with the oppsable thumbs that can open doors and give food.

Frankly, I think she's a little relieved that I've returned to work, even if it is only part-time. I think that once she realizes that I've not brought a treat home for her, she is irritated that she has to share *her* house with me again.

I'm not a dog person and apparently, I am only to be tolerated in her world as I have the food.

Sneakers!

I bought new sneakers last weekend. Sketchers are my favorite sneakers and I had a 50% off coupon so it was cause to celebrate in my world.

Well, the difference between working in the adult world and kid world became abundantly clear on Monday, much to my disappointment.

In kid-world, new shoes are to be Celebrated! There are few thing as exciting as new sneakers. They often require a min-fashion show so the wearer can show them off to maximum potential. They are cause for comment all day on the first day of wearing. New sneakers are cool.

So much to my disappointment when no one noticed that I had new sneakers on Monday morning. *sniff*
I think I like kids better than adults. They're pretty cool sneakers too. Oh well, their loss.

My advice: next time you get new shoes, or notice someone has new shoes, comment on them! New shoes are a cause for celebration, dammit.

25 February 2007

Voacbulary Throw Down - A Story

Okay, as promised here is the first installment of the challenge using all the words a high school graduate should know.
The theme kind of crept up on me and wasn't intentional. Once started, however, I ran with it.

This is using words starting with A through J. I need to take a break or my head is going to explode.

If you have comments or entries, please feel free to post for our enjoyment.

And so we begin...

Abjure: Katie was forced to abjure under the scrutiny of the press; renouncing her former belief that the earth was created by aliens from another planet when she suddenly realized just how ridiculous that sounded.

Abrogate: In light of her epiphany, she abrogated her marriage immediately; as her husband refused to acknowledge the insanity of his beliefs.
(used word # 20 already! Ha! Take that, word nerds!)

Abstemious: Katie was relieved that she now didn't have to be so abstemious. She could binge on burgers and fries now that her skeletal BFF and former husband were no longer pressuring her to conform to the Hollywood standard of beauty.

Acumen: She was amazed at the return of her acumen upon separating from her husband and his beliefs.
Suddenly, she was once again clear-headed and intelligent.

Antebellum: Her spirit of independence bolstered her during the antebellum period before the divorce proceedings. She knew her husband, nor the organiation would let her go easily.

Auspicious: As her former husband was more auspicious than herself, she knew that the divorce proceedings would be long, expensive, and arduous. In addition, he had the organizations financial backing

Belie: The "organization" to which her husband belonged belied the actual beliefs; leading people to believe they were a healthy and uplifting group.

Bellicose: In fact, they were quite bellicose in spouting their beliefs, often shouting down critics and skeptics.

Bowdlerize: Katie was often surprised how the organization bowdlerized their beliefs, sanitizing them so the public wouldn't be offended or questioning.

Chicanery: It was certainly a form of chicanery, likening them to a traveling witch doctor of old.

Chromosome: Certainly, it was ridiculous that the organization felt that their members possessed an extra chromosome that empowered them.

Churlish: Leaders often would become churlish if followers dared questioning the belief.

Circumlocution & Circumnavigate: They would often use circumlocution to confuse and befuddle the members, circumnavigating the issues of the ridiculousness of their history and allowing them to convince the members of their power.
(Two for one, baby!)

Deciduous: No matter their clever manipulations, there was still a degree of deciduousness among members. Sometimes, members would still escape from the organization as Katie had.

Deleterious: Once out of the fold, former members, such as Katie, realized the deleteriousness of the organization and are amazed that they ever fell under the organization's spell.

Diffident: However, the organization often targeted the diffident, as their low esteem made them easy targets.

Enervate: The constant barrage of information would often enervate the new members; making them easier still to manipulate.

Enfranchise: Once convinced, members would often enfranchise their friends and family, trying like Amway salesmen to bring them into the fold.

Epiphany: They would often brag about their epiphanies, in attempt to draw more members thus elevating themselves in the organization.
(note: I used this word twice)

Equinox: The equinox was celebrated as the new beginning for the organization.

Euro: The organization used the Euro for currency as it was untraceable to a specific country or place.

Evanescent: Rational thought seemed evanescent to friends and families of the followers. They couldn't believe their loved ones would believe such absurdity.

Expurgate: The organization often would expurgate their beliefs when publishing them to the media, in effort to minimize the scrutiny of the press.

Facetious & Fatuous: No matter how they tried, the media was still often facetious in their writings of the fatuous organization. No amount of editing could make their history and beliefs sound rational and intelligent; no matter how many celebrities professed to believe.

Feckless & Fiduciary: Again, the organization often focused on the feckless in order to bolster their own fiduciary gain. The easily transformed often willingly gave of their cash and possessions, a requirement of the organization.

Filibuster: Once strengthened, Katie would often wage a filibuster with the press, expounding the danger of the organization's tactics and control.

Gamete & Hemoglobin:: In desperation, the organization would threaten to inject a gamete into wavering members bodies, rendering them weak and ill, in punishment for their skepticism. Katie had her hemoglobin levels tested in fear that she had been injected with the threatened gamete without her knowledge.

Gauche: Some members fell for this tactic as they were gauche and inept.

Gerrymander & Hegemony:: The organization often used Hollywood to gerrymander their beliefs and bolster political strength. This tactic often resulted in hegemony, the spread of the belief and influence among the moneyed circles of stardom.

Homogeneous & Hubris: The organization often mocked the homogenous view of other religions, citing a narrow point of view. Their hubris sometimes worked against them; offending people instead of drawing them into the organization.

Hypotenuse: The use of a hypotenuse in a triangle was often used to explain the organizations chain of command, much like a pyramid scheme.
(by the way, word nerds, I had to go ONLINE to look this word up. I haven't had geometry since high school for goodness sake.)

Impeach & Incognito: The president avoided an impeachment of his presidency and administration by making an incognito donation to the organization. Thus bolstering the organization's influence and power.

Incontrovertible: The incontrovertible truth bounced off the organization as if it were protected by an invisible shield.

Inculcate & Infrastructure & Interpolate: Regular classes were conducted for members in order to inculcate information, much like the brainwashing scenes in the movie Manchurian Candidate. These classes were conducted in order to preserve the infrastructure of the system. They also would interpolate their beliefs into daily conversation and all media observed and shared by members.

Irony & Jejune: The irony being that the more they spread the word, the more attention was paid to the ridiculousness of their claims. They became jejune, likened to a science fiction chapter book on a sixth grade reading list.

Tune it later, children, for the final chapters K through Z of the Vocabulary Challenge...