Thursday, October 26, 2006

Help me, Obi Wan! You're my only hope...

I need your help.

Katies is learning how to differentiate fact from opinion in her reading class. On the way to school Monday I showed her the nifty cool socks I was wearing. They were orange and black and white striped with googly-eyed bats on the sides. I told her everyone loves them and everybody wishes they had some.

She told me that was just an opinion.

Stupid education.

I told her heck, no! It is a fact that everyone in the world loves my socks and wants a pair of their own. A fact, I tell ya!

She told me facts can be proven.

I told her I could prove it.

You see where this is going, don't you? If you would be so kind as to send a note, a postcard, a letter or a scrap of oily paper to Katie and tell her how much you love my socks and how much you wish you had a pair just like them, it would be verrry helpful. Heh heh. There is a link in the sidebar you can click to send me an email and I will provide you with the address for your "Dear Katie" cards and letters. Thank you in advance for helping me to maintain the precarious balance of power in the spooky household.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Rachel's mom said I had to do this.

You should do it too!

1. List two things that are true of you that are not stereotypically true of members of some group that you belong to.

a. I get out of bed at 5:25 a.m. during the week.
b. I am a flamin' liberal.

2. List two unusual talents that you have.

a. I have entered the Ironman Triathlon for the past 7 years. I hold three state championships and set two national records in the swimming portion of the competition.
b. I am a liar.

3. List two unusual weaknesses that you have.

a. I keep buying chocolate brown shirts. I don't know why. (I'm wearing one now!)
b. I hate to read good, thought-provoking books that will lead to personal growth and self-improvement. I have very shallow reading tastes. (Not "romance" shallow, but definitely dead-body-on-the-lawn shallow.)

4. List two unusual things that you aspire to.

a. I want to publish a coffee table book of entertaining cemetery photography.
b. Early retirement followed by a lucrative career as a globetrotting heiress who solves English country house murders. (Dear Mom & Dad: Please win the lottery, so as to help me with that heiress part.)

5. List two words that you use more than most people do.

a. bastards!
b. cool!

6. List two foods that you dislike and most other people like.

a. chocolate without nuts.
b. white or yellow cake.

7. List two strange habits that you have.

a. I rearrange the furniture in the house about once a month. (I can't do this with my office because I only have outlets on one wall and the sameness of the place makes me a little nuts sometimes.)
b. I never iron the back of a shirt. What's the point?

Friday, October 20, 2006

Friday Cemetery Blogging

These are pictures I got from little david. They were taken at a cemtery in Australia on a visit to see their son and daughter-in-law. I really love the angel, so you get three pictures of that!

Um, maybe I should add that the son and daughter aren't, you know, dead or anything. They just enjoyed visiting the cemetery too!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Random Thoughts for Wednesday

I had meatloaf at church tonight for supper. It was so freakin' good. Really.

God, I hate going to church on Wednesday nights. Seriously. But Katie still loves it. And its pretty short. Its not so much that church is disagreeable. Home is just so much more agreeable.

Katie shut her finger in a desk drawer and made it bleed rather respectably. She has decided that an episode of Full House will make it all better. I am considering breaking a toe so her daddy will let me change the channel.

Maybe I will just blog instead.

Jackson just told me Annie Potts was his favorite Designing Woman. Mary Jo? Mary JO?! That's so wrong. Everyone knows Julia was the best. I don't know how I managed to marry him not knowing his heretical views in this area. When I asked him to redeem himself by telling me his favorite Golden Girl, he just rolled his eyes. (Dorothy is the correct answer here, people.)

Good lord, he just named all the characters on Beverly Hills 90210. Our marriage is in serious trouble here.

Katie and Jackson are leaving me alone to my own devices this weekend. I think I will go explore a cemetery. I'm about to get desperate about searching for a Christmas card photo.

I want some feety pajamas.

This has been a crazy week at work. All my people are crazy. Full-moon crazy. I am ready for the weekend.

Have I told you we have a new cat? Omar Jones has left the building. So, we adopted a new kitty. His name is Mathias and he's very scruffy. And skittish.

Got us some tickets to see the Transiberian Orchestra the day after Thanksgiving. Yessireebob.

My new rubber band ball is a measly half inch. Sigh...

Jackson wants to know how it is that the kids in his classes can clandestinely text on a tiny illicit cell phone at incredible speeds, yet the pound around on the key board one lousy key at a time. "Little peckers..." he said. (He may well be ready for the weekend too.)

Got a phone call today from a counselor at our local out-patient treatment program. She was doing follow up on a woman I'd referred to their program a few months ago. Bad timing. The woman went to court yesterday on a motion to revoke her probation. She told the judge that of course she kept using drugs - after all everyone knows "relapse is a part of recovery". But the Judge could trust her to stay clean now. She will "never do drugs again" and since she's never said that before, that makes it true.

Did I mention that all my people are crazy this week?

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Tigger has left the building.

There was much weeping and gnashing of teeth at the Spooky household last night. It was a solemn and somber scene.

Well, ok. Maybe not really. But I was certainly upset.

Maria has been cleaning my house for lo, these many years. Long before there was a Jackson, or a Katie, or a house outside of town, or an Earl or a motorcycle or wrinkles or tired feet, there was Maria. The only prenuptual agreement that Jackson and I have is that if we split up, Maria comes with me. However, I have been informed that certain parties fully plan to violate said prenup at such time as there is a parting of the ways. The thought of that battle alone may keep our household intact.

I was single and living on my own when Maria and I first hooked up. I was complaining to Rose one day about my house. I am generally a neat person. Clutter and disorder get on my nerves after a while. But I am also a packrat. I told Rose that I was going to have to go through the nice, neat piles that occupied all corners of my house and garage and get rid of stuff. I claim fame as an excellent surface cleaner, but seldom ever think about doing the deep cleaning until it is fairly atrocious.

Rose suggested I get someone to clean my house. I immediately scoffed at that idea. After all, I was single. And middle class. And perfectly capable of cleaning my own damn house. And there were starving children in Africa.

Rose listened to all my excuses and told me to do whatever I wanted. But she was single and she had someone clean her house and the sky hadn't fallen nor the moon turned to blood.

So, after a few days of mulling it over, I started looking for someone. That was about 12 years ago and Maria has been visiting me weekly ever since.

She is from Mexico and barely spoke English when we met. She is married and has twin sons who are now grown. She now has her GED and has been taking some continuing education classes at the junior college. She worked at a loan company and other full-time jobs, but still comes to my house every week. I only actually see her once or twice a year, but I feel like we are growing old together.

I had no idea how to go about hiring a cleaning lady, so the first time we talked she asked me what I wanted her to do. I can't remember what I actually told her, but it was along the lines of "do whatever you want". So, some days when I come home, the house smells clean, everything is shiny and nothing has changed. Other days, the house smells clean, everything is shiny and she has rearranged all the pots and pans in the cabinet. Or she has cleaned out the refrigerator. Or she has organized my closet. Or whatever else takes her fancy.

I love her.

However, like any relationship, we do have our problems. Maria is old school. She has never, ever questioned how my house is decorated. But she tends to break a gargoyle or a skull about once a year. She hasn't broken any of my madonnas or icons. Just skulls and gargoyles. I don't complain. I figure it is a small price to pay and I feel certain she lights a candle for me each week at mass and I can use all the help I can get in that area.

But, then there is the rubber band ball.

I recently started subscribing to the newspaper again. (Like some sort of real adult, which is very depressing.) In addition to the sudoku, my greatest pleasure as a subscriber is rubber band storage. My first rubber band ball reached about an inch and a half in diameter. I bounced it on the side table during boring TV shows. I rubbed it and molded it and painstakingly arranged the bands to optimize the orbital shape.

Then one day after Maria came, it was gone. I was crushed.

I started a new ball - determined that this would be even more impressive than the last. I would hide it before I left for work on Wednesdays so I knew it would be safe when I returned home. It grew and grew. Then one day I forgot.

When I arrived home from work to the sparkly, lemony-fresh house, I remembered. I ran to the end table and there it was! Still in place. I added to it. It got bigger and bigger. It was bigger and better than the first ball. And for the past month it has set on the table, undisturbed by the ministrations of Maria.

Last night I had to teach a class. I got home a little after 8:00. Jackson left the paper and the rubber band for me so I could enjoy my puzzle and play with my ball. I sat down to relax.

I couldn't find the ball. No ball! I searched high and low, but no luck. It is gone.

I am crushed.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Random Thoughts for Monday

I am awash with randomness because I have writer's block and have nothing very interesting to say.

Being child-free this weekend, Jackson and I spent some time roaming around the record store. I bought Rod Stewart's Great American Songbook cd. I've always loved Rod Stewart. But what the heck is the deal with him selling his last two albums on TV commericals? Its like he's Floyd Cramer or something. Makes me feel old.

Also, his hair. In the 80's I thought he had the best damn hair ever. That was 20 years ago. It is so time for him to comb it.

And maybe wash it.

Ok, enough about the hair.

Also, since it was a child-free weekend, we had decided to go to a play in Big Flat City after we visted Jackson's mom in the hospital. We went to the record store and to dinner. Later, while the highway patrolman was running Jackson's license, checking for warrants, we remembered that we'd forgotten the play!

(The light on my license plate was out.)

I went to the university bookstore this afternoon since it is the only place in town that sells art supplies. I paid waaay too much for some gesso to cover up a really horrible painting. I hope to salvage the canvass for something way less third-graderish. As a painter I am a darn good draw-er.

I just learned that Katie didn't know a vampire can't come into your house unless invited. Tsk, tsk. Her education is sadly lacking.

I'm in the mood to see Nightmare Before Christmas again.

If I were to ever go back to school, which is not something I have any intention of doing, I would do a thesis over the Old Testament morality of horror movies. Wonder what kind of Phd. I could get with that?

Today it finally felt like fall. Fall lasts for about 36 hours total around here. I am ready for some cold weather. I love nothing better than sleeping in a freezing cold room with lots of heavy blankets.

Wonder if I can convince anyone to go camping with me in November...?

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Random Thoughts For Thursday

I was sick yesterday and stayed home from work. None of my cats would snuggle up with me. What the hell kind of good-for-nuthin’ pets are they??

Some stupid turd took a gun to our high school this morning. It discharged, possibly accidentally, but no one was hurt. (This turned out later to be totally untrue. No gun, no nothing. Just goes to show how on edge people are.)

One of my guys came in this morning and reported he’d lost his job as a cook. Why? He was supposed to be at work at 9:15. His alarm didn’t go off until 9:30. He called when he woke up. The manager told him he was fired. They held his job while he was in jail on this charge and that was his last chance. They don’t need him anymore. My guy is all “righteous anger” about it and plans to take it up with the general manager. Because This. Is. Unfair.

Told him not to waste their time. They will just laugh at him. Hell, I was laughing at him. (He’s now working at Sonic, which is also funny, because my other two Sonic employees will chew him up and spit him out, then grind him under their grimy heels. He’ll really think that’s unfair.)

David asked if I still have my motorcycle. I do. But it’s broke. I haven’t had it fixed all summer because I am tired of it breaking down and standing me all over the countryside. Therefore, we are selling both motorcycles and buying newer ones. Anybody wanna buy a persnickety motorcycle?

One of my women, who’s been out of work for an eternity and had an extremely tough time getting a job due to a felony theft conviction, got hired! She will make $7.25 at a gas station, which is pretty dang good! There may be hope for her yet.

Finally got our house painted this week. It is still grey and black and white, which makes me very happy. I had no idea it would be so hard to get people to come out and give you an estimate. I even told one company that I would pay a fee for the estimate. Still nothing. We finally found somebody who was hungry for work. He did a good job. He painted more parts grey and fewer parts white. That also made me happy.

The books in my “to be read” pile are mocking me. I think I will kick them out and start over.

I have misplaced my Bill Bryson book, “The Mother Tongue: English and How it Got That Way.” Color me distressed. It is a book I read bits and pieces from over and over again. Bryson is on my list of people I want to be when I grow up.

We are having lunch at Mi Mexico. That will make everything all better.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Look what came in the mail!

My friend Janet volunteers for her church's clothing ministry. The day I posted the desiderata for The Church of the Firstborn of the Holy Flaming Fedora, something cool arrived at their clothing room. It was blue and velvet and she decided it was destined to live at my house.
I thought I would model it for you: